To W. E. Darwin [30 July 1860]1
at Miss Wedgwoods | Hartfield | Tonbridge Wells
My dear William.
It was extremely considerate & kind of you to think of offering to come here, my dear old fellow; but all the males of family, old & young, return home on Thursday, & that will relieve poor Gingo’s ennui.2 Miss Ludwig,3 Lizzie4 & Anne5 on Friday—Mamma & Etty & Jane6 on Monday or Tuesday. Etty has had two good days & is improving. Mr Wallace frightened us extremely,7 but Sir H. H has comforted us: poor Etty will long be an invalid, but we are now too happy even at that poor prospect.—8
Your letter has amused us all extremely & was read with roars of laughter. Etty has not yet heard it; but you cannot think what a pleasure your letters are to her; they amuse & cheer her so nicely. I shall copy your account of dialogue before the Bishop & send it to Hooker & Huxley.—9 I daresay I will send some queries to your friend the Cook. You may tell the Gardener that I have seen an ant’s nest in a tree, but it is rare.—10
You seem to have a quiet sort of pleasant time at Cambridge & I am glad that you have got into full swing. I shd. have thought that Justinian would have been a choker.—11 You would find a visit to Skipworth very pleasant I shd. think.12 I have had very civil letter from old Higgins really regretting he did not see you.—13 I shall have to write before long to Union Bank, & then I will repay you.— Your trip was very moderate in cost I think.—
All our plans for the future are necessarily utterly vague on account of Etty. Whenever she can move we shall go to sea-side.— Mamma sends some “corrections of the press.”
The Review by Bishop of Oxford + Owen in last Quarterly is worth looking at.— I am splendidly quizzed by a quotation from Anti-Jacobin.—14 The Naturalists are fighting about the Origin in N. America even more than here, as I see by the printed Reports—
My dear old fellow | Your affect. Father | C. Darwin
Tells of Etty’s [Henrietta]’s illness and progress; their future plans.
Mentions some responses to the Origin; the naturalists are fighting over it in North America.