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Denton Sept y=e= 10=th=
[\ADDED 1786\]
My very dear Sister
   Your letters always give me great pleasure, yours which I received this morning not only had that merit, but likewise relieved me from pain, for I began to be anxious to hear of your health. I should have written to you from M=r= Smelts, but the long journey had fatigued [\me/] tho I made it by ye most gentle degrees, & tho not ill I felt myself rather unwell, & in that situation I am always afraid of writing, as the posture does not well agree with me.
   My last letter w=d= inform you, that Montagu & his Wife arrived safe & well a week after y=e= time I had expected them. I am of y=r= opinion, that if our dear little Neice was pregnant she will be so again before it is long, but had not D=r= Denham given it as his opinion that she had miscarried, I sh=d= have had my doubts on y=e= subject. I thought it not improbable her jaunts before she left London rough Voyage to Dieppe & ye cold breezes from y=e= Sea might occasion certain irregularities but I believe from her accounts, & D=r= Denhams authority,
that she was breeding, & tho it w=d= make me very happy to be a Grandmother immediately, yet I can wait patiently, & indeed I sh=d= think myself very ungratefull to God for the many blessings he has bestow_d on me, if I dared to repine that every wish was not gratified that I might form, The view of our Northern Domains might awaken in me a stronger desire of posterity, but how often has ye Heir of great possessions squanderd [\them/] in ye most absurd & disgracefull manner. If I could be assured Montagu w=d= have a Son like himself, I should indeed be very Sollicitous for y=e= arrival of y=e= Young Gentleman; but a Son who should prove like y=e= Sons of some worthy Men I have known, or a Daughter like Strathmore, w=d= be a curse. The youth who is born to a large entaild inheritance is born to great
   Monseys frisks to London from Norwich must be a placed to the frolicksome disposition of youth for I found he had not any determinate object. I believe he is very troublesome to his [\grandaughter\]
and from a happy insensibility in his temper they cannot revenge themselves by troubling him.
   I staid only 5 Days at M=r= Smelts, but tho the days were few in number, they were great in value. The cordiality of their reception, their elegant hospitality, their charming place, make y=e= time [\BLOT\] [{one{] spends with them not only happy as it passes, but it leaves a most pleasing remembrance behind it. The House looks down a beautifull Valley much adorn_d by ye River Swale, & enobled by [\BLOT\] [{y=e{] View of distant Mountains, the plantations he has made thrive & come forward in a surprizing manner. 9 [\EXCLAMATION MARK?\] years have had as good effect on them as you w=d= have expected from 20. His House he built on a small scale, but convenient & elegant in the highest degree & y=e= view of ye sweet Valley makes every room appear gay. The impression Langton had made on my mind was not favorable to Denton. The first indeed [\BLOT\] [\is the\] Dominion of Pan y=e= Dryades & Naiades, ye second belongs to gloomy Dis & Proserpina. However it has its merits tho more at a profitable than pleasant kind.   I found the
P of W: did not appear much at Brighthelmston. M=rs= Fitzherbert was there in a humble style with few Servants, & a shabby old Carriage, & had not any great attentions paid to her by the company, which indeed was not numerous; it is supposed that y=e= place w=d= have been more frequented if people had not wish_d to avoid an intimate Acquaintance with ye Lady or her Lover. Her Brother was with her, it is said she looks melancholly. [\Some\] french (\Esprit fort\) said on his deathbed, he was going in search of (\un grand peutetre\) . this Lady has ventured on a (\grand peutetre\) .
   Miss Willock is certainly more mad than
   M=rs= Wilkes wrote me an account of their intentions to go to New York. I heartily wish them success, but it is so precarious I am sorry she ever gave up an establishment which was a maintenance, I sent Miss Wilkes a present of 20=L=, in return for which I had a very obliging pretty letter from her.
just before her setting out.
   Our young Friends had not a very pleasant journey, they travell_d in their Phaeton with 4 of their own Horses. Her maid with post Horses in their (\Vis à Vis\) . They were ten days on ye road from London to M=r= Smelts, & 2 days from M=r= Smelts to Denton. I am happy to see her health is not impaired by what has happend, she is very well & grown plumper. He thank God is in perfect health. We have generally [\wind INTO windy\] weather here, but lately worse than usual, for some [\TEAR\] [{nights{] have been horribly tempestuous. The Earthquake which has made a figure in y=e= Newspaper [\BLOT\] [\I\] find was not felt here, & not above 6 people in Newcastle were sensible of it.
   Our young Friends send their duty to you. My best respects attend M=r= & M=rs= Freeman.
   I hope ye headaches have kept their distance. I am my dear Sister
   Ever most affect=ly=
Newcastle upon Tyne. September the tenth
[\ADDRESS\] / M=rs= Scott / Catton / M free Montagu. Norwich . / Sent / Sent
[\STAMP Newcastle 273\]