Left: James Currie. Right: a portrait of Burns by Archibald Skirving, published in The Works of Robert Burns, by Blackie and Son, Glasgow, 1854.
Date : 12-08-1799
Correspondent : Dugald StewartCorrespondent Location : Edinburgh
Recipient : James Currie Recipient Location : Liverpool
Subject : Duglad Stewart refers to a former letter to Currie describing Burns, and outlines his university work.
My dear Sir

          After delaying so long to answer your last letter, I am ashamed to find myself under an absolute necessity, from the multiplicity of my present engagements, to return my former letter about Burns very nearly in the state in which it was originally sent. It has not been in my power to make any additions to it, or even to transcribe it with a view to correctness; but I have retrenched & altered a few expressions which I hope you will have the goodness to attend to when it is sent to the press. As you seem to think it may be of use in Authenticating some particulars in your Narrative, it would be affectation in me not to yield implicitly to a request which you have so good a right to make of all those who feel themselves as warmly interested as I am in every thing that concerns Burns’s memory.
          That you may not suspect me of ↑giving way↓ in this instance to the suggestion of insolence, I must beg leave to inform you, that in addition to the Tasks I formerly mentioned to you, I have been much occupied during this summer in preparing notes for a separate course of Lectures which I have in some measure pledged myself to give next winter. My intention in these Lectures is, to discuss a variety of subjects which I could not easily comprehend in an Elementary view of moral Philosophy; more particularly some of the later systems concerning the foundations of morality. The principal part of the course however will be employed in illustrating such articles of Political Oeconomy, as have no immediate reference to the circumstances of the times.
          I once flattered myself with the expectation of paying a visit for a day or two to Liverpool before the end of Autumn, but am afraid I must deny myself that satisfaction till another year. I propose to be in Staffordshire (where I am necessarily called by [MS torn] business) about the middle of next month, and may probably proceed as far as London to spend a few days; but my engagements here will force me to return to Edinburgh with all possible expedition.
          I shall forward the paper which was formerly in your possession, as soon as I can find an opportunity of sending it under cover. In the mean time, believe me with great regard, dear Sir

          most truly yours

          Dugald Stewart

          Ed↑r↓. 12 August.

I made my friend Campbell truly happy by reading to him the paragraph in your letter which relates to The Pleasures of Hope.

Dugald Stewart
Edin↑r↓ Aug. 12

Notes :

‘The Pleasures of Hope’: A poem by Thomas Campbell (1777-1844).

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