Sylva I: Jacobi VI, Scotorum regis inauguratio (c.1567)
This sylva on the coronation of the infant James VI, by far Maitland's most important 'political' poem, is remarkable both for its description of the events surrounding the downfall and abdication of Mary Stewart in the summer of 1567, and for the clear re-statement of the core tenets found in George Buchanan's De Iure Regni apud Scotos dialogus ('Dialogue on the Law of Kingship among the Scots') on the qualities a good ruler should have and the punishments that befit a tyrant. Although it is not known when this poem was written, its extended description of the Battle of Carberry Hill (15 June 1567), where Mary surrendered to the forces of the Confederate Lords who were intent on punishing her third husband, James Hepburn fourth earl of Bothwell for the death of James' father, Henry Stewart Lord Darnley, suggests that it was written near to the event.
Maitland may have met Buchanan in Paris in 1566, and in the following year was cast as the interlocutor in Buchanan's dialogue (internal textual evidence suggests it was probably completed in time for the meeting of the parliament in December 1567 that ratified Mary's deposition). Maitland fervently denied in a letter to Queen Mary in 1570 that he had anything to do with the text. However, in 1567 Maitland and his brothers William and John had firmly backed the revolution against Mary, and refused to countenance her restoration unless Bothwell was removed from the political picture. By 1570, the family position had changed to one of support for Mary, which would explain the letter by Thomas denying his involvement in strenuous terms (McFarlane, Buchanan, pp. 392-396; Mason and Smith, A Dialogue on the Law of Kingship Among the Scots, pp. xxvii-xxix). While the general tone of this poem is one of understated sympathy towards Mary, Bothwell is painted throughout as an adulterous usurper and tyrant, and the penalties of imprisonment or death due to him at the hands of the people, outlined at length in lines 276-346, are clearly drawing on Buchanan's ideas. This poem thus suggests that Maitland had access to a very early version of the De Iure Regni, and that in his youth he endorsed its views. Metre: hexameter.
SYLVA I: Iacobi VI, Scotorum Regis inauguratio
1Alme puer, patriae decus, et spes summa parentum,
expectata diu, fatorumque ordine longo: 1
tolle Caledoniis laetus jam debita sceptris
lumina: tantisper cunis exurgere, neu te
5nectareas pigeat nutricis linquere mammas,
dum tibi flaventes augur diademate crines 2
implicat, aeterni dum decernuntur honores
qui te, qui saeclo decorent veniente nepotes.
Fallor enim, nec pondus habent praesagia mentis
10humanis vacuae curis, nisi fulmine laevum 3
cum Deus intonuit 4 dilectis (omine firmo),
regum Stuartis aevum stabilivit in omne.
Tantae tuae Superis insedit cura salutis.
Pallida vix iterum renovarat cornua Phœbe, 5
15ex quo magnanimi heroes 6 tua turba (flagello
sic Nemesis plectit, vetitos sic detegit actus)
rettulerant laetum scelerato ex hoste triumphum:
cum tibi formosas inter pulcherrima Nymphas,
Herculeo plusquam genitrix defessa labore, 7
20detulit imperium, patriique insignia regni.
Ut declivis Atlas onerosi pondere caeli,
deposcit votis alium qui fulciat axem: 8
utque pugil stadii cursu lassatus anhelo,
lampada candentem tradens decedit arena:
25sic regina diu variis agitata procellis,
navifrago placidum spectans ex aequore portum, 9
exuit imperio sese, tibi pondera regni,
et tibi fraenandas rerum transmittit habenas.
Sic placitum superis. 10 Populo non gratius ullum
30accessit munus, postquam viduata marito,
regia fluctivaga 11 conjux permensa carina
ventosum pelagus patrias remeavit ad oras.
Quantum sponsa viro, concedunt vitra smaragdis; 12
quantum Sole premunt exustum lilia gramen; 13
35arboribus fœtus, quam vite est gratior uva;
tantum inter proceres olim, quae munere functae
matris erat, tenerae superat reverentia prolis.
En jam tempus adest, humili cum plebe Senatus
quo tibi purpureus patriae faelicibus ordo
40auspiciis patrii defert moderamina regni.
Iam coiere duces, 14 celebris nunc ecce corona,
stans designati circum cunabula regis,
heroum titulos, et honores spondet avitos.
Hinc cives alii (patriae genitricis imago)
45summa theatrali manifestant gaudia plausu.
Si violata fides, 15 si quam perjuria linguae, 16
si quam imbuta diu civili sanguine dextra,
pristina si sancti meruere oblivia pœnam
officii, luimus. Sat habet jam clade recenti 17
50Iupiter, et laesi sedata est Numinis ira. 18
Nec pia per nebulas Zephyri rapuere volucres 19
vota, nec incassum sacras placavimus aras. 20
Quippe preces tetigere Deos, et Iupiter ille,
ille Deum, genitorque virum, stellantis Olympi
55qui loca sacra colens fatis dominatur, et orbis
cum lubet evectas nutu convertit habenas: 21
humanam sortem et lachrymas miseratus acerbas,
infantem dedit antiquo de sanguine regum,
qui regat imperio, patriis fera pectora fraenet
60legibus, orbatos soletur principe Scotos.
Quid magis optandum? Quid di dare majus habebant?
Aspice, quisquis ades, frontem lambente tiara,
quam nitide circum praefulget regia corpus
purpura, quamque chlamys teneros bene colligit artus,
65sceptrum et splendidior dextra micat aureus ensis.
Quantus surgat honos fronti, qui splendor ocellis
emicat aethereae mentitis sydera lucis.
Qualis in ore nitor, roseis quam blanda labellis 22
gratia, quam pulcher pendens de vertice summo
70aurea caesaries fluitat per lactea colla? 23
O quantos animos vivacia pectora clausos
intus alunt? Mites vultus, juvat ora tueri 24
non splendore magis, quam majestate verenda. 25
Digna quidem imperio est, qua te, pulcherrime regum,
75aurea si quando genuissent saecula, forma,
te Iovis aethereas ales rapuisset in auras,
et Ganymedaeos tribuisset raptor honores: 26
aut contra gelidi recubans in margine fontis
umbrasses rutilo crispatas fulgere lymphas:
80non sua Narcissum sterilis lusisset imago,
nec Cytherea suum tibi praeposuisset Adonin.
