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The Scottish Songs. Collected and Illustrated by Robert Chambers, Author of " Traditions of Edinburgh," | "The Picture of Scotland," &c. In Two Volumes. Edinburgh. William Tait. 1829.

The Scottish Ballads. Collected and Illustrated by Robert Chambers. In One Volume, uniform with the Scottish Songs. Edinburgh. William Tait. 1829. (Unpublished.)


willingly spend years in discussing. We can even read, unmoved, a passage so replete with interest as the following:

"I may further venture to express a conjecture, that Trolly lolly is the same song with Trollee lollee lemandow, which is mentioned in the Complaynt of Scotland, 1549, and also with that which Mr Ritson has printed in his

upon it by the climate, government, and dispositions of the people. It is labour, therefore, thrown away to talk of its origin ;-one may almost as well talk of the origin of language. It is curious, however, to know, that the earliest Scottish song, of which we have any account, is one composed on the occasion of Alexander III. being killed by a fall from his horse in 1286. The wars with England, the exploits of Sir William Wallace, of Bruce, and other national heroes, also presented fertile themes for song, which, we learn from the old chroniclers, were not A COMPLETE, full, and compact collection of the Scot- overlooked. Mr Chambers enters, with a good deal of tish Songs and Ballads,-carefully collected, and judi- antiquarian unction, into an examination of some of these ciously purged of every thing spurious,-was felt to be a early compositions; and perhaps it is in us a grievous fault want; and the present work will supply that want. that we are not moved to great delight by the ingenious Some of our former collections are too voluminous and elucidation he gives of certain obscure points, which many expensive, weighed down and rendered heavy by a pon-worthy members of the Bannatyne Club would, no doubt, derous appendix of pedantic Notes, which, though they may evince the editor's antiquarian lore, are, in point of fact, a mere intellectual lumber-room. Others are too imperfect and exclusive, to present any thing like a satisfactory body of national poetry, and are to be regarded in the light of minor, and often injudicious, abridgements from the general store. The work before us is modelled after a plan the most appropriate for such a publication; for while it embraces every thing really worthy of preservation, (erring, perhaps, on the safe side, in one or two instances, by taking in too much,) it excludes all tedious disquisitions, whether historical, geographical, or chronological, and shows a more laudable anxiety to preserve the very best version of a song or ballad, than to make laborious attempts to fix the date of its composition, or ascertain the name of its supposed author. Such of our readers as are at all acquainted with the peculiar habits and talents of Mr Chambers, will have little hesitation in confessing, that scarcely any man living was likely to have entered, with greater enthusiasm and success, into the researches necessary for putting into a proper shape and arrangement the mass of materials which Scottish poetry presents. Himself a poet of no inconsiderable merit, as the pages of the LITERARY JOURNAL attest, and, besides, deeply imbued with a love for every thing Scottish, especially for that "voice of song" which, for centuries past, has been "daily heard on the lea and on the mountain side," Mr Chambers has traced the stream to its source, and followed it thence with patriotic ardour and useful industry, as "it stole along, a little hidden rill of quiet enjoyment, beneath the incumbent mass of higher, and graver, and more solid matters." The result is, that his three volumes bid fair to become the standard book of Scottish song and legendary lore.

By way of introduction, we are presented, in the first volume, with an" Historical Essay on Scottish Song." It is written in that light, popular, and traditionary style in which Mr Chambers has few rivals. It commences with some observations on the origin and early history of our endeared national treasures of song and music, which it, of course, admits to be involved in much mystery. The truth is, popular song, in all countries, springs up with the country itself, and will ever retain, throughout its progress to refinement, the peculiar features stamped

Ancient Songs,' under the title of Trolley lollee." But if this fails to excite us, it is not long before we come to "metal more attractive." In speaking of a song of unknown antiquity-" The frog cam to the myl dur," and of another, printed in 1580,-" A most strange weddinge of the frogge and the mouse,”—Mr Chambers introduces the following very amusing nursery tale, for which, it appears, he is indebted to one of those numerous old women, whose reminiscences he can turn to better account than any writer with whom we are acquainted:

