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Kenneth IV., while reigning lawfully, was slain in 1003 A.D., as we have perceived, by Malcolm II., at the battle of Monivaird. Kenneth IV. left a son, Boedhe, the heir of his rights, and the suc cessor to his wrongs. Seeing how unable he was to contend with the slayer of his father, he seems to have provided for his safety, by his insignificance: and, he left a son, and a daughter, to enjoy his pretensions, and to avenge his injuries: his son, however, was slain, in 1033, by one of the last orders of the aged Malcolm. His daughter was the Lady Gruoch, who married, for her first husband, Gilcomgain, the maormor of Moray, a person of the first consequence, next to the royal family; and, for her second husband, she married the never-to-be-forgotten Macbeth. The Lady Gruoch, with great strength of character, had the most afflictive injuries constantly rankling at her heart; a grandfather dethroned, and slain; a brother as sassinated; and her husband burnt, within his castle, with fifty of his friends; herself a fugitive, with Lulach, her infant son. Such were the injuries, which prompted the Lady Gruoch's vengeful thoughts; and "which filled her, from the crown to the toe, topful of direst cruelty." Amidst her misfortunes, she married Macbeth, the maormor of Ross, who was then in the prime of life; and who was of still greater power, than her first husband: for, after his marriage with this injured woman, he became maormor of Moray, during the infancy of Lulach. If Macbeth was, indeed, as we are assured by Boece, and Buchanan, and Lesley, the son of Doada, a daughter of Malcolm II., he might well enter into competition with Duncan, for the crown. And, we thus perceive, that Macbeth, wanted "no spur to prick the sides of his intent." This intent was at length carried into effect, by the insidiousness of assassination, rather than the magnanimity of conflict.'
If our limits permitted, we should gladly subjoin the author's enumeration of the instances in which the drama has departed from reality, together with the topographical remarks by which he has illustrated it.
We now enter on the fourth or concluding book, and to us the most satisfactory in the volume. It treats of what the author calls the Scoto-Saxon period, which embraces the space from the year 1097 to 1306. During this epoch, happened one of the most singular as well as the most pleasing revolutions of any that are to be found in history. It was a revolution not produced by the rude and sanguinary hand of force, but an instance of voluntary homage paid by untutored barbarism to superior knowlege and civilization; an instance of a rude people incorporating with itself more enlightened strangers, and adopting in a great measure their language, manners, and laws. The Anglo-Saxon ascendancy in NorthBritain has been hitherto involved in much mystery: but the highly commendable industry of Mr. Chalmers has wholly unravelled it, not by plausible and ingenious conjectures, but
by facts completely verified. He shews from charters and other authentic sources, that migrations from the southern to the northern part of the isle took place to a surprizing extent, though the ordinary historians have too little adverted to the fact; yet the catalogue of them which is given in these pages is so large, that, in connection with other circumstances which are here related, they fully account for this rare phænomenon. Nearly all the great families of the North are descendants from Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Norman emigrants from this part of the island, whom the Scotish Court tempted to fix themselves in their territory by large grants of lands to the settlers, their retainers, and dependents. Owing to the low state of culture, land in Scotland was at this time of little value, and the country very thinly inhabited; it must therefore be excellent policy in the government to colonize it with persons who were more advanced in the arts, particularly in agricul ture; and such policy, as history states, was well understood and followed by several of the Scotish princes. This part of the work before us cannot be commended too highly; and it verifies the promise as to originality which was made by the author in his preface.
A very full and spirited account is given of the unworthy practices, and unprincipled proceedings, by which Edward I. attempted to render Scotland dependent on the crown of England; and Mr. Chalmers well states the changes which the Anglo-Saxon ascendancy occasioned in the civil and the ecclesiastical constitution of the state. We meet also with a very instructive and luminous chapter on the antient and modern laws of Scotland; and an able summary of Scotish affairs, from the termination of the Scoto-Saxon period to the present time, which strongly indicates the political bias of the writer, closes the volume.
