Criticises lecturing system in education and emphasis on classics. Has forgotten all his classical knowledge.
Asks JSH's help in naming cirripedes, on which he is working. Believes he has made "some very curious points".
Expects a sixth child [Francis] in August.
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Henslow
I am uncommonly sorry to hear so poor an account of several members of your family; but I do hope that the sea will do all good. Nothing comes up to the misery of having illness amongst one's children, of which we have lately had a touch, now happily quite over.— We expect a sixth (d) in beginning of August.
Thanks for your Syllabus, which I shall be curious to look
over. I never enjoyed any other lectures in my life, except your's,
for Edinburgh completely sickened me of that method of learning. What a grand step it
would be to break down the system of eternal classics, & nothing but
classics.— I am perfectly certain, that the only thing at Cambridge which did
my mind any good, were your lectures & still more your conversation; I believe I
must except, also, getting up Paley's Evidences. It
would, indeed, be a grand step to get a little more diversity in study for men of
different minds. Talking of classics reminds me to ask you to do me a very
essential favour: I find I have utterly forgotten my whole immense stock of
classical knowledge which put me in the eminent position of 5
When you are walking on the shore, w
I am in a very cock-a-hoop state about my anatomy of the Cirripedia, & think I have made out some very curious points: my Book will be published in two years by the Ray Soc. & will I trust do no discredit (see how vain I am!) to your old pupil & most attached friend
- f1 1189.f1Francis Darwin was born on 16 August 1848.
- f2 1189.f2Henslow 1848b, in which a syllabus for a course of botany lectures at Cambridge University was put forward. Henslow wrote this in anticipation of university reforms that would give more recognition to the natural sciences in the curriculum (Jenyns 1862, pp. 170–1). CD's copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
- f3 1189.f3Paley 1794 was one of the books set for CD's B.A. examination at Cambridge University in 1831. See Correspondence vol. 1, letter to W. D. Fox, [23 January 1831], n. 3.
- f4 1189.f4The ‘hoi polloi’ or ‘Poll’ was the undergraduate term for those who read for a ‘pass degree’. CD actually came tenth out of 178 who passed.
- f5 1189.f5CD eventually amended this conclusion. In Living Cirripedia (1854): 493, he said Balanus punctatus was the name ‘often applied by British authors to varieties of B. balanoides’.
- f6 1189.f6CD considered the Balanus punctatus of George Montagu to be Chthamalus stellatus, in the sub-family Chthamalinæ (Living Cirripedia (1854): 455, 493).
- f7 1189.f7CD probably refers to his discovery that all that is externally visible in adult barnacles is homologous to the first three segments of the head of other Crustacea. See letter to J. D. Hooker, 6 October 1848, n.12, and Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix II.