known; no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man. His temper was naturally irritable and high toned; but reflection and resolution had obtained a firm and habitual ascendency over it. If ever, however, it broke its bounds, he was most tremendous in his wrath. In his expenses he was honorable, but exact; liberal in contributions to whatever promised utility; but frowning and unyielding on all visionary projects, and all unworthy calls on his charity. His heart was not warm in its affections; but he exactly calculated every man's value, and gave him a solid esteem proportioned to it. His person, you know, was fine, his stature exactly what one would wish; his deportment easy, erect, and noble, the best horseman of his age, and the most graceful figure that could be seen on horseback. Although in the circle of his friends, where he might be unreserved with safety, he took a free share in conversation, his colloquial talents were not above mediocrity, possessing neither copiousness of ideas nor fluency of words. public, when called on for a sudden opinion, he was unready, short, and embarrassed. Yet he wrote readily, rather diffusely, in an easy and correct style. This he had acquired by conversation with the world, for his education was merely reading, writing, and common arithmetic, to which he added surveying at a later day. His time was employed in action chiefly, reading little, and that only in agriculture and English history. His correspondence became necessarily extensive, and with journalizing his agricultural proceedings occupied most of his leisure hours within doors. On the whole, his character was, in its mass, perfect, in nothing bad, in few points indifferent; and it may truly be said, that never did nature and fortune combine more completely to make a man great, and to place him in the same constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man an everlasting remembrance. For his was the singular destiny and merit of leading the armies of his country successfully through an arduous war, for the establishment of its independence; of conducting its councils through the birth of a government, new in its forms and principles, until it had settled down into a quiet and orderly train; and of scrupulously obeying the laws through the whole of his career, civil and military, of which the history of the world furnishes no other example.




ROBERT BURNS, the son of a small farmer, was born near Ayr, Scotland, in 1759, and died in 1796. He manifested at an early age an eager appetite for learning; but his opportunities for gratifying it were few in the country school he gained the rudiments of an education in English branches, and in later life learned something of French, Latin, and the higher mathematics. It is worthy of note that one of his favorite books, in boyhood, was Shakespeare's Plays. At the age of sixteen he began to write verses, striving to express in rhyme the emotions excited by his first affair of the heart. These youthful compositions were circulated in manuscript among his acquaintances, and finally came to the notice of some persons of literary taste, who persuaded Burns to publish a volume. The venture brought him fame at once, and twenty pounds, one hundred dollars, in money. He visited Edinburgh on invitation of Dr. Blacklock, and was well received in the brilliant society of that city. A second edition of his poems, published in 1787, yielded him a profit of seven hundred pounds. But his gain in fame and money from his visit to the Scottish capital was more than offset by his acquisition of the dissolute habits which were destined to impede his literary progress and ultimately to bring him to an early grave. His rank among poets it is not easy to determine, though Lord Byron and Allan Cunningham placed him among the first. It is probable that in their estimates they regarded his promise rather than his performance. But it may safely be said that of all poets who have sprung from the people, receiving almost no aid from education, he was surely the greatest. He was the poet of passion and feeling: but his utterances were simple and natural, and owed none of their force or beauty to art. His poems glow with tenderness and the love of freedom, and are rich in a rare, pure humor that none have known how to imitate.


WHEN chill November's surly blast
Made fields and forests bare,
One evening, as I wandered forth
Along the banks of Ayr,

I spied a man whose aged step

Seemed weary, worn with care:

His face was furrowed o'er with years,



And hoary was his hair.

Young stranger, whither wanderest thou?"

Began the reverend sage;

'Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain,

Or youthful pleasures rage?

Or haply, prest with cares and woes,

Too soon thou hast began

To wander forth, with me, to mourn
The miseries of man!

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And man, whose heaven-erected face
The smiles of love adorn,
Man's inhumanity to man

Makes countless thousands mourn!

"See yonder poor, o'erlabored wight,
So abject, mean, and vile,
Who begs a brother of the earth

To give him leave to toil;
And see his lordly fellow-worm
The poor petition spurn,
Unmindful though a weeping wife
And helpless offspring mourn.

"If I'm designed yon lordling's slave,-
By Nature's law designed, -
Why was an independent wish
E'er planted in my mind?
If not, why am I subject to
His cruelty or scorn?

Or why has man the will and

To make his fellow mourn?


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Is there, for honest poverty,

That hangs his head, and a' that?
The coward-slave, we pass him by,
And dare be poor, for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,

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

What tho' on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hodden-gray, and a' that;

Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
A man's a man, for a' that.

For a' that, and a' that,

Their tinsel show, and a' that; The honest man, tho' ne'er sae poor, Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca'ed a lord,

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

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

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

Their dignities, and a' that,

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

Then let us pray that come it may,

As come it will for a' that,

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