loved her; Lady Monteagle loved her; and "even Lord Monteagle, who likes
eccentricity in no other form, likes her." It was impossible, they found, not 
to love that "genial, ardent, and generous" woman, who had "a power of 
loving which I have never seen exceeded, and an equal determination to be 
loved." If it was impossible to reject her affection, it was even dangerous to 
reject her shawls. Either she would burn them, she threatened, then and there, 
or, if the gift were returned, she would sell it, buy with the proceeds a very 
expensive invalid sofa, and present it to the Putney Hospital for Incurables with 
an inscription which said, much to the surprise of Lady Taylor, when she 
chanced upon it, that it was the gift of Lady Taylor herself. It was better, on 
the whole, to bow the shoulder and submit to the shawl.

Meanwhile she was seeking some more permanent expression of her 
abundant energies in literature. She translated from the German, wrote poetry, 
and finished enough of a novel to make Sir Henry Taylor very nervous lest he 
should be called upon to read the whole of it. Volume after volume was 
despatched through the penny post. She wrote letters till the postman left, 
and then she began her postscripts. She sent the gardener after the postman, 
the gardener's boy after the gardener, the donkey galloping all the way to Yar-
mouth after the gardener's boy. Sitting at Wandsworth Station she wrote page 
after page to Alfred Tennyson until "as I was folding your letter came the
screams of the train, and then the yells of the porters with the threat that the 
train would not wait for me," so that she had to thrust the document into strange 
hands and run down the steps. Every day she wrote to Henry Taylor, and 
every day he answered her.

Very little remains of this enormous daily volubility. The Victorian age 
killed the art of letter writing by kindness: it was only too easy to catch the 
post. A lady sitting down at her desk a hundred years before had not only 
certain ideals of logic and restraint before her, but the knowledge that a letter 
which cost so much money to send and excited so much interest to receive was 
worth time and trouble. With Ruskin and Carlyle in power, a penny post to 
stimulate, a gardener, a gardener's boy, and a galloping donkey to catch up 
the overflow of inspiration, restraint was unnecessary and emotion more to a 
lady's credit, perhaps, than common sense. Thus to dip into the private letters 
of the Victorian age is to be immersed in the joys and sorrows of enormous 
families, to share their whooping coughs and colds and misadventures, 
day by day, indeed hour by hour. The standard of family affection 
was very high. Illness elicited showers of enquiries and kindnesses. The 
weather was watched anxiously to see whether Richard would be wet at Chelten-