Hopes to publish volume on coral formations in a few months.
He and Emma live quietly, having given up parties.
Asks WDF if he remembers the Darwin family motto. He means to have a "seal solemnly engraved".
12 Upper Gower St
My dear Fox
I have been intending for some time past to write to you, although I have little to
say. My chief object is to get a letter from you, to tell me how you &
Emma is only moderately well & I fear what you said is true “she wont be better till she is worse”.— We are living a life of extreme quietness: Delamere itself, which you describe as so secluded a spot, is, I will answer for it, quite dissipated compared with Gower St.— We have given up all parties, for they agree with neither of us; & if one is quiet in London, there is nothing like its quietness— there is a grandeur about its smoky fogs, & the dull distant sounds of cabs and coaches: in fact you may perceive I am becoming a thorough-paced cockney & I glory in thoughts, that I shall be here for the next six months.— I am afraid you will say if I had not anything better to write about than the advantages of London over country life, I had better have been quiet: but I have been thinking of writing for some time past, so write I would—do you follow my example & let me have a line from you—
I heard from Shrewsbury a few days since, that M
I had a letter yesterday from Caroline, the first I have received for a long time: she appears in much better spirits, & even writes about baby-linen & such points, which shows she can now somewhat master her grief.— I do not believe the deaths of but few babies have caused more bitter grief than hers, & I fear it will be a great draw back to her happiness through life.
Goodbye my dear Fox, excuse this letter—I am very old & stupid | Ever yours, | C. Darwin
P.S. I shall direct to Delamere Rectory, though I dont know whether it is a Rectory or Vicarage, but one always ought to give the highest title
- f1 541.f1Coral reefs was not published until May 1842, mainly because of CD's illness (see ‘Journal’, 1839–42; Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix II).
- f2 541.f2Samuel and Ann Fox, W. D. Fox's parents.
- f3 541.f3The motto was ‘Cave et aude’ (Burke 1884). CD's sons William and George also used the motto. See Freeman 1978, p. 70.
- f4 541.f4Elston, near Newark on Trent. See LL 1: 2–3.
- f5 541.f5See letter from Susan Darwin, [c. 24 October 1839], n. 4.
- f6 541.f6Stukeley 1719, p. 963, refers to an account from ‘my Friend, Robert Darwin, Esq; of Lincoln's-Inn, a Person of Curiosity, of an human Sceleton (as it was then thought) impress'd in Stone found lately at the Rev. Mr. John South's, Rector of Elston’ etc. At the end of the notebook which CD used as his ‘Journal’ (DAR 158) he noted: ‘Robert Darwin my great-grandfather is described in the Philosop. Transactions for 1719 as a person of curiosity who discovered near Elston a skeleton of some large animal.—’ Robert, also known as Robert Darwin of Elston, was William Darwin of Elston's son (Freeman 1978, p. 66).
- f7 541.f7Sophy Marianne Wedgwood had died 31 January 1839.