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Here, piled in common slaughter, sleep
The husband, whom, through many a year,
The cause, but think on Waterloo!
Period of honour as of woes,
What bright careers 'twas thine to close!-
Forgive, brave dead, th' imperfect lay;
Till time shall cease to run;
Farewell, sad field! whose blighted face
Though from thy blackened portals torn,
Stern tide of human Time! that know'st not rest,
The fisher-skiff, and barge that bears a court, Still wafting onward all to one dark silent port. Stern tide of time! through what mysterious change
Of hope and fear have our frail barks been driven? For ne'er, before, vicissitude so strange
Was to one race of Adam's offspring given. And sure such varied change of sea and heaven, Such unexpected bursts of joy and wo, Such fearful strife as that where we have striven, Succeeding ages ne'er again shall know, Until the awful term when thou shalt cease to flow.
Well hast thou stood, my country!—the brave fight
Hast well maintain'd through good report and ill; In thy just cause and in thy native might,
And in heaven's grace and justice constant still. Whether the banded prowess, strength, and skill Of half the world against thee, stood array'd, Or when, with better views and freer will,
Each emulous in arms the ocean queen to aid. Beside thee Europe's noblest drew the blade, Well thou art now repaid-though slowly rose, And struggled long with mists thy blaze of fame, While like the dawn that in the orient glows
On the broad wave its earlier lustre came;
And wash'd in foemen's gore unjust reproach away.
Yet 'mid the confidence of just renown,
Renown dear-bought, but dearest thus acquired Write, Britain, write the moral lesson down; 'Tis not alone the heart with valour fired, The discipline so dreaded and admired,
In many a field of bloody conquest known; -Such may by fame be lured--by gold be hired→ 'Tis constancy in the good cause alone, Best justifies the meed thy valiant sons have won.
1. The peasant, at his labour blith, Plies the hook'd staff and shortened sithe.-P. 382. The in Flanders carries in his left hand reaper a stick with an iron hook, with which he collects as much grain as he can cut at one sweep with a short sithe, which he holds in his right hand. They carry on this double process with great spirit and dexterity.
nearer the scene of action than the spot already mentioned, which the rising banks on each side rendered secure from all such balls as did not come in a straight line. He witnessed the earlier part of the battle from places yet more remote, particularly from an observatory which had been placed there by the king of the Netherlands, some weeks before, for the purpose of surveying the country." It is not meant to infer from these particulars that 2. Pale Brussels! then what thoughts were thine.-P. 383. Napoleon showed on that memorable occasion, the and preIt was affirmed by the prisoners of war, that Bo-least deficiency in personal courage; on the connaparte had promised his army, in case of victory, trary, he evinced the greatest composure twenty-four hours' plunder of the city of Brussels. sence of mind during the whole action. But it is no less true that report has erred in ascribing to 3. "Confront the battery's jaws of flame! him any desperate efforts of valour for recovery of Rush on the levell'd gun."-P. 383. The characteristic obstinacy of Napoleon was the battle; and it is remarkable, that during the never more fully displayed than in what we may whole carnage, none of his suite were either killed be permitted to hope will prove the last of his or wounded, whereas scarcely one of the duke of fields. He would listen to no advice, and allow Wellington's personal attendants escaped unburt. 5. "England shall tell the fight.-P. 383." of no obstacles. An eye-witness has given the following account of his demeanour towards the end of the action:
"It was near seven o'clock; Bonaparte, who, till then, had remained upon the ridge of the hill whence he could best behold what passed, contemplated, with a stern countenance, the scene of this horrible slaughter. The more that obstacles seemed to multiply, the more his obstinacy seemed to increase. He became indignant at these unforseen difficulties; and, far from fearing to push to extremities an army whose confidence in him was boundless, he ceased not to pour down fresh troops, and to give orders to march forward-to charge with the bayonet-to carry by storm. He was repeatedly informed, from different points, that the day went against him, and that the troops seemed to be disordered; to which he only replied,- En
avant! en avant!'
