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out of the sheath. His mother Dalla exclaimed: "Do not despise the counsel given to thee, my son." Kormak, however, repeating his efforts, pressed down the handle with his feet, and tore off the bag, when Skoffnung emitted a hollow groan. But still he could not unsheathe the sword. Kormak then went out with Bessus, whom he had challenged to fight with him, and drew apart at the place of combat. He sat down upon the ground, and ungirding the sword, which he bore above his vestments, did not remember to shield the hilt from the rays of the sun. In vain he endeavoured to draw it, till he placed his foot against the hilt; then the worm issued from it. But Kormak did not rightly handle the weapon, in consequence whereof good fortune deserted it. As he unsheathed Skoffnung, it emitted a hollow murmur."-Bartholini de Causis Contemptæ a Danis adhuc Genlilibus Mortis, Libri Tres. Hafniæ, 1689. 4to. p. 574.

To the history of this sentient and prescient weapon, I beg leave to add, from memory, the following legend, for which I cannot produce any better authority. A young nobleman, of high hopes and fortune, chanced to lose his way in the town which he inhabited, the capital, if I mistake not, of a German province. He had accidentally involved himself among the narrow and winding streets of a suburb, inhabited by the lowest order of the people, and an approaching thunder shower determined him to ask a short refuge in the most decent habitation that was near him. He knocked at the door, which was opened by a tall man, of a grisly and ferocious aspect, and sordid dress. The stranger was readily ushered to a chamber, where swords, scourges, and machines, which seemed to be implements of torture, were suspended on the wall. One of these swords dropt from its scabbard, as the nobleman, after a moment's hesitation, crossed the threshold. His host immediately stared at him with such a marked expression, that the young man could not help demanding his name and business, and the meaning of his looking at him so fixedly. "I am," answered the man, "the public executioner of this city; and the incident you have observed is a sure augury, that I shall, in discharge of my duty, one day cut off your head with the weapon which has just now spontaneously unsheathed itself." The nobleman lost no time in leaving his place of refuge; but, engaging in some of the plots of the period, was shortly after decapitated by that very man and instrument.

Lord Lovat is said, by the author of the Letters from Scotland, to have affirmed, that a number of swords that hung up in the hall of the mansion-house leaped of themselves out of the scabbard at the instant he was born. This story passes current among his clan, but, like that of the story I have just quoted, proved an unfortunate omen.Letters from Scotland, vol. ii. p. 214.

Note XI.

The pibroch proud.-St. XVII. p. 48.

The connoisseurs in pipe-music affect to discover in a well-composed plbroch, the imitative sounds of march, conflict, flight, pursuit, and all the "current of a heady fight." To this opinion Dr. Beattie has given his suffrage in the following elegant passage :-"A pibroch is a species of tune peculiar, I think, to the Highlands and western isles of Scotland. It is performed on a bagpipe, and differs totally from all other music. Its rhythm is so irregular, and its notes, especially in the quick movement, so mixed and huddled together, that a stranger finds it im possible to reconcile his ear to it, so as to perceive its modulation. Some of these pibrochs, being intended to represent a battle, begin with a grave motion, resembling a march; then gradually quicken into the onset; run off with noisy confusion and turbulent rapidity, to imitate the conflict and pursuit; then swell into a few flourishes of triumphant joy; and perhaps close with the wild and slow wailings of a funeral procession."-Essay on Laughter und Ludicrous Composition, chap. iii.


Note XII.

