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down from it through the confusion of previous reigns -if reigns they can well be called—we reach an instance where a powerful man manages to get the chief command by means not of an uncommon kind, and we wonder why his reign should be considered so exceptional. The loyal historian of later times, however, going back through the pedigree of the kings of Scotland, finds that the principle of hereditary succession rules until he reaches the name of Macbeda. Here is an exception, and it becomes the more prominent that, on passing over his reign, the father of his successor is found upon
the throne. Duncan and his son Malcolm, ancestors of the race that continued to reign, are both found kings of Scotland; but there is one, a stranger to their race, between them. This had to be accounted for, and the easiest way was by treating the intruder as a usurper. The loyal monks of the fifteenth century looked on a usurper with horror. Being so placed in the seat of political infamy, we have, perhaps, the reason why so many strange events, natural and supernatural, came to cluster round the career of Macbeth.
1 Pinkerton, in the spirit of contradiction and paradox, makes him a martyr to his virtues. “Macbeth seems to have been an able and beneficent prince. The Chronicon Elegiacum represents fertile seasons as attendants of his reign, which Winton confirms. If a king makes fertile seasons, it must be by promoting agriculture, and diffusing among his people the blessings of peace. Had he paid more attention to his own interests, and less to those of his subjects, the crown might have remained in his family; but, neglecting the practice of war, he fell a martyr to his own virtues." — Inquiry, ii. 197. We would almost require to transpose that renowned eulogium on one who
“ Hath borne his faculties so meek-hath been
The deep damnation of his taking off.”
diablerie about Macbeth, which had dropped out of the chronicles before Shakespeare's day. Old Wyntoun tells that he was the offspring of the prince of the powers of the air, a son of the devil himself. It is told how, in a wood to which his mother resorted "for the delyte of halesome ayr,” she met and became enamoured of a handsome stranger, a man
“Of bewtè pleasand, and of hycht
Proportioned wele in all measure
Of lym and lyth-a fair figure." On their parting he told his victim in the briefest terms that he was the devil, recommending her not to disturb herself about that ;
“But sayd that her sone suld be
And hald for his love that jewele." Scott, finding this wild legend unappropriated, brought it, with his usual sagacity, into the Lady of the Lake, in the episode beginning
“Of Bryan's birth strange tales were told-
His mother watched a midnight wold.” Wyntoun, who furnishes this new marvel, softens the prophecy of the witches into a dream, and later writers have been glad to accept of this compromise with fable. There is a story, very like the witches' prophecy, told as long ago as the third century about the Emperor Diocletian. In his obscure youth, when sojourning at a tavern in the Hercynian or Harz Forest, he met a Druidess or fortune-teller. There was some bantering between them. She complained of his stinginess, when he told her he would be more liberal when he became emperor. To this she said“No joking, Diocletian ; you shall be emperor when you have slain Aper (Diocletiane, jocare noli; nam imperator eris, cum Aprum occideris).” This was said in the punning or equivocal spirit which has characterised vaticination from the oracles downwards. Aper meant a boar, and Diocletian slew many boars without profit from them. When the Emperor Numerianus was found dead in his tent, Diocletian stabbed Aper as the murderer, and then became himself emperor.-Historiæ Augustæ Scriptores, 671. Malicious people said that Diocletian was himself the murderer, and that he slew Aper to conceal the deed. In this view he rehearsed Macbeth killing the guards. See this referred to in connection with the Druids—above, chap. vi.
Narrative to the End of the Reign of Alexander X.
