Page images

"They do, by heaven !-Come Roderick Dhu, It smiles upon the dreary brow of night, And of his clan the boldest two,

And silvers o'er the torrent's foaming tide, And let me but till morning rest,

And lights the fearful path on mountain side;I write the falsehood on their crest."

Fair as that beam, although the fairest far, * If by the blaze I mark aright,

Giving to horror grace, to danger pride, Thou bear'st the belt and spur of Knight."

Shine martial Faith, and Courtesy's bright star, "Then by these tokens mayest thou know

Through all the wreckful storms that cloud the Each proud oppressor's mortal foe.”—

brow of War. "Enough, enough : sit down and share

A soldier's couch, a soldier's fare."

That early beam, so fair and sheen,

Was twinkling through the hazel screen,
He gave him of his Highland cheer,

When, rousing at its glimmer red, The harden'd Hesh of mountain deer ;*

The warriors left their lowly bed, Dry fuel on the fire he laid,

Look'd out upon the dappled sky, And bade the Saxon share his plaid.

Mutter'd their soldier matins by, He tended him like welcome guest,

And then awaked their fire, to steal, Then thus his further speech address'd.

As short and rude, their soldier meal. “Stranger, I am to Roderick Dhu

That o'er, the Gaels around him threw A clansman born, a kinsman true;

His graceful plaid of varied hue, Each word against his honour spoke,

And, true to promise, led the way, Demands of me avenging stroke;

By thicket green and mountain gray. Yet more, -upon thy fate, 'tis said,

A wildering path!--they winded now A mighty augury is laid.

Along the precipice's brow, It rests with me to wind my horn,

Commanding the rich scenes beneath, Thou art with numbers overborne ;

The windings of the Forth and Teith, It rests with me, here brand to brand,

And all the vales between that lie, Worn as thou art, to bid thee stand :

Till Stirling's turrets melt in sky; But, not for clan, nor kindred's cause,

Then, sunk in copse, their farthest glance Will I depart from honour's laws;

Gain'd not the length of horseman's lance. To assail a wearied man were shame,

'Twas oft so steep, the foot was fain And stranger is a holy name;

Assistance from the hand to gain; Guidance and rest, and food and fire,

So tangled oft, that, bursting through, In vain he never must require.

Each hawthorn shed her showers of dew,Then rest thee here till dawn of day;

That diamond dew, so pure and clear, Myself will guide thee on the way,

It rivals all but Beauty's tear!
O'er stock and stone, through watch and ward,

Till past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard,
As far as Coilantogle's ford;

At length they came where, stern and sleep, From thence thy warrant is thy sword.”

The hill sinks down upon the deep. "I take thy courtesy, by Heaven,

Here Vennachar in silver flows, As freely as 'tis nobly given !"

There, ridge on ridge, Benledi rose; * Well, rest thee; for the bittern's cry

Ever the hollow path twined on, Sings us the lake's wild lullaby;

Beneath steep bank and threatening stone; With that he shook the gather'd heath,

A hundred men might hold the post And spread his plaid upon the wreath;

With hardihood against a host. And the brave foemen, side by side,

The rugged mountain's scanty cloak, Lay peaceful down like brothers tried,

Was dwarfish shrubs of birch and oak, And slept until the dawning beamt

With shingles bare, and cliffs between,
Purpled the mountain and the stream.

And patches bright of bracken green,
And heather black, that waved so high,

It held the copse in rivalry.

But where the lake slept deep and still,

Dank osiers fringed the swamp and hill;

And oft both path and hill were torn,

Where wintry torrents down had borne,
Fair as the earliest beam of eastern light, And heap'd upon the cumber'd land

When first, by the bewilder'd pilgrim spied, Its wreck of gravel, rocks, and sand. * The Scottish Highlandery, in former timer, had a concise ensemble, et le jecte dessus, et le frote sus bien fort, puis le couppe mode of cooking their venison, or rather of dispensing with a moytie, et en donne a Claudius l'une des pieces, et puis mort en cooking it, which appears greatly to have surprised the French, l'autre aussi sa uoureusement quil est aduis que il en feise la poul whom chance made acquainted with it. The Vidame of Charters, dre voller. Quant Claudius veit quil le mangeoit de tel goust, u wben a hostage in England, during the reign of Edward VI., was en print grant faim, et commence a manger tresvoulentiers, et permitted to travel into Scotland, and penetrated as far as to the dist a Estonne : Par l'ame de moy, je ne mangeay oncquesas remote Highlands (au in fond des Sauvages.) After a great de chair atournee de telle guise : mais doresenauant ie ne me te hunting party, at which a most wonderful quantity of game was loumeroye pas hors de mon chemin par

