Pease Bridge

While this is only the second stop on our tour, Burns had done most of the Borders tour with Robert Ainslie by the time the following incident occurred.

About Pease Bridge

Ainslie had returned to his Edinburgh law practice after a fortnight’s holiday but Burns had been invited to dine with one George Sherriff “a crashing bore, talkative and conceited' - who had a sister, Nancy. George was however called away on business during the evening, leaving Burns and Nancy together alone. During this time, one can assume Nancy had set herself the task of ‘claiming Burns’ for herself. Her brother returned home in time that evening but Nancy merely renewed her efforts the next morning, appearing as Burns was saddling his horse, dressed in her finery and ready to accompany him along the road to Dunbar.

Burns recounted his horror to Ainslie in a letter:

"In the words of the Highlandman when he saw the Devil on Shanter- hill in the shape of five swine - 'My hair stood and my pintle stood and I swat and trembled' - Nothing could prevail with her, no distant insinuation, no broad hint would make her give over her purpose (to make a parade of me as a sweetheart of hers among her relations); at last, vexed, disgusted and enraged, I pretended a fire-haste and rode so hard she was almost shaken to pieces on old Jolly, and, to my great joy, she found it convenient to stop at an uncle's house by the way. I refused to call with her, and so we quarreled and parted."

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