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Burns

Robert Burns

Manuscript letter, Robert Burns

Period:
18th Century
Description:

This holograph manuscript letter is from Robert Burns to William Stewart, discussing his requirements for workers when he starts farming at Ellisland.

 

Transcription:

 

Sir, I have at last fairly signed my tack with Mr Miller, and must commence operations at Whitsunday. I am an entire Stranger in your Country; and Heaven knows shall need advice enough: will you be so good as take a poor devil of a sojourning Rhymster under your care? I assure you I keep the scripture in my eye, for I "ask in faith, nothing wavering." [1] - Old Kent, in Shakespeare, says to poor king Lear, that he wished to be in his service "Because he had that in his face he could like to call Master": [2] forgive/ me, Sir, when I say, you have something in like manner I could wish to call friend. I shall be at Brownhill for any thing I know on Thursday night: will you be able to spare me an hour or two on Friday? I want two men servants for the summer: if you know of any, please bespeak me them, or direct me to them. I could like one of them a married man, as I can give him a house, and perhaps for this summer, a cow's grass; but I won't make a custom of that any more than this season. If you did not know me for a Scots Poet, I dare say you would suspect me for a Hibernian -

 

"Hibernia fam'd, bove every other grace,

 

For matchless intrepidity of face" [3]

 

Forgive my freedom; and believe me to be sincerely Sir, your very humble Servant

 

[signed] Robert Burns.

 

Mauchline, 21st March 1789 [1788]

 

[1] James 1:6 [2] "King Lear", Act I, sc. 4 [3] Churchill: "The Rosciad", lines 339-40.

Place of Production:
Mauchline, Ayrshire
Materials/Media:
paper
Dimensions:
length 226mm, width 190mm
Source:
Robert Burns House, Dumfries
Accession number:
DUMFM:1983.67.69
Digital Number:
BHBN003a; BHBN003b
Creation Date:
21 March 1788
Copyright:
Dumfries Burns Club


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