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whom I took with me was highly pleased breast of the man of keen sensibility, when with the bargain, and advised me to accept no less is on the tapis tha
than his aim, his emof it. He is the most intelligent, sensible ployment, his very existence, through future farmer in the country, and his advice has | life? staggered me a good deal. I have the two! Now that, not my apology, but my defence, plans before me: I shall endeavour to balance is made, I feel my soul respire more easily. them to the best of my judyment, and fix I know you will go along with me in my on the most eligible. On the whole, if I justification—would to Heaven you could find Mr. Miller in the same favourable dis- in my adoption too! I mean an adoption position as when I saw hiin last, I shall in beneath the stars--an adoption where I all probability turn farmer.
might revel in the immediate beams of I have been through sore tribulation, and under much buffetting of the wicked one,
"Her, the bright sun of all her sex.” since I came to this country. Jean I found I would not have you, my dear Madam, banished, forlorn, destitute and friendless ; so much hurt at Niss —~'s coldness. 'Tis I have reconciled her to her fate, and I have placing yourself below her, an honour she reconciled her to her mother.
by no means deserves. We ought, when we I shall be in Edinburgh the middle of next wish to be economists in happiness---we week. Ny farming ideas I shall keep pri ought, in the first place, to fix the standard vate till I see. I got a letter from Clarinda of our own character; and when, on full exsesterday, and she tells me she has got no amination, we know where we stand, and letter of mine but one. Teil her that I how much ground we occupy, let us contend wrote to her from Glasgow, from Kilmar- for it as property : and those who seem to nock, from Mauchline, and yesterday from doubt, or deuy us what is justly ours, let us Cumnock as I returned from Dumfries. In- either pity their prejudices, or despise their deed, she is the only person in Edinburgh I judgment. I know, my dear, you will say have written to till this day. How are your this is self conceit; but I call it self-knowsoul and body putting up ?---a little like man ledge. The one is the overweening opinion and wife, I suppose.
R. B. of a fool, who fancies himself to be what
he wishes himself to be thought; the other is the honest justice that a man of sense,
who has thoroughly examined the subject, NO. CXVI.
owes to himself. Without this standard,
this column in our own mind, we are perTO CLARINDA.
petually at the mercy of the petulance,
the mistakes, the prejudices, nay, the very Mossgiel, March 7th, 1788.
weakness and wickedness of our fellowCLARINDA, I have been so stung with creatures. your reproach for unkindness-a sin so unlike I urge this, my dear, both to confirm my. me, a sin I detest more than a breach of the self in the doctrine which, I assure you, I whole Decaloglie, fifth, sixth, seventh, and somietimes need; and because I know that ninth articles excepted-that I believe I shall this causes you often much disquiet.---To not rest in my grave about it, if I die before return to Miss -----; she is most certainly I see you. You have often allowed me the a worthy soul, and equalled by very, very head to judge, and the heart to feel, the few, in goodness of heart. But can she influence of female excellence. Was it not boast more goodness of heart than Clarinda ? blasphemy, then, against your own charms, Not eren prejudice will dare to say so. and agaust my feelings, to suppose that a For penetration and discernment, Clarinda short fortnight could abate ny passion ? sees far bevoud her: to wit, Miss - dare You, my Love, may have your cares and make no pretence; to Clarinda's wit, scarcely anxieties to disturb you, but they are the any of her sex dare make pretence. Perusual occurrences of life; your future views sonal charms, it would be ridiculous to run are fixed, and your mind in a settled routine. the parallel. And for conduct in life, Vliss Could not you, my ever dearest Madam, was never called out, either much make a little allowance for a nian, after long to do or to suffer ; Clarinda has been both; absence, paying a short visit to a country and has performed her part where Miss full of friends, relations and early intimates would bave sunk at the bare idea. Cannot you guess, my Clarinda, what Away, then, with these disquietudes! Let thoughts, what cares, what anxious fore- us pray with the honest weaver of Kilbarbodings, hopes and fears, must crowd the chan-“ Lord, send us a guid conceit o'
TO MR. MUIR.
319 oursel!" Or, in the words of the auld,
NO. CXVIII. sang,
TO MR MUIR. “Who does me disdain, I can scorn them again,
Mossgiel, March 7th, 1788. And I'll never mind any such foes.”
