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finds Jean Jacques full of the sourest unintelligible humour. Monsieur,” said Jean Jacques, with flaming eyes,

I know why you come here. You come to see what a poor life I lead; how little is in my poor pot that is boiling there. Well, look into the pot! There is half a pound of meat, one carrot and three onions; that is all : go and tell the whole world that, if you like, Monsieur !"-A man of this sort was far gone. The whole world got itself supplied with anecdotes, for light laughter, for a certain theatrical interest, from these perversions and contortions of poor Jean Jacques. Alas, to him they were not laughing or theatrical ; too real to him! The contortions of a dying gladiator : the crowded amphitheatre looks-on with entertainment; but the gladiator is in agonies and dying.

And yet this Rousseau, as we say, with his passionate appeals to Mothers, with his Contrat-social, with his celebrations of Nature, even of savage life in Nature, did once more touch upon Reality, struggle towards Reality; was doing the function of a Prophet to his Time. As he could, and as the Time could! Strangely through all that defacement, degradation and almost madness, there is in the inmost heart of poor Rousseau a spark of real heavenly fire. Once more, out of the element of that withered mocking Philosophism, Scepticism and Persiflage, there has arisen in this man the ineradicable feeling and knowledge that this Life of ours is true; not a Scepticism, Theorem, or Persiflage, but a Fact, an awful Reality. Nature had made that revelation to him ; had ordered him to speak it out. He got it spoken out; if not well and clearly, then ill and dimly,—as clearly as he could. Nay what are all errors and perversities of his, even those stealings of ribbons, aimless confused miseries and vagabondisms, if we will interpret them kindly, but the blinkard dazzlement and staggerings to and fro of a man sent on an errand he is too weak for, by a path he cannot yet find ? Men are led by strange ways. One should have tolerance for a man, hope of him ; leave him to try yet what he will do. While life lasts, hope lasts for every man.

Of Rousseau's literary talents, greatly celebrated still among his countrymen, I do not say much. His Books, like himself, are what I call unhealthy; not the good sort of Books. There is a sensuality in Rousseau. Combined with such an intellectual gift as his, it makes pictures of a certain gorgeous attractive ness : but they are not genuinely poetical. Not white sunligti: something operatic; a kind of rosepink, artificial bedizenment. It is frequent, or rather it is universal, among the French since his time. Madame de Staël has something of it; St. Pierre ; and down onwards to the present astonishing convulsionary Literature of Desperation, it is everywhere abundant. That same rosepink is not the right hue. Look at a Shakspeare, at a Goethe, even at a Walter Scott! He who has once seen into this, has seen the difference of the True from the Sham-True, and will discriminate them ever afterwards.

We had to observe in Johnson how much good a Prophet, under all disadvantages and disorganisations, can accomplish for the world. In Rousseau we are called to look rather at the fearful amount of evil which, under such disorganisation, may accompany the good. Historically it is a most pregnant spectacle, that of Rousseau. Banished into Paris garrets, in the gloomy company of his own Thoughts and Necessities there; driven from post to pillar; fretted, exasperated till the heart of him went mad, he had grown to feel deeply that the world was not his friend nor the world's law. It was expedient, if anyway possible, that such a man should not have been set in flat hostility with the world. He could be cooped into garrets, laughed at as a maniac, left to starve like a wild-beast in his cage ; but he could not be hindered from setting the world on fire. The French Revolution found its Evangelist in Rousseau. His semi-delirious speculations on the miseries of civilised life, the preferability of the savage to the civilised, and suchlike, helped well to produce a whole delirium in France generally. True, you may well ask, What could the world, the governors of the world, do with such a man ? Difficult to say what the governors of the world could do with him! What he could do with them is unhappily clear enough,-guillotine a great many of them! Enough now of Rousseau.

It was a curious phenomenon, in the withered, unbelieving, secondhand Eighteenth Century, that of a Hero starting up, among the artificial pasteboard figures and productions, in th. guise of a Robert Burns. Like a little well in the rocky desert places, like a sudden splendour of Heaven in the artificial Vauxhall ! People knew not what to make of it. They took it for a piece of the Vauxhall fire-work; alas, it let itself be so taken, though struggling half-blindly, as in bitterness of death, against that! Perhaps no man had such a false reception from his fellow-men. Once more a very wasteful life-drama was enacted under the sun.

The tragedy of Burns's life is known to all of you. Surely we may say, if discrepancy between place held and place merited constitute perverseness of lot for a man, no lot could be more perverse than Burns's. Among those secondhand acting-figures, mimes for most part, of the Eighteenth Century, once more a giant Original Man; one of those men who reach down to the perennial Deeps, who take rank with the Heroic among men : and he was born in a poor Ayrshire hut. The largest soul of all the British lands came among us in the shape of a hardhanded Scottish Peasant.

