Sarah Faraday and Faraday to Caroline Deacon   12 and 13 April 1854

Brooke Lodge | Red Hill | Reigate | April 12th | 1854

My dear Caroline

I feel that you should have had a letter before this from me for there is a plaintive tone in what I hear to others that shews you want a little cheering & that you are still not so strong as we could wish, but the spring is often a time to feel rather good for nothing & the wind is rather easterly so we must hope as April goes out we shall be more like ourselves as they say - though I think it is like ourselves to feel weak & feeble pretty often[.] I often feel inclined to quote the Protoplast1 & now something comes in to my mind but I have not time, we met the authoress 2 at Mr Barlows a bright gay fashionable looking lady of about 30 to 35 which has been a matter of astonishment to us ever since we heard it, we can hardly realize it, as the Americans say, she lamented my being so long indisposed & I ventured to say I had been making acquaintance with her these two months & gave her a squeeze of the hand which she returned warmly & now I do not suppose we shall say much more, for it would not be safe for me to begin to discuss the objectionable points. I should soon get out of my depth I do not think she is known as the author but hearing your uncle say something of the book, she wrote him a note thinking she ought to tell him. As I was saying we met at Mr Barlows being out for the first time in the evening since Christmas.

Now here we are near Reigate in comfortable lodgings[.] Red Hill is a quiet new place in itself & looks rather bare but the country walks are freely open & very pleasant all round about, but you know Reigate this is rather early & I cannot do much in the walking way but Jane & her Uncle are enjoying it much & are now out looking at the sunset & I am scribbling in the dark, at least I can hardly see it is 1/2 past 7.

13th Again Jane & her uncle are looking after the sunset & I am talking to my dear Caroline; I do not think I told you what Miss Conacher3 said of your portrait she was quite shocked & gave utterance to a lengthened O or two Os “Mrs. Deacon & she with such a sweet face” but still it gives me pleasure to have it. Now I must answer your letter at least a little piece of it which I never noticed for a week after I received it; with respect to Miss [name illegible] - Susans4 friend has left & she has now no communication - do you keep up a correspondence. Your Uncle is busy with his Lecture on Mental Culture 5 a task which he does not much enjoy he feels so unequal to writing a lecture which is to be read & with out experiments or scarcely any, one too which will be keenly criticised - he feels his deficiencies & says it shall be the last which I agree to, but the part he took on the table turning subject seemed to make it necessary that he should be one in the coming course - indeed I suppose his remarks gave rise to the course. Margery will most likely be away at the time of your uncles lecture but I wanted to come here & hear it read before hand & help to criticise.

Tomorrow is Good Friday & we rather expect the three Buchanans to spend the day with us, we feel anxious to as our part in keeping those lads in a right course, feeling for their having no father6 & being pleased to see how steadily & satisfactorily they have gone on so far, they were used to so much liberty in Edinbro’ & had such fine walks about[.] Now poor Nathaniel7 says he has never been in the country since he came to London except once with us at Hammersmith8 & Kew[.] Hammersmith was not country I must say I had no temptation to walk out of our own garden but how I long for a little chaise to carry me over the ground but we can get nothing conveniently not even a Donkey with a side saddle, so we have sent to have a saddle from Reigate but I doubt my power of sitting upon a Donkey for a mile or two but we shall see[.]

My hearing is very indifferent but not so bad nearly as it has been & I keep up my flesh people say I look stout & well indeed I have been taking my food well with extra nourishment so it is no wonder if I am rather stout[.] I am glad you were not tempted to enter into long engagement with the Lady, at the time you saw her for it could not have been a satisfactory beginning.

You did send me the paper you thought you had forgot of Constances remarks & we were much amused[.] Mrs. Christian9 speaks pleasantly of her I went one day to Notting Hill & saw her & the children. I am sorry to hear she is not well & uncertain when she will be able to travel she has had an interesting visit in many respects particularly with Respect to the Church which you will be glad to hear of from her[.] I do not wonder at her being the worse for such a visit, she must lead such a different life at home[.]

If your parcel is of consequence from Miss [name illegible]10 I could very well send Susan some time to fetch it, let me know whether you would like me to do so. I am a little anxious about Susan, her sisters husband Mr Clark11 has emigrated to N America & his wife is to follow, I hope Susan may not be tempted to go after them. Mrs. Girdlers12 daughter has some letters from Australia where she is married to a black man serving in the family she was in, a widower with a child but she writes very happily[.]

I enclose a Mare’s tail have you seen it in this state. The flowers are abundant here of the kinds you mention I got into a little wood this morning it was sweet indeed. Jane desires her love with thanks for your letter. She has had a nice long letter from Frank13 he talks of continuing in Paris a year longer[.]

I have not heard a word of my dear father14 but I dare say you hear from Ellen15[.] I feel for her poor girl on his advancing infirmities but sufficient for the day. With kind remembrance to Thomas & William16 & the little one

I remain very affectionately your Aunt | S. Faraday

Dear Caroline

I have only to put my loving mark for Sarah has I dare say told you all. We are very comfortable & happy here. Sarah very lame but very cheerful. I send you a few violets. Love to Constance, Yourself your husband and others about you[.]

Your affectionate Unkle M. Faraday

[Baillie] (1853).
E.C.C. Baillie. Writer, otherwise unidentified.
Euphemia Conacher. A member of the London Sandemanian Church.
Unidentified.
Faraday (1854f). Delivered on 6 May 1854.
David Buchanan (1779-1848, DNB). Edinburgh journalist and Glasite.
Nathaniel Buchanan otherwise unidentified.
In October 1853. See letter 2745.
Unidentified.
The same name as before.
Unidentified.
Unidentified.
Frank Barnard.
Edward Barnard.
Ellen Barnard (1823-1899, GRO under Vincent). A niece of Sarah Faraday’s.
Unidentified.

Bibliography

FARADAY, Michael (1854f): Observations on Mental Education, London.