"One general sent to inform the emperor that he was in a position which he could not maintain, because it was commanded by a battery, and requested to know, at the same time, in what way he should protect his division from the murderous fire of the English artillery. Let him storm the battery,' replied Bonaparte, and turned his back on the aid-de-camp who brought the message."-Relation de la bataille du Mont saint-Jean, par un Témoin Oculaire. Paris, 1815, 8vo. p. 51.
In riding up to a regiment which was hard pressmust never be beat,--what will they say in Enged, the duke called to the men, “Soldiers, we land?" It is needless to say how this appeal was
6. As plies the smith his clanging trade,
Against the cuirass rang the blade.-P. 383. A private soldier of the 95th regiment compared the sound which took place immediately upon the British cavalry mingling with those of the enemy, a thousand tinkers at work mending pots and
7. Or will thy chosen brook to feel
The British shock of levell'd steel.-P. 383. No persuasion or authority could prevail upon net. The imperial guards, in particular, hardly the French troops to stand the shock of the bayo stood still till the British were within thirty yards of has put into their mouths the magnanimous sentithem, although the French author, already quoted, ment, "The guards never yield-they die." The same author has covered the plateau, or eminence of St. Jean, which formed the British position, an existence. As the narrative, which is in many with redoubts and entrenchments which never had respects curious, was written by an eye-witness, he was probably deceived by the appearance of a road and ditch which runs along part of the hill. lt may be also mentioned, in criticising this work, It has been reported that Bonaparte charged at that the writer states the château of Hougoumont the head of his guards at the last period of this to have been carried by the French, although it dreadful conflict. This, however, is not accurate. was resolutely and successfully defended during He came down, indeed, to a hollow part of the the whole action. The enemy, indeed, possessed high-road leading to Charleroi, within less than a themselves of the wood by which it is surrounded, quarter of a mile of the farm of La Haye Sainte, and at length set fire to the house itself; but the one of the points most fiercely disputed. Here he British (a detachment of the guards, under the harangued the guards, and informed them that his command of colonel Macdonnell, and afterwards preceding operations had destroyed the British in- of colonel Home,) made good the garden, and thus fantry and cavalry, and that they had only to sup- preserved, by their desperate resistance, the post port the fire of the artillery, which they were to which covered the return of the duke of Wellingattack with the bayonet. This exhortation was re-ton's right flank. ceived with shouts of Vive l'Empereur, which were
4. The fate their leader shunn'd to share.-P. 383.
The mistakes concerning this observatory bave been
heard over all our line, and led to an idea that mutual. The English supposed it was erected for the use Napoleon was charging in person. But the guards of Bonaparte; and a French writer affrms it was were led on by Ney; nor did Bonaparte approach structed by the duke of Wellington.
THESE SCENES ARE INSCRIBED, AS A SLIGHT TESTIMONY OF THE AUTHOR'S HIGH RESPECT FOR HER TALENTS, AS WELL AS OF HIS SINCERE AND FAITHFUL FRIENDSHIP.
THOUGH the public seldom takes much interest in such communications, (nor is there any reason why they should,) the author takes the liberty of stating, that these scenes were commenced with the purpose of contributing to a miscellany projected by a much esteemed friend. But instead of being confined to a scene or two as intended, the work gradually swelled to the size of an independent publication. It is designed to illustrate military antiquities, and the manners of chivalry. The drama (if it can be termed one) is in no particular either designed or calculated for the stage; so that in case any attempt shall be made to produce it in action (as has happened in similar cases,) the author takes the present opportunity to intimate, that it shall be solely at the peril of those who make such an experiment.
The subject is to be found in Scottish history; but not to overload so slight a publication with antiquarian research, or quotations from obscure chronicles, may be sufficiently illustrated by the following passage from Pinkerton's History of Scotland, vol. i, p. 71.
