The scarcity of my late friend's poem may be an excuse for adding the spirited conclusion of Clan Alpin's vow. The Clan Gregor has met in the ancient church of Balquidder. The head of Drummond-Ernoch is placed on the altar, covered for a time with the banner of the tribe. The Chief of the tribe advances to the altar:
And pausing, on the banner gazed; Then cried in scorn, his finger raised, "This was the boon of Scotland's king;" And, with a quick and angry fling, Tossing the pageant screen away, The dead man's head before him lay. Unmoved he scann'd the visage o'er, The clotted locks were dark with gore, The features with convulsion grim, The eyes contorted, sunk, and dim. But unappall'd, in angry mood, With lowering brow, unmoved he stood. Upon the head his bared right hand He laid, the other grasp'd his brand: Then kneeling, cried, "To Heaven I swear This deed of death I own, and share; As truly, fully mine, as though This my right hand had dealt the blow: Come then, our foeman, one, come all; If to revenge this caitiffs fall One blade is bared, one bow is drawn, Mine everlasting peace I pawn, To claim from them, or claim from him, In retribution, limb for limb. In sudden fray, or open strife, This steel shall render life for life." He ceased; and at his beckoning nod, The clansmen to the altar trod; And not a whisper breathed around, And nought was heard of mortal sound, Save from the clanking arms they bore, That rattled on the marble floor; And each, as he approach'd in haste, Upon the scalp his right hand placed; With livid lip, and gather'd brow, Each uttered, in his turn, the vow. Fierce Malcolm watch'd the passing scene, And search'd them through with glances keen; Then dash'd a tear-drop from his eye; Unhid it came--he knew not why. Exulting high, he towering stood: "Kinsmen," he cried, "of Alpin's blood, And worthy of Clan Alpin's name, Unstain'd by cowardice and shame, E'en do, spare nocht, in time of ill Shall be Clan Alpin's legend still!"
It has been disputed whether the Children of the Mist were actual MacGregors, or whether they were not outlaws named MacDonald, belonging to Ardnamurchan. The following act of the Privy Council seems to decide the question:--
"Edinburgh, 4th February, 1589.
"The same day, the Lords of Secret Council being crediblie informed of ye cruel and mischievous proceeding of ye wicked Clangrigor, so lang continueing in blood, slaughters, herships, manifest reifts, and stouths committed upon his Hieness' peaceable and good subjects; inhabiting ye countries ewest ye brays of ye Highlands, thir money years bybgone; but specially heir after ye cruel murder of umqll Jo. Drummond of Drummoneyryuch, his Majesties proper tennant and ane of his fosters of Glenartney, committed upon ye day of last bypast, be certain of ye said clan, be ye council and determination of ye haill, avow and to defend ye authors yrof qoever wald persew for revenge of ye same, qll ye said Jo. was occupied in seeking of venison to his Hieness, at command of Pat. Lord Drummond, stewart of Stratharne, and principal forrester of Clenartney; the Queen, his Majesties dearest spouse, being yn shortlie looked for to arrive in this realm. Likeas, after ye murder committed, ye authors yrof cutted off ye said umqll Jo. Drummond's head, and carried the same to the Laird of M'Grigor, who, and the haill surname of M'Grigors, purposely conveined upon the Sunday yrafter, at the Kirk of Buchquhidder; qr they caused ye said umqll John's head to be pnted to ym, and yr avowing ye sd murder to have been committed by yr communion, council, and determination, laid yr hands upon the pow, and in eithnik, and barbarous manner, swear to defend ye authors of ye sd murder, in maist proud contempt of our sovrn Lord and his authoritie, and in evil example to others wicked limmaris to do ye like, give ys sall be suffered to remain unpunished."
Then follows a commission to the Earls of Huntly, Argyle, Athole, Montrose, Pat. Lord Drummond, Ja. Commendator of Incheffray, And. Campbel of Lochinnel, Duncan Campbel of Ardkinglas, Lauchlane M'Intosh of Dunnauchtane, Sir Jo. Murray of Tullibarden, knt., Geo. Buchanan of that Ilk, and And. M'Farlane of Ariquocher, to search for and apprehend Alaster M'Grigor of Glenstre (and a number of others nominatim), "and all others of the said Clangrigor, or ye assistars, culpable of the said odious murther, or of thift, reset of thift, herships, and sornings, qrever they may be apprehended. And if they refuse to be taken, or flees to strengths and houses, to pursue and assege them with fire and sword; and this commission to endure for the space of three years."
