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Miss Strickland proposes to embody the immutable Past, is full of memories in her Queens of Scotland,
of eventful scenes connected with Queens Of the general plan which she pro- whose hearts would have leaped with poses to adopt in this work, our exultation could their eyes have looked author gives the following admirable
on such a vision of national prosperity as
the bright New Town, with its gay streets, account :
and shops full of costly merchandise ; its • “As long as Scotland, in consequence
spacious squares, crescents, and noble of bad roads and tedious travelling, re
public buildings, rising on the outer mained a sort of terra incognita, vulgar
ballium of that grim fortress whose base prejudice prevailed among the ignorant
is now surrounded by green flowery garand narrow-minded portion of society in
dens, for the joyaunce of a peace-loving England; but Scotland only required to
generation. Mons Meg and her brethren be seen to be appreciated. Strong in
have lost their vocation through the native talent, rich in native worth, valiant,
amended temper of the times, and hold persevering, and wise, her sons have been
sinecure posts in silence—their destrucever foremost in the field of honourable
tive thunders being superseded by the enterprise, whether in deeds of arms,
din of the railway trains bringing hourly science, jurisprudence, or the industrial freights of wealth and wisdom to the arts of peaceful life. In poetry, music,
good town of Edinburgh and its inhabiand song, she has certainly never been
tants. surpassed. It was, however, reserved for the genius of Sir Walter Scott to draw
"Many original royal letters will be emEnglish hearts and English gold to Scot
bodied in these volumes, with facts and land, and to knit those bonds of brotherly anecdotes carefully verified. Local tradiregard which no act of legislature coulă , tions, not unworthy of attention, have been do. His graphic pictures of Scotland and
gathered in the desolate palaces and histo
gather the Scotch acted like a spell of enchant
ric sites where every peasant is an oral ment on the imaginations of the English.
chronicler, full of spirit-stirring recollecThose who were able to indulge the
tions of the past. These are occasionally enthusiastic feelings which his writings
connected with themes which were the had excited, crossed the Border, rushed
fountains whence Sir Walter Scott drew his into Highland glens, scaled Highland
inspiration for the chivalric poetry and robills, congregated at Scotch hostelries, mance which has rendered Scotland classic peeped into Scotch cottages, were invited
ground. The tastes of those who were to partake of Scotch hospitality-and the rising generation, when the Waverley found themselves in a land flowing with
romances were the absorbing theme of milk and honey, not merely in its festive
interest in the literary world, have becharacter, butin its kindliness to strangers,
come matured. They require to have which is the glory of all lands.
history rendered as agreeable without " Yet among the numerous visitors
the mixture of fiction as with it ; they whom the sight-seeing instincts of this
desire to have it so written, without sacage of locomotion have rendered familiar
rificing truth to fastidiousness, that they with the ancient seats of Scottish rega
may read it with their children, and that lity, how few know anything about the
the whole family party shall be eager to Queens who once held their courts within
resume the book when they gather round the now deserted walls of Dunfermline,
the work-table during the long winter Falkland, Linlithgow, and Stirling !
evenings, gems which, even in their desolation, are
« Authors who feel as they ought to surviving monuments of the graceful
feel, should rejoice in seeing their protastes of their founders, and incline the
ductions capable of imparting pleasure to musing antiquary, who realises in fancy
the simple as well as the refined; for a for a moment their pristine glory, to
book which pleases only one grade of smite his breast and exclaim Ichabod !'
society may be fashionable, but cannot be With the exception of Windsor Castle,
called popular. That which interests England has certainly no vestige of pala
peasants as well as peers, and is read tial architecture which may compare
with equal zest by children and parents, with the royal homes of Scotland, of whose
and is often seen in the hands of the former tenants a few particulars may be
operative classes, speaks to the heart in a no less acceptable to the sons and daugh
language intelligible to a widely-extended ters of the land, than to the southern
circle of humanity, has written its own stranger who visits them.
