- Waverly (Appendix) by Sir Walter Scott
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by Sir Walter Scott

No. I.,



[It is not to be supposed that these fragments are given as possessing any intrinsic value of themselves; but there may be some curiosity attached to them, as to the first etchings of a plate, which are accounted interesting by those who have, in any degree, been interested in the more finished works of the artist.]


The sun was nearly set behind the distant mountains of Liddesdale, when a few of the scattered and terrified inhabitants of the village of Hersildoun, which had four days before been burned by a predatory band of English Borderers, were now busied in repairing their ruined dwellings. One high tower in the centre of the village alone exhibited no appearance of devastation. It was surrounded with court walls, and the outer gate was barred and bolted. The bushes and brambles which grew around, and had even insinuated their branches beneath the gate, plainly showed that it must have been many years since it had been opened. While the cottages around lay in smoking ruins, this pile, deserted and desolate as it seemed to be, had suffered nothing from the violence of the invaders; and the wretched beings who were endeavouring to repair their miserable huts against nightfall, seemed to neglect the preferable shelter which it might have afforded them, without the necessity of labour.

Before the day had quite gone down, a knight, richly armed, and mounted upon an ambling hackney, rode slowly into the village. His attendants were a lady, apparently young and beautiful, who rode by his side upon a dappled palfrey; his squire, who carried his helmet and lance, and led his battle-horse, a noble steed, richly caparisoned. A page and four yeomen, bearing bows and quivers, short swords, and targets of a span breadth, completed his equipage, which, though small, denoted him to be a man of high rank.

He stopped and addressed several of the inhabitants whom curiosity had withdrawn from their labour to gaze at him; but at the sound of his voice, and still more on perceiving the St. George's Cross in the caps of his followers, they fled, with a loud cry that the Southrons were returned. The knight endeavoured to expostulate with the fugitives, who were chiefly aged men, women, and children; but their dread of the English name accelerated their flight, and in a few minutes, excepting the knight and his attendants, the place was deserted by all. He paced through the village to seek a shelter for the night, and despairing to find one either in the inaccessible tower or the plundered huts of the peasantry, he directed his course to the left hand, where he spied a small, decent habitation, apparently the abode of a man considerably above the common rank. After much knocking, the proprietor at length showed himself at the window, and speaking in the English dialect, with great signs of apprehension, demanded their business. The warrior replied that his quality was an English knight and baron, and that he was travelling to the court of the king of Scotland on affairs of consequence to both kingdoms.

"Pardon my hesitation, noble Sir Knight," said the old man, as he unbolted and unbarred his doors,—

"Pardon my hesitation, but we are here exposed to too many intrusions to admit of our exercising unlimited and unsuspicious hospitality. What I have is yours; and God send your mission may bring back peace and the good days of our old Queen Margaret!"

"Amen, worthy franklin," quoth the knight,—"Did you know her?"

"I came to this country in her train," said the franklin; "and the care of some of her jointure lands, which she devolved on me, occasioned my settling here."

And how do you, being an Englishman," said the knight, "protect your life and property here, when one of your nation cannot obtain a single night's lodging, or a draught of water, were he thirsty?"

"Marry, noble sir," answered the franklin, "use, as they say, will make a man live in a lion's den; and as I settled here in a quiet time, and have never given cause of offence, I am respected by my neighbours, and even, as you see, by our forayers from England."

"I rejoice to hear it, and accept your hospitality. Isabella, my love, our worthy host will provide you a bed. My daughter, good franklin, is ill at ease. We will occupy your house till the Scottish king shall return from his Northern expedition. Meanwhile call me Lord Lacy of Chester."

The attendants of the baron, assisted by the franklin, were now busied in disposing of the horses and arranging the table for some refreshment for Lord Lacy and his fair companion. While they sat down to it, they were attended by their host and his daughter, whom custom did not permit to eat in their presence, and who afterwards withdrew to an outer chamber, where the squire and page (both young men of noble birth) partook of supper, and were accommodated with beds. The yeomen, after doing honour to the rustic cheer of Queen Margaret's bailiff, withdrew to the stable, and each, beside his favourite horse, snored away the fatigues of their journey. Early on the following morning the travellers were roused by a thundering knocking at the door of the house, accompanied with many demands for instant admission, in the roughest tone. The squire and page, of Lord Lacy, after buckling on their arms, were about to sally out to chastise these intruders, when the old host, after looking out at a private casement, contrived for reconnoitring his visitors, entreated them, with great signs of terror, to be quiet, if they did not mean that all in the house should be murdered. He then hastened to the apartment of Lord Lacy, whom he met dressed in a long furred gown and the knightly cap called a mortier, irritated at the noise, and demanding to know the cause which had disturbed the repose of the household.

"Noble sir," said the franklin, "one of the most formidable and bloody of the Scottish Border riders is at hand. He is never seen," added he, faltering with terror, "so far from the hills, but with some bad purpose, and the power of accomplishing it; so hold yourself to your guard, for—"

A loud crash here announced that the door was broken down, and the knight just descended the stair in time to prevent bloodshed betwixt his attendants and the intruders. They were three in number. Their chief was tall, bony, and athletic, his spare and muscular frame, as well as the hardness of his features, marked the course of his life to have been fatiguing and perilous. The effect of his appearance was aggravated by his dress, which consisted of a jack, or jacket, composed of thick buff leather, on which small plates of iron of a lozenge form were stitched, in such a manner as to overlap each other and form a coat of mail, which swayed with every motion of the wearer's body. This defensive armour covered a doublet of coarse gray cloth, and the Borderer had a few half-rusted plates of steel on his shoulders, a two-edged sword, with a dagger hanging beside it, in a buff belt; a helmet, with a few iron bars, to cover the face instead of a visor, and a lance of tremendous and uncommon length, completed his appointments. The looks of the man were as wild and rude as his attire; his keen black eyes never rested one moment fixed upon a single object, but constantly traversed all around, as if they ever sought some danger to oppose, some plunder to seize, or some insult to revenge. The latter seemed to be his present object, for, regardless of the dignified presence of Lord Lacy, he uttered the most incoherent threats against the owner of the house and his guests.

"We shall see—ay, marry shall we—if an English hound is to harbour and reset the Southrons here. Thank the Abbot of Melrose and the good Knight of Coldingnow that have so long kept me from your skirts. But those days are gone, by St. Mary, and you shall find it!"

It is probable the enraged Borderer would not have long continued to vent his rage in empty menaces, had not the entrance of the four yeomen, with their bows bent, convinced him that the force was not at this moment on his own side.

Lord Lacy now advanced towards him. "You intrude upon my privacy, soldier; withdraw yourself and Your followers. There is peace betwixt our nations, or my servants should chastise thy presumption."

"Such peace as ye give such shall you have," answered the moss-trooper, first pointing with his lance towards the burned village, and then almost instantly levelling it against Lord Lacy. The squire drew his sword, and severed at one blow the steel head from the truncheon of the spear.

"Arthur Fitzherbert," said the baron, "that stroke has deferred thy knighthood for one year; never must that squire wear the spurs whose unbridled impetuosity can draw unbidden his sword in the presence of his master. Go hence, and think on what I have said."

