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Significant Scots
The Life of James Hogg
Taken from the Daily Mail, Saturday, May 20, 2000 by Jeremy Hodges

In 1803, the successful poet and advocate Walter Scott invited a remarkable guest to dinner at his Edinburgh residence. The plaid-clad figure, hands stained with tar from doctoring the sheep he had just driven to market, ate and drank heartily before putting his feet up on the sofa and proceeding to entertain Scott and his wife with jokes, stories and songs.

James Hogg was in his element, but next morning felt it prudent to pen an apology to his host: ‘I am afraid that I was at least half seas over last night, for I cannot for my life remember what passed when it was late ... I have the consolation, however, of remembering that Mrs. Scott kept us company all or most of the time, which she certainly would not have done had I been very rude.’

Scott’s guest was one of the greatest literary talents to come out of Scotland, more prolific a poet than Burns and arguably a more powerful teller of tales than Scott, yet Hogg’s outspoken manner and quaint rustic image as the Ettrick Shepherd kept him ultimately from the accolade he deserved.

Victorians bowdlerised his books and left his best poems out of collections for fear of indecency, but a select band has always appreciated his work.

Now a Hogg revival is taking place in Scotland, with an Internet website in his honour, a new edition of his works planned, and Scottish screen star Peter Mullan hoping to film Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

All this attention would delight the Borders farmer poet who never suffered a moment’s mock modesty and opened his autobiography with the words: ‘I like to write about myself: in fact, there are few things which I like better.’

Yet, until the age of 30, Hogg could hardly write at all and had great difficulty setting down the verses that sprang from his fertile imagination. With no schooling beyond the age of seven, he still formed his letters like a struggling child.

Yet the same man went on to converse on equal terms with literary giants such as Wordsworth and Byron, was feted in London and admired by King George IV. The numerous financial disasters that beset him were equalled only by the number of comebacks he made, refusing to lose his grip on happiness.

The key to this natural genius was Hogg’s unshakeable belief in himself. Born in Ettrick Forest, the son of a farmer and sheep dealer, he soon learned how to rise above adversity when his father lost all his money and the family were turned out of the house.

Young Jamie, who had received only six months’ schooling, was hired out to herd cows and sheep, often roaming the hills barefoot with his only shirt in rags. For a whole year’s work, he once earned no more than a pair of shoes and a sheep.

Yet he made the best of his lonely. situation, running races against himself for amusement or making up stories in his head. Anytbing he earned beyond his board and lodging went to support his family until at the age of 14 he was allowed to keep five shillings, with which he bought an old fiddle.

The cattle sheds and steadings where he slept were filled with his attempts at music each night. By day he composed songs for the farm lassies to sing at dances and festivals, and he soon had local fame as ‘Jamie the poeter’.

In his teens he worked for a landowner who lent him books, which Hogg consumed avidly. Yet it was not until he was 24 that he sent off his first laboriously transcribed poem to The Scots Magazine, a rollicking tale in rhyme called The Mistakes of a Night, in which a youth goes courting one evening and unwittingly seduces his sweetheart’s widowed mother.

When she falls pregnant, the blushing youth is called by the Kirk Session to the Stool of Repentance — an experience which Hogg, like Burns, was to have in real life. At least twice, In 1806 and 1809, he became a father out of wedlock, although the two girls’ families seemed content not to have their daughters wed the penniless shepherd. When the aunt of one of the girls did suggest Hogg should wed her niece, he replied that ‘she advised me well but really I could not get time. She said I had plenty of time since Candlemass. "O yes," said I, "that’s very true, but then the weather was so wet I could not get through the water", at which they all burst out a-laughing, the girl herself among the rest, and there was no more of the matter, nor was there ever a frown on either side.’

Nevertheless, 39-year-old Hogg felt it might be best to leave Ettrick. By then he had published not only a volume of poems called The Mountain Bard, dedicated to his new friend Walter Scott, but also a useful handbook entitled The Shepherd’s Guide: Being a Practical Treatise on the Diseases of Sheep.

These books had earned him nearly £300 (about £30,000 in modem money) which he had squandered on an unsuccessful farming venture. Ettrick looked askance at a failed farmer and a fornicator with an odd habit of composing poems, and nobody would give him a job as a shepherd. Penniless and in despair he came to Edinburgh, where his friend John Grieve had a hatter’s business on the North Bridge. Grieve gave him food and lodging while Hogg set about trying to make money from his writing.

The Forest Minstrel was a volume of ‘amorous phantasies’, populated by flesh-and-blood country girls rather than the china shepherdesses favoured by more refined poets. It was a work of genius, but earned Hogg nothing, other than an accusation by The Scots Magazine that he was trying to ‘outdo even the vulgarity of the lowest vulgar’.

Disgusted, the Ettrick Shepherd decided to set up his own weekly magazine. With no editorial or publishing experience, he kept The Spy going for a year, penning the copy which filled its pages himself. It was controversial, outspoken, and portrayed Edinburgh life the way Hogg saw it, but the more refined sectors of Edinburgh society did not appreciate his candid views. When The Spy ran an anonymous correspondent’s account of amorous escapades with his housekeeper, one critic assumed this was drawn from Hogg’s own experience and declared: ‘A more shameful and indecent paper was never laid so barefacedly before the public.’

Around a quarter of the magazine’s subscribers cancelled their subscriptions, but the more discerning remained loyal until The Spy’s inevitable financial collapse. By then it was impossible to ignore

Hogg’s impact on the literary scene, and hundreds attended the weekly literary discussion sessions known as The Forum, over which he presided in Edinburgh.

Hogg was still penniless, relying on friends’ charity, but in 1813 he confounded the critics with a new long poem, The Queen’s Wake, which was an instant success, running to ten editions in the next ten years.

Hogg was now a celebrity, invited to countless dinner parties ‘night after night, scraping on the fiddle, singing his own ballads and, with the help of Glenlivet, making himself and others uproariously merry’.

 In 1814 he was invited to an Edinburgh dinner party to meet ‘Mr Wordsworth’. Hogg, who had assumed this was horse dealer of the same name was astonished to find himself chatting instead to the great Lakeland poet.

He invited the Wordsworths to visit his parents and sample the scenic splendours of Ettrick. They enjoyed their visit and in turn asked him to stay with them in the Lake District, where Hogg also met Coleridge and De Quincey.

Lord Byron was another avid reader of the Ettrick Shepherd’s work, and declared: ‘Hogg is a strange being but of great, though uncouth, powers. I think very highly of him as a poet.’

