21st Feb 1865

My dear Mother

I hope this finds you as it leaves all here-all well. In your last letter you mentioned having sent 3 papers, some of which arrived here. I enquired about them but to no use. I received the views all right, many thanks for them, but they were very much damaged as they came all crushed, especially the one of Sir W Scott’s Monument.

We have had a good deal of rain lately which has made the country look a little better. It has made provisions a little cheaper and better than all. (It’s) keeping the hot weather back; we are losing the cold weather fast and begin to look forward to another baking.

Since I wrote last, we have had a visit in Roorkee of the Duc de Brabant (Editors note: heir to the Belgian throne. He was to become King Leopold 11 of the Belgians in December of that year, 1865). He passed through here on his way to Mussoorie/ the Himalayas- a sight that pleased him very much I believe; at least what he saw of the hills. He had chosen a very bad time for his visit as it had been snowing a good deal and there was a thick haze on the hills which prevented him from seeing the high peaks of the Snowy range. He called on his way back and put up with the Principal of the College, but he came in so late that we were all disappointed in not seeing him as he intended going over the College and of course my establishment, the Press.

The natives were quite disappointed, for they expected to see him covered all over with gold lace and making great show; that is their idea of a prince. Their notion is that a king or prince should be so rich that if he threw away one of his old shoes anyone lucky enough to pick it up should be able to subsist on it for 6 months. It is a bright idea of theirs, aint it?

I send you by this mail a copy of a new number of Indian Professional Papers that is published every quarter from my press, it has a photograph of the College in it. You will see what sort of work I turn out. You can let Mr Boyd see it if you like. I also send you the three last Reports of the college, you will see me mentioned in them. I think also a copy of a lecture that was delivered some time on Hindooism.

Letty is all right but is expecting her troubles shortly. Jamie is growing a fine fellow and is an awful scamp, up to all sorts of mischief. I am just telling him all about you and he only laughs at me.

Well I think I have done for this time, there is no news afloat so I cannot send you any.

Remember me to all enquiring friends, with fond love to self.

from your affectionate Son

James Johnston