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shying or running from an enemy or a contest : in l. 9474 the action is expressed by “to gyffe bake," a phrase which is used by Barbour in The Bruce, Bk 6, 1. 790, and Bk 12, 1. 315 ; while in Bk 8, 1. 737 ; 10. 756 ; 11. 822; 11. 860, it is expressed by “ to take the back."
1. 1353. When the Grekys hade the gre & the grounde wonen, when the Greeks had won the victory and the position : “ to win the gre” is a common Scottish phrase still used to express “ to be victor,” “to win the prize," "to come off first,” “to excel all competitors :
is « to bear the gre” is to hold the first place, to bear off the highest honours : thus, at a rifle match the one who has the highest score is said " to have won the gre ;” and after the match he “bears the gre," and will do so till some one else excels him.
1. 1360. of þere wit past, lost their wits, became insane: the phrase is still in use.
1. 1361. barnes on brest, infants : a phrase in every-day use : as thus,—" What age is the bairn ? " " he's jist on the breest yet," i. e. he is a mere infant.
1. 1374. Wele wantid no wegh, no one lacked wealth or spoil : wele, wealth, property, occurs again in 11. 1696, 2717, 3356, and is a common word still. wale what hom liste, (they just) chose and took what pleased them.
1. 1379. byggynges, buildings, houses : common to all our Scottish writers.
1. 1394. Syn the fortune felle bat faire into honde, since fortune (of war) gave thee that fair lady as a captive.
1. 1401. to lede, to live with, to hold: to lede is to keep safely, to cherish, to take charge or care of, and came to be a common term to express the relation of husband to wife : in the same sense levie is used as a s. in 1. 10653, = leadership, guidance; and this use of the word
, is still common.
1. 1404. Wer wakyn, war (shall) rise : in l. 404, wakyn means to raise, to stir up; and in 1. 2046, to wackon up = to spring up, to begin to act. Both meanings are still common: thus, “ye'll waken strife wi' that story," " the fire 's waknin up now.” The Morte Arthure, 1. 257, has, “ Now wakkenyse the were."
1. 1433. letis bele in his brest, allows to fester in his heart: to bele is to suppurate, to fester, as a wound, hence its use here.
1. 1434. mynnes, minds, remembers, broods over. is of mynd past, is gone from (the) memory (of the one who uttered it), or, gone from the recollection (of every one else).
1. 1438. ffele folke forfaren, many people made to perish: forfare is so used by Barbour in The Bruce, Bk 1, 1. 478 ; and in Wallace, Bk 10, 1. 521 ; also in Gude & Godly Ballates, p. 167 (ed. 1868). forfaren occurs again in l. 12118, = killed: it is still used in the sense of neglected, destitute, as in Thom’s ‘Mitherless Bairn.'
1, 1452. to ken, to be known, to be imagined, to speak of: þere no cause was to ken = where there was no cause at all. To ken is still so
used, as in the phrase, “There's naething to ken o’” = there is nothing worth speaking of.
1. 1469. here þat he walt, men that he had under him, as a chief or leader : wald, to wield or manage, also to possess : it is used in both senses by Wyntoun. See Jamieson's Dict. 1. 1482. þrivand in Armys, prosperous,
arms, a famous warrior: the phrase occurs again in 11. 2742, 5435, and is varied into “ þrifty in armes ” in 11. 5450, 5454, which occurs in Morte Arthure, 1. 317,
Thyrtty thosannde be tale thryftye in armes." 1. 1484. a fyne man of lore, a very able man of learning: fine is still used in this sense.
1. 1485. þe seuyn Artes ; see note, 1. 738.
1. 1495. of þe suster, of the sisters : this pl. form is not yet gone out of use. feire should be ferre.
1. 1496. clennest, most gifted, lit. completest.
1. 1503. color, should be colour, complexion. clennes, lit. purity (of shape), symmetry.
1. 1506. in should be on.
1. 1513. syde londis, far away lands : syde is wide, large, or long, as in Lyndsay's Satire on Syde Taillis, i. e. long skirts.
1. 1515. Soche sikyng and sorow sanke in his herte; compare with Mort. Arth., 1. 3983,
“Was neuer sorowe so softe that sanke to my herte." 1. 1518. hom, home. 1. 1522. thriccing should be thricching, pressing, wringing.
