RECORD: Litchfield, H. E. ed. 1915. Emma Darwin, A century of family letters, 1792-1896. London: John Murray. Volume 1.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned by John van Wyhe, transcribed by AEL Data, corrections by van Wyhe 3.2006. RN2

NOTE: See record in the Freeman Bibliographical Database, enter its Identifier here. See R. B. Freeman's bibliographical introduction.

See also Emma Darwin's Diaries (1824-1896)

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Serene will be our days and bright,

And happy will our nature be,

When love is an unerring light,

And joy its own security.

And they a blissful course may hold

Even now, who, not unwisely bold,

Live in the spirit of this creed;

Yet seek thy firm support, according to their need.

WORDSWORTH: Ode to Duty.

[All rights reserved]

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A NUMBER of family letters (originally in the possession of my aunt, Miss Elizabeth Wedgwood) were found amongst my mother's papers, and were placed in my hands by her executors, my brothers William and George Darwin. Broadly speaking, these letters cover the period during which my grandfather, Josiah Wedgwood, lived at Maer Hall in Staffordshire, and I shall speak of them as the "Maer letters."

After my mother's death I thought that some record of her life and character would be of value to her grandchildren, and with this view began to put down all that I could remember. Whilst reading these old letters in order to get light on her youth and early middle life, I became much interested in the personalities of the writers, and it seemed best to include such of them as are of interest in themselves, as well as those that bear on my mother. The letters written by the Allens (Mrs Josiah Wedgwood and her sisters) fill most of the first volume, and there are but few of my mother's until the second.

The whole mass of letters, on which the early part of this family record is founded, were given to me in a state of absolute confusion. It was the habit of the family to send letters to and from London in boxes of goods despatched from the pottery works at Etruria, hence there is often no postmark; and the writers frequently give only the day of the week or month. During the enforced leisure of

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a long illness my husband arranged, dated, and annotated the whole series, a task which required the same sort of minute care and endless patience as the piecing out of a gigantic puzzle.

He read aloud to me every one of the hundreds of letters, and we discussed together what was worth preserving. In the earlier chapters most of the notes are written by him. Some of these may appear superfluous, but it should be remembered that his object was to make the book interesting to the younger members of the Darwin family.

Many omissions are made without putting any sign that this has been done, and neither the punctuation nor the spelling has been rigidly followed.

The pedigrees of the Allen, Wedgwood, and Darwin families, and a list of the principal characters, are given for convenience of reference at the beginning of each volume.

I have received valuable help, criticism, and encouragement from various friends, and especially from Professor A. V. Dicey, Miss M. J. Shaen, my brother Francis, and my niece Mrs F. M. Cornford. To the late Sir John Simon I owe the first idea of this book. Up to the day of his death, in July, 1904, he never ceased to interest himself in its progress. He read the whole in the typewritten copy and followed the proofs as they came from the press.

I wish to thank Mr John Murray for kindly allowing me to give several of the illustrations from More Letters of Charles Darwin; Messrs Elliott and Fry for their permission to make use of the fine portrait of my father in the second volume of that work, and Messrs Barraud for the same permission with regard to their portrait of my mother; Messrs Maull and Fox for allowing me to reproduce an early photograph of my mother; and Mr Prescott Row, the Editor of the Homeland Handbook Association, and Mr G. W. Smith for their kind permission to make use of Mr Smith's photograph of Down Village.

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Mrs Vaughan Williams of Leith Hill Place, Mrs Godfrey Wedgwood, Mr Cecil Wedgwood, my brother Horace, and my nephew Charles Darwin, have been so good as to allow me to reproduce various family pictures. I also wish to thank Miss M. J. Shaen for allowing me to use her excellent photograph of my mother, taken in the drawing-room at Down, three months before her death.

These volumes were originally prepared for private circulation only. It was suggested to me by many of those who read them that they would interest a larger public. I have, therefore, prepared them for publication by omitting what was of purely private interest.

H. E. L.




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SINCE this book was finished Erasmus Darwin, a grandson of Charles and Emma Darwin, has been killed in action. He was only thirty-three years old, and his life was cut short before all its promise could be fulfilled; but he had already shown himself a man of such rare abilities and so fine and lovable a character that it has been felt that some account of him should be put on record. At the request of his aunt, Mrs. Litchfield, I therefore add to her book this little tribute to his memory. I have made use of a notice already published in The Times, and have supplemented it from letters written by the Commanding Officer and some of the men of Erasmus's battalion, and by those of his friends who can speak of a side of his life of which I have no direct knowledge.

Erasmus was the eldest child and only son of Horace and Ida Darwin, and a grandson on his mother's side of the first Lord Farrer. He was born on December 7, 1881, at Cambridge, which was throughout his life the home of his father and mother. He was in Cotton House at Marlborough, and gained an exhibition for mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge. He came up to Trinity in October, 1901, and took the Mathematical Tripos in his second year, being placed among the Senior Optimes. Afterwards he took the Mechanical Sciences Tripos, and was placed in the second class in 1905. On leaving Cambridge, he went through the shops at Messrs. Mather and Platt's at Manchester. After this he worked for some little while with the Cambridge

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Scientific Instrument Company, of which he was a director, and then became assistant secretary of Bolckow, Vaughan and Company, Ltd., at Middlesbrough. Here he stayed for seven years, and at the outbreak of war occupied the position of secretary to the company.

As soon as the war broke out, Erasmus decided to join the army, and in September, 1914, he was gazetted a Second-Lieutenant in the 4th Battalion (Territorial) of Alexandra Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment. The Commanding Officer, Colonel Bell, and many of the other officers were among his personal friends at Middlesbrough. The battalion crossed to France, as part of the Northumbrian Division, on April 17, 1915, and was almost immediately called upon to take part in very severe fighting in the neighbourhood of Ypres. It is impossible to give any very accurate or detailed account of the action, but to their honour be it said that these Territorial troops, fresh from home and tried at the very outset almost as highly as men could be tried, played a worthy part in the battle which has earned such undying glory for the soldiers of Canada. They behaved with a steadiness and coolness which gained for them the congratulations of the Generals commanding respectively their Division and their Army Corps. Early in the afternoon of April 24 the regiment had lined some trenches. Later, at about three o'clock, they were withdrawn from the trenches and ordered to attack. This attack they successfully carried out, and drove the enemy back for a mile or more before being ordered to retire about dusk. It was during this advance that Erasmus fell, killed instantaneously. The Royal Irish Fusiliers recovered his body, together with that of his friend, Captain John Nancarrow, and the two lie buried in one grave, with a little cross over it, by a farmhouse near St. Julien.

I cannot do better than quote a letter written to Erasmus's mother by Corporal Wearmouth, who was in his platoon:

"I am a section leader in his platoon, and when we got the order to advance he proved himself a hero. He nursed us men; in fact, the comment was, 'You would say we were

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on a field-day." We had got to within twenty yards of our halting-place when he turned to our platoon to say something. As he turned he fell, and I am sure he never spoke. As soon as I could I went to him, but he was beyond human aid. Our platoon sadly miss him, as he could not do enough for us, and we are all extremely sorry for you in your great loss."

To this extract should be added one from a letter written by Private Wood to a friend in Middlesbrough:

"I expect you would know poor Mr. Darwin.... I was in his platoon, and I can tell you he died a hero. He led us absolutely regardless of the bullets from the German Maxim guns and snipers that whistled all round him."

Finally, Colonel Bell, his Commanding Officer, writes of him:

"Loyalty, courage, and devotion to duty—he had them all.... He died in an attack which gained many compliments to the Battalion. He was right in front. It was a man's death."

No soldier could wish a better epitaph. Yet something remains to be said, because soldiering was for Erasmus only a brief and splendid episode. Corporal Wearmouth's letter bears witness not only to his gallantry in the supreme hour of his life, but also to a quality that had been conspicuous throughout its whole previous course, without mention of which no account of him could be complete. He had the most genuine sympathy with and affection for working men, and never tired of trying to help them. And this quality which made him love his work at Middlesbrough brought him the keenest pleasure when soldiering came to him as a wholly new and unlooked-for experience. He delighted in his men, and especially enjoyed long expeditions across the moors, often at night-time, with his Scouts. And the men quickly appreciated his feeling, and responded to it. "The Battalion loved him," says Colonel Bell, "and called him Uncle." It would be hard to find anything more eloquent than that one simple statement.

This gift of sympathy was only one of many that made

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his life at Middlesbrough a singularly happy and successful one. He had all the attributes of a good man of business in the best and widest sense. It was impossible to meet him without realizing that he combined with real intellectual power a calm, sound, and practical judgment and a general capacity for doing things well and thoroughly. No one who knew him even slightly could be surprised to hear that his associates in business conceived the highest opinion of him, and that not only on account of his acuteness and administrative ability, but of his fine and high-minded nature. Many words full of praise and affection have been written of this side of his life, and I am sorry that I cannot quote them all. Mr. Storr, who was his predecessor as secretary of Bolckow, Vaughan and Co., writes of him:

"I admired his great abilities as I loved his character.... I (in conjunction with the Chairman of the Company) selected him as my successor, trained him for the position, worked for years in the closest contact and friendship with him, and when I retired did so with the fullest confidence that he had a long and successful career before him, and that the Company could not have chosen a better man."

Dr. J. E. Stead, the distinguished metallurgist of Middlesbrough, who had been his companion on a business tour in America, says:

"During our American tour I got to know him well and find out what he really was. Before that, however, I had learnt that he had ability and intelligence of the highest order.... It was impossible to be with him long without gaining for him a most affectionate regard, and I looked forward and anticipated for him a splendid record of usefulness."

To these two striking pieces of testimony I should like to add one more, not from Middlesbrough, but from London. Mr. E. F. Turner, for many years the friend and solicitor of the Darwin family, who has occupied a distinguished place in his profession and enjoyed a peculiarly wide commercial experience, writes of Erasmus in these terms:

"Looking back on my closed professional experience, he

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stands out as the ablest man of his generation that I have ever come across, and his modesty was as great as his mental powers."

A very dear friend of Erasmus, Charles Tennant, who was killed in action only a fortnight later, wrote of him: "There never was, that I ever met, a man so strong and yet so gentle." All who knew him would agree, as they would about another of his qualities, namely, a conscientiousness that was eminently sane and wide-minded, and completely unswerving. No one in the world was more certain to do what he believed to be right. Just before he left England, when his Battalion was under orders for the front, he was summoned to the War Office and offered a Staff appointment at home in connection with munitions of war. This would have given great scope to his capabilities. "It would have been interesting and important work," he wrote, "but of course there are plenty of older men who can do it just as well as I can." He felt that at that moment his place should be with his regiment, and made, in the words of one present at the interview, a "fine appeal" to be allowed to go with his men. It was granted, and he went gladly and with no looking back.

It was, I think, more than anything else this intense feeling for duty that made him so deeply respected, and gained for him in Middlesbrough a very particular position and influence. "There was no one else in his surroundings," writes one of his friends there, "who had the sort of influence he had." I am almost afraid to emphasize this point, lest a wrong impression be given and affection be cast unduly in the shade. He had many devoted friendships, and possessed, as his friend and tutor at Trinity, Dr. Parry, has said, "an unwavering loyalty of affection." Some of his friends of Cambridge days he was only able to see at long intervals, but his feeling for them and theirs for him remained as fresh and warm as ever. He was always simple and natural, and no one could be more wholly delightful and light-hearted than he was when in a holiday mood. He loved the open air and the country, more especially the north country, and

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Yorkshire best of all. Fishing had been a source of the very keenest pleasure to him ever since he was a boy. Some will have memories of long days of walking in the Lakes; others of the jolly times of the May week at Cambridge—of dances and early morning rides and expeditions up the river in Canadian canoes. Whether we think of him at work or at play, we cannot remember a word or an action that does not make us proud of him. He is only one of many as to whom it may be said that they would have done much; but whatever he might have achieved, he never could have left a memory more lovable or more honourable.


May 19, 1915.

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Emma Wedgwood—The Allens of Cresselly—Sir James Mackintosh—The Wedgwoods and Darwins—Josiah Wedgwood's marriage—A ball at Ramsgate—Tom Wedgwood's ill-health—The Wedgwoods at Gunville . . . . . 1—19



John Hensleigh Allen inherits Cresselly—Departure of the Mackintoshes for India—A press-gang story—Tom Wedgwood's death—Return of the Josiah Wedgwoods to Staffordshire—Sarah Wedgwood and Jessie Allen . . . . 20—29



John Allen's marriage—Jessie, Emma, and Fanny Allen at Dulwich—The Mackintoshes in Great George Street—An escapade of the Duke of Brunswick—London parties and Madame de Staël . . . . . . . . . 30—50



Maer Hall—The children of Josiah Wedgwood—A picnic at Trentham—Emma Caldwell's picture of life at Maer—Emma Darwin's comment seventy-two years later—Emma's childhood 51—62



The Prudent Man's Friend Society—The John Wedgwoods and Drewes at Exeter—The Battle of Waterloo—Ensign Tom Wedgwood's letters from Waterloo and Paris—Fanny Allen's pro-Buonapartism—The Maer party at a Race ball . 63—76

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The Allen sisters abroad—Paris after Waterloo—Fanny Allen and William Clifford—Harriet Drewe's engagement to Mr Gifford—A family gathering at Bath—Sarah Wedgwood's love-affairs—Bessy visits Mrs Surtees—Geneva society—The Sydney Smiths at Etruria—Kitty Mackintosh and her daughters—The Allen sisters" journey to Florence . . . 77—98



The crisis in Davison's Bank—Its failure averted—The loss of the John Wedgwood's fortune—Their move to Betley . 99—102



The Allen sisters at Pisa, with Caroline Drewe and her family—Sismondi's courtship—Algernon Langton and Marianne Drewe—Sarah Wedgwood and Jessie Allen—Anne Caldwell's marriage 103—112



The Josiah Wedgwoods in Paris—The Collos Cousins—William Clifford—Dancing lessons—Madame Catalani—Emma's first letter—Society and housekeeping in Paris—Fanny and Emma at school—A letter from their old nurse . . . 113—122



Jessie Allen and Sismondi—An outpour to her sister—Bessy's reply—Some account of Sismondi—Their early married life—Posting across France . . . . . . 123—133



Emma Allen and her nieces, Fanny and Emma Wedgwood—A gigantic cheese—Races and Race-Balls—Dr Darwin and his daughters—A singing party of girls at the Mount, Shrewsbury—Fanny and Emma at school in London—Sunday-school at Maer—The Sismondis at Geneva . . . . 134—148

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Bessy's lessening strength—A Wedgwood-Darwin party at Scarborough—Visit to Sydney Smith at Foston Rectory—a memorable debate—An averted duel—Emma confirmed—Revels and flirtations—Kitty Wedgwood's death—Sarah Wedgwood builds on Maer Heath ....... 149—164



Fanny and Emma Allen return to Cresselly—The death of Caroline Wedgwood—The Grand Tour of the Josiah Wedgwoods—Frank Wedgwood at Maer—Their return home in October—Allen Wedgwood Vicar of Maer—The anti-slavery agitation 165—182



The Sismondis in England—Fanny and Emma Wedgwood at Geneva—Bessy and her daughter Charlotte at Ampthill—Life at Geneva—Sarah Wedgwood's generosity—The Prince of Denmark—Edward Drewe's love-affair—Harry Wedgwood on French plays—Fanny and Emma return home—Lady Byron at Geneva ........ 183—205



The Mackintoshes at Maer—A bazaar at Newcastle—Bessy on the Drewe-Prévost affair—The house in York Street sold—The John Wedgwoods abroad—Edward Drewe's marriage—The Mackintoshes at Clapham—Bessy's illness at Roehampton—Harriet Surtees at Chêne—Harry Wedgwood's engagement—A gay week at Woodhouse ..... 206—228



Lady Mackintosh's death—Sir James Mackintosh a member of the Board of Control—Hensleigh Wedgwood engaged to Fanny Mackintosh—Elizabeth in London—The second reading of the Reform Bill—A meeting between Wordsworth and Jeffrey—Josiah Wedgwood defeated at Newcastle—Edward and Adèle Drewe—Fear of cholera—Mrs Patterson and Countess Guiccioli 229—241

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Charles Darwin's voyage round the world—Hensleigh Wedgwood appointed a Police Magistrate in London—His marriage to Fanny Mackintosh—Fanny Allen and the Irvingites—The cholera—Sir James Mackintosh's death—Charlotte Wedgwood marries Charles Langton—Frank Wedgwood marries Fanny Mosley—Charlotte at Ripley—Fanny Wedgwood's death 242—252



Josiah Wedgwood elected for Stoke-upon-Trent—Bessy's fall at Roehampton and serious illness—The Langtons at Onibury—Miss Martineau and Mrs Marsh—Hensleigh Wedgwood's scruples as to administering oaths—William Clifford abroad—A tour in Switzerland and visit to Queen Hortense at Constance 253—265



Home life at Maer—Mrs Marsh as novelist—Fanny Allen on Mr Scott—Emma Wedgwood visits Cresselly—Mrs John Wedgwood's sudden death at Shrewsbury—Emma Wedgwood at musical festivals—Charles Darwin returns home—Emma at Edinburgh—C. D. on marriage ...... 266—277



The younger Josiah Wedgwood's engagement to his cousin Caroline Darwin—The Sismondis at Pescia—A tour in the Apennines—Mrs Norton at Cresselly—Emma at Shrewsbury and Onibury—Hensleigh resigns his Police Magistracy—A family meeting in Paris—Bro's illness ...... 278—289

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Mrs Charles Darwin, 1839. From a water-colour painting by George Richmond, R.A., in possession of Charles Galton Darwin. Frontispiece

The Wedgwood family at Etruria Hall in or about 1780. From the picture by George Stubbs, R.A., in possession of Cecil Wedgwood of Idlerocks, Staffordshire. Stubbs was the famous animal painter of the time, and was especially noted for his pictures of horses ...... to face p. 8

Thomas Wedgwood. From a chalk drawing belonging to Mrs Vaughan Williams of Leith Hill Place. Artist unknown to face p. 12

Elizabeth (Allen), Wife of Josiah Wedgwood of Maer Hall. From the portrait by Romney in the possession of Mrs Vaughan Williams of Leith Hill Place. Painted when she was about twenty-eight to face p. 22

Fanny Allen, aged 24. From a miniature by Leakey in possession of Mrs Godfrey Wedgwood of Idlerocks, Staffordshire to face p. 36

Maer Hall. From a pencil sketch by Charlotte Wedgwood (Mrs C. Langton) in possession of Mrs Godfrey Wedgwood of Idlerocks, Staffordshire ..... to face p. 52

Josiah Wedgwood of Maer Hall. From the portrait by Owen in possession of Mrs Vaughan Williams of Leith Hill Place to face p. 60

Mrs John Wedgwood. From an oil painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence, R.A., in possession of Mrs Clement Allen of Woodchester ........ to face p. 74

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J. C. de Sismondi. From a portrait by Madame A. Munier-Romilly given to the Musée Rath at Geneva by Hensleigh Wedgwood to face p. 128

Charles and Catherine Darwin, 1816. From a coloured chalk drawing by Sharples in possession of Mrs Vaughan Williams of Leith Hill Place ........ to face p. 138

Madame de Sismondi, aged 45. From a miniature by Leakey in possession of Mrs R. B. Litchfield. Mrs J. Wedgwood writes of this picture, painted for her: "It is not your merry look when you chuse to make Sismondi stare, but it is your resigned look, when you are entertaining company and are not much entertained yourself" ..... to face p. 144

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1. Elizabeth (Bessy) (1764—1846) m. Josiah Wedgwood of Maer.

2. Catherine (Kitty) (1765—1830) m. Sir James Mackintosh.

3. Caroline (1768—1835) m. Rev. Edward Drewe.

4. John Hensleigh (1769—1843) of Cresselly, m. Gertrude Seymour.

5. Louisa Jane (Jane or Jenny) (1771—1836) m. John Wedgwood.

6. Lancelot Baugh (Baugh) (1774—1845), Master of Dulwich College, m. 2ce.

7. Harriet (sometimes called Sad) (1776—1847) m. Rev. Matthew Surtees, of North Cerney.

8. Jessie (1777—1853) m. J. C. de Sismondi, historian.

9. Octavia, died young.

10. Emma (1780—1866) unmarried.

11. Frances (Fanny) (1781—1875) unmarried.


1. Seymour Phillips (1814—1861) of Cresselly, m. Catherine dan. of Earl of Portsmouth.

2. Henry George (1815—1908).

3. John Hensleigh (1818—1868).

4. Isabella Georgina, m. G. Lort Phillips of Laurenny.


1. Bessy (1799—1823) unmarried.

2. Fanny (1800—1889) m. her cousin Hensleigh Wedgwood.

3. Robert (1806—1864) m. Mary Appleton.

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1. Harriet, Lady Gifford.

2. Marianne, Mrs Algernon Langton.

3. Georgina, Lady Alderson.

4. Edward, m. Adèle Prévost.


1. Susannah (1765—1817) m. Dr Robert Waring Darwin. Charles Darwin was their son.

2. John (1766—1844) Banker, m. Jane Allen.

3. Josiah (1769—1843) of Maer, Potter, m. Elizabeth Allen.

4. Thomas (1771—1805).

5. Catherine (Kitty) (1774—1823) unmarried.

6. Sarah Elizabeth (1778—1856) unmarried.


1. Sarah Elizabeth (Sally, then Eliza) (1795—1857) unmarried.

2. Rev. John Allen (Allen) (1796—1882), Vicar of Maer.

3. Thomas (Tom) (1797—1862) Colonel in the Guards, m. Anne Tyler.

4. Caroline, died young.

5. Jessie (1804—1872) m. her cousin Harry Wedgwood.

6. Robert (1806—1880) m. 2ce.


1. Sarah Elizabeth (Elizabeth) (1793—1880) unmarried.

2. Josiah (Joe or Jos) (1795—1880) of Leith Hill Place, m. his cousin Caroline Darwin.

3. Charlotte (1797—1862) m. Rev. Charles Langton.

4. Henry Allen (Harry) (1799—1885) Barrister, m. his cousin Jessie Wedgwood.

5. Francis (1800—1888) Potter, m. Frances Mosley.

6. Hensleigh (1803—1891) Police Magistrate, Philologist, m. his cousin Fanny Mackintosh.

7. Fanny (1806—1832) unmarried.

8. Emma (1808—1896) m. her cousin Charles Darwin

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1. Marianne (1798—1858) m. Dr Henry Parker.

2. Caroline (1800—1888) m. her cousin Josiah Wedgwood of Leith Hill Place.

3. Susan (1803—1866) unmarried.

4. Erasmus Alvey (1804—1881) unmarried.

5. Charles Robert (1809—1882) m. his cousin Emma Wedgwood.

6. Catherine (1810—1866) m., late in life, Rev. Charles Langton. Charlotte Wedgwood was his 1st wife.

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Emma Wedgwood—The Allens of Cresselly—Sir James Mackintosh—The Wedgwoods and Darwins—Josiah Wedgwood's marriage—A ball at Ramsgate—Tom Wedgwood's ill-health—The Wedgwoods at Gunville.

EMMA WEDGWOOD was born on May 2, 1808, at Maer Hall in Staffordshire. She was the youngest child of Josiah Wedgwood of Maer, and his wife, Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of John Bartlett Allen, of Cresselly, Pembrokeshire.

The first part of this family record consists of letters collected by Emma Wedgwood's mother, Mrs Josiah Wedgwood of Maer.1 Later on follow the life and letters of Emma Wedgwood, first as a girl and afterwards as the wife of her cousin, Charles Darwin. As these three families of Allens, Wedgwoods, and Darwins will be found constantly recurring through the book, I have found it convenient to begin with a short account of their origin, and especially of those members of the group who most often appear.

The Allens came originally from the north of Ireland, and settled in Pembrokeshire in about 1600. The estate of Cresselly was acquired by the marriage of John Allen with Joan Bartlett. Their son, John Bartlett Allen of Cresselly (1733—1803), married Elizabeth Hensleigh, who died many years before her husband. He fought in the Seven Years" War as an officer in the 1st Foot Guards (now Grenadier Guards). Quite lately his great-grandson found that he was still remembered in the neighbourhood, and was told that "the owd capen was a wonderful man." He had a large

1 To avoid confusion, these letters, thus collected, will be called "The Maer Letters." Their editor is the third daughter of Emma Wedgwood, who married Charles Darwin.

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family, eleven of whom lived to grow up. His melancholy disposition and arbitrary temper made the home in his old age an unhappy one.

Sir James Mackintosh, who married Catharine, the second daughter, thus described the life at Cresselly in a letter to Josiah Wedgwood (November 9, 1800): "We left the '2 maidens all forlorn at the House that Jack built" in tolerable good spirits considering the gloomy solitude to which they are condemned. We have heard from good little Emma [Allen] (she really is the best girl in the world), and are happy to hear that the Squire has been pleased to be infinitely more cordial and gracious to his two poor prisoners than he ever was before, so that bating an absolute want of amusement and a perpetual constraint in conversation they may be pretty comfortable. Mme de Maintenon complains of her situation with Louis XIV, 'Quelle triste occupation de ranimer une âme éteinte, et d'amuser un homme qui n'est plus amusable!""

I remember my father's telling how Mr Allen used to thump his fist on the table, and order his daughters to talk when he wished to be entertained after dinner. They were as a fact remarkably good talkers, and Dr Darwin, of Shrewsbury, thought this was partly owing to their drastic training at home. They formed an interesting group of women, handsome, spirited, clever, and deeply devoted to each other.

Elizabeth Allen, the eldest of the family, had both charm and beauty. She was the centre to whom her sisters turned secure of love and sympathy. Her practical wisdom and delicacy of feeling are revealed in the long series of letters of which only a fraction can here be given. But above all she had the charm of a radiant cheerfulness and of a singular sweetness in voice and manner. There is much in her character which reminds me of my mother. In both there was the same delight in giving and the same unfailing consideration for the unprosperous.

Catharine Allen (Kitty as she was always called) was an able woman, agreeable in conversation, and with a fine character in many respects. She was greatly interested in all questions of humanity, and was, I believe, one of the founders of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In 1798 she married James (afterwards Sir James) Mackintosh. She suffered greatly from the debt and difficulty in which he gradually became involved, but her own economy, especially as to her dress, was rigorous, and she

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was entirely high-minded in all questions relating to money. Sydney Smith wrote the following appreciation of Mackintosh's character, addressed to Robert Mackintosh, when he was collecting materials for the life of his father:

"Curran, the Master of the Rolls, said to Mr Grattan: 'You would be the greatest man of your age, Grattan, if you would buy a few yards of red tape, and tie up your bills and papers." This was the fault or the misfortune of your excellent father; he never knew the use of red tape, and was utterly unfit for the common business of life. That a guinea represented a quantity of shillings, and that it would barter for a quantity of cloth, he was well aware; but the accurate number of the baser coin, or the just measurement of the manufactured article, to which he was entitled for his gold, he could never learn, and it was impossible to teach him. Hence his life was often an example of the ancient and melancholy struggle of genius with the difficulties of existence. ... A high merit in Sir James Mackintosh was his real and unaffected philanthropy. He did not make the improvement of the great mass of mankind an engine of popularity, or a stepping-stone to power, but he had a genuine love of human happiness. Whatever might assuage the angry passions, and arrange the conflicting interests of nations; whatever could promote peace, increase knowledge, extend commerce, diminish crime, and encourage industry; whatever could exalt human character, and could enlarge human understandings, struck at once at the heart of your father, and roused all his faculties. I have seen him in a moment when this spirit came upon him—like a great ship of war—cut his cable, and spread his enormous canvas, and launch into a wide sea of reasoning eloquence."1

The first Earl Dudley, in his Letters to Ivy, wrote of Mackintosh: "If I were a king I should make an office for him in which it should be his duty to talk to me two or three hours a day. ... He should fill my head with all sorts of knowledge, but, out of the great love I should bear towards my subjects, I would resolve never to take his advice about anything."

My father used to tell us that of all the great talkers he had ever known—Carlyle, Macaulay, Huxley, and others—he held Mackintosh to be the very first.

Caroline Allen married Edward Drewe, a Devonshire parson, brother of the Squire of Grange, near Honiton. Mr Edward Drewe died early, and she was for many years

1 Sydney Smith, by G. W. E. Russell, p. 184.

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a widow. Her daughters, Harriet, Lady Gifford, and Georgina, Lady Alderson, mother of the late Marchioness of Salisbury, often appear in the later letters.

Louisa Jane Allen (always called Jane or Jenny) was the beauty of the family. Bessy spoke of her incomparable cheerfulness, and said: "With her the sun always shines, and she seems to trip rather than slide down the hill of life." My mother told us that the warmth and graciousness of her aunt Jane's welcome was quite unique in its charm. She married John, the eldest son of Josiah Wedgwood of Etruria, who soon after his father's death became a partner in Davison and Co.'s bank in Pall Mall. The Bank failed in 1816, and after that time he had no profession. He should be remembered as the founder of the Horticultural Society. "On the 7th March, 1804, there met at his suggestion in Hatchard's shop a little gathering, of whom the most distinguished was Sir Joseph Banks, and from their discussion sprang a society incorporated in 1809, Lord Dartmouth being the first President."1

Harriet Allen, the fifth daughter, was "very pretty and very tiny,"2 and was of a gentle unassuming nature. Her marriage to Matthew Surtees, Rector of North Cerney in Wiltshire, was most unhappy. It was made, as her sister Jessie said, with "an almost culpable want of affection," and only in order to escape from the unhappiness of her home. The family greatly disliked Mr Surtees, and he appears to have been jealous, ill-tempered, and tyrannical.

Jessie Allen, who married Sismondi the historian, was, with the exception of Bessy, the most beloved by all her sisters. She was the favourite of her nephews and nieces, and had an especial love for Emma Wedgwood, the subject of this book. Jessie must have been a delightful companion, full of vivacity and gaiety, and with the power of intense devotion to those she loved. She was handsome, with brilliant colouring, large grey eyes, and dark hair. Her sister Bessy's letters to her "dearest of the dear," as she calls her, show a peculiar warmth. In one she wrote: "My silence has nothing to do with forgetfulness. Those who love you, my Jess, are not liable to that accident."

Octavia Allen died at the age of twenty-one, and only appears once or twice in the earlier letters.

The two youngest sisters, Emma and Fanny Allen, who

1 Life of Josiah Wedgwood, by F. Julia Wedgwood.

2 Mrs Smith of Baltiboys, in the Memoirs of a Highland Lady, thus characterises her.

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never married, were important members of the group. Emma Allen was the only plain woman among the sisters. She spoke of her "half-formed face," and was quite aware how much more Jessie and the piquant Fanny were sought after. But she had no doubt of her welcome at Maer. She wrote in 1803 to her sister Bessy (sixteen years older than herself): "I have a very earnest desire to have some other communication than letter writing with my dear Bessy, whom it is now four years since I have seen. I do long to see you very much, and your children, and I am determined to pay you a visit soon after Christmas or at least before I return home to Cresselly. It has always been a subject of regret to me to have spent so little of my life with you, whom I so dearly love and admire more than anybody in the world."

Fanny Allen was more like a sister than an aunt to her elder nieces. She was very pretty, vivacious, and clever, with some sharpness in her marked character and great charm—a pet of Sir James Mackintosh, and a fierce Whig and devoted admirer of Napoleon. I remember her in her old age as a delightful companion, full of life, and still as straight as a dart.

Of the two brothers it is not necessary to say much, as there are no letters to or from them in the Maer collection. John Hensleigh Allen became the Squire of Cresselly after his father's death. He had a sunny, happy disposition, and was, like his own son Harry, a good raconteur. Lancelot Baugh, called Baugh, was Master of Dulwich College, where his sisters often visited him.

The first record of the Wedgwoods is in 1299, as villeins of Lord Audley in the Manor of Tunstall. Afterwards they were yeomen farmers at Blackwood-in-Horton. Before 1500 they became the Squires of Harracles.1 The ancestors of the Wedgwoods of Etruria separated from the senior branch1 about 1600, and became absorbed in the business of potting. Josiah Wedgwood (1730—1795) founded the town of Etruria in Staffordshire, where he carried on his renowned pottery works. His daughter, Susannah, married Dr Robert Waring Darwin of Shrewsbury, and was the mother of Charles Darwin.

The Darwins came originally from Lincolnshire, William

1 The Wedgwoods of Harracles possessed some portion of these estates until the middle or end of the eighteenth century, when they became extinct.

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Darwin of Marton, who died ante 1542, being the first known Darwin. They were yeomen in Lincolnshire for about 100 years, and then rose in rank. William Darwin (b. 1620) served as Captain Lieutenant in Sir W. Pelham's troop of horse, and fought for the King. His son William Darwin (b. 1655) married Anne Waring, the heiress of the Manor of Elston, Notts, which property is still in the possession of the elder branch of the Darwin family. His grandson was the well-known physician and poet, Dr. Erasmus Darwin of Lichfield, father of Dr. Robert Waring Darwin and grandfather of Charles Darwin.

The first intimation of intercourse between the Wedgwoods and Allens is the following letter from Josiah Wedgwood, the second son of Josiah Wedgwood of Etruria:

Josiah Wedgwood the younger to his father.

DEAR SIR, TENBY, August 20, 1792.

You will have heard by a letter of mine to Tom that we have had a very gay week at Haverfordwest Assizes. I have not been at Cresselly since, but as I left them all very well I hope to find them so to-morrow. The family at Cresselly is altogether the most charming one I have ever been introduced to, and their society makes no small addition to the pleasure I have received from this excursion. I am very happy to perceive that their spirits are not much affected by their Father's marriage.1 Our pleasures here are very simple, riding, walking, bathing, with a little dance twice a week.

You are so kind as to say that you shall be glad to see me and my sister, but I hope you have no objection to me staying a while longer, as much on my sister's account as my own, for I am afraid she has little chance of bringing Miss Allen back with her.

I am,

Your affectionate and dutiful son,


1 His marriage to the daughter of a coal-miner. She was not brought to Cresselly.

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Whether Josiah and his sister succeeded in persuading Miss Allen to return with them to Staffordshire is not known. But his wooing was successful, for his marriage took place in December, 1792, when he was twenty-three, and she was twenty-eight years old. Josiah, the younger, was always called Jos, and by this name he will be known here. There are but few letters from him in the Maer collection, and he had not the Allen gift of expression. His character must be realised not from what he says himself, but from the impression he made on others.

Fanny Allen said: "Daddy Jos is always right, always just, and always generous," and Dr Darwin considered him one of the wisest men he had ever known. He inspired awe as well as respect. His wife, although deeply devoted to him, was not quite at ease with him, and a little afraid of annoying and vexing him.1 But this was not judging him quite fairly, for though he was silent and grave, he had no harshness of temper. I have a dim impression of being told that Bessy considered men as dangerous creatures who must be humoured. Probably her early life at Cresselly had shaken her nerves and left her with impressions that she never got over. A little speech of Sydney Smith's, quoted to me by my mother, is interesting: "Wedgwood's an excellent man—it is a pity he hates his friends." His nieces the Darwins were, as girls, afraid of him, and I have been told that they were astounded at their brother Charles talking to him freely as if he was a common mortal, and that this trust on Charles" part made his uncle fond of him. My father says of him in his Autobiography: "He was silent and reserved, so as to be a rather awful man; but he sometimes talked openly with me. He was the very type of an upright man, with the clearest judgment. I do not believe that any power on earth could have made him swerve an inch from what he considered the right course."

During the first few years of their married life Jos and Bessy lived at Little Etruria, a house near Etruria Hall, which had been built for Bentley, his father's partner. Etruria was then quite a rural spot. To those who know what it is now with collieries, iron-works, and pottery kilns belching out black smoke, with dying trees in the fields, and blackened workmen's cottages, it is strange to read Emma Allen's description written about 1800: "I spent Saturday morning

1 He must have been very indulgent to his wife's wishes, for I have been told that no cows were kept at Maer, as the moaning of the cows when their calves were taken away distressed her.

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in walking with John [Wedgwood] over the works, which gratified me very much. I think Etruria [Hall] altogether a very nice place, much too good for its present inhabitants, and I felt interested in everything I saw there. I imagined it occupied by you and all the Wedgwoods, and how comfortable it must then have been. The green gate leading from one house to the other, which I had heard so much of from those I loved, immediately caught my attention."

After his father's death in 1795 Jos and Bessy were more or less wanderers for some years. They lived first at Stoke d'Abernon, in Surrey, and from 1800—1805 at Gunville, in Dorsetshire. He appeared to have trusted the management of the potteries almost entirely to his partner and cousin Mr Byerley, only himself paying occasional visits to Etruria.

There are but few letters to give in these old days—none of any interest till 1798. In that year Kitty and Harriet Allen had both married. Caroline and Jenny Allen had been married for some years, so that there were four sisters now left at Cresselly—Jessie, Octavia, Emma, and Fanny.

The following letter describes a meeting of Bessy and her two sisters, Jessie and Octavia, with the Mackintoshes at Broadstairs. It must have been the first time she had seen Kitty since her marriage to Mackintosh in April of the same year. Bessy was taking care of Octavia, who was threatened with consumption.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Emma Allen.

BROADSTAIRS, 17th Oct. [1798].

...We found Kitty very well and in good spirits as usual. She visits hardly anybody here, which is very prudent. Mr M. still continues the fondest and the best-humoured husband I ever saw. The children1 are very manageable and the least troublesome of any I ever saw, and what will give you pleasure, I think she makes a very kind and attentive stepmother. Jessie and I have a snug little lodging twenty yards from theirs; we board with Kitty, and Ocky sleeps in the house with her to avoid the inconvenience of going out of nights. This is our present estab-

1 His three daughters, Maitland, Mary, and Catherine, by his first wife Catherine Stuart.

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lishment, which we find very comfortable.... We have been at two balls, one at Margate, the other at Ramsgate, the last was a very genteel one, where we saw a multitude of pretty women, the first was infinitely vulgar. At Margate, Ocky danced with an Officer who looked very like her friend Capt. Scourfield at a distance, but fell very short when he came near, having but one eye. Some relations of Mr Mackintosh's introduced us all to partners, such as they were, but it must be confessed they were but very so-so. When we went to Ramsgate, the Master of the Ceremonies asked us all to dance, but Jessie and I were too delicate or too proud to like to commission him to solicit the hand of anybody, and chose to sit still. Kitty and Ocky's love of dancing was stronger than their delicate feelings on this subject, and he brought up a couple of partners to them. Ocky's was tolerably genteel, but Kitty's not quite so much so, being rather more upon the establishment of a boy than suits her taste. Ocky's partner, however, had like to have paid dear for the pleasure of dancing with her, for when we came to tea, she undertook to make it, and the urn being what we call very tripless,1 she pulled it over and scalded her poor beau's leg; however, I don't believe he was very hurt, as he danced two or three dances afterwards, and Ocky recovered of her fright enough to dance another set with him. We came away in very good time, and I don't think she is at all the worse for it this morning. There is to be a very grand Ball at Guildford on account of Nelson's victory, the 25th [Oct.], and we are all going.2 ...

Jessie Allen appears to have spent a whole year away from Cresselly, passing many months with the Josiah Wedgwoods. On her return to Cresselly she wrote to her sister Bessy (June 10, 1799): "One thing I do entreat, which is that you take the greatest possible care of your dear self. Get rid if you can of some of the superabundant affection and feeling you have for your own family. At

1 "Tripless," according to the English Dialect Dictionary, is a Pembrokeshire word, and means unsteady, rickety.

2 When they return, that is, to Stoke d'Abernon. The Battle of the Nile was on August 1st this year.

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present I am sure you have too much either for your own health or happiness; this is most disinterested advice on my part, for what on earth do I love more or prize higher than your affection for us?" She gave a graphic picture of her nervous dread at returning to Cresselly and her happiness that her younger sister Emma had not to return with her: "Now she is safe, and I am where I ought to have been long ago. I cannot tell you how much I dreaded my first arrival here, and my nervousness got to such a height as almost amounted to misery."

The following is an undated draft of a letter from Bessy to her youngest sister Fanny, seventeen years her junior. It must certainly have been written whilst Fanny was quite a girl, probably about 1800. Nothing is known as to what called for Bessy's reproof.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Fanny Allen.

ETRURIA, Saturday.


It is not with very pleasant feelings that I consider that there is but one day between this and the end of your visit, and as I fear I shall not have an opportunity or feel it in my power to say all I wish when we part, I chuse this way of conveying to you my tenderest wishes for your happiness. I cannot forbear telling you how amiable your conduct has appeared to me ever since our conversation in the Garden. Your silence left me rather in doubt whether you did not either think me unjust, or feel angry with me for what might appear impertinent. I saw I had given you great pain, and I felt very sorry for it. But your kind and obliging manner to me ever since has completely done away every apprehension of that sort, and I see and appreciate as it deserves the delicacy of your conduct. Not only have I never observed in a single instance what I had mentioned to you, but you have taken care by the most affectionate and attentive behaviour to let me see that you were not angry. Continue, my dear Fanny, to watch over your own character, with a sincere desire of perfecting it as much as is in your power, and you will make the happiness of all belonging to you. You have very little to do, for God has

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given you an excellent temper, and a very good understanding. Do not therefore content yourself with a mediocrity of goodness. You are now at a happy time of life when almost everything is in your own power, and your character may be said to be in your own hands, to make or mar it for ever. If you humbly look into yourself, you are a better judge of your failings than any other person can be, but do not seek to palliate or veil them from your own heart. Your friends will value you for your excellences.

Josiah Wedgwood of Etruria had a third son, Thomas Wedgwood,1 who has not hitherto been mentioned. He was a remarkable man in many directions—the friend and benefactor of Coleridge, and practically the first discoverer of photography, although he was unable to "fix" his pictures. His short life ended in 1805, when he was thirty-four years old, after years of terrible suffering from some mysterious illness which was never explained.

There is much evidence that his personality was impressive. Fanny Allen tells of "the effect that his appearance and manner had on Mackintosh's 'set," as they were called." "Sydney Smith was almost awed"; and she narrates how at a party assembled to see a picture by Da Vinci of the head of Christ, Dugald Stewart2 said: "You are looking at that head—I cannot keep my eyes from the head of Mr Wedgwood (who was looking intently down at the picture), it is the finest I ever saw." Wordsworth, too, describes his appearance: "His calm and dignified manner, united with his tall person and beautiful face, produced in me an impression of sublimity beyond what I ever experienced from the appearance of any other human being." His brother Jos had a devoted, almost passionate, love for him.

Tom Wedgwood spent a great part of his life wandering in search of health. When at home he chiefly lived with Jos and Bessy, and interested himself much in the education of his little nephews and nieces. His doctrinaire views founded on Rousseau must have been trying to his sister-in-law. In other ways, too, the situation must have needed her tact and unalterable sweetness of character to make the home happy.

1 See Tom Wedgwood, the First Photographer, by R. B. Litchfield.

2 Famous at this time as the leading representative of philosophic studies in England. He held the Chair of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh from 1785 to 1820.

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The following letter from Jos to Tom was written after the brothers had just parted at Falmouth, whence Tom had sailed for the West Indies. The voyage was undertaken for the sake of his health.

Josiah Wedgwood to his brother Tom.

GUNVILLE, Feb. 28, 1800.


I cannot resist the temptation of employing my first moment of leisure to unburden my heart in writing to you. The distance that separates us, the affecting circumstances under which we parted, our former inseparable life and perfect friendship, unite to deepen the emotion with which I think of you, and give an importance and solemnity that is new to my communication with you. I did not know till now how dearly I love you, nor do you know with what deep regret I forebore to accompany you. It was a subject I could not talk to you upon, though I was perpetually desirous to make you acquainted with all my feelings upon it. I would not without necessity leave my wife and children, and I believed that I ought not; yet my resolution was not taken without a mixture of self-reproach. But I repeat the promise I made you at Falmouth.

I have not yet been able to think of you with dry eyes, but a little time will harden me. It is not so necessary for me to see you, as to know that you are well and happy. Nothing could be more disinterested than the love I bear you. I know that my wife and children would alone render me happy, but I see, with the most heartfelt concern, that your admirable qualifications are rendered ineffectual for your happiness, and your fame, by your miserable health. But I have a full conviction that your constitution is strong and elastic, and that your present experiment bids fair to remove the derangement of your machine. I look forward with hope and joy to our meeting again, and I am sure that seeing you again, well and vigorous, will be a moment of the purest happiness I can feel.

Perhaps this may be the last time that I shall write to

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you in this strain. If it should for a time revive your sorrow, it cannot long injure your tranquillity, to be told that I love you, esteem you, and admire you truly and deeply.

I took possession of this place this morning with very different feelings from those I should have had if we had been together. I have made up my mind to-day not to add anything to the buildings until I shall have become better acquainted with the place. On looking more closely at the stables I see that 15 or 20 pounds laid out will enable them to serve a year or two, and I shall not be in a hurry to do more.

The last waggon-load from Upcott came about an hour after me, with all the live stock in good condition. I was very well pleased to be saluted by a neigh from the gig-horse the moment she heard my voice—Dido is so like Donna that I thought it was she recovered.—I find the aloes were not quite so good a bargain as we thought, for they were killed by the frost when they were brought.

I shall be here en famille in about 10 days, and possibly my mother and sister with us, but I do not know. In the beginning of April we go to town and there stay to the end of May. Whether we shall then go to Cresselly or Etruria—I do not know.

I have written to Gregory Watt1 to send me a copying machine, that I may send duplicates by another packet, a precaution you must not forget. I will send you more copying paper. I shall curse the French with great sincerity if they take the packet bearing your first letter. How anxiously will it be expected, and with what emotion will it be opened and read! You will hear from us in a month, or less, after your arrival, and we must not expect to hear from you in less than four months from your departure. Very few of the letters I write afford me any pleasure, but I foresee a great pleasure in writing to you all that comes, and just as it comes. There is a pleasure in

1 Son of James Watt, and an intimate friend of the Wedgwood brothers.

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tender regret for the absence and misfortunes of a person one loves, and corresponding with that person is the complete fruition of it. I feel like Æneas clasping the shade of Creusa; I call up your image but it is not substantial. Farewell, dear Tom.

The following letters were written after Tom's return from the West Indies, the expedition having proved a complete failure as regarded his health. The Wedgwoods were not yet settled in Gunville, and Bessy was visiting her father and sisters at Cresselly.

Josiah Wedgwood to his wife at Cresselly.

CHRISTCHURCH, July 31, 1800.

I am just returned from a very pleasant evening walk with B. and Jos.1 I find they recollect many things about Etruria that surprised me, particularly in Jos. Our last half-hour was by moonlight on the sea-shore, the waves pouring gently at our feet. The delightful scenery and the innocent prattle of the children have disposed me to write to you, rather than to complete the task I had set myself for this evening of casting up a part of my building accounts. I think it was well imagined of two lovers or friends, separated from each other, to fix the days and hours of writing to each other, that they might be sure that each was occupied about the other at one moment. I hope this invention was of two lovers; if it had been told me of two women, or two men, I should call it romantic affectation. I never in my most philosophical days agreed with the opinion of the proscribers of marriage and upholders of universal concubinage—the expression is as detestable as the idea—and I cannot conceive that any but a corrupt libertine can be sincere in approving it. Who that had felt in himself the tranquil, but penetrating charm of an intimate and long-continued union with a woman sensible to his pains and his

1 Elizabeth and Josiah, the two eldest children, aged seven and five.

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pleasures, participating in his hopes, strengthening his good dispositions, and gently discouraging his harshness and petulance, and more than all, who is become flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, by bearing him children, who that is susceptible of that delightful and ennobling sympathy, would truck it for the wandering gratifications and ferocious contests of brutes. And these men are improvers of the condition of mankind! If one did not know them to be better than they profess to be, one would be afraid to hold converse with them. It is singular that Rousseau, who has given so admirable a picture of domestic education, and infused it with all the powers of his eloquence, should have sent his children to the Enfans trouvés, and that Godwin, whose writings tend to make a foundling hospital of the world, should have been an affectionate husband, and is now a tender father to his wife's and his own child. I am and will be your affectionate husband, and we are and will be tender parents to our dear children. I have no pleasures that I can compare with those I derive from you and from them. Your idea fills me, and I clasp you as the heroes of poetry clasp the shades of the departed.

My sisters went to look at Chettle on Sunday, and were much taken with it.... My mother speaks of you as her dear Bessy. She says she does not know enough of Dorsetshire to be prejudiced for or against it, but she shall be very glad to be near Tom and me and her dear Bessy, and the word with her has a deeper meaning than with some who use it oftener. She is not demonstrative, but she is affectionate. Chettle is to be vacant at Michaelmas. Besides the advantage of my mother and sisters as neighbours, which will be particularly great to Tom, we get the command of a very good manor.

I have just sent up my income return, and I have given in £874 as the tenth of my last year's income. I cannot say but it grudges me to pay such a sum to be squandered, as I believe it will, mischievously.... I have set some additional hands to work at Gunville, and I do not yet despair of Tom and me getting in by the 1st Sept., and

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its being ready for you by the time your furlough will expire, to which, by the bye, I hope youwill conform like a good soldier.... Our tête-à-tête1 here is tolerably endurable. We seldom meet for five minutes except at dinner, and then with eating, drinking, and helping the children, we manage to pass an hour with a few remarks. I believe if we were to live twenty years together we should make no further progress in intimacy. However, she does exceedingly well in her situation; she did not come here to amuse me. I do not see any signs of melancholy about her. I fancy my sister's visit has cheered her for a while.

I rely on your discretion to keep my letters to yourself; they may do between you and me, but your quizzing sisters would be tremendous. Give my love to them all, and believe me with heartfelt tenderness, your affectionate husband,


Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her husband.

CRESSELLY, Aug. 28th, 1800.

I have felt my heart very heavy with the idea that you would be angry with me for prolonging my stay after my repeated promises that I would not, but I really found it impossible to resist. I am not sure that it would have been right to have done so. If my Father's account of his own situation was accurate it certainly would have been barbarous in me not to have staid, and as he thinks it so, the effect would be much the same on his feelings. But I am sure I am not just to you in doubting for an instant that you will enter into my feelings. I am sure I suffer more in the delay than it is possible you can, because it is more my own doing. I am persuaded your next letter will do away all my present feelings, but the comfort of meeting you will be more than I can express.

Farewell, dear Jos, love to the Children and Miss Dennis.

1 With Miss Dennis, the governess.

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Josiah Wedgwood to his wife at Cresselly.

CHRISTCHURCH, August 28, 1800.

... You cannot refuse your father a few days, as he makes a point of your staying longer than the time you had fixed, and I hope Mackintosh and J. Allen will enliven them, so as to make them pleasanter than those you have hitherto passed at Cresselly. I will not affect to say that this difficulty thrown in the way of your return is not disagreeable to me, but you need not apprehend that there is anything of anger in the sentiment. I should be more displeased with your apprehension of anger, if I did not consider that the atmosphere you have lately breathed inspires fear. I am truly sorry that your visit has turned out so little to your satisfaction, and sorry that you will set out low spirited on so long a solitary journey.... I hope you are assured that shooting would not interfere with any plan for meeting you. Shooting is a pleasant thing, and I must have active exercise, but its pleasures are subordinate indeed to those in which the affections are engaged. And it is not on my own account that I am now at all eager about it. You know how much Tom has set his heart and his hopes upon it, and I am certain you have too much kindness for him to grudge the sacrifice of part of my time to this object. I have been sometimes afraid you might think I take from you to give to him, but I have never perceived that you did, and it is a source of sincere gratification to me, and increases my esteem for you, to know that you are without jealousy on the subject, and that you return the sincere affection he bears for you. ...

I am glad you have not executed either of your schemes. Mary Allen1 I have no objection to but as taking up room, which at present we cannot spare. As to the poor little Ridgway, I should have been very sorry if you had put your scheme with respect to her in practice. I do not know that

1 Bessy wished to bring back her cousin, Mary Allen, and "little Ridgway," because she was "half-starved."

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she is a fit companion for children. If filled, as I suppose, with the notions common with uneducated Welsh persons, I am sure she is not. She would have been a fish out of water, and you would not have known what to do with her. Above all things preserve the agreeableness of your home....

I wish to heaven I could make you chear up. I owe you a spite for being cast down for nothing. My love to all your party, and I am and ever shall be, your affectionate J. W.

I go to Gunville to-morrow for good.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her husband.

CRESSELLY, Sept. 1st, 1800.


Contrary to your calculation, I received your letter of the 28th this evening, and it has made me very happy. I now hasten to write you my last dispatch from Cresselly, but I must make it short, as it is late, and I have taken a long walk which has tired me. I have been a fool to make myself at all uneasy upon the subject, when I knew at the same time that you would not be angry with me, but I don't know how it was, I thought you might feel uncomfortable, and indeed I felt so myself at the thoughts of our meeting being deferred. I have always written to you from the feelings of the moment, and perhaps I have sometimes given you a stronger impression of my being out of spirits than was just. John Allen and Mackintosh have enlivened our society very much, and I think my Father begins to relish society more than he did. I fancied he was a little afraid of Mackintosh at first, but he has now found out that he is by no means overbearing, and he finds himself comfortable in his company.

I am very glad I did not pursue my two schemes with relation to M. Allen and M. Ridgway, and I think you are perfectly right in what you say. I had no notion that our house was in so backward a state when I thought of Harriet [Surtees] paying us a visit, but if I find it inconvenient when we get to Gunville it will be very easy to put them off.

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I am very glad you acquit me of all jealousy with respect to dear Tom. I really deserve it, for there are no sacrifices I would not make to be of any service to him, compatible with my other duties. I hope he has joined you by this time, and that he finds he can pursue his game with pleasure and advantage. My kind love to him.

I am, my dearest Jos,

Yours ever,


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John Hensleigh Allen inherits Cresselly—Departure of the Mackintoshes for India—A press-gang story—Tom Wedgwood's death—Return of the Josiah Wedgwoods to Staffordshire—Sarah Wedgwood and Jessie Allen.

MR ALLEN died in 1803. His son John Hensleigh Allen inherited Cresselly, and after this date lived there with his three unmarried sisters, Jessie, Emma, and Fanny. The following letter from Fanny Allen was written whilst staying in London with the Mackintoshes. Mackintosh had been made Recorder of Bombay, and was knighted before leaving for India.

Fanny Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

DOVER STREET, January 11th [1804].

...I am glad to tell you that Kitty's spirits are pretty well recovered since parting with you. The day you left us she was terribly depressed. You know Mackintosh asked Dr Davy,1 the Sydney Smiths and Horner2 to dine

1 Brother of Sir Humphry Davy.

2 Francis Horner (1778—1817), Whig statesman, born at Edinburgh, was one of the group of young men who started the Edinburgh Review. In Parliament he became a great authority on finance, and Lord Cockburn, the Scotch Judge, described him as "possessed of greater public influence than any other private man." His early death at thirty-eight was a great public loss. "I never," said Sydney Smith, "saw anyone who combined together so much talent, worth, and warmth of heart." One of Sydney Smith's letters has a pleasant sentence about him: "Horner is ill. He was desired to read amusing books. Upon searching his library it appeared he had no amusing books. The nearest to any work of that description was the Indian Trader's Complete Guide."

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here and, before the evening was over, I think they were of great service to her spirits....

We had a very grand dinner at Erskine's,1 and, what I did not expect, I found it very pleasant. The whole house of Kemble was there (with the exception of John Kemble), Nat Bond, a Mr Morrice Lawrence, Sharp, Boddington, and ourselves. Erskine was not as lively as he was the day he dined here; he was quite absorbed in Mrs Siddons and to my mind much in love with her. She looked uncommonly handsome, but was much too dignified to be pleasant in conversation. I was very much gratified by seeing her and hearing her talk on acting which she did very unaffectedly. I must not forget to tell you she admired my gown exceedingly. She said she thought it one of the prettiest dresses she ever saw.... Mrs Erskine asked Lady Harrington to introduce Kitty, and if she goes she [Lady H.] has promised to do so. Otherwise she has given in her name to the Lady-in-waiting, and I believe has mentioned to the Queen Kitty's desire of being introduced. Miss Stewart has promised us places to see her if she goes. The Nares dined here on Saturday last; Kitty asked the S. Smiths, Charles Warren,2 Horner and Sharp3 to meet them. We had one of the pleasantest and merriest days I have passed for a long time. Mrs Nares looked uncommonly handsome and was in very good spirits, and I hope enjoyed her day very much. Sydney Smith was in his highest spirits, and pleased me particularly by talking

1 Thomas Erskine (1750—1823), the famous advocate, became Lord Chancellor and a peer about two years after this.

2 Charles Warren (1767—1823), line engraver and active member of the Society of Arts. He had a great reputation as an illustrator of books, Gil Blas, Don Quixote, etc.

3 Richard Sharp (1759—1834), commonly called "Conversation Sharp," was a well-known figure in the literary society of the time. He had known Johnson and Burke in his youth, and was intimate with Mackintosh, Rogers, Wordsworth, Canning, and the Holland-House set. Like Campbell the poet, he had been one of Tom Wedgwood's best friends. Mackintosh called him the keenest critic he knew. He had made money as a merchant, and as a London hatter. His country home, at Fredley Farm, near Mickleham in Surrey, was a favourite meeting-place for his friends. Boddington was Sharp's partner in his West Indian business.

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of my sisters in the way I wish to hear them talked of, as the very first of women. "I cannot tell you," he told me, "how much I admire and like all your sisters; they have a warmth and friendliness of manner that is delightful, but I think that Mrs Jos Wedgwood surpasses you all."

I think I have given you a very exact account of ourselves since you left us, and answered all your questions with the exception of the one about our friend B., which I really don't know how to answer. I think we are just in the same state as when you left us, not advanced and I don't think gone back, and most probably in the same place we shall ever be. He goes with us I believe to the play on Friday to see Mrs Siddons in Desdemona....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Fanny Allen.

GUNVILLE, Sunday [15th or 22nd January, 1804].

...I am glad you were too honest a girl to coquet or disqualify about B.,1 and I depend upon your telling me the whole truth and nothing but the truth....

We are going on very harmoniously. Surtees is in high good humour, but so fidgetty that I don't wonder that Harriet is so thin; she looks very well, but I think she is flat. I cannot join Jessie in thinking she is anything like a happy woman. Her spirits are not low, but there is no spring, no liveliness or self-enjoyment at all. I don't know whether she was naturally so grave, or whether it is acquired of late years, but we have had no sort of épanchement de cœur. I have not ventured upon any leading conversation, nor has she led to anything of that sort; and I daresay we shall not. She seems rather pleased at the thoughts of this ball at Blandford, and desires you will not forget to send her clothes off in time. In looking over the account of the birthday the first person that struck my eye was Lady Mackintosh. I take for granted you were in the presence chamber with Miss Stewart, a parcel of shabby plebeians, looking on the honours that had fallen upon

1 It is not known who B. was, nor whether he ever proposed.

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the family; and I desire you will give me a more particular account of Kitty's presentation, reception, and appearance. I am, however, more anxious to hear of many other things relating to poor dear Kitty, and which I hope I shall in a day or two either from herself or one of you....

