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gendary poem, called Glenfinlas, and the ballad, entitled the Eve of St John, were designed as examples of the difference betwixt these two kinds of composition.
It would have the appearance of personal vanity, were the Editor to detail the assistance and encouragement which he has received, during his undertaking, from some of the first literary characters of our age. The names of Steuart, Mackenzie, Ellis, Currie, and Ritson, with many others, are talismans too powerful to be used, for bespeaking the world's favour to a collection of old songs; even although a veteran bard has remarked, "that both the great poet of Italian rhyme, Petrarch, and our Chaucer, and other of the upper house of the Muses, have thought their canzons honoured in the title of a ballad." To my ingenious friend, Dr John Leyden,1 my readers will at once perceive that I lie under extensive obligations, for the poetical pieces with which he has permitted me to decorate my compilation; but I am yet further indebted to him
Now, to the great loss of literature, and of his friends, 1820.
for his uniform assistance, in collecting and arranging materials for the work.'
In the Notes and occasional Dissertations, it has been my object to throw together, perhaps without a sufficient attention to method, a variety of remarks, regarding popular superstitions, and
1 ["In 1801, when Mr Lewis published his Tales of Wonder, Leyden was a contributor to that collection, and *furnished the ballad of the Elf-King. And in the following year, he employed himself earnestly in the congenial task of procuring materials for the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, the first publication of the Editor of that collection. In this labour, he was equally interested by friendship for the Editor, and by his own patriotic zeal for the honour of the Scottish Borders, and both may be judged of from the following circumstance. An interesting fragment had been obtained of an ancient historical ballad, but the remainder, to the great disturbance of the Editor and his coadjutor, was not to be recovered. Two days afterwards, while the Editor was sitting with some company after dinner, a sound was heard at a distance like that of the whistling of a tempest through the torn rigging of the vessel which scuds before it. The sounds increased as they approached more near, and Leyden, (to the great astonishment of such of the guests as did not know him) burst into the room, chanting the desiderated ballad, with the most enthusiastic gesture, and all the energy of the saw-tones of his voice, already commemorated. It turned out, that he had walked between forty and fifty miles, and back again, for the sole purpose of visiting an old person
legendary history, which, if not now collected, must soon have been totally forgotten. By such efforts, feeble as they are, I may contribute somewhat to the history of my native country; the peculiar features of whose manners and character are daily melting and dissolving into those of her sister and ally. And, trivial as may appear such an offering to the manes of a kingdom, once proud and independent, I hang it upon her altar with a mixture of feelings which I shall not attempt to describe.
"Hail, Land of spearmen! seed of those who scorn'd
Hail! dearest half of Albion, sea-wall'd!
who possessed this precious remnant of antiquity. antiquarian researches and poetic talents were also liberally exerted for the support of this undertaking. To the former, the reader owes, in a great measure, the Dissertation on Fairy Superstition, which, although arranged and digested by the Editor, abounds with instances of such curious reading as Leyden alone had read, and was originally compiled by him; and to the latter, the spirited ballads entitled Lord Soulis, and the Court of Keeldar."-Biographical Memoir of Dr Leyden, in Sir Walter Scott's Miscellaneous Prose Works.]
Red war, that twenty ages round thee blazed!
My life, my strength, my first and latest song."1
1 [From Albania, (1742,) whose author has never been discovered. This poem was a great favourite with Sir Walter Scott, who often read it aloud in his evening circle. He used to say it was most likely the early effort of some gentleman, who, rising subsequently to eminence in a grave profession, was afraid of confessing that he had ever indulged in the light sin of verse. The original thin folio is very rare-but Dr Leyden reprinted the piece in his "Scottish Descriptive Poems." 1908, 12mo.-ED.]
APPENDIX No. I.
THE EARL OF SURREY, TO HENRY VIII
GIVING AN ACCOUNT
OF THE STORM OF JEDBURGH.
"PLEISITH it your grace to be advertised, that upon Fridaye, at x a clok at nyght, I retourned to this towne and all the garnysons to their places assigned, the bushopricke men, my Lorde of Westmoreland, and my Lorde Dacre, in likewise, every man home with their companys, without loss of any men, thanked be God; saving viii or x slayne, and dyvers hurt, at skyrmyshis and saults of the town of Gedwurth, and the fortereissis; which towne is soo surely brent that no garnysons ner none other shal bee lodged there, unto the time it bee newe buylded; the brennyng whereof I comytted