RECORD: Darwin, Emma. [1882?] [Reminiscences of Darwin]. CUL-DAR210.8.36-41 (Darwin Online, http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed from the manuscript by Kees Rookmaaker 4.2009. RN1
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Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.
Year of William's marriage
Several visits of Jana —
How much C. liked her —
pleasant days at Cambridge when he was made L.L.D., enjoyed it & was not overfatigued.
Caroline not well enough to come Jos & Sophy came without her.
Feb. V. Marshall & Flowers visit — a faint memory that all was cheerful & pleasant
May. Mr & Mrs Fiske
May 25 Basset. Mr Lowell — Salisbury Cath. Aunt Grace. How he enjoyed the organ —
Aug. visit to Cam — do
lodgings in St Botolph Lane.
saw. 66 Hill's Road wh. he admired — Jesus Coll. nice
walk & sit. Botanic Garden
Feb. 24 at Bry St.
Mr Blunt to lunch. C. very genial & enjoyed it — also the Ritchie's particularly pleasant.
(on looking at letters of 41-47 — the state of health was so far more suffering than of late years — constant languor sickness & headaches)
In May he much enjoyed Richter's playing, who came down with the Frankes for a few hours —
23rd# a mention of heart with unwellness.
June 2. to Penrith happy journey. C. in gay spirits. Two or 3 small expeds w. him one across the lake — sat about — Hen joined us _ went a drive with [rom] also to look for lodgings for Huxleys — The walks sometimes too much for him — I went w. him up the valley & he went on. Also up Grisedale — beaut — light on farm
To Keswick — His anxiety to contrive for me to see the view
To Hove Town in steam boat — walked up the valley !!
The Lushington's visit & Miss North — partie bright & pleasant
Joyous arrival at No. 66 — admiring the house — pretty well at the time.
Happy Cambridge visit —
Miss Gladstone —
Second week in Dec —
London visit C. very unwell —
His pleasure in the kind zeal of the son's in "giving up the study" to him — This remained fresh with him to the last.
Lying on sofa in drawing room looking at what he called Hen's shrine.
I will put down some things for fear I shd forget if I live long — Always speaking a gracious & tender word when I came up at night — "It is almost worth while to be sick to be nursed by you." I don't know what he said to which I answered "You speak as if you had not done just the same for me." Oh that I could remember more — but it was the same loving gratitude many times a day —
Constantly suggesting my staying with the others "I can do quite well without you my darling". Dr Moore & Alfrey on the 12th cheering him much — but much knocked up the next day & went to bed. Leonora on Sunday. C. exerted himself & was most pleasant to her — played backgammon every evg. but one — His tenderness seemed to increase every day — liked being rubbed. George returned from West Indies on Ap.10 —
C. not up to talking for very long but enjoyed George's news. Dr Moore & Allfrey on the 12th. Their visit was comforting but he was utterly done up the next day & went to bed after luncheon. —
On Sat. 15 R. & Hen came. When Ch. had half done his tea he rose & staggered to the sofa & fell half fainting on the cushion. He said it was the same sort of
shock he had before but worse — he recovered soon but was carried upstairs & soon went to bed —
On Tuesday 18 at 12 at night he woke me saying "I have got the pain & I shall feel better or bear it better if you are awake" — he had taken the antispasmodic twice — I will only put down his words afterwards "I am not the least afraid of death" — Remember what a good wife you have been to me — Tell all my children to remember how good they have been to me.
After the worst of the distress he said "I was so sorry for you — but I could not help you" — Then "there never were such good nurses as you (Fr) & Henrietta — where is Mammy — I am glad of it when told I was lying down.
"Don't call her I don't want her — said often. It's almost worth while to be sick to be nursed by you" —
May 2. 1882
I can call back more precious memories by looking only a short time back. We went to Bryanston St on Dec 6. C. was languid & feeble every day. Set out on a walk & either returned home or was taken with pain & came back in distress. I called to see Dr Clark, whose opinion was rather discouraging; but when he saw C. in the evening, he pronounced
the heart quite sound. We were all much cheered.
On Sunday the 18th called at the Huxley's. C. quite happy & in high spirits. I can only remember a walk w. him as far as Manchester Sq.
He also went with us to look at the house.
On Sunday Jan 8. the "Sunday Tramps". C. was delightful to them & enjoyed their visit heartily. The Dyers were with us & he had much talk w. Dyer.
Sat Jan 21. The Ritchie's visit entirely successful & C. in excellent spirits & enjoyment. -
27. C. unwell with cold
Diceys & Emily Lock. Did not come to dinner. Diceys also here.
Feb 3. Lubbock wedding. Joined him at the sandwalk after it was over & told him about it.
Mar 3. Laura came. —
His state was now more languid walking short distances very slowly (I remember one walk w. him to the terrace on a beaut. still bright day, I suppose in Feb.)
At the end of a week Dr C came (Mar 10) C. exstremely nervous about visit & wretchedly uncomf the day after. A peaceful time without much suffering. exquisite weather — often loitering out w. him. —
I used to go to bed early — when he suffered so m. from fatigue & often read some time — also got up early & read to him early after my breakfast — generally found him doing nothing; but the two last mgs he occupied himself for a short time & felt more like recovery.
His patience & gentleness with ill health
his reverence for the laws of nature was immense
Sitting w. her at the entrance to the new part put his arm round my shoulders & said Oh Laura what a miserable man I shd be without this dear woman.
Coming into the smoking room where I had retired to write the letter about Mr Fraser coming. "I am ill-used Laura every body has left me, & a letter has come from Lenny & I have not heard a word
I reproved him for talking & disturbing my letter & on my asking B. to ring the bell — "Yes look sharp about it. Mammy is not to be trifled with when she is in this humour I can tell you.
Coming in to see Bernard wait on Laura.
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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
File last updated 2 July, 2012