Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

27.

Note 32, page 199,

line The story of the bridegroom carried off by Calerans, on his bridal-day, is taken from one which was told to the author by the late Laird of Mac-Nab, many years since. To carry

off

persons from the Lowlands, and to put them to ransom, was a common practice with the wild Highlanders, as it is said to be at the present day with the banditti in the South of Italy. Upon the occasion alluded to, a party of Caterans carried off the bridegroom, and secreted him in soine cave near the mountain of Schihallion. The young man caught the small-pox before his ransom could be agreed on; and whether it was the fine cool air of the place, or the want of medical attendance, Mac-Nab did not pretend to be positive; but so it was, that the prisoner recovered, his ransom was paid, and he was restored to his friends and bride, but always considered the Highland robbers as having saved his life, hy their treatment of his malady.

Note 33, page 202, line 10. The Scoich are liberal in computing their land and liquor ; the Scottish pint corresponds to two English quarts. As for their coin, every one knows the couplet

How can the rogues pretend to sense ?-
Their pound is only twenty pence.

Note 34, page 209, line 29. This bappened on many occasions. Indeed, it was not till after the total destruction of the clan influence, after 1745, that purchasers could be found, who offered a fair price for the estates forfeited in 1715, which were then brought to sale by the creditors of the York Buildings Company, who had purchased the whole or greater part from government at a very small price. Even so late as the period first mentioned, the prejudices of the public in favour of the heirs of the forfeited families threw various impediments in the way of intending purchasers of such property.

Note 35, page 212, line 14. This sort of political game ascribed 10 Mac-Ivor was in reality played by several Highland chiefs, the celebrated Lord Lovat in particular, who used that kind of finesse to the uttermost. The Laird of Mac—-was also captain of an independent company,

but valued the sweets of present pay too well to incur the risk of Josing them in the Jacobite cause. His martial consort raised his clan, and headed it, in 1745. But the chief himself would have nothing to do with king-making, declaring himself for that monarch, and no other, who gave the Laird of Mac-- « half-aguinea the day, and half-a-guinea the morn.»

Note 36, page 217, line 14. In explanation of the military exercise observed at the Castle of Glennaquoich, the author begs to remark, that the Highlanders were not only well practised in the use of the broadsword, firelock, and most of the manly sports and trials of strength common throughout Scotland, but also used a peculiar sort of drill, suited 10 their own dress and mode of warfare. There were, for instauce, different modes of disposing the plaid, one when on a peaceful journey, another when danger was apprehended; one way of enveloping themselves in it when expecting undisturbed repose, and another which enabled them to start up with sword and pistol in hand on the slightest alarm.

Previous to 1720, or thereabouts, the belted plaid was universally worn, in which the portion which surrounded the middle of the wearer, and that which was flung around his shoulders, were all of the same piece of tartan. In a desperate onset, all was thrown away, and the clan charged bare beneath the doublet save for an artificial arrangement of the shirt, which, like that of the Irish, was always ample, and for the sporran-mollach, or goat's

skin purse

The manner of handling the pistol and dirk was also part of the Highland manual exercise, which the author has seen gone through by men who had learned it in their youth.

Note 37, page 221, line 12. Pork, or swine's flesh, in any shape, was, till of late years, much abominated by the Scotch, nor is it yet a favourite food amongst them. King Jamie carried this prejudice to England, and is known to have abhorred pork almost as much as he did tobacco. Ben Jonson has recorded this peculiarity, where the Gipsy in a masque, examining the king's hand, says,

--you should by this line
Love a horse, and a hound, but no part of a swine.

The Gipsies Metamorphosed.

James's own proposed banquet for the Devil, was a loin of pork and a poll of ling, with a pipe of tobacco for digestion.

Note 38, page 222, line 34. In the number of persons of all ranks who assembled at the same tahle, though by no means to discuss the same fare, the Highland chiefs only retained a custom which had been formerly universally observed throughout Scotland. I myself,» says the traveller, Fynes Morrison, in the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign, the scene being the Lowlands of Scotland, « was at a knight's house, who had many servants to attend him, that brought in his meat with their heads covered with blue caps, the table being more than half furnished with great platters of porridge, each having a little piece of sodden meat. And when the table was served, the servants did sit down with us; but the upper mess, instead of porridge, had a pullet, with some prunes in the broth.» ( Travels, p. 155.)

