Sailing date fixed for end of month. Beagle is beautiful. Details of instructions and route. Hopes voyage will not exceed four years. Quarters very confined. Considers Jenyns did wisely in not coming. If CD were longer out of college and some years older he never could have endured it.
My dear Henslow
The orders are come down from the Admiralty & every thing is finally
settled.— We positively sail the last day of this month & I think
before that time the Vessel will be ready.— She looks most beautiful, even a
landsman must admire her. we all think her the most perfect vessel ever turned
out of the Dock yard.— one thing is certain no vessel has been fitted out so
expensively & with so much care.— Everything that can be made so is of
Mahogany, & nothing can exceed the neatness & beauty of all the
accomodations.— The instructions are very general & leave a great deal to the Captains discretion
& judgement, thus paying a substantial, as well as many verbal compliments to
him.— I will now give you an outline of the
I will write once again before sailing & perhaps you will write to me before
then. Remember me to Prof Sedgwick & M
Believe me Yours affectionately | Chas. Darwin
- f1 147.f1The modifications ordered by Robert FitzRoy are described in Narrative 2: 17--18. For discussion of the reconstruction of the Beagle as equipped for surveying work, see Darling 1978, J. A. Sulivan 1979, and Stanbury 1979; for a history of her active service, see Thomson 1975.
- f2 147.f2The Admiralty instructions, in a memorandum by Captain Beaufort, are reproduced in Narrative 2: 24--40.
- f3 147.f3The chronometers (twenty-two, not twenty-four as CD says) and the measurements taken with them on the voyage are described in Narrative Appendix, pp. 325--31. To superintend and repair the instruments, FitzRoy engaged, on a private basis, George James Stebbing, son of a mathematical instrument maker at Portsmouth (Narrative 2: 19 and Appendix, p. 327).
- f4 147.f4In his reminiscences of the Barmouth reading tour of 1828, John Maurice Herbert wrote to Francis Darwin: `He had, I imagine, no natural turn for mathematics, for he gave up his mathematical reading before he had mastered the 1
st. part of Algebra, having had a special quarrel with Surds and the Binomial Theorem' (DAR 112 (ser. 2): 62).