To J. S. Henslow [21 January 1838]
[36 Great Marlborough Street]
My dear Henslow
Will you be good enough to forward the accompanying parcel to Professor Miller.— It is a curious rock, which has been pitched out of a volcano & may possibly interest him; as thanks be to the powers of crystallization, it has a definite form.—
The next time you go the Public Library,1 & the weather becomes a little less cold, so that you can venture into the cellar, will you just turn over the pages of Webb & —— on the Canary Isld:2 —a grand French work, which I believe I saw there,—and just look and see if there is any geology in it? I am particularly interested about Teneriffe, and I want to know, supposing all methods fail (as is not improbable) of getting to read it in London, would it be possible to persuade Mr Lodge to allow the text part to be sent for a short time here to me.? I of course taking the responsibility of any accident to the work.—
The second point I wanted to ask you about: is, I find my geology, nolens volens, is covering so much paper, & will take so much time, that it has occurred to me of late, that it would be better to publish one volume separately, as I find it will not possibly be all contained in one Vol: Octavo: and the subject will bear division.— Now what I want to know, is whether, on the supposition that the Syndic would aid me in publication (which of 〈course〉 is the merest chance) laying the MS of one 〈volume〉 only before them would throw any difficulty in obtaining their assistance so far.? Will you think over it? It would I think be a pity if I had the MS of a volume ready by the middle of summer, to delay that for another year in order to wait for a second volume, with which it would have little connection.— But on the other hand, by waiting the first might no doubt be rendered more complete.—3
I have accepted the Secret of G. Soc.; as Whewell asked me again in a very pleasant manner, & as the duties are lessened, I could not refuse with fairness, although it is an office, which I do not relish.—
I have sent a copy of my journal, as far as complete, to Mr Whewell, for him to review the Geolog: part, in his anniversary speech.—4
I send this letter &c &c by Mr Babbage.—
I saw Leonard J: for an hour, the day before he returned, he was looking, I thought, very well.
MrsHenslow has asked me to pay Cambridge a visit. I should much like it, but, as long as I continue well, I cannot bear to leave my work even for half a day.— In the early spring, I will, however, pay you a flying visit, & we will have a good walk in pure air, instead of in this abominable murky atmosphere of London.—
Dear Henslow, goodbye | Yours C. D
Sends rock specimen for W. H. Miller. Asks JSH to see whether there is any geology in P. B. Webb and Sabin Berthelot, Histoire naturelle des Îles Canaries [1835–50]. Finds his work on geology growing so large that it will take more than one volume and asks whether this will make publication aid more difficult.
Has accepted Secretaryship of the Geological Society.
Will not come to Cambridge because "as long as I continue well I cannot bear to leave my work for half a day".
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 400,” accessed on 8 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-400