Изображения страниц
PDF

sorrow. The English lost also a great number of men, perhaps within one-third of the vanquished, but they were of inferior note.-See the only distinct detail of the Field of Flodden, in PINKERTON's History, Book XI.; all former accounts being full of blunder and inconsistency.

The spot, from which Clara views the battle, must be supposed to have been on a hillock commanding the rear of the English right wing, which was defeated, and in which conflict Marmion is supposed to have fallen.

Note XVI. Brian Tunstall, stainless knight.-P. 128. Sir Brian Tunstall, called in the romantic language of the time, Tunstall the Undefiled, was one of the few Englishmen of rank slain at Flodden. He figures in the ancient English poem, to which I may safely refer my reader ; as an edition, with full explanatory notes, has been published by my friend Mr Henry Weber. Tunstall, perhaps, derived his epithet of undefiled from his white armour and banner, the latter bearing a white cock about to crow, as well as from his unstained loyalty and knightly faith. His place of residence was Thurland Castle.

Note XVII.
View not that corpse mistrustfully,
Defaced and mangled though it be ;
Nor to yon Border castle high

Look northward with upbraiding eye.-P. 147. There can be no doubt that King James fell in the bat

tle of Flodden. He was killed, says the curious French Gazette, within a lance's length of the Earl of Surrey ; and the same account adds, that none of his division were made prisoners, though many were killed ; a circumstance that testifies the desperation of their resistance. The Scottish historians report many of the idle reports which passed among the vulgar of their day. Home was accused, by the popular voice, not only of failing to support the King, but even of having carried him out of the field and murdered him. And this tale was revived in my remembrance, by an unauthenticated story of a skeleton, wrapped in a bull's hide, and surrounded with an iron chain, said to have been found in the well of Home Castle ; for which, on inquiry, I could never find any better authority, than the sexton of the parish baving said, that if the well were cleaned out, he would not be surprised at such a discovery. Home was the chamberlain of the King, and his prime favourite; he had much to lose (in fact did lose all) in consequence of James's death, and nothing earthly to gain by that event : but the retreat, or inactivity of the left wing, which he commanded, after defeating Sir Edmund Howard, and even the circumstance of his returning unhurt, and loaded with spoil, from so fatal a conflict, rendered the propagation of any calumny against him easy and acceptable. Other reports give a still more romantic turn to the King's fate, and averred, that James, weary of greatness after the carnage among his nobles, had gone on a pilgrimage, to merit absolution for the death of his father, and the breach of his oath of amity to Henry. In particular, it was objected to

the English, that they could never shew the token of the iron belt; which, however, he was likely enough to have laid aside on the day of battle, as encumbering his personal exertions. They produce a better evidence, the monarch's sword and dagger, which are still preserved in the Herald's College in London. Stowe has recorded a degrading story of the disgrace with which the remains of the unfortunate monarch were treated in his time. An unhewn column marks the spot where James fell, still called the King's Stone.

Note XVIII.

-fanatic Brook The fair cathedral storm'd and took. P. 148. This storm of Lichfield cathedral, which had been garrisoned on the part of the King, took place in the great Civil War. Lord Brook, who, with Sir John Gill, commanded the assailants, was shot with a musket-ball through the visor of his helmet. The Royalists remarked, that he was killed by a shot fired from St Chad's Cathedral, and upon St Chad's day, and received his death. wound in the very eye with which, he had said, he hoped to see the ruin of all the Cathedrals in England. The magnificent church in question suffered cruelly upon this, and other occasions ; the principal spire being ruined by the fire of the besiegers.

VOL. III.

Upon revising the Poem, it seems proper to mention the following particulars :

The lines in page 134, vol. ii.

Whose doom discording neighbours sought,
Content with equity unbought;

have been unconsciously borrowed from a passage in Dryden's beautiful epistle to John Driden of Chesterton. The ballad of Lochinvar, p. 264, is in a very slight degree founded on a ballad called “ Katharine Janfarie,” which may be found in the 6 Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.”

[ocr errors]

BALLADS

AND

LYRICAL PIECES.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »