Recounts his misadventures on the train journey back to London. Tells of a visit to the FitzRoys and a friendly letter from Lyell. Whether CD and Emma should live in central London or in the suburbs is a perplexing problem, much discussed by relatives and friends.
[36 Great Marlborough Street]
Wednesday Morning 22
My dear Emma
I have been writing letters all morning, & before I go to the Geolog Soc. I shall amuse myself by giving you an account of my travels.— The train was retarded by the high winds, & a rumour passed from one carriage to the other, that we possibly should miss the London train.— Accordingly as we entered the station-yard at Bermingham, we saw the London train start, & they would not wait even the five minutes necessary just to jump into the carriages.— The indignation of all us unfortunates was immense.— I can laugh now, though I could not then, at the expression of all faces, as each group turned out of its carriage, like bees out of a hive.— nothing could be heard, but “infamous, scandalous conducts.— directors, parliament rascals.” &c.— One high-minded passenger avenged himself, there being nobody to abuse excepting porters, by going to London in a night horse coach, much to his inconvenience.—
I took another line, & comforted myself with a beef steak & tea, & then went to bed at 5 oclock with orders, which greatly amused the chamber maids, to be called at
After having settled & sorted divers papers I started to tell the news to the Captain.— You see I am treating you, as if you were my actual wife, & giving you an account of all my doings as I hope to do for many a long year my own dear Emma.— The Captain & Madam were most cordial, & both, especially the former highly approved of my conduct: he says we shall not know, what real happiness there is in man & woman living together, till we have tried it for at least six months.— I dare say there may be some truth in this, though I suspect the time of probation will be a good deal shorter with us.— I wish it began rather earlier,—though I humbly beg pardon for saying so, & will not again.— But when I think of those few hours, when we sat together in the Library, hope deferred does make my heart quite sick to call you in truth my wife.— M
I have received a letter from Lyell, forwarded from Shrewsbury, which has pleased me extremely.— it is most cordial & almost affectionate as if from a relation.— M
Erasmus met mother-in law at M
This appears to me not an improbable & most odious interpretation which will be put on the affair if it gets into the newspaper.—
Good bye my dearest good girl | C. D.
I have not space to say half I wish to say.
- f1 440.f1Misdated by CD. 21 November 1838, the date of the postmark, was a Wednesday.
- f2 440.f2Anne Susan Horner, Mrs Leonard Horner, Lyell's mother-in-law.
- f3 440.f3Robert Mackintosh had returned from a consulship in America in June 1838 (Wedgwood 1980, p. 232) and was waiting for another appointment. Palmerston was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs at the time.
- f4 440.f4Edward Hall Alderson.