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above their heads, they turn themselves round
NOTE XXVIII. and round, till they are enveloped by, the whole mantle. They then lay themselves down And while the Fiery Cross glanced, like on the heath, upon the leeward side of some a meteor, round.-P. 229. hill, where the wet and the warmth of their bodies make a steam like that of a boiling When a chieftain designed to summon his kettle.. The wet, they say, keeps them warm clan upon any sudden 'or important emer. by thickening the stuff, and keeping the wind
gency, he slew a goat, and making a cross of from penetrating. I must confess I should any light wood, scared its extremities in the have been apt to question thisfact, had I notfre-fire, and extinguished them in the blood of the quently seen them wet from morning to night, animal. This was called the Fiery Cross, and even at the beginning of the rain, not also Crean Tarigh, or the Cross of Shame so much as stir a few yards to shelter, but because disobedience to what the symbol continue in it without necessity, till they were implied, inferred infamy. It was delivered as we say, wet through and through. And to a swift and trusty inessenger, who ran that is soon effected by the looseness and full speed with it to the next hamlet, where spunginess of the plaiding; but the bonnet
he presented it to the principal person, with is frequently taken off and wrung like a dish
a single word, implying the place of renclout, and then put on again. They have been dezvous. He who received the symbol was accustomed from their infancy to be often bound to send it forward, with equal de wet, and to take the water like spaniels, spatch, to the next village; and thus it passed and this is become a second nature, and with incredible celerity through all the discan scarcely be called a hardship to them, trict which owed allegiance to the chief, insomuch that I used to say, they seemed to and also among his allies and neighbours, be of the duck kind, and to love water as if the danger was common to them. At well. Though I never saw this preparation sight of the Fiery Cross, every, man, from for sleep in windy weather, yet, setting out sixteen years old to sixty, capable of bearearly in a morning from one of the huts, I ing arms, was obliged instantly to repair, have seen the marks of their lodging, where in his best arms and accoutrements, to the the ground has been free from rime or snow, place of rendezvous. He who failed to appear which remained all round the spot where they suffered the extremitics of fire and sword, had lain.' - Letters from Scotland, Lond. which were emblematically denounced to 1754, 8vo, ii. p. 108.
the disobedient by the bloody and burnt marks upon this warlike signal. During the civil war of 1745-6, the fiery Cross often
made its circuit; and upon one occasion it NOTE XXVII.
passed through the whole district of Bread
albane, a tract of thirty-two miles, in three -his henchman came.-P. 228. hours. The late Alexander Stewart, Esq.,
of Invernahyle, described to me his having "This officer is a sort of secretary, and is sent round the Fiery Cross through the to be ready, upon all occasions, to venture district of Appine, during the same comhis life in defence of his master; and at motion. The coast was "threatened by a drinking-bouts he stands behind his seat, at descent from two English frigates, and the his haunch, from whence his title is derived, flower of the young men were with the and watchesthe conversation, to see if anyone army of Prince Charles Edward, then in offends his patron. An English officer being in England ; yet the summons was so effectual, company with a certain chieftain, and several that even old age and childhood obeyed other Highland gentlemen, near Killichumen, it; and a force was collected in a few had an argument with the great man; and hours, so numerous and so enthusiastic, both being well warmed with usky, at last that all attempt at the intended diversion the dispute grew very hot. A youth who was upon the country of the absent warriors henchman, not understanding one word of was in prudence abandoned, as desperate. English, imagined his chief was insulted, and This practice, like some others, is common thereupon drew his pistol from his 'side, to the Highlanders with the ancient Scandiand snapped it at the officer's head: but the navians, as will appear by the following expistol missed fire, otherwise it is more than tract from Olaus Magnus :probable he might have suffered death from 'When the enemy is upon the sea-coast, the hand of that little vermin. But it is very or within the limits of northern kingdomes, disagreeable to an Englishman over a bottle, then presently, by the command of the with the Highlanders, to see every one of them principal governours, with the counsel and have his gilly, that is, his servant, standing consent of the old soldiers, who are notably behind him all the while, let what will be the skilled in such like business, a staff of three subject of conversation.''-Letters from Scot- hands length, in the common sight of them land, ii. 159.
