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By which inventive demons might proclaim And, at the bloody spear-point headlong driven, Immortal hate to man, and scorn of God's great name! Thy Despot's giant guards fled like the rack of heaven,
XI. The rudest sentinel, in Britain born,
Go, baffled boaster! teach thy haughty mood With horror paused to view the havoc done, To plead at thine imperious master's throne, Gave his poor crust to feed some wretch forlorn, Say, thou hast left his legions in their blood,
Wiped his stern eye, then fiercer grasp'd his gun. Deceived his hopes, and frustrated thine own; Nor with less zeal shall Britain's peaceful son Say, that thine utmost skill and valour shown, Exult the debt of sympathy to pay;
By British skill and valour were outvied; Riches nor poverty the tax shall shun,
Last say, thy conqueror was WELLINGTON !7
But you, ye heroes of that well-fought day,
His meed to each victorious leader pay, Can vantage-ground no confidence create,
Or bind on every brow the laurels won ?8 Marcella's pass, nor Guarda's mountain-chain? Yet fain my harp would wake its boldest tone, Vainglorious fugitive !3 yet turn again!
O'er the wide sea to hail CADOGAN brave; Behold, where, named by some prophetic Seer, And he, perchance, the minstrel-note might own, Flows Honour's Fountain,' as foredoom'd the stain Mindful of meeting brief that Fortune gave
From thy dishonour'd name and arms to clear 'Mid yon far western isles that hear the Atlantic Fallen Child of Fortune, turn, redeem her favour here!
XIII. Yet, ere thou turn’st, collect each distant aid; Yes! hard the task, when Britons wield the sword, Those chief that never heard the lion roar!
To give each Chief and every field its fame: Within whose souls lives not a trace portray'd, Hark! Albuera thunders BERESFORD, Of Talavera, or Mondego's shore !
And Red Barosa shouts for dauntless GRÆME! Marshal each band thou hast, and summon more; O for a verse of tumult and of flame, Of war's fell stratagems exhaust the whole;
Bold as the bursting of their cannon sound, Rank upon rank, squadron on squadron pour, To bid the world re-echo to their fame! Legion on legion on thy foeman roll,
For never, upon gory battle-ground, And weary out his arm—thou canst not quell his soul. With conquest's well-bought wreath were braver vic
Who brought a race regenerate to the field,
steel'd, 10 Vengeance and grief gave mountain-rage the rein, And raised fair Lusitania's fallen shield,
" See Appendix, Note P.
stacles, por fettered by prejudices, pot immured within the 2 The MS. has, for the preceding five lines
pedantries of his profession-but playing the general and the “ And in pursuit vindictive hurried on,
hero when most of our military commanders would have exAnd 0, survivors sad! to you belong
hibited the drill serjeant, or at best the adjutant. These Tributes from each that Britain calls her son,
campaigns will teach us what we have long needed to know, From all her nobles, all her wealthier throng,
that success depends not on the nice drilling of regiments, but To her poor peasants mite, and minstrel's poorer song."
upon the grand movements and combinations of an army.
We have been hitherto polishing hinges, when we should have 8 See Appendix, Note Q.
studied the mechanical union of a huge machine. Now, our * The literal translation of Fuentes do Honoro.
army begin to see that the grand secret, as the French call it, 5 See Appendix, Note R.
consists only in union, joint exertion, and concerted move• See Appendix, Note S.
ment. This will enable us to meet the dogs on fair terms as 7 On the 26th of April 1811, Scott writes thus to Mr. Morritt: to numbers, and for the rest, ' My soul and body on the action — "I rejoice with the heart of a Scotsman in the success of Lord both.'"- Lifi, vol. iii. p. 313. Wellington, and with all the pride of a seer to boot. I have 8 See Appendix, Editor's Note T. been for three years proclaiming him as the only man we had A MS.—“ O who shall grudge yon chief the victor's bays." to trust to-a man of talent and genius-not deterred by ob
10 See Appendix, Note U.
And gave new edge to Lusitania's sword,
He dream'd ʼmid Alpine cliffs of Athole's hill, And taught her sons forgotten arms to wield And heard in Ebro's roar his Lyndoch's lovely rill.
