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formation of Michael Scott by the witch of
Falsehope, already mentioned, was a genuine
operation of glamour. To a similar charm the
ballad of Johnny Fa? imputes the fascination
of the lovely Countess, who eloped with that
gypsy leader : —

" Sae soon as they saw her weel-far'd face,
They cast the glamour o'er her."

13. The running stream dissolved the spell. It
is a firm article of popular faith, that no en-
chantment can subsist in a living stream. Nay,
if you can interpose a brook betwixt you and
witches, spectres, or even fiends, you are in per-
fect safety. Burns's inimitable Tarn 0' Shanter
turns entirely upon such a circumstance. The
belief seems to be of antiquity. Brompton in-
forms us that certain Irish wizards could, by
spells, convert earthen clods or stones into fat
pigs, which they sold in the market, but which
always reassumed their proper form when
driven by the deceived purchaser across a run-
ning stream.

17. He never counted him a man. Imitated
from Drayton's account of Robin Hood and
his followers (Polyolbion, Song 26) : —

"A hundred valiant men had this brave Robin Hood.
Still ready at his call, that bowmen were right good :
All clad in Lincoln green, with caps of red and blue,
His fellow's winded horn not one of them but knew.
When setting to their lips their bugles shrill,
The warbling echoes waked from every dale and hill ;
Their bauldrics set with studs athwart their shoulders cast,
To which under their arms their sheafs were buckled fast,
A short sword at their belt, a buckler scarce a span.
Who struck below the knee not counted then a man.
All madeof Spanish yew, their bows were wondrous strong,
They not an arrow drew but was a clothyard long.
Of archery they had the very perfect craft,
With broad arrow, or but, or prick, or roving shaft."

To wound an antagonist in the thigh, or leg,
was reckoned contrary to the law of arms.

25. The beacon-blaze of war. The Border bea-
cons, from their number and position, formed a
sort of telegraphic communication with Edin-
burgh. The Act of Parliament, 1455, c. 48,
directs that one bale or fagot shall be warning



574



NOTES.



of the approach of the English in any manner ;
two bales, that they are coming indeed; four
bales blazing beside each other, that the enemy
are in great force.

29. Cairn. The cairns, or piles of loose
stones, which crown the summit of most of
our Scottish hills, and are found in other re-
markable situations, seem usually, though not
universally, to have been sepulchral monu-
ments. Six fiat stones are commonly found
in the centre, forming a cavity of greater or
smaller dimensions, in which an urn is often
placed. The author is possessed of one, dis-
covered beneath an immense cairn at Rough-
lee, in Liddesdale. It is of the most barbarous
construction ; the middle of the substance alone
having been subjected to the fire, over which,
when hardened, the artist had laid an inner and
outer coat of unbaked clay, etched with some
very rude ornaments ; his skill apparently being
inadequate to baking the vase, when completely
finished. The contents were bones and ashes,-
and a quantity of beads made of coal. This
seems to have been a barbarous imitation of
the Roman fashion of sepulture.



CANTO FOURTH.

2. Great Dundee. The Viscount of Dundee,
slain in the battle of Killiecrankie.

3. For pathless marsh, etc. The morasses
were the usual refuge of the Border herdsmen,
on the approach of an English army. Caves,
hewed in the most dangerous and inaccessible
places, also afforded an occasional retreat.
Such caverns may be seen in the precipitous
banks of the Teviot at Sunlaws, upon the Ale
at Ancram, upon the Jed at Hundalee, and in
many other places upon the Border. The banks
of the Esk at Gorton and Hawthornden are
hollowed intc similar recesses. But even these
dreary dens were not always secure places of
concealment.

4. Watt Tinlinn. This person was, in my
younger days, the theme of many a fireside tale.
He was a retainer of the Buccleuch family, and
held for his Border service a small tower on
the frontiers of Liddesdale. Watt was, by pro-
fession, zsutor, but, by inclination and practice,
an archer and warrior. Upon one occasion, the
Captain of Newcastle, military governor of that
wild district of Cumberland, is said to have
made an incursion into Scotland, in which he
was defeated and forced to fly. Watt Tinlinn
pursued him closely through a dangerous mo-

1 he captain, however, gained the firm
ground; and seeing Tinlinn dismounted, and
floundering in the bog, used these words of
insult : " Sutor Watt, ye cannot sew your boots;
'• I creak | , and the seams rive." " If
I cannot sew," retorted Tinlinn, discharging a
shaft, which nailed the captain's thigh to his
saddle, " if I cannot sew, I can yerk." *

1 Yerk, to twitch, as shoemakers do in securing the
stitches of their work.



5. Of silver brooch and bracelet proud. As
the Borderers were indifferent about the furni-
ture of their habitations, so much exposed to
be burned and plundered, they were propor-
tionally anxious to display splendor in deco-
rating and ornamenting their females.

