To J. B. Innes 1 September 
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
I was very glad to get your kind & pleasant letter, with a good account of your son & a fair account of Mrs. Innes.1
I have had a bad summer, with my stomach as bad as it well can be & tomorrow we start for a month at Malvern. My wife has gone first with half the party to look for a house.2
We are in the same predicament, as you were, about our youngest boy, Horace who is too delicate as yet for school, & a great evil it is.—3 He learns nothing & what on earth we are to do about him I am sure I do not know.—
You know what a hermit’s life I lead & it has been worse than ever this summer; & I have not even seen John Lubbock for months.4 I think everything goes on well & smoothly in the village.5
Today poor old Spearing was buried & I think before a year or two is over young Mr Smith will follow all his family to the grave.—6 I am much surprised at what you say about your poor; I thought they were the best educated & moral people in Europe.—7
I go on working at Natural History & have taken a good deal to Botany & it is all that I am good for; I can just do an hour or two’s work, when I can do nothing else. By the way there is one sentence in your letter that utterly puzzles me, about a “Duke Darwinii” who is going to die & ought to be stuffed!8
I hope that you have had a day’s shooting over your own land & brought home a good bag. What a glorious day I used to think it.9 I have heard guns going off at a great rate all round here today & it has made me think of old times.—
Your old Terrier Tartar is still alive & well, but awfully venerable in all his movements.10
And now I will wish you good night & with kind remembrances to Mrs Innes, believe me | Dear Innes | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
I do not believe a word about the toad-stories; though they must get into very queer places to cause so many strange stories.—11
Family and local news, and memories of old times.
CD’s youngest son, Horace, is too delicate to go to school.
CD has had a bad summer, is still ill, can do very little work – "Botany … is all that I am good for".
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4287,” accessed on 14 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4287