January 24, 1899
My Dear Sunny,
Many congratulations on your appointment. I am afraid I am vy ignorant as to its duties & powers and their scope. But in any case it is a position of great dignity and will be a prelude to positions of greater responsibility. You are young to be in the ministry, but this is an age of youth, so accept my tribute not only as coming from a friend but from one of the generation that has yet to divide the world.
I am still working very hard at my book. But I have rather a severe check as Captain Watson, the Sirdars A.D.C. has written to tell me that the information he had promised me has been refused by Lord Kitchener as he does not desire that his personal staff should participate in other than official publications.
Perhaps it is as well - for although I shall be delayed in producing the book and shall have a great deal more work thrown upon me I shall be free from all obligations to the Sirdar. I am going to reiterate most of Mr. Bennett's charges about the killing of the wounded. This will be very unpopular and I shall expect a perfect scorn. But life is not made up entirely of winning and currying favour. Even democracies must learn the truth sometimes.
I am staying here for a few days. The governor is a decent and amiable man, the house is comfortable & the weather cool. I have been much amused by walking along the sea shore and watching the catamarans running out through the surf into the Bay of Bengal, and the native fishermen casting their circular nets & securing every time quite large fish.
I hope you will try and find me the occasion for a short speech at the Albert Hall meeting. I set great store by this. I think you mentioned the 15th of April as the date. But rather than miss it I would be home nearly a month earlier. Write to me c/o Messers King & Co. Bombay. I shall be moving about and they will forward my letters.
I received a cheque for £ 26.5 from the North American Review - which is I think the highest pay per thousand words I have received as yet. Writing of cheques reminds me that I should also congratulate you on Consuelo's Christmas present. You are a very lucky man. Either, as the Buddhists would think, you have been very good in a previous existence; or as the Christians rather suggest, you are going to be vy miserable in the next.
Lord Curzon's speeches out here are admirable. He has produced a profound impression. There is a great deal that is kingly about him. No better appointment has ever been made by Lord Salisbury's government - except of course the recent Paymaster-Generalship.
I have sent my papers in and in three months more I shall not be a soldier. It is not without some misgivings that I let go of my tow rope, which assured me at least of a livelihood and some sort of progression, and commit myself unaided to the waves of life's oceans, propelled only by my own machinery. But we live so short a time that it is not possible to safeguard against all possible contingencies and much must be left to chance.
Your affectionate cousin
P.S. I don't think you will find a “No Popery” Crusade a good business. This agitation must lead to Disestablishment & the more violent the agitation, the faster the pace toward that goal.