Irving, John to William Elphinstone Malcolm (1837/01/17)

H.M.S. “Edinburgh,”
Portsmouth, Jan. 17, 1837.

My dear Malcolm,— I received your letter of the 12th three days ago, and delayed writing until I heard from home what they intended doing with me. My father says that he thinks it better for me to remain at home for some months. I hope to be with you in the first week of February; but it is not quite certain what day we shall be paid off— the severe weather retarding us much. We were detained three days at Spithead before we could get into harbour. However, I think I shall certainly get to Cambridge by the 5th at furthest. I need not tell you how I look forward to meeting you after our long separation. I am afraid you will think me very awkward and ignorant. I have such ideas of grandeur attached to Cambridge University that I can hardly fancy that you are actually there, my recollections of you being as yesterday, though three years have gone by. The weather is very bad, but it does not much matter, as I do not go to Cambridge to see it. The mention of your snug room made me quite glad.

At Gibraltar we found the “Childers” (18). Dunlop, formerly of the “Belvidera,” is surgeon of her, and he immediately on our arrival invited me to dine, and gave me a letter Kingston had left with him for that purpose before the “Tyne” sailed, which she unfortunately did a few days before we arrived. Kingston was quite well and happy. We shall write to him a joint letter from Cambridge. Dunlop was very kind to me. He gave me a letter to Rutherford, who is now a mate on board the “Excellent” in this harbour. He came to see me on our arrival here, and I dined with him on board his ship. He seems a sensible fellow. Both Dunlop and he desired me to remember them to you and Kingston, for whom they assured me they had a great respect, as everybody has who knows him.— Yours sincerely,

 John Irving. 

We are very busy, having left several on the station, and five ill with a complaint called influenza, very prevalent here. I am on my legs all day.

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