To William Whewell 16 February 
Saturday Feb. 16th —
I hope you will excuse, what I am going to say.— You alluded yesterday evening to the delay in the publication of my volume in rather strong terms; although I do not deny, that this delay has much deranged my plans of publication, yet as the circumstance of any naturalist being on board the Beagle is entirely due to Captain FitzRoy’s wish, and as by the custom of the Navy, the Captain of such a vessel is considered to have a right to the first use of all the papers belonging to the officers on board (a right, which FitzRoy did not enforce) I should be very sorry that anything should be publickly said, which might annoy him: and I fear your remarks of yesterday were too pointed not to have that effect in a considerable degree. I hope, therefore, you will oblige me, by considering whether you could not alter the passages referred to, without any inconsistency on your part.—1
I cannot pass by this opportunity, without thanking you, with great sincerity for the kind manner you have treated me.— I do not allude only to the very flattering manner you notice me in your Address, which I trust, will have the effect you intend, in making me a steady follower of Geology, but to the manner of your whole intercourse with me, since my return to England.
I assure you I fully appreciate this, & know from what kind of person it comes.
Believe me dear Whewell | Your’s truly obliged | Chas. Darwin 12 Upper Gower Stt —
Asks WW to alter, before printing, the passages in WW’s Presidential Address to the Geological Society [Proc. Geol. Soc. Lond. 3 (1839): 93] which pointedly allude to the delay in publication of CD’s Beagle journal; they might annoy FitzRoy, who, as Captain, has a right to first use of the papers of all officers on board.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 496,” accessed on 23 April 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-496