purpose of these Explanatory Notes is twofold: to explain
or identify words and phrases that might be obscure to
modern readers of The Emigrant; and to call attention
to words, phrases, and passages that allude to or, as
the case may be, derive from the works of other writers.
In the latter category, the notes are intended to complement
the Introduction, where the emphasis is placed less on
local verbal and phrasal echoes than on the large patterns,
attitudes, and assumptions that link The Emigrant
not only with other works in the Canadian continuity,
but also with the writers and ideas of McLachlan's time
and earlier. Quotations from Burns, Moore, and Scott—the
poets most frequently echoed in the diction, tone, and
poetic texture of The Emigrant—are from
the Aldine edition of The Poetical Works of Robert
Burns, with a Memoir of Burns by Sir Harris Nicolas
(London: Bell and Daldy, 1839); the Albion editon of The
Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (London:
Griffith, Farren, Okeden and Welsh, 1882); and the Globe
Library edition of The Poetical Works of Sir Walter
Scott, with a Biographical and Critical Memoir by
Francis Turner Palgrave (1866, rpt. London: Macmillan,
1907). Quotations from Galt, Traill, and Weld—the
prose writers upon whom McLachlan makes the heaviest levies—are
from the following editions: John Galt, Lawrie Todd.
or, the Settlers in the Woods (London: Henry Colburn
and Richard Bentley, 1830) and Bogle Corbett; or,
the Emigrants (London: Henry Colburn and Richard
Bentley, 1831); Catharine Parr Traill, The Backwoods
of Canada: Being Letters from the Wife of an Emigrant
Officer, Illustrative of the Domestic Economy of British
America, The Library of Entertaining Knowledge (1836,
rpt. Toronto: Coles, 1971); and Isaac Weld, Travels
through the States of North America and the Provinces
of Upper and Lower Canada, During the Years 1795, 1796,
and 1797, 4th Edition, Introduction by Martin Roth,
Series in American Studies (1807, rpt. New York and London:
Johnson Reprint Corporation, 1968). The edition of Donald
[Page 69] McLeod's History of the
Destitution of Sutherlandshire from which quotations
have been taken is the enlarged and retitled version published
by Thompson and Co. in Toronto in 1857: Gloomy Memories
in the Highlands of Scotland: Versus Mrs. Harriet Beecher
Stowe's Sunny Memories in (England) a Foreign Land: or
a Faithful Picture of the Extirpation of the Celtic Race
from the Highlands of Scotland. Unless otherwise
noted, quotations from “The Passionate Shepherd
to His Love” and other early poems and ballads are
from Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry,
4th Edition (1794, rpt. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1847).
Other quotations in the notes are taken from first, standard,
or definitive editions.
compiling these notes, extensive use has been made of
the Oxford English Dictionary, The Concise
Scots Dictionary, Webster's Geographical Dictionary,
The Canadian Encyclopedia, and J.B. Reid's Complete
Concordance to the Poems and Songs of Robert Burns
(Glasgow: Kerr and Richardson, 1889). The Glossary of
Scots Words in the last work has also been useful, as
have the similar glossaries in the Aldine edition of Burn's
Poetical Works and The Poetical Works of
Alexander McLachlan, edited and with an introduction
by Edward Hartley Dewart (Toronto: William Briggs, 1900;
hereafter cited as PW). Details of the life of
James George (see the note to the Dedication) are taken
from the entry by H.P. Gundy in the Dictionary of
Canadian Biography, IX, 306-307.
was anticipated in his choice of title by several writers
on both sides of the Atlantic, including Standish O'Grady,
who published the first canto of The Emigrant, a
Poem, in Four Cantos in Montreal in 1842 (see Brian
Trehearne's edition of the poem in the Canadian Poetry
Press Series). As already recorded, Galt's Bogle
Corbet is subtitled the Emigrants.
to The Emigrant, and Other Poems is taken from
Epistle, I, xi, 27 by the Roman poet and essayist Horace.
It is translated in The Works of Q. Horatius Flaccus.
The Original Text Being Reduced to the Natural Order
and Construction, with Stirling's Translation Interlinearly
Arranged (1856; rev. ed. 1872), p. 351 as “they
change their climate, not their disposition, who run
beyond the sea.” For another translation, see
the [Page 70] Introduction to the present
edition, p. xlviii. See also O'Grady's The Emigrant,
which contains the same epigraph, followed by a stanzaic
translation of it.
REVEREND PROFESSOR GEORGE. . . . James George was
born in 1800 at Muckhart, Perthshire, Scotland. In 1833
he came to Upper Canada after spending four years in
the United States, an experience which apparently cured
him of the radical political ideas that he had held
in Scotland. He was a minister at Scarborough for most
of the seventeen years after his arrival in Canada and
played an active part in suppressing the rebellion led
by William Lyon Mackenzie in 1837. In 1853 he was made
professor of mental and moral philosophy at Queen's
College in Kingston and, a short time later, acting
head of the College with the title of Vice-Principal.
In 1856 he became embroiled in a controversy that brought
him into conflict with George Weir, a classics professor
whom he had been partly responsible for bringing to
Queen's from Scotland. The feud between George and Weir
was dormant between 1859 and the fall of 1861 when Weir
asserted that his sister had borne an illegitimate child
by George. At first, George denied the charge and demanded
an investigation, but he soon changed his mind and resigned
from the College for reasons of ill health. His resignation
became effective in the spring of 1862 and thereafter
he was a successful minister in Stratford until his
death there in 1870. His writings include Sabbath
School of the Fireside (1859) and Thoughts
on High Themes (1874), a collection of his sermons.
Some laudatory comments by George on McLachlan's Lyrics
(1858) are included at the end of The Emigrant,
and Other Poems and reprinted in the entry on the
poet in Henry J. Moragan's Bibliotheca Canadensis:
a Manual of Canadian Literature (1867).
history of a backwoods settlement In his Preface
to Lawrie Todd, Galt describes the novel
as “[a] description . . . of the rise and
progress of a successful American settlement . .
. (pp. iv-v). A term for the largely unsettled or
“uncultivated” (Introduction 13) hinterlands,
“backwoods” appears in the titles of
several works of the early [Page 71] nineteenth
century, including that of one of McLachlan's principal
sources, Traill's The Backwoods of Canada.
and customs of the old pioneers Cf. Percy,
Preface, Reliques of Ancient English Poetry,
p. x: “. . . such specimens of ancient poetry
have been selected, as . . . display the peculiar
manners and customs of former ages. . . .”
Village Between 1850 and 1877, McLachlan lived
on a one acre property in Erin Township, Wellington
County, northwest of Toronto, Ontario.
of mighty lake and forest! Cf. Scott, The
Lay of the Last Minstrel, VI, ii, 1-4: “O
Caledonia! . . . Land of brown heath and shaggy
wood, / Land of the mountain and the flood . . .”
and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Introduction, The
Song of Hiawatha, 11-12: “‘From
the forest and the prairies, / From the great lakes
of the Northland. . . .’”
are hoarest Hair is greyest, frostiest.
Sharpest; most piercing. Cf. William Cowper, Table-Talk,
294: “Place me where Winter breathes his keenest
air. . . .”
Serest: most dry, withered.
stupendous Amazingly large waterfall.
of giant stature; / . . . jagged hemlocks . . .
/ Thick as bristles on the boar Cf. Traill,
The Backwoods of Canada, p. 16: “.
. . the further he went the thicker the hemlocks
and cedars became . . . [until], to use the expression
of our driver, the cedars grew as thick as hairs
on a cat's back. . . .”
McLachlan is probably using the word crane to refer
to the Great Blue Heron (ardea herodias),
which was and is common in Ontario.
Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, pp. 153-154:
“Here there are no historical associations,
no legendary tales of those that came before us.
Fancy would starve for lack of marvellous food to
keep her alive in the backwoods. . . . I heard a
friend exclaim . . . ‘It is the most unpoetical
of all lands. There is no scope for imagination;
here all is new—the very soil seems newly
formed; there is no hoary ancient grandeur in [Page
72] these woods; no recollections of former
deeds connected with the country. The only beings
in which I take any interest are the Indians, and
they want the warlike character and intelligence
that I had pictured to myself they would possess.’”
Also cf. Longfellow, Introduction, The Song
of Hiawatha, passim for an enthusiastic
celebration of the “stories,” “legends
and traditions” of the Indians of the Great
Lakes Region. In his much-reprinted History
of the Discovery and Settlement of America
(1777), the Scottish historian and churchman William
Robertson asserted that the Indians of North America
had no “annals or traditions” (9th edition,
1800, II, 28). That McLachlan was thinking, not
of Amerindian culture, but of the absence in Canada
of the kind of history and poetry celebrated by
Scott in such works as The Lay of the Last Minstrel
only serves to emphasize the Eurocentric vision
of the passage.
and sages Poets and wise-men.
panoply A soldier's complete suit of armour.
