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Prophesies of apparent impossibilities 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-wood shall go to Dusinane. In the fame strain, peculiar to his country, says our author,
Quhen the Bas and the isle of May
But he happily avails himself of the form, to introduce a
Quhen Kirkman zairnis' ng dignite,
The minority of James the fifth was dissipated in plea-. sures, and his education most industriously neglected. He
hawking, and huntings and not as a species gaming in
gaming in the christian army, commanded of gaming. See also, Ibid. p. 146. ft. v. by Richard the first king of England, and
Cards are mentioned in a statute of Henry Philip of France, during the crusade in the seventh, xi. Hen. vii. cap. ii. That is, the year 1190. No person in the army is in 1496. Du Cange cites two Greek wri permitted to play at any fort of game for ters, who mention card-playing as one of money, except Knights and Clergymen; the games of modern Greece, at leaft be. who in one whole day and night shall not, fore the year 1498. Gloss. Gr. tom. ii. each, lose more than twenty fillings : on V. XAPTIA. p. 1734. It seems highly pain of forfeiting one hundred shillings, to probable, that the Arabians, fo famous the archbishops of the army. The two for their ingenuity, more especially in what kings may play for what they please: but ever related to numbers and calculation, their attendants, not for more than twenty were the inventors of cards, which they fhillings. Otherwise, they are to be whipcommunicated to the Conftantinopolitan ped naked through the army for three days, Greeks. Carpentier says, that cards, or &c. Vit, Ric. i. p. 610. edit. Hearn. folia lusoria, are prohibited in the STA tom. ii. King Richard is described play, TUTA CRIMIN. Saonæ. cap. xxx. p. 65. ing at chefs in this expedition. MSS. But the age of these statutes has not occured
Harl. 4690. to me.
SUPPLEM. Lat. Gioss. Du And kyng Rychard ftode and playe Cange, V. CARTÆ. tom. i. p. 842.
Att the cheffe in hys galleye. Benedictus Abbas has preserved a very 1 Earn. Gain. curious edist, which fhcws the state of a Ibid. SIGNAT. H. i.
was flattered, not instructed, by his preceptors. His unguarded youth was artfully exposed to the most alluring temptations". It was in this reign, that the nobility of Scotland began to frequent the court; which foon 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 CHRIST'S KIRK ON THE GREEN *.
The COMPLAYNT OF 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 fixteenth 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 fcruple 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 formerly flourished in Scotland.
b Even his governors and preceptors threw these temptations in his way: a circumftance touched with some humour. by our author. Ibid. SIGNAT. G.
Thare was few of that garnifoun
Schir, whan ye pleis to Linlithiquow pas,
Printed at Oxford, by Edm. Gibson, 1691. 4to. with Notes. He died in 1452.
Or quho can now the workis contrefait"
QUINTYN", Merser°, Rowl', HENDERSON !, HAY', and
" I suppose Walter Kennedie, who wrote a poem in Scottish metre, whether printed I know not, on the Passion of Chrift. MSS. Coll. Gresham, 286. Some of Kennedie's poems are in MSS. Hyndford. The Flyting between Dunbar and Kennedy is in the EVERGREEN. See Dunbar, ut fupr. p. 77 And ibid. p. 274. And Kennedy's PRAIS OF AGB, ibid. p. 189. He exceeds his cotemporary Dunbar in smoothness of versification.
* The poem examined above, p. 264.
n He Aourished about the year 1320. He was driven from Scotland under the devaftations of Edward the first, and took refuge at Paris. He wrote a poem, called the Complaint of the Miseries of bis Country, printed at Paris, 1511. Dempft. xv. 1034.
• Merser is celebrated by Dunbar, LAMENT FOR THE DETH OF THE MAK. KARIS, or Poets. See ANC. Scottish Poems, ut fupr. p. 77.
That did in luve so lyfly wryte,
So schort, so quick, of sentens hie. See, in that Collection, his PERRELL IN PARAMOURS. P. 156.
p Dunbar mentions Rowll of Aberdeen, and Rowll of Corstorphine, “ twa bettir “ fallowis did no man sie.” Ibid. p. 77.
