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Earl Adam Hepburn-he who died.-P. 136. He was the second Earl of Bothwell, and fell in the field of Flodden, where, according to an ancient English poet, he distinguished himself by a furious attempt to retrieve the day. Adam was grandfather to James, Earl of Bothwell, too well known in the history of Queen Mary,
June saw his father's overthrow.-P. 137. The rebellion against James III, was signalized by the cruel cir. cumstance of his son's presence in the hostile army. When the king saw his own banner displayed against him, and his son in the faction of his enemies, he lost the little courage he ever possessed, fled out of the field, fell from his horse as it started at a woman and water-pitcher, and was slain, it is not well understood by whom. James IV., after the battle, passed to Stirling, and hearing the monks of the chapel-royal deploring the death of his father, their founder, he was seized with deep remorse, which manifested itself in severe penances. The battle of Sauchieburn, in which James III. fell, was fought 18th June 1488.
Spread all the Borough-Noor below.-P. 142. The Borongh, or Common Moor of Edinburgh, was of very great extent, reaching from the sonthern walls of the city to the bottom of Braid Hills. It was anciently a forest; and, in that state, was so great a nuisance, that the inbabitants of Edinburgh had permission granted them of building wooden galleries, projecting over the street, in order to encourage them to consume the timber; which they seem to have done very effectually. When James IV. mustered the array of the kingdom there in 1513, the Borough-Moor was, according to Hawthornden, "a field spacious, and delightful by the shade of many stately and aged oaks."
The ruddy Lion ramped in gold.-P. 143. The well-known arms of Scotland. If you will believe Boethius and Buchanan, the double tressure round the shield, counter fleurde-lised or, lingued and armed azure, was first assumed by Achaius, king of Scotland, contemporary of Charlemagne, and founder of the celebrated League with France; but later antiquaries make poor Eochy or Achy little better than a sort of king of Brentford, whom old Grig (who has also swelled into Gregorius Magnus), associated with bimself in the important duty of governing some part of the north-eastern coast of Scotland.
True, Caledonia's Queen is changed.-P. 146. The Old Town of Edinburgh was secured on the north side by a lake, and on the south side by a wall, which there was some attempt to make defensible even so late as 1745.
To Henry meek she gave repose.-P. 148. Henry VI., with his queen, his heir, and the chiefs of his family, fied to Scotland after the fatal battle of Towton. It is doubtful whether he came to Edinburgh, though his queen certainly did
The cloth-yard arrows flew like hail.--P. 150. This is no poetical exaggeration. In some of the counties of England, distinguished for archery, shafts of this extraordinary length were actually used. Thus, at the battle of Blackheath, between the troops of Henry VII. and the Cornish insurgents, in 1496, the Bridge of Dartford was defended by a picked band of Rrchers from the rebel army, “whose arrows,” says Hollinshed, “ were in length a full cloth-yard."
To pass, to wheel, the croupe to gain.-P. 150. See Lord Herbert's Life for an account of the airs of war-horses.
He saw the hardy burghers there.--P. 150. The Scottish burgesses were, like yeomen, appointed to be armed with bowes and sheaves, sword, buckler, knife, spear, or a good axe instead of a bow, if worth £100; their armour to be of white or bright harness. They wore white hats, that is, bright steel caps, without crest or visor. By an act of James IV., their weapon-shawings are appointed to be held four times a-year, under the aldermen or tailiffs.
His arms were halbard, axe, or spear.-P. 150. Bows and quivers were in vain recommended to the peasantry of Scotland, by repeated statutes; spears and axes seem universally to have been used instead of them. Their defensive armour was the plate-jack, hauberk, or brigantine; and their missile weapons crossbows and culverins. All wore swords of excellent temper. The mace also was much used. When the feudal array of the kingdom was called forth, each man was obliged to appear with forty days' provision. When this was expended, which took place before the battle of Flodden, the army melted away, of course.
A banquet rich, and costly wines.-P. 153. In all transactions of great or petty importance, and among whomsoever taking place, it would seem that a present of wine was an uniform and indispensable preliminary.
The pressure of his iron belt.-P. 154. Few readers need to be reminded of this belt, to the weight of which James added certain ounces every year that he lived. The person and character of James are delineated according to our best historians. His romantic disposition, which led him highly to relish gaiety, approaching to license, was, at the same time, tinged with enthusiastic devotion. These propensities sometimes formed a strange contrast. He was wont, during his fits of devotion, to assume the dress, and conform to the rules, of the order of Franciscans; and when he had thus done penance for some time in Stirling, to plunge again into the tide of pleasure.
Sir Hugh the Heron's wife held sway.-P. 154. King James's acquaintance with Lady Heron of Ford did not commence until he marched into England. Our historians impute to the king's infatuated passion the delays which led to the fatal defeat of Flodden.
