The 4th Light Dragoons have arrived here, having come down by land; they are to return to their old quarters at Kickee, near Poonah. The 17th may also be expected in a few days; they are to occupy our old quarters at Belgaum. The 18th (Royal Irish) have come on from Ceylon, and are to go to Poonah; and the 6th go home (to England) as soon as possible. This is understood to be the destination of each regiment, but this affair with China may cause an alteration.
I am very sorry to mention the unfortunate death of poor little Halkett, one of my best friends, and the son of General Halkett, of Hanover, who was so very civil to me while I was there, and nephew of Sir Colin Halkett.
Since we have been here, I have received your letter, dated November 2nd, by which it appears that you had just then heard of the taking of Ghuzni. You mentioned, also, in it that you had received my letter from Candahar, which I am very glad to hear, as I was very much afraid, from the state of the country, that it would never reach its destination. As you mention nothing about it, I suppose you had not received the letter I wrote from Ghuzni almost immediately after the capture. I know many letters were lost about that time, and mine, I am afraid, among the number. There is a report here (but I think, too good to be true) that all officers with the advance, or storming, party at Ghuzni, consisting of the light companies of the European regiments, were to get brevet rank. In that case, as the company to which I belong—viz, the Light—was one of the number, and, in fact, headed the assault, Capt Holdsworth would be my future rank. Tell Eliza that I got her letter which was enclosed in yours, and was very much surprised at its contents.
I do not know what to say about Deesa as station, reports are so various on the subject. The heat, I believe is awful in the hot weather the thermometer rising to 120 in the houses; and the worst part of the business is, that this heat, which is occasioned by the hot winds, lasts all night through; so that the night is nearly as hot as the day. At other times of the year, I believe, the climate is very pleasant. The 40th give a very good account of it. There is a great quantity of game there, and some of the best hog-hunting in India. Mount Aboo, called the Parnassus of India, is within fifty miles of it, and is a great place of resort during the hot weather.
Should this expedition to China take place, which seems decided upon at present, what an immense power the English will eventually have in the East. In a few years, I have no doubt it may extend from Herat to the most eastern parts of China, including all the islands in the adjacent seas. Like the Romans, England seems to be extending her dominion everywhere—“super et Garamantes et Indos, proferet imperium,” and yet what a row she kicks up about Russia. The French papers seem to be rather jealous about Ghuzni. How the English papers butter it up! and yet it was not half so brilliant an affair as Kelat, nor so hardly contested; but very little is said about the latter.