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press-people; and the mystification, aided and abetted by Erskine, in no small degree heightened the interest of its reception.
Scott says, in the Introduction to the Lord of the Isles, “As Mr. Erskine was more than suspected of a taste for poetry, and as I took care, in several places, to mix something that might resemble (as far as was in my power) my friend's feeling and manner, the train easily caught, and two large editions were sold.” Among the passages to which he here alludes, are no doubt those in which the character of the minstrel Arthur is shaded with the colorings of an almost effeminate gentleness. Yet, in the midst of them, the “mighty minstrel" himself, from time to time, escapes; as, for instance, where the lover bids Lucy, in that exquisite picture of crossing a mountain stream, trust to his " stalwart arm,"
But, above all, the choice of the scenery, both of the Introductions and of the story itself, reveals the early and treasured predilections of the poet.
As a whole, the Bridal of Triermain appears to me as characteristic of Scott as any of his larger poems. His genius pervades and animates it beneath a thin and playful veil, which perhaps adds as much of grace as it takes away of splendor. As Wordsworth says of the eclipse on the lake of Lugano
" 'Tis sunlight sheathed and gently charm'd;"
“Which could yon oak's prone trunk aprear."
and I think there is at once a lightness and a polish of versification beyond what he has elsewhere attained. If it be a miniature, it is such a one as a Cooper might have hung fearlessly beside the masterpieces of Vandyke.
The Introductions contain some of the most exquisite passages he ever produced ; but their general effect has always struck me as unfortunate. No art can reconcile is to contemptuous satire of the merest frivolities of modern life--some of them already, in twenty years, grown obsolete-interlaid between such bright visions of the old world of romance, whert
“ Strength was gigantic, valor high,
And wisdom soar'd beyond the sky,
| Mortimer, which said Elizabeth was daughter of Edward Mor
timer, third Earl of Marche, by Philippa, sole daughter and Like Collins, thread the maze of Fairy-land.-P. 383.
heiress of Lionel, Duke of Clarence. Collins, according to Johnson, “ by indulging some pecu- The third in descent from the above-mentioned John Richliar habits of thought, was eminently delighted with those mond, became the representative of the families of Vaux, of flights of imagination which pass the bounds of nature, and to Triermain, Caterlen, and Torcrossock, by his marriage with which the mind is reconciled only by a passive acquiescence Mabel de Vaux, the heiress of them. His grandson, Henry in popular traditions. He loved fairies, genii, giants, and mon- Richmond, died without issue, leaving five sisters co-heiresses, sters; he delighted to rove through the meanders of enchant- four of whom married ; but Margaret, who married William ment, to gaze on the magnificence of golden palaces, to repose Gale, Esq., of Whitehaven, was the only one who had male by the waterfalls of Elysian gardens."
issue surviving. She had a son, and a daughter married to Henry Curwen of Workington, Esq., who represented the county of Cumberland for many years in Parliament, and by her had
a daughter married to John Christian, Esq. (now Curwen). NOTE B.
John, son and heir of William Gale, married Sarah, daughter
and heiress of Christopher Wilson of Bardsea Hall, in the The Baron of Triermain.-P. 383.
county of Lancaster, by Margaret, aunt and co-heiress of ThomTriermain was a fief of the Barony of Gilsland, in Cumber- as Braddyl, Esq., of Braddyl, and Conishead Priory in the land : it was possessed by a Saxon family at the time of the same county, and had issue four sons and two daughters. Ist, Conquest, but, “after the death of Gilmore, Lord of Tryer-William Wilson, died an infant; 21, Wilson, who, upon the maine and Torcrossock, Hubert Vaux gave Tryermaine and death of his cousin, Thomas Braddyl, without issue, succeeded Torcrossock to his second son, Ranulph Vaux; which Ra- to his estates, and took the name of Braddyl, in pursuance of nulph afterwards became heir to his elder brother Robert, the his will, by the King's sign-manual ; 3d, William, died young; founder of Lanercost, who died without issue. Ranulph, be- and, 4th, Henry Richmond, a lieutenant-general of the army, ing Lord of all Glisland, gave Gilmore's lands to his younger married Sarah, daughter of the Rev. R. Baldwin ; Margaret son, named Roland, and let the Barony descend to his eldest married Richard Greaves Townley, Esq., of Fulbourne, in the son Robert, son of Ranulph. Roland bad issue Alexander, county of Cambridge, and of Bellfield, in the county of Lanand he Ranulph, after whom succeeded Robert, and they were caster : Sarah married to George Bigland of Bigland Hall, in named Rolands successively, that were lords thereof, until the the same county Wilson Braddyl, eldest son of John Gale, reign of Edward the Fourth. That house gave for arms, Vert, and grandson of Margaret Richmond, married Jane, daughter a bend dexter, chequy, or and gules," -Burn's Antiquities and heiress of Matthias Gale, Esq., of Catgill Hall, in the of Westmoreland and Cumberland, vol. ii. p. 482.
