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Sandleford june y=e= 5=th= [\IN PENCIL 1785?\] My very dear Sister
   I should have written to you on monday if I had not understood you intended leaving London on tuesday morning, but by a letter I had ye pleasure of receiving from you today, I find you did not set out till wednesday. I had so little sleep in Portman Square on friday night, & felt my self so languid on [\friday DELETED\] [\Saturday/] morning that I determined not to go any farther than [\Salt Hill\] that day, & it succeeded well, for I found myself much refresh_d by a short journey, a long one w=d= have been above my abilities. I call_d at Reading at my Brothers, he & all his family except Miss Robinson were gone to Church at Burfield, as they carried some Lady with them thither so our Neices decided by lot who sh=d= stay at home. My Neice received me very kindly, & she seems in good health, & good spirits. Their House is no bigger than a Ladys hat box, & I find y=e= Divine is much discontented with it. I have known him peevish
with less reason; it seems a better Habitation c=d= not be got near Burfield, However, as this House gives a prospect of Bath in ye Winter, I believe y=e= Ladies are not discontented with it.
   I was so mended by my journey I brought health with me to Sandleford, & I found the place much improved. indeed there have been above 20 men at work at it, ever since I left it, & they are still in full employ. My new dressing room has still some [\little\] smell of paint, but it presents a most beautifull prospect to ye eye all day, & in the evening it gives the finest chorus of nightingales I ever heard. My House is in a state of chaos, you see the elements of good things, but as yet in confusion [\dire\] , I hope while I am in Northumberland ye new rooms will be floored, & ye ceilings done, but I cannot endure ye noise of hammers & [\ye\] smell of plaister, so they must wait [\for/] my absence.
   I flatter myself y=r= journey will have been productive
of health, & I am sure the conclusion of it at Persefield will of much pleasure. Amiable Friends in so lovely a place, with health, & fine weather, make up a sum of happiness. I never saw a more delightfull place than Persefield; its natural beauties set y=e= art of a Brown, or ye expence of a Prince at defiance. I was so stupid as not to enquire y=e= direction to Persefield, but I have desired M=rs= M: Montagu to enquire at M=r= Raikes if you have not given his one. My letters will pass through ye privileged hands of one Nephew to you always.
   I suppose you have heard that M=rs= Fawkener has compleated her ruin, & her Familys affliction. I call'd according to M=rs= Poyntz desire at Midgeham to see the youngest Daughter, a most lovely beautifull Girl, but I found [\her/] so blasted by this misfortune I sh=d= hardly have known [\her/] . M=rs= Poyntz was in a bad state of health from grief of Lady Corkes death. I fear this will give her the (\coup de Grace\) . I hear
she is continually in fitts. While this unfortunate M=rs= F- was under her Mothers care she was the picture of Virgin modesty, but the gayeties of the Ladies of the Ton, to many of whom she had ye misfortune to be selected, have affected a wonderfull change of manners & from being ye pride of her family she has stain'd a father's [\Couch\] w=th= tears,
   & she has dyd a mothers cheek w=th= shame. I imagine you have heard she eloped from her aunts at S=t= Albarns while ye family was at prayers. Their aunt & Father imagined she had drown_d herself, & ye Ponds were drawn but she was actuated by a mere desperate insanity & fled to her Lover.
   I have not visited my Neighbor ye Duchess of Athol, & must not go today, as it is Market day, & her Grace went to Newbury last week to buy a Cow. She sometimes goes to y=e= Blacksmiths & stands by while her Horses are shed. I have an american who buys Oats at Market for her Cattle, so
I have not ye honour to be ye most notable Woman in ye Neighborhood which is rather mortifying I desire my best comp=ts= to M=r= & M=rs= Smelt & love to dear Miss Arnold. I had forgot to call on poor Miss [\Pocklington\] before I left London but I sent her a letter with a bank bill enclosed today by a safe hand.
   I have had charming airings every day in my Whiskey which have quite establish_d my health. I beg in every letter you w=d= remember y=r= health as ye most interesting of subjects.
   I am ever your most affect=te= Sister
   Sincere Friend & Obliged
   E Montagu