From Susan Darwin 16 February 1835
February 16th: 1835
My dear Charles.—
We all hope very much before this letter is sent off we may hear again from you, as we do not feel quite happy and easy about you my dear Charley till we know you are quite got as strong as you were before your illness & we are so afraid you should have another return of the same attack.— Hearing of your being unwell as so great a distance is very uncomfortable and I wish with all my heart you would be sufficiently home sick as to proceed no farther on this endless expedition.— I met yesterday Capt Harding who has just brought home his Bride Miss Dona Dallas from St Helena, who looks quite as blooming as she did these 8 years ago when she lived above us.— Capt H. enquired much about you; and said that Capt Fitzroy was promoted to be Post Captain: but he did not think that would make any change in his plans or be likely to bring him back to England: which I was sorry to hear, as I had flattered myself, that he would quit the Brig Beagle for some larger vessel in that case.— It is a sad grievance Capt F. being forced to give up the little vessel he bought to accompany the Beagle, as besides running more hazard, you must be sadly crammed & crowded together.—
We could not keep Eras more than a fortnight here & one week at Maer before he would go back to his beloved London. however he writes to us in great spirits and seems to have caught no cold from his Journey so I hope he will soon be as strong as he was before his illness tho’ that was not much to boast of.— If he is so naughty and lazy as not to write to you I am sure he has lost no affection for you, as he reads your letters often over and always talks with the greatest interest about you, and stands up warmly for the wisdom of your expedition as it has added so much to your happiness.— Though I have talked of his idleness: I know he means to write to you very soon, and I hope you have received part of a letter he wrote in one of mine to you last August or September.— Tom Eyton was here the other day and mentioned having got a letter from you since you have been at Valparaiso, but said that he had written you 3 Letters directed there & that you had never recd. his first.—
We are daily expecting to hear of his marriage with Miss Slaney as it was to take place this month. I believe his house is not finished which is the cause of the delay, and he has not been well himself. We all like Miss Slaney very much & admire her beauty as much as you used to do in old times of Barmouth— Mr Slaney got turned out this last Election by Mr Pelham which must vex him.—
Catherine will have told you in her last letter of Robert Wedgwood’s intended marriage with Miss Crewe of Muxton—just 20 years difference in their ages!— Robert came over here a fortnight ago to see Aunt Jane who is staying with us now: and talked over the matter they have given their consent much against their inclination as of course they dislike such an absurd match very much, besides all her family being very goodfornothing people.— I advised Robert to marry & go abroad as that would be much the best way of letting the talk subside, & he seemed very much inclined to follow my advice. People say she has a bad temper & it is impossible that she can be otherwise than very jealous of her young husband: really the Wedgwoods ought not to be allowed to chuse for themselves after Franks & Roberts specimens of wives.—
Caroline has had a very nice letter from Charlotte written from Madeira where I think she seems rather disappointed you will enjoy some future day talking over tropical scenery with her Mr Langton seems to have a great fancy for Rio Janeiro so I daresay they will proceed there what a pity it was not a year ago when you could have received them there.—
I am just returned from a short visit to Woodhouse where I went chiefly to see poor Owen since his accident— I was quite surprised to see how well he could move his Leg. he walks a great deal, but is obliged to strap it up that he may not bend the joint too much.— Fanny & Mr Biddulph were there and I found her quite as enchanting as ever. She is looking far more beautiful than ever I saw her before partly owing to her being so much more delicate looking.— Whilst we were walking round the Kitchen Garden she burst out laughing saying she could not help thinking how you & she in former times had stuffed yourselves over the strawberry beds, & from that she talked very affectionately about you & said how much she should enjoy seeing you again dear old Charley which is a wish I am sure we all have and so now Goodbye & bless you | my dear old fellow Ever yr very affectionate | Susan E Darwin.—
Papa is very well & very anxious to have further news of you— All here send their affecte. love to you.
Met Capt. Harding who said FitzRoy was promoted to Post-Captain.
News of family and friends. Forthcoming marriages of Robert Wedgwood and Tom Eyton.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 268,” accessed on 21 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-268