February 24, 1865
To: John Ruskin, art critic
My dear Mr. Ruskin,
…I will tell… a bit more of ‘Cranford’ that I did not dare to put in, because I thought people would say it was too ridiculous, and yet which really happened in Knutsford.
Two Old ladies, friends of mine in my girlhood, had a niece who had made a grand marriage… the bride & bridegroom cam to stay with the two Aunts… all dinner time they [Guests] had noticed that the neat maid-servant had performed a sort of ‘pas-de-basque’ hopping & sliding with more grace than security to the dishes she held… And they [Aunts]began to explain… they had just laid down a new carpet with white spots or spaces on it; and that they had been teaching this girl to vualt or jump gracefully over these… for fear lest her feet might dirty them….
Yours gratefully & truly,