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The poetical picture here given of the Duergar corresponds exactly with the following Northumbrian legend, with which I was lately favoured by my learned and kind friend, Mr Surtees of lllainsfort, who has bestowed indefatigable labour upon the antiquities of the English Border counties. The subject is in itself so curious, that the length of the note will,l hope, he parcloned.

l( I have only one record to offer of the appearance of our Northumbrian Duergar. Cockburn, an old wife of Offcrton, in this county, whose credit, in a case of this kind, will not,l hope, be much impeached, when I add, that she is, by her dull neighbours, supposed to be occasionally insane, but, by herself, to be at those times cndowed with


My narratrix is Elizabeth


The elves were supposed greatly to envy the privileges acquired by Christian initiation, and they gave to those mortals who had fallen into their power, a certain precedence, founded upon this advantageous distinction. Tamlane, in the old ballad,describes his own rank in the fairy procession:

it For I ride on a milk-white steed,
And aye nearest the town;

Because I was a christened knight,
They give me that renown.»

lprcsume that, in the Danish ballad, the obstinacy of the <iWeiest Elf,» who would not flee for cross or sign, is to be derived from the circumstance of his having been u christen'd man.»

How eager the elves were to obtain for their offspring the prerogatives of Christianity, will he proved by the following story: uln the district called llaga, in Iceland, dwelt a nobleman, called Sigward Forster, who had an intrigue with one of the subterranean females. The elf became pregnant, and exacted from her lover a firm promise that he would procure the baptism of the infant. At the appointed time, the mother came to the church-yard, on the wall of which she placed a golden cup, and a stole for the priest, agreeable to the custom of making an offering at baptism. She then stood a little apart. When the priest left the church, he inquired the meaning of what he saw, and demanded of Sigward, if he avowed himself the father of the child. But Sigward,ashamed of the connexion, denied the paternity. He was then interrogated if he desired that the child should be baptized; but this also he answered in the negative, lest, by such request, he should admit himself to be the father. On which the child was left untouched and unbaptized. Whereupon the mother, in extreme wrath, snatched up the infant and the cup, and retired, leaving the priestly cope, of which fragments are still in preservation. But this female denounced and imposed upon Sigward, and his posterity, to the ninth generation, a singular disease, with which many ofhis descendants are afflicted at this day.» Thus wrote Einar Dudmund, pastor of the parish of Garpsdale, in _lceland, a man profoundly versed in learning, from whose manuscript it was extracted by the learned 'l‘orfazus.—Historia. Hrolfi Kmkii. Hafnite, 1715, prtefatio.

Note ll. Stanza xv.
And gaily shines the fairy-land-
But all is glistening show-

N0 fact respecting fairy.-laud seems to be better ascertained than the fantastic and illusory nature of their apparent pleasure and splendour. lt has been already noticed, in the former quotations from Dr Graham’s entertaining volume, and may be confirmed by the following Highland tradition: “A woman, whose newborn child had been conveyed by them into their secret abodes, was also carried thither herself, to remain’, however, only until she should suckle her infant. She, one day, during this period, observed the Shi‘ichs busily employed in mixing various ingredients in a boiling

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. worth learning.

every thing that was done, any where in her presence, by the deceptive art of the order. One day, amidst a throng of people, she chanced to observe the iS‘hi'ich,or man of peace, in whose possession she had left her child, though to every other eye invisible. Prompted by ma.ternal affection, she inadvertently accosted him, and began to inquire after the welfare of her child. The man of peace, astonished at being thus recognized by one of mortal race, demanded how she had been enabled to discover him. Awed by the terrible frown of his countenance, she acknowledged what she had done.

He spat in her eye, and extinguished it-for ever.»

Gru\aAi\r’s Sketches, p. u6—tt8. It is very remark

able, that this story, translated by Dr Graham from

popular Gaelic tradition, is to be found in the Otia Im

pcrialia of Gervase of 'l'ilbury.- A work of great interest might be compiled upon the origin of popular fiction,

and the transmission of similar tales from age to age,

and from country to country. The mythology of one

period would then appear to pass into the romance of the next century, and that into the nursery-tale of the

subsequent ages. Such an investigation, while it went

greatly to diminish our ideas of the richness of human

invention, would also show, that these fictions, however

wild and childish, possess such charms for the populace,

as enable them to penetrate in to countries unconnected

by manners and language, and having no apparent in

tercourse, to afford the means of transmission. It

would carry me far beyond my bounds, to produce in

stances of this communityof fable, among nations who

never borrowed from each other any thing intrinsically

Indeed the wide diffusion of popular

fictions may be compared to the facility with which

straws and feathers are dispersed abroad by the wind,

while valuable metals cannot be transported without

trouble and labour. There lives, I believe, only one

gentleman, whose unlimited acquaintance with this

subject might enable him to do it justice; I mean my

friend Mr Francis Douce, of the British Museum, whose

usual kindness will, I hope, pardon my mentioning his

name, while on a subject so closely connected with his

extensive and curious researches.

