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While thy capacious stream has equal room
grain as lre can cut at one sweep with a short scythe, For the gay bark where pleasure's streamers sport, which he holds in his right hand. They carry on this And for the prison-ship of guilt and gloom,
great spirit and dexterity. The fisher-skiff, and barge that bears a court,
Note 2. Stanza ix. Still wafting onward all to one dark silent port.
Pale Brussels! then what thoughts were thine. Stern tide of time! through what mysterious change It was affirmed by the prisoners of war,
that BoOf hope and fear have our frail barks been driven ? naparte had promised his army, in case of victory, For ne'er, before, vicissitude so strange
twenty-four hours' plunder of the city of Brussels. Was to one race of Adam's offspring given.
Note 3. Stanza x,
*Confront the battery's jaws of flame!
Rush on the levell'd gun!"
The characteristic obstinacy of Napoleon was never Until the awful term when thou shalt cease to flow. more fully displayed than in what we may be permitted
to hope will prove the last of his fields. He would listen Well hast thou stood, my country!--the brave fight to no advice, and allow of no obstacles. An eye-wit
Hast well maintain'd through good report and ill; ness has given the following account of his demeanour In thy just cause and in thy native might,
towards the end of the action :And in Heaven's grace and justice constant still. « It was near seven o'clock; Bonaparte, who, till Whether the banded prowess, strength, and skill then, had remained upon the ridge of the hill whence he
Of half the world against thee, stood array'd, could best behold what passed, contemplated, with a Or when, with better views and freer will,
stern countenance, the scene of this horrible slaughter. Beside thee Europe's noblest drew the blade,
The more that obstacles seemed to multiply, the more Each emulous in arms the Ocean Queen to aid. his obstinacy seemed to increase. He became indig
nant at these unforeseen difficulties; and, far from Well thou art now repaid--though slowly rose, fearing to push to extremities an army whose confidence
And struggled long with mists thy blaze of fame, in him was boundless, he ceased not to pour down While like the dawn that in the orient glows
fresh troops, and to give orders to march forward-to On the broad wave its earlier lustre came;
charge with the bayonet—to carry by storm.
He was Then eastern Egypt saw the growing flame,
repeatedly informed, from different points, that the day And Maida's myrtles gleam'd beneath its ray, went against him, and that the troops seemed to be Where first the soldier, stung with generous shame, disordered; to which he only replied,— En avant ! en Rivall'd the heroes of the watery way,
avant." And wash'd in foemen's gore unjust reproach away. « One general sent to inform the emperor that he
was in a position which he could not maintain, because Now, Island Empress, wave thy crest on high,
it was commanded by a battery, and requested to know, And bid the banner of thy patron flow,
at the same time, in what way he should protect his Gallant Saint George, the flower of chivalry!
division from the murderous fire of the English artilFor thou hast faced, like him, a dragon foe,
lery. “Let him storm the battery,' replied Bonaparte, And rescued innocence froin overthrow,
and turned his back on the aide-de-camp who brought And trampled down, like him, tyrannic might, . the message.»— Relation de la bataille du Mont SaintAnd to the gazing world mayst proudly show
Jean, par un Témoin Oculaire : Paris, 1815, octavo, The chosen emblem of thy sainted knight, Who quell'd devouring pride, and vindicated right.
Note 4. Stanza x.
The fate their leader shunn'd to share. Yet 'mid the confidence of just renown,
It has been reported that Bonaparte charged at the Renown dear-bought, but dearest thus acquired,
head of his guards at the last period of this dreadful Write, Britain, write the moral lesson down;
conflict. This, however, is not accurate.
