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daughter of Sir Charles Halket, of
Pitferran, married in sixteen 'ninety-six to
Sir Henry Wardlaw, a gentleman in
Fifeshire. She was sister-in-law to Sir John
Bruce of Kinross, through whom the piece
was made known to the polite in
Edinburgh, and she died about the year seventeen
'seventy-seven. There is not a trace of
Hardyknute in any old book or manuscript.
Its success was great. Gray admired it,
Thomas Warton looked upon it as a noble
poem. In the Union, or Select Scots and
English Poems, published at Edinburgh,
in seventeen 'fifty-three, Hardyknute has
a place of honour given it, with Dunbar's
Thistle and the Rose, among the ancient
poems. In seventeen 'sixty-five it
reappeared in Percy's Reliques; but, informed
by Lord Hailes, Percy ascribed the authorship
to Lady Wardlaw's brother-in-law,
Sir John Bruce. Sir David Dalrymple
(who became Lord Hailes a year after the
appearance of the Reliques, upon his taking
his seat as a judge in the Court of Session),
himself published in seventeen 'seventy, a
selection of Ancient Scottish Poems, from
the Bannatyne manuscript. "This," he
said, "is the manuscript which the editor
of the Evergreen used, but he has omitted
some stanzas and added others, has
modernised the versification, and varied the
ancient manner of spelling. The many
and obvious inaccuracies of the Evergreen
suggested the idea of this new collection.
Some pieces inserted in the Evergreen
were composed in the last age, others in
the present. . . . Hardyknute is probably
modern; certainly of no great antiquity."
Scott in his Border Minstrelsy, called this
by Lord Hailes the first classical collection
of Scottish songs and ballads. But there
had appeared, one year earlier, David
Herd's Collection of Ancient and Modern
Scottish Songs, heroic ballads, &c., which
was a very creditable one.

John Pinkerton was the next man who
gave much of his time to the study of Scotch
songs. Pinkerton was a Scotchman born
and bred, who after five years' service with
a writer to the Signet, settled in London
as a busy, irritable man of letters. He began
upon Hardyknute, publishing at the age of
three-and-twenty, in the year seventeen
'eighty-one, a volume of Scotch tragic
ballads professing to contain "Hardyknute:
an Heroic Ballad, now first published
complete, with the other more approved
Scottish Ballads, and some not hitherto
made public, in the Tragic Stile, with Two
Dissertations." Pinkerton here tried his
hand upon a mock-antique continuation
of Lady Wardlaw's mock-antique fragment.
Nobody was long deceived by it,
and Pinkerton at last avowed himself its
author. While it was in debate, he did
what he could to keep up the mystification.
Mr. W. Porden, architect, wrote to him:
"When I had read your tales in verse, I
read over again the second part of
Hardyknute: and I must inform you that I have
made up my mind with respect to the author
of it. I know not whether you will value
a compliment paid to your genius at the
expense of your imitative art; but certainly
that genius sheds a splendour upon some
passages which betrays you." Lord Hailes
objected to the second part of Hardyknute
that no writer near the feudal times could
show himself so ignorant of the form of
their castles as the author seemed to be.
Whereto Pinkerton replied, taking the
argument up personally, as he felt it: "I
may safely say, for my own part, that I
have studied the feudal manners and those
of chivalry as much as any man in
Europe. . . . Your lordship will perceive
that I write with the freedom that one
gentleman of independent fortune should use
with another when disputing about trifles."
Pinkerton was then twenty-five years old,
and Lord Hailes drawing near to sixty.

A volume of comic ballads soon followed
the tragic, and then, in seventeen 'eighty-
six, Pinkerton fastened on the Maitland
manuscript, and, still interpolating spurious
work of his own, published two volumes of
Ancient Scottish Poems, never before in
print, but now published from the MS.
collections of Sir Richard Maitland, of
Lethington, Knight, Lord Privy Seal of
Scotland . . . comprising pieces written about
1420 till 1586.

Since then we have had Scott's Minstrelsy
of the Scottish Border, published in eighteen
'two and three; Jamieson's Popular Ballads
and Songs, three or four years later; David
Laing's Select Remains of the Ancient
Popular Poetry of Scotland in eighteen
'twenty-one; in 'twenty-four, the North
Country Garland; in 'twenty five, the
Songs of Scotland, Ancient and Modern,
with an Introduction and Notes by Allan
Cunningham. Two years after that came
William Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Ancient
and Modern, with a Historical Introduction
and Notes. In the same year with Motherwell's
came Robert Kinlock's Ancient
Scottish Ballads, recovered from Tradition,
and never before published; and, in the
following year, Peter Buchan's Ancient
Ballads and Songs of the North of Scotland.
The quick succession of these