When Hogg devised the moneymaking idea of publishing a collection of English and Scottish poetry Byron and Wordsworth both agreed to contribute a poem - but Walter Scott declined. Hogg was incensed, and would not speak to Scott for a year.

The two men had a cordial but at times uneasy relationship. They had been friends since 1803, when Scott had come to Ettrick in search of ballads for his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, to which Hogg’s family contributed.

While in Edinburgh, Hogg would breakfast at Scott’s house two or three mornings a week, and Scott enjoyed their conversations. But he and other Edinburgh intellectuals seemed almost to tolerate Hogg as a licensed court jester rather than an equal.

Hogg’s prolific pen contributed to the success of Blackwood’s Magazine, yet the same publication made fun of him as the Ettrick Shepherd, which tried his patience sorely.

When Scott refused to give him a poem, Hogg took it as a snobbish insult. In reality, Scott was probably anxious not to contribute to the success of a rival poet whose talent might one day eclipse his own.

He once offered to find Hogg a good position on a farm, on condition that he stopped writing poetry, and in later life Scott urged Hogg not to publish his novels and short stories.

Yet, professional jealousy aside, the friendship was genuine and, when Hogg fell seriously ill, Scott turned up at the house and told John Grieve to spare no expense on medical care because he would pick up the bill. When Hogg later learned this, he made a handsome apology for taking umbrage and the two men were reconciled.

In 1815, the 4th Duke of Buccleuch offered Hogg the tenancy of Altrive Farm, rent-free, on his estates. The Ettrick Shepherd could at last return home and take care of his elderly parents.

In 1820, his 50th year, he married Margaret Phillips, a lively woman 20 years his junior who bore him a son and three daughters. It was a strong and happy marriage, well able to weather misfortune.

In his first two years of marriage, Hogg made about £200,000 in today’s terms from his writing, yet it all went into a new farm, Mount Benger, which he had leased from the Duke of Buccleuch.

Hogg was already struggling financially by 1822 when his old friend, now Sir Walter Scott, organised King George IV’s royal visit to Edinburgh. Hogg penned a special masque to mark the occasion, published by Blackwood’s - which never paid him a penny for it. ‘But I got what I held in higher estimation, His Majesty’s thanks, for that and my other loyal and national songs,’ he said later.

Yet the nature of Hogg’s other work did not please the public. In 1824 he penned Confessions of a Justified Sinner, the masterpiece which would inspire Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well as The Master of Baliantrae. Hogg felt it best to publish such a tale of horror anonymously, and even then the fastidious public could not stomach it. After squabbles with the publisher, Hogg made not a penny from his greatest work.

Back in the Borders, the new young Duke of Buccleuch’s gamekeeper caught the Ettrick Shepherd poaching. In vain Sir Walter Scott pleaded for him: ‘But my lord Duke, you must always remember that Hogg is no ordinary man, although he may have shot a stray moorcock.’

The Hoggs were turned out of Mount Benger and had to auction most of their possessions to pay their debts. They spent their last years in the small house back at Altrive, poor but happy.

In 1832, two years before his death, Hogg went to London. He was wined and dined in the highest circles and was rumoured to have turned down a knighthood.

His work had brought him no great wealth, but a family and a coterie of friends and admirers with whom he was happy and when, at the age of 64, the Ettrick Shepherd died he had pronounced himself satisfied to let posterity make of him what it would.

Not one for false modesty, he might have hoped it would have made more of him. Now with renewed interest in Hogg’s work promising to bring him to a prominence which has so far eluded him, it seems that his devotees have decided to give posterity a helping hand.

CALEDONIA! thou land of the mountain and rock,
   Of the ocean, the mist, and the wind-
Thou land of the torrent, the pine, and the oak,
   Of the roebuck, the hart, and the hind;
Though bare are thy cliffs, and though barren thy glens,
   Though bleak thy dun islands appear,
Yet kind are the hearts, and undaunted the clans,
   That roam on these mountains so drear!

A foe from abroad, or a tyrant at home,
   Could never thy ardour restrain;
The marshall'd array of imperial Rome
   Essay'd thy proud spirit in vain!
Firm seat of religion, of valour, of truth,
   Of genius unshackled and free,
The muses have left all the vales of the south,
   My loved Caledonia, for thee!

Sweet land of the bay and wild-winding deeps
   Where loveliness slumbers at even,
While far in the depth of the blue water sleeps
   A calm little motionless heaven!
Thou land of the valley, the moor, and the hill,
   Of the storm and the proud rolling wave-
Yes, thou art the land of fair liberty still,
   And the land of my forefathers' grave!

Visit the James Hogg Society Web Site

HOGG, JAMES.—This delightful poet of nature’s own rearing, who, of all our national bards under similar circumstances, ranks nearest to Burns, was born in Ettrick Forest, on the 25th of January, 1772. Whence he derived his most unpoetical of names it is not easy to determine, unless we are to suppose that it was the name of some honoured follower of the Conqueror, subsequently fattened into its present form by the rich fruits of the conquest, or finally by a profitable emigration into Scotland in the days, it may be, of Malcolm Canmore. But upon this dangerous question we have no particular wish to enter. At all events, we know that James Hogg was fully sensible of this grunting incongruity in connection with the tuneful avocation of minstrel, and therefore chose for himself the name of the Ettrick Shepherd as the more fitting appellative. Whatever may have been the good fortune of his earliest ancestors in Scotland, we well know that none of it descended to himself; for his predecessors had been shepherds as far back as he could trace them. His father, who followed the same humble calling, had been so successful in it as to save some money, which he invested in a farming speculation soon after James was born. The young poet, who was the second of four sons, was therefore sent to school, and would probably have received the usual amount of education bestowed upon the children of our Scottish peasantry, had it not been for a reverse of fortune, by which his father was stripped of all his earnings. This happened when James was only six years old; and he was taken from school in consequence of his parents and their children being "turned out of doors," as he informs us, "without a farthing in the world." After a resting-place had been found, James was obliged to enter into service at the early age of seven. His occupation was to herd a few cows, upon a half-year’s wage of a ewe lamb and a pair of new shoes. In this lonely occupation, with nothing but his cows for companions, the imaginative boy could find no better amusement than to run races against time, or rather against himself. For this purpose he was wont to strip like a regular athlete, until his clothes were lost piece by piece, so that he was reduced to primitive nudeness; and it was only by a diligent search of the other servants that the lost articles were found. After a year spent in this kind of servitude, he was sent once more to school. Hitherto his education had advanced so far as reading in the "Shorter Catechism" and the Proverbs of Solomon; but now he was transferred into a higher class, where the Bible itself was the text-book of lessons. He also learned writing, after a fashion, in a large coarse hand, where every letter was nearly an inch in length. A quarter of a year spent in this way completed his education; all that was afterwards to be done depended upon his own efforts.

