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Letter 3398

Martens, Conrad to Darwin, C. R.

20 Jan 1862

    Summary Add

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    He will send CD one of his sketches to add to the two CD has kept since Beagle days.

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    Asks for FitzRoy's address.


St. Leonards. | —Sydney.

Jan 20th./62

To Chas. Darwin Esq., &c— .

Many thanks my old Shipmate for your kind message which I have just recd. by the padre,

I thought you had quite forgotten that I was in existence, and certainly the man who voluntarily sets himself down in such a place as this has no right to grumble if he f<inds> such to be the case.

As it appears howev<er> you have still two of my sketches hanging up in your room. I hope you will not refuse to accept another which I shall have much pleasure in preparing and will send to you by the next mail,

Your ``book of the season'' as the reviewers have it, I must own I have not yet read, altho Mr Clarke offered to lend it me, I am afraid of your eloquence, and I don't want to think I have an origin in common with toads and tadpoles, for if there is anything in human <n>ature that I hate it is a toady, but of course I know nothing of the subject, and they do make such microscopes now a-days— I suppose yours is one of Ross's very best, by the by I got him to make two eyepieces for a reflecting telescope just before he died as I had succeeded in casting and polishing two metals of 6 and 7. feet focus, and so now I shew the good people here the mountains in the moon turned up side down, as of course they ought to be when seen from the antipodes.

but I must apologize, for I suppose you don't laugh at nonsense now as you used to do in ``Beagle or rather I suppose it does not come in your way.

Well, that was a jolly cruize, and I hope you have been well and happy ever since—and that you may continue so for some time to come is Believe me | the sincere wish | of your old shipmate | Conrad Martens.

PS. | I wonder whether, the Admiral, what is now, I should like to send my kind regards, if you should see him, but don't if you don't like,— coffee without sugar, you remember.—

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 3398.f1
    See Correspondence vol. 9, letter to W. B. Clarke, 25 October [1861]. Martens, official artist on HMS Beagle from December 1833 until August 1834, settled in Sydney, Australia in 1835 (R. D. Keynes ed. 1979, pp. 2--3; R. D. Keynes ed. 1988, pp. 207, 263). In 1844, he moved to St Leonard's, a `suburban township to Sydney' located in the parish of Willoughby (Whitworth ed. 1866; see L. Lindsay 1968, pp. 14--15). Following William Branwhite Clarke's arrival as incumbent of that parish in 1846, Martens became Clarke's first church-warden at the new church of St Thomas (see Correspondence vol. 9, letter to W. B. Clarke, [August 1861], and Jervis [1945], pp. 19--22).
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    f2 3398.f2
    CD purchased two of Martens's water-colours in January 1836 when the Beagle visited Sydney. These water-colours are reproduced in R. D. Keynes ed. 1979 as no. 150, `The Beagle in Murray Narrow Beagle Channel' (originally entitled `View Ponsonby Sound'), and no. 193, `River Santa Cruz' (ibid., pp. 116, 395, and pp. 201, 397, respectively).
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    f3 3398.f3
    Martens soon afterwards sent CD a water-colour entitled `View of Brisbane, 1862'; it is reproduced in Nicholas and Nicholas 1989, p. 128.
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    f4 3398.f4
    The optician and scientific instrument maker, Andrew Ross, was one of the pre-eminent manufacturers of microscopes in Victorian London; he died in 1859 (Turner 1989, p. 154).
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    f5 3398.f5
    Martens, who was a keen amateur astronomer, began constructing a six-inch reflecting telescope in 1860 (L. Lindsay 1968, pp. 13--14).
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    f6 3398.f6
    Robert FitzRoy had been captain of the Beagle during CD's and Martens's time with the ship. He was promoted to the rank of rear-admiral in 1857 (DNB).
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    f7 3398.f7
    According to CD's autobiography, references by the junior officers of the Beagle to how much `hot coffee' had been served out in the morning indicated the state of the captain's temper (Autobiography, p. 73).
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