all, is carried by the speedy running of some active young man, unto that village or city, with this command, -that on the third,
fourth, oreighth day, one, two, or three, or else also understood there are persons among every man in particular, from fifteen years old, them who, although not ordained, do take shall come with his arins, and expenses for upon them the offices of priesthood; and, ten or twenty days upon pain that his or in contempt of God, celebrate the divine thir houses shall be burnt (which is intimated and sacred rites, and administer the sacraby the burning of the staff,) or else the ments, not only in sacred and dedicated master to be hanged (which is signified by 'places, but in those which are profane and the cord tied to it,) to appear speedily on interdicted, and most wretchedly ruinous; such a bank, or field, or valley, to hear the they themselves being attired 'in ragged, cause he is called, and to hear orders froin torn, and most filthy vestments, altogether the sail provincial governours what he shall' unfit to be use:lin divine, or even in temporal do. Wherefore thať messenger, swifter than offices. The which said chaplains do adany post or waggon, having done his com- , minister sacraments and sacramental rights mission, comes slowly back" again, bringing to the aforesaid manitest and infamous thieves, a token with him that he hath' done all robbers, depredators, receivers of stolen legally, an I every moment one or another goods, and plunderers, and that without restiruns to cery village and tells tho e places tution, or intention to restore, as evinced what they imust do.
by the act; and do also openly admit sengers, therefure, of the footmen, that are to them to the rites of ecclesiastical sepulchre, give warning to the people to meet for the without exacting security for restitution, Battail, run fiercely and swiftly; for no snow, although they are prohibited from doing no rain, nor heat can stop them, nor night so by the sacred canons, as well as by holl them ; but they will soon run the race the institutes of the saints and fathers. All it to the next village, and that to the next; hex undertake. The first messenger tells which infers the heavy peril of their own
souls, and is a pernicious example to the and so the hubbub runs all over till they other believers in Christ, as well as no slight, all know it in that stift or territory, where, but an aggravated injury, to the numbers when and wherefore they must meet ' despoiled and plundered of their goods, OLAUS MAGNUS' History of the Goths, gear, herds, and chattels 1. englished by J.S. Lond. 1658, book iv. chap. To this lively and picturesque description 3, 4.
of the confessors and churchimen of predatory tribes, there may be added some curious particulars respecting the priests attached
to the several septs of native Irish, during Note XXIX.
the reign of Queen Elizabeth. These friars had indeed to plead, that the incursions,
which they not only pardoned, but even That monk, of savage form and face.
encouraged, were made upon those hostile .-P. 230.
to them, as well in religion as from national
antipathy; but by Protestant writers they The state of religion in the middle ages are uniformly alleged to be the chief inafforded considerable facilities for those struments of Irish insurrection, the very whose inode of life excluded them from well-spring of all rebellion towards the regular worship, to secure, nevertheless, the English government. Lithgow, the Scottish ghostly assistance of confessors, perfectly traveller, declares the Irish wood-kerne, or willing to adapt the nature of their doctrine predatory tribes, to be but the hounds of to the necessities and peculiar circumstances their hunting priests, who directed their inof their flock. Robin Hood, it is well cursions by their pleasure, partly for susknown, had his celebrated domestic chap tenance, pártly to gratify animosity, partly lain, Iriar Tuck. And that same curtal to foment general division, and always for friar was probably matched in manners i the better security and easier domination and appearance by the ghostly fathers of of the friars Derrick, the liveliness and the Tynedale robbers, who are thus de: minuteness of whose descriptions may frescribed in an excommunication fulıninated quently apologize for his doggerel verses, against their patrons by Richard Fox, after describing an Irish feast, and the enBishop of Durham, tempore Henrici VIII. couragement given by the songs of the We have further understood, that there bards, to its termination in an incursion are inany chap'ains in the said territories upon the parts of the country inore_imof Tynedale and Redescale, who are public mediately under the dominion of the Engand open maintainers of concubinage, irregular, suspended, excommunicated, and interdicted persons, and withal so utterly i The Monition against the Robbers of Tynedale ignorant of letters,' that it has been founil and Redescale, with which I was favoured by my by those who objected this to them, that friend, Mr. Surtees of Mainsforth, may be found in there were some who, having celebrated
the original 1.atin, in the Appendix to the Intro
(luction to the Border Minstre'sy, Xo. VII. vol. i. inass for ten years, were still unable to
1. 274 read the sacramental service. We have 2 Lithgon's Travels, first cilition, p", 431.
