Friday, 10th. I was interrupted, and I find that Agnes has been putting in a word, which you won't mind. I have only a few minutes to write to-day, for we are off in an hour or two to the country, where George has a hunting-box. Agnes and Mrs. G. will drive down in the coupe and I shall go by rail later. I have a note from George this morning, who went down yesterday, saying he had a good day. The “Meet” tomorrow is about two miles from the “Box.” I shall ride one of his thorough-breds, but I do not expect to follow the hounds, as it would be very foolish, not having my own saddle, etc.
Lord Maiden is “master of the hounds” (it is a subscription pack). I expect to enjoy meeting some of these birds as much as seeing the hounds. I haven't time to tell you about George, what a “swell” he is on wines and cigars, and that sort of thing. I will write you next week if it is a possible thing.
I have not done anything in the way of troops yet, as General Weatherall has gone into the country for a week's shooting. Next week he will be here. I saw a very handsome troop of horse-guards in the street, fine-looking fellows, all mounted on black horses. But if I were queen of England, I'll swear that I would have better soldiers on guard in front of my quarters than were in front of Buckingham Palace the day we drove by there. They were not soldierly sentinels. They neither marched well, nor came about well, nor carried their pieces well, of which more anon.
I must say good-by, old fellow. I hope to hear a word from you pretty soon. I am very well and strong. Take try beer for lunch like a man. Love to all yours; excuse this shabby letter. I know you will say it's shabby, for you never lie, even out of politeness.
And believe me, with much love, ever yours,
SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 161-2