« AnteriorContinuar »
indeed, on the plain itself, are some intrenchments which have been thought Roman. Scott.
356. Carpet knight: one who prefers the carpets of palaces to the dust of the battle-field.
380. His targe he threw, etc. A round target of light wood, covered with strong leather, and studded with brass or iron, was a necessary part of a Highlander's equipment. In charging regular troops, they received the thrust of the bayonet in this buckler, twisted it aside, and used the broadsword against the encumbered soldier. A person thus armed had a considerable advantage in private fray. — Scott.
383. Trained abroad. French officers were long recognized as the best fencers in Europe.
395. Firm rock or castle-roof. The idea of fixity connoted by these words does not go well with that of violent motion which characterizes the scene as a whole.
462, A fairer freight : Ellen.
488. This line locates, with sufficient exactness, the places mentioned in those that follow. For Doune, see note on line 95 of this canto.
504. Stirling. “The glory of Scotland ... who does not know its noble rock, rising the monarch of the landscape, its majestic and picturesque towers, its amphitheatre of mountain and the windings of its marvellous river : and who that has once seen the sun descending here, in all the blaze of its beauty beyond the purple hills of the west, can ever forget the plain of Sterling, the endless charm of this wonderful scene, the wealth, the splendor, the variety, the majesty of all which here lies between earth and heaven.” Macculloch quoted in Fullarton's Gazetteer of Scotland.
525. Saint Serle. This gentleman looks as if he had been invented by Scott to rime with Earl.
532. Postern = rear. 544. Bride of Heaven
550. Douglas. The fate of William, eighth Earl of Douglas, whom James II. stabbed in Stirling Castle with his own hand, and while under his royal safe conduct, is familiar to all who read Scottish history. Scott
551. Mound. An eminence on the northeast of the Stirling Castle where state criminals were executed. - Scott.
558. Franciscan steeple Grayfriars' Church. The Franciscans were a monastic order founded by St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226).
562. Morrice (or Moorish) dancers. For a spirited description by Scott of such revelers, see The Abbot, chapter xiv.
564. Sports. Every burgh of Scotland of the least note, but more especially the considerable towns, had their solemn play, or festival, when feats of archery were exhibited, and prizes distributed to those who excelled in
wrestling, hurling the bar, and the other gymnastic exercises of the period. Stirling, a usual place of royal residence, was not likely to be deficient in pomp upon such occasions, especially since James V. was very partial to them. His ready participation in these popular amusements was one cause of his acquiring the title of King of the Commons. The usual prize to the best shooter was a silver arrow. - Scott. 572. Stark
strong. The original meaning is "stiff “rigid.” The association with death, as in the expression "stark dead," comes from the idea of rigidity.
597. Brooked endured.
605-608. Try the effect of singular pronouns in this passage, and see if they do not improve it.
610. checkered = clad in motley, or in checker-board pattern cloth. 611. Morricers Morris dancers. 613. Butts targets.
614. Robin Hood. The exhibition of this renowned outlaw and his band, was a favorite frolic at such festivals as we are describing. This sporting, in which kings did not disdain to be actors, was prohibited in Scotland upon the Reformation. Scott.
Scott did not write Ivanhoe till ten years after he had written The Lady of the Lake, or he might have referred us to his own highly colored pictures of the outlaws.
615. quarterstaff. A stout pole about six feet long : a favorite weapon in the rough games of English yeomen.
630. Wight fellow.
641. Ring. The usual prize of a wrestling was a ram and a ring, but the animal would have embarrassed my story. Scott.
648. The massive bar. Compare canto iv, line 559. 653. Rood : a variable measure of length : perhaps six or seven yards. 657. Douglas. What part of speech ? 660. Ladies' Rock. Whence the ladies viewed the sports.
722–727. This could hardly have been put more strongly, or more picturesquely. 729. Amain
With violence. 740. Misproud wrongly proud. 747. Ward = Confinement. 773. Fealty= Loyalty. 786. Should dread. What is the object ?
