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for a wise man reproveth the avaricious man, and saith now St Saviour's—in Southwark, where he had thus in two verse : Whereto and why burieth a man founded a chantry. His monument, containing his goods by his great avarice, and knoweth well that a full-length figure of the poet, is still preserved, needs must he die, for death is the end of every man as and was repaired in 1832 by the Duke of Sutherin this present life? And for what cause or encheson land, head of the ancient family of Gower, settled joineth he him, or knitteth he him so fast unto his in Yorkshire so early as the twelfth century. goods, that all his wits mowen not disseveren him. The principal works of Gower wer the Speculum to know, that when he is dead he shall nothing bear Meditantis
, the Vox Clamantis, and the Confessio with him out of this world? and therefore saith St Amantis, 1393. The first of these was in French, Augustine, that the avaricious man is likened unto hell, but is now lost; the second is in Latin, and the that the more it swalloweth the more desire it hath to third in English. This English poem was printed swallow and devour. And as well as ye wold eschew by Caxton in 1483, and was again printed in 1532 to be called an avaricious man or an chinch, as well and 1554. It was chiefly taken from a metrical should ye keep you and govern you in such wise, that version in the Pantheon, or Universal Chronicle men call you not fool-large; therefore, saith Tullius : of Godfrey of Viterbo, as admitted by Gower. In The goods of thine house ne should not ben hid ne kept this work is the story of Appolinus, the Prince of so close, but that they might ben opened by pity and Tyre, from which Shakspeare took part of the great need; ne they goods shoulden not ben so open to story of his Pericles, if we assume that Shakspeare be every man's goods.
was the original or sole author of that drama. The Afterward, in getting of your riches, and in using of Confessio Ă mantis is a dialogue between a lover 'em, ye shuln alway have three things in your heart, that and his confessor- r-a grave discussion of the is to say, our Lord God, conscience, and good name. morals and metaphysics of love. Dr Pauli, the First ye shuln have God in your heart, and for no riches able editor of the poem (1857), describes it as 'a ye shuln do nothing which may in any manner displease mixture of classical notions, principally borrowed God that is your creator and maker ; for, after the from Ovid, and of the purely medieval idea, that, word of Solomon, it is better to have a little good, with as a good Catholic, the unfortunate lover must love of God, than to have muckle good and lese the state his distress tó a father confessor. In the love of his Lord God; and the prophet saith, that better it is to ben a good man and have little good and treasure, poem, Venus is enjoined to'greet well’ Chaucer, than to be holden a shrew and have great riches. And
As my disciple and my poete; yet. I say furthermore, that ye shulden always do your business to get your riches, so that ye get 'em with, a and the greater poet inscribed his Troilus and good conscience. And the apostle saith, that there n'is Cressida to his friend as moral Gower,' a desigthing in this world, of which we shulden have so great nation which has ever since been applied to him. joy, as when our conscience beareth us good witness: The general style of the Confessio Amantis is and the wise man saith: The substance of a man is full good when sin is not in a man's conscience. After- grave and sententious, and its enormous length ward, in getting of your riches and in using of 'em, ye (above thirty thousand lines) renders it tedious; must have great business and great diligence that your but it is occasionally relieved by stories and epigood name be alway kept and conserved; for Solomon sodes drawn from medieval history and romance, saith, that better it is and more it availeth a man to and from the collection of novels known as the have a good name than for to have great riches; and Gesta Romanorum. He says: therefore he saith in another place: Do great diligence (saith he) in keeping of thy friends and of thy good
Full oft time it falleth so name, for it shall longer abide with thee than any
My ear with a good pittance treasure, be it never so precious; and certainly he should
Is fed, with reading of romance not be called a gentleman that, after God and good
Of Isodyne and Amadas, conscience all things left, ne doth his diligence and
That whilom were in my case ; business to keepen his good name; and Cassiodore saith,
And eke of other many a score, that it is a sign of a gentle heart, when a man loveth
That loved long ere I was bore : and desireth to have a good name.
