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TO ROBERT GRAHAM, ESQ. very serious with us; then seriously hear! Or, as the same author finely says in me, and hear me, Heaven :-I met you, my another place dear * * * *, by far the first of womankind, at least to me; I esteemed, I loved "Let thy soul spring up, you at first sight, the longer I am acquainted And lay strong hold for help on him that with you, the more innate amiableness and made thee." worth I discover in you. You have suffered a loss, I confess, for my sake: but if the
I am yours, Clarinda, for life. Never be firmest, steadiest, warmest friendship, -if
Sif discouraged at all this. Look forward; in a every endeavour to be worthy of your friend few weeks I shall be somewhere or other out ship,--if a love, strong as the ties of nature, of the possibility of seeing you : till then, I and holy as the duties of religion-if all shall write youl often, but visit you seldom. these can make anything like a compensation
Your fame, your welfare, your happiness, are for the evil I have occasioned you, if they
dearer to me than any gratification whatever. be worth your acceptance, or can in the least
the least Be comforted, my love! the present moment add to your enjoyments—so help Sylvander,
is the worst: the lenient hand of Time is ye Powers above, in his hour of need, as he
daily and hourly either lightening the burden, freely gives these all to Clarinda!
or making us insensible to the weight. I esteem vou. I love you as a friend: 1 None of these friends, I mean Mr. admire you, I love you as a woman, beyond
and the other gentleman, can hurt your any one in all the circle of creation; I know
worldly support, and for their friendship, in I shall continue to esteem you, to love you,
a little time you will learn to be easy, and, to pray for you, nay, to pray for myself for
by and bye, to be happy without it. A your sake.
decent means of livelihood in the world, an Expect me at eight. ---And believe me to approving God, a peaceful conscience, and be ever, my dearest Madam, yours most
one firin, trusty friend—can anybody that entirely,
has these be said to be unhappy? These are yours.
To-morrow evening I shall be with you about eight; probably for the last time till I return to Edinburgh. In the meantime,
should any of these two unlucky friends NO. CIII.
question you respecting me, whether I am TO MRS. DUNLOP.
the man, I do not think they are entitled to
any information. As to their jealousy and Edinburgh, February 12th, 1783. spying, I despise them.--Adieu, my dearest
SYLVANDER. SOME things in your late letters hurt me: not that you say them, but that you mistake me. Religion, my honoured Madam, has not only been all my life my chief dependence, but my dearest enjoynient. I have, indeed, been the luckless victim of wayward follies ; but, alas! I have ever been “more fool than
NO. CV. knave.” A mathematician without religion TO ROBERT GRAHAM, ESQ. is a probable character; an irreligious poet is a monster.
February, 1788. SIR.-IVhen I had the honour of being
introduced to you at Athole House, I did not NO. CIV.
think so soon of asking a favour of you.
When Lear, in Shakespeare, asked old Kent TO CLARINDA.
why he wished to be in his service, he
answers :-"Because you have that in your February 14th, 1783.
face which I would fain call master.” For WHEN matters, my love, are desperate, some such reason, Sir, do I now solicit your we must put on a desperate face :
patronage. You know, I dare say, of an
application I lately made to your Board to “On reason build resolve,
be admitted an officer of Excise. I have, That column of true majesty in man." I accordirg to form, been examined by a super
visor, and to-day I gave in his certificate, with Marquis of Huntly's reel, which certainly a request for an order for instructions. In deserve a place in the collection. My kind this affair, if I succeed, I am afraid I shall host, Mr. Cruikshank, of the high-School but too much need a patronising friend, here, and said to be one of the best Latins Propriety of conduct as a man, and fidelity in this age, begs me to make you his grateand attention as an officer, I dare engage for ; ful acknowledgments for the entertainment but with any thing like business, except he has got in a Latin publication of yours manual labour, I am totally unacquainted. that I borrowed for him from your acquaint
I had intended to have closed my late ap- ance and much respected friend in this place, pearance on the stage of life in the character the Reverend Dr. Webster. (64) Mr. Cruik. of a country farmer; but after discharging shank maintains that you write the best some filial and fraternal claims, I find I could Latin since Buchanan. I leave Edinburgh only fight for existence in that miserable to-morrow, but shall return in three weeks. manner, which I have lived to see throw a Your song you mentioned in your last, to venerable parent into the jaws of a jail, - the tune of “ Dumbarton Drums," and the whence death, the poor man's last and often other, which you say was done by a brother best friend, rescued him.
in trade of mine, a ploughman, I shall thank I know, Sir, that to need your goodness, you for a copy of each. I am ever, reverend is to have a claim on it; may I, therefore, Sir, with the most respectful esteem and beg your patronage to forward me in this sincere veneration, yours,
R. B. affair, till I be appointed to a divisionwhere, by the help of rigid economy, I will try to support that independence so dear to my soul, but which has been too often so
NO. CVII. distant froin my situation.
