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Full text of "Celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns"

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CELEBRATION 



HUNDREDTH ANNIVEESARY 



§i):t^ ai Jloto '§mm, 



BOSTON BURNS CLUB. -/ S"*?^ 



JANUARY 25th, 1859. 



» i ' -0 






BOSTON: 

PRINTED BY H. W. DUTTON AND SON, 

Transcript Building. 

1859. 



BOSTON BURNS CLUB 



ORIGIN OF THE CLUB. 

It is an unique feature of our republicanism that, how- 
ever humble may be the origin of effort, its promoters for 
local or general good invariably find encouragement in 
their operations from men whose approbation is a safe 
endorsement of true value. It has been so with the 
Burns Club of Boston, which was consjit'^te.d; iiine* yearg^, > 
ago. It originated among a few persc^ns Iwh'^se, retired,^' f 
position in society afforded them no pretence, beyoncl tb^ir, 
own gratification, in their own simpljD vvccyi.pf 'a jeei'iygl* ' 
which taught them that the commemorating the genius—' 
the intellectual example — the freedom of mind and action 
— the patriotic independence — the nobility of soul and 
sentiment, and their undying expression by one of their 
brotherhood in humility, was a virtue. The advent of the 
Club was no sooner known than the mighty of mind,, the 
good, generous, and influential, voluntarily rallied around 
its purpose, and gave it strength and reputation far beyond 
what its originators had ever contemplated — and they were 
not destitute of any proper enthusiasm. Every year gave 
it renewed influence in the number and social standing 
of its members ; and now, when it has overcome its 
Ninth, and most marked. Anniversary Festival, the Club 
can boast of between two and three hundred names on its 
roll of men whom any association might own with pride. 
There has never been any national, sectional, or other bar 
to membership. To be a true admirer of Robert Burns 
has ever been the foremost qualification ; and the uninter- 
rupted harmony of the Association, from its inception to the 
present hour, has proved that this single qualification brings 
in its train all other essentials of good membership. 



9?^71 



4 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

Prior to 1850, when the Club was first organized, parties 
had frequently met to celebrate the Birthday of Burns ; but 
these celebrations were the results of impulses begotten on 
occasion, and gratified, to be revivified or not as errant 
chance might suggest. We know of no associated Burns 
Club or society before our own had its origin — although 
attempts were several times made to that end without per- 
manence of result. Two or three individuals, who are 
now our oldest members, and who had vainly endeavored 
to effect some systemalic plan of association, met and 
talked the matter over, and their deliberations culminated 
in the determination to establish, if possible, a Luerary and 
Social Club, under the title which our society bears. In 
this shape they deemed that they could draw together men, 
the cultivation of whose literary tastes formed their princi- 
pal enjoyment— ^men who would delight in discussing the 
c'Lassica'},;lQcnM and general value of the poetical literature 
of Scotland and America, and in quietly and unassumingly 
.0qn*titi;ti'p^;th6ir little. band the nucleus around which their 
friiindsj who might be less ardent in their devotion to such 
matters, might rally once a year to celebrate the birth of 
Burns. They put their resolution into practice ; and no 
sooner, as has been stated, was this made known, than 
men came to their support whose patronage was true en- 
couragement, and all at once the little fireside association 
sprung into enviable repute, which has increased with its 
years. Three men, nine years ago, were its humble and 
unpretending foster-fathers : to-day the Burns Club of 
Boston has for its members nearly two hundred and fifty 
men — among them some of the greatest minds which 
adorn the literature of the day, the forum, the bar, the 
learned professions generally ; and " last, not least," men 
who, in the humbler walks of life, are eminent among the 
practically good and virtuous ! 

Thus premising, we take up the written record of the 
proceedings of the Club, of which the following is an 
abstract, showing in brief its transactions up to the period 
of its special pride, when, on the 25th of January last, its 
Celebrative Festival was crowned with a success which 
has rarely if ever had a parallel in the history of such 
assemblages. 

Boston, February, 1859. 



RECORD OF THE CLUB. 



RECORD OF THE CLUB. 

The primary meeting, held to constitute-4he Club, took 
place in the Stackpole House, on the evening of the 11th 
of January, 1850. It was privately convened to take pre- 
liminary steps " for the establishment of a literary and 
social club, to be called by such name as might hereafter 
be agreed upon." James Egan, counsellor-at-law, was 
called to the chair; John C. Moore, James Kelt, Jr., Robert 
Torrance, William Schouler, William Mitchell, and James 
Egan were appointed a committee to draft a Constitution 
and By-Laws for the government of the projected asso- 
ciation ; and Alexander McGregor, John Leishman, Sen., 
and William A. Weeks were selected to nominate a Presi- 
dent, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer — both com- 
mittees to report at a meeting of the parties named, to be 
held the following Friday evening. 

The promoters of the Society met on the evening of 
January 18th, 1850, in the Stackpole House, when James 
Egan again presided, and when it was resolved that they 
should organize themselves as " The Burns Literary 
AND Social Club of Boston." 

Alexander McGregor, from the nominating committee, 
reported a list of officers for the Club, as follows, and the 
parties recommended were unanimously elected : — 

President, . . . William Schouler. 
Vice-President, James Egan. 
Treasurer, . . . John Leishman, Sen. 
Secretary, = . . John Charles Moore. 

Six names were proposed for membership ; and the next 
meeting fixed for the first Wednesday of the following 
month of February. 

The committee appointed to draw up a Constitution, and 
rules for the government of the Club, made their report, 
through John C. Moore, and the Preamble and By-Laws 
annexed were adopted : — 

1* 



BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 



CONSTITUTION. 

As admirers of literary genius, under whatever circum- 
stances or auspices it presents itself — and the more espe- 
cially when its labors have contributed to the moral and social 
improvement and enlightenment of mankind — We, who 
subscribe, rank ourselves under the banner of ROBERT 
BURNS, not with a pride of exclusiveness, but with feel- 
ings based on the peculiar affinity between the conduct 
and sentiments of the Poet of Scotland and those objects, 
practically and otherwise valuable, which our fraternity 
desire to aid in carrying out. 

When we contemplate the truly upright bearing of 
BURNS, as, surrounded with varied and heavy trials and 
difficulties, his master mind, with high moral dignity, rose 
powerfully above the struggle, our wish is to emulate him, 
and to incite others also to copy this feature in his char- 
acter. 

We admire, also, the virtuous pride of BURNS. Pov- 
erty, persecution, and "the world's cold neglect" could 
not wrest from him his consistency, or bribe him to sacri- 
fice his deliberate mind to assist or mend his fortune. 
Should circumstances demand it of us, we would aim to 
profit by his marked example, and in all cases use it as a 
shield against temptation to do wrong. 

We admire the honest independence of BURNS. Lib- 
erty — American liberty ! — fought side by side with his 
sentiments of freedom and manly self-respect, and found 
in them a powerful ally. Enjoying as we do the full 
advantages, of that liberty of speech and action he was 
fated to see but partly established, our admiration of their 
benefits will always be enhanced by associating ourselves 
with the name of one of their boldest and ablest promoters. 

We honor the liberality of sentiment which characterized 
BURNS. In the face of danger to life and interest he 
taught and sung that no allegiance was justifiable or due 
to what was not in itself just, virtuous, and good. His acts 
gave credit to his speech. In similar respect, in word and 
in deed, we would desire to emulate him. 



CONSTITUTION. 7 

We are admirers of the firm and constant friendships 
of BURNS ; for his chequered life shows no sacrifice of 
any one made between " his cradle and his grave." In 
our fraternal intercourse we would wish to study and copy 
this beautiful feature in the character of " the world's 
poet." 

In his domestic qualities we find much worthy of imita- 
tion and something to forget : while we would cultivate his 
virtues in this relation, we hope we shall ever be anxious 
to shun all his indiscretions. 

In a social capacity we would desire to imitate his 
example in its openness and generosity, the while we hope 
to avoid its extremes, and discountenance all practices 
which tend to impede the healthy nurture, or depress the 
tone, of the mind — practices which but too often serve 
only to mark the height whence great intelligences may 
fall. We would hold the errors of BURNS up to our 
view as lessons the moral promptings of which we would 
be unwilling to hide from our consciences, or from the 
perceptions of our brethren, should circumstances justify 
friendly advice. We look upon the social memory of 
ROBERT BURNS as a beacon on the path of life, which, 
while it points out the safer course, also indicates the 
proximity of danger. 

In the formation of our association, we have the direct 
example of BURNS himself attesting the utility of such 
societies. He was one of the earliest promoters of such 
institutions, and his approval of their benefits is on record 
in his works. 

In conclusion. We, who have hereunto subscribed, declare 
the opinion, that, as it has never been the special privilege 
of any civilized country in the world to teach, it is not the 
province of any one merely to hear; and therefore our 
Society is established on behalf of the Admirers of Burns, 
from whatever country or clime they may date their origin. 
The whole world has paid honors to the mighty genius 
whose name our association bears, and we would not, if we 
could, confine within more circumscribed limits this uni- 
versal admiration ; neither dare we justify ourselves in the 
attempt to confine the benefits of the mind and example 
of BURNS within any sectional compass in so far as our 



8 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

organization is concerned. As^ individuals, and as a fra- 
ternity, we hope to go forward and increase in usefulness, 
so that our association may be valuable because of its pur- 
poses, useful in its accomplishments, and respected in its 
operations and in its memory. 

Our objects, we presume, can be best accomplished 
through the mutual wish to be governed by good motives 
rather than merely mechanically considered rules of pro- 
ceeding; but for the purpose of general direction, we agree 
to be guided by the annexed By-Laws : — 



RULES OF GENERAL GOVERNMENT. 

Article L The name of our association shall be " The 
Boston Burns Club," and the design of its members 
literary improvement and the cultivation of fraternal sen- 
timent. 

Article IT. The officers of the Club shall be a President, 
a Vice-President, a Secretary, Treasurer, and Librarian. 

Article IIL The annual election of officers shall take 
place on the first Wednesday in the month of February in 
each year. 

Article IV. The annual social meeting of the Club 
shall be held on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Janu- 
ary in each year ; and the ordinary meetings on the first 
Wednesdays of each alternate month. 

Article V. The quarterly meetings, for special busi- 
ness, shall be held on the first Wednesdays of January, 
April, July, and October, severally, and shall be occasions 
for the contribution, by members, of papers on literary 
subjects, or of oral communications concerning the same. 

Article VI. The names of candidates for membership 
shall be proposed at any monthly meeting, and entered in 
a book provided for that purpose ; and, being seconded, 
shall be balloted for at the ensuing quarterly meeting. 

Article VII. No ballot shall be valid unless ten mem- 
bers actually vote, and three black balls shall exclude. 

Article VIII. Every person admitted to membership 
shall sign the Constitution, and pay an entrance fee of two 
dollars. 



NAMES OF MEMBERS. 



9 



Article IX. These regulations may be altered or amend- 
ed at any regular monthly meeting by a vote of two thirds 
of the members present and in quorum : provided that 
notice has been given of such alteration or amendment at 
the previous monthly meeting. 



NAMES OF MEMBERS. 



Name. 

1. William Schouler, 

2. James Egan, 

3. John Chas. Moore, 

4. John Patterson, 

5. John Leishman, 

6. John Wilson, 

7.=^ James A. Abhott, 
8.*William A. Weeks, 
9. Robert Torrance, 

10. William Bogle, 

1 1 . Alexander McGregor, 

12. William Mitchell, 

13. David Miller, 
14.=^Edward P. Meriam, 
15. Samuel S. Gilbert, 
16.* James Kelt, Jr., 
17. Andrew Weddell, 
18.* John H. Jewett, 

19. John N. Bradley, 

20. William P. Fetridge, 

21. Francis N. Mitchell, 

22. Timothy O'Keefe, 

23. Justin Jones, 
24.*William Chadwick, 

25. Newell A. Thompson, 

26. James Anderson, 

27. Peter Low, 

28. James Sutherland, 
29.*John Leishman, Jr., 

30. Samuel Ritchie, 

31. Otis Rich, 
32.*Allen C. Spooner, 

33. Henry Whitney, Jr., 

34. Robert Hutcheson, 

35. John H. Leighton, 

36. John R. Stitt, 

37. William Leighton, 

38. John Kirkpatrick, 



Birthplace. 
Kilbarchan, 
Galway, 
Kilmarnock, 
Kettle, 
Denny, 
Glasgow, 
Conway, N. H., 
Portsmouth, N. H. 
Edinburgh, 
Glasgow, 
Derry, N. H., 
Paisley, 
Perth, 

Boston, Mass., 
Hanover, N. H,, 
Boston, Mass., 
Edinburgh, 
Boston, Mass., 
Dracut, Mass., 
Liverpool, 
Edinburgh, 
Fermoy, 
Brunswick, Me., 
London, 

tTxbridge, Mass., 
-Fordel, 
London, 
Edinburgh, 
Glasgow, 
Belfast, 
Boston, Mass., 
Plymouth, Mass., 
Wiscasset, Me., 
Greenock, 
Edinburgh, 
Belfast, 
Belfast, 
Galloway, 



Country. 
Scotland. 
Ireland. 
Scotland. 
Scotland. 
Scotland. 
Scotland. 
United States. 
United States. 
Scotland. 
Scotland. 
United States. 
Scotland. 
Scotland. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
Scotland. 
United States. 
United States. 
England. 
Scotland. 
Ireland. 
United States. 
England. 
United States. 
Scotland. 
England. 
Scotland. 
Scotland. 
Ireland. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
Scotland. 
Scotland. 
Ireland. 
Ireland. 
Scotland. 



10 



BOSTON BUENS CLUB. 



Name. 

39. Peter Donald, 

40. Lyman T. Vose, 

41 . Joseph Aitehison, 

42. James H. Briggs, 

43. James Williamson, 

44. John C. King, 
4.5. Charles Mitchell, 

46. George W. Cooley, 

47. John S. Holmes, 

48. John S. Tyler, 

49. George W. Minns, 

50. Josiah Swain, 

51. Alexis Poole, 

52. William Stowe, 

53. C. r. Lougee, 

54. John G. Roberts, 

55. S. P. Gilbert, 

56. Samuel Hatch, 
57.* John L. Dimmock, 
58.*Thomas Morgan, 

59. R. B. Brown, 

60. N. S. Lougee, 

61. William Ellison, 

62. Joseph B. Frost, Jr., 

63. Chas. S. Snow, 

64. Robert I. Burbank, 

65. Gideon F. Thayer, 

66. E. G. Tucker, 

67. John Stiles, 

68. John Byers, 

69. E. W. Pike, 

70. Chas. Lowell Blanchard, 

71. James Lee, Jr., 

72. Edward G. Parker, 

73. William W. Clapp, Jr., 

74. William D. Park, 

75. Chas. O. Rogers, 

76. Samuel O. Aborn, 

77. George Canning Hill, 

78. Sidney Webster, 

79. George H. Kingsbury, 

80. Francis H. Underwood, 

81. Isaac Li vermore, 

82. Charles P. Bosson, 

83. Saml. R. Glen, 

84. Henry G. Parker, 

85. Seth E. Brown, 

86. Edward L. Davenport, 

87. Emery N. Moore, 

88. Z. K Pangborn, 

89. J. Q. A. Bean, 



Birthplace. 

Forfar, 

Boston, Mass., 

Kirkudbright, 

Nantucket, Mass., 

Edinburgh, 

Kilwinning, 

Aberdeen, 

Deerfield, Mass., 

New Bedford, Mass., 

Boston, Mass., 

Boston, Mass., 

Nantucket, Mass., 

Charlestown, Mass., 

Springfield, Mass., 

Walden, Vt., 

Somersworth, N. H., 

Hebron, Conn., 

Boston, Mass., 

Barnstable, Mass., 

Bristol, 

Pollockshaws, 

Compton, 
Philadelphia, Pa., 

Marblehead, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 

Shelburne, N. H., 

Watertown, Mass., 

Winchendon, Mass., 
Pictou, 
Brechin, 

Hampton Falls, N. H., 
Boston, Mass., 
New York, 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Bath, 

Worcester, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Norwich,. Conn., 
Gilmanton, N. H., 
Kennebunk, Me., 
Enfield, Mass., 
AValtham, Mass., 
Salem, Mass., 
Philadelphia, Pa., 
Plymouth, Mass., 
Exeter, Mc, 
Boston, Mass., 
Ellsworth, Me., 
Peacham, Vt., 
Moultonborough, N. H., 



Country. - 
Scotland. 
United States. 
.Scotland. 
United States. 
Scotland. 
Scotland. 
Scotland. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
England. 
Scotland. 
Canada East. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
Nova Scotia. 
Scotland. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
England. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 



NAMES OF MEMBERS. 



11 



Name. 

90. Francis D. Stedman, 

91. James Slade, 

92. George H. Child, 

93. Isaac F. Shepard, 

94. Thomas P. Rich, 

95. Silas Pierce, 

96. Jesse Holbrook, 

97. Samuel D. Crane, 

98. James W. Ricker, 

99. George Dennie, 

100. George A. Curtis, 

101. John Schouler, 

102. Samuel Hooper, 

103. Eugene Tisdale, 

104. William Lumb, 

105. Joseph McKean Churchill, 

106. Henry O. Hildreth, 

107. Chas. B. Hall, 

108. Moses W. Weld, 

109. George H. Chapman, 

110. Benjamin James, 
HI. John Tisdale Bradley, 

112. Albert J. Wright, 

113. Geo. N.Nichols, 

114. Warren Tilton, 

115. Ralph W. Newton, 

116. JohnK. Hall, 

117. William Pearce, 

118. James M. Shute, 

119. C. H. Stedman, 

120. G. W. Talbot, 

121. Osmyn Brewster, 

122. Chas. G. Johnson, 

123. J. Frederick Marsh, 

124. Alexander H. Rice, 

125. Geo. O. Brastow, 

126. Geo. W. Messenger, 

127. Edward Kreisler, 

128. Francis Adams, 

129. Uriel Crocker, 

130. Benjamin F. Palmer, 

131. Richard S. Spofford, 

132. D. N. Richards, 

133. John P. Healy, 

134. Ezra Lincoln, 

135. Albert Webster, 

136. Gordon Forrest, 

137. Roger N. Allen, 

138. Dexter N. Richards, 

139. John C. Wyman, 

140. John Foster, 



Birthplace. 
Lancaster, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Natick, Mass., 
Lynn, Mass., 
Scituate, Mass., 
Wellfleet, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Portsmouth, N. H., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass,, 
Kilbarchan, 
Marblehead, Mass., 
Guildhall, Vt., 
Huddersfield, 
Milton, Mass., 
Dedham, Mass., 
Oxford, N. H., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
South Hadley, Mass., 
Cumberland, R, I., 
Newbury port, Mass., 
Greenfield, Mass,, 
Boston, Mass., 
Bath, 

Boston, Mass., 
Lancaster, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Worthington, Mass., 
Palatine Bridge, N. Y., 
Boston, Mass., 
Newton Lower Falls, Ms 
Wrentham, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Malaga, 
Quincy, Mass., 
Marblehead, Mass., 
Hingham, Mass., 
Newburyport, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Ipswich, Mass., 
Aberdeen, 
Greenfield, Mass,, 
Boston, Mass,, 
Northboro', Mass,, 
Warren, N. H., 



Country. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
Scotland. 
United States. 
United States. 
England. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United S'tates. 
England. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
.,United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
Spain. 

United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
Scotland, 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 



12 



BOSTON BUENS CLUB. 



Name. 

