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Thursday, April 12, 2007

   Something for a Project
Robert Burns wrote his first poem at age 15. The poem was called "Handsome Nell" and was about his first love for a girl named Nellie Blair. Throughout his life, Burns was a charming and witty man, attracting the attention of numerous women. A dozen or more women can be identified as the inspiration for various poems. Burns wrote many famous love poems, including "A Red, Red Rose" and "One Fond Kiss."
Here's an excerpt from "Handsome Nell."
"O once I loved a bonnie lass,
Aye, and I love her still;
And whilst that virtue warms my breast,
I'll love my handsome Nell."
Burns, in a later comment on this poem, stated that he had "never had the least thought or inclination of turning poet till I got once heartily in love, and then rhyme and song were, in a manner, the spontaneous language of my heart."
The Turning Point - In 1786, at age 27, Robert Burns went through a major turning point in his life. He suffered a disappointing love affair with Jean Armour, who was pregnant with his twin sons. The local community and Armour's father were outraged by the affair and her father rejected Burns's offer of marriage.
Bigamy and Becoming A Father
Burns was a young man of twenty-five who would almost certainly have boasted of the fact if he had ever been to bed with more than a single girl. The rest was bravado and wishful thinking, which received considerable encouragement when he met Jean Armour during the summer of 1784. She was nineteen years old when as legend has it that she overheard Burns talking at a dance. He had remarked that he wished he could find a girl who would show him so much affection. A few days later she called to him across the green, asking him laughingly whether he had found the girl he was looking for yet. By the following summer he was recalling in his Commonwealth Book:
When first I came to Stewart Kyle
My mind it was nae steady,
Where e'er I gaed, where e'er I rade,
A Mistress still I had ay:
But when I came roun'by Mauchlin town,
Not dreadin' anybody,
My heart was caught before I thought
And by a Mauchlin Lady
By the time he wrote this he was a father. His affection's were those of a family man and can be seen in ';A Poets Welcome To His Love-Begotten Daughter'. But the child was not born to Jean Armour but to Elizabeth Paton. When Robert's mother learnt of Paton's pregnancy she urged her son to marry the girl, but Gilbert and his sisters were opposed to this. Roberts affections were centered on Jean. Elizabeth accepted this and left her daughter to reared by Agnes Burness at Mossgeil. After a somewhat rocky journey Jean's father agreed to let Robert marry his daughter, Jean was by now pregnant. Burns's love life was split as he was having a relationship with Mary Campbell, a nursemaid. Not much is known about this, and their love affair is shrouded in secrecy, and romantic legends. It is thought that Mary died perhaps in childbirth, presumably Robert's child. Robert had promised to marry Mary and there were accusations of bigamy which added to Burns's need to flee the country, and it's suggested he invited Mary to join him, their plan was to head for the mountains of Jamaica. Burns's feelings for Mary can be see in Highland Mary. And the bard commemorated their parting in a beautiful song, which gives an inkling of the real nature of their relationship:
Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly!
Never met - or never parted,
We had ne'er been brokenhearted.
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae fareweel, Alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
from Ae Fond Kiss (song)
It was many years later when Burns wrote this song which shows the strength of his feelings for Mary.
AGNES Craig, the heroine of this part of Burns’ life, was no ordinary person, was of no common origin, and had no ordinary antecedents. She was the grandniece of Cohn MacLaurin, the celebrated mathematician; and he was brother of MacLaurin the divine, whose sermon, "Glorying in the Cross of Christ," has been called the most eloquent in the English language. She was the full cousin of Lord Craig, who wrote the pathetic paper on Michael Bruce in the Mirror, and the daughter of a respectable Glasgow physician. She was herself a lady of considerable accomplishments—wit, poetical warm temperament, and a feeling and a style beauty approaching the voluptuous. Her history had been singular. Her husband, James MacLehose, had gained her, it was rumoured, in a peculiar way. Falling in love with her, he determined to woo her in a fashion of his own. Ascertaining that on a certain day she was to travel to Glasgow from Edinburgh by stage coach, he took all the other seats in the coach, and had her to himself for forty miles; and played his game so effectually that by the time they reached Glasgow they were engaged. Such, at least, was the on dit, according to Mrs. Johnstone. Married in 1776, she being only seventeen, they were not happy, and MacLehose went out to the West Indies; and occupied in business and pleasure, took little thought of his wife and children. She came to reside in a kind of semi-widowhood, an unprotected female, in Edinburgh. Mrs. MacLehose had expressed to Miss Nimmo, an elderly lady, an acquaintance of Miss Chalmers, an ardent wish to meet with Burns; and at her house accordingly they met on the 11th of December, 1787, and probably he felt this when he wrote afterwards—
