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Letter 1606

Darwin, C. R. to Ramsay, A. C.

22 Nov [1854]

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    Grief at the death of Edward Forbes.


Down Farnborough | Kent

Nov. 22d

Dear Ramsay

I am extremely much obliged to you for writing, but I had heard the news from Lyell, in a letter full of grief, the day before. It is really under every point of view dreadful. What a loss to his singularly numerous friends & to Natural Science! The gaps left by the dead are generally soon, too soon, filled up; but this assuredly will not be the case with poor Forbes. His loss will be felt for long years. What attainments he united; & what a career cut short; I had forgotten till today how young he was. As for his poor wife I pity her from my soul; I have lost a child, & I can, therefore, in some degree realise what death in its worst form is.

Once again I thank you much for writing.— I heard, also, from Hooker in a letter full of deep grief.

Yours very truly | C. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1606.f1
    Edward Forbes had died on 18 November. Charles Lyell's letter has not been found.
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    f2 1606.f2
    Forbes was 39 years old. He had been appointed professor of natural history at Edinburgh in May 1854 (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [9 October 1853], n. 9).
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    f3 1606.f3
    Joseph Dalton Hooker's letter has not been found.
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