Anxiety about R. W. Darwin's health.
My dear Mammy.
I keep very well, though unusually heavy.— My Father had fair night. Poor Catty, started this morning early, after the third consecutive most wretched night! She declares it has nothing to do with her health! did you ever hear anything so odd.— My Father was very cheerful at cards; but the day here is almost continual anxiety.— The Owens as usual have found me out: the Queen might as well come incognito here: I hope the Governor will not come over tomorrow.
Your letters delight me & tell me all the things I most like to hear: I am very
sorry that Annie cannot sing, but do not give up too soon.— You are a lovely
girl, I have just written for you my third note to M
Your old nigger— | C. D.
I am in love with M. de Sevigne; she only shams a little virtue.
- f1 1179.f1Mr and Mrs William Mostyn Owen Sr, of Woodhouse, were close family friends of the Darwins. Before and during his undergraduate years, CD was a frequent visitor to Woodhouse (see Correspondence vol. 1). As the letters of that period make clear, the chief attractions were shooting and the Owen daughters, Sarah and Fanny.
- f2 1179.f2Thomas Blunt, Shrewsbury chemist.
- f3 1179.f3Queen Victoria gave a state banquet followed by an evening party on 13 May 1848 after the christening of Princess Louisa (Annual Register 1848, Chronicle, p. 68). Charles Lyell was shortly to receive a knighthood, see letter to Charles Lyell, [24 September 1848].
- f4 1179.f4The speech was delivered before the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes on 18 May 1848. See Addresses delivered on different public occasions by H.R.H. the Prince Albert (1857), pp. 1–10.
- f5 1179.f5Aunt Sarah, Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood.
- f6 1179.f6CD used the word ‘nigger’ playfully to suggest that the status of a husband was that of a slave (Correspondence vol. 1, letter to Caroline Darwin, [9 November 1836]; Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix IV, ‘Darwin's notes on marriage’). Emma Darwin referred to CD as her ‘nigger’ as a term of endearment (Emma Darwin 2: 104).