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ried on by Queen Pleasaunce against King Hart, which, after a long struggle, ends in a union. Age comes to their castle, and must be admitted ; Remorse or Conscience follows him ; Pleasaunce elopes, and Decrepitude siezes King Hart, who dies. -Douglas's PALACE OF HONOUR is a long moral allegory. Neither of these poems is suited to the taste of this impatient and straight-forward generation; and Douglas is now only known in his translation of the Æneid. It is the first metrical translation of any classic into the English tongue, and is admired both for its fidelity and spirit. To each book an original prologue is prefixed; some of which are highly extolled by Warton, who has given a prose version of one or two of them in modern English, though the Scotch of both Douglas and Dunbar was not materially different from the language of the best contemporary English writers. The landscapes drawn by our elder poets, required immense breadth of canvas :- they would have pleased Mr Bowles. To every rock, every leaf, every tree, the poets had an attentive eye ; but they had no knowledge of keeping, nor much of perspective. Their descriptions resemble the verbose prayers of the early reformers :-no object in nature was forgotten that could by any means be lugged in. The classic Bishop was deeply tinged with the prevailing taste. His descriptions are full to satiety-rich till they cloy ; his language has a kind of ill-assorted splendour, which, however, is often pleasing ; his images and epithets are occasionally original and happy; and amidst his ornate writing he has many agreeable little touches of nationality.
SIR DAVID LYNDSAY belongs to a rather later period of our poetical history. He was born in 1490, and educated at St Andrews, long the most distinguished of the Scottish universities. He afterwards went abroad to France and Germany ; but he could not have been long on his travels, as, while yet very young, he was placed near the person of James V., then a mere child. Here he was page, playmate, and assistant-tutor; and he remained in the service of the King till he saw his royal master expire. Lyndsay enjoyed the confidence of his sovereign through his life ; but was more trusted than rewarded. He was made Lord Lyon of Scotland, an office of high dignity but small emolument; and was appointed to several embassies. As the domestic companion of James V., from the infancy to the maturity of that prince, he must have been familiar with scenes which tend more to extend the knowledge of life than to cherish the growth of delicacy. James V. was himself the author of some of the most indecent ballads in the language ; but, in the opinion of many, their wit and liveliness redeem their indecency. There is hardly such excuse for the habitual grossness of Lyndsay.
A courtier, a man of the world, latterly a zeal
ous reformer, and through life a keen satirist, Lyndsay's talents were exactly of that facile and versatile kind which suited the society and the court in which he lived. He maintained the character of integrity unimpeached, and was one of those honest courtiers who have too much good sense to be knaves. He, according to his own account, “would dance, sing, and play farsies on the flure,” to amuse the baby monarch ; and in after life was one of those counsellors of royalty, who insinuate advice so opportunely and adroitly as never to risk giving deep offence. But if his private expostulations with his gay and profligate sovereign were either frequent or warm, though they do not appear to have produced any effect Lyndsay deserves the praise of honest courage, and his master is entitled to the merit, rare among princes, of having uniformly appreciated the sincerity that opposed his own will.
The satirical writings of Lyndsay certainly paved the way for the Reformation, though we are not prepared to say with Pinkerton, that “ he was more the reformer of Scotland than John Knox,” to whom he was at best what the pioneer is to the leader of an army.
One of the earliest productions of the Lord Lyon is The Dream, a vision of the public and private evils of the kingdom, ushered in by a prologue which is quoted by Warton as poetical. He afterwards wrote The Monarchie, or sketches of all kingdoms, political, moral, and satirical. That both his con
ceptions and language were occasionally•highly poetical, will be better learned by the following single stanza than from many pages of his works. It is a Farewell to the Royal Castle and Palace of Stirling, in which he and his young sovereign had spent many happy days :
Adew, fair Snawdoune, with thy touris hie,
Quhilk doth again thy royal rocke rebound ! But Lyndsay's predominant qualities of mind were good sense, humour, and knowledge of the bad side of humanity. His satires and invective, with all their defilements, are more agreeable than his elegiac strains. He denounces the syde taillis of the women with much more gusto than he laments the early death of Queen Magdalene. Cowper is not more seriously alarmed by the umbrella of the modern “ rural lass,” than was the reforming Lord Lyon at this horrible innovation of syde taillis--that is, long trains. It is thus he expostulates, we presume, seriously :
Every lady of the land
(a) Tilts, tournaments, and chivalric sports.
Ane mureland Meg that milkit the zowis, (a)
Than wald claith fyftie score of freris. SQUIRE MELDRUM, a Scottish tale on the model of the old romances, was a later production of Lyndsay's, and by Mr Campbell is reckoned his best. It is more agreeable than its numerous prototypes, from being both more lively and more intelligible. England, Ireland, and France, are the scenes of the Squire's adventures ; and he relieves damsels, challenges and subdues champions, and is finally solaced by “ ane lustie lady,” a wi. dow, at her castle of Gleneagles, where he is as well entreated as was Alexander by Queen Candace, or Sir Gawin by the Lady Alundyne. The acquaintance is commenced, and the courtship ended quite selon les regles of the old romances, which were as uniform in their rise, progress, and termination, as are the novels of the Minerva press. The following is a favourable specimen of this 'romance:
Of this triumphant pleasand place