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NOTE 18, page 45.
The running stream dissolved the spell. It is a firm article of popular faith, that no enchantment can subsist in a living stream. Nay, if you can interpose a brook betwixt you and witches, spectres, or even fiends, you are in perfect safety. Burns's inimitable Tam o' Shanter turns entirely upon such a circumstance.
NOTE 19, page 47.
Would strike below the knee. To wound an antagonist in the thigh, or leg, was reckoned contrary to the law of arms. a tilt betwixt Gawain Michael, an English squire, and Joachim Cathore, a Frenchman, “they met at the speare poyntes rudely ; the French squyer justed right pleasantly; the Englishman ran too lowe, for he strak the Frenchman depe into the thigh. Wherewith the Erle of Buckingham was right sore displeased, and so were all the other lords, and sayde how it was shamefully done.”. Froissart, vol. i. chap. 366.
NOTE 20, page 50.
On Penchryst glows a bale of fire. Bale, beacon-fagot. The Border beacons, from their number and position, formed a sort of telegraphic communication with Edinburgh. - The act of Parliament 1455, c. 48, directs, that one bale or fagot shall be warning of the approach of the English in any manner; two bales, that they are coming indeed; four bales, blazing beside each other, that the enemy are in great force
NOTE 21, page 52.
Where urns of mighty chiefs lie hid. The cairns, or piles of loose stones, which crown the summit of most of our Scottish hills, and are found in other remarkable situations, seem usually, though not universally, to have been sepulchral monuments. Six flat stones are commonly found in the centre, forming a cavity of greater or smaller dimensions, in which an urn is often placed. The author is possessed of one, discovered beneath an immense cairn at Roughlee, in Liddesdale. It is of the most barbarous construction; the middle of the substance alone having been subjected to the fire, over which, when hardened, the artist had laid an inner and outer coat of unbaked clay, etched with some very rude ornaments, his skill apparently being inadequate to baking the vase, when completely finished. The contents were bones and ashes, and a quantity of beads made of coal. This seems to have been a barbarous imi. tation of the Roman fashion of sepulture.
NOTE 22, page 53.
Fell by the side of great Dundee.
NOTE 23, page 54.
The peasant left his lowly shed. The morasses were the usual refuge of the Border herdsmen, on the approach of an English army. (Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, vol. i. p. 393. ) Caves, bewed in the most dangerous and inaccessible places, also afforded an occasional retreat. Such caverns may be seen in the precipitous banks of the Teviot at Sunlaws, upon the Ale at Ancram, upon the Jed at Hundalee, and in many other places upon the Border. The banks of the Eske, at Gorton and Hawthornden, are hollowed into similar recesses.
NOTE 24, page 54.
Watt Tinlinn. This person was, in my younger days, the theme of many a fireside tale. He was a retainer of the Buccleuch family, and held for his Border service & small tower on the frontiers of Liddesdale. Watt was, by profession, a sutor, but, by inclination and practice, an archer and warrior. Upon one occasion, the captain of Bewcastle, military governor of that wild district of Cumberland, is said to have made an incursion into Scotland, in which he was defeated and forced to fly. Watt Tinlinn pursued him closely through a dangerous morass; the captain, however, gained the firm ground; and seeing Tinlinn dismounted, and floundering in the bog, used these words of insult: - "Sutor Watt, ye cannot sew your boots; the heels risp, and the seams rive."* - "If I cannot sew, retorted Tinlinn, discharging a shaft, which mailed the captain's thigh to his saddle, — “If I cannot sew, I can yerk.” **
NOTE 25, page 55.
Of silver brooch and bracelet proud. As the Borderers were indifferent about the furniture of their habitations, so much exposed to be burned and plundered, they were propor. tionally anxious to display splendour in decorating and ornamenting their females. See LESLEY de Moribus Limitaneorum.
NOTE 26, page 55.
Belted Will Howard. Lord William Howard, third son of Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, succeeded to awort Castle, ar a large main annexed to it, in right of his wife Elizabeth, sister of George Lord Dacre, who died without heirs-male, in the 11th of Queen Elizabeth. By a poetical anachronism, he is introduced into the romance a few years earlier than he actually flourished. He was warden of the Western Marches; and, from the rigour with which he repressed the Border excesses, the name of Belted Will Howard is still famous in our traditions.
NOTE 27, page 55.
Lord Dacre. The well-known name of Dacre is derived from the exploits of one of their ancestors at the siege of Acre, or Ptolemais, under Richard Cour de Lion.
NOTE 28, page 55.
The German hackbut-men. In the wars with Scotland, Henry VIII. and his successors employed numerous bands of mercenary troops. At the battle of Pinky there were in the English army six hundred hackbutters on foot, and two hundred on horseback, composed chiefly of foreigners.
NOTE 29, page 59.
Their gathering word was Bellenden. Bellenden is situated near the head of Borthwick water, and being in the centre of the possessions of the Scotts, was frequently used as their place of rendezvous and gathering word.
* Risp, creak. Rive, tear. ** Yerk, to twitch, as shoemakers do, in securing the stitches of their work.
NOTE 30, page 64.
That he may suffer march-treason pain. Several species of offences, peculiar to the Border, constituted what was called march-treason. Among others, was the crime of riding, or causing to ride, against the opposite country during the time of truce.
NOTE 31, page 65.
Knighthood he took of Douglas' sword. The dignity of knighthood, according to the original institution, had this peculiarity, that it did not flow from the monarch, but could be conferred by one who himself possessed it, upon any squire who, after due probation, was found to merit the honour of chivalry. Latterly, this power was confined to generals, who were wont to create knights bannerets after or before an engagement.
