|dc.description.transcription||Friday, Feby [sic] 21. 1878
44 Bd Haussman Paris
My dear people,
I shall tell you as soon as I am able to come over: and I can say no more. How can I? I hope it will be very soon; but it cannot be immediately. I did not answer my father’s proposal by return of post, as he asked, simply because I hoped I should be able to give a more definite and satisfactory answer; but I cannot yet.
I am so glad to hear that Janie is better. What a pitiful thing about Chalmers! The bulletin looks bad. I hope he will pull round; for he is one of the best people going.
Do you know who is my favourite author just now? How are the mighty fallen! Anthony Trollope. I batten on him; he is so nearly wearying you, and yet he never does; or rather, he never does, until he gets near the end, when he begins to wean you from him so that you’re as pleased to be done with him as you thought you would be sorry. [p.2] I wonder if it’s old age? It is a little, I am sure. A young person would get sickened by the dead level of meanness and cowardliness; you require to be a little spoiled and cynical before you can enjoy it. I have just finished the Way of the World; there is only one person in it, no, there are 3 – who are nice: the wild American woman, and two of the dissipated young men, Dolly and Ld Nidderdale. All the heroes and heroines are just ghastly. But what a triumph is Lady Carbury! That is real, sound, strong, genuine work: the man who could do that if he had had courage, might have written a fine book; he has preferred to write very readable ones. I meant to write such a long, nice letter, but I cannot hold the pen R.L.S.||