From Sarah Harriet Owen 31 [December 1827]
6. Marine Square. [Brighton]
My dear Charles.
I was very glad to receive your letter, though it gave an additional pang to my guilty conscience for not having sooner fulfilled my promise of writing to you, but I hope you do not think that forgetfulness has been the cause of my silence. I have said to myself every day for the last fortnight, “I will write to Charles Darwin.” & every day some awfully sudden event has prevented my doing so, but as to my forgetting you, Mr Charles that is quite out of the question—
I am afraid I have nothing very interesting to tell you, though I have been very gay since came here, & like Brighton very much, we are out almost every night, which I think very wonderful, considering we knew so few people here when we first came. Last week we were at three Balls, besides Parties, & are engaged to four or five more, you make such particular enquries after Red coats & shootables1 that I cannot resist telling you (like Mrs. Mathew) that they are most of them “remarkably frightful,” & the scarlet shootables & Scorpions2 are also remarkably useless as very few of them go out & dance. I had the supreme bliss of chauncing to meet my very favourite shootable yesterday, viz Mr. Charles Jones, we met out walking & were equally surprised to see each other, he fancied I was at Eaton3 , & I thought him safe in London, he turned back & walked with me for an hour by Shrewsbury Clocks4 & of course was very agreeable &c &c &c &c as usual I am afraid he is only here for a day or two, he called on us yesterday but we were out, & did not see him— I have only had one ramrodding excrescence5 since I came here, & that was with the Foxhounds, & excellent sport we had, I wish we could have the Spaniard here, instead of at the Forest, where he is now quite useless, there are very good horses to be hired here, & we intend to have another gallop soon—
Brighton is so horridly windy that there is very little pleasure in walking here, & besides we are in sad want of a walking Chaperon, & I often wish you were here to take pity on two desolate Flams. Caddy6 wrote me word you were to go to the Forest the first hard frost, but I have not yet heard your name amongst the fashionable arrivals, remember you will owe two or three long visits by the time we return, I do not exactly know when that will be, I should think not before the beginning of February, I hope you will not be departed to your “brilliant establishment” at Cambridge—7 We dined yesterday at Sir George Anson’s, & had a very pleasant evening, Francis Anson is very goodnatured & agreeable & a great favourite with us all, he chaunces to drop in every Morning to see what we are about, & enquire if he can be useful in any way, I do not know what we should do without him. Then there is Capt. Fremantle who is very goodnatured & civil, but I do not like him half so well as Francis— As for 〈 〉8
〈 〉 Darwin Hall & believe me, my dear Charles. | ever Yours sincerely | S. H Owen
The quantity of this will I hope atone for the quality, if you ever have patience to read it all—
They have been having a very gay time. Tells of "Redcoats & Shootables" and several mutual friends.