Roderigh vich Alpine Dhu, ho! ieroe !-St. XIX. p. 50. Besides his ordinary name and surname, which were chiefly used in his intercourse with the Lowlands, every Highland chief had an epithet expressive of his patriarchal dignity as head of the clan, and which was common to all his predecessors and successors, as Pharaoh to the kings of Egypt, or Arsaces to those of Parthis. This name was usually a patronymic expressive of his descent from the founder of the family. Thus the Duke of Argyle is called MacCallanmore, or the Son of Colin the Great. Sometimes, however, it is derived from armorial distinctions, or the memory of some great feat; thus Lord Seaforth, as chief of the Mackenzies, or Clan-Kennet, bears the epithet of Caber-fae, or Buck's Head, as representative of Colin Fitzgerald, founder of the family, who saved the Scottish king, when endangered by a stag. But besides this title, which belonged to his office and dignity, the chieftain had usually another peculiar to himself, which distinguished him from the chieftains of the same race. This was sometimes derived from complexion, as dhu or roy; sometimes from size, as beg or more; at other times, from some particular exploit, or from some peculiarity of habit or appearance. The line of the text therefore signifies,

Black Roderick, the descendant of Alpine.

The song itself is intended as an imitation of the sorrams, or boatsongs of the Highlanders, which were usually composed in honour of a favourite chief. They are so adapted as to keep time with the sweep

of the oars, and it is easy to distinguish between those intended to be sung to the oars of a galley, where the stroke is lengthened and doubled as it were, and those which were timed to the rowers of an ordinary boat.

Note XIII.

The best of Loch-Lomond lie dead on her side.-St. XX. p. 51. The Lennox, as the district is called which encircles the lower extremity of Loch-Lomond, was peculiarly exposed to the incursions of the mountaineers, who inhabited the inaccessible fastnesses at the upper end of the lake, and the neighbouring district of Loch Katrine. These were often marked by circumstances of great ferocity, of which the noted conflict of Glen-fruin is a celebrated instance. This was a clan battle, in which the Macgregors, headed by Allaster Macgregor, chief of the clan, encountered the sept of Colquhouns, commanded by Sir Humphry Colquhoun of Luss. It is on all hands allowed, that the action was desperately fought, and that the Colquhouns were defeated with slaughter, leaving two hundred of their name dead upon the field. But popular tradition has added other horrors to the tale. It is said, that Sir Humphry Colquhoun, who was on horseback, escaped to the castle of Benechra, or Banochar, and was next day dragged out and murdered by the victorious Macgregors in cold blood. Buchanan of Auchmar, however, speaks of his slaughter as a subsequent event, and as perpetrated by the Macfarlanes. Again it is reported, that the Macgregors murdered a number of youths, whom report of the intended battle had brought to be spectators, and whom the Colquhouns, anxious for their safety, had shut up in a barn to be out of danger. One account of the Macgregors denies this circumstance entirely; another ascribes it to the savage and blood-thirsty disposition of a single individual, the bastard brother of the laird of Macgregor, who amused himself with this second massacre of the innocents, in express disobedience to the chief, by whom he was left their guardian during the pursuit of the Colquhouns. It is added, that Macgregor bitterly lamented this. atrocious action, and prophesied the ruin which it must bring upon their ancient clan. The following account of the conflict, which is indeed drawn up by a friend of the clan Gregor, is altogether silent on the murder of the youths. "In the spring of the year 1602, there happened great dissensions and troubles between the laird of Luss, chief of the Colquhouns, and Alexander, laird of Macgregor. The original of these. quarrels proceeded from injuries and provocations mutually given and received, not long before. Macgregor, however, wanting to have them ended in friendly conferences, marched at the head of two hundred of his clan, to Leven, which borders on Luss, his country, with a view of settling matters by the mediation of friends: but Luss had no such in

tentions, and projected his measures with a different view; for he privately drew together a body of 300 horse and 500 foot, composed partly of his own clan and their followers, and partly of the Buchanans, his neighbours, and resolved to cut off Macgregor and his party to a man, in case the issue of the conference did not answer his inclination. But matters fell otherwise than he expected; and though Macgregor had previous information of his insidious design, yet, dissembling his resentment, he kept the appointment, and parted good friends in appearance.

