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PREFACE TO HALIDON HILL.
THOUGH the Public seldom feel much interes in such commu event of the day would have been different. Douglas, who was nications, (por is there any reason why they shouid,) the Author certainly detieient in the most important qualities of a general, takes the liberty of stating, that these scenes were commenced seeing his army begin to disperse, at length attempted to descend with the purpose of contributing to a miscellany projected by a the bill; but the English archers, retiring a little, sent a slight of much-esteemed friend. But instead of being contined to a scene arrows so sharp and sting that no armour could withstand; and or two, as intended, the work gradually swelled to the size of the Scottish leader himself, whose panoply was of remarkable an independent publication. It is designed to illustrate military temper, fall under five wounds, though not mortal. The English antiquities, and the manners of chivalry. The Drama (if it can men of arms, knights or equires, did not strike one blow, but rebe termed one) is, in no particular, either designed or calculated mained sprtators of the rout, which was now complete. Great for the staget
numbers of the Scots were slain, and near five hundred perished The subject is to be found in Scottish history; but not to over in the river Tweed upon their flight. Among the illustrious captives load so slight a publication with antiquarian research, or quota. was Douglas, whose chief wound deprived him of an eye ; Murdac, tong from obscure chronicles, may be putticiently illustrated by son of Albany; the Earls of Moray and Angus; and about twentythe following passage from PINKERTON'S History of Scotland, four gentlemen of eminent rank and power. The chief slain were, vol. i. p. 72.
Swinton, Gordon, Livingston of Calendar, Ramsay of Dalhousie,
Walter Sinclair, Roger Gordon, Walter Scott, and others. Such " The Goveror (anno 1402) dispatched a considerable force
was the issue of the unfortunate battle of Homildon." under Murdac. his eldest son; the Earls of Angus and Moray also joined Douglas, who entered England with an army of ten
It may be proper to observe, that the scene of action has, in thousand men, carrying terror and devastation to the walls of the following pages, been transferred from Homijaon to Halidon
For this there was an obvious reason ;-for who would * Henry IV. was now engaged in the Welsh war against Owen
again venture to introduce upon the scene the celebrated HotGlendour, but the Earl of Northumberland, and his son the Hot
spur, who commanded the English at the former battle? There
are, however, several coincidences which may reconcile even spur Percy, with the Earl of March, collected a numerous array,
the severer antiquary to the sulestitution of Halidon Hill for Hoand awaited the return of the Scots, impeded with spoil, near Mufield, in the north part of Northumberland. Douglas had
mildon. A Scottish army was defeated by the English on both
occasions, and under nearly the same circumstances of address reached Wooler, in his return ; and perceiving the enemy, se zed
on the part of the victors, and mismanagement on that of the a strong post between the two armies, called Homildon-Hill. In this method le rivalled his predecessor at the battle of Otterburn, vonquished, for the English long bow decided the day in both but not with like success. The English advanced to the assault battle ; an. at Holidon, as at Homildon, the Scots were com:
cases. I both cases, also, a Gordon was left on the field of ap: Henry Percy win about to lead them up the hill, when March caught his bridle and advised him to advance no farther, but to
manded by an ill-fated representative of the great house of Dou
glas. He of Homildon was surnarned Tine-man, i.e. Lose-man, pour the dreadful shower of English arrows into the enemy.
from his repeated defeats and miscarriages; and with all the This advice was followed with the usual fortune ; for in all ages the bow was the English instrument of victory : 'and though the personal valour of his race, seems to have enjoyed 50 small a Sools, and perhaps the French, were superior in the use of the portion of their sagncity, as to be unable to learn military expe.
rience from reiterated calamity. I am far, however, from intima. pear, yet this weapon was useless after the distant bow had decided the combat. Robert the Great, sepsible of this at the bat:
ting, that the traits of imbecility and envy attributed to the Retle of Bannockbum, ordered a prepared detachment of cavalry
gent in the following sketch, are to be historically ascribed either to rush among the English archers at the commencement, total.
to the elder Douglas of Halidon Hill, or to him called Tine-man, ly lo disperse them, and stop the deadly effusion. But Douglas
who seems to have enjoyed the respect of his countrymen notnow used no such preerution : and the consequence was, that
withstanding that, like the celebrated Anne de Montmorency, he his people, drawn up on the face of the hill, prernted one general
was either defeated, or wounded, or made prisoner, in every but mark to the enemy, none of whose arowe descended in vain.
tle which he fought. The Regent of the sketch is a character The Scots fell without fight, and unrevenged, till a spirited knisht,
purely imaginary. Swinton, exclaimed aloud, O my brave countrymen! what fas.
