صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

O;

never

We have lived all our lifetime contented, Then why should people brag of prosO,

perity, O? Since the day we became first acquainted, A straitened life, we see, is no rarity, O ;

Indeed, we've been in want,
It's true we've been but poor,

And our living been but scant,
And we are so to this hour,

Yet we

were reduced to need Yet we never pined nor lamented, O.

charity, O. We ne'er thought o schemes to be in this house we first came together, O, wealthy, O,

Where we've long been a father and By ways that were cunning or stealthie, mother, O; O;

And though not of stone and lime, But we always had the bliss

It will last us a' our time ; And what farther could we wiss?— And I hope we shall never need anither, O. To be pleased wi' ourselves and be healthy, O.

And when we leave this poor habita

tion, O, What though we canna boast of our We'll depart with a good commendation, guineas, O,

O;
We have plenty of Jockies and Jeanies, We'll go hand in hand, I wiss,

To a better house than this,
And these, I'm certain, are

To make room for the next genera-
More desirable by far,

tion, O. 'Than a pock full of poor yellow steenies, O. Then why should old age so much wound We have seen many a wonder and ferlie, 0,

There is nothingin't all to confound us, O; Of changes that almost are yearlie, O,

For how happy now am I,
Among rich folks up and down,

With my auld wife sitting by, Both in country and in town, And our bairns and our oyes all around Who now live but scrimply and barely, O.

O;

us, O?

us, O!

[blocks in formation]

John HOME, although the writer of that Scottish history affords a worthy eight other tragedies and comedies, field for genius to exercise its highest besides an account of the rebellion of powers upon. 1745, (known to students of Scottish his- Home was a descendant of a scion of tory as of little value), is only remem- the Earls of Home, a family that has bered as the author of Douglas. It is given several names to literature. His one of the few dramatic essays on a father was town-clerk of Leith ; and Scottish subject; yet Macbeth proves here the poet was born in 1722. He

a

was educated at the University of Edin- presented at Drury Lane, where it met burgh for the ministry of the Church with such a hearty reception that Garof Scotland ; and while a probationer, rick now consented to produce Agistook part as a volunteer, in the rebel- himself and Mrs Cibber taking the chief lion of 1745-6, on the royal side. He characters. The Siege of Aquileia was was present at the Battle of Falkirk, Home's next production for the stage, and, being taken prisoner, was confined but it failed to interest the public. in Doune Castle, from which however In 1760, he published his tragedies, he contrived to make his escape with in a volume dedicated to the Prince of some others, by means of their blan- Wales, to whom he was introduced by kets used as ropes.

his friend Lord Bute; and through the In 1746, he was appointed parish same medium he obtained a pension of minister of Athelstaneford, as the suc- £300 a-year, besides the office of concessor of Blair, the author of The Grave. servator of Scots privileges at Camp

His first attempt in literature was a vere, with a salary of £300 per annum. tragedy entitled Agis, written in 1749, In 1779, he returned to Edinburgh, with which he proceeded to London, in where he mixed in the best society, and the hope of getting Garrick to produce it enjoyed the friendship of the distinat Drury Lane Theatre. In this he was guished literary men who then adorned not successful; yet though temporarily the Scottish capital. The History of discouraged, he did not despair ; and, the Rebellion was his last work. Havhaving in 1755 produced Douglas, he ing outlived all his literary associates, again repaired to London, but met with he died in 1808, at the ripe age of a similar reception from Garrick, who eighty-six, and was buried at Leith. pronounced his tragedy unfit for the Douglas, on which Home's literary stage.

