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A Black Character, pp.89-90.

[Anecdotes of Burns Contents]

THAN Burns, perhaps, no man more severely inflicted the castigation of reproof. The following anecdote will illustrate this fact. The conversation one night at the King’s Arms Inn, Dumfries, turning on the death of a townsman, whose funeral was to take place on the following day:- 

“By the by,” said one of the company, addressing himself to Burns, “I wish you would lend me your black coat for the occasion, my own being rather out of repair.” 

“Having myself to attend the same funeral,” answered Burns, “I am sorry that I cannot lend you my sables; but I can recommend a most excellent substitute. Throw your character over your shoulders; that will be the blackest coat you ever wore in your life-time.” 

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