Imágenes de páginas

by ine Scottish historians with repligence or treachery. On

NOTE 4 S. the other hand, Huntley, on whom they bestow many encomiums, is said by the English historians to have left the field

Reckless of life, he desperate fougni, after the first charge. Meanwhile the Admiral, whose flank

And fell on Fiodien plain: these chiefs ought to have attacked, availed himself of their

And well in death his trusty brand,

Firm clench'd wilhin his manly hanri, inactivity, and pushed forward against another largo division

Beseem'd the monarch slain.-P. 143. of the Scottish army in his front, headed by the Earls of Crawford and Montrose, both of whom were slain, and their

There can be no doubt that King James fell in the battle forces routed. On the left, the success of the English was yet of Flodden. He was killed, says the curious French Gazette, niore decisive; for the Scottish right wing, consisting of un- within a lance's length of the Earl of Surrey; and the same disciplined Highlanders, commanded by Lennox and Argyle, account adds, that none of his division were made prisoners, was unable to sustain the charge of Sir Edward Stanley, and though many were killed; a circumstance that testifies the especially the severe execution of the Lancashire archers. desperation of their resistance. The Scottish historians record The King and Surrey, who commanded the respective centres many of the idle reports which passed among the vulgar of of their armies, were meanwhile engaged in close and dubious their day. Home was accused, by the popular voice, not only conflict. James, surrounded by the tower of his kingdom, and of failing to support the King, but even of having carried him impatient of the galling discharge of arrows, supported also by out of the field, and murdered him. And this tale was rehis reserve under Both well, charged with such fury, that the vived in my remembrance, by an unauthenticated story of a standard of Surrey was in danger. At that critical moment, skeleton, wrapped in a bull's hide, and surrounded with an Stanley, who had routed the left wing of the Scottish, pursued iron chain, said to have been found in the well of Home, his career of victory, and arrived on the right flank, and in the Castlo ; for which, on inquiry, I could never find any better renr of James's division, which, throwing itself into a circle, authority than the sexton of the parish having said, that, if disputed the battle till night came on. Surrey then drew the well were cleaned out, he woull not be surprised at such a back his forces; for the Scottish centre not having been discovery. Horne was the chamberlain of the King, and his broken, and their left wing being victorious, he yet doubted prime favourite; he had much to lose (in fact did lose all) in the event of the field. The Scottish army, however, felt their consequence of James's death, and nothing earthly to gain by loss, and abandoned the field of battle in disorder, before that event: but the retreat, or inactivity of the left wing dawn. They lost, perhaps, from eight to ten thousand men ; which he commanded, after defeating Sir Edmund Howard, but that included the very prime of their nobility, gentry, and and even the circumstance of his returning unhurt, and loaded and even clergy. Scarce a family of eminence but has an an- with spoil, from so fatal a conflict, rendered the propagation cestor killed at Flodden ; and there is no province in Scot- of any calumny against him easy and acceptable. Other reland, even at this day, where the battle is mentioned without ports gave a still more romantic turn to the King's fate, and a sensation of terror and sorrow. The English lost also a averred that James, weary of greatness after the carnage great number of men, perhaps within one-third of the van

among his nobles, had gone on a pilgrimage, to merit absoluquished, but they were of inferior note.-See the only distinct tion for the death of his father, and the breach of his oath detail of the field of Flodden in Pinkerton's History, Book of amity to Henry. In particular, it was objected to the Engxi. ; all former accounts being full of blunders and inconsis- lish, that they could never show the token of the iron belt; tency.

which, however, he was likely enough to have laid aside on The spot from which Clara views the battle must be sup- the day of battle, as encumbering his personal exertions. They posed to have been on a hillock commanding the rear of the produce a better evidence, the monarch's sword and dagger, English right wing, which was defeated, and in which conflict which are still preserved in the Herald's College in London. Marmion is supposed to have fallen.1

Stowe has recorded a degrading story of the disgrace with which the remains of the unfortunate monarch were treated in his time. An unhown column marks the spot where James fell, still called the King's Stone.


