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They dread so greatly then to-day
That their cowyn was wer and wer.
For they, that fighting with them were,
Set hardiment, and strength, and will,
And heart, and courage, all, there till
And all their main and all their might,
To put them fully to (the) flight.


The Lord Douglas said, "By Saint Bride,
It were great folly at this tide
Till us with swilk' an host to fight:
It growis, ilk day, of (mare) might,
And has victual therewith plenty;
And in their country here are we,
Where there may come us no succours;
Hard is to make us here resource;
Na we us may ferrar, meat to get :
Swilk as we have here we mon3 eat.
Do we with our foes therefore,
That are here lyand us before,
As Ik4 heard tell this other year
That a fox did with a fisher."
"How did the fox?" the earl 'gan say.
He said, "A fisher whilhom lay
Besides a river, for to get
His nets that he had there set.

A little lodge thereby he made;

And there-within a bed he had,
And a little fire alsua.

A door there was, for outyn ma.5
A night, his nettis for to see,

He rose; and there well long dwelt he.
And when he had done his deed,
Toward his lodge again he yeid ;7
And, with light of the little fire,
That in the lodge was brynand schyr,8
Intill his lodge a fox he saw,
That fast on a salmon 'gan gnaw.

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Then till the door he went in hy,'
And drew his sword deliverly:
And said, 'Reiffar!2 thou mon here out!'
The fox, that was in full great doubt,
Looked about, some hole to see;
But none issue perceive couth he,
But where the man stood, sturdily.
A lauchtane 3 mantle then him by
Lyand upon the bed he saw;
And with his teeth he 'gan it draw
Out o'er the fire: and when the man
Saw his mantle lie bryand than,
To rid it ran he hastily.

The fox got out then in great hy,
And held his way his warand 4 till.
The man let him beguiled ill,
That he his good salmon had tynt,5
And also had his mantle brynt; 6
And the fox scaithless? got away.
This ensample well I may say

By yon host and us that are here:
We are the fox; and they the fisher,
That steks forouth9 us the way.
They ween we may na get away,

But right where they lie. But, pardie,
All as they think it shall not be ;
For I have gert see us a gate 10
(Suppose that it be some deal wet)
A page of ours we shall not tyne."
Our foes, for this small tranowntyn, 12
Wenys 13 well we shall pride us swa 14
That we plainly on hand shall tá 15
To give them openly bataill:

But at this time their thought shall fail.

For we tomorn here all the day
Shall make as merry as we may;
And make us boune agayn 16 the night;

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And then ger make our fires light,
And blow our horns, and make fare
As all the world our ane were,
Quhill' that the night well fallen be;
And then, with all our harness, we
Shall take our way homeward in hy.
And we shall gyit be graithly,3
Quhill we be out of their danger
That lies now enclosed here.
Then shall we all be at our will:
And they shall let them trumpet ill,
Fra4 they wit well we be away."
To this, wholly, assented they.


To show the author's observation and love of nature that universal test of poetical geniuswe give this specimen in the original spelling, followed by a paraphrased version by Mr Tytler, in Scott's romance measure, which reads like an extract from the Lord of the Isles.

This wes in Ver, quhen wynter tyde,
With his blastis hidwyus to byde
Was our drywyn, and birdys smale,
As turturis and the nychtyngale,
Begouth rycht sairely to syng,
And for to mak in thair singyng
Swete notis, and sownys ser,
And melodys pleasand to her.

And the treis begouth to ma
Burgeans, and brycht blomis alswa,
To wyn the helyng of thair hewid
That wykkyt winter had thaim rewid;
And all gressys beguth to spryng.
Into that tyme the nobill Kyng,
With his flote and a few mengye,
Thre hundyr, I trow, thai mycht be,
Is to the se owte of Arane,
A littil forouth, ewyn gane.


