My dearest Henry -
Your letter has just reached me as I am setting out for Burley <2> - where I shall remain in the neighbourhood about ten days so that in short you may expect me on or about the 9th. I will write to you again to name the exact day & desire you to secure me a bed - I hope to find you quite well & comfortable. If you have any questions to ask of Bonney <3> write to me at Burley - I shall keep your letter at hand & when we meet we will talk over all the subjects you name, & many others I hope, for I enjoy the idea of seeing you of all things - but I will not enter upon them now - more than to say that I cannot conceive a more difficult, dry subject to speak on than the learning of the druids <4>, & wonder how you get through it at all - I shall be very glad that you were better acquainted with the Miss Copleys <5> - I never saw such well informed nice young women - they are in a state of the greatest enthusiasm about their Italian Tour, & seem to have enjoyed what they saw more rationally, & to have had a more classical feeling in their progress through that country than any other Travellers I have met with.
Some of these days our turn will come, & as soon as you are Senior Wrangler <6> we will all set out together for the country of Virgil, & Cicero. <7> I have no idea whether you mean to try again for the Pitt scholarship, but I am quite certain you will decide rightly - My anxiety about your welldoing I think is [illegible], but my confidence does also in a tenfold proportion - & I feel sure you will always be a credit & happiness to those who love & are interested about you -
God bless you my dear Boy - Yr Aff
Henry Talbot Esqr
1. Sprotbrough Hall, Doncaster.
2. Burley, near Oakham, Rutland.
3. Thomas Kaye Bonney (1782-1863), Archdeacon of Leicester.
4. This dates the letter to 1818. [See Doc. No: 00827].
5. Maria (d. 1879) and Elizabeth Mary (d. 1887), daughters of Captain Sir Joseph Copley (1769-1838), 3rd Baronet.
6. Name given to someone graduating with a first class degree in Mathematics from Cambridge University. The Senior Wrangler was the person with the highest marks.
7. Virgil (70-15 BC), Roman poet, and Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC), Roman statesman and author.