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Then slower wended back his way,
She sate beneath the birchen-tree,
The Knight to stanch the life-stream tried,-
"This hour of death has given me more
By Him whose word is truth! I swear,
Till this sad token I imbrue
In the best blood of Roderick Dhu!
Through copse and cliffs Fitz-James must stray,
As e'er they heard of bands at Doune?
Like bloodhounds now they search me out,-
If farther through the wilds I go,
I only fall upon the foe:
I'll couch me here till evening gray,
Then darkling try my dangerous way."
The shades of eve come slowly down,
[MS.- -"God, in my need, to me be true,
As I wreak this on Roderick Dbu!"]
The fox is heard upon the fell;
He climbs the crag and threads the brake;
Famish'd and chill'd, through ways unknown,
Beside its embers red and clear,'
And up he sprung with sword in hand,
Thy name and purpose! Saxon, stand!".
"A stranger."—"What dost thou require?"—
"Rest and a guide, and food and fire.
The gale has chill'd my limbs with frost.”
Art thou a friend to Roderick ?"—"No."—
"Thou darest not call thyself a foe ?"
"I dare! to him and all the band "
He brings to aid his murderous hand."-
The privilege of chase may claim,
Though space and law the stag we lend,
Ere hound we slip, or bow we bend,
[MS.-"By the decaying flame was laid
A warrior in his Highland plaid."]
[MS. "I dare! to him and all the swarm
He brings to aid his murderous arm."]
3 St. John actually used this illustration when engaged in confuting the plea of law proposed for the unfortunate Earl of Strafford: "It was true, we gave laws to hares and deer, because they are beasts of chase: but it was never accounted either cruelty or foul play to knock foxes or wolves on the head as they can be found, because they are beasts of prey. In a word, the law and humanity were alike; the one being more fallacious, and the other more barbarous, than in any age had been vented in such an authority."-CLAREN DON'S History of the Rebellion. Oxford, 1702, fol. vol. p. 183.
Who say thou camest a secret spy !"—
And let me but till morning rest,
I write the falsehood on their crest."
Thou bear'st the belt and spur of Knight.".
Enough, enough; sit down and share
He gave him of his Highland cheer,
The Scottish Highlanders, in former times, had a concise mode of cooking their venison, or rather of dispensing with cooking it, which appears greatly to have surprised the French, whom chance made acquainted with it. The Vidame of Charters, when a hostage in England, during the reign of Edward VI., was permitted to travel into Scotland, and penetrated as far as to the remote Highlands (au fin fond des Sauvages). After a great hunting party, at which a most wonderful quantity of game was destroyed, he saw these Scottish savages devour a part of their venison raw, without any further preparation than compressing it between two batons of wood, so as to force out the blood, and render it extremely hard. This they reckoned a great delicacy; and when the Vidame partook of it, his compliance with their taste rendered him extremely popular. This curious trait of manners was communicated by Mons. de Montmorency, a great friend of the Vidame, to Brantome, by whom it is recorded in Vies des Hommes Illustres, Discours, lxxxix. art. 14. The process by which the raw venison was rendered eatable is described very minutely in the romance of Perceforest, where Estonne, a Scottish knight-errant, having slain a deer, says to his companion Claudius :-"Sire, or mangerez vous et moy aussi. Voire si nous auions de feu, dit Claudius. Par l'ame de mon pere, dist Estonne, ie vous atourneray et cuiray a la maniere de nostre pays comme pour cheualier errant. Lors tira son espee, et sen vint a la branche dung arbre, et y fait vng grant trou, et puis fend la branche bien deux piedx, et boute la cuisse du cerf entredeux, et puis prent le licol de son cheval, et en lye la branche, et destraint si fort, que le sang et les humeurs de la chair saillent hors, et demeure la chair doulce et seiche. Lors prent la chair, et oste ius le cuir, et la chaire demeure aussi blanche comme si ce feust dung chappon. Dont dist a Claudius, Sire, ie la vous ay cuiste a la guise de mon pays, vous en pouez manger hardyement, car ie mangeray premier. Lors met sa main a så selle en ung lieu quil y auoit, et tire hors sel et pondre de poiure et gingembre, mesle ensemble, et le iecte dessus, et le frote sus bien fort, puis le couppe a moytie, et en donne a Claudius l'une des pieces, et puis mort en l'autre aussi sanoureusement quil est aduis que il en feist la pouldre voller. Quant Claudius veit quil le mangeoit de tel goust, il en print grant faim, et commence a manger tresvoulentiers. et dist a Estonne: Par l'ame de moy, ie ne mangeay oncquesmais de chair atournee de telle guise mais doresnauant ie ne me retourneroye pas hors de mon chemin par auoir la cuite. Sire, dist Estonne, quant ie suis en desers d'Escosse, dont ie suis seigneur, ie cheuaucheray huit iours ou quinze que ie n'entreray en chastel ne en maison, et si ne verray feu ne personne viuant fors que bestes sanuages, et de celles mangeray atournees en ceste maniere, et mieulx me plairá que la viande de l'empereur. Ainsi sen vont mangeant et cheuauchant iusques adonc quilz arriuerent sur une moult belle fontaine qui estoit en vne valee. Quant Estonne la vit il dist a Claudius, allons boire a ceste fontaine. Or beuuons, dist Estonne, du boire que le grant dieu a pourueu a toutes gens, et que me plaist mieulx que les ceruoises d'Angleterre."-La Treselegante Hystoire du tresnoble Roy Perceforest. Paris, 1534, fol. tome i. fol. lv. vers.
After all, it may be doubted whether la chaire nostree, for so the French called the venison thus summarily prepared, was any thing more than a mere rude kind of deer-ham.
And bade the Saxon share his plaid.
It rests with me to wind my horn,—
O'er stock and stone, through watch and ward,
As far as Coilantogle's ford;
From thence thy warrant is thy sword.”-
I [MS." And slept until the dawning streak