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they had previously been listening to, formances have been alluded to. and the effect of the attempt to play Among them, the most powerful opa reel, without the skill necessary for ponent to the success of professors, touching such an instrument, had and to the formation of a good orchesroused feelings which these city dames tra, is the inclination for that species and damsels had not been accustomed of warfare, which unfortunately perto; and I have little doubt that they vades other professions as well as that have since discovered for themselves of music. We know enough, in this a new pleasure in true music, which, good town, of medical and of spiritual but for this accident, they might ne- warfare; and the demons of hatred, ver have enjoyed.
envy, and contention, are well known That the inhabitants of Edinburgh to be no lovers of harmony. Could are not insensible to music of the we establish a Philharmonic Society in highest class, is evident from the nu- Edinburgh, somewhat similar to the merous attendance at the public per- one in London, and convince our proformances of the Institution for the fessors that their talents, in combinaImprovement of Sacred Music. Some tion, could effect more towards their may be inclined to attribute this to being esteemed, and their substantial the cheapness of admission, which benefit, than perpetual wrangling, we enables the citizens to appear in a should have it in our power to produce public place, on the same bench with concerts to please the most fastidious. persons of rank and fashion. But, But, while so much jarring subsists granting that this frailty operates in among the professors, as I have heard full force, I cannot believe, that, un- of, it will be impossible to form a toless there was something to be enjoy- lerable orchestra. Were the nobility ed superior to such silly gratification, and gentry resident, or occasionally the attendance would be so great. resident, in Edinburgh, to promote This Institution has done much to the establishment of a society both open the ears, and I hope too the eyes, for the benefit of the professors, and of the Edinburgh public. It has con- for the entertainment of the public, tributed to convince us that we were we might indulge some hope of exignorant of what true music was, and tensive patronage being bestowed on has unquestionably roused a desire to regular concerts. In a communicabe well acquainted with much of the tion of this kind, it is impossible to most impressive music that has ever give an entire plan for such a society; been composed. The origin of the an outline, however, may be given. Institution, however, is to be found I would propose, that the society in the Festival of 1815; and I have should be formed by the professors in been informed that it owes its exist- the first instance; and that the nobience to an observation of Mr Ashley, lity and gentry should be invited to that Mr Mather, being fully compe- subscribe a certain sum annually, for a tent to the task of instructing chorus- certain number of years, for the pursingers, ought to make Edinburgh pose of defraying the expences of conindependent of foreign assistance. certs, in so far as regards the use of rooms, The public, I understand, are in ex- lighting, and attendance. The presipectation of a second Festival this dent, vice-presidents, and the majority year ; but I have not heard that any of directors, to be chosen from among of those gentlemen who took so active the subscribers. Whatever sum may be a part in promoting the first, have it collected for tickets of admission, toin contemplation to undertake the gether with what may remain of the labour a second time. When we con- annual subscriptions, to be divided, sider the vast benefit which was con- at the end of the season, among the ferred by the Festival in 1815 on many professors, by a scale previously prez charitable Institutions, the managers pared, according to the abilities of of these may probably exert them- each. This may be done in a way selves to gratify the public; or the similar to the division of naval or magistrates, who are the guardians of military prize-money. The society all the public charities, may promote mightoccasionally speculate on the ex: the undertaking;
hibition of London performers. Such Besides to the want of musical is the outline of a scheme which apknowledge, other causes of the little pears, to me at least, calculated to patronage bestowed on musical per- quiet all the jealousy which at present
hinders the musical talent of Edin- Mr Watson himself now alive, and burgh from having its full effect, and could have seen such an increase to from reaping its full reward. I have arise from the reversion of his small only further to say, that, should this fortune, he would have most cheermeet the eyes of any professors or fully acceded to the suggestion. amateurs who may be inclined to In this view, therefore, there are promote the plan, they must thein- three important objects which I selves set the matter agoing; for I would take the liberty earnestly to have not the least intention of inter- recommend to the attention of the refering in any way, but by cheerfully spectable body with whom Mr Watsubscribing to the society, if establish- son was connected, and who have been ed. I conclude by earnestly entreat- appointed his trustees for employing ing the musical protessors of Edin- the money agreeable to his views, in burgh to banish envy and jealousy, the formation of a bill, to be submitand their patrons to abstain from en- ted by them to Parliament. couraging such feelings.
The first is the completion of the PHILHARMONICUS. great central building in the new LuJanuary 1818.
natic Asylum at Morningside, for the accommodation of the poor patients,
and also of a sum to aid the means of ON THE EMPLOYMENT OF watson's THOMson's
support of these unfortunate people.
