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styles of architecture, and from it rose a tune's Tavern, and was a member of the slender spire, which, though, by no means in Capillaire Club, which was coinposed of all exact keeping with the basement, certainly who inclined to the witty and the joyous." contributed to the picturesque aspect of the The poem was written in Dumfriesshire, building. The new tower stands upon the in 1790. same foundation in the High Street of Ayr. PAGE 145, NOTE 136.-Yearns-Eagles.
PAGE 143, NOTE 126.-The falcon, or as PAGE 146, NOTE 137.--"I look on Tum of it is commonly called, the Goshawk. The Shunter as my standard performance in the imagery of this passage is as beautiful as poetical line."--BURNS. the expression.
"When my father fewed his little property PAGE 143, NOTE 127.–A well-known near Alloway Kirk, the wall of the churchford in the River, immediately above the yard had gone to ruin, and cattle had free Auld Brig.
liberty of pasture in it. My father and two PAGE 143, NOTE 128.-Generally, as the or three neighbours joined in an application rapid enlightenment of the Scottish people to the town-council of Ayr, who were supehas dispelled the superstitions which were riors of the adjoining land, for liberty to wont to hang about some localities, even to rebuild it, and raised by subscription a sum the charm and poetical imagery with which for enclosing this ancient cemetery with a such superstitions served at times to invest wall : hence, he came to consider it as his them, the spirits of Garpal Water are yet burial place, and we learned that reverence acknowledged to retain their supremacy, and for it people generally have for the burialthe spot is as tirmly believed to be haunted place of their ancestors. My brother was by many of the peasants, as it was of old. living in Ellisland, when Captain Grose, on
Page 144, NOTE 129.--The source of the his perigrinations through Scotland, staid river Ayr.
some time at Carse-house in the neighbourPAGE 144, NOTE 130.-A narrow land- lood, with Captain Robert Riddel, of Glening place on the upward side of the chief riddel, a particular friend of my brother's. quay.
The antiquary and the poet were 'unco pack PAGE 144, NOTE 131,-Mr. McLachlan and thick thegither.' Robert requested of was at that time well known, and much ad- | Captain Grose, when he should come to mired for his taste in the perforinance of Ayrshire, that he would make a drawing of Scottish airs on the violin.
Alloway Kirk, as it was the burial-place of PAGE 145, NOTE 132.--A complimen- his father, where he himself had a sort of tary allusion to Captam Hugh Montyonery, claim to lay down his bones when they otherwise called Sodger lIugh by Burns, should be no longer serviceable to him; and (who subsequently succeeded to the Earldom added, by way of encouragement, that it was of Eglinton), and whose family seat of the scene of many a good story of witches Coilsfield is situated on the Faile, or Feal, a and apparitions, of which he knew the capsmall stream which falls into the river Ayr, tain was very fond. The captain agreed to at no great distance.
the request, provided the poet would fur. PAGE 145, NOTE 133.-In the foregoing nish a witch story, to be printed along with notes, on the Epistle to Davie, the intro- it. “Tam o' Shanter' was produced on this duction of Burns to Mrs. Stewart, of Stair, occasion, and was first published in has been detailed. The present passage is a 'Grose's Antiquities of Scotland.""--GILBERT complimentary allusion to the same lady. BURNS.
