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King James, the while, with princely powers,
[MS.—“'Tis well advised-a prudent plan,
Worthy the father of his clan."}
The Taghairm call'd; by which afar,
“Ah! well the gallant brute I knew!
1 [See Appendix, Note 1.]
2 I know not if it be worth observing, that this passage is taken almost literally from the mouth of an old Highland Kern or Ketteran, as they were called. He used to narrate the merry doings of the good old time when he was a follower of Rob Roy MacGregor. This leader, on one occasion, thought proper to make a descent upon the lower part of the Loch Lomond district, and summoned all the heritors and farmers to meet at the Kirk of Drymen, to pay him black-mail, ¿. e. tribute for forbearance and protection. As this invitation was supported by a band of thirty or forty stout fellows, only one gentleman, an ancestor, if I mistake not, of the present Mr Grahame of Gartmore, ventured to decline compliance. Rob Roy instantly swept his land of all he could drive away, and among the spoil was a bull of the old Scottish wild breed, whose ferocity occasioned great plague to the Ketterans. “But ere we had reached the Row of Dennan," said the old man, “a child might have scratched his ears.", The circumstance is a minute one, but it paints the times when the poor beeve was compelled
“ To hoof it o'er as many weary miles,
Ethwald, 3 This anecdote was, in former editions, inaccurately ascribed to Gregor Macgregor of Glengyle, called Ghlune Dhu, or Black-knee, a relation of Rob Roy, but, as I have been assured, not addicted to his predatory excesses. -Note to Third Edition.
His hide was snow, his horns were dark,
" That bull was slain : his reeking hide
1 There is a rock so named in the Forest of Glenfinlas, by which a tumultuary cataract takes its course. This wild place is said in former times to have afforded refuge to an outlaw, who was supplied with provisions by a woman, who lowered them down from the brink of the precipice above. His water he procured for himself, by letting down a flagon tied to a string, into the black pool beneath the fall.
Midst groan of rock, and roar of stream,
1 Quartered.—Every thing belonging to the chase was matter of solemnity among our ancestors; but nothing was more so than the mode of cutting up, or, as it was technically called, breaking, the slaughtered stag. The forester had his allotted portion; the hounds had a certain allowance; and, to make the division as general as possible, the very birds had their share also. “There is a little gristle,” says Tuberville, “which is upon the spoone of the brisket, which we call the raven's bone; and I have seen in some places a raven so wont and accustomed to it, that she would never fail to croak and cry for it all the time you were in breaking up of the deer, and would not depart till she had it.” In the very ancient metrical romance of Sir Tristrem, that peerless knight, who is said to have been the very deviser of all rules of chase, did not omit the ceremony.
“ The rauen he yaue his yiftes
Sir Tristrem, vol. v. of this Edit. p. 160.
“ Peace! peace! to other than to me,
Jonson, in “ The Sad Shepherd,” gives a more poetical accoun: of the same ceremony:
- Marian. He that undoes him,
Robin Hood. The raven's bono.
Marian. Now o'er head sæt & raven