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Letter 217

Darwin, E. C. to Darwin, C. R.

27 Sept 1833

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    Mainly Shropshire news of family and friends.

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Shrewsbury.

September 27th 1833

My dear Charles,

The last letter we received from you was that dated April 12th, from your first landing at Rio Negro. We recd it in August to our great pleasure, and Caroline has written to you since, for the 1st of this month, but she was in some doubt whether her letter went in time.

Erasmus was with us, when your letter arrived, as well as the Hensleigh Wedgwoods, and we were all very much interested by it. I am very glad indeed to hear of Capt Fitzroy's having bought the Schooner, it is a capital thing indeed. I cannot help being rather grieved when you speak so rapturously of the Tropics, as I am afraid it is a still stronger sign, how very long it will be, before we shall have you again, and I have great fears how far you will stand the quiet clerical life you used to say you would return to. Every body, who has heard of your beating about 23 days near Cape Horn, gives you unfeigned pity for it.— I saw Tom Eyton lately, who enquired much about you; he has been in Wales great part of the Summer he says, collecting; there has been a report that he has been paying great attention to Miss Slaney, and has been very much with the Slaneys, but how far that is true, I do not know. It seems very improbable that he should have the love of money so strong, as one can scarcely believe it to be any thing else.—

Mr & Mrs Henry Hope (Louisa Leighton that was) are gone a Tour up the Rhine & to Paris. The old Mrs Hope will not die, though the Leightons have been certain she could not live a month since the beginning of the year. Louisa must find it intolerable to live with the nasty old woman great part of her time.— I think Caroline wrote to you after the Biddulphs had been staying with us. They are gone to Chirk Castle now, and the detestable old Mrs & Miss Biddulph are come there, whom poor Fanny perfectly hates, & who are intolerably proud and disagreeable to her.— Poor Fanny is still very unwell; you would hardly know her, she is so changed, so delicate, pale, & thin; but so very charming and affectionate, quite like her dear old self. I wish you could have seen her pretty look, (when she was talking about you,) she turned to me, and said ``I suppose he never mentions me''; with all her sweet old manner.— She talked a good deal about you very affectionately & warmly, & said how much she wished to see you again, & how very much she wished for your happiness.— Susan has been staying twice at Chirk, before the old Mrs Biddulph came there, and says Mr Biddulph appears to be as much in love with Fanny as possible, so that I hope he is worthy of her, in that respect.— Emma Owen is come out, & is exceedingly pretty; quite one of the prettiest of them. Francis is living idle at Woodhouse, and Mr Owen cannot tell at all what in the world to do with him. Mrs Williams is come down to Eaton— She has no children.— I must now tell you about your other old friend, Charlotte. We have all been staying with her at Onnibury, Mr Langton's living, 4 miles from Ludlow. It is an uncommonly pretty country about, & we had a very pleasant visit there.— We took your last letter to Charlotte to read to her, and she was much amused by it.— The present Parsonage house is such a miserable ruinous concern, that Mr Langton is going to build in a very pretty situation close. This is thought rather foolish of him, as he is very poor, but it would certainly be very provoking to spend the necessary 200 or 300£ <on> their present old affair.— Charlotte seems extremely happy, very full of scrattles & household cares, (so unlike her.) Mr Langton is rather a talking, visiting, chattering man; whom no one would ever expect Charlotte to have fallen in love with; but so it is. The worst thing about him is to my mind, that he governs most absolutely in all little trifling concerns, as well as in great matters. Susan attributes this to his having been one year on board Ship when a boy, seeing absolute authority; if this is the case, what will become of your poor wife, after so many years apprenticeship in the art of governing? She ought to be apprized of Susan's alarming theory.— Poor Charlotte has no brats, which I imagine to be a sore subject; however in spite of all she seems extremely happy, & very agreeable & nice, as of old.— Erasmus paid us a much longer visit than usual this summer; he went to Maer for a week, which he enjoyed extremely, and was very happy there, with Fanny Hensleigh, her Baby, Miss Snow, as it is called (short for Snowdrop) and Emma Wedgwood; all his favourites around him.—

I am afraid Erasmus is too idle to write to you; which is very naughty of him.—

Papa is very well, and is planning another little Journey, in the South of England to see the Cathedrals of Winchester, & Salisbury. Travelling does him a great deal of good.— He sends his most affectionate love to you, & with all our best of loves, believe me | ever, dearest Charles | Yr very affecte Sister | E. Catherine Darwin

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