141. Moses G. Cobb, 

142. Harvey Jewell, 

143. William E. Parmenter, 

144. E. D. Brigham, 

145. James A, Dix, 

146. Joseph M. Wightman, 

147. Charles Levi Woodbury, 

148. John S. Eldridge, 

149. Benjamin F. Russell, 

150. A. O. Brewster, 

151. Charles Emerson, 

152. Stephen S. Seavy, 

153. Henry L. Hallett, 

154. John Tyler, 

155. Charles R. Train, 

156. Joseph H. Sawyer, 

157. Sanford Howard, 

158. Henry A. Snow, 

159. Charles H. Dilloway, 

160. John A. Baxter, 

161. Joseph Smith, 

162. William T. Glidden, 

163. William J. Eames, 

164. Augustus C. Carey, 

165. Jonas H. French, 

166. Charles H. Blanchard, 

167. Joseph H. Bradley, 

168. Frank B. Fay, 

169. Thomas W. Camra, 

170. Richard S. SpofFord, 

171. A. B. Merrill, 

172. Charles G. Godfrey, 

173. Moses Kimball, 

174. John L. Swift, 

175. Edwin Adams, 

176. William E. Webster, 

177. George Forrest, 



Birthplace. 
Dorchester, Mass., 
Winchester, N. H., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Portsmouth, N. H., 
Yarmouth, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Hanover, N. H., 
Bridgeton, Me., 
Deerfield, N. H., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Framingham, Mass. 
Bolton, Mass., 
Easton, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Yarmouth, Mass., 
Dorchester, Mass., 
Newcastle, Me., 
Maiden, Mass., 
Ipswich, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Southboro', Mass., 
Glasgow, 

Newbury port, Mass. 
Boston, Mass., 
Boston, Mass., 
Gloucester, Mass., 
Falmouth, Mass,, 
Boston, Mass., 
Plymouth, N. H., 
Aberdeen, 



Country. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
Scotland. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
United States. 
Scotland. 



[Note. — The asterisk {*) preceding names in the above list denotes 
that the parties have deceased. 

The members number 238, but several of them have not signed the 
Constitution of the Club.] 



RECORD OF TRANSACTIONS. 



The first meeting of the Club, after its organization, was 
held on the 6th of February, when the literary merits of 



RECORD OF TRANSACTIONS. 13 

Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, were discussed, and several 
original anecdotes of the author of " Kilmeny" related. 
The record subsequently shows that similar conversations 
were had regarding contemporaries of Burns, whose foibles 
or virtues he had recorded in his works ; the customs and 
manners of the Scottish peasantry at the time the poet 
lived, &c., &c. 

On the 8th November, 1851, the Secretary read the first 
of a series of papers, entitled " Personal Reminiscences of 
the Contemporaries of Burns," and continued them during 
four consecutive months. 

At the meeting held on 4th December of same year it 
was resolved that the Club celebrate the succeeding Anni- 
versary of the Birthday of Eobert Burns, and Alexander 
McGregor, James Kelt, Jr., and William A. Weeks, were 
appointed a Committee on preliminaries. 

On the same evening John Wilson read an Essay on 
" The Influences of Knowledge and a Literary Taste on 
the Condition of the Working Classes." 

[1851.] At the meeting on the 1st of January, 1851, 
James Egan read a paper on " The Life and Times of 
Goethe," and the arrangements for the first annual festival 
were perfected. 

The first Anniversary Celebration by the Club of the 
Birthday of Burns took place on the evening of the 25th of 
January, 1851, in the Stackpole House, and proved itself 
an occasion of much gratification to all present. President 
William Schouler occupied the Chair. Sixty-three persona 
sat down to Supper, including the Mayor of the City, and 
the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of 
Representatives. 

The second annual meeting for the choice of officers 
took place on Wednesday evening, February 5th, 1851,. 
when it was reported by the Secretary that the Club was 
composed of twenty-four active members. The Treasurer 
reported that the receipts of the Club had been 848, and 
the expenses during the past year $12, leaving a balance 
of $36 in favor of the Club. The officers elected for 
1851-2 were— 

2 



14 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

President, . . . William Schouler. 
Vice President, James Egan. 
Treasurer, . . . John Leishman. 
Secretary, . . . John Chas. Moore. 

At this meeting a proposition was made that the Club 
endeavor to procure copies of all the principal editions of 
the Poems of Robert Burn'', published in Europe and 
America, and a special committee, consisting of John C. 
Moore, John Wilson and William A. Weeks, appointed to 
make enquiry and report on the subject. 

At the meeting held on March 5th, 1851, the President 
and Secretary were authorized to communicate with Provost 
Frazer of Dumfries, Scotland, relative to the public sub- 
scription set on foot for the repair of Burns's mausoleum at 
Dumfries. 

At the monthly meeting, held on the 2nd of April fol- 
lowing, a very animated discussion arose concerning cer- 
tain remarks contained in one of the papers read by the 
Secretary on Burns and his Contemporaries. The prevail- 
ing feature of debate was the defence of the reputation of 
the Poet against the prejudices of his contemporaries, 
which had led them into uncharitableness and detraction. 
The paper which caused the discussion, as also those of 
the series, by request of the Club, were placed at its dispo- 
sition, with the proviso that they should not be published. 

At the succeeding meeting, held on the 6th of May, a 
committee was appointed to revise the By-Laws of the 
Club. Allen C. Spooner recited two original poems pre- 
pared expressly for the occasion ; and a motion to rescind 
the vote of the previous meeting, providing that the papers 
on the Contemporaries of Burns should not be published, 
was lost. 

On the 4th of June the Club held a meeting and author- 
ized the special committee having charge of the matter to 
purchase Blackie & Sons' (Glasgow) edition of "The 
Works of Robert Burns," "The Land of Burns," by the 
same publishers, and also " Hogg and Motherwell's edition 
of the Life and Works of Burns." 

In consequence of several of the members being about 
to go into the country for the summer months, the Club 



RECORD OP TRANSACTIONS. 15 

resolved to hold its next meeting on the first Wednesday in 
September, 1851. 

Nothing of special importance was transacted at any of 
the meetings during the fall and winter of 1851, until Dec. 
3d, when Wm. A. Weeks, Wm. P. Fetridge, Alexander 
McGregor, Andrew Weddell, and E. P. Meriam were 
chosen a committee to superintend the arrangements for 
the annual festival, and reported progress at a meeting 
held on January 12th, 1852. 

[1852.] On Monday, the 26th of January, 1852, (the 
25th having fallen on a Sunday,) the Club celebrated the 
Ninety-Third Anniversary of the Birthday of Burns in the 
Stackpole House. President William Schouler occupied 
the Chair, and William Mitchell and William A. Weeks 
acted as Vice Presidents. Hon. Henry Wilson, President 
of the Massachusetts Senate, Hon. N. P. Banks, Speaker of 
the House, Hon. Mayor Seaver of Boston, and other gen- 
tlemen of eminence, shared in the hospitality of the Club. 
The newspapers of the day gave lengthy reports of the 
speeches, and in point of real intellectual and social enjoy- 
ment the meeting had no contemporary rival. Sixty per- 
sons joined in the festivities. 

At the annual meeting of the Club, held on the 4th day 
of February, 1852, the committee on the Library reported 
receipt of Blackie's edition of the Works of Burns, which 
was placed in the hands of the proprietor of the Club-room, 
as custodian, until otherwise ordered. 

The Treasurer reported that the finances of the Club — 
all debts being paid — amounted to $35.26. 

The following gentlemen were elected officers of the 
Club for 1852-3 :— 

President^ . . . William Schouler. 
Vice President^ William A. Weeks. 
Treasurer^ . . . William Bogle. 
Secretary^ . . . John Chas. Moore. 

The records of the succeeding months are barren of 
matters of historical interest, although meetings were regu- 
larly held. At this time it became evident that the pur- 
poses of the originators of the Club could not be carried 



16 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

out to the extent they had anticipated, and such among 
their number as had contributed to the literary instruction 
and amusement of the members failed to attend the meet- 
ings, which became more social in their character than had 
been customary. Valuable additions were made to the 
library by gift from Wm. P. Fetridge and Wm. A. Weeks. 

[1853.] The Annual Burns Festival took place on the 
25th of January, 1853, and proved itself an occasion of 
marked intellectuality and enjoyment. 

On the 2nd of February the following gentlemen were 
chosen officers of the Club, for 1853-4 : — 

President^ . . . William Schouler. 
Vice President^ William A. Weeks. 
Treasurer, . . . William Bogle. 
Secretary, . . . John C. Moore. 

The record of proceedings during the succeeding year 
are barren of interest. They, however, show that the Club 
gradually increased its number of members. 

[1854.] At the monthly meeting, held on January 4th, 
1854, the Club voted to observe the Ninety- Fifth Anniver- 
sary of Burns by a Festival in the Stackpole House, and a 
committee was appointed to carry out the preparations, 
consisting of Wm. P. Fetridge, Otis Rich, Edward P. Meri- 
am, Alexander McGregor, John Patterson, William Bogle, 
and James Anderson. 

William A. Weeks presented the Club with a copy of 
Currie's Edition of the Works of Robert Burns, in four 
volumes, published in Philadelphia in 1801. 

The Anniversary Festival took place in the Stackpole 
House, when, owing to the departure of the President for 
Cincinnati, Ohio, the Vice President, Wm. A. Weeks, occu- 
pied the Chair. The occasion was one of the most pleas- 
ant and gratifying description, and able speeches were 
made by the President, Mayor J. V. C. Smith, George W. 
Minns, Judge Thomas Russell, George W. Cooley, John S. 
Holmes, Frederick O. Prince, William Mitchell, Otis Rich, 
and others. Sentiment, speech and song kept the meeting 
harmoniously together until an early hour on the morning 
of the 26th. 



RECORD OF TRANSACTIONS. 17 

The annual meeting for the choice of officers was held 
in the Stackpole House on the 4th February, 1854, when 
the following gentlemen were elected : — 

President^ . . . William A. Weeks. 

Vice President^ John C. Moore. 

Treasurer, . . . Otis Rich. 

Secretary, . . . John Patterson. 

It was unanimously resolved that the Society at each 
annual meeting hereafter should make choice of a Librari- 
an, and Alexander McGregor was elected. 

The Club, on motion of William A. Weeks, seconded 
by John C. Moore, unanimously adopted the following res- 
olution : — 

Resolved, That the thanks of the Boston Burns Club be 
presented to Col. William Schouler, now of Cincinnati, 
Ohio, for his long and able services as President of this 
Club, and for his deep interest in its welfare, and that their 
best wishes for his prosperity and^ happiness accompany 
him to the new scene of his labors. 

The Secretary was ordered to transmit a copy of the 
above resolution to Col. Schouler. A vote of thanks was 
passed to William Bogle, the retiring Treasurer, and the 
Secretary ordered to notify him of the same. 

The record bears no matter of importance up to the 
time of the meeting held on the 5th of July, 1854, when 
Otis Rich, the President pro tern., stated that it was his 
melancholy duty to announce to the Club the death of the 
President, William A. Weeks. 

A committee was appointed to draft a series of resolu- 
tions expressive of the feelings of the Club in consequence 
of this dispensation of Providence ; and the following were 
reported by John C. Moore and unanimously adopted : — 

Whereas, it has pleased Divine Providence, in its in- 
scrutable wisdom, to remove from among us our respected 
President, Brother and Friend, William A. Weeks, and to 
deprive his wife and family of a fond husband and father, 
therefore — 

Resolved, That we recognize in this dispensation of the 
eternal will the warning love of our great Father, and the 
2* 



18 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

force of the injunction " be ye also prepared ;" and while 
our hearts mourn the deprivation his family and ourselves 
have experienced in his loss, we humbly bow beneath the 
chastening hand of Him who doeth all things for our good. 

Resolved, That the manly virtues which characterized 
the life of our lamented President, his goodness of heart, 
his modest but exalted talent, and his love for his fellow- 
men, are features which will always associate themselves 
with his memory, and incite our imitation. 

Resolved, That we sympathize in the spirit of brother- 
hood with the bereaved wife and family of our departed 
friend ; and that the President furnish them with a copy of 
these Resolves, which shall be placed on the record of the 
Club. 

John C. Moore, Vice President, resigned his office, as his 
occupation caused him to reside out of town, and it was 
accepted. It was agreed to make no present choice of 
President and Vice President. 

At a meeting held on December 6th, the Club voted to 
hold its annual celebrative Festival, and William Bogle, 
Alexander McGregor, John Patterson, Lyman T. Vose, 
Wm. P. Fetridge and William Mhchell were appointed a 
committee of management. 

[1855.] The Annual Birthday Festival took place in 
the Stackpole House, January 25th, 1855, Otis Rich presid- 
ing. Speeches were made from the Chair, and by John S. 
Tyler, Rev. Mr. Muir, Wm. M. Fleming and James Ben- 
nett, tragedians, Judge Russell and others. The occasion 
was not behind any of its predecessors in the excellent 
quality of its enjoyments. During the evening, John C. 
Moore presented the Club, on behalf of a gentleman, whose 
generosity was not to be published with his name, with a 
splendid copy of "The Land of Burns," for which the 
unknown had a hearty vote of thanks. 

At the annual meeting, on February 7th, 1855, for the 
choice of officers, the following gentlemen were unani- 
mously elected : — 

President, . . . John S. Tyler. 
Vice President, Otis Rich. 



RECORD OF TRANSACTIONS. 19 

Treasurer^ . . . Wm. P. Fetridge. 
Secretary, . . . John Patterson. 
Librarian, . . . Alexander McGregor. 

The Treasurer's report showed a balance on hand, in 
cash, of #16.61, with no pecuniary responsibilities. 

The subject of holding quarterly instead of monthly 
meetings was discussed at length, but no definite action 
taken thereon. 

From January to December, 1855, it would appear from 
the Secretary's minutes that no meeting of the Club had 
been held. On the 22nd of the latter month the Club as- 
sembled and voted to hold their annual Celebration of the 
Birthday of Robert Burns, and the following committee of 
management was chosen : — Otis Rich, William Bogle, Wil- 
liam Mitchell, David Miller and Alexander McGregor. 
This committee reported in favor of keeping the Festival 
in the Parker House, and the report was agreed to. 

[1856.] The annual Festival Meeting, it being the 
Ninety-Seventh Anniversary of the Birthday of Robert 
Burns, was held in the Parker House, on Friday evening, 
25th January, 1856. The published reports of the pro- 
ceedings show that it proved itself the most markedly inter- 
esting on the record of the Club. President John S. Tyler 
filled the Chair, and the Vice Presidents were Otis Rich 
and William Bogle. Excellent speeches were made by 
the presiding officer, by Hon. George S. Hillard, Mayor 
Rice, Hon. Chas. A. Phelps, Speaker of the House of Rep- 
resentatives, the Vice Presidents and others. An original 
poem, written at the grave of Robert Burns, in the church- 
yard of Dumfries, by Robert Hamilton, formerly of the 
National Theatre, Boston, was read by William Bogle; and 
the following witty introduction, and beautiful poem, were 
read by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, one of the guests on 
the occasion, and always a cherished friend of the Club : — 

I have come with the rest, I can hardly tell why, 
With a line I will read you before it is' dry ; 
I know I've no business among you, full well, 
But I'm here, notwithstanding, and how, I will tell. 

It was not a billet, beginning "Dear Sir ;" 

No missive like that would have coaxed me to stir ; 



20 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

Nor a ticket, announcing the "on" and the "at," 
And "requesting the honor," — 'twas better than that. 

It was done by a visit, from one that you know, 
Whose smile is unchilled by life's season of snow, 
Whose voice is so winning, resist as you may, 
You must do what it says, for it will have its way. 

It is true that at first I began to suggest 
I should sit like a stranger apart from the rest ; 
But he said, "To no clan is our banquet confined, 
For the heart of the poet belongs to mankind." 

Then I timidly asked, " Can I run, at a pinch, 
If our friends from the Old World have learned how to lynch 1" 
For I thought with dismay of the Know-Nothing crew. 
And I fancied a yell — "He's a Know-Nothing too !" 

I thought of old Porteus, of Hare and of Burke : 

I remembered the witches of Alloway Kirk ; — 

"Why bless you," he said, with a smile, "if you're cotched, 

You will never be killed, you will only be Scotched! 

So I came, and I'm here, with a line as I said ; 
I don't mean the verses that just have been read, 
But the ones in my pocket, and so, if you please. 
You shall hear them at once if you'll pardon me these. 



The mountains glitter in the snow 

A thousand leagues asunder ; 
Yet here amid the banquet's glow, 

I hear their voice of thunder ; 
Each giant's ice-bound goblet clinks ; 

A flowing stream is summoned ; 
Wachusett to Ben Nevis drinks ; 

Monadnock to Ben Lomond ! 

Though years have clipped the eagle's plume 

That crowned the Chieftain's bonnet. 
The sun still sees the heather bloom, 

The silver mists lie on it ; 
With tartan kilt and philibeg, 

What stride was ever bolder 
Than his that shewed the naked leg 

Beneath the plaided shoulder 1 

The echoes sleep on Cheviot's hills 

That heard the bugles blowing, 
When down their sides the crimson rills 

With mingled blood were flowing ; 
The hunts where gallant hearts were game, — 

The slashing on the border, — 
The raid that swooped with sword and flame,- 

Give place to "law and order." 



RECORD OF TRANSACTIONS. 21 

Not while the rocking steeples reel 

With midnight tocsins ringing, 
Not while the crashing war-notes peal, 

God sets his poets singing ; 
The bird is silent in the night, 

Or shrieks a cry of warning, 
While fluttering round the beacon-light, — 

But hear him greet the morning ! 

The lark of Scotia's morning sky ! 

Whose voice may sing his praises ? 
With Heaven's own sunlight in his eye, 

He walked among the daisies, 
Till through the cloud of fortune's wrong 

He soared to fields of glory ; 
But left his land her sweetest song 

And earth her saddest story. 

'Tis not the forts the builder piles 

That chain the earth together ; 
The wedded crowns, the sister isles 

Would laugh at such a tether ; 
The kindling thought, the throbbing words 

That set the pulses beating 
Are stronger than the myriad swords 

Of mighty armies meeting. 

Thus while within the banquet glows. 

Without the wild winds whistle. 
We drink a triple health, — the Rose, 

The Shamrock and the Thistle ! 
Their blended hues shall never fade 

Till War has hushed his cannon, — 
Close-twined as ocean-currents braid 

The Thames, the Clyde, the Shannon ! 

At a subsequent meeting of the Club, held on the 2d 
day of February, votes of thanks were unanimously passed 
to Dr. Holmes and Mr. Hillard for their able contributions 
to the festival proceedings ; also to the President for the 
very acceptable manner in which he presided on that 
occasion. 

The annual meeting for the choice of officers for 1856-7 
was held at the Stackpole House, on February 6th, when 
the following gentlemen were elected : — 

President, . . . John S. Tyler. 
Vice President, Otis Rich. 
Treasurer, . . . John L. Dimmock. 
Secretary, . . . John Patterson. 



22 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

There was no meeting of the Club during the remainder 
of the year. 

[1857.] The illness of the President and the Vice- 
President, at the period of the Annual Birthday Festival, 
induced the Club to decline its celebration this year. 

[1858.] The money and bank panic of this year 
interfered with the intention of the Club to observe its 
Annual Festival. Beyond making choice of the old offi- 
cers, no business appears on the record during this year 
up to nearly its close. 

