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“O, mony a time, my lord,” he said,
“I've stown a kiss frae a sleeping wench; But for you I'll do as kittle a deed,
For I'll steal an auld lurdane aff the bench."And Christie's Will is to Edinburgh gane;
At the Borough Muir then enter'd he; And as he pass'd the gallow-stane,
He cross'd his brow, and he bent his knee. He lighted at Lord Durie's door,
And there he knock'd most manfullie ; And up and spake Lord Durie sae stour,
" What tidings, thou stalward groom, to me?' “ The fairest lady in Teviotdale
Has sent, maist reverent sir, for thee;
And fain she wad plead her cause to thee."“But how can I to that lady ride,
With saving of my dignitie ? "-
sall muffled be." -Wi' curch on head, and cloak ower face,
He mounted the judge on a palfrey fyne ; He rode away, a right round pace,
And Christie's Will held the bridle reyn. The Lothian Edge they were not o'er,
When they heard bugles bauldly ring, And, hunting over Middleton Moor,'
They met, I ween, our noble King.
I wot a frighted man was he!
For tyning of his dignitie.
When as the pair came riding bye“An uglier crone, and a sturdier loon,
I think, were never seen with eye!”.
He took auld Durie on his back,
Which garr'd his auld banes gie mony a crack. For nineteen days, and nineteen nights,
Of sun, or moon, or midnight stern,
Auld Durie never saw a blink,
The lodging was sae dark and dern.
Had fang'd him in their nets sae fast;
Had lair'd his learning at the last. “Hey ! Batty, lad! far yaud ! far yaud !".
These were the morning sounds heard he: And ever “ Alack !” auld Durie cried,
“ The deil is hounding his tykes on me!”. And whiles a voice on Baudrons cried,
With sound uncouth, and sharp, and hie ;
But now, I think, they'll clear scores wi' me!"The King has caused a bill be wrote,
And he has set in on the Tron, “He that will bring Lord Durie back,
Shall have five hundred merks and one." Traquair has written a privie letter,
And he has seal'd it wi' bis seal, "Ye may let the auld brock 7 out o' the poke;
The land's my ain, and a's gane weel.”O Will has mounted his bonny black,
And to the tower of Græme did trudge, And once again, on his sturdy back,
Has he hente up the weary judge. He brought him to the council stairs,
And there full loudly shouted he, “Gie me my guerdon, my sovereign liege,
And take ye back your auld Durie!”
APPENDIX TO CHRISTIE'S WILL.
He thought tbe warlocks o' the rosy cross. "As for the rencounter betwixt Mr. Williamson, schoolmaster at Cowper, (who has wrote a grammar,) and the Rosicrucians, I never trusted it, till I heard it from his own son, who is present minister of Kirkaldy. He tells, that a strangers came to Cowper and called for him : after they had drank a little, and the reckoning came to be paid, he whistled for spirits ; one, in the shape of a boy, came, and gave him goid in abundance; no servant was
Middleton Moor is about fifteen miles from Edinburgh on the 1st, she was searched by her own consent, et volenti non fit inway to the Border.
juria; 20, The pricker had learned his trade froin Kincaid, a * See Note A, post. 3 See Note B, post.
famed pricker; 3d, He never acted, but when called upon by 4 Lair'd-Bogged.
magistrales or clergymen, so what he did was auctore prætore; 5 Far yaud–The signal made by a shepherd to his dog, when 4th, His trade was lawful; 5th, Perkins, Delrio, and all divines and he is to drive away some sheep at a distance. From Yoden, lo lawyers, who treat of witchcraft, assert the existence of the marks, go. Ang.sax.
or stigmata sagarum ; and, 6thly, Were it otherwise, Error 6 Human nature shrinks from the brutal scenes produced by communis facit jus.--Answered, 1st, Denies consent; 21, Nobody the belief in witchcraft. Under the idea that the devil imprinted can validly consent to their own torture; for Nemo est dominus upon the body of his miserable vassals a mark, which was insen membrorum suorum; 3d, The pricker was a common cheat. sible to pain, persons were employed to run needles into the bodies The last arguments prevailed; and it was found, that inferior of the old women who were suspected of witchcraft. In the judges inight not use any torture, by pricking, or by withholddawning of common sense upon this subject, a complaint was ing them from sleep;" the council reserving all that to themmade before the Privy Council of Scotland, lith September, 1678, selves, the justices, and those acting by commission from them. by Catherine Liddell, a poor woman, against the Baron-bailie of But Lord Durie, a Judge of the Court of Session, could have no Preston-Grange, and David Cowan (a professed pricker), for hav- share in such inflictions. ing imprisoned, and most cruelly tortured her. They answered, 7 Brock-Badger.
