My dear Henry
We were so sorry to have spoilt your morning, and made you come all that way for nothing. I hope you found a stage to take you back, & were in time for the French play. You cannot think how beautiful Richmond is looking: you must come & see us very soon, and make Papa <1> come too.
The key Mama <2> gave you opens her dressing-table drawer, in which you will find a blue key (i.e. with a blue string) which opens the large drawer of her velvet writing table in the middle drawing room in which is the Permesso to see the Botanic Garden at Kew. N.B. pray do not mislay any of the above Keys.
We found this house looking so nice & the Flower Pots dressed up for our reception, with Fleur de Lys, Azaleas &c &c. It is a very cold evening & it would have been rash for sick people <3> to have attempted walking in the Horticultural Garden in an East wind.
Spero meliora <4>
Put Papa in mind <6> to send us the newspapers every day.
W. H. Fox Talbot
31 Sackville Street
3. Continued in the hand of Lady Caroline Augusta Edgcumbe, née Feilding (1808-1881); WHFT's half-sister; Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria, 1840–1854 & 1863–1865.
4. I hope for better [news].
5. Write to me.
6. Continued in Horatia’s hand.