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Laird and his Cantrips-Adam Hill-Home Again.

CHAPTER XIII.,

· 138

Kilmarnock-A Glance at its History, Progress, and

Appearance — Kilmarnock House—The Lady's Walk-

Burns in Kilmarnock-Friends, and Places Associated with

his Name- The Town of his Day—The Laigh Kirk—The

Churchyard—The High Church—“Black Jock Russell”

and Burns-The Soulis Monument-"Wee Johnie "- The

Kay Park— The Burns Monument.

CHAPTER XIV.,

158

From Kilmarnock to Mossgiel—Notes by the Way-

Mossgiel-A Noisy Reception—The Dwelling-House-The

Spence-An Interesting Relic-The "Mouse" and "Daisy"

-John Blane's Recollections—The Old Dwelling-House-

The Poet's Study-The Scene of “The Vision "-The Poet's

Personal Appearance and Misfortunes when in the Farm.

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INTENT upon a pilgrimage to the cottage wherein the immortal poet, Robert Burns, first saw the light, and the interesting places in its immediate vicinity, I left Kilmarnock one beautiful summer morning before its inhabitants were stirring, and having crossed the Irvine by the new bridge at Riccarton, held onward, regardless of “the lang Scots miles” which lay between me and the goal of the journey. Nature was newly waken from the slumber of night—the sun poured its exhilarating rays from the radiant east, and in its strength was quickly dispelling the vapoury mist which hung over the river and floated lazily across the fields, as if reluctant to depart and allow the god to quaff the pearly drops of dew which decked the grass and hedges. A solemn stillness— which was occasionally broken by the distant lowing of cattle and the chirrup of a lightsome bird—pervaded the scene, for the village was wrapt in slumber, a slumber fated soon to be broken by the deep-toned bell in the church spire calling the labouring poor to renew the turmoil of life. As the gate of the domain which surrounds Caprington Castle was neared the scene became more romantic and grand, for the estate of Treesbank, with its manor-house peering from

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