Gunston-Hall March 27th, 1786.
When I sent Mr. Ridout an invoyce of the goods I wanted from France, I desired him (among other things) an assortment of China, very particularly described, from Le Orient. Instead of which he has sent me a box of china, bought in Bourdeaux, very different from the kinds ordered, no way suiting my purpose, and charged, in my opinion, at exorbitant prices. I should have sent it back to the Captain, in order to be returned to Mr. Ridout, in Bourdeaux; but for the following paragraph in his letter—"The china I got here; as they wrote there was none at L'Orient; which I can scarce believe —it is not such indeed as you ordered; which I cou'd not get, & there are no sized bowls here; the one I send is about your price & the French ones are not, I think, such as will please you. If they shou'd not, I will take them to my account." From whence I was led to believe, that Mr. Ridout had sent out some goods to you, to sell upon his Acct. & that it would be more agreeable to him to have them returned to you, to be sold here, than to have them sent back to Bourdeaux. Having an opportunity, by a safe conveyance, I have therefore sent you the sd. box of china, amounting, with charges, to 124 Livres.. 13 sous.. o deniers as per note enclosed, with which sum I have debited Mr. Ridout. If you have no goods of Mr. Ridout's in your Hands for sale, or do not chuse to take the box of China upon his Account, you will be pleased to deliver it to Capt. Smith, to be conveyed back to Bourdeaux, & delivered there to Mr. Ridout; to whom I will write upon the subject. In this case you will do me the favour to inform Capt. Smith of the reason of the said box being returned to him.
I am, with Mrs. Mason's compliments & my own to your lady, Dr. Sir Your most obt. Servt.