The expression “a muckle hash of a weedy” (Scots) stay for something like “a large agglomeration of a scrawny person”. In a postscript Fanny described her new servant as ‘a most competent large middle-aged servant’, and an expert cook.
[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 4, 1002.]
To his Father [Colvin 1911, 2, p. 109]
Terminus Hôtel, Marseille, le 17th October 1882
My dear Father,
We grow, every time we see it, more delighted with our house. It is five miles out of Marseilles, in a lovely spot, among lovely wooded and cliffy hills – most mountainous in line – far lovelier, to my eyes, than any Alps.
Today we have been out inventorying; and though a mistral blew, it was delightful in an open cab, and our house with the windows open was heavenly, soft, dry, sunny southern.
I fear there are fleas – it is called Campagne Defli – and I look forward to tons of insecticide being employed.[…]
I have had to write a letter to the New York Tribune and the Athenaeum. Payn was accused of stealing my stories! I think I have put things handsomely for him.
Just got a servant!!!!!!
Ever affectionate son,
Our servant is a Muckle Hash of a Weedy!