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He sees with other eyes than theirs. Where they
Born 1686–Died 1758. ALLAN RAMSAY, a native of Scotland, received his early education at the parish school, and, at the age of fifteen, became apprentice to a wigmaker. On finishing his apprenticeship he left this business entirely, and married in his twentyfourth year the daughter of an attorney in Edinburgh, where he established a bookshop. In 1728, he published the drama of the Gentle Shepherd, which was soon admired and re-printed, even beyond the limits of Scotland, to which its obscure dialect would have seemed likely at first to confine its reputation. So early as 1750 the tenth edition of this comedy was printed at Glasgow.
His disposition was naturally kind, shrewd, and good humoured. He never was seduced, either by his fondness for poetical composition, or by his intimacy with men of rank and talents, to whom his genius gave him access, from a quiet and diligent attention to his trade, which thus yielded him a happy competence.
Ramsay's claims to a lasting poetical celebrity rest exclusively on the merits of “The Gentle Shepherd.” The moral tendency of this pastoral drama is generally excellent, though it contains some gross expressions and allusions, which detract much from the pleasure with which it may be perused. The plot is deeply interesting, and founded on occurrences growing out of the real state of the country, at the period in which it is laid ; so that all its incidents are such as might bave often happened in actual life. Nothing in it is foreign, imitated, or artificial, but every thing is national and unaffected. Its scenery is that of Scotland, and of Scotland alone; and is drawn with so ch freshness and truth to nature, that the peasants are said to delight in pointing out the very localities which it describes.
It possesses fine humour, and in some scenes a deep pathos. Its characters are all original, and depicted with the hand of a master. By a few artless and simple touches, they are made to stand out from the canvass with a verisimilitude and individuality, not inferior to those of Shakspeare. Its poetry, like that of Burns, has gone down into the heart of a whole nation. Its rural songs may be heard on every mountain-side and in every hamlet; and its sentences of practical wisdom have passed into proverbs among the Scottish peasantry.
THE PLEASURES OF DOMESTIC LIFE.
Jenny. O, 't is a pleasant thing to be a bride!
Peggy. Yes, it 's a heartsome thing to be a wife, When round the inglel2 edge, young sprouts are rife.13 Gif 14 I 'm so happy, I shall ha’e15 delight, To hear their little plaints and keep them right. 1 Afterwards. 2 Children, a term of contempt. 3 Vexatious. 4 Must. 5 One. 6 Falls. 7 Broth. 8 Loses. 9 A proverb, meaning, every thing goes wrong 10 Miscalls. 11 Worse.
12 Fireside. 13 Plenty. 15 Have.
Wow! Jenny, can there greater pleasure be,
Jenny. But poortith, Peggy, is the warst of a',
Peggy. May sic ill luck befa' that silly she
Jenny. But what if some young giglet30 on the green, Wi' dimpled cheeks, an' twa3l bewitching een,
1 Such. 2 Little. 3 Struggling. 4 Aim. 5 Attending. 6 Poverty. 7 Merry. 8 From. 9 Ragged. 10 Empty. 11 Cattle. 12 Inundations. 13 Plains on river sides 14 Ricks or stacks. 15 Thaws. 16 Smother. 17 Bankrupt. 18 Wool. 19 Scowling. 20 Give. 21 Open field. 22 Must not. 23 Seizes.
26 Sheaves of corn, a proverb, 27 Predict. 28 More. 29 Children. 30 Laughing damsel. 31 Two,
Should garl your Patie think his sober Meg,
Peggy. Nae mair o’that.—Dear Jenny, to be free,
Jenny. A dish o' married love right soon grows cauld, 18 And dosensli down to nane, 12 as folk grow auld. 13
Peggy. But we 'll grow auld thegither, and ne'er find The loss of youth, when love grows on the mind. Bairns and their bairns mak, sure, a firmer tye, Than aught in love the like of us can spy: See yon twa elms, that grow up side by side, Suppose them, some years gone, bridegroom an' bride; Nearer and nearer ilkal4 year they ’ve prest, Till wide their spreading branches are increased, An' in their mixture now are fully blest. This shields the other frae the eastlin blast, That in return defends it frae the west. Such as stand single, (state so liked by you,) Beneath ilk storm, frae every earth, maun bow.
Jenny. I've done.—1 yield, dear lassie I maun yield; Your better sense has fairly won the field, With the assistance of a little fae,15 Lies derned 16 within my heart this mony a day.
2 Known, accustomed. 3 Fig. 4 Wonder. 5 Would Matches, wives. 7 Most. 8 Coarse table linen. 9 Linen caps or coifs. 10 Cold, í Dwindles. 12 None. 13 Old, 14 Each. 15 Foe. 16 Hidden.
Born 1689-Died 1744. Pope's father was a Roman Catholic, and his son inherited the paternal religion. He was educated till the age of twelve principally under the care of Romish priests, but from that period he formed for himself a plan of study, which he appears to have pursued with diligence. From his earliest years he fixed upon poetry as his profession, and some of his pieces composed at the age of fourteen are remarkable proofs of his youthful proficiency. His pastorals, though not published till 1709, were written at the age of sixteen in 1704, from which period his life as an author, may be dated.
In 1712 he published the Rape of the Lock, the most truly poetical of all his productions, and the one on which his claim to the power of invention principally rests. In 1712, at the age of twentyfive, he commenced, and in 1720 finished his ; translation of the Iliad of Homer, the success of which was so great, that the produce of the subscription enabled him to purchase a residence at Twickenham, whither he removed with his father and mother. In 1728 appeared the Dunciad, a poem intended to cover his antagonists with ridicule, and distinguished for its polished versification, and for the gross and offensive nature of its imagery, together with the irritability, malignity, injustice and strength of its satire.
In 1733 and 34 appeared the Essay on Man, as a whole perhaps in the first class of ethical poems, though its philosophy is scarcely christian, and many of its thoughts would appear exceedingly trite, were they not concealed in the point, antithesis, and beauty of the style. He died at the age of fiftysix, in the final cereinonies of the Roman Catholic religion, but apparently with neither that anxiety so suitable to the awful close of nature, nor with those calm and glorious anticipations of eternity, which rendered the dying hours of Addison the sublimest period of his existence.
Johnson's life of Pope is one of the most interesting and instructive sketches in the annals of poetical biography. While it displays his literary fame with great prominence, it exhibits his personal character under an aspect for the most part unpleasant and humiliating; though his filial piety is almost sufficient to redeem its defects. His excessive desire of applause brought along with it an unhappy degrec of its concomitant passions, pride, envy, and jealousy, and engaged him in an almost uninterrupted series of vexatious literary quarrels. The mind can hardly help reflecting what a different aspect his life would have worn, had it been calmed, elevated, and dignified by the spirit of forbearance and piety.