11. 1530-1. Wise wrightis to wale, skilled carpenters many. werkys to caste, to devise plans, to lay out the works. qwariours qweme, skilful quarrymen. quaint men of wit, men of long experience: quaint, (O.F. coint) skilled, experienced, sage.
1. 1533. raght vpon roume, reached the foundations, cleared the site. rid vp þe dykis, cleared out the ditches: rid is pret, of red, to clear, to clean, to make tidy, as in the common phrase, “ to red up the house," to put it in order. dyke is here ditch, as in l. 1566, or = wall, as in 1. 13588; then the passage means “ cleared out the old walls :" the word is still used in both senses.
1. 1535. of, from : is frequently used.
1. 1579. for wetyng of rain, because of the wetting of the rain, i, e. to be safe from a wetting by the rain.
11. 1580-3. stallis by þe strete, booths along the sides of the street:
stondyng for peopull, placed for the benefit of the people. werkmen in to won, (for) workmen to abide in. and paire wares shewe, and display their wares. bothe to selle and to se, both for sale and to be seen : this expression is still used when working folks speak of goods exposed in shop windows. as þaim selse lyked, as they (the people of l. 1580) felt inclined : observe the form“ þaim selfe,” the “ them-sell” of the present time, just as himself, herself, are himsell, hersell. to ken, known, existing. as þere course askit, each after its own fashion.
In this description of Troy our author takes great liberties with his text, and gives for the most part a city of the 14th century. Indeed, the graphic picture given in these four lines is exactly that of the main street, then called Market Street, of Old Edinburgh : along which were ranged the stalls or booths of the various craftsinen or “maister men" (who, as stated in 1. 1600, “onestly" lived in “entries” near by), and the slim erections of the “barburs bigget in bourders of the stretes " leading into it. Besides, the list of craftes given by our author is not that of Guido, nor of the author Benoit de Sainte-More, but almost exactly that of the Guildry of Old Edinburgh : for a full account of which see Maitland's History of Edinburgh; also, The Constitution of the City of Edinburgh, edit. 1826.
1. 1584. Glouers, glove makers : who made also various articles of dress, such as leather breeches, leggings, shirts, bags, pouches, and purses: in short, every article for dress or ornament that was made of soft leather. Sir Walter Scott has given us a sketch of a glover of that age in his Simon Glover of The Fair Maid of Perth. Girdellers noble, the noble crafte of Girdellers, or, rich Girdellers : the Girdellers, with the Goldsmiths, belonged to the Incorporation of Hammermen (see Maitland's Hist. of Edin., pp. 299-300), and were so called from the girdles, round plates of iron used in cooking, which formed a large and important section of their work. Besides these they made all kinds of utensils of plate iron : see note, 1. 13826.
1. 1585. Souters, shoemakers: still used, but most commonly to denote workmen of inferior ability, of low character. The word at once recals to mind the Souters of Selkirk, and Burns's Souter Johnny. Semsteris fyn, first-rate embroiderers, ornamental sewers: in our author's time there must have been a great deal of such work both on leather and cloth.
1. 1586. Turners of vesselles, turners of (wooden) dishes : almost all the dislies used by the common people were then made of wood; and many such are still used: even in the houses of the richest they were to be found.
1. 1587. Wrightes, wrights (of all kinds): as house-wright, millwright, wheel-wright. Observe that carpentours are given in l. 1597 as a separate craft from wrightes; and among the lower classes of Scotland they are still so reckoned: with them carpenters are builders of wooden ships or vessels of all sizes. In our author's time coopers would be reckoned among the carpenters, for we find that craft incorporated with
the wrights in 1489. (See Maitland's IIist. of Erlin., p. 301.) Websters, weavers : a common name still. valkers of clothe, fullers of cloth : there were then various articles besides cloth subjected to fulling.
1. 1588. Arows mythis with A res of verre, manufacturers of arrows and war axes : archery was never much cultivated in Scotland, hence the workman who made arrows had to make other implements of war as well. Observe, the arrowsmith did not wing or feather the arrows : that was done by the “flecchour” of l. 1593, who probably also made the shafts of the arrows : for, the parliament of James II, that sat in 1457 enacted “ that there be a bower (a bowmaker) and a fledgear (an arrow-maker) in ilk head town of the schire.” The arrowsmith, then, made only the iron or steel tips for the arrows.
1. 1590. Jonymakers, coiners and money-dealers : a necessary calling where alınost all the mouey in circulation was in coins of foreign countries, and exchanges would, consequently, be frequent.