Forsitan obscura regnum de plebe creatus
hoc vultu meruisse potest: te major honestae
nobilitas stirpis generisque exornat origo,
85et quae majorum superat natalia virtus.
Postquam Fergusius, materni sanguinis autor,
rex diadema tulit; cognatus ortus Iberis,
perpetua serie 27 centum numerabis avorum
nomina, sublimi tangentia vertice caelum.
90Hinc Metelane nites, nitet hinc Mavortius heros
Brusius, inde potens Solymae regnator opimae;
quique duces referunt victrices nomine lauros, 28
et pater, unde genus ducit Duglassia, cunctas
Scotigenas inter longe clarissima gentes:
95ornat, et Anglorum series longissima regum
quid, Stuarta domus? Quam te commendat avorum
gloria, nobilium aeternis signata trophaeis?
Semper (adhuc memini), terris in morte relictis,
postquam caelicolum numerum pater insitus astris
100auxit, et imperii tenerae data sceptra puellae,
unum erat in votis: omnes uno ore canebant:
'quando erit ille dies, 29 quo (te, pulcherrima) parvus
nympharum blando matrem puer ore vocabit:
quando erit ille dies, dabitur quo sceptra tueri
105Stuartis, infans solioque sedebit avito?'
Annuit, et blando arridens pater optimus ore,
te nascente reos voti damnavit ovantes.
Et jam formosae matris formosior infans
regni sceptra tenet, solioque insedit avito. 30
110Iam talem tali natum de stemmate regem
produxit Natura parens: ut si optio nobis
libera, vel voti fieret si summa potestas,
non alium humanae poscat fiducia mentis.
Ergo tuae, proceres quem non sine numine regem
115esse jubent, alacres sacrae damus oscula dextrae,
oscula devotae affectus testantia mentis:
obsequiumque tibi et fortunas sponte vovemus.
Antea Lomnudus campis succedat Eois,
desertasve premat Libyae sitientis arenas,
120ante Taï vitreo salientes marmore pisces
depascent simas inter virgulta capellas, 31
ante (precor) Stygias adigat nos Iupiter umbras,
quam tibi pacta fides 32 externo addicta tyranno
serviat: infames quam proditione notemur.
125Scilicet, imperium quod non subiere coacti,
sponte ferunt omnes, nam quis parere recuset,
cui sua detulerant meritum suffragia regnum?
Quid tibi (fare, precor), generoso sanguine 33 regis
profuit innocui dextram scelerasse nefandam, 34
130o fax, o nostrae pestis teterrima gentis,
Bodwalle; ut saevo speciosi crimine regni,
in te atrox odium, linguasque manusque cieres?
Quidve caput sacro cinctum diademate parvi
profuit ad patriae similem deposcere caedem
135principis, abductae vitiumque offerre parenti?
Ut pueri arrectis ad candida sidera 35 palmis,
assiduoque cohors luctu castissima matrum
vindictam caedis caelestia numina Divos
posceret, et scelus horrendum tot pila, tot hastas,
140totque ducum strictos in te converteret enses? 36
Quam fuit ah satius propria cum conjuge vitam
degere privatam? Tum te neque lumina vulgi
nec metuenda reis terreret judicis ira:
lubrica nec placidos somnos 37 tubaret imago, aut
145conscia mens sceleris ventos horreret inanes:
at sibi funestis viduam famosus adulter
reginam omnibus thalamo sociare jugali
legit, et amisso aeternum cum nomine regno,
per mare per terras 38 sceleri vitasse paratum
150supplicium. Quanquam nec te vitasse paratum
supplicium jactare potes: furor undique clausum
quem tenet, et turpi comes est infamia vitae.
I licet obscurae fretus caligine noctis:
i nunc latronum corpus stipante caterva, 39
155regia tecta petas; trucibus micet ardor ocellis
flammeus, inflatis de naribus exeat ignis.
Securum damni regem per colla comasque
extrahe, mox lassum geminato verbere 40 macta,
crudelis nimium et Diris infestior ipsis.
160En modo longe instat genitore ferocior infans,
insignis sceptro, justa qui percitus ira,
teque, domumque tuam sterili a radice revulsam
destruet, et tristes (tantae haec sunt praemia culpae)
inferias patriis mandabit manibus, hostis
165exuvias, caedemque hostili caede piabit.
Quippe Deos movit caesi miseratio regis,
et lachrymae pueri, et raptae sponsalia matris.
Regia sulphureo commota pulvere flamma
celsa ruat, quassis igni laquearia muris 41
170terrifico regis tonitru testata ruinam:
vicinas aedes atque urbis mœnia sternant:
non tamen ulla valent abolere incendia, nec vis
ulla potest priscis Scotorum avellere regnum
Stuartis. Sceptrum hac natos de gente manebit
175dum solito terras lustrabit lampade Titan, 42
stabit et immoto firmatus cardine mundus.
At tu Scotorum imperio dignate superbo,
dum veniat florens annis puerilibus aetas, 43
volve animo quam te faelici munere Divi,
180et quam frugifera puerum ditione bearunt.
Nec tamen hic gravidis fulvi de montibus auri
pondera, caerulei aut venas memorabo metalli,
non agros late pecoris Cererisque feraces, 44
aut niveas referam volventia flumina gemmas,
185magnificasve domos, urbesve ex marmore structas:
haec habeant alii tecum communia reges. 45
Illa tui prima est, et propria gloria regni,
agnoscit regem, et paret tibi subdita tellus
fertilis armorum, bellatorumque virorum. 46
190Illa securigeris virtus est patria Scotis 47
in castris recubare, famem perferre sitimque, 48
insidias hosti componere, spernere frigus
sudoremque pati, cursu praevertere cervos,
et fossas saltu, et fluvios superare natatu,
195scandere inaccessos colles, transcendere muros,
spargere sulphureas letalia pondera glandes:
adducto celerem nervo torquere sagittam, 49
flectere cornipedem, pugnare ferociter hasta
cominus, et gladio cum vis subit ignea pectus,
200mox conferre pedem, contemnere vulnera, mortemque
et celebrem vita neglecta quaerere famam.
Artibus his cecidit compressa ferocia Picti,
et Cimbri furor, et rabiosi Saxonis arma.
His stetit, et patrio tutata est Scotia Marte
205imperium sine lege suum cum Martia Roma
mœnibus, et totum cinxisset legibus orbem.
Artibus his etiam, et solita virtute tuorum,
fama tibi crescet nullo delebilis aevo.