Note in. Stanza xv.

-—-—I snnlr down in a sinful fray, And. ‘twin life and death. was snatch'd away To thejoyless elfin bower. The sub'ects of fair -land were recruited from the i J . y 1 regions of humanity by a sort of crfinptng system, which extended to adults as well as to infants. Many of those who were in this world supposed to l1a.\'0_dis


the a artment were reduced to the walls of a gloomy cavern. Soon after, having discharged her office, she was dismissed to her own home. Still,h0wever, she retained the faculty of seeing, with her medicated eye,

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passages, do not occur:

Then he gun biholde aboute al,

And scighe full liggcnnd within the wal,
Offolk that wer thidder y-brought,

And thought dealt: and ne're nought.

Sum stode withouten hadde;

And sum none armes nade;

And sum thurch the bodi h(9dClO wouude;
And sum lay wodc y-boun-lo; 1
Anti sutn armed on hors sete;

And sum astrangled as thai ete ;

And sum war in water adreynt;

And sum with tire al for-schreynt;
Wives thcr lay on vhilde bedde;

Sum dctlc, and sum awedde;

An_d wonder fele ther lay besides,

ltight as thai slepe her uudertidt-s;

Echo was thus in this world y-nome,
With fairi lhider y-come.

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St John actually used this illustration when engaged in confuting the plea of law proposed for the unfortunate Earl of Strafford: it It was true, we give laws to hares and deer, because they are beasts of chase; but it was never accounted either cruelty or foul play to knock foxes or wolves on the head as they can be found, because they are beasts of prey. in at word, the law and humanity were alike; the one being more fallacious, and the other more barbarous, than in any age had been vented in such authority.»—CL.\nr:1vnou’s_Hist0ry of the Rebellion. Oxford, 1702. fol. p. 183.

Note I4. Stanza xxxi. —-his Highland cheer,

The hardeu'd flesh of mountain-deer.

The Scottish Highlandcrs, in former times, had a concise mode of cooking their venison, or rather of dispensing with cooking it, which appears greatly to have surprised the French, whom chance made acquainted with it. The Vidame of Chartres, when a hostage in England, during the reign of Edward VI, was permitted to travel into Scotland, and penetrated as far as to the remote Highlands (aufin_fond dcs Sauvages). After a great hunting party, at which a most wonderful quantity of game was destroyed, he saw these Scottish -Savages devour a part of their venison raw, without any further preparation than compressing it between two buttons of wood, so as to force out the blood, and I‘(.‘ll(lC£ it extremely hard. This they reckoned a great (lUll(‘LF(.‘y; and when the Vid:t_me partook of it, his compliance with their taste rendered him extremely popular. This curious trait of manners was communicated by Mons. dc Montmorcncy, a great friend of the Vidame, to Brantome, by whom it is recorded in Vics des llmnmes Illuslres, D2'_sc0urs l.XX.\'l.‘{, art. 14. The process by which the raw venison was rendered eatahle is described very minutely in the romance of Pcrccforest, whcrc Estonne, a Scottish knight-errant, having slain a deer, says to his companion Claudius: K Sire, or mangerez vous et moy