1. 1591. Parnters, most probably a contracted form of parementers, decorators of clothes or furniture, or both : a very necessary craft in that age of wild grandeur and chivalry. Pynners, pinmakers : they made pins of all kinds and sizes, from the bone, brass, and steel pins for ladies to the strong pins for heckles and harrows. As division of labour became better understood, and more delicate articles were produced, the work of the pynner became more and more limited, and the craft decayed till we find the term applied to common jobbing carpenters or wrights employed by the authorities to set up and take down the scaffold and gallows at public executions. It occurs thus in the City of Edinburgh Accounts for the year 1565-66: "Item, the thrid day of Apryle, to be pynouris for þe bering of dailles & pouncheons fra þe blakfreris to be Croce, with be gibbett & maidin, to mak ane scaffold & awayiting þairon þe day quhen thoma Scot was justefeith-rij s."
1. 1592. Bochers, butchers. bladsmythis, bladesmiths: makers of sword blades, daggers, spear-heads, knives, &c. bacters, bakers.
1. 1593. fferrers, furriers : then a very important craft. flecchours, arrow-wingers : see note on Arrowsmiths, 1. 1588.
1. 1594. tapsters, sellers of liquor, chiefly ale. 1. 1595. Sporiors, spur makers. spicers, grocers, dealers in spices.
1. 1596. Cokes, cooks, keepers of eating houses. condlers, candlemakers : the vulgar name for them still.
1. 1597. coucheours fyn, first-class upholsterers, or perhaps, cabinetmakers and upholsterers. Perhaps inlayers and stone-setters are included.
1. 1598. barburs bigget in bourders of the stretes, barbers situated at the corners of the streets : a peculiarity of position to which the barbers of the present day cling. Note the use of bigget here : = placed, set, situated; a common use still. For particulars anent the craft of barbers, and their connection with the surgeons, see Maitland's Hist. of Edin., p. 313; also, Constit. of City of Edin.
1. 1599. maister-men, chief workmen, workmen who employ journey
men, chief men of the town: in short, burgesses and owners of the booths or stalls before mentioned.
1. 1600. onestly enabit, live respectably: douce, honest folk. in entris aboute, in adjoining entries : and so they do still. The entry is a common entrance to the stairs that lead up to the several flats of the houses or lands (as they are called) : on each flat one, two, or more tenants reside, and hence in speaking of any one's residence it is noted as in such and such an entry. " He lives in that entry” will be the reply to an inquiry for one's residence, although you may find it in the attics.
1. 1601. meuy: a water, flowed a river : water is still the common name of a river in Scotland : Pennant notes this in his Tour in Scotland in 1769, thus :—“Rivers in Scotland are very frequently called waters."
11. 1621-8. the chekker, the game of chess : here said to have been invented in Troy, while the legend is that it was invented by Palamedes to while away the long night-watches of the Greeks while encamped around Troy.
the draghtes, the game of draughts : now a much more common game than chess all over Scotland : chess being considered a game for the higher classes.
other dregh gaumes, other tedious or heavy games : dregh has various applications (see Gloss.), but here it implies slow and long.
the tables, backgammon, tregetre, tricks, magic, jugglery: tragetis, tricks, deceits, is used by Douglas in his Virgil, p. 98, 1. 10.
mekill þai usit, they busied themselves much.
qwaintáns, quintains : which quintain, or what game is here meant by quintain is a difficulty: even in the author's time it was considered a qwaint (old fashioned) game.
For interesting particulars concerning most of the games here mentioned, see Wright's Manners and Sentiments in England : and Strutt's Sports and Pastimes.
1. 1630. of a sete riall, for a royal residence : as in a country seat, a country residence.
1. 1633. eilyng, selection, intention, purpose : see note, 1. 394, and Gloss.
1. 1634. crustrit, an error for clustrit, thick set.
1. 1610. to houe, to halt, to rest, to tarry, to linger: in the same sense as our present horer. The word is so used by Barbour and Douglas, also in the • King's Quair.' See Jamieson's Dict.
1. 1649. shene is usually an adj., but is here used as an adv.
1. 1663. the chiffe, the upper end, farthest from the door: the chief, because the seat of honour.
1. 1668. With taste for to touche the table aboute, with scent (strong enough) to be felt (by all) about the table : taste, both as a noun and a verb, is used to express the exercise of any of the organs of sense, but especially those of taste and smel.