"By the way, the frog seems to have been a favourite character, and a distinguished figurante, in old popular poetry. There is still to be found in the Scottish nursery a strange legendary tale, sometimes called The Padda Sang,' and sometimes The Tale o' the Well o' the Warld's End,' in which the frog acts as the hero. It is partly in recitative, and partly in verse, and the air to which the poetry is sung is extremely beautiful. I give the following version of it from the recitation of an old nurse in Annan


"A poor widow, you see, was once baking bannocks; and she sent her daughter to the well at the warld's end, with a wooden dish, to bring water. When the lassie cam to the well, she fand it dry; but there was a padda (a frog) that came loup-loup-loupin, and loupit into her dish. Says the padda to the lassie, I'll gie ye plenty o' water, if ye'll be my wife.' The lassie didna like the padda, but she was fain to say she wad take him, just to get the water; and, ye ken, she never thought that the puir brute wad be serious, or wad ever say ony mair about it. Sae she got the water, and took it hame to her mother; and she heard nae mair o' the padda till that nicht, when, as she and her mother were sitting by the fireside, what do they hear but the puir padda at the outside o' the door, singing wi' a' his micht,

Oh, open the door, my hinnie, my heart,
Oh, open the door, my ain true love;

Honey-a very common phrase of endearment among the lower orders of the people in Scotland. One of the twa mareit women, whose tricks are so deftly delineated by Dunbar, says, on one occa

sion, to her husband,

My hinny, hald abak, and handle me nocht sair.'

Remember the promise that you and I made,
Doun i' the meadow, where we twa met.'

Says the mother, What noise is that at the door, dauch-preciation of what was originally and truly beautiful in ter?-Hout!' says the lassie, it's naething but a filthy padda! Open the door,' says the mother, to the puir padda.' Sae the lassie opened the door, and the padda cam loup-loup-loupin in, and sat doun by the ingle-side. Then, out sings he:

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Hout!' quo' the dauchter, wad I put a filthy padda to bed? Ou, ay,' says the mother, put the puir padda to his bed.' And sae she pat the padda to his bed. Then out he sang again (for the padda hadna got a' he wanted yet :)

Oh, come to your bed, my hinnie, my heart,
Oh, come to your bed, my ain true love;
Remember the promise that you and I made,
Doun i' the meadow, where we twa met.'
Hout!' quo' the dauchter, wad I gang to bed wi' a fil-
thy padda-Gae 'wa, lassie,' says the mother, 'e'en gang
to bed wi' the puir padda.' And sae the lassie did gang to
bed wi' the padda. Weel, what wad ye think? He's no
content yet; but out he sings again :

Come, tak me to your bosom, my hinnie, my heart,
Come, tak me to your bosom, my ain true love;
Remember the promise that you and I made,
Doun i' the meadow, where we twa met.'

'Lord have a care o' us!' says the lassie, wad I tak a fil-
thy padda to my bosom, d'ye think?' Ou, ay,' quo' the
mother, just be ye doing your gudeman's biddin, and tak
him to your bosom.' Sae the lassie did tak the padda to
her bosom. After that, he sings out:

Now fetch me an aix, my hinnie, my heart,
Now fetch me an aix, my ain true love;
Remember the promise that you and I made,
Doun 'the meadow, where we twa met.'

childhood, during which, like individual man, it is always an imitator, had now ventured to feel and profess an apthese divine arts; and the Muse of the heart had at length asserted her empire over all ranks of men. Poetry was now no longer supposed to consist in awkward allusions to an exploded mythology, or in accurate versification. Music was not now believed to consist only in an ingenious machinery of collusive sounds. Men had at length permitted themselves, like the Vicar of Wakefield's family, to be happy without regard to system.

"The Tea-Table Miscellany, the very name of which proves it to have been designed for the use of the upper ranks of society, might be said to consist in four different sorts of song.

