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immortality, offers a fitting occasion for this deliberate memorial. It is well, I think, in the case of a great genius that some memorial should be deliberate, and that some should be immediate. It has recently been alleged in connection with the memorial to Robert Louis Stevensonfirst, that his works are his best memorial, and, secondly, that it would be well to wait and see how these works endure. In answer to the first contention, I would submit that it would put an end to memorials altogether except in cases where they would be injurious. It would put an end to memorials of any worthy and enduring fame, and would encourage them only in the case of spurious and fleeting reputations. And as to the second contention, I would urge this, that it is well enough for the genius, but is not sufficient for the generation in which he lived. They will be taunted with want of appreciation, as were the contemporaries of Burns, if they do not, as soon as may be, testify that they realised the fact that a genius had dwelt amongst them. On the other hand, it is also well when, a century after the death of a great man, his countrymen unite to show by commemoration, as in the present case, that his memory is still green and living amongst them. As to this statue of Burns, it may be well to remember two or three points. Manifold are the statues of Burns, but of busts or statues taken from life there is not one. There is not even a cast of his face taken after death (though we have the cast of his skull), inestimably precious as that would be now. We have to some extent, therefore, to idealise our statues of Burns; though not so much so as in the case of that statue of Highland Mary, which was erected the other day—a graceful tribute to a charming character, but one of whom. we possess no likeness whatever. Still, of Burns we have no likeness but canvas, and canvas that is not wholly satisfactory, for the engraving (which was, after all, touched from life) always seems to me far more powerful and lifelike than the original painting—to give much more of the vigour of the face and of the spirit flashing through the eyes. Skirving's head, again, refined and exquisite as it is, seems to me more delicate and less human than the man as we have him described by credible contemporaries and eye-witnesses. At anyrate, we have ample scope in a statue of Burns for idealisation; and, after all, that is not a bad thing, if we cannot have an image taken directly from life, and approved as a close likeness by contemporaries. Let us try and realise what Burns was like. We often please ourselves with fancies of what such and such a character would look like if he walked into the room where we are sitting. It is, perhaps, a vain effort, for our surroundings baffle us. How can we fancy Moses, or Homer, or Cæsar, or St. Paul, or Atilla, or Peter the Hermit, walking into our library. The mere furniture scares the idea. Luther in his monk's dress we can conceive, for the dress remains unchanged. And when we get down to the era of portraiture, we can strain our imaginations to see the subjects of Holbein and Rembrandt and Vandyke walking out of their frames; and so on to our own times; until we can realise men who never existed, such as Pickwick or Colonel Newcome, or even Squire Western or Moses Primrose, without a wrench. (Cheers.) The difficulty really lies, not in the form or face of a man, but in the embodiment of that inexplicable force called genius. You can realise, perhaps, the face. What none can realise is the manner and


degree in which genius animated it. Their eyes did not always gleam, their nostrils did not always dilate, their lips did not always curl-perhaps they never did—they were not always the figure portrayed for us in works of imagination-perhaps they never were. But, nevertheless, one could not be with them for long without seeing in their faces that they were different from their fellows. What, then, was Burns like, so far as we can tell? We have, as it happens, few more vivid portraits of Burns than that sketched in your own town. A hundred and nine years ago Burns visited Paisley. Nine years ago would have been the centenary of that visit, and perhaps the fittest opportunity for erecting this statue. The recollection of one who saw him then is distinct, “of a big, stout, athletic man, of a brown, ruddy complexion, broad-chested, erect, and standing firmly on his legs, which perhaps were rather clumsy, though hid in yellow top boots. His diess was a blue coat and buckskin breeches, and his cast seemed what we should now style that of a gentleman farmer.” But the observer was struck with a certain gloominess that seemed to have possession of his countenance and general bearing. As he stood at noonday in the street, an ardent admirer, who readily recognised him from his portrait, introduced himself, and took him home. Burns then made the remark that

perhaps people were apt to attach more merit to poetry than was its due, for that, after all, it was only natural ideas expressed in melodious words." There we see the true poetic nature, for poetry is much more than this, but as it freely flowed from Burns, to him it seemed little or nothing. But there are a score of word-portraits of Burns. Walter Scott's, so well known, is one of the best.