PAGE 145, NOTE 134. atrine was, as It was while spending his nineteenth sumwe have already had occasion to state, the mer in the parish of Kirkoswald, in Carrick, seat of Dr. Stewart, the father of Professor that the poet became acquainted with the Dugald Stewart, to whose honour, and in characters and circumstances afterwards incompliment of whom, this allusion is made. troduced into Tam o' Shanter. The hero
PAGE 145, NOTE 135.-" The Elegy on was an honest farmer, named Douglas GraCaptain Henderson is a tribute to the ham, who lived at Shanter, between memory of a man I loved much."-BURNS. Turnberry and Colzean. His wife, Helen Captain Henderson was a retired soldier, of MTaggart, was much addicted to superstiagreeable manners, and upright character, tious beliefs. Graham, dealing much in who had a lodging in Carrubber's Close, malt, went co Ayr every market day, whither Edinburgh, and mingled with the best so- he was frequently accompanied by a shoeciety of the city. Mr. Cunningham states, making neighbour, John Davidson, who on the authority of Sir Thomas Wallace, who dealt a little in leather. The two would knew him, that he “dined regularly at For- ofteu linger to a late hour in the taverus at
the market town. One night, when riding was considerably to the west of the present home more than usually late by himself, in a one, which, nevertheless, has existed since storm of wind and rain, Graham, in passing before the time of Burns. Upon a field over Brown Carrick Hill, near the Bridge of about a quarter of a mile to the north-west Doon, lost his bonnet, which contained the of the kirk, is a single tree enclosed with a money he had drawn that day at the market. paling, the last remnant of a group which To avoid the scolding of his wife, he imposed covered upon her credulity with a story of witches
--the cairn seen at Alloway Kirk, but did not the less
Where hunters faud the murdered bairn;' return to the Carrick Hill, to seek for his money, which he had the satisfaction to find, and immediately beyond that object is with his bonnet, in a plantation near the
the ford, road. Burns, hearing Graham's story told between jest and earnest among the smug
Where in the snaw the chapman smoor'd;" glers of the Carrick shore, retained it in his namely, a ford over a small burn (which memory, till, at a comparatively late period soon after joins the Doon), being two places of his career, he wove from it one of the most which Tam o' Shanter is described as having admired of his poems. Douglas Graham passed on his solitary way. The road then and John Davidson, the originals of Tam o' made a sweep towards the river, and, pasShanter and Souter Johnnie, have long sing a well which trickles down into the reposed in the churchyard of Kirkoswald, Doon, where formerly stood a thorn, on where the former had a handsome monu- which an individual, called in the poem ment, bearing a very pious inscription. Mungo's mither,' committed suicide, ap. CHAMBERS.
proached Alloway Kirk upon the west. PAGE 146, NOTE 138.-The village where These circumstances may here appear trivial, a parish church is situated is usually called but it is surprising with what interest any the Kirkton in Scotland. A certain Jean visitor to the real scene will inquire into, and Kennedy, who kept a reputable public-house behold every part of which can be associated, in the village of Kirkoswald, is here alluded however remotely, with the poem of Tam to.
o Shanter. The churchyard contains several PAGE 147, NOTE 139.—“Alloway Kirk, old monuments, of a very humble descripwith its little enclosed burial ground, stands tion, marking the resting-places of undistinbeside the road from Ayr to May bole, about i guished persons. Among those persons rest two miles from the former town. The William Burness, father of the poet, over church has long been roofless, but the walls whose grave the son had piously raised a are pretty well preserved, and it still retains small stone, recording his name and the its bell at the east eod.' Upon the whole, date of his death, together with the short the spectator is struck with the idea, that poetical tribute to his memory, which is the witches must have had a rather narrow copied in the works of the bard. But, for stage for the performance of their revels, as this monument, long ago destroyed and described in the poem. The inner area is carried away piecemeal, ti now divided by a partition-wall, and one part stituted one of somewhat finer.proportions; forms the family burial-place of Mr. Catch- and the churchyard of Alloway has now cart, of Blairston. The 'winnock bunker in become fashionable with the dead, as well as the east,' where sat the awful musician of the the living. Its little area is absolutely party, is a conspicuous feature, being a small crowded with modern monuments, referring window, divided by a thick muilion. Around to persons, many of whom have been brought the buiding are the vestiges of other open- from considerable distances, to take their ings, at any of which the hero of the tale rest in this doubly consecrated ground. may be supposed to have looked in upon the Among these is one to the memory of a perhellish scene. Within the last few years the son named Tyrie, who, visiting the spot old oaken rafters of the kirk were mostly some years ago, happened to express a wish entire, but they have now been entirely that he might be laid in Alljway churchtaken away, to form, in various shapes, yard, and, as fate would have it, was interred memorials of a place so remarkably signal- | in the spot he had pointed out within a ised by genius. It is necessary for those fortnight. Nor is this all; for even the who survey the ground in reference to the neighbouring gentry are now contending poem, to be informed that the old road from for departments in this fold of the departed, Ayr to this spot, by which Burns supposed and it is probable that the elegant mausolea his hero to have approached Alloway Kirk, 1 of rank aud wealth will soon be jostling with the stunted obelisks of humble worth | harp on the willow trees, except in some and noteless poverty."--Chambers's Jour- lucid intervals, in one of which I composed nal.
