To Mr John Campbell Advocate
at his House in the Cowgate
I received yours my dearest last night and with infinite pleasure read your order for the Horses, which I have been long wishing for with impatience; My expedition to the Halkhead Ive so often talk’d of & Miss Semple has delay’d her going there so long on that accounting that I cant now my Dearest easily put it off, But all the care imaginable shall be taken to prevent the least accident; Finlay drives very well and I shant forget yr caution as to not fording the water; I am only sorry my Dear Jewel to think you are under any apprehensions about my moving, & if I had been free of this appointment with Miss Semple I should not have gone, not withstanding I promise my self a great deal of pleasure in the jaunt , & don’t know when I shall have another opportunity to be at Halkhead; I think my dear the best way for us is to leave this so soon as to be there by Dinner time, Miss Jenny goes along, and we shall take your Horse too, so that Finlay may go strait from Halkhead to Edin[burgh], & the other horses Matthew will carry back to Levenside, he is grown of late a traveling Governor, having made an expedition to Tay mouth with Miss Betty, & since then has been jaunting about with Miss Semple this week past, so when he has conducted us to Halkhead he’ll have made the round of the Family; Miss Jenny Carrick if she can procure a Horse goes with us; I did not tell yr Mother what you said about training Miss Jenny’s Horse for the Chaise, because yr Sister would not like to have it put to that use, & values the exchange she has made with the Captain particularly as she thinks will secure it to her self, its not being proper for any other business. I hope my Dear Life you have remembered to fill the cellar with coals; if there be a cat in Lady Charles’s I wish she would allow it to hunt in our House, for we shall be quite overrun with Mice especially in the Pantry, which is a vast inconvenience; I’m extremely glad to hear Lady Banf [sic] recovers so well, and hope they propose being here this autumn; My best compts [compliments] to her, and all Lady Dirltons Family. Pray my dr [dear] is Mrs John Carmick in the way of being a mother or not, for they say here she is; the little folks are both very well, Dr [dear] little Archie has not been bath’d yet, but the tub Doctor Gordon bespoke for that use is arrived & so soon [document damaged] you come he shall be put into it, for as [document damaged] you before My Dearest I had not courage in your absence to [?] it; he is certainly as understanding a little fellow as ever was of his age, & really a Child to a wish: the leaders are not for him, but Jenny, who you cant offend more than to take her by her leading strings, but in the fields , theres a necessity for it, for when she trips, to catch [?] hold of her arm would be apt to pull it out of joint, the Captains Horse is apt to scar [sic] going first, so I beg my Dearest youll take care of him; may God send us a happy meeting, which is all from my most amiable moitié yours for ever
[Postscript] I stay here tomorrow in hopes of another letter; I cant think how mine does not reach you regularly for they are always in the post office long before the post gets met.