Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Wha shall thee defend? Wha shall thee

Spring. now make free?

In Aperil the one and twenty day Alas, in war wha shall thy helper be?

The high calend, thus Cancer, as we say, Wha shall thee help? Wha shall thee The lusty time of Mayis fresh coming, now redeem?

Celestial great blythness in to bring ; Alas, wha shall the Saxons from thee

Principal moneth, forsooth it may be seen, fiem?

The heavenly hues upon the tender green, I can no more, but beseek God of grace When old Saturn his cloudy course had Thee to restore in haste to righteousness;

gone. Sena good Wallace may succour thee no The whilk had been both beast and birdis

more.

bon;

The loss of him increased meikle3 care,

Zepherus eik, with his sweet vapour, None of his men in Glasgow still that lay,

He comfort has, by working of nature, What sorrow raise, when they him missed

All fructious thing in till the earth adoun, away?

That rulèd is under the high region : The cruel pain, the woeful complaining,

Sober Luna, in flowing of the sea, Thereof to tell it were owre heavy thing.

When bright Phæbus is in his chemage, I will let be,4 and speak of it na mare

The Bull's course so taken had his place, Little rehearse is owre meikle of care:

And Jupiter was in the Crabis face: And principally where redemption is nane

When conryet' the hot sign coloryk, It helps nought to tell their piteous mane.5 Into the Ram, whilk had his rowmys ryk, The deed thereof is yet in remembrance

He chosen had his place and his mansion, I will let slaik of sorrow the ballance.

In Capricorn, the sign of the Lion :

Gentle (Jupiter) with his mild ordinance, SKETCHES OF NATURE.

Both herb and tree revertis in pleasance,

And fresh Flora her flowery mantle spread, Morning

In every vail, both hop, hight, hill, and The merry day sprang frae the orient,

mead : with beams bright illuminéd the occident.

Autumn.
After Titan, Phæbus up risėd fair,-
High in the sphere the signs made

In September, the humyll moneth sweet, declair.

When passed by the height was, of the

heat, Zepherus began his morrow course; The sweet vapour thus frae the ground Victual and fruit are ripėd in abundance,

As God ordains to man's resource ;

governance. The humil breath down from the heaven Sagittarius with his aspre bow, avail,

By the ilk sign, verity ye may know In every mead, bathe firth, forest and dail; The changing course whilk makes great

difference ; The clear rede 7 among the rockis rang, Through green branches, where birdis And leaves had lost their colouris of plea

blithely sang With joyous voice, in heavenly harmony.

All worldly thing has nought but a season;

Both herb and fruit mon frae heaven come · Expel. 4 Desist. 6 Slacken, let

down. 2 Since. 5 Moan.

go. 3 Much. 7 Voice.

* Disposed.

sance.

JAMES THE FIRST.

1394-1437.

JAMES THE FIRST was the fourth in his uncle specious grounds for putting descent from Robert the Bruce, being him under restraint. He was accordthe great-grandson of his daughter ingly arrested, and imprisoned in a Marjory, and the third of the Steward | dungeon of Albany's castle of Falkland, line of kings. He was the second son in Fife, from which, after about a fortof Robert III., an estimable and good night, his dead body was carried to the man, but wanting that vigour of body neighbouring Abbey of Lindores, and and commanding firmness of mind buried. It was given out that he died necessary for the government of the of dysentery, yet public opinion pointed turbulent nobility of Scotland in that so directly to Albany as his murderer, age. His mother, Annabella Drum- that he demanded to be brought to mond, a daughter of Sir John Drum- trial. But such was his influence, that mond of Stobhall, is called by Chalmers not only was he acquitted, but he “the admirable queen of Robert III." obtained a formal remission, absolving James was born in Dunfermline in himself and his associate the Earl of 1394, in the thirty-seventh year of the Douglas of all guilt in the matter. married life of his parents, twenty-one Although too feeble to cope with his years the junior of his brother David, crafty brother, the king appears to have Duke of Rothesay. His education till shared the public belief in his guilt; and his eleventh year was entrusted to with his heart all but broken for the Henry Wardlaw, the celebrated bishop loss of his beloved eldest son, his whole of St Andrews.

