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dein confecto bello, Confessori suo totam asseruit. Delusoria procul dubio res totu, ac mala veteratoris illius aperitur fraus, qua hominem Christianum ad vetitum tale auxilium pelliceret. Nomen atcunque illius (nobilis alias ac clari) reticendum duco, cum haud dubium sit quin Diabolus, Dee permittente, formam quam libuerit, immo angeli lucis, sacro oculo Dei teste, posse assumere.” The MS. chronicle, from which Mr. Cradocke took this curious extract, cannot now be found in the chapter library of Dur. ham, or, at least, has hitherto escaped the researches of my friendly correspondent,
Lindesay is made to allude to this adventure of Ralph Bulmer, as a well-known story, in the 4th Canto, Stanza XXII.
The northern champions of old were accustomed peculiarly to search for, and delight in, encounters with such military spectres. See a whole chapter on the subject iu BARTHOLI. NUs De Causis contempta Mortis a Danis, p. 253.
NOTES TO CANTO FOURTH.
Close to the hut, no more his own,
The morn may find the stiffened swain.-P. 175. I cannot help here mentioning, that, on the night in which these lines were written, suggested, as they were, by a sudden fall of snow, beginning after sunset, an unfortunate man perish. ed exactly in the manner here described, and his body was next morning found close to his own house. The accident happened within five miles of the farm of Ashestiel.
Scarce had lamented Forbes paid, &c.-P. 178. Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo, Baronet; unequalled, perhaps, in the degree of individual affection entertained for him by his friends, as well as in the general respect and esteem of Scotland at large. His “ Life of Beattie,” whom he befriended and patronized in life, as well as celebrated after his decease, was not long published, before the benevolent and af. fectionate biographer was called to follow the subject of his narrative. This melancholy event very shortly succeeded the marriage of the friend, to whom this introduction is addressed, with one of Sir William's daughters.
Friar Rush.-P. 187.
This personage is a strolling demon, or esprit follet, who, once upon a time, got admittance into a monastery as a scullion, and played the monks many pranks. He was also a sort of Robin Goodfellow, and Jack o' Lanthorn. It is in allusion to this mischievous demon that Milton's clown speaks,
She was pinched, and pulled, she said,
“ The History of Friar Rush" is of extreme rarity, and, for some time, even the existence of such a book was doubted, although it is expressly alluded to by Reginald Scot, in his “ Discovery of Witcheraft.” I have perused a copy in the valuable library of my friend Mr. Heber; and I observe, from Mr. Beloe's “ Anecdotes of Literature," that there is one in the excellent collection of the Marquis of Stafford.
Sir David Lindesay of the Mount,
Lord Lion King-at-arms.-P. 195. The late elaborate edition of Sir David Lindesay's Works, by Mr. George Chalmers, has probably introduced him to many of my readers. It is perhaps to be regretted, that the learned editor had not bestowed more pains in elucidating his author, even although he should have omitted, or at least reserved, his disquisitions on the origin of the language used by the poet:* But, with all its faults, his work is an accept
* I beg leave to quote a single instance from a very interesting passage. Sir David, recounting his attention to King James V. in his infancy, is made, by the learned editor's punctuation, to say,
The first sillabis, that thou did mute,
Vol. I. p.7. 257.
Mr. Chalmers does not inform us, by note, or glossary, what is meant by the king“ muting pa, da, lyn, upon the lute;" but any old woman in Scotland will bear witness, that pa, da, lyn, are the first efforts of a child to say, Whare's Davie Lindesay? and that the subsequent words begin another sentence,
upon the lute Then playd I twenty springis perqueir, &c. In another place,“ justing lumis," i. e. looms, or implements of tilting, is facetiously interpreted “ playful limbs.” Many
able present to Scottish antiquaries. Sir David Lindesay was well known for his early efforts in favour of the reformed doctrines; and, indeed, his play, coarse as it now seems, must have had a powerful effect upon the people of his age. I am uncertain if I abuse poetical license, by introducing Sir David Lindesay in the character of Lion-Herald, sixteen years before he obtained that office. At any rate, I am not the first who has been guilty of the anachronism; for the author of “ Flodden Field” dispatches Dallamount, which can mean nobody but Sir David de la Mont, to France, on the message of de fiance from James IV. to Henry VIII. It was often an office imposed on the Lion King-at-arms, to receive foreign ambassadors; and Lindesay himself did this honour to Sir Ralph Sadler in 1539-40. Indeed, the oath of the Lion, in its first article, bears reference to his frequent employment upon royal messages and embassies.
The office of heralds, in feudal times, being held of the ut. most importance, the inauguration of the Kings-at-arms, who presided over their colleges, was proportionally solemn. In fact, it was the mimicry of a royal coronation, except that the unction was made with wine instead of oil. In Scotland, a namesake and kinsman of Sir David Lindesay, inaugurated in 1592, was crowned by King James with the ancient crown of
such minute errors could be pointed out; but these are only mentioned incidentally, and exot as diminishing the real merit of the edition.