KING MALCOLM CANMORE- HIS INVESTITURE-EFFECT OF THE
NORMAN CONQUEST ON SCOTLAND SPECIAL CAUSES OF THE CONDITION AND INFLUENCE OF THE NORMANS-THEIR ORGANISING CAPACITY- KING WILLIAM'S ATTACK ON SCOTLAND THE FEUDAL SYSTEM - ITS INFLUENCE IN AGGREGATING AND BREAKING UP KINGDOMS—THE SYSTEM OF RECORDS-VALUE OF TO HISTORY-INFLUENCE ON POWER AND PROPERTY HOW ABUSED MALCOLM CONNECTED WITH THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SAXON LINE-POLITICAL EFFECT OF THIS CONNECTION -WAR WITH ENGLAND--DEATH OF MALCOLM AND HIS SON-HIS WIFE, ST MARGARET—HER INAUGURATION IN THE CALENDAR -HER INFLUENCE ON SCOTLAND-KING ALEXANDER- -ALLIANCE WITH THE ENGLISH ROYAL FAMILY—TROUBLES IN THE HIGHLANDS-DEATH OF KING ALEXANDER.
MALCOLM the son of Duncan is known as Malcolm III., but still better perhaps by his characteristic name of Canmore, said to come from the Celtic Caenmohr, meaning “great head.” If we are to admit the testimony of Wyntoun, this great king was illegitimate —the child of a miller's daughter. He tells, circumstantially, how the gracious Duncan frequented her father's house and made love to the molindinary maiden, and makes his narrative emphatic by noting that the Empress Matilda was thus a descendant of that same miller.) He is the first monarch of whose " coronation” we hear. The ceremony was at Scone, near Perth—a place which had become the centre of royalty, though it hardly had the features which make us call a town a capital. History now becomes precise enough to fix the day of this event as the 25th of April 1057. There is little worth noticing in the early part of his reign, except that he kept up what seems to have been the fixed policy of the kings of Scotland, to press southwards, and made an incursion into Northumberland, which came to nothing. It is a question whether he took for his first wife the widow of Torfin, one of the independent rulers of the north, called Jarl of Caithness, and whether she or some one else was the mother of the Duncan who afterwards succeeded him.2
We must now look to alien causes for the influences that henceforth affected the destinies of the country. A power mightier than any internal power in Scotland—mightier than any in England-comes upon the
Just nine years after the accession of Malcolm came the Norman conquest of England. Nothing could seem less to concern the present or the future of Scotland than this decision about the succession to the crown of Edward the Confessor. But it was destined to stamp even stronger historic traces on Scotland than on England. There the crisis came at once, and was at once concluded, leaving nothing to look for but the natural results. On Scotland the new influence worked gradually and slowly; it was two hundred years ere the country felt fully the grip of the new force, and then even came but the beginning of the great contest. It is perhaps from the subtle and gradual nature of its working, that on the side of Scotland we have a better opportunity of studying the true influence and character of Norman aggression than in that country, the face of which became so suddenly changed by one event.
1 VI. 16. · Compare Chalmers, i. 422, and Robertson's Early Kings, i. 128.
It was no conquest in the sense in which one nation subjects another after the resources of both have been fairly tried in every form of attack and defence, and the one has sunk before the more enduring resources of the other. To the country at large the political results were a surprise. A battle had been fought, but, like many other battles, it seemed to concern only those who were near the centre of affairs, by deciding the succession to the crown.
But it was not that the Saxon people had merely got a vigorous, active, rigid king, who to-morrow might be changed for a good, quiet, easy-going successor. The Conquest brought in a matured system of organisation, strong enough to bind the most powerful Saxon earls, and subtle enough to find its way to the poorest homestead. The scattering of garrisons through a conquered country—the promulgation of tyrannical laws—never perhaps spread so instantaneous and so complete a conviction that the people had found a master, as those minute practical inquiries which enabled the Norman government to make an inventory of the material elements of their acquisition in the wonderful record of Doomsday.
1“ Doomsday is a register of land, of its holders, its extent, its transfer, its resources, its produce, its deprived and present possessors; the stock of tenants, cotters, slaves, and cattle employed upon it. It is at the same time a military register, showing the national capabilities of defence, the position of the defenders, and their relation to the crown; a census of the population; a survey of their means of subsistence, their emoluments,