On the 13th of November, a special meeting of the 
Club was called at the Parker House — the President in the 
chair — when it was resolved to celebrate the One Hun- 
dredth Anniversary of the Birthday of Robert Burns in 
such style as to make up for the intermissions of the past 
two years, and the following gentlemen were appointed a 
Committee of Arrangements : — 

John S. Tyler, William Schouler, Otis Rich, William 
Bogle, William Ellison, Robert I. Burbank, Justin Jones, 
and John C. Moore. The latter named party was consti- 
tuted secretary of the committee. 

At the special request of the President of the Scots' 
Charitable Society — Dr. William E. Coale — that its mem- 
bers join the Club in their festivity, the officers of that asso- 
ciation were added to the committee of arrangements. 

William Bogle was unanimously chosen Treasurer of the 
Club. 

Mr. Ellison, on behalf of Thomas Comer, Esq., leader 
of the orchestra in the Boston Theatre, presented the Club 
with an original song, supposed to have been written by 
James Hogg, "the Ettrick Shepherd," entitled, "The 
Bonnet and Feather and Claymore," which had been set 
to music by Mr. Comer, and dedicated by him to the Boston 
Burns Club. On motion, it was agreed to have the song 
and music published, with an illustrated title, and Messrs. 
Bogle, Ellison, and Moore were chosen a special commit- 
tee to superintend the publication. The Club passed an 
unanimous vote of thanks to Mr. Comer for his very 
acceptable gift. 



RECORD OP TRANSACTIONS. 23 

A fac-simile of Burns's manuscript copy of " The Cottar's 
Saturday Night" was presented to the Club by Mrs. Thomas 
Inglis, and the grateful thanks of the members tendered to 
the lady for her valuable gift. 

John C. King, sculptor, presented the Club with a copy 
of his celebrated bust of Burns, to be forwarded as a mark 
of fraternal regard to the Burns Club of Cincinnati, Ohio, 
and received the thanks of the members for the same. 
The President, William Schouler, and William Bogle were 
appointed a committee to carry out the wish of the donor. 

Thirty new members were admitted at this meeting, 
and thirty-eight members had their names proposed for 
membership. 

The Club held a meeting in the Parker House, on the 
evening of December 11th, 1858, when thirty-eight new 
members were admitted. 

Justin Jones was unanimously elected Librarian of the 
Club. 

On account of the sickness of the Secretary, John C. 
Moore was appointed Secretary pro tern. 

The President, on behalf of the committee of arrange- 
ments, reported progress, and produced letters of accept- 
ance of the invitation of the Club to join in the forthcoming 
festival from several eminent gentlemen. 

Mr. Bogle, from the sub-committee appointed for that 
purpose, reported in favor of the festival being held in the 
Parker House, and the report was accepted. 

At a special meeting of the Club, held on the 28th of 
December, thirty-six new members were admitted to the 
Club, and the committee of arrangements made favorable 
reports relating to the festival proceedings. 

[1859.] Meetings of the Club were held on the even- 
ings of the 8th and 15th of January, 1859, at which the 
preparations for the Centennial Festival were further per- 
fected, and thirty-two new members admitted. 

The Secretary joro tem. presented to the Club an original 
song — " What's a' the steer makin' ? " — written by Ben- 
jamin P. Shillaber for the forthcoming festival, which was 
read, and copies ordered to be printed for members. The 



24 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

thanks of the Club were unanimously voted to Mr. Shil- 
laber for his very acceptable contribution. 

The Secretary also reported that he had been notified 
of the arrival in New York of a box containing presents 
to the Club, from Miss Isabella Begg, niece of Robert 
Burns, and from several gentlemen residing in the land 
of Burns ; also a " haggis," made in the Cottage where 
Burns was born, to be used at the festival. 

The following gentlemen were appointed a committee 
to prepare and publish an abstract history of the Boston 
Burns Club, with its Constitution and By-Laws, the names 
of members in full standing, and a full report of the pro- 
ceedings at the Centennial Festival on the 25th instant : 
John S. Tyler, William Schouler, John C. Moore, Justin 
Jones, Z. K. Pangborn, Otis Rich, and John G. Roberts — 
the committee to have full powers. 

Between the 13th of November, 1858, and the 24th 
of January, 1859, the committee of arrangements held 
fourteen several meetings for consultation and action. The 
results of their labors will appear in part from what trans- 
pired at the meetings of the Club during the same period, 
and during the celebration of the Centennial Festival, a full 
report of which — principally from the Atlas and Bee of 
January 26th, 1859 — is appended. 



CENTENNIAL FESTIVAL 

or THK 

BOSTON BURNS CLUB 

JANUARY 25, 1859. 



The Centennial Anniversary of the Birthday of Robert 
Burns was commemorated by the Boston Burns Club this 
evening, by a banquet at the Parker House. The occasion 
was one of surpassing and memorable interest, alike for the 
distinguished gentlemen who honored it by their presence, 
the great excellence of the literary feast, the cordial spirit 
that animated the happy gathering, and the profound senti- 
ment of esteem and veneration for the memory of the poet 
which electrified all hearts. It was worthy of the great 
poet, of Boston, of the Club which gave it, and of those 
who were in attendance, and will long be remembered as a 
truly great festival. 

THE HALL AND ITS DECORATIONS. 

The hall presented a truly elegant and brilliant appear- 
ance. As the eye glanced over table and ornament, and 
from wall to wall, it met a display of taste and sentiment 
alike appropriate, suggestive, and beautiful. 

At the head of the hall, in rear of the President, and 
against the wall, was a painting of the monument of Burns 
on the banks of the Doon, with Alloway Kirk and the 
Burns cottage in the distance. The painting was executed 
by John Wilson of Jamaica Plain, an eminent Scottish. 
3 



26 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

artist, and a man of superior genius. It was surrounded by 
a garland of bay leaves ; and from the top were suspended 
garlands of the same material, stretching to either side of 
the hall. 

Below were festoons, and immediately under these a 
bust of Burns, surmounted by a wreath of fragrant roses 
and bay leaves. The bust rested upon a fluted pedestal, 
wreathed with a garland of green. The design was happy 
and appropriate, and was carried out with success. Upon 
each side were miniature busts of Sir Walter Scott, General 
Havelock, General Pellissier, and General Williams, the 
hero of Kars. 

The wall opposite the entrance of the hall was adorned 
by a painting of Doune Castle, Perthshire, Scotland, also 
by Wilson, exquisitely done. At the foot of the hall, by 
the same artist, was a representation of Gibraltar, including 
a view of the sea. Upon the wall over the entrance was 
a Gipsey scene by moonlight, the subject being suggested 
by a passage in Guy Mannering. This, too, was by the 
hand of Wilson. 

In the rear of the Vice-Presidents, inclining upon the 
wall, were finely-framed photographic pictures, presented 
to the Club by Mr. David Campbell of Ayr, Scotland, large 
and splendidly executed, of which the following are the 
subjects : — 

1. The Cottage in which Robert Burns was born, situ- 
ated about two miles south of the town of Ayr. 

2. The Auld Kirk o' Alloway, celebrated as the scene 
of the witches' dance, in Tam O'Shanter, Auld Clootie's 
wonderful musical efforts on the Scotch bagpipe, and 
where 

" Nannie lap and flang 

(A souple jade she was and Strang), 
While Tammie stood, like ane hewitch'd, 
And thought his very een enrich'd ; 
Even Satan glowr'd, and fidg't fu' fain, 
And hotch't an' blew wi' might an' main, 
Till first ae caper, syne anither, 
Tam tint his reason a'thegither 
And roars out—' Well done. Cutty Sark ! ' " 

3. The Auld Brig o' Doon, whereon the gray mare Meg 
of said Tam O'Shanter lost her tail in making good her 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 27 

retreat from the witches of Kyle unto the less diabolical 
region of Carrick, on the south side of the Doon. 

4. Burns' Monument on the banks of the Doon, in close 
vicinity to Alioway Kirk and the Auld Brig — the view taken 
from the south. 

A photograph was also exhibited of Mrs. Begg, Burns' 
sister, who was born June, 1771, and died December, 1858, 
aged 87J years. This was executed by D. Campbell, in 
Ayr, October, 1858, and was a present to the Boston Burns 
Club from Miss Isabella Begg, a daughter of the venerable 
lady, along with autographs of the three sons of Robert 
Burns, and her mother. 

Besides the autographs enclosed in Miss Begg's letter, 
there was an impression of the seal of Robert Burns, now 
in possession of his grand-daughter, Mrs. Everett, which 
the poet describes in his letter to Mr. Cunningham, dated 
" 3d March, 1792," as follows : " I am a bit of a herald, 
and shall give you, secundem artem, my arms. On a field, 
azure, a holly bush, seeded, proper, in base ; a shepherd's 
pipe and crook, saltierwise, also proper, in chief; on a 
wreath of the colors, a woodlark perching on a sprig of 
bay tree, proper ; for crest, two mottoes, round the top of 
the crest, Wood notes wild. At the bottom of the shield, 
in the usual place. Better a wee bush than nae hield. By 
the shepherd's pipe and crook I do not mean the nonsense 
of painters of Arcadia ; but a Stock and Horn and a 
CZmJ." 

All the above-named mementoes of the bard and his 
family will be faithfully preserved among the relics of the 
Boston Burns Club. 

In another part of the hall, in a frame, were miniature 
designs of a cross, Bible, &c., in wood, cut from a branch 
of Highland Mary's Thorn, at Coilsfield House, Ayrshire, 
(better known in song as " the Castle o' Montgomery," that 
being the name of the Eglinton family to whom it belongs,) 
and obtained by Sanford Howard, June 24, 1858. 

In another case were the following specimens : — 

Wild flowers from the banks of the Fayle, the scene of 
the parting of Burns and Highland Mary. 

Sweet brier rose from the grounds of Burns' monument. 

Purple heath. 



28 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

Mountain daisy from the field where Burns turned one 
under with his plough, which gave rise to the poem com- 
mencing — 

" Wee modest crimson tipped flower." 

Grass from the grave of William Burns, the poet's father, 
in Alloway Kirk yard. 

Branch of Mary's Thorn, at Montgomery Castle. 

Bird's foot trefoil. 

Shamrock trefoil. 

All these were collected by Sanford Howard, in June, 
1858. 

Stereoscopic pictures were exhibited at the tables — the 
contribution of Mr. Duncan Ballantine, printer, Cumnock, 
Ayrshire — of Burns' Cottage, the Farmhouse of Mossgiel 
(two views), the Monument (two views), the Auld Brig, 
Coobs' Glen (two views), Ballochmyle Viaduct (the scene 
of the song of" The Lass o' Ballochmyle"), Connar Lynn, 
and Creswick Glen and the Witches' Stairs, near Sanquhar, 
Dumfriesshire ; also, from Mr. David Campbell of Ayr, two 
views of Burns' Cottage, with separate groupings of figures. 
Kirk Alloway, and winter views of the Auld Brig o' Doon 
and of Burns' Monument on its northern bank. 

The Club also received a section of an oak standard used 
in the original "auld clay biggin" in which Burns first 
drew the breath of life ; also a large portion of Highland 
Mary's thorn — both of which were partially shown to the 
guests at the dinner table. These were the gift of Mr. 
Davison Ritchie, landlord of Burns' Cottage, whose guid- 
wife furnished the haggis for the feast. 

Besides these, there were a handsomely-sized billet of 
" plane-tree" wood, grown in the inside of Alloway's " auld 
howlet-haunted biggin," the gift of Mr. Hugh Muir, car- 
penter, at Wrightfield, near the spot where Burns was born, 
who also forwarded a portion of the iron-work with which 
the old door of said dilapidated kirk was hung. These the 
Club will take good care of, there can be little doubt. 

The dinner tables, five in number, including the dais^ 
which was occupied by the President and the invited guests, 
were arranged in splendid style, and thousands look advan- 
tage of the kindness of Messrs. Parker & Mills, during the 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 29 

day, to inspect their rich and tempting appearance. They 
were elegantly decorated with flowers and designs wrought 
in sugar work — among them " Burns' Cottage," " The 
Monument," a " Scotch Hunting Scene," " Washington's 
Monument," and a " Temple of Liberty." 

Gen. John S. Tyler, President of the Club, occupied 
the chair at the dinner table ; and was assisted by Otis 
Rich, Vice-President, Justin Jones, Librarian, William Bo- 
gle, Treasurer, and Col. Robert L Burbank, as Vice-Presi- 
dents. 

At the right of the presiding officer were seated His 
Excellency, Gov. Banks, Col. Edward G. Parker, one of 
the Governor's Aids, Hon. Joseph Howe, Hon. Charles A. 
Phelps, President of the Senate, His Honor Mayor Lincoln, 
Hon. J. P. Bradlee, President of the Common Council, 
Peter Harvey, Esq., and others. 

On the President's left were seated the Chaplain of the 
evening. Rev. Mr. Laurie, pastor of the Universalist Church 
in Charlestown, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Lord Radstock, 
Hon. George S. Hillard, N. P. Willis, Esq., Dr. Oliver 
Wendell Holmes, Prof. James Russell Lowell, Capt. Lang, 
and others. 

As soon as the company — which numbered 278 — had 
all entered the hall and stationed themselves around the 
tables, a blessing was invoked by the Chaplain, and the 
creature comforts were discussed during nearly two hours. 
The following bill of fare will show that the appetite would 
indeed have been a fastidious one which could not find 
satisfaction at the feast : — 

BILL OF FARE, 

SOUP. 

Mock Turtle. Tomato. 



FISH. 
Boiled Striped Bass, HoIIandaise Sauce. Baked 'White Fish, Sauce, aa B^yroot 



COLD ORNAMENTED DISHES. 

Gelatine of Turkey, a la Voliere. 

Truffled Back, in Jelly. Pate de Foie, Gras an Gele*. 

Aspic of Oystprs, a la Koyale. Capon, a la Keiue, in Jellj. 

Mayonaise of Chicken. Salad of Lobster. 

Salad of Scotch Grouse, a la Soyer. 

3* 



30 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

BOIIiED. ROAST. 

Legs of English Mutton, with Capers. Legs of Mutton, Jelly Sauce. 

Capons and Fork, Celery Sauce. Turkey, Giblet Sauce. 

Boston Ham and Tongue. Sirloin of Beef. 

Twkeys, Oyster Sauce. Mongrel Geea*. 

Scotch Pea Fowls, Larded. 



ENTBEES. 

Sweet Breads, with Green Peas. Mutton Kidneys, en Croustade. 

Lamb Cutlets, a la Marachel. Salmi of Quails, with Truffles. 

lillet of Beef, with Mushrooms. Fillets of Chicken, with Uice. 

Pate Chaud, a la Financiere. Venison Cutlets, Jelly Sauc«. 

Macaroni, en Timbal. Calf's Head, Turtle Sauce. 

Apple Fritters. Escaloped Oysters. 

Scotch Haggis, a la *' Bums Cottage," and '■^ Cunard." 



GAME. 

Canvas Back Ducks. Bed Head Ducks, 

Blue Bill Widgeon. Mallard Ducks. 

Black Ducks. Prairie Grouse. 

Brandt. Wild Geese. Partridges. 

Larded Quail. 



PASTBY. 

Cabinet Pudding, Wine Sauce. Lemon Custard Pudding. 

a la Vanilla, Charlotte Kusse, en Glace. 

Madeira Jelly. Italian Cream. Champagne Jelly. 

Apple, Mince, Lemon, Cranberry, and I'each Pies. 

Meringue Baskets. Chantilli Baskets. 

Scotch Holiday Cake. 

Confectionary. 



DESSEBT. 

Strawberry Ice Cream. Lemon Ice Cream. 

Roman Punch. Orange Sherbet. 

Plum Pudding Glace. 

Oranges. Apples. Figs. Raisins. Ginger. 

Walnuts. Brandy Peaches. Almonds. 

Coffee. Olives, 

During dinner, and at appropriate intervals thereafter, in 
response to toasts of a general character, excellent music 
was furnished by Bell & Baldwin's orchestral band, under 
the leadership of Mr. Bell. 

About half past 7 o'clock, the material repast having 
come to an end, the intellectual feast was opened by the 
President, who, as he rose, was received with three hearty 
cheers, and who spoke as follows : — 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 81 



SPEECH OP GEN. JOHN S. TYLER. 

Gentlemen of the Burns Club : — It is undoubtedly to 
be regretted by all, and by no one nnore than myself, that 
this chair, on this occasion, is not filled by one, better fitted 
by education, and better qualified by natural ability to 
discharge the duties of a presiding officer, — at a festival in 
honor of a poet and nnan of genius. That I should feel 
embarrassed, therefore, on rising to discharge the duty 
imposed by official poshion — surrounded, as I am, by those, 
whose learning, eloquence and genius, are conspicuous in 
the brightest pages of the literature of New England, should 
be anticipated. That I may keep, however, within the line 
of safe precedent, permit me to say, in the words of a dis- 
tinguished gentleman on a late occasion, whose absence 
we regret, " that the banqueting is ended — but not the fes- 
tival — for festival it is." An hundred years ago, this day, 
in a clay-built cottage on the banks of the Doon, Robert 
Burns was born. So fragile was the structure, that the first 
storm of the season destroyed it, and forced his parents to 
seek shelter in a neighboring house. How unlike the liter- 
ary structure erected by his genius ! This has already 
survived his natural life more than sixty years, and will 
endure whilst the human heart responds to the thought — 

" That rank is but the guinea's stamp, 
The man's the gowd for a' that." 

Did we need proof of the enduring fame of Burns, we 
should find it in the existence of such associations as our 
own, in every land where the language of the Celt and the 
Anglo-Saxon is spoken — and in the readiness with which 
the leading poets, orators, and statesmen of each country 
bring the tributes of their genius, eloquence and wisdom 
to honor his shrine. It gives me pleasure to state, in this 
connection, that most of the guests invited by vote of the 
Club, on this occasion, have accepted our invitation, and 
now honor our Board with their presence. Among the 
few who have been compelled to decline, I am sorry to 
name the Honorable iVlr. Everett, from whom I hare 
received the following reply : — 



»Z BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

Summer Street, Jannary 22, 1859. 

My Dear Sir, — I am extremely indebted to you and Gen. Schouler 
for your kind invitation, as a Committee of theBoston Burns Club, to 
attend the celebration of the liundredth anniversary of the birthday of 
Robert Burns. I leave Boston on the 24th, to fulhl an engagement of 
a year's standing at Philadelphia, with appointments to speak twice on 
the way. It will consequently not be in my power to be with you on 
the 25th, but I shall respond in spirit to every utterance in honor of 
the great poet, not of Scotland alone, but of all who speak the English 
tongue, whether in the common dialect, or in that sweet Doric, to 
which his songs have imparted such an inexpressible charm. 

While all you who have. Scottish blood in your veins will celebrate 
the day with emotions of national pride peculiar to yourselves, you 
will not forbid us, who have learned a higher patriotism from " Scots 
wha' hae' wi' Wallace bled," a warmer friendship from " Auld Lang 
Syne," a truer republicanism from "A man's a man for a' that," a 
deeper reverence for woman from "His 'prentice ban' he tried on 
man," and a more fervid devotion from " The Cottar's Saturday 
Night," to join with you in doing honor to his rnemory. 

I pray you to admit me to the fellow-citizenship of those who 
admire, revere and love Burns. 

I remain, dear Sir, with friendly salutations and cordial wishes for 
an agreeable celebration. 

Very truly yours, Edward Everett. 

Gen. J. S. Tyler, President of the Boston ^urns Club. 