DEAR SIR-I have particularly changed There is an error in the commerce of in- | my ideas, since I saw you. I took timacy with those who are perpetually taking old Glenconner with me to Mr. Miller's what they, in the way of exchange, have not farm, and he was so pleased with it. that I in equivalent to give us; and, what is still
have wrote an offer to Mr. Miller, which if worse, we have no idea of the value of our he
he accepts, I shall sit down a plain farmer, goods. Happy is our lot, indeed, when we the happiest of lives when a man can live by meet with an honest merchant, who is it. In this case. I shall not stay in Edina qualified to deal with us on our own terms ; | burgh above a week. I set out on Monday. but that is a rarity. With almost every and would have come by Kilmarnock, but body we must pocket our pearls, less or
there are several small sums owing me for more, and learn, in the old Scotch phrase
my first edition about Galston and Newmills, “To gie sic like as we get." For this rea
and I shall set off so early as to dispatch my son, one should try to erect a kind of bank business and reach Glasgow by night. When or store-house in one's own mind; or as the
| I return, I shall devote a foreroon or two to
return. I shall devo Psalmist says, “We should commune with
make some kind of acknowledyment for all our own hearts, and be still.” This is ex
the kinduess I owe your friendship. Now actly *
that I hope to settle with some credit and [rest wanting.]
comfort at home, there was not any friendship or friendly correspondence that promised
me more pleasure than yours ; I hope I will NO. CXVII.
not be disappointed. I trust the spring will
renew your shattered frame, and make your TO RICHARD BROWN.
friends happy. You and I have often agreed Mauchline, March 7th, 1788. that life is no great blessing on the whole.
The close of life, indeed, to a reasoning I Have been out of the country, my dear
age, is friend, and have not had an opportunity of | writiug till now, when I am afraid you will Dark as was chaos, ere the infant sun be gone out of the country too. I have Was roll'u together, or had tried his beams been looking at farms, and, after all, perhaps Athwart the gloom profound. I may settle in the character of a farmer. I have got so vicious a bent to idleness, and But an honest man has nothing to fear, have ever been so little a man of business, If we lie down in the grave, the whole man that it will take no ordinary effort to bring a piece of broken machinery, to moulder my mind properly into the routine; but you with the clods of the valley, be it so; at will say a “great effort is worthy of you." | least there is an end of pain, care, woes and I say so myself; and butter up my vanity wants : if that part of us called mind does with all the stimulating compliments I can | survive the apparent destruction of the man think of. Men of grave, geometrical minds,-- -away with oldwife prejudices and tales ! the sous of "which was to be demonstrated," Every age and every nation has had a ---may cry up reason as much as they please ; different set of stories; and as the many but I have always found an honest passion, are always weak of consequence, they have or native instinct, the truest auxiliary in the often, perhaps always, been deceived: a man warfare of this world. Reason almost always conscious of having acted an honest part comes to me like an unlucky wife to a poor among his fellow-creatures-even granting devil of a husband, just in sufficient time to that he may have been the sport at times of add her reproaches to his other grievances, passions and instincts-he goes to a great
I am gratified with your kind inquiries unknown Being, who could have no other after Jean; as, after all, I may say with
end in giving him existence but to make Othello
him happy, who gave him those passions " Excellent wretch!
and instincts, and well knows their force.
These, my worthy friend, are my ideas; Perdition catch my soul, but I do love thee!”
and I know they are not far different from I go for Edinburgh on Monday.
yours. It becomes a man of sense to think Yours, R. B. I for himself, particularly in a case where all
men are equally interested, and where, in- | The dignified and dignifying consciousdeed, all men are equally in the dark. ness of an honest man, and the well
Adieu, my dear Sir; God send us a cheerful grounded trust in approving Heaven, are meeting!
R. B. two most substantial sources of happiness.
TO MISS have written you last week; but when you recollect, my dearest Madam, that your's of
MY DEAR COUNTRYWOMAN-I am so this night's post is only the third I have got impatient to show you that I am once more from you, and that this is the fifth or sixth
| at peace with you, that I send you the book I have sent to you, you will not reproach me,
I mentioned directly, rather than wait the with a good grace, for unkindness. I have
uncertain time of my seeing you. I am always some kind of idea, not to sit down
afraid I have mislaid or lost Collins's Poems, to write a letter, except I have time and
| which I promised to Miss Irvin. If I can possession of my faculties so as to do some
find them, I will forward them by you; if justice to my letter; which at present is
not, you must apologise for me. rarely my situation. For instance, yester
I know you will laugh at it when I tell day I dined at a friend's at some distance: 1 you that your pialio and you together have
I played the deuce somehow about my heart. the savage hospitality of this country spent me the most part of the night over the
My breast has been widowed these many nauseous potion in the bowl: this day
mouths, and I thought myself proof against sick - heull-ache--low spirited-miserable
the fascinating witchcraft; but I am afraid fasting, except for a drailght of water or
you will “feelingly convince me what I am." small beer: now eight o'clock at night
I say, I am afraid, because I am not sure only able to crawl ten minutes' walk into
what is the matter with me. I have one Mauchline to wait the post, in the pleasure
miserable bad symptom; when you whisper, able hope of hearing from the mistress of
or look kindly to another, it gives me a
draught of damnation. I have a kind of my soul.
