To Robert FitzRoy 1 October 1846
Down. Farnborough. Kent.
Oct. 1st. 1846.
I did not hear for more than 4 weeks after your return that you were in England, and now, though I have nothing particular to say—I cannot resist writing to congratulate you on your safe arrival after your bad passage home,1 and to express my most sincere hope that Mrs. FitzRoy and your family are all well— I was in London yesterday—for the first time—since I heard of your return and found your address at the Admiralty & in Dover St. the servant told me to direct as I have done. I got your pamphlet2 the other day and was very much interested by it, for I had heard comparatively little about New Zealand; I fear you must have undergone much trouble & vexation and been ill repaid except by the consciousness of your own motives, for the sacrifices which I am aware you made in accepting the Governorship.—3
I hope that your health has not suffered and that you are as strong & vigorous as formerly— I have hardly the assurance to ask you to spare time to write to me, but I should be very glad to hear about yourself Mrs. Fitzroy & the children. My life goes on like Clockwork, and I am fixed on the spot where I shall end it; we have four children, who & my wife are all well. My health, also, has rather improved, but I am a different man in strength and energy to what I was in old days, when I was your “Fly-catcher”, on board the Beagle; I have just finished the 3rd. & last part of the Geology of the Voyage of the Beagle—viz: on S. America; I will direct a copy (in a weeks time when published) to be sent to the Carlton Club, without you prefer it being sent elsewhere.— It is purely geological & dull enough, but I hope it contains some few new facts & views— I have now with the exception of some Zoological papers on the lower marine animals completed all which I shall ever attempt on the materials collected during the voyage—4
I am aware how little chance there is of your having time to spare, but if ever when in Town Mrs. FitzRoy & yourself should feel inclined to spend a few days in the country—it would give my wife & myself real pleasure;—we have a tolerably comfortable house in a very quiet, retired, airy part of the country—
I think I ought to apologise for the length of this letter.— Pray give my kind & respectful regards to Mrs. FitzRoy & Believe me, dear FitzRoy | Yours truly & obliged | Charles Darwin
Has just heard of RF’s return [from New Zealand]. Hopes to see him.
CD and family are well, but he is a different man in strength and energy from when he was "Flycatcher" in the Beagle.
Has just finished his book [South America].