Shiver'd my harp, and burst its every chord, If it forget thy worth, victorious BERESFORD!
O hero of a race renown'd of old,
Whose war-cry oft has waked the battle-swell, Not on that bloody field of battle won,
Since first distinguish'd in the onset bold, Though Gaul's proud legions rolld like mist Wild sounding when the Roman rampart fell! away,
By Wallace' side it rung the Southron's knell, Was half his self-devoted valour shown,-
Alderne, Kilsythe, and Tibber, own'd its fame, He gaged but life on that illustrious day; Tummell's rude pass can of its terrors tell, But when he toil'd those squadrons to array,
But ne'er from prouder field arose the name, Who fought like Britons in the bloody game, Than when wild Ronda learn'd the conquering shout Sharper than Polish pike or assagay,
of GREME!5 He braved the shafts of censure and of shame, And, dearer far than life, he pledged a soldier's fame.
But all too long, through seas unknown and dark, XVI.
(With Spenser's parable I close my tale,) Nor be his praise o'erpast who strove to hide By shoal and rock hath steer'd my venturous bark,
Beneath the warrior's vest affection's wound, And landward now I drive before the gale. Whose wish Heaven for his country's weal denied ;? And now the blue and distant shore I hail,
Danger and fate he sought, but glory found. And nearer now I see the port expand,
And as the prow light touches on the strand, Thine was his thought in march and tented ground; I strike my red-cross flag and bind my skiff to land."
1 MS.—“Not greater on that mount of strife and blood, 7 "No comparison can be fairly instituted between composi
While Gaul's proud legions roll'd like mist away, tions so wholly different in style and designation as the pre-
sent poem and Mr. Scott's former productions. The present And Poland's shatter'd lines before him lay, poem neither has, nor, from its nature, could have the interest And clarions bail'd him victor of the day.
which arises from an eventful plot, or a detailed delineation Not greater when he toil'd yon legions to array, of character; and we shall arrive at a far more accurate esti
'Twas life he peril'd in that stubborn game, mation of its merits by comparing it with * The Bard' of Gray, And life 'gainst honour when did soldier weigh? or that particular scene of Ariosto, where Bradamante beholds But, self-devoted to his generous aim,
the wonders of Merlin's tomb. To this it has many strong and Far dearer than his life, the hero pledged his fame." evident features of resemblance; but, in our opinion, greatly 2 MS.-“ Nor be his meed o'erpast who sadly tried
surpasses it both in the dignity of the objects represented, and With valour's wreath to hide affection's wound, the picturesque effect of the machinery. To whom his wish Heaven for our weal denied."
“We are inclined to rank The Vision of Don Roderick, not
only above · The Bard,' but, (excepting Adam's Vision from 3 MS.-" From war to war the wanderer went his round,
the Mount of Paradise, and the matchless beauties of the Yet was his soul in Caledonia still;
sixth book of Virgil,) above all the historical and poetical Hers was his thought," &c.
prospects which have come to our knowledge. The scenic 4 MS. “ fairy rill."
representation is at once gorgeous and natural; and the lan“ These lines excel the noisier and more general pane- guage, and imagery, is altogether as spirited, and bears the gyrics of the commanders in Portugal, as much as the sweet stamp of more care and polish than even the most celebrated and thrilling tones of the harp surpass an ordinary flourish of of the author's former productions. If it please us less than drums and trumpets."- Quarterly Revier.
these, we must attribute it in part perhaps to the want of “ Perhaps it is our nationality which makes us like better contrivance, and in a still greater degree to the nature of the the tribute to General Grahame-though there is something, subject itself, which is deprived of all the interest derived we believe, in the softness of the sentiment that will be felt, from suspense or sympathy, and, as far as it is connected with even by English readers, as a relief from the exceeding modern politics, represents a scene too near our immediate clamour and loud boastings of all the surrounding stanzas."-- inspection to admit the interposition of the magic glass of Edinburgh Review.
