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Wi' waesome face, and hingin' head, not the object of this memoir to enuThou wad ha'e pressid thee to my merate, he was driven out from the knee."

possession in great destitution, and “ Yes, my puir beast! though friends me suffered severe anguish from the total scorn,

overthrow of his hopes. In this scaWhom mair than life I valued dear;

son of despondency, he would have An' throw me out to fight forlorn,

gladly hired himself as a shepherd, Wi' ills my heart dow hardly bear,

and again returned to the humble state While I have thee to bear a part- of a servant, but the scandal of poetry

My plaid, my health, an' heezle rung had now attached to his name, and he I'll scorn the silly haughty heart,

could not find a master, as all judged The saucy look, and slanderous tongue.

that the man who had addicted him, I'll get a cottage o' my ain,

self to that thriftless trade, was unfit Some wee bit cannie, lonely biel',

for any thing else, and to it they lia Where thy auld heart shall rest fu' fain, An' share with me my humble meal.

berally ascribed the failure of his

schemes, rather than to the inclemenWhen my last bannock's on the hearth,

cy of the seasons, and the rack-rent of Of that thou sanna want thy share ;

his farm. Nothing was now left to While I have house or hald on earth,

him but to endeavour to earn that My Hector shall ha'e shelter there.

morsel of bread by literature, which An' should grim death thy noddle save, seemed to be denied to him in any

Till he has made an end of me, Ye'll lye a wee while on the grave

other way; and thus circumstanced, Of ane wha ay was kind to thee.” p. 183. he repaired to Edinburgh, not a de

serter from his flocks, as he has been In these essays it has been our ob- represented in some of our literary ject to trace the progress of an extra- journals

, but actually an exile from ordinary and self-elevated genius, and his native mountains. to mark the circumstances in his si- But in whatever he was unfortutuation which retarded or promoted nate, no man was ever happier in the the developement of its powers. Our possession of friends, and though they remarks, therefore, have been rather. were then far from being numerous, historical than critical ; yet we think that deficiency was fully balanced by the Mountain Bard, with all its de their devoted attachment; and to this fects, gave certain indications of the the valuable qualities of the man conpoetical eminence to which its author tributed not less than the admiration has since attained, and which the world of his genius. has long ago recognized, though in The first work that he published, sotne instances, perhaps, rather reluce after settling in Edinburgh, was the tantly. Hitherto we have considered Forest Minstrel, a volume of songs his works, to a certain extent at least, written chiefly before he left the with a relation to the situation in country. Not above two thirds of which they were produced ; and we them are his own, the rest having been think it only justice to say, that no contributed by friends; and though man so circumstanced ever composed some of them are good, the book atpoems of such merit. As we know tracted little notice, and is indeed the he despises eulogy as much as he is least meritorious of all his performanraised above it, we shall henceforth ces. Lucy's Flittin', one of the most bring him to the bar of an impartial beautiful songs in the volume, is the criticism, without reference to any production of Mr W. Laidlaw. It thing but the work before us ; and we displays such true pastoral simplicity are satisfied the result will be as ho- and natural pathos, that we think it nourable to him as delightful to us. deserves to be better known, and we

When he began to write poetry he believe that our readers will thank us little thought of becoming author by for its insertion. profession, and he was led to it at last by necessity, not from choice. On the

46 'Twas when the wan leaf frae the birk

tree was fa'in', publication of the Mountain Bard, after various adventures, he rented a

An' Martinmas dowie had wind up the

year, sheep-farm in Dumfries-shire ; but That Lacy row'd up her wee kist, wi' her from a succession of bad seasons, by a'in't, which his little flock perished, and An' left her auld master, an' neibers suc from other misfortunes which it is dear.

to see :

my e'e ?

For Lucy had serv'd'i' the glen a'the sim- The next undertaking in which Mr mer;

Hogg engaged was the Spy, a weekly She cam there afore the flower bloom'd paper in its form and mode of publion the pea :

cation, at least, in imitation of the An orphan was she, an' they had been Spectator. This was the most extragude till her,

ordinary of all his enterprises. The Sure that was the thing brought the tear

public remembered that all the great in her e'e.

periodical works of the country had She gaed by the stable, where Jamie was been the joint productions of the most stannin';

distinguished literary men of the age Right sair was his kind heart the flittin' in which they were published. They

knew that Addison, and Steele, and « Fare ye weel, Lucy,' quo Jamie, anʼran in. Johnson, and Mackenzie, were not The gatherin' tears trickled fast to her knee,

only men of great original genius, but As down the burn-side she gaed slaw wi' of cultivated and accomplished minds, her flittin',

deeply read in ancient and modern li• Fare ye weel, Lucy,' was ilka bird's terature, and extensively acquainted sang;

with mankind; and it was considered She heard the craw sayin't, high on the temerity, bordering on madness, that a tree sittin',

man, newly escaped from his flocks An' Robin was chirpin't the brown leaves and his mountains, ere his garments amang.