'Twas in the spring, when winter's tide,
With blasts that bitter are to bide,
Was past and gone; when songsters

The turtle and the nightingale,
Began, from every bush and bower,
Sweet notes of various sound to pour,
Melodious songs of pleasant cheer,
'Stead piping winds with descant drear;
When trees their summer weeds assume,
With opening buds of freshest bloom,
And tresses green by woods are worn,
That wicked winter's blasts had torn,
And fields their emerald mantles wear,
Then forth the noble king did fare;
His galleys launch'd, aboard there were
Scarce full three hundred men-the while
He steer'd his course from Arran's isle.

1355?-1427 ?

IF John Barbour be designated poet and historian, his immediate successor in the annals of Scottish literature, Andrew Wyntoun, may be designated | historian and poet. He cannot be said

1 Until.

to rival, nor even to approach his predecessor in either capacity, and this he himself modestly professes by using Barbour's work when dealing with the subject of it; nevertheless his Chronicle, besides its historical value, has a homely 2 Guised. 3 Promptly. 4 Before. poetical tone, and occasionally a quaint

humour, that entitles its author to a place in the list of Scottish poets.

Almost all that is known of him is derived from his own work, where he introduces himself in the prologue thus :

"And for I wyll nane bere the blame
Of my defawte, this is my name
Be baptisme, Androwe of Wyntowne,
Of Sanct Androwys a chanowne
Regulare, bot nocht forthi

Of thaim all, the lest worthy;
Bot of thair grace and thair favoure
I wes, but merit, made prioure

Of the Inche within Loch Lewwyne;" the sum of which is, that his baptismal name is Andrew of Wyntown; that he is a canon regular of St Andrews, and though least worthy of them, nevertheless, by their grace, without merit of his own, elected Prior of the Inch, Lochleven.

The monastery was situated on one of the islands of Lochleven, in Kinrossshire, and was subordinate to the priory of St Andrews. It was dedicated to St Serf, or Servanus, whose history Wyntoun duly traces as a son of the King of Canaan, who, under the guidance of a sweet angel, left his native land for Alexandria, from whence, by way of Constantinople, he came to Rome, when he was elected to the popedom, vacant on the death of John III. After seven years, he resigned the popedom, and, led by his angel, he passed through France into England, but did not rest till he found himself in Scotland, where, after visiting a great many places, by the permission of Brude, king of the Picts, he fixed his abode in the above island, and founded the monastery known by his name. At the end of seven years he returned to Culross,


where "his cors found halowit sepulture."

There are no data for ascertaining the date of either Wyntoun's birth or death; although, in the chartulary of the priory of St Andrews, there are several documents dated between the years 1395 and 1413 bearing his name. That he lived till 1419 is shown by his reference to an event of that date about the end of his Chronicle; and in the prologue to the last book, he refers to the infirmities of age, and the prospect of approaching dissolution, so as to convey the idea of his being an old man. Tytler says"The Chronicle itself was finished between 3d September 1420 and the return of King James from England in 1424, and its author, in all probability, did not long survive its conclusion." Dr Laing supposes him to have died about 1427; and, taking his age at his death at 72, it would place his birth in 1355.

Wyntoun appears more anxious to vindicate his choice of the vernacular from the attacks of the Latin critics than Barbour, and invokes the protection of his patrons in the prologue to his Chronicle:

"Bot Lordys gyve your courtesy,

Forbere me in this juperty ;'
And fra their Lethe walde me defende
That can reprove, and will nocht mende.
Havande excusyde my symplynes,
Syne that I set my besynes
Tyl youre pleasans generaly :
Suppos this tretys sympylly,

I made at the instans of a Larde
That had my service in his warde,
Schyr Johne of the Wemyss be rycht name,
Ane honest knycht, and of gude fame.