county of Cumberland, by Jane, daughter and heiress of the This branch of Vaux, with its collateral alliances, is now Rev. S. Bennet, D. D.; and, as the eldest surviving male represented by the family of Braddyl of Conishead Priory, in branch of the families above mentioned, he quarters, in addithe county palatine of Lancaster; for it appears that about tion to his own, their paternal coats in the following order, as the time above mentioned, the house of Triermain was united appears by the records in the College of Arms. Ist, Argent, to its kindred family Vaux of Caterlen, and, by marriage with a fess azure, between 3 saltiers of the same, charged with an the heiress of Delamore and Leybourne, became the represen anchor between 2 lions' heads erased, or,-Gale. 20, Or, ? tative of those ancient and noble families. The male line bars gemelles gules, and a chief or,-Richmond. 3d, Or, a failing in John De Vaux, about the year 1665, his daughter and fess chequey, or and gules between 9 gerbes gules,-Vaux of heiress, Mabel, married Christopher Richmond, Esq., of High- Caterlen. 4th, Gules, a fess chequey, or and gules between head Castle, in the county of Cumberland, descended from 6 gerbes or,-Vaux of Torcrossock. 5th, Argent (not vert, as an ancient family of that name, Lords of Corby Castle, in the stated by Barn), a bend chequey, or and gules, for Vaux of same county, soon after the Conquest, and which they alien- Triermain. 6th, Gules, a cross patonce, or,--Delamore. 7th, ated about the 15th of Edward the Second, to Andrea de Gules, 6 lions rampant argent, 3, 2, and 1,--Leybourne. This Harcla, Earl of Carlisle. Of this family was Sir Thomas de more detailed genealogy of the family of Triermain was obliRaigemont (miles auratus), in the reign of King Edward the gingly sent to the author by Major Braddyll of Conishead First, who appears to have greatly distinguished himself at the Priory. siege of Kaerlaveroc, with William, Baron of Leyboume. In an ancient heraldic poem, now extant, and preserved in the British Museum, describing that siege, his arms are stated to be, Or; 2 Bars Gemelles Gules, and a chief Or, the same borne
NOTE C. by his descendants at the present day. The Richmonds removed to their castle of Highhead in the reign of Henry the
He pass'd red Penrith's Table Round.-P. 385. Eighth, when the then representative of the family married A circular intrenchment, about half a mile from Penrith, is Margaret; daughter of Sir Hugh Lowther, by the Lady Doro- thus popularly termed. The circle within the ditch is about thy de Clifford, only child by a second marriage of Henry Lord one hundred and sixty paces in circumference, with openings, Clifford, great-grandson of John Lord Clifford, by Elizabeth or approaches, directly opposite to each other. As the ditch Percy, daughter of Henry (surnamed Hotspur), by Elizabeth is on the inner side, it could not be intended for the purpose of
1 This Poom has been recently edited by Sir Nicolas Harris Nicholas, defence, and it has reasonably been conjectured, that the en1833.
| closure was designed for the solemn exercise of feats of chiv
Darkening against the morning sky.—P. 390. -"We now gained a view of the Vale of St. John's, a very narrow dell, hemmed in by mountains, through which a small brook makes many meanderings, washing little enclosures of grass-ground, which stretch up the rising of the hills. In the widest part of the dale you are strack with the appearance of an ancient ruined castle, which seems to stand upon the summit of a little mount, the mountains around forming an amphitheatre. This massive bulwark shows a front of various towers, and makes an awful, rude, and Gothic appear ance, with its lofty turrets and ragged battlements; we traced the galleries, the bending arches, the buttresses. The greatest antiquity stands characterized in its architecture ; the inhabitants near it assert it as an antedilavian structure.
