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north of Ireland. The event of the After some continuance in that-sloop, engagement which took place is too he reinoved into the Weasel, in which well known to render a repetition ne- he had before served as a midshipman, cessary; but a circumstance which oc- and proceeded to the coast of Guinea: curred during the encounter, reflects From the Weasel he was appointed to too much honour on the judgement of the Pomona, of 18 guns, and was orMr Pasley to be omitted. The Æolus dered to Greenock, on the impress had fallen on board the French conn- service, in consequence of the appremodore's ship, the Bellisle of 44 guns, hended rupture with Spain respecting the bowsprit hanging over that ship’s the Falkland islands. In 1771, he quarter deck, and was consequently was promoted to the rank of Postnot only left exposed to the whole. Captain, and being appointed to the weight of the enemy's fire, without Sea-hoise, of 20 guns, he sailed to the being able to bring a single gun to West Indies, where he rendered matebear on her antagonist, but also com- rial service during the contest withpelled to engage the Blonde, of 36, at the Caribs. Having returned to Eng-tim the same time with her aftermost land the ensuing year, and the Seaguns, that frigate having fallen on horse being put out of commission, he board the Æolus. In this perilous si- continued unemployed till 1776. He tuation Mr. Pasley called the men was then appointed to the Glasgow, from the foremost guns, which he at and sent out to the West Indies, to that time commanded ; and having convoy thither a valuable fieet of merboarded the enemy at their head from chantmen, consisting of 120 sail. This the bowsprit, made himself master of charge he executed so much to the the deck, and obtained entire possession satisfaction of all cencerned, that he of the ship. As soon as this conquest received the thanks of the cities of an was atchieved, he sent on board the London, Bristol, and other ports, and Æolus for an English jaek, which he. a handsome piece of plate was preimmediately hoisted on board the sented to him, as a more substantial prize, as her signal of surrender. proof of the approbation of the merCaptain Elliot, soon after his arrival chants. On his return to England, at Portsmouth with his prizes, was re- Captain Pasley performed a similar moved into another ship, but Mr Pas-' service ; and, with the exception of ley retained his station under captain, the present, he had the satisfaction of How Lord Hotham, who was appoint- receiving similar honours. Soon after ed to succeed him, and with whom he his arrival in England, he was apcontinued till the year 1762. In the pointed to the Sybil of 28 guns,
and Æolus, Mr Pasley returned to his sent with Admiral Edwards to the former occupation of cruizing, but was Newfoundland station. In 1780, he not concerned in any advantage more was promoted to the Jupiter of 50 material than the capture of five or six guns, and at the commencement of privateers of insignificant force, and of the ensuing year, sailed with Commoa valuable French ship outward bound, dore Johnstone on a secret expedifrom Bourdeaux to St Domingo, call- tion. In the attack made on the Bried the Formidable. On the return of tish squadron by M. de Suffrein, in the Æolus to England, Mr Pasley Porto Praya Road, the Jupiter was had the satisfaction to find that he particularly distinguished for the power had been promoted, during his ab- and force of her fire; and amidst the sence, to the rank of commander, and torrent of abuse which was undeservwas appointed to the Albany sloop of edly thrown on some persons concern war, a vessel employed in convoying ed in that encounter, the conduct of ips to and from the port of Milford. Captain Pasley was very justly ap
plauded by all parties. The subse- tilities, were passed by Captain Pasley quent operations of the British squa- in the relaxation of domestic retiredron were, as it is well known, con- ment. In 1788, he was invested with fined to the capture of a fleet of Dutch the chief command in the Medway, India ships, surprised in Saldanha Bay. and hoisted his broad pendant on On its return, the Jupiter was, in May board the Vengeance. From this sta1782, ordered to proceed to the West tion he removed, first into the Scipio, Indies with Admiral Pigot, who was
