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Ne so far forth restauratif,
And if it so befalle among,
(Born, 1379. Died, 1461.)
Was born at a place of that name in Suffolk, | is rather a paraphrase than a translat about the year 1375. His translation (taken original. He disclaims the idea of through the medium of Laurence's version) of stile briefe and compendious.” Ag Boccaccio's Fall of Princes, was begun while he compares to a great oak, which is Henry VI. was in France, where that king never attacked with a single stroke, but b: was, but when he went to be crowned at Paris, processe." in 1432. Lydgate was then above threescore. Gray has pointed out beauties in t He was a monk of the Benedictine order, at St. which had eluded the research, or the Edmund's Bury, and in 1423 was elected prior former critics. “I pretend not," si of Hatfield Brodhook, but the following year had « to set him on a level with Chauce licence to return to his convent again. His con certainly comes the nearest to him of dition, one would imagine, should have supplied temporary writer I am acquainted w him with the necessaries of life, yet he more choice of expression and the smoothne than once complains to his patron, llumphry, verse, far surpass both Gower and Occ Duke of Gloucester, of his wants; and he shows wanted not art in raising the more ter distinctly in one passage, that he did not dislike tions of the mind.” Of these he givi a little more wine than his convent allowed him. examples. The finest of these, perha He was full thirty years of age when Chaucer following passage, descriptive of mater died, whom he calls his master, and who proba- , and tenderness. bly was so in a literal sense. His Fall of Princes
CANACE, CONDEMNED TO DEATH BY HER FATHER ÆOLUS, SENDS TO HER GUILTY B
MACAREUS THE LAST TESTIMONY OF HER UNHAPPY PASSION.
On thee and me dependeth the trespace
Writing her letter, awhapped all in drede,
A mouth he has, but wordis hath he none ;
In support of the opposite system, an assertor, has been a fruitful subject of controversy. Like better known than trusted, namely Pinkerton, the English, it is of Gothic materials ; and, at a has maintained, that “there is not a shadow of certain distance of time from the Norman con proof, that the Gaelic language was ever at all quest, is found to contain, as well as its sister spoken in the Lowlands of Scotland." Yet the dialect of the South, a considerable mixture of author of Caledonia has given not mere shadows French. According to one theory, those Gothic of proof, but very strong grounds, for concluding elements of Scotch existed in the Lowlands, that, in the first place, to the north of the Forth anterior to the Anglo-Saxon settlements in and Clyde, with the exception of Scandinavian England, among the Picts, a Scandinavian race : settlements admitted to have been made in the subsequent mixture of French words arose Orkney, Caithness, a strip of Sutherland, and from the French connexions of Scotland, and the partially in the Hebrides, a Gothic dialect was settlement of Normans among her people ; and unknown in antient Scotland. Amidst the arguthus, by the Pictish and Saxon dialects meeting, ments to this effect deduced from the topography and an infusion of French being afterwards of (the supposed Gothic) Pictland, in which, Mr. superadded, the Scottish language arose, inde Chalmers affirms, that not a Saxon name is to be pendent of modern English, though necessarily found older than the twelfth century; and amidst similar, from the similarity of its materials. Ac the evidences accumulated from the laws, religion, cording to another theory, the Picts were not antiquities, and manners of North Britain, one Goths, but Cambro-British, a Celtic race, like recorded fact appears sufficiently striking. When the Western Scots who subdued and blended
the assembled clergy of Scotland met Malcolm with the Picts, under Kenneth Mac Alpine. Of Caenmore and Queen Margaret, the Saxon printhe same Celtic race were al-o the Britons of
cess was unable to understand their language. Strathclyde, and the antient people of Galloway. Her husband, who had learnt English, was In Galloway, though the Saxons overran that obliged to be their interpreter. All the clergy peninsula, they are affirmed to have left but little of Pictland, we are told, were at that time Irish ; of their blood, and little of their language. In but among a people with a Gaelic king, and a the ninth century, Galloway was new-peopled by Gaelic clergy, is it conceivable that the Gaelic the Irish Cruithne, and at the end of the eleventh language should not have been commonly spoken? century was universally inhabited by a Gaelic With regard to Galloway, or south-western people. At this latter period, the common lan Scotland, the paucity of Saxon names in that guage of all Scotland, with the exception of peninsula (keeping apart pure or modern English Lothian, and a corner of Caithness, was the ones) are pronounced, by Mr. G. Chalmers, to Gaelic; and in the twelfth century commenced the show the establishments of the Saxons to have progress of the English language into Scotland
been few and temporary, and their language to Propera: so that Scotch is only migrated English.
