View Full Version : On Annandale Men

Sunday, January 1st, 2006, 04:47 AM
This is a description of Border Rievers from Sir Walter Scotts The Fair Maid of Perth

"Do you see yonder five or six men, who are riding so wildly on the other side of the river? These are Annandale men; I know them by the length of their lances, and by the way they hold them. An Annandale man never slopes his spear backwards, but always keeps the point upright, or pointed forward... If you were in their own glens, they would use you hospitably, and you would have nothing to fear; but now they are on an expedition. All is fish that comes to their net... Their whole soul is settled in their eyes to see prey, and in their hands to grasp it. They have no ears either to hear lays of music or listen to prayers for mercy"

Sunday, January 1st, 2006, 04:58 AM
Within the bounds of Annandale
The gentle Johnstones ride;
They have been there a thousand years,
A thousand more they'll bide.

Old Ballad.

Sunday, January 1st, 2006, 05:10 AM
"Yonder fellow, who stops so impudently to look at us, as if he were engaged in the most lawful sport in the world -- I guess him, by his trotting hobbler, his rusty head piece with the cock's feather, and long two handed sword, to be the follower of some of the southland lords -- men who live so near the Southron, that the black jack is never off their backs, and who are as free of their blows as they are light in their fingers."

"The stranger replied to it, modified as it was, with a most inauspicious grin, which the scars of his visage made appear still more repulsive. "You want to know my name? My name is the Devil's Dick of Hellgarth, well known in Annandale for a gentle Johnstone. I follow the stout Laird of Wamphray, who rides with his kinsman the redoubted Lord of Johnstone, who is banded with the doughty Earl of Douglas; and the earl and the lord, and the laird and I, the esquire, fly our hawks where we find our game, and ask no man whose ground we ride over."

"And take you this to boot, to keep you in mind that you met the Devil's Dick, and to teach you another time to beware how you spoil the sport of any one who wears the flying spur on his shoulder.""

""I trow they be different, my lord. I only graced this fellow with the full title, for indeed he called himself the Devil's Dick, and said he was a Johnstone, and a follower of the lord of that name. But I put him back into the bog, and recovered my hawking bag, which he had taken when I was at disadvantage."

Sir Patrick paused for an instant. "We have heard," said he, "of the Lord of Johnstone, and of his followers. Little is to be had by meddling with them."