Imagens das páginas

turbcd the rude mythology of the Romans and their tributaries. The long stagnation of the human mind was at length moved. Philosophy had given a noble expansion to intellectual power, and diffused an energetic contempt for the absurdity of pagan rites. Satire had directed its shafts in ridicule of popular delusion; and rhetoric had roused, whilst science directed an impulse to the exposure of error, and the search after truth. Contemporary with these great social phenomena, two powerful auxiliary movements were in active operation, to aid the extension of Christianity—the dispersion of the Jews, with their sacred books and antiquities, over every region of the Western World, and the diffusion of the literature and language of the Greeks, (the vernacular of the Apostles, and probably of their august Master himself,) over all the southern dominion of Home, where the Greeks, before their final submission, had planted their colonics, from the shores of the Hellespont to the confines of the Atlas.

"Coextensive with the march of the Apostles, therefore, were the facilities which they found already prepared for the triumph of their missions; but these facilities, their humble followers throughout the East, at the present day, have, in every instance, slowly and laboriously to create amidst difficulties more obstructive, and influences more adverse, than the dangers which beset the path of the Apostles, or the active persecution which overtook their earliest disciples. Instead of the strife of theology, they have to overcome the apathy of indifference, and experience has proved that they encounter a more formidable opponent in the stnpor of ignorance than in the dialectics of scepticism."

The educated among the Singhalese arc, it seems, nice students of style, and care more for the form in which a truth is communicated, than for the truth itself; indeed, they will read anything that is agreeably and gracefully put before them. But no attention has been paid to this point by the Christian teachers, who often offend their pupils by using very inelegant, inappropriate, and sometimes offensive language. The following for instance, is much to be regretted:—

"In the preparation of the Church of England version of the Scriptures, and the Book of Common Prayer, an innovation has likewise been admitted, to which it will be long before the ear and taste of the Singhalese will be thoroughly reconciled. So pliant is their dialect, and so artistically has it been inflected, to adapt it to the relative station of the personages addressed, that in one particular alone, the variations of a single pronoun, a native of Ceylon is enabled to apply with delicate propriety no less than ten or twelve degrees of respect, each appropriate to the recognised rank of the individual addressed, and ranging from a familiarity expressive of contempt, to a degree of awe and veneration, with which, in their ideas of worship, the Supreme Being alone should be approached. In the version of the Scriptures translated by the Church of England missionaries of Cotta, all these distinctions have been equalized; they have omitted the use of the honorific 'wohause,' and addressed the Deity through

out, with the ordinary appellation of 'to' or thou. The alteration has given rise to the most vehement remonstrances on the part of the higher class of natives, and of the many who, like them, have been reared in that national veneration for rank, which the Buddhists have substituted somewhat inartificially for the prohibited distinctions of 'caste.' They have protested, as blasphemous, against application to the Supreme Being of epithets which would be felt as an insult if addressed to themselves. They lately rose in a body, and retired from a Church, when the obnoxious version was introduced, and they have intimated, should an innovation so offensive be persevered in, to seek in some other communion of the Christian Church that respect for their feelings which they conceive has been disregarded in their own."

We have attempted to give some general idea of the contents of this volume, but to all persons really interested in our East Indian dominions, we would say, "Read it for yourselves." There is no parade of the pedantry of Oriental learning, and probably the author is more acquainted with men and manners in Ceylon, than with the Pali or Sanscrit languages; but his knowledge is quite sufficient for his readers, on the more abstruse matters connected with his subject, and on all others he will be generally accounted a good authority. We look forward to the publication of the rest of his work with considerable interest. The style of this first portion is easy, fluent, and manly. The few notes to each chapter arc full of valuable matter, and the illustrations on wood, from designs by Nicholl, arc very fine specimens of this kind of engraving.

"I can never so far sacrifice my judgment to the desire of being immediately popular, as to cast my sentences in the French moulds, or affect a style which an ancient critic would have deemed purposely invented for persons troubled with the asthma to read, and for those to comprehend who labour under the more pitiable asthma of a short-witted intellect."— Coleridge's "Friend."

"He who thinks his place below him will ccrtainly be below his place."—Savi/le's "Slate Maxims."


We have received the following, relative to a note in our last Number stating, that in the Battle of Fontenoi the English were defeated by the French:—

"Mr. Editor,—Learn that the Battle of Fontenoi was gained by the Irish brinade. The French had not moved the English; Saxc admitted it; and the English did not fly; they retreated in good order.—From an Old Suuhkh."

