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MRS. COCKBURN AND MISS JANE ELLIOT.

"Here we find two ladies amicably united ir. the composition of one of Scotland's finest songs, the Flowers of the Forest.' Miss Jane Elliot of Minto, sister of Sir Gilbert Elliot of Minto, wrote the first and the finest of the two versions. Mrs. Cockburn, the author of the second, was a remarkable person. Her maiden name was Alicia Rutherford, and she was the daughter of Mr. Rutherford of Fernilee, in Selkirkshire. She married Mr. Patrick Cockburn, a younger son of Adam Cockburn of Ormiston, Lord Justice-Clerk of Scotland. She became prominent in the literary circles of Edinburgh, and an intimate friend of David Hume, with whom she carried on a long and serious correspondence on religious subjects, in which it is understood the philosopher opened up his whole heart, but which is unfortunately lost. Mrs. Cockburn, who was born in 1714, lived to 1794, and saw and proclaimed the wonderful promise of Walter Scott. She wrote a great deal, but the Flowers of the Forest' is the only one of her effusions that has been published. A ludicrous story is told of her son, who was a dissipated youth, returning one night drunk, while a large party of savants was assembled in the house; and locking himself up in the room in which their coats and hats were deposited, nothing would rouse him; and the company had to depart in the best substitutes they could find for their ordinary habiliments, -Hume (characteristically) in a dreadnought, Monboddo in an old shabby hat, &c.-the echoes of the midnight Potterrow resounding to the laughter at their own odd figures. It is believed that Mrs. Cockburn's song was really occasioned by the bankruptcy of a number of gentlemen in Selkirkshire, although she chose to throw the new matter of lamentation into the old mould of song."-Gilfillan's "Less-known Brit. Poets," vol. iii. See Allibone's "Crit. Dict. Eng. Lit."

ROBERT CRAWFORD.

"Robert Crawford, author of 'The Bush aboon Traquair,' and the still finer lyric of 'Tweedside,' was the brother of Colonel Crawford of Achinames. He assisted Allan

Ramsay in his 'Tea-Table Miscellany,' and, according to information obtained by Burns, was drowned in coming from France in the year 1733. Crawford had genuine poetical fancy and expression. The true muse of native pastoral,' says Allan Cunningham, 'seeks not to adorn herself with unnatural ornaments; her spirit is in homely love and fireside joy; tender and simple, like the religion of the land, she utters nothing out of keeping with the character of her people, and the aspect of the soil; and of this spirit and of this feeling, Crawford is a large partaker.' Chambers' " Cyc. Eng. Lit." vol. ii. p. 128. See Allibone's "Crit. Dict. Eng. Lit."

SIR GILBERT ELLIOT.

"Sir Gilbert Elliot, author of what Sir Walter Scott calls the beautiful pastoral song,' beginning

'My sheep I neglected, I broke my sheep-hook,' was father of the first Earl of Minto, and was distinguished as a speaker in parliament. He was, in 1763, treasurer of the navy, and afterwards keeper of the signet in Scotland. He died in 1777. Mr. Tytler, of Woodhouselee, says, that Sir Gilbert Elliot, who had been taught the German flute in France, was the first who introduced that instrument into Scotland, about the year 1725."-Chambers' "Cyc. Eng. Lit.," vol. ii. p. 129. See Allibone's "Crit. Dict. Eng. Lit."

ROBERT FERGUSSON.

"This unfortunate Scottish bard was born in Edinburgh on the 17th (some say the 5th) of October, 1751. His father, who had been an accountant to the British Linen Company's Bank, died early, leaving a widow and four children. Robert spent six years at the grammar schools of Edinburgh and Dundee, went for a short period to Edinburgh College, and then, having obtained a bursary, to St. Andrews, where he continued till his seventeenth year. He was at first designed for the ministry of the Scottish Church. He distinguished himself at college for his mathematical knowledge, and became a favourite of Dr. Wilkie, Professor of Natural Philosophy, on whose death he wrote an elegy. He early discovered a passion for poetry, and collected materials for a tragedy on the subject of Sir William Wallace, which he never finished. He once thought of studying medicine, but had neither patience nor funds for the needful preliminary studies. He went away to reside with a rich uncle, named John Forbes, in the north, near Aberdeen. This person, however, and poor Fergusson unfortunately quarelled;

and after residing some months in his house, he left it in disgust, and with a few shillings in his pocket proceeded southwards. He travelled on foot, and such was the effect of his vexation and fatigue, that when he reached his mother's house he fell into a severe fit of illness.

