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When silver edges the imagery,
The buttresses ranged along the sides of the ruins of Melrose, are, according to the Gothic stile, richly carved and fretted, containing niches for the statues of saints, and labelled with scrolls, bearing appropriate texts of scripture. Most of these statues have been demolished.
Saint David's ruined pile—Ver. 1, p. 34.
David the first of Scotland, purchased the reputation of sanctity, by founding, and liberally!endowing, not only the monastery of Melrose, but those of Kelso, Jedburgh, and many others, which led to the well known observation of his successor, that he was a sore saint for the crown.
Lands and livings, many a rood, Had gifted the shrine for their souls' repose— - Ver. 2, p. 34.
The Buccleuch family were great benefactors to the abbey of Melrose. As early as the reign of Robert II. Robert Scott, baron of Murdieston and Rankelburn (now Buccleuch) gave to the monks the lands of Hinkery, in Ettricke forest, pro salute anima. swar—Chartulary of Melrose, 28 May, 1415.
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The Borderers were, as may be supposed, very ignorant about religious matters. Colville, in his Parenesis, or Admonition, states, that the reformed divines were so far from undertaking distant journies to convert the Heathen, “as I wold wis at God that ye wold only go bot to the Hielands and Borders of our own realm, to gain our awin countreymen, who for lack of preching and ministration of the sacraments, must, with tyme, becum either infedells or atheists.” But we learn from Lesley, that, however deficient in real religion, they regularly told their beads, and never with more zeal than when going on a plundering expedition.
Beneath their feet were the bones of the dead.
The cloisters were frequently used as places of sepulchre. An instance occurs in Dryburgh abbey, where the cloister has an inscription bearing, Hic jacet frater Archibaldus.
So had he seen, in fair Castile,
Sudden the flying jennet wheel,
“By my fayth,” sayd the duke of Lancaster (to a Portugues squire) “ of all the feates of armes that the Castellyans and they of your countrey doth use, the castynge of their dartes best pleaseth me, and gladly I wolde see it; for as I here say, if they strike one aryght, without he be well armed, the darte will perce him thrughe.” “By my fayth, sir,” sayd the squire, “yeu say trouth ; for I have seen many a grete stroke given with them, which at one tyme cost us derely, and was to us great displeasure ; for at the said skyrmishe, Sir John Laurence of Coygne was stricken with a dart in such wise, that, the head perced all the plates of his cote of mayle, and a sacke stopped with sylke, and passed thrughe his body, so that he fell down dead.” Froissart, vol. ii. ch. 44. This mode of fighting with darts was imitated in the military game called juego de las canas, which the Spaniards borrowed from their Moorish invaders. A Saracen champion is thus described by Froissart: “Among the Sarazyns, there was a yonge knyghte called Agadinger Dolyferne ; he was always wel mounted on a redy and a lyghte horse ; it seemed whan the horse ranne, that he dyd flye in the ayre. The knyghte seemed to be a good man of armes by his dedes, he bare always of usage three fethered dartes, and rychte well he coulde handle them ; and, according to their custome, he was clene armed with a long white towell about his heed. His apparell was blacke, and his own colour browne, and a good horseman. The Cryten men saye, they thoughte he dyd suche dedes of armes for the love of some yonge ladye of his countrey. And true it was, that he loved entirely the king of Thunes' daughter named the lady Azala ; she was inherytour to the realme of Thunes' after the discease of the kynge her father. This Agadinger was sone to the duke of Dolyferme. I can nat
Aelle if they were married together after or nat; but it was shewed me that this knyghte, for love of the sayd ladye, during the siege, did many feats of armes. The knyghtes of Fraunce wolde fayne have taken hym ; but they colde never attrape nor inclose him, his horse was so swyft, and so redy to his hand, that alwaies he scaped.” Vol. ii. ch. 71.
Thy low and lonely urn, 0 gallant chief of Otterburne—Ver, 10, p. 38.
The famous and desperate battle of Otterburne was fought 15th August, 1388, betwixt Henry Percy, called Hotspur, and James earl of Douglas. Both these renowned champions were at the head of a chosen body of troops, and they were rivals in military fame; so that Froissart affirms, “Of all the bataylles and encounteryngs that I have made mencion of here before in all this hystory, great or smalle, this batayle that I treat of nowe was one of the sorest and best foughten, without cowardes or faynte hertes ; for there was neyther knyghte nor squyer but that dyde his devoyre, and fought hande to hande. This batayle was lyke the batayle of Becherell, the which was vailauntlye fought and endured.” The issue of the conflict is well known: Percy was made prisoner,
and the Scots won the day, dearly purchased by the