Imágenes de páginas

87. Trollsing jovially. connected.

88. Buxom =

"Troll" and "roll" are etymologically

lively. Look up the etymology.

89-107. The Soldier's Song that occupies these lines is not worth printing.

128. Wax= grow, as in Watts' line,

"Till moons shall wax and wane no more.'

[ocr errors]

129. Glee-maiden. The jongleurs, or jugglers, as we learn from the elaborate work of the late Mr. Strutt, on the sports and pastimes of the people of England, used to call in the aid of various assistants, to render these performances as captivating as possible. The glee-maiden was a necessary attendant. Her duty was tumbling and dancing; and therefore the AngloSaxon version of Saint Mark's Gospel states Herodias to have vaulted or tumbled before King Herod. In Scotland these poor creatures seem, even at a late period, to have been bondswomen to their masters. - SCOTT.

152. Tartan screen


[ocr errors]

the plaid with which she had covered her

170. Needwood. A forest in Staffordshire. See lines 265–267. 178. Part = act.

183. Tullibardine. The home of the "proud Murrays." About twenty miles from Stirling.

218. Bower = inner room. See note on canto ii, line 112.

222. You the way.

See note on line 178 of this canto.

Which is direct object and which indirect?


reward: present.


hood or cape)

Consult your

227. Guerdon 232. Part. 234. Barret-cap. The word barret (Latin, birrus itself means "" cap.' Compare "biretta," the name for a priest's cap. 241. My lady (being) safe. A nominative absolute.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

287. Security. This is much weaker than gloom. Why?

290. Garniture


[blocks in formation]

295. Leech physician. This is the original meaning of the word. 297. Foreshadowing a happy outcome to the story.

305. Deemed. Supply him. In this sentence the pronouns are awkwardly handled.

[blocks in formation]

309. Astrand. The a in this word is a shortening of on, as in "a""a-foot.' shore,"

[ocr errors]

319. Thy lady. Ellen is first in his thoughts. Is this natural?

336. Pine. See canto ii, lines 399-438.

348. Strike it. There are several instances, at least in tradition, of

persons so much attached to particular tunes, as to require to hear them on their death-beds. . . It is popularly told of a famous free-booter that he composed the tune known by the name of Macpherson's Rant while under sentence of death and played it at the gallows' tree. Some spirited words have been adapted to it by Burns. - SCOTT.

365. Shallop: a little boat.

369. Beal'an Duine. A skirmish actually took place at a pass thus called in the Trosachs, and closed with the remarkable incident mentioned in the text. It was greatly posterior in date to the reign of James V."— SCOTT. 377. Erne 396. Boune


404. Barded



405. Battalia



= army.

414. Vaward vanward = in the (ad)-vance.

426. Dive. A good example of the picture that may lie in the verb. The archer-men disappear in the blackness of the pass as suddenly and completely as the diver disappears in the water. Compare also maddening, line 438.

429. As = as if.

442. It refers to wood in the next line. A device to save the rime. See also line 691 of this canto.


452. Tinchel. A circle of sportsmen, by surrounding a great space, and gradually narrowing, brought immense quantities of deer together, which usually made desperate efforts to break through the Tinchel. 455-461. A passage that admirably fulfils the Miltonic requirements for poetry that it shall be simple, sensuous and passionate.

488. Linn, here

also canto ii, line 270.

cataract. In canto i, line 71, Linn


pool. See

539. Bonnet pieces. Gold pieces on which were stamped the head of King James wearing a bonnet (cap).

545. Casque = helmet.

[blocks in formation]

Corslet: chest-armor.

565. Duncraggan's widowed dame. See canto iii, lines 428–

[blocks in formation]

610. Breadalbane. See note on canto ii, line 416.

611. Requiem: a prayer for the dead. So called from the opening words of the service used in the Roman Catholic Church: Requiem aeterna dona eis (Rest eternal give unto them).

632. She = Ellen.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

668. Thrall =

672. Meet


bondage. Captive thrall is a tautology. fitting. Compare Genesis ii, 18.

678. Ring: sing. Infinitives, depending on wont.

691. It. See note on line 442 of this canto.

707. Prime is strictly speaking an ecclesiastical term meaning the first twelfth of the time between sunrise and sunset. Scott uses it very loosely here.

[blocks in formation]

740. Snowdoun's Knight. This discovery will probably remind the reader of the beautiful Arabian tale of Il Bondocani. Yet the incident is not borrowed from that elegant story, but from Scottish tradition. James V., of whom we are treating, was a monarch whose good and benevolent intentions often rendered his romantic freaks venial, if not respectable, since, from his anxious attention to the interests of the lower and most oppressed class of his subjects, he was, as we have seen, popularly termed the King of the Commons. For the purpose of seeing that justice was regularly administered, and frequently from the less justifiable motive of gallantry, he used to traverse the vicinage of his several palaces in various disguises. The two excellent comic songs entitled The Gaberlunzie Man and We'll gae nae mair a roving are said to have been founded upon the success of his amorous adventures when travelling in the disguise of a beggar. The latter is perhaps the best comic ballad in any language.


741. As wreath of snow.

This is the most beautiful simile in the poem and would hardly have occurred to any but a Northern man. 782. Proselyte = convert.

[blocks in formation]

789. Snowdoun. See canto i, line 591.

802. Talisman charm. This word has a curious etymology. 813. Grace

= pardon.

828. Malcolm Graeme has too insignificant a part assigned him, considering the favor in which he is held both by Ellen and the author; and in bringing out the shaded and imperfect character of Roderick Dhu as a contrast to the purer virtue of his rival, Mr. Scott seems to have fallen into the common error of making him more interesting than him whose virtues he was intended to set off, and converted the villain of the piece in some measure into its hero. A modern poet, however, may perhaps be pardoned for an error of which Milton himself is thought not to have kept clear, and for which there seems so natural a cause in the difference between poetical and amiable characters.· ́ -JEFFREY.

830-837. Notice the artful suspense of this passage.

842. Harp of the North. Compare the opening stanzas of the poem and the contrasts in setting.

[blocks in formation]

In the first part of this Canto, the action is managed less skilfully than in any other part of the story. The Guard-Room Episode (stanzas i-xi), is neither interesting nor necessary: it puts off unduly the recital of the battle (xv-xxi) which, in turn, coming where it does, distracts our attention from him who here carries our sympathy (Roderick Dhu). But no one can deny that the conclusion is admirably turned and that it satisfies our sense of poetic justice.

« AnteriorContinuar »