these lines.”_BURNS. PAGE 148, NOTE 140.--It is well known · PAGE 149, NOTE 145.-The “Prayer," that witches, or any other evil spirits, have and the “Stanzas," were composed when no power to follow a poor wight any further fainting fits, and other alarming symptoms than the middle of the nearest running of a pleurisy, or some other dangerous disstream. And, at the some time, it may not order (which indeed still threatens me) first be superfluous to hint to the benighted tra- put nature on the alarm."-BURNS. veller, that when he is unfortunate enough PAGE 149, NOTE 146.-Ruisseau, is the to fall in with the wierd sisters, or with bogies French, as Burn is the Scottish, term for on his road, --whatever be the danger of stream. Ruisseaux is the plural of Ruisseau, going forward, it is far less than that of | as Burns is of Burn; and hence the huretreat.---BURNS
morous translation of his own name in the PAGE 148, NOTE 141.--"In my early Elegy of Robert Burns. years nothing less would serve me than PAGE 150, NOTE 147.-The Rev. James courting the tragic muse. I was, I think, | | Steven, afterwards one of the Scotch clergy about eighteen or nineteen when I sketched in London, and ultimately minister of Kilthe outlines of a tragedy, forsooth: but the winning, in Ayrshire, was the hero of this bursting of a cloud of family misfortunes, piece of levity. The tradition in the family which had for some time threatened us, of Mr. Gavin Hamilton is, that the poet, in prevented my farther progress. In those passing to the church at Mauchline, called days I never wrote down any thing; so, at Mr. Hamilton's, who, being confined with except a speech or two, the whole has es- the gout, could not accompany him, but
lines, which I desired him, as parents do with children, to most distinctly remember, were the exclam- bring home a note of the text. At the conation from a great character-great inclusion of the service, Burns called again, occasional instances of generosity, and dar- and, sitting down for a minute at Mr. ing at times in villanies. He is supposed Hamilton's business table, scribbled these to meet with a child of misery, and to burst | verses, by way of a compliance with the out into this rhapsody." BURNS.
request. From a memorandum by Burns PAGE 148, NOTE 142.-—“There is scarcely himself, it would appear that there was a any earthly object gives me more I do not wager with Mr. Hamilton as to his producing know if I should call it pleasure-but some- a poem in a certain time, and that he gained thing which exalts me—something which en- l it by producing The Calf. raptures me--than to walk on the sheltered! PAGE 150, NOTE 143.-"At the time side of a wood or plantation, in a cloudy when Burns was beginning to exercise his winter's day, and hear the stormy wind powers as a poet, theological controversy howling amongst the trees, and raving over raged amongt the clergy and laity of his the plain. It is my best season of devotion ; ( native country. The prominent points remy mind is rapt up in a kind of enthusiasm lated to the doctrines of original sin and the to Him, who in the pompous language of Trinity; a scarcely subordinate one referred the Hebrew bard, “ Walks on the wings of to the right
ight of patronage. Burns took the the wind." In one of these seasons, just moderate and liberal side, and seems to have after a train of misfortunes, I composed delighted in doing all he could to torment Winter, a Dirge.-BURNS. According to the zealous party, who were designated as Gilbert Burns, this is one of Burns's earliest | the Auld Lights. The first of his poetic pieces, and he has assigned 1784 as its offspring that saw the light, was a burlesque date.
lamentation on a quarrel between two PAGE 148, NOTE 143.- A quotation from reverend Calvinists, which he circulated Young.
