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THE amusing Memoirs of James Allan, the unrivalled piper, have been published by various persons, and have commanded different degrees of attention and approbation. But the present writer has succeeded in procuring many interesting and well-authenticated anecdotes in the eventful life of this singular character, and which, he trusts, will render this work peculiarly valuable and essentially original. Besides, the biographical sketches of Allan's life that have appeared, evince much haste and carelessness, and are expressed in a style either low and vulgar, or bombastical and inappropriate.
If a writer may be permitted to quote himself, I shall venture to repeat the observations which were made on this subject on another occasion :-“What claims can a vagrant piper have to the remembrance of posterity ? Should any one be so contracted as querulously to ask this question, I reply, many; for there never lived a human being, however obscure, degraded, and comparatively unimportant, whose life, if faithfully and correctly narrated, would not furnish lessons and examples eminently conducive to the extension of knowledge and happiness.
“ That profound observer of men and manners, Lord Bacon, prefers biography to every other species of historical composition, because it exhibits the smaller passages and
motions of men and manners;' and the celebrated Dr. Johnson remarks, that the mischievous consequences of vice and folly, of irregular desires and predominant passions, are best discovered by those relations which are levelled with the general surface of life.'
“But the moral portrait of James Allan is peculiarly entitled to the attention of mankind, as it presents such a variety of curious and interesting features as must prove highly gratifying to persons of all ages, pursuits, and conditions of life.
“ Here the philosopher may view the workings of the human mind, trace the power of external objects, and the influence of early habits, in generating those moral motives which constitute character.
“ The moralist will find in these memoirs a convincing proof of the absolute necessity of morality in order to'produce individual happiness; and that vice and folly, whatever seductive forms they may assume, will always terminate in disappointment and misery.
“ The antiquary will find repeated notices of those popular' observances, vulgar errors, and ancient customs, which afford the best elucidation of the history of other times; being highly illustrative of the character and pursuits of our superstitious, warlike, and turbulent forefathers.
“ In this brief history, the curious will be amused with a lively representation of an interesting class of people, not yet wholly extinct; and in whom the habits of a vulgar, erratic life, and a disregard of the laws and institutions of society, are so combined with many excellent qualities, as, to produce an effect striking and peculiar.
“ The lovers of music will here behold repeated testimonies of the truth of our divine bard's eulogy on this heavenly art, and that it does indeed possess charms calculated to soothe