William Makepeace Thackeray
George Smith and his mother took her to the Theatre, to the new Houses of Parliament, to the National Gallery, where Charlotte enjoyed the exhibition of Turner's paintings.
Charlotte sent a note to Harriet Martineau, she wants to visit here.
By the end of her stay Charlotte was exhausted by the whirl of social life.
Later she wrote to Ellen Nussey:
‘Haworth, December 19th, 1849.
‘Dear Ellen,—Here I am at Haworth once more. I feel as if I had come out of an exciting whirl. Not that the hurry or stimulus would have seemed much to one accustomed to society and change, but to me they were very marked. My strength and spirits too often proved quite insufficient for the demand on their exertions. I used to bear up as well and as long as I possibly could, for, whenever I flagged, I could see Mr. Smith became disturbed; he always thought that something had been said or done to annoy me, which never once happened, for I met with perfect good breeding even from antagonists—men who had done their best or worst to write me down. I explained to him, over and over again, that my occasional silence was only failure of the power to talk, never of the will, but still he always seemed to fear there was another cause underneath.
‘Mrs. Smith is rather stern, but she has sense and discrimination; she watched me very narrowly. When surrounded by gentlemen she never took her eye from me. I liked the surveillance, both when it kept guard over me amongst many, or only with her cherished one. She soon, I am convinced, saw in what light I received all, Thackeray included. Her “George” is a very fine specimen of a young English man of business; so I regard him, and I am proud to be one of his props.
‘Thackeray is a Titan of mind. His presence and powers impress me deeply in an intellectual sense; I do not see him or know him as a man. All the others are subordinate to these. I have esteem for some, and, I trust, courtesy for all. I do not, of course, know what they thought of me, but I believe most of them expected me to come out in a more marked eccentric, striking light. I believe they desired more to admire and more to blame. I felt sufficiently at my ease with all except Thackeray, and with him I was painfully stupid.
‘Now, dear Nell, when can you come to Haworth? Settle, and let me know as soon as you can. Give my best love to all.—Yours,