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THE train has left the hills of Braid ;
That closed the tented ground;
Into its ample bound.?
1[MS.-" The barrier guard the Lion knew,
Advanced their pikes, and soon withdrew
That closed the tented ground;
Across its ample bound.”)
And envy with their wonder rose,
Nor less did Marmion's skilful view
For men-at-arms were here,
With battle-axe and spear.
1 [MS.—“So long their shafts, so large their bows.”]
2 This is no poetical exaggeration. In some of the counties 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 Dartford 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 carried under his belt twentyfour Scots, in allusion to his bundle of unerring shafts.
Young knights and squires, a lighter train,
Each warlike feat to show,
On foeman's casque below.2
*[MS.-" There urged their chargers on the plain.” ]
2. The most useful air, as the Frenchmen term it, is terris terr; the courbettes, cabrioles, or un pas et un sault, being fitter for horses of parade and triumph than for soldiers: 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 courbette, and discharging & 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.
8 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 L.100: their armour to be of white or bright harness. They wore white hats, i. e. bright steel caps, without crest or vizor. By an act of James IV., their weapon-schawings are appointed to be held four times a-year, under the aldermen or bailiffs.
For vizor they wore none,
Like very silver shone.
Two-handed swords they wore,
And bucklers bright they bore.
On foot the yeoman too, but dress'd
With iron quilted well ;
As feudal statutes tell.
1[MS.—“And malls did many wield of weight.”]
2 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 crossbows and culverins. All wore swords of excellent temper, according 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,
With leaden mauls, and lances long." When the feudal array of the kingdom was called forth, A crossbow there, a hagbut here,
A dagger-knife, and brand.
To till the fallow land.
More dreadful far his ire,
A fierce but fading fire.
And joy'd to hear it swell.
Like the loud slogan yell.
Let nobles fight for fame ; each man was obliged to appear with forty days' provision. 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, men-at-arms, and the Border prickers, who formed excellent light cavalry, acted upon foot.