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saye Grieve, who assured me it would do. or censure in his own Magazine. But
country. defended, and some high disputes arose ;
But let us hear what he says further other authors were appealed to, and notwiths with regard to the Queen's Wake. standing mygiving several very broad hints, “ This address gave me a little confiI could not procure a hearing for another dence, and I faced my acquaintances one line of my new poem. Indeed, I was sore by one; and every thing that I heard was ly disappointed, and told my friends so on laudatory. The first report of any work going away ; on which another day was
that goes abroad, be it good or bad, spreads appointed, and I brought my manuscript like fire set to a hill of heather in a warm to Buccleuch Place. Mr Gray had not got spring day, and no one knows where it will through the third page, when he was told stop. From that day forward every one that an itinerant bard was come into the has spoken well of the work; and 'every lobby, 'and repeating his poetry to the review praised its general features, save the boarders. Mr Gray went out and joined Electic, which, in the number for 1813, them, leaving me alone wish'a young lady, tried to hold it up to ridicule and contempt. to read, or not, as we liked. In about half Mr Jeffrey ventured not a word about it, an hour, he sent a request for me likewise either good or bad, himself, until the year to come: on which I went, and heard a after, when it had fairly got into a second poor crazy beggar repeating such miserable and third edition. He then gave a very judia stuff as I had never heard before. I was cious and sensible review of it; but he com. terribly affronted ; and putting my manu- mitted a most horrible blunder, in classing script in my pocket, jogged my way home MrTendant, the author of Anster Fair, and in very bad humour. Gray has sometimes me together, as two self-taught geniuses ; tried to deny the truth of this anecdote, and whereas there is not one point of resemto face me out of it, but it would not do.blance—Tennant being a better educated I never estimated him the less as a friend; man than the reviewer himself, was not a but I did not forget it, in one point of little affronted at being classsed with me.' view ; for I never read any more new From that day to this Mr Jeffrey has taken poems to him.”
no notice of any thing that I have publishSome of the ballads in the Queen's ed, which I think can hardly be expected Wake are tolerable imitations of Scott, to do him any honour at the long run. I and the old traditionary poetry of Scot- should like the worst poem that I have. land. But who the devil cares a jot with some that he has strained himself to
since published, to stand a fair comparison for Mr Hogg's negociation about it bring forward. It is a pity that any litewith Constable, and Miller, and Mur, rary connexion, which with the one party, ray, and Goldie, and Blackwood ? All might be unavoidable, should ever prejuthe world knows that booksellers are dice one valued friend and acquaintance the most selfish and crafty of their against another. In the heart-burnings of sex; and that poor poets are the most party-spirit, the failings of great minds are ignorant, absurd, and unreasonable of more exposed than in all other things in theirs. Poetry is a drug; even good- the world put together." ish decent poetry wont sell; and there- Now, Christopher, you, and two or fore I blame no publisher for behaving three other men in Scotland are enas ill as possible to any poet. Of the titled to cut up Mr Jeffrey. He is a publishers aforesaid, Constable seems man of real wit
and cleverness, and deto have been amused with the match- serves to be cut up. But he ought not less stupidity and vanity of Hogg,— to be haggled with a blunt joeteleg in but to have behaved to him, on the the hands of a clown. There is somewhole, with much good nature and due thing most laughable in a vulgar liberality. Miller seems to have in- rhymster accusing Mr Jeffrey of detended to publish the Pilgrims of the lay in reviewing his worthless trash. Sun, but got frightened at Hogg's un- -All the world saw that the critic couth appearance, and the universal wished to do a good-natured thing rumours of his incapacity. Murray to the swine-herd, and to give him seems to have awoke out of a dream, a lift above the sneers of the town. and on recovering his senses, to have “ He then gave a very sensible and cut the Shepherd in his easiest man- judicious review of it!! It was neiner. Of Blackwood, it would be unbe- ther sensible nor judicious, nor was coming me to speak with either praise it meant to be so. It was a mere piece
