Rough Scan

In issuing this new and enlarged edition of WHISTLE-BINKIE, the Publishers are complying with many urgent requests, frequently made to them by the passing generation, to put within their reach a publication which was a great household favourite thirty or forty years ago, and around which so many genial, sunny, and innocent associations cluster; as well as to let the rising or risen generation have easy access to this broad, fresh, living stream of healthy Scottish song.  Scotland is pre-eminently the land of song-writers and lyrical poets, who, sprung from her historic soil, have celebrated in tuneful verse the living annals and social characteristics, the triumphs and misfortunes, the joys and sorrows of the ancient land which gave them birth.  There is hardly an event in her long and chequered history which is not chronicled by some of her bard-historians, there are few scenes in "the land of the mountain and the flood" which are not mirrored by her poets; and it may be affirmed that there is hardly a flower which adorns her verdant sod, or a tree in her ancient forests, whose praises have not been sung, nor one of the social habits or customs, and more important events in the life of her people, joyous or sorrowful, lightsome or solemn, which have not been rendered classic by the poet sons and daughters of Scotland.
When the first pnrtion of WHISTLE-BINKIE was issued from the press, our Scottish firesides were still greatly under the influence of the old chap-books, which, while they embodied much genuine poetic feeling, expressed in terse and graphic language, were yet permeated and marred by much that was coarse and indecent,-these last two characteristics being, indeed, the chief features of many of them.
It was the purpose and glory of WHISTLE-BINKIE to exhibit, to cherish, and to preserve all the tenderness, the refinement, and the genius of the national muse, without the coarseness aud licentiousness by which it had been debased.
The intrinsic merits of its contents rapidly gained for the work a wide and permanent popularity; and it soon became a nucleus towards which were attracted the effusions, more or less powerful, of the race of poets and song-writers, which it was the means of calling into existence, many of whose lyrics have become classic in the literature of the country.
In this connection we may appropriately use the language of an accomplished critic, _apropos_ of WHISTLE-BINKIE and its sister book, THE LAIRD OF LOGAN, "how much these works must have tended to purify the popular taste!  They were issued at a time when a large amount of dross was still circulating at the firesides of Scotland, along with the pure gold of our national song and story.  The peetilent chap-books, whose fun was usually filth, had not yet been chased out of the market by a higher style of popular literature.  But these works taught the people that there could be the most spirit-stirring song without impurity, and the free exercise of the richest wit and humour without the utterance of a word calculated to bring the blush of shame to the cheek of outraged modesty."
The first publication of WHISTLE-BINKIE was a tiny book in an elegant paper cover, price one shilling, which was edited by John Donald Carrick, and adorned by a graphic frontispiece illustrating one of his best effusions, "The Scottish Tea-Party."  This was followed at intervals by other four series, edited partly by Carrick and Alexander Rodger, but chiefly by tbe publisher, David Robertson.  In addition to these five series, a separate and special one entirely devoted to lyrics for children was issued, under the title "Nursery Songs," and this proved to be in some respects the most original and most powerful portion of the work.
Later on, the whole were combined into one dumpy little volume, well known to book collectors.  In process of time one set of boards proving too confined for the increasing bulk of WHISTLE-BINKIE, the work was issued, with large additions, in two handsome little volumes.  This, the complete work, as it left the hands of its editor and publisher, David Robertson, has long been out of print, and fetches a high price when in the market.
In later years another edition in larger type, and with additional contents, was issued, which was sold out within six months of its publication.
There is thus reason for tbe publication of another edition, not merely to meet the demand from those conversant with the work, but also to introduce it to a new generation.
It is now issued in the form of the original edition, but remodelled, and with some important improvements, and advantage has been taken of adding to its contents some choice lyrics by poets who succeeded the original WHISTLE-BINKIANS.  These enrich the work itself, and the public will doubtless be pleased to have them in the company of their old favourites.
Amongst these are poems by William Carnie, whose songs are "household words" in the north of Scotland, and David Wingate, a poet of power and refinement, whose family connection with Robert Burns it is interesting and pleasant here to recall.
Some unpublished pieces by the author of "Willie Winkie’ appear in company with characteristic lyrics by William Walker, Mrs M. T Bell, W. V. Jackson, Joseph Wright, William Freeland, Dr Norman Macleod, and others.
Mr D. H. Edwards of Brechin has issued a series of volumes, entitled "Modem Scottish Poets," in which he has gathered together a very large collection of the songs and lyrical effusions of a numerous band of the poets of Scotland of recent years, accompanied by able biographical and critical notes.
Enshrined in this valuable collection are many gems of Scottish poetical genius, which otherwise might have been "born to blush unseen," and to the appreciative judgment of the editor the publishers are indebted for kindly help in preparing the present edition of WHISTLE-BINKIE.
They also desire to express their hearty thanks to the genial author of "Bits from Blinkbonny," for much friendly counsel and assistance, more especially in connection with "Nursery Songs."  This important part of the work has been enriched by the addition of many characteristic pieces by James Nicholson and his daughter, Ellen C. Nicholson, William Allan, Alexander Anderson (Surfaceman), James Smith, Hugh Macdonald, Dr Sidey, Jessie Leighton, and Mary Inglis, not only evidencing that the poets of Scotland still produce simple lyrics worthy to be placed alongside of those of the grand old "Nursery Rhymers," but making this part of the work complete, unique, and the best collection of songs for children in the language.

=======D R.
_February_ 1890.


THE Songs contained in WHISTLE-BINKIE were published in distinct Series throughout a period of fifteen years, the first having been issued in 1832.
The Publisher has confidence in asserting that so large a body of original Songs has never before been offered to the public in one volume.
Although, as might be expected, the Songs are of different degrees of merit-a few exhibiting more marked felicities than others-it will be found that most of them express some feeling or sentiment which the heart delights to cherish.
Looking to the number of contributors, it will readily be conceded, it is presumed, that the work, taken altogether, presents a remarkable instance of the universality of that peculiar talent for Song-writing for which Scotland has always been distinguished, and that it will be considered a favourable specimen of the national genius in that pleasing department of literature.


IT has been often objected to this work, that it was too squat and cubed-like in appearance-the publisher resolved, in consequence, to make two volumes of it.  This has been done, and is largely supplemented by Biography and New Pieces.  Each volume is complete in itself; the only connection is the running title.
The Memoirs of deceased contributors are supplied by parties who personally knew the individuals whose history they give, the Memoirs may therefore be implicitly trusted.  The New Pieces introduced are those left over of the last issue, series fifth, of this work, and which had the editorial imprimatur of the lamented editor from the last edition of Motherwell’s Poems, which underwent the critical inspection of the poet’s friend, William Kennedy.
A large number also are from the prolific pen of that Son of Song, James Ballantine, one of the original staff of Whistlebinkians, and who is now the only one remaining among us who wrote expressly for this work at its starting; he is by far the largest contributor of any of his gifted brethren.  The Lion's share of the labour and honour is his, in giving material, and also crittcal advice in the selections and prunings to which the compositions were subjected.
In taking farewell, the publisher cannot refrain from wishing that this highly-gifted child of song may long be spared to the public.  He and his publisher, greatly the senior in years, are only left to cherish the memory of those whose "Lyres lie silent now and sad."
He who gave publicity to this work, has followed the remains of many of these minetrels to "The dusty house or Death," and felt the wheel working at life’s cistern, troubled when that hollow booming key-note of death was struck, as the soil foil on the casing which contained the unconscious remains of those whom be loved, reflecting that he soon, too, must return to mix with kindred dust.

GLASGOW, _June_ 1853.


As the Editor of the First Series of "Whistle-Binkie," and a literary man of considerable reputation, we think some account of this amiable and lamented individual, will be acceptable to our readers.
John Donald Carrick was a native of Glasgow, and was born in April, 1787.  His mother is reported to have been a woman of superior powers of mind, and in particular, to have possessed a fund of humour, with great acuteness of observation, qualities for which her son John was very remarkable.  Carrick’s education was necessarily limited, from the narrow circumstances of his parents; but in after life, when he had raised himself into a respectable station in society, the activity and vigour of his mind enabled him to supply in a great degree the deficiencies of his early education.  When very young, he was placed in the office of Mr. Nicholson, an architect of considerable eminence in Glasgow; and he continued to feel a partiality for that branch of art during his lifetime.
Young Carrick possessed great resolution of character, at times amounting to obstinacy.  This quality of mind accompanied him through life, and if it, now and then, communicated a rather too unbending turn to his disposition, was undoubtedly the origin of that vigour and independence of mind which never deserted him.  Whether influenced by this feeling, or impatient of the uncertain and cheerless character of his youthful prospects, the rash lad determined on sallying forth alone into the world, to push his fortune, as the phrase is.  Accordingly, sometime in the autumn of 1807, without informing any one of his intentions, he set off for London, full of adventurous hope and courage.  This, be it remembered, was a journey of four hundred miles, to be performed on foot, for the few shillings which constituted his worldly wealth, precluded any more expensive conveyance; and whatever may be our opinion of the prudence of such a step, we cannot but feel respect for the stout-heartedness of the mere youth who could undertake it.  The first night our youthful adventurer arrived at Irvine, in the county of Agr, and prudently economizing his limited means, instead of putting himself to expense for a lodging, he took up his abode in the cozie recess of a "whinny knowe," where he was awoke in the morning by the roar of the ocean-tide, which was rapidly advancing on his heathery couch.  Strong in the sanguine hopefulness of youth, he pursued his solitary way, living on the poorest fare, and sleeping sometimes in humble road-side hostels; but more often encamping under the kindly canopy of heaven, amid the sheaves with which an early harvest had covered the ground, or nestling snugly in some green and leafy nook, on he went, we may be sure, fatigue-worn, and perhaps heart-worn, until he reached the town of Liverpool.
In after life he often reverted to his feelings on entering that town, and meeting with a recruiting party, gay with ribbons, and enlivened by the sound of fife and drum.  The animating sight suggested to him the idea of enlisting, and as strong was the temptation, that, unable to decide for himself, he threw up his stick in the air, to be guided In his decision by the direction in which it should fall.  As his cudgel fell in the direction of London, he resolved to follow its prudent dictates, and girding up his loins, manfully continued his journey to the metropolis, where he soon after arrived, with only half-a-crown in his pocket Carrick delighted in after years to refer to this ambitioue sally of his wayward youth-his bivouac at night in the snuggest retreat he could find, with the solemn quiet of the green woods above and around him, and the gentle breeze of an autumn evening to lull him to rest,-or sometimes, the doubtful shelter that he found in humble alehouses and bush-taverns.
Arrived in London, the friendless youth offered his services as a shopman.  His Scottish accent, and rough appearance after such a journey, with awkward, unformed manners, would no doubt operate against him with the more polished citizens of the capital.  At length a shopkeeper, himself a Scotsman, captivated by the music of his mother-tongue, engaged him in his service.  He appears to have been employed in this way by various individuals until the spring of 1809, when he obtained a respectable situation in an extensive establishment, in the Staffordshire Pottery business.  His stay altogether in the metropolis appears to have been about four years.  He returned to Glaegow early in the year 1811, and opened a large establishment in the same line of business, which he understood thoroughly, from having been employed for a considerable time in the great house of Spodes & Co., of London.  In this occupation Mr. Carrick continued for fourteen years, with various success.  His prospects at one period were of the most flattering kind, but becoming unfortunately involved with a house in the foreign trade, of which a near relative was a partner, these promising hopes were blasted.
The leisure wbicb his businese afforded him had, for some years, been diligently and profitably employed by Mr. Carrick in mental culture, to supply the deficiencies of his early education.  The bias of his taste led him to cultivate an acquaintance with our older Scottish literature, and in 1825 the fruit of these studies appeared in the "Life of Sir William Wallace," which was published as one of the series of Constable’s Miscellany.  It has continued a favourite with the public ever since, and has lately been reprinted in a new edition.  He began about the same time to throw off some of those humorous songs and pieces which, when sung or recited by himself, used to form the delight of his private friends.  In 1825, he commenced business as a travelling agent, and his affairs leading him frequently into the Highlands, he acquired that knowledge of the Gaelic character, in its minuter shades and peculiarities, which overflowed so richly in the conversation of his later years, and gives such a zest to many of his comic and graphic sketches.  This business not being so remunerative as he had expected, he finally abandoned mercantile pursuits, and devoted himself to literary composition.  He engaged about this time as sub-editor of the _Scots Times_, at that period a journal of high standing in Glasgow.  In 1832, a literary journal called "_The Day_" was published in Glasgow, to which he contributed many admirable pieces.  One of his co-labourers in this pleasing and popular miscellany was the highly-gifted William Motherwell, a poet of no common elevation, and a person of a genial and kindly temperament.  The eccentric and well-known Mr. Andrew Henderson was another intimate friend and associate of Carrick’s; and these three richly-endowed individuals, though of characters and habits of mind very opposite to each other, lived in the warm enjoyment of mutual friendship; and, it is painful to add, followed each other to a premature and lamented grave within the brief space of two years.
In 1832, the First Series of this work was published, which was edited by Mr. Carrick, who also contributed several excellent songs and humorous poetical pieces, as well as an admirably written introduction, in which the etymology of the term "Whistle-Binkie" is pleasantly and humorously set forth.  Early In 1833, he became the editor of the _Perth Advertiser_ a newspaper of liberal principles.  For this situation he was admirably fitted, not only from his acquired experience in the _Scots Times_, office, but still more from his extensive general information, the soundness of his judgment, and the calm, clear sense which his writings as a politician always exhibited.  He did not, however, long retain this office, for, finding himself subjected to the indignity of being superintended by a committee of management, who interfered in the most summary and vexatious manner with his independence as an editor, he indignantly threw up his engagement, and bade adieu for ever to the Fair City.  During his brief sojourn in Perth, Carrick wrote several humorous pieces of various kinds, his kindly and joyous temperament finding always some congenial escapement, notwithstanding the disagreeable circumstances in which he was placed.  Of these pieces, one of the best is the well-known letter from "Bob," to his friend in Glasgow, which appears in the last edition of the "Laird of Logan," at page 224.  He does not seem to have thought much of the citizens of St. Johnstoun, remarking, with caustic severity, that "the last thing a true man of Perth would show you was the inside of his house."
At this critical period of his fortunes, some individuals in Kilmarnock, of liberal opinions, had projected a newspaper, and were looking out for an editor: immediate application was made by Mr. Carrick’s friends, the result of which was successful.  He was powerfully supported in this object by his generous friend Motherwell, who, though differing widely in politics, gave a strong, but honest recommendation of his general talents, as well as fitness for the situation, stating at the same time, "He (Motherwell) had never concealed his most rooted hostility to what was called Liberal or Reform principles."
Carrick left Perth in February, 1834, and immediately proceeded to Kilmarnock, to enter on his duties as editor of the _Kilmarnock Journal_.  It was fondly hoped by the friends of this warm-hearted but ill-starred man of genius, that here, at last, he might set up the staff of his rest; but a short period served to dispel these pleasing hopes, and to cast a shadow over his prospects, which was never to pass away till it darkened down into the gloom of the grave.  Here, too, Carrick was subjected to the annoyance and torture of a committee of management, many of whom were persons the most incompetent for such a delicate dnty as the superintendence of a public journal.  The members of this junta were, moreover, divided into parties, in a state of bitter hostility with each other, so that, when, urged by some of them, he had written a few lively, satirical articles, of local application, which severely galled sundry individuals in the town, the parties who had suggested them, alarmed for the consequences, withdrew their countenance equally from the editor and his journal.
Previous to his leaving Perth, there is reason to believe that the disease which brought on his death, had evinced its existence by slow and insidious approaches, at first in the form of partial paralysis of the nerves and muscles of the mouth, issuing finally in tic dolonreux, one of the most excruciating diseases to which the human frame is liable.  The annoyance to which he was incessantly subjected, induced a severe attack of this complaint, and obliged him to apply for a temporary leave of absence, engaging to find a substitute to do duty for him during its continuance.  This reasonable request was refused by the _humane and enlightened_ committee of management, and the wretched state of his health, leaving him no alternative, he resigned his situation, and returned to Glasgow in the month of January, 1835.  During his stay in "Auld Killie," notwithstanding the painful visitations of disease, and the annoyances to which he was subjected in the exercise of his editorial duties, he never exhibited more affluence of mind, or a more perfect command over his rich and various powers.  Besides various literary compositions, he exercised the duty of editor to the first edition of the "Laird of Logan," which appeared in June, 1835.  After this, Carrick went to Rothesay for the benefit of his health, but found it declining so rapidly, that he had given up all hopes of continued activity, and actually had fixed upon a spot in which to lay his weary and worn-out frame.  Recovering, however, he returned to Glasgow, and resumed his literary pursuits.  He contributed, about this time, some admirable papers to the _Scottish Magazine, rich in humour and in happy traits of Scottish habits and peculiarities, entitled, "Nights at Killcomrie Castle, or the days of Queen Mary."  Occupied with these and various other compositions, some of which are still in manuscript, and at times suffering acutely from the attacks of the painful disease, which now seldom, for any length of time, intermitted its visitations, and which, from its effect on his power of speech, was peculiarly obnoxious to a person of his social habits and character, Carrick continued to mix occasionally in society, and enjoy the fellowship of his friends.  But a severe attack of inflammation coming on, aggravated by the weakening effects of a recent course of depletion, suggested by his medical attendant, proved too much for his enfeebled frame to resist, and, after a few days suffering, he expired on the 17th of August, 1835.
As a literary man, Carrick’s peculiar forte lay in the rich and humorous resources of a lively and salient mind and imagination.  In broad humour he was singularly effective, and this edge of his satire was keen and biting.  He had a quick perception of the ridiculous, coupled with much observation and knowledge of mankind.  As a describer of old manners and customs, he is remarkably happy; and there is a graphic truth and beauty, enchased in a fine vein of drollery, in his descriptive sketches.  The excess of his humour was ever ready to overflow in a stream of pleasant waggery, which the kindness of his nature, with his gentlemanly habits and self-respect, prevented from degenerating into broad or offensive caricature.  As the editor, and a principal writer in the first series of the "Laird of Logan," he will long be remembered.  Of this admired collection of Scottish and Gaelic stories, Carrick was the original projector, and he also contributed the excellent biographical sketch of "the Laird," with the greater part of the anecdotes of that celebrated humourist.
In concluding this brief memoir, we may observe, generally, that as a descriptive painter of the comic and ludicrous aspects of man and society, and as equally skilful in the analysis of human character, combined with a rare and never-failing humour, a pungent but not malicious irony, and great ease and perspicuity of expression, few writers have surpassed John Donald Carsick.