"I. Old characteristic songs, the productions of unknown poets of the populace; of which kind there were the following: Muirland Willie; Nancy's to the greenwood gane; Maggie's tocher; My jo Janet (probably ;) Peggy and Jockey; Katherine Ogie (probably;) Jocky said to Jenny; Fy, let us a' to the bridal; The auld gudeman; The shepherd Adonis; She rase and loot me in; John dlen hame; Although I be but a country lass; Waly, waly, Ochiltree; In January last; General Lesley's march; Togin love be bonny; Ower the hills, and far away; Norland Jockey and Southland Jenny; Andro and his cutty


"II. Songs of the same sort, but altered and enlarged at the discretion of the Editor; of which kind there were the following: Lucky Nancy; Auld Rob Morris; The Ewebuchts; Omnia vincit amor; The auld wife ayont the fire; Sleepy body, drowsy body; Jocky blythe and gay; Baud awa' frae me, Donald; The Peremptor Lover; My Jeany and I have toiled; Jocky fou, Jenny fain; Jeany, where has thou been?

"III. About sixty songs, composed by Ramsay himself, and thirty written by his friends, as substitutes for older compositions, which could not be printed on account of indecency and want of merit. It is customary to hear honest Allan railed against, for thus annihilating so much of the old characteristic poetry of Scotland. But it should be recollected, that, even if preserved, these things could only be interesting in an antiquarian, and not in a literary point of view; and also that the new songs thus projected upon the

She brought the axe in a minute, and he then sang again: public were possessed of much merit. If the old verses had

Now chap aff my head, my hinnie, my heart,
Now chap aff my head, my ain true love;
Remember the promise that you and I made,
Doun i' the meadow, where we twa met.'

I'se warrant she wasna lang o' obeying him in this re-
queist! for, ye ken, what kind of a gudeman was a bit pad-
da likely to be? But, lock-an-daysie, what d'ye think?-
she hadna weel chappit aff his head, as he askit her to do,
before he starts up, the bonniest young prince that ever was
seen. And, of course, they leeved happy a' the rest o' their

been better in a literary sense than the new, they would
have survived in spite of them. But they were not better;
they had no merit at all; and of course they perished.
Those who declaim against Ramsay for this imaginary of-
fence, forget that, amidst the poems he substituted for the
old ones, are," The Lass o' Patie's Mill:""The last time
I came ower the muir;" "The Yellow-haired Laddie;"
"The Waukin o' the Fauld ;" and "Lochaber no more," by
himself; "My dearie, an thou die ;" the modern "Tweed-
side;" and "The Bush abune Traquair," by Crawford:
"The Broom o' the Cowdenknowes," by somebody sign-
ing himself S. R some of Mr Hamilton of Bangour's
beautiful lyrics: "Were na my heart licht I wad die," by
Lady Grizel Baillie and a great many more capital com-
what is at present the staple of Scottish song.
positions, forming, it may be said, a large proportion of

"IV. A multitude of English songs, which, of course, it is not necessary to notice in this place."

Some interesting notices follow of the "godly and spiritual ballads" introduced at the time of the Reformation, and of many detached songs which appeared at different periods, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; but we prefer descending at once to the commencement of the eighteenth century, when, under the superintendence of Allan Ramsay, Scottish song came at length to Some account of Mr David Herd's Collection of Scothave " a local habitation and a name." Of that poet's tish Songs, published in 1769—of Mr William Tytler's "Tea Table Miscellany," we have the following account, "Dissertation on Scottish Song and Music," published which will be read with greater interest, when it is known in 1779-of " Johnson's Scots Musical Museum," comthat it was the fashionable work of the day, and was uni-menced in 1786-of " Ritson's Scottish Songs," publishversally in the hands of the fair sex, Ramsay himself having finely said of it,—

"The wanton wee thing will rejoice,
When tented by a sparkling ee,
The spinnet tinkling to her voice,

It lying on her lovely knee!"

ed in 1794-of Burns, his Writings, and his Biographers and of Thomson's " Select Melodies of Scotland," an excellent, but expensive work, brings us down to the present day, and to Mr Chambers's own compilation.

