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Among the various noble families whose achievements have furnished themes to the novelist and poet, there is none, I think, so distinguished by both, as the house of Grahame. The chief glories of that renowned race are briefly summed up in notes on the Vision of Don Roderick, and Lady of the Lake*, of which last poem you will recollect that a Græme is one of the principal personages. Montrose's exploits are made the ground-work of a tale by the author of Waverley. And if ever that author has treated a subject con amore, it is the character and actions of the gallant Claverhouse and glorious Dundee. Without suppressing or unduly palliating the circumstances which blacken his reputation, the novelist, like the poet, always sets them in the fairest light that candour will admit, and both turn eagerly to the rich display of his brighter and nobler qualities, and to the splendour of his closing-scene†. As we read of him in the spirit-stirring romance of Old Mortality, his courage, energetic spirit, and commanding talent, his soldierly courtesy of demeanor, his studied self-possession, once or twice interrupted by a flash of strong natural feeling, his zealous, though arbitrary generosity, his chivalrous devotedness to his king and his profession, form a picture which it is impossible to look upon, or having looked upon,

* Vision, &c. Conclusion, note 7; Lady of the Lake, canto ii. note 2.

+ See the last-mentioned notes; Introduction to the Battle of Loudon-hill, Border Minstrelsy, vol. ii.; Introduction, and last note to the Battle of Bothwell-bridge, ibid.; Tales of My Landlord, 1st series, vol. ii. ch. 12; note on the Memoirs of Captain Creichton, Swift's works, in 19 vols.; Edinburgh, 1814. vol. x. p. 166. Introduction to the Translation of Pitcairn's Epitaph, Dryden's works, in 18 vols.; London, 1808. vol. xi. p. 113.

to remember, without a thrill of enthusiasm. The Minstrel sings of his fall with a spirit worthy the heroic subject.

"Low as that tide has ebbed with me,

It still reflects to memory's eye
The hour my brave, my only boy
Fell by the side of great Dundee.
Why, when the volleying musket played
Against the bloody Highland blade,
Why was I not beside him laid? ··
Enough he died the death of fame;

Enough he died with conquering Græme."

Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto iv. St. 2.

But it is a strain still more impassioned and inspiring, that joins the well-earned fame of the descendant with the ancient glory of the sires:

"Nor be his praise o'erpast, who strove to hide
Beneath the warrior's vest affection's wound,
Whose wish Heaven for his country's weal denied-
Danger and fate he sought, but glory found.
From clime to clime, where'er war's trumpets sound,
The wanderer went; yet, Caledonia! still
Thine was his thought in march and tented ground;
He dreamed mid Alpine cliffs of Athole's hill,
And heard in Ebro's roar his Lyndoch's lovely rill.

O hero of a race renowned of old,

Whose war-cry oft has waked the battle swell, Since first distinguish'd in the onset bold,

Wild sounding when the Roman rampart fell! By Wallace' side it rung the Southron's knell,

Alderne, Kilsythe and Tibber owned its fame, Tummell's rude pass can of its terrors tell;

But ne'er from prouder field arose the name,

Than when wild Ronda learned the conquering shout ofGræme!" Vision of Don Roderick, Conclusion. Stanzas 16, 17.

The story of Angus's gigantic sword, with which he cut asunder the thigh-bone of Kilspindie, and which Morton gave Lindesay, when he challenged Bothwell to single combat, is told in a note on Marmion*, as well as in the Abbot +; and also in the Introduction to the Border Minstrelsy, where the historical authority is referred to. The old Highlander's contempt of a snow pillow, as an effeminate luxury, is reported from tradition, in a note on the Lady of the Lake, and alluded to in A Legend of Montrose ‡. Colonel Palmer's story of Callum Beg§, is closely copied from a passage in the Letters from Scotland, which is extracted, with many others from the same work, in the notes on the Lady of the Lake ||. These letters are also commended in the preface to Waverley q¶. The descriptions of Highland hunting, by Pitscottie, and Taylor the waterpoet, are cited together, both in Waverley **, and in a note on Marmion tt. In the same passage of Waverley, an incident is adopted from Mr. Gunn's essay on the Caledonian Harp, a work mentioned as curious in a note on the Lady of the Lake. The forest learning displayed, in the Bride of Lammermoor §§, about raven-bones, and the breaking of the

*Canto vi. note 10.

