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To DR. MOORE.
Edinburgh, 23d April, 1787.
I RECEIVED the books and sent the one you mentioned to Mrs. Dunlop. I am ill skilled in beating the coverts of imagination för metaphors of gratitude. I thank you, sir, for the honor
you have done me ; and to my latest hour will warmly remember it. To be highly pleased with your book is what I have in common with the world; but to regard these volumes as a mark of the author's friendly esteem, is a still more supreme gratification.
I leave Edinburgh in the course of ten days or a fortnight, and, after a few pilgrimages over some of the classic ground of Caledonia, Cowden Knowes, Banks of Yarrow, Tweed, &c, I shall return to my rural shades, in all likelihood never more to quit them. I have formed many intimacies and friendships here, but I am afraid they are all of too tender a construction to bear carriage a hundred and fifty miles. To the rich, the great, the fashionable, the polite, I have no equivalent to offer; and I am afraid my meteor appearance will by no means entitle me to a settled correspondence with any of you,
who are the permanent lights of genius and literature.
My most respectful compliments to Miss W. If once this tangent flight of mine were over, and I were returned to my wonted leisurely motion in
my old circle, I may probably endeavour to return her poetic compliment in kind.
Edinburgh, 30th April, 1787. YOUR criticisms, madam, I understand very well, and could have wished to have pleased
You are right in your guess that I am not very amenable to counsel. Poets, much my superiors, have so flattered those, who possessed the adventitious qualities of wealth and power, that I am determined to flatter no created being either in prose or verse.
I set as little by *****, lords, clergy, critics, &c. as all these respective gentry do by my bardship. I know what I may expect from the world, by and bye; illiberal abuse, and perhaps contemptuous neglect.
I am happy, madam, that some of my own favorite pieces are distinguished by your particular approbation. For my Dream, which has unfortunately incurred your loyal displeasure, I hope in four weeks, or less, to have the honor of appearing, at Dunlop, in its defence in person.
REVEREND DR. HUGH BLAIR.
Lawn-market, Edinburgh, 3d May, 1787.
REVEREND AND MUCH RESPECTED SIR,
I LEAVE Edinburgh to-morrow morning, but could not go without troubling you with half a line, sincerely to thank you for the kindness, patronage, and friendship, you have shewn me. I often felt the embarrassment of my singular situation; drawn forth from the veriest shades of life to the glare of remark; and honored by the notice of those illustrious names of my country, whose works, while they are applauded to the end of time, will ever instruct and mend the heart. However the meteor-like novelty of my appearance in the world might attract notice, and honor me with the acquaintance of the permanent lights of genius and literature, those, who are truly benefactors of the immortal nature of man; I knew very well, that my utmost merit was far unequal to the task of preserving that character when once the novelty was over : I have made up my mind that abuse, or almost even neglect will not surprize me in my quarters.