To W. D. Fox 29 [July 1829]
My dear Fox
I take this opportunity of writing a few lines to you. It was by a mistake of Mr. Shaw that the beasts & birds were not sent to you before this time.— I hope you will approve of their stuffing & that they will arrive safe & sound. The one with the smaller tail is from Ireland, & the other from Wales. Which is the Pine & which is the common Marten appears to me hard to ascertain.—
I returned from Maer on Saturday evening, & was most exceedingly grieved to hear from Catherine that there is no hope of seeing you & your family this summer at Shrewsbury I want very much to hear from you as I do not quite understand your plans. You are going into Yorkshire, sometime in the end of August, & I want to know how soon you will return? for I am very sorry to say that I do not see how it is possible for me to come to Osmaston, between this time & your intended trip to Yorkshire. The reason of this is that my sister Mrs. Parker has the misfortune of having two unchristened children, & I am going after the first week in August to stand Godfather to them: I was thinking (& I hope you will excuse the coolness of my offering myself) that if you were at home: I could pay you a visit on my road to Cambridge.— When you write tell me what you think of this scheme.— I hope it will answer:
I do hope that when you are in Yorkshire, you will redeem your character in Entomology, it is a long time since you have mentioned taking any good insects.— I think you would be surprized if you were to see all my insects.—
Pray mention in your next letter how Uncle Edward1 is, we were all very sorry to hear he had been so unwell: Catherine begs that you will give her love Julia & many thanks for her kind wish of seeing her at Osmaston, but is very sorry that it is impossible.
Believe me dear Fox | Yours most sincerely | Chas. Darwin
Sends stuffed birds;
attempts to arrange a meeting.