To W. D. Fox [October 1828]
My dear Fox
I think I mentioned that I had a few stuffed birds, & as they would be of much more use to you than to me, I have taken the liberty of sending them to the “Osmaston Museum” & hope they will arrive safe.— I have also sent a few insects, a Carabus with 6 punctures—taken at Maer, & another Leistus of a light brown colour.— Tell me what you think of these insects, also of a common black (but new to me) carabus.— N.B. The Terne was shot on Maer pool last September.—
So much for Natu History, & excepting that I have been doing little else, & therefore my letter must be as stupid as I myself am. I staid two days at Maer, where I left orders about your birds, & on Monday returned to sweet home. Home is doubtless very sweet, but like all good things one is apt to cloy on it; accordingly I have resolved to go to Woodhouse for a week. This is to me a paradise, about which, like any good Mussulman I am always thinking; the black-eyed Houris however, do not merely exist in Mahomets noddle, but are real substantial flesh & blood. Formerly I used to have two places, Maer & Woodhouse, about which, like a wheel on a pivot I used to revolve. Now I am luckier in having a third, & I hope I need not say that third is Osmaston: I must say, although for the 10th time, & although you doubtless would elegantly term it humbug, I do not know when I have spent 3 pleas〈anter〉 weeks. Would you be so kind as to present to your sister Emma, a few franks, which I have rummaged out, & I hope some few of them will be new. Mr. Joseph splendid example was before me, he indeed gave original sonnets, I alas must be contented with my minor contribution
I hope, when you write, you will give me a most minute account of every thing alive & dead about Osmaston Remember me to your sister Julia & tell her how much amusement I received from her permission of peeping, & far from being able to forestall her in the article of news her letter afforded me as much pleasure as it did Catherine
Remember me most kindly to Mr & Mrs. Fox & most tenderly (it is your own term) to the rest of your family & believe me my dear old Fox | yours sincerely | Chas. Darwin
I want to know the name of a butterfly, which you have got, its wings are most wonderfully jagged, & of a reddish colour, after an immense chase with all the servants in the house I at last captured it—
Look over your butterflies & you will soon perceive what I mean—
Sends some stuffed birds for "Osmaston Museum" and some insects.
Home having cloyed, plans to go to Woodhouse to visit the Owens and the black-eyed houris [Sarah and Fanny] there.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 48,” accessed on 22 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-48