[written on the same sheet as a note from Horatia - see Doc. No: 03426]
My Dear Henry
I duly received your Letters patent constituting me Gubernatrix of the Park & Gardens, but it is likely to be a sinecure at present as the rain is persevering & Jupiter Pluvius <1> implacable. After a conference with FitzSimmons <2> we have settled to dismiss your 4 extra men tomorrow morning as they can be had again at any moment, if it should clear up. Four Trees about 12 ft high were washed away in the Night with their fences. They were some you planted lately close to the river. I never saw the flood so lasting as it has been this time, and one perpetual storm blew for ten days. I trembled for the large trees because the ground is so saturated that their roots must be loosened & then they would be en proie <3> to these violent south westers.
If ever I have an enmity to a tree, I have only to let the ivy upon it have its way, in no long time the ivy kills the tree & then the first storm brings it all down. Three have come down in this way, during the late tempests, & one brought down the limb of a yew with it which the ivy had incircled from the other. Now nothing is so difficult to break as yew, so with what force the Ivy must have adhered. Your ideas are quite in a different channel at present & not at all vegetably inclined
ainsi adieu <4>
1. In Roman mythology, the god who could end a drought - the sender of rain.
2. Cornelius Fitzsimmons, Scottish gardener at Lacock Abbey.
4. So goodbye.