I need not say to the members of the Club, that it would 
have been highly gratifying to us had we been able to 
solicit the attendance of many other gentlemen, whose liter- 
ary standing would have rendered their presence desira- 
ble and appropriate, but the limited space in this hall, 
which is as capacious as any in the city suited to the occa- 
sion, compelled us to forego our wishes — and I avail my- 
self of this opportunity thus publicly to apologize, in the 
name of the Club, to every gentleman who may have 
thought himself neglected. 

Your Committee of Arrangements have no occasion, at 
this stage of the proceedings, to make any report upon the 
creature comforts provided for your entertainment — this 
matter has been, as they say in the legislature, laid upon 
the table — taken up, and ably discussed, to the satisfaction, 
I trust, of every member. The haggis, made in the cot- 
tage of the poet, and that prepared by our esteemed guest, 
Capt. Lang, are doubtless very good of the kind, and must 
have been acceptable to the cultivated taste of true Scotch- 
men — but, I must confess that my own admiration for the 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 61i 

national literature of Scotland does not extend to the nation- 
al cookery. Accompanying the haggis from Ayr, were 
several articles of interest, kindly contributed by the niece 
of the Poet, Miss Begg ; Alexander Grant, Esq., proprietor 
of the Ayrshire Express; Davison Ritchie, Esq. and 
lady, of Burns' Cottage, Alloway ; Hugh Muir, Esq., of 
Wrightfield, Alloway; David Campbell, Esq., of Ayr, and 
Duncan Ballantine, Esq., of Cumnock, all of which will 
be carefully preserved in our archives, and produced for 
the gratification of our successors, at the next Centennial 
Celebration — at which time, probably, all of us will be forgot- 
ten excepting the poets and men of letters who now honor 
us with their presence, and will live in their works. Hav- 
ing thus alluded to such matters as seemed to demand 
notice from your President, 1 purposely forbear to tax your 
patience with any remarks upon the personal or literary 
merits of the great bard, in whose honor we have as- 
sembled. Of the former, whatever is known has become 
history. The happiest commentary on his character, per- 
haps, is from the pen of his kind friend, Mrs. Riddel, who 
speaks of him as the child of nature and sensibility, un- 
schooled in the rigid precepts of philosophy, and too often 
unable to control the passions, which proved to him a source 
of frequent errors and misfortunes, and for which he apol- 
ogized, in one of his poems, in those lines almost unique 
for simplicity and beauty : — 

" I saw thy pulse's madd'ning play, 
Wild send thee pleasure's devious way : 
Misled by fancy's meteor ray, 

By passion driven : 
But yet the light that led astray, 

Was light from heaven." 

To this it may not be inappropriate to add : — 

" Who made the heart, 'tis His alone 

Decidedly to try us. 
He knows each chord — its various tone. 

Each spring — its various bias ; 
Then, at the balance, let's be mute, 

We never can adjust it ; 
What's done, we partly can compute, 

But, know not what's resisted." 



84 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

To speak of the literary character of Burns, I feel my 
utter incapacity. Happily the affluence of talent around 
our board renders any effort of the kind as unnecessary as 
it would be unavailing. Were it otherwise I should be 
much in the situation of the old lady mentioned by the 
erudite Joe Miller, whose first reason for not loaning her 
neighbor a washtub, was, that she had none. 

I return, therefore, to the line of safe precedent, and 
proceed "to introduce to you that which remains of our 
festival — 

* The feast of reason and the flow of soul/ 

not, of course, to produce this myself, save as mine shall 
be the hand to touch the rock of Horeb, and unlock the 
wells of its gushing waters — to usher in the luminaries of 
speech and of thought." — Kindred spirits grace your table: 
They wait but the indication of your will, to pour forth in 
prose and verse, rich tributes of eloquence and genius to 
the memory of the great poet of nature and humanity, 
whose birthday we celebrate. 
Let us say whh Burns, then,— • 

" Happy we are a' thegither, 
Happy we'll be, yin and a', 
Time shall see us a' the blyther, 
Ere we rise to gang awa' — ". 

During the above address its sentiments were frequently 
and heartily applauded, and at its close the President 
announced Gen. William Schouler, of the Atlas and 
J5ee, as the toast-master of the evening, who announced the 
first toast to be — 

1. — The Memory of Burns. 

The toast was pledged standing, and in silence ; after 
which Mr. George Moodie of this city, sang " The land o' 
the leaV with great feeling and effect, the band furnishing 
an accompaniment ; and the assembly manifested its appre- 
ciation by marked applause. 

The President then said : — " We have with us one who 
once in his life chose to make an apology, and among the 
stanzas, I find some words so aptly descriptive of what we 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 36 

all know, that I cannot forbear citing them on this occa- 
sion : — 

" Chide me not, laborious band, 

For the idle flowers I brought, 

Every aster in my hand 

Comes home loaded with a thought." 

Thus introduced, Mr. Ralph Waldo Emekson rose to 
respond to the toast of the evening, and was received with 
loud cheers. 



SPEECH OP RALPH WALDO EMERSON. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen : — I do not know by 
what untoward accident it has chanced — and I forbear to 
inquire — that, in this accomplished circle, it should fall to 
me, the worst Scotsman of all, to receive your commands, 
and at the latest hour, too, to respond to the sentiment just 
offered, and which indeed makes the occasion. But I ara 
told there is no appeal, and I must trust to the inspiration 
of the theme to make a fitness which does not otherwise 
exist. 

Yet, sir, I heartily feel the singular claims of the occa- 
sion. At the first announcement, from I know not whence, 
that the 25th of January was the hundredth anniversary of 
the birth of Robert Burns, a sudden consent warmed the 
great English race, in all its kingdoms, colonies, and states, 
all over the world, to keep the festival. 

We are here to hold our parliament with love and poesy, 
as men were wont to do in the middle ages. Those famous 
parliaments might or might not have had more stateliness, 
and better singers than we — though that is yet to be known 
— but they could not have better reason. 

I can only explain this singular unanimity in a race 
which rarely acts together, but rather after their watch- 
word, each for himself — by the fact that Robert Burns, the 
poet of the middle class, represents in the mind of men 
to-day that great uprising of the middle class against the 
armed and privileged minorities — that uprising which work- 
ed politically in the American and French Revolutions, and 
which, not in governments so much as in education and in 
social order, has changed the face of the world. 



36 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

In order for this destiny, his birth, breeding, and fortune 
were low. His organic sentiment was absolute independ- 
ence, and resting, as it should, on a life of labor. No man 
existed who could look down on him. They that looked 
into his eyes saw that they might look down the sky as 
easily. His muse and teaching was common sense, joyful, 
aggressive, irresistible. 

Not Latimer, not Luther, struck more telling blows 
against false theology than did this brave singer. The 
" Confession of Augsburg," the " Declaration of Inde- 
pendence," the French " Rights of Man," and the " Mar- 
seillaise," are not more weighty documents in the history 
of freedom than the songs of Burns. His satire has lost 
none of its edge. His musical arrows yet sing through 
the air. 

He is so substantially a reformer, that I find his grand 
plain sense in close chain with the greatest masters — 
Rabelais, Shakspeare in comedy, Cervantes, Butler, and 
Burns. If I should add another name, I find it only in a 
living countryman of Burns. He is an exceptional genius. 
The people who care nothing for literature and poetry care 
for Burns. It was indifferent — they thought who saw him — 
whether he wrote verse or not ; he could have done any- 
thing else as well. 

Yet how true a poet is he ! And the poet, too, of poor 
men, of hodden-gray, and the Guernsey-coat, and the 
blouse. He has given voice to all the experiences of com- 
mon life ; he has endeared the farm-house and cottage, 
patches and poverty, beans and barley ; ale, the poor man's 
wine ; hardship, the fear of debt, the dear society of weans 
and wife, of brothers and sisters, proud of each other, 
knowing so few, and finding amends for want and obscurity 
in books and thought. What a love of nature ! and, shall 
I say it? of middle-class nature. Not great, like Goethe, 
in the stars, or like Byron, on the ocean, or Moore, in the 
luxurious East, but in the homely landscape which the 
poor see around them — bleak leagues of pasture and stub- 
ble, ice, and sleet, and rain, and snow-choked brooks ; 
birds, hares, field-mice, thistles, and heather, which he 
daily knew. How many " Bonny Doons," and " John 
Anderson my joes," and " Auld Lang Synes," all around 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 37 

the earth, have his verses been applied to! And his love 
songs still woo and melt the youths and maids ; the farm 
work, the country holiday, the fishing cobble, are still his 
debtors to-day. 

And, as he was thus the poet of the poor, anxious, 
cheerful, working humanity, so had he the language of 
low life. He grew up in a rural district, speaking a patois 
unintelligible to all but natives, and he has made that Low- 
land Scotch a Doric dialect of fame. It is the only exam- 
ple in history of a language made classic by the genius of 
a single man. But more than this. He had that secret 
of genius to draw from the bottom of society the strength 
of its speech, and astonish the ears of the polite with these 
artless words, better than art, and filtered of all offence 
through his beauty. It seemed odious to Luther that the 
devil should have all the best tunes ; he would bring them 
into the churches ; and Burns knew how to take from fairs 
and gipseys, blacksmiths and drovers, the speech of the 
market and street, and clothe it with melody. 

But I am detaining you too long. The memory of 
Burns — I am afraid, heaven and earth have taken too good 
care of it, to leave us anything to say. The west winds 
are murmuring it. Open the windows behind you, and 
hearken for the incoming tide, what the waves say of it. 
The doves perching always on the eaves of the Stone Chapel 
opposite, may know something about it. Every name in 
broad Scotland keeps his fame bright. The memory of 
Burns — every man's, and boy's, and girl's head carries 
snatches of his songs, and can say them by heart, and, 
what is strangest of all, never learned them from a book, 
but from mouth to mouth. The wind whispers them, the 
birds whistle them, the corn, barley, and bulrushes hoarsely 
rustle them ; nay, the music-boxes at Geneva are framed 
and toothed to play them ; the hand-organs of the Savoy- 
ards in all cities repeat them, and the chimes of bells ring 
them in the spires. They are the property and the solace 
of mankind. 

The wildest cheering followed the conclusion of Mr. 
Emerson's remarks, a large part of the company rising. 
4 



38 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

There were loud calls of " More," " Go on." " Go on," 
and a gentleman rose from one of the tables and said : 

" Here are three hundred orators crying out*— More ! " 

The President. Mr. Emerson begs to be excused, not 
because the well of gushing waters is exhausted, but be- 
cause, in the kindness of his heart, he thinks that he ought 
to leave room for gentlemen who are to succeed him. 

The second toast was announced — 

2. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts — ^Founded by men of Con- 
science, Courage, Industry, and Truth. Their first duty was to God, 
their second to Freedom and Humanity, and now — 

" They boast a race 
To every nobler virtue bred, 
And polished grace." 

Music—" Hail Columbia." 

The President then introduced Governor Banks as fol- 
lows. To the second regular toast, we may, with propriety, 
look for a response from His Excellency the Governor of 
the Commonwealth. If His Excellency will pardon me 
for a pun, I will say that in our devotion to the Banks of 
the Doon, we are unwilling to forget the Banks of our own 
country. (Great cheering.) 

SPEECH OP GOVERNOR BANKS. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Boston Burns 
Club : It is with greater reluctance than any here can con- 
ceive, that I rise to respond to the sentiment that has just 
been uttered ; but it is to me a duty which I cannot forbear 
to perform, however illy it may be done, and whatever 
grace it may want, and I speak on this occasion only the 
sentiments that you yourselves and the occasion inspire. 

Massachusetts as a Commonwealth owes much to you 
and yours. The first favor that this ancient Commonwealth 
ever received, after the blessing of God and the power of 
the people who first planted their foot upon this ancient and 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 39 

honored colony, was from Scotchmen. I came here, to- 
night, to present to you, as the representative of our people, 
my thanks as the representative of those people, for what 
they did in the hour of our toil and trouble. Though I 
doubt not it has been presented often to you before — I yet 
hesitate not to repeat it, for so long as Massachusetts lives, 
and so long as liberty and learning shall excite a throb in 
the hearts of the people of this State, our indebtedness and 
our obligations to the people of Scotland should never be 
forgotten. 

You may remember that when our fathers came here, 
they were weak in numbers and poor in all but manly 
spirit. We planted a colony that was designed to give 
liberty to the world and equal rights to all, and establish in 
the place of crowns and sceptres the principles of justice 
and mercy. Our fathers took the continent when it was 
what they called " bare creation ; " but as such it was a 
prize to them. After eighteen years' struggle, they were 
arraigned by the crowned power across the great waters. 
They were told that this theocratic democracy which they 
had established, where every man was equal to every other 
man, was not such as the powers of the world ought to 
recognize, or whose existence should be endured ; and 
they, therefore, summoned the Pilgrim fathers across the 
waters to answer, by a writ of quo warranto, and show by 
what right they had undertaken to establish this govern- 
ment. It was the darkest day this colony had ever seen 
from 1620 up to that hour ; and the whole power of Charles 
the First and his government was summoned and arrayed 
to crush the New England Commonwealth which had been 
here established. 

It would have been done, sir, for what with the difficulties 
that surrounded them, the unknown paths of the future, and 
the heavy cloud that lowered upon them, they had enough 
to contend with ; and had the English government been 
able to bring its power to bear on this side of the water, 
though we cannot believe that this Commonwealth would 
have been destroyed, no man can anticipate or understand 
what would have been its immediate future. But at that 
dark moment a light broke from Edinburgh. Charles the 
First had declared that the liturgy of the Roman missal 



40 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

should be read in Scotland ; and the Scotch men and 
women, and boys and girls, rose up in their might, and, 
in the language of Burns, they swore that should never be 
in Scotland. (Loud applause.) 

I always respect the religion of Scotland when I re- 
member this fact. It may seem a surprise to us that our 
political success should have grown out of religious contro- 
versy ; but it will seem perfectly natural when we remember 
that in our own Commonwealth no man was then allowed 
to vote who had not first become a member of the church. 
(Laughter and applause.) We can refer, in this period 
of history, to the words of Burns, in which, in 1788, he 
referred to this country and its future, when he pointed, 
sir, not with a disposition to pronounce upon the character 
or the virtues of the American Congress, but to the glorious 
results of the Revolution through which our people had 
passed, and the success which even then he saw was des- 
tined to crown them, and to predict, in his own glowing 
language, that the centennial anniversary of their inde- 
pendence would be celebrated with the same spirit and the 
same enthusiasm with which Scotchmen celebrated their 
own deliverance from the thraldom of the wrong-headed 
house of Stuart. 

We are indebted, sir, in the Commonwealth of Massa- 
chusetts, to the countrymen of Burns on other grounds. 
Our manufactures, our commerce, our mechanic arts, and 
our literature have been strengthened, and our success has 
been enlarged, by the frugal spirit, the untiring energy, 
and keen, piercing intellect which they at all times and 
in all directions have given to our industry and practical 
prosperity. But especially are we indebted to Scotland for 
the brilliant and heroic spirit, the unsurpassed poetic genius, 
and the pure love of nature and of the right, which we find 
in the poetry of Burns — not the poetry for those of scholastic 
attainments alone, not for one class or another, but for all 
who wear the form of man, or who can be moved by the 
highest and purest thoughts which have ever stirred the 
hearts of the human race in any age of the world. (Pro- 
longed applause.) 

I am not disposed, gentlemen, to trespass upon your 
time, with any disquisition upon his merits as a poet or 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 41 

writer. There are those who can do this better than I, 
whom you have chosen for this purpose, and so I pass it. 
But I beg your permission and grace to say, that when you 
present, on this centennial anniversary of his birth, his 
character as a man, his genius as a poet, and the spirit of 
humanity which has immortalized his name, you furnish an 
example and a philosophy which have warmed the hearts 
of his fellow-men, and will still strengthen them, so long 
as human hearts beat within the breasts of men. 

From the lowest ranks of life, nerved alone by his own 
spirit and by his own courage, recognized by none, seeking 
counsel and support from none, through the strength of his 
own spirit and the natural brilliancy of his own genius, he 
achieved for himself an immortality of fame, and gave to 
the world an illustrious example, which will never cease 
to be felt. (Cheers.) Sir, if we could give to the people 
of other lands — to Spain, or to France, or to Russia, or to 
whatever nation or people you may turn — such words and 
such lessons, and such power, that should so enter into the 
hearts of their people as the thrilling melodies of Burns 
have filled the hearts of Scotchmen, and Englishmen, and 
Americans, they would hew their way through the thick 
ranks of privileged orders, and batter down the heavy 
masses of legislative encroachment, though they were 
piled mountains high, until they made " Ossa like a wart." 
(Enthusiastic cheering.) 

It was said by the adviser to Charles the First, that in 
consequence of this outbreak in Scotland, it was necessary 
that he should allow the colonists of Massachusetts to go 
on in their own way ; and from that period the colonists of 
Massachusetts have had their own way, and for their own 
purpose, and have pursued the path of success to which no 
son of ours this day has other reason to point than as the 
crowning glory of his race. (Loud applause.) 

This is what Burns did for Scotchmen ; it is what he has 
done for Americans ; and until years shall cease to roll, 
and human hearts to beat, there will never be a man, in 
whatever rank of life you find him, however poor and op- 
pressed, who, with the memory and glory of Robert Burns 
before him, will not gird and guide himself as if possessed 
with the spirit and power of truth, of justice, of humanity 
4* 



42 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

and right, against whatever odds may be presented. (Loud 
applause.) 

Let me say, then, Mr. President and gentlemen of the 
Burns Club, taking him as the type of the purpose of Scot- 
land and the Scotch people, and his language as evidence 
of their power and of their intellect — let me say, in his 
own words, upon this the hundredth anniversary since God 
gave him the light of life, and the pen of eloquence, 
poesy, truth, and power : — 

" Auld Scotland has a raucle tongue, 
She' just a devil wi' a rung ; 
An' if she promise old or young 

To tak their part, 
Tho' by the neck she should be strung, 

She'll not desert." 

At this point in the proceedings, and at sundry intervals 
during the evening, Mr. John C. Moore, the Secretary, 
announced receipt of telegraphic despatches from kindred 
Clubs in the United States and Canada. To each and all 
the Club gave the most fraternal recognition, and prompt 
replies were made by telegraph. A list of these friendly 
salutations and sentiments will be found at the close of this 
report. 

Gen. ScHOULER announced the next regular toast as 
follows : — 

3. The Past lives in the Present — ^Upon the veiled Future falls " the 
light of other days," and with the noisy and discordant tumult of the 
work-day world, mingles the pleasant music of " Auld Lang Syne." 
Our venerable and distinguished guest, who unites in his person the 
experience and wisdom of three generations — Hon. Josiah Quincy, 
Sen. 

Mr. John P. Ordway's -^olian band sang " Auld Lang 
Syne'''' in fine style — the company standing, and joining in 
the choral verses. This was one of the most striking 
incidents of the evening, and one of ihe most gratifying 
tributes to age and worth. As the chorus arose it was 
taken up outside the hall, and the streets rang with the 
outpourings of the heart which always accompany the 
singing of this universal song of friendship. 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 43 

The President said. Until the last evening, we were 
assured, at least by our hopes, that the venerable gentle- 
man alluded to in the last toast would favor and honor us 
with his presence on this occasion. At the last moment, 
he sent me this note, which I will now read : — 

Letter from Josiah Quincy, Sen. 