"0 May, thy morn was ne’er so sweet
As the mirk right of December"
Their attachment, such as it was, seems to have begun on both sides, and at once. It is very difficult to settle its exact nature. It was neither love nor lust. It was in both strongly dashed with vanity, and from first to last there was need of danger signals and red lights. Yet they escaped, it would seem, as by a hair’s breadth; or, as Mrs. Jameson says, "were saved so as by fire."
The Correspondence will tell the tale, and on this point, and this chiefly, is valuable. And although there are some very fine passages, the letters, as a whole, are as ridiculous rubbish as two intelligent persons, who were at the same time perfectly sane, ever addressed to each other Foolish, wicked James MaeLehose never, we believe, in the first heyday of his courtship addressed such trumpery to Agnes Craig as "Sylvander "—i.e., the greatest poet, and potentially one of the greatest men of his age— did here to "Clarinda." "Thank God," says Matthew Lewis, "even our passions pass away," however much, while they last, they may do to stunt intellectual stature, and to give the animal or the fiend the ascendency over the man. Sometimes indeed, on the other hand, passion, aye when it approaches the brink of insanity, gives a lurid grandeur to the character and an unnatural life to the intellect. So it did to Schiller and to Hazlitt. But of the infatuation of passion there was none in Burns feeling for "Clarinda." Compare, in order to prove this, Hazlitt’s "Liber Amoris" with "Sylvander’s ‘letters. In the one you have the utmost misery, abandonment, and defiance of a desperate affection, and you hear in every page the eloquence of a broken, bursting heart; in the other you have every variety of falsetto and fudge—the happiness that of a drunken night’s dream: the misery, on his side at any rate, more imaginative than real. Yet strange that when Burns passes from prose to poetry his right hand regains its cunning; and one or two of his songs—" My Nannie ‘s Awa" and "Ae fond kiss and then we sever "—if not sincere, show a power of simulating sincerity almost miraculous. Scott finds the essence of a hundred love tales in the following stanza:-
"Had we never loved so kindly,
Had we never loved so blindly,
Never met or never parted,
We had ne’er been broken—hearted."
In reference to the letters given in the Correspondence, we may make a few observations, filling up gaps in the history they tell.
1. Clarinda lived in a house on the western pavement of Potterrow, a street now taken down in the march of improvement. We visited it in 1876. We are told that Burns used to pace along the cast pavement and look up to the window, where, in what was called the General’s Entry (from General Monk), Clarinda lived. We could not gaze without deep interest on the spot where the brawny poet, still in the pride of his popularity, clad in buckskins, with his riding whip in his hand, stalked along and turned up his glowing looks to his cynosure, if haply he might catch a glance from her eye or a smile from her lips; and entering in we could not look without emotion at the little old-fashioned room, where, as with Mary Campbell, though in less romantic circumstances and scenery, he spent one day of parting love ere they were separated for ever, and by a yet ghastlier gulf than that of death.
2. NotIcing is known about the cause of the accident which befell Burns but what he tells us—that his carriage was overturned by a drunken coachman, and his knee terribly bruised. This prevented him fulfilling an engagement with Clariada, and gave him time for serious reflection and female correspondence. He did not confine on this any more than on other occasions his attentions to one lady, for we find him writing to Miss Chalmers too, expressing a wish that she and Charlotte Hamilton were with him to soothe his tedium and sorrows. He took, he tells us, tooth and nail to the Bible, and pronounces it a glorious book. He indited, at the suggestion of Charles Hay, advocate, a poetical elegy on the death of Dundas, the president of the Court of Session, of no great merit. He writes a funny letter to Francis Howden, jeweller, along with a silhouette portrait, in which he tells a familiar story ill—" Everybody has heard the auld wife’s obsetvation when she saw a poor dog going to be hanged. ‘God help us, that’s the gait we have a’ to gang.’" This has no point. The real story is, that an ancient maiden, when she heard of a young lady being married, exclaimed, "That’s the gait we maun a’ gang." Howden used, to tell a story about Burns and Dr. Gregory. "Well, Burns, what sort of man was your father—a tall man?" "Yes rather." "A dark-complexioned man? ‘ "Yes." "And your mother?" "My mother was not a man at all." This, poor as it was, extinguished Gregory for the nonce by turning the laugh against him. He had his revenge when he wrote his critique on Burns’ poem "On a Wounded Hare," and Burns cried out, " Gregory crucifies me!" Gregory attended Burns while ill with his accident, assisted by Alexander Wood, "Lang Sandy Wood" (see him admirably hit off by James Hogg in "Geordie Dobson’s Expedition to Hell "), and gave him a present of Cicero’s select Orations done into English, which he highly appreciated.
