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They have their humours and their , leisure hours this vacation, to devote faults,
a small portion of it, in rendering a So mutable is man :
little assistance a publication, Excuse his foibles in thy thoughts, which Oxford stands so much in need
And hide them when you can. of. Qo another occasion, I will, with No anger nor resentment keep, your permission, say a little more on Whatever be amiss;
the subject. I am almost ashamed to Be reconciled before you sleep, ask you to insert these unconnected And seal it with a kiss.
hints in your Miscellany, but, if you' Or, if there's cause to reprehend, think they will be likely to rouse any Do it with mild address;
of our Oxonians, I shall be obliged by Remember he's your dearest friend,
your doing so. And love him ne'er the less. 'Tis not the way to scold at large,
Mr. Editor, Whate'er proud reason boast;
Yours, &c. For those their duty best discharge
Aug. 15, 1824.
Professor. Porson observing he Nor discord ever fear.
could pun upon any words, was Thus give your tendrest passions asked if he could pun upon the scope,
three Latin gerunds di, do, dum, Yet better things pursue : Be HEAVEN the objeet of your hope,
when he gave the following And lead HIM THITHER too.
answer :Since you must both resign your breath, When Dido found Aneas would not
And God alone knows when, So live that you may part at death She mourned in silence, and was With joy to meet again.
Di do, dum.
To the Editor of the Oxford Entertaininy Miscellany.
R. R. R. MR. EDITOR,
At the school masters' feast, Dr. On perusing your
And after a long speech reciting, Miscellany of last week, I was surprised to find you were not favoured Says he, “ for a toast the three R’s
I proposewith more Communications, &c.; as
Hem! Rithmetic, Reading, and one would suppose in a place like Ox
Riting.” ford that your Correspondents would be so numerous, that you would have an overflow of matter to select from, for a two-penny Miscellany; but,
TO CORRESPONDENTS. however, at present, it appears to the contrary.-If I might be allowed to “M. C.” and “X.” in our next. say a word on the subject, I should “R. T.” and “Simon Quiz,” are recommend those who have a few | under consideration.
very warmly in my behalf; and I Select Biography.
think a faithful account of what “No part of History is more in-character of a man I am, and how structive and delightful than the Lives
I came by that character, may of great and worthy Men."
perhaps amuse you in an idle moment. I will give you an honest
narrative, though I know it will NARRATIVE OF THE INFANCY AND be often at my own expence ; for
I assure you, Sir, I have, like ROBERT BURNS, THE POET.
Solomon, whose character, except (Written by himself.)
ing in the trifling affair of wis. Robert Burns was, as is well dom, I sometimes think I reseaknown, the son of a. farmer in
ble; I have, I say, like him, Ayrshire.
turned my eyes to behold madness The strength and originality of and folly; and like him too, frehis genius procured him the no- quently shaken hands with intoxitice of many persons distinguish- cating friendship. ed in the Republic of Letters; “ After you have perused these and, among others, that of Dr.
think them Moore, well known for his “Views triling and impertinent, I only of Society and Manners on the beg leave to tell you, that the Continent of Europe,” for his “Ze
poor author wrote them under luco," and various other works. some twitching qualms of consciTo this gentleman our poet ad- ence, arising from a suspicion dressed the following letter, after that he was doing what he ought his first visit to Edinburgh, giv- not to do; a predicament he has ing a history of his life up to the more than once been in before. period of his writing.
“I have not the most distant “Mauchline, August 2, 1787. pretensions to assume that cha
racter which the pye-coated guars. For some months dians of escutcheons call a genpast I have been rambling over tleman. When at Edinburgh last the country, but am now confined winter, I got acquainted in the he. with some lingering complaints, rald's office, and looking through originating, as I take it, in the the granary of honours, I there stomach. To divert my spirits
found almost every name of the a little in this miserable fog of kingdom; but for me, ennui, I have taken a whim to “My ancient but ignoble blood give you a history of myself. My “Has crept through scoundrels ever name has made some little noise
since the flood.” in this country; you have done Gules, Purpure, Argent, &c. me the honour to interest yourself I quite disowned me:
“My father was of the north school-master some thrashings, I of Scotland, the son of a farmer, made an excellent English schoand was thrown hy early misfor- lar; and i the time I was ten or tunes on the world at large; where, eleven years
I was a critic after many years' wanderings and in substantives, verbs, and partisojournings, he picked up a pret-cles. In my infant and boyish ty large quantity of observation days too, I owed much to an old and experience, to which I am in- woman who resided in the family, debted for most of my little pre- remarkable for her ignorance, tensions to wisdom. I have met credulity, and superstition. She with few who understood men, had, I suppose, the largest collectheir manners, and their ways, tion in the country of tales and equal to him; but stubborn un- songs concerning devils, ghosts, gainly integrity, and headlong fairies, brownies, witches, warungovernable irrascibility, are locks, kelpies, elf-candles, deaddisqualifying circumstances ; con- lights, wraiths, apparitions, consequently I was born a very poor traips, giants, inchanted towers, man's son.
