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No. XLVIII.

MR. THOMSON TO MR. BURNS.

7th Nov. 1793.

MY GOOD SIR,

AFTER so long a silence it gave me peculiar pleasure to recognize your well known hand, for I had begun to be apprehensive that all was not well

I am happy to find, however, that your silence did not proceed from that cause, and that you have got among the ballads once more.

with you.

I have to thank you for your English song to Leiger m' choss, which I think extremely good, although the colouring is warm. Your friend Mr. Turnbull's

songs

have doubtless considerable merit; and as you have the command of his manuscripts, I hope you may find out some that will answer as English songs, to the airs yet unprovided.

No. No. XLIX.

MR. BURNS TO MR. THOMSON.

December, 1793.

TELL me, how you like the following verses to the tune of, Jo Janet.

HUSBAND, husband, cease your strife,

Nor longer idly rave, sir;
Tho' I am your wedded wife,

Yet I am not your slave, sir.

“ One of two must still obey,

“ Nancy, Nancy,
“ Is it man or woman, say,

My spouse Nancy?"

If 'tis still the lordly word,

Service and obedience : I'll desert my sov’reign lord,

And so, good b’ye allegiance!

VOL. IV.

L

“ Sad “ Sad will I be, so bereft, No. L.

“ Nancy, Nancy, “ Yet I'll try to make a shift,

My spouse Nancy.”

My poor heart then break it must,

My last hour I'm near it : When you lay me in the dust,

Think, think how you will bear it.

“ I will hope and trust in heaven,

“ Nancy, Nancy; “ Strength to bear it will be given,

My spouse Nancy."

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Well, sir, from the silent dead,

Still I'll try to daunt you ; Ever round your midnight bed

Horrid sprites shall haunt you.

« I'll wed another, like my dear,

Nancy, Nancy; “ Then all hell will fly for fear,

“ My spouse, Nancy.

Air " THE SUTOR's DOCHTER."

WILT thou be

my

dearie :
When sorrow wrings thy gentle heart,
Wilt thou let me cheer thee:
By the treasure of my soul,
That's the love I bear thee!
I swear and vow that only thou
Shall ever be my dearie.
Only thou, I swear and vow,
Shall ever be

my

dearie.

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MR. THOMSON TO MR. BURNS.

Edinburgh, 17th April, 1794.

MY DEAR SIR,

How sorry

OWING to the distress of our friend for the loss of his child, at the time of his receiving your admirable but melancholy letter, I had not an opportunity 'till lately of perusing it. *

I am to find Burns saying, “ canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,” while he is delighting others from one end of the island to the other. Like the hypochondriac who went to consult a physician upon his case. Go, says the doctor, and see the famous Carlini, who keeps all Paris in good humour. Alas Sir, replied the patient, I am that unhappy Carlini !

Your plan for our meeting together pleases me

greatly

* A letter to Mr. Cunningham to be found in vol. 11.

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