TO RICHARD BROWN.
Edinburgh, February 15th, 1788. No. CVI.
MY DEAR FRIEND-I received yours
| with the greatest pleasure. I shall arrive at TO THE REV. JOHN SKINNER. (63) Glasgow on Monday evening; and beg, if Edinburgh, February, 14th, 1788. | possible, you will meet me on Tuesday. I
shall wait you Tuesday all day, I shall be REVEREND AND DEAR SIR-I have found at Davies's Black Bull inn. I am been a cripple now near three months, though hurried, as if hunted by fifty devils, else I I am getting vastly better, and have been should go to Greenock; but if you cannot very much hurried besides, or else I would possibly come, write me, if possible, to have wrote you sooner. I must beg your Glasgow, on Monday; or direct to me at pardon for the epistle you sent me appearing Mossgiel by Mauchline; and name a day in the Magazine. I had given a copy or two and place in Ayrshire, within a fortnight to some of my intimate friends, but did not from this date, where I may meet you. I know of the printing of it till the publication only stay a fortnight in Ayrshire, and return of the Magazine. However, as it does great to Edinburgh. I am ever, my dearest friend, honour to us both, you will forgive it.
R. B. The second volume of the Songs I mentioned to you in my last is published to-day. I send you a copy, which I beg you will accept as a mark of the veneration I have long had, and shall ever have, for your cha
NO. CVIII. racter, and of the claim I make to your con TO MRS. ROSE, OF KILRAVOCK. tinued acquaintance. Your songs appear in ! the third volume, with your name in the
Edinburgh, February 17th, 1783. index; as I assure you, Sir, I have heard MADAM“You are much indebted to your “ Tullochyorum," particularly among some indispensable business I have had on our west-country folks, given to many differ- my hands, otherwise my gratitude threatened ent names, and most commonly to the im- such a return for your obliging favour as mortal author of “The Minstrel," who, would have tired your patience. It but indeed, never wrote anything superior to poorly expresses my feelings to say, that I “Gie a sang, Montgomery cried.” Your am sensible of your kindness: it may be brother has promised me your verses to the said of hearts such as yours is, and such, I
TO MISS CHALMERS.
315 hope, mine is, much more justly than
NO. CIX. Addison applies it :
TO CLARINDA. Some souls by instinct to each other turn.
Glasgow, Monday Evening, 9 o'clock, There was something in my reception at
F'eb. 17th, 1788. Kilravock so different from the cold, obsequions, dancing-school bow of politeness,
THE attraction of love, I find, is in an inthat it almost got into my head that friend. verse proportion to the attraction of the ship had occupied her ground without the
without the Newtonian philosophy. In the system of intermediate march of acquaintance. I wish Sir Isaac, the nearer objects are to one another I could transcribe, or rather transfuse into
the stronger is the attractive force; in my language, the glow of my heart when I read system, every mile-stone that marked my your letter. My ready fancy, with colours progress from Clarında, awakened a keener more mellow than life itself, painted the pang of attachment to her. beautifully wild scenery of Kilravock; the
How do you feel, my love ? Is your heart venerable grandeur of the castle; the spread
ill at ease? I fear it.-God forbid that ing woods; the winding river, gladly leaving
these persecutors should harass that peace his unsightly, heathy source, and lingering
which is more precious to me than my own. with apparent delight as he passes the fairy
Be assured I shall ever think of you, muse walk at the bottom of the garden ; your late
| on you, and, in my moments of devotion, distressful anxieties; your present enjoy- pray for you. The hour that you are not in ments; your dear little angel, the pride of
all my thoughts~"be that hour darkness! your hopes : my aged friend, venerable in let the shadows of death cover it! let it not worth and years, whose loyalty and other be
ise hvalty and other | be numbered in the hours of the day !" virtues will strongly entitle her to the
“When I forget the darling theme, support of the Almighty Spirit here, and his peculiar favour in a happier state of existence.
Be my tongue mute! my fancy paint no
more! You cannot imagine, Madam, how much such feelings delight me; they are my
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat!" dearest proofs of my own immortality.
