Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tower Cottages, 24 January 1876

Long time since the last surviving letter, but in the interim, James Bryden and Marion Glencross have married (almost four years after he emigrated, apparently for that purpose). Marion jokes "long looked for come at last,"* and suggests that if they have twins, she'll come over to help--but she has obviously not attended their wedding, as hoped in previous letters. Nonetheless, she has an opinion about the bride's dress, as it was described to her. Marion Brown has been ill with infected ears and throat in the winter; Tam Scott has also been quite ill and unable to work, and Aunt is "failing." There's some dispute about whether Marion Brown was writing letters back in the recent months--James and Marion Bryden didn't receive them, and indeed they are not in the surviving set. But she says she wrote.

*Here's another 19c. letter between women that uses the same phrase. It also turns up in song lyrics, which makes sense for the sentiment. There's even a "Long Looked For, Come At Last" Vineyard, in Maryland.

Tower Cottages
January 26th 1876

Dear Cousin,

I received your very welcome letter last week and was glad to see from it that you and all other friends was well when you wrote and I hope this will still find you all enjoying the same precious blessing for which we cannot be to thankful for. I am very glad to be able to tell you that we are all better than we have been for some time back Tam has been very poorly he has had inflmation and a bad cold and he has not been able to do much since Martinmas I have had a sore throat and bealing ears and Aunt is the only one that kept pretty strong among us but poor body she is failing altho she has still the spirit. However I hope we will all keep better now when we have got the turn we are looking forward to better weather and surely that will recruit us.

I will claim the old saying over your marriage long looked for come at last so I wish you long life and much happiness and a big family and if you should have twins the first time as Mrs. Johnston had I will come over and help you nurse them. Well Marion I think your dresses would look very well and it is very fashionable to have a dress made in two shades now so I think the two browns would look very well and James I have a word for you to you have no excuse for not writting because you are married you must write oftener and surely when there is two of you as one we will get a letter oftener. you say you have wrote me two letters and got no answer but I have never got any but I have sent away an answer to them whither you got it or not.

Aunt sends her kind regards to you both and wishes much happiness in your married life and long spared to each other, and also to all other friends and she was wondering what was come over uncle John when you wrote last for you never mentioned his name and you are to give Tom Glencross Aunt's kind regards and say she would like to see him now and he is to write a letter himself now I think I have little more worth writting at this time so I will say goodbye with kind love to you all every one from your affectionate cousin, Marion Brown

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