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that question to you, for I am at hame PAGE 124, Note 66.-The parlour of the ånd ye're no. Why,' said Robin, 'I farm-house of Mossyiel, namely, the only cam doun to see Kate Hemp.' 'I was apartment besides the kitchen. This little just gaun the same gate,' said the miller. apartment still exists in the state in which • Then ye need gang nae farther,' said it was when the poet described it as the Burns, "for baith she and the cow's lost, scene of his vision of Coila. “Though in and the auld man is perfectly wud at the every respert humble, and partly occupied by want o' tliem. But come, we'll tak a turn fixed beds, it does not appear uncomfortable. or two in the holm till we see if she cast up.' | Every consideration, however, sinks beneath They accordingly went into the holm, and the one intense feeling, that here, within during the first two rounds they made, these four walls, warmed at this little firethe poet chatted freely, but subsequently place, and lighted by this little window (it got inore and more taciturn, and, during the has but one), lived one of the most extraorlast two rounds, spoke not a word. On dinary men; here wrote some of the most reaching the stile that led from the place, he celebrated poems of modern times.”abruptly bade the miller good night, and Chambers's Journal, No. 93. walked rapidly towards Mauchline. Next | Page 125, Note 67.--The charter of the time the miller and he met, he said, 'Miller, i borough of Ayr bears date as early as the I owe you an apology for my silence during beginning of the thirteenth century. oui last walk together, and for leaving you PAGE 125, Note 68.---The illustrious 80 abruptly.' Oh, oh!' said he, Robin, family of Wallace. there is no occasion, for I supposed some PAGE 125, NOTE 69.-Alluding to the subject had occurred to you, and that you great William Wallace, the hero of Scottishi were thinking, and perhaps composing some- j independence. thing on it.' You were quite right, miller,' PAGE 125, Note 70.--Adam Wallace, of said Burns, and I will now read you what | Richardton, cousin to William Wallace. was chiefly the work of that evening.'"
PAGE 125, NOTE 71.--The Laird of The composition he read was Man was Craigie, also, of the family of Wallace, who made to Mourn !
held the second coinmand at the battle PAGE 124, NOTE 63.-- This exquisite fought in 1448, on the banks of Sark, and poem was actually composed at the plough- / gained by the Scottish troops, . under tail, and suggested by an incident which | Douglas, Earl of
rl of Orrond, and Wallace, occurred to the poet whilst at work. Burns | Laird of Craigie; and in which the desperate was handling the plough, and John Blane, valour, and masterly skill of the latter, were one of the farm servants (who many years chiefly instrumental in securing the victory, since remembered the incident), was driving, The Laird of Craigie was mortally wounded at the same time holding in his hand the in the engagement. pattle or pettle (a small wooden spud with PAGE 125, NOTE 72.—The shade of the which the ploughshare was scraped at the supposed Coilus, King of the Picts, who, commencement of every fresh furrow), when according to tradition, was buried close to suddenly a mouse started from the furrow, the seat of Montgoineries, of Coilsfield, and was running across the field, closely , beneath a small mound crowned with trees. pursued by Blane, pattle in hand, who had On the 29th of May, 1837, this mound was started in chase. Burns, however, called his excavated in search of remains, and driver back, and very calmly asked him urns were found, which so far corroborated " What hurt the mouse had done him, that i the tradition, that the mound was ascerhe should wish to kill it." From that tained to have actually held the remains of moment Burns remained moody and silent some illustrious chiefs. during the rest of the day, and woke Blane PAGE 125, NOTE 73.-Alluding to Bar. at night (for they were bed-fellows), to skimming, the seat of Sir Thomas Millar, at repeat to him the lines which the incident of that time Lord Justice Clerk, and since the day had suggested.
