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Letter from Lady Grace Campbell to John Campbell Esq., Sheriff Depute of Forfarshire at Forfar concerning family news

To John Campbell Esq
Sheriff Depute of Forfarshire
At Forfar

Free
M McMillan

My Dearest Moitié
As this Epistle is begun before I know if the post has brought me a letter from you. I shall proceed without the ordinary introduction of having heard from you etc; and in the first place My Dearest I cant be longer without telling you my uneasiness on account of several dreams I have had concerning you, most of which represented you always as greatly the worse of drink, which I can’t help interpreting literally as Im afraid the way of Life you are in just now will expose you sadly to that pernicious inconvenience; I know that in Perthshire a Stranger cannot escape it; and I’m afraid tis much the same where you are now, so beg my Dear Life you’ll write me if tis so or not for as for my advising you to [?] it that I need not do, as I know yr aversion to it – We have very pleasant weather just now, yesterday was like a day in June, so temptingly fine that it invited me to a walk in the Garden, where I never now think of going without some body comes & forces me into it, Mr Johnstone & I had a sober chat in it for an hour together last Sunday evening, how much lost my Dr would you reckon yr time if past in the same manner, however ’tis been other wise, & if miricles [sic] was not ceased might be again; I was on saturday paying several visits in Town, among others I calld upon Lady Leviston & the young Ladies because twas a place you wanted me to go to, however I had not the good fortune to find any of them at Home; nor indeed any one I calld for, tho’ I made seven visits, so that I should have gone back without coming once out of my Chair if I had not been a little suppersticious [sic] on so uncommon a circumstance & to break the omen went & paid a visit to Mr James Menzies & his Spouse, who I found sitting lovingly together, like the first happy pair; I thought to have congratulated Mrs Campbell augline [sic] that day too, but her being abroad prevented my doing my self that pleasure, he makes her a very fond Husband if it lasts as the saying is, I have over & over again askd Miss Mackeller to come here, but have never seen her yet. Betty Kintire was here to day & I charged her to come & bring her here to dine to morrow which she half promised; Worthly Stewart I’m told is still in Town, & that she has refused the Baron of Buclivie who it seems languish’d so much for her that he is gone to the country quite in low spirits upon her refusal; all the little people are I thank God very well, I call archie Papa’s little picture which is a Name he gives himself very often, & tother day hid himself behind the curtain and askd me where Papa’s little picture was now, he & I are great friends, Peggies being some days away made him take a particular liking to me. I happened to ask him tother day what he would do if I was to die, & he not chusing to answer in ye positive, said – me no laugh if you die Mamma, which I thought showd a very manly spirit in ye youth. Many are the notable sayings I could tell you of him if I had time to recount them all; Dr little Jack too gets the tongue very fast, But Sandy laughs at every Body & keeps his mind to himself. He is doing very well since he lost the breast. I had the favour of a visit last sunday from three of yr acquaintance Mr Johnston, Maxwell, & Dalrymple & Mr Andrew Stewart has been so good as to give the Duchess of Hamilton & Lady Coventry in property, which I think is a great present. I had 15£ offered me for the calf tother day but ev’ry body tells me tis so fine a one, & of so good a kind tis a sin to sell her, so I’m bringing it up, theres a young cow here in Mr Sinclairs park that was calfd at Martinmas & yet is doing vastly well; if I live to go to the country next year she’ll be very useful to me. & yet I’m not sure whether I had not better sell her for all that. this far was wrote before I received yrs Mr Dearest by this days post as you say nothing of yr motions after the 20th I am still doubtful tho I hope you’ll go North as it would not be worth coming over the water for so short a time & I should think my self more solitary afterwards than I do now I am used to it; I had a letter to day from Miss Betty she says they promise themselves a great deal of pleasure on yr arrival, She has some little commissions to go by you but I cant have them ready to send till next weeks Carriers so let me know if they’ll come soon enough to find you at Forfar, for I should not chuse to send them if I was not sure of you carrying them north: I had Miss Mackellar, Betty Kintire & the Eldest Glendaruel dining here to day. Lilly & the young Squire who is now in Town could neither of them come, but the last drank with me, Mr and Mrs Smollet [document damaged] were so good as to see me this afternoon, he is come to conduct her safe to Bonil [Bonhill] whether they go on thursday, the Sherif [sic] is to have the trying of Dick he tells me; all at Levenside were well when he came away & yr Father returnd home I have been amusing my self some times with Madame de Maintenons letters & have transcribed a piece from one of them for your perusal, let me know how you like it, I saw doctor Macfarling [sic] to day his youngest Boy is just gasping his last with [?] the doctor has been here in this neighbourhood twice to day seeing him & gives him quite over for lost. [Damage to document] came a letter to me from one Mr Stewart who wrote [document damage] that you had been applying to get him into the [document damage] you was away beg’d I would use my endeavour [document damage] a vacancy offer’d, to which I answered that I could do nothing as I did not know him, but that I would mention him to you when I wrote upon which he said he would write himself & I bid him send his letter to me which is here enclosed, by is I see you know nothing of his affair tho he pretended he had yr promise of using all your endeavours for him. I have no more to add but the old and true assurance that I am my dearest amiable Moitié yrs unalterably Grace Campbell
Tuesday

