All is settled – nothing can now alter CD's determination. Details of plan and arrangements. Beaufort believes CD's collections should be presented to some public body. CD thinks a large central collection best for natural history. Is busy getting advice and information from Yarrell and Capt. P. P. King for the voyage.
17 Spring Gardens
My dear Sir
You must have thought it very odd my not having written sooner.— I put it off yesterday & the day before owing to the Coronation & not seeing Cap. Fitz Roy & therefore not having anything particular to communicate.— To day I did not come home till too late for the post, having spent it with Cap Fitz going about the town & ordering things.— By this you will perceive it is all settled; that is to say I cannot possibly conceive any cause happening of sufficient weight to alter my determination.— I have ordered pistols & a rifle, both of which by Fitzroys account I shall have plenty of use for.— These really are nearly the only expensive things I shall want: Fitzroy has an immense stock of instruments & books.— viz takes out 5 Simpisometers, 3 M Barometers.— in books all travels, & many natural history books.— He does not appear to care for any expence as far as regards himself, but is very economical with respect to advice to me.— And now for my plans.— On Sunday I go packet to Plymouth stay there a few days: & then London: then Cam. where I shall finally settle things, pay bills &c & home to Shrewsbury: Then London again: Plymouth: Terra del Fuego.— The SS Islands are all but certain. I am on the books for Victuals.— but about my collections, Cap Beaufort said his first impression was, that they ought to be given to British Museum: but I think I convinced of the impropriety of this & he finished by saying he thought I should have no difficulty so that I presented them to some public body, as Zoological & Geological &c.—
But I do not think the Admiralty would approve of my sending them to a Country
collection, let it be ever so good,—& really I doubt myself, whether
it is not more for the advancement of Nat. Hist. that new things should be
presented to the largest & most central collection.— But we will talk
of all this & many other things when we meet,—which I should think
would be early the week after next.— M
Good night my dear Henslow | Yours most sincerely | Chas Darwin
PS. All FitzRoy said about the letter of Peacock evidently from a very enthusiastic man, an elegant way of calling it inaccurate.—
Cary says your Clinometer is ready & he is working at the Camera obscura, it soon will be ready.—
I have just been with Cap King Fitzroy senior officer during last expedition & he has given me much good advice: but I am afraid he must have swept the Coast almost clear.—
I will write again before I come to Cambridge
Keep Syme on colours in your mind.—
- f1 123.f1Sympiesometer, a form of barometer with gas instead of a vacuum in the tube above the liquid.
- f2 123.f2Mountain barometers.
- f3 123.f3CD may have come to this view because he had heard that the British Museum left undescribed so many of the specimens deposited there. Captain Phillip Parker King's botanical specimens from the first voyage were a case in point.
- f4 123.f4See letter to Susan Darwin, [4 September 1831], n. 6. Susan had apparently failed to locate the articles.
- f5 123.f5Poole 1825, a popular farce.
- f6 123.f6Syme 1814. The work contains plates of different tints for identifying the colours of specimens when they are taken by collectors. A copy of the second edition (1821) is in Darwin Library--CUL.