ALEXANDER RODGER was born in the village of East-Calder, Mid-Lothian, on the 16th July, 1784.  His father occupied the farm of Haggs, close by the small village of Dalmahoy.  The weak health of his mother, for several years, consigned him to the care of two maiden sisters, of the name of Lonie; and it was not till he had attained the age of seven years that he returned to the parental roof.  His father appears at this time to have given up farming, and to have kept an inn in Mid-Calder.  Up to that period, the young bard had not received any regular education, but now he was put to school in the village.  And this, as far as we have learned, was the only education he received, except what he may have acquired for himself, in after life, during the few hours he could steal from laborious employment.
Shortly after this, the father removed to Edinburgh, where Alexander was sent to learn the trade of a silversmith, with a Mr. Mathie.  He continued a year in this employment, when his unfortunate father became embarrassed in his affairs and, in consequence, emigrated to Hamburgh, whence he sent for his son; but his relations by the mother’s side being strongly attached to the boy, persuaded him to accompany them to Glasgow, where, in 1797, he was apprenticed to a respectable weaver of the name of Dunn, who resided at the Drygate Toll, in the near neighbourhood of the ancient Cathedral of Glasgow.  We may be sure so venerable a relic of antiquity would be often visited by the youthful poet, and contribute, by its solemn magnificence and historical interest, to fan the flame of his poetic genius.
In 1803, the loyal fever, universally prevalent, infected our friend Sandie, who celebrated his connexion with the Glasgow Highland Volunteers, in a satirical poem of considerable merit, in which he employed the powers of his Muse in what became afterwards a favourite amusement with him, hitting off the peculiarities of his Celtic brethren.  The corps, being principally composed of Highlanders, furnished ample scope for the keen edge of the poet’s wit, and he seems then to have imbibed that attachment to the mountaineers which has led him so often to embalm their colloquial humours and foibles in his poetic effusions.  Rodger continued in this volunteer regiment, and in another which rose out of it after its dissolution, called the Glasgow Highland Locals, for no less than nine years.
In 1806, the poet, then only twenty-two years of age, married Agnes Turner, and has had a large and respectable family by this connexion.  After his marriage, Rodger removed to Bridgeton, a suburb of Glasgow, where he continued to solace himself from time to time, in poetical composition, and the exercise of his musical talents.  His knowledge of the science of music enabled him to compose for his own amusement, and qualified him for imparting a knowledge of its principles to others, which he prosecuted for some time, the emolument of which assisted him considerably in maintaining his yonng and growing family.  Amongst the earliest efforts of his poetic vein, is a poem entitled "Bolivar," written on the occasion of seeing in the _Glasgow Chronicle_, in September, 1816, that this distinguished patriot and soldier had emancipated the negro slaves in the districts of Caraccas, Venezuela, and Cumana, to the number of seventy thousand.
The peaceful tenor of the poet’s life continued unbroken by any material event, until the year 1819, when local and general politics ran so high, and the fever of radicalism, at times so endemic among the working population of this country, was at its height.  In that year, a weekly newspaper, called _The Spirit of the Union_, was started in Glasgow, by a person of the came of Gilbert M’Leod, which was conducted with some considerable ability, but with very little discretion.  The political and satirical propensities of Rodger, having found in its columns a frequent and congenial vent, the editor took him into his service.  Thus, the poet, somewhat rashly, in our opinion, exchanged the calm obscurity of a peaceful and then not unprofitable occupation, for the more conspicuous, but more doubtful and hazardous theatre of political warfare.  He did not, however, remain long in this situatinn, for within a few weeks, owing to his indiscreet violence, and that of the party with which he was concerned, the editor was apprehended on a charge of sedition, and soon after tried, found guilty, and sentenced to transportation for life.  The establishment being broken up, Rodger returned to his loom; but having become, from his connexion with this journal, considered as a disaffected person, he was apprehended, on the 8th of April following, with many other individuals, on the alarm occasioned by the publication of the famous "treasonable Address," purporting to be issued by "a Provisional Government."  Into the political history of these melancholy times, we do not feel called upon any farther to enter.  Rodger was confined in the city bridewell, and used with most reprehensible harshness, being treated like a common felon, and placed in solitary confinement.  The spirit of the indignant poet rose, however, superior to the petty malice of the small-soul’d officials of the day; and he used to solace himself in his seclusion, by singing, at the top of his lungs, his own political compositions; some of which were undoubtedly sufficiently well spiced, and could not therefore be vary grateful to the ears of his jailors.  To silence the obstreperous indignation of the bard, he was removed to a back cell where he gave vent to his lacerated feelings in the indignant "Song written in bridewell."  The poet often used to relate many entertaining anecdotes of this stormy and eventful peried of his life.  Amongst others when his house was searched for seditious publications (terrible bug-bears at that time to the local authorities of Glasgow), Sandie handed the Family Bible to the sheriff’s officer who was making search, it being, as he said, the only treasonable book in his possession, and for proof of this, he referred the aghast official to the chapter on kings, in the first Book of Samuel.
In 1821, the late amiable Mr. George lodger, manager of Barrowfield works, and whose eminent skill and scientific acquirements may be said to have laid the foundation of the prosperity of that extensive establishment, got him employed as an inspector of tha cloths used for printing and dyeing.  In that situation he continued eleven years.  Here, his employment being less severe, and more remunerative, Rodger produced some of his best pieces.  In 1822 when George IV. visited Scotland, the poet indited his celebrated lyric of "Sawney, new the King’s come," which, having been published in the _London Examiner_, made its appearance in Auld Reekie just as his Majesty had enriched his subjects there with the eight of his royal person.  From that sarcastic effusion having appeared simultaneously with Sir Walter Scott’s well-known piece, "Carle, now the King’s come," no little speculation was created as to the author, and, in particular, it was said, by its unlucky apposition, in have much annoyed the sensitive loyalty of Sir Walter.  It is not to be denied that the humour of this political and social satire is rather too broad for general circulation.  About this time, Rodger exhibited his public spirit in a form more generally popular.  Thomas Harvie of West-Thorn, having blocked up a public foot-path, on his property by the river side, which had been long in use by the inhabitants of Glasgow and its vicinity, Rodger, by extraordinary exertion, organised and directed a public opposition, which ultimately proved successful.
In l832, a new phase of Rodgers many-coloured life opens upon us.  A friend, who had recently commenced business as a pawnbroker, requested the poet to take the management of it for him, to which he unfortunately agreed, and thus lost an excellent situation, with the prospect of further advancement, under the kindly auspices of his friend, Mr. George Rodger.  Little was such an employment adapted for the heart of a poet like Rodger, overflowing with human sympathy, and sensitively shrinking from the scenes of misery and want with which it necessarily brought him into contact.  In a few months he felt compelled to abandon it, and was soon after engaged by the late Mr. Prentice, Editor of the _Glasgow Chronicle_, as a reader and reporter of local news.  He remained there about a year, when the late John Tait, an intimate friend of his, having started a weekly newspaper, on Radical principles, he was employed by him as general assistant.  The premature death of Tait, with the pecuniary embarrassments in which the establishment had become involved, led to the dissolution of this connexion.  Rodger was again thrown upon the world; but is a few months after he obtained a situation in the _Reformers’ Gazette_ office, in which he continued till his death, highly esteemed by his employer, and respected by a wide range of friends and admirers.  In 1836, he received a public dinner in the Tontine Hotel, when above two hundred gentlemen, of all varieties of political complexion, assembled to testify their respect for the poet and the man, and he was presented with a silver box filled with sovereigns-a fruit not found in much profusion on tho barren though sunny sides and slopes of Parnassus.
Mr. Rodgers first appearance as an avowed author was in 1827, when a small volume of his pieces was published by David Allan & Co., of Glasgow; but, although this publication contributed to make him more generally known, it did not improve, in an equal degree, his pecuniary and private comforts.  In 1838, Mr David Robertson, Glasgow published a volume containing a new and complete collection of our poet’s compositions.  This seasonable and agreeable publication has had an extensive sale, and contributed to diffuse the reputation of the author.  Another small volume of his pieces was also unwisely published in Glasgow, entitled "Stray leaves from the Portfolios of Alisander the Seer, Andrew Whaup, and Humphrey Henkeckle."  The poems in the latter are almost entirely political, and had previously appeared in various Glasgow Journals, under the cognomens above-noted.  Some of these pieces are of great merit, but the unalloyed zeal and warmth of the author’s feelings, occasionally break out into rather too much acerbity and vigour of expression, thereby weakening the truth and force of their general effect.
Of Rodgers poetry, we may observe, that his forte is undoubtedly a mixture of humour with eatire, finely compounded, and powerfully and gracefully expressed.  Even in those poems in which the humour is most kindly and gentle, and devoid of all political malice, there is a lurking vein of satirical truth and feeling flashing up at every turn.  The two pieces, entitled "Colin Dulap," and "Jamie M'Nab," are full of a delicate and racy humour,-finely descriptive of the parties, and warm with genuine feeling and truth.  "Peter Cornclips" is Mr. Rodger’s longest and most ambitious poem, but we do not think it by any means the best.  It is deficient in dramatic truth and interest-in character and incident; but it contains many vigorous lines.  Some of his songs have become very popular, in particular that of "Behave yoursel’ before folk," which had the rare distinction of being quoted in the "Noetes Ambrosianae" of _Blackwood's Magazine_.
Rodger cannot be called a descriptive poet, it is with living man, and not with inanimate nature, that he chiefly deals.  Even in his lighter pieces, he seldom indulges in mere description, but gaily touching the material world, his yearning sympathies bear him away to the haunts of men, kindly to survey and ponder over the panoramic succession of life’s weary round,-nuw revelling in the enjoyment of the pleasing and hearty aspects of our common nature, and now rising up in honest indignation, tempered by his habitual kindness of nature, to expose in biting, sarcastic verse, the meanness of the great, the poverty of soul of the proud, and the many oppressions and "ills that flesh is heir to."  Modest and unassuming in manner, but observant in habit, with a fine hearty humour floating about him like an atmosphere, under the correction, however, of strong common sense and self respect, none ever left his company without delight, and a warm wish for the prosperity of the favourite lyric bard of the west country.
Mr. Rodgers health began to give way in the Summer of 1846.  Unable to discharge the duties of his situation in the _Gazette_ office, he went to the country, to try whether a change of air would brace his relaxed frame; but he returned to Glasgow unimproved by the change.  He gradually sunk, and passed away from this shifting scene, 26th September 1846.
Some of Mr. Roder's friends exerted themselves in procuring from the Merchants’ House a burying place for Mr. Rodger’s remains in our own Necropolis.  Mr. Leadbetter the then Dean of Guild, was so obliging as to go and select the spot were the poet’s ashes were to unite with the soil from which they came.  A sweeter or more Picturesque spot could not have been selected to receive a poet’s remains.  It constitutes a portion of the steep bank of MNEMA, and behind it the ground rises abruptly to the top of the tall cliff, crowned with a circular mausoleum, which forms so conspicuous an object from different points of view.  A stately tree, blasted in its upper extremities but otherwiee, still leafy and vigorous, flings its long shadow over the poet’s grave when the sun is declining in the west; and a little above, on a green and sloping bank, is a venerable double thorn, with other trees and shrubs, diffusing a sylvan atmosphere around the spot.
A very tasteful monument has been erected over his gave, executed by the late Mr. Mossman, sculptor, on which is the following inscription, written by William Kennedy, author of "Fitful Fancies," &c., &c., and a quotation from one of Mr. Rodgers own poems:-

To the Memory of
Gifted with feeling, humour, and fancy;
Animated by generous,
Codial, and comprehensive sympathies,
Which adversity could not represe,
Nor popularity enfeeble,
This Monument
Is erected in testimony of public esteem.
At Mid Calder, 16th July 1784;
At Glasgow, 26th September 1846.


What though with Burns thou could’st not vie,
In diving deep or soaring high,
What though thy genius did not blaze
Like his, to draw the public gaze;
Yet thy sweet numbers, free from art,
Like his, can touch-can melt the heart.- RODGER.

Mr. Rodger regretted publishing the volume entitled 'Stray Leaves'.  The parties who advised the publicatlon of this collection wished, while the poet was on his death-bed, to get possession of some other MSS. pieces which had been composed for the pumpose of enlivening some of their convivial club meetings.  As soon as the party in quest of these compositions left the house, Sandy rose from his sick-bed, and searched the drawer where they had been deposited, and, gathering them together, committed them to the flames.
It must not be concealed that the generous, facile disposition of the poet exposed him to the solicitation of parties too convivial in their habits, and that he had not the fortitude to say "No."  This often led him to keep late hours, and, consequently, the children had not the father’s presence at night, when the family, relieved from the labours of the day. are collected around the domestic hearth, where, above all places, the parental advice and sympathy in joy and sorrow has such a happy influence.


WILLIAM MOTHERWELL was a native or Glasgow, where he was born on the 18th October, 1797.  He was of a Stirlingshire family, possessed of a small property in that county, called Muirmill and which had been in their possession for some generations.  At an early age he was sent to live with an uncle in Paibley, where he received a respectable education, and was bred to the profession of a lawyer, or, as they are generally termed in Scotland, "a writer."  His abilities, as well as his diligence, must have early attracted notice, as he was appointed, when only twenty years of age, Sheriff-Clerk Depute in Paisley, an office equally honourable and responsible, though not of great emolument.  His literary tastes and habits had previously been exhibited is various anonymous pieces of considerable merit, and in 1828, he undertook the editorship of the _Paisley Advertiser_, and launched out fearlessly into the heaving sea of party politics.  At an early period of his life his political principles and tendencies are said to have been liberal; but they soon hardened down into a determinate Toryism, in which they continued during his whole life.  In 1828, he also assumed the management of the _Pailsey Magazine_, a periodical, as we have heen informed, of considerahle merit, and which various of his own lyrical effusions, as well as sundry compositions in prose, contributed to adorn and enrich.  In the following year, he resigned the office of Sheriff-Clerk Depute, and confined his attention to his literary pursuits, and the editorship of the _Paisley Advertiser_.
In the early part of 1830, he was engaged as editor of the _Glasgow Courier_, a newspaper of considerable local influence and repute, and conducted on principles ot a high church-and-king Toryism; and thug, the poet-politician was introduced into a new and wider field of interest and competition.  In the hands of Motherwell, the _Courier_ fully sustained its character as a fierce nd uncompromising champion of ultra Tory opinions; and, during the excitement of struggle for Parliamentary Reform in 1831-2, it was especially fierce and violent in its political denunciations.  We believe, hewever, that Motherwell was not much a politician himself, and that the enthusiasm of his party politics was derived more from his fancy than his judgment-the product, in fact, of his poetical and indiscriminate admiration of everything connected witha  chivalrous antiquity.  He held this situation for about five years, and notwithstanding the occasional effervescence of his strongly expressed political opinions, retained to the last the general respect of society, with the hearty good will and esteem of his many friends.
In person, Motherwell was short in stature, but uncommonly muscular and vigorous, with a largg head, and short neck and throat, a conformation fatally inadequate to resist the character of the apoplectic seizure which finally carried him off.  On the first of November, 1835, in company with his friend, the late Mr. Philip Ramsay, he had been dining in the environs of the City, and after his return to town, feeling oppressed and unwell, he went to bed.  Sleep, however, did not diminish the oppression, and in a short time he lost the power of speech.  Medical assistance was immediately obtained, but unfortunatly too late to be of any avail, and this sweet singer, and genial and kindly hearted Scotsman, was blotted out of the ranks of the living, by a blow equally sudden and unexpected.  Deep and general were the regrets and sympathies of his friends, and of society at large, when this premature and unlooked for event became known, and the general esteem in which he was held, was manifested by a public funeral, which was attended by many persons of opposite political opinions, and by more than one of his most determined political opponents.  He was buried in the Necropolis of Glasgow, in the Fir Park, supposed to have been in very remote times, a Druidical grove, a fit resting place for the remains of a poet, whose soul sought, and found its highest consolations in the glowing memories of the dim and shadowy past.  With a becoming liberality, the merchants’ house of Glasgow, the proprietors of the ground, bestowed a site, in a beautiful situation, for the poet's grave, near to the spot where reposes his life-long and congenial friend Andrew Henderson, author of a collection of Scottish Proverbs.  An elegant monument has recently been erected to his memory, by some of his literary and personal friends, from a design by his friend, the late James Fillans; and, from within a screen, the bust of the poet, by the same tasteful artist, and which is an admirable likeness, looks forth upon one of the most impressive and unique scenes to be met with in any place of sepulture in the world.  The following exquisite lines,from a Monody on his death, by William Kennedy, an intimate friend and congenial spirit, are inscribed on the Monument:-

"Not as a record, he lacketh a stone!
'Tis a light debt to the singer we’ve known-
Proof that our love for his name hath not flown,
=With the frame perishing-
=That we are cherishing
Feelings akin to the lost Poet’s own."