His patron, Sir John Wemyss, of

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Reres and Kincaldrum, ancestor of the Earls of Wemyss, was employed as an ambassador to treat for the release of James I. from his captivity in England, and must therefore have been a man of considerable political importance; and if the number of MSS. of the Chronicle that have descended to our time be an indication of the interest he took in his friend's literary success, he must have been a worthy patron. At any rate, his discernment and encouragement of the literary talents of the modest prior of St Serf's Isle, is in pleasing contrast with the spirit of an age which is more truly represented by Scott's Earl of Angus, who gives

"Thanks to St Bothan, son of mine,

Save Gawain, ne'er could pen a line." But Wyntoun's Chronicle, though well known in its MS. form, was not printed till 1795, when a splendid edition was published, edited with great care by David Macpherson, author of The Annals of Commerce. Macpherson's edition embraced only so much of it as refers to the history of Scotland; but a new and revised edition of Macpherson's is now (1876) being edited by Dr David Laing in three volumes, of which the two first volumes were issued in 1872, in which the general history from the creation is contained. This, when completed, will be the first entire edition published. The three principal MSS. are The Royal and the Cotton, both in the British Museum, and that in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh.

It has been already indicated that its chief value is historical. Its accuracy, as regards its proper subject, the history of Scotland, is vouched for by such

judges as Macpherson, Tytler, and Laing, and is placed in favourable contrast with the fanciful compilation of Boece. His natural and truth-like account of the history of Macbeth is given as an illustration of his commonsense treatment of his subject.

It is true, he is strongly imbued with the superstitious belief of his age, and relates many stories which were current in his time, evidently believing, if not in their truth, at least in. their possibility; but the manner of their relation is not such as to confound the spirit of his history with those fables that adorn or blemish it, according to the standpoint from which they are regarded. From the poetical point of view, which is that with which we are more immediately concerned, they are valuable as pictures of society under the sway of beliefs, whose effects were none the less poetically striking because their influence was malign. But, perhaps, his quaint humour and naturalness are his most pleasing poetical qualities, and it is these homely touches that make him a favourite with such as relish the muse in her unobtrusive antique vestments, rather than in the loud flashy habit of her sensational mood. Mr Tytler, with whom he is a special favourite, remarks, that "the worthy prior can provide from his poetic scrip every species of intellectual ware, from the driest piece of genealogical history, or the uncouthest catalogue of Pictish monarchs, to the animated description of a heavy fight, or the moving picture of a tournament or a hunting party.” We have tried to illustrate his various qualities by the extracts given.


This holy man had a ram,
That he had fed up of a lamb;
And used him till1 follow ay,
Wherever he passed on his way.
A thief this sheep in Athren stall,2
And eat him up in pieces small.
When Saint Serf his ram had mist,
Wha that it stall, was few that wist:
On presumption, nevertheless,
He that it stall, arrested was.

And till Saint Serf syne3 was he brought;
That sheep, he said, that stall he not;
And there-till for to swear ane athe.4
He said that he would not be lathe,5
But soon he worthyd red for shame
The sheep there bleated in his waime.7
Sae was he tainted shamefully,
And at Saint Serf asked mercy.


While Saint Serf intill a stede,9
Lay after matins in his bed;
The devil came in foul intent,
For till fand 10 him with argument.
And said: "Saint Serf by thy werk"
I ken thou art a connand 12 clerk."
Saint Serf said, "If I sae be,
Foul wretch, what is that for thee?"
The devil said, "This question
I ask in our collation. 13

Say where was God, wit thou aught, Before that heaven and erde14 was wrought?"

Saint Serf said, "In himself stedles 15 His Godhead hampered never was."

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'Why God let Adam, the first man,

And Eve sin in Paradise?"

Saint Serf said, "That monywise,
For God wist and understood
That thereof should come meikle good.
For Christ (took) flesh, mankind to win,
That was to pain put for their sin."
The devil asked, " Why might not be
All mankind deliverèd free

Be themself, set God had not

Them with his precious passion bought?"
Saint Serf said "They fell not in
By their self into their sin.

But by the false suggestion

Of the devil, their fae felloun. 3

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