Brian Tunstall, stainless knight.-P. 138.

The fair cathedral storm'd and took.-P. 142.

This storm of Lichfield cathedral, which had been garriSir Brian Tunstall, called in the romantic language of the soned on the part of the King, took place in the Great Civil time, Tunstall the Undefiled, was one of the few Englishmen War. Lord Brook, who, with Sir John Gill, commanded the of rank slain at Flodden. He figures in the ancient English assailants, was shot with a musket-ball through the vizor of poem, to which I may safely refer my readers; as an edition, his helmet. The royalists remarked, that he was killed by a with full explanatory notes, has been published by my friend, shot fired from St. Chad's cathedral, and upon St. Chad's Mr. Henry Weber. Tunstall, perhaps, derived his epithet of Day, and received his death-wound in the very eye with undefiled from his white armour and banner, the latter bearing which, he had said, he hoped to see the ruin of all the cathea white cock, about to crow, as well as from his unstained drals in England. The magnificent church in question suflovalty and knightly faith. His place of residence was Thur- fered cruelly upon this, and other occasions ; the principal land Castle.

spite being ruined by the fire of the besiegers.

?“In 1810, as Sir Carnaby Haggerstone's workmen were thousand pieces. It had either been broken to pieces by the digging in Flodden Field, they came to a pit filled with human stones falling upon it when digging, or bad gone to pieces on bones, and which seemed of great extent; but, alarmed at the admission of the air. This urr. was surrounded by a numthe sight, they immediately filled up the excavation, and pro- ber of cells formed of flat stones, in the shape of graves, but ceeded no farther.

too small to hold the body in its natural state. These sepul“ In 1817, Mr. Gray of Millfield Hill found, near the traces chral recesses contained nothing except ashes, or dust of the of an ancient encampment, a short distance from Flodden same kind as that in the urn."-Sykes' Local Records, (2 vots. Aill, a tumulus, which, on removing, exhibited a very singu- Ivo, 1833,) vol. ii. pp. 60 and 109. lar sepulchre. In the centre, a large urn was found, but in a

The Lady of the Lake:


INTRODUCTION TO EDITION 1830. collection of many a dear friend and merry expedi

tion of former days. This poem, the action of which AFTER the success of “Marmnion,” I felt inclined to lay among scenes so beautiful, and so deeply imprinted exclaim with Ulysses in the “ Odyssey”

on my recollection, was a labour of love; and it was

no less so to recall the manners and incidents introΟυτος μίν δή άεθλος αάατος εκτετέλεσται. . duced. The frequent custom of James IV., and parΝυν αυτι σκοπον άλλον. . Odys.

ticularly of James V., to walk through their kingdom 1. 5.

x “One venturous game my hand has won to-day

in disguise, afforded me the hint of an incident, which Another, gallants, yet remains to play."

never fails to be interesting, if managed with the

slightest address or dexterity. The ancient manners, the habits and customs of I may now confess, however, that the employment, the aboriginal race by whom the Highlands of Scot- though attended with great pleasure, was not without land were inhabited, had always appeared to me pecu- its doubts and anxieties. A lady, to whom I was nearliarly adapted to poetry. The change in their man- ly related, and with whom I lived, during her whole ners, too, had taken place almost within my own time, life, on the most brotherly terms of affection, was reor at least I had learned many particulars concerning siding with me at the time when the work was in prothe ancient state of the Highlands from the old men gress, and used to ask me, what I could possibly do of the last generation. I had always thought the old to rise so early in the morning (that happening to be Scottish Gael highly adapted for poetical composition. the most convenient time to me for composition.) At The feuds, and political dissensions, which, half a cen- last I told her the subject of my meditations; and I tury earlier, would have rendered the richer and can never forget the anxiety and affection expressed wealthier part of the kingdom indisposed to counte- in her reply. “ Do not be so rash,” she said, “my nance a poem, the scene of which was laid in the dearest cousin. You are already popular—more so, Highlands, were now sunk in the generous compas- perhaps, than you yourself will believe, or than even sion which the English, more than any other nation, I, or other partial friends, can fairly allow to your feel for the misfortunes of an honourable foe. The merit. You stand high-do not rashly attempt to Poems of Ossian had, by their popularity, sufficiently climb higher, and incur the risk of a fall; for, depend shown, that if writings on Highland subjects were upon it, a favourite will not be permitted even to qualified to interest the reader, mere national preju- stumble with impunity." I replied to this affectionate dices were, in the present day, very unlikely to inter- expostulation in the words of Montrosefere with their success. I had also read a great deal, seen much, and heard

