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Trowe you wele he will chuse thee,
And indeed his prophecies concerning that
ancient family have hitherto been true; for, Sall you not be betrayed by me,
since that time to this day, the Haigs have And hairfor sall you hens wende.
been lairds of that place. They carrie, Azure She broght hym euyn to Eldyn Tre,
a saltier cantoned with two stars in chief Undir nethe the grene wode spray, In Huntle bankes was fayr to be,
and in base argent, as many crescents in the Ther breddes syng both nyzt and day.
flanques or ; and for crest a rock
with Ferre ouyr yon inontayns gray,
this motto,' taken from the above-written Ther hathe my facon;
rhyme-"Tide what may." - NISBET On Fare wele, Thomas, I wende my way.'
Marks of Cadency, p. 158.—He adds, 'that
Thomas' meaning may be understood by The Ellin Queen, after restoring Thomas heraulds when he speaks of kingdoms whose to earth, pours forth a string of prophecies, insignia seldom vary, but that individual in which we distinguish references to the families cannot be discovered, either because events and personages of the Scottish wars they have altered their bearings, or because of Edward III. The battles of Dupplin and they are pointed out by their crests and Halidon are mentioned, and also Black Agnes, exterior ornaments, which are changed at Countess of Dunbar. There is a copy of the pleasure of the bearer.' Mr. Nisbet, howthis poem in the Museum of the Cathedral ever, comforts himself for this obscurity by of Lincoln, another in the collection in reflecting that 'we may certainly conclude, Peterborough, but unfortunately they are all from his writings, that herauldry was in good in an imperfect state. Mr. Jamieson, in his esteem in his days, and well known to the curious Collection of Scottish Ballads and vulgar.'—Ibid. p. 160.- It may be added, Songs, has an entire copy of this ancient that the publication of predictions, either poein, with all the collations. The lacunae printed or hieroglyphical, in which noble of the former editions have been supplied families were pointed out by their armorial from his copy.
bearings, was, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, extremely common ; and the influence of such predictions on the minds of the common people was so great as to occasion a prohibition, by statute, of prophecy by refer
ence to heraldic emblems. Lord Henry NOTE III.
Howard also (afterwards Earl of Northamp
ton) directs against this practice much of the ALLUSIONS TO HERALDRY.-P. 676.
reasoning in his learned treatise, entitled, 'A Defensation against the Poyson of pre
tended Prophecies.' 'The muscle is a square figure like a lozenge, but it is always voided of the field. They are carried as principal figures by the name of Learmont. Learmont of Earlstoun, in the Merss, carried or on a bend
Note IV.-P. 678. azure three muscles; of which family was Sir Thomas Learmont, who is well known
The strange occupation in which Waldhave by the name of Thomas the Rhymer, because
beholds Merlin engaged, derives some illushe wrote his prophecies in 'rhime. This
tration from a curious passage in Geoffrey prophetick herauld lived in the days of King
of Monmouth's life of Merlin, above quoted. Alexander the Third, and prophesied of his
The poem, after narrating that the prophet death, and of many other remarkable occur,
had fled to the forest in a state of distraction, rences; particularly of the union of Scotland
proceeds to mention, that, looking upon the with England, which was not accomplished
stars one clear evening, he discerned from until the reign of James the Sixth, some
his astrological knowledge, that his wife,
Guendolen, had resolved, upon the next hundred years after it was foretold by this gentleman, whose prophecies are much es
morning, to take another husband. As he · teemed by many of the vulgar even at this
had presaged to her that this would happen, day. I was promised by a friend a sight of
and had promised her a nuptial gift (cautionhis prophecies, of which there is everywhere
ing her, however, to keep the bridegroom to be had an epitome, which,
out of his sight), he now resolved to make suppose,
is erroneous, and differs in many things from
good his word." Accordingly, he collected the original, it having been oft reprinted by
åll the stags and lesser game in his neighsome unskilful persons. Thus many things
bourhood ; and, having seated himself upon
a buck, drove the herd before him to the are amissing in the small book which are to be met with in the original, particularly these
capital of Cumberland, where Guendolen
resided. But her lover's curiosity leading two lines concerning his neighbour, Bemerside :
him to inspect too nearly this extraordinary
cavalcade, Merlin's rage was awakened, and “Tyde what may betide,
he slew him with the strike of an antler of Haig shall be laird of Bemerside."
