RECORD: Litchfield, H. E. ed. 1904. Emma Darwin, wife of Charles Darwin. A century of family letters. Cambridge: University Press printed. Volume 2.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned by John van Wyhe 2007, transcribed (single key) by AEL Data 10.2010. RN2

NOTE: The copy scanned was lent by Milo Keynes who wrote 'the sheets of which were got from Aunt Etty's house when she died by my mother for me'.

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A Century of Family Letters

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Wife of Charles Darwin

A Century of Family Letters

by her daughter


In Two Volumes



Privately Printed

Printed at the University Press

[All Rights reserved.]

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Serene will be our days and bright,
And happy will our nature be,
When love is an unerring light,
And joy its own security.
And they a blissful course may hold
Even now, who, not unwisely bold,
Live in the spirit of this creed;
Yet seek thy firm support, according to their need.

Ode to Duty, WORDSWORTH.



Characteristics of Emma Darwin pages 1—7



Charles Darwin much out of health, he visits Shrewsbury—The Sismondis at Gower Street and Tenby—Miss Edgeworth thinks Emma Darwin like her mother—The Charles Darwins talk of leaving London—Emma's second child, Anne Elizabeth, born—Erasmus and Miss Martineau—Charles and Doddy at Shrewsbury—Sismondi's fatal illness begins—Edward Allen and his running away from school—Charlotte Langton's baby, Edmund, born. 8—27



A Revolution at Geneva—Taking children to the pantomime—Charles Darwin meets Humboldt—He visits Shrewsbury—Elizabeth with Emma at Gower Street—Emma at Maer—Sismondi cannot finish his History—He dies June 25, 1842—Jessie Sismondi comes to live at Tenby. 28—42



Account of Down—Josiah Wedgwood's dangerous illness—The move to Down—Emma's third child born September 23rd, died October 16th, 1842—A long visit from the Hensleigh Wedgwood children during their father's illness—They get lost in the Big Woods—Elizabeth on the various children. 43—55

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The death of John Allen and of Josiah Wedgwood—The aunts' admiration for Jos's character—Harry and John Hensleigh Allen—Our nurse Brodie—Henrietta Darwin born Sept. 25, 1843—Charles at Shrewsbury—Fanny Hensleigh's hospitality—Madame Sismondi at Down, on her way to Chêne—A visit to Combe Florey—Emma at Maer—A breakfast party at Samuel Rogers'—Jessie Sismondi's accident at Paris—George Darwin born July 9th, 1845—Charles describes their improvements at Down 56—83



Mrs Josiah Wedgwood's death on March 31st, 1846—Elizabeth leaves Maer—A meeting at Tenby of Emma Darwin and two of her children, the Langtons, and Elizabeth Wedgwood with their aunts. 84—96



Sarah Wedgwood settles at Down—Elizabeth Darwin born July 8th, 1847—Elizabeth Wedgwood and the Langtons leave Staffordshire—Hartfield—Fanny Allen makes a round of visits—Jessie Sismondi on the French Revolution of '48—Charles Darwin at Shrewsbury—Francis Darwin born August 16th, 1848—Dr Darwin's death November 13th, 1848 97—121



Life at Down—Malvern water-cure—The Allen sisters all go touring—Leonard Darwin born January 15th, 1850—Jessie Sismondi on F. W. Newman—She and her sisters move to Heywood Lane—Miss Martineau and Mr Atkinson—A party at the Bunsens'—An impromptu dinner at the Hensleigh Wedgwoods' 122—140



Illness and death of Annie at Malvern—Horace Darwin born May 13th, 1851. 141—150



The Great Exhibition of 1851—Jessie Sismondi on Mazzini and the Coup d'État—A visit to Rugby—Edmund Langton—Erasmus Darwin—Fanny Allen goes to Aix-les-Bains with Elizabeth—Jessie Sismondi's death on March 3rd, 1853—The destruction of Sismondi's and Jessie's journals. 151—166



Eastbourne and Chobham Camp—Miss Langdon at Hartfield—Sydney Smith's Life—A month in London—The British Association at Glasgow—Letters to William at Rugby—Florence Nightingale— A High-church wedding—Sarah Wedgwood's death November 6th, 1856—Charles Waring Darwin born December 6th, 1856—Our early life at Down—Moor Park—The Origin of Species—Two letters from my mother to my father on religion 167—190



A long illness—Torquay—Erasmus Darwin—The death of Charlotte Langton in 1862 and the Hartfield houses given up—Leonard ill with scarlet-fever; my mother at the end of her nursing falls ill too—A humane trap for animals—Malvern wells—My father continually ill in 1863, 1864, and 1865—The deaths of Catherine Langton and Susan Darwin in 1866—The Huxley children at Down—A visit to Cambridge—George a second Wrangler—A month in London— Elizabeth Wedgwood settles at Down—Freshwater—Leonard second in the Entrance Examination for Woolwich—Fanny Allen at Tenby—My father's accident out riding—Shrewsbury and Caerdeon 191—228



The Descent of Man—Polly the Ur-hund—A visit to Basset—A week of dancing—Erasmus Darwin—Haredene—My engagement and marriage—Letters to me abroad—A wedding-gift from the Working Men's College. 229—253

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Visits to London—Sevenoaks and the verandah at Down—A Working Men's College walking party—Abinger Hall and Basset—Dr Andrew Clark—A séance at Queen Anne Street—Frank my father's secretary; he marries and lives at Down—Leonard in New Zealand—Fanny Allen's death 254—279



Amy Darwin's death—My mother and Bernard—Stonehenge—R. B. Litchfield's illness at Lucerne—William's marriage to Sara Sedgwick—My father's Hon. Degree of LL.D. at Cambridge—A visit to Barlaston—Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood at Down—Anthony Rich—The Darwin pedigree—A month at Coniston—Horace's marriage to Ida Farrer—A fur-coat surprise—The Liberal victory. 280—309



Elizabeth Wedgwood's death—A month at Patterdale—Erasmus Darwin's death—The new tennis-court and orchard—A visit to Cambridge—The birth of Erasmus, eldest child of Horace—My father's serious state of health, his death on April 19th, 1882—My mother's notes, written soon after—Her changed life 310—334



A letter to Anthony Rich and his answer—Leonard's marriage to Elizabeth Fraser—The purchase of the Grove at Cambridge—Frank working at the Life of his father; his marriage to Ellen Wordsworth Crofts—A house to be built on the Grove fields for Frank—George's marriage to Maud Dupuy—The Green-hill and Stonyfield. 335—356



The unveiling of the statue of Charles Darwin—My mother's dog, Dicky—A visit from her brothers Frank and Hensleigh—Oxslip gathering—Her politics—Playing patience and reading novels—Her grandchildren and daughters-in-law—The Down villagers—The publication of my father's Life 357—380



Mrs Josiah Wedgwood of Leith Hill Place dies—A visit to Barlaston given up—Frank Wedgwood dies—Frank Darwin elected to a Fellowship at Christ's College—Godfrey Wedgwood and the Parnell Commission—My mother's ill-health—A visit from Hensleigh Wedgwood and his daughter Effie—The Report of the Special Commission—My mother's affection for Down—Caroline Wedgwood—Hensleigh Wedgwood dies—My illness at Durham 381—413



R. B. Litchfield retires from work—The Plan of Campaign—Leonard stands for Lichfield and is elected—My mother's enthusiasm for the Unionist cause—The grandchildren at Down—A hot summer—Our house in London nearly burnt down—Miss Cobbe's Autobiography—A great storm—Maud Darwin goes to America—A birthday letter-Leonard defeated at Lichfield 414—448



My mother's improved health and her spirit of enjoyment—Herbert Spencer—Dicky's accident—A visit from Mrs Huxley—R. B. Litchfield's illness at Dover—Expeditions in the bath-chair and drives to Holwood—My mother's last illness and death 449—466

Index 467—484

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Charles Darwin, 1881. From a photograph by Elliott and Fry Frontispiece

Charles Darwin's house at Down, 1880. From a water-colour painting by Albert Goodwin in possession of Horace Darwin. Mr and Mrs Darwin are seated in the verandah, their grandchild Bernard Darwin stands in front, and "Polly" is trotting towards them to face p. 44

The Village of Down. From a photograph by Mr G. W. Smith to face p. 46

Mrs Charles Darwin and her son Leonard, about 1853. From a photograph by Maull and Fox to face p. 168

Erasmus Alvey Darwin. From a photograph by Mr R. Tait to face p. 194

Polly, the Ur-hund. A pen-and-ink sketch by Mr Huxley p. 232

Mrs Charles Darwin, 1881. From a photograph by Barraud to face p. 320

Mrs Charles Darwin, aged 88. From a photograph by Miss M. J.Shaen, taken in the drawing-room at Down. to face p. 458


The Allens came originally from the north of Ireland and settled in Pembrokeshire in about 1600. The estate of Cresselly was acquired by marriage with Joan Bartlett, mother of John Bartlett Allen.

Children of John Bartlett Allen of Cresselly (1733—1803).

1. Elizabeth (Bessy) (1764—1846) m. Josiah Wedgwood of Maer.

2. Catherine (Kitty) (1765—1830) m. Sir James Mackintosh.

3. Caroline (1768—1835) m. Rev. Edward Drewe.

4. John Hensleigh (1769—1843) of Cresselly, m. Gertrude Seymour.

5. Louisa Jane (Jane or Jenny) (1771—1836) m. John Wedgwood.

6. Lancelot Baugh (Baugh) (1774—1845), Master of Dulwich College, m. 2ce.

7. Harriet (sometimes called Sad) (1776—1847) m Rev.Matthew Surtees, of North Cerney.

8. Jessie (1777—1853) m.J. C. de Sismondi, historian.

9. Octavia, died young.

10. Emma (1780—1866) unmarried.

11. Frances (Fanny) (1781—1875) unmarried.

L. II. b

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Children of John Hensleigh Allen of Cresselly (1769—1843).

1. Seymour Phillips (1814—1861) of Cresselly, m. Catherine dau. of Earl of Portsmouth.

2. Henry George, b. 1815.

3. John Hensleigh (1818—1868).

4. Isabella Georgina, m. G. Lort Phillips of Laurenny.

Children of Sir James and Lady Mackintosh.

1. Bessy (1799—1823) unmarried.

2. Fanny (1800—1889) m her cousin Hensleigh Wedgwood.

3. Robert (1806—1864) m. Mary Appleton.

Children of Mrs Drewe.

1. Harriet, Lady Gifford.

2. Georgina, Lady Alderson.

3. Edward, m. Adèle Prévost. and others.

Before the year 1500 the Wedgwoods were the squires of Wedgwood and Harakels in Staffordshire. In 1572 a confirmation of arms was granted to the squire of that time. The ancestors of the Wedgwoods of Etruria separated from the senior branch about 1600. The Wedgwoods of Harakels possessed at least some portion of these estates until the middle or end of the eighteenth century when they became extinct.

Children of Josiah Wedgwood of Etruria (1730—1795).

1. Susannah (1765—1817) m. Dr Robert Waring Darwin. Charles Darwin was their son.

2. John (1766—1844) Banker, m. Jane Allen.

3. Josiah (1769—1843) of Maer, Potter, m. Elizabeth Allen.

4. Thomas (1771—1805).

5. Catherine (Kitty) (1774—1823) unmarried.

6. Sarah Elizabeth (1778—1856) unmarried.

Children of John Wedgwood (1766—1844).

1. Sarah Elizabeth (Sally, then Eliza) (1795—1857) unmarried.

2. Rev. John Allen (Allen) (1796—1882), Vicar of Maer.

3. Thomas (Tom) (1797—1862) Colonel in the guards, m.Anne Tyler.

4. Caroline, died young.

5. Jessie (1804—1872) m. her cousin Harry Wedgwood.

6. Robert (1806—1880) m. 2Ce.

Children of Josiah Wedgwood of Maer (1769—1843).

1. Sarah Elizabeth (Elizabeth) (1793—1880) unmarried.

2. Josiah (Joe or Jos) (1795—1880) of Leith Hill Place, m. his cousin Caroline Darwin.

3. Charlotte (1797—1862) m. Rev. Charles Langton.

4. Henry Allen (Harry) (1799—1885) Barrister, m. his cousin Jessie Wedgwood.

5. Francis (1800—1888) Potter, m. Frances Mosley.

6. Hensleigh (1803—1891) Police Magistrate, Philologist, m. his cousin Fanny Mackintosh.

7. Fanny (1806—1832) unmarried.

8. Emma (1808—1896) m. her cousin Charles Darwin.

b 2

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In the year 1500 the Darwins were yeomen, living at Marton, between Gainsborough and Lincoln. William Darwin (1573— 1644) was Yeoman of the Royal Armoury of Greenwich to James I. and Charles I.; he married a widow of good family and became possessed of Cleatham Hall, Kirton-in-Lindsey. His son William fought for the King in the Civil War, and his grandson, also William, married the heiress of Elston Hall, Notts. Erasmus Darwin, born at Elston, 1731, Poet and father of Dr Robert Waring Darwin of Shrewsbury, was the youngest son of the then Squire of Elston.

Children of Dr Robert Waring Darwin (1766—1848) and his wife Susannah Wedgwood (1765—1817).

1. Marianne (1798—1858) m. Dr Henry Parker.

2. Caroline (1800—1888) m. her cousin Josiah Wedgwood of Leith Hill Place.

3. Susan (1803—1866) unmarried.

4. Erasmus Alvey (1804—1881) unmarried.

5. Charles Robert (1809—1882) m. his cousin Emma Wedgwood.

6. Catherine (1810—1866) m., late in life, Rev. Charles Langton. Charlotte Wedgwood was his 1st wife.


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I GIVE here, at the outset of her married life, the best picture I have been able to draw of my mother's character. Her letters no doubt reveal it by degrees thoroughly and truly, but I think what I have to say may fill up the gaps. It must, however, be kept in mind that I am speaking of a much later time, as my memories of her are naturally more vivid in her later-middle and old age.

These old letters speak of her as gay and merry, and I have been told by old friends of hers that she had the charm of abounding life and high spirits. In my childish reminiscences, I think of her as serene but somewhat grave. The merriment, the jokes, the fun, would all be from my father. One can realise how heavy was the burden of anxiety borne by her so calmly, from seeing what deep effect it produced on her character.

Her charm is difficult to express, but all who knew her well felt its power. Acquaintances at first sometimes strangely misunderstood what she was, and felt awed by a certain reserved gravity of expression before she spoke. One thing is certain that I never knew anyone who was so naturally good.

L. II. I

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I mean that I have known those who impress one as having conquered their evil, but with her there seemed no evil to conquer. It was impossible to imagine a selfish or vain thought, an unjust action or untruthful word, an unkind or harsh judgment. Everything about her was wholesome and natural. There was not a morbid spot in her. It was all clear and true and rational, and there was a wonderful singleness and simplicity of nature.

Complicated characters, with a certain introspective self-consciousness, are generally thought to be the most interesting, and hers was neither complicated nor self-conscious, yet intercourse with her was always full of interest. There was such a bright aliveness, such a many-sided interest in the world and in books and politics, such delightful surprises in her way of taking things and such a happy enjoyment of any fun or humour. And to the very end of her eighty-eight years of life she kept an extraordinary youthfulness of mind. It was, I think, almost her most remarkable quality and was shown in many ways. She never stiffened, and continued to understand and sympathize with the pleasures, the pains and the needs of youth. Any little unexpected change in her daily habits remained a pleasure instead of becoming a pain as it does to most old people. Jessie Sismondi said of her that she would "lark it through life," and this remained true in the sense that a lark was to her always a lark. This youthfulness of nature showed itself in all her enjoyments—in her delight at the first taste of spring, and in her warm welcome of anyone she cared for. She would hurry to the front door eager for the first moment of greeting, or in summer weather she would be on the little mound which overlooks the road, waiting to see the carriage as it drove up, and wave a welcome. The contrast of this out-springing warmth with her usual calm demeanour and deep reserve, made every arrival a kind of special festival and fresh delight which I shall never forget.

She always made the most of the little pleasures of life. I recollect with a particular vividness once calling her to the window to look at two blue titmice, who were behaving in a comical way. They were playing leap-frog over each other's backs on the lawn, we supposed each trying to get first at something good to eat and flashing blue in the spring sunshine. I remember thinking how nice it was to show her little things, and that she would laugh and look with the kind of enjoyment one calls girlish.

But her dignity of character was as remarkable as her light-heartedness. It would be impossible to imagine anyone taking a liberty with her, or that she should let herself be put in a false position. As I have said, people were sometimes afraid of her at first—to my great surprise—for no one really was more approachable or essentially less uncharitable in judgment. It is true she was easily wearied with tediousness in people, and would flash out against their tedium, though never to themselves. But there was no malice nor shade of unkindness in these little outbursts; and somehow the superficial contrast with her real nature, her essential tolerance


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and undemanding unselfishness, made this impatience most characteristic and entertaining. She was also impatient of tedium in books and in seeing sights. I remember her saying in fun she could see a cathedral in five minutes.

Another side of this impatience was the fact that she was in some respects a little inclined to jump to conclusions, and did not always thoroughly weigh all sides of a question. Also it was an analogous quality that made her courage, of which she had plenty, sometimes degenerate into rashness.

Nothing was ever a trouble or a burden to her, and she never made much of difficulties. It was remarkable how she infused this spirit into the household and made the servants ready to co-operate with her, often even at great inconvenience. She had a delightfully ready and thoughtful generosity. Her kindness and helpfulness were fountains that never ran dry, and if only a little alleviation of any trouble was possible, she always did that little, instead of feeling, as one is often tempted to do, that it is not worth while. She had a fine reserve and delicate reticence, but she was very sensitive under her reserve. She told me once that she was troubled in the night by remembering instances where she thought she had failed in courtesy to someone. I have often thought over this with wonder, as I can never remember anything but perfect tact and consideration for the feelings of others.

She had no sympathy with any sentimentality or over-exuberance of expression. Simplicity, even bareness of manner, was more to her taste. But she rejoiced in the expressions of my father's love, though such expressions would have been impossible to her essentially self-contained nature. There was a certain inability to cope with strangers, which was marked in the whole Wedgwood group, notably in Charlotte and Jos, but appearing more or less in all. The warm expressiveness of the Allens and Darwins thawed the silence and reserve of the Wedgwoods, whilst they leant on the Wedgwoods' sincerity and strong common-sense. Their natures were complemental and thus their many ties of affection were founded on an enduring need.

My mother's calm strength made her the most restful person to be with I ever knew. To the very last it was always my impulse to pour out every trouble to her, sure that I should have sympathy, comfort, and helpful counsel. She was a perfect nurse in illness. Her self-command never gave way and she was like a rock to lean on, always devoted and unwearied in devising expedients to give relief, and neat-handed and clever in carrying them out.

Her laugh was delightful, she did not laugh much but when she did it had a frank enjoyment and utter sincerity. Her voice too was sympathetic and pleasant to listen to and she read aloud clearly and well. And the keenness of her sympathy never deadened. She lived with her children and grandchildren in every detail of their lives. But she was never a doting mother. She knew what we were and never imagined we were perfect or interesting to the outer world. I remember one little speech—

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not true but still interesting—"I do not feel my sons are my sons, only young men with whom I happen to be intimate." It expresses one fact which lay at the root of her happy relations with her children, grandchildren, and nephews and nieces, her profound respect for their individuality.

But I think her most remarkable characteristic was her absolute sincerity. In little things and great things it was the same. She was incapable of playing a part or feigning a feeling. The little things of life best illustrate this, for in great things we are many of us sincere. For instance, in answer to some visitor who remarked how interesting it must be to watch my father's experiments, she told the simple truth that to her it was not interesting. She once said to my sister that when she married she had resolved to enter into my father's tastes and thought she should be able, but found it impossible. He used to tell how during some dull lecture at the British Association he said to her, "I am afraid this is very wearisome to you," to which she quietly answered; "Not more than all the rest." He often quoted this with delight. She was also quite incapable of the weakness of pretending to care for things because it was correct to do so. Few people would venture to say as she did when speaking of Tennyson's Queen Mary, "It is not nearly so tiresome as Shakespere." It is fair to add that some plays of Shakespere had given her great pleasure. Her favourite was "Much Ado about Nothing," but she often spoke of the charm of Imogen and Viola.

She had no strong taste for poetry, and though she read much and widely, poetry filled but a small place. Still there is a little book in which she copied out a few favourites, and there I found the following verses from In Memoriam. They are an epitome of her life and may end my character of her.

I know that this was Life,—the track
Whereon with equal feet we fared;
And then, as now, the day prepared
The daily burden for the back.

But this it was that made me move
As light as carrier-birds in air;
I loved the weight I had to bear,
Because it needed help of Love:

Nor could I weary, heart or limb,
When mighty Love would cleave in twain
The lading of a single pain,
And part it, giving half to him.

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Charles much out of health, he visits Shrewsbury—The Sismondis at Gower Street and Tenby—Miss Edgeworth thinks Emma Darwin like her mother—The Charles Darwins talk of leaving London—Emma's second child, Anne Elizabeth, born—Erasmus and Miss Martineau—Charles and Doddy at Shrewsbury—Sismondi's fatal illness begins—Edward Allen and his running away from school—Charlotte Langton's baby, Edmund, born.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

12, UPPER GOWER STREET, Feb. 7 [1840].

My dear aunt Jessie,

It seems very odd to me that I should have been all this time without writing to you, but I have been so helpless and unable to do anything that I never had the energy to write, though I was often thinking of it. Now I am quite well and strong and able to enjoy the use of my legs and my baby, and a very nice looking one it is, I assure you. He has very dark blue eyes and a pretty, small mouth, his nose I will not boast of, but it is very harmless as long as he is a baby. Elizabeth went away a week too soon while he was a poor little wretch before he began to improve. She was very fond of him then, and I expect she will admire him as much as I do in the summer at Maer. He is a sort of grandchild of hers.…

Charles and I were both very much pleased at having a visit from Papa, and he looked comfortable in his armchair by the fire, and told us that Gower St. was the quietest place he had ever been at in his life; and Elizabeth finds it very quiet after Maer, though she had a little private dissipation of her own, dining and going to parties at the Inglis's, Dr Holland's, Georgina [Alderson]'s, etc. but she has a different sort of bustle at Maer. She also enjoyed seeing so much of the Hensleighs, and we find it a constant pleasure having them so near. They often walk in to drink tea with us, and vice versâ.

I was delighted to hear by your letter that your coming to England was positively fixed, and I hope to catch you here and at Maer. Charles and I had been planning to get you to come straight to us when you came to town, and I cannot tell you what a pleasure it would be to receive you both in my own house and show you my own dear husband and child, but I have been telling him this morning that while his health continues in such a very uncomfortable state, it would neither do for him nor you. He has certainly been worse for the last six weeks, and has been pretty constantly in a state of languor that is very distressing, and his being obliged to be idle is very painful to him. He is consulting Dr Holland, but without much good effect.

Feb. 10. Here is a gap in my letter, but I can find time for nothing, as nursing and looking after the baby fills up any number of hours. Charles has been better again these three days, and I hope he has made a turn and will continue mending, and that I shall have the happiness of having you and my dear M. Sismondi with us. I should see so much more of you in the mornings and at odd times, and perhaps he would be going out more than you would like, and then I should catch you. I have not forgotten my happy stay at Paris, and the precious bits of talk I had with you. It was a bright, happy time.

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It is a pleasure in writing to you that one's letter is only seen by two, and one may say whatever comes uppermost, and so I will be as egotistical as ever I please. It is a great happiness to me when Charles is most unwell that he continues just as sociable as ever, and is not like the rest of the Darwins, who will not say how they really are; but he always tells me how he feels and never wants to be alone, but continues just as warmly affectionate as ever, so that I feel I am a comfort to him. And to you I may say that he is the most affectionate person possible, as much so as your own Sis, and I am sure I could say no more for him. It is a great advantage to have the power of expressing affection, and I am sure he will make his children very fond of him. I have been pretty well coaxed and spoilt all my life but I am more than ever now, so I hope it does one no harm, but I don't think it does.

I have no doubt it will be a painful moment to you when you see Papa and Mamma at first, but I think you will find that Mamma's affections are much more alive than when you saw her last, though I suppose her mind is certainly much weaker. She lights up occasionally very much into her old self. Mr Clifford was very charming and nice to her, and I think his visit at Maer was a satisfaction to him. I was very glad to catch him, as I had been longing to see him again these 20 years, and he was very much his old self, only grown very old. I am glad you like Charles Langton. It is a pretty part of his character his fondness for Mamma. Charlotte told me that he seemed to see through her into what she had been, more than she should have thought possible in a person who had not known her before. I am going this evening to take Fanny [Hensleigh] and the children to see the illuminations for the Queen's marriage. I am sorry the rabblement have such a rainy day for seeing the fun. On Saturday I went with Mr and Mrs Lyell to Mr Babbage's

party. They are always amusing, as he has all manner of odd people. This time however there were no lions to look at, unless Miss Burdett Coutts with her £80,000 a year is one, and she did not look as if she set up for one at all. Catherine [Darwin] is coming up soon to pay us a visit. She has never been to see us yet, and I think she knows how little dissipated we are and will not mind being quiet, and she has so many friends that I daresay she will pick up some extraneous gaiety. I like Mr Leonard Horner very much, he is quite warmhearted and really cares about us……

I have been reading Carlyle, like all the rest of the world. He fascinates one and puts one out of patience. He has been writing a sort of pamphlet on the state of England called "Chartism." It is full of compassion and good feeling but utterly unreasonable. Charles keeps on reading and abusing him. He is very pleasant to talk to anyhow, he is so very natural, and I don't think his writings at all so. Write to me soon like a good soul, and I never will be so long again. Goodbye my dearest. My best of loves to M. Sis. The baby performed his first smile to-day, a great event.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

Sunday, SHREWSBURY [5 April, 1840].

My dear Emma,

You are a good old soul for having written to me so soon. I, like another good old soul, will give you an account of my proceedings from the beginning. At the station I met Sir F. Knowles, but was fortunate enough to get into a separate carriage from that chatterbox. In my carriage there was rather an elegant female, like a thin Lady Alderson, but so virtuous that I did not venture to open my mouth to her. She came with some female friend, also a lady, and talked at the door of the carriage

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in so loud a voice that we all listened with silent admiration. It was chiefly about family prayers, and how she always had them at half-past 10 not to keep the servants up. She then charged her friend to write to her either on Saturday night or Monday morning, Sunday being omitted in the most marked manner. Our companion answered in the most pious tone,"Yes, Eliza, I will write either on Saturday night or on Monday morning." As soon as we started our virtuous female pulled out of her pocket a religious tract and a very thick pencil. She then took off her gloves and commenced reading with great earnestness, and marking the best passages with the aforesaid thick lead-pencil. Her next neighbour was an old gentleman with a portentously purple nose, who was studying a number of the Christian Herald, and his next neighbour was the primmest she-Quaker I have often seen. Was not I in good company? I never opened my mouth and therefore enjoyed my journey. At Birmingham I was kept standing in the office three-quarters of an hour in doubt whether I could have a place, and I was so tired that I regretted much that I took one. However to my surprise the journey rested me and I arrived very brisk at Shrewsbury. In the office at Birmingham I was aghast to see Mr J. H., an indomitable proser, taking his place. He did not know me, as I found by his addressing a chance remark to me, and I was instantly resolved on the desperate attempt of travelling the whole way incognito. My hopes were soon cut off by the appearance of Mrs H., with whom I shook hands with vast surprise and interest, and opened my eyes with astonishment at Mr H., as if he had dropped from the skies. Our fourth in the coach was Mr Parr of Lyth, an old, miserly squire. Mr H. opened his battery of conversation. I stood fire well at first and then pretended to become very sleepy, the proser became really so, so we had the most tranquil journey. Old Parr, the miser, was sadly misused at the Lion, for he had ordered a fly to take him

home, and there was only one; and Mark1 persuaded the man to take me up first, and gave a hint to the porters to take a wonderful time in getting old Parr's things off the coach, so that the poor old gentleman must have thought the porters and flyman all gone mad together, so slowly no doubt they did everything, whilst I was driving up with the most surprising alacrity. My father is appearing very well. I have begun to extract wisdom from him which I will not now write……

I enjoy my visit and have been surprisingly well. I suspect the journey and change will do me good. I have begun like a true old Arthur Gride, making a small collection, and have picked up several nice little things, and have got some receipts for puddings, etc., and laid down some strong effectual hints about jams, and now you may send the empty jars whenever you please.

Chucky [Susan] is very flourishing. Be sure you give Mr Hoddy Doddy [the baby] a kiss for me……

The following letter shows that my father was not well enough for my mother to have the happiness of receiving the Sismondis in Gower St., but the house was lent to them.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Darwin.

TENBY, June 26 [1840].

Dearest Emma, I did intend writing to you before I left your shelter or on leaving it, or after, but here have many days passed with my intention always on my shoulders, and you in my heart, without one word to your sweet self. I find a far greater dissipation here than in

1 The coachman, who lived with the family till Susan Darwin's death in 1866. I saw him as an old man living in a cottage near the Mount in about 1875.

[pages] 14 - 15

London, dissipated as you have thought us there. Your roof, my Emma, brought us good luck while there, everything went to our hearts' content; be it observed that Parslow is the most amiable, obliging, active, serviceable servant that ever breathed. I hope you will never part with him. Your house served us so beautifully I shall ever have affection for it; and I am half sorry to hear it has designs against it, that may soon throw it into other hands. Our good luck, which was truly alarming, took leave of us almost the moment we left it. At the station, where confusion was worse confounded, 150 persons running from one coach to another as if they were mad, Sismondi and I among the runners, we got our pockets picked and were left pennyless for the rest of our journey, but for Fanny [Allen], who escaped free and who franked us on. My purse I regretted more bitterly than my money. It was the first time I had ever ventured to travel with it (it was the last work of my beloved Jane), fool that I was to take it. At Reading1 we very nearly lost Fanny, and Sismondi by a trick detained the coach, pretending he could not get down after many vain efforts, and the coachman swearing he must drive off, and I with my head out of the window screaming "Fanny." We persuaded the coachman to go himself, which he did, saying to S., "Sir, you are a queer sort of traveller, you first lose your cushion, then your purse, and now your wife." We did not arrive till half after nine. The affectionate Freres had been waiting for us from six. John [Allen] was with them at tea, and making them laugh heartily with his merry stories. It is a delight to see my own Jack as gay and as well as ever he was in his life. We began our voyage most agreeably. John, Fanny and I sitting causy in the carriage, till we arrived at the great sea, when oh! what a change!! waves washing over us and pouring into the carriage in spite of the windows

1 The railway stopped at Reading. It was continued to Bristol in 1841.

up—wind, rain, horrors indescribable below, whither I was soon driven. And then what groans and cries, not a sopha or chair vacant. I lay upon the ground groaning too, and that for nearly 16 hours. You may imagine the delight of arriving. About one o'clock we heard, "We are off Tenby," and in half-an-hour we were in Sad's [Harriet Surtees] delicious room—a fire (for it was very cold), fruit, flowers and tea, and such a rapturous reception from the Sad of Sads, the little Emoo [Emma Allen], and the quiet Isabella as no words can describe. I had said to S. "We will go round Harriet's house and see if there is a light, if there is none we will not awake her at 2 o'clock in the morning, but go to the inn." But approaching the house we met her maid Mary watching for us. None of us could sleep for joy, and every day since I have been in an ecstasy. The house is the prettiest and most comfortable I was ever in, and though the weather is grey and cold, the place is beautiful. I do little but look out of the window at the coming and going sea, the bathers, the walkers, the merry dogs, riders, and ass riders that cover the shore. I never saw Harriet so well and so happy as she is now. We are terribly becousined, there never was a greater crowd collected together, and we have visits from immediately after breakfast till dinner at 5 o'clock, so that it is hardly possible to do anything or to gossip among ourselves till night. Harriet and I sleep in the same room and are often found talking till 1 o'clock.

I am very glad your baby is in such high repute for beauty and goodness. Give my love to your husband and my grateful thanks for his munificent reception of us, even when not there to do the honours. I hope his silver will not suffer. I found he had left out wine also, in short I never saw such a reception, invisible as it was. It was like having entered an enchanted castle, everything was there before one wanted it; you inspired your servants too I think. When I asked for the washing bills, they said

[pages] 16 - 17

they had orders not to send the linen to the wash till after we were gone. Is not this your very mother? and is it not conspiring against your husband's purse? Give my tender love to her and to your father and my dear Elizabeth. God bless you, my own Emma, and restore your husband to health and the full enjoyment of the happy life before him.

Sismondi was much pleased and gratified by all the civility, and indeed more, the kindness, he experienced in London. He was not at all enchanted with Carlyle. He thinks Erasmus Darwin a more powerful man even in Carlyle's own line…… I have just been down to ask S. if he had any commands. I found him in an ecstasy over your husband's book1. He said it was the most attractive reading he had met with; that notwithstanding his ignorance of natural history he found the greatest interest in it, that it was written with so much feeling, so good, so right a heart……

Madame Sismondi's hopes that Parslow would never leave us were fulfilled. He staid till he was past work and then lived on as an old friend and pensioner at Down, where he died in 1898.

In Maria Edgeworth's published letters there is the following description of my mother. There had been a friendship between the Edgeworths and Wedgwoods dating back from the time of the first Josiah Wedgwood. In 1840 Miss Edgeworth was 73 years old.


Off we went to Mrs Debrizey's, Mrs Darwin's, Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood, Mrs Guillemard and Mrs Marcet—at Mrs Edward Romilly's. Mrs Darwin is the youngest

1 A Naturalist's Voyage round the World.

daughter of Jos Wedgwood, and is worthy of both father and mother; affectionate, and unaffected, and—young as she is, full of old times. She has her mother's radiantly cheerful countenance, even now, debarred from all London gaieties and all gaiety but that of her own mind by close attendance on her sick husband.

The life of watching and nursing which was to be my mother's for so long had now cut her off from the world. London was no longer suitable for either of my parents and they were beginning to think of moving to the country.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Darwin.

CHÊNE, Jan. 26, 1841.

……I was very glad to get a letter from you. You were incapable of writing one when I left you, but I see by your unsteady hand that writing is not easy to you, therefore I forbid you to answer this till you can tell me what sort of a baby your second is. The merry laugh of the first, and his fond intelligent look when his mother played with him, is often before my fancy. Shall I ever realize a like scene with others of his race? Those were very precious days at Maer, but I doubt whether I have gained anything by them; before I went I had a sort of fear1 that quelled my longings after it. Now I long again, and cannot even look towards hope of satisfying it without sadness, so I drive you all from my thoughts. If I had written to you ten days ago I should have told you Sismondi was much better, but within that time his hiccup has returned as violent as ever, and lasts the whole day. He continues to work in spite of it all the morning, and he will walk out, but he will not see anyone if he can help it.…

1 Sismondi's fatal illness began during their stay in England in 1840.

L. II. 2

[pages] 18 - 19

I feel so grateful to your house I shall be very sorry if you leave it. I think too a London life such as you had before you, such an agreeable one, with so many of your own about you, that I cannot help thinking if you had not suffered so much from sickness, you and your husband, you would have found it so; and before you changed I should like you to give it a further trial, for country you might always have whenever the whim took you. It would never I guess be often enough for Maer. I am a great enemy to rapid changes, so am glad Charlotte and her Charles take time before they purchase. I have great affection for Mr Langton, Sismondi has still greater and thinks highly of his understanding, but you must forgive me if I say I should have preferred for her Dr H., whom I admire as well as love, and therefore always regret he does not belong to us. I have read his book since my return home, and it confirms me still more in all those feelings. You have all been unjust to him. I look to the time when you will right about, as a seaman would say, and am glad to hear he carries on his kindness to you. Your husband I am sure will be to his taste, you, you little thing not at all…… What a pity those——s have not some resemblance with the worst of the Wedgwoods. Do you remember J.'s humble wish that his "children were but like the worst of Jos's?" And your father's desiring to know, which those were? instead of being pleased as I expected. I certainly could not answer his question, but laughed like a fool, and have done often since when I thought of it……

Lady Bulwer will not let go her correspondence with Sis. He bears it with Christian patience. If S. was to publish his letters they would make a good quarto in the year, his journal makes another, and he has completed a thick vol. of his history since his return. I am interrupted this moment by a letter from Patty Smith. She says her sister Nightingale is near neighbour to Ld. Palmerston, who regards Napier as a [second] Nelson. That notwithstanding the great successes with which he will meet Parliament, anxiety has aged him ten years in these last ten months1.

Give our united love to your husband and a kiss to your child. Remember me kindly to Parslow. God bless you, my dear little Emma.

It may be mentioned that Jessie Sismondi's epithet "little" which she often uses in writing to my mother does not seem to us characteristic. My mother was not little physically, and the kind of playful or appealing charm which makes that expression suitable was most distinctly absent. It is evidently used by Jessie as a survival of the old Genevan days when Emma was a girl of 18.

Her second child, Anne Elizabeth, was born on March 2nd, 1841.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

12, UPPER GOWER STREET, May9, 1841.

……We are thinking of going to Maer on the 1st June. It will be delightful to find ourselves there but I rather dread the journey for Charles. I wish he would let me and the babbies and nurses go by ourselves and he by himself, but he says it would look so bad he can't consent to that plan.

1 Napier (afterwards Admiral Sir Charles) had distinguished himself at the taking of Acre, in the war between the Porte and Mehemet Ali. Our helping the Sultan against his vassal, at the risk of a war with France, was Palmerston's policy, which he had carried through with great difficulty, against the views of the Court and of some of his own colleagues in the Melbourne cabinet.


[pages] 20 - 21

I have taken to playing a little on the P. F. and enjoy the feeling of health and being able to play with the little boy and walk about and do what I like, without always thinking about oneself which is very tiresome. Before my confinement I could take so little notice of the little boy that he got not to care a pin for me and it used to make me rather dismal sometimes, but he likes nobody so well as Charles and me now, but I think C. is the prime favourite.

I must tell you a nice thing of Erasmus as you used not to like him, but it is a profound secret so you must not tell anybody. The other day he wrote to Miss Martineau, thinking that owing to her long illness she might be in want of money, to ask if he could help her. He carried about his letter in his pocket for some days without having courage to send it; but he did at last and poor Miss M. was very much gratified by it, though she would not let him help her. She refused very nicely by openly entering on her affairs with him and telling him exactly what she had, to show him that she was not in want. She has nothing but what she has earned. I am afraid she has little chance of recovery, which I am very sorry for. Life was of great value to her, though she seems resigned to quit it. She told him she would let him know if she was in any distress. Goodbye my dearest aunt J. My best love to my dear uncle.

During part of their stay at Maer my father and Willy went to Shrewsbury leaving my mother and the baby at Maer.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin at Maer Hall.

[SHREWSBURY, 1st July, 1841.]

I will give you categorical account, and first for my own beggarly self. I was pretty brisk at first, but about four became bad and shivery. I was very desolate and forlorn and missed you cruelly. But to-day I am pretty brisk and enjoy myself. I think my father looking rather altered and aged, though he and the two old chicks appear very well and charmingly affectionate to me. Doddy's [aged 18 months] reception of me was quite affecting. He sat on my knee for nearly a quarter of an hour, gave me some sweet kisses and sniggered and looked at my face and pointing told everyone I was pappa. Everybody seems to like him, they say he is so meek and good. When I had had him for about five minutes I asked him where was Mama, and he repeated your name twice in so low and plaintive a tone, I declare it almost made me burst out crying. He is full of admiration at this new house and is friends with everyone and sits on grandpapa's knees. He shows me the different things in the house—dear old Doddy, one could write for ever about him. I am grieved to hear my father, who is kindness itself to him, thinks he looks a very delicate child. I felt quite ashamed at finding out, what I presume you did not know any more than I, that he has had half a cup of cream every morning, which my father (who seemed rather annoyed) says he believes is one of the most injurious things we could have given him. When we are at home we shall be able to look more after him. Only conceive, Susan found him when he started in the carriage with his stockings and shoes half wet through; my father says getting his feet wet on the grass, when afterwards changed, is rather a good than a bad thing, but to allow him to start on a journey in that state was risking his health. Last night Susan went into Doddy's room and found no water by his bedside. I tell you all these disagreeablenesses that you may feel the same necessity that I do of our own selves looking and not trusting anything about our children to others.

I hope and suppose I shall hear to-morrow about yourself and little Kitty Kumplings [Annie, 4 months old], who as I have several times remarked to myself is not so bad a girl as might be expected of Doddy's rival. Give my kindest


[pages] 22 - 23

love to Elizabeth and to Uncle Jos and Aunt Bessy. Goodbye my dear. Right glad I shall be to see you on Tuesday.

Your affectionate, C. D.

All through my father's middle age, his large frame, bright clear eyes, and brown out-of-door looking complexion, so deceived many of his friends that they were apt to believe his ill-health to be more imaginary than real. The following letter proves that even a keen doctor's eye might have been at fault.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin, at Maer Hall.

[SHREWSBURY, July3, 1841.]

……It seems natural to write you a scrap, though I have not to thank you for one. Rather severe I guess. I was very well yesterday, and to-day am looking so well that my father owned he should not have known, if I had been a new face, there was anything the matter with me.

To-day at breakfast there was much scrattle talk, as annual account was wound up, which amounted to £1380, £10 less than last year. Is not this marvellous, considering my father's personal expenses and presents, and everything except his children's allowances, are included in this? A thunderstorm is preparing to break on your head, which has already deluged me, about Mary not having a cap, "looks dirty"—"like grocer's maid-servant", and my father with much wrath added, "the men will take liberties with her, if she is dressed differently from every other lady's maid." I generously took half the blame, and never betrayed that I had beseeched you several times on that score. If they open on you, pray do not defend yourself, for they are very hot on the subject…… My father seems to like having me here: and he and the girls are very merry all day long. I have partly talked over the Doctor about my buying a house without living in the neighbourhood half-a-dozen years first. You never saw how the girls dote on Doddy, they say he is the most charming of all the children. A frog jumped near him and he danced and screamed with horror at the dangerous monster, and I had a [bout] of kissing at his open, bellowing mouth to comfort him. He threw my stick over Terrace wall, looked at it as it went, and cried Tatta with the greatest sang froid and walked away……

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Darwin.

[CHÊNE, Sept. 17th, 1841.]

……I have not yet done rejoicing over Charlotte's hopes which I do unmixed with apprehension. Why she was made for it express.

My nephew and niece Isab.1 and her husband, passed ten or twelve days with us before they left Geneva and I enjoyed their visit. Till I saw them and their suite I was timid of engaging with them, but the first glances satisfied me. Indeed her letters had completely determined me to lodge them if they pleased, and even Sismondi was very glad they accepted. We both like his honest, warm, Welsh heart, Tory as it is, and I feel towards Isabella as I do towards one of my own—that is you Wedgwood ones. I found her even more than affectionate, she was tender, caressing in her manner, considerate, both of the inconveniences of a small establishment as well as of Sismondi's unwellness, very happy, and seeing the best part of her happiness, in which she reckons their warm affection for each other, in his merits, her being unseparated from all she has loved, her country, "dear Cresselly," "dear Aunt Emma." The day they came here too weak a horse was put into their carriage, and when she arrived the traces of

1 Daughter of John Allen of Cresselly; she married George Lort Phillips of Lawrenny Park.

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the bitter tears she had shed were on her face, so that her happiness does not make her insensible. I gave a soirée the day before they left, and she helped me fill my room with flowers; my flower-pots did not please her. She said nothing to me, but put on her hat and tho' the day was hot, took her husband's arm and walked to the town, bringing me home in an omnibus two of the most beautiful she could find, no small weight to carry. Could you, my little thing, have done a prettier thing and in a prettier manner? They were but one day or two at an inn here, yet in that day they invited Edward Allen1 to dinner and took him with them to Ferney, while Edward and Adèle [Drewe] keeping house, in a whole fortnight or three weeks, never found one day to offer him a kindness, even a dish of tea. It might be the difference of English and Welsh hospitality, but that had its difference in warm and cold hearts. I give you these little anecdotes to help my opinion for which I know you will have no respect, "Oh this is Aunt Tusy-musy2, that is the way she is wild after the last person and thing."

How glad I am C. Darwin continues to mend, tho' it is but so slowly. The illness of one destroys all companionship when there are but two, and my way of life is become very solitary. I hope as the autumn gives us cool weather I may prevail on S. to walk a little, which he does not now at all. I am sorry the Republicks3 reached

1 Son of Baugh Allen, aged 17.

2 Byron apparently invented this word. Leigh Hunt says (Autobiography, ed. 1850, vol. III., pp. 67, 68), "He was not a good mimic in detail, but he could give a lively broad sketch.… He would pleasantly pretend that Braham called 'enthusiasm' Entoozymoozy; and in the extraordinary combination of lightness, haste, indifference, and fervour with which he would pitch out that single word from his lips, accompanied with a gesture to correspond, he would really set before you the admirable singer in one of his (then) characteristic passages of stage dialogue."

3 The History of the Italian Republics, the work which made his fame.

you in such a shabby attire. I wanted to get them here that I might dress them up a little; but S. said it would be nonsense, that they bound better and cheaper in England than here. That might well be, but I did not like to send you a mass of loose papers. I am very glad indeed Erasmus is better, which is very generous of me, for I am not fond of him, yet more shame to me, for he is an excellent man, and I love much your proofs of it. Miss Martineau was hyper-heroic to refuse a pension; not one in the nation would have been a sou the poorer and many would be the better for every little she had, I take it. I forgot till now that S. asked for a bit of my paper, so God bless thee, my little darling as well as your Charles and Doddy and little one unnamed—at least to me. J. S.

Why shame on my wife, if she thinks that is the place I asked her to write, in less than a full page it is impossible to me to put together my ideas. I may take a kiss from you and send a God bless him to your husband, and that is all, but Jessie has given you with her writing much more pleasure than I could have done.

The Langtons had now left Onibury and were living at Maer. Charles Langton had found that he could not conscientiously continue in the Church, and he was delightfully willing and desirous that Charlotte should help Elizabeth in her care of her father and mother. Jessie Sismondi wrote of him, "Mr Langton is indeed a jewel of a son-in-law. His constant attention to my own Bessy was the prettiest thing I ever saw." Their only child, Edmund, was born on Nov. 22, 1841. Charlotte wrote to her sister Emma, her sister-in-law Jessie Wedgwood, who was staying with Emma, and Fanny Hensleigh Wedgwood, who lived at No. 16, Gower Street.

[pages] 26 - 27

MAER, Tuesday [30 Nov. 1841].

I think I may venture without any harm to indulge the longing I have to tell my dearest Emma, Fanny and Jessie how I thank them all and each from my heart for their warm participation in my happiness and tender expression of it in all their letters. I assure you it has been no slight addition to my very happy feelings to know that so many of my dear sisters and friends are rejoicing for me and with me. It is more than I deserve when I recollect how utterly unfeeling I have always been about young babies, and felt inclined to think it hard on the mothers that they should not be prettier and more attractive. I was not allowed till yesterday to read all your dear letters and have been very obedient till this moment in all respects, and I promise to myself to write a very few lines only. Charles's disappointment in its not being a girl was completely swallowed up in other feelings, and I should be most ungrateful if I had the smallest room left for a regret about it. I think Charles would willingly make matters even by adopting the nurse's little girl into the bargain, to which he has taken a great fancy, and it is a very engaging little thing luckily for me, as I have so much to do with it. I have not had a drawback or an anxiety about the baby or myself, with the exception of a little anxiety for two days lest I should not be able to nurse; nobody ever [pulled] thro' so smoothly and I do feel most grateful for my and Charles's great happiness, and now I will stop, for prudence sake, my dear trio, with kindest love to your three husbands.

Ever your affectionate sister, C. L.

This event, happening some ten years after her marriage, caused the most intense joy, and the Allen aunts write in a rapture at the thoughts of Charlotte with a baby in her arms. Edmund was almost a son to Elizabeth and was the delight of the Maer household.

In February, 1842, Sophy, the eldest living child of Jos and Caroline, was born. This was an equal subject of rejoicing, as the parents' grief for the loss of their first child had remained quite unappeasable.

[pages] 28 - 29



A Revolution at Geneva—Taking children to the pantomime—Charles Darwin meets Humboldt—He visits Shrewsbury—Elizabeth with Emma at Gower Street—Emma at Maer—Sismondi cannot finish his History—He dies June 25, 1842—Jessie comes to live at Tenby.

SISMONDI was now seriously ill and Jessie's life was full of sadness and anxiety. Her deafness interfered with her enjoyment of society, and she, as well as Sismondi, was miserable at the revolution which broke out in Geneva. Finding he could neither guide nor stem it, he was planning to leave Geneva and return to Pescia, when death ended his sufferings in June, 1842.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

CHÊNE, January 11th [1842].