Te duce Scotorum terras Mavortia pubes
210ibit in extremas: duce te victricia signa 50
magnanimae referent salvae post bella cohortes:
vincere seu lubeat terras qua nocte fugata
sol caput auricomum campis attollit Eois,
rursus et Oceani vitreis demergit in undis.
215Id tibi prompta manus, saevoque aptissima bello
praestabit: terras vincent qua nocte fugata
sol caput auricomum campis attollit Eois
rursus, et Oceani vitreis demergit in undis.
Seu vero mavis tumido dare vincula ponto, 51
220hi certa injicient captivo vincula ponto.
Non ego futiloqui descripta oracula Bedae,
non monitus magicos, dubios nec Apollinis angues,
non ex fallaci repetam praesagia somno, 52
nec mihi tantus amor dubium praescire futuri
225temporis eventum, ut libeat descendere in ima
viscera terrarum, aut caeli refingere claustra.
Sed certa ex actis rebus si signa petuntur,
illa dies, tua quo pueri lugentis imago
terruit armatas acies, hostemque rebellem
230turpiter abjecta parma dare terga coegit,
quanta tuam manet aetatem victoria, monstrat.
Est pons Oceano Lothianae proximus: hic se
Carbarri colles, tumulique ex cespite parvi,
castrorum in morem cinctae circum undique fossae
235ostentant late tutam legionibus arcem.
Fama refert 53 (si vera fides) hoc aggere septos,
turmatim quondam Pictos habitasse penates:
huc venit ille Paris cum semiviro comitatu, 54
captivam secum reginam in praelia raptans,
240eructans caedem, nostris convitia castris,
multa vomens et verba leves terrentia ventos.
Illic illustri fulgentes aere phalanges,
fervere, sanguineos referebant signa leones,
cornipedes fremitu et raucis hinnitibus agros
245implebant, siccoque involvunt pulvere Solem.
Regius ipse inter primos sicarius alte
exultat quassans duris hastile lacertis:
procedunt acies, vexillum signifer 55 isthic
explicat: ut patriam caedem deflentis imago
250principis effulsit, caesori frigore pectus 56
congelat; a manibus telum excidit, ille repente
ut fugit incautus declivi a monte viator, 57
nescius abstrusum donec pede presserit anguem,
consistit, retroque pedem et vestigia flectit.
255Nec prius abstiterat, quam rapta uxore relicta,
munita corpus trepidum conclusit in arce.
Illa quidem potuit, qua cunctas munere formae
praestat, vel rigidas animare in praelia cautes,
nec tamen aulus erat, qui se jactabat Achillem,
260iudice vel tali vitam committere pugnae.
Tum quoque dispositas certa in statione cohortes 58
cernere erat pavidas totis discurrere campis,
inque cavas campi sese subducere valles.
Umbram dux timuit: turmas si terruit umbra,
265qualis erit, quantusque pavor, quo pectora regum
concutiet, postquam tenera lanugine tinget
barba genas, et quo non dux praestantior alter:
in fera raptabit victrices bella phalanges,
ecquis erit toto princeps vel maximus orbe
270qui contra audaces iratum tollere vultus
audeat? Imperio aut humilem submittere, qui se
abneget? At non ut quondam qui Gorgone visa, 59
assumpta saxi humanam posuere figuram,
sic vel Iacobus memorato nomine solo,
275horreat, et tanquam nutu moveatur herili.
Hic tamen, audaces nisi quis vetet esse Camœnas
nec nimis ingratae moveant fastidia Musae,
pandere discendas victuri principis artes
arte juvat. Nunc te toto plaudente theatro
280di regnare jubent. Sed quo tibi maxime princeps
imperium, quo sceptra valent, quo summa potestas,
virtutis studio si spreto degener omne
nec tibi, nec patriae traduces utilis aevum?
Est quae sceptrigeros tollit super aethera virtus;
285est vitium, et pensat vitiosam infamia vitam.
Ergo tibi sit charus honos, si gloria cordi est,
virtutis sectare viam, sectare pudorem:
non qui fallaci residens velamine tectas
humanas falsa deludit imagine mentes:
290mox sese prodit vitiis vincentibus ipsam,
et linguas vulgi saeva in convitia solvit:
sed qui nativus populum dulcedine pascit
ingenua, et nunquam perituro inflammat amore,
quoque magis facilem teneas hoc tramite cursum,
295sic actus moderare, tuae sic tempora vitae
dirige, ne veniat sine fructu incurva senectus. 60
Nunc teneris annis virtutis semina purae
imbibe. Nam retinet primos ut lana colores, 61
sic animus primum, quae nondum robore mollis
300firmato arripuit, tenet, et maturior auget.
Si tibi propitii facilem vis Numinis auram,
relligio tibi sit curae, sit cura sacrorum,
et tua Pieridum sit tellus hospita turbae.
Regis ad exemplum populus se format, et atrox
305principis omne scelus vulgus fas esse putabit.
Si te transversum rapiet vesana libido,
insidias ut si cupias struxisse, maritum
incestare thoros, et opes rapuisse bonorum:
et patrare tibi quicquid malesuada 62 voluptas
310imperat, heu quaenam capiet dementia plebem,
principis exemplo virus lethale trahentem?
Ergo voluptatum et vitiorum ut dira facessat
quidlibet audendi scelerata licentia fotrix,
quamvis nulla tibi metuenda est ira severi
315iudicis, et rigidos hominum contemnere vultus
regis jure potes, tamen ut lauderis, honeste
vivendo imperium, famam probitate tuere.
Non vox (crede mihi) generoso principe dici
dignior ulla potest, quam libertate fruendo
320sponte sua sibi cancellos circumdare legum.
Sed tibi praecipue crudelis fama tyranni,
verborum rigor, et torvae caperatio frontis
vitanda est: nam qui insido firmare timore
nititur imperium, laqueum sibi nectit, 63 et alto
325suspendit capiti strictum laquearibus ensem,
funestoque magis traducit funere vitam.
Ecquid opus memorare tibi, qua clade perempti
externi fuerint reges, queis cura timeri
summa fuit? Notus Dionysi est exitus, exul
330qui Syracusano pollutus sanguine vitam
finiit infestam: sic regem invicta superbum
Tarquinium non Roma tulit. Post tempore longo
impatiens domini, Bruti generosa propago 64
Caesareum multo confodit vulnere pectus.
