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Allan Ramsay Famous Scots Series   By: (1856-1914)

Allan Ramsay Famous Scots Series by William Henry Oliphant Smeaton

First Page:

ALLAN RAMSAY

by

OLIPHANT SMEATON

Famous Scots Series

Published by Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier Edinburgh and London

The designs and ornaments of this volume are by Mr. Joseph Brown, and the printing from the press of Messrs. Morrison & Gibb, Edinburgh.

TO

DAVID MASSON, LL.D.

EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF RHETORIC AND ENGLISH LITERATURE IN EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY

THIS VOLUME IS DEDICATED

in grateful acknowledgment of kindly encouragement given in years long gone by, and of intellectual stimulus received from him by his former student

THE AUTHOR

PREFACE

Since this Volume was in type, I have received some additional information which I feel constrained to lay before my readers.

With reference to the Easy Club, I have been favoured, through the courtesy of the Rev. Dr. A. B. Grosart, with a sight of the complete Minutes of the Club. From them I observe that Ramsay was one of the earliest members admitted, and that his song 'Were I but a Prince or King' was formally presented to the Club after his admission not before, though its rough draft must have been shown to the members prior to that event.

Next, as regards the Editions of The Gentle Shepherd , a valued correspondent, Mr. J. W. Scott, Dowanhill, Glasgow, kindly calls my attention to two 'Translations into English' of the Poem which appear to have hitherto escaped notice. These are ' Allan Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd, translated into English by W. Ward, 8vo, 1785. ' Ward, as Mr. Scott states, seems to have been a 'naturalised Englishman' residing at Musselburgh. Five years after Ward's production, appeared another, and in many respects a better Edition, to wit, ' The Gentle Shepherd, a Scotch Pastoral by Allan Ramsay, Attempted in English by Margaret Turner, London, 1790. ' It was dedicated to the Prince of Wales, and its list of Subscribers contains the names of most of the nobility of Scotland. Is this not a reliable gauge of the popularity of the Poem?

EDINBURGH, March 1896.

CONTENTS

PAGE CHAPTER I

THE FAMILY TREE 9

CHAPTER II

RAMSAY'S APPRENTICESHIP; A BURGESS OF THE TOWN 1701 7 23

CHAPTER III

SCOTLAND IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY; THE UNION; RAMSAY'S MARRIAGE 1707 12 28

CHAPTER IV

THE EASY CLUB; EARLY POEMS; EDINBURGH OF LAST CENTURY 1712 16 41

CHAPTER V

THE FAVOURITE OF THE 'FOUR 'OORS'; FROM WIGMAKER TO BOOKSELLER; THE QUARTO OF 1721 1717 21 56

CHAPTER VI

RAMSAY AS AN EDITOR: THE TEA TABLE MISCELLANY AND THE EVERGREEN 1721 25 68

CHAPTER VII

THE GENTLE SHEPHERD ; SCOTTISH IDYLLIC POETRY; RAMSAY'S PASTORALS 1725 30 85

CHAPTER VIII

RESTING ON HIS LAURELS; BUILDS HIS THEATRE; HIS BOOK OF SCOTS PROVERBS 1730 40 97

CHAPTER IX

CLOSING YEARS OF LIFE; HIS HOUSE ON CASTLEHILL; HIS FAMILY; HIS PORTRAITS 1740 58 112

CHAPTER X

RAMSAY AS A PASTORAL POET AND AN ELEGIST 122

CHAPTER XI

RAMSAY AS A SATIRIST AND A SONG WRITER 144

CHAPTER XII

RAMSAY'S MISCELLANEOUS POEMS; CONCLUSION 154

ALLAN RAMSAY

CHAPTER I

THE FAMILY TREE

'Ye'd better let me gang doon wi' the wig, Miss Kirsty,' said Peggy, the 'serving lass' in the household of Mr. James Ross, writer, of the Castlehill.

'Oh no! I'd as leif take it doon mysel' to Allan Ramsay's, for the sake o' the walk and the bit crack wi' the canty callant,' replied the young lady, a blush crimsoning her fair, rounded cheek.

And Peggy would retire from these periodical but good humoured passages at arms, with a knowing smile on her face, to confide the fact, mayhap, of course as a profound secret, to her cronies in the same stair, that Miss Kirsty Ross was 'unco ta'en up wi' that spruce genty wigmaker, Maister Allan Ramsay, doon ayont the Tron Kirk... Continue reading book >>




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