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counted any of his first-rate performances, but they contain the rough sketch of some ideas which are more happily expressed in some of his other poenis; and as they appear to me too good to be allowed to perish, I send them to you, that you may insert them in your useful publica. tion, if you think they deserve a place in
The first is a prayer, but it requires a commentary before it can be understood: I shall therefore attempt to be commenta. tor. About the time at which it was composed, there resided in Mauchline a wonian of bad character, who went under the name of the furr, and as she lived in the house of a constable whose name was George-she was commonly called Geordie's Jurr. Now it happened, that several of the young people assembled one night and rode the stang with the Furr, i. e. placed her astride on a pole, and carried her in that posture through the town.As they abused her a good deal, she commenced a prosecution against them, and some of them were obliged to abscond; and among these was the youth for whom the bard composed the prayer. He was a relation of the poet's, and chose his house as a lurking place. I got the prayer from himself, and he told me that Burns com posed it one Sunday evening just before he took the book, for his mother, said he, made him always take the book, and faith he was prime at it. The picture in the first verse is by the hand of a master, and bears a strong resemblance to the origi nal, who is a smart little fellow, and in addition to his other qualifications he sings some of Burns's songs with great taste and glee. It was from him likewise that I received the song which follows the prayer. I am, SIR,
Edinburgh, Jan. 9. 1808.
GUID pity me, because I'm little,
And now we're darn'd in dens and hollows And hunted, as was William Wallace,
As I gaed up by yon gate end,
The day was waxing weary, Wha did I meet, upon the way,
But pretty Peg, my dearie. The music of her pretty foot, On my heart it did play so, For ay she tipp'd the sidelin's wink, Come kiss me at your leisure. Her air so sweet, her shape complete, With nae proportion wanting, The Queen of love could never move With motion more enchanting. Her nut-brown hair, beyond compare, Was on her bosom straw'd so, And love said, laughing in her looks, Come kiss me at your leisure. With linked hands we took the sands 4, Down by yon winding river; Oh that happy hour, and shady bow'r, Can I forget it?-Never.
The conscious sun, out o'er yon hill,
+ Geordie's son and daughter. By the Nith at Dumfries.
the Magazine for Nov. 1807, page 864. we have given an account of the measures adopted by the Prince Regent relative to the British trade, in consequence of the tyrannical conduct of the French despot, and of preparations made for the departure of the Royal Family for Brazil; a project which was afterwards understood to have been relinquished. We now find that this magnanimous resolution has actually been car. ried into effect; and that the Royal House of Braganza, consisting of fifteen persons, embarked at Lisbon, for the Brazils, on the 29th of Nov. with seven ships of the line, five frigates, and a great number of large merchant ships.
In order to aid and to forward this great design, which is said to have been in contemplation for some months, in concert with the British Court, Sir Sidney Smith was dispatched from Portsmouth with five ships of the line, on the acth of Nov. He arrived off Lisbon on the 17th, and on the 6th of Dec. he sent off the Confiance sloop of war for Eng land, with the following details of this very interesting event.
LONDON GAZETTE EXTRAORDINARY. Tuesday, December 22. Foreign-Office,-December 19. 1807. A dispatch, of which the following is a copy, has been this day received from Lord Viscount Strangford, his Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of Lisbon, by the Right Hon. George Canning, his Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign
jects and adherents, have this day departed from Lisbon, and are now on their way to the Brazils, under the escort of a British fleet.
This grand and memorable event is not to be attributed only to the sudden alarm excited by the appearance of a French army within the frontiers of Portugal.-It has been the genuine result of the system of preserving confidence and moderation adopted by his Majesty towards that country; for the ultimate success of which I had in a manner rendered myself responsible; and which, in obedience to your instructions, I had uniformly continued to support, even under appearances of the most discouraging nature.
I had frequently and distinctly stated to the Cabinet of Lisbon, that, in agree ing not to resent the exclusion of British commerce from the ports of Portugal, his Majesty had exhausted the means of forbearance; that in making that concession to the peculiar circumstances of the Prince Regent's situation, and the remembrance of ancient alliance his Majesty had done all that friendship could justly require; but that a single step beyond the line of modified hostility, thus most reluctantly consented to, must necessarily lead to the extremity of actual war.
His Majesty's ship Hibernia, off the
I have the honour of announcing to you, that the Prince Regent of Portugal has effected the wise and magnanimous purpose of retiring from a kingdom which he could no longer retain, except as the vassal of France; and that his Royal Highness and family, aecompanied by most of his ships of war, and by a multitude of his faithful subJan, 1808.
The Prince Regent, however, suffered himself for a moment to forget, that, in the present state of Europe, no coun try could be permitted to be an enemy to England with impunity; and that however much his Majesty might be ficiency of the means possessed by Pordisposed to make allowance for the detugal of resistance to the power of France, neither his own dignity, nor the interests of his people, would permit his Majesty to accept that excuse for a compliance with the full extent of her unprincipled demands. On the 8th inst. his Royal Highness was induced to sign an order for the detention of the few British subjects, and of the inconsiderable portion of British property, which yet remained at Lisbon. On the publication of this order, I caused the arms of England to be removed from the gates
gates of my residence, demanded my passports, presented a final remonstrance against the recent conduct of the Court of Lisbon, and proceeded to the squadron commanded by Sir Sidney Smith, which arrived off the coast of Portugal some days after I had received my passports, and which I joined on the 17th instant.
I immediately suggested to Sir Sidney Smith the expediency of establishing the most rigorous blockade at the mouth of the Tagus; and I had the high satisfaction of afterwards finding, that I had thus anticipated the intentions of his Majesty; your dispatches (which I received by the messenger Syl. vester on the 23d,) directing me to au thorise that measure, in case the Portuguese Government should pass the bounds which his Majesty had thought fit to set to his forbearance, and attempt to take any farther step injurious to the honour or interests of Great Britain.