I believe, my little Fanny, I owe a little of your flattering representation of what Sydney Smith said of me to your good nature. You thought it a pity I should not come in for a little of what F. B. used to call "the delicious essence," and so you very kindly sent me a little. However I am much obliged to you for your kind intention in refreshing my memory with the sound of a compliment, which I must confess has still some power to charm, vain mortals as we are....

Fanny Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

ALBEMARLE STREET, Saturday [Jan. 28th, 1804].

...Kitty and Mackintosh left town this morning, and have left me one of the heaviest hearts I have ever had. I can scarcely bear to think on their kindness to me at present. The whole week has been uncommonly painful, what with the hurry of packing and the uncertainty and expectation of going every day. It was some comfort for me to see that Kitty's spirits kept up very tolerably to the last. I did not see her this morning, but I hear she was pretty cheerful. Mackintosh was rather low, but I trust they will both feel the quitting England but trifling. I should not be much surprised if they were detained a week at Ryde; in that case Sharp, Horner, and perhaps Sydney Smith, will go down and pass the time with them. That will be very desirable for them, and I cannot but say I should envy them very much—that is to say the visitors. I don't know and I almost fear you have not heard from any of us since Kitty's presentation at Court. Miss Stewart drest her uncommonly well and prettily, and she cut an exceeding good figure; the Queen talked very graciously to her, and she met with very great civility from a great many people on the occasion, particularly from Lady Harrington, who asked her to come

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to her evening party on Sunday last. On the whole I was very glad Kitty went to Court. It was something for her to think of, and above all there is nothing like a little vanity to buoy up the spirits.

By the way you did me very great injustice in supposing I added to S. Smith's speech concerning you, for I will not call it a compliment. I never think a compliment worth repeating that I am obliged to add to. As a punishment for your unbelief, I have a great mind not to tell you that, instead of adding, I kept back part of the good things he said of you. Mackintosh, Kitty and I dined with the Smiths on Sunday last, and I have scarcely ever passed a pleasanter or merrier day. The company as usual were Sharp, Rogers, Horner and Boddington. We remained there till twelve, and you will accuse me, I suppose, of gross flattery, if I were to tell you, you were again the subject of a very warm eulogium from more of the gentlemen than Sydney Smith. It was a very humorous dispute and amused me very much. I will not detail it you, because of your unbelief. But Sydney put an end to that part of it which treated of the different degrees of dependence they could place in you and my other sisters in case of any emergency, by declaring he would rely on your kindness to nurse him during a fever, and Jenny's only in a toothache—this was unanswerable and unanswered. They have asked me to spend a few days with them this next week, which I think I shall do. I expect Sydney almost every minute to fix the day. I am happy to have it in my power to cultivate a friendship with them both; I have met with no people in London that I like so much as I do them, or who have showed me more unremitting kindness....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her husband.

GUNVILLE, Sunday Morning, May 5th [1805].


The only thing that has occurred since I wrote last has been the taking of poor Job Harding by the Press-gang,

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which has excited a great sensation in the village, and for which I am truly concerned. The night before last they knocked at the door and told the Hardings to get up, as the Press-gang were at Hinton and were coming to take them. Job got up and went down stairs, but they had broke open the door and seized him and carried him off, without giving him time to tie his garters or to put on his coat. The other brother Jem was very ill from a chill, but the Lieut. went up and satisfied himself as to the truth of it, and he had humanity enough to leave him behind, though he said they should come for him very soon. They then went to George Collin's, but he would not open the door or answer when they called, but prepared to stand on the defensive, for which purpose he broke the child's crib to have the stick as a weapon of defence. The crew hearing the crash, thought he had broke through to the next house and made his escape; and so they went off, and he escaped for this time, but I am afraid they will get him and Jem Harding. The poor wife of Job (unlike her namesake in the Bible) is gone off this morning to comfort her husband and to take him some necessaries, and I suppose the pay she received last night, which amounted to 16s., to which Tom added some articles from his wardrobe, and I a guinea; and A. Harding's wife went with her out of friendship (a walk of 40 miles to and from Poole). A good many others of the women went to send her. I saw a letter to-day from him to his wife, written in such a simple honest style, that it interested me very much in his favour. The other two men are frightened to death at the thought of their turn coming next; and they don't lie at home. But what a sad life it is to be feeling the torments of fear, and skulking like a felon, and that for such a length of time as they probably will. Our waggoner coming from Poole yesterday met poor Harding escorted by three men armed, and himself pinioned. I declare this circumstance almost made a Bethlen Gabor1 of me.

1 Bethlen Gabori (1580—1629) was of a noble Protestant family in Hungary, and rose gloriously in defence of the civil rights of the Bohemians. He was introduced by Godwin into his novel St. Leon.

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B.1 had a letter from my Joe yesterday. He asks whether Papa does not mean to come and see him before the holidays, as many of the boy's fathers are coming to see their sons. He says the holidays will begin next Wednesday six weeks, and if we fetch him a week before, the five weeks will soon run out; and I wish you would write to Mr Coleridge to mention the matter of his coming home a week before they break up, and then I can tell my Joe of it, which will make him very happy. I had nearly resolved upon setting off to see him to-morrow, but I have thought better of it. The journey so long, the time of being with him so short, and the pain of parting considered, I think it will be as well not to think of seeing him before the holidays.

Tom Wedgwood died at Eastbury, near Gunville, where he lived with his mother, on 10th July, 1805, after much suffering.

Bessy wrote to her sisters (July, 1805): "Indeed the more I think of him the more his character rises in my opinion; he really was too good for this world. Such a crowd of feelings and remembrances fill my mind while I am recalling all his past kindnesses to me and mine, and to all his acquaintances, that I feel myself quite unfit to make his panegyric, but I trust my children will ever remember him with veneration as an honour to the family to which he belonged....

"Eastbury was always rather gloomy in my eyes, now it looks the picture of Melancholy, and poor Tom's empty rooms I cannot look upon without a painful serrement de cœur, like himself, hid behind the high laurels, melancholy and retired. His forsaken windows remind me continually of himself, and I can hardly forbear expecting to see him walking out in his way, throwing one foot before the other in a despairing manner as if he did not care whether the other ever followed. He was laid in the Vault here on Tuesday se'ennight..."

After Tom Wedgwood's death the Josiah Wedgwoods left Dorset. Maer Hall was bought about 1805, but they did not inhabit it fully till 1807. In 1812 they seem to have moved for a time to Etruria, probably for the sake of economy.

1 Elizabeth, the eldest child. Joe, now aged ten, was at school at Ottery St Mary with Mr George Coleridge, brother of the poet. He was a delicate little boy, and I think it was his first year at school.

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All trade with the Continent was crippled owing to the war, and the income from the Works had gone down; the incometax also was then 2s. in the pound. They came back finally to Maer in 1819.

Sarah Wedgwood, the writer of the following letter, was the youngest sister of Jos. She never married, although she had many proposals.

Sarah Wedgwood to Jessie Allen.

DARLASTON [STAFFORDSHIRE], Sept. 5 [probably 1807].


It is a long time since I have written a letter from feeling an inclination to do so. Since the humour is now on me I will indulge it tho" it is late; all the world is gone to bed, and my writing tackle is miserable....

Your conjecture that Buxton might become a pet place with me has not been realised. Nothing ever was much duller; the company during the whole fortnight I was there continued in the same insipid way they set out, neither genteel, agreeable, sensible, nor anything but good-humoured and civil; you cannot think how few exceptions there were. We went out but once while I staid; that was to the play on Saturday to see Elliston in the Honeymoon and the Hunter of the Alps. I was very much entertained—more pleased (don't tell) than I was at any play in London. All but Elliston were execrable actors, but the play itself is amusing and he acts charmingly; but the farce, there I was in my glory! crying at a farce! (the last time I had cried before was at Astley's). Before I proceed, I must say for my credit's sake what I know to be true, that the farce is one of the poorest things that ever was seen—that granted, I proceed to say how delighted I was with it. There were two of the dearest little children in the world acting in it. In general I am quite of the opinion of the person whom Baugh [Allen] quotes as admiring Herod on these occasions, but I must rejoice that these two were spared; one was not the least affected in the world, the other only the

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least in the world; they were like two children saying the thing in earnest, and Elliston, dear delightful Elliston, never in my life did I see anything so sweet and pretty as his way of acting with them. The mixture of tenderness and fun in his manner to them was bewitching. I wish you had seen one of the dear little things telling him not to be frightened when he turned round suddenly and saw him, and Elliston's sweet comical look in return. But charming as this was (and how superb it must appear in description!) it was nothing to a scene afterwards where he divided a cake between the two little things who were starving. What an idiot you must think me! I don't care, I did enjoy it beyond measure: I was so delighted that I was obliged to make little Sally1 my confidante when I got home, there being nobody else at hand. It is well for you you were not there, you would have been well tired of my raptures.2

Jos and Bessy and Kitty [Wedgwood] went to a fête at Crewe Hall on Saturday morning. The chief amusements were to have been out of doors, but owing to the badness of the day they could not go out, and had not much to do within. There were about a hundred people there, and five rooms open; they had a luncheon at three o'clock, coffee and ices afterwards and a dance, some very nice singing too by Miss Crewe and some other ladies. Lady Crewe was so much distressed by the badness of the day that she was not like herself, but very civil and attentive. Miss Crewe they all thought charming. They knew a good many people there, and did not feel at all like lost sheep. They came away at six o'clock. Jos danced away—the ladies did not—but Kitty was engaged to dance with Mr Ricketts when they came away. I would not have gone for the world, as society by daylight is my aversion.

1 Her niece, Sarah Elizabeth, John Wedgwood's eldest child, later called Eliza.

2 They are justified to us by the two Essays of Charles Lamb: "To the Shade of Elliston," beginning "Joyousest of once embodied spirits," and "Ellistoniana." Leigh Hunt called him "the best lover on the stage."

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We are going to have a grand dinner-party here on Tuesday. We shall be sixteen, the Tollets with several friends, Whalleys with ditto, and W. Sneyds. In a moment of insanity we had invited the Meafordites1 too; happily they were engaged or I don't know what would have become of us; we are now two more than our dinner-table will hold with all possible squeezing, and we have calculated that seven must sit on the drawing-room sofa. We must hope for a cool day.

I have read nothing lately, and as to my thoughts I have never once found pleasure or profit in their company since I left London. I was not quite well before I went to Buxton, and I hope that was what made me so disagreeable; if I am to be subject to these devildum humours I had rather my body should be to blame than my mind: I am well now, and I hope come to my senses a little, but not come to my Fenton state of perfection yet. You don't tell me whether you have recovered your spirits; have you? Pray let me know if W. K. makes his proposals in due form; you would make such a popular dame that it will be a thousand pities if you refuse him and miss your vocation.

We went to look at Maer the other day; it is wonderfully improved, and will be one of the pleasantest places in the country. It does not seem to be nearly ready, but the painting is finished and the papering nearly; the walk round the pool, if they make it, will be delightful; the new road is a prodigious improvement....

1 The Jervises, Lord St Vincent's family.

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John Allen's marriage—Jessie, Emma, and Fanny Allen at Dulwich—The Mackintoshes in Great George Street—An escapade of the Duke of Brunswick—London parties and Madame de Staël.

IN 1812 John Hensleigh Allen, of Cresselly, married Gertrude, daughter of Lord Robert Seymour. His three sisters had lived with him since his father's death in 1803, and these nine years were often looked back on as a time of peculiar happiness to all. Their home at Cresselly now came to an end, and they went first to the Josiah Wedgwoods and there stayed eight months. This long visit laid the foundation of the lifelong friendship between the aunts and their nieces.

The following letters were written whilst they were in or near London, after the visit to Staffordshire was over. Sir James and Lady Mackintosh had returned from India and were living in Great George Street, Westminster, and Baugh Allen was Master of Dulwich College. To be near him the Allen sisters had taken lodgings at Dulwich, but were often at Great George Street. In the following letter "little Fan" is Fanny Mackintosh, their niece, aged about thirteen, and Kitty their sister Lady Mackintosh.

Emma Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

DULWICH, July 2nd [1813].

...The next day, Saturday, which you know was fixed for my going down here, Kitty was just enough to provoke a saint, and made me feel as if I was enchanted in her house. At breakfast I talked of my going, and told her I wished to go by the 4 o'clock coach; to this she agreed and made me understand she would bid John take places at that time, and our dinner was ordered before three.

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Kitty however placed herself at her writing, and would give me no satisfactory answer, but bid me not disturb her every now and then when I questioned her what she had done. At four, she sent John to ask what time the coach went over the bridge, and he found the Dulwich coach just gone, and the last coach would not go till 10, which was too late. Then she had many schemes afloat about our going in the Sydenham coach, or in fact going into any coach we could find that would take us near the park; for she was resolved I should go down somehow. Sometimes she would in the intervals of her writing propose that she, Jessie, and I should walk down, then with a "Don't disturb me now, child," she went on with her letter till 6. When that was finished and dispatched, all her schemes for me ended by her sending for a hackney-coach, into which we four sisters got and little Fanny, and went altogether to Dulwich, drank tea with Baugh, where I and little Fan remained, and the rest departed. The evening was beautiful and the country in high perfection, and we all enjoyed the drive in our old hack, and Kitty was so agreeable and in such high spirits that I quite forgave her for being such a Mrs Worry till 6. It gave me however rather a distaste for George Street, so that I feel no desire to return to it, and am perfectly satisfied with my lodgings and enjoy the quiet and regularity of them. If I had had an idea I could have made myself as comfortable in them as I now find I am, I should like to have settled here in time for you to have witnessed it; for I am convinced we shall not ourselves derive more satisfaction from the conviction of our own comfort than you will, so tender an interest have you taken about us, and so largely have you contributed to our happiness and comforts in various ways. I felt at one time so unreasonably acutely the loss of John [Allen]'s society in his marriage, that I thought I would not for any reward repass the period of it; now however I feel I would, if it was to be followed by so much kindness and affection as we found in Staffordshire. The feeling of that remains a lasting satisfaction....

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Jessie Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.


...I have wanted to write to you for several days but have been too busy. We began the job of arranging the books1 on Tuesday, and found it so much a heavier task than we expected, that it kept us hard at work till Saturday night, not finding leisure even for a walk, and is not finished at last; and what is, so ill done that I am sure Mackintosh will not let it stand. Our labours have been something like the Spanish war, constantly at work but for no useful or happy purpose.

In the last happy eight months I have passed with you, dearest Bessy, I have so much to thank you for that I know not where to begin or end. I must take refuge in seeming ungrateful, and saying nothing tho" I have felt it at my heart's core. After you left us Kitty gave me your present for flowers. I have chosen some of the most beautiful that ever was seen. I used to hate myself à la Flore; if I become fantastic the sin is yours. Certainly I never admired myself so much as when I wore your chaplet on Wednesday at Mrs Philipps's party. Lady Romilly told me she could not take her eyes from my head the whole evening, my flowers were so beautiful.

Mme de Staël dined with the Phillipps's, and went off from table to dress herself and daughter for the Prince's fête. She was to have a private presentation to the Queen at nine o'clock, unluckily for us, as that hurried her away sooner than she otherwise would have gone. We had however a very agreeable evening, conversing a great deal with Mr Wishaw and Charles Grant2 more quietly and longer than one generally does at a rout. The former told us he had dined the preceding Sunday at Mr Pigou's, where Mme de Staël made several of her most eloquent harangues, and he had never been a more delighted listener. It is her

1 Mrs Godfrey Wedgwood, Sir James Mackintosh's grand-daughter, says these books were three deep in their shelves.

2 Afterwards Lord Glenelg.

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favourite and best mode of showing herself. In common conversing, he told us, she appeared like any other clever woman, but in one of these harangues there is such a burst of feeling, such eloquent language, and such deep thought, and so much action, that it is the most extraordinary and interesting thing he has ever witnessed. Her subjects, he said, were invective against Buonaparte, praise of Bernadotte, the state of Europe, and above all the happiness of Englishmen. Her daughter was there and seemed a sensible, modest, plain girl. She said she was come to England to give her children a religious education. Her book on suicide is just coming out, and is dedicated to Bernadotte, who she says is exceedingly beloved by the Swedes, whom he renders happy as it is possible. She complains heavily of the London hours and large parties. I hope it will not drive her from London before next June....

Emma Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

GREAT GEORGE STREET, July 28 [1813].

...The next day Tuesday was the Vauxhall day,1 and so tedious a one it was, and the circumstances of it were altogether so vexatious, that I do not know whether I shall have patience to tell you about it. In the first place Kitty's head was in a gale of wind all day—forgot to order her horses, borrowed the Bosanquet's, whose cross coachman was from quarter before ten till half after one driving us there, all which time being stewed four in a chaise, and having near a mile afterwards to walk through a frightful crowd, so exhausted our spirits that we found none to enjoy the spectacle on first entering; yet I must allow it was very striking. Fanny was the only one of us who picked up a beau, and she shared our old friend Hare2 for an hour with Lydia White. His coxcombical powers

1 Fête at Vauxhall Gardens to celebrate the victory of Vittoria in the preceding month.

2 Francis Hare (or Hare-Naylor), b. 1753, d. 1815, father of Archdeacon Julius Hare, and his brothers Francis, Augustus, and Marcus. He was much in Italy, and was one of the first to give commissions to Flaxman the sculptor when a youth in Rome.

VOL. I. 3

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have eat out his agreeable ones. After we had walked till we were tired, which was not long, we got into a room near the garden gates to watch for the drawing up of the carriage, and there we had to wait till six in the morning, when we had almost the whole time Lord Hertford's1 company, who looked tired like any dog. He heard Kitty abuse this party to her heart's content. She was very clamorous for something to eat. It was wonderful how good her spirits continued throughout the whole of it; the most agreeable part of the time was when we got into the carriage and drove home without obstruction. When there, found Mackintosh in bed, and that we had gone to Vauxhall a quarter too soon, or a great many quarters too late, for Mackintosh and Mr Rogers, with whom M. had that day dined, came here at ten for us, and they in their hack made their way so well that they got to the gardens in less than an hour, and were home here again by two, after seeing and knowing all the best company. This was too provoking a miss for us. Since, we have only been at Mr Boddington's party, which was thought by everyone a remarkably agreeable one; I found it much too short, for I had hardly time to look about me before I was taken away; for M.'s sleeping at Holland House obliged Kitty to leave sooner, for the purpose of setting him down first. Both Fanny and I were that night introduced to Madame de Staël, but that night I wanted courage to get near enough to hear her, the room was too light. M. and Kitty were delighted with their dinner party. It chiefly consisted of Sir Samuel2 and Lady Romilly, Tierney3 and Ward, and

1 The Marquis of Hertford was uncle of Mrs Allen of Cresselly. He is generally believed to have been the original of Thackeray's "Marquis of Steyne," as also of Disraeli's "Lord Monmouth." The collection of pictures and works of art in Manchester Square, bequeathed to the nation by the widow of his son, Sir Richard Wallace, was formed by him.

2 He is now best remembered as the man whose persistent efforts brought about a mitigation of the then terribly severe criminal law, under which some two hundred different offences were punishable by death. The Miss Romilly who married Baugh Allen in 1820 was his niece.

3 Noted Whig politician (b. 1761, d. 1830).

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Mme de Staël and her son. Sir Samuel awed Madame from her usual harangues into very agreeable conversation, and he was by all hands allowed to have been very charming. Mr Tierney said he never saw Mackintosh more agreeable, and Mac said much the same of him, so Lord Holland said he was convinced it must have been a most agreeable day. Mackintosh generally shews himself among us some part of the day, and gives us an account of all he sees and hears at Holland House and elsewhere. He is in very good spirits and appears to enjoy himself very much. The other day he witnessed a scene there between the Marquis Wellesley1 and Mme de Staël that he said he shall never forget. At dinner she attacked him for his speech on the Swedish Treaty, which he repelled with so much address that he was the admiration of the whole table. His sarcasm was so tempered with humour and politeness, keeping it strictly to answering her and never attacking her, tho" everyone saw she was entirely in his power, that he could not fail to delight the whole company, while he did not in the least offend her once. Mack thought she looked as if she suspected the smile that was passing over the face of the company, and acknowledged her ignorance of that kind of warfare by turning to Mackintosh and saying, "Ah! il est bien facile de m'attraper." After dinner she stood up and harangued for half-an-hour against peace in the style of the "Regicide Peace." This was so entirely against the sentiments of every one present that Lord Holland did not give it so pleasant a reception as the Marquis did her attack upon him, but gravely declared his opinions were entirely contrary to hers on that subject. When she went away he declared she was the most presumptuous woman he had ever met with....

1 Eldest brother of the Duke of Wellington (b. 1760, d. 1842). He had made his fame as Governor-General of India (1797—1805) during the critical time of the Mahratta war, and had since been our Ambassador at Madrid and Foreign Minister.

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Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Jessie Allen.

PARKFIELDS,1 July 25 [1813].


I think Mme de Staël is not only witty herself but the cause of wit in others, for I have just seen two of the pleasantest letters imaginable from you and Fanny about her. I have heard that Lady Davy said that before she knew la de Staël she was only an ordinary woman, and to her she owed all her elevation. Far be it from me to insinuate, Ladies, that you are only ordinary women, but certainly the accounts you have given of her are in your very best stile, and have amused and interested us very much. You have all been so good to us country folks since I left you, that you beggar thanks....

As to Fanny's going to Mrs Clifford's, she must not go unless she has a mind to have William Clifford. If she goes to Perrystone and afterwards refuses W. C., I will say of her that she is the greatest coquet in England.

I came here last night with Jos, who is gone by this morning's mail to Exeter and from thence to Cornwall. He thinks of spending one day with Tom Poole2 at Stowey, but I dare say he is gone to see his friend Mme de Staël. Kitty [Wedgwood] and Miss Morgan are on their tour; I saw two letters from K. highly expressive of their enjoyment. It was from Capel Curig, which they had made their head-quarters for a week, making riding excursions from thence. Kitty's enjoyment of these sort of things seems to make her quite a new creature. Her letters from these little inns among the mountains are full of life, spirit, and humour....

Etruria, Sunday night. I heard a story at Parkfields that has made a great sensation at Shrewsbury, but so much care has been taken to keep it out of the papers that you will not see it there.

1 Parkfields, where Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, senior, now lived with her daughters Kitty and Sarah.

2 Tom Poole, tanner, farmer and land-agent, of Nether Stowey in Somersetshire, was an attached friend of Tom and Josiah Wedgwood. It was through him that they became known to Coleridge.

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A gentn came to the Talbot Inn and ordered a chaise and four to take him on the Oswestry road, ordering the drivers to stop where they met a chaise with a lady in it. About ten miles off a chaise and four with a lady made its appearance. The Gentn got out of his own chaise into hers, and ordered the Post boys to drive back to Shrewsbury to the Lion. The Master of the Talbot was so highly offended at this, that he went in to a set of Gentn who were drinking in his house, and communicated his suspicions, and that this gentn, who called himself Capt. Brown, was a Frenchman making his escape. Away went the whole party to the other Inn in pursuit of this Frenchman, and began their questions—his name, Capt. Brown, his profession, the Army. They shewed him the Army List. His name was not there. He then said he was the Duke of Brunswick.1 This they scouted and asked him why he was not on his own territories. He got into such a passion that he knocked one of them down with a chair, and forcing his way out made his escape. However that would not do; they halloed "Stop thief" after him, and brought him back, and he was locked up in a room with his fair companion all night, with a couple of sentinels at the door. The next morning, which was Friday, they sent to Mr Cecil Forrester to identify the man. He said he did not know the Duke of Brunswick personally, and began to cross-examine him. "Were you at the Prince's Fête?"—"Yes."—"Who led out the Princess Charlotte?"—"Myself." Mr Forrester became staggered; he said he could not venture to release him upon his own authority, but he shewed his belief in the truth of his story by sending him fruit, fish, etc.; but still they were both in prison. An express was then sent off to Lord Liverpool [Prime Minister] and Mr Jenkinson came down, identified the Duke, and he was immediately set at liberty, after having been in durance from Thursday till Sunday. He was in a violent passion, not, he said, so much on his own account as the Lady's,

1 Brother of Queen Caroline, born 1771. Killed two years later at Quatre Bras.

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whose character he feared would not be mended by this little exploit. He offered to tell Mr J. who she was but he declined knowing. He wanted very much to punish his persecutors, and Mr J. had some difficulty in persuading him that could not be done in England, as he ought to have had his passport. This anecdote will not help the respect in which John Bull considers sovereign Princes at present....

Jessie Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

DULWICH, July 31st [1813].

Many boxes1 have gone to Etruria since I received your letter, my own Elizabeth, and in many have I promised to put in my answer, and my thanks; but I have been very dissipated and consequently very idle. I have found out that taking one's pleasure, usually called idleness, is the busiest thing in the world. After next Tuesday, when we mean to exhibit in a grand breakfast, much against my own inclination, we shall lay up in Dulwich quietly for the remainder of the summer....

On Thursday I went to Kitty [Mackintosh]'s, to be ready for her evening party, which did not turn out as pleasant as might have been expected from the excellent company assembled there; indeed I thought it very dull, but publish not this in Gath, neither proclaim it in the streets of Askalon, for behold la Baronne de Staël was there, Lord Byron, the poet Rogers, wicked Ward,2 his enemy who reviewed him in the Quarterly, and whom he hates most cordially, and divers others of inferior note. This was the first of Mackintosh's Staëliennes evenings and it was a complete failure. Mme de Staël came into the room very much out of spirits, and as she was the principal person, it of course threw a damp over the listeners;

1 The family often sent letters by the boxes of pottery going to and fro between Etruria and the London office.

2 William Ward, third Viscount Dudley. It was upon him that Rogers made the epigram:

"Ward has no heart, they say; but I deny it.

He has a heart—he gets his speeches by it."

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she hardly said anything at first, and Mack's efforts to restore her to her noble self were excellent, but almost awful from the silence with which they were received. Mme de Staël would not, as before, sit still and converse with Mackintosh, but was pursuing Lord Byron, who was continually escaping from her; and then she had recourse to Mr Ward, but still standing or walking about like one uneasy. The Swedish Ambassador, the Count de Palema, was also there, with whom she talked a little; but nothing passed worth recording except a characteristic speech of Lord Byron's. He said he was going to Athens, and from thence to Persia and India, and asked Mack for letters to Rich1 at Bagdad. Mme de Staël affected to believe he was not in earnest, that he could not seriously mean to leave England, and proposed to him the misery of "finding himself alone, abandoned and dying in a distant land." "One is sufficiently fatigued with one's friends during life, I should find it hard to be bored with them in death also." "Ah! my Lord, you are happy, you have felt the happiness d'être entouré, moi je crains d'être abandonnée." The conversation was in French and her answer sounded more elegant than I can make it. I wish I was a better French woman. Lord Byron is an interesting looking person, pale and strong lines. When he speaks, contrary to other people's, his countenance takes a much severer expression; he does not look ill-natured till he speaks. Mr Rogers was out of humour at meeting Ward, and went off almost immediately, and Ward was sneering at everybody and everything, amongst others at Campbell's "Pleasures of Hope." Campbell was to have been there but was prevented by a friend's visit. Mme de Staël brought her daughter to Kitty's, which is reckoned a great mark of distinction. She is rather pretty, very modest, and very silent. I endeavoured to make her talk, but did not succeed very capitally. The party broke up at half-past twelve, and the general feeling must have been that it was a dull one.

1 Claudius Rich, a remarkable orientalist, married Mary, Mackintosh's second daughter by his first wife.

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You will be surprised to hear that I have quite a dread of Tuesday, and heartily wish it over. Mackintosh invited all these people to breakfast with us without consulting us, and without considering that we have not room for half of those he has asked. On my return from Letitia [Knox]'s I found I had to provide room and a breakfast for Mme de Staël, her son and daughter, Campbell and his wife, Mrs Graham, Sharp, Mack and his wife, George Newnham and Baugh, the only two I have invited. We shall be altogether a party of fourteen, our little room only holds eight. I was therefore obliged to borrow Baugh's room at the College. Mackintosh intende us an immense pleasure, and I dare not tell him how very far from one it is to me, or he would accuse me of a brutal disregard of genius. The fact is, I have very little pleasure in their company; after all, they put forth their best in writing. I would much rather read their works; that is surer than their society, which fails in giving one pleasure at least 6 times for once that it succeeds, and then is seldom equal to one's expectation. Oh! how far preferable a friendly visit would be. If a detachment from Etruria only were coming, with what a far happier, lighter heart I should prepare for them! I foresee that Talleyrand will not be the only one "si fatigué d'esprit." There are a few already that venture to laugh, one or two that acknowledge she tires them, and some that prophesy that in the long run Mme de Staël would be tiresome; so that I think she will be likely to visit Athens sooner than she intended.

When I was at Letitia's I went with her to call on Catalani,1 and was excessively pleased with her. She had

1 Angelica Catalani (1779—1849) was the greatest singer of her time, and one of the very greatest the world has ever seen. She had a glorious voice, and wonderful powers of execution. She could sing as a "sweet sustained note" the G which is eight notes above the upper treble line. She was a simple, pious, modest, generous woman, and gave away a great part of what she earned. It is mentioned that in one year she made £16,000. She sang in England from 1805 to 1813, and again from 1824 to 1828. My husband's mother described the immense effect Catalani produced when singing "God save the King" at a Festival in Hereford.

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just had a visit from a set of Custom-House officers, information having been laid that she had contraband goods, and she gave so animated an account of the whole scene that it was quite a beautiful piece of acting. There is something I think quite charming about her, so much sensibility and a naïveté so unaffected....

I am glad the rides about Etruria are so much prettier than you expected. What tho" it is not so delightful a place as that dear Maer, I have no doubt you will be as happy there, for happiness is like heaven, more a state than a place. I have given you such a dose as to completely tire myself, which I do not fear doing you.

God bless my dear Elizabeth, I am ever her affectionate


Jessie Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

DULWICH, November 22 [1813].

How eternal and continual are your kindnesses, dearest Bessy. Since I have written to you we have had five packages, containing things most useful and most pleasant. Emma and Fanny were writing to you and therefore at the time told you, I hope, how excellent your gifts were, and how obliged we were, but I must repeat it for my own satisfaction. You shock me, tho", by paying the carriage. You make your presents extravagant to yourself, and what bargains after all they would be to us and leave their carriage on their heads. We are going to feast on your plumbs to-day.... I suppose you have heard the generosity and active kindness of the Warden1 towards Baugh [Allen] in undertaking, in his absence, the plan of enabling him to marry and retain his place at the College....

1 Dr John Allen (1771—1843), well known in connection with Holland House, was no relation to the Cresselly Allens. Byron says of him that "he was the best-informed and one of the ablest men he knew." Dulwich College, of which he was Warden, whilst Baugh Allen was Master, was founded in 1606 by Edward Alleyn, the renowned actor. The college consisted of a chapel, a schoolhouse, and twelve almshouses, and the Master and Warden were both always to be of the name of Alleyn. The whole foundation is, of course, now entirely altered.

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Sara came here on Friday to dinner, having spent a day in George Street in her way, one of the few luckily that Mackintosh was at home. She is to see Mme de Staël either next Saturday or Sunday at Mackintosh's. He gave her so kind a reception and was so agreeable as to send her to us in high spirits. I wish her visit may turn out well for her, but I think we were bold to ask her, yet if she can see Mme de Staël once or twice she would put up with much.

Fanny [Allen] ought to have written to you. She has been staying a fortnight lately at the seat of intellect, but she has brought us home very little. Mackintosh does not seem much better, and I am afraid will not be well enough to cut a figure in Paliament this Session, or do anything but chat with the old Dowagers. Lady Holland and Mme de Staël have entered the lists together and divide the prize, and terribly does he lose his precious time between them. I wish the latter had remained longer with the Crown Prince.1 Fanny went to a party at her house but heard more music than conversation, but Mme de Staël talked to her, and seemed at last to know her, and said she was very pretty.

I have just been reading Anne Caldwell's2 play and am delighted with it. It has infinitely surpassed my expectations. She is a person of extraordinary genius I think. The poetry is really beautiful. I hardly ever read anything that filled my mind with more poetic images; the scenery is exquisite, and there is a warmth, a purity and delicacy in the sentiment I have scarcely ever met with, and that is very delightful. The songs are excessively pretty. I want to read again Miss Baillie's3 "Hope," which I thought the prettiest of her compositions, yet, from memory, I doubt if Anne's is not a more delightful thing. This would rank Anne very high in genius, as Miss Baillie was ranked by Mackintosh, when in India, as the third greatest living

1 Bernadotte became Crown Prince of Sweden in 1810.

2 Afterwards Mrs Marsh, author of Two Old Men's Tales, etc.

3 Joanna Baillie, who had then a great reputation, best known by her Plays on the Passions.

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genius. Mme de Staël and Goethe the German were the two others. Extraordinary, that in a classification of this sort by such a judge as Mack, two of the three should have been women. I shall, I think, let Campbell see Anne's play if I find it succeeds with Mackintosh. Fan read it aloud on Sunday evening, and Baugh was as much delighted with it as I am. Dr Holland1 has not yet recovered from the effects of his Icelandic tour to have been so cold about it. Will men never be just to women? If they have dabbled themselves in ink the least in the world, the thing is impossible....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Emma Allen.

PARKFIELDS, Nov. 27 [1813].


Nothing can be more delightful than the present course of events, public and private, a post is quite flat now if it does not bring news of a revolution.2

Give my kind love to Sarah and thank her for her letter. In the pleasing uncertainty in which her mind was when she wrote to me, I cannot guess whether she will be glad or sorry to hear that we have left the Church-going Clause in our Articles,3 but so it is, and I make no doubt but she will be resigned either way. Tell her also that we like all her alterations exceedingly and think all she has done judicious, and what is more, Miss Morgan thinks so too. Sarah must feel very happy after all her trouble to be out of the bother of the Club just now.

We are all come here (dovelies4 also) to stay till Tuesday.

1 Dr Holland, mentioned frequently in these letters, was a second cousin of the Wedgwoods and Darwins. His father was Peter Holland, surgeon, of Knutsford (the "Cranford" of Mrs. Gaskell's novel). Dr Holland, afterwards Sir Henry Holland, became a popular London doctor, and was made Physician to Queen Victoria. He married first Emma Caldwell, of the Linley Wood family, and afterwards Saba, daughter of Sydney Smith.

2 Wellington's army entered France 7 Oct., 1813, and the battle of Leipsic was fought 16th to 18th Oct.

3 Referring to the "Prudent Man's Friend Society," see p. 65.

4 The family name for the two little girls Fanny and Emma Wedgwood.

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On Thursday we go to Linley1 to stay till Saturday and I have issued cards for a grand dinner on the 7th.

Jessie's praise of Anne Caldwell's play is a very striking contrast to Dr Holland's frigid approbation. I have not read it yet, but I shall feel much interest to know what the judges with you say of it....

Jessie Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.


... On Monday Mackintosh, Fanny [Allen] and I dined with the Bosanquets. We had a pleasant day, but owing to Mackintosh, whom I never saw more excellent. He happened to be well and in good spirits. There was no one particular to excite him; Mr Hallam2 was the best man after himself, but was better in what he drew from M. than what he produced himself. For once the conversation was general at that house, and well it was for me, as Mr Puller would have been my mate, had Mrs Bos, as is usual with her, made it a St Valentine's Day. The fog was so thick we were almost obliged to feel our way home. It took us above an hour to make the transit, but Mackintosh was as agreeable as it was possible to be, amidst the variety of cautions he was giving John to take care of us.

Yesterday, Tuesday, we dined at the George Freres, and had a pleasant day amidst a party we did not know, and of no note, but more men than women luckily, and for the most part sensible and unpretending. Mackintosh dined with Ward. We took him up in our way back and passed another very agreeable hour or two in the streets with him, the fog worse than before. He had a most brilliant party at Ward's, but the conversation was not

1 The Caldwells" house, Linley Wood, near Talk o" th" Hill.

2 Henry Hallam (1777—1859), then known as a scholar and Edinburgh Reviewer. He had not yet brought out the book which made his fame as an historian, Europe during the Middle Ages. His son was the "A. H. H." of In Memoriam, through whom the name must live, whatever posterity may think of the father's books.

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equal to the company; he was not well and did not himself exhibit, and it was evident the [Bosanquet dinner] had been more agreeable to him, tho" he would never own it. Mme de Staël, Brougham, Lord Byron, Sharp, and some others of not very inferior note were the party. Mack and Brougham fraternized almost affectionately, and the latter and Mme de Staël were far better friends than were expected. They talked chiefly to each other so that Brougham, I suppose, is entirely softened to her. He and Horner stand almost alone in not admiring her book.1 They are two powerful oppositions, but I do not believe the faction against it gains much in numbers.

Thursday—Mackintosh went yesterday to the Staffords at Richmond, with the Staëls. He does not return till tomorrow. He received a very kind and approving letter from Lord Grey on Wednesday. Lord G. writes immediately after reading his speech, and seems warmly and unaffectedly to admire it, particularly the part on Switzerland, and this particularly pleases Mackintosh. He felt a good deal the Examiner's attack on Sunday in the critique on Grattan, so that nothing could be better timed than Lord Grey's praise. How unfit for public life M. is. His unresenting nature lays him open to every coward. I wish he had the baton of Diogenes to lay about him a little. Brougham complimented him on his speech and expressed sorrow, with some feeling, on his illness. Mackintosh is convinced he is not the writer of those parliamentary critiques in the Examiner, and is much pleased to believe he is not; it is odd so good a writer is not known. Mackintosh goes to Whitbread's on Sunday: he does not think it wise to refuse the friendly invitation of so potent a defender, but while he is so constantly engaged it is impossible he can get well. Lady Holland has sent him two invitations since yesterday; he dines I believe to-day with the Duchess of Devonshire. I cannot endure that these old Jesabels should make such a property of him. How he wastes his strength and time amongst them!

1 De l"Allemagne.

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Mme de Staël loses some considerable property in the Italian funds; she says that peace is her death-warrant, but she is reconciled that it should be for the sake of Europe. She will, I imagine, find it difficult to live in London even tho" her income did not diminish. M. found her in tears on Tuesday on account of her pecuniary losses. Have you heard that old Edgeworth is enraged with the reception that Mme de Staël receives, and says it renders valueless what the "pure Maria Edgeworth" received? If Mme de Staël hears this she will not, as she intended, go to Edgeworthstown in her tour through Ireland; and that she will hear it, there is no doubt, as she has very ready ears....

Emma Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

DULWICH, Febry. 10th [1814].


In spite of my most earnest entreaty that you would spare your eyes and time and not spend them, most precious as they are, in my service, here is the gown1 arrived and such a beauty. I thought I should never cease to admire it. You have so far surpassed Fanny's in taste and elegance that I may avoid wearing it the same time, in mercy to hers, for she agrees with me in admiring it far beyond her own, and hers is a taste you do not despise. What pains it must have cost you! I had no idea you could have made it so beautiful. However they have not been spent only in making me smart, for I feel there is something delightful in possessing the work of a loved hand.

Fanny had one delightful day at George Street. Sharp and Wishaw dined there and Mme de Staël, and Miss Berry2 came in the evening. Madame talked of herself and her works in the most open way and the whole party declared

1 Readers of one sex may care to know that it was black, with some appliqué work in green leaves.

2 Mary Berry (1763—1852) and her sister Agnes (a year younger) were the two clever and attractive young ladies who so bewitched Horace Walpole in his old age. He was about fifty years their senior. He called them his twin wives, offered to marry Mary, settled them at Little Strawberry Hill in order to have them always near, and left them the house with £4,000 apiece.

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they had never seen her more delightful. She said she should never write another novel because she could never again feel the passion of love, and it was necessary for her to feel the passion she described. There was one thing she said she deeply repented having written, that on divorce in Delphine. On Saturday the Staëls again dined with the Mackintoshes and Payne-Knight.1 Both Jessie and Fanny were then present, but they were far from enjoying it, the dinner was such a curious scene of blunder of the servants, odd management and under-directions from Kitty, who was too much occupied with her bad dinner to promote conversation or have any time for it. The evening of that day there was a small but very brilliant party, consisting of the Staffords, Lansdownes and Kinnairds. My sisters appeared well pleased that they had seen the party, but I fancy at the time-being there was not much pleasure in the sight. They were however much taken with Lady Lansdowne and Lady Charlotte Gore's manners, and Mr Knight they thought very agreeable in spite of his bad countenance—but I must not encroach on Jessie's province, and forestall by a dry sketch what she has been seeing and will soon narrate to you.

Mackintosh is going on with his month's confinement from evening parties out of his own house, and he thinks himself the better for it. Kitty is coming down here to-morrow and has invited me to return with her to be present at a party at Mrs Warren's on Saturday, but I do not think I shall go; it is not worth the trouble. Since I have lost half my pleasure in Mackintosh's company I feel very little disposed to go to George Street without Jessie's or Fanny's support, for he is always so glad to see them that going with them secures me a kind welcome also; but I sometimes think I am perhaps doing foolishly in not seeking society which is often so excellent, and, which when I am quite out of the way of, I may regret.

Now, as the prospect for our going abroad appears so fair, I have begun with great spirit Italian, but as I am so

1 The famous classical archæologist, collector of gems, etc.

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unfortunately slow in everything, I am afraid if I dissipate myself with going often to town I shall never accomplish my task.

It is almost a week since I have seen Baugh. He left my precious gown here yesterday but we were out when he called. Nothing can be more brisk than the correspondence between him and Mrs W.1 He has sometimes letters from her twice a week; such mad rhapsody about Mme de Staël I never read, but it is design not feeling that produces it. She puts engines to work to get intimate with Madame, and I have no doubt she will succeed. I believe Baugh's gossip to her has been the cause of bringing Mackintosh and Longman into a scrape with Mme D'Arblay. She wrote a hurt and angry letter to her bookseller for having shewn the proof-sheets of her book to Mackintosh and Mme de Staël. That he had done so she had had from undoubted authority. That authority I suspect was Mrs Waddington's, derived from Baugh, but I hope Mack will not know what a gossip he is....

Fanny Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

DULWICH, March 11 [1814].

... I am afraid Anne [Caldwell] has now no chance or a very little one of receiving a note from the Baroness.... Mackintosh is so good-natured, that I have no doubt if we were to suggest it to him again, he would get Mme de Staël to write a note again, or more properly compleat her intention, but I doubt if it is wise for Anne's sake; I have never known any good from thus laying trains for praise or compliments; it turns somehow or other to mortification in the end. Mme de Staël's compliment will be in return for Anne's praise, and she will think no more about her, as she has heard nothing of Anne to interest her except that she is her adorer, and Mack told her she was a clever girl in

1 Mrs Waddington, Madame d'Arblay's "beautiful Miss Port," grand-niece of Mrs Delaney and mother of Frances, Baroness de Bunsen.

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order to make the praise more palatable. If Mme de S. would write her a little billet from her own impulse it would be invaluable, but when it is prompted it is nothing and I would rather not receive it—it is like the Magician in the Arabian Nights" Entertainments who paid for what he bought in beautiful new coin, but when it was looked at again it was leaves clipped round in the shape of money only.

Jessie went last Friday with Kitty to one of Mme de Staël's grand parties, it was very full, and more Stars there than you have had any night this fortnight. Jessie met our neighbour Tom Campbell1 there, looking very much pleased. He is installed in Mme de Staël's house. The young Baron is gone abroad, for a fortnight, as Mme de Staël says, and she very good-naturedly wrote to Campbell to offer him her son's apartments during his absence. Rocca2 sat at the bottom of the table and they again talk a little, but this is nonsense. Lord Glenbervie told Miss Kinnaird that he saw Lady Mackintosh at Mme de Staël's with a beautiful woman on her arm. This suffices to show Jessie's success. Kitty amused Baugh by assuring him that the Duke of Devonshire looked at Jessie....

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

DULWICH, March 24th [1814].

... I heard from Anne [Caldwell] to-day—her letter was written under the influence of joy and grief and it was difficult to say which predominated. The grief3 you know; and the joy was caused by Madame de Staël's billet, which you will see. I am delighted it has given her so much pleasure and that it should come at a time when it was so

1 The poet. He lived for some time at or near Dulwich.

2 Albert de Rocca, a young Italian officer, whose acquaintance Mme de Staël had made some years before. It became known after her death that she had married him in 1811, she being forty-five years old and he twenty-four. They had one son, who was not acknowledged during her lifetime.

3 General Skerritt, engaged to her sister, had just been wounded.

VOL. I. 4

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acceptable. She says: "You would have been pleased if you had seen the ray of pleasure that Mme de Staël's note threw upon yesterday's gloomy evening—I had the delight of reading it to my father." I wish there was any chance of her being in town this spring. She would then be introduced to her Goddess and Mack would remind Mme de Staël to say something to the clever Miss Caldwell which would place Anne in heaven. I had the note from Mack a week ago, but I did not like to send it immediately on the account of Genl. Skerritt's being wounded. I am rejoiced it arrived at such an à propos time as it seems to have done.

Baugh's affairs are, I am afraid, going on very ill, that is to say there is very little chance of success. Everybody seemed to be too sanguine at first. I wish they may have fallen into the contrary extreme. Lady Holland will be as much vexed as Baugh almost, at the failure, as it may prevent Dr Allen's attending her abroad next winter. She asked Kitty with great anxiety if Baugh meant to marry in case of the Bill not passing and then asked a very strange question, whether it was an engagement from affection?—this to me sounds very impertinent. The Wanderer1 is to be out on Monday. It is the most interesting novel I ever read. That Arch Jezebel Lady Holland has stood in our way to-day again, in having the 5 vols. Mackintosh sent it there before Kitty could lay hands on it. We have not heard anything of Lord Byron's match which you mention from Staffordshire. He called at M.'s yesterday. You have heard that it was Mackintosh who wrote that letter in his favour in the Morning Chronicle.2 Lord Byron knows from whence it came and is so thankful, he does not know how sufficiently to express his thanks. This is a secret, as "tis called....

1 By Madame d'Arblay.

2 Byron had published the impromptu lines, "Weep, daughter of a Royal line," written on the Princess Charlotte's having wept on the inability of the Whigs to form a Cabinet on Perceval's death. The lines were the cause of vehement attacks in the Government papers.

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Maer Hall—The children of Josiah Wedgwood—A picnic at Trentham—Emma Caldwell's picture of life at Maer—Emma Darwin's comment seventy-two years later—Emma's childhood.

WE now leave the earlier life in which the group of Allens are the chief figures, and take up the story of Emma Wedgwood. Josiah Wedgwood of Maer had nine children, of whom eight lived to grow up. Emma was the youngest child, born May 2nd, 1808.

Maer Hall, where Emma spent her life till she married, was so deeply beloved by the whole group that their children even have inherited a kind of sacred feeling about it. In the time of the Wedgwoods it was a large, unpretending stone house, Elizabethan in date; on the garden side there was an old and picturesque porch with its pillars left unaltered; but the latticed windows had been sashed according to the taste of the time. It stood on a slope leading down to a small lake or mere, from which it took its name. This mere was fed by springs so that the water was clear. "Capability Brown," the well-known landscape gardener of those days, had turned its marshy end, next the house, into a kind of fish's tail, as my mother used to describe it. There was a boat on the pool, as they always called it, which was a great joy to the young people and children, and there was good skating in winter. Round it there was a delightful up-and-down sandy walk a mile in length, diversified and well wooded, which made one of the charms of the place. The garden, bright and gay with old-fashioned flowers, lay between the house and the pool, and the little church was just outside the domain. My father used to say that our mother only cared for flowers which had grown at Maer. There was a great deal of wild heath and wood around, and the country is, even now, as rural as ever and

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quite unspoiled by mines and manufactories. My father wrote in his Autobiography: "In the summer the whole family used often to sit on the steps of the old portico with the flower-garden in front, and with the steep wooded bank opposite the house reflected in the lake, with here and there a fish rising or a water bird paddling about. Nothing has left a more vivid picture on my mind than these evenings at Maer." I can remember his description of these enchanting evenings, and his happy look and sigh of reminiscence, as he recalled the past, and told how nothing else was ever like it—what good talk there was, not the mere personal gossip which such family talk is apt to become, and how delightfully Charlotte sang, the elder cousin for whom he had a boy's adoration.

The household at Maer was kept up without any display, but there was every comfort that an ordinary squire's household would have at the time. The garden was the special province of Elizabeth, the eldest daughter. A number of horses were kept, chiefly for riding. These were turned out to grass in the summer and taken up as they were wanted, but apparently they had no pair of carriage horses in the earlier time, and when the large carriage was used posters were hired.

Maer Hall was the centre of attraction to different members of the family, who at one time or another settled in the neighbourhood. Parkfields, where Mrs Wedgwood senior and her daughters Kitty and Sarah lived, was not far off, and as the sons from Maer married, all but one came to live near their father's home.

Bessy's hospitality kept Maer constantly full of relations and old friends. My father speaks in one of his letters to my mother before they were married, of his fear of her finding their quiet evenings dull, after living all her life with such large and agreeable parties "as only Maer can boast of." Besides these gatherings of relations and friends, their society chiefly consisted in frequent intercourse with two or three families within easy riding distance, although they mixed in the county society and went to the Race balls and other county functions. Mr Tollet of Betley Hall, a liberal squire and experimenter in agriculture, and his daughters, a group of clever, spirited girls, were among their best friends. Betley was about eight miles from Maer, and my mother told me she felt as if she knew every stock and stone on the road. The Mount, Shrewsbury, the home of Dr Robert Darwin and his wife Susannah,

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Jos's sister, was a long day's ride of some twenty miles, but the visits between the two houses were frequent. There was a warm friendship between Dr Darwin and his brother-in-law. Mrs Darwin died in 1817, and is seldom mentioned. Emma Allen wrote, "Mrs Darwin remains here a few days longer. I like her exceedingly but not her children [aged 5 and 3], who are more rude and disagreeable than any I ever knew, and yet they are better here than they were at Shrewsbury." The Caldwells of Linley Wood also appear continually on the scene. Anne Caldwell, the eldest daughter, became well known in later life as the author of Two Old Men's Tales, and other novels.

The picture of Maer given in the old letters makes one feel that few homes could have been happier, or better suited to develop a fine character. There was no idleness, but no bustle or hurry, and an atmosphere of peace and hospitality. The family were all readers, and they all loved the place and its beauty.

The following is an account by Anne Caldwell1 of one of Sydney Smith's visits to Maer: "It was his custom to stroll about the room in which we were sitting, and which was lined with books, taking down one lot after another, sometimes reading or quoting aloud, sometimes discussing any subject that arose. He took down a sort of record of those men who had lived to a great age. 'A record of little value," said Mrs. Wedgwood, 'as to live longer than other people can hardly be the desire of any one." 'It is not so much the longevity," he answered, 'that is valued as the original build and constitution, that condition of health and habit of life which not only leads to longevity, but makes life enjoyable while it lasts, that renders the subject interesting and worth enquiry." 'You must preach, Mr Smith," said Mrs Wedgwood (it was Saturday). 'We must go and try the pulpit then," said he, 'to see if it suits me." So to the church we walked, and how he amused us by his droll way of 'trying the pulpit" as he called it."

The family were zealous in all efforts to help their poorer neighbours, Elizabeth especially being often spoken of as overworking herself by all she did for them. Emma Allen, after saying that she should not be afraid of taking charge of her other nieces and making them happy, wrote to Bessy (July 19, 1814), "About a child of yours I could not have

1 A Group of Englishmen, by Miss Meteyard, p. 388.

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the same feelings, because, dearly as I love them, I should dread to take them from the home they are blessed with, happy creatures!"

When they were contemplating moving to Etruria from motives of economy, Elizabeth wrote to her father (Sept. 1812): "Mamma does not at all, I think, let the thoughts of leaving Maer harass her; she is in excellent spirits; and as for us, you and mamma make us so happy that where we live will signify very little to us."

The children of Josiah Wedgwood inherited their share of the good qualities of their father and mother, and especially a remarkable sincerity of character. Elizabeth Wedgwood, the eldest child, was one of the most unselfish women that ever lived. She suffered from a curvature of the spine,1 but in spite of this disability was vigorous, healthy, and full of energy till extreme old age. She had many tastes and pursuits, but was above all active in works of kindness and help.

Josiah, the eldest son, often called Joe to distinguish him from his father, was considered to be like his uncle Tom in face. He had wide general knowledge, but he inherited his father's silence and gravity. His mother wrote (Ap. 11, 1821) of his behaviour at a London dinner-party: "My Joe was looking very genteel and complacent, but I heard no sound." He lived at Maer and was his father's partner, riding in regularly to the Pottery Works at Etruria. He was not a keen sportsman, but was a bold rider to hounds.

Jessie Allen wrote in 1815, when he was abroad with their party: "I trust you will have no occasion for any uneasiness in your Joe, he seems quite recovered. You should not yourself watch him with more anxious tenderness than I will on the journey, and I think an Italian winter will be of great service to him. That he has not a strong constitution is the only drawback you have to the most entire satisfaction in him. Not only I, but John and Mrs Allen, and all our party, think him matchless as a young man; such good taste, natural gentility, grace, good sense, and sweet temper we have never before seen combined in one person. He reminds us exceedingly of his uncle Tom, without his fastidiousness. His manners I think are quite charming, and so does Lady Davy. Mackintosh says he sees no fault in him whatever but being too spiritless for youth."

1 I have been told that one remedy tried was whipping her back with nettles.

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To this letter his mother replied [Oct. 30, 1815]: "I cannot express how gratifying it was to me to read the character you give of my Joe, and so beautifully drawn too. Jos and I read it together, and sat up after the rest had gone to read it again, and I felt that it was one of the sweet drops of life to listen to the praise of one's children when it is given honestly. I am the more pleased at your testimony to his modesty and good manners, because feeling no doubt as to his good sense and good nature I was more diffident as to the embellishments of manner, not thinking myself a fair judge, and having always been afraid of marring instead of mending by any admonition on that subject, though feeling all the while that it is the manners that excite affection. I trust my Hal will benefit in that way by the change from the schoolboy society he has been used to, to that of men, and that you will find him attentive to any suggestions from either of you, and that you will, for love of me, take the irksome task of telling him of anything you think wrong, or anything that he might mend."

Charlotte, the next sister (afterwards Mrs Charles Langton), had beauty and charm. She painted and drew, and made many water-colour sketches and pencil drawings after the manner of Copley Fielding, of whom she took lessons. She had a beautiful voice of great flexibility, and my mother told me how charming her natural shake was. She and Elizabeth, who had a high clear soprano, sang duets together with great effect. "I had a profusion of compliments upon the girls" singing, enough to last them for the next twelvemonths at least," Bessy wrote from Paris (June 1, 1818).

The three younger brothers, Harry, Frank, and Hensleigh, all had good abilities. Harry, who became a barrister, had wit and power of expression and a gift for drawing, though it was not cultivated. He was a particular favourite in the Darwin household at Shrewsbury, and could take any liberty with his uncle the doctor. One day on coming back from a sale Harry told him that there was something in the catalogue which he decidedly ought to buy. "Tut, tut," said the doctor, "but what is it?" "Why a 'ditto to correspond," for you know how much you hate writing letters."

One or two of his epigrams still live at Cambridge. The tradition is that Mr Sheepshanks of Jesus College posted the following notice: "The classical lectures for the current

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term will be on the Satyrs of Juvenal." Harry put up the following underneath:1

"The Satyr of old was a Satyr of note,

With the head of a Man and the legs of a Goat;

But the Satyr of Jesus does these far surpass

With the Shanks of a Sheep and the head of an Ass."

He published a delightful child's story illustrated by himself, The Bird-Talisman. In her old age my mother had it reprinted so as to preserve it for the family, where it is appreciated by his great nephews and nieces.

Frank worked steadily at the Potteries till quite old age. He was as absolutely unselfoccupied as man could be, and lived an admirable life—hard-working and almost stoical in its simplicity.

Hensleigh was a high Wrangler and Fellow of Christ's. He was well known as a philologist and was author of the Dictionary of English Etymology and other works.

At the end of this large family of brothers and sisters came two little girls, Frances, born 1806, and Emma, born May 2nd, 1808, when her mother was 44 years old. The two children formed an inseparable pair, and were the pets of the family. The "Doveleys" is the name by which they are known in many of the letters. Their mother wrote from Cresselly, 25 Aug., 1812, "I am glad that the Doveleys are good and agreeable. Theirs are the only pretensions I like." At the date of the following letter Fanny and Emma were seven and five years old.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Emma Allen.

ETRURIA, July 15th, 1813.

.... I am so deeply in debt to you all, dear girls, for your agreeable letters and pleasant details of all you have done, are doing, and are going to do, that I don't know where to begin, but I have made a beginning more to shew

1 Mr Tuckwell in his Recollections of Oxford has erroneously attributed this skit to Dr Nares, Oxford Professor of Modern History. On Shelford, an unpopular examiner, Harry wrote:

"They say that men pluck geese in Shelford Fen,

But here we see a Shelford goose pluck men."

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my good will, than with any expectation of finishing my letter for to-night's post, being now waiting for the carriage to take myself and my eight children to pay a visit to the most amiable Griffin,1 who was rash enough last Sunday to ask us and even to insist upon having the Doveleys of the party. We are now going to set out as many as we can cram in the Gimcrack, and the boys upon the ponies.

Friday.—We went according to promise, and were particularly lucky in having the finest day that ever was seen. Joe was treacherous and did not go, but I went with my eight children. It always makes a scheme so flat when any of the guests secede that I did not go with any very lively expectations, and these were still further quelled when I saw our party. The Miss Griffins, utter strangers, and Mr Ralph Sneyd of Keel, who I thought would be much too fine to bear the company of an old mother and eight children. However I must do the latter the justice to say, he bore it very well, and he seemed to partake so largely of the good humour of our host, that the party went off extremely well. The two sisters were conversable, and rather agreeable; we sat down to an excellent cold dinner at two, and a dessert of the best grapes and a profusion of strawberries and cream which were much relished. Soon after dinner we went into Trentham Park, where we found a very good boat moored, into which we all went, and Mr Sneyd and R. Griffin rowed us while Joe steered. We amused ourselves on the water and in the grounds till it was time to return to tea. We had a good deal of literary conversation, as Mr Sneyd has a very pretty smattering of literary topics and a good deal of taste, though a little affected, and Griffin has great aspirations after the same. We made some attempts at singing, which was the worst part of the entertainment, as my girls are so stupid they cannot sing without music, and after making two or three abortive attempts were forced to give it up. The two little girls were in silent enjoyment, very grave, and very demure all day, but they were very happy while running about the

1 A Mr. Griffinhoof, living near Trentham Park.

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park. We came away about 8 o'clock, Harry and Frank riding the ponies driving and tearing all the way, and the rest of us in the landelet.

We spent Sunday at Maer, taking cold meat, and I never saw it look so pretty. There was a profusion of roses in blow and there was a wildness about it that I thought was very delightful. We drank tea with Mrs Harding, which I had rather not have done as I wanted to spend more time at Maer, but she was so pressing we could not resist. We liked our Sunday so much that we think of going again next Sunday.

Jessie Allen, commenting on this account, sends "a very tender kiss to the Doveleys, the tenderest to Emma, but do not tell her so. How much I should have liked to see her little prim face on the water."

Fanny Allen wrote to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood (Oct. 11, 1813): "Sarah gives an excellent report of the poetical taste of little Emma. I hope this will grow on her. Is she not the first of you that has read through Paradise Lost? You must not let this be a reproach to you any longer now Emma has set you the example." My mother told us how when she was only five, she began Paradise Lost, but soon asked her mother to finish it for her, and how nice it was of her mother not to refuse.

