Describes Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn; was reminded of hours at Barmouth; chafes at the length of the trip.
Hopes the Whigs will do away with slavery – has seen enough of it and Negroes to be disgusted with the lies heard in England.
Maldonado, Rio Plata
My dear Herbert
I have been confined for the last three days to a miserable dark room in an old Spanish
house from the torrents of rain.— I am not therefore in very good trim for
writing, but defying the blue devils I will send you a few lines if it is merely to
thank you very sincerely for writing to me.— I received your letter, dated
How often, & how vividly have many of the hours spent at Barmouth come before my mind. I look back to that time with no common pleasure; at this moment I can see you seated on the hill behind the Inn, almost as plainly as if we were really there.— It is necessary to be separated from all which one has been accustomed to, to know how properly to treasure up such recollections, & at this distance, I may add, how properly to esteem such as yourself.— My dear old Herbert I wonder when I shall ever see you again; I hope it may be as you say, surrounded with heaps of parchment; but then there must be sooner or later a dear little lady to take care of you & your house.— Such a delightful vision makes me quite envious.— This is a curious sort of life for a regular shore-going person, such as myself.— the worst part of it is its extreme length.— there is certainly a great deal of high enjoyment & on the contrary a tolerable share of vexation of spirit.— every thing however shall bend to the pleasure of grubbing up old bones & captivating new animals.— By the way you rank my Nat: Hist: labours far too high: I am nothing more than a lions provider; I do not feel at all sure, that they wi<ll> not growl & finally destroy me.—
It does ones heart good to hear how things are going on in England.— Hurrah for the honest Whigs.— I trust they will soon attack that monstrous stain on our boasted liberty, Colonial Slavery.— I have seen enough of Slavery & the dispositions of the negros, to be thoroughly disgusted with the lies & nonsense one hears on the subject in England. Thank God the cold-hearted Tories, who as J Mackintosh used to say, have no enthusiasm except against enthusiasm, have for the present run their race.— I am sorry, by your letter, to hear you have not been well & that you partly attribute it to want of exercise.— I wish you were here amongst the green plains: we would take walks which would rival the Dolgelley ones: & you should tell stories which I would believe even to a cubic fathom of pudding: instead of this I must take my solitary ramble; think of Cambridge days & pick up Snakes, beetles & Toads.
Excuse this short letter; you know I never studied the complete letter-writer & believe me my dear Herbert | Your affectionate friend | Chas. Darwin.—
Pray, Write again: Remember me to all friends & Whitley. I shall never forget how many pleasant hours I have spent with the latter: Read Heads gallop, if you want an accurate account of this country:
Do you ever hear anything of F Watkins, Cameron or Matthews.— I wrote to the former many months ago, but he has never answered me.—
Direct pro futuro to Valparaiso
I have just met with the following quotation in the ``Sacred history of the World'', taken from the Hereford!! Journal. November 1824. Carnations have been engrafted on Fennel & for the first two or three years the flowers were green: Likewise Peaches on a Mulberry, in which case the fruit will have a purple dye to the stone.—
Were you the original & ingenious experimentalist? I think I have heard you argue that White Lies do no harm.— Here are green Carnations & purple Peaches brought foreward to show the beneficence of Providence.— When such evidence is proved false, who will not become a Sceptic.— Reflect—, if the Author, what awful consequences may have been produced.—
- f1 209.f1Turner 1832--7, 2: 111 and n., quotes a `Letter to the Editor' from `Ethelbert', Hereford Journal … (24 November 1824). The quoted passage also appears in Bradley 1726, 2: 301. Herbert went to Hereford school, which explains CD's exclamation marks.