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abled to discover him. Awed by the terrible frown of his countenance, she acknowledged what she had done. He spat in her eye, and extinguished it for ever.”—GRAHAME': Sketches, p. 116-118. It is very remarkable that this story, translated by Dr. Grahame from popular Gaelic tradition, is to be found in the Otia Imperialia of Gervase of Tilbury. A work of great interest might be compiled upon the origin of popular fiction, and the transmission of similar tales from age to age, and from country to country. The mythology of one period would then appear to pass into the romance of the next century, and that into the nursery-tale of the subsequent ages. Such an investigation, while it went greatly to diminish our ideas of the richness of human invention, would also show that these fictions, however wild and childish, possess such charms for the populace as enable them to penetrate into countries unconnected by manners and language, and having no apparent intercourse, to afford the means of transmission. It would carry nie far beyond my bounds to produce instances of this community of fable among nations who never borrowed from each other any thing intrinsically worth learning. Io. deed, the wide diffusion of popular fictions inay be compared to the faci. lity with which straws and feathers are dispersed abroad by the wind, while valuable metals canuot be transported without trouble and labour. There lives, I believe, only one gentleman, whose unlimited acquaintance with this subject might enable him to do it justice : I mean my friend Mr. Francis Douce, of the British Museum, whose usual kindness will, I hope, pardon my mentioning his name, while on a subject so closely connected with his extensive and curious researches,
-his Highland cheer, The harden's Aesh of mountain-deer.-St. XXXI. p. 145. The Scottish Highlanders, in former times, had a coucise mode of cooking their venison, or rather of dispensing with cooking it, which appears greatly to have surprised the French, whom chance made ac. quainted with it. The Vidame of Chartres, when a hostage in England, during the reign of Edward VI., was permitted to travel into Scotland, and pepetrated as far as to the remote Highlands (au fin fond des Suuvages). After a great hunting party, at which a most wonderful quantity of game was destroyed, he saw thesc Scottish savages devour a part of their venison raw, without any further preparation than com. pressing it between two battens of wood, so as to force out the blood, and render it extremely hard. This they reckoned a great delicacy: and when the Vidame partook of it, his compliance with their taste rendered him extremely popular. This curious trait of manners was coinmunicated by Mons. de Montmorency, a great friend of the Vidame, to Brantomc, by whom it is recorded in Vies des Hommes Illustres,
Discours lxxxix. art. 14. The process by which the raw venison was rendered eatable is described very minutely in the romance of Perceforest, where Estonne, a Scottish knight:errant, having slaid a deer, says to his companion Claudius, “Sire, or mangerez vous et moy aussi. Voire si nous auions de feu, dit Claudius. Par l'ame de mon pere, dist Estonue, ie vous atourneray et cuiray a la maniere de nostre pays comme pour cheualier errant. Lors tira son espee et sen vint a la branche dung arbre, et y fait yng grant trou, et puis fend la brancho bien deux piedz et boute la cuisse du cerf entredeux, et puis prent le licol de son cheval et en lye la branche et destraint si fort que le sang et les humeurs de la chair saillent hors et demeare la chaire doalce et seiche. Lors prent la chair et oste ius le cuir et la chairc demeure aussi blanche comme si ce feust dung chappon. Dont dist a Claudius, Sire ie la vous ay cuiste a la guise de mon pays, vous en pouez manger hardye ment, car ie mangeray premier. Lors met sa main a sa selle en vng lieu quil y auoit, et tire hors sel et poudre de pouire et gingembre, mesle ensemble, et le iecte dessus, et le frote sus bien fort, puis le couppe a moytie, et en donne a Claudius l'une des pieces, et pais mort en l'autre aussi sauoureusement quil est aduis que il en feist la pouldre voller. Quant Claudius voit quil le mangeoit de tel goust il en print grant fait et commence a manger tresvoulentiers, et dist a Estoune: Par l'ame de moy ie ne mangeay oncquesmais de chair atournee de telle guise : mais doresenavant ie ne me retourneroye pas hors de mon chemin par auoir la cuite. Sire, dist Estonne, quans ie suis en desers d'Escosse, dont le suis seigncur, ie chevaucheray huit iours ou quinze que ie n'entreray en chastel ne en maison, et si ne verray feu ne personne viuant fors que bestes sauuages, et de celles mangeray atournees en ceste maniere, et mieulx me plaira que la viande de l'empereur. Ainsi sen vont mangeant et cheuauchant iusques adonc quilz arriuerent sur une moult belle fontaine qui estoit en vne valee. Quant Estonne la vit il dist a Claudius, allons boire a ceste fontaine. Or beuuons, dist Estonne, da boire que le grant dieu a pourueu a toutes gens, et qui me plaist mieulx que les ceruoises d'Angleterre.”—La Treselegante Hystoire du tresnoble Roy Perceforest. Paris, 1531, fol, tome i, fol. lv. vers.
After all, it may be doubted whether la chaire nostree, for so the French called the venison thus summarily prepared, was any thing more than a mere rude kind of deer-ham.
LADY OF THE LAKE.
CANTO THE FIFTH.
When first, by the bewilder'd pilgrim spied,
And silvers o'er the torrent's foaming tide, And lights the fearful path on mountain side;
Fair as that beam, although the fairest far, Giving to horror grace, to danger pride,
Shine martial Faith, and Courtesy's bright star, Through all the wreckful storms that cloud the brow
That o'er, the Gael* around him threw
III. At length they came where, stern and steep, The hill sinks down upon the deep; Here Vennachar in silver flows, There, ridge on ridge, Benledi rose. Ever the hollow path twined on, Beneath steep bank and threatening stone; An hundred men might hold the post With hardihood against a host. The rugged mountain's scanty cloak Was dwarfish shrubs of birch and oak, With shingles bare, and cliffs between, And patches bright of bracken green, * The Scottish Highlander calls himself Gael, or Gaul, and terms the Lowlander, Sisenach, or Saxons,
And heather black, that waved so high,
IV. “ Brave Gael, my pass, in danger tried, Hangs in my belt, and by my side ; Yet, sooth to tell,” the Saxon said, “ I dream'd not now to claim its aid. When here, but three days since, I came, Bewilder'd in pursuit of game, All seem'd as peaceful and as still, As the mist slumbering on yon hill ; Thy dangerous chief was then afar, Nor soon expected back from war. Thus said, at least, my mountain guide, Though deep, perchance, the villain lied."“ Yet why a second venture try?"“A warrior thou, and ask me why! Moves our free course by such fix'd cause, As gives the poor mechanic laws ? Enough, I sought to drive away The lazy hours of peaceful day ;