Letter 37: 1–2 August 1814

Letter 37: 1–2 August 1814

  • Physical form: One sheet folded into 2 leaves (18.3 x 22.2 cm)
  • Cover: Mrs Withering / at the Larches / Birmingham
    [another hand dels lines 2 & 3 and inserts “Mrs Botfield’s / Norton Hall / nr Daventry”]
  • PM: 12 o’Clock / AU 3 / 1814 N.n.
    AU / [xx] / 814
  • WM: None
  • SM: Misc MS 4377

My dear Mrs Withering,

My Brother desires me to make his acknowledgements for your obliging letter, & for Mr [written over “Dr] Withering’s offer of further information, which however he will not trouble him for, as he has applied to the Magazine, [1] as Mr Withering directed him & found there an account from which he can take what will serve his purpose, the rather does he content himself with this, as there would not be time for another letter, the Article, in its alphabetical order, being now called for & actually sent to press——The want of time therefore, & its being taken from a source already printed, will, he trusts, excuse him from submitting it to Mr Withering’s eye before publication——And now with what else, having written to you so lately, shall I fill my letter? Will

[fol 1v] it please you to hear that all the world will be in the park [2] to morrow? Yes, for tho you would not come up yourself for all these fine sights you will enjoy the pleasure of others, but you will pity my Sister & myself when I tell you we were obliged to refuse a delightful invitation to see it from a house in the park, because all the coaches had been engaged days & weeks before hand. —Shall I tell you, or have you heard it that Dr Holland is appointed Physician to the Princess of Wales, [3] with a handsome salary & they are speedily to set out on their travels. It is a very pretty situation for a few years for a young man of that profession, but his friends laugh & tell him he must take care of his character. The Princess means to winter at Naples. —Well, the grand fête is gone off & as far as I understand without accident, except that the Chinese Pagoda, [4] on the bridge which it seems was intended to be perma

[fol 2r] blew up without leave & endangered a man who was within— I understand from those who were there both yesterday & to day that notwithstanding all London was invited, & that all London seemed to be there, there was no shouting no rudeness, no disposition to riot, every body seemed amused & happy; yet no public feeling seemed to be raised, the joy for peace was much short of the sensation produced by the peace of Amiens. Indeed the feeling had had time to wear off—But I am tiring you with a long letter when I ought to remember that I have very lately written all I had to say. I will therefore say no more but that I am

dear Mrs Withering

Your obliged & affectionate

AL Barbauld


[1] "Magazine": The Monthly Magazine, of which JA had been editor from its founding in 1796 until 1806. An "Account of Dr. Withering" appears in 8 (Dec. 1799): 915–16. BACK

[2] All the London parks were scenes of celebration, but here ALB refers to the Green Park, site of the "Chinese pagoda" (see below, and ALBVE, 489–90). BACK

[3] Dr. Holland: Henry (later Sir Henry) Holland, MD (1788–1873), a pupil of the Barbaulds' friend John Prior Estlin, became "medical attendant" to Princess Caroline in 1814 (ODNB). BACK

[4] "Chinese Pagoda": ALB is writing the day after the official celebration day. She had not attended the event. BACK