and thus brought the poet into kinship with yet another distinguished Scottish family. To the captain and his spouse a son was born, who devoted himself to legal pursuits, was a writer in Edinburgh, and acted as legal agent for the Earl of Hopetoun. Through his interest with the earl, Robert Ramsay, his eldest son, was appointed manager of the lead mines in the Lowther hills, and set out to assume his new duties towards the close of the year 1684.
From this pedigree, therefore, the fact is clear of the poet's right to address William Ramsay, Earl of Dalhousie, in terms imitated from Horace's famous Ode to Maecenas--
'Dalhousie, of an auld descent, My chief, my stoup, my ornament.'
But to our narrative. Apparently the young mine-manager found the lines of his life by no means cast in pleasant places amid the rough semi-savage community of Leadhills in those days. He felt himself a stranger in a strange land. To better his lot, though he was still very young, he determined to marry. The on