Those dispatches were drawn up under the idea that I was still resident at Lisbon; and though I did not receive them until I had actually taken my departure from that Court, still, upon a careful consideration of the tenor of your instructions, I thought that it would be right to act as if that case had not occurred. I resolved, therefore, to proceed forthwith to ascertain the effect produced by the blockade of Lisbon, and to propose to the Portuguese Government, as the only condition upon which that blockade could cease, the alternative (stated by you) either of surrendering the fleet to his Majesty, or of immediately employing it to remove the Prince Regent and his family to the Brazils. I took upon myself this responsibility, in renewing negociations after my public functions had actually ceased, convinced that, although it was the fixed determination of his Majesty not to suffer the fleet of Portugal to fall into the possession of his enemies, still his Majesty's first object continued to be the application of that fleet to the original purpose, of saving the Royal Family of Braganza from the tyranny of France.
I accordingly requested an audience of the Prince Regent, together with due assurances of protection and security; and upon receiving his Royal High.
ness's answer, I proceeded to Lisbon on the 27th, in his Majesty's ship Confiance, bearing a flag of truce. I had immediately most interesting communications with the Court of Lisbon, the particulars of which shall be fully detailed in a future dispatch. It suffices to mention in this place, that the Prince Regent wisely directed all his apprehensions to a French army, and all his hopes to an English fleet; that he received the most explicit assurances from me, that his Majesty would generously overlook those acts of unwilling and momentary hostility to which his Royal Highness's consent had been extorted; and that I promised to his Royal Highness, on the faith of my Sovereign, that the British squadron before the Tagus should be employed to protect his retreat from Lisbon, and his voyage to the Brazils.
A decree was published yesterday, in which the Prince Regent announced his intention of retiring to the city of Rio de Janeiro until the conclusion of a general peace, and of appointing a Regency to transact the Administration of Government at Lisbon during his Royal Highness's absence from Europe.
This morning the Portuguese fleet left the Tagus. I had the honour to accompany the Prince in his passage over the bar. The fleet consisted of eight sail of the line, four large frigates, several armed brigs, sloops, and corvettes, and a num. ber of Brazil ships, amounting, I believe, to about 46 sail in all. They passed through the British squadron; and his Majesty's ships fired a salute of 21 guns, which was returned with an equal number. A more interesting spectacle, than that afforded by the junction of the two fleets, has been rarely beheld.
On quitting the Prince Regent's ship, I repaired on board the Hibernia; but returned immediately, accompanied by Sir Sidney Smith, whom I presented to the Prince, and who was received by his Royal Highness with the most marked and gracious condescension.
I have the honour to enclose lists of the ships of war which were known to have left Lisbon this morning, and which were in sight a few hours ago. There remain at Lisbon four ships of the line, and the same number of frigates, but on ly one of each sort is serviceable.
In a former dispatch, dated the 228 November, with a postscript of the 26th, I conveyed to you, for the information of my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, the proofs, contained in the various documents, of the Portuguese Government being so much influenced by terror of the French arms, as to have acquiesced to certain demands of France operating against Great Britain. The distribution of the Portuguese force was made wholly on the coast, while the land side was left totally unguarded. British subjects of all descriptions were detained; and it therefore became necessary to inform the Portuguese Government, that the case had arisen which required, in obedience to my instructions, that I should declare the Tagus in a state of blockade ; and Lord Strangford agreeing with me that hostility should be met by hostility, the blockade was instituted, and the instructions we had received were acted upon to their full extent; still, however, bearing in recollection the first object adopted by his Majesty's Government of opening a refuge for the head of the Portuguese Government, menaced as it was by the powerful arm and baneful influence of the enemy; I thought it my duty to adopt the means open to us, of endea vouring to induce the Prince Regent of Portugal to reconsider his decision, "to unite himself with the continent of Eu rope," and to recollect that he had possessions on that of America, affording
an ample balance for any sacrifice he might make here, and from which he would be cut off, by the nature of maritime warfare, the termination of which could not be dictated by the combination of the continental powers of Europe.
In this view, Lord Strangford having received an acquiescence to the proposition which had been made by us, for his Lordship to land and confer with the Prince Regent, under the guarantee of a flag of truce, I furnished his Lordship with that conveyance and security, in order that he might give to the Prince that confidence which his word of honour, as the King's Minister Plenipotentiary, united with that of a British Admiral, could not fail to inspire, towards inducing his Royal Highness to throw himself and his fleet into the arms of Great Britain, in perfect reliance on the King's overlooking a forced act of apparent hostility against his flag and subjects, and establishing his Royal Highness's Government in his ultra-marine possessions, as originally promised. I have now the heartfelt satisfaction of announcing to you, that our hopes and expectations have been realised to the utmost extent. On the morning of the 29th, the Portuguese fleet (as per annexed list) came out of the Tagus, with his Royal Highness the Prince of Brazil, and the whole of the Royal Family of Braganza on board, together with ma ny of his faithful counsellors and adherents, as well as other persons attached to his present fortunes.
This fleet, of eight sail of the line, four frigates, two brigs, and one schoo ner, with a crowd of large armed merchant ships, arranged itself under the protection of that of his Majesty, while the firing of a reciprocal salute of twenty one guns announced the friendly meeting of those who, but the day before, were on terms of hostility; the scene impressing every heholder (except the French army on the hills,) with the most lively emotions of gratitude to Provi, dence, that there yet existed a power in the world able, as well as willing, to protect the oppressed.
I have the honour to be, &c.