RECORD: Paget, George Edward. 1882.09.13. [Recollections of Darwin.] CUL-DAR112.A86-A91 (Darwin Online, http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker 8.2008. RN1
NOTE: Editorial symbols used in the transcription:
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Reproduced with the permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.
[Archival number, upper right] 86
[in another handwriting] G E Paget
Sept. 13. 82
My dear Sir Darwin
I wish with all my heart that it was in my power to give you any reminiscences of your Father's Cambridge-life. During my undergraduate time I had not the good fortune of his acquaintance
nor deserved it. Having gone to College when very young I dropped into an idle set, none of whom except W. A. Thackeray came to any distinction in after life - and after my B.A. degree, I have occasionally met your father on Prof. Henslow's botanizing excursions. I must have been [promising]
that to Chemistry
[Archival number, upper right] 87
Natural Science in a very [illeg] manner, as I was for a year or two making progress in Mathematics.
I do of course remember something of what Cambridge then was in reference to Natural Science studies, but you are likely to know as much as I do.
The only persons I can think
as at all likely to give you Cambridge reminiscences of your father are Prof Babington and the Rev Leonard Blomfield. The latter you probably know now living at Bath. Formerly he was Rector of Swafham Bulbeck near Cambridge. His name was then Leonard Jenyns. He published on British
[Archival number, upper right] 88
Vertebrates and other Zoological subjects, and was one of the very few who contributed to keep alive in Cambridge some taste for Natural History. Though he must now be 80 years old, he still interests himself in the like pursuits and some months ago sent me a paper on the meteorology of Bath.
On your father's return from his voyage in the Beagle he paid a short visit to Cambridge, and I met him at dinner in the rooms of Ash, who was then Tutor in the College. I remember sitting near to him, and I remember two things he told me & so that he must have interested me much tho' he had not at
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that some become famous. He told me that the women in California were so tall as himself, and the man almost without exception much taller. My impression is that your father was almost 5ft 11in in height. He told me also that he had tested in the market at Lima the acute faculty of smell at that time commonly attributed
to Vultures. There was a row of these birds for sale I think. Your father walked before them and past them with a large piece of meat in his pocket. The birds took no notice whatever. He then threw within their reach the piece of meat wrapped up in paper. Still the birds
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took no notice. But when with the end of a stick, he uncovered a part of the meat they instantly rushed to seize it.
My respect for your father is so great that I regret very much indeed that I can contribute nothing of what you wish.
I saw an interesting letter of his some little time ago.
It was addressed to Prof. Miller and is now in the possession of his widow Mrs Miller, 7 Scroops Terrace, Cambridge.
The other day I saw in a Shropshire paper a report on speeches made on the day of inauguration of a new School-house at Shrewsbury. Among them
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was one by my brother (who is one of the Governors of the School) which was almost wholly on the subject of your father, and will I hope, do something towards the introduction of a Natural Science into the studies of the school.
Always truly yours
G. E. Paget
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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
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