This is the second in a series of six posts covering the six figures of the Mid Lothians. The first figure, background information, and sources are discussed in the previous post.
The second figure of the Mid Lothians is set to a highly simplified arrangement of the "Lassie wi'the Lint-White Locks", a tune actually called "Rothiemurchies Rant" but so strongly associated with the Robert Burns poem from 1794 that Evans seems to have adopted the poem's title for the tune. It is also known today as "The Graf Spee". The tune is traditionally used for a Scottish Country Dance and can be heard on numerous recordings. Some interesting background may be found at The Mudcat Café.
Evans' version is in a different key and consists almost entirely of relatively sedate eighth notes, unlike the dotted strathspey rhythm of the original, which is given below the quadrille arrangement for comparison.
Evans trims the four strains of the original tune to three strains (ABC) of eight bars each, with the third strain being a repeat of the first with a slight variation in the last bar. The figure is repeated four times. Instructions on the music indicate the that the (thirty-two-bar) figure begins on the A strain, which also has repeat markings. so a repeat structure of A (ABACx4) or possibly A (AABCx4) seems indicated, which leaves the figures concluding on the same music (since C = A) as they began, as is typical for a quadrille figure. Either way, the A strain ends up getting repeated three times in succession multiple times. A (ABBCx4) would also be a possibility, albeit a somewhat odd one for a quadrille, and somewhat reduces the repetiiveness. If not for the figure instructions on the music, I'd be inclined to go with A (BABCx4) just for a bit more variety.
Traversez deux en donnant la main droit et restez a la place opposèè, les deux autres de même, Balancez à vos Dames et tour de mains.en avant deux et en arrière, dos_à_dos. Demie chaine anglaise et tour de mains avec vos Dames
Opposite Lady and Gent:cross over giving right hands and remain opposite;the other two the same, balancez to partners and turn. Opposite Lady and Gent:advance, retire and dos_à_dos,half right and left and turn partners.
The spelling and punctuation/accenting are as in the original, errors and all. The instructions in Pollock's and Whale's books have only minor variations in punctuation.
The reconstruction is relatively simple, with only a couple of minor issues discussed in the notes below.
Mid Lothians, Figure 2 (8b introduction + 32bx4)
4b First lady and opposite gentleman cross over, giving right hands in passing
4b Their partners also cross over, giving right hands in passing
(the head couples are now on opposite sides and improper)
8b Head couples balancez and turn partners once and a half round (becoming proper)
8b First pair advance & retire, then dos-à-dos
8b Head couples half right and left to places, then turn partners
The figure is then repeated three times led in turn by the second lady and opposite gentleman (other half of head couples), the third lady and her opposite, and fourth lady and her opposite.
1. Who are the "opposite lady and gent"? While most quadrilles of the era have the initiating pair be the first lady and opposite gentleman, there are occasional examples of figures being led by the first gentleman and opposite lady. In this case I have been guided by Pollock's description of the Finale figure of the First Set in same manual in which Mid Lothians appears, in which specifies the first lady and her opposite as the initial lead pair.
2. The turns of partners. If each of these is only a normal turn (once round), then the couples end up improper at the end of the dance. It is possible, but seems rather unlikely to me, that the two couples end the first repetition of the figure improper and on the second one return to places. I think instead that one turn or the other must be once and a half round, or possibly just half round, though that's not much movement for four bars of music. I had initially left this for the turn at the very end of the figure. This creates a notable awkwardness with the half right and left, however, so I'm lately persuaded that the earlier turn (following the balancez) should be the longer one.
Crossing over with any suitable sequence of steps
(I would favor the second or third sequence of those given, since they provide graceful face-to-face moments for the giving of hands)
Balancez with any suitable sequence of steps
Turns with partner with three chassé; jeté; assemblé
Advance and retire with any suitable sequence of steps
Dos-a-dos with three chassé; jeté; assemblé or any other suitable sequence
Half right and left with three chassé; jeté; assemblé