We have already expressed ourselves well pleased with the manner in which Mr Chambers has executed his task. "Books of this sort," he has correctly said in his

ALLAN RAMSAY'S TEA-TABLE MISCELLANY. "The impulse which had been given to the public taste for Scottish song and music about the end of the seven-preface," are generally crude and hasty compilations, teenth, and the beginning of the eighteenth century, was the proximate cause of this invaluable publication. The time had now gone past when the modulations of sound and sentiment which nature dictated to the simple swain, were esteemed as only fit to charm the class of society ich gave them birth, and when music and poetry were be relished in proportion as they were artificially lfully elaborated. Society, emancipated from its

from the most obvious sources, got up without the intervention of any responsible Editor, and intended for circulation only amongst the humbler orders of the people.” It has been the object of Mr Chambers, on the contrary, to make a collection which should comprise all our really good songs, accompanied by as much information regarding them as possible, conveyed in short and popular notes,

and put into a shape at once handsome in appearance and moderate in price. This object has been fully accomplished; and the only fault we can find, which is one that "leans to virtue's side," is the insertion of a few songs of little or no merit, which might, with advantage, have been omitted. In one or two instances, our Editor has been led into this error, by his anxiety to preserve every thing, however trifling, which particular associations might render interesting. Thus, at page 62, vol. i. we are presented with the following


Recovered from Tradition by the Editor.

"Dunfermline, on a Friday night,
A lad and lass they took the flicht,
And through a back-yett, out o' sight,
And into a kilogie !"

We confess we are at a loss to discover the merit of this editorial relic. It may, perhaps, be urged by some, as another objection, that there is not the slightest arrangement, either into periods or classes, of the numerous songs which the volumes contain; but we do not know that we are disposed to find fault with Mr Chambers upon this score. A song is a song under whatever head it may be placed, and one reads through the work with greater interest, not knowing whether he is to meet with a production of Ramsay, Burns, Macneil, Tannahill, Hogg, or Sir Walter Scott, on the next page.-Mr Chambers's Notes are not the least valuable part of his book: they are at once instructive and amusing. We can afford room for only two specimens. The first is the note on Burns's fine song, "Their groves o' sweet myrtle," &c.

"This beautiful song-beautiful for both its amatory and its patriotic sentiment-seems to have been composed by Burns during the period when he was courting the lady who afterwards became his wife. The present generation is much interested in this lady, and deservedly; as, in addition to her poetical history, which is an extremely interesting one, she is a personage of the greatest private worth, and in every respect deserving to be esteemed as the widow of Scotland's best and most endeared bard. The following anecdote will perhaps be held as testifying, in no inconsider able degree, to a quality which she may not hitherto have been supposed to possess her wit.

"It is generally known, that Mrs Burns has, ever since her husband's death, occupied exactly the same house in Dumfries which she inhabited before that event, and that it is customary for strangers, who happen to pass through or visit that town, to pay their respects to her, with or without letters of introduction, precisely as they do to the churchyard, the bridge, the harbour, or any other public object of curiosity about the place. A gay young English gentleman one day visited Mrs Burns, and after he had seen all that she had to show-the bedroom in which the poet died, his original portrait by Nasmyth, his family-bible, with the names and birth-days of himself, his wife, and children, written on a blank leaf by his own hand, and some other little trifles of the same nature-he proceeded to entreat that she would have the kindness to present him with some relic of the poet, which he might carry away with him, as a wonder, to show in his own country. 'Indeed, sir,' said Mrs Burns, I have given away so many relics of Mr Burns, that, to tell ye the truth, I have not one left.'-' Oh, you must surely have something,' said the persevering Saxon; any thing will do any little scrap of his handwriting-the least thing you please. All I want is just a relic of the poet; and any thing, you know, will do for a relic." Some further altercation took place, the lady reasserting that she had no relic to give, and he as repeatedly renewing his request. At length, fairly tired out with the man's importunities, Mrs Burns said to him, with a smile, "Deed, sir, unless ye tak mysell, then, I dinna see how you are to get what you want; for, really, I'm the only relic o' him that I ken o'.' The petitioner at once withdrew his request.”

