lish readers. The Scotch were in extremely bad favour in England at the moment, the immediate and chief cause of the prejudice being the feeling against Lord Bute, to whose influence over George III. was ascribed the king's absolute policy and his insistence on royal prerogative. Bute was Scotch, and the current feeling against the Scotch was high. 179. thee. Wilkes is addressed. The paragraph preceding this is a tribute to him. Churchill's admiration for Wilkes and his devotion to him seem to have been very sincere. His death occurred at Boulogne, while he was on a visit to Wilkes, then an outlaw abroad. 186. North Briton. Wilkes's periodical, which he made the means of attack upon the government, the Scotch, and his personal enemies. Churchill wrote regularly for it in 1762-1763. The notorious Number 45 of it contained an attack on the government which the house of the Commons declared a "seditious libel," and for publishing which, - in conjunction with other offences, Wilkes was expelled from Parliament. 222. Churchill's mother is said to have been Scotch. 232. George Lyttelton, first Baron Lyttelton (1709-1773), and his friend Gilbert West (1703-1756). Lyttelton had been somewhat sceptical in his earlier years, but was later converted to orthodox beliefs and did some writing on subjects connected with Christianity.



The Ghost was published in 1762-1763; the writing of it was begun earlier and laid aside. At the time when Churchill returned to the composition of the poem, the Cock-Lane Ghost fraud was receiving public attention, and Churchill made use of the story of its detection. The full account of the matter is too long to insert here. Johnson was concerned in the exposing of the fraud, and thus occasion is found for bringing him into the poem. See Boswell's Life of Johnson, Vol. I. pp. 406-408. (G. B. Hill's edition.) Johnson remarked upon the attack, "I called the fellow a blockhead at first, and I will call him a blockhead still." The poem is in four books, and contains 4500 lines. It is not Churchill's best work, and some parts of it are very dull.



Beattie was a professor of Moral Philosophy and Logic in Marischal College, Aberdeen, from 1760 until very near the end of his life. He

was granted a pension of £200 by George III., in 1773. His prose works, on ethics and theology, were remarkably successful in their own time and are entirely neglected now. A large part of his verse is mediocre and imitative. Even his Minstrel has been called merely a reflection of his study of Gray and Collins. This may be true, in a way, and yet there is a gentle individuality about the poem, too. It is evidently a genuine expression of original feeling on the part of the poet. The poem is conventional, to be sure, in a very un-Scotch way. It is characteristic of Beattie that he refused to consider the Scotch dialect as worthy to convey poetic thought.

The text used here is that of the Aldine edition. (London, 1866.)


The Minstrel was published in 1771-1774. It is in two books, including in all over twelve hundred lines. Beattie had projected another book, but never produced it. The thread of narrative in the poem is, however, so slight and confused that the incompleteness is not noticed. This poem is one of those minor works that, although they contribute little to the development of the romantic movement, indicate its establishment. The Minstrel is full of description of nature, and shows poetic feeling for natural scenes. It has also something of the gloom and half-melancholy characterizing much of the poetry that was feeling its way toward romanticism.

Beattie says, in a letter written while The Minstrel was in process of composition: "The subject was suggested by a discourse on the old minstrels which is prefixed to a collection of Ballads lately published by Dodsley, in three volumes [evidently Percy's Reliques]. I propose to give an account of the birth, education, and adventures of one of those bards; in which I shall have full scope for description, sentiment, satire, and even a certain species of humour and pathos." He gives, however, some distinctly modern elements to his bard.

The disconnected selections used here give no indication of the continuity of thought in the poem. But they are chosen as illustrations of the tone and style of Beattie's best work.


Beattie says this was written for a Scotch tune, "Pentland Hills." He owns, however, that the verses are unsuitable for a song.


The eighteenth century was in Scotland a period of revival of national literature. After the accession of James I. (VI.), and the removal to England of the seat of government, all writing had languished in Scotland. But now there was a marked renascence of interest in literature. Various causes have been assigned for this revival, found in the influence of contemporary English literature, or in the general prosperity of the times. Perhaps the most potent reason, however, may be discovered in the Union with England, consummated in 1707. The discussions and the general feeling with which this arrangement was attended, and the regret with which the Scotch gave up certain institutions of their own, and were merged into a larger nation, gave rise to an access of national feeling, in which is probably to be found an impetus to poetic expression. The distinctly national quality of the inspiration to write is shown in the fact that the vernacular was so generally chosen as the language used. This was not a matter of chance; the leading writers made their choice with definite intention, usually. In the first years of the century, literary English had been used in verse by an Edinburgh group who imitated the current type of English poetry. Allan Ramsay (q. v.), however, chose the Scots for his means of literary expression, and established himself its champion. His own work, popular as it was, was not more influential than his collections (1724–1727), The Tea-Table Miscellany and The Evergreen. These gave general opportunity for acquaintance with old and new songs in dialect, and were undoubtedly a great stimulus to the production of Scots lyrics. Before Ramsay's collections were issued, Watson's Collection of Choice Scots Songs, Ancient and Modern, had appeared, 1706-1711. This had had a strong influence on Ramsay. From his time on, a great part - the better part of the poetry, was written in Scots. Burns found the use of the vernacular well established when he came. Of course dialect is not suited for the most serious literary work. Tragedy, the epic, even didactic verse, are impossible in Scots. But it is suited for certain lyric effects, for the pathetic, the humorous, and for presentation of elements of homely life. And of course it expressed national life and feeling far better than English would have done.