fiction and poetry."-Quarterly Review, October, 1811. 6 See Appendix, Note V. 6 “Now, strike your sailes, yee iolly mariners, For we be come unto a quiet rode,
" The Vision of Don Roderick has been received with less Where we must land some of our passengers,
interest by the public than any of the author's other performAnd light this weary vessell of her lode.
ances; and has been read, we should imagine, with some deHere she a while may make her safe abode,
gree of disappointment even by those who took it up with the Till she repaired have her tackles spent
most reasonable expectations. Yet it is written with very And wants supplide; and then againe abroad considerable spirit, and with more care and effort than most On the long voiage whereto she is bent:
of the author's compositions ;-with a degree of effort, indeed, Well may she speede, and fairely finish her intent!" which could scarcely have failed of success, if the author had
Fairie Queene, Book i. Canto 12. not succeeded so splendidly on other occasions without any
effort at all, or had chosen any other subject than that which the merits of Sir John Moore ;' but as I never exactly discotills the cry of our alehouse politicians, and supplies the gabble vered in what these lay, unless in conducting his advance and of all the quidnuncs in this country,-our depending cam retreat upon a plan the most likely to verify the desponding paigns in Spain and Portugal,-- with the exploits of Lord Wel. speculations of the foresaid reviewers, I must hold myself exlington and the spoliations of the French armies. The nomi cused for not giving praise where I was unable to see that nal subject of the poem, indeed, is the Vision of Don Roderick, much was due."-Scott to Mr. Morritt, Sept. 26, 1811. Life, in the eighth century; but this is obviously a mere prelude to vol. iii. p. 328. the grand piece of our recent battles,-a sort of machinery devised to give dignity and effect to their introduction. In point of fact, the poem begins and ends with Lord Wellington ; and being written for the benefit of the plundered Portuguese, “The Vision of Don Roderick had features of novelty, both and upon a Spanish story, the thing could not well have been
as to the subject and the manner of the composition, which otherwise. The public, at this moment, will listen to nothing, excited much attention, and gave rise to some sharp controabout Spain, but the history of the Spanish war; and the old versy. The main fable was indeed from the most picturesque Gothic king, and the Moors, are considered, we dare say, by region of old romance; but it was made throughout the vehicle Mr. Scott's most impatient readers, as very tedious interlopers of feelings directly adverse to those with which the Whig in the proper business of the piece. .... The Poem hag critics had all along regarded the interference of Britain in scarcely any story, and scarcely any characters; and consists, behalf of the nations of the Peninsula ; and the silence which, in truth, almost entirely of a series of descriptions, inter while celebrating our other generals on that scene of action, mingled with plaudits and execrations. The descriptions are had been preserved with respect to Scott's own gallant counmany of them, very fine, though the style is more turgid and tryman, Sir John Moore, was considered or represented by verbose than in the better parts of Mr. Scott's other produc- them as an odious example of genius hoodwinked by the intions; but the invectives and acclamations are too vehement fluence of party. Nor were there wanting persons who affectand too frequent to be either graceful or impressive. There ed to discover that the charm of Scott's poetry had to a great is no climax or progression to relieve the ear, or stimulate the extent evaporated under the severe test to which he had eximagination. Mr. Scott sets out on the very highest pitch of posed it, by adopting, in place of those comparatively light his voice, and keeps it up to the end of the measure. There and easy measures in which he had hitherto dealt, the most are no grand swells, therefore, or overpowering bursts in his elaborate one that our literature exhibits. The production, song. All, from first to last, is loud, and clamorous, and ob- notwithstanding the complexity of the Spenserian stanza, had trusive,- indiscriminately noisy, and often ineffectually exag been very rapidly executed ; and it shows, accordingly, many gerated. He has fewer new images than in his other poetry traces of negligence. But the patriotic inspiration of it found -his tone is less natural and varied.--and he moves, upon an echo in the vast majority of British hearts; many of the
whole, with a slower and more bus pace."-JEFFREY, ; Whig oracles themselves acknowledged that difficulties Edinburgh Ravicw, 1811.