John S. Tyler, Esq., President of the Burns Club : 

Dear Sir, — When I accepted your kind invitation to the Bums 
Centenary Anniversary Dinner, it was under an express reserve that 
the disabilities incident to old age, relative to an evening convivial 
meeting, should they occur, would be received as an apology for 
failing to fulfil my engagement. It will not be necessary for one, 
approximating his eighty-seventh year, to explain the disabilities 
which will prevent my presence with you. My desire to unite in your 
celebration continues intense, but Burns himself has taught me that — 

" When life's day is nearly gloamin', 
Tlien farewell Tacant, careless roaming, 
And farewell cheerful tankards foaming, 
And social joys" — 

adding, that "prudent, cautious self-control is wisdom's root." 

So, wishing you and your assembled associates all the pleasures the 
occasion promises — above all, that the spirit and genius of your great 
poet may be present and inspire it — 
I am, gratefully. 

Your and their obliged servant, 

Josiah Quinct. 
Boston, January 25, 1859. 

The fourth regular toast was then read : — 

4. Pathos and Humor — Twin sisters of true poetic genius, strikingly 
illustrated by "Tam O'Shanter/' "Hosea Bigelow," and the "Auto- 
crat of the Breakfast Table." 

Song — " Duncan Gray cam here to woo." 

The President. I am happy to know that we have a 
" Boy " whh us to-night, who frequently indulges in pathos 
and humor, and who will say something on this occasion. 
I introduce to you Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. 

The " Autocrat " was received with tremendous ap- 
plause, and proceeded to deliver the following, as his 



44 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

contribution to the dinner-table. In the first line, he made 
the mistake of calling the date 1857, and was reminded 
of the error by hearty laughter all round, whereupon he 
remarked — " Mr. President, I grew two years younger in 
thinking of this festival." 



Poem of Oliver Wendell Holmes. 

JANUARY 25th, 1859. 

His birthday. — Nay, we need not speak 
The name each heart is beating, — 

Each glistening eye and flushing cheek 
In light and flame repeating ! 

We come in one tumultuous tide, — 

One surge of wild emotion, — 
As crowding through the Frith of Clyde 

Rolls in the western ocean ; 

As when yon cloudless, quartered moon 

Hangs o'er each storied river. 
The swelling breasts of Ayr and Doon 

"With sea-green wavelets quiver. 

The century shrivels like a scroll — 
The past becomes the present — 

And face to face, and soul to soul 
We greet the monarch-peasant. 

While Shenstone strained in feeble flights 

With Corydon and Phillis, — 
While Wolfe was climbing Abraham's heights 

To snatch the Bourbon lilies. 

Who heard the wailing infant's cry, — 

The babe beneath the shieling. 
Whose song to-night in every sky 

Will shake earth's starry ceiling — 

Whose passion-breathing voice ascends 

And floats like incense o'er us, 
Whose ringing lay of friendship blends 

With labor's anvil chorus ? 

We love him, not for sweetest song, 

Though never tone so tender ; 
We love him, even in his wrong — 

His wasteful self-surrender. 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 45 

We praise him, not for gifts divine, — 

His muse was bom of woman, — 
His manhood breathes in every line, — 

Was ever heart more human ? 

We love him, praise him, just for this ; 

In every form and feature. 
Through wealth and want, through wo and bliss. 

He saw his fellow-creature ! 

No soul could sink beneath his love, — 

Not even angel blasted ; — 
No mortal power could soar above 

The pride that all outlasted ! 

Ay ! Heaven had set one living man 

Beyond the pedant's tether, — 
His virtues, frailties, He may scan. 

Who weighs them all together ! 

I fling my pebble on the cairn 

Of him, though dead, undying ; 
Sweet Nature's nursling, bonniest bairn 

Beneath her daisies lying. 

The waning suns, the wasting globe, 

Shall spare the minstrel's story — 
The centuries weave his purple robe. 

The mountain-mist of glory ! 

The company rose and gave the doctor three cheers at 
the conclusion of his poem. 

The fifth toast was then read : — 

5. The Minstrels and Minstrelsy of Scotland — 

" The bonnie bush aboon Traquair," 
" Tweed-side," and " O, I wish I were 
Where Helen lies," 
They played in tones which said despair . 
When beauty dies. 

The President. I have to introduce, as one well quali- 
fied to discourse of minstrels and minstrelsy, a gentleman 
who has, on more than one occasion, honored our board 
with his presence, and who is now, and always will be, a 
welcome guest. I introduce the Hon. George S. Hil- 
LARD. (Applause.) 



46 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 



SPEECH OP HON. GEORGE S. HILLARD. 

A few days since I was asked by a friend if 1 could tell 
him why it was that the birthday of Burns is so generally 
celebrated, both in England and America, and for so long 
a period had been so. Why is he among so many other 
poets and men selected for such peculiar honors ? The 
answer to the question does not at once suggest itself, but 
it can be answered. It is certainly a remarkable fact that, 
at this moment in all parts of the world, on the banks of 
the Clyde, the Thames, the Ganges, the St. Lawrence, the 
Mississippi, Scotchmen, Englishmen, and Americans are 
met together, to do honor to the memory of a man who was 
born a hundred years ago this day, in a clay cottage, which 
his father had built with his own hands, — who made no dis- 
coveries in science, or inventions in art ; who was not a 
great soldier or a great statesman, whose birth was humble 
and whose position through life was obscure, who died 
young, after having written a few poems, chiefly in the 
Scottish dialect. He was a singer, and nothing more. 
He fluttered into the light and warmth of life for a brief 
season, warbled a few songs, and then disappeared into the 
grim outer darkness, where no eye could follow his flight. 
Why is it that he has taken such hold upon the hearts of all 
who speak with English tongues and read the books of 
England ? Why, among other proofs of this, are we here 
to-night ? 

It seems to me that this is due in part to his character as 
a man, and in part to the peculiar qualities of his poetry. 
His character was remarkable for its manliness, its sincerity, 
and its independence. He was too brave for disguises, and 
too truthful for affectation. In all his life there is no stain 
of meanness, of treachery, of cowardice, of hypocrisy. 
If he was vehement in his dislikes, and sometimes almost 
savage in the expression of them, he was also the most 
faithful of friends. We mark in him one sure indication 
of a noble nature — the warmth and constancy of his grati- 
tude. The burden of obligation he wears like a jewel and 
not like a chain. He often yielded to temptation ; but his 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 47 

errors are half atoned for and wholly forgiven by the frank- 
ness with which he confesses them. He was born in a very 
low estate, and reared in bitter, soul-crushing poverty ; and 
this, too, at a time when native worth was less valued, and 
adventitious distinctions were more regarded than they are 
now. But in spite of this, his life was marked by a manly 
independence, sometimes pushed to a fierce and defiant 
self-assertion. The low-born peasant, whose hands were 
hardened and whose frame was bent by toil, stood in the 
presence of noblemen and gentlemen, of wits and scholars, 
unabashed, " pride in his port, defiance in his eye," as 
firm upon his feet, as when he strode behind his plough 
upon the mountain side. He never lowered the flag of 
genius before the flag of rank. Wherever he met a man's 
mind, he laid his own alongside of it, yard arm and yard 
arm, for a fair fight. He respected in others the claims of 
essential superiority — the God-given patents of nobility — 
and he exacted from them the same deference. In his life 
he put into action the sentiment of his fine song : 

Is there, for honest poverty, 

That hangs his head, and a ' that ; 
The coward slave, we pass him by. 

We dare be poor 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. 

All the primal sympathies of the human soul recognize 
the power, the charm, of a character of such manly self- 
reliance, such lofty self-assertion. We follow with admira- 
tion the movements of the broad-shouldered, swarthy- 
cheeked, black-eyed peasant, who on all occasions and in 
all societies sustains himself with such simple dignity, who 
plants himself with such assured force on his worth as a 
man, and whose vigorous, untaught genius beats down the 
feeble guards of commonplace cultivation and the thin 
defences of social rank. 

There is another winning element in the life of Burns, 
arising from the fact that he generally acted from impulse, 
and that his impulses so often led him right. It is a striking 
remark of Coleridge's, that " motives imply weakness, and 
the existence of evil and temptation. The angelic nature 



48 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

would act from impulse alone." We may note another 
illustration of the same truth in the conduct of men and 
women. Women act more from impulse, and men more 
from motives. Thus women may make more mistakes 
than men, but when they do go right their actions have a 
higher grace, a sweeter flavor. "AH men," says Emerson, 
" love a lover." There is a sympathetic charm in the bearing 
of one who is visibly and unmistakably under the guidance 
of a strong and natural emotion. The very follies and ex- 
travagances of a man thoroughly in love have a sweet and 
gracious aspect, and are never ridiculous. The life of 
Burns glitters with the beauty of fine and cordial impulses. 
They sometimes hurried him into grave errors, but, as he 
himself has said, the light that led him astray was light 
from Heaven. Men who act always deliberately and from 
well-considered motives — who are always self-vigilant and 
self-distrustful — who never make mistakes — who never say 
or do anything they ought not to — may secure esteem, con- 
fidence, respect, but rarely inspire love. That we bestow 
upon characters in which the lights and shades are more 
strongly contrasted — which sometimes rise above and some- 
times fall below the level line of prudence — in which beau- 
tiful actions and heroic sacrifices plead for excesses of 
temperament and the occasional riot of unruly blood ; and 
of these Burns stands forth as the perfect type and repre- 
sentative. 

But it is the poetry of Burns, far more than his character 
as a man, that brings us here to-night. He was a poet of 
the first order ; but that is not all. Among all the poets 
endowed with a vision and a faculty so high as his, we re- 
call no one whose genius is of so popular a quality. The 
lowliness of his birth, in some respects a disadvantage, was 
herein a help to him ; for it gave him a comprehension of 
the common heart and mind of his countrymen, which 
must have been denied to him had he been born in a higher 
sphere. Take, for instance, his immortal poem of "The 
Cottar's Saturday Night." Where can we find another 
poet with an imagination capable of so idealizing the sub- 
ject, and yet so familiar with its details as to present a pic- 
ture as true as it is beautiful ? The poetry of Burns hits 
the heart of man just between wind and water ; every line 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 49 

and every word tells. With the inspired eye of genius he 
looked abroad upon the common life of Scotland ; and there 
found the themes of poetry — and the highest poetry, too — 
in scenes, in relations, in objects which to the prosaic appre- 
hension seemed compact of hopeless prose. As in works 
in Florentine mosaic — in which leaves and flowers are re- 
produced in precious stones — our pleasure is made up in 
part from the beauty of the material used, and in part 
from the familiar character of the forms represented, 
so in reading the poetry of Burns, we are not only charmed 
with the genius it displays, but thrilled with a strange elec- 
tric delight in seeing the ordinary themes of every-day life 
so glorified and transfigured. At his touch, the heather 
bloom becomes an amethyst, and the holly leaf turns into 
emerald. Every man can comprehend, feel, and enjoy 
the poetry of Burns ; for this no other training is needed 
than the training of life. There are no learned allusions, 
no recondite lore, no speculations that transcend the range 
of average experience. To have seen the daisy blow and 
heard the lark sing — to have clasped the hand of man and 
kissed the lips of woman — are preparation enough for all 
that he has written. The sentiments with which the poor 
man reads him are compounded, perhaps unconsciously, of 
admiration and gratitude — gratitude to the genius which 
has poured such ideal light around this common earth — 
which has empurpled with celestial roses the very turf 
beneath his feet — which has opened to him, the child of 
poverty and toil, the fairy world of imagination — which 
has held to his lips the sparkling elixir, the divine nepenthe, 
of poetry — which on its mighty wings has soared with him. 
into regions where he could see the waving of angelic robes 
and hear the music of paradise ! 

The genius of Burns expressed itself most naturally and 
easily in that shape which is best adapted for popular influ- 
ence. His songs are his best, his most characteristic poems ; 
and in all British literature he is the first of song-writers. 
A song, as it is the airiest, the most subtle, the most delicate 
form in which the conceptions of a poet are embodied, so 
it is the most volatile, the most lightly borne, the most easily 
diflfused. A song has wings but no feet : it darts from lip 
to lip, and from heart to heart. The empire of a great 
5 



50 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

epic or didactic poet may be higher, but that of a great 
song-writer is wider. The reason of this is that a song is 
the growth of that part of our nature in which all men are 
alike. A good song may be defined to be one man's music 
and every man's experience. 

The themes of the song-writer are taken from the pas- 
sions, the emotions, the sentiments of the common heart. 
They are found blooming by the side of that great highway 
on which humanity travels from the cradle to the grave. 
The mere literary merit of the songs of Burns can hardly 
be overstated, but their highest charm comes from their 
truth. Every line in them is vital ; there is none of the 
cold and glittering beauty of frost work ; they spring not 
from the cunning brain, but from the beating heart. There 
are many songs in the English language — and good songs, 
too — in which we can plainly see the marks of elaboration — 
the lines of the graving and chasing tools. But the songs 
of Burns are growths and not manufactures ; as the foun- 
tain gushes from the earth — as the daisy springs from the 
sod — so they have sung themselves. The metre was but 
the mould into which the liquid heart was poured. We 
cannot conceive of a word in them ever having been any 
other than it is. 

The greater part of the songs of Burns are love songs ; 
and herein the life of the man is reproduced in his verse. 
Burns was always a lover ; his temperament was so ardent 
and susceptible that he never saw a fine female face with- 
out falling in love with it. Love was with him no mystical 
sentiment, no etherial tenderness, no airy rapture ; it was 
not of that class of which some sublimated philosopher says 
that it is born with the first sigh and dies with the first kiss; 
but it was a passionate flame which ran like lightning 
through his veins, felt in the heart, felt in the pulse. His 
love poetry is informed with burning life ; his love songs 
are the foam-flakes of a heaving sea of fire. This element 
of truth it owes to the fact that it was invariably the utter- 
ance of emotions actually felt. He wrote not from general 
imao-inations, but from particular impressions. He had 
ever before him, in his mind's eye, some individual face or 
form — some Jean Armor, Mary Morrison, or Jessie Lew- 
ars — to inspire his muse. His biographers will tell you to 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 61 

whom belonged the rosy lips, the snowy bosoms, the golden 
ringlets, the " twa lovely een of bonnie blue," that are im- 
mortalized in his verses. Alas, where are they now ? 
The love poetry of Burns is also nearly as remarkable for 
its purity, its tenderness and sweetness, as for its passion- 
ateness and truth. He sometimes offends against decorum 
in his poems, but almost never in his songs. 

Burns is thus the laureat of love. He is the best inter- 
preter of that universal passion — that great magician under 
whose sway all men are, or have been, or are to be. 
Hence one chief ingredient in his popularity and power. 
His love poetry addresses the experiences or the recollec- 
tions of all. Fervid is the noonday glow of love — pensive 
and sweet are its twilight memories. The old man, whose 
pulse has long been calm, will read with delight the songs 
of Burns, for they recall and renew those delicious days 
when a white frock and a pink sash were all that were 
wanted to make an angel of. 

But the highest charm of Burns' poetry is one which his 
countrymen alone can feel in its full extent, and that is its 
intense nationality. Scotland had had before him philoso- 
phers and men of letters of the first class ; like Robertson, 
Adam Smith, David Hume, Dugald Stewart, and Thomas 
Reid, novelists like Smollett, poets like Thomson and John 
Home ; but, as Carlyle truly remarked, there was nothing in 
them that was Scottish, nothing that was indigenous. They 
did honor to Scotland, but they did nothing to make the 
peculiar characteristics of Scottish life and manners known 
to the world. There had also been writers imbued with this 
national flavor, like Ferguson and Allan Ramsay ; but they 
were not first-class men. Burns was the first man who, with 
a genius of the highest order, found his inspiration and his 
themes upon the soil of his native land. He was a great 
poet and a national poet too. In his dedication of the Edin- 
burgh edition of his poems to the noblemen and gentlemen 
of the Caledonian hunt, he says — " The poetic genius of my 
country found me, as the prophetic bard Elijah did Elisha — 
at the plough, and threw her inspiring mantle over me. She 
bade me sing the loves, the joys, the rural scenes and rural 
pleasures of my native soil in my native tongue." This 
is said with as much truth as beauty. Burns is a thorough 



52 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

Scotchman — the flavor of the soil can be tasted in every- 
thing he wrote. He was himself perfectly conscious of 
this feeling ; he knew where his strength lay. 

The rough bur-thistle spreading wide 
Among the bearded bear — 
I turned the weeder-clips aside 
And spared the symbol dear. 

The thistle was to him not a weed but a symbol : 
the poet spared what the farmer should have cut down. 
When we add to this that he has sung in vigorous and ani- 
mated verse the praises of a haggis, it must be admitted 
that the force of nationality can no farther go. We outside 
barbarians admire the poetry of Burns heartily and honest- 
ly : we may flatter ourselves that we feel all its power and 
are thrilled by all its music : but beyond all question we 
are mistaken. There is an inner circle of apprehension 
and comprehension into which we cannot enter, into which 
no one can enter but he who has learned upon a mother's 
knee that sweet and expressive dialect which he used with 
such grace and such power. 

Men of Scotland ! countrymen of Burns ! you do well 
to celebrate his memory with song and speech, with eyes 
suffused, and hand clasped in hand. You owe him a debt 
of gratitude which you can never repay. You are wiser 
than your fathers. God sent them this glorious genius, and 
they made him an exciseman, with seventy pounds a year, 
and allowed some paltry jack-in-office to tell him that his 
business was to act, not to think. Alas ! the pity of it ! 
the pity of it ! He has long been where cruel indignation 
can no longer lacerate his heart. You can only pour your 
vain libations upon his dust. This will not profit him, but 
it will profit you. You have a right to thank God in your 
prayers for the gift of Burns. Every Scotchman has a 
right to hold up his head higher from the fact that Burns 
was his countryman. For him every blue-eyed lassie that 
runs about your flowery braes, or bathes her feet in the 
wimpling burn, is a fairer object. For 'him every heathery 
hill glows in richer purple ; every glen lies steeped in 
softer light ; every mountain lake gleams with deeper blue. 
For him the wild rose burns with finer flame, and the thorn 
exhales a sweeter breath. His spirit hangs like a glory 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 53 

over your land ; your streams are vocal with his name : 
the lyric lark sings of him whose music was sweeter than 
his own : of him your torrents rave : your winds murmur 
of him. The Scotland that he left was not the Scotland 
that he found. By him it was exalted, glorified, idealized ; 
by him it was bathed in light that never shone on earth or 
sea — and until the rocks around your coast shall melt in 
the sun — until your hills shall pass away like the vapors 
that curl and play upon their sides, let not his image be 
banished from^ your hearts, let not his praise be silent on 
your lips. 

Mr. Hillard's address, as it properly deserved, was ap- 
plauded to the echo. Among the admirers of Burns none 
has a higher place than Mr. Hillard, and no one among us 
has done more than he, in association with the Boston Burns 
Club, to give its annual celebrations the high literary repute 
they always have had. 

The next toast was read as follows : — 

6, The Poets and Poetry of America — " How beautiful upon the 
mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, and that 
publisheth peace." " The wilderness and the solitary place shall be 
glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose." 

Mr. Moody here sung the following song — (composed, 
by request of the Secretary, for the occasion,) to the tune 
of " What's a' the steer, Kimmer" — a famed old Jacobite 
lay of the " auld forty-five :" 

Song, Composed by Benj. P. Shillatoer. 

What's a' the steer makin' ! What's a' the steer ? 

The Peasant Bard first saw the light this day a hunder year ; 

An' a' our hearts expand, blythely — a' our hearts expand 

Wi' honor o' his name that's known in every land ; 
For 'twas a blessed thing, surely, 'twas a blessed thing, 
Sin' a' the world was better for't when Burns began to sing ; 
Sae we'll raise our voices high, in tones of grandest cheer, 
That Rob the Rhymer saw the light this day a hunder year ! 

