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CANADIAN PAST-TIMES ( ……and a great recipe!)

Jean Paton from Canada sent us the following very interesting articles which date from 1902 and could easily be used as material for an Immortal Memory! Thanks Jean.

Jean wrote saying:-

"Enclosed are two articles from the 1902 Toronto Mail and Empire concerning the unveiling of a Burns statue in Toronto's Allan Gardens. Aside from the rather purple prose, it is quite amazing to read the number of Scottish societies in Toronto and environs at the time.

For the last few years our Seniors Sports Club has held a Robbie Burns hike, highlighted by a visit to the statue. We usually read some of the poems and enjoy some shortbread; once a member sang "My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose." Last year we ended the hike with haggis and beer at the Stonecutter's Arms; the year before it was Scotch meat pies and Atholl Brose at our small apartment. This year we will read excerpts from the news articles about the unveiling.

No doubt members of the World Burns Club will regularly toast Burns ! - so herewith the recipe for Atholl Brose , taken from "Serve It Forth!" published by the Ontario Historical Society:-

Atholl Brose

Combine equal quantities of honey, scotch whiskey and water. Warm gently and pour into cups. Add a generous dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with toasted oatmeal."

Cheers to all!

Jean Paton"

 

THE MAIL AND EMPIRE
MONDAY, JULY 21, 1902. (p. 2)

SCOTSMEN HONOR
BURNS TODAY.
___________

Description of Monument
to be Unveiled.
___________

MANY VOTARIES IN CANADA.
___________

No Poet Held in Greater Affection
by the People of To-day Than
Robert Burns.
___________

This afternoon at 3.30 there will be unveiled in the Allan Gardens a bronze statue of Robert Burns. The statue, which is of heroic size, is by D.W. Stevenson, A.R.S.A., Edinburgh, Scotland, and the pedestal and panels by the McIntosh and Granite Company, of Toronto. The monument will be unveiled by Mrs. David Walker, wife of the president of the Burns Monument Committee, and addresses will be made by Mr. James L. Morrison, Prof. Wm. Clark, and Mr. David Walker. The Male Chorus of the 48th Highlanders' Band will sing several of Burns' lyrics, and selections will be played from the music to which his songs have been set.
The two chief panels represent scenes from a couple of the most noted of Burns' poems, one the crossing of the brig or bridge by Tam O Shanter and the other the artist's conception of "John Anderson, My Jo" - the old couple sitting by the fireside renewing their courtship. All Scotsmen and most Englishmen know the tale of Tam o'Shanter, a rollicking fellow, who never left market sober. One night, coming home late, he escaped by the narrowest shaves from the witches at the brig of Doon. The poem begins -

 


When Chapman billies leave the street,
And drouthy neibors, neibors meet,
As market days are wearing late,
And folk begin to tak the gate;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
And gettin' fou' and unco happy,
We think na on the long Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps and stiles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Where sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

In spite of all fears of consequences Tam stays until late, and finally starts for home near midnight, in the midst of a raging storm. He splashes on till he comes to Alloway kirk, which is the scene of a midnight revel of wizards and witches. Tam breaks the spell by shouting to the dancers, who rush out to assail him. His horse, Meg, gallops away, and Tam hopes to get across the bridge before the witches catch him, since no witch can cross running water. The poem describes how the leader of the witches,
Hard upon noble Maggie prest
And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle,
But little wist she Maggie's mettle -
Ae spring brings off her master hale,
But left behind her ain gray tail.

The artist vivaciously represents Tam in bas relief on the centre of the bridge with the demons in full pursuit. The other panel represents the old couple sitting before the fireplace and the wife saying: -

John Anderson, my Jo, John,
When we were first acquent
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonnie brow was bright;
But now your brow is beld, John,
Your locks are like the snow,
But blessings on your frosty pow,
John Anderson, my Jo.

