Hastings, July 24
[In pencil - 1866]
My dear Friend
I have been meditating a letter to you for some time & I believe that I should have written much long ago, had it not savoured of a payment of a debt, & somehow or other I have grown into a most Celtic & improper dislike to that process, but I must not attempt to jest for I am in anything but an appropriate [indecipherable] for my poor dear wife has for some time past been in such condition as to cause me intense anxiety and this unhappy frame of mind quite unfits me for correspondence of any kind. I had intended to have written to have [indecipherable] you to come hence to
have spend some 6, 7 or 12 months as might have suited you.
Sir William Macarthur
[In left margin]
made them his study. I can only say forgive me. I am not in spirits to write a letter & only write this missive. I am ashamed very much ashamed of my great neglect of a very dear & valued friend, one of my oldest & dearest.
Frm. yr. attached
Poor James is in sad distress that nice young man Ronald his eldest son died lately in India! Both Parents seem [indecipherable] prostrated by this melancholy event.