His fame's brawly won, nei'bor, his fame's brawly won, 
An' a' the lan's unite to croAvn auld Scotia's gifted son ; 
They plait a laurel wreath for him — ^his weel achievit bays — 
And bring rich gifts o' mind as tributes to his praise ; 
5* 



54 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

For though o' humble birth, nei^bor, tho' o' humble birth. 
His genius gied him station wi' gentles o' the earth ; 
Sae we're a' unco happy, and we'll mak' a joyfu' steer, 
Sin' Rob the Poet saw the light this day a hunder year. 

The humble and the high, nei'bor, the humble and the high. 
Combine to glorify the bard whose song will never die. 
In every clime 'tis heard wi' joy — in every gentle hame — 
An' sparkling een grow brighter at mention o' his name : 

Oh he's the puir man's friend ! nei'bor, he's the puir man's friend, 
An' hodden gray tak's rank, where worth its grace doth lend. 
There's a blessin' on the hour that bauds us captive here. 
For Rob the Puir Man's Bakd saw light this day a hunder year ! 

Wide is his kin spreadin', wide is his clan. 
They're found wherever men most nobly act the man ; 
Not where the tartans gleam, nor yet the bonnets blue. 
But where the heart is tender, and men are leal an' true. 
'Tis nae tie o' bluid, nei'bor, nae tie o' bluid — 
His sangs unite the nations, in ae braid britherhood ; 
Sae honor crown the time, and pang it fu' o' cheer, 
Sin' Burns the Ploughman Bard was bom this day a hunder year. 

A united call for a repetition of this beautiful song was 
responded to by Mr. Moodie, and the succeeding applause 
was most liberal and hearty. 

The President. The toast just now announced — if you 
have not forgotten it in admiration of the song which fol- 
lowed — was " The Poets and Poetry of America." Among 
those who have added largely to the poetry of which our 
nation is proud, there is one who has written the following 
lines : — 

" He spoke of Burns : men rude and rough 
Pressed round to hear the praise of one 
Whose heart was made of manly, simple stuff. 
As homespun as their own. 

" In his broad breast, the feeling deep 
That struggled on the many's tongue. 
Swells to a tide of thought, whose surges leap 
O'er the weak thrones of wrong." 

Gentlemen, I have the pleasure of introducing to you 
James Russell Lowell, Esq. 

Mr. Lowell said — I come here tonight double-barrelled, 
with a piece about seven minutes long and one about two 



BIETHDAY FESTIVAL. 65 

minutes and a half long. Which will you have ? (Cries 
of " both, both.") Well, I'll give you the long one first. 
And if you think me a little free, I beg you to remember 
that what I read is based on a Scotch ballad, of which the 
one whose birthday we celebrate was fond : and besides, I 
am a son of a clergyman who was educated in Edinburgh, 
and from whose principles I hope I have not departed. 
(Laughter.) I desire to say that I feel keenly the advanta- 
ges — the disadvantages, and then the advantages — of my 
position here^ as junior : almost everything that I have to 
say has already been said, but 1 have the best chance of 
anybody that has yet spoken to see the next centennial. 
(Laughter.) 



Poem of James Russell Lowell, Esq. 



A hundred years ! they're quickly fled, 

With all their joy and sorrow, 
Their dead leaves shed upon the dead 

Their fresh ones sprung by morrow ; 
And still the patient seasons bring 

Their change of sun and shadow, 
New birds still sing with every spring, 

New violets spot the meadow. 

II. 

A hundred years ! and Nature's powers 

No greater grown nor lessened ! 
They saw no flowers more sweet than ours. 

No fairer new moon's crescent ; — 
If she would treat us poets so, 

Would so from winter free us. 
And set our slow old sap aflow 

To sprout in fresh ideas ! 



Alas ! I thlhk, what worth or parts 

Have brought me here competing. 
To speak what starts in myriad hearts 

With Burns's memory beating ; 
A theme like this would Bryant choose, 

Longfellow, Holmes or Whittier ; 
If my poor muse can't fill their shoes, 

Pray pardon her and pity her. 



56 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 



IV. 

As I sat musing what to say 

And how my verse to number, 
Some elf in play passed by that way 

And sank my lids in slumber ; 
And on my sleep a vision stole 

"Which I will put in metre, 
Of Burns's soul at the wicket-hole 

Where sits the good St. Peter. 



The saint, methought, had left his post 

That day to Holy Willie, 
Who swore, " Each ghost that comes shall toast 

In brimstone, will he, nil he ; 
There's nane need hope with phrases fine 

Their score to wipe a sin frae ; — 
I'll chalk a sign, to save their tryin' — 

A hand K^ Vide infra!" 

VI. 

Alas ! no soil's too cold or dry 

For spiritual small potatoes. 
Scrimped nature's spry the trade to ply 

Of diaboli advocatus, 
Who lay bent pins in the penance stool 

Where Mercy spreads a cushion, 
Who've just one rule for knave or fool, 

It saves so much confusion. 



So, when Bums knocked, Will knit his brows. 

His window-gap made scanter. 
And said, " Go rouse the other house. 

We lodge no Tam O'Shanter!" 
" We lodge !" laughed Burns, "now well I see 

Death cannot kill old nature. 
No human flea but thinks that he 

May speak for his Creator ! 



" But Willie, friend, don't turn me forth, 

Auld Clootie needs no gauger. 
And if on earth I had small worth, 

You've let in worse, I'se wager !" 
" Na, nane has knockit at the yett 

But found me hard as whunstane. 
There's chances yet your bread to get 

Wi Auld Nick, gaugin' brunstane." 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 57 



IX. 

Meanwhile the 'Unco' Guid' had ta'en 

Its place to watch the process, 
Flattening in vain on many a pane 

Their disembodied noses ; 
Remember, please, 'tis all a dream, 

One can't control the fancies 
Through sleep, that stream with wayward gleam 

Like midnight's boreal dances. 

X. 

Old Willie's tone grew sharp's a knife ; 

" Imprimis, I indict ye 
For makin' strife wi' the water o' life 

And preferrin' aqua vitce." 
Then roared a voice with lusty din. 

Like a skipper's when 'tis blowy, 
" If that's a sin, I'd ne'er ha' got in, 

As sure's as my name is Noah !" 

XI. 

Sly Willie tnmed another leaf,— 

" There's many here ha'e heard ye. 
To the pain and grief o' true belief. 

Say hard things o' the clergy !" 
Then rang a clear tone over all, — 

" One plea for him allow me, 
I once heard call from o'er me, * Saul, 

Why persecutest thou meV" 



To the next charge vexed Willie turned 

And, sighing, wiped his glasses, — 
" I'm much concerned to find ye yearned 

O'er warmly tow'rd the lasses !" 
But David cried, " Your ledger shut, 

E'en Adam fell by woman, 
And hearts close shut with if and but, 

If safe, are not so human !" 

XIII. 

When sudden glory round me broke 

And low melodious surges. 
Of wings whose stroke to splendor woke 

Creation's farthest verges ; 
A cross stretched, ladderlike, secure 

From earth to heaven's own portal. 
Whereby God's poor, with footing sure, 

Climbed up to peace immortal. 



58 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 



I heard a voice serene and low, 

(With my heart I seemed to hear it,) 
Fall soft and slow as snow on snow 

Like grace of the heavenly spirit ; 
As sweet as over new-born son 

The croon of new-made mother, 
The voice begun, " sore-tempted one !" 

Then, pausing, sighed, " our brother !' 



"If not a sparrow falls, unless 

The Father sees and knows it. 
Think ! recks He less His form express ? 

The soul His own deposit ? 
If only dear to Him the strong 

That never trip nor wander, 
Where were the throng whose morning song 

Thrills His blue arches yonder ? 

XVI. 

" Do souls alone clear-eyed, strong-kneed. 

To Him true service render. 
And they who need His hand to lead, 

Find they His heart untender ? 
Through all your various ranks and fates. 

He opens doors to duty. 
And he that waits there at your gates 

Was servant of His Beauty. 

XVII. 

" The earth must richer sap secrete 

(In time, could ye but know it !) 
Must juice concrete with fiercer heat 

Ere she can make her poet ; 
These larger hearts must feel the rolls 

Of stormier- waved temptation. 
These star-wide souls between their poles 

Bear zones of tropic passion. 

XVIII. 

" Her cheaper broods in palaces 

She raises under glasses. 
But souls like these, heaven's hostages. 

Spring shelterless as grasses ; 
He lov'd much ! that is gospel good, 

Howe'er the text you handle ; 
From common wood the cross was hewed, 

By love turned priceless sandal. 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 59 



XIX. 

** If scant his service at the kirk 

He paters heard and aves 
From choirs that lurk in hedge and birk 

From blackbird and from mavis ; 
The cowering mouse, poor unroofed thing, 

In him found mercy's angel, 
The daisy's ring, brought every spring, 

To him Faith's fresh evangel ! 



"Not he the threatening texts who deals 

Is highest 'mong the preachers. 
But he who feels the woes and weals 

Of all God's wandering creatures ; 
He doth good work whose heart can find 

The spirit 'neath the letter ; 
Who makes his kind of happier mind, 

Leaves wiser men and better. 

XXI. 

" They make Religion be abhorred 

"Who round with darkness gulf her, 
And think no word can please the Lord 

Unless it smell of sulphur ; 
Dear Poet-heart, that childlike guessed 

The Father's loving-kindness, 
Come now to rest ! thou didst His best. 

If haply 'twas in blindness !" 



Then leapt Heaven's portals wide apart, 

And, at their golden thunder. 
With sudden start I woke, my heart 

Still throbbing full of wonder ; 
" Father," I said, " 'tis known to Thee 

How thou thy Saints preparest, 
But this I see — Saint Charity 

Is still the first and fairest !" 



Dear Bard and Brother ! let who may 

Against thy faults be railing ! 
(Though far, I pray, from us be they 

That never knew a failing !) 
One toast I'll give, and that not long. 

Which thou would'st pledge if present,- 
To him whose song, in nature strong, 

Makes man of prince and peasant ! 



60 - BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

The applause which frequently interrupted the recitation 
of Mr. Lowell's fine poem showed a high appreciation of 
its beauties. 

Being called upon, unanimously, to favor the Club with 
the shorter poem mentioned, Mr. Lowell complied, and, in 
doing so, ministered greatly to the hilarity of the hour. 
The Committee on Publication regret their inability to fur- 
nish this characteristic production of Mr. Lowell's muse. 

[Had the time favored its introduction here, Sidney Web- 
ster, Esq., who had it in his possession, would have pre- 
sented an autograph letter of Robert Burns, written by him 
for a friend to send to the Morning Chronicle. The history 
of the letter in question is as follows : — A neighbor of the 
poet's at Dumfries called on him and complained that he 
was greatly disappointed in the irregular delivery of the 
Chronicle. Burns said, " Why do not you write to the 
editors of the paper ?" The reply was, " Good God, sir, 
can I presume to write to the learned editors of a newspa- 
per?" " Well," said Burns, " if you are afraid of writing 
to them Jam not; and, if you think proper, I'll draw up 
a sketch of a letter which you may copy." Burns tore a 
leaf from his excise book and produced the sketch, which 
his friend took home to transcribe ; but the caution the ene- 
mies of Burns had taught him to exercise prompted him to 
beg a friend to wait on the person for whom it was written 
and request that it should be returned. The request was 
complied with, and the letter was not printed until after the 
poet's death, when it appeared in his works, and may be 
found among his correspondence.] 

The President. Gentlemen, among the bards of New 
England invited to grace your board this evening, is one 
whose presence we miss, and the cause of whose absence 
we all regret. I allude to the Quaker poet, John Green- 
leaf WiiiTTiER. [Applause.] 

In his necessary absence, caused by indisposition, he has 
kindly transmitted to us some lines, which will doubtless 
afford you all great pleasure. In alluding to him, permit 
me to recall to your minds a verse from one of his poems, 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 61 

aptly descriptive of one trait in the character of Burns. 
He writes thus : 

" Sworn foe of cant, he smote it down, 

With trenchant wit unsparing. 
And, mocking, rent with ruthless hand, 
The robe pretence was wearing." 

Mr. Emerson will have the kindness to read the produc- 
tion of Mr. Whittier. [Applause.] 

John G. Whittier' s Letter and Poem. 

Amesbury, 22d 1st mo., 1859. 

Dear Friend : I gratefully acknowledge, through thee, the invi- 
tation to the celebration of the centennial anniversary of the birthday 
of the poet whom I have long regarded as the truest and sweetest of 
all who have ever sung of home, and love, and humanity. 

As I may not be able to be with you, I venture to offer a few lines, 
which, however inadequate to the occasion, attest a sincere tribute to 
the great World Singer. 

Very truly thy friend, John G. Whittier. 

John S. Tyler, Esq., President of Boston Bums Club. 

How sweetly come the holy psalms 

From saints and martyrs down, 
The waving of triumphal palms 

Above the thorny crown ! 
The choral praise, the chanted prayers 

From harps by angels strung, 
The hunted Cameron's mountain airs. 

The hymns that Luther sung ! 

Yet, jarring not the heavenly notes, 

The sounds of earth are heard, 
As through the open minster floats 

The song of breeze and bird ! 
Not less the wonder of the sky 

That daisies bloom below ; 
The brook sings on, though loud and high 

The cloudy organs blow ! 

And, if the tender ear be jarred 

That, haply, hears by turns 
The saintly harp of Olney's bard. 

The pastoral pipe of Burns, 
No discord mars His perfect plan 

Who gave them both a tongue. 
For he who sings the love of man 

The love of God hath sung ! 

6 



62 BOSTON BUENS CLUB. 

To-day be every fault forgiven 

Of him in whom we joy ; 
We take, with thanks, the gold of heaven 

And leave the earth's alloy. 
Be ours his music as of Spring, 

His sweetness as of flowers, 
The songs the bard himself might sing 

In holier ears than ours. 

Sweet airs of love and home, the hum 

Of household melodies. 
Come, singing, as the robins come 

To sing in door-yard trees. 
While heart to heart, two nations lean 

No rival wreaths to twine. 
But, blending in eternal green, 

The holly and the pine ! 

Mr. Whittier's poem had a rapturous reception, each 
sentiment being the signal for applause. 

7. Scotland — A speck upon the earth's surface, "a land of brown 
heath and shaggy wood " — the writings of her philosophers and meta- 
physicians, her historians and novelists, her moralists and divines, are 
read of all men, and the songs of her poets and the music of her min- 
strels reverberate in unbroken harmony around the world. 

Mr. Kelly, of " Ordway's iEolians," sang the following 
original song — the music by Thomas Comer, Esq. — which 
was heartily applauded. It is dedicated to the Boston 
Burns Club. (See page 22.) 

The Bonnet and Feather and Claymore. 

Hurrah for the lad ! that, wi ' heart and wi ' hand, 
Will fight for his lassie, his freedom and land. 
And who for auld Scotia will gallantly stand, 

Wi ' his Bonnet and Feather and Claymore ! 

His brows I will deck wi ' the bold eagle's wing. 
And the tartan around his braid shoulders I '11 fling. 
And the name o' my sodger wi ' rapture I '11 sing — 
His Bonnet and Feather and Claymore ! 

The tradesman gi'es claes and the ploughman gi'es food, 
And the statesman he toils for his country's gude ; 
But the sodger protects a' their rights wi' his blude — 
His Bonnet and Feather and Claymore ! 

And when the war-din o' the foe rattles nigh. 
His heart, like his banner, is fluttering high ; 
For his country and freedom he '11 conquer or die, 

Wi ' his Bonnet and Feather and Claymore ! 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 63 

Hurrah for the lad ! that, wi ' heart and wi ' hand, 
Will fight for his lassie, his freedom and land ; 
And who for auld Scotia will gallantly stand, 

Wi ' his Bonnet and Feather and Claymore ! 

[This song, with its beautifully appropriate music, has been publish- 
ed by Messrs. Russell & Tolman, 291 Washington Street, Boston. It 
has a finely illustrated title and dedication.] 

The President. Gentlemen, it was within the scope of 
our arrangements to ask from the Hon. Robert C. Win- 
THROP a response to the sentiment just given. Until this 
day, Mr. Winthrop, who has taken much interest in this 
occasion, had assured me, with but slight expression of 
doubt, that he would be with us ; but circumstances pre- 
vented. I now read you a note received from him this 
afternoon : — 

Letter from Hon. Eobert C. Winthrop. 

Boston, January 25, 1859. 
Gen. John S. Tyler, President, &c. : — 

My Dear Sir, — You may not have forgotten that, in acknowledging 
the invitation of the Burns Club, many weeks ago, I suggested a doubt 
whether it would be in my power to attend their festival this evening. 
Finding myself constrained to-day to abandon the idea of being with 
you, I can only thank you for remembering me so kindly among your 
honored guests, and oiFer you my best wishes for the success of the 
occasion. 

In commemorating the Patriot Bard, whose song has shed such a 
glory over his native land, and to the brilliancy of whose genius every 
tongue and every heart at your table will bear witness, you will not 
fail to recall, also, some of the other worthies of the same classic soil. 

The world's debt to Scotland, not merely for song and for story, 
but for not a few of the noblest illustrations of science and of art, of 
philosophy and of philanthropy, can hardly be over-estimated. From 
the days of that illustrious Napier of Merchistoun, of whom the histo- 
rian Hume did not hesitate to say that he was the person to whom the 
title of a great man is more justly due than to any other whom his 
country has ever produced, and whose name has been so agreeably 
revived among us of late by the genial and accomplished Minister of 
Great Britain at Washington — down to the more recent period of 
Walter Scott and Thomas Chalmers and Hugh Miller— Scotland has 
rarely if ever been without a son to delight, instruct and elevate the 
human soul. 

Nor can I forget that New England owes to the land of Bums the 
earliest example of an organized Association of Benevolence — the 



64 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

Scots' Charitable Society dating back its original institution to the 
year 1658. 

Allow me, in reference to this interesting historical fact, to offer you 
the subjoined sentiment. 

And believe me, dear Sir, 

Respectfully and truly, 

Your obliged and obedient servant, 

Egbert C. Winthrop. 
The Scots in New England Two Hundred Years Ago — They proved 
themselves worthy forerunners of the immortal Bard, who said — 

But deep this truth impressed my mind — 

Through all His Works abroad, 
The heart benevolent and kind 

The most resembles God. 

After due honor had been done to Mr. Winthrop's senti- 
ment the President said : — In the absence of the distin- 
guished gentleman whose letter I have just read, I am 
happy to say, that, although Auld Scotia herself is not 
responsive, we have no difficulty in finding out Howe we 
shall act, for Nova Scotia is well represented. I have the 
honor to introduce to you the Hon. Joseph Howe of Nova 
Scotia. (Cheers.) 

Speeeh of HON. JOSEPH HOWE, of Halifax, W. S. 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen : — We were under the 
impression in the British Provinces that this was the land 
of steady habits, but I am prepared to testify that I landed 
here on the second of July, and I found all Boston eating 
and drinking ; and I am about to depart from your shores 
to-morrow morning, and I leave you eating and drinking 
still. (Laughter.) I am called upon to respond to a toast 
to which the Hon. Mr. Winthrop should have responded. 
Hyperion to the Mummy ! If upon short notice I appear 
before you unprepared, all I can say to you is, that I have 
the excuse of the Irishman, who, when he saw men all 
around him armed with double-barrelled guns and nine^- 
barrelled revolvers, shook his shillelah, and said — " Here 
goes for the instrument that never misses fire." (Laughter.) 