of the metre had been on the whole successfully overcome; and even the hardest critics were compelled to express un
qualified admiration of various detached pictures and pas"The Edinburgh Reviewers have been down on my poor
sages, which, in truth, as no one now disputes, neither he nor Don hand to fist ; but, truly, as they are too fastidious to ap
any other poet ever excelled. The whole setting or framework
- whatever relates in short to the last of the Goths himselfprove of the campaign, I should be very unreasonable if I expected them to like the celebration of it. I agree with them,
was, I think, even then unanimously pronounced admirablo; however, as to the lumbering weight of the stanza, and I
and no party feeling could blind any man to the heroic splen
dour of such stanzas as those in which the three equally galshrewdly suspect it would require a very great poet indeed to prevent the tedium arising from the recurrence of rhymes.
lant elements of a British army are contrasted."-LOCKHART, Our language is unable to support the expenditure of so many
Lije, vol. iii. p. 319. for each stanza ; even Spenser himself, with all the license of using obsolete words and uncommon spellings, sometimes fatigues the ear. They are also very wroth with me for omitting
1 See Appendix, Editor's Note, T.
Note B. And Cattreath's glens with roice of triumph rung,
Minchmore's haunted spring.-P. 265. And mystic Merlin harp'd, and grey-hair'd Llyrearch
A belief in the existence and nocturnal revels of the fairies sung !-P. 25.
still lingers among the vulgar in Selkirkshire. A copious Tais locality may startle those readers who do not recollect fountain upon the ridge of Minchmore, called the Cheese well, that much of the ancient poetry preserved in Wales refers is supposed to be sacred to these fanciful spirits, and it was less to the history of the Principality to which that name is customary to propitiate them by throwing in something upon now limited, than to events which happened in the north-west passing it. A pin was the usual oblation; and the ceremony of England, and south-west of Scotland, where the Britons is still sometimes practised, though rather in jest than earnest. for a long time made a stand against the Saxons. The battle of Cattreath, lamented by the celebrated Anenrin, is supposed, by the learned Dr. Leyden, to have been fought on the skirts of Ettrick Forest. It is known to the English reader
NOTE C. by the paraphrase of Gray, beginning,
The rude rillager, his labour done, “ Had I but the torrent's might,
In verse spontaneous chants some favour'd name.-P. 263. With headlong rage and wild affright," &c.
The flexibility of the Italian and Spanish languages, and But it is not so generally known that the champions, moured perhaps the liveliness of their genius, renders these countries in this beautiful dirge, were the British inhabitants of Edin- distinguished for the talent of improvvisation, which is found burgh, who were cut off by the Saxons of Deiria, or Northum even among the lowest of the people. It is mentioned by Baberland, about the latter part of the sixth century. – TUR- retti and other travellers. NER's History of the Anglo-Saxons, edition 1799, vol. i. p. 222. Llywarch, the celebrated bard and monarch, was Prince of Argood, in Cumberland; and his youthful exploits were performed upon the Border, although in his age he was driven
Note D. into Powys by the successes of the Anglo-Saxons. As for Merlin Wyllt, or the Sarage, his name of Caledonia, and his
Kindling at the deeds of Grame.-P. 265. retreat into the Caledonian wood, appropriate him to Scotland. Fordun dedicates the thirty-first chapter of the third Over a name sacred for ages to heroic verse, a poet may be book of his Scoto-Chronicon, to a narration of the death of allowed to exercise some power. I have used the freedom, this celebrated bard and prophet near Drumelzier, a village here and elsewhere, to alter the orthography of the name of upon Tweed, which is supposed to have derived its name my gallant countryman, in order to apprize the Southern rea(quasi Tumulus Merlini) from the event. The particular spot der of its legitimate sound;-Grahame being on the other side in which he is buried is still shown, and appears, from the of the Tweed, usually pronounced as a dissyllable. following quotation, to have partaken of his prophetic qualities :-“There is one thing remarkable here, which is, that the burn called Pausayl runs by the east side of this churchyard into the Tweed; at the side of which burn, a little be
NOTE E. low the churchyard, the famous prophet Merlin is said to be buried. The particular place of his grave, at the root of
What! will Don Roderick here till morning stay, a thorn tree, was shown me, many years ago, by the old and reverend minister of the place, Mr. Richard Brown; and here
To rear in shrift and prayer the night away!
