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II. Such then the reverence, &c. "The Highlanders, who carried hospitality to a punctilious excess, are said to have considered it as churlish to ask a stranger his name or lineage before he had taken refreshment. Feuds were so frequent among them, that a contrary rule would in many cases have produced the discovery of some circumstance which might have excluded the guest from the benefit of the assistance he stood in need of."-Scott.

16. Fitz-James = son of James, Fitz being a Norman-French patronymic (Fr. fils) like Scotch Mac (MacDuff), Irish O (O'Brien), Hebrew Bar (Bartholomew).

17. Lord of a barren heritage, &c. The royal authority was at this time very little respected among the powerful feudal nobles and Highland chiefs of Scotland, whose independence the Scottish kings had for generations tried unsuccessfully to restrict. James IV. had been killed at the battle of Flodden in 1513, and the succeeding years of regency had still further diminished the royal power. Cp. v. vi. 12–16. See Introduction.

XXX. 15. Weird women we, &c. Ellen is still keeping up the idea of the knight-errant in the enchanted hall, suggested by Fitz-James's words. Weird,' see G.

XXXI. 8. In slumber dewing, i.e. refreshing while sleeping, as the dew refreshes the fields. Cp. Shakespeare, Richard III. IV. i. 83, 'The golden dew of sleep,' and Julius Cæsar, II. i. 230, 'The honeyheavy dew of slumber.'

19. The bittern sound his drum. The bittern is a bird that frequents marshy places. It was formerly common in England, but has become rare owing to the draining of marshes, Owing to the peculiar bellowing noise it makes, it is sometimes called 'Mire-Drum.' Goldsmith (Deserted Village) speaks of the "hollow-sounding bittern."

XXXII. I. Led the lay, i.e. directed the song so as to make it applicable to the stranger. "A bard seldom fails to augment the effect of a premeditated song by throwing in any stanzas which may be suggested by the circumstances attending the recitation.”– Waverley, ch. XXII.

IO. Reveillé. The bugle-call to arouse troops or huntsmen in the morning. Fr. réveil awakening.

XXXIII. 21. They come, in dim procession led, &c. Cp. Longfellow, Golden Legend, 1:

"I cannot sleep! my fervid brain

Calls up the vanished Past again,

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They come, the shapes of joy and woe,
The airy crowds of long ago,

The dreams and fancies known of yore,

That have been, and shall be no more."

Cp. also description of Oswald's dream in Rokeby, I. ii. and iii.

XXXIV-V. "Such a strange and romantic dream as may be naturally expected to flow from the extraordinary events of the past day. It might, perhaps, be quoted as one of Mr Scott's most successful efforts in descriptive poetry. Some few lines of it are indeed unrivalled for delicacy and melancholy tenderness."—Critical Review.

XXXV. 4. The aspens slept, i.e. the night was so still that there was not even enough breeze to shake the aspen (or trembling poplar). Aspen, see G. The first six lines of this stanza are a wonderful example of Scott's power of giving in a few lines the character of a scene. Here the scent of the flowers and the silver of the light on the water give the whole feeling of a calm summer night.


Canto II. introduces the other chief characters of the story-Roderick Dhu, Douglas and Malcolm Græme-and makes clear their relation to one another. The departure of Fitz-James is followed by the triumphant return of Roderick down the lake from a raid, and the simultaneous arrival of Douglas, accompanied by Malcolm Græme. Roderick receives intelligence of the royal hunt, and scents danger of attack. Under these threatening circumstances he presses his suit for Ellen's hand, but without success. Finally Malcolm's interference brings on an unseemly fight between the rivals, and Malcolm leaves the Island, preferring to swim to shore rather than be indebted to Roderick for the loan of a boat. The Canto as a whole is perhaps the least interesting in the poem, but the description of Roderick's triumphant return is picturesque and vigorous.

I. 3, 4. Matin spring of life reviving, i.e. morning impulse of reawakening life. 'Matin'-used here as an adjective. Cp. Milton, Paradise Lost, VI. 526, "The matin trumpet."

7. A minstrel grey. No Scottish baronial court in ancient times was complete without its minstrel, whose position was one of much distinction. See VI. xi. 5-20 for a description of the relation of the minstrel to his lord. The word 'minstrel' is derived through Fr. from late L. ministerialis=a retainer. Allan-Bane may be compared with the Last Minstrel in the Lay, who looks back to the time when "High placed in hall, a welcome guest,

II. 4.

He poured to lord and lady gay

His unpremeditated lay."

Tracks the shallop's course in light, i.e. marks out with a line of light the course of the boat.


8. Good speed the while, i.e. may prosperity attend you as you go. Good speed probably God speed. 'Speed' and 'while,' see G. 13. Where beauty sees the brave resort. Compare Milton, L'Allegro:

"Where throngs of knights and barons bold

In weeds of peace high triumphs hold,
With store of ladies, whose bright eyes
Rain influence, and judge the prize

Of wit or arms."

III. 1-5. Compare the similar pictures of Highlanders longing for home in Marmion, Int. III. 137:

"Yon weatherbeaten hind...

Whose tatter'd plaid and rugged cheek

His northern clime and kindred speak."

