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mortal; had he written an epic or dramatic | haunted kirk, the accumulated horrors on the poem, the author of "The Cottar's Saturday table, the dance of witches to the unearthly Night," and of “Tam o Shanter," could not music of the demon-piper on the bunker, the have failed; and in any view he must rank, not furious rush of the startled legion with Cuttymerely as the greatest poet of humble station, sark at their head, the crisis of Tam's fate at but as one of the greatest poets whom the world the keystane of the brig, and the gray mare has produced. (Cheers ) In my humble opin- skelping hame without her tail! (Laughter ion there is more genius in Burns' songs than and applause.) In the midst of this wild in volumes of our modern poetry. Sometimes description, where horror and humour prevail in sublimity, sometimes in pathos, sometimes by turns, how beautiful is the vanity of earthly in graphic description, sometimes in elevated pleasure touched off:sentiment, sometimes in exquisite humour, and always in tender and passionate emotion, Burns
“But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed; is without a rival. (Loud applause.) Let petty Or like the snow-fall in the river, fault-finders and carping cavillers object as they A moment white-then melts for ever; may—(vehement and renewed cheering)—the Or like the borealis race, true test of the power of Burns' poetry is, that,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form, like what is recorded of his society, criticism
Evanishing amid the storm.” is disarmed by intense emotional impression. There are deep springs in the human heart, But wonderful as “ Tam o' Shanter” is, our adoften covered and hidden by the rubbish and miration is increased by the extraordinary fact débris which the tide of life deposits as it rolls that the whole poem was written, not in Ayralong; other poets pass over the surface and shire, where he was in the midst of the scenes, pierce not the interposed earthiness; but these but at Ellisland, and between breakfast and hidden springs are stirred by the power of a sunset of one day. Among the many specimens spirit like Burns, and Nature, evoked from her of the broad and hearty humour of Burns, I deep and rarely-reached recesses, owns the may mention “Meg o'the Mill,” “ Tam Glen,' touch of a master-spirit, and bursts forth re- “Death and Dr. Hornbook," where rare caustic sponsive to the call of true genius. (Loud humour alternates with a power almost sublime; cheering.) I should trespass too long on your and “ Hallowe'en," where the rustic sports of time if I once began to quote in illustration of that now almost forgotten festivity are charmthis peculiar character of Burns' poetry. What ingly described. Think of the adventure of heart does not feel that “ The Cottar's Satur-“ Fechting Jamie Fleck day Night,” “ The Vision," the “ Lament,” and the address “ To Mary in Heaven,” with others “Who whistled up Lord Lennox' march too numerous to mention, are poems of the
To keep his courage cheerie;
Although his hair began to arch, rarest and highest order? What can be finer,
He was sae fley'd and eerie: wild and startling as it is, than the “Address to Till presently he hears a squeak, the Deil," and the picture of the great enemy
An' then a grane and gruntle,
Out-ower that niglit.
He roared a horrid murder-shout
In dreadfu’ desperation !
And young and auld came rinnin' out,
To hear the sad narration;
He swore 'twas hilchin Jean M'Craw
Or crouchie Merran Humphie, (Great cheering.) “Tam o' Shanter,” to any
Till, stop !--she trotted through them a',
An' wha was it but grumphie, one well acquainted with the Scottish dialect,
Asteer that night!” is magnificent. (Great cheering and laughter.) It is scarcely possible to refrain from quoting; (Laughter.) Or call to mind the scaring of but I must forbear. Notwithstanding the Leezie on the brae—a sketch in which the supernatural ingredients so admirably wrought graphic and humorous spirit is relieved by a into the tale, it has all the air of a reality. bit of exquisitely beautiful description:Every Scotsman, especially every Ayrshire-man, with a mind above the clods of the valley, "A wanton widow Leezie was, (loud cheers)-can close his vision on exist- As canty as a kittlin; ing objects, and in his mind's eye can see Tam,
But, och ! that night, amang the shaws,
She got a fearfu' settlin'! and the Soutar, and the landlady, and the
She through the whins, and by the cairn, parting cup, and the ride in the storm, the auld And owre the hill gaed scrievin,
Where three lairds' lands meet at a burn,
" There was ae sang amang the rest
Aboon them a' it pleased me best,
That some kind husband had addressed
To some sweet wife; Wliyles owre a linn the burnie plays,
It thrilled the heart-strings through the breast,
A' to the life.”
He sees in fancy the genius of Coila, and Jean Whyles glittered to the nightly rays
recurs to his mind as alone rivalling the ceWi' bickering, dancing dazzle;
lestial visitantWhyles cookit underneath the braes, Below the spreading hazel,
“Down flowed her robe-a tartan sheen, Unseen that night.
Till half a leg was scrimply seen,
And such a leg-my bonnie Jean
Alane could peer it;
Sae straight and taper, tight and clean,
Nane else came near it.”
(Great cheering and laughter.) And then, Near lav'rock-lieight she jumpit;
with all his high aspirings, and all his love But missed a fit, and in the pool
for social pleasures and even social excesses, Out-ower the lugs she plumpit,
where does he place the scene of his highest Wi' a plunge that night.”
duties and his dearest joys ? Or what say you to his epigram on a certain “To make a happy fireside clime, lawyer
For weans and wife,
That's the true pathos and sublime "He clenched his pamphlets in his fist,
Of human life."
(Loud applanse.) Had this man not a heart, His argument he tint it;
and a heart with some rare qualities-senHe gaped for't, he graped for’t, He fand it was awa', man,
sitive, passionate, and tender? (Enthusiastic But what his common sense cam' short,
and long-continued cheering). I believe that, He eked it out wi’ law, man."
next to the blessing of a conscience divinely
enlightened and divinely cleared, the greatest (Great laughter.) I cannot pause to give happiness permitted to man in this life, is specimens of the tender and passionate poetry the happiness of loving and being beloved. of Burns. His songs abound in stanzas of (Cheers.) The heart is the true spring of surpassing beauty, chiefly inspired by his love happiness, as Burns himself well saysto Bonnie Jean, his good and faithful wife
"It's no in titles nor in rank, a love which was, I think, his deepest and
It's no in wealth like London bank tenderest feeling. His famous lines, said to To purchase peace and rest. be addressed to Clarinda, and containing the
It's no in books, it's no in lair, stanza adopted by Byron as the motto of the
It's no in making mickle mair, “ Bride of Abydos,"
To make us truly blest.
If happiness have not her seat
And centre in the breast,
We may be wise, or rich, or great,
We never can be blest.
Nae treasures, nae pleasures
Can make us happy lang; were not, I believe, meant for Clarinda, but
The heart aye's the part aye for Bonnie Jean, whose image was never long
That makes us right or wrang." absent from his heart. His best letters, to Of the moral character of Burns I must say my mind, were those to Mrs. Dunlop, not a word. Let us not be misunderstood. I am those to Clarinda; and his most tender and no hero-worshipper, no unqualified eulogist of touching songs were inspired by Bonnie Jean. Burns. I protest against the thought that for He walks by the burn-side at night and sings- what is morally wrong an excuse can be found “As in the bosom of the stream
in the rarest talents; and deeply should I The moonbeam dwells at dewy e'en,
regret if any word fell from me tending to So trembling, pure, is tender love
lower the standard of character, or loosen the Within the breast of Bonnie Jean."
obligations of religion and morality. There He plods his way across the hills from Ellis- are few sadder subjects of contemplation than land to Mossgiel, and love prompts the charm- a noble generous spirit like that of Burns, ing song to Jean, “Of a' the airts the wind manly, tender, and true, full of the love of can blaw.” When Lapraik's verses are sent nature, of country, and of liberty, yet floating him, his heart chooses
rudderless and helpless on the tide of life, till
dashed on the fatal rocks which have wrecked | impure particles have subsided, and we now so many of his countrymen. His lot, indeed, rejoice only in the pure and generous qualiwas cast on evil times,-on times peculiarly ties which remain. I do not seek to disguise perilous to such a temperament as his. The or to palliate his faults—but who among us is tone of morality in his day was not pure or without faults? Charity, which hopeth all high; the tone of religion was cold, and hard, things and thinketh no evil, ought to be our and low. To the prevailing devotion of his monitor. (Applause.) Let us “gently scan day, generally cold, frequently ascetic, some brother man” – let us judge ourselves times hypocritical, there was an antagonism in severely, and others leniently- let us gather Burns' nature. (Loud cheers.) Genuine, prac- the good we can, though it be intermingled tical, and loving piety might have charmed with eril—let us use aright the more favourand won him. If, instead of the stern or the able appliances which surround us—let us cold preachers who repelled his feelings and strive ourselves to cultivate a purer morality, stimulated his opposition, there had met Burns and adorn by our lives a sounder religious a pastor in whose large and genial heart dwells profession; but let us admire in Burns whatlove and sympathy as well as faithfulness, who, ever is worthy of admiration, and honour his true to his own convictions, recognises in others genius as it deserves. Those who object to the rights of conscience, whose preaching and this demonstration must remember that the whose life presents religion in her most at- power of Burns over the popular mind of tractive aspect, and whose imperishable me- Scotland is a great fact which cannot be morial will be read in the statistics of dimin- ignored. (Enthusiastic applause.) Burns has ished crime, in the testimony of reclaimed lived, and has written, and has a hold upon children, and in the records of converted the heart of Scotland. (Renewed cheering.) souls, who can tell what impression might It is well to qualify our praises, and to inculhave been made on him ? He was not so cate the warning lessons of his life. But surely fortunate. To him was rarely presented the it is not the part of wisdom or of virtue so to instructive illustration of the influence of true. repudiate such a man as to consign to the cause religion on human character. That influence and the friends of mischief a name and fame so comes in no harsh or ascetic spirit, it diverts attractive and so potent. (Long-continued no noble aim, it extinguishes no honourable applause.) Let us rather deal with the power ambition, it quenches no pure fire of genius, of Burns' name as science has dealt with the no flame of virtuous love, no generous senti- electric element. Science has not stood afar ment or kindly feeling, but, entering with off, scared by each flash, mourning each shivsearching power into the heart, out of which cred tower; science has caught and purified are the issues of life, it expels from the the power, and chained it to the car of com“ dome of thought" and the fountain of feel- merce and the chariot of beneficence, and ing the dark spirits of evil, it raises man to applied it to the noble purpose of consolidathis true dignity, and directs his faculties to ing humanity-uniting all the world by the their appropriate aims. We must deplore and interchange of thought and feeling. On this condemn much in the character and in the day Burns is to us, not the memory of a writings of Burns; we must lament that the departed, but the presence of a living power spirit in which he wrote the “Cottar's Satur--(enthusiastic cheering)—the electric chain day Night" did not always prompt his pen which knits the hearts of Scotchmen in every or guide his life; but there was much to part of the world, stirring us not only to addeplore in the character of the times in which miration of the poet's genius, but to the love he lived. Time has not passed in vain over of country, of liberty, and of home, and of all the influence of Burns. Shakspeare says things beautiful and good. Therefore, I call "The evil that men do lives after them;
on you to pledge me, not in solemn silence, The good is oft interred with their bones."
but with our heartiest honours, to “ The Im
mortal Robert Burns.” (The chairman, whose The popular enthusiasm of Scotland has re- speech was delivered with great power and versed the process. From the grave of Burns fervour, resumed his seat amidst volleys of it has resuscitated the buried good,—and the cheers.) evil now only lives that the lesson and the Song—" There was a la:l was born in Kyle”—Mr. warning may be learnt. As a mountain tor- Stewart.
Mr. JAMES BALLANTINE (Secretary), then read rent, depositing its earthiness as it flows, comes after a long course to reflect the face the following verses, composed by himself for the
occasion. of heaven on its bosom, time has cleared and
BURNS' CENTENARY BANQUET. mellowed the influence of Burns—(applause) I dreamed a dream o'sitting here, -like an old and rich wine, the coarse and Delighted wi' our canty cheer,
While sangs and speeches charmed the ear
And heart by turns, When, lo, as frae some heavenly sphere,
" The first kind blink o' opening Spring,
That set the birds to churm and sing, Aye set my fancy on the wing,
'i'o wander on, And gaured me aim my harp to string
He strode straught forward to the chair, And sat him down by Craufurd there, When shouts o welcome rent the air
As ne'er were heard, And proved the love that Scotland bare
To Scotland's Bard,
“When Summer cam', in sun and showers,
And clothed the earth wi' leaves and flowers, How sweet to wander leesome hours,
* And no think’t lang,' While hills and dales, and woods and bowers,
Burst forth in sang.
And reapers' mirth rang loud and clear,
To geck an' gab wi-
Wi' nane to blab wi'?
He rose—his form towered proud an' hie, Fire flaughtel frae his goss-hawk e'e-Syne, wi' a gesture bauld and free,
He leant him back, And in deep tones o' melody,
Thus Robin spak. “Dear friends and brither Scots, guid e'en; Hech, sirs, it seems but like yestreen Since first frae Ayrshire's pastures green
I daured to stray,
I made my way.
Far frae his hame,
A kindred flame.
“For Love and Beauty aye were themes Of a' my highest hopes and dreams, And slee side keeks, or glowing beams,
Frae maidens' eyes, Aye warmed me up, wi' gowden gleams
O' summer skies.
“But threescore years an’ten hae fled, And a' those genial friends are dead Wha that young ploughman's footsteps led
Through palace ha's, And his poetic fancy fed
Wi' kind applause. " Yet those kind friends o' auld lang syne Still live within this breast o' mine, For a their generous virtues shine
In memory's sky, And I wad fain a wreath entwine
Round days gane bye.
“And Beauty still, I'm proud to see, Here blinks on me wi' kindly e'e, As gin she cam’ to tell to me
I did nae wrang In reining the unbridled glee
O auld Scots sang. “When mountains wore their snawy hood,
And Winter howled through leafless wood,
On rugged height,
For freedom's right.
"I kenned the puir man’s eident life,
I shared his cares, and soothed his strife;
Might grieve or stound him, Joy cam', like light, when weans and wife
A' clustered round him.
“Glencairn, my patron, friend, and brither,
The world scarce e'er saw sic anither;
When seen an' felt,
Ye should hae knelt.
"Byganes hae been, let by ganes gang; That ever Scotland meant me wrang Was never sung in a' my sang,
But when we parted I felt a queer mysterious pang,
And dee'd sair hearted.
" Then Erskine, wha could cowe the whole age
For wit an' lair, for fun an' knowledge;
Weel skilled to lead;
On my winged steed.
" Then fare-ye-weel, Auld Reekie dear,
And ilka time each coming year
They'll ken me better, And own a spirit true and clear
In every letter.
" And then the genuine Man o' Feeling,
Soon made weel kenned The thoughts that born in humble shealing
Made man my friend.
“But, hark! the cup that memory's quaffin',
Afar and near,
My HUNDREDTU YEAR."
" And thus did friendship's sacred flame
Light up my rugged path to fame;
Was cauld and drear,
Was first to cheer.
