Life And Letters Of Maria Edgeworth/Volume 2/Letter 141

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OBSERVATORY, ARMAGH, Sept. 15, 1844.

As well and as happy as the day is short—too short here for all that is to be seen, felt, heard, and understood. It is more delightful to me than I can express, but you can understand how delightful it is to see Lucy so happy and to see her mother see it all. I sleep in the same room with her, and fine talking we have, and we care not who hears us, we say no harm of anybody, we have none to say.

Lucy has certainly made good use of her time and so improved the house I should hardly have known it. In the dining-room is a fine picture of Dr. Robinson when a boy, full of genius and romance, seated on a rock. It is admirable and delicious to see how well and how completely Lucy has turned her mind to all that can make her house and houseband, and all belonging to him, happy and comfortable—omitting none of those smaller creature comforts which, if not essential, are very desirable for all human creatures learned or unlearned.

Robinson at home is not less wonderful and more agreeable even than Robinson abroad,—his abondance in literature equal to Macintosh,—in science you know out of sight superior to anybody. In home life his amiable qualities and amicable temper appear to the greatest advantage, and I cannot say too much about the young people's kind and affectionate manner to Lucy.

The Primate[1] and the Lady Beresfords were so kind and gracious as to come to see us; and I have enjoyed a very agreeable luncheon-dinner at Caledon. Lady Caledon is a real person, doing a great deal of good sensibly. Lord Caledon[2] gave me a history of his life in the backwoods of America, and gave me a piece of pemmican, and I enclose a bit, and I hope it will not have greased everything! and when I said that after a youth in the backwoods it was well to have such a place as Caledon to fall back upon, there was a glance at his mother that spoke volumes.


How characteristic Joanna Baillie's letter is, so perfectly simple, dignified, and touching.


  1. Lord John George Beresford, Archbishop of Armagh.
  2. James Du Pre, third Earl of Caledon, was then unmarried. His mother, Catherine, daughter of the third Earl of Hardwicke, lived with him when he was in Ireland.