My Dear Talbot
Whilst I was visualizing last summer on the banks of Derwentwater, to wit on the night of Saturday July 19 I had a very vivid dream of my own coronation as king of England with a variety of appropriate circumstances, all most distinctly [illegible] died or shadowed forth I had before my eyes the Ensigns of royalty – the crown the ball & the cross – The robing however I most clearly remember & the robes how heavy with gold how splendid with purple & ermine I remember seating myself on the throne though with a consciousness of being a mean person unworthy of that high honour & with an undercurrent of thought prompting me to give up so toilsome a dignity & to retire for pleasure to one of the royal estates – I eagerly however thrust forth my hands into the robe which seemed to be spread upon the throne & to lie over its arms in cumbrous & variegated folds Before putting them on I had eagerly seized the ball & the cross but those who assisted remonstrated with me saying that the robes must first come on & that then I might take the ensigns These however I said I was determined to keep & the robes were at length not without assistance & difficulty – from their great weight – put on
There were congratulations at the feast which followed & they told me I was indebted for the crown to the influence of many excellent friends especially of one Talbot who they said had exerted himself surprisingly that had it not been for his influence I should have been sent instead to some under office in one of the Slave Colonies (the impression was in the West Indies & exposed to the Tyranny of many Commissioners was I think the [illegible] other circumstances [then?] [illegible] but was not this a curious dream – My thoughts had been particularly serious the day before & you would laugh outright were I to tell you how strong an impression it made on me at the time though my interpretation was very far removed from what Macbeth would have been – It struck me then that you have always shewed me much kindness & though I felt with certain compunctious writings that my demonstrations had not always corresponded so much as they ought yet that it was evidently in fates you should do me some wonderful & mighty Service But neither was this the whole of my exposition, Still the least you can do as it was in part payment of the enormous credit I evidently have in your hands is to go down to the Atheneum <1> tomorrow night to vote for my very excellent friend & Roman & antiquarian & architectural ally Scott of [Gon?]! Alias long Scott alias quel lungo lungo <2> so called from his exploits on the Moccoli <3> night in Carnival putting out tapers at never-before-thought-of altitudes for which he was known by the Italians with cheers & the above nom de guerre <4> – Time is gone so the thousand Subjects which remain all of deep interest must be most voiceless thoughts But one lightning word would be here very convenient – But excite any body you can & also write me a letter & with due encouragement I may write you another – Hare <5> & I meditate Germany next Summer
W. H. Fox Talbot Esqr
31 Sackville Street
1. Misspelling for Athenaeum Club, Pall Mall, London: WHFT’s club; a gentleman’s club composed primarily of artists and scientists.
2. That long long.
3. The Festa dei Moccoli was part of the Italian Carnival tradition when, on Mardi Gras, people would go out in the streets carrying candles and the game was to try and extinguish as many as possible.
4. Assumed name.