To Caroline Darwin [28 April 1831]1
My Dear Caroline,
I want to hear some Shropshire politics, & I write in the hopes of having an answer.— I will give you a short hand account of myself since I left Shrewsbury.— I spent a very pleasant week in London, but found it as I always do, very fatiguing (I expect Erasmus did also for we lived together). Through Tom’s2 assistance I got a ticket for the Antient music which was most admirable; but what I liked most in all London is the Zoolog: Gardens: on a hot day when the beasts look happy and the people gay it is most delightful.— Cambridge, I find, is one of the few places, where if you anticipate a great deal of pleasure you do not find yourself disappointed: every day in the Term that passes I feel a loss; and the days go so quietly that I never do half what I intend to in the morning.— I am very busy and work all morning till Henslow’s lecture: in the evenings I generally go out somewhere, and occasionally dinner parties, where good-eating and good-talking make a most harmonious whole (I hope you are disgusted, I will excuse anybody till they have been to a Cam: dinner, & if they are there, and if they cry out “what a disgusting thing a good dinner is” I must give them up.) The Election here is a great bore, as Henslow is Lord Palmerston’s right-hand man,3 and he has no time for walks.— All the while I am writing now my head is running about the Tropics: in the morning I go and gaze at Palm trees in the hot-house and come home and read Humboldt: my enthusiasm is so great that I cannot hardly sit still on my chair. Henslow & other Dons give us great credit for our plan: Henslow promises to cram me in geology.— I never will be easy till I see the peak of Teneriffe and the great Dragon tree; sandy, dazzling, plains, and gloomy silent forest are alternately uppermost in my mind.— I am working regularly at Spanish; Erasmus advised me decidedly to give up Italian. I have written myself into a Tropical glow.
goodbye | C Darwin
tell me Gossip write soon
I took my Degree the other day:4 it cost me £15: there is waste of money. Love to all you do not hear from me often, so you must excuse my being as Egotistical as Hope.— I begin to think Natural Hist: makes people Egotistical.
Had a pleasant week in London and is now enjoying Cambridge, where he is busy with work and social engagements.
Writes with great enthusiasm of his prospective trip to "the Tropics" [Canary Islands]. Henslow will cram him in geology. He is working regularly at Spanish.