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our pleasures; dayly we gate new money, and the vyllaynes of Auvergne and of Lymosyn dayly provyded and brought to our castell whete mele, good wynes, beffes, and fatte mottons, pullayne, and wylde foule: We were ever furnyshed as tho we had been kings. When we rode forthe, all the countrey trymbled for feare: all was ours goyng and comynge. Howe tok we Carlast, I and the Bourge of Compayne, and I and Perot of Bernoys took Caluset: how dyd we scale, with lytell ayde, the strong castell of Marquell, pertayning to the Erl Dolphyn: I kept it nat past fyve days, but I receyved for it, on a feyre table, fyve thousand frankes, and forgave one thousande for the love of the Erl Dolphin's children. By my fayth, this was a fayre and a good lyfe; wherefore I repute myselve sore deceyved, in that I have rendered up the fortress of Aloys; for it wolde have kept fro alle the worlde, and the daye that I gave it up, it was fournyshed with vytaylles, to have been kept seven yere without any re-vytaylynge. This Erl of Armynake hath deceyved me: Olyve Barbe, and Perot le Bernoys, shewed to me how I shidde repente myself: certayne I sore repente myselfe of what I have done."—Froissart, vol. II. p. 195.
Note XVI. By wily turns, by desperate bounds, Had baffled Percy's best blood-hounds.—P. 80. The kings and heroes of Scotland, as well as the Border riders, were sometimes obliged to study how to evade the pursuit of blood-hounds. Barbour informs us, that Robert Bruce was repeatedly tracked by sleuth-dogs. On one occasion, he escaped by wading a bow-shot down a brook, and ascending into a tree by a branch which overhung the water: thus leaving no trace on land of his footsteps, he baffled the scent. The pursuers came up:
Rycht to the burn thai passyt ware,
The Bruce, Book vii.
A sure way of stopping the dog was to spill blood upon the track, which destroyed the discriminating fineness of his scent. A captive was sometimes sacrified on such occasions. Henry the Minstrel tells a romantic story of Wallace, founded on this circumstance:—The hero'3 little band had been joined by an Irishman, named Fawdon, or Fadzean, a dark, savage, and suspicious character. After a sharp skirmish at Black-Erne Side, Wallace was forced to retreat with only sixteen followers. The English pursued with a border sleuth-bratch, or blood-hound:
In Gelderland there was that bratchet bred,
Siker of scent, to follow them that fled;
So was he used in Uske and Liddesdail,
While (i. e. till) she gat blood no fleeing might avail.
In the retreat, Fawdon, tired, or affecting to be so, would go no farther: Wallace, having in vain argued with him, in hasty anger, struck off his head, and continued the retreat. When the English came up, their hound stayed upon the dead body:—
The sleuth stopped at Fawdon, tilt she stood,
The story concludes with a fine Gothic scene of terror. Wallace took refuge in the solitary tower of Gask. Here he was disturbed at midnight by the blast of a horn: He sent out his attendants by two and two, but no, one returned with tidings. At length, when he was left alone, the sound was heard still louder. The champion descended, sword in hand; and, at the gate of the tower, was encountered by the headless spectre of Fawdon, whom he had slain so rashly. Wallace, in great terror, fled up into the tower, tore open the boards of a window, leapt down fifteen feet in height, and continued his flight up the river. Looking back to Gask, he discovered the tower on fire, and the form of Fawdon upon the battlements, dilated to an immense size, and holding in his hand a blazing rafter. The Minstrel concludes,
Trust ryght wele, that all this be sooth, indeed,
The Wallace, Book T.
Mr Ellis has extracted this tale as a sample of Henry's poetry.—Specimens of English Poetry, vol. L p. 351.
Dimly he viewed the Moat-hilPs mound.—P. 33. This is a round artificial mount near Hawick, which, from its name (flpot. Ang. Sax. Concilium, Conventus,) was probably anciently used as a place for assembling a national council of the adjacent tribes. There are many such mounds in Scotland, and they are sometimes, but rarely, of a square form.
Note XVIII. Beneath the tower of Hazeldean.—P. 33. The estate of Hazeldean, corruptly Hassendean, belonged formerly to a family of Scotts, thus commemorated by Satchells:—
Hassendeap came without a call,
On Minto-crags the moon-beams glint.—P. 34. A romantic assemblage of cliffs, which rise suddenly above the vale of Teviot, in the immediate vicinity of the family seat, from which Lord Minto takes his title. A small platform, on a projecting crag, commanding a most beautiful prospect, is termed Barnhills' Bed. This Barnhills is said to have been 'a robber, or outlaw. There are remains of a strong tower beneath the rocks, where he is supposed to have dwelt, and from which he derived his name. On the summit of the crags are the fragments of another ancient tower, in a picturesque situation. Among the houses cast down by the Earl of Hartforde, in 1545, occur the towers of Easter-Barnhills, and of Minto crag, with Minto town and place. Sir Gilbert Elliot, father to the present Lord Minto, was the author of a beautiful pastoral song, of which the following is a more correct copy than is usually published. The poetical mantle of Sir Gilbert Elliot has descended to his family.
My sheep I neglected, I broke my sheep-hook,
Through regions remote in vain do I rove,
And bid the wide world secure me from love.
Ah, fool, to imagine, that aught could subdue
A love so well founded, a passion so true!
Ah, give me my sheep, and my sheep-hook restore,
And I'll wander from love and Amynta no more 1
Alas! 'tis too late at thy fate to repine!