1 I have just met with my old friend, the Should I never revisit the north, as probably ship captain; guess my pleasure;--to meet I never will, nor again see your hospitable you could alone have given me more. My mansion, were I, some twenty years hence, I brother William, too, the young saddler, has to see your little fellow's name making a come to Glasgow to meet me; and here are proper figure in a newspaper paragraph, my we three spending the evening. heart would bound with pleasure.
I arrived here too late to write by post; I am assisting a friend in a collection of but I'll wrap half a dozen sheets of blank Scottish songs, set to their proper tunes ; paper together, and send it by the fly, under every air worth preserving is to be included; the name of a parcel. You shall hear from among others I have given “Morag,” and me next post town. I would write you a some few Highland airs which pleased me long letter, but for the present circumstance most, a dress which will be more generally of my friend. known, though far, far inferior in real merit. Adieu, my Clarinda! I am just going to As a small mark of my grateful esteem, I propose your health by way of grace-drink. bey leave to present you with a copy of the
SYLVANDER. work, as far as it is printed; the Man of Feeling, that first of men, has promised to transmit it by the first opportunity I beg to be remembered most respectfully
NO. CX. to my venerable friend, and to your little Highland chieftain. When you see the
TO MISS CHALMERS. “two fair spirits of the hill," at Kildrummie (65), tell them that I have done
Edinburgh, February, 1788. myself the honour of setting myself down as TO-MORROW, my dear Madam, I leave one of their admirers for at least twenty | Edinburgh. I have altered all my plans years to come, consequently they must look of future life. A farm that I could live upon me as an acquaintance for the same in, I could not find; and, indeed, after the period; but, as the Apostle Paul says, "this necessary support my brother and the rest I ask of grace, not of debt." I have the of the family required, I could not venture honour to be, Madam, &c.,
R. B. on farming in that style suitable to my
feelings. You will condemn me for the The present moment is our aim, next step I have taken. I have entered into The next we never saw ! the Excise. I stay in the west about three How like you my philosophy ? Give my weeks, and then return to Edinburgh for best compliments to Mrs. B., and believe me six weeks' instructions; afterwards, for I to be, my dear Sir, yours most truly. get employ instantly, I go où il plait à Dieu
R. B. (66) et mon Roi. I have chosen this, my dear friend, after mature deliberation. The question is not at what door of fortune's palace shall we enter in, but what doors does she
NO. CXII. open to us? I was not likely to get any thing to do. I wanted un bút, which is a
TO MISS CHALMERS. dangerous, an unhappy situation. I got this
March, 1788. without any hanging on, or mortifying solicitation; it is immediate bread, and though
Now for that wayward, unfortunate thing, poor in comparison of the last eighteen myself. I have broke measures with Creech, months of my existence, 'tis luxury in com- and last week I wrote him a frosty, keen parison of all my preceding life: besides, the letter. He replied in terms of chastisement, commissioners are some of them my acquaint- and promised me upon his honour that I ances, and all of them my firm friends. should have the account on Monday; but
R. B. this is Tuesday, and yet I have not heard a
word from him. God have mercy on me! a poor damned, incautious, duped, unfortu. nate fool! The sport, the miserable victim
of rebellious pride, hypochondriac imaginaNO. CXI.
tion, agonising sensibility, and bedlam TO RICHARD BROWN.
"I wish that I were dead, but I'm no like Mossgiel, February 24th, 1788. to die!” I had lately “a hair-breadth 'scape MY DEAR SIR-I cannot get the proper in th' imminent deadly breach" of love too direction for my friend in Jamaica, but the Thank my stars, I got off heart-whole, following will do :-To Mr. Jo. Hutchinson,"more fleyd than hurt."--Interruption. at Jo. Brownrigg's, Esq., care of Mr. Benja. I have this moment got a hint; I fear I min Henriquez, merchant, Orange Street, am something like undone-but I hope for Kingston. I arrived here, at my brother's, | the best. Come, stubborn pride and un. only yesterday, after fighting my way shrinking resolution ; accompany me through through Paisley and Kilmarnock against this, to me, miserable world! You must those old powerful foes of mine, the devil, not desert me. Your friendship I think I the world, and the flesh—so terrible in the can count on, though I should date my letters fields of dissipation. I have met with few from a marching regiment. Early in life, incidents in my life which gave me so much and all my life, I reckoned on a recruiting pleasure as meeting you in Glasgow. There drum as my forlorn hope. Seriously though, is a time of life beyond which we cannot life at this moment presents me with but a form a tie worth the name of friendship. melancholy path: but-my limb will soon be “Oh youth! enchanting stage, profusely sound, and I shall struggle on. R. B. blest." Life is a fairy scene: almost all that deserves the name of enjoyment or pleasure is only a charming delusion; and in comes repining age, in all the gravity of hoary
NO. CXIII. wisdom, and wretchedly chases away the bewitching phantom. When I think of life,
TO CLARINDA. I resolve to keep a strict look-out in the
Cumnock, March 2nd, 1788. course of economy, for the sake of worldly convenience and independence of mind; to I HOPE, and am certain, that my generous cultivate intimacy with a few of the com- Clarinda will not think my silence, for now panions of youth, that they may be the a long week (67), has been in any degree friends of age; never to refuse my liquorish owing to my forgetfulness. I have been humour a handful of the sweet-meats of tossed about through the country ever since life, when they come not too dear; and, for I wrote you; and am here, returning from futurity
| Dumfries-shire, at an inn, the post-office of
TO ROBERT AINSLIE, ESQ.
