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GOR. Must I then speak of her to you, Sir Alan? Gor. I penetrate thy purpose; but I go not. The thought of thee, and of thy matchless strength, Swi. Not at my bidding? I, thy sire in chivalryHath conjured phantoms up amongst her dreams. Thy leader in the battle ?-I command thee. The name of Swinton hath been spell sufficient
GOR. No, thou wilt not command me seek my To chase the rich blood from her lovely cheek,
safety, And wouldst thou now know hers?
For such is thy kind meaning--at the expense Swi.
I would, nay must. Of the last hope which Heaven reserves for Scotland. Thy father in the paths of chivalry,
While I abide, no follower of mine Should know the load-star thou dost rule thy course will turn his rein for life; but were I gone, by.
What power can stay them? and, our band dispersen, Gor. Nay, then, her name is—hark
What swords shall for an instant stem yon host,
[Whispers. And save the latest chance for victory? Swi. I know it well, that ancient northern house. Vip. The noble youth speaks truth; and were he
GOR. O, thou shalt see its fairest grace and honour gone, In my Elizabeth. And if music touch thee
There will not twenty spears be left with us. Swi. It did, before disasters had untuned me. GOR, No, bravely as we have begun the field, GOR. O, her notes
So let us fight it out. The Regent's eyes, Shall hush each sad remembrance to oblivion, More certain than a thousand messages, Or melt them to such gentleness of feeling,
Shall see us stand, the barrier of his host That grief shall have its sweetness. Who, but she, Against yon bursting storm. If not for honour, Knows the wild harpings of our native land? If not for warlike rule, for shame at least Whether they lull the shepherd on his hill,
He must bear down to aid us. Or wake the knight to battle; rouse to merriment, Swi.
Must it be so ? Or soothe to sadness; she can touch each mood. And am I forced to yield the sad consent, Princes and statesmen, chiefs renown'd in arms, Devoting thy young life?' 0, Gordon, Gordon ! And grey-hair'd bards, contend which shall the first I do it as the patriarch doom'd his issue; And choicest homage render to the enchantress. I at my country's, he at Heaven's command; Swi. You speak her talent bravely.
But I seek vainly some atoning sacrifice, GOR.
Though you smile, Rather than such a victim !-(Trumpets.) Hark, I do not speak it half. Her gift creative,
they come! New measures adds to every air she wakes;
That music sounds not like thy lady's lute. Varying and gracing it with liquid sweetness,
GOR. Yet shall my lady's name mix with it gaily.-Like the wild modulation of the lark;
Mount, vassals, couch your lances, and cry, Now leaving, now returning to the strain !
don ! To listen to her, is to seem to wander
Gordon for Scotland and Elizabeth !" In some enchanted labyrinth of romance,
[Exeunt. Loud Alarums Whence nothing but the lovely fairy's will, Who wore the spell, can extricate the wanderer. Methinks I hear her now
SCENE III. Swi.
Bless'd privilege Of youth! There's scarce three minutes to decide Another part of the Field of Battle, adjacent to the 'Twixt death and life, 'twixt triumph and defeat,
former Scene. Yet all his thoughts are in his lady's bower, List’ning her harping !
Alarums. Enter SWINTON, followed by
Swi. Stand to it yet! The man who flies to-day, For time is over with us.
May bastards warm them at his household hearth ! Swi. There moves not, then, one pennon to our HOB. That ne'er shall be my curse. My Magdalen aid
Is trusty as my broadsword. Of all that futter yonder !
Ha, thou knave, Vip. From the main English host come rushing Art thou dismounted too ? forward
I know, Sir Alan, Pennons enow-ay, and their Royal Standard. You want no homeward guide; so threw my reina But ours stand rooted, as for crows to roost on. Upon my palfrey's neck, and let him loose. Swi. (to himself) I'll rescue him at least.-Young Within an hour he stands before my gate; Lord of Gordon,
And Magdalen will need no other token Spur to the Regent-show the instant need
To bid the Melrose Monks say masses for me.
1 MS.-"And am I doom'd to yield the sad consent
That thus devotes thy life?'