auoir la cujte. Sire, dist destroyed, he saw these Scottish sarages devour a part of their Estonne, quant is suis en desers d'Escosse, dont le suis seigneur venison raw, without any further preparation than compressing it ie chevaucheray huit jours ou quinze que je n'entreray en chastel between two batons of wood, so as to force out the blood, and ne en maison, et si ne verray feu ne personne viuant fons que render it extremely hard. This they reckoned a great delicacy; bestes sauuages, et de celles mangeray atournees en ceste ma and when the Vidame partook of it, his compliance with their niere, et mieulx me plaira que la viande de l'empereur. Ainsi taste rendered him extremely popular. This curious trait of man sen vont mangeant et cheuauchant iusques adonc quilz arriverent ners will communicated by Mong de Montmorency, a great friend sur une moult belle fontaine qui estoit en vne valee Quant Es of the Villame, to Brantome, by whom it is recorded in Vies des tonne la vit il dist a Claudius, allons boire a ceste fontaine. Of Hommes Ilustres, Discours, lxxxix. art. 14. The process by

beuuony, dist Estonne. du boire que le grant dieu a pour which the raw venison wag rendered eatable is described very toutes gens, et que me plaist mieulx que les ceruoises d'Angle minutely in the romance of Perceforest, where Estonne, a Scot terre." --- La Treselegante flystoire du tresnoble Roy Partea tish knight errant, having slain a deer, says to his companion forest. Paris, 1531, Tol. tome i. fol. lv. vers. Claudius :-“ Sire, or mangerez vous et moy aussi. Voire si nous Afler all, it may be doubled whether la chaire nostree, for 60 auions de feu dit Claudius. Par l'ame de mon pere, dist Estonne, the French called the venison thus summarily prepared, was any ie vous atormeray et cuiray a la maniere de nostre pays comme thing more than a mere rude kind of dear-ham. pour cheualier errant. Lors tira son espee, et sen vint a la branche dung arbre, et y fait vng grant trou, et puis fend la branche

+ (MS.-"And slept until the dawning streak bien deux piedx, et boute, la cuisse du cerf entredeux, et pus

Purpled the mountain and the lake.") prent le licol de son cheval, et en lye la brunche, et destraint si

: (MS.-"And lights the fearful way along its side." fort, que le sang et les humeurs de la chairsaillent hors, et de

Ś The Scottish Highlander calls himself Gael, or Gaul, and

terms the Lowlanders, Sassenach, or Saxons. meure la chair doulce et seiche. Lors prent la chair, et oste jus le cuir, et la chaire demeure aussi blanche comme si ce feust dung

8 (MS.-"At length they paced the mountain's side chappon. Dont dist a Claudius, Sire, ie la vous ay cuiste a la

And saw beneath the waters wide.") guise de mon pays, vous en pouez manger hardyement, car je 1 (MS.-" The rugged mountain's stunted screen mangeray premier. Lors met sa main a sa selle en eng lieu quil v auoit, et tire hors sel et poudre de poiure et gingembre, mesle

Was dwarfish { obrubs

} with cliffe between."

So toilsome was the road to trace,

VI. The guide, abating of his pace,

Wrothful at such arraignment foul,
Led slowly through the pass's jaws,

Dark lower'd the clansman's sable scowl.
And ask'd Fitz-James, by what strange cause A space he paused, then sternly said,
He sought these wilds? traversed by few,

"And heard'st thou why he drew his blade ? Without a pass from Roderick Dhu.

Heard'st thou that shameful word and blow

Brought Roderick's vengeance on his foe?

What reck'd the Chieftain if he stood "Brave Gael, my pass, in danger tried,

On Highland heath, or Holy-Rood ? Hangs in my belt, and by my side;

He rights such wrong where it is given, : Yet, sooth to tell," the Saxon said,

If it were in the court of heaven." "I dreamt not now to claim its aid.*

“Still was it outrage ;-yet, 'tis true, When here, but three days since, I came,


then claim'd sovereignty his due ; Bewilder'd in pursuit of game,

While Albany, with feeble hand, All seem'd as peaceful and as still,

Held borrow'd truncheon of command, As the mist slumbering on yon hill;

The young King, mew'd in Stirling tower, Thy dangerous Chief was then afar,

Was stranger to respect and power.ll Nor soon expected back from war.

But then, thy Chieftain's robber life! Thus said, at least, my mountain-guide.

Winning mean prey by causeless strife, Though deep perchance the villain lied.

Wrenching from ruin'd Lowland swain "Yet why a second venture try?"

His herds and harvest rear'd in vain.-"A warrior thou, and ask me why!

Methinks a soul, like thine, should scorn Moves our free course by such fix'd cause,

The spoils from such foul foray borne." As gives the poor mechanic laws ?

VII. Enough, I sought to drive away

The Gael beheld him grim the while, The lazy hours of peaceful day;

And answer'd with disdainful smile, Slight cause will then suffice to guide

"Saxon, from yonder mountain high, A Knight's free footsteps far and wide, --

I mark'd thee send delighted eye, A falcon flown, a greyhound stray'd,

Far to the south and east, where lay, The merry glance of mountain maid.

Extended in succession gay, Or, if a path be dangerous known,

Deep waving fields and pastures green, The danger's self is lure alone."