President of the Court of Session. PAGE 124, NOTE 64.--Duan is the term PAGE 125, NOTE 74.—This stanza refers (analogous to strophe, fytte, &c.) applied by to Catrine, the seat of Dugald Stewart (and Ossian to the divisions of rambling poems. formerly of his father, the Rev. Dr. Matthew
PAGE 124, NOTE 65.---Curling is a very Stewart), and which is situated on the banks boisterous game, played upon the ice, when of the river Ayr. sufficiently strong, and which consists in the PAGE 125, NOTE 75.---Alluding to the trundling of flattened, smoothed round stones. | two successive possessors of Catrine, Dr. The players are divided into sides.
| Matthew, and his son, Dugald Stewart; the first eminent for his mathematical attain. in 1790, after having sat in five succeeding ment, the second for his elegant philosophical parliaments. Every patriotic and liberal writings.
scheme had the support of this excellent PAGE 125, NOTE 76.-Colonel Fullarton. man, who died in 1818, at the age of
PAGE 126, NOTE 77.-Coila (the muse of eighty-two. Burns) had been suggested to the promoter PAGE 127, NOTE 84.- Sir Adam Ferof her fabulous existence, by the equally gusson, of Kilkerran, Bart. He had several visionary personage, who figures under the times represented Ayrshire, but at present name of Scota in Mr. A. Ross's poem, The was member for the city of Edinburgh. Fortunate Shepherdess.
PAGE 127, NOTE 85.--The Marquis of PAGE 126, NOTE 78.-Mossgiel, which Graham, eldest son of the Duke of Monthas since become the property of Mr. rose. He afterwards became the third Duke Alexander, of Ballochmyle, was then amongst of Montrose, and died in 1836. the possessions of the Earls of Loudon, that Page 127, NOTE 86.-The Right Hon. is, of the Loudon branch of the race of Henry Dundas, Treasurer of the Navy, and Campbell.
M.P.for Ediuburghshire, afterwards Viscount PAGE 127, NOTE 79.-Towards the close | Melville. of the year 1785, loud complaints were made Page 128, NOTE 87.–Probably Thomas by the Scottish distillers respecting the Erskine, afterwards Lord Erskine; but he vexatious and oppressive manner in which was not then in Parliament. the Excise laws were enforced at their PAGE 128, NOTE 88.-Lord Frederick establishments such rigour, they said, being i Campbell, second brother of the Duke of exercised at the instigation of the London Argyle, Lord Registrar of Scotland, and M.P. distillers, who looked w
with jealousy on the for the county of Argyle in this, and the success of their northern brethren. So great one preceding, and the two subsequent Parwas the severity of the Excise, that many liaments. distillers were obliged to abandon the trade, PAGE 128, NOTE 89.-Ilay Campbell, and the price of barley was beginning to be Lord Advocate of Scotland, who afterwards affected. Illicit distillation was also found became President of the Court of Session, to be alarmingly on the increase. In conse- and survived to an advanced age. He was quence of the earnest remonstrances of the at this period M.P. for the burghs compredistillers, backed by the county gentlemen, hended within the limits of Glasgow. He an Act was passed in the session of 1786, died in 1823. (alluded to by the author), whereby the ! PAGE 128, NOTE 90.—This stanza was duties on low wines, spirits, &c., were dis- suppressed in all the editions which Burns continued, and an annual tax imposed on himself superintended whilst in press, out of stills, according to their capacity. This act respect for the Montgomery, whose clumsy gave general satisfaction. It seems to have oratory he could not help ridiculing. been during the general outcry against fiscal | PAGE 128, NOTE 91.-Mr. Pitt's father, oppression at the end of 1785, or beginning the Earl of Chatham, was the second son of of 1786, that the poem was composed. | Robert Pitt, of Boconnock, in the county of
PAGE 127, NOTE 80.-William Pitt, who | Cornwall. in his twenty-second year was at the head of PAGE 128, NOTE 92.--"Scones made an administration, and controlling the Ex- from a mixture of oats, peas, or beans, with chequer.
wheat or barley, ground fine, and denomiPAGE 127, NOTE 81.-Hugh Mont- nated mashlum, are in general use, and form gomery, of Coilsfield, afterwards twelfth a wholesome and palatable food."--New Earl of Eglinton, at that time M.P. for Statistical Account of Scotland, parish of Ayrshire, and who had served in the army Dalry, Ayrshire. during the American war.