But, a truce to all this! When I sitwayward wish to be with you ten minutes down to write to you, all is harmony and
vand | by yourself, though what I would say, peace. An hundred times a day do I
da | Heaven above knows, for I am sure I kuow figure you, before your taper, your book or |
not. I have no formed design in all this, work laid aside, as I get within the room. |
| but just, in the nakedness of my heart, write
You How happy have I been! and how little of you down a mere matter-of-fact story. that scantling portion of time, called the
may perhaps give yourself airs of distance life of man, is sacred to happiness!
ĭ on this, and that will completely cure me;
I could moralize to-night like a death's
but I wish you would not just let us meet, head:
if you please, in the old beaten way of
friendship. “O what is life, that thoughtless wish of I will not subscribe myself your humble all !
servant, for that is a phrase, I think, at least A drop of honey in a draught of gall.” fifty miles off from the heart; but I will Nothing astonishes me more, when a little
conclude with sincerely wishing that, the
| Great Protector of innocence may shield you sickness clogs the wheels of life, than the
from the barbed dart of calumny, and hand thoughtless career we run in the hour of health.
R. B. ! you by the covert snare of deceit. “None saith, where is God, my Maker, that giveth songs in the night; who teacheth us more knowledge than the beasts of the field, and more understanding than
NO. CXXI. the fowls of the air." Give me, my Maker, to remember thee!
TO MISS CHALMERS. Give me to act up to the dignity of my
Edinburgh, March 14th, 1783. nature! Give me to feel “ another's woe;" and continue with me that dear-lov'd friend! I KNOW, my ever dear friend, that you will that feels with mine!
I be pleased with the news when I tell you, *
TO MR. ROBERT CLEGHORN.
* * * I have at last taken a lease of a farm. of all; but God help us, who are wits or Yesternight I completed a bargain with Mr. witling's by profession, if we stand not for Miller of Dalswinton for the farm of Ellis- fame there, we sink unsupported! land, on the banks of the Nith, between I am highly flattered by the news you tell five and six miles above Dumfries. I begin me of Coila. I may say to the fair painter who at Whitsunday to build a house, drive lime, does me so much honour, as Dr. Beattie &c.; and Heaven be my lielp! for it will says to Ross, the poet of his muse Scota, take a strong effort to bring my mind into from which, by the bye, I took the idea of the routine of business. I have discharged Coila ('tis a poem of Beattie's in the Scotall the army of my former pursuits, fancies, tish dialect, which perhaps you have never and pleasures--a motley host! and have seen): literally and strictly retained only the ideas
Ye shak your head, but o' my fegs, of a few friends which I have incorporated
Ye've set auld Scota on her legs : into a life-guard. I trust in Dr. Johnson's observation, “Where much is attempted,
Lang had she lien wi' beffs and flegs, something is done." Firmness, both in
Bumbaz’d and dizzie,
Her fiddle wanted strings and pegs, suffering and exertion, is a character I would wish to be thought to possess; and have
Wae's me, poor hizzie. always despised the whininy yelp of complaint, and the cowardly, feeble resolve.
Poor Miss K. is ailing a good deal this winter, and begged me to remember her to
NO. CXXIII. you the first time I wrote to you. Surely woman, amiable woman, is often made in
TO RICHARD BROWN. vain. Too delicately formed for the rougher
Glasgow, March 26th, 1788. pursuits of ambition ; too noble for the dirt of avarice, and even too gentle for the rage
I AM monstrously to blame, my dear Sir, of pleasure: formed indeed for, and highly in not writing to you, and sending you the susceptible of, enjoyment and rapture; but
Directory. I have been getting my tack that enjoyment, alas! almost wholly at the
extended, as I have taken a farm, and I have mercy of the caprice, malevolence, stupidity,
been racking shop accounts with Mr. or wickedness of an animal at all times com
Creech; both of which, together with watchparatively unfeeling, and often brutal.
ing, fatigue, and a load of care almost too R. B.
heavy for my shoulders, have in some degree actually fevered me. I really forgot the Directory yesterday, which vexed me;
but I was convulsed with rage a great part NO. CXXII.
of the day. I have to thank you for the TO MRS. DUNLOP.
