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Songs and Fables
By William John MacQuorn Rankine


Those who enjoyed the personal intimacy of the late Professor Rankine—and the circle was not a narrow one—will, it is thought, be glad to have the means of recalling some of the songs which they can no longer hear from him, though his voice and manner lent a charm which the printed page cannot restore. Those who knew him from his graver works only, may be surprised, but it is hoped will not be disap- pointed, to find that a genius for philosophic research, which made his name known throughout the whole scientific world—and the labours of a life devoted chiefly to directing others, from the chair, and by the press, how to follow his steps—were not incompatible with the playful, genial spirit which brightens the following pages.

The first of the Songs may be token as the meeting-point of science and humour:—the last possesses a melancholy interest, from having been written very shortly before his death, when failing health and eye-sight seem to have revived a longing for the scenery and simple pleasures of his childhood. Three of the Songs have already been published in Blackwoods Magazine, whose proprietors have kindly consented to their re-appearing in the present volume. One or two have been issued separately, along with their airs and accompaniments; and some others will probably be published in that form, for the use of those to whom the music is an essential or principal attraction.

The Fables explain, in a mode not attempted by archaeologists, the origin and meaning of some of our old and popular sign-boards. The illustrations attached to them, from the well known pencil of a gifted lady connected with the same University, will serve to enliven a humour which some readers might consider dry.

May, 1874.

You can download this book here

The contents of the book are:

Songs.

THE MATHEMATICIAN IN LOVE
THE COACHMAN OF THE “SKYLARK
THE ENGINE-DRIVER TO HIS ENGINE
IRON
WHAT SHALL WE DO FOR COAL?
THE THREE-FOOT RULE
DREAMS OF MY YOUTH ~ On Re-Visiting
THE LASS OF URR
THEY NEVER SHALL HAVE GIBRALTAR
THE DASHING YOUNG FELLOW
THE FALLEN TREE
LOYAL PETER
THE “SATURDAY REVIEW”
THE INFANT METAPHYSICIAN
THE HANDSOMEST MAN IN THE ROOM
THE MARRIED MEN'S BALL
ODE IN PRAISE OF THE CITY OF MULLINGAR
THE STANDARD-BEARER
THE CARR1CK HILLS

Fables

I. THE GOOSE AND GRIDIRON
II. THE MAGPIE AND STUMP
III. THE HOG IN ARMOUR
IV. THE PIG AND WHISTLE
V. THE CAT AND FIDDLE
VI. THE GOAT AND COMPASSES
VII. THE BELLE-SAVAGE
VIII. THE CAT AND SALUTATION
IX. THE SWAN WITH TWO NECKS
X. THE TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER
XI. THE GREEN MAN AND STILL
XII. THE BULL AND MOUTH

You can also read a small biography of him here


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