Such is a brief outline of the personal history of William Motherwell, the incidents of which are few, and in themselves unimportant.  It is in their works, and in the progressive development of their genius, that the true history of literary men is to be found.  We shall now proceed shortly, to sketch out the more salient points of Motherwell’s literary career, of which the incidences are comparatively brief and meagre.  In 1827, whilst residing in Paisley, he published his "Minstrelsy, Ancient and Modern," a work of great merit and research, and which gave him permanent rank and influence as a literary antiquarian.  In the introduction to this publication, the writer has exhibited a thorough acquaintance with the ballad and romantic literature of Scotland, as well as great powers of research and antiquarian discrimination.  Besides its merits as a historical and critical disquisition, it is a piece of a chaste and vigorous character, as well as eloquent composition.  It is now very scarce, and much sought after by the lovers of our olden literature and poetry.  Whilst he was Editor of the _Paisley Magazine_, he enriched its pages with various of his poetical compositions, the pathos, grace, and beauty of which attracted public attention to the rising poet.  In 1882, a volume of his poetical pieces was published by Mr. David Robertson of Glasgow, whose shop, for many years, was the resort of the poet and a select circle of congenial spirits, "the keen encounter of whose wits" rendered it classic ground, and still enrich it with memories alike mournful and pleseant.  With the publication of this volume, the name and fame of Motherwell will be chiefly connected.  Many of the please are of exquisite beauty; and the lyrics, "Jeanie Morison," "My haied is like to rend, Willie," and "Wearie’s Well," will take rank with any similar compositions in the English language.  In a soft melancholy, and touching tenderness of expreesion, they have never been excelled.  We are happy at finding our opinion of these beautiful lyrics supported by so competent a judge as Miss Mitford, who, in a recent publication by her, comments thus gracefully and discriminatingly upon them:- "Burns is the only poet with whom, for tenderness and pathos, Motherwell can be compared.  The eider bard has written much more largely, is more various, more fiery, more ahnndant; but I doubt if there be in the whole of his collection anything so exquisitely finished, so free from a line too many, or a word out of place, as the two great ballads of Motherwell.  And let young writers observe, that this finish was the result, not of a curious felicity, but of the nicest elaboration.  By touching and re-touching, during many years, did 'Jeanie Morrison’ attain her perfection, and yet how completely has art concealed art!  How entirely does that charming song appear like an inexpressible gush of feeling that _would_ find vent.  In 'My heid is like to rend, Willie,’ the appearance of spontaneity is still more striking, as the passion is more intense-intense, indeed, almost to painfulness."  About the same time, his friend, Andrew Henderson, published his well-known collection of Scottish Proverbs, to which Motherwell contributed an introductory treatise, which showed him to be extensively read in Scottish proverbial antiquities, and is, besides, a piece of eloquent and vigorous compostion.  In the year 1835, in conjunction with the Ettrick Shepherd, he edited an edition of the works of Burns, to which he contributed the principal part of the biography, with copious notes.  The edition, however, never became popular, chiefly owing to the absence of good taste and sound judgment in his brother editor.  Motherwell was, about this time, connected with a literary periodical published to Glasgow, with the euphonious title of _The Day_.  To this publication, he contributed various excellent papers, and some rich poetical pieces.  His Adventures of Bailie Pirnie, a Paisley dignitary, exhibit great power of humour and playful fancy.
In 1846, a second edition of his poems was published by Mr. Robertson, with a memoir of his life by Dr. M’Conechy of Glasgow, containing twenty additional poems; and in 1849, a third edition was issued, and which contained no less than sixty-eight pieces never before published.  So it may now be considered, that the best fruits of Motherwell’s genius have been carefully selected and set before the public.  The selection of these additional pieces, was entrusted chiefly to the poet’s personal friends, Dr. M’Conochy and Mr. William Kennedy.  In the third edition, the following beautiful and touching poetical tribute to his memory, by Mr. Kennedy most appropriately closes the volume:-

=Place we a stone at his head and his feet,
=Sprinkle his sward with the small flowers sweet
=Piously hallow the poet’s retreat!
==Ever approvingly,
==Ever most lovingly,
=Turned he to nature, a worshipper meet.

=Harm not the thorn which grows at his head;
=Odorous honours its blossoms will shed,
=Grateful to him-early summoned-who sped
==Hence not unwillingly-
==For he felt thrillingly-
=To rest his poor heart 'mong the low-lying dead.

=Dearer to him than the deep Minster bell,
=Winds of sad cadence at midnight will swell,
=Vocal with sorrows he knoweth too well,
==Who-for the early day-
==Plaining his roundelay,
=Might his own fate from a brother’s foretell.

=Worldly ones, treading this terrace of graves,
=Grudge not the minstrel the little he craves,
=When o’er the snow-mound the winter blast raves-
==Tears-which devotedly,
==Though all unnotedly,
=Flow from their spring, in the soul’s silent caves.

=Dreamers of noble thoughts raise him a shrine,
=Graced with the beauty which glows in his line;
=Strew with pals flowrets, when pensive moons shine
==His grassy covering,
==Where spirits hovering,
=Chaunt, for his requiem, music divine.

=Not as a record he lacketh a stone!-
=Pay a light debt to the singer we’ve known-
=Proof that our love for his name hath not flown,
==With the frame perishing-
==That we are cherishing
=Feelings akin to our lost poet’s own.

As a poet, Motherwell was perhaps deficient in that robust viguur of pinion, necessary for long and sustained flights.  His muse had not the majestic pace, or "the long re-sounding line," of the higher class of poets.  But in the utterances of the heart, borne up and sustained by a sweet-toned fancy-in natural gushes of feeling-and in a rich mental and poetical sympathy with the sights and sounds of living nature, few have risen to an equal pathos, and a descriptive beauty more touching and telling.  Such pieces as, "In the quiet and solemn night," "The midnight wind," "The water, the water," "The solemn song of a righteous heart," "A solemn conceit," &c. possess a generic character, and are especially embued with a pensive and querulous melancholy, and a pathetic quaintness of expression, strikingly original.  It is as if the shadow of his early fate had fallen at times on the soul of the poet, and touched a chord in his muse, attuned to finer issues and higher inspirations than ordinary.  In another and very different style of composition, he has produced various pieces of great beauty and elegance of thought and expression.  In light and graceful _vers do societe_, sparkling with sentiment, and richly inlaid with the gems of a playful fancy, such pieces as "The serenade," "Could love impart," "Love’s diet," are perfect bijoux of their kind, and dazzle the imagination with their brilliant affluence and concentrated elegance of thought.  His Norse songs of war and chivalry, possess a wild, bold bearing and character, which have made them much admired.  Various of his imitations, too, of the olden ballad, are beautifully executed, and breathe the free, wild spirit of the greenwood, and tell pathetically of the agonies of young hearts that "loved not wisely, but too well."
Such was the poet-let us briefly consider the man.  In general society, Motherwell was reserved; but with his intimate friends he let himself out freely into the whim or enjoyment of the hour.  Amongst his intimate associates, were John Carrick, Andrew Henderson, and Mr. John Howis, all of whom have passed away, like himself from this mortal scene.  In company with these and other select friends, his natural reserve gave place to a rich enjoyment of the sly quips and drolleries of the first of these, or the more boisterous and explosive humours of the second; and we have enjoyed ourselves more than once, the company of theese three rich-minded, but oddly-paired men, in a well known tavern in the Trongate-the Swan with two necks- which was their favourite resort.  In this cosie howf we have listened with delight to the delicious chirping of these congenial souls, when they had washed their eyes in a tumbler or two, and were hitting right and left in the unrestrained glee and social abandonment of mirth and good fellowship.  They are all gone, and so are some others who were members of that brilliant brotherhood which once graced and enriched our city; but there still linger in many a heart, pleasing though mournful reminiscences, which clustre around their rich memories, associated, as they now are with the name and fame of William Motherwell.


EDWARD PINKERTON was a son of the Rev. Mr Pinkerton, minister of what was then called the Relief Church, in Campbelton, Argyleshire, and dates his birth December, 1798.  He was sent, in due time, to the High School, Edinburgh, to receive the elements of a classical education, and he afterwards matriculated in the Glasgow University.
The celebrated Professor Sandford, of the Glasgow University, was a fellow-student with Mr. Pinkerton, and their standing in the class, under Dr Pillans, was nearly on a par.  He afterwards joined the medical classes, and obtained his diploma in 1817.  His youthful appearance, it was considered, might militate against his obtaining that confidence so necessary in the treatment of the varied maladies to which frail man is subjected; and he did not consider it prudent to eater into public practice, but took charge meantime, of a subscription school in his native town, Campbelton.  He afterwards taught the classical department of a boarding school at Galashiels.  He obtained the appointment of assistant surgeon in the royal navy, in 1825, in H.M S. the "Warspite," under command of Commodore Brisbane.  The "Warspite" was ordered to India, and returned to this country in 1827, after performing a voyage round the world.  Mr. Pinkerton had suffered a severe shock of paralysis, and was laid up in Chelsea Hospital; but his intellect was unimpaired by the attack, though his frame was so shacken, that he was unable to return to public duty, and he retired on government allowance Mr. Pinkerton came to reside in Glasgow amongst his friends, and was almost a daily visitor, as long as he was able, at the levees of wit and humour in the shop of our publisher.  He died in 1844.
The pieces contributed by him to this work have his name attached.  No one at all competent to judge of lyric compositions, will fail to see in them no ordinary ability.
He published, in 1832, a small volume of poetry, entitled "The Propontis," which was well received by the public.
Mr. Pinkerton occupied his time between literary pursuits and giving instructions in Greek to students attending the University.  He was considered a very excellent scholar-few, indeed, surpassed him in the knowledge of this elegant language, and he appeared sometimes a little vain of this acquisition.


JOHN GRAEME, whose numerous unacknowledged contributions to this work, will be afterwards noticed, was born in the city of Glasgow, on the 19th of May, 1797.  His father, after whom he was named, was by profession a hair-dresser.  The maiden name of his mother, was Janet Williamson.  The relations of John Graeme were in very respectable circumstances-his uncle, Robert Graeme, some of whose family still survive (1852), was sheriff-substitute in Glasgow: his name appears as one of the witnesses at the record of Graeme’s birth.
The subject of our memoir was sent by his parents to learn weaving, the practical knowledge of which was considered indispensable to fit him for a manufacturing establishment.
His parents died while he was young, and the property left by them, or to which they expected to succeed, became the subject of a law suit, and went against Graeme, which fell with a crushing blow on the family.  This calamity left on the mind of John an impression which wae never erased-melancholy, to which he was very subject, it was feared would have settled down on his mind, and his friends sent him for part of the Summer to the neighbourhood of Bucklyvie, so as to change the scene, and break off the train of thought which was coursing through his mind with the greater danger as it was confined to one channel, disappointment.  The change had the desired effect, and he returned to Glasgow renewed in bodily health, and a new and healthy tone imparted to his mind.
He obtained employment in a warping room in St. Andrew’s Square for some time; afterward he pursued the same mode of obtaining a living with Mr. Lawson, at that time an extensive manufacturer in Glasgow, afterward the honored manager of the Glasgow Provident Bank.  Graeme always spoke of Mr. Lawson with almost the affection of a son.  While turning the warping reel, &c., Graeme formed the idea of qualifying himself for the profession of medicine, and after labour hours, studied Latin with Mr. James Stirling, now Rev. Mr. Stirling, United Presbyterian Church, Kirrienmuir, to enable him to understand the mysteries of the art, whose vocabulary is expressed In that noble language.  He also had a private class, in which he taught his pupils the elements of geography.
It is said, that he accepted the office of tutor in the family of a farmer, in the upper ward of Lanarkshire, the very farm house to which, as the story goes, Morton was carried prisoner by the covenanters, after their disastrous defeat at Bothwell Brig.  We never heard Mr. Graeme allude to this tutorship, his stay must have been but short there, and we should think the coarse modes of living in these sequestered places, would but ill accord with the sensitive mind of Graeme.  In struggling to get on with his medical classes, he had much privation, but honorably and creditably obtained his diploma in 1826.  His knowledge of pharmacy was acquired under Mr. John Wallace, a surgeon in Glasgow of amiable memory.
He opened a small shop in Trongato of Glasgow, which had been previously occupied by a medical gentleman.  The young lancet-bearer expecting that a certain amount of his predecessors practice would fall into him, for which he paid more, perhaps, than the intrinsic value of medicines, &c., &c., were worth.  This turned out an unprofitable beginning-he then removed to the Gallowgate, where he remained but a short time.  His next place for administering medicine and advice was the High Street, where he continued till he died, which melancholy event took place 11th Feb., 1852.
Graeme was one of the original staff of Whistlebinkians, and whose humorous contributions, at its first publication, assisted to give the work the popularity it very soon acquired.
Graeme would never allow his name to be attached to his compositions; but, now that his rebuke need not be feared, we give a list of his contributions to this work:- "The Fruit of old Ireland," "Kate M’Lusky," "Irish Love Song," "Kilroony’s visit to London," "Young Paddy’s Tutor," "The Herring-head Club," "Pat Mulligan’s Courtship," and Kitty O’Carrol."
We quote a notice of John Graeme, contributed by an intimate friend, and which appeared in the _Glasgow Citizen_:-
"Few men were better known, or held in higher respect, not less for his genial and loveable qualities as a private friend, his rich and racy humour, strong sense, and general philanthropy which formed the basis of his character.  We believe that in early life his circumstances were not promising; but the vigour of his mind enabled him to acquire, almost self-taught, the elements of a medical education, to which profession he finally devoted himself, and in which his practice, though limited, was respectable.  The educational deficiencies of his opening years, although remedied to a considerable extent by an astute and manly intellect, and by varied and general reading and inquiry, were never sufficiently repaired to place him in a high literary position.  The rich natural resources of his mind found a vent, however, in various prose and metrical compositions, which he contributed to those well-known collections of Scottish song and social _facetiae_, 'Whistle Binkie’ and 'The Laird of Logan,’ and also, we have reason to believe, in other channels of which we have no personal knowledge.
"It was In the society of private friends, however, of whom he had many who continued their attachment to him throngh life, and whose kindness soothed and ministered to him in the lingering hours of mortal sickness, that the kindly and genial qualities of his nature broke forth in their full lustre and perfection.  A rich flow of humour, never degenerating into mere buffoonery or vulgar personalities, rendered him the soul and centre of the social circle, and his sudden bursts of impromptu drollery, happily conceived and felicitously expressed, never failed to set the table in a roar.  Those who, like the writer, have often listened to his songs (generally of his own composition), or witnessed his dramatic and imitative powers in his extemporaneous exhibitions, will not soon forget the man any more than the genial hnmourist and friend.  His memory will long be cherished by many surviving friends, associated as it will be with other rich and pleasant memories floating around the congenial names of Motherwell, Carrick, and Henderson, of which bright, though narrow circle, he was long a member."
His remains are deposited in the paternal burying place, north-east corner of the Cathedral, the footpath only between his grave and the abutments of its walls.  There in peace rest his ashes, mixing with those of his mother and a beloved sister, who pre-deceased him.  How often has he set the table on a roar!  We have seen him put gentlemen into nervous fits with his imitation, both of the rational and the irrational portions of creation.
Poor Carrick, when unable to take any part in the amusements of the social party- "Never mind," said he, when sympathised with that he could not aid as he was wont in keeping up the hilarity, "you have Graeme with you; you should learn to appreciate him."


AMONG the many who, in Scotland, have piped sweetly in the sunny nooks of poesy, without attaining any very dazzling height, was Captain Charles Gray, R.M.  The Captain was a native of Anstruther, in Fifeshire, renowned likewise the birth-place of Dr. Chalmers, the glory of the Scottish pulpit, and of Professor Tennant, who immortalised in verse the hilarities of "Anster Fair."  For thirty-six years he had served in the Royal Marines, but of flood or of field he appeared to have scarcely a tale to tell.  With his soldier’s uniform he contrived to lay aside the soldier.  His talk was of Scottish song.  Scottish song was the one unchangeable hobby of his life.  While yet a lieutenant he sung of Scotland in the blue waters of the Mediterranean.  He was engaged for several years in the blockade of Venice, but his heart, in the midst of every excitement, continued true to Anster, and Fife, and Scotland.  Many of his pieces bear foreign dates, but their theme is almost uniformly Scotch.  His admiration of Burns, and indeed of all the great lyrists of his home-land, partook of the familiar fondness of a love, and the engrossing enthusiasm of a worship; and his soul gave out echoes as sleepless as those which dwell near mighty cataracts, of the wondrous music with which it was filled unceasingly as with an inspiration.
Some dozen or fourteen years have now passed since we numbered Captain Charles Gray among our close friends.  At first we saw him only during his occasional visits to Scotland; but latterly he had retired on full pay, and taken up his permanent residence in a quiet suburb of Edinburgh vying to the south of Heriot’s Hospital.  We enjoyed his society from the simplicity, good faith, and heart-warmth which were his unvarying characteristics.  Like a veteran tree-trunk sprouting, the old man exhibited the verdurous freshness of boyhood.  He had long been a widower, and his only son was, as he had himself been, a lieutenant is the Royal Marines.  But he had companions in his books; and, so long as he had a genuine old ballad to rehearse, he could never feel weary or alone.  At the sound of ancient melody, he would break through any conceivable fortification of cobwebs; and ramble in a very rapture of enchantment, in the midst of old-world haunts - wherever, indeed, human hearts had, in times long lapsed, either bounded with uproarious humour, or melted with mellifluous pathos.
There was not, perhaps, in all broad Scotland, a man, in all respects, more happily constituted than Captain Charles Gray.  In his case, the spirit of the poet seemed, like the person of the soldier, to have passed through all perils without receiving a single wound or leaving a single scar.  Like _Autolycus_-to whom, however, he bore no other resemblance - he went on his way singing, as it were,-

="Jog on, jog on, the footpath way,
==And merrily hent the stile-a;
=A cheery heart goes all the day,
==Your sad tires in a mile-a."

