My dear Henry
We are delighted to hear that there is a chance of our seeing you & Mrs Talbot <1> here – I hope you will stay as long as we do for we all long to see something of you it is such a time since we met – I believe I never thanked you for your offer of English orchideæ for which nevertheless we were very grateful. but it is now to late for that – We had a fine plant of the bee orchis the flowering stems of which were mowed off à deux reprises <2> by a wicked garden man – Your Hibiscus Manihot is no doubt now beautiful in our stove for we left it coming on – This is beautiful weather for Cowes – one can be out all day long – We went to Mr Nash’s <3> castle the other day where there are some beautiful things but the names being new to me I have forgotten them & cannot tell you what they were – his unfinished gallery for Statues is very pretty – Mr Traherne <4> does not find much to do here, but I dare say when you come you will soon find out some curiosities to hunt after together – We have been keeping some sea monsters in wash hand basins but they do not live for long with us as they used to do at Penrice <5> – we have been obliged to throw away our last pets today – Uncle Harry <6> took us a nice sail in the Petrel on Saturday and I observed the thistle down floating or rather rolling over the waves without getting wet tangled which stuck me as curious – he is obliged to return to town tomorrow Sir C. Lemon <7> talks of coming the end of this week for a day or two with the Miss Dykes who are going to Carclew with him We have good accounts of June –
Your affectionate cousin
H. Fox Talbot Esqr
1. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811–1880), WHFT’s wife.
2. On two occasions.
3. John Nash (1752–1835), architect.
4. Rev John Montgomerie Traherne (1788–1860), JP & author.
5. Penrice Castle and Penrice House, Gower, Glamorgan, 10 mi SW of Swansea: home of Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot.
6. Henry Stephen Fox Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester (1787–1858).
7. Sir Charles Lemon (1784–1868), politician & scientist; WHFT’s uncle.