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IN Mr. Scott's remarks on the Jolly Beggars,' the reader will observe that he praises a thin volume published at Glasgow, as containing some of Burns's most brilliant poetry.' - Whatever regard the Editor may have for the judgment of Mr. Walter Scott, he has a still greater respect for the good fame of Robert Burns; and he cannot suffer this
statement to pass without correction. With the exception of the CANTATA, and HOLY Willie's PRAYER, not one of the pieces in the volume above-mentioned can be considered as "brilliant poetry. They consist either of rubbish, confessedly not his, or of sallies, of which, in Mr. Scott's own opinion, Justice to the living and to the dead, alike demanded the suppression. It is lamentable to observe, that those effusions which the Bard himself would have consigned to oblivion, have been drawn into public notice by his own countrymen only; and (as evil communications seldom fail to corrupt good manners) in consequence of the recommendation here given to this contemptible volume, to this skimble-skamble stuff,' the Editor saw it,
with regret, advertised to be printed, and republished by the Ballantynes of Edinburgh.
That the reader may properly appreciate Mr. Scott's recommendation of what he is pleased to term "brilliant poetry,' the following titles and extracts from this volume are inserted.:
The Jolly Beggars.
The Kirk's Alarm.—A silly satire on some worthy mi
nisters of the gospel in Ayrshire.
Epistle from a Tailor to Robert Burns.-beginning,
• What waefu' news is this I hear,
Out owre the sea,
lo'e sae dear
Will greet for thee.'
Then follows what is called Robert Burns's Answer to
the aforesaid Tailor, beginning in this blackguard
• What ails ye now, ye lousy b-tch,
Song, beginning, The Deil cam fiddling thro' the Town.'
Inserted in the Reliques of Burns. Holy Willie's Prayer.-Suppressed by Dr. Currie, and
by the Editor of the Reliques, for its open and daring profanity, and the frequent and familiar
introduction of the sacred name of the Deity. The Inventory.- Dr. Currie published this in his edi
tion, but he had the good sense and delicacy to suppress the objectionable passages: they are here restored; and that the grossness might be still more palpable, they are conspicuously printed,
for the benefit of the rising generation, in italics. An Address to a bastard Child.-Rejected by Dr. Currie
for its indelicacy. Elegy on the Year 1789.-Printed in the Reliques. Verses addressed to John Rankin, beginning, 'Ae day as
death that grusome carl,' &c. Inserted in the
Reliques. Verses addressed to the above Johnie Rankin, on his writ
ing to the Poet ‘that a girl in the part of the coun."
try in which he lived was with child by him!' With several other pieces of this cast, equally bril
liant and edifying; and some tributary verses by various hands.
Such are the contents of a volume which has been praised in a publication assuming an authority to control the licentiousness of the press, and to direct the taste of the public! But blasphemy and ribaldry will not be published by the Editor of these volumes, though written in an unhallowed moment by Robert Burns; and recommended to public notice, after the most mature deliberation, by Mr. Walter