The squire left the chamber abashed.

"It were vain," continued Lord Lacy, "to expect that courtesy from a mountain churl which even my own followers can forget. Yet before thou drawest thy brand," for the intruder laid his hand upon the hilt of his sword, "thou wilt do well to reflect that I came with a safe-conduct from thy king, and have no time to waste in brawls with such as thou."

"From my king,—from my king!" re-echoed the mountaineer. "I care not that rotten truncheon," striking the shattered spear furiously on the ground, "for the king of Fife and Lothian. But Habby of Cessford will be here belive; and we shall soon know if he will permit an English churl to occupy his hostelry."

Having uttered these words, accompanied with a lowering glance from under his shaggy black eyebrows, he turned on his heel and left the house with his two followers; they mounted their horses, which they had tied to an outer fence, and vanished in an instant.

"Who is this discourteous ruffian?" said Lord Lacy to the franklin, who had stood in the most violent agitation during this whole scene.

"His name, noble lord, is Adam Kerr of the Moat, but he is commonly called by his companions the Black Rider of Cheviot. I fear, I fear, he comes hither for no good; but if the Lord of Cessford be near, he will not dare offer any unprovoked outrage."

"I have heard of that chief," said the baron; "let me know when he approaches. And do thou, Rodulph," to the eldest yeoman, "keep a strict watch. Adelbert," to the page, "attend to arm me." The page bowed, and the baron withdrew to the chamber of the lady Isabella, to explain the cause of the disturbance.

No more of the proposed tale was ever written; but the Author's purpose was that it should turn upon a fine legend of superstition which is current in the part of the Borders where he had his residence, where, in the reign of Alexander III. of Scotland, that renowned person, Thomas of Hersildoune, called the Rhymer, actually flourished. This personage, the Merlin of Scotland, and to whom some of the adventures which the British bards assigned to Merlin Caledonius, or the Wild, have been transferred by tradition, was, as is well known, a magician, as well as a poet and prophet. He is alleged still to live in the land of Faery, and is expected to return at some great convulsion of society, in which he is to act a distinguished part,—a tradition common to all nations, as the belief of the Mahomedans respecting their twelfth Imaum demonstrates.

Now, it chanced many years since that there lived on the Borders a jolly, rattling horse-cowper, who was remarkable for a reckless and fearless temper, which made him much admired, and a little dreaded, amongst his neighbours. One moonlight night, as he rode over Bowden Moor, on the west side of the Eildon Hills, the scene of Thomas the Rhymer's prophecies, and often mentioned in his story, having a brace of horses along with him which he bad not been able to dispose of, he met a man of venerable appearance and singularly antique dress, who, to his great surprise, asked the price of his horses, and began to chaffer with him on the subject. To Canobie Dick—(for so shall we call our Border dealer)—a chap was a chap, and he would have sold a liaise to the devil himself, without minding his cloven hoof, and would have probably cheated Old Nick into the bargain. The stranger paid the price they agreed on; and all that puzzled Dick in the transaction was that the gild which he received was in unicorns, bonnet-pieces, and other ancient coins, which would have been invaluable to collectors, but were rather troublesome, in modern currency.

It was gold, however, and therefore Dick contrived to get better value for the coin than he perhaps gave to his customer. By the command of so good a merchant, he brought horses to the same slot more than once; the purchaser only stipulating that he should always come by night, and alone. I do not know whether it was from mere curiosity, or whether some hope of gain mixed with it, but after Dick had sold several horses in this way, he began to complain that dry-bargains were unlucky, and to hint that since his chap must live in the neighbourhood, he ought, in the courtesy of dealing, to treat him to half a mutchkin.

"You may see my dwelling if you will," said the stranger; "but if you lose courage at what you see there, you will rue it all your life."

Dicken, however, laughed the warning to scorn, and having alighted to secure his horse, he followed the stranger up a narrow foot-path, which led them up the hills to the singular eminence stuck betwixt the most southern and the centre peaks, and called, from its resemblance to such an animal in its form, the Lucken Hare. At the foot of this eminence, which is almost as famous for witch meetings as the neighbouring wind-mill of Kippilaw, Dick was somewhat startled to observe that his conductor entered the hill-side by a passage or cavern, of which he himself, though well acquainted with the spot, had never seen or heard.

"You may still return," said his guide, looking ominously back upon him; but Dick scorned to show the white feather, and on they went. They entered a very long range of stables; in every stall stood a coal-black horse; by every horse lay a knight in coal-black armour, with a drawn sword in his hand; but all were as silent, hoof and limb, as if they had been cut out of marble. A great number of torches lent a gloomy lustre to the hall, which, like those of the Caliph Vathek, was of large dimensions. At the upper end, however, they at length arrived, where a sword and horn lay on an antique table.

"He that shall sound that horn and draw that sword," said the stranger, who now intimated that he was the famous Thomas of Hersildoune, "shall, if his heart fail him not, be king over all broad Britain. So speaks the tongue that cannot lie. But all depends on courage, and much on your taking the sword or the horn first." Dick was much disposed to take the sword; but his bold spirit was quailed by the supernatural terrors of the hall, and he thought to unsheathe the sword first, might be construed into defiance, and give offence to the powers of the Mountain. He took the bugle with a trembling hand, and a feeble note, but loud enough to produce a terrible answer. Thunder rolled in stunning peals through the immense hall; horses and men started to life; the steeds snorted, stamped, grinned their bits, and tossed on high their heads; the warriors sprung to their feet, clashed their armour, and brandished their swords. Dick's terror was extreme at seeing the whole army, which had been so lately silent as the grave, in uproar, and about to rush on him. He dropped the horn, and made a feeble attempt to seize the enchanted sword; but at the same moment a voice pronounced aloud the mysterious words,—

"Woe to the coward, that ever he was born,
Who did not draw the sword before he blew the horn!"

At the same time a whirlwind of irresistible fury howled through the long hall, bore the unfortunate horse-jockey clear out of the mouth of the cavern, and precipitated him over a steep bank of loose stones, where the shepherds found him the next morning with just breath sufficient to tell his fearful tale, after concluding which he expired.

This legend, with several variations, is found in many parts of Scotland and England. The scene is sometimes laid in some favourite glen of the Highlands, sometimes in the deep coal-mines of Northumberland and Cumberland, which rim so far beneath the ocean. It is also to be found in Reginald Scott's book on Witchcraft, which was written in the sixteenth century. It would be in vain to ask what was the original of the tradition. The choice between the horn and sword may, perhaps, include as a moral that it is foolhardy to awaken danger before we have arms in our hands to resist it.

Although admitting of much poetical ornament, it is clear that this legend would have formed but an unhappy foundation for a prose story, and must have degenerated into a mere fairy tale. Dr. John Leyden has beautifully introduced the tradition in his "Scenes of Infancy":—
         "Mysterious Rhymer, doomed by fate's decree
          Still to revisit Eildon's fated tree,
          Where oft the swain, at dawn of Hallow-day,
          Hears thy fleet barb with wild impatience neigh,—
          Say, who is he, with summons long and high,
          Shall bid the charmed sleep of ages fly,
          Roll the long sound through Eildon's caverns vast,
          While each dark warrior kindles at the blast,
          The horn, the falchion, grasp with mighty hand,
          And peal proud Arthur's march from Fairy-land?"