were purified from the smoke of the O what is't that pits my puir heart in a

shepherd's cottage, should dare to folflutter?

low in their path. The taste of the An' what gars the tear come sae fast to people had been improved by the

style of the Spectator ;-their moral If I was na ettled to be ony better, feelings had been elevated by the re

Then what gars me wish ony better to be? ligious and philosophical spirit of its
I'm just like a lammie that loses its mither; graver papers, -and in its lighter ef-
Nae mither nor friend the puir lammie fusions they had been amused by a

wit unalloyed by malice, and a hu. I fear I hae left my bit heart a' thegither,

mour free from grossness ; – they had Nae wonder the tear fa's sae fast frae my

been instructed in their most importe'e. Wi’ the rest of my claes I hae row'd up

ant duties by the dignified and elothe ribbon,

quent lessons of the Rambler; and in The bonny blue ribbon that Jamie gat had been delighted and refined by a

the Mirror and the Lounger they Yestreen when he gae me't, an' saw I was tenderness of sentiment, and a sweetsabbin',

ness of composition that aimed at their I'll never forget the wae blink o' his e'e. improvement through the heart and Though now he said naething but“ Fare the fancy; but what were they to exye weel, Lucy,"

pect from the critic whose reading was It made me I neither could speak, hcar,

confined to a few old ballads, and He cudna say mair, but just “ Fare ye limited to a country wedding or a

whose knowledge of mankind was weel, Lucy;" Yet that I will mind till the day that I village fair. Such were the feelings die.

with which the work was received, The lamb likes the gowan wi' dew when and they were natural enough; but its droukit;

the public was not aware of the powers The hare likes the brake, an' the braird of the man who now stepped forward on the lee;

to claim their notice. It was, besides, But Lucy likes Jamie ;:- she turn'd an' not even the aim of the editor to imishe lookit ;

tate those standard works, much less She thought the dear place she wad never

to enter into any rivalship with them, mair see. Ah! weel may young Jamie gang dowie life and manners, and to write tales

but rather to give sketches of country an' cheerless! An' weel may he greet on the bank o' into which they should be introduced. the burn !

He received little assistance in the His bonny sweet Lucy, sae gentle an' peer- progress of the work; greatly more than less,

one-half of the papers being written kies cauld in her grave, an’ will never by himself, and almost all the poetry; return." p. 15.

and strange as it may appear, in spite

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of the laugh of the fashionable circles musician, which breathes the very spiand the sneer of the crities, great and rit of sorrow; and every tone is in persmall, it maintained its ground for fect unison and harmony. As the twelve months, and increased in popu- work has been long out of print, and larity to the end. Many of Mr Hogg's there is no great likelihood that it will essays are characterized by an adhe- ever be republished, we shall extract rence to nature, and tinged by a strong the passage as a specimen of his prose colouring of good sense, that rendered style at that time. them acceptable to those who had the

« The women are not mixed with the penetration to discover originality and

men at funerals, nor do they accompany energy of thought, under a homely guise, and dared, so far, to incur the the corpse to the place of interment; but imputation of vulgarity as to acknown friends of the family attend at the house,

in Nithsdale and Galloway, all the female ledge it; and the tales, without any sitting in an apartment by themselves : exception, arrest the mind by astrength The servers remark, that in their apartof interest that genius alone can create. ment, the lamentations for the family loss It is not to be denied, however, that are generally more passionate than in the the composition is wholly destitute of other. the easy grace and the harmonious “ The widow of the deceased, however, flow of periods that distinguished the came in amongst us, to see a particular writings of the old essayists,--that friend, who had travelled far, to honour the humour often sinks into

the memory of his old and intimate ac

grossness, and that with the best moral aim kindness, and every appearance of heart

quaintance. He saluted her with great delicacy is sometimes wounded by a

felt concern for her misfortunes. nakedness in the description of vice that dialogue between them interested me; it is in danger of producing an effect di- was the language of nature, and no other rectly the contrary of the one intended. spoke a word while it lasted. The latter is, however, a fault of rare 666 Ah! James,' said she, I did not occurrence, and was in him nothing think the last time I saw you, that our next more than an error in taste, for never meeting would be on so mournful an ocwas there a man of purer moral prin- casion ; we were all cheerful then, and litciples, nor in his writings more stea- tle aware of the troubles awaiting us!