He came 'T is not alone the heart with valour fired,
down, indeed, to a hollow part of the high-road leading The discipline so dreaded and admired,
to Charleroi, within less than a quarter of a mile of In many a field of bloody conquest known;
the farm of La Haye Sainte, one of the points most -Such may by fame be lured—by gold be hired
fiercely disputed. Here he harangued the guards, and 'T is constancy in the good cause alone,
informed them that his preceding operations had deBest justifies the meed thy valiant sons have won.
stroyed the British infantry and cavalry, and that they had only to support the fire of the artillery, which they
were to attack with the bayonet.—This exhortation was NOTES.
received with shouts of Vive l'Empereur, which were heard over all our line, and led to an idea that Napoleon was charging in person. But the guards were led
on by Ney; nor did Bonaparte approach nearer the Note 1. Stanza ii.
scene of action than the spot already mentioned, which The peasant, at his labour blithe,
the rising banks on each side rendered secure from all Plies the hook'd staff and shorten'd scythe.
such balls as did not come in a straight line. Ile witThe reaper in Flanders carries in his left hand a stick nessed the earlier part of the battle from places yet with an iron hook, with which he collects as much more remote, particularly, from an observatory which
had been placed there by the king of the Netherlands, cavalry mingling with those of the enemy, to « a thousome weeks before, for the purpose of surveying the sand tinkers at work mending pots and kettles.» country.' It is not meant to infer from these particu
Note 7. Stanza xiji. lars that Napoleon showed, on that memorable occasion, the least deficiency in personal courage; on the
Or will thy chosen brook to feel
The British shock of leveli'd steel? contrary, he evinced the greatest composure and pre
No persuasion or authority could prevail upon the sence of mind during the whole action. But it is no French troops to stand the shock of the bayonet. The less true that report has erred in ascribing to him any imperial guards, in particular, hardly stood still till the desperate efforts of valour for recovery of the battle; British were within thirty yards of them, although the and it is remarkable, that during the whole carnage, French author, already quoted, las put into their mouths none of his suite were either killed or wounded, whereas the magnanimous sentiment, « the guards never yield scarcely one of the Duke of Wellington's personal at they die.» The same author has covered the plateau, tendants escaped unhurt.
or eminence of St-Jean, which formed the British poNote 5. Stanza x.
sition, with redoubts and entrenchments which never
had an existence. « England shall tell the fight!»
As the narrative, which is in many In riding up to a regiment which was hard pressed, respects curious, was written by an eye-witness, he was the duke called to the men, «Soldiers, we must never probably deceived by the appearance of a road and ditch be beat,—what will they say in England ?» It is need which runs along part of the hill. It may be also menless to say how this appeal was answered.
tioned, in criticising this work, that the writer states
the Château of Hougoumont to have been carried by Note 6. Stanza xii.
the French, although it was resolutely and successfully As plies the-smith his clanging trade,
defended during the whole action. The enemy, indeed, Against the cuirass rang the blade.
possessed themselves of the wood by which it is surA private soldier of the 95th regiment compared the rounded, and at length set fire to the house itself; but sound which took place immediately upon the British the British (a detachment of the guards, under the com
mand of Colonel Macdonnell, and afterwards of Colonel The mistakes concerning this observatory have been mutual. Home) made good the garden, and thus preserved, by The English supposed it was erected for the use of Bonaparte; and a French writer affirms it was constructed by the Duke of Wel- their desperate resistance, the post which covered the lingion.
return of the Duke of Wellington's right flank.
Knights, squires, and steeds, shall enter on the stage.
Essay on Criticism.