the territory of Scotland in 1020 ; but even in the time
of David I. is spoken of as not a part of Scotland. David & Lothian, now containing the Scottish metropolis,
addresses his "faithful subjects of all Scotland and of was, after several fluctuations of possession, annexed to Lothian."
have been thinly scattered, in comparison with Mr. Ellis rests so much importance, the Celtic. As we turn to the south-east of Scot- | disputed ; but Sir Tristrem exhibits : land, it is inferred from topography, that the romance, composed on the north of t Saxons of Lothian never permanently settled to at a time when there is no proof tha the westward of the Avon ; while the numerous English contained any work of that Celtic names which reach as far as the Tweed, fiction, that was not translated from t evince that the Gaelic language not only pre In the fourteenth century, Barbour vailed in proper Scotland, but overflowed her the greatest royal hero of his countr boundaries, and, like her arms, made inroads on in a versified romance, that is not uni the Saxon soil.
The next age is prolific in the names Mr. Ellis, in discussing this subject, seems to guished Scottish “Makers.” Henryth have been startled by the difficulty of supposing said to have been blind from his birth, the language of England to have superseded the the exploits of Wallace in strains of fie native Gaelic in Scotland, solely in consequence vulgar fire. James I. of Scotland ; I of Saxon migrations to the north, in the reign of the author of Robene and Makyne, Malcolm Caenmore. Malcolm undoubtedly mar known pastoral, and one of the best, i ried a Saxon princess, who brought to Scotland rich with the favours of the pastor her relations and domestics. Many Saxons also Douglas, the translator of Virgil ; fled into Scotland from the violences of the Mersar, and others, gave a poetical Norman conquest. Malcolm gave them an Scotland, in the fifteenth century, and asylum, and during his incursions into Cumber space in the annals of British poetry, land and Northumberland, carried off so many date of Chaucer and Lydgate, that is young captives, that English persons were to be nearly barren. James I, had an ele seen in every house and village of his dominions, tender vein, and the ludicrous pieces in the reign of David I. But, on the death of to him. possess considerable comic Malcolm, the Saxon followers, both of Edgar Douglas's descriptions of natural scener Atheling and Margaret, were driven away by the tolled by T. Warton, who has given an enmity of the Gaelic people. Those expelled interpreted specimens of them, in his I Saxons must have been the gentry, while the English Poetry. He was certainly a fon captives, since they were seen in a subsequent of nature ; but his imagery is redung age, must have been retained, as being servile, or tediously profuse. His chief original wc vileyns. The fact of the expulsion of Margaret | elaborate and quaint allegory of King H and Edgar Atheling's followers, is recorded in is full of alliteration, a trick which the the Saxon Chronicle. It speaks pretty clearly poets might have learnt to avoid from t for the general Gaelicism of the Scotch at that of rhetours” (as they call him) Chaucer period ; and it also prepares us for what is after which they rival the anapæstics of Lang wards so fully illustrated by the author of Cale Dunbar is a poet of a higher order. donia, viz. that it was the new dynasty of Scottish of the Friars of Berwick is quite in the kings, after Malcolm Caenmore, that gave a more Chaucer. His Dance of the Seven Dea diffusive course to the peopling of proper Scot- through Hell, though it would be absurd land, by Saxon, by Anglo-Norman, and by Flemish pare it with the beauty and refinemen colonists. In the successive charters of Edgar, celebrated Ode on the Passions, has yet Alexander, and David I. we scarcely see any mated picturesqueness not unlike that of other witnesses than Saxons, who enjoyed under | The effect of both pieces shows how muc those monarchs all power, and acquired vast potent allegorical figures become by beir possessions in every district of Scotland, settling to fleet suddenly before the imagination, with their followers in entire hamlets.
being detained in its view by prolonged If this English origin of Scotch be correct, it tion. Dunbar conjures up the personifie sufficiently accounts for the Scottish poets, in the as Collins does the Passions, to rise, to fifteenth century, speaking of Chaucer, Gower, and disappear. They “come like shad and Lydgate, as their masters and models of depart.” style, and extolling them as the improvers of a In the works of those northern makers language to which they prefix the word “our," fifteenth century+, there is a gay spirit, an as if it belonged in common to Scots and English, dication of jovial manners, which forms and even sometimes denominating their own lan trast to the covenanting national chara, guage English.
