The Letters of Robert Burns

By J. De Lancey Ferguson; Robert Burns | Go to book overview

stand of that, I cannot, dare not risk on farms as they are. If I do not fix, I will go Jamaica. Should I stay in an unsettled state at home, I would only dissipate my little fortune, and ruin what I intend shall compensate my little ones for the stigma I have brought on their names.

I shall write you more at length soon; as this letter costs you no postage, if it be worth reading you cannot complain of your pennyworth.--

I am ever, my dear Sir, yours, [ ROBT BURNS]

P.S. The cloot has unfortunately broke, but I have provided a fine buffalo-horn, on which I am going to affix the same cypher which you remember was on the lid of the cloot.

[ Cunningham, 1834. MS. not traced.]


114. [WILLIAM NICOL]

My dear friend,

I am now arrived safe in my native country after a very agreable jaunt; and have the pleasure to find all my friends well. I breakfasted with your gray-headed, reverend friend, Mr. Smith; and was highly pleased both with the cordial welcome he gave me, and his most excellent appearance and sterling good sense.

I have been with Mr. Miller at Dalswinton, and am to meet him again in August. From my view of the lands, and his reception of my Bardship, my hopes in that business are rather mended; but still they are but slender.

I am quite charmed with Dumfries folks--Mr. Burnside, the Clergyman, in particular, is a man whom I shall ever gratefully remember; and his wife, Gude forgie me! I had almost broke the tenth commandment on her account.--Simplicity, elegance, good sense, sweetness of disposition, good humor, kind hospitality, are the constituents of her manner and heart: in short-- but if I say one word more about her, I shall be directly in love with her.

I never, my friend, thought Mankind very capable of anything generous; but the stateliness of the Patricians in Edinr, and the servility of my plebeian brethren, who perhaps formerly eyed me askance, since I returned home, have nearly put me out of conceit altogether with my species.--I have bought a pocket Milton, which I carry perpetually about with me, in order to study the sentiments--the dauntless magnanimity; the intrepid

-96-

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