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For that, he choosed to be born

At a seat in hunting : so
To save mankind, that was forlorn." Intil his leash had grey-hounds two.
The devil asked at him than

He thought, while he was so sittànd, “Why not make a new man,

He saw three women by gangand ;' Mankind for to deliver free?"

And they? women, then, thought he, Saint Serf said, “That should not be : Three weird sisters most like to be. It sufficèd well that mankind

The first he heard say, gangand by, Once should come of Adam's strynde?"? "Lo! yonder the thane of Crumbauchty!' The devil asked, “Why that ye

The 'tother woman said again, Men, are quite delivered free

Of Moray yonder I see the thane." Through Christ's precious passion bought, The third then said, “I see the king." And we devils, sae, are not?"

All this he heard in his dreaming. Saint Serf said, “For that ye

Soon after that, in his youth-head, Fell through your own iniquity ;

Of thyr 3 thanedoms, he thane was made
And through ourself we never fell Syne next he thought to be king,
But through your fellon false counsel. Fra 4 Duncan's days had ta'en ending.
And for 2 the devils were nought wrought The fantasy thus of his dream
Of brukyl3 kind, ye would not

Moved him most to slay his eme, 5
With ruthe 4 of heart forthink 5 your sin As he did all forth indeed,
That through yourself ye were fallen in ; As before he heard me rede,
Therefore Christ's passion

And dame Gruok his eme's wife
Should not be your redemption."

Took, and led with her his life, Then saw the devil that he could not, And held her both his wife and queen, With all the wiles that he sought,

As before then she had been O'ercome Saint Serf: he said than

Till his eme, queen living, He kened him for a wise man.

When he was king with crown reigning; Forthi 7 there he gave him quit

For little in honour, then, had he
For he wan at him na profit.

The grace of affinity.
Saint Serf said, “Thou wretch gae! All thus when his eme was dead,
Frae this stede ;8 and noy' na mae He succeeded in his stead;
Into this stede, I bid ye."

And seventeen winters full, reignand Suddenly then passèd he;

As king, he was then intill Scotland. Frae that stede he held his way,

All his time was great plenty
And never was seen there to this day. Abounding, both in land and sea;

He was in justice right lawful,

And till his lieges all awful.


A night 10 he thought in his dreaming
That sittand" he was beside the king


And in Scotland then, as king,
This Macbeth made great stirring ;

* Strain ; race.

4 Sorrow. 7 Therefore. ? Because 5 Repent.

8 Place. 3 Fallible.

6 Knew. 9 Annoy. 10 One night. 11 Sitting: and is the old Saxon termination of the participle.

* Going.

2 These or those. 3 These. 4 From ; from the time when; as soon as. 5 Uncle. Anglo-Sax.



And set him then in his power
A great house for to make of were
Upon the hill of Dunsinane.
Timber theretill to draw, and stane,
Of Fife and of Angus, he
Gert' many oxen gathered be.
So on a day in their travail,
A yoke of oxen Macbeth saw fail;
Then speired? who that aught
The yoke, that failed in their draught.
They answered till Macbeth again
And said “Macduff, of Fife the thane,
That ilk yoke of oxen aught,
That he saw fail into the draught."
Then spake Macbeth dispiteously,
And to the thane said angrily,
Like all writhen in his skin, 3
His own neck he should put in
The yoke, and ger him draughts draw.
Not doubting all his kynny's awe.
Frae the thane Macbeth heard speak,
That he would put in yoke his neck,
Of all his thought he made no song;
But privily out of the throng
With slight he got; and the spensere 4
A loaf him gave till his suppere.
And, as soon as he might see
His time and opportunity,
Out of the court he past, and ran,
And that loaf bare with him than
To the water of Erne. That bread
He gave the boat-wards, him to lead,
And on the south half him to set
But 5 delay or any let.
That passage call'd was after than
Long time Port Naharyan;
The Haven of Bread that should be
Callèd in-tyl property.
Ower the water then was he set,
But danger, or but ony let.

When this Leo the third was dead,
A woman occupied that stead,
Twa year as pape full, and mare.
She was too wantown of her ware,
She was English of nation,
Right wylie of condition,
A burgess' daughter, and his heir ;
Pryve pleasant and right fair :
They called her father Hob of Lyne.
Frae father and mother and all her

With her love she past off land, a
A woman young till eild growand ;3
And at Athens in study
She bade, and leryd ythandly :4
And nane perceived her woman,
But all time kythyd 5 her as man,
And called herself John Magwytyne,
Yea, wit ye well, a shrew fine.
Syne again frae Greece to Rome,
As a solemn clerk she come,
And had of clergy sic renown,
That by concord election
Pape she was chosen there,
Yet feel (it) that her cubiculare
By her lay and gat a bairn :
That all her clergy could not warne.
Intill procession on a day,
As she passed intill the way,
Her child-ill all suddenly,
Travailed her sae angrily,
That suddenly there was she dead,
And erdyd in that ilk stede 6
Without prayer or orrison,
Or ony kind devotion,
And but all other honesty,
Solempne or in privity.7

I Caused.