For when I of their loves read,
Sometime I draw into memoire,
How sorrow may not ever last,
And so hope cometh in at last. JOHN GOWER is supposed to have been born about the year 1325. He was consequently a few years older than Chaucer, whom he survived Story of the Caskets. -- From 'Confessio Amantis,' Book V. eight years. Gower was a member of a knightly family, an esquire of Kent, and possessed of
In a cronique this I rede : estates in several counties. In 1368 the daughter
Aboute a king, as moste nede and co-heiress of Sir Robert Gower of Multon,
Ther was of knyghtes and
Great route, and eke of officers : in Suffolk, conveyed to the poet the manor of
Some of long time him had hadden served, Kentwell. In 1399 Gower had, as he himself
And thoughten that they have deserved states, become old and blind. He made his will
Avancément, and gon withoute : in August 1408, and must have died shortly after- And some also ben of the route, wards, as his widow administered to his effects in October of that year. From his will it appears * It was supposed that there was some relationship between the that the poet possessed the manors of Southwell poet and this noble family, and stress was laid upon the possession in Nottinghamshire, and Multon in Suffolk. He been presented to an ancestor of the Yorkshire Gowers by the poet
, also left his widow a sum of £100, and made The genealogists, however, find no branch to which this alleged various bequests to churches and hospitals. He alliance can be traced, and the MS. turns out to be the very copy
of the work which the author presented to Henry IV, while Duke was interred in the church of St Mary Overies-1 of Lancaster-a rare and precious volume.
That comen but awhile agon
And after that they up arise, And they avanced were anon.
And gon aside, and hem avise, These old men, upon this thing,
And at lasté they acorde So as they durst, agein the king,
(Wherof her talé to recorde Among hemselri compleignen ofte:
To what issue they be falle) But there is nothing said so softe,
A knyght shall speké for hem alle : That it ne comith out at laste :
He kneleth doun unto the king, The king it wiste, and als so faste,
And seith that they upon this thing, As he which was of high prudénce :
Or for to winne, or for to lese, He shope therfore an evidence
Ben all avised for to chese. Of hem ? that pleignen in the cas,
Tho 3 toke this knyght a yerd 4 on honde, To knowe in whose defalte it was ;
And goth there as the cofres stonde, And all within his owne entent,
And with assent of everychone 6 That non ma wisté what it ment.
He leith his yerde upon one, Anon he let two cofres make
And seith the king how thilke same Of one semblance, and of one make,
They chese in reguerdon? by name, So lich, that no lif thilke throwe,
And preith him that they might it have. That one may fro that other knowe :
The king, which wolde his honor save, They were into his chamber brought,
Whan he had heard the common vois, But no man wot why they be wrought,
Hath granted hem her owne chois, And natheles the king hath bede
And toke hem therupon the keie ; That they be set in privy stede,
But for he woldé it were seie 8 As he that was of wisdom slih;
What good they have as they suppose, Whan he therto his time sih,
He bad anon the cofre unclose, All prively, that none it wiste,
Which was fulfild with straw and stones : His owné hondes that one chiste
Thus be they served all at ones. Of fin gold, and of fin perie,
This king than, in the samé stede, The which out of his tresorie
Anon that other cofre undede, Was take, anon he fild full;
Wher as they sihen gret richesse, That other cofre of straw and mull
Wel more than they couthen gesse. With stones meynd? he fild also :
Lo! seith the king, now may ye se
That ther is no defalte in me;
Forthyo my self I wol aquite,
And bereth ye your owne wite 10 Ther should be tofore his bed
Of that 11 fortune hath you refused. A bord up set and fairé spred :
Thus was this wise king excused : And than he let the cofres fette
And they lefte off her evil speche,
And mercy of her king beseche.
