RECORD: Herbert, J. M. 1882.06.12. [Recollections of Darwin.] CUL-DAR112.A60-A61 (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker 8.2008. Corrections by John van Wyhe. RN1

NOTE: Editorial symbols used in the transcription:
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Reproduced with the permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.


[in another handwriting] J.M. Herbert

[printed letterhead] Rocklands, Ross.
Kerne Bridge Station. Telegrams to Ross.

12 June 1882

Dear Mr F. Darwin

I have forwarded your letter to Whitley. His address is Revd. Canon Whitley, Bedlington Vicarage, Northumberland. I will remember meeting you in the Railway train and recognizing you by the likeness of your


voice to your fathers. — Since I wrote an incident has come back to my memory which may be of some interest. One day in his rooms he doped a large Beetle with a penful of prussic acid. The creature almost instantaneously kicked & fell over on his back apparently dead — but after a few minutes exposure

to the lense it rallied and wattled off as if nothing had happened to it, to our general amazement. Was this a discovery in toxicology?
When in my notes I spoke of your Father's enjoyment of fine music, I might have mentioned my accompanying him one afternoon to the service at Trinity, when we heard a very beautiful anthem -

[61 verso]

At the end of one of the parts, which was exceedingly impressive, he turned round to me & said with a deep sigh "How's your backbone?" — He had at one time an eruption about the mouth for which he took small doses of arsenic. He told me that he had mentd this treatment to his Father — & that his Father had warned him that the cure might be attached with worse consequences. — I forget what he said the risk was. I think it was partial paralysis.

Very truly yrs
J.M. Herbert

F. Darwin Esq.

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File last updated 2 July, 2012