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December 19, 1757.

Dear Mason-Though I very well know the bland emollient saponaceous qualities both of sack and silver, yet if any great man would say to me, "I make you ratcatcher to his Majesty, with a salary of £300 a year and two butts of the best Malaga; and though it has been usual to catch a mouse or two, for form's sake, in public once a year, yet to you, sir, we will

not stand upon these things," I can- [10

not say I should jump at it; nay, if they would drop the very name of the office, and call me Sinecure to the King's Majesty, I should still feel a little awkward, and think everybody I saw smelt a rat about me; but I do not pretend to blame any one else that has not the same sensations; for my part I would rather be serjeant trumpeter or pinmaker to the palace. Nevertheless I interest my- [20

self a little in the history of it, and rather wish somebody may accept it that will retrieve the credit of the thing, if it be retrievable, or ever had any credit. Rowe was, I think, the last man of character that had it. As to Settle, whom you mention, he belonged to my lord mayor, not to the king. Eusden was a person of great hopes in his youth, though he at last turned out a drunken parson. [30 Dryden was as disgraceful to the office, from his character, as the poorest scribbler could have been from his verses.


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No sound of the harp, from the rock! Come, thou huntress of Lutha, Malvina, call back his soul to the bard. I look

forward to Lochlin of lakes, to the dark, billowy bay of U-thorno, where Fingal [10 descends from ocean, from the roar of winds. Few are the heroes of Morven, in a land unknown!

Starno sent a dweller of Loda, to bid Fingal to the feast; but the king remembered the past, and all his rage arose. shall Fingal behold. Deaths wander, like "Nor Gormal's mossy towers, nor Starno, shadows, over his fiery soul! Do I forget that beam of light, the white-handed [20 daughter of kings? Go, son of Loda; his words are wind to Fingal: wind, that to and fro drives the thistle, in autumn's dusky vale. Duth-maruno, arm of death! Cromma-glas, of iron shields! Struthmor, dweller of battle's wing! Cormar, whose ships bound on seas, careless as the course

of a meteor, on dark-rolling clouds! Arise around me, children of heroes, in a land unknown! Let each look on his [30 shield, like Trenmor, the ruler of wars.'

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Whence is the stream of years? Whither do they roll along? Where have they hid, in mist, their many-colored sides?

I look into the times of old, but they seem dim to Ossian's eyes, like reflected [60 moonbeams on a distant lake. Here rise the red beams of war! There, silent, dwells a feeble race! They mark no years with their deeds, as slow they pass along. Dweller between the shields! thou that awakest the failing soul! descend from thy wall, harp of Cona, with thy voices three! Come with that which kindles the past: rear the forms of old, on their own dark-brown years!



It is night; I am alone, forlorn on the hill of storms. The wind is heard in the mountain. The torrent pours down the rock. No hut receives me from the rain; forlorn on the hill of winds!

Rise, moon! from behind thy clouds. Stars of the night arise! Lead me, some light, to the place where my love rests from the chase alone! his bow near him, unstrung; his dogs panting around [10 him. But here I must sit alone, by the rock of the mossy stream. The stream and the wind roar aloud. I hear not the voice of my love! Why delays my Salgar, why the chief of the hill his promise? Here is the rock, and here the tree! here is the roaring stream! Thou didst promise with night to be here. Ah! whither is my Salgar gone? With thee I would fly, from my father; with thee from my [20 brother of pride. Our races have long been foes; we are not foes, O Salgar!

Cease a little while, O wind! stream, be thou silent a while! let my voice be heard around. Let my wanderer hear me! Salgar! it is Colma who calls. Here is the tree, and the rock. Salgar, my love! I am here. Why delayest thou thy coming? Lo! the calm moon comes forth. The flood is bright in the vale. The [30 rocks are grey on the steep. I see him not on the brow. His dogs come not before him, with tidings of his near approach. Here I must sit alone.



