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unconnected by manners and language, and having no apparent intercourse, to afford the means of transmission. It would carry me far beyond my bounds, to produce instances of this community of fable, among nations who never borrowed from each other any thing intrinsically worth learning. Indeed, the wide diffusion of popular fictions may be compared to the facility with which straws and feathers are dispersed abroad by the wind, while valuable metals cannot be transported without trouble and labour. There lives, I believe, only one gentleman, whose unlimited acquaintance with this subject might enable him to do it justice; I mean my friend Mr. Francis Douce, of the British Museum, whose usual kindness will, I hope, pardon my mentioning his name, while on a subject so closely connected with his extensive and curious researches.

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The subjects of Fairy-land were recruited from the regions of humanity by a sort of crimping system, which extended to adults as well as to infants. Many of those who were in this world supposed to have discharged the debt of nature, had only become denizens of the 'Londe of Faery. In the beautiful Fairy Romance of Orfee and Heurodiis (Orpheus and Eurydice) in the Auchinleck MS., is the following striking enumeration of persons thus abstracted from middle earth. Mr. Ritson unfortunately published this romance from a copy in which the following, and many other highly poetical passages, do not occur :

"Then he gan biholde aboute al,

And seigle ful liggeand within the wal,
Of folk that wer thidder y-brought,

And thought dede and nere nought;
Some stode withouten hedde;

And sum non armes nade;

And sum thurch the bodi hadde wounde;

And sum lay wode y-bounde;

And sum armed on hors sete;

And sum astrangled as thai ete;

And sum war in water adreynt;
And sum with fire al forschreynt;
Wives ther lay on childe bedde;
Sum dede, and sum awedde;

And wonder fele ther lay besides,
Right as thai slepe her undertides:
Eche was thus in the warld y-nome
With fairi thider y-come.'


Who ever reck'd, where, how, or when,

The prowling fox was trapp'd or slain ?—p. 117.

St. John actually used this illustration when engaged in confuting the plea of law proposed for the unfortunate Earl of Strafford: 'It was true, we gave laws to hares and deer, because they are beasts of chase: but it was never accounted either cruelty or foul play to knock foxes or wolves on the head as they can be found, because they are beasts of prey. In a word, the law and humanity were alike; the one being more fallacious, and the other more barbarous, than in any age had been vented in such an authority.'-CLARENDON'S History of the Rebellion, Oxford, 1702, fol. vol. p. 183.

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The Scottish Highlanders, in former times, had a concise mode of cooking their venison, or rather of dispensing with cooking it, which appears greatly to have surprised the French, whom chance made acquainted with it. The Vidame of Chartres, when a hostage in England, during the reign of Edward VI., was permitted to travel into Scotland, and penetrated as far as to the remote Highlands (au fin fond des Sauvages). After a great hunting party, at which a most wonderful quantity of game was destroyed, he saw these Scottish savages devour a part of their venison raw, without any farther preparation than compressing it between two batons of wood, so as to force out the blood, and render it extremely hard. This they reckoned a great delicacy; and when the Vidame partook of it, his compliance with their taste rendered him extremely popular. This curious trait of manners was communicated by Mons. de Montmorency, a great friend of the Vidame, to Brantome, by whom it is recorded in Vies des Hommes Illustres, Discours, lxxxix. art. 14. The process by which the raw venison was rendered eatable is described very minutely in the romance of Perce forest, where Estonne, a Scottish knight-errant, having slain a deer, says to his companion Claudius: - 'Sire, or mangerez vous et moy aussi. Voire si nous auions de feu, dit Claudius. Par l'ame de mon pere, dist Estonne, ie vous atourneray et cuiray a la maniere de nostre pays comme pour cheualier errant. Lors tira son espee, et sen vint a la branche dung arbre, et y fait vng grant trou, et puis fend la branche bien deux piedx, et boute la cuisse du cerf entredeux, et puis prent le licol de son cheval, et en lye la branche, et destraint si fort, que le sang et les humeurs de la chair saillent hors, et demeure la chair doulce et seiche. Lors prent la chair et oste ius le cuir, et la chaire demeure aussi blanche comme si ce feust dung chappon. Dont dist a Claudius, Sire, ie la vous ay cuiste a la guise de mon pays, vous en pouez manger hardyement, car ie mangeray premier. Lors met sa main a sa selle en vng lieu quil y auoit, et tire hors sel et poudre de poiure et gingembre, mesle ensemble, et le iecte dessus, et le frote sus bien fort, puis le couppe a moytie, et en donne a Claudius l'une des pieces, et puis mort en l'autre aussi sauourensement quil est aduis que il en feist la pouldre voller. Quant Claudius veit quil le mangeoit de tel goust, il en print grant faim, et commence a manger tresvoulentiers, et dist a Estonne: Par l'ame de moy ie ne mangeay oncquesmais de chair atournee de telle guise: mais doresenauant ie ne me retourneroye pas hors de mon chemin par auoir la cuite. Sire, dist Estonne, quant ie suis en desers d'Escosse, dont ie suis seigneur, ie cheuaucheray huit iours ou quinze que ie n'entreray en chastel ne en maison, et si ne verray feu ne persone viuant fors que bestes sauuages, et de celles mangeray atournees en ceste maniere, et mieulx me plaira que la viande de l'empereur. Ainsi sen vont mangeant et cheuauchant iusques adonc quilz arriuerent sur une moult belle fontaine qui estoit en vne valee. Quant Estonne la vit il dist a Claudius, allons boire a ceste fontaine. Or beuuons, dist Estonne, du boire que le grant dieu a pourueu a toutes gens, et qui me plaist mieulx que les ceruoises d'Angleterre.' La Treselegante Hystoire du tresnoble Roy Perceforest. Paris, 1531, fol. tome i. fol. lv. vers.

