"The shame speed the liers, my lord!" quo' Dickie; "Trow ye aye to make a fool o' me?" quo' he; 230 "I'll either hae thirty punds for the good horse, Or he's gae t' Mortan fair wi' me."
He's gi'en him thirty punds for the gude horse, All in goud and good monie; He has gi'en him ane o' his best milk-ky, 235 To maintain his wife and children three.
Then Dickie lap a loup fu' hie, And I wat a loud laugh laughed he-- "I wish the neck o' the third horse were broken, For I hae a better o' my ain, if better can be." 240
Then Dickie's com'd hame to his wife again, Judge ye how the poor fool sped; He has gi'en her three score English punds, For the three auld co'erlets was tane aff her bed.
"Hae, tak thee these twa as good ky, 245 I trow, as a' thy three might be; And yet here is [a] white-footed nagie, I think he'll carry baith thee and me.
"But I may nae langer in Cumberland bide; The Armstrongs they'll hang me hie:"-- 250 So Dickie's tane leave at lord and master, And [at] Burgh under Stanmuir there dwells he.
54. The place of execution at Carlisle.--P. M.
61. This was a house of strength held by the Armstrongs. The ruins at present form a sheep-fold on the farm of Reidsmoss, belonging to the Duke of Buccleuch.--S.
94. The Laird of Mangerton was chief of the clan Armstrong--S.
103. Hamstringing a horse is termed, in the Border dialect, _tying him with St. Mary's knot_. Dickie used this cruel expedient to prevent a pursuit. It appears from the narration, that the horses left unhurt, belonged to fair Johnie Armstrang, his brother Willie, and the Laird's Jock--of which Dickie carried off two, and left that of the Laird's Jock, probably out of gratitude for the protection he had afforded him on his arrival.--S.
136. A rising-ground on Cannobie, on the borders of Liddesdale.--P. M.
188. The commendation of the Laird's Jock's honesty seems but indifferently founded; for, in July, 1586, a bill was fouled against him, Dick of Dryup, and others, by the Deputy of Bewcastle, at a warden-meeting, for 400 head of cattle taken in open foray from the Drysike in Bewcastle: and in September, 1587, another complaint appears at the instance of one Andrew Rutlege of the Nook, against the Laird's Jock, and his accomplices, for 50 kine and oxen, besides furniture, to the amount of 100 merks sterling. See Bell's MSS., as quoted in the _History of Cumberland and Westmoreland_. In Sir Richard Maitland's poem against the thieves of Liddesdale, he thus commemorates the Laird's Jock:--
"They spuilye puir men of their pakis, They leif them nocht on bed nor bakis: Baith hen and cok, With reil and rok, The _Lairdis Jock_ All with him takis."--S.
JOCK O' THE SIDE.
From Caw's _Poetical Museum_, p. 145.
The rescue of a prisoner from the hands of justice was a very favourite subject with ballad-makers, and, it is to be feared, no uncommon event in the actual experience of the police of former days. We have in the fifth volume seen how such an affair was conducted by Robin Hood and his associates; and in _Kinmont Willie_ have had an authenticated account of a remarkable exploit of this description at the close of the reign of Elizabeth. The two ballads which follow have this same theme; but only the authority of tradition. _Jock o' the Side_ has one circumstance in common with _Kinmont Willie_--the daring passage of the river: with _Archie of Ca'field_ it agrees throughout.
Jock o' the Side would seem to have been nephew to the Laird of Mangertoun (the chief of the clan Armstrong), and consequently cousin to the Laird's Jock. Scott suggests that he was probably brother to Christie of the Syde, mentioned in the list of Border clans, 1597. Both of these worthies receive special notice in Maitland's complaint _Against the Thieves of Liddisdale_.
"He is weil kend, Johne of the Syde; A greater thief did never ryde; He nevir tyris For to brek byris, Our muir and myris Ouir gude ane guide."
Scott has pointed out that Jock o' the Side assisted the Earl of Westmoreland in his escape after his insurrection with the Earl of Northumberland, in the twelfth year of Elizabeth.
"Now Liddisdale has ridden a raid, But I wat they had better staid at hame; For Mitchel o' Winfield he is dead, And my son Johnie is prisoner ta'en."
For Mangerton-House Auld Downie is gane, 5 Her coats she has kilted up to her knee; And down the water wi' speed she rins, While tears in spaits fa' fast frae her eie.