…Public events have come nearer me and disturbed me more than ever they did before. The storm is passed, but no one yet can tell the ravages it will have made. The Constituante continues its sittings daily, but Sismondi has given up attending them and I imagine will be dismissed if he does not dismiss himself. The Radicals are now attacking the national Church, and the Methodists and Catholics unite with them, so that there is little hope but that it will fall with the Constitution, and the Academy after that, in short everything of the old Geneva will be effaced from the earth. There are no concerts, balls, or soirées among the Genevoises, one meets no one in the streets or shops. It is exactly as if half the town were dead and the other half in mourning. The evil they have done me individually, and after all one's patriotism, humanity, general good, &c., is nothing in comparison, is to up-root me from hence, and send me to Pescia, and I shudder to think how unhappy it will make me. My eye has rested so long with such intense admiration on these mountains and lake, they have become friends, family, and country to me. I have formed here valuable friendships, and from time to time I see my loved country-people and sometimes my family, in short, I have built here my poor little remnants of happiness and wish I may not break my heart in leaving.

We are going to dine by and by with the Gr. Duchess1—but how that will agree with Sismondi is a doubt that prevents my enjoying anything in the outing line, and then there is not much to enjoy except a little variety. To seduce S. out, he is always promised that he shall meet no one or but one. This does not suit me at all, as I can do nothing and hear nothing in general conversation, but thrown by numbers into a tête-à-tête I can still bear my part as well as another.

You ask me for a list of French books. While S. was writing Louis XIV I went through memoirs and letters of those times innumerable. There is a new edition of Mme Sévigné, 12 octavo vols. of which I read every one, and with delight, but the greater part of those you have read too often. Mme de Simiane's letters are worth reading, but in hers one perceives the contrast of the

1 Grand Duchess of Würtemberg, sister of Nicholas I.

[pages] 30 - 31

bel esprit of the Province and one of the Capital, she is however very clever, but she is hardly even a gd daughter of the incomparable Sévigné. It shows what Mack. used to say, the necessity of position to letter writing.…

Emma Darwin to her sister Elizabeth Wedgwood.

[1st Feb. 1842.]

….I went in with the H.'s [Hensleigh Wedgwoods] to the pantomime for the fun of seeing the children's pleasure. The first thing was the most dreadful blood and murder thing with a gibbet on the stage, and I thought it would be very bad for Bro's dreams, however, he stood it, and even the pistols going off very well. Poor Erny put his head down on my lap whenever he expected any firing, or whenever the chief comic character, a beadle with a very red face, was on the stage, whom he seemed to think quite as alarming as any of the murderers. The second piece was more cheerful and when we came to the pantomime Snow and Bro were in extasies and so sorry when it ended at near 12 o'clock. Erny took it more soberly, and when any of the ugly monsters were on the stage put down his head and shut his eyes for a long time together, or occasionally took a peep at them from behind Fanny's head. I was surprised at the extreme innocence of even Snow's questions. " Whether they were really killed?" (I forget tho' whether that was Bro or not) "whether the wicked Squire was really a bad man?" and many discussions as to whether Mrs Sanders, the waxwork woman, was nice or not, and they thought all the women so beautiful. If you will have dissipation for children they certainly enjoy a play ten times more than anything else. The first play ended by the military coming over a wall and shooting almost all the characters dead, to our great relief. It was at the Tottenham theatre, very low.

Doddy comes down to dine with us every day now and behaves with great decorum. Annie is very naughty about Charles just now and will not go to him, and so he has given her up and devotes himself to Doddy.…

Emma Darwin to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

12, UPPER GOWER STREET, Feb. 8th.[1842].

….I came up the other day from Maer by myself and minded it no more than a drive to Newcastle. Everybody was civil and gentlemanlike and the policemen at the stations are very obliging. I enjoyed my week at Maer heartily. Charlotte was rather languid and not able to walk much then, but she has grown quite strong since. She was very much occupied with her baby, and Charles still more so I think ; indeed Eliz. says she thinks she never saw a woman so fond of a baby as he is. I wish it had been a girl for I think Charlotte's gravity and want of looking at the hopeful side (just like my father) will make her too anxious about a boy. I often fret my soul about our little boy, which is a great waste of fretting, for I daresay he will be a very good boy, but all men go through an awful ordeal at school and college. It is only wonderful what good souls they turn out after all. At any rate I had better put off my fret for 10 or 15 years. C. Langton has at last heard that his grandmother has left him, £4,800, which is rather more than she has left to the others, and shews in a satisfactory way that she had not been prejudiced on account of his leaving the Church. It will make a comfortable addition to their small income. I found Mamma very well and cheerful but decidedly more deaf, I think, though I think it is more want of attention than deafness. Last Sunday Henry and John Allen drank tea with us and Hensleigh and F. and Eras. We had a very merry, pleasant evening. Henry is much more agreeable than most young men and John is decidedly pleasant. He told us the long and the large of uncle Baugh's quarrel with

[pages] 32 - 33

the Fellows of Dulwich (don't shew this to Edward by the way), in which he seems to have run his head at them all in a very obstinate way and quite illegally. Henry and Charles refreshed their minds with a little hearty abuse of A., not for any particular offence though, for she has been in rather a gracious mood lately and Charles has not seen her for more than a year, so it is an old grudge with him. Erasmus has ratted over to her side and always has a little flirtation with her.

I am afraid all this ferment at Geneva has been bad for M. Sis. I hope you will be able to tell me that he is better. Charles is going on so well that one is sometimes tempted to think he might go out and behave just like a man in health, but every now and then some little bit of overtire and dissipation knocks him up, and shews that he must still be careful. Last night he was at the Athenæum Club to give his vote for Eras, who was to be balloted for and who came in triumphantly without one black ball. They have soirées every Monday evening, and as all the literary and scientific men in London are in the Club they must be very pleasant, and I hope C. will soon be able to join them, but he is quite knocked up to-day.

The London air has a very bad effect upon our little boy's v's and w's, he says his name is "Villy Darvin," and "vipe Doddy (which is his pet name) own tears away," and "open vindow," &c.…

I am rather alarmed about America going to war with us, but if it is about the right of search, or not giving up the slave in the "Creole," it will be in a good cause at any rate. That wicked Thiers seems trying to do all he can in the way of mischief too, about the right of search. Charles went to meet Baron Humboldt at breakfast at Mr Murchison's, which he was very anxious to do, as he admires him so very much. He paid C. some tremendous compliments, and talked without any sort of stop for three hours, so that he is not agreeable.…

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

SHREWSBURY, Tuesday [March Ist or 8th, 1842].

……I have been telling all about Doddy and Annie, and they like hearing everything. Catherine gives me up altogether as a moral teacher, after I have told her of my pitting Doddy to shew fight to Johnny1 and after my trying whether Doddy or J. should have last blow. Katty declares she shall always say I was once a good father. They think I probably misuse you very much, otherwise you never could be quiet while I teach my son such pranks.… I enjoy the looks of cleanliness and freshness of everything, and I wish you were here to enjoy them. The crocuses are looking quite brilliant. Tell me all about the chickens, if you are well enough to scribble a bit. Give my best love to Elizabeth and tell her I expect to see her when I return. She must not leave you a desolate widow. Good-bye my dearest. C. D.

I was quite right in saying your scratched out passage would give them plenty of work. Catherine, after having drawn a chair to the window, cried out (as Susan says): "Here is my work for the morning." She first ascertained which were false tails and which real; she then found that many false Hs had been introduced, which made her suspect some word beginning with H. was important; and then on the principle of transparency she deciphered "corn law rhyme," and so guessed the whole. Marianne wrote by return of post in a transport of curiosity to know what it meant. No doubt she well knew that the perseverance of Shrewsbury was not to be baffled.

1 The Harry Wedgwoods' eldest boy.

L. II. 3

[pages] 34 - 35

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

Sunday [SHREWSBURY] [probably 13 March, 1842].

My dear Emma, I must go on complimenting you on your letters; it makes me quite proud, reading them (with skippibus) to my Father and Co. I am very glad you do not seem nearly so bad as you used to be. I know well you are rather a naughty girl, and do not pipe enough about your good old self. The other day my Father and all of us united in chorus how much pleasanter the piping strain was than the heroic—remember that, though I wish I could remember it less.…

I have begun my letter rather late, as I and Caroline [Wedgwood] have been compromising our educational differences, which are much less than I anticipated. I will give a short journal: on Friday I walked beyond Skelton Rough, towards Ross Hall—an immense walk for me. The day was very boisterous, with great black clouds, and gleams of light, and I felt a sensation of delight which I hardly ever expected to experience again. There certainly is great pleasure in the country even in winter. This walk was rather too much for me, and I was dull till whist, which I enjoyed beyond measure. We sat up talking till ½ past 10.…

I think I have picked up some notions by our education-fights; Caroline is enthusiastic about M. Guizot, and says she agrees in all his directions; curiously the same with Marianne. I have just re-read yesterday's letter: your account of your economy in fires and puddings amused us much. A nice item the new taxes will be— I calculate about £30 per annum ; I have half read Sir R. Peel's great speech, it strikes me as very good, and it is very interesting. I am sure I have sent you a dull enough letter to-day, so good-bye my pattern wife.

C. D.

The income-tax, now imposed for the first time since the great war, was 7d. in the pound. £30 at this rate would be the tax on an income of £1030.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

12, UPPER GOWER STREET [April 2, 1842].

My dearest Aunt Jessie, I should not have left your charming long letter so long unanswered if I had been brisker and not so stupid. I sympathize with all your painful feelings at breaking up all your establishment, and not the least painful one to me would be leaving your little cat. However, I expect among your friends that you will be able to get a good situation and kind mistress for her. But I trust that your chief comfort will be to find that a complete change will be of the greatest service to M. Sis. Charles has been staying a week at Shrewsbury, which he enjoyed very much. He walked a great deal, talked ditto, eat ditto, and played at cards in the evening, and came back some lbs. heavier than he went. Eliz. left me the day before Ch. came home. She enjoys everything so much she might be only 18, and it makes her a charming visitor. I was able to go about with her till the last week of her stay and we went to plays and concerts and were as gay as we could manage to be. She found a very sick house and parish at Maer, and has had hard work ever since she went home. Charlotte has been quite ill with the influenza, which sounded almost more like the ague, she had such periodical pains in the head. My little Annie has taken to walking and talking for the last fortnight. She is 13 months old and very healthy, fat and round, but no beauty. Willy is very much impressed with his own generosity and goodness to her.…

We don't mean to move this summer, which you will


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think a good thing—my inclination for the country does not diminish though. Charles is out to-day. He is very busy finishing his book on Coral islands, which he says no human being will ever read, but there is such a rage for geology that I hope better things. Will you give my kindest love to my Uncle Sis? God bless you my dearest Aunt J.

Elizabeth Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

MAER, May 3rd, 1842.

……We have got Emma and her children here to-day. She has been so poorly, poor thing, and incapable some days of anything in the world, that she could not tell us for certain she should be able to come to-day, so it was a great satisfaction to see a full fly drive up to the door before dinner—the children as brisk after their 150 miles as if they had only taken a drive, and Emma herself better this evening than she has been this long time, though she went to bed directly after tea. I am in hopes the change, and the open air she can get here so easily without fatigue, will really do her good. Fanny H. keeps up stoutly. She is well enough to attend Mr Scott's course of lectures "On the connexion of science and religion," which the true Scottites like very much. Erasmus met Mrs Tom Farrer1, one of his disciples, at the Aldersons'; she could not get him to praise the lecture as much as she wanted, and said: "Oh, but he damaged himself you see by that lecture at the Royal Institution; it was a great deal too deep for his audience, the young ladies indeed understood him very well, but it was a great deal too deep for the men." Charles went to one with an intention of liking it if he could, but he got so bodily tired before it was over that it had not a fair chance.……

1 Mother of the first Lord Farrer.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin (at Maer).

Monday Morning [May, 1842].

…On Saturday I went in City and did a deal of printing business. I came back gloomy and tired; the government money has gone much quicker than I thought, and the expenses of the Coral volume are greater, being from £130 to £140. I am be-blue-deviled. I am daily growing very old, very very cold and I daresay very sly1. I will give you statistics of time spent on my Coral volume, not including all the work on board the Beagle. I commenced it 3 years and 7 months ago, and have done scarcely anything besides. I have actually spent 20 months out of this period on it! and nearly all the remainder sickness and visiting!!! Catty2 stops till Saturday; notwithstanding all my boasting of not caring for solitude, I believe I should have been dreary without her.… After long watching the postman your letter has at last arrived. You cannot tell how much I enjoy hearing about you all. How astonishing your walking round Birth Hill; I believe now the country will do you good. What a nice account you give of Charlotte's tranquil maternity. I wish the Baby was livelier, for liveliness is an extreme charm in bab-chicks. Good-bye—I long to kiss Annie.

C. D.

The guests alluded to as expected in the following letter were Harriet Surtees and Eliza, daughter of John Wedgwood. The first part of the letter gives many details of Sismondi's suffering state.

1 An allusion to one of Harry Wedgwood's verses—an epitaph on Susan Darwin.
Here the bones of Susan lie,
She was old and cold and sly.

2 Catherine Darwin, his sister.

[pages] 38 - 39

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

CHÊNE, 8th June [1842].

……To-day I would gladly accept the knowledge that they were not coming, and to-morrow if Sis was better and myself in better spirits, perhaps I should be howling and crying over the disappointment. I have no patience with my foolish self. S. seems to wish so much to try some change either of mountain or baths, that as soon as his proof-sheets are finished and he is free, I think he will go somewhere even if he is not sent, which seems very probable. He has corrected 4 sheets of his last Vol. 29th, and written a conclusion which I think wise, and very touching—excusing himself from going as far as he had promised, by declaring his inability from suffering, and describing the hard struggle he has made to make his work complete. He judges himself modestly, yet conscious of his merits; he speaks of his unflinching truth, his strict morality, his impartiality, his scorn to flatter any nation at the expense of those virtues, but declares that he has not worked 20 years for a people without becoming attached to them, that he loves the French (I think that is visible enough without his saying it), but it is not sufficient for their grasping vanity. The prize Gaubert was refused him on the ground of his enmity to the French and to the Catholic religion. It is the fashion now in France to be very Catholic without a spark of religion. I think S. never wrote anything better than those few pages of conclusion. There is something profoundly melancholy in the simultaneous disappearance of all, who for these last 20 years, have worked together at that history. The author himself driven from his labour in sight of the goal, only one Vol. more and his task was done, his bookseller and faithful friend, Mons. Wustz, who read over and made his observation on every sheet sent to him for printing, died this week unexpectedly; his printer, Mons. Crapelet, a friend too, and who has worked for him 30 years, correcting himself the proof-sheets before sending them to S., retired from business just at the same time from broken health, and without having made his fortune after 30 years' indefatigable labour. He too goes into Italy to recover, if that is possible, but when physicians send away it is but the knell of death, the avowal they can do nothing. He talks, poor fellow, of meeting us there…

This moment I get Harriet's letter announcing their arrival in London, the passage from Tenby and the railroads safely passed. It gives me hope and spirits. Then H. writes herself so gaily she makes me hopeful. Harriet mentions the large hospitality of A., that could invite her and Eliza to dinner and leave out J. Wedgwood1. What a thoroughly heartless creature it is. It was a gratuitous insult instead of a civility to Eliza, to whom she owes much. It was very odious, and had I been there I would have told her so, without mincing the matter and making an excuse for not dining with her, which I have no doubt only gave her pleasure. Oh ! she is the most close hearted creature that ever existed. I cannot forgive anyone that throws a neglect on J. Wedgwood, so unexacting himself, so widely different from his own kind heart and active kindness to every human being within his reach. I cannot forgive her, worthless Miss A., it makes my blood boil at this distance. Perhaps nearer I should be tamer, for no one feels more warmly than I do the charm of her manner. I am reading to Sis Walter Scott's novels and with as great interest as at first and with greater admiration. It is a precious part of our library which we owe to my own Bessy. God bless her for it.…

On June 25, 1842, Sismondi died at Geneva. Jessie's sister Harriet Surtees and her niece Eliza Wedgwood were still at Chêne.

1 Eliza's.father.

[pages] 40 - 41

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Darwin.

CHÊNE, Sept. 10 [1842].

…Nothing you could say would give me pain, dearest Emma. You have no allayed feeling to awaken up; my sorrow never slumbers but when I sleep myself. I am astonished I can, but I do, and eat and am well, and he gone whom I thought I never could survive. He so filled every instant of my life, that now my feeling of desolation passes all description, but that must necessarily be. If I can but keep off the monster despair, which at times approaches so near it makes me tremble, I shall learn to bear my own deprivation, and if at my age it weans me entirely from this world and makes me pant for that other, there is no harm done. If I could but have Mrs Rich's firm faith that he has only passed from the visible to the invisible world, and already lives and is waiting for me, oh what happiness it would be. With what impatience I should endeavour to make ready. Alas, my faith seems all hope only and no firmness, and in such discouragement as mine, even hope itself cannot wear her cheerful face; but I do not write to complain. I am told you have bought a place in the country where you mean to lie in. You must not think of writing to me in your present infirm state, but I long to know you like it, and will be happy in the change. You know that I have agreed to return with Harriet and Eliza next month. I suppose we must not be later because of the long crossing; but I dread the departure, the journey and the arrival. I carry with me too sick a heart and too wearisome a deafness to repay their affectionate reception, and would rather hide myself from my friends, as a poor dying dog does, than show myself to them. But to my purpose in writing. I am always flying off to my complaints, tho' I say I will not, and I am most ungrateful to murmur, for I have many mercies from heaven to be grateful for. My very grief is precious to me, and I would not change it. Like Ld. Southampton of his son, "I would not change my dead husband against any living one," then why complain?

Sismondi wished you to have his Miltons, that his dear Mr Jos, as he used to call your father, gave him, and he said, "I would give my Camoens to Mr C. Darwin if I found any way of sending them to England." Now I shall send off a box of books for myself, tell me if I shall put in any other.books for you? I have all the English classics, which your father gave me, is there any of them wanting in your library? Have you a desire to have any other books of my own? Let me know pretty soon if you have, that I might send off the case. As I know writing is troublesome to you in the present time, either Elizabeth or Charlotte, who will I believe soon be with you, will write for you. My tender love to them and warmest thanks for their dear letters, which did me all the good yours did, tho' I did not tell them so, but accepted their considerate injunction not to answer them. God bless my dearest niece. The tender love of H. and E. to you and your husband,

Ever your affectionate,

Fanny Allen (Sept. 20, 1842) writes of his death: "There seems a greater destruction of the living principle in Sismondi than in that of any person I ever knew." It was thought that she had not always behaved well to him in the old Geneva days, so that it is fair to show that in later years she came to a juster estimate of his character. She wrote to Elizabeth many years after (25 June, 1864) "I am still reading with continued interest and pleasure Sis's letters, but they bring me a painful reproach that I did not value him as he deserved living; but this, alas! I might say of everyone almost whom I have lost. I find my life one long regret when I look back on it."

[pages] 42 - 43

Jessie came to England after winding up Sismondi's affairs in Geneva and decided to live with Harriet Surtees in Tenby.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

Feb. 8, 1843.

It was a satisfactory visit which I paid to Jessie and Harriet. I am convinced the former is as happy and comfortable as it is reasonable to expect she could be within a year of the loss of a person who loved her so entirely and passionately as Sismondi did. She told me that she was surprised herself how calm she was. She had suffering and perhaps a violent burst of grief in the course of a few days, but that in the intervals she is frequently cheerful without effort. She is very much engaged every morning, reading and taking out or copying things from his journals that might serve Sir F. Palgrave for his work1, or which must be erased from his journals, as they are to be placed at Pescia with the Desideris. I think Jessie is making an idol of him now; it is her nature to do so. It seemed odd to me that when she was mentioning circumstances which required an indulgent feeling for his weaknesses and prejudices, Jessie was quoting them almost as oracles of undisputed truth.…

Emma Allen shortly after describes how much Jessie suffers from the " humiliation " of her deafness, but adds, " I would advise all who love her not to be afraid of coming near her, she has such a power of loving and of exciting love that some way or other I always find it good to be near her."

1 An article on Sismondi by Sir Francis Palgrave, the historian, Vol. 72, Quarterly Review, 1843.



Account of Down—Jos's dangerous illness—The move to Down—Emma's third child born September 23rd, died October 16th—A long visit from the Hensleigh Wedgwood children during their father's illness—They get lost in the Big Woods—Elizabeth on the various children.

For some time there had been a growing wish on the part of my parents to live in the country. Their health made London undesirable in many ways and they both preferred the freedom and quiet of a country life. They decided to buy a country-house, but out of prudence resolved upon not going beyond a moderate price, and as they also wished to be near London, there was a weary search before they found anything at all suitable. In her little diary under the date July 22nd, 1842, I find the entry, " Went to Down," and this, I think, must have been her first sight of her future home. It was bought for them by Dr Darwin for about £2,200, and the purchase was quickly completed, for they moved in on September the 14th.

Down was then ten miles from a station and the whole neighbourhood was intensely rural and quiet, though only sixteen miles from London Bridge. To

[pages] 44 - [page break]

the south there were miles of copse, now cultivated as fruit grounds. A charm, which would be slight in the eyes of most people, had a good deal to do with the purchase. My father was delighted with the varied hedges and many flowers of a chalk district. This, and despair at getting anything pleasanter for the money they were prepared to give, decided the matter. But we have always been sorry that a prettier bit of the south of England was not found. And I think they both regretted it, and felt that if his father had let him know what his fortune would be, his choice would have been enlarged. However it suited him in most respects, and what suited him pleased her. They both became extremely fond of it, and for children there could not have been a happier or better home.

The house was square and unpretending, with stucco over old bricks, and a slate roof. It was of moderate size when it was bought, but was gradually added to, and became in time a house capable of holding a large family party. The rooms were pleasant to live in, both drawing-room and dining-room (in the late years) facing south-west, large and roomy, but entirely unpretentious. It stood in about 18 acres of land. Its principal charm was a row of fine lime-trees on the west of the house, where we constantly sat out, and a large flat lawn slightly sloping upwards, so that the flower-beds made a brilliant effect from the windows. The house became covered with creepers, and shrubberies and orchards sheltered it except from the south, where there was an open field with a group of walnuts,

[page break] - [pages] 45

cherries, and Scotch firs near the house, and a few ashes and other trees further off; there was no extensive view, only a little peep of distant woodland. It stood high on the rolling chalk cultivated downs, and must have been bleak enough at first. In south-west gales one could sometimes taste the salt on the drawing-room window-panes, although the sea was forty miles away. An immense pollarded beech of a peculiar mushroom-like shape, which grew in our boundary hedge, could be seen as a landmark from a distance.

Many gardens are more beautiful and varied but few could have a greater charm of repose, and nowhere do I know one where it was so pleasant to sit out. The flower-beds were close under the drawing-room windows, and were filled with hardy herbaceous plants, intermixed with bedded-out plants and annuals. It was often untidy but had a particularly gay and varied effect.

On the lawn were two yew-trees where the children had their swing, and behind a bay-tree there was a large heap of sand for them to dig in. Beyond the row of lime-trees was the orchard, and a long walk bordered with flowering shrubs led through the kitchen-garden to the "Sand-Walk." This consisted of a strip of wood planted by my father with varied trees, many being wild cherries and birches, and on one side bordered with hollies. At one end there was a little summer-house and an old pit, out of which the sand was dug which gave it its name. The walk on one side was always sheltered from sun and wind, the other sunny, with

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an outlook over the quiet valley on to the woods beyond, but also windy when it blew from the south or west, sheltered from north and east. Here we children played, and here my father took his daily pacings for forty or more years. My mother loved this wood and took pains in later years to make it a sort of wild garden.

The village of Down was a quarter of a mile to the north of our house. It was a pleasant little village of one street, and having one of the characteristic Kentish churches built of flints with shingled roof and a couple of venerable yews in the churchyard. I quote here these passages from an account of Down written by my father:

1843. May 15th.—The first peculiarity which strikes a stranger unaccustomed to a hilly chalk country is the valleys, with their steep rounded bottoms, not furrowed with the smallest rivulet.… Their sides near the summits generally become suddenly more abrupt, and are fringed with narrow strips, or, as they are here called, "shaws" of wood, sometimes merely by hedge-rows run wild.…

In most countries the roads and footpaths ascend along the bottoms of valleys, but here this is scarcely ever the case. All the villages and most of the ancient houses are on the platform or narrow strips of flat land between the parallel valleys. Is this owing to the summits having existed from the most ancient times as open downs and the valleys having been filled up with brushwood? I have no evidence of this, but it is certain that most of the farmhouses on the flat land are very ancient.…

Nearly all the land is ploughed, and is often left fallow, which gives the country a naked, red look, or not unfrequently white, from a covering of chalk laid on by the

[page break] - [pages] 47

farmer. Nobody seems at all aware on what principle fresh chalk laid on land abounding with lime does it any good. This, however, is said to have been the practice of the country ever since the period of the Romans, and at present the many white pits on the hill sides, which so frequently afford a picturesque contrast with the overhanging yew-trees, are all quarried for this purpose.

The number of different kinds of bushes in the hedgerows, entwined by traveller's joy and the bryonies, is conspicuous compared with the hedges of the northern counties.

March 25th [1844?]. The first period of vegetation, and the banks are clothed with pale-blue violets to an extent I have never seen equalled, and with primroses. A few days later some of the copses were beautifully enlivened by Ranunculus auricomus, wood anemones, and a white Stellaria. Again, subsequently, large areas were brilliantly blue with blue-bells. The flowers are here very beautiful, and the number of flowers; [and] the darkness of the blue of the common little Polygala almost equals it to an alpine gentian.

There are large tracts of woodland, [cut down] about once every ten years; some of these enclosures seem to be very ancient. On the south side of Cudham Wood a beech hedge has grown to Brobdignagian size, with several of the huge branches crossing each other and firmly grafted together.

Larks abound here, and their songs sound most agreeably on all sides; nightingales are common. Judging from an odd cooing note, something like the purring of a cat, doves are very common in the woods.…

This autumn Emma had much to try her. The labour of moving house was dangerously near the birth of her third child, and her father had a long and suffering illness from which he only partially

[pages] 48 - 49

recovered. Elizabeth wrote to Emma, after he had rallied (Sept. 23, 1842):

He took me for you just now and smiled and said, "Why how did you get leave to come down?" I don't think I have seen him smile twice this two months. If he can but regain a small portion of strength and be free from that terrible shaking and restlessness, what happiness it will be to see him. Hensleigh came down last night by the 9 o'clock train. Jos is here and I have no doubt will stay. He could not keep from tears at one time seeing my father. I feel very anxious to hear that the Dr [Dr Darwin] has not suffered. Nothing could possibly be kinder than he was, and said he would come again at any time, but I hope and trust there will be no need. He was quite affected more than once. I feel very grateful to him for such an exertion. Good-bye my dear Emma. We all feel almost joyous to-day.

Dr Darwin's visits to see his brother-in-law were afterwards thus mentioned by Elizabeth (Dec. 9, 1844):

I have been spending a week at Shrewsbury and had a great deal of pleasure in seeing the Dr, for the chief part of the time, so much better than I expected and in such excellent spirits. It is pleasant to meet with such superabundant kindness, but I love him most because he truly loved and valued my father, and can never remember without the warmest gratitude that his two last journeys to see him were almost at the risk of his life.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

CRESSELL, Nov. 19 [1842].

…There is such hopefulness in your letter, my own Elizabeth, that even when in sorrow yourself, they cheer the soul. Do not let go this virtue for it is a great one. I do not wonder it is placed among the cardinal ones though it might well be thought more a gift than virtue. It has been granted you to be such a comfort, support, nurse, help, to him you loved. In the busy part of serving so much of thought and suffering is saved, there is something so delightful to give a cup of cold water in time, or even turn a pillow if wanted, that I cannot but think you blessed of heaven, in the long serving time that has been granted you, and you continue still the object of my envy. But do not think because of that I love you less, I would not take from you one of your little crowns, but I would have given the world to have had some of my own. You cannot imagine how proud I feel that your dear father thought of me in his extreme weakness, and pronounced my name.

I believe he was the man Sismondi loved best in the world, I know he was the one he thought highest of. He was speaking even in his last illness of the natural attraction he felt towards him, and lamented it was so little the mode among Englishmen to write to each other. "Now," he said, "I should have liked to have been in regular correspondence with Mr Jos, but I did not venture to ask him, I am sure he would not have liked it." He then drew a character of him with such warmth and truth I regret I had not taken it down. Alas, "how many fair occasions are gone for ever by." How little have I profited of the greatest blessing ever granted any human being! but here again I fall on my inconsolables and must turn the leaf….

It is striking that Sismondi, who had a strong prejudice against England and the English, and whose character, as my mother thought, was so profoundly unlike her father's, should have thus appreciated him.

The move to Down was on the 14th September,

L. II. 4

[pages] 50 - 51

and her third child, Mary Eleanor, was born there on the 23rd Sept., 1842, and died on the 16th Oct. She writes the same day to Fanny Hensleigh to tell her that their "happy hopes are over," and adds that she was glad that Catherine Darwin was not with them, "we are better by ourselves at first."

Emma Darwin to her sister-in-law Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood.

DOWN, Wednesday [20 Oct. 1842].

Thank you, my dearest Fanny, for your sweet, feeling note. Our sorrow is nothing to what it would have been if she had lived longer and suffered more. Charles is well to-day and the funeral over, which he dreaded very much…. I think I regret her more from the likeness to Mamma, which I had often pleased myself with fancying might run through her mind as well as face. I keep very well and strong and am come down-stairs to-day. I have had a good acct from Maer….

With our two other dear little things you need not fear that our sorrow will last long, though it will be long indeed before we either of us forget that poor little face. Goodbye, my dear Fanny, with my best love to Hensleigh. E. D.

Every word you say is true and comforting.

I think this letter, so simple and sincere, reveals her nature—at any rate it recalls her to me, just as she was, in a way I cannot describe.

Elizabeth Wedgwood to her sister Emma Darwin.

MAER, Wednesday, Nov. 2 [1842].

My dear Emma,

I am glad to hear of your doing such a thing as take a walk and the walks sound very pretty. I have quite an old affection for Traveller's Joy; and one old hedge in particular covered with it, with marjoram growing at the foot where we used to make houses, I remember with great affection. I was afraid Charles would feel it too much a break up to come down here at present. I can easily understand how much, too, everything at Down must be running in his head and hindering his work….

Hensleigh Wedgwood had a long illness this autumn, and for some weeks Emma took care of his three children, Snow, Bro, and Erny, aged 9, 8, and 5. During this visit the children got lost in what were then truly called the "Big Woods." They were sent out with a little thirteen-year-old nursery-maid from Staffordshire, Bessy Harding.

Emma Darwin to her sister-in-law Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood.

Sunday [Down, 6 Nov. 1842].

My dear Fanny,

I am in hopes that Hensleigh is really beginning to mend by what Dr H. says, but we must not hope for it to be fast, and you must not be in any hurry to have your children back, as they are as good and agreeable as possible. They have been a good deal out-of-doors every day but one, and all are still devoted to the chalk, though unluckily it is not thought decorous to be hacking at it to-day. They are most forbearing and good-natured to


[pages] 52 - 53

Doddy1. The air is so sharp and cold here that I want you to send them a few warm things that won't mind being whitened all over….

I am anxious for another letter from Maer, as Charles thought it not favourable my father being so sleepy and torpid for two days. Good-bye my dear Fanny, I dare say Snow will answer your letter herself, Yours, E. D.

Snow will tell you of our agitation of the children losing their way. I was afraid of nothing worse but their all sitting down to cry together. They had only Bessy [Harding] with them, and Snow and Doddy missed the rest somehow and she brought him home from more than a mile off, dragging him along up to their ankles in mud. She kept him from being frightened or crying and from crying herself, and behaved like a little heroine. Charles and Parslow met them a short way from home and learnt as much as Snow could tell them of where the others were. They then found that Bessy and Annie and the two boys had been enquiring at a farm-house, and in about half-an-hour Charles found them and took them in to the farmhouse for a slight refection, and got a man to carry Erny on his back and Annie in his arms and they all came home in very tolerable spirits. Bro kept up his heart very well. It was in our own valley, but I had given them leave to go into Cudham Wood, which was rash of me, and I have forbidden it in future. I was easy as soon as I saw Snow, as then I was sure Bessy would be hunting after them. Poor Bessy had been carrying Annie for three hours.

Elizabeth writes:

We are all in admiration of Snow's steadiness and firmness of mind. There is something so dreadful to a child in the idea of being lost that I quite wonder she did not at

1 William, Emma's eldest child, aged nearly three.

any rate fall into great distress, and how she ever got poor Doddy over the muddy fields and high stiles I can't think. My mother is so much interested in the history that she has made me write to ask Fanny [Hensleigh] to send her Snow's account, but that will disappoint her, as it is sure to be short.

The various children appear more and more frequently in the letters, and it is interesting to see the prophecies as to character and tastes. Generally, I think, it shows the truth of the saying that the child is father to the man. The charm of Godfrey appears from the beginning, and Elizabeth was nearly as devoted to him as to her own particular darling Edmund Langton. The following extracts from her letters about this time give a pleasant picture of her interest in the children.

Nov. 1842: Charlotte's great lump of a boy [a year old] is becoming very entertaining, after being a very quiet, grave child. Charles [Langton] is become quite studious, brushing up his Greek and Latin, German and French, ready for him. He is at his books almost all day now.

June, 1843: You cannot think what a pleasure Charlotte's boy is, only I have not much time to bestow on him. He is just beginning to walk and talk, and amusing changes in his little ways and new accomplishments show themselves every day. His sensibility to music is very curious. He stops us most imperiously from singing any tune that affects him, and cries piteously if we go on. But the moment he has stopped the singer he tries to sing himself, but never attempts it after any of the licensed hum-drum tunes that he pays no attention to. It will

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be a pity if something is not made of it, but like most other Englishmen he will be ashamed to learn I daresay.…

Writing to Emma Darwin in the spring of 1844:

I think Willy [aged 4] must have the sweetest and most affectionate disposition in the world. We are all charmed with your anecdote of him, Aunt Sarah especially. I hope he will keep his resolution always to comfy Annie, and I daresay he will easily understand the distinction of duties between himself and Charles.

He did not always charm his great-aunt Sarah. A few years later he expressed in her presence a fervent wish to have seen an accident which was being mentioned—a dog run over by a train—to her horror and amazement. She had no understanding of boy nature or indeed human nature.

[11 Nov. 1842]: Emma's letter told a nice trait of Erny [aged 5]. He had been quarrelling with Isabella about putting on a little warm coat, an old one of Bro's, so Emma told him if he would wear it every day she would give him a shilling. He agreed on condition he should not put it on that day. So the next day he came down in it and said, "I don't want to have that shilling Aunt Emma, this coat is so nice now I have got it on." What a nice natural sense of right and honour he must have, to understand at once the delicacy of not accepting a bribe to do what he ought and what he felt an advantage.

This story of Erny and his shilling illustrates my mother's tendency to bribery—I am afraid it sounds immoral, but I do not think it was so immoral as it sounds. There would never have been any bribery as to any action which involved any serious question of right or wrong. No child would ever be bribed to be kind to an animal, or to tell the truth. But it was her view, right or wrong, that it was a good thing to avoid struggles over small matters. As a fact we were obedient children, and anything like deliberate disobedience may be said to have never entered our heads. The rules of life were very simple, and when anything could be explained to us it was, and even when it could not we never questioned the absoluteness of a definite command.

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The death of John Allen and of Josiah Wedgwood—The aunts' admiration for Jos's character—Harry and John Hensleigh Allen—Our nurse Brodie—Henrietta Darwin born Sept. 25, 1843—Charles at Shrewsbury—Fanny Hensleigh's hospitality—Madame Sismondi at Down, on her way to Cheêne—A visit to Combe Florey—Emma at Maer—A breakfast party at Samuel Rogers'—Jessie Sismondi's accident at Paris—George Darwin born July 9th, 1845—Charles describes their improvements at Down.

In April, 1843 John Allen, the brother so beloved by all his sisters, died. Emma and Fanny Allen now left Cresselly, which Seymour, John's eldest son inherited, and joined Jessie Sismondi and Harriet Surtees at their house in Tenby. Emma Allen writes:

TENBY, May 4th [1843].

Among us four to think and talk of him is no pain but all consolation.… In my most dear Henry his father's sweet, affectionate character is most observable. My love for him has had a strong increase by seeing what use and comfort he was to his dear father, "What a blessing and comfort Harry is to me, Emma," he said one of the last times he mentioned him to me.

TENBY, Saturday [May, 1843].

The task I set myself is to cheer Jessie, who is a thousand times more unhappy than any of us, and sometimes I feel I have some success; she always receives my efforts with a sweetness that keeps my love warm for her, for to increase it I think she cannot, but there is no hope of seeing her tolerably happy till the journals1 are done with, over which she wastes her eyes and spirits for several hours every day. Our ponies are now at Cresselly breaking in to draw a carriage that Jessie has bought of Mrs John Leach, chiefly to induce Harriet to drive, for for herself she much prefers riding, and I hope that Fanny and I shall induce her to ride away from the horrid journals an hour or two every fine day.…

Josiah Wedgwood had never really recovered from the dangerous illness of the previous year. He died peacefully on July 12th, 1843. Emma was able to be at Maer, although she was expecting the birth of her fourth child in September.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

[July, 1843].

My dearest Elizabeth,

I feel it almost as necessary as breathing to me now, to express to you my deep tenderness and feelings for you at this awful time. Among all his children, who have loved him so well, it is to you, who must feel his death the most, that one naturally turns with the greatest pity. I do not think the religious consolation comes immediately,

1 Sismondi's Journals, as to which she was harassed and puzzled in settling what was fit for publication, and at last in despair burnt them all.

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but in the meanwhile you have the sweetest earthly one, the knowledge that you have been the most helpful, cheerful and affectionate child that ever father was blessed with. You have never given him anxiety, and among his abundant blessings his having preserved you with him to the last is not the smallest of them. He has been indeed blest in all his children, as he well deserved to be, and it must be a very sweet and soothing feeling to dear Charlotte, that her most excellent husband has associated himself with her in her filial duties.

Poor Bessy! I feel for her that she cannot grieve for him as she would have done in time past, the husband whom she loved with such tenderness only a few years ago! to my mind her life is sadder than death.…

My mother told me that she felt with Fanny Allen that such a life was sadder than death, but that to Elizabeth the remnant of that lovely soul remained her most precious possession.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

SOUTH CLIFF HOUSE [Tenby], July 19th [1843].

….That I am thinking incessantly of you all just now you will not wonder, and it is a relief to me to do something, tho' it is in fact nothing. But when I have sent off a letter to you however insignificant. I feel lighter, as if I had helped you a little. Every possible case presents itself to my imagination in the constant thought I have of you, and sometimes the fear Bessy might feel a sort of jealousy that all is addressed to you, and nothing to herself, or that she is neglected, set aside as superannuated, and so some mournful feeling be awakened. Then by writing, I so fear to do her harm, to rouse her to a feeling that it is a mercy should lie dormant, that I do not well know what to do. I have at last resolved on writing to her and consigning it to you….

We have been talking over your father's incomparable kindness to us all our lives through, this morning at breakfast. Not one of our obligations to him was forgotten, but the most, the high moral atmosphere into which he introduced us, if I may speak so affectedly, but no other phrase that suits me so well presents itself. The moral standard of Pembrokeshire was so low, how can we suppose we might not have settled under it had we been left to ourselves and to the country ? His was so high, so pure; so true and so engaging by his exquisite modesty, that it was impossible it should not have had its effect on us, tho' we had been born brutes….

Madame Sismondi to her sister Mrs Josiah Wedgwood.

Wednesday[July 19, 1843].

(Enclosed in the letter to Elizabeth.)

Dearest Bessy,

Our common loss awakens so many grateful feelings in my heart I cannot help writing to you, tho' I know that a letter is rather a fatigue now than a recreation to you. I think even you cannot regret the release that has at last been granted to our beloved Jos, but you can with me bless the event that united you to one whose noble character and generous affection made us all happier here, and indeed I do not think it presumption to say, helped to make us better, more fit and capable of a higher happiness hereafter. I have often thought our connection with the Wedgwoods was one of the blessed circumstances of our lives, sent by Heaven to raise our moral natures, if we had the wisdom to profit by it. Some of us, I am sure have. Whether I have or not, I am sure I have never thought of Jos's brotherly affection to every one of us without a

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warm glow of the heart—his generous kindness to Edward Drewe1 and Caroline who owed him all the luxuries of their little establishment for so many years—his open house to all of us—his ready purse when we wanted help; dearest Bessy, if you had searched the world you could not have found a husband who would have been so kind and dear a brother to your sisters; and you, who were always their stay, support, and sunshine as it were, would not have been happy if you had not been so seconded, seconded as he only could, I believe. It is no small happiness, too, to have given us another generation to be the support and comfort of our age, who are as good as children to us. What desolation it would be for the last of us, if we had not our beloved nephews and nieces Wedgwood to rely on. My own Bessy, we have so much to be grateful for, it would be sin not to think of our many blessings and be thankful. When we can feel gratitude to Heaven we are not far from happiness.

Emma and Fanny [Allen] have taken a ride on their nice little ponies to Freestone and are to stay dinner if they are invited. James Allen is one that loves you most fervently. I really believe I have not once seen him without his telling me what a pleasure it used to be to the cousins to obtain a smile from "Cousin Bessy," that he had been made happy for days by your speaking kindly to him.…

These expressions, after making all allowance for the natural exaggeration of feeling after death, are a striking testimony to his character. I often wish now that I had made my mother talk more about old times. I have the impression that she shared in the general reverence for his character, deeply loved, and was not afraid of him, but that it

1 The Rev. E. Drewe, husband of Bessy's sister Caroline.

was her mother who had the first place in her heart and life. I know him far more from the Allen letters than from anything she has ever told me.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

TENBY, 9th Sept. [1843].

I answer your dear letter immediately my own Elizabeth, and you must forgive and not love me less if I refuse for the present to accept your sweet invitation. I would rather go to you when you are alone this winter. If I could indeed flatter myself I could ever again be of use to anyone, I should think then, when you are quite alone, I might be of some service, but even for that I must make progress or I shall not well fulfil the part of a half-saved cousin of Aunt Allen's, "My dears she was something to look at."….Why sorrow should make us shy is inexplicable to me, but I am certain it does. Is it that a strong feeling of any kind keeps oneself in one's own mind perpetually, so that one cannot help feeling as if we were equally in the minds of others, on the stage as it were? Nevertheless I begin to make progress. I felt I had when Harry [Allen] was here the other day. He is one of the sweetest male characters I know, so gentle, so full of tenderness, so wise too. In driving with him and talking to him I felt as if I once more enjoyed something. He coaxed me out in the prettiest way you ever saw, and was like his own dear father in making me talk, and seeming interested in what I said, enjoying with a gentle gaiety everything, " the air, the earth, the sky," so that insensibly he made you sympathize with him. We drove one day to Port Clewe, he and I sitting on the box, and several times he stopped to look about him and admire with a truth of simplicity and pleasure that reminded me of your Harry [Wedgwood] or perhaps still more W. Clifford—for Harry A. is more demonstrative than Harry W. He is a delicious

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nephew that is certain ! On Sunday, notwithstanding the fog, we took our dinner out to eat in Manorbeer Castle, and I was the mover of this moveable feast, and again drove with him, and the conversation never flagged. He was quite charming, letting you into the inmost recesses of his pure and pious heart, and with such simplicity, such an absence of all egotism as if himself was entirely out of his mind, even when he talked of himself. We spread our dinner in Sally Bateman's parlour instead of on the green, and Harry said the fÊte was perfect. He is the only young man that would have felt that, with three old aunts only….

"Johnny", mentioned below, (commonly called "long John" from his great height) was the youngest son of the late John Hensleigh Allen, at this time 25 years old. He was in the Colonial Office, but his whole energies were given to work amongst the poor of London.

Emma Darwin to Fanny Hensleigh Wedgwood.

Down, Wed. [say Oct. 1843].

Johnny came on Saturday and was very pleasant and amusing. He considers everything in life in only one point of view, that of a good or a bad investment. He is quite for the corn laws being abolished because it is so inconvenient for those who want to invest money in land not to have it settled. Ch. and I left him to a tÊ-agrave-tÊte with Cath. [Darwin] and his conversation was about how Etruria was left, What sort of property Maer was, &c. &c. It is like some very old man ; however I think he has good feelings and I liked him. Yesterday Cath. and I accompanied Charles on his way to London as far as Keston Common, and walked home and enjoyed the gorse, which was just coming into full blaze and very sweet, and through Holwood. We sent the maids to a concert at Bromley on Monday, and it has done Brodie such a wonderful deal of good that if she could but get to a play or two, I think it would cure her. There have been many breezes in that apartment, but I have told Brodie that I shall not keep A. if she is pert to her, and matters have gone very smooth since. Very likely now Brodie is so poorly and overdone she may be cross herself, as she says she is indeed. But whether she is or not, A. must put up with it. I am reserving a sledge-hammer for her the next opportunity she gives me by pertness to Brodie….

"Brodie," our old Scotch nurse, was an invaluable treasure to my mother and a perfect nurse to the children. She came to us from the Thackerays, and Annie Thackeray (Mrs Richmond Ritchie) characterised her as having "a genius for loving." She stayed with us till my sister Annie died in 1851, and then through grief quite lost her self-control, and indeed almost her reason, and insisted on leaving. She made a little home for herself in Portsoy in Scotland, from which she paid us long visits and remained our dear friend till her death about 1873. My image of her is always sitting knitting, with her needles stuck into a bunch of cock's feathers, Scotch fashion, patiently and benevolently looking on whilst we rushed about and messed our clothes as much as we liked.

I was born September 25th, 1843, so that there were now three children in the nursery.

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Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin at Gower Street.

Wednesday [SHREWSBURY, probably Oct. 1843].

….Why did you not tell me how your old self was? be sure and tell me exactly next letter. As for myself I am very brisk and have just been paying a call upon Nancy, and have been admiring her chateau, which really is very nice. She showed me a letter from Aunt Bessy which came with crockery, and Mme de Sévigné could not, I should think, have written more prettily on such an occasion.…

I got into a transport over the thought of Doddy1 and talked, like an old fool, for nearly an hour about nothing else, and I really believe the girls sympathized with it all. I ended with protest that although I had done Doddy justice, they were not to suppose that Annie was not a good little soul—bless her little body. Absence makes me very much in love with my own dear three chickens.… You were quite right to send me sneers versus Mr S. I have amused them here with homœopathic stories. My father observes that as long as he can remember there has always been something wonderful, more or less of the same kind, going on, and there have always been people weak enough to believe, and he says, slapping both knees, he supposes there always will be, so that he thinks Mr S. no greater a fool than other past and future fools; a more charitable belief than I can indulge in. By the way I told him of my dreadful numbness in my finger ends, and all the sympathy I could get was, "Yes—yes—exactly—tut—tut, neuralgic, exactly, yes, yes!!" nor will he sympathize about money, "stuff and nonsense" is all he says to my fears of ruin and extravagance.…

In February, 1844, Fanny Hensleigh's youngest child was born, and Emma had her five elder children

1 William, the eldest child.

to stay at Down. She begs Fanny to leave them "till they begin to wish for home." A little later she writes to Fanny, in an undated letter, after some illness of Hensleigh's, who was often ailing:

I wish Hensleigh might feel strong enough for you to come this far, I think very likely the change might help to set him up when he has already begun to mend. I long to see your baby. Charlotte gives such a very engaging account of it, and I hope you would bring some of the others or all, for we have plenty of room for them. The phaeton will be at Croydon till 2 o'clock on Wednesday, and I will tell Parslow to look out for a cargo, and you need not settle till the very day. We have plenty of room for all the chicks and shall be very glad to have them all. I took a walk yesterday and enjoyed it immensely. This weather is lovely. Good-bye dear F.

The one-horse phaeton, which was the only carriage that was kept in those days, with a strong horse and a gardener-coachman, could hardly have brought such a cargo—six children, nurses, and the father and mother.

Madame Sismondi left Tenby in the late spring and went first to Maer, then to a lodging in Gower Street with her sisters Emma and Fanny Allen, and afterwards to Down. She was on her way to Chêne, where she meant to make a long stay.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

76, GOWER STREET, Friday [June, 1844].

