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fectly in their style, having possibly been the work of later architects, who sometimes practised it after the introduction of what has been denominated with more than doubtful propriety, the Gothic style.
The feudal system established without ceremony by the Conqueror in England, had made its way more gradually in Scotland, with the great influx of Norman families into that kingdom, and by the strong recommendations which it carried in its nature, to the taste of the monarch, and even to that of the ecclesiastics, to whom it assured a firmer tenure, without any addition of burdens. Measures were taken to give it a more formal and complete ascendency during the temporary usurpation of Edward I. But it could never effect the extinction of the more patriarchal Celtic social order of septs, or clanship, of which an interesting description is given at considerable length, discriminating the good features and the bad. The good was infinitely wore than countervailed, in this social constitution, by the perpetual inexpugnable possession of the fiend of war. It was held the absolute duty of the rival clans, to fight and slaughter one another, in revenge of every trivial wrong or insult, and in revenge, alternately, of the successive and accumulating revenges. The honour and force of each clan were pledged to maintain even a palpable and confessed wrong committed by any of its members on the neighbouring tribe. The state of highest pride and self-complacency in these clans, appears to have been that which they named deadly fevd, a state of ferocious hostility into which any two of them might be plunged at any moment, and in which they fought as if each bad deemed itself to be ridding the world of a legion of fiends.
For a long period preceding the invasion of Edward 1., the Borders appear to have been wonderfully quiet, as relatively to the two rival kingdoms, of which the royal families were kept in contented mood by frequeut alliances, by ofliceSj sometimes, of personal friendship between the monarchs, and by the courtesies which an obvious policy dictated to Uoe Scottish kings as holding of the English Crown extensive domains in England. Duriag1 this period, fruitful of monastic institutions, great beivegt is judged to have been conferred on the people of the Scottish Border, by the establishment of the abbeys of Kelso, Melrose, Jedbnrgh, and Dryburgh, by means of which a large portion of the country most exposed to hostile inroad, was secured in possession and cultivation, by being placed 'under the sacred pro'tection of the church.'
'In this point of view,' says our Author, 'the foundations completely answered the purpose designed; for it is well argued by Lord Hales, that, while we are inclined to say with the vulgar tliat the clergy always chose the best of the land, we forget how much their possessions owed their present appearance to the art and industry of the clergy, and the protection which the ecclesiastical character gave to their tenants and labourers, while the territories of the nobles were burnt and laid waste by the invaders.'
This is a very fair and true suggestion, yet it does not invalidate the vulgar notion, which is pointedly repeated ami confirmed in some of the descriptions annexed to the plates ; whether it is written by the same hand as this introductory history, is not, that we have any where observed, distinctly signified.
All the good conferred on the country by this beneficial taboo of the Church, and by the long period of substantial tranquillity, was to sink under a very ordinary fate of early national improvements.
'The savage and bloody spirit of hostility,' says our Historian, 'which arose from Edward the First's usurpation of the crown of Scotland, destroyed in a few years the improvements of ages, and carried the natives of these countries backward in every art but in those which concerned the destruction of the English and each other. The wars which raged through every part of Scotland in the thirteenth century, were urged with peculiar fury on the Borders. Castles were surprised and taken; battles were won and lost; the country was laid waste on all sides, and by all parties. The patriotic Scotch, like the Spaniards of our time, had no escape from usurpation but by sacrificing the benefits of civilization, and leading the lives of armed outlaws. The struggle, indeed, terminated in the establishment of national independence; but the immediate eBl'ct of the violence which had distinguished it, was to occasion Scotland retrograding to a state of barbarism, and to convert the borders of both countries into wildernesses, only inhabited by soldiers and robbers.'—' The mode of warfare adopted by the Scots themselves, however necessary and prudent, was destructive to property, and tended to retard civilization. They avoided giving pitched battles, and preferred a wasting and protracted war, which might tire out and exhaust the resources of their invaders. They destroyed all the grain and other resources of their own country which might have afforded relief to the Englishmen, and they viewed with great indifference the enemy complete the work of destruction. In the mean while, they secured their cattle among the mountains and forests, and either watched an opportunity to attack the invaders with advantage, or, leaving them to work their will in Scotland, burnt into England themselves, and retaliated upon the enemy's country the horrors which were exercised in their own. This ferocious, but uncompromising motle of warfare, had been strongly recommended in the rhymes considered a legacy from Robert Bruce to his successors* and which indeed do, at this very day, comprise the most effectual, and almost the only defensive measures, which can be adopted by a poor and mountainous country when invaded by the overpowering armies of a wealthy neighbour.
"On foot should be all Scottish weir*
One expedient of this defensive system of the Scots, was t» destroy the castles on their own border; little thinking what mischief they were thus doing to the future elegant works, in which the fine arts were to display and adorn the picturesque features of their country.
. 'The good Lord James of Douglas surprised his own castle of Douglas three times, it having been as frequently garrisoned by the English; and upon each occasion he laid waste and demolished it. The military system of Wallace was on the same principle. And in fine, with very few exceptions, the strong and extensive fortresses, which had arisen on the • Scottish Borders in better times, were levelled with the ground during the wars of the thirteenth century. The ruins of the castles of Roxburgh and Jedburgh, and of several others which were thus destroyed, bear a wonderful disproportion in extent to any which were erected in subsequent times.'