After all, it may be doubted whether la chaire nostree, for so the

French called the venison thus summarily prepared, was any thing more than a mere rude kind of deer ham.

Note L

The young King, mew'd in Stirling tower,
Was stranger to respect and power.-p. 124.

There is scarcely a more disorderly period of Scottish history than that which succeeded the battle of Flodden and occupied the minority of James V. Feuds of ancient standing broke out like old wounds, and every quarrel among the independent nobility, which occurred daily and almost hourly, gave rise to fresh bloodshed. There arose,' said Pitscottie, great trouble and deadly feuds in many parts of Scotland, both in the north and west parts. The master of Forbes, in the north, slew the Laird of Meldrum, under tryst' (i.e. at an agreed and secure meeting). Likewise, the Laird of Drummelzier slew the Lord Fleming at the hawking: and, likewise, there was slaughter among many other great lords.'-p. 121. Nor was the matter much mended under the government of the Earl of Angus: for though he caused the king to ride through all Scotland, 'under the pretence and colour of justice, to punish thief and traitor, none were found greater than were in their own company. And none at that time durst strive with a Douglas, nor yet a Douglas's man for if they would, they got the worst. Therefore, none durst plainzie of no extortion, theft, reiff, nor slaughter, done to them by the Douglasses, or their men; in that cause they were not heard so long as the Douglas had the Court in guiding.'-Ibid. p. 133.

Note LI

The Gael, of plain and river heir,

Shall, with strong hand, redeem his share.―p. 126.

The ancient Highlanders verified in their practice the lines of Gray :'An iron race the mountain cliffs maintain,

Foes to the gentler genius of the plain;

For where unwearied sinews must be found,

With side-long plough to quell the flinty ground;

To turn the torrent's swift descending flood;

To tame the savage rushing from the wood;

What wonder if, to patient valour train'd,

They guard with spirit what by strength they gain'd;

And while their rocky ramparts round they see

The rough abode of want and liberty,

(As lawless force from confidence will grow,)

Insult the plenty of the vales below?'

Fragment on the Alliance of Education and Government. So far, indeed, was a Creagh, or foray, from being held disgraceful, that a young chief was always expected to show his talents for command so soon as he assumed it, by leading his clan on a successful enterprise of this nature, either against a neighbouring sept, for which constant feuds usually furnished an apology, or against the Sassenach, Saxons, or Lowlanders, for which no apology was necessary. The Gael, great traditional historians, never forgot that the Lowlands had, at some remote period, been the property of their Celtic forefathers, which furnished an ample vindication of all the ravages that they could make on the unfortunate districts which lay within their reach. Sir James Grant of Grant is in possession of a letter of apology from Cameron of Lochiel, whose men had committed some depredation upon a farm called

Moines, occupied by one of the Grants.

Lochiel assures Grant that,

however the mistake had happened, his instructions were precise, that the party should foray the province of Moray (a Lowland district), where, as he coolly observes, 'all men take their prey.'

Note LII

I only meant

To show the reed on which you leant,
Deeming this path you might pursue

Without a pass from Roderick Dhu.-p. 129.

