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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. Almost all the Scottish forces, except a few knights, men-at-arms, and the Borderprickers, who formed excellent light cavalry, acted upon foot.
Note IX. A banquet rich, and costly wines.-P. 250. 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. It was not to Sir John Falstaff alone that such an introductory preface was necessary, however well judged and acceptable on the part of Mr. Brook; for Sir Ralph Sadler, while on embassy to Scotland in 1539-40, mentions, with complacency, “the same night came Rothesay (the herald so called) to me again, and brought me wine from the king, both white and red.”—Clifford's Edition, p. 39.
- his iron belt,
In memory of his father slain.-P. 254.
battle of Flodden, because the English never had this token of the iron-belt to shew to any Scottishman. 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. Probably, too, with no unusual inconsistence, he sometimes laughed at the superstitious observances to which he at other times subjected himself. There is a very singular poem by Dunbar, seemingly addressed to James IV., on one of these occasions of monastic seclusion. It is a most daring and profane parody on the services of the church of Rome, entitled,
Dunbar's Dirige to the King,
Byding ower lang in Striviling.
We that are here, in heaven's glory,
See the whole in Sibbald's Collection, Vol. I. p. 234.
Note XI. Sir Hugh the Heron's wife held sway.-P. 255. It has been already noticed, that King James' 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. The author of “The Genealogy of the Heron Family endeavours, with laudable anxiety, to clear the Lady Ford from this scandal : that she came and went, however, between the armies of James and Surrey, is certain. See PINKERTON’s History, and the authorities he refers to, Vol. II. p. 99. Heron of Ford had been, in 1511, in some sort, accessory to the slaughter of Sir Robert Ker of Cessford, Warden of the Middle Marches. It was committed by his brother the bastard, Lilburn, and Starked, three Borderers. Lilburn, and Heron of Ford, were delivered up by Henry to James, and were imprisoned in the fortress of Fastcastle, where the former died. Part of the pretence of Lady Ford's negociations with James was the liberty of her husband.
For the fair Queen of France
For her to break a lance.-P. 255. “ Also the Queen of France wrote a love-letter to the King of Scotland, calling him her love, shewing him that she had
suffered much. rebuke in France for the defending of his honour. She believed surely that he would recompense her again with some of his kingly support in her necessity; that is to say, that he would raise her an army, and come three foot of ground on English ground, for her sake. To that effect she sent him a ring off her finger, with fourteen thousand French crowns to pay his expenses.” PitsCOTTIE, p. 110.–A turquois ring ;-probably this fatal gift is, with James's sword and dagger, preserved in the College of Heralds, London.
Note XIII. .
Archibald Bell-the-Cat.-P. 262.. Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, a man remarkable for strength of body and mind, acquired the popular name of Bellthe-Cat, upon the following remarkable occasion : James the Third, of whom Pitscottie complains, that he delighted more in music, and“ policies of building,” than in hunting, hawking, and other noble exercises, was so ill advised, as to make favourites of his architects and musicians, whom the same historian irreverently terms masons and fiddlers. His nobility, who did not sympathise in the king's respect for the fine arts, were extremely incensed at the honours conferred on these persons, particularly on Cochrane, a mason, who had been created Earl of Mar. And seizing the opportunity, when, in 1482, the king had convoked the whole array of the country to march against the English, they held a midnight council in the church of Lauder, for the purpose of forcibly removing these - minions froni the king's person. When all had agreed on the propriety of the measure, Lord Gray told the assembly the apologue of the Mice; who had formed a resolution, that it would be highly advantageous to their community to tie a bell round the cat's neck, that they might hear her approach at a distance; but which public measure unfortunately miscarried, from no mouse being willing to undertake the task of fastening the bell. “I understand the moral,” said Angus, “and, that what we propose may not lack execution, I will bell the cat." The rest of the strange scene is thus told by Pitscottie :
“By this was advised and spoken by their lords foresaid, Cochran, the Earl of Mar, came from the king to the council, (which council was holden in the kirk of Lawder for the time,) who was well accompanied with a band of men of war, to the number of three hundred light axes, all clad in white livery, and black bends thereon, that they might be known for Cochran the Earl of Mar's men. Himself was clad in a riding pie of black velvet, with a great chain of gold about his neck, to the value of five hundred crowns, and four blowing horns, with both the ends of gold and silk, set with precious stone, called a berryl, hanging in the midst. This Cochran had his heumont horn before him, overgilt with gold; and so were all the rest of his horns, and all his pallions were of fine canvas of silk, and the cords thereof fine twisted silk, and the chains upon his pallions were double overgilt with gold.
“This Cochran was so prond in his conceit, that he counted no lords to be marrows to him, therefore he rushed rudely