Recounts dinner at Erasmus' house with Harriet Martineau and others, and a visit to Cambridge to stay with Henslow and meet old friends again.
36 Grt. Marlbro'
My dear old Granny
Many thanks for your letter & kind messages from my Father. My trip of three
days to Cambridge has done me such wonderful good &
filled my limbs with such elasticity, that I must get a little work out of my body
before another holiday. Whether I go to Scotland first or to you, will depend upon
circumstances; I incline to the former, although it is delaying my visit, which I always
look forward to with the greatest delight.— I will give an account of all my
Cambridge doings, but first for Erasmus dinner, which I arrived in time for. It was a
very brilliant little party, as all his invariably are.— I had a very
interesting conversation with Miss Martineau,—most perfectly
authorial,—comparing our methods of writing.— it seems wonderful the
rapidity with which she writes correctly.— I felt, however, no small
gratification, to find, that she is not a complete Amazonian, & knows the
feeling of exhaustion from thinking too much. I thought she was quite invincible; but
she confesses, a few hours consecutively exhausts every grain of strength she
possesses.— She never has occasion to correct a single word she writes, which
account for the marvellous rapidity with which she bring forward her books.—
The Henleigh & M
Now for Cambridge.— I staid at Henslows house, & enjoyed my visit
extremely,— my friends gave me a most cordial welcome.— indeed I was
quite a lion there. M
So much for my annals.— Will you tell my Father, that I made civil speeches,
some time since to M
It must have been very hard work for you to have written two letters yesterday,
& it was proportionally good of you.— Erasmus & myself both
sneer at the badness of the paper you write on.— we think now you are by
yourself, you are indulging in a little bit of thorough economy.— NB. I
recommend you M
Good Bye, dear Granny. | I will write again as soon as any news is stirring | C. D
Bro is almost well again— neither Snow or Baby have caught the fever.—
NB. I feel some doubts, whether my severe & very witty criticisms on your spelling is right.— I know to my cost headache in the singular is wrong for I have so written it in my journal
- f1 413.f1Though not mentioned in the letter, one purpose of this visit to Cambridge was to consult William Sharp MacLeay's Horæ entomologicæ (1819–21) in the University Library. The volume in that collection still has faint markings corresponding to some of the extracts that CD and Syms Covington, CD's servant, copied out of it. (See DAR 71: 128–38 and S. Smith 1968, p. 100). MacLeay originated the quinary system of classification, which enjoyed considerable support at this time. CD refers to it frequently in his notes of the period, many of which suggest an interest in making his species theory compatible with the quinary classification (see Ospovat 1981, p. 108).
- f2 413.f2The Hensleigh Wedgwoods and Mary Rich, née Mackintosh, half-sister of Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood.
- f3 413.f3Samuel Lee, Regius Professor of Hebrew, Cambridge. He was called ‘the Shrewsbury Carpenter’ because he had been apprenticed to one at the age of twelve.
- f4 413.f4From Haydn's Creation.
- f5 413.f5Marianne Clive, wife of William Clive the Vicar of Welshpool.
- f6 413.f6James Mackintosh Wedgwood.
- f7 413.f7Frances Julia Wedgwood.
- f8 413.f8Ernest Hensleigh Wedgwood.
- f9 413.f9John Parrott.