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Neat and Elegant Banff

Banff is one of the neatest and most elegant towns that I have seen in Scotland. It is pleasantly situated on the side of a hill, sloping from the sea, though close to it; it is sufficiently sheltered from the sharpest winds. The streets are straight and broad. I believe it may be esteemed the fifth, if not the fourth, town in the kingdom. The county, quite from Banff to Keith, is the best peopled of any I have seen in Scotland. This is chiefly, if not entirely, owing to the late Earl of Findlater. He was indefatigable in doing good, took pains to procure industrious men from all parts and to provide such little settlements for them as enabled them to live with comfort.

About noon I preached at the New Mills, nine miles from Banff, to a large congregation of plain, simple people. As we rode in the afternoon the heat overcame me, so that I was weary and faint before we came to Keith. But I no sooner stood up in the market place than I forgot my weariness, such were the seriousness and attention of the whole congregation, though as numerous as that at Banff. Mr. Gordon, the minister of the parish, invited me to supper and told me his kirk was at my service. A little society is formed here already and is in a fair way of increasing. But they were just now in danger of losing their preaching house, the owner being determined to sell it. I saw but one way to secure it for them, which was to buy it myself. So (who would have thought it?) I bought an estate, consisting of two houses, a yard, a garden, with three acres of good land. But he told me flat, "Sir, I will take no less for it than sixteen pounds ten shillings, to be paid, part now, part at Michaelmas, and the residue next May."

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