PAGE 128, NOTE 93.-A worthy old PAGE 127, NOTE 82.-James Boswell, hostess of the author's in Mauchline, where well known to the party politicians of Ayr- he sometimes studies politics over a glass of shire, as one of the orators of their meetings, guid auld Scotch drink. Nanse's story was but better known to the world at large as different. On seeing the poem, she declared the shadow and biographer of Dr. Johnson. that the poet had never been but once or
PAGE 127, NOTE 83.-George Dempster, 1 twice in her house. of Dunnichen, in the county of Forfar, an PAGE 128, NOTE 94.-The young Chaneminent Scottish Whiy representative, of the cellor of the Exchequer had gained some age of Fox and Pitt. He commenced his credit by a measure introduced in 1784 for parliamentary career in 1762, and closed it preventing smuggling of tea by reducing the
duty, the revenue being compensated by a much admired by the people generally, but tax on windows.
received as an oracle by the select few who Page 129, NOTE 95. The model which were his partisans. Robertson was out of Burns followed in this poem is evidently the health at the time these lines were written. Cauler Water of Fergusson. The poet's PAGE 131, NOTE 102.---Killie, a popular imagination is evidently more concerned in or familiar designation amongst the country the bacchanalian rant, than his actual pre people, meaning Kilmarnock. dilection; for it does not transpire that he Page 131, Note 103.--Thomas Samson, a was more especially devoted to Bacchus or nurseryman, at Kilmarnock, was one amongst his compeers, than the majority of his the earliest friends of Burns. He was associates or contemporaries.
devoted to sporting. Supposing one of his PAGE 129, NOTE 96.--The vulgar name seasons to be his last in pursuit of game, he of beer being repudiated, and the more re: had expressed a desire to die, and to be fined cognomen of " ale” being substituted buried in the Muirs, and this suggested to for such decoctions of malt as grace the Burns the elegy and epitaph. At his death tables of the great in silver tankards. he was buried in Kilmarnock Churchyard,
PAGE 129, NOTE 97.--An allusion to the and at the western extremity of the church favourite draught of beer after a mess of is a plain monumental slab, with the inscrip porridge.
: THOMAS SAMSON, PAGE 129, NOTE 98.-An allusion to the Died the 12th of December, 1795, crowding of the congregation round the
Aged 72 years. moveable pulpits out of doors, as was “Tam Samson's weel-worn clay here lies;" actually the case at a parochial distribution
&c., &c., of the sacrament.
in the identical words with which Burns had Page 130, NOTE 99.--The Scottish Par- humorously provided him. liament passed an Act in the year 1690, Page 132, NOTE 104.--Mr. Aiken was empowering Forbes of Culloden to distil one of the first persons moving in the higher whisky free of duty, on his manor of orders of society, who noticed the remarkFerintosh, of Cromartyshire, in consideration able talents of Robert Burns, and whose of his services, and of the losses which he
es which he patronage and countenance upheld the poet, had sustained in the public service at the and promoted the success of his subsequently period of the Revolution. The immense brilliant career. He was somewhat distin. wealth to which such an immunity opened guished amongst his professional colleagues the way, gradually stimulated the successors (being a lawyer), for the superior intellecof the Forbes to the distillation of so im- tual qualifications which he possessed, and mense a quantity of the spirit, that by amongst his friends for the unaffected genedegrees Ferintosh became a bye-word signi- rosity of his character. He died on the fying whisky. This privilege was abolished 24th of March, 1807. by the Act of the British parliament, passed / PAGE 132, NOTE 105.--"Several of the in 1785, and which regulated the Scotch dis- poems were produced for the purpose of tilleries in general. But a provision was bringing forward some favourite sentiment reserved in that act to the eifect that the of the author. He had frequently remarked Lords of the Treasury should indemnify the to me, that he thought there was something present proprietor of the barony for the peculiarly venerable in the phrase, ' Let us immense deterioration of his estate, and that worship God,' used by a decent sober head if the Lords of the Treasury should fail to of a family introducing family worship. To settle the matter fairly, it should be sub- | this sentiment of the mitted to a jury in the Scottish Court of indebted for the Cotter's Saturday Night, Exchequer. Accordingly, afterfutile attempts The hint of the plan, and title of the at redress from the Treasury, Mr. Duncan poem, were taken from Fergusson's Farmer's Forbes prosecuted his claim, proving that the Ingle."-GILBERT BURNS. “The houseright had actually produced £1000 a year to hold of the virtuous William Burness was his family, and might have been productive of the scene of the poem, and William himself seven times as much; and the jury awarded was the saint, and father and husband, of him the substantial sum of £21,580 as com- this truly sacred drama."CUNNINGHAM. pensation, on the 29th of November, 1785.1 PAGE 134, NOTE 106.-See Pope's Wind
PAGE 130, NOTE 100.--A preacher of sor Forest. very general popularity amongst the poorer PAGE 134, NOTE 107.--This poem is classes.