335Sed nihil hic externa moror. Gens inclyta Scotae
progenies, quae sponte sua tibi jura ferenti
obsequitur, consueata bonos defendere reges
oppositu laterum, nullis cessura periclis,
dum sancto regis depellat corpore ferrum,
340illa eadem, si quando ferox, sitiensque cruoris
exurgat, fortem trepida cum plebe Senatum
qui vincire velit, patriaeque infringere leges,
non tolerat, sed fama volat, 65 subitoque tumultu
accensi heroes virtusque armata popelli
345sceptra rapit, mox dejectum de sede tyrannum
nunc morte horrifica, saevo nunc carcere fraenat.
Quae tibi ne eveniant, clades ne te opprimat ultrix
sanguinis, ut regis nomen mereare beati,
virtutis calcanda via est aptissima regi:
350illa tibi regnum florens, populumque benignum
vicinosque dabit pacatos fœdere firmo.
Interea dum parva tenent cunabula corpus,
dum spes pascit, adhuc et nostra est messis in herba, 66
nos festum celebrare diem delectat ovantes:
355carmina pars dicit, pars ducit laetet choreas, 67
urbis et accensis collucent compita flammis:
prata virent, 68 ridet tellus, et caerula ponti
leni virgineos imitantur flamine crines.
Nulla dies nobis illuxit laetior, ex quo
360silvestris Scotis habitata est terra colonis.
Tu modo parve puer, patriae spes una salutis,
una salus patriae, verbis det Iupiter omen.
363Vive diu, et multos regna faeliciter annos.
Sylva I: the consecration of James VI, king of Scots
1Dear boy, ornament of your nation, and the singular offspring, long awaited, of your parents, from a long line of ancestors: now joyfully lift up the eyes owed to Caledonian rule: as long as it does not trouble you to rise up from your cradle, or to leave behind the sweet breasts of your wetnurse, while a seer binds your golden locks with the crown, and while eternal honours are picked out which will adorn you and your descendants in the coming age. For I am mistaken, the predictions of a mind free from responsibility for human affairs do not have any weight, except, after God thundered out a lightning bolt from his left hand (a sure sign!), he fixed upon his beloved Stewarts for every age of kings. The gods have concern for your utmost wellbeing.
14Scarcely had Phoebe renewed again the pale horns of the moon, from whence the high-minded heroes in your crowd (so Nemesis punishes with her whip, and lays bare forbidden acts) had brought back a joyful triumph from a wicked enemy: a when your mother, the most beautiful amongst the shapely nymphs, exhausted by a labour greater than Hercules', gave over to you the rule of the nation, and the honours of the kingdom. b As Atlas, stooped by the oppressive weight of the heavens, calls earnestly in his prayers for another to support the poles: and as an athlete, exhausted by the breath-taking lap of the stadium and handing over the glowing torch withdraws from the arena: so the queen, long buffeted by a multitude of storms, and looking for a port providing calm from a shipwrecking sea, put off rule from herself, and handed over the burdens of rule to you, and the reins for governing affairs to you. So it pleased the gods. No more pleasing a gift has befallen the people since the wave-tossed queen, a spouse bereaved of her husband, traversed the sea in her boat and returned to her native shores. c As much as the spouse yields to her husband, and glass is inferior to emeralds; as much, o Sun, as lilies overshadow dry grass: as much as the fruit is more pleasing than the tree and the grapes than the vine; [p155]so much awe remains for the tender child, as once existed among the nobles for the mother who was discharged from her office. But look, now! The time is at hand when the imperial rank of the parliament, together with the common people and happy wishes of your nation, confer upon you the governance of your ancestral kingdom. Now the nobility have assembled, now behold the famous crown, standing around the cradle of the king apparent, has promised the titles of heroes and ancestral honours. Here other citizens (the image of the mother of the nation) make known their utmost joy with the type of applause usually reserved for the theatre.
46If broken promises, if ever falsely-spoken oaths, or if ever hands long dipped in the blood of the citizenry and previous forgetfulness of our sacred duties have merited a penalty, we will suffer it as expiation. Jupiter has now had enough of the recent slaughter, and the deity's wrath was assuaged by the violence. Pious prayers have not been carried on the fleeting clouds of the West Wind, nor have we made offerings at the sacred altars, without effect. Because our prayers have reached the gods, and Jupiter himself, the creator of gods and of men, who resides in the sacred places of starry Olympus and who is lord over our fates, and who when it pleases him, at a nod, turns the outsplayed reins of the world in another direction: in his pity at our human fate and bitter tears, he brought forth a child from the ancient blood of kings, who rules over our territories, who checks our savage breasts with the laws of the nation, and who comforts the Scots bereft of their ruler. What more can be hoped for? What greater have the gods to give? Whoever you are here present, look upon the diadem caressing his brow, how brilliantly it blazes around the royal body, and how well the purple mantle gathers around his tender limbs, and how the sceptre and golden sword glitter more brilliantly in his hand. Such great honour rises from his brow, a brilliance which leaps forth from eyes that imitate the constellations of heavenly light. What brilliance in his face, how sweet the grace in his rosy lips, how golden the hair, hanging from the the top of his head, that flows down over his milk-white neck? O, how many thoughts, held deep within, does his high-spirited breast nourish? His face delights to keep a sweet countenance, no greater in splendour, than it ought to be revered for its majesty. Indeed, your good looks, most beautiful of kings, are so well-fitted for rule [p156]that if ever the golden age had brought you forth, Jupiter as an eagle would have plucked you up into the heavenly airs, and the predator would have paid you the honours owed to Ganymede: d or conversely, if lying against the edge of a freezing pool you had cast a shadow on the rippling waters with a golden flash, its empty image would not have amused Narcissus, e nor would Venus have favoured her Adonis over you. f
82Perhaps a man begotten from humble stock, with this face, could have been deserving of the kingdom; a greater origin, the nobility of a worthy line and race, mark you out, and a virtue which surpasses the birth of greater men. For if it may please you to unroll ancient annals, after King Fergus, the founder of your maternal bloodline, kin to and descended from the Spanish, g you will count a hundred names of ancestors in a continual chain, reaching heaven with its sublime peak. Here, Maitland, you shine, h and here Bruce, i a warrior hero indeed, shines, and there the powerful lord of fertile Jerusalem; j and the conquering leaders who bring back laurels in your name, and the father, whom the Douglas race brought hence, k for long the most famous among all Scot-born people: what does the house of Stewart, and the longest chain of English kings, adorn? What glory of noble ancestors, marked by eternal monuments, recommends you? Always (I have remembered this much), when our lands were given up to death, after your father was incorporated among the stars and increased the number of heaven-dwellers, and the rule of the kingdom was given to a tender girl, there was one alone in our prayers: all were singing with a single mouth: 'when will be that day, when a tiny boy (you, most beautiful one) will call for the mother of the nymphs with an agreeable mouth; when will be that day, where rule will be given to the Stewarts to enjoy, and an infant will sit on the ancestral throne?' The best father, smiling, gave his assent with an agreeable mouth when you were born, and condemned the guilty rejoicing at your prayer. And now a child more beautiful from a beautiful mother holds the rule of the kingdom, and sits on the ancestral throne. Now Mother Nature has produced so great a king born from so great a family tree: so that if the choice is freely ours, or if the highest power can grant our prayer, [p157] the loyalty of the human mind may not demand another. Thus the nobility rejoice at a king who is not lacking divine approval, and eagerly we give kisses to your sacred right hand, kisses bearing witness to the love of a devoted mind: and we freely vow deference and good fortune to you. Sooner will Lomnud l advance as far as the Eastern fields, or oppresses the sandy deserts of parched Libya, sooner fish leap from the glassy surface of the Tay and feed upon snub-nosed she-goats among the shrubs, sooner (I pray) will Jupiter drive us into Stygian gloom, than the promise contracted and bound over to you give service to a foreign tyrant, and us know wicked men by their treachery. Undoubtedly all men freely accept your rule because they have not been forced to submit, for who would refuse to obey he who their own votes have given the deserved kingdom?
