Kind Sir, I've read your paper through,
And, faith, to me 'twas really new!
How guess'd ye, Sir, what maist I wanted?
This mony a day I've grain'd and gaunted,
To ken what French mischief was brewin';
Or what the drumlie Dutch were doin';
That vile doup-skelper, Emperor Joseph,
If Venus yet had got his nose off;
Or how the collieshangie works
Atween the Russians and the Turks:
Or if the Swede, before he halt,
Would play anither Charles the Twalt:
If Denmark, any body spak o't;
Or Poland, wha had now the tack o't;
How cut-throat Prussian blades were hingin';
How libbet Italy was singin';
If Spaniard, Portuguese, or Swiss
Were sayin' or takin' aught amiss:
Or how our merry lads at hame,
In Britain's court kept up the game:
How royal George, the Lord leuk o'er him!
Was managing St. Stephen's quorum;
If sleekit Chatham Will was livin';
Or glaikit Charlie got his nieve in:
How daddie Burke the plea was cookin',
If Warren Hastings' neck was yeukin;
How cesses, stents, and fees were rax'd,
Or if bare a--s yet were tax'd;
The news o' princes, dukes, and earls,
Pimps, sharpers, bawds, and opera girls;
If that daft buckie, Geordie Wales,
Was threshin' still at hizzies' tails;
Or if he was grown oughtlins douser,
And no a perfect kintra cooser.
A' this and mair I never heard of;
And but for you I might despair'd of.
So, gratefu', back your news I send you,
And pray, a' guid things may attend you!
Ellisland, Monday morning, 1790.