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had previously become a member. In the course of time Ramsay was regarded as the poet laureate of this literary club. For political reasons the club was extinguished three years after Ramsay became a member, but it had been the means of giving a definite bias to his mind. He began to publish his verses as leaflets which were sold in the streets of Edinburgh at the price of one penny each. In this way Ramsay speedily became celebrated among the people of Edinburgh as a rhymer of no mean order, and as the street vendor appeared with his bundle of leaflets under his arm, children gathered round him with their pennies to purchase Allan Ramsay's last piece, which they bore away in triumph to their homes to be read aloud in the family circle. This method which first wafted him into fame became the standard of appeal which regulated his poetical conception to the end of his days, and deterred him from the loftier flights of poetic fancy which is ever identified with the works of poets of the first importance. It was in the two-fold capacity of author and editor that Ramsay nade his more important venture.

In 1716, the year after the Rebellion, he published an edition of King James's “ Christ's Kirk on the Green,” with a second and third canto by himself which appears to have found an appreciative public, the result being that a second edition was speedily called for. Ramsay was thus encouraged to collect his own fugitive pieces into one volume, which was issued from the Ruddiman Press in 1721, and is said to have yielded to its author a profit of 400 guineas. After an interval in which he produced some original work not distinguished by any great merit, he again appeared in the capacity of editor. In 1724 he commenced the issue of an important collection of songs in four parts entitled " The Tea Table Miscellany,” which were not completed till 1740, when the fourth part was added. The songs in this publication were a strange collection of vernacular and English old and new. Some were the work of Ramsay himself; others the work of his literary friends and correspondents, and taken as a whole they did not greatly increase his fame, though they accomplished the object Ramsay had in view, viz., to please and edify the public-not to

instruct those who sought historical knowledge on the subject of Scottish song

In the same year in which the first part of the “Tea-Table Miscellany” appeared, Ramsay published a similar compilation in two small volumes entitled “The Evergreen," a series of Scottish poems purporting to have been written by the ingenious before 1600. With the exception of “The Vision,” little can be said in praise of this collection. The assumption is that many of these songs were either added to or wholly composed by himself, and were either too free morally or too dangerous politically to be included among his authorised productions. The greatest of all Ramsay's productions is “ The Gentle Shepherd,” and the one which will preserve his name and fame from extinction in the whim and caprice of literary change. In 172 I he published an eclogue entitled " Patie and Roger," and in the following year a sequel entitled “ Jennie and Maggie.” The reputation he attained by these detached scenes was marvellous, and induced bim to make them the ground work of that complete drama, “The Gentle Shepherd." With the exception of Burns, no single poet did so much for the education of the Scottish peasant class as did Ramsay with his pastoral drama. For many years after it was published few social gatherings among the shepherd class were held without a dramatic representation of “ The Gentle Shepherd " being given for the entertainment of the party, the dramatis personae being selected from among themselves. The prologue to the first scene in “The Gentle Shepherd” is distinguished by that natural simplicity and realistic presentation which are the characteristic features of the entire piece. Far from the madding crowd the opening scene is skilfully laid on the hill-side where the flocks are peacefully grazing around.

“ Beneath the south-side of a craigy bield,

Where crystal springs the halesome waters yield,
Twa' youthfa shepherds on the gowans lay,
Tending their flocks ae bonny month of May,
Poor Roger granes, till hollow echoes ring ;
But blyther Patie likes to laugh and sing.”

Patie and Roger, the two principal figures in the first scene of the pastoral, are in every way different in characterzand situation. It has been the lot of Roger to possess a more bountiful share of worldly wealth than his friend Patie, whose only possessions are his happy disposition and scanty earnings. Both shepherds had their shepherdesses, to whom their tender passions irresistibly revert. Roger, who has long had a tender passion for Jenny, has discovered that his darling shepherdess does not reciprocate his affections, and the consciousness of the fact haunts him like a gloomy spectre, giving a tinge of sadness to his whole existence, and making him feel the trivial reverses of life with the acutest agony. Almost distracted, he at length discloses his real state of mind to Patie in the following lines :

I an born, O Patie, to a thrawart fate,
I'm born to strive with hardships sad and great,
Tempest may cease to jaw the rowan food,
Corbies and toads to grein for lambkin's blood,
But I, oppres’t with never-ending grief,
Maun ay despair of lighting on relief.”

Patie, on the other hand, is happy in the reciprocal love of his charming shepherdess, and the cares of life sit lightly upon him. Not having had to drink so deeply of the bitter cup as his friend Roger, he shows his impatience with him and reproves him for his sadness and gloom :

“ The bees shall loath the flow'r and quit the hive,

The saughs on boggie ground shall cease to thrive,
E’re scornfu’queens, or loss of worldly gear,
Shall spill my rest, or ever force a tear.