* In which the human heart is personified as Yet, in whatever light we are to regard Low
reign in his castle, guarded by the five Sense: land Scotch, whether merely as northern English, captive by Dame Pleasaunce, a neighbouring po or as having a mingled Gothic origin from the
but finally brought back from thraldom by A Pictish and Anglo-Saxon, its claims to poetical
+ The writings of some of those Scottish poets be antiquity are respectable. The extreme anti
the sixteenth century; but from the date of theu quity of the elegy on Alexander III. on which they are placed under the fifteenth.
subsequent times. The frequent coarseness of rank in society, we might suppose, that he had this poetical gaiety, it would indeed be more easy purposely laid aside the style of a gentleman, than agreeable to prove by quotations ; and if and clothed the satirical moralities, which he we could forget how very gross the humour of levelled against popery, in language suited to Chaucer sometimes is, we might, on a general the taste of the vulgar; if it were easy to concomparison of the Scotch with the English poets, ceive the taste of the vulgar to have been, at that extol the comparative delicacy of English taste; period, grosser than that of their superiors. Yet for Skelton himself, though more burlesque than while Lyndsay's satire, in tearing up the depraSir David Lyndsay in style, is less outrageously vities of a corrupted church, seems to be polluted indecorous in matter. At a period when James with the scandal on which it preys, it is imposIV. was breaking lances in the lists of chivalry, sible to peruse his writings without confessing and when the court and court poets of Scot the importance of his character to the country land might be supposed to have possessed ideas in which he lived, and to the cause which he was of decency, if not of refinement, Dunbar at that born to serve. In his tale of Squyre Meldrum period addresses the queen, on the occasion of we lose sight of the reformer. It is a little rohaving danced in her majesty's chamber, with mance, very amusing as a draught of Scottish jokes which a beggar wench of the present day chivalrous manners, apparently drawn from the would probably consider as an offence to her life, and blending a sportive and familiar with an delicacy.
heroic and amatory interest. Nor is its broad, Sir David Lyndsay was a courtier, a foreign careless diction, perhaps, an unfavourable relief ambassador, and the intimate companion of a to the romantic spirit of the adventures which it prince; for he attended James V. from the first portrays. to the last day of that monarch's life. From his
JAMES I. OF SCOTLAND.
(Born, 1394. Died, Feb. 1436-7.)
JAMES I. of Scotland was born in the year widow on his estate for threatening to appeal to 1394, and became heir-apparent to the Scottish the king, had ordered her feet to be shod with crown by the death of his brother, Prince David. iron plates nailed to the soles ; and then insultTaken prisoner at sea by the English, at ten years ingly told her that she was thus armed against of age, he received some compensation for his the rough roads. The widow, however, found cruel detention by an excellent education. It means to send her story to James, who seized the appears that he accompanied Henry V. into
savage, with twelve of his associates, whom he France, and there distinguished himself by his shod with iron, in a similar manner, and having skill and bravery. On his return to his native exposed them for several days in Edinburgh, country he endeavoured, during too short a reign, gave them over to the executioner. to strengthen the rights of the crown and people While a prisoner in Windsor Castle, James had against a tyrannical aristocracy. He was the seen and admired the beautiful Lady Jane Beaufirst who convoked commissioners from the fort, daughter of the Duke of Somerset. Few shires, in place of the numerous lesser barons, royal attachments have been so romantic and so and he endeavoured to create a house of com happy. His poem entitled the Quair*, in which mons in Scotland, by separating the representa he pathetically laments his captivity, was devoted tives of the people from the peers ; but his to the celebration of this lady; whom he obtained nobility foresaw the effects of his scheme, and at last in marriage, together with his liberty, as too successfully resisted it. After clearing the Henry conceived that his union with the grandlowlands of Scotland from feudal oppression, he daughter of the Duke of Lancaster might bind visited the highlands, and crushed several refrac the Scottish monarch to the interests of England. tory chieftains. Some instances of his justice James perished by assassination, in the 42nd are recorded, which rather resemble the cruelty year of his age, leaving behind him the example of the times in which he lived, than his own per of a patriot king, and of a man of genius universonal character ; but in such times justice her- sally accomplished. self wears a horrible aspect. One Macdonald, a
* Quair is the old Scoich word for a book. petty chieftain of the north, displeased with a
THE KING THUS DESCRIBES THE APPEARANCE OF HIS MISTRESS, WHEN HE FIRST
SAW HER FROM A WINDOW OF HIS PRISON AT WINDSOR.
| Worshippe, 0 ye that lovers bene, this May !
For of your bliss the calends are begun ;
mmer come, the sweet season and sun ;
In her was youth, beauty with humble port,
* In word, in deed, in shape and countenance, That nature might no more her childe avance.
e Sport. [In Chalmers it is :-new cumyn her to pleyne, which he explains “coming forth to petition.")
f An unexpected accident. (Chalmers says “depression of mind."]
& Started back.
i Rubies. k Burning. 1 Mr. Ellis conjectures that this is an error for fair email, i. e. enamel.
m Goldsmith's work. n Fire. o Heretofore. PA little.
!+ In George Chalmers' reprint of the Quair (8vo, 1824 there is no division into cantos) • Against.
b Ilaste. Herbary, or garden of simples,