Having thus received a more limited tuition than usually happens to the children even of the poorest in our country, Hogg was again obliged to return to the occupation of a cow-herd, the lowest grade of rural employment; and after serving in this capacity for several years, under different masters, he was raised to the more honourable office of a shepherd. But long before he attained this promotion, and while still a mere boy, the first stirrings of the poetical spirit came upon him; and like almost every poet, past, present, and to come, his inspirations were awoke by female beauty, tenderness, and worth. He had already found the being who afterwards was, in all likelihood, the "bonny Kilmeny," who bewitched the world, as well as the animating muse of his first rugged efforts in song. That episode, so important in a poet’s life, we give in his own tender and truthful language:—"When only eight years of age, I was sent out to a height called Broad-heads, with a rosy-cheeked maiden, to herd a flock of new-weaned lambs, and I had my mischievous cows to herd besides. But as she had no dog, and I had an excellent one, I was ordered to keep close by her. Never was a master’s order better obeyed. Day after day I herded the cows and the lambs both, and Betty had nothing to do but to sit and sew. Then we dined together every day at a well near to the Shiel-sike-head, and after dinner I laid my head down on her lap, covered her bare feet with my plaid, and pretended to fall sound asleep. One day I heard her say to herself, ‘Puir little laddie! he’s jist tired to death;’ and then I wept till I was afraid she would feel the warm tears trickling on her knee. I wished my master, who was a handsome young man, would fall in love with her and marry her, wondering how he could be so blind and stupid as not to do it. But I thought if I were he I would know well what to do."

From love to music was but a step in one of such a temperament, and when Hogg had reached the age of fourteen he laid out five shillings, which he had saved from his wages, in the purchase of an old violin. This new charm of existence occupied him so wholly that all his leisure was devoted to it; and as his only spare hours were taken from sleep, while his only dormitory was a stable or a cow-house, his desperate attempts in music had commonly no better auditory than that which was wont to gather around the harping of Orpheus. He ever after retained his love of music, and by dint of perseverance became a tolerable violinist. However trivial, or even ridiculous, such a pursuit may be in common life, it is no frivolous matter in that of a poet. It indicates that the soul of harmony is within him, and that whether he learns to fiddle well or not, he will turn it to the best account in that music of words which forms so necessary an adjunct in poetry. Who does not recognize this fact in the singular melody which characterizes the Ettrick Shepherd’s versification? No sounds can be sweeter, and no notes more appropriate, than those which embody "Kilmeny" and the Abbot M’Kinnon, in the "Queen’s Wake." The first of these poems, as illustrative of the mere music of language, independently of its poetical merits, has never been surpassed.

In the meantime the education of the future poet went on, and that, too, so oddly as to give most uncertain promise of his future destination. He had already committed the Psalms of David in metre to memory; but though he liked their rhymes, he seems to have understood nothing else than the short measure into which they are rendered. In his eighteenth year, "The Life and Adventures of Sir William Wallace," modernized by Hamilton of Gilbertfield, and forming the choice epic of our Scottish peasantry, fell into his hands, and also the equally popular pastoral of the "Gentle Shepherd." But partly from having almost forgotten the art of reading, which he had learned so imperfectly, and partly from his scanty reading having been hitherto limited to English, the Scottish dialect, in which "Wallace" and the "Gentle Shepherd "are written, was so new and so puzzling, that Hogg struggled on from line to line at a snail’s pace. But what was more ominous still was his dislike at their versification, so that he felt as if he would have relished them better had they been written in prose. His love of reading having been noticed by his employers, books were lent him, chiefly of a theological character, and newspapers; through the last of which he was wont to wade, from the title at the beginning to the names of printer and publisher at the end, without stint or omission.

At length, when he had reached his twenty-fourth year, Hogg commenced the life of a poet in earnest. He had now read much, although very miscellaneously; and his imprisoned ideas, after struggling for a vent, burst forth in the language of song. His first attempts were of a humble description, being chiefly ballads and songs, intended to be sung by the lasses of the district; while the name of "Jamie the poeter," by which they soon learned to distinguish him, was the "muses’ meed" with which he rested satisfied for the present. It was easy, indeed, for him to compose verses: they sprang up in his mind as rapidly as prose does with ordinary mortals; but to embody them in form to the eye, so that others might read and learn them—here was the crowning difficulty. We have already noticed his very scanty education in penmanship, and from want of occupation it had slumbered since his boyhood until now, that it was urgently called into full exercise. His writing, at the best, was a sort of laborious printing, letter by letter; while his model was the Italian alphabet, for want of a more concise character. To add to his difficulties, his chief opportunities for writing were derived from the chance intervals that occurred in the management of his unruly flock. Armed with a few sheets of paper, stitched together, in his pocket, and a phial, instead of an ink-horn, dangling from his button-hole, he used to sally to the hill-side with his sheep; and as soon as a season for writing occurred, he stripped off coat and waistcoat, like one preparing for a desperate deed, and squared his elbows for the feat. In this way his earliest poems were committed to paper. One advantage of this slow and toilsome process was that it afforded sufficient time for reflection and correction; so that his MS., however uncouth, was not defiled with those many erasures and alterations that so sorely trouble the author, as well as perplex the printers. The word once down was as immutable as the laws of the Medes and Persians. The habit thus established was of immense service to Hogg when he acquired greater facility in penmanship, and to this, perhaps, we may attribute the ready accuracy he afterwards acquired, both in prose and verse, and the numerous productions which he was enabled to give to the world in the midst of his other avocations.

