To Robert FitzRoy 28 October 
Down. Farnborough. Kent.
I am extremely much obliged to you for your very kind letter received a fortnight since. It was very goodnatured of you to take the trouble to write at such length and I assure you that it was not thrown away, on me, for I have been deeply interested with your letter; and have read it several times— Some time ago, I got your pamphlet1 and your clear statement gave me the first idea, I had of the connected history of the events at poor New Zealand.—2 What a change then, since, I passed so tranquil an evening and night at Waimata;3 and what a far more disastrous change at Tahiti!4 I most sincerely hope that your present quiet abode will do Mrs FitzRoy much good,5 pray give our very kind remembrances to her, & that your spirits will recover their wonted “elasticity”—
I am astonished to hear that you have any thoughts of taking a ship,6 considering the sacrifice of leaving your family, but you are an indomitable man— Sulivan, his wife, and two youngest children, were staying here, when your letter came; and he expressed deep interest in hearing news of you he was going on to Hammonds.—7 I saw Stokes, several times in London, whilst writing his book,8 —but I could not 〈 〉
〈 〉 How long you have remembered my speech about the ditch; but you would almost believe it if you had seen me for the last half month daily hard at work in dissecting a little animal about the size of a pin’s head from the Chonos Arch.9 & I could spend another month on it, & daily see some more beautiful structure! 〈 〉10
Farewell, dear Fitz-Roy, I often think of your many acts of kindness to me, and not seldomest on the time, no doubt quite forgotten by you, when, before making Madeira, you came and arranged my hammock with your own hands, and which, as I afterwards heard, brought tears into my father’s eyes.11
Has read RF’s pamphlet on New Zealand [Remarks on New Zealand (1846)]. Sympathises with his difficulties as Governor.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1014,” accessed on 24 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1014