DEAR WILLIAM, A happy new year to you, and a great many more of them for years to come. You have had a good time for the last fifty-one years, and I am sure you have helped other people (such as I) to have a great many good times all along. Now you are just in the prime of life, with ever so many happy years before you, and I congratulate you on both past and future, and send you the heartiest, happy new year across the water.
One week more is gone, and now that I have heard from you at North Andover, I feel as if I had really got hold of your summer. The children’s letters from there made it seem very real and near. The pony seems to be a principal character in the household, and I am rejoiced that Tom has recovered from the trials and humiliations of the winter.
I spent last Sunday at Salisbury, where I had a delightful day and preached in the cathedral, which is now thoroughly restored, and looks a great deal bet-ter than it did when you and I saw it filled with scaffolding. I stayed with the Dean, and saw some very pleasant people. Then I came back to London, and had two more days there, and on Wednesday came off for this little western tour. When you get this the Channel will have been crossed and the jabber of foreign tongues will be about us. The weather is delightful and all goes charmingly.