From Emma Wedgwood [20–1 January 1839]
My dear Charles
I sat growling & shivering over the fire most of the day on Friday making “pillow cases” & such like & yesterday I was very poorly in myself not I am sorry to say with grief at parting with you, but all owing to that horrid little bit of stewed beef we had on Thursday & again on Friday & half poisoned two or three of us. So I was rather grieved to receive a call from Mrs Butt & Miss Edwards who were very friendly & gracious & always take me in to believe it all when I am with them. Jos came on Friday in his way to Shrewsbury & had heard from Caroline a very good account of the Dr& the baby. No news from the Langtons yet which is vexatious. I am longing to see dear old Charlotte
Yesterday Eliz. went to Seabridge dined there & came home in the evening. I have not been able to catch her in a reflecting mood, to make yr observation but she told me a fact which I think quite worthy to go down in your book along with the baby’s nods & winks1 viz. that when she coughs very sharply in the dark sparks come out of her eyes as if she had received a blow. What are you doing today my dear old soul. Thinking of me I hope, at any rate wishing yourself well out of the scrape. It is a very fine day today, which piece of information I think the more worth giving as I am sure you will not find it out for yourself. I have no more to say so I will put by my letter & then perhaps you will like to hear what sort of a day it is tomorrow.
Monday Are not you pleased at the frost going & the canal being open. Today the Miss Northens are coming very early & I shall have to do a prodigious quantity of friendship with Ellen who adores me extremely & will want to know all about every thing & my chief aim will be to tell her nothing about any thing. I shall treat her like your sisters do the Owens pretend to be very open & carefully never tell anything. I like her very much however, & she is very superior to the rest of the family. This last week does feel so odd & yet sometimes I think I must be very unfeeling not to mind leaving home & these dear ones more than I do. Caroline Tollet sends word that she wishes to attend the wedding & that they would come on the Tuesday morning supposing there was no bed for her, but we shall manage to find one. The Aclands insist upon having a better account of the wedding than the one I gave Ellen which is very unreasonable so I shall ask Mrs Frank2 to write to them after it is over & I am sure she will do every justice to the subject. I dont believe you read any of Lambs3 letters. Have you read the poor lady’s travels by the railroad in Belgium in the last Athenæum4
for once I found the Ath. entertaining. The description of the whirling along is very good.
Goodbye my dear dear Charley yours Emma W.
I shall be very glad to have your letter.
Preparations for the wedding, various callers, and other bits of news.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 490,” accessed on 4 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-490