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That I may now Sir William Worthy name,
He saw 't at first, an' wi' quick eye did trace
Sir Wil.-Old woman, do not rave,—prove what you say,
Patie.-What reason, Sir, can an auld woman have
To tell a lie when she's sae near her grave?
Omnes.-The story's odd! we wish we heard it out.
That here I as an unknown stranger stand.
Wha nursed her mother that now hauds my hand?
Yet stronger proofs I'll gie, if you demand.
Sir Wil.-Ha! honest nurse, where were my eyes before! I know thy faithfulness, and need no more;
Yet from the lab'rinth, to lead out my mind,
Say, to expose her, who was so unkind?
[Sir William embraces Peggy and makes her sit by him.] Yes surely thou'rt my niece; truth must prevail, But no more words till Mause relates the tale."
Mause then relates how Peggy's life being threatened by a wicked aunt, who wished to take possession of her estate, she herself had stolen her away, in the dead of night, and travelled with her some fifty miles, and left her at Glaud's door; that she had taken a cottage in the vicinity, and had watched over the child ever since. All of course are delighted with this discovery. The betrothment of Patie and Peggy is sanctioned by Sir William; and even Bauldy
"the bewitch'd, has quite forgot Fell Madge's taz, and pawky Madge's plot,"
"I'm friends wi' Mause,-wi' very Madge I'm greed,
To join and sing, 'Lang may Sir William live.'"
Sir William bestows upon "faithful Symon, and "kind Glaud," and upon their heirs, "in endless fee," their "mailens," or farms, and takes old Mause into his family, in peace
"to close her days,
With naught to do but sing her Maker's praise."
Glaud consents to give Jenny to Roger, who says;
"I ne'er was guid o' speaking a' my days,
To which, Sir William adds, summing up the whole :
"My friends I'm satisfied you'll all behave,
Some happy turn, with joy, dispels our care."
Thus ends the "Gentle Shepherd," which with all its faults, possesses an inimitable charm. In Scotland it is a sort of household poem. Every one, young and old, reads it with delight. Indeed,
* Whipt. † Sorely frightened. Fuss or perhaps flattering speech.
it is probably the most popular pastoral drama ever written. The common people, in the rural districts of Scotland, know it by heart. The Bible, the Pilgrim's Progress, Robinson Crusoe and "the Gentle Shepherd" are read by them a thousand times more than any other book.
Biographical Sketch of Allan Ramsay-Lasswade-Ramble along the banks of the North Esk-Glenesk-A Character-Anecdote of Sir W. Scott-Hawthornden-Drummond the PoetHis Character and Genius-Sonnets-Chapel and Castle of Roslin-Barons of Roslin-Ballad of Rosabelle-Hunting Match between Robert Bruce and Sir William St. Clair.
LEAVING Habbie's Howe, we will let Sandy drive us along the banks of the river, through Auchindinny, Roslin and Hawthornden, to the pretty village of Lasswade, where we will spend the night. Sandy can take the carriage back to Edinburgh, and to-morrow we will ramble on foot through the classic shades of Roslin and Hawthornden, visit Dalkeith and some other places, and return to Edinburgh by the railway. In the meantime I will give you some account of Allan Ramsay.
Allan was born on the 15th of October, 1686, in Crawford Muir, Lanarkshire, and died in the city of Edinburgh, in the year 1784. He was at first a wigmaker, and afterwards a bookseller. In 1726 he kept a little bookstore opposite Niddry's Wynd in the city of Edinburgh, whence he removed to another, somewhat more commodious at the east end of the Luckenbooths, having exchanged his old sign of Mercury for the heads of Ben Jonson and Drummond of Hawthornden, whom he greatly
admired. His early education was limited. He attended the village school at Leadhills, where, as he himself informs us, he acquired just learning enough to read Horace "faintly in the original." Of a vigorous constitution, and a cheerful temper, he spent his time happily in the country, till his fifteenth year, though his lot seems to have been a hard one.
"Wading through glens wi' chorking feet,
Where neither plaid nor kilt could fend* the weet;
And stend o'er burns as light as ony rae,
Hoping the morn† might prove a better day."
He went to Edinburgh, a poor country boy, and gradually made his way to competence, and respectability. Whether he was particularly successful as a wigmaker we are not informed; but he found the trade of bookseller infinitely more congenial. Ensconced behind his counter, he could study, write poetry, chat with his customers, and publish his own lucubrations. His first principal poem was "Christ's Kirk on the Green," a continuation of King James's poem of the same name, a rough but graphic and humorous picture of rustic revelry. Its indelicacy is rather gross, but it has all the vigor and humor of Hogarth's pictures. His other poems, containing songs, fables, pastorals, complimentary verses (of which he has a very large number,) stories and epistles are quite numerous. They contain a large amount of trash, with