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both lucrative and creditable". Ramsay, however, seems to have felt no ambition either for the honours or profits of the vocation, as he left it on finishing his apprenticeship. In his twenty-fourth year he married the daughter of a writer or attorney, in Edinburgh. His eldest sono rose to well-known eminence

1 A propos to this delicate distinction of the Scottish biographer may be mentioned the advertisement of a French peruquier in the Palais Royal, who ranks his business among the “ imitative arts." A London artist in the same profession had a similar jealousy with the historian of Ramsay's life, at the idea of mere “ trimmers of the human face” being confounded with “ genuine peruquiers.” In advertising his crop-wigs he alluded to some wig-weaving competitors, whom he denominated“ mere hair-dressers and barbers;" and “ shall a barber (he exclaims) affect to rival these crops?” “ Barbarus has segetes.”_VIRGIL.

This son of the poet was a man of literature as well as genius, The following whimsical specimen of his poetry is subjoined as a curiosity. The humorous substitution of the kirk treasury-man for Horace's wolf, in the third stanza, will only be recognised by those who understand the importance of that ecclesiastical officer in Scotland, and the powers with which he is invested for summoning delinquents before the clergy and elders, in cases of illegitimate love. HORACE'S “INTEGER VITÆ," &c. BY ALLAN RAMSAY, JUN.

A man of no base (John) life or conversation,
Needs not to trust in, coat of mail nor buffskin,
Nor need he vapour, with the sword and rapier,

Pistol, or great gun.
Whether he ranges, eastward to the Ganges,
Or if he bends his course to the West Indies,
Or sail the Sea Red, which so many strange odd

Stories are told of.

as a painter. Our poet's first means of subsistence after his marriage, were to publish small poetical productions in a cheap form, which became so popular, that even in this humble sale he was obliged to call upon the magistrates to protect his literary property from the piracy of the hawkers. He afterwards set up as a bookseller, and published at his own shop, a new edition of “ Christ's Kirk on the Green,” with two cantos of his own subjoined to the ancient original, which is ascribed to James I. of Scotland. A passage in one of those modern cantos of Ramsay's, describing a husband fascinated homewards from a scene of drunkenness by the gentle persuasions of his wife, has been tastefully selected

For but last Monday, walking at noon day,
Conning a ditty, to divert my Betty,
By me that son's Turk (I not frighted) our Kirk-

Treasurer's man pass'd,
And sure more horrid monster in the torrid-
Zone ne'er was found, Sir, tho' for snakes renown'd, Sir,
Nor can great Peter's empire boast such creatures,

Th’of bears the wet nurse.
Should I by hap land on the coast of Lapland,
Where there no fir is, much less pears and cherries,
Where stormy weather's sold by hags, whose leather-

faces would fright one. Place me where tea grows, or where sooty negroes, Sheep's guts round tie them, lest the sun should fry them, Still while my Betty smiles and talks so pretty,

I will adore her.

by Wilkie, and been made the subject of his admirable pencil.

In 1724 he published a collection of popular Scottish songs, called the Tea-table Miscellany, which speedily ran through twelve impressions. Ruddiman assisted him in the glossary, and Hamilton of Bangour and Mallet were among the contributors to his modern

songs. In the same year appeared his Evergreen, a collection of pieces from the Bannatyne MSS. written before the year 1600. Here the vanity of adorning what it was his duty to have faithfully transcribed led him to take many liberties with the originals; and it is pretty clear that one poem, viz. the Vision, which he pretended to have found in ancient manuscript, was the fruit of his own brain. But the Vision, considered as his own, adds a plume to his poetical character which may overshade his defects as an editor.

In 1726 he published his Gentle Shepherd. The first rudiments of that pleasing drama had been given to the public in two pastoral dialogues, which were so much liked that his friends exhorted him to extend them into a regular play. The reception of this piece soon extended his reputation beyond Scotland. His works were reprinted at Dublin, and became popular in the colonies. Pope was known to admire the Gentle Shepherd, and Gay, when he was in Scotland, sought for explanations of its phrases, that he might communicate them to his friend at

Twickenham. Ramsay's shop was a great resort of the congenial fabulist while he remained in Edinburgh; and from its windows, which overlooked the Exchange, the Scottish poet used to point out to Gay the most remarkable characters of the place.

A second volume of his poems appeared in 1728, and in 1730 he published a collection of fables. His epistles in the former volume are generally indifferent, but there is one addressed to the poet Somerville, which contains some easy lines. Professing to write from nature more than art, he compares, with some beauty, the rude style which he loved and practised, to a neglected orchard.

I love the garden wild and wide,
Where oaks have plum-trees by their side,
Where woodbines and the twisting vine
Clip round the pear-tree and the pine ;
Where mixt jonquils and gowans' grow,
And roses midst rank clover blow,
Upon a bank of a clear strand,
Its wimplings led by nature's hand
Though docks and brambles, here and there,
May sometimes cheat the gard'ner's care,
Yet this to me's a Paradise,
Compar'd to prime cut plots and nice,
Where nature has to art resign'd,
And all looks stiff, mean, and confin'd.

i Daisies,

Of original poets he says, in one expressive couplet:

The native bards first plung'd the deep,
Before the artful dar'd to leap.

About the age of forty-five he ceased to write for the public. The most remarkable circumstance of his life was an attempt which he made to establish a -theatre in Edinburgh. Our poet had been always fond of the drama, and had occasionally supplied prologues to the players, who visited the northern capital. But though the age of fanaticism was wearing away, it had not yet suffered the drama to have a settled place of exhibition in Scotland; and when Ramsay had with great expense, in the year 1736, fitted up a theatre in Carubber's Close, the act for licensing the stage, which was passed in the following year, gave the magistrates of Edinburgh a power of shutting it up, which they exerted with gloomy severity. Such was the popular hatred of playhouses in Scotland at this period, that, some time afterwards, the mob of Glasgow demolished the first play-house that was erected in their city; and though the work of destruction was accomplished in daylight by many hundreds, it was reckoned so godly, that no reward could bribe any witness to appear or inform against the rioters. Ten years

from the date of this disappointment, Ramsay had the satisfaction of seeing dramatic entertainments freely enjoyed by his fellow citizens, but in the mean time he was not only left without legal relief for his own loss in the

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