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trouble is so genuine, and they of being unborsed or unsettled in
of the Republic, which is inter- D'Orsay and other places would
oric at the for the Government. Elle gouverne
questions of this or that method
of government have for the mo-
ment fallen into abeyance in the
but for their own account neither
An occasional gleam of ardour on
state of things that could have
The third volume of Messrs
solemn, aspect. This does not seem
on the face of it very suitable to the
perfectly justified from the editors'
concerned, indeed, and so conscious
that our best sympathies are due
and in spite of every reverential
altered the position of Burns as We suspect that this philosophic a lyric poet, and indeed almost view is a true one. The flutter shattered his pretensions to be of busy life in Paris at the Quai considered in that light. Their
show us the altar pulled down and very clearly traceable throughout
Henley's distress strikes us with
Johnson's Musical Museum' and though no doubt immensely learned
1 The Centenary Burns. By W. E. Henley and T. F. Henderson. Messrs T. C. & E, C, Jack : Edinburgh.
trouble is so genuine, and they of being unborsed or unsettled in regard their iconoclastic work with his saddle. These correspondences so much real alarm, that they have show, we think, very clearly that even allowed themselves to be in- Burns's primary position in respect terviewed by an enterprising news
to both these works was that of a paper in deprecation of the uni- devoted lover of Scots song, really versal outcry which they believe more interested in raising up and their book about to produce. We putting forth to advantage the do not, however, hear of any such ancient music and poetry of his outcry, outside of Messrs Henley native district, the pastoral airs and Henderson's troubled appre to which he was cradled, the hension : and we can only imagine snatches of verse which were like that the dust of their pulling down the natural breath of the country. operations, though imaginary, has side, than to find a medium of got into their eyes and confused utterance specially for himself. their faculties more or less. The He took up the old chorus lightly, sorrowful statement of their dis- without an arrière pensée, the coveries, which they make with so broken lines of the old songs much feeling, shows that to them danced through his brain, more these discoveries were unexpected Occupied with them than with and distressing in the highest de- himself, and it was more delightful gree. Explorers of this descrip- to him to retain them for their tion generally express themselves own sake than to throw them away with a certain triumph when they for his. We think this idea is show us the altar pulled down and very clearly traceable throughout the idol prostrate : but if there is the whole series of his letters, any triumph here it is of a rueful especially to Johnson : though we description, and nobody can be have not seen these letters for so sensible of the disaster as the
years, yet our understanding of poet who is, alas! the unhappy them remains 80 assured that Mr cause of its occurrence.
Henley's distress strikes us with What can we say to comfort a surprise which is not devoid of Mr Henley? We much doubt amusement.
Dear poet! we say whether it will be consolatory involuntarily, all this we were very to him to be told that he has well aware of before you had ever done no such harm as he fears; laid a hand on Burns, or regarded that these discoveries were all with dismay a single broadsheet made before he was born—nay, from the collections of Herd or that there can be no discoveries Lord Rosebery.
Lord Rosebery. Take courage ! where there never was any con if you have altered the position cealment. The present writer has of a poet greater than yourself, it probably been acquainted with must simply be with the new Burns for a longer period than is generation, which, we grant you, possible to Mr Henley, and was is singularly ignorant of many aware of the correspondence in things very simple to its fathers,
Johnson's Musical Museum’and though no doubt immensely learned Thomson's Scottish Airs' from the in many other things which its beginning of time: for which rea fathers did not know. Burns, so son probably it is that he receives far as we were aware, never conthe shock of Mr Henley's spear cealed nor attempted to conceal without even a quiver of his vieux the origin of many of his songs. moustache, much less any sensation Je prends mon bien où je le trouve,
It touches us, however, more
possible consequence, to find one
of Barns's most impassioned lyrics
treated with the same curious and
"Ae fond kiss, and then we sever ; Mr Henley devotes a whole
Ae farewell, and that for ever."
“ The germ of 'Ae Fond Kiss," says
Drop a tear, and bid adieu;
Though we sever, my fond heart
, as will probably imagine that the noble verses of
One fond kiss before we part,
Till we meet shall pant for you.'”
Can any man in bis senses
said Molière, and what was ever proud, who can doubt, to set the
the rural every instance. We feel disposed
to adopt that double plea of law
“I remember,' Burns writes to
verse in some of the old songs of
dear lad maun face his faes,
an implied doubt, “ that these lines
Whitehall some years before Burns
Let us follow him or Shakespeare.
through the history of some other And with what beautiful un individual songs.
well conscious art he put in those add that in the great majority floating fragments, as pleased and of cases the most insignificant of
be the case with most readers. Burns's song, including that which
Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
| Never met and never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted" -
derived anything, much less found
the first three words of which corThis is Stanza ii.-
responded more or less with the
first three words of the poem ?
This is to insult the ordinary
Henley had no share in these
We began by freely admitting,
the songs are those which fit Mr to alter among us the reputation Henley's conclusions best. Does of Burns ? any one consider the authenticity It touches us, however, more of “The Captain's Lady” of great than these, which are of the least importance
possible consequence, to find one
of Burns's most impassioned lyrics “Oh mount and go,
treated with the same curious and Mount and make you ready; Oh mount and go,
niggling criticism. And be the Captain's lady!” “ Ae fond kiss, and then we sever; Mr Henley devotes a whole
Ae farewell, and that for ever." page to the elucidation of the
“ The germ of 'Ae Fond Kiss,” says older songs
that made up this Mr Henley, “is found in "The Partjingle or suggested it. Does he ing Kiss, by Robert Dodsley (1703really think that will alter Burns's 1764), which was set by Oswald :position as a lyric poet?