The tradition of the Swinton family, which still survives in a
lineal descent, and to which the author has the honour to be recination has sind you to-day, that you stand like ders to be shot, ,lated, avers, that the Swinton who fell at Homildon in the man. instead of indulging your ancient courage, and meeting your enemie hand to hand? Let those who will, descend with me, that
ner narrated in the preceding extract, had slain Gordon's father;
which seems sufficient ground for adopting that circumstance into We may gain victory, or life, or fall like men't This being heard by Adam Gordon between whom and Swinton there existed an
the following Dramatic Sketch, though it is rendered improbable ancient and deadly seud, attended with the mutual s'angliter of by other authorities
If any reader will take the trouble of looking at Froissart, Fortrany followers, be instantly fell on his knees before Swinton, bezped his pardon, and desired to be dubbed a knight by him
dun, or other historians of the period, he will find, that the cha
racter of the Lord of Swinton, for strength, courage, and conduct, *hon he must now regard as the wisst and the holdest of that order in Britain. The ceremony performed, Swinton and Gordon
is by no means exaggerated. descended the hill, accompanied only by one hundred men : and
W. S. a draperate valour led the whole body to death. Had a similar spirit been shown by the Scottish army, it is probable that the Abbotsford, 1822.
The author alludes to a collection of emall pieces in verse, edited, for a we think, form an unclerplot, of very great interest, in an historical play of eberitable purpost, by Mrs. Joanna Baillie 1
chatomary length; and although its incidents and personages are mixed up, In the first edition, the text adderi," In case any attempt shall be made in these scener, with an event of real history, there is nothing in either to pre15 produce it in action, (as has happenert in similar cases, the author vent their being in twosen in the plot of any drama of which the acion takes he present opportunity in intimate, that it shall be at the peril of those should lie in the confines of England and Scotland, at any of the very numer. sho make such an experimerit." Arfverting to this pasaka", the Num Ons pericuits of Prer norfare. The whole interest inledd, of the story, is enEleargh Review (July, 1822) said, "We nevertheless, do not uplieve that Erol hy two characters, iniagined, as it appears to us, with great force and any thing more essentially dramatic, in so far as it gros,morp capable of stage probability, and contrased with curable skill and effect."') enlace has a pesmu in England since the days of her greatest gruus ; nou 1** Miles maravimus dominne Johannes Swinton, tanquam roce horrida giving Sir Walter, therefore, ull credit for his caynes on the prispit occasion, preconis exclatavil, dicens, 0 commilitones inclyti! quis voe hodie fascinavit We arently hope that he is but trying his strength in the most arcus of all non indulgere i prihvati, que rec dextri Onantis, nec nit viri corda literary Enterprises, and that, ere long, he will demonstrate his right to the erigitis, au invalentum amulos, qui ves, tanquam damutos vel hingulos impar Michel honours of the tragic muse." The British Critic, for October, 1822, catos, sagittarum Jaculis perdere lestinant. Descendant mecom qui velint, et in air, on the sume bead, " Though we may not accele to the author's derlara nomine Domini bostes penetrabimus, ut vel sic vita potiamur, vel saltem u Lion, that it is in no particular calculated for the stage,' we must not learl milites cum bonore occuubamus, &c.- Fordun, Scoti-Chronicon, vol. ii. sarealere to look for any thing amounting to a regular drama. It would, p. 131.)
HALID ON HILL.
THE PRIOR OF MAISON-DEU.
English and Norman Nobles.
