Oct 1st 1871
My dear Papa,
I began a letter to you three days ago & never got it finished! This is somewhat after the manner of Jack’s excuses when he does not write his letters properly – I thought you would be interested to know that we have got Mr & Mrs Charles Menteth (junr) staying with us at present – they came yesterday & remain till Tuesday. They have been paying a visit to their relation in Ayrshire lately – & had spoken of coming to us some time ago, only we could not take them till now – She is a singular-looking person, but seems pleasant to speak to. & very conversational. Also we have for the same period, Major & Mrs Malcolm – who have never staid with us before – He is Major of the Volunteers – I only knew them very slightly – but John knows him very well. They are nice people – He very queer looking indeed with a bald head and long grey beard! but both agreeable, before them we had Major & Mrs Bowden, and Colonel Gordon the inspector of Volunteers – The country here will soon be in a state of excitement, I think, as The Prince & Princess of Wales are coming on the 17th of this month, to pay a visit to the Duke at Drumlanrig & remain two days. There is a ball spoken of but not decided yet – I shall get into a state of excitement too, if I get a chance of seeing her – I have always had a great wish to do so – The Duke & Duchess &c only arrived last night, so they have only a fortnight to make their preparations in – what an undertaking it must be to receive a visit of that sort – if they want to do the thing well – but perhaps they will take it quietly – they certainly did not trouble themselves much about Prince & Princess Christian – only of course that was different – We went to the Chapel this morning – tell Monie that Mr Majendie looks much more like a Jesuit than ever, his face is become as thin as the blade of a knife! We got a letter the other day from Mr Mitchell, saying he was in the Highlands & intended to come here for two nights on his way South, if we could take him, & now he says he will not be able to come. I am quite disappointed as we both like him so much He has sent us a Keg of Tamarinds for the children, from Jamaica, which are highly appreciated by the big people also – I must explain the mysterious allusion I made the other day to the <Homphray?> family – Jack has a school-fellow of that name – who said to him one day – “Have you any relations in Glamorganshire? because, if you have, I think you are a cousin of mine!” – It seems that he knew that I was a Talbot – so he has been writing to his father for information but I have not heard the result! & Jack asked me, but did not remember that name in the connection – Will you tell Ela that I am quite ashamed of never thanking her for making Baby’s socks – they will be received with gratitude when they arrive – She has not got any Christening Presents yet –
Love to all –
Yr affecte daughter
It has been very cold here – fires all over the house all the week.