6. Belted Will Howard. Lord William How-
ard, third son of Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, suc-
ceeded to Naworth Castle, and a large domain
annexed to it, in right of his wife Elizabeth,
sister of George Lord Dacre, who died without
heirs-male, in the nth of Queen Elizabeth. By
a poetical anachronism, he is introduced into
the romance a few years earlier than he actually
flourished. He was warden of the Western
Marches ; and, from the rigor with which he
repressed the Border excesses, the name of
Belted Will Howard is still famous in our tra-
ditions.

6. Lord Dacre. The well-known name of
Dacre is derived from the exploits of one of
their ancestors at the siege of Acre, or Ptole-
mais, under Richard Coeur-de-Lion.

6. The German hackhit-men. In the wars
with Scotland, Henry VIII. and his successors
employed numerous bands of mercenary troops.
At the battle of Pinky, there were in the Eng-
lish army six hundred hackbutters on foot, and
two hundred on horseback, composed chiefly
of foreigners. From the battle-pieces of the
ancient Flemish painters, we learn, that the
Low Country and German soldiers marched to
an assault with their right knees bared. And
we may also observe, in such pictures, the ex-
travagance to which they carried the fashion of
ornamenting their dress with knots of ribbon.

8. Thirlestane. Sir John Scott of Thirlestane
flourished in the reign of James V., and pos-
sessed the estates of Thirlestane, Gamescleuch,
etc., lying upon the river of Ettrick, and extend-
ing to St. Mary's Loch, at the head of Yarrow.

! It appears that when James had assembled his
nobility, and their feudal followers, at Fala,
with the purpose of invading England, and was,
as is well known, disappointed by the obstinate
refusal of his peers, this baron alone declared
himself ready to follow the King wherever he
should lead. In memory of his fidelity, James
granted to his family a charter of arms, enti-
tling them to bear a border of fleurs-de-luce
similar to the tressure in the royal arms, with
a bundle of spears for the crest ; motto, Ready,
aye ready.

9. An aged knight, etc. The family of Har-
den are descended from a younger son of the
Laird of Buccleuch, who flourished before the
estate of Murdieston was acquired by the mar-
riage of one of those chieftains with the heiress,
in 1296. Walter Scott of Harden, who flour-
ished during the reign of Queen Mary, was a
renowned Border freebooter. His castle was
situated upon the very brink of a dark and pre-
cipitous dell, through which a scanty rivulet
steals to meet the Borthwick. In the recess of
this glen he is said to have kept his spoil, which
served for the daily maintenance of his retain-
ers, until the production of a pair of clean



THE LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.



575



spurs, in a covered dish, announced to the
hungry band that they must ride for a supply
of provisions. He was married to Mary Scott,
daughter of Philip Scott of Dryhope, and called
in song the Flower of Yarrow. He possessed
a very extensive estate, which was divided
among his five sons.

10. Scotts of Eskdale, etc. In this and the
following stanzas, some account is given of the
mode in which the property in the valley of
Esk was transferred from the Beattisons, its
ancient possessors, to the name of Scott. It is
needless to repeat the circumstances, which are
given in the poem literally as they have been
preserved by tradition. Lord Maxwell, in the
latter part of the sixteenth century, took upon
himself the title of Earl of Morton. The de-
scendants of Beattison of Woodkerrick, who
aided the earl to escape from his disobedient
vassals, continued to hold these lands within
the memory of man, and were the only Beatti-
sons who had property in the dale. The old
people give locality to the story by showing the
Galliard's Haugh, the place where Buccleuch's
men were concealed, etc.

13. Bellenden is situated near the head of
Borthwick Water, and being in the centre of the
possessions of the Scotts, was frequently used as
their place of rendezvous and gathering word.

21. A gauntlet on a spear. A glove upon a
lance was the emblem of faith among the an-
cient Borderers, who were wont, when any one
broke his word, to expose this emblem, and
proclaim him a faithless villain at the first
Border meeting. This ceremony was much
dreaded.

24. March-treason pain. Several species of
offences, peculiar to the Border, constituted
what was called march-treason. Among others,
was the crime of riding, or causing to ride,
against the opposite country during the time of
truce.