TO JOANNA BAILLIE,
These Scenes are Juscribed,
AS WELL AS OF HIS SINCERE AND FAITHFUL FRIENDSHIP,
the present opportunity to intimate, that it shall be solely at the peril of those who make such an experi
Though the public seldom takes much interest in such The subject is to be found in Scottish history; but communications (nor is there any reason why they not to overload so slight a publication with antiquashould), the author takes the liberty of statiny, that rian research, or quotations from obscure chronicles, these scenes were commenced with the purpose
may be sufficiently illustrated by the followiog passage tributing to a miscellany projected by a much esteemed from Pinkerton's History of Scotland, vol. I, p. 71. friend. But instead of being confined to a scene or « The Governor (anno 1402) dispatched a considertwo as intended, the work gradually swelled to the size able force under Murdac, his eldest son; the Earls of of an independent publication. It is designed to illus- Angus and Moray also joined Douglas, who entered trate military antiquities, and the manners of chivalry. England with an army of ten thousand men, carrying The Drama (if it can be termed one) is in no particular terror and devastation to the walls of Newcastle. either designed or calculated for the stage; so that in « Henry IV was now engaged in the Welch war case any attempt shall be made to produce it in action against Owen Glendour; but the Earl of Northumber(as has happened in similar cases), the author takes land, and his son, the Hotspur Percy, with the Earl of
March, collected a numerous array and awaited the re reason, for who would again venture to introduce upon turn of the Scots, impeded with spoil, near Milfield, in the scene the celebrated Hotspur, who commanded the the north part of Northumberland. Douglas had reach-English at the former battle? There are, however, seed Wooler, in his return, and, perceiving the enemy, veral coincidences which may reconcile even the severer seized a strong post between the two armies, called |'antiquary to the substitution of Halidon Hill for HoHomildon-hill. In this method he rivalled his prede- mildon. A Scottish army was defeated by the English cessor at the battle of Otterburn, but not with like on both occasions, and under nearly the same circum
The English advanced to the assault, and stances of address on the part of the victors, and misHenry Percy was about to lead them up the hill, when management on that of the vanquished, for the English March caught his bridle, and advised him to advance long-bow decided the day in both cases.
In both cases, no farther, but to pour the dreadful shower of English also, a Gordon was left on the field of battle; and at arrows into the enemy. This advice was followed with Halidon, as at Homildon, the Scots were commanded the usual fortune; for in all ages the bow was the Eng- by an ill-fated representative of the great house of lish weapon of victory, and though the Scots, and per- Douglas. He of Homildon was surnamed Tine-man, haps the French, were superior in the use of the spear, i. e. Lose-man, from his repeated defeats and miscaryet this weapon was useless after the distant bow had riages, and with all the personal valour of his race, decided the combat. Robert the Great; sensible of this seems to have enjoyed so small a portion of their saat the battle of Bannockburn, ordered a prepared de gacity, as to be unable to learn military experience tachment of cavalry to rush among the English archers from reiterated calamity. I am far, however, from at the commencement, totally to disperse them, and intimating, that the traits of imbecility and envy, atstop the deadly effusion. But Douglas now used no tributed to the regent in the following sketch, are to such precaution; and the consequence was, that his be historically ascribed either to the elder Douglas of people, drawn up on the face of the hill, presented one Halidon Hill, or to him called Tine-man, who seems to general mark to the enemy, none of whose arrows de- have enjoyed the respect of his countrymen, notwithscended in vain. The Scots fell without fight, and standing that, like the celebrated Anne de Montmounrevenged, till a spirited knight, Swinton, exclaimed rency, he was either defeated, or wounded, or made aloud, “O my brave countrymen! what fascination has prisoner in every battle which he fought.
The Regent seized you to-day, that you stand like deer to be shot, of the sketch is a character purely imaginary. instead of indulging your
and meeting The tradition of the Swinton family, which still suryour enemies hand to hand ? Let those who will descend vives in a lineal descent, and to which the author has with me, that we may gain victory, or life, or fall like the honour to be related, avers, that the Swinton who
