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A coller he cast upon his necke.—P. 142. v. 1. The collar was formerly, and is still, with some orders of knighthood, a badge of distinction.
He thrilled upon a pinn.—P. 142. v. 2. This is elsewhere expressed, "twirled the pin," or "tirled at the pin," and seems to refer to the turning round the button, on the out-side of a door, by which the latch rises, still used in cottages. Percy.
By oake, and ashe, and thorne.—P. 144. v. 1. Of the meaning of these tree oaths, nothing satisfactory can be said. Concerning the thorn, a conjecture is offered in the ballad of Sweet Willie. There was, I believe, an ancient sect of philosophers, ridiculed by Lucian, who used to swear, trgo; xvyx Km nharato', by dog and plane-tree.
BATTLE OF CDRICHIE.
Hcme of Godscroft gives by far the most minute and interesting account of this battle: I shall, therefore, give his words without comment; only remarking, that the simplicity of his manner, and his love of circumstantiality, would amply justify us in styling him the Scottish Froissart.
"Then Murray and Morton, thinking it both tedious and perillous to be alwayes on their guard, and to be defenders only, resolved to take their turne of assailing, and pursuing, if so happily (r. haply) they might break his forces, and disperse them. And howbeit they had not of their own, that they could trust to, above an hundred horse, yet being armed with authoritie, and the majestie of their soveraigne, for the safetie of whose person they were to fight, having gathered together of the Forbeses and Leslies to the number of seven or eight hundred, and hoping that albeit they inclined to favour Huntley, yet their duty and allegiance to their princesse would not suffer them to betray her; they took the fields. These made great show of forwardnesse in conveening, and gave out great words and brags that they alone would do all. Huntley with his men had taken a plot of ground inclosed about with marishes, so that he was in a manner encamped. Murray and Morton, with the trustiest of their friends, retired to a little hill to behold the issue of this battell, committing all to those who had taken it upon them; only they sent some horsemen a by-way to close up the passages of the marish, that Huntley being overcome, might not escape that way. So those boasters began to march toward the enemie, and by the way they pluckt off the heath, (or heather,) which growes in abundance, and stuck it in their helmets and head-pieces, according as it had been agreed upon betwixt them and Huntley. Wherefore he thinking now (these being for him) that there was no power to resist him, came out of his strength against them, who presently turned their backs, and came fleeing with their swords drawn, and crying, Treason, treason! as if they had been betrayed, when indeed themselves were the traitors. They had thrown away their spears and long weapons; wherefore Murray and Morton, though they were astonished at the first sight of these hather-topped traitors, who came running toward them, with Huntley at their heels, yet they took courage, and resolved to
stand to it; for as they were about to save themselves by flight, and were calling for their horses, William Douglas of Glenbarvie, (who was afterward Earl of Angus,) requested them to stay, (as is reported,) saying, " No horses, my "lords; we are strong enough for Huntley, and "these men, though they flee, yet will they not "fight against us; wherefore let us present our "pikes and spears to keep them out, that they "come not in amongst us to break our ranks, "and the rest will prove easie." This advice was liked, and followed; so that Huntley expecting nothing lesse than to find resistance, and being destitute of long weapons, was forced (some of his men being slain) to give ground, and at last to flee as fast as before he had followed the counterfeit fleers. Then the hathertops, perceiving that Huntley fled, turned upon him, and, to make amends, slew most of them that were slain that day, which were some hundred and twentie, and an hundred taken pri