I dily the friend of virtue. He fails in have since that time suffered many hard. all his attempts to paint the follies of ships and losses, James, but all of them fashionable life; but when he de- James endeavoured to comfort her, but he

were light to this'-she wept bitterly ; seribes the forms of society with which

was nearly as much affected himself. I do he was himself familiar, and follows not repine,' said she, since it is the will of the natural bent of his mind, which Him who orders all things for the best pur. is inclined to the tender, he has few poses, and to the wisest ends; but, alas ! superiors. Of this species of excel- I fear I am ill fitted for the task which lence there is a beautiful example in Providence has assigned me! With that the description of a mountain funeral she cast a mournful look at two little chilin Number 12. It is a scene of deep dren who were peeping cautiously into the affliction, and the whole delineation is shiel. · These poor fatherless innocents,' so faithful to life, and so lịke what but me for any thing; and I have been

said she, “have no other creature to look to we have seen, that it appears on the

so little used to manage family affairs, that very first glance, that no high co- I scarcely know what I am doing ; for he louring enters into the composition, was so careful of us all, so kind and so and that nothing is thrown in for good!'— Yes, said James, wiping his eyes, mere effect. We feel ourselves stand- if he was not a good man, I know few who ing on the threshold of eternity, into were so ! Did he suffer much in his last which a brother has just entered, and illness ? — I knew not what he suffered, every thing is conducted with a so- returned she, for he never complained. I leranity suitable to the time and the now remember all the endearing things place; and the lamentations of the wis that he said to us, though I took little heed dow, amid the desolation of all her

to them then, having no thoughts of being earthly hopes, are the very language think he was so ill! though I might easily

so soon separnted from him. Little did I of nature, which seems to speak have known that he would never murmur through her; and not a word nor a or repine at what Providence appointed him sentiment is overstrained nor out of to endure. No, James, he never com. character, but the whole resembles a plained of any thing. Since the time our plaintive air performed by a skilful first great worldly misfortune happened, we

two have sat down to many a poor meal, over every other work of the same kind, but he was ever alike cheerful, and thanke in its poetry, of which the greater part ful to the giver. " He was only ill four days, and was the work was going on, its fame did

is very beautiful ; and though, while out of his bed every day: whenever I ask- not extend far beyond the circle of'subed him how he did, his answer uniformly was, “ I am not ill now.' On the day

scribers, several pieces have been since preceding the night of his death, he sat on reprinted in other works, and their his chair a full hour speaking earnestly all merit universally acknowledged. the while to the children. I was busied

We have dwelt thus long on the up and down the house, and did not hear character of this work, chiefly because al; but I heard him once saying, that he it is an important stage in the jourmight soon be taken from them, and then ney of this extraordinary traveller to they would have no father but God; but the temple of fame. It displays the that He would never be taken from them; greater number of his characteristic nor ever would forsake them, if they did faults, which the critics must still not first forsake him. • He is a kind in- condemn, and the beauties which the dulgent Being,' continued he, and feeds world are now unanimous in admirthe young ravens, and all the little helpless animals that look and cry to him for ing. It brought him but a limited food, and you may be sure that he will fame, and no profit, and is to be connever let the poor orphans who pray to sidered mainly as his apprenticeship him want.'

in the service of the muses, in which, “Be always dutiful to your mother, and if he did not execute any perfect work, never reluse to do what she bids you on he acquired a skill in the manageany account ; for you may be assured that ment of his materials, and in the she has no other aim than your good; con- handling of his instruments, that soon fide all your cares and fears in her bosom, enabled him to do so. for a parent's love is stedfast ; misfortune may heighten but cannot cool it.'

It may here be worth while to no" When he had finished, he drew his tice his mode of composition. No plaid around his head, and went slowly writer, perhaps, ever blotted fewer down to the little dell, where he used every lines. By the concentration of the day to offer up his morning and evening powers of his mind to the subject beprayers ; and where we have often sat to- fore him, he renders his pieces as pergether on Sabbath afternoons, reading fect as he can at the first sitting, and verse about with our children in the Bible. they rarely undergo any revision or I think he was aware of his approaching correction; yet every fresh attempt, end, and was gone to recommend us to

and every failure, prepares bim for God; for I looked after him, and saw him

more successful exertions in the proon his knees. “ When he returned, I thought he look

duction of beauties, or the avoiding

of errors. ed extremely ill, and asked him if he was

He is not so solicitous grown worse: He said he was not like to

about giving to any individual poem be quite well, and sat down on his chair, the highest polish of which it is suslooking ruefully at the children, and some- ceptible, as acquiring the power of times at the bed. At length he said, fee- embodying his conceptions with facibly, Betty, my dear, make down thclity; for he thinks that lengthened bed, and help me to it—it will be the last labour fritters away originality of time.' These words went through my thought, and blights the freshness of head and heart like the knell of death imagination; and, by persevering in All grew dark around me, and I knew not what I was doing.