And in Marmion, III. ix. 11-18. Compare also Scott's remark to Washington Irving that if he did not see the heather for a year he thought he should die.

III. 8. Thy hap ere while, i.e. what happened to thee formerly. 17. Kindred worth, i.e. worth in adversity like (or akin to) thine. IV. 6-20. The picture of the aged harper aroused the admiration even of Jeffrey, the editor of the Edinburgh Review, who said that it was "touched with the hand of a true poet."

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VI. 28. The Græme "The ancient and powerful family of Graham (which, for metrical reasons, is here spelt after the Scottish pronunciation) held extensive possessions in the counties of Dumbarton and Stirling. Few families can boast of more historical renown, having claim to three

of the most remarkable characters in the Scottish annals-Sir John the Græme the friend of Wallace, the Marquis of Montrose and John Græme of Claverhouse, Viscount of Dundee."-Scott.

The Græme country lies south of the valley of the Teith and so adjoins the district supposed to belong to Clan Alpine. See note on xxvi. 20.


In hall and bower, i.e. among warriors and ladies. The hall in a castle was the men's headquarters, while 'bower' is generally used in poetry for the ladies' apartments.

VII. 18. Saint Modan. A Scottish abbot of the seventh century. "I am not prepared to show that Saint Modan was a performer on the harp. It was, however, no unsaintly accomplishment; for Saint Dunstan certainly did play upon that instrument, which retaining, as was natural, a portion of the sanctity attached to its master's character, announced future events by its spontaneous sound."-Scott.

VIII. 8. Bothwell's banner'd hall. Bothwell Castle on the Clyde, near Glasgow, one of the chief seats of the Douglas family. The sixth Earl of Angus (Archibald Bell-the-Cat) had been compelled by the king to take it in exchange for his castle The Hermitage. See Marmion, V. xiv. 13-17:

"The same who left the dusky vale
Of Hermitage in Liddisdale,

Its dungeons and its towers,

Where Bothwell's turrets brave the air,
And Bothwell bank is blooming fair,

To fix his princely bowers."

9. Douglasses, to ruin driven. See Introduction.

IX. 6. From Tweed to Spey, i.e. from one end of Scotland to the other. The Spey, rising in Inverness-shire and flowing through Banffshire, is the largest river in the North of Scotland.

13. In native virtue great, i.e. great by the virtue, or valour, natural to him. Cp. Marmion, III. xiii. 1, 'High minds of native pride and force.'

15-18. i.e. Douglas surrendered no more than the oak, whose leaves the storm may rend away, but whose trunk stands unmoved. X. 6. Thrill'd to a tear, i.e. became so thrilling as to cause him to shed a tear. Thrill, see G.

16. Lady of the Bleeding Heart. The Bleeding Heart is the crest of the Douglas family. The origin of the crest was Robert Bruce's commission, on his death-bed, to Lord James Douglas to take his heart to the Holy Land. Douglas started, with the heart in a casket, but

died fighting against the Saracens in Spain. The heart was rescued
and buried at Melrose Abbey.

XI. 6. Strathspey. A kind of Highland dance common in Scotland,
called after the 'strath' or valley of the Spey, where it originated. The
name does not appear to have been actually used till the eighteenth

13. Clan Alpine. The Macgregor Clan claimed descent from
Alpine (see note on xviii. 12). The claim was first put forward in a
genealogy in 1562. See Introduction.

14. Loch Lomond. A large lake 23 miles long and 5 miles wide at
its broadest point, lying south-west of Loch Katrine. At its southern
end it is studded with islands, one of which, Inch-Cailliach, was the
burial-place of Clan-Alpine, see III. viii. 13.

16. Lennox foray. A foray into the district south of Loch Lomond
owned by the Lennox family.

XII. 5. In Holy-Rood a knight he slew. See v. v. 23-4 and vi.
4-14. "This was by no means an uncommon occurrence in Scotland."
-Scott. Holy Rood (i.e. Holy Cross) is the name of the royal
palace in Edinburgh.

13. Like a stricken deer. A wounded deer is said to be generally
driven away by the rest of the herd, who will attack it if it comes near
them. Cp. Shakespeare, As You Like It, II. i. 50–53.

14. Disown'd by every noble peer. "The exiled state of this
powerful race is not exaggerated in this and subsequent passages. The
hatred of James against the race of Douglas was so inveterate that,
numerous as their allies were, and disregarded as the regal authority had
usually been in similar cases, their nearest friends, even in the most
remote parts of Scotland, durst not entertain them, unless under the
strictest and closest disguise. James Douglas, son of the banished Earl
of Angus, afterwards well known by the title of Earl of Morton, lurked,
during the exile of his family, in the north of Scotland, under the
assumed name of James Innes, otherwise James the Grieve (i.e. Reeve
or Bailiff)."-Scott.

20. Dispensation sought, &c. Roderick could soon get a dispen-
sation from Rome to allow him to marry Ellen. A dispensation was a
licence from the Pope allowing some act that would otherwise be
against Church law. As Roderick and Ellen were cousins a dispensa.
tion would be needed for their marriage. Such dispensations could
generally be obtained without difficulty for a money payment.

XIII. 15. Maronnan's cell. "The parish of Kilmaronock, at the

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