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Remonstrating on what he had written to Herbert: satisfactory
Respecting a portrait of James IV., and the Iconographia
Regrets his inability to forward his views respecting the British
On the same subject as the preceding.-Feb. 5, 1795.
On the Iconographia Scotica, and the prejudices of the Scotch
Respecting a portrait of the first Earl of Kinnoul and a series
On some portraits of the Grammont family; the death of Dr.
Discovery of a portrait of James IV. with a falcon on his
With much curious antiquarian information.-Dec. 15, 1795.
Particulars of a manuscript of Fordun's Scotichronicon in
Full of complaints and irritability about the Iconographia
Respecting books printed in Scotland between 1650 and 1660,
Allows of his copying the monument of Earl Douglas in his
Respecting portraits of Sir Robert Murray and other eminent
Upon the subject of the Iconographia Scotica.-May 30, 1796.
With various literary information.-Aug. 30, 1796.
On the death of Mr. Johnson.-Nov. 18, 1796.
Sending a translation of some Irish romances, and criticising
On the Gowrie conspiracy.-Jan. 17, 1797.
Announces the publication of his History of Scotland.-Jan.
His own intention of publishing a tract on the Gowrie Conspi-
Anecdotes concerning the Gowrie Conspiracy: a history of
Acknowledging the receipt of his History.-Feb. 16, 1797.
DR. BEATTIE TO MR. PINKERTON.*
Aberdeen, December 13th, 1775.
I HAVE been so much engrossed with business and bad health, that till this day I could not find leisure to answer your very obliging letter. Your intention of inscribing to me your poem on Craigmillar Castle, does me much more honor than I have any title to. title to. Please to accept Please to accept of my best thanks for this instance of your kind partiality, and for the obliging manner in which you speak of what I have attempted in poetry.
There are many good lines in your poem; but,
* At the time of writing the letter to which this is an answer, Mr. Pinkerton was in his clerkship to Mr. Aytoun of Edinburgh, and was only seventeen years old. The Elegy on Craigmillar Castle was published in 1776, with a dedication to Dr. Beattie, who acknowledges the favor and the receipt of four copies, in a letter dated 20th July, 1776, but not published here.
when you have kept it by you a week or two, I fancy you will not think it correct enough as yet to appear in public. Young poets are very apt to publish their pieces immediately on writing them out; but they ought always to keep them for a year, or at least for several months, and revise them from time to time. I have erred in this way myself, and therefore can warn them from my own experience.
You will see I have been very free in my remarks, which I hope you will excuse; for I did it with a most friendly intention. On these occasions, I think it is the duty of a friend to be as critical as possible.
I heartily wish you success in your studies, and am with much regard and esteem.
DR. BEATTIE TO MR. PINKERTON.*
Aberdeen, March 9th, 1776.
I thank you for taking in so good part the freedom of my former criticism: I hope the present will not offend you. I have been for some time past in a very bad state of health; afflicted
To this letter I have annexed the critical annotations of Dr. Beattie, to show at once some of the most striking errors of a young author, and the remarks of so able a critic and so distinguished a poet as the author of The Minstrel. Many other of the letters are accompanied with even longer series of remarks, but I have not felt it to be desirable to introduce them.