The context suggests that McLachlan had in mind
the colourful armour associated with medieval knights
by Scott and other chivalric writers.
no battle's lost and won Cf. William Shakespeare,
Macbeth, I, i, 4: “When the battle's lost
the cottage in the woods See Moore, “Ballad
Stanzas” in Poems Relating to America for
a “cottage” among the “sumach”
and “green elms” of a “‘lone
little wood’” in the American or Canadian
hinterland as a spot where an ideal love might be
Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, p. 155:
“For myself, though I can easily enter into
the feelings of the . . . enthusiastic lover of
the wild and the wonderful of historic lore, I can
yet make myself very happy and contented in this
country. If its volume of history is yet blank,
that of Nature is open, and eloquently marked by
the finger of God; and from its pages I can extract
a thousand sources of amusement and interest whenever
I take my walks in the forest or by the borders
of the lakes.” See also Horace, Epistle I,
xi, 29: “quod petis hic est” (‘what
you are seeking is here . . .’). And cf. Longfellow,
Introduction, The Song of Hiawatha 77f.:
who love the haunts of Nature,
Love the sunshine in the meadow [Page
Love the shadow of the forest . . .
Ye who love a nations
Love the ballads of a people
Ye whose hearts are
fresh and simple,
Who have faith in God and Nature,
Who believe, that in all ages
Every human heart is human . . .
to the simple story,
To the Song of Hiawatha.
See 1 Kings 4.33: “And he [Solomon] spake
of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon
even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall.
. . .” On the basis of the passage, the hyssop,
a small aromatic herb native to Southern Europe,
stands as the type of the lowly plant. Cf. Cowper,
Hope, 287-288: “Say, botanist, within
whose province fall / The cedar and the hyssop on
the wall . . . ?”
Chapter I. Leaving Home.
/ With . . . gray moss overgrown Longfellow
concludes the Introduction to The Song of Hiawatha
by recommending his poem to readers who have sometimes
stone walls grey with mosses,
. . . by some neglected graveyard,
. . [to] ponder
On a half-effaced inscription,
Written with little skill of song-craft,
Homely phrases, but each letter
Full of hope and yet of heart-break,
Full of all the tender pathos
Of the Here and the Hereafter. . . .
Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, p. 118:
“. . . I sat on the cold mossy stone in
the profound stillness of that vast leafy wilderness,
thousands of miles from all those holy ties of
kindred and early associations that make home
in all countries a hallowed spot. . . . My reverie
was broken. . . .”
William Cowper, “Verses Supposed to be Written
by Alexander Selkirk,” 29-33: “But the
sound of the church-going bell / These valleys and
rocks never heard, / Never sighed at the sound of
a knell, / Or smiled when a sabbath appeared.”
Christian Sunday, especially as a day of worship
and abstinence from work and play in Presbyterian
and other “low” and non-conformist protestant
brood The inhabitants of the wilderness.
Many and various.
Often, as here (and I, 31), personified as a goddess,
fortune (chance, luck, destiny) is regarded as the
cause of changes and events in people's lives.
Transcendent: supreme, extraordinary, high-flying.
Any effect in the sky or, specifically, a shooting
1 Corinthians 7.31: “. . . the fashion of
this world passeth away.”
Small hollow or valley, usually with tree-covered
in clusters blue The blue bell of Scotland:
a species of flower (campanula rotundifolia)
that has blue, bell-shaped flowers in the summer
and autumn. In conjunction with the next line, see
Burns, “Song” (“Their groves o'
sweet myrtles let foreign lands reckon”),
5-6: “Far dearer to me are yon humble broom
bowers, / Where the blue-bell and gowan lurk lowly
unseen. . . .”
gowan wi' its drap o' dew
See Burns, “Song. My Nanie, O.? (“Behind
yon hills where Lugar flows”), 15-16: “The
op'ning gowan, wat wi' dew, / Nae purer is than
Nanie, O.” gowan: “the flower of the
daisy, dandelion, hawk-weed, etc.” (The
Poetical Works of Robert Burns). drap:
The cowslip and the primrose pale The cowslip
and the primrose— both wild plants that are
found in Scotland and bear yellow flowers in [Page
75] the spring— appear several times
in Burns' poems, for example in “Song. The
Bonie Blink o' Mary's EE!” (“Now bank
an' brae are claith'd in green, / An' scatter'd
cowslips sweetly spring . . .”) and “Song.
Afton Water” (“Flow gently, sweet Afton,
among thy green braes . . . Where wild in the woodlands
the primroses blow . . .”).
lovely vale “The Cart (poetic Cartha)
is a stream in Renfrewshire falling into the Clyde”
(PW, p. 408). McLachlan spent his childhood
in the valley (“vale”) of the Clyde.
Good-bye. See Burns, “Song. The Farewell”
(“It was a' for our rightfu' King, / We left
fair Scotland's strand”), 16-18: “With
adieu for evermore, / My dear; / With adieu for
evermore”; and the quotation from McLeod's
Gloomy Memories in the Highlands of Scotland
at II, 81-96, below.
passage recalls many celebrations in Romantic and
Victorian poetry of local attachment and a supposed
spiritual component of Nature. Behind it may lie
Scott's excursus on the “secret power”
exerted by native landscapes on peoples' affections
in the Introduction to Marmion, III and
the same poet's paean to Scotland—“Breathes
there a man, with soul so dead, / Who never to himself
hath said, This is my own, my native land!”
and so on—in The Lay of the Last Minstrel,
VI, i-ii. In spirit and tone the passage also recalls
William Wordsworth's sense of “A motion and
a spirit, that impels / All thinking things, all
objects of all thought, / And rolls through all
things” in “Lines Composed a Few Miles
above Tintern Abbey,” 100-103. Moreover, McLachlan's
“unseen power” (63) may echo the “unseen
Power” that “Floats though unseen among
us . . . As summer winds that creep from flower
to flower” in the opening stanza of Percy
Bysshe Shelley's “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty”
and his “close communion” with this
“power” may echo the “Communion”
between Nature and those who love her in William
Cullen Bryant's “Thanatopsis,?XXX See also
the opening stanza of Eliza Cook's “The Land
of My Birth”: “There's a magical tie
to the land of our home, / Which the heart cannot
break, though the footsteps may roam.” No
doubt McLachlan's lines draw also on numerous passages
of prose by Thomas Carlyle, Ralph Waldo Emerson,
and others which express similarly transcendental
or hermetic notions.
is a yellow-flowered shrub that grows on sandy banks
in Britain and blossoms in the spring. Cf. Burns,
“Song” (“Their groves [Page
76] o' sweet myrtles let foreign lands
reckon”), 4-5: “. . . the burn stealing
under the lang yellow broom. / Far dearer to me
are yon humble broom bowers. . . .”
up on the northern horizon, as one looked across
that noted stream [The Clyde] from the garden of
the . . . house [in which McLachlan spent his childhood],
could be seen the peak of Benlomond, often mentioned
or implied in his verse” (Biographical Sketch,
PW, p. 20).
furrows of six thousand years In McLachlan's
day, many Christians still believed that the earth
was created by God in a single week approximately
four thousand years before the birth of Christ.
the note to I, 27-28, above.
me all adieu See the note to I, 52, above and
Galt, Bogle Corbet, I, 182: “. . . an intention
to emigrate for ever is, as far as worldly feelings
are concerned, more analogous to quitting life than
those imagine to whom we must bid adieu.”
Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, IV,
ii: “Low as that tide [of human time] has
ebb'd with me, / It still reflects to Memory's eye
/ The hour. . . .”
the Introduction, pp. xx-xxii for a discussion of
the grandfather's advice to the departing emigrant
and its various precedents and sources.
Directions; authoritative advice.
three score years and ten Seventy: the
length of a human life according to Psalm 90.10:
“The days of our years are three score years
and ten. . . .” See also, in conjunction with
I, 91, Galt, Lawrie Todd, 203-210 where
a mysterious “old man”“aged three-score
at least, for his hair was quite white” tells
the story of his life, but on this side of the Atlantic.
Reversals of fortune; changes for the worse.
Consider, believe, count, judge.
Criticize, reproach. [Page 77]
II. The Journey
Galt, Bogle Corbet, I, 273-281: “Chapter
XXXIV. The Passage.”
the good ship “Edward Thorn”
See the Introduction, pp. XX-XX for a discussion
of the autobiographical dimension to McLachlan's
account of the emigrants' journey to Canada. According
to Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping
(1840, and other volumes), the Edward Thorn
was a “Ship” (a vessel with a bowsprit
and three masts, each having three sails) built
in Nova Scotia in 1835 and owned (until sometime
between July 1, 1841 and June 30, 1842) by A.B.
Thorn of Halifax. In Bogle Corbet, I, 251,
Galt describes the emigrant vessel Mirimachi
sarcastically as a “‘good ship’.”
Large swelling waves or merely waves; poetically,
Diverse; varied in character.
sea A phrase evocative of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's
“Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” with
its “weary . . . weary time” and “wide
wide sea” (145, 233). In Bogle Corbet,
I, 285, Galt quotes from Coleridge's poem in an
account of a ship becalmed in the Caribbean Sea.
had denied them bread In the first half of
the nineteenth century and earlier, there was rapid
industrial growth and urbanization in Great Britain,
and poverty on a massive scale. Food was distributed
by private charities in many areas, but, on the
whole, relief for the poor was unorganized and inadequate.
