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NOTES TO CANTO FOURTH.
Close to the hut, no more his own,
Close to the aid he sought in vain,
The morn may find the stiffened swain.-P. 175.
I cannot help here mentioning, that, on the night in which
these lines were written, suggested, as they were, by a sudden fall of snow, beginning after sunset, an unfortunate man perished exactly in the manner here described, and his body was next morning found close to his own house. The accident hap
pened within five miles of the farm of Ashestiel.
Scarce had lamented Forbes paid, &c.—P. 178. Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo, Baronet; unequalled, perhaps, in the degree of individual affection entertained for him
by his friends, as well as in the general respect and esteem of Scotland at large. His “ Life of Beattie," whom he befriend. ed and patronized in life, as well as celebrated after his decease, was not long published, before the benevolent and affectionate biographer was called to follow the subject of his narrative. This melancholy event very shortly succeeded the marriage of the friend, to whom this introduction is addressed, with one of Sir William's daughters.
Friar Rush.-P. 187. This personage is a strolling demon, or esprit follet, whio, once upon a time, got admittance into a monastery as a scullion, and played the monks many pranks. He was also a sort of Robin Goodfellow, and Jack o' Lanthorn. It is in allasion to this mischievous demon that Milton's clown speaks,
She was pinched, and pulled, she said,
“ The History of Friar Rush” is of extreme rarity, and, for some time, even the existence of such a book was doubted, although it is expressly alluded to by Reginald Scot, in his “ Discovery of Witchcraft.” I have perused a copy in the va. luable library of my friend Mr. Heber; and I observe, from Mr. Beloe's “ Anecdotes of Literature," that there is one in the excellent collection of the Marquis of Stafford.
Note IV. Sir David Lindesay of the Mount, Lord Lion King-at-arms.-P. 195. The late elaborate edition of Sir David Lindesay's Works, by Mr. George Chalmers, has probably introduced him to many of my readers. It is perhaps to be regretted, that the learned editor had not bestowed more pains in elucidating his author, even although he should have omitted, or at least reserved, his disquisitions on the origin of the language used
by the poet: " But, with all its faults, his work is an accept
* I beg leave to quote a single instance from a very interesting passage. Sir David, recounting his attention to King James W. in his infancy, is made, by the learned editor's punctuation, to say,+
The first sillabis, that thou did mute,
Mr. Chalmers does not inform us, by note, or glossary, what is meant by the king “muting pa, da, lyn, upon the lute;” but any old woman in Scotland will bear witness, that pa, da, lyn, are the first efforts of a child to say, Whare's Darie Lindesay? and that the subsequent words begin another sentence,—
upon the lute
In another place, “ justing lumis,” i.e. looms, or implements of tilting, is facetiously interpreted “playful limbs.” Many
able present to Scottish antiquaries. Sir David Lindesay was well known for his early efforts in favour of the reformed doctrines; and, indeed, his play, coarse as it now seems, must have had a powerful effect upon the people of his age. I am uncertain if I abuse poetical license, by introducing Sir David Lindesay in the character of Lion-Herald, sixteen years before he obtained that office. At any rate, I am not the first who has been guilty of the anachronism; for the author of “Flodden Field” dispatches Dallamount, which can mean nobody but Sir David de la Mont, to France, on the message of defiance from James IV. to Henry VIII. It was often an office imposed on the Lion King-at-arms, to receive foreign ambassadors; and Lindesay himself did this honour to Sir Ralph Sadler in 1539-40. Indeed, the oath of the Lion, in its first article, bears reference to his frequent employment upon royal messages and embassies. The office of heralds, in feudal times, being held of the utmost importance, the inauguration of the Kings-at-arms, who presided over their colleges, was proportionally solemn. In fact, it was the mimicry of a royal coronation, except that the unction was made with wine instead of oil. In Scotland, a namesake and kinsman of Sir David Lindesay, inaugurated in
1592, “was crowned by King James with the ancient crown of
such minute errors could be pointed out; but these are only mentioned incidentally, and not as diminishing the real merit of the edition. .
Scotland, which was used before the Scottish kings assumed a Close crown;” and, on occasion of the same solemnity, dined at the king's table, wearing the crown. It is probable, that the coronation of his predecessor was not less solemn. So sacred was the herald's office, that, in 1515, Lord Drummond was by parliament declared guilty of treason, and his lands forfeited, because he had struck, with his fist, the Lion King-at-arms, when he reproved him for his follies." Nor was he restored,
but at the Lion's earnest solicitation.
Chrichton Castle.—P. 196. * A large ruinous castle on the banks of the Tyne, about seven miles from Fdinburgh. As indicated in the text, it was built at different times, and with a very differing regard to splendour and accommodation. The oldest part of the building is a narrow keep, or tower, such as formed the mansion of a lesser Scottish baron; but so many additions have been made to it, that there is now a large court-yard, surrounded by buildings of different ages. The eastern front of the court is raised above a portico, and decorated with entablatures, bearing anchors. All the stones of this front are cut into diamond facets,
the angular projections of which have an uncommonly rich ap
" * The record expresses, or rather is said to have expressed, the cause of forfeiture to be, “Eo quod Leonem, armorum Regem pugno violasset, dum eum de ineptiis suis admonet.”—See Nisbet's Heraldry, Part IV. chap. 16, ; and Les LEl Historia 4d Annum 1515.