review, and needs no other." « The Maiden Castle, sitting enthroned. In the last lines of these admirable on her dun rock, the Acropolis of Edin- observations, we doubt not Miss Strickburgh, at once a relic and a witness of land has, without intending it, fore
shadowed the destiny of her own entered on this pass, they had to descend undertaking.
a hill which was so steep and precipitous The work begins with the Life of that, even within the last century, it was Marcoret Tudor daughter of Henry customary for the passengers by the VII. of England, and married at the mail.coach between Berwick and Edin
burgh to alight and cross it on foot, while early age of fourteen to James IV.,
" the carriage was taken off the wheels and the heroic and brilliant King of Scot
. carried over by a relay of men, stationed land. This choice, in many respects, on the spot for that purpose. Of course was fortunate, as it commences with the roads were not better in the beginning the period when the fortunes of the of the sixteenth century. Fastcastle is two kingdoms became closely inter- approached by one or two descents and laced, and with the princess whose ascents of this kind, and is separated from marriage with James was the imme. the mainland by a cleft between the diate cause of the union of the two rocks, which has to be crossed by a natural crowns on the same head, and the bridge formed of a ledge of rock, without placing of the Stuart, and through it rail or guard, with the vexed billows of the Hanoverian family, on the
boiling and thundering sixty feet below. British throne.
“ When the young Tudor Queen made
her passage across this Al Arat of the The first chapter is occupied with
Caledonian coast, she had the German the details of the journey of the royal Ocean before her, which beats against bride from London to Edinburgh, the rocky battlements and defences with wbich was somewhat a more tedious which the basement of the castle is surand fatiguing undertaking than it is rounded. One of these masses resemnow when performed by her descen- bles the upturned keel of a huge man-ofdant Queen Victoria, for it took above war stranded among other fragments, three weeks to perform. The reception which, like the relics of a former world, of the youthful princess at York,
lay scattered at the foot of the precipice, Newcastle, and Durham, where she
with the wild breakers rushing through was met and attended by the whole
their clefts, forming a grand jet-d'eau,
and tossing the light feathery foam on nobility and gentry of the northern high. The larger rocks are the haunt of counties, who accompanied her on her innumerable sea-birds. Fastcastle had progress northward on horseback, formerly been the stronghold of some of gives occasion for several faithful and those ferocious feudal pirates who may animated pictures. Her first day's be regarded as the buccaneers of the journey in Scotland, however, brought Caledonian coast. Many a bloody deed her into ruder scenery, characteristic had been perpetrated within its isolated of the stormy life which lay before and inaccessible circuit; but the festive her: and she rested the first night at solemnities and ceremonials that surFastcastle, then a stronghold of the
nahold of the rounded the royal bride allowed no Home family, now belonging to Sir
leisure or opportunity for whispers of tlie
dark tales and romantic traditions conJohn Hall of Dunglass, which modern
nected with its history." genius, under a feigned name, has done so much to celebrate.
Hitherto the Tudor princess had
not seen her royal lover. Their first “ Fastcastle is no other than the veri. interview, and his personal appeartable Wolf-Crag Tower, celebrated in ance, are described in these characScott's Bride of Lammermoor as the abode of the Master of Ravenswood. Ttteristic lines : is seated on a lofty promontory, which " James entered the presence of Marcommands the lonely indented bay of garet Tudor with his hawking-lure flung which St Abb's Head forms the extreme over his shoulder, dressed simply in a point to the right, with a wild array of relvet jacket; his hair and beard, curling rifted rocks terminating in the Wolf naturally, were rather long, his comCrag, which soars high in mid air above plexion glowing from the manly exercise the fortress-black, gloomy, and inacees. he had just been engaged in. He was the sible. The way by which the southern handsomest sorereign in Europe, the black bride and her company reached this eyes and hair of his elegant father, James rugged rosting-place lay across the Lam. 11, being softened in his resemblance to mermuir, several miles of wild heath and the blonde benuty of his Danish mother. treacherous bog, which no stranger might Sir Walter Scott has drawn James IV.'s traverse in safety without guides well portrait mi amor, and has not exaggeacquainted with the trackRefore they rated the likeness
. For hazel was his eagle eye,
“ The King placed liimself by the And auburn of the darkest dye
Queen's litter, and passed all the time His short curled beard and hair. conversing with her and entertaining her, Light was his footstep in the dance,
as he rode by her side. And firm his stirrup in the lists;
« • Before they entered Edinburgh, one And oh, he had that merry glance Which seldom lady's heart resists.'