The following highly interesting and hitherto unpublished letter of Burns is given in a note, on " Scots wha hae:"

"The reader will find Burns's own opinion of this favourite war-song, in the following letter, which was written by bim, at Dumfries, on the 5th of December 1793, to a coun

try gentleman of Perthshire, who was residing there in command of a party of Fencibles. I am indebted for this very interesting document, which is here printed with all Dalguise. It is perhaps one of the most characteristic letthe literal peculiarities of the original, to Mr Stewart of ters Burns ever wrote:

"SIR,-Heated as I was with wine yesternight, I was perhaps rather seemingly impertinent in my anxious wish to be honoured with your acquaintance. You will forgive it: 'twas the impulse of heartfelt respect. He is the father of the Scotch County Reform, and is a man who does honour to the business, at the same time that the business does honour to him!' said my worthy friend Glenriddel, to somebody by me, who was talking of your coming to this country with your corps.-Then, I replied, I have a woman's longing to take him by the hand, and say to him, Sir, I honour you as a man to whom the interests of humanity are dear, and as a Patriot to whom the Rights of your Country are sacred.

"In times such as these, sir, when our Commoners are barely able, by the glimmer of their own twilight understandings, to scrawl a frank; and when Lords are what gentlemen would be ashamed to be; to whom shall a sinkgentleman! To him who has too deep a stake in his couning country call for help? To the independant country try, not to be in earnest for her welfare; and who, in the honest pride of man, can view with equal contempt, the insolence of office, and the allurements of corruption.

"I mentioned to you a Scots ode or song I had lately composed, and which, I think, has some merit. Allow me to enclose it. When I fall in with you at the Theatre, I shall be glad to have your opinion of it. Accept of it, sir; as a very humble, but most sincere tribute of respect, from a man, who, dear as he prizes Poetic Fame, yet holds dearer an Independant mind. I have the honour to be, "Sir, "Your very humble servt. "ROBT. BURNS."

Of the songs themselves it is needless to say much, familiar as most of them are to the Scottish reader. There are a good number, however, which are less frequently met with, and one or two of these we feel much pleasure in transplanting to our pages. We begin with the following naive and amusing composition, which, it is probable, was written early in the seventeenth century:

Gude day, now, bonnie Robin,
How lang hae ye been here?
I've been a bird about this bush

This mair than twenty year.
But now I am the sickest bird

That ever sat on brier;
And I wad mak my testament,
Gudeman, if ye wad hear.

Gar tak this bonnie neb o' mine,

That picks upon the corn;
And gie't to the Duke o' Hamilton,
To be a hunting-horn.

Gar tak thae bonnie feathers o' mine,
The feathers o' my neb;
And gie to the Lady Hamilton,
To fill a feather bed.

Gar tak this gude richt leg of mine,
And mend the brig o' Tay;
It will be a post and pillar gude,

It will neither bow nor gae.
And tak this other leg of mine,

And mend the brig o' Weir;
It will be a post and pillar gude,

It will neither bow nor steer.
Gar tak thae bonnie feathers o' mine,
The feathers o' my tail;

And gie to the lads o' Hamilton
To be a barn-flail.

And tak thae bonnie feathers o' mine,
The feathers o' my breast;
And gie them to the bounie lad,
Will bring to me a priest,

Now in there cam my Lady Wren,

Wi' mony a sigh and groan,

O what care I for a' the lads,

If my ain lad be gone!

Then Robin turn'd him round about,
E'en like a little king;

Gae pack ye out at my chamber-door,
Ye little cutty-quean!