It was now full time that Hogg should have higher models than Ettrick ballads, and better judges than the rude peasantry of the district. Accordingly, after he had harped and preluded for a twelvemonth, he was so fortunate as to hear of Robert Burns, who had died only a year before. His informant was a "half-daft man," who recited to him the whole of "Tam O’Shanter," and told him that its author was the sweetest poet that ever was born; that he was now dead, and had left a place that would never be filled. Hogg, who was so delighted with "Tam O’Shanter" that he quickly learned every line by heart, had now full proof that there was still higher poetry than his own, and a better poet than himself; and his whole enthusiasm thenceforth was to become the rival, or at least the worthy successor of Robert Burns. And why not? For had he not been born, of all days in the year, upon the 25th of January, the very birthday of Robert Burns? And was he not, in a great measure, an uneducated and self-taught man, even as Burns was? And, moreover, was not his own occupation of herding sheep every whit as poetical as following the plough, if not even more so? All this was such proof demonstrative, that he never afterwards seems to have lost sight of the hope that the Ettrick Shepherd would at last become as famed as the Ayrshire ploughman. In other individuals such soaring ambition is not only kept a secret from the world, but as much as possible from their own hearts also; but with James Hogg there never was such concealment. He uttered what he felt, so that those who loved were often compelled to laugh at him, and reckon him not only the simplest of poets, but the most vain-glorious of poetical simpletons. For this, however, he cared very little, while he felt within himself that new-born ardent enthusiasm which, he judged, would carry him far, even though it should fall short of the mark. And in this he was right; for if he did not become wholly a Burns, he still distanced others as far as he was himself distanced by his prototype.

The first publication of Hogg was a song, and nothing more—but it was such a song as the best of our poets would not have been ashamed of. Such was the general suffrage, by the high popularity which this patriotic lay, called "Donald M’Donald," attained, and continued to hold for years. It appeared in 1800, in consequence of Napoleon’s threatened invasion; and, while it denounced all manner of calamity and disaster upon the intruder—which, luckily, were not brought to the test—it kindled, wherever it was sung, such an ardent spirit of patriotism as Alcaeus himself would have longed to second.

In the following year he made a still more intrepid plunge into authorship, having come to Edinburgh with a flock of sheep for sale, and being incumbered with several days of interval, he resolved to spend the time in writing out such of his compositions as he could most readily remember, and publishing them in the form of a poetical pamphlet. He transcribed them accordingly, placed them in the hands of a publisher, and then retired to the Forest; where his production afterwards followed him, unrevised and uncorrected, with not a few blunders gratuitously added by the printer. This was but a sorry commencement; and like many poets after their first work appears, his lucubrations seemed in his own eyes so inferior in the form of a published book, that he wished them cancelled and annihilated. But the press had clutched them, and their recal was too late.

Soon after this commencement, Hogg, impatient of the narrow circumstances within which he was hampered, and conscious that he was fitted for something better, resolved to amend his fortunes, by migrating either to the Highlands or the Hebrides, and finding occupation as the superintendent of an extensive sheep-farm. But, strongly recommended though he was, especially by Sir Walter, then Mr. Scott, who had thus early recognized the kindred genius in the Shepherd, the attempt was unsuccessful; and poor Hogg, on returning home, lost all the money he still possessed, and that, too, I the short space of a week. Something was needful to be done immediately; and in this strait he was advised, by his steadfast friend, Sir Walter Scott, to publish a volume of poetry. The materials were already at hand; for Hogg, dissatisfied with the imitations of the ancient ballads which Scott had published in the "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border," had made several attempts of the same kind himself, which were highly estimated. It is worthy of remark, by the way, that the three great poets of Scotland—Scott, Hogg, and Allan Cunningham—commenced their poetical career, not upon the refinements of the modern school, but the rough spirit-stirring songs of shepherds and moss-troopers. Hogg’s collection was soon in readiness; and on reaching Edinburgh, Scott introduced him to Constable, by whom the volume was published, under the title of "The Mountain Bard." By this work, which, notwithstanding the roughness of a still uncultivated mind, possessed indications of great originality and poetical merit, and by a prose work which he produced about the same period, being an "Essay on Sheep," Hogg cleared the sum of three hundred pounds.

It was at this time, and, we believe, during this visit to Edinburgh in search of a publisher, that Scott, who admired the genius of Hogg, and was amused with his rough-spun simplicity, invited him to dinner in Castle Street, where a party, admirers of the "Mountain Bard," were assembled to meet with its most singular author. Hogg arrived, but in the dusty shepherd costume in which he had attended the cattle-market, and with hands embrowned with the processes of recent sheep-smearing. In this state he entered the drawing-room:

"Gentles, methinks you frown:

And wherefore gaze this goodly company;

As if they saw some wondrous monument,

Some comet, or unusual prodigy?"

But Hogg does not appear to have disturbed himself with their astonishment: he had made up his mind to be a finished courtier by imitating the lady of the house. Mrs. Scott, who was in a delicate state of health, was reclining upon a sofa; upon which Hogg, faithful to his fair exemplar, threw himself in the same attitude upon a sofa opposite, to the great dismay of the lady, who saw her fine chintz crushed and soiled beneath its unwonted burden. During the dinner, he delighted the company by his pithy and original conversation, his Doric breadth of dialect, his stories and songs, which were all produced as from a long-imprisoned fountain. But as the conversation warmed and the wine circulated, he became less and less mindful of the pattern of manners he had adopted, and more completely, at every step, the unsophisticated boon companion of Ettrick Forest; and after addressing his host successively as "Mr. Scott," "Sherra," "Scott," "Walter," and "Wattie," he wound up the climax at supper, by hailing Mrs. Scott with the familiar title of "Charlotte."

The Ettnick Shepherd, as we have already seen, had now made considerable advance in his resemblance to Robert Burns. When his hour was at the darkest, he had published a volume of poetry that raised him at once from poverty to comparative wealth. He had established for himself a poetical reputation, and obtained an entry into the literary society of the capital. But, unfortunately, the parallel was not to end here, for, like Burns, he was to lose the fortune which his genius had created almost as rapidly as it had been won. Master of the enormous sum of three hundred pounds, Hogg seems to have thought that it could accomplish everything; and, accordingly, he rushed headlong into agricultural speculations, to more than ten times the amount, and soon found himself penniless and in debt. After struggling, or rather floundering on, impeded at every step by the new character he had acquired, of a man that could win but not keep—a character most unfavourable in the eyes of his countrymen— Hogg cast about for other occupation. But his choice was more poetical than prudent: he wished to obtain a commission in a militia regiment. This was about the year 1808, when our captains of militia were menaced with something more serious than the annoyances of pipe-clay and parades; for an invasion was imminent, and it was thought that Hogg, although a poet and admirable writer of war-songs, was more likely, in a charge of bayonets, to play the part of a Horace than a Tyrtaeus. Such, at least, was the suspicion of Sir Walter Scott, a good judge in such matters, whose influence Hogg solicited in this affair, but who endeavoured to dissuade his friend, by representing the smallness of pay attached to a militia ensign’s commission. Disappointed in this, his next ambition was a place in the Excise; but although in this case Scott exerted himself with all his influence, the Ettrick Shepherd soon found that he had as little chance of becoming an exciseman as a soldier. It was perhaps as well for him that this further assimilation to Burns was not accomplished.