the stag. The original runs thus:
Quo gestabatur, vibrataque jecit in illum,
Dixerat : et silvas et saltus circuit omnes,
For a perusal of this curious poem, accurately copied from a MS. in the Cotton Library, nearly coeval with the author, I was indebted to my learned friend, the late Mr. Ritson. There is an excellent paraphrase of it in the curious and entertaining Specimens of Early English Romances, pub. lished by Mr. Ellis.
GLENFINLAS; OR, LORD RONALD'S CORONACH ?.
the Castle of Doune, and joins the Forth near Stirling. The Pass of 'Lenny is imme
diately above Callender, and is the principal The simple tradition upon which this access to the Highlands from that town. ballad is founded runs thus : While two Glenartney is a forest, near Benvoirlich. Highland hunters were passing the night The whole forms a sublime tract of Alpine in a solitary bothy (a hut built for the scenery: purpose of hunting) and making merry over This ballad first appeared in the Tales of iheir venison and whisky, one of them Wonder. The ballad called "Glenfinlas expressed a wish that they had pretty lasses was, I think, the first original poem which to complete their party. The words were I ventured to compose. As it is suppased to scarcely uttered, when two beautiful young be a translation from the Gaelic, I considered Women, liabited' in green, entered the hut, myself as liberated froin imitating the antidancing and singing. One of the hunters quated language and rude rhythm of the was seduced by the siren who attached her Minstrel ballad. A versification of an Osself particularly to him, to leave the hut : sianic fragment came nearer to the idea I had the other remained, and, suspicious of the fair formed of my task; for although controversy seducers, continued to play upon a trump, or inay have arisen concerning the authenticity Jew's harp, some strain, consecrated to the of these poems, yet I never heard it disputed, Virgin Mary. Day at length came, and the by those whom an accurate knowledge of the temptress vanished. Searching in the forest, Gaelic rendered competent judges, that in he found the bones of his unfortunate friend, their spirit and diction they nearly resemble who had been torn to pieces and devoured fragments of poetry extant in that language, by the fiend into whose toils he had fallen. to the genuine antiquity of which no doubt The place was from thence called the Glen can attach. Indeed, the celebrated dispute of the Green Women.
on that subject is something like the more Glenfinlas is a tract of forest-ground, lying bloody, though scarce fiercer controversy, in the Highlands of Perthshire," not far from about the Popish Plot in Charles the Second's Callender in Menteith. It was formerly a time, concerning which Dryden has said royal forest, and now belongs to the Earl of Moray. This country, as well as the adja
Succeeding times will equal folly call, cent district of Balquidder, was, in times of
Believing nothing, or believing all.' yore, chiefly inhabited by the Macgregors.
The Celtic people of Erin and Albyn had, To the west of the Forest of Glenfinlas lies Loch Katrine, and its romantic avenue,
in short, a style of poetry properly called called the Troshachs. Benledi, Benmore,
national, though MacPherson was rather and Benvoirlich, are mountains in the same
an excellent poet than a faithful editor
and translator. This style and fashion of district, and at no great distance from Glenfinlas. The river Teith passes Callender and
poetry, existing in a different language, was supposed to give the original of 'Glenfinlas,'
and the author was to pass for one who had 1 Coronach is the lamentation for a deceased
used his best command of English to do the warrior, sung by the aged of the clan.
