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find one where talents so brilliant, so peculiar to himself, ever centred in the soul of man. That bowl which is placed upon the table, it is magnificent, it does you honour. Often may you fill it to the memory of Burns; and when you empty it, may you empty it with honour to yourselves, and every time you place it upon the table, in the name of Burns, inanimate as it is, it will rejoice with you when you rejoice, and will not fail to add its quota to the glory of the day; and when you fill it to the brim in honour of our bard, even Apollo, the god of poetry, will look down from the throne of his Olympus upon you and that splendid bowl, with wonder and admiration, and will not hesitate a moment to pronounce you the friends of genius, the admirers of literature, and an honour to this quarter of Scotland.
. I speak not for the sake of speaking, I speak not to hear the sound of my own voice, or to attract the attention of this meeting; but I speak because I glory in this day, I speak only the dictates of my soul. Long was I acquainted with Burns; the more I knew him, the more I admired him ; many a happy night I have spent with him. At times he would look up as from a reverie ; his eye would have sparkled like the eye of Mars, or the herald Mercury ; his countenance would have flashed with brilliancy of wit and jovial stories, that even Vitula, the goddess of mirth, rose and clapt her wings, and, standing upon the centre of the clouds, looked down and rejoiced with him :-At the same time she regretted that Burns was a mortal man.”
In his “ speech made to the yeomanry cavalry of Dumfries, June 1826, at a dinner at the King's Arms Inn, after they were reviewed,” the orator has seized all the great characteristics of mess-room eloquence :
“ I am sent here as a deputation from Mr Douglas, our worthy member for the burghs, and the Magistrates and Town-Council of Dumfries, to announce to you the very high respect they have for you as gentlemen and as soldiers, and for the very grand and noble manner in which you have this day distinguished yourselves in the field. It was allowed by the gallant officer who reviewed you, and by all who had the pleasure of seeing you this day, that no troops of the line could surpass you, and but few come up to you, in going through your different evolutions in that steady, quick, and expert manner, which struck with admiration the whole spectators. For thirteen years and more I had the honour of being a soldier under your banners; during which time, and ever since I have been acquainted with you as a corps, I know that strict discipline, military ardour, and true patriotism, have uniformly pervaded your ranks. You, Sir, as
their leader, I esteem. That voice which commands with firmness and authority, yet it conveys love ; that voice which extends from right to left, and from centre to flank, never fails to excite admiration in the breast of every soldier in the ranks, who seems to say, with a noble and patriotic spirit, • Who would not be a soldier under the command of Colonel Macmurdo and Major Crichton, in the Dumfries-shire Yeomanry Cavalry (two gallant officers as ever took the field), to protect our king and country, and all that is dear to us as men and Britons !'”
Any gentleman, to whose lot it falls to present a gilt jug to a deserving grazier, a gown and Bible to a handsome young preacher, or a tea-service of Dresden china to a merciful schoolmaster, may profit by this speech at delivering a snuff-mull to the Widow's Society, Dumfries, 6th February 1806 :"
“Iu consequence of a meeting of the 22d November last, I have now the pleasure of addressing you ; I will glory in that day and in that night as long as the pulse beats in my veins. That day I had first the honour of being entered a member of this society, and that night-good luck turned it, that I had an opportunity of offering to provide you with a snuff-mull as a token of my respect for you and the institution, and that offer was in so kind and gentlemanly a manner accepted by you, that I
esteem it the more. If I were to live till the sun that rises in the east were to grow dim with age, it never could be forgotten by me. But, raised as I am to the highest degree of honour in having the pleasure of providing you with this snuff-mull, which I have now in my hand, yet I feel much. I am much concerned that it bears no proportion at all to the worth and value of the receivers. Were it made of the finest gold, or set with the most brilliant diamonds, it would be of far too little value to lay before such personages as compose this meeting.. This mull, which never has yet had a snuff taken out of it by mortal man, I beg you to accept of it.
All I wish is, that every time that you place it upon the table in the name of the giver, inanimate as it is, it will rejoice with you
when you rejoice ; and when you take it in your hand, and read the inscription, ‘Presented by Henry Macminn,' it will, when I am lodged in the dark caverns of the earth, bring to your recollection one that once lived, but now has taken his flight to that world of impenetrable darkness, never to return; but when he did live, amongst the happiest days he spent while on earth were with the members of the Widows' Society in Dumfries.
I come now, Sir, to perform the pleasantest office I ever did in the whole course of my life, to present you with this snuff-mull, which I have
now in my hand :-In the name of Almighty God and the King receive it ; in the name of God, that He may protect every good institution like this, for the relief of the distressed ; and in the name of the King, that every good and charitable society in our land, for noble purposes like this, may be protected by the laws of our country, which are wisely calculated to protect every good subject.”
BUY A BROOM.
Songs of broom-girls, with which all our theatres and streets rang but lately, were as much in fashion in the reign of Elizabeth. “ A Pythie and Pleasant Comedie of the Three Ladies of London, written by R. W., 1592," preserves the following stanzas :
“ New broomes, greene broomes, will you buy any? Come maidens, come quickly, let me take a penny.
My broomes are not steeped,
But very well bound;
But smooth cut and round.
To buy of my broome,
If market were done.