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Burns as a Musician, p.26.

[Anecdotes of Burns Contents]

BURNS began to learn the fiddle in 1781, but never attained any proficiency. When driven from the field by bad weather, he would wile away a heavy hour in trying to learn. Occasionally, too, he rose early in the morning, broke up the kitchen gathering coal, and commenced practising; but this excited such discomposure in the family, as to render his fiddling anything but popular. He also attempted to learn the German flute, but in this also he attained no proficiency. It is amusing, nevertheless, to learn that he always kept up the idea that he was a kind of musician. 

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