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richest and best kind. All that many of them have done, of the very highest beauty, might be printed and framed like a picture, but the frame should be of pure gold.

If you once win your way to a Scotsman's heart nothing is too good for you, and the generosity of Scottish hospitality is probably unequalled anywhere. The ties of relationship are sacredly observed, although sometimes this clannishness finds a quaint expression. A story is told of a beggar-woman who had wandered into a Scottish hamlet asking alms, but asking in vain. At last, in despair, she exclaimed, "Is there no a Christian in this village?" Na, na," was the reply, "we're a' Johnstones and Jardines here."

On almost every conceivable and inconceivable subject the Scottish writers have allowed full play to their imagination, and the result has been made apparent in the beautifully-woven words of song, full of that something which grasps and holds by the subtlety of its tender spell that part of man's being where lie the mainsprings of life. Everyone knows that every glen, mountain, and moor in Scotland is celebrated in touching, heart-felt, and heroic song. These artless effusions have, of old, been handed down from generation to generation, and in the long winter evenings their recital were an ever ready source of instruction and amusement. No doubt, since printing became so general, the custom has now in a great measure died out. The mother of James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, in a conversation with Sir Walter Scott in regard to this, thus speaks :-"There was never ane o' my sangs printit till ye printit them yoursel', an' ye hae spoilt them awthegither. They were made for singing and no for reading, but ye hae broken the charm now, and they'll never be sung mair. And the worst thing o' a', they're neither right spelled nor right setten down."

With respect to Scotland and the sister country, it is a strange fact that Scotland has produced more genuine lyrical poets than any other nation, ancient or modern, and that England has produced fewer. No one can deny that England has her ballads, and otherwise she has produced some of the highest poetry, but she has only to a very limited extent succeeded in cultivating that terse, condensed form of poem which merely reflects the feelings, sentiments, interests, or opinions of the individual. In the strict lyric, intellectually, the field of view is narrow, but there is always depth under the surface.

The Scottish dialect, so simple, touching, and pawky, lends itself so naturally to song that the feelings of the illiterate as well as of the educated seem to flow more copiously into lyrical expression than is the case in other countries. We give many bright examples of the fact that the "Doric phrase is still known- is still spoken and written in all its expressive purity and touching tenderness. As its "hamely worth and couthie speech" are endeared by many kindly associations of the past, and by many beauties and poetical graces of its own, and as our songs are said to be the richest gems in Scotia's literary diadem, let every true son of Scotland cherish and defend the brave words of the late Janet Hamilton

Na, na, I winna pairt wi' that,

I downa gi'e it up;

O' Scotlan's hamely mither tongue.
I canna quat the grup.

It's 'bedded in my very heart,

Ye needna rive an' rug;

It's in my e'en an' on my tongue,
An' singin' in my lug.

For, oh, the meltin' Doric lay,

In cot or clachan sung,

The words that drap like hinny dew

Frae mither Scotia's tongue,
Ha e power to thrill the youthfu' heart
An' fire the patriot's min';
To saften grief in ilka form,
It comes to human kin'.

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We need not here enter on the vexed question of the official and too general obliteration of the proper title Britain," and the substitution of "England." This is a subject of ever-recurring interest, and it has been threshed and discussed to such an extent that everyone knows it by heart. We can only see that one advantage accrues from the impropriety-" England" is held responsible throughout the world for everything done that has wounded or displeased other nations; and so, as a patriotic speaker lately said, "it is a most convenient thing always to have a wicked partner in the firm."

In this busy world it is sometimes good to look backward, and beneficial to have the shield of our nationality occasionally burnished. It stirs our nobler feeling, and inspires us for fresh effort. It is this that has made Scotsmen what they are. As Lord Rosebery recently said in one of his speeches on Burns-We rejoice to find that Scotland, which has always been the foe of the oppressor, the friend and shelter of the oppressed, is unchanged and unchangeable. "The Psalms of David and the songs

of Burns-but the Psalmist first," were the last words of Professor Blackie, and they contain the secret of many a Scottish character. Strangers wonder at our worship, but they do not understand the enthusiasm exerted by a sympathy that survives time and the grave, or the pride that cherishes a national and immortal heirloom.

In conclusion, we would express the hope that it will be found that our original design has been in some

degree accomplished. defects and shortcomings. These may, to a considerable extent, have been caused by the fact that we have only had snatches of time at our disposal to devote to the very heavy correspondence frequently required before one of the many hundreds of introductions to individual selections could be drawn up. Not to speak of the selection of representative pieces, the task of preparing authentic biographies out of so vast and so heterogeneous materials has been no light one. Keen perceptive effort as well as conscientiousness was constantly needed; but we would desire to have our readers recognise conscientious effort on our part rather than mere humble plodding industry.

We are sensible of many

In most instances special research has been required, and a vast amount of labour and an extensive correspondence have thus been necessary. The biographical notes, we have repeatedly had reason to believe, have enhanced the interest and usefulness of the work. Although we have made the selections according to the best of our judgment, without partiality regarding subject or writer, and with true integrity of motive, we found it impossible to give a place to every composition approved of. After much anxious thought, we were often reluctantly compelled to lay aside many a poem and song of distinct merit, so as to secure variety of theme in each representation. Nearly all the pieces are given by special permission, and the great majority of them have never before been published. Our warmest thanks are due to the writers for the courtesy with which they placed their productions at our disposal, and also to publishers and editors of works, as well as to many literary friends, whose frank and ever ready assistance in the matter of facts and material has during these years been invaluable and gratefully prized. Alas! not a few of those

writers who have thus ably given their assistance and advice are now separated from us by "the dividing river," and their letters, with words of cheer and encouragement and wisdom, are treasured by us— Letters, whose authors, a shining band

Have passed to the unseen Spiritland.

They have left the little Now for the great Hereafter. Some of them may have lived and written in advance of their time, and, like others, have yet to gain the regard they deserved

Others, I doubt not, if not we,

The issue of our toils shall see ;
Young children gather as their own
The harvest that the Dead have sown-
The Dead, forgotten and unknown.

We also desire to thank the Press for very generous approval, and we can never repay our indebtedness to the Public at home and abroad-for their longsuffering patience. Without their countenance and faithful support we should have failed in our efforts to supply, in a cheap and commodious form, an exhaustive anthology of our modern national poetry. We began where the Rev. Charles Rodgers, LL.D., in his "Minstrel," and General Grant Wilson, in his "Poets and Poetry," left off; and to show that the same field of literature is interesting present-day workers, we might remark that, since the greater number of our volumes have been issued, at least five different County anthologies have been published.

Who that loves our native bards or their writings has not seen or heard of the "Poets' Corner" in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow? In no other country could such a collection of native poets be made. The late Bailie Wilson, who took such a warm and intelligent interest in our efforts, and to whom the credit of the inspiration of the "corner was mainly due

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