3. It is hardly worth while following all the ups and downs of this eccentric flirtation between Burns and Clarinda—their capping verses together; Burns alluding to this, and to Clarinda, in a letter to his old friend Richard Brown, calling her a young widow, and speaking of suicide (in terms which showed that nothing was farther from his thoughts); her trying to turn the affair into a religious courtship, and to elicit from him his theological opinions (whence comes in one letter Burns’ Creed, a very interesting document, if not very orthodox); her allusion to a noted divine of the day, a Mr. Kemp, whom site wishes Burns to meet, and who, according to Mrs. Johnstone, got latterly into grief by the report that he extended his affections from the souls to the persons of his female devotees—a report the truth of which she leaves uncertain ; time clandestine visits Burns at her request paid her; the dangers he repeatedly evaded of the moth approaching too near the candle, their interviews becoming more fascinating and perilous as his departure drew near; and, in fine, his leaving her for a season to meet again in 1791 and then to part for ever. We think every true admirer of Burns will be glad when this strange interlude in his history is over, and may sometimes regret that it has been brought out so much in detail before the public eye. In 1791, as we will hear again, Clarinda’s husband, quite unexpectedly, invited her to Jamaica; she went, but was soon glad, from her experience of him and of the climate, to come back again. She was jealous of Burns, of his attentions to Peggy Chalmers, and very angry at his marriage with Jean. She died on the Calton Hill in 1841. Poor lady! she remembered Burns long and warmly. Thus she writes in her journal forty years after: 6th December, 1831—" This day I never can forget, parted with Burns in the year 1791, never more to meet in this world; Oh, may we meet in heaven !" She was of the same age with Burns, and survived him forty-five years. Chambers says, " I have heard Clarinda at seventy-five express the same hope to meet in another sphere the one heart she had ever found herself able entirely to sympathize with, but which had been divided from her on earth by such pitiless obstacles." This was in her very beautiful and natural, but leads to some odd thoughts and perplexed questions. Dr. William Anderson used to speak of the lover, Burns, meeting his "Mary" in Heaven; and the title of Burns’ famous song, and an expression in one of his letters, would suggest that Burns. expected this too. But Jean, his long tried and devoted wife, might be named as having also a claim to
"A blest and a blythe meeting there"
in the "Land of the Leal." The "Fairest Maid on Devon Banks" was in his mind’s eye when he was about to leave the earth. Some enthusiasts might say that in that world of purity and peace, where they, being disembodied spirits, neither marry nor are given in marriage, all these angels might be with him and minister to him; but we shall say nothing on the subject.
During all this time he was not forgetting his friend Johnson, whose second volume appeared in February, 1788, containing some of Burns’ finest songs, such as "MacPherson’s Lament," and a few sentences in the Preface are from his pen. He had inserted in the "Museum" Clarinda’s verses, "Talk not of Love," and a "Canzonet on a Blackbird," the production of the united hands of the two lovers. He had been feeling his way, too, toward a situation in the Excise, and his name had been enrolled in the list of expectant officers. He had been helped in this by Lang Sandy Wood, a kindred spirit, who notably resembled Burns in his liking for animals, and was seldom seen in Edinburgh on his professional visits without a pet sheep following him. It would be thought strange if the amiable "Rab" were seen with such a friend on his journeys of mercy through the Modern Athens now-a-days! Wood strongly backed the poet in his humble ambition to "gauge ale firkins!" Burns left Edinburgh on Monday the 18th of February, 1788. He went first to Glasgow to meet his old friend Richard Brown, and perhaps enjoy with him some exceptionable talk, as Lord Jeffrey would say; thence to Paisley; thence to Dunlop House, where he stayed two days; thence to Kilmarnock, writing to Clarinda at every stage, vowing eternal friendship, and so forth. On Monday the 25th he seems to have gone to Dumfriesshire along with Mr. James Tennant of Glenconnar to view and judge Miller’s farms, with one of which he was greatly pleased, and it he afterwards took. We next find him at Mossgiel, where he found matters with Jean in a very strange way. It must be remembered that the marriage between him and Jean Armour might be considered cancelled by her conduct and that of her parents. When Burns returned triumphant the Armours fawned on him, and, as Burns tells us, made him very welcome to visit his girl, no doubt expecting that the renewed intimacy might lead to marriage after all. At this point, we imagine, Burns should have planted his foot, and never entered her house again. With a man of his temperament and former habits of familiarity visiting Jean was equivalent to falling into a scrape. This he felt when too late; and there can be little doubt that the disgust he expresses at her friends’ obsequiousness was aggravated by his yielding to a seduction which he despised. Their conduct was that of the spider.
"Wilt thou walk into my parlour, said the spider to the fly."
