Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

acknowledge by letters yet extant, and in a style more like friends than souveraigns; our attachment to them, without any other thanks, having brought upon us considerable losses, and among others, that of our all in Cromwell's time; and left in that condition without the least relief except what we found in our own virtue. My father was the only man of the Scots nation who had courage enough to protest in Parliament against King William's title to the throne, which was lost, God knows how: and this at a time when the losses in the cause of the royall familie, and their usual gratitude, had scarce left him bread to maintain a numerous familie of eleven children, who had soon after sprung up on him, in spite of all which, he had honourably persisted in his principle. I say, these things considered, and after being treated as I was, and in that unluckie state, when objects appear to men in their true light, as at the hour of death, could I be blamed for making some bitter reflections to myself, and laughing at the extravagance and unaccountable humour of men, and the singularitie of my own case, (an exile for the cause of the Stuart family,) when I ought to have known, that the greatest crime I, or my family, could have committed, was persevering, to my own destruction, in serving the royal family faithfully, though obstinately, after so great a share of depression, and after they had been pleased to doom me and my familie to starve."— MS. Memoirs of John, Master of St. Clair.

END OF NOTES TO THE LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.

BALLADS,

TRANSLATED, OR IMITATED,

FROM THE GERMAN, &c.

WILLIAM AND HELEN.

[1796.1]

IMITATED FROM THE "LENORE” OF BURGER.

THE Author had resolved to omit the following version of a well-known Poem, in any collection which he might make of his poetical trifles. But the publishers having pleaded for its admission, the Author has consented, though not unaware of the disadvantage at which this youthfnl essay (for it was written in 1795) must appear with those which have been executed by much more able hands, in particular that of Mr. Taylor of Norwich, and that of Mr. Spencer.

The following Translation was written long before the Author saw any other, and originated in the following circumstance:-A lady of high rank in the literary world read this romantic tale, as translated by Mr. Taylor, in the house of the celebrated Professor Dugald Stewart of Edinburgh. The Author was not

1

[THE CHASE, and WILLIAM AND HELEN; Two Ballads, from the German of Gottfried Augustus Bürger. Edinburgh: Printed by Mundell and Son, Royal Bank Close, for Manners and Miller, Parliament Square; and sold by T. Cadell, junr., and W. Davies, in the Strand, London. 1796. 4to. See "Essay on Imitations of the Ancient Ballad," in Border Minstrelsy.]

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »