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T'ringle of Whitebank). They were called the Seven Spears of Wedderburne.
* Note 3. Stauza iv. ■
And Swinton laid the lance iu roat,
At the battle of Bcauge, in France, Thomas, Duke of Clarence, brother to Henry V., was unhorsed by Sir John Swiuton of Swinton, who distinguished him by a coronet set with precious stones, which he wore around his helmet. The family oF Swinton is one of the most ancient iu Scotland, and produced many celebrated warriors.
Note 4* Stanza iv.
Beneath tbu ereal of old Duiil ar,
And Hupliorn's mingled banner*, rone,
Down lbuati.-ejt mountain ([littering Tar,
The Earls of Home, as descendants of the D unbars, ancient Earls of March, carried a Hon rampant, argent; but, as a difference, changed the colour 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 t a Home !» It w*s anciently placed in an escrol above ll»e crest. The helmet is armed with a lion's head erased gules, with a cap of state gules, turned up ermine.
The Hepburn?, a powerful family in East Lothian,
were usually in close alliance with the Homes. The
chief of this clap was Hepburn, Lord of Uailcs; a family
which terminated iu the too famous Earl of Bothwcli.
Note 5. Stanza vj.
Purjnud the font-boll play.
The foot-ball was anciently a very favourite sport all through Scotland, but "especially upon the Borders. Sir John Carmichacl qf Carmichaci, warden of the middle marches, was killed in ihoo, by a band of the Armstrongs, returning-from afoot-ball match. Sir Robert drey, in his Memoirs, mentions a great meeting, appointed by the Scottish riders, to be held at KeUo, for the purpose of playing at foot-ball, but which terminated in au incursion upou England. At present the foot-ball is often played by the inhabitants of adjacent parishes, or of the opposite banks of a stream. The victory is contested with the utmost fury, and very serious, accidents have sometimes taken place in the struggle.
Note 6. Stanza vi.
'Twin Irucj and war »u.h mdden change
Notwithstanding the constant wars upon the Borders, and the occasional cruelties which marked the mutual 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 resembhog friendly intercourse, 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 ultimate a connexion. Froissart says of both nations, that « Englyshemcn on the one party, and Scoltes on the other party, are good men of warre; for when they meet, there is a harde fight without sparynge. There is no hoo-(truce) between them, as long as spears, swords, axes, or daggers, will endure, but lay on eclic upon ulher; and when they be well beaten, and that the one party hath obtained the victory, they then gloryfye so in theyre dedes of armes, and arc so joyfuil, that such as be taken they shall be ransomed, or that they go out of lite fclde; so that shortly each of them is so content with other, that at their departynge, curtyslye they will say, God thank you.»—Bernkrs' Froiaart, vol. II, p. i53. The Border meetings of truce, which, although places of merchandise and merriment, often witnessed the most bloody scenes, may serve to illustrate the description in the text. They are vividly portrayed iu the old ballad of the Reidsnuair. Roth parties came armed to a meeting of the wardens, yet they . intermixed fearlessly and peaceably with each other iu mutual sports and familiar intercourse, until a casual fray arose:
Then w»s there Bought but bow and ipvar.
And t>Tury man jiiiU'ti out ■ brand.
In the 20th stanza of this Canto, there is an attempt to express swme of the mixed feelings, with which the Borderers on each side were led to regard their neighbours.
Note 7. Stanza viii.
And, frequent. ow the darkt-mnf; plain.
Load hollo, nboop, or whUlle ran ,
Gave ihd ihrilt watch-word of their clan.
