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wife of the farm house in the district made so famous in "The Ghaist o' Ferne-den."

There are several versions of the tale, but I prefer that given by Mr Jervise, as in early youth I often heard my mother repeat some stanzas of this ballad, which she had heard recited by our parish minister, Dr Lyon, of Glamis. Curiously enough the Rev. Mr Harris, minister of Ferne, received this version from the worthy doctor, and communicated the same to Mr



There liv'd a farmer in the North,

(I canna tell you when),
But just he had a famous farm

Nae far frae Ferne-den.

I doubtna, sirs, ye a' hae heard,
Baith women folks an' men,
About a muckle, fearfu' ghaist-
The ghaist o' Ferne-den!

The muckle ghaist, the fearfu' ghaist,

The ghaist o' Ferne-den;

He wad hae wrought as muckle wark
As four-an'-twenty men!

Gin there was ony strae to thrash,

Or ony byres to clean,

He never thocht it muckle fash
O' workin' late at e'en !

Although the nicht was ne'er sae dark,

He scuddit through the glen,

An' ran an errand in a crack-
The ghaist o' Ferne-den!

Ane nicht the mistress o' the house

Fell sick an' like to dee,

"O! for a canny wily wife!"

Wi' micht an' main, cried she!
The nicht was dark, an' no a spark

Wad venture through the glen,

For fear that they micht meet the ghaist-
The ghaist o' Ferne-den!

But ghaistie stood ahint the door,

An' hearin' a' the strife,

He saw though they had men a score,
They soon wad tyne the wife!


Aff to the stable then he goes,
An' saddles the auld mare,

An' through the splash an' slash he ran
As fast as ony hare!

He chappit at the Mammy's door

Says he "mak' haste an' rise;
Put on your claise an' come wi' me,
An' take ye nae surprise!"
"Where am I gaun?" quo' the wife,
"Nae far, but through the glen-
Ye're wantit to a farmer's wife,
No far frae Ferne-den !"

He's taen the Mammy by the hand
An' set her on the pad,

Got on afore her an' set aff

As though they baith were mad! They climb'd the braes-they lap the burns-An' through the glush did plash: They never minded stock nor stane, Nor ony kind o' trash!

As they were near their journey's end An' scudden through the glen: "Oh!" says the Mammy to the ghaist, "Are we come near the den!

For oh! I'm feared we meet the ghaist!"
"Tush, weesht, ye fool! "quo' he;
"For waur than ye ha'e i' your arms,
This nicht ye winna see !"

When they cam to the farmer's door
He set the Mammy down :-

"I've left the house but ae half hour-
I am a clever loon !

But step ye in an' mind the wife

An' see that a' gae richt,

An' I will tak ye hame again

At twal' o' clock at nicht !"

"What maks yer feet sae braid?" quo' she,
"What maks yer een sae sair?"

Said he," I've wander'd mony a road
Without a horse or mare!

But gin they speir, wha' brought ye here,

'Cause they were scarce o' men;

Just tell them that ye rade ahint

The ghaist o' Ferne-den!"

Some aver that the Ghaist was never seen or heard of from the time he landed the "Mammy wife," her persistent enquiries as to the peculiarity of the form of his feet and the colour of his eyes, having caused his immediate disappearance from the district. The gudewife of Farmerton, tradition however saith, had a male child, born on the same night that the Ghaist brought the "Mammy" to her house, and that this child when he grew up to manhood became celebrated for courage and valour. As the brownie still continued his midnight wanderings, and no one daring to "speak" to the spirit of the murdered vassal, this youth, when returning home one dark night accidentally met the Ghaist, and boldly demanded to know the cause of his wanderings :—

"About himsel wi hazell staff,

He made ane roundlie score;

And said, 'My lad, in name o' Gyde,

What doe you wander for?'"

The Ghaist replied by confessing the offences of his life, and thereafter immediately vanished. He was never more seen in the parish of Ferne!



From love of art, and taste withal,
Some sweetly hallow every scene,

But for Vandalic plunder, all

Must execrate the name of Skene.

RELUCTANTLY bidding adieu to the mystical and bewitching Ferne, we shall now pay a visit to the ancient and interesting Castle of Careston, a short distance to the eastward, on what may be still termed the braes of Angus.

The origin of the name of Careston, or Caraldstone is involved in much obscurity. Some authorities trace the derivation to the Ossianic hero, Carril; and others, to the now disused Celtic word, Carald, denoting the quality, red. Others, again, assume from an expression that occurs in a decreet of valuation of the teinds in 1758, viz., "the lands and barony of Caraldstone, formerly called Fuirdstone, with the tower, fortalice, manor places" &c, that Careston was known at one time by the name of Fuirdstone.

The more probable source, however, appears to be that which is indicated in the preface to the Registrum de Aberbrothic :"A person of the name of Bricius occurs in very early charters as 'judex' of Angus, probably holding his office under the great Earls. In 1219, Adam was judex of the Earl's Court. Some six years later he became judex of the King's Court, and his brother Keraldus succeeded to his office in the Court of the Earl; for in the year 1227, we find the brothers acting together, and styled respectively 'judex' of Angus, and 'judex' of our Lord the King. The dwelling of Keraldus received the name of

'Keraldiston,' now Caraldstoun; and the office of judex becoming heritable, and taking its Scotch title of 'Dempster,' gave name to the family who for many generations held the lands of Caraldstoun and performed the office of Dempster to the Parliaments of Scotland."

The Noran and the South Esk flow and unite together in this parish. The water of the Noran is celebrated for its purity, caused, doubtless, by its flowing over a bed of rock and gravel. There is a tradition, that one of our Queens, in olden time, washed her curtch or cap in its stream, near the place where the farm-house of Nether Careston is now situated, and pronounced the Noran to be the clearest stream in Scotland.

The parish is rich in botanical treasures. In the meadows and moors, in the fields and woods, and on the banks of the Noran and Esk, many fine specimens of the Orchis Moris, Chrysanthemum Segetum, Geranium Sylvaticum, Anemone Nemorosa, Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus, Spirara Ulmaria, and Rosa Eglanteria, are to be found in great abundance. That very rare plant, Stratictes Aliodes, or the fresh water soldier, discovered by the Rev. Mr. Haldane of Kingoldrum, is to be found in a pool at Bracklawburn.

Careston is said to be the least parish in Angus-shire, both as regards extent and population, and the fifth least in the Kingdom. Although the churchyard is correspondingly small, the tombstones-until George Skene, the late proprietor, sacrilegiously had them all thrown from the graveyard to be afterwards either broken to pieces, or used for drain coverswere at one time very numerous and interesting in an antiquarian point of view. A few of these stones were, however, rescued from oblivion, and placed again in the churchyard after this Vandalic laird's death. The inscription on one of these is as follows:

"This stone doth hold these corps of mine,

While I lie buried here;

None shall molest nor wrong this stone,

Except my freinds that near.

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