His dinner with the Carlyles. "He is the best worth listening to of any man" – but CD cannot get up much admiration for Mrs C, partly because of her Scots accent, which makes her difficult to understand.
Wednesday Evening 2
My dear Emma
After a good day's work, here am I sitting very comfortably, & feeling just that degree of lassitude, which a man enjoys after a day's shooting, terminated by an excellent dinner. All my goods are in their proper places & one of the front attics, (hence forward to be called the Museum,) is quite filled, but holds everything very well: my room down stairs would hold more & so will allow of things to grow, & things will always grow.— I walked for half an hour in the garden to day & much enjoyed the advantage of so easily getting a mouth-full of air.—
Erasmus's dinner yesterday was a very pleasant one: Carlyyle was in high force, & talked away most steadily; to my mind Carlyle is the most worth listening to, of any man I know. the Hensleigs were there & were very pleasant also.— such society, I think, is worth all other, & more brilliant kinds, many times over I find I cannot by any exertion get up the due amount of admiration for M
Tomorrow I mean to go on writing, with all my papers not only in their proper place, but far better arranged than ever they were before: is not this something to rejoice in considering that they were in their usual disorder in Sunday Morning in Marbro' St.?— (NB. If you have any dusters, or rough towels, ready it will be well to send them with the sheets). As far as I can see into the future, though it is not so very far to look, I shall start for Shrewsbury on Thursday Morning: my visit there & to Maer must be very short, for thanks to the God of Time, there is no great interval between the 10
I feel so stupid & comfortable, so dull in the noddle & weary in the legs, that I must wish you a good night, just like a real country squire after a hard day's shooting, so good bye my dear Emma. Ever your Affect | Charles Darwin.—
P.S. I took the Respirator to the Railroad office this evening, packed in a box, & directed Maer Hall Whitmore Station Staffordshire. —
Thursday Afternoon.— After doing a couple of hour's writing works in my studio, undisturbed by sound or sight, I sallied forth, & had a most successful round of paying calls,—all out,—excepting Capt. Beaufort, who formally announced he hoped to have the pleasure of our acquaintance: this is an infliction, I suspect, as I hear M
I saw, also the Lyells, who screamed properly at hearing that I was fully settled in the New House.— I have a geological dinner there on Sunday. It will be almost the last of the tête à tête parties, without Lyell & myself put our threat into execution of leaving our wives at home & dining at the Athenæum
Good Bye my own dear Emma | Most affectionately Yours | Chas. Darwin
- f1 481.f1The date of the marriage of CD and Emma was finally fixed for 29, not 24, January (see letter from Emma Wedgwood, [7 January 1839]). According to the ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix II), CD went to Shrewsbury on Friday the 11th, to Maer on the 15th, returned to London on the 18th, then to Shrewsbury on the 25th and to Maer on the 28th for the wedding.
- f2 481.f2Francis Beaufort's marriage to Honora Edgeworth took place on 8 November 1838. He was sixty-four, Honora forty-six. She was a half-sister of Maria Edgeworth, the novelist (see Friendly 1977, pp. 270–3).