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ing it as a first-rate production. My phiz is sae kenspeckle, that the very joiner's apprentice whom Mrs. Burns employed to break up the parcel (I was out of town that day) knew it at once.My most grateful compliments to Allan, who has honoured my rustic muse so much with his masterly pencil. One strange coincidence is, that the little one who is making the felonious attempt on the cat's tail, is the most striking likeness of an ill-deedie, d-n'd, wee, rumble-gairie, urchin of 'mine, whom, from that propensity to witty wickedness, and manfu' mischief, which, even at twa days auld, I foresaw would form the striking features of his disposition, I named Willie Nicol, after a certain friend of mine, who is one of the masters of a grammar-school in a city which shall be nameless.


Give the enclosed epigram to my muchvalued friend Cunningham, and tell him that on Wednesday I go to visit a friend of his, to whom his friendly partiality in speaking of me, in a manner introduced me I mean a well-known military and literary character, Colonel Dirom.

my two

You do not tell me how

you liked last songs. Are they condemned?


No. No. LXXVI.


13th May, 1795. It gives me great pleasure to find that you are all so well satisfied with Mr. Allan's production. The chance resemblance of your little fellow, whose promising disposition appeared so very early, and suggested whom he should be named after, is curious enough. I am acquainted with that person, who is a prodigy of learning and genius, and a pleasant fellow, though no saint.

You really make me blush when you tell me you have not merited the drawing from me. I do not think I can ever repay you, or sufficient, ly esteem and respect you for the liberal and kind manner in which you have entered into the spirit of my undertaking, which could not have been perfected without you. So I beg you

would not make a fool of me again, by speaking of obligation.

I like


I like your two last songs very much, and am

I happy to find you are in such a high fit of poetizing. Long may it last! Clarke has made a fine pathetic air to Mallet's superlative ballad of William and Margaret, and is to give it to me, to be enrolled among the elect.



IN Whistle, and I'll come to ye, my lad, the iteration of that line is tiresome to my ear. Here goes

what I think is an improvement :

O whistle, and I'll come to ye, my lad ;
O whistle, and I'll come to ye, my lad;
Tho' father and mother, and a' should gae mad,
Thy Jeany will venture wi' ye, my lad.



In fact, a fair dame at whose shrine I, the Priest of the Nine, offer up the incense of Parnassus; a dame whom the Graces have attired in witchcraft, and whom the Loves have armed with lightning, a Fair One, herself the heroine of the song, insists on the amendment; and disa pute her commands if you dare !

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I see a form, I see a face,
Ye weel may wi' the fairest place :
It wants, to me, the witching grace,
The kind love that's in her e'e.

O this is no, &c.

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She's bonnie, blooming, straight, and tall,
And lang has had my heart in thrall;
And ay it charms my very saul,
The kind love that's in her e'e.

O this is no, &c.

A thief

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A thief sae pawkie is my Jean,
To steal a blink, by a' unseen;..
But gleg as light are loyers een,
When kind love is in the e'e.

O this is no, &c.

It may escape the courtly sparks,
It may escape the learned clerks;
But weel the watching lover marks
The kind love that's in her e'é. u'a

O this is no, &c.


you know that you have roused the torpidity of Clarke at last? He has requested me to write three or four songs for him, which he is to set to music himself. The enclosed sheet contains two songs for him, which please to present to my valued friend Cunningham.

I enclose the sheet open, both for your inspection, and that you may copy the song, O bonnie was yon rosy brier. I do not know whether I am right; but that song pleases me, and as it is extremely probable that Clarke's newly roused celestial spark will be soon smothered in the fogs of indolence, if you like the song, it may go as Scottish verses, to the air of I wish my love was in a mire; and poor Erskine's English lines may follow.

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I enclose

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