Death of Alexander III

In the midst of the rejoicings, and when musio and pastime were at the highest, a strange masque was exhibited, in which a spectral creature like Death, glided with fearful gestures amongst the revellers, and at length suddenly vanished, The whole was no doubt intended as a mummery; but it was too well acted, and struck such terror into the festive assembly, that the chronicler, Fordun, considers it as a supers natural shadowing out of the future misfortunes ofthe kingdom. These misfortunes too rapidly followed. Alexander, riding late, near Kinghorn, was counselled by his attendants, as the night was dark, and the road precipitous, not to pass Inverkeithing till the morning. Naturally courageous, however, he insisted on galloping forward, when his horse suddenly stumbled over a rocky cliff above the sea, fell with its rider, and killed him on the spot. He died in the forty-fifth year of his age, and the thirty-seventh of his reign; and his death, at this particular juncture, may be considered as one of the deepest amongst those national calamities which chequer the history of Scotland.

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