another remarkable instance of the fertility PAGE 130, NOTE 101.-A preacher not ! of genius which so strikingly characterised
the muse of Burns. Like the lines to a mouse, them before the Presbytery, is to be found in it is elicited by the simplest and most trivial Holy Willie's Prayer. Partly from antipathy occurrence, and, nevertheless, is wrought up to the high orthodox party, but more from to a profound degree of thought and senti friendship for Mr. Hamilton, whom he rement, which the utmost sublimity of scenery | garded as a worthy and enlightened man, could barely have excelled.
persecuted by narrow-witted bigots, Burns PAGE 135, NOTE 108.--The friend to threw his partisan muse into the quarrel, whom this poem is addressed, was Mr. and produced several poems, that just inenAndrew Aiken, the son of Mr. Aiken, of tioned amongst the rest, in which it is but Ayr, to whom the Cotter's Saturday Night | too apparent that religion itself suffers in
dedicated, and who had been taught by common with those whom he holds up as his father to venerate the genius and charac- abusing it. ter of his lowly but illustrious fellow-country- PAGE 137, NOTE 110.-On reading in man, Mr. Andrew Aiken survived fifty years the public papers the Laureate's Ode, with after Burns, and died at St. Petersburgh, the other parade of June 4th, 1786, the after a very successful mercantile career into author was no sooner dropt asleep, than he which he had early embarked at Liverpool. imagined himself transported to the birth
PAGE 136, NOTE 109.—The first person day levee; and in his dreaming fancy, made of respectable rank and good education who the address conveyed in these lines.--R. B. took any notice of Burns, was Mr. Gavin ) [The Poet Laureate of the time being was Hamilton, writer in Mauchline, from whom Thomas Warton, and the subjoined are the he took his farm of Mossgiel on a sub-lease. opening lines of the ode of which Burns
Iamilton lived in what is still called the became the quaint commentator in the Castle of Mauchline, a half-fortified old dream:mansion near the church, forming the only | “When Freedom nursed her native fire remains of the ancient priory. He was the
In ancient Greece, and ruled the lyre, son of a gentleman who had practised the
Her bards disdainful, from the tyrant's brow same profession in the same place, and was
The tinsel gifts of flattery tore; in every respect a most estimable member of
But paid to guiltless power their willing vow; society-generous, affable, and humane,
And to the throne of virtuous kings,&c.,&c.” Unfortunately his religious practice did not square with the notions of the then minis. | Vapid enough, it must be confessed.] ter of Mauchline, the Daddy Auld of PAGE 138, NOTE lll.-Gait, gett, or Burns, who, in 1785, is found in the session gyte, a homely substitute for the word child records to have summoned him for rebuke, in Scotland. on the four following charges :-1. Unne- PAGE 138, Note 112.--When the vote of cessary absence froin church, for five conse- naval supplies was under discussion in the cutive Sundays (apparently the result of session of 1786, several modifications of the some dispute about a poor's rate); 2. Setting management of our naval armaments were out on a journey to Carrick on a Sunday; /hotly agitated by a Captain McBride and 3. Habitual, if not total neglect of family his adherents. Amongst other projects, the worship; 4. Writing an abusive letter to abandonment of 64-gun ships was proposed the session, in reference to some of their by him. former proceedings respecting him. Strange PAGE 138, NOTE 113.-Charles James though this prosecution may seem, it was Fox. strictly accordant with the right assumed by L PAGE 138, NOTE 114. In this respect the Scottish clergy at that period, to inquire Burns has followed the account of the into the private habits of parishioners; and chronicles, adopted as it had subsequently as it is universally allowed that Mr. Auld's been by Shakespeare, in speaking of designs in the matter were purely religious, | Henry Vu, as mingling in the wildest frolics it is impossible to speak of it disrespectfully. of his companions; Prince Hal was clearly It was unfortunately, however, mixed up of such habits in his younger days, if we with some personal motives in the members may trust the anecdotes in which his just of the session, which were so apparent to punishment, by authority, reflected credit the Presbytery, to which Mr. Hamilton on a worthy and impartial judge. But, appealed, that that reverend body ordered according to the memoirist Tyler, these the proceedings to be stopped, and all notice were nothing better than a tissue of ingenious of them expunged from the records. A fables. However this may be, Burns only description of the sufferings of the Mauch- adopted a degree of licence, which the line Session, while orator Aiken was exposing greatest British Poet had considered him.