While Tam O Shanter's adventure will be accepted by all lovers of Burns as typical of his genius, a good many will claim that something more suitable might have been selected than John Anderson, but this is simply because of the wealth of striking pictures which Burns drew of the life of his country. No other country in the world is or has ever been as fully represented by one poet as Scotland is by Robert Burns, and nowhere perhaps can he count more votaries outside Scotland than in the Province of Ontario.
Born near Ayr, in the year Wolfe captured Quebec - 1759 - and dying in his thirty-eighth year, after a life of poverty, misunderstanding, and neglect, enlivened by a few brilliant flashes of success and appreciation, Robert Burns left as the work of one brilliantly endowed but uneducated and cruelly wronged peasant, a volume of verse, wanting which Scottish literature would lack its brightest jewel. Sprung from the soil he sang the epic of the human heart with an intensity of passion that has never been surpassed. Though Scottish as the very heather, he dealt with the fundamentals, and therefore he is of no age and of no country His words have become more a part of the language than those of any poet except Shakespeare. Passing his life till early manhood in humble occupations, and writing many of his best poems while following the plow, his very poverty and failure brought him into notice upon his attempt to raise money to emigrate to new fields by publishing his poems.
Brought into favor with the great for a time, he was too old and too much enchained by fatal circumstances to leave the past and go onto greater and greater heights. His just pride and independence of spirit served in that age of religious and political intolerance to alienate and embitter, and to cause his life to go out all too early in coldness and neglect. It is idle to speculate upon what Burns might have done under happier circumstances, wherein he might have been spurred to some great, central effort. As it is his songs and his sentences have passed into such current use that thousands quote his words without knowing whence they come. Most will place "The Cotter's Saturday Night" and "A Man's a Man For a' That" as his best poems, but any one of a dozen of his songs is sufficient to make the reputation of a poet. To name a few is to recite what has become classic: "Scots Wha Hae," "Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon," "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton," "John Barleycorn," "Comin' Thro' the Rye," "To a Mountain Daisy," "To a Haggis," "Highland Mary," "To Mary in Heaven."
No other poet begins to approach him in sarcasm and irony. Nagged at by a set of hypocrites he despised, he has petrified and left them to be the scorn of all after ages in his terrible lines.
If to write the songs of a nation is to exert more power than those who make its laws, then the man whose monument will be unveiled today has been one of the greatest moral forces the world has seen.

 

THE MAIL AND EMPIRE, TUESDAY, JULY 22, 1902. (p. 7)

BURNS' STATUE
WAS UNVEILED.
___________

Brilliant Oration by Prof.
Wm. Clark.
___________

THE SPIRIT OF HIS POETRY.

Noted Litterateur Says Poems of
Scotland's Poet Were the Im-
Pression of the Man Himself.


With appropriate ceremonies and with a more than appropriate "Scotch mist" hanging over the scene, the monument to Robert Burns was unveiled in the Horticultural Gardens, near the corner of Carlton and Sherbourne Streets, yesterday afternoon.
The arrangements of the committee was very complete, and the weather, though threatening, and at times inconvenient, did not damp the ardor of the devotees of Scotland's lyric king. A space at the northeast corner of the park had been roped off, to which ticket-holders were admitted through a temporary gate on Sherbourne Street. A large platform had been erected near the shrouded monument for the speakers and guests, in front of which were the chairs for the audience. A little before the time set for the opening, the skirl of the pipes announced the arrival of the city and suburban camps of the Sons of Scotland 110 strong, headed by the grand officers of the society. At 3.30 Mr. David Walker, the president of the Monument Committee, who has done more than anyone else to secure the erection of the monument, opened the meeting with a few congratulatory remarks. It gave him great pleasure to see such a gathering in spite of the weather, and on behalf of the gathering he thanked all those who had given so liberally to enable them to see the completion of this work. It was a proud day for himself and for all connected with the effort.
Mr. James L. Morrison introduced Mrs. Walker in a few fitting words, and noted that the granite pedestal and bronze panels were the work of a Canadian firm, the McIntosh Marble and Granite Company of North Toronto, the designs for them being drawn by Mr. E. Hahn, a very young man, and a graduate of the Toronto School of Art. Two of the panels were in place, those illustrating Tam O Shanter's flight and "John Anderson, My Jo." Two others "The Cotter's Saturday Night" and "The Mountain Daisy," would be put in place in a few days.
Mrs. Walker, who had been presented with a bouquet of red roses by Miss Caroline Morrison, came forward and drew the cord which caused the drapery to fall to the ground and disclose the handsome statue. This was the signal for three cheers, after which the male chorus of the 48th Highlanders Band san one of Burns' most characteristic songs: "A Country Lad Was Born in Kyle."
Mr. Walker explained that Mr. D.W. Stevenson, the artist, had intended being present, but was prevented by the orders of his physician. Had he been there he could have told at what stage of Burns' life he conceived the portrait to be taken. For himself, he fancied it represented the poet while he was at Ellisland, before he became an excise officer, more matured than in the days at Mossgiel.

