Wants the Anthropological Society renamed the Ethnological Society. Is trying to raise funds toward payment of the Society’s debt.
Dear Mrs. Darwin
Why do the heathen so violently rage together? he will haveall the parish against him. I don’t know whether Beaumont isstill on the School board—or if he was only on the Farnboro’one—but I have written to him on the chance. We shall get ourway, I don’t doubt, & I will break out with a chessboard or somemore books if we do.f2
I hate begging—so now you will perceive I am going to beg.Yesterday I was at the Busks’, & Mr. Busk was groaning &lamenting over his Presidency of the Anthro—(I never can spellthe horrid word)—Society—the name irritates him, as itdoes John, & it isn’t the right one.f3 We never wanted to bemerged & swallowed whole in and by this mushroom society, with nogood men in it— So I said well, why not alter it back to theEthnological, which was the first & real root of the thing?f4 Towhich he said despondently that they were in debt £700.
I said we would collect it: on which he brightened up & said if we couldscrew together half that, he should be in a position to say“take this if you become the Ethnological again: otherwise itwill be returned to those who gave it.”f5
Now I want Mr. Darwin if he will to head the subscription:his name will go so far— I don’t ask for the actual money,because we may never come to realize the sum wanted: but I askfor his name & a promise of something, if we see our way. Johnwould help I know, but I don’t like to speak for him. Poor oldMr. Crawford would have given every penny he had, in fact Ishould think he turned in his grave when his pet Society wasnamed after his bitterest enemies.f6 Will you ask Mr. Darwin tosuggest a few people we might apply to.—
I am afraid I beg badly— I never did it but once before—but Iam rather heart & soul in this matter. You see John was Presidentfor some years & the amalgamation or rather swamping of hissociety vexed him very much.f7
I hope you won’t think me very meddlesome I felt so sorry forMr. Busk—I don’t think he’s well, either.
With love to you all I am yours affectionately EFL