This Scotch poetry reënforced other influences that were tending to advance naturalism in English poetry. There were several reasons

why it should be likely to do so. In the first place, the nature element appears in most of the poems. There are few descriptive poems, but in almost all poems, of whatever kind, there are references to nature, an incidental use of it that seems to mean its constant presence in the lives of the people whose feelings the poems expressed. The use of nature is entirely spontaneous, also, and indicates an unaffected and deep love of outdoor life. Another element important in relation to English poetry is the presentation of themes and motives of common life. The comparative absence of class differences in Scotland, or, more accurately, the community of feeling and sympathy among all classes, is shown in the poetry. Where the type written of is specific, it is most frequently the peasant type. But the writers themselves come out of all classes. Poems on the same subjects come from the highest classes and the humblest; and when the man of noble birth writes of the shepherd, he does so with no effect of condescending or of taking an outsider's view, but with complete sympathy and understanding. Even Gay, in England, when he uses a rustic or a Newgate type, does so as being himself one of another class, merely searching for literary material. In the Scotch poetry no such distinction can be felt. The interest in the life presented is not a literary, but a human, or a national, interest. Another effective element is the naturalness and spontaneity of the feeling in the poems. There is to be found, for instance, an element uncommon in English verse at the time, genuine pathos. The English attempted the tragic or the serious, but the simply pathetic was rare. Homely feelings of many kinds were set forth in the Scots lyrics, with a sympathy that the use of the vernacular helped to express. For all these reasons the contact with Scotch poetry had a freshening and stimulating effect upon English verse.

In the somewhat long list of Scotch poets between Ramsay and Burns, but few, however, rise into prominence. A comparatively small number devoted themselves to literature; many of them produced but two or three poems, and live in literary history by the excellence of those. The authorship of some of the poems is disputed or entirely unknown.

DAVID MALLET (?-1765) whose name was originally Malloch, claimed William and Margaret as his work. He was a Scotchman, but went to London to live about 1723, and there was rather prominent, especially in the circle to which Thomson belonged. He was

a friend of Thomson, helped to bring him to notice, and collaborated with him in writing the masque Alfred. William and Margaret appeared in the Plain Dealer of July 24, 1724, with a statement of the editor, Aaron Hill, to the effect that he had picked it up in the street, on a torn sheet of a Halfpenny Miscellany. The ballad reappeared in Allan Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany in 1724?, signed D. M; in 1728 Mallet published it over his own name and afterward included it in successive editions of his works. Mallet produced nothing else of equal value. Even in his own time there was some question as to his having written the poem, and in recent years editors have found abundant reason to doubt his claim to the authorship of it. See Phelps's Beginnings of the English Romantic Movement, Appendix II.

WILLIAM HAMILTON (1704–1754) made himself known first through his contributions (1724-1727) to Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany, in which the Braes of Yarrow was published. He was a man of good family, an ardent and active Jacobite; he fought at Culloden, afterward escaped to France, but was later pardoned and allowed to return to Scotland. Hamilton's other work has fallen into comparative obscurity, but his Braes of Yarrow has been reprinted over and over again. Wordsworth alludes to it and quotes from it in his Yarrow Unvisited, and in the prefatory note to that poem calls it an exquisite Ballad."

JOHN SKINNER (1721-1807) published three volumes of theological works, and some Latin verse, besides his Scotch songs. He was an Episcopalian minister, and a Jacobite. Tullochgorum seems to have been printed first in 1771. The name Tullochgorum was the name of a Highland tune to a reel, and Skinner wrote the song to go to the tune. Burns, writing to Skinner, called the poem "the best song Scotland ever saw."

LADY ANNE BARNARD (1750-1825) was the daughter of the Earl of Balcarres, and married (1793) Andrew Barnard, afterward Colonial Secretary at the Cape of Good Hope. Auld Robin Gray was written in 1771, but its authorship was not revealed until 1823. It also was written for a melody already existing. Lady Barnard's letters from the Cape, where she went with her husband, were published in 1901.

JEAN ADAMS (?-1765) was a poor schoolmistress, who died in an almshouse. There's Nae Luck about the House is not absolutely proved to be her work, but is commonly ascribed to her. It is also

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