† Vol. ii. ch. 6.

Canto ii. note 16.Tales of my Landlord, 3d series, vol. iv. ch.9. § Waverley, vol. iii. ch. 9. || See notes 1 and 17 on canto ii. ** Vol. ii, ch. 1. ++ Canto ii, note 1.

Third Edition.

Canto i. note 10.

§§ Vol. i. ch. 8.


deer, and hurts with horn of hart,' appears to be collected from sources also indicated in a note to the same poem*. Simmie and his brother, of whom a description is given from the Bannatyne MS. in a note on Marmion†, are again spoken of in the Monastery. John Lillie, and his Euphues, to which we are indebted for the fantastic humours of Sir Piercie Shafton §, were long ago introduced to our acquaintance in the Life of Dryden ||. The idea of a spirit guarding treasures which a sorcerer is to wrest from him by spells, is poetically amplified by the author of Marmion, who says he derived it from the journal of a foreign tour by one of his friends. The same fiction is put into the mouth of Herman Dousterswivel, in the Antiquary**. Two ballads in the Border Minstrelsy††, called 'The Battle of Loudon Hill and The Battle of Bothwell Bridge,' with their accompanying historical notices, exhibit a large part of the outline so splendidly filled up in Old Mortality. Beside the more general narrative, they contain the popular prejudices and superstitions respecting Claverhouse, which the novelist has recorded, many of the incidents related by him of the skirmish at Drumclog; the death of Cornet Grahame, and his uncle's fatal remembrance of it on the day of Bothwell Bridge; and the story of Marion Weir, from which that of Bessie Maclure is evidently copied, though with a master's hand. Take for example the following circumstance:

The said Marion Weir, sitting upon her husband's

* Canto iv. note 4.
Vol. ii. ch. 10.

Sect. i. page 7.

+ Canto i. note 18.

§ Monastery, vol. ii, ch. 2. ¶ Introductory Epistle to canto vi. †† Vol. ii.

**Antiquary, vol. ii. ch. 6.

grave, told me, that before that, she could see no blood ' but she was in danger to faint; and yet she was helped to 'be a witness to all this, without either fainting or con'fusion, except when the shots were let off her eyes dazzled.' -Note on The Battle of Bothwell Bridge, Border Minstrelsy, vol. ii*.

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Ay, sir,' replies the poor blind woman to Henry 'Morton, though may be ye'll gi'e their deaths another 6 name.—The tane fell wi' sword in hand, fighting for a ⚫ broken national covenant; the tother-O, they took him ' and shot him dead on the green before his mother's face! -My auld e'en dazzled when the shots were looten off, and, to my thought, they waxed weaker and weaker ever ❝ since that weary day-and sorrow, and heart-break, and 'tears, might help on the disorder. But, alas! betraying 'Lord Evandale's young blood to his enemies' sword wad • ne'er hae brought my Ninian and Johnie alive again.”— Old Mortality, last vol. ch. 13.

It is remarkable, that in his introduction to the ballad of Loudon Hill, the editor observes, speaking of the Covenanters―Their indecent modes of prayer, their extravagant expectations of miraculous assistance, and their 6 supposed inspirations, might easily furnish out a tale, at 'which the good would sigh, and the gay would laugh.'

Several leading incidents of Old Mortality may be found in the Memoirs of Captain Creichton, just now cited. In a note on this piece, the editor gives a detailed account

* The passage of which this last sentence forms a part, and which has supplied the author of Old Mortality with several other hints, is extracted from the life of Mr. Alexander Peden, the covenanting minister.

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