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« With him was a bold baron,
Schyr Gilbert de la Haye alsua."
There were more than one of the noble family of Hay engaged in Bruce's cause ; but the principal was Gilbert de la Haye, Lord of Errol, a staunch adherent to King Robert's interest, and whom he rewarded by creating him hereditary Lord High Constable of Scotland, a title which he used 16th March, 1308, where, in a letter from the peers of Scotland to Philip the Fair of France, he is designed Gilbertus de Hay Constabularius Scotia. He was slain at the battle of Halidoun-hill. Hugh de la Haye, his brother, was made prisoner at the battle of Methven.
To praise the hand that pays thy pains.—St. XIV. p. 55. The character of the Highland bards, however high in an earlier period of society, seems soon to have degenerated. The Irish affirm, that in their kindred tribes severe laws became necessary to restrain their avarice. In the Highlands they seem gradually to have sunk into contempt, as well as the orators, or men of speech, with whose office that of family poet was often united. .
“ The orators, in their language called Isdane, were in high esteem both in these islands and the continent; until within
these forty years, they sat always among the nobles and chiefs of families in the streah, or circle. Their houses and little villages were sanctuaries, as well as churches, and they took place before doctors of physick. The orators, after the Druids were extinct, were brought in to preserve the genealogy of families, and to repeat the same at every succession of chiefs ; and upon the occasion of marriages and births, they made epithalamiums and panegyricks, which the poet or bard pronounced. The orators, by the force of their eloquence, had a powerful ascendant over the greatest men in their time ; for if any orator did but ask the habit, arms, horse, or any other thing belonging to the greatest man in these islands, it was readily granted them, sometimes out of respect, and sometimes for fear of being exclaimed against by a satyre, which, in those days, was reckoned a great dishonour. But these gentlemen becoming insolent, lost ever since both the profit and esteem which was formerly due to their character; for neither their panegyricks nor satyres are regarded to what they have been, and they are now allowed but a small salary. I must not omit
to relate their way of study, which is very singular: They shut in their doors and windows for a day's time, and lie on their backs, with a stone upon their belly, and plads about their heads, and their eyes being covered, they pump their brains for rhetorical encomium or panegyrick; and indeed they furnish such a style from this dark cell as is understood by very few; and if they purchase a couple of horses as the reward of their meditation, they think they have done a great matter.
The poet, or bard, had a title to the bridegroom's upper garb, that is, the plad and bonnet ; but now he is satisfyed with what the bridegroom pleases to give him on such occasions." — MARTIN'S Western Isles.
I brought thee, like a paramour.–St. XXV. p..69. It was anciently customary in the Highlands to bring the bride to the house of the husband. Nay, in some cases the complaisance was stretched so far, that she remained there upon trial for a twelvemonth; and the bridegroom, even after this period of cohabitation, retained an option of refusing to fulfil his engagement. It is said that a desperate feud ensued between the claps of Mac-Donald of Sleate and Mac-Leod, owing to the former chief having availed himself of this licence. to send back to Dunvegan a sister, or daughter, of the latter. Mac-Leod, 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 Mac-Donald, who retaliated, and a deadly feud, with all its accompaniments, took place in form.
.. '. 'Note XII. Since matchless Wallace first had been In mock'ry crown'd with wreaths of green-St. XXVI. p. 70.
Stow gives the following curious account of the trial and
execution of this celebrated patriot :-“William Wallace, who had oft-times set Scotland in great trouble, was taken and brought to London, with great numbers of men and women wondering upon him. He was lodged in the house of William Delect, a citizen of London, in Fenchurch-street. On the more row, being the eve of St Bartholomew, he was brought on horseback to Westminster. John Legrave and Geffrey, knights, the mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen of London, and many others, both on horseback and on foot, accompanying him; and in the great hall at Westminster, he being placed on the south bench, crowned with laurel, for that he had said in times past that he ought to bear a crown in that hall, as it was commonly reported; and being appeached for a traitor by Sir Peter Malorie, the king's justice, he answered, that he was never traitor to the King of England; but for other things whereof he was ac cused he confessed them; and was after headed and quartered.”-Stow, Chr. p. 209.
There is something singularly doubtful about the mode in which Wallace was taken. That he was betrayed to the Eng. lish is indubitable; and popular fame charges Sir John Menteith with the indelible infamy. “Accursed;” says Arnold Blair,“ be the day of nativity of John de Menteith, and may his name be struck out of the book of life.” But John de . Menteith was all along a zealous favourer of the English interest, and was governor of Dumbarton Castle by commission from Edward the First; and therefore, as the accurate Lord Hailes has observed, could not be the friend and confidant of
Wallace, as tradition states him to be. The truth seems to be, that Menteith thoroughly engaged in the English interest, pursued Wallace closely, and made him prisoner through the treachery of an attendant, whom Peter Langtoft calls Jack Short.
“ William Waleis is nomen that master was of theves,
Tiding to the king is comen that robbery mischeives,
From this it would appear that the infamy of seizing Wallace, must rest between a degenerate Scottish nobleman, the vassal of England, and a domestic, the obscure agent of his treachery; between Sir John Menteith, son of Walter, Earl of Menteith, and the traitor Jack Short.
And Fraser, flower of chivalry 3–St. XXVI. p. 70. 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 bat