His health not good.
Has been reading John Evelyn's Life of Mrs Godolphin, and Mme Sévigné.
My dear Mammy
I have been so sorry that I ever asked you to send the Newspaper at all earlier than usual, as I quite forgot there were visitors with you; so do not send them anymore. Indeed I cannot read the old papers, though the Globe is simply damnable.— My Father kept pretty well yesterday, but he has had a bad night & is much oppressed in his breathing this morning: but he means to go into the town: his legs are very dropsical, but he does not seem much afraid of that.
Yesterday Marianne & Frank came up: he is a monstrous fine man, but not actually handsome, with pleasant laughing manners. I am certain from looks & no answers, that he has some lovering with some rich lady, but it is some tremendous secret. Marianne appeared pretty well. It is very provoking, but I feel almost sure, that the cold-bathing, though I now like it & it makes me feel very vigorous for an hour or two, knocks me up for the rest of the day, & I have not used it this day, for I was very heavy all yesterday. I was speculating yesterday, how fortunate it was, that I had plenty of employment (& an employment which I do not consider mere amusement) for being employed alone makes me forget myself: really yesterday I was not able to forget my stomach for 5 minutes all day long.
I have read, since being here, Evelyn's life of M
Give my love to all the dear children & bless them. You are a good old mammy | Yours | C. D.
The black-caps sing here so beautifully.
- f1 1177.f1Emma Darwin's diary records that her sisters Elizabeth Wedgwood and Charlotte Langton, and Charlotte's son Edmund, were staying at Down.
- f2 1177.f2The Globe, a London evening paper founded in 1803 and a leading Whig organ until 1866 when it became Conservative. The editions preceding this letter presented a cynical view of the aims of the new National Assembly established on 4 May 1848 in Paris. On 18 May, just after the riots in Paris, the Globe roundly criticised the French assembly for not taking precautions against insurrection, as the British government had done during the Chartist protests of 10 April.
- f3 1177.f3Marianne and Francis Parker, CD's sister and nephew. Francis was then nineteen.
- f4 1177.f4John Evelyn's Life of Mrs Godolphin ([Wilburforce] ed. 1847) is the account of a very saintly maid of honour at the court of James II. CD records having finished it on 31 May 1848, with the note: ‘(pretty)’ (DAR 119; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV).
- f5 1177.f5Sarah Elizabeth (Sarah) Wedgwood, who lived in Down village.
- f6 1177.f6William Erasmus Darwin, CD and Emma's oldest child.
- f7 1177.f7The home of Henry Allen (Harry) and Jessie Wedgwood in Woking, Surrey. Harry was Emma's brother.
- f8 1177.f8Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sévigné, famous for her letters to her daughter Françoise Marguerite, Comtesse de Grignan, and her friends. Several translations of the letters into English had appeared by 1848.