Such was the system of police in 1589; and such the state of Scotland nearly thirty years after the Reformation.
Note I.--FIDES ET FIDUCIA SUNT RELATIVA.
The military men of the times agreed upon dependencies of honour, as they called them, with all the metaphysical argumentation of civilians, or school divines.
The English officer, to whom Sir James Turner was prisoner after the rout at Uttoxeter, demanded his parole of honour not to go beyond the wall of Hull without liberty. "He brought me the message himself,--I told him I was ready to do so, provided he removed his guards from me, for FIDES ET FIDUCIA SUNT RELATIVA; and, if he took my word for my fidelity, he was obliged to trust it, otherwise, it was needless for him to seek it, either to give trust to my word, which I would not break, or his own guards, who I supposed would not deceive him. In this manner I dealt with him, because I knew him to be a scholar."--TURNER'S MEMOIRS, p. 80. The English officer allowed the strength of the reasoning; but that concise reasoner, Cromwell, soon put an end to the dilemma: "Sir James Turner must give his parole, or be laid in irons."
A species of apparition, similar to what the Germans call a Double-Ganger, was believed in by the Celtic tribes, and is still considered as an emblem of misfortune or death. Mr. Kirke (See Note to ROB ROY,), the minister of Aberfoil, who will no doubt be able to tell us more of the matter should he ever come back from Fairy-land, gives us the following:--
"Some men of that exalted sight, either by art or nature, have told me they have seen at these meetings a double man, or the shape of some man in two places, that is, a superterranean and a subterranean inhabitant perfectly resembling one another in all points, whom he, notwithstanding, could easily distinguish one fro another by some secret tokens and operations, and so go speak to the man his neighbour and familiar, passing by the apparition or resemblance of him. They avouch that every element and different state of being have animals resembling those of another element, as there be fishes at sea resembling Monks of late order in all their hoods and dresses, so as the Roman invention of good and bad daemons and guardian angels particularly assigned, is called by them ane ignorant mistake, springing only from this originall. They call this reflex man a Co-Walker, every way like the man, as a twin-brother and companion haunting him as his shadow, as is that seen and known among men resembling the originall, both before and after the originall is dead, and was also often seen of old to enter a hous, by which the people knew that the person of that liknes was to visit them within a few days. This copy, echo, or living picture, goes at last to his own herd. It accompanied that person so long and frequently for ends best known to its selve, whether to guard him from the secret assaults of some of its own folks, or only as an sportfull ape to counterfeit all his actions."--KIRKE'S SECRET COMMOMWEALTH, p. 3.
The two following apparitions, resembling the vision of Allan M'Aulay in the text, occur in Theophilus Insulanus (Rev. Mr. Fraser's Treatise on the Second Sight, Relations x. and xvii.):--
"Barbara Macpherson, relict of the deceased Mr. Alexander MacLeod, late minister of St. Kilda, informed me the natives of that island had a particular kind of second sight, which is always a forerunner of their approaching end. Some months before they sicken, they are haunted with an apparition, resembling themselves in all respects as to their person, features, or clothing. This image, seemingly animated, walks with them in the field in broad daylight; and if they are employed in delving, harrowing, seed-sowing, or any other occupation, they are at the same time mimicked by this ghostly visitant. My informer added further that having visited a sick person of the inhabitants, she had the curiosity to enquire of him, if at any time he had seen any resemblance of himself as above described; he answered in the affirmative, and told her, that to make farther trial, as he was going out of his house of a morning, he put on straw-rope garters instead of those he formerly used, and having gone to the fields, his other self appeared in such garters. The conclusion was, the sick man died of that ailment, and she no longer questioned the truth of those remarkable presages."
"Margaret MacLeod, an honest woman advanced in years, informed me, that when she was a young woman in the family of Grishornish, a dairy-maid, who daily used to herd the calves in a park close to the house, observed, at different times, a woman resembling herself in shape and attire, walking solitarily at no great distance from her, and being surprised at the apparition, to make further trial, she put the back part of her upper garment foremost, and anon the phantom was dressed in the same manner, which made her uneasy, believing it portended some fatal consequence to herself. In a short time thereafter she was seized with a fever, which brought her to her end, and before her sickness and on her deathbed, declared the second sight to several."
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