Sent him a Turquois ring, and glove.-P. 155. A turquois ring; probably this fatal gift is, with James's sword and dagger, preserved in the College of Heralds, London.
Of Archibald Bell-the-Cat.-P. 158. Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, a man remarkable for strength of body and mind, acquired the popular name of Bell-the-Cat.
Against the war had Angus stood.-P. 158. Angus was an old man when the war against England was resolved upon. He earnestly spoke against that measure from its commencoment; and, on the eve of the battle of Flodden, remonstrated so freely upon the impolicy of fighting, that the King said to him, with scorn and indignation, “if he was afraid, he might go home." The Earl burst into tears at this insupportable insult, and retired accordingly, leaving his sons, George master of Angus, and Sir Williama of Glenbervie, to command his followers. They were both slain in the battle, with two hundred gentlemen of the name of Douglas. The aged Earl, broken-hearted at the calamities of his house and his country, retired into a religious house, where he died about a year after the field of Flodden.
Then rest you in Tantallon Hold.-P. 158. The ruins of Tantallon Castle occupy a high rock projecting into the German Ocean, about two miles east of North Berwick. The cireuit is of large extent, feneed upon three sides by the ipice which overhangs the sea, and on the fourth by a double ditch and very strong outworks. Tantallon was a principal castle of the Douglas family, and when the Earl of Angus was banished, in 1527, it continued to hold out against James V. The castle and barony were sold in the beginning of the eighteenth century to President Dalrymple of North Berwick, by the then Marquis of Douglas.
He spears their motto on his blade.-P. 158. A very ancient sword, in possession of Lord Douglas, bears, among a great deal of flourishing, two hands pointing to a heart, which is placed betwixt them, and the date 1329, being the year in which Bruce charged the Good Lord Donglas to carry his heart to the Holy Land. It resembles a Highland claymore, of the usual size, and is of an excellent temper.
Perchance some form was unobserved.-P. 162. It was early necessary for those who felt themselves obliged to helieve in the divine judgment being enunciated in the trial by duel, to find salvos for the strange and obviously precarious chances of the combat. Various curious evasive shifts, used by those who took up an unrighteous quarrel, were supposed sufficient to convert it into a just one.
Dun-Edin's Cross, a pillared stone.-P. 164. The Cross of Edinburgh was an ancient and curious structure. The lower part was an octagonal tower, sixteen feet in diameter, and about fifteen feet high. At each angle there was a pillar, and between them an arch, of the Grecian shape. Above these was a projecting battlement, with a turret at each corner, and medallions. of rude but curious workmanship between them. Above this rose the proper Cross, a column of one stone, upwards of twenty feet high, surmounted with an unicorn. From the tower of the Cross, Bo long as it remained, the heralds published the Acts of Parliament, and its site, marked by radii, diverging from a stone centre, in the High Street, is still the place where proclamations are made.
Before a venerable pile.-P. 166. The convent alluded to is a foundation of Cistertian nuns, near North Berwick, of which there are still some remains. It was founded by Duncan, Earl of Fife, in 1216.
Drove the Monks forth of Coventry.-P. 168. This relates to the catastrophe of a real Robert de Marmion, in the reign of King Stephen. The whole story is told by William of Newbury.
At Iol more deep the mead did drain.-P. 170. The Iol of the heathen Danes (a word still applied to Christmas in Scotland), was solemnized with great festivity. The humour of the Danes at table displayed itself in pelting each other with bones. The dances of the northern warriors round the great fires of pinetrees are commemorated by Olaus Magnus, who says, they danced with such fury, holding each other by the hands, that, if the grasp of any failed, he was pitched into the fire with the velocity of a sling.
On Christmas eve the mass was sung.-P. 171. In Roman Catholic countries mass is never said at night, except en Christmas eve.
of anych furmemora
Traces of ancient mystery.-P. 172. The Mummers of England and the Guisards of Scotland present, in some indistinct degree, a shadow of the old mysteries, which were the origin of the English drama.
Will on a Friday morn look pale.-P. 173. The Daoine shi, or Men of Peace, of the Scottish Highlanders, rather resemble the Scandinavian Duergar than the English Fairies. Notwithstanding their name, they are, if not absolutely malevolent, at least peevish, discontented, and apt to do mischief on slight provocation. The belief of their existence is deeply impressed on the Highlanders, who think they are particularly offended with mortals who talk of them, who wear their favourite colour, green, or in any respect interfere with their affairs. This is especially to be avoided on Friday, when, whether as dedicated to Venus, with whom, in Germany, this subterraneous people are held nearly connected, or for a more solemn reason, they are more active, and possessed of greater powers.
