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for that he had neglected to feed them before he came from home. If she gave him the bread, he was to thank her and come away; but if she refused it, he gave him a line written in red characters, which he was to lodge above the lintel as he came out. The servant found her baking of bread, as his master assured him he would, and delivered his message. She received him most ungraciously, and absolutely refused to give him any bread, alleging, as an excuse, that she had not as much as would serve her own reapers to dinner. The man said no more, but lodged the line as directed, and returned to his master. The powerful spell had the desired effect; Lucky
instantly threw off her clothes, and danced round and round the fire like one quite mad, singing the while with great glee,
"Master Michael Scott's man
The dinner hour arrived, but the reapers looked in vain for their dame, who was wont to bring it to them to the field. The goodman sent home a servant girl to assist her, but neither did she return. At length he ordered them to go and take their dinner at home, for he suspected his spouse had taken some of her tirravies. All of them went inadvertently into the house, and, as soon as they passed beneath the mighty charm, were seized with the same mania, and followed the example of their mistress. The goodman, who had tarried behind, setting some shocks of corn, came home last; and hearing the noise ere ever he came near the house, he did not venture to go in, but peeped in at the window. There he beheld all his people dancing naked round and round the fire, and singing, "Master Michael Scott's man," with the most frantic wildness. His wife was by that time quite exhausted, and the rest were half trailing her around. She could only now and then pronounce a syllable of the song, which she did with a kind of scream, yet seemed as intent on the sport as ever.
The goodman mounted his horse, and rode with all speed to the Master, to inquire what he had done to his people which had put them all mad. Michael bade him take down the note from the lintel and burn it, which he did, and all the people returned to their senses. Poor Lucky , , died overnight, and Michael remained unmatched and alone in all the arts of enchantment and necromancy.
Note XI. The Spectre's Cradle Song.—P. 145. J mentioned formerly that the tale of M'Gregor is founded on a popular Highland tradition—so also is this Song of the Spectre in the introduction to it, which, to me at least, gives it a peculiar interest. As I was once travelling up Glen-Dochart, attended by Donald Fisher, a shepherd of that country, he pointed out to me some curious green dens, by the side of the large rivulet which descends from the back of Ben More, the name of which, in the Gaelic language, signifies the abode of the fairies. A native of that country, who is still living, happening to be benighted there one summer evening, without knowing that the place was haunted, wrapped himself in his plaid, and lay down to sleep till the morning. About midnight he was awaked by the most enchanting music; and on listening, he heard it to be the voice of a woman singing to her child. She sung the verses twice over, so that next morning he had several of them by heart. Fisher had heard them often recited in Gaelic, and he said they were wild beyond human conception. He remembered only a few lines, which were to the same purport with the Spirit's Song here inserted, namely, that she (the singer) had brought her babe from the regions below to be cooled by the breeze of the world, and that they would soon be obliged to part, for the child was going to heaven, and she was to remain for a season in purgatory. I had not before heard any thing so truly romantic.
Note XII. That the pine, which for ages had shed a bright halo, Afar on the mountains of Highland Glen-Falo, Should wither and fall ere the turn of yon moon, Smit through by the canker of hated Cdquhoun.—P. 150. The pine was the standard, and is still the crest of the M'Gregors; and it is well known that the proscription of that clan was occasioned by a slaughter of the Colquhouns, who were its constant and inveterate enemies. That bloody business let loose the vengeance of the country upon them, which had nearly extirpated the name. The Campbells and the Grahams arose and hunted them down like wild beasts, until a M'Gregor could no more be found.
Note XIII. Earl Walter.—P. 155. This ballad is founded on a well-known historical fact. Hollingshed mentions it slightly in the following words: "A Frenchman named Sir Anthony Darcie, knight, called afterwards Le Sir de la Bawtie, came through England into Scotland, to seek feats of arms. And coming to the king the four and twentie of September, the Lord Hamilton fought with him right valiantly, and so as neither of them lost any piece of honour."
Note XIV. From this the Hamiltons of Clyde, Their royal lineage draw.—P. 172. The Princess Margaret of Scotland was married to the Lord Hamilton when only sixteen years of age, who received the earldom of Arran as her dowry. Hollingshed says, "Of this marriage, those of the house of Hamilton are descended, and are nearest of blood to the crown of Scotland, as they pretend; for (as saith Lesleus, lib. viii. p. 316,) if the line of the Stewards fail, the crown is to come to them."