Sympathises with WDF's persisting grief.
Describes Down House and additions being built, which interfere with Geology [of "Beagle"].
Bodily health is improved, but cannot stand mental excitement.
Down. Bromley Kent
My dear Fox
I was very glad to get your letter some six weeks since, but grieved to the heart at
its contents. Your's does indeed seem at present a hopeless case— I
should have thought that time inevitably would have done you more good, than
it seems to have done— I had hoped (for experience I have none) that the mind
I will tell you all the trifling particulars about myself, that I can think
of.— we are now exceedingly busy, with the first brick laid down yesterday to
an addition to our house; with this, with almost making a new kitchen garden &
sundry other projected schemes, my days are very full. I find all this very bad for
geology—but I am very slowly progressing with a vol: or rather pamphlet on the
Volcanic islands, wh we visited; I manage only a couple of hours per day, & that
not very regularly.— It is up-hill work, writing books, which cost money in
publishing & which are not read even by geologists.— I forget whether
I ever described this place: it is a good, very ugly house with 18 acres;
situated on a chalk-flat, 560 ft above sea— There are peeps of
far-distant country & the scenery is moderately pretty; its chief merit is its
extreme rurality; I think I was never in a more perfectly quiet country: Three miles
South of us the great chalk escarpment quite cuts us off from the low country of Kent,
& between us & the escarpment, there is not a village or
I occasionally hear from Henslow: he is absorbed at present with making the Suffolk farmers experimenters in agricultural chemistry, & has commenced by doing wonders in exciting their zealous cooperation. He seems very busy with parish concerns—
We are all well here—that is essentially so for Emma is as bad as she usually is in her present state.— I am very much stronger corporeally, but am b<ut> little better in being able to stand mental fatigue or rather excitement, so that I cannot dine out or receive visitors, except relations with whom I can pass some time after dinner in silence.
Farewell my dear Fox with my best wishes.— Ever yours | C. Darwin
- f1 665.f1Fox's wife Harriet had died on 19 March 1842.
- f2 665.f2Henrietta Emma Darwin was born 25 September 1843.