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Ben gaed our gudeman,
And ben gaed he;
And there he spied a sturdy man Where nae man should be.
How cam' this man here?
How can this be? How cam' this man here Without the leave o' me?
A man! quo' she: Ay, a man, quo' he. Poor blind body,
And blinder mat ye be; It's a new milking maid My mither sent to me.
A maid! quo' he: Ay, a maid, quo' she. Far hae I ridden,
And muckle hae I seen, But lang-bearded maidens Saw I never nane.
priding themselves on extensive literature, were thought sufficiently booklearned if they could make out the Scriptures in their mother tongue. Writing was entirely out of the line of female education. At that period the most of our young men of family sought a fortune or found a grave in France. Cromlus, when he went abroad to the war, was obliged to leave the management of his correspondence with his mistress to a lay brother of the monastery of Dunblain, in the immediate neighbourhood of Cromleck, and near Ardoch. This man, unfortunately, was deeply sensible of Helen's charms. He artfully prepossessed her with stories to the disadvantage of Cromlus; and by misinterpreting or keeping up the letters and messages intrusted to his care, he entirely irritated both. All connection was broken off betwixt them; Helen was inconsolable; and Cromlus has left behind him, in the ballad called "Cromlet's Lilt," a proof of the elegance of his genius as well as the steadiness of his love.
When the artful monk thought time had sufficiently softened Helen's sorrow, he proposed himself as a lover. Helen was obdurate; but at last overcome by the persuasions of her brother, with whom she lived, and who, having a family of thirtyone children, was probably very well pleased to get her off his hands, she submitted rather than consented to the ceremony: but there her compliance ended; and, when forcibly put into bed, she started quite frantic from it, screaming out, that after three gentle taps on the wainscot, at the bed head, she heard Cromlus's voice crying, Helen, Helen, mind me! Cromlus soon after coming home, the treachery of the confidant was discovered,-her marriage disannulled, and Helen became Lady Cromlecks.]
Virst dere is de vine king, just landed at
He vore little vigs, boys, when virst he came here,
Greenwich, But dere is a brave king, dat still remains But now he has great vones, as you may banish; zee dere; He came a great way, to save dis poor And I have been told it, both over and people, over, Who, vor vear of de Pope, have made Ven he puts on de vine vig, no brains he choice of de Devil.
Some zay he has brought us a great deal Pray look now and zee, how he holds up of monish,
In hopes you'll give him and his children zome bread;
But if you look dere, it is vone, two, tree, Connish; Dis is de Hannover, and dose are his You may give dem zome sheese too, and bishes, if you tink fitt, Who vill gul de poor English of all deir But de devil sall take me if I give dem a brave rishes.
Dere is his wife, in de castle of stone,
And vat she is dere vor is very vell known;
Dere lies de poor man, too, vhose blood he did shed,
Vor planting of horns upon his dull head.
But now you sall zee him, and both his two Turks,
At mending deir stocking, because dey love work;
And dere dey are rubbing, and scrubbing his skin,
Look on dat zame voman, vor dhat is his vife,
Who ne'er was so vine all the days of her life;
She's as vat as a pork, he's as proud as a pimp,
And all de whole crew are a parcel of imp.
Cast but your eyes round, and view dat brave hero,
Who, if you'll assist him, vill kick out dis
Now he is de best king dat ever I knew, To keep de louse out, which he knows And it is great pity ye are not all true.
vold creep in.
Look, dere is de vine Prince, and don't he look pretty?
But do you all know, dat de vool is not vitty;
You zee de artillery, all kissing his hand, And will have him before dem, to valk and to stand.
I pray and I hope that you soon vill be vise,
And de false king instead of the true vone despise ;
And zure none will grudge vor to gie me vone guinea,
'Tis to drink a good health to noble king Jamie.
ROBERT BURN S.
BURNS's is perhaps the only Scottish | remarkable for her ignorance, credulity, She had, I suppose,
poetry that has never shown the least signs of diminished popularity; for there is hardly a year since his death in which an edition of it has not been published; and at present (1877), what promises to be the most complete and elaborate edition of his works that has yet been attempted, is passing through the press. The same may be remarked of his life, which has attracted, and still attracts, the study of the best thinkers, not only among his own countrymen, but among foreigners.
Robert Burns was the son of William Burnes, a native of Kincardineshire, who left that district in youth, and after some time settled in Ayrshire, where he married Agnes Brown, a native of that county. The poet, their first-born, as he himself remarks, first saw the light on the stormy morning of January 25th, 1759, in a small cottage still standing, about a mile and a-half south of Ayr. He received a good English education and a smattering of French; and, with the example of his father, who was a man of sterling worth and intelligence, aided by a few standard English and Scotch classics, the foundations of his character and of his literary stock, which may be said to have been select rather than extensive, were laid. Another element in his education may be best told in his own words :-"In my infant and boyish days, too, I owed much to an old woman who resided in the family, (II)
the largest collection in the country of tales and songs concerning devils, ghosts, fairies, brownies, witches, warlocks, spunkies, kelpies, elf-candles, dead-lights, wraiths, apparitions, cantraips, giants, enchanted towers, dragons, and other trumpery. This cultivated the latent seeds of poetry, but had so strong an effect on my imagination, that to this hour, in my nocturnal rambles, I sometimes keep a sharp look-out in suspicious places; and though nobody can be more sceptical than I am in such matters, yet it often takes an effort of philosophy to shake off these idle terrors."
