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Note 15. Stanza xxvi.
in Scotland; and the interest of the native churchmen And most his word, at dying day,
was linked with that of their country. Many of the Be nought but quarter, hang, and slay!
Scottish prelates, Lambyrton the primate particularly, This alludes to a passage in Barbour, singularly ex- declared for Brace, while he was yet under the ban of pressive of the vindictive spirit of Edward I. The prison the church, although he afterwards again changed ers taken at the castle of Kildrummie had surrendered sides. upon condition that they should be at King Edward's
Note 19. Stanza xxxi. disposal. « But his will,» says Barbour, « was always
I feel within mine aged breast evil towards Scottishmen,» The news of the surrender
A power that will not be repress'd. of Kildrummie arrived when he was in his mortal sickness at Burgh-upon-Sands.
Bruce, like other heroes, observed omens, and one
is recorded by tradition. After he had retreated to And sben he to the death was near,
one of the miserable places of shelter, in which he The folk that at Kyldromy wer
could venture to take some repose after his disasters, Come with prisoners that they had tane, And syne to the king are gane.
he lay stretched upon a handful of straw, and abanAnd for to comfort him they tauld
doned himself to his melancholy meditations. He had How they the castell to them yauld:
now been defeated four times, and was upon the point And how they till his will were brought,
of resolving to abandon all hopes of further opposition To do off that whatever he thought,
to his fate, and to go to the Holy Land. It chanced his And ask'd what men should off them do. Then look'd he angryly them to,
eye, while he was thus pondering, was attracted by the He said, grinning « LANGS AND DRAWS.)
exertions of a spider, who, in order to fix his web, enThat was wonder of sic saws,
deavoured to swing himself from one beam to another That be, that to the death was near,
above his head. Involuntarily he became interested in Should answer upon sio maner; Forouten moaning and mercy.
the pertinacity with which the insect renewed his exerllow might be trust on Him to cry,
tions, after failing six times; and it occurred to him That sooth-fastly dooms all things
that he would decide his own course according to the To have mercy for his crying, off him that through his felony,
success or failure of the spider. At the seventh effort Into sic point had no mercy ?
the insect gained his object; and Bruce, in like manner,
persevered and carried his own. Hence it has been There was much truth in the Leonine couplet, with held unlucky or ungrateful, or both, in one of the name which Matthew of Westminster concludes his encomium of Bruce to kill a spider. on the first Edward:
The archdeacon of Aberdeen, instead of the abbot of Scotos Edwardus, dum vixit, suppeditavit,
this tale, introduces an Irish Pythoness, who not only Tenuit, afflixit, depressit, dilaniarit.
predicted his good fortune as he left the island of Note 16. Stanza xxv.
Rachrin, but sent her two sons along with him, to in
sure her own family a share in it. By Wodeu wild (my grandsire's oath). The Mac-Leods, and most other distinguished Hebri
Then in short time men might them seo dean families, were of Scandinavian extraction, and
Shoot all their calleys to the sea,
And bear to sea both oar and steer, some were late or imperfect converts to christianity.
And other things that mistir' were. The family names of Torquil, Thormod, etc. are all
And as the king upon the sand Norwegian
Was ganging up and down, bidand
Till that his men ready were,
Flis host come right till him there,
And when that she him halsed had,
And priry speech till him she made;
And said, - Take good keep till my saw,
For or yo pass I will ye sbove,
Off your fortoun a grens party. punction for having violated the sanctuary of the church
But our all specially by the slaughter of Comyn; and finally, in his last
A wittering here I shall you ma,
What end that your purpose shall ta. hours, in testimony of his faith, penitence, and zeal,
For in this land is none trewly he requested James Lord Douglas to carry his heart to
Wots things to come so well as I. Jerusalem, to be there deposited in the Holy Sepulchre.
Ye pass now forth on your voyage,
To avenge the harme, and the outrage,
That Inglissmen bas to you done;
But you wot not what kind fortune
Ye mon drey in your warring.
Bat wyt he well, without lying So soon as the notice of Gomyn's slaughter reached
That from ye now have taken land, Rome, Bruce and his adherents were excommunicated.