Little more is to be gleaned of her early childhood. In January, 1816, when she was nearly eight years old, her mother told how the two little girls were to pay a visit alone, "at which they are much pleased, and the more so because they are to go by themselves as we can't spare Mary, and they bridle not a little at the idea of dressing and doing for themselves." Sarah Wedgwood wrote to Jessie Allen (Feb. 26, 1817): "Little Emma continues to be the sweetest little girl in the world. The whooping-cough makes her more sweet and gentle than ever. I find that she retains that first place that she has ever held in that part of my affections which are devoted to children. As Mr Wordsworth divides his poems into 'poems referring to the period of childhood," ditto to old age, etc., why may not I my affections?"

A pleasant account of the Maer family life three years later, when Emma was eleven years old, is given in a journal

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kept by Emma Caldwell. My mother's comment is added, written seventy-two years later to her niece Julia Wedgwood (always called "Snow").

Extract from a Journal of Emma Caldwell, afterwards Mrs Henry Holland.

July 7, 1819.—My Aunt took me to Maer.

Miss Emma Allen, Charlotte, with Caroline [Darwin] came to dinner from Shrewsbury.

9th.—Rode with Charlotte and Harry to Newcastle. A very pleasant ride indeed. Harry agreeable—I do like a person easy to talk to for my own pleasure, even though they may not be as agreeable as another could be if he let out what is treasured up.1—Sailed and rowed in the boat.

10th.—Mr Wicksted2 and Ellen Tollet called. We had a brisk gale and gallant sail round the pool.

Elizabeth, Harry, Emma and I rode to Hanchurch through Swinnerton Park. Delightful day, and very pleasant. Mama fetched me home.

I never saw anything pleasanter than the ways of going on of this family, and one reason is the freedom of speech upon every subject; there is no difference in politics or principles of any kind that makes it treason to speak one's mind openly, and they all do it. There is a simplicity of good sense about them, that no one ever dreams of not differing upon any subject where they feel inclined. As no things are said from party or prejudice, there is no bitterness in discussing opinions. I believe this could not be the case if there was a decided difference of party principle in the members of a family. It is greatly desirable that should not happen.

The part of the intellectual character most improved by the Wedgwood education is good sense, which is indeed their

1 This is a reference to the elder brother, then, called Joe.

2 Charles, the only son of Mr Tollet of Betley Hall, had taken the name of Wicksted on inheriting Shakenhurst in Worcestershire.

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pre-eminent quality. It is one of the most important, and in the end will promote more of their own and others happiness than any other quality. The moral quality most promoted by their education is benevolence, which combined with good sense, gives all that education can give. The two little girls are happy, gay, amiable, sensible, and though not particularly energetic in learning, yet will acquire all that is necessary by their steady perseverance. They have freedom in their actions in this house as well as in their principles. Doors and windows stand open, you are nowhere in confinement; you may do as you like; you are surrounded by books that all look most tempting to read; you will always find some pleasant topic of conversation, or may start one, as all things are talked of in the general family. All this sounds and is delightful.

Emma Darwin to her niece Julia Wedgwood.

Autumn, 1891.


I cannot tell you what vivid pleasure this [journal] has given me, if only in putting me in mind of that ride; which was a great honour to a little girl, of course. I remember my wonder at Emma [Caldwell] being able to force herself (she was very tall and not slender) into Eliz's habit, and I wonder what Eliz herself could have worn, some make-shift I suppose. I remember Harry's high spirits and the short gallops we took up the little pitches of the pretty wood we were skirting. It is clear that Jos excited some interest in her mind.

I doubt whether common sense can be learnt by education; no doubt it may be improved. There would be no liberty at Linley Wood while Mr Caldwell was in the room. He was a high Tory, and I have no doubt those clever daughters had all sorts of Liberal crotchets. Mrs Caldwell was genial and delightful. There was the same want of liberty at Shrewsbury whenever Dr Darwin was in the room; but then he was genial and sympathetic, only nobody must go on about their own talk.

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Emma was pretty, with abundant rich brown hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion, a firm chin, a high forehead and straight nose. She was of medium height, with wellformed shoulders and pretty hands and arms. She had a graceful and dignified carriage. The only picture of her till old age is the water-colour drawing by Richmond (of which a reproduction is given), painted soon after her marriage, but it was not considered to be a good likeness.

Fanny was short and not pretty, though with bright colouring. She was gentle, orderly and industrious. Emma had initiative, high spirits, and more ability than her sister. Her mother's nickname for Fanny, "Mrs Pedigree," no doubt alludes to her curious tastes, of which there are many evidences—lists of temperatures, lists of words in different languages, housekeeping memoranda, etc. These lists were found after my mother's death amongst her treasures. They had been kept by her ever since her sister's death more than sixty years ago.

Emma's nickname at the same time was "Little Miss Slip-Slop," and that also is revealing as to her character. She was never tidy or orderly as to little things. But, on the other hand, she had a large-minded, unfussy way of taking life which is more common amongst men than amongst women. My father said that after he married he made up his mind to give up all his natural taste for tidiness, and that he would not allow himself to feel annoyed by her calm disregard for such details. He would say the only sure place to find a pin or a pair of scissors was his study.

I remember one little anecdote told me by my mother about her sister Fanny. When their cousin, Mrs Swinton Holland, gave three little brooches to Fanny, Emma, and their cousin Jessie Wedgwood, Fanny had first choice, and Emma saw distinctly that Fanny was choosing the least pretty one, but she herself had not unselfishness enough to act in the same way, and her turn coming next, she chose the prettiest.

Emma's childhood must have been a most happy one under the gentle, wise rule of her mother. Elizabeth and Charlotte taught Fanny and Emma their lessons. My mother told me they had a long morning's work, nine till one I think, and then nothing else at all to do for the rest of the day, no preparations or work of any kind.1 I often think how different this training is from that of the modern

1 This does not quite agree with their aunt Emma Allen's account in 1819, but it is my distinct memory of what my mother said.

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child; and judged by results it does not lose in comparison. I should also imagine that this freedom for hours every day—to read, to think, and to amuse herself—must have greatly added to the remarkable independence of Emma's character and way of thinking. It is certainly the fact that all the sisters were well educated women, judged by any modern standard. In languages Emma knew French, Italian, and German.1 Her general knowledge was wide, but this may have been mainly acquired in a long life of reading. I should add that I only mean such general knowledge as one would expect to find in a cultivated woman. The lists kept by Fanny of books read, and the carefully annotated New Testament (now in my possession), shew their industry.

Emma's handwriting, which did not change much in all her eighty-eight years of life, was, like herself, firm, calm, and transparently clear. She did not write quickly, but with an even, steady pace which got over a great deal of ground in its leisurely way. She was capable in all she undertook, a beautiful needlewoman, a good archer; and she rode, danced, and skated. She drew a little, though she said herself her drawing was quite worthless. Her gift was music. She played delightfully on the piano till the very end of her life. She had a crisp and fine touch and played always with intelligence and simplicity. But she could endure nothing sentimental, and "slow movements" were occasionally under her treatment somewhat too "allegro." There was always vigour and spirit, but not passion—in fact her character shewed itself in her playing. She was an excellent reader of music, and to the end of her life tried over new things, appreciating some, but not all, of the more modern kinds. She had lessons from Moscheles and a few from Chopin. But she told me she did not think she had ever practised more than an hour a day in her whole life. Unless, however, she was ill, she hardly passed a day without playing for her own entertainment, if it was only for ten minutes. It is remarkable, however, that she should have attained such excellence with so small an expenditure of trouble.

1 My father often said that where she failed in making out and translating a sentence for him in German, a non-scientific German would generally also fail.

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The Prudent Man's Friend Society—The John Wedgwoods and Drewes at Exeter—The Battle of Waterloo—Ensign Tom Wedgwood's letters from Waterloo and Paris—Fanny Allen's pro-Buonapartism—The Maer party at a Race ball.

I NOW take up the thread of the "Maer Letters." Some of these might have been placed in the third chapter, but as they illustrate the character of the younger generation they group themselves more naturally here.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Jessie Allen.

ETRURIA, Feb. 18th, 1814.

... We all returned from Parkfields on Tuesday, having spent a very comfortable week there. Sarah [Wedgwood] was in very cheerful spirits, though I suspect we interrupted her plan of writing. I was very glad to hear from two side winds that she was employed in that way, as I am sure what she does she will do well. We sent our two little boys to school from there, and upon enquiring into the contents of the parting purse I found to my great surprise that there was a guinea hoarded up in it. It was a joint concern and I asked Hensleigh for what purpose. "I don't like to tell." "Why?" "I am afraid of being laughed at." "I think you may trust me, I am not used to laugh at you, but how can I know whether it is a proper use?" "It is not an improper use, and we wished to consult you because we did not know what to buy, but the writing master has been very kind to us and we wished to give him something, but it must not be before we go away, or he will think, and the

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boys will think, that we wish to coax him." "I don't think any way of spending your money can be more proper than shewing your gratitude, therefore if you will trust me with the guinea I will execute the commission for you." We had then a consultation about the taste of the writing master, and it was agreed that as he was fond of poetry, unless we found something better, which would not be very easy, we were to get a volume of Lord Byron's poems. If this is twaddling pray excuse it.

And now to tell you my opinion of the Corsair. I think it beautiful beyond all his other works. The last canto is full of beauties. What a genius he is! Like Shakespear, the commonest stories become gold under his hands, but I don't like the dedication, it is very affected. I don't believe the pretence he makes of not caring for the opinions of those who are unknown to him, and I should think worse of him if I did. Who can sincerely despise the opinions of his fellow-men? and what affectation to pretend to do so if he does not, and this from a man, too, who was driven half mad by the castigation of the Edinburgh Review.

I received dear Emma [Allen]'s letter when I was at Parkfields, and I am charmed to hear she liked the black gown. I thought myself the chenille was a bright thought to enliven the insupportable monotony of my green leaves. As for the trimming of the body, it is in the hands of fate and Charlotte, so I have no responsibility about it.

They have had a ball at Caroline [Drewe]'s, where among a number of pretty girls, Emma Caldwell was pronounced the fairest. Sally1 has got half a lover, but a great beauty has got the other half, so except upon musical evenings Sally is ill off, but then she is altogether triumphant, and then the beauty is in despair. Joe writes very pleasant letters from Edinburgh. He mixes quite as much in society as he wishes, and in very agreeable society. Dr Holland is very highly spoken of there. He is going to town very soon

1 Sarah Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Wedgwood, afterwards called Eliza.

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and I think he would much like to be introduced to Mackintosh, but I don't think we shall give him one, for fear of adding any to the importunes that beset him.

I shall send you by this post the Bristol newspaper because there is the first report of the "Prudent Man's Friend Society." It is drawn up by Miss Morgan and I think very well done. You will see what good she has done in one year. If she can but follow it up, I do sincerely think she will rank with the first philanthropists of the age. If you have an opportunity I should like you to shew it to Mrs Bosanquet, because I think those two sisters mistake Miss Morgan's character.

Do you know that I shall not be surprised if Aunt Jones pays me a visit. I have written to ask her. She seemed so forlorn at Creswell that I thought I owed it to my father's sister to do it. Not but what John and Mrs Allen are very kind....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her daughter Elizabeth, at the John Wedgwoods, Baring Place, Exeter.

ETRURIA. [21 June, 1815.]

... Last night brought me your letter, my Elizabeth, and I was very glad to find you had so pleasant a journey. Your second day we thought would be delayed with rain, as I think it rained all day here. Your drive upon the barouche seat was therefore much more than we expected. I cannot recollect a syllable of what you allude to about callers at Maer, so you are quite right in saying you dared say I had forgotten it; therefore, my dear girl, if you remember it with any unpleasant feeling I hope you will do so no longer. If you had stept a pace back in my mind, (which is not the case, as I cannot recollect the circumstance) you would have stept a hundred forward by the frank-hearted candour with which you speak of it. Your upright heart will never suffer you to go far astray while you judge your own faults with so much severity,

VOL. I. 5

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and I, on my part, hope I shall ever continue to be grateful, as I am now, to Heaven, for having given you to me....

Here is a very pleasant letter from Sally to you, which we thought it was a pity should go for nothing, and so we opened it, and so we read it. We are in a very reading humour at present, having done the same thing by Jenny [Wedgwood]'s to Fanny [Allen]. We were very glad to have both, as they gave us late intelligence from Baring Place, and as you are now at the fountain-head it would be no use to send them to you, but Jenny's is gone into the fire and Sally's is just going.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Emma Allen, at Baring Place, Exeter.

[THE MOUNT], SHREWSBURY, June 28, 1815.

What a flood of good news, my dearest Emma. I feel quite overwhelmed with it. I am obliged to Elizabeth and you for two most welcome letters, but yours has the prior claim. We are particularly grateful for the good news of Tom, which we received with the most heartfelt pleasure. Oh how much do I sympathize with our dear Jenny upon what she must feel, at not only hearing that her little hero is safe, but that he has behaved so well in this most severe engagement [Waterloo, 18th June], and not the least of her pleasure (I ought to use a much stronger word) must be the consideration, the thought he shewed of writing from the field of battle to allay the fears of his family, and lastly his modesty, after all that he has gone through. We should be very glad to see his letter, which perhaps you could send us through London by a frank. It will be a feather in his cap as long as he lives to have been in this battle, perhaps the most glorious England ever fought. What they must have suffered in being 48 hours without food, and fighting all the time! Tell Jenny (and John if he is returned) that we congratulate them with all our hearts. Yesterday we were put upon

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the qui vive by hearing in the morning that there was a report that Buonaparte had surrendered,1 and not believing that to be possible, yet being persuaded there must be some good news, we waited the arrival of the mail with great impatience; and when we heard it was coming by, out we all flew to the gates, like Caroline to see the Duchess of Rutland, pell-mell, servants, children, and all. We had the gratification to see it come up dressed all over with laurels and favours, and as it dropt Dr Darwin's bag at the gate you may guess our trepidation in opening our letters. Jos had sent me a Courier which contained all the account of Buonaparte's abdication, and I had at the same time the pleasure of Elizabeth's letter. It is impossible to express our satisfaction and wonder. What will become of Buonaparte is the constant question? Some of our abominable papers are urging strongly the putting him to death, but Dr Darwin's scheme of sending him to St Helena is the best I have heard. Who will now be King of France? If England keeps to her declaration she must not interfere, but I suspect the Bourbons will at least have a congé d'élire in their favour, and yet I think Louis the 18th will never be able to keep his seat upon such a tripless throne. We shall be almost as impatient for to-night's paper as we were for the last. Jos talks of leaving town to-morrow, but I don't know whether he will go home or come here. I take it for granted we shall now have peace, and then I suppose you will be set a-gandering again. The bells are ringing and the guns firing away at a great rate.

We came here on Monday evening, dining and spending two or three hours at Hawkestone in our way. We brought the two ponies here, and Charlotte and I rode Fancy in turns. The day was very pleasant, and I liked it a great deal better than going all the way in a post-chaise. We are here in the middle of the hay-harvest, and the flower-garden looks beautiful. I find myself very comfort-

1 His surrender to Captain Maitland of the Bellerophon did not take place till July 15.

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able here; there is everything to make me so, and I always enjoy the society of Mrs Darwin, and I am pleased to see the young things enjoy themselves so well. There is an evening riding party of three every day (Joe being the constant escort), which is a very popular thing. The Dr as usual is very much engaged. He was out all yesterday.

Tom, son of John Wedgwood, who wrote the letter alluded to above, was a boy of seventeen, and was ensign in the Scots Fusilier Guards. His first letter is written the day after Waterloo. The fighting of the 16th must be that of Quatre Bras. The house and garden which he describes as repeatedly attacked by the French on the 18th, is evidently the Chateau of Hougoumont; and he seems to have been in the memorable charge which ended the day.

Tom Wedgwood to his mother Mrs John Wedgwood.

NIVELLES, June 19th, 1815.


I take the earliest opportunity to tell you that we have had some very hard fighting, but that we have gained a most complete victory, and also that I am quite well and safe and have escaped unhurt. We removed from our quarters last Saturday week at Herrisenes and went to a village called Petit Roux, where we remained some time in quiet, but on Friday morning the 16th, at 2 o'clock, we were turned out and ordered to be under arms and ready to march at a moment's notice. Accordingly we marched at 5 o'clock to Braine-le-Comte and then waited for a few hours for other troops to come up, then marched and took up a position close to this town and about five leagues from our original quarters. We had just begun to pitch our tents when we had another order to march on immediately against the French, who had attacked the Prussians in great force, three leagues farther on, near a village called Jenappe. We arrived there about five o'clock. The 1st Regiment and Coldstreams attacked the French with the bayonet and drove

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them back. We were kept as a reserve on the top of a hill, where we lay down in order to avoid the shots and shells, which were playing on us in great abundance. At 9 o'clock both parties ceased for want of light, but the French were driven back about half a league. The 1st Guards suffered much—had about 10 officers killed or wounded, and among the latter was Capt. Luttrell, but very slightly. Two very unfortunate accidents happened to them. They were charging a regiment of French, who came to a parley and said they would come over to us, but it was only a trick to wait for some cavalry which were coming on. They both attacked the 1st Guards together and repulsed them with a great loss. After that they met with a French regiment who were cloaked in red, and did not find that they were French until too late, and in consequence were repulsed a second time. We only lost a few men from the shells, and we lay all night in the field without any cover in consequence of our baggage being left behind.

Next morning our regiment was sent into a wood to skirmish. We had a little fighting. About 5 o'clock we were obliged to retreat in consequence of the French having driven back the left wing, where the Prussians were placed. We went back and took up a position on the heights of St Jean, about 4 leagues back. The French returned in the evening, and cannonaded us till dark. We all slept on the bare ground, with nothing either above or beneath us, in one of the most rainy nights possible, and before morning the ground on which we were was ankle-deep in mud. The French retired early in the morning, but came about 10 o'clock again in immense force. It is said they had 100,000 men, and we had at first 60,000 men, chiefly English, excepting a few Dutch and Belgic, the chief part of whom ran away at the first attack. The action commenced at about 1/2-past eleven by our artillery, which was drawn up about 20 yards before the first line, which was composed of our division and the 3rd Division of the line. The French attacked a wood on our right, on the skirts of

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which there was a house, surrounded with a small wall, in which were placed the light infantry companies of the Coldstream Guards and our regiment, with orders to defend it to the last. The French were driven back, but advanced again with a fresh force, and succeeded in gaining entrance into the wood. They then sent fire-balls upon the house and set a barn and all the out-houses on fire. After being exposed to a heavy fire of shot and grape and shells for two hours and a half, in which we had 3 officers wounded besides a number of men, the right wing of our regiment and my company went to the assistance of the Coldstreams in the wood, in which there was a very heavy fire of musquetry. The French were during the whole of this [time firing] at the house into which my company and another entered, nearly one hundred men having now been consumed in the flames. The French forced the gates 3 times, and 3 times were driven back with immense loss, for we were firing at one another at about 5 yards distance. There was a large garden to the house which was surrounded by a wall on 2 sides, the house on the 3rd, and on the remaining side a hedge. We had another company brought into it, and a few Dutch who lined the garden wall, in which they made port-holes and annoyed the French very much. About 5 o'clock the French gained ground very much and made the English retire from the position on the heights, but were again driven back by a strong column consisting of cavalry and the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 1st Guards, and the remaining part of our's, and after a hard struggle were obliged to give ground and retreat through the wood. They attacked the house again with renewed force and vigour, but could not force it. The house had a great deal of the walls down with their cannon, but they could not gain admittance. We afterwards received a fresh reinforcement of Guards into the house, and my company was sent out to skirmish. About 8 o'clock the first Guards and a part of ours charged the French with the bayonet and drove them entirely from the house. About that time a body of about 3000 Prussians came up, and the French

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immediately retreated at a great pace, all our cavalry following them, with our regiments, drove them back double quick and dispersed them entirely.

My regiment had lost 16 officers killed and wounded, including Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Gordon, and Canning of my company, who were among the number of killed. Capt. Ashton of my company is also killed. The Duke of Wellington told us that he never saw soldiers behave so well as the Guards. The French have lost about 90 pieces of cannon and an immense number of killed and wounded. The Belgic troops who ran away went to Brussels, where all our baggage was, and said that we were entirely defeated, and that the French were advancing close at their heels. The consequence was that the people of Brussels began to pillage our baggage, but were soon stopped. I understand that my baggage horse is either killed or stolen; but I do not know yet, as we have not seen the baggage since the 15th, and all that time we have been lying on the ground, without any covering and not able to change our clothes. We have had nothing to eat, except a very little biscuit, and I have not tasted food now for 48 hours; but I am just going to have some, and I believe our baggage is to come up to-morrow. Another [trouble] is, that it is with the greatest difficulty we can get water, and what we did was horribly bad. I am now writing from the field in which we are to bivouac to-night, and therefore you must excuse the conciseness of this letter and I cannot get any more paper.

Good-bye, my dear mother, and believe me, most affectionately,


Tom Wedgwood to his mother Mrs John Wedgwood.


... We had the post of honor and were the first to begin the attack. At the affair of the 16th I was rather nervous at first, for we came quite unawares to the field after an

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amazing long march, and I had not time to get collected but soon got right again. On the 18th I did not feel at all in the same way, as we expected the action, and I was prepared. I trusted in God and He has been pleased to spare me, for which I hope I am as thankful as I ought. The most disagreeable part was when we were on the top of our position, lying down doing nothing, with the shells and shot coming over like hailstones, and every now and then seeing 1 or 2 men killed. We had 2 officers wounded in that way. It was a very mournful sight next morning when I was on parade to see but little more than one-half the number of men that there were the morning before, and not quite one-half the officers. The Duke of Wellington was very much pleased with us, but I do not believe he was so much so with the cavalry, as they did not do what was expected of them.... We were five days without any baggage tents or anything else, and you have no idea of what we underwent during that time, sleeping in the fields without even a hedge to cover us, generally raining the whole night and the ground ankle-deep in mud. I was 48 hours without eating anything, even a bit of biscuit, and having very often to send above a mile for water, but now we have got our baggage and tents and are much better off. We are now about 8 leagues from the frontier, and are, I believe, to march straight for Paris. Most of the villages we pass through have the white flag hanging out, and vive le roi written on the houses. As yet we have found the people very civil, and they say they are very glad to see us. The Belgic troops behaved excessively bad, both in action and out, plundering and illtreating the inhabitants. I wish they would send them back to their own country, I think they will do us more harm than good. We have had two actions and they have run away both times. At the first action the Duke of Wellington was slightly wounded, and was saved being taken prisoner by the 92nd Regiment, who formed a square round him and by that means saved him....

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Tom Wedgwood to his father John Wedgwood.

PARIS, July 15, 1815.

... All the Emperors and Kings are now in Paris. I was on guard at the Emperor of Russia's on the 13th. He treated us very generously. The guard consisted of 100 men; he gave them 150 lbs. of meat, 200 lbs. of bread, 100 bottles of very good wine, and vegetables. The officers had an excellent dinner and might call at any time for anything.... About the middle of dinner Platoff came in and sat with us for a couple of hours and talked with us quite familiarly. He said he enjoyed his visit to England more than anything in his life, and that he liked the English women better than any others, and when he went out he shook us by the hand most heartily....

I think the French are the most impertinent and most civil people in the world. As a proof of the latter, I was on guard at one of the gates of Paris and had black crape round my arm. A gentleman with two women came up to me in a very civil way and beseeched to know what was the meaning of the crape round my arm. I told them, but that was not sufficient for they asked who for, which made me stare, however I told them and walked away....

This 3 weeks" campaigning has only affected me in one way, it made my legs very sore. For the first 3 days I did [not] take off my boots and they got wet several times and dried again on my feet, and when I got them off at last, I could not get them on again without cutting the leather half way down my foot, the consequence was that the insteps of my feet were made quite raw. There is also another thing which I cannot account for in the least. My face is quite contracted on one side; and when I smile my mouth gets quite to the left side of my face, and when I eat my upper jaw does not come exactly on my under one, and I cannot shut one of my eyes without the other, which I could do before; however I do not feel it quite so much as before....

His face never entirely recovered from the paralysis brought on by exposure and want of food.

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In 1815 the John Wedgwoods were living at Exeter, where were also Mrs Drewe and her family. Emma and Fanny Allen spent part of their homeless years there with their sisters, Caroline Drewe and Jane Wedgwood. Emma Allen thus describes her sister's house (July 22, 1815): "Jenny is one of the sweetest creatures God ever made, and I thank Him ten thousand times that I have you and her for sisters. I am sure it would be worth going many hundred miles for the sake of a reception from either of you. The furniture in this house is so good; it abounds so with flowers and there is such an air of elegance about it, that you cannot feel that its lovely mistress is misplaced in it."

Fanny Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

BARING PLACE, EXETER, August 2nd, [1815].


I congratulate you on having your boys with you, on having seen Miss O'Neil and on John [Allen]'s having another son, but I do not congratulate you on Buonaparte's being in England, or the state of affairs in France, which I think detestable. I hope Davoust will preserve the army of the Loire, and defend France successfully against the Allies. Caroline [Drewe] and I have made a compact that we are not to talk politics, or I believe it would be more just if I were to say that I am never to say a word about politics either to her or before her, and this she says is all for my good. I have not one on my side, therefore it is as well to be silent. I hope I shall find you all stout Whigs on our return, to recompense me for the pain I have suffered to hear such atrocious sentiments expressed about France as I have done since I have been in the sweet county of Devonshire. I wish Joe would chaperon us this autumn to Italy, by the way of Germany. I would rather not see Paris in its present state....

Your letter to Emma [Allen] is just come in and it is refreshing to me to hear a humane sentiment respecting Buonaparte. John Wedgwood has a strong inclination to go to Paris, and, if he meets with anyone who is going that

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he knows, I have no doubt that he will go. Paris will be very disagreeable now I should think. I see the Louvre is shut to all but the military, which is preparatory to the [pictures] being moved I suppose. Lewis deserves to be tied hand and foot, and thrown out of France....

I was at the Assize ball and danced with Abram Moore, who was so drunk that almost everyone was smiling as we went down the room. We have been at a play since Jane left us, and had Dr Miller for a beau, as Kitty would say, and he performed his duty well, as he walked home with us afterwards.... Kitty and Mackintosh are still dreaming on in town, and I am afraid their intention of going to Maer will end this year as it did last. Kitty holds a sublime and imperial silence to us, so we know nothing of her movements, not even whether she has been to call on the Duchess of Wellington....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her daughter Elizabeth (who is staying with the John Wedgwoods at Exeter).

ETRURIA, Aug. 13th, 1815.

... Joe has no intention of putting a foot in France. Lord Bathurst told Mrs Sneyd that it would be madness in any Englishman doing it further than Paris. I fully expect another explosion in France, and then what shall we have got by our battle of Waterloo, what, for our 20,000 lives and a hundred million of money? As for Buonaparte, he is suffering retribution certainly, but it may be a good lesson to the world, and it certainly is a mild retribution for the murder of the Duke D'Enghien, Wright, and Palm the bookseller. As to right, all war is a violation of right, and I don't know what we could have done with him since we engaged so wickedly in the war at all. It would have been too dangerous to have kept him here to set France in a flame whenever he saw a fit opportunity. He will be in banishment, but he will have every comfort in his banishment, and he will not be worse off than the Officers of the Regiments who guard him: not but I feel

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some emotions of pity towards him too, but I don't know what else can be done with him....

We have had very gay races, not that we went to the course any day, but there was more nobility than usual, inasmuch as the [Chetwodes] were there in full force. It was Miss Louisa's début, and Lady Harriet I was told was in the greatest fuss about their dress that could be; but I am sure it was fuss thrown away, as it generally is, for nobody seemed to observe how they were dressed. Charlotte was very well off in partners, as she danced with the steward, Stim, Dr Belcombe, and a Capt. Vincent. There were but four sets danced. Joe danced with Eliza Caldwell, Fanny Crewe, and Anne Caldwell. Joe is much improved in his dancing. I can't say much for my Hal in that way, but I was surprised he went at all. As for me, I yawned in company with Mrs Caldwell till about 5 in the morning, but I think I was rather in request too1, as I was asked three times to dance. The handsomest girl there was a Miss Evans, the innkeeper of Wolverhampton's daughter, whose beauty did not redeem her parentage from many a sneer, and "Do you know who she is?" soon passed from one end of the room to the other....

1 She was fifty-one this year.

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The Allen sisters abroad—Paris after Waterloo—Harriet Drewe's engagement to Mr Gifford—Fanny Allen and William Clifford—A family gathering at Bath—Sarah Wedgwood's love-affairs—Bessy visits Mrs Surtees—Geneva society—The Sydney Smiths at Etruria—Kitty Mackintosh and her daughters—The Allen sisters" journey to Florence.

IN the autumn of 1815 the three sisters Jessie, Emma, and Fanny Allen went abroad for three years. Jessie was 38, Emma 35, and Fanny 34 years old. They were accompanied as far as Paris by John Wedgwood. The Continent was only just opened to English travellers after the Peace, and they were in Paris when the Louvre was being dismantled of the stolen treasures.

Emma Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.



Here I am at present in a state so much happier than when I parted from you that I have longed to write to one of the beloved ones at Etruria, for I know how glad they will be to hear that, instead of repenting, I rejoice in my decision of leaving England, though till I had talked with Mackintosh, it was still passing in my mind to return from town to Staffordshire. But he so entirely reconciled me to the scheme that I became every hour happier that I spent in town, and so many of those I love going with me took from it the sadness I dreaded at quitting England....

At one of the posts between Dieppe and Rouen, while the horses were changing, we walked under the shade of

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some trees and fell in with an English soldier, who told us he was quartered at a French Count's, whose name he did not know, but who, he said, was a very good gentleman, and very kind to him and three more soldiers that were quartered in his house, and if there was any news always came and told them of it. He invited us to look at the Chateau. We did so, and while we were standing at the gates the Countess saw us and sent her servant to invite us in. We declined it because of our incapability of conversing in French, with the excuse of want of time, but the Countess with three other ladies joined us before we could get back to the carriage, and asked a thousand impertinent questions with the most gracious manners in the world; where we came from, what part of England we lived in, whether Jessie was married or not, what relation we were to John Wedgwood, &c., &c. This was the only thing like an adventure we met with during our journey from Dieppe to Paris. I thought Malmaison a charming residence. An English soldier was keeping the gates, and there my Lord Combermere has taken up his quarters. I understand he is the only Englishman who has followed Blucher's example and lives at free quarters at the inns. The women always spoke well of the English and otherwise of the Prussians, who they said took everything "à point de l'épée." We met a great number of them on our road. Once they greeted us with "God save the King!" In return they had nothing from Fanny but abhorrence; you may guess how the sight of them made her blood boil. Since she has arrived here she has heard that the evil they have done has been much exaggerated, and this from a quarter she generally gives credit to. I don't know that what she has heard in their favour has softened her to them, but she is now too well pleased with her present situation to be very angry at anything. Our first entrance to Paris far surpassed our expectations, I think nothing can be finer than the entrance along the Avenue de Neuilly, from which we passed to the Champs Elysées, where all the British are encamped. It was a most beautiful and extraordinary sight, far, far sur-

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passing anything I had fancied. The buildings are beautiful, and as far surpass those of London, as London does Paris in the neatness of the streets. Those of Paris are more dirty and disagreeable than I even expected, from all I had heard, to find them. These lodgings are handsome ones and I like them much, but we pay much for them, 250 livres a week....

The gallery of the Louvre is beautiful beyond expression. If I were to mention one thing beyond the others that have charmed me it would be the Apollo. There is a beauty in that which the most ignorant eye must see, beyond all description. It is a pity Jenny [Mrs. John Wedgwood] did not come with us, there is much here that would please her. I feel still rather uncomfortable staring at naked statues with men all round one. We have met with a surprising number of our acquaintances since we came to Paris, not less than six in the first day; and this gave us a very English feeling. The Cawdors were the first, and their accost was more affectionate than I ever knew it. They continued with us as long as Lady Cawdor could remain, and after he put Lady Cawdor in the carriage he returned to do the honours of the Louvre to us....

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

[PARIS], Sept. 25th, 1815.

... I cannot tell you with what affection I look on your and Charlotte's remembrance of me. I almost grudge to take out a needle or displace the thread, it looks like disturbing your work.... We spent yesterday at Versailles and St Cloud. I believe I am singular in my opinion; but Versailles rather disappointed me, or I should say did not come up to my expectation. The fête at St Cloud was very striking. It was a complete fair with pretty-looking fountains and fireworks; it was so completely French that it was worth seeing by all the English. At Mme Catalani's concert the other night I had very tender love made me by a Russian officer, moustached and painted up to his eyes.

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He chose well considering my hatred. He asked me if it was my mother that was with me; I cannot guess whether this was Jessie or Emma. He begged to know what hotel I was at, said he should carry remembrances away with him, and asked me whether I should not also—he tried me in all languages, and then said, "You know the language of love." I tell you this that you may know how a Russian makes love.... W. Clifford makes a good comparison in the way of opposition to G. Newnham [an acquaintance who had not called], overflowing with kindness and affection. He has been all over Paris endeavouring to get us a Shakespeare, and what is remarkable in such a place, in vain. He was too late by one day for a copy....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Fanny Allen (at Geneva).

ETRURIA, Oct. 30th, 1815.

I feel the want of your society, dearest Fanny, too much not to be a little sad at sitting down to write to you at such a distance, but I shall mend of that as I go on, and you will be looking out for another letter by this time.

Sir Samuel Romilly, I hear, reports that you must waltz yourselves into society at Geneva, and that if he had stayed there, he should have been obliged to waltz himself. So I suppose you are all pocketing your prudery as fast as you can. We have received Joe's, giving an account of his having placed my Hal. The place seems promising, but the salary is high, not that I wonder at or blame a man who gets himself well paid for the company of a raw boy.

I wish I may be the first to tell you of Harriet Drewe's conquest. Last Sunday I had a letter from Caroline [Drewe], the beginning of which was written in very low spirits. She had had a conversation with Mr William1 in which he seemed to have no intention of continuing to her

1 Mr William Drewe, brother of Caroline's late husband, the Rev. E. Drewe, was the present owner of the Grange Estate, to which her son Edward ultimately succeeded. The family is now extinct in the male line, and the Grange is sold.

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the 60 from the Grange Estate, though he promised her 100 per an. to educate Frank when he was 14. She had been thinking that with all her economy she could not live at Exeter, and she had half finished this dismal letter when in came Mr Gifford and laid himself and fortune at Harriet's feet. You may guess the tone of the remainder of the letter, for besides being one of the cleverest and most agreeable men going, he makes by his profession already between 2000 and 3000 per an., and has realized 12,000. Harriet was so frightened that she was near fainting. He is now admitted as a declared lover, but nothing is yet settled and we have not heard again. Charlotte Drewe1 is now as you may suppose very impatient to join her sisters and I like her the better for it. She has a great deal of affection about her, and her manners are simple. I tried her temper upon one occasion, in which she took what I said to her so well that I am convinced of her good nature, for though it was only a question of manner it is a ticklish thing to find fault with. Mary Havard is married, and is come with her husband to take possession of the Leopard at Burslem. Their master parted with them very amicably and made her a present of one guinea, and to Pepper, who had lived with him twenty years and had served him in the capacity of butler, valet, and keeper, he gave two pounds. See how good servants are rewarded when they happen to meet with generous masters! What is become of W. Clifford, my dear Fanny? I mean his person, not his heart, for if our friends are all right you have the latter safe enough. The question I would ask is whether you have been equally generous to him? and if so, I don't know that there is anything to be said against it, provided the income would not be too small. Tell me how you spend your time, and how you find the society, and above all whether you think you shall make out your two years or not, and how you get on in conversation....

1 Charlotte Drewe was visiting at Maer. She, and Frank and Louisa Drewe all died in early youth (1817–18). Mr Gifford, afterwards Lord Gifford, married Harriet Drewe in 1816.

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Fanny Allen, in answer, wrote this dignified expression of her feeling for Mr Clifford. She was thirty-four years old, and it was the romance of her life. It must be remembered that her sister Bessy to whom this letter was written was almost like a mother to her.

GENEVA, Dec. 31, 1815.

... We have received a little note from W. Clifford a few hours before he left Paris, telling us of his immediate journey to England and begging to hear from us how we go on. I have left myself too little room to dilate on anything, but my inmost heart is yours at command. I think all my friends were out in their opinion respecting his sentiments. He feels a very tender friendship for me, but I do not think it is love. If he had given me his heart he should have had mine; there is no man out of my own family I love so much. He still talks of meeting us in Switzerland or Italy in the summer, but I do not think he has health or spirits for the journey. This is only for you, Jos, and the two girls—one is loath to acknowledge the readiness to give one's affection where it has not been asked.

William Clifford, owner of a small but beautiful property in Herefordshire, Perristone by name, was a very dear friend of the Allen family. He died in 1850 aged about 70. He must have been strikingly handsome, judging from a portrait of him in his old age by Watts, of which my mother had an engraving. It shews him with sad-looking dark eyes, thick, waved white hair, and clear-cut, strongly-marked features. He never married, though he was much attracted by other members of the family in later days.

A little packet of his letters exists in the Maer collection. They are to Jessie and Bessy, with but one to Fanny Allen. As I read these letters, a certain flavour in his character reminded me curiously of Edward Fitzgerald; the thought kept constantly recurring. Mr Clifford's life, too, was in some respects similar—a hermit-like existence, great power of winning and keeping friends, the same sense of failure, incurable hesitation, deep melancholy and a playful charm and sense of humour. He once said he had never taken any step he had not regretted, and this hesitation seems to have been all that prevented a marriage which apparently

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would have added even more to his happiness than to hers. There was, however, a remarkably unembarrassed intimacy between them which lasted till his death. He was an intimate friend of the Chevalier de Bunsen. There is a story of his saying: "Bunsen always holds my hand when we meet and puts it next his heart. It is inconvenient when it happens at the soup, as it generally does."

The following letter gives an account of a great family gathering at Bath. The party consisted of Mrs Drewe and one of her daughters, the John Wedgwoods, Kitty and Sarah Wedgwood (sisters of Josiah of Maer), the Darwins, and Bessy with her daughter Charlotte. The Allens were now at Geneva, and had made friends with Sismondi.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Fanny Allen.

ETRURIA, Jan. 3rd, 1816.

... I am agreeably surprised to see how quick the communication is between us. Jessie will by this time have received my last from Bath, in which we all disclaimed giving an opinion worth having about your going into Italy with Sismondi. The more I think of it, the less I see any objection to it, always supposing that he is not a lover, which I can hardly suppose. If he is, and Jess is resolved against him, it might embarrass her, and perhaps would not be right to him....

You will think no more of John and Jane [Wedgwood] coming out, for as John says he cannot know till next summer whether he can be spared from the Bank, it will be impossible for you to frame your plans with any views to theirs.

Jenny and I have spent a long time together now and not one ungentle word or look has escaped to cloud our affection, so tender if anything ails you in body or mind and so free from selfishness in any way. I think I could make her yet more perfect, and she always receives every suggestion with so much sweet humility that I almost reproach myself for not having the courage to try. I never saw Caroline [Drewe]

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more charming. There is something so delightfully fresh in her hilarity, and she is so willing and able to contribute her share to enrich society, that I think her very nearly the most agreeable woman I know. Yet I should rank her character under Jenny's. She has not her tenderness. There is more locality in her feelings, and she is more taken up with her own views and concerns, but she is more agreeable where both are so agreeable.

I enjoyed my fortnight at Bath very much. Kitty [Wedgwood] was our housekeeper, and a busy time she had with us, for we were a pretty round party when we were joined by the Darwins. The more you can penetrate through the reserve of Kitty's character, the more you will see the beauty of it. Poor Sarah1 was a good deal unhinged by Henry Swinney's appearance among us, but now her troubles are at an end, I think she is enjoying herself very much. I was exceedingly taken with Henry Swinney, there was something so good-natured, and simple, and unaffected that I felt that it would be easy to love him, if I saw much of him. He dined twice with us, and went to every public place with the party whenever he could. I advised Sarah to consider the matter well before she rejected him, as she certainly is not happy in her present situation, and nothing can alter that for the better except, it might be, marriage. That I could see no objection to him but his youth, and that was for her to consider. Kitty told her the same thing, but her answer was that she had no hesitation whatever, her mind was made up that they were every way unsuitable. Last night I had a letter from her wherein she tells me that she had had a letter from him which enabled her to put an end to the whole affair, and she seems much more comfortable. She was very nervous while this was in agitation. She slept inside Caroline [Drewe's] and my room, and we used to curl our hair together over the fire, and discuss Mr Swinney. She was very much pleased we liked him so much, for she was continually oscillating between her wish to be kind to him

1 Sarah Wedgwood was then thirty-nine years of age.

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and her fear of giving him false hopes by so doing. But I daresay you will have a much fuller account of these things from herself as I believe she writes to Jessie by this conveyance. We all parted for our different homes on Thursday last. Mrs Darwin asked Charlotte to remain behind, and as I thought she would like it, and the little variety she sees here would make it desirable in point of improvement to her, I consented, so she is now taking lessons of Miss Sharpe in singing and other lessons, drawing and dancing, and a high favourite she is with everybody. She begins now to talk very agreeably in company. All I am afraid is her present peace and repose being injured by finding out that she is admired. There is at present such an incomparable repose in her appearance, that it would be a thousand pities it should be disturbed.

Harry's last letter1 was dated November 10th tell him, and I am very glad to find by it that his hard studies do not seem to have abated his spirits, and as to his whiskers, I beg he will not be uneasy about them, as he has found out that he may use burnt cork. I had rather hear that his head was upright on his shoulders than that his whiskers were a yard long.

But to return to my journey. I took the Oxford mail from Bath to Cirencester, and got to North Cerney to dinner. I was received very civilly by Mr Surtees; as to Harriet her spirits seem to me so quelled that there was no great expression of pleasure, though I firmly believe she was as glad to see me as she could be. But I never saw anything so different as her manner is to that of my other sisters. She speaks so low and so slow, that she gives me quite the impression of a person labouring under some immediate calamity, and yet I don't think these are her feelings, and we had some very comfortable conversation together. You all are the grand subjects that interest her, and I think letters seem to be the only comfort of her life, for the seeing her friends has so much alloy with it, that I

1 Harry Wedgwood was studying at Geneva, boarding with a family.

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doubt whether it gives her much pleasure. I have promised to send her any letters of yours that will do for circulation. Surtees was really as civil to me as he could be, yet I think him the most incomparably disagreeable man I ever saw, and we used to sit so long after dinner that I used to be ready to die of sleep. Neither sitting upright nor looking in the fire would keep me awake. On Monday I left them, and pursuing my journey, sometimes in the public coaches and sometimes in hack chaises, I got home long before dinner. I had rather go in a public coach a great deal, than in a hack chaise by myself, it is so cold and dismal; and one sometimes meets very odd characters in the coach, but one constantly runs the risk of having one's feelings jarred by incivility, which I think is the most disagreeable part of that mode of travelling. I found it very dismal travelling alone, lying down in my clothes because I was to be called at 5 next morning and knew nobody would be up to help me, getting up and sitting by the kitchen fire till it was time to go. All this with a companion would be matter of amusement, but alone it is rather dreary. I found my Elizabeth and her father quite well and glad to see me home again, and my little boys well and in excellent spirits, but they seem to me hardly grown at all. Erasmus Darwin is spending his holidays here. He is an inoffensive lad. Jos is very busy about schools, infirmaries, and those sort of things. Harry says you have got a new lover. Give my love to him and to my dear Jess and Emma. Farewell, my very dear Fanny, believe me

Ever affectionately yours,

E. W.

Emma Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

GENEVA, Jan. 14th [1816].

... I congratulate you and all your party on the return of your blessed sun among you,1 tho" there was no gloom in its absence I can fully feel the joy of its return, and rejoice with you in it with my whole heart.

1 Bessy's return from Bath and North Cerney.

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Mrs Greathead gave a very pretty little ball last week which was thought very agreeable by all the dames, but for myself I thought it rather too long, as I generally do in my quiescent state, if my non-dancing English men fail me, which they did very much that night. Think of my luck in the foot way. I resolved on learning to waltz, took my first lesson on Xmas Eve, and that very day hurt the side of my foot which has kept me here ever since; and I have not been able to walk beyond church, and often with difficulty there. So ends my prospect of becoming a waltzer, and to tell you a secret I am afraid there is some prospect of gout before me, but for the world I must not whisper that ugly name or the dream of our tender years would vanish. I wish you had seen the Countess Zoutoff's tender manner when she found we were without parents. Her passion for Jessie is nearly as strong as ever, but Jessie began two weeks ago to find it a bore, and now heartily wishes she would take herself off to Russia, and all inclination to be her companion is gone.... On Jessie's and Fanny's return last night a little after 9 they found Sismondi awaiting them with Madame Coutouly. Sismondi urged us so strongly to give him an answer whether we would go with him or not next month into Italy that we engaged to make up our minds by the following Saturday. The letters we received from England rather encouraged our going, and one from Joe from Naples marked so strongly the enormous advantage we should find in having Sismondi our guide and protector from imposition in Italy, added to which, Mrs Weld's seeing not the least impropriety in our accepting his protection, as we were three, had nearly decided us on going, but we thought first we might as well ask Madame Constant's opinion, which I found occasion to do at Mrs Greathead's ball. Her opinion was in favour of it, but at the same time asked my permission to put it to her husband;1 she did so, and two days after

1 Henri Benjamin Constant (born of a French Huguenot family at Lausanne in 1767—d. 1830) was a French author and politician of some note. He had studied at Oxford in his youth. Like Mme de Staël, he was banished from France for denouncing Napoleon's

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came here with his opinion, which was so far against our going that we wrote immediately to Sismondi to give it up. Madame Constant is the only charming woman we first found here who has retained her charms, and in my eyes they are very much increased by the sweet manner in which she entered into this business of ours, so delicate and so full of feeling. Both Jessie and I felt the giving up the Italian scheme a very great disappointment. As to Fanny one of her wayward dégoûts was on her, and I believe she found it a relief when the prospect of being shut up with Sismondi for a fortnight in a carriage was removed, but Jessie felt the disappointment of this, her favourite scheme, so much that at first I was disposed to feel as much for her in being obliged to give it up as for him. However, by good fortune, she was engaged that night to a ball and supper where she had more dancing and merrier dancing than any she has had before at Geneva, and Sismondi and the Italian scheme was quite forgotten till the next morning, when he came with the hope of changing our purpose, but in vain. Now Jessie has discovered the report of her going to marry him is strong enough to make her dislike the idea of going with him, and now she is a little afraid he will manage to get some married lady to join our party and we shall have no excuse for not going with him. He is the kindest, best, tenderest friend in the world, but for a lover, heaven defend him from thinking of it. I hardly ever saw anyone less calculated to excite the tender passion than himself. To do him justice, however, he is far from professing the lover; indeed his professions are all against it, but I often doubt whether his feelings are. His anxiety for our going with him may be all the want of society, which he feels particularly at Pescia and therefore is eager to get us there to help him out with his nine months" visit to his mother. An Englishman with half his store of mind would feel himself tolerably independent of society, but

despotic acts, and he travelled with her in Germany and Italy. Three years after this time he became leader of the Liberal party in the French Chamber.

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with him it is a want that he is wretched without; he goes into it, is looked cold on, or fancies he is looked cold on, and returns home in a miserable state of dejection, but still goes if he has an invitation next day.

Sismondi tries to persuade us we are very much neglected here, I cannot for my life think it. We were at two balls last week, and have two or three invitations before us this week; they are more than I am disposed to accept, and quite enough to prevent the suspicion of neglect; considering we give nothing in return, I think great favour is shewn us. The gayest thing we have before us is the Prince of Mecklenburg's ball, which is to take place on Tuesday, the 28th; eight hundred people are asked, to whom he is to give a supper, and his father requests him to spare no expense in the business. Young Monod is one of his teachers and to him I fancy we owe our invitation.

Notwithstanding all you have heard of the charming people here, there is not one who will make me regret Geneva so much as our Hal.1 He is almost as kind and affectionate to us as you could be yourself, and we shall miss his beaming face and gay spirits appearing among us every vacant moment. I wish you could see him when he mounts the stairs to inform us of an invitation to a ball. I have not room to tell you now how much the agreeable parts of his character are improved, he is so sociable and so gay that he's sure of being a favourite through life....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Emma Allen.

ETRURIA, Jan. 21st [1816].

I have not yet thanked you individually, dearest Emma, for the interesting letter I got from you whilst I was at Cheltenham. It was very well it came there, for we wanted amusement cruelly there, and did not find it so easy to get into society there as you have done at Geneva. Not but we were very comfortable among ourselves, but that we could have been at home. I think I told you that we met

1 Harry Wedgwood, their nephew.

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Henry Swinney at Bath and how much I liked him. When I left Bath he had not declared himself, but he did so the day after by letter, and Sarah's answer was as decisive and as kind as she could make it. I think she was very wise to reject him on the score of age, if she had no other objection, for ten years is a fearful difference on the wrong side. I don't know whether Fanny [Allen] is right in her estimate of William Clifford's sentiments with respect to herself, but if he is the man to make her happy, most ardently should I desire the connection. How charming the frank-hearted manner in which she speaks of him in her last. There is something very delightful in the vrai of her character. A word of affection or commendation from her is pure gold, for which reason I am so pleased at the favourable report she makes of my Hal's improvements. I know she would not say so "because she thought it would please me," as the poor Collier did to my father, but if she could not commend, she would say nothing. I intreat you, among the petites morales, to make him hold up his head, or else it must be terribly in the way of his waltzing partner. We have been so quiet since I came home that I have few annals to give you. We have indeed been asked out six or seven times, but I began by refusing, because I would not leave my boys for the remainder of the holidays, and I was very glad of being under the necessity of keeping up my consistency. We are expecting the Cid1 and family on Wednesday to stay two or three days. I wrote to ask the Macks to meet them, but the Knight is at Dropmore, and Kitty cannot yet give me a decisive answer, whether she can come or not....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Fanny Allen.

January 30th [1816].

... I am glad you have decided against going to Italy with Sismondi, not because I see any impropriety in it, but because I should not have liked your being so much farther

1 Sydney Smith.

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off. But if M. Constant is against it, it is decisive, as men are always better judges than women, and he is besides (as the Smiths tell me) a very sensible man. The Smiths came here on Wednesday to dinner from Mr Philipps's of Manchester. Mrs Sydney, Saba, Emily, Douglas, and a sweet infant of two years old, called Windham, in their own chaise, a very good-looking affair that Sydney bought last year in London for £70. The Cid himself came in the coach. We had no company to meet them on Wednesday, but on Thursday I asked the three girl Caldwells, who stayed with us till Sunday, and very much they enjoyed their visit. You would be surprised to hear how little literary our conversation was. I don't think we talked of any book but Rhoda, which is a novel by Miss Jackson, very good, but which I thought the Cid overpraised. He was in very high fooling every day but the last, when, whether he was made flat by the departure of his three great admirers, or whether he was vexed by some letters he received I don't know, but he was silent and walking up and down the room a great part of the evening. We got him to read prayers and a sermon in the afternoon. The sermon was one he had preached at Sedgeley, it was against envy, and very good. He recovered his spirits next morning when Elizabeth and I walked to Newcastle and saw him depart in a Birmingham coach. They go to Bath to see his father. Mrs Sydney and her children stay there two months, Sydney I suppose as short a time as his filial piety will allow, as he hates Bath mortally, and loves London spiritually. I thought the Cid looked better than when I saw him last, but he gets fat. Mrs Sydney is both younger and handsomer than she was when here last. More good-humoured she could not be. Saba is grown a very genteel girl and seems perfectly good-humoured and amiable, but, like Fanny Waddington,1 is so educated that all nature is gone, answering every word you say with a sweet undistinguishing smile that says nothing. She must be clever from her parentage, but it is impossible to find it out through

1 Afterwards Mme de Bunsen.

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all the teaching she has had. Douglas is to go to school in about two years, but it is high time he was there already. He is too much brought forward and grows conceited and arrogant. Emily is a very pleasing little girl and very clever. We had not much politics either. Sydney seems to think the Whigs" case hopeless, and speaks very gaily of his narrow circumstances; but he will never be distressed. He has too strong a mind not to act up to circumstances, and he is too wise to poison the happiness in his power by outrunning his income. It is easy to see that he is a rational and strict economist. He takes things very quietly. He does not like the Bourbons, but he thinks it is better they should be on the throne of France than Buonaparte, and he thinks the sending Buonaparte to St Helena the best thing that could have been done. To have kept him safely in England would have been impossible and he would have made disturbances. This week Parliament opens, and the opposition intend to divide against the minister. Mackintosh's furniture is sold, but not the house. I expect some of his great friends will give him an invitation to their houses in town, but Sydney says no,—now that it would be a real accommodation it would be against all rule. Kitty, I expect here, and I hope she will stay long enough to make it an accommodation, which by shutting up Weedon Lodge it might be. I shall be very sorry to miss Mackintosh but I don't expect he will ever come here.

There has been a very great sensation here from the failure of Roscoe's Bank at Liverpool and Mr Eyton's at Shrewsbury. The county is certainly very much distressed at this time. The farmers are ruined, and they have not taken advantage of the years of plenty they have had, but have lived upon the fat of the land, and they have scarcely any of them made any provision for this pressure. England will pay dear enough for putting Louis upon the throne of France in the end.

I am sorry to think that my little boys will leave us on the 10th. They have been so amiable these holidays that they will make us regret their loss very much, not a single

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jar with each other has occurred, and I trust their tempers will be as excellent as some of their predecessors".

How grateful to me, my dearest Fanny, was the proof of your confidence you gave me in your last. I should hardly think anybody good enough for you, but from your and Jessie's and Emma's opinion I think higher of William Clifford than almost anybody else, and should rejoice, if he were the man, to hear of his crossing the Alps. Poor Sismondi! though if he finds any married lady as you seem to think he will do, I cannot think why you cannot then go with him, as then the only objection will be obviated. I honour M. Constant for being so staunch in his opinion. A friend who will give advice that he knows is unpalatable is, on some occasions, invaluable. I perceive by Emma's letter that you never give any parties, which is very well, but on going away would it not be a pretty thing to give one just as an acknowledgement to your friends?...

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Emma Allen.

ETRURIA, Feb. 24th [1816].

... Kitty [Mackintosh] and her two girls came here on Monday se'nnight and very comfortable we have been together ever since. I hope and believe they will stay as long as Mackintosh stays in town, and that I suppose will be for the session. He writes very often to Kitty and his letters are journalwise, so that we know every day what he is doing. He went first of all into lodgings, but Lord Holland has asked him to his house and he is now there. I suppose you know that Lord Holland is in Bobus's1 house in Savile Row. M. says that it is impossible to know how amiable Lord H. is without being in the house with him. M. seems to complain a good deal of nervousness. He seems to keep his own hours, and eats his chicken alone whenever he is not well enough to join the party. He goes to bed at 12 and always finds a supper laid for him at an early hour, though

1 "Bobus" (Robert) Smith, Sydney's elder brother: his child-name stuck to him at Eton and through life.

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they do not go to bed till three or four o'clock. Every evening there is a collection of distinguished men and agreeable women to be found there after the play and opera, and I think it must be the pleasantest house to visit at in London. Mackintosh has spoken once upon the subject of the treaties, but the debate was long, and the Morning Chronicle gave scarcely any report of it. He was not however satisfied with it himself, but he is too fastidious, as well to himself as to everyone else. Horner's speech on the same side seems to have gained great applause. I don't suppose the history goes on at present, but Fanny [Mackintosh] is copying some of the original letters of Prince Eugene from the Marlborough Papers, and Kitty and she are very busy every morning translating something for Mackintosh. Kitty's spirits and health are excellent, and there is so much life and originality in her conversation that her society is a great pleasure to us. We sit together all the evening, and the mornings I am not sorry to have at my own disposal. She has got a very decent manservant here and her little horses. She says they do very well for saddle-horses, but we have not been tempted by the weather to try them yet; I shall, however, soon. Meantime we make them pay for their keep by using them instead of hiring posters when we want to go out. I never saw two such grave girls as the two Mackintoshes, but I think them both clever. Fanny [Mackintosh, aged 16] seems to have a very clear head and a great deal of information very clearly arranged. She is a furious politician, as is likely, but I am not clear whether she is aware of the distinction that everybody ought to feel between patriotism and party spirit. Kitty is very kind and indulgent to them, but she has not accustomed them to prompt obedience....

I don't wonder at your feeling so much the departure of the good and amiable Sismondi. It is not possible to withhold one's affection from such a man as that, if he were as ugly as the Beast in the old tale. You have already had so many agreeable results from your determination, that you have good reasons to trust to this, and go on cheerfully down the stream of life plucking all the flowers that lie in your

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way, without being anxious to know whether you have fallen upon the most favourable current....

Emma Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.


... You will be almost as much surprised by the date of my letter as I am to find myself here. It appears to be very much like a dream, but I must tell you how it came to pass. After the flatness of Sismondi's departure and with feelings of despair about ever accomplishing our journey into Italy, at least during the year he was there, we put our names down with a voiturier for company into Italy this spring. Much sooner than we expected a voiturier, by name Populus, much recommended to us for the care he took of ladies, offered to convey us to Florence with a Mr Cunningham, a young man about your Joe's age, of very respectable character and good manners, who also took an old servant with him, who might be of service to us, as he spoke all the languages. We consulted our friends, the Welds, on this offer and they thought it too good an opportunity for us not to take advantage of. We were therefore introduced to our compagnon de voyage, whom we found out to be a nephew of Mrs Dugald Stewart's and brother of Lady Ashburnham. We were much pleased with his manners, which are remarkably gentle and polished, and tho" he is thought very handsome, and in two years" time comes into possession of several thousands a year, we agreed to go with him, fearless of any scandal attaching to our doing so, for when it was known that he was only of the age of our nephew, it couldn't be supposed we had any designs of marrying him. We agreed therefore with Populus to take us to Florence for £44, feeding and lodging us all the way except at those towns where we chose to stop for our own pleasure, and there we were to pay 15 francs a day for him and his horses.

On Monday the 26th of February we left Geneva in a coach and six good horses. Our Harry, with a sociableness that so much reminded me of his mother, got up at 5 to send

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us on our way, tho" he had a walk of 2 miles back to take through the rain. His sociableness and frankness are two of his qualities that I delight in. I wish it could have been consistent with his education for him to have taken this journey with us; how he would have enjoyed it. I shall not attempt to describe to you the beauties of towns and countries that we have seen on our way, because you do not delight in description nor I in describing, suffice it therefore to say that we three and our handsome young gentleman took the route of Mount Cenis, which we crossed on the 5th day after leaving Geneva. Buonaparte's road over it is a capital one, so little steep that horses might trot down any part of it, yet it winds you by the side of the most tremendous precipices and over the tops of some of the highest mountains. But for yours and my distaste for description, I could give you a beautiful one of this country from Susa to Turin. That capital appeared very handsome to us on first entering, but its excessive regularity at last became tiresome. We remained from Saturday till Tuesday, which time we employed in running about to see the churches, palaces, &c.; and here was the first place we discovered what a beauty we were travelling with, for every man and woman turned round to look at him, and his conscious and shy look amused me very much. At the Cathedral, where the royal family were at Mass, we heard the finest music possible; the King looked good-natured and foolish, is not popular, but the first thing he did was to abolish torture. At Milan we found a most delightful letter from Sismondi welcoming our coming into Italy, which assured us of finding such friends in it in himself, his mother and sister, and expressed so much joy at the thoughts of again meeting us, that this friendly letter rejoiced us all. In the world we could hardly have found a more thoughtful, kind and active friend than he has been to us.