Several of his "Lays and Lyrics" his friend Mr. Peter M’Leod had winged with appropriate music, and the secret feeling lay cosy at his heart that these, at least, would go down the sunny slopes of posterity; and this gracious faney cheered him through years which knew neither eves nor winters, with darling glimpses of a bright poetic immortality.  Among his intimate literary friends, were Professar Tennant, whom he describes as

===="-reserved and shy,
==With humour lurking in his eye,"

and Professor Thomas Gillespie of St. Andrews, with whom he was wont to correspond in rhyme.  He was likewise on terms of friendship with Mr. Robert Chambers, whose larger range of faculties did not carry him beyond the enjoyment of kindred pursuits.  Mr. Patrick Maxwell, the biographer of the sweet poetess Miss Blamire,-a man after his own heart, and with all his time on his hands, was his daily companion.  Poor Gilfillan, with his plaintive "Why left I my hame?" and satiric "Peter M’Craw;" Mr. David Vedder, with his many manly lyrics, like gusts from his own native Orkneys; Mr. James Ballantine, with his graphic and sturdy vigour of expression and sentiment; and Mr. Thomas Smibert, whose polished and eloquent strains have long enriched our periodical literature, and been recently given to the world in a collected shape, were among his congenial associates.  Who among his friends can forget the gusto with which he used to sing, in spite of a somewhat croaky voice, his own excellent ditty of "When Autumn has laid her sickle by," or Tannahill’s fine roystering burlesque ef "Barochan Jean?"  A fish-dinner as Newhaven with a select party of such spirits, and with Donaldson - well known in Edinburgh circles-to sing "Caller Herring," as no other man can, and Peter M'Leod to rise in his enthusiasm to the full height of "I am a son of Mars is a reminiscence "to dream of, not to tell."
The closing decade of the last half-century has stolen away since the days of which we speak; but Edinburgh sociabilities still come back upon us, from time to time, if only in intimations of change Robert Gilfillan has "left his hame," and gone to rest underneath the flowers of which it was his joy to sing; and our warm-hearted friend Captain Gray no longer enlivens, with his radiant good-humour, the social circles of the beautiful city of his adoption.  Some years before his death, he was a zealous contributor to "Whistle-Binkie," in which he took a lively interest.  He likewise published in the columns of the _Glasgow Citizen_ newspaper, an elaborate series of "Notes on Scottish Song," displaying much careful research, and acute and curious criticism.  With such love labours, relieved by an occasional attendance at a "Burns Anniversary" at Irvine, or "Nicht in Glasgow" with his west-country cronies, glided away the latter days of Captain Charles Gray, like a stream singing its way cheerily to the sea.  The last time we saw him, he was an invalid indulging in daily carriage airings.  Lunch was laid out in anticipation of our visit, and we found his faithful friend Mr. Patrick Maxwell, enlivening the pale valetudinarian with his good company.  He looked thin and shaken, but the old embers glowed within him, and his kindly blue eyes brightened with their wonted lustre as he descanted on his favourite theme.  His end, it would appear, was rapidly approaching, and on the morning of Sunday, April 18, l851, the good Captain closed his eyes on this world at the age of sixty-nine.
Captain Gray was not gifted with high genius.  He had, nevertheless, amassed such wealth of genial and harmonious fellowship in his life, as to enable him to bequeath to his friends a memory which none of them will willingly let die.  As a poet he lacked imaginative brilliancy, nor was he master of any profound strain of pathos.  The characteristics of his muse was exuberance of animal spirits.  Had he been a musician, his forte would have been reels, strathspeys, and polkas.  His verses were poured out, not from a torn heart, but from a buoyant and healthy nature.  The stream of his song has neither breadth nor depth, richness nor magnificence, but it has a pleasant warble, and a bright sparkle of its own, and its course is through meadows graced with all flowery embroidery, and under skies which wear their clouds only for adornings.  The passing of such a man from the festive circle and the busy street into the unseen world, leaves a strange gap in the dread unlifted veil, through which we seem, for a moment, to catch a wild wide glimpse of the BEYOND.


ONLY a few days have elapsed (8th Nov., 1852,) since we returned from the grave of another contributor to our pages.  Alexander Fisher was born in Glasgow, in 1788.  His father was a tobacconist, to which profession he also bred his son.  His father gave him an excellent education, which Alexander afterward improved, by very diligent and extensive reading.
He married, in 1811, Helen Campbell, sister to Messrs Campbells of Candleriggs Street, Glasgow, justly celebrated for the large extent of their private and public charities, and an extended business connection which would render many heads giddy, but their hands have always been able to carry steadily a full cup.  Several of Mr Fisher’s family predeceased their father, others of them, with his partner in life, survive to lament his loss, the eldest of whom, Dr. A Fisher, enjoys an extensive and very respectable medical practice in Glasgow.
Mr. Fisher’s contributions are all of a humorous deacription, and his muse never seemed so much in her element as in describing that awkward misplacings of the adjuncts of nouns, which Highlanders beginning to speak English always exhibit.  The pieces of his in this work are almost all of this description.  They are, "The Twal o’ August;" "Ta offish in ta mornin’," or "Duncan Grant her Cousin’s son;" "Ta praise o’ Ouskie;" "Ta gran Highland bagpipe;" "Sheen M'Nab ;" "I’se red ye tak’ tent;" "I never will get fu’ agin."  For a few years preceding his death, he, and Mrs. Fisher and the youngest unmarried daughter, lived in a cottage on the sea side at Ardrossan.


JOHN SPIERS, our most endeared and intimate friend, requires a notice, however brief, at our hand.  He was born at Alexandria, Dumbartonshire, in 1798.  His father was connected with the excise.  Mr. Spiers came to Glasgow when a young lad, and entered the warehouse of Messrs. James and Morris Pollock.  He was partner with Mr. James Pollock, after the partnership of the two brothers had been dissolved.  When Mr. Pollock died, Mr. Spiers continued the business on his own account.  In 1836, he married Amelia Baxter, fourth daughter of the late Isaac Baxter, Italian warehouse, Buchanan Street.
His early death was occasioned by his connection with those speculations in railways, &c., which have sent so many to premature graves, and involved families in irretrievable ruin.  Mr. Spiers’ sensitive frame could not bear up under the prospective ruin which stared him in the face.  He had a very severe attack of British cholera, from which the medical gentleman had at first no fears of danger; but his mental anxiety induced convulsive attacks, which carried him away to happier and better scenes, in the hope of which he even triumphed while in the last grasp of the Terrible King.  He was withdrawn from the conflict, 21st July, 1848.  His amiable partner followed him about four years afterward, leaving a family of four children, three daughters and one son.  The care of these orphans devolved on their uncle, Mr. Walter Baxter, who, with his partner In life, are (1852) with the most exemplary diligence, acting the part of parents to them.
Mr. Spiers only contributed one piece to this collection, though he was a large contributor to the Laird of Logan.  He was possessed of a very superior taste and sound judgment, to which we very generally deferred.  He was always one of the group who assembled in our publisher’s, and whose laugh, fresh from the heart, made all joyous about him.  Peace to his memory, which will be cherished by the writer while the hand-breadth of his days are continued to the limit- "Hitherto shalt thou come and no farther."


JOHN HOWIE, though not a contributor to this work, deserves a niche.  His name is associated with those of the Motherwell coterie.  He was from Eaglesham, his father was an extensive farmer in that parish, and the family is descended from an ancestry celebrated in the annals of those conscientious sufferers who were prosecuted for their adherence to the Presbyterian cause, in opposition to Prelacy.
Mr Howie received a liberal education-he attended the Glasgow College for some years, but did not prosecute any of the learned professions; he devoted himself to mercantile pursuits.  His senior brother, James, studied with him who is now (1852) one of our most respectable members in the Faculty of Procurators.  It ought not to be concealed that Mr. James Howie raised amongst his friends, after Motherwell’s demise, four-fifths of the sum then subscribed to assist in defraying his debts, and aiding Motherwell’s only remaining sister, who died, at Rothesay in 1850.  We do not over-state the matter when we say that Mr. Howie raised above a thousand pounds.
John Howie was connected with the house of Dennistoun, Buchanan, & Co., of Glasgow.  A predisposition to pulmenary complaint, rendered it necessary for Mr. Howie to seek a milder clime, and he left this country in 1835, and resided principally in Jamaica till his death, in 1847.  Mr. Howie made a journey home in 1846, his medical adviser thinking that his native air might brace up his sadly relaxed and debilitated frame.  He reached London, but was ordered back to Jamaica, as his life, it was thought, could not be preserved any time in this northern climate.  When the writer called for him, on a Wednesday, at Furnival’s Inn, High Holborn, in August, 1846, expecting to see his old and endeared friend, he was told that he had left on the previous Saturday for Jamaica.
Mr. Howie was possessed of a very vigorous, clear, cool philosophical judgment, and of a fine literary taste; we thought sometimes others got the credit for compositions which were written by Mr Howie.  Motherwell uniformly deferred to his taste and judgment.  The following is an extract from a letter addressed to the writer on the melancholy occasion sf Motherwell’s death, which, for taste and feeling, is not often surpassed:-
"You need not, I daresay, be told with what distressing astonishment the announcement of our cherished friend, Motherwell’s, death came upon me.  The bitterness of my own regret was, in my own case, greatly aggravated in reflecting upon the number of sympathetic souls in you own circle, who would be equally heart-stricken by his untimely doom.  His career has been mournfully brief, though, happily, not barren; and I cannot doubt that his works will yet rise to a far more estimable popularity than they have hitherto done, and chiefly with that portion of his kind for whom he had ever the heartiest regard-song loving and simple hearts.  To the rugged mass he was, as you are aware, but half known; and some there are who will pet his memory, who cared but coldly for the living man.  But the brief fever is over, and his life I know was not unhappy, although it was rather a fit than a term - more a passion than an existence.  But, was it ever otherwise with true genius!  The crust that covers it is almost always prematurely cracked by the very intensity of the flame that glows within."


JAMES SCOTT was born at Lanark, November, 1801.  His parents removed to Glasgow when their son was little more than four years of age.  He was sent back again to Lanark, to reside with his maternal grandmother, who taught him to read.  At the age of seven years, he entered the Grammar School, where he remained about fear years.  On leaving Lanark, he came to Glasgow, and entered the _Glasgow Chronicle_ Office, for which Journal he reported for some considerable time.
In June, 1826, he left for Canada, to edit the _Montreal Herald_, and returned to this country in September. 1831.  While in Canada, he established the _Montreal Weekly Gazette_.  Early in 1832 Mr. Scott joined tho _Greenock Advertiser_, a connection that continued till his death, on 1st December, 1849.
Mr. Scott was much esteemed in Greenock, and took a patriotic lead in all public movements.  He had a memory of extraordinary tenacity, and could have reported from memory, almost verbatim, speeches of any ordinary length.  He suffered, for a considerable time before his death, by that malady fatal to physical and mental effort-softening of the brain.  His amiable partner watched over him, and nursed him with the most pious care, during his painful and protracted illness.  A large family pro-deceased him.  Mr. Scott contributed one piece to Whistlebinkie.


ROBERT CLARK, author of "Kate Macvean," and "Rhymin' Rab o’ our Toun," was born in Paisley, in 1810.  He was early apprenticed to the trade of weaving, a which he became a proficient workman.  From his youth he was remarkably fond of reading, especially poetry.  He had a taste for the sister art, music, the study of which he pursued, and became a tolerable performer on the flute and the clarionet.  A small collection of Scottish Songs, &c., was published, with his name, entitled "The Thistle."  He was married in August, 1832.
Having a strong inclination to try his fortune in America, Robert sailed from Liverpool for Philadelphia in 1844, and resided there for above two years.  His principal employment was at his own trade, with occasional engagements at the theatre as a performer on flute and clarionet.  In Philadelphia, Clark rallied around him a number of young men from his native town, and formed them into a society for instrumental music, under the name of the _Paisley Band_.  He was attacked by a severe fever and ague, and, for the recovery of his health, he re-visited his native country in 1846, and entered into business, on his own account, as a broker; but such a profession did not suit his disposition, and he resolved to return to America.  He embarked for New York in the ship Merlin, on the 23d of April, 1847.  The Merlin is supposed to have been lost on her voyage, and Robert to have perished, with the whole passengers and crew, as no tidings of them ever reached this country.


SOME half dozen of years have scarcely elapsed, since the former complete edition of "Whistlebinkie" was issued; yet, during that comparatively brief interval, death has removed several of the sweet singers to whose combined genius its pages are indebted for their choicest effusions.  Among others by whose contributions the present work has been enriched, was Robert Gilfillan, a brief outline of whose humble and somewhat uneventful life, compiled from various authentic sources, is here gives.
Robert Gilfillan was born on the 7th of July, 1798, at Dunfermline, in the county, or, as it is sometimes called, the "Kingdom," of Fife.  His parents, who were persons of humble rank in society, were generally respected in their own sphere, for their industry, intelligence, and moral worth.  The poet’s mother, especially, is represented as having been a woman of more than ordinary endowments.  For several years during the boyhood of the future bard, his father was rendered unable, by ill health, to provide in an adequate manner for the necessities of his young and helpless family.  In this period of trial, the mother, from whom her gifted son inherited a considerable portion of his intellectual vigour and strong love of independence, exerted herself In the most praiseworthy manner to give her children "a decent upbringing."  Hardships and privations there must have been in that lowly home; yet, under that admirable mother, they never ceased to form

=="A virtuous household, though exceeding poor."

Of the first twelve years of the poet’s life, little is known.  When a mere child, we are told by one who knew him well in after-days, Robert toiled manfully to assist his mother.  His aid was needed to swell the family store, and the boy rendered it ungrudgingly.  While other children of his age were at school, or sporting themselves over the sunny braes, he wao already engaged in the serious struggle of existence, yet was he not a stranger to the enjoyments which, happily, even under the most adverse circumstances, are incident to the morning of life.  At a very early age, he began to practise the art of song-writing; and it is related, that when engaged on one occasion during the christmas holidays, in a _guising_ excursion, he sung some verses which he had written on the death of Abercromby with so much effect, as to win unprecedented supplies of "bawbees and blauds o’ bread and cheese" from the gudewives of Dunfermline.
In 1811, when only thirteen years of age, Robert Gilfillan left his native town to serve an apprenticeship in Leith, as a cooper.  To this handicraft, however, he seems never to have taken kindly; yet he faithfully fulfilled his engagement, punctually giving his earnings from week to week to his beloved mother, and enlivening his leisure hours by the composition of poetry, and the practice of music on a "one-keyed flute," which he purchased with a small sum of money which he found one morning while passing along an obscure street in Leith.  The song of "Again let's hail the cheering Spring," according to a manuscript journal of the poet, was one of the early effusions of this period; while "The yellow-haired laddie," as we learn from a passage in one of his letters, was among the first airs that he learned upon the flute, "_under his own tuition._"
At the termination of his apprenticeship, Mr. Gilfillan, then in his twentieth year, returned to Dunfermline, where he was engaged for nearly three years, as shopman in a grocery establishment.  During this period, he formed the aquaintance of a number of young men, possessed, like himself, of literary tastes, who held occasional meetings for mutual improvement in literature, science, and art.  At the sederunts of this congenial society, the productions of the poet were either read or chanted, while they were, at the same time, subjected to a friendly criticism.  This period, the poet frequently remarked, was the happiest in his life.
Mr. Gilfillan afterwards returned to Leith, where he filled, for many years, the responsible situation of clerk to Mr. M'Ritchie, an extensive wine merchant.  While fulfilling the duties of this office, to the satisfaction of his employer, he found time also to keep up an intimate correspondence with the muses.  His songs, through the medium of newspapers and magazines, gradually attracted public attention and admiration.  At length, in the year 1831, he was induced by the solicitations of his friends, and his now numerous admirers, to publish a collection of his productions.  The volume, which was entitled "Original Songs," contained about a hundred and fifty pages.  It was dedicated to Allan Cunningham, and was received by the public in an exceedingly favourable manner.  Encouraged by the success of this, his first literary venture, Mr. Gilfillan subsequently published, in 1835, another and enlarged edition, containing fifty additional songs.  Soon after this volume saw the light, he was entertained at a public dinner in Edinburgh, at which Mr. Peter M’Leod, who had composed the music to some of his finest songs, presided as chairman.
In the year 1837, Mr. Gilfillan was appointed collector of police rates at Leith, an office which he continued to occupy until the period of his death.  In the same year, on the motion of Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, he was installed as Grand Bard to the Grand Lodge of Free Masons in Scotland.
He also contributed a number of poetical pieces to the pages of the _Dublin University Magazine_, and other periodical works; while, for the lengthened period of twenty years, he wrote the principal portion of the Leith news for the _Scotsman_, besides enriching the columns of that and other journals with original communications in prose and verse.
In 1850, Mr. Gilfillan and others, who regretted to see the dilapidated condition into which the monument had fallen which was erected to the poet Fergusson in the Cannongate churchyard, by Robert Burns, originated a subscription for the purpose of having it placed in a proper state of repair.  The appeal was liberally responded to, and the monument was effectually repaired.  On Monday, the 2d of December 1850, he attended a dinner of the "Grand Lodge of Scotland," where he sung several of his own songs, and appeared in his ordinary health and spirits.  Next day he was slightly unwell, but was able to take a walk in the open air.  On Wednesday morning, however, shortly after he had risen from bed, he was seized with a violent fit of apoplexy.  Medical aid was immediately called, and he subsequently rallied so far as to be able to converse.  A second fit then supervened, and in the forenoon of that day the poet was no more.  He died in the fifty-second year of his age.  His remains were accompanied by a numerous and highly respectable company to the place of sepulture, in the churchyard of South Leith, where an appropriate monument, erected by public subscription, has since been placed, to mark the spot where his earthly remains are deposited.
His own songs, although neither gifted with a voice of great compass or power, he always sung with a degree of feeling and taste which seldom failed to charm, and which caused his society to be courted on convivial occasions to an extent far beyond what the dictates of prudence would justify.  The mistaken, or it may be selfish, hospitalities of those who call themselves friends aud admirers, have too often been the medium of destruction to the poet, who might well exclaim, in answer to the courtesies of such parties, with the frog in the fable, "What is sport to you is death to us."
Among the song-writers of his country, Robert Gilfillan is undoubtedly entitled to an honourable position.  His effusions are uniformly pervaded by tenderness of feeling, appropriateness of imagery, aud that genuine simplicity of expression which forms one of the principal elements of lyrical success.  He has not the vigorous passion and manly energy of a Burns, nor the descriptive truthfulness and freshness of feeling which are so sweetly combined to a Tannahill, but his verses are ever musical and soft, while he has touched, in various instances, on chords which had escaped the ken of his great predecessors in the art of song.  "Why left I my hame," a strain which is indeed full of pathos, at once found its way to the popular heart; while the "Happy days of youth," "Fare-thee-well, for I must leave thee," "Peter M'Craw," and many other productions of his genius, are characterised by merits of a high order, and have already attained a place among the lays which the world "will not willingly let die."


