Confusion on board the Beagle at definite prospect of sailing. Gives directions for sending mail to Montevideo.
My dear Henslow
It is now late in the evening, & to night I am going to sleep on board.— On Monday we most certainly sail, so you may guess in what a desperate state of confusion we are all in.— If you were to hear the various exclamations of the officers, you would suppose we had scarcely had a weeks notice.— I am just in the same way, taken all aback; & in such a bustle I hardly know what to do.— The number of things to be done is infinite. I look forward even to sea sickness with something like satisfaction, anything must be better than this state of anxiety.— I am very much obliged for your last kind & affectionate letter.— I always like advice from you; & no one whom I have the luck to know, is more capable of giving it than yourself.—
Recollect, when you write, that I am a sort of protegé of yours, & that it is your bounden duty to lecture me.— I will now give you my direction: it is, at first, Rio; but, if you will send me letter on first Tuesday (when packet sails) in February, directed to Monte Video, it will give me very great pleasure. I shall so much enjoy hearing a little Cambridge news.— Poor dear old Alma Mater. I am a very worthy son in as far as affection goes.— I have little more to write about. I shall be very glad to have some memorial of Ramsay.— My very short acquaintance with him appears like a dream,—which has left many melancholy yet pleasant recollections.—
I cannot end this without telling you h<ow> cordially I feel grateful for the kindness you have shown me during my Cambridge life.— Much of the pleasure & utility which I may have derived from it is owing to you.— I long for the time when we shall again meet; &, till then, believe me, My dear Henslow | Yours affectionately & obliged friend | Chas. Darwin
Remember me most kindly to those who take any interest in me.—