4 The dispenser of 2 Asked.

provisions. 3 The meaning some- 5 Without.

what obscure. 6 Properly ferry.

* Place, position; hence instead. 2 Eloped.

6 Buried in that same 3 Till grown of age. place. 4 Learned busily.

7 Either public or 5 Conducted.



and ane,


As it was said on this manner :

Ye ween to lak,' but ye commend

That nation, as ye mak it kend:
“The question put by the illustrious Duke Was never realm, nor region
of Orleans,” says Dr Laing “is sufficiently Worth mare commendation,
simple and dispassionate, and leads to a natural Than are the few folk of Scotland,
and satisfactory conclusion, when he asked how As that ye gar? us understand.
it came that the English, with all their boast-

Ye say their gaddering into weiris, ing, never were able to vanquish the puir folk | May not exceed five hundred spears ; of Scotland ?

And ye are ane mighty nation, 'Whose gathering into weiris Excelling in presumption, Micht nocht exceed five hundred speiris,' - For all lands lying you by,

Ye suppress with your seniory, but allowed themselves to be harassed night

Either ye

win them to your crown, and day by those whom they pretended to hold in despite; nor could enforce that homage and Or haldis 3 them in subjection. obedience which, at times, they presumed to

But the few folk of Scotland, say we owed to the crown of England." Whilk by dry marches are lyand

Near on to you, they hold their own Ane thousand year three hundred ninety As it is made untill us known;

And will come with their power, Frae' Jesus Christ had manhood tane, Playn ye, 4 or your land, of war, The bishop of Saint Andrews see,

And day and night will lie therein, Master Walter Trail called was he,- And in your sight your lands bryne ;5 By counsel and by ordinance

Your cattle, and your goods they ta;6 Of Scottismen, he passed in France : And spares nothing yourselves to slay ; For, into Scotland men heard tell,

Thus suffer they on no kind wise, That the Duke John of Longcastell, You of such might to do suppryse ; 7 By ane ordinate deliverance

But even they quit you lill for lall, 8 Of Englishmen, he passed in France. - Or that ye skail9 the market all : And whatsover they treited, 2 had

That nation may ye not defame Our bishop there twelve monthes bade But gif 10 ye smight your own with shame! And there sorely the Englishmen

The King of France, therefore, think me, The Scottismen defamed then ;

Should hold them into mair daintie ! They said their gaddering into weiris, 3 That so few folk of so little might Might not exceed five hundred spears ; Against you can maintain their fight, The king of France, they said forthy, 4 Upon the dry marches lyand, Should lat 5 of Scottismen but lightly. As it is gart "2 us understand. Thiro wordis were said in the presence When this was said the Englishmen Of the doughty Duke of Orleans,

Were shamed of their wordis then, Whilk had ane special affection

And hold them still, and spoke no mare Till Scottismen, and their nation ;

Intil dispite, as they did ere. And then in haste he made answer,

Depreciate. 5 Burn. 9 Disperse. 2 Make, cause.

6 Take.

10 Without. Since. 4 Therefore.

3 Hold. 2 Asked, entreated. 5 Esteem, reckon,

7 Suppress.

4 Ye complain. 8 Tit for tit. 6 These.

II Esteem. 12 Made.

3 Wars.


1420 ?-14932

SOMEWHAT out of chronological | 1549; so that he must then have been order, we have placed Blind Harry, as very old indeed, and Dr Irving may the minstrel is familiarly called, next not be far wrong in supposing him to Wyntoun, although he must have been have reached the age of 94. On this born at least a quarter of a century hypothesis, he would have been born in later than James I. ; yet no one who 1455, and, allowing five years of age to compares his Wallace with the King's be about that which he calls his infancy, Quair, will doubt that the former this would place the composition of poetically belongs to the school of Wallace in 1460. Supposing the author Barbour, while the latter marks the in- to he 40 when he composed it, 1420 troduction of more modern school. would be the year of his birth. The

