This resource provides a detailed chronology of Mary Shelley's life and work, as well as several contemporary reviews of her novels and of a play inspired by Frankenstein.
| [ correspondence archive main page ]
||John Murray to his wife, Annie Murray
Sep. 28, 1808
| [ transcription conventions ]
Postdate: Sept. 28, 1808
Address: Mrs Murray / H. Pagets Esq / Camm Hall / Bridgenorth / Salop
Edinburgh Septr 27th. 1808
My dear Annie2
Upon my word thou art the most impudent baggage to write so little to thy husband for whom I conclude, out of sight out of mind, you think very little about. In your letter to your mother today you say that as you have written me so many letters, & pray Miss how many more letters have you received from me? This the Eighth I believe in return for which I have got only Three—and moreover as you never condescend to ask me to write again I am inclined to suppose that you find the postage too heavy a tax upon your private purse3 and so I have half a mind to trouble you no more in this & to give you no further account of your husband's (if you have not forgotten that you have one) operations—write me this instant you saucy rogue or expect to hear from me no more.
The last account of your impudent self is tolerably satisfactory—I am happy to hear that you can rise in tolerable time—which my example could never persuade you to do & that your appetite is so good, although it may add to the expenses of our domestic establishment. We have resolved that you are to go to Scotland in June next year & to remain there as a punishment for your innumerable transgressions, for two months at least, before your husband arrives to carry you home. Upon reading your letter & hearing that the boy is grown so prodigiously I suggested to your mother that you should immediately be sure to wean him—she insisted upon its being no such thing for that if you were you would, she was sure, be unable to come to Scotland next year—what her ingenious meaning may be I leave you to guess,4 but I declare to you that as this was her only apprehension I am sincerely of opinion that it ought to be concluded upon immediately before the cold weather sets in. The weaning of a child must obviously be regulated not so much by its age as by its health & power to take other food & I suspect that John is as far advanced in this respect as many who are three months older & suckling is really a very serious drawback—upon both the health & constitution of a mother & it should be obviated as soon as possible & you should thus preserve your overplus strength for the chance of another infant which may probably be more delicate & require more suckling—I know you are a most obstinate creature & I will therefore give no more of my letter to this subject.
Since writing to you last I have dined I think with (beginning on Tuesday 20th) with Constable (again) Mr Sands, Mr [Coombs] & party at home in the evening, Capt Todd—Sir Wm Fettes—at home (Sunday) & yesterday Mr Ballantyne Junr & Mrs Rundell in the Eveng—Today with Mr John Thomson—Wednesday Miss Gellilard—Thursday Mr A. Allan Tuesday Mr Sands.
I remember to have told you of my dinner with Mr Constable—yet upon further consideration I think not—we had a tolerably pleasant party there but the pleasure of it was a walk home in the evening with Mr Ballantyne when we entered into mutual explanations & discussions & discovered that we had both of us revolving in our minds for nearly six months past the same views respecting the connexion which we might form with each other—I have found to be realized all that I supposed would arise betwixt Scott & Constable & Jeffrey & our conversation has terminated in the following note which I received from Ballantyne last night, who
is a was on his way to Glasgow from Walter Scott to whom he went (to Ashestiel) the day after our conference.
"My dear Murray" I have had the most interesting conversation with Mr Scott on the subjects we spoke of. All he said was most gratifying. Pray be disengaged on Saturday & Sunday next, as Mr S. wishes much to see you on one of those days; & I shall meet you at Ashestiel. In two days I will write from Glasgow.
In consequence of this letter I expect another appointing the day & manner of my going to Mr Scott's and moreover it is only the result of this interview for which I now wait. I shall settle all my business here before I set out & will, unless this matter may occasion otherwise, set out for my sweetheart at Bridgenorth the day after my return. [the balance of the letter is about visits and domestic matters]
I can only say that I remain
Your affectionate Husband