The second object would be to disa FUNDS, IN REPLY TO THE INQUI
encumber the Charity Work-House AMICUS PAUPERIS, JU
of this city of the present sum of debt NIOR."
owing for it, by which its exertions MR EDITOR,
are cramped, and which burden has In your Number for December, I been unavoidably contracted in conseobserve a very judicious paper relative quence of the late long war, and the to the employment of the two great pressure of the times, while it is well funds many years ago bequeathed by known that this important institution two respectable citizens of this metro- has been, for these several years, unpolis, for charitable purposes, namely, der the most judicious management. the mortification by Mr John Wat- And, thirdly, to aid the fund of Mr son, writer to the signet, and that by Thomson, already mentioned, for purMr Joseph Thomson, saddletree- chasing meal for the poor of this city maker, the value of the former of at a reduced price, next to be spoken which, according to your correspon- to; for, whatever differences of opident Amicus's estimation of the pre- nion may exist as to the propriety of sent rate of Royal Bank stock, in Mr Watson's Foundling Hospital, it which the money was most wisely is believed that there will be but onę vested, is no less than L. 100,000 sentiment as to the excellent scheme Sterling ; and he hints at the proprie- of the application of Mr Thomson's ty of the keepers, commissioners, and funds, as pointed out by him. society of clerks to his Majesty's sig- Supposing, therefore, that the sum net, applying for an act of Parliament, to be taken by authority of Parliament enabling them to alter the destination from Mr Watson's L. 100,000, for of this great fund to other charitable the above three important charities, objects.
was only L. 20,000, there would still It is very doubtful, however, whe- remain the great surplus of L. 80,000 ther the Legislature would so far in- for building and endowing his Hospiterfere in this matter as to disappoint tal, or any other benevolent purpose wholly Mr Watson's favourite object which the Society of Writers to the of a Foundling Hospital, whatever opi- Signet might think proper to recomnion his fellow-citizens of the present mnend to the Legislature. day may have formed of that measure. With regard to Mr Thomson's mor. But it is humbly thought that Parlia- tification, the writer of this paper is ment would not refuse to lend their happy to have it in his power to inpowerful aid towards the alienation form Amicus and the public, that, in of at least a part of the now great ca- consequence of the laudable endeapital to which this legacy has accu- yours of a lady to whom it happened mulated, for other purposes not unsi- to be known, every prudent step (bemilar, especially as it is believed, were sides other measures connected with
this important object) has been taken ture, when they traverse unknown of late to let that gentleman's Roxe continents to discover a new plant or burghshire farm upon a lease to the animal, and with a zeal that success best advantage, for the benevolent pur- alone can satisfy, devote years to the pose appointed by the donor; and analysis of a gas, and with a mathethere can be no doubt that his tene- matical exactness describe the fracture ment in this city has experienced the of a stone, or the angles of a crystal, same attention, so that matters are -We trust we shall be excused if we now in a proper train for realizing a enter at some length into the literary considerable sum, to be applied as di- history of a man who has attained to rected by this benefactor of the poor great intellectual eminence, in a way of the capital.
