Sunday. Jany. 22d.

Will there be a letter today?—

There was one for Henrietta, but nothing in it satisfactory,—except that Papa cannot leave London before Tuesday, which seems to indicate that on Tuesday, he may be able to leave it. He is delighted with my verses on the cholera, & considers them “beautiful, most beautiful.”[1] He has sent them to Mrs. Bayford, & given them to the Editor of the Pulpit in which they will soon appear.[2]

Now as Papa wont be at home until Wednesday at any rate, I certainly might go to Malvern tomorrow, sleep there, & return on Tuesday. Henrietta & Arabel see no “just cause or impediment”[3]—but Bummy can see thro’ a post where poor Mr. Boyd is concerned.

The Peytons are asked to dine here tomorrow,—so I must prorogue until Tuesday.

The Peytons wont come, so I need not prorogue at all.

How surprised I was to hear Mr. Curzon’s voice at the gate today—& pleased too. We thought he was in Ireland, or on the sea!— An interesting sermon on that interesting text “confident rather & willing to be absent from the body & present with the Lord”.[4] He enforced the distinction between our willingness to be absent from the body—from pain & sorrow & disappointment,—& our willingness to be present with the Lord!— I felt the distinction. It is easy to consent to part with this sorrowful life. Lord make me confident & willing also to be present with Thee.

Now about Malvern. After we came up stairs stairs [sic] to bed, Arabel advised me to have an interview with B on the subject. No!—I could not do it! I went to speak to Henrietta, & she promised me to feel B’s pulsations.

1. For the letter, see BC, 3, 326.

2. Frances Bayford (née Heseltine, 1781–1848), was the daughter of James Heseltine and his wife, Frances (née Altham), sister of E.B.B.’s grandmother, Arabella Graham-Clarke. She married (1804) John Bayford of Doctors’ Common, London, and E.B.B. spoke of their seven children as “cousins.” E.B.B.’s verses were not printed in The Pulpit, probably because two poems dealing with pestilence had appeared in recent issues.

3. Book of Common Prayer, “Solemnization of Matrimony” (“cause, or just impediment”).

4. II Corinth. v.8: “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

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