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aussi. Voire si nous anions de fen, dit Claudius. Pat l'ame de mon pere, dist Estonne, ie vous atourneray ct cuiray a la maniere de nostre pays comme pour chcualier errant. Lors tira son espce ct sen vint a la branche dung arbre, et y fait vng grant trou, et puis fend la branche, bien deux picdz et boute la cuisse du cerf entredeux, ct puis prcnt le licol de son cheval et en lye la branche ct destraint si forte que le sang et lcs humeurs de la chair suillent hors et demeurc la chair doulce ct sciche. Lors prcnt la chair ct ostc ius lc cuir ct la chair demeurc aussi blanchc comme si cc fcust dung chappon. Dont dist a Claudius, Sire, ie la vous ay cuiste a la guise dc mon pays, vous en pouez manger hardycmcnt, car ic mangcray premier. Lors met sa main a sa scllc en vng lieu quil y auoit, ct tire hors sel y ct poudre dc poiurc ct gingcmbre, meslc ensemble, ct lc iectc dcssus, et lc frotc sus bien fort, puis le couppe a moytie, et en donne a Claudius l'une dos pieces, et puis mort en liautre aussi sauourcuscment quil est aduis que H il an feist la pouldre voller. Quant Claudius vcit quil le mangeoit de te lgoust, il en print grant fain ct commence a manger trcsvoulenticrs, et dist a Estonne; Par lame de moy ie ne mangeay oncquesmais de chair atournee dc tel guise: mais dorcscnauant ie no me retourneroye pas hors de mon chcmin par auoir la cuite. l Sire, dist Estonne, quant ie suis en desers d’Escosse, dont ic suis seigncur, ic chcuaucheray huit iours ou quinze que ie n'entrcray en chastel no en maison, et si ne verray feu ne pcrsonne viuant fors que bestes sauuagcs, ct de cclles mangeruy atournecs en cestc manicrc, ct miculx me plaira que la viande dc l'empereur. Ainsi sen vont mangeaut ct cheuauchant iusqucs adouc quilz arriucrcnt snr tine‘ moult belle fontaine que estoit en vne valec. Quant Estonne la vit il dist a Claudius, allons buirc a ccste fontaine. Or bcuuons, dist Estonnc, du boirc que le grand dieu a pourucu it toutes gens, et qui me plaist miculx que les ceruoiscs d'Anglcterre.»—La Treselegante Hystoire du trcsnoble Roy 1’erceforest. Paris, 1531. fol. tome 1, fol. lv, vers.

After all, it may be doubted whether la chair nostree, for so the French called the venison thus summarily prepared, was any thing more than a mere rude kind of dccr-ham. b L» _‘ D

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There is scarcely a more disorderly period in Scottish history than that which succeeded the battle of Floddcn, and occupied the minority of James V. Fcuds of ancicnt standing broke out like old wounds, and every quarrel among the independent nobility, which occurred daily, and almost hourly, gave rise to fresh bloodshed. -1 There arose,» says Pitscottic, ~< great trouble and deadly feuds in many parts of Scotland, both in the north and the west parts. The Master of Forbes, in the north, slew the Laird of Meldrutn under tryst (i. e. at an ag reed and secured meeting): Likewise, the Laird of Drutnmclzicr slow the Lord l-"leaning at thc._hawking; and, likewise, tltcrc was slauglitcr among many other great lords.» P. 12!. Nor was the matter much mended under the government of the Earl of Angus: for

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The ancient Highlanders verified in their practice the lines of Gray :.-\n iron race the mountain cliffs maintain, Foes to the gentler genius of the plain; For where unwearied sincws must be found. With sidelong plough to quell the flinty ground; To turn the torrent's swift-descending flood; To tame the savage rushing from the wood; What wonder if, to patient valour train'd, Thcy guard with spirit what by strength they gain'd; And while their rot-ky ramparts round they see The rough abode of want and liberty (As lawless force from confidence will grow), Insult the plenty of the vales below‘! Fragment on the Alliance of Education and Government. So far, indeed, was a Creagh, or foray, from being held disgraceful, that a young chief was always expected to show his talents for command so soon as he assumed ,it, by leading his clan on a successful enterprise of this nature, either against a neighbouring sept, for which constant feuds usually furnished an apology, or against the Sassenach, Saxons, or Lowlanders, for which no apology was necessary. The Gael, great traditional historians, never forgot that the Lowlands had, at some remote period, been the property of their Celtic forefathers, which furnished an ample vindication of all the ravages that they could make on the unfortunate districts which lay within their reach. Sir James Grant of Grant is in possession of a letter of apology from Gameron of Lochiel, whose men had committed some depredation upon a farm called Moincs, occupied by one of the Grants. Lochiel assures Grant, that, however the mistake had happened, his instructions were precise, that the party should foray the province of Moray (a Lowland district), where, as he coolly observes, \( all men take their prey.»

Note 3. Stanza xi.
-—-—-—I only meant
To show the reed on which you leant,
Deeming this path you might pursue,
Without a pass from Roderick Dhu.

