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A Snuff-box, pp.118-119.

[Anecdotes of Burns Contents]

MR. BACON, who kept a celebrated posting-house north of Dumfries, was the almost inseparable associate of Robert Burns. Many a merry night did they spend together over their toddy. The bard and the inn-keeper became so attached to each other, that Burns gave his friend, as a token of regard, the snuff-box which had been for many years his pocket companion. The knowledge of this pledge of amity was confined to a few of their jovial crew until after Bacon’s death in 1825, when his furniture and effects were put up for sale by public auction, and, amongst other articles, Mr. Bacon’s snuff-box was offered to the highest bidder. “A shilling!” some one instantly cried. There was a general exclamation that the article was not worth twopence, and the auctioneer seemed in haste to knock it down, wen, looking intently at the lid, he read, and shouted out with stentorian voice, “Robert Burns, officer of the Excise.” Scarcely had he uttered the words before his audience bid for it as one man; shilling after shilling was confusedly offered for this genuine relic of Scotland’s sweetest singer. The greatest anxiety prevailed, while the biddings rose higher and higher, till it was finally knocked down for five pounds – not a bad price in those days for a Burns relic. The box was made of the tip of a horn, neatly turned round at the point, and the lid mounted with silver, on which his name was engraven. 

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