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out, and burning the heart of one of vout gravity with which the old wos the horses that had died through their man related this story, and the faith mischievous cantrips." She told me which she seemingly reposed in its also of a marvellous circumstance authenticity, amused me much. Upon which took place at the fire. A large inquiring if it was generally believed black grew (greyhound) came run- in her younger days, “ Who could ning with its mouth covered with doubt it!" answered she, apparently foam, and seemingly ready to drop much displeased with so suspicious a down with fatigue, and made a des- question, “ did they believe the Bible, perate attempt to pluck the heart from ye micht as weel hae askit, for the the flames, but its endeavours proved tane just deserves as weel to be beineffectual, for one of the bystanders lieved in as the tither.” having struck it a severe blow with a There is a story of ancient date still stick across the back, compelled it to current among some old people about make off. On their way home the Jedburgh, a place once famed for company was met by a villager, who witches. I need scarcely inform the came running, as fast as he was able, reader that it would be accounted litto inform one of the spectators that tle short of sacrilege in the estimation his wife had suddenly been taken ill. of some of the older inhabitants, to Upon reaching the house they found express so much as a doubt of its auto their no small surprise, that her thenticity. It runs thus : A person back was broken ; but as she either of the name of Brown, the parish could not, or would not, give a satis- schoolmaster of Jedburgh, had the factory account of the accident, they misfortune to be saddled with a wife unanimously concluded that she was who was known through the town to a witch, and that she had got her back be a most mischievous witch. Brown broken by the blow which she had being a pious good man, used to rereceived when attempting, in the monstrate with her upon her unlawshape of a greyhound, to take the ful practices. Offended, however, by horse's heart from the fire. Being these reproofs, she formed the design all satisfied of this, they ordered her, of taking away his life. She accordthat they might set the matter com- ingly, assisted by some of her assopletely at rest, to repeat that part of ciutes, took him out of his bed in the the Lord's Prayer which says, " And night time and drowned him in the lead us not into temptation, but de- river Jed. Some of the Jedburgh liver us from evil;" this she could people, who had been awakened by not do, always saying, “ And lead us the noise, heard him singing the into temptation, but deliver us not from Twenty-third Psalm, as they were evil,” &c. They immediately bound leading him, with a rope about his her, and carried her to the place neck, down to the water, and at the where they had been consuming the same time a company of fairies were horse's heart, and after cutting cross observed to be dancing on the top of marks upon her forehead and breast the steeple of Jedburgh Abbey. Af to prevent her from flying away, toss- ter the witches had accomplished their ed her into the flames. She told me diabolical purposes with the poor doalso, that shortly after the adventure minie, they joined the party of fairies on the house top, the old woman's on the highest pinnacle of the Abbey, son died of excruciating pains all over and there the whole company regalec his body, but more particularly in themselves with wine and ale; bevethe sides and head, the places through rages of which they are said to have which pins had been fixed in the been particularly fond. The liquor waxen image. $ The serious and de- was taken from the cellar of a'Mr
John Ainslie, who was either a mer. Spells.
chant or innkeeper, and whose descen+ This was one of the methods said to dants are still living in very respectahave been anciently practised for trying a ble stations of society. It is said that witch.
the drowning of the man was the exFrom a story furnished me by a clusive act of the witches, and that it friend, I take the following extract : " In the witch's house was found a small bu- these were pulled from the image, the perman figure made of clay, with several son whom it represented was relieved from thorns pierced through it. As soon as her complaints," &c.
was done without the knowledge of It was believed that a witch could the fairies, for they never were con
not alter her natural appearance, sidered as being addicted to deeds of when in human form, but that notviolence, unless when they received withstanding she was able to metaprovocation. Popular tradition says, morphose herself into any animal that a son of Lord Torphichen, who shape she pleased, save that of the had been taught the art of witchcraft dove and the lamb, which, as they by bis nurse, was among the party on were considered emblems of divinity, that occasion, and that he was the no order of preternatural beings were person who first gave information of supposed able to assume. Of all anithe murderers of Brown. It is also mal forms, that of the cat seems to said, that the same company of fairies have been their favourite, though we passed through Jedburgh before the frequently hear of their exploits in army of Prince Charles, with drums the shapes of grews, or greyhounds, beating,-probably attached to the an- and hares. cient regime.
