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Letter 640

Darwin, C. R. to Broderip, W. J.

[31 Aug 1842]

    Summary Add

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    Discusses toad [mentioned in Journal of researches, p. 115].

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    Describes house at Down.


12 Upper Gower St

Wednesday Night

My dear Broderip

I have delayed answering your note, in hopes of getting your question answered by Bell, but he started on a tour, I find, before my note could have reached him, so when to expect an answer (if ever) I do not see.— I believe D'Orbigny has described my ‘diabolicus’, but I do not know under what name.— The colours sometimes vary a little, but my description of the colours of most is not at all exaggerated.— I have some faint recollection of thinking that I had done wrong in calling it a toad, & that it is a toad-like frog.—

We are on the point of moving all our goods & chattel to a house I have purchased (ie I wait only for a conveyancer's opinion on one point to sign & seal) a house in the small village of Down near Farnborough in Kent—a quiet most rustic spot on the chalk. It is 16 miles from London Bridge & I hope to be in town pretty often.—

There are 18 acres with the house, which is tolerably good & I have got them very cheap.

Believe me dear Broderip, in haste | Yours very truly | C. Darwin

I meant to have called to have given you my temporary farewell—

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 640.f1
    For CD's description see Journal of researches, pp. 114–15: ‘ … diabolicus, for it is a fit toad to preach in the ear of Eve’.
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    f2 640.f2
    Phryniscus nigricans, the original name, is retained by both Orbigny (Orbigny 1835–47, 5: 11) and Bell in Reptiles, p. 49.
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    f3 640.f3
    Emma Darwin moved into the house in Down on 14 September 1842 and CD followed on the 17th (‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix II).
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    f4 640.f4
    A geological formation covering much of south-eastern England.
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