And he walked in accordingly. What might have been expected followed—Jean became enceinte, and still no word of marriage. Nay, Burns was, and they certainly knew he was, in full cry after other ladies. This provoked the Armours excessively, and they cast out their, daughter in the depth of winter; and she might have been miserably ill off had it not been for Mrs. Muir, wife of the owner of "Willie’s Mill," who took her in, and treated her with great kindness before and after her accouchement, in this acting pro Burns.
Let us try to judge fairly while summing up the particulars of this strange matter :—1. The conduct of the Armours deserved all the condemnation of Burns. They had exposed their daughter to danger from mercenary motives, and had afterwards treated her very harshly— Mrs. Armour, indeed, so far relenting as to wait on Jean during her confinement. 2. Jean is more to be pitied than blamed. There was indeed a strong temptation to renew her intercourse with such a lover as Burns, but she should have resisted it. It would, we believe, have been far better for her had she never seen Burns again. 3. Burns, for his part, should be both pitied and blamed. If he still loved Jean with that wild, animal affection he had for her, it was wrong in him to seek her company. At all events, he saw very well where the danger lay, and "surely in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird." His duty had been to have avoided the house entirely, unless he had had a distinct purpose of marriage. But notice, 4. how the case was now complicated on his return from Edinburgh. he found Jean cast out to the naked elements, in a condition calling for all his manly sympathy. This pointed to marriage as the only remedy. In opposition to this there were certain considerations:- 1st. He had learned, and it was not his fault that he had done so, to appreciate a higher style of woman, and could not but contrast Jean with Miss Hamilton, Miss Chalmers, and others he had met and admired. 2nd. Jean must have lowered herself to a certain degree in his estimation by her recent conduct, and he must have shrunk from the thought of connecting himself with a family which had used him so ill. And then, 3rd, there was "Clarinda" entertaining the hope that she might yet win and keep him. Such was the many-forked dilemma in which Burns was placed; and it says a great deal for him that he determined to give to poor Jean the benefit of whatever doubts he might have as to the propriety of his conduct. It was mainly, we think, compassion which caused him make what was, in many points, a sacrifice. If so, it was virtue rewarded, for she turned out in many things an excellent helpmeet for him ; and much of the real sunshine of his later life, besides that which broke on him fitfully from the smile of the Muse, came from the face of his faithful, industrious, and loving wife. He found for her a lodging in Mauchline, where she remained till he acknowledged her to be his wife—not formally at first, but according to Scotch fashion, by calling her "Mrs. Burns" publicly, in company and in correspondence. A friend of ours remembers well seeing in Mauchhine the room and the bed where Burns and Jean first slept after their marriage was acknowledged.
When his father died in 1784, Robert and his brother became partners in the farm. However, Robert was more interested in the romantic nature of poetry than the arduous graft of ploughing and, having had some misadventures with the ladies (resulting in several illegitimate children, including twins to the woman who would become his wife, Jean Armour), he planned to escape to the safer, sunnier climes of the West Indies.
However, at the point of abandoning farming, his first collection Poems - Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect - Kilmarnock Edition (a set of poems essentially based on a broken love affair), was published and received much critical acclaim. This, together with pride of parenthood, made him stay in Scotland. He moved around the country, eventually arriving in Edinburgh, where he mingled in the illustrious circles of the artists and writers who were agog at the "Ploughman Poet."
In a matter of weeks he was transformed from local hero to a national celebrity, fussed over by the Edinburgh literati of the day, and Jean Armour's father allowed her to marry him, now that he was no longer a lowly wordsmith. Alas, the trappings of fame did not bring fortune and he took up a job as an exciseman to supplement the meagre income. Whilst collecting taxes he continued to write, contributing songs to the likes of James Johnston's Scot's Musical Museum and George Thomson's Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs. In all, more than 400 of Burns' songs are still in existence.
The last years of Burns' life were devoted to penning great poetic masterpieces such as The Lea Rig, Tam O'Shanter and A Red, Red Rose. He died aged 37 of heart disease exacerbated by the hard manual work he undertook when he was young. His death occurred on the same day as his wife Jean gave birth to his last son, Maxwell.
Robert Burns born 25th January 1759 died 21st July 1796.
Elizabeth Paton Burns 1785-1817 Dear bought Bess
Jean Armour Burns 1786-Died 11 Months,Twins
Robert Burns 1786-1857, twin to Jean
Robert ( Clow ) 1788-?
Twin Girls 1788 Died at Birth
Francis Wallace Burns 1789-1803
Elizabeth Park Burns 1791-1873
William Nicol Burns 1791-1872
Elizabeth Riddell Burns 1792-1795
James Glencairn Burns 1794-1865
Maxwell Burns 1796-1799

