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Letter 73

Darwin, C. R. to Fox, W. D.

[15 Oct 1829]

    Summary Add

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    The Music Meeting was "glorious"; Malibran outshone all others.

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    Missed Hope in London.


Christ College [Cambridge]


My dear Fox

I am afraid you will be very angry with me for not having written during the Music Meeting, but really I was worked so hard that I had no time: I arrived here on Monday, & found my rooms in dreadful confusion, as they have been taking up the floor, & you may suppose that I have had plenty to do for these two days.—

The Music Meeting was the most glorious thing I ever experienced: & as for Malibrand, words cannot praise he[r] enough, she is quite the most charming person I ever saw.— We had extracts out of several of the best Operas, acted in character, & you cannot imagine, how very superior it made the concerts to any I ever heard before.—

J. de Begnis acted Il Fanatico in Character, being dressed up, an extraordinary figure gives a much greater effect to his acting. He kept the whole theatre in roars of laughter.— I liked Madam Blasis very much, but nothing will do after Malibrand; who sung some comic songs, & persons heart must must have been made of stone not to have lost it to her.—

I lodged very near the Wedgwoods & lived entirely with them, which was very pleasant, & had you been there it would have been quite perfect.— It knocked me up most dreadfully, & I never will attempt again to go to two things the same day.—

I passed through London on Sunday, but Mr. Hope was not there: Weaver in Birmingham has a very good collection, but does not know much about them, & I bought 15s. worth of insects of him: one insect, if it is British, quite surpasses my knowledge.— Would you believe it, that I have the Endomychus coccineus, a bad specimen however, given me by Mr. Hope?— I hope you have found something in the Fungi: any how tell me when you, what you have done in Entomology.—

Cambridge is most wonderfully empty. Wilmer & the Rev— Robinson are the only men up that you know: Poor Robinson has got to go in again for his degree as he had not entirely kept one of his terms.—

Your conjecture was perfectly right about the letter, when I came home I found it in my great big top-coat, to my sisters no small disgust & indignation.— I suppose you have sent Stephens Catalogues to Shrewsbury, from whence I have ordered them to be sent here: it is a pity, as they have come so late, that they were sent for at all.— Do write soon & tell me your plans. I earnestly hope that you mean to come up early & stay for some time: it will be so very snug being together once more.—

Yours most sincerely | Charles Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 73.f1
    Maria Felicia Garcia Malibran.
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    f2 73.f2
    Giuseppe de Begnis.
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    f3 73.f3
    Il fanatico per la musica, opera by Antonio Sacchini. De Begnis sang the aria `I violini'. (Birmingham Musical Festival programme, 8 October 1829, Birmingham Central Libraries.)
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    f4 73.f4
    Virginia de Blasis.
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    f5 73.f5
    George Alington Robinson who was ordained deacon in 1829 (Alum. Cantab.).
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