128What, Bothwell, m you incendiary, you foulest plague of our people (I beg you, speak), has it benefited you to have defiled your wicked hands with the noble blood of an innocent king; so that you begin to stir up savage hatred, and words and arms against you, for the wicked crime of a handsome king? What has it benefited you to demand a similar outrage against the head of a tiny prince, bound with the sacred crown, and to reveal the shortcomings of the mother you have snatched away? So that, with victory-palms raised up towards the shining stars for the boy, and with continual mourning among mothers, the holiest troops invoke the death penalty, the heavenly deities and the gods, and your abominable crime turns so many spears, so many pikes, and so many drawn noble swords against you? Ah, was it ever enough to spend your life in private with your own wife? n Then neither would the eyes of the mob or the terrifying wrath of the judge reserved for the guilty frighten you: a shifting apparition would not disturb peaceful sleep, or a mind conscious of its crimes quake at empty gusts of air: instead, an infamous adulterer draws the widowed queen to himself to associate in the marriage bed with deathly consequence for all, and after losing the kingdom and her reputation forever, has fled across land and sea the supplication prepared for your wickedness. o However, you cannot boast that you have avoided the supplication prepared: rage on all sides [p158]holds him fast; and the companion of disgrace is dishonour in life. Go, although reliant on the gloom of shadowy night; now go, and with a troop of mercenaries surrounding your body, may you seek royal roofs; may the fiery passion falter in your wicked eyes, and the fire depart from your flared nostrils. You who are exceedingly cruel, and more hostile than the Furies themselves, deliver the king, safe from forfeiture, by means of your head and neck, and worn out by the double blow, give up your life soon after. See! now a child more fiercely spirited by far than his mother takes a stand, known by his sceptre, who stirred by righteous anger will lay waste to you and your house, torn up from its barren root, and will hand over the arms of the enemy, wretched offerings (such are the rewards of so great a sin) to ancient hands, p and will expiate murder with enemy murder. Because grief for the slaughtered king, and the tears of his son, and the betrothal of his abducted q mother, rouse the gods. Fire from on high, stirred by gunpowder, rushes down upon the royal ceilings, their walls shaken by fire as they witness ruin beneath the terrifying thunder of the king: it knocks flat neighbouring houses and the battlements of the city: neither can any of the conflagrations yet be put out, nor can any force tear the kingdom of the Scots from the ancient Stewarts. The right of rule will remain with those born from this race as long as Titan r shines on the earth with its usual light, and the world stands fixed on its immoveable hinge.
177But you, worthy of the imperial pride of the Scots, until your age may arrive, flourishing, from its childhood years, turn your mind to what a reward of good fortune the gods bless you with, and what a bountiful sovereignty of youth. I will not yet call to mind here the weights from mountains swollen with tawny gold, or veins of sky-blue silver, nor mention fertile fields full of the cattle of Ceres, or rolling rivers, snow-white gems, or homes of splendour, or towns built from marble: other kings have these things in common with you. This is the prime and particular glory of your kingdom: this land, abounding in arms and fighting men and set under you, acknowledges its king and makes ready for him. The strengths of this nation of axe-wielding Scots are [p159]to lie at ease in encampments, to withstand famine and thirst, to lie in wait for the enemy, to laugh off cold and to suffer heat, to outrun stags in their course, and to overcome moats with a leap, and rivers with a stroke, to scale inaccessible crags, to jump over battlements, to cast around the deadly weights of sulphurous cannonballs: to twirl the swift arrow from taut muscle, to turn the hoof-footed beast, to fight fiercely with the pike at close quarters, and when burning force enters the breast via the sword, soon to run away, and to shun wounds, and to look for a famous death and reputation in a life of no consequence.
202With these skills the checked fierceness of the Pict, the fury of the Cimbrian, and the arms of the ravening Saxon were cut down. s With these Scotland has endured, and with Mars as father and without law Scotland was protected by his rule when Mar's Rome had bound the whole world with its battlements and laws. Thanks to these skills too, and to the usual strength of your people, renown accrues to you that no age can blot out. With you as leader Scottish youths, following Mars, will go into the farthest lands: with you as leader, the noble company of troops, unharmed, will bring back victory signs after the war: or if it may please you, to conquer lands where after night has fled the sun raises his golden-haired head from Eastern fields, and sinks back down again into the glassy waters of the Ocean: a ready hand, and one best-suited to savage war, will provide you with it: they will conquer the lands where after night has fled the sun raises his golden-haired head from Eastern fields, and sinks back down again into the glassy waters of the Ocean. Or if you rather prefer to lay chains across a swollen sea, these men will throw fixed chains upon the captive sea. t
221I will not repeat the prophecies described by trifling Bede, u nor the admonitions of sorcerors, nor the doubtful snakes of Apollo, v nor the foretellings from deceptive sleep, nor is my love so great that I can foreknow the doubtful circumstance of a future time, so that it might please you to go down into the deepest depths of the earth, or to break open the gates of heaven. But, if sure signs are sought from past events, this day - where the sight of a child in mourning has terrified the armed battle-line, and forced the rebel enemy [p160]shamefully to turn their backs to flight after throwing off their shields - shows what great victory remains for your adulthood.
