My dear Henry
You are a wretch as Aunt Harriet <1> says, for writing to us so very seldom, for tho' you cannot receive letters in out of the way holes & corners, you can always find a post to send them by. It is too bad of Constance <2> not to impart her first impressions of the Alps to me - tell her I am very angry - What happy creatures you are to be roaming about among the glaciers - I cannot express the longing that comes over me for a waterfall towards the end of the London season & there you are revelling in Staubbachs & Riechenbachs & Bachs of all sorts & sizes. - We are going to Laycock Thursday, that is Mama <3> & I, for Papa <4> will be detained in town for some time about poor Ly Stuart's affairs. <5> There is an Archery meeting <6>tomorrow - I am so sorry we shall not be in time for it. You never saw anything in a dream so empty as London - in the Park three people riding & all the shutters shut, & yet Parliament is sitting - The Ministers get on swimmingly & pass all their bills without any trouble - Lord Brougham <7> says there is no time like August for legislation. One might have a very pleasant little society at this time, by collecting the scattered together & they would be much more agreeable than they are in the squeeze time - but somehow people do not do it in London except now & then a party to the play or something of that sort. Did I tell you the 2 Liddell marriages? Susan to Captn Yorke who will be Ld Hardwicke & Charlotte to Mr Trotter. <8> Laura Ellison is going to marry Captn Edwardes <9> - she is a great favorite of mine & I hope it will turn out well. The Duchess of Kent & Princess Victoria <1> have been paying a visit to Uncle Harry <11> - Theresa <12> was delighted with the little princess, & it seems to have passed off very well - Ly C. St Maur was the Lady in waiting & seems to have been the least liked of the party. I wonder whether you ever get our letters - we keep on directing to Berne as we know no better, & I daresay you never send for them. Pray let us know where you are & what about.
Your affte sister
I am very sorry to hear that D. Pedro <13> is behaving ill at Lisbon & arresting people in the Miguel <14> style - that is really too bad, & they will not know how to get rid of him. I see there are revolutions in Switzerland - I hope you are not come across any of them. The cholera is going on here again - old Lady Allen & Ly Graves & Mr Algernon Percy <15> have died of it.
Give my love to Constance - I hope she has been sketching
M. Fox Talbot
1. Lady Harriet Frampton, née Fox Strangways (d. 1844) .
2. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811-1880), WHFT's wife.
3. Lady Elisabeth Theresa Feilding, née Fox Strangways, first m Talbot (1773-1846), WHFT's mother.
4. Rear Admiral Charles Feilding (1780-1837), Royal Navy; WHFT's step-father.
6. Possibly a meeting of The Selwood Foresters, an archery society and social club that attracted wealthy members and held regular archery competitions, where the 'Misses Talbot' were members.
7. Henry Peter Brougham, Baron of Brougham & Voux (1778-1868), Lord Chancellor.
9. Laura Jane Ellison and William Edwardes.
10. Victoria Maria Louisa of Saxe-Coburg (1786-1861) and Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of the United Kingdom (1837-1901), Empress of India (1876-1901).
11. Henry Stephen Fox Strangways, 3rd Earl of Ilchester (1787-1858).
12. Theresa Anna Maria Digby, née Fox Strangways (1814-1874), WHFT's cousin.
13. Pedro I (Dom Pedro de Alcântara) (1798-1834), 1st Emperor of Brazil (1822-1831).
14. The uncle of Maria da Gloria, Queen of Portugal, whom under a constitutional settlement she was supposed to marry. Following a battle off Cape St Vincent in 1833 between his fleet and that of his brother - father to Maria - he left Portugal for good. In 1836 Maria married a Coburg.
15. Probably related to Sir Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland (1792-1865), peer & philanthropist.