Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/73

This page needs to be proofread.


X. JULY 26, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


65


misquoted the verse. With the exception of the repeated chorus after each stanza, the fol- lowing is an exact transcript from Black- wood's :

CANADIAN BOAT-SONG (from the Gaelic). Listen to me, as when ye heard our father

Sing long ago the song of other shores Listen to me, and then in chorus gather

All your deep voices, as ye pull your oars :

Chorus. Fair these broad meads these hoary woods are

grand ; But we are exiles from our fathers' land.

From the lone shieling of the misty island Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas

Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland, And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.

We ne'er shall tread the fancy-hauiited valley, Where 'tween the dark hills creeps the small clear stream,

In arms around the patriarch banner rally, Nor see the moon on royal tombstones gleam.

When the bold kindred, in the time long-vanish'd, Conquer'd the soil and fortified the keep,

No seer foretold the children would be banish'd That a degenerate Lord might boast his sheep.

Come foreign rage let Discord burst in slaughter !

O then for clansman true, and stern claymore The hearts that would have given their blood like water,

Beat heavily beyond the Atlantic roar.

Prof. Mackinnon, the occupant of the Celtic Chair in Edinburgh University, is of opinion that the Gaelic version, known in the Highlands to this day, " is founded upon the Earl of Eglinton's lines, and is not, as might be supposed, an earlier form of the poem." JOHN GEIGOR.

105, Choumert Road, Peckham.

SIR WALTER SCOTT'S ' WOODSTOCK.' I shall be glad if I may call attention to an extraordinary mistake made by the author in his description of Sir Henry Lee, who is represented throughout the novel as an old man. In chap. i. we are told that the scene is laid in 1652, and in the next chapter, in reply to his daughter's question, "You have seen Shakspeare yourself, sir?" the knight replies, " He died when I was a mere child." Shakspeare died in 1616, and if Sir Henry was then (say) six years old, he would have been born in 1610, and therefore be forty-two years old at the opening of the story. How can Sir Walter's description of a venerable gentleman with a long white beard " be reconciled with these figures ? In the con- cluding chapter of the work, in which King Charles's progress from Rochester to London in the year 1660 is described, we find our- selves in the presence of extreme old age, where " the light that burned so low in the


socket had leaped up and expired in one exhilarating flash." Sir Henry Lee would then have been fifty, according to my pre- vious computation.

There is also another point on which readers of the novel are left in doubt, viz., whether Markham Everard really knew of the verbal condition expressed to Wild rake by Cromwell at their interview at Windsor as described in chap. viii. In chap. xiv. there is a conversation between Everard and Wildrake, in which the latter explains to his friend that Cromwell " would have Woodstock a trap : your uncle and his pretty daughter a bait of toasted cheese ; you the spring-fall, which shall bar their escape," to which Everard replies, "This tallies with what Alice hinted." She had asked him a few pages before whether it was false that he was engaged to betray the young king of Scotland. En the scene, however, where Wildrake attempts to assassinate Cromwell, the former says that " Everard knew not a word of the rascally conditions you talk of." Wildrake was not a man to tell a- deliberate untruth, and the only solution which occurs to a perplexed reader is that Sir Walter Scott had forgotten the conversa- tion in which the condition on which Crom- well had acceded to Everard's request for permission to Sir H6*ry Lee to return to the lodge could not possibly be misunderstood by a man of ordinary intelligence. The views of some of your correspondents familiar with ' Woodstock ' will be welcomed by

DEVONIENSIS.

Exeter.

SCHOOLBOYS' RIGHTS AT WEDDINGS. In vol. ii. (lettered 11) of the new series of the Transactions of the Cumberland and West- morland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society (Kendal, 1902) is an excellent paper by Mr. Harper Gaythorpe on some of the 'Church Bells in the Archdeaconry of Furness.' The present instalment (pp. 282- 306) deals only with the parishes of Col ton, Kirkby Ireleth, Broughton, Woodland, and Seathwaite ; but the work is most thoroughly done. In each case Mr. Gaythorpe has made inquiry into the ringing customs and related usages, and carefully recorded the facts. At Kirkby Ireleth, for example, "the bells are rung only for special weddings. Until 1840 it was the custom at weddings for the school children to repeat a homily or ' homminy ' as they stood hand in hand in a semicircle round the porch outside the church door. The smaller children were arranged near the wall, and the larger boys in the middle. After repeating the ' homminy ' of good wishes, if no coins were scattered the children ran before the newly married couple to the church