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They'll reason calmly, an' wi' kindness smile,
When our short passions wad our peace beguile;
Sae, whensoe'er they slight their wives at hame,
'Tis ten to ane the wives are maist to blame.
Then I'll employ wi' pleasure a' my art
To keep him cheerfu', an' secure his heart.
At e'en, when he comes weary frae the hill,
I'll hae a' things made ready to his will.
In Winter, when he toils thro' wind an' rain,
A bleezing ingle an' a clean hearthstane;
An' soon as he flings by his plaid an' staff

The seething pots be ready to take aff ;
Clean hag-a-bag I'll spread upon his board,
An' serve him wi' the best we can afford ;
Good humour an' white bigonets shall be
Guards to my face, to keep his love for me.

Allan Ramsay was also the author of some very beautiful songs, which are sung at the present time. His play, too, is, we believe, still acted by peasants in the country parts of Scotland, and, we have heard, even in the backwoods of Canada. John Gay, the friend of Pope, the London man of letters, the owner at that time of twenty thousand pounds of South Sea Stock, when on a visit to the Duke and Duchess of Queensbury, used to lounge into Allan Ramsay's shop, and read the poem over to the author, getting him to explain the Scots words, so that he might convey the true spirit to Alexander Pope, who was amazingly fond of the poem. What a picture would this scene make ! little dumpty, fat, good-natured John Gay; tall, sharp, shrewd, and humorous Allan Ramsay; the vivacity and light of genius on each face contrasting with the darkness of the bookseller's shop.

Alexander Ross, author of "Wooed and Married and a'," published in 1758, John Lowe, who wrote “ Mary's Dream,” and one or two others, have left names merely to be remembered as tacked to their



songs; but, so fickle is fame, that one author will go down to posterity with the fame of a song as well as or better than another with many volumes. Lady Ann Barnard, in 1771, published a beautiful ballad known as

Auld Robin Gray,” and for reasons best known to herself, she kept the secret for fifty years. In 1823 she acknowledged the authorship in a letter to Sir Walter Scott. Robert Ferguson (1750-1774) was a young man of great poetic genius, but of an irregular and miserable life—miserable through his own irregularities and dissipations. He is to be remembered as the model, in some sort, of Burns; of whom, says a Scotch critic, he may be reckoned as a poetical progenitor. As a proof how near he came to him, we will quote a couple of verses of his rhapsody in honour of "Braid Claith,” (Broad Cloth) or good clothes ; in which our readers will see that Ferguson has not only the metre, but the manner which Burns made so famous,

Braid claith lends fouk an unca heeze,
Maks mony kail-worms butterflees,
Gees mony a doctor his degrees

For little skaith :
In short, you may be what you please

For guid braid claith.
For though ye had as wise a snout on
As Shakespeare or Sir Isaac Newton,
Your judgment fouk would hae a doubt on,

I'll tak my aith,
Till they could see ye wi' a suit on

O'guid braid claith. Poor Ferguson died in the cell of a madhouse, October, 16, 1774, and was buried in a poor grave in the Canongate churchyard, where his remains lay unknown and unmarked for twelve years, until Robert Burns,


the greatest poet of Scotland, put up a humble memorial to his preceptor and predecessor. There may be among the minor Scotch poets other names worthy of a passing word; but they are few, and by no means great. We may mention Robert Crawford, (died 1733,) author of “Tweedside” and the “Bush aboon Traquiar;" John Skinner, author of “ Tulochgorum;" Sir Gilbert Elliot, and Miss Jane Elliot; but the brilliance and power of Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott, of whom we shall treat in another chapter, overpower and hide the very names of smaller poets. It is well, however, that the student should know that even the greatest poet shines with a reflected lustre; and that, brilliant as may be his genius, he does not reflect nor absorb all the true poetry and feeling in the world. As there are conquerors who are never mentioned in history, and whose triumphs are not published in the Gazette, so there are martyrs who suffer the pains but who miss the palm of martyrdom, and true poets, who feel all the honest rhapsody of genius, but whose voices are silent, and whose songs are never heard.

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HAT very deep thinker, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in one of those conversation evenings at Highgate, in which he so tersely discussed every question brought

before him, and threw a brilliant flash of light on every subject raised, said, “There have been three silent revolutions in England; first, when the professions fell off from the Church ; secondly, when literature fell off from the professions; and thirdly, when the Press fell off from literature.”

Now that is a very remarkable collection of sentences, and we ask our readers to think over and look at it.

What was the military revolution of 1645, or the political revolution of 1688, or the Reform Bill, or Catholic Emancipation, in which soldiers, nobles, kings, lawyers, took part, compared to those revolutions which alone rendered the historic ones possible? Let our



most unlearned reader imagine the Church, the Supreme Roman Catholic Church, holding within itself all the learning and all the professions in the world. The Church was the law, the Church was the physician, the Church was the writer, the Church was everything; the king and the soldier were her servants. But the professions fell off from the Church, and henceforward she held but a maimed existence: the reign, the absolute reign, of the priest was over for ever. Then Learning clung to two objects — Religion on one side, and Learning (law, physic, and science) on the other; but these soon degenerated into cant and hobgoblin magic, rendering it possible for such men as Paracelsus and Michael Scot to excite attention as magicians and conjurors. Then came another secession : Literature fell off from the professions; nay, opposed them. Learned men no longer wrote merely for learned men. They emancipated themselves from the trammels of the schools, and came out into plain day addressing the people. Then instantly a flood of light came upon us, and the Church felt that it was not able, like Peter, in Swift's admirable satire, “to lock up his father's will in an old Grecian and Italian box;" i. e., to keep the Bible imprisoned in dead tongues : so the Bible, once free, became the great enemy to feudality, and to the old system of the world. By the criticism of literary men, by their attacks on the Bible, that wondrous book became stronger and stronger. No longer dared the priest to say, “ This is my book; let me interpret it." The layman said, “This book, I find, abolishes you ; you are no longer Magister, doctor, and priest, but merely the minister and the interpreter. I too am the Church; I too am a king

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