MS: Letter from Robert Burns to Jean McMurdo, contains 'A Ballad'

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MS: Letter from Robert Burns to Jean McMurdo, contains 'A Ballad'

So much from the Poet: now let me add a few wishes
which every man who has himself the honor of be
ing a father must breathe, when he sees female Youth,
Beauty & Innocence about to enter into this much
chequered & very precarious world. - May you,
my young Madam, escape that Frivolity which
threatens universally to pervade the minds & manners
of Fashionable life. -

To pass by the rougher, & still more degenerate Sex; the
mob of fashionable Female Youth, what are they?
Are they any thing? They prattle, laugh, sing,
dance, finger a lesson, or perhaps turn over the leaves
of a fashionable Novel; but are their minds stored
with any information, worthy of the noble powers
of reason & judgement; or do their hearts glow with
Sentiment, ardent, generous & humane? - Were
I to poetise on the subject, I would call them the
butterflies of the human kind: remarkable only
for & distinguished only by, the idle variety of

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