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CHAPTER I: THE CONTRAST Look here upon this picture, and on this,The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.HAMLET The latter part of the fifteenth century prepared a train of future events that ended by raising France to that state of formidable power which has ever since been from time to time the principal object of jealousy to the other European nations. Before that period she had to struggle for her very existence with the English already... more...

CHAPTER I When civil dudgeon first grew high,And men fell out, they knew not why;When foul words, jealousies, and fears,Set folk together by the ears——BUTLER. William, the Conqueror of England, was, or supposed himself to be, the father of a certain William Peveril, who attended him to the battle of Hastings, and there distinguished himself. The liberal-minded monarch, who assumed in his charters the veritable title of Gulielmus... more...

CHAPTER I. And look how many Grecian tents do standHollow upon this plain—so many hollow factions.Troilus and Cressida. In a hollow of the hill, about a quarter of a mile from the field of battle, was a shepherd's hut; a miserable cottage, which, as the only enclosed spot within a moderate distance, the leaders of the presbyterian army had chosen for their council-house. Towards this spot Burley guided Morton, who was surprised, as he... more...

The origin of "Old Mortality," perhaps the best of Scott's historical romances, is well known. In May, 1816, Mr. Joseph Train, the gauger from Galloway, breakfasted with Scott in Castle Street. He brought gifts in his hand,—a relic of Rob Roy, and a parcel of traditions. Among these was a letter from Mr. Broadfoot, schoolmaster in Pennington, who facetiously signed himself "Clashbottom." To cleish, or clash, is to "flog," in Scots. From Mr.... more...

As I may, without vanity, presume that the name and official description prefixed to this Proem will secure it, from the sedate and reflecting part of mankind, to whom only I would be understood to address myself, such attention as is due to the sedulous instructor of youth, and the careful performer of my Sabbath duties, I will forbear to hold up a candle to the daylight, or to point out to the judicious those recommendations of my labours which... more...


CHAPTER I. You are fond (said my aunt) of sketches of the society which has passed away. I wish I could describe to you Sir Philip Forester, the "chartered libertine" of Scottish good company, about the end of the last century. I never saw him indeed; but my mother's traditions were full of his wit, gallantry, and dissipation. This gay knight flourished about the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth century. He was the Sir... more...

LESLY'S MARCH. "But, O my country! how shall memory trace"Thy glories, lost in either Charles's days,"When through thy fields destructive rapine spread,"Nor sparing infants' tears, nor hoary head!"In those dread days, the unprotected swain"Mourn'd, in the mountains, o'er his wasted plain;"Nor longer vocal, with the shepherd's lay,"Were Yarrow's banks, or groves of Endermay."LANGHORN—Genius and Valour. Such are the verses, in which a... more...

INTRODUCTION. From the remote period; when the Roman province was contracted by the ramparts of Severus, until the union of the kingdoms, the borders of Scotland formed the stage, upon which were presented the most memorable conflicts of two gallant nations. The inhabitants, at the commencement of this aera, formed the first wave of the torrent which assaulted, and finally overwhelmed, the barriers of the Roman power in Britain. The subsequent... more...

CHAPTER I. I am an innkeeper, and know my grounds,And study them; Brain o' man, I study them.I must have jovial guests to drive my ploughs,And whistling boys to bring my harvests home,Or I shall hear no flails thwack. THE NEW INN. It is the privilege of tale-tellers to open their story in an inn, the free rendezvous of all travellers, and where the humour of each displays itself without ceremony or restraint. This is specially suitable when the... more...

The Author of the Waverley Novels had hitherto proceeded in an unabated course of popularity, and might, in his peculiar district of literature, have been termed "L'Enfant Gate" of success. It was plain, however, that frequent publication must finally wear out the public favour, unless some mode could be devised to give an appearance of novelty to subsequent productions. Scottish manners, Scottish dialect, and Scottish characters of note, being... more...