Pate McPhun at the Festival, pp.119-120.

[Anecdotes of Burns Contents]

BEING enamoured of Burns and everything that has a tendency to keep his memory green, as a natural consequence Saturday last found me in the Kay Park, Kilmarnock, waiting patiently for the proceedings to commence. The place was literally swarming with spectators, all dressed in their gayest attire, amongst whom I noticed a good sprinkling of the black cloth. ‘Twas evident they were remembering the Saturday to keep it a holiday. While standing gazing pensively down the slope on this human hive, my hand mechanically went to my hat; my pent-up feelings gave way, and I cried, in a voice that was husky with emotion – 

“And is all this brilliant assemblage of wit, learning, and beauty met to do honour to the memory of the immortal Robert Burns?” 

“Bless me!” exclaimed an old woman at my elbows, “he’s shuirly been a man wi’ a wonnerfu’ memory when they mak’ sae muckle adae aboot it.” 

“Madam,” I observed reproachfully, “you do not understand. You probably are not aware that Robert Burns was a genius among geniuses; that he was one of the brightest stars in the poetical firmament. In fact, he was a man that was born before his time.” 

She said she bodna muckle broos o’ them that was born before their time; in a’ her experience she’s fand that them that were born at the usual time were the healthiest! 

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