Monday, January 25, 2010

Robert Burns

Born in a cottage near the bridge of Doon, Robert Burns came into the world on January 25, 1759.  The Bard of Ayrshire and Walter Scott met only once.  Scott was about 15 when Burns visited Adam Ferguson's literary salon in Edinburgh.  Scott interacted with Burns when Burns asked a general question as to who the author of the poem "The Justice of the Peace".  Scott answered correctly that is was John Langhorne.

Scott remembered Burns in later years, describing him thusly:

"His person was strong and robust; his manners rustic, not clownish, a sort of dignified plainness and simplicity which received part of its effect perhaps from knowledge of his extraordinary talents. His features are presented in Mr Nasmyth's picture but to me it conveys the idea that they are diminished, as if seen in perspective. I think his countenance was more massive than it looks in any of the portraits ... there was a strong expression of shrewdness in all his lineaments; the eye alone, I think, indicated the poetical character and temperament. It was large, and of a dark cast, and literally glowed when he spoke with feeling or interest. I never saw such another eye in a human head, though I have seen the most distinguished men of my time."

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