"The governor (anno 1402) dispatched a considerable force under Murdac, his eldest son; the earls of Angus and Moray also joined Douglas, who entered England with an army of ten thousand men, carrying terror and devastation to the walls of Newcastle.
archers at the commencement, totally to disperse them, and stop the deadly effusion. But Douglas now used no such precaution; and the consequence was, that his people, drawn up on the face of the hill, presented one general mark to the enemy, none of whose arrows descended in vain. The Scots fell without fight, and unrevenged, till a spirited knight, Swinton, exclaimed aloud, 'O my brave countrymen! what fascination has seized you to-day, that you stand like deer to be shot, instead of indulging your ancient courage, and meeting your enemies hand to hand? Let those who will, descend with me, that we may gain victory, or life, or fall like men.' This being heard by Adam Gordon, between whom and Swinton there existed an ancient deadly feud, attended with the mutual slaughter of many followers, he instantly fell on his knees before Swinton, begged his pardon, and desired to be dubbed a knight by him whom he must now regard as the wisest and the boldest of that order in Britain. The ceremony performed, Swinton and Gordon descended the hill, accompanied only by one hundred men; and a desperate valour led the whole body to death. Had a similar spirit been shown by the Scottish army, it is probable that the event of the day would have been different. Douglas, who was certainly deficient in the most important qualities of a general, seeing his army begin to disperse, at length attempted to descend the hill; but the English "Henry IV was now engaged in the Welch war archers, retiring a little, sent a flight of arrows so against Owen Glendour; but the earl of Northum-sharp and strong, that no armour could withstand; berland, and his son, the Hotspur Percy, with the and the Scottish leader himself, whose panoply earl of March, collected a numerous array, and was of remarkable temper, fell under five wounds, awaited the return of the Scots, impeded with though not mortal. The English men-of-arms, spoil, near Milfield, in the north part of North- knights, or squires, did not strike one blow, but umberland. Douglas had reached Wooler on his remained spectators of the rout, which was now return; and, perceiving the enemy, seized a strong complete. Great numbers of Scots were slain, and post between the two armies, called Homildonhill. In this method he rivalled his predecessor at the battle of Otterburn, but not with like sucThe English advanced to the assault, and Henry Percy was about to lead them up the hill, when March caught his bridle, and advised him to advance no farther, but to pour the dreadful shower of English arrows into the enemy. This advice was followed with the usual fortune; for in all ages the bow was the English weapon of vic- the unfortunate battle of Homildon." tory, and though the Scots, and perhaps the French, It may be proper to observe, that the scene of were superior in the use of the spear, yet this wea-action has, in the following pages, been transferred pon was useless after the distant bow had decided from Homildon to Halidon Hill. For this there the combat. Robert the Great, sensible of this at was an obvious reason, for who would again venthe battle of Bannockburn, ordered a prepared ture to introduce upon the scene the celebrated detachment of cavalry to rush among the English | Hotspur, who commanded the English at the for
near five hundred perished in the river Tweed upon their flight. Among the illustrious wounded were Douglas, whose chief wound deprived him of an eye; Murdac, son of Albany; the earls of Moray and Angus; and about four gentlemen of eminent rank and power. The chief slain, were, Swinton, Gordon, Livingston of Calender, Ramsay of Dalhousie, Walter Sinclair, Roger Gordon, Walter Scott, and others. Such was the issue of
occupied by the rear guard of the Scottish army,
Enter DE VIPONT and the PRIOR of MAISON-DIEU.
Pri. Fain would I see you join some baron's
mer battle? There are, however, several coincidences which may reconcile even the severer antiquary to the substitution of Halidon Hill for Homildon. A Scottish army was defeated by the English on both occasions, and under nearly the same circumstances of address on the part of the victors, and mismanagement on that of the vanquished, for the English long-bow decided the day in both cases. In both cases, also, a Gordon was left on the field of battle; and at Halidon, as at Homildon, the Scots were commanded by an ill-fated representative of the great house of Douglas. He of Homildon was surnamed Tine-man, I. e. Loseman, from his repeated defeats and miscarriages, and with all the personal valour of his race, seems to have enjoyed so small a portion of their sagacity, as to be unable to learn military experience from reiterated calamity. I am far, however, from intimating, that the traits of imbecility and envy, attributed to the regent in the following sketch, are to be historically ascribed either to the elder Douglas of Halidon Hill, or to him called Tine-man, who seems to have enjoyed the respect of his countrymen, notwithstanding The royal Bruce, with Randolph, Douglas, Grathat, like the celebrated Anne de Montmorency, he was either defeated, or wounded, or made prisoner in every battle which he fought. The regent of the sketch is a character purely imaginary.
