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“Fill me the mighty cup !” he said.-P. 445. A Hebridean drinking-cup, of the most ancient and curious workmanship, has been long preserved in the castle of Dunvegan, in Skye, the romantic seat of MacLeod of MacLeod, the chief of that ancient and powerful clan. The horn of Rorie More, preserved in the same family, and recorded by Dr. Johnson, is not to be compared with this piece of antiquity, which is one of the greatest curiosities in Scotland. It is nine inches and three-quarters in inside depth, and ten and a half in height on the outside, the extreme measure over the lips being four inches and a half. The cup is divided into two parte by a wrought ledge, beautifully ornamented, about threefourths of an inch in breadth. Beneath this ledge the shape of the cup is rounded off, and terminates in a flat circle, like that of a teacup: four short feet support the whole. Above the projecting ledge the shape of the cup is nearly square, projecting outward at the brim. The cup is made of wood (oak to all appearance), but most curiously wrought and eml ossed with silver-work, which projects from the vessel. There are a number of regular projecting sockets, which appear to have been set with stones; two or three of them still hold pieces of coral, the rest are empty. At the four corners of the projecting ledge, or cornice, are four sockets much larger, probably for pebbles or precious stones. The workmanship of the silver is extremely elegant, and appears to have been highly gilded. The ledge, brim, and legs of the cup, are of silver. The family tradition bears that it was the property of Neil Ghlune-dhu, or Black-knee.
Who to Rath-Erin's shelter drew.-P. 447. Rath-Erin, or Rachrine, the Recina of Ptolemy, a small island, lying almost opposite to the shores of Ballycastle, on the coast of Ireland.
The brooch of Lorn.-P. 448. Robert Bruce, after his defeat at Methven, being hard pressed by
nglish, endeavoured, with the dispirited remnant of his followers, to escape from Breadalbane and the mountains of Perthshire into the Argyleshire Highlands. But he was encountered and repulsed, after a very severe engagement, by the Lord of Lorn. Bruce's personal strength and courage were never displayed to greater advantage than in this conflict. There is a tradition in the family of the MacDougals of Lorn, that their chieftain engaged in personal battle with Bruce himself, while the latter was employed in protecting the retreat of his men; that MacDougal was struck down by the king, whose strength of body was equal to his vigour of mind, and would have been slain on the spot, had not two of Lorn's vassals, a father and son, whom tradition terms MacKeoch, rescued him, by seizing the mantle of the monarch, and dragging him from above his adversary. Bruce rid liimself of these foes by two blows of his redoubted battle-axe; but was so closely pressed by the other followers of Lorn, that he was forced to abandon the mantle, and brooch which fastened it, clasped in the dying grasp of the MacKeochs. A studded brooch, said to have been that which King Robert Bruce lost upon this occasion, was long preserved in the family of MacDougal, and was lost in a fire which consumed their temporary residence.
Vain the Campbell's vaunted hand.-P. 448. The gallant Sir James, called toe Good Lord Douglas, the most faithful and valiant of Bruce's adherents, was wounded at the battle of Dalry. Sir Nigel, or Niel Campbell, was also in that unfortunate skirmish. He married Marjorie, sister to Robert Bruce, and was among his most faithful followers.
I brought thee, like a paramour.-P. 453. It was anciently customary in the Highlands to bring the bride to the house of the husband. Nay, in some cases the complaisance was utretched so far, that she remained there upon trial for a twelve. month, and the bridegroom, even after this period, retained an option of refusing to fulfil his engagement. It is said that a desperate feud ensued between the clans of MacDonald of Sleate and MacLeod, owing to the former chief having availed himself of this licence to send back to Dunvegan a sister or daughter of the latter. MacLeod, resenting the indignity, observed, that since there was no wedding bonfire, there should be one to solemnize the divorce. Accordingly he burned and laid waste the territories of MacDonald, who retaliated, and a deadly feud, with all its accompaniments, took place in form.
