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have a satirical tendency; and the freedom with which he exposes vice, even when it belongs to royalty, has stamped his works with the character of intrepid sincerity." Mr Ellis, in a similar strain, observes :—“ Perhaps, indeed, 'The Dream' is his only composition which can be cited as uniformly poetical; but his various learning, his good sense, his perfect knowledge of courts and of the world, the facility of his versification, and, above all, his peculiar talent of adapting himself to
tinue to secure to him a considerable share of that popularity for which he was originally indebted to the opinions he professed, no less than to his poetical merit."
arrangement of incident, and that harmony of action which produces unity of purpose, and co-relation of the several parts to the whole, he is superior to both; yet he does not possess Dunbar's power of, in a few touches, producing an effect which irresistibly draws out, as it were, the latent forces of the imagination, to see and feel far beyond the mere foreground picture actually depicted. His imagination lacks what may be termed the generative or vivifying force, and communicates no impetus to carry us beyond the matter-of-readers of all denominations, will confact conception, whose bald definiteness suggests nothing in the background. Indeed, it would almost appear as if he felt some stiffness in this direction, for after his first poem, "The Dream," he confined himself to his more congenial sphere. He has one great merit which does not characterize all his contemporaries: he seldom fails to make his meaning clear to the most ordinary capacity, and hence one secret of his popularity. Dr Irving remarks that his works "are often entertaining by their strokes of humour, or instructive by their views of life and manners; and although his delineations are sometimes extremely coarse, they are not on that account to be considered as less faithful. He was evidently a man of sense and observation, with serious impressions of virtue and piety; nor was he destitute of those higher powers of mind which enable a writer to communicate his ideas with due effect. He frequently displays no mean vivacity of fancy, and the extensive and continued popularity to which he attained, must have rested on some solid foundation. Many of his poems
Lindsay's works were all written after the introduction of printing into Scotland, and had been all or mostly printed separately during his lifetime; yet the first collected edition was by the French printer Jascuy, in 1558. This was followed, in 1559, by an edition by John Scot of St Andrews, who, for fear of the consequences threatened by the act of Mary, omitted the printer's name, date, and place of printing. The next edition was that by Henry Charteris, Edinburgh, 1568, prefaced by an account of the author, which formed the nucleous of the subsequent lives. Frequent reprints followed; and so popular were Lindsay's works, that Chalmers, while carefully guarding against instituting a comparison between his poetical merits and those of Chaucer, observes, that while only twelve editions of the latter poet appeared in a hundred and twenty-seven
My service done unto thy celsitude,
years from the edition of 1475, fourteen editions of Lindsay were printed in fifty-six years, including two in France, and three in England. Chalmers's edition in three vols., 1806, is the most elaborate that has yet appeared; but it Hope has me hecht' ane goodly recom
is proper to add that Dr David Laing has a three-volume library edition in preparation, the text of which, with the omission of some of the grosser parts of The Three Estates, was published as a two-volume edition, with a Life and Glossary, in 1871.
[This, the earliest of Lindsay's poems, was composed in 1528, when James V., by his own address, escaped out of the control of the Douglases. The address to the King, with which it begins, is a pleasing account of the social recreations of the youthful monarch and his faithful page. This subject he resumes in "The Complaint."
Exercit in service of thine excellence,
When thou was young, I bore thee in
Full tenderly, till thou begouth to gang,2
And sometime like ane fiend, transfigurate.
Thy pursemaster and secret treasurer,
The Prologue is, with that to the "Monarchy," considered his most poetical production, although after a style very common among his predecessors. The poem being too long to give in full, we have restricted our selections to these Till sic ane prince to be so agreeable. two portions, along with that part of the "Dream" proper which gives the poet's idea of the infernal regions, as a contrast sketch to that of the state of the glorified bodies given from the "Monarchy."]
That sic ane wretched worm has made so hable, 10
THE EPISTI.E TO THE KING'S GRACE.
Right potent prince of high imperial blood,
But now thou art by influence natural,
7 Dish and cupbearer. 8 Groom of bedchamb
9 My loyalty. [er.
5 Sir Guy of Romance. 10 Able.
The small fowls in flockis saw I flee,
Pensive in heart, passing full soberly,
The sea was furth, 2 the sand was smooth
Then up and down I musèd mine3 alone,
They said, blessèd be summer, with his Till that I spied ane little cave of stone flowris, High in ane crag, upward I did approach
And waryit be thou winter with thy. But tarrying, 4 and clamb up in the roche ;5
"Alas! Aurora, the silly lark gan cry Where has thou left thy balmy liquor
That us rejoiced, we mounting in the sky?
Why tholis thou thy heavenly pleasant face,
With misty vapours, to be obscured, alas!
And purposed, for passing of the time,
But sat still in that cove where I might
The weltering of the wallis up and down,
"Where art thou May, with June thy And of this worldis wretched variation,
To them that fixes on it their intent, Considering wha maist had, should maist repent.
So with my hood my head I happèd warm,
My mittans held my handis weel in heat;
There still I sat my banis 10 for to rest, Till Morpheus with sleep my spirit oppressed.
I Fared, went.
3 By myself.
4 Without delay.
8 Who most.
9 Overhanging. 10 Bones.