In 1766, Burns's father took a lease of the farm of Mount Oliphant, which turned out a very unprofitable speculation, notwithstanding all his efforts to work it economically. He was, therefore, at the end of six years, under the necessity of giving it up and removing to Lochlea, a larger farm, in the parish of Tarbolton. This turned out a more promising adventure, and for three or four years comparative prosperity smiled upon their efforts; yet, in consequence of the want of a written lease with his landlord, disputes arose which led to litigation, in the midst of which his health gave way, and death "saved him from the horrors of a jail," in February 1784.
Robert now became the male head
of the family, and with the sad experience of his father's struggles fresh in his mind, and his own increased responsibilities weighing upon him, he, with his brother Gilbert, shortly before their father's death, took a lease of the farm of Mossgiel, in the neighbourhood of Mauchline. To the plenishing of this farm the members of the family gave what little savings they had, and contributed their efforts to its working. Here their misfortunes began earlymisfortunes aggravated by the poet's passionate imprudence-which impelled him to give up his share of the farm to his more sedate brother Gilbert, and to resolve upon leaving his native land for a situation in Jamaica.
Some years before this, Burns, through the reflex action of a melancholic illness, had acquired a passionate fondness for social enjoyment, and he discovered a remarkable power of contributing to the entertainment of convivial gatherings by his ready eloquence and his poetic powers. To this has to be added an uncommon sensitiveness to the charms of the fair sex. This latter propensity led to his having formed a clandestine connection with Jean Armour, the daughter of James Armour, a stone-mason in Mauchline, to whom, in the prospect of becoming a mother, he gave a written acknowledgment of their private marriage, a form of contract which is valid by the law of Scotland. Jean's father, who appears to have been of a stern and uncompromising disposition, and unfavourably impressed with Burns's character as a husband for his daughter, destroyed the evidence of their marriage, and refused to admit Burns's
claims to her as his wife. Such were the circumstances that determined his resolution of exiling himself.
Instigated by his friend Gavin Hamilton, and the necessity of providing means for his projected voyage, he determined to publish by subscription a collection of those poems which had hitherto only amused his rustic companions. The story of the publication can never be told so well as in his own words :-" I weighed my productions as impartially as was in my power: I thought they had merit; and it was a delicious idea that I should be called a clever fellow, even though it should never reach my ears-a poor negrodriver, or perhaps a victim to that inhospitable clime, and gone to the world of spirits! I can only say that, pauvre inconnu as I then was, I had pretty nearly as high an idea of myself and of my works as I have at this moment, when the public has decided in their favour. . . . I threw off six hundred copies, of which I got subscriptions for about three hundred and fifty. My vanity was highly gratified by the reception I met with from the public; and, besides, I pocketed, all expenses deducted, nearly twenty pounds. This sum came very seasonably, as I was thinking of indenting myself, for want of money to pay my passage. . . I had been for some days skulking from covert to covert under all the terrors of a jail; as some ill-advised people had uncoupled the merciless pack of the law at my heels. I had taken the last farewell of my few friends; my chest was on the road to Greenock. I had composed the last song I should ever
measure in Caledonia, 'The Gloomy Night is Gathering Fast,' when a letter from Dr Blacklock to a friend of mine overthrew all my schemes, by opening up new prospects to my poetic ambition." The poems were published in July 1786, and the copy which attracted the notice of Dr Blacklock was sent him, with a short account of the poet, by Dr Laurie, minister of Loudoun. Burns thus, no doubt gladly, diverted from his intended exile, made his debût in Edinburgh in November 1786, and was at once introduced to its literary and social celebrities, which at that time were both numerous and distinguished. | Everywhere he maintained his proud intellectual equality, and astonished all classes by the power and originality of his conversation, and the unrestrained ease of his manners. During his stay in Edinburgh he prepared a second edition of his poems, which appeared in April 1787, dedicated to the Caledonian Hunt, and 2800 copies were subscribed for. By this edition he cleared £500, from which he advanced his brother Gilbert, who had taken charge of their aged mother, the sum of £200.
After making a tour through Scotland, north and south, he took a lease of the farm of Ellisland, in Dumfriesshire. He removed thither at Whitsunday 1788, and at the end of the year was joined by his wife, whose parents had previously consented to their union. He also became a candidate for admission as an officer of excise, and obtained an early appointment. This last was a reserve in case of the farm not succeeding. It was not long before he had to fall back upon it; for in 1791 he gave up his
farm, and went to live in Dumfries, depending solely upon his excise income of £70 a year.
In 1792, he was requested by George Thomson, of Edinburgh, to assist him with a collection of Scottish songs and music, of which he had begun the publication. Burns entered into the scheme with ardent enthusiasm, and besides collecting songs and airs wherever he could find them, contributed such a wealth of original songs as no previous poet had ever written. After his removal to Dumfries, his social habits underwent a change for the worse, and, not long after, his health began to fail. But amid all the depressions of ill health, he continued his delightful labour of song-writing and criticism, till within a short period of his death, which took place on the 21st July 1796. He was buried in the churchyard of St Michael's, in the presence of ten thousand of his mourning countrymen. A mausoleum has since been erected over his remains, and the spot is visited by the admirers of his genius from many lands.
Of no poet is it more difficult to summarise the various excellencies than of Burns; but, at the same time, of none is it less necessary to attempt any new estimate. His character as a man and as a poet are in the hands of everybody; and it simply remains to point out, that the selection of his poems which follow is made on the principle of illustrating the breadth and intensity of the national character of which he was so marked, so varied, and so faithful a representative. Instead of his most popular masterpieces, which are