Where's Nigel Bruce ? and De la Haye.-P. 454. When these lines were written, the author was remote from the means of correcting his indistinct recollection concerning the individual fate of Bruce's followers, after the battle of Methven. Hugh de la Haye and Thomas Somerville of Lintoun and Cowdally, ancestor of Lord Somerville, were both made prisoners at that defeat, but neither was executed. Sir Nigel Bruce was the younger brother of Robert, to whom he committed the charge of his wife and daughter, Marjorie, and the defence of his strong castle of Kildrummie, near the head of the Don, in Aberdeenshire. Kildrummie long resisted the arms of the Earls of Lancaster and Hereford, until the magazine was treacherously burnt. The garrison was then compelled to surrender at discretion, and Nigel Bruce, a youth remarkable for personal beauty as well as for gallantry, fell into the hands of the unrelenting Edward. He was tried by a special commission at Berwick, was condemned, and executed. Christopher Seatoun shared the same unfortunate fate.
Was not the life of Athole shed.-P. 454. John de Strathbogie, Earl of Athole, had attempted to escape out of the kingdom, but a storm cast him upon the coast, when he was taken, Bent to London, and executed, with circumstances of great barbarity.
By Woden wild (my grandsire's oath).-P. 454. The MacLeods, and most other distinguished Hebridean families, were of Scandinavian extraction, and some were late or imperfect converts to Christianity.
In Palestine, with sword and lance.-P. 456. Bruce uniformly professed, and probably felt, compunction for having violated the sanctuary of the church by the slaughter of Comyn; and finally, in his last hours, in testimony of his faith, penitence, and zeal, he requested James Lord Douglas to carry his heart to Jerusalem, to be there deposited in the Holy Sepulchre.
To speak my curse upon thy head.-P. 456. So soon as the notice of Comyn's slaughter reached Rome, Bruce and his adherents were excommunicated. It was published first by the Archbishop of York, and renewed at different times, particularly by Lambyrton, Bishop of St. Andrews, in 1308; but it does not appear to have answered the purpose which the English monarch expected. Indeed, for reasons which it may be difficult to trace, the thunders of Rome descended upon the Scottish mountains with less effect than in more fertile countries. Probably the comparative poverty of the benefices occasioned that fewer foreign clergy settled in Scotland, and the interests of the native churchmen were linked with that of their country. Many of the Scottish prelates, Lambyrton the primate particularly, declared for Bruce, while he was yet under the ban of the Church, although he afterwards again ehanged sides.
A hunted wanderer on the wild ,-P. 457. This is not metaphorical. The echoes of Scotland did actually
ring With the bloodhounds that bayed for her fugitive king.
* Even I"-he paused; for Falkirk's zoes.-P. 460. I have followed the vulgar and inaccurate tradition, that Bruce foacht against Wallace and the array of Scotland at the fatal battle of Falkirk. There is full evidence that Bruce was not at that time on the English side, nor present at the battle of Falkirk; nay, that he acted as a guardian of Scotland, along with John Comyn, in the name of Buliol, and in opposition to the English
Deep in Strath-aird's enchanted cell.-P. 470. Imagination can hardly conceive anything more beautiful than the extraordinary grotto discovered not many years since upon the estate of Alexander Mac Allister, Esq., of Strath-aird. It has since been much and deservedly celebrated, and a full account of its beauties has been published by Dr. MacLeay of Oban.
From Canna's tower, that, steep and grey.-P. 475. The little island of Canna, or Cannay, adjoins those of Rum and Muick, with which it forms one parish. In a pretty bay opening towards the east, there is a lofty and slender rock, detached from the shore. Upon the summit are the ruins of a very small tower, searcely accessible by a steep and precipitous path. Here it is said one of the kings, or Loris of the Isles, confined a beautiful lady, of whom he was jealous. The ruins are of course haunted by her restless spirit, and many romantie stories are told by the aged people of the island, concerning her fate in life, and her appearances after death.