Thus frustrated in all his efforts, Hogg now resolved to embrace authorship as a profession. It was his last resource, for nothing remained to him but his pen and he had already tried its efficacy. Full of this purpose, he threw his plaid over his shoulders, turned his back on Ettrick Forest, and entered Edinburgh as if he had dropped from the clouds. Prudence, experience, tact; a graceful conciliatory manner, and money-making money-saving habits—in each and all of these, indeed, he was wofully wanting; all that he brought to the tug of life, which was now to begin in earnest, was high enthusiastic genius and indomitable perseverance. He was now at the age of thirty-eight, and therefore too old to study the graces, or unlearn the habits of his former life. His first application was to journalists, publishers, editors of magazines, and booksellers; but after going the round in quest of literary occupation, he found himself rebuffed at every point. At last he resolved to try a volume of poetry; but so much had he discontinued for years the practice of verse-making, that he was obliged to draw for materials upon his early compositions. The result was the "Forest Minstrel," a collection of songs, of which two-thirds were his own; but as they were almost wholly the crude productions of his early days, they acquired little popularity, and brought him no profit—if we are to except the kindness of the Countess of Dalkeith, to whom they were dedicated, who sent him a present of a hundred guineas through the hands of Sir Walter Scott, and afterwards befriended him still more substantially when she became Duchess of Buccleugh. Chagrined at the bad success of his "Forest Minstrel," he resolved to abandon publishers as the enemies of all genius, and turn to the printers; but these he found as stiffnecked as the former class, for they would not print his lucubrations without the name of a bookseller as publisher on the title-page. His proposal also was little calculated to win them, for it was, to publish a weekly newspaper called the "Spy," devoted to belles-lettres, morals, and criticism. Such a journal, and by such a man!—the whole trade cried out against it. At length, in his researches, he stumbled upon an obscure bookseller, who undertook the office of printing and publishing, and the "Spy" in due time came forth; but its language by the third or fourth number waxed so unruly and indecorous, that many of the subscribers sent in their resignation, But Hogg, who was stiffly confident in his own good intentions, and unable to comprehend what he reckoned their unreasonable fastidiousness, persisted in his delinquency, until he managed to drive all the subscribers out of the field, and bring the "Spy" to an untimeous end before it had lived and fretted for a short twelvemonth.

Hogg had now plunged into the unfathomed sea of authorship, and found that he must sink or swim as the case might be. He still felt his deficiency for a literary life, and laboured earnestly to amend it; but as he was too old for a regular training ab initio, he endeavoured to attain his end by a short cut, and for this purpose attended a forum, or debating society, that had been set up by a few aspiring young men in Edinburgh, who opened their meetings to the public at the rate of sixpence a-head as the price of admission. Here the Shepherd, who entered with his wonted ardour into the work, became a frequent speaker; and his strange medley of broad Scotch and homely quaint phraseology, combined with the rich original ideas that flashed from him at every movement, made him a wondrous favourite with his auditors, who laughed, wondered at, and admired this most singular orator all in one breath. He ever afterwards retained a grateful recollection of the benefits he derived from this kind of schooling, and declared that without these weekly lessons he never could have succeeded as he did. As this was only preliminary to something better, he now set himself in good earnest to produce a work that should surpass all he had yet written, and give him a place among the poets of the day—an aim that was not a little strengthened by the success of Scott and Byron, whom he secretly hoped to rival. As on former occasions, he had lying beside him sundry ballads and tales, the composition of his former days, which he was unwilling to lose; and in the plan of his new production these were to be interwoven with new materials into the form of a consecutive story. A few months of application sufficed to complete the work, and the result was the "Queen’s Wake." To find a publisher was now his task. He repaired to head-quarters at once, by applying to Mr. Constable; but "the Crafty," who, no doubt, was inundated with similar applications, and was too wise to buy a pig in a poke, refused to have anything to do in the affair until he had seen the manuscript. This reasonable request the poet refused, with "What skill have you about the merits of a book?" "It may be so, Hogg," replied the Jupiter Tonans of Scottish publishers, "but I know as well how to sell a book as any man, which should be some concern of yours, and I know how to buy one, too." Another publisher was ultimately found, and in the spring of 1813 the "Queen’s Wake" appeared.

Of this beautiful poem, universally known and admired as it has been and still continues to be, nothing can now be said, whether in criticism or laudation, that has not already been said a hundred times over. It has appropriately taken its permanent place in British poetry, where it promises to be as highly valued, and to last as long, as anything that has been produced by Campbell, Scott, or Byron. On its appearance the whole reading public were struck with astonishment. That tales so striking, that pictures so full of ethereal beauty and grandeur, and a versification so graceful and musical, should have been the produce of an uneducated shepherd!—it was one of those literary phenomena which occur only at rare intervals, for the perplexity of criticism, and the subversion of its authority and rule. By what strange power or chance had such a man been able to describe the fairy queen and her glittering train riding along to the music of their own silver bells; or the unearthly voyages and revels of the witch of Fife; or that vast pillared temple of nature, Staffa, amidst the deep, eternal anthem of its waves; or the phantom-seer Columba, bewailing the iniquities of his once hallowed isle, and dooming its sinful abbot and monks to the ruin they had merited? But, above all these, the tale of Kilmeny bore the pre-eminence; for in it the poet’s excellencies were concentrated, whether in the wild and wonderful of conception or beauty of execution; while the music of the language arrested the ear, as did the rich compositions of Weber, when his "Der Freischutz" and "Oberon " first broke upon the public.