and then into the Bellerophon. In sent out to supercede Lord Rodney, the latter, he was ordered to join the in the chief command of the fleet em- Channel fleet, in consequence of the ployed in that quarter. The Jupiter, apprehended ruptures with Russia and soon after her arrival, was ordered on Spain. These disputes being comproa cruize off the Havannah, and Capt. mised, he repaired to Chatham, where Pasley had the good fortune to take he continued during the customary five out of thirteen vessels which he period allotted to such a command.fell in with. The crew of one of these Retiring for a time from the service, prizes, however, having risen on the he again remained unemployed till the English that were put into her, suc- commencement of the war with France ceeded in their attempt, and carried in 1793. He was then appointed, as her into the Havannah, where they an established Commodore, to hoist informed the Spanish Admiral of the his broad pendant on board his former situation of the Jupiter, which had ship, the Bellerophon, and ordered to strutk upon a shoal. He accordingly join the main fleet, under the orders dispatched a ship of 84, and another of Lord Howe. On the 12th of April of 6+ guns, to take or destroy her.- 1794, being advanced to the rank of Captain Pasley had, meanwhile, suc- Rear-Admiral of the White, he hoistceeded in getting the Jupiter afloat ; ed his flag on board the same ship to, but almost immediately fell in with which he had been so long attached. the Tiger, the largest of the Spanish In the partial affairs, which preceded ships. The enemy immediately gave the glorious 1st of June, as well as in chace, and gained considerably on the the engagement on that day, the BelJupiter, which had sustained consider- lerophon took a conspicuous part; and able injury. At the dawn of day, the towards the conclusion of the conflict, Tiger, being within gun - shot, and
- shot, and Admiral Pasley had the misfortune to Captain Pasley finding escape impossi- lose his leg. He had, however, the ble, called together his crew, to whom satisfaction to receive every palliative he addressed a short but spirited ha- to his wound, which the attention of rangue. He declared his intention of bis sovereign, his commander, and his attacking the enemy, which was warm- country, could bestow. His Majesty ly approved by three hearty cheers.-- conferred on him the dignity of a baThe Jupiter brought to, and prepared ronet, accompanied with a pension of for action. The enemy, probably in- 1000 l. a-year. The personal injury timidated by this appearance of reso- he had sustained necessarily deprived lution, immediately hauled their wind, the nation of his farther services in an and suffered the Jupiter to continue active capacity. In 1798, in conseher voyage unmolested. Captain Pas- quence of the mutiny at the Nore, Sir ley immediately sailed for Antigua, Thomas was appointed for a short time: to refit ; and hostilities ceasing soon commander-in-chief in the Thames after, the Jupiter proceeded to Chat- and Medway; but relinquished thişi ham, where she was put out of com- station as soon as the trials of the mu. mission. The five years which imme- tmeers were concluded. In 1799, he diately succeeded the cessation of hos.' was appointed Port-Admiral at Ports
mouth, where he displayed the same the slightest previous intimation, been activity and ability which constantly turned adrift, with my helpless family, marked his character, while the unim- to all the horrors of want. Had I paired state of his body permitted him had any other resource, probably I to engage in a more interesting de- might have saved them the trouble of partment of the service. Sir Thomas a dismission ; but the little money I married Mary, daughter of Thomas gained by my publication, is almost Heywood, Esg. "Chief Justice of the every guinea embarked, to save from Isle of Man, who died in 1788, and ruin an only brother, who, though one was buried at Avignon, in France ; by of the worthiest, is by no means one whom he had two daughters, Maria, of the most fortunate of men. married to Captain Sabine, of the In my defence to their accusations, Guards, and Magdalen. He died at I said, that whatever might be my his seat, near Alton, Hampshire, aged sentiments of republics, ancient or mo
dern, as to Britain, I abjured the idea : That a CONSTITUTION, which, in its
original principles, experience had Burns's Letter to Mr Erskine of happiness in society, it would be insa
proved to be every way fitted for our MAR.
