Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

of sensuality and irregularity, thrown upon the Roman churchmen. The old words of Galashiels, a favourite Scottish air, ran thus:

O the monks of Melrose made gude kale *
On Fridays when they fasted;

They wanted neither beef nor ale,
As long as their neighbour's lasted.

* Kale, Broth.

NOTES

ON

CANTO II.

When silver edges the imagery,

And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die.

[blocks in formation]

The buttresses, ranged along the sides of the ruins of Melrose Abbey, are, according to the Gothic style, richly carved and fretted, containing niches for the statues of saints, and labelled with scrolls, bearing appropriate texts of Scripture. Most of these statues have been demolished.

-St David's ruined pile.-St. I. p. 44.

David the First of Scotland purchased the reputation of sanctity, by founding, and liberally endowing, not only the monastery of Melrose, but those of Kelso, Jedburgh, and many others, which led to the well-known observation of his successor, that he was a sore saint for the crown.

Lands and livings, many a rood,

Had gifted the shrine for their souls' repose.—

St. II. p. 45.

The Buccleuch family were great benefactors to the abbey of Melrose. As early as the reign of Robert II., Robert Scott, baron of Murdieston and Rankelburn (now Buccleuch), gave to the monks the lands of Hinkery, in Ettricke forest, pro salute animæ suæ.-Chartulary of Melrose, 28th May, 1415.

Prayer know I hardly one ;

Save to patter an Ave Mary,

When I ride on a Border foray.-St. VI. p. 47.

The Borderers were, as may be supposed, very ignorant about religious matters. Colville, in his Paranesis, or Admonition, states, that the reformed divines were so far from undertaking distant journies to convert the Heathen, “ as I wold wis at God that ye wold only go bot to the Hielands and Borders of our own realm, to gain our awin countreymen, who, for lack of preching and ministration of the sacraments, must, with tyme, becum either infedells, or atheists." But we learn, from Lesly, that, however deficient in real religion, they regularly told their beads, and never with more zeal than when going on a plundering expedition.

Beneath their feet were the bones of the dead.-St. VII. p. 48. The cloisters were frequently used as places of sepulchre.

An instance occurs in Dryburgh Abbey, where the cloister has an inscription, bearing, Hic jacet frater Archibaldus.

[ocr errors]

So had he seen, in fair Castile,

The youth in glittering squadrons start;

Sudden the flying jennet wheel,

And hurl the unexpected dart.—St. VIII. p. 48.

"By my faith," sayd the Duke of Lancaster, (to a Portuguese squire)" of all the feates of armes that the Castellyans, and they of your countrey doth use, the castynge of their dartes best pleaseth me, and gladly I wolde se it; for as I hear say, if they strike one aryght, without he be well armed, the dart will pierce him thrughe."—" By my fayth, Sir," sayd the squyer, ye say trouth; for I have seen many a grete stroke given with them, which at one time cost us derely, and was to us great displeasure; for at the said skyrmishe, Sir John Laurence of Coygne was striken with a dart in such wise, that the head perced all the plates of his cote of mayle, and a sacke stopped with sylke, and passed thrughe his body, so that he fell down dead."-FROISSART, Vol. II. ch. 44.-This mode of fighting with darts was imitated in the military game called Juego de las canas, which the Spaniards borrowed from their Moorish invaders. A Saracen champion is thus described by Froissart: "Among the Sarazyns, there was a yonge knight called Agadinger Dolyferne; he was always wel mounted on a redy and a lyght horse; it seemed, when the horse ranne, that he did flye in the ayre. The knighte seemed to be a good man

of armes by his dedes; he bare always of usage three fethered dartes, and rychte well he coulde handle them; and, according to their custome, he was clene armed, with a long white towell aboute his heed. His apparell was blacke, and his own colour browne, and a good horseman. The Crysten men say, they thoughte he dyd such deeds of armes for the love of some yonge ladye of his countrey. And true it was, that he loved entirely the king of Thunes' daughter, named the Lady Azala; she was inhery tour to the realme of Thunes, after the discease of the kyng, her father. This Agadinger was sone to the Duke of Olyferne. I can nat telle if they were married together after or nat; but it was shewed me that this knyght, for love of the sayd ladye, during the siege, did many feats of armes. The knyghtes of Fraunce wold fayne have taken hym; but they colde never attrape nor inclose him, his horse was so swyft, and so redy to his hand, that alwaies he escaped."— Vol. II. ch. 71.

Thy low and lonely urn,

O gallant chief of Otterburne.-St. X. p. 50.

The famous and desperate battle of Otterburne was fought 15th August, 1388, betwixt Henry Percy, called Hotspur, and James Earl of Douglas. Both these renowned champions were at the head of a chosen body of troops, and they were rivals in military fame; so that Froissart affirms, "Of all the battaylles and encounteryngs that I have made mencion of here before in all this hystory, great or smalle, this batayle

« ForrigeFortsæt »