Gaelic model justice. In one point, the inci
dents of the poem were irreconcilable with rections were cruelly puzzling: It was in the costume of the times in which they were vain the young author, listening with belaid. The ancient Highland chieftains, when coming modesty and with a natural wish to they had a mind to 'hunt the dun deer down,' please, cut and carved, tinkered and coopered, did not retreat into solitary bothies, or trust upon his unfortunate ballads--it was in vain the success of the chase to their own unas that he placed, displaced, replaced, and sisted exertions, without a single gillie to help misplaced; every one of his advisers was them; they assembled their clan, and all displeased with the concessions made to his partook of the sport, forming a ring, or en co-assessors, and the author was blamed by closure, called the Tinchell, and driving the some one, in almost every case, for having prey towards the most distinguished persons made two holes in attempting to patch up of the hunt. This course would not have suited me, so Ronald and Moy were cooped At last, after thinking seriously on the subup in their solitary wigwam, like two moor ject, I wrote out a fair copy (of “Glenfinlas,' fowl-shooters of the present day.
I think), and marked all ihe various correcAfter 'Glenfinlas,' I undertook another tions which had been proposed. On the ballad, called 'The Eve of St. John.' The whole, I found that I had been required to incidents are mostly entirely imaginary, but alter every verse, almost every line, and the the scene was that of my early childhood. only stanzas of the whole ballad which escaped Some idle persons had of late years, during criticism were two which could neither be the proprietor's absence, torn the iron-grated termed good nor bad, speaking of them as door of Sinailholm Tower from its hinges, poetry, but were of a mere cominonplace and thrown it down the rock. I was an character, absolutely necessary for conducting carnest suitor to my friend and kinsman, the business of the tale. This unexpected Mr. Scott of Harden, already mentioned, result, after about a fortnight's anxiety, led that the dilapidation inight be put a stop,to, me to adopt a rule from which I have seldom and the mischief repaired. This was readily departed during more than thirty years of promised, on condition that I should inake literary life. When a friend, whose judg; a ballad, of which the scene should lie at ment I respect, has decided, and upon good Smaisholm Tower, and
advisement told me, that a manuscript was where it is situated.' The ballad was approved worth nothing, or at least possessed no reof, as well as its companion 'Glenfinlas '; deeming qualities sufficient to atone for its and I remember that they procured me many defects, I have generally cast it aside; but inarks of attention and kindness from Duke I am little in the custom of paying attention John of Roxburghe, who gave me the un to minute criticisms, or of offering such to limited use of that celebrated collection of any friend who may do me the honour to volumes from which the Roxburghe Club de consult me. I am convinced that, in general, rives its name.
in removing even errors of a trivial or venial Thus I was set up for a poet, like a pedlar kind, the character of originality is lost, who has got two ballads to begin the world which, upon the whole, may be that which is upon, and I hastened to make the round of most valuable in the production. all my acquaintances, showing my precious About the time that I shook hands with wares, and requesting criticism-a boon criticism, and reduced my ballads back to which no author asks in vain. For it may the original form,, ing, them without be observed, that, in the fine arts, those who remorse of those' 'lendings' which I had are in no respect able to produce any speci- adopted at the suggestion of others, an inens themselves, hold themselves not the opportunity, unexpectedly offered of introless entitled to decide upon the works of ducing to the world what had hitherto been others; and, no doubt, with justice to a cer confined to a circle of friends. Lewis had tain degree; for the merits of composition announced a collection, first intended to bear produced for the express purpose of pleasing the title of Tales of Terror, and afterwards the world at large, can only be judged of by published under that of Tales of Wonder. the opinion of individuals, and perhaps, as in As this was to be a collection of tales turning the case of Molière's old woman, the less on the preternatural, there were risks in the sophisticated the person consulted so much plan of which the ingenious editor was not the better. But I was ignorant, at the time aware. The supernatural, though appealing I speak of, that though the applause of the to certain powerful emotions very widely and many may justly appreciate the general merits deeply, soin amongst the human race, is, of a piece, it is not so safe to submit such a nevertheless, a spring which is peculiarly apt performance to the more minute criticism of to lose its elasticity, by being, too inuch the same individuals, when each in turn, pressed on, and collection of ghost stories having seated himself in the censor's chair, is not more likely to be terrible, than a colhas placed his mind in a critical attitude, and lection of jests to be merry or entertaining: delivers his opinion sententiously and ex But although the very title of the proposed cathedra. General applause was in almost work carried in an obstruction to its effect, every case freely tendered, but the abatements this was far from being suspected at the in the way of proposed alterations and cor time, for the popularity of the editor, and
of his compositions, seemed a warrant for more easily foreseen, subjected the editor to his success.
