Calcutta, Friday, December 31, 1841.
This is the end of our last Indian year, and, as I think the chief habit that I have established is that of writing to you, I may as well wind up the year with it and wish you a new happy one; and, in fact, it must be happy – part of it – because you will have me with you. Such a godsend! Well, I shall be very happy myself; but, between ourselves, I think you will be a little bored; I shan't say why, but you will see. Now that all my things are packed up, and they will all be finished to-morrow, and that I have taken to dream of England again, and woke up in a fright last night because I could not find my way out of the Strand, I begin to think seriously how it will all be, and I see horrid changes. I am grown indolent and helpless, and afraid of saying what I think, and afraid of trouble, and so on. But if we have, what everybody kindly promises us, a singularly slow voyage, starting in March, it will be near your country time of year when we arrive, and, after having seen everybody once, who is in London, I shall like so much going off there with you, and you can talk me into shape and put me up to things in general. It will be very nice; you can teach me a little at a time, and the talk must all be on your side, because I have told you all about India, and 'that's done;' but, with all the letters and journals, there is still much I wish to hear. In the meanwhile Lord Ellenborough is 'ploughing the ocean,' and must now be past the Cape, and we have not a morsel of ship to go home in, and do not know where we are to find one. We are taking the refusal of several of the best country ships that are advertised for the end of February, and they are all willing to wait our uncertain time, which is very obliging of them.
Saturday, January 1, 1842.
The last year out of England. Mind you all keep well a few months longer. Don't go and stand in a draught, or eat a quantity of salad, or take a wrong medicine. Mind you are very careful.
Source: The Hon. Emily Eden, Letters from India, Vol.2, Richard Bentley & Son, 1872
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