From Edward Blyth 23 November 1862
My dear Sir,
I suppose you have heard that Sir C. Wood has disallowed my pension, although so strongly and flatteringly recommended by the Viceroy in Council—1 But it matters not. I will win it yet.2 Nobody has told me of it, nor do I require to be told that the Earl of E. and K. (the representative of the old Scottish kingly family of Bruce) is piqued and nettled at being thus coolly snubbed by the Yorkshire Baronet.3 Ld Elgin held a grand levee on the 10th ulto., at which I attended; and as I passed him to make the usual bow on such occasions, he said nothing, of course, nor to anybody else in such a crowded assemblage, but I think that I understood the expression of his countenance. At all events, I revisit England immediately,—as I trust, by the screw steamer which leaves this on the 15th. proxo., proceeding viâ the Cape.4 I have many reasons to prefer that route; among which are, that I can take a lot of living animals with me, for the Z. Gns,5 and because I wish to visit Capetown and examine its museum. It is understood also that I go home to combat Sir Charles on the spot, as likewise to recruit my health and strength, after so long a residence within the tropics. I am to be well supplied with funds, supposed to come (and perhaps they do so) from the Asiatic Socie〈ty,〉 but I cannot help suspecting that there are ‘wheels within wheels’ in this matter— I am exceedingly well supported here, and have no lack of friends in England, both in the House & out of it;6 among whom I surely reckon upon you,7 and as surely upon my personal friend, our renowned financier, Mr. Laing,8 at whose princely table I have had the honour to dine, & who in fact knows me well. He is likely to prove a nice thorn, in the House of Commons, in the side of the present Indian minister; but I doubt if the latter will be able to maintain his official position much longer, despite the support of Ld P.,9 in face of the tremendous opposition which is fast rising against him from every quarter— Sir C. undoubtedly does possess one transcendant talent, which is that of making himself enemies, in which he is most preeminently successful. But enough of all this. I hope and expect to be able to shake you by the hand soon, if you will allow me the honour and the pleasure. Meanwhile, I may remark that I forgot to mention to you in my last letter, that there are no soundings (in ordinary seaman’s parlance, i.e. with the usual instruments,) between the Andamáns & the main, to the eastward; but, that a string of islands, rocks, and shoals, extend from Cape Negrais10 to Acheen Head in Sumatra; which may have once been continuous land.11
Yours ever Sincerely, Ed. Blyth—
EB has had his pension disallowed; is coming to England.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3821,” accessed on 21 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3821