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One of these Apostates' proves to be Constance de Bever. ley; whose sex being discovered, and her elopemeot from Fontevraud and attempt to poison Clara being detected, she is brought to answer for those crimes before the three judges above mentioned. The gloomy vault in which they are assembled to sentence rather than to try the criminals, the persons and characters of the judges themselves, and the demeanor of their miserable victims, are described with much poetical strength of feeling and imagery. The dreadful penalty pronounced is to be immured alive within a narrow niche in the wall, in a part of the convent unknown to any of the inhabitants except the superiors of the order. This horrible instance of monkish tyranny is not unexampled in the true annals of the church; for Mr. Scott relates, in his notes, that • among the ruins of the abbey of Coldingham, were, some years ago, discovered the remains of a female skeleton, which, from the shape of the niche and position of the figure, seemed to be that of an immured nun.' Mr. S. has judiciously combined the horrors of the punishment with a very beautiful picture of the offender, so as to heighten the interest which the situation itself must necessarily excite ; and the struggle of Constance to speak, before the fatal sentence, is finely painted;

. And now that blind old Abbot rose,

To speak the Chapter's doorn,
On those the wall was to inclose,

Alive, within the tomb;
But stopped, because that woeful maid,
Gathering her powers, to speak essayed ;
Twice she essayed, and twice, in vain,
Her accents might no utterance gain;
Nought but imperfect murmury slip
From her convulsed and quivering lip:

'Twixt each attempt all was so still,
You seemed to hear a distant rill

'Twas ocean's swells and falls ;
For though this vault of sin and fear
Was to the sounding surge so near,
A tempest there you scarce could hear,

So massive were the walls.
• At length, an effort sent apart
The blood that curdled to her heart,

And light came to her eye,
And colour dawned upon her cheek,
A hectic and a futtered streak,
Like that left on the Cheviot peak,

By Autumn's stormy sky;
And when her silence broke at length,
Still as she spoke, she gathered strength

And

And arm'd herself to bear.
It was a fearful sight to see
Such high resolve and constancy,

In form so soft and fair.' Here our interest is most unexpectedly crushed all at once by a long, unnatural, and dull recital of events which, though necessary to be known to the reader, Mr. Scott should have taken any other time to communicate rather than have put it into the mouth of Constance at so critical a moment. It con-' cludes with a prophecy of the Reformation, which ought to have been much more animated, and is followed by a picture of no common merit:

• Fixed was her look, and stern her air ;

Back from her shoulders streamed her hair; .
The locks, that wont lier brow to shade,
Stared vp erectly from her head :
Her figure seemed to rise more high;
Her voice, despair's wild energy
Had given a tone of prophecy.
Appalled the astonished conclave sate;
With stupid eyes, the men of fate
Gazed on the light inspired form,
And listened for the avenging storm;
The judges felt the victim's dread,
No hand was moved, no word was said,
Till thus the Abbot's doom was given,
Raising his sightless balls to heaven :-
“ Sister, let thy sorrows cease ;

Sinful Brother, part in peace !” This fine passage is coupled with lines of almost infantine imbecility; some of which we deem it our duty to produce, since they will serve as one instance, among a thousand, of the miserable manner in which we are baulked in every page of the volume before us. Mr. Scott is a true Mezentius. His most animated descriptions are constantly tied to some lifeless lump of insensibility.

"From that dire dungeon, place of doom,
Of execution too, and tomb,

Paced forth the judges three ;
Sorrow it were, and shame, to tell
The butcher-work that there befell,
When they had glided from the cell

Of sin and misery,' The coarse expression 'butcher-work,' is as unappropriate as it is disgusting. However horrible was the cruelty of immuring a nun and starving her to death, still it was not butchery.

8 . .

The

The fearful “ Vade in pacem," of monkish tyranny was devised on purpose to screen the ministers of peace from the imputation of shedding blood, and of thus butchering their fellow-creatures.

Meanwhile, Marmion and his train, journeying onward, rest themselves for the night at a ' Hostel in the hamlet of Giffard ; and here, as wherever else an inviting opportunity occurs, the author has placed his descriptive powers in a very favourable light. Bating some weak and shuffling lines, the subsequent passage is a fair specimen of his peculiar merits :

• Down from their seats the horsemen sprung, (sprang]
With jingling spurs the court-yard rung; [rang

They bend their horses to the stall,
· For forage, food, and firing call,

And various clamour fills the hall;
Weighing the labour with the cost,

Toils everywhere the bustling host.
• Soon by the chimney's merry blaze,

Through the rude hostel might you gaze ;
Might see, where, in dark nook aloof,
The rafters of the sooty roof

Bore wealth of winter cheer';
Of sea-fowl dried, and solands store,
And gammons of the tusky boar,

And savoury haunch of deer.
The chimney arch projected wide ;
Above, around it, and beside,

