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The northern champions of old were accustomed peculiarly to search for, and delight in, encounters with such military spectres. See a whole chapter on the subject, in Bartholinus De Causis contemptæ Mortis a Danis, p. 253.
Sir David Lindesay of the Mount,
Lord Lion King-at-arms.-P. 210.
The late elaborate edition of Sir David Lindesay's Works by Mr. George Chalmers, has probably introduced bim to many of my readers. It is perhaps to be regretted, that the learned editor had not bestowed more pains in elucidating his author, even although he should have omitted, or at least reserved, his disquisitions on the origin of the language used by the poet. But, with all its faults, his work is an acceptable present to Scottish antiquaries. Sir David Lindesay was well known for his early efforts in favour of the Reformed doctrines; and, indeed, bis play, coarse as it now seems, must have had a powerful eff ct upon the people of his age. I am uncertain if I abuse poetical license, by introducing Sir David Lindesay in the character of Lion-Herald, sixteen years before he obtained that office. At any rate, I am not the first who has been guilty of the anachronism ; for the author of “ Flodden Field"
I beg leave to quote a single instance from a very interesting passage. Sir David, recounting his attention to King James V. in his infancy, is made, by the learned editor's punctuation, to say,
“The first sillabis that thou did mute,
Vol. I. p. 7, 257. Mr. Chalmers does not inform us by note or glossary, what is meant by the King "muting pa, da, lyn, upon the late;" but any old woman in Scotland will bear witness, that pa, da, lyn, are the first efforts of a child to say, "Whare's Darid Lindesay?", and that the subsequent words begin another sentence
_"t'pon the lute
Then played I twenty springis perqueir," &c. In another place, "justing lumis," i.e. looms, or implements of tilting, is facetionsly interpreted "playful limbs.” Many such minute errors could be pointed out; but these are only mentioned incidentally, and not as diminishing the real merit of the edition.
• It is suggested by an ingenious correspondent, that Pa, da, lyn, ought rather to be interpreted, Play, Dary Lyndesay.
despatches Dallamount, which can mean nobody but Sir David de la Mont, to France, on the message of defiance from James IV. to Henry VIII. It was often an office imposed on the Lion-King-at-arms, to receive foreign ambassadors ; and Lindesay himself did this honour to Sir Ralph Sadler, in 1539-40. Indeed the oath of the Lion, in its first article, bears reference to his frequent employment upon royal messages and embassies.
The office of heralds, in feudal times, being held of the utmost importance, the inauguration of the Kings-at-arms, who presided over their colleges, was proportionally solemn. In fact, it was the mimicry of a royal coronation, except that the unction was made with wine instead of oil. In Scotland, a namesake and kinsman of Sir David Lindesay, inaugurated in 1592, “ was crowned by King James with the ancient crown of Scotland, which was used before the Scottish Kings assumed a close crown;" and, on occasion of the same solemnity, dined at the King's table, wearing the crown. It is probable that the coronation of his predecessor was not less solemn. So sacred was the herald's office, that, in 1515, Lord Drummond was by Parliament declared guilty of treason, and his lands forfeited, because he had struck with his fist, the Lion King-at-arms, when he reproved him for his follies.' Nor was he restored, but at the Lion's earnest solicitation,
Crichtoun Castle.—P. 214. A large ruinous castle on the banks of the Tyne, about ten miles from Edinburgh. As indicated in the text, it was built at different times, and with a very different regard to splendour and accommodation. The oldest part of the building is a narrow keep, or tower, such as formed the mansion of a lesser Scottish baron; but so many additions hare been made to it, that there is now a large court-yard, surrounded by buildings of different ages. The eastern front of the court is raised above a portico, and decorated with entablatures, bearing anchors. All the stones of this front are cut into diamond facets, the angular projections of which have an uncommonly rich appearance. The inside of this part of the building appears to have contained a gallery of great length, and uncommon elegance. Access was given to it by a magnificent staircase, now quite destroyed. The soffits are ornamented
The record expresses, or rather is said to have expressed, the cause of forfeiture to be, "Eo quod Leonem, armorum Regem pugno riolasset dum cum de ineptiis uis admonet." See Nisbet's Heraldry, Part iv. chap. xvi.; and Leslai Historia ad annum 1515.
with twining cordage and rosettes: and the whole seems to have been far more splendid than was usual in Scottish castles. The castle belonged originally to the Chancellor, Sir William Crichton, and probably owed to him its first enlargement, as well as its being taken by the Earl of Douglas, who imputed to Crichton's counsels the death of his predecessor, Earl William, beheaded in Edinburgh Castle, with his brother, in 1440. It is said to have been totally demolished on that occasion ; but the present state of the ruin shews the contrary. In 1483, it was garrisoned by Lord Crichton, then its proprietor, against King James III., whose displeasure he had incurred by seducing his sister Margaret, in revenge, it is said, for the Monarch having dishonoured his bed. From the Crichton family the castle passed to that of the Hepburns, Earls Bothwell; and when the forfeitures of Stewart, the last Earl Bothwell, were divided, the barony and castle of Crichton fell to the share of the Earl of Buccleuch. They were afterwards the property of the Pringles of Clifton, and are now that of Sir John Callander, Baronet. It were to be wished the proprietor would take a little pains to preserve these splendid remains of antiquity, which are at present used as a fold for sheep, and wintering cattle; although, perhaps, there are very few ruins in Scotland which display so well the style and beauty of ancient castle-architecture. The castle of Crichton has a dungeon vault, called the Massy More. The epithet, which is not uncommonly applied to the prisons of other old castles in Scotland, is of Saracenic origin. It occurs twice in the “ Epistola Itineraria" of Tollius. “ Carcer subterraneus, sive, ut Mauri appellant, MAZMORRA," p. 147; and again, “ Coguntur omnes Captivi sub noctem in ergastula subterranea, quæ Turcæ Algezerani vocant MAZMORRAS," p. 243. The same word applies to the dungeons of the ancient Moorish castles in Spain, and serves to shew from what nation the Gothic style of castle-building was originally derived."