We recommend the following elegant and spirited composition to the especial attention of all our fair readers. It breathes sentiments which every man ought to feel, and which, we believe, every man, in a greater or less degree, does feel:


By Sir Robert Aytoun, Secretary to the Queen of James VI.
I do confess thou'rt smooth and fair,

And I might have gone near to love thee;
Had I not found the slightest prayer

That lips could speak had power to move thee:

But I can let thee now alone,

As worthy to be loved by none.

I do confess thou'rt sweet, yet find
Thee such an unthrift of thy sweets,
Thy favours are but like the wind,

'That kisses every thing it meets.
And since thou can with more than one,
Thou'rt worthy to be kissed by none.

The morning rose, that untouch'd stands,
Armed with her briars, how sweetly smells!
But pluck'd and strain'd through ruder hands,
Her sweets no longer with her dwells;
But scent and beauty both are gone,
And leaves fall from her one by one.

Such fate, ere long, will thee betide,

When thou hast handled been a while;
Like sere flowers to be thrown aside,

And I will sigh while some will smile,
To see thy love for more than one

Hath brought thee to be loved by none.

The finest song, without exception, which has been written within the last century-perhaps the finest song in the language-is "Bonnie Lady Ann," by Allan Cunningham. We are astonished that it has not long ago been set to an air worthy of it, and sung on the stage,in the drawing-room,-at the social-board,-everywhere. We request that each of our readers will peruse it three times, and then say whether or not he is of our opinion:


By Allan Cunningham.

There's kames o' hinnie 'tween my luve's lips, And gowd amang her hair:

Her breists are lapt in a holy veil;

Nae mortal een keek there.

What lips daur kiss, or what hand daur touch,
Or what arm o' luve daur span,
The hinnie lips, the creamy lufe,

Or the waist o' Lady Ann?

She kisses the lips o' her bonnie red rose,
Wat wi' the blobs o' dew;

But nae gentle lip, nor semple lip,

Maun touch her ladie mou.

But a broidered belt, wi' a buckle o' gowd,
Her jimpy waist maun span :

Oh, she's an armfu' fit for heaven-
My bonnie Lady Ann.

Her bower casement is latticed wi' flowers,
Tied up wi' siller thread;

And comely sits she in the midst,
Men's langing een to feed:

She waves the ringlets frae her cheek,

Wi' her milky milky hand;

And her every look beams wi' grace divine;
My bonnie Lady Ann.

The mornin' clud is tasselt wi' gowd,

Like my luve's broideredcap;

And on the mantle that my luve wears,

Is mony a gowden drap.

Her bonny ee-bree's a holy arch,

Cast by nae earthly han'!

And the breath o' heaven is atween the lips
O' my bonnie Lady Ann.

I wonderin' gaze on her stately steps,
And I beet a hopeless flame!

To my luve, alas! she maunna stoop;
It would stain her honoured name.
My een are bauld, they dwall on a place,
Where I darena mint my hand;
But I water, and tend, and kiss the flowers
O' my bonnie Lady Ann.

I'm but her father's gardener lad,
And puir puir is my fa';

My auld mither gets my wee wee fee,
Wi' fatherless bairnies twa.

My lady comes, my lady gaes,
Wi' a fou and kindly han';

O their blessin' maun mix wi' my luve,
And fa' on Lady Ann.

We have met with few sea-songs more spirited than that which we subjoin, and we should like to know something more of the author:


By H. Ainslie.

The Rover of Lochryan he's gane,
Wi' his merry men sae brave;
Their hearts are o' the steel, and a better keel
Ne'er bowled ower the back of a wave.

It's no whan the loch lies dead in its trough;
When naething disturbs it ava;

But the rack and the ride o' the restless tide,
Or the splash o' the grey sea-maw ;

It's no when the yawl, and the licht skiffs, crawl,
Ower the breast o' the siller sea;

That I look to the west for the bark I loe best,
And the Rover that's dear to me.

