« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Thence to Saint Fillan's blessed well, TVhose spring can frenzied dreams dispel, And the crazed brain restore.—P. 52. St Fillan was a Scottish saint of some reputation. Although Popery is, with us, matter of abomination, yet the common people still retain some of the superstitions connected with it. There are, in Perthshire, several wells and springs dedicated to St Fillan, which are still places of pilgrimage and offerings, even among the Protestants. They are held powerful in cases of madness; and, in cases of very late occurrence, lunatics have been left all night bound to the holy stone, in confidence that the saint would cure and unloose them before morning.
NOTES TO CANTO SECOND.
The scenes are desart now, and bare, Where flourished once a forest fair.—P. 59Ettricke Forest, now a range of mountainous sheep-walks, was anciently reserved for the pleasure of the royal chace. Since it was disparked, the wood has been, by degrees, almost totally destroyed, although, wherever protected from the sheep, copses soon arise without any planting. When the king hunted there, he often summoned the array of the country to meet and assist his sport. Thus, in 1528, James V. " made proclamation to all lords, barons, gentlemen, landward-men, and freeholders, that they should compear at Edinburgh, with a month's victuals, to pass with the king where he pleased, to danton the thieves of Teviotdale, Anandale, Liddisdale, and other parts of that country; and also warned all gentlemen that had good dogs, to bring them, that he might hunt in the said country, as he pleased: The whilk the Earl of Argyle, the Earl of Huntley, the Earl of Athole, and so all the rest of the gentlemen of the High
land, did, and brought their hounds with them in like manner, to hunt with the king, as he pleased.
"The second day of June, the king past out of Edinburgh to the hunting, with many of the nobles and gentlemen of Scotland with him, to the number of twelve thousand men; and then past to Meggitland, and hounded and hawked all the country and bounds: that is to say, Crammat, Pappertlaw, St Marylaws, Carlavirick, Chapel, Ewindoores, and Longhope. I heard say, he slew, in these bounds, eighteen score of harts-" *
These huntings had, of course, a military character, and attendance upon them was a part of the duty of a vassal. The act for abolishing ward, or military tenures, in Scotland, enumerates the services of hunting, hosting, watching, and warding, as those which were in future to be illegal.
Taylor, the water-poet, has given an account of the mode in which these huntings were conducted in the Highlands of Scotland, in the seventeenth century, having been present at Braemar upon such an occasion:
There did I find the truly noble and right honourable lords, John Erskine, Earl of Marr; James Stuart, Earl of Murray; George Gordon, Earl of Engye, son and heir to the Marquis of Huntly; James Erskine, Earl of Buchan; and John, Lord Erskine, son and heir to the Earl of Marr, and their countesses, with my much honoured, and my last assured and approved friend, Sir William Murray, knight of
* Pitscottje's History of Scotland, folio edition; p. 143.
Abercarney, and hundred of others, knights, esquires, and their followers; all and every man, in general, in one habit, as if Lycurgus had been there, and made laws of equality: For once in the year, which is the whole month of August, and sometimes part of September, many of the nobility and gentry of the kingdom (for their pleasure) do come into these highland countries to hunt; where they do conform' themselves to the habit of the highland-men, who, for the most part, speak nothing but Irish; and, in former time, were those people which were called the Red-shanks. Their habit is—shoes, with but one sole a-piece ; stockings, (which they call short hose) made of a warm stuff of diverse colours, which they call tartan; as for breeches, many of them, nor their forefathers, never wore any, but a jerkin of the same stuff that their hose is of; their garters being bands or wreathes of hay, or straw: with a plaid about their shoulders; which is a mantle of divers colours, much finer and lighter stuff than their hose; with blue flat caps on their heads; a handkerchief, knit with two knots, about their necks: and thus are they attired. Now their weapons are— long bowes and forked arrows, swords and targets, harquebusses, muskets, durks, and Lochaber axes. With these arms I found many of them armed for the hunting. As for their attire, any man, of what degree soever, that comes amongst them, must not disdain to wear it; for if they do, then they will disdain to hunt, or willingly to bring in their dogs ; but if men be kind unto them, and be in their habit, then are they conquered with kindness, and the sport will