So that a man has room to fight and fall on't:
Pri. Alas! there have been changes since that
Then shook in field the banners which now moul
Over their graves i' the chancel. The tradition of the Swinton family, which still survives in a lineal descent, and to which the au- That while I look'd on many a well-known erest Vip. And thence comes it, thor has the honour to be related, avers, that the And blazon'd shield, as hitherward we came, Swinton who fell at Homildon, in the manner nar- The faces of the barons who display'd them rated in the preceding extract, had slain Gordon's Were all unknown to me. Brave youths they father; which seems sufficient ground for adopting that circumstance into the following Dramatic Yet, surely fitter to adorn the tilt-yard, seem'd; Sketch, though it is rendered improbable by other Than to be leaders of a war. Their followers, authorities. Young like themselves, seem like themselves unLook at their battle rank. practised-
If any reader will take the trouble of looking at Froissart, Fordun, or other historians of the period, he will find, that the character of the lord of Swinton, for strength, courage, and conduct, is by no means exaggerated.
THE REGENT OF SCOTLAND.
So thick the rays dart back from shield and helmet,
Vip. Ay, but 'twas Bruce that led them. Rever-
'Tis not the falchion's weight decides a combat; It is the strong and skilful hand that wields it.
Scottish chiefs and nobles. Ill fate, that we should lack the noble king,
ADAM DE VIPONT, a Knight Templar.
REYNALD, Swinton's Squire.
HOB HATTELY, a Border Moss-Trooper.
KING EDWARD III.
And all his champions now! Time call'd them not,
The brows of most were free from grizzled hair.
Few hairs are silver'd underneath the helmet;
War's the rash reaper, who thrusts in his sickle
RIBAUMONT English and Norman Nobles. The race which holds yon summit is the third.
THE ABBOT OF WALTHAMSTOW.
The northern side of the eminence of Halidon. The back scene represents the summit of the ascent,
Vip. Thou may'st outlive them also.
Vip. Retire, retire, good father!-Pray for Scot-
Think not on me. Here comes an ancient friend,
And weary heaven with prayers for victory.
Sin. Halt here, and plant my pennon, till the
Assign our band its station in the host.
Rey. That must be by the standard. We have had
There is his place of honour, and there only
Of some disorder'd hunting, where, pell-mell,
Vip. (advancing.) There needed not, to blazen
His ancient burgonet, the sable boar
Swin. Brave templar, thanks! Such your cross'd
shoulder speaks you;
But the closed visor, which conceals your features,
Yet, unless Syrian suns have scorch'd my features
Swin. (embracing him.) As the blith reaper
Vip. Have with them ne'ertheless. The Stuart's
The bloody heart of Douglas, Ross's lymphads,
Rampant in golden tressure, wins me from them.
A chosen band of lances-some well known to me.
Swin. Symon de Vipont, thou dost see them all
Vip. A thousand followers-such, with friends!
Allies and vassals, thou wert wont to lead-
The sepulchre of Christ from the rude heathen,
Swin. Unholy warfare? ay, well hast thou named
But not with England-would her cloth-yard shafts
Vip. Since thou dost weep, their death is una-
Swin. Templar, what think'st thou me? See
From which the fountain gushes-is it less
Had shared the banquet and the chase together,
Vip. You are at feud, then, with the mighty
Swin. At deadly feud. Here in this border-land
As the strong castle, and the ancient blazon,
Vip. You, with some threescore lances-and the
Leading a thousand followers.
Swin. You rate him far too low. Since you
He hath had grants of baronies and lordships