232There is a bridge in Lothian near the sea: here Carberry hill w reveals itself from the turf of a small hillock, and moats encircled all round in the manner of castles reveal the tower kept safe on all sides by your troops. The story goes (if you believe it true) that on this heap the Picts, in troop formation, and their putrid household gods had resided: x it was here that Paris came with a half-man retinue, y snatching the captive queen with him among his plunder, spewing out slaughter and clamour among our encampments, and vomiting out many terrifying words and gusts with no power. In that place the famous phalanx, resplendent in bronze, blazed, and the standards were carrying back the bloody lions, z and the hoof-footed beasts were filling the fields with din and raucous neighing, and they covered over the sun with dry powder. The royal murderer himself, high among the first men, exults while brandishing a spear with his unyielding arms: the battle-line advances, and the standard-bearer unfurls his sign right there: once the image of the weeping prince has made conspicuous the slaughter of his father, aa the murderer's breast freezes over with cold; he drops the weapon from his hands; he suddenly flees from the sloping mount as the incautious traveller, unaware that he has stood upon a snake concealed beneath his feet, stops and turns his feet and limbs backwards. No sooner had he stood still than he abandoned the wife he had seized and shut his trembling body up in the fortified tower. Indeed, she could have spurred unfeeling rocks into battle who thanks to her beauty surpassed all others, nor did he yet dare, who was throwing himself at Achilles, ab either (in my opinion) to engage his life in such a contest. Then he also began to see the troops distributed at fixed intervals, the cowards that were running off into every field, withdrawing themselves from the field into caves and valleys. The leader feared his shadow: if a shadow scared his company, what kind and how great would the fear be in a man who will strike down the breasts of kings, after a thin beard stains his cheeks with down, and in who there will be no other more preferable leader: he will carry victorious phalanxes into fierce war, [p161]will there be any prince or greatest man the whole world over who would dare to lift his daring countenance against his wrath? Or who will refuse to submit humbly to his dominion? But just as those who, once having seen the Gorgon and assumed the form of rock, had laid aside their human figure, so either he is terrified with the name 'James' alone called to mind, just as he is moved at his master's will.
276Yet he, someone who forbids poetry unless it is daring, and is not moved excessively by an aversion to the thankless Muse, helps with his talent to promote the talents which should be known by a prince destined to conquer. ac Now the gods, with the whole theatre applauding, rejoice that you reign. But where, greatest prince, is your dominion, where does your rule flourish, where the highest power, if having scorned the study of virtue you do not condemn every unworthy thing, and do not lead a life of worth to your nation? It is virtue which lifts sceptre-bearers above the heavens; it is infamy which pays out sin and a sinful life. Thus may honour be cherished by you, if there is glory in your heart, to seek out the path of virtue, to seek out modesty: he who sits in falsified garb deceives human minds concealed by a false image: soon he shows himself, with vices overcoming her, and soon loosens the tongues of the mob in savage outcry: but he who is born to the role nourishes his people with an innate sweetness, and never inflames them with a love fated to die, and may you also hold the course more easily with this footpath, to so moderate your actions, to so direct the events of your life, lest stooped old age arrive without benefit. Now, in your tender years, drink in the prime elements of pure virtue. Now hold fast to your chief men as wool to colours, and thus the mind holds and in a more mature state builds upon this first principle, which a soft woman, with strength not yet established, had seized upon. If you desire the easy gold of a God favourable to you, let religion be your concern, and let there be concern for all things sacred, and let your land be hospitable to the crowd of Muses. The people fashion themselves after the example of the king, and the wickedness of a ruler will make the mob think that every kind of crime is lawful. If uncontrollable lust seizes you unexpectedly, and if you desire to have plots arranged, [p162] to defile the beds of married men, and to have seized the riches of good men: and anything your ill-advising will commands you to bring to completion, ad alas, what kind of madness, tell me, will seize the people, drawing a deadly poison from the example of their king? Thus whatever of desire and sin that the dire fotrix ae eagerly arranges as crimes permissable to the man who dares them, as much as there is no wrath of the harsh judge to be feared by you, and you can mock the stern looks of men under the king's law, yet you will be praised as much, by living your rule honestly, to uphold your reputation with probity. No worthier words (believe me) can be spoken by a noble prince, than by their own will to surround the latticed barrier of laws with the freedom being enjoyed by themselves. But above all the bloody reputation of a tyrant, severity of speech, and the creases of a harsh face must be shunned by you: for who endeavours to build his rule upon unfaithful fear draws a noose for himself, and hangs a sword bound to the ceiling above their noble head, and rather directs their life towards a fatal funeral.
327Is there any labour that you can bring to your mind, in which foreign kings, whose utmost concern was to be feared, had been annihilated to destruction? The death of Dionysius is well-known, an exile who stained with Sicilian blood ended his unclean life: af so too did unconquered Rome refuse to bear proud king Tarquinius. ag Impatient for rule after a long span of time, the noble offspring of Brutus pierced Caesar's breast through with many a wound. ah But I don't much care for foreign examples here. Our celebrated race, the scions of Scota - which by its own will submits itself to you who bears the rule, and is accustomed to defending good kings using their bodies as a shield, and which will yield to no danger while it keeps the sword away from the holy body of the king - that same race, if at any time a fierce and blood-thirsty person rises up who wishes to conquer the brave senate along with the fearful people and to infringe upon the laws of the nation, does not suffer it, but instead rumour flies, and with sudden uproar the armed strength of the outraged people heroically ai seizes the power of rule, and shortly after bridles the tyrant thrown from his seat, now with a harsh prison and now with a horrible death. [p162] Do not let these things befall you, do not let the avenger of bloodshed press disaster upon you, the path of virtue, most apt for a king, must be walked so that the name of 'blessed king' is deserved: this flourishing circumstance will give you a kingdom, and a favourable people, and neighbours pacified, under a firm contract. Meanwhile, while a small cradle holds your body, while hope is nourished, and our harvest is yet still in the fields, we rejoicing delight to celebrate this festive day: one part recites poems, the other joyfully leads songs, and town crossroads blaze with kindled fires: aj the meadows grow green, the earth laughs, and the sky-blue waters of the gentle sea imitate the wavy hair of maidens in their flow. No day has dawned more joyful to us, since when the land became inhabited with Scottish settlers in its woodlands. You alone tiny boy, the single hope of salvation for the nation, the only salvation for the nation, may Jupiter give the sign to with his words. Live long, and reign happily for many years.
