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him for the copyright, and I believe he sent his manuscripts, or at least a copy of the printed volume, with his corrections, to Mr. for inspection, but from tardiness of reply in that quarter, he sent the completed manuscript to Ediuburgh, offering the copyright for a very small sum to Mr. Constable. Unhappily that gentleman was in London at the time, and when written to on the subject, answered that he had more new works on hand than he could undertake that season ; accordingly the manuscript was returned.
“This disappointment preyed heavily on his spirits, and I observed a change of disposition gradually wear on him from that time; a proneness to imagine his best friends were disposed to use him ill, and a certain jealous fear of his claims to genius being impugned These imaginary grievances were frequently confided to me, and I found it impossible to convince him of his error.
“ Two days before his death, he shewed me several poetical pieces of a most strange texture, and in the afternoon of the same day, he called on me again, requesting me to return him a song that had been left for my perusal. I had laid it past in a music book, aud was unable to find it at the time. It was his last production, and he seemed to be much disappointed when, after a long search, I could not procure it for him *. This was the last time I saw him. The anxiety he shewed to get back the manuscript, appears to have proceeded froin a determination to destroy every scrap of his poetry that he could possibly collect. Nothing could be found after his death, but what pieces he had sent to different correspondents, which were collected, and the different variations submitted to the editor of his works published by Mr. Crichton.
• These few particulars are all I can recollect of the,man I so highly esteemed, and I fear you will think them a great deal more than are worth relating.”
We also subjoin the following postscript to one of Mr. Si's letters.
“ You may expect the book I promised you a sight of in a few days. It contains the first verse of the major part of his Songs. Those of which the other verses are lost, were chiefly imita.
* This piece is called “ Why unite to banish Care," and will be found in the Appendix--the two last stanzas are for the first time added.Editor,
tions of old Scotish songs, written after a perusal of Johnson's Musical Museum, and I am inclined to think, they would have added but little to the author's fame, although he had preserved them t. He had collected their respective melodies, and I had promised to arrange them, with an easy accompaniment for the piano forte. I believe that Mr. Blaikie, of this town, bad made an offer to engrave the whole for publication, but the idea of publishing in this form was soon abandoned, as being too expensive.”
After these copious extracts we have little to say. It is our opinion, however, that the genius of Tannahill could not, as one of his biographers would insinuate, be equally suited to other species of poetical composition besides those which his inclination at first led him to prefer, and habit at length had rendered easy. His strength lay in song-writing, and to it, he, for the most part, judiciously confined himself. He once attempted dramatic composition, but without success. The piece to which we refer, was published in the first edition of his poems, but omitted wisely in every subsequent one. In ballad-writing he also failed. His Connel and Flora is read without emotion, and never thought of again after perusal. This piece has none of that noble simplicity of diction and disregard of meretricious ornament which distinguish tho ballad from every other kind of poetry, and give it all its peculiar charm. With the exception of one or two stanzas, Connel and Flora glisters in all the shewy and unmeaning garniture of wordiness and fullness of sounding epithet, that disgusted us so much in the ballad mongery lately in vogue, but now happily rooted out and despised, never, it is hoped, to be again cultivated or esteemed.
The Hauntet Wud is a bonnie little poem considered as such, but far from being any thing like an imitation of John Barbour. After Chatterton, there have sprouted up many imitators of the language, not of the spirit of the ancient poets. That “ marvellous boy," with all the holes the antiquarian may pick in his doublet, is still the matchless prince of literary impostors, and the closest imitator, if not in sentiment and style, at least in language, to the models of slumbering ages. Tannalill had neither leisure, education, nor means, to qualify # The fragments here spoken of will be found in the Appendix.-Idior.
himself for the perusal of Barbour and other venerable makers, much less to imitate their productions Yet, though he has been unsuccessful, we cannot help loving him for thus shewing that he was acquainted with the name, if not with the language of one of the oldest of our epic poets. How much better would it have been with him, and many other of our bards, had they been acquainted with the real orthography of their mother tongue, it is needless to mention. Nothing is a more palpable error than moulding the Scotish language into English forms of spelling, and nothing can be more absurd, since thereby its true pronunciation is inevitably lost. This corrupt mode of writing our language hath, however, got such a hold and footing in the literature of the day, that to make any innovation now, were to bring down the ridicule and neglect of the frivolous and ignorant multitude on the head of him, whose hardihood led him to enterprize it. But it is needless to grumble at things for which there is no remeid. Scotland may part with her language, perhaps as tamely as she yielded up her parlia. ment, and surrendered others of her dearest rights. We must have done, however, with this dangerous topic, and remember the advice of the poet:
Periculosae plenum opus aleae
Suppositos cineri doloso. The sensibility of Tannahill appears to have been greater than his genius, and his heart more susceptible of tender than deep feeling On the whole, we believe his poetical character to have been over-rated, and that sympathy for his fate to have so associated itself in our minds with his other excellences, that while we endeavour to estimate his merits as a poet, our feelings have more to say in the matter than our judgement. Be this as it may, his name will long be reinembered with no ordinary degree of emotion, and it will be a long day, ere another like him shall in these western parts sweep the Scotish lyre with so delicate and so artless a touch. Assuredly, the proudest tri. bute ever paid to his genius, was the visit which the Ettrick Shepherd paid to him, not long before his death. There was something romantic in this pilgrimage of the Mountain Bard, to teel and to see, to converse and to enjoy the fellowship of one
whose heart, like his own, was gifted with the magic voice of song. They spent only one night in each others company t. Tannahill, Mr. Hogg informed us, convoyed him half way to Glasgow on the following morning, where they parted It was a melancholy adieu Tannahill gave him. He grasped his hand, tears gathering in his eyes the while, and said, “ Farewell, we shall never meet again--farewell, I shall never see you more.” These prophetic words were, alas ! too soon verified by the event of his death, which happened but a short time after this deeply affecting and tender parting.
Paisley has now given birth to two men of distinguished eminence, and both poets. They were her own children, and she acted the step-dame to them both. One lived to shame her ingratitude, by raising a splendid trophy of his genius in a foreign land ; the other withered in the shade and horrors of her neglect. Yes, we scruple not to avow it, that one main cause of Tannahill's premature fate, was the chilling aspect of his own town. He had vanity like every man of genius-a thirst for fame, as every noble spirit ought to have; but the first was mortified, and the last was disappointed and ungratified. True. he heard his songs chaunted with delight, and his praises whispered in distant parts, but then nat even
+Our staunch and excellent friend, Mr. A. B , whose amiable eccen. tricities and talents have endeared him to every circle, was the mean, we be lieve, of introducing the two poets to each other. The lover of reliques will in the workshop of Mr. B. find many things worthy of his attention. Our page will not contain a full inventory of them, but we shall mention a few for the edification of the curious. Imprimis, The complete head of the stone effigy which covered the remains of that subtle Magician, famous Wizard, and learned Clerk, Michael Scutt- brought from Melross Abbey-Item. A plank of one of the Spanish Armada. Item. Sundry beautiful chippings of Queen Mary's Yew.Item. A rafter of Alloway's auld hauntit Kirk.-Item. A walking staff of the Broom of the Cowden Knowes, convertible likewise into a sweet pastoral whistle, when it listeth one to pipe melodiously in journeying through the classic dales of the southern shires as a pilgrim, towards the noble ruins of Melross and Dryburgh-Do. of the Bush abune Traquair_Do. of the Trysting tree on the Borders, &c. &c. Besides a stupendous harpsicord, an antique virginal, with fiddles, flutes, and violoncellos, great and small, innumerable, and a host of quaighs made of the Torwood and Ellerslie Oak, with as many crosslets and snuff boxes of the Yew Tree above noticed. The Connoisieur of Painting will also be delighted with some fine spirited sketches in black chalk, that adorn the walls, some of which we understand are designed and executed by a very promising young artist of this town, whose truly original conceptions have often excited our admiration. We were particularly pleased with “the twa Dogs" from Burns. The attitude of “the Gentleman and Scholar” is aptly chosen and adinirably delineated.
hinted at, in the place of his birth. Where was the countea nance the higher ranks should have conferred on him?- Where the support the wealthy could have given him to prosecute his studies, and improve in his darling avocation ? Merit in the lower paths of life, was akin to a miracle in the eyes of the richer class of his native community, and miracles having died with the apostles, they were not now to be believed.
We have done with our sketch, Sensible as we are, that this essay is very defective in many respects that it is often abridged, where it should have been full and particular, and diffuse, where it should have been concise and general; nevertheless despite these faults, it will serve its end of being a kind of rude chart, by which some abler hand may direct his course, while prosecuting under happier auspices, the same subjects of which we have treated. The mistakes or omissions which the attentive reader may discover, as they were either involuntary on our part, or originated from lack of better information, it is hoped will be forgiven, or at least charitably construed. What has been written, was from the worthy motive of giving to our countryinen a bead roll of names belonging to this district, that deserve not to perish, without paying some tribute to their memory, however inadequate such may be to their deserts, or insufficient to secure them from the obliviousness which time throws over the most illustrious dead.
I see the makkaris amangis the laif,