In the same cabinet with the preceding fragment, the following occurred among other 'disjecta membra'. It seems to be an attempt at a tale of a different description from the last, but was almost instantly abandoned. The introduction points out the time of the composition to have been about the end of the eighteenth century.



"Fill a bumper," said the knight; "the ladies may spare us a little longer. Fill a bumper to the Archduke Charles."

The company did due honour to the toast of their landlord.

"The success of the archduke," said the muddy vicar, "will tend to further our negotiation at Paris; and if—"

"Pardon the interruption, Doctor," quoth a thin, emaciated figure, with somewhat of a foreign accent; "but why should you connect those events, unless to hope that the bravery and victories of our allies may supersede the necessity of a degrading treaty?"

"We begin to feel, Monsieur L'Abbe," answered the vicar, with some asperity, "that a Continental war entered into for the defence of an ally who was unwilling to defend himself, and for the restoration of a royal family, nobility, and priesthood who tamely abandoned their own rights, is a burden too much even for the resources of this country."

"And was the war, then, on the part of Great Britain," rejoined the Abbe, "a gratuitous exertion of generosity? Was there no fear of the wide-wasting spirit of innovation which had gone abroad? Did not the laity tremble for their property, the clergy for their religion, and every loyal heart for the Constitution? Was it not thought necessary to destroy the building which was on fire, ere the conflagration spread around the vicinity?"

"Yet if upon trial," said the doctor, "the walls were found to resist our utmost efforts, I see no great prudence in persevering in our labour amid the smouldering ruins."

"What, Doctor," said the baronet, "must I call to your recollection your own sermon on the late general fast? Did you not encourage us to hope that the Lord of Hosts would go forth with our armies, and that our enemies, who blasphemed him, should be put to shame?"

"It may please a kind father to chasten even his beloved children," answered the vicar.

"I think," said a gentleman near the foot of the table, "that the Covenanters made some apology of the same kind for the failure of their prophecies at the battle of Danbar, when their mutinous preachers compelled the prudent Lesley to go down against the Philistines in Gilgal."

The vicar fixed a scrutinizing and not a very complacent eye upon this intruder. He was a young man, of mean stature and rather a reserved appearance. Early and severe study had quenched in his features the gaiety peculiar to his age, and impressed upon them a premature cast of thoughtfulness. His eve had, however, retained its fire, and his gesture its animation. Had he remained silent, he would have been long unnoticed; but when he spoke, there was something in his manner which arrested attention.

"Who is this young man?" said the vicar, in a low voice, to his neighbour.

"A Scotchman called Maxwell, on a visit to Sir Henry," was the answer.

"I thought so, from his accent and his manner," said the vicar. It may be here observed that the Northern English retain rather more of the ancient hereditary aversion to their neighbors than their countrymen of the South. The interference of other disputants, each of whom urged his opinion with all the vehemence of wine and politics, rendered the summons to the drawing-room agreeable to the more sober part of the company.

The company dispersed by degrees, and at length the vicar and the young Scotchman alone remained, besides the baronet, his lady, daughters, and myself. The clergyman had not, it would seem, forgot the observation which ranked him with the false prophets of Dunbar, for he addressed Mr. Maxwell upon the first opportunity.

"Hem! I think, sir, you mentioned something about the civil wars of last century. You must be deeply skilled in them indeed, if you can draw any parallel betwixt those and the present evil days,—davs which I am ready to maintain are the most gloomy that ever darkened the prospects of Britain."

"God forbid, Doctor, that I should draw a comparison between the present times and those you mention; I am too sensible of the advantages we enjoy over our ancestors. Faction and ambition have introduced division among us; but we are still free from the guilt of civil bloodshed, and from all the evils which flow from it. Our foes, sir, are not those of our own household; and while we continue united and firm, from the attacks of a foreign enemy, however artful, or however inveterate, we have, I hope, little to dread."

"Have you found anything curious, Mr. Maxwell, among the dusty papers?" said Sir Henry, who seemed to dread a revival of political discussion.

"My investigation amongst them led to reflection's which I have just now hinted," said Maxwell; "and I think they are pretty strongly exemplified by a story which I have been endeavouring to arrange from some of your family manuscripts."

"You are welcome to make what use of them you please," said Sir Henry; "they have been undisturbed for many a day, and I have often wished for some person as well skilled as you in these old pothooks, to tell me their meaning."

"Those I just mentioned," answered Maxwell, "relate to a piece of private history savouring not a little of the marvellous, and intimately connected with your family; if it is agreeable, I can read to you the anecdotes in the modern shape into which I have been endeavouring to throw them, and you can then judge of the value of the originals."

There was something in this proposal agreeable to all parties. Sir Henry had family pride, which prepared him to take an interest in whatever related to his ancestors. The ladies had dipped deeply into the fashionable reading of the present day. Lady Ratcliff and her fair daughters had climbed every pass, viewed every pine-shrouded ruin, heard every groan, and lifted every trap-door, in company with the noted heroine of "Udolpho." They had been heard, however, to observe that the famous incident of the Black Veil singularly resembled the ancient apologue of the Mountain in labour, so that they were unquestionably critics, as well as admirers. Besides all this, they had valorously mounted en croupe behind the ghostly horseman of Prague, through all his seven translators, and followed the footsteps of Moor through the forest of Bohemia. Moreover, it was even hinted (but this was a greater mystery than all the rest) that a certain performance, called the "Monk," in three neat volumes, had been seen by a prying eye, in the right-hand drawer of the Indian cabinet of Lady Ratcliff's dressing-room. Thus predisposed for wonders and signs, Lady Ratcliff and her nymphs drew their chairs round a large blazing wood-fire, and arranged themselves to listen to the tale. To that fire I also approached, moved thereunto partly by the inclemency of the season, and partly that my deafness, which you know, cousin, I acquired during my campaign under Prince Charles Edward, might be no obstacle to the gratification of my curiosity, which was awakened by what had any reference to the fate of such faithful followers of royalty as you well know the house of Ratcliff have ever been. To this wood-fire the vicar likewise drew near, and reclined himself conveniently in his chair, seemingly disposed to testify his disrespect for the narration and narrator by falling asleep as soon as he conveniently could. By the side of Maxwell (by the way, I cannot learn that he is in the least related to the Nithsdale family) was placed a small table and a couple of lights, by the assistance of which he read as follows:—

"Journal of Jan Von Eulen.

