Mainly news of the family and friends. Their joy at the abolition of slavery.
My dear Charles.
On October the 11
Sarah who is now down at Eaton got your letter last week and I cannot tell you how much
pleased & surprised she was to receive it. I think she is looking very well now
& every body tells her she is grown ``uncommon stout''. She &
I have just been reading an account of Ceylon in a kind of novel called ``Cinnamon
& Pearls'' the descriptions of the vegetation are so
beautiful that I don't wonder you have a great desire to go there as of course you have
read some more faithful history of it in Humboldt.— I have a much greater wish
to see some tropical country than the old common place France &
Italy—and I wonder people don't travel more to Madeira than sticking to
Europe.— You will rejoice as much as we do over Slavery being abolished, but
it is a pity the Apprenticeship does not commence till next August as that is a great
while for the poor Slaves to be at the mercy of the Planters who I
By the parcel that is going to you I think my Sisters will both write little notes: & I take the opportunity of sending you a leetle purse which I have been netting it is rather of the smallest so I hope your foreign coin is not very large,—& I know in old times you always used to tie up yr purse if it was of an ordinary length.
You will find Fanny Biddulph quite as charming as ever when you come back only more delicate looking. I have paid her 2 little visits at Chirk Castle this Autumn whilst old Madam & Miss Biddulph were absent, & you may suppose we were very merry in the old Castle without them. Fanny was exceedingly busy fitting up a few rooms she was to have separate for her use & so much in earnest over it that she actually went down on her knees to nail the Carpet whilst the carpenter went to his Dinner.— She has got a most lovely Poney carriage with two beautiful Grey ponies & used to take me delightful drives close to Llangollen which is only 6 miles distant fr. Chirk.— Caroline & William Owen were staying there with me the latter always talks much about you. he has become a great fisherman & wears a most absurd sailor's coat without tails.—
The present great friends of the Owens are the Boughey family who are come to live at Bicton near here— The Girls are handsome & uncommonly nice & unaffected very much of the Owen genus. Anastasia is quite a beautiful Girl.—
How fortunate we have been in never losing any of yr letters & I hope in future we shall have no such gaps as we had this Summer Nancy & Edward both partake of the sensation when a Letter comes from you & your absence does not make you at all less loved I can promise you by every one of us & all who know you. God bless you my dearest old fellow & Believe me always yr most affecte Granny | Susan Darwin.
Papa & All send their very best Loves to you. I wonder how we shall <ev>er talk over every thing when you come bac<k.> We read yr Letter to Uncle Jos & he remarked it was ``very clear Capt Fitzroy must consider yr collections valuable or he could not apply to the Admiralty for leave to have yr Servant on the Boards.''
It is very delightful your Natural History pursuits answering so very well they must be such a never ending source of pleasure.
- f1 219.f1Fleming 1822 and Pennant 1793.
- f2 219.f2`At Whist, An imaginary player represented by an exposed ``hand'' ' (OED).
- f3 219.f3Martineau 1833.
- f4 219.f4The bill abolishing slavery in the colonies became law on 28 August 1833. A system of apprenticeship for seven years, to serve as a transition to complete freedom, was established. £20,000,000 compensation was voted for the planters.