The outfitting of the Beagle progresses.
CD has been dining out more than he wishes. He has met W. S. Harris of "Electricity" fame.
His fears and hopes about seasickness.
A new continent has been discovered "somewhere far South". "Perhaps we may be sent in search."
My dear Caroline,
The tutor's bill is just as I expected—and I will contrive some plan through Henslow.— Most unfortunately Henslow has just lost his brother, so I do not like at present to trouble him.—
Everything here is most prosperous; the Beagle now looks something like a ship— They have just painted her and in a weeks time the men will live on board.— No Vessel has ever been fitted at all on so expensive a scale from Plymouth— I get into a fine naval fervour whenever I look at her. I suppose she is as good a ship as art can make her—and if I believe all I hear the Captain is as perfect as nature can make him— It is ridiculous to see how popular he is, ladies can hardly splutter out big enough words to express their big feelings—
I have been going out rather more lately than I wish. I dined yesterday at the Admirals Sir
[LARGER SPACE HERE]
Dixon with Captain FitzRoy—where I met nobody but
naval officers, the conversation would have been stupid to a Landsman,—but to
me it was very interesting. I breakfasted yesterday with a M
Tell Susan she need not be alarmed about my forgetting to give directions about writing. I presume Rio Janeiro will be principal place for some time.— I get letters for nothing— I fancy S. America will not detain us more than 18 months— What then nobody seems to know— It is certain that a new continent has been discovered somewhere far South. Perhaps we may be sent in search.— I suppose you have received a letter from me since Susan's date.
Love to my Father & all others. C. Darwin.
- f1 146.f1George Henslow, second son of John Prentis Henslow, dies on 1 November 1831 (Gentleman's Magazine (1831), pt 2: ????).
- f2 146.f2Admiral Sir Manley Dixon.
- f3 146.f3William Snow Harris, known as `Thunder and Lightning Harris' from his experiments with lightning conductors. For Robert FitzRoy's report on the efficiency of those installed in the Beagle see Narrative Appendix, p. 298.
- f4 146.f4Charles Hamilton Smith.
- f5 146.f5John Parker, 1st Earl of Morley, and his son, Edmund Parker, Viscount Boringdon.
- f6 146.f6Probably a reference to the discovery of land in the Antarctic Circle by John Biscoe, in 1831. Biscoe explored the southern seas for the whaling and sealing interests of the firm of Enderby of London (EB, `Polar regions').