1: 'ordine longo: Virgil, Aeneid I.395; II.766; VI.482,754; VIII.722; XI.79,143-4
2: 'crine flaventi': Seneca, Oedipus 420
3: Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.439-440: 'si nota satis praesagia nostrae/ mentis habes'
4: Ovid, Tristia V.14.27
5: Ovid, Metamorphoses I.11: 'nec nova crescendo reparabat cornua Phoebe'
6: 'magnanimi heroes': Virgil, Aeneid VI.649
7: 'defessa labore': Catullus, Carmina L.14
8: This line and preceding echo metaphors in Virgil, Aeneid IV.481, VI.796; Ovid, Metamorphoses II.296-7
9: Propertius, Elegies III.19.7: 'et placidum Syrtes portum et bona litora nautis'
10: Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica III.297: 'et placitum hoc superis'
11: 'fluctivaga' and variants unique to Statius: Thebaid I.271, IX.305,360; Silvae II.1.95, III.1.84
12: Tibullus, Elegies I.1.51: 'O quantum est auri pereat potiusque smaragdi'
13: 'ignobile gramen': Vergil, Georgics IV.63
14: Lucan, Bellum Civile III.174; Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica VI.9
15: 'violata fides': Silius Italicus, Punica XIII.291
16: 'periuria linguae' (in same metrical position): Carmina Tibulliana III.6.39; Ovid, Heroides VII.67; Metamorphoses, XIV.99
17: A phrase used frequently by Livy (see, as examples, Ab Urbe Condita V.11.14.2, VI.5.6.1)
18: Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.8: 'iusserat et saevam laesi fore numinis iram'
19: 'nebulas...volucres': Ovid, Metamorphoses I.602
20: 'placavimus iras' (in same metrical position): Statius, Silvae III.3.184
21: This and the preceding two lines echo Lucretius, De Rerum Natura II.1095-97
22: 'roseis...labellis': Catullus, Carmina LXIII.74
23: Vergil, Aeneid VIII.659-661: 'aurea caesaries ollis atque aurea vestis,/ virgatis lucent sagulis, tum lactea colla/ auro innectuntur'
24: 'iuvat ora tueri': Statius, Silvae I.1.15
25: 'verenda/ maiestate': Lucan, Bellum Civile III.429-30; 'maiestatumque verendam': Ovid, Metamorphoses IV.450
26: Virgil, Aeneid I.28: 'et genus invisum et rapti Ganymedis honores'
27: 'perpetua serie' (in same metrical position): Manilius, Astronomicon II.851
28: Tibullus, Elegies I.7.6: 'At te victrices lauros, Messalla'
29: This and the refrain that follows: a variation on Martial, Epigrammata X.6.3-6.
30: Vergil, Aeneid VII.169: 'imperat et solio medius consedit avito'
31: An inversion of Virgil, Eclogues X.7.
32: 'pacta fides' (in same metrical position): Ovid, Heroides VI.41
33: 'generoso sanguine' (in same metrical position): Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.457; Fasti II.839: Silius Italicus, Punica XII.359
34: Statius, Thebaid IX.665-666: 'nec fugiet poenas quicumque nefandam/ insontis pueri scelerarit sanguine dextram'
35: 'candida sidera' (in same metrical position): Lucretius, De Rerum Natura V.1210
36: Lucan, Bellum Civile IV.779: 'vix inpune suos inter convertitur enses'
37: 'placidos...somnos': Ovid, Metamorphoses VII.153; Fasti II.635. See also Fasti V.576-577 for 'lubrica' and 'imago'/
38: Lucretius, De Rerum Natura IV.203, VI.637
39: 'stipante caterva' (in same metrical position): Vergil, Aeneid I.497, IV.136; Silius Italicus, Punica X.452
40: 'geminato verbere' (in same metrical position): Lucan, Bellum Civile IX.173
41: Echoes Vergil, Aeneid VIII.25
42: 'quem simul attollens rutilantem lampada Titan': Silius Italicus, Punica XII.648
43: 'redditur arboribus florens revirentibus aetas': Appendix Vergiliana, Elegiae in Maecenatem I.113; 'puerilibis...annis' is a very common phrase.
44: 'agros...feraces': Ovid, Amores III.10.17
45: 'haec tibi sunt mecum, mihi sunt communia tecum': Ovid, Amores II.5.31
46: 'altrix bellorum bellatorumque virorum': Silius Italicus, Punica I.218
47: Ovid, Heroides IV.117-118: 'prima securigeras inter virtute puellas/ te peperit'
48: What follows (to line 201) echoes and engages with the martial descriptions in Carmina Tibulliana, III.7.82-106
49: 'viderat adducto flectentem cornua nervo': Ovid, Metamorphoses I.455
50: 'victricia signa': used frequently by Silius Italicus, eg Punica XII.288 (in same metrical position)
51: 'vincula ponto' and the idea of laying chains in the sea: Lucan, Bellum Civile IV.450.
52: 'fallaci...somno': Catullus, Carmina LXIV.56; Carmina Tibulliana III.4.7
53: Common phrase in Ovid (eg, Epistulae ex Ponto III.2.51)
54: 'et nunc ille Paris cum semiviro comitatu': Virgil, Aeneid IV.215
55: 'signiferi magna vexillum mole ferebat': Silius Italicus, Punica V.337
56: Similar images can be found in Ovid, Heroides XV.112, XIX.192; Fasti I.98
57: This and the next two lines echo and expand Silius Italicus, Punica V.537
58: 'cohortes/ in statione': Bellum Africum XXI1.4-2.1
59: Gorgone...visa': Ovid, Metamorphoses V.209
60: 'silva capax aevi validaque incurva senecta': Statius, Thebaid IV.419
61: 'nec varios discet mentiri lana colores': Virgil, Eclogues IV.42
62: Rare word, found in Plautus, Mostellaria 213; Vergil, Aeneid VI.276; Statius, Thebaid XI.656; Silius Italicus, Punica XIV.501
63: 'laqueum sibi nectit': Apuleius, Metamorphoses VIII.22.14
64: 'progago' in original text.
