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as well as admiration. Here was a plowman making his debut as author, in a collection of poems many of which evinced the highest order of genius. Poets, critics and the literati generally, looked up with surprise at the new orb that, meteor-like, had risen upon them. Many were astonished that a rustic could write readable verses at all : all were struck with their transcendent beauty and infinite superiority to the pedantic puerilities of his learned cotemporaries. From the furrow, by a single bound he stood upon the topmost round of Fame's lofty ladder, and calmly surveyed, with no vertiginous uneasiness at his novel elevation, the tumultuous cloud of ascending admiration. The most eminent men of his times and country hailed. him as a member of the fraternity of intellectual nobility. Exalted mind is not the peculiar tenant of elevated place, nor the result of finished artificial culture: it is often the child of poverty and toil. A man who is daily engaged in the most fatiguing labor and of the lowest kind, may, behind his sooty face, conceal the sublime imagination of the beggar Homer, the philanthropic philosophy of the servile Terence, the melting tenderness of the plow-boy Burns. Hence let us learn a lesson in democracy, that rank or fortune is not the man; that humanity is nobility; that thought is treasure. Poor is a gilded fool: rich was a starving Chatterton.

Robert Burns was a genuine son of a right generous soil. His poetry hath the strong, racy flavor, of the first fresh fruit from a new, fertile field: it sprang up spontaneously in its proud luxuriance-was not teased forth by assiduous tillage, by exotic elaboration. Such a genius as he possessed needed no star upon its master's coat, to shine forth a luminary of the first magnitude in any galaxy. No sooner were his Sybilline leaves thrown to the wind

than all Scotland arose to do him reverence, and even the critical great bears of England pointed to this Northern Star. And now commences the most brilliant portion of our poet's life. No sooner had he become known to the world than a very general interest in his favor was excited, and the admiring literati of Edinburgh were impatient to see him removed to that Athens of Scotland. Dr. Blacklock, particularly, encouraged him to come thither and republish a large edition of his poems, which were every where demanded with unparalleled avidity. Burns was too well pleased with the prospect of shining as a son of song in the metropolis of his country, to resist these invitations. He "posted away to that city," according to his own expression," without a single acquaintance or a single letter of introduction." It seems indeed as though "the baneful star that had so long shed its blasting influence upon his zenith, had at length made a complete revolution. to the nadir." Arriving at Edinburgh, he found several of his old Ayrshire neighbors, and for a while gave up his time almost exclusively to their society. He emitted however without delay, a prospectus for his second edition, which Creech, the principal bookseller in the city, undertook to publish on the recommendation of the Earl of Glenclairn. Many of the most eminent men of his country sought and cultivated his acquaintance. Among them may be mentioned Dr. Blair, Dugald Stewart and the Hon. Henry Erskine. Under such auspices, and with such patronage, his subscription list was filled up with very little delay, and his prospect for the future seemed as brilliant as his present entré. Lockhart justly remarks, "It is but a melancholy business to trace among the records of literary history the manner in which most great original geniuses have been greeted, on their first appeals to the world, by the

cotemporary arbiters of taste." It is by contrast the more pleasing, to see a warm, full-hearted, love-inspired bard like Burns, hailed from every side with the hearty welcome of a nation's outgushing affection. Such a reception was not lost on his generous temper. An ardent love of fame, which is one of the predominating passions of all noble souls, made the expression of their good opinion, from such worthy men, intensely grateful to one who had not presumed to expect a tittle of the consideration which was so heartily bestowed. Praise is a true poet's atmosphere:

even a small breath is grateful: who can appreciate the ecstasy of riding on its whirlwind! Upon a weak mind nothing has so pernicious an influence as undissembled compliment. It is the most intoxicating of drinks, and will soon turn a head containing any ordinary brain. That he bore a free potation with graceful and undiminished modesty, is a most conclusive proof of his real magnanimity. His perfect freedom and self-possession, in all the new positions in the social world which he was called upon for the first time to assume, exhibit a soul removed to a serene elevation above the littleness of fashion; whose uninstructed dictate was politeness; whose manifestations in the minutime of conduct were the scintellations of a shining orb. On his broad brow Nature had written, in her largest character-A Man. From his heart boiled up these noble words:

"'T is not for honest poverty

To hang its head and a' that;
The coward slave we pass him by,
We daur be puir for a' that.
For a' that and a' that,

Our toil's obscure and a' that;
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that.

What tho' on hamley fare we dine,

Wear hodden grey and a' that;

Gie fools their silks and knaves their wine

A man's a man for a' that.

For a' that and a' that,

Their tinsel show and a' that,

The honest man, though e'er sae puir,

Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,

Wha struts and stares and a' that;
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that;
For a' that and a' that,

His ribbon, star, and a' that,
The man o' independent mind,
He looks and laughs at a' that.

A king can make a belted knight,
A marquis, duke and a' that,
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Guid faith he mauna fa' that;

For a' that and a' that,

Their dignities and a' that,

The pith o' sense and pride o' worth
Are higher ranks than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,

As come it will for a' that,

That sense and worth o'er a' the earth

May bear the gree and a' that;

For a' that and a' that,

Its comin' yet for a' that,

That man to man, the wide warld o'er,.
Shall brothers be for a' that."

Yes, indeed, and when a thousand lordly names of his cotemporaries are dead, and buried, and rotten in oblivion, Robert Burns shall live in the deathless spirit of his verse -the cherished friend of humanity.

Not for his poetry alone was Burns an extraordinary man. He equally excelled in colloquial talent. It is not always, indeed not generally, the case, that such as have the greatest power in deliberate composition are also highly gifted with the ability to express themselves readily and forcibly in extemporaneous conversation: a quite different talent is called into exercise, and men seldom possess a great number of distinguished powers. Burns was one of the few who, mighty in their slower and solitary movements, were also quick and strong in their unpremeditated activity. His conversation is described by his biographers as singularly energetic and beautiful. All social circles which he honored with his presence, whether of the high or low in rank, were delighted even to amazement, with the facility and grace with which the most eloquent and profound remarks, on all conceivable subjects, were emitted, as from an exhaustless reservoir of brilliant, flowing thoughtcrystal scholars and boors, judges and draymen, lords and boot-blacks, equally paused to listen as to an inspired oracle, and when he had spoken were ready to enquire, "Whence hath this man wisdom ?"

Oh! genius is an inspiration truly divine. He whose lips have been touched with a live coal from off an heavenly altar, will speak and men can but listen, and their hearts will burn within them as his lava words come rushing in a glowing stream from their volcanic fountain. When a great soul looks out from under its high, calm brow, and breathes forth its vivifying breath, sweetening the grateful air, men may hate but they must respect. Mind is the true sovereign, and though maltreated by rebellious subjects, it is still glorious in its regal dignity. Little men may spit at great ones, but they feel very little when they

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