David M. Galloway
 & as you say in your letter "seeming all a dream" Ah! (my Boy) the hard, stern reality of living in this cold, cruel & selfish world, I have now experienced, I have long ago awaked. You say that you "guess you are happy". John! hear me! I am happy with my Sarah & Anna & George & you would say so if you saw me with a little one on each knee cosily toasting by the warm fire while the *"G[illegible] wife] (with her needle & shears) gars [illegible]ld clais look amaist as well as new". While this picture of happiness is before you John, it seems to me a fit place to explain a little that awful word "Grumbling" alias "Discontented". "Discontented" alias "Grumbling" you have heard so much about these few years back & I believe in Sarah's last note to you; John you have good reason to believe me a "hard case" that is if you believe all you hear; Well if shewing & stating things as they are in their ture light be grumbling; I have grumbled & (hope if called upon) will Grumble, *Burns if regretting that I have not now as [wont?] sometime for leisure & reflection & social friendly intercourse with kindred spirits be discontent I am discontented & hope will continue to be; John if being contented to Grub with my nose in the dirt from day light to dark from January to January be the very [illegible] of spiritual perfection and Christian contentment then truly I am void of understanding. there is indeed no soundness within me. Appro[illegible] to this, while cutting stove wood this afternoon & being tired pounding at these old twisted knarled, knotty, thra[illegible] cross, contre, ugly sticks, I sat down a few minutes, my eyes instinctively turned towards Pr. Du Chin to John & his contrivances; & I thought you would be philanthropist in the highest sense of the word if you could invent some kind of a Battering Ram to split wood; you would indeed bestow a priceless Boon on the present & after generations but more especially on your humble servant Dave
1860 Dec 21
Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.0 cm
Reel 01, Image 0123
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