Hath often conquer'd at the head of fewer
And worse appointed followers. SCENE I. The northern side of the eminence of Halidon. The back Scene represents the summit of the Ay, but 'twas Bruce that led them. Reverend ascent, occupied by the Rear-guard of the Scottish 'Tis not the falchion's weight decides a combat; army. Bodies of armed Men appear as adranc. It is the strong and skilful hand that wields it.
ing from different points, to join the main Body. ill fate, that we should lack the noble King, Enter De Vipont and the PRIOR OF MAISON-Dieu. And all his champions now! Time call'd them not,
For when I parted hence for Palestine, No further, Father-here I need no guidance
The brows of most were free from grizzled hair. I have already brought your peaceful step Too near the verge of battle.
Too true, alas! But well you know, in Scotland,
Few hairs are silver'd underneath the helmet; Fain would I see you join some Baron's banner,
Tis cowls like mine which hide them. 'Mongst the Before I say farewell. The honour'd sword
laity, That fought so well in Syria, should not wave
War's the rash reaper, who thrusts in his sickle Amid the ignoble crowd.
Before the grain is white. In threescore years
Wellnigh two generations of our nobles.
The race which holdst yon summit is the third So that a man has room to fight and fall on't. But I shall find out friends. "Tis scarce twelve years Thou mayst outlive them also. Since I left Scotland for the wars of Palestine, And then the flower of all the Scottish nobles Were known to me; and I, in my degree,
Heaven forefend! Not all unknown to them.
My prayer shall be, that Heaven will close my eyes,
Before they look upon the wrath to come. Alas! there have been changes since that time; The Royal Bruce, with Randolph, Douglas, Gra- Retire, retire, good Father !–Pray for Scotlandbame,
Think not on me. Here comes an ancient friend, Then shook in field the banners which now moulder Brother in arms, with whom to-day I'll join me. Over their graves i' the chancel.
Back to your choir, assemble all your brotherhood,
And weary Heaven with prayers for victory.#
Heaven's blessing rest with thee,
Champion of Heaven, and of thy suffering country! The faces of the Barons who displayed thein
[Exit PRIOR. VIPont draws a little aside, and Were all unknown to me. Brave youths they lets down the beaver of his helmet.
seem'd ; Yet, surely, fitter to adorn the tilt-yard,
Enter SWINTON, followed by REYNALD and others, Than to be leaders of a war. Their followers,
to whom he speaks as he enters. Young like themselves, seem like themselves unLook at their battle-rank. practised
Halt here, and plant my pennon, till the Regent
Assign our band its station in the host.
That right since good Saint David's reign at least, Sure 'tis a gallant show! 'The Bruce himself Fain would I see the Marcher would dispute it. * (M3.-"I've look'd on many a well-known pennon
(M8.-" The youths who hold," &c., "are."] Playing the air,'' &c.]
with prayers for Scotland's weal.")
SWINTON. Peace, Reynald! Where the general plants the All slain ?-alas ! soldier,
SWINTON. There is his place of honour, and there only
Ay, all, De Vipont. And their attributes, His valour can win worship. Thou'rt of those,
John with the Long Spear-Archibald with the AxeWho would have war's deep art bear the wild sem
Richard the Ready-and my youngest darling, blance
My Fair-hair'd William-do but now survive Of some disorder'd hunting, where, pell-mell,
In measures which the gray-hair'd minstrels sing, Each trusuing to the swiftness of his horse,
When they make maidens weep.
These wars with England, they have rooted out
The flowers of Christendom. Knights who might VIPONT (ndvancing.) There needed not, to blazon forth the Swinton,
The sepulchre of Christ from thc rude heathen, His ancient burgonet, the sable Boar Chain'd to the gnarl'd oak,*--nor his proud step,
Fall in unholy warfare ! Nor giant stature, nor the ponderous mace, Which only he, of Scotland's realın, can wield : Unholy warfare? ay, well hast thou named it; His discipline and wisdom mark the leader, But not with England--would her cloth-yard shafts As doth his frame the champion. Hail, brave Had bored their curasses! Their lives had been Swinton!