This being heard by Adam Gordon, between fell at Homildon, in the manner narrated in the prewhom and Swinton there existed an ancient deadly ceding extract, had slain Gordon's father; which seems feud, attended with the mutual slaughter of many fol- sufficient ground for adopting that circumstance into lowers, he instantly fell on his knees before Swinton, the following Dramatic Sketch, though it is rendered begged his pardon, and desired to be dubbed a knight improbable by other authorities. by him whom he must now regard as the wisest and If any reader will take the trouble of looking at the boldest of that order in Britain. The ceremony Froissart, Fordun, or other historians of the period, he performed, Swinton and Gordon descended the hill, will find, that the character of the Lord of Swinton, accompanied only by one hundred men; and a despe- for strength, courage, and conduct, is by no means exrate valour led the whole body to death. Had a simi- aggerated. lar spirit been shown by the Scottish
army, bable that the event of the day would have been different. Douglas, who was certainly deficient in the
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. most important qualities of a general, seeing his army begin to disperse, at length attempted to descend the
SCOTTISH. bill; but the English archers, retiring a little, sent a
The REGENT OF SCOTLAND. flight of arrows so sharp and strong, that no armour
GORDON, could withstand; and the Scottish leader himself, whose
SWINTON, panoply was of remarkable temper, fell under five
LENNOX, wounds, though not mortal. The English men-of-arms,
SUTHERLAND, knights, or squires, did not strike one blow, but re
Scottish Chiefs and Nobles. mained spectators of the rout, which was now com
MaxweLL, plete. Great numbers of Scots were slain, and near
JOHNSTONE, five hundred perished in the river Tweed upon their
LINDESAY, flight. Among the illustrious were Douglas, whose
ADAM DE VIPont, a Knight Templar. chief wound deprived him of an eye; Murdac, son of THE PRIOR OF MAISON-Dieu. Albany; the Earls of Moray and Angus; and about four
Reynald, Swinton's Squire. gentlemen of eminent rank and power. The chief
Hob HATTELY, a Border Moss-Trooper. slain were, Swinton, Gordon, Livingston of Calender, Heralds. Ramsay of Dalhousie, Walter Sinclair, Roger Gordon,
ENGLISH, Walter Scott, and others. Such was the issue of the KING EDWARD III. unfortunate battle of Homildon.»
CHANDOS, may be proper to observe, that the scene of action PERCY,
English and Norman Nobles. has, in the following pages, been transferred from Ho RIBAUMONT, mildon to Halidon Hill. For this there was an obvious The ABBOT OF WALTHAMSTOW.
it is pro
'T is cowls like mine which hide them. 'Mongst the HALIDON HILL.
And ten, which I have seen, I have outlived
Well nigh two generations of our nobles :
The race which holds yon summit is the third.
scene represents the summit of the ascent, occupied by
Heaven forefend ! armed Men appear as advcncing from different My prayer shall be, that Heaven will close my eyes, points to join the main Body.
Before they look upon the wrath to come.
Retire, retire, good father! –Pray for Scotland-
Think not on me. Here comes an ancient friend, No farther, father-here I need no guidance
Brother in arms, with whom to day I 'll join me. I have already brought your peaceful step
Back to your choir, assemble all your brotherhood, Too near the verge of battle.
And weary Heaven with prayers for victory.
Champion of Heaven, and of thy suffering country! That fought so well in Syria should not wave
[Exit PRIOR. Vipont draws a little aside, and Amid the ignoble crowd.
lets down the beaver of his helmet. Each spot is noble in a pitched field,
Enter SWINTON, followed by REYNALD and others, to So that a man has room to fight and fall on 't.
whom he speaks as he enters. But I shall find out friends. "Tis scarce twelve years Since I left Scotland for the wars of Palestine,
Halt here, and plant my pennon, till the Regent
Assign our band its station in the host.
That must be by the standard. We have had
That right since good St David's reign at least.
Peace, Reynald! Where the general plants the soldier, Over their
There is his place of honour, and there only
His valour can win worship. Thou 'rt of those,
And thence comes it, Who would have war's deep art bear the wild semThat while I look'd on many a well-known crest
blance And blazon'd shield, as hitherward we came,
Of some disorder'd hunting, where, pell-mell,
Each trusting to the swiftness of his horse,
Yon steel-clad southrons, Reynald, are no deer;
And England's Edward is no stag at bay. Young like themselves, seem like themselves unprac
VIPONT (advancing). tised
There needed not, to blazon forth the Swinton, Look at their battle-rank.
His ancient burgonet, the sable Boar
Chain'd to the gnarled oak,-nor his proud step,
Nor giant stature, nor the ponderous mace,
pennon. His discipline and wisdom mark the leader, Sure 't is a gallant show! The Bruce himself
As doth his frame the champion. Hail, brave Swinton! Hath often conquer'd at the head of fewer And worse appointed followers.
Brave Templar, thanks! Sạch your cross'd shoulder
speaks you; Ay, but 't was Bruce that led them. Reverend father, But the closed visor, which conceals your features, ”T is not the falchion's weight decides a ombat; Forbids more knowledge. Umfraville, perhapsIt is the strong and skilful hand that wields it.