None so mighty, no so strenthle of hand, It was published first by the Archbishop of York, and
Sball make you puss out of your country
Till all 10 you abandoned be. renewed at different times, particularly by Lambyrton,
Within short time ye shall he king, Bishop of St Andrews, in 1308; but it does not appear
And have the land to your likeing, to have answered the purpose which the English mo
And overcome your foes all. narch expected. Indeed, for reasons which it may be
But many anoyis thole ye shall,
Or that your purpose end bave jane; difficult to trace, the thunders of Rome descended upon
But be shall them outdrive ilkape. the Scottish mountains with less effect than in more
And, that ye rrow this sekyrly, fertile countries. Probably the comparative poverty of
My two sons with you shall I the benefices occasioned that fever foreigo clergy settled Need.
Send to take part
« It likes you to say so,» answered his follower ; « but For I wote well they shall not fail
you yourself slew four of the five,» « True,» said the To be rewarded well at right, When ye are heyit to your might.
king, « but only because I had better opportunity than Barbour's Bruce, Book IV, p. 120, edited by you. They were not apprehensive of me when they saw J. Pinkerton, London, 1790. me encounter three, so I had a moment's time to spring
to thy aid, and to return equally unexpectedly upon my Note 20. Stanza xxxii.
own opponents.» A hunted wanderer on the wild.
In thie mean while Lorn's party approached rapidly, This is not metaphorical. The echoes of Scotland and the king and his foster-brother belook themselves did actually
to a neighbouring wood. Here they sat down, for Bruce
was exhausted by fatigue, until the cry of the slough
hound came so near, that his foster-brother entreated
Bruce to provide for his safety by retreating farther. «I A very curious and romantic tale is told by Barbour have heard,» answered the king, « that whosoever upon this subject, which may be abridged as follows:
will wade a bow-shot length down a running stream, When Bruce had again got footing in Scotland in the shall make the slough-hound lose scent.—Let us try spring of 1306, he continued to be in a very weak and the experiment ; for were yon devilisha hound silenced, precarious condition, gaining, indeed, occasional ad- I should care little for the rest.» vantages, but obliged to tly before his enemies when
Lorn in the mean while advanced, and found the boever they assembled in force. Upon one occasion, while dies of his slain vassals, over whom he made his moan, he was lying with a small party in the wilds of Cum- and threatened the most deadly vengeance. Then he nock, in Ayrshire, Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, followed the hound to the side of the brook, down with his inveterate foe John of Lorn, came against him which the king had waded a great way. Here the suddenly with eight hundred Highlanders, besides a
hound was at fault, and John of Lorn, after long atlarge body of men-at-arms. They brought with them tempting in vain to recover Bruce's trace, relinquished a slough-dog, or blood-hound, which, some say, had the pursuit. been once a favourite with the Bruce himself, and
Others,» says Barbour, « affirm, that upon this octherefore was least likely to lose the trace.
casion the king's life was saved by an excellent archer Bruce, whose force was under four hundred men, who accompanied him, and who, perceiving they would continued to make head against the cavalry, till the be finally taken by means of the blood-hound, hid men of Lorn had nearly cut off his retrcat. Perceiving himself in a thicket, and shot him with an arrow. In the danger of his situation, he acted as the celebrated which way,» adds the metrical biographer, « this escape and ill-requited Mina is said to have done in similar cir- happened I am uncertain, but at that brook the king
He divided his force into three parts, ap- escaped from his pursuers.» pointed a place of rendezvous, and commanded them
When the chasers rallied were, to retreat by different routes. But when John of Lorn
And John of Lorn had met them there, arrived at the spot where they divided, he caused the
He told Sir Aymer all the case, hound to be put upon the trace, which immediately
How that the king escaped was,
And how that he bis five men slew,
And syne to the wood him drow.
When Sir Aymer heard this, in haste,
He sained him for the wonder: again subdivided his small body in three parts, and with
And said, «He is greatly to prise, the same result, for the pursuers attached themselves
For I know none that living is,
That at mischief can help him so: exclusively to that which he led in person. He then
I trow he should be hard to slay,
And he were bodyn 'evenly.”
On tbis wise spake Sir Aymery.
