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July 7=th= 1775 My Dearest friend
   Perhaps about the very hour I had the pleasure of your letter you would receive my long journal of my travels, it would not be full of such strange matter as M=r= Bruce entertains the reader, but I believe they w=d= be interesting to you for the sake of the writer. & you w=d= not regret that I had not eaten beef stakes while the Ox was bellowing beside the Gridiron. I have this very morning been portioning out one of these animals to send to the Houses of my Pittmen, but we kill_d y=e= Creature before we began to joint him. I am sincerely mortified at what you tell me of M=rs= W: Robinsons speaking of a favour you did to me; I never mention_d it to any one breathing, but [\knew INTO guess\] how she came by her information. My brother Morris does all law matters for me; I thought if I employ_d another [\Lawyer/] to do your annuity (& another of greater value) it would look
 if any accident discoverd it during my life, or in case of my death when it must appear to him, as if I imagined my family might dislike my using my own in my own manner, or that I stood in awe of my kindred, neither of these did I think suitable to my friends dignity or my own. I am so little versed in Law proceedings I could not draw y=e= Bonds myself therefore I desired my Brother to bring them in due form. He seem_d much pleased with the intention & with less delay than Lawyers are usually apt to put into their proceedings he brought them. I was desirous they sh=d= be legally secure, because, it sometimes happens, that people lose their senses by paralytick seizures, & such a misfortune might befall me, & there might be a long interval between that & my death, during which period my Friends would have lost y=e= little token I had given them of my affection. I desired my Brother not
to mention these matters, whether Midas told his Queen & she whisperd it to ye Rushes I cannot say. You told ye Sylph, & she tells all she knows to Miss Cooper. I charged y=e= Sylph not to mention it. I love to tell any thing that is worth telling, but really there is not any thing [\in this to tell/] . I had a melon sent me ye other day, & it was large & ripe, which considering our Northern latitude would be better worth mentioning, for I flatter myself my little territories will afford more little tokens to my friends, than y=e= Gentlemans Gardens [\will melons/] yet I protest I have never spoken of it, & I have eaten it too, & you have not tasted of my golden pepper, for tho there was a quarter due at Midsummer, I thought it so shabby a sum I durst not mention it, but delay_d till michaelmass, when half a year will be due, & I shall leave a standing order with M=r= Hoare to pay it half yearly to your Banker. You hurt me exceedingly when you say your silence on this subject w=d= have
an air of ingratitude, neither ingratitude nor gratitude can have any place here at all, there is nothing in the subject to which either of these can adhere. The obligation is certainly on my side, you let me buy more pleasure with ye money than it could possibly purchase me any other way. My domestick expenses will be so much below my Income, that I am as much obliged to those I love if they will accept some of it as I should be to any one who w=d= turn a stream of waste water out of my grounds into a little brook that w=d= beautify my prospect. I reckon my love & affection is worth at least ten thousand p=d= a year to you, your love & affection is certainly not worth less to me, we must never therefore bring paltry sums into ye account. I was really ready to shed tears of vexation at your using ye phrase of gratitude to me. I have not [\been/] so hurt a long time, but you did not mean to hurt me so I am not angry, or at least not very angry
I am sure you will never do so any more, if the nasty word sh=d= ever rise in y=r= throat pray spit it into ye
   I have had a charming letter from my charming Godson but he directed to Tunbridge so it came to hand only yesterday.
   You are delightfull with y=r= Lady C: M, as if a poor Coal owner knew any thing of ye quality, pray explain to y=r= country correspondent.
   Nothing can be more just than what you say of the Regatta, pomp makes littleness [\seem/] more contemptible as long robes make a dwarf appear more dwarfish. I find all here as prosperous as my heart could wish, more than it durst wish, so far does my prosperity exceed my deserts. Miss Gordon & Miss Annie Gregory came to us yesterday & I expect D=r= & M=rs= Beattie very soon.
   I am my dearest friend
   Ever most affect=ly=
   Eliz: Montagu