nity to sacrifice to an untried visionFrom “ Reliques of Robert Burns," ary theory :- That, in consideration
of my being situated in a department, Dumfries, 13th April, 1793. however humble, immediately in the SIR,
hands of people in power, I had for
is said to be ; and in many in- personally, or as an author, in the prestances, worthless and unprincipled it sent business of REFORM. But that, is; still there are bright examples to where I must declare my sentiments, the contrary : 'examples that even in I would say there existed a system of the eyes of superior beings, must shed corruption between the executive power a lustre on the name of Man.
and the representative part of the leSuch an example have I now before gislature, which boded no good to our me, when you, Sir, came forward to glorious CONSTITUTION ; and which patronise and befriend a distant ob- every patriotic Briton must wish to scure stranger, merely because poverty see amended.Some such sentiments had made him helpless, and his Bri- as these, I stated in a letter to my getish hardihood of mind had provoked nerous patron Mr Graham, which he the arbitrary wantonness of power.- laid before the Board at large : where, My much esteemed friend, Mr Riddel it seems, my last remark gave great of Glenriddel, has just read me a para- offence; and one of our supervisors ge
; graph of a letter he had from
you. neral, a Mr Corbet, was instructed to Accept, Sir, of the silent throb of gra- enquire on the spot, and to document titude ; for words would but mock me--" that my business was to act, the emotions of my soul.
not to think ; and that whatever might You have been misinformed as to be men or measures, it was for me to my final dismission from the Excise ; be silent and obedient.” I am still in the service. Indeed, but Mr Corbet was likewise my steady for the exertions of a gentleman who friend ; so between Mr Graham and must be known to you, Mr Graham him, I have been partly forgiven; onof Fintray, a gentleman who has everly I understand that all hopes of my been my warm and generous friend, I getting officially forward, are blasted. had, without so much as a hearing, or Now, Sir, to the business in which
I would more immediately interest birthright of my boys,—the little inyou. The partiality of my country- dependent Britons in whose veins runs men, has brought me forward as a my own blood ? -No! I will not! man of genius, and has given me a should
heart's blood stream around character to support. In the poet I my attempt to defend it ! have avowed manly and independent Does any man tell me,
my full sentiments, which I trust will be found efforts can be of no service ; and that in the man. Reasons of no less weight it does not belong to my humble stathan the support of a wife and family, tien to meddle with the concern of a have pointed out as the eligible, and nation ? situated as I was, the only eligible I can tell him, that it is on such in. line of life for me, my present occupa- dividuals as I, that a nation has to tion. Still my honest fame is my rest, both for the hand of sup;brt, and dearest concern ; and a thousand times the eye of intelligence. The unin
; have I trembled at the idea of those formd mob, may swell a nation's degrading epithets that malice or mis- bulk; and the titled, tinsel, courtly representation may affix to my name. throng, may be its feathered ornaI have often, in blasting anticipation, ment; but the number of those who listened to some future hackney scrib- are elevated enough in life to reason bler, with the heavy malice of savage and to reflect; yet low enough to stupidity, exulting in his hireling pa- keep clear of the venal contagion of a ragraphs—“ Burns, notwithstanding court; these are a nation's strength. the fanfaronade of independence to be I know not how to apologize for found in his works, and after having the impertinent length of this epistle ; been held forth to public view, and but one small request I must ask of to public estimation as a man of some you farther. When you have honourgenius, yet, quite destitute of resourcesed this letter with a perusal, please to within himself to support his borrow- commit it to the flames. Burns, in ed dignity, he dwindled into a paltry whose behalf you have so generously exciseman, and slunk out the rest of interested yourself, I have here, in his his insignificant existence in the mean- native colours drawn as he is; but est of pursuits, and among the vilest should any of the people in whose of mankind."
hands is the very bread he eats, get In your illustrious hands, Sir, per- the least knowledge of the picture, it mit me to lodge my disavowal and de- would ruin the poor Bard for ever! fiance of these slanderous falsehoods. My poems having just come out in Burns was a poor man from birth, another edition, I beg leave to present and an exciseman by necessity : but you with a copy, as a small mark of I will say it! the sterling of his ho- that high esteem and ardent gratitude nest worth, no poverty could debase, with which I have the honour to be, and his independent British mind, op
SIR, pression might bend, but could not
Your deeply indebted, subdue. Have not I, to me, a more
And ever devoted bumble servant. precious stake in my country's welfare, than the richest dukedom in it?