thoughts became concentrated upon the David, James' brother, as heir to the safety of the youngest, now his only crown, had for some time shared the hope. government of the kingdom along with James was but eight years old when his uncle, the Duke of Albany, who, the death of his brother made him heir since the accession of his brother to the crown, and the only obstacle that Robert III., had been entrusted by him stood in the way of his uncle's amwith the administration of affairs.bitious designs upon it. When he Albany was a man of an unprincipled attained his eleventh year, his father, and ambitious disposition, and, before with the consent and advice of his exthe birth of James, the Duke of Rothe cellent tutor Bishop Wardlaw, resolved say was the only obstacle that stood to send him to France, on the plea of betwixt him and the crown. The prosecuting his education, and had a duke's behaviour, if not his character, vessel equipped for conveying him appears to have been reckless and thither in the spring of 1405. He licentiou to such a degree as to give embarked at the Bass, accompanied by his tutor Henry St Clair, Earl of Ork- for him a military governor, whose ney, and a small retinue of attendants; character was a guarantee for his being but they had not proceeded beyond brought up in a manner suitable to his Flamborough Head, on the coast of royal rank.” Nor did the youthful Northumberland, when they were inter- prisoner discredit the teaching of his cepted by an English squadron, and excellent master. He greatly excelled made prisoners, in violation of a treaty in all those military and athletic exerof truce then subsisting between Eng. cises which formed the physical educaland and Scotland. This breach of tion of the young knights of the time. good faith, which obtained the subse. Beside those active feats which strengquent approval of Henry IV. and his thened the constitution, he did not council, was perpetrated on the 12th neglect the cultivation of those more April 1405, and it is strongly sus elegant and intellectual studies which pected to have been instigated by give grace to the manners and strength Albany. On receipt of the news of to the mind. His natural genius for this second calamity, the aged king music and poetry wer of no common retired to the seclusion of his castle of order; and the circumstance of his capRothesay, in Bute, where he died on tivity gave him leisure and opportunity the 4th April 1406. He was buried for the study of those fascinating arts, in Paisley Abbey.

which, had he remained at home, might The captive James was now pro- be incompatible with the discharge of claimed king by a parliament which more serious duties. He is also said to met at Perth, and his Uncle Albany was have been a good Greek and Latin confirmed in his office of Regent ; but scholar, and to have been well acno remonstrance was made against the quainted with the philosophy of the age. illegality of his capture, and no steps The two first years of his imprisonwere taken to obtain his release.

ment were spent in the Tower of When James and his retinue were London, from whence he was removed brought before Henry, the Earl of Ork- to Nottingham Castle, and shortly after ney protested against his being made a to Windsor, where he appears to have prisoner, pleading the peaceful object spent the greater part of his captivity. of his voyage to France on account of Henry IV. died in March 1413, and his education. The English monarch was succeeded by Henry V., by whom jestingly replied, that, in that case, it James was again, for a short time, made little difference, that he himself committed to the custody of the Tower, understood French well, and James after several unsuccessful attempts for would be as well educated at his court his liberation on his own part, and as at that of France. And Henry on that of the Scottish nobles opposed seems to have meant what he said, for to Albany. At length, in September in the selection of Sir John Pelham to 1319, Albany's long lease of power superintend the studies of his captive, came to an end, through his death, at “he generously,” says Tytler, "selected | Stirling, in his eightieth year ; but such was his influence, and the tenacity of his issue nor them to obey such orders; but,” unprincipled ambition, that he contrived he added, "in order to win the prize of to transfer the reins of power, which chivalry, and become instructed in the death alone snatched out of his own art of war under so illustrious a master, firm grasp, into the feeble hands of his

was an opportunity he willingly emson Murdoch. James, now in his braced.” Accordingly, with a select twenty-fifth year, sạw, with indignation, company of Scottish knights, he accoma renewal of that unjust usurpation panied Henry for the love of honour. which kept him out of his rights, with- In this second visit to France, James out a proteșt being made on his behalf. obtained some information about the In these circumstances it must have misgovernment of his cousin, Duke Murbeen a mitigation of his misfortunes to doch, and the anxiety of the people for his have accompanied Henry V. to France, own return; and Henry, seeing how where he commanded a chosen band of little he could influence Scottish policy Scottish knights who fought with great through James, and having now satis. bravery under the standard of England factory evidence of the firm and energetic for two years. He was also present at character of his captive, began to think the magnificent coronation festival of it might best serve his own interests to Catherine of France, as Henry's queen, bind him by the ties of gratitude and and returned to England in their train. relationship, by restoring him to his

