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limpid water, about four or five yards broad. a single page to attend him, met the traitor, There opens beyond this pool a portal arch, accompanied by two of his sons. They formed by two columns of white spar, with approached him with their wonteddfamiliarity, beautiful chasing upon the sides which but Bruce, taking his page's bow and arrow, promises a continuation of the cave. One commanded them to keep at a distance. As of our sailors swam across, for there is no they still pressed forward with professions other mode of passing, and informed us (as of zeal for his person and service, he, after indeed we partly saw by the light he carried) a second warning, shot the father with the that the enchantment of Maccalister's cave arrow; and being assaulted successively by terminates with this portal, a little beyond the two sons, despatched first one, who was which there was only a rude cavern, speedily armed with an axe, then as the other charged choked with stones and earth. But the pool, him with a spear, avoided the thrust, struck on the brink of which we stood, surrounded the head from the spear, and cleft the skull by the most fanciful mouldings, in a substance of the assassin with a blow of his two-handed resembling white marble, and distinguished sword. by the depth and purity of its waters, might
He rushed down of blood all red, have been the bathing grotto of a naiad. And when the king saw they were dead, The groups of combined figures projecting, or All three lying, he wiped his brand. embossed, by which the pool is surrounded, With that his boy canie fast running, are exquisitely elegant and fanciful. A
And said, “Our lord might lowyt 1 be statuary might catch beautiful hints from the
That granted you might and poweste?
To feli the felony and the pride, singular and romantic disposition of those
Of three in so little tide." stalactites. There is scarce a form, or group,
The king said, “So our lord me see, on which active fancy may not trace figures
They have been worthy inen all three,
Had they not been full of treason; or grotesque ornaments, which have been
But that made their confusion." gradually moulded in this cavern by the
BARBOIR'S Brue, Bk. V. p. 152. dropping of the calcareous water har lening into petrifactions. Many of those fine groups have been injured by the senseless rage of
Note XXXVI. appropriation of recent tourists; and the grotto has lost (I am informed), through the Such hate was his on Solway's strand, smoke of torches, something of that vivid silver tint which was originally one of its
When vengeance clench'd his palsied hand, chief distinctions. But enough of beauty
That pointed yet to Scotland's land.-P. 440. remains to compensate for all that may be To establish his dominion in Scotland had lost.'-Mr. Mac-Allister of Strathaird 'has, been a favourite object of Edward's ambition, with great propriety, built up the exterior and nothing could exceed the pertinacity with entrance to this cave, in order that strangers which he pursued it, unless his inveterate may enter properly attended by a guide, to resentinent against the insurgents, who so prevent any repetition of the wanton and frequently broke the English yoke when he selfish injury which this singular scene has deemed it most firmly, riveted. After the already sustained.
battles of Falkirk and Methven, and the dreadful examples which he had made of Wallace and other champions of national
independence, he probably concluded every Note XXXV.
chance of insurrection was completely anniYet to no sense of selfish wrongs,
hilated. This was in 1306, when Bruce, as Bear witness with me, Heaten, belongs
we have seen, was utterly expelled from My joy o'er Edward's bier.-P. 440.
