Forgot about the socks and what a degenerate state of in-laws...
Claremont House (Leamington) - Friday - 1st August 1833
You did quite right to send me some account of yourself my dearest Fred, for indeed I began to wonder where you were and what doing, as your silence had appeared to me much longer than I fancied I had been led to expect, & had your pages been a day or two later I should have ventured a second letter to the address you left me; it does not appear that you have received either of those I have written, or you would have known that the little parcel contained the “Lady’s Companion” you were so anxious to have, & which I sent off immediately on the receipt of your first letter, to Dover, hoping you would get it before sailing as to socks, you never named them to me. Therefore what made you think the little packet contained them? If you wish any and it is possible to have them forwarded to you I will gladly knit some for you -- Only think of your stumbling upon Mrs. Barlow. Strange things happen in this world and you at least have the luck to find friends even where “not one bit changed, looking not a day older than when I saw her in Paris”! She wears better than some of her contemporaries it seems. I am glad you met comfortably, & up to Saturday last without bother or annoyance. Mrs. Barlow & her daughter, with your other former friend, will I hope prevent your feeling in any way dull during your stay in Paris. I cannot yet think your plans for the north are settled beyond the possibility of change
you speak of writing to Lady G - & have some idea that she will be in Paris before you leave it, what say you are not the chances in favor of Italy? - I merely guess this from not knowing what Lady Stewart & Lady Vere recommended to you, if they did not decide for you. Lady G has a good chance of carrying her point- however, go where you will I shall think of you often, & not less kindly than you wish. You thought I should get your letter on Thurs. but today is Friday & I only got it this morning. I write this much first before getting into bed. Good night. God bless you - Sun. As there was no London post last night I did not resume my pen, having had rather a busy day. The Lawtons were all off in the morning & I was thankful to feel the possibility of disagreeables was at an ends. Tis a vulgar concern altogether and Mrs Lawton, certainly took care not to see more of the petticoats than was absolutely necessary. The girls I fear will soon be very little better than their mother, and I grieve to think that Eliza, if she is to live at home, will probably fall into the same degenerate state, & as to being with us I can scarcely think it will answer. They are all so obstinate & willful, & in some respects what I fear must be called unamiable that I feel by no means certain that I would feel sufficient interest to put up with much that would be disagreeable, however, nous verrons, sufficient for the day. And this like every thing else must right itself. The boys are quick but sad pickles, & want a little humanizing. I can’t make up my mind to decide whether or not it is best to let them run their case together or not. They are very much attached, but if one goes wrong the other will follow also, for what one does the other will not leave undone. I had a letter yesterday from my Mother she gives but an indifferent account of Nantz who has not yet been out of the house & two of her servants are laid up, one with a bad leg the other an inflammation
on the liver, but there is greater distress in the Minster Yard. Henry the second boy caught cold in fishing and is now in his bed with inflammation of the brain, when my mother wrote he was a little better, & Steph was sanguine as to the result, but her opinion was that he would not get thro’ it. Is it to be wished that he should? I always bear in mind what Mr Miller says of the Duke of St Albans that he was a fine quick lad until attacked with brain fever, and yesterday Dr Paris who dined here told me he scarcely remembered an instance where weakness of intellect more or less had not been the result, tis a fearful resign, and I cannot help feeling a hope that Providence will mercifully spare them such an evil. There is no letter today so of course no change had yesterday taken place. It will be a trial to Steph for he is fond of his children. I have good accounts of & from Mariana she likes her school, and Eliza Lawton writes me word that she is a great favourite with all her companions & a great pet with the Miss Connells. I trust therefore she will get on, but I have felt anxious about her from the little disappointments which occurred in London. Eliza has got a singing mistress, Miss Williams, a pupil of Bordogni, and greatly enjoys the lessons. She practices on the piano & harp 5 hours a day, reads two hours, and gives one hour & half to Italian. M learns the latter with her. I have just read over your letter again and see the little parcel your portier gave you, was the one I left for you in Paris. I remember it does contain socks, when I first got your letter I was only thinking of the “Lady’s Companion” which I had so recently sent you, and I fancied you must have been dreaming when you wrote the date 1831. how time has flown, little did I suppose it would linger there so long unopened. Do tell me if you get the one I directed for you to Dover. I have commenced the work I brought with me from Town. but now that I am alone it will not go on quite so well. The history of Rome is in progress but I have not had much time to myself during the last
three weeks. I spent last Monday with my friend Miss Cholmley, she was delighted to see me, & we had some agreeable chat, she talked of you & said, she never saw a person so much improved, she could not have believed it possible, some day I will tell you what else she said. I was to have met there a niece of Dr. Paris, & brought up by him but she was not well enough to come. The Simpsons have taken a small cottage at the corner of Clarendon Square, this looks as if they intended to remain here. We have had a few warm days, but the greater majority have been cool in consequence of the wind blowing north east. Paganini plays here on Sat, next, we stay to hear him and then Mr. Lawton talks of going to Lawton on his way to Harrogate, but direct here as our plans are too uncertain to make me depend upon any thing until actually done. I had a letter from Mr. W. Crewe a few days ago. He tells me that George Harvey was requested by Mr Ford to perform the marriage ceremony at the same time telling him that his Brother-in-law threatened to attend the ceremony, but that if he did it must be postponed!!! A pretty concern he has made of it. A few days after the marriage the aforesaid brother was lodged in Chester Castle for debt and the mama was also arrested but a kind friend in the village helped her out of the scrape. I do not much like the thoughts of going there, what shall I do, would it be best to behave to the bride just as I did before she married, and to take no notice of the change to either party. Martha goes on admirably. She is very good and very happy. I trust your establishment will do at last. I fear indeed that in securing Thomas I did you no distress but I hope he is without vice, and has some wish to improve. I have not yet seen the Parson’s daughter, but shall read it in your recommendation, you shall have the recipe for thieves vinegar.
Adieu! My dearest Fred, may God protect you and send you safe back to your ever faithful & affectionate
Glorious news today from Spain, now’s the time to go there. I should like to be in Paris just now, & I might as well had been there as not - God bless you, amongst the incidents of yesterday we had a fire in the town, no lives lost but many carpenters tools destroyed.
Disclaimer: The image used in this blog post is simply for illustration. I am by no means claiming that the child in the bed is or bears any resemblance to young Henry Belcombe. Thank you.