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CHAPTER V.

LEGEND OF THE FIRST LYON OF GLAMIS.

The clans and chiefs allegiance bring,
For Robert Stuart is Scotland's king,
Who, by his cousin, Rowallan fair
Had daughters famed for beauty rare;
But ne'er was comelier maiden seen,
More graceful, fair, than Ladye Jean.

THE genealogy of the Stuart family, though the theme of many a fable, has by late antiquarians been distinctly traced to the great Anglo-Norman family of Fitz-Allan, in England. Walter Fitz-Allan in David the First's time, held the high office of Seneschal or Steward of the King's household. This title was afterwards converted into a surname, and used as such by his descendants. It was the sixth High-Steward in succession who married Marjory, the daughter of Robert the Bruce ; and to their only child, the seventh Lord High-Steward, the Crown of Scotland descended, on the extinction of the Bruce's line in his only son, David II. This monarch's reign was inaugurated at Scone, 27th March 1371, and it is to him the legend of the First Lyon of Glamis refers.

The coronation of Robert II. having been celebrated with great pomp and magnificence at Scone, the Court proceeded to the Castle of Stirling-then the favourite residence of royalty -to keep high holiday in commemoration of the event.

On receiving the hand of the Princess Euphemia in marriage, the Earl of Douglas at once abandoned his claim to the throne, and the clans and their warrior chiefs, as well as the lowland nobles, flocked in great numbers to the Castle to pay their willing allegiance to their lawful king Tourneys and feasting

were, for a time, the order of the day, the flower of the Scottish nobility, with many a titled dame of high degree, gaily mingling in the gorgeous and happy throng.

The six daughters of the King by his first marriage with his cousin of Rowallan, famed for their grace and comely beauty, received by universal acclaim the spontaneous homage as the most beautiful in all that beautiful and courtly assemblage. Ladye Jean, the youngest of the Princesses, by her graceful deportment, winning manners, and peculiarly Scottish type of expression, was, however, par excellence the Queen of Beauty.

The two principal State pages who waited on the Court were Sir James Lindsay and Sir John de Lyon. Sir James was of stern, cold, haughty demeanour, which somewhat detracted from the grace of his soldierly and handsome person, De Lyon was a youth of a very graceful and comely person courteous and complaisant in his manner, and a great favourite with the King, to whom he acted also in the capacity of private secretary.

These two royal pages were, unknown to each other, both passionately in love with Ladye Jean. So carefully, however, had they concealed their thoughts each from the other, that no jealous rivalry had ever entered their breasts; so they kept no watch or ward on each other's movements, which otherwise they would have done, to an extent, perhaps, sufficient to endanger their mutual friendship and esteem.

Queen Euphemia kept so strict surveillance over the Princesses that they seldom went beyond the Castle walls; and even in the palace the ever-watchful eye of the Queen was constantly upon them, their slightest movement escaping not her notice. De Lyon, who was yet in ignorance of the real feelings of Ladye Jean towards him, naturally chafed under the restraint to which the Princesses were subjected, because he was thereby deprived of any opportunity to make a declaration of his love.

The page, therefore, took a sudden resolution, beneath which was artfully concealed the real purpose he had in view. Full of his deceptive mission, De Lyon one evening took his thoughtful yet solitary way along the gloomy corridors of the Castle, and having reached the Armoury Tower, the favourite resort of the Lindsay, he gently knocked for admission. The ponderous door was instantly opened by Sir James who courteously greeted his unexpected visitor.

“Thou oughtst to have been an Abbot, Sir James," said Lyon, playfully,“ delighting thus in monkish solitude. The gloomy cloisters of a monastery would be a more appropriate residence for thee than the stately halls of a royal palace. Is not the bracing mountain air more lusciously sweet than the tainted atmosphere of courtly boudoirs, where royal dames, held captive, can only sigh, and mourn, and weep, protesting by their tears against such monastic surveillance ?"

“What means this jesting, John de Lyon ? Knowest thou not the difference in rank there is between us? While thou art but an obscure scion of an obscure house, the blue blood of royalty flows in my veins. The King is my kinsman, and as yestreen I mingled in the gay and brilliant assembly in the banquet hall, I knew the Princesses were my near relations-my cousins, if thou wouldst have the truth told thee again to remind thee of thy inferior rank.”

