Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

that did the poet so much mischief in Dumfries. "They would not have my company if I did not drink with them," Burns himself writes, "and I must give them a slice of my constitution." It is on these lines that Mr Paton argues his case. The pamphlet is well written and closely reasoned, characteristics all the more remarkable when it is considered that Mr Paton is a selftaught man. He never was at school, and though now considerably over threescore and ten, his pen is as trenchant and his tongue as eloquent as in the days of his fullest vigour. We cannot help thinking that he would have done better by issuing his booklet from the Scottish press, a hint, we hope he will profit by in a second edition. A few copies of the first, we believe, are still on hand, and may be had direct from the author. It should find a place on all Burnsiana bookshelves, and will well repay perusal.

NOTES AND QUERIES.

"VISITORS TO BURNS'S COTTAGE IN 1892.-During the year ending October, Burns's Cottage was visited by 28,240 persons, as against 27,545 last year, being an increase of 695, and about 4000 in excess of the number for 1890. A somewhat singular coincidence was noticed in that the number of visitors this year from 1st January till 17th September was exactly the same as during the period in the preceding year, the number on each occasion being 25,699. The week in which the largest number of persons are recorded as entering the cottage was the Glasgow Fair holiday week, in July, when 3,588 paid for admission ; while the day with the largest number of visitors was the Fair Monday of that week, when 1,327 persons passed the turnstiles. These figures in each instance show a slight diminution as compared with the abnormally large attendance of 1891. The second largest day was the Glasgow spring holiday (April 4), when there were 1,073 visitors. During the months of June, July, and August, there was an incessant flow of American tourists; indeed, if the battalions sent down by St. Mungo at the holiday season are left out of account, it may be safely stated that during the period named our friends hailing from the other side of the Atlantic constituted the larger proportion of the “pilgrims." There was a fair sprinkling of English tourists, but very few from the "Sister Isle "-a casual glance at the visitors' book revealing only a couple from Dublin “ on a bicycle tour through bonnie Scotland." The Lord High Constables of Edinburgh visited the cottage on 7th July; Sir Benjamin Baker and Sir William Arrol, of Forth Bridge fame, were at the poet's shrine in August; and on 5th October the following entries occur:-" Andrew Carnegie, New York, and youngest burgess of Ayr" and "Louise W. Carnegie." One gentleman, very particular as to his identity, notifies that he is the author of “Woodland and Shingle," &c.; while a zealous Dunoon politician is careful to append to his signature the significant letters "G.L." Strange to say there is only one

poetic effusion in the book, and that, too, the work of an Ayrshire man.

Here it is:

Hail! Scotland's bard, and greatest son,

Thy rich, sweet song has touched each one;
A manly spirit, thou dids't teach,

Was in the scope of all men's reach.

Regarding the Monument, the number of visitors registered monthly was as follows:-October (1891), 1,420; November, 101; December, 92; January (1892), 223; February, 94; March, 180; April, 2,781; May, 1,680; June, 5,630; July, 13,312; August, 8,658; September, 3,943; giving a total of 38,114. The largest number of visitors on one day was 2,232. This was on the Glasgow Fair Monday, and is a record so far as the Monument is concerned. On the Glasgow Fair Saturday the number of visitors was 1,567."

UNPUBLISHED LETTER OF BURNS.-The following letter, in the Poet's hand, I transcribed in New Zealand. I cannot discover any printed copy of it :

"DEAR SIR,-Any more letters for me that may come to your care, send them to Dumfries, directed to be detained till called for.-I mean this direction only for a week; afterwards direct to me at Mossgiel, near Mauchline :-To-day I set out for a ride thro' Northumberlandshire. I beg you or Mr. Creech will acquaint me whenever he returns.-I am, Dear Sir, yours,

Berry well, 24th May, 1787.

ROBERT BURNS.

P.S.-I recd a bill from Mr. Pattison, which he has wrote to you about. My letter granting receipt had miscarried, but I have wrote him again to-day.-R. B.

Mr. Hill, at Mr. Creech's shop, Edinburgh.-Bears postmark thus: DUNSE."

(£10 paid by the Caledonian Society of Christchurch, Canterbury, N.Z., for the above letter in May, 1884.-Ed.)

[D. S.]

UNPUBLISHED NOTE OF BURNS.-The following interesting note in the handwriting of Burns is in the collection of George Esdaile, Esq., Platt-in-Rush, Ohio. On a piece of paper, 5% in. by 4 in., is written the following memo. :—

"Please send me by the Bearer, my servt., a bar of shoeing iron, which place to acct. of [2/9.]-Gentlemen, your very humble servt., ROBERT BURNS.