Then up and bespake the Lord Mangerton, "What news, what news, sister Downie, to me?" 10 "Bad news, bad news, my Lord Mangerton; Mitchel is kill'd, and tane they hae my son Johnie."
"Ne'er fear, sister Downie," quo' Mangerton; "I hae yokes of oxen, four and twentie; My barns, my byres, and my faulds, a' weel fill'd, 15 And I'll part wi' them a', ere Johnie shall die.
"Three men I'll take to set him free, Weel harness'd a' wi' best o' steel; The English rogues may hear, and drie The weight o' their braid-swords to feel. 20
"The Laird's Jock ane, the Laird's Wat twa, O Hobie Noble, thou ane maun be; Thy coat is blue, thou has been true, Since England banish'd thee, to me."
Now Hobie was an English man, 25 In Bewcastle-dale was bred and born; But his misdeeds they were sae great, They banish'd him ne'er to return.
Lord Mangerton them orders gave, "Your horses the wrang way maun a' be shod; 30 Like gentlemen ye must not seem, But look like corn-caugers gawn ae road.
"Your armour gude ye maunna shaw, Nor ance appear like men o' weir; As country lads be all array'd, 35 Wi' branks and brecham on ilk mare."
Sae now a' their horses are shod the wrang way, And Hobie has mounted his grey sae fine; Jock his lively bay, Wat's on his white horse behind, And on they rode for the water o' Tyne. 40
At the Cholerford they a' light down,[L41]
And there, wi' the help o' the light o' the moon, A tree they cut, wi' fifteen naggs upo' ilk side, To climb up the wa' o' Newcastle town.
But when they cam to Newcastle town, 45 And were alighted at the wa', They fand their tree three ells o'er laigh, They fand their stick baith short and sma'.
Then up and spake the Laird's ain Jock, "There's naething for't, the gates we maun force;" 50 But when they cam the gates unto, A proud porter withstood baith men and horse.
His neck in twa I wat they hae wrung, Wi' hand or foot he ne'er play'd paw; His life and his keys at anes they hae tane, 55 And cast his body ahind the wa'.
Now soon they reach Newcastle jail, And to the pris'ner thus they call; "Sleips thou, wakes thou, Jock o' the Side, Or is thou wearied o' thy thrall?" 60
Jock answers thus, wi' dolefu' tone-- "Aft, aft I wake--I seldom sleip: But wha's this kens my name sae weel, And thus to hear my waes do[es] seek?"
Then up and spake the good Laird's Jock, 65 "Ne'er fear ye now, my billie," quo' he; "For here's the Laird's Jock, the Laird's Wat, And Hobie Noble, come to set thee free."
"O had thy tongue, and speak nae mair, And o' thy tawk now let me be; 70 For if a' Liddisdale were here the night, The morn's the day that I maun die.
"Full fifteen stane o' Spanish iron, They hae laid a' right sair on me; Wi' locks and keys I am fast bound 75 Into this dungeon mirk and drearie."
"Fear ye no that," quo' the Laird's Jock; "A faint heart ne'er wan a fair ladie; Work thou within, we'll work without, And I'll be bound we set thee free." 80
The first strong dore that they came at, They loosed it without a key; The next chain'd dore that they cam at, They gar'd it a' in flinders flee.
The pris'ner now, upo' his back, 85 The Laird's Jock's gotten up fu' hie; And down the stair, him, irons and a', Wi' nae sma' speed and joy brings he.
"Now, Jock, I wat," quo' Hobie Noble, "Part o' the weight ye may lay on me;" 90 "I wat weel no!" quo' the Laird's Jock, "I count him lighter than a flee."
Sae out at the gates they a' are gane, The pris'ner's set on horseback hie; And now wi' speed they've tane the gate, 95 While ilk ane jokes fu' wantonlie.
"O Jock, sae winsomely's ye ride, Wi' baith your feet upo' ae side!
Sae weel's ye're harness'd, and sae trig, In troth ye sit like ony bride!" 100
The night, tho' wat, they didna mind, But hied them on fu' mirrilie, Until they cam to Cholerford brae, Where the water ran like mountains hie.
But when they came to Cholerford, 105 There they met with an auld man; Says--"Honest man, will the water ride?
Tell us in haste, if that ye can."