2 MS.--"0, could there be some lesser sacrifice.
Swi. Thou art resolved to cheat the halter, then ? Some wildly fly, and some rush wildly forward; Нов. ,
It is my purpose,
And some there are who seem to turn their spears Having lived a thief, to die a brave man's death; Against their countrymen. And never had I a more glorious chance for 't. Swi. Rashness, and cowardice, and secret treaSwi. Here lies the way to it, knave.--Make in, son, make in,
Combine to ruin us; &nd our hot valour, And aid young Gordon !
Devoid of discipline, is madmen's strength, [Exeunt. Loud and long Alarums. After More fatal unto friends than enemies !
which the back Scene rises, and dis- I 'm glad that these dim eyes shall see no more covers SWINTON on the ground, GOR
on 't.DON supporting him ; both much Let thy hands close them, Gordon—I will dream wounded.
My fair-hair'd William renders me that office ! Swi. All are cut down-the reapers have pass'd
[Dies. o'er us,
Gor. And, Swinton, I will think I do that duty And hie to distant harvest.—My toil 's over;
To my dead father. There lies my sickle. [Dropping his sword.] Hand of mine again
Enter De VIPONT. Shall never, never wield it !!
Vip. Fly, fly, brave youth !-A handful of thy fol. Gor. O valiant leader, is thy light extinguish'd ! lowers, That only beacon-flame which promised safety The scatter'd gleaning of this desperate day, In this day's deadly wrack !
Still hover yonder to essay thy rescue.Swi. My lamp hath long been dim! But thine, O linger not !--I 'll be your guide to them. young Gordon,
Gor. Look there, and bid me fly / The oak ba! Just kindled, to be quench'd so suddenly,
fall’n; Ere Scotland saw its splendour !
And the young ivy bush, which learn’d to climb
Swi. It was the Regent's envy.-Out!alas ! And sagest of our Scottish chivalry!
My tongue should wrong the dead.-Gordon, bethink Which framed this day of dole for our poor country.
thee, Had thy brave father held yon leading staff,
Thou dost but stay to perish with the corpse
GOR. Ay, but he was my sire in chivalry
He taught my youth to soar above the promptings GOR. Alas! alas ! the author of the death-feud, Of mean and selfish vengeance; gave my youth He has his reckoning too ! for had your sons A name that shall not die even on this death-spot. And num'rous vassals lived, we had lack'a no aid. Records shall tell this field had not been lost, Swi. May God assoil the dead, and him who fol. Had all men fought like Swinton and like Gordon. lows !
[Trumpets. We've drank the poison'd beverage which we brew's: Save thee, De Vipont.-Hark! the Southron trum. Have sown the wind, and reap'd the tenfold whirl- pets. wind !
Vip. Nay, without thee I stir not.
Enter EDWARD, CHANDOS, PERCY, BALIOL, fc. Thou, who hast done no wrong, need’st no forgive- Gor. Ay, they come on-the Tyrant and the Traitor ness,-
Workman and tool, Plantagenet and Baliol.-. Why should'st thou share our punishment !
O for a moment's strength in this poor arm,
[He rushes on the English, but is made Did the main battles counter !
prisoner with VIPONT. Swi. Look on the field, brave Gordon, if thou K. Ed. Disarm them—harm them not; though it canst,
was they And tell me how the day goes.—But I guess, Made havoc on the archers of our vanguard, Too surely do I guess
They and that bulky champion. Where is he? GOR. All 's lost ! all 's lost Of the main Scottish Chan. Here lies the giant ! Say his name, young host,
This speech of Swinton's is interpolated on the blank page of the manuscript.
2 MS.-" Thou hast small cause to tarry with the corner
GOR. Let it suffice, he was a man this morning.' CHA, Baliol, I would not brook such dying looks,
Cha. I question d thee in sport. I do not need To buy the crown you aim at. Thy information, youth. Who that has fought K. ED. (to Vip.) Vipont, thy crossed shield shows Through all these Scottish wars, but knows his crest, ill in warfare The sable boar chain'd to the leafy oak,
Against a Christian king. And that huge mace still seen where war was wildest ! Vip. That Christian King is warring upon Scotland. King Ed. 'Tis Alan Swinton !