PiUten remarks, with bitter censure, the disorderly conduct of the English Borderers, who attended the Protector Somerset on his expedition against Scotland. « As we wear then a setting, and the tents a setting up. among all things els commendable in our hole journey, one thing seemed to me an tutollerable disorder and abuse; that whereas allways, both in all tonnes of war, and in all campes of armies, quictnes ahd stillnes, without nois, is, principally in the uight,after the watch is set, observed, (I nedc not reason why,) our northern prikkcrs, the Borderers, notwithstandyin;, with great enormitic, (as thought me,) and not unlike (to be playn) unto a masteries houtidc howlyng in a high wry when he hath lost him hi.- waited upon, sum hoopyngc, sum whisllyngfc and most with crying, A Berwyke, a Berwyke ! A Fenwykc, a Fenwyke! A Hulmcr, a Bulmrr! or so otherwise as theyr captains' names wear, never lin'dc these troublous and dangerous noyses all the nyghtc longe. They said, they did it to hade their captaiu and fellows; but if the souldicrs of our oother countreys and she res had used the- same manor, in that case we should have oft tymes hail the state of our camp more like the outrage of a dissolute 'Ituntyti);. than the quiet of a wcll-onired armye. It is a feat of war, in mine opinion, that might right well be left. I could reherse causes (but yf 1 take it, they are better uuspoken than uttred, unless the faut wear sure to be amended) that might shew thei move alweis more peral to our nrmie, but in their one uyght's so doynge, than they hhew good service (as sum sey) in a hool vyage.w—A pud Dvlzixl's Fragments, p. 75.
Rote 8. Stanza xxix.
fib.- T ih" dark Mood-hound on his way,
The pursuit of Border marauders was followed by the
injured party aad his friends with blood-hounds ;m: bugle-horn, and Was called the hot-trod. He vu entilled, if his dog could trace the scent, to follow tin invaders into the opposite kingdom; a privilege vliirfc often occasioned bloodshed. In addition to what bn been said of the blood-hound, I may add, that the brta was kept up by the Bucclettch family on their Horde; estates till within the 18th century. A person va alive in the memory of man, who- remembered a blood hound being kept at Eldinhope, in Eltrick Forest, fo whose maintenance the tenant had an allowance 0 meal. At that time the sheep were always watrlirdi night. Upon one occasion, when the duty hail falle on the narrator, then a lad, he became exhausted will fatigue and felf asleep, upon a bank, near Buo-riuaj Suddenly he was awakened by the tread of horses, an saw five men, well mounted and armed, ride briull over the edge of the hill. They slopped and loosed j the flock; but the day was too far broken to admit I'i chance of their carrying any of them oaf. One of then in spite, leaped from his horse, and, coming to tli shepherd, seized him by the belt he wore round tii waist, and, setting his foot upou his body, pulled it li it brpke, and carried it away with him. They rode 01 at the gallop; and, (lie shepherd giving the alarm, ill blood-hound was turned loose, and the people iu ill neighbourhood alarmed. The marauders, howcm escaped, notwithstanding'a sharp pursuit. Thi< rii cum stance serves to show how very long the liceov< the Borderers continued in some degree to mamfe itself.
Note 1. Stanza, i.
Breathe* there the man, with sofll so deed, fir.
The influence of local attachment has been so e
qu'isitely painted by my friend Mr Pnlwhele, w tl
poem which bears that title, as might well lu»f dl
! pensed with the more feeble attempt of any ronieii
porary poet. To the rentier who has not been *i fi
1 tunatc as to meet with this philosophical and poeM
detail of the nature and operations of the love of <l
country, the following brief extract cannot fan* to
Yes—Home •till charm*; and he, who, clad in Tar,
IIU rapid reln-deor drives o'er pliSmi of snow.
That various lifn bad mark it with joy or we*.
To kiss the hyacinths of Ana's bair
ftaiber. thin where laiarJant torn men plow.
• Note 2. Stanza v.
Sli wrought not by forbidden spell.