of charitable bam-of amlable hum. sion did he marry' any of the glrks ; bug; and Mr Jeffrey is a great deal too and Mr Hogg ought not thus to dekind, in my opinion, in bepraising the fend morality at the expence of hissmall fry of poetasters, while he sends torical truth. A poet, above all men, his harpoon into the backs of the lar- should always stick to facts ; and this ger poets, and laughs at beholding young woman, who, he says, carried them floundering about with a mile of her husband, is altogether an imagie rope coiled round them. I never could nary Jacobite relic. see any more wickedness in Frank The Poetie Mirror is now lying beJeffrey than in Christopher North; fore me, and two of the imitations of and I believe you both to be a couple Wordsworth are admirable. But Hogg of admirable fellows,-no men's ene. never wrote one syllable of them. They mies but your own,-a little defi. were written by Lord Byron, with an cient in prudence and worldly wisdom; immense stack of bread and butter but gradually improving by age and before him, and a basin of weak tea. infirmity, and likely to turn out, after Mr Pringle's little poem is pretty all, useful and respectable members of enough, but all the rest of the volume society. I could not let this favourable is most inhuman and inerciless trash. opportunity pass without paying you Does Hogg believe, that if he were to botha well deserved compliment: Pray, steal Lord Byron's breeches and coat, where lay “the horrible blunder,” in and so forth, and walk along the Rialto, classing Mr Tennant, the author of that the Venetian ladies would miso Anster Fair, with Mr Hogg. Mr Jeffrey take him for his lordship? It is easier had never heard of Mr I'ennant when to play the fool than the lord, and, he reviewed his poem. He did not therefore, in one or two of his imitaspeak of him as an ignorant, but a self- tions, the swine-herd is more lucky. elucated man. And though this was That of himself, for example, is a true not altogether the case, there was no specimen of the stye-school of poetry. horrible blunder in saying so, Mr I request you, Christopher, to look Hogg is simply a fool, when he talks again at page 65. * Risum teneatis, of Mr Tennant being a better educa- amice ?". Read it aloud, and believe ted man than Mr Jeffrey. Mr Jeffrey's your ears. education was complete, and he is a *** I know not what wicked genius put most accomplished scholar, though not it into my head, but it was then, in an yet a professor at Dollar Academy.
evil hour, when I bad determined on the Mr Hogg goes on to narrate to the side I was to espouse, that I wrote the world the circumstances under which Chaldee Manuscript, and transmitted it to he composed his Mador of the Moor, Mr Blackwood from Yarrow. On first Poetic Mirror, Dramatic Tales, and reading it, he never thought of publishing
it; but some of the rascals to whom he other volumes. Of Mador of the Moor, it is not in accounts till they were sick, persuaded him,
showed it, after laughing at it, by their own my power at present to speak in terms nay, almost forced him to insert it; for of adequate contempt. The story is some of them went so far as to tell him, this:-King James assumes the cha- that if he did not admit that inimitable are racter of an itinerant fiddler, and ticle, they would never speak to him again seluces a farmer's daughter, some- so long as they lived." where about the extremity of Perth- There is a bouncer !—The Chaldee shire. She absconds, and, after a safe manuscript !-Why, no more did he delivery of a thumping boy, at which write the Chaldee Manuscript than it does not appear that any howdy offi- the five books of Moses.- Prove he ciated, malam takes her foot in her wrote it, and I undertake to prove the hand, and fathers the child upon his moon green cheese, and eat a slice of Majesty, in his court at Stirling Castle. it every morning before breakfast. I The king marries the trull, and with presume that Mr Hogg is also the the wedding (rather a stale concern) author of Waverley.--He may say so the poem concludes. This may be a if he chooses, without contradiction, common enough way of settling the and he may also assert that he, and business about Ettrick and Yarrow, not Lord Wellington, fought the but the kings of Scotland, I am per- battle of Waterloo,--that he commusuaded, never did wive after such a nicated thesteam-engine to MrWatt,fashion. King Jamie played a good and was the original inventor of Day many pranks during the long nights and Martin's patent blacking. It must unquestionably, but on no single occa- be a delightful thing to have such fanVOL. X.