I was a Scotsman ere I was a Templar,
Gor. (sinking down.) If thus thou know'st him, And set thee free unransom'd.
Enter ABBOT OF WALTHAMSTOW.
AB. Heaven grant your Majesty Sleep at his side, in token that our death
Many such glorious days as this has been! Ended the feud of Swinton and of Gordon.
K. Ed. It is a day of much and high advantage; K. Ed. It is the Gordon !-Is there aught beside Glorious it might have been, had all our foes Edward can do to honour bravery,
Fought like these two brave champions.-Strike the Even in an enemy?
drums, Gor. Nothing but this :
Sound trumpets, and pursue the fugitives, Let not base Baliol, with his touch or look, [still, Till the Tweed's eddies whelm them. Berwick ’s Profane my corpse or Swinton's. I've some breath render'd Enough to say–Scotland Elizabeth ! [Dies. These wars, I trust, will soon find lasting close.5
1 In his narrative of events on the day after the battle of Edward, in whom any interest is endeavoured to be excited. Sheriffmuir, Sir Walter Scott says, “Amongst the gentlemen With some exceptions, the dialogue also is flat and coarse ; who fell on this occasion, were several on both sides, alike and for all these defects, one or two vigorous descriptions of eminent for birth and character. The body of the gallant battle scenes, will scarcely make sufficient atonement, except young Earl of Strathmore was found on the field watched by in the eyes of very enthusiastic friends."- Monthly Review. a faithful old domestic, who, being asked the name of the person whose body he waited upon with so much care, made this
“Halidon Hill, we understand, unlike the earlier poems of striking reply, 'He was a man yesterday.""- Tales of a Grand- | its author, has not been received into the ranks of popular fafather.
vour. Such rumours, of course, have no effect on our critical 9 MS.—“Stood arm'd beside my couch," &c.
judgment; but we cannot forbear saying, that, thinking as we 8 “The character of Swinton is obviously a favourite with do very highly of the spirit and taste with which an interest. the author, to which circumstance we are probably indebted ing tale is here sketched in natural and energetic verse, we for the strong relief in which it is given, and the perfect veri- are yet far from feeling surprised that the approbation, which similitude which belongs to it. The stately commanding figure it is our pleasing duty to bestow, should not have been anticiof the veteran warrior, whom, by the illusion of his art, the au- pated by the ordinary readers of the work before us. It bears, thor has placed in veritable presentment before us;-his vene- in truth, no great resemblance to the parrative poems from rable age, superior prowess, and intuitive decision ;-the broils which Sir Walter Scott derived his first and high reputation, in wlich he had engaged, the misfortunes he had suffered, and and by which, for the present, his genius must be characterised. the intrepid fortitude with which he sustained them,--together it is wholly free from many of their most obvious faults-their with that rigorous control of temper, not to be shaken even by carelessness, their irregularity, and their inequality both of unmerited contumely and insult;-these qualities, gronped conception and of execution; but it wants likewise no inconand embodied in one and the same character, render it morally siderable portion of their beauties - it lias less 'pomp and cir. impossible that we should not at once sympathize and admire. cumstance,' less picturesque c'escription, romantic association, The inherent force of his character is finely illustrated in the and chivalrous glitter, less sentiment and reflection, less pereffect produced upon Lord Gordon by the first appearance of haps of all their striking charms, with the single exception of the man who had made him fatherless.'"-Edinburgh Ma- that one redeeming and sufficing quality, which forms, in our gazine, July, 1822.
view, the highest recommendation of all the author's works of 4 A Venetian General, observing his soldiers testified some imagination, their unaffected and unflagging VIGOIR. This unwillingness to fight against those of the Pope, whom they perhaps, after all, is only saying, that we have hefore us a regarded as father of the Church, addressed them in terms of dramatic poem, instead of a metrical tale of romance, and similar encouragement,—“Fight on! we were Venetians be that the author has had too much taste and discretion to bo fore we were Christians."