By the publication of the "Queen’s Wake," its author was recognized not only as a veritable poet, but one of the highest order; and as it went through five editions in a short time, it tended greatly to relieve his straitened circumstances. At this time also he was in the practice of contributing articles to the "Scottish Review," a quarterly periodical of some literary reputation; and on the appearance of the "Isle of Palms," by John Wilson, then little known to fame, Hogg, who was delighted with the striking incidents and rich imagery of the poem, wrote a eulogistic criticism, which was published in the "Review." But amidst so much warm-hearted commendation which he doled out, it was necessary to find fault somewhere; and, accordingly, he fastened upon the incident of the hero and heroine having been sent in an open boat over some hundred leagues of ocean, without the slightest mention of any victualling for such a voyage. Had Hogg but read a romance or two of the chivalrous ages, he would have known how easily people can live without food, as well as be hacked to pieces without dying. He was impatient to come into contact with the talented author of the poem, and as no one was at hand to introduce him, he introduced himself. On this occasion he quoted once more what he thought the crying grievance of the "Isle of Palms," with "Ye ken that it was arrant nonsense to set a man and wife awa sailing ower the sea wi’ naething to fill their stamach but the cauld wind. You should most certainly ha’e put some o’ provisions in the boat." "O, Sir," replied the future Christopher North, with a look of great gravity, while inwardly the cockles of his heart were dancing with laughter, "they were on the water only a single night; and, moreover, let me tell you, filling the belly is scarcely one of the poetical occupations. You know, sir, they may have had bread and cheese in their pockets without my taking the trouble of mentioning that in the poem!" This was perfectly satisfactory to his unsophisticated hearer, who replied, "Faith, I dare say you’re right after a’; but, do you ken, the thing never struck me, man?"

Before proceeding with the literary labours of James Hogg, it may be as well to notice an incident characteristic of so singular a man, in which he endeavoured to re-establish himself in life as a farmer—the department for which he thought himself best fitted. For this, as in most of his other attempts, patronage was necessary; and he bethought himself of the Duchess of Buccleuch, whose kindness and condescension he had more than once experienced already. Having screwed up his courage to the point of requesting, he made his application to her Grace in the following strange epistle:--

"To her Grace the Duchess of Buccleuch, Dalkeith Palace. Forwarded by

Messrs. Grieve and Scott, hatters, Edinburgh.

"MAY IT PLEASE YOUR GRACE,—I have often grieved you by my applications for this and that. I am sensible of this, for I have had many instances of your wishes to be of service to me, could you have known what to do for that purpose. But there are some eccentric characters in the world, of whom no person can judge or know what will prove beneficial, or what may prove their bane. I have again and again received of your Grace’s private bounty, and though it made me love and respect you the more, I was nevertheless grieved at it. It was never your Grace’s money that I wanted, but the honour of your countenance; indeed, my heart could never yield to the hope of being patronized by any house save that of Buccleuch, whom I deemed bound to cherish every plant that indicated anything out of the common way on the braes of Ettrick and Yarrow.

"I know you will be thinking that this long prelude is to end with a request. No, madam! I have taken the resolution of never making another request. I will, however, tell you a story, which is, I believe, founded on a fact:—

"There is a small farm at the head of a water called . . . possessed by a mean fellow named . . . A third of it has been taken off, and laid into another farm; the remainder is as yet unappropriated. Now, there is a certain poor bard, who has two old parents, each of them upwards of eighty-four years of age, and that bard has no house nor home to shelter these poor parents in, or cheer the evening of their lives. A single line from a certain very great and very beautiful lady, to a certain Mr. Riddle (the Duke’s chamberlain), would insure that small pendicle to the bard at once. But she will grant no such thing! I appeal to your Grace if she is not a very bad lady that? I am your Grace’s ever obliged and grateful, "JAMES HOGG.

"Ettrick Bank, March 17, 1814. "The Ettrick Shepherd."

This curious application, which the Duchess received only a few months before her death, remained unanswered—not from remissness, however, but the fear of "seeing herself in print," should she vouchsafe a reply. She sent the letter to Sir Walter Scott, requesting him to infirm his poetical friend of the Duke’s unwillingness to displace a tenant, and assure him withal of her wish to serve him whenever a suitable opportunity occurred. On Scott’s first visit to the Duke after the death of the Duchess, the case of Hogg was introduced, and his Grace feelingly said, "I must now consider this poor man’s case as her legacy." The ultimate result of this resolution was the establishment of Hogg, three years afterwards, in a snug farm on Altrive Lake, at a merely nominal rent, where he might have every opportunity of securing comfort and independence.

In the meantime, however, it was necessary for Hogg to bestir himself to keep poverty both from hearth and door. Notwithstanding the fame of the "Queen’s Wake," its publication was attended with so many mischances, that the profits were inadequate and at wide intervals. Besides, it must be remembered that money, which can make to itself wings even in the custody of the prudent, has its chances of escape multiplied fifty-fold when in the keeping of a poet, and such a poet as the Ettrick Shepherd, whose knowledge of man and life was anything but practical. In 1815 his "Pilgrims of the Sun" appeared. But, notwithstanding its many powerful descriptions and poetical passages, the reception which the public gave to the work betokened disappointment: their hopes had been raised so high by the "Wake," that anything short of it had little chance of success. In America, however, it had a better reception, where the sale of 10,000 copies extended the author’s reputation, but without bettering his finances. A rebuff like this would have deterred most authors; but Hogg had such an implicit faith in his own genius, that he believed himself to be right in his estimate of the poem, and the whole literary world in the wrong, and that the publishers were in a conspiracy to arrest the progress of the "Pilgrims." This was soon after followed by "Mador of the Moor," a poem in the Spenserian stanza, and which he reckoned his masterpiece of versification. But here again the world out-voted him, for "Mador of the Moor" was reckoned inferior even to its predecessor—a judgment which has never as yet been reversed.

"My next literary adventure," says Hogg in one of his autobiographies, "was the most extravagant of any. I took it into my head that I would collect a poem from every living author in Britain, and publish them in a neat and elegant volume, by which I calculated I might make my fortune." It was easy to ask, but to obtain such a favour was the difficulty; for the best poets refused a contribution of any kind, while those of a second or third rate, who complied, sent what was little better than the dregs of their inkhorns. Of these refusals, that of Sir Walter Scott especially incensed him; and in an angry letter which he wrote to the great minstrel on the occasion, he changed the prefatory "dear sir" into "damned sir," and ended with "yours with disgust, &c." A quarrel of some weeks’ standing was the consequence between the reckless, hot-headed, but warm-hearted shepherd, and equally warm-hearted but wiser friend and patron. At length, finding that he could not obtain materials, or at least such as were fitted for his purpose, he resolved to create them. With great glee he accordingly set to work to produce such an imitation of each distinguished poet as might be mistaken for an original, and frolicked through this arduous task as if it had been capital fun. The whole series of imitations, except a very small proportion, was written in three weeks; and when completed, the volume was published under the title of "The Poetic Mirror, or Living Bards of Britain." It was so successful that the first edition was sold in six weeks. Still, it must be owned, that it never attained the same universal popularity as the "Rejected Addresses," notwithstanding its superior poetical merit to the latter production. The imitation was, in most cases, too exaggerated to pass current, so that the public lost the luxury of being cheated. Of this he was himself partly conscious, and says, "I was led to think that, had the imitations of Wordsworth been less a caricature, the work might have passed, for a season at least, as the genuine productions of the authors themselves, whose names were prefixed to the several poems."