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Saturday, April 7, 2007

   Easter is Tomorrow!
I made this video out of pure boredom...

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Friday, March 9, 2007

   3rd Place in DECA!
Wow! I made 3rd place & I'm going to nationals! I can't wait to go to Orlando, Florida. & I'm a senior otaku now. Sweet!
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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I didn't make the list for the talent show, but that's what I get for not preparing myself.
Oh well. But my weekend was fun. I went to Disneyland & I saw Celine Dion here in Vegas. She was amazing. On Thursday, I have to go to the DECA state competition. I'm definately not ready, so I have to go and study! *SIGHS*
Thanx for the comments, minna-san! Bai bai!

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

   Super Nervous for Talent Show Auditions!
I am freaking out!
I just hope that I make it!
Cross your fingers everyone!

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Friday, February 16, 2007

   My IQ Test! =D
What now bitches! *lol* jk...

Testriffic IQ test

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

   [Inuyasha Info]
Well I read the newest Inuyasha chapter & it was excellent!

I also found out that the newest volume of Inuyasha, volume 48 is out in Japan & I fell in love with the cover! =D

And for anyone who has a myspace, add Sesshoumaru's Mother!!!

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

   Finally! Exams Are Over!!!
I think I failed English AP & maybe Zoology Honors. *sigh* And I admit that I blame myself for reading too much manga. And I got work tomorrow. *walks to a corner & starts to feel crappy*
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Thursday, November 2, 2006

   KANNA! *tear tear*
If you wanna see the last moments of Kanna from Inuyasha, go here: http://adinuyasha.com

She's gone, & I felt so bad. >_<

Anyways... I have a job now. CALVIN KLEIN!

So sorry everyone for not being online that much anymore. *hugs for all*

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Monday, August 14, 2006

   Wow... School's Coming Soon!
*sigh* Sadly, I didn't get to go see Shakira. I'm still trying to get over it. The good news is that Mana (my favorite band) is releasing their new cd next Tuesday! *yay* That would make a great birthday present! *lol* School's in 2 weeks, and I don't wanna go! The first two years of high school went by pretty fast, & now I feel OLD. *lol*

myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

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