seen riding with him to the town, nor enter with him into the inn. He caused his spirits, again next day, bring himn noble Greek wine from the Pope's cellar, and tell the freshest news then at Rome; then trysted Mr. Willianuson at London, who met the same man in a coach, near to London Bridge, and who called on him liy his name; he marvelled to see any know him there; at last he found it was lois Rosicrucian. He pointed to a tavern, and desired Mr. Williamson to do him the favour to dine with him at that hoyse; whither he came at twelve o'clock, and found him and many others of good fashion there, and a most splendid and magnificent table, furnished with all the varielies of delicate mrals, where they are all erved by spirits. At dinner, they debatrd upon the excellency of being attended by spirits; and, after dinner, they proposed to him to assume him into their society, and make him participant of their happy lise; but among the other conditions and qualifications requisite, this was one, that they demanded his abstracting his spirit from all materiality, and renouncing his baptismal engagements. Being amazed at this proposal, he falls a-praying; whereal they all disappear, and leave him alone. Then he began to forethink what would become of him, if he were left to pay that vast reckoning; not having as much on him as would defray it. He calls the boy, and asks, what was become of these gentlemen, and what was to pay? Hle answered, there was nothing to pay, for they had done it, and were gone about their alfairs in the city.”-FOUNTAINAALL's Decisions, vol. i. p. 13. With great deference to the Icarned reporter, this story has all the appearance of a joke upon the poor schoolmaster, calculated at once to operate upon his credulity, and upon his lears beiog lest in pawn for the reckoning.
Ther saw he hartes with hir bornes hle,
Ibidem. Our modern professors of the magic natural would likewise have been sorely put down by the Jogulours and Enchantours of the Grete chun;" for they maken to come in the air the sone and the mone, beseminge to every mannes sight; and aftre, they maken the nyght so dirke, that no man may se no ibing; and altre, they maken the day to come agen, fair and plesant, with bright sone to every mandes sight; and than, they bringen in daunces of the fair. est damyselles of the world, and richest arrayed; and aftre, they maken lo comen in other damyselles, bringing coupes of gold, fulle of mylke of diverse bestes; and geven drinke lo lordes and to ladyes; and than they maken knightes to justen in armes fulle lustyly; and they rennen togidre a gret randoun, and they frusschen togidre full fiercely, and they broken her speres so rudely, that the trenchouns Den in sprotis and pieces alle aboule the halle; and than they make to come in hunting for the bert and for the boor, with houndes renning with open mouth : and many other things they dow of ber enchauntements, that it is marveyle for to see."-Sir Joun MANDEVILLE's Truvels, p. 283.
I question much, also, if the most arisul illuminalus of Germany could have matched the prodigies exhibited by Pacolet and Adramain, “Adonc Adramain leva une cappe par dessus une “pillier, et en telle sort, qu'il sembla a ceux qui furent presens, "lyne parmi la place couroit une rivière fort grande et terrible. "Et en icelle riviere sembloit avoir poissons en grand abondance, "grands et pe:its. Et quand ceux de palais virent l'eau si grande, "ils commencerent fous a lever leur robes, et a crier fort, comme “s'ils eussent eu peur d'estre noyés; et Pacolet, qui l'enchante"ment regarda, commenca a chanter, et fil en sort si subtil en son
chant qu'il sembla a tous ceux de lieu que parmy la riviere cou“roit un cers grand et cornu, qui jettoit et abbaloit a terre tout ce que devant lui Trouvoit, puis leur fut advis que voyoyent chasseurs et veneurs c urir apris le Cerf, avec grande puissance de “levriers et des chiens. Lors y eut plusieurs de la campagnie “qui saillirent au devant pour le Cerf attraper et cuyder prendre; “mais Pacolet fist lost Ic Cerf sailer. Bien avez jové,' dit Orson, ". et bien scavez vostre art user.'" L'Histoire des Valentin et Orson, à Rouen, 1631.
The receipt, to prevent the operation of these deceptions, was, to use a sprig of four-leaved clover. I remember to have beari, (certainly very long ago, for at that time I believed the legend,) that a gipsy exercised his glamour over a number of people at Haddington, to whom he exhibited a common dunghill cock, Trailing, what appeared to the spectators, a massy oaken trunk. An old man passed with a cart of clover; vse stopped, and picked out a four-leaved blade; the eyes of the spectators were opened, and the oaken trunk appeared to be a bulrush.