anonymously, and which, "with a certain PAGE 149, NOTE 144.-" There was a description of the clergy, as well as laity, period of my life that my spirit was well nigh met with roars of applause." This was the broken by repeated losses and disasters, T'wa Herds. The heroes of the piece were which threatened, and indeed effected, the the Rev. Alexander Moodie, minister of utter ruin of my fortune. My body, too, Riccarton, and the Rev. John Russell, miniswas attacked by that most dreadful dis- ter of a chapel of ease, at Kilmarnock, both temper, a hypochondria, or confirmed melan- of them eminent as leaders of the Auld choly. In this wretched state, the recollection Light party. In riding home together they of which makes me yet shudder, I hung my I got into a warm dispute regarding some
point of doctrine, or of discipline, which led glasses, wrote a neat small hand, and had to a rupture that appeared nearly incurable. not a furrow in his cheek or a wrinkle on They appear to have afterwards quarrelled his brow. He was Moderator of the General about a question of parish boundaries; and Assembly in 1775. He had a fine old when the point was debated in the Presby- clergymanly-kind of wit. In the house of a tery of Irvine, in presence of a great multi- man of rank, where he spent the night, an tude of the people (including Burns), they alarm took place afte
which lost temper entirely, and “abused each brought all the members of the family from other," says Mr. Lockhart, “with a fiery i their dormitories. The doctor encountered vehemence of personal invective such as has a countess in her chemise, which occasioned been long banished from all popular assem- some mutual confusion. At breakfast next blies, wherein the laws of courtesy are en- | morning, a lady asked him what he thought forced by those of a certain unwritten code." | when he met the countess in the lobby. Allan Cunningham gives a popular story of " Oh, my lady,” said he, “I was in a trance." this quarrel having ultimately come to blows; | Trance in Scotland signifies a passage or but if such had been the case, the poet vestibule, as well as a swoon. This amiable would certainly have adverted to it : man died, April 26, 1810, in the ninetyCHAMBERS.
second year of his age, and sixty-first of Page 150, NOTE 149.-Russell is de his ministry. scribed as a “large, robust, dark-com- PAGE 150, NOTE 157.-There were three plexioned man, imperturbably grave, fierce brothers of this name, descended froin the of tempcr, and of a stern expression of church historian, and all ministers-one at countenance.” He preached with much ve. | Eastwood, their ancestor's charge, the second hemence, and at the height of a tremendous at Stevenston, and the third, Dr. Peter voice, which, in certain states of the atmos- Woodrow, at Tarbolton. Dr. Peter is the phere, caught the ear at the distance of more person named in the poem. The assistant than a mile. He subsequently became minis. and successor, mentioned in the verse, was ter at Stirling, where he died at an advanced M'Math, elsewhere alluded to age.
PAGE 151, NOTE 158.--The Rev. Mr. PAGE 150, NOTE 150.--Dr. Robert Dun- (afterwards Dr.) Smith, who figures in the can, minister of Dundonald. Excepting in Holy Fair as one of the tent preachers. his limbs, which were short, he bore a strong PAGE 151, NOTE 159.-The hero of this personal resemblance to Charles James daring exposition of Calvanistic theology,
was William Fisher, a farmer in the neighPAGE 150, NOTE 151.- Rev. William bourhood of Mauchline, and an elder in Mr Peebles, of Newton-upon-Ayr. See notes Auld's session. He had signalised himself to Holy Fair, and Kirk's Alarm.
in the prosecution of Mr. Hamilton, elsePAGE 150, NOTE 152.--Rev. William where alluded to; and Burns appears to Auld, minister of Mauchline.
have wricten these verses in retribution of PAGE 150, NOTE 153.- Rev. Dr. Dal- the rancour he had displayed on that occasion. rymple, one of the ministers of Ayr. He died Fisher was, probably, a poor narrow-witted in 1814, having enjoyed his charge for the creature, with just sufficient sense to make a uncommon period of sixty-eight years. show of sanctity. When renoved to another
PAGE 150. NOTE 151.-Rev. William parish, and there acting as an elder, he was M'Gill, one of the ministers of Ayr, colleague found guilty of some peculations in the funds of Dr. Dalrymple. See note to Kirk's of the poor-to which Burns alludes in the Alarm
Kirk's Alarm. Ultimately, coming home Page 150, NOTE 155.—Minister of St. one night from market in a cart, in a state Quivox, an enlightened man, and elegant of intoxication, he fell from the vehicle, and preacher. He has been succeeded in the was found lifeless in a ditch next morning. parish by his son.
PAGE 151, NOTE 160.-These essays PAGE 150, Note 156.--Dr. Andrew were published in exposition of the doctrines Shaw, of Craigie, and Dr. David Shaw of of Dr. McGill, so violently persecuted by Croylton. Dr. Andrew was a man of ex. the heroes of orthodoxy. . cellent abilities, but extremely diffident- PAGE 152, Note 161.-Dr. Taylor of a fine speaker and an accomplished scholar. Norwich, whose doctrines were advocated by Dr. David, in personal respects, was a Goudie and McGill. prodigy. He was ninety-one years of age Page 152, NOTE 162.-A hearty partisan before he required an assistant. At that of the heterodox theological school, remarkperiod of life he read without the use of able amongst his fellow-farmers of the
neighbourhood, as a jolly companion and PAGE 152, Note 166.—This epistle way humorous, though somewhat coarse satirist first published by Lapraik himself amongst of the orthodox heroes. He occupied a farm his own works. called Adam hill, near Tarbolton.
PAGE 153, NOTE 167.--At that time PAGE 152, NOTE 163.-—"A certain humo- enjoying the appointment of assistant and rous dream of his was then making some successor to the Rev. Peter Woodrow, minister
Cunningham gives the following account of and a decided moderate. He enjoyed the the dream- Lord K., it is said, was in the friendship of the Montgomeries of Coilstield, practice of calling all his familiar acquaint- and of Burns; but unhappily fell into low ances brutes. Well, ye brute, how are ye spirits, in consequence of his dependent to-day?' was his usual mode of salutation. situation, and became dissipated. After Once in company. his lordship. having being for some time tutor to a family in the indulged in this rudeness more than his Western Isles, it is said that this unfortunate wont, turned to Rankine and exclaimed, man ultimately enlisted as a common soldier. ‘Brute, are ye dumb? have ye no queer PAGE 153, NOTE 168.—Gawn, Gawin, Bly story to tell us?! I have nae story,' Gavin. Alluding to Gavin Hamilton. said Rankine; but last night I had an odd PAGE 154, NOTE 169.--All the allusions dream.' 'Out with it, by all means,' said | contained in this poem are of s the other. ‘Aweel, ye see,' said Raukine, 'I and refer to such public events as will be dreamed I was dead, and that for keeping readily understood, and there is something other than gude company on earth, I was exceedingly humorous in the exposition of sent down stairs. When I knocked at the the views and remarks of the peasantry low door, wha should open it but the deil; respecting the great leaders, or great events, he was in a rough humour, and said, 'Wha which happen to become matters of notomay ye be, and what's your name?' 'My riety. name,' quoth I, 'is John Rankine, and my PAGE 154, NOTE 170.-An allusion to dwelling-place was Adam-hill.' 'Gae wa' the unanticipated return of a considerable wi'ye,' quoth Satan, 'ye canna be here; majority of Scottish members in support of ye're ane o' Lord K.'s brutes--hell's fou o William Pitt, upon the election incidental to them already.'” This sharp rebuke, it is said, the opening of his administration. polished for the future his lordship's speech. PAGE 156, NOTE 171.-An incident
PAGE 152, NOTE 164.--Some occurrence which actually occurred, and which was is evidently here alluded to. We have witnessed by Burns, at Mauchline, in Decemheard the following account of it, but cannot ber 1785. vouch for its correctness :-A noted zealot PAGE 156, NOTE 172.-Lunardi Bonnet. of the opposite party (the name of Holy The fashions in those days, as in these, were Willie has been mentioned, but more apt to receive denominations from persons probably, from the context, the individual or events which had created general senmust have been a clergyman), calling on Mr. sation. In our time we have our Kossuth, Rankine on business, the latter invited him or Klapka hats and the like. Lunardi had to take a glass. With much entreaty, the made several balloon ascents during the visitor was prevailed on to make a very summer of 1785, in Scotland, and as these small modicum of toddy. The stranger excited much interest at the time, Lunarremarking that the liquor proved very strong, | di's name was suivant les regles, appended to Mr. Rankine pointed out, as any other land various articles of dress, and to bonnets lord would have done, that a little more hot | amongst others. water might improve it. The kettle was PAGE 156, NOTE 173.-In May 1785, accordingly resorted to, but still the liquor Mr. Pitt made a considerable addition to the appeared over-potent. Again he filled up. number of taxed articles, amongst which Still no dimunition of strength. All this were female servants, in order to liquidate time he was sipping and sipping. By and ten millions of unfunded debt. The poem bye, the liquor began to appear only too seems to have been called forth by the weak. To cut short a tale, the reluctant receipt of the next annual mandate from guest ended by tumbling dead-drunk on the Mr. Aiken, of Ayr, surveyor of taxes for floor. The trick played upon him, requires, the district. of course, no explanation. --CHAMBERS. PAGE 156, NOTE 174.-The off fore
Page 152, NOTE 165.--An allusion to horse, or leader, in the plough. some song which had been promised by John PAGE 156, NOTE 175.-The off draught Rankine to Burns.
horse in the plough.