O MOURN, Scotland, mourn, for thy sweet poet gane;
Thy children, far distant, shall swell the sad strain;
By hearth and by homestead, in cottage and ha’,
Are lorn hearts deploring poor Robin awa’.

Where glen-burnies wimple, where hill-torrents flow,
Where gowden whins blossom, and strong thistles grow,
Where meries greet the gloamin’, and larks hail the daw’
They’ve lost their fond lover, poor Robin awa’,

Old ago totters feebly, and youth paces slow,
They linger, to mourn o’er their bard lying low,
While angel tears hallow the turf, as they fa’
Frae beauty’s eyes streaming, for Robin awa’.

O genial the feeling his mem’ry imparts,
For deeply his lyrics are shrined in our hearts,
And rich as the fragrance when southlan’ winds blaw.
The flower posie left us by Robin awa’.



JOHN IMLAH was born in North Street, Aberdeen, about the lad of the year 1799.  He was the youngest of seven successive sons - a circumstance which he used jocularly to boaat of, as conferring on him, according to the old freet, supernatural powers of some sort or other; although what they were "he could not undertake to say."  His parentage was respectable-the Imlahs having been farmers for several generations in the Parish of Fyvie; and the poet’s father, although only a publican, or rather a country innkeeper, must have been a man of some standing and influence, as he enjoyed the title, and exercised the authority, of Baillie of Cuminestone, a populous village, where his house long continued to be known as "the baillie’s house."  Nor after his removal to Aberdeen, which took place at Whitsunday, 1798, could the Baillie have been in straitened circumstances, for he brought up the four of his seven sons who lived to manhood, in a comfortable way; and John, at least, had the advantage of a pretty fair education, including attendance for a year or two at the grammar school.  Ultimately, however, he had to abandon his literary studies, for which he evinced both liking and capacity, and betake himself, as his brothers had done before, to a trade.  He was apprenticed to Mr. Allan, a piano-forte maker, to learn the higher, or finishing branches of the business; but he was soon removed from the bench altogether.  Having given evidence of the possession of a good musical ear, his master initiated him into the mysteries of tuning, at which he speedily became an adept.  On leaving Mr. Allan, he proceeded to London, where his qualifications procured him almost immediate employment; and in the course of a few years he entered into an engagement with the leading firm, Broadwood & Co., which lasted till he left this country to visit his brothors, and would probably have been renewed again had he lived to return.  His connection with the Broadwoods was on the whole a very agreeable one, and suited well his character and tastes.  During the season, or rather, from the beginning of the year to the middle of June he performed the duties of a regular town and house tuner, on a fixed salary; and from June to December, he was allowed to travel in the north-east of Scotland, working an his own account, and eking out his income by an occasional commission on the sale of a piano.
Mr. Imlah spent his five or six months in Scotland In a pleasant roving manner.  There is hardly a town between Edinburgh and Inverness, where he had not a circle of attached friends, who were always delighted to see him; then, he was a welcome guest when he appeared professionally at the mansions of the nobility and gentry, and, to crown all, he had a host of cousins and second cousins in the parish of Methlic, near Aberdeen, on whom he delighted to lavish the strong natural feelings which he had no other outlet for - being an orphan and a bachelor, and the only two of his brothers who were in life having emigrated to distant climes so long before that he had but a faint impression of having ever seen them.
Mr. Imlah was perhaps better known and more generally liked than any other person in the same sphere of life.  His lively and social disposition, based on intelligence, uprightness, a nice sense of honour, a real goodness of heart, made him a general favourite with all classes.  His claims as a poet can be judged of by the specimens in this work.  He published two volumes, and was a regular contributor to the newspapers of his native town.  Some of his sweet and simple lyrics have been set to music by eminent composers, and have been sung occasionally by our most distinguished Scottish vocalists.
Mr. Imlah possessed a great deal of nationality - nationality of the right kind: not the ignorant assumption of undue superiority, but a rational apprehension of the real excellencies of the character and position of the people to whom he belonged.  In England he was ever foremost to defend Scotland and Scottish habits from prejudiced assailants; while in Scotland, on the other hand, he was equally ready to point out our shortcomings, and wherein we might advantageously take lessons from our southern neighbours.  To all the metropolitan associations established for the benefit of his poorer countrymen, he was, according to his meana, a cheerful and liberal contributor, and, in his private capacity, he was never found wanting when the claims of the needy, the unfortunate, or unrequited merit, came before him.
Mr. Imlah was cut off prematurely, in the vigour of life, while performing a duty of affection which he had long looked forward to with a mixture of melancholy and pleasurable anticipations.  His two remaining brothers-the one resident in Nova Scotia, the other in the West Indies - had been separated from him for a period of thirty years.  At length an opportunity occurred of meeting them together at Halifax.  After a joyful, and, to him, most complimentary, parting with his friends in London, he set sail, and had a delightful meeting with his relations.  He spent some time in Nova Scotia, and then accompanied one of his brothers and a nephew to Jamaica, where, after a brief period of enjoyment, he fell a victim to the fatal disease of the island.  He died on the 9th of January, 1846, having just entered his forty-eighth year.  The _Cornwall_ (Jamaica) _Chronicle_ paid a just tribute to his memory; and we think we cannot better conclude our brief notice, than by quoting the opinien which only a short intimacy enabled our Colonial brethren to form of Mr. Imlah.  The _Chronicle_ says, "He is deeply lamented by his relations and friends, and sincerely regretted by a numerous circle of acquaintances.  He was a man of unaffected manners and great singleness of heart, who, to a lively imagination and versatile talent, added a ready store of general knowledge, which rendered his society very acceptable to those whose congeniality of mind led them to similar pursuits.  He died in Christian hope and resignation, and, we trust, in an odour of mind which dictated, in one of his sacred poems, the following lines:-

"'O, dark would be this vale of tears - more dark this vale of death-
Had we no hope through Godward thoughts - no saving trust through faith;
Where tear shall never dim the eye, nor sob disturb the heart,
Where meet the holy and the just, and never more to part.'"


WILLIAM FINLAY was born at Paisley, in the year 1792.  At an early age he attended Bell’s school, at that time a well-known seminary in the town, and, subsequently, the Grammar School, where, under Mr. Peddie, he made such progress, that at nine years of age he could read and translate Caesar with facility.  Bred to the loom, he was for twenty years a Paisley weaver.  Leaving that trade, he wrought for some time afterwards as a pattern setter, or "flower lasher," as it is locally termed.  About the year 1840 he obtained employment in the office of Mr. Neilson, printer, Paisley.  He next removed to Duntocher, where he resided and filled a situation for a short period.  Finally, he was employed by Mr. Stirrat, bleacher, Nethercraigs, at the base of Gleniffer Braes, about two miles to the south of Paisley.  He died of fever on the 5th of November 1847, and was interred in the Paisley Cemetery on the 9th of the same month.
Such are the leading facts in the outer history of William Finlay.  The chararter of the inner man may be gathered from his writings; at least, it is very correctly and intelligibly indicated there.
While yet a young man, working at the loom, he became known among circles of his townsmen as a writer of verses.  Some of his productions of this era, about 1812 or 1813, are lively and humorous pictures of scenes which came under his notice, with, here and there, graphic sketches of character and strokes of satire indicative of the powers which his after life developed.  A few years later, about 1819 and 1820, during what is known in Paisley as the "radical time," he published some political verses, which, having a leaning to the popular side, caused him to be regarded with suspicion by those whose sympathies were all on the side of arbitrary power.  Finlay, however, was no rabid or dangerous radical in politics at any time, and as he advanced in life, he became rather conservative in his views.
In course of time, Finlay became generally known as a pretty successful writer of humorous and satirical verses.  As a satirist, he possessed considerable abilities; and, although this was only one of the phases of his character, and, perhaps, not the most important, it was the one in which, from his frequent appearances in it, he was most familiar to his townsmen during his lifetime.
Numerous efforts of our author, made with little study, and under many disadvantages, indicate that, had he been in a position to cultivate his natural abilities, and to look abroad for themes of more general interest, he might have taken high rank as a satirist.  It says much for the goodness of his heart and the soundness of his judgment, that, although he frequently and freely wielded the satiric pen, and set the whole community a laughing, he seldom, it ever, incurred the enmity of those of whom he wrote.  His satire was never savage: it was always tempered with humanity; and there was a drollery about it which even its victims could scarcely resist.
Some of the most agreeable of his productions are those in which there is a mixture of the descriptive, the humorous, and the kindly, mellowed here and there with the pathetic, and delicately spiced with the satirical.  "The Widow’s Excuse," "My Auld Uncle John," and other specimens of this union, will occur to the reader.
In reality, it was in pathos, more than in satire or humour, that William Finlay’s true strength lay.  Calls were constantly made on him by friends of one kind and another to be satirical and humorous, and to these calls his good nature, his ever ready perception of the ludicrous, and other reasons, induced him to respond.  His soul, left to its own breathings, however, like an AEolian harp to commune with the wind, gave utterance to tender, melancholy strains, descriptive of the blight of sickness, sorrow, and misfortune, or of the ever recurring visits of the angel of death to the struggling sons of clay.  His mind, although by no means gloomy, was always sensitive, and tenderly appreciated the griefs and sufferings to which mortality is subject.  On looking over his collected works, one cannot help being struck by the many sorrowful vicissitudes which have presented themselves to him, and which he has recorded.  The Destroyer, in stern reality, visited him.  He was practically "asquainted with grief."  It devolved on him to lay his wife and four of his children in their graves; and, in the course of his life, he was called on to mourn the melancholy departure of many relatives and esteemed friends.  Every stanza which he composed on such a subject may be regarded as a veritable inscription over the grave of a lost one, little is known to the world, perhaps, but known, and loved, and lamented, by him.  In these grave productions of his, there is much simple and true pathos, calculated to surprise those who have only known him in his humorous and satirical effusions.  What may equally surprise such people, in his intimate acquaintance with, and strikingly appropriate employment of, the solemn language of scripture.  Few could employ Bible Language so effectively.  Sometimes he uses little else, just connecting scripture phrases by a few words of his own, and yet avoiding all appearance of forcing quotations into his service.  Partly from temperament, and partly from early education, whatever superficial observers might think, strats of religious principle, feeling, and knowledge, formed no inconsiderable portions of his strangely mixed character.
It can scarcely have escaped the notice of any one who has looked into his writings, that these, in many instances, especially among his songs, are characterised by the most comical association of incongruities, producing very ludicrous effects.  A glance at "Joseph Tuck," "Bankrupt and Creditors," &c., will illustrate this remark.  This peculiarity is suggestive of his own character, which was, to some extent, a contradictory mixture, not only of grave and gay, of lively and severe, but of strength and weakness, or wisdom and folly.  Like many other men or intellectual abilities and genial disposition, he wanted inflexibility of purpose, and that "prudent, cautious self-control," which, according to Burns, "is wisdom’s root."  Yielding to the fascinations or conviviality, he sometimes fell into excesses which no one deplored more sincerely than himself.  In taking remorseful retrospects or his conduct, as he always did on such occasions, he sometimes described the exercise as looking down his own throat.  Frequent and touching allusions to the sin which most easily beset him, occur in his writings.  Unfortunately, the reflections which the glass produced were almost as readily effaced from his memory as in the case of the apostle James’ man, who, it will be remembered, after beholding himself in a _glass_, went away and straightway forgot what manner or man he was.
For the last year of Finlay’s life, however - during his residence at Nethercraigs, amidst the fresh breezes, the dewy fields, the waving foliage, and the gushing streams or the country, he had completely abandoned the bottle, with all its associations, and had become temperate and cheerful as a skylark.  Poor fellow cold water was, in one respect, the death of him; for, during a quiet nocturnal walk, he accidentally fell into a pond or reservoir, where he was thoroughly drenched, and, neglecting to change his clothes immediately afterward, a fever was induced, which carried him off.
In his demeanour, William Finlay was very modest and assuming, and without a particle of affectation.  With a generally well-informed mind, a lively and playful fancy, a sharp and ready wit, a productive vein of humour, imperturable good nature, and great warmth of heart, he was a decided favourite with all who knew him.  His time and talents were perhaps too freely drawn on by his friendo; and, although he employed them in what he found to be agreeable occupations, these occupations must have interfered, to some extent, with the other and necessary pursuits of a working man.  That he sometimes felt this to be the case, is evident from what he has left on record:-

=="While others have been busy, bustling
===After wealth and fame,
==And, wisely, adding house to house,
===And Baillie to their name,
==I, like a thoughtless prodigal,
===Have wasted precious time,
==And followed lying vanities
===To string them up in rhyme."

He contributed to the poet’s corner of the _Paisley Advertiser_ for a series of years, and a great variety of his effusiens reached the public through other channels.  About the beginning of 1848, a good many of his best pieces were collected and published at Paisley, in a volume dedicated to his friend Mr. Matthew Barr.


GEORGE DONALD, author of nearly a dozen Songs in the Nursery portion of Whistlebinkie, wae born in Calton of Glasgow, in January, 1800.  His parental ancestors belonged to the Western Highlands.  At the period of the birth of the subject of this memoir, his father was what is called a tenter in one of the power-loom factories in the Calton.
Alex. Crum, Esq., father of the highly respected family of that name, so justly esteemed in Glasgow, engaged the poet’s father, on the recommendation of the late Mr. Bartholomew, to whom he had woven for twenty years, to go to Thornlie Bank, in 1808.
The factory act was not then in existence, and he would have been thought a visionary enthusiast who would have attempted to limit tho hours of labour, or the age at which young persons should be allowed to enter public factories.  It is painful to contemplate a youth possessed of those tender sensibilities which distinguish those of a poetic temperament - often, also, not the most robust constitution - subjected as George was, at the early age of eight years, to the long hours which regulated these works, from six morning till eight evening six days of the week, with an interval of an hour and a half for both meals.
Having observed the eager desire which our poet began to manifest for reading, the manager of the factory very kindly allowed him to attend school for two hours each day, he had only received, previously, some elementary instruction at a school in Glasgow, taught by an old woman.  By dont of close application to his favourite pursuits, he suceeded in gaining a knowledge of English and Geography, he also attained a knowledge of the rudiments of the Latin language, under the tuition of Mr. Robert Lochtie, who taught a school in the village, and who, besides, assisted and directed the studies of his young pupil.
During the period of what may well be remembered, and called the Radical rebellion, George Donald found ample scope for his poetic talent.  He was an ardent advocate for civil and religious liberty.  Many of his pieces, contributed to the liberal political journals of the day, show how earnestly he advocated the divine origin of liberty as the common birthright of man.  His contributions to these journals were the means of introducing him to some of the leaders among the political circles of Glasgow,  This acquaintanceship may be said to have been the first step that led to those consequences which were the source of his subsequent misfortunes.
In 1825, George married Mary Wallace, who was employed at Thornlie Bank with himself.  In consequence of the extreme depression of trade in 1828 - a year well remembered by those then engaged in commercial pursuits during their after days-the works at Thornlie Bank were closed, and those who had been engaged at them were obliged to seek employment elsewhere.
The subject of our memoir was engaged to act as manager of a factory in the neighbourhood of Belfast; but his stay there did not much exceed a twelvemouth.  He returned to Scotland in 1831, and rented a small house at the Townhead of Glasgow, and from this period.  George Donald’s moral descent, forgetfulness of what he owed to himself and to his family, was irremediable and rapid.
His literary and political acquaintanceships were renewed.  He became a member of a political club; and the important discussions, as its members considered them, were continued till late hours, and deep libations from the inebriating bowl wound up the proceedings.  For a time be attended his work and his family, but the moral poison had infected him, and very soon occasioned his ruin.  His family became completely neglected; and, though his helpmate struggled night and day to maintain herself and family - which consisted of a son and two daughters - and employed all those means which a dutiful and affectionate wife never fails to do, to win back the partner of her life from dissipation, it was all in vain.
We quote, from a popular work of the day, a case similar to that of Mrs. Donald:- "She paced the floor of her lonely apartment with painful anxiety.  Her children asleep - no living to share her woes, or sound to break the midnight silence, save the melancholy click of the old wooden clock, which might have made the lonely woman imagine that she held her finger on the wrist of old Time, and felt the pulsations which denoted his rapid progress towards the limits 'No longer;’ and as each large division in the circle of his steps had been passed over, the rusty machinery gave an alarm, as if shuddering at its own progress, and sounded the knell, delivering over another passage of Time 'To the years beyond the flood.’  One struck - two followed - and still the death-like silence prevailed within the humble dwelling.  Oh! ye riotous drunkards, whose throats are as if they were parched by blasts from hell! how many hearts are withering to death under your cold neglect? how many tender shoots, introduced by you into this bleak world, are thus left to sicken and die?"
He became, like his brother and contemporary, Sandy Rodger, connected with a radical newspaper started at this time, entitled the _Liverator_, which had a brief existence of some eighteen months.  In this office, Donald’s habits may be said to have been thoroughly ruined, and those of Rodger from being improved, beside losing a considerable sum of money, the contributions of his friends, in this slough of despond.
Our poet returned to work at his usual employment, but that had lost all its charms for him.  Not though a weeping wife and helpless children mourned, could the hapless son of the muses be restrained from carousing with his boon companions.  After using every endeavour to reclaim him, despair took hold of Mrs. Donald’s heart, and, in 1836, she abandoned him, taking her family with her to Thornlie Bank, where, under her mother's roof, she found shelter.  Some have considered this as a hasty step, and that she ought to have continued with her husband, and persevered in her efforts to reclaim him; but it is far easier to blame than to bear.  Had she been alone, the case would have been different, but these children had to be cared for, and that by the mother alone.  The arm on which she and her children looked to under Providence for support, had become morally paralysed.  The result, we think, showed the course she took was the right one, for, instead of being struck with sorrow and shame for the cause of this abandonment, and endeavour to retrace his steps, he plunged deeper and deeper in the vice that had become his master, and, as the Proverbs say, "He was holden in the cords of his own sin."  No doubt he had, as all drunkards have, repentant fits, and abstained from indulgence for a time, but these passed away, verifying the passage of sacred writ above quoted.
Donald, after this crisis, was driven hither and thither like stubble in the whirlwind, the march downwards doubly accelerated.  He made a journey to America, but soon returned to his native country not much improved by his travels.  Up to the period of his last illness, he continued to write both prose and verse for the journals of the day.  He published "The Lays of the Covenanters," a work worthy of his name, but from which he derived very little pecuniary return.  One of these Lays appeared in the _Banner of Ulster_.  When Dr. Chalmers happened to be in Belfast, and "The Lays" came under his eye, he was much pleased with them, and sent, by the hand of a friend, a guinea to the author - a great boon to him at the time.
Some of Donald’s happiest efforts may be seen in the pieces he contributed to the little popular work, "Songs for the Nursery."  There are ten songs of his in that collection, and the reader of critical taste for the felicitous expression of our Scottish idiom, and domestic sympathies and feeling, will not fail to say that George Donald is entitled, with Miller, Ballantine, Smart, Rodger, &c. &c., to the compliment paid to them by Lord Jeffrey.
Part of the last days of Donald was in the office of the _Glasgow Examiner_, under Mr. Smith, who was very kind to him.  A cold he caught in 1850 settled down on his chest, and, in 1851, it assumed such a serious aspect that he was advised to go into the Royal Infirmary; but his family, whose eye watched, though unobserved his melancholy career, took him home to Thornlie Bank, and had medical skill and nursing applied to his disease, but in vain.  His lips were sealed by death, 7th December, 1851.
Thus passed away a hapless gifted child of song, the last passages of whose melancholy life give a fearful admonition to the tuneful tribe who come after him.  In one of his notes to a gentleman who gave him assistance sometimes, he says, "My thoughts at times are fearful: may God forgive and protect me."  In another.  "I am shoeless and shirtless, and cannot write for the cold."  We consider it necessary to quote these distressing passages from his correspondence, to serve as a warning to others to beware of the Poet's Slaughter-house - the Tavern.