The distinguished favour with a charge of which Mat Lewis was entirely which the 'Castle Spectre' was received incapable—that of collusion with his publisher upon the stage, seemed an additional pledge in an undue attack on the pockets of the for the safety of his new attempt. I readily public. The Tales of Wonder forined a agreed to contribute the ballads of 'Glenfin work in royal octavo, and were, by large las' and of “The Eve of Saint John,' with printing, driven out, as it is technically one or two others of less merit; and my termed, to two volumes, which were sold at friend Dr. Leyden became also a contributor. a high price. Purchasers murinured at finding Mr. Southey, a tower of strength, added that this size had been attained by the in The Old Woman of Berkeley,' Lord sertion of some of the best known pieces of William,' and several other interesting bal. the English language, such as Dryden' lads of the same class, to the proposed ‘Theodore and Honoria,' Parnell's 'Hermit,' collection.
Lisle’s ‘Porsenna, King of Russia,'and many In the meantime, my friend Lewis found it other popular poems of old date, and generno easy matter to discipline his northern ally known, which ought not in conscience recruits. He was a martinet, if I may so term to have made part of a set of tales, 'written him, in the accuracy of rhymes and of num. and collected by a modern author. His bers; I may add, he had a right to be so, bookseller was also accused in the public for few persons have exhibited more mastery prints, whether truly or not I am uncertain, of rhyme, or greater command over the of having attempted to secure to himself the melody of verse. He was, therefore, rigid in entire profits of the large sale which he exexacting similar accuracy from others, and pected, by refusing to his brethren the allowas I was quite unaccustomed to the mechan ances usually, if not in all cases, made to the ical part of poetry, and used rhymes which retail trade. were merely permissible, as readily as those Lewis, one of the most liberal as well as which were legitimate, contests often arose benevolent of mankind, had not the least amongst us, which were exasperated by the participation in these proceedings of his pertinacity of my Mentor, who, as all who bibliopolist; but his work sunk under the knew him can testify, was no granter of obloquy, which was heaped on it by the propositions. The lectures which I under offended parties. The book was termed went from my friend Lewis did not at the 'Tales of Plunder,' was censured by retime produce any effect on my inflexibility, viewers, and attacked in newspapers and though I did not forget them at a future magazines. A very clever parody was period.
made on the style and the person of the The proposed publication of the Tales of author, and the world laughed as willingly as Wonder was, from one reason or another, if it had never applauded. postponed till the year 1801, a circumstance Thus, owing to the failure of the vehicle by which, of itself, the success of the work I had chosen, my efforts to present myself was considerably impeded; for protracted before the public as an original writer proved expectation always leads to disappointment. as vain as those by which I had previously But besides, there were circumstances of endeavoured to distinguish myself as a transvarious kinds which contributed to its depre- lator. Like Lord Honne, however, at the ciation, some of which were imputable to the battle of Flodden, I did 'so far well
, that editor, or author, and some to the book I was able to stand and save myself; and seller.
amidst the general depreciation of the Tales The former remained insensible of the of Wonder, my small share of the obnoxious passion for ballads and ballad-mongers publication was dismissed without much having been for some time on the wane, and censure, and in some cases obtained praise that with such alteration in the public taste, from the critics. the chance of success in that line was di The consequence of my escape made me minished. What had been at first received as naturally more daring, and I attempted, in simple and natural, was now sneered at as my own name, a collection of ballads of puerile and extravagant. Another objection various kinds, both ancient and modern, to was, that my friend Lewis had a high but be connected by the common tie of relation mistaken opinion of his own powers of to the Border districts in which I had humour. The truth was, that though he could gathered the materials. The original pre. throw some gaiety into his lighter piecas, face explains my purpose,
and the assistance after the manner of the French writers, his of various kinds which I met with. The attempts at what is called pleasantry in edition was curious, as being the first work English wholly wanted the quality of humour, printed by my friend and schoolfellow, Mr. and were generally failures. But this he James Ballantyne, who, at that period, was would not allow; and the Tales of Wonder editor of a provincial newspaper, called The were filled, in a sense, with attempts at Kelso Mail. When the book came out, in comedy, which might be generally accounted 1802, the imprint, Kelso, was read with abortive.