Scotland: yet, in the conclusion of the same
year, Bruce was again in arms and formidable; The generosity which does justice to the and in 1307, Edward, though exhausted by character of an enemy, often marks Bruce's a long and wasting malady, put himself at the sentiments, as recorded by the faithful Bar head" of the army destined to destroy him bour. He scliom mentions a fallen enemy utterly. This was, perhaps, partly in consewithout praising such good qualities as he quence of a vow which he had taken upon might possess. I shall only take one instance. him, with all the pomp, of chivalry, upon the Shortly after Bruce landed in Carrick, in day in which he dubbed his son a knight, for 1306, Sir Ingram Bell, the English governor
which see a subsequent note. But even of Ayr, engaged a wealthy yeoman, who his spirit of vengeance was unable to restore had hitherto been a follower of Bruce, to his exhausted strength. He reached Burghundertake the task of assassinating
himn. upon-Sands, a petty village of Cumberland, The King learned this treachery, as he is on the shores of the Solway Firth, and there, said to have done other secrets of the enemy, 6th July, 1397, expired in sight of the detested by means of a female with whom he had an and devoted country of Scotland. His dying intrigue. Shortly after he was possessed of injunctions to his son required hini to this information, Bruce, resorting to a small thicket at a distance from his men, with only 1 Honourei,
continue the Scottish war, and never to
NOTE XXXVII. recall Gaveston. Edward II disobeyed both
-Canna's tower, that, steep and grey, charges. Yet more to mark his animosity, the dying monarch ordered his bones to be Like falcon-nest o'erhangs the bay.-P. 441. carried with the invading army. Froissart, The little island of Canna, or Cannay, who probably had the authority of eye adjoins to those of Rum and Muick, with witnesses, has given us the following account which it forms one parish. In a pretty bay of this remarkable charge:
opening towards the east, there is a lofty 'In the said forest, the old King Robert of and slender rock detached from the shore. Scotland dyd kepe hymselfe, whan King Upon the summit are the ruins of a very Edward the Fyrst conquered nygh all Scoi- small tower, scarcely accessible by a steep land; for he was so often chased, that none and precipitous path. Here, it is said, one durst loge him in castell, nor fortresse, for of the kings, or Lords of the Isles, confined feare of the said Kyng.
a beautiful lady, of whom he was jealous. And ever whan the King was returned The ruins are of course haunted 'by ber into Ingland, than he would gather together restless spirit, and many romantic stories agayn his people, and conquere townes, are told by the aged people of the island castells, and fortresses, iuste to Berwick, concerning her fate in life, and her appearances some by battle, and some by fair speech and after death. love: and when the said King Edward heard thereof, than would he assemble his power, and wyn the realme of Scotland again ; thus
Note XXXVIII. the chance went between these two foresaid And Ronin's mountains dark have sent Kings. It was shewed me, how that this Their hunters to the shore.-P. 442. King Robert wan and lost his realm v. times. So this continued till the said King Edward Ronin (popularly called Rum, a name died at Berwick : and when he saw that he which a poet may be pardoned for avoiding should die, he called before him his eldest if possible) is a very rough and mountainous son, who was King after him, and there, island, adjacent to those of Eigg and Cannay. before all the barones, he caused him to
There is almost no arable ground upon it, so swear, that as soon as he were dead, that that, except in the plenty of the deer, which he should take his body, and boyle it in
of course are now nearly extirpated, it still a cauldron, till the flesh departed clean from
deserves the description bestowed by the the bones, and than to bury the flesh, and
archdean of the Isles. 'Ronin, sixteen keep still the bones; and that as often as the
myle north-wast from the ile of Coll, lyes Scotts should rebell against him, he should
ane ile callit Ronin Ile, of sixteen myle assemble the people against them, and carry long; and six in bredthe in the narrowest, with him the bones of his father; for he
ane forest of heigh mountains, and abundance believed verily, that if they had his bones of little deir in it, quhilk deir will never be with them, that the Scotts should never
slane dounewith, but the principal saittis attain any victory against them. The which man be in the height of the hill, because the thing was not accomplished, for when the
deir will be callit upwart ay be the tainchell, King died his son carried him to London.'
or without tynchel they will pass upwart perBerners' Froissart's Chronicle. London, force. In this ile will be gotten about Britane 1812, pp. 39-40.
als many wild nests upon the plane mure as Edward's commands were not obeyed, for
men pleasis to gadder, and yet by resson the he was interred in Westminster Abbey, with
fowls hes few to start them except deir. This the appropriate inscription :
ile lyes from the west to the eist in lenth, and
pertains to M'Kenabrey. of Colla. Many 'EDWARDUS PRIMUS SCOTORUM MALLEUS solan geese are in this ile. '-Monro's De HIC EST. PACTUM SERVA.'
scription of the Western Isles, p. 18. Yet some steps seem to have been taken towards rendering his body capable of occasional transportation, for it was exquisitely
Note XXXIX. embalmed, as was ascertained when his tomb
On Scooreigg next a warning light was opened some years ago. Edward II
Summon'd her warriors to the fight; judged wisely in not carrying the dead body of his father into Scotland, since he would | O'er their bleak shores in vengeance strode.
