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must be far gone in selfishness or strangely lost to reflection whom these connections will not move to exertion,” says Burns, and Syme adds, “Yet they did not” (in Burns's case, presumably), which makes one wonder what is meant to be conveyed when read in connection with his other comment on the same letter, “How was he rewarded ? A subaltern of Excise."
Coming to the poetry, opposite line 3, stanza ix, of “The Holy Fair,” the words, “From Edinburgh,” are written with an asterisk prefixed, which refers to “racer Jess.” Syme is evidently in error here, for the frail female indicated was the daughter of Poosie Nancy. The Kilmarnock Museum M.S. has “Bet Barb--r there," regarding whose identity we have no information, though the probability is that she also was a local celebrity of the same sort. He trips again in writing “Bannatyne” for “Ballantyne,” in the title of “The Brigs of Ayr.” He also seis down · Heron, afterwards minister of Kirkgunzeon,” as the hero of "The Calf," thus depriving Steven of Kilwinning of the questionable laurels. Gavin Hamilton he locates in Ayr, instead of Mauchline, in the heading to “The Dedication." " Willie Sim
appears disguised as “ Willie Swinton,” and “Eliza” is described as a female to whom Burns was first attached,” without any hint of her surname. There are very few notes of value on the Thomson correspondence. “When wild war's deadly blast" is docketed “Matchless," and in a footnote Syme adds, “I remember Burns was almost beside himself when he made this beautiful burst.” “Jean Armour” and “Robert Burns” he makes the heroine and hero of “There was a lass and she was fair.” To Burns's letter to Thomson, declaring he was hurt by receipt of his "pecuniary parcel," is appended—“This is such as I knew to be the mind of Burns. How could Mr Thomson (whom I also knew well) press the subject on Burns ?" The only other note worth quoting is that attached to “Scots wha hae,” and is to the following effect, “See Mr Syme's letter in Life of Burns. See this (the 4th line of each stanza) altered according to Mr Thomson's recommendation. Burns thought the alteration more energetic in the 4th line.” From this it would appear that
Syme still adhered to his account of the circumstances in which the ode was composed, and was unaware of the harassing importunity of Thomson, which ultimately resulted in the Poet consenting to his clumsy emendations against his own better judgment.
LINES TO BURNS.
Ance mair thy natal day draws near,
'Tis a' the same,
Thy honoured name.
An' memories flee
Beyond the sea.
By thy sweet name.
Abune them a',
The Daisy sma’.
While ages roll,
ANNIE Q. COULTER.
This poem was composed for a concert under the auspices of the Scottish Thistle Club, Victoria, and a pathetic intere attaches to it from the fact that Miss Coulter was accidentally drowned a few hours before the concert began.
TH considered supplementary
HE letters here printed, all for the first time, may be
to the volume, “ BurnsDunlop Correspondence,” published
Following that volume they are given, with one exception, in full, and are "pointed." The exception is the long letter of 24th January, 1794, the manuscript of which is only fragmentary. Parts of these fragments are printed below, but it is impossible to tell the order in which they should read. All seven letters were written by Mrs Dunlop: three to the Poet, three to Gilbert Burns, and one to Mrs Gilbert Burns. The originals of Nos. 2, 3, 5 and 6 are in possession of Mrs J. G. Burns of Dublin ; the others form part of the Watson Collection in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh.
Read in conjunction with the volume of “Burns-Dunlop Correspondence,” these letters require little elucidation. Attention may, however, be drawn to two points—(1) the letter of 24th January, 1794, makes clear certain statements in Mrs Dunlop's letter of 14th February following ; and (2) “the book” referred to in letter No. 7—which, by the way, though not dated from Dunlop, bears the Stewarton post-mark—was probably Burns's autobiographical letter to Dr Moore. In connection with letter No. 4 it may be noted that Mrs Dunlop appears to have been, if not a “splendid pauper,” at any rate not burdened with un embarras de richesses. That Burns resented the liberty taken by his correspondent, in asking him to hawk her home-made “fringe to ornament furnitor” among his rich neighbours, is shown by the fact that he ignored her repeated request for his assistance in her little scheme.”
The references at letters Nos. 1-4 are to the British and the
American editions of the “Correspondence." The former was issued by Messrs Hodder and Stoughton, London ; the latter (in two volumes, and more accurate than the other) by Messrs Dodd, Mead and Company, New York.
