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speakest, for all the gold of England I would not let thee go without commandment of King Edward. And tho' he was led to the king, and the king would not see him, but commanded to lead him away to his doom in London, on Our Lady's even nativity. And he was hung and drawn, and his head smitten off, and hanged again with chains of iron upon the gallows, and his head was set at London-bridge upon a spear, and against Christmas the body was burnt, for encheson (reason) that the men that keeped the body saw many devils ramping with iron crooks, running upon the gallows, and horribly tormenting the body. And many that them saw, anon thereafter died for dread, or waxen mad, or sore sickness they had.” -MS. Chronicle in the British Museum, quoted by
To sooth the tyrant's sicken'd bed ?-St. XXVI. p. 71. John de Strathbogie, Earl of Athole, bad attempted to escape out of the kingdom, but a storm cast him upon the coast, when he was taken, sent to London, and executed, with circumstances of great barbarity, being first half strangled, then let down from the gallows while yet alive, barbarously dismembered, and his body burnt. It may surprise the reader to learn, that this was a mitigated punishment; for, in respect that his mother was a grand-daughter of King John, by his natural son Richard, he was not drawn on a sledge to execution,
“ that point was forgiven," and he made the passage on horseback. Matthew of Westminster tells us that King Edward, then extremely ill, received great ease from the news that his relative was apprehended. “ Quo audito, Rex Angliæ, etsi gravissimo morbo tunc langueret, levius tamen tulit dolorem." To this singular expression the text alludes.
Note XV. And must his word, at dying day, Be nought but quarter, hang, and slay !-St. XXVI. p.71.
This alludes to a passage in Barbour, singularly expressive of the vindictive spirit of Edward I. The prisoners taken at the castle of Kildrummie had surrendered upon condition that they should be at - King Edward's disposal. " But his will,” says Barbour,“ was always evil towards Scottishmen.” The news of the surrender of Kildrummie arrived wben he was in his mortal sickness at Burgh-upon-Sands.
"And when he to the death was near, .
Forouten moaning and mercy.
There was much truth in the Leonine couplet, with which Matthew of Westminster concludes his encomium on the first Edward : filiis ,
« Scotos, Edwardus, dum vixit, suppeditavit,
i Note XVI. By Woden wild (my grandsire's oath.)-St. XXVII. p. 71. The Mac-Leods, and most other distinguished Hebridean families, were of Scandinavian extraction, and some were late or imperfect converts to Christianity. The family names of Torquil, Thormod, &c. are all Norwegian.
· Note XVII. While I the blessed cross advance, And expiate this unhappy chance,
In Palestine, with sword and lance.--St. XXIX. p. 75. Bruce uniformly professed, and probably felt, compunction for having violated the sanctuary of the church by the slaughter of Comyn; and finally, in his last hours, in testimony of his faith, penitence, and zeal, he requested James Lord Douglas
to carry his heart to Jerusalem, to be there deposited in the Holy Sepulchre.
To speak my curse upon thy head.—St. XXXI. p. 76. So soon as the notice of Comyn's slaughter reached Rome, Bruce and his adherents were excommunicated. It was published first by the Archbishop of York, and renewed at different times, particularly by Lambyrton, Bishop of St Andrew's, in 1308; but it does not appear to have answered the purpose which the English monarch expected. Indeed, for reasons which it may be difficult to trace, the thunders of Rome descended upon the Scottish mountains with less effect than in more fertile countries. Probably the comparative poverty of the benefices occasioned that fewer foreign clergy settled in Scotland; and the interest of the native church-men were linked with that of their country. Many of the Scottish prelates, Lambyrton the primate particularly, declared for. Bruce, while he was yet under the ban of the church, although he afterwards again changed sides.
A power that will not be repress'd-XXXI. p. 76. Bruce, like other heroes, observed omens, and one is res corded by tradition. After he had retreated to one of the
miserable places of shelter, in which he could venture to take some repose after his disasters, he lay stretched upon a handful of straw, and abandoned himself to his melancholy meditations. He had now been defeated four times, and was upon the point of resolving to abandon all hopes of further opposition to his fate, and to go to the Holy Land. It chanced his eye, while he was thus pondering, was attracted by the exertions of a spider, who, in order to fix his web, endeavoured to swing himself from one beam to another above his head. Involuntarily he became interested in the pertinacity with which the insect renewed his exertions, after failing six times; and it occurred to him that he would decide his own course aecording to the success or failure of the spider. At the seventh effort the insect gained his object; and Bruce, in like manner, persevered and carried bis own. Hence it has been held unlucky or ungrateful, or both, in one of the name of Bruce to kill a spider.
The arch-deacon of Aberdeen, instead of the abbot of this tale, introduces an Irish Pythoness, who not only predicted his good fortune as he left the island of Rachrin, but sent her two sons along with him, to ensure her own family a share in it.
" Then in short time men might them see