CD describes his happy home-coming. Finds his family and Shrewsbury unchanged.
Thursday morning. Oct 6
My dear FitzRoy,
I arrived here yesterday morning at Breakfast time, & thank God, found all my dear good sisters & father quite well— My father appears more cheerful and very little older than when I left My sisters assure me I do not look the least different, & I am able to return the compliment— Indeed all England appears changed, excepting the good old Town of Shrewsbury & its inhabitants— which for all I can see to the contrary may go on as they now are to Doomsday— I wish with all my heart, I was writing to you, amongst your friends instead of at that horrid Plymouth. But the day will soon come and you will be as happy as I now am— I do assure you I am a very great man at home— the five years voyage has certainly raised me a hundred per cent. I fear such greatness must experience a fall—
I am thoroughly ashamed of myself, in what a dead and half alive state, I spent the few last days on board, my only excuse is, that certainly I was not quite well.— The first day in the mail tired me but as I drew nearer to Shrewsbury everything looked more beautiful & cheerful— In passing Gloucestershire & Worcestershire I wished much for you to admire the fields woods & orchards.— The stupid people on the coach did not seem to think the fields one bit greener than usual but I am sure, we should have thoroughly agreed, that the wide world does not contain so happy a prospect as the rich cultivated land of England—
I hope you will not forget to send me a note telling me how you go on.— I do indeed hope all your vexations and trouble with respect to our voyage which we now know has an end, have come to a close.— If you do not receive much satisfaction for all the mental and bodily energy, you have expended in His Majesty's Service, you will be most hardly treated— I put my radical sisters into an uproar at some of the prudent (if they were not honest whigs, I would say shabby), proceedings of our Government. By the way I must tell you for the honor & glory of the family, that my father has a large engraving of King George the IV. put up in his sitting Room. But I am no renegade, and by the time we meet, my politics will be as firmly fixed and as wisely founded as ever they were—
I thought when I began this letter I would convince you what a steady & sober frame of mind I was in. But I find I am writing most precious nonsense. Two or three of our labourers yesterday immediately set to work, and got most excessively drunk in honour of the arrival of Master Charles.— Who then shall gainsay if Master Charles himself chooses to make himself a fool.
Good bye— God bless you— I hope you are as happy, but much wiser than your most sincere but unworthy Philos. | Chas. Darwin. *S 2