65: Vergil, Aeneid III.121, VII.392, VIII.554
66: 'sed nimium properas, et adhuc tua messis in herba est': Ovid, Heroides XVII.263
67: 'pars pedibus plaudunt choreas et carmina dicunt': Vergil, Aeneid VI.644
68: Martial, Epigrammata I.88.6
a: Bothwell's forces were defeated at Carberry Hill in Haddingtonshire on 15 June (see further at line 232 below), leading to Mary's imprisonment at the hands of the Confederate Lords. On the Battle of Carberry Hill and Mary's abdication, and for the biographical notes which follow, see Gordon Donaldson, All the Queen's Men: Power and Politics in Mary Stewart's Scotland (London, 1983), pp. 83-85; Jenny Wormald, Mary Queen of Scots: a Study in Failure (London, 1988), pp. 161-168; John Guy, 'My Heart is My Own': the Life of Mary Queen of Scots (London, 2004), pp. 335-396; Julian Goodare, 'Mary (1542-1587)', ODNB; and Rosalind K. Marshall, 'Hepburn, James, fourth earl of Bothwell and duke of Orkney (1534/5-1578)', ODNB.
b: Mary formally abdicated in favour of her infant son on 24 July, while she was held prisoner on the Isle of Lochleven. She had recently suffered a miscarriage.
c: Mary returned to Scotland on 19 August 1561, following the death of her husband François II.
d: Ganymede: a Trojan youth so beautiful that Jupiter fell in love with him, and was abducted up to Olympus by an eagle (in some tellings of the myth, Zeus transforms himself into the eagle) to serve as his cupbearer. There is a sexual aspect to this abduction.
e: ie, Narcissus (who fell in love with his own reflection and died as a result) would have been jealous of James' beauty.
f: Adonis was a hunter of such great beauty that Persephone and Venus both fell in love with him. After he was killed by a boar, Zeus decreed he should spend part of the year with each goddess.
g: On Fergus I and the Gathelus myth, see d2_MelA_001.
h: Why Maitland includes either himself or someone from his family in this roll of honour is unknown.
i: Robert Bruce, who reigned from 1306 to 1329 as Robert I. See G.W.S. Barrow, 'Robert I (1274-1329), ODNB.
j: René, duke of Lorraine and James' great-great grandfather (1451-1508; duke from 1473), whose hereditary titles included King of Jerusalem. See d1_AdaP_001, note t.
k: James' father, Henry Stewart Lord Darnley, was the grandson of Archibald Douglas, sixth earl of Angus (c.1489-1557). See Elaine Finnie Greig, 'Stewart, Henry, duke of Albany [Lord Darnley] (1545/6-1567)', ODNB.
l: Unclear reference.
m: See introduction.
n: Bothwell married Lady Jean Gordon (c.1546-1629), sister of the fifth earl of Huntly, on 22 February 1566, but they were hastily divorced in April 1567 on grounds of his adultery with a maidservant. Bothwell apparently requested the divorce, presumably with the intention of seizing Mary.
o: In the aftermath of Carberry Hill, Bothwell attempted to flee to Norway but was seized by Danish military forces and held in captivity in Copenhagen, Malmö, and finally Dragsholm, where he died insane in 1578.
p: i.e., to the nobles in parliament.
q: With the double meaning here of 'raped'.
r: The sun.
s: For a similar account of Scotland's historic indomitability, see d2_RolH_006, lines 9-11.
t: In book IV of Lucan's Bellum Civile (see reference in note to Latin translation), Pompey lays a series of floating chains hidden in the Adriatic to capture floating rafts constructed by the Caesarians.
u: Saint or the Venerable Bede (672/3-735), who wrote the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.
v: The serpent Python originally presided over the oracle at Delphi, and the priestess was known as the Pythia.
w: See introduction.
x: Presumably a reference to Pictish standing stones of some form, but unclear.
y: This line is taken directly from the prayer for vengeance by Iarbas to Jupiter Ammon against Aeneas for his seduction of Dido. Paris is thus the archetypal adulterer by which Aeneas and Bothwell are measured, and 'semiviro' in the original context refers to Eastern men, who were seen as dandified and effeminate. See Vergil, Aeneid IV (ed. H.E. Gould and J.L. Whiteley: Bristol, 1943; repr. 1995), pp. 29-30, 79.
z: Mary's supporters carried standards featuring the Lion Rampant; for the banner of the Confederate Lords, see the next note.
aa: The Confederate banner featured the body of Darnley beneath a tree with a weeping infant James VI and the motto 'judge and revenge my cause, o Lord'.
ac: This sentence sounds like a description of George Buchanan in his role at tutor to James VI, and the rest of the poem is a summary of his views on the qualities esteemed in a good king and the punishments due to tyrants as seen in the De Iure Regni apud Scotos Dialogus ('Dialogue on the Law of Kingship among the Scots'). Buchanan was appointed as tutor to the king in 1570, but he may have been named as early as August 1569, and discussion of who should educate the king had been ongoing since 1567 (see McFarlane, Buchanan, p.445). On the links between the De Iure Regni and this poem, see the introduction.
ad: In terms of executing plans or schemes, but also has the double meaning of reaching sexual climax, as it would appear to here.
ae: This word is unknown in standard classical and medieval Latin etymologies.
af: Dionysius II, tyrant of Syracuse (r.367-357BC), whose unpopular rule led to a revolt which saw him flee to Locri. He then acted as tyrant over the Locrians until 346BC, and when he left to retake Syracuse the Locrians killed his wife and daughters. He surrendered Syracuse to Timoleon in 344BC and spent the last year of his life in a wretched state at Corinth.
ag: Tarquinius Superbus, the last Roman king, 534-510BC. There is a play here on his name.
ah: Julius Caesar was murdered in 44BC by a group of conspirators including Marcus Junius Brutus, who claimed descent from Lucius Junius Brutus, a founder of the Roman Republic and supposedly one of the first consuls in 509BC.
ai: Heroes is gramatically incorrect here, but is taken as modifying 'accensi...popelli'.
aj: Celebrations in early modern Scotland, particularly royal ones, were marked across the country with bells and bonfires, usually at the market cross: