Irving, John to Catherine Irving (née Caddell) (1845/02/28)
Portsmouth, February 28, 1845.
My dear Katie,—Many thanks for your very kind letter. You see I am determined to give you no chance of indulging in a scold. I am still in suspense whether or no I am to go on the Arctic Expedition. I shall be glad to be put off it, as it affects my prospects for the summer very materially, there being some difference between the regions of thick-ribbed ice and perpetual snow, and the green fields I might visit if I did not get appointed, for I had some idea of coming down to see you then; but I imagine going would probably assist me in getting advancement in the service; and in the usual routine there is but a poor prospect. I do not believe I have much chance of going, so your wicked wishes are likely to be gratified. It is not a service of much danger, and they take provisions for only two years; so they must come back in that time, if at all. The “Excellent” is very comfortable; but it is a tiresome kind of life, and Portsmouth is a nasty place. I want something more exciting, and not to be lying in a harbour. It is now nineteen months since I last saw you. It seems a long time. Give my kindest love to Lewie; I suppose he is too busy to write to me; your letters of course tell me everything he could tell me.—I am ever, my dear Katie, your very affectionate brother,