March 12th 1821
Our examination begun <sic> this morning, there are only Ollivant <2> & myself trying, & as there are two medals, the examination is as pleasant as it well can be. It will not last long. I wonder I have not heard of your safe arrival in Paris. I received Caroline’s <3> letter from Dover. There was a comet the other day, I only saw it once, which was the 27th February, it was plain enough with a long tail. It is gone now but where it is gone to I cannot tell. I believe the astronomers have not been able to calculate its orbit, <illegible deletion> owing to its very slow geocentric motion. Which slowness indicates that it is very far off, but its being visible to the naked eye indicates that it is not far off. So that they are puzzled. We had the other day in the middle of a shower of rain without any previous notice a very violent flash of lightning, which we all thought must have done some mischief. Accordingly we found it had struck a windmill about a mile off, knocked one of the sails completely off, & hurt the miller, who imputes the accident to his having been grinding corn on a Sunday –
Your affte Son
W. H. F.Talbot
Lady Elisabeth Feilding
No 2 Sackville St
1. Trinity College, Cambridge.
2. Alfred Ollivant (1798–1882), author & Bishop of Llandaff.
3. Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding, Lady Mt Edgcumbe (1808–1881); WHFT’s half-sister.