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1. Harp of the North. Spirit of Scottish Minstrelsy.
2. Witch-elm. So called because its twigs were used as divining-rods. Saint Fillan. A Scotch abbot: eighth century.
10. Caledon. Shortened from Caledonia: the Roman name for Scotland.
14. According pause. When the minstrel paused in his chant or recitative, the harp accompaniment was heard "sublime and high.'
29. Monan's rill. St. Monan: a fourth century Scotch martyr. 31, 33. Glenartney, Benvoirlich. See map, south of Loch Earn. 45. Beamed frontlet = - antlered forehead.
47. Tainted, with the odor of hunter and hounds.
53. Uam-Var. Ua-var, as the name is pronounced, or more properly Uaighmor, is a mountain to the northeast of the village of Callender in Menteith, deriving its name, which signifies the great den or cavern, from a sort of retreat among the rocks on the south side, said, by tradition, to have been the abode of a giant. In latter times it was the refuge of robbers and banditti, who have been only extirpated within these forty or fifty years.-SCOTT. 54. Opening (their mouths): barking at sight of the game. 67. Rout: the crowd of hunters and hounds. 71. Linn=commonly pool, but sometimes, cataract. line 488.
89. A collective name for the watershed of the river Teith.
See canto vi,
93-98. The places mentioned in these lines are all near Loch Katrine. 103. Cambusmore is near Callander on the Teith. Going west from here, the other places in this stanza are easily located.
120. Saint Hubert, according to legend, was a mighty hunter: the abbots of his order kept up a breed of hounds named in honor of their patron. 127. Quarry the animal hunted.
138. Whinyard. A short sword or large knife.
145. Trossachs try around Loch Katrine. 166. Woe worth
(Bustling Country), a general name for the counThis is the most beautiful part of Scotland.
woe be to. Worth is from the old English verb
Weorthan to be, to become, and chase is really in the dative case.
197. Shinar. See the account of the Tower of Babel, Genesis xi, 1–9.
202. Pagod. The common form is pagoda.
shining. Very common in this sense in the Middle
See canto v, line 10.
223. Aspen. Sometimes called the shivering poplar; its light leaves quake in the slightest breeze. See canto v, lines 829-832.
This stanza (xii) is a capital example of description by enumeration, based upon close observation but not illuminated by any high imaginative power. The details selected are correct and suggestive in themselves, but the epithets are commonplace. Stanzas xi and xiv show much more inspiration.
263. Loch Katrine. See note on line 145 of this canto. The dimensions of this lake are about eight miles by two.
285. Cloister, here:
monastery: the part for the whole.
297. Bead. This word originally meant prayer: then, one of numerous little balls strung on a rosary and dropped to keep tally of prayers.
354-361. A charming passage, where the imagery is perfectly adapted to the subject which it is intended to embellish.
363. Snood: a band or ribbon worn by Scotch maidens, but not by married women. These wore the coif. Plaid (pronounced played): an outer garment of bright woolen cloth, some ten yards long, draped, belted, and extending to the knee. Each clan had colors and a pattern of its own. 404. Prune: = arrange.
425. The petty need he showed his need of food and rest. The object of showed is which, to be supplied.
438. A couch (of heather). See lines 666-667 of this Canto. 443. Rood (= rod) = the cross.
460. The visioned future. The second-sight is a singular faculty of seeing an otherwise invisible object without any previous means used by the person that used it for that end: the vision makes such a lively impression upon the seers, that they neither see nor think of anything else, except the vision, as long as it continues; and then they appear pensive or jovial, according to the object that was represented to them. - SCOTT.
464. Lincoln green. So called from the town in which it was made. Compare "bayonet," from Bayonne, and "damask," from Damascus. 476. Sooth truthful.
492. The rocky isle. This is now known as Ellen's Isle.
504. Retreat. The Celtic chieftains, whose lives were continually exposed to peril, had usually, in the most retired spot of their domains, some place of retreat for the hour of necessity, which, as circumstances would admit, was a tower, a cavern, or a rustic hut, in a strong and secluded situation. One of these last gave refuge to the unfortunate Charles Edward, in his perilous wanderings after the battle of Culloden. - SCOTT. In Stevenson's Kidnapped, chapter xxiii, is a vivid description of Cluny's Cage on Ben Alder, the retreat of the exiled Macpherson, chief of the clan Vourich.
525. Idaean vine. The whortleberry?
565-567. This foreshadows the entrance of a new character, the owner of the sword, and suggests that he is known to Fitz-James. 566. Brook endure.