We beg to assure our Correspondent that we spoke of thi* engagement only in general terms, ns a victory gained by the French, well knowing that it involved no disgrace to our brave countrymen, whose valour was never more conspicuously displayed. If the "Old Soldier" is familiar with the salon t of Versailles, he must be well aware that our neighbours have not failed to make the most of this success.

It is necessary, also, to correct a statement relating to General Dcmbinski. via. that he was obliged to support himself by selling cigars at New York. This was inserted upon the authority of a recent American newspaper, and happily proves to ba as apocryphal as many other statements from the same quarter. The veteran hero, as we find from the Journals, is released from captivity, and is, we believe, now at Paris.


The village of Yetholm, the head-quarters of the Scottish Gipsies, lies embosomed among the far famed Cheviot hills, and being surrounded on all sides by lofty mountains, seems completely sequestered from the rest of the world. A clear and rapid stream called the Bowmont, a tributary of the Till, separates the village into two portions,Kirk Yetholm and Toich Yetholm; a broad level haugh intervening between them. The former is the residence of the gipsy population. Changes are few and far between in that sequestered district, and the description given of it more than thirty years ago, is still applicable. "A mill, and a church, and churchyard rise from the brink of the water, beyond which appear the straggled bouses of the village, built in the old Scottish style, many of them with their gable-ends, backs, or corners turned to the street or totongate, and still further up, the Tinkler Row, with its low unequal straw-covered roofs and chimneys, bound with rushes and hay-ropes; men and women loitering at their doors, or lazily busied among the carts and panniers, and ragged children scrambling on the middensleads (dunghills), in intimate and equal fellowship with pigs, poultry, dogs and cuddies (asses)."l The surrounding scenery is wild, solitary, and pleasingly rural. The hills have no pretensions to magnificence of height or to romantic shapes, but they are smooth and steep, and of the most beautiful verdure. It seems a land, a3 Sir Walter Scott remarks, which a patriarch would have chosen to feed his flocks and herds. The remains of here and there a dismantled and ruined tower, remind us of the sturdy moss-troopers, whom it harboured only a century and a half ago.

"Their gain, their glory, their delight.

To sleep the day, maraud the night,

O'er mountain, moss and moor."

The whole of tho district indeed abounds with memorials of ancient border warfare, and many floating traditions may still be collected among the farm-houses and cottages of the peasantry, respecting the Kers, the Douglasses, the Somervilles, the Scotts, and other border reivers, who issued from their fastnesses among "Cheviot's mountains lone,"

"In England for to drive a prey."

It is not known with any degree of certainty, at what time the gipsies first took up their residence at Kirk Yetholm, or what reasons led them to prefer it. It is probable, however, that their choice of this situation may have been owing to the peculiar facilities which this sequestered district afforded for the indulgence of their roaming and predatory habits. The family of the Faas—the hereditary monarchs of the Kirk Yetholm gipsies—seem to have been the first who settled there; it is supposed, at a very early period. The Youngs were the next iu order, and they were followed by the Pnrdons, Baillies, and other clans. They were long patronised by the ancient family of the Bennets of

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Grubet,3 from whom they received a feu of their cottages for nineteen times nineteen years, which they still hold from the Marquis of Twecddale, the present proprietor of the estate. Fifty years ago, the gipsy colony amounted to fifty persons; in 1839, it consisted of twenty-six families, including in all, one hundred and twenty-five individuals.

The earliest notice of the gipsies in the historical records of Scotland, is contained in a letter from James IV. to the King of Denmark, dated 1506, in favour of Anthony Gawino, Earl of Little Egypt, and his followers; "an afflicted and miserable tribe, who alleged that they were upon a pilgrimage over the Christian world, by command of the Pope, and having sojourned for a time in Scotland, now wished to go to Denmark." James therefore solicits the extension of his royal uncle's munificence towards them, adding, at the same time, that the destiny, manners, and lineage of these wandering Egyptians must be better known to him, because the kingdom of Denmark was nearer to Egypt. Thirty-four years later (Feb. 15, 1540) a singular document called a " writ of privy seal" was granted by James V. in favour of John Faa, Lord and Earl of Little Egypt. This writ enjoins all sheriffs and magistrates to support the authority of John Faa, "in execution of justice upon his company and folks conform to the laws of Egypt, and in punishing of all them that rebel against him ;" and more particularly they are directed to assist in apprehending " Sebastian Lalowe, Egyptian, one of the said John's company," with his eleven " complices and parttakers," who have rebelled against him, and " removed out of his company, and taken frae him divers sums of money, jewels, claiths, and other goods, to the quantity of one great sum of money, and on nae wise will pass hame with him; howbeit, he has bidden and remained of lang time upon them, (waited for them long,) and is bounden and obliged to bring hame with him all them of his company that are alive, and ane testimonial of them that are dead; " the nonfulfilment of which obligation, he pretends, will subject him to "heavy damage and skaith (hurt), and great peril of loss of his heritage." A special injunction is then given to all magistrates, to lend John Faa their prison stocks and fetters, and whatever may be necessary for reducing his refractory subjects to order; and masters of vessels and mariners are charged to receive John Faa and his company, when they shall be ready to go " furth of the realm to the parts beyond the sea." It appears from this curious edict, that the "Lord and Earl of Little Egypt" had succeeded in completely imposing upon the government, by this story about his " band" and "heritage," and had so adroitly managed matters as to obtain from the authorities not only toleration, but a recognition of his jurisdiction within his own band, *' according to the laws of Egypt." In the following year, however, the Lords of Council appear to have discovered the deception that had been practised upon