Bamoun's Bruce, p. 188. lowed the trace, and, neglecting the others, attached himself and his attendants to pursuit of the king. Lorn The English historians agree with Barbour as to the became convinced that his enemy was nearly in his mode in which the English pursued Bruce and his folpower, and detached five of his most active attendants lowers, and the dexterity with which he cvaded them. to follow him, and interrupt his flight. They did so The following is the testimony of Hardyng, a great enewith all the agility of mountaineers. « What aid wilt my to the Scottish nation: thou make?» said Bruce to his single attendant, when
The King Edward with host him sought full sore, he saw the five men gain ground on him. « The best I
But aye he fed into woodes and strayte forest, can,» replied his foster-brother. « Then,» said Bruce, And slew his men at staytes and dangers those, « here I make my stand.» The five pursuers came up
And at marreys and mires was aye full prest,
Englishmen to kyll without any rest; fast. The king took three to himself, leaving the other
In the mountaynes and cragges he slew ay where, two to his foster-brother. He slew the first who en
And in the nygbt his foes be frayed full sore: countered him; but observing his foster-brother hard
The King Edward with hornes and houndes him sougbt, pressed, he sprung to his assistance and dispatched one With men on fote, through marris, mosse, and myre, of his assailants. Leaving him to deal with the survi Through wodes also, and mountains (wher thei fought),
And euer the Kyog Edward hight men great hyre,
Hym for to take and by myght conquere;
HARDING's Chronicle, p. 303, 4.
Peter Langtoft has also a passage concerning the ex- opposition to the English. He was the grandson of the tremities to which King Robert was reduced, which he competitor, with whom he has been sometimes conepuilles
founded. Lord Hailes has well described, and in some De Roberto Brus el fuga circum circa fie.
degree apologized for, the earlier part of his life. And well I understood that the King Robyn
« His grandfather, the competitor, had patiently acHas drunken of that blood the drink of Dan Waryn. quiesced in the award of Edward.
His father, yielding Dan Waryn be les towns that he beld,
to the times, had served under the English banners. But With be made a res, and misberying of scheld.
young Bruce had more ambition and a more restless Sithen into the forest he gede baked and wode, Als a wild beast, eat of the grass that stood.
spirit. In his earlier years he acted upon no regular Thus Dan Waryn in his book men read,
plan. By turns the partisan of Edward, and the viceGod give the King Robyo, that all his kind so spoed. gerent of Baliol, he seems to have forgotten or stifled Sir Robynet the Brus he dorst none abide,
his pretensions to the crown. But his character developed That they made bim restus, bath in moor and wood-side, To while he made his train, and did umwhile outrage.
itself by degrees, and in maturer age became firm and Peru Lastrorr'Chronicle, vol. II, p. 336, consistent.»—Annals of Scotland, p. 290, quarto, Lonoctavo, London, 1810.
Note 3. Stanza xii.
North of Strathnardill and Dunskye.
The extraordinary piece of scenery which I have here attempted to describe is, I think, unparalleled in any
part of Scotland, at least in any which I have happened Note 1. Stanza iv,
to visit. It lies just upon the frontier of the Laird of For, glad of each pretext for spoil,
Mac-Leod's country, which is thereabouts divided from A pirate sworn was Cormac Doil.
the estate of Mr Mac-Allister of Strathaird, called StrathA sort of persons common in the isles, as may be nardill by the Dean of the Isles. The following account casily believed, until the introduction of civil polity of it is extracted from a journal kept during a tour Witness the Dean of the Isles' account of Ronay. « At through the Scottish islands:the north end of Raarsay, be half myle of sea frae it, « The western coast of Skye is highly romantic, and at layes ane ile callit Ronay, mair then a myle in lengthe, the same time displays a richness of vegetation in the full of wood and heddir, with ane havin for Heiland lower grounds to which we have hitherto been strangers. galleys in the middis of it, and the same havein is guid We passed three salt-water lochs, or deep embayments, for fostering of thieves, rugguairs, and revairs, till a called Loch Bracadale, Loch Einort, and Loch nail, upon the peilling and spulzeing of poor pepill. and about 11 o'clock opened Loch Slavig. We were This isle perteins to M'Gillychallan of Raarsay by force, now under the western termination of the high ridge and to the bishope of the iles be heretage.»—Sir Do- of mountains called Cuillen, or Quillin, or Coolin, whose NALD Monro's Description of the Western Islands of weather-beaten and serrated peaks we had admired at a Scotland, Edinburgh, 1805, p. 22.
distance from Dunvegan. They sunk here upon the
sca, but with the same bold and peremptory aspect Note 2. Stanza viii.
which their distant appearance indicated. They ap* Alas! dear youth, the unhappy time,
peared to consist of precipitous sheets of naked rock, Answer'd the Bruce, «must bear the crimo, Since, Guiltier far than you,
down which the torrents were leaping in a hundred E'en Ir-bo paused; for Falkirk's woes
lines of foam. The tops of the ridge, apparently inUpon his conscious soul arose.
