My dearest Boy
I am sorry to receive so bad an account of your shooting affairs <1> – my only reason for writing you not to go out without Jem George <2> is that I think you do not seem entirely master of your weapon, & till you are it is a dangerous one – I do not understand why the lock does not do & believe it is Jem George’s stupidity – but as it does not seem to say even perhaps you had better not use it at all till we meet, & if his opinion is just which ¼ of an hours trial, of firing at a Quire of Paper will prove, I can change it for another – it is not paid for. Your uncle Harry <3> liked the lock so much that he bought 2 new ones this year & I will write to ask him his opinion about it – Indeed my love you are quite right in thinking I wish to be informed of your success in everything you undertake, every thing you do interests me in the highest degree so pray write to me whatever is in your mind – I think you might with good safety go alone upon the sand banks to shoot rabbits, as you seem to like the idea of it – only remembering as your golden rule never to cock your Gun till you intend to fire, always to uncock it immediately with the muzzle pointed upwards if the object escapes without your firing – in short never to walk still less run with your gun cocked. However during this excessive heat, out of doors amusements are only good very early or very late in the day. on this score consult yr aunt Mary <4> – I return to Sprotborough Thursday. The want of rain & the excessive heat make the shooting execrable – as the Keeper says it muddles the Dogs & terrifies the men – so that I have not killed much is not surprising –
God help you my dearest Boy.
writen Monday Night
Henry Talbot Esqre
2. A servant of the Cole family.
3. Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780–1863), MP, WHFT’s uncle.
4. Lady Mary Lucy Cole, née Strangways, first m. Talbot (1776–1855), WHFT’s aunt.