Decr 31st [1853]

MS Huntington Library: Yonge Letters

Dear Miss Roberts,
I enclose the letter which I received from Mr Neale this morning. Perhaps it will be the best way for you to answer his question about the Latin yourself. His address is at Sackville College, East Grinstead, and I hope the researches in the book whose name I cannot read may prove successful. By the by, I find that the children here call the little blue prunella Lady’s slippers, whether from any connection between shoes and prunella, I do not know.1 Trivial village names are apt to be so very dull and incorrect as to destroy all one’s romance about them. I hope among the traditions you will mention that of quivering aspen, and of the stain on the robin’s breast. The only other so to speak consecrated creatures I can think of are St James’ cockle shell, and the fish of St Peter, which we have corrupted from joinitore into John Dory. It is odd that whereas the palmer’s shell of old times was certainly the escallop, what is now brought from the Holy Land seems to me a pearl oyster, I suppose it was adopted from its susceptibility of carving. Thank you for the Dark Angel, I am afraid he will not quite suit the Packet, I am hoping to put in your other verses that I have kept so very long, but first I must put in some sent me from New Zealand, on the ordination of the first native deacon, a man who has lived in the Bishop’s house ever since the Bishop’s arrival in the islands.2

Thank you for what you sent about the Heir of Redclyffe. It is always a pleasure to hear of people liking the book, because ever since a dear friend told me to write a story to the character of the hero, Guy and Amy have been constant companions of my thoughts, till they seem like live friends.

I hope you have had a satisfactory answer from Mr Mozley, I shall be very glad to hear of the flowers being in a way of appearing and flourishing. I must also thank you for your kind Christmas wishes and return them for the New Year. My Christmas day was spent over the fire with a swelled face, and to my sorrow this is the first day I have seen the holly decked church, but I am very glad to be released for the last half of Christmas

Yours sincerely
C M Yonge

1Alexander Pope, Epistles iv 203. 'Worth makes the man, and want of it, the fellow;/ The rest is all but leather and prunella.'

2'The Ordination of Rota, the first Maori deacon. Trinity Sunday, 1853' MP 7 (February 1854) 158.

Cite this letter

The Letters of Charlotte Mary Yonge(1823-1901) edited by Charlotte Mitchell, Ellen Jordan and Helen Schinske.

URL to this Letter is: https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/yonge/3018/to-elizabeth-roberts-29

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