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112 LADY NAIRNE AND HER SONGS.
General of Barracks in Scotland, and with him removed to Edinburgh, where she occupied for a time a cottage at Portobello and afterward official quarters in Holyrood place. The impulse given by Burns to the cultivation of native Scotch poetry still continued, and was being strengthened by his contributions of songs for the music of the old airs in Johnson's Museum, and a coterie of the literary ladies of Edinburgh established the Scotch Minstrel for the same purpose. To this Mrs. Nairne became a contributor, with a single friend for a confidant, under the name of " Mrs. Bogan of Bogan," with other pseudonyms, a disguised handwriting and other elaborate precautions for concealment. There was, of course, a keen curiosity to discover the author of these beautiful songs, but the secret was well guarded, and not even the husband was aware of it. "I dare not even tell William " — Mrs. Nairne wrote to her friend — " lest he blab." She and her friend at one time cherished the purpose of " cleansing and moralizing " the songs of Burns, as he had done those of his unknown predecessors, but a wiser second thought restrained them. Miss Oliphant had been " converted," as the phrase goes, when a young woman on a visit to England, and her piety and religious feeling deepened with her years, until it took on completely the rigid, depressing, and dismal forms of Scotch de-