cies as these in one's noddle;-but, on for a mere jeu d'esprit--for my friend,
we only conversed about the utility of such rel. But all at once it entered his a work, without doing any thing farther. brain, that, by putting him to death mention it'to Mr Thomas Pringle ; when
At length, among others. I chanced to in a sharp, and clever, and mysterious I found that he and his friends had a plan manner, and seeming also to rob him in contemplation of the same kind. We of an immense number of bank notes, agreed to join our efforts, and try to set it the city of Edinburgh would be thrown a-going; but, as I declined the editorship into a ferment of consternation, and on account of residing mostly on my farm there would be no end of the “public at a distance from town, it became a puzemotion,” to use his own constantling question who was the best qualified phrase on occasions of this nature. among our friends for that undertaking. The scheme succeeded to a miracle. We at length fixed on Mr Gray as the He stabbed Begbie to the heart, rob, and I went and mentioned the plan to Mr
fittest person for a principal department, bed the dead body in a moment, and Blackwood, who, to my astonishment, I escaped. But he never used a single found, had likewise long been cherishing a stiver of the money, and was always plan of the same kind. He said he knew kind to the widow of the poor man, nothing about Pringle, and always had his who was rather a gainer by her hus- eye on me as a principal assistant; but he band's death. I have reason to believe would not begin the undertaking, until he that he ultimately regretted the act; saw he could do it with effect. Finding but there can be no doubt that his him, however, disposed to encourage such enjoyment was great for many years, a work, Pringle, at my suggestion, made hearing the murder canvassed in his out a plan in writing, with a list of his own presence, and the many absurd supporters, and sent it in a letter to me. theories broached on the subject, which Lenclosed it in another, and sent it to Mr he could have overthrown by a single Pringle and he came to an arrangement
Blackwood ; and not long after that period, word.
about cominencing the work, while I was Mr wrote the Chaldee Manu- in the country. Thus I had the honour script precisely on the same principle of being the beginner, and almost sole inon which he murdered Begbie ; and stigator of that celebrated work, BLACKhe used frequently to be tickled at wood's Magazine.” hearing the author termed an assassin. Hogg here says, he declined the “ Very true, very true,” he used to say editorship of Blackwood's Magazine. on such occasions, shrugging his shoul. This happened the same year that he ders with delight, “ he is an assassin, declined the offer of the governor-gesir; he murdered Begbie:”—and this neralship of India, and a seat in the rober truth would pass, at the time, cabinet. These refusals on his part
prevented his being requested to be Adam Smith has perhaps been more come leader in the House of Commons, fortunate on the whole than the Scotsto overate Brougbam and Macintosh. man; and while you yourself, ChrisIn short, Blackwood tells me, that all topher, have, by the merest accident this story is a mere muddled misre- in the world, become the best of all presentation. Ebony is no blockhead ; imaginable editors, only think what. and who but a supreme blockhead must be the feelings of Taylor and would make Hogg an editor! Hessey, as they look on that luckless
This long letter will cost you dou- ass with the lion's head! It is the ble postage, my dear friend. Look at same in the fine arts. What a lucky
dog was Raphael in his Transfigura “ That same year, I published the
tion; and who does not weep for the BROWNIE OF BODSBECK, and other accident that befel Mr Geddes in handTales, in two volumes. I got injustice in ling the Scottish regalia ? In philosothe eyes of the world, with regard to that phy, by some casualty never to be sam tale, which was looked on as an imitation tisfactorily explained, the fame of of the tale of Old Mortality, and a coun. Lord Bacon has eclipsed that of the terpart to that; whereas it was written long latest of his commentators. We ina ere the tale of Old Mortality was heard of, deed live in a strange world; but these and I well remember my chagrin on finds things will be all rectified at last in a ing the ground that I thought clear pre- higher state of existence. There, Blackoccupied, before I would appear publicly more very possibly may get Milton to on it, and that by such a redoubted cham- clean his shoes ; Virgil may stand bepion. It was wholly owing to Mr Black. hind the chair of Dr I'rapp; and Lonwood, that the tale was not published a year sooner, which would effectually have ginus gaze with admiration on William freed me from the stigma of being an imi
Hazlitt. tator, and brought in the author of the But I bridle in my struggling muse in vain, Tales of My Landlord as an imitator of That longs to launch into a nobler stain. me. That was the only ill turn that ever Mr Blackwood did me; and it ought to be In page 75, you will observe a list a warning to authors never to intrust book of Hogg's works. sellers with their manuscripts."
Vols. “ I was unlucky in the publication of The Queen's Wake
1 my first novel, and what impeded me still Pilgrims of the Sun.
1 farther, was the publication of Old Mor. Hunting of Badlewe tality; for, having made the redoubted
Mador of the Moor .
1 Burly the hero of my tale, I was obliged Poetic Mirror . .
1 to go over it again, and alter all the traits Dramatic Tales
2 in the character of the principal personage, Brownie of Bodsbeck
2 substituting John Brown of Caldwell for
Winter Evening Tales . John Balfour of Burly, greatly to the de- Sacred Melodies
1 triment of my story. I tried also to take Border Garland, No. I.