It is half past 3 without any possibility of writing. I am impatient to give my own Elizabeth a line to tell her how well we got to town. I was very unhappy to leave

L. 11. 5

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you and that haven of rest Maer. I walked long about, Tuesday evening before I was fit to join you, but everything is always so much better than one expects, I wonder I do not take confidence; but I understand myself no better than if I was born yesterday—but enough of my private self and to our history. What a bustle at the terminus! and what a train! however, Henri did admirably, and stuffing all into a hackney coach we arrived here at ½ past 6. My Emma [Allen] had bought flowers, arranged the house to receive us, and was herself beaming so that it was a pleasure to look at her, but in an ecstasy with Hensleigh, who had helped her to make the room comfortable with as much tenderness as a woman, and with all the simplicity of a Wedgwood. His sweet countenance has marked all his children, but most his boys, two of whom are very lovely. Before we went to dinner came in my little darling1, who had come to town and who brought us an invitation from Fanny to tea, which we accepted, and found her sitting under her trees and looking quite herself, —that is, the most quiet, comfortable, causy person that ever existed. The house looked more than comfortable, tables loaded with flowers and lights, so that it was a splendid rout, and Mrs Rich looking smiling and quiet among the roses. I was glad to see Hensl. blow out a few of the lights. Before we had long gone in to tea came in John [Allen], and before we had finished came Harry [Allen], and what does Fanny but treat us all with ice, and the best that ever was tasted. It is in vain to think of sparing her purse, therefore one has nothing to do but to enjoy the pleasant comfort she spreads around her. Harry [Allen] esquired us home and came in at eleven, only to talk over the comfortable way of life of the Hensleighs and the charms of each. Charm is the word, for there is a charm it is impossible not to feel, tho' indescribable. Today we have had one succession of calls, and sometimes

1 Emma Darwin.

our room looked crowded as a rout. We give a dinner on your chickens to-morrow, and Fan and I dine on them to-day.…

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elisabeth Wedgwood.

DOWN, June 20 [1844].

…You have been the best of the good, my Elizabeth. I received your second letter in London, and was as glad to get it as if I had been in a desert instead of one continued bustle from morn till night. We came here yesterday, we three and Fan [Hensleigh] and her baby, filling a nice clean coach. I find even the drive refreshing, how much more this pretty, brilliantly clean, quiet house. The repose and coolness of it is delicious, let alone the sunny faces which met us so lovingly at the door, amongst them Charlotte [Langton]'s sweet one, unchanged, and so young, I am continually confounding it with Emma's. Your boy [Edmund Langton] is a very love, and looking so picturesque in his rocking-boat one would like to have him drawn. He is a very healthy-looking child as well as intelligent, thoughtful, and as lovely as the Hensleigh boys, who are very lovely ones that's certain. This place and house I find exceedingly pretty, the drawing-room is a charming one, and the dining-room excellent. Emma, always the dearest little hostess in the world, and without any extraordinary out-of-the-way quality, is the most original little person in her way living. I rejoice greatly in getting this bit of Charlotte and finding her so unchanged in every way, except the anxious mother, and even anxiety with her is calm, concentrated, unobtrusive. I have not yet strolled out, so can only speak of the interior. I forget where I left off in my London annals, or I would take them up there. Did I tell you that I had the extreme folly to go to the Horticultural meeting with the Aldersons, and repented all the way, so that I passed two


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or three hours in a struggle not to cry? A thousand times I wished myself in my own home, where an old woman should be. My only other attempt at worldliness was going with Lady Davy1 to the Exhibition, that turned out better. It is the best I ever saw in England, it bore the print of much Roman study, and I was glad to see the building and the place at my ease, but my friend gave me little pleasure. She is unchanged, and I recognised all her weaknesses in more than their original brightness. I was not long enough with her to get any town gossip. We had barely time for herself. I succeeded very ill in saving Fanny Hens, from an inundation of us, for not only she would have us, but our company followed us to her house when they did not find us in our own, and then neither they nor we had the good sense to retire early. On Sunday for example, the Philippses who came to drink tea with us followed us to Fan's, and it was going on for 12 o'clock before either of us thought of moving. On Tuesday we all planned that Fan and Hen. should have a quiet day, for they both looked fagged, and invited the Macks to dine with us, and they to come in to us in the evening: but the Fan, in a mad fit of hospitality, invited the Carlyles to meet me of all people in the world, and when they accepted she was obliged to weed us to make up her table, and left us Molly2 who looked very flat, and no wonder, for it was a very bad swop for her every way. She did, however, go in immediately after dinner, and Carlyle entertained her by laughing immoderately at an American…….

1 Lady Davy, after the death of Sir Humphry, figured in society for many years both at Rome and London. She is described as a brunette of brunettes, with an uncommonly sweet smile and much spirit and expression in her countenance when she speaks. Sydney Smith, who addressed many of his most amusing: letters to her, used to say she was as brown as a dry toast. See Dict. Nat. Biog.

2 Mrs Robert Mackintosh, an American, sister of Tom Appleton and Mrs Longfellow.

Fanny [Allen] saw Syd. Smith for half-an-hour in his very handsome house, mad with spirits, saying he had even now such an exuberance he did not know what to do with himself for very joy. He was pressing Fanny to marry, and recommended a lad of twenty to her…. Lady Davy told me she saw little of him, he was very rich, forgot old friendships or never had any, and really his want of moral feeling was painful, there was a time for all things, and it was now become indecorous both his jokes and laughs….

Very soon after the above letter was written Madame Sismondi, accompanied by her sister Emma, set out for Geneva. She describes vividly her sufferings at the return to the scene of her married life, where no doubt, besides the memory of much happiness given and received, she had to recall the pain her longings after her own people must often have caused Sismondi.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Darwin.

CHÊNE, July 13th, 1844.

…I seem so near him here, that the separation does not appear so complete and terrible as when I was in England, where all the regret for him seemed centred in my own heart. Here his name is in every mouth, and sorrow for him in every heart, as if he had died but yesterday. Here, too, every spot recalls some sweet memory of happiness and love. I am too variable, and it is too soon to judge rightly, but certainly as yet I am less unhappy here, for surely here I made him happy. But this experience, tho' but of a few days, has determined me not to sell Chène, and I am happier since I have taken this resolution. I am afraid my precious Emma [Allen] will find being

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here so long very dull and very uncomfortable, but she is so reasonable and so affectionate, that she is the greatest comfort of a sister that ever lived, and I will do what I can without suffering too much to liberate her. Her quiet steady love will accept no sacrifice. Harriet's more passionate affection does not leave me quite a free agent. I have not yet ventured to tell her [Harriet Surtees] the chance that I might prolong my stay away. Every letter of hers breathes nothing but impatience for my return.

Bossi has written an article for the Almanack that pleases me so perfectly I really think he would be very capable of undertaking the memoirs, but I am afraid to trust to my own judgment, and I distrust his knowledge of a French public, for whom they must be written.

On Tuesday in the boat from Vevay here, I began to suffer almost more than I could bear, when our own familiar mountains showed themselves. Bossi met us with his carriages at the boat, unobtrusively tender as he always is but when at Chêne I saw those stairs down which my Own so rapidly ran to receive me if I had but taken a walk without him, I thought my heart would break. It swelled so as almost to suffocate me; but this first suffering over I became every day less unhappy. On Wednesday morning as soon as I was awake I went to my beloved grave. It was full of flowers and a crown of everlasting was placed at the head. I recognised the Gr. Duchess1 in that. She is here, and has sent every day with great tenderness to enquire news of me, saying she would come to me as soon as I could see her without too much emotion. I have written to her, and expect her every minute. I love her, yet would much rather she had been at Berne. I wonder then whether I do really love her, or can there be no amity complete between the little and the great? Locked in the churchyard by this dear grave I pass my best hours. I pray there more fervently and with more

1 Grand Duchess of Würtemberg.

hope than elsewhere; no one can see or hear me. I can call upon my Own and talk to him as tho' he lived. I am almost ashamed to tell you, it must seem so weak, but one strong feeling I really believe enfeebles the mind, and I am quite aware I must take arms against it.

My little cat knew me immediately. There was no end of her caresses. She wants me to play with her as I used to do when merry, but I can be merry no more, and she jumps and capers before me in vain. Give my love and many thanks to your husband, and as many tender kisses to my little thing, and love to the two others. I love to hear of Willy's dévouement to Annie. Remember always my passion for anecdotes of children, even when I do not love them as I do yours.

"My little thing" to whom she sent tender kisses is evidently me. How I wish I had ever known her and had loved her in life as well as in her letters.

The following letters tell of a visit of Fanny Allen's to the Sydney Smiths at Combe Florey. Their intimacy began in 1803, when she was much with the Mackintoshes in London, and Sydney and Mackintosh were both in the Holland House set.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

COMBE FLOREY, Sept. 5 [1844].

My dear Elizabeth,

After all the trouble you have taken about furbishing me up fit for a fashionable visit, I owe you the earliest results of my experiment not to let things prized by the world slip from me when an opportunity occurred of my taking advantage of them, and [thus] save myself from future regrets.…

[pages] 72 - 73

Sydney Smith read us this evening a pamphlet he has written, or is indeed now writing on the Catholic Clergy of Ireland, so clever, full of fun, good sense, and real eloquence occasionally, that the evening has passed off very pleasantly, and has recalled many a pleasant past hour of now nearly forty years' standing that authorises in my mind the extraordinary exertion of a long journey to see them. Sydney said to me at dinner to-day, "It is now forty years I think since we have been friends." So these things settle the question of folly which overtook me this morning, and I shall take the good and ill of the hour without a question.

I got here without any difficulty. The stop of nearly two hours at Bristol was tiresome and disagreeable enough, from thence we came to Taunton in an hour and a half. I found Mrs L. S. was in the same train with me and the Smiths' carriage and servants waiting for her. They found me out and pressed me to go with Mrs L. S. in the carriage, but I thought it would be more comfortable to go alone and take my things with me, than be making the agreeable so long before dinner, so I resisted. The country is very rich, and this place is lovely. Sydney was in the flower garden and gave us a hearty welcome as the two carriages came up together. Mrs Smith I find affectionate, but she is very unwell and so is Sydney, though it does not quell his gaiety. Luttrell, the wit, was invited to meet Mrs S., the beauty, but he is in the Channel Islands and there have been no tidings of him. Rogers also was asked, but there has been some huff in the case, and the Beauty stands alone as far as guests go, though Sydney performs his part of talking gay nonsense to her. She is very fashionable and handsome, and as vain as you cannot imagine, though others may who have a spice of the same quality. Yesterday Sydney, she, and I were squeezed into a donkey-carriage to go round the grounds, and very pleasant Sydney was. A thunder-cloud frightened us from a carriage drive, and we walked about the garden and grounds. To-day as we can't get wits, we are to have Somersetshire Squires, and Syd. says he is not responsible for them.…

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

WOORCHESTER, Thursday [12 Sept. 1844].
(Her niece Lady Gifford's house near Stroud.)

I left the Smiths (true to my purpose of not exceeding a week there) yesterday morning. I have passed a pleasant week, and have cut off all regrets that I have not made the best use of my opportunities—and I shall most probably never visit them again. They have been kind and affectionate, and have performed their parts as hosts exceedingly well; but these extraordinary efforts of 150 miles to see people whom you are not in the habit of seeing very frequently, is beyond the warmth of my years.

The life at Combe Florey was very easy, pleasant, and epicurean. Sydney is a gay and very happy man, and poor Mrs Sydney is very nearly the reverse. I am convinced that the wife of a wit is under the constant discipline of mortification. She has detailed ruder and more offensive things done to her than I ever heard committed towards anybody. It seems to me that in the gay world they commit more offences against the decencies of society than in the middle classes, and yet they consider themselves as the rulers of les bienséances. Mrs L. S. did not intend to be rude, I dare say, but she did not show common attention to Mrs Smith, who was unwell and infirm. She never sat a single minute with her in the drawing-room, but went below to Sydney in the library, when she talked about the polka much more than listening to him about anything. The power of a handsome woman is quite extraordinary over men, if she is not a wife.

[pages] 74 - 75

I enjoyed your letter very much. It is very pleasant to get one's letters, as we did at Combe Florey, in our bedrooms at 8 o'clock in the morning. It was pleasant too to have a bit of natural kindness and family affection to fortify oneself with, before one joins a life in which every deep and serious feeling was excluded. The Cecil Smiths were very civil. They hastened their dinner-party to catch me, but I was inexorable to my day, being convinced that at Combe Florey more than any place "brevity is the soul of a visit".…

I have been told by Miss Clarke, the daughter of a neighbouring rector1, that in so far as these letters give the impression that Sydney was no longer the kind friend and energetic helper of his parishioners it is unfair to him. Her father and mother were intimate with the Smiths, and she quotes a characteristic sentence from a note of Sydney's to her father: quot;Pray give your servant a very gentle admonition respecting leaving open garden doors. He left mine wide open to-day, and the village pigs, taking it as an hint that I wished to see them, paid me a visit."

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

Sunday [SHREWSBURY, Oct. 1844].

…My visit is going off very pleasantly; and my father is in excellent spirits. I have had a deal of "parchment talk," as Catherine calls it, with my father, and shall have a good deal of wisdom to distil into you when I return, about Wills, &c.…. My father says that Susan, the

1 The Rev. J. B. B. Clarke, Rector of West Bagborough.

evening before she went, was enthusiastic in her admiration of you, in which you know how my father joins. I did not require to be reminded how well, my own dear wife, you have borne your dull life with your poor old sickly complaining husband. Your children will be a greater comfort to you than I ever can be, God bless them and you. Give my love and a very nice kiss to Willy and Annie and poor Budgy, and tell them how much I liked their little notes, which I read aloud to grandpapa. I shall be very glad to see them again. I always fancy I see Budgy putting her tongue out and looking up to me. Good-bye my dears.


I was Budgy, then 13 months old. I remember his once saying to me, recalling baby days, "Ah! you were a prime favourite."

Emma paid a visit to Maer in February, 1845. Her life was at this time almost entirely filled by the cares of husband and children, and I think no reason less strong than seeing her mother would have taken her from her home life.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin at Maer.

[Down], Monday night, Feb. 1845.

My dear Wife,

Now for my day's annals. In the morning I was baddish, and did hardly any work, and was as much overcome by my children as ever Bishop Copleston was with duck1. But the children have been very good all day, and I have grown a good deal better this afternoon, and had

1 This must be some family joke. Bishop Copleston had been a friend of Sir James Mackintosh.

[pages] 76 - 77

a good romp with Baby—I see, however, very little of the blesseds. The day was so thick and wet a fog that none of them went out, though a thaw and not very cold; I had a long pace in the kitchen garden: Lewis came up to mend the pipe, and from first dinner to second dinner was a first-rate dispensary as they never left him. They, also, dined in the kitchen, and I believe have had a particularly pleasant day.

I was playing with Baby in the window of the drawing-room this morning and she was blowing a feeble fly and blew it on its back, when it kicked so hard that to my great amusement Baby grew red in the face, looked frightened, and pushed away from the window. The children are growing so quite out of all rule in the drawing-room, jumping on everything and butting like young bulls at every chair and sofa, that I am going to have the dining-room fire lighted to-morrow and keep them out of the drawing-room. I declare a month's such wear would spoil everything in the whole drawing-room.

I read Whately's1 Shakespeare, and very ingenious and interesting it is—and what do you think Mitford's Greece has made me begin, the Iliad by Cowper which we were talking of; and have read three books with much more pleasure than I anticipated.

Tuesday morning. I am impatient for your letter this morning to hear how you got on. I asked Willy how Baby had slept and he answered "She did not cry not one mouthful".…

1 Thomas Whately (d. 1772), uncle of Archbishop Whately, wrote Remarks on some of the Characters of Shakespeare. The Archbishop called it "one of the ablest critical works that ever appeared."

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

[DOWN], Friday night [probably February, 1845].

My dear Emma,

I shall write my Babbiana to-night instead of before breakfast. It is really wonderful how good and quiet the children have been, sitting quite still during two or three visits, conversing about everything and much about you and your return. When I said I shall jump for joy when I hear the dinner-bell, Willy [æt. 5] said, "I know when you will jump much more, when Mama comes home." "And so shall I," responded many times Annie. It is evident to me that you must be the cause of all the children's fidgets and naughtinesses. Annie [æt. 4] told me Willy had never been quite round the world, but that he had been a long way, beyond Leave's Green. The Babs [æt. 1½] has neglected me much to-day, and would not play; she could not eat jam, because she had eaten so much at tea; but not like Annie of old she did not care. She was rather fidgety, going in and out of the room, and Brodie declares she was looking for you. I did not believe it, but when she was sitting on my knee afterwards and looking eagerly at pictures, I said, "Where is poor Mamma" she instantaneously pushed herself off, trotted straight to the door, and then to the green door, saying "Kitch"; and Brodie let her through, when she trotted in, looked all round her and began to cry; but some coffee-grains quite comforted her. Was not this very pretty? Willy told me to tell you that he had been very good and had given Annie only one tiny knock, and I was to tell you that he had pricked his finger.

My own annals are of the briefest. I paced half-a-dozen times along the kitchen garden in the horrid cold

[pages] 78 - 79

wind, and came in and read Monsters1 and Co., till tired, had some visits from children, had very good dinner and very good negus, played with children till six o'clock, read again and now have nothing to do, but most heartily wish you back again. My dear old wife take care of yourself and be a good girl.

C. D.
Sat. Morn.

At night Willy said to me "poor poor laying all by himself and no company in the drawing-room."

In the Spring of 1845 Jessie Sismondi, on her return from Switzerland, halted in Paris to arrange about a memoir of Sismondi. Whilst there she broke her arm, and was most tenderly cared for by the friends she was with. Her sister Fanny remarks, "Jessie makes everyone love and cherish her as a petted child, and what a blessing this is now."

Shortly after the accident Fanny Allen set out to Paris to bring her home. The following is written from the Hensleigh Wedgwoods, on the way out.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

16, GOWER STREET, Saturday [4 May, 1845].

……Hensleigh and Fanny make their house so pleasant and delightful that it always gives me, and others too, I daresay, the inclination to linger. We had a very pleasant breakfast at Mr Rogers's2 yesterday morning; Hensleigh

1 In 1846 he was reading Moquin-Tandon's Tératologie Végétale— on vegetable monsters—but what "Monsters and Co." in 1845 was cannot be found out.

2 Samuel Rogers, banker, art collector, connoisseur, and poet, and for some half-century a leading figure in the world of letters, was at this time 82 years old. His "breakfasts" were celebrated as gatherings of wits, poets, and other emitent person. He died in 1855, aged 92.

would not go, which I was sorry for, as I never saw R. kinder, more interesting or more agreeable. It was a lucky accidental meeting at the door of the Exhibition the day before which occasioned the invitation. Holt, Mackenzie, and Col. Leake were the only other guests. Hens, and Fanny had a pleasant dinner-party also yesterday of the two Carlyles, Mr Wrightson, and Mazzini, who was clever and just in a dispute with " Thomas" about music. It was an amusing dispute. T. C. could see nothing in Beethoven's Sonatas, " it told nothing." It was like a great quantity of stones tumbled down for a building, and "it might have been as well left in the quarry." He insisted on Mazzini telling him what he gained by hearing music, and when Mazzini said inspiration and elevation, Carlyle said something not respectful of Beetn., and Mazzini ended with Dieu vons pardonne. It was very amusing. Georges Sand's novels entered also into this dispute, and then C. was right and Mazzini on the wrong side…….

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

PARIS, May 5 [1845].

Your conduct to me is perfectly angelic, my Elizabeth. I get to-day your 5th letter, while I have set you aside to write to everybody before you, just because I know I shall never want your dear letters. Surely never were aunts so blessed as we, they are children to us….

I felt overpowering joy when I found on Saturday that Fan was coming to me. I did so long for one of them, I was often tempted more than I was able to withstand, to write to them, knowing, too, they would rather come than not. Now I have her in all the triumph of my unselfishness, and just as I was beginning to lose patience, not perceiving

[pages] 80 - 81

I made the least progress, and feeling as if I should never get away. Dear, dear Fan, how happy she has made me; how different my room will look with her bright face in it, not that it is a .triste room either, but much the contrary, and Bianca has filled it with flowers, and comes sometimes herself with such a determination to amuse me, as quite touches me and fills me with remorse for having been so severe on her in my letters. I am sometimes bewitched, my pen goes of itself as if I could not stop it.…

I have seen Mrs Rich four times, and that is very good of her, so far off and so much to do. Two of her visits she brought Mrs Scott, whom I like very much, better than I think I should like her husband, whose writing I find harder to strike root in my brain than any I ever read. I do not think that he is an unclear writer, but he has not the art, at least for me, of ever striking a key that awakens my interest. I feel very natural to Mrs Rich. I should like Blanco White's Memoirs I am sure. A true and candid insight into anyone's mind is the most interesting reading in the world, let alone such a mind as White's.

I am glad you can tell me your mother seems comfortable, but such excessive languor gives me some melancholy thoughts. Never were the evils of age so sweetly softened as in hers, but my Elizabeth, how far better for us to go at the allotted age for man. I am within two years of it. It is impossible I should not ask myself, am I ready? Not till I have seen again my sisters and others I love nearly as well. Shall I not always find some little thing for which to wait when the time comes! I am sure I cannot answer for it, but I believe not. Unhappy as have been these last three years I am now glad I have had them. If these, then, have been blessings may not more? It is well for us that life and death are not at our disposal.

Emma's second son, George, was born on July 9, 1845.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

DOWN, Wednesday [Aug. 27th, 1845].

My dear aunt Jessie,

I have two nice letters to thank you for and now I can give a brighter account of myself than I could a little while ago.…

Eras came to us on Monday. He is surprisingly well. The children fasten on him all day, which he bears with wonderful patience, and draws demons and imps for them with as great perseverance as he does for his own particular friends Erny and Tiny1. Johnny at the Hermitage2 seems to have fastened on him in the same way, and Eras spoke of him as a nice little boy. My new baby is very comfortable. He is very smiling and fat and big and I think will be rather above an "average wean." Your little friend has been very unhappy at giving up her own nurse Brodie, especially as she had the chicken-pox at the same time to lower her spirits, and we used to hear all day, "Where's Brodie gone?" but now she is quite reconciled to little George and to her own nurse Bessy, who is so tender and sweet tempered—she is a jewel. Brodie managed very nicely too, and always gave up the baby to somebody else when Etty was present and unhappy about it. Charles had just finished his Journal, which has overtired him a good deal, and he is but poorly now he has not the excitement of being forced to go on with his work. He has taken a great deal of pains with it and improved it a good deal, leaving out some of the discussions and putting in a few things which are interesting. As you are so much interested in Blanco White I must copy what Mr Lyell says about it. "I wd advise every scientific man who is preparing a new

1 Ernest and Alfred (called "Tiny Tim"), Hensleigh Wedgwood's boys.

2 The house near Woking where the Harry Wedgwoods had settled.

L. 11. 6

[pages] 82 - 83

edition in any rapidly progressive branch of science, in which he has launched many new speculations and theories, to read over the life of St Blanco the Martyr, which I have just finished, and to be grateful that in the department which he has to teach he is not pledged to retain for ever the same views, or that the slightest departure from them need not entail on him the penalty of the loss of nearly all worldly advantages, domestic ties, and friendships. How ashamed ought every lover of truth to feel if mere self-love or pride makes him adhere obstinately to his views, after seeing the sacrifices which such a man was ready to make for what he believed to be truth. This is the moral I draw from the book."

Lyell showed his own readiness to act in the spirit of this moral when he accepted the doctrine of evolution late in life, recanting many of his published views and opinions.

Charles Darwin to his sister Susan Darwin.

Wednesday, 3 Sept. 1845.

My dear Susan,

It is long since I have written to you, and now I am going to write such a letter, as I verily believe no other family in Britain would care to receive, viz. all about household and money affairs; but you have often said that you like such particulars.

Erasmus is here yet; he must have found it wofully dull, but as he was to have gone on Saturday and then on Monday and willingly stayed, we have the real pleasure to think, wonderful as it is, that Down is not now duller to him than Park Street.

I have just balanced my half year's accounts and feel exactly as if somebody had given me one or two hundred per annum; this last half-year our expenses with some extras have only been £456, that is excluding the new garden wall; so that allowing Christmas half year to be about a £100 more we are living on about £1000 per annum ; moreover this last year, subtracting extraordinary receipts, has been £1400, so that we are as rich as Jews.

We are now undertaking some great earth-works; making a new walk in the kitchen-garden; and removing the mound under the yews, on which the evergreens we found did badly, and which, as Erasmus has always insisted, was a great blemish in hiding part of the field and the old Scotch firs; and now that we have Sales's corner, we do not want it for shelter. We are making a mound, which will be executed by all the family, viz., in front of the door out of the house, between two of the lime-trees. We find the winds from the N. intolerable, and we retain the view from the grass mound and in walking down to the orchard. It will make the place much snugger, though a great blemish till the evergreens grow on it. Erasmus has been of the utmost service in scheming and in actually working; making creases in the turf, striking circles, driving stakes and such jobs; he has tired me out several times.

Thursday morning. I had not time to finish my foolish letter yesterday, so I will to-day. Our grandest scheme is the making our schoolroom and one (or as I think it will turn out) two small bedrooms. The servants complained to me what a nuisance it was to them to have the passage for everything only through the kitchen ; again Parslow's pantry is too small to be tidy. It seemed so selfish making the house so luxurious for ourselves and not comfortable for our servants, that I was determined if possible to effect their wishes. So I hope the Shrewsbury conclave will not condemn me for extreme extravagance, though now that we are reading aloud Sir Walter Scott's life, I sometimes think that we are following his road to ruin at a snail-like pace….


[pages] 84 - 85



Bessy's death on March 31st, 1846—Elizabeth leaves Maer—A meeting at Tenby of Emma Darwin and two of her children, the Langtons, and Elizabeth Wedgwood with their aunts.

Emma went for a few days alone to Maer in January 1846 on account of her mother's state, who was now evidently failing.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Thursday [Jan. 1846].

…… Elizabeth is looking well and in good spirits. She is buoyed up by instinctive hopefulness, though if you were to ask her what it was she hoped, I don't know what she would say, but it makes her go through all the nursing with such zeal and spirit.

I left Charles and the children all well; Willy in a great state over a hideous new pea-jacket with great horn buttons. He puts it on at all times of the day when he can get it safe from Etty, who always insists upon having it on herself when she catches sight of it. He bears it with the greatest good nature and never attempts to take it from her, only keeps it under the sofa that he may get it unknownst. He is getting on a little with his reading, and I find it a great pleasure and interest teaching them. But when I am not well I feel it a great anxiety to be looking after them all day, or else the small quantity of lessons they do I think I could always manage.

Charles is in good heart about galvanism, and he certainly has been unusually well for some time. Edmund [Langton] is a very pleasant little man, and looking so well it is a pleasure to see him. He is always being some animal which seems to do for him almost as well as having a play-fellow: yesterday he was hard at work driving away the eagles from taking the ichneumon's jam, and to-day being an elephant taking care of the babies. He is surprisingly independent for an only child and receives any notice socially and pleasantly. My baby1 is a real beauty, except for looking red and rough with the cold. He has fine dark blue eyes, and I can't conceive how he gets them. He is very placid and sweet but I don't think him very robust. I daresay you have forgotten the lecture you gave me on education; I quite agree with your maxims, and really I think I am rather severe than otherwise. I think the nonsense is quite knocked out of Susan and Cath. [Darwin] upon the subject of babies and education.… [They are] rather weary of children in general, and I saw Susan when she was at Down was rather uneasy till she had tidied away the children's untidiness as soon as they arose. I might be all day doing that, so I let them accumulate till the room becomes unbearable, and then call Bessy in to do it all.…

I am going back to-morrow or the next day. I am very glad I came, one is apt to think things worse at a distance. Good-bye my dearest aunt Jessie, give my best love to my two dear aunts. Yrs.

E. D.

1 George, born July, 1845.

[pages] 86 - 87

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Darwin.

January 12, 1846.

…Your account of your mother was very consolatory to us, never was decline more slow and gentle. That one of us who would be the most tenderly and carefully nursed, is the only one of us allowed to linger beyond the time here. The hopefulness of Elizabeth is one of the great beauties of her lovely character. It gives her that spring of cheerfulness which one partakes by the law of sympathy, even when hope fails us. She is so wise too, she sees at once what is to be done, and she has that decision in acting that gives confidence to those for whom she works. She was invaluable to us in our late sorrows1. What a comfort to you dearest Emma, that you can get to her so easily and in such little time, and how wise you were to go—at a distance everything is exaggerated by that false faculty imagination. I entirely forget my lecture on education to you. Since you remember it and mean to follow it, I only hope it was a wise one. As for my little darling's "severity" I have no faith at all in it. If that is a necessary quality for educating well, my little Emma's children will be the worst educated in Europe. You are a child after my own heart to like the instructing part and I only wish you may be allowed intervals that will allow of your being spared the melancholy, the discomfort, and discontent of keeping a governess. With a willing mind it might be done, or how could the French, whose lives are so much more social, accomplish it? An upper maid of confidence, whose manners are gentle and good, who was capable of teaching them to read, would be sufficient for their young years. When they became rational creatures

1 Lancelot Baugh Allen died in October, and Harriet Surtees in November, 1845.

they would be more a pleasure than a plague to you. I think we English lay much too great stress on bringing children forward in learning, by which we give them longer lessons than their little heads can take in, and only serve to weary the poor teacher. Mrs Somerville, who taught hers, assured me she never gave lessons longer than ten minutes at a time. She said longer was only pernicious, no child could give undivided attention beyond that period. She then sent them out to amuse themselves as they could, and they always succeeded and were fresh to give her their attention for another ten minutes when she called for them. This could not fatigue any mother, not even Mrs—. The learning that profits our understanding is of our own acquiring, therefore later. Never mind if your children are dunces. No governess can do what a mother can for their souls, therefore if possible, my Emma, keep them in your own hands. Could you have learnt anything but good from your nurse, the pious and truthful Molly? Get such another, only more elegant if you thought necessary. A servant would be very happy with them, a governess not; and to keep in one's house an unhappy person, a sort of prisoner, unless you let her break in on your most causy social moments with your husband, would be intolerable. If I were you I would rather a thousand times do my own work myself, tho' it might be worse done, which I do not at all believe.…

I find John1 has been visiting you: I hope he amused you, there is something original about him, but I have no hope he can ever win either of the nonpareils P. or F. I think we English are far too shy of the character of matchmaking. As in this free country there is no forcing them, we only put people in the way of being happy, should they suit each other, by throwing them together. I have been just answering your sweet-heart's letter, and

1 Her nephew, the youngest son of the late John Allen of Cresselly.

[pages] 88 - 89

I think it so pretty a one, I enclose it to you, to show you what you have lost. Will your Charles thank me for that? but seriously it gave me great pleasure and made me wonder still more than I did when I saw him, that you seemed more disposed to laugh at than like "Tom Appleton1." Have the Americans no public schools to cool and harden them as we have? They are of our blood and family, I do not see why they should have so much more sensibility, such quicker sympathies, such readier affections, unless it is that our odious schools mar us.

We have just finished Oliver Cromwell, and much as I generally dislike Carlyle, I feel grateful to him for that book. He has well served Cromwell and truth. I never knew the former before. His tender nature as shown in his domestic life gives assurance that the severities of his public life were no more than the stern virtues necessary to his position and for the task he had to do. I think his death is deeply touching—I never thought to have cried for old Nol, but I did with all my heart, and wished Carlyle had given more of his last hours and the grief felt for him. If I do not cut short my paper I shall never finish prosing. My sisters send their tender love with mine to you and your household.

J. DE S.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

DOWN, Tuesday [Jan. 1846].

My dearest Aunt Jessie,

You were very good to write to me so soon, and Charles and I both rejoiced that you had not been so

1 Tom Appleton, an American, brother of Mrs Robert Mackintosh, was the most kindly of men and a capital talker. He became, in later years, a strong spiritualist. Emma could not, I believe, have met him before her marriage.

spiteful as to burn your most agreeable letter, more especially as you had not said any of it to me before. I certainly shall make a trial of doing without a governess for another year at least. I am grown so fat and well that I enjoy every day and feel it quite a novelty to feel well and strong. Tom Appleton's letter is very pretty indeed, but we did like him here.…

Emma never saw her mother again. She died on the 31st March, 1846. Elizabeth wrote to her sister Emma:

Oh how thankful I am that her death was so gentle! In the evening I heard her saying as I had done before, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace." For her own sake no one could wish her half-extinguished life to be prolonged. For us it was still a happiness to be able to look on that sweet countenance, and see a faint gleam now and then of the purest and most benevolent soul that ever shone in any face.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

Saturday, 4th April [1846].

……My regrets are to-day very bitter that I had not gone to Maer some time during the year that has passed since my return. Her prayer for departure showed her more sensible of her situation than I thought she had been, and while it comforts me, gives me a sort of fear, lest she sometimes might have thought of me with a wonder I did not go and see her. In some of her long dreamy dosings if she ever had a wish to see me, I feel as if I never could forgive myself. Thank you, dearest and best, for every detail you have sent us. I have turned and turned the paper to seek for more, and dwelt upon what

[pages] 90 - 91

is there, till I have read it a hundred times. Formerly, in her good days, she suffered from a fear of death, or rather perhaps a desire of life. I was afraid for her of that feeling, which would be the most terrible of all, as death approached. I am glad to find that not only she escaped it, but that it (death) became an object to desire. Impatient, it was not in her sweet nature to be, I have often thought that in her place, how impatient I should be for that release now at last granted to her. Yes, dear Elizabeth, our grief must indeed be a gentle one. Oh how gentle yours and Charlotte's, incomparable children! the latter must think too with such grateful and sweet satisfaction what a tender, precious invaluable son she gave to her father as well as mother, in her husband. Marriage, which in general liberates the child from every previous care and duty to the parents, in her [case] only doubled them. If you can collect any little thing to tell us of her, remember how precious to us are even her wanderings. To-day it is impossible not to go back to what she was, the supporting, comforting, consoling, so wise, so tender sister—the most blessing as the most blessed of human creatures.…

Fanny Allen to Sarah Wedgwood (sister of Josiah Wedgwood of Maer).

PENALLY, April 6th [1846].

……Fifteen years ago, what grief we should have felt at this event! ever since then we have had a gentle weaning, and dear Bessy's life, though deprived of enjoyment was, heaven be praised! one of little suffering! What a life of kindness I have to be grateful for, when I think of Jos and Bessy's affection and conduct to us! Many, many attentions and kindness that had almost slipped from my memory now rise up before me vividly, with the sweet and affectionate accompanying manner and look. Among the many things that I have to be grateful for through life, the greatest is our union to your family. Bessy's character was perfected by Jos, every generous and affectionate feeling put in action by him. And then they have left us such children, taught by them, that will bless us, and all around them, with the like tenderness and love. I mention now only Jos, but I gratefully remember every one of you—it has been a long stream of kindness from each of you.…

Elizabeth Wedgwood to her sister Emma Darwin.

MAER, Monday [6 April, 1846].

My dear Emma,

We have been talking a little of our plans. I think we shall come to the conclusion that as we must break up from here, there is little use in lingering, and that we shall probably not stay more than a month. I don't feel that leaving the place (though I shall never see another I shall like anything like it) will be much of a grief. How glad I should have been if Jos or Harry would have taken to it; I can't help thinking Jos will regret it. It is so unlike any other place, so completely its own self, and with alterations it might be made so very nice a one, and he will find it almost impossible to fix anywhere else.… Thank you my dear Emma for your invitation, but I think I shall stick by the Langtons at present. Charlotte wishes it, and Charles Langton gives me great confidence he will like it too.

It is a great pleasure to see how entirely Charles understood and loved my mother—how he felt the transparent brightness of her character, and how everybody whom we have heard from felt it. There never was anyone comparable to her. Her look and voice are a brightness gone from the world for ever. I feel it a comfort that she continued so unaltered to the last. Till that one day of insensibility she had no look of pain or illness, and I have not

[pages] 92 - 93

borne to disturb that image in my memory by any sight since.… Charles was mentioning yesterday a circumstance that I had never heard before, for I think I could not have forgotten it, a dream she had of being able to walk, and what extreme pleasure it gave her. My father was very much affected at hearing it.

Good-bye my dear Emma, you may be sure I shall be very glad to go and see you and dear Charles a little further on.—Your affect. S. E. W.

Elizabeth Wedgwood to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

MAER, Thursday, April 9 [1846].

My dear Jessie,

I feel certain my mother was never conscious enough of her situation or of the lapse of time, to have any of the thoughts you imagine.… We have settled not to stay here longer than a month to finish up everything, and I do not mind the thoughts of going. The sunshine seems gone already. We shall then go to Camphill, I perhaps to stay a month with poor Sarah [Wedgwood], whose uprooting I feel very sorry for.… Yesterday I let the servants know. It is comfortable that so many of them will not want to go to service anywhere else. Mary Harding, who was a perfect nurse to my mother, put off her marriage last autumn on her account.…

Charlotte remarks in the letters they receive how many revert to the charm of her mother's smile. The following is from a little paper of Emma's of which half is lost.

The time I remember my mother with most affection was about the time we came from school, and she and my father came to meet us at Stone and gave us such a reception. I shall never forget her warm glow as she embraced us again and again. Soon after she left us at school again, after the midsummer holiday, she went to Shrewsbury, and was very ill there for some time. When I think of the grief I felt then at hearing of her illness, I often wonder at my apathy now, but in fact the first fit she had was almost a greater grief than any I have felt since with respect to her.…

Jessie Sismondi writes to Elizabeth (Ap. 1846):

I am reconciled to Maer going into other hands. Jos certainly would not be rich enough to live in it as it is, and if he could, it would no longer be the home to many of us that it has been; its very nature is changed, so let it go. I wish Frank was rich enough to buy it. However after shivering at the sight of Cresselly, I became more reconciled to Maer's going—so that might look when its angels had departed. I thought, after all, local attachments are affections of the imagination and not of the heart, and if we will it we may soon conquer them.

It has, however, been always deeply regretted by the family that the place had to be sold. The poor old house has been hugely added to and is now quite spoilt, and the Maer of these letters exists no more. The aunts at Tenby begged Elizabeth and the Langtons to come to them for a long stay as soon as possible after they left Maer.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

May 29 [1846].

……I wish this fine weather might last till we have you. Every move is pleasant in it, and every look of every place is cheerful. In our quiet evening walks on the shore, or the Burroughs, now covered with roses and buttercups,

[pages] 94 - 95

Emma and I are continually exclaiming "How Elizth and Charlotte will enjoy this quiet scene after all their labours." And how we have longed to hear that they were finished. And there has been a desponding burst, "I am sure Elizabeth won't come, Lord knows when we shall see her." I really am most grateful to Sara for it is to her we owe you. I am very glad indeed she [Sarah] was pleased with my letters, tho' I wrote the first in great fear, she is such an incalculable person. I shall be very glad to see her, if she will pay us a visit after you are all gone, for what I tell her is true, my friendship for her is as indestructible as natural affection. She could no more become indifferent to me than one of my own people.…

In the summer Emma Darwin went also to Tenby, taking her two eldest children, Willy and Annie. This long journey was a most unusual event in her quiet life. My father's health was now very bad and there is frequent mention of sickness and other suffering.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin, at Tenby.

DOWN, Wednesday [June, 1846].

My dearest old Soul,

I was exceedingly glad to get your letter with so wonderfully good an account of your voyage and of the dear little souls' happiness; I am glad you took them. Do you not think you had better come back by land? and had you better not stay more than a fortnight? I propose it to you in bonâ fide and wish you to do so, though I do long to have mine own wife back again.…

At last the flower-garden is looking very gay. I have been getting on very badly with my work as it has been extremely difficult, and I have had so many letters to write. Etty was very charming, though I did not see much of her yesterday; she is very affectionate to her dolls, but at last got tired of them, and declared with great emphasis that "she would have a real live Baby," and "Mama shall buy one for me."

Give my very best love to all at Penally1: Good-bye my own old dearest. Kiss the children for me. Etty often talks about them. Yours affect, C. D.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin at Tenby.

Thursday afternoon [June, 1846].

My dear Wife,

To-day has been stormy and gloomy, but rather pleasant in the intervals, only I have been sick again but not very uncomfortable. A proof has come from the printers saying the compositor is in want of MS., which he cannot have and I am tired and overdone. I am an ungracious old dog to howl, for I have been sitting in the summer-house, whilst watching the thunderstorms, and thinking what a fortunate man I am, so well off in worldly circumstances, with such dear little children, and such a Trotty2, and far more than all with such a wife. Often have I thought over Elizabeth's words, when I married you, that she had never heard a word pass your lips which she had rather not have been uttered, and sure I am that I can now say so and shall say so on my death-bed3, bless you my dear wife.

Your very long letter of Monday has delighted me, with all the particulars about the children. How happy they seem: I will forward it to Caroline, though twice it has "my dearest N."

1 Penally, close to Tenby, where the aunts now lived.

2 Etty, called Trotty Veck.

3 He did say so in a passage given later from his autobiography.

[pages] 96 - 97

Trotty is quite charming, though I am vexed how little I can stand her: somehow I have been extra bothered and busy: and this morning I sent off five letters.…

"My dearest N," means "My dearest Nigger." He called himself her "nigger" meaning her slave, and the expression "You nigger," as a term of endearment, is familiar to our ears from her lips.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Madame Sismondi.

DOWN, Sunday [probably September, 1846].

……Charlotte writes to me for a receipt for a punishment for Edmund. If she will send me ditto for Etty I will engage to furnish her, but I am quite as much nonplussed as she can be. Since she has been unwell the whims in her little head are wonderful. Now she never will have her night shift on, and it has to be put on after she is asleep. I must come to a downright quarrel I am afraid, but I am always in hopes these fancies will blow over.

We seem suddenly slipped from summer into autumn, which is always rather dismal. I wonder when you will come and see what a capital house we have got now, and we can give you a room without sending you up those break-neck stairs. It would be a great happiness to have you. Give my best love to my two dear Aunts and to Fanny Hensleigh. She has not written to me I don't know when, not that I have to her for that matter either. I only mean to observe that I like a letter very much….


Sarah Wedgwood settles at Down—Elizabeth Darwin born July 8th, 1847—Elizabeth Wedgwood and the Langtons leave Staffordshire—Hartfield—Fanny Allen makes a round of visits—Jessie Sismondi on the French Revolution of '48—Charles Darwin at Shrewsbury—Francis Darwin born August 16th, 1848—Dr Darwin's death November 13th, 1848.

In 1847 the three sisters Jessie Sismondi, and Emma and Fanny Allen, were moving house. There appears to have been much heart-searching as to whether they should uproot altogether and follow their favourite nieces Elizabeth, Charlotte, Emma, and Fanny Hensleigh to the home counties, but eventually they decided that it was best to live and die where they had been born and where Fanny and Emma had spent most of their lives—a wise decision I imagine.

Jessie Sismondi writes to Elizabeth Wedgwood (June 7, 1847):

I have never got over my pleasure at my and your little Emma's letter expressing such true and earnest wish that we would live near her. I had such a fit of dejection

L. 11. 7

[pages] 98 - 99

after you went away that it is very true I wished our house here at old Scratch. Charlotte Langton luckily came over one Sunday evening that I was just going into church in hopes I might pray myself out of it, but the long meditation of the silent sermon would probably have depressed me into the slough of despond. Her sweet look and voice, and gentle sympathy was as David's harp to Saul.

This year, too, Sarah Wedgwood, having left Camp Hill, her Staffordshire home, came to live at Down to be near my mother. She took 'Petleys' from Sir John Lubbock, and lived there till her death. Her three servants were the dear friends of us all as children, and whenever life was a little flat at home, a visit to the kitchen at aunt Sarah's to see Mrs Morrey, her sister Martha, and the manservant Henry Hemmings, was always delightful. The stated and solemn visits to our old great-aunt were rather awful but fortunately rare events. She remains in my memory an old-world figure looking like some old lady in Cranford—tall, very thin and upright, dressed in a scanty lilac muslin gown, several little capes of muslin or silk, and a large Leghorn bonnet with yellow ribbons. She kept several pairs of gloves by her—loose black ones for shaking hands with little boys and girls and putting on coals, and others for reading books and cleaner occupations.

Elizabeth, my mother's sixth child, was born on July 8th, 1847. This made five children in the nursery, Mary Eleanor having died as an infant.

All the family but the Frank Wedgwoods had now left Staffordshire. The Harry Wedgwoods1 settled at The Hermitage near Woking, the Jos Wedgwoods at Leith Hill Place, and the Langtons at Hartfield Grove, on the borders of Ashdown Forest in Sussex, all within a year or two. Elizabeth shortly after built herself a house, The Ridge, about a quarter of a mile from the Langtons. The site was a little group of fields, formerly filched from the open heath and bordered with hollies, beeches and firs. All the cousins have the happiest remembrance of visits to these two houses; there was the same atmosphere of freedom as at Maer. The surroundings were particularly delightful for children— streams where we fished for minnows with cocoa-nut shells, sand to dig in, and wild heathy commons to wander freely about. These, too, were all pleasures that we had not at Down. In the summer of 1899 I looked down on the well-remembered houses from the top of Gill's Lap, a high fir-crowned hill about two miles to the south, and it was even wilder, more beautiful and full of charm than I remembered it.

Elizabeth built a little school on the edge of her land for the few children near by. They came from little straggling cottages originally belonging to squatters on the forest. It was her regular occupation every morning for an hour or two to teach in this school. The following letter shows that a third school owed its origin to her.

1 John Wedgwood, the father of Jessie, Harry's wife, with whom they had lived, died in 1844. Fanny Allen wrote of him "a kinder and a gentler nature never left life."


[pages] 100 - 101

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

27 Aug. 1847.

I feel disposed to write to you to-day, dearest, because my head is full of you and of your works, which I believe I was one of the first to think romantic. Let me make the amende honorable. What you have done at Caldy1 prospers and bears fruit more abundantly than I could have believed possible. Yesterday Emma [Allen] persuaded me to lay my oldness aside, and make one of a boat party to Caldy with John Allen2 (School Commissioner) to visit your school, so that you will see it figure in the school report. We found 12 or 13 children. After summoning all in that were at hand there were 17 examined. The school at full amounts to twenty-two. It is, as you know, amply furnished with all the implements of learning, books ten times I believe as many as they want, maps excellent and many; and John Allen was particularly pleased with the little Scriptural prints, in which he examined them with a sort of parental tenderness. Their needlework is really excellent, it beats the Penally working-school hollow. They sang several hymns and sang them true, tho' not very musical, nevertheless they very nearly overcame me. There was a devotional earnestness in one little boy that might have repaid you for all you have done, if you had looked at him. There are two little girls, too, that seem to have done wonders in a short time, if your school was the first of their teaching. But I was afraid of questioning your rather mad-looking school-mistress, as it would have called off her attention from the examination, and the tide would not give us as much time as we wanted, so that John did it

1 Caldy Island, near Tenby.

2 Afterwards Archdeacon Allen, the well-known friend of Fitzgerald and Tennyson.

very hastily. It is a very nice dwelling and schoolroom. Its loftiness was enviable to me, and looked grand after these low rooms; now in summer they take the Chapel for school: for a very long time there has been no service. The mistress seemed perfectly contented and said she was well, but looked deadly pale. Tho' very short-sighted and looking very crazy, she seems to do her work very well, and I, who thought you half crazy in undertaking it, pronounce it a noble work, or better a blessed one, and am ashamed of my bad judgment and of my slowness to hope good. I enjoyed the sail there and back exceedingly beside all the pleasure I found on the Island itself. We were obliged to climb up an almost perpendicular rock that frightened me to look at, but with the adroit aid of Tom Allen and R. Wedgwood I got up like a goat, and enjoyed it all the more for the difficulty. John Allen was particularly agreeable…

The following letter shows that the garden at The Ridge, Elizabeth's house at Hartfield, was being laid out, and my mother, after her manner, was intending to dig up shrubs at Down for the new place.

Charles Darwin to Emma Dawin.

Sunday [SHREWSBURY, 31st Oct. 1847].

My very dear Mammy,

I had two wretched days on Friday and Saturday. I lay all day upstairs on the sofa groaning and grumbling and reading "Last Days of Pompeii." I have almost made up my mind to stay here till Wednesday, and I shall not go round by Kew, as Hooker will come to us. I have had plenty of time to think of you my own dearest, tenderest, best of wives. I do love and adore you. I have no doubt I shall be at home on Thursday. Kiss the dear children for me.…

[pages] 102 - 103

Many thanks for all your very nice letters and your amusing one this morning. We all here understand why so many laurels must be dug up, perhaps you would like the Azalea and one of the Deodars for Elizabeth. My dearest I kiss you from my heart. Won't you dig up a few of the apple trees in the orchard? are they not too thick?…

Fanny Allen wrote the following letters whilst on a round of visits to old friends and relations in the autumn of 1847.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

PERRYSTONE, Sept. 2nd [1847].

…I found W. Clifford on Thursday at the turnpike gate with the little carriage and his man George—he looking very much better indeed than when we left him in town, and his limbs much better, so that he walked back from the turnpike, and he was not at all the worse for it. This fine summer has done him a great deal of good, and he hears also better; his two nieces and Col. Yorke are here. On Friday, Mr Cornewall Lewis1 and Lady Theresa and her 3 children (Listers) came here, and remain till to-morrow, we had also the Dean of St Asaph (Mr Luxmore), who lost his son, an only child, last spring, racing with another young man at Cambridge. It is the first visit he has paid since his poor son's death.