By the last lord of Franchemont.-P. 174.
firmly believed by the peasantry, in the neighbonrhood of Franchemont, that the last Baron deposited, in one of the vaults of the castle, a ponderous chest, containing an immense treasure in gold and silver, which, by some magic spell, was intrusted to the care of the devil, who is constantly found sitting on the chest in the shape of a huntsman. Any one adventurous enough to touch the chest, is instantly seized with the palsy. Yet if anybody can discover the mystic words used by the person who deposited the treasure, and pronounce them, the fiend must instantly decamp.
The very form of Hilda fair.-P. 177. It is believed by many that Lady Hilda still renders herself visible on some occasions in the abbey of Streanshalh, or Whitby, where she so long resided.
A bishop by the altar stood.-P. 181. The well-known Gawain Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld, son of Archibald Bell-the-Cat, Earl of Angus. He was author of a Scottish metrical version of the Æneid, and of many other poetical pieces of great merit. He had not at this period attained the mitre.
As wood-knife lops the sapling spray.- P. 182. Angus had strength and personal activity corresponding to his courage. Spens of Kilspindie, a favourite of James IV., having spoken of him lightly, the Earl met him while hawking, and compelling him to single combat, at one blow cut asunder his thigh bone, and killed him on the spot.
Where Lennel's convent closed their march.-P. 186. This was a Cistertian house of religion, now almost entirely demolished, situated near Coldstream, almost opposite to Cornhill, and consequently very near to Flodden Field.
The Till by Twisel Bridge.-P. 186. The battle of Flodden was fought on 9th September, 1513. The ancient bridge of Twisel, by which the English crossed the Till, is still standing beneath Twisel Castle, a splendid pile of Gothic architecture, as now rebuilt by Sir Francis Blake, Bart., whose extensive plantations have so much improved the country around. The glen is romantic and delightful, with steep banks on each side, covered with copse, particularly with hawthorn. Beneath a tall rock, near the bridge, is a plentiful fountain, called St. Helen's Well.
With Brian Tunstall, stainless knight.-P. 189. Sir Brian Tunstall, called, in the romantic language of the time, Tunstall the Undefiled, was one of the few Englishmen of rank slain at Flodden. Tunstall, perhaps, derived his epithet of undefiled from his white armour and banner, the latter bearing a white cock about to crow, as well as from his unstained loyalty and knightly faith. Elis place of residence was Thurland Castle.
View not that corpse mistrustfully.-P. 196. There can be no doubt that King James fell in the battle of Flodden. He was killed, says the curious French Gazette, within a lance's length of the Earl of Surrey; and the same account adds, that none of his division were made prisoners, though many were killed; a circumstance that testifies the desperation of their resistance. Other reports gave a still more romantic turn to the king's fate, and averred that James, weary of greatness after the carnage among his nobles, had gone on a pilgrimage to merit absolution for the death of his father, and the breach of his oath of amity to Henry. In particular, it was objected to the English, that they could never show the token of the iron belt; which, however, he was likely enough to have laid aside on the day of battle, as encumbering his personal exertions. They produce a better evidence, the monarch's sword and dagger, which are still preserved in the Heralds' College in London.
The fair cathedral stormed and took.-P. 196. This storm of Lichfield cathedral, which had been garrisoned on the part of the king, took place in the great civil war. Lord Brook, who, with Sir John Gill, commanded the assailants, was shot with a musket-ball through the visor of his helmet. The magnificent church in question suffered cruelly upon this and other occasions the principal spire being ruined by the fire of the besiegers.
TIIE LADY OF THE LAKE.
Disturbed the heights of Uam-var.-P. 202. Ua-var, as the name is pronounced, or more properly Vaigh-mor, is a mountain to the north-east of the village of Callander in Menteith, deriving its name, which signifies “the great den,” or cavern, from a sort of retreat among the rocks on the south side, said, by tradition, to have been the abode of a giant.
Two dogs of black St. Hubert's breed.-P. 203. "The hounds which we call Saint Hubert's hounds, are com all blacke, yet neuertheless, their race is so mingled at these days, that we find them of all colours. These are the hounds which the abbots of St. Hubert haue always kept some of their race or kind, in honour or remembrance of the saint, which was a hunter with S. Eustace."- Art of Venerie, or Hunting.
No pathway meets the wanderer's ken.---P. 206. Until the present road was made through the romantic pass which I have presuraptuously attempted to describe in the preced. ing stanzas, there was no mode of issuing out of the defile called the Trosachs, excepting by a sort of ladder, composed of the branches and roots of the trees.
Was on the visioned future bent.-P. 210. If force of evidence could authorize us to believe facts inconsistent with the general laws of nature, enough might be produced in favour of the existence of the second-sight. It is called in Gaelic Taishitaraugh, from Taish, an unreal or shadowy appearance; and those possessed of the faculty are called Taishatrin, which may be aptly translated “visionaries.