Ellisland, October 8th, 1790.

To Messrs Cr...bies & Co.,
Merchts., Dumfries."

Messrs Crosbies marked the price of the bar as 2s. 9d., and put the order on the file where it must have remained many years, as the rust has acted on the paper and eroded the OS in their name.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ANOTHER UNPUBLISHED NOTE.-The following Excise Notice, in the holograph of the poet, served upon Robt. Moore, Esq., was presented to the Dumfries and Maxwelltown Observatory by Wm. Johnston, Esq., of Cowhill:

"Robt. Moore in Dumfries I hereby intimate to you that by decreet of the Justices of the Peace for the County of Dumfries you are fined in the sum of 1 £ Ster. for making bricks without entry-and if the said sum be not paid within 14 days from this date you will incur an additional expence of 2d on each 1 Sh. Ster.

26 Oct. 1789."

ROBT. BURNS.

Does any one know anything of the following?

"FLITTING OF A BURNS RELIC.-Mr Wright, of the Strathbrock Hotel, Broxburn, has purchased for a handsome sum the window of a house in Kirkliston, originally an inn, at which Burns passed a night in one of his journeys from Edinburgh. On one of the panes the poet scratched the lines:

'The auts about a clod employ their cares,

And think the business of the world is theirs.
Lo! waxen combs, seem palaces to bees,

And mites conceive the world to be a cheese.' The window is being suitably encased, and will be placed in a prominent position in the hotel.

"ADDRESS TO THE DEIL."-Burns's famous "Address" which, as all the world knows, appeared in the first edition of his poems, must have darted, in the eternal fitness of things, through auld Scotland with the speed of the ancient fiery cross. Though the Poet added not the mystic letters R.S.V.P., yet it drew forth, ere he died, three printed and published replies. From the fountain-head, to wit, the now world-renowned press of "Wee Johnie," appeared only four years thereafter, strangely enough, in a volume of sermons, the first of these, entitled— "The Deil's answer to his verra friend-R. Burns." "Sermons in two volumes by John Dun, V.D.M.," is a book now rarely opened, except by the curious in search of this "Answer" and a short reference to Burns and "The Holy Fair"; or by the student of obsolete literature. M'Kie, in his Bibliography, says this "Reply" was written by one Ebenezer Picken. But, let it

be noted that "Auld Hornie" is omnipresent, for we find him replying from both sides of Scotland at a breath. In the same year appears a long poem of eighteen stanzas in the measure of the "Address," with a six-lined introductory rhyme "To the Reader." It is titled "The Deil's Reply," and occurs in "Poems, chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, by David Morison: Montrose: Printed by David Buchanan-1790."

"Curs'd be the verse, how smooth soe'er it flow,

Which tends to make one honest man my foe."-Pope.

This early and interesting item of Burnsiana, hailing as it does, from the calf country of Burns's father, has apparently been overlooked. I do not find it in M'Kie's Bibliography, nor in the supplemental list published in last year's Chronicle. In M'Kie, however (page 113), there appears a note under the Poems of John Learmont (1791), which would seem to refer to this reply of Morison's. Five years elapse and "Clootie" is at it again. This time from the South, in an "An Address to the Deil by Robert Burns, with the answer by John Lauderdale, near Wigtown, printed in the year 1795," which I find catalogued in your last Chronicle.-WM. YOUNG, R.S.W.

Mr. Young has in his possession a well-preserved copy of Morison's Poems.—[ED.]

ADDENDA TO POET'S DESCENDANTS (p. 34 of present issue).The following corrections and additions were kindly supplied by Mr. Burns-Begg, of Kinross, but they did not reach us in time to be inserted in the proper place.

CHILDREN OF ISABELLA (MRS. BEGG).

Robert Burns, born 9th May, 1798; died 25th July, 1876.
Agnes Brown, born 17th April, 1800; died 1st May, 1883.

Gilbert, born 16th February, 1802; died January, 1885.

Isabella Burns, born 27th April, 1806; died 27th December, 1886.

A full list of the grand-children of Mrs. Begg would require a large amount of space. The family of the Schoolmaster of Kinross alone included seven sons and three daughters.

BURNS'S CONNECTION WITH THE Canongate KilwinnING LODGE.-Mr. D. Murray Lyon, Secretary of Grand Lodge for Scotland, prints in the Freemason, the full terms of the minute

L

« PredošláPokračovať »