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of hurting ourselves with it, or letting it fall, or making some awkward motion that shall betray our ignorance. An English author is the master, not the slave of his language, and wields it gracefully because he wields it with ease, and with full assurance that he has the command of it. In order to get over this difficulty, which I fear is in some respects insuperable after all, I have been continually poring upon Addison, the best parts of Swift, lord Lyttelton, &c. The ear is of great service in these matters ; and I am convinced the greater part of Scottish authors hurt their style by admiring and imitating one another. At Edinburgh, it is said by your critical people, that Hume, Robertson, &c. write English better than the English themselves, THAN Which, in my judgment, THERE CANNOT BE A GREATER

I would as soon believe that Thuanus wrote better Latin than Cicero or Cæsar, and that Buchanan was a more elçgant poet than Virgil or Horace. In my rhetorical lectures, and whenever I have occasion to speak on this subject to those who pay any regard to my opinion, I always maintain a contrary doc

I trine, and advise those to study English authors, who would acquire a good English style.”

ABSURDITY.

I have an aversion both for the l'evity and licentiousness of the harlot Muses, who were worshipped by their lewd adorers, amid that profligacy, which immediately succeeded to the puritanism of Cromwell. Yet it must be confessed that the gentlemen and the courtiers, in good king Charles's jovial days, were thoroughly versed in the character of the female sex; and had the wits of that age imparted to us their knowledge, in the language of philosophy, instead of the idiom of the bagnio, our acquaintance with human nature would be more intimate. WALLER, for example, though bred among the corruption of the court, yet perfectly pure of its taint, is at once a chaste and faithful delineator of the female heart. Indeed, though it is reported he was not a very successful gallant, he appears in all his verses, to describe the nature of woman, with all the precision of a La Bruyere. Perhaps there never was found, since the commencement of the reign of poetry, so perfect a parallel between soft and shining beauty, as that which the genius of our poet has run between

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Amoret and Sacharissa. But I am still more edified with a few brief verses, where the whole truth is revealed, and certainly without a particle of flattery.

Anger, in hasty words, or blows,
Itself discharges on our foes ;
And sorrow too finds some relief,
In tears, which wait upon our grief:
So erery passion, but fond love,
Unto its own redress does move;
But that alone the wretch inciines,
To what prevents his own designs ;
Makes him lament, and sig??, and vecp.
Disordered, tremble, fawn and creep;
Postures, which render him despisil,
Where he endeavours to be priz'd;
For Women, born to be controlld,
Stoop to the forward and the bold;
Affect the haughty and the proud,
The
gay,

the frolick, and the loud ;
Who first the generous steed opprest.
Not kneeling, did salute the beast ;
But, with high courage, life and force,
Approaching, tam'd the unruly horse.

The allusion in the closing lines is rather too coarse for the refinement of the present age ; and taste might object to the politeness of the expression. But, it is more than suspected, that the poet's theory is correct; and they who have had the nearest opportunities of analyzing that very complex substance, a fine lady's bosom, will inevitably agree with Mr. WALLER.

In Currie's edition of the works of Burns, volumes which, whether we regard the philosophical biographer, the original poet and the ill-fated man equally merit our regard, is a very humorous and descriptive ballad, which for fidelity of description, archness of humour, and a certain graphical manner, deserves the attention of the good natured reader.

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DUNCAN GRAY cam here to woo,

Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
Ane blythe yule night, when we were fu,

Ha, ha, &c.
Maggie tost her head fu high,
Look'd asklent, and unco skeigh,
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh,

Ha, ha.
Duncan ficech'd, and Duncan pray'd!,

Ha, ha, &c.
Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig,

Ha, ha.
Duncan sigh' baith out and in,
Grat his een baith blcert and blin,
Spak o' lowpin o'or a linn,

Ha, ha.
Time and chance are but a tides
Slighted love is sair to bide,
Shall I, like a fool, quoth he,
For a haughty hizzie dic?
She may gae tu-France for me!

Ha, ha.
How it comes, let doctors tell,

Ha, ha.
Meg grew sick, as he grew haic,

Ha, ha.
Something in her bosom wrings,
For relief, a sigh she brings;
And 0, her.cen they spak sic things !
Duncan was a lad o' grace,

Ha, ha, &c.
Maggie's was a piteous case,

Ha, ha, &c.
Duncan could na be her death,
Swelling pity smoor'd his wrath,
Vow they're crouse and caniy baith,

Ha, ha, the wooing o't.

Burns mentions with the warmest approbation, the following beautiful fragment from Witherspoon's collection of Scotch songs.

AIR-Mughie Graham.

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The following stanza is highly characteristic of its Ayrshire author.

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We remember to have heard a blithsome brother of the can. a bonnie boy frae the Highlands sing, with all the merriment of a grig, the following song by BURNS.

Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed,
The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie,
Willie was a wabster gude,
Could stown a clue, wi' ony bodie.
He had a wife was clour and din,
O Tinkler Madgie: ws her mither.

Sic a wife as Il'illie had,
I wadna gie a button for her.

She has an 'ee, she has but ali's
The cat has twa, the very

colour ;
Five rusty teeth forbye a stump,
A clapper tongue wa’d deave a miller

A whiskin beard about her mou,
Her nose and chin they threaten ither.

Sic a wife, &c.

She's bow hough'd, she's hein shinn'd,
Ae limpin leg, a hand breed shorter,
She's twisted right, she's twisted left,
To balance fair in ilka quarter :
She has a hump upon her breast,
The twin o'that upon her shouther.

Sic a wife, &c.

Auld baudrans by the ingle sits,
An' wi' her loof, her face a washin ;
But Willic's wife is nac sac tri
She dights her grunzie wi' a lushion :
Her wailie neeves, like midden creels,
Her face wad fyle the Logan water.

Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wanna gie a button for her.

Burns somewhere asks his friend, Mr. Thompson, if he knows a certain blackguard Irish song, and then adus, very justly, that the air is charming, and that he has often regretted the want of decent verscs. In this exigency he undertakes to write new verses to the old tune. These are not only pure from

cvery taint, but are memorable for their sweet simplicity.

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