Robert Burns’ letter to Dr Thomas Blacklock, the “Blind Poet”, Mauchline 15th Nov. 1788
Revd & dear Sir, As I hear nothing of your motions but that you are, or were, out of town, I do not know where this may find you, or whether it will find you at all. – I wrote you a long letter, dated from the land of matrimony, in June; but either it had not found you at all; or what I dread more, it found you or Mrs Blacklock in too precarious a state of health & spirits, to take notice of an idle Packet.
I have done many little things for Johnson, since I had the pleasure of seeing you; & I have finished one Piece, in the way of Pope’s moral epistles; but from your silence, I have every thing to fear, so I have only sent you two melancholy things, which I tremble lest they should too well suit the tone of your present feelings. In a fortnight, I move, bag & baggage to Nithsdale. Till then, my direction is, at this place; after that period, it will be, at Ellisland near Dumfries. It would extremely oblige me, were it but half a line, to let me know how you are, & where you are. Can I be indifferent to the fate of a Man, to whom I owe so much? a Man whom I not only esteem but venerate?
My warmest good wishes & most respectful Compliments to Mrs Blacklock, & Miss Johnston if she is with you. I cannot conclude without telling you that I am more & more pleased with the step I took respecting my Jean. Two things, from my happy experience, I set down as Apothegms in life: - A wife’s head is immaterial, compared with her heart & Virtue’s (for Wisdom, what Poet pretends to it) “ways are ways of pleasantness, & all her paths are peace”.
Adieu. Robert Burns