26. Will cleanse him by oath. In dubious
cases, the innocence of Border criminals was
occasionally referred to their own oath. The
form of excusing bills, or indictments, by Bor-
der-oath, ran thus : "You shall swear by heaven
above you, hell beneath you, by your part of
Paradise, by all that God made in six days and
seven nights, and* by God himself, you are
whart out sackless of art, part, way, witting,
ridd, kenning, having, or recetting of any of
the goods and cattels named in this bill. So
help you God."

26. Knighthood he took, etc. The dignity of
knighthood, according to the original institution,
had this peculiarity, that it did not flow from
the monarch, but could be conferred by one who
himself possessed it, upon any squire who, after
due probation, was found to merit the honor of
chivalry. Latterly, this power was confined to
generals, who were wont to create knights ban-
nerets after or before an engagement. Even
so late as the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Essex
highly offended his jealous sovereign by the
indiscriminate exertion of this privilege.

26. Ancram ford. The battle of Ancram



Moor, or Penielheuch, was fought A. D. 1545.
The English, commanded by Sir Ralph Evers,
and Sir Brian Latoun, were totally routed, and
both their leaders slain in the action. The
Scottish army was commanded by Archibald
Douglas, Earl of Angus, assisted by the Laird
of Buccleuch, and Norman Lesley.

30. The Blanche Lion. This was the cogni-
zance of the noble house of Howard in all its
branches. The crest, or bearing, of a warrior
was often used as a nom de guerre. Thus
Richard III. acquired his well-known epithet,
The Boar of York. In the violent satire on
Cardinal Wolsey, written by Roy, the Duke of
Buckingham is called the Beautiful Swan, and
the Duke of Norfolk, or Earl of Surrey, the
White Lion.

34. The jovial harper. The person here al-
luded to, is one of our ancient Border min-
strels, called Rattling Roaring Willie. This
sobriquet was probably derived from his bully-
ing disposition ; being, it would seem, such
a roaring boy as is frequently mentioned in
old plajs. While drinking at Newmill, upon
Teviot, about five miles above Hawick, Willie
chanced to quarrel with one of his own profes-
sion, who was usually distinguished by the odd
name of Sweet Milk, from a place on Rule
Water so called. They retired to a meadow
on the opposite side of the Teviot, to decide
the contest with their swords, and Sweet Milk
was killed on the spot. A thorn-tree marks
the scene of the murder, which is still called
Sweet Milk Thorn. Willie was taken and exe-
cuted at Jedburgh, bequeathing his name to the
beautiful Scotch air, called " Rattling Roaring
Willie."

34. Black Lord Archibald's battle-laws. The
most ancient collection of Border regulations.



CANTO FIFTH.

4. The Bloody Heart, etc. The chief of this
potent race of heroes, about the date of the
poem, was Archibald Douglas, seventh Earl of
Angus, a man of great courage and activity.
The Bloody Heart was the well-known cogni-
zance of the House of Douglas, assumed from
the time of good Lord James, to whose care
Robert Bruce committed his heart, to be car-
ried to the Holy Land.

4. The Seven Spears, etc. Sir David Home,
of Wedderburn, who was slain in the fatal
battle of Flodden, left seven sons by his wife
Isabel. They were called the Seven Spears
of Wedderburn.

4. Clarence's Plantagenet. At the battle of
Beauge, in France. Thomas, Duke of Clarence,
brother to Henry V., was unhorsed by Sir John
Swinton of Swinton, who distinguished him by
a coronet set with precious stones, which he
wore around his helmet. The family of Swin-
ton is one of the most ancient in Scotland, and
produced many celebrated warriors.



576



NOTES.



4. Beneath the crest, etc. The Earls of Home,
as descendants of the Dunbars, ancient Earls of
March, carried a lion rampant, argent ; but, as
a difference, changed the color of the shield
from gules to vert, in allusion to Greenlaw,
their ancient possession. The slogan, or war-
cry, of this powerful family, was, " A Home ! a
Home ! " It was anciently placed in an escrol
above the crest. The helmet is armed with a
lion's head erased gules, with a cap of state
gules, turned up ermine. The Hepburns, a
powerful family in East Lothian, were usually
in close alliance with the Homes. The chief of
this clan was Hepburn, Lord of Hailes, a family
which terminated in the too famous Earl of
Bothwell.

6. The football play. The football was an-
ciently a very favorite sport all through Scot-
land, but especially upon the Borders. Sir
John Carmichael of Carmichael, Warden of
the Middle Marches, was killed in 1600 by a
band of the Armstrongs, returning from a foot-
ball match. Sir Robert Carey, in his Memoirs,
mentions a great meeting, appointed by the
Scotch riders to be held at Kelso for the pur-
pose of playing at football, but which terminated
in an incursion upon England.

