First days in Edinburgh.
My dear Father
As I suppose Erasmus has given all the particulars of the journey I will say no more
about it, except that alltogether it has cost me 7 pounds— We got
into our lodgings yesterday evening, which are very comfortable & near the
College— Our Landlady, by name M
I should think D
We spend all our mornings in promenading about the town, which we know pretty well, and
in the Evenings we go to the play to hear Miss Stephens, which
is quite delightful. She is very popular here, being encored to such a degree that she
can hardly get on with the play— On Monday we are going to Der
The introductory lectures begin next Wednesday, and we were matriculated for them on
Saturday: we pay 10
We have just been to church and heard a sermon of only 20 minutes. I expected from Sir Walter Scott's account, a soul-cutting discourse of 2 hours & a half—
I remain Y
- f1 16.f1Dated from the reference to lectures beginning `next Wednesday'. Lectures for the 1825--6 session at the University began on Wednesday, 26 October (Ashworth 1935, p. 97).
- f2 16.f2The site is now occupied by the Lecture Theatre of the Royal Scottish Museum (information supplied by Mr Antony P. Shearman, City Librarian of Edinburgh).
- f3 16.f3Probably Richard Maddock Hawley. The copy and Francis Darwin's version both read `Hanley', but no doctor by that name has been located. In her letter of [26 October 1825], Catherine Darwin clearly wrote `Hawley'.
- f4 16.f4Catherine Stephens, a leading soprano of the time. During October 1825 she appeared at the Theatre-Royal, Edinburgh.
- f5 16.f5Der Freischütz by Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber was first performed at the Theatre-Royal, Edinburgh on 29 December 1824 (Harvard College Library Theatre Collection).
- f6 16.f6The anonymous author of two articles in the St. James's Gazette, `Darwin in Edinburgh.--I.', 16 February 1888, and `Darwin in Edinburgh.--II.', 17 February 1888, states that the University Library record books for 1825--6 (since lost) showed that CD and Erasmus borrowed more books than other students. The St. James's Gazette passage on CD's borrowing reads: `They included Good's ``Study'' [Good 1822] (with which his list opened), Pemberton on Viscera [Pemberton 1806] (which Erasmus also took out), Young's Philosophy [Young 1807], Fleming's Zoology [Fleming 1822], Kerr [?Kerr 1792] and Foster [not identified], two volumes on entomology, Wood on Insects [Wood 1821], Brook's Conchology [Brookes 1815], and Newton's Optics [Newton 1704]… What may be called the only lay work he took out was Boswell's Johnson [Boswell 1791], which he seems to have read all through, carrying off a volume at a time.' (16 February 1888, p. 5). In the following session (1826--7), however, CD did not pay the library deposit and borrowed no books at all (17 February 1888, p. 7) He paid his fees for two classes `Practice of Physic' and `Midwifery' and attended Robert Jameson's lectures in Geology and Zoology, which he remembered as having been `incredibly dull' (Autobiography, p. 52).
- f7 16.f7The original of the letter has not been found. A copy made for Francis Darwin (by CD's sister, Caroline) has been compared with the text published in ML 1: 5--7. The copy has been followed rather than the printed text wherever Francis diverged from it to conform to the editorial style of ML. Where he differs from the copyist's transcription of words, his version has been adopted as more probable, unless clear evidence for an alternative rendering exists, as in the case of `Edinburg' and `alltogether' (see letter from Catherine Darwin, [26 October 1825]). In ML 1: 7 `his [degree?]' was supplied in a space left blank in the copy. See also the Manuscript alterations and comments for this letter.