Prof. Clark's Address.
The brought on the orator of the day, Rev. Prof. Wm. Clark, of Trinity College. He spoke of the honor conferred upon him in this selection, and congratulated Mr. Walker, to whom, more than to anyone else, they were indebted for this statue, upon seeing the termination of the work. This was an anniversary, on this day 106 years ago, July 21, 1796, there was taken from the world one of its keenest and brightest intellects, and one of the warmest and noblest hearts that ever beat under haden grey or tartan plaid. They were not so much doing honor to Burns as honor to themselves in setting up this memorial to him in this great city. He was addressing them without any apology. It did not require any. (Applause.) Burns was essentially a great and good man. Burns had his faults - who had not - but he set before himself a high ideal, and it was his grief that he fell short of it. They honored what was good and great in him, and that was essentially the man. To those who held up their hands at Burns he replied that he preferred the author of "Holy Willie's Prayer" to Holy Willie himself - (hear, hear) - and in this they had with them the verdict of humanity. He hoped they would not claim Burns merely as a Scotchman, for much as he loved Scotland he loved humanity more.
As Talleyrand said, "There is somebody wiser than anybody, and that is everybody," and when they had the verdict of humanity on their side what need they care about an exceptional opinion on the other side. Professor Clark pointed out that this verdict had been instantaneous, had never been reversed. When the first Kilmarnock edition was issued he was recognized by those capable of judging as one of the leaders of literature. In this respect he surpassed every other poet. Witness the struggles of Tennyson before he was recognized. The only one who could be compared to him in instant appreciation was Spencer, and he was not a poet of the people. And some once deemed great poets had been completely forgotten, as for instance, Cowley. Who in that audience had read ten pages of Cowley? As showing how fully Burns was appreciated, Prof. Clark quoted Cowper, who held Burns was so great that he needed no apology for his language or for what might be considered his defective education. And that appreciation had gone on growing, not only in Scotland, but wherever the English language was spoken. Even if the dialect should be forgotten, people would study it to be able to read Burns. And this was not to be wondered when they recalled his nobleness, tenderness, and the warmth of his heart.

The Song was the Man.
It was absurd to talk of Burns and his poetry as two separate things, because the poetry was always the expression of the man. He never posed, was never self-conscious, but always gave expression to what rose in his heart. There was no more sincere, less artificial writer in the whole range of British literature than Burns. If they wanted to see the difference let them go back to Alexander Pope, where they would see the perfection of artifice as in Burns they saw the perfection of nature.
The orator recalled, when lifted up by prosperity among the noble and the great at Edinburgh, how well he carried himself, earning the praise of Scott and of the Duchess of Gordon. On that occasion the greatest felt that he was their equal, and it was probably the only time in his life that Burns was among equals.
Two forces dominated Burns in his poetry. The first he gives in his "Epistle to the Guide Wife of Wachope" [sic] -

E'en then a wish , I mind its power -
A wish that to my latest hour
Shall strongly heave my breast -
That I for poor auld Scotland's sake
Some useful plan or beuk could make
Or sing a sang at least.
The rough burr-thrissle, spreading wide,
Among the bearded bere.
I turned the greeder-clips aside,
And spared the symbol dear.

There was another reason besides patriotism which animated Burns. As the French say, he had the defects of his qualities. We bear with his defects, because he had such qualities. We bear with his faults better than we can those of the censors, who are often not fit to black his boots, because we remember what the man was. His second great influence - he would not hesitate to say it was his love for women. In patriotic strains no man had uttered more glorious words than Burns. Some had said his "Scots, Wha' Hae" was the noblest war song in all literature. But the glory of Burns was his songs, and the glory of his songs, love songs. If anyone didn't like them, they need not read them, but he was inclined to think that those who professed not to like them, read them in secret. (Laughter.) The most delicate compliment ever paid to woman was contained in the last verse of "Green Grow the Rushes."

Green grow the rushes, O,
Green grow the rushes, O,
The sweetest hours that ere I spend
Are spent among the lasses, O,
Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears,
Her noblest work she classes, O;
Her 'prentice hand she tried on man
And then she made the lasses, O.

The song, "My Nannie, O," was as near perfection as anything could come.
As Burns excelled in love songs so also in songs of friendship. Wherever men met "Auld Lang Syne" not only joined their hands but oftentimes hearts that had been estranged.
It had been claimed that Burns was a singer and nothing more, but he maintained that he was a great teacher. He thought it would help every clergyman if he would meditate upon the presentation of hell in "The Epistle to a Young Friend" before going into the pulpit. Not that he wanted to deny the orthodox conception of hell, but he felt sure it was not the best way to frighten people into goodness by fears of hell. Look how Burns appealed to the sense of human dignity in this epistle: -

To catch Dame Fortune's golden smile,
Assiduous wait upon her;
And gather gear by every wile
That's justified by honor;
Not for to hide it in a hedge,
Or for a train attendant
But for the glorious privilege
Of being independent.
The fear o' hell's a hangman's whip
To haud the wretch in order;
But where you feel your honor grip,
Let that aye be your border.

Lastly, in "A Man's a Man for a' that," Burns opened up a glorious prophecy: -

Then let us pray that come it may -
As come it will for a' that -
That sense and worth, o'er all the earth
May bear the gree, and a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,
It's coming yet, for a' that
That man to man, the world o'er
Shall brothers be, for a' that.

"I think," said Prof. Clark, in conclusion, "Burns does not owe us much whatever we may do for him. Alas, it is little we can do for him now, and those who could did nothing. As Carlyle says: 'Nature gave them this nobleman and they had nothing better for him to do than gauge beer barrels.' We can follow him with love, our gratitude, and our tears." (Loud applause.)
Mr. Wm. Campbell, secretary, read a letter from Lord Dundonald, regretting his inability to be present; and also exhibited a snuffbox presented by Burns to an old friend, and now the property of St. Andrew's Society, Dundas.
The Male Chorus sang, "Ye Banks and Braes of Bonnie Doon," and Dr. Kennedy moved a vote of thanks to the orator of the day, which was responded to by three hearty cheers. The audience then sang "Auld Lang Syne." Cheers were given for Mr. and Mrs. Walker, and the gathering broke up with the National Anthem.
Among those present were: - Dr. Kennedy, ex-president, St. Andrew's Society; David Boyle, J. McP. Ross, Joseph Tait, John Douglass, Mr. And Mrs. Matthew McKean, Chicago; Wm. Adamson, Douglas Scott, president of the Caledonian Society; Wm. Simpson, president of the Burns Literary Society, N.L. Steiner, Col. Stevenson, Montreal; A. Fraser, G.C. Sons of Scotland, Major D.M. Robertson, J.B. Dow, John Burns, D. Mackay, Whitby; Dr. John Ferguson, Wm. Banks, president, Caithness Society; H.M. Mowat, K.C.; D.B. Logan, Capt. Ross, Capt. Wm. Hendrie, Hamilton; Dr. Forbes, Duluth; J.C. McMillan, Gaelic Soc.; D.R. Wilkie, E.B. Osler, M.P., Dr. James Burin, T.C. Irving, Geo. W. Grant, E.S. Cox, James Massie, R.B. Reid, Robt. Jaffray, Rev. Dr. Dewart, Rev. Armstrong Black, John Bertram, Dundas, T.M. Bain, Mrs. Woodburn, Kilmarnock, Scotland, and James Gunn.


Article contributed by Jean Paton.

 

 

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