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Letter 549

Darwin, C. R. to Eyton, T. C.

[6 Jan 1840]

    Summary Add

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    Has been unwell.

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    Thanks TCE for his descriptions [of specimens for Birds]. Has already expended a high proportion of Government grant on birds, but if TCE thinks engravings are needed, he shall have them. He may keep the bones.

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    CD has become a father.

Transcription

12 Upper Gower St

Monday

Dear Eyton

You must have been surprised at my not having sooner answered your letter; but I have not been very well for the last week, having had a headach every day, which has not left me now.— I am delighted to hear what progress you have made— the results you briefly mention, appear very curious.— I am exceedingly glad, & obliged to you, that you undertook the task.—

I cannot say when the next (& last) number of Birds will appear, as it does not depend upon myself.— It may be 1st of March or 2 or 3 months later.—

With respect to the plate of engravings, the drawings for which you so kindly offer to execute, I must leave it to yourself to decide—with this statement, that I am anxious to spend the government grant in the best way for science, & I think I have already given rather too much proportionally to the birds & Mammalia.— But, if you think the details require illustration, most decidedly they shall have it.— Will you have the kindness to decide for me, and if in the affirmative I need not say how much obliged I shall be to you for the drawings.—

With respect to the bones, & scraps—if you set much value on them, undoubtedly the museum of the describer has the best claim for them.— otherwise I should present them to Coll. of Surgeons, with references to your description.— Please to decide this for me, & excuse my briefness, as I am not very well

Ever yr C. D.

P.S. Perhaps you have not heard, that I am become a Father: the event occurred last Friday week: it is a little Prince

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 549.f1
    CD refers to Eyton's appendix to Birds, pp. 147–56.
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    f2 549.f2
    The last number of Birds was delayed because G. R. Gray was occupied with his own work on birds (Gray 1840). See letter to G. R. Gray, [20 November – 11 December 1840]. Birds No. 5 was not published until March 1841 (Freeman 1977).
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    f3 549.f3
    No illustrations by Eyton appeared in the volume.
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    f4 549.f4
    William Erasmus Darwin was born 27 December 1839.
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