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 de 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 --Lercourne. This more detailed genealogy of the family of we drew near, changed its figure, and prored 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 castle, that they bear the name of the Castle Rocks of St. John."-HUTCHINSON'S Excursion to the Lakes, p. 121.


He pass'd red Pinrith'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, inat ine enclosure was designed for the solemn exercise of feats of chivalry, and the embankment around for the convenience of the spectators.

The power of Chiralry.
There Galaad sate with manly grace,
Yet maiden meekness in his face ;
There asoroll of the iron mace,

And love-lorn Tristrem (here.-P. 383.


The characters named in the stanza are all of them more on 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.
“ Soe did Sir Banier, and Sir Bore,

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

To the forest fresh and greene."

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 bill, 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 whoic appears to be a monument of Druidical times.

Note G.

Lancelot, that ever more
Note E.

Look'd stolen-wise on the Queen.-P. 385.
The Monarch, 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 toncer nor donjon could he spy,

thing sufficiently apparent that she (Guenever, wife of King Darkening against the morning sky.-P. 334.

Arthur,) was bcautiful, 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 Valo of St. John's, a

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

But ret the truth of the historie pluckes me by the enre, and small brook makes many meanderings, washing little enclo

willeth not onely, but commandeth me to declare what the sures of grass-ground, which stretch up the rising of the hills. In the widest part of the dale you are struck with the appear- great authoritie were indeede unto mei a controversie, and

ancients have deemed of her. To wrestle or contend with so ance of an ancient ruined castle, which seems to stand upon the summit of a little mount, the mountains around forming that greate." — Assertion (j' King Arthure. Imprinted ly John

Wolfe, London, 1582. an amphitheatre. This massive bulwark shows a front of rarious 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 soused, and he prepares to

NOTE H. make a nearer approach, when that curiosity is put upon the rack, by his being assured, that, if he adrances, certain genii

There were tiro ocho lored their neighbour's vives, who govern the place, by virtue of their supernatural art and

And one who loved his own.-P. 346. necromancy, will strip it ot all its beauties, and by enchantment, transform the magic walls. The vale seems adapted " In our forefathers' tymc, when I'apistrie, as a standyng fur the habitation of such beings; its gloomy recesses and re- poole, covered and overtowed all Engiund, fese books were

read in our tongue, sarying certaine bookcs of chevalrle, 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 ; Sir made in the monasteries, by idle monks or wanton chanons. 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; ot 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."-ASCHAN'S Schoolmaster. any quarrell, 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 comThe 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 1815.1 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 renor music seemed to disturb him.

.commended to me the subject for “ The Lay of the Last Minstrel," and to whom I proposed to inseribe 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 his trifling work, were affected by a circumstanco 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 Iu 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 compositiou. “ Waverley” had, under strict thought of with more enthusiasm than the writer. incognito, taken its flight from the press, just beforo

| 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 Annnal 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 3 Harriet, Duchess of Buccleuch, died 24th August 1814. of the copy right, while the other moiety was retained by the Sir Walter Scott received the mournful intelligence while author."-Lift, 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 his 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 orisomething 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.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »