ROBERT BURNS, 1759-1796

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Autograph letter from Robert Burns to Robert Cleghorn
[? October, 1791]

From the personal collection of G. Ross Roy. Text from The Letters of Robert Burns, ed. G. Ross Roy, second edition (Oxford: Clarendon, 1983).

addressed to:

My dear Friend,
    I inclose you a proof-sheet, one out of a dozen I got from the Publisher, to give among my friends.—It is a Poem of mine which perhaps you have seen from our friends Dunbar or Cunningham, who got M.S.S. copies of it.—
    I have not time to write you at large, but wish much to hear from you, & to know whether I could venture to write you by post without any risk of the letter being read by any body but yourself.—In so many words, I may perhaps have occasion to tell you somewhat & ask a little advice too, which I would not wish even Mrs Cleghorn to see, & I believe the Good Women in general take a freedom to break up or peep into their husbands' letters.—
    This is indeed all a perhaps; but let me hear from you.—
    I am giving up my farm: it is a bad bargain; & as my Landlord is offering the lands to sale, I took the hint, & have got some little consideration for my lease.—The Excise, after all has been said against it, is the business for me.—I find no difficulty in being an honest man in it; the work of itself, is easy; & it is a devilish differednt affair, managing money matters where I care not a damn whether the money is paid or not; from the long faces made to a haughty Laird or still more haughty Factor, when rents are demanded, & money, Alas! not to be had!—Besides, I am now ranked on the Supervisor list, which will in a little time, place me in a respectable situation, even as an Excise-Man.—
    My best Complnts to Mrs Cleghorn & your little ones; & believe me to be ever, most sincerely, My dear Sir,

Your oblidged Friend & humble servt
Robt Burns   


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