The wide gap between the less and more fortunate
beneficiaries of industrialism which McLachlan knew
at first hand produced what Benjamin Disraeli in
Sybil (1845) called “The Two Nations
. . ., the Rich and the Poor”—the ‘them’
and ‘us’ situation implied by McLachlan's
See Galt, Bogle Corbet, III, 43 (the first
paragraph of the chapter entitled “Emigrants”):
“A constant yearning for something new in
scene or occupation is peculiar to emigrants, whether
industrious or dilatory. The same spur in the side
which impels them from their native land, goads
them wherever they go, and is the main cause of
that restless irritation characteristic more or
less of them all.” Later (III, 144), Galt
writes of “the restlessness inherent in the
emigrant's mind. . . .”
promised land of liberty The promised land
of the Old Testament is, of course, Canaan (see
Genesis 17.8, for example, and Exodus 6.4); for
McLachlan's emigrants, the journey from oppression
to “liberty” is the voyage from Britain
to North America. [Page 78]
Someone who practices or is skilled in an art or
craft involving machines or tools.
lank Thin tall.
Someone engaged or interested in politics.
Merry; sprightly; pleasant.
Someone (usually a cleric) who is skilled in theology.
A county in the southeast of England;
a breath the sails to fill Coleridgean: cf.
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” 107
(“Down dropped the breeze, the sails dropped
down . . .”), 169 (“Without a breeze,
without a tide . . .”), 336 (“Yet never
a breeze up-blew . . .”), and, in conjunction
with the two ensuing lines, 115-118 (“Day
after day, day after day, / We stuck, nor breath
nor motion / As idle as a painted ship / Upon a
a sea god fast asleep,” The source of
this quotation has yet to be identified.
Bogle Corbet, I, 283-286 records the various
reactions of the crew and passengers on a becalmed
vessel: “The sailors . . . spoke superstitiously
to each other . . .”; “The captain spoke
to the major, who had made several voyages, as if
the phenomenon was ominous of wind; but it was not
hurricane season . . .”; and a deeply disturbed
boy “told us that he had been all day thinking
of home. . . .”
seek a home beyond the wave See, in conjunction
with the preceding lines, Oliver Goldsmith, The
Traveller, 409-410: “Forc'd from their
homes, a melancholy train, / To traverse climes
beyond the western main”; and The Deserted
Village, 367-368: “And took a long farewell,
and wished in vain / For seats like these beyond
the western main.”
Rough; noisily cheerful.
Unprincipled people given to dishonest practices;
of slaves Cf. “Rule, Britannia! / Britannia
rules the waves! / Britons never shall be slaves”
(lines from James Thomson's Alfred, II,
v, which quickly transcended their vehicle into
the balmy air of patriotic sentiment).
Country gentleman, especially the chief land-owner
in a district. [Page 79]
his game Carlyle's work is peppered with satirical
attacks on the game-preserving Aristocracy; see,
for example, Sartor Resartus, II, ii (the
“double-barrelled Game-preserver” whose
spiritual self has been “crushed-down perhaps
by vigour of animal digestion”) and II, iii
(where the “English Game-Preserver”
is lumped together with the “Pope” and
the “Russian Autocrat”). See also Past
and Present, passim.
Cf. Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel,
legendary song . . .
Of ancient deeds, so long forgot;
Of feuds, whose memory was not;
Of forests, now laid waste and bare;
Of towers, which harbour now the hare;
Of manners, long since changed and gone;
Of chiefs, who under their grey stone
So long had slept . . .
sooth, 'twas strange, this old man's verse
Could call them from their marble hearse.
Latin, and a poeticism: Scotland.
. . . glens . . . knowes . . . dens Respectively,
hill-sides, narrow valleys, knolls (small hills),
dingles (deep hollows between hills). All four words
have Scottish associations, and are repeatedly used
by Burns, especially in his songs. See, for example,
I, 47, above and, also “Song. Afton Water”:
“Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny
A thorny shrub (see previous note) with white, red,
or pink flowers and dark red berries that is, of
course, common in Scotland.
Small brown or gray song-bird mentioned several
times by Burns, for instance in “Song. The
Lover's Morning Salute to his Mistress” (“Sleep'st
thou, or wak'st thou, fairest creature?”)
8-9: “In twining hazel bowers / His lay the
linnet pours. . . .”
lang Livelong (poeticism): whole length of, with
implications of delight or satiety. Again, a term
used several times by Burns, as in [Page
80] “Song. O, Were I on Parnassus'
Hill,” 9-11: “Then come, sweet Muse,
inspire my lay! / For a' the lee-lang simmer's day,
/ I could na sing. . . .”
Another word used frequently by Burns to describe
his poems, his poetic persona, and the subjects
of his poems, an example being “The Cotter's
Saturday Night,” 5: “To you I sing,
in simple Scottish lays, / The lowly train. . .
throng Immaterial, because imaginary, crowd
McLeod, Gloomy Memories in the Highlands of
Scotland, p. 128: “Hear the sobbing,
sighing, and throbbings of their guileless, warm
Highland hearts, taking their last look, and bidding
a final adieu to their romantic mountains and valleys,
the fertile straths, dales, and glens, which their
forefathers for time immemorial inhabited, and where
they are now lying in undisturbed and everlasting
repose, in spots endeared and sacred to the memory
of their unfortunate offspring, who must now bid
a mourneful farewell to their early associations,
which were as dear and as sacred to them as their
very existence. . . .”
and vale Strath: “level land between
hills, through which a stream flows” (Reid,
Complete Concordance); vale: valley.
Cf. the passage from Burns quoted at 89f., below.
of love, and gusts of woe These are somewhat
unusual expressions, perhaps because they are generated
by metaphors of the ocean and weather that are appropriate
to the context of the voyage to Canada. A heart
that “swells” is one that feels like
bursting with emotion; “gusts of woe”
Caledonia . . . Adieu every scarred cliff . . .
Farewell lovely Leven . . . Cf. Burns, “Song.
My Heart is in the Highlands,“ 5, 9-12:
to the Highlands, farewell to the
North. . . .
to the mountains high cover'd with snow;
Farewell the the straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods.
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.
also Scott, “Mackrimmon's Lament”
(a “piece . . . but too well known, from
its being the strain with which the emigrants
from the West Highlands and Isles usually take
leave of their native shore” [Poetical
Works, p. 490]), 4-10, 12: [Page
“Farewell to Dunvegan for ever!
Farewell to each cliff, on which breakers are
Farewell, each dark glen, in which red-deer
Farewell, lonely Skye, to lake, mountain, and
Macleod may return, but Macrimmon shall never!
the bright clouds . . .
Farewell the bright eyes . . .
departs, to return to you never!”
pertinent lines of another Scottish parting-song
are quoted at VII, 144, below.
Latin, and often used by Burns: Scotland.
The Leven River flows out of the south end
of Loch Lomond and empties into the Clyde River
the hame From the home.
Lark, especially the skylark. Burns several times
uses the word laverock and its cognates; see, for
example, “Song. To Mr. Cunningham” (“Now
Spring has clad the groves in green”), 25-28:
“The waken'd lav'rock warbling springs, /
And climbs the early sky, / Winnowing blithe her
dewy wings / In morning's rosy eye . . . ,”
and the quotation at II, 119, below.
as the lintie Happy as a linnet (see the note
to II, 77, above).
as the goudspink Light as a goldfinch (a brightly-coloured
European songbird with a patch of gold on its wings).
Cf. Burns, “The Humble Petition of Bruar Water,”
41-44: “The sober laverock, warbling wild,
/ Shall to the skies aspire; / The gowspink, Music's
gayest child, / Shall sweetly join the choir. .
on the lee Sings “sweetly” (PW,
p. 420) or rhythmically in a sheltered place.
awa' Came away.
/ My e'en that did fa From my eyes that did
Woeful, sad. [Page 82]
“Side[s] of the face, cheek[s]” (PW,
frae Away from.
Like Fido, Spot, and, in recent years, Blue, a common
name for a dog. Towsy: “rough, unkempt”
(PW, p. 421), or shaggy.
Chapter III. The Arrival.
world of waters See the note to II, 4, above.
Weld, Travels, II, 311 (under the heading
“Journey through the Woods”): “.
. . we penetrated into the woods, along a narrow
path scarcely discernible, owing to the quantities
of withered leaves with which it was strewed.”
This is at the start of a journey on foot from Buffalo
Creek to the Genesee River (both in the Northeastern
United States) that took Weld and his party (which
included Indian guides) three days in the fall of
Boundless, endless. Cf. Traill, The Backwoods
of Canada, p. 135: “. . . the mazes of
interminable forests. . . .”
Weld, Travels, I, 198-199: “. . .
as very commonly happens with travellers in this
part of the world [Virginia], I soon lost my way.
. . . After wandering about . . . [I got] fresh
information respecting the road. . . . With some
difficulty I at last found the way, and arrived
. . . about midnight.”
A sunken or marshy place, especially in the midst
of a prairie; “a springy piece of ground”
(Glossary, Galt, Lawrie Todd, III, 323).
The passage in the novel in which the word occurs
may lie behind III, 5-6 and III, 11-14, as well
as III, 79-88: “The road from Olympus to Babelmandel
[fictional settlements in the United States], after
quitting the cleared land, was desperate bad. It
was then the mere blazed line of what was to be
a road; stumps and cradleheaps, mud-holes and miry
swails, succeeded one another, like . . . beads.
