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Salem, in ancient majesty
All in azure steel arrayed. This alludes to the armour, which consisted sometimes of what is called chain mail, and sometimes of scale mail-the former was the hauberk, a garment composed of interlaced rings of metal, which covered the person-the latter was formed of scales of steel, attached to some flexible substance fitted to the body. The steel armour sometimes exhibited a blue tint.
The trophied prow. Prow, the head of a ship—that part which advances first in the water. It is usually ornamented with some carved figure, intended to represent the dignity of the nation to which the ship belongs, or some circumstance of the enterprize in which it is engaged. Trophies are emblems of military prowess. Richard was a king-a man of great hardihood, enthusiasm, and national pride-his vessels were, doubtless, embellished by figures which indicated his sense of the glory of Britain, and the importance of the adventure before him.
Many a warrior minstrel, &c. The ancient minstrels were poets who composed extempore verses, and sung them to the music of the harp, which they played themselves. The minstrels were common attendants of princes and nobles of the middle ages, and were maintained by them—they usually commanded great respect and attention wherever they went. The minstrels in Warton's ode, bid the Syrian virgins dread English Richard, and the watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem to tremble, as the ranks of his soldiers with their shining shields and lances shall descend from the city of Damascus. They also threaten Saladin, the Saracen prince, that his glories shall soon be terminated, and that his triumphant banners, adorned by the badge of his Mussulman faith-the silver moon, or figure of the crescent--shall fall before the British conqueror.
the sepulchre of God! By mocking Pagans rudely trod, Bereft of every awful rite,
And quench'd thy lamps that beam'd 80 bright. The Saracens, when they got possession of the Holy City, abolished the religious ceremonies which the Latiny Christians had instituted, and extinguished the lamps which the Empress Helena had ordered to be kept continually burning.
The minstrel goes on to sing that the fortifications of the Saracens have no terrors for the English-that neither their battering-rams, nor any of the engines used in war before the discovery of gunpowder, nor the sorceries and charms, the phantoms and evil spirits, conjured up to harm the Christians, could diminish their confidence , in the God of their trust. He then apostrophizes “Salem,” (Jerusalem,) and would encourage this daughter of Sion, as this city is sometimes figuratively called, that she should again be restored to the Lord's heritage, and that the badge of Constantine should soon wave on her battlements, as a token that the Christians had rescued her from the Infidel. This “badge of Constantine,” was the sign of the Cross. Constantine caused the Cross to be painted on the standards borne by his armies.
Blondel led the tuneful band, &c. Richard cultivated poetry. Some of the Provençal Poets, called Troubadours, had been invited from France to England before Richard's time, and had continued to be patronized in England. While Richard was absent in the holy wars, which was almost ten years, his brother Jobn endeavoured to ingratiate himself with the English nation, and when Richard learned this, he set out on his return to England, but while he was in Palestine, some disaffection had arisen between him and the monarchs allied with him-these were the king of France and the emperor of Ger
many—and being shipwrecked in his voyage home, he was taken by the emperor, and made a prisoner in Germany. After more than a year a ransom was paid for him, and he was permitted to go to England. A fable concerning Blondel is so often alluded to, that it may be useful to relate it in this place.
After Richard's imprisonment in Germany, "a whole year elapsed before the English knew where their monarch was confined. Blondel de Nesle, Richard's favourite French minstrel, resolved to find out his lord ; and after travelling many days without success, at last came to a castle where Richard was detained. Here he found that the castle belonged to the Duke of Austria, and that a king was there imprisoned. Suspecting that the prisoner was his master, he found means to place himself directly before the window of the chamber where the king was kept; and in this situation began to sing a French chanson which Richard and Blondel had formerJy written together. When the king heard the song he knew it was Blondel who sung it; and when Blondel paused after the first half of the song, the king began the other half and completed it. Blondel then returned 1.0 England, acquainted the people with his discovery, and Richard was in due time liberated.”
JOANNA BAILLIE. This distinguished woman is still living. She is the niece of John Hunter, an eminent anatomist, not long dead, and the sister of Dr. Baillie, late physician to the King of England, one of the most celebrated medical practitioners of his time; but her consanguinity to these men of genius reflects no more honour upon her, thalt their relationship to her does upon them. If there is any honourable pride in family connexions, it is in the selfcomplacency which we derive from the fact that one of the same race with ourselves has shed lustre upon all of our blood, by the splendour of acknowledged talent.
Miss Baillie is chiefly known as a dramatic author. Her plays are not well adapted to the public taste of this age, but abounding in highly poetic passages, they are admired by readers of the finest taste. Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, and many others of the most gifted minds, have loved to celebrate Joanna Baillie. Sir Walter Scott says, Shakspeare's .
harp had silent hung,
Basil and Montfort are heroes of Miss Baillie's tragedies.
On the death of Edward IV. King of England, their uncle Richard, duke of Gloucester, was made protector of the young king and his brother. Richard first imprisoned the princes, and afterwards caused them to be assassinated. Miss Baillie has made the confinement of
these princes a subject of poetry, and the subjoined extracts from one of her dramas are peculiarly affecting.
PRINCE EDWARD alone in prison.
From the wide spreading bounds of beauteous nature
PRINCE EDWARD and his keeper.