Her path by Ronin's mountains dark.-P. 476. Ronin (popularly called Ram) is a very rough and mountainous island, adjacent to those of Eigg and Canna.
Por hunting-spear took warrior's brand.-P. 476. This refers to a dreadful tale of feudal vengeance, of which, unfortunately, there are relics that still attest the truth. Scoor. Eigg is a high peak in the centre of the small isle of Eigg, or Egg.
Then dragged their bark the isthmus d'er.-P. 478. The peninsula of Cantire is joined to South Knapdale by a very narrow isthmus, formed by the western and eastern Loch of Tarbat.
And bade Loch-Ranza smile.—P. 478. Loch-Ranza is a beautiful bay, on the northern extremity of Arran, opening towards East Tarbat Loch. Ben-Ghaoil, the Mountain of the Winds," is generally known by its English, and less poetical name, of Goatfield.
A rooman in her last distress.-P. 485. This incident, which illustrates so happily the chivalrous generosity of Bruce's character, is one of the many simple and natural traits recorded by Barbour. It occurred during the expedition which Bruce made to Ireland, to support the pretensions of his brother Edward to the throne of that kingdom. Bruce was about to retreat, and his host was arrayed for moving.
Where Druids erst heard victims groan.-P. 490. The Isle of Arran, like those of Man and Anglesea, abounds with many relics of heathen, and probably Druidical, superstition.
There are high erect columns of unhewn stone, the most early of all monuments, the circles of rude stones, commonly entitled Druidical, and the cairns, or sepulchral piles, within which are usually found urns enclosing ashes.
Old Brodick's Gothic towers were seen.-P. 490. Brodick or Brathwick Castle, in the Isle of Arran, is an ancient fortress, near an open roadstead called Brodick Bay, and not far distant from a tolerable harbour, closed in by the Island of Lamlash.
Now ask you whence that wondrous light.-P. 496. It is still generally reported, and religiously believed by many, that this fire was really the work of supernatural power, unassisted by the hand of any mortal being; and it is said, that, for several centuries, the flame rose yearly on the same hour of the same night of the year, on which the king first saw it from the turrets of Brodick Castle; and some go so far as to say, that if the exact time were known, it would be still seen,
Left for the Castle's sylvan reign.-P. 497. The castle of Turnberry, on the coast of Ayrshire, was the property of Robert Bruce, in right of his mother. Around the castle was a level plain of about two miles in extent, forming the castle park.
The Bruce hath won his father's hall !—P. 503. I have followed the flattering and pleasing tradition, that Bruce, after his descent upon the coast of Ayrshire, actually gained possession of his maternal castle. But the tradition is not accurate. The fact is, that he was only strong enough to alarm and drive in the outposts of the English garrison, then commanded, not by Clifford, as assumed in the text, but by Percy. Neither was Clifford slain upon this occasion, though he had several skirmishes with Bruce. He fell afterwards in the battle of Bannockburn, Bruce, after alarming the castle of Turnberry, and surprising some part of the garrison, who were quartered without the walls of the fortress, retreated into the mountainous part of Carrick, and there made bimself so strong, that the English were obliged to evacuate Turnberry, and at length the castle of Ayr.
Let Ettricke's archers sharp their darts.-P. 504. The forest of Selkirk, or Ettricke, at this period, occupied all the district which retains that denomination, and embraced the neighbouring dales of Tweeddale, and at least the upper ward of Clydesdale. All that tract was probably as waste as it is mountainous, and covered with the remains of the ancient Caledonian forest which is supposed to have stretched from the Cheviot Hills as far as Hamilton, and to have comprehended even a part of Ayrshire. At the fatal battle of Falkirk, Sir John Stewart of Bonkill, brother to the steward of Scotland, commanded the archers of Selkirk forest, who fell around the dead body of their leader.
