Page images

on the same Subject, by Stewart, 207.-Lindsay's Poem of the

"Complaint," 210.-His Picture of the Venality of the Courtiers,

211.-Mismanagement of the young King's Education, 213.-

James V. assumes the Supreme Power, 214.-His Expedition

against the Border Thieves, 215.-Execution of Johnnie Arm-

strong, 216.-Remarks on this Event, 217.-Traditions which

remain in the country regarding this Expedition, 218.-Lindsay

promoted to the office of Lord Lion, 219.-Its Nature and Anti-

quity, 220.-He writes the "Complaint of the King's Papingo,"

221.-Its graceful Introduction, 222.-Progress of the Poem,

224.-Disaster of the Papingo, 225.-Herdying Counsel to the

King, 226.-To her Brethren, the Courtiers, 227.-Character of

James IV., 228.-The Papingo's Adieu to Stirling, 229.-Her

Expostulation with her Executors, 230.-Attack upon the Cor-

ruptions of the Church, 231.-Death of the Papingo, 232.-Her

last Legacy, and conduct of her Executors, 233.-Lindsay's

Mission to Brussels in 1531, 234.-His Marriage, 225.-His

"Satire of the Three Estates," 235.-Early Scottish Stage, 236.

-Remarks on this Primitive Drama, 237.-The same Subject

continued, 238.-Prologue and First Part, 239.-Second Part:

Avarice of the Clergy, 240.-Dialogue between the Spiritual

Estate and Correction, 241.-Consistory Courts; their Abuses,

242.-John Common weill dressed in a New Suit, 243.-Conclu-

sion of the Piece, 244.-Manner of its Performance, 245.—

James V. disposed at first to favour the Reformation of the

Church, 246.-Lindsay's Mission to the Court of France in 1536,

247.-James pays a Visit to that Country: his splendid reception

at the Palace of Vendosme, 248.-His meeting with Francis I:

falls in love with Princess Magdalen, 249.-Marries her, 250.-

Conveys her to Scotland, 251.-Her sudden Death, 252.-Lind-

say writes his "Deploration for the Death of Queen Magdalen,"

253. Criticism on this Poem, 254.-Lindsay's deep Enmity to

the Romanist Religion, 255.-Remarks on the Scottish Refor-

mation, 2 6.-James V.marries Mary of Guise, 257.-Lindsay's

splendid Pageants, 257.-Justing between Watson and Barbour,

258.-Answer to the King's "Flyting," 259.-Digression on the

Poetical Talents of James V., 260.-Anecdotes of James V., 261.

-Lindsay's Satire against Side-Tails, 263.-And "Mussal'd

Faces," 264.-His Tragedy of "The Cardinal," 265.-Remarks

on the Murder of Beaton, 266.-History of Squire Meldrum, 267.

-Value of this Poem as a Picture of Manners; Quotations, 268.

-Authenticity of the Story; Sack of Carrickfergus, 269.—Ad-

venture with the Irish Lady, 270.-Meldrum arrives in Brittany;

His Challenge of Talbart, 271.-Kindness of Aubigny, 272--

Arrangement of the Lists, 273.-The Combat, 274.-Mel-

drum's Courtesy and Generosity, 275.-His Voyage Home,


His minute Directions regarding his Sepulture, 325.—Quota-
tion from an Ancient unpublished Charter.



The return of James the First to his dominions had been signalized, as we have seen,* by a memorable example of retributive justice, from the sternness of which the mind revolts with horror. We must be careful, indeed, to regard his conduct to the house of Albany, not through the more humane feelings of our own age, but in relation to the dark feudal times in which he lived. To forgive, or rather not to revenge an injury, was a principle which in such days was invariably regarded as a symptom of pusillanimity. James had a long account to settle with the house of his uncle. The blood of his brother, the broken heart of his father, the usurpation of his hereditary throne for eighteen years, and the scenes of rapine and cruelty-which had been permitted to take place during his captivity in England, all called upon him to whet the sword of justice with no ordinary edge, to make an impression upon a people accustomed to laxity and disorder, which should powerfully affect their minds, and convince them that the reign of misrule was at an end. In assuming the government, his object was to be feared and respected; but, making

* Vol. ii. pp. 314, 315.

[blocks in formation]

every allowance for such considerations, and taking fully into view the circumstances under which he returned to his kingdom, it is impossible to deny, that in the catastrophe of the family of Albany, the king appears to have attended to the gratification of personal revenge, as much as to the satisfaction of offended justice.

The effects, however, of his conduct upon a feudal age were such as might easily have been anticipated; and, within a wonderfully short interval, matters appeared to be rapidly approaching that state when, as James himself had predicted, “ the key should keep the castle, and the braken bush the cow.” The first cares of the monarch were wisely directed to the internal administration of the country

From without he had at present nothing to dread. England was at peace; the marriage with Jane Beaufort had secured the interest of the governors of that kingdom, during the minority of Henry the Sixth. France was the ancient ally of Scotland, and the commercial interests of the Netherlands were too essentially promoted by their Scottish trade, not to be anxious to preserve the most friendly relations. James, therefore, was permitted to direct his undivided attention to his affairs at home; and his great principle seems to have been to rule the country through his Parliament—to assemble that great national council as frequently as possible, to enact or to revive wholesome and salutary laws, suited to the emergency in which he found his kingdom, and to insist on their rigid observance. In the same Parliament which beheld the downfall of the house of Albany, we have seen that the administration

« PreviousContinue »