In Lord Hyndford's Manuscript (p. 104. 2.} a poem is mentioned, called Rowll's Cursing. ibid. p. 272.
There is an allusion in this piece to pope Alexander the fixth, who presided from 1492 to 1503.
9 Perhaps Robert Henrison. See Dunbar, ubi fupr. p. 77. And ibid. p. 98. seq. In MSS. Harl. are, “ The morall “ fabillis of Esope compylit be Maister “ Robert Henrysount scholmaister of Dum
ferling, 1571." 3865. 1. He was most probably a teacher of the youth in the Benedictine convent at Dunfermline.
See many of his poems, which are of a grave moral turn, in the elegant Scottish Mircellany juft cited.
* I know pot if he means Archibald Hay, who wrote a panegyric on Cardinal Beaton, printed at Paris, 1540. 4to. He also translated the HECUBA of Euripides from Greek into Latin. MSS. HATTON. But I have seen none of his Scotch poetry. • See Dunbar, ut supr. p. 77.
His poem, called the HOWLATT, is in the Manuscripts of Lord Hyndford, and Lord Auchinleck. In this are described, the “ Kyndis of instrumentis, the sportaris, “ [juglers] the Irish bard, and the fule.” It was written before the year 1455.
And as Phebus dois Cynthie precell ;
Had, quhen he was into this land on lyve,
And in the court bene present in their dayis,
STEWART of Lorne will carp richt curiouslie”,
* I know nothing of Sir James Inglis, or of his ballads, farces, and pleasant plays. But one John Inglish was master of a company of players, as we have before seen, at the marriage of James the fourth. Here is a proof, however, that theatrical repre. sentations were now in high repute in the court of Scotland.
y Yet in knowing.
z See some of his satirical poetry, Anc. Sc. P. p. 151.
· These two poets are converted into
one, under the name of GABRIELL KIN. LYCK, in an edition of some of Lyndesay's works first turned and made perfe&t Englishe, printed at London by Thomas Purfoote, A. D. 1581. p. 105. This edition often omits whole stanzas; and has the most arbitrary and licentious misrepresentations of the text, always for the worse. The editor, or translator, did not understand the Scottish language; and is, besides, a wretched writer of English. But the attempt sufficiently exposes itself.
Bot now of late is start up haistelie,
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
The pomp and elegance of the catholic worship made no impression on a people, whose devotion sought only for folid edification ; and who had no notion that the interposition of the senses could with any propriety be admitted to cooperate in an exercise of such a nature, which appealed to reason alone, and seemed 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
b I presume this is John Balantyn, or this does not appear in the Edinburgh eBallenden, archdeacon of Murray, canon dition: also Epistles to James the fifth, and of Rosse, and clerk of the regifter in the On the Life of Pythagoras. Many of his minority of James the fifth and his succef
poems are extant.
The author of the ar. four. He was a doctor of the Sorbonne at ticle Ballenden, in the BIOGRAPHIA Paris. G. Con, De duplici ftatu religionis BRITANNICA, written more than thirty apud Scotos, lib. ii. p. 167. At the com ago, says, that " in the large collection of mand of James the fifth, he tranflated the « Scottish poems, made by Mr. Carmiseventeen books of Hector Boethius's His “ chael, there were some of our author's TORY OF SCOTLAND, Edinb. by T. Da on various subjects; and Mr. Laurence vidson, 1536. fol. The preface is in “ Dundafs had several, whether in manuverse, “ Thow marcyal buke pas to the script or printed, I cannot say." vol. i. « nobyll prince.” Prefixed is the Cos p. 461. His style has many gallicisms. MOGRAPHY of Boethius’s History, which He seems to have been a young man, when Mackenzie calls, A Description of Albany, this compliment was paid him by Lynde#. 596. Before it is a Prologue, a vision say. He died at Rome, 1550. Dempft. in verse, in which Virtue and PLEASURE ii.
197. Bale, xiv. 65: Mackenz. ii. address the king, after the manner of dialogue. He wrote an addition of one Ć SIGNAT. K. hundred years to Boethius's history : but Vol. II. Tt