The language of the Lowland districts of Scot-
land was based, like that of England, on the I wot well ye have longe served,
Teutonic, and it had, like the contemporary And God wot what ye have deserved ;
English, a Norman admixture. The names of But if it is along on me
places, however, and the permanent features of Of that ye unavanced be, Or elles if it belong on yow,
the country—the mountains, lakes, and rivers
are mostly Celtic. Some were modified; StrathThe sothé shall be proved now:
clyde became Clydesdale, and Strathnith and To stoppé with your evil word,
Strathannan became Nithsdale and Annandale. Lo! here two cofres on the bord; Chese 11 which you list of bothé two;
In some instances, the Celtic kil, a cell or chapel, And witеth well that one of tho
was supplanted by the Saxon kirk, as Kirkpatrick Is with tresor so full begon,
for Kilpatrick ; but kil is still the most common That if ye happé therupon
prefix--as Kilmarnock, signifying the chapel of Ye shall be riché men for ever :
Marnoch, a famous Scottish saint. The oldest Now chese, and take which you is lever, Scotch writing extant is a charter by Duncan II. But be well ware ere that ye take,
in 1095. A few years before this, a new era began For of that one I undertake
with Malcolm Canmore. What is called the Ther is no maner good therein,
Scoto-Saxon period of Scottish history commences. Wherof ye mighten profit winne.
New races appear; Northumbrian nobles and Now goth 12 together of one assent,
their vassals, Norman knights and Flemish artiAnd taketh your avisement; For, but I you this day avance,
sans, enter Scotland ; not rapidly at first, but by It stant upon your owné chance,
a continued steady migration. The Saxon policy Al only in defalte of grace ;
of Malcolm Canmore was carried out by his sons; So shall be shewed in this place
and after half a century or more of continued Upon you all well afyn,13
colonisation, we find the Norman nobles--the That no defalté shal be myn.
Bruces, Baliols, Stewarts, Cummings, Douglases, They knelen all, and with one vois
Murrays, and Dunbars-seated in Scotland, and The king they thonken of this chois :
the Saxon language, laws, and ecclesiastical gov
ernment naturalised, as it were, in the North. As 1 Themselves. 9 Them. 3 Like.
4 Saw. Jewels, or precious stones. 6 Rubbish. 7 Mingled.
+ A rod.
5 Every one. 6 Sayeth to the king, 7 As their reward. 11 Choose.
13 At last
11 That is, that which,
the English or Teutonic portion of the language the cathedral church of St Machar, at Aberdeen, did not fall out of court favour in Scotland as in until the Reformation--the expense of the service England, it long continued in the north with little being defrayed from the perpetual annuity granted change. The oldest fragment of Scottish poetry to the father of Scottish poetry by the first of the has been preserved by Wyntoun, and is of a Stuart kings, in 1378, pro compilacione Libri plaintive cast :
de Gestis illustrissimi principis quondam Domini
Regis Roberti de Brus.' Barbour's poem of The
Bruce is valuable as a monument of our early
language, and as a storehouse of historical inci
dents. Of wyne and wax, of gamyn and gle;
But though he set himself to write a Oure golde wes changyd into lede,
soothfast story,' the poet begins by departing Cryst borne into virgynyte,
widely from history. He confounds Bruce the Succor Scotland and remede,
grandfather with Bruce the grandson, and makes That stad 3 is in perplexyte.
him reject the crown said to have been offered to
him by Edward I.! Of course, he also conceals After the battle of Bannockburn (June 24, 1314), the fact, that the grandson had sworn fealty to the Scots, “inflamed with pride and derision of Edward, and done homage to Baliol. He desired the English,' as Fabian the chronicler states, made to present in Bruce a true hero and patriot tramp, this rhyme, which was 'after many days sung in ling down oppression and vindicating the sacred the dances and carols of the maidens and minstrels rights of his country, and all that could militate of Scotland :'
against this design was excluded. Almost all the
personal traits and adventures of Bruce—whatever Maydens of Englande, sore may ye morne For your lemans ye have loste at Bannockysborne,
gives individuality, life, and colour to his history With heave alow !
