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N our prefatory note to the second series we explained the cause of our extending the present work so much beyond the limits originally intended, and stated, as one of our reasons, when the first series was completed that we received numerous communications containing interesting and valuable matter. This fact becoming known to literary friends, we were advised to endeavour to complete the work by preparing a second and third series. These, too, have been issued and sold. A fourth is now before the reader, and yet we have as much material as would make an interesting, and positively concluding volume. We would have hesitated before thinking of producing yet another, had we not been able to promise a number of interesting and important sketches of well-known and esteemed poets--including Mr William Freeland of the Glasgow Herald; the late. Professor Macquorn Rankine; the famous "Nether Lochaber" correspondent; the popular writer, known as yet only by the nom-de-plume of "Rockwood" Andrew Wanless; some six or eight well-known Scottish Poets now living in America, and others. We are to have the assistance of friends who have kindly cooperated with us in our past efforts. These include Professor Veitch, Glasgow; Dr Charles Rogers, of the Scottish Minstrel; Mr A. B. Todd, author of "The Circling Year" and other works; Mr Andrew Wallace, author of "History of Glasgow," &c.; Mr J. M. M'Bain, Arbroath, and Mr Jerdan, Dalkeith, than whom few know more about the modern and minor poets of our country; Mr Robert Innes of Richmond House, Surrey, a poet of no mean power; Mr Cromb, of the Dundee Evening Telegraph; Mr
Andrew Stewart of the People's Friend; Rev. George Jacque, Auchterarder, author of numerous valuable works both in prose and poetry; Rev. J. Wye Smith, Toronto, and other true lovers of our native minstrelsy who have our grateful thanks for much valued information and advice.
In our "estimates" of the poets we have, as before, endeavoured neither to rise into the vague flights of the panegryist, nor sink into the bathos of the apologist. Amidst the exacting duties of journalistic work, the task of preparing authentic biographies of SO varied а character, frequently out of a bewildering and heterogeneous mass of material, has been no light one. Yet the kindly reception by the public and the press of our previous efforts, and the encouragement we received from publishers of copyright works encouraged us to persevere with our labours; and, should the soft spring breath of kindly appreciation continue to warm the chilly atmosphere, we hope to be able to bring forth during 1883 another and concluding volume of flowers of perhaps even greater richness and beauty, and thus preserve them to blossom forth and beautify and enrich our national literature. In the words of a recent writer
"Every true lover of our native minstrelsy may in these days find much to instruct him and to delight him in the perusal of The Modern Scottish Poets' by Edwards, of Brechin. And we are sure he will be satisfied that the land of Burns continues to be the land of song, and still owns a host of poetical writers, many of whose productions are of sterling merit, and will continue to charm the hearts of Scotchmen so long as they continue to love their native land."
Advertiser Office, BRECHIN, December, 1882.
D. H. EDWARDS.