lish, records the no less powerful arguments used by the friar to excite their animosity:
And more t'augment the flame,
and rancour of their harte, The frier, of his counsells vile,
to rebelles cloth imparte,
an almose deede to God,
the Irish rebells' rodde.
this frier's counsell is;
he warrantes heavenlie blisse.
the white he tournes to black ;
he workes a knavishe knacke, The wreckful invasion of a part of the English pale is then described with some spirit; the burning of houses, driving off cattle, and all pertaining to such predatory inroads, are illustrated by a rude cut. The defeat of the Irish, by a party of English soldiers from the next garrison, is then commemorated, and in like manner adorned with an engraving, in which the frier is exhibited mourning over the slain chieftain ; or, as the rubric expresses it, The frier then, that treacherous knave; with ough
ough-hone lament, To see his cousin Levill's-son to have so foul event.'
The matter is handled at great length in the text, of which the following verses are more than sufficient sample :
The frier seyng this,
laments that lucklesse parte, And curseth to the pitte of hell
the death man's sturdie hearte;
the frier taketh paine,
rernission to obtaine,
the candell and the bell;
bring damned souls froin hell?
infernall things to knowe; But I beleve till later daie,
thei rise not from belowe,
to this rebellious rout,
to bringe thern quicklie out,
as neither God nor man,
revenge for their desartes,
the fountain, and the spring,
of eche unhappie thing: Thei cause them to rebell
against their soveraigne quene, And through rebellion often tymes,
their lives do vanish clene. So as by friers meanes,
in whom all follie swimme, The Irishe karne (loe often lose
the life, with hedde and limine!! 1 This curious picture of Ireland was inserted by the author in the republication of Somers' Tracts, vol. i, in which the plates have been also inserteri, from the only impressions known to exist, belonging to the copy in the Advocates' Library. See Somers Tracts, vol. i. pp. 591, 594.
As the Irish tribes and those of the Scottish Highlands are much more intimately allied, by language, manners, dress, and customs, than the antiquaries of either country, have been willing to admit, I flatter myself I have here produced a strong warrant for the character sketched in the text. The following picture, though of a different kind, serves to establish the existence of ascetic religionists, to a comparatively late period, in the Highlands and Western Isles. There is a great deal of simplicity in the description, for which, as for much similar information, I am obliged to Dr. John Martin, who visited the Hebrides at the suggestion of Sir Robert Sibbald, a Scottish antiquarian of eminence, and early in the cighteenth century published a description of thein, which procured him admission into the Royal Society. He died in London about 1719. His work is a strange inixture of learning, observation, and gross credulity.
'I remember,' says this author, 'I have seen an old lay-capuchin here (in the island of Benbecula), called in their language Brahir-bocht, that is, Poor Brother; which is literally true; for he answers this character, having nothing but what is given him; he holds himself fully satisfied with food and rayment, and lives in as great simplicity as any of his order; his diet is very mean, and he drinks only fair water; his habit is no less mortifying than that of his brethren elsewhere: he wears a short coat, which comes no farther than his middle, with narrow sleeves like a waistcoat: he wears a plad above it, girt about the middle, which reaches to his knee: the plad is fastened on his breast with a wooden pin, his neck bare, and his feet often so too; he wears a hat for ornament, and the string about it is a bit of a fisher's line, made of horse-hair. This plad he wears instead of a gown worn by those of his order in other countries. I told him he wanted the flaxen girdle that men of his order usually wear; he answered me, that he wore a leathern one', which was the same thing. l'pon the matter, if he is spoke to when at meat, he answers again; which is contrary to the custom of his order. This poor man frequently diverts himself with angling of trouts; he lies upon straw, and has no bell (as others have) to call him to his devotions, but only his conscience, as he told me.'--MARTIN's Description of the N'estern Highlands, p. 82.
peculiar to, and characteristic of, the
NOTE XXXI. country in which the scene is laid, are a legitimate subject of poetry. He gives, however, a ready assent to the narrower
Yet ne'er again to braid her hair proposition which condemns all attempts
The virgin snood did Alice wear.