790. Widow's mate. So long as a widow has a mate, she is not a widow. See if you can express what is evidently the thought, logically and metrically. 794. Ward
ward off. 810. Trailing arms; as at a military funeral.
818-835. This diatribe is worthy of Coriolanus, – the most eloquent exponent of Shakespeare's habitual contempt for the mob.
837. This line is an excellent example of that difference between poetic and prose diction, which Wordsworth said does not exist. Spurs hither wards his panting steed, in prose would be,“ Rides fast this way." That is the way Wordsworth would have written it : would it have been so effective as Scott's? If not, why not?
887. Earl William (Douglas). Stabbed by James II. in Stirling Castle.
891-899. Foreshadows the action of the next Canto.
Stanzaj xiv-xxi. This, it seems to me, is the best described fight in fiction or in history. Dumas Père (The Breakfast at the Bastion, in The Three Musketeers) comes next, but he has not so quick an eye as has Scott for objective detail, nor is his coloring so poetical.
No epic poem seems complete without an account of Games. Compare Homer (Pope's Translation), Iliad xxiii ; Vergil (Conington's Translation), Æneid, v; Milton, Paradise Lost, i, 506-569.
CANTO VI 9. Kind nurse. Compare the famous apostrophe to Sleep in 2 Henry IV. iii. i.
32. Stern= violent. This use of stern is obsolete. 42. Harness
47. Adventurers. The Scottish armies consisted chiefly of the nobility and barons, with their vassals, who held lands under them for military service by themselves and their tenants. The patriarchal influence exercised by the heads of clans in the Highlands and Borders was of a different nature, and sometimes at variance with feudal principles. It flowed from the Patria Potestas, exercised by the chieftain as representing the original father of the whole name, and was often obeyed in contradiction to the feudal superior. James V. seems first to have introduced, in addition to the militia furnished" from these sources, the service of a small number of mercenaries, who formed a body-guard, called the Foot-Band. Scott.
60. Halberd. “ A broad blade with sharp edges ending in a sharp point, mounted on a handle five to seven feet long.' Century Dictionary.
63. Holytide = Holy time. This use of tide, though once common, is now confined to poetry. Compare the opening line of Lyte's well-known hymn :
“ Abide with me : fast falls the eventide." 75. Burden
chorus. Compare canto ii, line 392. 78. Trent. A river in eastern England, flowing through Nottingham and Lincoln.
81. Host = army. This is the oldest meaning of the word.
87. Troll=sing jovially. “Troll” and “ roll ” are etymologically connected.
88. Buxom=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.” 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=the plaid with which she had covered her face.
170. Needwood. A forest in Staffordshire. See lines 265–267. 178. Part
183. Tullibardine. The home of the “ proud Murrays.” About twenty miles from Stirling.
218. Bower = inner room. See note on canto i, line 112.
reward : present.
hood or cape) itself means
сар. Compare “ biretta,” the name for a priest's cap. 241. My lady (being) safe. A nominative absolute. Consult your grammar.
242, Master. Douglas. 287. Security. This is much weaker than gloom. Why? 290. Garniture = furnishings. 295. Leech = physician. This is the original meaning of the word. 297. Foreshadowing a happy outcome to the story. 305. Deemed.
In this sentence the pronouns are awkwardly handled. 306. Prore
= prow or bow. 309. Astrand. The a in this word is a shortening of on, as in “ashore,
" a-foot.' 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.
eagle. 396. Boune
ready. 404. Barded
armored. 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
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. - SCOTT.
455-461. A passage that admirably fulfils the Miltonic requirements for poetry : that it shall be simple, sensuous and passionate. 488. Linn, here
In canto i, line 71,
Linn = pool. See also canto ii, line 270.
539. Bonnet pieces. Gold pieces on which were stamped the head of King James wearing a bonnet (cap).
545. Casque = helmet. Corslet : chest-armor. 553. Riven
pierced. 565. Duncraggan's widowed dame. See canto iï, lines 428– 451.
576. Elemental rage the raging of the elements.
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