"No sooner was he gone, than Luss, thinking to surprise him and his party in full security, and without any dread or apprehension of his treachery, followed with all speed, and came up with him at a place called Glenfroon, Macgregor, upon the alarm, divided his men into two parties, the greatest part whereof he commanded himself, and the other he committed to the care of his brother John, who, by his orders, led them about another way, and attacked the Colquhouns in flank. Here it was fought with great bravery on both sides for a considerable time, and notwithstanding the vast disproportion of numbers, Macgregor, in the end, obtained an absolute victory. So great was the rout, that two hundred of the Colquhouns were left dead upon the spot, most of the leading men were killed, and a multitude of prisoners taken. what seemed most surprising and incredible in this defeat, was, that none of the Macgregors were missing, except John, the laird's brother, and one common fellow, though indeed many of them were wounded.-Professor Ross's History of the Family of Sutherland, 1631.

The consequences of the battle of Glenfruin were very calamitous to the family of Macgregor, who had already been considered as an unruly clan. The widows of the slain Colquhouns-sixty, it is said, in numberappeared in doleful procession before the king at Stirling, each riding upon a white palfrey, and bearing in her hand the bloody shirt of her husband displayed upon a pike. James VI. was so much moved by the complaints of this "choir of mourning dames," that he let loose his vengeance against the Macgregors, without either bounds or moderation. The very name of the clan was proscribed, and those by whom it had been borne were given up to sword and fire, and absolutely hunted down by bloodhounds like wild beasts. Argyle and the Campbells, on the one hand, Montrose, with the Grahames and Buchanans on the other, are said to have been the chief instruments in suppressing this devoted clan. The laird of Macgregor surrendered to the former, on condition that he would take him out of Scottish ground; but, to use Birrell's expression, he kept a "Highlandman's promise;" and, although be fulfilled his word to the letter, by carrying him as far as Berwick, he afterwards brought him back to Edinburgh, where he was executed with eighteen of his clan,-BIRRELL'S Diary, 2d Oct. 1603. The clan Gregor

being thus driven to utter despair, seem to have renounced the laws from the benefit of which they were excluded, and their depredations produced new acts of council, confirming the severity of their proscription, which had only the effect of rendering them still more united and desperate. It is a most extraordinary proof of the ardent and invincible spirit of clanship, that notwithstanding the repeated proscriptions providently ordained by the legislature "for the timeous preventing the disorders and oppression that may fall out by the said name and clan of Macgregors, and their followers," they were in 1715 and 1745 a potent clan, and continue to subsist as a distinct and numerous race.

Note XIV.

The king's vindictive pride

Boasts to have tamed the Border side.-St. XXVIII. p. 57.

In 1529, James V. made a convention at Edinburgh, for the purpose of considering the best mode of quelling the Border robbers, who, during the license of his minority, and the troubles which followed, had committed many exorbitancies. Accordingly he assembled a flying army of ten thousand men, consisting of his principal nobility and their followers, who were directed to bring their hawks and dogs with them, that the monarch might refresh himself with sport during the intervals of military execution. With this array he swept through Ettrick forest, where he hanged over the gate of his own castle, Piers Cockburn of Henderland, who had prepared, according to tradition, a feast for his reception. He caused Adam Scott of Tushielaw also to be executed, who was distinguished by the title of King of the Border. But the most noted victim of justice, during that expedition, was John Armstrong of Gilnockie, famous in Scottish song, who, confiding in his own supposed innocence, met the king with a retinue of thirty-six persons, all of whom were hanged at Carlenrig, near the source of the Teviot. The effect of this severity was such, that, as the vulgar expressed it, "the rush bush kept the cow," and "thereafter was great peace and rest a long time, wherethrough the king had great profit; for he had ten. thousand sheep going in the Ettricke forest, in keeping by Andrew Bell, who made the king as good count of them as they had gone in the Dounds of Fife."-Piscottie's History, p. 153.

Note XV.

What grace for Highland chiefs judge ye,

By fate of Border chivalry.-St. XXVIII. p. 57.

James was, in fact, equally attentive to restrain rapine and feudal oppression in every part of his dominions. "The king past to the isles, and there held justice courts, and punished both thief and traitor ac

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