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 Yarmouth 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