. . . But the fatigue and toil of travelling it
was as nothing, compared with the disheartening
[Page 83] task as it then seemed
of finding the land-marks” (I, 186). See also
the quotation from Lawrie Todd at III,
Weld, Travels, 311: “After proceeding
a few miles, we stopped by the side of a little
stream of clear water to breakfast; on the banks
of another stream we eat our dinner; and at a third
we stopped for the night. . . . [T]he Indians immediately
began to erect poles, and cover them with pieces
of bark . . . but we put a stop to their work, by
shaking out . . . our travelling tent.”
a birchen tree Cf. Burns,“Song. Banks
of Cree.” (. . . Here is the glen, and here
the bower?), 2: “All underneath the birchen
shade. . . .” birchen: poeticism: birch.
the woods with echoes rung Cf., in conjunction
with the “greenwood shade” of III, 29,
Burns, “Song. The Lass o' Ballochmyle”
(. . . Twas even—the dewy fields were green”),
7: “. . . where green-wood echoes rang. .
concert As a group; in harmony.
Commerce spreads her fleets Where the ships
engaged in large scale trade between countries (mercantilism)
luxury Cf., in conjunction with the remainder
of the stanza, Burns, “A Winter Night,”
50-52: “‘. . . pamper'd luxury, flatt'ry
by her side . . . Looks o'er proud property. . .
coloured code A somewhat obscure phrase: complex
and deceptive rules and regulations, with an allusion
to Joseph's “coat of many colours” in
raised to gin Gaudily decorated taverns.
Unpleasantly or unhealthily damp.
and lank See the note to II, 16, above and
Galt, Bogle Corbet, I, 37: “. . .
men with pale lank faces [in the weavers' shops
of Glasgow]. . . .”
Wordsworth, “The World is Too Much with Us,”
9-12: “Great God! I'd rather be / A Pagan
suckled in a creed outworn; / So might I . . . /
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn. .
hue Ghostly colour.
Unusual, uncommon, strange. [Page 84]
“Salvator Rosa, a celebrated Italian landscape
painter, of the Neopolitan School, lived 1615-1673”
(PW, p. 224). Rosa's paintings often contain
groups of bandits or scenes of violence which, together
with the landscapes themselves, created for eighteenth-
and nineteenth-century viewers the feeling of pleasurable
terror associated with the sublime. McLachlan may
have been prompted to mention Rosa by Weld's reference
to William Gilpin, the influential writer on the
picturesque, during his “Journey through the
Woods” (Travels, II, 313). Weld comments
that “were a painter to attempt to colour
a picture from . . . [the American woods in the
fall], it would be condemned in Europe as totally
different from any thing that ever existed in nature.”
Weighed down; overcome.
laid us down to rest Cf. the first line of
the famous bed-time prayer in The New England
Primer (1784 edition, and following): “Now
I lay me down to sleep. . . .”
Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, pp. 77-78
(“Difficulties of the Way”) (“At
the distance of every few yards our path was obstructed
by fallen trees. . . . Sometines I was ready to
sink down from very weariness. . . . Just as we
were emerging from . . . the wood we found our progress
impeded by a creek . . . over which we
. . . pass[ed] by a log-bridge. . . . Now, the log-bridge
was composed of one log, or rather a fallen tree
. . .”); p. 107 (“There was no palpable
road, only a blaze on the other side, encumbered
by fallen trees, and interrupted by a great cedar
swamp, into which one might sink up to one's knees
unless we took the precaution to step along the
trunks of the mossy, decaying timbers . . .”);
p. 111 (“Our progress was but slow on account
of the roughness of the road, which is beset with
numerous obstacles in the shape of loose blocks
of granite and limestone . . .; to say nothing of
fallen trees, big roots, mud-holes, and corduroy
bridges . . .”); and pp. 115-119 (“.
. . he had missed the track. . . . We began now
to apprehend we had really lost the way. To attempt
returning . . . was quite out of the question, the
road being so ill defined that we should soon have
been lost in the mazes of the woods. . . . We soon
forgot our weary wanderings beside the bright fire
. . .”). See also Weld, Travels,
II, 320 (“we recommenced our journey with
crossing the river . . . up to our waists in water,
no very pleasing task. Both on this and the subsequent
day we had to wade through several other considerable
streams”) and Galt, Lawrie Todd,
I, 238-240 (“. . . after several ineffectual
endeavours [Page 85] to cross a
small cedar swamp, I found myself completely at
fault; by perseverence, however, I escaped from
the swamp, but in what direction then to choose
my path was the question. The interwoven boughs
overhead, though leafless, excluded the view of
the skies; even could they have been penetrated,
every star was so shut up in thick darkness, that
the heavens afforded no guide. A strange confusion
of mind and terror fell upon me, my right-hand became
as it were my left; I was lost—I ran wildly
forward till a prostrate tree or cradle heap [the
remains of a decayed trunk of a tree] threw me down;
soon after I plunged up to the middle in a marsh,
then I came to the bank of a stream which I had
not passed: its width and depth were unknown. .
. . I sat down on a rock, and for some time abandoned
myself to fear. . . . Judge my dismay, when on hastening
on, I came to what I thought an opening in the wood,
and found myself on the verge of a dreadful chasm,
into which a great river was tumbling with a noise
like the voice of the distant sea. I stood aghast
at the danger into which I had run. . . . I was
beyond all the landmarks that would have guided
me by day”).
hearts Cf. Galt, Lawrie Todd, I, 187:
“Of all the sights in the world the most likely
to daunt a stout heart, and to infect a resolute
spirit with despondency, that of a newly-chopped
tract of the forest certainly bears away the bell.”
Todd goes on to record his feelings of elation as
“a sudden turn of the road brought . . . in
sight . . . the village, where the settlers in all
directions were busy logging and burning”
the passage from Lawrie Todd in the preceding
note and Weld, Travels, II, 313 (“Nothing
. . . could exceed the beauty of the scenery that
we met with during our second day's journey. . .
. The trees on the borders of the . . . [plains]
having ample room to spread, were luxuriant beyond
description, and shot forth their branches with
all the grandeur and variety which characterizes
. . . English timber, particularly the oak”)
and I, 194 (“the air in the woods [in Virginia]
was perfumed with the fragrant smell of numberless
flowers and flowering shrubs, which sprang up on
Weld, Travels, I, 195: “the birds
in America are much inferior to those in Europe
in the melody of their notes but . . . they are
superior in point of plumage. I know of no American
bird that has the rich mellow note of our [British]
black-bird, the sprightly note of the sky-lark,
or the sweet and plaintive one of the nightingale.
. . . The most [Page 86] remarkable
for their plumage of those commonly met with, are,
the blue bird and the red bird. The first is larger
than a sky lark, though smaller than a thrush. .
. .” Cf. Traill, The Backwoods of Canada,
p. 173: “I am aware it is the fashion for
travellers to assert that our feathered tribes are
either mute or give utterance to discordant cries.
. . . It would be untrue were I to assert that our
singing birds were as numerous or as melodious on
the whole as those of Europe; but I must not suffer
prejudice to rob my adopted country of her rights
without one word being spoken in behalf of her feathered
vocalists.” Earlier, Traill sets herself the
task of redeeming“this country from the censure
cast on it by a . . . gentleman . . . who said,
‘the flowers were without perfume, and the
birds without song’. . .” (p. 91). Later,
she mentions the “red bird” and the
“blue-bird” (pp. 221-222). And see the
quotations from Burns at II, 77, above and Burns'
“The Brigs of Ayr,” 3-5: “The
chanting linnet, or the mellow thrush; / Hailing
the setting sun, sweet, in the green thorn bush;
/ The soaring lark. . . .” See also Galt,
Lawrie Todd, III, 54-55: “The lark
. . . was singing her sweet ditties at Heaven's
gate. . . . Sometimes in America I have seen mornings
almost as beautiful; but the air was not so lively,
nor the birds so melodious. . . .” According
to PW, p. 414, “[i]t was a frequent
subject of remark with McLachlan that the birds
of America are songless.”
may have had in mind the Baltimore Oriole (which
does not, however, have “golden rings”
around its neck), the Purple Martin, and the Eastern
Weld, Travels, II, 42-44: “As we
passed along, we had excellent diversion in shooting
pigeons, several large flights of which we met in
the woods. The wild pigeons of Canada [Ectopistes
migratorius: the passenger pigeon, which became
extinct in 1914] . . . come down from the northern
regions in flights that it is marvellous to tell
of. . . . It is not oftener than once in seven or
eight years, perhaps, that . . . large flocks of
these birds are seen in the country.”
Weld, Travels, I, 196-197: “There
is only one bird more which I shall mention, the
whipperwill, or whip-poor-will, as it is sometimes
called, from the plaintive noise that it makes;
to my ear it sounded wyp-o-íl. It begins
to make this noise, which is heard a great way off,
about dusk. . . .” There are varieties of
cuckoos in Canada, but [Page 87] the
bird recalled by the emigrants is obviously the
species found in the British Isles whose call is
synonymous with the arrival of spring.
Soon; in due course.
Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, p. 116:
“. . . we suddenly emerged from the depth
of the gloomy forest to the shores of a beautiful
little lake. . . .”
Weld, Travels, I, 196: “Doves and
quails, or partridges as they are sometimes called,
afford good diversion for the sportsman [in North
deeper solitude A less-populated place. Cf.
Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, p. 111:
“We . . . struck into the deep solitude of
the forest, where not a sound disturbed the almost
awful stillness that reigned around us.”
gore Streaming blood. See Burns, “The
Vision,” 158: “reeking gore. . . .”
