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Burns’s Home at Mossgiel, p.37.

[Anecdotes of Burns Contents]

A PLEASING picture is that given by William Patrick, the herd of Mossgiel, regarding the poet’s home. Mrs. Burns, the good old mother, then verging on sixty, a “wee boo’d body,” generally occupied a chair close to the fire in the kitchen. The house-keeper was the youngest daughter, Isobel, called “Bell” by Patrick, afterwards the well-known Mrs. Begg; and during theri whole residence at Mossgiel there were no female servants, the whole household and dairy work being carried on by the women of the family. The poet was described by Patrick as smart, manly, and good-looking; liked by everybody, except by a few of the stricter sort.” He never once saw him “the worse of liquor.” He was a “guid kind maister,” beloved for his good nature and kindly helpfulness by all his servants. “He was aye pickin’ up things and thinkin’ ower them for a lang time.” He kept up with the newspaper literature of the day, Willie having to go regularly to Mauchline for the “paipers.” He had a “lairge leebrary,” and he read “ony buiks that cam’ in his way; and in fac’ he was aye readin’.” 

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