From E. A. Darwin [10 January 1825]
My Dear Bobby.
Comment vous portez vous, Monsieur? Pretty well. Je suis ravi. Ah. Ah. What a charming shot you must be to have killed that young tyger, that you mentioned; it must have been very horrid, only suppose you had missed him & that he had run at you. Bye the Bye. How came this tiger to be loose? You dont mention that. Is there any there any menagerie at Styche?1 But I begin to suspect this is like some other wonderful birds that you see with your pocket telescopes, or eyes whichever you please to call them.
There was a travelling mineral-seller here some time ago who made my mouth water with such a magnificent piece of amethystine quartz. The crystal was 4 or 5 inches long & so beautiful, only the wretch asked a pound for it. He had an immense number, tho’ not variety of stones, & I did see anything which you had not got.
I cant say my cabinet increases very much I have got a piece of petrified sponge & shall perhaps have a curious piece of coal which J. Price2 pulled out of his fire
I have given you a sketch of it, the figs (alpha) are little circular hollows and those (beta) are little compressed tubercles. They are curiously mixed together in some places. He is going to shew it to the Prof. of Geology.
You cant think what a pretty bird the spotted Woodpecker is, if you never saw it There was one being stuffed here some time ago. There is a very beautiful work now publishing which you would like. Griffiths Animal Kingdom3 in Quarterly parts. 24 shillings each the best copies 1/2 a guinea the worst.
Price & I are going to anatomize cows h〈 〉 &c very vigorously as soon as he he 〈ha〉s time which I dont think you woul〈d〉 fanc〈y.〉
I this morning saw a curiously diseased liver &c of a child who had died with a jaundice— I send you the sixpence & pray dont make a beast of yourself with it
Let me hear from you again. | Love ad omnes | Greet Spark4 | yours, | E. D.
P.S. I can not make out whether you mean your P.S. for a quiz.5 If there was a list it was an old list of my own.
2nd. P.S. In the last No of ye An. of. Phil. The Editors so quizzed “self adjusting candles” &c for the Blowpipe that I hardly know if I shall venture to send an account of my admirable candlestick.6
3rd. P.S. If you know of any person coming to to Cambridge get him to carry up my “Samouelles Entomolog. Companion”.7 N.B it is a red book—
Saw a mineral salesman, but he had nothing CD does not already have.
EAD has a piece of petrified sponge and some curious coal that John Price pulled out of his fire.
Griffith’s Animal kingdom [Georges Cuvier, The animal kingdom … with additional descriptions of species by Edward Griffith (1827–35)] just being published. He is sure CD would like it.