Henry had not been long in Eng dominions, and bestowing upon him land, when the arrival of a body of the hand of his relative, the Lady Jane 7000 Scots, under the Earl of Buchan, Beaufort. the second son of Albany, enabled the James' introduction to this beautiful dauphin to renew hostilities, and the and accomplished lady is equally infirst check sustained by the arms of teresting from a poetical and a political England in France was that of Baugé, point of view; and taking his own where the Scots under Buchan defeated delicate but romantic account of it, them, killing the Duke of Clarence, which there is no reason to believe to Henry's brother, and making many be a piece of fanciful feigning, it is as important prisoners. Henry resolved simple, and natural, and artless as the to return, to retrieve the misfortunes of accidental meeting of the most primihis army, and to bring James along with tive pastoral swains. The lady who him, in the hope that the Scots auxili- thus became the object of James' ardent aries might be induced, by the presence affection, and inspired his muse, was of their king, to desist. On Henry's the daughter of the Earl of Somerset, proposing to James that he should then dead, and whose mother, a daughter charge them on their allegiance to do so, of the Earl of Kent, was married to he replied, with equal good reason and Henry's brother, the Duke of Clarence, high spirit—“That, so long as he con- killed by the Earl of Buchan at the tinued a prisoner, and acted under the battle of Baugé. Her brother, the will of another, it neither became him to Duke of Somerset, one of Henry's re

ment.

to

nowned comr

mmanders, was taken pri- general was the corruption of the ruling soner by the Scots in the same engage-class, and their participation in the

maladministration of the Albanys, that The feeble Murdoch being unable to the utmost caution was required in proprevent Scottish troops being sent to ceeding to reform the abuses and rethe assistance of France against Eng- store the spoliations in which so many land, there was no longer any motive, on had become interested. His conduct at the part of the latter, for retaining the first towards Albany and his associates King of Scots to serve his purposes ; all was such as to awaken no suspicions that things therefore seemed to favour James' | he was diligently informing himself of restoration. He was with Henry in the intrigues by which he was kept an France when that monarch was seized exile, and preparing to wreak such with the fatal disorder of which he died vengeance upon the perpetrators as in August 1422, and in the capacity of showed him to be possessed of a deterchief mourner accompanied the body to mination and force of character in strikEngland. This event, however, some ing contrast to that of his father. But what retarded the arrangements for his except so far as they enable us return to Scotland. At length the con- estimate his intellectual vigour, the ditions of his release were agreed upon, details of his administration belong whereby £40,000, in the name of ex- rather to his political than to his literary penses for his support during captivity, history ; it will therefore be sufficient to was to be paid to England. The terms relate, that such was the skill with which of James' marriage with Lady Jane he planned his measures, both for the Beaufort were settled at the same time, reform of the government, and the and the ceremony was celebrated in the punishment of past misrule, that, in church of St Mary Overy, in Southwark, about twelve months after his return, he after which the marriage banquet was had the control of all the strongholds of held in the house of the bride's uncle, the the kingdom, and condemned and famous Cardinal Beaufort. All things executed the Duke of Albany and two being thus settled, James returned to of his sons, along with his father-in-law, his native country, after an exile of the Earl of Lennox. Apart from the eighteen years, and was crowned at retaliation to which such an act of Scone, April 28, 1423, amid the re- public vengeance was almost sure to joicings of his countrymen.

lead, it is questionable if, on any grounds, The state of the kingdom demanded such severity was justifiable, and it the most energetic efforts to reduce to would appear as if James, through too order and system the chaotic confusion acute a sense of the injury his family to which the weakness of the governor and himself suffered at the hands of his and the turbulence of the nobles had uncle, was carried beyond his judgment reduced it; and James lost no time in in visiting the sins of the father upon the making himself thoroughly acquainted son and grandson. His solicitude and with the condition of affairs ; yet so constant efforts for the humane and just

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »