Rough Scan
January 190-
DEAR CHRISTINA, - Me and the lady's-maid has been away seeing Madam Tooso's Wax-works: Lady Lindesay sent us: you pay a shilling to get in, and stay as long as you like. But Thomson had to be back at seven o'clock to dress her ladyship for a pairty, so we were just a jimp four hours at the exhibeetion. Susan is the lady's-maid's name, but she aye gets "Thomson"; it's the fashion in high faimlies appearingly. She's a nice, douce, young woman, but pure English, poor thing.
And who do you think we met in the bus but a Scotchman! A real decent old body, fresh-coloured, and well put on. "Hoo much dae ye chairge to Madam Tooso's ?" says he, real canny-like; and I'm thinkin' that, if it had been more than a penny, he would have got out and walked. But there's many an Englisher that would have gotten in and never asked the fare - so they would: no wonder London is just filled with beggars.
The wax-works are numerous :- Kings and Queens by the dizen; old and young, black and white, as like as life. It made me fair dizzy to see such a lot of folk at once, and no' a few of them the very same as we had seen lying on their graves at Westminster Abbey, parteeclarly Mary Queen of Scots: there she sat in a black velvet gown, with Mr J. Knox standin' beside her. Little thought she, poor lady, that she would end in a wax-work, and him too.
There was a French lady (I dinna mind on her name) that had a bonny pink silk tea-gown on: it would take fourteen yairds to make one the same to Miss Jean; Thomson said you would need fourteen and a half, or mebbe fifteen, but lady's-maids are aye wasterfu'. It was thinnish-3s. 11d. a yaird, I would jalouse; you would likely get the dress-piece for 50s.
Downstairs we saw a grand tablow of Queen Victoria receiving the two gentlemen that came to tell her that her Uncle was dead. They were kneeling in front of her, and, comin' away in the middle of the night, it was mebbe no wonder that their boots hadna been blacked. The poor young lady was gey sleepy-looking; she had on a white shawl that should have been in the wash-tub lang syne; it would be the first she could find. Many's the time I've told you and Merran never to wait to be told to wash the young ladies' shawls; everything that is dirty is ready to be washed, and I'm sure you would have been affronted if you had seen one of our young ladies in sic a like shawl as poor Queen Victoria is being handed down to prosperity in.
We saw André in a balloon, seeking for the North Pole; it must be an awfu height.
Then we saw General Gordon being shot; and the two wee Princes in the Tower that was murdered; and the execution of Mary Queen of Scots; it's a very enjoyable exhibeetion.
Finally we had our teas in the Restorong, at a table wi' as many legs as a centipede, and came away home.
Do you mind of Miss M'Neil that was at the school with Lady Lindesay? Well, she's dead. But they've ereckit a window to her memory in St Album's Church, where she worshipped. It's a great big window with a picture of Noah's Ark on it: (she was aye fond of animals-parteeclarly cats:) the birds and beasts are comin' out two by two, very neat and reglar-like: there's a stag and a roe prancin' over the door-step, and bears, elephants, geese, giraffes, swans, and camels comin' down the hill; glad to get out, poor beasties.
It'll no be long now till we set sail for France! if ever we get safe back again, I'm thinkin' it will be more by good luck than good guidin'! If I'm spared I'll need new flannen petticoats next winter: the way they've shrunk mine's at the Lady's Lily-white Laundry is a perfeck disgrace. I was tellin' Miss Celandine about them, and she says, "The trials that afflict the just, in number many are." She's aye for the poetry, but that's in a psalm.
My kind regairds to all inquirin' friends,