Lives of
Scottish Poets
edited by

Center for Applied Technologies
in the Humanities

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Literary Chronicle
New Monthly Magazine
Monthly Review
Notes and Queries
Gibson and Laing
Halkett and Laing
Scottish Notes & Queries

Part I. (Volume I.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
Alexander Hume
John Bellenden
Mark Alexander Boyd
Ninian Paterson
William Wilkie
Robert Fergusson
William Julius Mickle
Alexander Geddes
James Grahame

Part V. (Volume III.)
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.)
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

Part  VI:

  Arbuthnot, Dr. John. [note] This celebrated wit and satirist has been generally supposed to be the author of a ludicrous macaronic poem, entitled, Gulielmi Sutherlandi Diploma; but the editor of the Edinburgh edition of William Meston's Poetical Works has reclaimed it as the production of that writer, to whose works it has indeed a greater affinity than to those of the historian of John Bull. Arbuthnot has established a better claim to notice, as a poet, by a tale called, “Aye and No,” which is preserved in the Lansdown MSS. in the British Museum, but has been overlooked by the collectors of his works. It is here transcribed from that repository.

Aye and No.
In fable all things hold discourse,
Then words, no doubt, must talk of course.
Once on a time, near Channel Row,
Two hostile adverbs, Aye and No,
Were hast'ning to the field of fight,
Where front to front stood opposite:
Before each general join'd the van,
Aye (the more courteous knight) began.
Stop, peevish particle! beware;
I'm told you are not such a bear,
But sometimes yield when off'er'd fair.
Suffer your folks awhile to prattle,
'Tis we that must decide the battle;
Whene'er we war on yonder stage,
With various fate and equal rage,
The nation trembles at each blow,
That No gives Aye, and Aye gives No;
But in th' expensive long contention,
We gain nor office, grant, nor pension;
Why then should kinsfolk quarrel thus?
(For two of you make one of us):
To some wise Statesman let us go,
Where each his proper use may know;
He may admit two such commanders,
And let those wait who serv'd in Flanders!
Let's quarter on a great man's tongue,
A Treasury Lord,—not master Young.
Obsequious at his high command,
Aye, shall march forth to tax the land.
Impeachments, No can best resist,
And Aye support the Civil List;
Aye, quick as Cæsar, win the day,
And No, like Fabius, by delay.
Sometimes in mutual sly disguise,
Let Ayes seem Noes, and Noes seem Ayes;
Ayes, be in Court, denials meant,
And Noes, in Bishops, give consent.
Thus Aye proposed, and for reply,
No, for the first time, answered Aye;
They parted with a thousand kisses,
And fight, e'er since, for pay, like Swisses.
Lansdown MSS. No. 852.