—will be found in the pages of Barbour. The What, weneth the kynge of Englande
old poet's narrative of the wanderings, trials, So soone to have Scotlande?
sufferings, and fortitude of the monarch; the With rumbylow!
homely touches of tenderness and domestic feeling interspersed, as well as the knightly courtesy and
royal intrepid bearing, which he paints in lively JOHN BARBOUR.
colours, have tended greatly to endear and perContemporary with Chaucer and Gower was the petuate the name of the Scottish sovereign. The northern minstrel, JOHN BARBOUR. The date of characters and exploits of Bruce's brave associates, his birth is unknown, but he is found exercising Randolph and Douglas, are also finely drawn the duties of archdeacon of Aberdeen in 1357.
and the poem contains many vividly descriptive assumed from his having been chosen by the is fully as intelligible as that of Chaucer. It does That he was a man of talent and learning may be passages, and abounds in dignified and pathetic
The language bishop of Aberdeen to act as his commissioner at Edinburgh when the ransom of David II. was works of his southern contemporary. One would
not appear that the Scottish poet had seen the debated; and also from the circumstance that he have wished that the bards had 'met, each the twice visited England with scholars, for the purpose of studying at Oxford (1357 and 1364); that representative of his country's literature, and each in 1365 he obtained a passport to travel through Barbour's poem, we may add, is in the octo-syl
enjoying the favour and bounty of his sovereign. England with six companions on horseback labic verse, and consists of about 14,000 lines. towards St Denis and other sacred places ;' and It has been well edited by Dr Jamieson (1820), that in 1368 he again received permission to travel and by Professor Cosmo Innes (1856). through England with two servants. At home, Barbour enjoyed royal favour. In 1373, he was
Apostrophe to Freedom. clerk of audit of the household of King Robert II. and one of the auditors of exchequer. In
A ! fredome is a nobill thing! 1375, his epic poem, The Bruce, was in progress.
Fredome mayse man to haiff liking!
Fredome all solace to man giffis : In 1377, a sum of ten pounds was paid to Barbour
He levys at ese that frely levys ! by the king's command, as the first reward, it
A noble hart may haiff nane ese, would seem, for the composition of the poem.
Na ellys nocht that may him plese, This gist was followed, at the interval of a few Gyff fredome failythe : for fre liking months, by a grant to Barbour from the king of a Is yearnyt our all othir thing perpetual annuity of twenty shillings. Barbour
Na he, that ay hase levyt fre, wrote another poem, now lost, called The Brut,
May nocht knaw weill the propyrte,? relating the descent and history of the Stuarts
The angyr, na the wrechyt dome, from the fabulous King Brut, or Brutus. His
That is cowplyt to foule thyrldome.? reward for this second work seems to have been a
Bot gyff he had assayit it, pension for life of ten pounds a year. The pension
Than all perquer 3 he suld it wyt;
And suld think fredome mar to pryse was payable in two moieties-one at Whitsunday, the other at Martinmas. The last payment which
Than all the gold in warld that is. Barbour received was at Martinmas 1394-so that Barbour makes no mention of Wallace. So he must have died between that date and Whit- ardent a worshipper of freedom might have been sunday 1395. The precise day of his death was expected to strike a note in honour of one who probably the 13th of March, on which day Bar- sacrificed life itself in pure devotion to that cause. bour's anniversary continued to be celebrated in But to recall Wallace would have jarred with his 1 Love and law.
9 Thraldom. 3 Standing. King Alexander died March 16, 1286.
3 Exactly (Fr. par
cæur, by heart).
unqualified eulogy of Bruce, and was not necessary Sprent they samen intill a lyng ;' towards the unity of his design. His poem begins Sir Henry missed the noble king ; with the story of the Bruce, and ends with the
And he that in his stirrups stude, burial of his heart at Melrose.
