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Jutes to the Correspondence of Burns.
PAGE 268, NOTE 1.--Mr. James Burness, of in the foregoing portion of this volume, in Montrose, stood in the relationship of first the dissertation on the Life of Robert cousin to Robert Burns. The father of Burns. James was, like his brother William, in PAGE 275, NOTE 7.--The expressions humble circumstances, but had pursued a contained in this letter strongly betray the more prosperous career. We have already extreme distress from which Burns was had occasion to remark that the poet was suffering, owing to the forced separation the first of his family to abbreviate the between himself and Jean Armour.
PAGE 275, NOTE 8.--An allusion to the of James Burness, of Montrose, was the efforts which were being made at this time Lieutenant Burness of our own time, the by Mr. Aiken, and the other friends of the author of Travels in Bokhara.
poet, to procure for him an appointment to PAGE 270, NOTE 2.—Mr. John Rich- office in the Excise. mond was one of the earliest friends of PAGE 276, NOTE 9.-Miss Alexander, Burns at Mauchline. He had since en- the sister of Mr. Claude Alexander, who had barked in the study of the law, and was recently purchased the estate of Ballochpreparing for that profession at Edinburgh. i myle.
PAGE 271, NOTE 3.-Mauchline Corse is' PAGE 276, NOTE 10.--The 25th of the name of the Market Cross, in the centre January, 1759, was the day on which Burns of the village or town.
Page 277, Note 11.--The designation Motherwell, the piece to which Burns alludes applied to old bachelors. in this letter was that entitled the Mountain PAGE 277, NOTE 12.-Without a proper Dasiy, or as it was called in the original covering or cloak to protect you from its manuscript, The Goavan.
rigour. PAGE 272, NOTE 5.-Mr. David Brice PAGE 277, NOTE 13.- Lady Betty Cun.. was a shoemaker at Glasgow, and an early
ningham. associate of the poet.
Page 278, NOTE 14.-This paper was PAGE 272, NOTE 6.--Alluding to Miss | written by the author of The Man of Jean Armour's return from Paisley, to which | Feeling, Mr. Mackenzie. she had been sent by her parents, to be out | PAGE 279, NOTE 15.-- One of those. of the reach of her too ardent lover. Burns traditionary examples with which the lively writes in this spirit under the impression memory of Burns was 30 teeming. He that her own feelings towards him had appears to have retained and culled these actually been distorted by the influence of recollections of his early years with peculiar her friends. This was, to a certain extent, veneration. the case, as we have had occasion to notice PAGE 280, NOTE 16.-Dr. Moore's letter:
to which this letter was a reply, ran as | By genius in her native vigour nurst, follows:
On nature with impassion'd look he gazed;
my Then through the cloud of adverse fortune “ Clifford Street, Januarg 23rd, 1787.
burst « SIR-I have just received your letter, byl Indignant, and in light unborrowed blazed. which I find I have reason to complain of
ason to complain of Scotia! from rude affliction sheld thy bard; my friend Mrs. Dunlop, for transmitting to
His heaven-taught numbers Fame herself you extracts from my letters to her, by much
will guard. too freely, and too carelessly written for "I have been trying to add to the number your perusal. I must forgive her, however, | of your subscribers, but find many of my in consideration of her good intention, as acquaintance are already among them. I you will forgive me, I hope, for the freedom have only to add, that, with every sentiment I use with certain expressions, in con- of esteem, and the most cordial good wishes, sideration of my admiration of the poems in I am, your obedient humble servant, general. If I may judge of the author's
J. Moore." disposition from his works, with all the PAGE 282, NOTE 17.-Subjoineid is Dr. other good qualities of a poet, he has not Moore's reply to this letter, which is added the irritable temper ascribed to that race of to throw additional light on the subject:men by one of their own number, whom you
« Clifford Street, Feb. 28th, 1787. have the happiness to resemble in ease and curious felicity of expression. Indeed, the
“Dear Sir-Your letter of the 15th gave poetical beauties, however original and me a great deal of pleasure. It is not surbrilliant, and lavishly scattered, are not all I prising that you improve in correctness and admire in your works; the love of your taste, considering where you have been for native country, that feeling sensibility to all some time past. And I dare swear there is the obiects of humanity and the inde no danger of your admittiny arly polish pendent spirit which breathes through the which might weaken the vigour of your whole, give me a most favourable impression
native powers. of the poet, and have made me often regret
"I am glad to perceive that you disdain that I did not see the poems, the certain
the nauseous affectation of decrying your effect of which would have been my seeing
own merit as as a poet, an affectation which the author, last summer, when I was longer is displayed with most ostentation by those in Scotland than I have been for many years.
who have the greatest share of self-conceit, "I rejoice very sincerely at the encourage
and which only adds undeceiving falsehood ment you receive at Edinburgh, and I think
to disyusting vanity. For you to deny the you peculiarly fortunate in the patronage of
merit of your poems, would be arraigning the Dr. Blair, who, I am informed, interests
fixeil opinion of the public. himself very much for you. I beg to be re
“As the new edition of my View of membered to him; nobody can lave a Society is not yet ready, I have sent you warmer regard for that gentleman than I the former edition, which I beg you will have, which, independent of the worth of accept as a small mark of my esteem. It is his character, would be kept alive by the sent by sea to the care of Mr. Creech; and memory of our common friend, the late Mr. along with these four volumes for yourself, George B e .