I have a large family of children, and the prospect of many more. I
General Observations on SCOTTISH have three sons, who, I see already,
Songs, by BURNS,
(From the Same.)
cularly the excellent Ramsay, and the song set to the same tune in Bremstill more excellent Fergusson, yet I ner?s collection of Scotch songs,
which am hurt to-see other places of Scot- begins, “ To Fanny feir could I imland, their towns, rivers, woods, haughs, part, &c." it is most exact measure, &c. immortalized in such celebrated and yet, let them both be
before performances, while my dear native a real critic, one above the biasses of country, the ancient bailieries of Car- prejudice, but a thorough judge of narick, Kyle, and Cunningham, famous ture, --how flat and spiritless will the both in ancient and modern times for last appear, how trite, and lamely me. a gallant and warlike race of inhabi- thodical, compared with the wildtants; a country where civil, and par- warbling cadence, the heart-moving ticularly religious liberty have ever melody of the first. This is particufound their first support, and their last larly the case with all those airs which asylum ; a country, the birth-place of end with a hypermetrical syllable.many fainous philosophers, soldiers, There is a degree of wild irregularity and statesmen, and the scene of many in many of the compositions and fragimportant events recorded in Scottish ments which are daily sung to them history, particularly a great many of by my. com peers, the common people, the actions of the glorious Wallace,--a certain happy arrangement of old the --saviour of his country; yet, we
Scottish syllables, and yet, very frehave never had one Scotch poet of any quently, nothing, not even like rhyme, eminence, to make the fertile banks or sameness of jingle, at the ends of of Irvine, the romantic woodlands and the lines. This has made me somesequestered scenes on Aire, and the times imagine that, perhaps it might healthy mountainous source, and wind- be possible for a Scotch poet, with a ing sweep of Doon, emulate Tay, nice judicious ear, to set compositions Forth, Ettrick, Tweed, &c. This is to many of our most favourite airs, a complaint I would gladly remedy, particularly that class of them menbut alas! I am far unequal to the tioned above, independent of rhyme task, both in native genius and educa- altogether. tion. Obscure I am, and obscure I There is a noble sublimity, a heartmust be, though no young poet, nor melting tenderness, in some of our anyoung soldier's heart, ever beat more cient ballads, which shew them to be fondly for fame than mine
the work of a masterly hand : and it And if there is no other scene of being has often given me many a heart-ache Where my insatiate wish may have its to reflect that such glorious old bards, fill;
-bards who very probably owed all This something at my heart that heaves their talents to native genius, yet have
described the exploits of heroes, the My best, my dearest part was made in vain,
pangs of disappointment, and the melt
ings of love, with such fine strokes of There is a great irregularity in the nature--that their very names (O how old Scottish songs, a redundancy of mortifying to a bard's vanity !) are syllables, with respect to that exact. buried
the wreck of ness of aceent and measure that the things which were.” English poetry requires, but which O ye illustrious names unknown! glides in, most melodiously, with the who could feel so strongly and desrespective tunes to which they are set. cribe so well ; the last, the meanest of For instance, the fine old song of The the muses train- who, though far Mill , Mill
, 0, to give it a plain pro- inferior to your flights, yet eyes your saic reading it halts prodigiously out path, and with trembling wing would of measure ; on the other hand, the Sometimes soar after you-ta poor rus