Sheriff GORDON, in rising to propose the health of Lord Brougham, was received with loud and continued applause. He said--Lord Ardmillan, ladies and gentlemen, of all who
are here to-night, there is not one probably, may I hope for my own grand country ?” except myself, who may hesitate for a moment (Applause.) But it is not for the sea, but for to regret the absence of Henry, Lord Brougham. us ourselves, his countrymen and his fellowRight gladly, too, could I have seen the hearts citizens, to answer his query, and I think we of this vast assembly, like boughs of the wind- may bid him be of good cheer; or at all events stricken forest, swayed to and fro by the resist- I think we may tell him with a cheerful pride less impulse of his living words. But I doubt that there has not often lived in the world any if in his own presence, had I then been privi- man who more truly than Henry Brougham, leged to speak of him, I could have ventured looking back with an undimmed eye through a to have given full utterance to all my honest retrospect of fourscore years, can track the admiration of his great-hearted and many-handed steady and large improvement of his country life. (Cheers.) And yet it is possible perhaps by the very footprints of his own luminous and that even as I had looked upon him face to indefatigable career. That very spirit of inface, there might have touched me one spark of domitable vitality, of which, as active yeshis own impetuous and irrepressible fire, which terday when he wrote that long letter with has now for more than half-a-century flamed his own hand as in the vehement ardour of in the forehead of his country's story. (Ap. his prime, he scattered the seeds so broadly plause.) He is not with us, but depend upon among us, has ripened, under his guidance, it, and indeed we are sure, that his sympathies into not only abundant and general, but are not far away from a meeting which means healthful and invigorating, harvest both of to appreciate the sturdy independence and the thought and of action. But I suspect that the blunt honesty of a nature on which the shadows pilgrimages of many generations of men must of hypocrisy or duplicity never fell—(cheers) — begin and end before there can be fairly estia meeting which means to commemorate the mated or properly fixed the precious value and victorious progress of an inborn vigour, which, the vast extent of what, directly and indirectly against the barriers of social condition, ay, and in every corner of the commonweal, the energy even of individual temperament, held on its of his efforts and the influence of his example earnest way till glory filled the furrows of its have done or helped to do. Remember that I plough—and a meeting which means to wreathe cannot now justify this large eulogy, or even with green gratitude the wonderful achieve illustrate it, by particular incidents in his caments of that Æolian sensibility which, placed reer. I cannot be a miniature painter. I canin the window of a peasant's breast, vibrated not even give you his portrait in colours. I to every whispering air or stirring breeze, or must rather try, however roughly and impereven stormy gust, which moves man's strange fectly, to put before you, as it were, in a model and chequered life, and gave back the ex- of sculpture, the muscular massive outline of quisite melody, of which the undying echoes the image of that individual force and that inhave been, and will be, wafted over “a' the dividual activity which has made itself felt airts the wind can blaw” till time shall cease throughout the length and breadth of the Brito be. (Loud cheering.) Brougham is not tish empire. I set before you an avenging with us, but I see him now, the Demosthenes giant with a hundred arms, but I must leave of Britain, as he sits on the shore of the bright you to select what head of the hundred-headed Mediterranean and revokes across its tideless hydra you wish to bring down, which the hunmirror the magnificent renown and the terrible dred arms of Brougham were ever ready to atruin of which the colossal annals, from the pil- tack and destroy. (Applause.) I do not dwell, lars of Hercules to the blue Symplegades, strew therefore, upon the manifestations, I dwell upon the whole margin of its waters. (Applause.) the reality, the intensity, and the efficacy of a
power which, on memorable, momentous, and “Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee,
Assyria, Rome, Greece, Carthage, what are they? even vital occasions, has photographed so vividThy waters wasted them while they were free,
ly the existing wrong, and has telegraphed so And many a tyrant since."
unmistakably the coming right. (Cheers.)
And I will draw the general conclusion, that (Cheers.) And I hear him murmur to this un- when a man has spoken and written changeable witness of the awful vicissitudes of Brougham has done, whether his cause was nations and kingdoms—“ Does then the past right or wrong, he has done so with a glowing always teach us the future ? for if the free and consciousness of enormous mental strengthbrilliant race who conquered at Marathon, the (cheers)—and knowing his strength, the quesBannockburn of Greece, and if the majestic and tion is, How has he used it ? And I say
that proud people who survived Cannæ, the Flodden he has used it invariably, perseveringly, and of Italy, are now crumbled into littleness al- enthusiastically, and with a glorious success, most worse than nothingness shall I fear or for the intellectual expansion, for the social