“Henry, who was blind from his Treasurer's accounts, during the reign birth, composed, in the time of my of James IV., record several donations infancy, the whole Book of William of five, nine, and eighteen shillings, havWallace, and committed to writing in ing been made to him, of which the last vulgar poetry, in which he was well is dated January 1492 ; and Dr Irving's skilled, the things that were commonly conjecture, that he died shortly after, is related of him. For my own part, I very probable—if we suppose in 1493 give only partial credit to writings of it would make his age to be 73 at this description. By the recitation of death. these, however, in the presence of men

All worthi men at redys this rurall dyt, of the highest rank, he procured, as he

Blaym nocht the buk; set I be unperfyt. indeed deserved, food and raiment." I suld have thank, sen I nocht travaill spard, Along with a few incidental references For my laubour na man hecht me reward ; by himself, in the Life of Wallace, the

Na charge I had off king nor othir lord

Gret harm I thocht his gud deid suld be above quotation from the Latin History

smord. of Scotland, by John Major, or Mair, I haiff said her ner as the process gais; published in 1521, is all the direct And fenyeid nocht for frendschip nor for fais. evidence that we possess regarding the

Costis herfor was no man bound to me;

In this sentence I had na will to be, life of this very remarkable man. The

Bot in als mekill as I rahersit nocht date of Major's own birth being un

Sa worthely as nobill Wallace wrocht." recorded, makes his statement as to Henry less definite as data for ascertain- “Go nobill buk, fulfillyt off gud sentens, ing the time when he composed his Life Supposs thou be baran off eloquens.

Go worthy buk fullfillit off suthfast deid; of Wallace. Buchanan says Major was

Bot in language, off help thow has gret neid an old man in 1524, and was still alive,

Quhen gud makaris rang weill in to Scotland, and provost of St Salvator's College in Gret harm was it, that name of thaim ye fand. Yeit thar is part that can the weill avance ; short of the manner in which such noble Now byd thi tym, and be a remembrance.

deeds should be recorded. I yow besek, off your benevolence;

Then, in finishing his task, with a Quha will nocht low, lak nocht my eloquence ; (It is weill knawin I am a bural man),

consciousness of having discharged it in For her is said as gudly as I can:

no ignoble spirit, yet regretting that the My speryt felis na termys asperans.

subject was neglected when good poets Now besek God, that gyffar is off


sung in Scotland, he commits the book Maide hell and erd, and set the hewyn abuff, That he us grant off his der lestand luff.

to the judgment of posterity, confi

dent that it will not be forgotten, notThe above contains almost all the withstanding his want of eloquence, allusions that he makes to himself, if which he excuses on the ground of his we except his frequent references to the being a “bural man.” The meaning Latin book of his author, “Maister Jhone drawn from his use of this phrase is, Blayr."

that he was a peasant by descent, for

the word “bural” appears to be our “A worthy clerk, bath wyss and rycht sawage. Lewyt he was befor in Parryss toune.

modern word boorish. Amang maistris in science and renoune.

There is nothing in the book to conWallace and he at hayme in scule had beyne ; firm the uniform tradition that he was Sone eftirwart, as veritè is syne, He was the man pryncipall undirtuk,

a professional minstrel, or that he was That fyrst compild in dyt the Latyne buk

blind ; indeed, the impression left upon Of Wallace lyff, rycht famous of renoune ; the mind by the book, in reference And Thomas Gray persone of Libertoune.

to the latter part of the tradition, With him thai war, and put in story all,

is one of doubt, at least as to his Offt ane or bath, mekill of his trauill; And tharfor her I mak off thaim mencioune." being blind from his birth.


think Ellis, in his notice of him, was The foregoing quotations, which may impressed with this feeling of doubt serve as unaltered specimens of the , when emphasizing the word born, where

1 poem, are not difficult of comprehension, he says—“That a man born blind should

1 but the first may be paraphrased as fol- excel in any science is sufficiently exlows :- All you who read this rustic i traordinary, though by no means withlay, blame not the book. Although I out example; but that he should become be imperfect, yet should I have thanks an excellent poet is almost miraculous, for the labour and pains which I have because the soul of poetry is description. bestowed upon it, without promise of Perhaps, therefore, it may be easily reward from king or noble. I thought | assumed that Henry was not inferior, it a pity such good deeds should be in point of genius, to either Barbour or smothered, and have done my best to Chaucer; or indeed to any poet of any relate them as they occurred, regarding age or country.” Tytler, in endeavourneither friend nor foe. No man is ing to vindicate his character as a his. bound to relieve me of the costs of it; torian from undeserved neglect, both and I know (but for this I am not to by himself and his brother historians, blame), that my description falls far says—“Some late researches, and an

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