His Father, a poor toiling man, tried various things; did not succeed in any; was involved in continual difficulties. The Steward, Factor as the Scotch call him, used to send letters and threatenings, Burns says, “which threw us all into tears.' The brave, hard-toiling, hard-suffering Father, his brave heroine of a wife; and those children, of whom Robert was one ! In this Earth, so wide otherwise, no shelter for them. The letters 'threw us all into tears :' figure it. The brave Father, I say always ;-a silent Hero and Poet; without whom the son had never been a speaking one! Burns's Schoolmaster came afterwards to London, learnt what good society was ; but declares that in no meeting of men did he ever enjoy better discourse than at the hearth of this peasant. And his poor 'seven acres of nursery-ground,'—not that, nor the miserable patch of clayfarm, nor anything he tried to get a living by, would prosper with him ; he had a sore unequal battle all his days. But he stood to it valiantly; a wise, faithful, unconquerable man ; swallowing-down how many sore sufferings daily into silence; fighting like an unseen Hero,-nobody publishing newspaper paragraphs about his nobleness; voting pieces of plate to him! However, he was not lost: nothing is lost. Robert is there; the outcome of him, -and indeed of many generations of such as him.

This Burns appeared under every disadvantage : uninstructed, poor, born only to hard manual toil; and writing, when it came to that, in a rustic special dialect, known only to a small province of the country he lived in. Had he written, even what he did write, in the general language of England, I doubt not he had already become universally recognised as being, or capable to be, one of our greatest man. That he should have tempted so many to penetrate through the rough husk of that dialect of his, is proof that there lay something far from common within it. He has gained a certain recognition, and is continuing to do so over all quarters of our wide Saxon world : wheresoever a Saxon dialect is spoken, it begins to be understood, by personal inspection of this and the other, that one of the most considerable Saxon men of the Eighteenth century was an Ayrshire Peasant named Robert Burns. Yes, I will say, here too was a piece of the right Saxon stuff: strong as the Harz-rock, rooted in the depths of the world ;-rock, yet with wells of living softness in it ! A wild impetuous whirlwind of passion and faculty slumbered quiet there; such heavenly melody dwelling in the heart of it. A noble rough genuineness; homely, rustic, honest ; true simplicity of strength ; with its lightning-fire, with its soft dewy pity;-like the old Norse Thor, the Peasant-god!

Burns's Brother Gilbert, a man of much sense and worth, has told me that Robert, in his young days, in spite of their hardship, was usually the gayest of speech ; a fellow of infinite frolic, laughter, sense and heart; far pleasanter to hear there, stript cutting peats in the bog, or suchlike, than he ever afterwards knew him. I can well believe it. This basis of mirth ('fond gaillard,' as old Marquis Mirabeau calls it), a primalelement of sunshine and joyfulness, coupled with his other deep and earnest qualities, is one of the most attractive characteristics of Burns. A large fund of Hope dwells in him ; spite of his tragical history, he is not a mourning man. He shakes his sorrows gallantly aside; bounds forth victorious over them. It is as the lion shaking dew-drops from his mane ;' as the swiftbounding horse, that laughs at the shaking of the spear.-But indeed, Hope, Mirth, of the sort like Burns's, are they not the outcome properly of warm generous affection, such as is the beginning of all to every man ?

You would think it strange if I called Burns the most gifted British soul we had in all that century of his : and yet I believe the day is coming when there will be little danger in saying so. His writings, all that he did under such obstructions, are only a poor fragment of him. Professor Stewart remarked very justly, what indeed is true of all Poets good for much, that his poetry was not any particular faculty ; but the general result of a naturally vigorous original mind expressing itself in that way. Burns's gifts, expressed in conversation, are the theme of all that ever heard him. All kinds of gifts : from the gracefulest utterances of courtesy, to the highest fire of passionate speech; loud floods of mirth, soft wailings of affection, laconic emphasis, clear piercing insight; all was in him. Witty duchesses celebrate him as a man whose speech 'led them off their feet.' This is beautiful : but still more beautiful that which Mr. Lockhart has recorded, which I have more than once alluded to, How the waiters and ostlers at inns would get out of bed, and come crowding to hear this man speak ! Waiters and ostlers :they too were men, and here was a man ! I have heard much about his speech ; but one of the best things I ever heard of it was, last year, from a venerable gentleman long familiar with him. That it was speech distinguished by always having something in it. “He spoke rather little than much,” this old man told me;

“sat rather silent in those early days, as in the company of persons above him ; and always when he did speak, it was to throw new light on the matter." I know not why any one should ever speak otherwise !—But if we look at his general force of soul, his healthy robustness everyway, the rugged downrightness, penetration, generous valour and manfulness that was in him, - where shall we readily find a better-gifted man ?

Among the great men of the Eighteenth Century, I sometimes feel as if Burns might be found to resemble Mirabeau more than any other. They differ widely in vesture ; yet look at them intrinsically. There is the same burly thick-necked strength of body as of soul ;-built, in both cases, on what the

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