"He became, on his recovery, a copyingclerk in a solicitor's, and afterwards in a sheriff-clerk's office, and began to contribute to Ruddiman's Weekly Magazine.' We remember in boyhood reading some odd volumes of this production, the general matter in which was inconceivably poor, relieved only by Fergusson's racy little Scottish poems. His evenings were spent chiefly in the tavern, amidst the gay and dissipated youth of the metropolis, to whom he was the 'wit, songster, and mimic.' That his convivial powers were extraordinary, is proved by the fact of one of his contemporaries, who survived to be a correspondent of Burns, doubting if even he equalled the fascination of Fergusson's converse. Dissipation gradually stole in upon him, in spite of resolutions dictated by remorse. In 1773, he collected his poems into a volume, which was warmly received, but brought him, it is believed, little pecuniary benefit. At last, under the pressure of poverty, toil, and intemperance, his reason gave way, and he was by a stratagem removed to an asylum. Here, when he found himself and became aware of his situation, he uttered a dismal shriek, and cast a wild and startled look around his cell. The history of his confinement was very similar to that of Nat Lee and Christopher Smart. For instance, a story is told of him which is an exact duplicate of one recorded of Lee. He was writing by the light of the moon, when a thin cloud crossed its disc. 'Jupiter, snuff the moon!' roared the impatient poet. The cloud thickened, and entirely darkened the light. Thou stupid god!' he exclaimed, 'thou hast snuffed it out.' By and by he became calmer, and had some affecting interviews with his mother and sister. A removal to his mother's house was even contemplated, but his constitution was exhausted, and on the 16th of October, 1774, poor Fergusson breathed his last. It is interesting to know that the New Testament was his favourite companion in his cell. A little after his death arrived a letter from an old friend, a Mr. Burnet, who had made a fortune in the East Indies, wishing him to come out to India, and enclosing a remittance of £100 to defray the expenses of the journey.

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Thus, in his twenty-fourth year, perished Robert Fergusson. He was buried in the Canongate churchyard, where Burns afterwards erected a monument to his memory, with an inscription which is familiar to most of our readers.

"Burns in one of his poems attributes to Fergusson 'glorious pairts.' He was cer

His best poems,

tainly a youth of remarkable powers, although 'pairts' rather than high genius seems to express his calibre. He can hardly be said to sing, and he never soars. such as The Farmer's Ingle,' are just lively daguerreotypes of the life he saw around him -there is nothing ideal or lofty in any of them. His Ingle-bleeze' burns low compared to that which in The Cottar's Saturday Night' springs up aloft to heaven, like the tongue of an altar-fire. He stuffs his poems, too, with Scotch to a degree which renders them too rich for even a Scotchman's taste, and as repulsive as a haggis to that of an Englishman. On the whole, Fergusson's best claim to fame arises from the influence he exerted on the far higher genius of Burns, who seems, strangely enough, to have preferred him to Allan Ramsay."-Gilfillan's "Less-known Brit. Poets," vol. iii. pp. 206-8. See Allibone's "Crit. Dict. Eng. Lit."

EDWARD THOMPSON.