(2) The last of this family, Sir William Bennet, was the friend and patron of the poets Thomson and Allan Ramsay. The former was a frequent visitor at Marlefield, Sir William's seat.


them, and revoked the letters and privileges formerly grautcd to John Faa and his followers, and proceeded forthwith to pass sentence of banishment upon the whole race. In spite of this peremptory injunction, the gipsies appear to have pursued their trade of tinkering and fortune-telling in Scotland with impunity, for the next quarter of a century, till, at length, both their numbers and their crimes increased to such a degree during the " troublous times " of Queen Mary, that in 1570, it was found necessary to adopt vigorous measures for their repression, and a statute was enacted for the " punishment of the Strang and idle beggars," in which "bards, minstrels, and vagabond scholars," are conjoined in ignominious fellowship with "the idle people calling themselves Egyptians," and it is provided that " being apprehended they shall be put in the King's ward and irons, sae lang as they have ony goods of their own to live on, and when they have not whereupon to live of their own, that their ears he nailed to the tron, or to another tree, and their ears cuttit off, and banished the country, and if thereafter they be found again, that they be hangit."

This stringent statute, though repeatedly renewed and strengthened with additional clauses, seems to have utterly failed in restraining the depredations of these vagrants, and in 1603 a proclamation was issued banishing the whole race out of Scotland for ever, under the severest penalties. This, and various other sanguinary edicts which followed, were put into execution without mercy against this unhappy race, and the records of the Scottish criminal courts make mention of great numbers of "Egyptians," both men and women, who were hanged and drowned in the most summary manner. Notwithstanding these severities, the gipsies prospered amid the intestine feuds by which the country was torn asunder, and received large accessions from among those whom famine, oppression, or civil broils, had deprived of the ordinary means of subsistence. Fletcher of Saltoun, who wrote about 150 years ago, states that "in all times there have been about 100,000 of these van-abonds who have lived without any regard or subjection either to the laws of the land or even those of God and nature." In the progress of time, however, as the power of the laws, and the material prosperity of the country increased, the gipsy tribes were gradually reduced in number, and many were entirely rooted out. As they were driven from the more populous districts of the country they seem to have taken refuge in the border counties, chiefly in such situations as afford a ready escape, either into a waste country or into another jurisdiction.

Kirk Yctholm thus became the head-quarters and stronghold of the Scottish Gipsies, as they were successively extirpated from their other haunts and fastnesses Like the rest of their tribe in Britain, the Kirk Yetholm gipsies are a mixed race between the ancient Egyptians, who arrived in Europe about the beginning of the fifteenth century, and vagrants of European descent. Still their tawny complexion, black, piercing eyes, and remarkable cast of countenance, together with their

_ wandering and predatory habits, and peculiar language, sufficiently attest their origin. They derive their ostensible means of livelihood from the mending of pots and pans, the manufacture of horn spoons, called cutlia and of baskets and besoms, and the sale of coarse articles of earthenware. They are great adepts in hunting, shooting, and fishing, and are not particularly scrupulous either as to time and place, or the means they employ in following their sport.' Many of them cultivate music with success, and in days not long gone by, the favourite fiddler or piper of the district was often to be found in the gipsy village. They are notorious for their pilfering and plundering habits everywhere except at home, where they generally contrive to maintain a tolerably decent reputation for honesty. James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, states that in their visits to the vales <3f Ettrick and Yarrow they not only cleared the rivers and burns of fish, but the fanners' outhouses of poultry and eggs, and the turns (chimneys) of all the hams and black puddings that hung there for the purpose of raiding. It was also well known that they had no scruples in killing a lamb or a wether occasionally, but they always managed matters so dexterously, that no one could ever ascertain from whom these were taken. Okl Will Phaup, a well-known character at the head of Ettrick, was accustomed to give them shelter for many years. They asked nothing but house-room and grass for their horses, and though they sometimes remained for several days, hoi left every chest and press about the house open, with the certainty that nothing would be missing, for he said, "he aye kend fu* weel that the tod (fox) would keep his ain hole clean."

