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For that, he choosed to be born
To save mankind, that was forlorn."
The devil askèd at him than
"Why not make a new man,
Mankind for to deliver free?"
Saint Serf said, "That should not be :
It sufficed well that mankind
Once should come of Adam's strynde?"
The devil asked, "Why that ye
Men, are quite delivered free
Through Christ's precious passion bought,
And we devils, sae, are not?"
Saint Serf said, "For that ye
Fell through your own iniquity;
And through ourself we never fell
But through your fellon false counsel.
And for the devils were nought wrought
Of bruky13 kind, ye would not
With ruthe4 of heart forthink 5 your sin
That through yourself ye were fallen in ;
Therefore Christ's passion
Should not be your redemption."
Then saw the devil that he could not,
With all the wiles that he sought,
O'ercome Saint Serf: he said than
He kened him for a wise man.
Forthi7 there he gave him quit
For he wan at him na profit.
Saint Serf said, "Thou wretch gae!
Frae this stede;8 and noy9 na mae
Into this stede, I bid ye."
Suddenly then passed he;
Frae that stede he held his way,
And never was seen there to this day.
At a seat in hunting: so
Intil his leash had grey-hounds two.
He thought, while he was so sittånd,
He saw three women by gangånd;
And they 2 women, then, thought he,
Three weird sisters most like to be.
The first he heard say, gangand by,
"Lo! yonder the thane of Crumbauchty!'
The 'tother woman said again,
'Of Moray yonder I see the thane."
The third then said, "I see the king."
All this he heard in his dreaming.
Soon after that, in his youth-head,
Of thyr 3 thanedoms, he thane was made
Syne next he thought to be king,
Fra 4 Duncan's days had ta'en ending.
The fantasy thus of his dream
Moved him most to slay his eme, 5
As he did all forth indeed,
As before he heard me rede,
And dame Gruok his eme's wife
Took, and led with her his life,
And held her both his wife and queen,
As before then she had been
Till his eme, queen living,
When he was king with crown reigning; For little in honour, then, had he
The grace of affinity.
All thus when his eme was dead,
He succeeded in his stead;
And seventeen winters full, reignand
As king, he was then intill Scotland.
All his time was great plenty
Abounding, both in land and sea;
He was in justice right lawful,
And till his lieges all awful.
A night he thought in his dreaming That sittand" he was beside the king
And in Scotland then, as king,
This Macbeth made great stirring;
4 Sorrow. 7 Therefore. 5 Repent. 8 Place. 6 Knew. 9 Annoy.
I Going. 2 These or those.
10 One night.
"Sitting and is the old Saxon termination of the participle.
4 From; from the time when; as soon as. 5 Uncle. Anglo-Sax.
And set him then in his power
A great house for to make of were
Upon the hill of Dunsinane.
Timber theretill to draw, and stane,
Of Fife and of Angus, he
Gert many oxen gathered be.
So on a day in their travail,
A yoke of oxen Macbeth saw fail;
Then speired who that aught
The yoke, that failed in their draught.
They answered till Macbeth again
And said Macduff, of Fife the thane,
That ilk yoke of oxen aught,
That he saw fail into the draught."
Then spake Macbeth dispiteously,
And to the thane said angrily,
Like all writhen in his skin,3
His own neck he should put in
The yoke, and ger him draughts draw.
Not doubting all his kynny's awe.
Frae the thane Macbeth heard speak,
That he would put in yoke his neck,
Of all his thought he made no song;
But privily out of the throng
With slight he got; and the spensere 4
A loaf him gave till his suppere.
And, as soon as he might see
His time and opportunity,
Out of the court he past, and ran,
And that loaf bare with him than
To the water of Erne. That bread
He gave the boat-wards, him to lead,
And on the south half him to set
But 5 delay or any let.
That passage call'd was after than
Long time Port Naharyan;
The Haven of Bread that should be
Called in-tyl property.
Ower the water then was he set,
But danger, or but ony let.
POPE JOHN, THAT WAS A WOMAN.
When this Leo the third was dead,
A woman occupied that stead,1
Twa year as pape full, and mare.
She was too wantown of her ware,
She was English of nation,
Right wylie of condition,
A burgess' daughter, and his heir;
Pryve pleasant and right fair :
They called her father Hob of Lyne.