1 Sir George Cornewall Lewis (1806—1863), of Harpton Court, Herefordshire, M.P. for the Radnor Boroughs and Poor Law Commissioner. "A quiet, grave-looking man who won the confidence of the moderate men of all parties." He was author of the saying "life would be tolerable but for its amusements." He married Maria Theresa (1803—1865), grand-daughter of the 1st Earl of Clarendon, and widow of Thomas Henry Lister. She edited and published Miss Berry's Journal and Correspondence. See Dict. Nat. Biog.

W. Clifford was much more overcome at their first meeting than he was. Lady Theresa is quite charming—so gay and happy, easy and natural, and I think very clever. She has a good loud voice, and she carries on a lively conversation with Mr Clifford without much effort. If all ladies of quality were like her I should say they were very superior to the run of ladies in our rank. Her son is a nice lad at Harrow, who charms W. C. by the sweetness of his countenance, the two girls also are nice little things. W. C. enjoyed himself very much talking nonsense to Lady Theresa last night, and she responded with great gaiety. His love for Violet1 was the theme. Mr Lewis is a sensible man, rather cold, but he enjoys his wife's sprightliness and laughed very heartily when she took him off; they seem a thoroughly happy family. He has gained very much for the better by losing his place of Poor-Law Commissioner, as he is now an Under-Secretary of State. I thought he criticised Macaulay well and justly this morning—he said he thought he lost sight of truth occasionally from his love of painting strong scenes and saying striking things, but never from prejudice. He thought him on the whole very veracious. He is a man of bad or no taste, I forget which, which is observable in his history, or indeed in whatever he writes.……

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

[TENBY] Oct. Ist [1847].

…I was very glad to get your letter to know Fan safe over railroads, &c. and well lodged with you. I like her and your account of Hartfield very much, and the other day at Freestone James Allen said it was the most enjoyable country he had ever been in.……

We found the Freestones very flourishing I think, Emma not, but we never see the same. She thought

1 The novel Violet la Danseuse.

[pages] 104 - 105

Mrs A. looking very ill. We lunched on oysters and bread and butter and metheglin, but not so heartily as she did on hot fish and potatoes. And that done we walked to Cresselly, leaving Fan's Love to a long feed of oats. We found Mrs Allen [of Cresselly] very well, Seymour and Harry shooting and Kitty [aged about 4] charming. She and her mother walked part of the way back with us. When she saw her mother taking leave of us, she put her little hand in mine, and said I will go with you, and turning to her mother, with a curtsey, how graceful! said, " If you please Mama good morning." " No, Kitty you must return with me." " No, if you please, Mama," and her voice began to tremble. " I want to see Polly and Stangs [ponies]," when I told her they were at Freestone, "and Aunt Fanny" she said in a voice that would have made Fan's heart leap if she had heard it. It is surely the most gifted child that ever was created. I never heard such speaking tones of voice, nor saw action so lovely. What she says is not so much as the accompaniments, altogether there is no disguising the rapture she excites.……

I had one of my darling's charming letters the other day. I wish her Charles [Darwin] would go oftener from home that I might have an evening every now and then of her nursery chat, which I like above all things.……

Fanny Allen to her sister Madame Sismondi.

HARTFIELD, Oct. 3rd [1847].

…I am very glad to hear that you are going to Cresselly for the christening, and that you have a smart bonnet to wear there. Pick up every word of Kitty's and if you could send a scrap of her in every letter what treasures they would be! It is indeed a privilege to have such a child as that. Happy parents!

I have been deep in the old letters of the family for these last ten days—poor Tom's letters are very melancholy and touching, and some of Jos's answers very beautiful. What two men they were! and their attachment to each other so perfect. I have copied off half a sheet of Tom's written from Cote in 1804, desiring Jos not to come there on his account, and giving a character of himself and Jos so true and beautiful both, that it is a pity it should not be more known. It was a cruel blight that passed over the life of a person of such rare excellence. There are a great number of Coleridge's letters, very clever and amusing—in one a very kind message " to Miss Allens, Fanny and Emma," and how pleasant the recollection he had of his stay at Cresselly. Tom Poole's letters are interesting. I never cease regretting that Kitty [Wedgwood] did not accept him. How different would have been her life, to that absurd and ridiculous attachment which bound her to Miss Morgan. Among the mass of letters his are among the most affectionate and from the most healthful mind. There are also [letters] from Wordsworth, Godwin, Campbell, all equally struck by the beauty of Tom's character, and expressive of the deepest attachment to him. He was a "man made to be loved" like Fox.

It is very lucky you are not near enough to commit the imprudence of sending me your "white bonnet to be worn at Embley." I shall not want a smart bonnet there, not so much as at Down, and I have got my Leghorn, too smart almost already. Be sure dress yourself very handsomely at Cresselly.…

[pages] 106 - 107

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

THE HERMITAGE, Thursday 11th [Nov. 1847]

…I was yearning to write to you the few days of my stay at Embley1 [where] I spent a pleasant time in spite of the greatest of my losses, Florence. I never liked Mr or Mrs Nightingale so much before, and Hilary Carter and Parthe are girls of extraordinary talents and understanding. Mr N. has something of the charm of Mrs Tollet's simplicity. He made us laugh heartily one day at dinner, when some one observed on the character of Sismondi, of the interest he took in people, when Mr Nightingale suspended his knife and fork a little saying, "It is very amiable, but I can not for the life of me feel that interest in anybody." He was greeted with much laughter of course, but he continued very grave, protesting his want of power. He made another confession, that he was very malignant, which I do not see any indication of, but he knows best. Florence's letters were great treats. There were three of them during my stay. She sees well and describes well. She mentioned having seen the Nineveh bulls which have lately arrived at Paris. They are exceedingly grand, 20 feet high, and 12 of these are coming to England. What can we do with them? Where place them? They have all been dug up at Nineveh. The Bracebridges and Florence left Paris in the diligence for Chalons. This new mode of travelling amuses Flo, and she rather likes difficulties too. What a wife she would make for a man worthy of her! but I am not sure I yet know the mate fit for her. I never saw a more enviable talent of drawing than that which Hilary Carter and

1 The house of Mr Nightingale, father of Florence Nightingale and Frances Parthenope, afterwards 2nd wife of Sir Harry Verney. Lady Verney wrote Stone Edge, etc. and was also editor of the first half of the Verney Letters. Hilary Carter their cousin.

Parthe have. Everything that catches their eye as beautiful, either in form or colour, they sketch or colour with inconceivable rapidity, and their pencil or colour box is always at hand. Make Charlotte transmit her talent to Edmund. What a thing it would be for a man! His [Edmund's] susceptibility to the history of Sir T. Moore is very surprising and gives great hopes of a high character.…. I came up here yesterday with Mr Eyre, a neighbour of the Nightingales, and had much conversation with him on the beau monde topics. He proposed the coupé for us to go in, and it is by far the most agreeable seat in the train, so pray choose it the next time you go. You hear much better too, so that sometimes you may gain a good deal and sometimes lose, as it may be. Yesterday I gained something of the high world talk. Mr Eyre is an intimate of Sydney Herbert and detailed the course of his marriage and the loosening of the tie between him and Mrs Norton, who behaved very well on the occasion and assured him when he married she would never cross his path. She went to Ireland before the marriage took place. Mr Eyre gave some very sensible opinions on marriage. 1 could not help smiling when I thought how intimate we had got, and we parted affectionately. Our marriage conversation was apropos to the difficulty the 2 N.'s would have in finding any one they would like well enough to forsake such a home….

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

42, CHESTER TERRACE, Sunday Evening [28 Nov. 1847].

My dear Elizabeth,

I was sorry to miss your parting kiss and farewell on Wednesday, but when I came down the stairs I had not a minute to lose, so I left you without being able to say the only disagreeable word I can ever imagine saying to you. My dinner at Alderson's was rather dull

[pages] 108 - 109

and heavy. We were a party of 14, and our 3 best men made but bad talkers that day. Alderson was so much occupied with carving that I did not hear him speak, and the time of dinner was composed of duet talking. The Bishop of Exeter1 looked the very personification of the evil serpent, gliding about and whispering in deep conversation with the Baron, all with reference to his plot against Hampden. Soon after he sat down to dinner he poured much civility on me. We were three apart, and our soup was suspended, while he made me half-a-dozen set speeches, invitations to Torquay and Devonshire, and much formality, and I guess little sincerity. I wanted to have Mr Maurice2 as my companion, but I got H. Milman3. He would have made the conversation general if he had found help on the opposite side of the table, but none came. Mr Maurice could not like him, nor the Bishop either, so as I said above our dinner was dull. Mr Milman praised Jane Eyre exceedingly, so if you want to order a book get that, the writer is unknown. He and his wife had been at Paris lately and I asked him about the Bulls, that you have been laughing at my version of. They are brazen he said, and he should think their height was about 12 feet; and instead of 12 Bulls for England, he said there

1 The famous 'Gorham Case' was just now beginning, in which Phillpotts, the combative and crafty Bishop of Exeter, was trying to keep a clergyman out of a benefice to which he had been presented, on the ground that he was not sound on the question of 'baptismal regeneration.' The Bishop was a militant Tory of the fiercest type; and was thus of course a bête noir to a radical like Fanny Allen. His wife was a niece of Mr Surtees, and Mrs Surtees remained all her life a warm friend of the Phillpotts.

2 Frederick Denison Maurice (b. 1805, d. 1872), Chaplain of Lincoln's Inn. He may be said to be the inspirer of the movement generally called 'Broad Church.' He also founded the Working Men's College, the pioneer in the cause of the higher education of working men. Gladstone after his death called him "that spiritual splendour," quoting the phrase used by Dante about St Dominic.

3 Henry Milman, the historian, afterwards Dean of St Paul's.

were a great many more—so I suppose there are 20 bulls, and I transferred the numbers. Mrs Henry Milman was exquisitely dressed.

Friday we did nothing in the morning on account of the rain, and I dined at Mrs Sydney Smith's. This was a melancholy contrast to the dinners when Sydney presided. Mrs Sydney was low and seemed to feel the striking difference. Everything was as handsome and elegant as in Sydney's time, but the soul was wanting, which Mrs S. seems to feel every moment. I heard no news there, except great praise of Jane Eyre. Fanny [Hensleigh] and Blanche1 called for me at ½ past nine to go to Mrs Thompson's literary soirée, which consisted of about 18 or 20 people, most of them very black. We had some singing and a little dancing. Sir Edward L. Bulwer's son2 was there, the most affected young gentleman of 16 I ever saw. He is very handsome, and shakes back his head of heavy dark curls every time he spoke. His dress was exceedingly recherché, he is quite a finished petit maître.

To-day we went to hear Pusey in the morning at Dodsworth's Church, and walked afterwards to Lincoln's Inn Chapel. I wish you had been with us to-day. Mr Maurice gave us a beautiful discourse, and I heard every word. It amply repaid me for my walk. It was partly on the forgiveness of our sins and what Luther had done. It is a sermon I should like to read, for it began with our quelling selfishness, but the link that bound that to the latter part of his sermon I cannot recollect. It was a sermon in contrast to Dr Pusey's in the morning, which was striking and terrific, closing with the denunciations of our Saviour to the goats on the left hand. Thus closes my story of the week….

1 Blanche Smith, afterwards wife of A. H. Clough.

2 The 1st Earl of Lytton, born 1831.

[pages] 110 - 111

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

Dec. 26 [1847], [TENBY].

My dear Elizabeth,

You will be glad to hear how I have found Jessie, so I will begin a letter to you this evening. I want also to close the history of my London annals to you, for if I do not write them when they are tolerably fresh I shall forget them altogether.

Thursday, the House of Commons day, was a failure. Where you sit is not comparable to the old Ventilator, you cannot easily move, you have a fair sight of the House, but you hear with difficulty. The only person, or the two persons I wished to hear, I did not. H. Drummond did not speak that night, and Julia Smith would not stay long enough for D'Israeli. Then I should say the debate was a cold one, Mr Gladstone spoke fluently, but there was no soul in his words, and indeed there were no giants in the House. Saturday it poured. Hensleigh continued ailing and would not think of going out to breakfast, so we went without him and had a very pleasant morning. Rogers is much more himself and can manage subjects better in his own house than when he is thrown into a party of 12, where perhaps he knows only 4 or 5. There was only Mr Ruxton, I am not sure of the name, being weak on that head, but he was clever and agreeable and knew a great deal about painting. Rogers prophesied that Monckton Milnes would extinguish him, when he should arrive, as he was just come from Madrid, and we should hear nothing but of Spain. This was not quite the case as he seemed to have been much amused by H. Drummond's speech the night before in the House, and he did not seem much struck by Madrid. The Queen is turning out a good-looking woman. Her leisure time is now engaged in copying Raphael's celebrated picture of the Spasimo!

M. Milnes is lively and pleasant but he is plain and common looking, so that he must make his way with F. by his mind, and not the outward man. Mrs Sara Coleridge told us his confession to her was that he wished to be in love and could not.

We called on poor Mrs Sydney Smith on our way back. How untrue was the report that she was giving parties and going out! She has not dined in company since S.'s death and has given no parties of any kind. She lives but in the thoughts of her past life, and of wishes to transmit something of Sydney to posterity that might show him the gay, kind, good-natured person he was. As I could not delay my journey to pay her a little visit, which she wished, she said she would show me her manuscripts, what she had collected of his letters, and her own little sketch of her husband's early life. But as this could not be now, she gave me a few books of MSS. to look over before I quitted town. This was good-natured and the reading of them gave me amusement and pleasure. The day was too bad for Anne Marsh to come, as she had intended, so Sara Coleridge sat an hour or more waiting for her. She [Sara] is not a person that hits my taste, she has I suspect too much of her father in her. The dinner at Bunsen's was a very pleasant one. Besides the family there were three gentlemen and their wives and some other learned men. Bunsen introduced one man, a German (MÜller) who was a great Sanscrit scholar. Another, who sat next me, was a great Northern linguist and scholar, I believe he was an Englishman. All the English names I could make nothing of when Bunsen pronounced them. It was very amusing hearing all these men talking of learned times and things, which you do not hear at an English dinner-table. There was a frankness in this that was very agreeable. Next to Bunsen, I should think my neighbour, the Scandinavian, was the most learned of the party. He seemed to know all things, so I ventured to try him with my bulls. He

[pages] 112 - 113

was quite au fait, told me where they were, not yet arrived in India, from whence they come here by vessels. I asked him what their height was, and he said 16 feet high, so there I shall leave them—a very proper height. He told me they had deciphered three words only on Sir C.Fellowes' Lycian stone. They had deciphered also some words on the Babylonian bricks and that Nebuchadnezzar was on every one. The world was created on Sept. 21, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.…

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Darwin.

January 26th [1848], [TENBY].

You are the dearest love that lives, even if you fail of executing your plan, nothing can be more lovely than conceiving it, except the accomplishment of it. Dear child, what pleasure I should have to look again on your sweet face. We can lodge you and Elizabeth magnificently, and I am sure she would come with you, busy as she will be about her house. You are too young, my little darling, to run about the world by yourself—discreet and old as you think yourself. I feel, as it were, afraid to breathe this plan, for fear it should be blown away. I shall write little to-day, my fingers tingling close to a good fire.

I wonder whether you would have any interest in my Italian letters now. I had one yesterday from my nephew. It is curious to see how open they are on politics, which formerly they did not dare to name. There is such an air of liberty in the whole letter, it makes one feel at this distance their emancipation. I rejoice over it, but with trembling. I feel that wicked power Austria ready to pounce on them when they go further than it likes, and Russia ready to back Austria, to say nothing of Prussia.

Dear Emma, I am proud you treat me with your nursery annals, and I exult in the pretty character of Willy. May God preserve it to him through the boy's rough world. I am sure He will. The seeds of the man are sown at ten, there are bettering and worsening but no change. We are reading out Jane Eyre with great interest. My private studies are the Queens of England1, by which I learn much and am exceedingly amused. Farewell dearest, it is impossible to write, one's very brains are frozen. Love, much love, as M. says, to your husband and children, and to Aunt Sara, how does she? This cold weather does she give herself good fires?……

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

March 4 [1848].

As great a change has taken place in my feelings since this day week, as there did in Paris almost in those wonderful four days. Then (that is last Saturday) I do not remember ever being made so unhappy by politics, and so I continued until my Galignanis, which were suspended, were returned to me, and a letter from Mme. Mojon telling me the romantic turn of the Revolution, the safety of those for whom I trembled, and really, as far as it seems at present, the most sublime political movement that has ever taken place in any country. I can think of nothing else. I go to bed after reading every paper I can lay my hands on, only in impatience to awake again to know and read more. No government is possible now but a republic, whatever one might feel of pity for the poor Orleans, of love and admiration for my heroine the Duchess.……The Revolution is now more a social than a political one. Will they be able to realise their promises to the working classes? and if they cannot, how much may be dreaded from the disappointed vengeance of the monster they have unchained. I see to-day a decree of what Sismondi so unceasingly asked, "a participation of the workman in the

1 Queens of England by Miss Strickland.

L. 11. 8

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gains of what he produces, however small, so as to have a living interest in the manufactory," but in this very decree I see a blunder by the " mauvaise tête" of Louis Blanc. He talks of the "iniquitous oppression" of the work-masters. It is not true, and if it was, it is not for the rulers of the masters as well as workmen to use such language. At a moment when as you say, " a little spark kindleth such a blaze" how cautiously ought every word to be weighed ! I cannot help thinking the hand of God is immediately in this revolution. It is so great, so sudden, so unforeseen, so unmeasured even by those who seem to have made it, that it has the effect of a miracle on the soul.

The most hopeful part of this revolution is the awakening of a religious feeling. Can that be owing only to the piety of one man, Lamartine ? One might doubt it if one did not see the immense spread of good by one woman, Mrs Fry, whose memoirs we are now reading, and a very delightful reading it is. What a blessed woman! And what a blessed lot was hers! I shall not read Angela. I believe I am too old to relish any novels. For the most part I find them intolerable reading, yet Vanity Fair and Dombey I still relish as if I was young, so I suppose the fault is in the books and not in me.

My tender love to my dear Lotty. My next shall be to her, for fear her Lazyship slips out of my correspondence, and that is precious to me as her sweet love. God bless thee, my beloved child. Ever thy J. S.

I like much the 'thee and thou,' it seems so,pretty in Mrs Fry.

The following were written during a visit to Shrewsbury in May, 1848. Dr Darwin was very seriously ill and this was my father's last visit there during his father's lifetime.

Charles Darwin in Emma Darwin

Saturday [SHREWSBURY, probably 20 May, 1848].

Though this will not go to-day I will write a bit of Journal, which "in point of fact" is a journal of all our healths. My father kept pretty well all yesterday, but was able to talk for not more than 10 minutes at a time till after dinner, when he talked the whole evening most wonderfully well and cheerfully. It is an inexpressible pleasure that he has twice told me that he is very comfortable, and that his want of breath does not distress him at all like the dying sensation, which he now very seldom has. That he thought with care he might live a good time longer, and that when he died it would probably be suddenly, which was best. Thrice over he has said that he was very comfortable, which was so much more than I expected.…

Thanks for your very nice letter received this morning, with all the news about the dear children: I suppose now and be-hanged to you, you will allow Annie [age 7] is " something." I believe as Sir J. L. said of his friend, that she is a second Mozart; anyhow she is more than a Mozart considering her Darwin blood. Farewell for to-day.

Sunday. All goes on flourishing. Susan arrived at 8 o'clock in tremendous spirits. The tour had answered most brilliantly. She never saw such trees, such post-horses, such civil waiters, and such good dinners, and as for Frank Parker1, she is in love with him. It has done her a world of good.

What a very good girl you are to write to me such very nice letters, telling me all I like to hear, though you have not mentioned the two new azaleas. Hensleigh thinks he has settled the Free Will question, but hereditariness practically demonstrates that we have none whatever. One

1 Francis, 3rd son of her sister Marianne Parker.


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might have thought that signing one's name to one's letters was an open point, but it seems it is all settled for us. For S. will not sign or make any common ending any more than Jos or Uncle Tom. I daresay that not a word of this note is really mine; it is all hereditary, except my love for you, which I should think could not be so, but who knows?

Yours, C. D.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

Monday [SHREWSBURY, 22nd May, 1848].

….I was speculating yesterday how fortunate it was I had plenty of employment (and an employment which I do not consider mere amusement) for being employed alone makes me forget myself: really yesterday I was not able to forget my stomach for 5 minutes all day long. I have read, since being here, Evelyn's Life of Mrs Godolphin; it is very pretty, but she is too virtuous, and too nun-like; her great beauty counterbalances some of her virtue: if she had been ugly and so very good she would have been odious. Tell this sentiment to your Aunt Sarah and see what she will say. I am also reading an Eng. Trans. of Mme. de Sévigné and like it much. Give my love to all the dear children and bless them: you are a good old mammy.

Yours, C. D.

The black-caps sing here so beautifully.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

[SHREWSBURY], Tuesday [23 May, 1848].

This lovely day makes me pine rather to be with you and the dear little ones on the lawn. Thank Willy and Annie for their very nice notes, which told me a great many things I wished to hear; they are very nicely written. Give them and my dear Etty and Georgy my best love. This place is looking lovely, but yet I could not live here: the sounds of the town, and blackguards talking, and want of privacy, convince me every time I come here that rurality is the main element in one's home.…

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

Thursday, [SHREWSBURY, probably 25th May, 1848].

I keep very well, though unusually heavy. My father had a fair night. He was very cheerful at cards, but the day here is almost continual anxiety. The Owens as usual have found me out: the Queen might as well come incognito here: I hope the Governor1 will not come over to-morrow.

Your letters delight me and tell me all the things I most like to hear: I am very sorry that Annie cannot sing, but do not give up too soon. You are a lovely girl, I have just written for you my third note to Mr Blunt2. Eras. says that the Ls. having gone to the Queen's Ball, taken with the Prince's speech about the Lodging Houses, show that the Court is determined to encourage the lower orders: I should like to repeat this to the Ls. It is going to be tremendously hot to-day.

Your old Nigger, C. D.

I am in love with Mme. de Sévigné; she only shams a little virtue.

My father's words as to his being in love with Madame de Sévigné remind me of the mixture of playfulness, deference, and admiration which made

1 Old Mr Owen of Woodhouse.

2 The Shrewsbury chemist, who was believed at Down to be the best chemist in the world.

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his manner so delightful to any woman who attracted him—with whom he was in love as he was pleased to call it. He was often in love with the heroines of the many novels that were read to him, and used always to maintain both in books and real life that a touch of affectation was necessary to complete the charm of a pretty woman. What he meant is rather difficult to understand, for he really could not endure affectation. But I think it was a definite grace and flavour of manner combined with an intention to please.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

Saturday [Postmark 27th May, 1848).

My dearest old Mammy,

I was so very glad to get your letter this morning with as good an account of the Baby as could be expected. I am so thankful you had Elizabeth with you; for she of all human beings would be of the greatest comfort to you. Her presence is a blessing and joy to everyone I am weak enough to-day, but think I am improving. My attack was very sudden: Susan was very kind to me but I did yearn for you. Without you when sick I feel most desolate. I almost doubt whether I shall be able to travel on Monday; but I can write no more now. Oh Mammy, I do long to be with you and under your protection for then I feel safe. God bless you.

C. D.

Thank my dear Etty for her nice little letter and give my love to all our dear children, whom I shall be so glad to see again.

The following tells of the birth of Francis, my mother's seventh child, on August 16, 1848.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

August 18 [1848].

Thank you best and dearest for your blessed news to-day, and oh how fervently I thank God. I wished for a girl too, and she has boys enough already.… Companionship is such a means of perfectionment or development, whichever you please, as well as of happiness, and always the greater the closer the age, that on a reconsideration I congratulate my Em, and more particularly the little Georgy, that it is again a boy. I have sent your letter the rounds, all being very impatient.

We have had another breakfast for the Hallams. We could only obtain Harry [Wedgwood]. Jess ran riot, and would not come. We all three dote on Harry, which most can never be known, but he is so sociable, so obliging, and so quietly agreeable, that with him at our table we do not fear to ask anyone, and the breakfast is a very nice female meal. We had a lovely morning and our place looked very pretty. The Hallams were all three very agreeable and left us early, before anyone grew flat, for the tour of the Rocks, and left Tenby the day after, so we have nothing more to do with them, and that is pleasant too……

Fanny Allen who often staid at Down speaks of us as "nice good children, not spoiled and wisely brought up." The discipline of numbers there was certainly no lack of.

Dr Darwin died on November 13th, 1848: I remember the awe-struck feeling and crying bitterly, out of sympathy with my father.

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Catherine Darwin wrote to her brother Charles (11th Nov. 1848):

My father is perfectly collected, and placid in his mind in every way, and one of the most beautiful and pathetic sights that can be imagined, so sweet, so uncomplaining, so full of everybody else, of all the servants, the servants' children, etc. Susan was up all last night, and the greatest part of the night before; she is wonderfully able to go through her most trying part, all his directions being given to her. He attempted to speak about you this morning, but was so excessively overcome he was utterly unable; we begged him not to speak as we knew what he would have said; the least emotion or excitement exhausts him so, it is quite dangerous.…

And the day following, after telling of the peaceful death she ends her letter, "God comfort you my dearest Charles, you were so beloved by him."

My father went down to Shrewsbury, though but little up for the journey, staying the night with Erasmus Darwin in London.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

PARK STREET, 3 o'clock.

My own very dear Mammy,

Here am I and have had some tea and toast for luncheon and am feeling very well.

My drive did me good and I did not feel exhausted till I got near here and now I am resting again and feel pretty nearly at my average. My own dear wife I cannot possibly say how beyond all value your sympathy and affection is to me. I often fear I must wear you with my unwellnesses and complaints.

Your poor old husband, C. D.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

HEYWOOD LANE, Nov. 27 [1848].

….How wise it is in Susan and Catherine Darwin to decide on remaining at Shrewsbury! no fresh place can give them the satisfaction, and pleasure too, that the parent nest will. It is also so nice a place in spite of the town, and it will be so endeared to them by the memory of the father, that they will probably like it better than ever they did—and it will be a nice gathering house for the family too. I am very sorry that Caroline has the painful regret of not going soon enough, hers is not a mind that effaces soon sad impressions. Poor Cath. is too unwell, and perhaps unhappy, to have energy of mind enough to recover soon from her sorrow.

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Life at Down—Malvern water-cure—The Allen sisters all go touring—Jessie Sismondi on F. W. Newman—She and her sisters move to Heywood Lane—Their youthy age—Miss Martineau and Mr Atkinson—A party at the Bunsens—An impromptu dinner at the Hensleigh Wedgwoods'.

Fanny Allen to her niece Emma Darwin.

3 Feb. [1849], HEYWOOD LODGE.

My dear Emma,

I should be grateful for anything that brought me one of your sweet letters, and I most gratefully thank you for your affection which has prompted you to send me a souvenir, and though I have no need of one with regard to you, yet I am sure it will perform its pleasant office of putting me in mind of you, whenever I sit down to write, or indeed whenever I look at it. I trust the colds and coughs of your children are now quite gone, and that all is as usual in your happy home, where nothing is wanting but health to Charles…… Your anecdote of Willie is charming—so much love and patience with Georgy. Such a character in the eldest child, ensures all the rest being good. You deserve to be a happy father and mother, and you have a fair promise. You are very right, no child can spoil another by kindness. Men and women have great power in spoiling, as I perceived last week when I was at ——.

I hope Mrs —— does not bother her daughter to accept of M. Milnes. He is not worthy of her. Have you seen his life of Keats? T. Macaulay says he never knew what religion he was of till he read this book. He expects to find an altar to Jupiter somewhere in his house. We are near the end of Macaulay's History, and it is very entertaining reading. I do not see the 'new views' which they talk of in this history. He seems to me to have the same that Fox and Mackintosh had in their fragments. If M. had finished his history, I am sure I should have preferred it, and W. Clifford says the same of Fox…….

As I shall be on the right side of the gulf, I shall certainly see you this summer, dear Emma. I fear Tenby is too far for you to venture from Charles and the children. It would keep you anxious, and that neither of us could bear to see you. My very kind love to Charles, who I think will get better as we are coming to a pleasanter time of year. God bless you, dearest E., may everything go as smooth with you as is your own mind. Yours tenderly,


At the end my mother writes, "Send me back this nice letter and don't think I take it all for granted either for self or children."

I was now six years old, but my memory is not a good one for events long ago and I remember but little of the daily life. My impression is that except for the visits from relations, and the almost daily calls on Aunt Sarah and the poor people, my mother's life was entirely wrapped up in my father and in the children. One little memory of my childish days comes back as illustrating her wonderfully easy-going indulgence. I was very fond

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of dressing up, especially when my cousin Hope, Hensleigh Wedgwood's youngest child, was with us. The plan was, we asked my mother for the key of her jewel box—a simple wooden box in which all her jewels rattled about loose, pearls and all, with no cotton-wool to protect them. The key, too, worked badly and we had to shake and bang the box violently to get in. Then we locked her bedroom doors to prevent the maids coming in and laughing at us, took out of the wardrobe her long skirts and pinned them round our waists. Out of her lace drawer, we fitted up our bodies with lace fallals, put on the jewels and then peacocked about the room trailing the silks and satins on the floor. A favourite costume was a silver-grey moiré;-antique. When we had done we hung up the gowns, put back the lace and locked up the jewels and returned the key, but she never looked to see whether the two little girls had lost or damaged any of the jewels, and to our credit, be it said, we never did.

In the spring of 1849 it was decided to give the water-cure a trial to see if it would do anything for my father. Many entries in her diaries show how suffering his state had now become. A pleasant house was taken at Great Malvern where we all went. I remember the intense excitement of even hearing of the proposed journey, and could now show the exact place in the road where it was told me. This shows what a quiet life we led.

Emma's diary has an entry, "29th March I went to Perristone." This was Mr Clifford's house in Herefordshire, of course an easy trip from Malvern. As she fully shared in the warm feelings of the Wedgwood family towards him, her visit must have been a great pleasure as well as change in her home-keeping life. My father's health now quite unfitted him for visiting or for her to leave him with any comfort, so that practically she never left home.

Charles Darwin to the Rev. J. S. Henslow.

THE LODGE, MALVERN, May 6th, 1849.

Your kind note has been forwarded to me here. You will be surprised to hear that we all—children, servants, and all—have been here for nearly two months. All last autumn and winter my health grew worse and worse: incessant sickness, tremulous hands, and swimming head. I thought that I was going the way of all flesh. Having heard of much success in some cases from the cold-water cure, I determined to give up all attempts to do anything and come here and put myself under Dr Gully. It has answered to a considerable extent: my sickness much checked and considerable strength gained. Dr G., moreover (and I hear he rarely speaks confidently), tells me he has little doubt but that he can cure me in the course of time—time, however, it will take. I have experienced enough to feel sure that the cold-water cure is a great and powerful agent and upsetter of all constitutional habits. Talking of habits, the cruel wretch has made me leave off snuff—that chief solace of life… We shall stay here till at least June 1st, perhaps till July 1st; and I shall have to go on with the aqueous treatment at home for several more months. One most singular effect of the treatment is that it induces in most people, and eminently in my case, the most complete stagnation of mind. I have ceased to think even of barnacles!

[pages] 126 - 127

The water-cure did his health great good for a time. Fanny Allen says on the 20th August that he looked so different from what he did before, "one may call him cured."

The Allen sisters appear to have all gone touring this year. Fanny Allen went abroad with Elizabeth Wedgwood and Catherine Darwin, and Jessie Sismondi and Emma Allen made a tour in North Wales with Mr and Mrs Lort Phillips.

Elizabeth Wedgwood's house, the Ridge, was apparently now being furnished and Jessie Sismondi, in the following letter, gives particular instructions about her bed when staying there. The letter is dated from the Darwins' house at Shrewsbury.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

SHREWSBURY, August 28 [1849].

……Now for directions for my bed, the very thought of which makes me merry. A spring mattress if you please, and no feather bed, a four-post bed of reasonable dimensions—not that I care, so that it is not against the wall, lest I turn to it like Hezekiah and weep. May I some happy day fill it!……

I did enjoy surpassingly the greatest part of my N. Wales tour. Indeed I might say all. I sometimes felt as one intoxicated. I do not believe there is anybody in the world that can so completely turn the key on all that is in the heart as I can. I have been the merriest of the party by far. I do not respect myself the more for it perhaps, but how gratefully do I accept the disposition. Harry Allen joined us on Saturday. I was surprised at Isabella [Lort Phillips] fixing to make so long a visit here. It was she ordained, as they say in Devon, and I felt a little appalled thinking the Darwins would vote us a bore, but it answered wonderfully. I never saw Isabella enjoy herself in any visit so much. She loves Catherine though she says nothing about it, and Lort seemed to like the Darwins exceedingly, and bore his delayed return home with exemplary patience. Emma [Allen] enjoyed her visit here thoroughly and that is a great pleasure to me. She has not feared to make a stay that alarmed me, and that I am very glad comes to an end to-morrow for the Darwins' sake, for nothing can be more luxuriously housed than we are, and the place is so pretty, so exquisitely comfortable, that for creature comforts we could nowhere be so well. But I am ashamed to say of people young enough to be my children, I am in soggezione of all the Darwins, men and women. What can be the reason? for never was there such kind, such tender attention not even in our own nieces, particularly in the dear Susan whom I love. But she too imposes on me. I am not sure that I should not feel quite at ease with Marianne, but I have seen too little of her to be certain…….

The Lort Phillipses parted company with the two aunts at Shrewsbury and returned home, whilst Jessie Sismondi and Emma Allen continued their tour to the Lakes, where they met Fanny Hensleigh. On their return journey through North Wales they climbed Cader Idris from Dolgelly—no mean expedition for Jessie Sismondi, now aged 72. Emma Allen writes:

We fell in with a very civil geologist who gave Jessie his arm to help her over the stones; he said to me "It is quite wonderful how she climbs," and such surprise has been excited among the guides and others by her activity,

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that I believe they take her to be 90 and 100, and no one can look older than she now does.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

42, CHESTER TERRACE, Wednesday [29 Aug. 1849].

My dear Elizabeth,

I was so much shocked that Mrs Rich was engaged to buy me a shawl from you, after all you have spent for me1, that I begged that she would not go on with her purchase, but she said her commands were positive. So that the proper thing for me to do now, is to thank you more warmly and tenderly than any words I have at hand can convey, for your ever watchful kindness and your unbounded generosity. I should however have preferred seeing a very beautiful shawl, which Mrs Rich (whose taste in this article is particularly good) has chosen, on your dear shoulders rather than on my own. It is a very elegant white one, with a rich and harmonious coloured border, no one colour predominating. I hope it will not be long before you yourself will see and admire it. I wish you were half as generous to yourself as you are to others, but I, with this wish in my teeth, would not change a bit in your sweet character, and I thank heaven you are with us, to teach the young as well as us old ones all that is actively kind and generous.

Adieu my most dear and tender Elizabeth, I will not guarantee that your shawl will not cost me a few tears when I put it on. They will be those of love and tenderness…….

1 Meaning on the tour from which they had lately returned.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

Nov. 20 [1849].

……You were right dear E., I was too severe on Newman1, I was, what I called him, presumptuous. There are many striking, wise and good things in the first part of his book, so that the latter part falls on you with the shock of a shower-bath, and disposes one to think and say hard things, as one feels inclined to strike a person who surprises one with a blow. If he is a good man I still cannot guess his motive in writing that book. For himself he puts a stop to his progress in life…. For what purpose does he thus martyrise himself? To persuade his readers that the Bible and Gospels are neither inspired nor historically true. Yet he acknowledges their power on himself for all that was best in him when he believed as those do whom he seeks now to enlighten. He must know human nature better than to think that the great masses have Newman minds, that can think for themselves, and make out their own spiritualised religion without the help of minds superior to their own, or those books which he takes from them, or at least their higher influence on the heart he takes from them. Why, how few of us, with all the helps of education and learning, think for ourselves! I do not suppose there are as many as 100 leaders (say rather 10) to one million of the herd…. It cannot then be love of man that animates him. I think too he knows little of the science of humanity if he has not felt the power of forms, of order, of habits, of customs, etc. I believe superior minds feel the power

1 Francis William Newman (1805—1897), brother of Cardinal Newman. The Soul was published in 1847. His views were unorthodox and he was eager for a religion to include all that was best in all historical religions.

L. II. 9

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less than common ones, but still they must feel them sufficiently to be in some measure sensible of their strength. To me, they act strongly on my enjoyments, and as I look upon myself as of the herd I have no doubt it does on them; then why destroy them? I do not know why he subtracts the Sabbath rest from the Ten Commandments and gives it only to Constantine. If the Jews did not observe it long before him, our Saviour would not have given directions for the right use of it. I love to think us of the Jewish family, and of their reformed religion. No, you little dear, I was going to say you little goose, I, too, do not suppose that any would believe because it was "the safest side," but it would be good reason, that having happily arrived there, to be contented with one's faith, and good reason that no one should disturb it. We have none of us to choose our religion. It comes to us by the atmosphere in which we live, we modify it afterwards according to our different minds, and many by our hearts only, as myself, for my mind would help me little, I am afraid. The Trinity which puzzles thinkers does not me, because I feel in myself three distinct parts, mind, body, heart (or the affections properly speaking I suppose). I imagine these in immeasurably greater perfection in the Deity. Why may not He separate or unite them at will? Why may not Love pure and universal have incarnated itself for our redemption? I see no impossibility to God. Neither do I think He requires us to make out His nature clearly to our understandings, indeed Christ has told us we cannot, and I am content to wait. But this I feel, that expiation is a want to me. Pardon is not sufficient, and without expiation I cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is a state, not a place—the peace of God in one's own heart. Expiation is a necessity to my own heart, and not to God. There are those who have never wilfully sinned, they cannot therefore feel this want. Christ has said, He was not sent to the Whole, but to the Sick. Therefore it is not true that He considers all sinners.… I find in the Bible all [my heart] wants, without believing that every word is inspired. History is not inspiration, for example. What puzzles me too much, or appears contradictory, I lay to the faults of the many hands through which it reaches me, and still clasp it to my heart as a divine book, however it may have been perverted by the perverse. To destroy good seems to me more the work of the Evil One, than to do evil. Can you acquit Newman of this? If he does not destroy hope in a future life, he does his best to weaken it. My comfort is, his book will not be very generally read, and I do not think it powerful enough in the theological part to do much harm.

What do you say to Louis Napoleon's change of ministry? I have great interest in his moral history and political too, looking on him as a pupil of Sismondi's. I believe in his honest intentions, and that he means a more generous foreign policy than his too timid ministry would allow him to pursue. Will he be allowed to do so without war is the question that troubles me? that mischievous little Thiers, the chief instrument in the fall of Louis Philippe, would be one in his if he had his way and his wish. Adieu dearest E. If it is not time to take leave now, it will never come. What a dose!! It is perfectly true that I am ashamed of it.

Leonard Darwin, my mother's fourth son, was born on January 15th, 1850.


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Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood at Down.

January 24, 1850.

It is the first time, I believe, I have used this date to my Elizabeth. I know it is to that bed-bound little darling. How glad I am that she is safe there, instead of running about, which I know she would be if the weather was less repulsive. Please to give her my warm congratulations, they would be still warmer if she had had a little Elizabeth, or what other name she pleased, and warmest if she had neither. I beg her to have no more, tho' chloroform makes such play work of it, but she never uses it without frightening me. This ought to weigh with her, but I do not suppose it will.

Frank [Wedgwood]'s [letter] I have burnt after enjoying reading it. He is a happy fellow, and I think the most prosperous of the family, which makes it pleasant to read or consider him. I am not sure that happiness is not my prime quality. I am afraid I naturally love the happiest best, and then try to explain it philosophically, from the pleasant sensations they habitually awaken—but is there not virtue in contentment, which after all is happiness? I have not begun this awful date, a half century is awful, very merrily. The loss of two friends and contemporaries before the year is out of bud, strikes the clock somewhat solemnly. For myself I wish I may pass away as gently, as painlessly as Mrs Waddington1. I enclose you Mrs Bunsen's letter. Such a death is worth knowing, and her way of telling it pleases me exceedingly; it is strong feeling concisely and tenderly expressed. Mrs Hughes's death-stroke could hardly be called a sorrow, but the passing away of such a love as hers is very

1 Their old friend, mother of Baroness Bunsen.

mournful. I can never win such another, fancy or engouement as it was, it lasted her poor life, and I regret that, not her death.……

The Allen sisters made their final move in 1850 to a house in Heywood Lane, at Tenby. Whilst it was being got ready they all three stayed with Colonel Tom Wedgwood and his wife at their house, St Mary's, close by.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

St MARY's, March 13th [1850].

……Our house looks very ugly just now, the garden pretty, and a great deal better than our old one when it is put in any order. I will not speak of the dwelling-house till we are in it and can shake ourselves into place, at present it does not seem so much larger as I had hoped…….

Perhaps you have now that most agreeable of all couples Hensleigh and Fanny, so this weather may not be wasted. I find that I have more of it than I can enjoy myself unless I had two pairs of legs. I have been reading and enjoying Sydney Smith's Moral Philosophy, which Mrs Smith sent me this winter, but which I have not had time to read till my present leisure, and I find it a delightful book. The system, I care nothing about, that is to say whether it squares with the generally received opinion on these matters, but the book is exactly what I am glad it is—Sydney Smith's conversational opinions on these subjects, and they are exactly himself in those days when he gave these lectures. His thoughts are thrown out almost carelessly, funny, gay, serious, and witty, and so exactly himself that his voice and manner go along with me as I read.……

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Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

29 March, 1850.

How I do love your letters! So loving without the banale words of endearment, and so true. In short, I shall be a beast if I do not go to you and Charlotte, for I have confidence in the pleasure I should give you. It is almost as sensual to love quiet ease so much, as it is to love a good table. It is as Mrs Wesley says, "giving power and authority to the body over the mind," or worse over the loving soul, and must be accounted sin to me, so I must up and conquer. Do not be frightened at the sound of our greatness, our many workmen, &c. We are obliged to build a room after all, for Mr Williams was right, we had not so much as we had in the other house. I shall long for your seeing it as soon as we are finished, and I think you will have seldom seen a nicer, prettier, more cheerful dwelling. I am every day I see it in better humour with it. From the first moment I knew it could not take less than £200, and I have it ready, and it is so pleasant a way of spending we shall not much care if it comes to 3, but Tom says £200 will do it amply, so do not be alarmed for us. We have the most agreeable, honest workmen you can imagine. We pay them every Saturday and we are surprised at the much we have done for little money. I think it is much the pleasantest way of spending it, and it serves so many, one spends without any reproach of conscience. Here is a pretty second winter for you! Anne gave us most excellent pancakes from the snow and flour only, neither eggs nor milk. I hope you tried them, they would have consoled you for the snow. She and Tom do not seem to tire of us, and our only danger is, of being too sorry to leave.…

Jessie Sismondi was now 73, Emma Allen 70, and Fanny nearly 69. The following to Elizabeth Wedgwood is another evidence of the vitality and youthful spring so marked in the Allen family. "There are three1 of us who will never grow old," Bessy wrote years ago; and the same might be said of some of their descendants, notably my mother. After speaking of the death of Sir Robert Peel and the loss to the nation, Jessie Sismondi continues (5th July, 1850):

So much prosperity and happiness finished at one blow!—poor Lady Peel! but I believe I pity Sir R. more, such is my value of life. I am very glad Emma [Allen] has been enjoying hers so much ever since she left us. She says she had more of what the world calls pleasure in the last week of her stay in town than in her whole life before, and it was not lost on her; she has enjoyed like a four year old. I believe no lives had ever less of the world's pleasures than we had, which has perhaps been one of the causes of our youthy age. Fan is gone on the water to-day with the Dashwoods, they have a young officer with them, and Fan is the most engaging belle they could give him, for which I feel proud and like the Dashwoods the better for their good taste in thinking so.……

But spite of her youthful feelings Jessie had shown symptoms of the heart disease which had carried off so many of her family. She writes a few weeks later:

Truly though I cannot more take my enjoyed walks on the Penally shore, I look upon myself as a wonderful old woman. One cannot keep entirely from those one

1 Meaning, I believe, her brother John, her sister Jane Wedgwood, and Jessie Sismondi.

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lives with day by day all one feels and thinks, but I do not tell E. and F. all I believe. They know enough not to be taken by surprise. At our age there cannot, perhaps there ought not to be, the security of youth, but I should grieve to take from them an atom of what they may reasonably feel now in the enjoyment of their pretty place, in which perhaps I enjoy myself more than either of them. It is a daily, I may say an hourly, enjoyment when the sun shines—for there never was a more cheerful spot.

In every letter during the summer and autumn of 1850 there is mention of Elizabeth's gifts for their new house, sometimes new things, sometimes stripping her own house of furniture in their service. After an outpouring of gratitude Jessie Sismondi writes (21 Nov. 1850):

Do you know that we have bought a whole equipage since I have written to you, chaise, ass and harness for £9. I am going out presently in it. If you had seen Harry [Wedgwood], the very day he departed, so busy in arranging the purchase for us, you would have doated on him. I really believe he was backwards and forwards between this and Tenby six times, and when he brought it up at half-past 5, his little baby in it, his face glowing with love and pleasure, there was nothing of his own packed tho' he was to sail at 9. It was impossible to look at his bright face unmoved. To be sure what a Race you Maerites are, men as well as women! but here is Wesley agreeing with your mother, that "praise is rank poison." I doubt it, when seasoned with love and gratitude. Is it possible it should not excite these feelings sympathetically?…

A new interest came into their lives in the course of this year. Fanny Allen had taken to going to the Independent Chapel to hear a Mr Anthony, who appears to have been a man of cultivation and ability. She writes:

The service pleases me much more than our form. It is, like the Scotch, short. Mr Anthony's prayers are as simple and good as his discourses.

And Emma Allen describes the progress of their friendship (Dec. 19, 1850):

Our association with him is on the increase. This day last week Fanny and I met him at the Fitzgeralds to tea, with the Dysters and Bretts, and round the tea table there was so much good and interesting conversation, of which Mr Anthony was certainly the leading star, and which we continued to keep general (a very rare thing), that everybody appeared well content, and the little Independent himself placid in his delight, showing forth a knowledge in German literature that surprised and interested us all. Like Mr Scott his religious feelings are full of hope, seeing it in the dark clouds which are now floating in the atmosphere, which he is sure will pass with all evil things, while the good only will be permanent. On the same grounds, he observes the taste for Byron gone by while it is growing for Wordsworth. I am surprised by the good tone for society that Mr Anthony has acquired, never talking too long or loud himself, and paying attention to everyone who speaks and answering them, which keeps the conversation general.……

The following is written from Cresselly, where Fanny Allen had gone to take care of Seymour Allen's baby, who was ill.

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Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

CRESSELLY, March 8th [1851].

……I debated with myself to-day after my dinner whether I would go over to see James [Allen of Freestone] and his wife, or walk down to the wood and enjoy the utter solitude of the place, and I chose the last and realized my age, which is a very useful lesson now in the gloaming. The woods are in nice order, and all the walks and garden very neat. Seymour and his wife are improving the place very much, and making the village, which was truly Irish, more tidy and respectable. I feel somewhat like St Leon, wandering about, a stranger in familiar haunts. What a curious state we have been in politically lately! Patty [Smith]1 gives a good deal of political chat, from her sisters in town this morning—"Dizzy," as he is called, seems to be the butt of his aristocratic friends. Lord Stanley says, "I can't feel I have wasted this week. I have made Dizzy wash his hands, and cut his hair." The old Duke says, "At all events we have put a Jew's harp out of tune." I hope this has not been told you before, for it is not worth a repetition. It is said the Queen gave such a look at Dizzy, that some one who observed it, said it would make him a republican for the remainder of his life……

Miss Martineau's publication2 in partnership with Mr Atkinson has shocked all her friends. I saw in a letter of Julia Smith's to her sister that she had not read it, though it was in the house. Some people said that all that was clever in it was the man's and not the woman's.

1 Daughter of the late William Smith, M.P. for Norwich and friend of Wilberforce. Her sisters were Mrs Nightingale, Mrs Bonham-Carter and Julia Smith.

2 "Letters on the Laws of Mans's Social Nature and Development" were published in Jan. 1851. They were chiefly written by Atkinson, and were severely reviewed by James Martineau, who expressed his pain at finding his sister, Miss Martineau, the disciple of an avowed atheist.

I cannot understand the motive that guided these two criminals in the publishing their miserable theory……I am just finishing Neander's Life of Christ, and I believe I have derived good from it. I did not clearly understand his reasoning on miracles, but this part did not stand in my way, and I passed on, but every now and then I felt a note struck which seemed to waken a spiritual sense within me. Oh what a crime it is to attempt to stifle such in others! It is reported that Miss Harriet Martineau lectured to the poor mountain peasants with closed doors. It might have been Political Economy, but from this publication I suppose it is thought that the subject was her desolating theory. Adieu, it is 10 o'clock and the house begins to feel awfully still, my love to you all.

