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* He'll hae misfortunes great and sma',
But aye a heart aboon them a';
We'll a' be proud o' Robin."
The celebration of the hundredth birthday of: Robert Burns, on the 25th day of January, in the year 1859, presented a spectacle unprecedented in the history of the world.
The extent and variety of the materials necessary to chronicle the incidents of such a day may be judged of by the following analysis of the meetings herein chronicled :
The utmost enthusiasm pervaded all ranks and classes. Villages and hamlets, unnoticed in statistical reports, unrecorded in Gazetteers, had their dinners, suppers, and balls. City vied with clachan, peer with peasant, philanthropist with patriot, philosopher with statesman, orator with poet, in honouring the memory of the Ploughman Bard. The meetings were no less remarkable for their numbers than for their unanimity of sentiment; the number of speakers at each meeting being greatly over the average on other public occasions, and far beyond what the space of this Chronicle can record.
Many noble poems and eloquent orations have been omitted. It was not easy to see and resolutely keep the way to this necessary condensation.
The determination is told by the book itself, which chronicles only ROBERT BURNS.
The Editor, for his own satisfaction, takes this opportunity to chronicle the efficient aid afforded by his friend, Sheriff Gordon, and the assistance received from the practical co-operation of his friend, Mr. John A. Fullarton, one of the members of the publishing firm by which the work was projected. No men ever entered on a genial task with greater harmony. No labour of love was ever carried out with more thorough kindliness. And it is to be hoped that the volume will carry down to a remote period a faithful memory and expression of the gratitude of the human heart to one who gave utterance to its truest and happiest feelings.
EDINBURGH, 16th May, 1859.