Lives of
Scottish Poets
edited by
DAVID HILL RADCLIFFE

Center for Applied Technologies
in the Humanities


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Literary Chronicle
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Notes and Queries
Gibson and Laing
Halkett and Laing
Scottish Notes & Queries

Part I. (Volume I.)
Front-matter
James the First
Thomas the Rhymer
John Barbour
Andrew Wyntoun
Gavin Douglas
Allan Ramsay
William Meston
John Home
James Beattie
Robert Burns

Part II. (Volume I.)
Front-matter
James the Fifth
William Dunbar
Sir James Inglis
Henry the Minstrel
Sir David Lyndsay
Alexander Barclay
Alexander Montgomerie
William Alexander
William Drummond
James Thomson
John Oswald

Part III. (Volume II.)
Front-matter
James the Sixth
Sir Richard Maitland
Arthur Johnston
Hamilton of Bangour
Hamilton of Gilbertfield
Samuel Colvil
Alexander Ross
John Armstrong
John Ogilvie
James Macpherson
Charles Salmon

Part IV. (Volume II.)
Front-matter
Alexander Hume
John Bellenden
Mark Alexander Boyd
Ninian Paterson
William Wilkie
Robert Fergusson
William Julius Mickle
Alexander Geddes
James Grahame

Part V. (Volume III.)
Front-matter
Robert Henryson
Alexander Scott
Walter Kennedy
John Ogilby
Alexander Pennecuik
Alexander Cunningham
David Mallet
William Falconer
Francis Garden
Robert Blair
James Moor
James Graeme
Caleb Whitefoord
James Grainger
Hector Macneill
John Wilson

Part VI. (Volume III.)
Front-matter
Robert Kerr
Richard Lord Maitland
Thomas Hamilton
Charles Hamilton
Michael Bruce
Thomas Blacklock
John Logan
Andrew Macdonald
James Mercer

Appendix. (Volume III.)
James I
Allan Ramsay
John Home
Robert Burns
William Drummond
Robert Fergusson
Alexander Scott
John Wilson
Index
Corrections

Part  VI:
Supplement
92LIVES OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN.
1

  Anstruther, Sir William, [note] of Anstruther, one of the senators of the College of Justice, published, in 1701, “Essays, Moral and Divine, interspersed with poetry.” His family thought the work did no honour to the name, and, after his lordship's death, did every thing in their power to call in the copies of it which had got abroad, employing persons for the express purpose, and giving a handsome price for every copy that could be picked up. How much would it lighten the shelves of our libraries
POETS — SUPPLEMENT.93
were friends and relatives oftener troubled with the like good sense and impartiality. The contents of the work are:—I. against Atheism. II. of Providence. III. of Learning and Religion. IV. of Trifling Studies, Stage-Plays, and Romances. V. upon the Incarnation of Jesus Christ and Redemption of Mankind. Had there been many such passages as the following, on the power of beauty, the friends of the author would have had no cause to tremble for his reputation.

2

“I do acknowledge beauty hath its own empire, and carries always along with it an air of sovereignty; it commands with authority, and men generally obey it with pleasure. It often surprizes our reason and prepossesses our judgements, without our being sensible of it. I have known the most austere and rigid temper yield to the solicitations of a fair lady, who hath stood inflexible to the importunities of all his friends: there is an harmony in the symmetry of beauty, more charming and persuasive than in all the soft cadences of the most pathetic eloquence. It was asked by a philosopher, why people always desired to be in company of the beautiful? He told him, ‘none should ask that question but he that is blind:’ which expresseth more than any reason could be given. I shall acknowledge beauty has allurements so agreeable to the generality of mankind, that no temporal thing surpasses its charms, but the pleasure and glory in resisting it.”

3

Who would believe, after so handsome a tribute, that a great part of this worthy senator's book is a libel on the sex? It is thus he goes on:

94LIVES OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN.
Man all at once by woman first was d——d,
And one by one we're still by them trepann'd;
Contagion to the root, Eve first did bring,
Her daughters blast us branches, as we spring, &c.