Imágenes de páginas

gent, (not vert, as stated by Burn,) a bend chequey, or and tirements look like haunts of evil spirits. There was no do gules, for Vaux of Triermain. 6th, Gules, a cross patonce, or, lusion in the report ; we were soon convinced of its truth; for -Dela nore. 7th, Gules, 6 lions rampant argent, 3, 2, and 1, this piece of antiquity, so venerable and noble in its aspect, as -Leybourne.—This more detailed genealogy of the family of we drew near, changed its figure, and proved no other than a Triermain was obligingly sent to the author by Major Braddyll shaken massive pile of rocks, which stand in the midst of this of Conishead Priory.

little vale, disunited from the adjoining mountains, and have so much the real form and resemblance of a castie, that they bear the name of the Castle Rocks of St. John."-HUTCHINson's Excursion to the Lakes, p. 121.



He pass'd red Penrith's Table Round.-P. 379. A circular intrenchment, about half a mile from Penrith, is thus popularly termed. The circle within the ditch is about one hundred and sixty paces in circumference, with openings, or approaches, directly opposite to each other. As the ditch is on the inner side, it could not be intended for the purpose of defence, and it has reasonably been conjecturea, that the enclosure was designed for the solemn exercise of feats of chivalıy, and the embankment around for the convenience of the spectators.

The flower of Chivalry.
There Galaad sate with manly grace,
Yet maiden meekness in his face ;
There Dorolt of the iron mace,

And love-lorn Tristrem there.---P. 385.

The characters named in the stanza are all of them more or less distinguished in the romances which treat of King Arthur and his Round Table, and their names are strung together according to the established custom of minstrels upon such occasions ; for example, in the ballad of the Marriage of Sir Gawaine :

“ Sir Lancelot, Sir Stephen bolde,

They rode with them that daye,
And, foremost of the companye,

There rode the stewarde Kaye.


Mayburgh's mound.-P. 379.

Higher up the river Eamont than Arthur's Round Table, is a prodigious enclosure of great antiquity, formed by a collection of stones upon the top of a gently sloping hill, called Mayburgh. In the plain which it encloses there stands erect an unhewn stone of twelve feet in height. Two similar masses are said to have been destroyed during the memory of man. The whole appears to be a monument of Druidical times.

“ Soe did Sir Banier, and Sir Bore,

And eke Sir Garratte keen,
Sir Tristrem too, that gentle knight,

To the forest fresh and greene."

Note G.


Lancelot, that ever more
Look'd stolen-wise on tác Qucen.-P. 385.

The Dionarch, breathless and amazed,

Upon this delicate subject hear Richard Robinson, citizen Back on the fatal castle gazed

of London, in his Assertion of King Arthur: “But as it is a Nor tower nor donjon could he spy,

thing sufficiently apparent that she (Guenever, wife of King Darkening against the morning sky.-P. 384.

Arthur,) was beautiful, so it is a thing doubted whether she

was chaste, yea or no. Truly, so far as I can with honestie, I "We now gained a view of the Vale of St. John's, a

would spare the impayred honour and fame of noble women. rery narrow dell, hemmed in by mountains, through which a

But yet the truth of the historie pluckes me by the care, and small brook makes many meanderings, washing little enclobures of grass.ground, which stretch up the rising of the hills. ancients have deemed of her. To wrestle or contend with so

willeth not onely, but commandeth me to declare what the In the widest part of the dale you are struck with the appear ance of an ancient ruined castle, which seems to stand upon that greate.”—Assertion of King Arthure. Imprinted by John

great authoritie were indeede unto mei a controversie, and the summit of a little mount, the mountains around forming

Wolfe, London, 1502. an amphitheatre. This massive bulwark shows a front of various towers, and makes an awful, rude, and Gothic appearance, with its lofty turrets and ragged battlements; we traced the galleries, the bending arches, the buttresses. The greatest antiquity stands characterised in its architecture; the inhabitants near it assert it is an antediluvian structure. " The traveller's curiosity is roused, and he prepares to

NOTE H. inake a dearer approach, when that curiosity is put upon the rack, by his being assured, that, if he advances, certain genii There were two who loved their neighbour's wives, who govern the place, by virtue of their supernatural art and And one who loved his own.-P. 346. aecromancy, will strip it of all its beauties, and by enchantment, transform the magic walls. The vale seems adapted " In our forefathers' tyme, when Papistrie, as a standyng for the habitation of such beings : its gloomy recesses and re-poole covered and overflowed all England, fewe books wero read in our tongue, sayying certaine bookes of chevalrie, as as Sir Launcelot, with the wife of King Arthur, his master. they said, for pastime and pleasure; which, as some say, were Sir Tristram, with the wife of King Marke, his uncle; Siz made in the monasteries, by idle monks or wanton chanong. Lamerocke, with the wife of King Lote, that was his own As one, for example, La Morte d'Arthure; the whole plea- aunt. This is good stuffe for wise men to laugh at; or honest sure of which book standeth in two speciall poynts, in open men to take pleasure at : yet I know when God's Bible was manslaughter and bold bawdrye; in which booke they be banished the Court, and La Morte d'Arthure received into the counted the noblest knightes that do kill most men without Prince's chamber." -As pam's Schoolmaster. 1119 qnarrell, and commit fowlest adoulteries by sutlest shiftes;