Popular belief, though contrary to the doctrine* the church, made a favourable distinction bet* magicians, and necromancers, or wirards; the font were supposed to command the evil spirits, and I latter to serve, or at least to be in league and compl with those enemies of mankind. The arts of subject' the demons were manifold; sometimes the fiend* *• actually swindled by the magicians, as in uV uw the bargain betwixt one of their number and the p VorgiL Hie classic*] reader1 will doubtless be curious u> peruse this anecdote: J
■ Virgilius was at scole at Tolenton, where be stodyed •iviygeaily, for he was of great undcrstandynge. Upon i lyme, the scoters had lyccnse lo go lo play and sporte term in the fyldes, after the usance of the hold tyrac. And there was also Virgilius thercbye, also walkyngc among the hylles alle about. It fortuned he spyed a , peat hole in the syde of a great hyll, wticrcin he went <o depe, that he culd not see no more lyght , and then j fee went a lytell farther iherin, and than lie saw some ■ Kjht agayue, and then he want fort he strcyghtc, and I wUhyn a lytyll wyle after he hartte a voyce that called, '* irgiJiu*! Virgilius !' and looked aboute, and he eolde ost see nobody. Than sayd he, (i. e. tltfi voice) * Virginia*. «e ye not the lytyll bourde lying bysyde you there nurkd with that word?' Thau answered Virgilius, 'I see that borde well anough.' The voyce said, 'Doo awsye that borde, and letle me out there attc." Thau answered Virgilius to the voice that was under the lytell horde, and sayd, 'Who arc thou that callest me so?' Than answered the devyll, 'I am a devyll conjured out of the body of a certeyoe man, and bauyshed here tyll the day of judgrnend, without that 1 be delyvered by Use band** of men. Thus Virgilius I pray thee', delyierr me out of this payn, and I shall shewc unto the auny bokes of negromancye, and how thou ahalt come by it lyghtly, and know the practysc diercin, thilt no nun in the scyence of ncgromancyc shall passe the. And moreover, I shall shewc and enforme the so, that thou «balc have alle thy desyre, whereby mythinke it is a pern gyfte for so lytyll a doyng. For yc may also than all your power frendys helpe, and make ryche yqju* eoetnyes.'—Through that great promyse was Virgiuns tempted; he badde the fynd show the bokes to kua, that he might have and occupy them at his wyll; *od M> the fynd shewed him. And than Virgilius pulled earn a bourde, and (here was a lytell hole, and thereat mag the devyll out lykc a yeel, and cam and stode Wferv Virgilius lyke a bygge man; wherof Virgilius Bss astonied and marvcyled greatly thereof, that so crrat a man myght come out at so lytyll a hole. Than tayd VirgiJius, * Shulde ye well passe into the hole that m cam out of!*—* Yea, I shall well,' said the devyl. 'I Uokie the best plegge thai I have, that ye shall not do a.'—'Well/ sayd the devyll, 4 thereto I consent." And than the devyll wrange himselfc into the lytyll hole and a« he was therein, Virgilius kyvered the ageyne with the bourde close, and so was the oe-ryU begyled, and myght nat there come out agen, ban abydeth stiytte slyll therein. Than called the devyll arederuiry to Virgilius, and said, ■' What have ye done, Vu-gUiasT* Virgilius answered, * Abyde there styll to yoaw day appointed;' and fro them forth abydelh he ibere-—Aod so Virgilius became very connyngc in the practyw of the black scyence. •*
This story mav remind the reader of the Arabian tale of the Fisherman aud the imprisoned Genie; and it is Evwt than probable, that mauy of the marvels narrated ■ lac life of Virgil are of oriental extraction. Among aarh f am disposed to reckon the following whimsical account of the foundation of Naples, containing a cu7 rma theory concerning the origin of the earthquakes with wtitctf it u afflicted. Virgil, who was a person of gaJtantry, had, it seems, earned off the daughter of a certain Soldan, and was anxious to secure his prize.
■■■ Than he thought, in his mynde howe he myght mareye hyr, and thought in his mynde to founde in the middes of the see a fayer towne, with great landcs be'longyuge to it; and so he dyd by his cunuynge, and called it Napells. Aud the faudacyon of it was of egges, and in that town of Napells he made a tower with iiii corners, and in the toppc he set an apell upon an yron ynrde, and no man culde pull away that apell without he brake it; and thoroughc that yren set he a bolte, and in that bolte set he au egge. And he hengc the apell by the stauke upon a cheync, and so hangcth it still. And when the egge styrreth, so shulde the towne of Naples quakt; and when the egge brake, than shulde the towne sinke. Whan he had made an ende, lie lette call it Napells.» This appears lo be an article of current belief during (lie middle ages, as appears from the statutes of the order Du. Saint Esprit,'au droit desir, instituted in i35?. A chapter of the knights is appointed to be held annually at the Castle of the Enchanted Egg, near the grotto of Virgil.—Montfaucon,
Vol. II. p. 32U.