ROBERT L. MALONE was born in Anstruther, Fife, about the year 1812, and was a younger member of a family of seven daughters and six sons, most of whom died in infancy.  His father was a captain in the Royal Navy, and latterly held a command in the Coast Guard Service.  His mother was a Rothesay lady, in which town the father ultimately settled down on half-pay, but died when Robert was a child of five years of age.  At fourteen, after acquiring a mere rudimental education, Robert entered the navy, and served for the first three years on board the gun-brig Marshal, Lieutenant tenant M'Kirdy, long known in the west as attending the Fisheries department.  He then served some time in the Mediterrinean, and also in South America, on board the well known ship Rattlesnake.  At the end of ten years, declining health forced him to quit the service, and join his family at Rothesay.  The fine air of that salubrious locality had a beneficial effect on him, and he rallied, but, being naturally of a delicate constitution, he never attained to anything like vigour.  He had all his life been a lover of poetry, and especially that of his native land; bit it was during the solitary hours which a delicate state of health imposed on him, that he wae led to give his thoughts an embodiment in song.  His mode of life hitherto has given a turn to his mind and his musings, and the latter found vent in his principal poem of "The Sailor’s Dream," which is full of rich imagery.  "The Sailor’s Funeral" is another effusion in which his early associations are evoked.
In 1836, he came along with his family to reside in Greenock, where he passed his time in quiet and unobtrusive wanderings among the fine scenery of Inverkip Vale, no doubt maturing his poetical aspiratiens, and husbanding the portion of health which he yet retained.  In 1845, he published his volume, which was largely patronised, and justly appreciated, gaining him many friends.  Before this time, however, he had contributed some good songs to this work.  About the end of the same year he obtained a situation as a clerk in the Long-room of her Majesty’s Customs at Greenock; and here he remained, highly esteemed, till about the middle of June, 1850, when he was compelled to abandon his duties; and on the 6th of July, three weeks afterwards, he died, in his thirty-eighth year, regretted by all who knew him, and admired and esteemed, not more for his writings than for his extreme modesty, and quiet, agreeable, retiring, and obliging disposition.  His remains rest in the Cemetery, a locality around which he so often delighted to wander.  Though so long a period of his short life was spent on shipboard, he ever delighted to dwell

===="'Mid nature’s guileless joys."

Every line he hao written, is the emanation of a mind imbued with a keen and careful perception of all that is soft and pure.  His predilection for the muse did not lead him to neglect the more austere duties of his office - he wrote little and published less from the date of his appointment.


WILLIAM THOM was born in a house in Sinclair’s Close, Justice Port, Aberdeen, about the end of 1788, or the beginning of 1789.  His father was a merchant, but died soon, and left his mother so poor that the only education she could afford her son was a short attendance at a dame’s school, which, however, he seems to have improved well enough to enable him to make what he learned there the foundation for some self-tuition afterwards.  At an early age he was bound apprentice to the firm of Bryce & Young, Cotton Manufacturers, Lower Deuborn, where he distinguished himself more by his smart repartees, his audacious abuse of bigger and stronger shopmates, and his success among the female weavers, than by his skill or industry, although undoubtedly he mastered sufficiently the mysteries of his craft.  He was possessed from his boyhood of a wonderful 'gift of the gab,’ which served him well both in putting down men, and gaining over women.  Original lameness from a deformed foot had been increased by an accident, and when his sarcastic remarks were likely to get him 'a thrashing,’ he pawkily contrived to escape by exclaiming, 'You coward, wad ye strike a cripple?’  It is suspected that he did not always get so easily out of the scrapes which his smooth tongue brought him into with the gentler sex.  Although short in stature, and deformed he could boast more conquests than the tallest man In the factory; and it is a fact, that to the end of his days he possessed the power-however sparingly he may have used it-of fascinating both men and women by his conversation.  He used to remark jocularly that the true road to success was to indulge in a sort of mysterious verbiage which neither the speaker nor the listener could understand, for that women were like seals, which the sailors had first to astonish and then secure.
About 1817 the firm of Bryce & Young was dissolved, and Thom, along with a number of his fellow-workmen went to the large weaving-factory of Gordon, Barron & Co., where he worked for ten years, enjoying all the time much celebrity as a boon companion.  He played the flute admirably-he sang well-he produced an occasional original song-he was always ready with a speech, comic or serious - and his lively, agreeable, and shrewd talk, never failed to keep the company alive.  It is needless to say that he was much sought after, and that the sort of life he was almost forced to lead contributed little either to immediate or permanent advantage.  A matrimonial engagement which he bad entered into turned out unfortunate, the fault being, perhaps, to some extent his own; there was a sort of break-up in the circles which he frequented; he grew lonely and dull, and, at length, left Aberdeen for the south.  After trying Dundee, he went to live at Newtyle, where he seems to have passed some years of hard work and domestic happiness with his Jean.  The touching autobiographical episode which he relates with so much pathos, occurred at this time.  Many a reader must have wept over the tale of utter destitution-the pawning of the last article of value-the purchase of the small pack-the death of the child-the flute-playing for money-and all the other details connected with the wandering portion of the poet’s life.  At last, he says, his soul grew sick of the beggar’s work, and times getting a little better, he settled down to his loom.  In January, 1840, he took up his abode in Inverury, for the sake of getting the better pay of what is called 'customer work;' here his conversational powers secured for him again a good deal of countenance and some substantial benefit.  Still there seemed no chance of escape from his lot of toil.  But his better star, though he knew it not, was in the ascendant; and it shone brightly, but alas, briefly!  One of the finest of his poetical pieces - No. I. of 'The Blind Boy’s Pranks’-was forwarded to the _Aberdeen Herald_, with a note to the Editor, in which the author, with conscious pride, told the Editor that if he did not think the poetry good, he (Thom) pitied his taste.  The Editor did think it good, and Inserted it in his first publication, with the following note:-
'These beautiful stanzas are by a Correspondent who subscribes himself "a Serf," and declares that he has to "weave fourteen hours of the four-and-twenty."  We trust his daily toil will soon be abridged, that he may have more leisure to devote to an art in which he shows so much natural genius and cultivated taste.’ -  The piece was copied widely into the newspapers, and in the columns of the _Aberdeen Journal_ met the eye of Mr Gordon of Knockespock, who was so much struck with the beauty and fancy it displayed, that he resolved forthwith to do something for the author, and began his good work by sending a five pound note.  This was a most welcome present to Thom in the middle of winter, and when his resources were at a very low ebb.  He had found a real Mecaenas; for soon agterwards, to use his own words, 'he and his daughter wore dashing it in a gilded carriage in London, and under the protection and at the expense of Mr Gordon, spent four months in England, visiting and being visited by many of the leading men of the day.’  Other friends sprung up, and in 1844, a small volume, entitled 'Rhymes and Recollections,’ dedicated to Mrs Gordon, was published, and had a good sale.  Thom, in the meantime, had returned to his loom at Inverury, but in the end of the year just mentioned he went again to London, with the view of getting out an enlarged edition of his poems, and engaging permanently in some literary employment.  He was most cordially welcomed by a number of enthusiastic countrymen; and in February, 1845, a grand dinner was got up to him in tho 'Crown and Anchor,’ W. J. Fox, Esq., (now M.P. for Oldham) presiding, and several men of eminence connected with literature and art, forming part of the company.  Some delay occurred in the publication of his second volume, or there can be no doubt that the favourable impression he produced at that dinner, and in the private intercourse that ensued, would have secured a rapid sale.  As it was, his fame had spread abroad in the world.  He received from India the proceeds of a ball got up in his favour, and chiefly through the exertions of the late Margaret Fuller of the Tribune, a sum of nearly £150 from New Fork, in addition to £300 that had been sent to him before.  The working-classes of London, too, contributed their mite in honour of the weaver-poet.  They got up a meeting for his benefit in the National Hall, High Holborn, which was presided over by Dr Bowring, and proved highly successful.  This was the culminating point of his career.  Dickens, William and Mary Howitt, Foster (of the _Examiner_), John Robertson (formerly of the _Westminister_), Eliza Cook, his friend Fox, and a host of other literary celebrities, paid him every attention.  Several of our leading statesmen took an interest in him, and he had an opportunity of seeing and enjoying all that the best society in London could produce.  He visited Paris at a later period, along with Mr Mowatt - a warm-hearted Scotchman who, for man, years, has always had at Tower Hill a hearty welcome for those of his countrymen who can show any claim to the possession of talent or genius, no matter how humble their circumstance otnerwise - and was highly delighted with all he saw.  But in London he found parasites, even among the literary class, as well as friends: his pecuniary means melted rapidly away-the delay in the publication of his book prevented it from being so profitable as it might have been - he either did not find suitable literary employment, or did not get paid for it - the temptations of the great city, in some respects, proved too strong for him - he began to lose caste, and fairly lost heart.  Starvation was almost staring him in the face, and he resolved to return to Scotland.  At this juncture Mr Fox stood his friend, and partly by private subscriptions, and partly by a grant from the Literary Fund, procured him the means of travelling, with his family, to Dundee.
For the incidents connected with the poet’s early life, we are indebted to William Anderson, a brother bard in Aberdeen, who has done much to illustrate the scenery and characters of his native town, to Mr John Robertson of Lower Thames Street, London, a warm and disinterested friend of Thom’s, and a rhymer too, we owe the details of the London visit; and a kindred spirit in Dundee, Mr James Scrymgeour, has enabled us to complete our brief sketch by furnishing the following melancholy account of Thom’s last days.  He had expected, or hoped rather, that his health and spirits would recover if he removed to some spot familiar in former times, and he took up his abode at Hawkhill, a suburban district of Dundee, where he had once worked at the loom; but he soon discovered, though heartily welcomed, that his was a malady which no change of scene could alleviate or cure - the vital spring was affected, he suffered from the

==='-desolating thought which comes
==Into man’s happiest hours and homes,
==Whose melancholy boding flings
==Death’s shadow o’er the brightest things.’

There were many in Dundee who did all they could to lift the weight from his heart, and dispel the gloom from his countenance, but all in vain.  He walked about, as his brother poet Gow said, 'with his death upon him.’  He was at the Watt Institution Anniversary Festival, (of 19th Jan., 1B48,) and was introduced to a large assembly, by the president, Lord Kinnaird.  His reception was hearty, but his words were few; he was not at home; the fountains of poetry and pleasure were dried up in him; the zest of life was quite gone.  He could neither sit, nor walk, nor read, nor write with any comfort.  On the 29th of February he died.  On the 3d of March following, his remains had the honour of what may be called a public funeral.  The town’s officers and the guildry officers in their liveries headed the cortege.  'Dark ee’d Willie,’ the poet’s son, acted as chief mourner, and the hearse was followed by the provost and many of the principal inhabitants of Dundee.  The coffin, when bared, exhibited the letters W. T., aged 59, and amid the sympathies of the crowd was lowered into the earth at a spot where, oftener than once, during his last days, its oocupant said he would like to be buried.  A warm admirer, Mr Geo. Lawson of Edinburgh, author of 'The Water Lilies,’ as a farewell tribute of respect, planted the grave with wild flowers, and during the snow-storm of the present year (1853), the writer of this notice having sent to Dundee to make inquiries about the poet’s death, received from his correspondent a snow-drop, one of many which had reared their heads in the form of a T over the poet’s last resting-place.
We must leave it to the reader to draw his own moral from the sad history of Thom.  If he had faults, his merits were not few.  The circumstances of his early life were not calculated to give much firmness to his character, and his sudden blaze into notoriety helped perhaps to carry him off his feet a little.  But he never lost his fine sensibilities; he could appreciate what was good, and sensible, and just, if he did not always practise it, and he was as generous to others as he was reckless of his own interests.
It only remains to mention that Thom’s children, two boys and a girl, are in a fair way of getting on in the world.  The oldest son, through the assistance of Mr Gordon of Knockespock, got a good education, and is now, we believe, a tutor at one of our Scottish Universities; the second had, through Dr Bowring, a situation on the Blackwall Railway, but left it to go to sea, where he is doing well; the daughter, a handsome young woman, has gone to Australia.


SMITH had passed into the spiritual world several years preceding the publication of the first series of this Work, but his name will ever be associated with our national music.  The following notice is extracted from 'M’Conechy’s Life of Motherwell:'-
'Smith was born at Reading, in Berkshire, in 1779.  His father was a native of West Calder, in Lanarkshire, and his mother an Englishwoman of respectable connexions.  In the year 1773, his father emigrated to England in consequence of the dulness of the silk-weaving trade, but returned to Paisley after an absence of seventeen years, bringing with him his son, whom he intended to educate to the loom.  This, however, was found to be impossibie.  Nature had furnished the lad with the most delicate musical sensibilities, and after an ineffectual struggle with the ruling passion, music became the business of his life.  He attained to considerable provincial distinction, and composed original music for the following songs of the poet Tannahill, whose intimate friend he was:-Jessie the Flower o’ Dumblane-The Lass of Arranteenie-The Harper of Mull-Langsyne beside the Woodland Burn-Our Bonnie Scots Lads-Despairing Mary-Wi’ waefu’ heart and sorrowin’ ee-The Maniac’s Song-Poor Tom’s Farewell-The Soldier’s Widow-and We’ll meet beside the Dusky Glen.
In 1823 he removed to Edinburgh at the solicitation of the late Rev. Dr Andrew Thomson, where he led the choir of St George’s Church, of which Dr Thomson was the incumbent, and where he died in January, 1829.  Between him and Motherwell there existed a warm friendship, arising no doubt from a congeniality of tastes on many points; but, on the part of the latter, strengthened by a sincere respect for the virtues as well as the genius of the man.  Smith had to contend through life not only with narrow means and domestic discomfort, but against the pressure of a constitutional melancholy which occasionally impaired the vigour of his fine faculties.  His real griefs - of which he had a full share - were, therefore, increased by some that were imaginary; and he was obviously accustomed not only to lean upon the stronger mind of his friend in his moments of depression, but to seek for sympathy in his distress, which, it is needless to add, was never refused.  In November, 1826, Smith thus writes to him:-
"I would have written you long ere this, but have been prevented by an amount of domestic distress sufficient to drive all romance out of the mind; and you must be aware that without a considerable portion of that delightful commodity no good music can be engendered.  To be serious, my dear friend, two of my family, my eldest daughter and youngest son, are at this moment lying dangerously ill of the typhus fever.  I hope that I may escape the contagion, but I have sometimes rather melancholy forebodings; and in the midst of all this, I am obliged to sing professionally every day, and mask my face with smiles to cover the throbbings of a seared and lonely heart."
'To this sad effusion Motherwell returned the following obaracteristic reply:-
'"Your domestic afflictions deeply grieve me.  I trust by this time, however, that your children have mended, and that you are no sufferer by their malady.  Kennedy and I have been shedding tears over your calamities, and praying to Heaven that you may have strength of spirit to bear up under such severe dispensation.  We both, albeit we have no family afflictions to mourn over, have yet much to irritate and vex us - much, much indeed, to sour the temper and sadden the countenance - but these things must be borne with patiently.  It is folly of the worst description to let thought kill us before our time. . . . .  I hope to hear from you soon, and to learn that you are in better spirits, and that the causes which have depressed them are happily removed.  Kennedy joins me in warm and sincere prayers that this may speedily be the case."'
The following very characteristic document was found among Motherwell’s papers, and its publication may induce our dear friend, James Ballantine, to reconsider the opinion he gave in his otherwise admirable Lectures on Scottish Song, in which he asserted that to be successful as a writer of song, it is necessary that the poet should be able to sing himself:-

'At Edinburgh, the twentieth day of October, eighteen hundred and twenty-eight years, and within the New Slaughter’s Coffee-house there-
'In presence of Mr R. A. Smith and other gentlemen, who subscribe as witnesses to this document,-
'Appeared William Motherwell, who solemnly affirms and declares, that not having been blessed with a voice or ear, he is utterly incapable of singing any song, holy or profane, for the delectation of any compotators.  And this is truth.