On the 6th November, 1645, I, Jan Von Enlen, merchant in Rotterdam, embarked with my only daughter on board of the good vessel 'Vryheid,' of Amsterdam, in order to pass into the unhappy and disturbed kingdom of England.—7th November. A brisk gale; daughter sea-sick; myself unable to complete the calculation which I have begun, of the inheritance left by Jane Lansache, of Carlisle, my late dear wife's sister, the collection of which is the object of my voyage.—8th November. Wind still stormy and adverse; a horrid disaster nearly happened,—my dear child washed overboard as the vessel lurched to leeward.—Memorandum, to reward the young sailor who saved her, out of the first moneys which I can recover from the inheritance of her aunt Lansache.—9th November. Calm P.M. light breezes front N. N. W. I talked with the captain about the inheritance of my sister-in-law, Jane Lansache. He says he knows the principal subject, which will not exceed L1000 in value.—N. B. He is a cousin to a family of Petersons, which was the name of the husband of my sister-in-law; so there is room to hope it may be worth more than be reports.—10th November, 10 A.M. May God pardon all our sins! An English frigate, bearing the Parliament flag, has appeared in the offing, and gives chase.—11 A. M. She nears us every moment, and the captain of our vessel prepares to clear for action. May God again have mercy upon us!"

"Here," said Maxwell, "the journal with which I have opened the narration ends somewhat abruptly."

"I am glad of it," said Lady Ratcliff.

"But, Mr. Maxwell," said young Frank, Sir Henry's grandchild, "shall we not hear how the battle ended?"

I do not know, cousin, whether I have not formerly made you acquainted with the abilities of Frank Ratcliff. There is not a battle fought between the troops of the Prince and of the government, during the years 1745-46, of which he is not able to give an account. It is true, I have taken particular pains to fix the events of this important period upon his memory by frequent repetition.

"No, my dear," said Maxwell, in answer to young Frank Itatcliff,—"No, my dear, I cannot tell you the exact particulars of the engagement, but its consequences appear from the following letter, despatched by Garbonete Von Enlen, daughter of our journalist, to a relation in England, from whom she implored assistance. After some general account of the purpose of the voyage, and of the engagement, her narrative proceeds thus:—

"The noise of the cannon had hardly ceased, before the sounds of a language to me but half known, and the confusion on board our vessel, informed me that the captors had boarded us and taken possession of our vessel. I went on deck, where the first spectacle that met my eyes was a young man, mate of our vessel, who, though disfigured and covered with blood, was loaded with irons, and whom they were forcing over the side of the vessel into a boat. The two principal persons among our enemies appeared to be a man of a tall, thin figure, with a high-crowned hat and long neck band, and short-cropped head of hair, accompanied by a bluff, open-looking elderly man in a naval uniform. 'Yarely! yarely! pull away, my hearts,' said the latter, and the boat bearing the unlucky young man soon carried him on board the frigate. Perhaps you will blame me for mentioning this circumstance; but consider, my dear cousin, this man saved my life, and his fate, even when my own and my father's were in the balance, could not but affect me nearly.

"'In the name of him who is jealous, even to slaying,' said the first—"

Cetera desunt.

No. II.





The next morning the bugles were sounded by daybreak in the court of Lord Boteler's mansion, to call the inhabitants from their slumbers, to assist in a splendid chase, with which the baron had resolved to entertain his neighbour Fitzallen and his noble visitor St. Clere. Peter Lanaret the falconer was in attendance, with falcons for the knights, and tiercelets for the ladies, if they should choose to vary their sport from hunting to hawking. Five stout yeomen keepers, with their attendants, called Bagged Robins, all meetly arrayed in Kendal green, with bugles and short hangers by their sides, and quarterstaffs in their hands, led the slow-hounds, or brackets, by which the deer were to be put up. Ten brace of gallant greyhounds, each of which was fit to pluck down, singly, the tallest red deer, were led in leashes by as many of Lord Boteler's foresters. The pages, squires, and other attendants of feudal splendour, well attired in their best hunting-gear, upon horseback or foot, according to their rank,—with their boar-spears, long bows, and cross-bows, were in seemly waiting.

A numerous train of yeomen, called in the language of the times retainers, who yearly received a livery coat and a small pension for their attendance on such solemn occasions, appeared in cassocks of blue, bearing upon their arms the cognizance of the house of Boteler as a badge of their adherence. They were the tallest men of their hands that the neighbouring villages could supply, with every man his good buckler on his shoulder, and a bright burnished broadsword dangling from his leathern belt. On this occasion they acted as rangers for beating up the thickets and rousing the game. These attendants filled up the court of the castle, spacious as it was. On the green without, you might have seen the motley assemblage of peasantry convened by report of the splendid hunting, including most of our old acquaintances from Tewin, as well as the jolly partakers of good cheer at Hob Filcher's. Gregory the jester, it may well be guessed, had no great mind to exhibit himself in public after his recent disaster; but Oswald the steward, a great formalist in whatever concerned the public exhibition of his master's household state, had positively enjoined his attendance. "What," quoth he, "shall the house of the brave Lord Boteler, or such a brave day as this, be without a fool? Certes, the good Lord St. Clere and his fair lady sister might think our housekeeping as niggardly as that of their churlish kinsman at Gay Bowers, who sent his father's jester to the hospital, sold the poor sot's bells for hawk-jesses, and made a nightcap of his long-eared bonnet. And, sirrah, let me see thee fool handsomely,—speak squibs and crackers, instead of that dry, barren, musty gibing which thou hast used of late; or, by the bones! the porter shall have thee to his lodge, and cob thee with thine own wooden sword till thy skin is as motley as thy doublet."

To this stern injunction, Gregory made no reply, any more than to the courteous offer of old Albert Drawslot, the chief park-keeper, who proposed to blow vinegar in his nose, to sharpen his wit, as he had done that blessed morning to Bragger, the old hound, whose scent was failing. There was, indeed, little time for reply, for the bugles, after a lively flourish, were now silent, and Peretto, with his two attendant minstrels, stepping beneath the windows of the strangers' apartments, joined in the following roundelay, the deep voices of the rangers and falconers making up a chorus that caused the very battlements to ring again.
               Waken, lords and ladies gay,
               On the mountain dawns the day;
               All the jolly chase is here,
               With hawk and horse and hunting-spear
               Hounds are in their couples yelling,
               Hawks are whistling, horns are knelling,
               Merrily, merrily, mingle they,
               "Waken, lords and ladies gay."

               Waken, lords and ladies gay,
               The mist has left the mountain gray;
               Springlets in the dawn are streaming,
               Diamonds on the brake are gleaming,
               And foresters have busy been,
               To track the buck in thicket green;
               Now we come to chant our lay:
               "Waken, lords and ladies gay."

               Waken, lords and ladies gay,
               To the green-wood haste away;
               We can show you where he lies,
               Fleet of foot, and tall of size;
               We can show the marks he made
               When 'gainst the oak his antlers frayed;
               You shall see him brought to bay,
               "Waken, lords and ladies gay."

               Louder, louder chant the lay,
               "Waken, lords and ladies gay;"
               Tell them, youth and mirth and glee
               Run a course as well as we.
               Time, stern huntsman, who can baulk,
               Staunch as hound, and fleet as hawk?
               Think of this, and rise with day,
               Gentle lords and ladies gay.


By the time this lay was finished, Lord Boteler, with his daughter and kinsman, Fitzallen of Harden, and other noble guests had mounted their palfreys, and the hunt set forward in due order. The huntsmen, having carefully observed the traces of a large stag on the preceding evening, were able, without loss of time, to conduct the company, by the marks which they had made upon the trees, to the side of the thicket in which, by the report of Drawslot, he had harboured all night. The horsemen spreading themselves along the side of the cover, waited until the keeper entered, leading his bandog, a large blood-hound tied in a leam or band, from which he takes his name.

