Letter: from Gerald Balfour to Emily Faithfull

Scope and Content

Dearest Miss F. Thank you very much for your kind Congratulations. You can't think how many such I have received. The room is perfectly full of letters answered and unanswered, and really if the process is continued much longer, I think I shall stick ostrich feathers in my cap and strutt about the streets with boards for and aft blagoning forth my achievements in all the colours of the rainbow. I suspect that I am an ink taller already, and I wonder Eustace has not noticed it. I would advise you to think twice before you address me again except as 'Your Grace' or 'Excellency' or 'Most high and ____ant Signor'. Seriously, dear Miss F. to judge from some peoples language (tho' I wouldn't for the world mention names) I must have been Senior [Clefice?] about five times over. There must have been a misprint somehow in the papers, and those strange people whom I mention must have been the only ones who have got hold of the right end of the stick. But now: a further thought this cannot be the Explanation; for even now I hold in my hand a letter from one of the examiners corroborating

the reporters, and vindicating the accuracy of journalism. What then? Have you read the account wrong? Were your spectacles (to use a mild word) in that clotted condition of filth, that renders them admirably suited to serve as thinkers and absolutely useless for anything else? But then others would have corrected your mistake, who do not live in the same self-blighted condition. No, deary, your blindness must have been mental as well as physical, and a little bird has told me the cause of it. It is your affection for us, for which I love you and we all love you, and wish you all the good things that you possibly wish for us. And I know that I can't wish anything better for you than that you should see every body else around you happy and prospering. Addio! And if I must be selfish I would say 'May you have this wish!' Most affectionately yours Gerald Balfour.

Written at Brighton, dated Friday.