Obrázky na stránke

aye and rabbiting, come back from the dim past, causing sometimes a smile, sometimes a sigh, and it may be sometimes a tear. To-night if our old folks are living, we are again to them as in those days, and all our childish looks, and ways, and sayings are flashing through their minds, and unconsciously a silent prayer for our welfare is rising up on high. Will such memories and aspirations not be reciprocated, and though hundreds of miles separate the bodies, Hallowe'en again to-night unites the affections so closely allied.

Though we have become so genteel in these days that we can dook for apples with a fork, and pare the skin wi' a silver knife, and waltz and polka, but cannot dance the Hieland Fling, or the Flowers o' Edinboro', or the Scottish Reel, or even sing all the words of Auld Lang Syne, yet it is good that occasionally we renew our associations with the land of "brown heath and shaggy wood," and that we commemorate her customs, that we recall early memories; and meeting our fellows, hand to hand, and heart to heart, refresh ourselves for the battle of life, and where we can, lend a helping hand or a cheering word to a brother in distress.

"Then closer yet my brother nearer,

Hand joined with hand, heart entwined with heart,
Shall we not be to each the kindlier, dearer,

Meeting thus briefly that we soon must part."

Ladies and gentlemen, with great pleasure I give you Hallowe'en and its associations, and God bless the bairns, old and young.


The annual general meeting of this Club was held in the Gillespie Memorial Hall. Mr Robert Jackson, president, acted as chairman. Minutes of previous meetings were read and approved of. The items of income and expenditure for the past year, as contained in the treasurer's books, were read over, and showed that the income of the Club for the year had been £26 8s 64d, and the expenditure for general purposes of the Club £20 10s 3d, leaving a balance of £5 18s 3d to carry to surplus fund. This balance was considered most satisfactory, as the Club had, during the past year, spent nearly double the sum of the previous years in providing better prizes for the school children's competition, besides some valuable prizes presented by honorary members and friends, who look upon the competition as an item worthy of encouragement. On the whole, the Club has had a most prosperous year, the membership now being the largest since its inauguration. A great measure of this success is due to the past year's acting committee, who have been most diligent and attentive in promoting the usefulness of the Club. W. Forrester, Esq., of Arngibbon, and D. H. Mack, Esq., Bank of Scotland, Buchlyvie, were added to the list of hon. members. J. Monteath, Esq., J.P., Wright Park, was unanimously elected hon. president of the Club; Mr Robert Jackson, Mains of Boquhan, president, and Mr Thomas Syme, Strathview, secretary and treasurer. The committee was empowered to arrange for having the annual concert about 20th November in aid of the scholars' competition fund. A vote of thanks to the .chairman terminated the proceedings.

The Secretary writes :-It might also be interesting to other Federated Clubs to learn that this Kippen Club is specially favoured in having Stephen Mitchell, Esq., J.P., of Boquhan, as one of its honorary members, because he forms, as it were, a direct link from the Poet to the Club, in that Mr Mitchell's grandfather was a trusted and warm friend of the Poet. The present Mr Mitchell has also in his possession many most valuable relics of the Poet which have been handed down from his grandfather—such as poems in Burns's own hand-writing, one of his Excise day-books with signatories, besides the original Burgess Ticket presented to Burns when he was made a burgess of Linlithgow in 1787. I enclose you a copy of the Burgess Ticket :—“ At Linlithgow, the seventeenth day of November, one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven years, The Which Day In presence of James Andrew, Esquire, Provost of the Burgh of Linlithgow, William Napier, James Watsone, Stephen Mitchell, John Gibson, Baillies; and Robert Speeden, Dean of Guild; compeared Mr Robert Burns, Mossgeil, Airshire- -who was made and created Burgess andGuild Brother of the Said Burgh, having given his oath of Fidelity according to the Form used thereanent.-Extracted by JAS. TAYLOR, Clk." This Burgess Ticket has also a Roll seal on Back.



