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warder, a sentinel.
stock, an uprooted tree-trunk, copse (kops), a grove of small or stump. growth.
whinyard (hwin'yärd), huntcairn (kârn), a heap of stones. ing knife. ken (ken), view.
fell, a barren, rocky hill. linn (lin), precipice.
wold (wöld), wood, forest. fain (fān), obliged.
threads, makes [his way) careLoch (lõk), lake.
fully, as through a narrow Brigg (brựg), bridge.
or intricate pass. embossed (ěm bost'), befoamed. plaid (plād), a rectangular garquarry, the object of the chase.
ment of checkered material. brake, a thicket.
recked (rěkt), heeded.
Canto First Stanza 1. Monan's rill: St. Monan was an early Scottish martyr, but there seems to be no knowledge of this rill. At what hour is the summer sunrise in central Scotland? The beacon fire was usually a signal of danger or war. Is that true here of the sun's reflection? Why does Scott tell us of the preceding evening? What words express the contrasts in these two occurrences?
St. 2. In what ways is the stag like a Chief called to arms? Why did Scott repeat a moment? The gale: How tainted? What words picture the stag's start?
St. 3. Opening: barking on view or scent of the game; a hunting term. How does Scott make you hear the quiet den grow noisy? Explain roe ; doe. With what word is the description of the tumult brought to a climax? What follows this climax? Why wondering eye?
St. 4 and 5. In what condition was the hunt as the morning neared to noon?
St. 6. Gave o’er: gave up. Cambusmore: an ancient estate north of the Teith, through which flows the Kelty. Here Scott when a young man spent several summers, from this point making his first excursions into the Highlands. The horseman, known in these adventures as “ the Knight of Snowdoun, James Fitz James,” is James V of Scotland in disguise. James V was king of Scotland from 1513 to 1542; he was respected as an excellent executive and a protector of the common people, among whom he liked to wander.
St. 7. St. Hubert's breed: hounds, black or spotted, with large, strong bodies and short legs; descendants of a breed kept by the abbots of the monastery of St. Hubert. (Hubert, a bishop of the 8th century, is the traditional patron of hunters.) Do we rejoice with the horseman or feel pity for the stag?
St. 8. The hunter, after the stag had turned to bay, had to face and disable him. This task, always dangerous, was considered especially so at certain seasons when a wound from the stag's horn was deemed poisonous.
St. 9. Upon the banks of Seine: In 1536, James V had visited the French Court, seeking a bride. Woe worth: woe be to, woe betide. Follow the hunt on the map; to what point has it brought the horseman?
St. 10. What details show the dogs ashamed of their failure? What is the mood of their master as they return to him? Explain the dingle's hollow throat; does it suggest deepmouthed, used before? To what, then, is the poet likening the dingle? How long has the chase lasted? Imagine a painting of this scene; describe it- the whole landscape and the actors in it.
Canto Fourth St. 29. The intervening cantos tell how the Hunter spends the night after the chase at the island home of a famous outlaw, Roderick Dhu. A young girl has heard his horn across Loch Katrine and, thinking it her father's, has pulled her skiff to the shore to meet him and row him to the island. The girl is Ellen, daughter of a Douglas, outlawed by the king. Roderick Dhu has sheltered Douglas and his daughter, in return for which he expects to receive Ellen's hand. Ellen has, however, a true lover, young Malcolm; and Malcolm and Roderick quarrel. The Highlanders are at this time planning war against the king, because he is trying to extend his hunting preserves into their ancient territory; and Roderick now hurries away to rouse Clan Alpine, of which he is chief. Ellen and her father take refuge in the Goblin's Cave across the lake; and on the third day the “Knight of Snowdoun appears again — this time to ask Ellen to return with him to Stirling Castle to bide in safety. She refuses to go and tells him of her love for Malcolmand her fears for his life;
whereupon the knight gives her a ring, which he says the king once gave him, with promise that by it he could boldly claim any favor he might ask. He counsels Ellen to flee to the king, present the ring, and ask him to redeem to her this pledge. On his way back through the Highlands, Fitz James meets a half-crazed Lowland maid, who tells him that she was stolen away on her bridal morn by Roderick Dhu. She recognizes his guide as a treacherous Highlander, and warns him of this. Fitz James kills the man, and vows vengeance on Roderick Dhu. He hears the whistle and shout of Highland scouts round about him, and resolves to wait till he can go on under cover of the night.
The wanderer: Who is he? watchful foe: Who are meant? Why are they his foes? summer solstice: Explain these lines.
St. 30. Saxon: The Highlanders were Gaels or Celts, and spoke the Gaelic or Celtic tongue. The Anglo-Saxon race had, soon after its invasion of southern England, spread north to the Scottish Lowlands. Perhaps the knight's fair hair and skin betrayed him, for he was of English descent; his mother was Margaret, daughter of Henry VII of England. I dare, etc.: What do you think of Fitz James's reply? but, though the beast of game.
trapped or slain: Explain these lines; what is meant by the privilege of chase ? and who is likened to the stag? who, to the fox ? they lie ... spy: Roderick had been told that a Lowland spy had been sent into their midst. Come Roderick: Let Roderick Dhu come. write: will write; how? If by the blaze, etc.: Who is speaking? What is the knight's reply? Is he speaking generally of the obligation of knighthood, or has he some particular person in mind when he says oppressor? How is your interest in the meeting kept up? mighty augury: A “ hermit monk” of Clan Alpine, feared as a soothsayer, had prophesied:
“Which spills the foremost foeman's life,
That party conquers in the strife.” wind my horn: Explain; what would happen if he did? brand to brand: Give a synonymous phrase. thy warrant is thy sword: What does the Highlander mean? wreath: here meaning the mass of heather intertwined. What noble qualities does each man show in this episode? If Fitz James hac spoken his whole mind aloud, what would he have revealed? If the Highlander had, so far as you can guess? In this meeting of the two enemies, Scott has given a beautiful illustration of the old Highland principle that it was the height of inhospitality, and even dishonor, to force a stranger guest to tell his name, particularly before he had taken refreshment and rest. Have you not already guessed that the Highlander is Roderick Dhu himself? The remainder of the poem tells what happened at Coilantogle's ford, and what happened at Stirling Castle when Ellen appeared before King James. Do you not want to finish the poem in fact, to read it all — yourself?
EXERCISES. (1) Dramatize the scene, with spirited action. One pupil might recite the lines (st. 29) that give the setting; but see first if you cannot suggest these effects by action alone.
(2) At the library, look up the life of Walter Scott. Ask for some short biography; or consult a biographical dictionary or encyclopedia, if you can find nothing better. Find out when he lived; where; what sort of man he was; how he began to write; what poems and stories he wrote. See what pictures you can find of him and of his beautiful home at Abbotsford. Then give the class a little talk, or address, on Scott, passing the pictures around for them to see.
A-HUNTING OF THE DEER
FOR STUDY in connection with the text (pronunciation, meaning in its use here, spelling): catamounts, attitudinize, Aitic, decadence, Ottoman, intricacies, Comanche, cougars, abattoir, protract, specious, sophists, recoup, gazelle, ostensibly, succulent, hinds, premonitions, mimosa, groggy, moosebushes, dead-wood slash, gauntlet (gantlet), recluse, respite, jugular.
Read the essay through, understanding all words and phrases with the help of the notes below; then read it once again to enjoy it fully, and answer the questions that follow the notes.
P. 15, 1. 12. North American tiger: the panther. 1. 19. Pentelicus: a mountain of Attica (Greece) famous for its marble.
P. 16, 11. 6, 7. Temple of Theseus, erected in Athens, in