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Letter 102A

Darwin, C. R. to Whitley, C. T.

[12 July 1831]

    Summary Add

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    He is "mad about Geology" and plans to ride through Wales in August with a few days at Barmouth.

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    Some humorous gossip.




My dear Whitley

My conscience smote me much on receiving your letter.— The reason I did not write sooner, was that I kept on hoping that I might have come in propriâ personâ.— I am at present mad about Geology & I daresay I shall put a plan which I am now hatching, into execution sometime in August, viz of riding through Wales & staying a few days at Barmouth on my road.— Even if I was to come there, I should not be of much assistance to Mr. D. B. or indeed Mr. D B to me, as I much suspect his pronunciation. I get on very slowly with Spanish. the number of words is quite terrifying & the number of meanings to each word is still more discouraging.— I must contrive to pay you a visit, & as for Lowe, the number of facts he must have picked up, must be worth any thing.— I heard a Coachman the other day call a broken-winded, spavined horse, a ``faggot of misery''. I thought to myself, the man must be a friend of Lowes. I heard from Watkins yesterday he says, he finds them so devilish familiar at home, that he is obliged to take a little tour in order to protect himself.— He intends seeing Grey & Cavendish at Tremadock, & most likely Barmouth. I should like much to meet him there With Lowes assistance, we might have a good deal of instructing conversation.—

You do not deserve even so long a letter, as I have written. You do not even mention how you like Barmouth, whom you have there, what you do &c &c &c.— I think I shall most certainly see you in August till then, believe me dear Whitley | yours Chas Darwin.—

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 102a.f1
    The Tuesday before the date of the postmark. CD apparently held on to the letter before posting it.
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    f2 102a.f2
    CD went on a brief geological tour in North Wales, part of it in the company of Adam Sedgwick,in August 1831 (see letters from Adam Sedgwick, 4 September 1831 and 18 September 1831).
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    f3 102a.f3
    Not identified.
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    f4 102a.f4
    CD studied Spanish in July 1831 in the hope of carrying out a natural history excursion to Tenerife.
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    f5 102a.f5
    Henry Porter Lowe was an undergraduate at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He and his younger brother Robert Lowe were in Barmouth in August 1831 (Martin 1893, 1: 19--20). See also Barrett 1974,p. 149.
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    f6 102a.f6
    Frederick Watkins was a friend of CD at both Shrewsbury School and Cambridge.
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    f7 102a.f7
    William Scurfield Grey and George Henry Cavendish were mutual friends of CD and Whitley at Cambridge.
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    f8 102a.f8
    CD apparently visited Whitley in Barmouth. See letter to Charles Whitley, [9 September 1831].
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