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did. And when he was cleane armed, he tooke Sir Launcelot's horse, for he was better than his owne, and so they departed
from the crosse.
" Then anon Sir Launcelot awaked, and set himselfe upright, and he thought him what hee had there seene, and whether it were dreames or not; right so he heard a voice that said, “Sir Launcelot, more hardy then is the stone, and more bitter then is the wood, and more naked and bare then is the liefe of the fig-tree, therefore go thou from hence, and withdraw thee from this holy place; and when Sir Launcelot heard this, hee was passing heavy, and wit not what to doe. And so he departed sore weeping, and cursed the time that he was borne ; for then hee deemed never to have had more worship; for the words went unto his heart, till that he knew wherefore that hee was so called."
And Dryden, in immortal strain,
Licentious satire, song, and play.-P. 17, 18. Dryden's melancholy account of his projected Epic Poem, blasted by the selfish and sordid parsimony of his patrons, is contained in an Essay on Satire," addressed to the Earl of Dorset, and prefixed to the Translation of Juvenal. After mentioning a plan of supplying machinery from the guardian angels of kingdoms, mentioned in the book of Daniel, he adds :
“ Thus, my lord, I have, as briefly as I could, given your lordship, and by you the world, a rude draught of what I have been long labouring in my imagination, and what I had intend-, ed to have put in practice ; (though far unable for the attempt of such a poem,) and to have left the stage, to which my genius never much inclined me, for a work which would have taken up my life in the performance of it. This, too, I had intended chiefly for the honour of my native country, to which a poet is particularly obliged. Of two subjects, both relating to it, I was doubtful whether I should chuse that of King Arthur conquering.the Saxons, which, being farther distant in time, gives the greater scope to my invention; or that of Edward the Black, Prince, in subduing Spain, and restoring it to the lawful prince, though a great tyrant, Don Pedro' the Cruel : which, for the compass of time, including only the expedition of one year, for the greatness of the action, and its answerable event, for the magnanimity of the English hero, opposed to the ingratitude of the person whom he restored, and for the many beautiful episodes which I had interwoven with the principal design, together with the characters of the chiefest English persons, (wherein, after Virgil and Spenser, I would have taken occasion to represent my living friends and patrons of the noblest families, and also shadowed the events of future ages in the succession of our
imperial line, with these helps, and those of the ma
chines which I have mentioned, I might perhaps have done, as well as some of my predecessors, or at least chalked out a way for others to amend my errors in a like design ; but being encouraged only with fair words by King Charles II., my little salary ill paid, and no prospect of a future subsistence, I was then discouraged in the beginning of my attempt; and now age has overtaken me, and want, a more insufferable evil, through the change of the times, has wholly disabled me.”
Of Ascapart, and Bevis bold.-P. 20. The “ History of Bevis of Hampton” is abridged by my friend Mr. George Ellis, with that liveliness which extracts amusement even out of the most rude and unpromising of our old tales of chivalry. Ascapart, a most important personage in the romance, is thus described in an extract:
This geaunt was mighty and strong,
Specimens of Metrical Romances, Vol. II. p. 136. I am happy to say, that the memory of Sir Bevis is still fra. grant in his town of Southampton; the gate of which is centinelled by the effigies of that doughty knight-errant, and his gigantic associate.
Day set on Norham's castled steep,
And Tweed's fair river, broad and deep, &c.-P. 23: The ruinous castle of Norham, (anciently called Ubbanford,) is situated on the southern bank of the Tweed, about six miles above Berwick, and where that river is still the boundary between England and Scotland. The extent of its ruins, as well as its historical importance, shews it to have been a place of magnificence as well as strength. Edward I, resided there when he was created umpire of the dispute concerning the Scottish succession. It was repeatedly taken and retaken du. ring the wars between England and Scotland; and, indeed, scarce any happened, in which it had not a principal share. Norham Castle is situated on a steep bank, which overhangs the river. The repeated sieges which the castle had sustained, rendered frequent repairs necessary. In 1164 it was almost rebuilt by Hugh Pudsey, bishop of Durham, who added a huge keep, or donjon ; notwithstanding which, King Henry II., in 1174, took the castle from the bishop, and committed the keeping of it to William de Neville. After this period it seems to have been chiefly garrisoned by the king, and considered as a royal fortress. The Greys of Chillinghame Castle were fre
quently the castellans, or captains of the garrison : Yet, as the castle was situated in the patrimony of St. Cuthbert, the property was in the see of Durham till the Reformation. After that period it passed through various hands. At the union of the crowns, it was in the possession of Sir Robert Carey, (af, terwards Earl of Monmouth,) for his own life, and that of two of his sons. After King James' accession, Carey sold Norham Castle to George Home Earl of Dunbar, for L.6000.-See his curious Memoirs, published by Mr. Constable of Edinburgh.
According to Mr. Pinkerton, there is, in the British Museum, Cal. B. 6. 216. a curious memoir of the Dacres on the state of Norham Castle in 1522, not long after the battle of Flodden. The inner ward, or keep, is represented as impregnable; “The provisions are three great vats of salt eels, forty-four kine, three hogsheads of salted salmon, forty quartes of grain, besides many cows, and four hundred sheep, lying under the castlewall nightly; but a number of the arrows wanted feathers, and a good fetcher (i. e. maker of arrows) was required.”—History of Scotland, Vol. II. p. 201. Note.
The ruins of the castle are at present considerable, as well as picturesque. They consist of a large shattered tower, with many vaults, and fragments of other edifices, inclosed within an outward wall of great circuit.