This incident, like some other passages in the poem, illustrative of the character of the ancient Gael, is not imaginary, but borrowed from fact. The Highlanders, with the inconsistency of most nations in the same state, were alternately capable of great exer'tions of generosity, and of cruel revenge and pcrfidy. The following story I can only quote from tradition, but with such an assurance from those by whom it was communicated, as permits me little doubt of its authenticity. Early in the last century, John Gunn, a noted Caterau, or Highland robber, invested lnverncss-shire, and levied black-mail up to the walls of the provincial capital. A garrison was then maintained in the castle of that

town, and their pay (country banks being unknown)

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was usually transmitted in specie, under the guard of a small escort. lt chanced that the officer who commanded this little party was unexpectedly obliged to halt, about thirty miles from Inverness, at a miserable inn. About night-fall, a stranger, in the Highland dress, and of very prepossessing appearance, entered the same house. Separate accommodation being impossible, the Englishman offered the newly-arrived guest a part of his supper, which was accepted with

reluctance. By the conversation, he found his new acquaintance know well all the passes of the country,

which induced him eagerly to request his company on

the ensuing morning. He neither disguised his business and charge, nor his apprehensions of that celebrated

freebooter, John Gunn. The llighlander hesitated a

moment, and then frankly consented to be his guide.

Forth they set in the morning; and in travelling

throttgh a solitary and dreary glen, the discourse again

turned on John Gunn. Qt Would you like to see him 1'»

said the guide; and, without waiting an answer to this

alarming question, he whistlcd, and the English officer,

with his small party, were surrounded by a body of Highlanders, whose numbers put resistance out of ques

tion, and who were all well armed. (( Stranger,» re

sumed the guide, al am that very John Gunn by whom

you feared to be iutcrccptcd,—and not without cause;

for I came to the inn last night with the express purpose

of learning your route, that I and my followers might

ease you of your charge by the road. But I am inca

pable of betraying the trust you rcposed in me, and

having convinced you that you were in my power, I can

only dismiss you unplundered and uninjured.» He

then gave the officer directions for hisjourney, and dis

appeared with his party, as suddenly as they had pre

sented themselves.

Note 4. Stanza xii.

On Bochastle the mouldering lines, Where Rome, the empress of the world, Of yore her eagle wings unfurl'd.

The torrent which discharges itself from Loch Venna— char, the lowest and eastmost of the three lakes which form the scenery adjoining to the Trosachs, sweeps through a flat and extensive moor, called Bochastlc. Upon a small eminence, called the Dun of Bochastlc, and indeed on the plain itself, are some cntrcnchments which have been thought lloman. There is, adjacent to (lallender, a sweet villa, the residence of Captain Fairfowl, entitled the Roman camp.

Note 5. Stanza xii.

See, here, all vantagelessl stand, Arm’d, like thyself, with single brand.

The duellists of former times did not always stand upon those punctilios respecting equality of arms, which are now judged essential to fair combat. it is true, that in formal combats in the lists, the parties were, by the judges of the field, put as nearly as possible in the same circumstances. But in private duel it was often otherwise. In that desperate combat which was fought between Quelus, a minion of Henry Ill of France, and Antraguet, with two seconds on each side, from which only two persons escaped alive, Quelus complained that his antagonist had over him the advanta go of a poniard which he used in parrying, while his left hand, which he was forced to employ for the same purpose, was cruelly mangled. When he charged Antraguet with this odds, <<'l‘hou hast done wrong,» an

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to fight, and not to settle punctilios of arms.» In :1 similar duel, however, a younger brother of the house of Aubnyue, in Angoulesme, behaved more generously on the like occasion, and at once threw away his dagger, when his enemy challenged it as an undue advantage. But at this time hardly any thing can be conceived morc horridly brutal and savage, than the mode in which private quarrels were conducted in France. Those who were most jealous of the point of honour, and acquired the title of Ilufjinés, did not scruple to take every advantage of strength, numbers, surprise, and arms, to accomplish their revenge. The Sieur dc Brnutcme, to whose discourse on duels I am obliged for these particulars, gives the following account of the death and principles of his friend, the Baron de Vitaux:

it J'ay oui conler is uu tireur d'armes, qui apprit a Millaud a en tirer, lequel s'appelloit Seigueur le Jacques Ferron, de la ville d'Ast, qui avoit esté it moy, il fut depuis me is Sainct-Basille en Gascogne, lors que Monsieur du Mayne l'assiégea, lui servant d'iugénieur; et de malhcur, je l‘avois atlressé audit Baron quelques trois mois auparavaut, pour l‘exercer it tirer, bien qu’il en sccust prou; mnia il n'en fit come: et le laissant, Millaud e'en servit, et le rendit fort adroit. Ce Seigueur Jacques done me raconta, qu’il s'estoi,t mouté sur uu noyer, asacz loiug, pour en voir le combat, et qu'il ue vistjamais homme y aller plus bravement, uy plus résolumeut,