The Yetholm gipsies, like all their tribe, have a strong tendency to vagrant habits; they are usually absent on excursions ten mouths in the year; thty travel in different bands, and have rules among themselves by which each tribe is confined to its ouu district. The slightest invasion of the precincts which have been assigned to another tribe, produces violent quarrels, in which there is often much blood shed. They usually travel with a train of asses aud small carts, or tumblers, as they are called, in which they place the decrepit and helpless, the aged and infant members of the family. At night they frequently find accommodation in barns and byres, and other outhouse, aud when this cannot be obtained they take the canvass covering from the cart, and squat below it, to use the words of a border magistrate, like a covey of partridges in the snow. Although they are almost

(l) "A stalwart Tinkler wight ma he,
And weel could nit-mi a pot or pan,
'And deftly Will could throw ajtte.
And neatly weave the willow wan.

"And sweetly wild were Allan's strains.
And inony a Jig and reel he blew,
Wi' merry lilts hecharm'd the swains,
Wi' barbed spear the otter slew."

Lay of the Reedtcater STivstret. Our readers will remember the description given in Guy Msnnering of the "goodly stew composed of fowls, hares, partridges, and moor panic, boiled in a large mess with potatoes, onions and leeks," on which Meg Mcrrilies regaled Dominie Sampson. "There's been mony a moonlight watch to bring a' that trade theffitber," said Meg; "the folk that are to eat that dinner thought little o' youi game laws."

universally a lawless race, neither fearing God nor regarding man, vet they are not altogether destitute of a certain kind of honour peculiar to themselves. They reckon it a disgrace to steal near their homes, or from those who befriend them, and they punct ually discharge their pecuniary obligations. If confidence is placed in them they will not forfeit their promise, or betray trust. They are deeply grateful for favours bestowed on them, and will long remember a kindness done either to themselves or to their relatives; but if thwarted in their plans, or checked in their depredations, they are exceedingly vindictive, and are restrained by no check either of fear or conscience from taking desperate vengeance upon those who offend them.1 The following graphic account uf their habits and pursuits is given by Leydcn in his "Scenes of Infancy:"—

"On Yeta's banks the vagrant gipsies place
Their turf-built huts; a sun-burnt, swarthy race!
From Nubian realms their tawny line they bring,
And their brown chieftain vaunts the name of king:
With loitering steps from town to town they pass,
Their lazy dames rock'd on the pannier'd ass;
From pilfer'd roots or nauseous carrion fed,
By hedgerow greens they strew the leafy bed,
While scarce the cloak of tawdry red conceals
The fine-turn'd limbs, which every breeze reveals;
Their bright black eyes thro'silken lashes shiue,
Around their necks their raven tresses twine;
But chilling damps and dews of night impair
Its soft sleek gloss, and tan the bosom bare.
Adroit the lines of palmistry to trace.
Or read the damsel's wishes in her face.
Her hoarded silver store they charm away—
A pleasing debt tor promised wealth to pay.

Their notions of religion are exceedingly limited and imperfect. Like most ignorant persons, says a writer in Blackwood,' they are extremely superstitious, —carefully noticing the formation of tlie clouds, the flight of particular birds, and the soughing of the winds, before attempting any enterprise. They have been known for several successive days to turn back with their loaded curls, asses, and children, upon meeting with persons whom they considered of unlucky aspect, nor do they ever proceed upon their summer peregrinations without some propitious omcu of their fortunate return. They burn the clothes of the dead, not so much from any apprehensiou of infection being communicated by them, as the conviction that the very circumstance of wearing them would shorten the days of the living. They likewise carefully watch the

'(!) "The like o'you. Laird, that's a real gentleman for saemony hundred years, and never hounds uuir tolk ali' your grundas if they were mad tykes, nane o' our folk wad stir your gear if ye had as mony capons as there's leaves on the trysting tree. But there's Dunbog has warned the Red Rotten and John Young aff his grunda, —black be his cast 1 he's na<- cetitleman, nor drap's bluid o' gentleman, wad grudge twa gangret puir bodies the shelter o1 a waste house, and the thristles by tue road side for a bit cuddy, and the bits o' rotten birk to boll their drap parntch wi'. Weel there's sue ai'uue a*,—but we'll see if the red cock craw not in his bonnie barn yard ae morning before day dawning."

