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For a' that, an' a' that,
Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
His riband, star, an' a' that,
A prince can mak a belted knight,
Their dignities, an' a' that,
That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth,
It's coming yet, for a' that, That man to man, the warld o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that.
Page 1, line 3. Butler (Samuel, 1612-1680). Author of Hudibras (1663-1678), a mock-heroic poem satirizing Puritanism and popular in the court of Charles II. "It was, however, the scandal of the age, that though the king was lavish in promises, he never did anything to relieve Butler's poverty. . . . He lived in poverty and obscurity for seventeen years after the first appearance of Hudibras. - EDMUND GOSSE, in Dictionary of National Biography.
"My first favorite books had been Hudibras and Tristram Shandy." Carlyle. Froude, Vol. I., p. 396.
1. 7. The inventor of a spinning-jenny. Even he―James Hargreaves (17-1778) - was driven from his home in Lancashire by a mob of spinners on the old-fashioned wheel, who feared they would be thrown out of employment by his invention.
more than one splendid monument. For more information in regard to the monuments erected to the memory of Burns, see a well-illustrated article in the Art Journal, Vol. 49, p. 238.
Page 2, line 4. the sixth narrative of his Life. The Life of Robert Burns. By J. G. Lockhart, LL.B. Edinburgh, 1828. There were even more than five before. "The four principal biographers of our poet, Heron, Currie, Walker, and Irving,"
etc. LOCKHART: Life of Burns, chap. viii. Cromek and Peterkin had also written narratives of the poet's life. See bibliography in Blackie's Life of Burns (Great Writers Series) and note to article on Burns in Dict. of Nat. Biog.
1. 6. Lockhart (John Gibson, 1794-1854) is best known as the biographer of Sir Walter Scott, whose son-in-law he was.
1. 23. Sir Thomas Lucy, according to a now discredited tradition, prosecuted Shakespeare for poaching in his deer park, which was near Charlecote Hall, three miles from Stratford.
1. 24. John a Combe was a well-to-do and (according to tradition) usurious citizen of Stratford, from whom Shakespeare purchased many acres of land, and for whom, at his laughing request, Shakespeare is said to have proposed the following epitaph:
"Ten-in-the-Hundred lies here ingrav'd;
'Tis a hundred to ten his soul is not sav'd.
If any man asks, ' Who lies in this tomb?'
'Oh, ho!' quoth the Devil, 'tis my John-a-Combe."" -Cf. HALLIWELL-PHILLIPPS' Outlines of Shakespeare's Life.
Page 3, line 9. Honorable Excise Commissioners. The excise is an inland duty levied on certain commodities of home produce, such as ale, spirits, tobacco, etc., or on their manufacture or sale. Gentlemen of the Caledonian Hunt. An association of Scotch noblemen and gentry. Burns dedicated to them the second edition of his poems (the first Edinburgh edition) The following excerpt from the minutes of a meeting of the association, held at Edinburgh, January 10, 1787, may be of interest in this connection: "A motion being made by the Earl of Glen
cavin, and seconded by Sir John Whitefoord, in favor of Mr. Burns of Ayrshire, who had dedicated the new Edition of his Poems to the Caledonian Hunt. The meeting were of the opinion, that, in consideration of his superior merit as well as of the compliment paid to them, Mr. Hagart should be directed to subscribe for one hundred copies, in their name, for which he should pay to Mr. Burns, twenty-five pounds, upon the publication of his book." — Bibliography of Robert Burns. (James Gibson, edi
1. 11. Ayr Writers. In Scotland the term "writer" is applied to law agents, attorneys, and sometimes to their principal clerks.
1. 12. New and Old Light Clergy. Two factions into which the church of Scotland was split. The former, under the leadership of Blair and Robertson, were radical and progressive, the latter adhered to strict Calvinistic views. Burns sided with the
Cf. p. 62 and p. 93.
1. 23. Dr. Currie. Dr. James Currie (1756-1805), a Scotch physician, published in 1800, in behalf of the family of the poet, an edition of the poems, introduced by a Life of Burns. Mr. Walker. A life of Burns, by Josiah Walker, was prefixed to an edition of the poems in 1811, and separately printed.
Page 5, line 10. Constable's Miscellany. It consisted of a series of original works, and of standard works republished in cheap form, and was the earliest attempt to popularize good literature. Lockhart's Life of Burns appeared in this form (dated 1828), — a duodecimo volume of 310 pages. The series was projected in 1825 by Archibald Constable (1774-1827), the famous Edinburgh publisher of Scott's novels.
1. 21. Mr. Morris Birkbeck. His book was entitled, Notes