" He either fears his fate too much, more, of that romantic country, where I was in the

Or his deserts are small, babit of spending some time every autumn; and the

Who dares not put it to the touch scenery of Loch Katrine was connected with the re

To gain or lose it all." 3

| "These Highland visits were repeated almost every sum- pened, oddly enough, that the author first entered the romer for several successive years, and perhaps even the first mantic scenery of Loch Katrine, of which he may perhaps of them was in some degree connected with his professional say he has somewhat extended the reputation, riding in all business. At all events, it was to his allotted task of enforc- the dignity of danger, with a front and rear guard, and loaded ing the execution of a legal instrument against some Mac- arms.'"--Life of Scott, vol. 1. p. 193. larens, refractory tenants of Stewart of Appin, brother-in- 9 " The lady with whom Sir W Iter Scott held this converlaw to Invernahrle, that Scott owed his introduction to the sation was, no doubt, his aunt, Miss Christian Rutherford; scenery of the Lady of the Lake. 'An escort of a sergeant there was no other female relation dead when this Introducand six men,' he says, ' was obtained from a Highland regi- tion was written, whom I can suppose him to have consulted ment lying in Stirling; and the anthor, then a writer's appren- on literary questions. Lady Capulet, on seeing the corpse of tive, equivalent to the hononrable situation of an attorney's Tybalt, exclaims,clerk, was invested with the superintendence of the expedi- "Tybalt, my cousin ! oh my brother's child !" tion, with directions to see that the messenger discharged his

LOCKHART, vol. iii. p. 251. durv fully, and that the gallant sergeant did not exceed his 3 Lines in praise on voinen. --Wishart's Memoirs (Nonvart by committing nolence or plunder. And thus it hap- trose, p. 437.

« If I fail,” I said, for the dialogue is strong in my been totally ruined by being permitted to take the recollection, “ it is a sign that I ought never to have water after such a severe chase. I own I was much succeeded, and I will write proso for life : you shall encouraged by the species of reverie which had posses. see no change in my temper, nor will I eat a single sed so zealous a follower of the sports of the ancient meal the worse. But if I succeed,

Nimrod, who had been completely surprised out of all l'p with the bonnie blue bonnet,

doubts of the reality of the tale. Another of his reThe dírk, and the feather, and a'!'"

marks gave me less pleasure. He detected the idenAfterwards, I showed my affectionate and anxious tity of the King with the wandering knight, Fitzcritic the first canto of the poem, which reconciled James, when he winds his bugle to summon his ather to my imprudence. Nevertheless, although I an- tendants. He was probably thinking of the lively, swered thus confidently, with the obstinacy often said but somewhat licentious, old ballad, in which the to be proper to those who bear my surname, I acknow- depouement of a royal intrigue takes place as follows: ledge that my confidence was considerably shaken by

" He took a bugle frae his side, the warning of herexcellent taste and unbiassed friend

He blew both loud and shrill, ship. Nor was I much comforted by her retractation

And four-and-twenty belted knights of the unfavourable judgment, when I recollected how

Came skipping ower the hill;

Then he took out a little knife, likely a natural partiality was to effect that change of

Let a' his duddies fa', opinion. In such cases, affection rises like a light on

And he was the brawest gentleman the canvass, improves any favourable tints which it for

That was amang them a': merly exhibited, and throws its defects into the shade.

