From Caroline Darwin 29 December 
My dear Charles,
Your two letters were a delightful surprise to us & thank you much for them—the first dated July 29th. to Cath from Valparaiso—and one to me August 9th.— Mr. Clift has been written to with all the directions you desired— Erasmus says a box with bones came to England by Liverpool in August, & he thinks from Buenos Ayres—a note he has just had from Pro. Henslow dated Dec 22d. to say “owing to a mistake he had not recevd your bones till now— he finds them all safe & has put them in a dry place— he also says he will write by the first parcel that goes to you— Erasmus says he does not know what bones Henslow refers to in the note I quote from— poor Eras. has been very ill but thank God is quite safe and well again— he was seized 3 weeks ago suddenly with gt pain in his side which left him after a night but proved the beginning of a fever & inflammation upon his chest— for a few days he was extremely ill & reduced to such great weakness that he could not for many days move himself in bed— Most fortunately the Hensleighs found out by chance his illness & nursed him most kindly & tenderly. Dr. Holland also has been most really kind. Susan came up last Sunday fortnight— I unfortunately was at Overton & did not hear of his illness in time to go with her but followed in a few days & most happily found the danger over & have had nothing but the comfort of seeing him eat sleep & gain flesh— he now sits up all day as merry & pert as possible— I go home tomorrow & Susan goes with him to Clapham for a few weeks before they go down to Shrewsbury. poor dear Papa had the gout flying about him so much that he was unable to travel to London, but he is very happy now— Eras sends his love to you & will write by a parcel which he hopes to be able to send out before long— as far as I can understand the delay is owing to part of one of the books not being printed which was to go in the parcel—. Erasmus seems to have enjoyed excessively a little visit of 5 days to Cambridge where he went with the Hensleighs— he said he felt as if he was in a dream walking about the gardens acting nursery maid to Snow—the eldest of the 2 Hensleigh children & the greatest of darlings with Erasmus— It is a very nice little entertaining thing— Eras called upon Pro— Henslow who apologized for not inviting him speaking about the state of health of his wife &c. which at last Eras found out meant that Mrs. Henslow was on the point of her confinement— He came one eving & drank tea at the Inn with the Hensleighs & Eras— Also Sedgwick & Whewell came evy eving & were extremely agreeable— The Langtons sailed for Madeira 3 weeks ago— Mr. Langton was pretty well with no fresh cold & in great spirits— He wants very much to go on to Rio & I do not think that Charlotte much objects but it is very doubtful whether they will put this scheme in execution— if they do go I can fancy nothing more provoking than that their visit did not take place when you were there How strange the very possibility of your meeting Charlotte at Rio seems—
We have heard a report that Capt. Fitzroy is promoted & that you are coming home by the Paci〈fic〉 I am afraid this is too good news to be true & even you I hope would be content if you see the South Sea Isds.— it will indeed be happy news to us when we have a certain time to look forward to seeing your dear face again— My Father is very well, rather fearful of gout but that is rather a good thing for him. Wishing you dearest Charles a happy new year Believe me Ever yr affete | Caroline Darwin—
I go home per Mail this eving & shall have a colder night than any you have known for some time
Has sent all of CD’s directions to William Clift.
Erasmus has been very ill, but is now quite safe and well again. Caroline and Susan are with him.
They have heard FitzRoy is promoted and the Beagle is coming home.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 265,” accessed on 30 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-265