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Guilty Sinners, p.58.

[Anecdotes of Burns Contents]

MISS RACHEL AINSLIE, the daughter of Robert Ainslie, a bosom friend of the poet, was much admired by the bard. He describes her as “a little embonpoint, but handsome; her face, particularly her eyes, full of sweetness and good humour.” To this description, he adds, “She unites three qualities rarely to be found together, keen, solid penetration, sly, witty observation and remark, and the gentlest, most unaffected female modesty.” 

One day, when at church with Miss Ainslie, as she was turning over the leaves of her Bible in search of a text quoted by the minister, the poet took from his pocket a slip of paper, and, having written upon it with a pencil, handed it to the lady, who read these lines:- 

Fair maid, you need not take the hint, 

Nor idle texts pursue; 

‘Twas guilty sinners that he meant – 

Not angels such as you. 

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