Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 4 of 8 from 1860 edition -online book

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The following passage, illustrative of the feat of arms accomplished by Johnie Scot, was pointed out to Motherwell by Mr. Sharpe :—James Macgill, of Lin-dores, having killed Sir Robert Balfour, of Denmiln, in a duel, " immediately went up to London in order to procure his pardon, which, it seems, the King (Charles the Second) offered to grant him, upon con­dition of his fighting an Italian gladiator, or bravo, or, as he was called, a bully, which, it is said, none could be found to do. Accordingly, a large stage was erected for the exhibition before the King and court. Sir James, it is said, stood on the defensive till the bully had spent himself a little; being a taller man than Sir James, in his mighty gasconading and brava-doing, he actually leapt over the knight as if he would swallow him alive; but, in attempting to do this a second time, Sir James ran his sword up through him, and then called out, ' I have spitted him, let them roast him who will.' This not only procured his pardon, but he was also knighted on the spot."— Small's Account of Roman Antiquities recently discov­ered iA Fife, p. 217.
From Buchan's Lang Johnny Moir, printed in the Appendix, it will be seen that the title of Little Scot is not to be taken literally, but that the doughty champion was a man of huge stature.
0 Johnie Scot 's to the hunting gane,
Unto the woods sae wild; And Earl Percy's ae daughter
To him goes big wi' child.