As I have already observed, the It was supposed, that when a wo- modern witch is of a less frightful man gave herself over, body and soul, character. Indeed, they are to the devil, he gave her unrestrained nearly synonymous with a fortunepower of doing all sorts of wickedness teller or strolling spaewise, or a gypand mischief,—but in consonance to sey. I intended to have given some his supposed character, he bound them illustrations of this, but this, togedown to perform no good action what ther with what I have to relate conever, except in furtherance of any of cerning the ancient popular opinions their foul schemes. This power of about supernatural appearances, or doing ill by supernatural means, what are vulgarly styled bogles, I must seems, however, not to have been con. for the present defer, as I fear I have sidered as altogether absolute, for already obtruded too much on the pamany methods were practiseal to ac tience of you and your readers. Meanvert their machinations. Among these while I am, &c.
A. M. was the custom of branding such wo Hawick, April 29, 1820. men as were by public repute witches, with a mark, or cross cut, on their forehearls, wbich was supposed to de stroy for ever the Satanic influence,
IN TASSO'S AMINTA. and to relieve those who had previously been bewitched by them from DEAR SIR, Since you have been so kind, their malady. Scarlet thread was of. I surely cannot be behind ; teu wrapped round the horns of cattle Accept, I pray, the following story,
Which I have just translated for ye. to protect them from being bewitched, but when it was taken off they The scene is an Italian wood; were again subject to their charms. The nymphs are fair, the day is good, I have often seen pins of rowan tree Two shepherds meet amang the bow'is.
The sun shines bright amang the flow'rsand boun tree or alder wood, fixed in stables and byres to protect the in- But, humbly begging Tasso's pardon, mates. I once heard a woman say, Besides I think there's no occasion
I dinna like to be tyd hard down, that having stuck a bough of power for a strict literal translation. tree above her door head, she heard the witches and fairies - greeting
I therefore mean to change the scene, at her door the whole night, and cry- I'll act Aminta if I can,
To Crawwick's wuds o' Scottish græn; ing, “ we canna win in." But (a- And Sylvia shall be lovely Ann. mongst a thousand others) one of the most esteemed preservatives, particu- When I was just a wee wee callan, larly of the liuman person, against Rinnan about my Annie's dwallan, the spells of witchcraft, of which I We aften todlet out thegither, have heard, was an ear of wheat, An' gowans pou't wi' ane anither. which was carried constantly in the Her saft an' shinan yellow hair pocket. It was vulgarly believed, Hang curlin' o'er her white neck bare, ihat on every grain of wheat there is Dancin' upo' the simmer breeze, a representation of the human face- An' I wad climb the leafy trees, said to be the face of our Saviour, and To cull the fruits o' sweetest juice, hence it derived its efficacy.
Of which my Annie had made choice.
SCOTTISH IMITATION OF A PASSAGE
While thus amang the wuds we ran, Than the soft languor of her eyes ;
Her voice that wak'd my softest sighs, An' she was gentler far than ony,
A voice far sweeter than the burnie,
Sweeter than simmer's sigh that heavés
Began to feel a new desire ; The kind an' gentle turtle dove
Within my heart then burnt a fire, Was not mair happy wi' its mate,
That made me long to press her lips,
And drink the dews a lover sips.
Whether my cheek was sting’d or no
It matters not-but I did go Like a wee gowan by its lane,
To Anna-who my tale believ'd, An unkent love for my sweet Ann, For piteously I grat an' griev'd. Which made me always wish to be
Soon did the simple girl prepare In that young lassie's company.
To mend my cheek was stang't sae sair ; When we were sitting on a bank,
But ah! the sting her lips did gie I from her eyes a sweetness drank, Inflam'd far waur than ony bee ! That made me wonder what cou'd be
J. H. Sae sweet in a young lassie's ee.
Greenock, 10th May 1820.
ANCIENT CONDITION OF EDINBURGH. I could not tell the reason why.