Ever yours affectionately, F. ALLEN.

A fortnight later she was visiting the Hensleigh Wedgwoods.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

42, CHESTER TERRACE, March 26th [1851].

My dear Elizabeth,

I am safely housed here you see. I found Fanny laid up with a relapse of the influenza. Hensleigh is well, and has that kind simple manner that makes one love him independent of his other excellences.

The party at the Bunsens last night was very full, and perhaps it might be called brilliant, but I thought as I sat in my corner that a room full of drest ladies made but an ugly picture. The rooms are very handsome. Madame Bunsen looks some years younger than when I last saw her two years ago, and she said it is all homœopathy. The Chevalier is exceedingly oldened, and he has lost much of his gaiety. I fancy it is politics that has grieved and saddened him. There were no very notable persons there, a great number of over-dressed ugly old women, ugly from

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being over-dressed and over-fed. There were several very pretty young girls, but they did not conquer the mass of ugliness about them. I rejoice that the debate is at length over, and I heartily wish we could throw the Cardinal and all his Catholics on the Irish coast and pen him in there. What an à propos history is that of Miss Talbot's1! and how it shows up the lying propensity of the Catholics, perhaps a little owing to the genial soil of Irish flesh and blood. Lord and Lady Shrewsbury do not cut a very good figure in the story…… Mrs Seymour Allen spent a day with us last week and Kitty too. The baby is getting about, and Mrs Allen thinks Jones has carried her infant through a dangerous disorder, and it would be wrong, as well as difficult, to shake their faith in the family doctor. How many people are killed by their pet doctors! not that Jones is one at Cresselly, but he kills……

Fanny Allen to her sister Madame Sismondi.

[42, CHESTER TERRACE], March 31 [1851].

……Charles Darwin dined here yesterday. He has been in town since Friday on his return from Malvern, where he has been placing Annie. He is looking uncommonly well and stout, and certainly the water cure seems to have been effectual in his case. There is something uncommonly fresh and pleasant in him, I do not know which of the two brothers is the most agreeable. Yesterday was a public day here—an impromptu one. John [Allen] dropped in first, then the two Darwins, and Mr Carlyle, who was very pleasant. These were to dinner, and by tea-time we had the two Mr Farrers, Harry Allen and Mr Furnival. Ruskin's Stones of Venice is praised in a degree. Carlyle amused me yesterday by his summing up the moral of the book—that you must be a "good and true man" to build a common dwelling-house.

1 In 1851—the year of Papal aggression—there was some story which got into the papers about a Miss Talbot being forced into a nunnery.



Illness and death of Annie at Malvern.

IN the summer of 1850, when my sister Annie was nine years old, her health began to break down. We went to Ramsgate in October of that year on her account but with no success. On the 24th March, 1851, my father took Annie, and me for her companion, under the charge of our old nurse Brodie, to Malvern, to try the effect of water cure, and in a few days' time we were joined by our governess, Miss Thorley. My mother could not come with us as she was expecting to be confined in May.

Very shortly afterwards Annie fell ill of a fever and died on the 23rd April. My father was summoned to Malvern and arrived on the 17th April. I well remember his arrival and his flinging himself on the sofa in an agony of grief.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood, at Jersey.

DOWN, Good Friday [18 April, 1851].

Dear Elizabeth,

The accounts from Malvern are not so favourable to-day as I had hoped. I believe Emma had more fears than I, after Miss Thorley's letter this morning. You will

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have the particulars of these two letters from Fanny Hensleigh, who is to forward them to you. I write to-day by Emma's wish to ask you to come to her by the first good steamer. As I am here she is in no excessive hurry. Charles is gone to Malvern, and Dr Gully's opinion last night was "that in some respects Annie was better and in some worse, but there is yet a chance." Poor Emma is very low, but her health is not injured. She is so afraid that this anxiety may injure Charles's health, which is always affected by his mind, that she has desired Fanny Hensleigh to go down to Malvern. She depends also on her eye for illness. Pray Heaven their child may be preserved to them! I was full of hope till I saw Charles's postscript. Adieu. I came here yesterday. Emma looks well as to health. She is of course very much overcome at times, but she has no fear that her anxiety should bring on her confinement. The post is going, so God bless you.

Affectionately yours,


The following letters tell of the bitter sorrow of the father and mother, in her case terribly aggravated by the anguish of not being able to go to her child's death-bed. The first is evidently written in great haste on his arrival.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

[MALVERN] Thursday 17th [April].

…Dr Gully is most confident there is strong hope… My own dearest, support yourself—on no account, for the sake of our other children, I implore you do not think of coming here.

MALVERN, 18th April [1851].

……Sometimes Dr G. exclaims she will get through the struggle, then, I see, he doubts. Oh my own, it is very bitter indeed. God preserve and cherish you. We must hope against hope, my own poor dear unhappy wife.

C. D.

MALVERN, Saturday 11 o'clock [19th April, 1851].

My own dear, You will have received before this the electric telegraph message which I despatched at 9 this morning; and it will have much comforted you.… You would not in the least recognize her with her poor hard sharp pinched features; I could only bear to look at her by forgetting our former dear Annie. There is nothing in common between the two. Fanny Hensleigh is here, most kind of course: she does not think badly of her looks. How truly kind of her coming. Poor Annie has just said "Papa" quite distinctly. Etty is gone (Etty never dreamed of danger to Annie) with Hannah to London by the Cheltenham coach. I cannot express how it felt to have hopes last night at 11h 30′ when Dr Gully came, saw her asleep, and said "she is turning the corner." I then dared picture to myself my own former Annie with her dear affectionate radiant face. I have got your note, my dear dear Mammy, let us hope and be patient over this dreadful illness…

Saturday, 2 o'clock.

We expect Dr Gully every minute, but he is fearfully overworked with 88 patients. Annie has kept just in same tranquil, too tranquil state: she takes gruel every hour. She begins to drink a little more this afternoon, and I think that is good. 3 o'clock. The Dr has been, he says she makes no progress, but no bad symptoms have appeared: but I am disappointed.

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4 o'clock. She has taken two spoonfuls of tea, and no sickness, thank God. I find Fanny an infinite comfort.

5 o'clock. Just the same. I will write before late post if Dr G. comes.

My dearest,
C. D.

Emma Darwin to Charles Darwin.

[DOWN], Saturday, 19th April [1851].

……The [telegraphic] message is just arrived. What happiness! How I do thank God! but I will not be too hopeful. I was in the garden looking at my poor darling's little garden to find a flower of hers when Griffiths drove up.

The telegram had been sent by messenger from London.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

Monday [MALVERN, 21st April, 1851].

……When the Dr came at 11.30 he pronounced her decisively better. I was in wonderful spirits, but I have been a good deal damped (8 a.m.) by the Dr finding the pulse tremulous. I tell you this, for it will prevent the too strong and ultimately wretched alternations of spirits. An hour ago I was foolish with delight, and pictured her to myself making custards (whirling round) as I think she called them. I told her I thought she would be better, and she so meekly said "Thank you." Her gentleness is inexpressibly touching. Fanny is devoting herself too much, sadly, but I cannot stop her. We are under deep obligations to Fanny never to be forgotten. Poor Annie—she asked for an orange this morning, the first time she has asked for anything except water. Our poor child has been fearfully ill, as ill as a human being could be: it was dreadful that night the Dr told me it would probably be all over before morning……

My own dear, how it did make me cry to read of your going to Annie's garden for a flower. I wish you could see her now, the perfection of gentleness, patience and gratitude, thankful till it is truly painful to hear her, poor dear little soul.

Monday, 7.30 P.M.

Fanny gave her a spoonful of tea a little while ago and asked her whether it was good, and she cried out quite audibly, "It is beautifully good." She asked, so says Brodie, "Where is poor Etty?" The Doctor has been here, everything going on as favourable as possible. She has slept more tranquilly almost all afternoon, perhaps too tranquilly.

Emma Darwin to Charles Darwin.

[DOWN] Monday 21st [April, 1851].

Your two letters just come.… I am confused now and hardly know what my impression is, but I have considerable hopes.… Except at post-time my sufferings are nothing to yours.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

[MALVERN] Wednesday, 23rd April [1851].

My dear dearest Emma,

I pray God Fanny's note may have prepared you. She went to her final sleep most tranquilly, most sweetly at 12 o'clock to-day. Our poor dear dear child has had a very short life, but I trust happy, and God only knows what miseries might have been in store for her. She expired without a sigh. How desolate it makes one to

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think of her frank, cordial manners. I am so thankful for the daguerreotype. I cannot remember ever seeing the dear child naughty. God bless her. We must be more and more to each other, my dear wife. Do what you can to bear up, and think how invariably kind and tender you have been to her. I am in bed, not very well. When I shall return I cannot yet say. My own poor dear dear wife.


Emma Darwin to Charles Darwin.

DOWN, Thursday [24 April, 1851].

My dearest,

I knew too well what receiving no message yesterday means. Till 4 o'clock I sometimes had a thought of hope, but when I went to bed I felt as if it had all happened long ago. Don't think it made any difference my being so hopeful the last day. When the blow comes it wipes out all that preceded it, and I don't think it makes it any worse to bear. I hope you have not burnt your letter. I shall like to see it sometime. My feeling of longing after our lost treasure makes me feel painfully indifferent to the other children, but I shall get right in my feelings to them before long. You must remember that you are my prime treasure (and always have been). My only hope of consolation is to have you safe home and weep together. I feel so full of fears about you. They are not reasonable fears: but my power of hoping seems gone. I hope you will let dearest Fanny or Catherine, if she comes, stay with you till the end. I can't bear to think of you by yourself. No doubt you will have sent Miss Thorley home to recover her cheerfulness. I will write to her in a few days to fix her time of returning.

Your letter is just come, and I feel less miserable a good deal in the hope of seeing you sooner than I expected, but do not be in a hurry to set off. I am perfectly well. You do give me the only comfort I can take, in thinking of her happy, innocent life. She never concealed a thought, and so affectionate and forgiving. What a blank it is. Don't think of coming in one day. We shall be much less miserable together.

Yours, my dearest.

Poor Willy sends his love; he takes it quietly and sweetly.

In her diary on the 23rd April she enters '12 o'clock,' which was the hour of Annie's death.

It may almost be said that my mother never really recovered from this grief. She very rarely spoke of Annie, but when she did the sense of loss was always there unhealed. My father could not bear to reopen his sorrow, and he never, to my knowledge, spoke of her. The following was written by him a week after her death.

I write these few pages1, as I think in after-years, if we live, the impressions now put down will recall more vividly her chief characteristics. From whatever point I look back at her, the main feature in her disposition which at once rises before me is her buoyant joyousness, tempered by two other characteristics, namely, her sensitiveness, which might easily have been overlooked by a stranger, and her strong affection. Her joyousness and animal spirits radiated from her whole countenance, and rendered every movement elastic and full of life and vigour. It was delightful and cheerful to behold her. Her dear face now rises before me, as she used sometimes to come running downstairs with a stolen pinch of snuff for me, her whole form radiant with

1 Given in his Life and Letters.


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the pleasure of giving pleasure. Even when playing with her cousins, when her joyousness almost passed into boister-ousness, a single glance of my eye, not of displeasure (for I thank God I hardly ever cast one on her), but of want of sympathy, would for some minutes alter her whole countenance.

The other point in her character, which made her joyousness and spirits so delightful, was her strong affection, which was of a most clinging, fondling nature. When quite a baby, this showed itself in never being easy without touching her mother, when in bed with her; and quite lately she would, when poorly, fondle for any length of time one of her mother's arms. When very unwell, her mother lying down beside her seemed to soothe her in a manner quite different from what it would have done to any of our other children. So, again, she would at almost any time spend half-an-hour in arranging my hair, "making it," as she called it, "beautiful," or in smoothing, the poor dear darling, my collar or cuffs—in short, in fondling me.

Besides her joyousness thus tempered, she was in her manners remarkably cordial, frank, open, straightforward, natural, and without any shade of reserve. Her whole mind was pure and transparent. One felt one knew her thoroughly and could trust her. I always thought, that come what might, we should have had, in our old age, at least one loving soul, which nothing could have changed. All her movements were vigorous, active, and usually graceful. When going round the Sand-walk with me, although I walked fast, yet she often used to go before, pirouetting in the most elegant way, her dear face bright all the time with the sweetest smiles. Occasionally she had a pretty coquettish manner towards me, the memory of which is charming. She often used exaggerated language, and when I quizzed her by exaggerating what she had said, how clearly can I now see the little toss of the head, and exclamation of "Oh, papa, what a shame of you!" In the last short illness, her conduct in simple truth was angelic. She never once complained; never became fretful; was ever considerate of others, and was thankful in the most gentle, pathetic manner for everything done for her. When so exhausted that she could hardly speak, she praised everything that was given her, and said some tea was "beautifully good." When I gave her some water, she said, "I quite thank you"; and these, I believe, were the last precious words ever addressed by her dear lips to me.

We have lost the joy of the household, and the solace of our old age. She must have known how we loved her. Oh, that she could now know how deeply, how tenderly, we do still and shall ever love her dear joyous face! Blessings on her!

April 30, 1851.

Her tombstone in the old Abbey church-yard at Malvern bears the following inscription:


Anne Elizabeth


Born March 2 1841

Died April 23 1851

A dear and good child.

After my mother's death a little packet of memorials of Annie was found, carefully treasured for the 45 years she outlived her child. A half-finished piece of woolwork, a child's desk, a little paper of texts in a child's hand, and two ornamental pocket-books, which came back to me with strange vivid-

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ness since I saw and admired them in Annie's possession. In the same packet there is a copy in my mother's handwriting of a letter sent by my father to Mrs Thorley, our governess's mother:

Charles Darwin to Mrs Thorley.

DOWN, April 26 [1851].

Dear Mrs Thorley,

I must beg permission to express to you our deep obligation to your daughter and our most earnest hope that her health may not be injured by her exertions.

I hope it will not appear presumptuous in me to say that her conduct struck me as throughout quite admirable. I never saw her once yield to her feelings as long as self-restraint and exertion were of any use; her judgment and good sense never failed: her kindness, her devotion to our poor child could hardly have been exceeded by that of a mother.

Such conduct will, I trust, hereafter be in some degree rewarded by the satisfaction your daughter must ever feel when she looks back at her exertions to save and comfort our poor dear dying child.…

Horace was born on 13th May. Fanny Allen writes to Elizabeth, who was at Down (May 19th, 1851):

We are disappointed at your account of dear Emma. I looked forward with so much hope to this time for the healing influence to her sorrow. However, we must have patience and wait.



The Great Exhibition of 1851—Jessie Sismondi on Mazzini and the Coup d'État—A visit to Rugby—Edmund Langton—Erasmus Darwin—Fanny Allen goes to Aix-les-Bains with Elizabeth—Jessie Sismondi's death on March 3rd, 1853—The destruction of Sismondi's and Jessie's journals.

THE Great Exhibition of 1851 made more stir than this generation, who are used to exhibitions and world-fairs, every year or so, can imagine.

Fanny Allen writes:

All other Exhibitions are killed by this Aaron's rod. Did I tell you in my last note that the Yorkes mentioned the Queen having written to someone that the first day of the Exhibition was "one of the happiest days of her very happy life?"

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood

[GREEN ST. [MRS SYDNEY SMITH'S] Saturday [May 10th, 1851].

……The day I came here, Fanny, Hensleigh, and Erasmus Darwin took me to the Grand Exhibition in Hyde Park, and it certainly is the most beautiful thing I ever

[pages] 152 - 153

saw. We were two hours there and yet I did not see the 10,000th part of what is to be seen, not even the grand avenue entirely. The great diamond was the only thing that I should say was a "failure," as old Wishaw would have said. I expected to see a diamond 10 times the size.……

Mrs Sydney is affectionate and kind as it is possible to be. She gives me all her husband's papers and correspondence to look over and read, and gives me the drawing-room to read, write, and to receive my company, if I should have any; and at 2 or half-past we take our dowager drive, and we read and work in the evening. We have seen no one. Lady Bell was asked, and Mrs Marsh, but were engaged, and it is well it was so, for I have been too deaf and uncomfortable for anything but the quiet life we have been leading—living in the past and having nothing to do with the present. Sydney's correspondence with Lady Holland is very amusing, so full of fun and gaiety, telling her truths, and in so playful a way that could not offend. There are two or three quarrels in which Sydney maintains his dignity and shews her that he will not suffer impertinence. There is a very curious scene between Ld. Melbourne and Sydney, in which the former cuts a poor figure after a most outrageous outbreak and breach of good manners, in which Ld. M. says to him in a crowded assembly, "Sydney, you always talk d——d nonsense, and when you write you are worse." Sydney's letter on the following morning is excellent and very severe, which makes Lord M. wince. He tried to make it up afterwards but in vain. And then his correspondence with Charles James of London [Bishop Blomfield] is very curious, telling him boldly what his opinions are, and what he hears and knows of the unpopularity of the Bishops from their insolence and tyranny to the lower clergy. The Bishop cuts a worse figure in his correspondence than even Lord Melbourne does in his.……

On July 30th, my father and mother spent a week with Erasmus Darwin at his house in Park Street, in order to see the Exhibition. George and I were also taken, but I, at any rate, did not make much of it, and remember deciding to stay at home and scrub the back-stairs as being better fun. It has interested me to find this account of how other children took it, in one of Fanny Allen's letters:

Bro and Erny too came from Rugby yesterday for a couple of days' lark. They are all gone to the Hyde Park Exhibition this morning in three cabs, as every child is gone. I believe it is Erasmus's generosity that treats the children, otherwise they never would be so foolish as to take them a second time. All the children whom I have seen there look wretched victims of ennui, and so it would be with these children except for the sweet cakes and ices, which I believe would please them better if they had them in the gardens here close at hand.

My father enjoyed it intensely. I never remember hearing my mother speak of it afterwards.

The two following letters are written during a visit of the Hensleigh Wedgwoods to Tenby.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

August 4th [1851].

……I drank tea with the Hens, on Saturday, and Fanny [Hensleigh] is so charming I should have had a delightful evening, if I had not set fire to myself in talking (I am glad I am deaf or I should have that horrible remorse oftener). Underneath that refreshing quiet, that delicious calm, Fanny has a lava of living fire that has made her give battle to all the governments in Europe under the banner

[pages] 154 - 155

of Mazzini1. She is of his Committee in London!! How could Hensleigh permit it? It is so contrary to the modesty of her nature to associate her name with such notoriety that I am sure she will suffer. She has a name, and whatever she does, will be no secret. It will be known here, where Ld. Palmerston has promised to keep his eye on them, at Paris where every friend of her father's is engaged life and soul against him, as leagued with the bête noire—the red republic.…… That presumptuous fool (I wish he was one, he would have done less harm) will boast he has "the daughter of Sir James Mackintosh, doubtless the representative of his opinion, the greatest of Statesmen, and the wife of a Wedgwood, the great representative of the manufacturing interest, on his Committee." He knows how to take advantage of everything that helps on his authority, and those two names are very great on the Continent and will do so. Mazzini, for these twenty years, has been living on what he has duped from the poor Italian exiles, whom he has sent without number to death and dungeon, taking great care to keep himself safe; and now that they begin to understand him and their funds fail, he begins to gull the English. Oh! I shall go wild if

1 Giuseppe Mazzini, b. 1805, at Genoa, d. 1872, an ardent, sincere, and disinterested Italian patriot, who throughout his career incessantly agitated for the establishment of Italian unity under a republican form of government. In 1849 a Republic was established at Rome, where he, Saffi, and Armellini were appointed Triumvirs. When after a few months Rome was taken and the Roman Republic was destroyed by the French he was expelled from Italy. He was an Utopian, an idealist and a political dreamer. Whilst living as an exile in England he earned the respect and affection of many English friends, among others of Mr and Mrs Carlyle. Mazzini spent most of his life in planning plots and insurrections in Italy for the expulsion of the foreigner. He was never reconciled to the establishment of Italian unity under a King. His life was in one sense a failure, but he and Garibaldi prepared the way for Italian unity, which was ultimately attained through methods of which Mazzini did not approve by Cavour and Victor Emmanuel.

Hensleigh's money goes in that way too. Lift your voice with mine, dear Elizabeth, only do it calmer, wiser, better, but above all do not be betrayed into giving your money tho' but in half-crowns, or even in pence.……

Madame Sismondi to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

August 16 [1851].

……I did want you very much to be here while the Hensleighs were, for your sake, and for theirs. They are delightful, though Fan [Hensleigh] is inexorable; she does not tell me she will withdraw her name from the Committee, tho' I told her I would kneel to her and not rise till the next day, if I thought at last I could obtain my request. Everything I said to her was before Eras., who said never a word, or Hensleigh either, who told our Fan afterwards he was afraid to look round, expecting every moment to see one of us in tears. I do not believe Mazzini is a Bocarme, a murderer for money, but he is an assassin for what he calls patriotism, and has done more evil than ten Bocarmes and is a murderer after all, only pushes bolder, braver hands to the work than his own—ma basta!

Madame Sismondi's views cannot be called just, and certainly are not temperate, but they are interesting in showing a contemporary view of Mazzini by one who had had close links with Italy and Italian patriots.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Darwin.

Janry. 27 [1852].

I write again to accuse myself of being a duped fool to my last hope for France1, and to ask your pity. I should

1 The Coup d'Eacute;tat was on Dec. 2nd, 1851. France appeared to condone all the horrors which had just taken place, for in the same month Louis Napoleon was re-elected as President for 10 years by 7,000,000 votes. A year later by another plebiscite he became Emperor of the French.

[pages] 156 - 157

feel humiliated for myself, if the feeling was not lost in sorrow. The Beast [Louis Napoleon] has taken the wrong turn, tho' the right was straight before him, and the only possible one that could lead to any glory for him. The fall of France seems decreed by Heaven, and we must submit as to all inevitable things. Now I think everything may be possible, even an invasion. Madame de Stael says the ignorance in which they are kept is most painful. No foreign papers are allowed to enter, not even Le Journal de Genève. No paper is published but his own, Le Constitutionnel. "There is no government whatever but what is concentrated in his own hand—as he is a Being without one moral sentiment, no one feels secure."

My dear Emma, how I do love you when you talk of your children! you never speak so prettily as then. You are poetic without knowing it, which is the prettiest poetry of all. The drop of water on the cabbage-leaf is delicious. Emma [Allen] cried out on the charms of Georgey1, and began telling me instances of his promising genius. She thought him a very remarkable child. She says he has a laugh so hearty, so merry, she would defy anyone not laughing with him. Blessed mother of happy children you are, my Emma; I believe with the Turks there is no cloud without a silver lining; you will see the one on your dark one, when you rejoin the one lost2, but for so short a time. Now that I stand at the end of life, as it were, and commonly called a long one too, the whole appears to me so short, so fleeting, as if nothing was worth thinking of but the Eternity in which we recover all our earthly loves. Tender and loving Mother, what a fountain of love will burst forth there for you, from your many happy loving children. May God preserve them and your husband to you, my Emma, and you to me……

1 Aged 6½.

2 Annie died the year before.

Charles Darwin to his son William at Rugby.

DOWN, Tuesday, 24th [Feb. 1852].

My dear old Willy,

I have not for a very long time been more pleased than I was this morning at receiving your letter with the excellent news at your having got so good a place. We are both rejoiced at it, and give you our hearty congratulations. It is in every respect a very good thing, for you will be amongst an older set of boys. Your letter was a very good one, and told us all that we liked to hear: it was well expressed and you must have taken some pains to write it. We are so very glad to hear that you are happy and comfortable; long may you keep so my dear boy. What a tremendous, awful, stunning, dreadful, terrible, bothering steeple-chase you have run: I am astonished at your getting in the 5th. When next you write, explain how it came that you, a new boy, and Erny, an old boy, came to run together? What boys run, all those in your house? or in your Form? You must write to Mr Wharton1: you had better begin with "My dear Sir." Tell him about your examination. End by saying "I thank you and Mrs Wharton for all the kindness you have always done me. Believe me, Yours truly obliged."

Next Sunday when you write here, tell us who your master is, and what books you are in. The more you can write the better we shall be pleased. All the servants enquire about you; and so they did at Aunt Sarah's…… We are doing nothing particular: one day is like another: I go my morning walk and often think of you, and Georgy draws every day many Horse-guards, and Lenny is as fat as ever. Farewell my dear Willy; may you go on as well as you have begun. All here send their best loves to you.

Your affectionate Father, C. DARWIN.

1 The schoolmaster at his preparatory school.

[pages] 158 - 159

On March 24, 1852, there is an entry in my mother's diary, "Came to Rugby with Etty and Georgy. Willy and Erny came to dinner." I remember this as a very happy little visit, seeing the playing-fields and William's little study, and the glory of staying at an inn.

In this year there was again talk of Emma's paying a visit to the aunts at Tenby in the following summer.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Darwin.

Wednesday [Summer, 1852].

Dearest Em, what pleasure your scheme for next summer gives me. I should exceedingly like to see your children, but we should see more of your sweet face if you lodged with us. I can never tell you how much I enjoyed my Lotte's visit. It made me as merry as in my childhood, when I told stories only to make myself laugh. I never saw her in better health, if as good, blooming and young. Her charity to me made her talk, and you know her delicious laugh. Patty [Smith] says, "You never told me what a woman Mrs Langton is! everybody speaks and knows what an agreeable woman Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood is, but Mrs Langton, what a manner! how clever! Oh, she is a most extraordinary person." Please to send this on to Charlotte. I forgot when I wrote to her on Sunday. She ought to know herself, none of my nieces do. I always tell them what I hear of them, because they are grossly ignorant of themselves.……

I think your little George must be the nicest little fellow that lives. If he will always find work for himself, he will surely find happiness, if it is but worsted work. By-the-by what a nice boy Ednd [Langton] is become. Elizb. may well call him her "little man." There is so much consideration, civility, adroitness, which I should not have expected in one so helped as he is. A perfect little gentleman, and will be a pretty one withal. He is strikingly sweet tempered. I enjoy loving what Eliz. and Lotte so doat on. Mr Langton had exquisite patience in talking to me through my trumpet, without which I hear nothing, and I enjoyed it; in short, what with their visit, and what with the weather, it has been a most pleasant summer to me, and I part with it with regret.…… I send a tender kiss to your children, a smacking one to Georgy, and my kind remembrance to your husband. Take the chill off your bath-water and continue it through the winter.

My father's brother, Erasmus Darwin, often accompanied the Hensleigh Wedgwoods on their summer outing. In 1852 he seems to have parted company with them at Melrose. The allusion at the end of the letter to the pleasure of stretching his legs, means that owing to his great height he constantly found the beds at inns too short and was miserably uncomfortable in consequence. He looked longer than anyone I ever saw lying flat down on his sofa. Fanny Hensleigh was his dearest friend.

Erasmus Darwin to Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood.

London, Aug. 23rd [1852].

Dear Missis,

You have probably forgotten everything about Melrose by this time after all your highland wanderings… You did not half see Melrose. I went in the evening to the river side where I sat for more than an hour admiring the sunset reflected in the water. The river there is very broad and shallow and was quite alive with boys fishing

[pages] 160 - 161

up to their knees in water. There was a suspension footbridge like the ruined one, and a ford, through which a little gig went, which I suppose would have been our way to Dryburgh Abbey. The railway to Hawick did not branch off till some little way after we left it, and I saw the Abbey and Snailston Tower, and the Eildon Hills looked uncommonly well after passing Merchiston. Merchiston by the way is the prettiest place I ever saw, and indeed the whole valley as far as Kelso is perfection, but there it ceases. I had a lady in the carriage who was on her way to meet some of the smashées in the railway accident in which Mr Grainger was killed, so we had some comfortable talk. Her sister was in the middle seat and hardly felt it, while the lady sitting by her side had her seat torn from under her and her legs broken by the engine slicing off the side of the carriage.

From Berwick, I had the sweetest little angel that ever you saw, a bride apparently not very long, and I was afraid I was de trop, but as we got towards York, we became fairly good friends and they hoped I was going on to London with them, as they were in great alarm they should have four blacklegs from the York races. This qualified compliment of keeping out one blackleg put me in despair about York, so I changed my train and went on to Normanton, with five blacklegs all rather brandyfied and all smoking. We had not gone ten minutes when we came to a perfect imbroglio of trains, which delayed us a long time, and we made up time at the rate of about sixty miles an hour, but were too late for the other trains, which caused no few imprecations.

I called at Chelsea on Sunday evening and found her1 sitting in a corner of the drawing-room, the rest being filled with furniture, the house in the hands of plasterers and painters, the picture of discomfort. She has no maid,

1 Mrs Carlyle.

only a child, and can get no dinner, so I humanely gave her one to-day. Mr Barrat1 called to-day and told me nothing had been done to the house, which I found was pretty nearly the case. I have but one pleasure here, being able to stretch my legs to their fullest extent, which I have done without ceasing.

Excuse the enormous length of this letter, but what can I do, with every book I have in the world packed up?

E. D.

Erasmus Darwin to Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood.

Wednesday Night.

Dear Missis,

The enclosed came from Down with no explanation, so I leave you to interpret how it got there. Your way-bill this morning was satisfactory as far as it went, tho' I wonder you were not killed with such a journey. Do remember the motto I keep dinning into you. I daresay you will meet the Captain [Sterling]2 who is on his way from Keir to Oban, but whether in his own yacht or not I don't know, so perhaps you may get if you like a little sea-sickness gratis. I am all out of gear with liver or I had made up two larks for this week, to go and see Mr Welsh go up in his balloon and also pay a visit to his observatory. As it is I am decidedly dull, which I am not too proud to acknowledge……

These daily railway smashes make my blood run cold when I think what a number of miles you have to come and what a lot there are of you. I wish to fate you were all in Chester Terrace safe and sound and satisfied. Adieu.

E. D.

1 The builder.

2 Captain Edward Sterling, the 'thunderer' of the Times. He was father of John Sterling, the well-known friend of Carlyle.


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Fanny Allen had been taken to Aix-les-Bains for her rheumatism, by the faithful Elizabeth. On her return she writes:


My dear Elizth,

It is but a short time since I parted from you, though it seems long since my last look at your dear face. When shall I see it again I wonder? The journey is but a little thing, when once one grapples with it. This time yesterday I had scarcely left the platform of the Three Bridges [Station] and here I am to-day at the same hour at more than 250 miles apart from you! I wish life were not made up of partings. The next generation may avoid much of this evil, if they choose, by roosting near each other, and taking advantage of railroads. There never was such a coach as your Godstone one. It took no payment, and when I asked where the coachman was to be paid, the man who gave me the ticket for London (7/- and odd) told me the coach was included in it! I had excellent company, fashionable ladies apparently, as they kept quite mute all the way. There was a dense fog at London Bridge Station, which did not show off the old Babylon to the best advantage to us travellers come fresh from France and its fine picturesque old towns. It was however almost sublime from its smoke and fog, as it looked as if you had got to a subterranean kingdom of his Infer1 Majesty. The lights were red and round in the fog, giving no light about them, and the black figures flitting about, with the perpetual roll of wheels and no voices. I don't think I was five minutes on the platform, so that I got to hospitable 421, a little before 6, rather than after, and found Eliza [Wedgwood] and Effie and Alfred only.…… Alfred and Effie gave

1 42, Chester Terrace, Regent's Park, the Hensleigh Wedgwoods' house, Effie and Alfred their children.

me an affectionate, nice welcome. Hensleigh did not return till full half-past 6 and was very pleasant and cosy all the evening, as is his wont. John [Allen, her nephew] looked a little pale, though better than I expected to see him. He was in good spirits, and full of interesting things that he has been engaged in, and some that he has aided. As he did not aim at playing the game of the two worlds, he has chosen the right one, and I am reconciled to see him as he is.

I have taken my place in the Tenby coach for ½ past 7, and so my pageant will be over; it has been a very pleasant one, thanks to you.……

The time at Aix had ended with a tour in Provence, including a pilgrimage to Chateau Grignan. Fanny Allen writes:

Are you taking up Mme de Sévigné's letters? Chateau Grignan is so vividly before me that I must begin them again, contenting myself with only two or three before breakfast. That is the way to enjoy the book. That view from the garden at Montélimar often rises up to my mind, with le Mont Ventoux in the distance.

Madame Sismondi to her niece Emma Darwin.

Tuesday, 8th Feb. [1853].

……I should like to have looked in on your party of 32 very much. So many merry children would have been a delicious sight. I do not give myself the trouble of reckoning, but I think 15 of those must have been children.…… Emma [Allen] found Anne [Wedgwood] in an ecstasy yesterday with herself and Tom [her husband], and he looking very complacent because they had just succeeded in breaking off a marriage that was to have taken place to-day between Miss Maclaughlin (not that I know


[pages] 164 - 165

how to spell her ugly name, but she is their school-mistress of the Infants) and Mr Philip Voile. I think Tom and Anne might have employed their time better minding their own business, and not taking the fate of two people into their own hands with whom they have nothing to do, marring so much happiness (for the moment at least) with their tongues, which they will never restore with all their teeth. I heartily wish they may think better of it and run off. You will say what a romantic old jade Aunt Jessie is—and so I am if respecting love as one of the best things in this life is, and wishing there was more of it.

There is a quantity of interesting books just now, and I think the older I get, the more my avidity in reading increases and my curiosity grows. I am watching France with a sort of personal interest, breathless to see what will come of it, unable to form any guess of its future. Is all this for good or for evil I am continually asking myself? willing to believe the first, but doubting it is as the decline of the Romans, a falling away of intellectual power. I have indulged myself this year with the Révue des Deux Mondes. All the articles I have read are very clever, with a moral and religious tone, subjects excellently chosen, as a people earnestly seeking to instruct themselves in what might benefit their country. There is an excellent article on Burke, which teaches what true and wise liberty is, and what is new to the French, even to the best of their politicians, the necessity of a high morality in politics. I rather wonder L. Nap. allows such a publication in his Empire. I am very much pleased, as you will guess, by his romantic marriage, and his declaration of his parvenuism. His speeches argue him a man so much more clever than I thought him1, that I must ever distrust my judgment, or he must have learnt immensely in his prison, and in his strange and varying life. It is snowing away now

1She had known him during his youth at Geneva.

merrily, and how cold! I see no more than to take leave for the present, telling my dear little Emma that I love her tenderly, which is no news to her, and that I send it to her husband and children and Aunt Sara, and am ever hers. J. S.

This is the last letter from Jessie Sismondi in the Maer collection. Her heart began to fail on 28th Feb. 1853, and she died on 3rd March. Elizabeth went down to Tenby. She says that they mention Jessie without difficulty, and she relates one little gracious thought of hers. "Not long before her end she told Fanny to go to the drawer and put a little of the nice perfume on her handkerchief that she brought her from Paris." "I know what that meant," Fanny said, "it was to give me a pleasant feeling, not that she wanted the perfume." The loss of her beloved aunt Jessie must have been deeply felt by my mother. There was no one now left to think of her still as a girl of eighteen. Years after this time Fanny Allen sent her a photograph of Jessie taken from some picture. "I am very glad indeed to have the photograph of my dear aunt Jessie," she wrote in answer. "It is not a strong likeness, but the look of her sweet eyes is there and the dress looks like her. It is a thing I shall always regret that I did not make an effort to get to Tenby to see her once more." I often regret that I never knew how close, how tender was their affection. Reading these old letters is a kind of bringing to judgment of all the blindnesses and errors of one's youth.

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Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

April 24th [1853].

……There is no melancholy in this place that I wish to shun, that I can no longer see her here is sad. I long for her image, as I saw it not three months back, walking round and round the little garden looking so cheerful. And then the day that separated us is apart from all other days, but it is not grief or melancholy that dwells on it. I feel as if I had been permitted to see something of the rapture of a higher nature "to whose white robe the gleam of bliss was given." It is the loss of her that gives the sadness, there is no other painful recollection connected with her, so that I don't feel afraid that either Emma or I should be here alone.

HEYWOOD LANE, June 13th [1853].

It was a painful thing the destruction of her and Sismondi's journals, particularly, I think, the latter (to me), because I believe he wrote his with a vague intention of being made use of for the public eye, and Jessie wrote hers for herself alone. I sometimes feel as if I were in a great empty vault. She has certainly emptied the world to me.

My mother often regretted this destruction of Sismondi's journals. She thought aunt Jessie had no moral right to do this as she was convinced Sismondi intended them sometime to be given to the world. But she said that aunt Jessie got into despair over making the necessary excisions, and did not appear to reflect that time makes almost everything harmless. The destruction of Jessie's journals is probably really a greater loss. Her life at Geneva and in Italy brought her in contact with many whom the world would like to know more of on the intimate side.



Eastbourne and Chobham Camp—Miss Langdon at Hartfield—Sydney Smith's Life—A month in London—The British Association at Glasgow—Letters to William at Rugby—Florence Nightingale—A High-church wedding—Sarah Wedgwood's death November 6th, 1856—Charles Waring Darwin, born December 6th, 1856—Our early life at Down—Moor Park—The Origin of Species—Two letters from my mother to my father on religion.

In 1853 my mother was much troubled with a gouty thumb. It prevented her playing, and she was forced to write with her left hand. Fortunately, she was left-handed, and could do this fairly well, though Fanny Allen asks what has become of her pretty writing. She consulted Sir Benjamin Brodie, but nothing ever did it any good, and for the rest of her life she was troubled with it at intervals.

We had an unusually dissipated summer. We all went to Eastbourne on July 14th. The weather was very blustery and there are entries "wind and storm," "horrid cold wind," in her diary. Lizzy (as my sister Bessy was then called) and I had flapping leghorn hats, which always stood upright or flapped over our eyes, so little cottage bonnets were bought for us. We stayed at Eastbourne till Aug. 4th,

[pages] 168 - [page break]

and on Aug 13th, my father and mother went to The Hermitage (the Harry Wedgwoods' house near Woking) for the sake of seeing the Camp at Chobham, taking with them my brother George and me. I well remember my father's intense enjoyment of the whole experience and the glow of sharing in it. Admiral Sulivan, his old shipmate on board the Beagle, showed us about and greatly added to our pleasure. My brother George spent his childhood playing soldiers, which was carried out with his usual thoroughness and energy, and the delight of the Camp must have been even greater to him than to me, who look back upon it as an extraordinarily delightful and unique experience, still fresh in my memory although it is fifty years ago.

We were now six children at home. I have no vivid recollection of my mother's often playing with us, although the furniture pushed on one side, and a troop of little children galloping round the room whilst she played what was called the "galloping tune," a tune composed by her and very well suited for its purpose, comes back to me. Another memory is of several nursery songs she used to sing to us, chiefly "When good King Arthur ruled this land," and "There was an old woman as I've heard tell," and a particular lilt for the babies when they were being joggled on her knee. She was courageous, even rash, in what she let her children do. William was taught to ride without stirrups and got some bad falls in consequence; and George at ten years old went off a twenty mile ride alone to Hartfield. I, too, was allowed to wander about the

[page break] - [pages] 169

lonely woods and lanes alone, in a way that I do not think was very safe then, although it would be much less so now, when tramps have greatly increased in number.

About 1854 our aunt Elizabeth began the charge of Miss Langdon. She had been the Wedgwoods' governess some fifty years ago and had been incessantly befriended by Elizabeth's mother. None of the family had ever been fond of her. When I knew her in her latter days she was certainly the most unattractive old lady I ever saw, nearly stone deaf, with a harsh countenance, and a voice like a parrot's. She lived under Elizabeth's sheltering care till her death. Fanny Allen writes:

I admire your benevolence, and your arrangement for Miss Langdon and I feel assured that you will have the satisfaction that always accompanies acts of this kind. I have no doubt also that you are right as to placing her under your roof. I believe she will be a less gêne there than a mile off. And, indeed, it is you alone that can be judge in this matter and what you think best is best, as it touches you alone. I am glad you secure your breakfast undisturbed, and that your evenings also will be, as they have hitherto been, unaccompanied, so that I trust you will find nothing in this plan, save the content of helping a solitary and desolate person who has no power of repayment…hellip

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

Dec. 15th, 1854.

My dear Elizabeth,

It is well for me that you date by the days of the week which saves shame at idleness, not that I have been idle, but rather too busy to write. Our

[pages] 170 - 171

leisure hours being taken up with reading Sydney's Memoirs which Fanny Hensleigh sent us before its voyage to Antigua. Anything about Sydney Smith interests me and therefore I read with interest Saba's1 part of book, and she has done it quite as well as you would expect It is pleasant to be taken out of the stern reality of life, in which we are now living through the newspapers all the morning, to the light gossip and the playful gaiety of Sydney, and his letters made one forget the miseries of the Crimea and Scutari, after tea at least. Yet what a trifling world it was, and what women were his fashionable ladies, in comparison with the noble Flo Nightingale and her companions! Have you heard that she astonishes all the surgeons by her skill and presence of mind? After amputating a limb, they pass on to another, leaving her to take up the artery and do all that is necessary. Miss Stanley is gone out I believe, and the Miss Stewart who so impressed John [Allen] at the hospital he visits, is the Duchess of Somerset's sister, and is going or gone out too, I believe. How good spreads! and what a school of Christianity and humanity is now carried out at Scutari. We are very busy here in Tenby in sending out clothing and necessaries to the Crimea and Scutari. My stock goes to the latter place, Emma's is for the fighting part……

In the winter of 1855 we took a house in Upper Baker Street for a month. It was the terrible Crimean winter and there was a bitter frost almost all the time. I do not think that my mother much enjoyed her stay; neither she nor my father was well. One piece of dissipation I remember was being taken by my father and mother to one of Jullien's concerts, which did so much to popularise

1 His daughter, Lady Holland.

music in England. But as usual I recall more vividly my father's enjoyment—his nature was so much more expressive than hers. We came home on Feb. 15, before the great snow-fall of that year had melted. The road, in the deep cutting by Chalk Hill, had been cut out, and I can remember now the beauty of the wreaths of the snow-drifts and the fun of walking about level with the tops of the iron railings round the lawn.

In September, 1855, my mother went with my father to the British Association at Glasgow. I remember one touching little fact, that she let me (aged 12) trim her a cap for the occasion, and I snipped up lace and ribbon with immense satisfaction. What it was like Heaven knows! but I believe it was worn. They visited their eldest son William at Rugby on their way home, after a few days at Shrewsbury.

I see an entry in her diary on the 17 Feb. 1856, in my writing, "Finished Guy Mannering." This means my father finished reading it aloud to us. These evening readings to the children were a happy part of the family life. Whatever my father did with us had a glamour of delight over it unlike anything else.

Charles Darwin to his son William at Rugby.

DOWN, 29th [1855 or 1856].

My dear old Gulielmus,

I have been so very sorry for your having been ill this half-year again with the measles: you have been most unlucky.…… Do not work to tire yourself;

[pages] 172 - 173

you are one of the very few boys to whom I should dare to tell them not to over-exert themselves, for most youngsters are inclined enough to spare themselves, but this has never been your case. Thank goodness it is not now very long to the holidays.

I am going up to London this evening and I shall start quite late, for I want to attend a meeting of the Colombarian Society, which meets at 7 o'clock near London Bridge. I think I shall belong to this Society, where, I fancy, I shall meet a strange set of odd men. Mr Brent was a very queer little fish; but I suppose Mamma told you about him; after dinner he handed me a clay pipe, saying "Here is your pipe," as if it was a matter of course that I should smoke. Another odd little man (N.B. all pigeon-fanciers arc little men I begin to think) showed me a wretched little Polish hen, which he said he would not sell for £50 and hoped to make £200 by her, as she had a black top-knot. I am going to bring a lot more pigeons back with me on Saturday, for it is a noble and majestic pursuit, and beats moths and butterflies, whatever you may say to the contrary……

Charles Darwin to his son William.

Tuesday night.

My dear Willy,

I am very glad indeed to hear that you are in the sixth; and I do not care how difficult you find the work: am I not a kind father? I am even almost as glad to hear of the Debating Society, for it will stir you up to read. Do send me as soon as you can the subjects; I will do my very best to give you hints; and Mamma will try also. But I fear, as the subjects will generally be historical or political, that I shall not be of much use. By thinking at odds and ends of time on any subject, especially if you read a little about it, you will form some opinion and find something to say; and in truth the habit of speaking will be of the greatest importance to you. Uncle Harry was here this morning, and we were telling him that we had settled for you to be a barrister and his first question was "has he the gift of the gab?" But then he added, he has got industry, and that is by far the most important of all. Mamma desires that you will read the chapters very well; and the dear old mammy must be obeyed……

It appears there was again talk of our going to Tenby early in 1856. Fanny Allen writes that she cannot be away when her "dear little Emma comes," and mentions Dr Dyster's delight at "the thought of having C. Darwin here. He met him somewhere and was like many others enchanted with him." But this scheme had to be given up. Later in the year Fanny Allen writes from Leith Hill Place, where she was staying: "I am sorry we lose Emma and Charles to-day. Poor E. has been too suffering for enjoyment. Charles is uncommonly agreeable, fresh and sparkling as the purest water."

Fanny Allen in many letters during these years, gives expression to her intense admiration for Florence Nightingale and her work in the Crimea. She writes during a visit to the Hensleigh Wedgwoods in London (Oct. 1856):

Sam Smith1 called one morning this week and gave some details of Florence N.'s visit to the Queen. He said no one could be kinder than the Queen was. Flo was particularly impressed by Prince Albert's understanding.

1 Uncle of Florence Nightingale.

[pages] 174 - 175

Every question he put was to the purpose, and he seemed to have understood the details better than all the officials, as if he had read everything. She had an immense mass of work to get through and she is still far from restored.

December 3rd, 1856.

The Nightingale meeting was successful, I think, on the whole. There did not seem to be much enthusiasm among them, but the time is too far gone for that, and there is a more enduring stamp on Flo and her work which no time will change. Sydney Herbert's speech pleased me most. Those three touching anecdotes of her influence over the minds of the soldiers are beautiful, particularly the one of the soldiers kissing her shadow as it passed over their beds. What woman ever took so high a position as she does now! I was dreaming of her all last night.

Florence Nightingale was apparently shortly after thought to be dying, for Fanny Allen writes to Elizabeth, April 15th [1857]:

I fear from a line in one of the newspapers that Florence Nightingale's life is approaching its end, as Mrs Rich would say. I have been deeply impressed by her life these last few days, which in respect of mine, forms but a fragment in regard of time, and what she has accomplished! I remember her a little girl of 3 or 4 years, then the girl of 16 of high promise when I next met her at Geneva, and which she has most faithfully kept. A high mission has been given her, which has cost her her life to fulfil, and now when I look back on every time 1 saw her after her sixteenth year, I see that she was ripening constantly for her work, and that her mind was dwelling on the painful difference of man and man in this life, and the trap that a luxurious life laid for the affluent. A conversation on this subject between the father and daughter made me laugh at the time, the contrast was so striking, but now as I remember it, it was the divine spirit breathing in her.……

During this visit to the Hensleigh Wedgwoods Fanny Allen attended the wedding of a grand-niece, the daughter of Baron Alderson.

Fanny Allen to her sister Emma Allen.

Wednesday, Oct. 29th [1856].

…….Yesterday we were performing "wedding guests" from ten in the morning till three in the afternoon, when we put off our finery. It was impossible for any marriage to be better "got up" in an artistic point of view, and certainly the ceremony was very impressive. The church is beautiful and the music and singing excellent. The centre of the church was clear for the performance, a large carpet laid down, and a small reading-desk with two cushions, at which the marrying pair stood and kneeled. There were golden candlesticks with lighted tapers, nine feet high, on either side of the little desk. Over the altar was a large cross formed of white flowers. The whole church lighted with large wax lights in high candlesticks, and incense burning, and the organ playing all the time. We lined both sides of the large carpet leaving the whole space for the performers. The whole thing was very impressive, and I had no idea that so entirely a catholic ceremony would have touched me so much. When forms are new they are certainly effective, but when they are used for a little time they wear out the soul within. We were all seated in our places when the wedding train came in. There were nine bridesmaids all dressed in white, with garlands and veils just like the bride, and nine

[pages] 176 - 177

corresponding gentlemen friends of the bridegroom surrounding him.

Poor Mr C. was very much overcome as he was kneeling at the desk near us, and I do not wonder, for the ceremony was overwhelming. It was very operatic when they all ascended in two files the steps of the altar, where the married pair took the sacrament, and the music and voices pealed in in the singing parts of the Sacramental Service, and sounded very fine. Isabella looked nice, and calm. The breakfast was crowded—80 people in the dining-room. I got a seat in the corner, Hensleigh, my faithful guardian, securing it for me. There was plenty of champagne—excellent soups and cutlets and all other things usual. Some short speeches and a slight law joke from the Baron. Lord Robert Cecil1 was down in our corner, and Georgy2 came down more than once to take her seat there, but I do not think there can be anything else than conversation and amusement between them. She was an excellent ballet-mistress and was more occupied with the arrangement of the whole thing than with softer and tenderer feelings. Georgina [Lady Alderson] looked the best dressed, most suitable and becoming I mean, of anyone there, I did not intend to go to this wedding, being out of the way at my age, but the Baron walked down a few evenings ago to hope I would attend, and in Isabella's name to desire also—so that it was imperative, and I looked up a bonnet of Fanny [Hens-leigh]'s that would do, and a velvet mantle of Effie's for the church part, and I did very respectably. I had a good deal of conversation with the Baron after luncheon, he was kind and friendly.

