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ANECDOTES OF BURNS.

BY MISS SPENCE.

[For the following anecdote of Burns we are indebted to the politeness of Miss Spence, who collected them during a visit to Dumfries, in 1822.] At one of Burns's convivial dinners, he was requested to say the

grace, when he gave the following impromptu :

O Lord, we do thee humbly thank

For that we little merit :
Now Jean may tak’ the flesh away,

And Will, bring in the spirit. The Misses S. informed me that their house was the last which Burns visited before his death. He was then very ill, and very dejected. The sun shown brightly in at the drawing-room windows where he was seated; its rays fell so ardently upon him as almost to inconvenience him ; the ladies begged him to remove to another chair. “No,' said he, mournfully, ‘the sun will not shine on me long in this world; but I trust it will shine many a day as sweetly on my grave.' The ladies never saw him again.

The mansion of the Misses S- is situated a mile from Dumfries, on a steep elevation, its wooded banks sloping to the verge of the broad pellucid river. The windows command a view of a fine extent of landscape, with the town resting on the plain, its spires and ancient bridges, agreeably sheltered by the green hills of Galloway. Miss Spointed out to me from the window Burns's monument, which is plainly discernible in the distance.

I afterwards visited the churchyard in which the monument stands ; it was designed by Turnerelli, and simply represents the figure of the Scottish bard, on a marble pedestal, resting on a plough, with the genius of Scotland descending to enfold him in her mantle. The design is taken from the following description of the poet, as given by himself, in a letter to one of his correspondents :

• The Genius of my country found me, as the prophetic Bard Elijah did Elisha, at the plough, and threw her inspiring mantle over me. She bid me sing the loves, the joys, the rural scenes, and rural pleasures of my native soil in my native tongue. I tuned my wild artless notes as she desired.'

On the pedestal which supports the figure is simply the word

BURNS.

The monument is neither shaded by cypress nor funereal yews, characteristic of so sacred a spot, but it is gaily decorated with lively flowering shrubs. I, however, gathered a sprig of the Scottish Thistle, which I brought away as a memento of the spot where Burns reposes. On the erection of the monument the remains of the poet were removed from the grave where, for almost twenty years, they had been suffered to decay in cold neglect, ungraced by ' storied urn' or ' monumental bust,” then, though not now, there seemed to be

A tear for all that die,

A mourner o'er the humblest grave, for Mrs. Burns was often seen to steal at early morn, or beneath twilight's soft shade, to pour forth her tears over his humble grave. But since his formerly long-neglected shade has been visited by multitudes of idle and curious strangers, (to such of whom a book is presented by the sexton to inscribe their names), Mrs. Burns has entirely withdrawn herself, nor has ever had the curiosity to visit the public tribute of respect now erected to the memory of her departed husband.

During my stay at Dumfries, I spent two mornings with Mrs. Burns. I had known her some years before, and on leaving my card at her house she was so polite as to come into town on purpose to see me, being at the time on a visit to Mrs. Dunlop, the great patroness and benefactress of Burns. the friend who never deserted him when all the world beside looked coldlý upon him.

Mrs. Burns, though designated by her husband as his . Bonny Jean.' had. no pretensions to beauty even in her youthful days; her figure is short and clumsy ; but there is much shrewdness and sense in her countenance: and her dark eyes beam with intelligence. Mrs. Burns is so accustomed to be visited by strangers that she is neither embarrassed or offended when they call upon her. Her manners are frank, easy, and kind by nature, and she evinces much friendly warmth of heart to those persons with whom she is intimately acquainted.

She readily shewed the young friend who accompanied me the room in which her husband died; but since my former visit to Mrs. Burns I missed the poet's library, which she told me her son had taken with him to India : also a handsome snuff-box, with the picture of Mary Queen of Scots on the lid, and which was presented to Burns by Lady Winifred Constable. Several coloured prints hung round her neat little parlour, illustrating the poem of the Cottar's Saturday Night, supposed to be the venerable parents of the poet. I could not help expressing admiration at the extreme nicety, comfort, and cleanliness of her dwelling, nor avoid complaining of the close confined situation of my lodgings, together with the pettishness of the servants ; I wad na,' she replied, “ gie mine aine wee bit hausel for a' the lodging houses in the closes in Dumfries !'

If Burns could ever inhale health it must have been in his own 'wee bit hausel,' as Mrs. Burns denominated one of the prettiest small dwellings I ever entered, and which exhibited that appearance of extreme cleanliness which we are apt to think exclusively belongs to our English habitations. On my departure she gave me a scrap of her husband's hand-writing, but told me that she had scarcely a relic left.

With regret I bid Mrs. Burns adieu ; there is a genuine simplicity, a sincerity and kindness in her manners, that convinces you that all she does and says spring from the spontaneous dictates of the heart.

STANZAS.

The dark weed looks over our desolate home,
Like a death-pall where honour is closed in the tomb;
And it seems as it whispered in sighs to the air,
All the tale of the woes that have planted it there !

II.
The chill drop that falls from its cold clammy wreath,
How deep hath it worn in the stone underneath!
So the one ceaseless thought which these ruins impart
With the chill of despair hath sunk deep in the heart!

SKETCHES OF FEMALE CHARACTER.-No. I.