Note 3. Stanza v.
A merlin Ml U|>on her wrist.
A merlin, or sparrow-hawk, was usually carried by ladies of rank, as a falcon was, in time of peace, the constant attendant of a knight or baron. Sec L.vtuam on Falconry.—Godscroft relates, that when Mary of Lorraine was regent, she pressed the Earl of Augus to admit a royal garrison into ius castle of Tautallon, To this he returned no direct answer; hut, as if apostrophising a goss-hawk, which sot on Ins wrist, aud which he was feeding during the Queen's speech, he exclaimed, «The devil's in this greedy glade, she will never he full.«—Hume's History of Vie House of Douglas, 1743, vol. II, p, l3t. Barclay complains of ili- commou aud indecent practise of bringing hawks and hounds into churches.
Note 4- Stanza vi.
And princely puncm-V* (jildH triin.
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 plumage,;
aud a sponge, dipt iu lighted spirits of wine, was placed I
in its bill. When it was introduced on days of grand 1
festival, it was the signal for the adventurous knights |
to take upon them vows to do some deed of chivalry, I « before the peacock and the ladies.»
Note 5. Stanza vi.
And o'er (lit; boar-head, garojsfa'd brave.
The boar's head was also a usual dish of feudal!
splendour. In Scotland it was sometimes surrounded |
with little banners, displaying the colours and achieve- j
ments of the baron, at whose board it was served.— j PtNKtRTOs's History, vol. I. 4-**.
Note 6. Stanza vi.
And rytjnel from St Mary'* ware.
There are often flights of wild swans upon St Mary's Lake, at the head of the river Yarrow. Note 7. Stanza vii.
Smnlf. «ilh bin ([huimihi, tioul IlunUilH.
The Rutherford* of llunthill wen- an ancient race of Border lairds, whose uames occur in history, sometime*
as defending the frontier against the English, sometimes as disturbing the peace of their own country. Diccon Draw-thc-sword was son to (he ancient warrior, called in tradition the Cock of Hunthill.
Note 8. Star ■'a vii.
Out bit bli tflova, and shook hit botd.
To bite the thumb, or the glove, seems not to have been considered, upon the Border, as a gesture of contempt, lliough so used, by Skakspearc, but as a pledge of mortal revenge. Jt is yet remembered, that a young gentleman of Teviotdalc, on the morning after a hard drinking>boui, observed, that he had bitten his glove* He instantly demanded of his companions, with whom he hauNjuiirrelled? and learning that he had hnd words with one of the party, insisted on instant satisfaction, asserting th.it though he remembered nothing of the dispute, yet he was sure he never would have hit his glove unless he had received some unpardonable insult* He fell in the duel, which was fdught near Selkirk, in 1721.
Note 0. Stanza viii.'
The person bearing this redoubtable nom de gherre, was an Elliot, and resided at Thorleshopc, in Liddcsdalc. He occurs in the list of Border riders, in
Note 10. Stanza viii.'
Since old Biiccleurh the name did Rain,
A tradition, preserved by Scott of Satchells, who published, in 1688, A true History of Vie Rigiit Honourable Same of Scott, 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 H.inkelburn, in Ettrick forest, where the keeper, whose name was Brydone, received them joyfully, on account of their skill in winding the horn,and in the other mysteries of the chace.—Kenneth Mac-Alpin, then king of Scotland, came soon after to hunt in the royal forest, and pursued a buck from Ettrick-heuch to the gleu now called Bucklcuch, about two miles above the junction of Raukelburn Vith the river Ettrick.—Mere the stag stood at bay; and tire king and his attendants, who followed on horseback, were thrown out by the steepness of the hill and the morass. John, oue of the brethren from Calloway, had followed the chace 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.'