Sarah Wedgwood, the last survivor of the children of Josiah Wedgwood of Etruria, died aged

1 Afterwards Lord Salisbury.

2 Georgina Alderson married Lord Robert Cecil in 1857.

80, on the 6th November, 1856, at Down, where she had come to live to be near my mother. Forty or more years ago she had spoken of the then little Emma Wedgwood as having the first place in her affection for children, and her love continued. My mother was beautifully faithful to her, but I think the rigidity of her Aunt Sarah's character prevented ease of intercourse and therefore strong affection on my mother's part, although there was much to admire and respect in Aunt Sarah's character. She was also no happier in old age than she had been in her youth and middle age. Her life was one of Spartan simplicity. She lived in her books and her charities and the society of my mother and one or two old friends. She had no gift for intercourse with her neighbours, rich or poor, and I do not believe ever visited in the village. Neither do I think she cared for her garden or ever went into it, and her horse and phaeton seemed to be kept entirely for our service, though I suppose that it took her few visitors to and from the station—an anxious business as Jack, her horse, was as old-fashioned as his mistress and was nearly frightened out of his skin when he came near a station.

Charles Darwin to his sons William and George.

DOWN, Thursday 13th [Nov. 1856].

My dear Willy and Georgy,

I have thought that you would like to hear about poor Aunt Sarah's funeral. Aunt Elizabeth and Uncles Jos, Harry, Frank, Hensleigh, and Allen all attended,

L. II. 12

[pages] 178 - 179

so that the house was quite full. The funeral was at 3 o'clock, and Mr Lewis managed it all. We walked down to Petleys and there put on black cloaks and crape to our hats, and followed the [coffin], which was carried by six men; another six men changing half way. At the Church door Mr Innes came out to meet the coffin. Then it was carried into the Church and a short service was read. Then we all went out, and stood uncovered round the grave whilst the coffin was lowered, and then Mr Innes finished the service, but he did not read this very impressive service well. Hemmings, Mrs Morrey and Martha attended and seemed to cry a good deal. Then we all marched back to the house, Mr Lewis and his two sons carrying a sort of black standards before us; and we then went into the house and read Aunt Sarah's will aloud. She desired her funeral to be as quiet as possible, and that no tablet should be erected to her. She has left a great deal of money to very many charities…… Hemmings and the maids will stay here about a month more I should think; so that you Georgy will see them again, but I fear Willy will not at present……

This had been a suffering year for my mother. Her last child, Charles Waring Darwin, was born on December 6th, 1856. I remember very well the weary months she passed, and reading aloud to her sometimes to help her bear her discomforts. The poor little baby was born without its full share of intelligence. Both my father and mother were infinitely tender towards him, but, when he died in the summer of 1858, after her first sorrow she could only feel thankful. He had never learnt to walk or talk.

Charles Darwin to his son William.

DOWN, 21st [1857].

My dear old Willy or William,

I am delighted that you went to Manchester, and had so prosperous an expedition. You seem to have worked capitally and seen it well. We are amused at your adoration of the haughty Lady. I quite agree with your admiration of Gainsborough's portraits: one of the pictures which has ever most struck me is a portrait by him in the Dulwich Gallery. By the way how stupid it has been of us never to have suggested your riding to Dulwich and seeing the capital publick gallery there. Then, again, there are some few good pictures at Knole. You want a jobation about your handwriting—dreadfully bad and not a stop from beginning to end! After severe labour in deciphering we rather think that your outlay was £I. 12. o. and accordingly I send that, but I hope it is too little to punish you for such a scrawl. I am glad that you were tipped, but that makes no difference in my repaying your outlay. By the way have you no paper, so that you cross your letter, or do you think your handwriting is too clear? You want pitching into severely.

I have had a letter from Mr Mayor (about his banker's mistake) in which he says he heard so grand an account of your future master's, Mr Temple's attainments, that he wants to persuade me to leave you at Rugby till October. Mr Mayor says he shall very much miss you. Think over this well and deliberately, and do not be guided by fleeting motives. You shall settle for yourself; whatever you think will be really best, not pleasantest, shall be done……


[pages] 180 - 181

Another care began in 1857 with my breakdown in health. My father went to the Hydropathic Establishment at Moor Park in Surrey on the 22nd April, and I was sent there later on. Fanny Allen writes, " The summer has been perfect and will long be remembered by the young as if it were the customary summer and not a stray beauty." I still remember it, and associate it and the great comet half across the sky with the horrors of the Indian mutiny.

It is sad to see by the many entries in my mother's diary what years of anxiety she suffered, first for one child and then another. Sometimes it is my health which is thus chronicled day by day, sometimes one of the boys. Both parents were unwearied in their efforts to soothe and amuse whichever of us was ill; my father played backgammon with me regularly every day, and she would read out to me. I particularly associate Cowper's Winter Walk at Noon with these readings. Cowper was a great favourite with her—both his letters and poetry. In the summer of 1858 when they were going to the sea on my account I was allowed to take my kitten. As we went first to Hartfield, then Portsmouth, Sandown and Shanklin, a sacred kitten, to be thought of first of all, must have added to the troubles of travelling with a sick child. We had a happy visit at Shanklin. My father was well, I was better, and my mother enjoyed a respite from anxiety. Spite of all the troubles of health, I think those first fifteen years at Down must have been full of happiness. I see a constant come and go of the relations chronicled in her diary, and a certain amount of sociability with our neighbours and visits from my father's scientific friends.

I am sorry to say that as growing-up children we were sometimes impatient of her kindness to the unprosperous. I remember with shame her constancy in asking a certain family, living for a time near us, who were generally tabooed on account of a disagreeable father, and how we used to say no one but the A.s came to the house. In later years my father's state was so suffering that intercourse with our neighbours almost ceased, and we children had rather a desolate feeling that we were aliens. But I think that my mother never felt this as any loss. She was not essentially sociable as he was.

The early memories that come back to me are full of sunshine and happiness. I think of a sound we always associated with summer days, the rattle of the fly-wheel of the well drawing water for the garden; the lawn burnt brown, the garden a blaze of colour, the six oblong beds in front of the drawing-room windows, with phloxes, lilies, and larkspurs in the middle, and Portulacas, verbenas, Gazanias, and other low growing plants in front, looking brighter than flowers ever do now; the row of lime-trees humming with bees, my father lying under them ; children trotting about, with probably a kitten and a dog, and my mother dressed in a lilac muslin, wondering why the blackcaps did not sing the same tune here as they did at Maer. This was a perennial puzzle to her, but

[pages] 182 - 183

what the mystery was I have never been able to guess.

Of pleasure, as the world reckons it, there was but little. We often went to stay with Erasmus Darwin for short visits, but London always gave her bad headaches and more than half her time was spent in a darkened room. Every now and then there is an entry in her little diary of a concert or a play, but I should think not more than a dozen times in all the Down years whilst we were children. But there are many entries in the diaries and little bits of the letters which show the constant vivid enjoyment she had in her country life. It must have been a great resource in these years of heavy anxiety. For instance, "We have had more beautiful warm days, with the birds quite rampageous and noisy." And again, writing to Fanny Allen, "I dare say your lilacs and laburnums are full out. The older one grows the more one values spring. Do you remember Mrs Barbauld's lines on life beginning, 'Life we've been long together'? I met them by chance the other day and was charmed with them. So clear and not a word too much."

She made the 'Sand-walk,' where she accompanied my father on his daily walks, a wild garden which gave her constant pleasure. To encourage the bluebells, anemones, cowslips, primroses, and especially the wild-ivy, she used to have the dog's-mercury and Jack-in-the-hedge pulled up by a small boy hired for the occasion. One day a new boy misunderstood the orders, and as they reached the Sand-walk they found bare earth, a great heap of wild-ivy torn up by its roots and the abhorred dog's-mercury flourishing alone. My father could not help laughing at her dismay and the whole misadventure, but the tragedy went too deep, and he used to say it was the only time she was ever cross with him.

She had a large clientèle of the poor people from the poorer outlying parishes round Down. I think it was doubtful how much good she did in this way, as there was not enough enquiry and a good many of her friends were people of bad character. There were, however, many wise and good forms of kindness and help in our own village—a lending library for the children, my mother herself giving out the books every Sunday afternoon, small pensions for the old, dainties for the ailing, and medical comforts and simple medicines in case of illness. There was a well-stored 'physic cupboard,' and an old red book of prescriptions, chiefly of Dr R. Darwin's, and I well remember helping to measure and weigh in childish days. A deep respect and regard was felt for her in the village, but her reserve prevented her getting to know many of her poorer neighbours intimately. She would contrast herself in this respect with her old neighbour and friend Georgina Tollet, the authoress of Country Conversations. With her servants, however, no one could have won more devoted love. She would take any trouble to help them or their relations, and in return there was nothing they would not do to please her. At a pinch they would cheerfully work

[pages] 184 - 185

like horses; or any one would change their work; the cook would nurse an invalid, the butler would drive to the station, and anybody would go an errand anywhere or be ready to help in looking after the poor people. I remember an instance when the house was overflowingly full, how she offered the housemaid to act as ladies-maid to an invalid daughter-in-law for a week or so in London. I exclaimed to the housemaid, asking how the house could go on, but was met with the reply that it was most inconvenient, but that she saw my mother wished it, and so it must be done.

My father's visits to Moor Park, where she sometimes joined him, gave a good deal of pleasure to both. They were amused at the queer units who drifted to water-cures then as now. A real affection sprang up between Lady Drysdale (Dr Lane's mother-in-law) and my father and mother. Lady Drysdale was extremely kind to me and I shall always feel grateful to her. I have a vivid memory of her, dressed in black brocade with a lace collar, very Scotch, full of life and character and with a most racy twinkle in her eyes before she burst into a hearty peal of laughter; overflowing with kindliness and hospitality, so that all waifs were taken under her protection; a great reader, a great whist-player, and the active capable housekeeper of the great establishment. She lived to be nearly 100, and died in London about 1882. When I saw her last she was nearly stone deaf, but kept her warm heart and bright intelligence. She made the charm of Moor Park, although my father and mother were also much attached to Dr and Mrs Lane.

Charles Darwin to his son William.

[MOOR PARK, Monday, May 3rd, 1858.]

My dear William,

I have just received your nice note and the hexagon, for which very many thanks, but I hope and think I shall not have to use it as I had intended, which was delicately to hint to one of the greatest mathematicians that he had made a blunder in his geometry, and sure enough there came a letter yesterday wholly altering what he had previously told me1.

You will, I think, hereafter like Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors, and it is a capital book for you, my dear future Lord Chancellor of England, to read. I will take your letter home for mamma to read and ask about Paper…… I have been playing a good deal at billiards, and have lately got up to my play, and made some splendid strokes! I have at last got up some strength, and taken two good long walks in this charming country.

My dear old fellow,

Yours, C. D.

Charles Darwin to Emma Darwin.

Sunday, MOOR PARK [probably 1859].

I am very sorry to hear that you are headachy. A scheme just came into my head, viz. that when I am back, that you should come here for a fortnight's hydropathy. Do you not think it might do you real good? I could get on perfectly with the children. You might bring Etty with you. Think of this my own dearest wife. Ah Mammy, I wish you knew how I value you; and what

1 The hexagon was to be used for the discussion on bees' cells in the Origin of Species.

[pages] 186 - 187

an inexpressible blessing it is to have one whom one can always trust, one always the same, always ready to give comfort, sympathy and the best advice. God bless you my dear, you are too good for me. Yesterday I was poorly: the Review and confounded Queen was too much for me; but I got better in the evening and am very well to-day. I cannot walk far yet; but I loiter for hours in the Park and amuse myself by watching the ants: I have great hopes I have found the rare slave-making species, and have sent a specimen to Brit. Mus. to know whether it is so. I have got some more letters to write, though I wrote six longish ones yesterday. So farewell my best and dearest of wives. C. D.

Mrs Lane agrees with me that The Betrothed is by a man. She coolly added that Beneath the Surface was so poor that it must have been written by a man!

During these years we had more than one governess after Miss Thorley left us. Our education as far as book learning was concerned was not what would now be considered to be of an advanced type; my mother was somewhat easy-going about what we learnt, and to get the best possible teaching was not a great object with her. But from our different governesses we learnt nothing that was not good and high-minded ; from all we received real affection, and in more than one instance devoted care in illness. A sentence in a letter of hers to her son Leonard as a schoolboy, illustrates her point of view. She writes of a governess, but not one of ours, who had just taken a situation, " I can never be thankful enough that Mrs—— does not know a word of French or German, so that the poor little woman's shortcomings will not be perceived I trust."

In 1859 the Origin of Species was published, and my father got terribly overdone and ill. My mother helped him with all the proof-sheets for the first edition, reading and correcting them. When the book was finally off his hands he went to the water-cure establishment at Ilkley and we followed on Oct. 17th. It was a miserable time, bitterly cold, he was extremely ill and suffering, and I also was ill, the lodgings were wretched, and I look back upon it as a time of frozen horror. There was much excitement over the letters on the Origin, but I remember she would not show me Professor Sedgwick's horrified reprobation of it.

In our childhood and youth she was not only sincerely religious—this she always was in the true sense of the word—but definite in her beliefs. She went regularly to church and took the Sacrament. She read the Bible with us and taught us a simple Unitarian Creed, though we were baptized and confirmed in the Church of England. In her youth religion must have largely filled her life, and there is evidence in the papers she left that it distressed her in her early married life to know that my father did not share her faith. She wrote two letters to him on the subject. He speaks in his autobiography of "her beautiful letter to me, safely preserved, shortly after our marriage." She writes:

The state of mind that I wish to preserve with respect to you, is to feel that while you are acting conscientiously and sincerely wishing and trying to learn the truth, you cannot be wrong; but there are some reasons that force

[pages] 188 - 189

themselves upon me, and prevent my being always able to give myself this comfort. I daresay you have often thought of them before, but I will write down what has been in my head, knowing that my own dearest will indulge me. Your mind and time are full of the most interesting subjects and thoughts of the most absorbing kind, viz. following up your own discoveries, but which make it very difficult for you to avoid casting out as interruptions other sorts of thoughts which have no relation to what you are pursuing, or to be able to give your whole attention to both sides of the question.

There is another reason which would have a great effect on a woman, but I don't know whether it would so much on a man. I mean E. [Erasmus], whose understanding you have such a very high opinion of and whom you have so much affection for, having gone before you. Is it not likely to have made it easier to you and to have taken off some of that dread and fear which the feeling of doubting first gives, and which I do not think an unreasonable or superstitious feeling? It seems to me also that the line of your pursuits may have led you to view chiefly the difficulties on one side, and that you have not had time to consider and study the chain of difficulties on the other, but I believe you do not consider your opinion as formed. May not the habit in scientific pursuits of believing nothing till it is proved, influence your mind too much in other things which cannot be proved in the same way, and which, if true, are likely to be above our comprehension? I should say also that there is a danger in giving up revelation which does not exist on the other side, that is the fear of ingratitude in casting off what has been done for your benefit, as well as for that of the world, and which ought to make you still more careful, perhaps even fearful, lest you should not have taken all the pains you could to judge truly. I do not know whether this is arguing as if one side were true and the other false, which I meant to avoid, but I think not. I do not quite agree with you in what you once said, that luckily there were no doubts as to how one ought to act. I think prayer is an instance to the contrary, in one case it is a positive duty, and perhaps not in the other. But I daresay you meant in actions which concern others, and then I agree with you almost if not quite. I do not wish for any answer to all this—it is a satisfaction to me to write it, and when I talk to you about it I cannot say exactly what I wish to say, and I know you will have patience with your own dear wife. Don't think that it is not my affair and that it does not much signify to me. Everything that concerns you concerns me, and I should be most unhappy if I thought we did not belong to each other for ever. I am rather afraid my own dear Nigger will think I have forgotten my promise not to bother him, but I am sure he loves me, and I cannot tell him how happy he makes me, and how dearly I love him and thank him for all his affection, which makes the happiness of my life more and more every day.

And her second letter is:

I cannot tell you the compassion I have felt for all your sufferings for these weeks past that you have had so many drawbacks, nor the gratitude I have felt for the cheerful and affectionate looks you have given me when I know you have been miserably uncomfortable.

My heart has often been too full to speak or take any notice. I am sure you know I love you well enough to believe that I mind your sufferings, nearly as much as I should my own, and I find the only relief to my own mind is to take it as from God's hand, and to try to believe that all suffering and illness is meant to help us to exalt our minds and to look forward with hope to a future state. When I see your patience, deep compassion for others, self-command, and above all gratitude for the

[pages] 190 - 191

smallest thing done to help you, I cannot help longing that these precious feelings should be offered to Heaven for the sake of your daily happiness. But I find it difficult enough in my own case. I often think of the words, "Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee." It is feeling and not reasoning that drives one to prayer. I feel presumptuous in writing this to you.

I feel in my inmost heart your admirable qualities and feelings, and all I would hope is that you might direct them upwards, as well as to one who values them above everything in the world. I shall keep this by me till I feel cheerful and comfortable again about you, but it has passed through my mind often lately so I thought I would write it, partly to relieve my own mind.

Below are the words:

"God bless you. C. D. June, 1861."

She spoke little to us about her religious feelings. I remember once, when I was a girl, her telling me that she had often felt she could only bear her anxiety by saying a prayer for help. As years went on her attitude as to her creed must have greatly changed, but she kept a sorrowful wish to believe more, and I know that it was an abiding sadness to her that her faith was less vivid than it had been in her youth. It would however give a wrong impression if it was thought that this overclouded her life. Her perfect unselfishness and active goodness gave her rest, peace and happiness.



A long illness—Torquay—Erasmus Darwin—The death of Charlotte Langton in 1862 and the Hartfield houses given up—Leonard ill with scarlet-fever; my mother at the end of her nursing falls ill too—A humane trap for animals—Malvern Wells—My father continually ill in 1863, 1864, and 1865—The deaths of Catherine Langton and Susan Darwin in 1866—The Huxley children at Down—A visit to Cambridge—George a second Wrangler—A month in London— Elizabeth Wedgwood settles at Down — Freshwater—Leonard second in the Entrance Examination for Woolwich—Fanny Allen at Tenby—My father's accident out riding—Shrewsbury and Caerdeon.

In 1860 my poor mother's thoughts and time were engrossed with the care of me in a long illness, lasting with relapses from May 1860 till Midsummer 1861. In July I was well enough to be moved to Hartfield, "the kindly hospital for all who are sick or sorry" as Fanny Allen calls it. But I soon had a bad relapse and gave her as much anxiety as ever.

Charles Darwin to his son William.

HARTFIELD, Monday [July 30, 1860].

Poor Etty will long be an invalid, but we are now too happy even at that poor prospect. Your letter has amused us all extremely, and was read with roars of laughter.

[pages] 192 - 193

Etty has not yet heard it; but you cannot think what a pleasure your letters are to her; they amuse and cheer her so nicely. I shall copy your account of dialogue before the Bishop and send it to Hooker and Huxley. I daresay I will send some queries to your friend the cook. You may tell the gardener that I have seen an ant's nest in a tree, but it is rare.…

The Review by the Bishop of Oxford and Owen in last Quarterly is worth looking at. I am splendidly quizzed by a quotation from the Anti-Jacobin. The naturalists are fighting about the Origin in N. America even more than here, as I see by the printed reports.

My dear old fellow,
Your affect. Father,

Emma Darwin to Lady Lyell.

DOWN, BROMLEY, KENT, Aug. 28 [1860].

My dear Mary,

About a week ago Erasmus's housemaid discovered in a cupboard a parcel directed to me, which had come to the house in her absence. It proved to be the knitted veil you made for me, and you must have thought me very ungrateful never to have thanked you for it. It is very useful, and Etty is now sitting before the open window with it over her head.…

All you that can get out of England this sad summer1 are much to be envied, and I trust you are all well and enjoying a happy family meeting. We lead the quietest of lives, but we hope Erasmus will take courage and get this far. We have sent Frank to school, and as yet he has been quite happy there. George is in the first class, and a person of some authority there, so he is a great protection.

1 I believe this was one of the wet years, with spoilt harvests looking sodden and dismal.

But I think boys are better than they used to be, and he is sure to be liked by the masters from his industry and zeal. Charles is too much given to anxiety, as you know, and his various experiments this summer have been a great blessing to him, as he can always interest himself about them. At present he is treating Drosera just like a living creature, and I suppose he hopes to end in proving it to be an animal. I have also succeeded pretty well in teaching myself not to give way to despondency but live from day to day. We had the bad luck at Hartfield to fall into the hands of a desponding medical man, and it really was a great injury to us. We had a visit from Sir Henry Holland, who cheered us again, and I fully believe his view is the true one. He has been so constantly kind, and taken so much trouble, that we feel very grateful.…

The entries in her little diary almost all refer to me. One is "worked and knit," and that means I worked at a pink and white rug which she always used at Down till she died. Characteristically she got tired of a rather ugly imitation "Indian pine," which I had worked on the white strips, and a year or two before her death unpicked these, and then repented that her old rug she had known for thirty-six years did not look the same.

In March 1861, whilst I was still an invalid, Mrs Huxley and her three little children came to Down for a fortnight's rest. She was seriously out of health, and unable to recover from her grief at the recent loss of her eldest little boy. My mother hardly knew her before, and this visit laid the foundation of their friendship.

In June 1861 we went to Torquay, and there I began to get well. It was a very happy time.

L. II. 13

[pages] 194 - [page break]

My father was fairly well, and the boys were full of enjoyment. We had our frequent summer visitors, Erasmus, my father's only brother, and Hope, Hensleigh Wedgwood's youngest daughter. I wish it were possible to give any impression of the charm of our uncle Ras's character. Outside the narrowing circle of those who knew him he will be chiefly remembered by Carlyle's few words of description, and these are to my mind misleading. They are, however, remarkable, inasmuch as Erasmus Darwin is one of the few he speaks of quite without any unpleasant flavour or concealed sneer. In his Reminiscences (Vol. II. p. 208) Carlyle writes:

He was one of the sincerest, naturally truest, and most modest of men.… My dear one had a great favour for this honest Darwin always; many a road, to shops and the like, he drove her in his cab ("Darwingium Cabbum," comparable to Georgium Sidus) in those early days when even the charge of omnibuses was a consideration, and his sparse utterances, sardonic often, were a great amusement to her. "A perfect gentleman," she at once discerned him to be, and of sound worth and kindliness in the most unaffected form.

He was the very soul of sincerity, but to speak of him as 'this honest Darwin' gives an impression of a kind of hearty open-air frankness, which was entirely unlike our refined, sensitive, reserved uncle. His humour too was always kind, if penetrating, never grim or sardonic. It irradiated all his talk with a peculiar charm often reminding one of the flavour of Charles Lamb, "There was the same kind of playfulness, the same lightness of touch, the same

[page break] - [pages] 195

tenderness, perhaps the same limitations." Julia Wedgwood, Erasmus Darwin's cousin, who wrote the above sentence in a letter given in the Spectator shortly after his death, speaks of a strong sense of humour as his most marked characteristic. She adds "I remember his being called 'a universal solvent.' He contributed to intercourse the influence that combines dissimilar elements; where he was the response came more readily, the flow of thought was quicker."1

Again, I take exception to the phrase that Mrs Carlyle at once discerned him to be a perfect gentleman. It did not require Mrs Carlyle's penetration to discern what was so obvious. To those whom he did not like, and he did not like everyone, his personality, always impressive, might have been awful. I sometimes wondered that his servants were so deeply devoted to him when I remember his distant manner in giving an order—an order that was to be obeyed with no hesitation or discussion. His whole bearing showed the marks of ill-health. He was very tall and slight, and his movements had a languid grace. He had long, delicate hands, which were wonderfully clever and neat in all practical handiwork; everything about him was delicately clean and neat; he had a fine and interesting face, lighting up when he spoke from an habitually patient and sad expression, and a delightfully sympathetic voice and laugh.

1 Bedford College Magazine, June, 1902. He was Trustee of this College from the beginning, Chairman of the Council for seven years, and the first Visitor from 1869 to 1879.


[pages] 196 - 197

He read much, and had a far wider range of sympathy in literature than my father. Natural history had never appealed to him, but in old boyish days he had worked at chemistry and hence my father still sometimes called him Philos, as short for philosopher, his nickname thus earned at school. They were very different in character and disposition, and made admirable foils in their talk with each other. My father had a boundless admiration for him still with something of a younger brother's attitude. He also had a tender sympathy for his loneliness and ill-health—"poor dear old Philos," I can almost hear him say.

His house (6, Queen Anne Street) was a second home to his nephews and nieces, including in this term his dearest of all, the children of Hensleigh Wedgwood. There was something quite unique in his attitude towards the young. We came into that simply furnished, somewhat ascetic London drawing-room, looking out on the bare street, knowing that he was weary and ill, and had been alone and would be alone again, and yet went away with a glow reflected from his atmosphere, a sense that the world was better for his presence. There was no possibility of forgetting the respect due to an elder, but he was so entirely bon camarade, meeting us so delightfully on our own level, that in our intercourse with him we felt as free as if he were our own age, and yet there was the added interest due to our being of different generations.

The following little letter shows his sympathy with children.There is no date, but I imagine his little cousin 'Snow,' Julia, the eldest daughter of Hensleigh Wedgwood, would have been about six. 'Little Mary' was the child of his sister Marianne Parker.

My dear Snow,

Before your note came little Mary was gone home again, so as I could not give her your love, what did I do, but I sent it her to read, as I thought she would like to hear how you all went to the sea, and what foolish little chaps Bro and Dolly were not to follow your example and take a swim.

I don't think little Mary will be able to read much of your note, for she seemed a very idle little girl at her lessons, and when she was learning to read she turned round her head and had a little chat between every word.

Aunt Susan took her into town to have her hair cut, and she told the man to cut it as close as he could, so when they came back she [little Mary] looked in the glass and was so surprised at herself that she said, "Why Sue, you have made me a right-down boy."…Now they are all gone, and I have nobody to play with, so 1 hope very soon to see you again when you have done travelling about the country. What a great many places you have been to, almost everywhere I think, so you will be able to tell me very long stories indeed—one of those nice stories without any end to them.

If you have time you must write me another letter. I send my love to you and Bro and Dolly.

Yours affectionately,

The following sentences are from an essay by Alice Meynell1, the whole of which strangely brings

1 The Rhythm of Life, by Alice Meynell.

[pages] 200 - 201

Miss Ludwig and amusing Horace, an invalid boy of eleven, was in my mother's mind. At the end of her long nursing she caught the fever and was very ill at Southampton, where they had come on their way to join us at Bournemouth. Eventually, however, we all met there, very glad to be once more a reunited family.

In 1863 both my father and Horace were ill, and there was nothing but nursing and anxiety for her.

About this time she worked very hard to have some humane trap substituted for the cruel steel trap in common use in game-preserving. She got the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to move in the matter, and a prize was offered for the invention of a trap which was both good and humane. I am afraid, however, her efforts did but little direct good. No trap was invented which was portable, cheap, and effective. Indirectly, by stirring up thought on the subject, one hopes some good was done.

I give the following letter here, although it was written many years later. Whether it was ever published I cannot remember, but I think it was sent either to the Times or the Spectator.


Those who sympathise with the sufferings of animals must have felt great satisfaction at the warm interest which has lately been excited on the subject of vivisection.

There is however a kind of suffering, inflicted not in the cause of science but in that of amusement, which seems nearly forgotten. On every one of the great estates of this country steel traps are being industriously prepared and set to catch the vermin which invade man's privilege of killing the game.

If we attempt to realize the pain felt by an animal when caught, we must fancy what it would be to have a limb crushed during a whole long night between the iron teeth of a trap, and with the agony increased by attempts to escape. Few men could endure to watch for five minutes an animal thus struggling with a torn and mangled limb; yet on the well-preserved estates throughout the kingdom thousands of animals thus linger every night, probably for eight or ten hours.

If it is held that it is degrading to our physiologists to make, and to our medical students to witness, operations upon living animals under anæsthetics, what ought it to be to the gamekeeper, who, night after night, prepares and sets instruments of torture and goes to sleep knowing that, by his means, animals are suffering acute agony until he goes in the morning to release them by killing them.

He has however the consciousness that this is done for his daily bread. His master does not see it done. Is the responsibility thus to slip between the two?

No doubt this is the most effectual way of preserving game; but I cannot believe that English gentlemen, who would not themselves give unnecessary pain to any living creature, and are eager to prevent brutality wherever they see it, either on the part of drovers or physiologists, will continue to allow even this motive to weigh against such an amount of suffering.

Yours, &c.,
(Signed) B. C.

In February 1863 she went with us to see the Duke's Motto with Fechter and Kate Terry. This was a most unusual event, and a gleam of refreshment

[pages] 202 - 203

in her life of wearing anxiety. Her old taste for the play remained as strong as ever, and she admired Kate Terry with as much enthusiasm as a girl. Of old plays that she had enjoyed, I especially remember her speaking of the Maid and the Magpie as delightful. It comes back to me that out of her wish that we should enjoy what gave her such great pleasure, I was sent to the Corsican Brothers at so youthful an age that I could only bear the terror of it all by shutting my eyes.

In the autumn we took a house at Malvern Wells, to try if a little mild water-cure treatment would do my father good. But nothing answered, and he was most seriously ill. My youngest brother Horace was ill too, and my kitten Mephistopheles, called Phisty, which we brought with us, was our only bright spot. He was a beautiful Persian kitten, with very tufted ears and of remarkable character; he amused us all, prancing sideways all across the garden to attack us; and when he was asleep, he was so drunk with sleep that you could prop him up in any attitude, and he trickled over just as the force of gravity acted. My father and mother never forgot poor Phisty and his fierce and tigerish charms.

Charles Langton, whose wife Charlotte had died in January 1862, became engaged in the summer of 1863 to Catherine Darwin, my father's youngest sister, and the marriage took place in October of the same year. To us children it came as a shock, for it seemed to us incredible, and almost indecent, that anyone over fifty should think of such a thing as marrying. Catherine was 53, and had neither good health nor good spirits, and both she and Charles Langton had strong wills, so that my father and mother were doubtful as to her happiness and thought the marriage a somewhat anxious experiment.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood on a tour abroad.

[October 7, 1863.]

To-morrow, I hear from one of Emma's nice letters, Cath.'s marriage takes place. I wish they may have a sunny day to cheer them. I have no doubt that both would prefer a quiet wedding-day, with no reminiscences to sadden either party, and the wedding taking place now will suit you all, setting you at liberty to linger, if you like, in parts of that lovely country you are passing through. Some parts of the Riviera, where the rocks come down into the sea, I can imagine nothing finer or more beautiful; every step is beautiful, and my affectionate remembrances to Nice, where I spent many happy days, and some pleasant ones in solitude, when I had lost the company of beloved ones. Think of Emma D. being, after long deliberation, on the side of the Federals, whom I detest with all the fire that is left me! their hypocrisy respecting slavery is most odious, and their treatment of the poor negroes atrocious.

The following is written in a tiny hand on a little sheet of paper 3½″ x 2¼″:

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard at school.

DOWN, BROMLEV, KENT, Nov. 13, 1863.

My dear Lenny,

You cannot write as small as this I know. It is done with your crow-quill. Your last letter was not interesting, but very well spelt, which I care more about.

[pages] 204 - 205

We have a new horse on trial, very spirited and pleasant and nice-looking, but I am afraid too cheap. Papa is much better than when Frank was here. Hen. comes home today. We have some stamps for you: one Horace says is new Am. 5 cent.

Yours, my dear old man,
E. D.

Begin your jerseys.

My father continued wretchedly ill all through 1864, though in the autumn there began to be slight improvement. He appears by her diary not to have left home at all, and she hardly stirred away for more than a day or two. When he was tolerable I could now be left in charge for a day or two. She wrote to Fanny Allen (Nov. 22, 1864): I suppose you have heard of Ch. getting the Copley medal from the Royal Soc. He has been much pleased, but I think the pleasantest part was the cordial feeling of his friends on the occasion.

Of family events a death occurred which touched her closely. Her aunt, Emma Allen, died on June 4th, 1864, leaving Fanny alone, the last survivor of her generation.

On Nov. 14th there is an entry in her diary that my father was at work a little, and after that he was better for some months.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

Nov. 22 [1864].

I was so glad to receive your dear, affectionate letter, saying you would come and see us. I was thinking how unsatisfactory it would be only to see you for a call or two in London, as I do not feel easy to leave Ch. for a night, he is so subject to distressing fainting feelings, and one never knows when an attack may come on. It will be very nice for him to see you too.…

The following is to me whilst on a visit to the Hensleigh Wedgwoods in London, where aunt Fanny Allen was finishing her round of visits to her different nieces. She had spent a fortnight at Down.

Emma Darwin to her daughter Henrietta.

DOWN, Thursday [March, 1865].

My dear Body,

We can do very well [without you] till Saturday; indeed, as far as I can see, we must. Papa is pretty well and Horace too, and very happy over the alarum which Papa has handsomely devoted. Anne is absorbed in shirts. I have just been down to Spengle1 to talk about poor people. Found them at breakfast at 10.15.

I am glad you are enjoying yourself so much my dear. I am glad you see a bit more of aunt Fanny Allen too. I called yesterday on the Stephens. Mr S. thought it only proper respect that the young Lubbocks should not beat their father2 at billiards, and Mrs S. said her brothers would not like to beat their father: "No, indeed, they had better do no such thing."

1 The family nickname for the village doctor, who had been devoted to Leonard in his long illness. He was always in difficulties, being too indulgent with his poorer patients. My father used to lend him money, and when his bill came in my father used to pay half and keep half against the debt, which he called "sharing the booty." Mr Engleheart lost his life in Africa, crossing a swollen river at night to attend a patient.

2 Sir John Lubbock, the father of Lord Avebury.

[pages] 206 - 207

Mrs X is a decisive woman. She not only takes Mr X to church, but to the evening service twice a week.

We have got the Cornhill to amuse us. Half of the Mutual Friend is quite unreadable, tho' we like the other half very much. Settle with Hope about her visit here, which will be, I suppose, when At. F. goes to Wales, and I shall like it very much as well as you.

Good bye my dear. E. D.

In the spring and summer of 1865 my father was extremely ill again; he tried Dr Chapman's "ice-cure" with however no permanent good effect. Fanny Allen writes (June 26, 1865):

What a life of suffering his is, and how manfully he bears it! Emma's, dear Emma's, cheerfulness is equally admirable. Oh! that a pure sunshine would rise for them.

And again (12th July):

I had one of Emma's charming letters yesterday. She had waited for a good moment to Charles, and his four days of tolerable wellness had given her spirits to give me the treat of a letter, and that with all her boys about her! I am sure she is a chosen one of Heaven.

My sweet little neighbour Mrs Partridge draws closer to me than ever, walking in late in the evening and sometimes playing a game of backgammon. She reminds me of Emma as a mother, so affectionate and so watchful.

My mother's devotion to my father had made a deep impression upon Fanny Allen; she speaks of a friend as the most devoted wife she ever knew, "except Emma, and she is an exception to every wife."

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

[Probably 1865].

…I have taken a little to gardening this summer, and I often felt surprised when I was feeling sad enough how cheering a little exertion of that sort is. I also like cutting and carving among the shrubs, but as my opinion is diametrically opposite to the rest of my family, I don't have my own way entirely in that matter.… Our last kitten is going to its place, and is rather a loss to me; it used to come so very affectionately, though with only cupboard love. I hope Crab is well.

Good bye once more.

Emma Darwin to her sister Elizabeth Wedgwoo.

DOWN, Thursday [Summer, 1865].

My dear Eliz.,

Charles'good state continued till yesterday when he broke down. I seized the opportunity of his being so well to rush up to Mr Woodhouse, and he saw me at once and did not keep me waiting; but my expedition was tedious, as I was a full hour in the train each way.

The weather has been so bitterly cold since Monday that I am alarmed for you at Hengwrt1. I am afraid it must rain for some time to recover itself. The boys came home last night very brown and happy. William had worked hard I am sure to make them happy, giving them claret cup and sumptuous breakfasts, filling Lenny's trousers with stones, and pelting them with stones while they were bathing, and tipping them for a wind up. They went to Netley and Winchester on their own hook, and he took them to the I. of Wight, and they wandered all about

1 A beautiful house in N. Wales taken for the summer by the Hensleigh Wedgwoods.

[pages] 208 - 209

Bonchurch, Ventnor, and St Lawrence on Sunday, which was a beautiful day. I must tell him how well he succeeded in giving them a happy visit. A very prosperous letter from Lizzy on the steam-boat between Cologne and Bale. She seems to have her eyes open to enjoy seeing things a good deal, tho' she did not admire Rubens' Descent from the Cross, which I don't wonder at.…

The following is written whilst I was on a visit to Wilbury, in Wiltshire, a house the Langtons had taken. I had changed my childish name of Etty to Henrietta, and now there was a question of changing it again to Harriet.

Emma Darwin to her daughter Henrietta.

Thursday [Sept. 1865].

My dearest Henrietta,

I will not stand Harriet, it is the pertest of names.… It will be very nice if you come home on Saturday, and no doubt you will, if Wm. comes with you. Papa had a wonderful day yesterday and walked 3½ miles, tho' it was very hot too. I took a little drive in the pony carriage by myself, and came home by moonlight round by High Elms and Holwood, and saw the young Lubbocks at cricket. In the morning Mr Bentham called from Holwood. He is a very nice man. Papa came down for ten minutes. I walked him thro' the kitchen garden, and started him that way, and was sorry to think afterwards that I had given him directions which would effectually prevent his finding his way. I was glad I was in my new gown. Rags do not look well in the sunshine. My new gown is respectable and handsome. You have both been very good about writing, and when you both write the same day you tell difft things.…

In February 1866 Catherine, Mrs Charles Langton, died at Shrewsbury, where she had gone to be with her sister Susan Darwin, now also in very bad health.

Fanny Allen to her niece Elizabeth Wedgwood.

Feb. 9, 1866.

Yours and Fanny's letters on Tuesday brought the intelligence that I expected of the close of poor Cath.'s life. It has saddened some hours of this week to me, and made me think over her character, which was a very high one, and her life was an abortive one with her high capacities.

I remember her father used to joke about Cath.'s "great soul"; what he spoke in jest she had in earnest, but somehow it failed to work out her capabilities either for her own happiness or that of others (perhaps), but this I speak with uncertainty. I have had another sweet note from Caroline this evening, in which she says "few people knew her noble and excellent qualities, so true, with strong affections and sympathies." Sad, sad Shrewsbury! which used to look so bright and sunny; though I did dread the Dr. a good deal, and yet I saw his kindness—but my nature was and is fearful.

I have a very grateful remembrance of my aunt Catherine. She was a very kind and stimulating companion, taking interest in my reading and what I was doing. Susan Darwin, my father's only unmarried sister, died in the autumn, and the old house at Shrewsbury passed into other hands. She had been her father's favourite daughter, and was, I believe, the most beloved by her three sisters, and certainly by Erasmus. At the death of her sister

L. II. 14

[pages] 210 - 211

Marianne she adopted the Parkers, and they became almost like her children, living with her at The Mount. She had a charming sweet presence, tall, graceful, dignified, and still beautiful.

My father's health was somewhat better in 1866, and they paid more than one visit to London.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

QUEEN ANNE STREET, Sunday [28 April, 1866].

My dearest aunt Fanny,

Our last days here have been so pleasant and successful that I must write you a scrap. The greatest event was that Ch. went last night to the Soirée at the Royal Soc., where assemble all the scientific men in London. He saw every one of his old friends, and had such a cordial reception from them all as made it very pleasant. He was obliged to name himself to almost all of them, as his beard alters him so much. The President presented him to the Prince of Wales. There were only 3 presented, and he was the first. The P. looked a nice, good-natured youth, and very gentlemanlike. He said something Ch. could not hear, so he made the profoundest bow he could and went on.

His Dr., Bence Jones, was there, and received him with triumph, as well he might, being his own doing. My event was nearly as wonderful, going to see Hamlet with Fechter. The acting was beautiful, but I should prefer anything to Shakespeare, I am ashamed to say.

Yesterday Eliz. charitably went with me to see poor mad Miss Pugh1. We liked the Matron much.… Dr B. J. is to do me some good too. I am to drive every day, and Ch. to ride!

Good bye, my dear, this is but a scrap.
Yours, E. D.

1 A former governess.

The following letters are written to me whilst I was abroad.

Emma Darwin to her daughter Henrietta.

[LONDON], May 4 [1866].

…Now for news. Monday I drove about and did one set of pictures, which is staring unwholesome work, and did not suit either of our heads, and a little shopping. In the evening Aunt Eliz. and Carry picked me up for the Phil. It was our dear old G minor Mozart, and very charming, and we used to play it quite fast enough (and very well) and gave it quite the right air. Pastoral Symph. I enjoyed, but I know it too well. A Mlle. Mehlig played the P. F. in Arabella [Goddard]'s style, but more beautifully, and I enjoyed it much—a wonderful thing of Chopin's and Concerto of Hummel, extremely charming. Singing hideous, Mlle. Sinico sang Vedrai Carino as slow as a Psalm tune and as loud as she could. Papa was pretty well done up, and the day before had seen Grove and Lyell. He had a nice evening with Uncle Ras, who has been so nice and cordial, asking us to come again.…

Emma Darwin to her daughter Henrietta.

DOWN, Sunday, May 27th [1866].

My dearest Body,

I have just got yours to G. What an enchanting place St Jean is. I am so glad you had the luck to hit upon it. That is the sort of thing I admire more than any degree of Alps and passes. How very odd that French inns should not be respectable.…

I despatched a hamper of kittens yesterday, and am not sorry to be free of their meals, poor little ducks. They would all sleep in the mowing machine, and did not look clean, so I was obliged to apologize for them. I had


[pages] 212 - 213

quite forgotten how pleasant it was to feel brisk and well all day.

St Jean, which was her ideal of beauty, is a little fishing village in a bay to the west of Nice. I can remember the scene now on an evening of unusual splendour—the little harbour with the gorgeous lateen sails of yellow and red, the rocks going sheer down into the crystal-clear blue sea, framed in with the great mountains of Nice. My friend and I had to wander about the tiny village in the dusk, trying to find a lodging for the night, a matter of some difficulty, for we were warned by a friendly woman that we ought not to go to the inn.

In the autumn of 1866 my mother went for three nights to meet Fanny Allen at a charming place in Wiltshire, Pyt House, that Charles Langton had taken for a time, almost her only visit for her own pleasure for some ten years.

My father kept better in 1867, and there was a happy family life with visits to and from the relations. This spring my mother offered to take charge of the seven children of Mr and Mrs Huxley for a fortnight. It involved of course some responsibility, but the children were all well and immensely enjoyed the free country life, and we enjoyed having them; and it increased, as was natural, the affection between their parents and my father and mother. Mrs Huxley writes to me of my mother (24 January, 1904):

Towards your mother I always had a sort of nestling feeling. More than any woman I ever knew, she comforted. Few, if any, would have housed a friend's seven children and two nurses for a fortnight; that the friend, myself, should be able to accompany her husband to Liverpool when he was President of the British Association; and in early days of our acquaintance, just after we had lost our boy, she begged me to come to her and bring the three children and nurse, and I should have the old nurseries at Down. I first wrote that I was too weak and ill to be out of my home, that I could not get downstairs till 1 o'clock. Her reply was, that that was the usual state of the family at Down, and I should just be following suit. What wonder that I had for her always the most grateful affection.

I wish, if you think fit, that you would set down these words of mine in your book about her. I should like to acknowledge my debt of love to my dear friend. My heart is very full, and tears dim my eyes as I write of her.

My brothers George and Frank were now both at Cambridge, and my mother took my sister Bessy (then called Lizzy), Lucy, daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, of Leith Hill Place, and a girl friend for three days' fun in the boat-race week, then held in May.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, Thursday, May 1867.

…We returned from 3 days at Cambridge on Saturday. My companions were Amy Crofton and Lucy, who both met me in London, and Lizzy went with me. Wed. was a most bitterly cold and snowy day, but the girls were all ready for enjoyment. George met us at our inn, and after dinner walked us about. Then we had a carriage, and drove 3 miles to a boggy meadow by the river side to

[pages] 214 - 215

see the boat races. We put on every sort of cloak and managed not to catch cold. It really was a fine sight seeing 20 boatfuls of handsome, athletic young men row slowly by up to the starting-post, all in handsome uniform of different colours. In about ½ an hour we heard the starting-gun, and then the noise of shouting and the crowd rushing along on the towing-path opposite, and presently the first boat shot by, the young men with naked arms, no hats, and only jerseys on. It seemed a great exertion, especially to those who were rowing badly, even to my ignorant eyes.

The Cam is too narrow for more than one boat, so that when the hindmost bumps the one before, the foremost gives up and goes to the side. The boats in starting are all ranged at a certain distance from each other, and start at the same instant. It is the thing to drive home as fast as possible from the race, and our horses chose to go like mad, so that we quite enjoyed it. Then we went, very hungry, to drink tea with George. Fish, cutlets, and every sort of tea-cake. He has a very nice room in Trinity. The two following days were much the same, rushing about all day, varied with a most elegant breakfast at Frank's, and ditto lunch at Swettenham's—claret-cup and all sorts of elegancies from the Trinity kitchen. We had Cicely1 and Clarke and the Langtons to teas, and joined the Langtons in several things. Our last evening was the most brilliant, as the weather improved, and the boys joined us to go to Ely, which is very grand. Then we came home, bringing Amy with us, and parting with Lucy again to go straight home to L. H. P. from London.

Good-bye, dearest Aunt F. Yours, E. D.

Charles is horribly tired of his big book, and thinks nobody ever wrote so badly before; it requires so much correction.

1 Her brother Frank's daughter, married to Clarke Hawkshaw.

Emma Darwin to her daughter Henrietta.

DOWN, Sunday [Summer, 1867].

…I succeeded in going to Ravensbourne, and it was pleasant. I took the Lancashire Wedding or Darwin moralized to read in the carriage. The moral is that it is not wise to give up a pretty, poor, healthy girl you love and marry a sickly, rich, cross one you don't care for, which does not require a conjuror to tell one. The story ought to have been giving up a pretty, sick girl you love and marrying a healthy one you don't care for. It is too dull to give to the [village] library.…

I hope I shall hear from some of you to-day. I have got Mr Hogarth's Will, and find it is all about Jane being an accountant, and that I found it too dull before, so we have only Hepworth Dixon's America and old Jesse's George III., which is comfortable enough. Rain, rain; but it has done very good-naturedly in raining most at night. Yours, my dear.

The books she mentions would be those then on hand for reading aloud. As a rule they liked one novel and one serious book, travels, memoirs, or something historical if not too stiff; but they were always chosen with a view to resting my father.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.


Charles's book is done and he is enjoying leisure, tho' he is a very bad hand at that. I wish he could smoke a pipe or ruminate like a cow. Our Persian kitten from Paris is very charming and more confiding than a common one. He is getting very big, but still insists upon sitting on my shoulder and smudging his face against mine.

[pages] 216 - 217

One memory comes very fresh to me of this summer. Kate Terry was giving some farewell performances before her marriage, when she left the stage; and several times we went up to see her, returning at night. We had at that time two fast little grey horses, and we drove the six miles to Bromley, our nearest station, in the open carriage. It was enchanting summer weather, and the drive back in the starlight summer night was almost the most delightful part of the nearly unheard-of dissipation, which my mother was as eager about as any one of us.

Charles Darwin to his son G. H. Darwin on occasion of his being second wrangler.

DOWN, Jan. 24th [1868].

My dear old fellow,

I am so pleased. I congratulate you with all my heart and soul. I always said from your early days that such energy, perseverance and talent as yours would be sure to succeed; but I never expected such brilliant success as this. Again and again I congratulate you. But you have made my hand tremble so I can hardly write. The telegraph came here at eleven. We have written to W. and the boys.

God bless you, my dear old fellow—may your life so continue.

Your affectionate Father,


Emma Darwin to her daughter Henrietta.

DOWN, Sunday [January, 1868].

My dearest Body,

We had a pleasant interlude yesterday in the appearance of Lenny and Horace from school. They flyed to Keston Mark and then came on foot. George's success made a tremendous stir at Clapham1. Wrigley had never been seen in such a state. He gave the fact out from the platform as if he was going to cry, and gave a half-holiday and sent them all to the Crystal Palace. Lenny however staid at home at his work.… When the boys heard about G. in the 1st class room they had a regular saturnalia, and played at football for some time to the great danger of the windows and pictures.

