ページの画像
PDF
ePub

hand. When Sir Patrick arrived at the castle, he was received with all the honour due to a favourite servant of the king's household; but while he was at dinner, the earl, who suspected his errand, caused his prisoner be led forth and beheaded. After dinner, Sir Patrick presented the king's letter to the earl, who received it with great affectation of reverence; " and took him by the hand, and led him forth to the green, where the gentleman was lying dead, and shewed him the manner, and said, Sir Patrick, you are come a little too late; yonder is your sister's son lying, but he wants the head : take his body, and do with it what you will. Sir Patrick answered again with a sore heart, and said, My lord, if ye have taken from him his head, dispone upon the body as ye please : and with that called for his horse, and leaped thereon ; and when he was on horseback, he said to the Earl on this manner, My lord, if I live, you shall be rewarded for your Jabours, that you have used at this time, according to your demerits. .. ." At this saying the Earl was highly offended, and cried for horse. Sir Patrick, seeing the Earl's fury, spurred his horse, but he was chaced near Edinburgh ere they left him; and had it not been his lead horse was so tried and good, he had been takep.”—PITSCOTTIE’s History, p. 39.

Note XII.
A letter forged! St. Jude to speed !

Did ever knight so foul a deed?P. 339.
Lest the reader should partake of the Earl's astonishment,

and consider the crime as inconsistent with the manners of the period, I have to remind him of the numerous forgeries (partly executed by a female assistant) devised by Robert of Artois, to forward his suit against the Countess Matilda ; which, being detected, occasioned his flight into England, and proved the remote cause of Edward the Third's memorable, wars in France. John Harding, also, was expressly hired by Edward IV., to forge such documents as might appear to esta. blish the claim of fealty asserted over Scotland by the English monarchs.

Note XIII,

Where Lennel's convent closed their march.-P. 343. This was a Cistertian house of religion, now almost entirely demolished. Lennel House is now the residence of my venerable friend Patrick Brydone, Esquire, so well known in the literary world. It is situated near Coldstream, almost opposite to Cornbill, and consequently very near to Flodden Field.

Note XIV. The Till by Twisel Bridge.-P. 345. On the evening previous to the memorable battle of Flodden, Surrey's head quarters were at Barmoor wood, and King James held au inaccessible position on the ridge of Floddenhills, one of the last and lowest eminences detached from the ridge of Cheviot. The Till, a deep and slow river, winded between the armies. On the morning of the 9th Septem

ber, 1513, Surrey marched in a north-westerly direction, and crossed the Till, with his van and artillery, at Twisel-bridge, nigh where that river joins the Tweed, his rear-guard column passing about a mile higher, by a ford. This movement had the double effect of placing his army between King James and his supplies from Scotland, and of striking the Scottish monarch with surprise, as he seems to have relied on the depth of the river in his front. But as the passage, both over the bridge and through the ford, was difficult and slow, it seems possible that the English might have been attacked to great advautage while struggling with natural obstacles. I know not if we are to impute James's forbearance to want of military skill, or to the romantic declaration which Pitscottie puts in his mouth, “ that he was determined to have his enemies before him on a plain field,” and therefore would suffer vo interruption to be given, even by artillery, to their passing the river.

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 plentifal fountain, called St. Heleu's Well.

Note XV.

Hence might they see the full array

Of either host, for battle fray.-P. 350. The reader cannot here expect a full account of the battle of Flodden; but, so far as is necessary to understand the Romance, I beg to remind him, that, when the English arny, by their skilful counter-march, were fairly placed between King James and his own country, the Scottish monarch resolved to fight; and, setting fire to his tents, descended from the ridge of Flodden to secure the neighbouring eminence of Brankstone, on which that village is built. Thus the two armies met, almost without seeing each other, when, according to the old poem of “ Flodden Field,”

The English line stretched east and west,

And southward were there faces set;
The Scottish northward proudly prest,

And manfully their foes they met.

The English army advanced in four divisions. Ou the right, which first engaged, were the sons of Earl Surrey, namely, Thomas Howard, the admiral of England, and Sir Edmund, the knight marshal of the army. Their divisions were separated from each other; but, at the request of Sir Edmund, his brother's battalion was drawn very near to his own. The centre was commanded by Surrey in person ; the left wing by Sir Edward Stanley, with the men of Lancashire, and of the palatinate of Chester. Lord Dacres, with a large body of horse,

formed a reserve. When the smoke, which the wind had driven between the armies, was somewhat dispersed, they perceived the Scots, who had moved down the hill in a similar order of battle, and in deep silence. The Earls of Huntley and of Home commanded their left wing, and charged Sir Edmund Howard with such success, as entirely to defeat his part of the English right wing. Sir Edmund Howard's banner was beaten down, and he himself escaped with difficulty to his brother's division. The admiral, however, stood firm; and Dacre advancing to his support with the reserve of cavalry, probably between the interval of the divisions commanded by the brothers Howard, appears to have kept the victors in effectual. check. · Home's men, chiefly Borderers, began to pillage the baggage of both armies ; and their leader is branded, by the Scottish historians, with negligence or treachery. On the other hand, Huntley, on whom they bestow many encomiums,, is said, by the English historians, to have left the field after the first charge. Meanwhile the admiral, whose, flank. these chiefs ought to have attacked, availed himself of their inactivity, and pushed forward against another large division of the Scottish army in his front, headed by the Earls of Crawford and Montrose, both of whom were slain, and their forces routed. On the left, the success of the English was yet more decisive; for

* Lesquelz Escossois descendirent la dmontaigne en bonne ordre, en la maniere que marchent les Allemans, sans parler, ne faire aucun bruit.” Gazette of the battle, PINKERTON's History, Ap. pendix, Vol. II. p. 456.

« 前へ次へ »