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Thence winding down the northern way,
On through the hamlet as they paced,
Lord Marmion drew his rein;
Might well relieve his train.
'[The village of Gifford lies about four miles from Haddington; close to it is Yester House, the seat of the Marquis of Tweeddale, and a little farther up the stream, which descends from the hills of Lammermoor, are the remains of the old castle of the family.]
? The accommodations of a Scottish hostelrie, or inn, in the 16th century, may be collected from Dunbar's admirable tale of “ The Friars of Berwick." Simon Lawder, “the gay ostlier,” seems to have lived very comfortably; and his wife decorated her person with a scarlet kirtle, and a belt of silk and silver, and rings upon her fingers; and feasted her paramour with rabbits, capons, partridges, and Bourdeaux wine. At least, if the Scottish inns were not good, it was not for want of encouragement from the legislature; who, so early as the reign of James I., not only enacted, that in all horoughs and fairs there be hostellaries, having stables and chambers, and provision for man and horse, but by another statute, ordained that no man, travelling on horse.
Down from their seats the horsemen sprung,
Bore wealth of winter cheer:
And savoury haunch of deer.
Were tools for housewives' hand;
The buckler, lance, and brand.
or foot, should presume to lodge anywhere except in these hostellaries; and that no person, save innkeepers, should receive such travellers, under the penalty of forty shillings, for exercising such hospitality. But, in spite of these provident enactments, the Scottish hostels are but indifferent, and strangers continue to find reception in the houses of individuals.
1 James I. Parliament I. cap. 24; Parliament III. cap. 56.
Whom with brown ale, in jolly tide,
IV. Theirs was the glee of martial breast, And laughter theirs at little jest ; And oft Lord Marmion deign'd to aid, And mingle in the mirth they made; For though, with men of high degree, The proudest of the proud was he, Yet, train'd 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 From India's fires to Zembla's frost.
V. Resting upon his pilgrim staff,
Right opposite the Palmer stood ; His thin dark visage seen but half,
Half hidden by his hood. Still fix'd on Marmion was his look, Which he, who ill such gaze could brook,
Strove by a frown to quell; But not for that, though more than once Full met their stern encountering glance,
The Palmer's visage fell.
Their glee and game declined.
Thus whisper'd forth his mind :-
Glances beneath his cowl
Endure that sullen scowl."
VII. But Marmion, as to chase the awe Which thus had quell'd their hearts, who saw The ever-varying fire-light show That figure stern and face of woe,
Now call?d upon a squire :“ Fitz-Eustace, know'st thou not some lay, To speed the lingering night away?
We slumber by the fire.”—
VIII. “ So please you," thus the youth rejoin'd, “ Our choicest' minstrel's left behind. Ill may we hope to please your ear, Accustom'd Constant's strains to hear.
The harp full deftly can he strike,
A mellow voice Fitz-Eustace had,