Letter

Scope and Content

From Forest House, Leytonstone, Essex, to Madeley, Shropshire. Charles has been home [from Lyons] for a good while. His father finds him much improved in appearance and 'acquisitions' - his time in Lyons was very well spent as he is now very fluent in French, has learned a good deal of Italian and has worked at his fencing, arithmetic and writing - all of these were expected of him but he has also learned much about botany and philosophy which will be of use and amusement for the rest of his life. Moreover, he has returned home without loss of principles or acquisition of vicious habits, so his father has every reason to be thankful that he has turned out so well. He is now entered into his uncle Billy's business and is proving very hard-working.

As Mary knows, Samuel junior is being groomed for a partenorship 'in the Banking House in which Mr Will Bosanquet is placed, he goes there every day to learn the business' and has lodgings in London where he stays from Tuesday to Saturday. Sam is so steady in his disposition that his father has no hesitation in allowing him this freedom so early. In any case, his uncle's house is nearby and he has a trusty servant who worked with Samuel senior several years ago.

[John] Bernard is still at Eton [College] and will turn out very different from his older brothers - 'either vastly clever or vastly wrong: there is no mediocrity in him. At school he is equal or superior to every thing that is set him to do, and is both quick & deep - He will hear a lecture on natural philosophy or astronomy, & retain the whole of it, so as to be able to give a full account of the whole at his return, & at the same time perfectly understand the reason of every part of it. His principles at present are very good, but such a disposition is more dangerous than a heavy plodding one. We must hope the best…'

He trusts that Mary's nephew Mr Fletcher is easier in his mind than he appeared to be by Mary's last letter to Billy. 'Possibly the Lady may be as much disatisfyed as he was, but he must have been young in the world to imagine that her friends would consent to an establishment for their daughter with no better prospects than Mr Fletcher at present has. I dare say you have felt for him, but youth & absence from the Lady will soon make his heart whole again'.

Financial details are discussed with regard to Mary's income from rent and the French annuity.

[A considerable portion of the letter is missing]

They have been inconvenienced all this Summer with the house repairs. He hopes they will be finished by Christmas. He wishes that Mary would visit .