self free to use when the traditions were yet nothing but ruin seemed before him our more positive on the subject.
bard poured forth, as in the name of PAGE 138, NOTE 115.-A humorous another, the following eloquent effusion of hit at Frederick, Duke of York (the second indignation and grief. son of George III.), whose earlier career had | PAGE 142, NOTE 122.--Allusion is here been spent in Ecclesiastical vocations, as made to Miss Eliza Burnet, the beauty Bishop of Osnaburg.
of her day in Edinburgh-daughter of the PAGE 138, NOTE 116.-William Henry, | eccentric scholar and philosopher, Lord afterwards Duke of Clarence, and finally Monboddo. Burns was several times enKing, by the name of William IV., whose | tertained by his lordship at his house in St. profession was the navy.
John Street, Canongate, where the lady PAGE 138, NOTE 117.--An allusion to presided. He speaks of her in a letter in the current tale of some youthful intrigue of the following terms:-"There has not beeri the royal sailor.
any thing nearly like her, in all the combiPAGE 132, NOTE 118.-"The tale of the nations of beauty, grace, and goodness, the Twa Dogs was composed after the resolution great Creator has formed, since Milton's of publishing was nearly taken. Robert had Eve on the first day of her existence.” It a dog, which he called Luath, that was a may be curious to learn what was thought of great favourite. The dog had been this lovely woman by a man of a very differ. killed by the wanton cruelty of some person, ent sort from Burns--namely, Hugh Chisthe night before my father's death. Robert holm, one of the seven broken men (usually said to me that he should like to confer called robbers) who kept Prince Charles in such an inmortality as he could bestow on their cave in Inverness-shire for several his old Friend Luath, and that he had a weeks, during his hidings, resisting the great mind to introduce something into the temptation of thirty thousand pounds to book under the title of Stanzas to the give him up. This man, when far advanced Memory of a Quadruped Friend; but this in life, was brought on a visit to Edinburgh, plan was given up for the poem as it now where it was remarked he would never allow stands. Cæsar was merely the creature of the any one to shake his right hand, that poet's imagination, created for the purpose member having been rendered sacred in his of holding chat with his favourite Luath.” estimation, by the grasp of the Prince.
GILBERT BURNS. Allan Cunningham Being taken to sup at Lord Monboddo's, mentions that John Wilson, printer, Kil-old Hugh sat most of the time gazing abmarnock, on undertaking the first edition of stractedly on Miss Burnet, and being asked the poems, suggested the propriety of afterwards what he thought of her, he explacing a piece of a grave nature at the claimed, in a burst of his eloquent native beginning, and that Burns, acting on the tongue, which can be but poorly rendered in hint, composed or completed the Twa Dogs English, “She is the finest animal I ever in walking home to Mossgiel. Its exact date beheld.” Yet an enviously minute inquirer, is fixed at February 1786, by a letter of the in the letter-press accompanying the reprint poet to John Richmond
of Kay's Portraits, states that she had one PAGE 139. NOTE 119.-Kyle, the native blemish, though one not apt to be observed province of the poet, is supposed to derive —bad teeth. She died, in 1790, of conits name from Coilus, a real or supposed sumption, at the age of twenty-five, and the king of the Picts, alluded to in the notes to poet wrote an elegy upon her.--CHAMBERS. the Vision. Recent antiquaries are disposed | PAGE 143, NOTE 123.--- An hostelry of to deduce the appellative from quite a dif- high repute throughout the neighbourhood, ferent source, from choillie, to wit, signifying situated at the Auld Brig End. in the Celtic tongue a woody region. Upon / PAGE 143, Note 124.—This clock, as well the whole, the popular etymology appears as the tower or steeple in which it stood, has the more rational.
been removed for some years. The steeple PAGE 139, NOTE 120,--Cuchullin's dog was formerly attached to the old gaol of in Ossian's Fingal.
PAGE 141, NOTE 121.-In the early partPAGE 143, NOTE 125.--The ancient. of 1786, when the friends of his Jean forced Wallace Tower, which fell into a dangerous. her to break the nuptial engagement into state of repair, was ultimately pulled down, which he had clandestinely entered with her, and replaced by a new Tower, which is still and took legal steps to force him to find known by the same name. The Old Wallace security for the maintenance of her expec- Tower was an incongruous building, parted offspring—in this dismal time, when taking of the rude commixture of several