"Edward Thompson, born 1738, died 1786, was a native of Hull, and went to sea so early in life as to be precluded from the advantages of a liberal education. At the age of nineteen, he acted as lieutenant on board the Jason, in the engagement off Ushant, between Hawke and Conflans. Coming to London, after the peace, he resided, for some time, in Kew-lane, where he wrote some light pieces for the stage, and some licentious poems, the titles of which need not be revived. At the breaking out of the American war, Garrick's interest obtained promotion for him in his own profession; and he was appointed to the command of the Hyæna frigate, and made his fortune by the single capture of a French East IndiaHe was afterwards in Rodney's action off Cape St. Vincent, and brought home the tidings of the victory. His death was occasioned by a fever, which he caught on board the Grampus, while he commanded that vessel, off the coast of Africa. Though a dissolute man, he had the character of an able and humane commander. A few of his sea songs are entitled to remembrance."Campbell's "Specimens."

man.

HENRY HEADLEY.

"Henry Headley, born 1766, died 1788, whose uncommon talents were lost to the world at the age of twenty-two, was born a Irstead, in Norfolk. He received his education at the grammar school of Norwich, under Dr. Parr; and at the age of sixteen was admitted a member of Trinity College, Oxford. There the example of Thomas Warton, the senior of his college, led him to explore the beauties of our elder poets. About the age of

twenty he published some pieces of verse, which exhibit no very remarkable promise; but his 'Select Beauties of the Ancient English Poets,' which appeared in the following year, were accompanied with critical observations, that showed an unparalleled ripeness of mind for his years. On leaving

the university, after a residence of four years, he married, and retired to Matlock, in Derbyshire. His matrimonial choice is said to have been hastily formed, amidst the anguish of disappointment in a previous attachment. But short as his life was, he survived the lady whom he married.

"The symptoms of consumption having appeared in his constitution, he was advised to try the benefit of a warmer climate; and he took the resolution of repairing to Lisbon, unattended by a single friend. On landing at Lisbon, far from feeling any relief from the climate, he found himself oppressed by its sultriness; and in this forlorn state, was on the point of expiring, when Mr. De Vismes, to whom he had received a letter of introduction from the late Mr. Windham conveyed him to his healthful villa, near Cintra, allotted spacious apartments for his use, procured for him the ablest medical assistance, and treated him with every kindness and amusement that could console his sickly existence. But his malady proved incurable; and, returning to England at the end of a few months, he expired at Norwich."-Campbell's "Specimens." See Allibone's "Crit. Dict. Eng.

Lit.'

1751, Lord Lyttelton, in concert with Dodsley, projected the paper of the World,' of which it was agreed that Moore should enjoy the profits, whether the numbers were written by himself or by volunteer contributors. Lyttel ton's interest soon enlisted many accomplished coadjutors, such as Cambridge, Jenyns, Lord Chesterfield, and H. Walpole. Moore himself wrote sixty-one of the papers. In the last number of the World' the conclusion is made to depend on a fictitious incident which had occasioned the death of the author. When the papers were collected into volumes, Moore, who superintended the publication, realized this jocular fiction by his own death, whilst the last number was in the press." Campbell's "Specimens."

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THOMAS RUSSELL.

"Thomas Russell, born 1762, died 1788, was the son of an attorney at Bridport, and one of Joseph Warton's wonderful boys at Winchester School. He became fellow of New College, Oxford, and died of consumption at Bristol Hot-Wells in his twenty-sixth

year.

"His poems were posthumous. The sonnet on Philoctetes is very fine; and of our young writers, mature rather in genius than in years, Russell holds no humble place. Mr. Southey has numbered five, and Russell is among them-Chatterton, Bruce, Russell, Bampfylde, and Kirke White."-Campbell's. "Specimens."

EDWARD MOORE.

"Edward Moore, born 1712, died 1757, was the son of a dissenting clergyman at Abingdon, in Berkshire, and was bred to the business of a linendraper, which he pursued, however,. both in London and Ireland, with so little success, that he embraced the literary life (according to his own account) more from necessity than inclination. His Fables' (in 1744) first brought him into notice. The Right Honourable Mr. Pelham was one of his earliest friends; and his Trial of Selim' gained him the friendship of Lord Lyttelton. Of three works which he produced for the stage, his two comedies, the Foundling' and 'Gil Blas,' were unsuccessful; but he was fully indemnified by the profits and reputation of the Gamester.' Moore himself acknowledges that he owed to Garrick many popular passages of his drama; and Davies, the biographer of Garrick, ascribes to the great actor the whole scene between Lewson and Stukely, in the fourth act; but Davies's authority is not oracular. About the year

EARL NUGENT.

