MS: Letter from Robert Burns to Thomas Orr, Kirkoswald, dated Lochlea, 7 September 1782

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MS: Letter from Robert Burns to Thomas Orr, Kirkoswald, dated Lochlea, 7 September 1782

Dear Sir,

I have been designed to write to you
of a long time but was at a loss for a direction
as I am ignorant what place of the country you
are in. I have nothing to tell you of news;
for myself I am going on in my old way -- taking
as light a burden as I can, of the cares of the world;
studying men, their manners, & their ways, as well
as I can. Believe me Tom, it is the only study
in this world will yield solid satisfaction. To be rich
& to be great are the grand concerns of this world's
men, & to be sure if moderately pursued it is laudable,
but where is it moderately pursued? the greater part
of men grasp at riches as eagerly as if Poverty
were but another word for Damnation & misery
whereas I affirm that [page torn] man whose only wish
is to become great & rich; whatever he may appear
to be, or whatever he may pretend to be; at the
bottom he is but a miserable wretch. --Avoid
this sordid turn of mind if you would be happy.
Observe mankind around you; endeavour by
studying the wisdom & Prudence ^ of some and the folly
& madness of others, to make yourself wiser
& better. -- I hope you will write me soon
& tell me what your mind is employed in, what
your studies principally are; & believe me
that you may be wise & virtuous, generous &
humane is the sincere wish of your friend

Lochlee Sept 7th }Robt Burns

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