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18 Works of John Brown

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Notes On Art

Story type: Literature

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NOTES ON ART.[1] [1] Originally prefixed to a Criticism on some paintings in the Scottish Academy. “The use of this feigned history” (the Ideal Arts of Poesy, Painting, Music, etc.) “hath been to give SOME SHADOW OF SATISFACTION TO THE MIND OF MAN IN THESE POINTS WHEREIN THE NATURE OF THINGS DOTH DENY IT, the […]

“Multi multa sciunt, pauci multum.” “It is one thing to wish to have truth on our side, and another thing to wish to be on the side of truth.”–WHATELY. “{Atalaiporos tois pollois he zetesis tes alepheias, kai epi ta hetoima mallon trepontai.}”–THUCYDIDES. “The most perfect philosophy of the natural kind, only staves off our IGNORANCE […]

To MY TWO FRIENDSat Busby, Renfrewshire,In Remembrance of a Journey from Carstairs Junctionto Toledo and back,The Story of “Rab and his Friends” is inscribed. Four-and-thirty years ago, Bob Ainslie and I were coming up Infirmary Street from the Edinburgh High School, our heads together, and our arms intertwisted, as only lovers and boys know how, […]

“Depend upon it a lucky guess is never merely luck–there is always some talent in it.”–MISS AUSTEN, in Emma. Dr. Chalmers used to say that in the dynamics of human affairs, two qualities were essential to greatness–Power and Promptitude. One man might have both, another power without promptitude, another promptitude without power. We must all […]

If any one wants a pleasure that is sure to please, one over which he needn’t growl the sardonic beatitude of the great Dean, let him, when the Mercury is at “Fair,” take the nine A.M. train to the North and a return-ticket for Callander, and when he arrives at Stirling, let him ask the […]

Our Dogs

Story type: Essay

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“The misery of keeping a dog, is his dying so soon; but to be sure, if he lived for fifty years, and then died, what would become of me?”–SIR WALTER SCOTT. “There is in every animal’s eye a dim image and gleam of humanity, a flash of strange light through which their life looks out […]

Once I had friends–though now by all forsaken;Once I had parents–they are now in heaven.I had a home once—- Worn out with anguish, sin, and cold, and hunger,Down sunk the outcast, death had seized her senses.There did the stranger find her in the morning–God had released her. SOUTHEY. Hugh Miller, the geologist, journalist, and man […]

“The reader must remember that my work isconcerning the aspects of things only.”–RUSKIN. We,–the Sine Qua Non, the Duchess, the Sputchard, the Dutchard, the Ricapicticapic, Oz and Oz, the Maid of Lorn, and myself,–left Crieff some fifteen years ago, on a bright September morning, soon after daybreak, in a gig. It was a morning still […]

{Proton chorton, eita stachyn, eita plere siton en to stachui}. One of the chief sins of our time is hurry: it is helter-skelter, and devil take the hind-most. Off we go all too swift at starting, and we neither run so fast nor so far as we would have done, had we taken it cannily […]

“PRAESENS imperfectum,–perfectum, plusquam perfectumFUTURUM.”–GROTIUS. “The idea of thy life shall sweetly creepInto my study of imagination;And every lovely organ of thy lifeShall come apparelled in more precious habit–More moving delicate, and full of life,Into the eye and prospect of my soul,Than when thou livedst indeed.” MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. In the chancel of Clevedon Church, […]

The father of the Rev. Mr. Steven of Largs, was the son of a farmer, who lived next farm to Mossgiel. When a boy of eight, he found “Robbie” who was a great friend of his, and of all the children, engaged digging a large trench in a field, Gilbert, his brother, with him. The […]


Story type: Essay

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“Health to the auld wife, and weel mat she be,That busks her fause rock wi’ the lint o’ the lee (lie),Whirling her spindle and twisting the twine,Wynds aye the richt pirn into the richt line.” Those who knew the best of Edinburgh society eight-and-thirty years ago–and when was there ever a better than that best?–must […]

A LETTER TO JOHN CAIRNS, D. D. “I praised the dead which are already dead, more than the living which are yet alive.” LETTER TO JOHN CAIRNS, D. D. 23 RUTLAND STREET, 15th August, 1860. MY DEAR FRIEND,–When, at the urgent request of his trustees and family, and in accordance with what I believe was […]

If the 15th verse of the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians, instead of being taken in a figurative sense, as it generally has been, be understood literally, it will be found to furnish the means of determining, with a tolerably near approach to certainty, the particular nature of the disease under which […]

Among the many students at our University who some two-and-twenty years ago started on the great race, in the full flush of youth and health, and with that strong hunger for knowledge which only the young, or those who keep themselves so ever know, there were three lads–Edward Forbes, Samuel Brown, and George Wilson–who soon […]

Dr. Chalmers

Story type: Essay

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“Fervet immensusque ruit.”–HOR. “His memory long will live aloneIn all our hearts, as mournful lightThat broods above the fallen sun,And dwells in heaven half the night.” TENNYSON. “He was not one man, he was a thousand men.”–SYDNEY SMITH. When, towards the close of some long summer day, we come suddenly, and, as we think, before […]

{Hosa esti prosphile–tauta logizesthe}.–ST. PAUL. “What do you think of Dr. Channing, Mr. Coleridge?” said a brisk young gentleman to the mighty discourser, as he sat next him at a small tea-party. “Before entering upon that question, sir,” said Coleridge, opening upon his inquirer those ‘noticeable gray eyes,’ with a vague and placid stare, and […]

… “If thou wert grim,Lame, ugly, crooked, swart, prodigious.” KING JOHN. These gnarled, stunted, useless old bones, were all that David Ritchie, the original of the Black Dwarf, had for left femur and tibia, and we have merely to look at them and add poverty, to know the misery summed up in their possession. They […]