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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 ob. jection 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 á 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 ?—“De. VOTION ! daughter of ASTRONOMY !--An undevout astronomer is MAD."

And, in regard to the other part of the accusation, of evincing, by these Scrip. tural 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 countryor, 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 Inoderation 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 thatis, 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, iu 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 at. tention of any of my readers, or their friends, to the few copies of my former publi. cations 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 further. anee of, my present attempt, I would fain hope, that, on reconsidering the mat. ter, 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 evi. dent, 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 other. wise 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 i-and in the further cultivation and prosecution of our little HOME TRADE OG 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 departe 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 thepresent occasion-I fervently trust-WE SHALL NEVER CEASE TO BE GRATEFUL !

DUNBAR, July 1, 1833.



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, 17 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 probation-Sublime spectacle, according to Seneca-Fortitude in adversity, one of the heroical virtues in morals, according to Lord Bacon,

28 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,

36 CHAP. IV. Introductory, Continued..A single specimen, or testimonial, in be

half 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,

47 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


abated as he gets forward in the world-Confident but affecting appeal, &c.

56 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,

65 CHAP. VII. Introductory, Continued. The whole period of my existence, al.

most one continued struggle-W'hat 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 beco ng conduct in the present state-Sundry examples of human suffering--Tribulation, the Christian's legacy,

77 CHAP. VIII. Introductory, Concluded. -Reasons for congratulation and satis

faction 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, 85 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,

97 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 Ber. wick-upon. Tweed-Circumstances that must have contributed to my serenity of mind in the spring of 1815--Other motives for pleasing reflection,

104 CHAP. XI. 1815, Continued.-Happy and comfortable situation in which I was

placed, on the forenoon of the ilth April, -How my family were disiributed, and then employed-No example of idleness from me Affectionate testimony of a dutiful song-Sundry effects traced to secondary causes, &c. 311 motto to my New Retrospect-Matters do not mend by the end of January

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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. 120

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,


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, 145

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, 152

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, 160

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



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-



CHAP. XXI.-1817, continued.—My own Ghost story at the Inn of Dalm
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-Said up with a fever, 193

CHAP. XXII.-1818 - Enter the year 1818 with trembling steps-Appalling

-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, 202

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 -J1y 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

way of Aberdeen-Meet with my two agents-Two lions in the way-The jour.

nal of a week-The ruling passion still prodominates-Instances of its pre.

valence enumerated-A modern inhabitant of the blasted heath,


CHAP. XXV.-1818, continued-An old Scotch saying, in my case unhappily

verified-The bad effects of having a great toe pinched by a small shoe-My re.

turns from various sources still fall short-Sale to the trade in Edinburgh-More

labourers put into the vineyard-Am obliged to give up my personal exer.

tions-Pitiableness of my situation at that time-Still troubled with my toe, 228

CHAP. XXVI.-1819,- Probable subject of my NEW YEAR's Day thoughts

- More secret griefs that a stranger may not intermeddle with-Affecting ex.

tracts—Annually progressing from bad to worse-My efforts increase with my

difficulties All will not do to avert the coming storm-The die is cast-Give

up the contest.-Write my Circular of the 5th April,


CHAP. XXVII.-1819, continued. ---Affecting representation-Being an ab.

stract of my address to the meeting at Edinburgh, on the 14th, and include

ing, sundry references to its accompanying statements, &c. &c.


CHAP. XXVIII.—1819, continued _Pitiable as our situation in life may be,

at particular periods, yet, it is possible to conceive a case more pitiable
Meet with, and lay my affecting representation, &c. before my creditors
Every thing adjusted to, or beyond my satisfaction-Melancholy thoughts

will still intrude.--How chiefly occasioned,


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

80 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 opeu— 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 Olintbus Gregory,


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