SIR JOHN RICHARDSON, the celebrated Arctic explorer, was born in Dumfries, and among the reminiscences of the future hero’s early years in that town we find one specially interesting anecdote.
Robert Burns was then residing in Dumfries, and every Sunday evening he spent some hours at the elder Richardson’s house, where, at times, he occupied himself by selecting for John Richardson portions not of his own poems, but of the metrical psalms and the paraphrases used in pubic worship, that the boy might commit them to memory. Amongst them was the sixty-sixth paraphrase, beginning –
“How bright these glorious spirits shine!”
Burns could hardly wish to be remembered in a more pleasing attitude than pointing out such lines to a child six years of age, and bidding him commit them to memory.