Letter: from Duchess AM Argyll to Emily Faithfull

Scope and Content

My dear Miss Faithfull, I hardly dare write to you after my months of shameful neglect - and as to excuses, they are worse then usual - so I will only ask you to forgive me, and let me turn over a new leaf and write to you occasionally -& still better hear from you when you have a few moments to spare - I am sure in yr kindness you have often thought of me in my new life - I entered upon it with many doubts and fears, as to my own power of fulfilling its duties - & only faced it for his dear sake who seemed to think I could help him in his lonely life. I am very happy in his affection & companionship & in his perfect sympathy and we can together speak of the pact & look forward to the real life beyond the world, while thanking God for the peace and rest of the present. If we could meet dear Miss Faithfull I know you would find me quite unchanged in all the feelings of which we spoke together only now instead of being purposeless my life is very full of duties towards others. - You can imagine that I have difficulties, but then, who has not ? and perhaps with time and practice some of mine may disappear; but I am never _____having no opinion of my own powers of conciliation. I am breathing better than I have done for some years though still not quite free of my Enemy. Frances gave me yr. message about the Asthma Powder & I shall actually try it, though I still find 'Himrod' all I need as a palliative. - Of course I despair as it is so much on the nerves, and when anything particularly destresses me I instantly feel it in my own breathing. I suppose we shall have to go to London for the meeting of Parliament & I don't at all look forward to it. It is many years since I have had any Local duties to perform & I do shrink from the plague - though these things are seldom so bad as one imagines they will be - I have not seen Frances since my marriage and am looking forward with great delight to her coming next week - I want to judge for myself how she is, as I am persuaded that she has been doing too much lately, & I am going to endeavour to 'Come the stepmother over her' and keep her in order, so that she may start rested on her American Expedition. - We have had a wonderfully mild November, with plenty of rain wh. has suited me very well - but are now having frost wh., though not sever yet, tries my

breathing terribly - I am afraid 'damp stove house' atmosphere is what suits me best - I should like so much to hear of you and yr winter plans. I wish you had come to dear beautiful Cannes last winter -what a pleasure it would have been to think of your knowing my dear old [hermit?] - Farewell dear Miss F. I often think penitently ofour disgraceful conduct to you at Roscuath -in the Garden on those starlit nights - Ever affectly yrs. AM Argyll

Paper has 'Inverary' printed on the paper.