A numerous race, ere stern MacLeod not obey his living counsels.
-P. 442. It ought to be observed, that though the order of the incidents is reversed in the poem, These, and the following lines of the stanza, yet, in point of historical accuracy, Bruce refer to a dreadful tale of feudal vengeance, had landed in Scotland, and obtained some of which unfortunately there are relics that successes of consequence, before the death of still attest the truth. Scoor-Eigg is a high Edward I.
peak in the centre of the small Isle of Eigg, or Egg. It is well known to mineralogists, as affording many interesting specimens, and
to others whom chance or curiosity may lead the subterranean garrison, and demanded to the island, for the astonishing view of the that the individuals who had offended him mainland and neighbouring isles which it should be delivered up to him. This was commands. I shall again avail myself of the peremptorily refused. The chieftain then journal I have quoted.
caused his people to divert the course of * 26th August, 1814.-At seven this morn a rill of water, which, falling over the entrance ing we were in the Sound which divides the of the cave, would have prevented his purIsle of Rum from that of Eigg: The latter, posed vengeance. He then kindled at the although hilly and rocky, and traversed by entrance of the cavern a huge fire, composed a remarkably high and barren ridge, called of turf and fern, and maintained it with unScoor-Rigg, has, in point of soil, a much more relenting, assiduity, until all within were promising appearance. Southward of both destroyed by suffocation. The date of this lies the Isle of Muich, or Muck, a low and dreadful deed must have been recent, if one fertile island, and though the least, yet may judge from the fresh appearance of those probably the most valuable of the three. We relics. I brought off, in spite of the prejudice inanned the boat, and rowed along the shore of our sailors, a skull from among the of Egg in quest of a cavern, which had been numerous specimens of mortality, which the memorable scene of a horrid feudal ven the cavern afforded. Before re-embarking geance. We had rounded more than half we visited another cave, opening to the sea, the island, admiring the entrance of many but of a character entirely different, being a bold natural cave, which its rocks exhibited, a large open vault, as high as that of a cathewithout finding that which we sought, until | dral, and running back a great way into the we procured a guide. Nor, indeed, was it rock at the same height. The height and surprising that it should have escaped the width of the opening gives ample light to the search of strangers, as there are no outward whole. Here, after 1745, when the Catholic indications more than might distinguish the priests were scarcely tolerated, the priest of entrance of a fox-earth. This noted cave has Eigg used to perform the Roman Catholic a very narrow opening, through which one service, most of the islanders being of that can hardly creep, on his knees and hands. persuasion. A huge ledge of rocks rising It rises steep and lofty within, and runs into about half-way up, one side of the vault, the bowels of the rock to the depth of 255 served for altar and pulpit ; and the appear. measured feet; the height at the entrance ance of a priest and Highland congregation may be about three feet, but rises within to in such an extraordinary place of worship, eighteen or twenty, and the breadth may vary might have engaged the pencil of Salvator. in the same proportion. The rude and stony bottom of this cave is strewed with the bones of men, women, and children, the sad relics of the ancient inhabitants of the island, 200
Note XL. in number, who were slain on the following occasion : -The Mac-Donalds of the Isle of
-that wondrous dome, Egg, a people dependent on Clan-Ranald,
Where, as to shame the temples deck'd had done some injury to the Laird of Mac
By skill of earthly architect, Leod. The tradition of the isle says, that it
Nature herself, it seem'd, would raise was by a personal attack on the chieftain,
