Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 3 of 8 from 1860 edition -online book

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318"             THE LAIRD OF WABISTOUK.
immediately tried by the magistrates of Edinburgh, and sentenced to be strangled and burnt at a stake. The lady's father, the Laird of Dunipace, was a favour­ite of King James VI., and he made all the interest he could with his majesty to procure a pardon; but all that could be obtained from the king, was an order that the unhappy lady should be executed by decapi­tation, and that at such an early hour in the morning as to make the affair as little of a spectacle as possible. " The space intervening between her sentence and her execution was only thirty-seven hours; yet, in that little time, Lady Waristoun contrived to become converted from a blood-stained and unrelenting mur­deress into a perfect saint on earth. One of the then ministers of Edinburgh has left an account of her con­version, which was lately published, and would be ex­tremely amusing, were it not for the disgust which seizes the mind on beholding such an instance of per­verted religion. She went to the scaffold with a de­meanour which would have graced a martyr. Her lips were incessant in the utterance of pious exclama­tions. She professed herself confident of everlasting happiness. She even grudged every moment which she spent in this world, as so much taken from that sum of eternal felicity which she was to enjoy in the next. The people who came to witness the last scene, instead of having their minds inspired with salutary horror for her crime, were engrossed in admiration of her saintly behaviour, and greedily gathered up every devout word which fell from her tongue. It would almost appear from the narrative of the clergyman, that her fate was rather a matter of envy than of any other feeling. Her execution took place at four in

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III