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rowed it almost verbatim, though with somewhat a different meaning, from a chorus in “ Caractacus :”
Britain heard the descant bold,
She flung her white arms o'er the sea,
The freight of harmony.
To Henry meek she gave repose. P. 9. Henry VI., with his queen, his heir, and the chiefs of his family, fled to Scotland after the fatal battle of Towton. In this note a doubt was formerly expressed, whether Henry VI. came to Edinburgh, though his queen certainly did ; Mr Pinkerton inclining to believe that he remained at Kircudbright. But my noble friend, Lord Napier, has pointed out to me a grant by Henry, of an annuity of forty merks to his lordship's ancestor, John Napier, subscribed by the king himself, at Edinburgh, the 28th day of August, in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, which corresponds to the year of God 1461. This grant, Douglas, with his usual neglect of accuracy, dates in 1368. But this error being corrected from the copy in Macfarlane's MSS. p. 119, 120, removes all scepticism on the subject of Henry VI. being really at Edinburgh. John Napier was son and heir of Sir Alexander Napier, and about this time was provost of Edinburgh. The hospitable reception of the distressed monarch and his family called forth on Scotland the encomium of Molinet, a contemporary poet. The English people, he says,
Ung nouveau roy creerent,
Par despiteux vouloir,
Et son legitime hoir,
D'Escosse le garand,
RECOLLECTION DES AVANTURES
the romantic strain,
Could win the royal Henry's ear.-P. 10. Mr Ellis, in his valuable Introduction to the “Specimens of Romance,” has proved, by the concurring testimony of La Ravaillere, Tressan, but especially the Abbe de la Rue, that the courts of our Anglo-Norman kings, rather than those of the French Monarchs, produced the birth of Romance Literature. Marie, soon after mentioned, compiled from Armorican originals, and translated into Norman-French, or romance language, the twelve curious Lays, of which Mr Ellis has given us a precis in the Appendix to his Introduction. The story of Blondel, the famous and faithful minstrel of Richard I., needs no commentary.
Note V. The cloth-yard arrows flew like hail.-P. 18. This is no poetical exaggeration. In some of the coun
ties of England, distinguished for archery, shafts of this extraordinary length were actually used. Thus, at the battle of Blackheath, between the troops of Henry VII. and the Cornish insurgents, in 1496, the bridge of Dart. ford was defended by a picked band of archers from the rebel army, “ whose arrows,” says Hollinshed, “ were in length a full cloth-yard.” The Scottish, according to Ascham, had a proverb, that every English archer had under his belt twenty-four Scots, in allusion to his bundle of unerring shafts.
On foeman's casque below....P. 18. “ The most useful air, as the Frenchmen term it, is territerr ; the courbettes, cabrioles, or un pass et un sault, being fitter for horses of parade and triumph than for sol. diers : yet I cannot deny but a demivolte with courbettes, so that they be not too high, may be useful in a fight or meslee ; for, as Labroue hath it, in his Book of Horsemanship, Monsieur de Montmorency, having a horse that was excellent in performing the demivolte, did, with his sword, strike down two adversaries from their horses in a tourney, where divers of the prime gallants of France did meet ; for, taking his time, when the horse was in the height of his cour bette, and discharging a blow then, his sword fell with such weight and force upon the two cavaliers, one after another, that he struck them from their
horses to the ground."-Lord Herbert of Cherbury's Life, p. 48.
Note VII. · He saw the hardy burghers there
March arm'd on foot with faces bare.-P. 19.
The Scottish burgesses were, like yeomen, appointed to be armed with bows and sheaves, sword, buckler knife, spear, or a good axe instead of a bow, if worth £100; their armour to be of white or bright harness. They wore white hats, i. e. bright steel caps, without crest or visor. By an act of James IV., their weaponshawings are appointed to be held four times a year, under the aldermien or bailiffs.
Note VIII. On foot the yeomen too.-P. 20. Bows and quivers were in vain recommended to the peasantry of Scotland, by repeated statutes ; spears and axes seem universally to have been used instead of them. Their defensive armour was the plate-jack, hauberk, or brigantine ; and their missile weapons cross-bows and culverins. All wore swords of excellent temper, accord. ing to Patten ; and a voluminous handkerchief round their neck, “ not for cold, but for cutting.” The mace also was much used in the Scottish army: The old poem, on the battle of Flodden, mentions a band
Who manfully did meet their foes,
When the feudal array of the kingdom was called forth, each man was obliged to appear with forty days' provi. sion. When this was expended, which took place before the battle of Flodden, the army melted away of course. Almost all the Scottish forces, except a few knights, menat-arms, and the Border-prickers, who formed excellent light cavalry, acted upon foot.
Note IX. A banquet rich and costly wines.-P. 26. In all transactions of great or petty importance, and among whomsoever taking place, it would seem, that a present of wine was a uniform and indispensable preli. minary. It was not to Sir John Falstaff alone that such an introductory preface was necessary, however well judged and acceptable on the part of Mr Brook ; for Sir Ralph Sadler, while on embassy to Scotland, in 1539-40, mentions, with complacency, “ the same night came Rothesay (the herald so called) to me again, and brought me wine from the king, both white and red.”--Clifford's Edition, p. 39.
his iron belt,
In memory of his father slain.-P. 30. Few readers need to be reminded of this belt, to the weight of which James added certain ounces every year that he lived. Pitscottie founds his belief, that James was not slain in the battle of Flodden, because the Eng