John Murray to Annie Murray (10/5/1808)

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John Murray to his wife, Annie Murray
Oct. 5, 1808
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Murray MS.1


Edinburgh Octr. 5th. 1808

Wednesday Evg 6 oclock

My dearest Annie2

I returned today about 3 oclock from my visit to Mr Scott & had the pleasure of finding your letter, which would have been more agreeable, perhaps, if you had said something of about your own health & my sons, & if you had told me what you had been about & where visiting—but I presume that you continue well & are content.3

Upon reading your letter, I really began to feel that I had been rather dilatory of late in writing to my dearest girl, but it is as she supposes, my time has been completely engrossed by business & engagements. I sent you a few hasty lines on Monday from Ashestiel when I had arrived on Sunday, intending to leave it the next day, but Mr Scott was pressing for my remaining longer & I was too happy in the opportunity of improving my acquaintance with him not to remain. A very rich literary man who lives not far from Hawkestone in Shropshire, Mr Heber, was on a visit to Mr Scott also. On the Monday, Mr S. took us along that most interesting walk to Newark Tower—the Braes of Yarrow & other places celebrated in his poem,4 made even more interesting to us by being shown there by the poet himself. We ran off, immediately after my short letter to you, for which they waited, & we did not return until 5 o'clock—it was a truly delightful walk—the evening was passed in most charming conversation in which both Mr Scott and Mr Heber excel.

Yesterday Mr S. took Mr Heber & myself & in his carriage & Mr Ballantyne rode on the Dickey—to Holy Melrose,5 which he took us over & shewed us all these beauties even the hasty look of it which I took upon a former yet more interesting occasion, had not [?allowed] me to remark. In our way we passed Mr Bruce, who happened to be standing in the Park (the father I mean) Mr Scott knew & bowed to him & I did the like but he could not have recollected me, as I never saw him but the day he dined at Mr Allens when you were there. We passed also Lord Somerville’s, where Mr & Mrs Somerville are now staying—but to my great regret I could not call upon either. When Mr Ballantyne & I left Mr Scott & Mr Heber at Melrose & travelled to Kelso—my first attention was to secure the room where my dearest love and & I rested once before, & I did not sleep, she will believe me, without a thousand thoughts of her whom I now love a thousand times more dearly than when we were there together. We passed the day tolerably especially as the Mrs Ballantyne, whom you know, came to see us[.] & this morning at six we set out for Edinburgh.

I am truly happy in being able to assure you of the most complete satisfaction which I derived from my visit to Mr Scott & it has now realized or [is] likely to do so, all that had been agitating in my mind for this last twelve months & of [which] even you shall know the particulars when we meet. I arrived so late today that I can not set out tomorrow …. [the balance of the letter is about domestic matters]

My most dear Girl

Your faithful husband

John Murray