But it befell this. A hart of the second year, which was in the same cover with the proper object of their pursuit, chanced to be unharboured first, and broke cover very near where the Lady Emma and her brother were stationed. An inexperienced varlet, who was nearer to them, instantly unloosed two tall greyhounds, who sprung after the fugitive with all the fleetness of the north wind. Gregory, restored a little to spirits by the enlivening scene around him, followed, encouraging the hounds with a loud tayout,—[Tailliers-hors; in modern phrase, Tally-ho]—for which he had the hearty curses of the huntsman, as well as of the baron, who entered into the spirit of the chase with all the juvenile ardour of twenty. "May the foul fiend, booted and spurred, ride down his bawling throat, with a scythe at his girdle," quoth Albert Drawslot; "here have I been telling him that all the marks were those of a buck of the first head, and he has hollowed the hounds upon a velvet-headed knobbler! By Saint Hubert, if I break not his pate with my cross-bow, may I never cast off hound more! But to it, my lords and masters! the noble beast is here yet, and, thank the saints, we have enough of hounds."

The cover being now thoroughly beat by the attendants, the stag was compelled to abandon it, and trust to his speed for his safety. Three greyhounds were slipped upon him, whom he threw out, after running a couple of miles, by entering an extensive furzy brake which extended along the side of a hill. The horsemen soon came up, and casting off a sufficient number of slowhounds, sent them, with the prickers, into the cover, in order to chive the game from his strength. This object being accomplished, afforded another severe chase of several miles, in a direction almost circular, during which the poor animal tried ever wile to get rid of his persecutors. He crossed and traversed all such dusty paths as were likely to retain the least scent of his footsteps; he laid himself close to the ground, drawing his feet under his belly, and clapping his nose close to the earth, lest he should be betrayed to the hounds by his breath and hoofs. When all was in vain, and he found the hounds coining fast in upon him, his own strength failing, his mouth embossed with foam, and the tears dropping from his eyes, he turned in despair upon his pursuers, who then stood at gaze, making an hideous clamour, and awaiting their two-footed auxiliaries. Of these, it chanced that the Lady Eleanor, taking more pleasure in the sport than Matilda, and being a less burden to her palfrey than the Lord Boteler, was the first who arrived at the spot, and taking a cross-bow from an attendant, discharged a bolt at the stag. When the infuriated animal felt himself wounded, he pushed franticly towards her from whom he had received the shaft, and Lady Eleanor might have had occasion to repent of her enterprise had not young Fitzallen, who had kept near her during the whole day, at that instant galloped briskly in, and ere the stag could change his object of assault, despatched him with his short hunting-sword.

Albert Drawslot, who had just come up in terror for the young lady's safety, broke out into loud encomiums upon Fitzallen's strength and gallantry. "By 'r Lady," said he, taking off his cap, and wiping his sun-burnt face with his sleeve, "well struck, and in good time! But now, boys, doff your bonnets, and sound the mort."

The sportsmen then sounded a treble mort and set up a general whoop, which, mingled with the yelping of the dogs, made the welkin ring again. The huntsman then offered his knife to Lord Boteler, that he might take the say of the deer; but the baron courteously insisted upon Fitzallen going through that ceremony. The Lady Matilda was now come up, with most of the attendants; and the interest of the chase being ended, it excited some surprise that neither St. Clere nor his sister made their appearance. The Lord Boteler commanded the horns again to sound the recheat, in hopes to call in the stragglers, and said to Fitzallen: "Methinks St. Clere, so distinguished for service in war, should have been more forward in the chase."

"I trow," said Peter Lanaret, "I know the reason of the noble lord's absence; for when that moon-calf, Gregory, hallooed the dogs upon the knobbler, and galloped like a green hilding, as he is, after them, I saw the Lady Emma's palfrey follow apace after that varlet, who should be trashed for overrunning, and I think her noble brother has followed her, lest she should come to harm. But here, by the rood, is Gregory to answer for himself."

At this moment Gregory entered the circle which had been formed round the deer, out of breath, and his face covered with blood. He kept for some time uttering inarticulate cries of "Harrow!" and "Wellaway!" and other exclamations of distress and terror, pointing all the while to a thicket at some distance from the spot where the deer had been killed.

"By my honour," said the baron, "I would gladly know who has dared to array the poor knave thus; and I trust he should dearly aby his outrecuidance, were he the best, save one, in England."

Gregory, who had now found more breath, cried, "Help, an ye be men! Save Lady Emma and her brother, whom they are murdering in Brockenhurst thicket."

This put all in motion. Lord Boteler hastily commanded a small party of his men to abide for the defence of the ladies, while he himself, Fitzallen, and the rest made what speed they could towards the thicket, guided by Gregory, who for that purpose was mounted behind Fabian. Pushing through a narrow path, the first object they encountered was a man of small stature lying on the ground, mastered and almost strangled by two dogs, which were instantly recognized to be those that had accompanied Gregory. A little farther was an open space, where lay three bodies of dead or wounded men; beside these was Lady Emma, apparently lifeless, her brother and a young forester bending over and endeavouring to recover her. By employing the usual remedies, this was soon accomplished; while Lord Boteler, astonished at such a scene, anxiously inquired at St. Clere the meaning of what he saw, and whether more danger was to be expected?

"For the present, I trust not," said the young warrior, who they now observed was slightly wounded; "but I pray you, of your nobleness, let the woods here be searched; for we were assaulted by four of these base assassins, and I see three only on the sward."

The attendants now brought forward the person whom they had rescued from the dogs, and Henry, with disgust, shame, and astonishment, recognized his kinsman, Gaston St. Clere. This discovery he communicated in a whisper to Lord Boteler, who commanded the prisoner to be conveyed to Queen-Hoo Hall and closely guarded; meanwhile he anxiously inquired of young St. Clere about his wound. "A scratch, a trifle!" cried Henry; "I am in less haste to bind it than to introduce to you one without whose aid that of the leech would have come too late. Where is he? Where is my brave deliverer?" "Here, most noble lord," said Gregory, sliding from his palfrey and stepping forward, "ready to receive the guerdon which your bounty would heap on him."

"Truly, friend Gregory," answered the young warrior, "thou shalt not be forgotten; for thou didst run speedily and roar manfully for aid, without which, I think verily, we had not received it. But the brave forester who came to my rescue when these three ruffians had nigh overpowered me, where is he?"

Every one looked around; but though all had seen him on entering the thicket, he was not now to be found. They could only conjecture that he had retired during the confusion occasioned by the detention of Gaston.

"Seek not for him," said the Lady Emma, who had now in some degree recovered her composure; "he will not be found of mortal, unless at his own season."

The baron, convinced from this answer that her terror had, for the time, somewhat disturbed her reason, forebore to question her; and Matilda and Eleanor, to whom a message had been despatched with the result of this strange adventure, arriving, they took the Lady Emma between them, and all in a body returned to the castle.