Travels, I, 74 gives the following account
of Lake Ontario, “the most easterly”
of the Great Lakes, after leaving Kingston for Niagara:
“on weathering a point . . . an extensive
view of the lake suddenly opens, which on a still
clear evening, when the sun is sinking behind the
lofty woods that adorn the shores, is extremely
grand and beautiful.”
man's foot had never been Cf. Moore “A
Ballad. The Lake of the Dismal Swamp,” 13-14:
“. . . where . . . / . . . man never trod
Market-place; trade-centre. [Page 88]
IV. Cutting the First Tree.
two novels about emigration to North America both
contain accounts of the felling of the first tree
to begin a settlement; see Lawrie Todd,
II, 56-62 (“The day being fixed for the ceremony
of cutting down the first tree in the market-place-to-be
of Judiville . . . we were summoned to the ceremony
at sunrise,” and so on) and Bogle Corbet,
III, 37 (“Chapter VI. The Founding of Stockwell”:
“After we had felled the first tree, I proceeded
pretty much according to the plan in which Mr. Lawrie
Todd . . . did with Judeville [sic]. .
.”). [Page 88]
Here and in IV, 9-14, McLachlan appears to be confusing
or conflating the kind of “tent” described
by Weld in the quotation at III, 16-18, above and
used by travellers and nomadic peoples with a shanty,
a construction described in the Glossary to
Lawrie Todd, III, 322 as “a hut made
of bark.” Galt's description of a shanty early
in the novel as “a hut or wigwam, made of
bark laid upon the skeleton of a rude roof, and
. . . open commonly on . . . one side” (I,
188) may explain McLachlan's choice of the word
“tent” and his comparison with the structures
of “wandering Arabs.”“Notwithstanding
the rough appearance of the shanty,? continues Galt,
“it yet affords a shelter with which weary
axemen are well content,” a “temporary
shelter” before the building of a “log-house”
(I, 188-190). See also Galt, Bogle Corbet,
III, 39-41 for the construction of a “shanty”
or “temporary house, in which all the emigrants
could be accommodated, until proper dwellings were
erected. . . .”
coast Since the coast cannot be built of clouds,
McLachlan presumably means ‘cloud-hidden coast.’
See the note to Introduction,19, above.
trees were stubborn facts A play on the proverbial
expression, “facts are stubborn things.”
accents Gloomy or sorrowful tones.
of these lines is a variation on a proverbial expression
involving the passage or end of time.
. . . Tories . . . Radicals By McLachlan's
day, the terms Whig and Tory had come to have roughly
the same meaning of Liberal and Conservative that
we have today. A radical was an advocate of radical
reform along democratic lines.
rule the roast To be master; to exercise full
of place Out of political power.
Americans generally; specifically, the inhabitants
of the northeastern states who, as exemplified by
Thomas Chandler Haliburton's Sam Slick (The
Clockmaker), had for some time enjoyed a reputation
he came as loud as thunder Cf. Galt, Lawrie
Todd, II, 59: “the tree fell with a sound
like thunder. . . .” [Page 89]
Ancient; of the first stage of the world. Cf. Traill,
The Backwoods of Canada, pp. 112-113: “I
was disappointed with the forest trees, having pictured
to myself hoary giants almost primeval with the
country itself. . . . There is no appearance of
venerable antiquity in the Canadian woods. There
are no ancient spreading oaks. . . .”
Cf. Sir Walter Raleigh, “The Nymph's Reply,”
1-4 (and the tone of the poem as a whole):
that the World and Love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's toung,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee, and be thy love.
Bill at IV, 51-54, John plays variations on several
proverbial expressions in these lines, his all pointing
towards work as the proper use of time. Behind John's
sentiments may be Carlyle's Gospel of Work, as expounded,
for instance, in “The Everlasting No“
and “The Everlasting Yea” chapters of
who would in aught be great Cf. John Bunyan's
hymn “Who would true valour see . . .“
(which also contains such lines as “No lion
can him fright, / He'll with a giant fight . . .“
and “labour night and day / To be a pilgrim.“
aught Anything; anything at all.
Cæsar of these lines is, of course, Gaius
Julius Cæsar (100-44 B.C.), the Roman dictator
who was assassinated in the name of the Roman republic
by a group of conspiritors led—as any student
of Shakespeare's Julius Cæsar knows—by
the Roman general Gaius Cassius Longinus (d. 42
B.C.) and the Roman senator Marius Junius Brutus
(88-42 B.C.). Cassius and Brutus were subsequently
defeated by Cæsar's supporters at the battle
of Philippi in 42 B.C., after which Brutus committed
Diligence; continual employment in useful work.
The Presbyterian and nineteenth-century contexts
of the poem suggest that the word carries, not its
traditional meaning of moderation in all things,
but the narrower meaning of moderation or total
abstinence from alcoholic drinks.
Before. [Page 90]
Money; wealth (pejorative).
Conscientious even in tiny matters; careful not
to give offence; attentive even to small issues
Refined; hard to please; scrupulous (see previous
Miser: a mean or avaricious person.
“[N]onsense, idle talk” (PW,
“[R]each” (PW, p. 421).
as lang's ye dinna steal All's well as long as you
for all, and all for each Cf. Shakespeare,
The Rape of Lucrece, 141-147:
aim of all is but to nurse the life
With honour, wealth, and ease, in waning age;
And in this aim there is such thwarting strife,
That one for all, or all for one we gage;
As life for honour in fell battles rage;
Honour for wealth; and oft
that wealth doth cost
The death of all, and all
“device” of the three musketeers in
Alexander Dumas' novel of that name is“‘All
for one, one for all . . .’” (Chapter
IX). See also Karl Marx, The German Ideology,
trans. Max Eastman: “From each according
to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
fable of the wands Galt, Bogle Corbet,
III, 33-34 has his protagonist speak as follows
to a group of disgruntled Scottish emigrants assembled
in a clearing still “deformed” by “a
few . . . roots and stumps”: “‘Many
of you . . . must have heard the story of the old
man and his sons with the bundle of sticks—apply
it to your own case. If you separate in the wilderness,
you will soon find yourselves as weak as each of
the several sticks when the bundle was loosened—but
if you adhere to each other, your united strength
will effect far more with less [Page 91]
effort than your utmost separate endeavours.
In sickness, and in accident, you will have friends
and helpmates at hand. . . . I beseech you to think
well of this—a single family, the most numerous
and strongest among you, will be several days in
constructing a permanent habitation. . . . [I]f
you continue together, your united exertions will
serve in a short time for the construction of an
asylum for all, and your toil will be enlivened
by society.’” Corbet goes on to speak
of the “‘common good’” and
of “the wisdom of keeping together. . . .”
The “story” to which he refers is Aesop’s
fable of “The Bundle of Sticks,” which
contains the moral “Union gives strength.”
McLachlan's John may also be echoing the “United
we stand, divided we fall” of Aesop's fable
of “The Four Oxen and the Lion.”
V. The Log Cabin.
. . . wolf . . . bear See Weld, Travels,
I, 180: “Bears, wolves, deer, and other wild
indigenous animals, are also met with there [the
Dismal Swamp in Virginia].”
on the surly bear An unusual use of crawls:
stalks (or moves stealthily towards) the ill-tempered
dismal swamp Weld devotes several paragraphs
(Travels, I, 178-182) to describing the
Dismal Swamp area of southeast Virginia, and, of
course, Moore's “Ballad” entitled “The
Lake of the Dismal Swamp” has the same setting.
Dismal, gloomy; dull, uninteresting.
Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, pp. 217-219
(“Story of an Indian”): “some
twenty years ago . . . a poor woman . . . in one
of the then thinly-settled townships back of the
Ontario, was alarmed by the sudden appearance of
an Indian within the walls of her log-hut. . . .
[H]er little ones . . . retreated, trembling with
ill-concealed terror to the furthest corner of the
room. . . . By dawn of the day [after revealing
himself to be non-violent, partaking of a meal,
and sleeping in the log-hut], the Indian . . . departed;
but whenever he came on the hunting-grounds in the
neighbourhood of the widow, she was sure to see
him. The children, no longer terrified at his swarthy
countenance and warlike weapons, would gather round
his knees . . . whilst he would pat their heads,
and bestow upon them an equal share of caresses
with [Page 92] his deer-hounds.
Such was the story related to me by a young missionary.”
son of the wilderness Cf. Thomas Campbell,
Gertrude of Wyoming, III, xxv: “the
roving Indian power.”
dog A kind of dog used to guard sheep from
wolves. McLachlan may have been thinking of the
wolf-hound, a large dog similar to a deer-hound
(see note to V, 10-18, above) that can be used for
chasing deer and other wild animals.
Primitive; roughly made.
Sweet-briar (or sweet-briar Rose) a European plant
with pretty flowers, sweet-smelling leaves, and
strong pastoral associations (see, for example,
48-49: “Through the sweetbriar or the vine
/ Or the twisted eglantine . . .”).
with its silver tassel “In America, corn
means maize, or ‘Indian corn.’ Our author
refers to the long brilliant silk fringe or tassel
at the top of the growing cob” (PW,
creeping weed with its long fringing vine Possibly
the convolvulus, the Virginia creeper, Canadian
ivy, the North American Honeysuckle or, perhaps
most likely, the hop-plant, a climbing plant from
Europe with drooping flowers and catkins. Cf. Traill,
The Backwoods of Canada, pp. 142 (“Removal
to Log-House”): “The pillars [of the
stoup or verandah of the log-house] look extremely
pretty, wreathed with the luxuriant hop-vine, mixed
with the scarlet creeper [Canadian ivy] and ‘morning
glory,’ the American name for the most splendid
of major convolvuluses.”