EXTRACTS FROM THE COMMONContinuing sighs my heart did move,
BOOK OF MR JONATHAN And I discover'd it was love;
It was my lot some time ago to sucAe day Eliza, Ann, an' me,
ceed to the property of an old antiquaPlayfully past away the hours,
rian uncle, whom, as I cannot give The bees drank honey 'mang the flow'rs.
you his real name, with the permisEliza's cheek, vermillion pure,
sion of the great and unknown novelist, The bees mistook it for a flow'r ;
we shall call Mr Jonathan Oldbuck. Ane o' them cam wi' hummin' wing, His house, of which I lately took posAn' wae-sucks! pierc'd it wi' his sting. session, was an exact prototype of the Eliza's cheek was unco sair,
mansion of Monkbarns, so charmingAn' she began a greetin there ;
ly described in the Antiquary. It was My Annie wi' her voice sae sweet,
an old-fashioned turretted pile, which Said, Whisht, Eliza! dinna greet.
contained a few dark low-roofed rooms. I hae a charm will lieal the wound,
On their wainscoated walls of brown An' mak your cheek yet heal an' sound,
oak were hung up, in fantastic troI learn'd it frae an' auld wise woman,
phies, the precious relics and outlandKent mony a thing that wasna common.
ish-looking gear, in collecting which This said, my Anna did advance Her sweet wee mouth, wi' laughin glance, fortune. His library and papers I
he had spent the better part of his Began to try her magic pow'rs,
found in great confusion ; but, in atWi' lips as soft as honey flow'rs.
tempting to restore some little order She prest them to the bumbee wound,
to the chaos of strange and heterogeWi' sic a sweet an' murmuran sound,
neous elements which composed it, I That really, wonnerfu' to say, Eliza's stang died quire away.
chanced frequently to stumble upon The virtue o' her lips was such,
valuable matter. Behind a mutilated They heal'd it wi' their vera touch.
Roman altar I found a MS. life of the
famous Duns Scotus, he who, accordAn' I, who never had before Observ'd in Annie any more
ing to Mackenzie, was descended from that ancient and respectable family
the Dunses in the Merse. Stuffed in• The same age.
to an old steel skull-cap, which had YOL.. VI.
once defended the strong and grizzled records will be found pregnant with rate of some hardy borderer, I disco- important matter, even by such sage vered a dissertation on the British li- dons as the historian and the political terature of the 12th and 13th centu- economist :-of triple value, however, ries, embracing biographical notices of to such high characters as myself the great Roger Bacon, John de Sacro the enthusiastic, poring, parchmentBosco, Daniel Morley, Sylvester Gy- feil, thorough-paced Antiquary. 0. raldus, and other luminaries of these pening the volume, for instance, at a memorable days, with a most erudite venture, and putting your thumb, account of that course of study then like Jack Horuer, with delicious unknown by the name of the Trivials certainty into this intellectual pasty, and Quadrivials. But what particu. what rare morsels may you not bring larly pleased me was the detection of up? the old gentleman's common-place book. It was locked up in an ancient Disease called the Glengore. writing-lesk of most curious carving, It is statut, for eschewing the conwhich had once belonged to the famous tagious sickness called the Glengore, Leslie, Bishop of Ross, bearing his that all maner of persons infected initials, family arms, and mitre, in therewith pass furth of the town, and rich alto relievo upon the pannels
. compear upon Leith Sands, at ten The perusal of this antiquarian album hours the morn in the forenoon, and! has given me no common pleasure, as, there shall be boats, ready furnisht amid frequent trifling and much ode with victuals, to take them to the dity, it really contains some curious in- Inch; and those that undertakes the formation. It occurred to me, Mr cure to pass with them; and wha Editor, that you would not be dis- failzies sae to doe, they and ilk ane of pleased to see some of these lucubra- them sall be burnt in the cheek with cions. Without farther preface, there a marking-iron, that they may be fore, I present you with the following known in time comeing, and to be ba
nished.-Page 9, f. 34. The date of EXTRACTS FROM THE COMMON-PLACE this act of council is 22 September
By this act it will be observed, that, Howlett-Hall, June 2, 1736.
when this particular disease infected I HAVE been lately much delighted the city, both doctors and patients with looking over MS. Abridgment were transported in boats to Inchof the Town-Council Register. It keith. Again, contains many curious particulars illustrative of the ancient condition and Swans in the North Loch. manners of our city. The statutes re In the book which contains the acts lative to the intercourse of the good from 1589 to 1594, we find this entown with the sovereign, when Scot- try :-“ Ordains á boll of oats to be land had still her own king, and bought for feeding the swans in the court, and nobles, the regulations re- North Loch ;" and there is a person garding the affairs of the church, when unlawed for shooting a swan in the Knox was just opening his ecclesiasti- said loch, and obleist himself to find cal battery upon the gorgeous fabric another in its place. of Catholic superstition, the enactments in times of public pestilence, Punishment for calling a Bailie an or domestic faction, or foreign inva
Oppressor. sion, all these provisions of the coupe Ordains one Young, for calling the cil contain valuable information to baillies oppressors, to come upon a every one who is interested in the his- Sunday to St Giles, furth of the pritory and antiquities of his country; son, with officers conveying him, with Nay, even on what may be esteemed
a wax candle of a pound weight in his minor subjects, such as the general government of the city,--the build
• I regret I cannot discover the precise ing of new lands, of houses, and de- dates of these acts, the abstract from which molishing of old, the state of the I take them only mentioning the book from crafts of Edinburgh:-—of the public which they are taken, and the page where markets, and prices of provisions, the original act is to be found, thus form. the escheats and the punishments of ing an index, to the numerous volumes of criminals,--this abstract of our city the acts of town-council.