A Minster to her Maker's praise ! in which his back was broken. But that of the other isles bears, more probably, that the It would be unpardonable to detain the injury was offered to two or three of the Mac reader upon a wonder so often described, Leods, who, landing upon Eigg, and using and yet so incapable of being understood some freedom with the young women, were by description. This palace of Neptune is seized by the islanders, bound hand and foot, even grander upon a second than the first and turned adrift in a boat, which the winds view. The stupendous columns which form and waves safely conducted to Skye. Toavenge the sides of the cave, the depth and strength the offence given, Mac-Leod sailed with such of the tide which rolls its deep and heavy a body of men, as rendered resistance hope. swell up to the extremity of the vault-the less. The natives, fearing his vengeance, variety of the tints formed by white, crimson, concealed themselves in this cavern, and, after and yellow stalactites, or petrifactions, which a strict search, the Mac-Leods went on board occupy the vacancies between the base of their galleys, after doing what mischief they the broken pillars which form the roof, and could, concluding the inhabitants had left the intersect them with a rich, curious, and varieisle, and betaken themselves to the Long gated chasing, occupying each interstice-the Island, or some of Clan-Ranald's other pos corresponding variety below water, where sessions. But next morning they espied from the ocean rolls over a dark-red or violetthe vessels a man upon the island, and im coloured rock, from which, as from a base, mediately landing again, they traced his the basaltic columns arise-the tremendous retreat by the marks of his footsteps, a light noise of the swelling tide, iningling with the snow being unhappily on the ground. Mac deep-toned echoes of the vault,
-are circumLeod then surrounded the cavern, summoned stances elsewhere unparalleled.
Nothing can be more interesting than the varied appearance of the little archipelago of islets, of which Staffa is the most remarkable. This group, called in Gaelic Tresharnish, affords a thousand varied views to the voyager, as they appear in different positions with reference to his course. The variety of their shape contributes much to the beauty of these effects.
--P. 443 The ballad, entitled 'Macphail of Colonsay, and the Mermaid of Corrievrekin,' (see Border Minstrelsy, vol. iv. p. 285,) was composed by, John Leyden, from a tradition which he found while making a tour through the Hebrides about 1801, soon before his fatal departure for India, where, after having made farther progress in Oriental literature than any man of letters who had embraced those studies, he died a martyr to his zeal for knowledge, in the island of Java, immediately after the landing of our forces near Batavia, in August 1811.
than in the poem, appears from the evidence of Barbour, who mentions also the effect produced upon the minds of the Highlanders, froin the prophecies current amongst them :
Bot to King Robert will we gang,
And quhen thai, that in the Ilis war,
BARBOUR'S Bruce. Book X. V. 821,
Note XLII. Up Tarbat's western lake they bore, Then dragg'd their bark the isthmus o'er.
-P. 443. The peninsula of Cantyre is joined to South Knapdale by a very narrow isthmus, formed by the western and eastern Loch of Tarbat. These two saltwater lakes, or bays, encroach so far upon the land, and the extremities come so near to each other, that there is not above a mile of land to divide them.
It is not long,' says Pennant, 'since vessels of nine or ten tons were drawn by horses out of the west loch into that of the east, to avoid the dangers of the Mull of Cantyre, so dreaded and so little known was the navigation round that promontory. It is the opinion of many, that these little isthmuses, so frequently styled Tarbat in North Britain, took their name from the above circumstance; Tarruing, signifying to draw, and Bate, a boat. This too might be called, by way of pre-eminence, the Tarbat, from a very singuiar circumstance related by Torfæus. When Magnus, the barefooted king of Norway, obtained from Donald-bane of Scotland the cession of the Western Isles, or all those places that could be surrounded in a boat, he added to them the peninsula of Cantyre by this fraud : he placed himself in the stern of a boat, held the rudder, was drawn over this narrow track, and by this species of navigation wrested the country from his brother monarch.'-PENNANT'S Scotland. London, 1790, p. 190.