VIPONT (unclosing his helmet).
No; one less worthy of our sacred order.
Swart as my sable visor, Alan Swinton
SWINTON (embracing him).
As the blithe reaper Few hairs are silver'd underneath the helmet;
Welcomes a practised mate, when the ripe harvest
Lies deep before him and the sun is high.
Templar, what think'st thou me?-See yonder rock,
Firm hearts have moister eyes.—They are avenged ; VIPONT.
I wept not till they were-till the proud Gordon Have with them ne'ertheless. The Stuart's Chequer, Had with his life-blood dyed my father's sword, The Bloody Heart of Douglas, Ross's Lymphads, In guerdon that he thinn'd my father's lineage, Sutherland's Wild-cats, nor the royal Lion,
And then I wept my sons; and, as the Gordon Rampant in golden tressure, wins me from them. Lay at my feet, there was a tear for him, We'll back the Boar-heads bravely. I see round them Which mingled with the rest. We had been friends, A chosen band of lances-some well-known to me. Had shared the banquet and the chase together, Where 's the main body of thy followers ?
Fought side by side—and our first cause of strife,
Woe to the pride of both, was but a light one.
You are at feud, then, with the mighty Gordon ?
Where the sire's quarrels descend upon the son,
As due a part of his inheritance Striplings and gray-beards, every one is here,
As the strong castle and the ancient blazon, And here all should be--Scotland needs them all; Where private vengeance holds the scales of justice, And more and better men, were each a Hercules, Weighing each drop of blood as scrupulously And yonder handful centupled.
As Jews or Lombards balance silver pence,
Not in this land, 'twixt Solway and Saint Abb's,
The Swinton and the Gordon.
You, with some threescore lances and the Gordon
You rate him far too low. Since you sought Palestine, All slain, De Vipont. In my empty home
He hath had grants of baronies and lordships А puny babe lisps to a widow'd mother,
In the far-distant north. A thousand horse « Where is my grandsire? wherefore do you weep?» His southern friends and vassals always number'd. But for that prattler, Lyulph's house is heirless. Add Badenoch kerne, and horse from Dee and Spey, I'm an old oak, from which the foresters
He 'll count a thousand more. And now, De Vipont, Have hew'd four goodly boughs, and left beside me If the Boar-heads seem in your eyes less worthy, Only a sapling, which the fawn may crush
For lack of followers-seek yonder standardAs he springs over it.
The bounding Stag, with a brave host around it:
There the young Gordon makes his earliest field,
And pants to win his spurs. His father's friend,
As well as mine, thou wert-go, join his pennon, Ay, all, De Vipont. And their attributes,
And grace him with thy presence.
And now I can be enemy to neither;
But my poor person, though but slight the aid, When they make maidens weep.
Joins on this field the banner of the two
Which hath the smallest following. These wars with England, they have rooted out
SWINTON. The flowers of Christendom. Knights, who might win Spoke like the generous knight, who gave up all, The sepulchre of Christ from the rude heathen, Leading and lordship, in a heathen land Fall in unholy warfare!
To fight a Christian soldier—yet in earnest
I pray, De Vipont, you would join the Gordon Unholy warfare? ay, well hast thou named it; In this high battle. 'T is a noble youth, But not with England would her cloth-yard shafts So fame doth vouch him,-amorous, quick, and valiant; Had bored their cuirasses! Their lives had been Takes knighthood, too, this day, and well may use Lost like their grandsire's, in the bold defence
His spurs too rashly in the wish to win them. Of their dear country-but in private feud
A friend like thee beside him in the fight With the proud Gordon, fell my Long-spear'd John, Were worth a hundred spears, to rein his valour He with the Axe, and he men call'd the Ready, And temper it with prudence:-'t is the aged eagle
Fair-hair'd Will- the Gordon's wrath Teaches his brood to gaze upon the sun,
Since thou dost weep, their death is unavenged ?
Alas, brave Swinton! Wouldst thou train the hunter