the place, with just so long time as my l I executed your commission in Glasgow. horse eats his corn, to write you. I have and I hope the cocoa came safe. 'Twas the been hurried with business and dissipation same price and the very same kind as almost equal to the insidious decree of the your former parcel, for the gentleman Persian monarch's mandate, when he forbade recollected your buying there perfectly asking petition of God or man for forty days. well. Had the venerable prophet been as throng I should return my thanks for your as I, he had not broken the decree, at least hospitality (I leave a blank for the epithet, not thrice a-day.
as I know none can do it justice) to a poor I am thinking my farming scheme will yet wayfaring bard, who was spent and almost hold. A worthy intelligent farmer, my overpowered, fighting with prosaic wickedfather's friend and my own, has been with | nesses in high places; but I am afraid lest me on the spot: he thinks the bargain prac- you should burn the letter whenever you ticable. I am myself, on a more serious come to the passage, so I pass over it in review of the lands, much better pleased silence. I am just returned from visiting with them. I won't mention this in writing Mr. Miller's farin. The friend whom I told to any body but you and — Don't you I would take with me (63) was highly accuse me of being fickle: I have the two pleased with the farın; and as he is, without plans of life before me, and I wish to adopt exception, the most intelligent farmer in the the one most likely to procure me indepen-country, he has staggered me a good deal. dence. I shall be in Edinburgh next week. I have the two plans of life before me; I I long to see you: your image is omnipre- | I shall balance them to the best of my sent to me; nay, I am convinced I would judgment, and fix on the most eligible. I soon idolatrize it most seriously; so much have written Mr. Miller, and shall wait on do absence and memory improve the medium him when I come to town, which shall be the through which one sees the much-loved beginning or middle of next week : I would object. To-night, at the sacred hour of be in sooner, but my unlucky knce is rather eight, I expect to meet you-at the Throne worse, and I fear for some time will scarcely of Grace. I hope, as I go home to night, to stand the fatigue of my Excise instructions. find a letter from you at the post-office in I only mention these ideas to you; and, Mauchline. I have just once seen that dear indeed, except Mr. Ainslie, whoni I intend land since I left Edinburgh-a letter indeed writing to to-morrow, I will not write at all which much affected me. Tell me, first of to Edinburgh till I return to it. I would womankind! will my warmest attachment, send my compliments to Mr. Nicol, but he my sincerest friendship, my correspondence, would be hurt if he knew I wrote to any will they be any compensation for the sacri body and not to him; so I shall only beg fices you make for my sake! If they will, my best, kindes they are yours. If I settle on the farm I my worthy hostess, and the sweet little rosepropose, I am just a day and a half's ride bud. from Edinburgh. We will meet--don't you So soon as I am settled in the routine of say, " perhaps too often!”
life, either as an Excise-officer, or as a Farewell, my fair, my charming Poetess ! | farmer, I propose myself great pleasure from May all good things ever attend you! I am a regular correspondence with the only man ever, my dearest Niadam, yours,
alniost I ever saw who joined the most SYLVANDER. attentive prudence with the warmest gene
I am much interested for that best of men, Mr. Wood; I hope he is in better
health and spirits than when I saw him last. NO. CXIV.
I am ever, my dearest friend, your obliged TO MR. WILLIAM CRUIKSHANK. humble servant,
R. B. Mauchline, March 3rd, 1788. MY DEAR SIR --- Apologies for not writing are frequently like apologies for not
NO. CXV. singing the apology better than the song. TO ROBERT AINSLIE, Esq. I have fought my way severely through the
Mauchline, March 3rd, 1788. savage hospitality of this country, to send every guest drunk to bed if they MY DEAR FRIEND-I am just returned
from Mr. Miller's farm. My old friend