E. Harling <1>
Oct 26th 48
My dear Talbot -
It is an age since I have heard anything of you or yours directly or indirectly & should like to know how you are all going on at Laycock, if there - I was rather in hopes of stumbling upon you in my very short stay or rather passage through London on my return from the Continent in June, & have been contemplating writing to you ever since but you know as well as I do how one goes on from day to day forming the best intentions & never putting them into execution - I had a letter about a month ago from Ly Mt E. who was then at Albano, have you heard from them more recently? if so, I wish you would let me know how they are & whether Charly had quite recovered from the attack of fever he had at CivitÓ Vecchia - for her letters are very much like Angels visits few & far between & God knows when I shall hear from her again - I wish I could have join'd them again this winter, but alas! that is out of the question & I must take my chance with the english [sic] climate in hopes of weathering it this time, & as far as
the it goes (for we may really call it winter already) I have stood all this wet without any of the usual symptoms either of trachea or rheumatism - At Laycock I suppose you must be quite under water for even here the floods are out, & our Sandy soil perfectly saturated - & all agricultural operations at a Standstill -
I came through France in a very interesting moment in June, but met with no adventure worth recording, though I fully expected impediments which however did not occur except at Lyons where
[illegible] I found baricades [sic] & permission to enter but not to go out of the Town but that lasted but two or three days - What a mess that unfortunate Country has got itself into, involving the whole of Europe in confusion, or at least hastening the crisis for which other countries were nearly ripe -
I suppose they will not hang O'Brien <2> or any of those worthies however well they deserve it, I think a little hanging is of use occasionally, whatever the advocates of Humanity may say to the contrary. - addio with kind regards to Mrs Talbot - in haste Sr
1. East Harling is close to Garboldisham, where he Montgomeries were major landholders.
2.William Smith O'Brien (1803-1864), a former Irish MP, was sentenced to death for participating in the 1848 Irish Rebellion. Instead, he was transported to Tasmania but eventually pardoned and allowed to return.