TO THE MOST HONOURABLE
JAMES ANDREW MARQUIS OF DALHOUSIE,
K.T., P.C., &c. &c.
MY DEAR LORD DALHOUSIE,
I beg permission to dedicate to you in its more enlarged form, a collection of national peculiarities which has grown up to many times the size of the original lecture with which it commenced. I am quite conscious that the only claim which this work can have either to the notice of my countrymen, or to any share of your Lordship’s attention, consists in this – that it is conversant with a class of anecdotes peculiar in SCOTLAND – that it may tend to illustrate a species of humour exclusively SCOTTISH. The object is to fix and preserve a page of our domestic national annals which, in the eyes of the rising generation, is fast fading into oblivion.
I am happy to take any opportunity of acknowledging that the long friendship of one so able, so high minded, and so illustrious, as the Marquis of Dalhousie, has been amongst the most honourable and gratifying incidents of a life not now a short one. But my present purpose is rather to present my book to a Scottish nobleman who has a full relish for a Scottish story, and this taste, in yourself, I know to be a hereditary one, for your distinguished father, the late Earl of Dalhousie, was a thorough Scotchman, and in regard to such anecdotes as those which I have endeavoured to collect, we may say of him (to borrow a homely expression from the worthy Bailie Nicol Jarvie), that “he liket ane o’ them weel, honest man!”
I am, with much respect and regard,
Your Lordship’s affectionate friend,
E. B. RAMSAY.
AINSLIE PLACE, EDINBURGH,