The traveller's curiosity is roused, and he prepares to make a nearer approach, when that curiosity is put upon the rack, by his being assured, that, if he advances, certain genii who govern the place, by virtue of their supernatural art and necromancy, will strip it of all its beauties, and, by enchantment, transform the magic walls. The vale seems adapted for the habitation of such beings; its gloomy recesses and retirements look like haunts of evil spirits. There was no delasion in the report ; we were soon convinced of its truth; for this piece of antiquity, so venerable and noble in its aspect, as we drew near, changed its figure, and proved no other than a shaken massive pile of rocks, which stand in the midst of this 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."--HUTCHINsos's Excursion to the Lakes, p. 121.
Look'd stolen-wise on the Queen.-P. 391. Upon this delicate subject hear Richard Robinson, citizen of London, in his Assertion of King Arthur :-“But as it is a thing sufficiently apparent that she (Guenever, wife of King Arthur) was beautiful, so it is a thing doubted whether she was chaste, yea or no. Truly, so far as I can with honestie, I would spare the impayred honour and fame of noble women. But yet the truth of the historie pluckes me by the eare, and willeth not onely, but commandeth me to declare what the ancients have deemed of her. To wrestle or contend with so great authoritie were indeede unto mei a controversie, and that greate."'-Assertion of King Arthure. Imprinted by John Wolfe, London, 1582.
And one who loved his own.-P. 392. “In our forefathers' tyme, when Papistrie, as a standyng poole, covered and overflowed all England, fewe books were read in our tongue, savying certaine bookes of chevalrie, as they said, for pastime and pleasure ; which, as some say, were made in the monasteries, by idle monks or wanton chanons. As one, for example, La Morte d'Arthure; the whole pleasure of which book standeth in two speciall poynts, in open manslaughter and bold bawdrye; in which booke they be counted the noblest knightes that do kill most men without any quarrell, and commit fowlest adoulteries by sutlest shiftes; as Sir Launcelot, with the wife of King Arthur, his master: Sir Tristram, with the wife of King Marke, his uncle: Sir Lamerocke, with the wife of King Lote, that was his own aunt. This is good stuffe for wise men to laugh at; or honest men to take pleasure at: yet I know when God's Bible was banished the Court, and La Morte d'Arthure received into the Prince's chamber."-ASCHAM's Schoolmaster.
Note F. The flower of Chivalry. There Galaad sate with manly grace, Yet maiden meekness in his face;
The Lord of the Isles:
A POEM, IN SIX CANTOS.
NOTICE TO EDITION 1883. of striving against wind and tide, made the task of
composing the proposed Poem somewhat heary THE composition of “The Lord of the Isles," as and hopeless; but, like the prize-fighter in “ As We now have it in the Author's MS., seems to have You Like it," I was to wrestle for my reputation, been begun at Abbotsford, in the autumn of 1814, and not neglect any advantage. In a most agreeand it ended at Edinburgh the 16th of December. able pleasure-voyage, which I have tried to comSome part of Canto I. had probably been com memorate in the Introduction to the new edition mitted to writing in a rougher form earlier in the of the “Pirate," I visited, in social and friendly year. The original quarto appeared on the 2d of company, the coasts and islands of Scotland, and January, 1815.
made myself acquainted with the localities of which It may be mentioned, that those parts of this I meant to treat. But this voyage, which was in Poem which were written at Abbotsford, were every other effect so delightful, was in its conclu. composed almost all in the presence of Sir Walter sion saddened by one of those strokes of fate which Scott's family, and many in that of casual visitors so often mingle themselves with our pleasures. also: the original cottage which he then occupied The accomplished and excellent person who had not affording him any means of retirement. Nei- recommended to me the subject for * The Lay of ther conversation nor music seemed to disturb him. the Last Minstrel," and to whom I proposed to in
scribe what I already suspected might be the close of my poetical labors, yas unexpectedly removed
from the world, which she seemed only to have INTRODUCTION TO EDITION 1833. visited for purposes of kindness and benevolence.