And are his hours in such dull penance past, was the old prophecy fulfilled, delivered in Scots rhyme, to this purpose :
For fair Florinda's plunder'd charms to pays-P. 206.
Almost all the Spanish historians, as well as the voice of "When Tweed and Pausayl meet at Merlin's grave, tradition, ascribe the invasion of the Moors to the forcible rioScotland and England shall one Monarch have.' lation committed by Roderick upon Florinda, called by the
Moors, Caba or Cava. She was the daughter of Count Julian, “Por, the same day that our King James the Sixth was one of the Gothic monarch's principal lieutenants, who, when crowned King of England, the river Tweed, by an extraordi the crime was perpetrated, was engaged in the defence of nary flood, so far overflowed its banks, that it met and joined Ceuta against the Moors. In his indignation at the ingratiwith the Pausayl at the said grave, which was never before tude of his sovereign, and the dishonour of his daughter, Count observed to fall out."-PENNYCUICK's Description of Tweed- i Julian forgot the duties of a Christian and a patriot, and, dale. Edin. 1715, iv. p. 26.
forming an alliance with Musa, then the Caliph's lieutenant
id Africa, he countenanced the invasion of Spain by a body of all: four estadoes (i. e. four times a man's height) below it, Saracens and Africans, commanded by the celebrated Turik; there was a cave with a very narrow entrance, and a gate cut the issue of which was the defeat and death of Roderick, and out of the solid rock, lined with a strong covering of iron, and the occupation of almost the whole peninsula by the Moors. fastened with many locks; above the gate some Greek letters Voltaire, in his General History, expresses his doubts of this are engraved, which, although abbreviated, and of doubtful popular story, and Gibbon gives him some countenance; but meaning, were thus interpreted, according to the exposition of the universal tradition is quite sufficient for the purposes of learned men :- The King who opens this cave, and can dispoetry. The Spaniards, in detestation of Florinda's memory, cover the wonders, will discover both good and evil things.'are said, by Cervantes, never to bestow that name upon any | Many Kings desired to know the mystery of this tower, and human female, reserving it for their dogs. Nor is the tradi- sought to find out the manner with much care; but when they tion less inveterate among the Moors, since the same author opened the gate, such a tremendous noise arose in the cave, mentions a promontory on the coast of Barbary, called “The that it appeared as if the earth was bursting; many of those Cape of the Caba Rumia, which, in our tongue, is the Cape of present sickened with fear, and others lost their lives. In order the Wicked Christian Woman; and it is a tradition among to prevent such great perils, (as they supposed a dangerous enthe Moors, that Caba, the daughter of Count Julian, who was chantment was contained within,) they secured the gate with the cause of the loss of Spain, lies buried there, and they think new locks, concluding, that, though a King was destined to it ominous to be forced into that bay; for they never go in open it, the fated time was not yet arrived. At last King otherwise than by necessity,"
Don Rodrigo, led on by his evil fortune and unlucky destiny, opened the tower; and some bold attendants, whom he had brought with him, entered, although agitated with fear. Having proceeded a good way, they ficd back to the entrance, ter
rified with a frightful vision which they had beheld. The NOTE F.
King was greatly moved, and ordered many torches, so con
trived that the tempest in the cave could not extinguish them, And guide me, Priest, to that mysterious room,
to be lighted. Then the King entered, not without fear, before Where, if aught true in old tradition be,
all the others. They discovered, by degrees, a splendid hall, His nation's future fute a Spanish King shall see.--P. 267. apparently built in a very sumptuous manner; in the middle
stood a Bronze Statue of very ferocious appearance, which The transition of an incident from history to tradition, and held a battle-are in its hands. With this he struck the floor from tradition to fable and romance, becoming more marvel riolently, giving it such heavy blows, that the noise in the lous at each step from its original simplicity, is not ill exem cave was occasioned by the motion of the air. The King, plified in the account of the “Fated Chamber" of Don Rode- greatly affrighted and astonished, began to conjure this terririck, as given by his namesake, the historian of Toledo, con ble vision, promising that he would return without doing any trasted with subsequent and more romantic accounts of the injury in the cave, after he had obtained a sight of what was same subterranean discovery. I give the Archbishop of Tole-contained in it. The statue ceased to strike the floor, and the do's tale in the words of Nonius, who seems to intimate, King, with his followers, somewhat assured, and recovering though very modestly,) that the fatale palatium of which so their courage, proceeded into the hall; and on the left of the much had been said, was only the ruins of a Roman amphi- statue they found this inscription on the wall, Unfortunate theatre.