"Hush! Meg, hush! hush! that's not safe talk."

"What does she mean ?" suid Mannering to Sampson, in an under tone.,

•' Fire raising," answered the laconic Dominie.

Guy Sfanneriag, Chap. III. set ahti Cltaps. VII and VIII.

(2) Vol, I. p. 56. See also Statistical Account of Scotland, Article Yetholm.

corpse by night and day till the time of interment, and conceive that "the deil tinkles at the lykewakes of those who felt in their deadthrate the agonies and terrors of remorse."

The reader will, doubtless, recollect the pioturesque description given in Guy Mannering, of the superstitious ceremonies practised by Meg Merrilics beside the dying smuggler, at the Kaim of Dernaleuch.Kirk Yetholm was the residence both of Jean Gordon, the prototype of the character of Meg, and of her granddaughter Madge, who, as Sir Walteracknow ledges, sat to him as the representative of her person. The latter is described by one who knew her well, as "a remarkable personage of very commanding presence, and lofty stature, being nearly six feet high. She had a large aquiline nose, and penetrating eyes even in her old age, bushy hair that hung around her shoulders, from beneath a gipsy bonnet of straw, a short cloak of a peculiar fashion, and a long stuff, nearly as long as herself. Jean was accounted the queen of the Yetholm clan, and had great sway over her tribe. She was quite a Meg Merrilics, and possessed the savage virtue of fidelity in the same perfection." Sir AVulter Scott tells an excellent story respecting this heroine, which is strikingly illustrative both of the good and bad features of the gipsy character. Having been often hospitably received at the farm-house of Lochside,3 near Yetholm, she had carefully abstained from committing any depredations on the farmer's property. But her sons (nine in number) had not, it seems, the same delicacy, and stole a brood-sow from their kind entertainer. Jean was so much mortified at this ungrateful conduct, and so much ashamed of it, that she absented herself from Lochsido for several years. At length, in consequence of some temporary pecuniary necessity, the farmer was obliged to go to Newcastle, to get some money to pay his rent. Hemming through the mountains of Cheviot, he was benighted, and lost his way. A light, glimmering through the wiudow of a large waste barn, which had survived the farm-house to which it had once belonged, guided him to a place of shelter; and when lie knocked tit the door, it was opened by Jean Gordou. Her very remarkable figure, for she was nearly six feet high, and her equally remarkable features and dress, rendered it impossible to mistake her for a moment, and to meet with such a character, in so solitary a place, and probably at no great distance from her clan, was a terrible surprise to the poor man, whose rent (to lose which would have been ruin to him) was about his persou. Jean set up a loud shout of joyful recognition—'Eh sirs! the winsome gudemau of Lochside! Light down, light down, for ye maunua gang farther the night, and a friend's house sae near.' The farmer was obliged to dismount and accept of the gipsy's offer of supper and a bed.

(3) Lochside tower stands on a piece of ground, now a peninsula, hut formerly an island in Yetholm loch, a picturesque sheet of water. It was the baronial residence of the Ken of Lochtower, a branch, probably, of the Kers of Cessford. the ducBthoute of Roxburgh. This ancient tower, and the surrounding scenery suggested to the author of Waverley tlie picture he draws of Avenel Cattle, in the Monaster). «

