From Caroline Darwin 28 March 1836
1836 | March 28th.
My Dear Charles,
Susan & Cath have written since we had your last letter from Lima Augt. 4th. but for fear of accidents I just mention it— I can hardly believe how near home you will be when you get this & that these long long five years are really just ended— many an hour we now spend in talking about you & pitying you for the confined feeling our little spot of a house & garden will seem to you when you come among us again—it will be as if you were awakened from a dream when you find every thing & every body just as you left them except all 6 of us being pretty considerably aged—Pincher & Nina inclusive— We saw one of your friends a few days ago who made many enquiries—Mr. Herbert. he goes the Oxford circuit now & met Cath at the Ball & called here the following day. his hair is quite grey I dont whether that is the effect of these 5 years or whether it was so when you last saw him, but it gives him a venerable appearance. Sir E Alderson was on the circuit this time & we had a half hour visit from him which would have been very merry & pleasant if he had not brought his brother Judge with him—but it was rather aweful to have to entertain two live Judges at once— My Father did not see them, he has had a slight attack of Gout in his hand which obliged him to keep his bed for a few days, he is however well again now & no bad effects remaining but his hand being swelled— he still talks of going in May a little tour to see Edinburgh again with Catherine & Harry—
We expect Erasmus down next week, that is to say if these cold winds will but go & he takes Susan back with him to introduce her to his new House. You will find the comfort & pleasure of his having a House to receive you instead of Lodgings as before—& this house has so many spare rooms that you will have space for some of your numerous boxes &c. I will give his direction as you may chance miss our future letters 43 Gt Marlborough St it is very doubtful if you will receive this but I will send a few lines to tell you all is well— Susan is staying at Woodhouse— Fanny Biddulph was here yesterday with her little girl, it is oblgd still to lie down & gets rather worse than better— poor little thing it has such pretty engaging ways & its Mama is so fond of it— She (I mean Mrs Biddulph, not the child) is looking herself wretchedly ill & thin, you would hardly know her she is so altered from the robust girl she was formerly— there have been letters a few days ago from Francis & Arthur Owen from India both well & in good spirits— Mr. Owen dined & slept here last week he quite charmed me by his look when we were talking about you, so full of affection & feeling. we were saying how very glad we were that you & your Captain had continued such good friends through your long voyage & Mr. Owen said “Yes, but who could quarrel with Charles?” the words arn’t much but his look said a great deal— dear old fellow I dont think you will find any of your friends love you less from their separation from you & it will not last much longer now— Catherine has been staying at Maer & having a very agreeable visit there which is really surprising considering how much the House is altered—poor At. Bessys memory very much gone & confined altogether to the sofa & Charlotte the main prop in former times of the conversation gone— I am afraid you will not think her improved by her marriage she is certainly graver & more silent
As I have little expectation of your getting this letter I will finish with all our best loves to you dearest Charles My Fathers in particular— Good bye & God bless you. August will soon be here Ever yr affecte C. S Darwin
News of friends and family.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 300,” accessed on 29 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-300