Mr. Chairman, I know that the men of Boston consider 
us in the Eastern Provinces as outside barbarians. I know 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 65 

that we are looked upon as the territories that have not 
been admitted into the American Union ; and that we are 
considered as people who have not a reason to give for 
the faith that is in us ; and yet, I am called upon, of a 
sudden, to represent all North America ; and what is more 
and what is worse, all Scotland beside ! Well now, as 
regards Scotland, I think she can speak for herself. (Ap- 
plause.) She can speak for herself in every department of 
intellectual exertion ; in history, through her Humes and 
her Robertsons ; in modern history, through her Carlyles ; 
in poetry, through her Burns, her Ramsay and her Scott ; 
and in metaphysics as well. Look at her exertions in 
modern warfare. Think of that single red line of High- 
land tartans at the battle of Balaclava. (Applause.) That 
single but indomitable line turned back the entire army of 
autocratic Russia. In any department she can speak for 
herself. But I am not a Scotchman, gentlemen. I have 
the misfortune to have been born of a New England man 
in the far-off Province of Nova Scotia. It has been my 
fortune to be born of a bad stock in a bad country. (Laugh- 
ter.) But I can say this, that while I am bound by the 
limitation of the toast to exalt old Scotland, I cannot help 
exalting Nova Scotia, which is New Scotland, on this side 
of the Atlantic. It is true, that in looking to the recent 
struggles which illustrate the history of our country, we 
find that Sir Colin Campbell, a warrior of your race, your 
blood, your language, your literature, headed the army 
that marched upon Lucknow ; but there he found little 
Jack Inglis, a countryman of my own, a boy that I knew 
at school, defending that noble position, and upholding 
the honor of his race and the glory of his country. (Ap- 
plause.) 

Now, my friends, I am a stranger, but I ask your indul- 
gence, your friendship. (Voices — "you have it!") But 
there is one man here of whom I would almost ask your 
condemnation, for he once put me in bodily fear by calling 
on me for a speech in Faneuil Hall. I shall never forget 
my sensations when I was so suddenly called upon to ad- 
dress 1500 Americans. Yet to-night, 1 am almost entirely 
dumbfounded ; for on one side is a most estimable Mayor, 
on the other a most excellent Governor, and I am in the 
6* 



66 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

presence of an "Autocrat" beside, and being a simple 
man " from the Provinces," you can imagine how I feel. 
(Laughter.) 

But, after all, what are we here for.? We are here to 
feel the eloquence of the hour and of the occasion, and do 
deeper honor to Robert Burns. And what does he teach 
us ? He teaches us that " one touch of nature makes the 
world kin." He teaches us, wherever we live, to exclude 
from our literary system, from our legal system, every 
badge of servitude ; so to rear our offspring on the Ameri- 
can Continent that, from Vancouver's Island to Halifax, a 
man shall be a man for a' that. The preachers tell us, 
(and among your preachers allow me to say with what 
infinite delight I have listened to Henry Ward Beecher in 
New York,) your preachers tell us to make our application 
of the lesson of the day. And why are we met to-day } 
Is it to scatter flowers upon the grave of Burns ? No, 
sir ; it is to profit by his example, to treasure his precepts, 
till they may pervade this Continent, from end to end. 

But I will depart from this broad view of the question, 
and give you a single illustration of the power of the poet 
Burns. I do remember a boy of twelve years of age, wild, 
reckless, given to shooting wild ducks, to playing at mar- 
bles and base ball; and I remember the day on which, 
throwing himself down, lazily and listlessly, upon the sofa, 
his sister, but a year and a half older, read to him Burns' 
" Cottar's Saturday Night." And on that day in that boy's 
soul was born a love of poetry and literature ; and in less 
than a month after he heard the " Cottar's Saturday Night," 
he lay upon his sleepless couch and read that and all other 
of Burns' poems, and devoured them ; and he grew up a 
lover of poetry and literature. And that boy's sister died 
far off upon the distant seas, and was buried in a foreign 
land. He knows not her grave, but he respects her memo- 
ry ; and years after, it so happened that, sent upon public 
business from his native province, that boy went to old 
Scotland, and lingered for a day or two in the vale of Nith. 
He saw the beautiful stream winding through the valleys 
there, and the very description of black cattle that Burns 
had bought and sold, brought into the market; he saw the 
very peasantry among whom Burns had mingled, and at the 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 67 

very tavern he sat, where Burns had smoked and laughed 
and drunk. And the sexton took him into the grave-yard, 
where he saw where Robert Burns and his own true love 
lay side by side, covered by a simple marble monument. 
That was twenty years after that sister died ; but when he 
stooped over the tomb where lay Burns and Jeanie side by 
side, the thought of the poet and of the sister came together, 
and the man wept like a child above that Scottish tomb. I 
only relate this anecdote as an illustration of the power that 
the memory and the appreciation of Burns holds in every 
civilized country of the world. 

I said, sir, that I represent not Old Scotland, but New 
Scotland. All through that Province, and especially in the 
County of Pictou, which contains 20,000 Scotchmen, those 
who reverence his memory will do honor to it to-night. 
Your country and mine are divided into earnest and antag- 
onistic parties ; but such festivals as these are the soothing 
and humanizing spots of life, and the more of them the 
better. You have established between my country and 
yours commercial reciprocity. I hope to see the day when 
we shall have intellectual reciprocity — when I shall be able 
to invite the " Autocrat of the Breakfast Table" to Halifax ; 
when Mayor Lincoln will come to Halifax and show us the 
light of his countenance ; and also our friend Emerson, the 
philosopher of Concord, — and, upon my soul, all I can say 
of him is, he is the most agreeable and delightful philoso- 
pher I ever met. (Laughter.) I hope he will make his 
appearance in the British Provinces ; and as to my friends 
Hillard and Lowell — let them all come, and we shall be 
delighted to receive them ; they are known there already ; 
they have flung their shadows far over the border, (Ap- 
plause.) 

Now, Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen, I fear I have tres- 
passed upon you too long ; but all I can say is, (as is 
sometimes done upon the gallows,) this is my last dying 
speech (laughter) ; the steamer sails to-morrow morning at 
twelve o'clock (renewed merriment) ; and when once I am 
out of New England you perhaps will never see me again, 
(shouts of " No ! No !") I tell you what — occasionally the 
cholera comes ; sometimes you have a bad harvest ; some- 
times you have a monetary pressure ; and when you are 



68 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

thinking of your sins, and of all the bad things that may- 
happen to you, just bear this in mind — it is possible that 
Howe may come back. (Hilarious laughter and cheering.) 

8. The Poet and the Press — ^From the ingleside at Idlewild we 
observe the man who wields with equal power the wand of poesy and 
the pen of journalism. 

The President. I have now the pleasure of introducing 
to you a gentleman of whom I may perhaps say, with 
justice, that he is the most popular literary man of New 
England — N. P. Willis, Esq. (Applause.) I am re- 
minded that I have made a mistake, and I am called upon 
to say New York ; but I do not stand corrected, for New 
England will never give up her right to him. (Loud ap- 
plause.) 

SPEECH OP N. P. WILLIS, ESQ. 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen : For the last three or 
four days I have been unable to speak in an audible voice. 
Your good cheer, as you perceive, strengthens my feeble 
organs ; but the gift of gab has been denied me from my 
earliest days. I have never been able to say, except at the 
point of my fingers, with a pen in my hand, what I wish 
to express. This is a vain effort for me. I am entirely 
unable to tell you what I should like to say. I can only 
thank you for the kind expression of your feelings toward 
me, and express my keen sense of the honor that is done 
me, and my appreciation of the beautiful heads and coun- 
tenances that I see around me — the men whom I have 
appreciated, and of whom I have been in a certain degree 
the organ, the exponent, and by whom I am honored in 
having been their exponent. I warmly sympathize with 
the occasion, and appreciate the courtesy of the Boston 
Burns Club towards me. 

[From one of the " Idlewild Letters," published in the 
Home Journal^ we glean the following extracts, expressive 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 69 

of the thoughts he said he could better express with the 
pen than with the tongue : — ] 

In this century-honor to the Burns heart — in the recognition of the 
honest Burns humanity, by the entire world, as a hundred-year- 
memory which it would fain make immortal — there was something, 
it seemed to me, inexpressibly thrilling. I loved the world better for 
it, and I wanted to take part in it. Of such a "girdle round the 
earth" one wishes to help pass the electricity. 

The main errand of my trip to Boston (the week's absence from 
home of which this letter is to give you some account) is thus ex- 
plained to you. I wished to see them rock the memory of the Burns 
baby in my own cradle of first principles. I wished to be present at 
such a gathering of the " Boston boys " — to see their familiar faces ' 
and hear their remembered voices under that fine inspiration. With 
my pilgrim experience of life, and my farther knowledge of that 
world to which the dear old city was the encouraging vestibule, I 
wished to take to my heart, once more, the music of the God-speed. 
Where I first learned to read Burns and to love him, I wished to hear 
them talk of him again. 

The most of what I heard and saw is, of course, already told to 
you. Of the " Burns Festival," as held in Boston, "the papers" — 
those brushers of the dew from all manner of herb and flower — have 
well given you the freshness. Taking it for granted, therefore, that 
you know all about it — that Tyler's speech and Waldo Emerson's, 
Hillard's and Joseph Howe's, Governor Banks' and Lord Eadstock's, 
Lowell's poem, Whittier's and the Autocrat's, are all familiar to 
you — I shall look out of the corners of my own eyes for a moment 
or two, touching here and there a point where the light or shade 
chanced to fall better for my nearer seeing. 

TT TT TP ^ ^ ^ ^ 

Speaking of Emerson, it was my good fortune to sit very near him 
at the dinner, and I could not but study the probkm of his wonderful 
magnetism over his audience. Finely as his speech reads, in the 
newspaper report, (and never were more good things put into the 
same number of words, ) the presentment of it in print, as compared 
with its effect in delivery, is poor. Why, in that large and convivially 
excited audience, there was not, while he spoke, a wandering eye — 
not a pulse or a breath that was not held absolutely captive. Wherein 
lies the wonderful spell ? Between me and Emerson sat ten times as 
handsome a fellow — the young Englishman, Lord Kadstock, with 
every pore and muscle in absolute health and development — yet, the 
excellent speech he, in his turn, delivered, was not a twentieth part 
as well attended to. Emerson has prodigiously strong will, for one 
thing — his lower jaw, as he grows older, betraying, by the hardening 
of the lines, what a lever of mental, energy is there at work ; and 
perhaps his voice, in partaking of this, has a natural emphasis of 
authority. But, in his whole personal presence, there is a charm — 
something more than the strong meaning of his words can well 
account for — a seignory of magnetism over other men's blood and 
nerve, the secret of which, it seems to me, might well be a study for 



70 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

the ambitious. How vague and unreal is any literary fame to such 
tangible sovereignty of presence ! 

Three of my immediate neighbors at the table were very bright 
spirits — George Hillard, Russell Lowell, and Autocrat Holmes — and, 
in the course of the five hours' symposium, there was a great deal 
of good talking, of course, that is not " down in the book." Of the 
exceedingly fine edge of Hillard's mind you would form some idea, 
perhaps, by reading the beautiful analysis of Burns' genius given in 
his speech ; and you may see the quality of the other two men in the 
sparkling poems which are reported as they were read to us ; but, for 
the enjoyment of all three by the audience, it was a pity that the reci- 
tations should not have given place to conversation. What a night 
we could have made of it, if these two hundred and fifty pairs of 
appreciative ears and responsive voices could all have been brought 
within chatting distance ! What a limited science is acoustics, when 
no more than ten or fifteen persons can exchange the conversational 
accents which are alone the medium of wit! 

I see by the papers that Mr. Spurgeon's congregation in London 
are about building him a church which shall be so acoustically con- 
structed that he may have an audience much larger than has been 
hitherto thought possible. Why may not the improvements extend 
to dining-rooms 1 As we sat at our table in Boston, receiving, by 
electric telegraph, the toasts which were being drunk, at that moment, 
in distant cities, I felt prepared for almost any wonder of communi- 
cation. We shall yet have Holmes sparkling off" his wit for hundreds 
at a time — his conversation, which is the true bailiwick of his genius, 
extending gradually, perhaps, to the circulation of a newspaper ! 
The "Atlantic," at present, is without the true "cable" for the 
Doctor. 

The President. Gentlemen, we are honored with the 
presence here, this evening, at our table, of one of the peers 
of Ireland, and in our devotion to the thistle, we should not 
forget the shamrock. (Applause.) I have the pleasure 
of introducing to you Lord Radstock. 



SPEECH OP LORD RADSTOCK. 

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Burns Club : 
It has given me great pleasure to take part in the festivities 
of this evening, not only because I was glad to have an 
opportunity to express my sense of the kindness with which 
I have been received in this country, but also because I 
believed there was at the bottom of this meeting to-night a 
deeper meaning, a deeper sentiment than has yet, I think. 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 71 

notwithstanding the oratory and poetry to which we have 
listened, been adequately expressed ; and however imper- 
fectly I may be able to express it, I shall try to suggest it 
to your minds, because I believe it to be important. That 
sentiment is, that a common literature produces union of 
sentiment, and strengthens the common objects of the two 
nations. If any proof was wanting up to this night that 
this was the case, it is wanting no longer. 

I see that I am surrounded by gentlemen of the highest 
character and intellect, who honor English literature, and 
it is very gratifying to me to think that our common tastes 
and common sympathies are moulded upon the same 
model ; and when we consider what the great destinies 
of the Anglo-Saxon race are, I am sure you will agree whh 
me that the more we can stand shoulder to shoulder, and 
unite in feeling and action, the more will it result to the 
prosperity of ourselves and the advancement of mankind. 
(Applause.) 

Gentlemen, what we have heard this night must teach us 
that we must endeavor to rely very much upon a common 
literature. It is that which strengthens the union, which 
teaches us to look for common interests and objects. Our 
common interests are certainly increase, advancement, pro- 
gression ; our common objects are not merely selfish or 
national, but world-wide. Great as is the influence of the 
Anglo-Saxon race now, we are numerically but a drop in 
the bucket — but fifty millions to the nine hundred millions ' 
on the globe ; and the Anglo-Saxon race will not have per- 
formed its destiny until those nine hundred millions have 
felt something of the thrill which goes through the Anglo- 
Saxon heart. (Applause.) 

It is on this account that I feel warranted in bringing 
forward this subject, important as I believe it to be, this 
night. And it was well expressed by the greatest man 
this country has ever produced, George Washington, who, 
when he laid down his military commission, said it was a 
free cultivation of literature, it was an unbounded extension 
of commerce, it was a progressive refinement of manners, 
it was a growing liberality of sentiment, and, above all, it , 
was the light of a pure and benign revelation, which has 
had an ameliorating influence upon mankind. 



72 , BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

If that was his verdict for the past, let it be our watch- 
word for the future, and in our struggle for right against 
wrong, and truth against error, let us take that as our 
watchword, and then we shall be not only successful for 
ourselves, but be able to impart to the uncivilized portions 
of the world something of those blessings which we receive 
from a common literature and a common Christianity. 
(Loud applause.) 

The next regular toast was then read : — , 

9. Our dear old Home, the good City of Boston — May prosperity ever 
attend her. ( Cheers . ) 

The President then introduced, with appropriate re- 
marks. His Honor Frederic W. Lincoln, Jr., Mayor of 
the City, who spoke as follows : — 



SPEECH OF MAYOR LINCOLN. 

Mr. President : I am sure, my dear sir, if there ever 
was an occasion where I had a right to be silent, it is at the 
present festival. It is not a civic feast which loads this 
table, or official functionaries who surround your board. 
The genius of poesy and literary culture embalm this 
atmosphere, and remarks from me seem ill-timed, — out of 
place. 

My personal relation to the city which you have re- 
membered in your sentiment, makes it my duty to re- 
spond. I shall do so briefly, and trespass but little on your 
patience. 

I know of no particular associations connecting the mem- 
ory of Burns and the city of Boston, excepting the fact 
that, distinguished as the city is for the love of literature, 
it embraces among its citizens some of the warmest ad- 
mirers of the bard. The fact that we are assembled here 
to-night is significant of the respect that is paid to his 
memory, and of the estimation in which his writings are 
held. That his character as a man had many weak points 
we do not seek to conceal, but his instincts were noble, 
and the spirit of his poetry is to elevate and sweeten the 
joys of life. 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 73 

Born and living all his days in the humblest circum- 
stances, all ranks bow in homage to his genius, and he has 
left a name and exerted an influence which the titled and 
the great of the earth might envy. 

At the age of sixteen he said love made him a poet, and 
that sentiment, more than any other, breathes in his muse, 
and draws him so closely to every heart. His poetry is 
so natural that we do not criticise it as a work of art ; 
we are touched by its simplicity without knowing what 
moves us. 

An anecdote is told of a lady who was one of his early 
patrons, who had a housekeeper who was surprised at the 
attention paid by her mistress to the rustic bard. The lady 
gave her a manuscript copy of the " Cottar's Saturday 
Night" to read, and asked her what she thought of it. 
She replied, " Very well." " Is that all you have to say 
in its favor? " asked the mistress. She said, " Yes, he had 
only described what had happened in her ain faither's 
house, and she didna ken how he could have described it 
ony ither gate." 

The old woman thus paid him a compliment which more 
pleased the poet than if it had come from the most accom- 
plished of literary critics. 

The merit of his writings, and that which has made them 
so dear to people, is the absence of all the artificial dis- 
tinctions of life, and the hearty recognition of the common 
brotherhood of man. 

His noble thoughts have sustained many an humble 
laborer and peasant in their hours of toil, while they have 
afforded a rich intellectual enjoyment to the most cultivated 
minds. 

But, sir, I will forbear. I remember what Burns, on his 
death-bed, said to a fellow-member of his military corps, 
" Don't let the awkward squad fire over me." I seem now 
to be disobeying his injunction, and will close by proposing 
as a sentiment — 

The Natal Day of Burns — Ever to be remembered while the human 
heart vibrates to the touch of true poetry, or the bosom throbs with 
the noblest sympathy of our nature. 

Song — " Highland Mary." 
7 



74: BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

The 10th regular toast was then given : — 

Health to the sex, ilk guid chiel says, 
Wi' merry dance in winter days, 

'Are we to share in common 
The gust of joy, the balm of woe. 
The soul of life, the heaven below, 

Is rapture-giving woman. 

The President called on Hon. Josiah Quincy, Jr. to 
respond. 

SPEECH OP HON. JOSIAH QUINCY, JR. 

Our friend, Mr. Howe, told us that he was obliged to 
speak for all North America, and Scotland into the bargain. 
I have to speak for one half of creation, and that the better 
half. I shall not endeavor to say anything in this assembly 
in praise of the ladies. You have heard all the poetic and 
eloquent men who have preceded me speak concerning 
what we vulgarly call the lords of creation. Let them 
magnify them to the utmost; I will only ask you to re- 
member the words of the bard : — 

" Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears 
Her noblest work surpasses, O ; 
Her prentice han' she tried on man. 
And then she made the lasses, O." 

