Lives of
Scottish Poets
edited by
DAVID HILL RADCLIFFE

Center for Applied Technologies
in the Humanities


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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:
Appendix
72LIVES OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN.
ALLAN RAMSAY.— Part I. p. 85.
1

A theory exactly similar to that here stated, with respect to the probable origin of many of our Scottish airs, has been since met with in an obscure work called “The Saint's Recreation;” or “Spiritual hymns and songs, suited to grave, sweet, melodious tunes,” &c. By William Geddes, Minister of Wick, Edinburgh, 1685. The author, in his preface, says, “I cannot omit here to obviate an objection which may be raised by some inconsiderate persons, which is this; ‘O, say they, we remember some of these ayres or tunes were song heretofore with amorous sonnets.’ To this I answer, first, that in this practice I have the precedent of some of the most pious, grave, and zealous divines of the kingdom, who to very good purpose have composed godly songs to the tunes of such old songs as these, The Bonny broom, I'll never leave thee, We'll all go pull the hadder, and such like, and yet without any challenge or disparagement. Secondly, it is alledged by some, and that not without some colour of reason, that many of our ayres or tunes are made by good angels, but the letter or lines of our songs by devils. We choose the part angelical, and leave the diabolical. Thirdly, it is as possible and probable, that these vain profane men who composed these amorous naughty sonnets have surreptitiously borrowed those grave sweet tunes from former spiritual hymns and songs, and why may we not again challenge our own, plead for restitution, and bring back to the right owner; applying those grave airs again to a divine and spiritual subject.

POETS — APPENDIX.73
2

But see the whole theory very ably controverted Mr. Tytler [note] in his Essay on Ancient Scottish Music, in the Transactions of the Scottish Society of Antiquaries, vol. I. The writer of the Life of Ramsay has, indeed, only contended that it might be partially correct. “It was not intended,” it was said, “to account by this theory for the origin of our native airs universally.” &c.