BOOK OF MR JONATHAN OLDBUCK.
hand, and present the samyne to St cient, to tax the neighbours conform Giles light, and thereafter sitt down to their abilities, and to poynd and upon his knees, and ask forgiveness; distrerzie therefore, if need beis. and to return to prison, and stay there during the baillies' pleasure.
Loan to the King:
The council lends 10,000 m. to the Adultery.
King, and ordains a roll to be made Ordains all adulterers to be put in up of the neighbours that can best the iron-house, and fed with bread spare the same; and ordains the reand water, for a month, and thereaf- fusers to be imprisoned, and their ter to be banished ; and fornicators to names to be given up to the King; be scourged at the tail of an cart and the town to give security for the through the town; and this to en- money.-Page 100 of the book from dure till a better law be made by high- 1579 to 1583. er powers against the saids vices.-P. 52, f. 47. This act is in the volume
John Knor. embracing the acts from 1561 to 1571. In the book from 1558 to 1561, we
find an act ordaining the treasurer to Hangman or Lockman. pay to one Cairns fourty pounds, for An order appoints a new garment furnishing John Knox, minister, his to be made for the lockman at the household fifteen dayes. In the same execution of the Earl of Morton, who book we are furnished with a comis to be executed for several crimes of pleat inventary of the treasury of St lese majestie.
A subsequent order Giles. contains a letter from the King re Delivered to James Barren, Dean of garding taking down the Earl of Mor. Gild, the following particulars of St ton's head.
Giles treasury, viz. the chalice, weigh
ing 23 ounces; the relic called the Mercuts.
arm of St Giles; the christening In the book from 1561 to 1571, we stock, and two newcatts of silver ; the find an ordinance, that " the prices great eucharist, with the golden work following are to be taken by the cor- and staines ; four golden bells, with diners, viz. For the pair of double twa croces; a small bell, with an soled shoes of the longest measure, 3s, heart, weighing four ounces; an uni8d. ; the pair of single soled shoes of corn of gold ; an piece of gold that the longest measure, 25. 8d. ; the pair held the bread within the eucharist; of finest double soled boots of the a littel blew bell of gold; a little heart longest measure, 1 pound." There is with two pearles ; sundrie staines set also, a little prior to this, an act or- with gold, within a little ring and diadaining that there shall be no stands mond; the sacrament of cloth of gold, or craims in the High Street, passages, with St Giles his coat, with an little or kirk doors, except on Monday, and pendicle of red velvet that hangs at that there be none of the particulars his feet. following sold, viz. French cloath, silks, worsteds, bombasies, fustains, Punishment for setting the Milns in buckrams, French 'bonnets, French
Back Water. hats, all kinds of spicerie, chamletts, Ordains Thomas Bartillmo for setHolland cloath, sairge, sowing silk, ting the milns in back water, to come sowing gold and silver, starch, mader, on a Sunday with ane wax candle, iron, except wax, pitch, and tarr, bat- with his sark only, and ask the protorie, soap, sher), alom, Spanish skins, vost's foregiveness. burdoletts, nor uther skins, nor nac sic like staple goods, under a penalty
John Knor. for the first fault, and escheat there. In the book containing the acts after.
from 1558 to 1561, we find an order
to pay John Knox his house-mail, and Poor Rutes.
a little farther on another act causing In the book containing the acts 50 pounds to be paid to the Reformer from 1561 to 1571, we find a letter for supporting his charges. At a later from the Queen, appointing the ma- period still there is an act ordaining gistrates, because the voluntarie con- 30 pounds to be payed to him for his tribution for the poor was not suffi- quarter payment, and directing, this