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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. M. Herbert    [3 October 1828]



My dear Herbert

Very many thanks for your letter. owing to a mistake of not forwarding it, I only received a few days ago: I am very much obliged for all your labours in the science, & I daresay when I receive the treasure, it will be just as it should be. I saw Butler the day before yesterday, & he gave me an account of all your Welsh proceedings. Your last fatal trip to Drus ar (duzdy)1 appears rather to have cooled your courage, for, from what I hear you appear to have been very studious & quiet, after I left Barmouth. When I arrived home, I received such a letter from old Whitley.2 “weakness”, “folly”, “irresolution”, “idleness” & many other long & terrible words filled up the measure of his epistle: I sent a most submissive & humble answer: but in return, merely received an acknowledgement of my extreme candour, another charge of the same description as before: I suppose you are at present enjoying all the delights, which, by the many true & faithful accounts, we have all heard Montgomeryshire must posses:3 I suppose you are, in your accustomed manner, delighting all the little dear female hearts & receiving in return, those gentle insinivating smiles, which Squinny, Miss Jones & (“as hot as love”) used to cast on you: I hear many a parting tear was shed at your sorrowful exit; poor dear squinny could only ⁠⟨⁠I⁠⟩⁠ suppose, shed one, but He⁠⟨⁠aven⁠⟩⁠ knows, that is not her fault: I have been enjoying myself very much in Derbyshire, the Music meeting went off very well. I shot pretty well: my Entomological pursuits succeded, & the Miss Foxes are very pleasant girls, & so altogether I have spent a very pleasant month

But now for business. I hear from Butler that you have all the beettles & butterflies When you pass through Shrewsbury, you can give them me. of course you will pay me a visit I am almost sure of being at home. I shall go up early, but not quite so soon as the 10th.— Butler goes on Tuesday next

Believe me my dear Herbert | Yours, Charles Darwin

Exert your Zeal & try to add a few more beetles to the bottle. turn over a few old stones & roots of trees. Get the lady with a strong imagination to procure the beettle with a face so very dreadful

I cannot recollect your Christian name, so I shall Christen you G4


[Bwlch] Drws Ardudwy, a pass in Gwynedd, Wales.
Charles Thomas Whitley, Herbert’s first cousin and a close friend of CD at Cambridge. See LL 1: 49, 166.
Herbert’s home was in Montgomeryshire (now Powys).
The letter is addressed to ‘G. Herbert Esqr., Court Calmore, Welch Pool’.


LL: The life and letters of Charles Darwin, including an autobiographical chapter. Edited by Francis Darwin. 3 vols. London: John Murray. 1887–8.


CD obliged for JMH’s labours in "the science". He reports having spent a pleasant month. Entomological pursuits succeeded.

Looks forward to receiving beetles and butterflies from JMH when he passes through Shrewsbury.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Maurice Herbert
Sent from
Shrewsbury OC 4 1828 153
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.2)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 49,” accessed on 21 February 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1