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taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, in the Parish School. These old-fashioned parochial schools furnished tools, of which so many earnest scholars have made very efficient use in educating themselves and making their way in the world.

Mr William Harvey tells us that, after leaving school, David was apprenticed to the printing trade in the office of the Brechin Advertiser. In those days, the apprentice engaged in the office of a weekly country newspaper found, that he had to learn to work the press as well as to set the types, and, in addition, that the work was constant through a long stretch of hours. As a "P.D." all this fell to the lot of Mr Edwards, but perhaps it was good training.

After serving his seven years-the time required by the trade he removed to Edinburgh for the further prosecution of his calling. Here he was employed for some time in the printing office of Messrs Oliver & Boyd, after which he returned to his native city, where he was re-engaged in connection with the Brechin Advertiser.

Mr Edwards early betook himself to literature, and, while yet an apprentice, was a frequent contributor, both in prose and verse, to the columns of the Advertiser, and the district press, as well as to several weekly and monthly magazines. He also attached himself to a literary society, in the town, which met at stated intervals for mutual improvement; a society from which many have gone forth who now occupy distinguished positions in different parts of the world. To this association, he read a series of essays on the folklore of Forfarshire, and on kindred topics-essays which won for him more than a local reputation, and gained for him many requests to deliver them as popular lectures-only a few of which, however, his natural diffidence allowed him to accept.

"When men, like Mr Edwards," says Mr Arthur

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Guthrie, "determine on rising, they do not work only ten hours a-day, nor do they allow circumstances to master them; they work long hours, utilising the chinks of time, and they bend circumstances to their necessities." Twenty-five years ago he struck out for independence, by setting up for himself as a printer and bookseller in the town of Brechin, where he had worked as apprentice and journeyman. It was a humble beginning, but better was to follow. In addition to his occupation, he acted as local correspondent for various newspapers; and aimed at higher things by setting about the production of his first volume. It was entitled "The Poetry of Scottish Rural Life, and was a dissertation on the poetical writings of a Brechin bard-Alexander Laing, the author of "Wayside Flowers." Mr Edwards resolved upon being his own printer and publisher, but this could only be done in the face of many obstacles. He found that he could only print four pages at a time, as his fount of type, suitable for the purpose, was a small one. went to work, however, and this is how it was accomplished:"It had to be set up in the 'sma' hours' when others were carefully tucked 'neath the blankets, and the inking of the type with the hand-roller was even occasionally done by his wife, after the bairns were in bed." The little volume met with considerable success, a second edition being demanded, which is now out of print. After this work, Mr Edwards turned his attention to the history of his native city, and, in due time, "The Poetry of Scottish Rural Life was succeeded by "The Pocket History of Brechin, and Tourist's Guide," which, in turn, was followed by "A Historical Guide to the Edzell and Glenesk Districts."

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In 1879, Mr Edwards became proprietor of the Brechin Advertiser, and it need hardly be said that his own literary tastes were reflected in the paper,

He improved it, and thus made it more worthy of the locality, and of the patronage of the reading public. Then again, the facilities he now possessed suggested development; and so, shortly after taking over the proprietorship of the newspaper, he began the work with which his name will always be associated. At first it was tentative. He set himself to collect specimen verses by a hundred recent or living Scottish poets deemed worthy of remembrance. This he did, launching the volume into the sea of literature with the title, "One Hundred Modern Scottish Poets." Trembling, with fear for its success, he watched its progress, and was rewarded when he saw it receive favourable criticism and public appreciation. The edition was immediately exhausted; letters of congratulation showered in upon the editor, together with encouraging suggestions still further to prosecute the work. The public know what followed. Every few months since that time we have been awakened with the announcement of another series of "Modern Scottish Poets" being ready, until, as the result of his eleven years' gleaning in the field of poesy, he has given to the public no fewer than fifteen volumes. "When it is considered," says the editor of the People's Friend, "that each of these volumes contains about 450 pages of closely-printed matter, and deals with close on 100 poets each, giving an average of three poems to each poet, with a biographical sketch and a critical estimate, it will be seen that the labour involved in the preparation of the volumes must have been immense."

Neither for quality nor extent, does any National anthology approach that of Scotland. Mr Edwards' work notices and gives specimens of between fourteen and fifteen hundred poets, many of world-wide fame, and all of them exhibiting, more or less, genuine love of nature, kindly feeling, domestic affection, faithful

love, a laudable spirit of independence, patriotism, keen observation of character, or quaint humour.

Besides the production of his poetic miscellany, Mr Edwards has found time for other works, and among these is a learned and interesting introduction written for Miss Jeanie M. Laing's "Notes on Superstition and Folk Lore."

It was Mr Edwards' intention to complete this work by furnishing jottings of interesting reminiscences, incidents, interviews, and correspondence, encountered in his laborious quest of material, during the progress of the work, extending over the last dozen years; to give obituary notices of poets included in his volumes, but who have died during that period; and, besides an exhaustive index, to write an essay on Scottish poetry. But the long-continued strain of literary labour, overtaxing his strength, unfortunately, has told so severely on his health, that he has had, at least for the present, to modify, and partly abandon, his design, and been obliged to get the aid of other pens for the introductory essay on Scottish Song, and for the exhaustive indices. The work is, as has often been said, Mr Edwards' Magnum Opus. In it, he has done for Scotland, what Motherwell did for Renfrewshire, what Ford has done for Perthshire, and what Crockett has done for Berwickshire.

Though Mr Edwards-after having, with persevering and steady purpose, ably and nobly done more than his darg-now lays down his pen, the stream of Scottish song, like Tennyson's brook, "goes on for ever," and others will take up and continue the good work.

As Cotton Mather quaintly remarks, in the dedication to his Decennium Luctuosum, (an historical work relating to the Spanish invasion in 1588), Mr Edwards. may also say of his truly national achievement :"He has done as well and as much as he could, that


whatever was worthy of a mention might have it ; and if this collection of matters be not complete, yet he supposes it may be more complete than any one else hath made; and now he hath done, he hath not pulled up the ladder after him; others may go on as they please with a completer composure."

No other nation, ancient or modern, could produce a work such as this. The wealth of material, to choose from, is verily an embarres de richesses. It is no mere list of names, with an ipse dixit laudation. We have succinct biographical and critical details regarding each writer, backed with specimens which enable readers to judge for themselves.

"In the general eye of Europe," says Professor John Stuart Blackie, "Scotland holds a proud place, no less by her wealth of popular. song than by her thoughtful seriousness, her practical good sense, and her power of persistent work. This is a national characteristic, the growth of centuries, of which we have great reason to be thankful and to be proud; and when Scotsmen forget to cherish this thankfulness and this pride, History will not be slow to forget them."

Of the unique wealth of Scottish song, General James Grant Wilson, in the preface to his valuable work entitled "The Poets and Poetry of Scotland," ranging from Thomas the Rhymer (A.D. 1219) to the Marquis of Lorn (1876), says "Independently of names like those of Burns and Scott, that stand as landmarks in the world's literature, it may be truthfully asserted that no nation beneath the sun is more abundant than Scotland in local bards that sing of her streams and valleys and heathery hills, till almost every mountain and glen, every lake and brook of North Britain, has been celebrated in sweet and undying song. If it be true, as it has been said, that Scotland has given birth to two hundred thousand poets, the Editor asks for a generous and kindly consideration in his delicate and

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