Frae father and mother and all her
With her love she past off land,2
A woman young till eild growand ;3
And at Athens in study
She bade, and leryd ythandly :4
And nane perceived her woman,
But all time kythyd 5 her as man,
And called herself John Magwytyne,
Yea, wit ye well, a shrew fine.
Syne again frae Greece to Rome,
As a solemn clerk she come,
And had of clergy sic renown,
That by concord election
Pape she was chosen there,
Yet feel (it) that her cubiculare
By her lay and gat a bairn :
That all her clergy could not warne.
Intill procession on a day,
As she passed intill the way,
Her child-ill all suddenly,
Travailed her sae angrily,
That suddenly there was she dead,
And erdyd in that ilk stede
Without prayer or orrison,
Or ony kind devotion,
And but all other honesty,
Solempne or in privity.7
THE DUKE OF ORLEANS' DEFENCE OF THE SCOTS.
"The question put by the illustrious Duke of Orleans," says Dr Laing "is sufficiently simple and dispassionate, and leads to a natural and satisfactory conclusion, when he asked how it came that the English, with all their boasting, never were able to vanquish the puir folk of Scotland?
'Whose gathering into weiris Micht nocht exceed five hundred speiris,'— but allowed themselves to be harassed night and day by those whom they pretended to hold in despite; nor could enforce that homage and obedience which, at times, they presumed to say we owed to the crown of England."
As it was said on this manner :-
Ye ween to lak,1 but ye commend
That nation, as ye mak it kend:
Was never realm, nor region
Worth mare commendation,
Than are the few folk of Scotland,
As that ye gar2 us understand.
say their gaddering into weiris, May not exceed five hundred spears ; And ye are ane mighty nation, Excelling in presumption, For all lands lying you by, Ye suppress with your seniory, Either ye win them to your crown, Or haldis3 them in subjection. But the few folk of Scotland, Whilk by dry marches are lyand Near on to you, they hold their own
Ane thousand year three hundred ninety As it is made untill us known;
Frae1 Jesus Christ had manhood tane,
The bishop of Saint Andrews see,
Master Walter Trail called was he,-
By counsel and by ordinance
Of Scottismen, he passèd in France:
For, into Scotland men heard tell,
That the Duke John of Longcastell,
By ane ordinate deliverance
Of Englishmen, he passed in France.-
And whatsover they treited,2 had
Our bishop there twelve monthes bade
And there sorely the Englishmen
The Scottismen defamèd then ;-
They said their gaddering into weiris,3
Might not exceed five hundred spears;
The king of France, they said forthy,4
Should lat 5 of Scottismen but lightly.
Thir wordis were said in the presence
Of the doughty Duke of Orleans,
Whilk had ane special affection
Till Scottismen, and their nation;
And then in haste he made answer,
And will come with their power,
Playn ye, 4 or your land, of war,
And day and night will lie therein,
And in your sight your lands bryne ; 5
Your cattle, and your goods they ta;
And spares nothing yourselves to slay;
Thus suffer they on no kind wise,
You of such might to do suppryse ; 7
But even they quit you lill for lall,8
Or that ye skail9 the market all:
That nation may ye not defame
But gif 10 ye smight your own with shame!
The King of France, therefore, think me,
Should hold them into mair daintie "
That so few folk of so little might
Against you can maintain their fight,
Upon the dry marches lyand,
As it is gart 1 us understand.—
When this was said the Englishmen
Were shamed of their wordis then,
And hold them still, and spoke no mare
Intil dispite, as they did ere.
SOMEWHAT out of chronological | 1549; so that he must then have been
order, we have placed Blind Harry, as the minstrel is familiarly called, next Wyntoun, although he must have been born at least a quarter of a century later than James I. ; yet no one who compares his Wallace with the King's Quair, will doubt that the former poetically belongs to the school of Barbour, while the latter marks the introduction of a more modern school.
