Orders clothing, books, and other supplies for the voyage, to be sent to him in London.
17, Spring Gardens
My dear Susan
Again I am going to trouble you. I suspect, if I keep on at this rate, you will sincerely wish me at Terra de Fuego or any other Terra, but England.— First I will give my commissions.— Tell Nancy to make me soon 12 instead of 8 shirts: Tell Edward to send me up in my carpet bag, (he can slip the key in the bag tied to some string) my slippers, a pair of lightish walking shoes.—My Spanish books: my new microscope (about 6 inches long & 3 or 4 deep), which must have cotton stuffed inside: my geological compass.—my Father knows that: A little book, if I have got it in bedroom, Taxidermy: ask my Father if he thinks there would be any objection to my taking Arsenic for a little time, as my hands are not quite well—& I have always observed, that if I once get them well & change my manner of living about same time they will generally remain well.— What is the dose?— Tell Edward my gun is dirty: What is Erasmus direction, tell me if you think there is time to write & to receive an answer before I start: as I should like particularly to know what he thinks about it. I suppose you do not know Sir J. Macintosh direction?—
I write all this as if it was settled but it is not more than it
was.—excepting that from Cap. FitzRoy wishing me so much to go, & from
his kindness I feel a predestination I shall start.— I spent a very pleasant
evening with him yesterday: he must be more than 23 old. he is of a
slight figure, & a dark but handsome edition of M
We stop at Teneriffe. His object is to stop at as many places as possible. he
takes out 20 Chronometers & it will be a ``sin'' not to settle the
longitudes: he tells me to get it down on writing at
Love to my Father.— Dearest Susan | C. Darwin
Answer by return of post
As my instruments want altering send my things by the Oxonian, y
- f1 119.f1See letter from [J. M. Herbert], [early May 1831], n. 3. The dimensions are close to those of the box of the Cary microscope at Down House (6.2 inches by 2.8 inches), which suggests that CD may have taken that instrument with him on the voyage. But, if so, it was not his only one. Another, also at Down House, bearing the name `Bancks & Son, 119 New Bond Street', is, in the opinion of Professor Phillip Sloan, based on measurements of the focal lengths, the main one utilised by CD on board the Beagle (Phillip Sloan, personal communication). There is further evidence in the letter to W. D. Fox, 23 May 1833 that CD had the Bancks microscope on board. See also letter to J. S. Henslow, 28 [September 1831], n. 1.
- f2 119.f2Swainson 1822 (viii + 72 pp.) fits this description, but no copy has been found in CD's library, nor has any mention of it, or of any other work on taxidermy, been found in his Beagle notes.
- f3 119.f3A memorandum from Captain Beaufort dated 11 November 1831 contains detailed instructions for chronometric observations to be made during the Beagle voyage in order to establish longitudes, such as that of Rio de Janeiro, about which authorities were in conflict (Narrative 2: 24--40). Eventually twenty-two chronometers were taken. See Narrative Appendix, p. 325 for a list with Robert FitzRoy's rating of their performance.
- f4 119.f4No such statement has been found, though CD's Beagle letters make it clear that he felt free to leave whenever he chose.