Page:Merry Muses of Caledonia.djvu/27

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( xxi )

Hately Waddell's edition (Special Correspondence, p. 79); the other has never been published under respectable auspices. Of the eighty-two pieces printed, no fewer than forty-two do not appear in the Dumfries edition; yet upon the fly title-page is printed the libel, "Burns's Merry Muses." And, further, to the unconscious discredit of the whole of his "antiquarian" discoveries, the anonymous scribbler confides, with charming simplicity, his utter ignorance of the subject by appending, at the conclusion of his laudable labours, the oracular remark:—"The foregoing completes the Merry Muses as originally collected by Burns." The glozing hypocrisy of the whole performance reaches a climax, when, after submitting the old version of "John Anderson, my Jo," our penny-a-liner quotes two stanzas of Burns's version, and then eructates the following cant:—

"Where, in the English language, is there so pure and lovable a picture of happy wedded life? Reader, when you now know out of what mire the poet of Scotland had to pick up many of his best and purest lyrics, bless his memory that the legacy he left to the world was so rich, and pure, and precious."

The interpolated pieces in this edition are:—[1]

Parody on "Shepherds I have lost my love."
A Sentimental Sprig.
Botany Bay.
Burlesque on "The Highland Laddie."
Burlesque on "Stella."
Cupid's Frolic.
Darby's Key.
Fanny's black jock.
Green leaves on the Green, Oh!
Jack of all Trades.
John Anderson, my jo. (Burns's version).
Court of Equity.
Lucy and Kitty's black jocks.
My Angel, I will Marry thee.
Parody on "Corn Rigs."
Roger and Molly.
The Bonniest Lass.
The Bottle.
The Brown —— of Old England.
The Bumper Toast.
The Citadel.
The Goldfinch's Nest.

The grey jock.
  1. Indelicate titles have been altered or amended.