wonder by, amateurs of typography, who Another objection, which might have been had never heard of such a place, and were
astonished at the example of handsome
NOTE III. printing which so obscure a
Will good St. Oran's rule prevail.-P. 661. As for the editorial part of the task, my. St. Oran was a friend and follower of attempt to imitate the plan and style of
St. Columba, and was buried at Icolmkill. Bishop Percy, observing only more strict
His pretensions to be a saint were rather fidelity concerning my originals, was favour
dubious. According to the legend, he conably received by the public, and there was
sented to be buried alive, in order to propitiate a demand within a short space for a second certain demons of the soil, who obstructed edition, to which I proposed to add a third
the attempts of Columba to build a chapel. volume. Messrs. Cade and Davies, the
Columnba caused the body of his friend to be first publishers of the work, declined the
dug up, after three days had elapsed; when publication of this second edition, which was
Oran, to the horror and scandal of the undertaken, at a very liberal price, by the
assistants, declared that there was neither well-known firm of Messrs. Longman and Rees of Paternoster Row. My progress in
a God, a judgment, nor a future state! He
had no time to make further discoveries, the literary career, in which I might now be for Columba caused the earth once more considered as seriously engaged, the reader to be shovelled over him with the utmost will find briefly traced in the Introduction
despatch. The chapel, however, and the to 'The Lay of the Last Minstrel.'
cemetery, was called Relig. Ouran; and, In the meantime, the Editor has accom
in memory of his rigid celibacy, no female plished his proposed task of acquainting the
was permitted to pay her devotions, or be reader with some particulars respecting the buried in that place. This is the rule alluded modern imitations of the Ancient Ballad,
to in the poem.
And thrice St. Fillan's powerful prayer. ABBOTSFORD, April, 1830.
P. 663. 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 NOTES.
Glenurchy, A.D. 649. While engaged in
transcribing the Scriptures, his left hand was NOTE I.
observed to send forth such a splendour, as
to afford light to that with which he wrote; How blazed Lord Ronald's beltane-tree. a miracle which saved many candles to the
-P. 660. convent, as St. Fillan used to spend whole The fires lighted by the Highlanders, on
nights in that exercise. The 9th of January the first of May, in compliance with a custom
was dedicated to this saint, who gave his derived from the Pagan times, are termed
name to Kilgllan, in Renfrew, and Št. Phil. The Beltane-trce. It is a festival celebrated lans, or Forgend, in Fife. Lesley, lib. 7. with various superstitious rites, both in the
tells us, that Robert the Bruce was possessed north of Scotland and in Wales.
of Fillan's miraculous and luminous arm, which he enclosed in a silver shrine, and had it carried at the head of his army. Previous
to the battle of Bannockburn, the king's NOTE II.
chaplain, a man of little faith, abstracied
the relic, and deposited it in a place of The seer's prophetic spirit found.-P. 660. security, leșt it should fall into the hands of
the English. But, lo! while Robert was I can only describe the second sight by addressing his prayers to the empty casket, adopting Dr. Johnson's definition, who calls it was observed to open and shut suddenly ; it 'An impression, either by the inind upon and, on inspection, the saint was found to the eye, or by the eye upon the mind, by have himself deposited his arm in the shrine which things distant and future are perceived as an assurance of victory. Such is the tale and seen as if they were present.' To which of Lesley. But though Bruce little needed I would only add, that the spectral appear that the arm of St. Fillan should assist his ances, thus presented, usually presage inis own, he dedicated to him, in gratitude, a fortune; that the faculty is painful to those priory at Killin, upon Loch Tay. who suppose they possess it; and that they In the Scots Magazine for July, 1802, there usually acquire it while themselves under the is a copy of a very curious crown grant, pressure of melancholy.
dated July 11. 1487, by which James III