Modena is a very striking town on first entering, from its handsome gateway, broad streets, and gaily painted houses, but nothing looks gay or alive in the streets of Italian towns; the men you see there look so shabby, and women, you

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hardly ever see any. The day after, we got to Bologna, upon the whole the most remarkable town we have seen yet. Here we rested two days; sent a letter to a M. Mezzofanti,1 professor at the University, who came to us and gave us a list of the things worth seeing and his company, which was worth a great deal. Of Florence I cannot tell you much yet, as I have only been out once at the gallery. Owing to Sismondi, Madame de Staël had been on the look-out for us, and the Duchess de Broglie2 called the morning after our arrival, gave us a general invitation to her mother's for every evening, and a particular one to introduce us to the lady of the Russian ambassador, and to as much of the Florentine society as we pleased. Albertine had no longer her London saucy manners but they were simple and she was almost kind to us. The next evening Jessie and Fanny went to her house, and she took them with her to the Russian ambassador's and introduced them to a great number of foreign nobility, as well as English, with which Florence is at this time filled, Lord Burghersh, the English ambassador, Lord A. Hamilton and several others. Fanny waltzed away with great spirit with two Italian noblemen. Jessie had not courage for that but remained the chief of the evening on the arm of Madame de Staël. I make my first appearance in the Florentine world to-morrow at Madame de Staël's. By that time I hope Sismondi will be arrived. His anxiety about us made him write two of the kindest letters in the world to prevent our feeling forlorn on first coming here. You may guess, as we did, that Madame de Staël's active attentions to us have been owing to him, he is so anxious to give us what he considers the best thing in the world, society. He and his mother and sister have been already on the look-out for a house or lodgings that we

1 Mezzofanti (born 1774, died 1849), afterwards Cardinal and Keeper of the Vatican Library and an astounding linguist. He was said to know sixty-four languages and talk forty-eight. Byron called him "a walking polyglot, a monster of languages and Briareus of parts of speech." He amused people in Ireland by being able to talk English with the brogue to his hosts as well as Erse to the natives.

2 Albertine, daughter of Madame de Staël.

VOL. I. 7

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should like at Pescia, but they will not decide till we arrive, but he appears to insist that we should put ourselves under their direction. This is not exactly the year to come out of England for cheapness. He tells us at Pescia, and we heard the same on the road, that all the articles of life in them are double their usual price. A bad harvest and Murat's armies were the causes assigned. Sismondi comes here immediately and remains about ten days with Madame de Staël, then takes us back with him to Pescia....

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The crisis in Davison's Bank—Its failure averted—The loss of the John Wedgwoods" fortune—Their move to Betley.

IN the summer of 1816 a crisis occurred in the fortunes of the John Wedgwoods. Davison's Bank, in which he was a partner, had apparently been in an unsound state for some time, and there was now imminent danger of bankruptcy. He had sunk nearly the whole of his property in the concern.

Mrs John Wedgwood to her brother-in-law Josiah Wedgwood.

[LONDON], August 14 [1816].


I have no doubt that John has thanked you for your letter of the 10th, but I am anxious to add my thanks to his, for what was indeed a type of yourself, in its wisdom and kindness. I can also give you the only reward in my power (but which you will not think trifling), in the assurance that poor John has found considerable relief in acting on your advice. He had last night a quiet comfortable night, and awakened to-day refreshed and with quiet nerves. The confidence you urged him to make to me and the children was indeed suspected by me long, tho" I believe it was proved by the immediate shock it gave me that I had feared more than expected it. All my four children have borne it as I could have wished them, with entire resignation if the blow does fall on us, and with renewed tenderness to their father and myself. Tom I mention particularly, because he has hitherto seen life more in its holiday dress than the rest, but who, I am convinced, will concur without

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a moment's hesitation in every regulation of economy it may be necessary to adopt. How poor John has been able to endure as well as he has, what has been his lot for the last few months, I cannot tell, but I have the comfort of thinking that his health is not hurt by it, and for the future, whatever may betide us, I am sure his load will be the lighter for our participation. If reserve were not incurable, I should hope he would lose the habit of being so from his late sufferings, and the relief I am sure he has had from opening his mind; at the same time I must bear testimony to the beauty of his temper, which with such a load on his heart has never for an instant been betrayed into the slightest irritation, nor indeed has it made him withdraw from general sympathy in what was happening round him.

Yesterday was a day of dreadful anxiety to us, but towards the evening money, in the course of business, flowed in, and when they shut shop their spirits were a good deal revived. This however is only temporary, and I will keep this open to tell you the result of to-day: if we are at last to fall, I grieve over these delays, but I am anxious to assure you, and my dear and anxious Bessy, that all our spirits are suffering much less than you may imagine them to do. The idea of ruin has so often been present to my mind, that it comes at last without a shock. Indeed a chance call from Mr Parke yesterday presented us with schemes as a resource for our future life, if the worst befalls us. His daughter is now at Boulogne, where the houses and articles of life are so cheap that I don't know that we could do better than in going there. One of its greatest advantages is the ease and cheapness of getting there. It is not so far as Exeter from hence, and then, my dear Jos, I should not feel as if I was going to quit you for ever, as I am sure our best friends would not fail to seek us out. Sometimes the society of my friends is dearer to me "than gold, yea, than much fine gold," therefore, I will not if I can help it, go beyond their reach. Till post-time farewell.

To-morrow will seal our doom either for good or for bad.

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Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sisters.

[LONDON] 22 August, 1816.

I am now at liberty, my dear girls, to tell you the true reason of my coming up to town in this violent hurry. Secrecy is no longer necessary, as last night the whole affairs here were transferred to Coutts's. This is no longer a Bank, but all the old customers are referred to Coutts. It is a most desirable arrangement to this house, which must otherwise have stopt. Your balance and everybody else's is now at Coutts's, and everybody must be very glad to find their money there. If this had not happened they must have stopt this week, though they had property enough to pay 40s. in the pound, but there was no time. They therefore laid their whole accounts open to Coutts's lawyers, who verified everything with the most scrupulous exactness, and this whole week has been passed in the different negotiations, and in a state of anxiety on our parts difficult to describe. The definitive deeds were not signed till 4 o'clock this morning, and the partners of both houses were here up all night; and several times during the investigation they were nearly off. Thank God however it is now settled, and will be announced in to-morrow's papers.

Jos and I came up last Friday sennight upon hearing that the Bank could not go on another day. We travelled nearly all night and got here to breakfast. Our design was to bring Jenny and her children all down to Etruria. We found them, all but John, very much distressed, and he was very firm. We had no hope, and I was only here to enable Jenny to support the shock when it came. Mr Vizard thought of this scheme, and it was proposed to Sir W. Paston's bank, who declined. It was then offered to Coutts's, who from their being above all fear of a run were induced to take it, and they suppose they will get 3 or 4000 a year by it. We have been like drowning persons rescued from death. The Bank now finishes in an honourable way at least, and all the horrors of bankruptcy are escaped.

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This was the thing that affected Jenny and Sally most, and they feel themselves quite in high spirits to-day, at having escaped; and for my own part I feel just the same. I will enter upon another sheet because I think you had so much rather pay a little more than have this interesting subject curtailed. We were obliged to be very cautious all the week, for if a breath of suspicion had gone out while it was pending, there would have been a run, and all would have been over. Happily dear Jenny's health has stood it wonderfully. The circular letters all go out to-morrow, and we are going to dine upon a haunch of venison from Dr Darwin, and on Tuesday we all go out of town in our gimcrack for Etruria, and I trust we never shall spend so anxious and unhappy a week as the last. I took Jenny out to Hampton Court yesterday, as well to be out of the way as to see the Philippses. We had a delightful drive, and dear Jenny's elastic spirits rose to a very pleasant pitch. It is wonderful to see the composure with which they all bear the wreck of their fortunes, now they are secure of not being in the Gazette. That evil appeared so enormous, that everything else is thought light in the comparison. They will now stay with us till some arrangement can be made as to their future plans....

John was largely helped in his difficulties by his brother Jos, his sisters Kitty and Sarah, and his brother-in-law, Dr Darwin. It was soon after this time that their friend Mr Tollet let them have a small house at Betley at a low rent, for the pleasure of their society, and also to be of service to them in their changed fortunes. Bessy mentions his great kindness to Jane with enthusiasm. "I almost worship Mr Tollet," she wrote. This arrangement continued for eight years, I think the longest time they ever stayed in one house. This was a pleasure to both families and a great delight to Bessy to have her beloved sister so near her.

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The Allen sisters at Pisa—Caroline Drewe and her family—Sismondi's courtship—Algernon Langton and Marianne Drewe—Sarah Wedgwood and Jessie Allen—Anne Caldwell's marriage.

THE following letter gives an account of a family gathering at Pisa. Mrs Drewe's two children, Frank and Louisa, were dying of consumption, and were brought there as a last hope. Her two daughters, Marianne and Georgina (afterwards Mrs. Algernon Langton and Lady Alderson) were in the first bloom of their youth, Marianne a beauty and Georgina very piquante and attractive. Jessie, Emma, and Fanny Allen were also staying there to be a support and help to their sister, Mrs Drewe.

Emma Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

PISA, Jan. 16th [1817].

... Dear William Clifford has been with us during the last six weeks, and has shewn himself so inexpressibly amiable that every individual of our party is to-day in mourning for his loss. At first he wished to prevail on us to change our quarters for Rome, but he had too much feeling to wish to entice us from Caroline [Drewe] at present. Here therefore he stayed, for the sake of the company that I believe he likes best in the world; and would have stayed among it longer, if he did not consider it as a duty to return soon to England. You know how highly I always thought of his understanding and character. Now they are considerably raised in my opinion. His judgment is excellent on every point, and I know no one whom it is so satisfactory to discuss a subject with as him, he is always so right and

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so gentle. He enters into all our feelings so ardently that I do feel him a very precious friend, and I wish to God his better health would make me feel more secure of him. He was so unhappy when he thought of leaving us about a fortnight ago by himself, that we proposed going over with him to Pescia, to see if Sismondi was inclined to travel with him to Rome. Sismondi was very glad of the offer, but it was no sooner accepted than William Clifford appeared to suffer so much from shyness, that I think he repented he had made it.

We hoped the last day of his stay with us should have been a snug one, and to our family dinner only Major Langton, Sismondi, and W. Clifford were invited. But we had not risen from it before two professors and a friend of theirs were announced. One was a decent man, Santi by name, who was satisfied with a visit of an hour long. But the other two remained till 12, during which time the Italian and patience of the whole party was spent. Sismondi went up to the mad professor and told him, as it was very difficult for the ladies longer to support a conversation in a strange language, they must introduce some plays to amuse them. He would not take this as a hint to be gone, tho" it appeared to us broad enough, but entered with great spirit into magical music and blind-man's-buff, which caused our provoked feelings to vent themselves in some hearty fits of laughter. To see our mad and melancholy men so seriously engaged to catch the young ladies made a most ludicrous scene. From Major Langton's1 long arms it was almost impossible to escape, and the priest made such an inhuman growl that when he came near me, it had something of the effect of horror and fascination. He is now looking over my shoulder, and if he could read what I am writing, he would. This dreadful man promises to visit us every day for the next three months, and Jessie and Fanny will not agree to shut the doors against him, because of the help he may give them in Italian.

1 Major Langton was so tall that when he was in a crowd in St. Peter's the Gendarmes ordered him to get down, thinking he must be standing on something.

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Major Langton has now been en pension during the last month, his spirits are so improved that he has grown in favour with the whole party. I think he is attached to Marianne,1 but I am not sure; it is however at present an attachment that does not sadden him, and I wish it never may. He has many schemes floating in his head of getting into the Church or getting a consulship. If he could realize these schemes, or rather one of them, I think Marianne would not be cruel. His affection to her and her sisters, and excessive tenderness to the invalids, must win its way into her heart. Mr Leonard Horner is also one of our sociable evening men; he comes in to refresh himself for an hour or two after the nursing of his brother, but always returns by ten, at which hour Francis Horner goes to bed. He has a very good voice and sings very agreeably with the girls, or the Scotch songs by himself.

The following letter is from Sarah, Josiah Wedgwood's youngest sister. Her nature was a difficult one. She was very sensitive and very rigid, and had strong views on all subjects, especially on conduct—her own as well as other people's.

Sarah Wedgwood to Jessie Allen.

ETRURIA, Feb. 26 [1817].


Reading some old letters of yours the other day gave me an inclination to write to you. On the other hand I had never since I was born had less to say to you; the last four months have passed more entirely without incident of any kind than I could have thought it possible for so long a space of time to do, and the four to come seem likely to be as little variegated.

I need say nothing to the chief part of the contents of your letter, as you have heard that John [Wedgwood] and Jane have given up the thoughts of going abroad, and are going to place themselves where you had placed them in

1 Major Algernon Langton took orders and married Marianne Drewe in 1820. She died in 1822 after giving birth to one child, Bennet Langton.

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your wishes. The Betley scheme is in all our opinions a very excellent one, and it is very agreeable to their own feelings; if you saw the cheerfulness of all that family you would set your mind very much at ease about them. We are in great hopes that their income will not be much diminished by the late change, and then certainly it will be a most happy thing for John and Jane to be rid of an anxiety which has embittered their life for many years, particularly John's. He seems a much happier person than he was, even now before his affairs are fully settled; so don't torment yourself any more on their account.

You used me very cruelly in saying you had a great deal that was interesting to tell me, and then not saying a word on any subject that was interesting, except about Mr W. Clifford. On that subject I hardly know myself what I wish; yes I do, I wish that that might be which you say will not; but if wishes had any power in these no-fairy days, I should be very much afraid to wish this; for, charming as Mr W. C. is, I think the happiness of his wife would always be a very doubtful thing. I feel much less doubt about the chance that M. Sismondi's wife would have of being happy, and I do hope you have not been influenced in refusing so to be, by any reasons but wise ones. By unwise reasons, I mean the fear of John Allen's expressive eye when you present his brother-in-law to him, and such little feelings, which I know you would find it difficult to shake off, and which it would be a thousand pities that you should attend to, if for them you give up the greatest happiness this world can give—that of spending your life with a person who suits you, who loves you, and whom you love. For such a destiny I would run the gauntlet of all the quizzing that this quizzing age could shoot at me. If you find that you have done wrong, and that you are not happy, don't be ashamed to own that you have changed your mind to one, who would perhaps give his right hand to hear it.

I cannot take your advice in the regulation of my feelings about my friends. Friendship is to me a much

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more serious thing than it is to you; with me, I may almost say, it is the only thing. I must be happy in friendship or do without happiness. I do not mean "or be unhappy," because I have found more than once that by changing myself from a feeling to a thinking being, I can go on pretty well, but I am unfortunately subject to relapses. What a friend I could make out of two of mine. If I could add the agreeableness, the charming and interesting qualities of Mrs S.1 to the fine understanding and excellent and high qualities of heart and soul of Anne Caldwell, and if this superb creature would condescend to be my friend, I should think I had found such a treasure as the world never saw. But the gods are as likely to annihilate space and time to make two lovers happy, as to work the miracle that I desire at their hands.

Anne has been spending some time with me lately, and I have had a great deal of writing intercourse with her besides. The result of a more thorough knowledge of her has been an increased love and admiration of her. I don't think people in general are aware of the very great superiority of her understanding; I know you are, so I am not afraid of saying to you what I think of her. Besides her understanding, I have a great admiration of her wisdom. I don't mean that she is able always to act wisely herself, but she has a great deal of wisdom when she is not led astray by her feelings, or nerves, or anything of that sort. One thing that I value very particularly in her as a companion, is that I have never any thought or feeling de trop in my intercourse with her. With almost everybody one feels, "This part of my heart and mind and soul finds an answering heart, mind and soul in this person, but there is another

1 Mary Ann Schimmelpennick (1778—1856) was a daughter of Samuel Galton, and cousin of Sir Francis Galton. As a girl she had the character of a mischief-maker, and one of her relations declared she had been the means of breaking off thirteen engagements. She also made false statements about Dr Erasmus Darwin, which are published in her Life, and contradicted in Charles Darwin's Life of Erasmus Darwin. But she afterwards became a most virtuous, religious, and learned lady. She wrote on the "Theory of Beauty," and on the "History of Port Royal."

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part of me which is of no use in this friendship, that part I must reserve for such another person," but with Anne no part need wait. Whatever mood I am in, I find something in her that suits that mood; and I never have to keep back any thought or feeling from the consideration that some other person will be more likely to enter into it. This is partly owing to the richness and fulness of her mind, and the strength of her feelings, and partly to our ways of thinking and feeling being alike. I think you will be surprised after all I have said in Anne's praise, that I should not be perfectly satisfied and have no longings for this compound friend composed "of every creature's best": you will perhaps, still think me very foolish when I have explained myself, but that is a thing I never minded with you, and this letter is entirely for your own eye. It is my misfortune to be not of an affectionate disposition, though affection is almost the only thing in the world that I value; I don't know why I should be ashamed to own what I cannot possibly help, an extreme fastidiousness about charm and agreeable qualities; there are very few persons in the world who are agreeable and charming enough in appearance, manner, and conversation to give me a lively pleasure, and I seem as if I could not feel affection enough to satisfy me without that. It is partly owing I suppose to my so seldom feeling a lively affection, that I feel its sweetness so very sensibly when I can catch it, and that I seem almost as if I could not bear to be without it.

I have been hesitating whether I would send you this strange letter begun yesterday. I think I will venture, as we had the satisfaction of hearing a better account from Pisa last night, so that I hope you will be in a humour to be indulgent to one of the épanchements de cœur, which I seem impelled now and then to offer to your mercy.

I think I have never written to you since I read Glenarvon.1

1 Lady Caroline Lamb (wife of William Lamb, afterwards Lord Melbourne) was an eccentric, fascinating, inordinately vain woman. Glenarvon owed its brief success to the caricature portrait of Lord Byron, with whom she had fallen passionately in love. Byron wrote: "As for the likeness, the picture can't be good; I did not sit long enough."

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I agree with you in admiring it exceedingly in some respects, though I said you must have been absolutely crazy when you said it was not against Lady Caroline Lamb to have written and published it. I do think that was one of the most shameless acts that a woman was ever guilty of. I am surprised that so little was said of the beauty of the work. I did not think the moral feeling of the London world had been so strong, as to prevent them from seeing or owning the power of fine writing. I almost think that as a picture of the feelings, Glenarvon is superior to any work I ever read; if I did not feel sure that the author described her own feelings, I should think her a woman of great genius. As it is, I am very much inclined to think her, in that particular department of representing feeling, superior to Madame de Staël, for she too, I believe, can only paint what she has felt or seen. If the eloquence, energy, and beauty of many scenes in Glenarvon had been bestowed on a less abominable subject, what an admirable work it would have been. That is not quite true neither, for she could never write a tolerable story. I have a particular taste for Lady Caroline's humour, as well as her passionné writing. I think it is remarkably easy and entertaining. It must be owing to the same severe morality which surprised me about Glenarvon, that we hear so little of Lord Byron's last volume of poetry. I suppose one ought to admire that goodness which makes people insensible to beautiful poetry because the writer behaved ill to his wife, but I can't find it in myself, and I admire some of his late poems very much. We have been reading the new edition of Wordsworth's poetry, in which there are several new things. I like some of them very much, yet I don't know if we (meaning by "we" the Miss Allens and myself) have not admired Wordsworth rather above his merits. My present notion is (how surprised he would be to hear that any human being could have such a notion) that he has not understanding enough to be a very fine poet. I have been reading a pamphlet by Mr Coleridge, which he calls "The Statesman's Manual, a Lay Sermon." It would quite have killed us if it had come out

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some years ago, when we were fighting in his cause against his despisers and haters. I do think I never did read such stuff as the sermon, such an affectation of the most sublime and important meaning and so much no-meaning in reality. I can't see how any human being could possibly learn anything either about their duties, or anything else, by the whole sermon. The notes I like much better, but he has the vilest way of writing that ever man had; he is as insolent as his brother-Lakers, takes the same high ground, no mortal can tell why, except that it pleases them to think that their proper place is on a throne, and he writes more unintelligibly, more bombastically than any of them....

Considering that I began with nothing to say, I think I have travelled over a good deal of paper, I hope what I have heard is true about the cheapness of postage at Pisa. Tell me what you pay for this great packet of—I don't know what. Give my kind love and best wishes to Mrs Drewe and all your party. Farewell, my dear Jessie, ever yours affectionately, S. W.

The letter just given shews, as might have been foreseen, that Sismondi had fallen in love with Jessie Allen, and had proposed to her, meeting at first with a refusal. The Allens left Pisa in the spring, after the death of Frank and Louisa Drewe, and went to Frascati.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Emma Allen.

ETRURIA, Aug. 25, 1817.

...I am very sorry you have lost some of your friends, and very glad you have lost others. We shall now be looking out for your dispatches by the inconceivable Mrs Waddington. I hope you have not been indiscreet in what you have sent by her. What is become of our Jess that she is so idle at her pen? Great are the lamentations upon that subject. Sarah [Wedgwood] says she has not heard from her since Janry; I have not for the last six months, and Baugh says he has not heard from either of you for the last nine months....

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Sarah has been unwell and out of spirits, but she is reviving now, but I don't think she ever will be happy at Parkfields. There is not enough to do. She is incomparably benevolent, but she has not patience to enter sufficiently into the details to produce occupation. For instance, she gave a very large sum to the poor of this parish to be distributed in clothing; but she gave it to the overseer, in consequence of which it was done at a stroke. It only saved the poor rate, and when she had given the money, there was nothing more to be done. Had she managed it herself it would have been occupation, besides the more immediate exertion of her benevolent feelings. I dare say you have heard of Kitty and Sarah's munificent present to the distressed poor in Cardiganshire. If you have, it will bear repetition. Lord Robert1 made quite an eloquent and most heartbreaking statement on the distress of the poor among the hills last winter, in the House of Commons, which made a great impression. The Chancellor of the Exchequer sent him 50 out of his private purse to assist them. Kitty and Sarah sent him 200.

The Caldwells are exceedingly pleased with this match of Anne's, and I like him2 very well. She is I believe now entirely attached to him. Nobody ever took more pains to be in love than she did, but she has succeeded, and will, I hope, be very happy. All bridegrooms are Nonsuches, but he really does seem very amiable.

Tell me a little of your rate of living, for now that your annuities are about to be in part redeemed, I am like old Martha, as Kitty calls me, troubled lest your income should fall short. I hope you will not stay long enough away to make me cry, like Mrs Evans of Panty-trendy, "to see you so frenchified." At any rate, do not stay long enough to give you a feeling of estrangement when you come among us.

I have framed my Fanny's beautiful portrait, and it stands on the drawing-room chimney-piece, and is admired

1 Lord Robert Seymour of Taliarris, father-in-law of John Allen of Cresselly.

2 Mr Arthur Marsh, son of the senior partner in the Bank of Marsh, Sibbald and Co.

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by everyone, even the fastidious Jos says it is excellent. I have got John Allen's as a companion to it, which puts me in a passion, but having no better I am forced to take up with that. I mean to frame Caroline also. Can you get me a good one of yourself and Jessie? I should be very glad to pay for them, of about the size of Fanny's. I should delight to have them. A thousand loves to you all, my dear sisters and nieces, E. W.

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The Josiah Wedgwoods in Paris—The Collos Cousins—William Clifford—Dancing lessons—Madame Catalani—Emma's first letter—Society and housekeeping in Paris—Fanny and Emma at school—A letter from their old Nurse.

IN 1818 Josiah Wedgwood, his wife, and his four daughters journeyed to Paris, and stayed there some months. Elizabeth was 24, Charlotte 21, Fanny nearly 12, and Emma nearly 10 years old. Young as she was, Emma vividly remembered to the end of her long life the impression of this first landing in France. She often spoke to us of the enchanting strangeness of it all, the foreign aspect of Calais, and even its smell.

The society of William Clifford added greatly to the pleasure of their stay in Paris. All four daughters were more or less in love with him, even Emma at ten years old. He appears to have been especially attracted by Charlotte, then in the first bloom of her beauty, and felt the charm of her voice and singing. He also greatly admired Mr Wedgwood, and Bessy wrote of him during this stay: "His whole life seems to be made up of regrets, and his constant refrain is, 'I wish I had known Mr Wedgwood early in life.""

Madame Collos, who first appears in the letters from Paris, was the daughter of Roger Allen, a younger brother of John Bartlett Allen of Cresselly, and therefore a first cousin to Bessy. Monsieur Collos, her husband, was an officer in the French army. He was taken prisoner in the landing of the French at Fishguard in 1787. Mrs Allen of Freestone remembered seeing the prisoners marched into Pembroke and shut up in the churches, as there was no prison to hold them. When released on parole, Monsieur Collos gave music lessons, and thus became acquainted with his future wife. In 1818 he lived in the Rue de la Grande Truanderie in Paris, and was then a fishmonger by trade.

VOL. I. 8

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Charlotte Wedgwood to her brother Henry Allen Wedgwood.

PARIS, March 19 [1818].


We arrived here last Saturday, after being from Wednesday morning on the road. We found a letter from Madame Collos at the Barrier, directing us where to go, and we found very pleasant lodgings at l'Hôtel du Mont Blanc, rue de la Paix; it is a very gay situation.... Yesterday we drank tea with Mme Collos, and after tea went to see the scholars of the dancing-master who teaches the children to dance. I was very much amused with little Louis, who pressed me and the little girls very much to dance, and when at last he prevailed on Fanny, he made her an elegant bow and kissed her hand with as good a grace as Sir Charles Grandison could, which had a very ridiculous effect, as the little gentleman is but seven years old and very little for his age; and when we got up to go to the dancing-school, he took out Emma, gave her his arm, and led her off. Friday 20. Yesterday was the grand procession of Longchamps, which we made part of; it was the gayest sight I ever saw, the day was beautiful and there were such crowds of people that it appeared as if Paris must have emptied itself. They were all dressed in the gayest colours, and some of the equipages were most magnificent, particularly the Duke of Wellington's, which was the finest of all. We got into the line of carriages and were more than two hours before we got home. Sismondi drank tea with us, he talked a great deal; he is not near so ugly as he has always been represented to us. I should like to see more of him. We have a maid named Aglaë who gives us some amusement from being so exceedingly French; she makes a good contrast with our valet de place, who is the stupidest German that ever was seen, and she makes heavy complaints of his stupidity; when first he came, and she found that his name was Paul, "Ah monsieur," she said, "c'est dommage que je ne suis pas Virginie."

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Elizabeth Wedgwood to her brother Harry Wedgwood.


...We are grown very grand people, we have been in company with a Queen, sitting quite at our ease as if we were as good as she, and not even rising when she came in and went out. It was at Mme Récamier's,1 to whom we had letters from Miss Edgeworth, and she has been remarkably civil to us. She asked the Queen of Sweden on purpose for us to see her and offered to present Mamma, but she would not accept the honour. The Queen is a very plain little woman, in a large bonnet and shawl. Mamma sat by a very merry lady who has taken a fancy to her and is coming to visit her. M. Sismondi was there, M. Benjamin Constant, M. Chateauvieux, so we were quite among the literati. A very chatty gentleman who talked English fell to the share of Aunt Kitty and me, and went over now and then to Charlotte and would make her talk French, which she hates doing....

I think Paris is a much more beautiful city than London, though there is not that appearance of solid wealth as in the many well-built streets of London; but we have nothing to compare with the Place Louis Quinze for elegance. The cleanness too is so delightful.

Our great stay and support here is Mr Clifford, who comes in at all hours, and we see him at least twice a day. We have been doing our utmost to make him buy a new hat, and I expect him to come in presently to shew his transformation by a French hat. The girls [Fanny and Emma] are very busy with their master. Mamma has been thinking a little of putting them to a French school, which they rather like the thoughts of, to my surprise. Mme Gautier has promised to get us if she can to some French balls, and accordingly we are taking some lessons of a Mulatto man in

1 Mme Récamier was at this time a woman of forty-one. For more than twenty years her salon had been the resort of the brightest wits of the time. She lived till 1849.

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a black night-cap and iron-heel boots, who we hope will make us accomplished dancers. But it is a secret, as we think ourselves too old to learn and are ashamed of it.

We are going to-night to a soirée at Mme Catalani's. We dined there the other day and had rather an odd day. There were two Italian ladies there, sister-in-law and niece of Catalani, and a very vulgar Frenchwoman, who all talked as fast and loud as possible. After dinner Catalani called Charlotte over to her, whisked off her handkerchief, pulled down her shoulders, pinched her stays together, and declared she held herself like a grand-papa. You would have laughed to see Charlotte in the hands of two or three foreigners pulling her about so, and paying her plenty of compliments into the bargain. She submitted to it all wonderfully well considering. We are getting quite dissipated, invitations are coming in so fast. And now, my dear Harry, I shall finish this letter to Frank, because the poor man has scalded his leg and is laid up. So you must send him this letter, and do not let it be a week on your window first. So goodbye.

My poor dear Frank, How come you not to have left off your old trick of killing and maiming yourself, do you like it still? I think you are quite right about Gil Blas, and therefore it is not a book that I care whether I read or not. Mamma and Charlotte and I dined the other day at Mr Newnham's, where we met the great traveller Baron Humboldt,1 who is the most amusing man I have seen a long time, and talks faster than anybody but Dr Darwin, but so clear that you can hear all he says. He was talking a great deal about the Northern expedition that Hensleigh's friends know so much about. He said that beyond a certain northern latitude the Aurora Borealis is never seen....

1 Alexander von Humboldt (1769—1856), the great naturalist, whose travels in S. America had made him famous. Those travels with all the wonders of tropical scenery are described in his Personal Narrative; and it was in part the reading of that book that made Charles Darwin eager to accept the offer of the post of naturalist on the Beagle.

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Emma Wedgwood to her brother Frank.


We have got such numbers of masters. Two belong to Charlotte and two to us. I like the Coloes very except the youngest Louis who bothers one very much. At the dancing school there is a little dance every Friday and we go and dance very often they are going this moment to put in the post-office yours Emma Wedgwood.

This little letter is, I believe, the only scrap that has been preserved of Emma's writing when a child. The look of it is not at all prophetic of her writing in after-life. The words run in a very tipsy fashion across the page and seem as if formed with much labour.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Fanny Allen.

PARIS, RUE CAUMARTIN, No. 19, 15 May, 1818.

... Nothing can be more comfortably settled than we are here. We have a remarkably pretty little house to ourselves, in the genteelest part of the town. The girls take a dancing-lesson every morning, Italian, French, singing and music three times a week; so it is not our fault if we are not very accomplished, but I am afraid we may forget to read. Nothing can exceed the kindness or the agreeableness of your two friends, but alas! Mr Clifford goes to England on Monday, and you must direct to him at Mrs Bosanquet's. The Caldwells are here and are as busy as possible, but I am afraid they lose some enjoyment in their eagerness not to miss any. Mr Clifford took them a little in dudgeon at first, as he feared they would interfere with the snugness of this place, but he went with us yesterday to Hotel Tamise, rue de la Paix, where they are to drink tea, and liked them very much.

I should have a thousand affectionate messages to you if I could spare paper, but that I cannot. I am obliged to make free with the top of Mr Clifford's letter, as it is, and I don't know whether he has finished. I am going to pay

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a visit to Madame Récamier on Sunday and to return by Sceaux. Mrs Collos we see pretty often, though I am afraid not quite so often as she wishes. It is natural for her to wish it, but the consciousness of that sometimes makes me feel uneasy in not doing more, but I cannot find time or inclination. She is very affectionate and full of zeal in our service, but I think you had better give her no commissions before you come here of any sort....

William Clifford to Fanny Allen.


It is all the fault of that irreproachable Mrs Wedgwood that I did not write to you long ago, for I have been bursting with affection ever since I received your kind letter and not known what to do with it. I began a letter yesterday, but I got bothered with Mrs Collos's English (as she is pleased to think it), and now here is the same hashed up again. I go on liking the house of Wedgwood vastly, but it is now nearly over, for I am leaving Paris next week and I am not so extravagant as to keep up an establishment of useless friends out of reach. Your Mr Sismondi is in high bloom, and very constant to you, notwithstanding a great deal else to do or to enjoy. I now and then try to tease him into some sort of a kindness towards me but he seems to have made up his mind on that point....

Your sentence on me that I am never to be in love is rather disheartening, and I got another letter at the same time to the same effect; and it will perhaps set me about trying one of these days, but I suspect with you that it is not my vocation. I have nothing more to say without looking for it, which would be as bad for you as me. Remember me most kindly to Mrs Drewe, Misses Marianne and Georgina, and let all my old friends believe me ever very sincerely theirs,


Which do I like best of Misses Elizabeth or Charlotte?

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Elizabeth Wedgwood to her father in England.

RUE CAUMARTIN, May 24, 1818.

...We had a day at Montmorenci last week with Mr Clifford and the Caldwells which I enjoyed very much, The weather was delicious, we mounted our asses and went into the woods, which are the prettiest things now you can imagine, fine chestnut trees over grass, and a great deal of copse of chestnut, which makes by far the prettiest kind of underwood, so soft and rich and thick, and without brambles. We took a baggage ass with provisions, and three ragged boys to drive, and spent all the day under the trees. It was amusing to see the difference between our two French servants and any English ones. They were playing all manner of pranks with the asses and screaming and laughing like boys, quite as much at ease as if we were not looking on. They enjoyed the day full as much as we. Emma and Fanny were very happy on their asses, and quacked accordingly. Last night we had our soirée which Mr Clifford foretold before you went. It did as well as a collection of people, few of whom knew one another, could do. There was a whist party for the Baronne de Barbier, who is a fat, happy-looking woman. Sismondi and Mr Newnham had a political discussion; John Blunt had the Caldwells to talk to, and Mrs Strolling sang several songs with a very fine voice indeed but not near so well as we heard her at her own house.

We had a dutiful day with the Truanderie last week. They came and drank tea as well as the Caldwells. Mme Collos refused an invitation to our soirée, which I was glad of I confess. Mamma was very tolerably satisfied with our performance last night, and with flowers and a lustre the room looked very pretty.

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Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her husband.

SATURDAY, June 6, 1818.

I must answer your letter this moment, my dear Jos, while the impression of its kindness is warm in my heart. You cannot guess half the pleasure it gave me, valuing your approbation and your affection more than anything in this world. I am very glad one cause of my uneasiness is removed in the generous resolution you have taken, and another still more important in the improving state of Jenny's health. Poor Caroline's1 hard fate still presses heavily on my heart....

We are all much pleased at the improving prospect of our Swiss tour, though we had made up our minds to come home with a very good grace if it could not have been accomplished.

Mr Clifford is really gone. He went with Mr Clive2 early yesterday morning. He spent the day preceding with us, and he seemed quite low at parting. He gave us all three a very pretty fan apiece as a parting gage d'amitié, but Charlotte is decidedly his favourite, and with any other person in the world I should say it was love, but he persists in saying he shall never see any of us again. Mr Sismondi and Mr Gallois were very agreeable and suitable to each other the day they dined here. They were amusing themselves a little with Madame Récamier's establishment at Val de Grace, the place we visited her at, though they did not speak of it as if it was at all against her reputation. They said that she and M. Montmorenci had hired the house of M. de Chateaubriand, as a joint concern, but it was so small that there was no room either for Madame de Montmorenci, or M. de Récamier, and that she had consulted her friends and they had told her there was nothing odd in the scheme. They like the place so much that they talk of purchasing it between them.

1 Mrs Drewe, who was still in Italy with her daughters Marianne and Georgina. Her daughter Charlotte was fatally ill in England.

2 Edwin Bolton Clive of Whitfield, sometime M.P. for Hereford.

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M. Récamier returns to Paris every evening. I did not hear what Madame de Montmorenci does.

Our restorateur's bill comes to a little more than 5 Napoleons a week, finding our own bread. Our washing nearly 2 Napoleons, our bread about 17 francs. Butter, milk and cream 1.10 per diem. Then there is water and wood and numbers of other little things, but one certainly lives cheaper here than one would do in London....

On June 24 the father, mother, Elizabeth and Charlotte went to Switzerland, partly to place Frank and Hensleigh with Mr Chenevière at Geneva, where Harry had formerly been. The two little girls were left at a boarding-school in Paris during their absence of some months. Every Sunday they passed in the Rue Truanderie with their cousin Madame Collos. My mother told us how the house smelt of fish, and how she could not bear little Louis. She wondered at her mother's leaving two such little girls alone in Paris. In September the whole family returned to Maer.

M. Jones (their former nurse) to Fanny and Emma Wedgwood.

CHESTER, Dec. 8, 1818.


I have neglected you very long after your desiring an answer, but I thought I should meet with an opertunity and so I have. I was very happy you may be sure to se a line from those whom I love and to hear of evry body being got quite well and I think Tritton your little Dog must be a Treasure to you to go about with. I wish I could come and go with you and se how much you are grown. I am affraid of you ovr growing me at least by recolection of old times when your legs was so short you could not get up and down Maer Hills but used to ride upon my back—those were pleasant days endeed I am very happy now with my aunt and Mrs Robberts two old whomen for companions now not little Doveleys—Mrs Robberts is 84 years of age and my aunt is 74 both very cheerfull and good tempered and me very busy from

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morning till night.... You did not tell me how you liked being left in Parris when all the party left you to go into Swisserland. I dair say you thought it was for the best and was very orderly about it. I dair say your cubboard ware you put your clothes is very tiday you can find your things in the dark Hannah says you are very tiday I hope she is good-natured to you and then I know you will be to her.... Now with evry warm wish for your Health and Happiness I am yours affectionately


Please to remember me kindly to Peeter and Molly.

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Jessie Allen and Sismondi—An outpouring to her sister—Bessy's reply—Some account of Sismondi—Their early married life—Posting across France.

IN the autumn of 1818 Jessie, Emma, and Fanny Allen came back after their three years" absence on the Continent. As has appeared, Sismondi had proposed to Jessie in 1816, and although he had been refused he continued his suit. The following letter shows her frame of mind. She was staying at Cresselly with her brother John and his wife.

Jessie Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

CRESSELLY, Dec. 2 [1818].

I love to be called upon for a letter by my own Bessy. Mrs Allen received yours yesterday, and there was a sweet remembrance to me. I have not written to you since I have been in England, because others have, from where I have been, which rendered it unnecessary. I have been myself in such a painful state of indecision and doubt I could not have any pleasure in writing, and I did not like to speak openly till I knew my own mind better; and I was continually expecting to know it, and continually awoke hesitating, indecisive, and uncomfortable as I went to bed. I would have given anything to have talked with you, consulted with you, but I should have had no comfort in writing I forget that all this is algebra to you, but I left Geneva promising Sismondi to reconsider his offer, and try if while in England I found my heart steadily rejected him. It did not, even while I persisted in refusing him. I did not intend

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he should find that out, nevertheless; but he did in our many tête-à-têtes at Chamouny, and above all I betrayed myself when we came to part. This occasioned his renewing his offer, with an affection and a warmth of feeling that might have made me happy if half-a-hundred other affections had not drawn me another way, and shame and irresolution and timidity had not frightened me, and made me uncertain of myself, and doubtful whether I should have courage to answer the hopes I had raised. He expressed himself with a vehemence that frightened me while these doubts tormented me, and I wrote coldly, and to remind him of the terms on which we parted, which were, that we were each to try if we could live happy separately. We were each to use our best efforts to do so, and only take the remedy of marriage if we found we failed, using the utmost openness and frankness one with the other. After we parted I found he loved me too well to be placed on such terms, and that indecision was the worst state in the world to have thrown a nature so impetuous, so naturally decisive as his. My letter, which I only intended to prepare him for what I could not answer would not be, hurt him inexpressibly; this grieved me, and I wrote to him again soothingly and tenderly, but in the meantime I received three letters that appeared to me harsh, and that gave me an idea that the fortnight I had allowed my cold letters to operate on him had cooled his affection, that the mischief to him was done and could not be undone, and therefore the best thing I could do now was to hurt no others, and to finish with Sismondi. Under this impression I wrote to him yesterday, but just as I had finished my letter came one from him in answer to my kind one, by which I perceive I was deceived, that he loves me as tenderly as ever; and this effort has shewn me also more of my own heart than I knew. I love him more than I would allow even to myself, and I began to think I cannot be happy separate for ever from him. I did not send that letter, and thus I now stand, and thus painfully have I passed the last month, mixed nevertheless with moments of exquisite pleasure

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from all the tenderness and happiness of a return to a very dear country, and a delightful family, which I must always think and say mine is, when no one hears me but one that will sympathise with me. These joys tho", only made my situation and my choice more difficult. At first I intended saying nothing to John [Allen] or to anyone till my mind was made up. I knew they would tell me to consult my own feelings only. But I found secrecy from John was intolerable, as it would be from you and Jane [Wedgwood] if I held any intercourse with you. I therefore, trembling, bathed in dew, cheeks burning and mouth parched, opened my case to him. Anything was better than reserve with one so tender, so considerate of my future comfort, that his mind seemed solely occupied with plans for us, so that every word he uttered, every look was a reproach to me. I was much happier after having spoken to him. I never will have mystery with those I love. John was not more vexed than I might have expected. He said indeed it was the greatest blow he could have received; his cherished hope had been that we should have passed the close of our day together; that my marriage would be to him the same as if I took the veil in a distant country, but that after all I must consult only my own heart. He would rather not see me at all than see me unhappy. That he thought the wisest way was for me to consider, not whether I could be happy with Sismondi, but whether I should be unhappy without him, "for he believed no one ever had so much to give up as I had." And indeed that is true. When I think on all I have to give up, I question how it is possible. I appear to myself unaccountable that I should have arrived in a situation to place it in doubt; but when I take the pen to put an end to it, I am panic-struck, and so much tenderness in spite of myself is expressed, that my letter, when I say no, only tells how painful it is to me and how many regrets must follow. I must however finally decide in a day or two. I cannot wait even your answer. I have been horribly diffuse, intending to be very concise. I

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doubt also if I have been clear, I am sure I have been very candid. I believe I have shown you the utmost of my feelings on both sides. I long to know your opinion, or feelings rather, tho" they can be of no use. Dearest Bessy, it is very hard to act in opposition to the opinion and feelings of all we have ever loved. I want you to comfort me. We have had here the most delightful reception that could be given. It is impossible to be more attentive to our comfort than Mrs Allen, or more tender than my own Jack. The way he has taught his children to love us before they knew us, tells his own affection. They are the finest children I ever saw; Harry1 is I think a beauty, they are not so much spoiled as I expected, but too much so, to be as engaging as they would be naturally. They are the most affectionate children I have ever met with, and that their little faces express, but I perceive no symptom of genius in either.... Give our tender love to my dear Jenny, Jos, and all I love, which you will find out from all you love yourself, and God for ever bless my own own.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Jessie Allen.

SHREWSBURY, Dec. 6 [1818].

My being at this place, dearest Jessie, has occasioned a delay of two or three days in my getting your letter, which I did not do till last night, otherwise I could not have let it remain a day unanswered. How little did I think of the painful struggles you were going through, at the time when I imagined you giving and receiving unalloyed pleasure, and how sorry I am that the very circumstances that are so gratifying in other cases, the extreme love of your friends, only serve to add to your difficulties. But this is not now to be considered. You would not yourself wish them to be insensible to your value, to be insensible to your, I will not call it loss, but absence. Your own happiness, my dearest Jessie, is the point upon which we must all fix our eyes, and I pray God to direct you for the best. I cannot read the

1 H. G. Allen (1815—1908), Q.C. and M.P.

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sweet and candid picture you have given me of your own heart without being persuaded that you will be unhappy in giving up Sismondi, and which of us would not a thousand times rather see you happy with him, than have your society, if you yourself are to be the victim of your too tender nature? We have all made our election without reference to you, and you have a full right to do the same. In comparing your situation and ours, we don't stand at all upon the same ground. We risk the loss of a very great pleasure, but you risk the happiness of your life; therefore dear dear Jessie, lay aside every consideration that will prevent your seeing what that is, and be assured we all love you too dearly to repine, if happiness should be the result, whichever way you decide. Perhaps the die will be cast before this reaches you, and if it is, I am anxious that you should feel no misgivings to torment you. To be united to a man you so entirely love and approve, is worth some sacrifices; and you must let it balance whatever there is of this nature in marrying Sismondi. From having lived two years abroad, you are a better judge of the life you are likely to lead than most women who follow their husbands to a distant country, and very few women have had the opportunities of knowing the character of the man they marry that you have. I think you cannot be happy in giving up the man you love, and I see no reason to doubt your being happy with him. I don't touch upon income, because no doubt you have not let that go without some consideration. I say nothing of my own opinion of him, because I saw too little of him to make it of any importance, but he appeared to me everything that is amiable, and his sentiments and tastes are all so congenial to your own, that if he lived in England, and had a little more money, we should all rejoice in the connection....

Your account of the children is delightful, and I am convinced from what you say that it is a good thing to teach children to be affectionate, and it is not so likely to do (what I used to fear) give them grimace, as to inspire them with the real feeling....

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Jessie's engagement to Sismondi took place, and the following is Mr Clifford's congratulatory letter:

William Clifford to Jessie Allen.



I cannot help writing direct to yourself, though with the risk of being somewhat in the way, to tell you my most earnest wishes for your happiness. You have chosen a very able, a most excellent man, who loves you very ardently—at least I believe all this, but Mrs Wedgwood sneers so at my penetration that I am afraid of putting it on paper. You must make it a marriage article that M. Sismondi is to be no longer my enemy. I expect to find in him an affectionate friend-in-law. You know I was always magnanimous, and did justice to his 1001 fine qualities, in spite of his perverse dislike to my poor self, and I do not grudge him the best wife in the world.

I long to be among you, but I should have been terribly in the way during all this secret concoction, and I had a lucky escape of it.

God bless you, my dear friend. When you see M. Sismondi will you remember to make him my warmest congratulations, and for the life of you let there be no change in your kindness to your own G.—a name, however, so little respectful that I cannot reconcile myself to writing it, though truly glad to hear it once again.

Saturday, WHITFIELD.

Jessie married Sismondi in April, 1819. He was then 46 and she was 42. The plunge, when taken, proved at first more than she could endure, and she was wretched at leaving her sisters and England. But she gradually became inured to the separation, and her deep attachment to Sismondi and his passionate devotion to her made her completely happy.

Jean Charles Léonard Simon de Sismondi (to give him his full name), born in 1773, came of an Italian family which had been settled in Geneva for two or more generations, and bore the name Simond. He called himself de Sismondi,

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claiming descent from the noble Pisan family of that name. At this time (1819) he was a person of importance in the literary world, having lately completed his history of the Italian Republics, the work which made his fame. He had passed through great troubles and dangers in early life. At the time of the Terror in Paris (1794), there was a similar outburst of democratic fury at Geneva, and he and his family narrowly escaped being massacred. They fled to Tuscany, losing most of their property. On getting back to Geneva Sismondi devoted himself to literature, and attached himself to the circle of Mme de Staël at Coppet. At this time, being quite poor, he wrote hundreds of articles in Michaud's Biographie Universelle at six francs an article. It was just about the time of his engagement that he began his great Histoire des Français, at which he worked some eight or ten hours a day for twenty-three years. He died when finishing the 28th volume. One more was added after his death to complete the work. It was the first continuous history of France, and made him the foremost historian of his time. St Beuve, in one of his Nouveaux Lundis (Vol. vi., 1866), gives it great, though curiously qualified praise: "Si j'avais à conseiller à une jeune personne sérieuse, à une lectrice douée de patience, un livre d'histoire de France qui ne faussât en rien les idées, et où aucun système artificiel ne masquât les faits, ce serait encore Sismondi, que je conseillerais de préférence à tout autre."1 Sismondi wrote several books on Political Economy, wherein he attacked tooth and nail the fundamental principles of the orthodox economists. Some of his denunciations of competition, machinery, etc., remind one of the utterances of Ruskin. He advocated what we now know as "profit-sharing."

In earlier and later life Sismondi gave proofs that he was a man of courage. During the Terror of 1794 a proscribed Syndic fled for refuge to the country-house of Sismondi's mother, which touched the French frontier. There the fugitive was hidden in a pavilion in the garden. At midnight troops were heard approaching. Sismondi rushed to wake the Syndic, but could not rouse him; whereupon he tried, alone, to resist the soldiers as they attacked the door of the

1 Sir George Trevelyan, in commenting on this passage in a letter to a friend, writes: "I have no doubt whatever that the quotation from St Beuve refers to Miehelet's History, which is at the same time the best history of France and the most nastily improper history in existence."

VOL. I. 9

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pavilion, but was knocked down by a blow from a musket. The Syndic gave himself up, was marched off the premises, and shot.

In 1838 Louis Napoleon (afterwards Napoleon III.) was in Geneva. Louis Philippe's government protested against his being allowed to live there plotting against the French monarchy. At this Switzerland was very wroth, and Genevan patriotism flamed up into a white heat of indignation. Sismondi believed, probably with justice, that the French government had right on its side, maintaining that Louia Napoleon's claim to be a Swiss citizen was a mere pretence, historical facts having made all Buonapartes irrevocably Frenchmen. This attitude made him terribly unpopular, and his friends feared the populace would set his house on fire. The incident shewed his political foresight as well as his courage, for at that time Louis Napoleon was thought merely a conspirator pour rire. Sismondi perceived that the man had capacities, and forces at his back, which were not to be despised.

A little anecdote is told illustrating his kindly nature. He employed for many years a locksmith who was a wretchedly bad workman and did everything wrong. A friend asked, "But why do you keep him on?" The answer was: "I am his last customer."1

Sismondi had affectations and small vanities which were distasteful to English ideas. I remember my mother's describing how he would say "petite Emma," as she was coming into the room, in an affectedly caressing way. But in all essentials he was worthy of Jessie, and he was boundlessly hospitable and kind to all his English connections. His sister-in-law Fanny, in spite of her real regard for him, behaved like a spoilt child, refusing to get out on the side of the carriage where he stood for fear of having to take his hand. That he made her welcome to his house for months at a time shews true magnanimity of nature, and illustrates his profound devotion to his wife.

1 The above paragraphs were written by my husband. No complete life of Sismondi, was I believe, ever published. Vol. 72 of the Quarterly Review (1843) contains a long and interesting account of him, and Edmond Scherer's Littérature Contemporaine du XVIIIme siècle (2nd edn. 1876) has much about him and the Geneva-Coppet literary people of the time. Virgile Rossel, in his Histoire Litéraire de la Suisse Romande, says of Madame Sismondi: "Sa femme, une chrétienne fervente, un peu mystique, le ména insensiblement d'un scepticisme paresseux à une foi très active, non point à la foi litérale, à l'orthodoxie traditionelle, mais à une religion de devoir et d'amour."

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The following letters, written two years after Jessie's marriage, and describing her return home from an absence in England, may best be given here, and thus finish the picture of her early married life.

Fanny Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

CHÊNE, 31 May, 1821.

...When we drove up here Sismondi was in a transport, like a child that could not contain itself, at the door, and Jessie looked also delighted to see him again. Their meeting has given me great satisfaction. He has been as busy as a bee to get the house in order for her; it is made very comfortable, and so clean that it is a luxury after the inns of France. The library downstairs is a nice room, entirely covered with books, the drawing-room, where we are now sitting, will when it is carpeted be comfortable also, it is fitted up with red and gold-colour calico, which looks warm. Then there are two sofas, and when there is a large table, and it gets the look of habitation it will be a nice room. Our bedroom is large and commodious, a light yellow paper and white beds. Sismondi has papered nearly all the rooms in Jessie's absence; he has bought a little carriage, a horse, and a cow; he is very fond and proud of his purchases. He said he had made £120 by his lectures. He bore the disappointment of Jessie's failure1 uncommonly well, though he still thinks that he is right and the English bookseller wrong, respecting the probable sale of an English translation of his French History. Jessie found her bureau filled with money, both for her allowance and for the business of the house. Sismondi appears to me to hit the right middle of liberality and prudence. He is an excellent man, and Jessie looks very happy and beaming with him. She has not been fatigued, and to-day she is in your purple gown, looking better than I have ever seen her do at all. You will be interested in all these particulars about her, and I am sure

1 Jessie Sismondi had attempted to arrange for the publication of a translation of his history made by her.

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it will give you pleasure. You know we expected to find the poor beast gasping in the garden but Beauty has had better luck in reality than in the tale....

Emma Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

CHÊNE, June 1, 1821.

... I never saw such rapture as his to meet Jessie, or such a state of happiness ever since we arrived. Jessie also appears gay and happy, and amuses herself in talking nonsense to puzzle him. She is much pleased with the alterations he has made in the house. There are two very agreeable summer sitting-rooms, in winter I suppose there will be a difficulty in keeping them warm. At present, and particularly when the weather gets hot, we shall find the coolness and space of this house quite the thing.

I have not cared to repeat the account of our journey because I wrote it yesterday to Baugh [Allen], but for fear you should desire to know it, I must tell you that our departure from London was upon the whole far less sad than I expected it.

To avoid Paris we took the upper route, but to shorten it, were directed at Calais not to go as far as Cambray, in following which direction we fell into the most detestable roads that ever were, and we got frightened and tired, expecting the carriage to break to pieces, and were obliged to walk for near two posts. Thursday was a very heavy day on us. After toiling all day till six in the evening, among bad roads which made us tremble for our carriage after we had got out of it, when we arrived at the post, the one before St Quentin, they assured us we should have a charming road on; but unluckily we soon found that we had to contend with roads infinitely worse than what we had passed in the morning, and it became so deep and narrow, that before the carriage stuck fast, we felt assured the foolish boy who was driving us had mistook his way. When it did we scrambled out as we could. Jessie stood guard on the carriage while Fanny and I ran different ways

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over a great wide ploughed plain, almost at the extent of which I observed a farm-house. However before I reached that I fell in with some waggoners, and they and their horses after a time helped us out of the rut; then we took one of them as a guide to the Saint Quentin road, for we were, as we expected, in some cross one in which, they told us, if we had gone much further we must inevitably have been over-turned. We had to walk full two hours following our unhappy-looking carriage, appearing every five minutes as if it was going to be plunged [word torn off]. The villages we passed through were like Jeffrestone, quite as full of [mire], and darkness was coming on so fast, I wonder we escaped being swallowed up in it. It was quite dark when we arrived on the pavé, and never was I more glad in my life to arrive at any place; and we arrived at St Quentin between ten and eleven, tired and out of humour, which a dirty inn did not improve. The next day we had still to contend with bad roads, but fatigue made us take them as gently as possible, and as our carriage had escaped the day before with no more damage than six franks repaired, we began to feel confidence in it; and Fanny's outcries when the carriage went aside subsided, and I was surprised to observe how little harm so much fatigue did her. After, or rather before we arrived at Dijon, and from thence on to this place, our journey was entirely agreeable, the travelling in and view from the Jura finer than I ever thought it before. The weather was splendid, and Mont Blanc broke on us in all its glory....

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Emma Allen at Maer—Fanny and Emma Wedgwood—A gigantic cheese—Races and Race-Balls—A singing party at the Mount, Shrewsbury—Dr Darwin and his daughters—Fanny and Emma at school in London—Sunday-school at Maer—The Sismondis at Geneva.

IN 1819 the Wedgwoods left Etruria, and from now onwards lived at Maer. Whilst the house was being painted the family went to Cresselly, leaving Fanny and Emma, then 13 and 11 years old, under the charge of their aunt Emma Allen at Maer.

Emma Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

MAER HALL, Nov. 15th, 1819.

... Emma says you are all so good about writing from Cresselly, that she thinks once a week will not be good enough for us to reply to you. In compliance with her opinion I advance my time for writing to you. ... Now for an account of the home department, which is just as flourishing as it can be. I marvel at the strength of the girls" spirits as much as I do at the perfection of their tempers. I feel now very sure that not only not a cross word ever passes between them, but that an irritable feeling never arises. Fanny, to be sure, is calmness itself, but the vivacity of Emma's feelings, without perfectly knowing her, would make me expect that Fanny's reproofs, which she often gives with an elder sister air, would ruffle her a little; but I have never seen that expressive face take the shadow of

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an angry look, and I do think her love for Fanny is the prettiest thing I ever saw. But I am observing to you what I am sure you have observed yourself a thousand times, but these little creatures have filled my mind more than any other subject lately, so I like to let a little of it out to you. I ascribe much of Emma's joyous nature to have been secured, if not caused, by Fanny's yielding disposition; had the other met with a cross or an opposing sister there was every chance that with her ardent feelings, her temper had become irritable. Now she is made the happiest being that ever was looked on, and so much affection in her nature as will secure her from selfishness; and I believe it is according to Sarah's theory that plant and weed do not grow together. I am almost afraid to tell you how active we are, for fear you should expect more fruits from it than we shall be able to produce. We get up all three of us now every day by candle light; to-day we were at breakfast at ½ after 7, and by 10 the Bible and the reading Italian was over with both girls, when I left them for Betley. In general we find ample employment till 1, and then find an hour for music when we come in at 3 or half after. I believe I told you before that they declared their resolution of taking an additional half-hour to their music. I believe they have not missed doing so for one day since, between dinner and tea. The drawing has rather fallen, through mending stockings, talking nonsense, and playing with kitten. I do not know what their father will say at such a show of cats, but 3 is now our number except at schooltime, and then kitten is expelled, for I found she made me idle as much as either of them; there is something very irresistible in the gambols of such a little crumb of a thing. In spite of Joe and the cats, we contrive to keep the room very comfortable and tolerably tidy; it is what I labour most at. Their father's coming down to-morrow will, I hope, stimulate them to fresh exertions, as I assure them he approves of tidiness. The worst news I have to tell you is that I fear Triton is lost. He would frequent Lightfoot's, and it is supposed a soldier enticed him away; he has not been heard

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of since this day week, when the girls and I first missed him in our morning walk. Good night, dear Elizabeth, I am very tired, so I wonder why I wrote so much to you.

Affectionately yours E. A.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

[MAER], March 23, 1820.

... Your Parmesan cheese and the noble basket of figs are arrived safe, and the size and beauty of the cheese has been the wonder of Maer. Mr and Mrs Harding came over to see it, and pronounced it the most beautiful cheese that ever was seen, and I got them the receipt from Jenny [Wedgwood's] letter and they are determined to try it this summer. We were obliged to saw it, and we lived upon the sawdust for some days. A thousand thanks for that and the figs. I hope you will taste them both with us, and see how excellent they are, though you will not have the endearing sentiment that gives them such an increased value to us. I have sent a piece to Parkfields, Betley, and London, and I have got one for Mardocks when Kitty [Mackintosh] goes, and I have got such a quantity besides; it is indeed a magnificent cheese. You ask, my Jess, what the carriage was, and in compliance with your wishes I must tell you that it was somewhere about £3, so that it does not reach the value of it, as you fancied it might, as I believe Parmesan cheese sells at 1s. 6d. a pound, and this I believe does not come to 6d.