With gentle slopes and groves between :

These fertile plains, that soften'd vale,

Were once the birthright of the Gael ; * Thy secret keep, I urge thee not;

The stranger came with iron hand, Yet , ere again ye sought this spot,

And from our fathers reft the land. Say, heard ye naught of Lowland war,

Where dwell we now! See, rudely swell Against Clan-Alpine, rais'd by Mar ?"

Crag over crag, and fell o'er fell. -"No, by my word ;--of bands prepared

Ask we this savage hill we tread, To guard King James's sports I heard ;

For fatten'd steer or household bread; Nor doubt I anght, but, when they hear

Ask we for flocks these shingles dry, This muster of the mountaineer,

And well the mountain might reply, — Their pennons will abroad be flung,

* To you, as to your sires of yore, Which else in Doune had peaceful hung."-S Belong the target and claymore! * Free be they flung ! for we were loath

I give you shelter in my breast, Their silken folds should feast the moth.

Your own good blades must win the rest. Free be they flung !-as free shall wave

Pent in this fortress of the North, Clan-Alpine's pine in banner brave.

Think'st thou we will not sally forth, But, Stranger, peaceful since you came,

To spoil the spoiler as we may, Bewilder'd in the mountain game,

And from the robber rend the prey ? Whence the bold boast by which you show Ay, by my soul !-While on yon plain Vich-Alpine's vow'd and mortal foe ?" —

The Saxon rears one shock of grain ; "Warrior, but yester-morn, I knew

While, of ten thousand herds, there strays Naught of thy Chieftain, Roderick Dhu,

But one along yon river's maze, Save as an outlaw'd desperate man,

The Gael, of plain and river heir, The chief of a rebellious clan,

Shall, with strong hand, redeem his share. Who, in the Regent's court and sight,

Where live the mountain Chiefs who hold, With ruffian dagger stabb'd a knight:

That plundering Lowland field and fold Yet this alone might from his part

Is aught but retribution true ? Sever each true and loyal heart.”

Seek other cause 'gainst Roderick Dhu."--T * (M8--"I dreamed not now to draw my blade."')

Foes to the gentler genius of the plain ; * (MS.-"My errant footsteps

For where unwearied sinews must be found,
A knight's bold wanderings } far and wide."

With side-long plough to quell the flinty ground; : [MS.-" Thy secret keep, I ask it not."),

To turn the torrent's swift descending flood (M8.-" Which else in hall had peaceful bung.")

To tame the savage rushing from the wood; There is scarcely a more disorderly period in Scottish histo What wonder if, to patient valour train'd, ty than that which succeeded the battle

of Flodden, and occu. They guard with spirit what by strength they gain'd; pied the minority of James V. Feuds of ancient standing broke And while their rocky ramparts found they see at like old wounds, and every quarrel among the independent The rough abode of want and liberty, katility, which occurred daily. and almost hourly,, gave rise to (As lawless force from confidence will grow,) fah Woodsbed. 'There arose," says Pitscottie, great trouble

Insult the pienty of the vales below ?" and deadly feuds in many parts of Scotland, both in the north and Fragment on the Alliance of Education and Government.

The Master of Forbes, in the north, slew the Laird So far, indeed, was a Creagh, or foray, from being held disof Meldrum, under tryst :" (e. at an agreed and secure meet: graceful, that a young chief was always expected to show bis 111 "Likewise, the Laird of Drummelzier slew the Lord talents for command so soon as he assumed it, by leading his Fleming at the hawking; and, likewise, there was slaughter clan on a successful enterprise of this nature, either against

a among many other great lords," p. 121. Nor was the matter neighbouring sept, for which constant feuds usually furnished an monteh mended under the government of the Earl of Angus : for apology, or against the Sassenach, Saxons, or Lowlanders, for though he canced the King to ride through all Scotland, under which no apology was necessary.' The Gael, great traditional the pretence and colour of justice, to punish thief and traitor, historians, never forgot that the Lowlands had, at some remote Iste were found greater than were in their own company. And period, been the property of their Celtic forefathers, which fur: bode at that time durst strive with a Douglas, nor yet a Douglas's nished an ample vindication of all the ravages that they could man for if they would, they got the worst. Therefore,

none make on the unfortunate districts which lay within their reach. erret plainzie of no extortion, theft, reiff, nor slaughter, done to Sir James Grant of Grant is in possession of a letter of a pology them by the Douglasses, or their men ; in that cause they were from Cameron of Lochiel, whose men had committed some denot heard, so long as the Douglas had the court in guiding." predation upon a farm called Moines, occupied by one of the

Grants. Lochiel assures Grant, that, however the mistake had The ancient Highlanders verified in their practice the lines happened, his instrictions were precise, that the party should

foray the province of Moray, (a Lowland district,) where, as he An iron race the mountain cliffs maintain,

coolly observes, "all men take their prey." VOL. 1.-3 H

[ocr errors]

west parts.

