To John Maurice Herbert [13 September 1828]
[Osmaston, near Derby]
My dear old Cherbury1
I am about to fulfill my promise of writing to you, but I am sorry to add there is a very selfish motive at the bottom. I am going to ask you a great favor, & you cannot imagine how much you will oblige me by procuring some more specimens of some insects which I dare say I can describe. In the first place I must inform you I have taken some of the rarest of the British Insects, & their being found near Barmouth is quite unknown to the Entomological world: I think I shall write & inform some of the crack Entomologists.
But now for Business: several more specimens if you can procure them without much trouble, of the following insects. The violet black coloured beetle found on Craig Storm2 under stones, allso a large smooth black one, very like it: a bluish, metallic coloured, globular, dung beetle, which is very common on the hill sides: Also, if you would be so very kind as to cross the ferry, & you will find a great number under the stones on the waste land of a long smooth jet black beettle (a great many of these): also in same situation a very small pinkish insect, with black spots, with a curved thorax projecting beyond the head: also upon the marshy over the ferry land near the sea under old sea weed, stones, &c &c, you will find a small yellowish transparent beettle, with 2 or 4 blackish marks on back, under these stones there are two sorts, one much darker than the other, the li〈ght〉 coloured is that which I want: These 2 last insects are exessively rare: & you really will extremely oblige me by taking all this trouble pretty soon: Remember me most kindly to Butler,3 tell him of my success, & I daresay both of you will easily recognize these insects: I hope his caterpillars go on well. I think many of the Crysalises are well worth keeping: I really am quite ashamed so long letter all about my own concerns: but do return good for evil & & send me a long account of all your proceedings:
In the first week I killed 75 head of game; a very contemptable number, but there are very few birds, I killed however, a brace of Black Game: Since that time I have been staying at the Foxes near Derby: it is a very pleasant house & the Music Meeting went off very well: I want to hear how Yate4 likes his Gun, & what use he has made of it?
If the bottle is not large you can buy another for me, & when you pass through Shrewsbury you can leave these treasures & I hope if you possibly can will stay a day or two with me, as I hope I need not say how glad I shall be to see you again: Fox remarked what deuced goodnatured fellows your friends at Barmouth must be; & if I did not know that you & Butler were so I would not think of giving you so much trouble.
believe me my dear Herbert | Your most sincere | Charles Darwin
Remember me to all friends
How is Buz & Bossy. I am afraid you yourself must be grown terribly bumptious:
Direct to Shrewsbury: if there is any thing you want I can send it for you to Barmouth: such as gloves &c &c &c | Good Bye
Asks JMH to collect some insects at Barmouth.
Reports on his shooting luck.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 47,” accessed on 22 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-47