Or that the gipsies' glamour'd gang, etc. Besides the prophetic powers ascribed to the gipsies jo most European countries, ihe Scollish peasants believe them possessed of the power of throwing npou bystanders a spell, to fuscinate their eyes,
and cause them to see the thing that is not. Thus, in the old ballad of Johnie Faa, the elopement of the Countess of Cassiliis, with a gipsy leader, is imputed to fascination :
" As sune as they saw her weel-lar'd face,
They cast the glamour ower her." Saxo Grammaticus mentions a particular sect of Mathematicians, as he is pleased to call them, who,“ per summam ludificandorum oculorum peritiam, proprios alienosque rullus, variis rerum imaginibus, adumbrare callebunt ; illicibusque formis veros obscurare conspertus." Merlin, the son o! Ambrose, was particularly skilled in this art, and displays it often in the old metrical romance of Arthour and Merlin :
" Tho' thai com the Kinges neigbe • Merlin bef bis heued on heighe,
Aad kest on hem enchauntement
The jongleurs were also great professors of this mystery, which has in some degree descended, with their name, on the modern jugglers. But durst Breslaw, the Sicur Boaz, or Kalterfelto himsell, have encountered, in a magical sleight, the tragetoures of Father Chaucer, who
--"within a ball large
Franke eene's Tale.
THOMAS THE RHYMER.
IN THREE PARTS.
And again, the prodigies exhibited by the Clerk of Orleans to Aurelius :
Few personages are so renowned in tradition as Thomas o’Ercildoune, known by the appellation of The Rhyrer. Uniting, or supposing to unite, in his person,
" He shewd bim or they went to soupere
Porestes, parkes, ful of wilde dore;
the powers of poetical composition, and of vaticina- | by inheritance (hereditarie) in Ercildoune, with all tion, his memory, even after the lapse of five hundred claim which he or his predecessors could pretend years, is regarded with veneration by his country- thereto. From this we may infer, that the Rhymer
To give any thing like a certain history of this was now dead, since we find the son disposing of the remarkable man would be indeed difficult; but the family property. Still, however, the argument of the curious may derive some satisfaction from the parti- learned historian will remain unimpeached as to the culars here brought together.
time of the poet's birth. For if, as we learn from It is agreed on all hands, that the residence, and Barbour, his prophecies were held in reputation' as probably the birth-place, of this ancient bard, was early as 1306, when Bruce slew the Red Cummin, Ercildoune, a village situated upon the Leader, two the sanctity, and (let me add to Mr. Pinkerton's miles above its junction with the Tweed. The ruins words) the uncertainty of antiquity, must have already of an ancient tower are still pointed out as the involved his character and writings. In a charter of Rhymer's castle. The uniform tradition bears, that Peter de Haga de Bemersyde, which unfortunately his sirname was Lermont, or Learmont; and that wants a date, the Rhymer, a near neighbour, and, if the appellation of The Rhymer, was conferred on bim we may trust tradition, a friend of the family, apin consequence of his poetical compositions. There pears as a witness.-Chartulary of Melrose. remains, nevertheless, some doubt upon the subject. It cannot be doubted, that Thomas of Ercildoune In a charter, which is subjoined at length, 'the son of was a remarkable and important person in his own our poet designed himself “Thomas of Ercildoun, time, since, very shortly after his death, we find him son and heir of Thomas Rymour of Ercildoun." celebrated as a prophet and as a poet. Whether he which seems to imply that the father did not bear the himself made any pretensions to the first of these hereditary name of Learmont; or, at least, was better characters, or whether it was gratuitously conferred known and distinguished by the epithet, which he upon him by the credulity of posterity, it seems difhad acquired by his personal accomplishments. Ificult to decide. If we may believe Mackenzie, Learmust, however, remark, that, down to a very late mont only versified the prophecies delivered by Eliza, period, the practice of distinguishing the parties, an inspired nun of a convent at Haddington. But of even in formal writings, by the epithets which had this there seems not to be the most distant proof. been bestowed on them from personal circumstances, On the contrary, all ancient authors, who quote the instead of the proper sirnames of their families, was Rhymer's prophecies, uniformly suppose them to common, and indeed necessary, among the Border have been emitted by himself. Thus, in Wintown's clans. So early as the end of the thirteenth century, Chroniclewhen sirnames were hardly introduced in Scotland, this custom must have been universal. There is,
"of this fycht quilum spak Thomas therefore, nothing inconsistent in supposing our
of Ersyidoune, that sayd in derne,
There suld meit stalwartly, starke and sterne. poet's name to have been actually Learmont, al
He sayd it in his prophecy ; though, in this charter, he is distinguished by the
But how he wist it was ferly." popular appellation of The Rhymer.