Lady Grace Campbell

Letter from Lady Grace Stewart to John Campbell, Lord Banff’s Lodgings, Mills Square Edinburgh, concerning marital arrangements and family matters.

To John Campbell Esq
To be left at the Right Honourable
The Lord Banff’s Lodgings
In Mills Square
Edinburgh

Sunday night
I had just now begin to let go the hopes I have flatter’d myself with both yesterday & to day of seeing you; indeed I thought them badly founded, yet what one wishes, is so agreeable to believe, that I could not help indulging a hint I had sent me last post of your being to be here in a day or two, not withstanding your letter of the same dates, was far from promising it; I really don’t know Orsames what to think of the D’s answer, but I imagine I should explain it favourably, if it was not that I always see every thing in its worst light, when you are away from me; no doubt my Brother will write soon, indeed I must say as to him, he has enter’d as minutely into this affair, as my Papa, had he been alive, could have done; but for the D, I think my self very little obliged to him, since he has never concern’d himself about it, with the view that as an only surviving Parent I think he ought to have had.
I’m afraid your Father will insist upon your going west with him, but I can’t think he will be disobliged at your declining it, so I hope you’ll get it shifted off, for indeed I shall be sadly damped if you do not; how much am I obliged to you Orsames for that entertaining motto you enclose to me, but this I can assure you, there only wants your name, where Inlea is, to make it mine; were the case otherwise, I really fancy our affair should go better on, for I have always noticed, that where parties are indifferent, or love by halves, those matches go on most swimmingly, however, these difficulties we have met with, I persuade my self will make us yet more happy hereafter – I shall long for tomorrows letters as I hope to hear what you are doing; Lord Ruthven ask’d me just now when you thought of moving this way, I wish I may be able to answer him to morrow; if Lord Banffs affair comes to an issue so soon as it seems to us here to promise, Im afraid he’ll keep you in Town; I never heard a word from Miss Campbell about her crofts, so I fancy you have grasp’d right about it; as to the House you mention I think ‘tis a pitty [sic] there are bugs in it, for I have heard say without taking down the wenscoating [sic], there is no probabillity [sic] of getting them smok’d out, but perhaps this may be a mistake, and I should be very glad it was, for I fancy the House would otherwise answer mighty well; Mc Millan wrote last post, & I shall answer it to Night; I cant think, how you could scruple medling with any thing I had concern in, because you say I did not desire it, but I know [document damaged] of it, nor did not fancy MacMillan did, he mentions I think [document damaged] if youll be so good I wish you’d take it from him, & deposite [sic] 40 of it with my friend Hugo, & I’ll write to him soon how he is to dispose of it; the rest if you please you’ll bring over with you, in Gold; if ’tis not too troublesome to carry; I think the Bread Basket the prittiest [sic] present that can be, if it was not too expensive a one, but I imagine such a thing must come high; I hope the Captain has changed his noat [sic] by the virtue of matrimony, if he does not soon, I’m afraid he’ll find but little real Happiness in it, but that I should be sorry for; I forgot to tell you I had a letter last post from Lady Kathy Wemyss when she told me L. Strichen at going north had told her the settlements were all agreed upon, & he fancy’d there was now no further stop to our affair; Good Mrs Noble writes that she has seen you & is much taken with you (& I dare say you’ll think her a sweet agreeable woman;) indeed Orsames My favourites are all so fond of you, that I don’t believe they will suffer me to keep you all to myself; I beg you’ll take care how you are mounted next time you travel for that weak animal you rode from this on, was almost as bad as too metal a one, & Ruthven & My Sister both desire to be remember’d to you & pray make my compts [compliments] to Bess & [?]; I wait impatiently to hear of a happy conclusion to Ld R-s affair; you need not doubt my thinking of you – a tous les moments de jour; but I don't know if I should fancy so of you, for yester day I playd the whole evening at whist, & tho’ all advantages was against me, I had such luck as you [document damaged]. Farewell agreeable Orsames. GS [Grace Stewart]

Campbell, Grace (1722-1783) née Stewart, Lady, wife of John Campbell, Lord Stonefield, daughter of James, 2nd Earl of Bute