To Charles Lyell 1 October 
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Lyell
Thank you for the most interesting correspondence.1 What a wonderful case that of Bedford. I thought the problem sufficiently perplexing before, but now it beats anything I ever heard of. Far from being able to give any hypothesis for any part, I cannot get the facts into my mind.— What a capital observer & reasoner Mr Jamieson is.2 The only way that I can reconcile my memory of Lochaber with the state of the Welch valleys, is by imagining a great barrier, formed by a terminal moraine, at the mouth of the Spean, which the river had to cut slowly through, as it drained the lowest Lake, after Glacial period.— This would, I can suppose, account for the sloping terraces along the Spean. I further presume that sharp transverse moraines would not be formed under the waters of the Lake, where the glacier came out of L. Treig and abutted against opposite side of valley.— A nice mess I made of Glen Roy!3 I have no spare copy of my Welch paper;4 it would do you no good to lend it, I suppose.— I thought that there must have been floating ice on Moel Tryfane.— I think it cannot be disputed that the last event in N. Wales was Land Glaciers.— I could not decide where action of Land Glaciers ceased & marine glacial action commenced at the mouths of the valleys.—5
What a wonderful case the Bedford case.—6 Does not the N. American view of warmer or more equable period after great Glacial period become much more probable in Europe?—7
But I am very poorly today & very stupid & hate everybody & everything. One lives only to make blunders.— I am going to write a little Book for Murray on orchids8 & today I hate them worse than everything so farewell & in a sweet frame of mind, I am | Ever yours | C. Darwin
The flint tools found at Bedford.
Further discussion of Jamieson’s theory of the formation of the roads of Glen Roy by a glacial lake. Comments on formation of Glen Spean terraces. Mentions glaciers in North Wales.
Agreement with John Murray to publish [Orchids].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3272,” accessed on 23 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3272