From E. A. Darwin 18 August 
My Dear Charles.
I find by a letter from Catty that the packet sails on Friday, so I write this to tell you about your commissions, tho’ I am afraid I shall hardly be able to get all your rattletraps in sufficient time to send them. Cuviers Mollusques1 are not to be had in London and are very dear & scarce. of all the books of travels only one was to be had an imperfect copy without the Atlas for three guineas & a half so I did not get—of the others one was £40 & another £30, consisting of a vast number of plates in folio. In short I have got none of them. I have got Humboldt Fragmens de Geologie et de Climatologie Asiatique2 which I suppose was the work you meant. The 8th vol of the Personal Narrative3 was not published. Leopold Von Buch’s Travels by Jamieson4 were in Norway & not Sweden so I have got that in its place & hope it is right. Bohn5 was very civil & thought he remembered something about the Linnæus6 but as you did not mention the Edition & there are so many of them he is not certain that he shall be able to procure you the sheets. Mr Banks has promised me the mirrors &c but as you know he is a slow coach. If Bohn should fail, I will send you my Linnæus which I have ordered up from Shrewsbury in case. Scoresby’s Arctic Regions7 are not to be found at Shrewsbury, and as you did not seem very anxious about them I have not thought it worth while to buy them. I could not procure any lace needles (so you wrote it) but I have got some lace pins, & some bead needles as being the finest made. Everything else I have done.—
You would have had a very pleasant summer in Shropshire this year, Sedgwick & Murchison8 were both geologizing there. Murchison went to examine all the country about the Ponsford Hills9 which even I should like to have joined him in. I have been making a great many plans for the summer, but they have all broken through and I am living or rather vegetating in the quietest manner possible in London thinking it quite an exertion if I can get round St Jame’s Park in the course of the day. I meant to have gone this summer with Sargeaunt10 to see the Auvergne, but he has been voted by his Doctor in a delicate state of health and is ordered off to Italy for a couple of years.
I have established a very comfortable little lab in my lodgings, which has long been my great desideratum in my London life, and that and smoking fills up my day delightfully. Next month I mean to go and pay Charlotte a visit at Ripley— Charlotte alas is very much deteriorated by her marriage contrary to the general rule of women being improved when they marry, and I fully expect that 〈by〉 the time you come home, she will have lea〈rned〉 to talk quite fluently about Lords & their pedigrees. I am quite convinced that is their subject tête à tête. I long to have a good groan with you over the incomparable throwing herself away. It certainly is the most wonderful event that ever happened in the family.
I am sorry to see in your last letter that you still look forward to the horrid little parsonage in the desert. I was beginning to hope I should have you set up in London in lodgings somewhere near the British Museum or some other learned place. My only chance is the Established Church being abolished, & in some places they are beginning to demand pledges to that effect. The question of pledges is now very much agitated, and I yesterday read an admirable letter from Tom Macaulay to the Electors of Leeds on the subject of pledges in which he refuses to give any direct ones merely stating his opinions openly & frankly. The abolition of taxes on newspapers, vote by ballot, abolition & commutation of tithes, abolition of slavery &c &c all of which he is in favor of, but which he will not pledge himself to vote for.11 Now that we have got the Reform Bill people seem disinclined to make any use of it, as a vast proportion have either neglected thro’ ignorance or else are unwilling to get themselves registered. This makes people more anxious than ever for vote by Ballot, and I have no doubt that will soon be carried. The poor old King is very unpopular now, going down to the house to prorogue parliament, he was received with groans, & at a great dinner of the National Political Union12 when his health was proposed it was absolutely refused to be drunk. I have written you all this politics tho’ I suppose you are too far from England to care much about it. Politics wont travel.
Good Bye My dear Charles, & write to me again when you want any more commissions and I shall have great pleasure in executing them and dont think of the trouble. I have great pleasure in reading your letters home and take the greatest interest in all your proceedings but do not wish that you should write to me, and if you do not hear very often from me it is you may be very sure not from want of love, but 〈fr〉om indolence, & not very well knowing what to write about London gossip will hardly carry to Shrewsbury much less across the Atlantic. Good Bye my best love & good wishes. E Darwin
Reports on the commissions CD requested of him [in a missing letter]; comments on English political issues.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 182,” accessed on 26 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-182