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just now, with such a knell as I never heard.-J. 1.
A doolfu' voice cam frae the mill-ee,
P. 20, v. 2. To account for this, tradition adds, that the miller confessed, at his death, that the pedler came down to the mill to inform him that it was wearing late, and that he must come home to his supper, and that he took that opportunity to murder him.
P. 20, v. 3. To such a height did the horror of this apparition arrive in Eitrick, that it is certain there were few in the parish who durst go to, or by the mill, after sunset.
P. 20, v. 5.
The great and worthy Mr. Boston was the person wlio is said to have laid this ghost; and the people of Eutrick are much disappointed at finding no mention made of it in bis memoirs ; but some, yet alive, have heard John Corry, who was his servant, tell the following story :-One Saturday afternoon, Mr. Boston came to him, and says, “ John, you must rise early on Monday, and get a kilnful of oats dried before day.”“You know very well, master,” said John, “that I dare not for my breath go to the mill before day.-“John," said he," I tell you to go, and I will answer for it, that nothing shall molest you.” John, who revered his master, went away, determined to obey; but that very night, said John, he went to the mill, prayed with the family, and stayed very late, but charged them not to mention it. On Monday morning John arose at two o'clock, took a horse, and went to the mill, which is scarcely a mile below the kirk; and, about a bowshot west of the mill, Mr. Boston came running by him, buttoned in his great coat, but was so wrapt in thought, that he neither perceived his servant nor his horse. When he came home at even, Mr. Boston says to him, “Well, John, have you seen the pedler?”—“No, no, sir,” said John, “there was nothing troubled me; but I saw that you were yonder before me this morning." "I did not know that you saw me,” said he, “John, nor did I wish to be seen ; therefore, say nothing of it." This was in March, and in May following the mill was repaired, when the remains of the pedler and his pack were actually found, and the hearts of the poor people set at ease; for it is a received opinion, that, if the body, or bones, or any part of a murdered person is found, the ghost is then at rest, and that it leaves mankind to find out the rest.
Then the bible anunder his arm took he,
P. 20, v. 6.
A similar story to this of Mr. Boston and the pedlar is told of a cotemporary of his, the Reverend Henry Davieson, of Gallashiels.
NOTE VII. An' certain it is, from that day to this, The millers of Thirlestane ne'er ha'e done w eel.
P. 22, v. 2. Though a pretext can scarcely be found in the annals of superstition sufficient to authorize the ascribing of this to the murder of the pedlar, so many ages before, yet the misfortunes attending the millers of Thirlestane are so obvious as to have become proverbial: and when any of the neighbours occasionally mention this, along with it the murder of the pedlar is always hinted at.
P. 2 , v.4. This alludes to an old and very commom proverb “ that such a one will get Jeddart justice:" which is, first to hang a man, and then judge whether he was guilty or not.
“Whair ha'e ye laid the goud, Peggye,
Ye gat on New-Yeir's day?
Ye drest in fine array ;
To Peggye has come hame;
I feir ye he have been to blame."
A gift is ever free;
Can it be tint to me ?”
“O ha'e ye sent it to a friend ?
Or lent it to a fae?
To breid ye mickle wae ?"
Nor lent it to a fae,
Sal cause my joye or wae ;
“I ga'e it to a poor auld man,
Came shivering to the dore ;
I wust my treasure more.”
" What was the beggar's tale, Peggye.
I fain wald hear it o'er ;
That drained my litile store."
“ His hair was like the thistle dounc,
His cheeks were furred wi' tyme His heard was like a bush of lyng,
When silvered o'er wi' ryme;
" He lifted up his languid eye,
Whilk better days had seen,
While saut teirs fell atween.
" He took me by the hands, and saide,
While pleasantly he smiled
That blooms in desart wilde;
“And may .ye never feel the waes
That lang ha'e followit me; Bereivit of all my gudes and gear,
My friends and familye.