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Chronicles of Gretna Green
Chapter XX


Recapitulation of the subject.

If you have seen one half of what
This chapter doth contain,
You must have seen much more, I wot,
Than e'er you'll see again.

We have heretofore seen that the Britons of old, the first possessors of the soil, dwelt peaceably upon the then undebateable land ; we have seen how the Romans came and drove them back into the Highlands, and then drew ditches and walls across the country, from sea to sea, as a warning against their further progress into the South country ; we have seen those warriors retire from the island, after a four hundred years' tenantry, and hie away to their own homes to look after affairs there; we have seen the mighty Pendragon Arthur arise in kingly glory, and keep court with Gwenhyvar within Carlisle city; we have seen the Pink of Courtesy, Sir Gawain, wed the first bride that e'er, so far as we know, was espoused nigh to the since most renowned altar of Gretna; we have seen how these heroes passed away from the scene, and how the savage hordes of the north, the

Dansker Sea Kings from the vast waters, and the golden-headed Saxons from the east, usurped their places in despite ; we have seen how the sons of Reged and Cumbria bared brazen blades to the glitter of day, in a vain but honourable essay to retain the lands of their fathers; but .how, after the misfare of Cattraeth, they eschewed the victorious foe, and retired to Gwenedd and Mona; we have seen William, the Norman, scare the Saxons and Danes from the land,-from which they, the said Danes and Normans, had before scared the Britons, thus suffering the persecution which they had put upon others; we have seen him parcel out the kingdom to his haughty vassals in recompense for their labours; we have seen some of these settle upon the Borders, nigh to Hadrian's Work, and there increase in strength, wealth, and power, until they became the terror of the crown that had planted them there; we have seen fierce battles ycleped civil, debated in these parts, but more especially by the margin of the western waters where our scene lies; we have seen moss-troopers overrun the plains and the uplands, and commit herriment on their neighbours, and we have seen wardens and other kings' servants pursue, and hang, and slay; we have seen the spirit of love at last triumph over, and banish away, the Demon of War from the banks of the Sark; wo have seen the Fanes of Hymen arise on those spots where once stood the gloomy Bastle-house of the mail-encased chief: we have seen eloping lovers course over the Moss of Solway with their eyes open, yet without seeing one bit of it, and get hastily wedded by weavers, and pedlars ; we have seen—we have seen—we have seen—

Gentle reader:—if you have seen all these things, methinks you have seen a great deal.


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