From H. E. Litchfield to Elizabeth Darwin [late 1870s]

4, Bryanston Street, | Portman Square. W.

June 25th 79

Dear Bessy

I have been a wretch not to write to you before & I have no reason except that I felt very lazy & have been wasting most of my day over Dubba. I always come to him with a slight sense of disappointment & get to think him more delightful than ever when I go away— He wasn't very civil to Caroline's playing  I asked him whether he liked it & he said `"No so I said why not, ''Because it is so ugly. I thk he has a v. quick memory we were walking up the kitch garden & saw a cuckoo so I began to sing him the song abt the cuckoos is a funny bird wh. I had been singing the day before (for the first time I'm almost sure) but I couldn't remember the 7th & 8th lines when he immediately supplied them—""& never says Cuckoo, till Spring time is near""— Of course we we were marching & he remarked it wd be very nice when we had Ubbedy & we cd go in a line & then asked where you were—

I wonder whether its a bad thing to have such bloody sports— He & Robert were killing Zulus which was rather dangerous but very delightful & must be stopped. you put the wicket stumps here & there about the lawn & both rush & slash at them with the sticks till you knock them down—

Tell Mary I feel to have got quite friends with Walter & we often have talks. Robert keeps firmer to the kitchen regions. Mrs Evans said after a v. wet day—''I did pray we might have a fine day *P [symbol for tomorrow] *Q for those children were in & out the whole day long. They are wonderfully good to Bernard. I notice he kisses Walter of his own accord wh. he never has done to me— Jackson is to take them to the Crystal Palace which will be good fun I shd hope. No doubt youve heard of Louisa's v. kind plan for the parents to lodge at her house whilst she visits me— Its most thoughtful of her to think of it & she proposes it so nicely I'll send her letter if I haven't lost it— I'm so glad to see that you are starting with better weather than we have here— Its as cold & rainy & horrid here as possible— My 1st. tour in Switz the weather was a gt. trial 112 fine days in 10 days or a fortnight at Engstlen & very few at Glion. My normal thing was a very old hat, no gown & waterproof—& it was a gt. take off tho' I did enjoy it extremely all the same— I'm going to be larky & go to Mrs Lushes party tonight. I'm only bored to thk of all the people who'll ask how I am  I wish it was civil to let it alone but it isn't, so it cant be helped I shall see St A. *P [symbol for tomorrow] *Q & then know what I'm to do to finish getting well

Give my best love to Mary— your ever aff. dear B | HEL

Please cite as “FL-1091,” in Ɛpsilon: The Darwin Family Letters Collection accessed on 3 March 2024,