But it is not, Mr. President, of the ladies in general that 
I would speak now, but, very briefly, of the particular 
female influences that made Burns a great poet. Among 
these, he speaks himself of one Jenny Wilson, who, he 
says, was superstitious and ignorant ; who had no recom- 
mendation except the power of telling stories ; that she was 
full of stories of ghosts, goblins, and witches. How much, 
sir, are we indebted to that Jane Wilson ! I will not 
make a long quotation, but I think that about this time 
of night it would be well to give the moral of one of her 
stories : — 

" Now wha this tale of truth shall read, 
Ilk man and mither's son take heed ; 
Whene'er to drink you are inclined. 
Or cutty sarks run in your mind, 
Think ye may buy the joys o'er dear. 
Remember Tarn O'Shanter's mare." 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 75 

But why are we assembled here to-night ? We are 
assembled here because, as has already been said, a hun- 
dred years ago to-night, in a mud-walled cottage, which 
fell down a few days after, a woman rejoiced that a man- 
child was born into the world. And what was the influ- 
ence of that woman ? It has been very often inquired why 
it happens that so few great men leave great descendants 
after them. I believe that one reason is that talent is 
generally inherited from the mother. In my early youth 
it was my good fortune to live in the vicinity of that man 
to whom this country was perhaps more indebted for its 
constitution and liberty, than to any other in her history, 
excepting Washington. I refer to John Adams. I had 
the privilege of reading to him, and writing for him, quite 
frequently, and I remember very well that he asked me, 
on one occasion, what work I had been reading. I told 
him the life of Sir William Jones, and I spoke of the 
remarkable talent and power of the mother of that great 
man. " Young man," said he, " did you ever read or 
hear of a great and good man who had not a good mother ? 
for I never did." And, sir, I believe we owe a great deal 
of the power of Burns to that mother. We are told that 
he resembled her physically, that she sung songs to him in 
his childhood, and many of his poems were written from 
tunes not now in existence, which he only remembered 
from having heard his mother sing them. 

I will give a sentiment, which I have no doubt that, if 
the immortal poet could be cognizant of the meeting this 
evening, he would receive with more gratification than any 
sentiment that has been pronounced here to-night : — 

The Mother of Robert Burns — The strains that she sung at his cradle 
are echoed through the world ! (Loud applause.) 



The President. It has already been stated that our 
Club is indebted to Miss Isabella Begg,-*^ niece of the poet, 
for the contribution of various interesting articles. They 
were accompanied by the following letter : — 



76 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 



Letter from Miss Begg, a lyTiece of Robert Burns. 

Bridgehouse, Ayr, \%ili December, 1858. 

Sir, — I regret your communication has been so long unnoticed, but 
it canae just two days after my poor mother had breathed her last. 

I will not damp your joy with our sorrow, for the wail that has been 
over the land for her, shows how deeply Burns has impressed the 
hearts of his fellow-men. I have seen many an unbidden tear fall from, 
the eyes of strangers, when they looked upon his aged sister. 

I am sorry I have so little to send you, but if the enclosed can be of 
any use, pray accept them. The card was written for a Bazaar a few 
years ago. I send also the signatures of the poet's three sons. Robert 
died in May, 1857. William Nicol and James Glencairn are both 
alive. James used always (on their annual visit here) to sing my 
dear mother one of his father's songs. For years, her request has 
n, 

" Ca' the yowes to the knowes." 

If any one at your great gathering will sing it in its beautiful native 
simplicity, you will thereby compliment the poet, his sister and his 
son. Accept also of a photograph taken a few weeks ago of my 
mother. 

I wish I could have sent you the hand-writing of Burns, but this I 
cannot. With sincere wishes that you may have a happy meeting on 
the 25th of January, believe me, 

Yours truly, Isabella Begg. 

Mr. John C. Moore, Secretary of the Boston Bums Club. 

The following are the lines of Mrs. Begg, inscribed on a 
Card, mentioned in the above letter : — 

** Life is but a day at most. 
Sprung from night, in darkness lost, 
Hope not sunshine every hour, 
Fear not clouds will always lower." 

The President then added this sentiment : — 

We sympathize in feelings of natural aflfection, whilst we rejoice 
that the Poet is immortal. 

Miss Begg's request in regard to the song of " Ca' the 
yowes to the knowes," was complied with by Mr. Moody, 
who, a Scotchman, and an ardent admirer of Burns, rendered 
it in that simple, unaffected style in which it can only be 
properly sung. The song was loudly applauded. 

The following letter was received from Hon. Caleb 

CUSHING : — 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 77 



Letter from Gen. Gushing. 

Boston, January 25, 1859. 
My Dear Sir, — It is with extreme regret that I have to forego the 
pleasure of being with you this evening, as I had expected to be. I 
have hurt my eye so ba^ly, that I have to put myself in the physician's 
hands. I wish you and your friends all possible enjoyment of this 
interesting occasion : and I am 

Faithfully yours, C. Gushing. 

John S. Tyler, Esq. 

Mr. Ordway's vocal band sang " Highland Mary" in 
capital style — Mr. Kelly being the soloist. 

SPEECH OP WILLIAM CARRITTHEIIS, ESQ. 

William Carruthers, Esq., of Salisbury, Mass., being 
introduced as a native of Dumfries, Scotland, spoke as 
follows : — 

Mr. President : — I had hoped to have heard some na- 
tive of Scotland speak for her, but the task has been left to 
me. It was my lot in my early days to be familiar with 
everything connected with the closing scenes of the life of 
him whose birth we this night celebrate. At the time of 
his death, my father, then a young man, was one of those 
who made up the ten or twelve thousand who marched 
mournfully, step by step, with the chief mourners, as they 
bore away all that was mortal of the immortal Burns from 
the Trades' Hall to his last resting place in the old kirk 
yard of Dumfries. And in after years, when I was but a 
boy, it was my lot to follow that grand and imposing ma- 
sonic procession which marched from the new kirk to the 
old, to lay the foundation stone of that mausoleum his 
admiring countrymen have erected to his memory. Know- 
ing these facts, sir, you will not be surprised to find me 
here to-night, and that I am not an uninterested spectator 
of all that has passed before me. Mr. President, I have 
listened with inexpressible delight to those gentlemen who 
stand stand so high in the literary world, as they have 
this night spoken " in prose and rhyme" of Burns and of 
my native country. From the bottom of my heart I thank 
them. I am convinced, sir, that we, as Scotchmen even, 
7* 



78 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

have not yet begun, much as we love the Rustic Bard, to 
appreciate him. We have loved him, and do love him, for 
his songs, for they speak the language of the heart ; but 
we have not as yet esteemed him as the one that has best 
given expression to those feelings of liberty and freedom 
that have burned in the bosom of every true son of Scotia 
since the days of Wallace and Bruce. (Cheers.) Permit 
me to state an incident that occurred in Dumfries, about 
the year 1792. Burns being in a large, mixed company, 
the health of William Pitt was proposed. He gave great 
offence by demurring, and left the room in indignation 
because they would not substitute another name. And 
what name was that, sir ? Let me give you his toast in his 
own words : " The health of a greater and a better man, 
George Washington .'" And be it known, sir, that this 
was said and done when Burns was an exciseman, or, in 
other words, a custom-house officer, under that same Wil- 
liam Pitt, prime minister of England. (Loud cheers.) 

We Scotchmen love Burns not less for his songs, but 
more for that love of liberty and the rights of man which 
stand out in such bold relief through all his works, and 
nowhere better expressed than in these memorable lines : — 

" The rank is bat the guinea's stamp, 
The man's the gowd for a' that." (Cheers.) 

And permit me, sir, in closing, to say, that though this 
land of my adoption has been my home for upwards of 
forty years, and is the home and the birthplace of my 
children, yet I cannot help it, (and if I could I would not,) 
there is still in this heart of mine a warm side to the 
heathery hills and broomy knowes of my native land. (Loud 
cheers.) 

Mr. President, one word to my countrymen, and then I 
have done. Let us, in this land of our adoption, act wor- 
thy of the home of our childhood ; let the influence of the 
Hearth, the School and the Kirk, be felt wherever we go, 
for it is 

" From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs, 
That make her loved at home, revered abroad ;" 

and let the green holly of Scotland rustle with the majestic 
pine of the Old Bay State, in united effort to do all we can 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 79 

to bring about that glorious time, for which he, whose mem- 
ory we this night celebrate, so fervently prayed — 

" When freedom's treasures shall be free as air, 
And slave and despot be but things that were." 

Mr. Carruthers took his seat amid the warm applause of 
the company. 

Otis Rich, Esq., Vice-President of the Club, after a few 
well-conceived introductory remarks, gave the following 
sentiment, which was properly honored : — 

The Genius of Robert Burns — It has not only cheered the hearth- 
stones of the lowly cottages of his native land, but has inspired the 
good and great of all countries, wherever true poetry is appreciated, 
to unite this day in such a demonstration to his memory and his fame, 
as was never paid to literary talent in any age of the world. May we 
long feel the hallowing influence of his poetry, and may his name be 
ever cherished. 

The regular teasts and sentiments having been exhausted 
at this point, volunteers were numerous, heartfelt and ap- 
propriate. Songs and brief speeches followed in rapid 
succession — including expressions of gratitude to the Presi- 
dent and officers of the Club for the liberal manner in 
which they had brought the proceedings of the festival to a 
completion. Nor were Messrs. Parker & Mills forgotten 
in the list of compliments paid. 

" The wee short hour ayont the twal" had closely in- 
vaded the precincts of its successor ere the idea of rising 
became anything like general. A ^ew minutes before two 
o'clock the President rose and suggested that " Auld Lang 
Syne" should be sung, and that afterwards the festival 
should close. This was complied with, and " the banquet 
hall deserted" immediately thereafter. 

The following letters and messages were read during 
the evening. To the telegraphic despatches prompt replies 
were given through the same media by which they came. 
In this connection it is proper to say that the Club were 
placed under obligations to the northern lines of telegraph 
through their voluntary offer to send despatches free — 
a privilege which was made available to a very liberal 
extent : — 



80 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 



LETTER PBOM HUGH MUIR. 

Wrightjield, Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, Dec. 16, 1858. 
Mk. John C. Moore, Boston : 

Dear Sir, — I cannot describe with what pleasure I sit down to write 
you a few lines. Much I could say, but this is not the time. I have 
sent you two small relics, which are of very little value, but I can 
vouch that they are what the tickets represent them to be. "With 
regard to the little piece of wood, you will recollect a fine plane tree, 
planted inside the sacred old walls of Kirk AUoway, which grew near 

" The winnock bunker in the East, 
Where sat Auld Nick in shape o' beast." 

The roots got underneath the walls, and in a short time would have 
thrown them, or part of them, down. I have had the charge of the 
place for a number of years, and pointed out to the managers, at one 
of their meetings, the danger to the walls, and I was ordered to cut 
the tree down. You may make what use of the piece of it I send 
that you please. 

The small piece of iron I send you is of more value. I took it out 
of the south door of the Auld Kirk, which has lately been removed, 
and an iron gate put in its place. 

Yours truly, Hugh Muib. 



LETTER PROM DAVID CAMPBELL. 

High Street, Ayr, Dec. 21, 1858. 
Dear Sir, — Having heard, through my friend Mr. Grant, of your 
wish to collect some relics of Burns for your Centennial meeting, I 
have much pleasure in sending you a photograph of the late Mrs. 
Begg, taken by me at her residence a few weeks before her death, and 
also a stereograph of the Cottage, Alloway Kirk, the Monument, and 
the old Bridge of Doon, and I shall feel obliged by your kindness in 
presenting them to the members of the Boston Burns Club, with my 
compliments. 

I am, &c., David Campbell. 

Mr. John p. Moore, Sec'y of the Boston Bums Club. 



LETTER PROM THEO. CHAMBERLIW. 

Cincinnati, Jan. 19, 1859. 
Col. Wm. Schouleb, Boston : 

It is made my very pleasant duty to return, through you, to the 
Bums Club of Boston, the warmest thanks of the Bums Club of Cin- 
cinnati, for their present of the copy of King's bust of the immortal 
Bard of Scotia. Assure your Club, in language you know so well 
how to use, and T^ch pen cannot portray, of our grateful appreciation 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 81 

of their kindness in making the gift in so handsome a manner. And 
assure them, also, that we shall cherish the memento as a bond of 
lasting friendship between Boston and the Queen City, and that, in 
looking upon it, we shall have a better and warmer appreciation of 
Burns and his songs, of him as a man, and of his muse, world-charm- 
ing and immortal, because our sister, Boston, has furnished us with 
the means of doing so. 

Accept the best wishes of our Club for yours, and yourself, and 
believe me to be. 

Very truly, your friend, Theodore Chambeklin, 

Sec'y Cincinnati Burns Club. 



MESSAGES BY TELEGRAPH. 

Washington, Jan. 25, 1859. 
To John C. Moore : 

The "Washington Bums Club, at a full table, pledges the Boston 
Burns Club, and all others who honor this anniversary. 

Per order, Ben. Perlet Poore, Sec'y. 



Revere House, Boston, Jan. 25. 
To the President op the Boston Burns Club : 

Dear Sir, — I have the honor of informing you that the following 
toast, with all the honors, has just been drank by the party now at 
the Revere House, similarly engaged as yourselves, celebrating the 
birthday of Scotland's immortal bard : — 

The Boston Burns Club — Success attend its efforts to perpetuate the 
memory of Eobert Burns. 

I am, dear sir, yours respectfully, 

W. J. McPherson, Sec'y. 

Montreal, Jan. 25, 1859. 
To THE Burns Club op Boston : 

The admirers of Burns, assembled in Montreal, send greetings to 
their Boston friends, and give : — 

The Day, and a' wha honor it — Long may the memory of Burns live 
in the hearts of his countrymen and admirers. 

A. A. Stevenson, Sec'y. 



New York, Jan. 25, 1859. 
The New York Burns Association sends Greeting : 
Peace to the ashes of the noble dead ! 

The years of strife for glory haply o'er, 
A century's halo now enwreaths his head. 

Who sang of love as minstrel ne'er before ; 
For still that harp with Scotland's glory wed 
Thrills every heart where love its light hath shed : 



82 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

Auld Scotia's sons, whatever clime they see, 
Can never to his memory faithless be ; 
With them his fame shall go from shore to shore, 
His name shall live till time shall be no more. 
Love's purest offering shall surround his grave — 
Love's sweetest incense ever round it wave. 

James Gray, Vice-President. 

Detroit, Mich., Jan. 25, 1859. 
To THE Boston Burns Club : 

The admirers of Robert Burns, now in social session, send to their 
brethren of the Boston Burns Club, greeting ; and respectfully offer 
the following sentiment : — 

Bums — The genial and patriotic poet of Scotland, who, by his 
devotion to his country and countrymen, best illustrated man's power 
to serve humanity. 

Adam Elder, President. 

New York, Jan. 25, 1859. 
The Auld Lang Syne Association of New York greet their 
Brethren of the Boston Burns Club, and give — 
7%e Old Folks at Home around the cheerful Firesides of Auld Scot- 
land — There Scotia's bairns receive the first principles of honest, up- 
right conduct, while with the ingleside is entwined the memories of 
the happy youthful days when we read the poems and sung the songs 
of our own Robert Burns ! 

"William Hodge. 

Lowdl, Jan. 25, 1859. 
The Lowell Burns Club to the Boston Burns Club, greet- 
ing : 
The Lowell Burns Club send their heartiest greetings to their 
brethren in Boston, now socially assembled to do honor to the memory 
of "the world's poet," and offer as a sentiment the words of the 
lamented Tannahill, a brother poet : — 

Robert Burns, the Patriot Poet. 
" Yes, Burns, ' thou dear departed shade ! ' 
When rolling centuries have fled. 
Thy name shall still survive the wreck of time, 
Shall rouse the genius of thy native clime ; 
Bards yet unborn, and patriots shall come 
And catch fresh ardor at thy hallo w'd tomb ! " 

Peter Lawson, President, Lowell Burns Club. 

Baltimore, Jan. 25, 1859. 
To the Boston Club : 

The Baltimore Bums Club to the Boston Bums Club, send best 
wishes, and give : — 



BIRTHDAY FESTIVAL. 83 

The Day we Celebrate — The Hundredth Birthday of Robert Burns : 
a thousand years may pass, and still his name will live while earth for 
man has smiles and tears. 

James Caibns, Secretary. 

Cincinnati, Jan. 25, 1859. 
Boston and Liberty — True and living interpretations of American 
sentiment ; may the former become foremost in the annals of prosperous 
cities, and the latter finally take captive the hearts of all civilized men ! 

Theo. Chamberlin, 
Secretary, Cincinnati Bums Club. 

Quebec, Jan. 25, 1859. 
The Committee of Management of the Burns Centenary Festival 
at Quebec, wish the Boston Burns Club to join their association in 
honoring the following sentiment : — 

Burns — Scotia, with exulting tear, honors her son, and his admirers 
in Britain and America unite in paying deep and sincere homage to 
him, the bard that's awa. 

J. DuNBAK, Secretary. 



Manchester, N. H., Jan. 25, 1859. 
The Manchester Literary Society to the Boston Burns 
Club, greeting : 
The Scottish Bard — He lives in song ; his love of liberty bums in 
the hearts of the people. Without regard to wealth, nation, or rank, 
may we endeavor 

" That man to man the warld o'er 
Shall brithers be an' a' that." 

John R. Hynes, 
For Committee of Arrangements. 



From the Burns Club of the City of Elms. 

New Haven, Jan. 25, 1859. 
To the Burns Club at the Parker House, Boston : 

The City of Classic Shades greets the Literary Capital of the Union, 
which has brought the tribute of American genius to the memory of 
our national bard. May Boston ever stand preeminent for freedom, 
truth, and letters. May her sons of genius long live to elevate man 
and address the world, and in future times have their shrines, too, 
consecrated by the genius of other lands. 



New York, Jan. 25, 1859. 
To the Burns Club op Boston : 

The Burns Clubs of Scotland, trickling in sweet music down the 
hill of time, gathering force, bear universal man towards realms of 
union, friendsMp, truth, and love. 

J. L. Dick, Chairman. 



84 BOSTON BURNS CLUB. 

From the New York BurnB Anniversary Association. 

New York, Jan. 25, 1859, 
To THE Boston Burns Club : 

Kindred Associations throughout the World — May they preserve the 
songs, and disseminate the sentiments, of Burns, till 

" man to man the warld o'er 

Shall brithers be an' a' that." 

Vaib Clikehugh, Jr., (hr. Sec'y. 

Troy, N. Y., Jan. 25, 1859. 

The Burns Club op Trot, N. Y., to the Boston Burns Club, 
greeting : 
Robert Burns — The bard whose immortal pen annihilated the prin- 
ciple that birth and rank were the conditions of honor, and promul- 
gated for them that of worth. 



Galveston, Texas, Jan. 25, 1859. 
To THE Boston Burns Club, in social assembly : 

The Mountains of Scotland — Hallowed by the remembrance of the 
Scottish Chiefs. 

The Hills and Valleys of New England — Sacred to the memory of 
the Pilgrim fathers ; and 

The Prairies of Texas — Once the hunting-ground of a despot, now 
liie garden spot of the South, and gained by the aid of Cameron, a 
Scotchman. 

A. J. RuTHYEN, Chairman Burns Club. 



OFFICERS OF THE CLUB FOR 1859-60. 

At the annual meeting of the Boston Burns Club, held in 
the Parker House, on Wednesday evening, February 2d, 
1859, the following gentlemen were chosen officers of the 
Club for the year ensuing : — 

President, . . . John S. Tyler. 
Vice President, Otis Rich. 
Treasurer, . . . William Bogle. 
Librarian, . . . Justin Jones. 
Secretary/, . . . John C. Moore. 



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