7. ' Twixt truce and war, etc. Notwithstand-
ing the constant wars upon the Borders, and
the occasional cruelties which marked the mu-
tual inroads, the inhabitants on either side do
not appear to have regarded each other with
that violent and personal animosity, which
might have been expected. On the contrary,
like the outposts of hostile armies, they often
carried on something resembling friendly inter-
course, even in the middle of hostilities ; and
it is evident, from various ordinances against
trade and intermarriages, between English and
Scottish Borderers, that the governments of
both countries were jealous of their cherishing
too intimate a connexion.

In the 29th stanza of this canto, there is an
attempt to express some of the mixed feelings
with which the Borderers on each side were led
to regard their neighbors.

29. Cheer the dark bloodhound, etc. The pur-
suit of Border marauders was followed by the
injured party and his friends with bloodhounds
and bugle-horn, and was called the hot-trod. He
was entitled, if his dog could trace the scent, to
follow the invaders into the opposite kingdom;
a privilege which often occasioned bloodshed.
The breed u;is kept up by the Buccleuch family
on their Border estates till within the eighteenth
. ;ry.



\T<> SIXTH.

5. She wrought not, etc. Popular belief, though
contrary to the doctrines of the Church, made a
favorable distinction betwixt magicians and ne-
cromancers, or wizards ; the former were sup-
to command the evil spirits, and the latter



to serve, or at least to be in league and compact
with, those enemies of mankind. The arts of
subjecting the demons were manifold ; some-
times the fiends were actually swindled by the
magicians.

5. A tnerlin. A merlin, or sparrow-hawk, was
actually carried by ladies of rank, as a falcon
was, in time of peace, the constant attendant of
a knight or baron. Godscroft relates, that when
Mary of Lorraine was regent, she pressed the
Earl of Angus to admit a royal garrison into
his Castle of Tantallon. To this he returned
no direct answer ; but, as if apostrophizing a
goshawk, which sat on his wrist, and which he
was feeding during the Queen's speech, he ex-
claimed, " The devil 's in this greedy glede, she
will never be full." Barclay complains of the
common and indecent practice of bringing
hawks and hounds into churches.

6. Peacock's gilded train. The peacock, it is
well known, was considered, during the times
of chivalry, not merely as an exquisite delicacy
but as a dish of peculiar solemnity. After being
roasted, it was again decorated with its plu-
mage, and a sponge, dipped in lighted spirits of
wine, was placed in its bill. When it was in-
troduced on days of grand festival, it was the
signal for the adventurous knights to take upon
them vows to do some deed of chivalry, " before
the peacock and the ladies."

The boar's head was also a usual dish of feu-
dal splendor. In Scotland it was sometimes
surrounded with little banners, displaying the
colors and achievements of the baron at whose
board it was served.

6. From St. Mary's wave. There are often
nights of swans upon St. Mary's Lake, at the
head of the river Yarrow.

7. Stout Hunthill. The Rutherfords of Hunt-
hill were an ancient race of Border Lairds,
whose names occur in history, sometimes as
defending the frontier against the English,
sometimes as disturbing the peace of their own
country. Dickon Draw-the-sword was son to
the ancient warrior, called in tradition the Cock
of Hunthill, remarkable for leading into battle
nine sons, gallant warriors, all sons of the aged
champion.

7. Bit his glove. To bite the thumb, or the
glove, seems not to have been considered, upon
the Border, as a gesture of contempt, though so
used by Shakespeare, but as a pledge of mortal
revenge. It is yet remembered that a young
gentleman of Teviotdale, on the morning after
a hard drinking-bout, observed that he had bit-
ten his glove. He instantly demanded of his
companion, with whom he had quarrelled?
And, learning that he had had words with
one of the party, insisted on instant satisfac-
tion, asserting that though he remembered
nothing of the dispute, yet he was sure he
never would have bit his glove unless he had
received some unpardonable insult. He fell
in the duel, which was fought near Selkirk, in
1721.

8. Arthur Fire-the-Braes. The person bear-
ing this redoubtable nom de guerre was an Elliot,



THE LA Y OF THE LAST MINSTREL.



577



and resided at Thorleshope, in Liddesdale. He
occurs in the list of Border riders, in 1597.

