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Scottish Correspondence.


Russell and Archbishop Tillotson is characterized by its humility and unaffected piety.

Scottish Correspondence of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.

According to Professor Innes, 'letters of correspondence are hardly met with in Scotch repositories till the sixteenth century, and even to the end of that century they are incredibly meagre and unsatisfactory.' For many admirable illustrations of Scottish correspondence during the two following centuries, I cannot do better than refer to the privately printed volumes relative to the Stirlings of Keir, the Maxwells of Pollok, the Steuarts of Grandtully, the Carnegies Earls of Southesk, and the Montgomeries Earls of Eglinton, which have appeared within the last few years, under the editorship of my learned friend Mr. William Fraser. Each of these sumptuous works embraces a large number of highly interesting letters, with facsimiles of the more important signatures, and occasionally of entire letters. In the Montgomerie Collection (to which I must confine my remarks), the


Correspondence of the

letters amount to no fewer than 332, and may be roughly classified under the two heads of historical and domestic; but not unfrequently the same effusion exhibits a curious combination of both characteristics. Some of the most interesting letters of the former class are addressed to Alexander, sixth Earl of Eglinton,-popularly called 'Greysteel "who took a very prominent part in public affairs during the reigns of Charles I. and II.--and relate to such important subjects as the subscription of the Covenant, London politics, Montrose's march, the Convention of Estates, and the death of Cromwell. Among the occasional writers are the Marquis of Montrose, General Dalzell of Binns, General Monck, Zachary Boyd, Archbishop Sharpe, Samuel Rutherfurd, and Jeremy Taylor. Of the other class

1 This spirited nobleman was the first of the Earls of Eglinton of the Seton line. He was the third son of Robert, first Earl of Winton, by his Countess, Lady Margaret Montgomerie, the nephew of Alexander Seton, Earl of Dunfermline and Chancellor of Scotland, and the grandson of George, seventh Lord Seton, the faithful adherent of Mary Queen of Scots. He acquired the soubriquet of 'Greysteel,' partly from his skilful and ready use of the sword, and partly from his decided conduct towards the advisers of the Crown, when they endeavoured to interfere with one of his estates.

Earls of Eglinton.


of letters, which are of a very miscellaneous character, no fewer than fifty are from the pen of Susanna Kennedy, third and last Countess of the ninth Earl of Eglinton, being all addressed to Andrew Fletcher of Salton, Lord Milton, and Lord Justice-Clerk, who for many years acted as her children's guardian. This remarkable person, besides being celebrated for her genius and accomplishments, was considered to be the most beautiful woman of her day, and she prominently figures in the writings of Allan Ramsay, Hamilton of Bangour, and other poets of the eighteenth century.

The Countess of 'Greysteel' addresses her absent lord respecting 'home affairs,' while he affectionately assures his 'sueitteste herte' of his speedy return. A present of aqua vitæ, and children's colds and fevers, form the subjects of a letter to another Countess from her motherin-law; my Lord of Winton writes to his brother of Eglinton regarding an exchange of dogs, and the Queen's death; the Earl of Cassilis announces the demise of his 'deir bedfellow;' and Sir Robert Montgomerie of Skelmorlie entreats his uncle's forgiveness for the 'crime' of marrying without his knowledge.

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The quaint and touching simplicity of nearly all these letters could hardly be surpassed. The mixture of affection and formality in the style of address is also very curious. Thus, in the case of a wife to her husband, ‘My dearest sweet hert'-heart being sometimes rudely drawn instead of written-concluding, 'Your's most dewtifullie affectionat whilst I live,' and addressed, 'To my lord and weall-beloued husband, the Erlle of Eglintoun.' Again, a mother to her son, commencing, 'My verie goode lord and loving sone,' and concluding, 'Your Lordship's most loving mother at power,' with the address, 'To my verie honorable lord and loving sone the Earle of Eglintoun.' Postscripts then, as now, are by no means uncommon, particularly in the case of ladies' letters; while the large, distinct, and elaborate signature of most of the writers forms rather a striking contrast to the shabby, and frequently illegible, subscription of the present day.


MY DEIR HERT,-My most louing deutie remimberit. Thir feu lynis are to lett you knaw that all freindis ar in goud helteh, prasit be God; earnestly intreiting you to

and Susanna Kennedy.


let me heir of your goud helthe, for I long mouche to heir from you. My seister dochter is chrisnit, and hir nam is Margarit. Your brother, my Lord Leuingstoun, is gone to Court with my Lord Marquis his goud father. The King's Maiestie has bein wery seik and in grit danger, of ane grit sualling in his laig, and he heimself aprehendit daithe; bot, prasit be God, he is conualesit and weil agen. Sue wissing you euer all helthe and happines, I rest yours,

SETOUN, the 4 of Apryll 1619.


To my best belouit the C. of Eglintoun: This.

October 30th, 1729.

MY DEAR LORD,-I have allmost broke my head with conjectors about the caus of your silence. Was I your mistress, jealoucie had broke my heart! What is the matter with you? Is it business or love that hes ingross'd you so entirlie? Are you such an arand husban that you wont writte to anie woman but your oun dear spous? I wont poote you out of conceit with that prittie singular notion, but bege that you'l love me for her sake; remembr that I'm her cusin and your humble servant. Adieu. This is my third letter without anie answer

'There is no hate like love to hatred turned,
Nor annie furie like a woman scorned.'

To the honourable Lord Milton,

at his house in Edinburgh.

About half a century after the date of Susanna Kennedy's quaint epistle to Lord Milton, we have on record one of the most extraordinary letters ever written, which appeared shortly

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