fame alone depends, is founded on the In 1756, he got it produced in the ballad of “Gil Morice," and when first Canongate theatre, Edinburgh, and it acted in the Canongate theatre, what became immensely popular. Yet the is now Lady Randolph, was then Lady production of a play for the theatre- Barnard. The change had been made reckoned by the religious community of on its production at Drury Lane. As a Scotland as the “Synagogue of Satan " dramatic performance it is of little -however harmless, or even pure, was account, being properly a poem in a too much for the temper of the Presby- dramatized form, and fitter for recitatery, and Home was obliged to resign tion than for being acted ; indeed, its his charge, while some of his ministerial declamatory speeches, viewed asa poem, friends, who had gone to see Douglas are its chief beauties ; but their oratoriacted, incurred the censure of the cal tendency, due to the prevailing style Church.

of the times, is a weakness. We give Deprived of his living, Home again an analysis of the story, and favourable repaired to London, and, through the specimens of the poetry; and add the influence of Lord Bute, got Douglas re- ballad of “Gil Morice," of which Home

use.

son.

has made but a limited and legitimate Douglas, she resolved to keep him igno

rant of her connection with it. She arA collected edition of Home's works,'| ranged to have her child concealed till with a life by Henry Mackenzie, the her father's death should put her in pos"Man of Feeling," was published in session of his states. To this end she three volumes, Edinburgh, 1822. entrusted it to a confidential servant,

to have it brought up as her sister's

The nurse employed to carry the THE STORY OF THE TRAGEDY child to its new home was overtaken by a OF DOUGLAS,

storm on the way, and in crossing the

Carron was drowned. Her cries were IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.

heard by Norval, a tenant of Sir One of those inveterate family feuds, Malcolm's, who reached the river in like that which forms the groundwork of time to save the child floating in a Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel, existed basket. Concealed amongst its clothes between the Douglasses of Liddesdale were some rich family jewels, and a sum and (we shall assume) the Graemes of of money. With the wealth thus acTeviotdale ; for the Graemes of Stir- quired, Norval removed northward to the lingshire came at an early date from the Grampian Hills, and bought flocks and Borders, about the reign of Alexander herds; but his family all died, and young III., the assumed date of the tragedy. Douglas, who was brought up as his The feud was kept up, notwithstanding own son, alone survived. the removal of the Graemes into Stir- In their neighbourhood lived a herlingshire.

mit, who in his youth fought in Palestine, In one of the battles of the time, the and loved to relate his warlike exploits son and heir of Sir Malcolm Graeme to young Norval, and instruct him in the saved the life of the son of Douglas, art of war. So well did he profit by the an event which led to the closest secret hermit’s instructions, that when a robber friendship between the young men. horde attacked their flocks, he slew their Douglas visited Graeme at Balarmo, his chief, and stript him of his arms, which father's seat on the Carron Water, under so elated him that, having heard that a an assumed name; and here Matilda Danish invasion was imminent, he reGraeme and he fell in love, and got solved to join his countrymen in repelsecretly married, her brother and the ling the invaders. Accompanied by his priest only being privy to the secret. assumed father, he started for the ScotShortly after, both young warriors, accompanied by the priest, left for the His mother, meanwhile, plunged in wars, and all fell in the same battle. the deepest sorrow for the loss of her

Lady Douglas, now Sir Malcolm's husband and child, affected to mourn her heir, and the last of her race, about the brother's early fate; and her father, Sir same time gave birth to a son, and know. | Malcolm, anxious to see her married be. ing her father's hatred of the house of fore his death, she accepted Lord Ran

tish camp.

How far I have succeeded now, I know Water his drink, his food the shepherd's not ;

alms. Yet I incline to think her stormy virtue I went to see him, and my heart was Is lull'd awhile ; 'tis her alone I fear :

touch'd Whilst she and Randolph live, and live With reverence and pity. Mild he spake. in faith

And, entering on discourse, such stories And amity, uncertain is my tenure.

told, Fate o'er my head suspends disgrace | As made me oft revisit his sad cell : and death,

For he had been a soldier in his youth, By that weak hair, a peevish female's will. And fought in famous battles, when the I am not idle ; but the ebbs and flows

peers Of fortune's tide cannot be calculated. Of Europe, by the bold Godfredo led, That slave of Norval's I have found most Against the usurping Infidel displayed apti:

The blessed cross, and won the Holy I show'd him gold, and he has pawn'd his Land. soul

Pleased with my admiration, and the fire To say and swear whatever I suggest. His speech struck from me, the old man Norval, I'm told, has that alluring look, would shake 'Twixt man and woman, which I have His years away, and act his young enobserved

counters : To charm the nicer and fantastic dames, Then, having showed his wounds, he'd Who are, like Lady Randolph, full of sit him down, virtue.