When Randolph's war-cry swelled the southern gale.-P. 504. Thomas Randolph, son of Bruce's sister, a renowned Scottish chief, was, in the early part of his life, not more remarkable for consistency than Bruce himself.
Their chief, Fitz-Louis, had the care.-P. 508. Fitz-Louis, or Mac-Louis, otherwise called Fullarton, is a family of ancient descent on the Isle of Arran. They are said to be of French origin, as the name intimates. They attached themselves to Bruce upon his first landing; and Fergus Mac-Louis, or Fullarton, received from the grateful monarch a charter, dated 26th November, in the second year of his reign (1307), for the lands of Kilmichel, and others, which still remain in this very ancient and respect able family.
The Monarch rode along the van.-P. 510. The English vanguard, commanded by the Earls of Gloucester and Hereford, came in sight of the Scottish army upon the evening of the 23d of June. Bruce was then riding upon a little palfrey, in front of his foremost line, putting his host in order. It was then that the personal encounter took place betwixt him and Sir Henry de Bohun, a gallant English knight, the issue of which had a great effect upon the spirits of both armies.
Pipe-clang and bugle-sound were tossed.-P. 514. There is an old tradition, that the well-known Scottish tune of "Hey, tutti taitti," was Bruce's march at the battle of Bannockburn. The late Mr. Ritson doubts whether the Scots had any martial music, and quotes Froissart's account of each soldier in the host bearing a little horn, on which, at the onset, they would make a horrible noise. He observes, that these horns are the only music mentioned by Barbour, and concludes, that it must remain a mootpoint whether Bruce's army was cheered by the sound even of a solitary bagpipe. But the tradition, trge or false, has been the means of securing to Scotland one of the finest lyrics in the language, the celebrated war-song of Bruce,
"Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled.” See where yon bare-foot Abbot stands.-P. 515. “Maurice, abbot of Inchaffray, placing himself on an eminence, celebrated mass in sight of the Scottish army. He then passed along the front, bare-footed, and bearing a crucifix in his hands, and exhorting the Scots, in few and forcible words, to combat for their rights and their liberty. The Scots kneeled down. “They yield I" cried Edward; "see, they implore mercy !” “They do," answered Ingelram de Umfraville, “but not ours. On that field they will be victorious or die."-Annals of Scotland.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO BORDER MINSTRELSY.
GLENFINLAS. Well can the Saxon widows tell.-P. 527. The term Sassenach, or Saxon, is applied by the Highlanders to their Lowland neighbours.
How blazed Lord Ronald's Beltane tree.-P. 527. . The fires lighted by the Highlanders, on the first of May, O.S., in compliance with a custom derived from the days of Druidism, are termed The Beltane tree. Beltane is a festival celebrated with various superstitious rites, both in the north of Scotland and in Wales.
Will good St. Oran's rule prevail.-P. 529. St. Oran was a friend and follower of St. Columba, and was buried in Icolmkill. The chapel and the cemetery were called Reilig Ouran; and, in memory of his rigid celibacy, no female was permitted to pay her devotions, or be buried, in that place. This is the rule alluded to in the poem.
And thrice St. Fillan's powerful prayer.-P. 532. St. Fillan has given his name to many chapels, holy fountains, &c., in Scotland. He was, according to Camerarius, an abbot of Pittenweem, in Fife: from which situation he retired, and died a hermit in the wilds of Glenarchy, A.D. 649. The 9th of January was dedicated to this saint, who gave his name to Kilfillan, in Renfrew, and St. Phillans, or Forgend, in Fife.
THE EVE OF ST. JOHN. He came not from where Ancram Moor.-P. 534. Lord Evers, and Sir Brian Latoun, during the year 1544, committed the most dreadful ravages upon the Scottish frontiers, compelling most of the inhabitants, and especially the men of Liddesdale, to take assurance under the King of England. Upon the 17th Novem