Were tools for housewives' hand:
Nor wanted, in that martial day,
The implements of Scottish fray,

The buckler, lance, and brand.
Beneath its shade, the place of state,
On oaken settle Marmion sate,
And viewed around the blazing hearth.
His followers mix in noisy mirth,
· Whom with brown ale, in jolly ride,

From ancient vessels ranged aside,
Full actively their host supplied.
Their's was the glee of martial breast,
And laughter their’s at little jest ;
And oft Lord Marmion deigned to aid,
And mingle in the mirth they made :
For though, with men of high degree,
The proudest of the proud was he,
Yet, trained in camps, he knew the art
To win the soldier's hardy heart.
They love a captain to obey,
Boisterous as March, yet fresh as May ;

With open hand, and brow as free,
Lover of wine, and minstrelsy ;
Ever the first to scale a tower,
As venturous in a lady's bower;
Such buxom chief shall lead his host i

From India's fires to Zembla's frost.' Fitz-Eustace, Marmion's favourite squire, is made to en, tertain the company with a song, which is but a stiff and rather childish imitation of the truly pathetic simplicity of Burns : but the short character of the wild Scottish music, which introduces it, is full of truth and feeling :

• A deep and mellow voice he had,

The air he chose was wild and sad;
Such bave I heard, in Scottish land,
Rise from the busy harvest band,
When falls before the mountaineer,
On lowland plains, the ripened ear.
Now one shrill voice the notes prolong,
Now a wild chorus swells the song :
Oft have I listened, and stood still,
As it came softened up the hill,
And deemed it the lament of men
Who languished for their native glen ;
And thought, how sad would be such sound,
On Susquehana's swampy ground,
Kentucky's wood.encumbered brake,
Or wild Ontario's boundless lake,
Where heart-sick exiles, in the strain,

Recalled fair Scotland's hills again!" To requite the song, “mine host” now tells his tale of a su. perstition prevalent in the neighbourhood; which takes strong hold of Marmion's imagination, before disturbed by the mys.. terious air of the Palmer, and by recollections (which the song of Fitz-Eustace had revived) of the unhappy Constance, Unable to sleep, he mounts his horse in the dead of night, with the purpose of encountering the Dæmon warrior ; from whom, if subdued by his arm, he has been informed that he may obtain an insight into futurity. He meets the expected foe : but, overthrown by the Dæmon's superior force, he is, for the first time in his life, humbled and vanquished. In this situation, he beholds in the imagined sprite the countenance of De Wilton ; for, in fact, it was the Palmer himself who, guessing the intention of Marmion, had gone before him to the fatal ground and awaited his arrival. No event of any consequence, however, results from the conflict. De Wilton (in compliance with a vow) spares his antagonist; and Marmion, notwithstanding the discovery of his rival's features,

continues

armio of his namelancy, not tating, keen,a

continues to believe that he has fought with a supernatural being, and returns overwhelmed with terror, shame, and remorse, to the hostel.--This adventure cannot be too strongly condemned. It is evidently a juggle from the beginning, is introduced for no purpose, and tends to no end.

Canto IV. brings Marmion and his company onwards in their journey ; and they meet, on the road,

• Sir David Lindsay of the Mount,

Lord Lyon King at Arms.' We imagined that the introduction of this celebrated personage, so dear to every lover of Scottish poetry, would have awakened Mr. Scott to something like enthusiasm : but, after having told us that

In the glances of his eye
A penetrating, keen, and sly

Expression found its home,' he leaves it entirely to the reader's imagination to fill up the picture and elicits from this penetrating, keen, and sly expression' not one flash of brilliancy, not one poetic or satirical remark, worthy of his name and character. Sir David accompanies Marmion, nevertheless, with all the courtesy which is suitable to his station, and entertains him nobly during two days at Chrichtoun Castle; where he tells him, in exceedingly dull and prosaic language, a story which Mr. Scott has chosen to preface with the title of “ Sir David Lindsay's Tale,” but which is really a recital of an event said to have taken place at the Scottish court, and recorded by Pitscottie as a fact, of a messenger sent from Heaven to Linlithgow to warn king James of bis approaching destiny. Like the story of mine host,” this episode answers no sort of purpose ;-for, though the catastropbe of the poem is the battle of Flodden, yet we are not previously interested for any one of the personages against whom the warning of the celestial messenger can be supposed to involve a denunciation.

The distant view of the camp from Blackford hill, and the more particular description of the various clans and nations of warriors who compose it, relieve us from the weary flat over which the canto mostly creeps, and remind us of better things. The effect produced on Marmion by the warlike prospect is very spirited :

Lord Marmion viewed the landscape bright,
He viewed it with a chief's delight,

Until within him burned his heart,
And lightning from his eye did part,
· As on the battle day;

Such

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