dizen his scenes with inappropriate and encumbering ornaE“ It is generally the case that much expectation ends in ment. There is, however, a class of readers of poetry, and a disappointment. The free delineation of character in some of pretty large ciass, too, who have no relish for a work, however the recent Scottish Novels, and the admirable conversations naturally and strongly the characters and incidents may be interspersed throughout them, raised hopes that, when a re- conceived and sustained-- however appropriato and manly gular drama should be attempted by the person who was con- may be the imagery and diction--from which they cannot sesidered as their author, the success would be eminent. 118 Irct any isolated passages to store in their memories or their announcement, too, in a solemn and formal manner, did not commonplace books, to whisper into a lady's ear, or transcribe diminish the interest of the public. The drama, however, | into a lady's album. With this tea-table and watering-place which was expected, turns out to be in fact, and not only in school of critics, ‘Halidon Hill' must expect no favour; it has name, merely a dramatic sketch, which is entirely deficient in 110 rant-no mysticism-and, worst offence of all, no affecta plot, and contains but three characters, Swinton, Gordon, and tion."-- British Critic, Octnher 1822.
Some touch of strange enchantment.-Mark that
fragment, These few scenes had the honour to be included I mean that rough-hewn block of massive stone, In a Miscellany, published in the year 1823, by Mrs. Placed on the summit of this mountain-pass, Joanna Baillie, and are here reprinted, to unite them Commanding prospect wide o'er field and fell, with the trifles of the same kind which owe their birth And peopled village and extended moorland, to the author. The singular history of the Cross and And the wide ocean and majestic Tay, Law of Clan MacDuff is given, at length enough to To the far distant Grampians.-Do not deem it satisfy the keenest antiquary, in The Minstrelsy of the A loosen'd portion of the neighbouring rock, Scottish Border. It is here only necessary to state, Detach'd by storm and thunder,—'t was the pedestal that the Cross was a place of refuge to any person re- On which, in ancient times, a Cross was rear'd, lated to MacDuff, within the ninth degree, who, hav- Carved o'er with words which foild philologists; ing committed homicide in sudden quarrel, should And the events it did commemorate reach this place, prove his descent from the Thane of Were dark, remote, and undistinguishable, Fife, and pay a certain penalty.
As were the mystic characters it bore. The shaft of the Cross was destroyed at the Refor- But, mark,—a wizard, born on Avon's bank, mation. The huge block of stone which served for Tuned but his harp to this wild northern theme, its pedestal is still in existence near the town of New- And, lo! the scene is hallow’d. None shall pass, burgh, on a kind of pass which commands the county Now, or in after days, beside that stone, of Fife to the southward, and to the north, the wind- But he shall have strange visions; thoughts and words, ings of the magnificent Tay and fertile country of That shake, or rouse, or thrill the human heart, Angus-shire. The Cross bore an inscription, which Shall rush upon his memory when he hears is transmitted to us in an unintelligible form by Sir | The spirit-stirring name of this rude symbol;Robert Sibbald.
Oblivious ages, at that simple spell,
Shall render back their terrors with their woes,
Alas! and with their crimes—and the proud phantoms
Though ne'er again to list them. Siddons, thine,
Thou matchless Siddons! thrill upon our ear;
And on our eye thy lofty Brother's form
Rises as Scotland's monarch.—But, to thee,
Joanna, why to thee speak of such visions ?
Noottish Barons. Thine own wild wand can raise them.
Yet since thou wilt an idle tale of mine,
Fancy grows colder as the silvery hair
Tells the advancing winter of our life.
That worth it owes to her who set the task ; “ THE PLAYS ON THE PASSIONS." If otherwise, the fault rests with the anthor.
Nay, smile not, Lady, when I speak of witchcraft,
two miles from the ancient Abbey of Lindores, in Fife
I Vol. 1v., p. 266, in the Appendix to Lord Soulis, “Law of Olan MacDuff'
meni; and, at a small distance, on one side, a Chupel, Nin.
