To Robert Waring Darwin [23 October 1825]1
My dear Father
As I suppose Erasmus has given all the particulars of the journey I will say no more about it, except that alltogether it has cost me 7 pounds— We got into our lodgings yesterday evening, which are very comfortable & near the College— Our Landlady, by name Mrs. Mackay, is a nice clean old body, and exceedingly civil & attentive— She lives in “11 Lothian Street Edinburg”2 & only four flights of steps from the ground floor which is very moderate to some other lodgings that we were nearly taking— The terms are 1£—6s . for two very nice & light bedrooms & a nice sitting room; by the way, light bedrooms are very scarce articles in Edinburg, since most of them are little holes in which there is neither air or light. We called on Dr. Hawley3 the first morning, whom I think we never should have found had it not been a good natured Dr. of Divinity who took us into his Library & showed us a map, & gave us how find him: Indeed all the Scotchmen are so civil and attentive, that it is enough to make an Englishman ashamed of himself—
I should think Dr. Butler or any other fat English divine would take two utter strangers into his library and show them the way! When at last we found the Doctor & having made all the proper speeches on both sides we all three set out and walked all about the town; which we admire excessively; indeed Bridge Street is the most extraordinary thing I ever saw, and when we first looked over the sides we could hardly believe our eyes, when, instead of a fine river we saw a stream of people—
We spend all our mornings in promenading about the town, which we know pretty well, and in the Evenings we go to the play to hear Miss Stephens,4 which is quite delightful. She is very popular here, being encored to such a degree that she can hardly get on with the play— On Monday we are going to Der Fr.5 (I do not know how to spell the rest of the word)— Before we got into our lodgings we were staying at the Star Hotel in Princes St. where to my surprise I met with an old school fellow whom I like very much; he is just come back from a walking tour in Switzerland, and is now going to study for [his degree?].
The introductory lectures begin next Wednesday, and we were matriculated for them on Saturday: we pay 10s. & write our names in a book, & the ceremony is finished; but the Library is not free to us till we get a ticket from a Professor—6
We have just been to church and heard a sermon of only 20 minutes. I expected from Sir Walter Scott’s account, a soul-cutting discourse of 2 hours & a half—
I remain Yr. affectionate son | C. Darwin.
First days in Edinburgh.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 16,” accessed on 28 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-16