On the year after the appearance of the "Poetic Mirror," Hogg published two volumes under the title of "Dramatic Tales." Among his poetical aspirations had been that of producing something for the stage; but, in common with most candidates for such honour, he had been repelled by the difficulties of access to the green-room, so that "‘sdeath I’ll print it!" the only alternative of a disappointed dramatic poet, was adopted by the Shepherd. But the drama was not his forte, notwithstanding his own opinion to the contrary; and the cold reception of his plays by the reading public so incensed him, that, with the exception of an occasional idle song to beguile a leisure hour, he resolved to write poetry no more. Still, write he must, for his necessities required it, and therefore he turned to prose. Like Sir Walter Scott, he would become a novelist, and perhaps succeed as well as Sir Walter had done. He accordingly produced "The Brownie of Bodsbeck and other Tales," which was published in two volumes. Unfortunately for the "Brownie," the ground which it entered was so fully occupied by "Old Mortality," that there was little chance of its obtaining fair play, even had its merits been greater than they were; and although it advocated the cause of the aspersed Covenanters, it was regarded after all as a humble and unsuccessful imitation of the "Great Unknown," who was then in the ascendency. Hogg, in his own vindication, has told us that the "Brownie of Bodsbeck" was written considerably prior to the publication of "Old Mortality," and might have appeared a year before the latter, but for the obstinacy of the publisher, whose taste it did not happen to suit.

The next attempt of Hogg was to collect the "Jacobite Relics of Scotland" for publication, a measure which had been proposed to the Highland Society of London, by its noble chairman, the Duke of Sussex. Of his quest on this new tract, Sir Walter Scott thus writes in one of his letters: "Hogg is here, busy with his Jacobite songs. I wish he may get handsomely through, for he is profoundly ignorant of history, and it is an awkward thing to read, in order that you may write. I give him all the help I can, but he sometimes poses me. For instance, he came yesterday, open mouth, inquiring what great dignified clergyman had distinguished himself at Killiecrankie—not exactly the scene where one would have expected a churchman to shine—and I found with some difficulty that he had mistaken Major-General Canon, called, in Kennedy’s Latin song, Canonicus Gallovidiensis, for the canon of a cathedral." This was ridiculous enough; but we suspect there are hundreds in Scotland who have passed through the High School, and, it may be, the college to boot, who would have fallen into the same mistake. This ignorance of Latin and history was not the only difficulty that Hogg encountered, for he found the Highland peasantry themselves very jealous about giving up their old tokens of Jacobitism to a stranger, fearing that they might be manufactured into a matter of high treason. But he persevered stoutly in his task; and the first volume of the work was brought out in 1819, and the second in 1821. To his industry as a collector was also added his own native poetical talent, for some of the best songs were his own composition; and nothing delighted him so much as the mistake of the Edinburgh Review, when, in its sweeping condemnation of these Jacobite Relics, it made a most favourable exception in behalf of Donald M’Gillavry—the produce of his own pen. Hogg, who was wont to praise or blame himself as unscrupulously and frankly as if he had been speaking of some neutral person, regarded the completion of this work with no little complacency, and has said of it in one of his autobiographies, "I am sure I produced two volumes of Jacobite Relics, such as no man in Scotland or England could have produced but myself." Between the interval of the first and second volume of the Relics, he published, in 1820, his "Winter Evening Tales," the greater part of which he had written in early life, when he was a shepherd among the mountains. These tales, though written under such circumstances, are among the best of his prose productions; and, none who read them can fail to be struck with the life-like reality and air of truthfulness with which they are pervaded. Let the event narrated be however absurd or impossible, the reader is compelled to swallow it; for while the author writes as if he were deponing upon oath, and descends to the minutest circumstantiality, he goes onward with such earnestness as leaves little room for doubt or disputation.

We have already mentioned the singular manner in which Hogg obtained his little farm at Altrive, upon a merely nominal rent, which, by the way, was never exacted. One would have thought that here, even in spite of the precariousness of authorship, he would have been able to seat himself in comfort under his own vine and fig-tree. But he soon showed that while he had too little prudence to be a money-making poet, he had too much genius to be a plodding successful farmer. He removed to his farm in 1817, and after building upon it a handsome cottage, he took to himself a partner of his home and his cares in 1820, when he had reached the ripe age of forty-eight. After his marriage, finding the farm of Altrive Lake too small for his wants or ambition, he took on lease the larger adjoining one of Mount Benger; but although the profits of his past literary labours enabled him to expend a thousand pounds in stocking it, he soon found that this was not half enough. He therefore encountered such difficulties at the outset as obliged him to renew his literary labours, and continue his dependence upon publishers. Commencing now the trade of novelist in good earnest, he wrote, on the spur of the moment, the "Three Perils of Man, viz., War, Women, and Witchcraft," a strange medley of extravagant incident and beautiful description; and soon after, a similar work in three volumes, entitled the "Three Perils of Women." Before these works were published, the coronation of George IV. occurred, and Sir Walter Scott, thinking that a memorial of this august spectacle from the pen of the Ettrick Shepherd would be a rich originality, and might produce him a golden requital, solicited and obtained a place for Hogg, as well as himself in the Hall and Abbey of Westminster, to witness the coronation. With this permission was coupled an invitation from Lord Sidmouth, to dine with him after the solemnity, when the two poets would meet the Duke of York and a few other Jacobites. Here was an opportunity of princely patronage such as few peasant-poets have enjoyed; and Scott accordingly announced the affair to Hogg, requesting him to join him at Edinburgh, and set off with him to the great metropolis. But poor Hogg!—he wrote "with the tear in his eye," as he declared, to say that his taking such a journey was impossible—and why? because the great yearly Border fair, held in St. Boswell’s Green, in Roxburghshire, happened at the same period, and he could not absent himself from the meeting! In the following year (1822) the king’s visit to Edinburgh occurred; and Hogg, either infected with the national epidemic, or to vindicate his loyalty, that had slumbered so strangely at the time of the coronation, produced a poetical welcome to the memorable advent, entitled "The Royal Jubilee, a Scottish Masque." As such courtly masques are but forced productions at the best, that of the Shepherd was scarcely better than the best laureate lays, if we except a few genuine poetical touches here and there, such as royal favour can seldom purchase. In speaking of this effusion, the Shepherd naively adds, "I got no money for it; but I got what I held in higher estimation —his majesty’s thanks for this and my other loyal and national songs. The note is written by Sir Robert Peel, in his majesty’s name, and I have preserved it as a relic."