1 out Clavers, but I found this impossible. Jacobite Relics of Scotland 2 A better instance could not be given, of the good luck attached to one person, and
15 the bad luck which attended the efforts of
Now, if the man had absolutely another.”
written fifteen volumes in seven years, The Brownie of Bodsbeck shall, death would be infinitely too good for God willing, never be read by me; him; but his enormities, though nubut I have been forced to see bits of merous and great, do not amount nearit in corners of the periodical works, ly to fifteen volumes. The Hunting and they are, indeed, cruelly ill-writ of Badlewe is reprinted in the Dramaten. There are various other instances tic Tales,-therefore, strike off one of “ good and ill luck," as Mr Hogg volume for that. The Pilgrims of the calls it, in literary history, besides this Sun, and Mador of the Moor, may one of Old Mortality and the Brownie. sleep in one bed very easily, and the Milton, for example, has been some- Sacred Melodies and the Border Garhow or other a much luckier writer land may be thrown in to them. This than Sir Richard Blackmore. Homer most fortunately cuts off three volumes. made two choice hits in the Iliad and The Poetic Mirror must, I fear, be Odyssey, that have raised his name allowed to stand very nearly as a sort above that of Professor Wilkie, the of volumne in its way. But, pray, did unlucky author of the Epigoniad. Mr Hogg write all the Jacobite relics?
No, tor the notes either. They are all ries, may change their characters, so as to cribbed out of books, without even the disgrace the estimate at which I have set grace of inverted commas. Destroy, them, and my social companions may alter therefore, these two volumes. The their habits. Of my own productions, I Winter Evening Tales “ were written
have endeavoured to give an opinion, with in early life, when I was serving as a tiality of an author may be too apparent in
perfect candour; and, although the pare shepherd-lad among the mountains,"
the preceding pages, yet I trust every ge--so charge not against an elderly nerous heart will excise the failing, and man the sins of his youth. This yields make due allowance.". the relief of two volumes. His guilt, therefore, lies within the compass of
Heaven knows that I had no intenseven volumes, or a volume per year when I began this letter ; but I have
tion of subjecting you to double postage, since the 1813.
The swineherd frequently alludes to been led on, drivelling away paragraph a larger work, of which the present is after paragraph, in my good natured only an abstract, or rather a collection old style, till there is not above an inch of “ elegant extracts." He concludes of candle left, vapouring away in the the present autobiography thus :
socket of the save-all. The truth is, “ In this short memoir, which is composed
that, after all, I have a sneaking kindof extracts from a larger detail, I have con
ness for Hogg ; and, to shew how fined myself to such anecdotes only, as re
completely free I am of all malicious late to my progress as a writer, and these thoughts, I request that you will send I intend continuing from year to year as
out to him this Letter by the Selkirk long as I live. There is much that I have carrier, and oblige, written that cannot as yet appear; for the An OLD FRIEND WITH A New Face. literary men of Scotland, my contempora
[Courteous READER, -If thou art one of the numerous family of “ THE Smalls,” the consternation which thou hast suffered in reading the foregoing epistle, can receive no alleviation from any palliative in our power to apply. But if thou art, as we believe the generality of our readers are, a person endowed with a gentlemanly portion of common sense, and can relish banter and good humour as well as curry and claret, thou wilt at once discover that the object of this “ deevilrie,” to use an expression of the Shepherd's, is to add to the interest which his life has excited. Indeed if the paper has not come from Altrive Lake itself, it has certainly been written by some one who takes no small interest in the Shepherd's affairs ; for, in the private letter which accompanies it, the virtues and talents of Hogg are treated with all the respect they merit; and a hope is most feelingly expressed, that by this tickling the public sympathy may be awakened, so as to occasion a most beneficial demand for his works, and put a few cool hundreds in his pocket. At all events, if the Shepherd himself is not the flagellant, we may forth with expect such an answer as will leave him quits with the writer, whoever he may be ; and certainly, as his autobiography sufficiently proves, his fame can be in no hands more friendly than his own. Let us not, however, be misunderstood. To those who will,“ with lifted hands, and eyes upraised," regard this as one of those wicked, and we-know-not-whatto-call-them, things, which afflict the spirits of so many of our co-temporaries, we can offer nothing in extenuation of the playful malice of this “ attack. But seriously we do think, that among all those whom it must constrain to laughter, none will “ rax his jaws" more freely than the Shepherd himself.