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And no forgetting Wabster Charlie,
I'm told he offers very fairly.
And, Lord, remember Singing Sannock
Wi' hale breeks, saxpence, and a bannock;1
And next my auld acquaintance Nancy,
Since she is fitted to her fancy;



small quantity

And her kind stars hae airted till her
A good chiel wi' a pickle siller.
My kindest, best respects I sen' it,
To Cousin Kate and Sister Janet;

Tell them, frae me, wi' chiels be cautious,
For, faith, they'll aiblins fin' them


And lastly, Jamie, for yoursel',
May guardian angels tak a spell,




And steer you seven miles south o' hell.
But first, before you see heaven's glory,
May ye get monie a merry story;
Monie a laugh, and monie a drink,
And aye eneugh o' needfu' clink.

Now fare ye weel, and joy be wi' you;
For my sake this I beg it o' you,

Assist poor Simson a' ye can,
Ye'll fin' him just an honest man:
Sae I conclude, and quat my chanter,
Yours, saint or sinner,



1 "Fortune, if thou 'll but gie me still

Hale breeks, a scone, and whisky gill,” etc.

Scotch Drink.


My curse upon thy venomed stang,
That shoots my tortured gums alang;


And through my lugs gies monie a twang, ears
Wi' gnawing vengeance,

Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang,
Like racking engines!

When fevers burn, or ague freezes,
Rheumatics gnaw, or cholic squeezes,
Our neighbour's sympathy may ease us
Wi' pitying moan;

But thee thou hell o' a' diseases,
Aye mocks our groan!

Adown my beard the slavers trickle!
I kick the wee stools o'er the mickle,
As round the fire the giglets


To see me loup;

While, raving mad, I wish a heckle
Were in their doup.

mocking children





O' a' the num'rous human dools,
Ill har'sts, daft bargains, cutty-stools,



Or worthy friends raked i' the mools,
Sad sight to see!

The tricks o' knaves, or fash o' fools
Thou bear'st the gree.

Where'er that place be priests ca' hell,
Whence a' the tones o' misery yell,
And ranked plagues their numbers tell,
In dreadfu' raw,

Thou, Toothache, surely bear'st the bell
Amang them a'!

O thou grim mischief-making chiel,
That gars the notes of discord squeel,
Till daft Mankind aft dance a reel
In gore a shoe-thick !

Gie a' the faes o' Scotland's weal


trouble superiority

row, order

A towmond's toothache! twelvemonth


Dr. William M'Gill, one of the two ministers conjoined in the parochial charge of Ayr, had published in 1786, A Practical Essay on the Death of Jesus Christ, in Two Parts; containing, 1, the History, 2, the Doctrine of his Death, which was supposed to in

culcate principles of both Arian and Socinian character, and provoked many severe censures from the more rigid party of the church. M'Gill remained silent under the attacks of his opponents, till Dr. William Peebles of Newton-upon-Ayr, a neighbor, and hitherto a friend, in preaching a centenary sermon on the Revolution, November 5, 1788, denounced the essay as heretical, and the author as one who "with one hand received the privileges of the church, while with the other he was endeavoring to plunge the keenest poniard into her heart." M'Gill published a defence, which led, in April, 1789, to the introduction of the case into the presbyterial court of Ayr, and subsequently into that of the synod of Glasgow and Ayr. Meanwhile, the public out of doors was agitating the question with the keenest interest, and the strife of the liberal and zealous parties in the church had reached a painful extreme. It was now that Burns took up the pen in behalf of M'Gill, whom he looked on as a worthy and enlightened person suffering an unworthy persecution.

ORTHODOX, Orthodox,

Wha believe in John Knox,

Let me sound an alarm to your conscience;
There's a heretic blast

Has been blawn in the wast,

That what is not sense must be nonsense.

Dr. Mac, Dr. Mac,

You should stretch on a rack,

To strike evildoers wi' terror;

To join faith and sense,
Upon any pretence,

Is heretic, damnable error.

Town of Ayr, town of Ayr,1
It was mad, I declare,
To meddle wi' mischief a-brewing;
Provost John 2 is still deaf

To the church's relief,
And Orator Bob 3 is its ruin.


D'rmple mild, D'rymple mild,

Though your heart's like a child,

And your life like the new-driven snaw;
Yet that winna save ye,

1 When Dr. M'Gill's case first came before the synod, the magistrates of Ayr published an advertisement in the newspapers, bearing a warm testimony to the excellence of the defender's character, and their appreciation of his services as a pastor.

2 John Ballantyne, Esq., banker, provost of Ayr, the prime mover, probably, in the testimony in favor of Dr. M'Gill the same individual to whom The Twa Brigs is dedicated. There could not have been a nobler instance of true benevolence and manly worth than that furnished by Provost Ballantyne. His hospitable mansion was known far and wide, and he was the friend of every liberal measure.

3 Mr. Robert Aiken, writer in Ayr, to whom the Cotter's Saturday Night is inscribed. He exerted his powerful oratorical talents as agent for M'Gill in the presbytery and synod. 4 The Rev. Dr. William Dalrymple, senior minister of the collegiate charge of Ayr-a man of extraordinary benevolence and worth. If we are to believe the poet, his views respecting the Trinity had not been strictly orthodox.

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