And we'll go no more a-roving," &c.1 I remember that about the same time a friend This discovery, as Mr. Pepys says of the rent in his started in to “heeze up my hope,” like the “ sportsman camlet cloak, was but a trifle, yet it troubled me; with his cutty gun," in the old song. He was bred a and I was at a good deal of pains to efface any marks farmer, but a man of powerful understanding, natural by which I thought my secret could be traced before good taste, and warm poetical feeling, perfectly com- the conclusion, when I relied on it with the same petent to supply the wants of an imperfect or irregu- hope of producing effect, with which the Irish postlar education. He was a passionate admirer of field- boy is said to reserve a “trot for the avenue.” ? sports, which we often pursued together.

I took uncommon pains to verify the accuracy of As this friend happened to dine with me at Ashe- the local circumstances of this story. I recollect, in stiel one day, I took the opportunity of reading to him particular, that to ascertain whether I was telling a the first canto of “ The Lady of the Lake,” in order probable tale, I went into Perthshire, to see whether to ascertain the effect the poem was likely to produce King James could actually have ridden from the banks upon a person who was but too favourable a represen- of Loch Vennachar to Stirling Castle within the time tative of readers at large. It is, of course, to be sup- supposed in the Poem, and had the pleasure to satisfy posed that I determined rather to guide my opinion myself that it was quite practicable. by what my friend might appear to feel, than by what After a considerable delay, “ The Lady of the he might think fit to say. His reception of my recita- Lake” appeared in May 1810; and its success was tion, or prelection, was rather singular. He placed certainly so extraordinary as to induce me for the his hand across his brow, and listened with great at moment to conclude that I had at last fixed a nail in tention through the whole account of the stag-hunt, the proverbially inconstant wheel of Fortune, whose till the dogs threw themselves into the lake to follow stability in behalf of an individual who had so boldly their master, who embarks with Ellen Douglas. He courted her favours for three successive times, had then started up with a sudden exclamation, struck his not as yet been shaken. I had attained, perhaps, hand on the table, and declared, in a voice of censure that degree of public reputation at which prudence, calculated for the occasion, that the dogs must have or certainly timidity, would have made a halt, and

| The Jolly Beggar, attributed to King James V.--Herd's poet-crowds set off to view the scenery of Loch Katrine, till Collection, 1776.

then comparatively unknown ; and as the book came out just 2 "I believe the shrewd critic here introduced was the poet's before the season for excursions, every house and inn in that excellent cousin, Charles Scott, now laird of Knowe-south. neighbourhood was crammed with a constant succession of The story of the Irish postillion's trot he owed to Mr. Moore." visitors. It is a well ascertained fact, that from the date of - Life of Scott, vol. iii. p. 253.

the publication of the Lady of the Lake, the post-horse duty 3 “Mr Robert Cadell, who was then a young man in train in Scotland rose in an extraordinary degree ; and indeed it ing for his profession in Edinburgh, retains a strong impres- continued to do so regularly for a number of years, the anthor's sion of the interest which the Lady of the Lake excited there succeeding works keeping up the enthusiasm for our scenery for two or three months before it was on the counter. “James which he had thus originally created." Ballantyne,' he says, 'read the cantos from time to time to "I owe to the same correspondent the following details:select coteries, as they advanced at press. Common fame. The quarto edition of 2050 copies disappeared instantly, and was loud in their favour; a great poem was on all hands anti- was followed, in the course of the same year, by four editions cipated. I do not recollect that any of all the author's works in octavo, viz. one of 3000, a second of 3250, and a third and a was ever looked for with more intense anxiety, or that any fourth each of 6000 copies; thus, in the space of a few months, one of them excited a more extraordinary sensation when it the extraordinary number of 20,000 copies were disposed of. did appear. The whole country rang with the praises of the In the next year (1811) there was another edition of 300;