Till within this last century, the farmers, even of a respectable condition, dined with their work-people. The difference betwixt Those of high degree, was ascertained by the place of the party above or below the salt, or sometimes, by a line drawn with chalk on the dining table. Lord Lovat, who knew well how to feed the vanity, and restrain the appetites, of his clansmen, allowed each sturdy Fraser, who had the slightest pretensions to be a Duinhéwassel, the full honour of the sitting, but, at the same time, 100k care that his young kinsmen did not acquire at his table any taste for outlandish luxuries. His lordship was always ready with some honourable apology, why foreign wines and French brandy, delicacies which he conceived might sap the hardy habits of his cousins, should not circulate past an assigned point on the table.

Note 39, page 237, line 31. In the Irish ballads relating to Fion (the Fingal of Mac-Pherson), there occurs, as in the primitive poetry of most nations, a cycle of heroes, each of whom has some distinguishing attribute ; upon these qualities, and the adventures of those possessing them, many proverbs are formed, which are still current in the Highlands. Among other characters, Conan is distinguished as in some respects a kind of Thersites, but brave and daring even to rashness. He had made a vow that he would never take a blow without returning it; and having, like other heroes of antiquity,

descended to the infernal regions, he received a cuff from the Arch-fiend, who presided there, which he instantly returned, using the expression in the text. Sometimes the proverb is worded thus:-

Claw for claw, and the devil take the shortest nails, as Conan said to the devil.»

Note 40, page 239, line 7. The Highland poet almost always was an improvisatore. Cap tain Burt met one of them at Lovat's table.

Note 41, page 244, line 5. The description of the waterfall mentioned in this chapter is taken from that of Ledeard, at the farm so called on the northern sidc of Lochard, and near the head of the Lake, four or five miles from Aberfoyle. It is upon a small scale, but otherwise one of the most exquisite cascades it is possible to behold. The appearance of Flora with the harp, as described, has been justly censured as too theatrical and affected for the lady-like simplicity of her character. But something may he allowed to her French education, in which point and striking effect always make a considerable object.

Note 42, page 247, line 23. The young and daring Adventurer, Charles Edward, landed at Glenaladale, in Moidart, and displayed his standard in the valley of Glenfinnan, mustering around it the Mac-Donalds, the Camerons, and other less numerous clans, whom he had prevailed on to join him. There is a monument erected on the spot, with a Latin inscription by the late Doctor Gregory.

Note 43, page 247, line 34. Moray, the Marquis of Tullibardine's elder brother, who, long exiled, returned to Scotland with Charles Edward in 1745.

Note 44, page 252, line 27.
Good sooth, I reck nought of your Helicon ;
Drink water whoso will, in faith I will drink none.

Note 45, page 253, line 9. This ancient Gallic ditly is still well known, both in the Highlands and in Ireland. It was translated into English, and published, if I mistake not, under the auspices of the facetious Tom D'Urfey, by the title of Colley, my Cow, »

VOL. II.

Note 1, page 6, line 28. The thrust from the tynes, or branches, of the stag's horns, were accounted far more dangerous than those of the boar's tusk :

If thou be hurt with horn of stag, it brings thee to thy bier,
But barber's hand shall boar's hurt heal; thereof have thou no fear.

Note 2, page 7,

line 20. This garb, which resembled the dress often put on children in Scotland, called a polonie (i. e. polonaise), is a very ancient modification of the Highland garb. It was, in fact, the hauberk or shirt of mail, only composed of cloth instead of rings of

armour.

Note 3, page 7,

line 27. Old Highlanders will still make the deasil around those whom they wish well to. To go round a person in the opposite direction, or wither-shins (German Widerschein), is unlucky, and a sort of incantation.

Note 4, page 9, line 4. This metrical spell, or something very like it, is preserved by Reginald Scott, in his work on Witchcraft.

Note 5, page 10, line 12.
On the morrow they made their biers
Of birch and hazel grey.

Chevy Chace.

Note 6, page 10, line 2? The author has been sometimes acen sed of confounding fiction with reality. He therefore thinks it necessary to state, that the

« AnteriorContinuar »