dragons, and other trumpery“ For the first six or seven This cultivated the latent seeds of
my my father was a poetry ; but had so strong an efgardener to a worthy gentleman fect' on my imagination, that to of small estate in the neighbour- this hour, in my nocturnal rambood of Ayr. Had he continued bles, I sometimes keep a sharp in that station, I must have march-look-out in suspicious places : ed off to be one of the little un- and though nobody can be more 'derlings about a farm-house ; sceptical than I am in such matbut it was his dearest wish and ters, yet it often takes an effort of prayer to have it in his power to philosophy to shake off these idle keep his children under his own terrors. The earliest composition eye, at least till they could dis- that I recollect taking pleasure in cern between good and evil; so was The Vision of Mirza, and a with the assistance of his gener- Hymn of Addison's beginning, ous master, my father ventured “ How are thy servants blest, O on a small farm on his estate. At Lord !” I particularly remember these years I was by no means a one half-stanza which was music favourite with any body. I was to my boyish eara good deal noted for a retentive "For though in dreadful whirls we memory, a stubborn sturdy some hung thing in my disposition, and an
• High on the broken wave." enthusiastic ideot piety.--I say I met with these pieces in Mason's ideot piety, because I was but English Collection, one of my then a child. Though it cost the school-books. Tbe two first
books I ever read in private, and that our young gentry have a just gave me
more pleasure sense of the immense distance bethan any two books I ever read tween them and their ragged since, were the Life of Hannibal, play-fellows. It takes a few and the History of Sir William dashes into the world, to give the Wallace. Hannibal gave my young great man that proper,
deyoung ideas such a turn, that I cent, unnoticing disregard for the used to strut in raptures up and poor, insignificant, stupid devils, down after the recruiting drum the mechanics and peasantry aand bag-pipe, and wished inyself round him, who were perhaps tall enough to be a soldier ; while born in the same village. My the story of Wallace poured a young superiors never insulted Scottish prejudice into my veins, the louterly appearance of my which will boil along there, till plough-boy carcase, the two exthe flood-gates of life shut in eter- tremities of which were often exnal rest.
posed to all the inclemencies of “ Polemical divinity about this the seasons. They would give time was setting the country half me stray volumes of books;, amad, and I, ambitious of shining mong them, even then, I could in conversation-parties on Sun- pick up some observations, and days between sermons, at funerals, one, whose heart I am sure not &c. used, a few years afterwards, even the Munny Begum scenes to puzzle Calvinism with so much have tainted, helped me to a little heat and indiscretion, that it raised French. , Parting with these, my a hue-and-cry of heresy against young friends and benefactors, as me, which has not ceased to this they occasionally went off for the hour.
East or West Indies, was often to “My vicinity to Ayr. was of me a very sore affliction, but I some advantage to me. My soci- was soon called to more serious al disposition, when not checked evils. My father's generous masby some modification of spited ter died; the farm proved a pride, was, like our catechism de- ruinous bargain; and, to clench finition of infinitude, without the misfortune, we fell into the bounds or limits. I formed con- hands of a factor, who sat for the nections who possessed superior picture I have drawn of one in advantages"; the youngling actors my Tale of the Twa Dogs. My who were busy in the rehearsal of father was advanced in life, when parts in which they were shortly he married ; I was the eldest of to appear on the stage of life, seven children, and he, worn out where, alas ! I was destined to by early hardships, was unfit for drudge behind the scenes. It is labour. My father's spirit was not commonly at this green age, soon irritated, but not easily bro
ken. There was a freedom in the contagion I cannot teli; :
; you his lease in two years more, and medical people talk much of into weather these two years we re- fection from breathing the same trenched our expences. We lived air, &c. but I never expressly very poorly; I was an excellent said I loved her. Indeed I did plough-man for my age, and the not know myself why I liked so next eldest to me was a brother much to loiter behind with her, (Gilbert) who could drive the when returning in the evening plough very well, and help me to from our labours ; why the tones thrash the corn. A novel writer of her voice made my heart-strings might perhaps have viewed these thrill like an Æolian harp; and scenes with some satisfaction, but particularly why my pulse beat so did not I; my indignation yet such a furious ratan when I lookboils at the recollection of the ed over her little hand to pick out scoundrel factor's insolent threat- the cruel nettle-stings and this. ening letters, which used to set us tles. Among her love-inspiring all in tears.
qualities, she sang sweetly; and “ This kind of life, the cheer- it was her favourite reel to which less gloom of a hermit with the l' attempted giving an embodied unceasing moil of a galley-slave, vehicle in rhyme. I was not so brought me to my 16th year; a presumptuous as to imagine, that I little before which period I first could make verses like printed committed the sin of rhyme. You ones, composed by men who had know our country custom of Greek and Latin ; but my girl coupling a man and woman toge- sang a song which was said to be ther as partners in the labours of composed by a small country harvest. In my 15th autumn, laird's son, on one of his father's my partner was a bewitching maids, with whom he was in love; creature, a year younger than and I saw no reason why I might myself. My scarcity of English not rhyme as well as be; for, denjes me the power of doing her excepting that he could shear justice in that language, but you sheep, and cast peats, his father know the Scottish ideom; she living in the moorlands, he had was a bonnie, sweet, sonsie lass. no more scholar-craft than myself. In short, she altogether, unwit "Thus with me began love tingly to herself, initiated me in and poetry, which at times have that delicious passion, which, in been my only, and, till within spite of acid disappointment, gin- the last twelve months, have been horse prudence, and book-worm my highest enjoyment. philosophy, I hold to be the first of human joys, our dearest bless
To be continued, ing here below! How she cangbt