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sult; but it gains in originality of genius, what will an age hence make his obstinacy of pretence as a translator forgotten.
CHARLES SALMON is a name, which
pronounced in many a poetic circle without exciting a single recollection; yet it was the name of one whom Ferguson not only loved as a friend, but owned as no unworthy rival, in his court to the Muses. Like Ferguson, he was early lost to the world; but, less happy in his poetical fortunes, the memorials which he left of his genius have, with a few exceptions, been either lost through the casualties of private possession, or remain dispersed and neglected among some of the many fleeting repositories to which the effusions of youthful genius are so often irrecoverably consigned.
The particulars, which the writer of the present imperfect attempt at' some notice of Salmon's life, is able to communicate respecting him, are few, but interesting. They were communicated to him by one who knew Salmon well, and esteemed because he knew him.
Charles Salmon was a native of Edinburgh, and is supposed to have been born between the years 1745 and 1750. His parents filled some inferior employment about the theatre, during the management of Mr. Digges ; but though in humble circumstances, they appear to have given their son a good
education. He evinced always a superior taste in composition, and was fond of quoting rhetorical rules. He was bred to the business of a printer, in the house of the celebrated Walter Ruddiman; and in Ruddiman's Weekly Magazine, he made his first juvenile attempts in rhyme, unknown, it is believed, to his employer.
A love of social pleasures and of poetry, go too commonly together. Salmon became, at an early age, the boon companion of most of the fine spirits of his own rank in life, and of a rank a little above it in Edinburgh, and few were the clubs of good fellows, of which he was not a member. He sung an excellent song, and yielded to few in conversational talent, delighting his associates by his vivacity, good humour, and occasional fits of ardent enthusiasm. Among the most valued friends he acquired, was Robert Ferguson the poet. He inherited from his parents a strong attachment to the cause of the Pretender, whose name,
indeed, he shared wlth a brother, called Stewart Salmon; and this devotion to a hopeless cause gave an air of romance to his character, which did not lessen the interest it inspired. A club still subsisted in Edinburgh, called the Royal Oak Club, composed wholly of professed Jacobites, and of this society Salmon became poet-laureate. In this capacity, he composed a song, called “ The Royal Oak Tree," which became a standard favorite with the club, and was sung on all their great occasions. The following copy of the words is taken from an obscure collection of Jacobite songs, published by Robertson, of the Horse Wynd, Edinburgh ; in which, however,
it appears without the name of the author.
THE ROYAL OAK TREE.
Tune.---The Mulberry Tree.
All shall yield to the Royal Oak Tree ;
Bend to thee,
And thou, like him, thrice honour'd shall be. When our great sov'reign, Charles, was driv’n from
his throne, And dar'd scarce call the kingdom or subjects his own, Old Pendril, the miller, at the risk of his blood, Hid the King of our Isle, in the King of the Wood.
All shall yield, &c.
In summer, in winter, in peace, or in war,
All shall yield, &c.
All shall yield, 8c.
this time, a song, which he was fond of singing, leginning,
On a bank of flowers, on a summer's day,
Where lads and lasses met;
Was by her true love set :
Hueza they cry'd, and a reply'd,
“ The Lord restore our king." Salmon, at last, found himself immersed in a course of life to which the finances of a journeyman printer were wholly unequal ; and in conjunction with Mr. George Fulton, another journeyman printer, (afterwards distinguished as a teacher in Edinburgh,) he came to the prudent resolution of quitting Edinburgh. A printing concern had been commenced by a Mr. Jackson, at Dumfries, the first of the kind established in that place, and thither Salmon and Fulton bent their steps, in the hopes of obtaining employment. In this they were not disappointed ; they were both immediately engaged.
For Salmon, this change was productive of none of its anticipated good. He had neither the disposition nor the fortitude to resist the fascinations of society, and his poetic and convivial talents soon made his acquaintance as much cultivated in Dumfries, as it had been in Edinburgh. He found that he had only changed a large circle of dissipation for a smaller, in which the syren pleasure held him more closely within her grasp. The society in which he here mixed was of a better description, in point of rank, than