[on light mourning paper]
26th Janry 1869
My dear Mr Talbot,
You took such a kind interest in my proposed journey to the East – that I think I should write and tell you, that it has all come to nothing, for this year at any rate – I got a reply a few days ago from Captain Ewart – in which he says that for many reasons they have decided not to go to the Holy Land at this time – The house at Brighton is not as yet relet – and besides my cousin has not got Admiralty leave of absence, & thinks he may be wanted professionally at home, where he could return in a few days from Italy but not so, if in Syria – & he does not seem to be very well having still a cough – & been ordered to Naples for change of air, where they now are – He says he hopes to go still to the East on some subsequent occasion, when I could start with them direct from this country, & not have to make such a long journey alone to join them – & when also he hopes I would not then be in any anxiety in leaving my Aunt – so he puts it a little on my account, but it is evidently their own wish that has decided their plans. I hardly know whether I am most disappointed or relieved, I wanted very much to go, & yet I rather dreaded going so far away from my friends & causing them great anxiety on my behalf.
I am, my dear Sir Yrs most sincerely
H. F. Talbot Esqre