# From J. S. Henslow   15–21 January 1833

Cambridge

15 Jany 18321

My dear Darwin,

[DIAGRAM HERE]

be useful—most of all, the relative positions of rocks giving a little sketch thus. No.1. (specimen (a)) about 10 feet thick, pretty uniform in character— No.2 (specim. (b.c)) variable &c &c

When Sedgwick returns we will look over your specimens & I will send you our joint report—4 they seem quite large enough!— I myself caught an Octopus at Weymouth this summer & observed the change of color whenever I opened the tin box in which I put it, but not in such great perfection as you seem to have done— The fact is not new, but any fresh observations will be highly important— Quere if a serpentine rock be not the produce of volcanic baking of a chloritic slate? The rock of St Paul may not be an exception to the usual character of the Islds. of the Atlantic.5 I have got the description of the plates to the Dict. Classique & will send it where you direct. Your account of the Tropical forest is delightful, I can’t help envying you— So far from being disappointed with the Box—I think you have done wonders—as I know you do not confine yourself to collecting, but are careful to describe— Most of the plants are very desirable to me. Avoid sending scraps. Make the specimens as perfect as you can, root, flowers & leaves & you can’t do wrong. In large ferns & leaves fold them back upon themselves on one side of the specimen & they will get into a proper sized paper. Don’t trouble yourself to stitch them—for the really travel better without it— and a single label per month to

[DIAGRAM HERE] this side is folded back at the edges

those of the same place is enough except you have plenty of spare time or spare hands to write more. L. Jenyns does not know what to make of your land Planariæ. Do you mistake for such the curious Genus, “Oncidium” allied to ye slug, of which a fig. is given in Lin. Transact.6 & are not the marine species also mollusca, perhaps Doris & other genera— Specimens & observations upon these wd. be highly interesting. If you could get hold of Cuvier’s Anatomie des Mollusques,7 you wd. find it very useful but I fear it is out of print— I will tell your Brother to enquire at Truttels.8 Watkins has received your letter— And now for the Box— Lowe underpacks Darwin overpacks — The latter is in fault on the right side. You need not make quite so great a parade of tow & paper for the geologc. specimens, as they travel very well provided they be each wrapped up German fashion & closely stowed—but above all things don’t put tow round any thing before you have first wrapped it up in a piece of thin paper— It is impossible to clear away the fibres of the tow from some of your specimens without injuring them— An excellent crab has lost all its legs, & an Echinus $\frac{1}{2}$ its spines by this error. I don’t think however than any other specimens besides these 2 have been at all injured. Another caution I wd give is to place the number on the specimen always inside & never outside the cover. The moisture & friction have rubbed off one or two—& I can’t replace them. I shall thoroughly dry the different perishable commodities & then put them in pasteboard boxes with camphor & paste over the edges, & place them in my study or some very dry place. The heavy material I shall send to my lecture room, so soon as it is again habitable—for at present we are all in confusion—building a large Museum & lecture room & private rooms adjoining mine,9 for Clark & Cumming— I must now leave off for the Senate house & put this bye till I can find a few more minutes to conclude it.—

My 3 children are well—& my boy is growing a very fine fellow— An increase expected next June— We are in Mourning for Mrs Henslow’s Mother—

## Footnotes

The year was written as 1832, but should be 1833.
The living, located at Cholsey-cum-Moulsford, was worth £340 a year. Henslow resided there only during the Cambridge Long Vacation (see Darwin and Henslow, p. 89 n. 1).
This was the election from which John William Lubbock withdrew. Elected were Right Hon. Henry Goulburn (Conservative) and Right Hon. Sir Charles Manners-Sutton (Conservative), Speaker of the House of Commons. For these and other returns mentioned, see Hanham 1972, pp. 43–6.
No such report has been found.
See letter to J. S. Henslow, 18 May – 16 June 1832 and Darwin and Henslow, p. 54 n. 1.
Guilding 1825.
Cuvier 1817.
Treuttel, Wurtz and Richter, foreign and classical booksellers, 30 Soho Square (Post Office directory, 1834).
The Anatomy Museum and lecture rooms for the Anatomy and Chemistry Schools were built in 1832–3 in part of the former Botanic Garden, then located near Free School Lane.
John Athanasius Herring Laffer.
Specimen no. 223 in CD’s ‘Zoological diary’ (DAR 30.1: 20) is identified as ‘Mucor Linn.’, a fungus.

## Summary

Acknowledges receipt of two letters from CD and a box of specimens.

Mentions attendance at BAAS meeting and a gift to him of a small living near Oxford. Some political news.

Congratulates CD on the work he has done – the specimens are of great interest. Gives advice on packing, labelling, and future collecting and suggests that – as a precaution – CD send home a copy of his notes on the specimens.

## Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-196
From
John Stevens Henslow
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Cambridge
Source of text
DAR 204: 111
Physical description
4pp