Letter to James Candlish, late November 1787

My dear friend,
If once I were gone from this scene of hurry and dissipation, I promise myself the pleasure of that correspondence being renewed which has been so long broken. At present I have time for nothing. Dissipation and business engross every moment.

– I am engaged in assisting an honest Scots Enthusiast, a friend of mine, who is an Engraver, and has taken it into his head to published a collection of all our songs set to music, of which the words and music are done by Scotsmen.

-This, you will easily guess, is an undertaking exactly to my taste.-I have collected, begg’d, borrow’d and stolen all the songs could meet with.

– Pompey’s Ghost, words and music, I beg from you immediately, to go into his second number: the first is already published.

– I shall show you the first Number when I see you in Glasgow, which will be in a fortnight or less.

– Do be so kind as send me the song in a day or two; you cannot imagine how much it will please me.

I am ever, My Dear Sir, Yours Robt Burns

Published in: on November 27, 2008 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Letter to James Candlish, March 21 1787

My ever dear old acquaintance,
I was equally surprised and pleased at your letter, tho’ I dare say you will think by my delaying so long to write you, that I am so drowned in the intoxication of good fortune as to be indifferent to old and once dear connections.

– The truth is, I was determined to write a good letter, full of argument, amplification, erudition and, as Bayes says, all that.

– I thought of it, and thought of it, but for my soul I cannot; and lest you should mistake the cause of my silence, I just sit down to tell you so.

– Don’t give yourself credit though, that the strength of your logic scares me: the truth is, I never mean to meet you on that ground at all.

– You have shown me one thing, which was to be demonstrated, that strong pride of reasoning, with a little affectation of singularity, may mislead the best of hearts.

– I likewise, since you and I were first acquainted, in the pride of old women’s stories, ventured in “the daring path Spinosa trod;” but experience of the weakness, not the strength, of human powers made me glad to grasp at revealed Religion.
I must stop, but don’t impute my brevity to a wrong cause.

– I am still, in. the apostle Paul’s phrase, “The old man with his deeds” as when we were sporting about the Lady thorn.

– I shall be four weeks here yet, at least; and so I shall expect to hear from you-welcome sense, welcome Nonsense.

– I am with the warmest sincerity,

My Dear old Friend, yours Robt Burns

Published in: on March 21, 2008 at 11:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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