Letter #26

Jany 28th 1835

Altho I have so recently written my dear Kate, it will not answer to allow such a favorable opportunity to escape – the Barbadian sails, or report is incorrect, tomorrow for Liverpool, but as the regular Mail will depart on Saturday, I shall only indulge myself with giving a line to shew that I continue in excellent health &c, but more home sick than ever, particularly so on parting with several of the passengers who are officers of my acquaintance. Every person embarking for Europe causes me a pang that I do not recover from for days and makes me feel my transportation far beyond what any or all your party can picture or immagine whilst seated round your fire side. Major Young 25th Re, with whom I dine today, has been relieved by Lt Col Chambers since he landed from Demerara, & embarks tomorrow for old England with Capt Ward, relieved by my friend Capt Martin 76th as Assistant Quarter Master Genl under Col Tyler. Ward is a son of the late Sir Henry Ward’s & has twelve months’ leave of absence, by which time the Royals, his Regt, will return home. Lt Drought 65 is also of the crew, ordered home on promotion to join the Depot on leave, and our old acquaintance James Smith, son of the late Col at Cheltenham of the same Regt has already departed. These constant changes at Barbados unsettle me exceedingly, so much so that I almost wish myself and trunks safely lodged at St Lucia. My cottage on Mourn Fortuné will appear like home by comparison and it will afford several days of amusement in unpacking my kit for airing &c. I have just recd a note from Mr McCleary, the owner of the Brigantine Heroine, stating that she will sail on friday. Thus I shall land at the foot of the mountain on saturday morning &, as the Mail boat leaves Barbados on that day, I shall just have time to write that I have reached my old quarter after cheating it out of 4 months’ residence in the rainy season, which Capt Martin represents as having been incessant. I did expect to have left this at the latest today and had refused driving with Mr Filder, D Commissary Gen. Filder, who gives a fling off, but as my craft does not start I have accepted Young’s invite, well knowing that the little Batchelor’s table is filled. Tomorrow the Belvidera officers give a Ball, which I suppose it will be my fate to be present at, notwithstand my excuses have been received. From my window I observe preparations – covering in the deck &c, but you are greatly in error if you suppose I enjoy these affairs – in truth it is perfectly an effort to join in them, and I make it really because it is necessary to be seen at these meetings or have the credit of being less creditably engaged and become moped with heat & want of exertion. How gladly would I change for the seclusion in Wickham which you remark upon. I write in allusion to your last letter which was not penned in the best of spirits. What are our new Ministry to do for us? Where is this long looked for Brevet? Not forthcoming, I verily believe. The boxes I reported on in my last letter will not leave Barbados for a week or ten days as the ships now for England go to Liverpool & the carriage would be considerable from thence. My friend here Mr Haley has promised to ford them by the first direct to London. The largest contains 20lb Ginger, some pickles and Cayenne pepper, a collection of Insects which I made at St Lucia &c. The next is filled with curiosities. The 3d, which I rather think has not yet been sent off from Bridgetown, has the Arrow Root already reported as having been packed for you. I stated before that you would be charged six pence per lb on the Ginger and some trifle on the latter. I cannot understand yet how Mr Cooper has made such a balance against us, or how it was not carried on into the Agents’ accounts, as we never overdrew, and left [illegible word] to meet the 10th of Sappers’ accounts. At present all your last packet of letters are in my trunk and I cannot refer to them until I get to St Lucia. I am the more vexed about this because you have all the trouble attending it. Why did Mr C delay his accounts? We shd have recd his abstract nearly two year back. However we shall overcome all these trifles in due time. Our dinner party last evening was exceedingly stupid & broke up at ½ past eight, when Capt Martin and myself finished the evening at Sir C Smith’s. I can not help thinking that he has some thoughts of Malta yet. If so, great changes will take place here. Tomorrow I start, and have bought a horse out of a cargo from America which I expect will suit the Mountains of St Lucia and afford me some good exercise. I am sorry that time will not admit of my filling this sheet but you will hear from me again in a few days, & as the crop has commenced there will be numerous opportunities. Adieu my dear Kate, love to the Children, boys & girls. How I have envied your being all together & I left out of the party – seems unfair. There will be a rare unpacking when your boxes reach Wickham. Capt Mountaineer will soon be out – Capt Tait had a letter from him last week. Regards to Miss Parker – her letter was too short in the last package. How are the good people of Catisfield? Remember me to my good Uncle & Aunts OB, Mrs Hawker & MOB. Pinch Kate, Cary, Annie & Isabella for me.

I trust Jane is getting better

and believe me

Your affectionate FE