The distance was, however, considerable, and before reaching it they had another alarm. The prickers, who rode foremost in the troop, halted, and announced to the Lord Boteler, that they perceived advancing towards them a body of armed men. The followers of the baron were numerous, but they were arrayed for the chase, not for battle; and it was with great pleasure that he discerned, on the pennon of the advancing body of men-at-arms, instead of the cognizance of Gaston, as he had some reason to expect, the friendly bearings of Fitzosborne of Diggswell, the same young lord who was present at the May-games with Fitzallen of Marden. The knight himself advanced, sheathed in armour, and, without raising his visor, informed Lord Boteler, that having heard of a base attempt made upon a part of his train by ruffianly assassins, he had mounted and armed a small party of his retainers, to escort them to Queen-Hoo Hall. Having received and accepted an invitation to attend them thither, they prosecuted their journey in confidence and security, and arrived safe at home without any further accident.

Abbotsford.jpg (93K)



So soon as they arrived at the princely mansion of Boteler, the Lady Emma craved permission to retire to her chamber, that she might compose her spirits after the terror she had undergone. Henry St. Clere, in a few words, proceeded to explain the adventure to the curious audience. "I had no sooner seen my sister's palfrey, in spite of her endeavours to the contrary, entering with spirit into the chase set on foot by the worshipful Gregory than I rode after to give her assistance. So long was the chase that when the greyhounds pulled down the knobbler, we were out of hearing of your bugles; and having rewarded and coupled the dogs, I gave them to be led by the jester, and we wandered in quest of our company, whom, it would seem, the sport had led in a different direction. At length, passing through the thicket where you found us, I was surprised by a cross-bow bolt whizzing past mine head. I drew my sword and rushed into the thicket, but was instantly assailed by two ruffians, while other two made towards my sister and Gregory. The poor knave fled, crying for help, pursued by my false kinsman, now your prisoner; and the designs of the other on my poor Emma (murderous no doubt) were prevented by the sudden apparition of a brave woodsman, who, after a short encounter, stretched the miscreant at his feet and came to my assistance. I was already slightly wounded, and nearly overlaid with odds. The combat lasted some time, for the caitiffs were both well armed, strong, and desperate; at length, however, we had each mastered our antagonist, when your retinue, my Lord Boteler, arrived to my relief. So ends in my story; but, on my knighthood, I would give an earl's ransom for an opportunity of thanking the gallant forester by whose aid I live to tell it."

"Fear not," said Lord Boteler; "he shall be found if this or the four adjacent counties hold him. And now Lord Fitzosborne will be pleased to doff the armour he has so kindly assumed for our sakes, and we will all bowne ourselves for the banquet."

When the hour of dinner approached, the Lady Matilda and her cousin visited the chamber of the fair Darcy. They found her in a composed but melancholy posture. She turned the discourse upon the misfortunes of her life, and hinted that having recovered her brother, and seeing him look forward to the society of one who would amply repay to him the loss of hers, she had thoughts of dedicating her remaining life to Heaven, by whose providential interference it had been so often preserved.

Matilda coloured deeply at something in this speech, and her cousin inveighed loudly against Emma's resolution. "Ah, my dear Lady Eleanor," replied she, "I have to-day witnessed what I cannot but judge a supernatural visitation, and to what end can it call me but to give myself to the altar? That peasant who guided me, to Baddow through the Park of Danbury, the same who appeared before me at different times and in different forms during that eventful journey,—that youth, whose features are imprinted on my memory, is the very individual forester who this day rescued us in the forest. I cannot be mistaken; and connecting these marvellous appearances with the spectre which I saw while at Gay Bowers, I cannot resist the conviction that Heaven has permitted my guardian angel to assume mortal shape for my relief and protection."

The fair cousins, after exchanging looks which implied a fear that her mind was wandering, answered her in soothing terms, and finally prevailed upon her to accompany them to the banqueting-hall. Here the first person they encountered was the Baron Fitzosborne of Diggswell, now divested of his armour; at the sight of whom the Lady Emma changed colour, and exclaiming, "It is the same!" sunk senseless into the arms of Matilda.

"She is bewildered by the terrors of the day," said Eleanor; and we have done ill in obliging her to descend."

"And I," said Fitzosborne, "have done madly in presenting before her one whose presence must recall moments the most alarming in her life."

While the ladies supported Emma from the hall, Lord Boteler and St. Clere requested an explanation from Fitzosborne of the words he had used.

"Trust me, gentle lords," said the Baron of Diggswell, "ye shall have what ye demand, when I learn that Lady Emma Darcy has not suffered from my imprudence."

At this moment Lady Matilda, returning, said that her fair friend, on her recovery, had calmly and deliberately insisted that she had seen Fitzosborne before, in the most dangerous crisis of her life.

"I dread," said she, "her disordered mind connects all that her eye beholds with the terrible passages that she has witnessed."

"Nay," said Fitzosborne, "if noble St. Clere can pardon the unauthorized interest which, with the purest and most honourable intentions, I have taken in his sister's fate, it is easy for me to explain this mysterious impression."

He proceeded to say that, happening to be in the hostelry called the Griffin, near Baddow, while upon a journey in that country, he had met with the old nurse of the Lady Emma Darcy, who, being just expelled front Gay Bowers, was in the height of her grief and indignation, and made loud and public proclamation of Lady Emma's wrongs. From the description she gave of the beauty of her foster-child, as well as from the spirit of chivalry, Fitzosborne became interested in her fate. This interest was deeply enhanced when, by a bribe to Old Gaunt the Reve, he procured a view of the Lady Emma as she walked near the castle of Gay Bowers. The aged churl refused to give him access to the castle, yet dropped some hints, as if he thought the lady in danger, and wished she were well out of it. His master, he said, had heard she had a brother in life, and since that deprived him of all chance of gaining her domains by purchase, he, in short, Gaunt wished they were safely separated. "If any injury," quoth he, "should happen to the damsel here, it were ill for us all. I tried, by an innocent stratagem, to frighten her from the castle by introducing a figure through a trap-door and warning her, as if by a voice from the dead, to retreat from thence; but the giglet is wilful, and is running upon her fate."

Finding Gaunt, although covetous and communicative, too faithful a servant to his wicked master to take any active steps against his commands, Fitzosborne applied himself to old Ursely, whom he found more tractable. Through her he learned the dreadful plot Gaston had laid to rid himself of his kinswoman, and resolved to effect her deliverance. But aware of the delicacy of Emma's situation, he charged Ursely to conceal from her the interest he took in her distress, resolving to watch over her in disguise until he saw her in a place of safety. Hence the appearance he made before her in various dresses during her journey, in the course of which he was never far distant; and he had always four stout yeomen within hearing of his bugle, had assistance been necessary. When she was placed in safety at the lodge, it was Fitzosborne's intention to have prevailed upon his sisters to visit, and take her under their protection; but he found them absent from Diggswell, having gone to attend an aged relation who lay dangerously ill in a distant county. They did not return until the day before the May-games; and the other events followed too rapidly to permit Fitzosborne to lay any plan for introducing them to Lady Emma Darcy. On the day of the chase he resolved to preserve his romantic disguise and attend the Lady Emma as a forester, partly to have the pleasure of being near her, and partly to judge whether, according to an idle report in the country, she favoured his friend and comrade Fitzallen of Marden. This last motive, it may easily be believed, he did not declare to the company. After the skirmish with the ruffians, he waited till the baron and the hunters arrived, and then, still doubting the further designs of Gaston, hastened to his castle to arm the band which had escorted them to Queen-Hoo Hall.