so extraordinary as to be, perhaps, Before concluding, I wish to say a without a parallel in the annals of single word in defence of the clergy genius, full, as they have often been, of Edinburgh, to whose superintend- of deviations from the common cura ence, it would appear, from Amicus's rent of events. Terence, whose copaper, Mr Thomson had wished the medies are so justly celebrated for the distribution of his charity to be sub- delicacy of their wit, and the beauty mitted. The truth is, that, by the and the purity of their style, was an death of the donor himself, of his man African slave; but among the Roof business, and of some of the trus- mans, these slaves who displayed any tees named in his deed of settlement, superiority of talent, were trained to his highly meritorious intentions have literature; and, in the family of an been altogether overlooked for a long indulgent master, who gave him his period, and, indeed, it is believed the freerloin on account of his genius, he bequest was almost wholly unknown, enjoyed all the means of intellectual until the circumstance attending the cultivation which Rome then afforded, discovery of it already alluded to, so and mingled on terms of easy intia that, in fact, neither the ministers nor macy with the best society of that rethe magistrates are to blame in their nowned city. The men who most supposed neglect to carry Mr Thom- nearly resemble Hogg in their early son's views into effect; for it is well history, are Bloomfield, and Ramsay, known, that there are many active in- and Burns. The circumstances of dividuals in both of these bodies who Bloomfield were certainly not the most would have gladly lent their helping favourable for the growth of genius; hand in the proper application of a yet we happen to know that there exfund for the purchase of oatmeal, to ist at this moment, in many of the be sold at a reduced rate to hundreds workshops of this end of the island, a of poor families in the city who stood thirst for knowledge, and an acquaintin need of it, at different periods since ance with the lighter branches of the testator's death, in which the science, and the popular literature of price of this necessary article had a- the day, which is, in many instances, risen to a much greater height than, read with a feeling of its beauties, it is believed, was ever contemplated and criticised with a correctness and in his days; and it is not doubted discrimination of taste, which those that these gentlemen will now give all who have not had an opportunity of the assistance in their power to the observing the fact, could not easily hands into which the management of imagine. He, notwithstanding, overthis patriotic legacy has at last hap- came great difficulties by the native pily, but unexpectedly, fallen. vigour of genius, and has certainly
Your inserting the above hints in looked on nature with the eye of a your well-conducted Miscellany will poet, and has sometimes painted such much oblige, Sir, your most obedient of her forms, as fell under his obserservant,
Z. vation, with considerable felicity. On
the first appearance of the Farmer's
Boy, an attempt was made, rather inON THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF JAMES judiciously, we think, to exalt him to
the rank of Burns; yet not even the (Continued from page 40.) Colossal shoulders of Capel Loft have In an age when men, eminently en- been able to sustain him at that elevadowed, spend their lives in the most tion, and he has long ago sunk to his minute researches into inanimate na“ own level, in a region very far beneath
the Scottish poet, but greatly above little trouble about the justice or inhis self-important patron. Allan Ram- justice of the sentence; others, not less say, the author of the finest pastoral inconsiderate, compared the Mouna of any age or country, was bred a tain Bard with the first productions hairdresser, and for sometime prac- of Burns, with whom to attempt and tised that ignoble employment, yet he to succeed were the same thing, and lived in a literary city, and the stores because it was unequal to them, they of knowledge with which it abounded rashly concluded that its author posa were open to him; and we know that sessed no genius. Burns, so far from being illiterate, It is not our intention at present to had acquired greatly more knowledge institute a comparison between two at twenty years of age than many men, who seem to us to be dissimilar of the young men who issue from in all respects but originality of genius. our universities at the same period. For such a parallel a more proper He could not read the Greek and La- opportunity will oecur in the progress tin authors in the original, but he of this investigation ; we shall only knew much of what they contained say now that Burns, besides the aa through the medium of translations, mazing superiority of execution, has and no man could better estimate their been more fortunate in the choice of beauties; and he was most intimately his subjects than the self-taught shepacquainted with a number of the more herd in these, his earlier productions. elegant English authors. Hogg was His poems generally describe manplaced at a greater distance froin the ners, with which the world are more common avenues to knowledge than fainiliar than the legends of the any literary man with whose history Mountain Bard; and all saw the We are acquainted ; and, indeed, cal- truth and the beauty of the picture, culating from the usual chances, they and received the work with partiality seemed to be shut against himn for and favour, arising from the circumever, even when he bad arrived at stances of the man, as well as from manhood; for he could then read with its extraordinary merit. We think, difficulty, and could not write at all; however, that each has chosen such and at an age when Terence had de- subjects as his situation suggested, lighted Rome by the representation and it is curious that nature should of the Andria, and Burns had com- have conferred on each the qualities posed his Cottar's Saturday Night, he of mind most suitable for perfecting was following his flocks among the his own species of poetry: On Burns, mountains, equally ignorant of letters an eloquent pathos, that finds the and the ways of the world; but he had nearest way to the heart, and never genius within him, and the fairest fails of its effect there ;-on Hogg, page of the volume of nature lay open a fancy that loves to hold its moon betore him, and they were to him all light revels among the fays of a haunte in all
ed glen ; and as we think we may venWe shall now resume the consider- ture to predict, that Hogg will never ation of the Mountain Bard, which equal the Cottar's Saturday Night in we were obliged to leave unfinished in the same walk of genius, so we suspect our last Number from want of room. that Burns could not have produced If this volume really be as meritorious any thing similar to Kilmeny. a production as we then endeavoured In forming to ourselves a fair estito represent it, it may be asked why it 'mate of Mr Hogg's talent in the come had so little success on its first appear. position of these poems, we qught to ance ? To this failure several causes remember that they are the works of contributed, not in the least connected an unlettered shepherd, produced with its merits ; but the chief of these while he was tending his flocks, when was the number of poets of the lower his reading was extremely limited ; orders, who, encouraged by the success for, though he could not have been of Burns, swarmed in almost every placed in a more favourable situation village and parish of Scotland. A- for receiving poetical impressions, and mong this class the mania of poetry storing up poetical ideas, yet, as lanseemed to have become an epidemic, guage is the instrument by which that required a salutary check. Some these are communicated to others,-in people confounded the Etterick Shep- order to succeed in poetry, a man must herd with them, and gave themselves understand the use and the handling of that instrument. But it is already
6) turn thee, turn thee, traytor strong ;' more than time to adduce some speci
Cried Adam bitterlie; mens from the work itself in proof of
"Nae haughtye Scott, of Harden's kin, what we have said of it. In Sir Da
Sal proudlye scowl on me.' vid Græme, the first poem in the vo- He sprang frae aff his coal-black steed, lume, we discover in the following
And tied him to a wande ; stanza the rudiments of that talent
Then threw his bonnet aff his head, for the description of mountain scenery
And drew his deidlye brande. by which the author has since so And lang they foucht, and sair they greatly distinguished himself.
