To Emma Darwin [22 May 1848]
My dear Mammy
I have been so sorry that I ever asked you to send the Newspaper at all earlier than usual, as I quite forgot there were visitors with you;1 so do not send them anymore. Indeed I cannot read the old papers, though the Globe2 is simply damnable.— My Father kept pretty well yesterday, but he has had a bad night & is much oppressed in his breathing this morning: but he means to go into the town: his legs are very dropsical, but he does not seem much afraid of that.
Yesterday Marianne & Frank3 came up: he is a monstrous fine man, but not actually handsome, with pleasant laughing manners. I am certain from looks & no answers, that he has some lovering with some rich lady, but it is some tremendous secret. Marianne appeared pretty well. It is very provoking, but I feel almost sure, that the cold-bathing, though I now like it & it makes me feel very vigorous for an hour or two, knocks me up for the rest of the day, & I have not used it this day, for I was very heavy all yesterday. I was speculating yesterday, how fortunate it was, that I had plenty of employment (& an employment which I do not consider mere amusement) for being employed alone makes me forget myself: really yesterday I was not able to forget my stomach for 5 minutes all day long.
I have read, since being here, Evelyn’s life of Mrs Godolphin;4 it is very pretty, but she is too virtuous, & too nun-like; her great beauty counterbalances some of her virtue; if she had been ugly & so very good she would have been odious— tell this sentiment to your Aunt Sarah5 & see what she will say.— The ladies here are delighted with your story of Willy6 & the smashed dog at the Hermitage7 & Aunt Sarah.— I am, also, reading an Eng. trans. of M. Sevigne8 & like it much.
Give my love to all the dear children & bless them. You are a good old mammy | Yours | C. D.
The black-caps sing here so beautifully.
His health not good.
Has been reading John Evelyn’s Life of Mrs Godolphin, and Mme Sévigné.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1177,” accessed on 22 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1177