To Catherine Darwin [22 November 1846]1
My dear Catherine
I am most sorry to hear how very poorly my dear Father continues: I do hope his cough will get less tight & troublesome at night. Pray write often if it be but a line; you have been very good in writing hitherto & thank you much.
Give our best congratulations to Jos,2 (to whom however I have to write myself) on all his anxiety being over: we are strongly on the girl-side-faction.— Give my best love to Caroline.
I enclose a second letter of FitzRoys’,3 I do not know whether my Father will care to hear it, but it costs only 2d sending & you can read it or not as you like: I must have it returned soon.
I was at tea at Lyell’s on Friday night; he dined at the Millmans4 the day before & met Ld. Lansdown,5 Macaulay6 & other great guns: there was much talk about Dr. Darwin,7 —Dr. Kaye Shutleworth8 was telling about the prophecy of nitric acid making explosive cotton9 & some one added about the potato disease;10 so Macaulay remarked every one has heard of his prophecy on steam vessels & railways & he then repeated the whole passage,11 & added “though we have not yet the navigating balloons, we are of course, as he says so, sure to have them someday.” So his prophetic spirit is the talk of London.—
Yours affect. | C. D.
Concerned about Father’s health.
Forwards a letter from FitzRoy.
Dr Erasmus Darwin’s scientific prophecies are the talk of London.