From Emma Wedgwood to F. E. E. Wedgwood [28 October 1836]
My dear Fanny
I have a very good report to send you of Jessie & the baby. Eliza keeps a capital watch & has not allowed any body to see Jessie yet in which I think she is very right. It was all Caroline & Elizabeth could do on Tuesday to see the baby as Jessie said it was so ugly that nobody should see it till it was prettyer, however, Eliz. says she does not think it much smaller than other babies & not so ugly as Loo was & Eliz. thinks from seeing it that it cant be more than a fortnight before its time though Mr Clarke thinks it is 6 weeks. They have got a naughty woman for it & Jessie takes the naughty woman’s baby & I suppose in a little time they will change back again to their own babies. Jessie’s was thought too weak to take to her at first. She is afraid of nursing on the bad side which is tiresome for her. Next week we shall be allowed to see her, but I cannot wait to see the baby till then. It is much more satisfactory writing this baby talk to you my dear old wife after what you tell me which I am very glad to hear indeed & thank you for telling me. It is quite melancholy to hear you talk of the fine weather while we have actually a very tolerably deep snow for the Langtons to get home in. They were very sorry to give up seeing Charles here; but his last letter gave no hopes of his being here this week & as their leave of absence was so nearly expired they went home 2 days before they needed in order to have a few days at liberty to meet him at Shrewsbury, & so they went this morning at 7 o’clock & will get to Onbury today. We are very glad to keep Caroline or we should be very dull but she will wait for Charles any how. I dined at Whitmore yesterday with Jos. I wanted to see the beautiful little Mrs Johnson but she was not well enough to come down & it was only Fanny Northen & not Ellen so it was dull enough. General Johnson who looks quite as old as he is seldom opens his lips while ladies are in the room & the beautiful Capt Mainwaring is very little worth looking at & not at all worth talking to, though Miss Chawner did not seem to be of that opinion & was very attentive & flirtatious to him which is not prudent in an elderly sort of humble companion. He had some Masaniello Trios which were not very brilliant Miss M. on the Harp & I got on pretty well but the Capt came in every now and then with a toot entirely out of time & tune, & as he told me he had formerly learnt the Violoncello & the Violin I thought he wd play decently at least. Charlotte is growner fatter & younger & handsomer & Charles is as well as possible & in gayer spirits than I ever remember him. Allen has been spending 2 days at Etruria to meet the Ed Mosley’s & has come home quite brisk & gay. He wd be so much better if he could always go a visiting. I am reading Mrs Trollope. It is certainly interesting & I think it is evident that she now really feels for the slaves & I do believe the book wd do a great deal of good in America, where it cc only be smuggled in I shd think. It is odiously disagreeable. We shall be very anxious for Miss Martineau. I thought Mrs Hemans was a sort of woman like Miss Landon & that one wd not like her. Uncle John goes to Monmouthshire on a canal meeting expedition tomorrow.
It will be very pleasant for Harry finding Jessie so well when he comes home & the baby grown quite tidy. Caroline desires her best love to you. Snow had no business to get a cough last week it was so very pleasant. 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. Goodbye my dear F. I hope Hensleigh will get some holidays. Mamma is beginning to enquire when we may expect the Hensleighs.
CD will not get to Maer that week. The Langtons are leaving and will meet him at Shrewsbury.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 316,” accessed on 8 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-316