Mlle Souvestre to Mrs Strachey

Scope and Content

Excuses her long silence. She is afraid they will not be able to meet just yet. Lina's state of health forbids a journey to England during the Christmas holidays, indeed she will not even risk a stay at Pau, and they must reconcile themselves to staying at 'Les Ruches'. Perhaps in May her longed for wish may be granted. She has heard from Fanny Rowe that all is going well at Stowey (this was a house on Clapham Common occupied by the Stracheys to 1884) but she would like news on various points concerning the family. Criticises article in which the question of the General and the partial abandonment of the project of the railway which he had submitted to the Government of India and which she had thought had been under construction for some time. Speaks of investment of her small economies which for reasons public and private she does not wish to invest in France, and which the General had helped her over. Asked for help in placing a young Frenchman in an English family; his father being mayor of Fontainbleau. She is entering one of her pupils, Sarah Griffith, for the examination for the baccalaureate in preference to the 'brevet d'institutrice'. Five or six women have passed this exam, but none so young as Sarah and none of them were foreigners. Her amour propre is aroused to get the girl through especially as the young boys take three years to prepare for it while Sarah has only nine months.