After this Hogg continued for several years to write in prose and verse for the periodicals, "sometimes receiving liberal payment," he tells us, "and sometimes none, just as the editor or proprietor felt disposed." But the periodical to which he chiefly adhered, and of which he had been one of the original founders, was Blackwood’s Magazine. And who that has read the Noctes Ambrosians can fail to recollect the full portrait of the Shepherd given there as he dressed and looked, as he thought, spoke, and acted; even as he ate, drank, and slept? Overcharged the picture certainly was, and of this he vehemently complained; but still, how few have sat to such a limner, and have received such justice, where justice was most required? Still more reasonably he complained of the many sentiments attributed to him which he never conceived, as well as the tales and songs which he had never composed, although they were given as his own in these widely-admired Noctes. He now collected his own veritable prose contributions to Blackwood, and published them in two volumes, under the title of the "Shepherd’s Calendar," a work more vigorously written, and which attained a higher popularity than any of his former prose productions.

But, in the meantime, what had become of the Ettrick Shepherd’s farming? The reader may well conclude that all this authorship was either cause or effect—that it either brought his farm to nought, or was the desperate resource of utter failure in all his agricultural endeavours. Both conjectures are but too correct. His extensive connection with the literary society of Edinburgh, and the taste he had acquired for popular laudation, made the occupations of a farmer a perfect weariness to his heart, so that he was more frequently to be found among the intellectual throng of the metropolis, than with the ploughmen and shepherds of Mount Benger. Nor was it better when he betook himself to his rural home; for every idle tourist, every lion-hunter, every wandering poet, every effete or embryo scribbler, must needs make a pilgrimage to the wonderful poet of Altrive Lake; and Hogg, whose heart overflowed with hospitality, entertained them at his board, and not only squandered upon them his hard-won resources, but, what was more valuable, his time also. It is not wonderful, therefore, that when his lease of Mount Benger had expired, he found himself, at the age of sixty, not a sixpence richer than when he began the world. One resource was still in prospect. It was now the fashion to bring out the well-established works of our popular authors in reprints of monthly volumes, by which plan the gleaning was often more abundant than the original harvest; and Hogg resolved to avail himself, like others, of such a promising opportunity. For this purpose he entered into negotiation with a London publisher, to bring out a selection of his prose productions in volumes every two months, under the title of "Altrive Tales;" and, to perfect the engagement, he resolved to repair in person to the metropolis. This he did on the 1st of January, 1832, when, for the first and last time in his life, he who had appeared to the English admirers of the "Queen’s Wake" as a poetical myth, and not an uneducated shepherd of real flesh and blood, presented himself, in all his rustic simplicity and reality, to the wondering coteries of London. It is needless to add how he was welcomed and feted. He was not only a lion, but such a lion as the whole kingdom of Cockaigne had never been privileged to witness; and they could not sufficiently admire the whole man, combining, as he did, such warmth of heart and richness of thought, with such genuine unvarnished simplicity of speech, appearance, and bearing. He was a real shepherd after all—and he was the shepherd. But in spite of all this flattery and welcome with which he was received by wonder-loving London during a three months’ stay, his ill luck, which abode with him to the last, made his coming a mere holiday visit, and nothing more. As soon as the first volume of the "Altrive Tales" appeared, the publisher failed, and the work was stopped, so that, with hopes utterly blighted in a matter upon which he had placed so much reliance, he fell back upon the precarious resource of magazine writing. Two years after he published a volume of Lay Sermons, or rather Essays, which issued from a London press, but brought him slender remuneration. A third attempt, which he made the following year (1830), was the publication of the "Montrose Tales," in three volumes. This was also published by the same luckless bookseller in whose hands the "Altrive Tales" had become bankrupt; but a fresh insolvency, only eight months after the new work had appeared, sent the author’s hopes of profit to the winds. Certainly none but a genuine child of nature to the last—one holding to the very end of his days the confiding faith of infancy and the unexperienced simplicity of boyhood, in spite of all that had come and gone—could have so failed, and failed continually! But such was Hogg; and if before a bargain he neither doubted nor suspected, so, after its failure, he neither desponded nor despaired. He was always elate with cheerfulness and hope, and ready for new adventure.

But the most elastic bow, however enduring, must finally yield; and Hogg, who had now reached his sixty-fourth year, and enjoyed such a state of robust health, activity, and vigour as falls to the lot of few poets, combined with a constitutional cheerfulness of temperament, such as the most fortunate might have envied, was to close his eventful career. Much as he had written, the wonder had continued to the last that one so educated and circumstanced could write so well. His closing days, which at first gave no premonition of their result, found him employed in compiling a small volume of sacred poetry, while his walks in the moors, amidst the fresh heather-bells and the bleating of flocks, made him feel as if the season of decay were still distant. But his complaint, which was an affection of the liver, so rapidly increased, that after an illness of four weeks he died at his cottage of Altrive Lake, on the Yarrow, on the 21st of November, 1835, leaving a widow and five children, dependent upon the gratitude of a country whose scenes he has described, and whose worth he has eulogized so eloquently. [After a lapse of nearly twenty years, the widow of the Ettrick Shepherd was pensioned by the government.] His works, of which we have not enumerated the full amount in poetry and prose, have since been published at Glasgow, entire in eleven volumes. Thus passed away a man whose name will continue to be coeval with that of Ettrick or the Yarrow, and whom Scotland at large, as long as she cherishes the remembrance of her past national genius, will never willingly forget.

The Works of the Ettrick Shepherd

Willie & Keattie

Scottish Pastorals, Poems, Songs, etc.
Mostly written in the Dialect of the South by James Hogg (1801)

Memorials of James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd
Edited by his daighter Mrs Garden with Preface by Professor Veitch. Third Edition with Introduction by Sir George Douglas, Bart (1904)

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