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Letter 6416

Sedgwick, Adam to Darwin, C. R.

11 [Oct 1868]

    Summary Add

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    Congratulates CD on election of his son [George] as a Fellow of Trinity College.

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    Describes his ill health.

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    Invites CD to visit Cambridge.

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    [Letter dated November in error.]

Transcription

Cambridge

Oct 11 | 1868

My dear Darwin

I returned to College (from my Cathedral residence at Norwich) in time to assist at the admission of the new Fellows. I shook hands with them in our antechapel, not knowing the name of any one of them; & little suspecting that your son was one of them. I heard their names afterwards & greatly rejoiced I was to find that the one who is junior on the list was your living representation, I tried to find him out, but he was gone; as I was told by a gyp.

Let me send you my warmest congratulations  And now I do hope that you will again sometimes come among us— All my old friends are dead, or have left the University— So that here I am living in solitude, for I cannot bear to go out to any parties— Considering my great age—for I am far advanced in the 84th. year—I am in many respects a strong old fellow. Yet my organic machinery is sadly out of tune— —E.G. I have in my heart an indurated mitral valve, which makes all climbing impossible. 2. I have an enlarged prostate gland, which makes me unfit for society. (3) I have a stone in my right kidney & 4thly. I am liable to dangerous attacks of giddiness, which sometimes fell me to the ground—as if I were shot thro' the head— But these maladies (if I may so call them) have not increased during the last two or three years: & after several irritating & alarming struggles I have settled down into a kind new equilibrium among my animal functions— Do come down with a family party & renew your acquaintance with Cambridge, & the few old friends left in it— New friends you would find in plenty—

There! I have been slopping my ink so 'tis time for me to conclude. My eyes do not—without a higher power than I am using—allow me to read what I am writing

Again accept my congratulations & believe me while my heart beats & my lungs heave Ever yours in all christian truth and good will | A Sedgwick

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 6416.f1
    Sedgwick was a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. As a prebendary of Norwich Cathedral, he was required to be in Norwich for two months of the year. (ODNB.)
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    f2 6416.f2
    Sedgwick refers to George Howard Darwin; see also letter from E. A. Darwin, [11 October 1868].
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    f3 6416.f3
    Gyp: a college servant at Cambridge and Durham (Chambers).
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    f4 6416.f4
    Sedgwick suffered intermittently from poor health for most of his life (ODNB).
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    f5 6416.f5
    CD had been a student at the University of Cambridge from 1828 to 1831; he accompanied Sedgwick on a geological field trip in the summer of 1831. See Correspondence vol. 1 and Browne 1995, pp. 137--43.
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