They fell at strife, with a Lump burning.
Men say, on slight occasion: that merce Lindesay
Did bend his sword against De Berkeley's breast, Enter, as having ascended the Pass, NINIAN and WALD- And that the lady threw herself between :
HAVE, Monks of Lindores. Ninian crosses himself, That then De Berkeley dealt the Baron's death and seeins to recite his devotions. WALDHAVE stands wound. Grazing on the prospect, as if in deep contemplation. Enough, that from that time De Berkeley bore
A spear in foreign wars. But, it is said, Nix. Here stands the Cross, good brother, conse- He hath return'd of late; and, therefore, brother, crated
The Prior bath ordain'd our vigil here, By the bold Thane unto his patron saint
To watch the privilege of the sanctuary, Magridius, once a bro:her of our house.
And rights of Clan MacDuff. Canst thou not spare an ave or a creed?
What rights are these? Or hath the steep ascent exhausted you? [some. Nin. Most true! you are but newly come from You trode it stoutly, though ’t was rough and toil- Rome, WAL. I have trode a rougher.
And do not know our ancient usages. Nix.
On the Highland hills Know then, when fell Macbeth beneath the arm Scarcely within our sea-girt province here,
Of the predestined knight, unborn of woman, Unless upon the Lomonds or Bennarty.
Three boons the victor ask'd, and thrice did Malcolm, WAL. I spoke not of the literal path, good father, Stooping the sceptre by the Thane restored, But of the road of life which I have travellid, Assent to his request. And hence the rule, Ere l assumed this habit; it was bounded,
That first when Scotland's King assumes the crown, Hedged in, and limited by earthly prospects, MacDuff's descendant rings his brow with it: As ours beneath was closed by dell and thicket. And hence, when Scotland's King calls forth his hosta Here we see wide and far, and the broad sky, MacDuff's descendant leads the van in battle: With wide horizon, opens full around,
And last, in guerdon of the crown restored, While earthly objects dwindle. Brother Ninian, Red with the blood of the usurping tyrant, Fain would I hope that mental elevation
The right was granted in succeeding time,
Commit a slaughter on a sudden impulse,
For here must the avenger's step be staid,
And here the panting homicide find safety. Arch foe of man, possess the realms between.
Wal. And here a brother of your order watches, Wal. Most true, good brother; and men may be To see the custom of the place observed ? farther
Nin. Even so ;-such is our convent's holy right, From the bright heaven they aim at, even because Since Saint Magridius-blessed be his memory !They deem themselves secure on 't.
Did by a vision warn the Abbot Eadmir. Nin. (after a pause.)
You do gaze-- And chief we watch, when there is bickering Strangers are wont to do so--on the prospect. Among the neighbouring nobles, now most likely Yon is the Tay rollid down from Highland hills, From this return of Berkeley from abroad, That rests his waves, after so rude a race,
Having the Lindesay’s blood upon his hand. In the fair plains of Gowrie--further westward, Wal. The Lindesay, then, was loved among his Proud Stirling rises-yonder to the east,
[loved; Dundee, the gift of God, and fair Montrose,
Nin. Honour'd and fear'd he was - but little And still more northward lie the ancient towers- For even his bounty bore a show of sternness; WAL. Of Edzell.
And wlien his passions waked, he was a Sathan Nix. How? know you the towers of Edzell? Of wrath and injury. WAL. I've heard of them.
Wal. How now, Sir Priest! (fiercely)-Forgive me Nix.
Then have you heard a tale, (recollecting himself)-I was dreaming
Nin. Lindesay's name, my brother,
Long the tale- Indeed was Reynold;—and methinks, moreover, Enough to say that the last Lord of Edzell,
That, as you spoke even now, he would have spoken. Bold Louis Lindesay, had a wife, and found
I brought him a petition from our convent: WAL. Enough is said, indeed-since a weak woman, He granted straight, but in such tone and manner, Ay, and a tempting fiend, lost Paradise,
By my good saint ! I thought myself scarce safe. When man was innocent.
Tih Tay rolld broad between us. I must now!