Grief at the death of Edward Forbes.
Down Farnborough | Kent
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
- f1 1606.f1Edward Forbes had died on 18 November. Charles Lyell's letter has not been found.
- f2 1606.f2Forbes 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).
- f3 1606.f3Joseph Dalton Hooker's letter has not been found.