[British edition, p. 313; American edition, v. 2, p. 145.]
LOUDOUN CASTLE, ioth April, 1791.
Sir,-One of our maids having gone about a fortnight ago to visit her Friends in Annandale, called at your Brother's house in her return. While she was there he had the misfortune, as she tells me, to fall from his Ilorse and break his Arm just at the Elbow ; she added that he was appointed to a Supervisor's office. I have wrote him twice since, to enquire after his Health and promotion, and begged his making some one about him drop me a line in answer ; but as I have never heard a word in return I grow afraid he continues very Ill, a thing I should very much regret. I therefore take the liberty of asking it as a favour that you may by return of post acquaint me whether his mother or you have had any particular accounts from Ellisland during that period of time, and how the family were, and if Mrs Burns is Brought to Bed, or if Mr Burns has got any appointment or by what means. A note addrest to Mrs Dunlop of Dunlop, Loudoun Castle, Kilmarnock, will find, Sir, Your most humble Sert.,
FRAN. A. DUNLOP.
(2.) MRS DUNLOP TO ROBERT BURNS.
23rd Novr., 1792, DUNLOP.
On my arrival here I was told there had been a letter from you, but they had sent it east, from whence, in process of time, however, it found its way back, and was aght me yesterday. My heart leaped the sight of well-known welcome hand with more than ordinary fervour. I was revived
Nor can you
and put in good humour with you and with myself, by having hung over the warm effusions of your pen for the preceding three days, when I had read over every scrap of paper you ever sent me. Dear Burns, I forgot for a ti ne all your faults and my own cares. But think not this was a!), or nearly, your work. No, it had the powerful assistance of the presence of the lovely Lesley Baillie, and I begin to hope old time may one day help you to put your abrupt a-pro-pos more intelligible to her name than when you applied it last, in writing me that letter, which I had the pleasure of letting her look over, but which it would have been very difficult to persuade her to overlook. think it calculated to abridge her partiality for the writer. I am to carry her home to-morrow, and your friend Satan torments me with a suggestion that you may possibly arrive here in my absence, a misfortune for which I should not know how to comfort myself; especially at this moment, when all your past kindness has just gone over in the review of my eyes and my grateful heart. Yet when you pronounce letters the sacraments of friendship. I rejoice to find you like our modern new-light clergy, curtailing the weekday service from those holy ordinances, and making them as abridged a set of duties as you possibly can. If you decline as far in your religious professi ɔns, Lord help your salvation! The number and length of those pages dated '88 delight me, but I dread that was the year of the Revolution. A-pro-pos, as you say when there is no visible connection, I think we will not be long 'without another revolution. The minds of men have undergone a strange anıl rapid ferment within the last moon. God forbid they should turn lunatics ! May Fle guide all her sons to the good of their native land by the smooth path of peace and safety, and may she never want the patriot Hero or the patriot Bard! But spite of the democratical demon that has haunted me all my life, when I hear the old cry of Liberty, Property, and no Excise, my spirit dies within me and can hardly whisper “Amen.” When my friend is, like Iphigenia, to be sacrificed for the safety of his country, nor offered up alone, but, contrary to the merciful Mosaic code, the dam will be taken with
How do I wish you had remained the Farmer of Ellisland, a character to which I always looked up with respect and deference, and to which every fresh idea of freedom and independence must add a more sacred dignity and Importance-a truth which, should you just now meet the Farmer I have just left, you would see marked in his step, painted on his cheek, and sparkling from animated Eyes that seem to dart forth the lightning of a soul kindled with fire from Heaven. Never before did I conceive the force of circumstances on the characters of men. But tell me, thou who art greatly favoured among men-favoured with poetic vision, and admitted behind the Curtain of Futurity—whose mystic songs oft prove to distant times predictive as the prophecies of the rapt Isaiah, what are your hopes or fears from the present high wrought leaven of Times, which to me seem big with the fate of Caesar and of Rome? It has been my lot to shake with every blast that swept over the Continent of Europe, the Pacific Ocean, or the land of Hindostan. No wonder, then, if I shiver in the breeze, when the impending storm hangs over our little Island and seems just ready to break over my heal. Wherever I have gone of late the flame has been spreading like muir burn in the spring. God grant it may not turn out a consuming fire sent in His wrath on a guilty land, but rather the pillar sent by the Almighty, as formerly, to lead the