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And haunted Woodhouselee.-P. 197. v. 3. For the traditions connected with this ruinous mansion, see the ballad of Cadyow Castle, p. 184.

Who knows not Melville's beechy grove.-P. 197. v. 4. Melville Castle, the seat of the Honourable Robert Dundas, member for the county of Mid-Lothian, is delightfully situated upon the Eske, near Laswade. It gives the title of viscount to his father, Lord Melville.

And Roslin's rocky glen.-P. 197. v. 4. The ruins of Roslin Castle, the baronial residence of the ancient family of St Clair. The Gothic Chapel, which is still in beautiful preservation, with the romantic and woody dell in which they are situated, belong to the right honourable the Earl of Rosslyn, the representative of the former lords of Roslin.

Dalkeith, which all the virtues love.-P. 197. v. 4. The village and castle of Dalkeith belonged, of old, to the famous Earl of Morton, but is now the residence of the noble family of Buccleuch. The park extends along the Eske, which is there joined by its sister stream of the same name.

And classic Hawthornden.-P. 197. V. 4. Hawthornden, the residence of the poet Drummond. A house of more modern date is enclosed, as it were, by the ruins of the ancient castle, and overhangs a tremendous precipice,

upon the banks of the Eske, perforated by winding caves, which, in former times, formed a refuge to the oppressed patriots of Scotland. Here Drummond received Ben Jonson, who journeyed from London, on foot, in order to visit him.

The beauty of this striking scene has been much injured, of late years, by the indiscriminate use of the axe. The traveller now looks in vain for the leafy bower,

“ Where Jonson sate in Drummond's social shade.”

Upon the whole, tracing the Eske from its source, till it joins the sea, at Musselburgh, no stream in Scotland can boast such a varied succession of the most interesting objects, as well as of the most romantic and beautiful scenery.




Few personages are so renowned in tradition as Thomas of Erceldoune, known by the appellation of The Rhymer. Uniting, or supposed to unite, in his person, the powers of poetical composition, and of vaticination, his memory, even after the lapse of five hundred years, is regarded with veneration by his countrymen. To give anything * like a certain history of this remarkable man, would be indeed difficult; but the curious may derive some satisa faction from the particulars here brought together.

It is agreed, on all hands, that the residence, and probably the birth place, of this ancient bard, was Ercel. doune, a village situated upon the Leader, two miles

above its junction with the Tweed. The ruins of an ancient tower are still pointed out as the Rhymer's castle. The uniform tradition bears, that his sirname was Lere mont, or Learmont; and that the appellation of The Rhymer was conferred on him in consequence of his poetical compositions. There remains, nevertheless, some doubt upon this subject. In a charter which is subjoined at length,* the son of our poet designs himself, “ Tho

* From the Chartulary of the Trinity House of Soltra, Ad

vocates' Library, W. 4. 14.

ERSYLTON. Omnibus has literas visuris vel audituris Thomas de Ercil. doun filius et heres Thomæ Rymour de Ercildoun salutem in Domino. Noveritis me per fustem et baculem in pleno judicio resignasse ac per presentes quietem clamasse pro me et heredi. bus meis Magistro domus Sanctæ Trinitatis de Soltre et fratri. bus ejusdem domus totum terram meam cum omnibus perti. nentibus suis quam in tenemento de Ercildoun hereditarie tenui renunciando de toto pro me et heredibus meis omni jure et clameo que ego seu antecessores mei in eadem terra alioque tempore de perpetuo habuimus sive de futuro habere possue mus.

In cujus rei testimonio presentibus his sigillum meum apposui data apud Ercildoun die Martis proximo post festum Sanctorum Apostolorum Symonis et Jude Anno Domini Mil. lessimo cc. Nonagesimo Nono.

mas of Ercildoun, son and heir of Thomas Rymour of Ercildoun," which seems to imply, that the father did not bear the hereditary name of Learmont; or, at least, was better known and distinguished by the epithet, which he had acquired by his personal accomplishments. I must, however, remark, that, down to a very late period, the practice of distinguishing the parties, even in formal writings, by the epithets which had been bestowed on them from personal circumstances, instead of the proper sirnames of their families, was common, and indeed necessary, among the Border clans. So early as the end of the thirteenth century, when sirnames were hardly introduced in Scotland, this custom must have been universal. There is, therefore, nothing inconsistent in supposing our poet's name to have been actually Learmont, although, in this charter, he is distinguished by the popular appellation of The Rhymer.

We are better able to ascertain the period at which Thomas of Ercildoune lived ; being the latter end of the thirteenth century. I am inclined to place his death a little farther back than Mr Pinkerton, who supposes that he was alive in 1300 (List of Scottish Poets); which is hardly, I think, consistent with the charter already quoted, by which his son, in 1299, for himself and his heirs,

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