Lost like their grandsire's, in the bold defence
Of their dear countryt-but in private feud SWIXTON. Brave Templar, thanks! Such your cross'd shoulder With the proud Gordon, fell my Long-speard John, speaks you;
He with the Axe, and he men called the Ready, But the closed visor, which conceals your features,
Ay, and muy Fair-hair'd Will-the Gordon's wrath Forbids more knowledge. Umfraville, perhaps
Deveur'd my gallant issue.
Since thou dost weep, their death is unavenged ? Yet, unless Syrian suns have scorch'd my features
SWINTON Swart as my sable visor, Alan Swinton
Templar, what think'st thou me?-See yonder rock, Will welcome Symon Vipont.
From which the fountain gushes-is it less
Compact of adamant, though waters flow from it? As the blithe reaper
Firm hearts have moister eyes.-They are avenged. Welcomes a practised mate, when the ripe harvest
I wept not till they were-üll the proud Gordon Lies deep before him, and the sun is high!
Had with his life-blood dyed my father's sword, Thou'lt follow yon old pennon, wilt thou not?
In guerdon that he thinn'd my father's lineage, 'Tis tatter'd since thou saw'st it, and the Boar- And then I wept my sons; and, as the Gordon heads
Lay at my feet, there was a tear for him, Look as if brought from off some Christmas board, which mingled with the rest. We had been friends, Where knives had notch'd them deeply.
Had shared the banquet and the chase together,
Fought side by side, -and our first cause of strife,
Wo to the pride of both, was but a light one!
You are at feud, then, with the mighty Gordon ? Rampant in golden treasure, wins me from them.
SWINTON. We'll back the Boar-heads bravely. I see roundAt deadly feud. Here in this Border-land, them
Where the sire's quarrels descend upon the son A chosen band of lances-some well known to me. As due a part of his inheritance, Where's the main body of thy followers?
"As the strong castle and the ancient blazon, SWINTOX.
| Where private Vengeance holds the scales of justice, Symon de Vipont thou dost see them all
Weighing each drop of blood as scrupulously That Swinton's bugle-horn can call to battle,
As Jews or Lombards balance silver pence, However loud it rings. There's not a boy
Not in this land 'twixt Solway and Saint Abb's, Left in my halls, whose arm has strength enough Rages a bitterer feud than mine and theirs, To bear a sword-there's not a man behind,
The Swinton and the Gordon.
Leading a thousand followers.
You rate him far too low. Since you sought Palcs
tine, A thousand followers--such, with friends and kins- He hath had grants of baronies and lord ships men,
In the far-distant North. A thousand horse Allies and vassals, thou wert wont to lead
His southern friends and vassals always number'd. A thousand followers shrunk to sixty lances In twelve years' space !-And thy brave sons. Sir He'll count a thousand more. And now, De Vipont
Add Badenoch kerne, and horse from Dey and Spey, Alan ?
If the Boar-heads seem in vour eyes less worthy Alas! I fear to ask.
For lack of followers-seek yonder standardSWINTON.
The bounding Stag, with a brave host around it; All slain, De Vipont. In my empty home
There the young Gordon makes his earliest field, A puny babe lisps to a widow'd mother,
And pants to win his spurs. His father's friend,
When you were friends, I was the friend of both, As he springs over it.
And now I can be enemy to neither;
But my poor person, though but slight the aid * ("The armorial bearinre of the ancient family of Swinton are sable, a cheveron, ot, between three boars' heady erased, ar ment, whereon are the words, Je Pense."-Douglas's Baronage gent. CREST-a boar chained to a tree, and above, on an es. sroll J espere. Sv?PORTERS-two boars standing on a compart * (M8.-" of the lo”r land that ourged them but in feuil"
Joins on this field the banner of the two
Council of Scottish Nobles and Chiefs. SUTHERWhich hath the smallest following.
