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Letter 622

Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, Emma

[8 Mar 1842]

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    Family news from Shrewsbury.




My dear Emma.

I arrived last night about 8 oclock:— I was somewhat wearied & my headache began just before we got to Shrewsbury.— I went at once to bed, & was surprised to have a fit of vomiting & shivering & Susan came & nursed me & I slept capitally & am this morning very well & brisk & the day is bright & beautiful.

My companions as far as Bermingham were men after my own heart: They did not speak one word— I mean literally, I could swear in court of justice that no one, except I, spoke one word or sentence & my own sentence was “here we are at Bermingham”.

Caroline is down stairs, looks pale, but appears well & very good spirits. Baby quite well which has not been the case to Car. inexpressible fear & grief.— She is much pleased with pellisse.— She sends her love to you & with a broad chuckle keeps on saying ‘poor Emma’— My poor dearest old soul, are you very bad & familiar — I hope not my poor old soul: at this distance they are so brutal they all chuckle & cry “oh oh poor Miss Emma.”— They are all talking & laughing so much I can hardly write.

—I resume my letter but I am rather too tired to write much.— I have been telling all about Doddy & Annie & they like hearing everything—. Catherine gives me up altogether as a moral-teacher, after I have told her of my pitting Doddy to show fight to Johnny & after my trying whether Doddy or J should have the last blow— Katty declares she shall always say I was once a good Father.— They think I probably misuse you very much, otherwise you could never be quiet whilst I teach my son such pranks—poor dear old Titty is a misused old soul, poor old Titty so very sick & squashy this very minute.—

My Father & the girls are looking very well— They enjoy all the gossip I can tell them about everybody— Catherine declares till quite lately they had no notion old Marsh was alive—, thought he had been executed long since—

I think I shall be pretty well. I enjoy the looks of cleanliness & freshness of everything & I wish you were here to enjoy them.— The crocuses are looking quite brilliant— Tell me all about the chickens, if you are well enough to scribble a bit: Give my best love to Elizabeth & tell her I expect to see her when I return: she must not leave you a desolate widow.—

Goodbye my dearest. C. D.—

I was quite right in saying your scratched out passage would give them plenty of work.— Catherine after having drawn a chair to the window, cried out (as Susan says) here is my work for the morning.— She first ascertained which were false tails & which real: She then found that many false H.s had been introduced, which made her suspect some word beginning with H. was important, & then on the principle of transparency she deciphered “corn-law rhyme”, & so guessed the whole.— Marianne wrote by return of post in a transport of curiosity to know what it meant.— No doubt she well knew, that the perseverance of Shrewsbury was not to be baffled.— C. D.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 622.f1
    See ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix II), 1842: ‘March 7th Went to Shrewsbury for 10 days.’
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    f2 622.f2
    John Darwin Wedgwood, son of Harry and Jessie Wedgwood.
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    f3 622.f3
    Arthur Cuthbert Marsh, husband of Anne Marsh, died in 1849.
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