"Henry, who was blind from his birth, composed, in the time of my infancy, the whole Book of William Wallace, and committed to writing in vulgar poetry, in which he was well skilled, the things that were commonly related of him. For my own part, I give only partial credit to writings of this description. By the recitation of these, however, in the presence of men of the highest rank, he procured, as he indeed deserved, food and raiment." Along with a few incidental references by himself, in the Life of Wallace, the above quotation from the Latin History of Scotland, by John Major, or Mair, published in 1521, is all the direct evidence that we possess regarding the life of this very remarkable man. The date of Major's own birth being unrecorded, makes his statement as to Henry less definite as data for ascertaining the time when he composed his Life of Wallace. Buchanan says Major was an old man in 1524, and was still alive, and provost of St Salvator's College in
very old indeed, and Dr Irving may
not be far wrong in supposing him to
have reached the age of 94. On this
hypothesis, he would have been born in
1455, and, allowing five years of age to
be about that which he calls his infancy,
this would place the composition of
Wallace in 1460. Supposing the author
to be 40 when he composed it, 1420
would be the year of his birth. The
Treasurer's accounts, during the reign
of James IV., record several donations
of five, nine, and eighteen shillings, hav-
ing been made to him, of which the last
is dated January 1492; and Dr Irving's
conjecture, that he died shortly after, is
very probable-if we suppose in 1493
it would make his age to be 73 at
"All worthi men at redys this rurall dyt,
Blaym nocht the buk; set I be unperfyt.
I suld have thank, sen I nocht travaill spard,
For my laubour na man hecht me reward;
Na charge I had off king nor othir lord
Gret harm I thocht his gud deid suld be
I haiff said her ner as the process gais;
And fenyeid nocht for frendschip nor for fais.
Costis herfor was no man bound to me;
In this sentence I had na will to be,
Bot in als mekill as I rahersit nocht
Sa worthely as nobill Wallace wrocht."
"Go nobill buk, fulfillyt off gud sentens,
Supposs thou be baran off eloquens.
Go worthy buk fullfillit off suthfast deid;
Bot in language, off help thow has gret neid
Quhen gud makaris rang weill in to Scotland,
Gret harm was it, that name of thaim ye fand.
Yeit thar is part that can the weill avance;
Now byd thi tym, and be a remembrance.
I yow besek, off your benevolence;
Quha will nocht low, lak nocht my eloquence;
(It is weill knawin I am a bural man),
For her is said as gudly as I can:
My speryt felis na termys asperans.
Now besek God, that gyffar is off grace
Maide hell and erd, and set the hewyn abuff,
That he us grant off his der lestand luff.
The above contains almost all the allusions that he makes to himself, if we except his frequent references to the Latin book of his author, "Maister Jhone Blayr."
"A worthy clerk, bath wyss and rycht sawage.
Lewyt he was befor in Parryss toune.
Amang maistris in science and renoune.
Wallace and he at hayme in scule had beyne ;
Sone eftirwart, as veritè is syne,
He was the man pryncipall undirtuk,
That fyrst compild in dyt the Latyne buk
Of Wallace lyff, rycht famous of renoune;
And Thomas Gray persone of Libertoune.
With him thai war, and put in story all,
Offt ane or bath, mekill of his trauill;
And tharfor her I mak off thaim mencioune."
short of the manner in which such noble deeds should be recorded.
Then, in finishing his task, with a consciousness of having discharged it in no ignoble spirit, yet regretting that the subject was neglected when good poets sung in Scotland, he commits the book to the judgment of posterity, confident that it will not be forgotten, notwithstanding his want of eloquence, which he excuses on the ground of his being a "bural man." The meaning drawn from his use of this phrase is, that he was a peasant by descent, for the word "bural" appears to be our modern word boorish.
There is nothing in the book to confirm the uniform tradition that he was a professional minstrel, or that he was blind; indeed, the impression left upon the mind by the book, in reference to the latter part of the tradition, is one of doubt, at least as to his being blind from his birth. We think Ellis, in his notice of him, was The foregoing quotations, which may impressed with this feeling of doubt serve as unaltered specimens of the when emphasizing the word born, where poem, are not difficult of comprehension, he says-“That a man born blind should but the first may be paraphrased as fol- excel in any science is sufficiently exlows:-All you who read this rustic traordinary, though by no means withlay, blame not the book. Although out example; but that he should become be imperfect, yet should I have thanks an excellent poet is almost miraculous, for the labour and pains which I have because the soul of poetry is description. bestowed upon it, without promise of Perhaps, therefore, it may be easily reward from king or noble. I thought assumed that Henry was not inferior, it a pity such good deeds should be in point of genius, to either Barbour or smothered, and have done my best to Chaucer; or indeed to any poet of any relate them as they occurred, regarding age or country." Tytler, in endeavourneither friend nor foe. No man is ing to vindicate his character as a hisbound to relieve me of the costs of it; torian from undeserved neglect, both and I know (but for this I am not to by himself and his brother historians, blame), that my description falls far | says-"Some late researches, and an