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WALTER FRANCIS MONTAGU DOUGLAS SCOTT,
DUKE OF BUCCLEUCH AND QUEENSBERRY,
&c. &c. &c.
MY LORD DUKE,
IN inscribing these volumes1 to your Grace, I am fortunately emancipated from the necessity of intruding upon you the commonplace subjects of dedication. Most of these Poems have been long before the public, and were inscribed, at the time of their publication, to the various
1 [The collective edition of Sir Walter Scott's Poetical Works. Edin. 1830.-ED.]
excellent persons nearly connected with your Grace, whose names they retain. I am, therefore, well aware, that these compositions, of little intrinsic value in themselves, will, like other memorials of dear friends who have been removed from the world, claim some value in your Grace's estimation, from the names of their former patrons.
May your Grace live long to exercise the virtues of your predecessors, whose duties you inherit along with their rank and possessions. Such is the sincere wish of,
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's early Friend,
And much obliged humble Servant,
ABBOTSFORD, April 3, 1830.
THE VARIOUS COLLECTIONS OF BALLADS OF BRITAIN, PARTICULARLY THOSE OF SCOTLAND.
THE Introduction originally prefixed to "The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border," was rather of a historical than a literary nature; and the remarks which follow have been added, to afford the general reader some information upon the character of Ballad Poetry.
It would be throwing away words to prove, what all must admit, the general taste and propensity of nations in their early state, to cultivate some species of rude poetry. When the
1 [These remarks were first appended to the edition of 1830.-ED.]