See the note at Introduction, 19, above.
canoe See Moore “To the Lady Charlotte
Rawdon / From the Banks of the St. Lawrence,”
65-68: “. . . my flight I take / Over Huron's
lucid lake, / Where the wave, as clear as dew, /
Sleeps beneath the light canoe. . . .” Weld,
Travels, II, 18, gives details of the construction
of a birchbark canoe, the type to which Moore and
McLachlan probably refer.
the greenwoods among See the quotation from
Burns at III, 27, above. [Page 93]
Galt, Bogle Corbet, III, 45-49 (“The
first undertaking, after having provided shelter
[in the form of a communal shanty], was the opening
of . . . roads, and the construction of separate
houses for the emigrants themselves”) and
Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, pp. 113-114
(“Travelling in the Woods”) “The
swamps and little forest streams . . . are rendered
passable by logs placed side by side. From the ridgy
and striped appearance of these bridges they are
aptly termed corduroy”) and p. 196 (“A
space . . . in the midst of the dense forest imparts
a cheerfulness to the mind. . . . The bright sunbeams
and the blue and cloudless sky breaking in upon
you, rejoices the eye and cheers the heart . . .”).
Bogle Corbet, III, 44ff. describes various
difficulties faced by his emigrants during their
first “summer,” observing that arguments
among them were “vexatiously frequent.”
Desolate; deprived of a loved one; in mourning.
A place overgrown with ferns, shrubs, vines, and
Travels, I, 196, mentions “humming
birds,” “jays, [and] robins,”
noting of the last two that they “were called
by the English settlers after the birds of the same
name in England, because they bore some resemblance
to them, though in fact they are materially different.”
Humming-birds, North American robins (a species
of thrush), Blue Jays, and blue birds (V, 56) do
indeed migrate south from Ontario for the winter.
heavens were swathed in smoke; / The sun a hazy
circle drew, / And his bloody eye looked through
See Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, pp.
128-131 and 127 (“Indian Summer”): “I
think the notion entertained by some travellers,
that the Indian summer is caused by the annual conflagration
of the forests by those Indians inhabiting the unexplored
regions beyond the larger lakes is absurd. . . .
I should rather attribute the peculiar warmth and
hazy appearance of the air that marks this season,
to the fermentation going on of so great a mass
of vegetable matter that is undergoing a state of
decomposition during the latter part of October
and beginning of November”; and “Just
at the commencement of this month (November) we
experienced three or four warm hazy days. . . .
The sun looked red through the misty atmosphere,
tinging the fantastic clouds that hung in smoky
volumes, with saffron and pale crimson light. .
. .” [Page 94]
summer A season of pleasant, warm weather occurring
in the fall after the first frost and before the
onset of winter.
Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, pp. 127-131
(“Indian Summer” and “Advances
of Winter”): “Th[e] perfect stagnation
of the air [on the November day described in the
quotation at V, 64-66, above] was suddenly changed
by a hurricane of wind and snow that come on without
any previous warning. . . . The scattered boughs
of the pines darkened the air as they whirled above
me; then came the blinding snow-storm. . . . Not
a leaf remained on the trees when the hurricane
was over; they were bare and desolate. Thus ended
the short reign of Indian Summer. . . . We already
see the stern advances of winter. It commenced very
decidedly from the breaking up of Indian summmer.
. . . The early part [of November] was soft and
warm, the latter cold, with keen frosts and occasional
falls of snow. . . .”
Galt, Lawrie Todd, I, 226-227: “We
had not been . . . [in the shanty] more than ten
minutes, when one [of the wolves] looked at us from
the other side of the rivulet; we saw him plainly
in the moonshine, and scarcely had we frightened
him off, when we heard another howling from the
opposite bank of the river.”
In Greek mythology, Boreas is the personification
of the north wind.
Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha, XX, 1:
“O the long and dreary Winter!”; and
Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, p. 152
(“Canadian Winter”): “Though the
Canadian winter has its disadvantages, it also has
its charms” (Traill proceeds to describe the
beauties of nature, a walk in the woods, and so
on.); Weld, Travels, II, 391-394 (“Winter
Amusements”) “Winter in [Lower] Canada
is the season of general amusement. . . . The inhabitants
meet in convivial parties at each other's houses,
and pass the day with music, dancing, card-playing,
and every social entertainment that can beguile
the time. . . . Besides . . . stoves, they . . .
frequently have open fires . . . more . . . on account
of the cheerful appearance they give to the room,
than for the sake of the warmth they communicate
. . .”; and Galt, Lawrie Todd, I,
202: “But the rainy, do-nothing days . . .
were holidays to the settlers. On those occasions,
they were wont to assemble in the large shed to
tell stories and sing songs for a pastime. . . .
It was to me they were indebted for the suggeston,
that every one should tell a story either of [Page
95] himself or some adventure that had
taken place within his own knowledge. . . .”
Notch; cut; hack.
the note to Introduction, 35, above.
Donation; charitable help.
There were three French rulers named Bonaparte:
Napoleon I (Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769-1821, who was
emperor 1804-1814), Napoleon II (titular emperor
1814f.), and Napoleon III (1808-1873, emperor 1852-70).
Christopher Marlowe, “The Passionate Shepherd
to His Love,” 1-4, 9-18:
live with me, and be my love,
And we wil all the pleasures prove
That hils and vallies, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.
will I make thee beds of roses
With a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Imbrodered all with leaves of mirtle;
gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Slippers lin'd choicely for the cold;
With buckles of the purest gold;
belt of straw, and ivie buds,
With coral clasps, and amber studs. . . .
is possible that McLachlan's “Indian Maid”
is a poetic descendant of the “Sweet Indian”“maiden”
who is wooed by Endymion in John Keats, Endymion,
star The planet Venus (named for the goddess
of love) when seen in the western sky after sunset.
. . . creed Country . . . beliefs.
the catalogue of the beloved's physical attractions
in The Song of Solomon 4.1-5 (“. . . thou
hast doves eyes within thy locks; thy hair is as
. . . Thy teeth are . . . ,” and so on) and
The Song of Songs 1.10-11 (“Thy cheeks are
comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains
of gold. We will make thee borders of gold, with
studs of silver”). In the Song of Songs 2.9
the beloved likens her lover to a“roe or a
young hart.” In the so-called “Lucy”
poems, “She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways”
and “Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower,”
Wordsworth compares his reclusive “Maid”
both to a “flower” and to a “sportive
. . . fawn.”
Poeticism: the apparently concave surface formed
by the sky.
Floweret (poeticism): small flower
the quotations from The Lay of the Last Minstrel
at II, 71-88 and the Reliques of Ancient English
Poetry at Preface, 4-5, above.
rhymes In his Preface to Reliques of Ancient
English Poetry, Percy describes the “Poems,
Songs, and Metrical Romances” that he represents
as “ballads” and “popular rhimes”
Morice, the Earl's son. / Chevy-Chase, the so dearly
won Percy's Reliques of Ancient English
Poetry contains versions of both “Gil
Morrice” (first line: “Gil Morrice was
an erlès son”) and “Chevy-Chase”
(which recounts a bloody battle over the right to
hunt in the “Cheviat,” or Chevy, “Chace”);
see pp. 1-5, 66-70, and 218-220. The former is subtitled
“A Scottish Ballad” and the latter is
set in the area of the border between England and
Scotland. Both ballads were widely known and frequently
reprinted in the late eighteenth and nineteenth
so void of art Uncontrived songs or poems.
Ballads are short narrative poems about an actual
or imaginary event that are suitable for singing
to a simple melody. Percy, Preface, Reliques
of Ancient English Poetry, p. x describes as
“artless” the “productions”
of the “strolling Minstrels, who composed
their rimes to be sung to their harps.”
Ballad of the Gypsy King” appears to be a
composite of traditional ballad motifs drawn primarily
from two ballads, “The Gypsy Laddie? and “Little
Musgrave.” In the former, a lady deserts her
husband for a gypsy (not specifically a king) and,
in most versions, her [Page 97] husband
takes her back by force and kills her lover. In
the latter, a lady is killed in her lover's arms
(though not by her husband) and there is a treacherous
page. Both ballads were widely known and frequently
reprinted. “Little Musgrave and Lady Bernard”
appears in Percy's Reliques of Ancient English
Poetry, pp. 212-213 and “The Gypsie Laddie”
in John Gilchrist's Collection of Scottish Ballads,
Tales, and Songs, Ancient and Modern (1814),
pp. 195-198; its opening line—“The gypsies
came to our good lord's gate”—is echoed
by McLachlan's “The Gypsy steals to the wicket
gate . . .” (V, 203).