[ocr errors]



On the 43rd session of the Club, the annual dinner was held in the Club rooms, 36 Nethergate, Dundee, on Friday, 25th January, 1902, Mr James Binny, president, in the chair, who proposed the "Immortal Memory” in exceptionally eloquent terms. The following is an abstract :—

"And this suggests to me what I might call, paradoxically, the glorious inconsistencies of Burns. The desire to be, or rather to appear consistent, is generally the index of a poor nature. If a man is a live man at all he must have varying moods and passions, changing likes and dislikes, and if he resolves that he shall only appear in one attitude, as if he were perpetually sitting for his portrait, he is to that extent unreal, and, without using the word in its worst sense, hypocritical-the man is acting a part. I think that is true of ordinary men, but when we come to a rich nature like that of Burns, with his broad outlook and his wealth of sympathy, such a thing is impossible."


[ocr errors]



Jan. 13

Poets who have influenced Burns,

25 Anniversary Dinner - The Immortal Memory, William Wallace, M.A., LL.D. Feb. 3 The Graphic Arts-A Retrospect, Andrew Black, R.S.W. Mar. 2 A Trip to Songland and some

singers we met there,

James Walsh.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

J. H. Pearson.



UNDER the above title, Mr James Walsh, who is already well-known in Burns literary circles, embodies the substance of a lecture delivered before the Rosebery Burns Club, on 10th March, 1903, which was so favourably received that the author was induced to preserve it in the permanent form of the elegant brochure now before us. Adopting the figure of a flower garden, Mr Walsh culls a nosegay of blossoms as he strolls with us through the Burns Elysium, and descants upon the beauties of each blossom before adding it to the bouquet. In this way he directs attention to Burns's naturalness, his truth, his pity, his sympathy, his big-hearted charity, his penitence, and his remorse, his suggestive comments being pointed by an apt quotation under each head. But he does not follow the wearisome path of mere platitude and illustration; he manifests throughout a thorough grip of his subject, and expresses himself clearly, forcibly, and eloquently. For example, when speaking of the poet's intense sympathy with the honest poor, he says "There was the surging of a divine discontent within his soul— -an intense longing-possibly not for what is generally considered the supreme good—the higher, holier ideals and objects of the spiritual-but certainly for better things and sweeter conditions, and these, perhaps, not so much for himself as for his fellows."

We are sorry to observe that Mr Walsh quotes the second-rate doggerel of "The Tree of Liberty" as an authenticated production of Burns, and that against his own better judgment as partially revealed in the context. The evidence on which Robert Chambers admitted the composition in 1838 is of the flimsiest character, and immeasurably distant from conviction even though substantiated. The production condemns itself, and how the Centenary editors printed it, after stigmatising it as "trash which Burns neither composed nor copied," is beyond our comprehension.

We heartily commend Mr Walsh's book to every true lover of the Bard.


THIS is entirely a local production and therefore all the more valuable as a reliable repository of topographical facts. The author is Mr William B. Reid, who is also the proprietor of "Ye Burns Press" from which the "Guide" has been issued. In addition to the dry facts of the “ Directory,' this little book contains an admirable epitome of the Burnsiana of Mauchline and its neighbourhood. An excellent map accompanies the letterpress, which cannot fail to prove useful to the pilgrim in the Burns country.


T.P's Weekly, January 23rd, 1903.

WE have much pleasure in calling the attention of our readers to the excellent article on the national bard, by Mr T. P. O'Connor, the accomplished editor

of the "Weekly," which appeared in that serial last January. Apart from its intrinsic excellence as a thoughtful and sympathetic deliverance on Burns, it is specially interesting as coming from an Irishman whose literary faculties render him no mean authority on the subject. His broad method of treatment is a refreshing commentary on the narrow Anglicanism which disfigures certain recent attempts in the same line.