accessible to human foot, were rent and split into the I have followed the vulgar and inaccurate tradition, most tremendous pinnacles. Towards the base of these that Bruce fought against Wallace, and the array of bare and precipitous crags, the ground, enriched by the Scotland, at the fatal battle of Falkirk.
soil washed down from them, is comparatively verdant which seems to have no better authority than that of and productive. Where we passed within the small Blind Harry, bears, that having made much slaughter isle of Soa, we entered Loch Slavig, under the shoulder during the engagement, he sat down to dine with the of one of these grisly mountains, and observed that the conquerors without washing the filthy witness from his opposite side of the loch was of a milder character, the hands.
mountains being softened down into steep green decli
vities. From the bottom of the bay advanced a headFasting he was, and had been in great need, Bloodied were all his weapons and his weed ;
land of high rocks, which divided its depth into two reSoutbern lorde scorn'd him in terms rude,
cesses, from each of which a brook issued. Here it had And said, Behold yon Scot eats his own blood.
been intimated to us we would find some romantic Then rued be sore, for reason had be known,
scenery; but we were uncertain up which inlet we That blood and land alike should be his own ;
should proceed in search of it. We chose, against our With them he long was, ere he got away,
better judgment, the southerly dip of the bay, where But contrair Scots, be fought not from that day.
we saw a house which might afford us information. The account given by most of our historians, of the We found, upon inquiry, that there is a lake adjoining conversation between Bruce and Wallace over the Car- to each branch of the bay; and walked a couple of ron river, is equally apocryphal.
miles to see that near the farm-house, merely because There is full evidence that Bruce was not at that time the honest Highlander seemed jealous of the honour of on the English side, nor present at the battle of "Fals his own loch, though we were speedily convinced it was kirk; nay, that he acted as a guardian of Scotland, not that which we were recommended to examine. Jo along with John Comyn, in the name of Baliol, and in had no particular merit excepting from its neighbour
hood to a very high cliff, or precipitous mountain, sinks in a profound and perpendicular precipice down otherwise the sheet of water had nothing differing from to the water. On the left-hand side, which we traany ordinary low-country lake. We returned and re- versed, rose a higher and equally inaccessible mountain, imbarked in our boat, for our guide shook his head at the top of which strongly resembled the shivered crater our proposal to climb over the peninsula, or rocky of an exhausted volcano. I never saw a spot in which head-land which divided the two lakes. In rowing round there was less appearance of vegetation of any kind. the head-land we were surprised at the infinite number The eye rested on nothing but barren and naked of sea-fowl, then busy apparently with a shoal of fish. crags, and the rocks, on which we walked by the side
« Arrived at the depth of the bay, we found that the of the loch, were as bare as the pavements of Cheap-
Note 4. Stanza xix.
Men were they all of evil mien,
Down-look'd, unwilling to be seen.
The story of Bruce's meeting the banditti is copied
with such alterations as the fictitious narrative rendered The ground on which we walked was the margin of a lake, which seems to have sustained the constant ravage necessary, from a striking incident in the monarch's. of torrents from these rude neighbours. The shores history, told by Barbour, and which I will give in the consisted of huge strata of naked granite, here and words of the hero's biographer, only modernizing the there intermixed with bogs, and heaps of gravel and orthography. It is the sequel to the adventure of the sand piled in the empty water-courses. Vegetation there blood-bound, narrated in note 20. upon Canto II. It was little or none; and the mountains rose so perpen the Bruce escaped from his pursuers, but worn out
will be remembered that the narrative broke off leaving dicularly from the water edge, that Borrodale, or even Glencoe, is a jest to them. We proceeded a mile and with fatigue, and having no other attendant but his a half up this deep, dark, and solitary lake, which was
foster-brother. about two miles long, half a mile broad, and is, as we
And the good king held forth his way. learned, of extreme depth, The murky vapours which
Betwist him and his man, while they enveloped the mountain ridges obliged us by assuming
Passed out through the forest were ; a thousand varied shapes, changing their drapery into
Syne in the moor they enter'd there.
It was both bigh, and long, and broad; all sort of forms, and sometimes clearing off alto
And or they half it passed had, gether. It is true, the mist made us pay the penalty by
They saw on side three men coming, some heavy and downright showers, from the frequency
Like to light men, and wavering.
