« AnteriorContinuar »
man, who lived to a very advanced period of life, first sellled in Stir-
Note P, p. 120. KIND GALLOWS OF CRIEFF.
Notel, p. 122. CATERANS.
This happened on many occasions. Indeed, it was not till after the
be found, who offered a fair price for the estates forfeited in 1713, which were then brought to sale by ihe 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 S, p. 129. HIGHLAND POLICY. This sort of political game ascribed to Mac-Ivor was in reality played by several Highland chiefs, the celebrated Lord Lovat in particular, who used that kind of finesse to the ultermost. 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 losing them in the Jacobite cause. His martial consort raised bis clan, and headed it, in 1745. But the chief himself would have nothing to do with king-making, declaring bimself for that monarch, and no other, who gave the Laird of Mac “ball-a-guinea the day, and half-a-guinea the morn."
Note T, p. 132. HIGHLAND DISCIPLINR. 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 to their own dress and mode of warfare. There were, for instance, 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 band 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 bis 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 0, p. 184. DISLIKK OF THE SCOTS TO PORK. Pork, or swine's flesh, in any shape, was, till of late years, much abominated by the Scots, 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 be did tobacco. Ben Jonson bas re
corded this peculiarity, where the gipsy in a masque, examining the king's band, 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 X, p. 135. A SCOTTISH DINNER TABLR. In the number of persons of all ranks who assembled at the same table, though by no means to discuss the same fare, the Higbland 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 brotb." - (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 bad the slightest pretensions to be a Duinhé-wassel, the full honour of the sitting, but, at the same time, took care that bis young kinsmen did not acquire at bis table any taste for outlandish luxuries. His Lordship was always ready with some honourable apology, why foreign wines and French brandy, delicacines which he conceived might sap the bardy babits of his cousins, should not circulate past an assigned point on the table.
Note Y, p. 143. CONAN THE JESTER. In the Irish ballads, relating to Fion, (the Fingal of MacPherson,) there occurs, as in the primitive poetry of most nations, a cycle of beroes, 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 be would never take a blow without returning it; and baving, 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 2, p. 147. WATERFALL. The description of the waterfall mentioned in this chapter is taken from that of Ledeard, at the farm so called on the northern side 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 barp, as described, has been justly censured as too theatrical and affected for the lady-like simplicity of her character. But something may be allowed to her French education, in which point and striking effect always make a considerable object.
Note AA, p. 161. HIGHLAND Hunting. The author has been sometimes accused of confounding fiction with reality. He therefore thinks it necessary to state, that the circumstance of the hunting described in the text as preparatory to the insurrection of 1745, is, so far as he knows, entirely imaginary. But it is well known such a great hunting was beld in the Forest of Brae-Mar, under the auspices of the Earl of Mar, as preparatory to the Rebellion of 1715; and most of the Highland chieftains who afterwards engaged in that civil commotion were present on this occasion.
Note BB, p. 249. MAC-FARLANE'S LANTERN. The clan of Mac-Farlane, occupying the fastnesses of the western side of Loch Lomond, were great depredators on the Low Country, and as their excursions were made usually by night, the moon was proverbially called their lantern. Their celebrated pibroch of Hoggil nam Bo, which is the name of their gathering tune, intimates similar practices, the sense being:
We are bound to drive the bullocks,
Through the sleet, and through the rain.
And all for little gain.
Note CC, p. 251. The Castle of Doune. This noble ruin is dear to my recollection, from associations which bave been long and painfully broken. It holds a commanding station on the banks of the river Teith, and has been one of the largest castles in Scotland. Murdock, Duke of Albany, the founder of this stately pile, was beheaded on the Castle-hill of Stirling, from which he might see the lowers of Doune, the monument of his fallen greatness.
In 1745-6, as stated in the text, a garrison on the part of the Chevalier was put into the castle, then less ruinous than at present. It was commanded by Mr. Stewart of Balloch, as governor for Prince Charles; he was a man of property near Callander. This castle became at that time
the actual scene of a romantic escape made by John Home, the author of Douglas, and some other prisoners, who, having been taken at the battle of Falkirk, were confined there by the insurgents. The poet, who bad in his own mind a large stock of that romantic and enthusiastic spirit of adventure, which he bas described as animating the youthful hero of his drama, devised and undertook the perilous enterprise of escaping from bis prison. He inspired his companions with his sentiments, and when every attempt at open force was deemed hopeless, they resolved to twist their bed-clothes into ropes, and thus to descend. Four persons, with Home bimself, reached the ground in safety. But the rope broke with the fifth, who was a tall lusty man. The sixth was Thomas Barrow, a brave young Englishman, a particular friend of Home's. Determined to take the risk, even in such unfavourable circumstances, Barrow committed himself to the broken rope, slid down on it as far as it could assist bim, and then let himself drop. His friends beneath succeeded in breaking bis fall. Nevertheless, be dislocated his ankle, and had several of his ribs broken. His companions, bowever, were able to bear him off in safety.
The Highlanders next morning sought for their prisoners, with great activity. An old gentleman told the author, he remembered seeing the commander Stewart,
Bloody with spurring, fiery red with baste, riding furiously through the country in quest of the fugitives.
Note DD, p. 256. TO GO OUT. To go out, or to have been out, in Scotland, was a conventional phrase similar to that of the Irish respecting a man having been up, both having reference to an individual who had been engaged in insurrection. It was accounted ill-breeding in Scotland, about forty years since, to use the phrase rebellion or rebel, which might be interpreted by some of the parties present as a personal insult. It was also esteemed more polite even for stanch Whigs to denominate Charles Edward the Chevalier, than to speak of him as the Pretender; and this kind of accommodating courtesy was usually observed in society where individuals of each party mixed on friendly terms.
Note EE, p. 263. Tar ENGLISH JACOBITES.
sentiments were general among the western counties, and in Wales. But altbough the great families of the Wynnes, the Wyndbams, and others, had come under an actual obligation to join Prince Charles if he should land, they bad done so under the express stipulation, that he should be assisted by an auxiliary army of French, without which they foresaw the enterprise would be desperate. Wishing well to his cause, therefore, and watching an opportunity to join him, they did not, nevertheless, think themselves bound in honour to do so, as he was only supported by a body of wild mountaineers, speaking an