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Note XVIII. Ransacked the graves of warriors old, Their faulchions wrenched from corpses' hold.—P. 195. The northern warriors were usually entombed with their arms, and their other treasures. Thus, Angantyr, before commencing the duel in which he was slain, stipulated, that if he fell, his sword Tyrfing should be buried with him. His daughter, Hervor, afterwards took it from his tomb. The dialogue which past betwixt her and Angantyr's spirit on this occasion has been often translated. The whole history may be found in the Hervarar-Saga. Indeed the ghosts of the northern warriors were not wont tamely to suffer their tombs to be plundered; and hence the mortal heroes had an additional temptation to attempt such adventures; for they held nothing more worthy of their valour than to encounter supernatural beings.—BarTholinus De causis contempts a Danis mortis, Lib. I. cap. 2, 9,10, 13.
Note XIX. Rosabelle.—V. 195. This was a family name in the house of St Clair. Henry St Clair, the second of the line, married Rosabelle, fourth daughter of the Earl of Stratherne.
Mote XX. Castle RaVensheuch.—P. 196. A large and strong castle, now ruinous, situated betwixt Kirkaldy and Dysart, on a steep crag, washed by the Firth of Forth. It was conferred on Sir William St Clair, as a slight compensation for the earldom of Orkney, by a charter of King James III. dated in 1471, and is now the property of Sir James St Clair Erskine, (now Earl of Rosslyn,) representative of the family. It was long a principal residence of the Barons of Roslin.
Where Roslin's chiefs uncoffined lie; Each Baron, for a sable shroud, Sheathed in his iron panoply.—P. 198. The beautiful chapel of Roslin is still in tolerable preservation. It was founded in 1446 by William St Clair, Prince of Orkney, Duke of Oldenbourgh, Earl of Cathness and Stratherne, Lord Saint Clair, Lord Niddesdale, Lord Admiral of the Scottish seas, Lord Chief Justice of Scotland, Lord Warden of the three Marches, Baron of Roslin, Pentland, Pentlandmoor, &c, Knight of the Cockle and of the Garter, (as is affirmed,) High Chancellor, Chamberlain, and Lieutenant of Scotland. This lofty person, whose titles, says Godscroft, might weary a Spaniard, built the castle of Roslin, where he resided
in princely splendour, and founded the chapel, which is in the most rich and florid stile of Gothic architecture. Among the profuse carving on the pillars and buttresses, the rose is frequently introduced, in allusion to the name, with which, however, the flower has no connection; the etymology being Rosslinnhe, the promontory of the linn, or water-fall. The chapel is said to appear on fire previous to the death of any of his descendants. This superstition, noticed by Slezer in his Theatrum Scotia, and alluded to in the text, is probably of Norwegian derivation, and may have been imported by the Earls of Orkney into their Lothian domains. The tomb-fires of the north are mentioned in most of the Sagas.
The Barons of Roslin were buried in a vault beneath the chapel floor. The manner of their interment is thus described by Father Hay, in the MS. history already quoted.
"Sir William Sinclair, the father, was a leud man. He kept a miller's daughter, with whom, it is alledged, he went to Ireland; yet I think the cause of his retreat was rather occasioned by the Presbyterians, who vexed him sadly, because of his religion being Roman Catholic. His son, Sir William, died during the troubles, and was interred in the chapel of Roslin the very same day that the battle of Dunbar was fought. When my good-father was buried, his (i. e. Sir William's) corpse seemed to be entire at the opening of the cave; but when they came to touch his body, it fell into dust. He was laying in his armour, with a red velvet cap on his head, on a flat stone; nothing was spoiled except a piece of the white furring, that went round the cap, and answered to the hinder part of the head. All his predecessors were buried after the same manner, in their armour: late Rosline, my good-father, was the first that was buried in a coffin, against the sentiments of King James the Seventh, who was then in Scotland, and several other persons well versed in antiquity, to whom my mother would not hearken, thinking it beggarly to be buried after that manner. The great expences she was at in burying her husband, occasioned the sumptuary acts which were made in the following parliament."
"Gylbin, come!"—P. 201.
See the story of Gilpin Horner, pp. 265, 266, 267.
Note XXIII. For he was speechless, ghastly, wan, Like him, of whom the story ran, Who spoke the spectre-hound in Man.—P. 201. The ancient castle of Peel-town, in the Isle of Man, is surrounded by four churches, now ruinous. Through one of these chapels there was formerly a passage from the guardroom of the garrison. This was closed, it is said, upon the following occasion: "They say, that an apparition, called, in the Mankish language, the Mauthe Doog, in the shape of a large black spaniel, with curled shaggy hair, was used to haunt Peel-castle; and has been frequently seen in every room, but particularly in the guard-chamber, where, as soon as candles were lighted, it came and lay down before the fire, in presence of all the soldiers, who, at length, by being so much accustomed to the sight of it, lost great part of the terror they were seized with at its first appearance. They still, however, retained a certain awe, as believing it was an evil spirit, which only waited permission to do them hurt; and, for that reason, forebore swearing, and all prophane discourse, while in its company. But though they endured the shock of such a guest when all together in a body, none cared to be left alone with it. It being the custom, therefore, for one of the soldiers to lock the gates of the castle at a certain hour, and carry the keys to the captain, to whose apartment, as I said before, the way led through the church, they agreed among themselves, that whoever was to succeed the ensuing night his fellow in this errand, should accompany him that went first, and by this means no man would be exposed singly to the danger: for I forgot to mention, that the Mauthe Doog was always seen to come out from that passage at the close of day, and return to it again as soon as the morning dawned; which made them look on this place as its peculiar residence.
"One night, a fellow being drunk, and by the strength of his liquor rendered more daring than ordinarily, laughed at the simplicity of his companions; and, though it was not his turn to go with the keys, would needs take that office upon him, to testify his courage. All the soldiers endeavoured to dissuade him j but the more they said, the more resolute he