A WELL known Glasgow merchant, and an octogenarian, Mr. John Patterson, writing to Colin Rae-Brown in 1858, says:-
“During the holidays of 1795, my father was good enough to ask me to mount my pony and accompany him on a visit to his brother in Dumfries-shire. As we reached the George Inn, Dumfries, we saw a gentleman leaning on the threshold, to whom my father called out, ‘Ah, Burns, I am glad to see you!’ The poet instantly rushed down the steps, clasped my father’s hand, and expressed himself delighted at the meeting. Dinner was ordered at four o’clock, and Burns accepted of an invitation to join us, and to get his friend Dr. Maxwell to be one of the party.
Accordingly at the time named we sat down, my father at the top, Dr. Maxwell at the foot, and the Bard and I facing each other from the sides of the table. that sitting lasted upwards of nine hours! During all that time, at all events after dessert, I felt myself nailed to my seat, for the first time in my life; amazed and charmed, greedily listening to the conversation of three intelligent and accomplished men, while fastened down by the glamour of the bard’s magnificent eyes! From that day to this, the charms of that glorious night have never left me.”