To J. S. Henslow 2 July 
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Henslow
I am uncommonly sorry to hear so poor an account of several members of your family; but I do hope that the sea will do all good. Nothing comes up to the misery of having illness amongst one’s children, of which we have lately had a touch, now happily quite over.— We expect a sixth (d) in beginning of August.1
Thanks for your Syllabus,2 which I shall be curious to look over. I never enjoyed any other lectures in my life, except your’s, for Edinburgh completely sickened me of that method of learning. What a grand step it would be to break down the system of eternal classics, & nothing but classics.— I am perfectly certain, that the only thing at Cambridge which did my mind any good, were your lectures & still more your conversation; I believe I must except, also, getting up Paley’s Evidences.3 It would, indeed, be a grand step to get a little more diversity in study for men of different minds. Talking of classics reminds me to ask you to do me a very essential favour: I find I have utterly forgotten my whole immense stock of classical knowledge which put me in the eminent position of 5th or 6th in the oi polloi.4 Now I have to invent many names of families & genera for my work on Cirripedia, & I have not the smallest idea whether my names are correct. Wd you let me send them to you, for your opinion from time to time? My paper cd be returned with your fiat, so that you wd have but little writing, or indeed hardly any.—
When you are walking on the shore, wd you take the trouble to scrape me off (taking care to get the base) a few Barnacles, of as many different forms as you can see, & send them me in little strong box, damp with sea-weed. I am anxious to make out the distribution of the British species— And new species may turn up, for the group has been made out most superficially,—for instance under Balanus punctatus (which must be made a distinct genus)5 three or four varieties have been called distinct species; whereas one form, which has not been called even a variety, is not only a distinct genus, but a distinct sub-family.—6 Yesterday I found four or 5 named genera are all the closest species of one genus: this will give you a specimen of the utter confusion my poor dear Barnacles are in.—
I am in a very cock-a-hoop state about my anatomy of the Cirripedia, & think I have made out some very curious points:7 my Book will be published in two years by the Ray Soc. & will I trust do no discredit (see how vain I am!) to your old pupil & most attached friend
Criticises lecturing system in education and emphasis on classics. Has forgotten all his classical knowledge.
Asks JSH’s help in naming cirripedes, on which he is working. Believes he has made "some very curious points".
Expects a sixth child [Francis] in August.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1189,” accessed on 27 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1189