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such a circumstance. The belief seems to be of antiquity.
He never counted him a man
Would strike below the knee.- Page 6o. To wound an antagonist in the thigh, or leg, was reckoned contrary to the law of arms.
His bandelier.- Page 62.
On Penchryst glows a bale of fire,
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 faggot 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. These beacons (at least in latter times) were a "long and strong tree set up, with a long iron pole across the head of it, and an iron brander fixed on a stalk in the middle of it, for holding a tar-barrel."
Mount for Branksome.- Page 66. Mount for Branksome was the gathering word of the Scotts.
Need-fire's slumbering brand.-Page 67. Need-fire, i.e. a beacon.
On many a cairn's grey pyramid,
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 imitation of the Roman fashion of sepulture.
That all should bowne them.--Page 68. Bowne, i.e. make ready.
Great Dundee.- Page 72. The Viscount of Dundee, slain in the battle of Killicrankie. For pathless marsh, and mountain cell,
The peasant left his lowly shed.-Page 72. 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. 49.) Caves, hewed 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 Esk, at Gorton and Hawthornden, are hollowed into similar recesses. But even these dreary dens were not always secure places of concealment.
Watt Tinlinn.- Page 73. 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 a 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 nailed the captain's thigh to his saddle, "If I cannot sew, I can yerk." +
A Warden-Raid.-Page 73. An inroad commanded by the Warden in person,
From hag to hag.---Page 73. Hag, i.e. the broken ground in a bog.
Of silver brooch and bracelet proud.--Page 74. As the Borderers were indifferent about the furniture of their habitations, so much exposed to be burnt and plundered, they were proportionally anxious to display splendour in decorating and ornamenting their females.
Belted Will Howard.- Page 74. Lord William Howard, third son of Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, succeeded to Naworth Castle, and a large domain annexed to it, in right of his wife Elizabeth, sister of George Lord Dacre, who died without heirs male, in the Irth of Queen Elizabeth. By a poetical anachronism, he is introduced into the ro* Risp, creak.-Rive, fear,
+ Yerk, to twitch. As shoemakers do in securing the stitches of their work,
mance 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. Naworth castle is situated near Brampton, in Cumberland. Lord William Howard is ancestor of the Earls of Carlisle.
Lord Dacre. - Page 74. 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. There were two powerful branches of that name,
The German hackbut-men.- Page 74. In the wars with Scotland, Henry VIII. and his successors employed numerous bands of mercenary troops. At the battle of Pinkie, there were in the English army six hundred hack-butters on foot, and two hundred on horseback, composed chiefly of foreigners.
A heriot he sought.- Page 78. The feudal superior, in certain cases, was entitled to the best horse of the vassal, in name of heriot, or herezeld.
Their gathering word was Bellenden.- Page 82.
Bellenden is situate 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.