Kitty M. has written to desire me to send the horses for her on Saturday. She also encloses us a letter from Mr Leslie1 to Mackintosh, pressing him exceedingly to offer himself for the vacant chair at Edinburgh, assuring him that for some years it will be worth £1500 per ann., and saying

1 John Leslie (1766—1832), son of a Scottish carpenter, was at this time Professor of Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh. He was wellknown to the Wedgwood circle through his friendship with Tom Wedgwood, who had been his fellow-student at Edinburgh, and who had secured to him an annuity of £150 a year to enable him to work at Physical Science. (See Tom Wedgwood the First Photographer.)

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that he thinks if he proposes himself there will be no opposition to him, and that he may attend Parliament, as he will be at liberty from March till November. I wish exceedingly he would offer. Kitty's opposition is very much abated, but Lord Lansdowne and Lady Holland are both against it from selfish motives no doubt; for those people who fare sumptuously every day have no idea that anybody is ever in want of a dinner, and when full gorged themselves have leisure to speculate at their ease upon the conduct of their poorer neighbours. Lady Holland had the face the other day to ask Baugh [Allen] to put off his marriage for a year! Her only motive, to keep the Warden1 a little longer in her shackles, and this is the way she balances her own slightest conveniences with the happiness of others....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

MAER, May 16, 1820.

... Kitty Mackintosh and her daughters went on Wednesday, and her visit here was entirely agreeable from beginning to end. She was kind and affectionate to me and good-humoured and agreeable to everybody. I think I may say with truth that no cloud ever interrupted the pleasure I had in her society. Her girls seem very happy with her, and though she gives them multitudes of directions, as she neither insists upon obedience, nor goes out of humour when she is not obeyed, it does not interrupt the general harmony. It had only this bad effect that Fanny [Mackintosh] constantly mounts the opposition coach and drives it with the most uninterrupted composure.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

MAER, July 31st, 1820.

... Having given you a little respite, it is time, dearest of the dear, to begin again....

1 Dr John Allen succeeded to the Mastership when this was vacated on Baugh Allen's marriage.

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The Races began yesterday, and by accident we have had the smartest set-out we ever had, as our carriage is new, and being so many we were obliged to have four horses; and the post-boys had been stimulated by a rival inn to sport new blue jackets and silver-laced hats, so we went to the Course gloriously. Eliza, Caroline, Tom and Bob Wedgwood1 are with us, and I find it much more comfortable not to have any outlyers. To-day however we have the Sneyd-Kynnerslys, who dine and go to the ball. Eliza Wedgwood is Lady Patroness, but she is looking very ill, and she has no vanity to gratify. I can't think what is the reason, she seems to have no disorder, but she is just like a fading flower. Charlotte had a new pink spencer and bonnet, and I never saw her look so handsome in my life. (N.B. You need not answer any of these sort of remarks.) Sarah lent us her phaeton, and I put in it little Pepper and Mustard, alias Fanny and Emma, to go to the Course, but that might have been a serious matter, as the horse took fright, and overturned them and their driver; but luckily without the smallest injury to any of them. After the Course we went to Dr Belcombe's to tea, and then to the Play.

Friday. The Races are over, and we are once more quiet and a little dull, not that the excitement has been great. We have had one very good ball, and one abortion of one last night that I had the misfortune of being prime agent in, and at which there were not more than 20 people. They are not like our old Haverford meetings, when we could dance six nights together....

These races and race-balls appear to have played a large part in country life. Fanny Allen, after describing their Pembrokeshire race meeting wrote (1820): "We had races, which I enjoyed the most of all the proceedings; it was the prettiest race I ever saw. I believe that among amusements my passion is horse-racing."

Susannah, the sister of Josiah Wedgwood, and wife of Dr Robert Darwin, had died in 1817, when Marianne, the eldest daughter, was 19, and Caroline 17 years old.

1 Children of the John Wedgwoods.

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Marianne and Caroline took charge of the household on the death of their mother, and Caroline taught her little brother and sister, Charles and Catharine, who were eight and seven years old.

The following letter tells of a gathering of girls to take singing-lessons at Dr Darwin's, the Mount, Shrewsbury. The Miss Owens of Woodhouse, mentioned in the following letter, were the daughters of a Shropshire squire living some miles from Shrewsbury. My father kept up a warm friendship for Sarah, the eldest Miss Owen (afterwards Mrs Haliburton), and many were the stories we heard about his visits to Woodhouse.

Elizabeth Wedgwood to her aunt Fanny Allen.

SHREWSBURY, 30 Nov., 1820.


When we came here we found the Dr at Berwick where Lady Hill is very ill after her confinement, so we had a quiet dinner with nobody but Erasmus. The next day Caroline was very busy scrattling1 and making a gown which was to be done in one day, and having her hair cut and the rooms arranged. Sunday we dined at half-past one, drest afterwards, and sat about 3 hours expecting the tide to come in about dark, and rather stiff and awful the evening was. I now like Mrs Owen very much, but her manners are at first very grave and cold. Miss Owen is a very little girl of 16, a most prodigious friend of Susan's, and Mr Sor is constantly making fun of their friendship, for which Susan hates him heartily, but Miss Owen does not mind. They sit by one another, and then Mr Sor quizzes them, then they sit asunder, but all in vain; he says such entertaining things with such amusing looks that it is impossible not to laugh. Miss Owen began the Mysteries of Udolpho when first she came, but Mrs Owen thought it would take her up so much that she would not be able to attend to her singing, so she first tried to reason her out of

1 "Scrattle," a north-country word. It means, as used by the Wedgwoods and Darwins, tidying up, arranging and seeing to things generally. Other meanings are also given in the Dialect Dictionary.

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it, and when that had not much effect, she gave her a shilling to put off reading it till she went home, and gave her Guy Mannering and the Romance of the Forest to read meanwhile; but she says she would like to have the book again and give back the shilling. We dine at 6 and the whole morning is taken up with the lessons, except about half an hour given Mr Sor to run on the gravel walks. Then after tea till bedtime Mr Sor sits at the pianoforte and plays and sings different things from memory, sometimes roars a whole chorus till he is quite red in the face, or plays the guitar. Then all we young ladies perform our different performances. Charlotte and I always sing a trio with Mr Sor, which is perfectly delightful, he sings so beautifully. I should like to spend our whole lessons singing with him instead of learning. Last night he made us laugh till we cried with taking off the whole French opera, Lais, who roars in the depths of his stomach, and Madame Somebody who shakes her two arms at once.

There is just come in a heap of new music and everybody is rushing to examine it, so I shall go after the rest....

The life at Maer, with its careless freedom and absence of restraint, was a great contrast to that at the Mount. There all was orderly and correct, and everyone must conform to the Doctor's views of what was right. He was extremely kind, and my mother was attached to him, but she never felt quite at ease in his presence. No one must speak so that he did not hear, and she would describe how he would say, "Hm, hm, what is Emma saying?" I remember her telling us that a boy was naturally uncongenial to the Doctor. He was cautious, even timid as to bodily dangers, though with great moral fearlessness, and the venturesomeness and untidiness of a boy were equally distasteful to him. No son however could have been more devoted and more reverent than our father. Indeed, when he said, "My father thought or did so and so," we all knew that in his mind there could then be no further question in the matter; what his father did or thought was for him absolutely true, right, and wise.

Caroline and Susan Darwin both had high spirits, abounding life, and deep feeling.

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Caroline was not regularly handsome but her appearance was very effective; she had brilliant eyes and colouring, and black hair growing low on her wide forehead. "She looked like a Duchess," her cousin Frank Wedgwood wrote of her. Both were tall, and Susan had both beauty and sweetness. Fanny Allen spoke of Susan as pleasing her extremely: "She is so handsome, so gay and so innocent." Susan Darwin and Jessie Wedgwood, daughter of John Wedgwood and also very pretty, both great flirts1 in an innocent way, received the nicknames of "Kitty and Lydia" in allusion to Kitty and Lydia in Pride and Prejudice. But we were always told that Susan had a settled resolution against marrying.

In January, 1822, Fanny and Emma Wedgwood (then aged nearly 16 and 14) were taken up by their mother to London to be placed at school at Greville House, on Paddington Green. Paddington was then a semi-rural village.

The school was described by Bessy as a comfortable old house, and Mrs Mayer, the mistress, as a good-humoured, motherly sort of woman, but "not strikingly genteel," and she added, "Fanny and Emma went very cheerfully, but shed a few tears at parting." The teaching at this school could not have been very enlightened. In French history they never got beyond Charlemagne, as with every new girl the class began again at the beginning with Clovis. Emma was one of the show performers on the piano, and was one day sent for to play to George IVth's Mrs Fitzherbert.

All letters to and from the girls were read by Mrs Mayer, and Bessy told Jessie Sismondi that she should not let the girl write to her, as she was sure their letters thus supervised would not be worth the postage. In one letter their mother wrote that she was glad to perceive from their mention of Mrs Mayer to their cousins that they have hearts alive to kindness when it is shewn them. "It mends our hearts to feel warmth towards those that are kind to us, and this I hope will urge you never to forget how kind your aunts have always been to you, and do not forget a message now and then of enquiry or affection towards them."

She also told them how she was giving prizes for quiet behaviour at the Sunday-school at Maer, which was taught by the family and held in the laundry. There was no week-

1 My father told me that anything in coat and trousers from eight years to eighty was fair game to Susan.

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day school, and this Sunday-school, containing 60 children, gave whatever education they received. Emma, when she left school, also taught there. She composed four delightful little stories written in simple words and just suited for a child's mind. These she had printed in large type for the use of the school. We, her own children, were taught to read out of this little book, and were fond of these stories, which are among some of our earliest recollections. We especially enjoyed her mis-spelling, as we thought it, of the word "plumb" in a story about a "plumb-pie."

Fanny and Emma spent only one year at Mrs Mayer's, though Emma was barely 15 at the end of the time. After this her education was continued under the supervision of her sisters Elizabeth and Charlotte, with occasional masters when opportunities occurred.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Fanny Allen at Geneva.

[LONDON] Jan. 22, 1822.

... At dinner we had Mr Whishaw and Mr Vizard, a very pleasant day, but the best part of the whole was that Mr Whishaw took me for you, my Fanny, all dinner time. I have not been so pleased a great while. I had a new cap on. I will always put it on when I mean to be charming. Now when I have so long been pitying myself for growing old1 and ugly to be taken for my Fan! I thought he attended to me more than usual at dinner, but I only set it down to my being particularly agreeable.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

MAER, April 8th, 1822.

I have now two delightful letters to thank my Jessie for, and I can send this for nothing by Edward Holland, which is a great encourager to begin a long letter. I shall send you the two last Edinburgh Reviews by him, indeed, I should have done so before if I had not imagined you had them in some other way. Blackwood's Magazine is always running

1 She was fifty-eight, and Fanny Allen forty-one years old.

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at the E. Review and at all the authors with a malignity that I don't know how to account for. A number is regularly sent to Mackintosh at Brooks", he does not know from whom, and it generally contains some abuse of himself. It is astonishing the ill-will he excites, and I do believe it is nothing but his ill manners, for as to political animosity, he cannot excite that, one would think, being the most moderate of the whole set....

I think you used Fanny [Allen] very ill, not to let her see her lover. I see you keep up your old ways of managing her and Emma. Was there ever such a saucy way of rejecting a poor lovier?...

I beg, my Jessie, you will not say anything to take off from the pleasure I have in being Scott purveyor to your highness. I think Mr Sharp undervalues Scott. The five ladies he ventured to compare to him were, Mrs Radcliffe, Madame d'Arblay, Miss Edgeworth, Miss Austen, and Mrs Brunton,—the latter surely very inferior. It is very odd, if true, but I am assured Miss Austen's works do not sell well, and Mackintosh rates her above them all, even Scott himself I think. Miss Edgeworth is now in lodgings in London, shewing the world her sisters, and her sisters to the world. She has been spinning out visits to all her acquaintance, and she has the credit of wanting to marry up the young ones; but Fanny is delicate, and I should think it very likely she might go off as so many of her family have done. Eliza [Wedgwood] met them at a dinner Mrs Holland1 gave them in Russell Square the other day; but it was altogether a great mess, they came three-quarters of an hour after the dinner-hour, and went off before tea to two other parties. Her chief topic was dress, and the true Parisian cut of a gown. Surely this is affectation.

Jos has ordered me a little one-horse phaeton, instead of the char-a-banc that I was thinking of, and that gave you so much trouble. I think I shall not ride much any more;2

1 The Swinton Holland family, whom the Wedgwoods visited frequently in London, were related to them in the same way as the Peter Hollands.

2 She had had a bad fall from her horse shortly before.

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I am grown timid, and my arm continues weak. I don't think however, as it is not the bridle hand, that it would hinder me if my spirit was better. However when I have got my Shandredan I shall not want to ride.

Madame Sismondi to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

GENEVA, Dec. 19, 1822.

...We are made very happy by the good account you give of yourself. You have occupied my thoughts and feelings very much since my presentiment gave me the first alarm; more than I liked to say while you were still unwell; it seems the same thoughts and prayers occupied us at the same time. I believe I am a little superstitious in my loves and friendships, and I like to encourage it contrary to my understanding, because it is agreeable to my feelings to give as it were a little sacredness to them. You would think me a fool if you knew what notice I take of periods, coincidences, similarities, and the whole train of accidents that constitute the lighter superstitions. I often think if I were you, how fearless I should feel of death. Perhaps it is our duty to aspire to the highest degree of perfection we are capable of in this life, but my aspirations, my hopes, my prayers even, do not go beyond what you are; and oh that I may one day reach that, so as to be inseparably united to you. A very warm devotional feeling is more a great enjoyment to oneself than necessary to our salvation, I should hope, from its depending so much on the physical constitution of our nature. The mother of a family can never hang so loose on life as one whose cares and hopes terminate in her own generation. I should feel ever ready to quit life if I had but reached your standard, and this is one of my consolations for never having known the highest class of feelings granted us.

I have been interrupted no less than three times in this little scrap of a letter; I do not know now what I was going to say and I see what I have already said is broken out of

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all time and tune. I hate having the chain of my thoughts and feelings broken when once I have begun a letter. When I return to it it gives me a disgust for what I have already written—we shall see how that will be to-morrow. I was full of nothing but you and myself when I began, but now the accounts of the ménage (as we Genevoises call it), a mantuamaker and a little talking Irishwoman, have put 20 other things in my head. Farewell to you and me for to-day.

20th. This goes, though it is a pity to shew what a goose I am, but I do not mind it to you, who have love enough and to spare for me to shew myself under what colours I choose. My boast of "hanging loose on life" needs some explanation, lest you may think it arises from a sad feeling, or a want of happiness, which is by no means the case. I am afraid of its being an audacious feeling, till I am what you are, and therefore do not give it all the encouragement I might, but I am so contented with it that I sometimes think I would not change it for a circumstance that would, I have always thought, give greater happiness than anything in this world, that is, supposing I had as much good luck, if luck it might be called, as you have had, lest it should bind me too much to life. You are not to imagine that I have any discontent with my present existence, because I do not feel more bound to it. I am not sure I did not feel the same when I was with John [Allen] at Cresselly, but I am very timid of the future; the latter days of those who have not youth and life around them must necessarily be mournful at the best, and might be very painful. As soon as I am worthy I should be glad to escape from it, yet my daily life is almost as happy and as gay as it was in my best days, I believe, and will be so as long as I keep in sight all I love—alas, it is but mental sight. But if I had settled in England I could not have lived with all, nor could I have even seen them more often; and I have one that, if a longing seizes me, will let me go to-morrow; and that every day I live with him makes me the more feel how much he suits me, how much he loves me and who will stay

VOL. I. 10

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by me to the end, and whom I love to a degree that makes me often forget all I have lost. Who is there in life that has not to weigh the good and evil? and it often happens to me that the evil kicks the beam. I have only to keep my thoughts from the past and the future, the present is calm, comfortable, happy, and frequently from animal spirits joyous. I do not pretend that Sis is the most agreeable man that lives, but to me he is a choice companion. I have more thoughts and feelings in common with him than I have even with the sisters I have most lived with; and then such tenderness, such indulgence as I had never imagined or hoped for, and a firmness to resist me when I am a fool, for which I love him all the better, though he thwarts me; but there are times I like being thwarted. As for the material of life, I have never at any period felt so completely easy. I have no wish ungratified, I have my pockets generally full, and a year's income in advance. I do not exaggerate when I say all this happiness that I have been displaying to you is gone when you are ailing.

We luckily came into the town the day before the first snow, and find ourselves very comfortable. We have not yet gone out much, but in the fortnight that we have been already housed, we have had three of our reading soirées which have been very agreeable, and I have given one little talking one, which went off with great success.

I find here I am very apt to make friendships with bad women, by some means or other I have great attraction for them. There is a Russian here, daughter to one of the Russian ministers, a Prince Lapaukyne, that has taken a great fancy to me, and has deputed me sometimes to chaperon her daughter, a fair clever girl who they say is really a daughter of the Emperor Alexander, and whom her reputed father will they say make one of the greatest heiresses in Europe. Her mother is very handsome and very elegant and modest in her manner. She is also very clever, and as agreeable company as a person can be, whose character does not keep pace with her other attractions. I am not myself sure she is out of the course, but she is out of

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society, and under very suspicious circumstances. I cannot abandon her also, but I am not sorry that she has set off to-day for Paris....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Jan. 30, 1823.

... I am going to begin a letter to you, my beloved Jessie, without knowing when it will be finished; for I am going presently to spend a couple of days at Betley Hall.... But I will not fall into egotism before I have told the very great pleasure your last gave me, by entering so fully into your own situation and feelings, and by giving me such an entire conviction of your happiness. Dearest Jessie, how much I am obliged to you for it. What could console us for your distance, but the knowing this? and how very much does it increase my affection (shall I call it?) for Sismondi. He would be an odd person if he did not value such a wife, but how many odd ones are there in the world for one Sismondi. Give him therefore my love with more than usual warmth.

Sunday.—I took this to Betley on Thursday thinking I might find some odds or ends of time to finish it, but they never came and I brought it home as I took it there. Jos and I, with Elizabeth and the two younger girls, went to pay a friendly visit, where by agreement there was to be no party to meet us. I enjoyed my visit very much, liking Mrs Tollet and the girls so much as I do. We had a great deal of working, talking, and singing. Mrs Tollet is exceedingly religious, and I think her duty to God is the first object of her thoughts. She is also so single-hearted that it is a great pleasure to be with her, and to read a heart so entirely without guile....

I am very much complimented on my improved looks, which only convinces me how ill I looked before. With respect to my soul's health, oh how I wish I was what your too flattering opinion makes me. Do you know that I never feel so humbled as when I look at the picture in your imagin-

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ation and compare it with myself; but still I love the affection that does so misrepresent me and would not lose it for worlds.

I have been reading a good deal about the doctrine of original sin and the being born again, and I am puzzled. If we are incapable of the least effort of ourselves, and must owe every good thought to the inspiration of God, it seems to put good and evil out of our own power. Is this Calvinism? This is Mrs Tollet's doctrine, and I believe that of most of the evangelical clergy....

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Bessy's lessening strength—A Wedgwood-Darwin party at Scarborough—A visit to Sydney Smith at Foston Rectory—A memorable debate—An averted duel—Emma confirmed—Revels and flirtations—Kitty Wedgwood's death—Sarah Wedgwood builds on Maer Heath.

BESSY was now 59 years old, and her sensitive temperament often caused her to suffer, as age told upon her health. She wrote (1823): "When I consult my feelings they are often so lively that I am obliged to watch my expressions for fear of their appearing to want truth." And again to her sister Fanny: "I feel a great desire to refresh my oldness with a new scene.... Some causes of anxiety I have had, and they do not pass lightly by me." Perhaps for the sake of Bessy's health the Josiah Wedgwoods planned a visit to Scarborough. Bessy wrote (June 13th, 1823): "We travel in the phaeton, holding four, and a stanhope for two. This will make us longer on the road, but as our object is to see the country it is rather an advantage, and I expect great improvement in my own health from the moderate way in which we propose taking the journey."

Fanny Allen, Marianne and Susan Darwin were to meet the party at Scarborough greatly to the satisfaction of both sides. The following letter gives an account of a visit made whilst staying there to Sydney Smith at his parsonage, Foston-le-Clay. He had been his own architect, and it was there that he bought an ancient green chariot (christened the "Immortal") to be drawn by his cart-horses; had his furniture made by the village carpenter, and found a "little garden girl shaped like a milestone," nick-named her "Bunch," and trained her to become "the best butler in the county." It is said that the gardens he provided for his parishioners, at a nominal rent, are still called "Sydney's orchards."1

1 See Reid's Life of Sydney Smith.

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Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

SCARBORO", August 30th, 1823.

... I have been waiting for something very agreeable to season my letter with before I wrote to my ever dear Jessie, but we are much too quiet to give me any hope, and I cannot rest any longer without telling you how very much I like my precious ring that Fanny [Allen] brought me from you. I think it very pretty, but it is of more value to me than if it were of rubies, coming from the dear hand that sent it. It also puts me constantly in mind of you, not only because you were the giver, but because you yourself wore one of the same kind when I last saw you, and I never look down upon my hands without thinking of you; and it is never off but when I go to bed.

You will delight to hear that our Fanny looks and is in high health; her complexion is much finer than when we parted, and she looks not a day older, and in my opinion prettier. She is also in excellent spirits and adds very much to the pleasure of our domicile.

It is curious to see how much quieter we are here than even at Maer, for we don't know a single person here, though the town is full of very smart-looking people and very gay equipages. Au reste it is a pleasant place, but the beach very, very inferior to Tenby. We went to the first ball, and the attendance was so thin that it quite discouraged the girls, and though I tried to persuade them to try again I could not succeed. The poor master of the ceremonies looked so melancholy that he excited my tenderest sympathy. I think public balls are getting quite out of fashion. At the last York Race ball, which used to be a place where all the grandees of this very opulent county used to delight in shewing themselves, there were only seven couple. I think it is your stately quadrilles that have made the balls so dismal, because the English ladies now dance them as if they were at a funeral and dancing the dance of death. There are a very good company of strolling players here, but they

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play to such empty houses that I don't know how they exist; and yet they gave us wax candles last night and were rewarded by an unusually good house, but it seemed an extraordinary piece of good fortune. Last week Fanny Allen, our two eldest and I, paid a visit at Sydney Smith's about 30 miles from here, and were rewarded by four of the merriest days I ever spent. They have built a very pretty Parsonage, and furnished it very comfortably without being expensive. I never saw such a manager as Mrs. Smith. Everything is so well done without bustle that I can't think how she contrives it. They have a large farm, which he says he manages better than any farmer in Yorkshire; the effect of it is however an air of plenty in every department that is very agreeable. They see a great deal of company, and in the most agreeable way of friends coming from a distance to spend some days, and not stiff dinner visits. I like the daughters too very much; Saba is not handsome, but has a very elegant figure. Emily is in my opinion very much so, she has a most beautiful figure, very tall, very brown, bright black eyes, and fine teeth. She is coming out for the first time at the approaching Music-meeting at York, and great are the preparations therefor. We saw two of the dresses which were to make a figure there, one for each was sent down by Miss Fox and Miss Vernon; a white tulle, worked one in blue and the other in pink, and the second dress was from Mrs Smith's old Indian stores, a silver gauze. Mrs Smith has taught them everything, and they sing and dance extremely well. They are all certainly in a much happier and more desirable situation than as they were in London....

Madame Sismondi to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

GENEVA, January 28, 1824.

It is a long time, dearest Bessy, since you have had the pleasure of paying for a letter from me, though you have had news of us recently enough; it is to be sure of little consequence to whom the letter is addressed in a circle where

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all are beloved, but I have a great pleasure in giving and receiving the endearing terms from you. I have great hopes that this will be one of my golden years, who knows, perhaps your dear face may shine upon me? I do not see why I may not see you at Chêne. I like to think it probable, and the little improvements we are making give me so much the more pleasure because I think it possible you may look in upon them. For my own part I feel vexed to have lost so entirely all taste for travelling. A journey weighs upon my mind as a penance more than a pleasure, and though I remain alone, I am glad not to have to go to Paris with Sismondi this April; thus pleasures drop from us like leaves, one by one, till we arrive to feeling that repose is the greatest of all pleasures. Poor Emma [Allen] is confined with broken chilblains. It is not for want of fires that she has them, for I endeavour to keep up a continual blaze, and our winter rooms are very warm. What could John mean by keeping himself and his friends without fire such an October as we have had? How I detest the economy of the rich, always falling meanly on the necessaries of life. You shall want bread and fire in a house where you may be gorged with dainties. I remember feeling hungry all through the day at Dunster Castle till 6 o'clock, when a glutton's dinner was put before one of two dozen dishes....

I saw a letter the other day from Mr Mallet to Mrs Marcet, which said Mackintosh's history was in great forwardness, that he had this winter read parts of the first volume to Lord Holland, who liked it very much, and it would be published in the spring. How much I wish the news were true.

My Thursday evenings are in great repute, so that I even receive solicitations of admittance, but this more embarrasses than pleases me, because it is ill-natured, pedantic, and a thousand evil things to refuse, yet their convenience and agreeableness is completely destroyed by admitting numbers. It is a great fashion and a great pride to admit as many men as possible in the soirées and I am the only one who exclude or rather limit them, and it is one of the great

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reasons that my soirêes are more agreeable, because the conversation being general, the women take a part. Besides my poor little gentle Marcette, who does very well to give tea to a dozen people, would be ramfuzled to give to forty. Mrs Marcet1 is inclined, I think, to manage me, and I do not feel inclined to resist because she likes me and flatters me. I intended this year to save giving a large party by admitting by little and little into the Thursday evenings all to whom I owe any civility. Accordingly I began with Sis's sacred société de dimanche, and took Mme de Candolle to begin. Mrs Marcet, who observe is self-invited, said to me the other day, "Oh, I hope you mean to ask Mme de Candolle again, she enjoyed it so much." "Indeed, I do not know, I have a great many to ask; it is not so easy to me to give every week large parties, I have no men-servants. It is only as many as the maid can serve tea to that it is convenient to have." "But you may always hire a man here, it is so easy; they are always to be had for 3 francs." The dialogue ceased, but thought I to myself I shall say no more but certainly take my own way. Our parties are not at all the more agreeable for having Mrs Marcet; she adds very little to society and very often interrupts conversation by creating a double one, in which she speaks so loud as to finish by annihilating a better one. There is, however, a perfect naturalness in her and good sense that makes me like her company, even though she sometimes tires me by bad taste, and sometimes putting an importance which rich people are apt to do in their own little affairs, so as to make the prime part of the conversation.

We have a good deal of musick this winter, and I enjoy it very much; every other Monday we go to an amateur concert where the musick is really very pretty, our subscription 30 florins (a florin is something less than 6d.), for

1 Mrs Marcet was the daughter of a Swiss merchant settled in London. Her husband was a Genevese by birth, who had been a London physician, but lived at Geneva after his retirement from practice. She was the author of excellent little books on scientific subjects, which had a vast circulation. Her Conversations on Political Economy was her best-known work, and was warmly praised by the leading economists.

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which there were ten concerts, an amusement not too expensive. Last Wednesday the first singer from Vienna stopt and sang to us in her way to Milan. She is very young, her voice magnificent, little inferior to Catalani....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her daughter Elizabeth at Russell Square.

SUNDAY NIGHT [7 March, 1824].

... I have missed you and Fanny very much, and that makes me think that if any of you marry I shall feel very dismal without you. However, I hope you will enjoy your lark as much as possible. I am glad Emma [Holland] has shewn her old cordiality to you, and I daresay Anne [Marsh] will do the same. Let me advise you by no means to stand upon your points with any of your friends. I am sure it is not the way to be happy or wise either. Don't lose any opportunity of calling when it comes in your way without minding whether you owe them a visit, for a volunteer at a convenient season may sometimes spare you a long walk at an inconvenient one....

Addition by Charlotte Wedgwood on the same sheet.


You left word with me to send a bottle of physick to Llewis's child without mentioning what physick it was to be. There is come a bottle from Mr Turner's which, as nobody owns, I conclude to be the one, and I shall venture to send it if I hear from Mr Turner that it is made from a prescription that is in your drawer....

In the letters there are frequent allusions to Elizabeth's doctoring of the poor people and children, and it is impossible to help thinking that they ran a good deal of risk. Her mother spoke of two grains of calomel being given to a young child every other night, but as it was worse and had a sore mouth it was stopped. And Elizabeth wrote to her sister Fanny (March 20, 1827), "Little George Phillips has

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been ill, but with the help of three bleedings, a blister and three doses of calomel, I think I have made a cure of him, as it was high time, you will think, I should."

Bessy, who till now had kept remarkably young, began to show signs of age. She thus describes her life (March 9th, 1824): "I only divide my time between riding Peggy and reading Sévigné by the fire with an interlude of knitting my stocking." She had "a little ass" (Peggy) on which she rode whilst the girls walked beside her. I remember my mother's telling me of these walks on the sandy paths amongst the wild heath and through the fields of Maer, as if they were one of the happy memories of her youth.

Emma Wedgwood to her sister Elizabeth.

[MAER, March, 1824.]

... Will you get four fine cambrick pocket handkerchiefs and eight common ones for everyday? Then a common printed cotton gown. I do not wish to give more than 10s. for it. I should like a blue, pink, or buff one. If you happen to be in a ribbon shop, will you get 3 yds. of not very handsome ribbon for a turned straw bonnet. I am quite indifferent about the colour, except not straw colour. Do not give yourself any trouble about the rib, for I can get it very well here.

A year or two later it was Emma who took charge of her elder sisters" dress and appearance. Elizabeth and Charlotte were both extremely indifferent on the subject, and Elizabeth always wanted her money for purposes of charity. Their mother wrote to her husband (April, 1825), "pray make the girls go out well appointed. My dear Eliz. I particularly mistrust because she always goes on the principle of wearing the nearest to inadmissible she can."

Emma, with her clever hands, was hair-dresser to the whole party on all state occasions; she used to twist up their long hair into little bows on the top of the head, with curls on each side; this she described as most becoming. Her own glossy brown hair kept its warm tint almost to the end of her life, with hardly a grey hair in it. It was abundant and long. She could sit on hers, but Charlotte's beautiful fair hair reached to her knees.

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The great debate described in the following letter, and especially Brougham's speech, formed an epoch in the history of the struggle for the abolition of slavery. Smith was a missionary clergyman in the West Indies. The planters accused him of having excited the discontent of the negroes amongst whom he had worked, and of having incited them to rise against the whites. After an outrageously unfair trial he was convicted and sentenced to be hung; but his execution was adjourned until the views of the home Government could be known. Meanwhile he died from the effects of confinement in an unhealthy dungeon. Brougham denounced the trial as a "monstrous violation of justice in form as well as substance," and moved a vote of censure on the Demerara Government.

Fanny Allen to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

9, KING STREET, SUNDAY [13 June, 1824].

... The House was in a great bustle as we got in, owing to Gourley's attack on Brougham.1 I was very much alarmed at first, fearing our principal performer would be prevented from appearing on the boards that night, but I was relieved on seeing him in his place, and hearing him get up and give an account of the assault. The debate on Smith began almost immediately, and I certainly never had such a treat in my life. Lushington's2 speech was sensible, but his manner was too theatrical and his voice pompous. Tindal answered him. It was his début, and his taste was strange in chusing so odious a subject to begin his House of Commons career. It did not appear to me a good speech, though some said it was. Williams" speech was very good indeed. Copley's, the best on his side of the House, I think. Wilberforce's feeble, and no attention was given to him, which was very bad, or as Mackintosh said brutal. Canning's

1 He had been violently assaulted in the lobby of the House by a lunatic named Gourley.

2 Most of the speakers mentioned were leading lawyers. Lushington, Tindal, Denman and Scarlett (Lord Abinger), all became famous Judges; Copley, then Attorney-General, was afterwards Lord Lyndhurst and Lord Chancellor. Peel was then Home Secretary, Canning Foreign Secretary, in the Tory ministry. Wilberforce was in failing health and gave up parliamentary life soon after this.

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speech was not a very good one; he had a bad cause and he appeared to feel the weight of it. Denman spoke very well, but Brougham's speech was delightful. He spoke for an hour and 10 or 20 minutes, and it was the most incomparable thing I ever heard. I could have screamed or jumped with delight. He handled Scarlett and Canning to my soul's content—tossed them about like a cat a couple of mice from one paw to another, teased them and threw them into the air, with equal grace and strength. Copley and Tindal had their share. The cheers of the house was like a dram to one. Mack said that Brougham's speech gained 3 votes, one a West Indian, and had sent off 8 from the House without voting. The Ayes and Noes sounded so equally numerous, that the division was a very interesting moment, and the cheers were glorious on the numbers being told. I saw Mr Canning pick up his papers very much crestfallen and walk off very slowly. He kept his head down all the time of Brougham's speech, and Mack said Peel looked extremely disturbed at it, visibly so. John [Allen] and M. came up to the ventilator1 in a great state of excitation; the former said it was the best speech he had ever heard in debate. I must not forget to tell you our pretty history in the ventilator. Mr Money brought up Mr Inglis2 to us. He staid to hear a little, and our Cerberus came in and sent him off. Mrs Littleton and Lady Georgina Bathurst came late, only to hear Canning's speech, and as soon as Brougham was up they told their gentlemen they were ready to go and went off!!! Mr Horton Wilmot was not forgotten in Brougham's speech; he threw a pebble and felled him to the ground. We found broad daylight below stairs, and the faithful W. Wright in the Coffee house. We all walked together up

1 The ventilator was the then Ladies" Gallery. The old Parliament house (before the fire of 1835) was the ancient St Stephen's Chapel—its site is the present hall where the statues of statesmen are. In this a ceiling had been put below the high Gothic vault of the building, and in this ceiling there was a large oval opening round which the ladies sat, looking down into the House below—ministerial ladies on one side, opposition on the other. One heard there better than anywhere in the House.

2 Afterwards Sir Robert Inglis, the well-known Tory M.P.

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Whitehall, Mackintosh in great spirits and London looking still and free from smoke. I never saw it in such beauty. We took leave of John just as we got into a hackney coach, which I was sorry for, as I liked the walk better, and the red eastern sky looked beautiful. It was after 4 before we got to bed; and I slept soundly till eleven, when I got up, with only the penalty of a headache, which I will gladly pay again for such another night....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

CRESSELLY, Aug. 6th, 1224.

I will readily come into your compact, dearest of the dear. It gives me so much pleasure to think that you would like to hear oftener from me, that I shall resume my old custom of sending you a letter the beginning of each month, and this for the first....

I have been round the wood to-day on Johnny's Donkey, with Jos and the three boys; this is the way I like children's company. Bob was on his pony, the other two on foot gathering wild strawberries and bilberries, in no profusion, as you may very well remember, but affording as much pleasure in the pursuit as if they were, and presenting them to me with real good will.

We travelled down in the Phaeton so we were a good while on the road, because we paid a visit to Mr Clifford on our way. When we were at Perrystone John and Jane drove over in their little carriage and spent the day with us. She was looking bright and blooming to quite an extraordinary degree.1 Mr Surtees and Harriet had been spending four days with them to consult Dr Baron and Jane invited them to their house, thinking she should get a little of Harriet's company by it, [but] she and Jenny had only one walk together the whole time. The whole family were on the alert running up and downstairs all day to answer the bell

1 In 1829 Bessy wrote: "Jenny's youth and beauty is the admiration of all the world, and she was thought the other day to be young enough to be [her daughter] Eliza's daughter."

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and John fetching the doctor two or three times a day, I believe, and yet he did not seem the least sensible of any of their attention. Harriet is positively very much attached to him, incredible as it may seem, but her gentle nature could not see a person so dependent on herself for any comfort without becoming so. Au reste, as you French say, he is a dying man, but Dr Baron thinks he will hold out another winter.... The same dull things he used to say twenty years ago he says now, the same spiteful hits at Mackintosh....

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

CRESSELLY, Sept. 14th [1824].

... Yesterday brought to a happy conclusion a disagreeable business between John [Allen] and Sir John X. I must tell you that Mr Adams and John, as joint trustees for Mr Phillips, thought it right to lay out a certain sum of money, left in Lord Milford's will for the purpose, in the purchase of land; and bought a valuable lot, at the valuation of a man of business near to Sir John's property. Both Sir John and Lady X. have been very violent about this and have pretended it was done in enmity against him. John wrote to him last week saying that he hoped that neither he nor Mr X. would abstain from shooting over the estate just purchased, that he should scarcely have taken the liberty of mentioning this, if it had not been told him that they had considered the object of their buying this estate as hostile to him, which was very far from being the case. In answer to this civil letter, John received on Friday last a most insolent one from Sir John, saying that he should never accept any obligation from those who were so little his friends, and that he should consider it neither honourable nor (something else, I forget what) to buy an estate in opposition to the wishes of a gentleman, the next neighbour. You will observe that these are not the words of the letter but only the purport of it.

John was of course very much annoyed at receiving this,

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and the following morning went to Pembroke, pretending on money business, but really to look for some person to carry a message to Sir John. General Adams, whom he had fixed on, he found gone to Haverford-west.... Yesterday morning he wrote to Lord Cawdor to beg he would meet him at eleven o'clock at Pembroke. He was almost driven to despair for some one to carry his message. He felt he had scarcely a right to ask Ld. Cawdor; he was therefore very much pleased when Lord Cawdor undertook the business with great kindness. [Ld. C.] rode off immediately to see Sir John, who at first denied himself, but on receiving a note from him, came running out and brought him back. Lord Cawdor said he talked a great deal of nonsense, about the injury of buying contiguous lands. Lord Cawdor endeavoured to set him right, and told him that according to his principle there must be an end of auctions altogether, and that he also should be glad to buy an estate of Sir William Paxton's which lay close to him, if he could keep off all bidders, and get it cheap. Sir John said, "Oh! he did not mean that, he did not want to get it cheap." After some difficulty to keep him to his point, Lord C. got him to say that he had no meaning in using the word "honorable" but to round his sentence, "honorable" was "liberal," "gentlemanly," etc. Lord Cawdor wrote a definition of Sir John's offensive sentence according to his new mode; and with this paper rode off, and was back again with John soon after two at Pembroke. This affair is another proof of the imprudence of making anything that looks like an apology for what you have done, that bears an unpleasing aspect. An apology ought never to be made but when you are absolutely in the wrong, and are willing to be considered so....

Emma, now 16 years old, was confirmed in the autumn of 1824. Her mother wrote to Elizabeth: "As the confirmation will soon take place I think it will be right in Emma to be confirmed, and therefore I hope she will feel no objection. You and Fanny had better go with Emma, and if your aunt

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Sarah's horses and carriage are disengaged, I advise you to ask her to lend them to you, that you may make the most respectable appearance you can." She then goes on to say that Emma had better read a little on the subject, "but do not let her be alarmed at that, it will be but little and the subject is simple;... perhaps one ought not to press it, any more than as an opinion that it is better done than omitted, as it is better to conform to the ceremonies of our Church than to omit them, and one does not know that in omitting them we are not liable to sin." This strikes one as a very eighteenth-century way of viewing one of the most solemn ceremonies of her Church, with no concealment of the fact that anxiety as to the carriage and respectability of appearance was prominently in her mind. Emma's diary shows that she was confirmed on September 17th, 1824. A few days later there was a large party of cousins at Maer, and these entries in her diary follow:

30th Sept. Susan, Catherine, and Robert came: "wicked times." 1st Oct. Revels; 2nd, Revels; 4th, Revels; 5th, Acted some of Merry Wives; 6th Oct., quiet evening!

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Fanny Allen at Cresselly.

MAER, Oct. 6th, 1824.

... I have been wanting to write to you, my ever dear Fanny, some time, but these young things have kept me in such a whirl of noise, and ins and outs, that I have not found any leisure. I may say to you under the rose, and without the smallest disrespect to the company, that a little calm will be very agreeable, and on Saturday I expect it; and if the weakness of human nature forces me to expect it without pain, it is not my fault. Susan and Catherine Darwin came here by the back carriage, when their sisters went away, and the Tag Rag company, led on by Harry, is again set up. As for Harry, he is in the highest state of excitation just now you can conceive; (private) very much in love, and not very cruelly treated by his mistress. You must not drop a word of this to anyone but Emma [Allen], as I should get into a horrid scrape with him if he knew that I spoke of it, and I only tell you to divert you in your solitude. The fact is that he certainly is épris au dernier point with Jessie

VOL. I. 11

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[Wedgwood]. Whether it will last after she is gone is another thing, but I think it is very well she is going. (Now do remember, my dear Fan, not to speak of and not to leave my letter about. This by way of parenthesis, and now I shall go on.) They have been dancing every night and last night acting besides. She is looking very pretty, very merry, sitting always by him, and very much taken up with him. Whether she sees her power and is pleased by exerting it, or whether she is unconscious I don't know, but as I said before I am glad she is going. At the same time I like her very much, and if he and she could afford to marry, I should desire no better. After all he may forget when she is gone, but I am sure there is danger in their being together, and I don't much like mounting guard every evening till it pleases them to go to bed, or watching them talking nonsense and playing "beggar my neighbour" or other such lover-like pastimes. Susan Darwin comes in second best, and I was in hopes would have caused a diversion, but she has no chance. In short we are just now very flirtish, very noisy, very merry, and very foolish. Last night they performed some scenes in the "Merry Wives of Windsor" without Falstaff, for Jos's and my amusement, for they had no other audience. The parts were thus cast: Mrs Page, Susan; Mrs Anne Page, Jessie (both looked uncommonly pretty in long waists); Mrs Quickly, Elizabeth, excellently acted; Dr Caius, Harry; and Slender, Frank, very well acted; Sir Hugh Evans, Hensleigh, and Mine Host, Joe, very indifferent; Master Shallow, Emma, very good; Mr Fenton and Simple, Fanny; and Mr Page, Catherine Darwin, very fair; the other characters were left out. If they had known their parts more perfect, it would have gone off very well, but Charlotte, who was prompter, was obliged to lift up her voice so often that it had a very deadening effect, and the want of audience too is very flat. After the play there was a ball.

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Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Fanny Allen.


... We came here from Stych on Saturday. I went as chaperon to the Drayton Assembly [from Stych] with Miss Clive, Susan Darwin, Charlotte and Fanny, with Joe and William and Edward Clive, but it was a bad and very thin ball and double the number of ladies to the gentlemen. I like the two young men very much. Edward set up a grand flirtation with Susan, who is the only one of the family who has the least talents that way, and like my dear Caroline [Drewe] I could not help fancying that William was a good deal pleased with Charlotte. We staid the following day there pleasantly enough.... Charlotte came on here with me, but she has paid for her whistle in having caught such a cold that she had till to-day entirely lost her voice. I find myself very comfortable here, the Dr is very kind and I am always very fond of Caroline. I wish I could inspire Joe with my sentiments, for I should like her for my daughter more than anybody I know. I have been with her to-day at her infant school, and I could scarcely refrain from tears, but not tears of sorrow, at seeing the little creatures, all at the word of command, drop down on their knees and say the Lord's Prayer. They sung two hymns very tolerably, and a whole set of them, none more than four years old, seemed to me quite perfect in their multiplication table. I was quite surprized at their proficiency; not that they were all quite under command, for some of the new comers were toddling about the room without knowing what they were about, and others were lying down upon a bed that was placed in a corner of a room for that purpose. Caroline means to send you down the report, if she can get it ready for Lady Bath, as we think it will show at once the necessary expenses, and all that she may want to know. At the same time the reality is not so picturesque as the description, which a person who wishes to put it in practice must be prepared for. She must not expect to see rosy

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little cherubs in white frocks and pink sashes, but on the contrary perhaps, for the most part, pale, sickly, and dirty little children; but this will enhance the virtue of those who seek them out. I admire Caroline's animation about it, her perseverance, her gentleness to the children, and I thought all the time how happy the man who should call her his wife, and how much I should like my Joe to be that man.

Are you not surprized at Sarah's going to build on Maer Heath? I am very glad of it, for I think it will give her interest and occupation. You can't think how happy she seems in making her plan and settling the site of her new abode, and she says she is quite amazed at herself that she should ever build a house with a south aspect, a cross light, and a bow window! all of which she now meditates.

Kitty Wedgwood, the eldest unmarried sister of Josiah Wedgwood of Maer, had died in 1823. She must have been a woman of striking though reserved character. Dr Darwin used to say she was the only woman he ever knew who thought for herself in matters of religion. This death left her sister Sarah quite alone, and she now left Parkfields in order to live near Maer.

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Fanny and Emma Allen return to Cresselly—The death of Caroline Wedgwood—The Grand Tour of the Josiah Wedgwoods—Frank Wedgwood at Maer—Their return home—Allen Wedgwood Vicar of Maer—The anti-slavery agitation.

IN 1825 a great change took place in the lives of Emma and Fanny Allen. Their brother John's wife died after a long illness, and they returned to live at Cresselly to take care of his four children—Seymour Phillips (called Bob), Harry, Johnny, and Isabella. Fanny's pet was Johnny, 6 years old; Emma devoted herself to the little Isabella. After regretting that her sister Jessie had no children, Emma wrote: "It is very consoling to live among the springing things when you are yourself declining, and without children I sometimes think it is almost impossible to grow old with grace.... Isabella is become, perhaps from imitation of Johnny, nearly as fond of me as he is of Fanny. Her favourite place is now on my lap. She is so volatile that I daresay this taste of hers will not last, but it appears so strange to me to have anything so fond of me that I feel it is creating in me a feeling that will not pass away." Emma Allen's attitude was striking in her dignified and open acceptance of the fact that everywhere her sisters were more popular than herself. She said of her brother in 1818, "John I am sure shews me more affection than he ever did before, and if you could but know how I have always loved him you may guess how delightful his tender manners are to me." Bessy, however, wrote of this sister a few years later: "We shall miss her very much. If I did not love and value her as I do, I should feel the benign influence of her contented spirit and tranquil soul."

Caroline, the second daughter of the John Wedgwoods, died early in 1825. This death affected her family deeply. They had before been inclined to belong to the Evangelical

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party in the Church of England, and this loss made them adopt a rigid form of that creed which seemed narrow to the Josiah Wedgwoods.

In the autumn of 1824 a scheme had begun to mature for the Maer family making a long tour to Switzerland and Italy. Many preparations for the journey were discussed in the letters to and from Geneva, and one perceives how serious an affair it then was to take a large party abroad. Amongst other arrangements two carriages had to be bought. Bessy wrote to Jessie Sismondi asking her to get evening gowns for the girls, which she appeared to think could be made by simply giving the length of their skirts, with a remark that they are not fond of having their things tight. But Elizabeth more practically added: "Unless your mantua maker is a witch, it is impossible she should make our bodies, so do not trouble her about the size."

They went by Paris to Geneva. Bessy gave up an evening to visiting Madame Collos. In a former letter in speaking of a proposed visit of the Sismondis to Paris, Bessy wrote to Jessie (April 8, 1822): "When you go to Paris how will you get off from the Grande Truanderie? It will be something of a bore, though my heart smites me while I write it. It would not however be necessary for you to do so much duty as it would be for me, if I were at Paris. I sometimes think it would be difficult to do, as Kitty [Mackintosh] says she always does, 'exactly the right thing."" This reminds me of my mother who never neglected any humble friend or relation, especially if their society was not found generally amusing, yet never took an exacting view of the duties of others.

It was decided that Bessy's health would not allow her to join in the Italian tour, so after the whole party had been five weeks at Geneva, Jos and the four daughters, with Henri the Courier, set off on the 8th of March to cross Mont Cenis, Bessy staying behind with the Sismondis. Elizabeth wrote to her mother from Aix to express her, "longing desire" that she could have been of the party, and said "it has felt to-day like anything but a party of pleasure."

The Sismondis, after the departure of the Italian party, made their annual move to their little campagne two or three miles out of Geneva.

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Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Fanny Allen at Kingscote.

GENEVA, Ap. 21, 1825.

Jessie is gone to Chêne with Sismondi to hang up her curtains and to scrattle about, as we go there to-morrow, and she piques herself upon my finding it very comfortable. I have been waiting for a little pause in her correspondence to thank you, dearest of Fannys, for yours of the 6th of last month. But another from my ever dear Jenny [Wedgwood] has made my gratitude to you both overflow, and I am enjoying being "by myself," that I may write to you quite at my ease in this little drawing-room, with a good fire, and just at Emma [Allen]'s own end of the table where she used to study. I pretend to study French, but in a very dawdling manner. Indeed we dawdle a good deal over everything, and can with some difficulty breakfast before 10 o'clock, do no work, and scarcely read at all. I hope we shall mend our manners when we get to Chêne.

I felt a little low-spirited when they all went, but I trust my Jessie did not perceive it, and I am now extremely comfortable. Who could be otherwise with such a kind, such an affectionate and such an agreeable hostess? Yet to give up sweet Italy and noble Rome, never again to have a chance of seeing them! I did it willingly, but it was something like putting on a blister, it made me smart.

Jessie gave a grand Soirée last night, which, she insists upon it, has offended all her company. I saw no signs of it, but she says that many of the second set gave out signs of dissatisfaction at being so grouped, and a few of the aristocrats would think themselves encanaillés. She asked about 60, but more than 20 sent excuses, and those of the best, and the Tag Rags sat all one side of the room, not moving from their seats and doing nothing. The gentlemen having no seats were obliged to stand. Poor Madame Piscara and Madame Rossi sat as usual, almost by themselves, and it is no small proof of the pride and ill-nature of this place, the

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manner in which these two harmless women are treated. I never saw such a place for taking huff. Madame Soret has taken me so much en grippe that she will hardly speak to me, and I can't guess how I have offended her. I thought her very tiresome at Mr Simond's party the first time we met, but I don't recollect I ever said so to anybody. But to return to Jessie's party—I played cards with Madame Butiné, Mr Viesseux whom I liked very well, and young Spencer son of the Poet,1 beau comme l'amour, but too sensible of it. Jessie did not ask any of her select acquaintance, Madame Constant, de Candolle, and half a score others who she said would think themselves affronted to be asked to such a party—did you ever hear the like? I feel as if I were walking upon eggs among them. Yet I like a great many of them, but I don't much enjoy the feeling of being so much on sufferance with my bad French among them, and I am discouraged in getting the better of it from seeing what little progress Jessie has made. I doubt our modest Harriet's being entirely happy here if ever it is her fate to settle here. Jessie is in fact everything to her, but will Jessie be enough? Jessie had a letter from her yesterday written in such gay spirits that it was quite delightful to see, yet Surtees seems very ill. She speaks in another place so prettily upon sisterly affection that I must quote her. "Could she know the infinite blessing of sisterly affection, and the happiness it can give when there is little other source from whence to draw it, she would foster and nourish the holy flame with a vestal's care"—I have spoiled it by taking it out of its place, but it shews you the source of her own happiness.

Jessie grumbles exceedingly at going so soon to Chêne, but I like it. I never saw such an universal favourite as she is among the men. I have been speculating upon the reason, and I think I have discovered it to be a little degree of coquetry that she mixes up in her manner that makes her

1 W. R. Spencer (1769—1834), a minor poet who had a certain popularity. He appears in Rejected Addresses: "Sobriety cease to be sober."

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so attractive. Mr Pictet1 is I think in love with her, and Mr de Candolle seeks her company with more gallantry than common acquaintance usually use. The whole town is in mourning and grief for Professor Pictet who is to be buried to-morrow. I don't like Madame Simond, but am much pleased with Madame de Candolle, Bossi, Dumont, and Favre.2 We scarcely ever fall in with any young girls as they are all with their Societies. I suppose there were a dozen young men here last night and only two young women. To-night is the select Thursday evening—we expect Mme Constant and Mme de Candolle. God bless you all now at Kingscote. My dearly beloveds", E. W.

Bessy received many letters from her husband and the girls while on their Italian journey. These contain less expression of enjoyment than might have been expected, but my mother told us she never felt well all the tour. They were all deeply impressed with the poverty of Italy. Jos wrote, "I never saw so much misery in so small a space before, and really it is paying dear for any pleasure that travelling affords, to be besieged by crowds of hideous men, women, and children begging importunately every time we stop to change horses."

Their aunt Jessie had been anxious about the girls" dress and appearance. Elizabeth wrote to her mother after a party at Florence (Ap. 1825): "Emma acquitted herself

1 Adolphe Pictet (1799—1875), Ethnologist. Professor Marcus Auguste Pictet (b. 1752), whose death is mentioned above, was a Physicist.

2 These four names appear constantly in the Geneva letters. De Candolle (1778—1841), the famous Botanist, was Professor of Natural History there from 1816 to his death. Bossi is mentioned by Edouard Scherer as one of the literary Geneva-Coppet circle. Dumont was one of Sismondi's best friends and one of the foremost figures in the intellectual society of Geneva. Rossel, in his Histoire Litéraire de la Suisse Romande, speaks of him as "ce savant actif et jovial dont la rondeur et l'entrain contrastaient avec le ton pédant et les airs ennuyés da la société Genevoises du temps." He was a friend of Mackintosh and other leading English Liberals, and had been intimate in England with Bentham, of whose doctrines he was the chief continental apostle. Favre was a man of great learning and a profound historical student—Mme de Staël called him "mon érudit." He and Sismondi had been prison companions thirty years before this, at the time of the Genevan "terror." The Simonds were relatives of Sismondi.

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very well with the nice lady on the sofa; and tell Jessie we dressed our hair as we thought in good style. I do not know how the curtsies were performed." My mother told me they were plentifully stared at, four very English-looking girls, all with fresh complexions and pink cheeks and all with spectacles. At Sorrento she said the courier locked them up in their room to ensure their safety from insult when they were left alone for a little.

Bessy meanwhile joined in the social life of Geneva and Chêne and enjoyed it all. A young Englishman (I think the beautiful Mr Spencer) became much devoted to her and was called her "Cavaliere Servente." She wrote to her husband to express uneasiness at having felt obliged to play cards on Sunday out of civility, to which he answered (30 March, 1825): "One word about your playing cards on Sunday, as you do not think it wrong to do so, why should you object to [your sisters] Caroline or Jane knowing that you did? I am rather afraid of Evangelicism spreading amongst us, though I have some confidence in the genuine good sense of the Maerites for keeping it out, or if it must come for having the disease in a very mild form."

Elizabeth Wedgwood to her mother (at Chêne).


... We look upon ourselves as the very luckiest people that ever were, to have a second illumination of St Peter's and fireworks on purpose for us as it were. We were rather in a puzzle as to our dress, as the invitation to Torlonia's theatre was to spend the evening, and we should have to sit in an open gallery over the river. We consulted Mrs Bunsen, who told us to go full dressed; so to prevent catching cold Charlotte and I put pink handkerchiefs on our heads, and our black satins, which are the most comfortable gowns in the world. At half-past 6 we set out to take our station in the Place of St Peter, which, the way we went, is two miles off. By the time we got there the paper lanthorns were lighted, and we saw the men sticking to the outside of the dome, and climbing up the cross. As it grew dark the illumination became more and more beautiful, and when the clock struck eight, the whole church looked alive

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with torches, and in half a minute the entire church and porticos became the most brilliant scene I ever saw.

Sunday. I am sorry you have taken at all to heart Papa's simile for himself. I think he enjoys what he sees here as much or more than any of us. He has not so much pleasure in the travelling itself, but he liked that better when he had thrown all trouble and anxiety off his shoulders by going with a vetturino....

We went last night at 7 to see the pilgrims at supper. All pilgrims are fed and lodged for three days, and waited on at supper by a society of ladies and gentlemen, Princesses and Cardinals. We went very luckily without Papa, who would have been heartily tired as it turned out, but we had an amusing evening. We knocked at the door and were announced as four foreign ladies, and found ourselves in a great hall with tables with lamps and writing things, and a few men in red gowns laughing and talking and bustling backwards and forwards. There we stood helpless some time, not knowing where to go; till at last the old man in red who let us in, after a quantity of gabbling and gesticulating which we could make nothing of, fairly put us out into the street again and shut the door on us. By this time the carriage was gone, so there we staid in the dirt and the dark, till the door was opened again to let in some more ladies, and we pushed in after them and followed them thro" the hall and several more places, full of bustle and pilgrims and soldiers, till we got upstairs to where the women pilgrims were to sup. There we found two very long well lighted rooms with tables down each side, and I should think some hundreds of ladies without their bonnets and most of them in white aprons to serve. There was a middle room besides, where there was a set of women with towels on their heads, listening to a sermon from a man in red. After this they went on their knees, and said such a number of Ave Marias that I was tired waiting to see the end, and they must have wanted their suppers terribly which they did not get till near ten o'clock. The Princess Doria was going about directing, and the Queen of Etruria's daughter and two

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other young Princesses Ruspoli, who looked as if they were carrying about the trays for fun. We were almost the only strangers there, as the Princess had given orders that none should be let in that night, as she was expecting the King and Queen of Naples. However nobody looked sour on us, and indeed I never knew such civil people. One good-humoured talking lady staid with us great part of the time; another took me about and told me who the people were; another genteel young lady who was serving talked English to us, and at last said she and her mother and sister would be happy to visit us; and if we were fond of music, she played the harp and her sister the piano. So we exchanged directions and we were to call on her to-morrow. She was pleasing and natural. Another lady began a conversation in English with me with "Are you an Englishman?" and was very civil. The King and Queen with the Duke of Lucca in a red gown and various other great people came in, and at last we came away, guided by our good-natured first friend, whom we set down with a fat friend of hers; and at parting she also gave us her direction and desired us to call, so that even you could not have wished a more productive evening in the way of society. By the way I must say how friendly Mrs Bunsen is—she is pleasing from an appearance of great modesty and gentleness, but she still runs on in the same monotonous way she used to do.

Charlotte Wedgwood to her mother.

[ROME], April 29, 1825.

... We like Rome so much that all Jessie's scoldings cannot persuade us to be sorry we left Florence so soon. Now that we are within a week of the end of our month here, I grudge every day that passes. I scarcely know why I like it so much. I think it suits Papa too very well. All his time that is not occupied in seeing sights, he employs, as it appears very much to his satisfaction, in looking out of the window and watching the idle groups of common people that this square is constantly filled with. They are so

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picturesque, and I think handsome, that they afford constant amusement. We want nothing, my dear Mama, but that your strength would have permitted you to come with us; but when we are resting from our travels our life is much more fatiguing than on the journey, which would never have done for you; even Papa has sometimes been quite fatigued at the end of the day. The English are leaving Rome very fast. Last Sunday there was a very thin congregation, and the Vatican, which the first day we went to it was like a gay promenade with the numbers of English, is now left to the Pilgrims and ourselves. We always meet crowds of them, and their simple staring mahogany faces and the gay dresses of the women make a great part of the amusement of going there. They seem to take very much to Elizabeth, having applied to her several times for any information they wanted, and she has had long conversations with some of them.

