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Letter 47

Darwin, C. R. to Herbert, J. M.

[13 Sept 1828]

    Summary Add

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    Asks JMH to collect some insects at Barmouth.

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    Reports on his shooting luck.


[Osmaston, near Derby]

Saturday Evening

My dear old Cherbury1

I am about to fulfill my promise of writing to you, but I am sorry to add there is a very selfish motive at the bottom. I am going to ask you a great favor, & you cannot imagine how much you will oblige me by procuring some more specimens of some insects which I dare say I can describe. In the first place I must inform you I have taken some of the rarest of the British Insects, & their being found near Barmouth is quite unknown to the Entomological world: I think I shall write & inform some of the crack Entomologists.

But now for Business: several more specimens if you can procure them without much trouble, of the following insects. The violet black coloured beetle found on Craig Storm under stones, allso a large smooth black one, very like it: a bluish, metallic coloured, globular, dung beetle, which is very common on the hill sides: Also, if you would be so very kind as to cross the ferry, & you will find a great number under the stones on the waste land of a long smooth jet black beettle (a great many of these): also in same situation a very small pinkish insect, with black spots, with a curved thorax projecting beyond the head: also upon the marshy over the ferry land near the sea under old sea weed, stones, &c &c, you will find a small yellowish transparent beettle, with 2 or 4 blackish marks on back, under these stones there are two sorts, one much darker than the other, the li<ght> coloured is that which I want: These 2 last insects are exessively rare: & you really will extremely oblige me by taking all this trouble pretty soon: Remember me most kindly to Butler, tell him of my success, & I daresay both of you will easily recognize these insects: I hope his caterpillars go on well. I think many of the Crysalises are well worth keeping: I really am quite ashamed so long letter all about my own concerns: but do return good for evil & & send me a long account of all your proceedings:

In the first week I killed 75 head of game; a very contemptable number, but there are very few birds, I killed however, a brace of Black Game: Since that time I have been staying at the Foxes near Derby: it is a very pleasant house & the Music Meeting went off very well: I want to hear how Yate likes his Gun, & what use he has made of it?

If the bottle is not large you can buy another for me, & when you pass through Shrewsbury you can leave these treasures & I hope if you possibly can will stay a day or two with me, as I hope I need not say how glad I shall be to see you again: Fox remarked what deuced goodnatured fellows your friends at Barmouth must be; & if I did not know that you & Butler were so I would not think of giving you so much trouble.

believe me my dear Herbert | Your most sincere | Charles Darwin

Remember me to all friends

How is Buz & Bossy. I am afraid you yourself must be grown terribly bumptious:

Direct to Shrewsbury: if there is any thing you want I can send it for you to Barmouth: such as gloves &c &c &c | Good Bye

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 47.f1
    CD's nickname for Herbert, an allusion to Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Cherbury.
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    f2 47.f2
    A hilltop near Barmouth.
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    f3 47.f3
    Thomas Butler (see letter from E. A. Darwin, [24 February 1825], n. 2) had entered St John's College, Cambridge, after leaving Shrewsbury School.
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    f4 47.f4
    Charles Yate, Herbert's private tutor in the reading party at Barmouth (see LL 1: 166).
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