The Lord of the #sles:



The sense of this risk, joined to the consciousness of

striving against wind and tide, made the task of com. The composition of “The Lord of the Isles," as we posing the proposed Poem somewhat heavy and hopenow have it in the Author's MS., seems to have been less; but, like the prize-fighter in “ As You Like it,” begun at Abbotsford, in the autumn of 1814, and it I was to wrestle for my reputation, and not neglect ended at Edinburgh the 16th of December. Some any advantage. In a most agreeable pleasure-voyage, part of Canto I. had probably been committed to which I have tried to commemorate in the Introducwriting in a rougher form earlier in the year. The tion to the new edition of the “ Pirate,” I visited, in original quarto appeared on the 2d of January 1815.' social and friendly company, the coasts and islands

It may be mentioned, that those parts of this Poem of Scotland, and made myself acquainted with the lowhich were written at Abbotsford, were composed calities of which I meant to treat.

But this voyage, almost all in the presence of Sir Walter Scott's / which was in every other effect so delightful, was in family, and many in that of casual visitors also : the its conclusion saddened by one of those strokes of fate original cottage which he then occupied not affording which so often mingle themselves with our pleasures. him any means of retirement. Neither conversation The accomplished and excellent person who had repor music seemed to disturb him.

commended to me the subject for “ The Lay of the Last Minstrel,” and to whom I proposed to ins'ribe what I already suspected might be the close of my

poetical labours, was unexpectedly removed from the INTRODUCTION TO EDITION 1833.

world, which she seemed only to have visited for pur

poses of kindness and benevolence. It is needless to I could hardly have chosen a subject more popular in say how the author's feelings, or the composition of Scotland, than any thing connected with the Bruce's bis trifling work, were affected by a circumstance history, unless I had attempted that of Wallace. But which occasioned so many tears and so much sorrow.3 I am decidedly of opinion, that a popular, or what is True it is, that “ The Lord of the Isles” was concalled a taking title, though well qualified to ensure cluded, unwillingly and in haste, under the painful the publishers against loss, and clear their shelves of feeling of one who has a task which must be finished, the original impression, is rather apt to be hazardous rather than with the ardour of one who endeavours to than otherwise to the reputation of the author. He perform that task well. Although the Poem cannot who attempts a subject of distinguished popularity, be said to have made a favourable impression on the has not the privilege of awakening the enthusiasm of public, the sale of fifteen thousand copies enabled the his audience; on the contrary, it is already awakened, author to retreat from the field with the honours of and glows, it may be, more ardently than that of the war.* author himself. In this case, the warmth of the au- In the meantime, what was necessarily to be consithor is inferior to that of the party whom he addresses, dered as a failure, was much reconciled to my feelings who has, therefore, little chance of being, in Bayes's by the success attending my attempt in another spephrase, “ elevated and surprised” by what he has cies of composition. “ Waverley” had, under strict thought of with more enthusiasm than the writer. incognito, taken its flight from the press, just before

1 Published by Archibald Constable and Co., £2, 2s. visiting the Giant's Causeway, and immediately returned

home. 2 Sir Walter Scott's Journal of this voyage, some fragments

4"As Scott passed through Edinburgh on his return from his of which were printed in the Edinburgh Annual Register for

voyage, the negotiation as to the Lord of the Isles, which had 1814, is now given entire in his Life by Lockhart, vol. iv.chap. been protracted through several months, was completed28-32.

Constable agreeing to give fifteen hundred guineas for one half 8 Harriet, Duchess of Buccleuch, died 24th August 1814. of the copy right, while the other moiety was retained by tb for Walter Scott received the mournful intelligence while author."-Life, vol. iv. p. 394.

I set out upon the voyage already mentioned; it had / was setting. The manner was supposed to be that of now made its way to popularity, and the success of a rude minstrel or Scald, in opposition to the “ Bridal that work and the volumes which followed, was suffi- of Triermain,” which was designed to belong rather cient to have satisfied a greater appetite for applause to the Italian school. This new fugitive piece was than I have at any time possessed.'