There was plenty of meat in the barn, however it might be come by, and preparations were going on for a plentiful supper, which the farmer, to the great increase of his anxiety, observed was calculated for ten or twelve guests, of the same description no doubt with his landlady. Jean left him in no doubt on the subject. She brought up the story of the stolen sow, and noticed how much pain and vexation it had given her. Like other philosophers, she remarked that the world grows worse daily, and like other parents, that the bairns got out of her guiding, and neglected the old gipsy regulations, which commanded them to respect, in their depredations, the property of their benefactors. The end of all this was an inquiry what money the farmer had about him, and an urgent request that he would make her his purse-keeper, as the bairns, as she called her sons, would soon be home. The poor farmer made a virtue of necessity, told his story, and surrendered his gold to Jean's custody. She made him put a few shillings in his pocket, observing it would excite suspicion, should he be found travelling altogether penniless. This arrangement being made, the farmer lay down on a sort of shake-down, as the Scotch call it, upon some straw, but, as will easily be believed, slept not. About midnight the gang returned with various articles of plunder, and talked over their exploits in language which made the farmer tremble. They were not long in discovering their guest, and demanded of Jean, whom she had got there?—' E'en the winsome gudeman of Lochside, poor body,' replied Jean; 'he's been at Newcastle, seeking for siller, to pay his rent, honest man, but deil be licket he's been able to gather in, and sae he's e'en gaunhame, wi a toom purse, and a sair heart.'—'That may be, Jean,' replied one of the banditti, 'but we maun ripe his pouches a bit, and see if it be true or no.' Jean set up her throat in exclamations against this breach of hospitality, but without producing any change of their determination. The farmer soon heard their stifled whispers and light steps by his bedside, and understood they were rummaging his clothes. When they found the money which the providence of Jean Gordon had made him retain, they held a consultation, if they should take it or no; but the smalluess of the booty, and the vehemence of Jean's remonstrances, determined them in the negative. They caroused, and weut to rest. So soon as day dawned, Jean roused her guest, produced his horse, which she had accommodated behind the kalian, and guided him for some miles, till he was on the high-road to Lochside. She then restored his whole property, nor could his earnest entreaties prevail on her to accept so much as a single guinea.

This adventure has evidently furnished a hint for the scene between Meg Merrilies and Bertram, in the ruined tower at Derncleuch.

Jean Gordon's sons appropriately terminated their pilfering career by "the waef u' woodie." According to tradition they were all condemned to die at Jedburgh on the same day. It is said the jury were equally divided, but that a friend to justice, who had slept during the whole discussion, waked suddenly,

and gave his vote for condemnation in the emphatic words, "Hang them a'." Jean was present, and only said, "The Lord help the innocent in a day like this." Poor Jean herself was brutally ducked to death in the river Eden at Carlisle by the cowardly rabble of that town, as a penalty for her stubborn Jacobitism. She struggled stoutly with her murderers, and often got her head al>ove water, and while she had voice left continued to exclaim at such intervals, " Charlie yet! Charlie yet!"

Jean was married to one of the Paas, the gipsy royal family, and either her husband, or more probably one of her sons, was murdered at one of their clan meetings by Rob Johnston, another gipsy, who instantly fled, and contrived to elude the pursuit of justice for more than ten years. But it was easier to escape from the grasp of the law than to elude gipsy vengeance. Jean Gordon traced the murderer like a bloodhound, followed him to Holland, and from thence to Ireland, where she got him seized, and brought to Jedburgh. He was sentenced to be hanged on the 13th June, 1727. Before the sentence could be carried into execution, however, he contrived to break the jail, and once more made his escape. But his efforts to elude the long-breathed hatred of the avenger of blood were all in vain. He was retaken, and again lodged in jail, and at length, in August, 1728, Jean obtained a full reward for her toils, by enjoying the gratification of seeing the murderer hanged on the Gallow-hill.

From the time of James V. down to the present day, the Faas have been the hereditary monarchs of the Scottish Gipsies, and a number of curious anecdotes have been preserved respecting the manner in which these vagabond potentates wielded their sceptre. The intrigue of one of these sovereigns, the celebrated Johnnie Faa, with the Countess of Cassilis, has been commemorated in a fine old ballad, entitled "The Gipsy Laddie." According to popular tradition, the heroine of the story was Lady Jean Hamilton, a daughter of Thomas, first Earl of Haddington,' and wife of John, the sixth Earl of Cassilis. During the i earl's absence, either in England or on a foreign embassy, Johnnie Faa came to Cassilis castle, a massive old tower on the banks of the Doon, in Ayrshire, and by means of his "glamourye" succeeded in persuading the countess to elope with him. Unluckily for the fugitives the earl returned shortly after their flight, and instantly collected his vassals, and set out in pursuit. Having overtaken the gipsies on the borders of England, a battle ensued, in which, overpowered by numbers, Johnnie Faa and his followers were all killed or taken prisoners. The survivors were brought back to Cassilis, and there hanged upon "the Dule Tree," a splendid aud most umbrageous plane, which still flourishes upon a mound in front of the castle-gate. The room, from the window of

(1) This celebrated statesman was President of the Court of Session, and Secretary of State of Scotland He ii better remembered, however, by the nickname of Tarn o* the Cowfrate, which he received from his royal master James VI., than by any othrr title.

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