104. 1. 133. of Gray


The Mountaineer cast glance of pride Answer'd Fitz-James,-"And, if I sought,

Along Benledi's living side, Think'st thou no other could be brought?'

Then fix'd his eye and sable brow What deem ye of my path waylaid ?

Full on Fitz-James--"How say'st thou now? My life given o'er to ambuscade ?"'

These are Clan-Alpin's warriors true; "As of a meed to rashness due :

And, Saxon,-I am Roderick Dhu!" Hadst thou sent warning fair and true,

X. I seek my hound, or falcon stray'd,

Fitz-James was brave :- Though to his heart I seek, good faith, a Highland maid,

The life-blood thrill'd with sudden start, Free hadst thou been to come and go;

He mann'd himself with tauntles air But secret path marks secret foe.

Return'd the Chief his.baughty stare,
Nor yet, for this, even as a spy,

His back against a rock he bore,
Hadst thou, unheard, been doom'd to die,
Save to fulfil an augury.”-

And firmly placed his foot before;"Well, let it pass ; nor will I now

"Come one, come all ! this rock shall fly

From its firm base as soon as I.” Fresh cause of enmity avow,

Sir Roderick mark'd-and in his eyes To chafe thy mood and cloud thy brow.

Respect was mingled with surprise,
Enough, I am by promise tied

And the stern joy which warriors feel
To match me with this man of pride:
Twice have I sought Clan-Alpine's glen

In foemen worthy of their steel.

Short space he siood-then waved his hand: In peace; but when I come agen,

Down sunk the disappearing band;
I come with banner, brand, and bow,

Each warrior vanish'd where he stood,
As leader seeks his mortal foe.
For love-lorn swain, in lady's bower,

In broom or bracken, heath or wood;

Sunk brand and spear and bended bow, Ne'er panied for the appointed hour,

In osiers pale and copses low; As I, until before me stand

It seem'd as if their mother Earth This rebel Chieftain and his band !"*

Had swallow'd up her warlike birth.

The wind's last breath had toss'd in air, IX. "Have, then, thy wish !"-he whistled shrill,

Pennon, and plaid, and plumage sair,And he was answer'd from the hill;

The next but swepi a lone hill-side,

Where heath and fern were waving wide. Wild as the screan of the curlew,

The sun's last glance was glinied back,
From crag to crag the signal Aew.t
Instant, through copse and heath, arose

From spear and glaive, from targe and jack,Bonnets and spears and bended bows;

The next, all unreflected, shone

On bracken green, and cold gray stone.
On right, on leit, above, below,
Sprung up at once the lurking foe;

From shingles gray their lances start,

Fitz-James look'd round-yet scarce believed The bracken bush sends forth the dart,

The witness that his sight received; The rushes and the willow-wand

Such apparition well might seem Are bristling into axe and brand,

Delusion of a dreadful dream. And every iuft of broom gives lifes

Sir Roderick in suspense he eyed, To plaided warrior arm’d for strife.

And to his look the Chief replied," That whistle garrison'd the glen

Fear naught--nay, that I need not sayAt once with full five hundred men,

But-doubt not aught from mine array. As if the yawing hill to heaven

Thou art my guest ;-1 pledged my word A subterranean host had given.II.

As far as Coilantogle ford : Watching their leader's beck and will,

Nor would I call a clansman's brand All silent there they stood, and still.

For aid against one valiant hand,** Like the loose crags whose threatening mass Though on our strise lay every vale Lay tottering o'er the hollow pass,

Rent by the Saxon from the As if an infant's touch could urge

So move we on :-I only meant Their headlong passage down the verge

To show the reed on which you leant, With step and weapon forward flung,

Deeming this path you might pursue. Upon the mountain-side they hung.

Without a pass from Roderick Dhu.”11 (M8.-"This dark Sir Roderick

trative of the character of the ancient Gael, is not imaginary, bot This savage Chieftaink and his band."]

borrowed from fact. The Highlanders, with the inconsistency of + (MS.-"From copse to copse the signal flew.

most nations in the same state, were alternately capable of ureat Instant, through copse and crage, arose."

exertions of generosity, and of cmel revenge and perfidy. The 1 IMS.-"The bracken bush shoo's forth the dart.")

following story I can only quote from tradition, but with such an (MS.--"And each lone tunt of broom gives life

assurance from those by whom it was cominunicated, as permits To plaided warrior arm'd for strife.

me little doubt of its authenticity Early in the last century, That whistle manned the lonely glen

John Gunn, a noted Cateran, or Highland robber, infested Inret: With full five hundred armed men.")

news-shire, and levied blackmail up to the walls of the provincial (The Monthly reviewer says: _“We now come to the chef: capital. A garrison was then maintained in the castle of that d'auvre of Walter Scott, -a scene of more vigour, nature, and town, and their pay (country banks beng unknown) was usually animation, than any other in all his poetry." Another anony. transmitted in speeie, under the guard of a small escort It mous critic of the poem is not afraid to quote, with reference io chanced that the officer who commanded this little party was the effect of this passage, the sublime language of the Prophet unexpectedly obliged to balt, about thirty miles from lovet Ezekiel :-"Then said he unto me, Prophey unto the wind, at a miserable inn. About nighttail, a stranger, in the prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus caith the Lord Highland dress, and of very prepossessing appearance. entered God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon the same house. Separate accommodation being impossible, the these slain, that they may live. So I prophesiell as be command Englishman offered the newly arrived guest a part of his sumpet, ed me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood which was accepted with reluctance. By the converration be up upon their feet, an exceeding gruat army."