1 In Scotland, formerly, as still in some parts of Greece, the great chieftains required, as an acknowledgment of their authority, that those who passed throngh their lands should repair to their castle, to explain the purpose of their journey, and receive the hospitality suited to their rank. To neglect this was held discourtesy in the great, and insolence in the inferior traveller; and so strictly was the etiquette insisted on by some feudal lords, that the Lord Oliphant is said to have planted guns at his castle of Newtyle in Angus, so as to command the high-road, and compel all restive passengers to do this act of homage.
It chanced, when such ideas were predominant, that the Lord of Crichton Castle received intelligence that a Southern chieftain of high rank, some say Scott of Buccleuch, was to pass his dwelling on his return from court. The Lord Crichton made great preparation to banquet his expected guest, who nevertheless rode past the castle without paying the expected visit. In his first burst of indignation, the Baron pursued the discourteous traveller with a body of horse, made him prisoner, and confined him in the dungeon, while he himself and his vassals feasted upon the good cheer which had been provided. With the morning, however, came reflection, and anxiety for the desperate feud which impended, as the necessary consequence of his rough proceeding. It is said, that, by way of amende honorable, the Baron, upon the second day, placed his compelled guest in his seat of honour in the hall, while he himself
For that a messenger from heaven
Against the English war.–P. 217.
This story is told by Pitscottie with characteristic simplicity :-* The King, seeing that France could get no support of him for that time, made a proclamation, full hastily, through all the realm of Scotland, both east and west, south and north, as well in the isles as in the firm land, to all manner of men between sixty and sixteen years, that they should be ready, within twenty days, to pass with him, with forty days victual, and to meet at the Burrow-muir of Edinburgh, and there to pass forward where he pleased. His proclamations were hastily obeyed, contrary to the Council of Scotland's will; but every man loved his prince so well, that they would on no ways disobey him ; but every man caused make his proclamation so hastily, conform to the charge of the King's proclamation.
"The King came to Lithgow, where he happened to be for the time at the Council, very sad and dolorous, making bis devotion to God, to send him good chance and fortune in his voyage. In this meantime, there came a man, clad in a blue gown, in at the kirk door, and belted about him in a roll of linen-cloth ; a pair of brotikings' on his feet, to the great of his legs; with all other hose and clothes conform thereto; but he had nothing on his head, but syde' red yellow hair bebind, and on his baffets, which wan down to his shoulders; but his forehead was bald and bare. He seemed to be a man of two-and-fifty years, with a great pike-staff in his hand, and came first forward among the lords, crying and speiring for the King, saying, be desired to speak with him. While, at the last, he came where the King was sitting in the desk at his prayers; but when he saw the King, he made him little reverence or salutation, but leaned down groftling on the desk before him, and said to him in this manner, as after follows:- Sir King, my mother hath sent me to you, desiring you not to pass, at this time, where thou art parposed; for if thou does, thou wilt not fare well in thy journey, nor none that passeth with thee. Further, she bade thee mells with no woman, nor use their counsel, nor let them touch thy body, nor thou theirs, for, if thou do it, thou wilt be confounded and brought to shame.'
retired into his own dungeon, and thus did at once penance for his rashness, satisfied the honour of the stranger chief, and put a stop to the feud which must otherwise have taken place between them.—Sir Walter Scott's Provincial Antiquities, vol. i. pp. 25, 26. 1 Buskins. 3 Cheeks. * Asking
- By this man had spoken thir words unto the King's grace, the eveningsong was near done, and the King paused on thir words, studying to give him an answer: but, in the meantime, before the King's eyes, and in the presence of all the lords that were about him for the time, this man vanished away, and could no ways be seen or comprehended, but vanished away as he had been a blink of the sun, or a whip of the whirlwind, and could no more be seen. I heard say, Sir David Lindesay, Lyon-Herauld, and John Inglis the marshal, who were, at that time, young men, and special servants to the King's grace, were standing presently beside the King, who thought to have laid hands on this man, that they might have speired further tidings at him : But all for nought; they could not touch him; for he vanished away betwixt them, and was no more seen."
Buchanan, in more elegant, though not more impressive language, tells the same story, and quotes the personal information of our Sir David Lindesay :-"In iis, (i.e. qui propius astiterant) fuit David Lindesius, Montanus, homo spectatæ fidei et probitatis, nec a literarum studiis alienus, et cujus totius vitæ tenor longissime a mentiendo aberrat; a quo nisi ego hæc uti tradidi, pro certis accepissem, ut vulgatam vanis rumoribus fabulum, omissurus eram."-Lib. xii. The King's throne, in St. Catherine's aisle, which he had constructed for himself, with twelve stalls for the Knights Companions of the Order of the Thistle, is still shewn as the place where the apparition was seen. I know not by what means St. Andrew got the credit of having been the celebrated monitor of James IV.; for the expression in Lindesay's narrative, “ My mother has sent me," could only be used by St. John, the adopted son of the Virgin Mary. The whole story is so well attested, that we have only the choice between a miracle or an imposture. Mr. Pinkerton plausibly argues, from the caution against incontinence, that the Queen was privy to the scheme of those who had recourse to this expedient, to deter King James from his impolitic war.
Archibald Bel-the-Cat.-P. 274.
Archibal 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