Though in parts this production is very wearisome, still a great proportion of its contents not only enlightens but strongly interests the reader; and he who has the perseverance to struggle through the whole of it will be well rewarded for his fabour. We have, indeed, one great fault to impute to it, an almost universal fault in modern publications, the neglect of revisal and finish; Mr. C.'s language being frequently defaced by repetitions, quaintnesses, and inaccuracies; and so overloaded with punctuation, that to observe all his commas and semicolons in reading it would often put a full stop to his meaning but, taking it altogether, if the author meets with sufficient encouragement to complete his design, we do not hesitate to say that, in respect to the antiquities, history, and topography of Scotland, his work promises far to exceed any that has yet appeared.
ART. X. The Reign of Charlemagne considered, chiefly with Re ference to Religion, Laws, Literature, and Manners. By Henry Card, A. M. of Pembroke College, Oxford. 8vo. pp. 208. 6s. Boards. Longman and Co.
IN N our progress through general history, when we have passed the times of the Antonines and Trajans, the scene (with the exception of a few rare spots) becomes dark and dreary till we reach the epochs of Charlemagne and Alfred. The latter is perhaps the most remarkable and luminous, but attracts less notice because it was confined to a more limited space. Historians and compilers, when they arrive at the period of the revival of the new empire of the west, retard their march, depart from the high road, and make excursions into bye-paths; as it were to refresh themselves and to exhilirate their readers, after the toil of journeying along a track which presents to the eye nought but barren and desolate prospects. Hence it happens that we find little on record respecting Charlemagne, which is not to be found in some one of our meritorious compilers.
The author of the present volume is anxious to vindicate our countryman, the illustrious Alcuin, from the charge of being an enemy to pagan literature:
'We cannot,' he tells us, readily consent to imitate the credu lity of some writers, who without the least examination have admitted the dislike of Alcuin to the ancient poets, as a point fully esta blished, and of undoubted certainty. It will assuredly not be disputed, that the high name which Alcuin had acquired among his cotemporaries for his learning and piety, and the invariable respect that Charlemagne testified for his talents and virtues, and likewise for the promotion and diffusion of his plans of improvement, must have peculiarly concurred to raise up against him enemies equally powerful by their rank, and revengeful from their ignorance. These circumstances alone would justify us in believing that any attempt to injure his literary reputation would be secretly encouraged by those to whom he had rendered himself obnoxious, by the fame of his own works, as well as by his munificent patronage of learning. Accordingly we find him sometimes reproached for his want of attachment to the Roman classics, with a greater degree of virulence than the subject could require or warrant. Of a turn of mind naturally serious and religious, it is easy to be imagined that in an advanced period of his age, all his studies were bent towards theology; but that he was a sincere and fervent admirer of that dignity, beauty, and elevation of sentiment, which is often to be found in profane authors, may be strikingly illustrated in this expression to Charlemagne ; Upon you it chiefly depends to convert Paris into a christian Athens.
Throughout indeed the writings and letters of Alcuin, frequent quotations are scattered from the ancient poets, which indicate that he perused them with no less pleasure than attention. His young
friend Angilbert had received the appellation of Homer in that learned circle which he was so instrumental in forming at the court of Charlemagne. Alcuin wrote to him at Rome to request that he would not fail to bring him some relics, and pleasantly added, "Si nihil attuleris, ibis, Homere, foras." Unquestionably therefore the man who in speaking upon a subject so grave and pious as the one above-mentioned, can cite a verse from Ovid's Art of Love, ought not to be represented as the implacable foe of the heathen poets.'
Mr. Card does not deem it beneath the dignity of history to record the time and the place of the first interview between Charlemagne and his preceptor; and accordingly he proceeds to state that
Charlemagne first met Alcuin at Pavia in 781, upon his return from Rome, and was so struck with the wisdom of his discourse, that he earnestly requested him to fix his residence at his court as soon as he had accomplished his mission, namely, that of receiving the pall for the archbishop of York, which had lately been conferred on bim by the pope. To an invitation so flattering Alcuin gave his consent,' provided that he obtained the permission of his king and archbishop, and that he might also be allowed to revisit his country.