"Chap. xxxvii. v. found his new acquaintance knew well all the passes of the 9, 10.1

country, which induced himo eagerly to request his company on T (MS."All silent, too, they stood, and still

the ensuing morning

He neither disgused his business and Watching their leader's beck and will,

charge, nor his aprehensions of that celebrated freebooter, John While forward step and weapon show

Gunn." The Highlander hesitated a moment, and then frankly They long to rusb upon the for,

consent to this giude. Forth they set in the morning; and, Like the loose crags, whose tottering mang

in itavelling through a solitary and dreary glen, the discourse Hing threatening o'er the hollow pass.")

again turned on John Gunn. ** (MS." For aid against one brore man's hand.''

Would you like to see him?" said ** This scene is mecellently described. The traukness and question, he whistled and the Engligh officer, with his small

the guide; and, without waiting an answer to this alarming high souled courage of the two warrior,-the reliance which the party, were

stirrounded by a body of Highlanders, whose number Lowlander places on the word of the Highlander to guide him pat resistance

our cor questions and who were all wel threatening and Violente words to menst Roderick whose Rings whom you feared to be intercepted and not without cause : for! man the mountaineer professes himself to be,--these circumn came to the inn last night, with the express purpose of learning stonces are all admirably inagined and related."--Monthly Reviero, )

your route, that I and my followers might ease you of your charge 11 This incident, like some other passages in the poem, illus- posed in me, and having convinced you that you are in my

[ocr errors]

They moved :-I said Fitz-James was brave, See, here, all vantageless I stand,
As ever knight that belted glaive;

Arm'd, like thyself, with single brand :S
Fet dare not say, that now his blood

For this is Coilantogle ford, Kept on its wont and temper'd food,

And thou must keep thee with thy sword."
As following Roderick's stride, he drew

That seeming lonesome pathway through,
Which yet, by fearful proof, was rife

The Saxon paused :--"I ne'er delay'd,
With lances, that, to take his life,

When foeman bade me draw my blade; Waited but signal from a guide,

Nay more, brave Chief, I vow'd thy death: So late dishonour'd and defied.

Yei sure thy fair and generous faith, Ever, by stealth, his eye sought round

And my deep debt for life preserved, The vanish'd guardians of the ground,

A better meed have well deserved : And still, from copse and heather deep,

Can naught but blood our feud atone? Fancy saw spear and broadsword peep, *

Are there no means ?—“No, Stranger, none ! And in the plover's shrilly strain,

And hear,-to fire thy flagging zeal, The signal whistle heard again.

The Saxon cause rests on thy steel; Nor breathed he free till far behind

For thus spoke Fate, by prophet bred The pass was left; for then they wind

Between the living and the dead; Along a wide and level green,

'Who spills the foremost foeman's life, Where neither tree nor tuft was seen,

His pariy conquers in the strife.' Nor rush nor bush of broom was near,

* Then, by my word," the Saxon said, To hide a bonnet or a spear.

"The riddle is already read.
Seek yonder brake beneath the cliff, -

There lies Red Murdoch, stark and stiff.
The Chief in silence strode before,

Thus Fate has solved her prophecy,

Then yield to Fate, and not to me. And reach'd that torrent's sounding shore,

To James, at Surling, let us go, Which, daughter of three mighty lakes,

When, if thou wilt be still his foe,
From Vennachar in silver breaks,

Or if the King shall not agree
Sweeps through the plain, and ceaseless mines
On Bochastle the mouldering lines, t

To grant thee grace and favour free,

I plight mine honour, oath, and word,
Where Rome, the Empress of the world,
Of fore her eagle wings unfurl'd..

That, to thy native strengths restored,

With each advantage shalt thou stand,
And here his course the Chieftain staid,
Threw down his target and his plaid,

That aids thee now to guard thy land."
And to the Lowland warrior said :-

XIV. "Bold Saxon! to his promise just,

Dark lightning flash'd from Roderick's eyeVich-Alpine has discharged his trust.

"Soars thy presumption, then so high, This murderous Chief, this ruthless man,

Because a wretched kern ye slew, This head of a rebellious clan,

Homage to name to Roderick Dhu? Hath led thee safe, through watch and ward, He yields noi, he, to man nor Fale ! Far past Clan-Alpine's outmost guard.

