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NOTE 1st, p 152, refers to Liverpool, p 116.-NOTE 2nd, p 153,
Family Register-in which the death of William Burnes the
Address of King Robert Bruce to his troops at Bannockburn,
Memorials of Burns.
Celebration of the One Hundredth Birthday of Robert BurnsChairman's Address at the Festival at Bristol.
URNS was born on the 25th of January, 1759, and on the approach of the one hundredth return of that day, the proposal to celebrate it by a suitable tribute to the genius of the great national poet of Scotland, was warmly received by the general voice of his countrymen. Of the comparatively few who objected to that demonstration, it was well said by Lord Ardmillan, the able and eloquent chairman of the Edinburgh meeting, that his power over the popular mind of Scotland could not "be ignored. Burns has lived, and has written, and has a hold upon the heart of Scotland. It is well "to qualify our praises and to inculcate the warning "lessons of his life. But surely it is not the part of "wisdom or of virtue so to repudiate such a man, as to consign to the cause and the friends of mischief a name and fame so attractive and so potent." (Long continued applause.)
A chronicle of the Centenary was published, edited by Mr. James Ballantine, who stated in his preface "The utmost enthusiasm pervaded all ranks and classes 'Villages and hamlets unnoticed in statistical reports "unrecorded in Gazetteers, had their dinners, supper: "and balls. City vied with clachan, peer with peasant "philanthropist with patriot, philosopher with statesman, orator with poet, in honouring the memory of "the ploughman bard. The meetings were no less "remarkable for their numbers than for their unanimity "of sentiment; the number of speakers at each meet"ing being greatly over the average on other public occasions, and far beyond what the space of this "chronicle can record. Many noble poems and "eloquent orations have been omitted."
Yet it does record at considerable length in a large and closely printed volume the principal speeches at eight hundred and seventy-one meetings in Great Britain and Ireland, the Colonies, and the United States of America.
Burns having dedicated the "Cotter's Saturday Night" to one of his earliest and best friends, Robert Aiken, the committee of gentlemen who made the arrangements for celebrating the festival in the Hall of the Athenæum, at Bristol, invited his grandson to be chairman of the meeting. For twenty-nine years I had then been their fellow citizen interested in the commercial and civic affairs of Bristol, and its institutions, beneficent and literary; and although a native of Liverpool, was taken when seven years old to Ayrshire, now often called the land of Burns, to spend many years among the grand and beautiful Scottish scenery which inspired his muse; and also among survivors of his friends and acquaintance. Therefore I could not hesitate to accept the kind and friendly invitation, to which my heart responded, and to those circumstances the following address, now republished from the newspaper report, at the suggestion of some friends, owes whatever interest it may possess as an endeavour to express thoughts and feelings which filled our minds on