MS: Letter from Robert Burns to Mrs Agnes McLehose, dated 28 December 1787

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MS: Letter from Robert Burns to Mrs Agnes McLehose, dated 28 December 1787

I inclose you a few lines I composed on a late melan-
choly occasion. - I will not give above five or six copies
of it at all, and I would be hurt if any friend should
give any copies without my consent.

You cannot imagine, Clarinda, (I like the idea of Arcadian
names in commerce of this kind) how much store
I have set by the hopes of your future friendship.
I don't know if you ^have a just idea of my character, but I
wish you to see me as I am. - I am, as most people of
my trade are, a strange will o' wisp being; the victim
too frequently of much imprudence and many follies.
My great constituent elements are Pride and
Passion: the first I have endeavoured to humanize
into integrety and honour; the last makes me a
Devotee to the warmest degree of enthusiasm, in the
Love, Religion, or Friendship; either of them
or all together as I happen to be inspired. -
'Tis true, I never saw you but once; but how much
acquaintance did I form with you in that once!
Don't think I flatter you, or have a design upon

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