But that Bruce also made this passage, although at a period two or three years later
NOTE XLIII. The sun, ere yet he sunk behind Ben-Ghoil, the Mountain of the Wind,' Gave his grim peaks a greeting kind,
And bade Loch Ransa smile.-P. 443. Loch Ranza is a beautiful bay, on the northern extremity of Arran, opening towards East Tarbat Loch. It is well described by Pennant: The approach was magnificent'; a fine bay in front, about a mile deep, having a ruined castle near the lower end, on a low far projecting neck of land, that forms another harbour, with a narrow passage; but within has three fathom of water, even at the lowest ebb. Beyond is a little plain watered by a stream, and inhabited by the people of a small village. The whole is environed with a theatre of mountains; and in the back. ground the serrated crags of Grianan-Athol soar above.'-PENNANT'S Tour to the Western Isles, pp. 191-2. Ben-Ghaoil, 'the mountain of the winds,' is generally known by its English, and less poetical name, of Goatfield.
1 Were obliged to. 2 Laid with trees. 3 Caused. 4 Could. 5 Confounded.
6 Make, 7 Excepting.
--P. 475. The passage in Barbour, describing the landing of Bruce, and his being recognized by Douglas and those of his followers who had preceded him, by the sound of his horn, is in the original singularly simple and affect ing.–The king arrived in Arran with thirtythree small row-boats. He interrogated a female if there had arrived any warlike men of late in that country. 'Surely, sir,' she replied, 'I can tell you of many who lately came hither, discomfited the English governor, and blockaded his castle of Brodick. They maintain themselves in a wood at no great distance. The king, truly conceiving that this must be Douglas and his followers, who had lately set forth to try their fortune in Arran, desired the woman to conduct him to the wood. She obeyed.
• The king then blew his horn on high ;
BARBOU'R's Bruce, Book V. pp. 115-116.
seems, loved Ross's sister, par amours, to the neglect of his own lady, sister to David de Strathbogie, Earl of Athole. This criminal passion had evil consequences; for, in resentinent to the affront done to his sister, Athole attacked the guard which Bruce had left at Cambuskenneth, during the battle of Bannockburn, to protect his magazine of provisions, and slew Sir William Keith, the commander, For which treason he was forfeited.
In like manner, when in a sally from Carrickfergus, Neil Fleming, and the guards whom he commanded, had fallen, after the protracted resistance which saved 'the rest of Edward Bruce's army, he made such moan as surprised his followers :
Sic moan he made inen had ferly!,
Nor would not hear inen make moaning. Such are the nice traits of character so often lost in general history.
his brother blamed, But shared the weakness, while ashamed; With haughty laugh his head he turn'd, And dash'd away the tear he scorn'd.
-P. 446. The kind, and yet fiery character of Edward Bruce, is well painted by Barbour, in the account of his behaviour after the battle of Bannockburn. Sir Walter Ross, one of the very few Scottish nobles who fell in that battle, was so dearly beloved by Edward, that he wished the victory had been lost, so Ross had lived.
(ut-taken hiin, men has not seen
Where he for any men made moaning. And here the venerable Archdeacon intimates a piece of scandal. Sir Edward Bruce, it
agony of travail-pain,
This incident, which illustrates so happily the chivalrous generosity of Bruce's charac. ter, is one of the many simple and natural traits recorded by Barbour. It occurred during the expedition which Bruce made to Ireland, to support the pretensions of his brother Edward to the throne of that kingdom. Bruce was about to retreat, and his host was arrayed for moving.
• The king has heard a woman cry,
BARBOUR'S Bruce, Book XVI. pp. 39-40. i Wonder. 2 Haste.
3 Laundress. 4 (Chill-beil.
6 Certainly: 7 Pity, 8 Caused. 9 Pitched.