My Dr Henry
I fear by your Note <1> to me wch I received Friday Evg you must have missed my letter to you direcd to Paris, pressing you to come to Moreton <2> as soon as you could to meet the Talbots <3> before they left us – otherwise you could not be so base as to pass Moreton by in such a cool manner. – I mentioned in this letter that there could be only one object that we should not be able to hold you as I believe you are no dancer, but that right for right bestow it I trust – I wish instead of listening to other peoples account of the state of our House you hd written to know whether we could or could not receive you, as rather than have missed you so narrowly we would have held you & it was merely from conceiving a dance wd bore you, that I did not think it worth while to attempt to contrive it. – Emma <4> wrote to you by my desire to say that we hoped you wd come here Wednesday, & if you get this in time I hope you will change your plans & come here strait – If not, I have little chance of seeing you at all, as I cannot stir to Mely & Abby <5> during Charles Lemons <6> Holidays who arrives here tom – Besides which I depended on you to see our Christmas Gambols our [illegible], our Wassail, Bowl, <7> our Plum [illegible] our Yule Clog, our Yule Candles, our Yule Doyle[?] &c I hope William <8> will come here for those two days. – Pray therefore come Wednesday if you possibly can – if not Friday that you may see the Yule Clog burn wild –
My dr Henry Yours affly
[The wrapper for this letter is in a private collection:]
H. F. Talbot Esqre
8 Montague Square
1. Not located.
2. Moreton, Dorset: home of the Frampton family.
3. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin; and his wife, Lady Charlotte Talbot, née Butler (1809–1846).
4. Emma Thomasina Llewelyn, née Talbot (1806–1881), photographer; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
5. Melbury, Dorset: one of the Fox Strangways family homes; WHFT was born there, and Abbotsbury, Dorset: home of William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways.
6. Sir Charles Lemon (1784–1868), politician & scientist; WHFT’s uncle.
7. Wassail – a festive occasion; wassail–bowl, a cup from which healths were drunk.
8. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (1795–1865), botanist, art collector & diplomat.