discontinued efforts by which I was far more likely tol a situation which the capricc. rather than the judgdiminish my fame than to increase it. But, as the ment, of the public, had bestowed upon me, and precelebrated John Wilkes is said to have explained to ferred being deprived of my precedence by some more his late Majesty, that he himself, amid his full tide of worthy rival, to sinking into contempt for my indopopularity, was never a Wilkite, so I can, with honest lence, and losing my reputation by what Scottish lawtruth, exculpate myself from having been at any time yers call the negative proscription. Accordingly, those a partisan of my own poetry, even when it was in the who choose to look at the Introduction to Rokeby, in highest fashion with the million. It must not be sup- the present edition, will be able to trace the steps by posed, that I was either so ungrateful, or so super- which I declined as a poet to figure as a novellist; as abundantly candid, as to despise or scorn the value of the ballad says, Queen Eleanor sunk at Charingthose whose voice had elevated me so much higher Cross to rise again at Queenhithe. than my own opinion told me I deserved. I felt, on It only remains for me to say, that, during my short the contrary, the more grateful to the public, as re- pre-eminence of popularity, I faithfully observed the ceiving that from partiality to me, which I could not rules of moderation which I had resolved to follow have claimed from merit; and I endeavoured to de- before I began my course as a man of letters. If a serve the partiality, by continuing such exertions as I man is determined to make a noise in the world, he was capable of for their amusement.

is as sure to encounter abuse and ridicule, as he who It may be that I did not, in this continued course gallops furiously through a village, must reckon on of scribbling, consult either the interest of the public being followed by the curs in full cry. Experienced or my own. But the former had effectual means of persons know, that in stretching to flog the latter, the defending themselves, and could, by their coldness, rider is very apt to catch a bad fall; nor is an attempt sufficiently check any approach to intrusion; and for to chastise a malignant critic attended with less danmyself, I had now for several years dedicated my ger to the author. On this principle, I let parody, hours so much to literary labour, that I should have burlesque, and squibs, find their own level; and while felt difficulty in employing myself otherwise; and so, the latter hissed most fiercely, I was cautious never like Dogberry, I generously bestowed all my tedious- to catch them up, as school-boys do, to throw them ness on the public, comforting myself with the reflec-back against the naughty boy who fired them off, tion, that if posterity should think me undeserving of wisely remembering that they are, in such cases, apt the favour with which I was regarded by my contem- to explode in the handling. Let me add, that my poraries, “ they could not but say I had the crown,"reigno (since Byron has so called it) was marked by and had enjoyed for a time that popularity which is some instances of good-nature as well as patience. I so much coveted.

never refused a literary person of merit such services I conceived, however, that I held the distinguished in smoothing his way to the public as were in my situation I had obtained, however unworthily, rather power: and I had the advantage, rather an uncomlike the champion of pugilism,' on the condition of mon one with our irritable race, to enjoy general being always ready to show proofs of my skill, than favour, without incurring permanent ill-will, so far as in the manner of the champion of chivalry, who per- is known to me, among any of my contemporaries. forms his duties only on rare and solemn occasions. I

W. S. was in any case conscious that I could not long hold ABBOTSFORD, April 1830.

there was one of 2000 in 1814; another of 2000 in 1815; one of 2000 again in 1819; and two, making between them 2500, appeared in 1825. Since which time the Lady of the Lake, in collective editions of his poetry, and in separate issues, must have circulated to the extent of at least 20,1000 copies more. So that, down to the month of July 1836, the legitimate sale in Great Britain has been pot less than 50,000 copies.'”- Life of Soll, vol. lü. p. 248

1 "In twice five years the greatest living poet,'

Like to the champion in the fisty ring,
Is call'd on to support his claim, or show it,
Although 'tis an imaginary thing," &c.

Don Juan, canto xi. st. 55.

8 « Sir Walter reign'd before me," &c.

Don Juan, canto xi. st. 57.

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