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[\ANNOTATED London, 1744-5\]
My Dearest
   I cannot possibly lose an opportunity of pleasing myself with writing to you; the absence of [\WORD DELETED\] those we love is always a pain but may be alleviated by conversing with pen & ink, [\by/] which we convey some of our thoughts tho' many perish in silence. I was very glad to hear you got safe to S=t= Albans, every thing that concerns you is of the utmost importance to me, but I am not so unreasonable as to desire to hear from you when you are engaged (as you must be) in the trouble & perplexity of business, therefore I desire you will let Wear write whenever it is not convenient to you to do it. I have been this morning with my poor friend the Dutchess
of Portland. I met her yesterday in my airing our short interview broke the ice, that to day she received me with less disorder than I could have hoped, we talk'd of all subjects but the unhappy one, & tho' our conversation had nothing of melancholly it had a constraint in it little less painfull to the heart, I heard her teach her little Son to read, the Childs coming into the Room disconcerted us both a good deal, the poor boy was innocent & ignorant of the pain he gave, & taking us both by the hand smiled with such a resemblance of his departed Sister as struck me a good deal, & the poor Woman had some occasion for her strength of mind; in every point of View she appears beautifull; I hope her Virtue will rather be manifested in Prosperity than try'd with adversity: but there is I fear a portion
of misery entail'd on all the Sons of Men & such is the Law of Nature each must take their share; but this is a melancholly subject, & doubly so to me, since not your Virtue, nor my wishes can secure you from the accidents [\of INTO &\] ills of Life; my anxious fears when I am to part with you betray weakness & want of Courage, but they declare strong affection & much Love, & I hope you will forgive a tenderness you cannot approve nor I can conquer. I dined at Lady Weargs & stay'd till almost ten o'clock to night, your Sister went & returned with me. M=r= Medows Sister is better. I hear M=r= Isaacson will soon be at Newcastle. My Sister & my Father came to Town ab=t= two hours after you left me; I fear you could perceive it was no
Improper Season for a comforter to come, y=r= Sister indeed was very good & stay'd with me till my mind was a little composed & the arrival of my Sister revived me. Pray make my complim=ts= to the very good people you are with, accept my Sisters, & as time will allow to add no more, believe me, tho' time & words fall short to tell it you
   Ever faithfully affectionately
   & Gratefully Yours
   E Montagu y=e= 19=th= Saturday