this course, he has gradually attained

such richness and copiousness of lan“ He spoke very little after that, saving that at night he desired me, in a faini guage, and such harmony of numbers, voice, not to go to my bed, but sit up with that it could scarcely be believed that him; • for,' said he, “it is likely you may

the Mountain Bard' and the Queen's never need to do it again.' If God had Wake were the work of the same not supported me that night, James, man. I could not have stood it, for I had much, Hitherto the poet had been labourmuch to do! A little past midnight my ing in comparative obscurity, rather dear husband expired in my arms, with deserving than obtaining laurels

. But out a groan or a struggle, save some convulsive grasps that he gave my hand. he was to come forth in the fulness

the time was fast approaching, when Calm resignation marked liis behaviour to and maturity of his genius, and obthe last.'"

tain that fame which had for many The Spy possesses one superiority years been the grand object of his

existence. On the perusal of the genius over misconception. Still, Queen's Wake, the first thing that however, we discover, in the Queen's strikes the reader, is the masterly skill Wake, the maturity of the same eleof the plan. The ballads of which it ments, of which the embryo is seen is composed, were written at various in the Mountain Bard. His favourtimes, and many of them without any ite subjects are still the superstitions, view to such a work; and, beautiful and the scenery, of the glens and as they are, there is reason to believe the mountains of Yarrow; but the that, had they been published as a vo- mysteries of the one are more rully lume of unconnected poems, they unveiled, and in the other the lights would not have brought the author and the shades are disposed with so so large a harvest of faine. Of this much more skill, as to produce a more he was aware, and provided against it beautiful and harmonious whole. In by a master-stroke of art, and sent this poem there is, in his manner, an them into the world amid such a scene union of the simplicity and energy of of testivity and gaiety, as could hardly the old rhymers, with the polish of fail to procure for them a favourable modern poetry; and such is its origihearing. The whole is a delightful nality, that the author has not bordrama, in which poets are the com- rowed a single incident or character petitors for glory, and the spectators from the poetry of any other country, and the judges—a beautiful young nor from any poet among ourselves, queen, (who, after a long absence, had nor has he one classical allusion. arrived in her dominions, and ascend- In describing the vicissitudes of the ed the throne of her fathers,) and her more common forms of society, or at nobles, in all the splendour of court least those that have in them so little array. There is not a period, in the of fiction, as nearly to resemble them, history of Scotland, that was so likely he is inferior to many of his contemto give popularity to a similar work as poraries; but, when he takes his that which the author has chosen for tiųht into the regions of pure fancy, bis Wake. It may be considered as he has no superior among them ; and, a coronation festival for a sovereign indeed, then approaches nearer Shakewho was then as celebrated for her speare than any poet with whom we beauty and accomplishments, as she are acquainted. In the whirlwind of was afterwards for her misfortunes. the passions that desolates a glorious At the announcement of the subject, spirit, suffering from agony of its own we hurry, in imagination, to Holy- creation, yet unconquered in its sufrood, and mingling with the crowd, ferings, he is interior to Lord Byron ; strain every nerve to obtain but a and to Campbell, in the pathos that glimpse of the queen, and to hear the thrills along tlie finest fibres of the songs of the minstrels; and so com- soul, and the sentiment that exalts plete is the delusion, that the whole it ---and the sublinity that kindles seems to be a real scene passing be- its fires, -and in the purity of taste

that never quits its work till it have The narrative part of the poem is given it the perfect symmetry, and written with such purity of style, and airy beauty, of an Athenian temple ; is withal so graceful,--the charac- and to Scott

, in the costume of chiters, some of which are drawings from valry, and the feats of knighthood, life, are sketched with such fidelity and in placing an individual picture and effect the ballads are so original before the eye, in the brightest sunand imaginative, and so musical, both light of its beauty, and in the splenin the sentiments and the numbers, dour of dramatic effect; but, if we that the world, who expected from mistake not, he is greatly superior to the Etterick Shepherd little else than all of them in the wildness of a fancy unpolished rhymes on subjects of no that holds little commerce with this deep interest, with an occasiɔnal dash world, but loves to join the fairy of simplicity and nature, scarcely ring on the rim of the rain-bow, or knew in what terms to express their

the horns of the new moon, or to wonder. The prejudices of years va- dream of beings of a celestial purity, nished in a few days, and the poet in the greener glens, and beside the enjoyed the glory of the triumph of clearer waters of a holier land. Y.

VOL. II.

fore our eyes.

R

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