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The trild buck bells.-P. 201.
I am glad of an opportunity to describe the cry of the deer by another word than braying, although the latter has been sanctified by the use of the Scottish metrical translation of the Psalms. Bell seems to be an abbreviation of bellow. This sylvan sound conveyed great delight to our ancestors, chiefly, I suppose, from association. A gentle knight in the reign of Henry VIII., Sir Thomas Wortley, built Wantley Lodge, in Wancliffe Forest, for the pleasure (as an ancient inscription
testifies,) of “listening to the hart's bell.”
June saw his father's overthrow.—P. 201.
The rebellion against James III. was signalized by the cruel circumstance of his son's presence in the hostile army. When the king saw his own banner displayed against him, and his son in the faction of his enemies, he lost the little courage he ever possessed, fled out of the field, fell from his horse as it started at a woman and water pitcher, and was slain, it is not well understood by whom. James IV., after the battle, passed to Stirling, and hearing the monks of the chapel-royal deploring the death of his father, their founder, he was seized with deep remorse, which manifested itself in severe penances. See a fol. lowing Note on Canto V. The battle of Sauchie-burn, in which James III. fell, was fought 18th June, 1488.
Spread all the Borough-Moor below, &c.--P. 213. The Borough, or Common Moor of Edinburgh, was of very great extent, reaching from the southern walls of the city to the bottom of Braid Hills. It was anciently a forest; and, in that state, was so great a nuisance, that the inhabitants of Edinburgh had permission granted them of building wooden galleries, projecting over the street, in order to encourage them to consume the timber; which they seem to have doue very effectually. When James IV. mustered the array of the kingdom there, in 1513, the Borough-Moor was, according to Hawthornden, “a field spacious, and delightful by the shade of many stately and aged oaks." Upon that, and similar occasions, the royal standard is traditionally said to have been displayed from the Hare Stane, a high stone, now built into the wall, on the left hand of the high-way leading towards Braid, not far from the head of Bruntsfield-links. The Hare Stone probably derives its name from the British word Har, signifying an army.
O'er the pavilions fiew.-P. 216. I do not exactly know the Scottish mode of encampment in 1513, but Patten gives a curious description of that which he saw after the battle of Pinkey, in 1547 :-"Here now to say some what of the manner of their camp: As they had no pavi
lions, or round houses, of any commendable compas, so wear there few other tentes with posts, as the used maner of making is ; and of these few also, none of above twenty foot length, but most far under; for the most part all very sumptuously beset, (after their fashion,) for the love of France, with fleur-de-lys, some of blue buckeram, some of black, and some of some other colours. These white ridges, as I call them, that, as we stood on Fauxside Bray, did make so great muster toward us, which I did take then to be a number of tentes, when we came, we found it a linnen drapery, of the coarser cambryk in dede, for it was all of canvas sheets, and wear the tenticles, or rather cabayns and couches of their soldiers; the which (much after the common building of their country beside) had they framed of four sticks, about an ell long a piece, whearof two fastened together at one end aloft, and the two endes beneath stuck in the ground, an ell asunder, standing in fashion like the bowes of a sowes yoke; over two such bowes (one, as it were, at their head, the other at their feet,) they stretched a sheet down on both sides, whereby their cabin became roofed like a ridge, but skant shut at both ends, and not very close beneath on the sides, unless their sticks were the shorter, or their wives the more liberal to lend them larger napery; howbeit, when they had lined them, and stuff'd them so thick with straw, with the weather as it was not very cold, when they were ones couched, they were as warm as they had been wrapt in horses
dung.”—PATTEN's Account of Somerset's Expedition.
--- in proud Scotland's royal shield
The ruddy Lion ramped in gold.-P. 217. The well-known arms of Scotland. If you will believe Boethius and Buchanan, the double tressure round the shield, mentioned p. 193, counter fleur-de-lised or, lingued and armed azure, was first assumed by Achaius, King of Scotland, contemporary of Charlemagne, and founder of the celebrated League with France; but later antiquaries make poor Eochy or Achy little better than a sort of King of Brentford, whom old Grig (who has also swelled into Gregorius Magnus,) associated with himself in the important duty of governing some part of the northeastern coast of Scotland.
NOTES TO. CANTO FIFTH.
Caledonia's Queen is changed.-P. 219. The Old Town of Edinburgh was secured on the north side by a lake, now drained, and on the sonth by a wall, which there was some attempt to make defensible even so late as 1745. The gates, and the greater part of the wall, have been pulled down, in the course of the late extensive and beautiful enlargement of the city. My ingenious and valued friend, Mr. Thomas Campbell, proposed to celebrate Edinburgh under the epithet bere borrowed. But the “ Queen of the North” has not been so fortunate as to receive from so eminent a pen the proposed distinction.
Flinging thy white arms to the sea.-P. 230. Since writing this line, I find I have inadvertently borrowed it almost verbatim, though with somewhat a different meaning, from a chorus in “ Caractacus :"
Britain heard the descant bold,
She flung her white arms o'er the sea,.
The freight of harmony.