Incoming 1876 Edinburgh 2.5d Plate 3 Cover & letter to Victoria, B.C.
Lot 88 in our auction Saturday 16th April 2022

                           Willow Bank



                                    May 20/76

My dear Brother Alex’

                                    Your long looked for and very welcome letter of the 17th Apl. came to hand 3 days ago. We were were all wearying to hear from you & wondering why a letter was so long coming, & thinking hoping you were yourself on the way & were coming instead of writing. However, your letter explains the delay. It is very bad that letters should be so long detained on the way and likewise papers. I usually send the weekly Scotsman every Saturday, so that you should get one every week or nearly so. The Colonist you ordered comes to me regularly: and if it misses one week two come together the next. It should be the same with the Scotsman for you.

                             Thursday last was a holiday with me, so I was home. I had your letter with me. Do you know, we were all disappointed. We were all looking for yourself. In your next you must tell us when you think you will be; or if you have not sent word to that effect before then. I earnestly hope you will be soon. The more I think of it the more am I convinced you would be far better here. And as for the feeling of discontent you speak of in those have who been abroad when they return home, that very soon dies out. The reason of their discontent is very largely due to the fact that they have nothing to do. Were they to enter upon some business they would have no such longing . I have had a similar feeling when sometimes on holidays. All my acquaintances being busily occupied during the day I have felt as if I could wish myself away again. I know a gentleman in Carlisle who was abroad for a very considerable time & is now in business as a bacon-factor, and doing well. Perhaps you know him? He is a son of Robertson the hatter that used to be on High & Paisley. He was a considerable time in Australia and I am not sure but he was also in California.

                                    I am glad you got our cartes safely. I was afraid they might go astray. We should like yours, but would greatly prefer yourself. Mother was saying she would send father’s. It was taken however from a daguerreotype and is not so good as it had been taken from himself. Still it is very very like & we are glad to have it. We have for long wanted mother to go for hers but cannot get her persuaded. She always intends but never gets beyond that. But I hope we will get her to go soon. Poor lady!

She was very poorly lately. But I am glad to say is now very much better. She had got a bad cold which brought on a cough & reduced her little strength exceedingly. When home a fortnight ago I do not remember seeing her so weak. But I was glad & thankful to see her so much better on Thursday last and I had a letter from John this morning saying she was still keeping better. I hope now that the good weather is come, that she will soon be herself again. John & Bella were well. Andrew & his wife were well, when we last heard from him. – a fortnight ago. He called up at Roslea Drive two weeks ago.

                          By this time you will have got my last in answer to yours; And also one from Andrew. I shall put the weekly Scotsman with this. You will see from it we have the U.P. Synod in Edinburgh at present & the Established & Free Church assemblies. What think ye! Mr France was proposed for the Moderatorship! He may get it next year on account of his age.

                                    The most waggish remark I have heard about him was of a man who had been taken to hear him preach. When asked what he thought of him, replied, Well he just reminds me of a pepper box. How so? Inquired his friend. Because says he, he shook his head well, but very little came out!

                I see from the papers you are well supplied with labour from China! I suppose the Chinaman is the Paddy of the Pacific. Still it seems to me that the attitude of the British Columbians toward them is very absurd. Demand & supply regulate the labour market as it does others. And if Chinese labour suits the requirements of certain departments, since it is cheaper, by all means employ it, and let those who are then superseded turn their attention to other occupations. – where more skill is required & more profit secured. Don’t you think it quite unreasonable that we should compel the Chinese to open up their country to us & that we should practically close ours on them?

                               I am hurrying to be in time for the mail. So please excuse a short letter this time. I am quite well and must this will find you likewise. Allowance in closing, again to urge upon you to come home at once. Do not defer any longer. Hoping to have the pleasure of seeing you soon.

                          I remain

                             My dear Alex’

                            Your loving Brother


P.S. I was to send you Mother’s & Bella’s & John’s love. Accept mine also.