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Lady Ford's negotiations with James was the liberty of her husband.
For her to break a lance.-P. 255. “ Also the Queen of France wrote a love-letter to the King of Scotland, calling him her love, shewing him that she had suffered much rebuke in France for the defending of his honour. She believed surely that he would recompense her again with some of his kingly support in her necessity; that is to say, that he would raise her an army, and come three foot of ground on English ground, for her sake. To that effect she sent him a ring off her finger, with fourteen thousand French crowns to pay his expences.” PitSCOTTIE, p. 110. A turquois ring ;-probably this fatal gift is, with James's sword and dagger, preserved in the College of Heralds, London.
Note XIII. Archibald Bell-the-Cat.-P. 262. Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, a man remarkable for strength of body and mind, acquired the popular name of Bell-the-Cat, upon the following remarkable occasion : James the Third, of 'whom Pitscottie complains, that he delighted more in music, and “ policies of building," than in hunting,
hawking, and other noble exercises, was so ill advised, as to make favourites of his architects and musicians, whom the same historian irreverently terms, masons and fidlers. His nobility, who did not sympathize in the king's respect for the fine arts, were extremely incensed at the honours conferred on these persons, particularly on Cochrane, a mason, who had been created Earl of Mar. And seizing the opportunity, when, in 1482, the king had convoked the whole array of the country to march against the English, they held a midnight council in the church of Lauder, for the purpose of forcibly removing these minions from the king's person. When all had agreed on the propriety of the measure, Lord Gray told the assembly the Apologue of the Mice; who had formed a resolution, that it would be highly advantageous to their community to tie a bell round the cat's neck, that they might hear her approach at a distance ; but which public measure unfortunately miscarried, from no mouse being willing to undertake the task of fastening the bell. “ I understand the moral,” said Angus, “ and, that what we propose may not lack execution, I will bell the cat." The rest of the strange scene is thus told by Pitscottie :
“ By this was advised and spoken by thir lords foresaid, Cochran, the Earl of Mar, came from the king to the council. (which council was holden in the kirk of Lawder for the time,) who was well accompanied with a band of men of war, to the number of three hundred light axes, all clad in white livery, and black bends thereon, that they might be known for Cochran the Earl of Mar's men. Himself was clad in a riding-pie of black velvet, with a great chain of gold about his neck, to the value of five hundred crowns, and four blowing horns, with both the ends of gold and silk, set with precious stone, called a berryl, hanging in the midst. This Cochran had his heumont born before him overgilt with gold ; and so were all the rest of his horns, and all his pallions were of fine canvas of silk, and the cords thereof fine twined silk, and the chains upon his pallions were double overgilt with gold.
“ This Cochran was so proud in his conceit, that he counted no lords to be marrows to him, therefore he rushed rudely at the kirk-door. The council enquired who it was that perturbed them at that time. Sir Robert Douglas, laird of Lochlevin, was keeper of the kirk-door at that time, who enquired who that was that knocked so rudely ? and Cochran answered, “ This is I, the Earl of Mar.” The which news pleased well the lords, because they were ready boun to cause take him, as is afore rehearsed. Then the Earl of Angus past hastily to the door, and with him Sir Robert Douglas of Lochlevin, there to receive in the Earl of Mar, and so many of his complices who were there, as they thought good. And the Earl of Angus met with the Earl of Mar, as he came in at the door, and pulled the golden chain from his craig, and said to him, a tow* would set him better. Sir Robert Douglas syne pulled the blowing-horn from him in like manner, and said, “ He had been the hunter of mischief over long.” This Cochran asked, “ My lords, is it mows + or earnest?” They answered, and said, it is good ear
nest, and so thou shalt find : for thou and thy complices have abused our. prince this long time; of whom thou shalt have no more credence, but shall have thy reward according to thy good service, as thou hast deserved in times bypast; right so the rest of thy followers.
“ Notwithstanding, the lords held them quiet till they caused certain armed men to pass into the king's pallion, and two or three wise men to pass with them, and give the king fair pleasant words, till they laid hands on all the king's servants, and took them and hanged them before his eyes over the bridge of Lawder. Incontinent they brought forth Cochran, and his hands bound with a tow, who desired them to take one of his own pallion-tows and bind his hands, for he thought shame to have his hands bound with such tow of hemp, like a thief. The lords answered, he was a traitor, he deserved no better ; and, for despight, they took a hairtether,* and hanged him over the bridge of Lawder, above the rest of his complices.”—PITSCOTTIE, p. 78. folio edit.
And chafed his royal lord.—P. 263. Angus was an old man when the war against England was resolved upon. He earnestly spoke against that measure from its commencement; and, on the eve of the battle of Flodden, remonstrated so freely upon the impolicy of fight
ing, that the king said to him, with scorn and indignation, “ if he was afraid, he might go home.” The earl burst into tears at this insupportable insult, and retired accordingly, leaving his sons, George, master of Angus, and Sir William, of Glenbervie, to command his followers. They were both slain in the battle, with two hundred gentlemen of the name of Douglas. The aged earl, broken-hearted at the calamities of his house and his country, retired into a religious house, where he died about a year after the field of Flod
Note XV. Then rest you in Tantallon Hold.-P. 264. The ruins of Tantallon Castle occupy a high rock projecting into the German Ocean, about two miles east of North Berwick. The building is not seen till a close approach, as there is rising ground betwixt it and the land. The circuit is of large extent, fenced upon three sides by the precipice which overhangs the sea, and on the fourth by a double ditch and very strong outworks. Tantallon was a principal castle of the Douglas family, and when the Earl of Angus was banished, in 1527, it continued to hold out against James V. The king went in person against it, and, for its reduction, borrowed from the castle of Dunbar, then belonging to the Duke of Albany, two great cannons, whose names, as Pitscottie informs us with laudable minuteness, were “ Thrawn-mouth'd Mow and her Marrow;" also, “ two great botcards and two moyan, two double falcons, and four