The Sempill family to which
“The Ballad of the Gypsy King” apparently
refers are the hereditary Sherrifs of Renfrew, the
county in which McLachlan was born. The history
of the Sempills would have been available to McLachlan
in a number of places, such as William Playfair's
British Family Antiquity; Illustrative of the
Origin and Progress of the Rank, Honours, and Personal
Merit, of the Nobility of the United Kingdom
(London: Thomas Reynolds, 1809), III, 569-577. The
first Lord Sempill was Sir John Sempill, who was
made a Lord of Parliament by King James IV of Scotland
in c. 1488 and killed at the Battle of Flodden in
1513. He was succeeded by William, the second Lord
Sempill (d. 1552), Robert, the third (d. 1575-76),
Robert, the fourth (d. 1611), and so on to Selkirk,
the fifteenth, who died in 1835, taking the title
of Lord Sempill with him. According to Dewart (PW,
pp. 408-415), the third Lord was known as “The
Great Lord Sempill” for, among other things,
his part in defeating Mary, Queen of Scots, at Langside,
near Glasgow, in 1568. In a note to the phrase “these
lordly halls” (cf. “Thy father's halls”
in V, 209) in another of McLachlan's poems, “The
Sempill Lords” (PW, p. 346), Dewart
writes that “The Peil, once a fortress of
great strength, built by Lord Sempill in 1560, is
now a ruin” (PW, p. 415). In other
notes, he observes that “Eliotstoun, the most
ancient residence of the Sempills, built in 1280
. . . is rapidly falling to decay” and that
“Castleton, one of the ancient castles of
the Sempills,” was demolished in 1727 to make
way for a “modern residence” (PW,
gate A small gate made in or placed beside
a large one, for use when the large one is closed;
any small gate for walkers, as at the entrance to
Song. Her mind is on another sort of lay. [Page
Crow-flower. Both the Bluebell and the Crow's-foot
trefoil are called crawtaes—i.e., crow-toes—in
Scotland, but the reference may be to the blossom
of the cranberry (crawberry) or the crab apple (craws
Cartha (Cart; see the note to I, 48, above), Clyde,
Dee, Gryffe, and Weir are all rivers in Scotland.
Dewart notes that the Gryffe is a “tributary
to the Cart” and that “Elderslie [was]
the seat of Scotland's hero leader, Sir William
Wallace . . .”(PW, p. 21).
Arbour; shady recess; shelter made with branches
pear Honey pear: sweet pear.
Ben Lomond is a mountain on the eastern side of
Loch Lomond in Scotland.
hour is long “[D]arkening, evening twilight”
(PW, p. 419). Dewart notes that “The
scene is in latitude 56. The higher the latitude
the longer are summer days, and the longer is twilight”
(PW, p. 414).
Descends from his horse; dismounts.
bow The arched front part of a saddle. See
Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, I,
v: “Thirty steeds . . . saddled . . . with
Jedwood-axe at saddle-bow. . . .”
Heap of stones.
the Place of Grief is the name it bears Cf.
the headnote to “The Gypsie Laddie”
in Gilchrist's Collection of Scottish Ballads,
Tales, and Songs, Ancient and Modern, p. 196:
“It remains to be mentioned, that the ford,
by which the lady and her lover crossed the river
Doon . . . is still denominated the Gypsies Steps”
(quoted from Finlay's Scottish Historical and
Romantic Ballads ).
VI. The Indian Battle.
upon a summer day Cf., in conjunction with
the title of this chapter, Longfellow, The Song
of Hiawatha, IX (“Hiawatha and the Pearl-Feather”),
182-185: “Then began the greatest battle /
That the sun had ever looked on . . . All a Summer's
day it lasted. . . .”
Vital organs. [Page 99]
See Weld, Travels, II, 279: “When
the war [the American War of Independence] broke
out, the Mohawks [the most eastern members of the
Iroquois Confederacy] resided in the Mohawk River,
in the state of New York, but on peace being made,
they emigrated into Upper Canada, and their principal
village is . . . situated on the Grand River, which
falls into Lake Erie on the north side, about sixty
miles from the town of . . . Niagara; there [Joseph]
Brandt [who gave his name to Brantford, Ontario]
at present resides.” Under Brandt the Mohawks
fought on the side of the British during the American
Revolution and, as a result, their homes in the
United States were confiscated.
Earnestly begging; tearful. See Traill, The
Backwoods of Canada, p. 218 (“Story of
an Indian”): “With streaming eyes she
was about to throw herself at . . . [the] feet [of
the Indian], as he advanced towards her with the
dreaded weapons in his hands and implore his mercy
for herself and her babes. . . .”
we marched to do or die See Burns, “Song.
Bannockburn” (“Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace
bled”), 24 (last line): “Forward! let
us do, or die!”; and Campbell, Gertrude of
Wyoming, III, xxxvii: “‘To-morrow let
us do or die!’”
Soldiers armed with a pike (a weapon consisting
of a long wooden shaft with a pointed metal head).
Man sent out from the main military force to gain
A heap or tract of fallen trees blown down
by a heavy wind such as a tornado.
the horrid heritage / Handed down from age to age
See Weld, Travels, II, 265, 276, 279 for
the supposed predisposition of North American Indians
towards revenge (“. . . a word in the slightest
degree insulting will kindle a flame in their breasts,
that can only be extinguished by the blood of the
offending party; and they will traverse forests
for hundreds of miles . . . to gratify their revenge
. . .”).
111-134 See Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha,
IX (“Hiawatha and the Pearl-Feather”),
from the Shining Wigwam
Came the mighty Megissogwon,
Tall of stature, broad of shoulder,
Dark and terrible in aspect,
Clad from head to foot in wampum,
Armed with all his warlike weapons,
Painted like the sky of morning,
Streaked with great eagle feathers. . . .
also Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel,
V, xix-xx for descriptions of an English and a
Scottish Knight of “noble strain”
before their joust to the death. In Campbell's
Gertrude of Wyoming, one of the Indians
is described as “the eagle of . . . [his]
tribe,” with the following explanation:
“the eagle [is among them . . . an emblem]
of a bold, noble, and liberal mind. When the Indians
speak of a warrior who soars above the multitude
in person, and endowments, they say, ‘he
is like the eagle, who destroys his enemies, and
gives protection and abundance to the weak of
his tribe.’—The Indians are distinguished,
both personally and by tribes, by the name of
particular animals whose qualities they affect
to resemble, either for cunning, strength, swiftness,
or other qualities; as the eagle, the serpent,
the fox, or bear” (I, xx and n.). In a note
to The Huron Chief, Adam Kidd, probably
drawing upon John Buchanan's Sketches of the
History, Manners, and Customs of the North American
Indians, p. 178, glosses a remark of his
Huron “Chieftain? with a famous statement
by the Oneida Chief Skenandow: “‘I
am an aged hemlock. . . . the winds of one hundred
and twenty years have whistled through my branches’”
(141-142 and n.).
strength The Greek hero Herakles (Hercules)
was renowned for his great physical strength.
Exemplary; ideally perfect.
stream of red, / From a deep gash in his head Cf.
Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, V,
xxi: “. . . blood pour'd down from many a
wound; / For desperate was the strife, and long
/ And either warrior fierce and strong.”
the blow could fall amain, / He is rolling on the
plain Cf., in conjunction with the “fatal
throw” of VI, 136, Scott, The Lay of the
[Page 101] Last Minstrel,
V, xxii: “. . . that fatal blow / Has stretch's
him on the bloody plain. . . .”
Cf. Campbell, Gertrude of Wyoming, I, xvii:
“the desolated panther flies. . . .”
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the
word panther was used to describe the cougar.
his kindred's eyes / There he scalps him ere he
dies Cf. Alexander Henry, Travels and Adventures
in Canada and the Indian Territories, Between the
Years 1760 and 1776 (1809), p. xx: “.
. . I saw several of my countrymen fall, and more
than one struggling between the knees of an Indian,
who, holding him in this manner, scalped him, while
. . . The Huron Confederacy of five Iroquoian-speaking
tribes occupied part of what is now Simcoe County,
Ontario until the middle of the seventeenth century.
At that time their numbers were drastically reduced
by disease and starvation, and in 1649 they were
defeated and dispersed by their long-standing enemies,
the Iroquois. (See the note to VI, 17, above for
the Mohawks as part of the Iroquois Confederacy.)
Some of the surviving Hurons joined the Iroquois,
while others fled to the west (their descendants
now live on the Wyandot Reservation in Oklahoma)
and still others—the largest number—settled
in Quebec (where their descendants at Ancien Lorette,
near Quebec City, are mentioned in Weld, Travels,
VII. Donald Ban.
bards The poets or minstrels of the mountainous
district of the north and west of Scotland; the
area formerly occupied by the Celtic clans.
n. Donald Ban Donald the Fair-haired. Anglice
(Latin): in English this means; Ban (Gælic):
fair. The name Donald Ban will remind many readers
of the Donalbain of Shakespeare's Macbeth,
but a more likely source for the name is “The
Highland Watch,” “Written . . . on the
Highlanders return from Waterloo” by James
Hogg (the so-called “Ettrick Shepherd”)
and set to music by Beethoven. Each of the song's
three choruses is addressed to “Donald Bane,”
none so repetitively as the first: [Page
raise the pilbroch, Donald Bane,
We're all in key to cheer
And then raise the pilbroch, Donald Bane,
We're all in key to cheer
it. . . .
McLachlan's admiration of Hogg, see the “Biographical
Sketch” in PW, pp. 26-27.
o'Groat's to Clyde John o'Groat's is a point
on the northern coast of Scotland that is popularly
considered the most northerly point of Scotland.
The Clyde River in southern Scotland is one of the
southerly limits of the Highlands. In the Introduction
to Gloomy Memories in the Highlands of Scotland,
p. iv McLeod asserts the right of the Celtic race
to ownership of the Highlands from “John o'Groat
to Maiden Kirk.”
deer A species of deer, pale brown or reddish-yellow
in colour, that is smaller than the red deer.