I have also sent my Medical Sketches in, “Before I received your letter, I sent, en
one volume, for my friend Mrs. Dunlop, of .closed in a letter to - , a sonnet by Miss
Dunlop; this you will be so obliying as to Williams, a young poetical lady, which she
transmit, or, if you chance to pass soon by wrote on reading your Mountain Daisy;
Dunlop, to give to her. perhaps it may not displease you :
"I am happy to hear that your subscrip
tion is so ample, and shall rejoice at every "While soon “ the garden's flaunting flowers” piece of good fortune that befalls you. For decay
you are a very great favourite in my family; And scatter'd on the earth neglected lie, and this is a higher compliment than perhaps The Mountain-Daisy,' cherish'd by the ray you are aware of. It includes almost all the
A poet drew from heaven, shall never die professions, and, of course, is a proof that Ah, like that lonely flower the poet rose! your writings are adapted to various tastes
'Mid penury's bare soil and bitter gale; and situations. My youngest son, who is at He felt each storm that on the mountain Winchester school, writes to me, that he is blows,
translating some stanzas of your 'Hallowe'en' Nor ever knew the shelter of the vale. l into Latin verse, for the benefit of his com
rades. This unison of taste partly proceeds, than any you have as yet attempted. I mean, no doubt, from the cement of Scottish par- reflect upon some proper subject, and artiality, with which they are all somewhat range the plan in your mind, without begintinctured. Even your translator, who left ning to execute any part of it till you have Scotland too early in life for recollection, is studied most of the best English poets, and not without it. I remain, with great since- read a little more of history. The Greek rity, your obedient servant, J. MOORE.” land Roman stories you can read in some
PAGE 282. Note 18.-- Mr. William abridgment, and soon become master of Dunbar was writer to the Signet, in Edin-some of the most brilliant facts, which must burgh, and was the person celebrated in the highly delight a poetical mind. You should song, Rattling Roaring Willie.
also, and very soon may, become master of PAGE 286, NOTE 19.-Dr. Smith was
the heathen mythology, to which there are author of the well-known work. entitled everlasting allusions in all the poets, and The Wealth of Nations, and of some admirable
which in itself is charmingly fanciful. What translations of the best Greek authors.
will require to be studied with more attenPAGE 286, NOTE 20.-Subjoined is Dr. tion, is niodern history; that is, the history Moore's reply to this letter :
of France and Great Britain, from the begin
ning of Henry VII.'s reign. I know very "Clifford Street, May 23rd, 1787. well you have a mind capable of attaining “DEAR SIR-I had the pleasure of your knowledge by a shorter process than is letter by Mr. Creech, and soon after he sent commonly used, and I am certain you are me the new edition of your poems. You capable of making a better use of it, seem to think it incumbent on you to send attained, than is generally done. to each subscriber a number of copies pro “I beg you will not give yourself the portionate to his subscription inoney, but trouble of writing to me when it is inconyou may depend upon it, few subscribers venient, and make no apology when you expect inore than one copy, whatever they do write for having postponed it,-be assured
t inform you, however, I of this, however, that I shall always be that I took twelve copies for those sub- happy to hear from you. I think my friend scribers, for whose money you were so Mr. Creech told me that you had some poems accurate as to send me a receipt, and Lord in manuscript by you, of a satirical and Eglinton told me he had sent for six copies humorous nature (in which, by the way, I for himself, as he wished to give five of them think you very strong), which your prudent as presents.
friends prevailed on you to omit, particu"Some of the poems you have added in larly one called “Somebody's Confession ;' this last edition are very beautiful, particu- if you will entrust me with a sight of any larly the 'Winter Night, the ‘Address to one of these, I will pawn my word to give Edinburgh,' Green grow the rashes, and no copies, and will be obliged to you for a the two songs immediately following the perusal of them. latter of which is exquisite. By the way, “I understand you intend to take a farm, I imagine you have a peculiar talent for such and make the useful and respectable busicompositions which you ought to indulge. ness of husbandry your chief occupation : No kind of poetry demands more delicacy this, I hope, will not prevent your making or higher polishing. Horace is more ad occasional addresses to the nine ladies who
des than all his I have shown you such favour, one of whom other writings. But nothing now added is visited you in the auld clay biggin,' equal to your "Vision' and Cotter's Satur- Virgil, before you, proved to the world that day Night.' In these are united fine ima- there is nothing in the business of husbangery, natural and pathetic description, with dry inimical to poetry; and I sincerely hope sublimity of language and thought. It is that you may afford an example of a good evident that you already possess a great poet being a successful farmer. I fear it variety of expression and command of the will not be in my power to visit Scotland English language; you ought therefore to this season; when I do, I'll endeavour to deal more sparingly for the future in the find you out, for I heartily wish to see and provincial dialect.-Why should you, by using converse with you. If ever your öccasions that, limit the number of your admirers to call you to this place, I make no doubt of those who understand the Scottish, when your paying me a visit, and you may depend you can extend it to all persons of taste who on a very cordial welcome from this family. understand the English language? In my I am, dear Sir, your friend and obedient opinion, you should plan sorne larger work servant,
“J. MOORE." ! PAGE 286, NOTE 21.-Throng, a very | Take time and leisure to improve and mature familiar Scottish term for busy" having your talents; for, on any second production one's hands full.”
you give the world, your fate, as a poet, will PAGE 286, NOTE 22.-Burns here alludes very much depend. There is no doubt a to his excursion to the south, to visit gloss of novelty, which time wears off. As places of interest, and full of the traditions you very properly hint yourself, you are not of the Border contests of early Scottish to be surprised, if in your rural retreat you history.
I do not find yourself surrounded with that PAGE 287, NOTE 23.-An engraving glare of notice and applause which here executed by Beugo, from Nasmyth's por- shone upon you. No man can be a good trait of Robert Burns, and which all persons poet without being somewhat of a philosoadmitted to be even a more faithful likeness pher. He must lay his account, that any than the picture, although that possessed one, who exposes him to public observation, much merit.
will occasionally meet with the attacks of PAGE 287, NOTE 24.--Subjoined is Dr. illiberal censure, which it is always best to Blair's reply to this letter :
overlook and despise. He will be inclined
sometimes to court retreat, and to disappear “ Argyle Square, Edinburgh, May 4th, 1787.
from public view. He will not affect to “DEAR SIR- I was favoured this fore- shine always, that he may at proper seasons noon with your V
come forth with more advantave and energy. gether with an impression of your portrait, He will not think himself neglected if he be for which I return you my best thanks. not always praised. I have taken the The success you have met with I do not | liberty, you see, of an old man to give adthink was beyond your merits; and if I vice and make reflections, which your own have had any small hand in contributing to good sense will, I dare say, render unit, it gives me great pleasure. I know no necessary. way in which literary persons who are ad- “As you mention your being just about to vanced in years can do more service to the leave town, you are going, I should suppose, world, than in forwarding the efforts of to Dumfries-shire, to look at some of Mr. rising genius, or bringing forth unknown Miller's farms. I heartily wish the offers to merit from obscurity. I was the first person be made you there may answer, as I am perwho brought out to the knowledge of the suaded you will not easily find a more world the poems of Ossian; first, by the generous and better-hearted proprietor to
Fragments of ancient Poetry,' which I live under than Mr. Miller. When you published, and afterwards, by my setting on return, if you come this way, I will be happy foot the undertaking for collecting and to see you, and to know concerning your publishing the “Works of Ossian;' and I future plans of life. You will find ine by have always considered this as a meritorious the 22nd of this month, not in my house in action of my life.
Argyle square, but at a country house in Res. “Your situation, as you say, was indeed talrig, about a mile east of Edinburgh, near singular; and in being brought, all at once, the Musselburg road. Wishing you, with from the shades of deepest privacy to so the warmest interest, all success and prosgreat a share of public notice and observa- perity, I am, with true regard and esteem, tion, you had to stand a severe trial. I am dear Sir, yours sincerely, Hugh BLAIR.” happy that you have stood is so well; and, as far as I have known or heard, though in Page 287, NOTE 25.-Burns here alludes the midst of many temptations, without to an extempore address, which he wrote offreproach to your character and behaviour hand to Mr. Creech, of which the opening
“You are now, I presume, to retire to a words are Auld Chuckie Reekie's sair more private walk of life; and I trust will distrest, and which will be found amongst the conduct yourself there with industry, pru- poems in the foregoing part of this volume. dence, and honour. You have laid the PAGE 287, NOTE 26.—This patron was foundation for just public esteem. In the James, Earl of Glencairn, whose countenance midst of those employments which your had also reared Mr. Creech to eminence:-situation will render proper, you will not, I that celebrated bibliopole having formerly hope, neglect to promote that esteem, by travelled with the earl (then a very young cultivating your genius, and attending to mau), in the capacity of tutor and companion such productions of it as may raise your to his lordship. It was by Lord Glencairn, character still higher. At the same time, as we have already observed, that Burns be not in too great a haste to come forward. I was introduced to Creech.
PAGE 287, NOTE 27.-Burns here alludes a physician, at Harrowgate, and survived the to his friend and correspondent, for whom poet nearly forty years. She was celebrated he penned some of his best songs, namely, by the poet in the song entitled the Banks Mr. Johnson, the compiler and publisher of of the Devon. the Scots Musical Museum,
| PAGE 291, NOTE 37.—Mr. Hamilton's Page 288, NOTE 28.-Mr. Peter Hill, son, who figures in the poem entitled The afterwards in business for himself as a book- | Dedication, by the designation of Wee curlie seller, and honoured by the poet's corres- Johnnie. pondence. Reared with Mr. Creech, he was | PAGE 292, NOTE 38.-Mr. Walker was in his turn, master to Mr. Constable. He employed by the Duke of Athole, at his died at an advanced age in 1836.
seat of Blair Athole, in the capacity of tutor PAGE 288, NOTE 29.—This wonderful to his grace's children. It was at Blair beast had been named Jenny Geddes by the Athole that Burns had first met him, and poet, in honour of the old woman to whom become acquainted with him, only a few tradition assigns the credit of having cast days before the date of this letter, that is, in the first stool at the dean's head in St. the month of September, 1787, in the course
1, July 23, 1637, when the of one of his Highland excursions. liturgy imposed on Scotland by Charles I. PAGE 292, NOTE 39.--The poet here was first read.
alludes to the lines entitled the Address of PAGE 288, NOTE 30.-Auchtertyre was Bruar Water to the Duke of Athole. It will the seat of Sir William Murray, Bart., situ- be remembered that in a previous allusion to ated in a picturesque and romantic district, this subject, we stated that the spot was a few miles from Crieff. The son and suc- originally bare and unadorned by plantations, cessor of the then proprietor, namely, Sir for which the capabilities of the landscape so George Murray, was subsequently a mem- especially fitted this beautiful spot. Burns ber of Pitt's administration, as Secretary for was the first who suggested to the Duke the Colonies.
the bestowal of a little art in laying out this PAGE 288, NOTE 31.--This was Auch- portion of his estate in ornamental grounds tertyre, near Stirling, on the banks of the -a suggestion which the Duke quickly Teith. Mr. Ramsay was not only an accom- | adopted. plished scho:ar, and remarkable for his PAGE 292, NOTE 40.- The Duchess of distinguished classical attainments and re-Athole of the time being, was the daughter fined taste; but was possessed with a warm of Charles, Lord Cathcart (the ninth of the national enthusiasm, in favour of the simple title), and the “little angel band," of which and truthful imagery and diction of the less Burns speaks with such fervour, were polished literature of his own country. severally, the Lady Charlotte Murray, then
PAGE 289, NOTE 32.—Mr. Cruikshank, only twelve years of age, and subsequently of the High School, Edinburgh, and the married to Sir John Menzies, of Castle father of the fair Miss Cruikshank wliom Menzies ; Lady Amelia Murray, then seven Burns has so delicately celebrated in his years of age, and subsequently married to song of the Rosebud.
the Lord Viscount Strathallan; and lastly, PAGE 290, NOTE 33.—Mr. Ainslie was Lady Elizabeth Murray, then only five educated to the profession of the law, and months old (an infant in arms), and since subsequently became a writer to the Signet, married to Macgregor Murray, of Lanrick. in Edinburgh. He survived the poet nearly PAGE 292, Note 41.--The valley of half a century, and died at Edinburgh, on Strathspey has given its name to the dancing the 11th of April 1838, at the advanced age tunes in quick time, so popular in Scotland, of seventy-two years. At the time in and especially in the Highlands, and which question, he was barely over twenty. He derived their origin remotely from this had accompanied Burns on his poetical ex district. cursion through the southern or border | PAGE 292, NOTE 42.–Stonehaven, somedistricts.
| times also called Stonehive, by the people of PAGE 291, NOTE 34.—Mr. Andrew the country. Bruce, of the North Bridge, Edinburgh. | PAGE 292, Note 43.--The youngest
PAGE 291, NOTE 35.--Hugh, the neigh-daughter of the late James Chalmers, Esq., bour's herdsman, who cuts such a quaint of Fingland. She married, December 9, figure in the poem of Poor Mailie, Burns's | 1788, Lewis Hay, Esq., of the banking firm pet ewe.
of Sir William Forbes, James Hunter, and PAGE 291, NOTE 36.-Miss Charlotte Company, Edinburgh. Mrs. Hay has since Hamilton subsequently married Dr. Adair, resided at Pau, in the south of France.