Wi' swords of mettyl kene, “ The sun had drank frae Kcilder fells
Till clotted blud, in mony a spot, His beverage o' the morning dew; Was sprynkelit on the grene. The wild-flowers slumbered in the dells, And lang they foucht, and sair they The heather hung its bells o' blue.”
For braiver there war nane ; In the ballad of Gilmanscleuch, Braive Adam's thye was baithit in blud, which we think the best in the vo- And Harden's coller bane. lume, the story is rapidly and inte
Thongh Adım was baith stark and gude, restingly told, and it contains some vi
Nae langer cou'd he stande ; gorous stanzas. It reminds us of the His hand claive to his heavy sword, old and popular ballad of Chevy His nees plett lyke the wande." p. 42. Chase, exhibiting much of the same The Address to his Auld Dog Hecdistinctness of painting, and simpli- tor is full of a simple and affecting city, and occasionally even elegance of pathos. In our language there exists language ; and on it we are ready to not a finer effusion of tenderness and rest his claims to poetry at that pe- affection to that faithful and devoted riod.
creature. Fully to enter into the spi" Whair ha'e ye laid the goud, Peggye,
rit of this poem, we must not think Ye gat on New Year's day? of the pampered puppy of the drawI lookit ilka day to see
ing-room, but of the shepherd's dog Ye drest in fine array ;
himself, who is often his master's onO ha'e ye sent it to a friend ?
ly companion from sun-rise to sunOr lent it to a fae ?
set, and, in a service essential to him, Or gi'en it to a false leman,
displays a zeal and fidelity that neither To breid ye mickle wae ?"
fatigue, nor cold, nor hunger, can di" I ha'e na' sent it to a friend,
minish, and a warmth and constancy Nor lent it to a fae,
of attachment, that deservedly raise And never man, without your ken, him to a place in his friendship. Sal cause me joye or wae.
“ Come, my auld, towzy, trusty friend ; I ga'e it to a poor auld man,
What gars ye look sae douth an' wae ? Came shivering to the door ;
D'ye think my favour's at an end, And when I heard his wacsome tale Because thy head is turnin gray ? I wust my treasure more.
Although thy feet begin to fail, His hair was like the thistle doune, Their best were spent in serving me ;
His cheeks were furred wi' tyme, An' can I grudge thy wee bit meal, His beard was like a bush of lyng, Some comfort in thy age to gi'e ?
When silvered o'er wi' ryme ; For mony a day, frae sun to sun, He lifted up his languid ege,
We've toil'd an' helpit ane anither ; Whilk better days had seen ;
An' mony a thousand mile thou'st run, And ay he heaved the mournfu' sye, To keep my thraward flocks thegither. While saut teirs fell atween." p. 35. Ah, me! of fashion, health, an' pride.
The world has read me sic a lecture ! Gilmanscleuch's description of his But yet it's a' in part repaid sister displays the same power of By thee, my faithful, grateful Hector! bringing living images before the O'er past imprudence, oft alane mind. But our limits oblige us to be
I've shed the saut an' silent tear; sparing in quotations.
Then, sharing ay my grief an' pain, The combat between Adam o Gil,
My poor auld friend came snoopin' neat, manscleuch and Jock o' Harden, For a' the days we've sojourned here, though unequal to the passage al- An' they've been neither fine nor few, ready quoted, is a piece of good paint. That thought possest thee year to year, ing.
That a' my griefs arase frae you.