O thou that rollest above, round as the shield of my fathers! Whence are thy beams, O sun! thy everlasting light? Thou comest forth, in thy awful beauty; the stars hide themselves in the sky; the moon, cold and pale, sinks in the western wave. But thou thyself movest alone: who can be a companion of thy course? The oaks of the mountains fall: the mountains themselves decay with years; [10 the ocean shrinks and grows again: the moon herself is lost in heaven; but thou art for ever the same; rejoicing in the brightness of thy course. When the world is dark with tempests; when thunder rolls, and lightning flies; thou lookest in thy beauty from the clouds, and laughest at the storm. But to Ossian, thou lookest in vain; for he beholds thy beams no more; whether thy yellow hair [20 flows on the eastern clouds, or thou tremblest at the gates of the west. But thou art, perhaps, like me, for a season; thy years will have an end. Thou shalt sleep in thy clouds, careless of the voice of the morning. Exult then, O sun! in the strength of thy youth: Age is dark and unlovely; it is like the glimmering light of the moon, when it shines through broken clouds, and the mist is on the [30 hills; the blast of the north is on the plain; the traveller shrinks in the midst of his journey.

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Let mirth abound; let social cheer
Invest the dawning of the year;
Let blithesome innocence appear
To crown our joy:


Mankind but scanty pleasure glean
Frae snawy hill or barren plain,
Whan Winter, 'midst his nipping train, 15
Wi' frozen spear,

Sends drift owr a' his bleak domain,
And guides1 the weir.2

Auld Reikie! thou'rt the canty hole,

A bield" for mony a caldrife soul,

Wha snugly at thine ingle" loll,

Baith warm and couth;8


Nor envy, wi' sarcastic sneer,
Our bliss destroy.

And thou, great god of aqua vita!


Wha sways the empire of this city-
When fou24 we're sometimes capernoity-
Be thou prepared

While round they gar" the bicker10 roll To hedge us frae that black banditti,

To weet their mouth.



The City Guard.

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When merry Yule-day comes, I trow,
You'll scantlins find a hungry mou;'
Sma' are our cares, our stamacks fou
O' gusty gear,13

And kickshaws,14 strangers to our view,
Sin' fairn-year. 15


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Thenne wythe a jugge of nappy ale

Nor fortes wi' pianos mix-
Gie's Tullochgorum.

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Hys knyghtes dydd onne hymm waite; "Goe tell the traytour, thatt to-daie Hee leaves thys mortall state."

Sir Canterlone thenne bendedd lowe,
With harte brymm-fulle of woe;
Hee journeyed to the castle-gate,
And to Syr Charles dydd goe.



Butt whenne hee came, hys children twaine,

And eke hys lovynge wyfe,

Wythe brinie tears dydd wett the floore,
For goode Syr Charleses lyfe.

23 jolly.

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"Wee all must die," quod brave Syr "Was Godde to serche our hertes and Charles;

"Of thatte I'm not affearde;

Whatte bootes to lyve a little space?
Thanke Jesu, I'm prepared;



The best were synners grete;

Christ's vycarr only knowes ne synne, 75
Ynne alle thys mortall state.

"Butt telle thye kynge, for myne hee's not, "Lett mercie rule thyne infante reigne, I'de sooner die to-daie

Thanne lyve hys slave, as manie are,
Though I shoulde lyve for aie."

Thenne Canterlone hee dydd goe out,
To telle the maior straite
To gett all thynges ynne reddyness
For goode Syr Charles's fate.


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'Twylle faste thye crowne fulle sure; From race to race thye familie

Alle sov'reigns shall endure:


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"Wee all must die," quod brave Syr "My honest friende, my faulte has beene Charles;


"Whatte bootes ytte howe or whenne; Dethe ys the sure, the certaine fate Of all wee mortall menne.

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To serve Godde and mye prynce; And thatt I no tyme-server am, My dethe wylle soone convynce.

"Ynne Londonne citye was I borne,
Of parents of grete note;
My fadre dydd a nobile armes
Emblazon onne hys cote:

"I make ne doubte butt hee ys gone
Where soone I hope to goe;
Where wee for ever shall bee blest,
From oute the reech of woe.

"Hee taughte mee justice and the laws Wyth pitie to unite;




And eke hee taughte mee howe to knowe

The wrong cause fromm the ryghte: 160

"Hee taughte mee wyth a prudent hande To feede the hungrie poore, Ne lett mye sarvants dryve awaie

The hungrie fromme my doore:

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