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Preface. these I have endeavoured briefly to give, more especially in the third chapter.
Prefixed to the volume, is a good engraving of Nasmyth's original painting of Burns, kindly lent to me for the purpose by Mr. M.Kie of Kilmarnock. It also contains by the kind permission of Gilbert Burns, Esq., Knockmaroon Lodge, county of Dublin, nephew of the poet, facsimiles of the family register of William Burnes, the father of the poet, and of his own manuscript of the address by King Robert Bruce to his soldiers before the battle of Bannockburn.
During a residence of twenty years of early life in Ayrshire and in Edinburgh, I became well acquainted with places and persons that were the subject of his verse, and from personal recollection and other sources have contributed some biographical notices and anecdotes respecting them.
In the fourth chapter, the loss of many valuable letters from Burns to Robert Aiken is explained ; and by the complete refutation of a grave error and mis-statement of Allan Cunningham, I have been enabled to perform a filial and a public duty.
In the life of the late Rev. Dr. Norman Macleod, just published, it is stated that when at Balmoral in 1866, he read to the Queen some of the
poems of Burns with which Her Majesty was much pleased. In a speech of Dr. Macleod quoted in the Life, he said that he would rejoice to see an edition of the Poems: “ from which everything “should be excluded which a christian father
a “ would not read aloud in his family circle," an opinion with which his friend Dr. Duncan, Professor of Hebrew in the University of Edinburgh, cordially agreed. The present edition of the Poems and Songs of Burns is of that character.
P. F. AIKEN. WALLCROFT HOUSE, DURDHAM DOWN,
BRISTOL, MAY, 1876.
Note ist, p 152, refers to Liverpool, p 116.-Note 2nd, p 153,
Family Register-in which the death of William Burnes the
Address of King Robert Bruce to his troops at Bannockburn,