NOTE 32, page 65. When English blood swell'il Ancram's ford. The battle of Ancram Moor, or Penielheuch, was fought A. D. 1545. The English, commanded by Sir Ralph Evers and Sir Brian Latoun, were totally routed, and both their leaders slain in the action. The Scottish army was commanded by Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, assisted by the Laird of Buccleuch and Norman Leslie.
NOTE 33, page 67.
Saw the Blanche lion e'er fall back? This was the cognizance of the noble house of Howard in all its branches. The crest, or bearing, of a warrior, was often used as a nomme de guerre.
NOTE 34, page 71.
Announcing Douglas, dreaded name.
NOTE 35, page 71.
The Seven Spears of Wedderburne. Sir David Home of Wedderburn, slain in the fatal battle of Flodden, left seven sons, who were called the Seven Spears of Wedderburne.
NOTE 36, page 71,
Clarence's Plantagenet. At the battle of Beaugé, in France, Thomas, Duke of Clarence, brother to Henry V., was unhorsed by Sir John Swinton 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 in Scotland, and produced many celebrated warriors.
NOTE 37, page 72.
And shouting still, "A Home! a Home!" The Earls of Home, as descendants of the Dunbars, ancient Earls of March, carried a lion 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! a Home!"
The Hepburns, a powerful family in East Lothian, were usually in close alliance with the Homes. The chief of this clan was Hepburn, Lord of Hailes ; a family which terminated in the too famous Earl of Bothwell.
NOTE 38, page 73.
In the old Border-day. 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 resembling 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 intimate a connexion.
NOTE 39, page 83.
And with the bugle rouse the fray! The pursuit of Border marauders was followed by the injured party and his friends with blood-hounds and bugle-horn, and was called the lioltrod. He was entitled, if his dog could trace the scent, to follow the invaders into the opposite kingdom; a privilege which often occasioned bloodshed. The breed of the blood-bound was kept up by the Buccleuch family on their Border estates till within the 18th century.
NOTE 40, page 86.
She wrought not by forbidden spell. Popular belief, though contrary to the doctrines of the Church, made a favourable distinction betwixt magicians, and necromancers or wizards; the former were supposed to command the evil spirits, and the latter to serve, or at least to be in league and compact with, those enemies of mankind. The arts of subjecting the demons were manifold; sometimes the fiends were actually swindled by the magicians.
NOTE 41, page 86.
A merlin sat upon her wrist. Á merlin, or sparrow-hawk, was actually carried by ladies of rank, as a falcon was, in time of peace, the constant attendant of a knight or baron. Godscroft relates, that when Mary of Lorraine was regent, she pressed the Earl of Angus to admit a royal garrison into his castle of Tantallon. To this he returned no direct answer; but, as if apostrophizing a goss-hawk, which sat on his wrist, and which he was feeding during the Queen's speech, he exclaimed, “The devil's in this greedy glede, she will never be full." - Hume's History of the House of Douglas, 1743, vol. ii. p. 131. Barclay complains of the common and indecent practice of bringing hawks and hounds into churches.
NOTE 42, page 87.
And o'er the boar-head, garnished brave. The peacock, it is well known, was considered, during the times of chivalry, not merely an exquisite delicacy, but a dish of peculiar solemnity. After being roasted, it was again decorated with its plumage, and a sponge, dipped in lighted spirits of wine, was placed in its bill. When it was introduced on days of grand festival, it was the signal for the adventurous knights to take upon them vows to do some deed of chivalry, before the peacock and the ladies.”
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 achievements of the baron at whose board it was served. Pinkerton's History, vol. i. p. 132.
NOTE 43, page 87.
Smote with his gauntlet, stout Hunthill. The Rutherfords of Hunthill were an ancient race of Border Lairds, whose names occur in history, sometimes as defending the frontier against the English, sometimes as disturbing the peace of their own country. Dickon Draw-the-sword was son to the ancient warrior, called in tradition the Cock of Hunthill, remarkable for leading into battle nine sons, gallant warriors, all sons of the aged champion.
NOTE 44, page 88.
-bit his glove. To bite the thumb, or the glove, seems not to bave been considered, upon the Border, as a gesture of contempt, though so used by Shakspeare, but as a pledge of mortal revenge. It is yet remembered, that a young gentleman of Teviotdale, on the morning after a hard drinking-bout, observed that he had bitten his glove. He instantly demanded of his companion, with whom he had quarrelled? And, learning that he had had words with one of the party, insisted on instant satisfaction, asserting that, though he remembered nothing of the dispute, yet he was sure he never would have bit his glove unless he had received some unpardonable insult. He fell in the duel which was fought near Selkirk, in 1721.
NOTE 45, page 89. old Albert Graeme,
The Minstrel of that ancient name. “John Grahame, second son of Malice, Earl of Monteith, commonly sirnamed John with the Bright Sword, upon some displeasure risen against him at court, retired with many of his clan and kindred into the English Borders, in the reign of King Henry the Fourth, where they seated themselves, and many of their posterity have continued there ever since. Mr. Sandford, speaking of them, says, (which indeed was applicable to most of the Borderers on both sides, They were all stark moss-troopers, and arrant thieves: Both to England and Scotland outlawed; yet sometimes connived at, because they gave intelligence forth of Scotland, and would raise 400 horse at any time upon a raid of the English into Scotland. A saying is recorded of a mother to her son, (which is now become proverbial), Ride, Rowiey , hough's i' the pol: that is, the last piece of beef was in the pot, and therefore it was high time for him to go and fetch more." Introduction to the History of Cumberland.
NOTE 46, page 90.
Who has not heard of Surrey's fame? The gallant and unfortunate Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was un. questionably the most accomplished cavalier of his time; and his sonnets display beauties which would do honour to a more polished age. He was beheaded Towerhill in 1546; a victim to the mean jealousy of Henry VIII., who could not bear so brilliant a character near his throne.