Fitzosborne's story being finished, he received the thanks of all the company, particularly of St. Clere, who felt deeply the respectful delicacy with which he had conducted himself towards his sister. The lady was carefully informed of her obligations to him; and it is left to the well-judging reader whether even the raillery of Lady Eleanor made her regret that Heaven had only employed natural means for her security, and that the guardian angel was converted into a handsome, gallant, and enamoured knight.

The joy of the company in the hall extended itself to the buttery, where Gregory the jester narrated such feats of arms done by himself in the fray of the morning as might have shamed Bevis and Guy of Warwick. He was, according to his narrative, singled out for destruction by the gigantic baron himself, while he abandoned to meaner hands the destruction of St. Clere and Fitzosborne.

"But, certes," said he, "the foul paynim met his match; for, ever as he foined at me with his brand, I parried his blows with my bauble, and closing with him upon the third veny, threw him to the ground, and made him cryrecreant to an unarmed man."

"Tush, man!" said Drawslot, "thou forgettest thy best auxiliaries, the good greyhounds, Help and Holdfast! I warrant thee that when the humpbacked baron caught thee by the cowl, which he hath almost torn off, thou hadst been in a fair plight, had they not remembered an old friend and come in to the rescue. Why, man, I found them fastened on him myself; and there was odd staving and stickling to make them 'ware haunch!' Their mouths were full of the flex, for I pulled a piece of the garment from their jaws. I warrant thee that when they brought him to ground, thou fledst like a frighted pricket."

"And as for Gregory's gigantic paynim," said Fabian, "why, he lies yonder in the guard-room, the very size, shape, and colour of a spider in a yewhedge."

"It is false!" said Gregory; "Colbrand the Dane was a dwarf to him."

"It is as true," returned Fabian, "as that the Tasker is to be married on Tuesday to pretty Margery. Gregory, thy sheet hath brought them between a pair of blankets."

"I care no more for such a gillflirt," said the Jester, "than I do for thy leasings. Marry, thou hop-o'-my-thumb, happy wouldst thou be could thy head reach the captive baron's girdle."

"By the Mass," said Peter Lanaret, "I will have one peep at this burly gallant;" and leaving the buttery, he went to the guard-room where Gaston St. Clere was confined. A man-at-arms, who kept sentinel on the strong studded door of the apartment, said he believed he slept; for that after raging, stamping, and uttering the most horrid imprecations, he had been of late perfectly still. The falconer gently drew back a sliding board, of a foot square, towards the top of the door, which covered a hole of the same size, strongly latticed, through which the warder, without opening the door, could look in upon his prisoner. From this aperture he beheld the wretched Gaston suspended by the neck, by his own girdle, to an iron ring in the side of his prison. He had clambered to it by means of the table on which his food had been placed; and in the agonies of shame and disappointed malice, had adopted this mode of ridding himself of a wretched life. He was found yet warm, but totally lifeless. A proper account of the manner of his death was drawn up and certified. He was buried that evening in the chapel of the castle, out of respect to his high birth; and the chaplain of Fitzallen of Marden, who said the service upon the occasion, preached, the next Sunday, an excellent sermon upon the text, "Radix malorum est cupiditas," which we have here transcribed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[Here the manuscript from which we have painfully transcribed, and frequently, as it were, translated this tale, for the reader's edification, is so indistinct and defaced that, excepting certain "howbeits," "nathlesses," "lo ye's!" etc. we can pick out little that is intelligible, saving that avarice is defined "a likourishness of heart after earthly things."] A little farther there seems to have been a gay account of Margery's wedding with Ralph the Tasker, the running at the quintain, and other rural games practised on the occasion. There are also fragments of a mock sermon preached by Gregory upon that occasion, as for example:—

"Mv dear cursed caitiffs, there was once a king, and he wedded a young old queen, and she had a child; and this child was sent to Solomon the Sage, praying he would give it the same blessing which he got from the witch of Endor when she bit him by the heel. Hereof speaks the worthy Dr. Radigundus Potator. Why should not Mass be said for all the roasted shoe souls served up in the king's dish on Saturday? For true it is that Saint Peter asked father Adam, as they journeyed to Camelot, an high, great, and doubtful question: 'Adam, Adam, why eated'st thou the apple without paring?'"

[This tirade of gibberish is literally taken or selected from a mock discourse pronounced by a professed jester, which occurs in an ancient manuscript in the Advocates' Library, the same from which the late ingenious Mr. Weber published the curious comic romance of the "Limiting of the Hare." It was introduced in compliance with Mr. Strutt's plan of rendering his tale an illustration of ancient manners. A similar burlesque sermon is pronounced by the Fool in Sir David Lindesay's satire of the "Three Estates." The nonsense and vulgar burlesque of that composition illustrate the ground of Sir Andrew, Aguecheek's eulogy on the exploits of the jester in "Twelfth Night," who, reserving his sharper jests for Sir Toby, had doubtless enough of the jargon of his calling to captivate the imbecility of his brother knight, who is made to exclaim : "In sooth, thou wast in very gracious fooling last night when thou spokest of Pigrogremitus, and of the vapours passing the equinoctials of Quenbus; 't was very good, i' faith!" It is entertaining to find commentators seeking to discover some meaning in the professional jargon of such a passage as this.]

With much goodly gibberish to the same effect,which display of Gregory's ready wit not only threw the whole company into convulsions of laughter, but made such an impression on Rose, the Potter's daughter, that it was thought it would be the jester's own fault if Jack was long without his Jill. Much pithy matter concerning the bringing the bride to bed, the loosing the bridegroom's points, the scramble which ensued for them, and the casting of the stocking, is also omitted, from its obscurity.

The following song, which has been since borrowed by the worshipful author of the famous "History of Fryar Bacon," has been with difficulty deciphered. It seems to have been sung on occasion of carrying home the bride.


To the tune of "I have been a Fiddler," etc.
     And did you not hear of a mirth befell

          The morrow after a wedding-day,
          And carrying a bride at home to dwell?
          And away to Tewin, away, away!

          The quintain was set, and the garlands were made,—
          'T is pity old customs should ever decay;
          And woe be to him that was horsed on a jade,
          For he carried no credit away, away.

          We met a consort of fiddle-de-dees;
          We set them a cockhorse, and made them play
          The winning of Bullen, and Upsey-fires,
          And away to Tewin, away, away!

          There was ne'er a lad in all the parish
          That would go to the plough that day;
          But on his fore-horse his wench he carries,
          And away to Tewin, away, away!

          The butler was quick, and the ale he did tap,
          The maidens did make the chamber full gay;
          The servants did give me a fuddling cup,
          And I did carry 't away, away.

          The smith of the town his liquor so took
          That he was persuaded that the ground looked blue;
          And I dare boldly be sworn on a book
          Such smiths as he there 's but a few.

          A posset was made, and the women did sip,
          And simpering said they could eat no more;
          Full many a maiden was laid on the lip,—
          I'll say no more, but give o'er (give o'er).

