Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

I most assuredly have done in my xxxix.) a whole chapter to their service.— While, of those truant school-boys, whose backs may have oftener smarted under the inflictions of the rod, than their hearts warmed in gratitude for the unspeakable advantages of early tuition,-and of these cool, calculating mortals, who never evidenced any great fellow feeling for those of their own calling and profession-some may be disposed to find fault with me for having said so much as I have done in pages 101 and 102, in favour of that meritorious and deserving class of men who were the guides of our youth, as an old correspondent styles them, "while toiling in the paths of classic lore,"

and others, for having evidenced such decided partiality towards my old brethren of the book trade. But, in regard to the first, I must claim the privilege of being allowed, to think as I feel from my own experience, and to speak as I think, -and if, the many obligations I lie under to the second-and the warm feeling with which I must ever, in the language of Goldsmith, "fondly turn" to my old brethren of the bookselling profession,-have induced me to take up a larger portion of my volume, than these gentlemen may have thought I was warranted to do I trust they will now excuse me, for these very forcible reasons.

Others, again, who feel themselves no way interested in these things, may object to my having taken up so much of my room by a description of my numerous and various AUCTION ROUTES-and the minute details, therein given, as to the dates when, and the places where,-the different sales took place. To obviate this objection as much as possible, upon finding that a progressive account of these sales became a necessary characteristic in the composition of my volume, although they might not be equally interesting to all of my readers, I formed the resolution, to throw them, or the most of them, into a smaller letter, and at the bottom of the pages, by way of notes, where those, who did not wish to read them, might very conveniently pass them over-while, in the mere taking them on record, I knew that I was furnishing a very pleasant treat to others, who, from being purchasers at these sales, or other associations connected with them, might be anxious to know at what time they took place, in their respective localities, and quarters of the country ;-and what quarter of the country, it may be asked, after consulting these short, but comprehensive lists, so far as the Scottish auction license extends-has been exempted from a call of one or other of these visitants ?

There are some, again, I am aware, who may take offence, at the number of devout expressions that may appear in my work-and others, who may express their dissatisfaction at what they may call my want of good taste, in making so frequent allusion, to, and in quoting so largely from, Scripture. But, let the former remember, that, in several of my publications, I have given evidence, that I had, at least, a taste for ASTRONOMY ;-and what says the poet ?" DEVOTION! daughter of ASTRONOMY!—An undevout astronomer is MAD."

And, in regard to the other part of the accusation, of evincing, by these Scriptural allusions and quotations, a want of good taste-I must certainly deny the consequence; for I think it is rather a mark or characteristic of a want of good taste, in a Christian country-or, more properly speaking, in a member of a Christian community, if he is sincere in his profession, and not ashamed of the doctrines of that religion, which he affects to believe-not to quote freely, and as occasion requires, provided he does so with becoming reverence, from what he should consider as his principal text-book ;-however lavish he may be otherwise, in his references to, and quotations from, the authorities of Greece and Romeof which, it is presumed there will be found no want also, in these pages.

Bad taste, indeed!-Let us hear what the deep thinking, and acute reasoning,

Even the Lord Chancellor himself, when he sees the moderation of my views will, I trust, if ever these pages meet his eye, be the more disposed to excuse the hint given him in page 89, whether he deem it worthy of his attention or not.

But here comes the last, that my limits will allow me to touch upon, but which, considering me yet in the light of a bookseller, (which I certainly am in one sense, and in the present instance,) may be accounted the most serious because the most sordid charge of them all,—and that is, that I have converted my present into a kind of advertising medium for my other publications, and as, a sort of harbinger to announce the forthcoming of another volume or volumes, in continuation of this.

In regard to the first part of the charge, I would observe, that if any thing I have said, or others have said for me in these pages, may be the means of drawing the attention of any of my readers, or their friends, to the few copies of my former publications I have yet to dispose of, and now offer, for a limited time, on the very reasonable terms mentioned in the Appendix, I certainly will feel much gratified; and as this will assuredly be quite in accordance with, and in furtherance of, my present attempt, I would fain hope, that, on reconsidering the matter, not one of my kind friends, will be disposed to begrudge me, the opportunity, that my present work offers, for carrying that part of my plan into effect.