Here is the last living one, and one of the most curious -“He was brought back (from Brow Well), I think, in a covered springcart, and when he alighted at the foot of the street in which he lived he could scarcely stand upright. He reached his door with difficulty: He stooped much, and there was a visible change in his looks. Some may

hink it not unimportant to know that he was at that time dressed in a blue coat, with the undress nankeen pantaloons of the Volunteers, and that his neck, which was inclining to be short, caused his hat to turn up behind in the manner of the shovel hats of the Episcopal clergy. Truth obliges me to add that he was not fastidious about his dress.” And here is the last

-“He lay in a plain unadorned coffin, with a linen sheet drawn over his face, and on the bed and around the body herbs and flowers were thickly strewn, according to the usage of the country. He was wasted somewhat by long illness, but death had not changed the swarthy hue of his face, which was uncommonly dark and deeply marked.

The dying pang was visible in the lower part, but his broad and open brow was pale and serene, and around it his sable hair lay in masses, slightly touched with grey, and inclined more to wave than to curl.” You at Paisley, then, have a word-photograph of the Poet, which will survive many statues.

But it is well to have a statue too. It is well that men, as they walk the street, as they pursue the toil or the business which binds them so close to the earth, should be able to lift their eyes to a ire which raises them for a moment from the terrestrial to the celestial. (Cheers.); For genius is in itself celestial, as something spiritual, unsubstantial, infinite, above and beyond ordinary mortality. And besides genius, this

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effigy recalls much to raise us-patriotism, tenderness, contempt of money, sympathy, humanity. It is for these that the affection of Scotland, as apart from admiration, clusters round Burns. (Cheers.) I think, indeed, that the greatest of the many debts that we Scotsmen of the latter end of the nineteenth century owe to Burns is that he keeps our enthusiasm alive. It is impossible to over-estimate that debt, for though a nation cannot live on enthusiasm alone, it is its salt and its savour ; without it we degenerate and decay ; for an individual, indeed, it seems nobler to fail with it than to succeed without it. Great, indeed, are its virtues. It was enthusiasm that sent forth the crusades, that nerved the French Revolution to beat back the world, and Burke, single-handed, to breast the French Revolution ; it was enthusiasm that freed our slaves and made Italy a nation. Everywhere it is a rare and divine force, a sublime gas that may raise you to the stars or explode you ; guided by wisdom, it may achieve the impossible. And it is well to remember this now, when a wave of moral passion is sweeping over the land, and we see what we can see in no other country--a nation alight with disinterested moral enthusiasm, with a towering indignation against the oppressor and a glowing sympathy for the oppressed. (Renewed cheering.) Some of us have feared that a numbness was creeping over our people, and that the spirit which animated Cromwell and Drake and Byron was paralysed or dead. But this has been a great awakening, and putting all controversial matters of policy on one side, whatever may be the result, I, for one, rejoice to see that the Britain which has always been the foe of the oppressor, the friend and shelter of the oppressed, is unchanged and unchangeable.

“We have proved we have hearts in a cause ;

We are noble still.” (Cheers.) is to Burns, then, that we owe our perennial supply as distinguished from gusts and flashes of this precious quality. To Burns we owe it that we, canny, long-headed Scots, do not stagnate into prose; his genius and character are the Gulf Stream which prevents our freezing into apathy and material life. The Scottish character is proud and reserved ; we want a hero who will keep us warm.