Then the new table came, and it is very lovely, but I foresee that the scratches on it will embitter my life. I shall leave Frank to tell you all the Cambridge news, which was very juicy. Only think of G. lying in bed till the awful hour was over, and then all his friends rushed in to his little bedroom to congrat.

In 1868, the month of March was spent in London, at Elizabeth Wedgwood's little house, No. 4, Chester Place. My father was fairly well, and my mother heard some music and went to a play or two. Chester Place is opposite No. 1, Cumberland Place, in Regent's Park, the Hensleigh Wedgwoods' delightful house, and when she speaks of 'over the way' it means their house.

1 The school where all my brothers except William were educated, first under Mr Pritchard and latterly Dr Wrigley.

[pages] 218 - 219

Emma Darwin to her sister Elizabeth Wedgwood.

DOWN, Thursday [Ap. 2, 1868].

My dear Eliz.,

I came home yesterday with Ch. alone. I enjoyed the quiet and poking about, and the cat's welcome and walking in the new walk in the field. Your servants are charming, and I am so glad you have such a nice set. We had a pleasant party at luncheon on Sunday (Mrs Miles made such elegant luncheons I was quite proud of them); Mr Farrer [afterwards Lord F.] and the Godfrey Lushingtons. There was une très bonne conversation, as poor Sismondi used to say. Mr Farrer is very genial and agreeable, and I liked him for the cordial and appreciative way in which he spoke of you. He offered Fanny [his wife] to sing to Charles, but he could not contrive it those last days; indeed I think his fondness for singing is pretty well merged into Natural Selection, etc. I ended brilliantly by going in to the Tuesday reception [at the Hensleigh Wedgwoods], where were 20 people, first and last. It was amusing, and I knew enough folks to feel at ease. Then I dined over the way (and Ch. also) to meet Miss Cobbe and Miss Lloyd. Miss Cobbe was very agreeable, and told a good deal about Borrow, who lives close by her. He lives the same life among ragamuffins in London as he used to do in Spain (the cat is smudging against my pen and face in such a way I can hardly write). He was quite an unbeliever (and is still) when he went about the Bible1 in Spain, and the book gave one that impression. She is very fresh and natural. Good bye, my dear Eliz., I have much scrattle.

This year Elizabeth Wedgwood made her final move to Down. The beggars in London harassed

1 He went as agent of the Bible Society.

and fatigued her, and the bustle of the life was too much for her, so she wisely decided to end her days near my mother, and lived in a pleasant house in the village of Down. There she spent the last twelve years of her life, happy with her garden, her little dog Tony, her devoted servants, helping her village neighbours, and sheltered by my mother's constant love and care.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, Sat. [1868].

My dearest Aunt Fanny,

Eliz. is so bent upon Tromer Lodge that I am sure she will get it, and I think she will be very comfortable there. The drawing-room is upstairs, but really a remarkably pretty room, and the bedrooms very nice. The garden is sheltered from N. and E., and she will enjoy her hothouse and green-house, and I hope she will be quite extravagant in that matter. She will have a little too much noise from the blacksmith's forge and the schoolchildren at play; but they are not uncheerful noises. She must make an outlet from the nearest corner of her garden to get to us, which is much shorter than the road; but I mean to try to persuade her to set up a bedroom and appurtenances here, so that when she spends the evening she shall [also] sleep here, and not have any conveyance of things. I enjoy the thoughts very much of her settling there. It is always interesting to see how to make things comfortable. Then you must come and see her here, and I shall see all the more of you. She will regret leaving Hensleigh chiefly, but I have long thought that her life there (in London) was too bustling.…

[pages] 220 - 221

Emma Darwin to her daughter Henrietta.

DOWN, Sunday [1868].

My dearest Body,

The day was so lovely yesterday that I did Mrs — and Mrs Atkins. Mrs — was at home in a white gown and enormous eggs hanging about her like Lizzy's bracelet. I am sure the little extravagant must buy new jewelry to be in the fashion. She was very amusing, chiefly about Not Wisely but too Well1, which she liked very much, and should have done just the same only she would have gone straight off from the Crystal Palace, "For it does not signify what a man does if you care for him," à propos to my objecting to his making love to a married woman. I said Kate was a very naughty girl, and Mrs — said, "Well, I am afraid I am just as naughty." Mrs Atkins was out, and I drove round thro' the park and had forgotten how pretty it is.…

In the fine, hot summer of 1868 we took one of Mrs Cameron's little houses at Freshwater for six weeks. It was a very entertaining time. Mrs Cameron, sister of Mrs Prinsep and the beautiful Lady Somers, and friend of Watts and Tennyson, was very sociable and most amusing, and put my father and Erasmus Darwin, who was with us, into great spirits. It was there she made her excellent photograph of my father, but the only other two she would take were our uncle Ras and my brother Horace. I wish she would have tried my mother, but she maintained no woman must be photographed between the ages of 18 and 70.

Tennyson came several times to call, but he did not greatly charm or interest either my father or

1 By Rhoda Broughton.

mother. They also saw Longfellow and his brother-in-law Tom Appleton, full of the wonders of table-turning, spirits and ghosts. Mr Appleton amused them very much with his description of an evening at Tennyson's; how after dinner Tennyson took him into the orchard with a lanthorn, and there he told such wonders of the doings of the spirits as made Tennyson's hair stand on end. Mr Appleton evidently thought he had made a deep impression on Tennyson, but whether this was the fact I do not know.

Charles Darwin to his son Horace.


My dear Horace,

We do not know Leonard's address, and I must write to someone, else I shall burst with pleasure at Leonard's success1. We saw the news yesterday, and no doubt you will have seen it. Is it not splendid? Who would ever have thought that poor dear old Lenny would have got so magnificent a place. I shall be curious to hear how many tried. Everything is grand; what a difference between the highest and the lowest number! By Jove how well his perseverance and energy have been rewarded. This is a very dull place, but we like it much better than we did at first. Erasmus and the Hensleighs are here for a few days, and we went yesterday evening to Alum Bay, which is very grand. Perhaps the Leith Hill folk are coming to the hotel here.

I wish you were coming sooner.

My very dear old man,

Your affectionate Father,

1 He had come out second in the Entrance Examination for Woolwich.

[pages] 222 - 223

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, Wednesday [August, 1868].

…I must go back to our last day at Freshwater. Mrs Cameron very good-naturedly took me and Lizzy to call on Mrs Tennyson. It was pouring with rain, and the more it rained the slower we walked, so when we got there we left our dripping cloaks in the hall.

Mr Tennyson brought in a bottle of light wine and gave us each a glass to correct the wet. Mrs T. is an invalid, and very pleasing and gracious. After sitting a reasonable time Tennyson came out with us and shewed us all about, and one likes him, and his absurd talk is a sort of flirtation with Mrs Cameron. The only Tennysonian speech was when he was talking of his new house; I asked where it was, and he answered half in joke "I shan't tell you where," also telling that the Illustrated News wanted to send an artist to take him laying the first stone. Ch. spent a very pleasant hour with him the day before. We ended in a transport of affection with Mrs Cameron, Eras. calling over the stairs to her, "You have left eight persons deeply in love with you." I think she was fondest of Horace. The Madonna1 was often coming over, "Mrs Cameron's love and would Horace come over?" She wanted him to pack photos, etc."

This autumn was one of unusual sociability. My father was better, and there were pleasant parties of friends and relations staying in the house. There was also much intercourse with Charles Norton, of Cambridge, Mass., and his family, who were staying for some time at Keston Rectory, a neighbouring parish to Down. A warm friendship sprang up

1 Mrs Cameron's pretty maid, who often sat for her.

between the two families, and this intimacy led to my brother William's marriage many years later to Mrs Norton's sister, Sara Sedgwick.

About this time we ceased to call our father and mother "Papa and Mamma." "F" from now onwards in her letters means "your father," although she sometimes still speaks of him as "Papa." My father, who was very conservative, said when we spoke about the change, "I would as soon be called Dog."

Emma Darwin to her daughter Henrietta.

DOWN, Friday [probably Dec. 1868].

My dear Body,

I think you will be very wise to spend all your dissipation upon Joachim. I should like to remember that Quintett, but you don't say who it is by.

The Penny Reading did very well last night. We had three dreadful comic songs, not vulgar, but duller than anything ever was heard; one by Mr Mead about Mary Hann and at least 40 verses. Frank and I played twice. Our two black sheep, whom I hate the sight of, little Rob. and Mrs S. were there, and the two yellow sheep (Miss X.'s) also. Mr Harman, the tuner, stayed and repeated by heart that odious Ingoldsby Legend (the Eels). It is hard to have had it twice.… We have been talking about Wales to Papa, and a house that the Rucks think may be to be had. I think poor F. seems to feel as if the fates would have it so, and I should the less scruple about it as I am sure he would enjoy it so much—not that he has agreed, but we have looked at the map, &c. Lenny and Horace are very crazy on the scheme. Goodbye, my dear, I must go out in a gleam of sunshine.…

[pages] 226 - 227

had, and how lucky he was to have a wife quite as high and spiritually minded as himself, and his sons and daughters seem all to have been made of the same stuff. It is consoling to read such an intensely happy life as his was from beginning to end. I believe it was his character, and not his talents, which made him so looked up to. I cannot see any talent in his letters and, when he talks of his own views and aims, he is so hazy and unclear that I have never been able to fathom what his particular aim and study was. I shall be quite sorry to finish the book, and it does one good to enter into such a mind.…

Yours, my dearest Aunt F.,

EM. D.

My father had a bad accident in April 1869. His horse stumbled and fell, rolling on him and bruising him badly. He was ill after this, and it shook his somewhat re-established health. It was a great misfortune, for his absolutely quiet cob Tommy soon became unsafe for him to ride, and he never afterwards found a quite suitable horse. Tommy was not only perfectly quiet and gentle but brisk and willing, and with most easy paces.

Our summer at Caerdeon, in North Wales, which would have been otherwise very enjoyable, was spoilt by my father's continued illness. We stayed a night in Shrewsbury on our way through to Barmouth, and visited the Mount, the old Shrewsbury home. We were shewn over the house, and I remember my father's deep disappointment as he said, "If I could have been left alone in that green-house for five minutes, I know I should have been able to see my father in his wheel-chair as vividly as if he had been there before me." Many years later his niece Lady Farrer made a little pilgrimage to Shrewsbury, and wrote this account of the Mount.

Sept. 4, 1900.

I wonder if Hope has told you of our ideal three days at the Raven. I couldn't have believed in anything so perfect—exquisite weather, an hour quite alone in "the garden that we loved," annihilating the 45 years that separates us from those days, which we look back upon through a golden haze. The Phillipps (owners) were out. We peeped into the rooms, and in the little study I almost saw the large figure of your grandfather as he kindly called me in and gave me a bit of barley-sugar, and then Ras lying on his sofa. All so wonderfully the same; the great turkey oak on the lawn grown quite magnificent; the old mulberry carefully supported in all its failing limbs; only many of our greedily beloved apple and pear trees cleared to form a playground. The peaches all ripe on the walls of the kitchen garden, and Vallombrosa more beautiful than ever—but the whole place was far more interesting and picturesque than I had remembered. We were enchanted with the town and the churches, and the great solemn well-restored Abbey.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

CAERDEON, BARMOUTH, June 21 [1869].

My dear Aunt Fanny,

I have just seen one of your pleasant letters to Eliz., which makes me all the more inclined to write and tell you what sort of a place this is and how we get on. We are all assembled now except William and Horace. The great interest for the last few days has been the new


[pages] 228 - 229

velocipede from Paris. Luckily on this mountain the approach road is flat, so that they have a good place for practising, and very delightful and magical it looks, skimming along on two wheels, one before the other. But I feel very cross with the machine just now, as Lenny has had a fall with it on his ancle, and though I think it has only given him a bad blow and not a strain, I am sure he will be laid up for some days. Caerdeon is a very pretty house, on the north side of the Barmouth estuary, looking across at Cader Idris and the range of mountains in front of Cader, and with a beautiful foreground of woody hills. There are 3 long terraces in front of the house, with flowers and roses all along them, and a beautiful view, so that we old folks have good space for walking on the flat. Sometimes I make the boys haul me up the hill, and then they go on further and I find my way down again.

Charles is still very poorly and languid, and not able to walk, so is very disappointed. Still I am convinced it will do him good. It is vexatious however to be in such beautiful scenery and not able to enjoy it. We are in hopes of Eras turning up when he can pluck up courage for the journey. We are reading Campbell's life of Lord Lyndhurst. They say that it is unfair and false in its attacks on him; but such outspoken abuse makes it very entertaining, and I should think no severity could be too great about Lord L.'s power of ratting whenever it suited his interest.

Eliz. was rejoicing over a grand heap of ferns from Hope in Devonshire. (We expect Hope to-day.) I think Eliz. has entered into her garden work with thorough spirit and enjoyment, and does a great deal with her own hands.…



The Descent of Man—Polly the Ur-hund—A visit to Basset—A week of dancing—Erasmus Darwin—Haredene—My engagement and marriage—Letters to me abroad—A wedding-gift from the Working Men's College.

In 1870 the family made no move en masse. My father's health was tolerable, and there was a happy time fairly free from home cares.

I went in January to join the Langtons at Cannes. Fanny Allen writes to my mother:

It is marvellous to me, sitting by the fire rejoicing in the repose, to read of the rushing of the young to all points of the compass in such weather! But in reality at their age, if I had had their power, I should have done the same. I now only wonder at the progress of kindness and indulgence on the parents' part that aid their children in their natural tastes.

Whilst I was abroad the proof-sheets of the Descent of Man were sent out to me to read. My mother writes to me of one of the chapters: "I think it will be very interesting, but that I shall dislike it very much as again putting God further off." To shew how delightfully my father took any help his children gave him, I give the following letter, although of course the praise is excessive, and out of all proportion to what I really did.

[pages] 230 - 231

Charles Darwin to his daughter Henrietta.

Spring, 1870.

My dear Hen.,

I have worked through (and it is hard work), half of the 2nd chapter on mind, and your corrections and suggestions are excellent. I have adopted the greater number, and I am sure that they are very great improvements. Some of the transpositions are most just. You have done me real service; but, by Jove, how hard you must have worked, and how thoroughly you have mastered my MS. I am pleased with this chapter now that it comes fresh to me.

Your affectionate, and admiring and obedient father,

C. D.

All this is as clear as daylight. Your plan of putting corrections saves me a world of trouble, by just as much as it must have caused you. N.B. You can write, I see, a perfectly clear hand, as in all the corrections.

Emma Darwin to her daughter Henrietta.

DOWN, Sat., Mar. 19 [1870].

…F. is wonderfully set up by London, but so absorbed about work, &c. and all sorts of things that I shall force him off somewhere before very long. F. Galton's experiments about rabbits (viz. injecting black rabbit's blood into grey and vice versâ) are failing, which is a dreadful disappointment to them both. F. Galton said he was quite sick with anxiety till the rabbits' accouchements were over, and now one naughty creature ate up her infants and the other has perfectly commonplace ones. He wishes this expert to be kept quite secret as he means to go on, and he thinks he shall be so laughed at, so don't mention. Poor Bobby is better to-day and has eaten a little. He looked so human, lying under a coat with his head on a pillow, and one just perceived the coat move a little bit over his tail if you spoke to him. Polly is a great size, but her spirits much better. She towzles her rope a little when Bessy looks on. I never saw such a methodical dog. She sits on the mat when we go to lunch, to wait for her dinner, and on the rug in the chair by the stove when we go to dinner.… We are reading Mildred, and F. is quite charmed with it and thinks there never was such a heroine before. I find I like it very much this time, and sympathise with her. The first time I could not get over a feeling of disgust at her marrying so degraded a man.

"Bob" was the dog who used to put on his "hot-house face1" of despair when delayed in starting for his walk by my father's stopping to look at experiments in the hot-house. Polly was a little rough-haired fox terrier. After the puppies had been made away with my mother writes:

Polly is so odd I might write a volume about her. I think she has taken it into her head that F. is a very big puppy. She is perfectly devoted to him ever since; will only stay with him and leaves the room whenever he does. She lies upon him whenever she can, and licks his hands so constantly as to be quite troublesome. I have to drag her away at night, and she yelps and squeaks some time in Anne's room before she makes up her mind.

And later in the year:

Polly has had a great deal to suffer in her mind from the squirrels, and sits trembling in the window watching them by the hour going backwards and forwards from the walnut to the beds where they hide their treasures.

The following geological skit by Mr Huxley gives a characteristic sketch of our dear, well-remembered Polly, with her weak points a little exaggerated, for she was more remarkable for the beauty of her character than her form.

1 See Life and Letters of C. D.,, 1 vol. edit, p. 70.

[pages] 232 - 233

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, Friday [Spring of 1870].

My dearest Aunt Fanny,

We have just seen Effie [Wedgwood] drive off after a three days' visit, which was only too short. She has the faculty of putting one into better spirits than anyone I know, and her good sense is as refreshing as her spirits and wit. The boys are always charmed with her. The Penny Reading was brilliant on Tuesday with Effie's singing. She pronounces her words so clearly that it is a great merit, but I dare say they do not know how well she sings. We had your passion-flower preserve for dessert, and it has a most elegant perfumed taste and was much approved.

Eliz. stayed with us till to-day, and now she is gone down to her castle.… Henrietta is now at Mentone with Godfrey and Amy [Wedgwood], and very lucky she thinks herself to have fallen in with them. They found four days at wicked Monaco as much as they could bear.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, July 1 [1870].

My dearest Aunt Fanny,

We are just returned from our week with Eras. It has been very pleasant, and Ch. has been brisk and well, and has seen everybody.

Hensleigh and the girls dined with us two or three times, all very pleasant as they always are. I don't know any one who is always easy and comf. like Hensleigh, and free to talk about anything without any preoccupation of mind.

Charles and I had never seen the improvements of London, so yesterday we made a grand tour in Eras.'s carriage down by Grosvenor Place, where Lord Westminster's row of magnificent houses look like the Tuileries; then to new Westminster Bridge and on the Embankment,

[pages] 234 - 235

a very lively scene with the number of steam-boats constantly going and coming; then across to look at new St Thomas's Hospital, which looks like six palaces fronting the river going towards Lambeth—I never saw anything so enormous. Then back by new Blackfriars' Bridge and the Holborn Viaduct, which is an immense job, but nothing to see. The open space by Westr. Abbey and the Parliament Houses is very grand.…

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.


My dear Aunt Fanny,

We are very comfortable here with William in his little villa, which is cheerful though cockneyish. We see plenty of Wm., as he leaves for the bank at 9'30 and comes home before 6, and often takes a ride with Henrietta upon Tommy, who does double duty here. Charles rides in the morning, and there are a great variety of pretty rides and walks within easy distance. William is a very pleasant host, always cheerful and agreeable. We talk and read of nothing but the war. I think L. Napoleon's fate might make a tragedy if he was not such a prosaic character himself. I can't help hoping that when he is kicked out—which must happen soon—Prussia may be persuaded to make peace. What an enormous collapse it is of a nation, tumbling headlong into such a war without a notion of what the enemy was capable of. Lenny tells us that almost all the Woolwich young men are "French," tho' he owns it is chiefly because they long for war, and they think that more likely if France wins. Lenny himself is a staunch Prussian. Charles is very comf. here, and manages to be idle, and gets through the day with short walks and rides. I have been reading Lanfrey's memoirs of Napoleon I. It is refreshing to read a Frenchman's book who cares nothing for la gloire, and it makes one ashamed of Louis Philippe for giving in to such baseness as bringing the body from St Helena and making a sort of saint of him. I mean to skip all the Russian retreat, as it is too horrid. I should like to know what impression the book makes in France. Some people (F. Galton) are of opinion that truth or falsehood in a nation is merely a question of geography, and that the nations who have not got the article do pretty well without it. I think France shows the contrary. There is no national value for truth, and Napoleon I. employed the most elaborate system of lies by means of Fouché to gain his ends—the letters are now extant.…

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

Down [Nov. 1870].

…I get to hate the war and the Prussians more and more, tho' I must say that a General Napier, whom George met at the Bunburys', said he believed an invading army had never behaved so well. Certainly Lord Wellington thought his own army in Spain capable of any wickedness. Bad is the best. Polly was caught in a wire the other day walking with the boys, and as she did not howl it was lucky that a labouring man saw her and told them, or she might have remained all night. You may be sure that her grandpapa pitied her sufficiently. Eliz. has almost finished her gardening. I hope we shall get her to spend more than half her time up here in these dark days.

I was glad to hear William repeat from a Southampton friend that he considered Nov. the very best time for a voyage across the Atlantic, and so I think it must be good for the Bay of Biscay and Jenny. George also will probably be enjoying the waves there before long, as he had the offer of making one of the Government party going to Gibraltar to see the eclipse. It is not certain that he will be taken, but he has accepted the conditional offer. I would see an eclipse "furder" before I would undergo 10 days' sea-sickness for it. Yours, dearest Aunt F.,

E. D.

[pages] 236 - 237

Fanny Allen to her niece Emma Darwin.

HEYWOOD, TENBY, Dec. 20th [1870].

My dear Emma,

My thoughts have been constantly with you these last two days since I heard of the shipwreck, and I feel so grateful and joyous now that I am writing to congratulate you on George's escape1, and also, in a minor degree, on Lenny's success!—which, however, comes naturally to your boys when they enter the lists, but still it is worth the notice, and I hope I may see your "darling's" name high up on the list in its proper time. I should think from the notice of the shipwreck of the "Psyche" in last night's Daily News that there will be no loss of anything to the learned passengers, and I hope that George's portmanteau may not even be wet. Will George be back for the Hatfield ball? Lady Salisbury is recollecting her cousinhood very graciously. She sent a pretty gracious note to Harry [Allen] to ask him down to Hatfield for a few days after Christmas; so the note followed him to the Assizes at Cardiff. Now as she has advanced so far and kindly with the male part of the cousinhood, I should like her to take in the weaker sex. I hope the wise men of the West may have a clear sky in Sicily the day after to-morrow, and still more that George may have good days to see that historic land, as his stay will be short.

So now good-bye, dearest Emma, with my warmest congratulations and love to each of you. I shall be thinking much of you and of all my other dear ones on Christmas Day. I mean to pass it alone here.

Affecty. yours ever,


1On his way to Sicily to observe the total eclipse, George was to have gone from Naples to Catania in the Admiralty despatch boat Psyche, but arrived too late and had to follow in an ordinary steamer. The Psyche was wrecked off Aci Reale. He was two-thirds up Mt. Etna and saw nothing because of clouds.

Fanny Allen to her great-niece Henrietta Darwin.

HEYWOOD, TENBY, Dec. 8th [1870].

I must send you a barren letter, my dear Henrietta, except of love, to thank you for your most pleasant letter of last week. A visit from you would give me pure joy whenever the time comes that you have leisure; and that you have an inclination to come fills me with gratitude and even some surprise, as age is not attractive, as the old song goes, "crabbed age and youth, &c."—and yet I am checked by the recollection of the reception and pleasant time (too short) that I passed at Down this autumn. There is a thin layer of snow on the ground this morning, which makes me think with some longing that we could have such a climate as George is now enjoying. I trust he is enjoying it. I expect that the result of the examinations will again "cover you all with glory," and I don't expect it will do your Saxon minds the harm that la gloire has done to poor France. I can scarcely bear to read her disasters, and it makes me hate the Germans, who are wallowing in her slaughter. Oh, that a chasse-pôt could hit Bismarck.

I was glad to see a kindly notice of Snow's1 book in the ill-natured Saturday. I cannot guess whether it has been for the advantage of Snow's Wesley that another life of him is come out at the same time—as far as the Saturday goes it has not swamped hers. Having finished Lord Palmerston, and Mr Huxley nearly, I shall go on with Julia's Wesley, which I have not touched for several days, something owing to the nasty type and abominable tinted paper. When you write a book avoid these two things or I shall not be able to read you, which would grieve me sadly. I don't mind your tinted letter-paper, so my battery is not against that. I hope you are successfully helping the great Man out of his thorny brake, and are

1 Julia, Hensleigh Wedgwood's eldest daughter.

[pages] 238 - 239

drilling his contingencies into rank and file order—it is a great privilege, as well as honour, to be the Lion's aid (not Jackal).

I am surprised also, as you, at S.'s "low view" of the Eastern Q., now happily settled; she has been led astray, as Lord Palmerston says so many are, by analogies. I believe I should be with her as to private engagements, that is between man and woman, which stands on a different footing to that of all other, because the fulfilment might cause the misery of the two. Francis Horner, who was called "Cato" by his intimates, maintained that that engagement should also be considered inviolate—but between nation and nation I should have thought no one could have doubted.

How rich I shall be with visitors this winter. Elizabeth certainly comes after Christmas, and, if your visit should also fall in some time, I shall have a gala winter, but I shall not choose your time. Perhaps April may be the best time for you; for me all times will be equally good if it brings me you—so God bless you, my dear Henrietta.

My warmest of loves for the "beloved Emma," whom you have the pleasure of calling mother, and to your daddy respectfully, and love to Bessy, and success to your Italian class.

Affectionately yours,


In the years when we were growing up, I believe my mother was often puzzled as to what rules to make about keeping Sunday. I remember she persuaded me to refuse any invitation from the neighbours that involved using the carriage on that day, and it was a question in her own mind whether she might rightly either embroider, knit, or play patience. The following was found amongst her papers:

On the side of abstaining from what other people think wrong, tho' you do not.

The fear of loosening their hold on the sanctions of religion with respect to what is really wrong.

They probably do not separate the breaking of the ceremonial observances of Sunday from real sins.

On the side of doing as you think right, without considering the opinion of others.

The sincerity of showing yourself as you really are.

The real good it would do the world not to have artificial sins.

Your opinion that England would be morally the better for some amusements on Sunday.

Whether the servants know you as you are and do not take your opinions as any guide for theirs—whether they learn toleration in short.

All this only applies to my own doings, as I do not feel at all sure enough in any way to interfere with the pleasures of sons of the age of mine.

In the early part of 1871 my father was fairly well. There were many relations and friends staying in the house, and little visits as usual to Erasmus Darwin in Queen Anne Street.

The following tells of a large party of cousins and a week of dancing.

[pages] 240 - 241

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, Thursday [Feb. 1871].

My dear Aunt Fanny,

What with dancing lessons and dissipation, and looking after Henrietta, I seem to have had no time lately. Now all the boys (but Leonard) and most of the girls are gone. Hen. makes very slow progress. She reads a great deal and has visits upstairs, but docs not gain strength. She would have enjoyed the wise men we had last week. They were very agreeable, especially Dr Hooker1. She also missed the week of dancing, which all the young people enjoyed so much.

I feel a constantly recurring sense of relief that the war is over. We hear of French families returning at once. They say poor Mme. Tourgenieff is in great despair at the end of everything. George has called, but has not seen her.

I came to high words with one of our guests, a German. He seemed very sore at the general feeling in England for France. However, we each spit our spite, and then made peace.…

The following is to me whilst away from home recovering from an illness.

Charles Darwin to his daughter Henrietta.

DOWN, March 28, 1871.

My dear Henrietta,

I do not know whether you have been told that Murray reprinted 2,000 [of the Descent of Man], making the edition 4,500, and I shall receive £1,470 for it. That

1 Afterwards Sir Joseph Hooker. The other guests referred to were Dr Günther of the Brit. Museum, Winwood Reade, novelist, African traveller and scientific writer, and Swinhoe, who was many years in China.

is a fine big sum. The corrections were £128!! Altogether the book, I think, as yet, has been very successful, and I have been hardly at all abused. Several reviewers speak of the lucid, vigorous style, &c. Now I know how much I owe to you in this respect, which includes arrangement, not to mention still more important aids in the reasoning. Therefore I wish to give you some little memorial, costing about 25 or £30, to keep in memory of the book, over which you took such immense trouble. I have consulted Mamma, but we cannot think what you would like, and she, with her accustomed wisdom, advised me to lay the case before you and let you decide how you like.

I have been greatly interested by the second article in the Spectator, and by Wallace's long article in the Academy. I see I have had no influence on him, and his Review has had hardly any on me.

We go to London on April 1st for a few days in order that I may visit and consult Rejlander about Photographs on Expression. I think I shall make an interesting little vol. on the subject. By the way I have had hardly any letters about the Descent worth keeping for you, excepting one from a Welshman, abusing me as an old Ape with a hairy face and thick skull. We shall be heartily glad to see you home again. Good-bye, my very dear coadjutor and fellow-labourer.

Your affectionate Father,

Love to the Langtons.

Erasmus Darwin to his niece Henrietta Darwin.

[6, Queen Anne Street, March, 1871.]

Dear Henriette,

I was thinking of sending a scolding card when your note pacified me. Your news is not very cheerful, everyone ill, and I hope London will have a good effect

L. II. 16

[pages] 242 - 243

upon your constitutions. Olivier has not as yet sent his remedies1.

Effie is singing her head off, and I am going to-day to hear her in Brook Street before she has quite worn herself out. Hope on the contrary is magnifying her head, and has just called en route to Logic with her "srip" [scrip], her last new invention, of which she is very proud.

I scarcely looked at Spectator2 in the midst of chatter at Cumberland [Place], but must turn to it again. I have been reading Wallace in Academy, and it seems to me there is a good deal to answer in it if possible. I think the way he carries on controversy is perfectly beautiful, and in future histories of science the Wallace-Darwin episode will form one of the few bright points among rival claimants.

I am not sure that I understand the great Lenny discovery, and I shall be glad to talk with you about it. My brain has reached that stage of degradation that I generally agree with the last speaker. Do you come on the 1st or when?

Yours affect.,
E. A. D.

Erasmus Darwin to his niece Henrietta Darwin.

[6, QUEEN ANNE STREET, April, 1871.]

Dear Henriette,

I enclose you Lady Bell's note, and you will see that yours was not thrown away. I ought to have sent it before, but have been rather sick and miserable, and paper and envelopes are very lowering to the system.

The world looks very black, for after Monday next there won't be a single day without its pleasure, what

1 Concert tickets from our usual ticket agent, Olivier, in Bond Street.

2 On the Descent of Man.

with Royal Academy and what with the International. It is quite refreshing to think of you and Hope, immersed in Geometry and indifferent to the cares of poor, weak mortals.

E. A. D.

Erasmus Darwin to his niece Henrietta Darwin.

[6, QUEEN ANNE STREET, May, 1871.]

Dear Henriette,

It sounds like a description of Leslie—two girls wandering hand in hand, gathering lilies and holding sweet discourse on Geometry, with no nasty little Jew1 to set you by the ears. Your attack of swell on the brain has I hope quite left you, and that you are in a fit state for the Cambridge revels, which are pleasant but wrong.

The next Ella2 is June 6th. At the last Ella but one there was the most heavenly girl that ever was seen, and we were quarrelling all the intervals who discovered her, and of course Fanny [Hensleigh] took all the credit to herself. Between that and the next, Effie, in some underground way, discovered it was Mrs C. and her sister. I was deeply in love with Mrs C. only two years ago, but had quite forgotten her face, which is not to my credit. However, I went straight to Mrs P. (the link) to get the angels to dinner, but somehow the angel had put up Mrs P.'s back, and it wouldn't do, tho' she allowed she was an angel to look at. Learn when you are young was the moral of my visit, for poor Mrs P. was lamenting her ignorance, and that she could not read for the life of her, so she was

1 Hope Wedgwood and I were having lessons in Geometry from a Jew.

2 The Ella Chamber Concerts preceded the Monday Popular Concerts. Rubinstein played there, and used to enchant Erasmus Darwin with Beethoven's Turkish March as an encore, the pianissimo dying away till it was inaudible.


[pages] 244 - 245

thinking of a governess-companion to pour knowledge into her if that were possible. I proposed to share a daily governess with her if she would find a nice one, so you mustn't be surprised if you hear of a rival school of Geometry, tempered by sugar-plums and unlimited idleness.

E. A. D.

This spring we had a particularly delightful visit from the Vernon Lushingtons and Effie Wedgwood, afterwards Lady Farrer. "Much singing," my mother enters in her diary. This was from Effie, and there was also much playing from Mrs Lushington, who used to delight my father with her grace, wit, and sweetness. In June we were in London, and it was at Mrs Lushington's house I met Mr R. B. Litchfield, to whom I became engaged this summer.

Emma Darwin to her sister Elizabeth Wedgwood.

QUEEN ANNE ST., June, 1871.

…To-day we had a more thorough Yankee than the one at Down. He is a sort of jackal of Appleton the publisher, and so amusing we all had great difficulty in avoiding laughing, and did not dare to look at each other.

He talked with such animation he could hardly manage to eat, and shouted as loud as if he was talking to anybody 100 yards off. He gave a very amusing account of the publisher of Peter Parley's Natural History coming to him, and saying that he did not find the book sell as well as it ought, so many asked the publisher whether it contained the "new Darwin business," for that was what they wanted to learn about. (This was chiefly the farmer class—how different from England.) So he agreed to give an account of Darwinism in a neutral spirit to be added to the book. Then the publisher, knowing this Mr—was a Darwinian, thought he would be too favourable, and would damage the book in the religious world; so he went to an orthodox man and asked him to write an account of Darwinism from the opponents' side, and now both are to be published with the book.…

Charles went a tremendous journey to Dr — to be photoed to-day, which he grudged heartily till he fell in love with Mrs —, and found how desperately poor they looked with their eight children; so he will order a large batch, and I have advised him never to sit again as long as he lives. No more gossip to-day; so good-bye, dear Eliz.

E. D.

In July we all went to a house on Albury Heath. It was beautiful weather after the first few days, but my father was extremely unwell and could make no start towards recovery. Our uncle Ras was with us, and it would have been a very happy time but for my father's illness. My engagement had just taken place.

Emma Darwin to her sister Elizabeth Wedgwood.


My dear Eliz.,

We were thankful to have Henrietta as courier for the last time, as Charles was so giddy and bad at Croydon I could not leave him. It is a very easy journey, just over an hour to Gomshall. When we got out at Gomshall, Esther, who was in another carriage with the kittens, was not forthcoming, as her part of the train had been detached at Red Hill and she had gone off into space. But she managed well, got out at Tunbridge, and she and

[pages] 246 - 247

the kittens appeared about 6 o'clock very jolly, as if they had done a fine thing. This house is at the edge of a pretty common looking to the south, a rich but not pretty view. The railway passes at the foot of the garden, in a cutting, however, so that we cannot have the gratification of seeing the trains. Ch. climbs over a rail and finds it rather a resource. The weather is beyond mentioning, and the wind comes in in such gusts that there are several seats in the room not tenable. The house is larger than we expected, and if the weather would become even decent we should be very content. Yesterday Henrietta and Bessy walked to call on the Miss Spottiswoodes, about a mile off. They are nice and cordial, and told us all about the B. family, we having been deeply occupied in finding out all about [them] ever since we came into the house. Mr B. is an Irvingite, as are several in this neighbourhood. There came on furious rain, so they sat nearly two hours; but as they are great friends of Litch. they had plenty of topics. We may feel the consolation that the enormous rent of £14 for this small house is very convenient, and has enabled the B.'s to take the children (who never go anywhere) with them to the sea.…

My marriage was on the 31st August, and the following are to me on my wedding tour:

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Monday [Sept. 4, 1871].

My dearest Body,

I do long to hear of your being a bit stronger, but such happiness and rest and good food must soon tell upon you. I shall keep your dear letter all my life.…F. is pretty well, and at work to-day and yesterday.

I went to evening church and was astounded at Mrs Alwyn's good playing. I am sure she has learnt profession-

ally; she has all the regular tricks, and really plays with great spirit and taste. I have some tough fantasias of Schubert, and find a bit of real practising of a thing I never heard very refreshing.…Smudge is a little lame still, but plays about in the best of spirits. It is cool enough now for F. and me to take our regular evening walks, which I always like. I meant to have asked the Langtons to dinner to-day, but I think I shall give the most complete rest I can to F. now he is at work, and they will understand.

Yours, my dearest,
E. D.

Charles Darwin to his daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Down, Sept. 4, 1871.

My dearest Etty,

I must write to say how much your nice and affectionate letter from Dover has pleased me. From your earliest years you have given me so much pleasure and happiness that you well deserve all the happiness that is possible in return; and I do believe that you are in the right way for obtaining it. I was a favourite of yours before the time when you can remember. How well I can call to mind how proud I was when at Shrewsbury, after an absence of a week or fortnight, you would come and sit on my knee, and there you sat for a long time, looking as solemn as a little judge.—Well, it is an awful and astounding fact that you are married; and I shall miss you sadly. But there is no help for that, and I have had my day and a happy life, notwithstanding my stomach; and this I owe almost entirely to our dear old mother, who, as you know well, is as good as twice refined gold. Keep her as an example before your eyes, and then Litchfield will in future years worship and not only love you, as I worship our dear old mother. Farewell, my dear Etty.

[pages] 248 - 249

I shall not look at you as a really married woman until you are in your own house. It is the furniture which does the job. Farewell,

Your affectionate Father,
Charles Darwin.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Tuesday Evening [Sept. 1871].

My dearest Body,

It is very pleasant to feel well again after my three days' poorliness, and I can't think what took me. It was not good Mr and Mrs Rowland, as F. of course put it down to (tho' he is dreadfully deaf). We have been very rich in letters; first Richard's pleasant and full journal, for which I thank him; then yours to B., and to-day's to F., which affected him and pleased him much. If I don't get my head turned amongst you all it will be a wonder; but I feel it like F, making me out to be so very ill always, only a proof of his affection, and therefore he does not succeed in making me think myself so very sick or so very good. Nothing happened on Sunday but a most lovely day and walk and croquet with Alice Massingberd. On Monday I was in bed; Lena, Ed.1 and Alice were treasures about the school-children, and with Bessy, who had to receive them all by herself, everything went off capitally. They all worked till past 7, and I lay in bed and troubled my head about nothing. Alice enjoyed it as much as Lena. On Monday night Horace came very jolly and well. He has been down to the Ven. P.2, who is still bad (send him some message, for I think your wedding finished him up), and then the L.'s came up. Poor little Cinder3 has been

1 Edmund Langton, only son of my mother's sister Charlotte, married his cousin Lena Massingberd in 1867.

2 Parslow, the old butler, thus nicknamed from the Venerable P. in Great Expectations.

3 One of our kittens gone to aunt Elizabeth's house.

lost for two days. It caused a burst of indignation thro' the house; Jane was sure she was starved, Mrs Tasker turned her out at night, &c. However, she was found safe at John L.'s; and now the evil tongue takes another direction, viz. that the L.'s meant to keep her, and so did not tell when enquiries were made.…

Wednesday morning. Jane [the housemaid] is in bed with lumbago and fainting, and I am sure is in for an illness, but Mrs Evans [the cook] thinks it a capital joke and does all the work.… The B.'s [called] on Friday— Mrs B. found it almost too tiresome to ask anything about your marriage, so I soon spared her and got on her own affairs, and I like her in spite of manners.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Sunday Evening [Sept. 1871].

…I am so glad you are going to behave as if you had been really ill, and F. begs leave to return you some of the good advice with which you sometimes favour him—viz. not to think that a short rest will do anything for you. I think you rather enjoyed R.'s headache—nothing marries one so completely as sickness.…Lenny has been going over the Joch pass and the Aletsch glacier, sleeping at a hut 10,000 feet above the sea. I suppose boys enjoy such things, but I should have thought it horrid, such a piercing high wind, he could not stop a minute to look about him. He had two guides, and finds it too expensive a job to do again.

I am taking to some of the St Beuve Causeries, and find them very pleasant, especially anything about the time of Louis XIV. always amuses me. I thought Horace would be a little dull with so few at home, but he is very nice and sweet, and walks and rides vigorously, and nearly smashed himself on that horrid phantom1. He took the

1 A bicycle with a hinge in the backbone.

[pages] 250 - 251

dogs a very long walk, and he gave a little education to Bran and made him learn to come when he is called. We put Miss I. into No. 4 for the present. After a time I shall turn her out, and shall so enjoy making it nice and comfortable for you.…Mr —— and A. called. A. never knows when to have done with anything. She got upon St Moritz and was quite endless. Now nobody can say that of me.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Down, Thursday [Oct. 5, 1871].

My dearest Body,

I only wrote a line to Brieg. It feels so pleasant that you will soon be here. I hope you will find some charming bit of mountain or lake to leave Switzerland with a nice taste in your mouth. I think you have stuffed as much happiness into the last five weeks as most people make last for a year. You can have but one honeymoon, however, though many moons nearly as good. We have had capital letters from the boys, but I think they shall wait for you as they are to be kept.…

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

Down [Oct. 1871].

My dearest Aunt Fanny,

Our big party is dispersing, and it was pleasant to see the five brothers so full of enjoyment all together. William came from Southampton and Horace from Cambridge. The American boys1 stayed ten days with the Miss Ashburners, aunts of Miss Sedgwick, and they were charmed with all the party, who seemed to be very merry and entertaining. They were invited out all day and every day. They had a good voyage home. One of the pas-

1 George and Frank had been a tour in the United States.

sengers was the wife of a southern Capt. of one of the privateer ships, whose hatred of northerners was something wonderful. Harry [Wedgwood] and Jessie [his wife] and Eliz. joined us on Friday, before the three extra boys had appeared; and Harry had a good deal of talk with Richard [Litchfield] about Cathedrals, about which they are both equally learned. Jessie was lamenting that Harry had not more men's society in Pembrokeshire, or at least men worth talking to. It has been pleasant for Eliz. having a comfortable visit of the Harrys, and Jessie is perfectly indefatigable in reading aloud, and is very agreeable and sociable.…

The following letters refer to a delightful welcome the Working Men's College gave to us on our return. My husband was one of the founders, and had worked ever since with continuous zeal. Their wedding gift, a picture by Maccallum, was presented to us, and F. D. Maurice made the speech of the evening. I had been very unwell, and it was a question whether I could attend.

Charles Darwin to his daughter H. E. Litchfield.

November, 1871.

My dearest Etty,

We were all so rejoiced yesterday; and what a very good girl you were to write us so long a letter. I did not expect that you would have been able to go. We have been all profoundly interested and touched by your account. Pray tell Litchfield how much I have been pleased, and more than pleased, by what he said about me. When the address and your letter had been read the first thought which passed through my mind was "What a grand career he has run,"—but I hope his career is very

[pages] 252 - 253

far from finished. I congratulate you with all my heart at having so noble a husband. What an admirable address, and how well written. Even YOU, Miss Rhadamanthus1, could not have improved a word. It is as superior to all ordinary addresses, as one of the old Buccaneer voyages are to modern travels. Good-bye, dearest; keep quiet. Good-bye.

Yours affect,

Fanny Allen to her niece Emma Darwin.

Nov. 10th [1871].

My dear Emma,

You must be back now in your own nest! I guess.…I had a most pleasant letter from Snow this week, giving me so nice an account of the workmen's feast to Mr Litchfield that I am inclined to congratulate you on your new son, stamped as he is by the love and gratitude of the 200 workmen. Mr L.'s 17 years of teaching and aid to these workers reminds me of my poor John [Allen]'s efforts in the like manner, though perhaps it may not have been so useful, as I don't think he had anything to do with teaching, but it touches me by the sympathy of two humane and kindly natures. I am very glad Henrietta was able to be present, and that the excitement has done her no harm. Snow praised the selection of the picture given, but she did not tell me the subject.

Your boys must have had a delightful scamper over the great Western land; I should like to have heard their details. The Miss Ashburners with whom they stayed are the daughters of Mr A., the "youth beloved" of Mrs Opie's pretty lines of "Forget-me-not." How people or their children turn up after many years! I saw Mr A., the

1 Rhadamanthus Minor was a nickname Mr Huxley gave me.

father, in London, no longer the "youth." He was about to pass from Bombay to the Western world then.…

Charles Darwin to his son Horace.

6, Queen Anne Street, Friday Morning, 8.30 A.M. [Dec. 15, 1871].

My dear Horace,

We are so rejoiced, for we have just had a card from that good George in Cambridge saying that you are all right and safe through the accursed Little Go. I am so glad, and now you can follow the bent of your talents and work as hard at Mathematics and Science as your health will permit. I have been speculating last night what makes a man a discoverer of undiscovered things; and a most perplexing problem it is. Many men who are very clever —much cleverer than the discoverers—never originate anything. As far as I can conjecture the art consists in habitually searching for the causes and meaning of everything which occurs. This implies sharp observation, and requires as much knowledge as possible of the subject investigated. But why I write all this now I hardly know "except out of the fulness of my heart; for I do rejoice heartily that you have passed this Charybdis.

Your affectionate Father,

[pages] 254 - 255



Visits to London—Sevenoaks and the verandah at Down—A Working Men's College walking party—Abinger Hall and Basset—Dr Andrew Clark—A séance at Queen Anne Street—Frank, my father's secretary; he marries and lives at Down—Leonard in New Zealand—Fanny Allen's death.

In February, 1872, my father and mother took a house in Devonshire Street for a month. This was chiefly planned for my sake. I was much out of health and my husband and I stayed there with them and thus my mother could take care of me. My marriage separated me very little from her. We were constantly up and down to Down, and they shared their London visits between our house and Erasmus Darwin's in Queen Anne Street.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, Saturday, April [probably 1872].

My dearest Aunt Fanny,

You are alone again to-day and so I will write, though I have little enough to tell you. We have had a few charming days, as one often has in April, but our flowers don't behave like yours, and we have little out but forget-me-nots and wallflowers. Eliz. went down to her Tower yesterday. Her neighbours are all wanting to nibble at her land, but strange to say she declines to sell for the sake of her heirs, and a little for the sake of the village too, as Mr Sales would be sure to build some more ugly houses if he got the land. Leonard is bringing a young man from Chatham to-day with the assurance that we shall hate him. Frank is also bringing a friend, a Mr Crawley1, of Monmouthshire, who is very nice. But I don't feel at ease in the company of young men and feel out of my element.

Fanny Hensleigh [Wedgwood] delivered me your message that I was a wise woman settled on a rock, and Charles desires me to say that it is he deserves that credit (viz. of staying at home) and not me, that I have plenty of gad-about in me.

Eliz. has very nice letters from Charles Langton. It is almost pathetic how much he enjoys having the children2. He says Mildred is quite an equal and a companion, and that when she contradicts him, which she often does, she always proves in the right. I wonder he can hear her little voice. Edmund and Lena are soon turning northwards to Montreux, and so home before they are gone almost.

Yours, my dearest Aunt F. I must go out a bit.

The following letter relates to my father's book on the Expression of the Emotions, in which my husband gave him some help on expression in music, and I was correcting the press.

1 Charles Crawley, a much beloved Cambridge friend of my brother Frank, and in after years of others of his family. He and his wife (Augusta Butcher) were drowned through a boat accident on the Wye in 1899.

2 The children of his only son Edmund.

[pages] 256 - 257

Charles Darwin to his daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Down, May 13, 1872.

My dear Etty,

Litchfield's remarks strike me (ignorant as I am) as very good; and I should much like to insert them. But I cannot possibly give them as my own. I used at school to be a great hand at cribbing old verses, and I remember with fearful distinctness Dr Butler's prolonged hum as he stared at me, which said a host of unpleasant things with as much meaning and clearness as Herbert Spencer could devise. Now if I publish L.'s remarks as my own, I shall always fancy that the public are humming at me. Would L. object to my beginning with some such sentence as follows? "Mr Litchfield, who has long studied music, has given me the following remarks," and then give the remarks in inverted commas.

L. was quite right about there being a good deal of repetition, and two or three pages can be condensed into one. The discussion does not read so atrociously bad, or inanely poor as I had fancied; but that is the highest praise which can be bestowed on my part.

Yours affectionately,

Send me a line in answer—I am dead tired. Woolners come on Sunday. I believe we shall ask S. Butler, author of Erewhon, and grandson of Dr Butler, my old master.

The following is written after the first anniversary of our wedding-day.

Emma Darwin to R. B. Litchfield.

Wednesday [Sept. 1872].

My dear Richard,

It was very nice of you to write to me. Although we Wedgwoods are so bad about anniversaries, I should have thought of the 31st even if Elinor's marriage had not put me in mind of it. I think it must have been second-sight that made you two know so well how you would suit. It could not have been knowing each other in the common acceptation. There are so many sad things to think of, that I often feel, "Well, there are two belonging to me whose happiness it is a comfort to think of.…" I am glad you are reading Plato, as you will be able to tell me whether I could endure any of it; I have always had some curiosity to know something about the ancients.

Yours affectionately, my dear Richard,

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, Sept. 1872.

……Bessy and I are going as smart as circumstances will allow to a garden-party at the Lubbocks. They are dull things enough, but I am glad of an opportunity, for Bessy's sake, of shewing that we are alive.… I was pleased at Richard writing me a letter on the 31st August, his wedding-day. Hen. too writes equally happily, saying, that last winter she used to think she should hardly manage to exist till the 31st August and now here she is getting strong, and riding and walking all day.

