My dear Henry,
This is not one of my promised explosions, as I have not filled sufficiently since yesterday morning to require one, but I write to confess my stupidity in not finding out before you went that it was for your benefit that Uncle William <1> enquired about the merits of Signora Antonietta, <2> & as they are very great there is no time to be lost in telling you so – Mama <3> says she had some time with Mrs Shirley who was delighted with her, & thinks her a most respectable person; and has the highest opinion of her – Mrs A. left Mrs Shirley to her very great regret, at her own desire on account of her son’s living in London & from whom she did not like to be so far away. – Lady Pembroke <4> likewise likes her very much indeed & you may suppose we do, by our employing her to get us a Cook – About her husband we know nothing, excepting that he is a Courier & that she (as is most natural) gives him a very good character, but as he never came to pay her any visits when she lived at Cliff I cannot even describe his appearance. I hope this information may be of some use to you.
I have no news to tell you since you left us, excepting what I hope is no news, that I wish you were [illegible]<5> back here again instead of going [to] Paris –
Your Affectionate cousin
Henry Talbot Esqre
1. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways, 4th Earl of Ilchester (1795–1865), botanist, art collector & diplomat.
3. Lady Harriet Frampton, née Fox Strangways (d. 1844).
4. Catherine Simonovna Herbert, née Woronzow, Lady Pembroke (1783–1856).
5. Text obscured under seal.
6. Lady Mary Lucy Cole, née Strangways, first m. Talbot (1776–1855), WHFT’s aunt.
7. Charlotte Louisa 'Charry' Traherne, née Talbot (1800–1880), WHFT’s cousin.