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The Gray Brother.


THE imperfect state of this ballad, which was written several years ago, is not a circumstance affected for the purpose of giving it that peculiar interest which is often found to arise from ungratified curiosity. On the contrary, it was the Editor's intention to have completed the tale, if he had found himself able to succeed to his own satisfaction. Yielding to the opinion of persons, whose judgment, if not biassed by the partiality of friendship, is entitled to deference, he has preferred inserting these verses as a fragment, to his intention of entirely suppressing them.

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self, to be possessed of supernatural gifts; for the wild scenes which they frequented, and the constant dangers which were incurred through their proscription, deepened upon their minds the gloom of superstition, so general in that age.

"About the same time he [Peden] came to Andrew Normand's house, in the parish of Alloway, in the shire of Ayr, being to preach at night in his barn. After he came in, he halted a little, leaning upon a chair-back, with his face covered; when he lifted up his head, he said, 'They are in this house that I have not one word of salvation unto;' he halted a little again, saying, 'This is strange, that the devil will not go out, that we may begin our work! Then there was a woman went out, illlooked upon almost all her life, and to her dying

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The tradition, upon which the tale is founded, regards a house upon the barony of Gilmerton, near Lasswade, in Mid-Lothian. This building, now called Gilmerton Grange, was originally named Burndale, from the following tragic adven-hour, for a witch, with many presumptions of the ture. The barony of Gilmerton belonged, of yore, same. It escaped me, in the former passages, to a gentleman named Heron, who had one beau- what John Muirhead (whom I have often mentiful daughter. This young lady was seduced by tioned) told me, that when he came from Ireland the Abbot of Newbattle, a richly endowed abbey, to Galloway, he was at family-worship, and giving upon the banks of the South Esk, now a seat of the some notes upon the Scripture read, when a very | Marquis of Lothian. Heron came to the knowledge ill-looking man came, and sat down within the of this circumstance, and learned also, that the door, at the back of the hallan [partition of the lovers carried on their guilty intercourse by the cottage]: immediately he halted and said, 'There connivance of the lady's nurse, who lived at this is some unhappy body just now come into this house of Gilmerton Grange, or Burndale. He house. I charge him to go out, and not stop my formed a resolution of bloody vengeance, unde- mouth!' This person went out, and he insisted terred by the supposed sanctity of the clerical [went on], yet he saw him neither come in nor go character, or by the stronger claims of natural out."-The Life and Prophecies of Mr. Alexander affection. Choosing, therefore, a dark and windy Peden, late Minister of the Gospel at New Glenluce, night, when the objects of his vengeance were in Galloway, part ii. § 26. engaged in a stolen interview, he set fire to a stack of dried thorns, and other combustibles, which he had caused to be piled against the house, and reduced to a pile of glowing ashes the dwelling, with all its inmates.1

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A friendly correspondent remarks, "that the incapacity of proceeding in the performance of a religious duty, when a contaminated person is present, is of much higher antiquity than the era of the Reverend Mr. Alexander Peden."- Vide

Hygini Fabulas, cap. 26. "Medea Corintho exul, Athenas, ad Ægeum Pandionis filium devenit in hospitium, eique nupsit.

"Postea sacerdos Diana Medeam exagitare cœpit, regique negabat sacra caste facere posse, eo quod in ea civitate esset mulier venefica et scelerata; tunc exulatur.”

of Britain to concentrate her thunders, and to launch them against her foes with an unerring aim.

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"Then came The Gray Brother, founded on another super-. stition, which seems to have been almost as ancient as the belief in ghosts; namely, that the holiest service of the altar cannot go on in the presence of an unclean person--a heinous sinner unconfessed and unabsolved. The fragmentary form of this poem greatly heightens the awfulness of its impression; and in construction and metre, the verses which really belong to the story appear to me the happiest that have ever been produced expressly in imitation of the ballad of the middle age. In the stanzas, previously quoted, on the scenery of the Esk, however beautiful in themselves, and however interesting now as marking the locality of the composition, he must be allowed to have lapsed into another strain, and produced a pannus purpureus which interferes with and mars the general texture."-Life of Scott, vol. ii. p. 26.

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4 Melville Castle, the seat of the Right Honorable Lord Melville, to whom it gives the title of Viscount, is delightfully situated upon the Eske, near Lasswade.

The ruins of Roslin Castle, the baronial residence of the ancient family of St. Clair. The Gothic chapel, which is still in beautiful preservation, with the romantic and woody dell in which they are situated, belong to the Right Honorable the Earl of Rosslyn, the representative of the former Lords of Roslin.

The village and castle of Dalkeith belonged of old to the famous Earl of Morton, but is now the residence of the noble family of Buccleuch. The park extends along the Eske, which is there joined by its sister stream of the same name.

Hawthornden, the residence of the poet Drummond. A house of more modern date is enclosed, as it were, by the ruins of the ancient castle, and overhangs a tremendous preci

pice upon the banks of the Eske, perforated by winding caves, which in farmer times were a refuge to the oppressed patriots of Scotland. Here Drummond received Ben Jonson, who journeyed from London on foot in order to visit him. The beauty of this striking scene has been much injured of late years by the indiscriminate use of the axe. The traveller now looks in vain for the leafy bower,

"Where Jonson sat in Drummond's social shade."

Upon the whole, tracing the Eske from its source till it joins the sea at Musselburgh, no stream in Scotland can boast such a varied succession of the most interesting objects, as well as of the most romantic and beautiful scenery. 1803. -The beautiful scenery of Hawthornden has, since the above note was written, recovered all its proper ornament of wood. 1831.

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Had we a difference with some petty isle,

Or with our neighbors, Britons, for our landmarks,

The taking in of some rebellious lord,

Or making head against a slight commotion,

After a day of blood, peace might be argued :
But where we grapple for the land we live on,
The liberty we hold more dear than life,
The gods we worship, and, next these, our honors,
And, with those, swords that know no end of battle-
Those men, beside themselves, allow no neighbor,
Those minds, that, where the day is, claim inheritance,
And, where the sun makes ripe the fruit, their harvest,
And, where they march, but measure out more ground
To add to Rome

It must not be-No! as they are our foes,
Let's use the peace of honor-that's fair dealing;
But in our hands our swords. The hardy Roman,

That thinks to graft himself into my stock,
Must first begin his kindred under ground,
And be allied in ashes."


measure of arming freemen in defence of their own rights, was nowhere more successful than in Edinburgh, which furnished a force of 3000 armed and disciplined volunteers, including a regiment of cavalry, from the city and county, and two corps of artillery, each capable of serving twelve guns. To such a force, above all others, might, in similar circumstances, be applied the exhortation of our ancient Galgacus: "Proinde ituri in aciem, et majores vestros et posteros cogitate." 1812.

THE following War-Song was written during the apprehension of an invasion.' The corps of volunteers to which it was addressed, was raised in 1797, consisting of gentlemen, mounted and armed at their own expense. It still subsists, as the Right Troop of the Royal Mid-Lothian Light Cavalry, commanded by the Honorable LieutenantColonel Dundas.2 The noble and constitutional

1 The song originally appeared in the Scots Magazine for 1802.-ED




To horse! to horse! the standard flies,
The bugles sound the call;

The Gallic navy stems the seas,
The voice of battle's on the breeze,
Arouse ye, one and all!

From high Dunedin's towers we come,
A band of brothers true;
Our casques

the leopard's spoils surround, With Scotland's hardy thistle crown'd; We boast the red and blue.3

2 Now Viscount Melville.-1831. 3 The royal colors.

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