Book viii. chap. 32. We are better able to ascertain the period at which Thomas of Ercildoune lived, being the latter end of There could have been no ferly (marvel) in Winthe thirteenth century. I am inclined to place his town's eyes at least, how Thomas came by his knowdeath a little farther back than Mr. Pinkerton, who ledge of future events, had he ever heard of the insupposes that he was alive in 1300, (List of Scottish spired nun of Haddington, which, it cannot be Poets,) which is hardly, I think, consistent with the doubted, would have been a solution of the mystery, charter already quoted, by which his son, in 1299, much to the taste of the Prior of Lochleven. 3 for himself and his beirs, conveys to the convent of Whatever doubts, however, the learned might the Trinity of Soltra, the tenement which he possessed | have, as to the source of the Rhymer's prophetic skill,
* From the chartulary of the Trinity House of sollra. * The lines alluded to are these :Advocates Library, W. 4. 14.
"I hope that Thomas's prophecie, ERSYLTON.
or Erceldoun, shall truly be,
la bim," ele. Omnibus has literas visuris vel audituris Thomas de Ercildoun filius et heres Thomæ Rymour de Ercildoun salutem in Domino.
3 Henry the Minstrel, who introduces Thomas into the history Noveritis me per sustem et baculum in pleno judicio resignasse ac
of Wallace, expresses the same doubt as to the source of his proper presentes quietem clamasse pro me et heredibus meis Magistro phetic knowledge :domus Sanctæ Trinitatis de Soltre et fratribus ejusdem domus
“ Tbomas Rhymer Into ibe faile was than totam terram meam cum omnibus pertinentibus suis quam in te
With the minister, which was a worthy man. Demento de Ercildoun hereditarie tenui renunciando de loto pro
He used ost to that religious place;
The people deemed of wit be meille can, me et heredibus meis omni jure et clameo quæ ego seu anteces
And so he told, though that they bless or ban, sores mei in eadem terra alioque tempore de perpetuo babuimus
In rule of war whether they lint or wan : sive de futuro habere possumus. In cujus rei testimonio presen
wbich bappened sooth io many divers case ; tibus bis sigillum meum apposui data apud Ercildoun die Martis
I cannot say by wrong or righteousness. prosimo post festum Sanctorum Apostolorum Symnonis et Jude
It may be doemed by division of grace," etc. Anno Domini Millesimo cc. Nonagesimo Nono.
History of Wallace, Book il.
the vulgar had no hesitation to ascribe the whole to , supernatural visitants. The veneration paid to his the intercourse between the bard and the Queen of dwelling-place even attached itself in some degree to Faëry. The popular tale bears, that Thomas was a person, who, within the memory of man, chose to carried off, at an early age, to the Fairy Land, where set up his residence in the ruins of Learmont's tower. he acquired all the knowledge, which made him after- The name of this man was Murray, a kind of herbawards so famous. After seven years' residence, he was list; who, by dint of some knowledge in simples, the permitted to return to the earth, to enlighten and as- possession of a musical clock, an electrical machine, tonish his countrymen by his prophetic powers; still, and a stuffed alligator, added to a supposed commuhowever, remaining bound to return to his royal nication with Thomas the Rhymer, lived for many mistress, when she should intimate her pleasure.' years in very good credit as a wizard. Accordingly, while Thomas was making merry with It seemed to the Editor unpardonable to dismiss a his friends in the Tower of Ercildoune, a person person so important in Border tradition as the Rhycame running in, and told, with marks of fear and mer, without some farther notice than a simple comastonishment, that a hart and hind had left the neigh-mentary upon the following ballad. It is given from bouring forest, and were, composedly and slowly, a copy, obtained from a lady residing not far from parading the street of the village. The prophet in- Ercildoune, corrected and enlarged by one in Mrs. stantly arose, left his habitation, and followed the Brown's MSS. The former copy, however, as might wonderful animals to the forest, whence he was never be expected, is far more minute as to local descripseen to return. According to the popular belief, he tion. To this old tale the Editor has ventured to add still “drees his weird” in Fairy Land, and is one a Second Part, consisting of a kind of cento, from day expected to revisit earth. In the meanwhile, his the printed prophecies vulgarly ascribed to the Rhymemory is held in the most profound respect. The mer; and a Third Part, entirely modern, founded Eildon Tree, from beneath the shade of which he de- upon the tradition of his having returned with the livered his prophecies, now no longer exists; but the hart and hind, to the Land of Faëry. To make his spot is marked by a large stone, called Eildon Tree peace with the more severe antiquaries, the Editor Stone. A neighbouring rivulet takes the name of has prefixed to the Second Part some remarks on the Bogle Burn (Goblin Brook) from the Rhymer's | Learmont's prophecies.
