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Where Rome, the Empress of the world,
Of yore her eagle wings unfurl'd.
And here his course the Chieftain staid,
Threw down his target and his plaid,
And to the Lowland warrior said :-
“ Bold Saxon! to his promise just,
Vich-Alpine has discharged his trust.

1 The torrent which discharges itself from Loch Vennachar, the lowest and eastmost of the three lakes which form the scenery adjoining to the Trosachs, sweeps through a flat and extensive moor, called Bochastle. Upon a small eminence, called the Dun of Bochastle, and indeed on the plain itself, are some intrenchments, which have been thought Roman. There is, adjacent to Callender, a sweet villa, the residence of Captain Fairfoul, entitled the Roman Camp.

["One of the most entire and beautiful remains of a Roman encampment now to be found in Scotland, is to be seen at Ardoch, near Greenloaning, about six miles to the eastward of Dunblane. This encampment is supposed, on good grounds, to have been constructed during the fourth campaign of Agricola in Britain ; it is 1060 feet in length, and 900 in breadth ; it could contain 26,000 men, according to the ordinary distribution of the Roman soldiers in their encampments. There appears to have been three or four ditches, strongly fortified, surrounding the camp. The four entries crossing the lines are still to be seen distinctly. The general's quarter rises above the level of the camp, but is not exactly in the centre. It is a regular square of twenty yards, enclosed with a stone wall, and containing the foundations of a house, 30 feet by 20. There is a subterraneous communication with a smaller encampment at a little distance, in which several Roman helmets, spears, &c. have been found. From this camp at Ardoch, the great Roman highway runs east to Bertha, about 14 miles distant, where the Roman army is believed to have passed over the Tay into Strathmore."-GRAHAM.]

This murderous Chief, this ruthless man,
This head of a rebellious clan,
Hath led thee safe, through watch and ward,
Far past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard,
Now, man to man, and steel to steel,
A Chieftain's vengeance thou shalt feel,
See here, all vantageless I stand,
Arm'd like thyself, with single brand : 1
For this is Coilantogle ford,
And thou must keep thee with thy sword.”—

XIII. The Saxon paused :"I ne'er delay'd, When foeman bade me draw my blade; Nay, more, brave Chief, I vowed thy death : Yet sure thy fair and generous faith, And my deep debt for life preserved, A better meed have well deserved ; Can nought but blood our feud atone ? Are there no means ?"_"No, Stranger, none ! And here,-to fire thy flagging zeal,The Saxon cause rests on thy steel; For thus spoke Fate, by prophet bred Between the living and the dead; • Who spills the foremost foeman's life, His party conquers in the strife."" “ Then, by my word,” the Saxon said,

The riddle is already read.

[See Appendix, Note N.]

Seek yonder brake beneath the cliff,--
There lies Red Murdoch, stark and stiti.
Thus Fate has solved her prophecy,
Then yield to Fate, and not to me.
To James, at Stirling, let us go,
When, if thou wilt be still his foe,
Or if the King shall not agree
To grant thee grace and favour free,
I plight mine honour, oath, and word,
That to thy native strengths restored,
With each advantage shalt thou stand,
That aids thee now to guard thy land.”

XIV. Dark lightning flashed from Roderick's eye“Soars thy presumption, then, so high, Because a wretched kern ye slew, Homage to name of Roderick Dhu? He yields not, he, to man nor Fate ! 2 Thou add'st but fuel to

my

hate :-
My clansman's blood demands revenge.
Not yet prepared ?-By heaven, I change
My thought, and hold thy valour light
As that of some vain carpet knight,
Who ill deserved my courteous care,
And whose best boast is but to wear
A braid of his fair lady's hair.”.

[MS.--"In lightning flash'd the Chief's dark eye."} * [MS.— He stoops not, he, to James nor Fate."]

VIII.

-" I thank thee, Roderick, for the word !
It nerves my heart, it steels my sword;
For I have sworn this braid to stain
In the best blood that warms thy vein.
Now, truce, farewell! and, ruth, begone !
Yet think not that by thee alone,
Proud Chief! can courtesy be shown;
Though not from copse, or heath, or cairn,
Start at my whistle clansmen stern,
Of this small horn one feeble blast
Would fearful odds against thee cast.
But fear not-doubt not—which thou wilt
We try this quarrel hilt to hilt.”
Then each at once his falchion drew,
Each on the ground his scabbard threw,
Each look'd to sun, and stream, and plain,
As what they ne'er might see again ;
Then foot, and point, and eye opposed,
In dubious strife they darkly closed.?

1 [" The two principal figures are contrasted with uncommon felicity. Fitz-James, who more nearly resembles the French Henry the Fourth than the Scottish James V., is gay, amorous, fickle, intrepid, impetuous, affectionate, courteous, graceful, and dignified. Roderick is gloomy, vindictive, arrogant, undaunted, but constant in his affections, and true to his engagements; and the whole passage in which these personages are placed in opposition, from their first meeting to their final conflict, is conceived and written with a sublimity which has been carely equalled."--Quarterly Review, 1810.]

1

XV.
Ill fared it then with Roderick Dhu,
That on the field his targe he threw,
Whose brazen studs and tough bull-hide
Had death so often dash'd aside ;
For, train'd abroad his arms to wield,
Fitz-James's blade was sword and shield.”

1 A round target of light wood, covered with strong leather and studded with brass or iron, was a necessary part of a Highlander's equipment. In charging regular troops, they received the thrust of the bayonet in this buckler, twisted it aside, and used the broadsword against the encumbered soldier. In the civil war of 1745, most of the front rank of the clans were thus armed : and Captain Grose informs us, that in 1747, the privates of the 42d regiment, then in Flanders, were for the most part permitted to carry targets.Military Antiquities, vol. i. p. 164. A person thus armed had a considerable advantage in private fray. Among verses between Swift and Sheridan, lately published by Dr Barret, there is an account of such an encounter, in which the circumstances, and consequently the relative superiority of the combatants, are precisely the reverse of those in the text:

"A Highlander once fought a Frenchman at Margate.
The weapons, a rapier, a backsword, and target;
Brisk Monsieur advanced as fast as he could,
But all his fine pushes were caught in the wood,
And Sawney, with backsword, did slash him and nick him,
While t'other, enraged that he could not once prick him,
Cried, 'Sirrah, you rascal, you son of a whore,

Me will fight you, be gar ! if you'll come from your door." 2 The use of defensive armour, and particularly of the buckler, or target, was general in Queen Elizabeth's time although that of the single rapier seems to have been occasionally practised much earlier.3 Rowland Yorke, however, who betrayed the fort

& See Douce's Illustrations of Shakspeare, vol. ii. p. 61.

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