'I, R. A. Smith, of Edinburgh, hereby certify, that having made trial of the above William Motherwell, his singing abilities, I declare that the statement put forth by him is strictly true.  And I beg leave to express a hope, that this testimonial under my hand may be a means of saving him from persecution in all companies of honest fellows partial to song, for the poor rascal cannot utter a note.
'Given under my hand, place and date first above-mentioned, before these witnesses - Mr P. Buchan of Peterhead, and Messrs John Stevenson and Sandy Ramsay, booksellers in Edinburgh-all being at this time quite comfortable, and able with me to form a due appreciation of the musical talent of Turk or Christian.

======='R. A. SMITH.
'P. BUCHAN, Witness.
'Jo. STEVENSON, Witness.
'A. RAMSAY, Witness.

'P.S.-With feelings of the deepest regret I have this evening signed the above document; but the strict regard I entertain for truth, and the utter abhorrence I have for FICTION, oblige me to set my hand and seal to what is positively a notorious fact.

======='R. A. SMITH.'


THIS collection of Scottish Songs, illustrative of forms of national life, thought, and speech which are quickly passing away, may be said to have owed its origin to the late David Robertson, the genial and well-known Glasgow bookseller.  It was begun nearly fifty years ago, a time when the conditions of life were more favourable than they now are for the production of songs, and when, consequently, the country was much richer in simple songmakers.  Himself one of the most kindly and loveable of men, full of dry wit and humour, and passionately fond of everything that was peculiarly Scottish, David Robertson had a wide acquaintance with the best singers of his time.  They were wont to gather around him in his place of business in the Trongate, which by and by became the familiar and favourite haunt of all who could tell a good story, or make or appreciate a good Scottish song.  A good song is a national treasure.  The nation is the richer for it in all after time.  Not a few of our humbler poets who have sung to purpose, whose lyrics have struck the national ear and heart, and are enshrined in our Scottish minstrelsy, were encouraged in their early efforts by the kindly sympathy and judicious advice of David Robertson.
It was his happy idea to gather together the fugitive rhymes and lyrics of his day which were floating about, many of which might otherwise have passed into oblivion, and to present them to the world under the name of Whistle-Binkie.  In a collection so large, and formed with such an aim, the insertion of pieces of very indifferent literary merit was, perhaps, unavoidable; but even these will be found to justify their presence by some local allusion, or some illustration of life and manners, which it was thought desirable to preserve.
Of that cluster of gifted men who contributed to Whistle-Binkie, one of the last survivors and one of the best known was JAMES BALLANTINE, the warm admirer and life-long friend of David Robertson, who was among the first to discover and to foster his poetic power.  It was chiefly to Ballantine’s suggestion that the present issue of Whistle-Binkie is due.  It is a melancholy reflection to the publisher, that these volnmss, which were to have been enriched by a preface from his pen, have to record his name among the other genial contributors who have gone, but happily not "gone like the singing birds of that time which now sing no more."  The death of Ballantine broke another of the few remaining links which bound the Edinburgh of the past to the Edinburgh of the present.  In his younger days he was familiar with the forms that figure in the "Noctes."  He was the comtemporary, and in many cases the friend, of the great men and the great wits of the day that is gone.  Jeffrey and Cockburn, Robertson, Ardmillan and Neaves, Wilson and Aytoun, Hugh Miller, D. Moir, Robert Chambers, and, towering head and shoulders above them all, the colossal form of Chalmers, - these are men who have left few representatives behind them.  In the departure of men like these, there has passsd away much of the social grace and literary sparkle that brightened up the "grey metropolis of the North," and left it clad in a quieter and soberer grey.
To use the words of one who knew Ballantine well, "In the midst of all this genial life the minor bards of the time sprang up like the ground-flowers of Wordsworth.  There was Robert Gilfillan of Leith, David Vedder of Newhaven, Cap. Charles Gray, retired from the Royal Marines and resident in Edinburgh, together with Thomas Smibert, Erskine Conolly, William Cross, busy with his tale of 'The Disruption,’ and sundry others who had succeeded in making their mark; while Blackie and Aytoun and Theodore Martin were just beginning to show themselves above the literary horizon.  Nor must we forget in this enumeration Peter M'Leod, on whose original melodies many of the new songs floated; William Donaldson, who sang them as few other men could; and Peter Fraser, - wit, mimic, and vocalist, - the most brilliant and entertaining society man of the period.  The subject of our sketch was known to most of these, and mingled in their coteries."
James Ballantine was born on the 11th June 1808, at the West Port, Edinburgh, one of the quaintest parts of the quaint old town.  We can see from his writings that the external features and historical associations of his birthplace were not without their effect in the formation of his literary tastes.  Apart from the solid education which was the birthright of every Scottish child the boy had few advantages.  His father, a brewer, died when he was about ten years of age, leaving him and three sisters older than himself dependent on his widowed mother, of whom up to the latest year of his life he used to speak with unbounded devotion and respect.  There is nothing specially noteworthy in connection with his early days.  In common with multitudes like him he fought his way upwards through adverse circumstances to an hononrable competence.  He seems to have employed every opportunity which presented itself of improving his mind, and gave early evidence of artistic taste in the trade which he had chosen.  In the same humble profession of decorative painter, David Roberts, R.A., who was some ten years older, was his fellow-craftsman.  Between the two young men, both of whom were destined to fame, an intimacy sprang up which ripened into a friendship which lasted with life.
In 1830 he commenced business as house-painter under the firm of Ballantine & Allan.  At an early period Mr. Ballantine turned his attention to an important branch of art in connection with his profession which had almost died out in Scotland, the art of glassstaining.  His successful competition for the stainedglass windows in the House of Lords, at once indicated the proficiency which he had attained in this department of art, and gave a stimulus to the deeper study of its principles, and to laborious and unwearied exertions in carrying these principles into practice.  His views on this important subject were embodied in a work of considerable merit, which in addition to a pretty wide circulation in this country had the distinction of being translated into German.  The work which Mr. Ballantine then successfully began has been carried to a much higher state of perfection under his accomplished son, whose masterly work in stained glass is well known not only throughout Scotland and England but in almost every quarter of the world.  The improvement which is happily taking place in the church architecture of Scotland has created an increasing demand for work of this kind, which may be said to be essential to church adornment.  It is satisfactory to know that in this, as in other branches of art, our native artists are taking a foremost place.
It is chiefly, however, with the literary work of Ballantine that these brief notes are concerned.  Some of the first efforts of his muse were given to the world in the pages of Whistle-Binkie, the first series of which began in 1832, when he was twenty-four years of age.  From first to last he contributed some fifty pieces; among these are some of his very choicest gems, such as "Ilka blade o’ grass," "Castles in the air," "Rosy cheekit apples," etc.  His first considerable literary effort was "The Gaberlunzie’s Wallet," which made its appearance anonymously in monthly numbers, and was published in a completed form in 1843, being admirably illustrated by Alex. A. Ritchie.  The idea of the "Wallet" was, on the whole, a happy one for the purpose which its writer had in view.  That purpose was to provide a setting for his songs, and a medium for their circulation.  This he found in a story, or rather a series of stories, illustrative of Scottish life and manners, in which the principal speaker and actor is the gaberlunzie, one of the old blue-gowned beggars, the aristocracy of the wandering class, whose visits were ever welcome to the humbler Scottish homes.  The homely narrative, the accurate description of scenery and character, the touches of humour and pathos, and above all the fine lyrics imbedded in it like sparkling gems, secured for this work an extensive and well-merited reputation, and made the name of Ballantine known wherever the Scottish tongue was spoken.  But the plan was not without its drawbacks and defects.  The chief of these is the frequency of abrupt and unnatural transitions from the prose to the poetry, as when the company at Kelpie Cleuch, who had sat up all night in consequence of the death of feckless Phemie, are cheered by the gaberlunzie reciting the ballad of Mary Hay, a pretty enough ballad in its way but utterly out of place in the circumstances.  The wonder is that the song and the narrative are, on the whole, so well wedded together.
It is a striking proof of Ballantine’s literary vigour and fertility, that amid the labours and distractions of an extensive business he was able to give to the world, in the year immediately following the publication of the "Wallet," another work of a somewhat similar aim, the well-told story of "The Miller of Deanhaugh."  Apart from the conception and working out of the story, of which different opinions might be entertained, this work, like its predecessor, has the important merit of preserving specimens of the rich Scottish vernacular, with which its author was so familiar, and which is, unhappily, fast passing away.
In 1856 his principal poems were collected into a handsome volume, published by Messrs Constable & Co., and dedicated to his friend Charles Dickens.
In 1866 he issued another volume, of one hundred songs, "selected," as he says, "from a large number written during five-and-twenty years.  Several of the airs have been contributed by eminent composers, others have been adapted from ancient national melodies, and in the words I have endeavoured chiefly to embody and illustrate the maxims and manners of dear auld Scotland."
His last original work was published by William Blackwood & Sons in 1871.  It contains "Lilias Lee," a tale, in the verse of Spenser, extending over five cantos, "illustrative of Scottish manners in the beginning of the sixteenth century, and embodying some incidents in the life of James IV. of Scotland-" "Malcolm Canmore," an historical play in three acts; and fifty-five miscellaneous poems, the last of which are- "Ode for the Birthday of Robert Burns," "Ode for the Inauguration of the Ettrick Shepherd’s Monument, St Mary’s Lake," and "Song for the Centenary of Sir Walter Scott."
These are the works on which the reputation of Ballantine rests.  They do not, however, exhaust his literary labours.  Like all true Scotsmen he was a passionate admirer of Burns.  As secretary of the committee who had charge of the preparations in celebrating his centenary in 1859, he undertook the principal part of the work.  In addition thereto he took upon him the enormous labour of compiling the reports of no less than 872 similar meetings held all over the world.  The result of his labours was presented to the public in a large volume, bearing the title "The Chronicle of the Hundredth Birthday of Robert Burns."  In this connection it is worthy of notice, that to his persistent efforts the country owes the restoration of the Burns Memorial on the Calton Hill, and the enrichment of its Museum with many precious MSS. and relics of the great poet.  Nor should it be here forgotten that he was one among many to whose earnest advocacy and artistic skill Edinburgh owes its richest architectural treasure, that wondrous poem in stone, the Scott Monument, in whose recent completion by the filling up of the niches with characteristic statuary he also had an influential voice.
It will complete this notice of his literary labours to say that he more than once produced dramatic work which was performed on the Edinburgh stage, and that in 1866 he wrote a "Life of David Roberts, R.A.," his early and life-long friend.
Up till a comparatively recent period Mr. Ballantine enjoyed the blessing of vigorous health.  The death in 1875 of his accomplished daughter, the wife of John Hutchison, R.S.A., to whom he was devotedly attached, told seriously upon his already failing strength.  In 1877 he had a slight shock of paralysis, from which he never wholly recovered.  The cheerfulness, the kindly humour, the thoughtfulness for others, the trust in the love and mercy of God in Christ which he manifested through life, and which are ever showing themselves in his songs, remained with him unbroken till the end.  He died on the 18th December 1877, in the seventieth year of his age, leaving behind him a widow and two sons.
It is not difficult to estimate the character and works of such a man.  Ballantine will live and sing when many higher names than his are utterly forgotten.  They who are familiar with his writings, and who knew the man in the flesh, are struck with the accuracy with which he has portrayed himself in his songs.  They are the faithful outcome and reflex of the man.  The round, full, sunny face, with the massive brow, and the humour flashing round the lips, told of a strong and cheery nature disposed to look at the bright side of things.  His social qualities, his fund of anecdote, the simplicity and transparent truthfulness of his character, the strength of his domestic affections, his love of the right and scorn for the wrong, greatly endeared him to all who had the pleasure of his friendship.  Perfect simplicity, truthfulness to nature, healthiness of tone, are the great charm of his songs, as they were the great charm of his character.  There is no effort, no forced sentiment.  He sang as the birds sing, beeause he must.  There breathe throughout his writings, whether poetry or prose, an unfailing trust in God and in His kind providence, faith in the right, contempt for the unreal, hatred of the mean and wrong, pity for the weak, and sympathy for the suffering.
It is these things, more than any depth of thought, or any profound insight into the subtler workings of the human mind, or high literary finish, which give to many of the songs of Ballantine their perennial charm.  The range of his powers was neither a high nor a wide one, but he spoke to the common needs of common men; and the line that lightens a heart, that dries a tear, that makes a burden easier to bear, has a right to live.  His kindly nature is ever coming out in such songs as "Ilka blade o’ grass," "Ye maunna scaith the feckless," "A stieve heart and a sturdy step will climb the steepest brae."  For tender pathos, for purity and simplicity, for the exquisite rhythm with which it runs limpid and clear like a Highland burn, there are few lyrics that surpass "Rosy cheekit apples."  In common with all our songmakers, from the days of Barbour downwards, he had a passionate love for everything that was peculiarly Scottish, and his enthusiastic patriotism is ever breaking out in his songs.  The reverence of his nature is shown in his love of children and insight into their hearts, and in his singular freedom from a common failing of modern times-in no line he ever wrote will you find a sneer at the religion which he professed in life, and which supported him in sickness and death.
Among the last verses that came from his pen were the following, in memory of the beautiful and gifted daughter of his early friend David Robertson, the much loving and much loved wife of the writer of this notice:-

="How can a simple songster sing,
==Worthy of her who tunes his lay!
=He cannot back the darling bring
==Who from the earth hath passed away,
=To heaven, where ever shall endure
=Her angel charms so heavenly pure.

="One child had died, another child
==She left, as if our hearts to cheer,
=But soon our hopes were all dispelled-
==The left one sought her mother’s bier;
=And now above, as once below,
=The three hearts mingle in one glow.

="Her husband, who became my guide
==In other paths than that of song,
=Thrust every crook and knoll aside
==That made the path to heaven seem long,
=And showed me all, around, above,
=That heaven and earth are filled with love.

="Her father first encouraged me
==To sing the songs of humble life,
=And urged me aye to keep them free
==From aught to gender guile or strife.
=Read David’s genial 'Whistle-Binkie;’
=To all that’s kind and pure 'twill link ye.

="Her mother, who still lives and hopes
==To meet her daughter in the sky,
=Mingles with ours her tearful drops,
==And wishes that the time were nigh
=When we may hope to meet again,
=And with our darling aye remain."


WILLIAM MILLER, the subject of the following biographical sketch, was born in Glasgow in August 1810, but spent most of his boyhood days in the village of Parkhead.  His inclinations lay in favour of surgery as the profession to which he would apply himself, and all the arrangements were completed for that purpose, but a serious illness prevented this intention from being carried out.  He was ultimately apprenticed as a cabinet turner, and became a very skilful workmen, and at this trade he continued till laid aside by illness some months before his death.
At an early age he contributed several pieces to the _Day_, and other newspapers, but was brought more prominently before the public on the publication of "Wee Willie Winkie," "Gree, Bairnies, gree," "The Wonderfu’ Wean," etc., all of which attained great popularity.  When the MS. of "Wee Willie Winkie" was sent to the late Mr. David Robertson as a contribution to "Whistle-Binkie," he sent it to Hr. Ballantine of Edinburgh, the most extensive contributor to the publication, to get his opinion of its merits.  It was returned at once as being a "first-class song, and likely to be the gem of the collection."  Since its first publication it has had a most successful career, and nothing gave its author mere genial pride than to hear that it had been translated into several languages, and was as popular in German as in Scottish nurseries, and was well known all over America.
On the appearance of a number of Mr. Miller’s poems they were highly appreciated, and received the most favourable notice of Lord Jeffrey and other eminent literary critics.
In 1863 he published a small volume of "Nursery Songs and other Poems," which had a wide circulation, and, to use the words of a celebrated author, "has earned for its Author a reputation that will never decay."  Almost all his pieces were written after the labours of the day, forming a pleasant recreation during his leisure hours.
He was laid aside in November 1871, with an ulcerated leg, but, although unable for bodily labour, he still was vigorous in intellect, and wrote some poems, which appeared in the _Scotsman_ and other newspapers.
It has been remarked that "as a maater of the Scottiah lyrical dialect he may fairly be ranked even with Burns and Tannahlll, and that few poets, however prosperous, are so certain of their immortality."
Mr. Robert Buchanan, in an article whloh appeared in _Saint Paul’s Magazine_, on "The Laureate of the Nursery," ae he felicitously termed the subject of this sketch, says :- "I can acarcely conceive a period when William Miller will be forgotten, certainly not until the Doric Scotch is obliterated, and the lowly nursery abolished for ever.  The lyric note is unmistakeable, true, deep, and sweet; speaking generally, he is a born singer, worthy to rank with the three or four master spirits who use the same speech; and I say this while perfectly familiar with the lowly literature of Scotland, from Jean Adams to Janet Hamilton, from ths first note struck by Allan Ramsay down to the warblings of 'Whistle-Binkie.’  Speaking specifically, he is (as I have phrased it) 'The Laureate of the Nursery,’ and there, at least, he reigns supreme above all other poets, monarch of all he surveys, and perfect master of his theme.  His poems, however, are as distinct from nursery gibberish as the music of Shelley is from the jingle of Ambrose Phillipe.  They are works of art, tiny paintings on small canvas, limned with all the microscopic care of Meissonier.  The highest praise that can be said of them is, that they are perfect 'of their kind.’  That kind is humble enough, but humility may be very _strong_, as it certainly is here."
Mr. Buchanan, before writing the article from which we quote, had just heard of Mr. Miller’s illness, so that he continues, "Were my power equal to my will, this master of the _petit chef d’aeuvre_ should be transported forthwith to some green country spot, same happy Scottish village, where within hearing of the cries of children, he might end his days in peace, and perhaps sing us, ere he dies, a few more songs such as 'Hairst’ and 'Spring.’  Then might he say again, as he said once in his own inimitable manner:-

'We meet wi’ blithesome and lithesone and cheerie weans,
Daffin’ and laughing far adoun the leafy lanes,
Wi’ gowans and buttercups busking the thorny wands,
Sweetly singing wi’ the flower-branch waving in their hands.’