-P. 231. of an irregular and disordered fancy to excite terror, by accumulating a train of fantastic and incoherent horrors, whether lass braided' her hair, had an emblematical
The snood, or riband, with which a Scottish borrowed from all countries, and patched signification, and applied to her maiden upon a narrative belonging to one which knew them not, or derived from the author's toy, or coif, when she passed, by marriage,
character. It was exchanged for the curch, own imagination. In the present case, into the matron state. But if the damsel was therefore, I appeal to the record which i
so unfortunate as to lose pretensions to the have transcribed, with the variation of a
name of maiden, without gaining a right to very few words, from the geographical col that of matron, she was neither" permitted lections made by the Laird of Macfarlane.
to use the snood, nor advanced to the I know not whether it be necessary to re. graver dignity of the curch. In old Scotmark, that the miscellaneous concourse of tish songs there occur many sly allusions youths and maidens on the night and on to such misfortune; as in the old words to the spot where the miracle is said to have taken place, might, even in a credulous age,
the popular tune of' ' Ower the muir amang
the heather.' have somewhat diminished the wonder which accompanied the conception of Gilli
IDown amang the broom, the broom,
Iown amang the broom, any dearie, Doir-Magrevollich.
The lassie lost her silken snood, * There is bot two myles from Inverloghie, That gard her greet till she was wearie.' the church of Kilmalee, in Lochyeld. In ancient tymes there was ane church builded upon ane hill, which was above this church, which doeth now stand in this toune;
NOTE XXXII. and ancient men doeth say, that there was a battell foughten on ane litle hill The desert gave him visions wild, not the tenth part of a myle from this Such as might suit the spectre's child. church, be certaine men which they did
--P. 231. not know what they were. And long tyme thereafter, certaine herds of that toune, and In adopting the legend concerning the of the next toune, called L'nnatt, both wenches birth of the founder of the Church of Kil. and youthes, did on a tyme conreen with malie, the author has endeavoured to trace others on that hill; and the day being some the effects which such a belief was likely to what cold, did gather the bones of the dead produce, in a barbarous age, on the person men that were slayne long tyme before in to whom it related. It seems likely that that place, and did make a fire to warm he must have become a fanatic or an imthem. At last they did all remove from postor, or that mixture of both which forms the fire, except one maid or wench, which a more frequent character than either of was verie cold, and she did remaine there them, as existing separately. In truth, for a space. She being quyetlie her alone, mad persons are frequently more anxious without anie other companie, took up her to impress upon others à faith in their cloaths above her knees, or thereby, to visions, than they are themselves confirmed warm her; a wind did come and caste the in their reality; as, on the other hand, it ashes upon her, and she was conceived of is difficult for the most cool-headed impostor ane man-chyld, Severall tymes thereafter long to personate an enthusiast, without in she was verie sick, and at last she was knowne some degree believing what he is so eager to be with chyld. And then her parents did ask to have believed. It was a natural attribute at her the matter heiroff, which the wench of such a character as the supposed hermit, could not weel answer which way to satisfie that he should credit the numerous superthem. At last she resolved them with ane stitions with which the minds of ordinary answer. As fortune fell upon her concerning Highlanders are almost always imbued. this marvellous miracle, thechyld being borne, A few of these are slightly alluded to in his name was called Gili-doir Maghrevollich, this stanza. The River-demon, or River that is to say, the Black Child, Son to horse, for it is that form which he commonly the Bones. So called, his grandfather sent assumes, is the Kelpy of the Lowlands, an him to school, and so he was a good evil and malicious spirit, delighting to forschollar, and godlie. He did build this bode and to witness calamity. He frequents church which doeth now stand in Lochyeld, most Highland lakes and rivers; and one called Kilmalie.'-MACFARLANE, ut supra, of his most memorable exploits was perii. 188.