This incident, like some other passages in the poem, illustrative of the character of the ancient Gael, is not imaginary, but borrowed from fact. The Highlanders, with the inconsistency of most nations in the same state, were alternately capable of great exertions of generosity, and of cruel revenge and perfidy. The following story I can only quote from tradition, but with such an assurance from those by whom it was communicated, as permits me little doubt of its authenticity. Early in the last century, John Gunn, a noted Cateran, or Highland robber, infested Inverness-shire, and levied black-mail up to the walls of the provincial capital. A garrison was then maintained in the castle of that town, and their pay (country banks being unknown) was usually transmitted in specie, under the guard of a small escort. It chanced that the officer who commanded this little party was unexpectedly obliged to halt, about thirty miles from Inverness, at a miserable inn. About nightfall, a stranger in the Highland dress, and of very prepossessing appearance, entered the same house. Separate accommodation being impossible, the Englishman offered the newly arrived guest a part of his supper, which was accepted with reluctance. By the conversation he found his new acquaintance knew well all the passes of the country, which induced him eagerly to request his company on the ensuing morning. He neither disguised his business and charge, nor his apprehensions of that celebrated freebooter, John Gunn. The Highlander hesitated a moment, and then frankly consented to be his guide. Forth they set in the morning; and, in travelling through a solitary and dreary glen, the discourse again turned on John Gunn. 'Would you like to see him?' said the guide; and, without waiting an answer to this alarming question, he whistled, and the English officer, with his small party, were surrounded by a body of Highlanders, whose numbers put resistance out of question, and who were all well armed. 'Stranger,' resumed the guide, 'I am that very John Gunn by whom you feared to be intercepted, and not without cause for I came to the inn last night with the express purpose of learning your route, that I and my followers might ease you of your charge by the road. But I am incapable of betraying the trust you reposed in me, and having convinced you that you were in my power, I can only dismiss you unplundered and uninjured.' He then gave the officer directions for his journey, and disappeared with his party, as suddenly as they had presented themselves.


Bochastle.-p. 130.

The torrent which discharges itself from Loch Vennachar, the lowest and eastmost of the three lakes which form the scenery adjoining to the Trosachs, sweeps through a flat and extensive moor, called Bochastle. Upon a small eminence, called the Dun of Bochastle, and indeed on the

plain itself, are some intrenchments, which have been thought Roman. There is adjacent to Callender, a sweet villa, the residence of Captain Fairfoul, entitled the Roman Camp.

Note LIV

See, here, all vantageless I stand,

Arm'd, like thyself, with single brand.—p. 131.

The duellists of former times did not always stand upon those punctilios respecting equality of arms, which are now judged essential to fair combat. It is true, that in formal combats in the lists, the parties were, by the judges of the field, put as nearly as possible in the same circumstances. But in private duel it was often otherwise. In that desperate combat which was fought between Quelus, a minion of Henry III. of France, and Antraguet, with two seconds on each side, from which only two persons escaped alive, Quelus complained that his antagonist had over him the advantage of a poniard which he used in parrying, while his left hand, which he was forced to employ for the same purpose, was cruelly mangled. When he charged Antraguet with this odds, Thou hast done wrong,' answered he, to forget thy dagger at home. We are here to fight, and not to settle punctilios of arms.' In a similar duel, however, a young brother of the house of Aubayne, in Angoulesme, behaved more generously on the like occasion, and at once threw away his dagger when his enemy challenged it as an undue advantage. But at this time hardly any thing can be conceived more horridly brutal and savage, than the mode in which private quarrels were conducted in France. Those who were most jealous of the point of honour, and acquired the title of Ruffinés, did not scruple to take every advantage of strength, numbers, surprise, and arms, to accomplish their revenge. The Sieur de Brantome, to whose discourse on duels I am obliged for these particulars, gives the following account of the death and principles of his friend, the Baron de Vitaux :-

'J'ay oui conter à un Tireur d'armes, qui apprit à Millaud à en tirer, lequel s'appelloit Seigneur le Jacques Ferron, de la ville d'Ast, qui avoit esté à moy, il fut despuis tué à Saincte-Basille en Gascogne, lors que Monsieur du Mayne l'assiégea, lui servant d'Ingénieur; et de malheur, je l'avois addressé audit Baron quelques trois mois auparavant, pour l'exercer à tirer, bien qu'il en sçeust prou; mais il n'en fit compte: et le laissant, Millaud s'en servit, et le rendit fort adroit. Ce Seigneur Jacques donc me raconta, qu'il s'estoit monté sur un noyer, assez loing, pour en voir le combat, et qu'il ne vist jamais homme aller plus bravement, ny plus résolument, ny de grace plus asseuree ny déterminée. Il commença de marcher de cinquante pas vers son ennemy, relevant souvent ses moustaches en haut d'une main; et estant à vingt pas de son ennemy (non plustost), il mit la main à l'espée qu'il tenoit en la main, non qu'il l'eust tirée encore; mais en marchant, il fit voller le fourreau en l'air, en le secouant, ce qui est le beau de cela, et qui monstroit bien une grace de combat bien assurée et froide, et nullement téméraire, comme il y en a qui tirent leurs espées de cinq cents pas de l'ennemy, voire de mille, comme j'en ay veu aucuns. Ainsi mourut ce brave Baron, le paragon de France, qu'on nommoit tel, à bien venger ses querelles, par grandes et determinées résolutions. Il n'estoit pas seulement estimé en France, mais en Italie, Espaigne, Allemaigne, en Boulogne et Angleterre ; et desiroient fort les Etrangers, venant en France, le voir; car je l'ay veu, tant sa renommée volloit. Il estoit

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