And all the live-long day discourse of war. In raising Randolph's jealousy, I may To help my fancy, in the smooth green But point him to the truth. He seldom turf

He cut the figures of the marshalled hosts; Who thinks the worst he can of woman- Described the motions, and explained the kind.

Of the deep column, and the lengthened (HOW DOUGLAS LEARNED THE ART OF line, WAR.]

The square, the crescent, and the phalanx

firm : Small is the skill my lord delights to

For all that Saracen or Christian knew praise

Of war's vast art, was to this hermit In him he favours. Hear from whence it

known.

errs

use

came:

Beneath a mountain's brow, the most

remote
And inaccessible, by shepherds trod,
In a deep cave, dug by no mortal hand,
A hermit lived, a melancholy man!
Who was the wonder of our wandering

swains :
Austere and lonely, cruel to himself,
Did they report him ; the cold earth his

bed,

(THE QUARREL OF DOUGLAS AND

GLENALVON.]

Glenalvon.
His port I love: he's in a proper mood
To chide the thunder, if at him it roar'd.

Has Norval seen the troops ?

Douglas.
The setting sun,
With yellow radiance lightened all the vale,

war.

And, as the warriors moved, each polished | Yet in such language I am little skilled ; helm,

Therefore I thank Glenalvon for his counCorslet, or spear, glanced back his gilded sel, beams.

Although it sounded harshly. Why reThe hill they climbed, and, halting at its mind top,

Me of my birth obscure? Why slur my Of more than mortal size, tow'ring, they power seemed

With such contemptuous terms?
An host angelic, clad in burning arms.

Glenalvon,
Glenalvon.

I did not mean
Thou talk'st it well; no leader of our host To gall your pride, which now ! see is
In sounds more lofty speaks of glorious

great.

Douglas.

My pride!
Douglas.

Glenalvon.
If I shall e'er acquire a leader's name,

Suppress it, as you wish to prosper. My speech will be less ardent. Novelty

Your pride's excessive. Yet, for RanNow prompts my tongue, and youthful

dolph's sake, admiration Vents itself freely; since no part is mine

I will not leave you to its rash direction.

If thus you swell and frown at high-born Of praise pertaining to the great in arms.

men, Glenalvon.

Think you, will they endure a shepherd's You wrong yourself, brave sir ; your

scorn? martial deeds

Douglas. Have rank'd you with the great. But

A shepherd's scorn! mark me, Norval ;

Glenalvon. Lord Randolph's favour now exalts your Yes ; if you presume youth

To bend on soldiers these disdainful eyes, Above his veterans of former service. As if you took the measure of their minds, Let me, who know these soldiers, coun- And said in secret, You're no match for

me, Give them all honour : seem not to com- What will become of you? mand;

Douglas. Else they will scarcely brook your late

If this were told !sprung power,

Hast thou no fears for thy presumptuous Which nor alliance props, nor birth

self? adorns.

Glenalvon.
Douglas.

Ha ! dost thou threaten me?
Sir, I have been accustom'd all my days
To hear and speak the plain and simple

Douglas.

Didst thou not hear? truth ; And though I have been told, that there

Glenalvon.

Unwillingly I did ; a nobler foe Who borrow friendship's tongue to speak Had not been questioned thus : but such their scorn,

sel you.

as thee

are men

« السابقةمتابعة »