ingenious, friendly and elegant epistle from
your friend Mr. Crawford. I shall certainly Mossgiel, March 17th, 1788. write to him, but not now. This is merely MADAM-The last paragraph in vours of a card to you, as I am posting to Dumfries. the 30th February affected me most, so I shire, where many perplexing arrangements shall begin my answer where you ended await me. I am vexed about the Directory; your letter. That I am often a sinner, with but, my dear Sir, forgive me: these eight any little wit I have, I do confess: but I days I have been positively crazed. My have taxed my recollection to no purpose,
compliments to Mrs. B. I shall write to to find out when it was employed against you at Grenada. I am ever, my dearest you. I hate an ungenerous sarcasm a great friend, yours,
R. B deal worse than I do the devil, at least as Milton describes him; and though I may be rascally enough to be sometimes guilty of it myself, I cannot endure it in others. You, my honoured friend, who cannot appear in
NO. CXXIV. any light but you are sure of being respect TO MR. ROBERT CLEGHORN: able-you can afford to pass by an occasion to display your wit, because you may de
Mauchline, March 31st, 1788. pend for fame on your sense; or, if you YESTERDAY, my dear Sir, as I was riding choose to be silent, you know you can rely through a tract of melancholy, joyless muirs, on the gratitude of many, and the esteem between Galloway and Ayrshire, it being
Sunday, I turned my thoughts to psalms, ļ no farther of my promise. I have long since and hymns, and spiritual songs; and your given up that kind of formal correspondence, favourite air, “ Captain O'Kean," coming at where one sits down irksomely to write a length into my head, I tried these words to letter, because we think we are in duty
the tune must be repeated.
I have been roring over the country, as I am tolerably pleased with these verses, the farm I have taken is furty miles from this but as I have only a sketch of the tune, I place, hiring servants and preparing matters; leave it with you to try if they suit the but most of all, I am earnestly busy to bring measure of the music.
| abont a revolution in my own mind. Aiš, I am so harassed with care and anxiety, till within these eighteen months, I never about this farming project of mine, that my was the wealthy master of ten guneas, my muse has degenerated into the veriest prose- kuowledge of business is to learn ; add to wench that ever picked cinders, or followed this, iny late scenes of idleness and dissipa. a tiuker. When I am fairly got into the tion hare enervated my mind to an alarming routine of business, I shall trouble you with degree. Skill in the sober science of life is a longer epistle; perhaps with some queries my most serious and hourly study. I respecting farming: at present, the world have dropped all conversation and al} reading sets such a load on ny mind that it has prose reading) but what tends in soine Way effaced almost every trace of the poet in or other to my serious aim. Except one me.
worthy young fellow, I have net one single My very best compliments and good correspondent in Edinburgh. You have wishes to Mrs. Cleghorn,
K. B. indeed kindly nade me an otřer of that kind.
The world of wits, and gens comme il faut which I lately left, and with whom I never
ayalil will intimately mix--from that port, NO. CXXV.
Sir, I expect your Gazette : what les beaux
esprits are saying, what they are doing, and TO MISS CHALMERS.
what they are singing. Any sober intelliMauchline, April 7th, 1788.
gence from my sequestered walks of life;
any droll original; any passing remark, I am indebted to you and Miss Nimmo inportant forsooth, because it is mine; any for letting me know Miss Kennedy. Strange! little poetic effort, however embroyth; these, how apt we are to indulge prejudices in our my dear Sir, are all you have to expect from judgments of one another! Even I, who me. When I talk of poetic efforts, I must pique my skill in marking characters--be- have it always understood, that I appeal cause I am too proud of my character as a from your wit and taste to your friendship man to be dazzled in my judgment for and good nature. The first would be my glaring wealth, and too proud of my situa- favourite tribunal, where I defied censure; tion as a poor man to be biassed against but the last, where I declined justice. squalid poverty—I was unacquainted with I have scarcely made a single distich since Miss K.'s very uncommon worth.
I saw you. When I meet with an old Scots I am going on a good deal progressive in air that has any facetious idea in its name, I mon grand bit, the sober science of life. I have a peculiar pleasure in following out have lately made some sacrifices, for which, that idea for a verse or two. were I vivá voce with you to paint the situa- I trust that this will find you in better tion and recoit the circumstances (71), you health than I did last time I called for you. would applaud me.
R. B. A few lines from you, directed to me at
Dauchiine, were it but to let me know how you are, will set my mind a good deal at peace. Now, never shun the idea of writing me, because perhaps you may be out of
humour or spirits. I could give you a hunNO. CXXVI.
dred good consequences attending a dull TO MR. WILLAM DUNBAR, letter; one, for example, and the remaining EDINBURGH.
ninety-nine some other time it will always
serve to keep in countenance, my much reMauchline, April 7th, 1788.
spected Sir, your obliged friend and humble I HAVE not delayed so long to write you, I servant, my much respected friend, because I thought |