My dear Henry
I got your letter this morning, which I was very glad of as I began to think you were lost. We had another party last night – conversation interspersed with music. A great many fine ladies – & a very good shew of men for the season – they did not depart till near 3 – people never can leave us – we are so agreeable. Louisa & Caroline Payne <1> were here – they are in town for a few days, in their way to Brighton. I am very glad you are coming back here before you set out on your tour. I think it is too late for the Highlands. It is now settled we are to go to Lacock Wednesday the 31st. – Some of us are going to-day to the ventilator – Lord Mahon got us tickets.<2>
Addio caro <3> –
your affte sister
We are going this morning with Kit <4> to see the model of the Duke of Athol’s <5> house – made by your man. There is a breakfast at Chiswick Saturday – which I suppose will be the last expiring gleam of London gaiety.
Love to all relations.
W H F. Talbot Esq
1. Louisa and Lady Caroline Payne.
2. Lord Mahon (1805–1875), MP. Until the late 18th c, ladies were admitted to the debates in Parliament, but a dustup over them crowding out invited men led to them being banned. However, each night the Sargeant at Arms issued 25 tickets for the 'ventilator' - a space above the ceiling where the female visitors could see and hear the debates through the apertures.
3. Goodbye dear.
4. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
5. John Murray, 5th Duke of Atholl (1778–1846).
6. Kit Talbot’s yacht.
7. Sir Charles Lemon (1784–1868), politician & scientist; WHFT’s uncle.