Describes cold water cure he has been taking for two months at J. M. Gully's establishment.
Plans to go to BAAS meeting at Birmingham if health improves.
The Lodge, Malvern
May 6, 1849
My dear Henslow
Your kind note has been forwarded to me here. You will be surprised to hear that we
all, children servants and all have been here for nearly two months. All last autumn and
winter my health grew worse and worse; incessant sickness, tremulous hands and swimming
head; I thought I was going the way of all flesh. Having heard of much success in some
cases from the Cold Water Cure, I determined to give up all attempts to do anything and
come here and put myself under D
I heard sometime since from Hooker; but the letter was so purely Geological that I did not suppose it would interest Miss Henslow: How capitally he seems to have succeeded in all his enterprises. You must be very busy now: I happened to be thinking the other day over the Gamlingay trip to the Lilies of the Valley: are those were delightful days when one had no such organ as a stomach, only a mouth and the masticating appurtenances. I am very much surprised at what you say, that men are beginning to work in earnest [at] Botany. What a loss it will be for Nat. History, that you have ceased to reside all the year in Cambridge.
My dear Henslow farewell. | Yours most affectionately | C. Darwin
I hope that Mrs. Henslow is much better: we are all flourishing.
- f1 1241.f1After the introduction of new regulations in 1848, the British Association listed the towns which had proferred invitations for future meetings. An invitation from Ipswich for 1849, ‘signed by the High Sheriff, the Bishop of Norwich, and eighty gentlemen of the Eastern Counties’, had been received by the British Association's general committee at the meeting held in Swansea, 8–16 August 1848 (see Report of the 19th meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held at Birmingham in 1849, p. xviii). Although Ipswich, close to Henslow's parish of Hitcham, was evidently rejected for a meeting in 1849, the British Association may have planned to meet there in 1850, but, if so, the meeting was postponed until 1851. The 1850 meeting took place in Edinburgh.
- f2 1241.f2CD, much improved in health by September, was able to attend the British Association meeting. He was one of eight vice-presidents.
- f3 1241.f3Henslow and his family had accompanied CD and Joseph Dalton Hooker on these outings to famous beauty spots at the time of the Oxford meeting of the British Association.
- f4 1241.f4Wild lilies of the valley grew there (see ML 1: 67 n. 1). During CD's undergraduate years, he and other young naturalists went on several entomological and botanical excursions to Gamlingay with Henslow.
- f5 1241.f5The copyist wrote ‘are those were delightful days’, but the ‘are’ was probably a misreading of CD's ‘ah’. Francis Darwin, who saw the original when editing ML, has ‘ah, those’ (ML 1: 67).
- f6 1241.f6This refers to the improved status given to natural science in the universities as a result of educational reforms in 1848.