of the King's gentlemen brought out a
fair courser, trapped in cloth of gold, The young Queen met her royal lord at with crimson velvet, interlaced with the doorway of her great chamber. The white and red: the King went to the King of Scotland uncovered his head and horse, mounted him without touching the made a deep obeisance to her, while she stirrup in the presence of the whole commade a lowly reverence to him. He then pany, then tried his paces-choosing to took her hand and kissed her, and saluted judge himself whether it were safe for his all her ladies by kissing them. It was bride to ride on a pillion behind him, noticed that he welcomed the chivalric which was the mode in which he inEarl of Surrey with especial cordiality. tended to enter the city. Likewise he
* Then the King of Scotland took the caused one of his gentlemen to mount Queen on one side, and they communed behind him, as a lady would ride, to see together for a long space. She held good whether the proud courser would submit manner, (was unembarrassed;] and the to bear double or not. King remained bare-headed during the “When he had concluded all his expetime they conversed, and many courtesies riments, he decided that it was not propassed between them. Incontinent [im per to trust the safety of his bride to his mediately) the board was set and served. favourite charger ; 'so King James disThe King and Queen washed their hands mounted from him, and condescended to with humble reverence, and after that set ride on the Queen's gentle palfrey. He them down at table together.”
mounted, and the Queen was placed on The entry of the royal pair into a pillion behind him.'” Edinburgh is thus described ; and it The real tragedy and most interestseems to have been attended with ing period of Margaret Tudor's life, is one remarkable and characteristic that which preceded and followed the circumstance, for she rode behind her fatal expedition to Flodden, to which destined husband on the same horse : the genius of Mr Aytoun has lately
& Half way to Edinburgh. James y added such additional interest in his was seen advancing with his company.
exquisite ballads. Miss Strickland has
e He was this time attired in grand cos- also been strongly moved by the same tume. His steed was trapped with catastrophe :gold, and round its neck was a deep gold “ There are traditions still current in fringe ; the saddle and harness were of the neighbourhood of the beautiful palagold, but the bridle and head-gear of tial ruin of Linlithgow relative to her burnished silver. The King wore a parting with James IV. jacket of cloth of gold, lined and bor. “ Near the King's bed-chamber, and a dered with violet velvet and fine black beautiful little apartment overlooking the bouge or budge fur ; his waistcoat was of lake, supposed to be his dressing-room, is violet satin, his hoses of scarlet, his shirt a turnpike stair, at the corner of the east confined with bands of pearl and rich side of the quadrangle erected by James stones ; his spurs were long and gilt. IV. This leads to a lofty turret or miraHe rode towards the Queen in full dor, called by popular tradition · Queen course, at the pace at which the hare is Margaret's Bower.' It is surrounded by hanted. On seeing her, he made very a stone bench or divan, and had once 3 humble obeisance, and, leaping down small stone table in the centre. Here from his horse, he came and kissed her the Queen spent in tears the live-long in her litter. Then mounting in his usual summer's day on which her husband left gallant fashion, without touching stirrup, her to march against England. Here, a gentleman-usher unsheathed the sword too, she is said to have passed the of state, and bore it before his King in weary night of Flodden fight,' expecting regal fashion. The Scottish sword was news of the engagement, which came at enclosed in a scabbard of purple velvet. last, but too soon. whereon was written, in letters of pearl, “ The fatal field of Flodden not only God my defende. The like words are on made Queen Margaret a widow, but renthe pommel, the cross, and the chap also. dered Scotland desolate and almost des. The Earl of Bothwell bore this sword perate. All the hope that remained to when the royal party reached Edinburgh the people of averting the fury of Henry town.'
