Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 6 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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264               macpherson's rant.
The gipsy woman, hearing of this disaster, in her rambles the following summer, came and took away her boy; but she often returned with him, to wait upon his relations and clansmen, who never failed to clothe him well, besides giving money to his mother. He grew up to beauty, strength, and stature, rarely equalled. His sword is still preserved at Duff House, a residence of the Earl of Fife, and few men of our day could carry, far less wield it, as a weapon of war; and if it must be owned that his prowess was debased by the exploits of a free-booter, it is certain, no act of cruelty, no robbery of the widow, the fatherless, or distressed, and no murder, were ever perpetrated under his command. He often gave the spoils of the rich to relieve the poor; and all his tribe were reĀ­strained from many atrocities of rapine by the awe of his mighty arm. Indeed, it is said that a dispute with an aspiring and savage man of his tribe, who wished to rob a gentleman's house while his wife and two children lay on the bier for interment, was the cause of his Toeing betrayed to the vengeance of the law. The magistrates of Aberdeen were exasperated at Maepherson's escape, and bribed a girl in that city to allure and deliver him into their hands. There is a platform before the jail, at the top of a stair, and a door below. When Macpherson's capture was made known to his comrades by the frantic girl, who had been so credulous as to believe the magistrates only wanted to hear the wonderful performer on the violin, his cousin, Donald Maepherson, a gentleman of HerĀ­culean powers, did not disdain to come from Bade-noch, and to join a gipsy, Peter Brown, in liberating the prisoner. On a market-day they brought several