With the ax, that was hard and gude, In the subsequent extracts from Barbour and
With sae great main, raucht him a dint,
That nouther hat nor helm micht stint Wyntoun, the cumbrous spelling is reduced, with
The heavy dush, that he him gave, out interference with the rhythm or obsolete words.
That near the head till the harns clave.
The hand-ax shaft frushit in tway ; Bruce's Address to his Army at Bannockburn.
And he down to the yird gan gae On Sunday then, in the morning,
All flatlings, for him failit micht. Weil soon after the son rising,
This was the first straik of the ficht. ... They heard their mass commonaly;
When that the king repairit was, And mony them shrave 1 full devoutly,
That gart his men all leave the chase, That thocht to die in that melée,
The lordis of his company Or then to make their country free !
Blamed him, as they durst, greatumly, To God for their right prayed they :
That he him put in aventure, Their dined nane of them that day;
To meet sae stith a knicht, and stour, But, for the vigil of Sanct Jhane,
In sic point as he then was seen. They fasted, water and bread ilk ane.
For they said weel, it micht have been The king, when that the mass was done,
Cause of their tynsal 3 everilk ane. Went forth to see the potis 2 soon,
The king answer has made them nane, And at his liking saw them made,
But mainit his hand-ax shaft sae
Was with the straik broken in tway.
The Scottismen commonally
Kneelit all doun, to God to pray. And busk them on their best manner;
And a short prayer there made they And when they assembled were,
To God, to help them in that ficht. He gart array them for the fight :
And when the English king had sicht And syne gart cry oure all on height,
Of them kneeland, he said, in hy : That wha soever he were that fand
*Yon folk kneel to ask mercy.' His heart nocht sicker 4 for to stand
Sir Ingram said : 'Ye say sooth nowTo win all or die with honour,
They ask mercy, but not of you ; For to maintain that stalwart stour,
For their trespass to God they cry: That he betime should hald his way;
I tell you a thing sickerly, And nane should dwell with them but they
That yon men will all win or die ; That would stand with him to the end,
For doubt of deid 6 they sall not flee.' And tak the ures that God would send.
Now be it sae then !' said the king. Then all answered with a cry,
And then, but langer delaying, And with a voice said generally
They gart trump till the assembly. That nane for doubt of deid should fail
On either side men micht then see Quhill? discomfit were the great battaile.
Mony a wicht man and worthy,
Ready to do chivalry.
Thus were they bound on either side;
And Englishmen, with mickle pride,
That were intill their avaward,” With their battle approachand near,
To the battle that Sir Edward 8 Before them all there came ridand,
Governt and led, held straight their way. With helm on heid and spear in hand,
The horse with spurs hastened they, Sir Henry the Boune, the worthy,
And prickit upon them sturdily; That was a wicht knicht, and a hardy,
And they met them richt hardily. And to the Earl of Hereford cousin;
Sae that, at their assembly there, Armed in arms gude and fine ;
Sic a frushing of spears were, Came on a steed a bowshot near,
That far away men micht it hear, Before all other that there were :
That at that meeting forouten were. And knew the king, for that he saw
Were steeds stickit mony ane; Him sae range his men on raw,
And mony gude man borne doun and slain;... And by the crown that was set
They dang on other with wappins sair, Also upon his bassinet.
Some of the horse, that stickit were,
Rushit and reelit richt rudely. ...
The gude earl® thither took the way,
With his battle, in gude array, In hy till him the horse he steers.
And assemblit sae hardily,
That men micht hear had they been by,
A great frush of the spears that brast.
There micht men see a hard battle, He thought that he should weel lichtly
And some defend and some assail;
Sae that it seemit weel that they
1 Sprang forward in a line. 2 Steady a knight, and battle. : The holes which had been dug in the field.
4 Moaned, lamented.. 3 Caused, ordered.
5 Sir Ingram d'Umphraville. 6 Fear of death. $ Chance (Fr, eur, hazard). 6 None for fear of death. 7 The van of the English army.