Wallace and Bruce are too Knox wants a little warming himself. Mary Queen of Scots does not unite us all. Scott, though we all love him, is not so compact or picturesque as Burns. He never fails us; we rally regularly and constantly to his summons and his shrine; his lute awakens our romance and charms the sunless spirits of darkness ; his is the influence that maintains an abiding glow in our dour character. (Cheers.) Do you remember the line that Blackie quoted on his death-bed? “The psalms of David and the songs of Burns”—but “the Psalmist first,” he added. Those were the last words of that brave intellect and typical Scot, and they contain the secret of many a Scottish character.

Strangers may wonder at our worship, but these do not understand the enthusiasm excited by a sympathy that survives time and the grave, or the pride that cherishes a national and immortal heirloom. (Loud cheers.)

Mr. J. Roy Fraser, in afterwards handing over the statue to the Chief Magistrate of the burgh, gave a history of the work of the Tannahill


Choir in its relation to the Burns Statue, and paid a tribute to those who had contributed to the success of the movement. On behalf of the Tannahill Choir and its committee, on behalf of his venerable friend, ex-Provost Cochran, and Messrs. D. Wilson and A. R. Pollock, the only survivors of that committee which co-operated with the choir in 1884 for the proposed raising of a Burns statue, on behalf of the gentlemen invited to the Burns Statue Committee for the purpose of assisting them in the duty of procuring a suitable design, it was now his duty and privilege to hand over to Provost Mackenzie, as Chief Magistrate of the municipality of Paisley, this splendid statue, and he hoped and trusted it would remain, to many future generations, a memorial of the musical enthusiasm of Paisley's sons and daughters, and a signal proof of the power and influence of Scottish song, by which alone the statue was erected. (Loud cheers.


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Provost MACKENZIE, in accepting the custody of the statue, said, on behalf of the Magistrates and Town Council, and as representing the community, he most cordially and gratefully accepted this beautiful work of

It was exceedingly appropriate that Mr. Fraser should be the medium of presenting this gift, seeing the prominent part he had taken in raising the funds for its erection. In this busy world it was sometimes good to look backward, and doubly beneficial to have the shield of our nationality occasionally burnished by such a master hand as Lord Rosebery. (Cheers.) It stirred our nobler feelings, and inspired us for fresh effort. It had often been said that Paisley had been singularly fortunate in the generosity of her wealthier sons, who, in the goodness of their hearts, had provided them with many useful and valuable gifts. To-day, however, they saw before them generosity of a different kind—the generosity of the people to the people—for had they not, one and all, their little mite in this beautiful structure. (Cheers.) Let us, then, in the words of the Poet Laureate at Irvine, “guard it as a sacred treasure, and hand it down to our children as a priceless and untaxed inheritance.” (Loud cheers.)


Lord ROSEBERY was next called on to propose a vote of thanks to the sculptor. I was told, he said, that a vote of thanks was going to be proposed to me, and I am a little perplexed at the positions being reversed. (Laughter.) But, ladies and gentlemen, that matters very little-your climate does not permit of long harangues, unless, indeed, one is inured to that climate by residence. (Laughter.) Possibly in the development of species Scotsmen may arise who are able to address open-air meetings in Scotland, but at present they do not exist. (Renewed laughter.) I believe that the witches in the drama, in “Macbeth,” for instance, were accustomed to meet in wind, rain, and storm. I would I were a witch on t his occasion. (Laughter.) Not being so, I only ask you to pass a cordial vote of thanks to the sculptor for the work which he has produced on this occasion. So far as I can judge from a very cursory inspection, it is a finished work art, which you may regard with interest apart altogether from the interest of the subject. (Cheers.)

Mr. POMEROY briefly acknowledged.

Sir William Dunn, M.P., proposed a vote of thanks to Lord Rosebery for having, notwithstanding his many engagements, come to Paisley to perform this ceremony.

Lord Rosebery, in a sentence, replied; and a vote of thanks having been passed to the Chairman, on the motion of Sir THOMAS GLEN COATS, the proceedings were brought to a close.


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