VIII., and the cruelty of his successful VOL. LXIX. -NO. CCCCXXIII.
general, centred solely in the Queen- “ Lord Dacre made an excursion of being founded on the near relationship of observation, with a party of cavalry, in herself and their infant King to the the morning after the battle of Flodden, southern sovereign."
to ascertain who possessed the field; he
saw the King of Scotland's formidable “ The Queen convened such of the no
train of brass cannon dominant over the bility as survived the red field of Flodden
scene, but mute and motionless ; the ar. to meet the clergy at Perth immediately.
tillerymen gone ; the Scottish cannon So prompt were all their proceedings,
and the silent dead were solely in possesthat the young King was crowned at
sion of the battle-ground. The thickest Scone, near that city, within twenty
heaps cumbered it on the spot where the days of his father's death. It was called
royal James and his phalanx had fought; the Mourning Coronation ; for the ancient
the breathless warriors lay just as death crown of Scotland being held over on the
had left them, for the marauding Borderbaby-brow of the royal infant, most of
ers had not dared to pursue their occupathe witnesses and assistants of the cere
tion of stripping and plundering in the mony burst into an infectious passion full light of day." of sobs and tears. They wept not only Queen Margaret, however, did not their own recent losses on the battle-field,
remain long inconsolable ; she had but their late monarch, who was,' as
too much of the disposition of her Buchanan says, albeit no commender of kings,' dear to all men while living, and
brother Henry VIII. in her to remightily lamented by his people at his
main long without a husband; and death.'
she fixed her eyes on a handsome " When the first agony of grief was youth, the Earl of Angus, whom she abated at the loss of the King and the soon afterwards married, to the no terrible slaughter of the best of the nobi small annoyance of her brother and lity and gentry who fought in the serried his subjects. Her marriage with him phalanx of spears about his person, the gave occasion to the following pleasdiscovery was made by the Scottish ing verses by Gawin Douglas, the people that no other injury was like to uncle of the nobleman thng Bononred accrue from Flodden fight. It was, to all intents and purposes, one of those
by the smiles of royalty :bad expenditures of human life called a
“ Amidst them, borne within a golden chair, drawn battle. Had it taken place on O'er-fret with pearls and colours most Scottish ground, it would have been
preclair, reckoned another Bannockburn : the That drawen was by hackneys all milkEnglish must have retreated, (for they
white, did so on their own ground, and the Was set a queen as lily sweetly fair, Scots would have retained possession of In purple robe hemmed with gold ilkthe field. As it was, the English had the
where ; moral advantages of being an invaded
With gemmed clasps closed in all perfite,
A diadem most pleasantly polite, people ; and, as such, their success in
Sate on the tresses of her golden hair, making a great slaughter of those who
And in her hand a sceptre of delight. were arrayed in battle on their soil, redounded more to their true glory than is
So next her rode in granate-violet, the case in most great victories. But they Twelve damsels, ilka ane on their estate, did not purchase it easily. Stark and Which seemed of her counsel most secrete; stiff as James IV. lay under heaps of And next them was a lasty rout, God wot i slain, he kept possession of that well Lords, ladies, and full mony a fair prelate, stricken field. The despatch of Lord
Both born of low estate and high degree, Dacre clearly proves that when the Eng
Forth with their queen they all by-passed lish left the field at nightfall, they were
me, ignorant to whom the victory belonged.
