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If e'er ye try to speel the brae
Where poets lilt the melting lay;
9. But if ye'll tak' a friend's advice,
I'll gi'e ye't in a verra trice.

When younkers differ on the green,
Ne'er fash your thumb, nor step between,
Or (as my great gran'-mither spake)
Ye'll may be get the redding straik.
Attend your horses and your plough,
This done, ye just do weel enough;
When Winter bites wi' tempests flisky,
Cowp aff a gill o' Cuttie's whisky;
And ay remember, auld or young,
To keep a clean weel scrapit tongue.
If at a chance, unlucky time,
Ye're whiskify'd to try a rhyme,
Ye'll mak' a shift 'mang gipsy lasses,
Altho' ye dinna ken Parnassus;
And tho' your poetry be nil hoc,
Ye're sure to shine at Cuttie's hillock..

Benlomond-Law, April 16, 1805.



SIR,-Though now a stranger in the "Land of Cakes," the amor patriæ beats strong in my bosom,

and I feel the same degree of philanthropy towards my snuff-taking countrymen, as when we were wont to prime noses together. The comforts of your large and well-replenished horn, zested by your humorous and facetious conversation, are delightful to my recollection.

As a countryman and brother snuff-taker, I doubt not but that you will receive with pleasure any thing in praise of the all-powerful and never-enough-tobe-extolled plant. I therefore send you the following poem, which I received from a friend last New Year's day; and as it appears to me worthy of the subject to which it is dedicated, I think it a pity that it should be hid in obscurity, more especially as I am afraid there are many not sufficiently aware of the all-soothing comforts arising from "a cannie pinch o' snuff."

What would you think, therefore, of giving it a place in your very seful and much read Magazine next month, as a New Year's gift to all brother snuff-takers. Should you think proper to confer this honour upon it, it is at your service, from your sincere and obedient servant,


A Dialogue on the Virtues of Snuff.


Come, nibour Tam, we'll tak' a glass,
To hansel the new year;

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Though this be right gude stuff; I wadna gi'e a button for't Without a pinch o' snuff.

O' Burgundy, or bright Champaigne,
They mak' an unco din;
To gi'e sae meikle gear for drink :
Maun surely be a sin.

An' after a' the braggarts say,

'Tis but poor shilpit stuff;

I wadna tak' a gallon o't

For a'e guid mull o' snuff.

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To roose the virtues o' this plant,
Which a' our waes beguile;
For when a bodie's sair cast down,
An' fortune looks but gruff,
That chield maun be a silly lown
Wha is nae cheer'd by snuff.


Weary!-dear man, that canna be, Wi' sic a bonnie theme;

I lo'e't sae weel, that ilka night

O' this braw plant I dream.

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What's a' the med'cines that are ta'en,

An' doctors' puson'd stuff?

I wadna gi' a grain for ane,

E'en o' the warst, o' snuff.

Didna the mirkie night come on,
When I maun wander hame,
Like Virgil's shepherds, we might sing,
The laurel to obtain.

They sang o' Philadas', and flames,

O' love, an' sic like stuff;
While we life's dearest comfort sing,
A cannie pinch o' snuff.


Surely had honest Virgil kenn'd
How snuff the brain can clear,
A cantie ode he wad ha'e penn'd
In praise o't ilka year.
What signifies your sangs o' love?
They're naething else but buff;
The jades may a' be guid enough,
But nae sae guid as snuff.

There's Meg the wife's a dainty quean,
An' keeps a' things fu' tight,
But then she aye sae fashes me
Whene'er my nose I dight:

In troth, her jibes I canna bear,
She gars me tak' the huff,

When saucily she cries, " Gudeman,
You're owre the lugs in snuff."

But, Tam, we e'en maun bide wi't a',
Though jibed up we be ;

The sneeshen-mull we still maun ca',
Tho' wives should tak' the gee...
I lo❜e my Maggie passing weel,
An' canty we might be,

Did nae she haunt me like a deil
About my dear Rappee.

It sweetens care at ilka hand,
It cures us o' our pains;

What wad the learned doctors doe,

Did snuff ne'er clear their brains? :
Then, oh! ye gods, be kind to me
In your Elysian heaven;

Should I but ance, an weel, get there,
Treat me wi' Thirty-Seven!!!

SCOTS MAG. 1806.


MR. COOKE, now thirty-eight years of age, and having been seventeen years a player, during many of which he stood forward as the hero of the pro

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