Mr. Henry F. Chorley.
Gad’s Hill Place, Higham by Rochester, Kent,
Friday, December 18th, 1863.
My dear Chorley,
This is a “Social Science” note, touching prospective engagements.
If you are obliged, as you were last year, to go away between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, then we rely upon your coming back to see the old year out. Furthermore, I rely upon you for this: Lady Molesworth says she will come down for a day or two, and I have told her I shall ask you to be her escort, and to arrange a time. Will you take counsel with her, and arrange accordingly? After our family visitors are gone, Mary is going a-hunting in Hampshire; but if you and Lady Molesworth could make out from Saturday, the 9th of January, as your day of coming together, or for any day between that and Saturday, the 16th, it would be beforehand with her going and would suit me excellently. There is a new officer at the dockyard, vice Captain —— (now an admiral), and I will take that opportunity of paying him and his wife the attention of asking them to dine in these gorgeous halls. For all of which reasons, if the Social Science Congress of two could meet and arrive at a conclusion, the conclusion would be thankfully booked by the illustrious writer of these lines.
On Christmas Eve there is a train from your own Victoria Station at 4.35 p.m., which will bring you to Strood (Rochester Bridge Station) in an hour, and there a majestic form will be descried in a Basket.