On Thursday we were to take the Persianis to Villa Borghese, but it rained and we could only bring them here. But we found not the least difficulty in entertaining them, as we had only the two girls, whom I like very much. Giulietta seems to me to have some very heretical notions, at least there are many points of their church rules that she made not the least scruple to disapprove very much, and she said the priests were selfish and thought of nobody but themselves. And her opinion of Convents and Nuns seems very bad; she gave us an account of the dreadful life they lead at the two strictest of the convents. I cannot conceive how such horrible places have existed so long. They are called Vivi sepolti, and no name could be so descriptive of them....

Frank Wedgwood to his sister Fanny.

MAER, WEDNESDAY, April 27 [1825].


I mean to write you a very long letter all about Maer.... Peggy is banished to the Moss for biting the hedges, and somebody has built her a snug little hut of

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stumps out of a hedge that has been grubbed up, hurdles and so forth. I think Squib pined when I was at Edinburgh, for I left him fat and found him lean; yet he will not go to Etruria with me, and if he does not see Jos set out to come back, he had rather stay all night there than come home with me....

I have had the school two Sundays. I take them in the servants" hall, which is better than the laundry, there are fewer things for them to spoil, particularly now there is some wet plastering in the washhouse. I got on pretty well with them, particularly the second time; I follow Elizabeth's plan of giving them each a ticket and one for the cleanest hands. When service is in the afternoon, I get all the school over at once and the subject of going to church is not mentioned between us; I have stuck up a notice in school that I will punish them if they behave ill there. I am very busy pruning oak trees, and as soon as Mester Dabbs has set th'taties, I shall take one of the men into my service and do great execution amongst boughs and snags. I am so busy now that I have not time to read over the pottery Gazette; indeed if you saw us dispatch our dinner you would think that we had hardly time for that.

We have had some turns out in the potteries, chiefly I believe because the masters, in their eagerness to undersell one another, keep increasing the sizes of their ware without increasing the prices of making; they have had some meetings at Newcastle and Hanley to try to bring all the sizes to a common standard, in which I should think that they will not succeed. Last week the colliers turned out, so that many of the works stopped for want of coals. I do hope they will not frighten the parliament into re-enacting the combination laws. As Jos and I do not spend much of our time in chattering, and to be even with you, we have agreed to keep journals too. I will give you an extract from mine: Monday. Went to Etruria as usual; rained a little; thought at one time of putting on my greatcoat, however it went off; cauliflowers boiled crisp. Tuesday. Squib went rather farther than usual with me, viz., to Maer field-gate.

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Barbara would not drink. Wednesday. Got wet. Thursday. Ditto. Friday. Ditto twice. Saturday. Counted 21 carts going to market; the fire went out; told the boy to light it again, which he did; thought the damsons tasted salt; Jos said "No, it was fancy." Jos's journal I have not seen, but I believe it is conciser than mine. Apropos to journals it would save you much trouble if you were to write a family journal, for they must all be exactly the same; do not let me find "excessively" more than once a day in it.

My love to all of you,

Your affectionate brother, F. W.

Josiah Wedgwood to his wife (at Chêne).

SORRENTO, May 24, 1825.

... All these boasted places only confirm my preference of England and of Maer. I am quite surprised at the attachment of your sisters to Rome, especially as I suppose they had not a carriage constantly, for the filthy habits of the people and the total neglect of the police as to cleanliness, make the town very disagreeable even for a man to walk about in, and intolerable I should have supposed for English women. As one instance, towards evening you every now and then hear vessels emptied of water, or some less innocent contents, from the windows of the houses, without notice; and as far as I could ever perceive without the precaution of looking whether the street was clear.... I believe I shall quit this country without any desire ever to return to it, but if possible with a deeper detestation of the principles which cause its degradation, and a more heartfelt approbation of the contrary ones which are in operation in our own happy country, and of the men who are supporting them. I don't know whether the Italians are subject to the same annoyance, or whether, if subject, they become insensible to it, but the mere importunity of the miserable beggars that you meet with at every step, and who ask for alms with loud cries and as much earnest-

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ness as if their existence depended on succeeding in each instance, makes a walk a scene of persecution. In short this country has so many odious or painful circumstances which move one's indignation, contempt, or compassion so powerfully that the charms of scenery and of climate cannot have their proper effect. In short I remain at least as good a John Bull as I came out. You must not think however that I have looked only at one side. I have had much pleasure, and I have satisfied a wish almost as old as my memory, and I must not expect to escape the lot of human nature that there is disappointment in the gratification of all desires. "Man never is but always to be blest." I heartily wish you could have partaken of my pleasures or disappointments, but many, I believe most, of the pleasures would have been fatigues to you. I trust however that this first long separation will be our last. I turned my face northward from Paestum with the feeling of being on my way to meet you....

If you do not contrive to meet us at Milan for the purpose of going with us to Venice, I rather think we shall not be unlikely to give up Venice altogether. I suspect that by that time we shall think the sight of Venice will scarcely repay us for lengthening our route so much. We think that Canaletto and the Panorama have made us familiar with the appearance of Venice, and besides the appearance, there is not much for such cursory travellers as we are, except some pictures. After my lamentations in my last for the want of the boasted blue sky of Italy, you will be sorry to hear that the sky has been obstinately grey and the atmosphere hazy; and I am satisfied that we have scarcely ever in England so many days together so unfavourable for showing scenery as we have had here. I am afraid you will think me a very smell-fungus, but I believe there has been more humbug about Italy than any other country in the world, and travellers have affected raptures that they have not felt. Whatever I may express, I shall certainly feel very great delight at seeing a certain chien de visage again, a feeling in which my companions

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will share for they love you dearly. I am, my dear Bess, Your most affectionate J. W.

The tour to Venice was given up, and the family returned home in September, after two months spent at Chêne, including a short visit to Chamounix. The tour in all had lasted nine months. They arrived at Maer on October 1st, 1825.

In spite of any drawbacks which may have arisen from their want of enterprise, this tour was an immense advantage to Emma in enlarging her sympathy and outlook. She never lost her wish to see new scenes, and even to within a few years of my father's death had day-dreams of another tour abroad.

Madame Sismondi to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

[CHÊNE], FRIDAY, Sept. 9 [1825].

... Dearest Bessy, how long have I been accustomed to your sweet face as my inmate; you seem by this visit to belong doubly to me, and how do you think I can live without it now? I never felt a parting so much and so long before; there is no describing the desolation of the house—the very cats seemed to feel it. The servants seemed to have pity on me, and came to me with a gentle step and low voice and sad look as if a death had been in the house. They have been expatiating to M. Hermes on the Angels they have had to serve, from whom I have had it again in language that you would all laugh at as exaggerated, but which suits me exactly. I long for a letter, and shall go by and by to the town in spite of the rain to see if I have the good luck of a word from, it seems to me now, the only people I love in the world. I hate everybody here. I believe it is very true that women know how to love only by contrast. I am unwilling to think that it is a fault peculiarly my own, I must correct it if it is; when faults are general to our nature I do not trouble my head about them; it is vain to struggle against them, and if I succeeded in destroying one it is ten to one I did not destroy with it some great charm. Munier gave us a beautiful sermon;

VOL. I. 12

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it was yesterday the great national fast, a day set apart for an examination of the blessings of heaven on this land, and the faults of the people. It follows the Great Communion, and is a day more sacredly and universally kept than any Sunday, in commemorating the blessings, prosperity, and general happiness of Switzerland. He contrasted it with the misery and sufferings of the Greeks, with very great eloquence but very shortly, and asked our prayers as fellow Christians of a Christian people engaged in a defensive war against extermination, whose sufferings were beyond description. It was impossible to say a few words with greater beauty and feeling and piety. How I wished for you! but when and where do I not wish for you? Yesterday evening above all. I never wanted the girls so much, having a set of young Englishmen to entertain, and only the little Princess and my triste self to amuse them. There were Dr Holland, and Capt. Elton, Mr Allen, the two Prévosts, and Bonstetten.1 They all sat round the dining-table to tea, but I am afraid it looked a triste shop. Feeling out of spirits I had invited no one, but on Wednesday poured in the above English recommandés, and made me feel sorry I had not endeavoured to amuse them better. Captain Elton is the brother of Mrs Hallam, a jolly naval Captain full of gaiety and high spirits, finding his own amusement like a jolly tar. I am not sure even he had not taken too much champagne—he was easily pleased, only "hoped to God I would not make him talk French aloud, he did not

1 Karl von Bonstetten (1745—1832), a constant figure in the Sismondi circle, was a Swiss publicist of European repute, and had been in middle life a politician. He was an author of some note, writing on (inter alia) the Laws of the Imagination and on Climate as affecting human character. He had studied in his youth at Cambridge, Leyden, and Paris. At Cambridge he became extremely intimate with the poet Gray. For three months he spent every evening with Gray, arriving at five o'clock and lingering till midnight. Gray could not get over the wonder of Bonstetten's ardour and vitality: "Our breed is not made on this model.... He gives me too much pleasure and at least an equal share of inquietude.... God bless him! I am unable to talk to you about anything else I think," Gray wrote to his friend Nicholls. Rossel describes Bonstetten's old age as "une longue rajeunissement." See Gray, by Gosse, English Men of Letters.

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dislike talking it apart with some pretty woman" and accordingly stole round behind Princess Pietra Santa's sopha and looked very well pleased as long as he could detain her. I felt all my love of the navy character awake within me. How I did wish for my angelic voices to delight him; they still sing in my ears, and I know would have enchanted him....

I staid by myself on Monday till near 3 o'clock before I could be in trim enough even for Sis.... We tried to read German together but it would not do. "Grand Dieu, que j'ai été tourmenté tout le jour par les voix délicieuses de ces enfants, et les airs enchantants qu'elles ont chantés hier. Est-il possible que je ne les entendrai plus?" I can never speak tenderly enough for Sis.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

CHALONS, Sept. 9, 1825.

I can hardly reconcile myself to having lost you—to you I could venture to lay open my most foolish feelings, certain of your gentle sympathy. You have certainly the happiest mixture in the world of tenderness and gaiety, and you make everybody happy who lives with you as I have done for the last six months.

Emma Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Oct. 7, 1825.


I am very glad to have this little bit to tell you what longings I have to see you again since we parted. I am very sorry you happened to see that horrid letter of Jos's. We meant to have kept it a profound secret from you, the Canal meeting being put off. It gave us such a pang as soon as we heard of it; but never mind for we will come and see you again. You can't think with what pleasure I think of it, but I am afraid it will be a long time first. Charlotte is at the Derby music meeting or she would thank you very much for your letter, and dear

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M. Sismondi for his nice affectionate little note. I am sure I thank him with all my heart for my share of it. I enjoy being at home very much, though it looks rather rainy and stormy at present. I do hope that you will quite have got over our going away by the time you get this. I cannot bear to think of you as being melancholy. Everybody compliments Mamma on her good looks, and says she looks much better than when she went away. You and my uncle and our charming visit at Chêne are never very long out of my mind. I think it is the happiest time I ever spent, and that is saying a great deal. I will enjoy it again some time.

Good-bye, my own aunt Jessie, EMMA W.

Jessie wrote to Bessy (13 Nov. 1825): "I answered your last lovely letter to Emma because her postscript was irresistible. I love to encourage the tenderness of children I love as if they were my own, and who will, I hope, from time to time supply to me the place of them. It is a tie the tenderer between us if you will let me participate in the choicest blessing you have, or any mother ever had as they tell me here. I am so little disposed to question it that I would they were my own." The natural longings of a childless woman can more than once be traced in Jessie's letters and appear in her attitude towards her nieces. She was happy in winning a warm response to the passionate love she felt for them. My cousin, Julia Wedgwood, told me that the romance of Elizabeth's life was her love for her aunt Jessie, and Emma's was equally warm. She was from early days her aunt's pet child, and the relation only became closer all through her girlhood. Although after her marriage the cares of husband and children prevented frequent intercourse, their love lasted through life.

The only event to be chronicled, in the following winter 1825–6 is the coming of Allen, eldest son of John Wedgwood, to take possession of the little living at Maer. He was still lame from a long illness. In a letter from Kingscote (the John Wedgwoods), in May, 1825, his aunt Fanny Allen wrote:

Allen is still going about on his crutches. He appears feeble, and I should be afraid would never be any better

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than an invalid. He has invalid habits also, which I am not at all sure is a bad thing for him, as it gives him thought and occupation. Last week I was amazed at his watching the clock to have his tea precisely as the clock was at half-past eight. Eliza had had the tea in for our whole party at eight or perhaps a little before on Jane's account. The general tea was finished at quarter-past eight, and he sat watching the clock till the right minute to order in the tea-kettle. He puts Jane and Eliza something beside their patience, so it is well that he will have an establishment of his own, and arrange his meals according to his own fancy.

This is exactly as I remember him 40 years later. But he had a kindly simple nature, and, like his father, was devoted to flowers and gardening. When he came to Maer, Bessy in her abounding hospitality said to him, "Allen, remember we shall always be glad to see you any and every time." This speech was taken literally, and I believe for years he came up once in the morning to see what letters had come, once in the afternoon, I suppose to see what they were going to do, whilst in the evening when they came out from dinner he was settled in the one armchair. His uncle Jos occasionally talked of representing to him that they sometimes wanted to be alone, but was too kind-hearted ever to carry out his intention. However by 1833 these visits had come to an end, I think through some representation of his brother Robert. Emma Wedgwood wrote in that year: "Nothing can be more modest than he is; indeed I wish he would come in sometimes without being asked. He is so thoroughly amiable that one gets fond of him."

One constant interest of the Maer family during these years was the anti-slavery agitation. Bessy wrote (March 13, 1826): "We are exceedingly interested in the abolition of slavery. Jos has exerted himself wonderfully for a man of his retired habits in getting up a County Petition, and has succeeded and it has been presented. We have also got up a local one from the four neighbouring parishes hereabouts; and I hope shall never let the matter rest. There is certainly a great stir in England at this moment. The Clergy and the Methodists have taken it up very warmly, and now that England is awakened I trust in God this enormity will cease." And two years later: "Sarah [Wedgwood] is ab-

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sorbed very much by her interest in favour of the Blacks. She spends a great deal in the circulation of anti-slavery publications, and she has herself written or compiled a little pamphlet for the benefit of those who are not sufficiently interested in the subject to seek for information among the many books that are written. We have established a Ladies" Society at Newcastle, but we don't meet with much success among the higher gentry. The set below them (our Rue Basse) is much more impressible." A quaint evidence of the family's interest in the cause is shown by the fact of various little manuscript books of journals and collections of prayers, amongst the Maer records, being bound in the disused covers of Anti-slavery pamphlets.

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The Sismondis in England—Bessy and her daughter Charlotte at Ampthill—Fanny and Emma Wedgwood at Geneva—Sarah Wedgwood's generosity—The Prince of Denmark—Edward Drewe's love-affair—Harry Wedgwood on French plays—Fanny and Emma return home—Lady Byron at Geneva.

IN the spring of 1826 the Sismondis came over to England. Fanny Allen wrote of Jessie (May 25, 1826), "her countenance is as charming as ever, which makes her better worth looking at than any beauty I know." Harry Wedgwood described Sismondi's bows as tremendous: "he and I salute one another in the style of the frontispiece to Les Précieuses Ridicules, and he ought to have married good Mistress Accost instead of Aunt Jessie."

After visiting the Mackintoshes in London they went, towards the end of June, to Maer. Bessy wrote: "He is such an entire lover of music that the evenings are completely filled up with it." "Je n'ai pas éprouvé un moment un plaisir égal à celui que me donnait 'Un palpito atroce" ou 'O notte soave,"" Sismondi told Elizabeth, writing from Paris, where he went at the end of August, leaving Jessie to pay her visits to Cresselly and elsewhere alone. Jessie was not allowed to see Mrs Surtees, her poor imprisoned "Sad," as she called her. This was the only blot on her stay of many months in England.

As these visits drew to a close, Bessy decided to send Fanny and Emma back with Jessie to spend eight months at Geneva. It was an effort to part with them, but she thought it would be good for the girls, they wished it, and it would soften the parting for Jessie.

Madame Sismondi also had her nephew Edward Drewe, a boy of 21, to convoy out. He had left Oxford, but he was not intended for any profession, being the heir-expectant

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of Grange, the Devonshire estate, then in the possession of an uncle 79 years old. Bessy was a little afraid her sister Mrs Drewe might think she had views on him for Fanny or Emma, as he was prospectively a good match.

Bessy went to London to see Jessie and the girls off. She described the parting to her husband, writing from Ampthill, a house lent to Sir James Mackintosh (Nov. 19, 1826): "Our little girls shed a few tears at parting with me yesterday but they went off very stoutly and not at all repenting. I am surprized at my own tranquillity at the thoughts of losing them for so long a time; when I hear that they are safe on the other side of the Channel I shall be quite easy."

In one of her first letters to them abroad she wrote these few words of advice: "I am sure you will make it your duty and your pleasure to enliven your Aunt Jessie's winter by your cheerfulness as much as she will yours by her gaiety. Shew yourselves pleased with what she does for you, and do not be afraid of making the gratitude that you must feel both for her and Sismondi apparent in your manners to both."

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her husband.

AMPTHILL PARK, Nov. 24 [1826].

...We are very comfortable here, and not so cold as we were at first. Charlotte and I smuggle an hour's conversation with Sir James every evening after dinner, by remaining in the eating room while Kitty [Lady Mackintosh] goes to her darling newspaper, and Fanny [Mackintosh] takes the opportunity of going to the pianoforte. At these times he seems to enjoy conversation, and he is so wise and luminous in all his views, that I feel that I have made a step towards wisdom in listening to him. I am sure he has great feeling; he spoke with such tenderness of his daughter [Mrs Turnbull] the other night, and with such gratitude of Dr Darling for his attentions to her that he filled my eyes with tears.

Kitty is writing to Sarah [Wedgwood] upon the Cruelty subject. She has been getting a man convicted of cruelty to his ass, and he is sent to prison, but Kitty has been visiting his wife and supplying her with money and blankets

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while he is away, and Kitty told me that the wife seemed not displeased that the man was gone.

Charlotte, who is very comfortably sleeping by the fire, would join me, if she were alive, in love to you and your three companions, not forgetting Tony. Hoping at no unreasonable distance to see that chien de visage,

I remain, my dear Jos,

Your affectionate E. W.

The four travellers, Mme Sismondi, Fanny and Emma Wedgwood, and Edward Drewe, reached Calais on 25th Nov. 1826. Emma wrote that day to her mother: "Aunt Jessie told us that she did not know how she could have borne leaving England if we had not gone with her, but now she did not mind. Edward is very happy running about looking at carriages and seeing about passports. Luckily everybody here speaks English.... We came over with half-a-dozen smugglers who teased us very much to wear some plaid cloth cloaks for them, as they said they would not take them from us but they would from them, but we would not, as you may suppose."

Their mother wrote many little instructions to the two girls at Geneva. She begs them to pay regularly for their letters and to be exact in their accounts, "this is more for one of you than the other, your consciences will tell you which," and it is easy to guess that the exact Fanny needed no such reminder. Also, "I wish you would generally or always say something to or of your aunt Sarah in your letters; she always enquires very kindly of you, and I should like to have something to say from you to her."

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her husband.

AMPTHILL PARK, Nov. 28 [1826].


I write to rejoice with you over the safe arrival of our dear children and their companions on the other side the water. It is so pleasant to receive the letter before one had begun to expect it. Now I am quite easy about them, and feel very glad that their company has been such a support to Jessie.

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Charlotte and I have great pleasure in our evening's conversation with Sir James. He perceives her good understanding and seems to take a pleasure in talking to her. After tea he reads to us aloud some German stories translated by Gillies, which being short and full of wild incident, are just the things for reading aloud, and he reads admirably. His spirits are pretty fair, which I wonder at considering how full his thoughts are of "fair occasions gone for ever by." He is now, he says, obliged to toil like a labourer because he would not work when he was so much better able to do it, but if he can but live to get his history through the press, of which he now seems to doubt, he will compound for all the rest. He is working very hard, and at the same time takes as much care as he can of his health, but he looks ill, and I never saw any one's hand shake as his does....

The following is a fragment of a letter from Marianne Thornton1 to Hannah More. It records the beginning of a devoted friendship between Fanny Mackintosh and Miss Thornton, which played a large part in both their lives.

Marianne Thornton to Hannah More.


I found my sisters here setting up a warm friendship with a new country neighbour, Miss Mackintosh, daughter of the Sir James, who has Ampthill Park here, a place of Lord Holland's, which his lordship has lent Sir James while he writes his history. Miss Mackintosh is everything his daughter should be—and more, much more than anyone would expect her to be—very clever, full of information, yet loving fun as well as any child, and abounding in life and spirits. Yet as pious and devoted as if she had been a Miss Wilberforce, and most anxious to do good in the wretched

1 Sir Robert Inglis, of Milton Bryant, took charge of the large family of Thorntons when their father, Henry Thornton of Battersea Rise, and their mother both died in 1815. Marianne, the eldest daughter, was only 18 at the time.

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village, which under the Holland influence you will guess has had little done for it. She canters here on any cart- or coach-horse she can find, and returns loaded with good books and good advice as to how to proceed from the Miss Inglises, who are well able to give both. She never mentions her father's religious opinions, but seems so excessively fond of him, and he of her, that I think her father and Robert Hall's friend cannot but end well.

Emma Wedgwood to her sister Elizabeth.

GENEVA, Thursday, 4 Jan. [1827].

This week has been very quiet except Monday, when there was a ball at the Theatre in commemoration of the restoration of the Republic, where everybody may come that pays 6 fr. The whole Theatre was quite full and it looked very pretty. We were to dance with whoever asked us. The first man I danced with was very disagreeable and vulgar, which put me rather in despair for the rest of the ball; however the rest of my partners were very tidy, so I liked it very well. I had the good luck to dance with one or two Englishmen. I was quite surprised to see the shopkeepers here look so much worse than any English shopkeepers. I had much rather dance even with Mr Timmis than with most of the people there. When I was afraid any particularly horrid-looking man was going to ask me to dance I began such a very earnest conversation with Fanny that they could not interrupt me. The room looked very gay from having a great many people in uniform, especially the Prince of Denmark and his three governors. Sismondi was very indignant with the behaviour of some English young ladies sitting by us, who, when anybody asked them to dance that they were not acquainted with, looked very glum and answered, "Je ne danse pas."

I have had a music-master for more than a fortnight now. He is a German and despises every music but German very much. He takes great pains about playing with expres-

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sion, but I think he plays with so much expression himself that it is as if he was mad....

The Prince [of Denmark] gives a ball on the 18th at his house in the country to which we are to go, and we are to go to the Redoute this day (Saturday) week. These are our only balls at present. I have made great progress in hair-dressing, and I make both our heads look very dashing.

Sismondi and we get on very well together, and we talk very well and listen very tolerably. He is more affectionate than ever, which I am very grateful for. I am afraid he will never leave off kissing our hands. I was in hopes he would after we had been here sometime, but he is more constant than ever. I am sorry Tony is become so fat, I do not know what he will do without me to whip him and starve him.

Sunday. Yesterday we went to Mme Pictet Menet's and had a very comfortable evening, which finished by dancing, to my great joy, for I had the fidgets of wanting to dance ever since the ball at the Theatre. I get on in waltzing very well.

Is the school as full as it was when we left home? You must tell us everything in the world that you have been doing, and all about that charming place, Maer. One feels interest about the most insignificant things from being such an immense way off. Mme Beaumont and Edward sung last night, but I assure you nobody sings as well as you and Charlotte. We are going to have a comfortable evening at home to-night without Sismondi. You must not think me wicked for putting that. I like him much better than I did.

I heard that Aunt Sarah has not got into her new house yet. Will you give her my best love?

Her words about the expressive playing of her master "as if he was mad" are delightfully characteristic. She always kept the same horror of any exaggeration of feeling.

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Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Emma Allen.

MAER, January 16 [1827].

Sarah dined here the other day in very good spirits, though the troubles and complaints of her small establishment are beginning to come in, and she has done too much for their accommodation not to be expected to do more. While I am upon the subject of Sarah, I cannot resist telling you that she subscribed £200 to the distressed manufacturers at the general Committee under an anonymous signature. I do believe she has given away near £1000 last year in different acts of benevolence. Who can say that a woman is not as capable of managing a large fortune as a man, or that a single woman has not as many opportunities of doing good as a married one? I wish I could preach singularity among my poor neighbours I know; for I do believe that if nobody would marry who could not maintain a family till they were thirty years old, there would be no poor in England. The distress all round us makes this now more apparent than ever, and yet in the town of Newcastle there was never known so many poor marriages as this year. Many young couples under twenty have been married, who had not a single article of furniture to begin the world with and have been obliged to go back to their parents with the prospect of an increase of misery.

My two little girls seem very happy at Geneva and will spend a much gayer winter than they would have had at home. I wish they may also reap the benefit of being with two such minds (for I must say that Sis. possesses also a superior one, however one may owe him a grudge) and Jessie's is beyond discussion. I hope they will open their eyes wide to what is excellent and then they must be the better for it....

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Fanny Wedgwood to her mother.

January 21st, Tuesday [1827].

...On Thursday the Prince of Denmark gave a grand ball at the Casino (the place where the Redoutes are given), to which we went. It was a very pretty sight. In the middle of the ball they danced a cotillion which I should think lasted upwards of an hour, which cut a great many people off from dancing. The Prince danced almost all evening with Mrs Lambton, and after we were gone people say there was a scene between them, some say that he threw himself at her feet, others that he gave her his feather; what did happen I don't know, but Edward [Drewe] looks and talks very mysteriously about it and all Geneva is very busy talking her over. I suppose she has been very imprudent, but I think they judge her very harshly, for if she did flirt a good deal with the Prince, he is only a boy of 18, so she might think there was no great harm in it. But whatever has happened people seem to cut her now, for she is going to give a ball on Tuesday week, and I am afraid many people will send her excuses, for several have said to Aunt Jessie, "You don't mean to go of course." However, Aunt Jessie means to stick by her and go to the ball if we are the only people there, so she does not encourage Edward to tell anything against her....

Dear Mamma, you need not be afraid, though we are very happy and comfortable here, that we shall be sorry to come back to you. I love Maer much too well not to be glad always when I come home.

I am surprised to see all the old men come to the balls here. I should have thought they would much rather have stayed away. Sismondi looks very unhappy at them, I never saw such an anxious-looking man as he is.

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Madame Sismondi to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

GENEVA, 27 Jan. [1827].

What a dear letter I have left so long unnoticed, my beloved Bessy! Do not think from that, that I have been insensible to its merit, or have loved one bit less its dear writer; on the contrary my love for you burns daily and never sleeps but when I sleep myself, and not always then, for I dream much of you. It burns daily by means of your two children, who are a delight to me every instant of the day; otherwise I do not know that you would have more than your share, but I cannot help your being upper-most when I hourly feel the benefit of your love and confidence.

We are all gay and happy, and Sismondi far from being the least so. He loves Emma and Fanny and enters into all their little interests of vanity with greater warmth than I do, because he does not understand as well as I do how completely without vanity they are. If they are not immediately taken out to dance he swears, and can hardly stay in the room. If they dance he can look on unwearied, and support all the ennui of a ball-room, which he never could bear since he had himself left off dancing. They surpass even my hopes of giving him pleasure; he enjoys every moment at home, and has a greater interest when we go out. He thinks them very pretty, and will tell them so, in spite of all my injunctions and threats that I will tell you. They do not however seem to give him the least credit, and the other day Emma laughed in his face when he said on occasion of our admiring the beauty of Emma Pictet that he would not give one of his own little Emma Wedgwood for ten Emma Pictets. He admires Fanny very much, and as he never hides anything he feels, he tells her he thinks her very pretty—will this do her any harm, think you? None at all I believe, for they will not believe themselves a bit more good-looking because he calls them jolie.

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I hope the girls had dancing enough on Saturday, they could hardly stand when they came in. They are remarkably well, and look so blooming that I receive endless compliments on their fraîcheur. Dearest Bessy, I could not help laughing at your charge that they should keep an exact account of little items, letters, bills, etc.; they seem to me as exact as you could be yourself. Sis and I find daily something in the quiet qualities to love them the better for, but Sis wishes exceedingly to inspire them with some more showy ones. He tries to persuade them of the solid virtue of benevolence in the art and love of conversing; that they may by that power divert the real sorrow they may also cheer and console; in short he finds very pretty arguments in favour of a little coquetry. But do not fear, I do not think you will find them one bit more coquettes than when you trusted them to us. The firmest conviction of the advantages of a quality will never teach it us, and they would prove very sturdy pupils against even the approaches of what they conceived evil. If he succeeds in convincing them of the virtue of not giving way to a disposition of silence, that casts almost imperceptibly a gloom around them, he will do them a great service; and I do not fear at all the coquetry that might ensue from his doctrine. You will I am afraid, from what I have said, think they are more silent than their neighbours, I have expressed myself so awkwardly. Not at all; Sismondi reproaches me more than he does them. Conversation is an art learnt by foreigners from the moment they can speak, and to which I cannot as I have told him aspire, nor is it so much needed in our dear untalking land. There is a pretty gaiety about Emma, always ready to answer to any liveliness and sometimes to throw it out herself, that will cheer everybody that lives with or approaches her. There is some disposition to silence in Fanny, which I am glad to see Sismondi perseveringly combat, and I think no one can be so persevering as he is. He says always he thinks Emma the prettiest, but he acts as if he thought Fanny was, he says there is something particularly pleasing to his

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taste in her countenance. I am very glad of it; the world soon shows which is really the prettiest, and when two go so much together, it is difficult that the one not preferred should not be mortified. Fanny looks remarkably well in a ball-room; she holds herself well, is most radiant in her person and brilliant in her colouring; so that it is never known we perceive the difference. How I do wish they were my own children, from whom I should never be separated, with whom I might play what pranks I pleased. Sis thinks Edward all the fools on earth not to be in love with Emma, he cannot imagine how it can be avoided. Edward goes out now almost every evening, he is much liked from his gaiety, his good breeding, and his charmante figure. But he comes to us morning and evening whenever he can. For my own part I love him very tenderly; I have never met with such docility in any human being, or hardly more affection, and always such perfect good and gentle breeding, that in living a long life with him one is sure of being secure from the smallest rudeness, even roughness. Not so with his sisters; he has all their sweet temper. I am convinced Caroline has done the wisest thing she could in sending him here. The fashion of the place is strict morality; he will always go in the extreme of the fashion....

Elizabeth Wedgwood to her sister Fanny.

MAER, Saturday, Feb. 17 [1827]

... Caroline Darwin left us yesterday—we could not get her to stay any longer, tho" we assured her she would not find herself the least wanted when she got home. She says she has been in a foolish talking humour so long that she is quite tired, and is gone home hoping Susan will let her be serious....

She had a very pleasant letter from Charles [Darwin] while she was here, begging to know whether Wilcox [the gamekeeper] was still Lord paramount here, and if she could find out without much trouble, he should like particularly

VOL. I. 13

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to know how many head of game have been killed. He and Erasmus are quite troublesome in being so fond of letters from home....

Emma Wedgwood to her mother.

GENEVA, 25 March, 1827.

I see you, as well as we, are thinking about our coming home. I hope you will settle about the time. It will be much pleasanter with respect to aunt Jessie that she should not think us wanting to go away. Aunt Jessie was thinking of our making a little tour with Frank. I know we should enjoy it very much, but we have already had so much pleasure and been so long from home, that if you and Papa had rather we came home sooner, we shall be perfectly satisfied. I assure you I do not wish anything about it. And you are always so ready to give us pleasure that I am sure you will, if you have not some good objection or wish....

Aunt Jessie has just given me leave to tell you of Edward's love affair, which I have been longing to do all thro" this letter. However you must keep it a secret till you hear of it from aunt Drewe. He has fallen in love and proposed to Adèle Prévost and she has accepted him, to our great surprise, as she is 24 [Edward being 21]. Aunt Jessie wrote a fortnight ago to aunt D. about it. For my part I think she will make a very nice wife for him. She is rather pretty but very old looking. Adèle's father gives a reluctant consent in case aunt D. has no objection. The courtship was very short; I don't think he met her 10 times before he proposed and was accepted. I think you saw her when you were here. She has the most sober, steady manners, and not at all the sort of person to fall desperately in love. What a pity I did not begin this delightful subject before; now I have no more room. It amuses me very much, but aunt Jessie is vexed about it. Good bye dearest Mamma. Your affectionate EMMA W.

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The Drewe family now consisted of Mrs Drewe, Edward, and his two sisters, Harriet, Lady Gifford, and Georgina, Mrs (afterwards Lady) Alderson. Marianne, Mrs Algernon Langton, had died in 1822, leaving one son. Lady Gifford was now a widow with seven children, Lord Gifford having suddenly died in the midst of his brilliant career. Edward Drewe's love affair caused a great commotion in the family, and it was apropos of this that Harry Wedgwood composed the quatrain often quoted in the Wedgwood circle:

Write, write, write a letter!

Good advice will make us better,

Sisters, Brothers, Father, Mother,

Let us all advise each other!

Emma Wedgwood to her mother.

GENEVA, Ap. 24 [1827].

... I was rather surprised to find you did not expect to see us home before July. I shall be very sorry to leave aunt Jessie whenever it happens, but then I shall be so glad to come home and see you all that I don't mean to trouble my head about anything, but let things take their course according to aunt Jessie's maxim. Sometimes I take a violent longing to go home, but it goes off in 5 minutes....

My mother often spoke of this stay at Geneva as one of great enjoyment, chiefly I think owing to the society of her beloved aunt Jessie, but also to the balls and sociability of Geneva. I remember her saying that after dancing with your partner it was de rigueur not to say one word to him but to be brought straight back to your chaperon.

Charlotte Wedgwood (staying with her cousin Mrs Alderson) to her sister Emma.


... I came here on Tuesday night by the mail, under Harry's escort. We were under the hard necessity of getting up at three o'clock and then driving to Stone, expecting all the way to be too late for the mail. Our fat phaeton mare was never so hurried in her life, for unlike dear Duchess,

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there is scarcely any persuading her even with the whip to get on. We arrived in time, however, and had a very beautiful day and good journey, and arrived near eleven without being at all tired. There is no travelling that fatigues one so little as the mail. I could not help grudging to leave the country at this beautiful time of year, and particularly the garden, for the time is just coming on when I expected to see the effect of all my arranging of the flowers, that I took such pains with last year; and the peonies were just coming out. We had been working very hard for the last ten days for the bazaar for the Spanish and Italian refugees; I, in drawing chiefly, and Elizabeth and Mamma embroidering work-bags and making pen-wipers and skreens....

Mr Alderson is a pleasant host. He puts one so completely at ease, which is seldom the case with the master of a house. He is sociable and rather merry and talks a good deal and very agreeably.

Sunday 13th. Yesterday the Aldersons gave a dinner-party. Dr and Mrs Maltby, Chief Justice Littledale, the Andersons and the Lockharts were the party. Mrs Lockhart1 is particularly pleasing, she is so simple, natural, and modest. Mr Lockhart is remarkably handsome, and I think, notwithstanding my prejudices, would be agreeable if he would come out more, but he seems reserved. Georgina managed for me to sit next him at dinner. Mr A. and Georgina are obstinate about making me sing, which I had much rather avoid. G. never sings herself, which leaves me the only musician, and except people are particularly fond of music, it is the most dullifying thing that can be to a party. One feels it rather hard to be obliged either to bore the party or be disobliging. Fanny [Mackintosh] and I went to hear Chalmers2 on Friday at the opening of the new Scotch church. He has a very bad voice, but is cer-

1 Sophia, daughter of Sir Walter Scott.

2 Dr Thomas Chalmers (1780—1847), theologian, preacher, and philanthropist. Lockhart said he had never heard "a preacher whose eloquence is capable of producing an effect so strong and irresistible as his."

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tainly a very fine preacher. If he had but Mr Irving's1 beautiful voice he would be perfect. Mr Irving gave a prayer of an hour's length, which is I think more than twice too long. Moreover his praying is so theatrical as to be disagreeable,—a much worse fault in praying than in preaching. There was an immense crowd, and quite a riot at one time made by the people outside breaking in.

I never knew such a bustle as I have been in. That and the trouble of one's clothes are the disadvantages of London. I feel as if I had time for nothing. Every minute that I have is required for drawing that my lessons may not be thrown away upon me. I have had two, and like Mr Copley Fielding very much.

Early in 1827 Harriet Surtees's long servitude ended with the death of her husband. She had not any settled place of abode during the first years of her widowhood, but stayed much with the Sismondis. The following letter from Harry (now a barrister in London), was written to his mother just after a visit to Mrs Surtees, and while she was with the John Wedgwoods at Kingscote.

Harry Wedgwood to his mother.

5, ESSEX COURT, TEMPLE, Thursday [24 May, 1827].


I congratulate you on your change of quarters from Cheltenham to Kingscote, though my own goût paysager is not so strong as it used to be, or my taste for London is

1 Edward Irving (1792—1834), divine and founder of the Irvingite or Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. The movement is remembered in connection with outbursts of articulate but totally unintelligible expression, called "speaking with unknown tongues," which took place about this time. The speakers regarded themselves as the mere channel of some divine influence. Irving himself never spoke the "unknown tongues," but was exceedingly indignant with "the heedless sons of Belial" who maintained that it was mere gibberish, and protested it only wanted the ear of him whose native tongue it was to make it a very masterpiece of powerful speech. Mary Campbell, who first had the gift, in a little farmhouse at the head of the Gairloch, conjectured for unknown reasons that it was the language of the Pelew Islanders. Irving was a lover of Jane Welsh (Mrs Carlyle). "If I had married Irving, we should have heard nothing of the tongues," Mrs Carlyle wrote long afterwards.

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stronger. London is full of dirt and ugliness and vulgarity, but London is London after all, and it is something to have the freshest news and the freshest fish, and to see everybody and everything. Here am I, a Staffordshire man, 150 miles from home, and yet of Staffordshire people alone I have seen and heard of I don't know how many. Is it nothing to have Mr and Mrs Tomlinson and Miss Tomlinson, of whom Jos himself said that she was no worse than other young ladies? What greater advantages should I enjoy at Hanley or Cowbridge or Burslem or Tunstall? The country is a very good place to see good company in, but is very blank by itself, and so I daresay Jos and Allen have found it by this time. What brilliant evenings they must be spending together, what a flow of soul! I pity even Squib when I think of it. We have all been stirring about here in town, plenty of dinners, plays, and operas, but all in the family way as Matthews says, which I think a very pleasant way (whatever Mrs Alderson does at this time). It must be confessed Mrs Holland's family dinner was tant soit peu ennuyeux. Nobody shall persuade me that Dr H. is either the most agreeable or the cleverest man in London. If he was he would not have shocked Charles Darwin by saying that a whale has cold blood, or the universe by eating with his knife, or me by the patronising manner in which he mentioned what he had done with Ministers in favour of Sir J. Mackintosh. He said Lord Lyndhurst had asked him as to Sir J.'s health and capabilities, of which he had made as favourable a report as he could; and Ld. L. had also, I think, said something about making him a Baron of the Exchequer; but that is out of the question, for though the work in London is nothing, and therefore he might easily do that, neither his health nor his legal knowledge can be fit for circuit.

Fanny Mackintosh, Charlotte and I went with Mrs Swinton Holland and her two daughters to [Rossini's] Semiramide, for reports of which I refer you to Charlotte, only it was a sort of music in which I could have whistled a part all through, so that it cannot be very original. Mlle Pasta's

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acting was very fine, and worth 10 nights of Miss M. Tree's "Home sweet Home" work, or Miss O'Neill's pulling away at the pocket handkerchief which hung at the small of her back. There was no ballet. On Monday I went with, or rather after, Caroline Darwin, Charlotte and Frank to the French play, where I was confirmed in my opinion of the superiority of French plays and actors over English. In the Demoiselle à Marier, the demoiselle comes jumping in in her morning gown, and boasting of what a breakfast she has eaten, and what a walk she is going to take, when she is packed off by her maman to put on her best gown to receive a visitor. This horrifies her, for she is sure she shall have to sing; accordingly when the visitor arrives, in come all the family en grande tenue and Mademoiselle as awkward and frightened as possible. She is bid to hold up her head and say something, and is sent to fetch her drawing of the tête de Romulus, but to her great relief the visitor is so disgusted with all this exhibition that he declares off. However he stays to dinner, and Mademoiselle takes off her fine gown, and is so happy and pleasant at being released that she and the gentleman fall in love and it is all settled. An English actress would have been hoydenish when she was not affected, and vulgar all through, but this French one never seemed to think of the audience, or of her dress or attitudes, but was just as if she acted for her amusement. Charlotte and I both remarked that in all these French petites pièces all the characters are made extremely good-natured, and that makes another contrast with English afterpieces. A third contrast is in the women's dresses, which I think are not only infinitely better but much cleaner at the French Theatre.

Having gone through my dissipations it is time I should inform you that I have won Uncle Allen's cause for him, that is with the assistance of the Attorney-General and Taunton. It was tried the day before yesterday before Littledale. I was in a horrid fright, for I was responsible to Uncle Allen in three several capacities of Pleader, Counsel, and nephew, and he chose to come and sit in court to quiet

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my nerves. However the other side did not take the only objection I was afraid of, and we got a verdict for the sum awarded. I had nothing to do but to open the pleadings and ask one question and so I earned six guineas. The Attorney-General was very civil, and was graciously pleased to enquire whether my father was John or Jos, and hoped he should be often "with me" at Westminster.

You will probably have heard from Charlotte how the first day's bazaar [for the Greeks] went off. She and Hensleigh were there. There was an immense crowd and everything sold very dear. The Burmese screens went directly, and so did Charlotte's pictures; the best at 30s. and so downwards. I should not wonder if I might have sold a goose trap if I had sent one. I had a brilliant idea for something which would have fetched any money, but it did not occur soon enough, and so it must wait till the next bazaar, but it certainly will be the prettiest toy ever invented....

At the end of May Jos, accompanied by Caroline and Charles Darwin, set out to fetch the two girls home from Geneva. Charles was only to go as far as Paris and then return. This was the only time he ever set foot on the Continent.

Josiah Wedgwood to his daughters Fanny and Emma at Geneva.

PARIS, Saturday, 26 May, 1827.


... I am very glad that I induced Car. D. to come with me. I need not tell you how agreeable a companion she is, and she has so much taste for beauty that it is a pleasure to travel with her. She has not seen Jessie [Sismondi], I believe, since she married, but unless I am much mistaken Jessie will like her much and Jessie's husband too, at least I expect and hope it. To return to our journey and voyages; I went to bed the moment I got on board at 1 o'clock, and lay till we got into Dieppe at 11. Caroline

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was ill, but took not the least harm, and Charles, though not quite well, made a very hearty dinner on roast beef. We should have been tempted to stay a day at Rouen, if the weather had been good, but it has been detestable ever since we landed till this afternoon. (P.S.—Rain again.) I am glad you have got the great Henri, but my mind misgives me that he knows nothing of German, which I neglected to mention to you as a necessary requisite. N'importe—his great qualities will make up for the trifling circumstance of not one of the party speaking the language of the country.

Tell my dear Jessie that her addition to your former letter to your mother was not thrown away upon me. Nobody can do kind things with so much grace as she does....

Caroline Darwin to Fanny and Emma Wedgwood.

26 May, 1827.


(I know you like being classed together, and as Charlotte and Eliz. to this day speak of you both as if you were but one, I shall follow their example.) Many thanks for being so glad that I joined this delightful excursion. It was very good-natured of Uncle Jos to think of me, but there never was a kinder person and the pleasantest travelling companion. I am quite losing all my former fear, and Charles, who came with us as far as Paris, joins me in a chorus of admiration whenever he leaves the room....

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Wedgwood.

CHÊNE, Sunday, 1st July [1827].

... My dearest children, if I was to say I did not miss you, that the house was not very empty, very silent, and very desolate, I should not say what was true. But you will, I know, be glad to hear that I think more on my good fortune in having you so long, having had so much more of my own Jos than I expected, and seeing and renewing my

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affection for Caroline Darwin, than on the loss I have sustained, which I endeavour to think as little of as possible. And for that I drive the image of my little idiot for the present out of mind as much as I am able, but it is an obstinate little toad that holds its place very tenaciously.

If you are like me, you will like to have a very minute account of our days since you left us. Soon after quitting a place I like to know the disposition of every moment if it were possible, so here is a little journal for you. Sismondi and I sat down to our tête-à-tête dinner for the first time since the 17th of May, 1826, 13 months and 10 days exactly. I cannot say that either of us enjoyed it. It was soon interrupted by the return of Edward before we had risen from the table, his manner gentle and affectionate as one that was to supply a loss. We all walked to the distant field and sat down on the hay, very silent and not very rejoicing.

Tuesday, 3rd. We have this morning had Suriotes to breakfast; he was one of the Greek deputies in London, through whose hand our poor loan slipped, Lord knows how, for I am sure he does not; he is a clever man and his conversation was very agreeable. He is on his road to Greece; he seems to think that Greece is lost as far as fighting goes—a remnant might still be saved by negotiation, but he seemed discouraged more than he was hopeful. We have just too had a visit from Lady Cawdor,1 looking very fine and handsome, and she was agreeable too, but for the little laugh that accompanies all the sensible things she says. She told us she had just received a letter from Lord Carlisle that the Corn Bill had passed the second reading in the House of Lords, so that is well finished. She said Lord Lansdowne had given great trouble by his indecision and weakness, but that she believed he would take office presently. He would have Ld. Dudley's place, who only held it temporarily out of friendship to Canning, and she always thought Mackintosh would come in with him. I wish he may, but I dwelt a good deal on the hardship of overlooking him, in hopes she may

1 Lady Cawdor, daughter of the second Marquis of Bath, and one of the great ladies of Pembrokeshire, was an old friend of the Allens.

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report it to her brother and he to Canning. She said it was perfectly true that the King was very angry with the ex-ministers, above all with the Duke of Wellington. He said Canning had in the first instance been forced on him, and then they wanted to force him to send him out, but this time he should be his own master.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Fanny Wedgwood.

CHÊNE, July 10 [1827].

... The house still feels very empty without you, very silent, very triste, above all of an evening, and Thursday I thought it odious. To be rid of this evening melancholy we go out in the char pretty regularly as soon as the sun is sufficiently low. My spirits have not sunk at all, and I have escaped a great evil. For when I am low no one is so prostrate as I am, no one so disagreeable, as your Aunt Sara used to say, and she was right. The truth is from the beginning of your stay I have had my feelings in training to meet with courage the termination which I knew must too speedily come. I was determined Sismondi should have no reason to regret the visits of those I love, but that he should feel they permanently benefited me. I am happy to tell you he was quite as low as I was myself, and that our feelings never were in more perfect unison. Since my letter to Emma I have read again Medwin's conversations of Byron, and going one evening to town for the second vol. I received a letter from Lady Byron saying she was at Sécheron; so putting the vol. in my pocket I went and paid her a visit. I sat with her till I fancied I saw symptoms of thinking our visit long enough, or I should have liked to have stayed longer, though Sismondi thought her intolerable. She talked more than I expected, and her manner was less cold. She talked like a sensible and good woman. She looks thin, pale, and old for her age, there is a stiffness in her features, and she has a mouth that could never admit her to be very pretty. She speaks in the low and languid tone that Sismondi thinks so insupportable. She was sitting apparently

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writing at a table on which lay open a manuscript book that looked very like a journal. Her husband in Don Juan accuses her with some impatience of writing journals; at another table sat a young man reading who took little notice of us or our visit, and spoke only to question Lady Byron on something she said, in a manner not quite civil. Ada, a child of ten or twelve, went out as we came in, and so rapidly that I could not see her; but luckily she returned before we went, with her face all illuminated, in spite of some expression of timidity, to bid her mother look at the Mont Blanc red with the setting sun. I never saw a finer child; brilliant with health, a gay, open, sweet-tempered expression, but no regular lines of beauty; yet she may turn out a great beauty; and nobody can say what her childish, unformed features might turn out, and her mouth and eyes are very fine. She is fair, and has not the least resemblance to Lord Byron. We invited Lady Byron to tea the Thursday, but she was going to Chamouny and declined, but promised me a visit from Ouchy, where she is going to stay some time.

On giving Edward his allowance the 1st of July we found so far from having saved anything he had spent more than his allowance; I could think of no better plan (that he would follow, that is to say), than to persuade him to go to St Gervais, where he can live for five francs a day and can have nothing to buy, there being no shops of any kind, and an almost impossible thing to get anything from Geneva. He is gone this morning in the diligence, another triumph I gained; he wanting to take a char and to prove to me it was the cheapest way. I was obliged to call Adèle to my assistance to make him go. She came to breakfast with me last Friday, and I entertained her by relating Edward's extravagance. He flew into a passion with me, which I repaid him with interest. After my telling him he was too stupid to understand the meaning of words, and that I would rather beat my head against a stone wall than talk to him, he had the humility to throw his arms around my neck and ask my pardon, as if I, too, had not sinned. To

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say the truth I was ashamed of myself; he has a very sweet, unresenting disposition.

On Friday I went again to Lady Cawdor, and asked her to come and breakfast with us on Sunday or drink tea again on Saturday. She refused both invitations, which gave me great pleasure, but said she would meet me on Sunday at La Boissière. So here ends the plague of my hospitality to her; she is looking still very handsome and was much admired here on Thursday, and at La Boissière on Sunday. Certainly she has the sweetest countenance I ever beheld in a woman of her age. Age generally long before 50 gives us a few wrinkles that look very like frowns; her brow is still smooth and polished as at 20.

Emma Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

COLOGNE, Friday, July 20 [1827].

... Fanny found your letter here. I must say you write the pleasantest letters in the world, because you tell your own feelings and that is what one is most interested about. I shall leave to Fanny to tell you about our delightful journey from Mayence here, because she has much more taste for the beauties of nature than I have. I am sorry for Edward at Gervais, but I have no doubt he will make many bosom friends in a short time, as he always does. I wish I had been by to see you in such a passion, you naughty woman....

After arriving at Maer, Emma wrote (31 July, 1827) that she felt it quite natural to be at home, and that she was very happy, though very idle and dissipated. "Mamma read aloud all the poison for us in your last letter. I suppose she thought M. Moulton's compliments will not ruin us for life. Those cunning old men know that anything about vos aimables nièces will go down with you."

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The Mackintoshes at Maer—A bazaar at Newcastle—Bessy on the Drewe-Prévost affair—The house in York Street sold—The John Wedgwoods abroad—Edward Drewe's marriage—The Mackintoshes at Clapham—Bessy's illness at Roehampton—Harriet Surtees at Chêne—Harry Wedgwood's engagement—A gay week at Woodhouse.

FANNY and Emma found a large party at Maer on their return from Geneva. The aunts Caroline Drewe and Harriet Surtees were there, as well as the Mackintoshes. It was soon after the death of Mr Surtees, and Emma wrote as if before this visit she had scarcely seen her aunt Harriet, whom she thought more like her mother than any of her other aunts. The Mackintoshes had come for a stay of six months. Book-shelves and writing-tables had been specially prepared for Sir James to work at his History. Emma wrote, "Sir James shook hands with me, to my great surprise. He is very pleasant and talkative." Bessy described his bearing the bitter disappointment of getting nothing in Canning's Cabinet1 with calmness and fortitude, and several times mentioned with pleasure that no shade of disagreement had ever interfered with her enjoyment of her sister Kitty's society. Lady Mackintosh was attempting amongst other things to reform Smithfield cattle market, and some very good letters by her on this subject appeared in the Times.

1 Canning's Cabinet of 1827 was composed of Whigs and Tories, and, according to Scarlett, Canning was surprised that Mackintosh was not proposed as one of his colleagues by the Whigs. Mackintosh was shortly afterwards made a Privy Councillor, but it seems that he had not made a sufficient mark as a practical politician, or was regarded as too infirm in health to be fit for any important office. His health had suffered permanently from the Indian climate. In the Whig Government of November, 1830, he was made a Commissioner of the Board of Control.

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Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Monday, Aug. 27, 1827.

Mackintosh is come home after attending poor Canning's funeral. Alas! what a loss he is to all Europe. There were many at the funeral (M. said), who could not control their grief.... M. had a long conversation with Dr Holland about Canning's illness. It was his misfortune, and everybody's misfortune, that he was so pressed by circumstances, that he had not time to be ill. When Dr Holland came to him the first day, Canning said to him, "Dr, I have been struggling with illness these three months, and it has now conquered me." He had had shivering fits for four days, during which he had been giving dinners, and attending to his business. Dr Holland had no hope of him from the first day. On one of these days when he was so ill, he had his Secretary with him at his bedside for three hours over accounts. After he had done he said, "Now let's have a tug at Portugal." "No, sir," said the Secretary, "you have done enough, you must take repose," and he took his advice and fell asleep.

Mackintosh is in very agreeable spirits. I think he finds himself comfortable here, and he is a great acquisition to us in point of society. He generally sits a good while conversing after breakfast, then he goes up to his room for the morning, and we don't see him till dinner. He has his horse here, and rides every day before dinner. He has his own books, and he is established in the middle room upstairs for his study, and he sleeps in the next. In the evening he joins us at tea, and if we have no other company he is very obliging in reading anything we like to us, and he reads so well that it is a great treat. Kitty is also very comfortable; she spends almost all day in her own room and is very busy at her studies, amongst which the newspapers have their usual share, but always on the side of benevolence and humanity.

You take so much interest in my inmost feelings that

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I think you will wish to know how I like my two little girls now that I look with a fresh eye upon them. I think you and my kind Sismondi have done them good, but I don't perceive any marks of spoliation that I rather expected from both your kindness. I perceive that they converse with much more ease than they did, and are quite as unaffected. Emma is a little bronzed, but Fanny is one degree nearer prettiness than she was; but I hope she will never make the mistake of thinking that she is pretty. I must give you the same caution that you did to me when they were with you, which was, not to notice any of my remarks upon themselves; for they would think it hard to be debarred from any part of your letters, and you know how remarks get strength by repetition.

Harriet's [Surtees] income will be too small to allow her to keep house comfortably, but her gentle, cheerful and accommodating disposition will always make her company precious to us all. She has only to chuse where she will be. Her modest docility is so striking that it almost makes one afraid to propose anything to her, for fear of her doing what she would rather not do.

Sir James Mackintosh to his brother-in-law John Allen.

AMPTHILL, PARK, 3 Dec., 1827.

I passed three months at Maer most agreeably in all that depended on the Rulers. Before I went I sometimes suspected that you had all exaggerated the Excellencies of your eldest sister, without going quite so far as to suppose that she was a graven image whom you had set up to fall down before and worship; but I now adopt your Worship. I never saw any other person whose acts of civility or friendship depended so little on Rule or Habit, and were so constantly refreshed from the Wellhead of Kindness with the Infusions of which they seemed to sparkle. Her benignity is indeed most graceful. I used to rally her on the gentlest mistress in England having the noisiest household. Both

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the elder girls1 are excellent, and the second is charming. The rest of the Family are more good than agreeable. I except Hensleigh, who is, I fear, doomed to ill-health.

John Allen and his sister Fanny were at Geneva in the autumn of 1827 en route for Rome. In Madame de Bunsen's Journal to her mother she wrote:

Rome, 29 Nov. 1827.2

The company of Mr Allen is a real pleasure to me. I am more than ever aware of all that is good and excellent and respectable about him, but his foibles have grown old with him as well as his good qualities, and he is as fond as ever of repeating anecdotes of Brooks's: he has however changed the chit-chat of Holland House for that of Woburn, and the names of Scarlett, Brougham, etc., for those of the Russells and the Seymours.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Emma Allen at Cresselly.

MAER, Oct, 31st, 1827.

Having just put your letter in the fire, unread by any save Elizabeth and myself, I proceed to answer it, my ever dear Emma....

It is not like my dear gentle John [Allen] to speak as he does of the Prévost family. We are all accused of a clannish feeling with respect to each other that has a tendency to make us inconsiderate to other people, and I think John's feelings for Caroline [Drewe] blind him, and make him unjust. I was very much amused by a bon mot of Mr. Alderson's, apropos to this subject, which Harriet Gifford told me. Speaking (I believe a little too roughly) on the sort of exclusive feeling that all Caroline's sisters have for her, "I declare," said he, "if I were to break both my legs Mrs Drewe's sisters would only say 'Poor Caroline.""

1 Elizabeth and Charlotte are the two elder girls. Jos, Frank, Fanny, and Emma would be those who are "more good than agreeable."

2 Life and Letters of Frances, Baroness Bunsen, vol. i., p. 294.

VOL. I. 14

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One word more of our clan—my dear Emma, I would not upon any account press Jessie to return with John [Allen]. It would be very unfair to Sismondi, and the opportunity is not a reason strong enough to make him so unhappy as I think her coming would do....

Kitty [Mackintosh] is very busy about a number of good things, and she has been in correspondence with numbers of people. Mackintosh has had one or two fits of giddiness but they did not last a minute, but it has very much interrupted the history, which goes on so slowly that I am quite in despair about it. He can't do much at a time now for fear of his head; he will do nothing after dinner, and he generally takes two walks and a ride in the morning, so that when he is best able there is not much time for it. His spirits are cheerful enough, but the mortification1 has sunk deep, and will not now be cured by anything that is likely to occur. He is in a very amiable humour, and so friendly to me that I have begun to love him. We play a rubber every night, which he enjoys very much, and considering he is a genius, he plays very decently. The Darwins go on Monday. I like them very much, but I shall not be sorry to have our party lessened. There is very little pleasure in what the young ones call a row. Hensleigh is gone, and him we all regret. He and Fanny Mack are great friends and cronies.

All this autumn Maer must have been full to overflowing. Susan and Catherine Darwin came for a month, and Harry appears to have filled up some spare time in flirting with Susan, although his real love was his cousin Jessie, daughter of John Wedgwood.

Emma Wedgwood, now nineteen, was leading a happy, girlish life, taking what parties, balls and archery meetings came in her way. Charlotte and Elizabeth were only too happy to retire from all gaieties in favour of the younger girls. My mother used to tell us that at these balls they had white soup and pikelets for refreshments, and she said it was a work of danger to eat slippery buttery pikelets in ball costume.

1 The mortification of not being given office in Canning's Cabinet.

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Since the Genevan visit, Emma, in writing to Jessie Sismondi, expresses herself with greater warmth and expansiveness than is usual with her, and often signs herself "your affectionate child." Jessie adopted the phrase and from this time forth generally called Fanny and Emma her children.

Emma Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Sunday [April, 1828].


Mamma sent us down your letter some time ago, and we were rejoiced indeed to see your dear handwriting. We did not hear of your illness till we heard you were recovering, but that was not enough to prevent our feeling very uneasy about you....

We have been making a great many things for this Bazaar, which is for building fever wards to the Infirmary, and our heads have been so full of it, that if I don't take care I shall write about nothing else.

Friday. On Tuesday Charlotte, Fanny, and I went to Newcastle to arrange our table.... It looked very nice with some pink calico on the wall behind us, pinned all over with skreens and bags. On Wednesday morning aunt Sarah took two of us in her carriage, very smart in those white hats you are acquainted with, which were of great use. All the world was there, smart people and common people, and the room was so crowded one could hardly stir about. It was very amusing selling, and we sold nearly all our things the first day. Charlotte's drawings came to great honour.... The proceeds of the first day was £700. Our table got £59, of which £34 was our own making. And now we don't mean to mention the name of a bazaar for the next three years.... I am very glad Edward [Drewe] is going to be married in May, I am sure it is much the best thing for him. If I was his mother I should be very glad to have him off my hands. I am going to finish your stool for Edward to take over. The top is the same as the one you have got but the sides are different, which I hope you won't

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mind. Be sure you don't say when you get it, "Well it's a wonder such a little idiot could make a decent stool."