"Robert Craggs, afterwards created Lord Nugent, was an Irishman, a younger son of Michael Nugent, by the daughter of Robert, Lord Trimlestown, and born in 1709. He was, in 1741, elected M.P. for St. Mawes, in Cornwall, and became, in 1747, comptroller to the Prince of Wales' household. He afterwards made peace with the Court, and received various promotions and marks of favour besides the peerage. In 1739, he published anonymously a volume of poems possessing considerable merit. He was converted from Popery, and wrote some vigorous verses on the occasion. Unfortunately, however, he relapsed, and again celebrated the event in a very weak poem, entitled 'Faith.' He died in 1788. Although a man of decided talent, as his 'Ode to Mankind' proves, Nugent does not stand very high either in the catalogue of Irish patriots or of royal and noble authors." -Gilfillan's "Less-known Brit. Poets," vol. iii. p. 261. See Campbell's "Specimens."

SIXTH PERIOD.

840.-REMORSE.

From 1727 to 1780.

Is chance a guilt, that my disastrous heart,

For mischief never meant, must ever smart? Can self-defence be sin? Ah, plead no more! What though no purposed malice stained thee o'er ?

Had heaven befriended thy unhappy side, Thou hadst not been provoked-or thou hadst died.

Far be the guilt of homeshed blood from all

On whom, unsought, embroiling dangers fall! Still the pale dead revives, and lives to me, To me through Pity's eye condemned to see. Remembrance veils his rage, but swells his fate;

Grieved I forgive, and am grown cool too late.

Young and unthoughtful then; who knows, one day,

What ripening virtues might have made their way!

He might have lived till folly died in shame,
Till kindling wisdom felt a thirst for fame.
He might perhaps his country's friend have
proved;

Both happy, generous, candid, and beloved; He might have saved some worth, now doomed to fall,

And I, perchance, in him, have murdered all.
O fate of late repentance! always vain :
Thy remedies but lull undying pain.
Where shall my hope find rest? No mother's

care

Shielded my infant innocence with prayer: No father's guardian hand my youth maintained,

Called forth my virtues, or from vice restrained;

Is it not thine to snatch some powerful arm, First to advance, then screen from future harm?

Am I returned from death to live in pain?
Or would imperial pity save in vain ?
Distrust it not. What blame can mercy find,
Which gives at once a life, and rears a mind?
Mother, miscalled, farewell-of soul severe,
This sad reflexion yet may force one tear:

All I was wretched by to you I owed;
Alone from strangers every comfort flowed!

Lost to the life you gave, your son no more,
And now adopted, who was doomed before,
New born, I may a nobler mother claim,
But dare not whisper her immortal name;
Supremely lovely, and serenely great,
Majestic mother of a kneeling state:
Queen of people's heart, who ne'er before
Agreed-yet now with one consent adore!
One contest yet remains in this desire,
Who most shall give applause where all
admire.

Richard Savage.-Born 1698, Died 1743.

841.-THE WANDERER.

Yon mansion, made by beaming tapers gay, Drowns the dim night, and counterfeits the day;

From lumined windows glancing on the eye,
Around, athwart, the frisking shadows fly.
There midnight riot spreads illusive joys,
And fortune, health, and dearer time destroys.
Soon death's dark agent to luxuriant ease
Shall wake sharp warnings in some fierce
disease.

O man! thy fabric's like a well-formed state;

Thy thoughts, first ranked, were sure designed the great;

Passions plebeians are, which faction raise; Wine, like poured oil, excites the raging

blaze;

Then giddy anarchy's rude triumphs rise:
Then sovereign Reason from her empire flies:
That ruler once deposed, wisdom and wit,
To noise and folly place and power submit;
Like a frail bark thy weakened mind is tost,
Unsteered, unbalanced, till its wealth is lost.

