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PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.
In this volume I do not propose to write a complete history of the Scottish Border, or even to give the series of its picturesque episodes. I have sought mainly to trace the outlines of Border History, to give in the order of development its salient characteristics, and to show how these, in connection with the scenery of the district, have issued in its rich and stirring ballad and song. Many an evening of poring over old documents this volume has cost me ; and many a day, under lowering as well as sunny skies, have I spent in seeing for myself the scenes of the historical and traditional incidents. There is thus hardly one name of a place in this volume which is not to me
a vivid impression. I cannot expect the majority of readers, or even many of them, to share the intensity of feeling which the associations connected with those names create in my mind; but there is, I trust, enough of historical delineation, and enough of the poetry peculiar to the Border land, to enable the reader to follow, with some interest, its life of the past, and to feel the spirit
of its song
THE LOANING, PEEBLES, 1878.