To W. D. Fox [25–9 January 1829]
My dear Fox
I waited till to day for the chance of a letter, but I will wait no longer: I must most sincerely & cordially congratulate you on having finished all your labours. I think your place a very good one,1 considering by how much you have beaten many men, who had the start of you in reading— I do so wish I were now in Cambridge (a very selfish wish however, as I was not with you in all your troubles & misery) to join in all the glory & happiness, which dangers gone by can give.— how we would talk walk & entomologize— Sappho should be the best of bitches & Dash of dogs: there should be “peace on earth—good will to men” (which by the way, I always think the most perfect description of happiness that words can give) I was very sorry to see Holdens name amongst what I suppose to be the plucked men,2 & amazed to see Pulleins name no where.—3
It would be superfluous to thank you for the Newspaper, as I am sure you must know how very anxious I was hear the issue. I believe (?) we have some bets pending about Mr. Philpot4 (who it seems has astonished the knowing ones) & about yourself, which must remain in doubt till I go to Cambridge & look at my betting book.— I received the swan about a week ago, & should have written to acknowledge & thank for it before; only that I thought it better to wait till the examination was over. We have not yet eat it & it is probable it will keep sometime longer.—
My Father has had a bad fit of the gout together with a good deal of fever. he has been confined to his bed for a week.— he was very much pleased with the Hooper & as he said himself, if we had thought for a month we could not have made two more acceptable presents than the Deaths head & swan.—
I think it is probable we shall get for you both the common & Pine Marten, the latter alive, which I should think you would like, as th〈ey〉 are very interesting animals to keep tame, so an Irish gentleman tells me.—
Now for Entomology.— a beautiful Agonum with dark blood red elytra.— a small Elaphrus; an insect like the Pederus ripalis,5 only with a white mark on each elytron.—cum paucis aliis.— in your next letter tell me how you get on in the science.— My life is very quiet & uniform, & what makes it more so, my lips have lately taken to be bad,6 which will prevent my going to Edinburgh.— my Studies consist of Adam Smith & Locke, in the latter of which I suppose you are an adept, & I hope you properly admire it— About the little Go7 I am in doubt & tribulation. I have had very little shooting. I went to Woodhouse for a week, & on the first day & first shot one of the young Owens8 cut his eye so badly with a Copper Cap; that he has been in bed for a week.— I think I never in my life time was half so much frightened: I am sure I have written enough about myself & my own concerns: make a handsome return tell me every thing about yourself. I am exceedingly anxious to know what steps you have taken about the Curacy? where you are going? how long you intend staying at Osmaston & the Larches?9 in short do give me an outline for the 2 or 3 next months. I hope you will write to me directly Erasmus is in Rome & likes it very much. he wants me to join him in Geneva. he intends wintering next year in Paris
Remember me kindly to Whitley if you see him, Pullein & Hore, & believe me | My dear Fox | Yours most sin | C. Darwin.
if you do not get the Curacy I do not know when we shall meet again Qære. How much of this is legible?
Congratulates WDF on finishing at Cambridge; he regards his place as a very good one, and comments on how others did.
Father much pleased by gift of a swan.
Adds some entomological news.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 56,” accessed on 19 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-56