I think a great deal of the delightful winter we spent with you. The part which gives me by far most pleasure to think of is your affection for us, and your and my dear uncle's sympathizing with us in all our pleasures. My dearest aunt Jessie I hope you know how tenderly I love you, but it is no use telling it to you for you will believe it without.

Your affectionate,


Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Wedgwood.

CHÊNE, May 21st [1828].

I have received by Edward your pretty stool, my dear little Emma. You cannot imagine the pleasure it gives me, since I have done nothing but lament my folly in having given away the other to a person who cares nothing about me. I confess this you have sent me is still prettier and admirably worked, and I am at last consoled for the loss of the other, though you can give me no consolation for being a fool.

One always takes liberties with those one loves. I felt I loved you enough and you me to need no assurances of form between us, and put by writing to you as a pleasant task that awaited my leisure. While John and Fanny [Allen] were with me I gave myself a complete holyday. Alas! it was but for one short eight days, but it was more than I had expected, and I felt very grateful and satisfied and enjoyed the week extremely. The good spirits they gave me gave me also strength, and I walked with them sometimes near a mile, tho" I had hardly mounted the staircase without help before they came. Both were pleased with their journey, and John spoke in the highest terms of the incomparable companion he found in Fanny. And well he might, for independent of the attention she pays him and all the care she takes of his health and pleasure, she never gives herself any holyday in her efforts to entertain him.

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I should not call it effort, for her conversation is rich, flowing, spirited, without the least effort; only I mean if he is tired of reading she is always ready to refresh him, and often puts down her book when she would rather read, or walks with him when she would rather sit still. This constant exercise of her understanding keeps it in great force, and I have no doubt she will preserve its power later than any other person, as well as accomplish herself in being the first companion in the world, and by that be the best consoler in sorrow, and the best comforter in sickness. I bore the parting from them better than I could have hoped. I saw the carriage drive out, with the empty place I once hoped to fill, without flinching. But in this I had no merit, I felt I was not strong enough to travel, and I never long for what I cannot do.

The spring has been beautiful; we have greatly enlarged our garden, we have built a new kitchen, we have made a poultry court. M. Pasteur has given me six fine hens that give us fresh eggs every day. I have fifteen merry little chickens, and I spend a great deal of time among them, so that I have changed my mode of living. I have a much more material existence, and perhaps shall find better health in it. My long sickness has retarded my flower-garden, but I mean henceforward to direct the kitchen-garden also, and now that I have a decent kitchen I shall often be head cook. The misfortune is that Sis is no gourmand; he will not thank me for my dainties, or know them as such, and I shall have little encouragement.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

MAER, June 1st, 1828.

... I do love your Sis with all my heart for his kindness in pressing you to invite Edward to your house. Poor lad, I felt very sorry for him during the squally visit I had at Roehampton.1 ... Caroline [Drewe] bothered herself

1 Lady Gifford, Edward Drewe's sister, lived at Roehampton, and Mrs Drewe was often there.

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by asking advice1 after she had acted. I do believe as a general maxim it is far better not to ask advice on most occasions. I am afraid we made her a little angry (certainly we disappointed her) by not being able to see M. Prévost's offer, of taking the young ones in, and making them an allowance, in a very odious point of view; as it seems to us (that is to Jos, Elizabeth, and me) a very natural offer, where money was the obstacle, to remove it if possible; and whatever you may please to think, my Jess, as to her being in love, I dare say her father thinks her éperdument. When I put myself in their place, I cannot feel that I should think much of pleasing the Drewes.

Jos went to London to-day about selling his house in York Street.2 He has long been thinking of doing so, as it has not answered for some years, but the procrastination natural to an uncertain step has hitherto stopt him. I don't know whether it is a prudent thing or not, for I really am in entire ignorance of Jos's finances, nor do I believe he knows his own income, but he says the produce of the works was deficient in a very large sum last year. Still he is so perfectly at his ease that I am not afraid. I don't believe we are in any danger, and I believe if we were to be much poorer than we are, it would take very little from the happiness of any of us. My poor Hal is the one I feel most anxious about. I begin to despair of his making anything like a competence at the bar, and I believe he has set his heart upon his cousin [Jessie Wedgwood], as many others have done before him in vain. Hensleigh is I think very heart whole, but he is much more likely to succeed in his profession. He has two or three years more in store and he is more industrious; I believe also he has more talent. It is a great thing for us that with four grown-up sons they are none of them extravagant. What should we do if they were? Frank is an excellent fellow, he is right-

1 As to her son Edward's immediate marriage without waiting till he came into his estate.

2 The London show-rooms. It was on the east side of the southern end of the street and afterwards became a chapel. Mr Stopford Brooke preached there for many years. It was sold for £16,000.

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minded, steady, and just what an English merchant (if you can call him such) ought to be, exact to punctilio in all his dealings, active and industrious. My daughters are also excellent. As I conceal nothing from you, I may confess that my hopes of seeing them happily settled in life diminish every year, and are now grown very flat. But these are worldly views, and I hope they will also every year give way to something better, and if we cannot turn the tide of prosperity our own way, I hope we may learn to be content without it. All this is under the rose. They are all too greedy after any letters of yours to let me easily keep them to myself; therefore take no notice. You will I daresay have heard from Jenny [Mrs John Wedgwood] from Havre. I am very sorry they are gone abroad, because I fear the expense for them and they do not know how to do upon a little. I am a little vexed and mortified that they have given up all thoughts of settling in Staffordshire. Jenny and I have lived many years in close neighbourhood without the shadow of disagreement or coolness, and I should like to have tried once more and finished our lives so. Many loves from here to you and Sis, and pray give my love to poor Ned. Ever yours, dearest of the dear, E. W.

The John Wedgwoods were a much-wandering family. In the summer of this year they were at Honfleur in Normandy, and by the autumn in Geneva, where they remained, either with or near the Sismondis, for about eight months. In the summer of 1829 they were in Italy, and on getting back to England settled themselves for a time in a house, "The Hill," near Abergavenny.

In June 1828 the Drewe-Prévost engagement ended by the lovers marrying. Bessy, in the many discussions on this subject, was characteristically calm as compared with the impetuous Jessie. After their marriage the breeze calmed down, so far at least as the letters show, and Adèle was warmly welcomed by her mother-in-law when they came to England.

The Mackintoshes had now made a home at Clapham near their friends the Thorntons. Harriet Surtees, who visited all her sisters in her widowhood, was described as having recovered her health and beauty. Kitty Mackintosh

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persuaded her to leave off her widow's cap and curl her hair again. Bessy wrote (Dec. 4, 1828): "Mr Henry Thornton is her great admirer, and says she has the sweetest expression when she speaks and smiles that he ever saw, and a gentleness and timidity of manner that is very charming."

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Oct. 6, 1828.

We have had John [Allen] with us for a fortnight, and he was as cheerful and as agreeable as ever I saw him; there are three of our family that never grow old, and he is one.1 It happened, as usual, that we had the house full of cousins, but I contrived to get a little driving and a little riding with John, very much to my satisfaction, and in the evening he always seemed pleased with the girls" music. My own anxious heart sometimes played its usual tricks in damping my own enjoyment, under my fears of not making it agreeable to him, but this is a malady of my own which I believe will never leave me.

Jos makes a very comfortable report of the Mackintoshes" house at Clapham, and I think it is the best hit they have made at all. I am particularly pleased that Fanny [Mackintosh] is fallen into friendship with the Thorntons and Inglises, as they are very good people. She writes here very often and her letters are particularly agreeable. I may well be interested about her, for I think she and Hensleigh will never help falling in love with each other, so much as they are together.

Emma is going down with Miss Morgan to pay a visit to the Miss Aclands at Clifton. Her manners are in her favour, and she is more popular than any of my girls. Her manners to men are very much to my taste, for they are easy and undesigning without coquetry. Charlotte is too distant, and Fanny a little stiff. Elizabeth is very agreeable in my eyes, but she wants personal attraction, and she and Char-

1 Meaning, I believe, besides her brother, Jane Wedgwood and Jessie Sismondi.

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lotte give way to the two young ones in amusements and going out....

About this visit of Emma's to Clifton, Catherine Darwin wrote (28 Sept., 1828), "I have no doubt your going to Clifton will answer to you, as you have an unfeigned passion for gaiety and novelty in my opinion."

In the winter of 1828–9, the Wedgwoods had for the first time a regular pair of carriage horses, which was a great pleasure to Bessy, and Emma wrote to her aunt Jessie that her mother will "tire the roads driving about." It seems strange that living with so much comfort and exercising so much hospitality this luxury should not have been hers till she was 64 years old.

In March 1829 Bessy went up to London with her husband, staying a night at his lodgings in Palace Yard, and going on the next day to visit Lady Mackintosh at Clapham. Hensleigh came to act the part of a daughter to her, and do her little errands. His mother wrote: "Dear Hensleigh, I don't wonder some people like him, he is so sociable and so pleasant. He has just been buying me a sash and a watch-ribbon to save me the going out, which I never like to do in London except in my coach."

After the visit to Clapham, Bessy went to her niece Lady Gifford at Roehampton. While there she had a mysterious seizure from which it was feared at first she would not recover. The anxiety about her illness continued for some time, and they were thankful as soon as she was able to return home.

Harry Wedgwood to his sister Emma.

19th June [1829].


... Jos will carry you this, having taken his dose of dissipation with the rest of the world, I don't think he has seen much, certainly not when compared with the never-enough-to-be-sufficiently-fatigued Darwins and even they have not seen the first of all London sights, Greenwich. I had the melancholy task of seeing them out of London and though Susan had hypocritically dressed herself in black, a merrier parting never took place—the young ladies were all in roars of laughter as they came downstairs and we drove

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off for Islington in a coronetted Jarvey; as we came through Oxford Street I saw a chariot with better horses (ours were miserable) so I tumbled them both out into the street with their bags &c. in their hands and trans-shipped them—the Jarvey must have thought it a manœuvre to puzzle pursuers. At Islington we drank tea in a lively apartment looking down five different roads and there I washed my hands of them. Edward Holland did not come back from Glostershire till the next day, when he was pleased to express his regret at not having returned before their departure in very handsome terms. Neither of them will ever be mistress of Dumbleton, nor you nor I either. I am sure that he will make an alliance in Glostershire. As to his two sisters I have seen more of them lately than ever and I have made up my mind that if Mrs Holland should object to let me have both of them—but this is premature. Last Thursday I went to the uproar [opera] with a party which would have been a very pleasant one but in came Miss Defil and she played the devil with the party for a more odious little piece of clockwork I never saw; she neither smiled nor sneezed nor "asked if our tea was to our liking," and I will lay 10 to a little, that when they come to cut her up under the new anatomy bill they will find that her heart beats with a horizontal escapement. Malibran was Susannah and Sontag the Countess. Hensleigh and one of the Mr Defils came up from the Pit (where Devils are generally supposed to come from); this one seems to me to think Charlotte Holland worth cultivating, which pleases her; the worst thing about him is that he says ve'y cu'ious if you know what that means, but perhaps that may be only his spring voice for Greenwood tells me that all the men who come to town in the spring leave their country voices behind them with their velveteen jackets. Conclusion: I hate all male and female cockneys and, as Goldsmith says, "my heart unmetropolized fondly turns to" my country cousins. There never was any one so improved as Catherine [Darwin]. Even in looks, as well as internal matters, she stands very high in my list. I always thought Cuthbert Romilly an ass

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but his saying that young ladies are worth nothing after 18 shows that he is the grandfather of stupidity himself.... I envy you two things at this season the peonies and the aunts. I am afraid they will both be out of season and gone when I get home, which I mean to do on the 7th July for a bankruptcy meeting. Give my love to all. I have ordered skulls,1 do you want any brains? Your affectionate brother H. A. W.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Wedgwood.

CHÊNE, July 9th, 1829.

At last I have time to thank you, dearest little Emma, for your sweet letter. It gave me great pleasure in many ways. First and foremost that your affection to me is so vivid that you need the expressing of it now and then. Be certain that you excite my gratitude and warm my love to you whenever I see your handwriting, and read your affectionate expressions. We returned last Sunday evening from "sending" the John Wedgwoods, if you know the Cresselly expression, as far as Interlaken. I enjoyed the journey while with them exceedingly, in spite of much bad weather. The return I was more than melancholy, so that the rain, which poured on us for the greatest part of the way, was indifferent to me. After I had got back to Thun, I found I might have finished the day with my beloveds without prolonging our stay from home, and without increasing our expenses. I was in despair and odiously disagreeable to Sis for the greatest part of the way back. My spirits began to cheer at Bulle, and from Château St Denis to Vevay I was again in great enjoyment. But that was Saturday afternoon, and I had been odious since Wednesday one o'clock, when I parted from the dear ones who had made the last 8 months so happy, and who had cured me of all my ails. On Sunday we returned from Vevay in the steamboat, having been absent ten days and spent sixteen napoleons. My good health gives me now such strong spirits that little

1 Probably sculls for the boats on Maer Pool.

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makes me gay and nothing long sad. Lady Davy1 came a few hours after our return. I suffered her to go away to her inn without inviting her to return to us. I fancied I saw that she was disappointed; it is painful to disappoint people's expectation of you, and I felt uneasy; and yesterday when we dined with her at her inn and saw that she was melancholy, solitary, nervous, I prest her to return to us, and she comes on Saturday to breakfast. If the weather permits we are going another little tour with her.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Emma Allen.

MAER, Sept. 3rd, 1829.

... Jessie [Wedgwood] is I think prettier than I ever saw her, and she really is uncommonly pretty. She went with us to the Archery on Thursday last, and was very much admired; and what is more, she got the first prize, a beautiful pair of earrings. I had the three prizes in my possession at setting out, in right of my office of Lady Patroness, and I narrowly escaped bringing them all back again as I did before, but luckily by a little juggling between Fanny and Emma, they contrived to let Mrs Meeke in for the last prize. Fanny was entitled to the two first prizes, but it being a law that they were not to go to the same person, Fanny made her election for the second prize, which gave Jessie the first. It is comical enough that even a visitor at Maer should be so successful, as in the case of both Jessie and Miss Acland. As for Fanny and Emma, they are quite dragonesses, but nothing pleased me so much in their success, as the sincerity with which they tried to waive their glories in favour of the

1 Lady Davy had been a widow a few months. Her late husband, Sir Humphry Davy, the famous chemist, was an early friend of Josiah and Tom Wedgwood, who made his acquaintance in 1797, when he was only a doctor's boy at Penzance, and he afterwards helped Tom in his photographic work. Lady Davy was a olever and brilliant woman and made a figure in London society. She was a brunette of brunettes, and Sydney Smith, one of her admirers, used to say she was "as brown as a dry toast." Faraday said of her, her temper made "it oftentimes go wrong with me, with herself and with Sir Humphry." She died in 1855.

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other competitors; and nothing pleased my little Emma so much as losing the second prize which was so near being judged in her favour. Perhaps they carried their scruples further than necessary, but there was a delicacy in the feeling that I could not but feel pleased with. Miss Acland is gone, very much to my satisfaction, but don't tell Harry I said so. Flirting girls are dreadful bad company, and make everybody that comes within their influence very bad company also.... Jenny received a letter from Jessie last week, in which she describes her sufferings at not having heard from any of us in almost frantic terms; and it has put me on the stool of repentance for my part of the neglect. Her feelings turned upon not hearing from Harriet for twenty days after the 1st of August, when she said she was positively to begin her journey. Jessie was convinced that she was either dead, or too ill to begin her journey. I am really very sorry that our Jessie is so much the victim of her feelings, and these feelings are unreasonable, for if either of these two misfortunes had happened she must have heard. She said that when the first letter (after 7 weeks) came from Jenny, she tore it all to pieces in her nervous efforts to open it; and for some time she could not read it for tears. I take blame to myself for having been so long in writing, but then I had no conception but that she was hearing within the usual intervals from some one or other of us. She now proposes that we should all write at stated times, and she has allotted me the 15th, or from that to the 20th of each month, and I intend to follow that suggestion and begin from this present month....

Madame Sismondi to Elizabeth Wedgwood.

CHÊNE, October 16 [1829].

You have probably seen in the newspapers what a loss Geneva and we have had in the death of Dumont.1 The loss is irreparable and we are in despair. The body was

1 See note, p. 169.

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embalmed and brought here and buried on Tuesday, the whole town following as mourners. I never knew a mind so rich, a conversation so inexhaustible, a person so full of anecdote, of which he never repeated, not indeed enough to please my taste. I like a twice-told tale very much. The ranks of those I love thin most rapidly here, and there are none rising to fill their places. We are in great anxiety for Mme de Staël's1 little one; it is dangerously ill. I saw her a short time before she set out for Broglie, hanging so fondly over it, saying it was more than life to her, laying before us all her plans for his education and happiness. She appeared to me so amiable, so sensible, I envied her for Caroline [Drewe] since she had come so near her for her daughter-in-law. The child had fallen downstairs and though he was not hurt at all, she had been long unwell from terror. I feel so interested for her I cannot help mingling her in my prayers for those I love, in this cruel trial. Harriet [Surtees] received a letter from Fanny Mackintosh from Broglie. I admire Fanny M.'s letters very much, they are simple, very sensible, very affectionate, and agreeable from a constant appearance of good and right feeling in them. She and her father were also without letters from Kitty,2 so that I cannot guess what is become of her. I think she must be on the road....

I think Harriet much improved in looks since she has been here, her oldness begins to wear off a little. It might perhaps have been a good deal owing to the journey, for nothing gives so worn a look as travelling. During my ill health, it was often a pleasure to me to feel myself the weakest part of the chain. I have lost that pleasure now, but in revenge I have such a feeling of well-being, of gaiety, youth, health, &c. I cannot regret it: I can regret nothing. I have not had such feelings since long before I left Cresselly for the first time. Harriet is so associated with the merri-

1 The daughter-in-law of the famous Mme de Staël. Edward Drewe had been attracted by her, as Mlle Vernet before her marriage, during his long stay in Geneva (1826–7).

2 Lady Mackintosh was much out of health and was coming to stay with Mme de Sismondi.

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ment, folly, nonsense of my childhood, that she has brought it all back to me; and a wise person would sometimes think us drunk, if they heard all the nonsense and laughter we give way to. Sismondi looks astonished, confounded, tho" pleased, and asks the meaning of things to which there is none. That passes his comprehension, but he laughs nevertheless from our merriment. Dearest little Sad, she is not a bit afraid of him, and I trust will recover her nerves entirely in such perfect repose as she will find here from all that can agitate her. She has no dislike at all to our soirées, she makes tea for me sometimes, and looks tranquil and at her ease at them. We begin now to be solitary, and I expect no company for the next three months. It is a time of year I enjoy exceedingly....

In November Harry Wedgwood's long courtship of his cousin, Jessie Wedgwood, was crowned with success.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Emma Allen.

26 Nov. 1829.

... Harry will now have a stronger motive than ever he had before to apply, and I am sure he will be content with a little if he can make her happy, which I hope to God he will do....

My little Emma is gone up with Harry to pay Fanny Mackintosh a visit, and I have only just heard of her arrival at Clapham, and seeing the dining-room all lighted up as she drove into the court, and the Historian himself in full discourse (as she saw through the window) with a party of gentlemen. Emma, however, desired to be shown up to Mrs Rich's room [Fanny's step-sister], where she had a very comfortable cup of tea and dish of chat with her. Fanny came up to ask Emma whether she would come down and see Mr Wilberforce and Mr Whishaw and Mr R. Grant, all which she declined, and I dare say Mackintosh thought her a great fool for doing so....

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Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Feb. 15, 1830.

... Jos is gone to London but he did not leave a very flourishing house behind, most of the family being more or less teased with colds. Charlotte's is the worst, having been confined a fortnight, and she is now sitting up on the sopha in her Night-Cap and Bed-gown, looking the goodest person you ever saw, and reading Lovers" Vows1 for the improvement of her mind.

Harry very often comes over to see us, and seems very content in making his preparations there2 at a snail's pace. I wish he may succeed in making it comfortable for Jessie, but one of his last performances has been buying a new hearth-rug for the dining-room, black and white, and by his own account it looks like a pall—I think I must take it off his hands. I am reading Madame de Maintenon's letters, and though I have neither respect nor admiration for her character, I find so many sentiments and feelings that I have myself experienced, that I find a good deal of enjoyment in running through them.

I have the greatest love and admiration of Eliza's character, yet I own it has not been raised by the manner in which she has seemed to feel her sister's marriage, because it seems to me so unreasonable. If two sisters live together one must marry first, or both must remain single for the other's sake, which would be a preposterous supposition....

The following letter is undated but may be put at about 1830. In that year Catherine Darwin was 20 and Susan 27 years old. The Owens of Woodhouse, as has been said, were intimate friends of the Darwins.

1 The Lover's Vows is the play acted in Mansfield Park. "Do not act anything improper, my dear, Sir Thomas would not like it. Fanny, ring the bell; I must have my dinner," said Lady Bertram, when it was under discussion.

2 At Etruria Hall, where they were to live, shutting up what rooms they did not need. They married in October, 1830.

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Catherine Darwin to her cousin Emma Wedgwood.



Susan and I are just returned from our rackety week, and my head is in a most rackety state. As my frank is for to-morrow,1 it will be very pleasant to send you a true and sober account of it all. Tuesday, I took Susan to Woodhouse and then went on to Tedesmere,2 where I found but a small party, as they had had various disappointments. I was so comfortably at my ease from being the only young lady, and it was so little formal, that I rather enjoyed it. I had a most delightful ball and danced every dance as long as I was there. I found the Woodhouse immense party great comforts, and not at all formidable. Certainly an Oswestry ball is far better than the Shrewsbury ones. It is a little room and nobody is formal, no grandees, and always plenty of gentlemen, that first of all considerations. The next morning I was delighted to change the Baron's abode for Woodhouse. The Owens sent their pony carriage over for me. There was an immense party there. We had all kinds of games and dancing till 12, when Mr Owen instantly dissolved the party. They were all rather tired after the ball, and I did not myself think it half so delightful as it describes, and I suspect nothing ever is so pleasant in reality as it is in description. It is hardly possible for common mortals in my opinion to wind up their spirits to the Woodhouse pitch; more than half the gentlemen indeed were a little too much stimulated. I enjoyed a great deal of it however very much, and there was a great deal of laughing and fun. There was the most immense party at dinner on Friday. There were a number of people invited to dinner, under the belief that the former party in the house would be gone by that time, but when

1 A member of Parliament franking a letter was bound to write on it the date (in words), and the name of the addressee, and the frank was good for that date only.

2 The Bulkeley Owens.

VOL. I.15

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Friday morning came the Owens pressed the Leightons and us so much to stay that we did till to-day. It was a grand puzzle how in the world to dine 29; it was at last settled to have two side-tables, each of 6; 2 gentlemen, a President and Vice-President, and 4 ladies. We drew lots for our places, and each had a ticket; the rival side-tables betted who could make most noise. Of course each party stand up for themselves; we certainly had famous fun this evening. There were quantities of waltzing, dancing, games, &c. till about 1, when the Leightons drove home to Shrewsbury. The whole party I should think must be pretty well fagged to-day, as this has gone on for nearly a week. Fanny Owen was the belle. I do not wonder, for I never saw such a charming girl altogether as she is. Susan was in her glory and in violent spirits. She would call this a most unfair account of things if she was to see it, and would send you a far more flaming description. I should think that I enjoyed it about half as much as she did. At last my journal is come to an end. I have just heard from Charles to say that he comes home on Monday, and I am so glad to find that he likes the Foxes as much as I did, as he says, "that they are all perfect." I am afraid you will hear as much about them from him, as you did from me. Good-bye, dear Emma, my best love to my dear old Fan.

Ever yours, E. C. DARWIN.

I have just been talking to Susan over our gay doings and she has just said "what a delightful visit I have had. I never enjoyed anything like it—so gay—we never talked a word of common sense all day." Guaranteed by me. Susan gives leave for this anecdote.

My father told many stories of all that went on at Wood-house. He was very fond of all the Owens, and he had evidently been greatly attracted by Fanny Owen. He told me once how charming she looked when she insisted on firing off one of their guns, and showed no sign of pain though the

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kick made her shoulder black and blue. I was then only a child, but I can still remember the expression of his face, and the very place where he stood in Stonyfield at Down. He was a great favourite with Mr Owen, a peppery and despotic squire of the old school.1 The household was large and not always very orderly. Mr Owen used to hear, or imagined he heard, people walking about late at night; so he determined to trap them and piled up a mass of crockery at the top of the stairs. Hearing a noise late at night, he went out to catch the offender and be ready for the crash, but forgetting exactly where his trap was laid, himself sent all the crockery flying down the stairs, causing Mrs Owen to laugh so much that he went into a furious passion. Another of my father's stories was of how Mr Owen heard a noise of some sort in the middle of the night, and got up and looked out of his window. There he saw a woman sitting on some steps leading into the garden. So he went off to call one of his sons known as a fleet runner, and told him to go and catch this unknown woman. As soon as they approached the window, off set the woman and off set young Mr Owen after her. But as he got near, he perceived it was one of the under-servants, and telling her to run for her life, he promised he would not catch her, knowing that she would be dismissed on the spot if he brought her back. Great, as may be imagined, was Mr Owen's wrath and scorn when his son came back alone, much blown, and saying he hadn't been able to catch the girl. Her story was that she had come home too late and was sitting outside till the morning. The truth was never revealed to Mr Owen.

The following letter illustrates the increased luxury in our habits of living. It must be remembered that Dr Darwin was earning at this time a large income.

Catherine Darwin to her cousin Fanny Wedgwood.

SHREWSBURY, Thursday Evening [Dec., 1830].

... There is a spell in this house against my being ever really and deliciously quiet. I cannot help being all day long in a fidget and a bustle and making myself a great many little things to think of. I am sure you will feel the

1 I was told that he once thrashed one of his grown-up sons so severely that his son was in bed for a fortnight.

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full delight for me of what Papa has very good-naturedly given me leave to have; a fire for the morning in his Bedroom upstairs, which I have made very snug. I have only had my Boudoir one morning, and then did enjoy it supremely. I found the Dining Room quite unbearable, so desolate—and this scheme is not quite so extravagant as it sounds, as I hope there will not be a fire in the Dining Room, when we are quite alone, till dinner time. I feel myself bound to make all apologies for such a piece of indulgence....

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Lady Mackintosh's death—Sir James Mackintosh a member of the Board of Control—Hensleigh Wedgwood engaged to Fanny Mackintosh—Elizabeth in London—The second reading of the Reform Bill—A meeting between Wordsworth and Jeffrey—Josiah Wedgwood defeated at Newcastle—Edward and Adèle Drewe—Fear of cholera—Mrs Patterson and Countess Guiccioli.

LADY MACKINTOSH had left home in the autumn of 1829, and after staying in Paris for a time, went to Chêne to be with her sister Jessie. She died there on the 6th May, 1830, from what appeared to have been a paralytic seizure.

Madame Sismondi to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

[CHÊNE], May 25th, 1830.

[After speaking of Lady Mackintosh's illness.]

She was, too, so little demonstrative herself that one could never shew her the little caressing tendernesses that others are continually exciting and which she seemed to disdain, tho" I have reason to think she did not in reality, but would have been cheered and comforted in accepting. One evening that we had been sitting up together very late.... Harriet [Surtees] affected to leave her by herself at that hour, threw her arms round her neck and kissed her as she wished her good night. She never answered, never returned it, never looked at her. Yet the next morning she told me she had felt it tenderly. Her faults of temperament were redeemed by many great and noble virtues, and I cannot but think her death, thus sudden and

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without suffering, is a most merciful dispensation. She could neither make herself nor others happy, and I dreaded the future (which must necessarily have darkened more and more on her as she advanced) so much, that it seems to me as if a great evil was withdrawn from me, in its being denied to her. If she could have got Fanny [her daughter] out to her I think she had some vague notion of never returning. The suspicion of this, that the pains in her limbs were exaggerated for this purpose, made me slow to perceive her real ails and hardened my feelings towards her. The event has shown how unjust I was in my suspicions, and I now believe she made very light of the fore-running symptoms of her terrible disorder. Here, dearest Bessy, is my remorse, and that is really my sorrow for her, and not that she has escaped from a life her many virtues and her great means of happiness failed of making happy to her. The disorder had been stealing on all the winter and was clearly no one stroke....

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

MAER, 17 June, 1830.

... I feel exactly as you do. I go back to think over what I could have done to have made her happier, and I am sad when I think that she was less cordial to me the last year, and that I might have done more for her. But for you, my beloved, it is the hardest thing in the world that you should suffer from these feelings. If any suspicion crossed your thoughts that there was more perverseness than malady in our poor sister's state, it must have been involuntary, and if you never gave it vent to herself, it cannot be a matter of reproach to you. I am witness that as far as one could judge from her letters she was perfectly satisfied with everything at your house, and I grieve now at having burnt her last letter, because it was written in so cheerful a mood that I should now derive comfort in reading it, perfectly collected and expressing but one regret that Fanny had not joined her....

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In November, 1830, Sir James Mackintosh, after being often passed over, was offered by Lord Grey an appointment as member of the Board of Control1—a place that his friends thought unworthy of his talents. Charles Greville wrote: "If he had not been a man 'whom no sense of wrongs could move to vengeance" he would have flung the India Board in Lord Grey's face when he was insulted with the offer of it."2 And Jessie Sismondi wrote (5 Feb., 1831): "I felt bitterly the place his friends had found for him, and shed tears, not of a soft nature for him, but of rage against his soi-disant friends. His has been a life sown thick with mortifications, notwithstanding that he was gifted high enough to have bid defiance at least to that feeling."

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Madame Sismondi.

THE HILL. [The John Wedgwoods" house near Abergavenny.] Nov. 22, 1830.

I am coming now into order, my dearest Jessie, and this is very near my old days for writing, but I have left your last letter in my desk at home, so that if any part of it requires an answer, it must stand over to next month. Meantime I shall begin telling. We are all agog about the late extraordinary change of Ministry,3 it was such a surprize that I don't think anyone on either side expected it the least, nor I suppose would it have happened if his Highness's troops had been sufficiently upon guard, as in that case they would not have been in a minority. I shall run the risk of tiring you by repetition in naming the new Ministry as they now are, but nobody can guess how long it may stand. Fanny [Allen] had a letter from Mackintosh last night, and I will copy what he says for your information, he is now in little lodgings in Madox Street:

1 The home government of the East India Company consisted of the Court of Proprietors, the Court of Directors, and the Board of Control. The President of the Board of Control might be called Secretary of State for the affairs of India, and practically conducted the business, but rarely calling upon his colleagues for assistance.

2 Greville's Diaries, Vol. iii., p. 317.

3 The resignation of the Duke of Wellington's Tory Ministry, 16 Nov., and the formation of the Whig Ministry under Lord Grey, which ultimately carried the great Reform Act. Lord Grey became Prime Minister 17 Nov.

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"Never was there an event so singular as the overthrow of the Duke by the first resolution1 of a H. of C. chosen under his reign. It is probable that if he and his accomplices had done their worst, they might have delayed it. But from despairing of more than a fortnight's painful struggle it is likely that they were wearied into submission. Some of the minority were so stupid as not to be aware of the consequence of their votes to their friends in power. Brougham has in the last 18 days shown his strength and his lunacy. He had a dreadful scene with Lord Grey the exact object of which I could not make out. But after an altercation so violent, and such language of disregard towards the new ministers in the H. of C. by B., it was thought impossible that he should now join them. At ten o'clock last night I received a note from Lady Holland closing with these words, marked as I shall mark them. Brougham is Chancellor!!! Brougham's possession of the Great Seal has, I am told by Dr Holland, produced the most intense alarm among lawyers and parsons. With him he brings rashness and odium, but without him in either house there could not have been a fortnight's administration. Lord Melbourne, a lazy and singular man, will be a bad secretary in the Home department.... Every living soul thinks that Lyndhurst would have been a scandal."

So far Mackintosh's letter, which I have copied thinking it would at once let you into the state of things, and as I suppose it is confidential you may perhaps avoid quoting M.'s name to any English or foreigners who would repeat him over again. I must add that M. himself has the appointment of a seat in the Board of Control under Charles Grant, who is President. This last is not quite as we could have wished for him, but it is £1,500 per an., and it would be senseless to grumble at getting the £10,000 prize in the Lottery because we do not get the £20,000; and he will have solid comfort, and leisure in his present appoint-

1 The motion by Sir Henry Parnell on the Civil List, which was carried against Wellington's Ministry on 15 Nov., by a majority of 29. The new Parliament had been elected on the death of George IV. whilst Wellington was Prime Minister.

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ment. They now talk of taking a furnished house for a year, and I hope they will not launch out too much at first, as considering the "alacrity in sinking" that the Whigs possess, another turn of the wheel may again put them at the bottom.

My coming here was a start of my own. Caroline [Drewe] is in good spirits for her. She has been much gratified by Edward's affectionate and really proper behaviour on many occasions, and I am sure it will be a very great increase to her happiness to have him and his children and Adèle at Grange. Edward is quite adored (Car. says) in the neighbourhood by all his poor tenants and neighbours, from his gracious manners, shaking hands with them after Church, &c. In short he seems to have done all he had to do in the best possible way....

He had recently inherited the Grange estate. Apropos to some trouble he got into from following his brother-in-law Baron Alderson's advice, Bessy wrote (27 Dec., 1830): "I have more than once observed that advice does mischief, I suppose because the adviser feels no responsibility and therefore shabby feelings operate without the drawback of self-reproach."

In 1831 Hensleigh became formally engaged to his cousin Fanny Mackintosh. The following letter from Elizabeth was written during a visit to the Mackintoshes. Mrs Rich, a daughter of Mackintosh by his first wife, was now a widow and lived with him. Her husband had died at Shirâz, and Mrs Rich's hair went snowy white, it was said, the night after his death.

Elizabeth Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

14, GREAT CUMBERLAND STREET, March 27, 1831.


I have been here enjoying myself very much these last five weeks. It has been a most interesting time to be at head quarters, and very pleasant quarters they are. Sir James, in spite of being up almost every night till near 4 o'clock, looks quite a different man from what he was

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last year, and says himself that he has not felt so well for six years.

The two nights of the struggle on the second reading of the Reform Bill, Fanny [Mackintosh] went down to Mrs Robert Grant's, which is in George Street just by the House of Commons, to be at hand to hear the result, and to receive bulletins from the Thorntons in the ventilator. It was amusing to see how interested even Mrs R. G.'s servants were—the housemaid coming in "if you please ma'am John has just been over, and Lord Mahon was speaking against." I sat up for them at home as long as I could, but could not last till 4 in the morning; but even at that hour there was a crowd about the House of Commons who cheered the reform members as they came out. I have never seen near so much of Mrs Rich before and I like her very much. She must once, I am sure, have been a very lively person, and now is one of the most agreeable people in a tête-à-tête I ever saw. She is quite cheerful and talks more before her father than she used to do. She has her own line of acquaintance among whom she is very much engaged. She has taken me four Fridays to hear Mr Scott1 (whom she delights in) preach in Miss Farrer's2 drawing room. I now despair of much liking him, which I should like to be able to do as much as she does; but he seems to me to try too much to put things in an uncommon point of view, and to get into regions that we can know nothing about. He prays, and reads a chapter and then speaks his discourse, which is certainly a very striking piece of oratory. Another little society of five or six ladies that Mrs Rich belongs to meet once a week to read the Bible

1 Alexander John Scott (1805—1866) had been a minister of the Scotch church, and at one time an assistant of Edward Irving. He was ejected from the pastorate of the Scotch church at Woolwich, but remained there some years preaching to a little congregation of his own disciples. Later he became the first Principal of Owens College, Manchester. He was a man of great mental power, great learning, and a singularly impressive personality, as we know from the testimony of various notable persons, Carlyle, Bunsen, Frederick Maurice, George Macdonald, Fanny Kemble, and others.

2 Aunt of the first Lord Farrer.

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and pray together; in short I think it is growing into a very religious world. The only thing I think is a pity is the number of people who believe in the Scotch miracles [Edward Irving], and the number of people who perform them. There are at least half a dozen other people, some maid servants and some ladies, who speak with tongues, besides the Port Glasgow people, and when Mrs Rich gives one the accounts with the solemnity of perfect belief in them herself, one is almost infected by it oneself.

Fanny had a grand dinner yesterday, Bishop Copleston,1 Sir T. Denman (whom I admire very much—he has all the dignity of virtue in his look and manner), Jeffrey, Lord Nugent and Sheil, and for ladies Lady Gifford and Miss Thornton. There was a party in the evening too which was made memorable by bringing Wordsworth and Jeffrey together. When Sir James proposed to Mr Wordsworth to introduce them to one another he did not agree to it: "We are fire and water," he said, "and if we meet we shall only hiss—besides he has been doing his utmost to destroy me." "But he has not succeeded,"2 Sir James said, "and he really

1 The grand dinner was as follows: Bishop Copleston (of Llandaff), 1776—1849, was a strong Tory, famous for his bodily strength and activity. He wrote a parody on the early numbers of the Edin. Rev. "full of the finest irony." Sir Thomas Denman (1779—1854), Attorney-general, afterwards Lord Chief Justice. He was "gifted with a handsome face, a winning, though shy, manner, an exquisite voice, and a tall and active figure." The well-known Francis Jeffrey (1773—1850), founder of the Edin. Rev., and then Lord Advocate in Lord Grey's ministry. Lord Nugent (1788—1850), younger son of the first Marquis of Buckingham, M.P. for Aylesbury, an extreme whig and supporter of Queen Caroline. Richard Lalor Sheil (1791—1851), dramatist and Irish politician. The ladies were also distinguished. Lady Gifford, the eldest of the handsome Miss Drewes, and Marianne Thornton, a woman of remarkable character, one of the well-known Thorntons of Clapham, handsome, dignified, witty, and an admirable talker.

2 Wordsworth would of course think of Jeffrey as the man who had done all that critical authority could do to bring to naught the work of his life. It may be said that Jeffrey is now best remembered by the "This will never do!" with which (seventeen years before this time the Edinburgh Review had saluted the appearance of the Excursion. He had heaped like contempt on the two little volumes of 1807 wherein the world had read for the first time the Ode to Duty, the Song of the Feast of Brougham Castle, and the Ode on Intimations of Immortality.

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is one of your greatest admirers," and upon that he took Mr Wordsworth by the shoulders and turned him round to Jeffrey and left them together. They immediately began talking, and Sir James came very proud to tell us what he had done, and to fetch us to see them; and Mr Wordsworth looked very happy and complacent. Mr Lockhart said it was the best thing he ever saw done. The two enemies liked one another's company so much, that when the rest of the party broke up at past 11, they remained talking together with Sir James, discussing poets, orators, and novelists, till one o'clock, with Mr Sheil listening with all his ears, and Mr Empson1 and Fanny and Uncle Baugh as audience. I, alas! was obliged to carry my head to bed. Sir James enjoyed his two hours" talk very much.

My father is attending the Canal meetings in New Palace Yard. He has got his little mare with him, which makes him take it very patiently and prevents his falling sick. He is going down to Maer and his Water-works the end of this week, but I mean to let him go without me. Now I am in this bustle I like to stay and see a little more of it. But the thing I am most anxious to hear is the debate on Tuesday on Slavery. Macaulay's speech on the reform bill almost made me cry with admiration, and I expect his speech on so much more interesting a subject to be the finest thing that ever was heard. It is most unfortunate for this question that it should come on now. Who has leisure to listen to the still small voice of justice in the midst of such a turmoil? And what ought this nation to expect at the hand of God but calamities and disgraces as long as we will not hear it, and suffer those daily murders to go on? Fanny has just been reading a little of one of Jeffrey's reviews of Wordsworth, and W. really shewed no small degree of placability in his good fellowship with him last night....

1 William Empson (1791—1852), Editor of the Edinburgh Review from 1847 and successor to Mackintosh as Professor of "Polity and the Laws of England" at Haileybury. Brougham called him a bad imitation of Macaulay.

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In the spring of 1831 Josiah Wedgwood stood for Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her sister Emma Allen. (At Mrs Holland's, New Norfolk St., Park Lane.)

MAER, May 11, 1831.

... I thank you very much, my dear sisters, for the warmth with which you have taken up our cause. I am not less warm on yours and if you [John Allen] had come in at Pembroke, I should have been consoled for being thrown out at Newcastle. As it is, I think Jos is very little disappointed; it is not a pleasant situation to be baffled, but it was so much on public grounds that he stood, that his personal feeling is not much, and I believe what he has belongs to the gentlemen who have brought him in. However the election was carried on with no unnecessary expense, as it seemed by mutual understanding, as there was no treating, and the out-voters were not brought in; so that I hope there has not been much money thrown away.... I fully expect that we shall be members for Stoke upon Trent,1 i.e. the Potteries, and if we are it will be a much pleasanter seat. Jos had not before this quite made up his mind to accept it if it should be offered him, but what has lately passed has settled that part of the question; and, if I live so long, I shall like to be obliged to spend some part of every year in London. But I have great misgivings that I may not, and though it does not in any degree lower my spirits, it gives me a degree of uncertainty as to worldly matters that flattens hope. If it would please God to give me brighter hopes instead, I should be happy, and that I hope will come nearer and nearer as I approach the confines. One of my dearest earthly hopes is now to see Jessie [Sismondi] and my castle is to meet her at Paris, or to return with her if she comes to England which I hope

1 The expectation was that in the Reform Bill the Potteries would be given a seat and that Josiah Wedgwood would be the first member elected.

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she will do.... I feel a little flat this week after the excitement of the last, but ça ira. Farewell, my dear Emma, with warmest love to you all.

Mrs Josiah Wedgwood to her daughters Fanny and Emma.

MAER, May 20th, 1831.


... I feel very grateful to Mrs Holland for the pleasant visit you have had with her, and to her good-natured daughters for promoting your pleasure so much as they have done. We have now pretty well done with our Newcastle bustles, as they were yesterday finished by a dinner given to your father by the Mayor and Burgesses, from which they did not come home till near 12 o'clock. There dined about 90, and they were drinking toasts and cheering all the evening. Harry and Frank dined there, and had their healths drunk and returned thanks in neat speeches, &c. Frank had one compliment paid him, for his canvassing accomplishments, which I did not expect, viz. that he was so good a canvasser that the gentleman who spoke believed that if it had been for himself, he would have been returned—voilà!

We have beautiful summer weather now, which I mention for the honour of Staffordshire, as it sometimes lies under a bad name for weather. I have had a delightful letter from your aunt Caroline [Drewe] giving a glorious account of Edward's entry into his own country, and of the delight given and received by Adèle on the occasion, who looked, she said, quite lovely when she was introduced to his tenants, and received them charmingly.

Mr Hulme comes here regularly every Sunday, and dines after evening service. His conversation is too like Blackwood's Magazine, but he is cheerful and we don't mind him. Gipums is getting larger, and I am beginning to sigh over the puppies who are so soon to meet a watery grave, mais que faire?...

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After this the Edward Drewes appear no more in these pages, although there are casual allusions in various letters to their prosperous and happy life, and one in especial speaks of their paying a visit to the Pembrokeshire relations, travelling there with four horses in great style.

The girls were brought home from London by their father, and Bessy wrote that "they have had their fill of amusements and going about, and to crown all are very glad to come home."

Madame Sismondi to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

CHÊNE, Oct. 20 [1831].

... Sis now looks forward to the visit [to Cresselly] with pleasure, I with delight. My poor little Sad perhaps yet does not know of it, for yesterday when I almost expected to see her, her six weeks being terminated, came a letter with the postmark Conegliano. Judge if I was not in a passion; Miss Smith,1 my evil genius, had lost her passport—delayed to send back to Venice for a new one—then she is oftener ill than well, sets off at 11 in the morning instead of 8, as she promises over night, or 6, as any reasonable voiturier traveller would do. I feel as I do sometimes in my sleep when I cannot put my cloaths on.... We must travel voiturier, which among many conveniences and suitablenesses has its plagues for an impatient spirit. We shall be at Paris about the 13th, stay three or four days there ... [reaching] Cresselly, my beloved Cresselly, about 1st Dec. This is giving as short delays as we can with such slow going. We pass all Dec. there, and then, alas, begins our long journey back. Will you not, beloved Bessy, with Elizabeth and Charlotte return with us to Paris? We will cherish you as the apple of our eye, take such care of you, go as slow as you please in vetturino, which is no fatigue. I live in hopes all this may be done, and I am as happy as a princess, and think no more about the cholera, or tumults, or war, of which two last, to say the truth, I had never

1 Miss Patty Smith, eldest daughter of William Smith, M.P. for Norwich, who was travelling with Harriet Surtees.

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any fear. I am making my preparations, and heaven grant us a happy meeting. If you expect I can write sense to-day you are very much mistaken, my own dear Bessy, I can do no such thing for thinking of your sweet sweet face and your dear dear voice, and a thousand other things which all finish in a prayer for our happy meeting. I told John I should write no more to anyone, for I can write no more than a fool when the prospect of, seeing them is close before my nose; so I might as well have spared your purse to-day, but your letter gave me an ecstacy so you must take its consequences.

We have had, after a dropping summer, the most beautiful autumn I ever remember to have seen. I do not exaggerate when I say I never stirred out without an ecstacy. The warm golden colours at home, the gilded snow and blue in the distance, gave such a view that every walk became a prayer. But Harriet in Italy has not had this weather. She had little sun even at Venice. We have besides had that phenomenal light after sunset which no one has explained, and which has been so bright in Italy as to give superstitious awe and fear to the people. Here it has only been very lovely, very transparent, very deep red, or orange that has remained long after the moon was up, and almost tamed its brightness. In the west was the golden light the other evening, and in the east the silver as we returned home between 6 and 7.

We had two and twenty carriages in our little courtyard last night and more [guests] than I could reckon in our salon, in which were [people] of all nations, but of Englishmen only two, Jos's friend Mr Chetwynd and his friend Mr Lamb, whom we saw act the other night very well and in a very pretty, indeed more than pretty, theatre. Mr Chetwynd was Henry IVth superbly dressed. We had several Polonais last night. We had some perfectly delicious singing from the Prince Belgiojoso—how I wished for Elizabeth and Charlotte! He wanted so much some ladies or men to sing beside himself to keep him in countènance. He will never come now the same evening with the Countess

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Guiccioli for fear of being made to sing with her, which, altho" she has a superb voice, he cannot bear to do. If you will be a good girl and come to Paris, you shall hear him too. The preceding Wednesday I had the hard little Mrs Patterson too.1 Guiccioli, who had been very intimate with her at Florence, seeing one person in a room full of strangers, crossed it eagerly to speak to her; the hard little woman turned her back on her eager accost, with a rudeness remarked by everybody in such a little room, and the Guiccioli was so overcome, not being well before, that I thought she would have fainted. Her hand was bathed in a cold sweat. I gave her some wine and water, pretending that it was the terror of singing. I sent a young Frenchman to scold her [Mrs Patterson], and ask her why she did such a thing. She said "Oh it is not for her conduct with Lord Byron, that I have nothing to do with—but she is such a hard little cold dry-hearted woman, I could give you a thousand little odious traits of her"!! Who ever knows themselves?...

1 Elizabeth Patterson, daughter of a merchant in Baltimore, ex-wife of Jerome Bonaparte. The marriage was declared null by Napoleon, and Jerome was forced to marry Catherine, daughter of the King of Würtemberg.

VOL. I. 16

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Charles Darwin's voyage round the world—Hensleigh Wedgwood appointed a Police Magistrate in London—His marriage to Fanny Mackintosh—Fanny Allen and the Irvingites—The cholera—Sir James Mackintosh's death—Charlotte Wedgwood marries Charles Langton—Frank Wedgwood marries Fanny Mosley—Charlotte at Ripley—Fanny Wedgwood's death.

IN December, 1831, Charles Darwin sailed for his five years" voyage round the world. Captain Fitzroy had offered to give up part of his own cabin to any young man who would go as naturalist on the Beagle. My father in his Autobiography wrote: "I was instantly eager to accept the offer, but my father strongly objected, adding the words, fortunate for me, 'if you can find any man of common sense who advises you to go I will give my consent." So I wrote that evening and refused the offer. On the next morning I went to Maer... and whilst out shooting, my uncle sent for me, offering to drive me over to Shrewsbury and talk with my father, as my uncle thought it would be wise in me to accept the offer. My father always maintained that [my uncle] was one of the most sensible men in the world, and he at once consented in the kindest manner. I had been rather extravagant at Cambridge, and to console my father said 'that I should be deuced clever to spend more than my allowance on board the Beagle" but he answered with a smile, 'But they tell me you are very clever.""1 Fanny Wedgwood wrote: "Charles Darwin sails to-morrow, he writes in great spirits, more charmed than ever with the Captain, and he seems fully to expect that they will go round the world, as he says the instructions of the Admiralty were all as Capt. Fitzroy pleased."

Hensleigh, to the great delight of everyone and after

1 Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, p. 59.

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many hopes and fears, was appointed to a Police Magistracy at the end of 1831. This meant that his marriage could now prudently take place.

Emma Wedgwood to Fanny Mackintosh.

Dec. 6th, 1831.


You may think how pleased I was at your note. Hensleigh's last letter was so low that I had almost given up all hopes, and the first line of your letter struck me in the contrary sense from what you meant. It was delightful indeed when I found out how it was. How nice it is my dear old wife. Now don't be long a marrying....

It was arranged that Hensleigh and Fanny Wedgwood were to make a joint household with Sir James and his son Robert. This was necessary, as neither Sir James nor Fanny would consent to leave each other.

It was at this time that Charlotte Wedgwood first saw Charles Langton,1 and after only a fortnight's acquaintance became engaged to him. He had been tutor in Lord Craven's family. Fanny Wedgwood wrote in her Diary on the 12th Jan., "The happiest day of my life. Mr Langton proposed to Charlotte and we were all in a perfect ecstacy."

Emma Wedgwood to her sister Elizabeth.

[LONDON], Jan. 27, 1832.

Fanny is very pleasant and open in telling one how happy she is, and in showing her fondness for Hensleigh, which she does in a nice playful manner.... After luncheon Harriet [Gifford] and Charlotte went to Howell and James" to get Charlotte's clothes. She got a green silk pelisse and a virtuous coloured silk gown, which will touch your heart and which we all highly approve of, and for the evening, a black satin and an apricot coloured silk, and a pink muslinish

1 Algernon Langton, Charles's uncle, had married Marianne Drewe, sister of Lady Gifford and Lady Alderson. Probably this connection brought Charles Langton into the Wedgwood circle.

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sort of thing for commoner occasions, and that is all she means to get, except a white muslin.

When they came back they found Dr Holland drinking tea here, and he paid his congratulations to Charlotte with great tendresse. He looked wearied at Sir James, who was certainly very tiresome to him, and never would listen to him or let him finish what he was saying.

In the morning Mr Langton had taken Charlotte to Howell and James" and made her choose presents for him to give us, a beautiful gold pencil-case for Fanny, and a very pretty ring for me; so Charlotte knew our different weaknesses very well. Mrs Rich and Miss Cardale were going to the Ventilator, and as there was a spare place I went with them. We arrived unluckily too late to hear Spencer Percival's furious speech for a general fast.1 We came in for the tail of Lord Althorp's, which we could not hear. Several people were coughed down who supported Mr Percival, and there was a good deal of impatience during his second speech, which made Mrs Rich think the whole house in such a dreadful state of impiety and rebellion against God that she was crying bitterly most of the time. As soon as Mr Percival had withdrawn his motion he came up to his wife who was in the Ventilator and talked to Mrs Rich, and I was very much pleased with the good-humour and mildness of his manner just after hearing such a violent speech from him. I heard him saying that he had been very well listened to, but that he felt so completely that the whole House was against him that it was as if he was talking against a stone wall.

After we had put Miss Cardale home Mrs Rich talked to me about the tongues. The youngest Miss Cardale is often heard in her own room talking the tongues and making religious exclamations.2 She is got to look very much worn

1 The general fast was to be for the cholera, which was then raging. It was the first appearance of the disease in England.

2 These religious exclamations, and the repetitions spoken of in the next letter, were much associated with the speaking in "unknown tongues," and were in both cases thought to be the direct result of some divine influence.

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and depressed, and would wish very much not to have any more manifestations. Poor thing, I should think she would become quite mad soon....

The following letter tells of Frank Wedgwood's engagement to Fanny Mosley, daughter of the rector of Rolleston. This makes the fourth Fanny in the Maer circle. To avoid confusion the wives of Hensleigh and Frank will be distinguished as Fanny Hensleigh and Fanny Frank.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

DULWICH, March 1, 1832.

...You are all as busy as possible now I suppose with your two brides and arrangements for my dear Lotty's wedding. I think she pays your judgments or tastes too great a compliment in getting a white bonnet. Caroline [Drewe] who has just left us, talked of the fashion being to be married in a veil. This is certainly the prettiest costume and it would save the carriage of a bonnet, which I am now thinking is a great evil, so that you would have had something more to do with me, had I been in Charlotte's place, before you would have got me to send for a white bonnet, having bought a straw one. I have a pleasing impression of Miss Mosley, from what you have all said, and I rejoice very much at it for Frank's and your sakes.... I do not know whether Fanny [Hensleigh] mentioned my going with Mrs Rich to Mr Irving's early prayer meeting last week. I repeated it again, yesterday, and I am come out of my experiences more unbelieving than I was before—indeed I think I had a little belief. I expected I am sure something extraordinary, something at least that I could not account for, and there was nothing out of the common way, except indeed the extravagance of minds not quite sane. It was perfectly dark when we got to the church, which was very faintly lighted by two small globe lights on a table under the reading-desk, where Mr Irving sat like a magician. There were the usual prayers and two psalms

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sung, and a chapter in the Bible from Kings, of Elijah destroying the prophets of Baal, which he likened in his (Irving's) prayer afterwards to the ministry of our Church generally, and said that the ministry of Christ's Church had fallen to them who had the gifts of the Spirit given to them. After Mr Irving had finished he lay back in his chair, and gifted Mr Backster from Doncaster came forward. He read the 1st of Acts and during the course of his reading he raved like a maniac; repeating the same word or phrase six or seven times over, and mixing up finally the chapter in Kings, the 1st of Acts, and all the Revelations together, and raving with as small a portion of the Spirit, I should have thought, if they had not said otherwise, as any teacher ever had. He continually returned to the prophets of Baal. On walking home afterwards with Mrs Rich, I told her that I should have thought Mr Backster insane if left to my own judgment; she told me she thought every repetition that he had used commanded by the Spirit, and quoted the verse "line upon line," &c. as the authority. The last day I was there it was pretty nearly the same thing again, except that Mr Irving had a more affected manner and his tone was lower, as also Mr Backster, who did not rave, but spoke in a sepulchral tone of the probable persecutions they would undergo, and a recommendation to behave as Christ did. He began "Oh that he would rend the Heavens and come down," this he repeated several times, and also "the Enemy is amongst us"; then another man prayed in a crying tone; then Miss Emily Cardale repeated much of what Mrs Rich writes, in a shrill tone and in an unvarying note, with her figure perfectly still: "Oh you do not know Christ" six times over; then "Christ is love," and so on in texts of Scripture for about 10 minutes I should think; and then Mr Irving thanked God in prayer for the messages sent us by the Spirit, and we were out at 10 minutes after 8. Mrs Rich appeared much affected during the whole course of the service, so I made no observation on our way back, and listened to her and a friend whom we picked up on the way, talking of these wonderful things.

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The Sismondis, accompanied by Fanny Allen, left England in March. The quarantine mentioned below was on account of the cholera in England.

Fanny Allen to her brother-in-law Sir James Mackintosh.



... Sismondi told you of our bad passage and how we fared in the Quarantine Station. The first, to be sure, was as bad as possible, but it did not do either Jessie or me as much mischief as your chicken-bone.1 I do not know whether I am indebted to the strength of my constitution or to the merits of sea-water for my escape from cold or fever after sitting 14 hours in clothes drenched through by the waves. The Quarantine was not disagreeable; it was rather more an odd position than a disagreeable one. I do not consider the three days there as lost days; our company were more French than English, and I was amused at observing their different manner and character. We did not suffer from cold in our station, though it was a mere wooden shed, divided into three parts for the men, women, and our common sitting-room. The beds were excellent, and our eating not bad, so that we were not to be pitied; though I must add we enjoyed Dessin's Inn very much when we were let out of our Quarantine. Sismondi bought a French travelling carriage which took us and all our luggage, very comfortably and moderately, my share for the whole expenses of the journey from Calais being only 6 Napoleons....

Sismondi made a course of visits yesterday morning to his friends. He reports the impression he received was, that among the ministerialists, when they talked of and rather expected the downfall of our ministry, they seemed to him to look with something of satisfaction to the return of Sir R. Peel and the Duke. Sismondi called on Madame

1 This proved to be a fatal accident; a splinter lodged in his throat and caused his death.

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de Broglie1 yesterday and saw her. She looked ill, and very low, but she talked with great calmness of the illness and death of her daughter, who suffered, poor child, very much before her death. The economy of the Citizen King is talked of, which is as it should be. A brother of Copley Fielding, the water-colour painter, gives lessons to the royal family, and he says the King bargains for a sheet of drawing-paper. Paris looks very handsome and we have a bright sun for some hours in the day; on our way here we paid a visit at St Denis to all Sismondi's old friends, Dagobert and Pepin le Bref. It is an interesting walk among the dead. I know nothing more of Paris, except that the ladies" bonnets are very small; they wear feathers in them. I feel very anxious respecting the Reform question and all that hangs to it in England, also of the cholera. I trust that we shall hear from one of you, it would be a great treat to have a few lines from yourself; but you have too much to do for me to ask it, and sometimes, when I am very disinterested, even to wish it. God bless you, and preserve your health.

Yours, dear Mackintosh, affectionately,


Mackintosh died on May 30th, 1832, having never recovered from the effects of the accident mentioned in the previous letter. A year before Jessie Sismondi had written of him to her sister Bessy (5th Feb., 1831):

I think of his life which I now look on as almost finished with the greatest pity; not without blame, it is true, but it is almost lost in pity. He had an understanding to comprehend all the beauties of the high moral feelings and those of affection, but not the heart ever to feel them, so that he knew their heaven, sighed for it, yet, as if a curse was on him, could never put his foot into it. He loved passionately and fondly only one person [his wife] in the world, and she

1 Albertine, the daughter of Madame de Staël, married to the Duc de Broglie. She was distinguished by her beauty in youth, and in her maturity by a deep and somewhat evangelical type of religion.

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never could love him, though he was the only person in the world that truly loved her.

Years ago Coleridge wrote of him to Tom Wedgwood, "I never doubted that he means to fulfil his engagements with you; but he is one of those weak-moraled men, with whom the meaning to do a thing means nothing. He promises with his whole Heart, but there is always a little speck of cold felt at the core that transubstantiates the whole resolve into a Lie, even in his own consciousness." His daughter Fanny was deeply attached to him, and the short time spent with her after her happy marriage, must have been a ray of sunshine ending his troubled career.

