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Letter 621

Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, S. E.

[22 Feb 1842]

    Summary Add

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    Comments on birth [of Catherine Elizabeth Sophia Wedgwood].

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    Plans to visit Shrewsbury.

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    Describes behaviour of William Darwin.

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    Discusses speculation losses of acquaintances, including T. Carlyle's. Mentions his own loss on Journal of researches.



My dear Susan

What a load you must all feel removed. there certainly could not anything have happened better.— they are, however, horrid affairs at the best.— Give my kindest love to Caroline; tell me when next you write in which room she is.

Marianne will I suppose be gone before this arrives. I had hoped she was going to have paid a long visit, in which case I thought I should have probably seen her. For I am thinking of taking a rush to Shrewsbury by myself before our regular summer visit—but my unwellness of late has put all my schemes to the rout as I wished to have got my coral-volume printed off.— Tell me how soon the house would be ready to have me for a week.— Emma wants me to go pretty soon to see if a change would shake me right again, but I shall try & finish my volume first. I am a widower at present, as Emma & Dziver (Doddys name for Elizabeth) are gone to Mrs Marsh for a couple of nights.— I am very curious to hear some particulars about what kind of place it is.— Poor Doddy lamented a good deal over Emmas going: he has got such a wise way of comforting himself on all occasions. if anything is refused him, as going with Emma he says in a cheerful tone, “go in a geegee tomorrow” & if that is refused he says “go some day” & if that is refused, he says “go when Doddy big man”. This last comfort is of infinate use & application.— Elizabeth pays him many proper compliments on his sensible looks & merriness.—

I saw Erasmus yesterday, who was going to dine with Hensleighs, who have stupid party of the Malthus'; & Fanny moreover far from being well.— Erasmus tells me poor T. Carlyle has lost all his little capital 200 or 300£ in some of the American speculations.— Dr Holland has also lost between 4000 & 5000£, which he feels most acutely. The Erskines, (though this a great secret) have lost 5000£ in same way in Ohio bonds & have another 5000£ in great jeopardy at Sydney: did you ever hear such rashness in a person with large family speculating nearly his whole fortune in two lots in two distant countries: the world is gone mad with their speculations.—

Talking of money, I reaped the other day all the profit, which I shall ever get from my Journal, which consisted in paying Mr Colburn 21£ ‘ ’ 10s for the copies, which I presented to different people: 1337 copies have been sold.— This is a comfortable arrangement is it not?—

Love to all, my dear old Chuc<ky> & tell me exactly how soon or how late you would like a fly visit from me.— Give my love to Jos. Ever yours | C.D.

(Pray let us hear before long, how Caroline is going on.)

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 621.f1
    A reference to the birth of Katherine Elizabeth Sophy Wedgwood, daughter of Caroline and Josiah Wedgwood III, on 17 February.
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    f2 621.f2
    CD was correcting proofs of Coral reefs, which was published in May 1842.
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    f3 621.f3
    Anne Marsh.
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    f4 621.f4
    William Erskine, husband of Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood's half-sister, Maitland Mackintosh (Freeman 1978).
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