The miser-spirit eyes the spendthrift heir,
And mourns, too late, effects of sordid care.
His treasures fly to cloy each fawning slave,
Yet grudge a stone to dignify his grave.
For this, low-thoughted craft his life em-
ployed;

For this, though wealthy, he no wealth enjoyed;

For this, he griped the poor, and alms denied,

Unfriended lived, and unlamented died. Yet smile, grieved shade! when that unprosperous store

Fast lessens, when gay hours return no

more;

Smile at thy heir, beholding, in his fall,
Men once obliged, like him, ungrateful all!
Then thought-inspiring woe his heart shall
mend,

And prove his only wise, unflattering friend.
Folly exhibits thus unmanly sport,
While plotting mischief keeps reserved her

court.

Lo! from that mount, in blasting sulphur broke,

Stream flames voluminous, enwrapped with smoke!

In chariot-shape they whirl up yonder tower, Lean on its brow, and like destruction lower! From the black depth a fiery legion springs; Each bold bad spectre claps her sounding wings:

And straight beneath a summoned, traitorous band,

On horror bent, in dark convention stand: From each fiend's mouth a ruddy vapour

flows,

Glides through the roof, and o'er the council glows:

The villains, close beneath the infection pent, Feel, all possessed, their rising galls ferment; And burn with faction, hate, and vengeful ire,

For rapine, blood, and devastation dire!

But justice marks their ways: she waves in air

The sword, high-threatening, like a comet's glare.

While here dark villany herself deceives, There studious honesty our view relieves. A feeble taper from yon lonesome room, Scattering thin rays, just glimmers through the gloom.

There sits the sapient bard in museful mood, And glows impassioned for his country's good!

All the bright spirits of the just combined, Inform, refine, and prompt his towering mind!

Richard Savage.-Born 1698, Died 1743.

842.-THE GRAVE.

Whilst some affect the sun, and some the shade,

Some flee the city, some the hermitage;
Their aims as various, as the roads they take
In journeying through life;-the task be
mine

To paint the gloomy horrors of the tomb;
Th' appointed place of rendezvous, where all

These travellers meet.--Thy succours I implore,

Eternal king! whose potent arm sustains The keys of hell and death.--The Gravedread thing!

Men shiver when thou'rt named: Nature, appall'd,

Shakes off her wonted firmness.- -Ah! how dark

Thy long-extended realms, and rueful wastes ! Where nought but silence reigns, and night, dark night,

Dark as was chaos, ere the infant sun
Was roll'd together, or had tried his beams
Athwart the gloom profound.--The sickly
taper,

By glimm'ring through thy low-brow'd misty vaults

(Furr'd round with mouldy damps, and ropy slime),

Lets fall a supernumerary horror,

And only serves to make thy night more irksome.

Well do I know thee by thy trusty yew, Cheerless, unsocial plant! that loves to dwell 'Midst skulls and coffins, epitaphs and

worms:

Where light-heel'd ghosts, and visionary shades,

Beneath the wan cold moon (as fame reports) Embodied, thick, perform their mystic rounds. No other merriment, dull tree, is thine.

See yonder hallow'd fane;-the pious work Of names once famed, now dubious or forgot, And buried 'midst the wreck of things which

were;

There lie interr'd the more illustrious dead. The wind is up: hark! how it howls! Methinks

Till now I never heard a sound so dreary: Doors creak, and windows clap, and night's

foul bird,

Rook'd in the spire, screams loud: the gloomy aisles

Black plaster'd, and hung round with shreds of 'scutcheons

And tatter'd coats of arms, send back the sound

Laden with heavier airs, from the low vaults, The mansions of the dead.-Roused from their slumbers,

In grim array the grisly spectres rise,
Grin horrible, and, obstinately sullen,
Pass and repass, hush'd as the foot of Night.
Again the screech-owl shrieks: ungracious
sound!

I'll hear no more; it makes one's blood run chill.

Quite round the pile, a row of reverend elms

(Coeval near with that) all ragged show, Long lash'd by the rude winds. Some rift half down

Their branchless trunks; others so thin a-top, That scarce two crows could lodge in the same tree.

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