It is needless to say how the author's feelings, or I could hardly have chosen a subject more pop- the composition of his trifling work, were affected ular in Scotland, than any thing connected with by a circumstance which occasioned so many tears the Bruce's history, unless I had attempted that and so much sorrow. True it is, that " The Lord of Wallace. But I am decidedly of opinion, that a . of the Isles" was concluded, unwillingly and in popular, or what is called a taking title, though haste, under the painful feeling of one who has a well qualified to ensure the publishers against loss, task which must be finished, rather than with the and clear their shelves of the original impression, ardor of one who endeavors to perform that task is rather apt to be hazardous than otherwise to the well. Although the Poem cannot be said to have reputation of the author. He who attempts a sub made a favorable impression on the public, the sale ject of distinguished popularity, has not the privi- / of fifteen thousand copies enabled the author to lege of awakening the enthusiasm of his audience; retreat from the field with the honors of war, on the contrary, it is already awakened, and glows, In the mean time, what was necessarily to be it may be, more ardently than that of the author considered as a failure, was much reconciled to my himself. In this case, the warmth of the author is feelings by the success attending my attempt in inferior to that of the party whom he addresses, another species of composition. “Waverley had, who has, therefore, little chance of being, in Bayes's under strict incognito, taken its flight from the phrase, “elevated and surprised” by what he bas press, just before I set out upon the voyage already thought of with more enthusiasm than the writer. / mentioned ; it had now made its way to popularity, The sense of this risk, joined to the consciousness and the success of that work and the volumes
1 Published by Archibald Constable and Co., £2 2s.
visiting the Giant's Causeway, and immediately returned home.
? Sir Walter Scott's Journal of this voyage, some fragments of which were printed in the Edinburgh Annual Register for 1814, is now given entire in his Life by Lockhart, vol. iv. chap 28–39.
3 Harriet, Duchess of Buccleuch, died 24th August, 1814. Sir Walter Scott received the mournful intelligence while
4 " As Scott passed through Edinburgh on his return from iss voyage, the negotiation as to the Lord of the Isles, which had been protracted through several months, was completedConstable agreeing to give fifteen hundred guineas for one-ball of the copyright, while the other moiety was retained by the anthor."'-Life, vol. iv. p. 394.
which followed, was sufficient to have satisfied a to be that of a rude minstrel or Scald, in opposigreater appetite for applause than I have at any tion to the “ Bridal of Triermain," which was detime possessed.
signed to belong rather to the Italian school. This I may as well add in this place, that, being new fugitive piece was called “Harold the Dauntmuch urged by my intimate friend, now unhappily less ;"and I am still astonished at my having no more, William Erskine (a Scottish judge, by committed the gross error of selecting the very the title of Lord Kinedder), I agreed to write the name which Lord Byron had made so famous. It little romantic tale called the “Bridal of Trier encountered rather an odd fate. My ingenious main," but it was on the condition, that he should friend, Mr. James Hogg, had published about the make no serious effort to disown the composition, same time, a work called the “ Poetic Mirror," conif report should lay it at his door. As he was taining imitations of the principal living poets. more than suspected of a taste for poetry, and as There was in it a very good imitation of my own I took care, in several places, to mix something style, which bore such a resemblance to “Harold which might resemble (as far as was in my power) the Dauntless," that there was no discovering the my friend's feeling and manner, the train easily original from the imitation; and I believe that caught, and two large editions were sold. A third many who took the trouble of thinking upon the being called for, Lord Kinedder became unwilling subject, were rather of opinion that my ingenious to aid any longer a deception which was going far- friend was the true, and not the fictitious Simon ther than he expected or desired, and the real au- | Pure. Since this period, which was in the year thor's name was given. Upon another occasion, I 1817, the Author has not been an intruder on the sent up another of these trifles, which, like school- public by any poetical work of importance. boys' kites, served to show how the wind of popu
W. S. lar taste was setting. The manner was supposed ABBOTSFORD, April, 1830.
1 The first edition of Waverley appeared in July, 1814. 3 “ Harold the Dauntless'' was first published in a small / 2mo volume, January, 1817.
Mr. Hogg's “Poetic Mirror” appeared in October, 1816.