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Mr. Robert Campbell
Philadelphia May 10th 1838
Your letter which I received in due time affords me both pleasure & pain but before I proceed further in the detail of my complaints, I will tell you that I never was more provoked in my life than I was when I observed that our engagement which I had always considered as known only to our most intimate friends had been made so public in St. Louis. I say it to my sorrow that whenever I am questioned on the subject I positively deny having ever heard of such nonsense, it may be wrong but you know that in such a case, evasion is no more than assent. Margaret has brought me a letter today I presume from you but I have not been able to take it from her without being noticed so that as yet I can answer none of the doubts, etc. that you almost always express or intimate in your letters and is that which often renders your epithet painful to me.
I was at cousin Mary's yesterday she had just finished a letter and a very stupid one too as she had a bad. I doubt whether she could write stupid letters as I never heard her make a stupid remark.
[Pg. Break] I do assure you that it is with much difficulty that I can find a moment to write uninterruptedly and you know it is no easy matter to have an unsealed love letter about especially when so many Argus' eyes are already fixed on my actions and then you know girls are so fond of the marvelous or some kind of news that the last of it I never would hear. Every day this week I have been trying to write but I am as much with the girls, that 'tis almost impossible to do so unobserved, however here after I will endeavor to be more punctual if that will give you more satisfaction.
I do not believe you when you say that you will write to me only in answer to each of my letters, now I am almost certain you will not keep that resolution.
I have not thought of your slippers but once since you left notwithstanding I am making a pair for myself and I fear they will be too small for me therefore perhaps I will give them to you.
Thank you sir for your compliments, they are very pretty but I will not believe that I have such an influence until I have once exercised.
I have not written to Ma to request her to shorten the time which must and ought to elapse before my name will be changed. I think I will be almost too young even that age.
Do you not think even [?] in Harriet's marriage very hasty. I think her acquaintance was very short with him and 'tis most astonishing to me that there mother is apparently so willing to part with her children.
[Pg. Break] Probably the reason I have not often mentioned Nettie [?] in my letters was that she had left school for some reason her mother has taken her away. Though she has not directly told me the cause I think it is in some way connected with Ben Bunker as he continued to write her letters. Fortunately she does not love him and I have always slandered before her, for fear that she might and he is I am told a very worthless fellow.
On Saturday we usually visit Mark Park at cousin Mary's. She is one of the girls who does not fear your brother Hugh.
Today Bessie and all her companions are going in the country to a May party. I think it is very strange in you always to send some message to all the ladies except Bessie. I am sorry to say I do not think you feel toward her as an uncle should and she certainly is superior to Margaret in every way. I always wear the pencil you gave me and seldom take it up without thinking of the giver. Miss Hawkes takes it into her hands. The ring I seldom wear as I do not like to see school girls wear jewelry and Miss Hawkes always sees me before I go out to any place. Perhaps in 1840 AD I will let you wear it as a great favor sometimes. I am glad you are so comfortably settled in your new apartments. Goodbye.
[Side of page] Lester sends love
[Side of front page] Excuse this miserable scrawl but today really I have not the inclination to write better if I thought it was for the handwriting you desired me to write I know you would not receive letters as often as you do even now.