It’s raining outside. But look on the bright side.

by Instant Noodle



HERE is no doubt that it is unpleasant when one goes into the country for sake of out-door exercise, to be shut up in the house by a succession of wet days ; and if one happens to be somewhat of a sporting turn of mind, the moisture of the weather is most trying to one’s temper. One is blue-devilishly apt to come to breakfast with black looks, when the rain has all night long been beating hard against one’s window, and there seems to be no hope of its holding up ere dinner time. With foxes waiting to be hunted and pheasants to be shot, one can’t help feeling savage when one daily finds the glass midway between “Much rain,” and “Stormy,” and inclining, if one knocks it, to fall rather than to rise. To the people one is staying with the bore is not so great, inasmuch as they, one thinks, can take their sport at any time. But to an uncaged whose Cockney country visits are like angels’, few and far between, it is no joke for a week to be swamped out of one’s shooting, and to find the happy hunting grounds if winch one has been dreaming, are of no earthly use to one, from being under.

Nevertheless, sweet are the uses of adversity; and rightly balanced minds, when shut up in the country, may find something more than billiards to console them. It is surprising how a week’s wet freshens up the memory, and how reviving it is found to friendly correspondence. As one has gone out for a holiday, of course cannot stoop to doing literary work ; however much one sighs for one’s regular employment. But one flies to pen and paper as a means of killing time, that faute de miuex the sole thing that the wet weather lets one kill; and for want of something better to occupy one s thoughts, one thinks about responding to one’s long unanswered letters. One s most distant correspondents are startled by next post at receiving the replies to their forgotten notes and queries ; and friends one has done favour, or, aid by whom one has in consequence been subsequently cut, are surprised by receipt of a long letter of inquiry, begging them to furnish the most minute particulars about, their worldly welfare and spiritual health. Nay to such a pitch sometimes in this letter-writing mania promoted by wet weather, that faute mieux one finds oneself writing to one’s wife, and inquiring if baby has yet since learnt to say “Melchisedek’ and whether things in general have gone on smoothly since one left. […]

(January 21st, 1860)