As we enter
the Burns Supper season we look at how the Burns’ generation regarded Robert
Burns (for modern views please see Scottish Quotations).
the poet’s death a traveller in Scotland reported a conversation he had with
an old countryman by the roadside. When the name of Burns was mentioned, the
old man’s back straightened and a fire came into his eyes and he said -
“He had the
heart of man in him. He was all heart and all man. And there’s nothing, at
least in a poor man’s experience, either bitter or sweet, which can happen
to him, but a line of Burns springs into his mouth and gives him courage and
comfort if he needs it.”
for us all.
Burns first went to Mauchline he wrote a jolly jingle about the ‘Belles of
Miller is fine, Miss Markland’s divine,
Miss Smith she has wit, and Miss Betty is braw;
There’s beauty and fortune to get wi’ Miss Morton,
But Armour’s the jewel for me o’ them a’.
One of the
Mauchline Belles, Jean Armour, became immortal as spouse of Scotland’s
greatest son, but Robert Burns touched all their lives. Some seventy years
after the verse had been written, the old women who had been the youthful
Miss Morton, lay dying. Her grand-children stood around the bed. Waiting for
the end, they spoke in hushed tones of past times. “Do you remember Robert
Burns ?” one of them asked. A smile lit the drawn and wrinkled face. The
woman’s dying lips moved –
said “Brawly that!”
nothing else needs said, what better way to remember Robert Burns – Ay,
Supper would be complete without a piece, or two, of shortbread and this
week’s recipe makes a simple but delicious Shortbread, which goes very well
with a Fly Cup out-with the Burns Season.
8oz margarine; 10oz plain flour; 2oz cornflour; 4oz caster sugar
Pre-heat oven to 160 deg C/ Gas Mark 3. Rub margarine into flour and
cornflour until mixture is fine crumbs. Stir in sugar, Form into a ball and
roll out (approx ¼ inch). Cut into circles or shapes. Bake for 25-30
minutes, When cool dust with caster sugar.