Charlotte Wedgwood was married on 22nd March, 1832, and Frank Wedgwood on 26th April. Catherine Darwin, writing to Fanny Wedgwood of Charlotte, says, "Your account of her sounds charming and just what she so amply deserves. It is very nice that a perfect person should be enjoying perfect happiness." The Langtons began their married life at Ripley in Surrey, where they lived for about a year.

Charlotte Langton to her sister Fanny Wedgwood.

RIPLEY, WEDNESDAY [August 6, 1832].

...Very fortunately we have had the most beautiful weather since my aunts came, so that with the help of our dear little ponies who are getting great pets, I have not found the least difficulty in entertaining them....

I do not think that we shall bring our ponies to Maer. Besides crowding the stables there, the three-year old must be too young for a journey one would think, tho" he drew us four no very light ones 24 miles the other day, and came back as fresh as possible, pushing on whenever the reins were slackened. The only thing that makes Charles think of it is the danger of their being stolen, and I believe we shall have them taken up every night to secure them.

Charles Langton's caution was a marked element in his character. Much later in life the Langtons wished to settle

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near us at Down, and my father told us how our uncle Charles would not buy Baston, a charming house on Hayes Common, because he saw one rough-looking man on the Common, and thought it would not be safe for his wife and little boy to walk there alone.

This summer Emma lost her beloved sister Fanny, from whom she had never been parted for more than a week or two. She died on August 20th, 1832, aged 26, after a few days" illness from some inflammatory attack. Her sister Charlotte wrote to Emma, "I feel with you, dear Emma, that all our recollections and associations with our Fanny are peculiarly free from anything bitter or painful. She was so gentle that a harsh word could hardly ever have been addressed to her, and her wishes and expectations for herself were so unpretending that it made her life one of much calm happiness and very free from disappointments and anxieties."

Amongst my mother's papers there is a short record of her feelings on this loss—the first that ever came really close to her. It is evidently written entirely for herself:

"At 9 came on the fatal attack and in 5 minutes we lost our gentle, sweet Fanny, the most without selfishness of anybody I ever saw, and her loss has left a blank which will never be filled up. Oh, Lord, help me to become more like her, and grant that I may join her with Thee never to part again. I trust that my Fanny's sweet image will never pass from my mind. Let me always keep it in my mind as a motive for holiness. What exquisite happiness it will be to be with her again, to tell her how I loved her who has been joined with me in almost every enjoyment of my life."

Emma Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Sept. 15 [1832].


How grateful I feel to you, my dear aunts, for the love and sympathy you have for us. Mamma and Elizabeth set off on a little tour in North Wales last Monday with uncle Baugh. I have great hopes it will do Mamma a great deal of good. She has found it more difficult to recover her cheerfulness than we have, but change and travelling always

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act upon her spirits very much. I do not like that you should be thinking of us as more unhappy than we are. I think we all feel cheerful and susceptible of happiness. I do not expect or wish to miss our Fanny less than we do now. The remembrance of her is so sweet and unmixed with any bitter feeling that it is a pleasure to be put in mind of her in every way. I feel as if it was a very long time since we had lost her, though it is only a month next Monday. I suppose it was from having thought of little besides since then. In looking over her desk, I have found many little journals of happy visits and journeys that we have been together, which are a great comfort and bring them so close to my memory. Sometimes I feel a sad blank at the thoughts of having lost my sweet, gentle companion who has been so closely joined with me ever since we were born, but I try to keep my mind fixed upon the hope of being with her again, never to part again. Such a separation as this seems to make the next world feel such a reality—it seems to bring it so much nearer to one's mind and gives one such a desire to be found worthy of being with her. Hers has been a gentle, happy life and I think her spirits were weak, and she would not have borne up so well as the rest of us in the sorrows she must have gone through had she remained here. I feel a great pleasure in telling you how faultless she was, tho" I think you know it as well as I do. I remember so many things when she was quite a little girl, which shewed how completely without selfishness she was even then, and she was always ready to give up little things or great ones. I am sure Papa misses his little secretary as he used to call her. She suited him so well.

I am very sorry you feel so anxious about the cholera. It has been mild at Newcastle and I hope is abating, much more than half recover. There is no fear of it here, as it has not even spread to the Potteries, which are so much nearer. It has been dreadfully bad at Bilston, an iron place not much larger than Newcastle, and hundreds have died in a month. There has been a large subscription for

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them; there are said to be 300 orphan families to be provided for. I believe it is a wretched place and the people very low. Thank my dear aunt Fanny for her anxiety that we should take care of our healths. There is no need to mind me, as I am very strong and have very little to do, but I do want Elizabeth to take great care of herself, and I try to save her going about among the cottages whenever she will let me....

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Josiah Wedgwood elected for Stoke-upon-Trent—Bessy's serious illness—The Langtons at Onibury—Miss Martineau and Mrs Marsh—Hensleigh Wedgwood's scruples as to administering oaths—William Clifford abroad—A tour in Switzerland and visit to Queen Hortense at Constance.

AT the end of 1832 Josiah Wedgwood was elected in the first reformed Parliament for Stoke-upon-Trent.

Emma Wedgwood to Madame Sismondi.

16 Dec. 1832.


Mamma has been saying she meant to write to you every day since the election, but I think our news will be quite flat if we leave it any longer, and now I am afraid we shall not be the first to tell you that Papa was elected by a handsome majority. The numbers were Wedgwood 822, Davenport 625, Heathcote 588, Mason 240. Mr Mason is a thorough-going Radical, so we were all very glad at his being so low on the poll. Papa and all of us were very much pleased at his coming in so grandly, especially as he is become too Tory for these Radical times. We were very secure after the first day's poll. Jessie [Wedgwood] and I went to Hanley to see the candidates going to Stoke to be nominated. Papa went first with his sons and some more gentlemen, his proposer and seconder, in the carriage open with 4 horses; a few carriages followed, and then the tag-rag and bobtail in gigs, carts and phaetons. Then came Davenport, who looked much more numerous,

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which made us rather low: I suppose we should have been still lower if we had gone to the nomination, for Papa was received with silence, Mr Davenport with hisses and hootings, Mr Heathcote with some applause, and Mr Mason with rapture, which shews how little a nomination shews one of how matters will turn out. Papa's speech looks well in the newspapers. He was listened to without applause, as he says, tho" the newspaper is more obliging and gives him a good many cheers. The next two days the voting took place, and what a pleasant short affair it is now to what it used to be. There was some rioting and some who voted for Davenport had all their windows broke....

Charles Langton and Charlotte are still with us. He has offered himself for a visit at Lord Craven's and Charlotte will stay here the while. It is very nice of him not getting impatient to be at home again. We are all very fond of him. His manners to Mamma are quite charming, so playful and attentive. He has not a spark of the natural enmity that most people have for their mothers-in-law. Mamma enjoyed her little trip to see their living very much. The country about Onibury1 is very pretty, and the poor people well off and a very small parish.

As to her husband's going into Parliament Bessy wrote to Jessie Sismondi (22 Dec. 1832), that she is not only gratified at seeing his character rated as it deserves, but that she cannot help thinking it will give their children a lift in point of station, "a worldly feeling I must confess, but one I find myself not able to contend with." In the same letter she speaks of her listlessness and languor making it painful for her to write; and it is evident now that her health had seriously failed. In March, 1833, she promises Jessie not to be so long again without writing, and speaks of lying awake a prey to sorrowful musings. But she mentions her enjoyment of her first grandchild, Godfrey (the son of Frank), and how she is continually finding new beauties in his "little snub face." The letter ends: "You are par excellence the best beloved of all the sisterhood, and what is more you are not envied on that account."

1 Charles Langton's living to which he had just been appointed, between Church Stretton and Ludlow.

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About this time my mother received four o five proposals of marriage, after a girlhood passed entirely without any love affair. She said to me once "we got quite weary of it," and then described how one of the rejected, a neighbouring curate, walked Elizabeth round and round the Pool, half crying, and asking what Emma found to object to in him.

In the spring Bessy and her daughters paid long visits to her married children, Charlotte still at Ripley, and Hensleigh at Clapham. Seeing both her children so happy seems to have soothed her anxious mind. She also visited other relations settled in or near London. Whilst staying at Lady Gifford's, she had a fall, followed by a serious illness. This must have been a seizure of an epileptic nature, for, from now onwards until her death in 1846, she suffered from attacks of this malady. In this fall she broke some bone, and was never able to walk again. These thirteen long years of helplessness are sad to think of, but the anxieties which had weighed on her quite left her, and the brightness and wonderful sweetness of her nature made it a pleasure to be with her, especially to Elizabeth. My mother felt more and more, as time went on, the sadness of her increasingly impaired mind.

Emma Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

Aug. 5, 1833.

It is such a pleasure to send you such a good account, for I am sure nobody will feel more (or so much) joy than you at my dear Mamma's recovery. We feel impatient to be able to see the time when we can return home, but we must not think of it yet, and it is very lucky Mamma does not feel at all impatient to move. Fanny and Hensleigh have been coming constantly, and she is the nicest nurse possible, and endeared herself very much to us by her affectionate feelings for Mamma and joy at her recovery. Papa is not able to come as often as he wishes, as he is on a Liverpool Committee and the Slavery Bill in the evenings; so he is only able to come on Saturdays and stay till Monday.

Harriet [Gifford] and I went to the Ventilator to hear O'Connell's quarrel with the Reporters, whom he accuses of reporting his speeches falsely, whereupon they say now

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they will not report a word more of his; so now he declares they shall not report at all, and he had the gallery cleared of all the strangers and the reporters amongst them yesterday. It was a most foolish passionate thing to do as the Reporters are sure to gain the day in the end.

Aunt Emma is in much better heart about Isabella now than she was at the beginning of the holidays, but she is entirely dissatisfied with the school. It is a pity Aunt Emma is so easily cast down about her, as girls are sure to turn out well, and high spirits and troublesomeness seems to be I.'s faults, which are sure to mend.

Emma Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Thursday [10 Oct. 1833].


... Papa and Eliz. came home on Tuesday after spending a week at Onibury. They took a walk every morning though they had very middling weather to see the pretty country in. Mr Langton used to be rather afraid of Papa, but I think he has quite got over that, and they talked away together very well, Eliz. says. I think he is never quite at his ease when any of our men are there, at least he is not near so merry as when there is nobody by but Mamma, or one of us. Papa has persuaded them to come here for all the winter months, as though this is not a very warm house, it is much warmer than theirs. He was going to have a curate any how for the winter, so he may just as well come here, and it will be very pleasant for us having them for so long a visit. I was there the week before with aunt Sarah, and saw a good many of their neighbours. Charlotte was rather unhappy at the outside of her house being so untidy when some smart people called, but Charles takes everything easy and Charlotte has a decided turn against scrattling, so that their tidying goes on at a very slow pace, and as they are to leave the place, they have no inclination to do much. Susan Darwin says they

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had much better have her for a week to set them to rights, and I am sure she would do more than C. in a month.

The other day Miss Martineau1 dined at Clapham with Mrs Marsh, and she made Fanny feel very awkward by saying, "I was much distressed to hear from several quarters that you were disgusted at my conversation some time ago." I don't know what answer Fanny made, but it was true that we were all rather shocked at some of her opinions on matrimony, and we had been talking about it to Mrs Marsh, and I have no doubt that was the way it came round to her in some of their arguments on that subject. Miss M. took such a fancy to Fanny that I am sorry she found out she had not pleased her, and it showed great good nature her mentioning it in that open way to her. We were all rather contrite at having said anything about her opinions to Mrs Marsh and Dr Holland; and it was partly our fault, as we drove her on to say that she thought marriage ought to be dissoluble for any cause however slight. It is a pity her being so open, as it will excite a great prejudice against her and make people consider her, though very unjustly, as if she was not a moral person. She is so happy, good-humoured and conceited that she will not much mind what people say of her. I scorn to spin out a letter, so I will wish you good-bye, my dearest.

The following letter relates to the proposed resignation by Hensleigh of his Police Magistracy, on account of his scruples with regard to administering oaths. He put off the final step till 1837.

Josiah Wedgwood to Monsieur and Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Dec. 21, 1833.


I received your affectionate and most gratifying letter only last night, and I must not lose a day to send you my cordial thanks for it. You will have heard that Hens-

1 Harriet Martineau (at this time thirty-one years old), was becoming a literary lion through the great success of her Political Economical stories.

Vol. I. 17

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leigh did not send in his resignation and that, for the present at least, he does not intend to do it. The resolution was most hasty and rash, and I don't pretend either to justify or account for it, but I conceive that the overwhelming interest that he has in retaining his office had the effect which would be natural with some minds, that it alarmed him and made him distrust all the suggestions of his understanding in favour of retaining his post, that he was, in short, fascinated, and ended the struggle like the little bird who jumps into the open mouth of the glaring snake. Having now got over the first impression, I am in hopes that the arguments for retaining his office will have their due weight with him, and especially as his mind is now turned to exertion for the removal of unnecessary oaths, in which he must see that his situation as an acting magistrate will give him a weight which would be lost by giving up his office. If after taking sufficient time to restore the equilibrium of his mind, after giving the subject ample and deliberate consideration, taking all means of informing himself and profiting by the learning and judgment of others, he should form a solid conviction that administration of oaths by a Magistrate is forbidden by the gospel, there can be no doubt that it will be his duty to resign; and however great may be one's concern one cannot blame him, though even then he cannot expect to be supported by much of the sympathy, respect, and admiration, which are given to great sacrifices for objects which all men feel to interest human nature.

Your kind solicitude induces me to say of myself that I am quite well, and I suppose even my looks are better than on the occasion when they created Jessie's compassion. I was rather surprised at Jessie's pity for my lot in life, having always thought myself a fortunate man. It is true I have suffered some losses in which my affections were much concerned, and some misfortunes; the chief of which, my dear Bessy's state, is lightened and almost removed by the gentleness, sweetness, and cheerfulness with which she bears her lot, and with which her delightful nature shines

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out to the last.... Our whole family are now assembled, except Hensleigh, all well; and I often think that if they have all taken the quiet path of life, they have none of them made us ashamed or sorry. Of some of them I might say much more without your dissent.

Believe me, my dear brother and sister,

Affectionately yours,


William Clifford, of Perristone in Herefordshire, will no doubt be remembered in the letters of 1815, and also of 1818, when the Wedgwood family were in Paris. Two orphan nieces now lived with him, and the following letters were written whilst he was on the Continent, where, as he wrote to Mrs Wedgwood, "it is thought proper that I should go to complete my young ladies. I suppose Paris is the place, and once in motion, my inertness is not likely soon to stop. I hate the thoughts of it, and shall contrast it all bitterly with our merry days there. My first look out shall be for Aglaë1 who I dare say after your excellent lecture has turned out incomparable. You talk of growing old, but you will never know anything about the matter—for myself, I feel older than anybody ever was before, and the everlasting hills themselves are quite as fit to move."

From William Clifford to Madame Sismondi.

[PARIS, July, 1833].


I have just this moment got the most cordial letter ever written, even from the Principality. But it was not very logical, for I do love you very much yet I won't drive straight to your most hospitable house with my tribe, but I will give you every moment of my time at the risk of making poor M. Sismondi ill, to see how I spend my day, but you shall hide it from him as much as you can, or persuade him I am doing something all the while. I know he will do his best to like me for your sake, and I will

1 Mrs Wedgwood's naughty maid, when they were in Paris in 1818.

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like him for his own very sincerely, though he was in a cruel hurry to part us all when we were once together again. You know I love the longest letter and read it over and over again. I began two or three to you about Christmas time, wishing you a merry Christmas. Then I thought spring might draw you to Paris. Thank you for all you say of my dear nephew. I can promise he is the better liked, the more he is known, and my nieces too are very well in their way, but I am pretty well worn out and very much tired of it all—and it is all very much tired of me.

Still very faithfully yours, WILLIAM CLIFFORD.

Now I have had one letter from you, I long for another. Do.

William Clifford to Madame Sismondi.

GENOA, October, 1833.

... A letter from my dear Miss Fanny [Allen] got here at last, and she is on the whole reconciled to Mrs Wedgwood's state as better than she expected—particularly in the main point—"her memory quite good, the same truth of observation, the same gentleness and kindness of character," and "a cheerfulness that so peculiarly belonged to her about her still. She suffers little or no pain." All this you know already, and is great comfort, but they seem to have little hope of her getting better than she is. It is happy for Mrs Langton that she is married.

Thank you for all you say of my girls, but you do not know much about them. All fine you say of me is likely to be true, for you have known me off and on 36 years, but there is no reason I should triumph over M. Sismondi. On the contrary, tell him, I am his obliged and faithful servant, W. CLIFFORD.

In the journal Baroness Bunsen wrote for her mother, Mrs Waddington, there is the following mention of Mr Clifford during his stay in Rome, where he spent the winter 1833-4:

Dec. 4, 1833. In the evening, if we are at home and have not too many visitors, I finish up my sketches. For this I

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had a bit of praise from Mr Clifford which greatly pleased me. The day after he had seen me thus employed he said, "How I like that making the most of odd times! it is what everybody ought to do, and what I never do! and thus I have done nothing, and learnt nothing in my life." Mr Clifford's being here is a great pleasure to us: he is really a delightful person, entering into everything and enjoying everything like a child.1

William Clifford to Madame Sismondi.

[ROME], May 4th [1834].

... My two nieces have had anything but a pleasant winter. Emily had not been three days in Rome before she caught small-pox. The effects of it lasted till we were about departure, and then by way of finale she caught scarlet fever, but now she is got pretty well and ready to catch something else. This threw us sadly out of the great occupation of society. You may suppose we were not very popular, having nothing to give people but contagion. But we did not much care for them, not having M. Sis. to fight for us. Ld. and Ly. James Hay were very civil and we fancied them much, but they were very much occupied so we did not often meet. The girl is just what you say, so sunny and cheerful, and certainly made after the old receipt of making your hay when the sun shines. They are gone and everybody else also. We are always the survivors. Ly. Davy is on the brink of departure. I have never yet told her of your kindness to cows and keeping a neighbour by way of company to your own, which I hope will atone for your cruelty to horses. Miss Mackenzie to say the truth is uncommonly agreeable, and makes me waste a great deal of time in scolding her horrid uncomfortable ways. Your family are good for nothing about writing, so I know none of their adventures. I was at a wedding yesterday (Palazzo Cafferalli), which brought many a tear to my eye, foolish

1 Life and Letters of Frances, Baroness Bunsen, vol. i., p. 404.

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enough in this world of chance and change. Meanwhile let those that remain in it try to like and cherish one another, and write soon. Direct to Perristone near Ross, where we mean to return, slowly, slowly. I have given all my hurry to my nephew, which he calls dispatch, and will run as unmercifully as you would have done poor Lady Davy's pair of horses. And do tell me a great deal of news—I won't begin again, so good-bye.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Wedgwood.

CHÊNE, July 29, 1834.

... We found all well on our return last Wednesday, and I thank Heaven no ill news from England in the many letters that lay waiting for me on the tables, and which I opened with a beating heart. I so enjoyed the first part of our tour; all the little circumstances and incidents were always so much in our favour that I superstitiously began to fear some ill luck at the end. At Vevay I met poor Mrs Marcet for the first time since her loss.1 She was overcome almost to fainting at first, but attributed it to heat and fatigue, said she would lie down and return to us in half-an-hour, which she did, talking on indifferent subjects and no allusion was made on either side to what, it was but too visible, both our hearts were full of. She intended to return with us in the steamboat the next day, but when the morning came she had not courage. I am nearly sure it was because we were in the boat—she would suffer less with strangers.

We, that is Sismondi and I and our portmanteau, left Schinznach on the 9th of this month in a nice little onehorse cabriolet, that stole softly and quietly over the ground, and quick too, directing our course north-eastward. We saw the baths of Baden, Zurich, ... Constance, St Gall, the pretty Lake of Wallenstadt, where I read your name with your father's in the inn book which vividly brought back the time you so sweetly alluded to, my Emma, which

1 The death of her husband.

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can never return for either of us—but whatever returns as before? It is our wisdom to separate and treasure up only those remembrances that soothe.... We saw Glarus,... Lucerne, Berne, Fribourg, and Vevay—this took us exactly a fortnight, and the expense as nearly as possible to a Napoleon a day each, and travel as economically in Switzerland as you please you cannot spend less. At Constance we spent a day with the Queen Hortense,1 and it was the most interesting of our journey. She is become fat, and does not look as if she had ever been handsome, but she has a very pleasing expression of sweet temper and great kindness in manner. We arrived about 2 o'clock and did not leave till 8, and the whole six hours were passed in causerie, with the exception of a dinner of one course quickly despatched, and I found it much too short for all she had to tell and shew us. I felt much as if I was playing at Kings and Queens, in addressing her as "Majesty," but a better feeling than courtesy forbids us take away the title from the unprosperous unless they have themselves the good sense to drop it. She speaks of all her wrongs without the least resentment, with a philosophic calmness that would indicate a higher understanding than I suspect she possesses, but it is only suspicion, for she might be very clever for anything I know to the contrary. She talked very openly of her past life, regretted she had not been earlier aware of the importance and of the extraordinariness, please to let the word pass—of it, that she might have taken daily notes of it. It seemed to her at the time the natural course of life, and she passed through heedlessly. She read us part of her journal or memoir that had reference to her mother's divorce. It evinced the sternness of purpose that is always given to Buonaparte, but it shewed also tenderness and strength of affection in the bitter tears even to sobs which he sometimes gave way to in carrying it through. She shewed us in her cabinet a cast of Buonaparte taken after

1 Ex-Queen of Holland, daughter of Beauharnais and the Empress Josephine and mother of Louis Napoleon (afterwards Emperor), now a youth of twenty-five. She was living apart from her husband.

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his death. It looked affecting from an expression of deep yet quiet suffering. Near this cast she had preserved the portrait of his second wife and child, on which his dying eyes were fixed, and which always hung at St Helena before his little camp bed. Over these was hung the Cashmere sash he wore at the battle of the Pyramids, blackened with gunpowder. He had given it to her to wrap round her head one day that she had taken cold. She shewed us also the scapulaire of Charlemagne; it was taken from his tomb at Aix-la-Chapelle and given by the town to her mother when she visited it as Empress. There was in it a bit of the true cross enchased in crystal as big as a turkey egg, set in jewels, and a bit of gold chain that fastened it round his neck. She had several interesting portraits, and is herself no contemptible artist. She takes strong likenesses and finishes them very prettily. Her Chateau of Ehrenberg is beautifully situated on the steep side of a mountain covered with the richest vegetation, the most magnificent oak and walnut trees, looking down directly into the Lake of Constance; it is furnished as the most elegant and most comfortable boudoir of Paris would be. It was delicious to take shelter in it from the scorching sun. She has two dames d'honneur, an Italian physician, and a French artist living with her besides her son the Prince Louis. She told us she believed she would come this winter to Geneva, for the sake of making her son live in a way more consonant to his age than with her at Constance. She gave us a book she has just published, and that I am sure would interest you very much—Memoirs of her son's escape from Italy after the last Revolution, and after her eldest son's death.

I have just received my dear Mackintosh's History of the Revolution, and your letter has lain by in consequence. I cannot read it with quiet nerves. The Memoir1 prefixed does not so sorely vex me as it does Fanny [Allen], tho" done by no friendly hand. There is no malignity, which I feared, and he has quoted so largely and so judiciously

1 A fragment of a History of the Revolution in 1688 was published after Mackintosh's death, with a memoir prefixed by a Mr Wallace.

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from Mackintosh's early writing and late speeches, that it must raise M. in the opinion of everyone who reads; and then when M. speaks so well of himself what signifies the opinion and judgment of the foolish writer? It can do him no harm. This should be a warning to Robert not to cut out anything but what is absolutely necessary of his father's writing, whether journal or letters. I am rather afraid of Robert's over-delicacy of home subjects; yet those will shew M. in the brightest light, and they are those after all that make known the true character....

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Home life at Maer—Mrs Marsh as novelist—Emma Wedgwood visits Cresselly—Mrs John Wedgwood's sudden death—Emma Wedgwood at musical festivals—Charles Darwin returns home—Emma at Edinburgh—C. D. on marriage.

THE home life at Maer had by now become much changed. Emma had lost through the death of Fanny the companionship of a sister of her own age, and the failure of their mother's health made it necessary that either Elizabeth or Emma should always be at home. It is as nurse and caretaker that she now appears, and also as aunt to the next generation, which numbered four.

Elizabeth Wedgwood to her mother.

CLAPHAM, Tuesday, 3 March [1835].

... Saturday we dined at [the Marshes].... Anne was very pleasant, and when we got round the fire after dinner she talked a great deal with an openness that was very engaging about her book [Two Old Men's Tales] and her feelings. I was in hopes that her being known as the author would have saved her from hearing disagreeable things; but she told us of some things that had been said that she would have given a thousand pounds rather than they should have been said. I cannot think who could tell her. She was very much amused when she dined at Lady Milman's to find Mr Murray paying court to her as if she was somebody. I think the vexation of being known has more than counterbalanced the pleasure of her success, but the pleasure of the writing itself seems to be very great. (I can

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hardly write for Snow [just two years old] who is romancing on, and acting, and speechifying, but what it is all about I have not an idea, but "jingle, jingle," comes in very often in the discourse. I have just made out "a large wind blew the little wind down," with a very important shake of the head.) There is wind enough to-day to blow many things down besides little winds....

Emma Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Friday, Ap. 11 [1835].

... We have had visits here from Susan Darwin, and the Hollands, so that I have not been at all solitary. I think Susan quite won Allen [Wedgwood]'s heart by her attentions. She was missed one day and nobody could find her anywhere, when at last she was discovered sitting very comfortably with Allen, with a bottle of cowslip wine and some sweetmeats before them. She says Allen coloured up very much when the Colonel's face was seen prying in at the window but she was quite hardened herself. I think she is the happiest person I know, such constant gay spirits and such little things give her so much enjoyment....

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Wedgwood.

May 3, 1835.

... I think Anne's Tales particularly interesting; they both robbed me of some of those precious tears I am so chary of shedding. I prefer the first, there is greater purity and far greater truth. The Admiral's Daughter is deficient in both these qualities, and interesting as it is, I can hardly forgive its immorality. Nevertheless I should like to read more by the same author, and shall be sorry if indeed she is, as she now feels, exhausted. I have received the last Edinburgh too, and have again and again to thank my beloved Bessy. If she is one-tenth part as prodigal to others as she is to me, she will not reserve for herself enough even

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for "a ha'porth of snuff, God bless her," as Montagu1 would say, but I say it with more fervour and less affectation.

Like you I do not know whereabouts you are in our history, so forgive me if I radote. Harriet [Surtees] wrote lately to your aunt Sara, and doubtless told her of our plan of going into Italy in August for a twelvemonth. For my own part, I quit my dear little Chêne and all its dumb inhabitants with great pain. I hate moving, I hate travelling, and already I have been crying over the warning I have given all the servants who have been crying too.

We are going this evening to take leave of our great friend Lady Osborne, who goes to Ireland soon, and I take to her a cadeau for my dear old friend Mrs Dillon. It is the first handsome present I ever made (that is to say handsome for my purse), and you cannot think how much happiness it gives me to make it—I am only afraid it will never reach her. It is a chain of gold enamel, nearly £15, and it is astonishingly cheap, I have seldom seen so handsome a one. My generous Sis. insists upon paying for it, but then I should not feel it my gift, so he shall not have that pleasure.

In the autumn of this year Emma was three months away from home, paying visits to Cresselly and elsewhere.

Emma Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Nov. 29 [1835].

... Aunt Fanny was in charming spirits and conversation, which was a fresh pleasure to me every day, especially in our walks, and she used to curl her hair with me. I liked renewing my recollections of Tenby, and it looked as bright and pretty as it used to when I was a child.

A Miss X. of this country is making a great noise in the

1 Basil Montagu (1770—1851), natural son of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, was a friend of Coleridge, Mackintosh, etc. He had tried to marry Sarah Wedgwood, it was always supposed for her money, but at what date does not appear.

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world. She has been in love with her father's coachman for 10 years and is now quite resolved to marry him. Her father is in despair about it, and says he will shoot himself if she does, and he and the other sisters are so ill that they think they will die of it. The coachman is drunken and a bad man, and engaged to the cook, but Miss X. remains quite steady in her purpose and as she is 25 nobody can stop her....1

Fanny Allen wrote to Emma (March 2, 1836): "Did I tell you what success your beasts met with at the school? I have been trying my hand at a lion, but it looks like nothing at all. I wish you would do me a bear and a lion, goodsized, any leisure time of yours, and let them be by you for any opportunity that may happen in the next 5 or 6 months. The beasts your acquaintance here are all well. Clio wins her way with everyone. John's particular love to you. You have won his heart completely."

These "beasts" were cut out in paper, for which art my mother had a particular talent, though I remember pigs as being her chefs d'oeuvre.

Jane, Mrs John Wedgwood, who had never had good health, died quite suddenly at Shrewsbury, where she had gone to consult Dr Darwin.

Fanny Allen to her niece Emma Wedgwood.

CRESSELLY, Ap. 25, 1836.


We were totally unprepared for the intelligence from Shrewsbury yesterday, it seems yet to me like a painful dream that makes me restless. One's understanding as well as one's eyes are holden sometimes with regard to the illness of those dear to one; and it has been so in this instance more than in any other case I ever remember. Almost every word and action of hers during the past winter is before me, and I can think and speak of nothing else; and my own foolish blindness is before me

1 Strange to say, Miss X. was believed to be happy in her married life. She lived according to her husband's position and brought up her children in the same rank.

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too. There never was such ardent and unbounded affection as in her; it seemed as if her religious feelings had given her a power of loving unknown to less pious characters. The last ten months have carried away with them a treasure of affection, of tenderness, and of religious example to us. I trust the prayers of these two dear sisters1 for us may be heard, and that we may join them in a very few years.

Several letters of my mother to Fanny Hensleigh Wedgwood, written in 1836 and 1837, have been preserved. They remind me of her later letters; they are written in the same casual, careless style, often giving a picture of the family life in a few words with a happy touch, but are intermixed with little details which would now be of no interest.

Emma went to the Manchester Festival this year and heard Malibran, who made an undying impression on her. She often spoke of her charm as quite unequalled, and especially of her possessing the full beauty of a soprano and contralto voice. She also went to the Festival at Worcester, staying with her cousin Charlotte Isaac (neé Holland), at Henwick. There she heard Clara Novello.

Emma Wedgwood to her sister-in-law Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood.

Clara has such a simple dawdling little voice and way of speaking, one feels quite surprised that such sounds can come out of her.2 There is something quite tragical in poor Malibran's death [23 Sept., 1836] especially after having seen her singing away so few days before. Mrs Novello, who is an acquaintance of Charlotte's, told her that as soon as ever Malibran was dead, de Beriot (her husband) set off to Brussels without even leaving a servant with the body.3 It is hardly possible that he should not have cared for her. I have been wishing to have you for a companion at these concerts so much....

1 Caroline, Mrs Drewe, had died in 1835.

2 Clara Novello was then a girl of eighteen, but she was already famous, having been singing in public for two or three years.

3 "Two hours after her death he was in his carriage on his way to Brussels to secure her property." Grove, Dict, of Music.

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These festivals were an immense joy to her all through her youth, and in this way she heard a good deal of the best music. She was calm over music, deeply as she enjoyed it. But one of the very few times in my life that I saw her lose her self-control was when Clara Novello sang the solo verse of God Save the Queen at the opening of the Crystal Palace. My mother broke down then and sobbed audibly. The scene was extraordinarily impressive—the standing crowd, the Queen and Prince Albert present, and the wonderful volume of the rich soprano voice, sustained and round and full, filling the enormous building.

Charles Darwin returned from his voyage round the world in October, 1836.

Charles Darwin to his uncle Josiah Wedgwood.

[SHREWSBURY, Oct. 5th, 1836].


The Beagle arrived on Sunday evening and I reached home late last night. My head is quite confused with so much delight, but I cannot allow my sisters to tell you first how happy I am to see all my dear friends again.

I am obliged to return in three or four days to London when the Beagle will be paid off, and then I shall pay Shrewsbury a longer visit. I am most anxious once again to see Maer and all its inhabitants, so that in the course of two or three weeks I hope in person to thank you, as being my First Lord of the Admiralty.1 I am so very happy I hardly know what I am writing.

Believe me,

Your most affectionate nephew,


Remember me most kindly to aunt Bessy and all at dear Maer.

Caroline Darwin added on the same sheet:


Charles is come home so little altered in looks from what he was five years ago and not a bit changed in his

1 It was, as before said, his uncle's influence which had induced his father to consent to his joining the Beagle.

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own dear self. He had landed at Falmouth on Sunday evening, and travelled night and day till he came to Shrewsbury late last night. We heard nothing of him till this morning, when he walked in just before breakfast. We have had the very happiest morning—Charles so full of affection and delight at seeing my father looking so well and being with us all again.

He is looking very thin but well—he was so much pleased by finding your and Charlotte's kind notes ready to receive him. I shall indeed enjoy, my dear Eliz., going to Maer with him. How happy he will be to see you all again. When I began this letter I did not know he would feel tranquil enough to write himself, but he said he must be the first to tell uncle Jos of his arrival. He feels so very grateful to uncle Jos and you all, and has been asking about every one of you.

Now we have him really again at home I intend to begin to be glad he went this expedition, and now I can allow he has gained happiness and interest for the rest of his life. Good-bye, dear Eliz. It is pleasant to write to those who sympathise so entirely with us.

Emma Wedgwood to her sister-in-law Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood.

MAER, Monday [Oct. 1836].

... We are getting impatient for Charles's arrival. We all ought to get up a little knowledge for him. I have taken to no deeper study than Capt. Head's gallop1 which I have never read before. I am afraid it won't instruct me much. Charles seems to have been much struck with the sight of Hensleigh walking up the street with a bandbox in one hand and a child in the other. He seems to have nearly settled in favour of living at Cambridge, which is a pity for Erasmus's sake; but I should feel sure that Charles would like Cambridge best, as he has a particular spite to London I believe....

1 Sir Francis Head's Rapid Journeys across the Pampas, published in 1828.

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I took to gardening at a great rate. I think one enjoys being alive more in that sort of late autumn fine weather than at any other time of the year. Good-bye, my dear F.

Emma Wedgwood to her sister-in-law Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood.

MAER, Monday [Nov. 21, 1836].

... We enjoyed Charles's visit uncommonly. We had been very handsome in inviting all the outlyers of the family to meet him, and the last morning the chaise from Tern Hill1 did not come, and we persuaded them to stay, and had just made ourselves comfortable and planned a walk when the chaise arrived. However we got them to let us send it off, though Caroline felt it to be rather naughty, and we had a very nice snug day of them to ourselves. Charles talked away most pleasantly all the time; we plied him with questions without any mercy. Harry and Frank made the most of him and enjoyed him thoroughly. Caroline looks so happy and proud of him it is delightful to see her. We had her a whole month, and I never enjoyed a visit of hers so much; she was so very nice and settled herself more at home here than usual.

Charles was quite angry with Charlotte's picture. He studied it many times to see if he could find any likeness and said: "I hope to fate she is not like that picture." I suppose he has rather a poetical idea of her, for the picture is certainly very like.

Elizabeth Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Dec 14. [1836].


I received your dear letter while our pleasant guests were with us. I never saw uncle Allen looking better nor in better spirits in my life. His perpetual pleasant and sweet looks and merry laugh were quite delightful to see and hear.

1 Tern Hill, on the road to Shrewsbury.

VOL. I. 18

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He enjoyed very much seeing my mother so well and gay, and she was exhilarated by his company in a manner that she would not have been capable of two or three years ago. They had a merry battle at whist every night, in which numberless old scraps of songs used to come forth from the extraordinary store-houses of both their memories, and enquiries about people so long gone by, that the wonder was how they even recollected their names....

Emma Wedgwood to her sister-in-law Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood.

MAER, Saturday, 17th Dec., 1836.

... We are in such a dissipated humour that we have actually invited the Mainwarings and Mrs Moreton for next Wednesday, and then we shall be clear of the world for a year to come.

Catherine tells me they are very anxious to have your and Hensleigh's real opinion of Charles's journal. I am convinced Dr Holland is mistaken if he thinks it not worth publishing. I don't believe he is any judge as to what is amusing or interesting. Cath. does not approve of its being mixed up with Capt. Fitzroy's, and wants it to be put altogether by itself in an Appendix.1

I envy you Mr Scott's lectures. If he makes you understand the Epistle to the Romans I shall think him a great genius. We had a very nice visit from Godfrey.2 It was pleasant to see how fond he is of his little maid, he always saved some dessert or asked for some for her. His only bon mot was enquiring what papa's overalls were and saying, "Are they to prevent his hurting his knees when he tumbles

1 The Journal was originally published in 1839 as vol. iii. of the Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of her Majesty's ships "Adventure" and "Beagle" between the years 1826 and 1836. In his autobiography (Life and Letters, i. p. 80) he wrote: "The success of this my first literary child always tickles my vanity more than that of any of my other books."

2 Godfrey Wedgwood was now just upon four years old; Amy his sister was seventeen months.

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down?" I began teaching him to read, which he did not much like but never rebelled....

Emma, accompanied by her brother Jos, went to Edinburgh this winter to pay a visit of about two months to her cousin Lady Gifford, who was then living there.

Emma Wedgwood to her sister-in-law Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood.


Tuesday [Jan. 24, 1837].

... We found Harriet [Gifford] blazing with gas in a handsome house, and she gave us a very pleasant, cordial reception. We are quite surprized at the wonderful civility of all Harriet's friends, calling upon us and inviting us out just as if we were somebody, and I think their manners are so much more civil and cordial than English people's. We have the Celtic ball on Friday and that is all our gaiety at present. We found all the family here just recovering from the influenza and looking ill.

Godfrey's picture turned out very successful; Mr Holmes1 has carried him off and means to put him in the Suffolk St. exhibition. It is much more beautifully painted than Mr Richmond, but I don't believe he has so much talent. Indeed he is such a perfect little idiot that one can't imagine how he has sense enough to do anything. He used to say, "I'm just a going to walk round your beautiful river" [meaning the pool], till one day Shot fell upon him and tore his cheek, and he would not venture out again. We were very sorry for the poor little man, for the fright put him quite out of spirits, and I don't think he will ever venture to face a dog again, as he seems to think they have a particular spite to him. And I think it must be so, or what could have possessed Shot? Lord Gifford is coming next week, which I am sorry for, as I hate a boy of that age [19], one has nothing to say to them. I don't think I shall want any clothes but

1 James Holmes (1777—1860), water-colour and miniature painter. He had many distinguished sitters, amongst others Lord Byron.

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a bonnet, which I have got, as I don't expect many balls; and I have a new muslin which will do for two or three.

Fanny Hensleigh wrote to her hoping that she would be "smart enough" for her gaieties. A fear of this kind creeps out more than once amongst the cousinhood. Certainly no one thought less of dress in her middle life, although in my memory she was always suitably yet simply dressed. But in her old age she recognised its importance, and I remember her saying that she felt it dismal that her sister Charlotte took so little interest in making herself look nice; in 1883 she wrote: "The two B.s are gone to church, one of them what Bernard thinks quite too swell; and I think her hat too much so. But a person is much happier in my opinion for being fond of dress."

In the following letter Emma alludes to a rumour of Charles Darwin becoming engaged to a Miss ——. There used also to be jokes about Erasmus and Miss Martineau, against whom his father had a great prejudice.

Emma Wedgwood to her sister-in-law Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood.

MAER [May 23, 1837].

... Disputes run very high here upon the subject of Violet.1 Some of the party are quite convinced it is written by a woman and have some suspicions it is Mrs Marsh. She acted very well when she was here if it is hers, and did not show the least interest on the subject. I think it is much too clever for the author of the two last old men [Old Men's Tales]. Aunt Fanny [Allen] is in a rapture with Sartor and feels quite convinced that Teufelsdröckh is meant for Coleridge, and we want to know from Erasmus whether Mr Carlyle was a friend of Coleridge's. She thinks all the conversations and thoughts are so exactly like Coleridge. For my part it is such very hard reading that I think I must give it up.

Godfrey's dislike to reading continues quite alarming, and I am obliged to coax down his lesson with a French plum or something of that nature. I shall be very curious

1 Violet la danseuse, a pathetic novel that had a great success.

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to know whether Susan and Catherine [Darwin] really like Miss Martineau—I expect they will. They seem to take very kindly to their other sister.

We find Pickwick not at all too low for our taste, and it reads aloud much better than to oneself.

My mother had always a good opinion of a little bribery for getting over small childish difficulties. Even when there was no difficulty she sometimes resorted to it. I remember her using gingerbread as a bribe to her little grandson Bernard, then about four years old, to induce him to stop drawing the house from the lawn at Down. He had sat there all the morning and she was wearied at his pertinacity.

Charles Darwin was now settled in London. Some rough notes of his which were kept by my mother and endorsed by her "C.D. on marriage," show that ideas on this subject were floating through his mind. They are undated but were probably written in 1837. They were roughly, almost illegibly, jotted down on scraps of paper and perhaps hardly written in earnest. Among the advantages are: "Children (if it please God)—constant companion (& friend in old age)—charms of music & female chit-chat." Among the disadvantages: "Terrible loss of time, if many children forced to gain one's bread; fighting about no society." But he continues, "What is the use of working without sympathy from near and dear friends? Who are near and dear friends to the old, except relatives?" And his conclusion is: "My God, it is intolerable to think of spending one's whole life like a neuter bee, working, working, and nothing after all.—No, no won't do.—Imagine living all one's days solitarily in smoky, dirty London house—Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa, with good fire and books and music perhaps—compare this vision with the dingy reality of Gt Marlboro" St.

Marry, marry, marry.


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Josiah Wedgwood's engagement to Caroline Darwin—The Sismondis at Pescia—A tour in the Apennines—Mrs Norton at Cresselly—Emma at Shrewsbury and Onibury—Hensleigh resigns his Police Magistracy—A family meeting in Paris—Bro's illness.

THE following letter was written just after the engagement of Josiah Wedgwood to his cousin Caroline Darwin. He was 42, and she was 37 years old. His mother had longed for this to happen thirteen years ago.

Emma Wedgwood to her sister Elizabeth Wedgwood, at Onibury.

MAER, Sunday [1st July, 1837].


On Friday I went directly after breakfast on the pony to tell aunt Sarah the good news, and took a nice little note of Jos's to her, which was rapturous enough to please her very much. Later in the day I went to Seabridge [the Harry Wedgwoods] time enough to have a talk with them before dinner. Jos had called in his way to Etruria to tell them, which had pleased them. He was so agitated he could hardly tell them. They were very much surprised, and I was wrong in my notion that it had come into their heads. They were very full of joy and sympathy. I should have been dreadfully put to to help telling the Tollets, but luckily Harry saved me that agony by telling himself. Eliza and Jessie [Wedgwood] thought of a delightful little scheme for me, which I am going to put in practice by their kind help in coming to take care of Mamma, viz. to go to Shrews-

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bury for a few days. It will be so very nice to see them while it is so fresh. They pressed me so warmly to go that I do not believe they feel the least uneasiness about being with Mamma.

Jos is in an agony of impatience, and said to me yesterday: "I have sent another hurrying letter to Frank, but whether he comes or not, I shall go and leave the Works to themselves, for I cannot bear to stay any longer." He had your letter in his hand, and said something half finished with great feeling, about not having said half enough in his letter to you, I understood. I asked to see your letter, which he showed me, tearing off the beginning; which makes me long to see what he wrote to you, as I guess what it was. It is delightful to see how much attached he is to her. Whenever I have talked to him alone he has burst out, in a way as if he could not contain himself, about her exquisite charm. What did she say to him? I shall die if I never know. I tried to make him tell me, but he was too cute for that. I long to talk it over with dear Charlotte. If I have the goodness in me I shall return home on Thursday, but as I can hear every day by the coach now the railroad is open, I might possibly stay three nights. Tell me if you think I had the least better not, as two days will quite satisfy me. I shall so enjoy seeing them. I think dear Caroline will be pleased with some things I can tell her.

The Sismondis were now at Pescia, making the long stay in Italy spoken of in the last chapter. Harriet Surtees and Emma Allen were with them.

Emma Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgood.

VALCHIUSA [PESCIA], July 1 [1837].

... Jessie's great deafness prevents conversation being half so agreeable and gay with her as it used to be; but tho" she is not merry as she used to be, it is a great point that she is not melancholy. She is calm and sweet as ever,

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and ever will be one of the sweetest beings the sun ever shone on.... I suspect it is with no small pleasure Sismondi anticipates having his wife to himself this autumn and winter; it is a treat that he has been very long without, and I feel it has been hard on him to have seen so much of people he could never get a taste for, no more than they could for him. But it is a great comfort for me to observe how perfect Jessie's affection is for him. He is quite sufficient for her happiness, and she adopts with such admirable grace all his tastes and even his whims. I believe there is one thing keeps me out of his favour, which is I cannot read up to what he writes. I cannot admire or approve of all his notions, and he is too sensitive for me to dare to criticise them. He appears to me the most conservative man I know, as far as cherishing old ways, or what I should call old abuses, and opposing all improvement. Not even infant schools and savings-banks escape his condemnation, while beggary meets with his strenuous support. Of course the present state of distress in the trading world confirms him in his system,1 and I fancy his pen is going full tilt on the subject. But he has such an intemperate horror of cotton manufacture that he could not bear my saying it had added to the comfort of our poor in giving them sheets in their beds, which in my youth few of them knew....

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Wedgwood.

PESCIA, 16 July, 1837.

... Dear Joe, how heartily I wish him health and long life to enjoy the happiness his wise choice has insured. His excessive modesty has always kept him ignorant how tenderly he was loved. I dare say he does not know that he has always been the dearest of my nephews, that I have still by me the few long and affectionate letters he ever wrote to me, and that in "35, I read over what he had written in

1 See p. 129 for his views on Political Economy.

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"15. I beg too you will give my love to dear Caroline Darwin. May she be rewarded for her acceptance of our Joe by being the fondest loved and happiest wife on earth.

Monday 17. I am a little quieter to-day though just as glad, but I can proceed to other matters, and to begin I will tell you that last week the thermometer here was 90 and above. We (not one of us as you know very youthy) had the courage to undertake a riding excursion in the mountains, which answered entirely.... Our first sanctuary, Vallombrosa, was beyond my expectations beautiful. I give you no description for that's a bore, but the water there was clear and delicious, better than champagne; the dinner most excellent, and the fragrant hay scenting the whole air....

At Camaldoli we were received much in the same way as at Vallombrosa. Our guide said the monks were there more "amorosi," and so indeed we found them. Sismondi found a friend under his white cowl, a Pesciatino, a clever and "enlightened" man. The white monks seemed the aristocracy of the monkish orders, we were struck with the personal beauty of many. They were all fat and blooming; I guess not much given to rigid fasting. At Vallombrosa they were in black, at La Verna in ragged brown, and dirty and poor looking, as if the servants of the two other orders. These last are supported entirely by begging; yet about 200 persons are daily fed at the convent. It is rather costly to go from convent to convent, but it is a delightful tour to make, for they are always placed in Italy high and beautifully.

Charles Darwin to his cousin Elizabeth Wedgwood.



I am very much obliged to you for thinking of so pleasant a party as the Music Meeting would have been to me. It would have been like the never-to-be-forgotten [one] many years ago. But I find I cannot leave London:

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consider the infinite importance to a young author of his first proof-sheets. You will say I am utterly unworthy, when I tell you that I think I would sooner pay Maer a quiet visit, than hear all the drums and fiddles in the world together.... To write a book I do not doubt is a very grand thing, but there ought to be a deal of satisfaction from some source to repay one for all one loses. What a waste of life to stop all summer in this ugly Marlborough Street, and see nothing but the same odious house on the opposite side, as often as one looks out. I long to pay Shrewsbury a visit, and pray recollect I have put your most good natured invitation a little further back in the autumn when I will be quite free. Give my love to all at Maer and believe me, dear Elizabeth,

Yours affectionately,


Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

CRESSELLY, Sept. 28th [1837].

You will not guess whom we are expecting here to-day, so I may as well tell you. You know we are not fastidious in the morals of our lady friends from the example of the Countess Guiccioli, and Mrs Norton is our expected guest. Charles Brinsley Sheridan comes with her, and a Mrs Barton, who has been staying at Tenby this summer. John [Allen] met this party at Baugh's two days ago, and asked them here, after seeing the dock-yard and launch to day—Baugh of course is master of the ceremonies. Lady Cawdor has been staying here these last two days; she is just gone, but she said she should have had no objection to meeting Mrs Norton at all. Though the trial1 revealed a mode of going on that was rather strange and not altogether re-

1 The trial was a year before this. She was accused of an intrigue with Lord Melbourne. The result entirely vindicated her character. It is said that some of Lord Melbourne's notes to her, gave Dickens hints for Mr Pickwick's "chops and tomato sauce" letter to Mrs Bardell.

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spectable, her guilt or innocence she put out of the question....

Our ladies are gone, and I have been a good deal amused on the whole. Mrs Norton is a very fine actress, scarcely inferior to Grisi, I think. Her manner is very striking, so perfectly still; which was strongly contrasted by her companion Mrs Barton, who had all the flutter and unquietness of vanity, that most restless of all feelings. Mrs N. is very beautiful—the countenance of a Sybil. She sang several songs to us, some of her own composition, and Moore's, and others; her voice and manner of singing are quite perfect. I have not enjoyed anything so much for a long time as when she sat at the instrument. Mr Sheridan is a sensible man, but he talks little, and leaves the stage clear for his niece, who does her part incomparably, neither talking too much nor too little. Everything she does or says is so perfectly sensible and in good taste, and yet I should say she is not attractive. Mrs Barton sails for Ireland to-night, but I should not be surprised if we were to see Mrs Norton and Mr Sheridan here again; they stay a fortnight longer at Tenby.

Baugh is in very good spirits and is fully occupied administering advice and comfort to Mrs Norton, who has carried away the hearts of Harry and Johnny [Fanny Allen's nephews]. They are wild with enthusiasm. Her singing carried all before it....

Emma Wedgwood to her sister-in-law Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood.

ONIBURY, Friday [3 Nov., 1837].


I set out on my travels last Tuesday week and got to Shrewsbury. Susan was at Woodhouse, but I had plenty of pleasant talk with Catherine, and Susan came home on Friday. She had been to the birth-day at Wynnstay, which is the grandest thing that can be seen; more than 200 people sitting down to a magnificent dinner

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upon plate and a ball and supper afterwards. The pole of their carriage was broken in coming to the door, so they were rather in a quandary. Everybody went away but those who were staying in the house, when young Sir Watkin, who was very tipsy, offered them his chariot, which they thankfully accepted. It was rather a squeeze and Susan came home sitting at the bottom of the carriage.... I find a week long enough at Shrewsbury, as one gets rather fatigued by the Dr's talk, especially the two whole hours just before dinner. It is best to be there in the middle of summer, as one has more sitting out with the girls. The Dr has been as pleasant as possible, and I never saw [him enjoy] anything so much as Susan's account of all her gaieties.... The days have been passing very snugly since I came to Onibury. I quite enjoy the novelty of reading a good deal, and have the luck of finding Scott's life here and several books I wanted to read. Charles [Langton]'s hands are very full of business, what with the organ, setting up a bath in his dressing-room with a patent invention of his own for pumping up hot water, altering the kitchen grate and all the other grates in the house, with another patent invention to avoid draughts, the cow being confined &c., he is very busy, and has only time to study a little of Pickwick between whiles. Charlotte is getting a proper degree of interest about the cows, and is very dutifully gone this morning to see the new-born calf. A dinner-party is gradually brewing here, but it takes so much screwing up of their courage that it will not happen in my time.

Poor [Harriet] Martineau seems going down the hill with Hensleigh and Erasmus, so I hope you will stick by her. The Dr read the first article in the Westminster Review1 before he knew it was not hers, and wasted a great deal of good indignation, and even now he can hardly believe it is not hers. I am sorry to say I wish to read the Vicar of

1 The article is a passionate call to the Radicals to rise against the Whigs and to get enacted the measure which is to save the country, the Ballot. "We had faith in the Ballot, even without the Reform Bill. We had no faith in the Reform Bill without the Ballot."

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Wrexhill. Is it so bad that one would be ashamed to own to having read it? for my morality extends no further than that. Hensleigh's letter was sent on here and you may be sure we made much of it, as it was a day of incessant rain, so that I had a little too much leisure time for my studies. Good-bye, my dear Fanny, send me some children-talk.

Hensleigh had followed his father's wishes and had not thrown up his Police Magistracy in 1834; but he now felt that he could no longer constrain his conscience. The loss of the income was a most serious one to him and his family, and meant their being reduced to live on £400 a year. Fanny showed great magnanimity in the way she bore the loss of fortune for a scruple that she did not share.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

CRESSELLY, Dec. 17, 1837.


I have received a sweet letter from Fanny, telling us of Hensleigh's decision. He has done his part nobly, for I cannot doubt that this pause of four years has been a sacrifice made to his wife and family, and a compleat trial of the truth of his inward guide. It is also an assurance, as it seems to me, that his first decision was not a hasty one. He must have looked at the subject ten thousand times for once that any other person less interested could have done; and though I am very sorry that his conscience demands the sacrifice, I feel when I think of him alone, that I am glad his struggle is over. Fanny is the wife one would wish him, and she does her part as well as he does his; and they will be rewarded, though it most probably may not be in pounds, shillings and pence. I rejoice to hear from Fanny also that your father, who is the next person to be considered, takes it so well. I should expect it from him, for Hensleigh has been taught by his parents. It is the first instance I have known of a great sacrifice made to a Christian principle; I endeavour to check and keep down the expectation or hope of reward, but it will come, and I cannot

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help it. I was very glad to hear John [Allen] say, after reading Fanny's letter, which touched him a good deal: "With these feelings Hensleigh could do no otherwise than he has done." He has commonly more worldly feelings than I like to see in him and he sometimes from want of thought gives them out before his children; but though he is exceedingly sorry for Hensleigh's decision he considers it a a thing sealed and apart from argument. When they get into your happy and peaceful harbour, I trust all the painful or painfullest part of their trial will be over....

Do not fail to give my affectionate love to Joe and Caroline when you see them. How does your mother take it? Ever dearest Elizabeth and Emma,

Yours entirely,


I think you will all have a delightful winter together.

At the end of the Sismondis" long stay in Italy, before settling again at Chêne they went to Paris, where was a great family gathering. John Allen of Cresselly and his daughter Isabella, Harry and Jessie Wedgwood, Emma Wedgwood and Catherine Darwin all made a trip to Paris to meet them, and there spent about three weeks.

Emma Wedgwood to her mother.

BOULOGNE, May 15, 1838, Sunday.


Here we are safe and sound after a most excellent passage. This morning we have had our breakfast interrupted only by running to the window to look at the diligences going by.

I will now go back to the beginning of our adventures. We had a very pleasant drive to Birmingham, Harry in a rapture with the green meadows full of yellow flowers all the way. We set off by the railway at 9 next morning, arrived at Rugby at 11 1/2, and got into a coach without the least bustle. We found our four hours in the coach so far more fatiguing than the rest of the journey that we advise

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aunt Harriet to come by the railroad after all.1 ... The benevolent will all rejoice to hear that we really got to the Lady of Lyons. It was very pretty and charming, and Macready managed to make himself look quite young and lovely. It was a great piece of good fortune and one duly appreciated by me....

Emma Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

[MAER], July 21, 1838.

I assure you I found myself rather flat and dull after all my dissipation and pleasure, but we have had such a sober quiet fortnight to ourselves that I am sobered now, and can read my book. The beginning of my stay in London was very pleasant till poor Bro fell ill. Robert Mackintosh was very bright and pleasant, and dined with us or came in the evening every day, and Charles [Darwin] used to come from next door, so we were a very pleasant, merry party. Robert is working very hard writing at his office, whatever that may be, for nobody but Harry ventures to ask him; and I was amused to see what a quantity of pumping it took to get a strait answer from him. The Hensleighs and I went on the Sunday to Woolwich, which I enjoyed particularly. Not entirely Mr Scott's merit, but it was a beautiful day, and such a pretty place and a nice drive, but I did like Mr Scott's sermon very much. Mr Carlyle dined with us in Marlborough St. which you won't care about. I did not hear much of what he said, but his look is quite remarkably pleasant, and he has the most straitforward manner in the world and talks the broadest Scotch.... Then poor Bro fell ill, and we thought of little else. I never saw such self-command as Fanny's, managing to look cheerful almost all day except early in the morning, when she was overdone with the night's watching. She looked very miserable the morning

1 This was probably Emma's first experience of a railway. The travelling would seem to us very slow, 2 1/2 hours to get from Birmingham to Rugby, a journey which is now done in 45 or 50 minutes.

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I came away, sitting on the bed watching his poor little miserable face, which was enough to make anybody cry to look at. It was the only time I saw her crying. The day we almost expected to hear of his death, a letter came to say he had rallied and taken to food and had laughed. You may fancy how happy we were. Your letter came in that happy morning too.

I have been meeting Monsieur Sismondi's name very often lately in Wilberforce's Life with expressions of great respect. I am disappointed in the Life. His dull sons have put in such a quantity of repetition that one is quite weary of the same religious sentiment repeated 50 times over in nearly the same words. And they have been very spiteful about poor old Clarkson, who is blind and 80 years old, which I think might have made them careful not to hurt him, and one feels very sure their father never would. Wilberforce's letters, I think, are not very agreeable or clever, but very sweet (in a good sense).

Elizabeth's smart gown is much admired and just the becoming colour. She has worn it twice which shews she is getting extravagant. The first time, I must own, I was obliged to be rather strict with her to make her put it on. I have been perpetrating a practical joke with Elizabeth's help, the first we were ever guilty of in our lives. We have been writing a letter from d'Etchégoyen to Uncle Allen proposing a visit to Cresselly. There were some beautiful sentences in it extracted from a real letter of his to Harry which arrived not long ago. I am not sure that it will come very apropos if Uncle Allen is not quite recovered from the gout.

Emma Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Nov. 1, 1838.

How happy you must feel that all fear of war is over.1 I don't at all understand the merits of the case, but I admire

1 See p. 130.

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the spirit of so small a state as Geneva standing up against great big France....

I have been gadding again. I went with Miss Morgan to Bristol to visit Mrs Harrison, who was Ellen Acland. I thought as I had a comfortable escort both ways I would do a piece of friendship once in a way, and it answered very well. I enjoyed some rides on those beautiful downs. Certainly riding is a different thing there to what it is here along the roads and between the hedges.

I met with a great misfortune to-day in my nice new Parisian merino gown, which I was wearing almost for the first time. I was carrying a great can of treacle-posset to an old woman and turned it over upon my flounce. I came home rather sticky and dejected, but I find it will wash out and be none the worse. I tell you this interesting event because I know you hate slopping your gowns so much. Our pretty neighbour Miss Mainwaring is going to be married to a Mr Coyney. It is pleasant the Mainwarings being so unsociable. They never ask us to dinner but once a year and hardly ever call, which is very comfortable. Our last neighbours there used to invite us much too often....



[Continued in Volume 2.]

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