Poems on Various Subjects, in Scots and English.

  • Macaulay, James
  • Edinburgh: Printed for the Author 1788


SKU: 6144 Category: Tag:


FIRST EDITION, 12mo, pp. vi, [ii], 232 + folding plate.
[Bound with:] Muir, George. Effusions of Loyalty: A Poem, on His Present Majesty’s Coronation, with Observations on the Happiness of Great Britain, Compared with other Countries. Also, A Poem, on His Majestyy’s [sic] Entry into the Metropolis of Scotland, and Other Fugitive Pieces. Edinburgh: Printed for the Author, 1823. FIRST EDITION, 12mo, pp. 88.
[And:] [Boswell, Alexander]. The Spirit of Tintoc; A Ballad. With Notes. Edinburgh: Printed for Manners & Miller, 1803. FIRST EDITION, 12mo, pp. 16.
[And:] [Anthology]. Select Poems of The Domestic Affections. [s.l.] [s.n.] [c.1850]. 12mo, pp. 15, [1].
[And:] [Ballads]. Chevy-Chase. [s.l.] [s.n.] [c.1850]. 12mo, pp. 15, [1].
[And:] [Veitch, John]. The Novel Directory; Being a Curious and Humorous Arrangement of Surnames, in Systematic and Scientific Order, Containing the Names of About 1600 Living Characters In the City of Edinburgh and Vicinity, With Their Professions, Addresses, and Other Local Circumstances. Edinburgh: Printed for the Author, 1827. 12mo, pp. 66.
[And:] [Steill, John]. Scotland Vindicated: in a Letter to the Editor of The Weekly Dispatch. Animadvertising on Certain Insolent Misrepresentations Recently Cast by The Dispatch on the Scottish Nation. Edinburgh: A. Ramsay, 1844. 12mo, pp. 11, [1].
[And:] [Hervey, Thomas Kibble]. The Devil’s Progress. [c.1835]. Divided into 17 pieces and mounted on blank leaves.
Eight items bound together in 19th-century half calf, brown cloth boards, spine divided by raised bands between gilt rules, red morocco label, edges sprinkled blue and red. A little spotting, some leaves a touch toned, first two leaves damp-marked at foot. Somewhat rubbed, a little wear to extremities. Faint pencil ownership inscription of Mr Carmichell to first title-page, some other pencil marks.


A semi-coherent sammelband of scarce and interesting works, mostly Scottish and mostly poetical. The first work, the longest and oldest by some margin, is in two sections, for English and Scots poetry, and includes a poem addressed to Robert Burns, whose 'Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect' was first printed 2 years prior. Macaulay's work was popular enough to be reprinted in 1790.
The second work here is a rare collection, with Library Hub recording only 3 copies, at Aberdeen, BL and NLS. It is mostly taken up with paeans to the glory of King George IV, but finding room within the 'Fugitive Pieces' appended for a lament for a Zanzibarian prince captured for the slave trade, to be sung to an old Scottish tune.
After this is the first appearance of a poem by Alexander Boswell, son of James, in which a kelpie threatens to drown the protagonist until the intervention of a Brownie. Library Hub records just two copies, at NLS and Glasgow.
The next two pieces have no publisher's details on then but are obviously the product of the same printer, sharing the same vignette to their final pages, and being numbered 11 and 21 respectively the their bottom margins. The first, which reprints Burns' 'The Cotter's Saturday Night', among less-celebrated fare, is recorded in Library Hub at the BL only, the second only Oxford. Both institutions date their holdings to c. 1850, which is plausible given a footnote dating one of the poems to 1842.
The novel directory is a rare and humorous work, marshalling the names of denizens of Edinburgh into a vaguely grammatical sequence in the left-hand column, with their addresses and occupations to the right, as in a standard town directory. Library Hub records just 2 copies, although the Glasgow entry gives a different date and the NLS entry a different imprint. Both institutions agree that the author was a John Veitch, wrongly identified in the NLS catalogue as the philosopher and poet who was not born until 1829. The imprint on their copy also suggests a J. Veitch may have printed the work, but no such printer is recorded by SBTI.
The penultimate work is a pamphlet reprinting a letter to the editor of the London newspaper The Weekly Dispatch taking virulent issue with that organ's uncomplimentary review of Patrick Fraser Tytler's history of Scotland, which had finished publishing that year. Library Hub again records just Glasgow and NLS.
The final piece included was presumably a broadsheet in columns, which has been dissected and pasted to blanks. The text is an unidentified printing of Thomas Kibble Hervey's satirical poem The Devil's Progress, first published in 1830.
All of the works collected here are scarce in trade, with the sole auction record for several being a 1917 Sotheby's sale of this volume, indicating that it came from the estate of British Army officer and Sabaean scholar Colonel William Francis Prideaux (1840-1914).

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