And as to the other part of the objection, viz. that I have made my present volume a sort of harbinger, to announce the forthcoming of another, or others, in its train; this, at present, need give no person any concern. For, it must be evident, from what I have said elsewhere, that there may be still much betwixt the cup and the lip in this respect; and that although, there may be no danger of my being in want of materials, or titles to my volumes, as mentioned in page 400, and no likelihood of any want of the WILL, on my part, should circumstances otherwise warrant, and encourage me to go forward, as mentioned in the note at page 404, yet, from various considerations there noticed, it must be apparent, that the best course I can adopt for the present, is to drop all idea of any thing of the kind, until we see, what TIME, which works so many changes, will produce.

And, in the meantime, I must proceed, with the aid of my kind friends, to what is now evidently my first consideration, viz. the winding up of the present concern, with all possible expedition, and other matters enumerated towards the close of the note above alluded to; in order that, I may be the better enabled to make my present efforts, so soon as possible, available, for the purposes for which they were originally intended :—and in the further cultivation and prosecution of our little HOME TRADE or RETAIL BUSINESS, which, I trust, the fruits of these exertions will be the means of enabling us to carry on with more advantage to our selves, and satisfaction to our kind customers; who, I confidently hope, will not be inclined to think the worse of us, after being put in possession of these afflict. ing details,―accompanied as they are, by so many flattering testimonials, and other corroborating evidence, that, as I have before observed, these misfortunes, were not according to our deservings ;—but on the contrary-(while my partner is able to maintain the situation, to which she has been so long accustomed, at the back of the counter, and I am able to superintend the business generally, and to afford all the assistance requisite, in my own more particular department, or depart ments)-be disposed still, to continue to favour us with a share of their kind orders; -for which, and what other proportion of the public favour, a kind Providence may be pleased to send us,-as well as for the obliging patronage we have so largely experienced on the present occasion, I fervently trust-WE SHALL NEVER

CEASE TO BE GRATEFUL!

DUNBAR, July 1, 1833.

A SHORT ANALYSIS OF THE CONTENTS

OF THE DIFFERENT CHAPTERS:

Intended to serve as a key to the dates-and a few of the principal subjects treated of, being all that is deemed necessary, in a work, where brevity has been studied, in the construction of the chapters in general, and each is accompanied at its respective head, with so luminous and comprehensive an analysis, or table, of its contents.

PAGE.

CHAPTER I. Introductory.-One half of the world knows not how the other
lives-Nothing very magnanimous in some persons bearing up under misfor.
tune-What constitutes true greatness of mind on such occasions-Much truth
in the doctrine of the silver spoon and wooden ladle-The race is not to the
swift, &c-Man, nevertheless, born to, and fitted for, a life of activity,
CHAP. II. Introductory, Continued.-Good reasons why, man should not think
of deserting his post in the hour of trial-Human life a state of trial and pro-
bation-Sublime spectacle, according to Seneca-Fortitude in adversity, one
of the heroical virtues in morals, according to Lord Bacon,
CHAP. III. Introductory, Continued.-The author no friend to egotism-Not
inclined, however, to run into a contrary extreme-A few instances of his early
efforts" Lamp of Lothian" again lighted up.-More extensive attempts to
be useful-Great extent, and diversified utility, of the literary perambulations
of the Sexagenarian,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