Thou add'st but fuel to my hate : Now, man to man, and steel to steel,

My clansman's blood demands revenge. A Chieftain's vengeance thou shalt feel.

Not yet prepared ?--By heaven, I change

[ocr errors]


Donater, I can only dismiss you unplundered and uninjured." He But at this time hardly any thing can be conceived more horridly then gave the officer directions for his journey, and disappeared brutaland -avage, than the mode in which private quarrels wire with his party, as suddenly as they had presented themselves. conducted in France. Those who were most jealous of the point (M3.-"And still, from eopse and heather bush,

of honour, and acquired the title of Rufhines, did not scruple to Fancy saw spear and broadsword rush.")

take every advantage of strength, numbers, surprise, and arms, (M&-"On Bochastle the martial lines.")

to accomplish their revenge. The Sieur de Brantome, to whose 1 The torrent which discharges itself from Loch Vennachar, discourse on duels I am obliged for these particulars, gives the the bwest and eastmost of the three lakes which form the scene. following account of the death and principles of his friend, the

y adjoining to the Trosachs, sweeps through a flat and extensive Baron de Vitaux : Thoot, called Bochastle. Upon a small eminence, called the Dun J'ay oui couter à un Tireur d'armes, qui apprit à Millaud à of Bor bastle, and indeed on the plain itself, are some intrench en tirer lequel s'appelloit Seigneur le Jacques Ferron, de la ville ment, which have been thought Roman. There is adjacent to d'Ast. qui avoit est à moy, il fut denpuis tur à Saincte-Basille en Cullender, a sweet villa, the residence of Captain Fairfoul, en Gascogne, lors que Monsieur du Mayne l'assi gea, lui servant tided the Roman Camp.

d'Ingenieur de malheur, je l'avojs addressei uudit Baron (One of the most entire and beautiful remains of a Roman quelques trois mois auparavant, pour l'exercer à tirer, bien qu'il Eucamprent now to be found in Scotland, is to be seen at Ardoch, en sçcust pron; mais il n en fit compte : et le laissant, Millaud Bar Greenloaning, about six miles to the east ward of Dunblane. s'en servit, et le rendit fort adroit. Ce Seigneur Jacques donc me This encampment is supposed, on good grounds, to have been raconta, qu'il s'estoit monté sur un noyer, assez loing, pour en Seinstructed during the fourth campaign of Agricola in Britain ; voir le combat, et qu'il ne vist jamais homme y aller plus braveis it feet in length, and wo in breadth; it could contain 26,000 ment, ny, plus résolument, ny de grace plus asseure ny détersheni, according to the ordinary distribution of the Roman soldiers min e. ll commença de marcher de cinquante pas vers son enin their encampments. There appears to have been three or four nemy, relevant souvent des moustaches en haut d'une main ; ditches, strongly fortified, surrounding the camp. The four en. et estant à vingt pas de son ennemy, (non plustost.) il mit tries crossing the lines are still to be seen distinctly. The gene. la main à l'espée qu'il tenoit en la main, non qu'il l'eust tirée Tel: quarter rises above the level of the camp, but is not exactly encore ; mais en marchant, il fit voller le fourreau en l'air, en le w the centre. It is a regular square of twenty yards, enclosed secouant, ce qui est le bean de cela, et qui monstroit bien une with a stone wall, and cootaining the foundations of a house, 30 grace de combat bien asseurre et froide, et nullement témfort by 20. There is a subterraneous communication with a raire, comme il y en a qui tirent leurs expres do cinq cents fraaller encampment at a little distance, in which several Roman pas de l'ennemy, voire de mille, comme j'en ay veu aucuns. helmets, spear, &c. have been found. From this camp at Ar. Ainsi monrut ce brave Baron, le paragon de France, qu'on nomdoch, the great Roman lighwny runs east to Bertha, about 14 moit tel. à bien venger ses querelles, par grandes et de term nées miles distant, where the Roman army is believed to have passed resolutions. Il n'estoit pas seulement estim en France, mais en over the Tay into Strathmore."-GRAHAM.)

Italie, Expaigne, Allemaigne, en Boulogne et Angleterre ; et de$ The duellists of former times did not always stand upon siroient fort les Etrangers, venant en France, le voir ; car je l'ay those punctiliox respecting equality of arins, which

veu, tant sa renommie volloit. Il estoit fort petit de corps, mais judged essential to fair combat. It is true, that in formal com. fort graud de courage. Ses ennemis disoient qu'il ne tuoit pas boats in the lists, the parties were, by the judges of the field, put bien ses gens, que par advantages et supercheries. Certes, je * Dearly as possible in the same circumstances. But in private tiens de grands capitaines, et mesme d'Itnliens, qui ont estez deel it was often otherwise, In that desperate combat which d'autres fois les premiers vengeurs du monde, in ogni modo, di

fonight between Quelne, a minion of Henry III. of France, soient-ils, qui ont tenu cette maxime, qu'une supercherie ne se de and Antraguet, with two seconds on each side, from which only voit payer que par semblable monnoye et n'y alloit point là de des two persons escaped alive, Quelus complained that his antago honneur."--Oeuvres de Brantome, Paris, 1787-8. "Tome viii. p. tist had over him

the advantage of a poniard, which he used in 90-92. It may be necessary to inform the reader, that this para Parrying, wbile his left hand, which he was forced to employ for gon of France was the most foul assassin of his time, and had the same ptarpiose, was cnielly mangled. When he charged An.

committed many desperate murders, chiefly by the assistance herunt wih this olds, ** Thou hast done wrong," answered be, of his hired banditti"; from which it may be concrived how "la foirget thy da empat home. We are here to fight, and not to little the point of honour of the period deserved its naine. I havo

la puetilios of arms." In a similar duel, however, a younger chosen to give my heroes, who are indeed of an earlier period, a brother of the house of Aubanye, in Angoulesme, behaved more Rene tozaly on the like occasion, and at once threw away his

stronger tincture of the spirit of chivalry.

# (MS.-“In lightning flashi'd the Chief's dark eye.") dack when his enemy challenged it as an undue advantage. TMS.-" He stoops not, hc, to Jamos nor Fate.")

are now

My thought, and hold thy valour light

Against the winter shower is proof, As that of some vain carpet knight,

The foe, in vulnerable still, Who ill deserved my courteous care,

Foil'd his wild rage by steady skill; And whose best bast is but to wear


, at advantage la'en, his brand A braid of his fair lady's hair."

Forced Roderick's weapon from his hand, -"I thank thee, Roderick, for the word !

And backward borne upon the lea, It nerves my heart, it steels my sword;

Brought the proud Chieftain to his knee.ll For I have sworn this braid to stain

XVI. In the best blood that warms thy vein.

"Now, yield thee, or by Him who made Now, truce, farewell! and, ruth, begone!

The world, thy heart's blood dyes my blade !"Yet think not that by thee alone,

“Thy threats, thy mercy, I defy!. Proud Chief! can courtesy be shown;

Let recreant yield, who fears to die." Though not from copse, or heath, or cairn,

--Like adder darting from his coil, Start at my whistle clansmen stern,

Like wolf that dashes through the toil, Of this small horn one feeble blast

Like mountain-cat who guards her young, Would fearful odds against thee cast.

Full at Fitz-James's throat he sprung;** But fear not-doubt not--which thou wilt

Receiv'd, but reck'd not of a wound, We try this quarrel hilt to hilt."

And lock'd his arms his foeman round.Then each at once his falchion drew,

Now gallant Saxon, hold thine own! Each on the ground his scabbard threw,

No maiden's hand is round thee thrown! Each look'a io sun, and stream, and plain,

That desperate grasp thy frame might feel, As what they ne'er might see again ;

Through bars of brass and triple steel ! Then foot, and point, and eye opposed,

They tug, they strain ! down, down they go, In dubious strife they darkly closed.*

The Gael above, Fitz-James below.

The Chieftain's gripe his throat compressid, Ill fared it then with Roderick Dhu,

His knee was planted in his breast; That on the field his targe he threw, t.

His clotted locks he backward threw, Whose brazen studs and tough bull-hide

Across his brow his hand he drew, Had death so often dash'd aside;

From blood and mist to clear his sight, For, train'd abroad his arms to wield,

Then gleamed alost his dagger bright ! Fitz-James's blade was sword and shield.

- But hate and fury ill supplied He practised every pass and ward,

The stream of life's exhausted tide. To thrust, to strike, to feint, to guard ;

And all too late the advantage came, While less expert, though stronger far,

To turn the odds of deadly game: The Gael maintain'd unequal war.s

For, while the dagger gleam'd on high, Three times in closing strife they stood,

Reel'd soul and sense, reel'd brain and eye. And thrice the Saxon blade drank blood;

Down came the blow! but in the heath No stinted draught, no scanty tide,

The erring blade found bloodless sheath. The gushing food the tartans dyed.

The stņuggling foe may now unclasp Fierce Roderick felt the fatal drain,

The fainting Chief's relaxing grasp; And shower'd his blows like wintry rain;

Unwounded from the dreadful close, And, as firm rock, or castle-roof,

But breathless all, Fitz-James * ("The two principal figures are contrasted with uncommon duel, the use of sword and shield. The masters of the noble felicity. Fitz-James, who more nearly resembles the French Henry science of defence were chiefly Italians. They made great mysthe Fourth thair the Scottish James V., is guy, amorous, fickle, in. trepid, impetuous, atlectionate, courteous, graceful, and dignified.

tery of their art and mode of instruction, never suffered any pero

son to be present but the scholar who was to be taught, and even Roderick is gloomy, vindictive, arrogant, undaunted, but constant examined clusels, beds, and other places of possible concealin his affections, and true to his engagements; and the whole pas ment. Their lessons often gave the most treacherous advatsage in which these personages are placed in opposition, from their inges; for the challenger, having the right to choose bis weapons, first meeting to their tinal conflict, is conceived and written with frequently selected some strange, unusual, and inconvenient a snblimity which has been rarely equalled."'--Quar. Rev., 1810.) kind of arms, the use of which he practised under these instruct

