“It made them Greet.”
IN 1787 Burns paid a visit to the town of Banff. A gentleman, a native of Banff, and whose years enabled him to recollect the circumstance, told the following:-
Mr. William Nicol, Burns’ friend, Dr. George Chapman, then rector of the Academy of Banff, and the bard, breakfasted together one morning in Dr. Chapman’s house in Banff. “As they were to visit Duff House, the splendid mansion of the earl of Fife, and drive through the park on their way south, I accompanied the gentlemen from the town to the house, carrying a note to the steward there from my father, that they might see the interior of the house, the paintings and valuable library. In driving through the park, Mr. Nicol asked me whether I was aware that the gentleman who was speaking to me about the park was the author of the poems I had no doubt heard of.
‘Yes,’ I replied; ‘Dr. Chapman told me so when he asked me to breakfast.’
‘Then have you read the poems? Which of them did you like best?’ Nicol asked.
I said, ‘I was much entertained with “The Twa Dogs” and “Death and Dr. Hornbook,” but I like best by far the “Cottar’s Saturday Night,” although it made me greet when my father had me to read it to my mother.’
Burns, with a sort of sudden start, looked in my face intently, and, patting my shoulder, said –
‘Well, my callant, I don’t wonder at you greeting at reading the poem. It made me greet more than once when I was writing it at my father’s fireside.’ ”