To Henry Bence Jones 3 January 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Dr Bence Jones
I have a good report to make.2 I am able now to walk daily on an average 3 miles & often one mile at a stretch.3
My weight now with slight fluctuations keeps steady at the lowest point to which it has sunk.4 I feel altogether much more vigorous & active. I read more, & what is delightful, I am able to write easy work for about 1 hours every day.5 The only drawback is that on most days 3 hours after luncheon or dinner, I have a sharpish headache on one side, & with bad flatulence lasting to the next meal.6 I forgot to say that taking the whole day, the flatulence is somewhat diminished especially on my better days. One day when my head & stomach were extra bad, in despair I took a cup of coffee without sugar, & it acted really like a charm & has continued to do so; for I now take a cup of coffee each day with luncheon or dinner, & I believe I have never once had headache and flatulence after the meal with coffee.7 I have transposed luncheon & dinner & made other changes, but as far as I can discover it is the coffee which is effectual. Under these circumstances may I try coffee with both luncheon & dinner. I have not yet much taste for common meat, but eat a little game or fowl twice a day & eggs, omelet or maccaroni or cheese at the other meals & these I think suit me best. I have not taken to [2 words illeg] much starch for I have such horror about acid.8
There is an odd change in my stomach, for the last 20 years coffee & cheese have disagreed with me, now they suit me eminently well.9 I took 10g oxyde of Iron for a fortnight but did not miss it when I left it off 10 days ago: I will do as you like about retaking it.10 I have taken 10 drops of Muriatic acid twice a day (with Cayenne & ginger) for above 3 weeks & it suits me excellently. 11 May I continue it longer? I hope you will be pleased with my report. I shall be grateful for any further advice
yours very faithfully with | cordial thanks | Ch. Darwin
A report on his somewhat improved health.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4968A,” accessed on 23 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4968A