The deer farin,-; curee'd in ibat place,
Al fail majesty's demand.
And fetch'd niter 10 bit band.
* Froissart relates, that a knight of the household of tbo Comte de Foil exhibited a similar teat of strength. The ball fire bad watt*! low, and wood was wanted to mend it. Tho knight wcot down to tho court-yard, where stood an ass laden with (aggots, seized on the animal and his burden, and car,Tying him up to the ball on hit shoulders, tumbled liim Into the chimniw with his heels uppermost; a hnmaeo pkuaolry, much applauded by lb) court and all she spectators.
hills, had often started « a white faunch deer,» which had always escaped from his hounds; and he asked the nobles who were assembled around him, whether any of them had dogs which they thought might be more successful; No courtier would affirm that his hounds were fleeter than those of the king, until Sir William St Clair of Rosline unceremoniously said, he would wager his head that his two favourite dogs, Help and Bold, would kill the deer before she should cross the Marrh*bum. The king instantly caught at his unwary offer, and betted the forest of Pcnttand-moor against the life of Sir William St Clair. All the hounds were tied up, except a few ratcbes, or slow-hounds, to put up the deer; whilst Sir William St Clair, posting himself in <he best situation for slipping hisdogs, prayed devoutly to Christ, the blessed Virgin, and St Katherine. The deer was shortly after roused, and the hounds slipped; Sir William following on a gallant steed, to cheer his dogs. The hind, however, reached the middle of the brook, upon which the hunter threw himself from Iris horse in den pair. At this critical moment, however, Hold stopped her in the brook; and Help, coming up, turned her back, and killed her on Sir William's side. The king descended from the hill, embraced Sir William, and bestowed on him the lands of ICirkton, Logan-house, Earncraig, etc. in free forestrie. Sir William in acknowledgment of St Katberine's intercession,'built the chapel of St Katherine in the Hopes, the church-yard of which is still to be seen. The*hill, from which Robert Bruce beheld this memorable chase, is still called the Kings Hill; aud the place when' Sir William hunted is called the Knight's Field.1— XTS. History of t/te Family of St Clair, by Richard Auommif Hay, Canon of St Genevieve.
This adventurous huntsman marritd Elizabeth, daughter of Malice Spar, Earl of Orkney and Stratherne, in whose right their son Henry was, in 1370, created Earl'of Orkney, by Haco, king of Norway. His title was recognised by the kings of Scotland, aud remained with his successors until it was annexed to the crown, in 1^71, by act of parliament. In exchange for this earldom, the castle ami domains of Ravenscraig, or Ravcnshcucli, were conferred on William Saimclair, Karl of Caithness.
Note i5. Si.nc-i xxi.
Still nodi ill -ir palace to li* fall. Tby prkfoQud »omm, fair Kjrknall. The ensile of Kirkwall was built by the St Clairs, while Earls of Orkney. It was dismantled by the Earl of Caithness about ibi5, havingbecn garrisoned against the government by Robert Stewart, natural son to the Earl of Orkney.
Its nuns afforded a sad subject for contemplation to
1 Tho tomb of Sir William St Clair, on wbiib ba appears icutptuivd io armour, with a greyhound nt bii feci, is »u'!l 10 bo iwn in IU>s!|n chap-I. The ponon who show* it always lull* the ttory of Iih hunting-match, wiih nomii addition to Mr Hat's account; a», that llm kiiijjlit of rtmlin s fri;[bt made him poetical, and that, ia tho I Hit ^uitrjjonc*, bo thouled,
llolp. Hand, nn' ye may.
Or Itoilin will lose bin bend (bit day.
If thii conplit do.?* him no ;;rwii honour at a pout, tho ooDclmion of thu dory dou* him ttill Jou credit. 11 o set hit foot 00 the do', tnyi ih ' nnrratpr, and kl'tcd hiin ou tbo apot, *a; in(; bo tbould Dot or ajfain put his nock in inch a risk. Ajt Sir Uuv doua not mention thi* '•ir-um»tan«?, I hope It U only fonhdixl on tfas coachnnt potttiro of ibu bound on tbo monument.