But when that the clud lays its cheeks to the flood,
And the sea lays it shouther to the shore,
When the wind sings high, and the sea-whelps cry,
As they rise frae the whitening roar;

It's then that I look through the blackening rook,
And watch by the midnicht tide;

I ken that the wind brings my rover hame,
On the sea that he glories to ride.

O, merry he sits 'mang his jovial crew,
Wi' the helm-haft in his hand;
And he sings aloud to his boys in blue,
As his ee's upon Galloway's land:

"Unstent and slack each reef and tack,
Gie her sail, boys, while it may sit :
She has roared through a heavier sea before,
And she'll roar through a heavier yet!"

Having dwelt thus long on the songs, we must speak very briefly of the ballads. It is a very excellent collection; made up principally of the best things to be found in Sir Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Jamieson's Popular Ballads, Finlay's Historical and Romantic Ballads, Kinloch's Ancient Ballads, Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Ancient and Modern, and Buchan's Ancient Ballads of the North of Scotland. This country possesses, altogether, about two hundred distinctly different ballads, but some of these have been laid before the public in no fewer than six different forms. Mr Chambers has aimed at condensing the diffused merit of all his predecessors. "I have not only made a careful selection," he says, "of what appeared to me in every respect the best of the whole mass of published ballads; but, by a more daring exertion of taste, I have, in a great many instances, associated what seemed to me the best stanzas, and the best lines—

nay, even the best words, of the various copies extant.' In some hands, this would be a very dangerous sort of tampering; but we have good confidence, both in the experience and judgment of the present Editor. He divides his Ballads into four classes:-I. Historical Ballads; II. Ballads supposed to refer to real circumstances in Private Life; III. Romantic Ballads; and IV. Imitations of the Ancient Ballads. This arrangement is very satisfactory; and, whilst we observe no omissions of any consequence, we scruple not to say, that, in many instances, we find better versions of our popular ballads than we have met with any where else. We may conclude, therefore, as we began, by expressing our conviction that this work, which is just on the eve of publication, must speedily win for itself a large share of popular favour and applause.