As, however, the country was not abandoned to the entire and permanent state of a desert, but occupied again at each recession of the enemy, the barons and gentlemen had for their residence an inferior kind of fortresses, often heard of in border history under the denomination of strengths,' constructed upon a 'limited and mean scale, usually in some situation of natural 'strength. Having very thick walls, strongly cemented, they '- could easily repel the attack of any desultory incursion; but 'they were neither victualled nor capable of receiving garrisons 'sufficient to defend them, except against a sudden assault. The 'village which almost always adjoined, contained the abodes of 'the retainers, who, upon the summons of the chieftain, took arms 'either for the defence of the fortress, or for giving battle in the 'field.'
• The smaller gentlemen, whether heads of branches of clans, or
'* Weir, war. f Wear, to defend. J Dreire, harm or injury. 'H Gar, cause.'
of distinct families, inhabited dwellings upon a still smaller scale, called Peels, or Bastle-houses. They were surrounded by an inclosure, or barnkin, the wall whereof was, according to statute, a yard thick, surrounding a space of at least sixty feet square. Within this outer work the laird built his tower, with its projecting battlements, and usually secured the entrance by two doors; the »uht of grated iron, the innermost of oak clenched with nails. The apartments were placed directly. above each other, accessible only by a narrow "turnpike" stair, easily blocked up or defended. Sometimes, and in the more ancient buildings, the construction was still mote rude. There was no stair at all; and the inhabitants ascended by a ladder from one story to another.'
In the hostile inroads on a large scale, these 'strengths' were not, nor indeed were they expected to be,,of any avail beyond aslight temporary check, to favour the retreat of the inhabitants. The devastations committed in these invasions were frightful. A brief narrative (inserted in the Appendix) of the military operations in Tiviotdale, in 1570, of the forces under the Earl of Essex, Elizabeth's commander in the north, in chastisement and revenge of some insults, spoliations, and cruelties committed by the Scottish barons, makes it a matter of wonder how a tract subjected to a repetiiion of such ravages could maintain its existence as an inhabited country, with considerable towns and villages. This inroad, and that of the Earl of Hertford, in the end of Henry the Eighth's reign, are stated to be ' the two
* most dreadful invasions commemorated in Scottish annals.'
The extreme border on the English side, corresponded to the opposite one in the rudeness of its defences and the utter lawlessness of its inhabitants. But a little further to the south, the country assumed a widely different aspect, in the comparatively flourishing and strongly defended possessions of the high nobility, and the 'chains of their magnificent castles, of great extent,
• and fortified with all the art of the age.' Mr. Scott names a number of these structures, and remarks;
"All these, and many others might be mentioned, are so superior to edifices of the same kind in Scotland, as to verify the boast, that there was many a dog-kennel in England to which the tower of a Scottish Borderer was not to be compared. Yet when Naworth and Brongham castles are compared with the magnificence of Warwick and of Kenilworth, their savage strength, their triple rows of dungeons, the few and small windows which open to the outside, the length and complication of secret and subterranean passages, shew that they are rather to be held limitary fortresses, for curbing the doubtful allegiance of the Borders, and the incursions of the Scottish, than the abodes of feudal hospitality and baronial splendour.'
The English towns also were much better fortified. Yet all this array of superior strength, though of great efficacy against invasion in a formal and extensive shape, could not guard tu«
country ' against the desultory war carried on by small parties, 'who made sudden irruptions into particular districts, laid all 'waste, and returned loaded with spoil. If the waste committed by 'ttoe English armies was more widely extended and more generally 'inflicted, the continual and unceasing mids of the Scottish Bor'derers were scarcely less destructive.' The greater wealth of the country, also, was a stronger incitement to the Scottish freebooters, than revenge was to their southern adversaries. These plundering parties were so secret and so active in their increments, and so perfectly acquainted with all local facilities for passage or concealment, in a rough and diversified country, as to render iu a great measure uuavailing the special and elaborate defensive arrangements of the English warden of the marches, Lord Wharton, who,
'established a line of communication along the whole line of the Border, from Berwick to Carlisle, from east to west, with setters and searchers, sleuth-hounds, and watchers by day and night. Such fords as could not be conveniently guarded, were, to the number of thirty-nine, directed to be stopped and destroyed, meadows and pastures were ordered to be inclosed, that their fences might oppose some obstacle to the passage of the marauders, and narrow passes by land were appointed to be blocked up, or rendered impassable.'
Mr. Scott gives an ample and spirited delineation of the character, and the economy, if it may be so called, of these border barbarians, with a variety of curious anecdotes.
'Contrary to the custom of the rest of Scotland, they almost always acted as light-horsemen, and used small active horses accustomed to traverse morasses, in which other cavalry would have been swallowed up. Their hardy mode of life made them indifferent to danger, and careless about the ordinary accommodations of life. The uncertainty of reaping the fruits of their labour, deterred them from all the labours of cultivation; their mountains and glens afforded pasturage for their cattle and horses, and when these were driven off by the enemy they supplied the loss by reciprocal depredation. Living under chiefs by whom this predatory warfare was countenanced, and sometimes headed, they appear 10 have had little knowledge of the light in which their actions were regarded by the legislature; and the various statutes and regulations made against their incursions, remained in most cases a dead letter. It did indeed frequently happen that the kings, or governors of Scotland, when the disorders upon the border reached to a certain height, marched against these districts with an overpowering force, seized on the persons of the chiefs, and sent them to distant prisons in the centre of the'kingdom, and executed, without mercy, the inferior captains and leaders.'
Such acts of justice, however, tended to alienate the attachment, and the services for national war and defence, of a race •s brave as they were lawless; und contributed to confirm them in that anomalous political state in which, on both sides of the