8 Edward Bruce.
9 The Earl of Murreff' or Murray.
Were tint, amang sae great menyie,
About the year 1420, ANDREW WYNTOUN, or,
as he describes himself, Androwe of Wyntoune, a Richt as they had nae abasing ;
canon of St Andrews, and prior of St Serf's MonThem pressit they with all their micht.
astery in Lochleven, completed, in eight-syllabled And they, with spears and swerds bricht, metre, an Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland, includAnd axes, that richt sharply share
ing much universal history, and extending down I'mids the visage, met them there.
to his own time : it may be considered as There men micht see a stalwart stour,
Scottish member of the class of rhymed chronicles, And mony men of great valour,
and belongs in style to the authors in this secWith spears, maces, and knives,
tion, though produced in part at a later period And other wappins, wisslit their lives :
than Barbour's history. The prior undertook his Sae that mony fell doun all deid.
chronicle at the suggestion of Sir John Wemyss. The grass waxed with the blude all red. ... There micht men hear mony a dint,
He divides it into nine books, 'in honowre of the And wappins upon armours stint.
ordrys nyne. contains a considerable number And see tumble knichts and steeds,
of fabulous legends, such as we may suppose to And mony rich and royal weeds
have been told beside the evening-fire of a monDefoullit foully under feet.
astery of those days, and which convey a curious Some held on loft ; some tint the seat,
idea of the credulity of the age. The chronicle A lang time thus fechting they were ;
has little poetical merit, and is greatly inferior to That men nae noise micht hear there;
Barbour's Bruce, but is interesting for the view it Men heard noucht but granes and dints, affords of the language, attainments, and manners That flew fire, as men flays on flints.
of the author's time and country. A fine edition They foucht ilk ane sae eagerly,
of the work, edited by David Macpherson, was That they made nae noise nor cry, But dang on other at their micht,
published in 1795. The time of Wyntoun's death With wappins that were burnist bricht. ...
has not been stated, but he is supposed to have All four their battles with that were
died shortly after completing his chronicle.
Macbeth and the Weird Sisters,
A nycht he thowcht in hys dremyng,
That syttand he wes besyd the kyng
At a sete in hwntyng ; swa
Intil his leisch had grewhundys twa :
He thowcht, quhile he wes swa syttand,
He sawe thre wemen by gangand;
And thai wemen than thowcht he
Thre werd systrys mast lyk to be.
The first he hard say, gangand by,
'Lo, yhondyr the Thane of Crumbawchty !!! They were worthy that in that fight
The tothir woman sayd agane, Sae fast pressed their foes' might.
'Of Morave yhondyre I se the thane !'
The thryd than sayd, 'I se the king !'
All this he herd in his dremyng....
Sone eftyre that, in his yhowthad,
Of thyr thanydoms he thane wes made;
neyst he thowcht to be king,
Fra Dunkanyis dayis had tane endyng.
The fantasy thus of his dreme
Movyd hym mast to sla his eme ;8
As he dyd all furth in-dede,
As before yhe herd one rede,
And Dame Grwok,“ his emys wyf,
Tuk, and led wyth hyr hys lyf,
And held hyr bathe hys wyf and queyne,
As befor than scho had beyne
Till hys eme qwene, lyvand
Quhen he was kyng with crowne rygnend
He succeedyt in his stede ;
And sevyntene wyntyr full rygnand
As kyng he wes than in-til Scotland.
All hys tyme wes gret plenté
Abowndand, bath on land and se.
He was in justice rycht lawchful,
And till hys legis all awful.
Quhen Leo the tend was Pape of Rome,
As pylgryne to the court he come ;
1 Cromarty. 2 Youthhood. 3 Uncle (Ang.-Sax. eam).
4 Gruoch. 6 Degrees (Fr. gré). 1 Lost among so great a company.
6 A chronological error of nearly five hundred years, for Macbeth 3 Company 4 Also,
visited Rome during the pontificate of Leo the Ninth. - Irving.
6 Shut up.