But what our fair readers will chiefly regret is the loss of three declarations of love: the first by St. Clore to Matilda, which, with the lady's answer, occupies fifteen closely written pages of manuscript. That of Fitzosborne to Emma is not much shorter; but the amours of Fitzallen and Eleanor, being of a less romantic cast, are closed in three pages only. The three noble couples were married in Queen-Hoo Hall upon the same day, being the twentieth Sunday after Easter. There is a prolix account of the marriage-feast, of which we can pick out the names of a few dishes, such as peterel, crane, sturgeon, swan, etc., with a profusion of wild-fowl and venison. We also see that a suitable song was produced by Peretto on the occasion, and that the bishop, who blessed the bridal beds which received the happy couples, was no niggard of his holy water, bestowing half a gallon upon each of the couches. We regret we cannot give these curiosities to the reader in detail, but we hope to expose the manuscript to abler antiquaries, so soon as it shall be framed and glazed by the ingenious artist who rendered that service to Mr. Ireland's Shakspeare manuscripts. And so (being unable to lay aside the style to which our pen is habituated), gentle reader, we bid thee heartily farewell.

No. III.



It is well known in the South that there is little or no boxing at the Scottish schools. About forty or fifty years ago, however, a far more dangerous mode of fighting, in parties or factions, was permitted in the streets of Edinburgh, to the great disgrace of the police, and danger of the parties concerned. These parties were generally formed from the quarters of the town in which the combatants resided, those of a particular square or district fighting against those of an adjoining one. Hence it happened that the children of the higher classes were often pitted against those of the lower, each taking their side according to the residence of their friends. So far as I recollect, however, it was unmingled either with feelings of democracy or aristocracy, or, indeed, with malice or ill-will of any kind towards the opposite party. In fact, it was only a rough mode of play. Such contests were, however, maintained with great vigour with stones and sticks and fisticuffs, when one party dared to charge, and the other stood their ground. Of course mischief sometimes happened; boys are said to have been killed at these "bickers," as they were called, and serious accidents certainly took place, as many contemporaries can bear witness.

The Author's father residing in George Square, in the southern side of Edinburgh, the boys belonging to that family, with others in the square, were arranged into a sort of company, to which a lady of distinction presented a handsome set of colours. Now this company, or regiment, as a matter of course, was engaged in weekly warfare with the boys inhabiting the Crosscauseway, Bristo Street, the Potter Row,—in short, the neighbouring suburbs. These last were chiefly of the lower rank, but hardy loons, who threw stones to a hair's-breadth, and were very rugged antagonists at close quarters. The skirmish sometimes lasted for a whole evening, until one party or the other was victorious, when, if ours were successful, we drove the enemy to their quarters, and were usually chased back by the reinforcement of bigger lads who came to their assistance. If, on the contrary, we were pursued, as was often the case, into the precincts of our square, we were in our turn supported by our elder brothers, domestic servants, and similar auxiliaries.

It followed, from our frequent opposition to each other, that though not knowing the names of our enemies, we were yet well acquainted with their appearance, and had nicknames for the most remarkable of them. One very active and spirited boy might be considered as the principal leader in the cohort of the suburbs. He was, I suppose, thirteen or fourteen years old, finely made, tall, blue-eyed, with long fair hair, the very picture of a youthful Goth. This lad was always first in the charge, and last in the retreat,—the Achilles, at once, and Ajax of the Crosscauseway. He was too formidable to us not to have a cognomen, and, like that of a knight of old, it was taken from the most remarkable part of his dress, being a pair of old green livery breeches, which was the principal part of his clothing; for, like Pentapolin, according to Don Quixote's account, Green-Breeks, as we called him, always entered the battle with bare arms, legs, and feet.

It fell that once upon a time, when the combat was at the thickest, this plebeian champion headed a sudden charge so rapid and furious that all fled before him. He was several paces before his comrades, and had actually laid his hands on the patrician standard, when one of our party, whom some misjudging friend had intrusted with a couteau de chasse, or hanger, inspired with a zeal for the honour of the corps worthy of Major Sturgeon himself, struck poor Green-Breeks over the head with strength sufficient to cut him down. When this was seen, the casualty was so far beyond what had ever taken place before that both parties fled different ways, leaving poor Green-Breeks, with his bright hair plentifully dabbled in blood, to the care of the watchman, who (honest man) took care not to know who had done the mischief. The bloody hanger was flung into one of the Meadow ditches, and solemn secrecy was sworn on all hands; but the remorse and terror of the actor were beyond all bounds, and his apprehensions of the most dreadful character. The wounded hero was for a few days in the Infirmary, the case being only a trifling one. But though inquiry was strongly pressed on him, no argument could make him indicate the person from whom he had received the wound, though he must have been perfectly well known to him. When he recovered, and was dismissed, the author and his brothers opened a communication with him, through the medium of a popular gingerbread baker, of whom both parties were customers, in order to tender a subsidy in name of smart-money. The sum would excite ridicule were I to name it; but sure I am that the pockets of the noted Green-Breeks never held as much money of his own. He declined the remittance, saying that he would not sell his blood, but at the same time reprobated the idea of being an informer, which, he said, was "clam," i.e., base or mean. With much urgency, he accepted a pound of snuff for the use of some old woman—aunt, grandmother, or the like—with whom he lived. We did not become friends, for the bickers were more agreeable to both parties than any more pacific amusement; but we conducted them ever after under mutual assurances of the highest consideration for each other.

Such was the hero whom Mr. Thomas Scott proposed to carry to Canada and involve in adventures with the natives and colonists of that country. Perhaps the youthful generosity of the lad will not seem so great in the eyes of others as to those whom it was the means of screening from severe rebuke and punishment. But it seemed, to those concerned, to argue a nobleness of sentiment far beyond the pitch of most minds; and however obscurely the lad, who showed such a frame of noble spirit, may have lived or died, I cannot help being of opinion, that if fortune had placed him in circumstances calling for gallantry or generosity, the man would have fulfilled the promises of the boy. Long afterwards, when the story was told to my father, he censured us severely for not telling the truth at the time, that he might have attempted to be of use to the young man in entering on life. But our alarms for the consequences of the drawn sword, and the wound inflicted with such a weapon, were far too predominant at the time for such a pitch of generosity.

Perhaps I ought not to have inserted this schoolboy tale; but besides the strong impression made by the incident at the time, the whole accompaniments of the story are matters to me of solemn and sad recollection. Of all the little band who were concerned in those juvenile sports or brawls, I can scarce recollect a single survivor. Some left the ranks of mimic war to die in the active service of their country. Many sought distant lands, to return no more. Others, dispersed in different paths of life, "my dim eyes now seek for in vain." Of five brothers, all healthy and promising in a degree far beyond one whose infancy was visited by personal infirmity, and whose health after this period seemed long very precarious, I am, nevertheless, the only survivor. The best loved, and the best deserving to be loved, who had destined this incident to be the foundation of literary composition, died "before his day," in a distant and foreign land; and trifles assume an importance not their own, when connected with those who have been loved and lost.




"Under which King, Bezonian? Speak, or die!"
Henry IV., Part II.


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