CHAP. IV. Introductory, Continued.-A single specimen, or testimonial, in behalf of sundry of my performances-A saying of Solomon's rightly interpreted -The Cheap Magazine, how characterised by the editor of the Philanthropist -Noticed with approbation by Mr Wilberforce, CHAP. V. Introductory, Continued.-The author's accordance in the opinion of the Apostle, that "if any would not work, neither should he eat"-His consequent early habits of industry and application to business-No way abated as he gets forward in the world-Confident but affecting appeal, &c. CHAP. VI. Introductory, Continued -Reason for adopting the present title for my book-Natural_division of time in the years of a Sexagenarian—The evening of life, a solemn and important season-Conduct of the author, upon arriving at, or passing the boundary of, THREESCORE, CHAP. VII. Introductory, Continued. The whole period of my existence, almost one continued struggle-What else to be expected in a state of probation -Opinion of Plutarch, as deducible from the light of nature.-Adversity, according to Lord Bacon, the blessing of the New Testament-Man is indeed born to trouble-His most becoming conduct in the present state-Sundry examples of human suffering-Tribulation, the Christian's legacy, CHAP. VIII. Introductory, Concluded.-Reasons for congratulation and satisfaction in the exercise of our duty, although our success comes not up to our expectations-Still one comfortable reflection, the having done all in our power to ensure success-Reasons why, I should, yet be up, and be doing, CHAP. IX. 1815.-The time when my "LATTER STRUGGLES" may be said to have commenced-How ascertained to have been just upon the eve of my passing the boundary line betwixt my forty-fifth and forty-sixth year-Lamentable consideration,-Prospects in embryo,

[ocr errors]

17

28

36

47

56

65

77

85

97

104

CHAP. X. 1815, Continued.-The Monthly Monitor may be viewed in the light of a continuation of the Cheap Magazine-Extracts from its title, &c-Lines to the memory of one of my correspondents, viz. Mr James Graham of Berwick-upon-Tweed-Circumstances that must have contributed to my serenity of mind in the spring of 1815-Other motives for pleasing reflection, CHAP. XI. 1815, Continued.-Happy and comfortable situation in which I was placed, on the forenoon of the 11th April,-How my family were distributed, and then employed-No example of idleness from me-Affectionate testimony of a dutiful son,-Sundry effects traced to secondary causes, &c. 311

CHAP. XII-1815, Continued.First volume of my Monthly Monitor com-
pleted-Mrs Grant's recommendatory notice of it, in her Popular Models-
Sale to the trade in Edinburgh, with its great success-Sale in Glasgow-I am
complimented with the freedom of the trade in that city-A laborious week-
No rest or respite for me during the next-My business at Newcastle, &c.
CHAP. XIII.-1815 & 1816.-No pleasure without its alloy-The year 1815
goes down in a manner very different from what I had anticipated-Too good
reasons for my depression of spirits as the 45th year of my pilgrimage drew
towards a close-Unhappy night of transition-Cheerless and melancholy pro-
spects, with which my new birth-day was ushered in,

CHAP. XIV.-1816.-A former matter referred to, with some allusion to the

melancholy train of circumstances that has since occurred-A little speck in the

horizon indicating a new species of troubles-Bad consequences of so many

disagreeables-Early indications of an unyielding spirit,

[ocr errors]

CHAP. XV.-1816, continued. The prospects of the author brighten a little

-A temporary glimpse of sunshine in the month of June-Despatch my new

agent, to the north-Flattering nature of his first weekly return-One good

effect of these flattering prospects-The calm, alas! of short duration-Bad

consequences of hope deferred-Lose my last hold of the anchor of hope,

CHAP. XVI.-1816, continued. An old fashioned book recommended to new

fashioned readers-My conduct on an unfortunate occasion, contrasted with

that of the unfortunate tradesman of former tinies, as described in that old

fashioned book-Call a meeting of my creditors-A mournful country walk-

Wretched state of my feelings-Affecting extract from a letter to a friend,

CHAP. XVII.-1816, continued.-The great pervading and operating princi-
ple in me at the time, as illustrated by its effects-Copy of my address to the
gentlemen assembled at the meeting, on the 7th September-Analysis of the
statement-Kind usage I met with-Choice drops of a most salutary balm,

CHAP. XVIII.-1816, continued.-A noble principle may be too much in-

dulged My best apology-The preservation of a character beyond the power

of suspicion-It is impossible that a man can be too honest, but he may attempt

to do too much-Good effects of kind treatment-Take time by the forelock, &c. 168

CHAP. XIX.-1817-Terrible times, how brought to remembrance-Notch-

ed trees in the wilderness described-An ancient practice-One still more

ancient-Church-hill levelling-Charity on the stretch to devise the means of

employment for the industrious classes-Public works going on at Edinburgh

-General distress throughout Scotland-No money then to spare for buying

books,

CHAP. XX.-1817, continued Called by business to go northward to Aber-

deen-Melancholy discovery at that place-Another example of strange events

sometimes taking their rise from apparently very inadequate causes-Origin of

my Popular Philosophy-Go forward and transact business at Inverness-A

Ghost Story, and how attempted to be accounted for-Return by the High-

lands,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

CHAP. XXI.—1817, continued. My own GHOST story at the Inn of Dal.
whinnie-Circumstances that may have led to it-My method of proceedure,
recommended to all placed in similar situations-Extend our business to
Caithness-Disastrous tidings from my Auctioneers-Laid up with a fever,
CHAP. XXII-1818-Enter the year 1818 with trembling steps-Appalling
motto to my New Retrospect-Matters do not mend by the end of January
-Small returns from Auctioneers-A considerable falling of in remittances
from the north-Still confined within the walls of a house-One great benefit
arising from my protracted convalescence-How I acted in consequence,

CHAP. XXIII.-1818, continued. The wonder, how accounted for, that, I

did not, at this period, altogether give up the contest-Still some straggling

rays of hope-Combined effect of a certain combination of circumstances-No

relaxation in my toils-Extensive Auction routes-!

-My situation no sinecure, 210

CHAP. XXIV.-1818, continued.-The rider does not always mount, when the

saddle is placed on the back of the horse-Set out for, and arrive at Inverness, by

202

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

CHAP. XXIX-1820.-Comparatively happy state, in which I entered the

year 1820-But, no time for me yet to think of ease-New auction routes-

Choice flowers-Preparations for winding up the Orkney and Caithness con-

cerns Again take TIME by the forelock in regard to other matters,

CHAP. XXX.-1821.-A temporary glimpse of sunshine-Old customs al-

luded to, and when one of them was discontinued-Circumstances that con-

spired to render serene the morning of 1821-Reflections of the author when

arrived at the mile stone of half a century-Delusive Prospects-Kind Letter

from Mr Wilberforce-Bring out my new edition of Tom Bragwell,

CHAP. XXXI.—1822.—Of late had many unhappy returns of the New Year,

but never one like the present-More miseries brewing, or in abeyance➡

Spring Auctions-Dreadful convulsions in East Lothian, in consequence of

the misfortune of the East Lothian bank-My former Agent sails for America

-Journey to the West-King's Visit-New Auction expedition,

CHAP. XXXII.—1823-Another sober New Year-Disastrous intelligence-

Lamentable extracts from my American letter-The judgment of charity on

so afflicting an occasion-Visit the Edinburgh College Museum,

CHAP. XXXIII.—1824 —Although the year 1824, brought with it its cares

and troubles, yet, I had now got into comparatively smooth water in many

respects-Begin to think seriously of proceeding with my Book of Nature

laid open-Beautiful extract from Galen-Golden opportunities not lost sight of, 290

CHAP. XXXIV.-1825.-Various causes that must have contributed to my

composure, on entering 1825-Another flower in life's journey-Proceed in

my preparations in respect to Popular Philosophy-The aspect of the times

becomes more favourable-Issue my prospectus-Great success with my sub-

scription lists, in a short period-Walk by the Cove Shore, &c. &c.

CHAP. XXXV.-1826.-It is well for us that we cannot see into futurity, or

the fate of my Popular Philosophy might have been sealed, while yet in em-

bryo-Deplorable re-action in the affairs of the country-Great change to the

worse in the short period of four months-Part first of my new work makes its

appearance Visit to and walk in the Botanic Garden-My book completed, 303

CHAP. XXXVI. 1827.-I am able to resume my long accustomed walk on

New Year's Day-Melancholy reminiscences with which it is attended-More

flowers-Literary Gems worth preserving-More, and new causes of disquiet-

A beautiful " String of Pearls"-Dr John Mason Good's "Book of Nature"

noticed-Correspondence with his Biographer, Dr Olinthus Gregory,

[ocr errors]
« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »