Folk-Lore and Legends

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Folk-Lore and Legends

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Title: Folk-Lore and Legends Scotland
Author: Anonymous

Release Date: November 15, 2005 [eBook #17071]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)

Transcribed from the 1889 W. W. Gibbings edition by David Price,
email [email protected]

Prefatory Note Canobie Dick and Thomas of Ercildoun. Coinnach Oer.
Elphin Irving. The Ghosts of Craig-Aulnaic. The Doomed Rider.
Whippety Stourie. The Weird of the Three Arrows. The Laird of
Balmachie's Wife. Michael Scott. The Minister and the Fairy. The
Fisherman and the Merman. The Laird O' Co'. Ewen of the Little Head.
Jock and his Mother. Saint Columba. The Mermaid Wife. The Fiddler
and the Bogle of Bogandoran. Thomas the Rhymer. Fairy Friends. The
Seal-Catcher's Adventure. The Fairies of Merlin's Craig. Rory
Macgillivray. The Haunted Ships. The Brownie. Mauns' Stane. "Horse
and Hattock." Secret Commonwealth. The Fairy Boy of Leith. The
Dracae. Lord Tarbat's Relations. The Bogle. Daoine Shie, or the Men
of Peace. The Death "Bree."

The distinctive features of Scotch Folk-lore are such as might have
been expected from a consideration of the characteristics of Scotch
scenery. The rugged grandeur of the mountain, the solemn influence of
the widespreading moor, the dark face of the deep mountain loch, the
babbling of the little stream, seem all to be reflected in the popular tales
and superstitions. The acquaintance with nature in a severe, grand, and
somewhat terrible form must necessarily have its effect on the human
mind, and the Scotch mind and character bear the impress of their
natural surroundings. The fairies, the brownies, the bogles of Scotland
are the same beings as those with whom the Irish have peopled the hills,

the nooks, and the streams of their land, yet how different, how
distinguished from their counterparts, how clothed, as it were, in the
national dress!

Now it chanced many years since that there lived on the Borders a jolly
rattling horse-cowper, who was remarkable for a reckless and fearless
temper, which made him much admired and a little dreaded amongst
his neighbours. One moonlight night, as he rode over Bowden Moor,
on the west side of the Eildon Hills, the scene of Thomas the Rhymer's
prophecies, and often mentioned in his history, having a brace of horses
along with him, which he had not been able to dispose of, he met a man
of venerable appearance and singularly antique dress, who, to his great
surprise, asked the price of his horses, and began to chaffer with him on
the subject. To Canobie Dick, for so shall we call our Border dealer, a
chap was a chap, and he would have sold a horse to the devil himself,
without minding his cloven hoof, and would have probably cheated Old
Nick into the bargain. The stranger paid the price they agreed on, and
all that puzzled Dick in the transaction was, that the gold which he
received was in unicorns, bonnet-pieces, and other ancient coins, which
would have been invaluable to collectors, but were rather troublesome
in modern currency. It was gold, however, and therefore Dick contrived
to get better value for the coin than he perhaps gave to his customer. By
the command of so good a merchant, he brought horses to the same
spot more than once; the purchaser only stipulating that he should
always come by night and alone. I do not know whether it was from
mere curiosity, or whether some hope of gain mixed with it, but after
Dick had sold several horses in this way, he began to complain that dry
bargains were unlucky, and to hint, that since his chap must live in the
neighbourhood, he ought, in the courtesy of dealing, to treat him to half
a mutchkin.
"You may see my dwelling if you will," said the stranger; "but if you
lose courage at what you see there, you will rue it all your life."

Dickon, however, laughed the warning to scorn, and having alighted to
secure his horse, he followed the stranger up a narrow footpath, which
led them up the hills to the singular eminence stuck betwixt the most
southern and the centre peaks, and called, from its resemblance to such
an animal in its form, the
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