« הקודםהמשך »
Prophefies of apparent impoffibilities were common in Scotland: such as the removal of one place to another. Under this popular prophetic formulary, may be ranked the prediction in Shakespeare's MACBETH, where the APPARITION says, that Birnam-wopd shall go to Dusinane. In the same strain, peculiar to his country, says our author,
When the Bas and the isle of May
When the Lowmound besyde Falkland
But he happily nvails himself of the form, to introduceca
hawking, and hunting; and not as aspecie'
gaming in the christian army. commanded
"money, except Knights and Clergymen;
who in one whole day and night shall not, each, lose more than twenty shillingt: on pain os sorseiting one hundred shillings. to the archbishops of the army. The two kings may play for what they please: but their attendants, not for more than twenty shillin s. Otherwise, they are to be whip-t ped na ed through the army for three days, &e. Vt'r, RlC- i. p. 610. edit. Hearn. tom. ii. King Richard is described play. ing at chess in this expedition. MSS, Harl. 4690.
And kyng Rychard slode and playe
Att the chcsse in hys galleye.
l Earn. Gain.
8 lbid. SlGQIAT-_H- i.
was fiattered, not instructed, by his preceptors. His unguarded youth was artfully exposed to the most alluring temptationsh. It was in this reign, that the nobility of Scotland began to frequent the court; which soon became the theatre of all those idle amusements which were calculated to solicit the attention of a young king. All these abuses are painted in this poem with an honest unreserved indignation. It must not in the mean time be forgotten, that James possessed eminent abilities, and a love of literature; nor is it beside our present purpose to obserVe, that he was the author of the celebrated ballad called CHRtST's KIRK ON THE GREEN'.
The COMPLAYNT or THE PAPINGO is a piece of the like tendency. In the Prologue, there is a curious and critical catalogue of the Scotch poets who flourished about the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries. As the names and works of many of them seem to be totally forgotten, and as it may contribute to throw some new lights on the neglected history of the Scotch poetry, I shall not scruple to give the passage at large, with a few illustrations. Our author declares, that the poets of his own age dare- not' aspire to the praise of the three English poets, Chaucer, Gower, and Lydgate. He then, under the same idea, makes: a transition- to. the' most distinguished poets, who formerlyflourished in Scotland.
Or quho can now the wprkis c'ontrefait'ff
Or of DUNBAR, quhallanguage had at large,
WNTYN ", MERSERO, ROWL', HENDERSON', HAY', and
T hocht thay be deid, thair libellis bene livand ',
And in our Inglis rhetorick the rose,
As of rubeis the carbuncle bene chose,
l I suppose Walter Kennedie, who wrote a Ecem in Scottish metre, whether printed I now not, on the Pasiion of Christ. MSS. Coll. Gresham, 286. Some of Kennedie's poems are in MSS. Hyndford, The Flyring between Dunbar and Kennedy is in the Eveacaaeu. See Dunbar, ut supr. p. 7. And ibid. p. 274.. And Kenne y's Pnnls or Aca, ibid. p. 18 . He exceeds his cotemporary Dunbar in moothness of versification.
m The poem examined above, p. 264.
" He flourished about the year '320. He was driven from Scotland under the devastations of Edward the first, and took refuge [at Paris. He wrote a poem, called the Complaint qf 'be Mishrier q/'lyir Country, printed at Paris, 1511. Dempst. xv. 1034..
o Merse' is celebrated by Dunbar, LAMENT For. 'rue Deru or 'rue MAKxuus,or Por'rs. See Anc. Scorrtsu Poems, nt supr. p. 77.
That did in lnve so lyle wryte,
So schort, so quick, of sentens hie. See, in that Collection, his PBRRBLL m PAIAMOURS. p. 156.
P Dunbar mentions Rowll of Aberdeen, and Rowll of Corstorphine, " twa bettir " fallowis did no man fie." Ibid. p. 77.
And as Phebus dois Cynthie precell ;
Had, quhen he was into thissisi'land on lyve,
Both in practick and speculatioun.
I say no more: gude redaris may discryve
His Worthy workis, in noumer mo than fyve.
Of Virgill, quhilk bene consolatioun
To cunnyng men to knawe his greit ingyne,
And in the court bene present in their dayis,
-In ballatis, farfis, and in plesand playis *?
Bot CULTROSE has his pen maid impotent,
Kid in cunnyngy and practick richt prudent.
STEWART of Lome will carþ richt curiousiie 2,
Bot now of late is start up haistelie,
One cunnyng clarke, quhilk wrytith craftelie:
He will precell Wntyn and Kennedie ®.
The Scotch, from that philosophical and speculative cast which characterises their national genius, were more zealous and early friends to a reformation of religion than their neighbours in England. The pomp and elegance of the catholic worship made no impression on a people, whose devotion sought only for solid edification; and who had no notion that the interpofition of the senses could with any propriety be admitted to cooperate in an exercise of such a nature, which appealed to reason alone, and scemed to exclude all aids of the imagination. It was natural that such a people, in their system of spiritual refinement, should warmly prefer the severe and rigid plan of Calvin: and it is from this principle, that we find most of their writers, at the restoration of learning, taking all occasions of censuring