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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. H. Darwin   22 January 1873

My dear old George—

I have been very sorry to hear of your miserable suffering, & it was a great relief to know today that you were at Cannes.1 Try & keep up your courage: I think this extreme badness may be connected with your cold.

I wish you had travelled all the way in the coupé2—do not regard expence—you know that I shall be always glad to pay for extras.— The warmer climate, I trust may do you some good.

My love to Horace & I hope he may find or make some acquaintances, so as not, to be very dull, & that the place may suit his health. Farewell my two dear sons. How it will rejoice us to have a better account of you.—

Your affect | C. D.

Jan. 22d. 73

We shall soon have finished the “Contemporary” & send it, & afterwards the “Fortnightly.”3

My mixture consists of equal parts of “Oxley’s Essence of Ginger” & of the “Tincture of Cayenne”.— I mix them with 4 or 5 times as much brandy, I take from 15 to 20 drops.—4 I add the Brandy solely to make the dropping in measuring glass easier, as I shd require only 4 or 5 drops of the pure mixture.—


George and Horace Darwin had left for France on 10 January 1873 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
A coupé was a four-wheeled carriage with inside seats for two.
CD refers to the Contemporary Review and the Fortnightly Review.
Ginger was valued for its beneficial effects on the stomach; cayenne, derived from species of Capsicum, was used for the treatment of gout and flatulence (Beasley 1865, pp. 161, 537). See also Correspondence vol. 14, letter to H. B. Jones, 3 January [1866], for CD’s use of these medicines.


Concerned about GHD’s health. Sends a prescription for a cough mixture.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Howard Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.1: 8
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8747,” accessed on 25 April 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21