From E. A. Darwin 14 November 1822
Nov. 14th. 1822.
I am going to honour you again by writing, & first of all, I think it would be an improvement in the Lab:1 to have some more shelves fixed up. The places I have thought of are, 1st. a shelf to go over the window
[DIAGRAM HERE] I have drawn a picture of what I mean, & have put some bottles on the shelf to ornament it.
It is to extend from wall to wall, so that the shelf of ye lamp & also of ye cork bottles must come down NB. the little shelf for ye test glasses may stay up, & if it is possible, let there be one over the door, so as to be a continuation of ye one over the fire place, & if that takes place, the little shelf on which the pounded marble &c is, must also come down, but the little ones above may stay up. Perhaps the shelf over the window had better not be more than a foot wide, otherwise I shall be knocking my head against it.— Get it done as soon as you conveniently can, & pay for it, & I will then have the remainder of ye cow2
sent up to me, & I will spend it in chemical instruments.— I have ordered a small goniometer (an instrument to measure angles) so that we shall be able to seperate the different crystalls in your cab: I have not yet procured any of the minerals you mentioned. Hensleigh has promised me a bit of asphaltum which he obtained at Teignmouth. I dont think you have any, it is a kind of bitumen very light, will burn, & is of a snuff colour.—
I have bought a book which will be very useful. there are directions for finding out the names of minerals &c. &c. & the rules are not very difficult.—3 I dare say I shall be able obtain some specimens of rocks for you, for Professor Sedgwick4 said that at the Gog Magog hills (about 4 miles distant) there were a vast number of specimens, which I shall certainly some day go & explore.— I am attending Professor Cumming’s5 Lectures on Chemistry which are very entertaining. I have written all his experiments down as far as we have proceded, which we shall be able to try over again This is ye shape of ye Lecture Room
[DIAGRAM HERE] aa the seats c.c. 2 large tables b. ye Lecturer dddd, a long place like a blacksmith chimney, under wh: are furnaces &c G. a private room.—
He has 3 men to assist him so that we get over a good deal of ground in an hour. he lectures every day, all this term. I think my vacation & your holidays will about fit, as my term divided, a few days ago i.e. half the term is over.—
I have just been to chapel, in wh: respect we are better off than you, as we are only obliged to attend 7 times a week. Some evenings preceding Sts days we go to Chapel in surplices, wh: look for all the world like sheets, & indeed one man of St Johns went, for a wager, into chapel dressed in a sheet, & sat before the master without being discovered. I was yesterday matriculated, in wh: you swear that you will not do this & that, wh: one does every day, you swear you wont wear a hat, wont ride, wont play at cricket &c before 12 o clock & half a hundred other things.6 They have affixed a notice, that if you submit yourself humbly after any offence they wont consider you guilty of perjury. I suppose you have heard of black Frank Lightons7 being rusticated. When he came up his Tutor asked him, why he had not read the things he was desired; he answered “why to be frank with you, one gentleman should be frank to another, in the first part of the vacation I was at some very pleasant places and it was impossible quite impossible, you know to read; & in the last, what with shooting & hunting it was impossible”— “Then perhaps Mr Leighton it wont be impossible for you to go down to the country” replied the Tutor, & so down he went.
Give my love to Massie, Pearson, J Lawson,8 & all others. I remain your affectionate brother | E. Darwin. *S 2
5. 2. 6 44. 17. 6 2 6.
EAD wants changes made and shelves built to improve the laboratory at the Mount [Darwin residence]; sends drawings and will bring chemical instruments, a book, and his record of experiments done in his chemistry course.
He has now been matriculated.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3,” accessed on 26 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3