The proud, disdainful manner of Lindsay, and the haughty, scornful tone in which these words were uttered, brought the blood to Lyon's cheek, and sunk deep into his heart—the first feeling called up in his soul being that of resentment for the undeserved, contemptuous insult. This feeling, however, speedily vanished when he remembered Ladye Jean; and, earnestly intent on his unsuspected mission, he broke the ominous silence thus

“ 'Tis of the Princesses I would speak with thee. Nay, brave Lindsay, be not uncourteous even to thy inferior in rank, and listen calmly to what I have to reveal.”

“ Reveal ? Then at thy peril keep nothing back. Thou to have anything to reveal in regard to the Princesses is, indeed,

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to me a mystery. Proceed, Lyon; I am all impatient to hear thy pretended revelation.”

Yes, Sir James, it is of thy royal cousins I would speak,” De Lyon boldly replied. “The surveillance which the Queen so strictly exercises over the Princesses must have been noticed and deplored by one so deeply interested in their welfare and happiness as the brave Lindsay, from whose society they are even debarred, as well as from that of all frequenters of the Court. So strict, you must be aware, is their captive seclusion, that not the smallest courtesy can be paid to them by any about the Court."

“What purpose, Lyon, hast thou in view ?” emphatically interrupted the Lindsay.

“That the royal dames should have more liberty, and not thus pine in solitary seclusion, like sisters of mercy in a sainted nunnery,” Lyon quickly replied. “The Princesses are young, and should not youthful hearts be gay? Instead of this forced seclusion from the outer world, why should not they be free as the mountain winds to roam, wherever they may list, in all the joyous ecstacy of the hey-day of their existence? Thou art their kinsman; to the King make this petition "The Princesses are unhappy, sire, in the strict

: seclusion in which they are kept in their palace home—their wish is to have more freedom of access to the world without. Grant them graciously, my King, their heart's desire, to roam at will among these royal halls, and over the sunny slopes and breezy hills of this fair region of romance and song, and thus bring health, and strength, and gladness to their grateful, loving hearts.”

De Lyon had struck a kindred chord in the unsuspecting heart of his unknown rival, who, throwing off his partly assumed haughtiness of manner, very courteously and kindly replied

“What assurance hast thou, Lyon, that Ladye Jean-I mean the princesses, my cousins, themselves desire this liberty? Art thou their trusty confidant in such matters ?— did they express their wishes secretly to thee?"

Without noticing the deep searching glance of Lindsay's eye as he eagerly made the important inquiry, and pursuing the advantage he had gained, the page, half-confusedly, halfblushingly, replied

“I am not the confidant of the Princesses, brave Lindsay, in this or in any other matter; but I can truthfully penetrate their thoughts, and, without any communication with them personally, can prophetically express their wishes. To the King, Lindsay-his Majesty will doubtless most willingly listen to thy plaint, and graciously grant the prayer of thy petition.”

“I faithfully promise, De Lyon,” warmly replied Sir James, whose lynx eyes failed to detect aught of deceit or treachery, “and I feel that His Majesty's love for the happiness of his children will constrain him to grant the coveted boon.”

The page, overjoyed and proud he had played his first desperate card in the game so well, with ill-suppressed gaiety most obsequiously proffered his respectful thanks for the courtesy extended to him by the now mollified and gracious Lindsay.

They parted--both firmly resolved to push unremittingly their suit with Ladye Jean !

His heart and interest being in the matter, Sir James most faithfully, and with a right good will, kept his promise to Lyon, and embraced the first opportunity to lay his petition before the King; and so well and powerfully did he plead their cause, that His Majesty, to the great joy of his kinsman, most graciously agreed that the Princesses should be at once freed from their bondage, and allowed to roam wherever they listed, taking blame at the sametime to himself for having so long allowed the Queen to keep his daughters in the durance vile of a convent cell.

This was just what Lyon in his inmost heart desired, and as his duties as domestic page brought him oftener into the

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