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the Border Ballad, first published in Scott's Minstrelsy; and one of the most lively of Sir Richard's own poems, his "Complaint against the Border Robbers," also finds a place in that collection.
These two volumes are now preserved in the library of Magdalene College, Cambridge; and a third, containing most of his own poems, was presented to the Edinburgh College Library by William Drummond of Hawthornden. Selections from his collections were first published by Pinkerton in 1786.
The specimen of Maitland's poetry quoted, is on a subject which has been treated by his contemporary Lindsay with much more force and liveliness, but with much less nicety, both in
Of George Bannatyne's personal
He was the son of William Maitland of Lethington, by Martha, daughter of George Lord Seaton, and was born in 1496. He was educated at St Andrews, but completed his studies for the bar in France. His first service was under King James V., and after that monarch's death he became Lord Privy Seal, during | thought and expression. the regency of the Queen Dowager. In 1554, he was appointed an extra-history almost nothing is known. ordinary Lord of Session; and in 1561, Some verses in his famous collection an ordinary Lord, notwithstanding his are by himself; but his skill as a poet having lost the use of his eyesight. In was not great, and would hardly have 1567, he resigned the office of Lord sufficed to give his name a place among Privy Seal in favour of his second son, the ancient singers, but for the fortunate but he retained his seat on the bench inspiration that impelled him to devote till 1584. The King's letter anent his three months of enforced abstention resignation, in his 88th year, bears testi- from his ordinary pursuits to the collecmony to the faithful discharge of histion and preservation of the fast fleeting important public duties in the service effusions of the early Muse of his country. of his "grandsire, goodsire, gooddame, | His manuscript, which is the most valumother, and himself." Sir Richard died in 1586, in his ninetieth year. His eldest son was William Maitland, Queen Mary's famous secretary, who possessed more than his father's talents, but less than his father's virtues.
Maitland's claim upon the gratitude of posterity is as a collector of the poems of his predecessors and contemporaries, rather than as a contributor to the volume of Scottish literature. His collection consists of two manuscript volumes, one of which is in the handwriting of his daughter Mary, who is herself the writer of come verses preserved in it.
able literary legacy that has been preserved to us, is a folio volume of eight hundred pages, and is stated by himself, in rhyme, to have been
"Written in tyme of pest, When we frae labour was compeld to rest, Into the three last monthes of this year, From our Redeemar's birth, to knaw it heir Ane thousand is, fyve hundreth, thre scoir, awcht."
In reference to the sources of his information, and the arrangement of his matter, he writes :
"Ye reverend redaris, thir workis revolving right,
Gif ye get crymes, correct thame to your micht,
But lait begun to lerne and till translait
Tryd furth, thairfoir excuse sum pairt my
haif heir ilk buik sa provydit, That in fyve pairtis it is dewly devydit :
The first concernis Godis gloir and ouir saluation,
The nixt are morale, grave and als besyd it Grund on gud counsale; the third I will nocht hyd it,
Ar blyith and glaid, made for our consollation; The ferd of luve and thair richt reformation; The fyift are tailis and storeis weill discryit :Reid as ye pleiss, I neid no mair narration."
After having survived the chances of accident and change for nearly a century and a-half, it found its way into the hands of Allan Ramsay, to whom it was lent by the Honourable William Carmichael, brother-german to the Earl of Hyndford. Allan had the taste and sagacity to see somewhat of the value of the treasure that had been entrusted to him, and used it as the chief source of his collection called "The Evergreen," published in 1724. It is easy, from our present conceptions of the duties and obligations of an editor of antiquarian lore, to condemn Ramsay's dealings with the contents of the Bannatyne Manuscript; but we are apt to overlook the dormant state of literary opinion in his day, and that he was himself the first to stimulate into life the present spirit of appreciation of our ancient poetry. We believe that "honest Allan," as he has been called,
instead of having any misgivings in regard to his dealings with the MS., felt that he rather deserved credit for what he did; and those who allow for the disadvantages under which he laboured, will not blame him for his incompetence as an editor, which was his misfortune, not his fault. In 1770, the manuscript was again drawn upon by Lord Hailes, who, with than greater accuracy Ramsay, published a volume of selections from it. In 1772, it was presented by the Earl of Hyndford to the Advocate's Library, Edinburgh, and forms one of its chief treasures. It is now, for the first time, in process of being printed in its entirety.