Poor unhappy Roger, still beyond the reach of consolation and philosophy, acknowledges Patie's advice to be all very well and true, but his frame of mind is such that he is not able to benefit thereby. Unrequited love had driven him to that state when he could only see darkness everywhere, which even Patie's mental balance and determination could not disperse.“ If she loved me, she would be kind even to my dog," thought Roger, as is inferred from the following lines :


My Bawty is a cur I dearly like,
Till he yowld sair she struck the poor dumb tyke :
If I had filled a nook within her breast,
She wad hae shawn mair kindness to my beast.
When I begin to tune my stock an' horn,
Wi' a her face she shaws a cauldrife scorn ;
Last night I played (ye never heard sic spite),
O’er Bogie was the spring (an' her delyte) ;
Yet tauntingly she at her cousin speer'd
Gif she could tell what tune I play'd, an' sneer’d,
Flocks, wander where ye like, I dinna care,
I'll break my reed, an’ never whistle mair."

To put Jenny's affections to the test the counsel Patie gives his friend Roger displays much native shrewdness, and an acquainance with the whims and caprices of the rustic maid, which, if not gained by experiance, is the result of keen observation :

“ Daft gowk, leave aff that silly whingin' way,
Seem careless, there's my hand, ye'll win the day –
Hear how I served my lass, I loe as weel

As ye do Jenny, an' wi' heart as leal.” Then follows a most natural and realistic picture which cannot fail to appeal to all who know anything of rural life :

“ Last morning I was gie an’ early out,
Upon a dyke I lean'd glowering about ;
I saw my Meg come linkan o'er the lee :
I saw my Meg, but Meggy saw nae me,
For yet the sun was wading thro' the mist,
An' she was close upon me e'er she wist,
Her coats were kiltit, an' did sweetly shaw
Her straught bare legs, that whiter were than snaw.

As she cam’ skiffing o'er the dewy green,
Blythsome, I cried, my bonny Meg, come here,
I ferly wherefore ye're sae soon asteer :
But I can guess ye're gaun to gather dew ;
She scour'd awa and said, “Wat's that to you ?'
Then fare ye weel, Meg Dorts, an' e’ens ye like,
I careless cried, an’ lap in o'er the dyke ;
I trow, when that she saw, within a crack,
She came with a right thieveless errand back,
Misca'd me first, then bade me hounde my dog,
To wear up three waff ewes stray’d on the bog.
I leugh, an' sae did she ; then wi' great haste
I clasp'd my arms about her neck an' waist;

About her yiel ling waist, an' took a fouth
O’sweetest kisses frae her glowing mouth,
While tard an' fast I held her in my grips,
My very saul came lowping to my lips.
Sair, sair she flet wi' me 'tween ilka smack,
But weel I kent she meant nae as she spak.
Dear Roger, when your jo puts on her gloom,
Do ye sae too, an’ never fash your thumb,
Seem to forsake her, soon she'll change her mood ;

Gae woo anither, an’ she'll gang clean wud.” In the second scene the dialogue between Peggy and Jenny is not only interesting and amusing, but its natural simplicity is exquisite. Patie is to Peg the very embodiment of all that is fascinating and lovable in man, but Jenny, who does not see him through the rosy hues of love has a very different opinion of him, which she unhesitatingly expresses in the following words :

Heh, lass, how can ye lo'e that rattle-skull,

A very deil that ay maun hae his will,
We'll soon hear tell what a poor fechtin' life

You twa will lead, sae soon's ye’re man and wife.”
To which Peggy replies in the following unsophisticated fashion :

“ Sic course-spun thochts as thae want pith to move

My settled mind ; I'm o'er far gane in love,
Patie to me is dearer than my breath,
But want o' him I dread nae other skaith.
There's nane o' a' the herds that tread the green
Has sic a smile, or sic twa glancing een ;
An' then he speaks wi' sic a taking art,
His words they thirle like music thro' my heart,
How blithely can he sport, an' gently rave,
An' jest at feckless fears that fright the lave.
Ilk day that he's alane upon the hill,

He reads fell books that teach him meikle skill." These lines, so full of natural simplicity, not only reveal Peggy's individual sentiment, but in them one sees without the elaboration of the philosopher that woman is ever closer to Nature than man is, and, like Nature, she recognises and obeys power whether for good or for evil. It is out of such sentiments as those of Peggy that a true wife is made who can best sustain a man through the ups and downs of life. To her Patie is all in all, and her love for him has exalted his virtues to an ideal plane till he becomes a

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