Swords they had and axes also ; of which, a Highland boy, whom we brought from the
And one of them, upon his bals! farm, told us the lake was popularly called the Water
A mekill bounden weather bore. kettle. The proper name is Loch Corriskin, from the
They meet the king, and balsed • bim there.
And the king them their haulsing yauld; deep corrie, or hollow, in the mountains of Cuillen,
And asked whether they would ? which affords the basin for this wonderful sheet of wa
They said, Robert the Bruce they sought; ter. It is as exquisite a savage scene as Loch Katrine is
For meet with him gift that they might, a scene of romantic beauty. After having penetrated
Their duelling with him would they ma'..
The king said, Giff that ye will see, so far as distinctly to observe the termination of the
Hold furth your way with me, lakc, under an immense precipice, which rises abruptly
And I shall make you soon him se.. from the water, we returned, and often stopped to ad
They perceived, by his speaking, mire the ravages which storms must have made in these
That he was the self-same Robert King. recesses, where all human witnesses were driven to
And changed countenance, and late ; .
And held nought in the first state. places of more shelter and security. Stones, or rather
For they were foes to the king. large masses and fragments of rocks, of a composite
And thought to come into skalking: kind, perfecuy different from the strata of the lake,
And dwell with him, while that they saw were scattered upon the bare rocky beach, in the
Their point, and bring him thereof daw..
They granted till his speech fortby, strangest and most precarious situations, as if abandon
But the king, that was witty, ed by the torrents which had borne them down from
Percived well, by their having, above. Some lay loose and to!tering upon the ledges
That they loved him nothing,
And said, Fellows, you must all three, of the natural rock, with so little security, that the
Further acquaint till that we be, slightest push moved them, though their weight might
All be your selven furth go. exceed many tons. These detached rocks, or stones,
And on the same wish we two were chiefly what is called plum-pudding stones.
Shall follow bobind, well dear.. bare rocks, which formed the shore of the lakes, were
Quoth they, - Sir, it is po mister
Returned their salate. seemed quite pathless aud inaccessible, as a huge moun
3 Gesture or manner, tain, one of the detached ridges of the Guillen Hills, & Kill bim.
Therefore. * There is no reed.
lle belped him, in that bargain,
The Bruce, Book VII, line 105.
To trow in us any ill.
Nono do I, - said he: «but I will
May I trust in thee, me to awako,
But not forthy' on sach manner " Husbandman's house, cottage.
1 Alone. 3 Bellies.
$ Fatigued. 3 Endare.
* Bird on bough. . So securely situatel. Had it not been for the armour he wore. 10 Nevertheless.
Note 5. Stanza xxviii.
Deep in Strathaird's enchanted cell.
« The first entrance to this celebrated cave is rude and unpromising; but the light of the torches, with which we were provided, was soon reflected from the roof, floor, and walls, which seem as if they were sheeted with marble, partly smooth, partly rough with frost-work and rustic ornaments, and partly seeming to be wrought into statuary. The floor forms a steep and difficult ascent, and might be fancifully compared to a sheet of water, which, while it rushed whitening and foaming down a declivity, had been suddenly arrested and consolidated by the spell of an enchanter. Upon attaining the summit of this ascent, the cave opens into a splendid gallery, adorned with the most dazzling crystallizations, and finally descends with rapidity to the brink of a pool, of the most limpid water, about four or five yards broad. There opens beyond this pool a portal arch, formed by two columns of white spar, with beautiful chasing upon the sides, which promises a continuation of the cave. One of our sailors swam across, for there is no other mode of passing, and informed us (as indeed we partly saw by the light he carried) that the enchantment of Mac-Allister's cave terminates with this portal, a little beyond which there was only a rude cavern, speedily choked with stones and earth. But the pool, on the brink of which we stood, surrounded by the most fanciful mouldings, in a substance resembling white marble, and distinguished by the depth and purity of its waters, might have been the bathing grotto of a naiad. The groups of combined figures projecting, or embossed, by which the pool is surrounded, are exquisitely elegant and fanciful. A statuary might catch beautiful hints from the singular and romantic disposition of these stalactites. There is scarce a form, or group, on which active fancy may not trace figures or grotesque ornaments, which have been gradually moulded in this cavern by the dropping of the calcareous water hardening into petrifactions. Many of those fine groups have been injured by the senseless rage of appropriation of recent tourists; and
Fray or dispute. ? Much afdictod. 3 Cursed. 4 The place of rendezvous appoiatod for bis soldiers.