Robert Burns

J. De Lancey Ferguson and G. Ross Roy (eds), The Letters of Robert Burns, Vol. 1: 1780–1789 (Second Edition)

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375. (6) Mr William Nicol Of the High School Edinr

Ellisland, Sunday morning‐

[13 Dec.? 1789]

I have been so ill, my ever dear Friend, that I have not been able to go over the threshold of my door since I saw you.‐As I could not see & inspect Laggan farm personally, I have sent for two friends of mine that know it well, and on whose judgement of land I could depend very far, & from what they inform me, I think you have every reason to proceed in your purchase.& One of my friends says it will without a doubt bring Seventy guineas of rent; and as he is a plain intelligent country farmer, I like his decision on the business.‐The other says that if it is bought under seventeen hundred pounds it is by no means too dear.‐

Now for your unfortunate old mare.‐I have tried many dealers for her, & I am ashamed to say that the highest offer I have got for her, is fifty shillings.‐However, I tried her yesterday in the Plough, & I find the poor creature is extremely willing to do what she can, so I hope to make her worth her meat to me, untill I can try her, at some fair.‐

pg 460I can no more.—I hope this will find your remaining family in health & better spirits than,

  • My dear Sir,
  • your miserable humble oblidged friend
  • Robt Burns

My warmest most respectful Compliments to Mrs Nicol.—


[Ferguson, 1931, from original MS. privately owned. In answer to a letter from Nicol of 27 Nov.]

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