1. A round target of light wood, covered with strong leather, ens, and thus killed at his ease his antagonist, to whom it was and studded with brass or iron, was a necessary part of a High: pri sented for the first time on the field of batlle. See BRAN Jandor's equipment. In charging regular troops they received the TOME's Discourse on Duels, and the work on the same subject, thrust of the bayonet in this buckler, twisted it aside, and used "i gentement ecru," by The venerable Dr. Paris de Puteo. The the broads word against the encumbered soldier. In the civil war Highlanders continued to use broads word and target until disof 174ár most of the front rank of the cluns were thus armed; and artned after the affair of 1745-6. Captain Grose informs us, that, in 1747, the privates of the 42d re

(MS.-** Not Roderick thus, though stronger far, giment, then in Flanders, were for the most part permilled to

More tall and more inured to war."] carry targets. - Military Antiquities, vol. i. p. 164. A person [This couplet is not in the MS.) thus armed had a considerable advantage in a private fray. Il have not ventured to render this duel so savagely desperate Among verses between Swift and Sheridan, lately published by as that of the celebrated Sir Ewan of Lochiel, chief of the clan Dr. Barrett, there is an account of such an encounter, in which Cameron, calledl. from his sable complexion, Ewun Dhu. He was the circumstances, and consequently the relative superiority of the last man in Scotland who maintained the royal cause donng the combatants, are precisely the reverse of those in the text :

the great Civil War, and his constant incursions rendered him & * A Highlander once fought a Frenchman at Margate, very unpleasant neighbour to the republican garrison at Inver The weapons, a ranier, a backsword, and target;

lochy, now Fort William. The governor of the fort detached a Brink Monsieur advanced as fast as he could,

party of three hundred men to lay waste Lochiel's possessione But all his fine pushes were caught in the wood,

and cut down his trees; but, in a sudden and desperate attack And 8away, with backsword, did slash him and nick him, While t'other, enraged that he could not once prick him,

made upon them by the chieftain with very inferior numbers, they

were almost all cut to pieces. The skirnish is detailed in a Cried, 'Sirral, you rascal, you son of a whore, Me will fight you, be gari if you'll come from your door.'."

curious memoir of Sir Ewan's life, printed in the Appendix of

Pennant's Scottish Tour. 1 The use of defensive armour, and particularly of the buckler, "In this engagement, Lochiel himself had several wonderful or target, was general in Queen Elizabeth's time, although that

escapes. In the retreat of the English, one of the strongest and of the single rapier seems to have been occasionally practised bravent of the officers retired behind a bush, when he observed inuch earlier." Rowland Yorke, however, who betrayed the fort Lochiel pursuing, and seeing him unaccompanied with ans, he of Zutphen to the Spaniards, for which good service he was after leapt out, and thought him his prey. They met one another with wards poisoned by them, is said to have been the first who brought equal fury. The combat was long and doubtful : the English the rapier tight into general use. Fuller, speaking of the swash. gentleman had by far the advantage in strength and size ; but bucklers, or bullies, of Queen Elizabeti's time, says.

Locbiel, exceeding bim in nimbleness and agility, in the end Smithfield was formerly called Ruffian's Hall, where such men

tript the sword out of his hand : they closed and wrestled, till usually met, casually or otherwise, to try masteries with sword both fell to the ground in each other's arms. The English officer and huckler. More were frightened than hurt, more hurt than killed there with, it being accounted unmanly to strike beneath neck by attempting to disengave himself, Locbiel, who by this

got above Locbiel, and pressed him hard, but stretching forth his the knee But since that desperate traitor Rowland Yorke first introduced thrusting with rapiers, sword and buckler are dis

tune had his hands at liberty, with his left hand seized him bs the used.". In "The Two Angry Women of Abingdon," a comedy,

collar, and jumping at his extended throat, he bit it with his printed in 1599, we have a pathetic complaint :-* Sword and brought away his mouthful: this, he said, was the succetest bis

teeth quite through, and kent such a hold of his grasp, that he buckler fight begins to grow out of use. I am sorry for it: Ishall never see good manbood again. If it be once gonc, this poking

ne erer had in his lifetime."--Vol. i. p. 375. tight of rapier and dagger will come up; then a tall man and a

** (MS.-"'Yield they alone who fear to die.'

Like mountain cut who guards her young good sword and buckler man, will be spitted like a cal or rabbit." But the rapier had upon the continent long superseded, in private

Full at Fitz James's throat he sprung."}

1+ (MS.--"Panting and breathless on the sands, • Sex Douca's IUustrations of Shakespeare vol. ii. p. 61.

But all unwounded, now he stands.")


« PreviousContinue »