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from your earliest infancy. May you live as he did: if you do, you can never be unhappy. I feel myself grown serious all at once, and affected in a manner I cannot describe. I shall only add, that it is one of the greatest pleasures I promise myself before I die, that of seeing the family of a man whose memory I revere more than that of any person that ever I was acquianted with. I am, my dear friend, Yours, sincerely,
K******* Castle, 30th. November, 1787.
I HOPE you will do me the justice to believe, that it was no defect in gratitude for your punctual performance of your parting promise, that has made me so long in acknowledg ing it, but merely the difficulty I had in getting the Highland songs you wished to have, accururately noted; they are at last inclosed, but how shall I convey along with them those graces they acquired from the melodious voice of one of the fair spirits of the hill of Kildrummie! These I must leave to your imagination to sup
ply. It has powers sufficient to transport you to her side, to recall her accents, and to make them still vibrate in the ears of memory. To her I am indebted for getting the inclosed notes They are clothed with "thoughts that breathe, and words that burn." These however, being in an unknown tongue to you, you must again have recourse to that same fertile imagination of yours to interpret them, and suppose a lover's description of the beauties of an adored mistress -why did I say unknown? The language of love is an universal one, that seems to have escaped the confusion of Babel, and to be understood by all nations.
I rejoice to find that you were pleased with so many things, persons, and places, in your northern tour, because it leads me to hope you may be induced to revisit them again. That the old castle of K*******k, and its inhabitants, were amongst these, adds to my satisfaction. I am even vain enough to admit your very flattering application of the line of Addison's; at any rate allow me to believe that "friendship will maintain the ground she has occupied," in both our hearts in spite of absence, and that when we do meet, it will be as acquaintance of a score of years standing; and on this footing consider me as interested in the future course of your fame so splendidly commenced. Any communications of the progress of your muse will be received
with great gratitude, and the fire of your genius will have power to warm, even us, frozen sisters of the north.
The friends of K*******k and K********e unite in cordial regards to you. When you incline to figure either in your idea, suppose some of us reading your poems, and some of us singing your songs, and my little Hugh looking at your picture, and you'll seldom be wrong. We remember Mr. N. with as much good will as we do any body who hurried Mr. Burns from us.
Farewell sir, I can only contribute the widow's mite to the esteem and admiration excited by your merits and genius, but this I give as she did, with all my heart-being sincerely yours,
I SUPPOSE the devil is so elated with his success with you, that he is determined by a coup de main to complete his purposes on you all at once, in making you a Poct. I broke open the letter you sent me; hummed over the rhymes; and, as. I saw they were extempore,
said to myself they were very well: but when I saw at the bottom a name that I shall ever value with grateful respect, "I gapit wide but naething spak." I was nearly as much struck as the friends of Job, of affliction-bearing memory, when they sat down with him seven days and seven nights, and spake not a word.
I am naturally of a superstitious cast, and as soon as my wonder-scared imagination regained its consciousness, and resumed its functions, I cast about what this mania of yours might portend. My foreboding ideas had the wide stretch of possibility and several events, great in their magnitude and in their consequences, occurred to my fancy. The downfall of the conclave, or the crushing of the cork rumps; a Ducal coronet to Lord George G, and the protestant interest; or Saint Peter's keys, to **
You want to know how I come on.
I am ust in statu quo; or, not to insult a gentleman with my Latin, in auld-use and wont." The noble Earl of Glencairn took me by the hand to-day, and interested himself in. my concerns, with a goodness. like that benevolent being, whose image he so richly bears. He is a stronger proof of the immortality of the soul, than any that philosophy ever produced. A mind like his can never die. Let the worshipful squire H. L. or, the reverend Mass J. M. go into their
primitive nothing. At best they are but ill digested lumps of chaos, only one of them strongly tinged with bituminous particles and sulphureous effluvia. But my noble patron, eternal as the heroic swell of magnanimity, and the generous throb of benevolence, shall look on with princely eye at "the war of elements, the "wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds."
To MRS. DUNLOP.
Edinburgh, 21st January, 1788.
AFTER six weeks confinement, I am beginning to walk across the room. They have been six horrible weeks; anguish and low spirits made me unfit to read, write, or think.
I have a hundred times wished that one could resign life as an officer resigns a commission: for I would not take in any poor, ignorant wretch, by selling out. Lately I was a sixpenny private; and God knows, a miserable soldier enough; now I march to the campaign; a starving cadet: a little more conspicuously wretched.
I am ashamed of all this; for though I do want bravery for the warfare of life, I could wish, like some other soldiers, to have as much