uy de grace plus assurée ny détermiuée. ll commence

de marcher de ciuquaute pas vers son ennemy, relevant aouvent scs moustaches en haut d’une main; et estant is vingt pas de son ennemy, (non plustost) il mit la main a l'espc'e qu'il tenait en la main, non qu'il l'eust tiré encore; mais en marchant, il fitvoller le fourreau en l'air, en lo secouant, ce qui est le been de cola, et qui monstroit bien une grace de combat hicn ussieurée et froide, et nullemeut téméraire, comme il y en a qui tirent leurs espées dc cinq cents pas de l’ennemy, voire de mille, comme j'en ay veu aucuns. Ainsi mourut ce brave Baron, le paragon de France, qu'0u nommoit tel, it bien venger scs querelles, par grandes el déterminées resolutions. ll lfcsloit pas seulement estitné en France, mais en Italic, Espnigue, Allemaigne, en Boulogne et Anglelerre; cl. desiroient fort les estrangers, venaut en France, le voir; car je l'ay veu, taut sa renommé volloit. ll eatoit fort pctit dc corps, mais fort grand de courage. Scs euuemies disoieut qu'il ne tuoit pas hien ses gens, que par advantages et supcrcheries. Cortes, je liens des grands cnpitaiues,et mcsrues d'ltalieus,qui sont eslez d'auIres fois les premiers veugeurs du mondc, in oyni mode, disoieut-ils, qui out tenu cette maxime, qu'uue supcrcheric ne se devoit payer que par semblable mounoyc, ct n'y alloit point la dc déshouueur.»—0£m/res dc Brantomc. Paris, 1787-8. Tome Vlll, p. 90-92. It may be necessary to inform the reader, that this paragon of France was the most foul assassin of his time, and had committed many desperate murders, cliielly by the assistance of his hired bauditli; from which it may be conceived how little the point of honour of the period deserved its name. I have chosen to give my heroes, who are indeed of an earlier period, it stronger tincture of the spirit of chivalry.

Note 6. Stanza xv. Ill fared it than with Roderick Dhu, That on the field his large he threw.

A round target of light wood, covered with strong


leather, and studded with brass or iron, was :1 necessary part of a Highlauder's equipment. In charging regular troops, they received the thrust of the bayonet in this hucltler, twisted it aside, and used the broadswcrd against the encumbered soldier. In the civil war of 1745, most of the front-rank of the clans were thus armed; and Captain Grose informs us, that, in 1747, the privates of the rind regiment, then in Flanders, were for the most part permitted to carry Ltrgcls. Military Antiquities, vol. I, p. I64. A person thus armed had a considerable advantage in private fray. Among verses between Swift and Sheridan, lately published by Dr Barrett, there is an account of such an aucounter, in which the circumstances, and consequently the relative superiority of the combatants, are precisely the reverse of those in the text: A Highlander cnrc fought a Frenchman at Margnte,

The weapons, a rapier. u back-sword, and target; .

Brisk Monsieur ldvluced as fast Is he could,

But all his line puihes were caught in the wood,

And Suwuy, with lunch-sword, did slush him and nick him,

While t' other, enraged that he could not once prick him,

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hem‘; time, gays, ll West Smithfield was formerly called Ruffiaus' I-lnll,where such men usually met, casually or otherwise, to try mastcries with sword and huckler. More were frightened than hurt, more hurt than killed therewith, it being accounted unmanly to strike beneath the knee. But since that desperate traitor Bowland Yorke first introduced thrusting with rapiers, sword and buckler are disused.» In The Two Angry Women of Abingdon, a comedy, printed in 1599, we have a pathetic complaint:-tt Sword and bucltlcr fight begins to grow out of use. 1 am sorry for it; I shall never see good manhood again. If it be once gone, this poking fight of rapier and dagger will come up; then a tall man, and a good sword and huckler man, will he spilled like a cat or rabbit.» But the rapier

had upon the Continent long superseded, in private duel, the use of sword and shield. The masters of the noble science of defence were chiefly Italians. They made great mystery of their art and mode of instruction, never suffered any person to be present but the scholar who was to he taught, and even examined closets, beds, and other places of possible concealment. Their lessons often gave the most treacherous advantages; for the challenger, having the right to cliuse his weapons, frequently selected some strange, unusual, and inconvenient kind of arms, the use of which he practised under these instructors, and thus killed at his case his antagonist, to whom it was presented for the first time on the field of battle. See Ba.\n'ro|v|z‘s

I See Douctfs Illustrations of Shaka]-care. vol. II, p. 61.

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