Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 2 of 8 from 1860 edition

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220
THE TWA BROTHERS.
that the crime is again fratricide. He has also fur­nished another version of The Twa Brothers, in which the catastrophe is the consequence of an accident, and this circumstance has led the excellent editor to tax Jamieson with altering one of the most essential features of the ballad, by filling out a defective stanza with four lines that make one brother to have slain the other in a quarrel. Jamieson is, how­ever, justified in giving this more melancholy character to the story, by the tenor of all the kindred pieces, and by the language of his own. It will be observed that both in Edward and Son Davie, the wicked act was not only deliberate, but was even instigated by the mother. The departure from the original is undoubtedly on the part of Motherwell's copy, which has softened down a shocking incident to accommodate a modern and refined sentiment. But Jamieson is ar­tistically, as well as critically right, since the effect of the contrast of the remorse of one party and the gener­osity of the other is heightened by representing the terrible event as the result of ungoverned passion.
The three Scottish ballads mentioned above, here follow, and Motherwell's Twa Brothers will be found in the Appendix. Mr. Sharpe has inserted a third copy of this in his Ballad Book, p. 56. Another is said to be in The Scofs Magazine, for June, 1822. Placing no confidence in any of Allan Cunningham's souvenirs of Scottish Song, we simply state that one of them, com­posed upon the theme of the Twa Brothers, is included in the Songs of Scotland, ii. 16.
" The common title of this ballad is, The Twa Broth­ers, or, The Wood o' Warslin, but the words o' Wars-







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