called “ Harold the Dauntless ;'? and I am still astoI may as well add in this place, that, being much nished at my having committed the gross error of seurged by my intimate friend, now unhappily no more, lecting the very name which Lord Byron had made William Erskine, (a Scottish judge, by the title of so famous. It encountered rather an odd fate. My Lord Kinedder,) I agreed to write the little romantic ingenious friend, Mr. James Hogg, had published, tale called the “ Bridal of Triermain ;” but it was on about the same time, a work called the “ Poetic Mirthe condition, that he should make no serious effort ror,” containing imitations of the principal living to disown the composition, if report should lay it at poets. There was in it a very good imitation of my bis door. As he was more than suspected of a taste own style, which bore such a resemblance to “Harold for poetry, and as I took care, in several places, to mix the Dauntless,” that there was no discovering the ori. something which might resemble (as far as was in my ginal from the imitation; and I believe that many who power) my friend's feeling and manner, the train took the trouble of thinking upon the subject, were easily caught, and two large editions were sold. A rather of opinion that my ingenious friend was the third being called for, Lord Kinedder became unwill- true, and not the fictitious Simon Pure. Since this ing to aid any longer a deception which was going period, which was in the year 1817, the Author has farther than he expected or desired, and the real au- not been an intruder on the public by any poetical thor's name was given. Upon another occasion, I work of importance. sent up another of these trifles, which, like schoolboy's

W. S. kites, served to show how the wind of popular taste ABBOTSFORD, April 1830.

1 The first plition of Waverley appeared in July 1814.

2 “Harold the Dauntless" was first published in a small 1200 Volume, January 1817.

Kr. Hoe is “ Poetic Mirror" appeared in October 18]f.

The Lord of the Isles.


The scene of this Poem lies, at first, in the Castle of Artornish, on the coast of Argyleshire; and, afterwards, in the Islands of Skye and Arran, and upon the coast of Ayrshire. Finally, it is laid near Stirling. The story opens in the spring of the year 1307, when Bruce, who had been driven out of Scotland by the English, and the Barons who adhered to that foreign interest, returned from the Island of Rachrin on the coast of Ireland, again to assert his claims to the Scottish crown. Many of the personages and incidents introduced are of historical celebrity. The authorities used are chiefly those of the venerable Lord Hailes, as well entitled to be called the restorer of Scottish history, as Bruce the restorer of Scottish monarchy; and of Archdeacon Barbour, a correct edition of whose Metrical History of Robert Brucel will soon, I trust, appear, under the care of my learned friend, the Rev. Dr Jamieson.

ABBOTSFORD, 10th December, 1814.2

| The work alluded to appeared in 1820, under the title of presume, to match that of 'The Lady of the Lake;' but there “The Bruce and Wallace." 2 vols. 4to.

is no analogy in the stories-nor does the title, on this occa$ “Here is another genuine lay of the great Minstrel, with sion, correspond very exactly with the contents. It is no unall his characteristic faults, beauties, and irregularities. The usual misfortune, indeed, for the author of a modern Epic to same glow of colouring-the same energy of narration-the have his hero turn out but a secondary personage, in the grasame amplitude of description, are conspicuous here, which dual unfolding of the story, while some unruly underling runa distinguish all his other productions : with the same still more off with the whole glory and interest of the poem. But here characteristic disdain of puny graces and small originalities, the author, we conceive, must have been aware of the mis the true poetical hardihood, in the strength of which he urges nomer from the beginning; the true, and indeed the ostenon his Pegasus fearlessly through dense and rare, and aiming sible hero being, from the rery first, no less a person than gallantly at the great ends of truth and effect, stoops but King Robert Bruce."- Edinburgh Revieu, No. xlviii. 1815. rarely to study the means by which they are to be attained - “If it be possible for a poet to bestow upon his writings a avails himself, without scruple. of common sentiments and superfluous degree of care and correction, it may also be poscommon images wherever they seem fitted for his purposes sible, we should suppose, to bestow too little. Whether this and is original by the very boldness of his borrowing, and im- be the case in the poem before us, is a point upon which Mr. pressive by his disregard of epigram and emphasis.

Scott can possibly form a much more competent judgment “Though bearing all these marks of the master's hand, the than ourselves; we can only say, that without possessing work before us does not come up, in interest, to the Lady of greater beauties than its predecessors, it has certain violations the Lake, or even to Marmion. There is less connected story; of propriety, both in the language and in the composition of and, what there is, is less skilfully complicated and disen- the story, of which the former efforts of his muse afforded tangled, and less diversified with change of scene, or variety neither so many nor such striking examples. of character. In the scantiness of the narrative, and the “We have not now any quarrel with Mr. Scott on account broken and discontinuous order of the events, as well as the in- of the measure which he has chosen; still less on account of artificial insertion of detached descriptions and morsels of his subjects: we believe that they are both of them not only ethical reflection, it bears more resemblance to the earliest of pleasing in themselves, but well adapted to each other, and the author's greater productions; and suggests a comparison, to the bent of his peculiar genius. On the contrary, it is beperhaps not altogether to his advantage, with the structure cause we admire his genius, and are partial to the subjects and execution of the Lay of the Last Minstrel :-for though which he delights in, that we so much regret he should leave there is probably more force and substance in the latter parts room for any difference of opinion respecting them, merely of the present work, it is certainly inferior to that enchanting from not bestowing upon his publications that common degree performance in delicacy and sweetness, and even-is it to be of labour and meditation which we cannot help saying it in wondered at, after four such publications ?-in originality. scarcely decorous to withhold."- Quarterly Review, No. un

“The title of 'The Lord of the Isles,' has been adopted, we July, 1815.

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