True Thomas lay on Huntlie bank;'
A ferlie he spied wi' his ee; And there he saw a ladye bright,
Come riding down by the Eildon Tree. Her shirt was o' the grass-green silk,
Her mantle o' the velvet fyne; At ilka tett of her horse's mane,
Hung fifty siller bells and nine. True Thomas, he pullid aff his cap,
And louted low down to his knee, “ All hail, thou mighty Queen of Heaven !
For thy peer on earth I never did see.”. “O no, O no, Thomas,” she said,
" That name does not belang to me; I am but the Queen of fair Elland,
That am hither come to visit thee.
“And see not ye that bonny road,
That winds about the fernie brae? That is the road to fair Elland,
Where thou and I this night maun gae.
Whatever ye may hear or see;
Ye'll ne'er get back to your ain countrie.”
And they waded through rivers aboon the knee, And they saw neither sun nor moon,
But they heard the roaring of the sea. It was mirk mirk night, and there was nae stern
light, And they waded through red blude to the knee; For a' the blude that's shed on earth
Rins through the springs o' that countrie. Syne they came on to a garden green,
And she pu’d an apple frae a tree " Take this for thy wages, true Thomas;
It will give thee the tongue that can never lie.”— “My tongue is mine ain,” true Thomas said ;
“A gudely gift ye wad gie to me! I neither dought to buy nor sell,
At fair or tryst where I may be. "I dought neither speak to prince or peer,
Nor ask of grace from fair ladye.”“Now hold thy peace!" the lady said,
“For as I say, so must it be.”He has gotten a coat of the even cloth,
And a pair of shoes of velvet green; And till seven years were gane and past,
True Thomas on earth was never seen.
“Harp and carp, Thomas," she said ; Harp and
carp along wi' me : And if ye dare to kiss my lips,
Sure of your bodie I will be.".
“ Betide me weal, betide me woe,
That weird sball never daunton me.”_ Syne he has kissed her rosy lips,
All underneath the Eildon Tree.
“Now, ye maun go wi' me,” she said ;
“ True Thomas, ye maun go wi' me; And ye maun serve me seven years,
Thro' weal or woe as may chance to be.” She mounted on her milk-white steed;
She's ta'en true Thomas up behind: And aye, whene'er her bridle rung,
The steed flew swifter than the wind.
TO THE FIRST PART OF THOMAS THE RHYMER.
O they rade on, and farther on;
The steed gaed swifter than the wind;. Until they reach'd a desert wide,
And living land was left behind.
And lean your head upon my knee;
And I will shew you ferlies three. “O see ye not yon narrow road,
So thick beset with thorns and briers ? That is the path of righteousness,
Though after it but few enquires. “And see ye not that braid braid road,
That lies across that lily leven ? That is the path of wickedness,
Though some call it the road to heaven.
The reader is here presented, from an old, and unfortunately an imperfect Ms., with the undoubted original of Thomas the Rhymer's intrigue with the Queen of Faëry. It will afford great amusement to those who would study the nature of traditional poetry, and the changes effected by oral tradition, to compare this ancient romance with the foregoing ballad. The same incidents are narrated, even the expression is often the same ; yet the poems are as different in appearance, as if the older tale had been regularly and systematically modernized by a poet of the present day.
Incipit Prophesia Thomæ de Erseldoun.
[ Huntly Bank, and the adjoining ravine, called, from imme 3 The traditional commentary upon this ballad informs us, that morial tradition, the Rymer's Glen, were ultimately included in the apple was the produce of the fatal Tree of Knowledge, and the domain of Abbotsford. The scenery of this glen forms the that the garden was the terrestrial paradise. The repugnance of background of Edwin Landseer's portrait of Sir Walter Scott, Thomas to be debarred the use of falsehood, when he might find painted in 1833. -ED.)
it convenient, has a comic effect. * That weird, etc. -That destiny shall never frighten me.