To Charles Thomas Whitley 20 June 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Whitley
I was sincerely glad to receive your note & have news of you;2 for I often think of old days at Cambridge, when I took long walks with the expectant senior wrangler & when he instructed me in Engravings.—3
I thank you cordially for your kind invitation; but my health has been so bad for several years that I have been unable to attend the British Association, & have no hopes for this year.4 In fact for the last two years I have led the life of a hermit, seeing no one & going nowhere; & doing nothing but two or three hours work daily on my good days at natural History. I am become that most wretched & despicable object, a confirmed valetudinarian. I have much, very much, to be thankful for in life; but everyone has his heavy drawbacks & my own health & even more that of my children is our sore drawback. For years we have had one or other of our children invalids. But I have said enough & more than enough.—
Again I thank you sincerely for your kind remembrance of me, & with hearty good wishes, remain | My dear Whitley | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
Recalls the long walks in Cambridge with the "expectant senior wrangler". Cannot accept invitation (related to meetings of the BAAS) because of continuing bad health, his own and that of his children.