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