INTRODUCTION.
Who shall decide when Poets disagree,
And tuneful scribblers doubt like Pope and me;
He holds the axiom some fair friend let fall
* Most women have no characters at all;'
Formed like a gorgeous cloud in air to range
One blessed moment, and the next to change :
But I who think more highly of the kind,
And surely they and I are of a mind,
Opine that God whose word was nature's birth,
When on its first May morning glowed the earth,
Produced two sentient beings of one clay,
Of equal glory and alternate ray,
As shines the moon by night, the sun by day ;-
The one of a more vigorous majesty;
Of milder light and more attractive she ;
Marked both by a fixed character, the one
To quicken like his prototype the sun,
All in his range of orbit; she to' endear,
And with a native light, her lunar sphere,
With no faint lustre,-no reflected ray
Save Heaven's alone, and of dividual sway :
Hence will these twin creations more resemble
Two stars that in the purple midnight tremble,
Scattering alike the beams of life and grace,
To their own islands in the sea of space;
Of different magnitude and vividness,
But in their use not greater and not less.
Man, the most glittering Jupiter, all blaze,
Fire,-pride and glory, he arrests the gaze;-
Woman, the lovely Hesper mild and bright,
All sweetness and all beauty, wins the sight,
Though sometimes like her prototype she dips
The star-beams of her beauty in eclipse :
Passions deform her visage,--Pride no less,
The love of conquest, and the love of dress;
And some there are, who, not content to charm,
Would, like the Comet, startle and alarm;
Rush from their spheres, ambitious to be seen,
Assume the regal rod as King or Queen.
They too like men in noblest state must rule,
To such we wing the shaft of ridicule ;
To awe the bold intruder back, and prove
If she commands she forfeits all our love.
No, as 'round oaks the clustering ivy twines,
Or round their props the marriageable vines,
Woman is woman most when most resigned,
Man's statelier growth and dignity to bind;

With green leaves hide his rugged trunk, and spread,
Like woodbines, flowers and odours round his head,
Whilst the tough stem their weakness well sustains,
Else must they trail ignobly on the plains.

I've drawn some portraitures to prove tis true
Women have characters, and strange ones too.
If proud, if vain, if frigid, or the like,
The chain of censure I may surely strike :
Graze the fair skin but not severely vex,
And lash the folly whilst I love the sex.

SKETCHES OF FEMALE CHARACTER.-No. II.

MIMOSA.

IF ere you take Mimosa for a 'Friend'
How mute she is, how fearful to offend !
In vain you'd bring her talents into play, -
For some she has,-her thoughts seem far away,
Or haply ponder on her future words,
Glad if with your opinion hers accords ;
Nor dares, nor deigns her native sense assert,
So oft departs without her just desert.
Mild and complacent is her air,-her tone
Of voice if yet it can be called her own ;
For she is Echo's sister ;-do you stir
From a too blazing fire, it scorches her!
Or do you close the sash in the saloon,
* The air is very keen this afternoon !'
Then as you shrink and shiver, so she shrinks,
Works when you work, and just as you think, thinks
So if you seek the gallery of St. Paul's,
And do but whisper to the circling walls,
The circling walls the whispered word renew,
And send it as their answer back to you!
Thus thro' her pleasures and her vanities,
Runs the same vocal echo in disguise.
Praise you a chandelier, or Indian fan,
Such has her Uncle Edward,-her Aunt Anne;
Though, no doubt, more superb. "A one horse chaise
Is a convenience,'-50 her Father says :
* Flowers decorate a skreen;' then you must know
Her Cousin Christopher's are painted so :
Have you a Silver Tea Urn? Aunt Selina
Has one of the same pattern, somewhat finer :
You walk into the Park, admire the trees
Low waving in the morn or evening breeze,
Her cousin loves them too; but most the oaks
Behind whose trunk a cottage chimney smokes !

She is good tempered, that we must admit,
The coldest sceptic could not question it !
Else would not thus her tastes,opinions glide
So smoothly with the current of your tide :
Now what I love, and with no vain pretence,
Is when good temper's tempered with good sense;
Sense that will blame a fault though friends applaud;
Censure a blemish though designed by Claude ;
Admire in your despite a cap-peruke,
Though dressed by Trufit, or made up by Cooke.
Thus, says Aspasia, Sir, despite your taste,
So will I think,—so speak,

so wear my waist :
But Miss Mimosa's is not of such kind,
Her taste is variable as the wind;
So are her thoughts,-a flying shuttlecock,
It comes to you, you give it next a knock ;
Diverse it flies from pillar struck to post, -
From post to pillar till the stroke is lost;
Then down it drops, the last short impulse o'er,
No longer echoing to the battledore.

These are her foibles, and we may esteem
Her virtuous heart, howe'er severe we seem;
These at the most but raise a smile,-they may
By sense he tempered, or with time decay,
Till even the Satirist himself forget
The fault at which his angry shaft was set !

J. W.

A COMPARISON.

BY THE REVEREND W. L. BOWLES.

The mower sweeps his whistling blade,

When green the meadow grows, The honey-cups and cowslips fade,

All scattered as he goes.

So toiling time, as in despite,

Of youth's delightful hours,
Sweeps on, resistless in his might,

And mows the fairest flowers.

I grieve not for the sweets that fade,

Since he in whom I trust,
Shall here protect with heavenly aid,

And raise me from the dust.

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