At easy pace-they riding forth the gate,
And I abode alone within the tree." Then the Homes and other Border chieftains plundered the dead at their leisure ; Margaret's life, after her second their countrymen strongly suspected that marriage, was a series of adventures they slew their King, and turned the and disasters par
de and disasters partly occasioned by the scale of victory against their country
you turbulent spirit and endless disorders men. There is the more probability in
of the times, partly by her own pasthis supposition when it is remembered how inflexibly James IV had maintained sions. She was a true Tudor in her justice on his Borders therefore he had disposition. Like her brother, "she honestly won the enmity of those rapa- spared no man in her lust, and no cious septs.
woman in her hate.” When she died, at the age of forty-eight, she had rights of their descendants. The fearful already married four husbands, of feud between the houses of Arran and whom three were still alive. She di- Darnley-Stuart was of this kind, which vorced, not beheaded, when she was deeply involved the prosperity of her tired of her lovers : in that respect granddaughter, Mary Queen of Scots. she was better than Henry. By the
And that hapless Princess was likewise second of these husbands she had a
marked as a victim by the cold and crafty
Ruthven, on account of his family interests daughter, named Margaret, whose
being affected by Queen Margaret's marbirth took place in the following cir.
riages and divorces. cumstances, characteristic alike of the "A succession of tragedies, for three age and country :
generations, was the consequence of “The welcome message of Dacre arrived Margaret Tudor's indulgence of her selfish at Coldstream almost in the last minute passions. Nor are the woes attendant that Queen Margaret could be moved. on contempt of the divine institution of So desperately ill was she taken on the marriage limited to the great ones of the road, that her convoy were forced to stop earth. Many a domestic tragedy, though by the way, and hurry her into Harbottle shrouded in the obscurity of every day or Hardbattle Castle, one of the grim life, may be traced to the same cause. mest and gauntest stone-donjons that Sorrow enters with sin; it desolates the frowned on the English frontier. It was peace of home; and unoffending children jast then garrisoned by Lord Dacre in suffer for the evil of their parents, whenperson, who had commenced the fierce ever persons are found to break, either war on the Borders to which the arrival by wilful passions or litigious contest, of the Duke of Albany in Scotland had the earliest law given by the Almighty." given rise. The portcullis of Harbottle The second Life in the volume is was raised to admit the fainting Queen that of Magdalene of Valois, the of Scotland; but not one Scot, man or
beautiful first Queen of James V., woman, Lord Dacre vowed, should enter
the brevity of whose reign of forty days with her. Here was a terrible situation for Margaret. She was received into the
in Scotland was the subject of such rugged Border-fortress, October 5, and,
lamentation to the country. James after remaining in mortal agony for more
& went to Paris, in the true spirit of
wen than forty-eight hours, gave birth to a
chivalry, to choose and win a Queen daughter, the Lady Margaret Douglas, in person ; and after a rapid and whose name is familiar to every one on somewhat discreditable homage to the pages of general history, as the imme- Mary of Vendôme, on the banks of diate ancestress of our present royal the Loire, his inconstant affections family."
were at length fixed by Magdalene The death of Margaret Tudor sug- daughter of Francis I., whom he soon gests the following reflections to our after married, and who became his author, the justice and beauty of much loved but short-lived Queen. which makes us regret that she does Their entrance into Scotland is thus not more frequently speak in her own described :person, instead of the quaint style of “The royal voyagers made the port of ancient annalists.
Leith, Saturday, May 19, being the fifth Some of Margaret Tudor's mistakes in day from their embarkation, and Whitsungoverament, it is possible, may be attri eve. They landed at the pier amidst the buted to the fact that she is the first acclamations of a mixed multitude of instance that occurs, since Christianity loving lieges of all degrees, who came to was established in the island, of regnant welcome their sovereign home, and to see power being confided to the hands of a their new Queen. Magdalene endeared woman who was expected to reign as herself for ever to the affections of the femme seule. She had no education, people by the sensibility she manifested scarcely any religion, and was guided on that occasion ; for when she first entirely by her instincts, which were not stepped on Scottish ground, she knelt, of an elevated character. Her misdeeds, and, bowing herself down, kissed the and the misfortunes attributable to her moulds thereof for the love she bore the personal conduct, gave rise to most of the King, returned thanks to God for having terrible calamities which befell her de brought the King and her safely through scendants. Some persons among the the seas, and prayed for the happiness of aristocracy of Scotland followed her evil the country. This was indeed entering example of divorce, which caused long upon her high vocation, not like the cold and angry litigation concerning the birth- state puppet of a public pageant, but in