Thursday, 21st July.—This morning Mr Robert Burns died after a long

Monday, 25th July.—This day, at 12 o'clock, went to the burial of Robert Burns, who died on the 21st, aged 38 years. In respect to the memory of such a genius as Mr Burns, his funeral was uncommonly splendid. The military here consisted of the Cinque Ports Cavalry and Angusshire Fencibles, who, having handsomely tendered their services, lined the streets on both sides from the Court-House to the burial ground. (The corpse was carried from the place where Mr Burns died to the Court-House last night.) Order of procession :-The firing party, which consisted of twenty of the Royal Dumfries Volunteers (of which Mr Burns was a member) in full uniform with crapes on the left arm, marched in front with their arms reversed, moving in a slow and solemn time to the Dead March in " Saul," which was played by the military band belonging to the Cinque Ports Cavalry. Next to the firing party was the band, then the bier or corpse supported by six of the Volunteers, who changed at intervals. The relations of the deceased and a number of the respectable inhabitants of both town and country followed next. Then the remainder of the Volunteers followed in rank, and the procession closed with a guard of the Angusshire Fencibles. The great bells of the churches tolled at intervals during the time of the procession. When arrived at the churchyard gate the funeral party formed two lines and leaned their heads on their firelocks pointed to the ground. Through this space the corpse was carried and borne to the grave. The party then drew up alongside of it, and fired three volleys over the coffin when deposited in the earth. Thus closed a ceremony which on the whole presented a solemn, grand, and affecting spectacle, and accorded with the general sorrow and regret for the loss of a man whose like we can scarce see again. As for his private character and behaviour, it might not have been so fair as could have been wished, but whatever faults he had I believe he was always worst for himself, and it becomes us to pass over his failings in silence, and with veneration and esteem look to his immortal works, which will live for ever. I believe his extraordinary genius may be said to have been the cause of bringing him so soon to his end, his company being courted by all ranks of people, and being of too easy and accommodating a

temper, which often involved him in scenes of dissipation and intoxication, which by slow degrees impaired his health, and at last totally ruined his constitution. For originality of wit, rapidity of conception, and fluency of nervous phraseology he was unrivalled. He has left a wife and five children in very indigent circumstances, but I understand very liberal and extensive subscriptions are to be made for them. His wife was delivered of a child about an hour after he was removed from the house. [The Grierson Diary-Re

printed from the " Dumfries and Galloway Cou ier and Herald," 1890.]



May 14, 1903.


I am just recovering from a surfeit of Royalty, and been taking a quiet read, and I came across the following:


C. R. Leslie, R.A., has a lot of very interesting anecdotes in his memoirs. This is one note concerning Burns—“ Visited Ayr, to me the most interesting spot in Scotland, associated as the town itself and the scenery of its neighbourhood is with Burns. A lover of Burns (and who is not?) may imagine the feelings with which we crossed the Brigs o' Ayr, listened to the drowsy donjon clock, looked up to Wallace Tower, visited the cottage in which the Bard was born, and Kirk Alloway, and strolled up the side of the 'Bonnie Doon' where Burns had so often strayed, composing his enchanting songs. I bathed in its clear stream. 'What are these mountains?' I asked of an old man, who said he had often had a gill with Burns. They are the Cumnock hills.' 'What a beautiful companion Burns must have been.' 'Oh, not at all,' said he, ‘he was a silly chield; but his brother Gilbert was quite a gentleman.'

A Scotch gardener told me that he knew the original Tam o' Shanter. I forget his name, but he was very proud of being immortalised by Burns, though he said that part of the poem in which his wife rates him for his drunkenness was a "lee,” for there never was a better tempered woman, and she never scolded him in a' her life. Leslie's companion was Newton, the painter, but I am afraid of troubling you with this gossip. However, you may not have seen the book I refer to.

[ocr errors]

I got a miniature from Ayr by your suggestion, which was condemned by you as not being at all an approach even to a likeness of Burns. I sent the letters, &c., back to Mr Scoular, stating my reasons fully for coming to the same conclusion.

In C. R. Leslie's memoirs he mentions that when living with Sir Walter Scott at Abbotsford painting his portrait for Tiknos of Boston, U.S.A., Sir Walter told him that he (Sir Walter) had known a labouring man who was with Burns when he turned up the mouse with his plough. Burns's first impulse was to kill it, but checking himself, as his eye followed the little creature, he said, "I'll make that mouse immortal." Sir Walter showed him in the library at Abbotsford an autograph MS. of "Tam o' Shanter." There were either in this MS., or Scott had noted that there were in some other

« PredošláPokračovať »