• One fond kiss before we part, Here is another instance. “Mus
Drop a tear, and bid adieu ; ing on the Roaring Ocean" is a Though we sever, my fond heart
Till we meet shall pant for you.'' song of which our childhood, which knew Burns by heart, has left us Can any man in his senses wholly ignorant, as will probably imagine that the noble verses of be the case with most readers.
Burns's song, including that which It is a copy of correct English is perhaps the profoundest note of verses, in which Burns was never the lover's despairvery happy. Mr Henley tells us they are “ reminiscent of divers “ Had we never lov'd sae kindly, Jacobitisms."
Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
Never met and never parted, “Stanza ii. line 4. Compare the
We had ne'er been broken-hearted”Jacobite
derived anything, much less found Altho' his back be at the wa',
their germ, from a doggerel verse, Here's to him that's far awa'.
the first three words of which corThis is Stanza ii.
responded more or less with the
first three words of the poem ? Hope and Fear's alternate billow,
Yielding late to Nature's law, This is to insult the ordinary Whispering spirits round my pillow
intelligence. We opine that Mr Talk of him that's far awa'.'”
Henley had no share in these If that was modelled on any. pedantic follies. A poet surely thing, Mr Henley might as well could scarcely ever, even in his have adduced a host of other aberrations, be of so shallow a songs as well as “Lewie Gordon," wit. indeed the greater part of the We began by freely admitting, songs of Scotland, in which there to a great measure, the point which occur a multitude of lads who are Mr Henley fears he is the first to far awa'. “Lewie Gordon,'” he disclose : but as we go on to conadds, " is, however, itself borrowed sider his evidence our mind changes. from an older ·Song on the Birth Burns indeed was the first to disday of King James the Eighth, close the pseudo-fact, and did so 10th June 1709.'" He might cordially in almost every one of have gone a great deal further, the letters which accompany these and quoted a whole page full of songs. The ancient songs inspired references. Is this a likely thing him, sang themselves in his ears,
a pretty story of his parting from
his Highland lass, is that a reason What does Mr Henley mean by for saying it was all a fable, and that “nevertheless”? We confess that there was no Mary at all
, that we are absolutely incapable "unless she be identified with of divining
certain Mary Campbell of indifferAnd we are much surprised, ent repute"? Perhaps Burns told though with the comfortable con a lie ; but Messrs Henley and Henviction that it is Mr Henderson derson have no knowledge that he again, to find how vehemently the did so, no proof against him, not pretty episode of Highland Mary is the faintest indication of evidence assailed in this book. To show the one way or other. Mr Henley is very worst side of these commen no doubt aware that Beatrice is taries, we quote the passage on this believed by superior persons in subject, which really is a subject Italy to be no actual woman at all
, concerning nobody but Barns, who but a mere abstraction, to whom himself has given a circumstantial Dante gave the name of a certain account of certain passages in her noble lady, his relations to whom career, to which our present editors were entirely imaginary, though give the lie direct as nearly as related with much pathetic cirwords allow :-
drew forth his slumbering genius. “ While some for pleasure pawn their health
'Twixt Lais and the bagnio,
I'll save myself and without stealth or half-verse, or poetical phrase, Kiss and caress my Nanny, 0.” or lilting chorus.
But to tell us
If there is but one man with
a candid mind left in the world
we would ask him, “Wherein lies
the most distant possibility that
this rubbish suggested the fine
like Mr Burchell.
No; it is no doubt Mr Hender-
son who is guilty. We have not
the faintest objection to sacrifice versal of stanzas.
Mr Henderson to the manes of our
A poet like Mr Henley
never could have believed for a
moment that Dodsley's "One Fond
Kiss" diminished the originality of
Burns's fine song. We would not
believe him did he swear it. The where is "My Nannie, O" We
Many people have uttered and
any. where that delightful song.
many listened to them, without
reference to any ballad. Burns
himself must have said them
ing of anything but Dodsley.
If he had thought of Dodsley
many occasions instead of
occupying himself with looking at us through the cheer- melodious names, it might have ful honest verse-
good thing for him.
are taken at
given of what it would be absurd
The third volume stated at first hand by Burns him, is confined to the
Thus, in the song called
“The Silver Tassie," " The first
“Go fetch to me a pint o'wine,
And till it in a silver tassie, the editor's convictions were al
That I may drink before I go
A service to my bonnie lassie,'
is old ; the rest is mine."
“Nevertheless," adds Mr Henley,
cumstance by the poet himself.
But we conceive that no man, « The Highland Larsie was Mary not even a poet, has a right to Campbell, daughter of one Archibald
be accused of telling a circumCampbell, a Clyde sailor. The
year of her birth is uncertain
, its place is stantial lie without evidence, and not beyond dispute ; the date of her something
to found the accusation death is matter of debate ; there is upon.
We know no cult, "for room for conjecture as to the place of cult it is," these gentlemen say, of her burial ; little or no independent Mary Campbell
. There is a cult
of another Mary which has led
We must also protest against
no place hitherto in English
, not to say
of the highest, kind. “Merry.be-
, at several occasions in this book, but
never that we remember in any
found in Shakespeare, no doubt,
but many things are to be found