24 Nov 1856
MRS RICHARD BEVAN
40 Everfield Place,
St. Leonards on Sea
24 Nov 1856
My dearest Sister,
We are sorry to send on to you these deeply affecting particulars of the dear boys distressing illness, whilst you are feeling so far from strong, yourself, & when the painful confusion of all he must have gone through, will haunt you, as it does us. Poor James is so fearful of losing a word of the letters that I shall register them to you, & perhaps you will kindly return them to him, in the same way of safety. I have enclosed Captain Campbells in an envelope, as it contains the few pencilled lines from his darling, I was so afraid they might be overlooked, in opening the letter. Now we wait patiently, & in hope, if it so Please God, that the improvement may not have been checked by the putting to sea. We cannot be surprised at the darling boy’s reluctance to be left among strangers, from whom, all his life, he has particularly shrunk. The packet was forwarded to us by Mr Charles Harford, who, with his wife & beautiful child, came down on Saturday, & they most kindly sent it on to us that night. We are expecting M.A, M.G & dear Raymond on the 6th but can not get them their old lodging of last year, in Breeds Place. As the time advances, we have no doubt of meeting with what will suit, but ever since August the place has been unusually full, & it is not yet thinning. It is surprising with the numbers out on the parade. Thank you for your kind letters which copied one from Sibella, & as I now write a few lines in acknowledgment, we will wait till we hear again, to prevent repeated confusion. We wish you could have given a better account of yourself, & hope that this lipservice weather may be more favourable to your recovery than the bitter winds. I could not bear my fire last night a proof that the new grate warms the room. I have a great deal to copy for Lady G who spent a long time with us on Saturday looking over the papers, or manuscripts I shd have said, her time is much more taken up at home, & I suppose she cannot get much to the numbers hue, as she had not called on Mrs Heathcote when S was there, tho’ she wished us to see her. S Wright has now decided to try Bournemouth for the winter: she is a most extraordinary person, & very unsociable towards us, & poor Anne, alleging as the reason for not coming that Anne has so many friends she does not want her. James writes more calmly than we could have expected, & we conclude the report had improved before they went to the Brighton [sic]. Mrs Campbells kindness sums equal to that of her husband: how very considerate they have both been. Have you your book of our short hand characters; I find I have packed up and left mine in my desk at the warerooms. If you can find yours & will send it by post, I will return the stamps. We are so pleased that your impression is a more favourable one of the relative’s wife: what a pity so much was reported to her prejudice: but we hoped it might be an exaggeration; they are always looked upon with a suspicious eye, I do believe, in all [-] [barely legible text].
We feel very grieved for Mr Richard Bevan about his son: yet, as you say, with so much independance [sic] allowed to all the family, you cannot wonder, now, at each choosing his own way, & not liking influence. It is a perilous position, & I should exceedingly dread the influence of both, whom you mention. I had read, & been struck with, the review in the C.Obs. Indeed, almost all the numbers are very interesting, & worth reading. The C[-] has a very moderate Christian notice of Mr Spurgeon’s style, [-] [-] [barely legible text] giving him full praise for real piety, but speaking of what all must think of his mistake in adapting himself to the taste of the vulgus populi, (is it not) & counting their applause. If you like I cd send you, when Lady Mary returns it. My hand gets cramped & I must have done. Did you see Mr Fields’ death in the paper. He was dear Mr Parrott’s adviser & who wd have expected him to be taken first, I wrote to dear Mr P on Saturday, for I cd not look back upon his importance to him at the time I used S to help him without feeling very grieved for his loss. We are so glad your dear husband is better.
With love to all, & E. Guest; & kind love to [-] [-] [barely legible text] ever, yr very affect, GD
[Note: written on envelope - Nos of Registd Letter. Envelope has 1x6d stamp and 3x1d stamps]