11 Randolph Crest
My dear Papa
This has been a regular winter’s day, with great storms of snow and sleet driving accross sic] from the frith, and darkening the Sky. Mama and Ela were caught in one of them in their way home from church this morning; fortunately they had an umberella [sic] with them, which was rather wonderful, as the morning had been perfectly clear and fine. – Yesterday the wind was very high, and we were rather afraid that our sky light would be blown down, as was that of one of our neighbours a few days ago; rather a disagreeable circumstance, when one has to wait, as they did several days, till it was calm enough to have it mended. However, they took it very quietly, and did not seem to mind the wind blowing into their house – We were not able to go to Professor Kelland’s lecture on the Chinese, [ill. del.] last Thursday which we were sorry for, as I am sure it must have been interesting – Mr Spedding, who went, seemed very much pleased with it, Last Monday, Mama and I dined at Profr Forbe’s, where we met the Speddings, Kellands, and Miss Catherine Sinclair,<1> which latter was very amusing, and told me a great many riddles, some of which I have written down for you. We have heard a great deal about Burn’s Centenary, but were not tempted to go and hear the speeches, as some ladies did – they had places in the gallery and orchestra of the Music Hall, and sat there upon hard benches from four o’clock in the afternoon till ten! – We had a little party here on Wednesday – only 36 people. I had managed somehow to catch cold, and was in bed all day – however I was able to get up in the evening, and appear – When once down stairs, it is wonderful how flourishing I became. Every body is anxious to Know when we expect you back again, and we can give them no information on that point – we can only answer that you will return, and we hope you will make up next time for the extreme shortness of your first stay. I half expect you to come down suddenly some day and surprise us, when you have become tired of staying at Lacock by yourself –
I must now stop, for it is late
Your very affec. daughter
We are proceeding with the 3d vol of Philip II, and find it still more interesting and amusing than the two others. – Do you Know that I heard a few days ago, that No 4 Athole Crescent is to be sold by auction!…..
H. F. Talbot Esqre
1. Catherine Sinclair (1800-1865), Scottish philanthropist and author; assistant to her father, the agrarian reformer Sir John Sinclair (1754-1835).