Of or pertaining to ballads.
See the note to II, 82, above.
and seer Ghost and prophet (or person gifted
with “second sight,” i.e., the ability
to see otherwise invisible objects). In a note to
his poem “Lochiel's Warning,” 59-60,
Campbell quotes a lengthy account of “seers”
and the “faculty of second sight” from
M. Martin's Description of the Western Isles
of Scotland, 2nd ed. (1716).
gloomy and the grand Scenery likely to produce
the emotions (awe, astonishment, pleasurable fear,
and the like) associated with the sublime.
Constructed, as it were, of clouds; cf. the note
to IV, 8, above.
or Gulf of Brechan,” is a whirlpool or dangerous
passage a mile broad on the west coast of Argyleshire,
in the strait between Scarba and Jura Isles. It
is caused by the tides (often running twelve or
fourteen miles an hour) meeting from north and west
in the narrow passage into the sound of Jura, round
a pyramidal rock, which rises from a considerable
depth to some fathoms from the surface. This rock
forces the water in various directions. In stormy
weather, at flow-tide, vast openings form in the
water, immense bodies of which tumble headlong as
over a precipice, then, rebounding from the abyss,
dash together and rise in spray to a great height.
The noise is heard over [Page 103] the
isles around. The water is smooth for half hour
in slack water” (PW, p. 407). See
Campbell, Gertrude of Wyoming, I, v: “Green
Albin [Scotland]! what though he no more survey
/ Thy . . . distant isles that hear the loud Corybrechtan
the century and more following the defeat of Charles
Edward (Bonnie Prince Charlie; the Young Pretender)
at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, large areas of
Scotland, especially in the Highlands, were depopulated.
In what came to be known as the Highland clearances,
crofters (tenants) were driven out of their homes
by landowners seeking to improve their properties—that
is, make them more profitable—by substituting
herds of sheep for communities of people. Assisted
when necessary by soldiers and police, the factors
(estate managers) of these landowners, set fire
to many a “humble dwelling” and drove
their inhabitants off their farms to the coastal
areas and large cities of Scotland (especially Glasgow)
and to Britain's overseas colonies. In The Highland
Clearances, John Prebble calls 1814 “The
Year of the Burnings” and designates 1782-1820
and 1840-1854 as the two periods of “major
clearances.” Prebble (pp. 87-88) quotes some
of the “extreme cases” of house burnings
described by McLeod in Gloomy Memories in the
Highlands of Scotland, p. 8: “Donald
Macbeath, an infirm and bed-ridden old man, had
the house unroofed over him, and was, in that state,
exposed to wind and rain till death put period to
his sufferings. I was present at the pulling down
and burning of the house of William Chisholm . .
. in which was lying his wife's mother, an old bed-ridden
woman of nearly 100 years of age. . . . On . . .
[Mr. Sellar's] arrival I told him of the poor old
woman. . . . He replied, ‘Damn her, the old
witch, she has lived too long; let her burn.’
Fire was immediately set to the house, and the blankets
in which she was carried were in flames before she
could be got out. . . . She died within five days.”
See also Introduction, pp. xlvi, for a discussion
of the importance of the destruction of roof-beams
by the burning parties.
iron hand Cf. Burns, “A Winter Night,”
44: ?‘. . . stern oppression's iron grip.
. . .’”
Hill or hillside; a tract of moorland in the hills.
Lomond and Ben Nevis are mountains in, respectively,
south- and west-central Scotland; both dominate
the regions surrounding them, and the latter is
the highest peak in Britain.
The main beam or ridge-pole of a roof. [Page
Ben Ledi, Ben Awe, Ben Venue, Ben Nevis, Ben Avin,
and Ben More are all mountains in Scotland. Ben
Ledi and Ben Venue are mentioned in the opening
stanzas of Scott's The Lady of the Lake,
which is set in the western Highlands of Perthshire.
cairn has its story, each river its sang . . . Cf.
the quotation from Traill, The Backwoods of
Canada at Introduction, 25f., above. “No
naiad haunts the rushy margin of our lakes [in Canada],
or hallows with her presence our forest-rills,”
observes Traill in the same place (p. 153); “[n]o
Druid claims our oaks; and instead of poring with
mysterious awe among our curious limestone rocks,
that are often singularly grouped together [like
cairns], we refer them to the geologist . . . ;
instead of investing them with the solemn characters
of ancient temples or heathen alters, we look upon
them with the curious eye of natural philosophy
alone.” sang: song; rills:
burnies are wimplin' to music alang Cf. Burns,
“Elegy on Capt. Matthew Henderson,”
21: “Ye burnies, wimplin down your glens.
. . .” burnies: small streams; wimplin':
auld No old.
bonnet A soft cap of blue woollen material
formerly worn by men and boys in Scotland (and several
times mentioned by Burns—for example, in his
“Song. Highland Laddie,” 4: “On
his head a bonnet blue . . .”).
Uninhabited; barren, dreary.
St. Charles Now a suburb of Montreal, Pointe
Saint-Charles was in McLachlan's day a small village
between Mount Royal (then, as now, the home of the
wealthier inhabitants of the city) and the St. Lawrence
hound A large dog used for hunting deer.
Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, VI,
xxxi (“Hymn for the Dead”):
is the harp—the Minstrel gone
And did he wander forth alone?
Alone, in indigence and age,
To linger out his pilgrimage?
No! close beneath proud Newark's tower, [Page
Arose the Minstrel's lowly bower;
A simple hut. . . .
endless night Cf. Thomas Gray, “The
Progress of Poesy,” 101-102: “. . .
excess of light, / Closed his [Milton's] eyes in
more.” An allusion to “Farewell to Lochaber”
by the Scottish poet Allan Ramsay. The first stanza
of this famous song runs
to Lochaber, and farewell, my Jean,
Where heartsome with thee I have mony days been;
For Lochaber no more, Lochaber no more,
We'll may be return to Lochaber no more.
These tears that I shed, they are a' for my
And no for the dangers attending on weir;
Tho' bore on rough seas to a far bloody shore,
May be to return to Lochaber no more.
is the mountainous district in the northwestern
part of Scotland in which Ben Nevis is located.
the Highland garb arrayed / On the Highland pipe
he played Dressed in the kilt and the accompanying
costume of a Highland clansman or soldier, and playing
Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, VI,
xxxi (“Hymn for the Dead”): “Then
would he sing achievements high . . . Till the rapt
traveller would stay . . . And noble youths the
strain to hear, / Forsook the hunting of the deer.
. . .”
and main Strength and force; with all his power.
Dances involving two persons or the music for such
dances. See Burns, “Tam O' Shanter,”
116-118: “Nae cotillon brent new frae France,
/ But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels, /
Put life and mettle in their heels.”
showers Cf. Burns, “To a Mouse, on Turning
Her up in Her Nest, with the Plough, November, 1785,”
35: “. . . winter's sleety dribble. . . .”
the quotation from The Lay of the Last Minstrel,
at II, 71-88, above.
the note to VII, 144, above.
Tay is the largest river in Scotland. [Page
is an island in the Inner Hebrides, off the west
coast of Scotland; the “peaks” on the
southern part of the island are the Paps of Jura.
of the sassenach English. A sassenach is a
non-Gaelic speaker, a category which included for
the Highlanders both the Lowland Scots and the English.
is a county in the west of Scotland.
Avon The Avon River is in central Scotland.
is an island in the Inner Hebrides, off the west
coast of Scotland.
yore In old times.
Highland home.” The source of this quotation
has yet to be identified. Could McLachlan have been
remembering the “rock-bound Highland Home”
of the opening line of the “West Point [Military
Academy] Song” by Lucius O'Brien?
Cummer (Scots): trouble, distress, difficulties.
Scott, Marmion, III (Introduction):
[the Highlands] was a barren scene, and wild,
Where naked cliffs were rudely piled;
But ever and anon between
Lay velvet tufts of loftiest green;
And well the lonely infant knew
Recesses where the wild-flower grew,
And honey suckle loved to crawl
Up the low crag and ruin'd wall.
I deem’d such nooks the sweetest shade
The sun in all its round survey'd. . . .
Charlatans; people who pretend to knowledge
or skill in any subject, especially medicine.
and land jobbers See Weld, Travels,
I, 403 (and elsewhere) for “speculation and
land-jobbing” in Canada and the United States
and the “nefarious practices” connected
with these activities [Page 107].
Like speculators, land-jobbers are people who make
a business of buying and selling land for financial
set of teachers See Galt, Lawrie Todd,
II, 314-315 for a bad teacher in a backwoods settlement.
tribe of preachers In Bogle Corbet,
III, 259-262, Galt describes what he calls the “religious
a[i]lment” of the settlement of Stockwell,
warning that the “emigrant must prepare himself
not always to meet with reverential pastors. . .
.” After asserting that Methodists are motivated
by both “the impulse of the spirit, [and].
. . ordinary sordid motives of human industry .
. . ,” he adds that not all “Methodist
preachers” are reprehensible. bogus:
sham, phoney; the word is of American origin.
Herbalists: people who sell, or prepare and administer,
herbal remedies. McLachlan is using the term pejoratively.
One of Burns' favourite words; see, for example,
“Song. Yon Wild Mossy Mountains,” 15:
“Her parantage humble as humble can be. .
. .” [Page 108]