formed upon the banks of Loch Vennachar, in the very district which forms the scene of our action : it consisted in the destruction
of a funeral procession with all its attend bank, and then to ride thrice around the ants. The 'noontide hag,' called in Gaelic fainily residence, ringing his fairy bridle, Glaslich, a tall, emaciated, gigantic female and thus intimating the approaching calamity. figure, is supposed in particular to haunt the How easily the eye, as well as the car, district of Knoidart." A goblin, dressed in may be deceived upon such occasions, is antique armour, and having one hand covered evident from the stories of armies in the with blood, called from that circumstance, air, and other spectral phenomena with Lham-dearg, or Red-hand, is a tenant of which history abounds. Such an apparition the forests of Glenmore and Rothiemurcus. is said to have been witnessed upon the Other spirits of the desert, all frightful in side of Southfell mountain, between Penrith shape and malignant in disposition, are and Keswick, upon the 23rd June 1744, by believed to frequent different mountains two persons, William Lancaster of Blake and glens of the Highlands, where any hills, and Daniel Stricket, his servant, unusual appearance, produced by mist, or whose attestation to the fact, with a full the strange lights that are sometimes thrown account of the apparition, dated the 21st upon particular objects, never fails to pre- July 1745, is printed in Clarke's Survey of sent an apparition to the imagination of the the Lakes. The apparition consisted of solitary and melancholy mountaincer. several troops of horse moving in regular
order, with a steady rapid motion, making
a curved sweep around the fell, and seeming to Note XXXIII.
the spectators to disappear over the ridge of
the mountain. Many persons witnessed this The fatal Ben-Shie's boding scream.
phenomenon, and observed the last, or last but one of the supposed troop, occasionally
leave his rank, and pass at a gallop to the Most great families in the Highlands were front, when he resuined the same steady supposed to have a tutelar, or rather a pace. This curious appearance, making the domestic spirit, attached to them, who took necessary allowance for imagination, may an interest in their prosperity, and intimated, be perhaps sufficiently accounted for hy by its wailings, any approaching, disaster. optical deception.-Survey of the Lakes, That of Grant' of 'Grant was called May | p. 25. Moullach, and appeared in the form of a Supernatural intimations of approaching girl, who had her arm covered with hair. fate are not, I believe, confined tv Highland Grant of Rothicmurcus had an attendant families. Howel mentions having seen, at called Bodach-an-dun, or the Ghost of the a lapidary's, in 1632, a monumental stone, Hill; and many other examples might be prepared for four persons of the name of inentioned. The Ban-Schie implies a female Oxenham, before the death of each of whom, Fairy, whose lamentations were often sup the inscription stated a white bird to have posed to precede the death of a chieftain appeared and fluttered around the bed while of particular families. When she is visible, the patient was in the last agony:-Familiar it is in the form of an old woman, with a Letiers, edit. 1726, 247. Glanville mentions blue mantle and streaming hair. A super one family, the members of which received stition of the same kind is, I believe, uni this solemn sign by music, the sound of which versally received by the inferior ranks of the floated from the family residence, and seemed native Irish.
to die in a neighbouring wood; another, The death of the head of a Highland that of Captain Wood of Bampton, to family is also sometimes supposed to be whom the signal was given by knocking. announced by a chain of lights of different But the mosť remarkable instance of the colours, called Dreng, or death of the kind occurs in the MS. Memoirs of Lady Druid.' The direction which it takes, inarks Fanshaw, so exemplary for her conjugal the place of the funeral. (See the Essay affection. Her husband, Sir Richard, and on Fairy Superstitions in the Border Min she, chanced during their abode in Ireland strelsy.]
to visit a friend, the head of a sept, who
resided in his ancient baronial castle, surNote XXXIV.
rounded with a moat. At midnight she was
awakened by, a ghastly and supernatural Sounds, too, had come in midnight blast, scream, and, looking out of bed, beheld, by Of charging steeds, careering fast the moonlight, a female face and part of the Along Benharrow's shingly side,
form, hovering at the window. The distance Where mortal horseman ne'er might ride. from the ground, as well as the circumstance
of the moat, excluded the possibility that
what she beheld was of this world. The A presage of the kind alluded to in the face was that of a young and rather handsome text is still believed to announce death woman, but pale; and the hair, which was to the ancient Highland family of M'Lean reddish, was loose and dishevelled. The dress, of Lochbuy. The spirit of an ancestor slain which Lady Fanshaw's terror did not prevent in battle is heard to gallop along a stony her remarking accurately, was that of the