Letter icon
Letter 626

Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, Emma

[9 May 1842]

    Summary Add

  • +

    Is "stomachy and be-blue-devilled" because of costs of publishing [Zoology and Coral reefs]. Wonders how the remainder [of the Zoology and Geology of "Beagle"] can be published without taking £200 or £300 out of their personal funds.


[12 Upper Gower Street]

Monday Morning

My dear Emma.

I am anxious for the post today to hear how you are & how the chicks are.— Yesterday felt quite a blank from not hearing— I hope your teeth have not been plaguing you & poor dear old Doddums temper I hope to hear is better.—

On Saturday I went in City & did a deal of Printing business— I came back gloomy & tired— the government money has gone much quicker than I thought & the expences of the coral-volume are greater being, as far as we can judge from 130£ to 140£.— How I am publish the remainder I know not, without taking 2 or 300£ out of the funds—& what will you say to that.— I am stomachy & be blue deviled— I am daily growing very very old, very very cold & I daresay very sly.— I will give you statistics of time spent on my coral-volume, not including all the work on board the Beagle— I commenced it 3 years & 7 months ago, & have done scarcely anything besides— I have actually spent 20 months out of this period on it! & nearly all the remainder sickness & visiting!!!

Catty stops till Saturday; notwithstanding all my boasting of not caring for solitude, I believe I should have been dreary without her.— She went to Foundling Church to hear Bishop Thirlwall preach, wh. lasted till 12 past two! owing to music & the immortal Fanny stood it all notwithstanding extreme crowd & closeness— Cath. liked sermon & Fanny did not, & I feel sure they differed more than they naturally would have done, to spite each other for their difference over Mr Scot.— C. drank tea in evening there & had very pleasant evening—

I am very glad you have not missed seeing the Langtons. when do they go? I hope I shall see them & the little Doddy Secundus.—

Ask Brodie where is Key of G. Square?

The colourist has invented a clever plan to save me looking over the maps.— he counts the circles of each separate colour & so necessarily detects every error.—

Yesterday I went at 2 oclock & an hour's hard talk with Horner on affairs of Geolog Soc & it quite knocked me up & this makes my letter rather blue in its early part.—

After long watching the Postman your letter has at last arrived. you cannot tell how much I enjoy hearing about you all.— How strange poor old Doddy seems to be— I grieve he does not get better; I agree with you it wd be very good to try calomel.— How astonishing your walking round Birth Hill, I believe now the country will do you good— What a nice account you give of Charlottes tranquil maternity— I wish the Baby was livlier,—for liveliness is an extreme charm in bab-chicks—

good bye.— I long to kiss Annie's botty-wotty | C.D.—

    Footnotes Add

  • +
    f1 626.f1
    An allusion to one of Harry Wedgwood's verses—an ‘epitaph’ on Susan Darwin (Emma Darwin 2: 70 n.): Here the bones of Susan lie, She was old and cold and sly.
  • +
    f2 626.f2
    Connop Thirlwall.
  • +
    f3 626.f3
    The Reverend Alexander John Scott, a highly independent and successful preacher to whom Fanny Wedgwood was devoted. See Emma Darwin 1: 234 n.; Arbuckle 1983, p. 13 n. 18.
  • +
    f4 626.f4
    Edmund Langton.
  • +
    f5 626.f5
    The Darwin children's nurse took the children for outings to nearby Gordon Square.
  • +
    f6 626.f6
    Four colours were used for the maps in Coral reefs representing three types of reefs and active volcanoes (see letter to C. Lyell, 6 [July 1841]).
Maximized view Print letter