King, thou hast entered here in evil hour.' On the right side "Extra muros, septentrionem versus, vestigia magni olim of the wall these words were inscribed, “By strange nations theatri sparsa visuntur. Auctor est Rodericus, Toletanus thou shalt be dispossessed, and thy subjects foully degraded.' Archiepiscopus ante Arabum in Hispanias irruptionem, hic On the shoulders of the statue other words were written, fatale palatium fuisse; quod invicti vectes æterna ferri robora which said, 'I call upon the Arabs.' And upon his breast was claudebant, ne reseratum Hispaniæ excidium adferret; quod written, *I do my office. At the entrance of the hall there in fatis non vulgus solum, sed et prudentissimi quique crede was placed a round bowl, from which a great noise, like the bant. Sed Roderici ultimi Gothorum Regis animum infelix fall of waters, proceeded. They found no other thing in the curiositas subiit, sciendi quid sub tot vetitis claustris observa- hall: and when the King, sorrowful and greatly affected, lad retur; ingentes ibi superiorum regum opes et arcanos thesau- scarcely turned about to leave the cavern, the statue again ros servari ratus. Seras et pessulos perfringi curat, invitis commenced its accustomed blows upon the floor. After they omnibus; nihil præter arculam repertum, et in ea linteum, had mutually promised to conceal what they had seen, they quo explicato novæ et insolentes hominum facies habitusque again closed the tower, and blocked up the gate of the cavern apparuere, cum inscriptione Latina, Hispaniæ excidium ab with earth, that no memory might remain in the world of illa gente imminere; Vultus habitusque Maurorum erant. such a portentous and evil-boding prodigy. The ensuing midQuamobrem ex Africa tantam cladem instare regi cæterisque night they heard great cries and clamour from the cave, repersuasum ; nec falso ut Hispaniæ annales etiamnum que- sounding like the noise of battle, and the ground shaking runtur."--Hispania Ludovic. Nonij. cap. lix.
with a tremendous roar; the whole edifice of the old tower But, about the term of the expulsion of the Moors from fell to the ground, by which they were greatly affrighted, the Grenada, we find, in the “ Historia Verdadeyra del Rey Don vision which they had beheld appearing to them as a dream. Rodrigo," a (pretended) translation from the Arabic of the “ The King having left the tower, ordered wise men to exsage Alcayde Abulcacim Tarif Abentarique, a legend which plain what the inscriptions signified; and having consulted puts to shame the modesty of the historian Roderick, with his upon and studied their meaning, they declared that the stachest and prophetic picture. The custom of ascribing a pre tue of bronze, with the motion which it made with its battletended Moorish original to these legendary histories, is ridi- axe, signified Time; and that its office, alluded to in the inculed by Cervantes, who affects to translate the flistory of the scription on its breast, was, that he never rests a single moKnight of the Woful Figure, from the Arabic of the sage Cid ment. The words on the shoulders, 'I call upon the Arabs, Hamet Benengeli. As I have been indebted to the Historia they expounded, that, in time, Spain would be conquered by Virdaileyra for some of the imagery employed in the text, the the Arabs. The words upon the left wall signified the defollowing literal translation from the work itself may gratify struction of King Rodrigo; those on the right, the dreadful the inquisitive reader:
calamities which were to fall upon the Spaniards and Goths, “ One mile on the east side of the city of Toledo, among and that the unfortunate King would be dispossessed of all his some rocks, was situated an ancient tower, of a magnificent states. Finally, the letters on the portal indicated, that good structure, though much dilapidated by time, which consumes would betide to the conquerors, and evil to the conquered, of