8. Since old Bucclench, etc. A tradition pre-
served by Scott of Satchells gives the following
romantic origin of that name. Two brethren,
natives of Galloway, having been banished
from that country for a riot, or insurrection,
came to Rankleburn, in Ettrick Forest, where
the keeper, whose name was Brydone, received
them joyfully, on account of their skill in wind-
ing the horn, and in the other mysteries of the
chase. Kenneth MacAlpin, then King of Scot-
land, came soon after to hunt in the royal forest,
and pursued a buck from Ettrickheuch to the
glen now called Buckcleuch, about two miles
above the junction of Rankleburn with the
river Ettrick. Here the stag stood at bay ; and
the king and his attendants, who followed on
horseback, were thrown out by the steepness of
the hill and the morass. John, one of the breth-
ren from Galloway, had followed the chase on
foot ; and now coming in, seized the buck by
the horns, and, being a man of great strength
and activity, threw him on his back, and ran
with his burden about a mile up the steep hill,
to a place called Cracra-Cross, where Kenneth
had halted, and laid the buck at the sovereign's
feet.

•io. Albert Grceme. John Grahame, second
son of Malice, Earl of Monteith, commonly sur-
named John with the Bright Sword, upon some
displeasure risen against him at court, retired
with many of his clan and kindred into the
English Borders, in the reign of King Henry
the Fourth, where they seated themselves ;
and many of their posterity have continued
there ever since. Mr. Sandford, speaking of
them, says (which indeed was applicable to
most of the Borderers on both sides) : "They
were all stark moss-troopers, and arrant thieves :
Both to England and Scotland outlawed; yet
sometimes connived at, because they gave intel-
ligence forth of Scotland, and would raise 400
horse at any time upon a raid of the English
into Scotland. A saying is recorded of a mother
to her son, (which is now become proverbial,)
Ride, Rowley, hough "s € the pot : that is, the
last piece of beef was in the pot, and therefore
it was high time for him to go and fetch more "
{History of Cumberland x introd.).

13. The gentle Surrey. The gallant and un-
fortunate Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was
unquestionably the most accomplished cavalier
of his time; and his sonnets display beauties
which would do honor to a more polished age.
He was beheaded on Tower- hill in 1 546; a victim
to the mean jealousy of Henry VIII., who could
not bear so brilliant a character near his throne.

The song of the supposed bard is founded on
an incident said to have happened to the Earl
in his travels. Cornelius Agrippa, the cele-
brated alchemist, showed him, in a looking-
glass, the lovely Geraldine, to whose service
he had devoted his pen and his sword. The
vision represented her as indisposed, and re-
clining upon a couch, reading her lover's verses
by the light of a waxen taper.



22. That Sea-Snake, etc. The jormungandr,
or Snake of the Ocean, whose folds surround
the earth, is one of the wildest fictions of the
Edda. It was very nearly caught by the god
Thor, who went to fish for it with a hook baited
with a bull's head. In the battle betwixt the
evil demons and the divinities of Odin, which is
to precede the Ragnarockr, or Twilight of the
Gods, this Snake is to act a conspicuous part.

22. Those dread Maids. These were the Val-
kyriur, or Selectors of the Slain, despatched by
Odin from Valhalla, to choose those who were
to die, and to distribute the contest. They are
well known to the English reader as Gray's
Fatal Sisters.

22. Of Chiefs, etc. The Northern warriors
were usually entombed with their arms and their
other treasures. Thus Angantyr, before com-
mencing the duel in which he was slain, stipu-
lated that if he fell, his sword Tyrfing should
be buried with him. His daughter, Hervor,
afterwards took it from his tomb- The dia-
logue which passed betwixt her and Angantyr's
spirit on this occasion has been often translated.
The whole history may be found in the Herva-
rar-Saga. Indeed, the ghosts of the Northern
warriors were not wont tamely to suffer their
tombs to be plundered ; and hence the mortal
heroes had an additional temptation to attempt
such adventures; for they held nothing more
worthy of their valor than to encounter super-
natural beings.

26. Who spoke the spectre-hound in Man.
The ancient castle of Peel-town in the Isle of
Man is surrounded by four churches, now ruin-
ous. They say that an apparition, called, in
the Mankish language, the Mauthe Doog, in the
shape of a large black spaniel, with curled
shaggy hair, was used to haunt Peel-castle ;
and has been frequently seen in every room,
but particularly in the guard-chamber, where,
as soon as candles were lighted, it came and
lay down before the fire, in presence of all
the soldiers, who, at length, by being so much
accustomed to the sight of it, lost great part
of the terror they were seized with at its first
appearance. But though they endured the shock
of such a guest when all together in a body,
none cared to be left alone with it. It being the
custom, therefore, for one of the soldiers to lock
the gates of the castle at a certain hour, and
carry the keys to the captain, to whose apart-
ment, as I said before, the way led through the



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