Add MSS 412
Dear Miss O’Reilly
Thank you so much for your kind letter, and for again sending me an almanac to take the place of last year ‘s. You timed your letter most perfectly, as it & the almanac arrived on New Year ‘s day. Many thanks for your good wishes for the New Year. I wish you & all your people the same. I had not heard the snowdens were in such a bad way. Some one told me they had bought some land a few miles away from Victoria, & he intended to build there. Mrs. Snowden I saw last autumn one day with the Musgraves, but I dent know what has become of her since; I think she was going down to stay with the Ms who have taken a place in Norfolk. The very nice brother of mine whom Mr . Robert Ward met, is the youngest, who is on the Stock Exchange, and invests our money for us, when we have any, and a very good young chap he is. Mr .William Ward also met him, as they dined with me one night at the Bachelors. Mr . Ward was much interested in one of the Bachelors who was dining at the next table, old George Villiers, aged about 95, and still in the House of Commons.
It does seem strange to have living among us still the associate of Cobden and Bright in their great struggle for the Repeal of the Corn Laws and Mr . Ward seemed to be living through the History of England of that period, all dinner. If it is not too late, do send me the small book of poems you spoke of: I’m sure I should find it most interesting, & I do not mind in the least the author’s opinions of Mr . Gladstone; he is quite entitled to hold them & share them with many of my friends & relatives who I constantly hear reviling him.
so I ought to be hardened to it. I should so much have liked to send you a Xmas present, but I dent like the idea of sending things that you may have to pay duty on. That’s what I call an expensive present . People have a way now of giving a set of book-covers in a stand, and before its any use, one has to buy peerages, & red books and dictionaries & a lot of others to fill up the empty covers costing you about 4 or 5 times as such as it cost the giver.
That’s what I call an expensive present. My dear Mama gave me for Xmas, one of those pins, the head of which unscrews and forms a stud for evening wear. As I have always worn 3 simple ones, I have had to get some shirts with only one stud hole. That’s another form of expensive present. I think I remember giving you a couple of white books “Thoughts & Words” which are published privately by a cousin of mine. He has brought out a third & final volume, a copy of which I shall take the liberty of forwarding to you so as to complete your series. Please accept it from me with many happy New Years to come. Perhaps you will see the Naval promotions recently [?]late “Warspites” get a step . Commr Jones is made a Captain and Lieut. Hewitt a Commr I dont know if you ever knew the latter – Mr. Hunter-Blair gets his Commr’s step. Between you and I, I think he is a little lucky, but he does’nt think so himself, & tells me he should have been very much surprised if he had’nt got it.
Frost & Snow in London, I shall be glad when the days lengthen out, & I can go down to my cottage on the River. It was so nice there last summer. I hope all you people are well. Please give them all my kindest regards. With the same to yourself
Ever sincerely yours
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This collection of letters has been digitized from an earlier transcription project and is for informational purposes only. This transcription has not been verified against the originals. Researchers interested in these letters should consult the original documents housed at the BC Archives.