(one of the hottest that has ever been known since the descent of Phaeton) in making a peregrination over the country. We understand, however, that the manner in which this book has been received, leaves the author no cause to regret his exertions. In 1827, his "History of the Rebellion of 1745-6,” and in 1828, his "History of the Rebellions, under Montrose, from 1638 to 1660," appeared in Constable's Miscellany. He has now two other works on the eve of publication—the Songs and Ballads, which we have just reviewed, and a "History of the Rebellions in 1689 and 1715," for Constable's Miscellany. We may likewise mention, that a translation of the two, former" Rebellions" has been announced in France; and what is of greater importance, that Mr Chambers is to be. engaged immediately with a still more voluminous work than any he has yet produced. It is to be called, "The Before concluding, we are desirous of giving our read- Domestic Annals of Scotland," and, beginning with the ers some little personal information concerning Mr Cham- era of the Reformation, it is to contain every thing about bers, whose name has, of late years, been a good deal in Scotland, except the political history, of which there will the mouth of the public, and in whom the readers of the be no more than enough to make the rest of the contents LITERARY JOURNAL, in particular, can scarcely fail to be intelligible—a wire strong enough to support the stories somewhat interested. Although his productions are and anecdotes which are to be hung upon it. It is to already so numerous, and have been, for the most part, so bring into view all those private transactions and familiar popular, Mr Chambers is only twenty-seven years of age. circumstances which lie beneath the stream of history, and He was born at Peebles in 1802, his father having been are therefore generally overlooked. It is to contain, among a cotton-manufacturer, and the descendant of a line of other things, accounts of all remarkable criminals, curiworthy burgesses of that town. There was a peculiarity, ous notices of costume and manners of former times, and worth mentioning, in our author's person at birth ;-he innumerable amusing stories and traditionary anecdotes. had six toes on each foot, and six fingers on each hand. It will be chiefly compiled from the public records, and A blundering country surgeon attempted to reduce them the pages of the early simple historians and diarists. For to the ordinary number, by means of a large pair of scis- the convenience of both author and purchasers, it is to sors; but he performed the operation so awkwardly, that appear in numbers, under the auspices of our enterprising the greater part of the superfluous toes still remained. and successful Edinburgh publisher, Mr Tait. It is exIn one view this was a grievous calamity, for it not only pected that the work will extend to five or six octavo vorendered his infancy one of tears, and prevented him from lumes; and Mr Chambers has himself informed us, that participating in the usual sports of boyhood, but it has he intends it to be his opus optimum et maximum,—the had the final effect of making him slightly lame. In work to which he will point, in future years, when he another view, however, the accident had its advantages, wishes to tell what he did in his youth. since to it is to be attributed the acquirement of those studious habits, which, in their subsequent application, have enabled Mr Chambers to gain for himself a name. Before he was ten years old, he had read the greater part of the Encyclopædia Britannica, in twenty volumes. Perceiving his attachment to books, his parents destined him for the church, and he accordingly went through a course of classical literature. Circumstances, however, afterwards occurred, which prevented his entering the Divinity Hall; and at fifteen he found himself in the disagreeable situation of a person who has lost one aim in life, and not found another. Eventually he determined on becoming a bookseller, to which profession he has since steadily and successfully adhered. Mr Chambers' first attempt in literature was a little volume, entitled, "Illustrations of the Author of Waverley, being notices of the real persons and scenes supposed to be described in his works." It was published in 1822, when he was twenty years of age. His second effort was the "Traditions of Edinburgh," published in Numbers, and completed between March 1824 and November 1825. Such a work, to use the phrase of the trade, " had long been wanted;" and it therefore succeeded amazingly. We believe so many copies of any local or topographical work have seldom been sold in this country. The book was enriched with anecdotes by Sir Walter Scott, Charles Sharpe, Esq., and other eminent literati; but we are inclined to think that the chief cause of its success was the unblushing tone of agreeable gossip and garrulous oldwifery which pervaded it. In 1825 and 1826 Mr Chambers published two small works, subsidiary to the Traditions," namely, "Walks in Edinburgh, or a Guide to the Scottish Capital," and "The Popular Rhymes of Scotland." His next work of any magnitude was "The Picture of Scotland ;"-a work which none but an enthusiast would have undertaken, and to do justice to which, he employed the whole summer of 1826

We have made this statement, with regard to Mr Chambers, with no view but that of doing justice to a deserving and able man. He has already done more work as an author, than, we believe, any other person living of the same standing. He has to write, too, under many disadvantages; and the light and anecdotal character of many of his works has been a matter more of necessity than of choice. When it is known that he is obliged to attend, during the whole day, to the concerns of a retail business, and that it is only little nooks and odd corners of his time that he can allot to writing, the wonder must be, how he has been able to achieve one half of what he has done. We suspect there are many, who, from not taking this view of the case, hardly do Mr Chambers justice. Can a man stand behind a counter, and think poetically? Can a man go by fits and starts into his back-shop, and abstract himself sufficiently for a sustained effort of thought? Yet he has, in more instances than one, actually done so ; and we do say, that, all these things considered, we know of few men, under seven-and-twenty years of age, more remarkable, or of better promise, than Robert Chambers.

History of the Ottoman Empire, from its establishment till the year 1828. By Edward Upham, Esq. M. R. A. S., Author of the History of Budhism, &c. In two volumes, (forming Vols. XL. and XLI. of Constable's Miscellany.) Edinburgh. Constable & Co. 1829.

AN acquaintance with the public and private history of Oriental Nations, although perhaps of less practical importance to the statesman than a knowledge of European history, is more calculated to enlarge the views of the scholar. The common religion of Europe-the common source from which its nations have derived their political science-and a community of feeling produced by the general diffusion and rival cultivation of science, have given



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