Alcuin may, indeed, he justly regarded as a phenomenon for his age. If he had not sounded the depths, he had at least stepped into most paths of learning, and therefore was eminently qualified, from the versatility of his genius and the penetration of his judgment, to form and develope the taste of Charlemagne for the arts and sciences. In the study of logic, rhetoric, and astronomy, subjects that have such a peculiar tendency to sharpen, enlarge, and elevate the human capacity, Alcuin found a pupil whose high birth and almost invariable attention to the affairs of state, did not, however, prevent him from feeling and displaying an enthusiastic admiration of them. Had the preceptor been inflamed with ambition, from the great ascendancy that he had gained over Charlemage, he might safely have aspired to the rank of his minister. But far from employing his influence with him to promote his own interest and grandeur, it should be recorded, to the praise of this recluse student, that he solely used it in directing his attention towards objects of utility and benevolence.'
So great was the desire of this mighty potentate to promote Jearning, that he even made it the path to political elevation:
'Conspicuous examples of this (says Mr. Card) we meet with in the history of his reign. It will be sufficient to mention only the names of Eginhard and Amalarius, the former of whom filled for so many years the place of his secretary or chancellor, (for these titles were indiscriminately applied to him by the writers of the times,) and the latter was selected from a crowd of candidates as his ambassador to Michael, the emperor of the east. His passion for letters and encouragement of them were indeed so great and universally known, that two learned Scotchmen, in the certainty of obtaining his protection, cried out as he passed along the highway, Science to be sold. This singular conduct immediately arrested his attention; he ordered them
to be presented to him, and having found that they really could perform what they had professed, afterwards promoted them to posts of trust and honor, suitable to their abilities.
There is not certainly a more striking feature in the character of Charlemagne than his uniform encouragement of men of genius, both in the church and state. Not content with bestowing upon Theodolphus the bishopric of Orleans, he gave him likewise the abbey of Fleury, and several other abbeys., Hilduin, one of the members of the academy, possessed at the same time those of St. Dennis, of St. Germain de Pres, of St. Medard de Soissons, the revenues of which were very considerable; while Alcuin received four abbeys, and various other preferments, which exposed him to the envy and hatred of his less favoured competitors.
From the numerous possessions and jurisdictions which Alcuin enjoyed, Elipand, a bishop of Spain, in a theological dispute with him, takes the opportunity to utter some severe reproaches upon his overgrown opulence; but authentic evidence is not wanting to rescue the memory of Alcuin from the charge of his mind being corrupted by prosperity. He frequently expressed an earnest wish to resign those gilts, which he had solely accepted upon the pressing solicitation of his sovereign, because the several duties annexed to them occasioned too long an interruption to those literary pursuits which constituted the chief happiness of his life. But no solicitations on his part, however frequent and sincere, could induce Charlemagne to transfer even some of his abbeys to his disciples, and thus leave to him the means of freely prosecuting his favourite studies.'
Whether or not we may applaud the views, politically considered, which governed Charlemagne in the maxims illustrated in the subsequent anecdote, we must admit the humour and the effect of the stratagem :
The following expedient, which he adopted to cure his nobles of their extravagance in dress. ought not to be passed over in silence, as it strikingly pourtrays the manners of the times The Emperor himself commonly wore the simplest attire, except upon occasions of great pomp and splendour. In his doublet of otter's skin, put over his woollen tunic, and his sash of a blue colour, he was scarcely to be distinguished from the meanest of his subjects. One morning, having perceived his courtiers decked out in their most costly habili ments, he proposed that they should immediately take the exercise of hunting His invitation, or rather command, admitted of no refusal, for small is the distinction between these words, when they fall from the lips of a monarch. He appeared in a cloak of sheep's skin, tied negligently across his shoulders, and which afforded him a good covering during a heavy fall of snow, that, most opportunely to his wishes, happened while they were attending him in this recication. But their silks were torn by the brambles and spoiled by the snow. When the chace was finished, benumbed with cold, and anxious to repair the damage done to their dresses, they begged leave to withdraw. The malicious monarch foresaw and prevented their intentions, by pressing them to follow his example, and dry their clothes