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donald, a petty chieftain of the north, displeased with a widow on his estate for threatening to appeal to the king, had ordered hier feet to be shod with iron plates nailed to the soles; and then insultingly told her that she was thus armed against the rough roads. The widow, however, found means to send her story to James, who seized the savage, with twelve of his associates, whom he shod with iron, in à similar manner, and having exposed them for several days in Edinburgh, gave them over to the executioner.
While a prisoner in Windsor Castle, James had seen and admired the beautiful Lady Jane Beaufort, daughter of the Duke of Somerset. Few royal attachments have been so romantic and so happy. His poem entitled the Quair , in which he pathetically laments his captivity, was devoted to the celebration of this lady; whom he obtained at last in marriage, together with his liberty, as Henry conceived that his union with the grandaughter of the Duke of Lancaster might bind the Scottish monarch to the interests of England.
James perished by assassination, in the 44th year of his age, leaving behind him the example of a patriot king, and of a man of genius universally accomplished.
1 Quair is the old Scotch word for a book.
THE KING THUS DESCRIBES THE APPEARANCE OF HIS MISTRESS, WHEN HE FIRST SAW HER FROM A WINDOW OF FIIS PRISON AT WINDSOR.
FROM CANTO II. OF THE QUAIR.
Bewailing in my chamber, thus alone,
XII. Now was there made fast by the touris wall A garden fair ; and in the corners set An herbere green; with wandis long and small
3 Herbary, or garden of simples.
Railed about and so with treeis set
XV. Worshippe, O ye that lovers bene, this may! For of your bliss the calends are begun; And sing with us, “ away! winter away! Come summer come, the sweet seasòn and sun; Awake for shame that have your heavens won; And amorously lift up your headès all Thank love that list you to his mercy call.”
And therewith cast I down mine eye again,
For which sudden abate 1 anon'astert 2 The blood of all my body to my heart. * * * * * * *
? An unexpected accident. ? Started back. 3 If. 4 Rubies. 5 Burning. 6 Mr. Ellis conjectures that this is an error, for fair email, i. e. enamel. 7 Goldsmith's work. 8 Fire. 9Heretofore.
As I suppose, and girt she was a lyte !
Nothing is known of the life of Henryson, but that he was a schoolmaster at Dumferling. Lord Hailes supposes his office to have been preceptor of youth in the Benedictine convent of that place. Besides a continuation of Chaucer's Troilus and Cresseide, he wrote a number of fables, of which MS.copies are preserved in the Scotch Advocates Library.
1 A little.