Burns’s Contempt for Ostentatious Display, pp.71-72.

[Anecdotes of Burns Contents]

A GIRVAN correspondent in his holiday rambles tells the following:- 

“Burns came to Maybole where ‘Willie Niven,’ his Kirkoswald schoolfellow had been doing his part for his book. Willie assembled a few friends at the King’s Arms to do honour to the bard; and they spent a happy night together, Burns being the life and soul of the party. Comic verses flashed from his mouth to the astonishment of the company. Next morning he determined to hire from his host a certain poor hack mare, well known on the road from Glasgow to Portpatrick as a beast that (to use his own words) could do little better than 

‘hoyte and hobble, 

And wintle like a sawmont cobble.’ ” 

Willie and his friends walked out of town before him for the purpose of taking leave at a particular spot; and before he came up they had by way of keeping up the style of the preceding evening, prepared a few mock heroics in which to bid him speed on his journey. 

Burns received their salute with a subdued merriment; and when their spokesman had done, broke out with – 

“What need of all this fine parade of verse, my friends? It would have been quite enough if you had said just this – 

‘Here comes Burns 

On Rosinante; 

She’s d—— poor, 

But he’s d—— canty!’ ” 

And then he went on his way. 

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