LAND, Ross, LENNOX, Maxwell, and other Nobles
of the highest rank, are close to the REGENT's perSWIXTON.
son, and in the act of keen debate. Vipoxt, with Spoke like the generous Knight, who gave up all,
GORDON and others, remain grouped at some Leading and lordship, in a heathen land To figlit, a Christian soldier! Yet in earnest,
distance on the right hand of the Stage. On the
left, standing also apart, is SWINTON, alone and I pray, De Vipont, you would join the Gordon
bare-headed. The Nobles are dressed in HighIn this bigh battle. 'Tis a noble youth,
land or Lowland habits, as historical costume So fame doth vouch him,-amorous, quick, and
requires. Trumpets, Heralds, foc. are in attendvaliant ; Takes knighthood, too, this day, and well may use His spurs too rashly* in the wish to win them. A friend like thee beside him in the fight,
Nay, Lordlings, put no shame upon my counsels. Were worth a hundred spears, to rein his valour I did but say, if we retired a little, And temper it with prudence :--'tis the aged eagle We should have fairer field and better vantage. Teaches his brood to gaze upon the sun,
I've seen King Robert--ay, the Bruce himselfWith eye undazzled.
Retreat six leagues in length, and think no shame
on't. Alas, brave Swinton! Wouldst thou train the hunter
REGENT. That soon must
bring thee to the bay? Your custom, Ay, but King Edward sent a haughty message, Your most unchristian, savage, fiend-like custom,
Defying us to battle on this field,
Unfought withal, it squares not with our honour. Why, be it so! I look for nothing else :
SWINTON (apart.) My part was acted when I slew his father,
A perilous honour, that allows the enemy, Avenging my four sons-Young Gordon's sword,
And such an enemy as this same Edward, If it should find my heart, can ne'er inflict there
To choose our field of battle! He knows how A pang so poignant as his father's did.
To make our Scottish pride betray its master But I would perish by a noble hand,
Into the pitfall. And such will his be if he bear him nobly,
[During this speech the debate among the Nobles Nobly and wisely on this field of Halidon.
is continucd. Enter a PURSUIVANT.
We will not back one furlong-not one yard,
No, nor one inch; where'er we find the foe,
Who now stand prompt for barule.
My Lords, methinks great Morarchatll has doubts, Say to the Regent, we obey his orders.
That, if his Northern clans once turn the seam
(Erit PURSUIVANT. Of their check'd hose behind, it will be hard [TO REYNALD.] Hold thou my casque, and furl my To halt and rally them.
pennon up Close to the staff. I will not show my crest,
SUTHERLAND. Nor standard, till the common foe shall challenge Say'st thou, MacDonnell ?-Add another falsehood, them.
And name when Morarchat was coward or traitor! I'll wake no civil strife, nor tempt the Gordon Thine island race, ag chronicles can tell, With aught that's like defiance.
Were oft affianced to the Southron cause;
Loving the weight and temper of their gold, Will he not know your features ?
More than the weight and temper of their stoel. SWINTON. He never saw me. In the distant North,
Peace, my Lords, ho! Against his will, 'tis said, his friends detain'd him
ROSS (throwing down his Glove.) During his nurture--caring not, belike,
MacDonnell will not peace! There lies my pledge, To trust a pledge so precious near the Boar-tusks. Proud Morarchat, to witness thee a liar. It was a natural but needless caution: I wage no war with children, for I think Too deeply on mine own.
Brought I all Nithsdale from the Western Border ;
Left I my towers exposed to foraying England, VIPONT .
And thieving Annandale, to see such misrule ? I have thought on it, and will see the Gordon As we go hencet to council. I do bear
JOHNSTONE. A cross, which binds me to be Christian priest,
Who speaks of Annandale? Dare Maxwell slander As well as Christian champion. God may grant,
The gentle House of Lochwood ?TT
Peace, Lordlings, once again. We represent
The Majesty of Scotland-in our presence
[Ereunt severally. Were it in presence of the King himself,
What should prevent my saying
LINDESAY. Tent. The Royal Standard of Scolland is seen You must determine quickly. Scarce a mile in the back-ground, with the Pennons and Ban- Parts our vanguard from Edward's. On the plain, mers of the principal Nobles around it.
$ (In the MS. the scene terminates with this line.) (MS.-"As we do pass," &c.]
i Morarchale is the ancient Gaelic designution of the Farls
of Sutherland. See ante, page 634, note.) : (MS.-" The cross I wear appoints me Christian pricst, T (Lochwood Castle was the ancient seat of the Johnstonos As well as Christian warrior," &e.)
Lords of Annandale.)