To George Howard Darwin 24 [February 1859]1
My dear George
You must send this letter on to William. Christ College, Cambridge— The men started from London at 2 A.M. & arrived here this morning at breakfast time & by dinner time the Billiard Table was fixed up! It looks very very nice & smart, & seems very good.2 The little Boys have been incessantly knocking about the Balls, but do not succeed in doing much.—3 They find it far more difficult than they expected.
First, they fixed the 8 legs to a frame work like this; [DIAGRAM HERE] they then levelled the frame work, & they brought lots of pieces of circular wood, & slipped them under the legs till all were level. They had a screwing machine by which they slowly lifted up the table first on one side & then on the other till all sides were level. Then they put 4 great slabs of very smooth slate on the frame-work: then slates fitted by their edges to each other by short, thick brass pins. They also screwed the slates to the frame work. They then levelled again. Then they put on the cloth & tacked it (& pulled it all round) to slips of wood which are fastened on the under edges of the slates. Then they put on the cushions; they are screwed on; & put the pockets on, which are also screwed on. They then with bent needle stictched the line of balk & stuck bits of sticking plaister for the spots.— All the extra things, as marking boards, rests &c &c seems very nice; but I do not very much like the cues, perhaps because they are new.— Altogether everything is very nice; but the Table certainly looks rather small. I heartily wish you & Willy were here to play with me.— The whole affair has only cost £53 s18.04
Yours very affecty | C. Darwin
Writes about their new billiard table.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2420,” accessed on 13 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2420