There might the Laureate or the nursery enjoy for a little while the feeling of real fame, hearing the cottar’s wife rocking her child to sleep with some song he made in an inspired moment, watching the little ones as they troop out of school to the melody of one or other of his lays, and feeling that he had not lived in vain-being literally one of those happy bards whose presence 'brightens the sunshine.'"
As already stated, he was incapacitated from bodily labour in November 1871, but though all was done that affectionate solicitude or medical skill could suggest, his ailment gradually developed into a paralytic affection.
His friends had him taken to Blantyre for change of air, where for a time he seemed to rally ; but it became at last too obvious that his time was near at hand, and at his own request he was brought back to Glasgow, where in his son’s house he died, surrounded by those to whom he had always been united in the closest bonds of affection, 20th August 1872, having thus completed his sixty-second year.  His remains were laid in the burying-ground in Tollcross, whither they were followed by his relations and a number of his admirers.  A monument was afterwards erected to his memory in the Glasgow Necropolis, by a number of the admirers of his poetic productions.
He was a man of singularly gentle disposition, always cheerful, which he remained till the lsst, and it can he said of him, what cannot he said of every poet, that he never wrote anything which would have been better unwritten, and shortly before his death he himself remarked that he did not think he had a single enemy in the world.


W.A. FOSTER was horn in the year 1801, at Coldstream on the Tweed.  He was early brought into contact with all classes when these were engaged in the Border sports.  He himself was a distinguished champion in all games, especially in archery, in which he had no rival at the time.  The scenery, the life, and the sports of the borders form the theme of his songs, most of which are marked by a peculiarly minute descriptive power and by touches drawn from the life, a very good example of whirh is the "Salmon Run," published in this work.
He was an intimate frisnd of the Ettrick Shepherd, for whom he had a great admiration and who greatly encouraged his poetic fancy, and in whom he met a congenial spirit, as the Shepherd was a keen angler and used often to spend a week or two at his father’s house in Coldstream, from which they had many a fishing excursion; indeed he celebrates, with great vigour, the taking of a salmon by Hogg, in one of his unpublished poems entitled the "Otter Hunt."
He removed to Glasgow in 1842, where he was heartily welcomed by the local poets of the time, among whom were particularly James Ballantine, William Miller, Alexander Rodger, indeed mostly all the contributors to Whistle-Binkie, in whese society he formed some of the strongest friendships of his life.  They often met at each other's firesides, hut more frequently still in the _santum_ of the late Mr. David Robertson, Trongate, where many a pleasant hour was spent.
Few of his writings have heen published, with the exception of the songs in "Whistle-Binkie," and a few in the "Book of Scottish Songs."  His more sustained efforts, which are not a few, he preferred to keep for the recreation of his friends and family.  He died at Glasgow in 1862, much regretted by a large circle of friends for his kindliness of heart, and ready sympathy for all.


DAVID ROBERTSON was born in 1795, on the farm of Easter Garden, on the Cardross estate, in the parish of Kippen, where his family had long been settled, and in addition to farming, the later members of it carried on successfully the business of maltsters.  His father, along with a younger brother, afterwards an esteemed minister of the Secession Church, was educated at the University of Glasgow; but in place of following out, as had been intended, a professional career, he came back to Easter Garden, which he farmed until a short time before his death in 1818.  He found an excellent wife in Jane Robertson, a native of Thornhill, in Perthshire, a woman who, with the inheritance of gentle blood, was possessed of much intelligence and personal dignity.  Their son David was thus born under circumstances which, no doubt, materially influenced his tastes and pursuits in after life.  His education was conducted by William Buchanan, a man of much originality of character, and well-known in the district as the "dominie," and whose educational career extended over the first half of the present century.
After some experience of country life, David Robertson was apprenticed in 1810 to William Turnbull, bookseller in the Trongate of Glasgow.  Turnbull, who was a connection of his family, was a type of the stately old style of bibliopole, prevalent in the days when hessian boots and "ruffles of the cambric fine" were _de rigueur_ in daily life, and his business was a leading one of the old-fashioned aristocratic kind in the city.  Under him, David Robertson was thoroughly trained in all the minutiae of "the trade," and on the demise of Turnbull in 1823, he entered into a copartnery with Mr Thomas Atkinson, a gentleman widely known for his social and literary accomplishments, to carry on the business.  The co-partnery subsisted for seven years, and in 1830 was dissolved of mutual consent.  Turnbull’s warehouse fronted the Tron Kirk, and here Atkinson remained, whilst David Robertson opened new premises at 188 Trongate.  His place of business soon became the lounge of the _literati_ of Glasgow.  Here Motherwell, Carrick, Andrew Henderson, William Kennedy, Dr Strang, Dr Charles Mackay, Thomas Davidson, "_Lucius Verus_," and many other authors and wits, poets and divines, were wont to meet and interchange the news and gossip of the day, and during well-nigh a quarter of a century he gathered round him, not only the local _literati_, but also a circle of congenial acquaintances, who from their social gifts or peculiarities of talent might deservedly be classed under the designation "characters."  His own innate love and keen appreciation of the humorous and the pathetic made him a good listener to narrations of either complexion, one bright saying capping another while the conversation lasted, and in this way he came to accumulate an exhaustless store of anecdote and story, which, in congenial company, he was always ready to communicate.  Here he published works of local and general interest, and his business flourished apace.  Notable amongst his publications were "The Laird of Logan" and "Whistle-Binkie," both of which were his own planning and inception.  "The Laird of Logan," from a tiny volume, grew to the substantial dimensions in which it was last issued by him.  Every story offered for insertion In its pages was subjected to a rigid scrutiny, to test its genuineness, humour, and pith, and no revived "Joe Miller" was entertained for an instant as a candidate for a place in it.  The book, therefore, represents the lights and shadows of Scottish wit and humour, and as a collection of original anecdotes it has probably never been surpassed.  The editor of the first part was John Donald Carrick, but the subsequent and larger portions of the work were edited by Mr Robertson, who, besides, was himself the _raconteur_ of many of its raciest passages.  It is proper also to add here that fully one-third of the contents of "The Laird of Logan" were narrated by himself.  "Whistle-Binkie" was originally published as a tiny book in an elegant paper cover, which was printed at the celebrated press of Hedderwick & Son.  This was followed by other four series, all edited partly by J. D. Carrick and Alexander Rodger, but chiefly by David Robertson.  These were followed by another and special series devoted to the young, entitled "Songs for the Nursery," and which includes many gems which have made the names of James Ballantine, William Miller, and others, famous as lyrists for Scottish childhood.  This series attracted the favourable notice of Lord Jeffrey, who, in a letter to Mr Robertson, wrote of it as follows:-
=======_Craigcrook_, 26_th May_ 1844.

"In returning you my thanks for your pretty little book of _Nursery Songs_, I cannot resist expressing the great pleasure and _surprise_ which I experienced in finding so much _original Genius_ in a work ushered in under a title, and in a form, so unpretending.
"There are some merely childish pieces no doubt, some that are rather vulgar, several that are too long and dwell too much on common-places.  But there are more touches of genuine pathos, more felicities of idiomatic expression, more happy poetical images, and above all, more sweet and engaging pictures of what is peculiar in the depth, softness, and thoughtfulness of our _Scotch_ domestic affections in this extraordinary little volume than I have met within anything like the same compass since the days of Burns.
"Though I have a due sense of the merits of our Doric dialect, I cannot help thinking that some of your authors have a little caricatured it, and aspired to being more purely Doric than the Dorians themselves.  I doubt at least whether the language in which some of these pieces are composed be now a spoken language among any class of the community, or will appear natural and easy throughout, even to those who perfectly understand it.
"But I have no right (and certainly no inclination) to find fault with a gift for which I feel myself to be much obliged, and from which I have derived so much gratification; and, therefore, wishing and predicting much success to your publication, and to your authors large increase of fame, - I remain, your obliged and faithful servant,
=======F. JEFFREY."

Of these two works, "The Laird of Logan" and "Whistle-Binkie," another accomplished critic writes:- "'The Laird of Logan’ is the cleverest book of its class, while as a repertory of homely Scottish song of the nineteenth century, 'Whistle-Binkie’ is simply without a peer.  But it remains to be noted that both of these works are not less elevated in their moral tone than in their literary character.  When we bear in mind that it is now (1878) close upon fifty years since they were given to the world, we cannot fail to be struck with the decided, pratical Christianity of the man who contrived to utilise all the living talent of his time in the song-writing and story-telling departments, without printing a line to which objection can be taken, even by the most fastidious taste of to-day.  We hold that this was an achievement of no ordinary character, and which entitles the person by whom it was accomplished to everlasting honour."
Though not a literary man, in the strict sense of the word, David Robertson possessed one of the more rare of literary powers-the faculty of putting into suitable words stories of wit and humour, which he met with in conversation, as evidenced by the fact before stated, that a great part of "The Laird of Logan" was the product of his pen alone.  He had in addition a critically keen appreciation of poetry in all its forms, which qualified him to become editor of "Whistle-Binkie"
As a man of business, David Robertson was enterprising and sagacious, active in his habits, shrewd in forecasting, and possessed of great tact.  He was known as a liberal publisher, his relations with song-writers and authors being of the most pleasing kind; indeed, he has been called the "John Murray" of Glasgow.
In his private and family relations he was an unpretentious though pronounced and consistent Christian, taking an active part in the religious and philanthropic work going on around him.  He commended his religious beliefs by a pleasant word and a judicious advice, and was ever ready to help others by sympathetic word or kindly deed, as well as with his means.  His wit had the indispensable grain of salt, but not a drop of vitriol.  In social intercourse, he ever comported himself as a genial Christian gentleman, and obtained on all sides an amount of genuine and hearty affection and respect, such as falls to the lot of few.
In 1837 he was appointed Her Majesty’s bookseller for Glasgow, a distinction which he duly appreciated, and which was all the more honourable in that it was unsolicited on his part, besides being the first upon whom it was conferred.  Repeatedly during his lifetime public testimony was borne to the high esteem In which he was held, and when, in October 1854, he was cut down by a sudden attack of cholera, his death was mourned as a public loss.
After his decease, a number of his friends united in raising to his memory, in the Necropolis of Glasgow, an obelisk and medallion portrait with an inscription, which may appropriately close this sketch:-

=To the Memory of



DR. JAMIESON, in defining "Whistle-binkie," thus illustrate the term in its application: "One who attends a penny wedding, but without paying any thing, and therefore has no right to take any share of the entertainment; a mere spectator, who is, as it were, left to sit on a bench by himself, and who, if he pleases, may whistle for his own amusement."  If the Doctor’s explanation were correct, the race of Whistle-binkies would long ere this have become extinct in the country, as we cannot suppose the treatment he describes, much calculated to encourage their growth; but, as we observe the meaning of the term is only given as understood in Aberdeenshire, we presume he means to avail himself of the County privilege, and retract it when he finds it convenient.
As names in Scotland are held in estimation according to their antiquity and respectable standing, it may not he amiss to inform our readers, that the Whistle-binkies in the present day, can vie with most names in Europe, not only in a numerical point of view, but also in heraldic importance.  It has however been alleged, that the Whistle-binkies of the North arose, at first, from what some consider to be rather a low origin; this, were it true even to the fullest extent, is no disparagement, since the acorn must mingle with the earth before the oak is produced.  According to the most pains-taking among our etymologists, the name was first conferred upon one who, in his attendance upon weddings said other convivial occasions, rendered himself so agreeable to the company by his skill in whistling, that he was allowed to sit at the Bink or board, and partake of the good things free of all expense; an honour, in the early ages of our history, which was only conferred on the highest degree of merit.  In process of time, the cognomen of Whistle-binkie which arose in a rude age, came to be applied to men whose intellectual powers were either put forth in whistling, singing, story-telling, or any other souroe of amusement that caught the fancy and received the encouragement of their fellow-men, while engaged in their convivial orgies.  In the present times, the profession is divided into so many castes, that we find it no easy task to assign them their proper places.  In our endeavour to effect this, however, we shall begin with the sons of the "sock and buskin," with the celebrated Mr. Matthews at their head, whom we take to have been the most renowned Whistle-binkie of his age.  In the next rank to the votaries of Thespis, we would place all professional singers who appear at public dinners, and receive the run of their teeth and a per contra _mair attour_ for their attendance.  After them, comes a class of a more modest desoription, to whom a dinner-ticket is considered a remuneration sufficiently liberal, and whose powers of song, like the captive tenantry of the grove, is poured forth for the slender consideration of seed and water.  Though, in these three classes, may be comprised a great proportion of those who are justly entitled to belong to the fraternity of Whistle-binkies, yet there are fractions of the great body-politic which we cannot properly assign to any of the above castes; some of these we would arrange under the head of amateur Whistle-binkie - this description, though not so numerous, perhaps, as any of the others, are much inclined to consider themselves superior in point of personal respectability, to any we have mentioned: this, however, is a point which does not lie with us to decide; suffice it to say, that an amateur Whistle-binkie is one whose acquaintance is courted on account of his possessing the talents we have described, and whose time is occupied in fulfilling an eternal round of dinner and tea party engagements, not that his entertainers have any personal regard for his character, but merely because they can make him a useful auxiliary in amusing their friends.  Those men who relish this mark of distinction, can easily be known by their perpetual attempts to divert, and the delectable expression of conviviality which is ever and anon lighting up their countenances, where may be seen, traced in the legible hand of joyous dame nature herself, "Dinner, Tea, or Supper parties, attended in town or country, on the shortest notice."  There is also another description of the same genus, which may be called hooded Whistle-binkies; these gents are invited out for the same purpose as the former, but perhaps, from the delicate management of their host, or the obtuseness of their own perceptions, they are prevented from discovering that they are present for a motive.  All lions, in our opinion, whether they belong to science, literature, or the arts, if they accept an invitation for the purpose of allowing themselves to be stirred up with the long pole, and shown off for the amusement or gratification of old ladies, young ladies, little masters or misses, come under the denomination we have so often referred to.  Even the clergyman who attends a public dinner, and says grace as an equivalent for his ticket, may be considered (with reverence be it spoken) as coming under the designation of a respectable, well-disposed, time-serving Whistle-binkie.
As we do not wish however, to draw too largely on the patience of our readers, we shall conclude by noticing another set of men, which we have not yet enumerated: these we shall term saucy Whistle-binkies, and to the conduct of two of this class we may safely aver, the present little publication owes its existence.  The case was this:- a much respected friend of ours, whom we shall call Mrs. Petticraw, had a large party about a month ago, to which we, among many others, were invited.  The good lady had no resources within herself, and afraid to trust to chance for the amusement of her company, had very considerately invited two noted Whistle-binkies to attend; the one celebrated for the sweet, chaste, and melodious style in which he warbled forth the sentimental minstrelsy of the day; and the other equally famed for the fine vein of rich, racy, laugh-exciting humour, which he threw into his songs, which were all as comic in conception, as if they had been genuine casts taken from the interior of the harns-pan of Momus himself.  In the prospect of meeting two such worthies, curiosity stood, most lady-like, on tiptoe.  She might as well, however, have kept her seat; neither of the gentlemen made their appearance, and their absence formed an ever-recurring topic of sorrowful remark; seeing the disappointment which the conduct of these popular favourites occasioned to our kind hostess and her fair friends, the thought struck us, that it would be doing a service to a number of our female acquaintances, and perhaps to the public at the same time, if we could manage to get up a sort of substitute for such saucy Whistle-binkies, in order that-when they happened to be taken ill with the whippertooties or mullygrubs, two complaints to which they, above all other men, are particularly exposed-their absence in any party where they had been invited, might not be quite so severely regretted as in the instance we have just noticed.  With this view, therefore, and in order to enable every gentleman and lady to become, to a certain degree, their own Whistle-binkies, we have selected, chiefly from unpublished manuscripts, the following collection of Comic and Sentimental Songs, which, as we have been particularly careful in excluding all pieces of an indelicate or immoral description, we respectfully present to the notice of the public, confident if it doss not excite the smiles of the fair, that the most fastidious among them will never find herself a blush out of pocket, by a careful perusal of its pages.