Edmund [Langton] has been at Barlaston. He went to see Henry Hemmings1 at Maer and found their happiness pretty well broken up, poor souls, by H. having a heart complaint. Eliz. went to see them too but they were out. He wrote her quite a pretty letter, saying how he had enjoyed seeing William and finding him the same dear Master Willy as ever.…

1 The old servants of our great-aunt Sarah and our most kind friends as children.

L. II. 17

[pages] 258 - 259

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, Tuesday [27 Sept. 1872].

My dearest Aunt Fanny,

Eliz. will have told you our annals up to Sunday. Yesterday 3 sons went in different directions to look for a house for us, as I have persuaded Ch. to leave home for a few weeks. The microscope work he has been doing with sundew has proved fatiguing and unwholesome, and he owns that he must have rest. Horace came home the fortunate one, like the youngest brother in a fairy tale. He has found nice lodgings on Sevenoaks Common, which is uncommonly pretty, and there is Knole Park, too, close at hand. Leonard went to Tunbridge Wells, and George south to Westerham and Brasted. We shall drive over and take Polly, and it will be handy for the brothers and Litches to join us from London for the Sundays.

I am very sorry the [Edmund] Langtons are gone, chiefly for Eliz.'s sake, but very much for our own also. They are a very pleasant couple, as great a contrast to each other as two people can be, and yet suiting each other well. Mildred and Stevie came up by themselves to dine here in state. They were in that state of solemn propriety that little children are generally in when out visiting on their own hook. They conversed agreeably, Stevie carefully saying exactly the same thing as Mildred. This makes her indignant sometimes.

What an affecting and natural letter poor Jenny's1 was. There is hardly a pang in life so sharp as hers; but she shewed so plainly that she was exerting herself to the utmost to bear up. I was surprised she could think of the new baby as any consolation. It will be the best consolation no doubt; but at first she will feel that no baby will make up in any degree for the right one.

1 Jane, the youngest daughter of Harry and Jessie Wedgwood and wife of Major Carr, had lost her first baby.

We have the 6th number of Middlemarch, which is strong meat for us after some of our weak diet.

William has just left Malvern and gone to the Netherlands for a week or two. He met a Polish lady at the Estabt. just like the wicked heroine of a novel, handsome, fiery and mysterious, and playing beautifully on the piano; however, he is a very cautious old bird.

Yours, my dear, E. D.

During this stay of three weeks at Sevenoaks they became acquainted with the merits of a verandah, and this led to a large verandah with a glass roof, opening out of the drawing-room, being made at Down. So much of all future life was carried on there, it is associated with such happy hours of talk and leisurely loitering, that it seems to us almost like a friend. The fine row of limes to the west sheltered it from the afternoon sun, and we heard the hum of the bees and smelt the honey-sweet flowers as we sat there. The flower-beds and the dear old dial, by which in the old days my father regulated the clocks, were in front, and beyond the lawn the field stretching to the south. Polly, too, appreciated it and became a familiar sight, lying curled up on one of the red cushions basking in the sun. After my marriage she adopted my father and trotted after him wherever he went, lying on his sofa on her own rug during working-hours.

The following letter is after a visit to William, at Basset, near Southampton.


[pages] 260 - 261

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, Sunday [Oct. 1872].

……We came away from our haven of rest where we are always so comfortable, on Thursday at 6.30, and were in London before 10 and home by 12. Leonard and Frank joined us at Southampton for the Saturdays and Sundays, and walked and enjoyed themselves in the rain or the heat, according as it turned out.

I am always fond of books about colonizing and we are reading a very pleasant one now, The Australian Parsonage, by Mrs Millett. It seems very strange that the natives should be great brutes to their wives and very tender to animals. Musters' Patagonia has interested Charles intensely, as he knows the country. He, on the other hand, says the natives there are very kind to wife and children. Eliz. quite enjoys having a handy woman-slave in her garden, and I hope it will prevent her overtiring herself as she did last year. She always found it quite as tiresome getting Tom Tasker to do things as to do them herself.

Yours, my dearest At. F.
E. D.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, Tuesday [21 Jan. 1873].

……We are to have Fanny and Hensleigh on Monday, I am glad to say, to meet Moncure Conway. We have just been reading a very grand sermon of his on Darwinism. I sometimes feel it very odd that anyone belonging to me should be making such a noise in the world.…Henrietta comes on Wednesday and takes the girls to the Lubbocks' ball on Thursday, if she is brisk enough; if not I shall go for ½ an hour and leave them to their fate. She has been going to a working-man's ball and danced with a grocer and a shoemaker, who looked and behaved exactly like everybody else and were quite as well dressed. The ladies were nicely dressed but not expensively, and much more decently than their betters are in a ball-room now-a-days.

I have been rather cross at all the adulation about Louis Nap. Really Mr Goddard's (the priest at Chiselhurst) sermon might have been preached about a saint, and then wd. have been thought exaggerated.

You must not trouble yourself to write to me, my dear aunt F., as Eliz. will forward me some of your news.

With my best love to my dear Hope,

Yours, E. D.

Fanny Allen to her niece Emma Darwin.

February 26th, 1873.

My dear Emma,

I had so nice a letter from Henrietta that I feel inclined to tell you so, and to thank you for a dear letter I had from you now a fortnight ago. I keep all your letters and shall leave them to Bessy most likely, or Horace, and this last is missing in consequence of Harry's forgetting to return it……I am about to try a "reader," but my yesterday's experiment was not promising—as she kept me waiting ¾ of-an-hour and then sent up to tell me she had "a bad cold," and so have I, but I hope it is leaving me. It is now a fortnight since I have been out of doors; it is so mild to-day that I think I shall try a little pacing behind the hedge.…

I do not know whether you touch C. Voysey's writings. I was pleased with his last discourse, Man the only Revelation of God. I do not know whether it was in this sermon that a word displeased Elizth. With Harriet's reading many a word falls harmless on my hearing. I take the subject in only. Elizth. objects to pathos in novels, and this also falls very harmless on me—the pathos of life kills that—and would never draw a sad feeling from me.…

[pages] 262 - 263

A house near us, 16, Montague Street, was taken for a month's London season this spring. My mother writes to Fanny Allen, "Charles had much rather stay at home, but knows his place and submits." Mr Huxley at this time was greatly harassed, partly owing to a lawsuit about a house he was building. His health was not in a good state, and he urgently needed a long rest. This necessity weighed much on the minds of his friends, and Mrs Lyell, in a talk to my mother, during this stay in London, suggested whether a very few of his most intimate friends might not quite privately join in making him a gift to enable him to get away. My father took eagerly to the idea, and became the active promoter of the scheme. There was a careful avoidance of all publicity. Two thousand one hundred pounds were at once subscribed, and my father was deputed to write the letter accompanying the gift1. "He sent off the awful letter to Huxley yesterday, and I hope we may hear to-morrow. It will be very awful," she writes to me. It was not awful at all. Mr Huxley could not but take such a gift in the spirit in which it was offered.

This little scrap tells of a visit of Erasmus Darwin to Down:

Uncle Ras came on Saturday, and we have a nice kitten for him, a little too old for perfection, as he likes a baby to sit quite still in his waistcoat for hours.

Elizabeth Wedgwood's sight had been failing more and more for some time, a privation she bore

1 The letter is given, p. 367, Vol. I. of Huxley's Life.

with the utmost patience. But my mother used often to say how sad she felt it to come in and find her doing nothing, when ceaseless activity had been her life. To fill up some of her weary useless time my mother gave her our old Broadwood grand-piano and helped her to learn by heart simple airs to play without seeing the notes, for she had not kept up her music, and she came more often to spend the evening and sleep at our house, going home after breakfast.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, BECKENHAM,KENT, Saturday [probably 1873].

My dearest Aunt Fanny,

I dare say Eliz. will tell you in her Sunday's letter that her new spectacles do not help her. She had so little hope of them that it is not much of a disappointment. I am glad to see that her sight serves her out of doors to do some gardening. I think the beauty of the flowers is very much lost to her.…….She expects her chief darling1 on Monday or so I believe; and Ch. Langton, after a moderate visit to her, means to take lodgings at Mrs Tasker's, as he cannot bear to be absent from the children. I suppose you read long ago the Hare Memorials of a Quiet Life. I feel intense compassion for the shortness of poor Mrs Hare's married happiness, not five years, but I cannot bear her notion that God took him away because she was so deeply attached to him. Not that I think a person cannot be selfish in their love; but it is not the strength of the love that is the sin, but the selfishness. I wish they had omitted at least half the letters. There is so much sameness in the religious feelings, as of course

1 Edmund Langton.

[pages] 264 - 265

there must be. But people make the mistake of thinking you cannot have too much of what is good, whereas the quantity of it spoils the whole in a degree.

The household is boiling over with indignation because the mowers whom we engaged have broken their word, and forsaken us at the last minute. I think we had better buy a machine as the difficulty of getting mowers is become very general.

Yours, my dear,
E. D.

Six or seven times every summer a walking party of my husband's singing-class and members of the Working Men's College used to have a day in the country. It, of course, always had to be on a Sunday, and the plan was to go by rail to some pretty place near London, and walk a few miles to a spot suitable for a tea-picnic. Singing, flower gathering, games and tea filled up the day, and we used to come home, well tired out, by an evening train. Several times after my marriage my father and mother invited the party to Down. The first time was in the summer of 1873. These invitations gave the most intense pleasure and there was a large attendance, often as many as sixty or seventy. My father and mother's gracious welcome, an excellent tea on the lawn, wandering in the garden and singing under the lime-trees made a delightful day, ending with a drive home for the ladies of the party to Orpington Station.

This summer my parents spent a week at Abinger Hall, the home of Mr T. H. Farrer, afterwards Lord Farrer, who had recently married Euphemia, the second daughter of Hensleigh Wedgwood. This pleasant, friendly house was now added to the very few places where my father felt enough at ease to pay visits. In general, he considered that his health debarred him from such pleasures. He much enjoyed Mr Farrer's talk and the whole surroundings were delightful. The "Rough," a stretch of wild common, was near enough for him to stroll on.

Lord Farrer writes:

Here it was a particular pleasure of his to wander, and his tall figure, with his broad-brimmed Panama hat and long stick like an alpenstock, sauntering solitary and slow over our favourite walks is one of the pleasantest of the many pleasant associations I have with the place1.

From Abinger they went on to Basset, their séjour de la paix, as they called it. I see by my mother's diary how faithful she was in driving the three miles from Basset to Southampton to see a certain snuffy and not at all engaging old lady, the mother of one of the villagers at Down, who had gone to end her days there. This was a little instance of the constancy of her many acts of kindness. I remember, too, how angelically good she was in writing continually to our poor old nurse Brodie, who had a monomania that she was forgotten. Though receiving a letter only soothed her for a very short time, my mother always thought it worth while to do this, and I believe wrote to her every few days.

1 Vol. II. p. 392, More Letters of Charles Darwin.

[pages] 266 - 267

Directly after their return home from these visits my father became very ill, and Dr Andrew Clark was sent for from London.

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, Friday [1873].

…Charles has recovered wonderfully from his distressing attack of last week and is moderately at work. I think with invalids, unusual health "goes before a fall." I hardly ever saw him so well as the Sunday and Monday before his attack. I am glad we have made a connection with a Dr, by having Dr A. Clark; and his opinion was very encouraging, that he could do Charles some good and that there was a great deal of work in him yet.……

Our visit at Abinger is a pleasant bright thing to look back at. The weather enchanting, shewing off the place—Charles well, enjoying everything and above all Effie, so lighthearted as well as wise. T. H. F. is so entirely friendly, that one likes him most heartily.……Are not you ashamed of Archp. Manning giving "plenary indulgence" to all these fools? I am happy to say he also gives plenary indulgence to the fools who stay at home.……

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Tuesday Evening [1873].

My dearest Body,

You are in high luck to see such very amusing and interesting people up there, for I think when you see people in foreign parts you get much more intimate with them than in England. F. has recovered remarkably quickly and went to the sand walk to-day and did a little work.….Dr Clark has not sent the dietary yet and we are rather trembling as to how strict he will be. George had an awful difficulty in making him take his fee, which though generous was a mistake on his part, and I wished that I had undertaken it, but I thought he would have taken it as a matter of course. Frank is come to-day very jolly and happy, and is going to be very hard at work doing up somebody else's arrears.

I make C. Buxton's book1 quite my Bible at present. He hits so many small nails on the head that suit my feelings and opinions so exactly, and I think he is so very acute, and sometimes a little cynical to my surprise.

I found George a great comfort to consult with and settle things when I felt uneasy about F. He is so zealous and puts his whole mind to what you tell him. Leo has offered to go as photographer with the expedition to New Zealand. I feel rather flat. One is so awfully used to N.Z.……

" Awfully used" is a family expression quoted from Leonard as a little boy, who complained at tea he was "so awfully used to bread and butter." The following relates to the first visit my father and mother paid us. To make them comfortable we always gave them our bedroom, and moved ourselves into a small one. "Bry" is our house in Bryanston Street. "Queen Anne" is Erasmus Darwin's house, 6, Queen Anne Street.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

DOWN, Saturday [Autumn, 1873].

My dearest Body,

It is a pleasure to receive such a delightfully affectionate invitation and to think that R. joins in it as heartily as you do, and we will come with all our hearts.

1 Notes of Thought, published 1873.

[pages] 268 - 269

F. never could bear the thoughts of putting you to so much inconvenience and so had given up thoughts of Bry, but I tell him I don't mind it in the least, and I am sure you and R. don't. Of course I like it much better than Queen Anne, as though we should see a good deal of you there, there are nooks and corners of time that one catches only by being in the house with you.

I think we will fix on the 8th or 10th Nov. if that suits you, but we shall not agree to your tabooing all your friends, as they do not tire F. like seeing his own. I aim at his seeing nobody but the Huxleys and not giving luncheons at all. We will stay a week—I should like to say 10 days, but I don't think I shall compass that. F. is much absorbed in Desmodium gyrans1 and went to see it asleep last night. It was dead asleep, all but its little ears, which were having most lively games, such as he never saw in the day-time.……

Emma Darwin to her aunt Fanny Allen.

DOWN, A rainy Sunday [Autumn, 1873].

My dearest Aunt F.

We have only Leonard with us to-day and I have just sent down to Eliz. to persuade her come up as it is dark and dismal. Eliz. is uncommonly well and cheerful. I have been looking over some very old letters of hers, and it is not a very cheerful occupation, one gets one's head too full of past times which always entails regrets, and I now feel that we daughters made a mistake in not talking more to my father and getting more into his mind.……

We are expecting Hen. and her husband to stay a decent time with us, which somehow is of more value than the same time split up into short visits. After that we are

1 The "Indian Telegraph Plant," the dwarf leaflets of which move by a series of twitches.

going to stay with them for the first time. Charles could not bring his mind to it at first because they turn out of their bedroom for us, but Hen.'s warmth of persuasion is not to be resisted, so we go there instead of to Q. Anne St. this time…….Snow speaks so warmly of the kindness and affection of the George Allen girls to her. She has found her visit at Linlathen sad, owing to regrets for her dear old saint1.

Spiritualism was making a great stir at this time. During a visit to Erasmus Darwin's in January, 1874, a séance was arranged with Mr Williams, a paid medium, to conduct it. We were a largish party sitting round a dining-table, including Mr and Mrs G. H. Lewes (George Eliot). Mr Lewes, I remember, was troublesome and inclined to make jokes and not play the game fairly and sit in the dark in silence. The usual manifestations occurred, sparks, wind-blowing, and some rappings and movings of furniture. Spiritualism made but little effect on my mother's mind, and she maintained an attitude of neither belief nor unbelief.

This summer there was a second marriage in the family. My third brother, Francis, married Amy, daughter of Mr Lawrence Ruck, of Pantlludw, near Machynlleth, and came to live in a small house at Down, in order to be my father's secretary. He had been educated as a doctor, but did not wish to practise, and took up botany. He was the only one

1 Thomas Erskine of Linlathen (1788—1870), author of several religious works much read in the first half of last century, and himself a character of unique impressiveness to those who shared his intimacy. It may be interesting to mention that he took an honorary Doctor's degree at Edinburgh at the same time with Mr Huxley, a curious combination.

[pages] 270 - 271

of my father's children with a strong taste for natural history.

Leonard, now an R.E., went to New Zealand to observe the Transit of Venus.

Fanny Allen to her niece Emma Darwin.

June 30th, 1874.

Dearest Emma,

Your boy starts on his star-gazing expedition with excellent weather. November is not far off and he may be back almost before Mrs Evans's1 tears are dried. I am rather puzzled to guess at the advantage gained by the learned to watch the transit from New Zealand instead of staying at home and watching with their glasses here.…… Allen left us this morning—if he is not well, there can be no fault found of his want of care of himself. He was faithful daily to his 3 refreshments between breakfast and dinner, and had fires also constantly in his room and our sitting-room. He took his walks to Tenby between these refreshments, and I think our maids liked exceedingly this attention to himself, and were always beforehand with him in preparing his comforts. Servants like nursing because I suppose it gives them importance, and they don't care for trouble.……Elizth says in her letter that she is "going up in her own carriage." She is wise if she indulges herself-in this luxury. The Spirits will not do her any harm. She has an unbelieving nature, and say what they will, they are but jugglers after all. Spirits do not meddle with matter, and when furniture or heavy bodies are moved, it is matter that moves them. I am writing shockingly ill—the day is dark and I do not see well, so good-bye my dear one,

Ever yours,

1 Leonard's old nurse, now the cook.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

July 7th, 1874.

My dear Leonard,

I have been so long thinking how disagreeable it would be to see you go, that when I came to the point and saw you so comfortable and composed, I found I did not mind it near so much as I expected; indeed seeing Mrs Evans's tearful face made me feel rather hard and unnatural. We got your card and letter from Plymouth, the card written when just on the point of starting. The wind kept in the N. Saturday and Sunday with plenty of rain, then came high S.-Westers, but I hope you were out of the Channel by that time. In writing to you I shall try to forget how long it will be before you get my letter, and imagine you at Chatham.

During a visit to Basset she writes to me (Aug. 1875):

We had a nice little expedition yesterday; but if I had not been very strict with F. he would not have come, because the day was not becoming forsooth.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

BASSET, Sunday, Aug. 23rd [1874].

My dear Leo,

We are packing up for to-morrow's start for home at 6.30 a.m.; after a most successful and peaceful stay with dear old William. F. says he has not felt so rested and improved and full of enjoyment since old Moor Park days. George joined us about 10 days ago, and has been able to join all our expeditions, which have chiefly consisted in driving as far as N. Stoneham Park and getting out for a short walk. I had no idea it was so charming and pretty, and F. finds that he was quite mistaken in

[pages] 272 - 273

thinking he had succeeded in crushing out his taste for scenery, or that for a beautiful garden which he saw yesterday in such a blaze of sun, Mrs Crabbes's, only half a mile off. It consisted chiefly of made terraces, and the way everything grew was wonderful. She leaves camellias and sweet verbena out all the winter. The bedding out was so tasteful that it converted me to it in that style.…… The Bessemer Steam-boat is to be launched in 3 weeks. I don't despair of taking F. across some day.

Yours, my dear old man, E. D.

And after their return she writes to her daughter Bessy: "William says how quiet and dull the meals are, and how much he enjoyed our visit. I believe he quite misses us, though F. would think that quite too presumptuous an idea, he being a man and we fogies." And to me: "After being so long with him we miss his comfortable presence."

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard in New Zealand.

Nov. 25, 1874.

We are opening the Reading Room with great éclat with a new bagatelle-board in spite of the——s' teeth. The young men subscribe 30/- towards it.

Dec. 22, 1874.

Colenso is just returning well pleased with having obtained justice for the Caffre tribes who have been so badly treated. Dean Stanley had the courage to ask him to preach at Westminster Abbey, but Colenso declined, saying he had not come to England to stand up for his own rights, and he would not make a fuss. We enjoy your letters heartily.

Feb. 23, 1875.

Mr Ouless is painting F. and me! He cannot nearly fill up his time with F., so it was a convenient time for me to sit. Both portraits are unutterable as yet; but he puts in the youth and beauty at the very last.

Fanny Allen to her niece Emma Darwin.

April 27th [1875].

My dear Emma,

I have been thinking of trying my hand in writing with a lithographic pencil, but as Mason expects these pencils in "a few days " I have not patience to wait, as your pretious letter with its grateful remembrance of the sad April days of 511 makes my heart beat with gratitude to you for its recollection—coupled as it was by the memory of your grief for your darling. It is true gaps can never be filled up, and I do not think we should wish them to be filled other ways than as our memory fills them.……

Mrs Power has been over with me this morning reading to me Miss Rye's2 answers to audacious criticisms on her blessed work by Mr Doyle—if that is his name, which I doubt. I am surprised that Alice B. Carter ever gave heed to it, except that one in pantaloons has a decided advantage over one in petticoats. I should like to condemn this gentleman to half the crossings of the Atlantic that Miss Rye has made. I have listened with pleasure! to Disraeli's speech in answer to Dr Kenealy3, and I hope

1 Fanny Allen was at Down in April, 1851, when my mother was unable to go to her dying child Annie at Malvern.

2 Maria S. Rye, for 27 years Hon. Sec. for Promoting Emigration of Children to Canada.

3 Dr Kenealy, Advocate of the Tichborne claimant. He got a month's imprisonment in 1850 for cruelty to a natural son, was dis-benched in 1874, and sat for Stoke-upon-Trent (1875—1880). See Chambers' Biog. Dict.

L. II. 18

[pages] 274 - 275

we may hear no more of him till Frank [Wedgwood] re-elects him again for the Potteries. Bright did him too much honour in speaking at all about him.

Fanny Allen, the last survivor of her generation, died on May 6th, 1875, at the age of 94. She was very deaf and her eyesight had a good deal failed, but her intellect was as clear and her heart as warm as ever. I think it was several years since she had felt able to leave her own home at Tenby. She was weary of life and deeply felt the sadness of having outlived all her sisters, although she had devoted love from nephews, nieces and grand-nieces. The following is amongst the "Maer letters" headed "Miss Allen's message":

My love to all who love me, and I beg them not to be sorry for me. There is nothing in my death that ought to grieve them, for death at my great age is rest. I have earnestly prayed for it. I particularly wish that none of my relations should be summoned to my bedside.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard in New Zealand.

Nov. 8, 1875.

F. went to the Vivisection Commission at two. Lord Cardwell came to the door to receive him and he was treated like a Duke. They only wanted him to repeat what he had said in his letter (a sort of confession of faith about the claims of physiology and the duty of humanity) and he had hardly a word more to add, so that it was over in ten minutes, Lord C. coming to the door and thanking him. It was a great compliment to his opinion, wanting to have it put upon the minutes.

Monday, Nov. 9, 1875.

William's doings at Southampton are prospering, viz. inducing the town authorities to alter the whole system of relief and charity and medical relief. The town is the most pauperised of all England except Bristol, which is also under a Local Board and not the new Poor Law. He has been nagging at it for years and has only just got some others to help him. It has made him very busy.

Every evening for many years my father and mother played two games of backgammon. This was a very serious function, and his desire to win was comically keen. "Bang your bones," he might be heard saying, if things were going badly with him. In a letter to Professor Asa Gray (Jan. 28, 1876) he writes:

Pray give our very kind remembrances to Mrs Gray. I know that she likes to hear men boasting, it refreshes them so much. Now the tally with my wife in backgammon stands thus: she, poor creature, has won only 2490 games, whilst I have won, hurrah, hurrah

2795 games!

Early in May, 1876, my brother William had a bad accident out riding, causing severe concussion of the brain. As soon as he was well enough to be moved he came to join my father and mother at Hopedene, the Hensleigh Wedgwoods' house in Surrey, which had been lent them.


[pages] 276 - 277

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

[HOPEDENE, 1876.]

F. and I rushed out to meet Leo at 4 o'clock and gave him a very flouting reception. However the real man [William] did come about 6, driving with two horses from Guildford, and not unreasonably tired. It is delightful to see him this morning sitting so comf. at his knitting and I feel much more reassured about him. He has found Horace the best of secretaries and nurses. On coming we settled ourselves and arranged everything in the best room, which is very nice; but after Wm.'s room was quite ready we were filled with envy and resolved to change; and by superhuman cleverness of Lenny in carrying in an impossible small bed, we managed it just before Wm. came. There is much more room and it is perfect for our purpose.

Well, goodbye my dear, your being away is our only drawback.

Charles Darwin to his son Francis.

HOPEDENE, Monday 30th [1876].

…If your case of Teazle1 holds good it is a wonderful discovery. Try whether pure water or weak infusion of raw meat will bring out the protoplasmic masses. The closest analogy seems to me that of an independent Amœba or Foraminiferous animal etc. which feeds by involving at any point of its gelatinous body particles of organic matter and then rejecting them. A mass of rotting insects would give such particles. Perhaps this is your view. But I do not understand what you mean by a resinous secretion

1 The leaves of the teasel form cups, in which water collects and drowned insects accumulate. The moving filaments which I observed were supposed to absorb the products of decay and thus nourish the plant. I was probably wrong in believing the filaments to be protoplasmic; their true character remains an unsolved problem. F. D.

becoming slimy, or about living insects being caught. I would work at this subject, if I were you, to the point of death. If an Amœba-like mass comes out of cells and catches dead particles and digests them it would beat all to fits true digesting plants. I never saw anything come out of quadrifids of Utricularia, and I could hardly have failed to see them as I was on look out for secretion. It would be a grand discovery.

Could you chop up or pound scrapings from raw meat, or better half decayed meat and colour the particles first and then you could see them in the protoplasmic masses; for surely you could hardly expect (unless there is a distinct hole) that they should be withdrawn within the cells of glands. The case is grand.

I see in last Gardener's Chronicle another man denies that Dionœa profits by absorption and digestion, which he does not deny. It seems to me a monstrous conclusion—But this subject ought to be investigated, especially effects on seed-bearing. Teazles good for this.

Yours affectly.

Are any orifices or orifice visible in cut off summit of gland? For heaven's sake report progress of your work.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard at Malta.

DOWN, Saturday, July 22nd [? 1876].

…The summer keeps on blazing away as if we were in Malta, many of the flowers dying, and none of them growing. The evenings delightful under the limes so sweet. F. has taken to sit and lie out which is wholesome for him.

[pages] 278 - 279

Friday, August 4th [1876].

My dear Leo,

The time passes so quickly in our methodical life that I find I have been 10 days without writing to you.……F. has finished his Autobiography and I find it very interesting, but another person who did not know beforehand so many of the things would find it more so.

DOWN, Friday.

…We have been rather overdone with Germans this week.——came on Tuesday. He was very nice and hearty and affectionate, but he bellowed out his bad English in such a voice that he nearly deafened us. However that was nothing to yesterday when Professor Cohn (quite deaf) and his wife (very pleasing) and a Professor R. came to lunch—anything like the noise they made I never heard. Both visits were short and F. was glad to have seen them.

DOWN, Sunday.

…Have you read the spiritual trials? I think that the sentence was too severe, at least as to hard labour, viz. 3 months' imprisonment. If people are so credulous some allowance ought to be made for the rogues.

Saturday [1876?].

…We had two comical visitors on Sunday about 6.30, two Scotch students who were seeing the sights in London and came here (via Greenwich and Beckenham) to see the great man's house and place. When they got here they thought they would also try to see the great man himself, and sent in their names. F. went to speak to them for a few minutes and Horace showed them about and started them to London by a straighter route than their former one. They were very modest and well behaved, and something like gentlemen. Do you remember a working man from Australia who rushed in to shake hands with him a year ago, and was for going straight off again without another word. We have heard of him again from a Canadian who met him on the road to California on foot with nothing on but drawers and shirt, in the pocket of which he carried his pipe and a letter from F. of which he is very proud and shows to everybody.

Charles Darwin to his son George.

DOWN, July 13th [1876].

My dear George,

One line to say how I, and indeed all of us, rejoice that Adams thinks well of your work, and that if all goes well will present your papers to Royal Soc. I know that I shall feel quite proud. I do hope and fully believe that in a few days you will be up to work again. Dr Clark was very nice, when here, and enquired much about you. He gave William the very devil of an examination, and made him perform wonderful gymnastics so as to prove his brain sound.

He and Bessy start in a few minutes for Tunbridge Wells, there to stay till Saturday. Jemmy [Horace] goes on Monday to lecture on his dynam. at Birmingham. Frank is getting on very well with Dipsacus and has now made experiments which convince me that the matter which comes out of the glands is real live protoplasm about which I was beginning to feel horrid doubts. Lenny going to build forts.

Oh Lord, what a set of sons I have, all doing wonders.

Ever your Affect.:

[pages] 280 - 281



My mother and Bernard—Stonehenge—R. B. Litchfield's illness at Lucerne —William's marriage to Sara Sedgwick—My father's Hon. Degree of LL.D. at Cambridge—A visit to Barlaston—Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood at Down—Anthony Rich—The Darwin pedigree—A month at Coniston—Horace's marriage to Ida Farrer—A fur-coat surprise—The Liberal victory.

IN the autumn of 1876 my brother Frank, who was my father's secretary and lived at Down, lost his wife and came with his new-born baby Bernard to live in the old home. The shock and the loss had a very deep effect on my mother and I think made her permanently more fearful and anxious. The baby was a great delight to both my parents and she took up the old nursery cares as if she was still a young woman. Fortunately little Bernard was a healthy and very good child so there was not much anxiety, but it greatly changed her life. She writes: "Your father is taking a good deal to the Baby. We think he (the Baby) is a sort of Grand Lama, he is so solemn."

The following letters are to me at Kreuznach, where I was with my sister for my companion. My father and mother were taking their frequent summer change, first at Leith Hill Place and then at Basset. From now onwards the majority of the letters here given are from my mother to me; when therefore there is no heading, it is to be assumed that this is the case. She wrote to me nearly every day when we were not together, and I have kept all her letters. As years went on she used so many contractions that her letters became almost a sort of shorthand, but it would be both puzzling and tiresome to reproduce these in print and it has seemed best to translate them almost all.

LEITH HILL PLACE, Monday [June, 1877].

…The weather gets more and more lovely and it is a pleasure to look out. On Saturday evening Leo came and was very comf. and pleasant. We sat out and loitered, and did the same yesterday. F. was made very happy by finding two very old stones at the bottom of the field, and he has now got a man at work digging for the worms1. I must go and take him an umbrella. Leo went off last night. Aunt Caroline is so ambitious for him that she thinks it a great pity he should settle down to such humdrum work as his present employment2; but I don't agree with her. I think, however, I have no ambition in my nature. It would not have given me much pleasure, George being a rising lawyer, except as fulfilling his wishes.

Goodbye, my dears,
E. D.

F. has had great sport with the stones, but I thought he would have a sunstroke.

1 He was observing the effect produced by earthworms in gradually undermining and covering up stones through bringing earth to the surface with their castings.

2 He had left Malta and was Instructor in Chemistry at Chatham.

[pages] 282 - 283

BASSET, Monday [June, 1877].

……We are really going to Stonehenge to-morrow. I may stop at Salisbury and read my book and see the Cathedral, but I shall go if I can. I am afraid it will half kill F.—two hours' rail and a twenty-four mile drive—but he is bent on going, chiefly for the worms, but also he has always wished to see it.

BASSET, Wednesday [1877].

……We started from here yesterday at 6.45 on a most lovely day only alarmingly hot. We had telegraphed on Monday to George to meet us at Salisbury (he was coming here on that day) [and] there he was at the station at 8.30 a.m. with our open carriage and pair, looking very bright and smiling, and I think he enjoyed it more than any of us, though he had seen it twice before.

The road is striking and ugly—over great cultivated pigs' backs, except the last two or three miles, when we got on the turf. I found that Lady Lubbock's notepaper1 had done me an injury, it looked so like and so small. We loitered about and had a great deal of talk with an agreeable old soldier placed there by Sir Ed. Antrobus (owner), who was keeping guard and reading a devout book, with specs on. He was quite agreeable to any amount of digging, but sometimes visitors came who were troublesome, and once a man came with a sledge-hammer who was very difficult to manage. "That was English all over," said he. Prince Leopold had been there. "I wish he would come again, he gave me a yellow boy." They did not find much good about the worms, who seem to be very idle out there. Mrs Cutting gave us a gorgeous lunch and plenty of Apollinaris water. We drove back a lower way, very pretty by the river and rich valleys,

1 Lady Lubbock had a little picture of Stonehenge on her note-paper.

and close under Old Sarum—very striking. The next time we are here we mean to come to Salisbury and see that and the Cathedral. I was not so tired as I expected, and F. was wonderful, as he did a great deal of waiting out in the sun. To-day I am only dead—George came in just now with his lip cut from a fall off the bicycle. It is a long cut but only superficial, and does not want any surgery. I hate those bicycles…….

Babsey is a little less troublesome, and if we can keep Frank and Maryanne [the nurse] out of sight he is content for a time. What he likes is to sit on Frank's lap and be surrounded by all the rest, when he is very bold and much amused.……

This autumn my husband nearly died of appendicitis at Engelberg, in Switzerland. My dear mother was boundlessly good in her sympathy and help, even thinking it possible she should come out to us. The following letter was written after we had made our first stage to Lucerne:

Charles Darwin to his daughter H. E. Litchfield.

DOWN, Oct. 4th [1877].

My dearest Henrietta,

I must write a line to tell you how deeply I have sympathised with you in all your dreadful anxiety. We were at first quite panic struck, and how we rejoice over Litchfield's much better state. It astonished and delighted us to receive his nice long letter. How I wish you were safe at home, and that a law was passed that no one should go abroad. I want to advise you to take a courier from Lucerne; and so have no bothers on the journey.

There ought to be another law not to ride horses, or

[pages] 284 - 285

play at lawn tennis. Poor dear old Lenny1 lies on the sofa, a bulky monument of patience, and never grumbles a bit. We have had lately many callers and this has been good for him, as it has made talk. Elinor Dicey was here for luncheon to-day, and she talked about Sara Sedgwick. You ought to have seen your mother; she looked as if she had committed a murder, and told a fib about Sara going back to America with the most innocent face. She afterwards said the fib slipped out quite unconsciously. Good Lord, what nonsense all this secrecy is. It is a grand thing for William's happiness that the whole affair is settled, and I hope they may soon be buckled fast together.

When you return you had better come to Down; it is safer than London, and in earnest I should think country air must be better for convalescence, and there will be no business to bother Litchfield.

I am tired, so good-bye. Frank and I have been working very hard at bloom2 and the automatic movements of plants from morning to night, and we have made out a good deal. Good-bye my dear, love to Litchfield—How I rejoice that your anxiety is over.

Your affect. father,

The 'fib' alluded to relates to the fact that my brother William had just become engaged to Sara Sedgwick, and therefore instead of going back to America she was married to him in November, 1877.

The long visits to Basset which had always been a refreshing change continued under the altered circumstances as happily as ever.

1 He had fallen at lawn tennis and injured his knee.

2 The wax coating on leaves which makes them come out dry after being dipped in water.

Emma Darwin to her son William.

CAMBRIDGE, Sunday mg., Nov. 17th, 1877.

My dear William,

It was a great disappointment your not coming yesterday to witness the honours to F., and so I will tell you all about it.

Bessy and I and the two youngest brothers went first to the Senate House and got in by a side door, and a most striking sight it was. The gallery crammed to overflowing with undergraduates, and the floor crammed too with undergraduates climbing on the statues and standing up in the windows.

There seemed to be periodical cheering in answer to jokes which sounded deafening; but when F. came in, in his red cloak, ushered in by some authorities, it was perfectly deafening for some minutes. I thought he would be overcome, but he was quite stout and smiling and sat for a considerable time waiting for the Vice-Chancellor. The time was filled up with shouts and jokes, and groans for an unpopular Proctor, Mr ——,which were quite awful, and he looked up at them with a stern angry face, which was very bad policy. We had been watching some cords stretched across from one gallery to another wondering what was to happen, but were not surprised to see a monkey dangling down which caused shouts and jokes about our ancestors, &c. A Proctor was foolish enough to go up to capture it and at last it disappeared I don't know how. Then came a sort of ring tied with ribbons which we conjectured to be the "Missing Link." At last the Vice-Chancellor appeared, more bowing and hand-shaking, and then F. was marched down the aisle behind 2 men with silver maces, and the unfortunate Public Orator came and stood by him and got thro' his very tedious harangue as he could, constantly interrupted by the most unmannerly shouts and jeers; and when he

[pages] 286 - 287

had continued what seemed an enormous time, some one called out in a cheerful tone "Thank you kindly." At last he got to the end with admirable nerve and temper, and then they all marched back to the Vice-Chancellor in scarlet and white fur, and F. joined his hands and did not kneel but the Vice-Chancellor put his hands outside and said a few Latin words, and then it was over and everybody came up and shook hands.

Of all days in the year I had a baddish headache, but by dint of opium managed to go and enjoyed it all. I should have been most sorry to miss it. F. has been to Newton's Museum to-day and seen many people—also a brilliant luncheon at George's—H. Sidgwick and Miss Gladstone also very pleasant. J. W. Clark did me a good turn, as I followed his lead in tasting Gallantine, which is very superior.

I felt very grand walking about with my LL.D. in his silk gown.

After their return home my father wrote to his son George (Nov. 21, 1877): "I enjoyed my stay at Cambridge to a very unusual degree owing chiefly to you good boys. If Cambridge newspaper publishes full account of LL.D. do send me a copy."

The following describes the first visit to Basset after William's marriage.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Monday [BASSET, May, 1878].

……We had such a lovely day yesterday and loitered about. Sara and I went to church, which is perfectly easy and harmless, and then William, Leo and Bessy met us close to the church. We came home through the park and it was lovely in the afternoon light. I saw that Miss Beadon (in whose pew we sat) was quite as weary of the curate's sermon as we were, and was stifling yawns all the time. Yesterday after dinner, Sara had a struggle with Jackson1 to let dessert be done in a more irregular fashion; but he had the matter in his own power and did not heed her…….William has adopted a charming puppy (a thorough mongrel). It had followed Dick, and he very deeply observed that he thought he should drown it, which produced quite the desired effect. If we had not Polly I should certainly adopt it.…

This "little mongrel" was the adorable "Button," a dog somewhat resembling a minute black and tan colley, with little pointed legs like cut cedar-pencils. It was afterwards thought that she belonged to a special breed of dogs from Thibet, and was probably brought over by some sailor to Southampton.

Tuesday [BASSET, May, 1878].

……William took me and B. to the common. The gorse was the most gorgeous thing I ever saw. William is very full of meetings this week and goes to-day to open a new "Trade School," which they have established on a useless old foundation, which has been diverted from its original purpose. "Trade School" is not a good name, It ought to be called "Technical School," as it teaches chemistry and art objects. William has been chiefly at the bottom of it. I think he is a wonderful man, and if Sara does half as much in her way as he does, they will be most useful.……

The following tells of the unusual fact of their making a round of visits, including the only visit, I think, which they ever paid to Barlaston, her brother Frank Wedgwood's home in Staffordshire.

1 The man-servant from Down.

[pages] 288 - 289

DOWN, Monday [June, 1878].

Dearest H.,

We have settled to go to Leith Hill Place on the 5th, Abinger on 10th, and Barlaston on 15th—and I believe we need not take a day in London, though perhaps it would be wisest to do so. It is almost incredible that F. should agree, and I am afraid not coming home after the ten days' absence will be very serious. I have been out lamenting over the garden. Yesterday it was so pretty with Escholzias and Linums blazing in the sun, and the pinks and heartsease, but about 5 o'clock we had the most tropical thunder, hail and rain storm I ever saw—I thought the stones would have broken the verandah roof. F. was out, but after sheltering several times, came back in a quarter of an hour to find the whole straight walk under water, and a river over shoe-tops in front of the house, it was actually overflowing the verandah. The hail quite hurt his feet as he came home, and if he had had Polly he would have had to try to protect her.

The following letter describes Bernard's return from a visit to his other grandmother in Wales. He was nearly two years old. The 'bright spots' were made by my father's little pocket magnifying glass.

Down [June, 1878].

I wish you had been here to see Bernard's arrival, it was so pretty. He recognised us all at once so as to have a very sweet modest smile, and directly F. put his hand in his waistcoat pocket he went and sat on his lap and had the bright spots just as usual. He was perfectly fresh, and in a rapture with the windmill as he came along, as brown and red as possible, so I don't believe he has worn his hat, which I don't approve of.

After he had had some little illness she writes (Oct. 1878): "I daresay he will relapse again and I must school myself not to get so miserable. It is like a bodily ache." And when he was better: "B. is almost more charming poorly than well. He is so attentive and placid and listens to any amount of twaddle. He took to kissing all the pictures yesterday."

My mother's sister-in-law Fanny Hensleigh Wedgwood, now quite an invalid, paid a visit to Down in August, and was joined there by her daughter Lady Farrer.

[Down, Aug. 1878].

……We had a sweet little visit from Effie, and the two (she and her mother) looked so comf. talking all day on their respective sofas. She sang after lunch, and Bernard was quite entranced on my lap, occasionally saying "mum mum," and when she stopped saying "two mumum" by way of encore. She sang more beautifully than I ever heard her. Ernest was very pleasant and saw a good deal of his mother.

The two articles in the Fortnightly1 by Greg and Gladstone are very striking; I think the first G. so reasonable and cool and the second so fiery and full of élan. I don't agree with the Times that now he had better accept fate, I think he should cry aloud to the end, he may convert someone.

Yours my dear,
E. D.

1 There is no article in the Fortnightly by Gladstone in 1878. She probably means England's Mission in the Nineteenth Century by Gladstone, and W. R. Greg's paper in a symposium on "Is popular judgment in politics more right than that of the higher classes?" The

L. II. 19

[pages] 290 - 291

Mrs Shaen sent a vol. of Ernest Myers' poems, that F. might see a sonnet on "Darwin" which he duly read, but did not understand and told Margaret [Shaen] "It has no meaning, it is boetry."

DOWN, Thursday [1878].

…Aunt F. has been very comf. these few days and sitting in the verandah. I think she is sorry to go home. I feel very fond of her and shall miss my little sights of her, and she will be a great loss to Aunt Eliz.…

Charles Darwin to his son George.

Down, Oct. 29th [1878].

My dear old George,

I have been quite delighted with your letter and read it all with eagerness. You were very good to write it. All of us are delighted, for considering what a man Sir William Thomson is, it is most grand that you should have staggered him so quickly, and that he should speak of your "discovery &c." and about the moon's period. I also chuckle greatly about the internal heat. How this will please the geologists and evolutionists. That does sound awkward about the heat being bottled up in the middle of the earth. What a lot of swells you have been meeting and it must have been very interesting.

Hurrah for the bowels of the earth and their viscosity and for the moon and for the Heavenly bodies and for my son George (F.R.S. very soon).

Yours affectionately,

Eastern question was then exciting great interest in England owing to the "Bulgarian atrocities" (1876) and the war between Russia and Turkey (1877–78) which led to the Treaty of Berlin (July, 1878).

Emma Darwin to her daughter-in-law Sara.

DOWN, Thursday [1878].

My dear Sara,

I did indeed feel for you and thought of you very often. Theodora1 is such a combination of gaiety, life, and unselfishness and thoughtfulness, that she leaves a terribly large vacancy behind her. I have sometimes thought that there is a sort of reaction, something like relief, when one has no longer to look forward to a dreaded parting. It is perfectly calm to-day. I wish it may be the same at Liverpool that at least she may set out tolerably comfortably.

I do hope you and William may be able to come on Saturday.

Yours my dear Sara,
E. D.

Charles Darwin to his son William.

Down, Dec. 12th, 1878.

My dear William,

I have a curious bit of news to tell you. A few days ago Mr Anthony Rich, of Heene, Worthing, wrote to me that he with his sister was the last of his family, and that he had always thought under such circumstances "those should be remembered, whose abilities &c., &c., had been devoted &c., &c., for the benefit of mankind"; with more to the same effect and to my great honour. Therefore he had bequeathed to me nearly all his property after his and his sister's death. I heard from him again to-day with particulars. The property is not of a very inviting kind, viz. a share of houses in Cornhill, which brings in annually rather above, £1,100. This

1 Theodora Sedgwick, Sara Darwin's sister, on her way home to America.


[pages] 292 - 293

bequest, as you may believe, has astonished and pleased me greatly; though in a money sense it will make no difference whatever to me or your mother. Mr Rich is 74 years old and his sister a year younger. I never before heard of a bequest to a man for what he has been able to do in Science.

My dear old William,

Your affectionate father,

My best love to Sara.

P.S.—I have had a copy of Mr Rich's letter made, which is gone to. Erasmus and George but shall be sent you.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Down, Saturday [Dec. 1878].

Dearest Hen.,

If you have seen Eras, you will have heard of the surprising news of a Mr Rich leaving your father the reversion of his property, solely on the grounds of his scientific work.… F. was very much pleased, not so much on account of the money, as the recognition of his work. Bessy only feels it was a pity he did not do something else with the money, and I must own I only care for the feeling of gratification.…

I wish Parslow would come and shoot the blackbirds, there are two who spend their whole time in preventing the others feeding, and not feeding themselves. Therm. 24° last night; but I keep quite warm in the house.

Yours, my dear,
E. D.

Tuesday [1878].

…Bernard is perfectly well and has the most comical games—putting "dole" (gold) pennies and silver pennies under each of the buttons in a certain chair, in and out of his pockick 20 times—this has lasted 3 days. For 2 days, stirring up dry middlings for the birds was quite delightful and very little mess made (considering).…I quite agree with you about F.'s signing too readily; even if the object is undeniably good, but especially when I think the object not a good one, and possibly mischievous, as in the Moncure Conway case. In such a plain case of immorality as he considers the war1 I think he was right. I consider this war as the outcome of our furious antagonism to Russia, and causing them to seek eagerly for a weak place in our armour, and also for something to force us to keep our Indian troops at home in India. Oh if we had but kept to Lord Salisbury's first programme (or Lord Derby's) of what we should object to, instead of bothering about things that do not concern us, e.g. a large Bulgaria.…

Saturday [Jan. 1879].

Dearest H.,

It is a fine leisurely morning to have a talk with you. The snow is coming down so thickly that if it was a little colder or if there was any wind we should be snowed up. I do so sympathize with you in that tiresome feeling of whether one shall be well enough for an occasion. I have had it very strong this week because of the C. Normans. As it happens I shall do very well. I have been out of doors for two days, and yesterday was quite delightful at the sand walk, and gave one an insane feeling that the winter was over.…We go on with F. Kemble but she is a coarse-minded woman. Her minute description of the ugliness of old age, and her enduring to give the description of her mother's callousness about fishing.

I am glad Eliz. is going to 312 on Monday. For a

1 It may be presumed my father signed some protest against the Afghan war or steps likely to lead to it.

2 Her brother Hensleigh Wedgwood's house, 31, Queen Anne Street.

[pages] 294 - 295

wonder I think her spirits are a little failing, and she seems so troubled with the vivid remembrance of old painful things, and said she should like to have everything past wiped out—and yet her youth was exceptionally smooth and happy and busy. It shews rather a morbid state of mind, and what I believe she would have escaped but for the loss of her eyesight. A complete change I am sure will cheer her much.

Well, I must do a few scrattles, so good-bye, with my love to R.

E. D.

Monday [Jan. 1879].

Therm. 25, which is very horrid but I shall not go out. Yesterday Bernard had a delightful expedition all the way to Cudham, with Abbety and Boo and Mim1 and Lenny and Dadda, to look after Marianne Drew whom Jackson found without any coal on Sat. He talked all the way when he was not singing, and had to be put down when-ever they came to a frozen puddle to stamp upon it.… I liked Lord Derby's speech; but it makes one uncomfortable to think war should be the interest of anyone. Yes, I read Gladstone and though he carried me with him at the time, on reflection I think he was very foolish to go into the old sins of the Tories; but I think he put it powerfully about Bessarabia, which he always spoke out about from the first. I feel it a very different thing to have party spirit for peace, than to have party spirit for war. I have been reading all the difficulty Sir R. Walpole had in preserving peace in the beginning of Geo. II, when there was the same sort of anxiety to interfere about everything that there is now; how I wish we had such a man now.

I am sorry to say that it is a severe case of 'capers'2

1 His nicknames for the family.

2 Alluding to the well-known story of the Irishman who confused anchovies with capers.

about the sofa—we ordered it at Heal's, and I wrote to reproach Maple, so no wonder they did not remember it, however Skimp [Horace] shall order the smoking-room one at Maple's.

W. E. Darwin to his mother.

[BANK, SOUTHAMPTON], March, 1879.

My dear Mother,

It is a perishing cold day so that I have left Sara comfortably fixed in bed. She was really very little tired by London, much less so than I expected; and she leads so quiet a life here that she enjoyed seeing some bustle and human beings.

Our drive with Carlyle was interesting, but it was difficult to catch all he said. He talked about a number of things, especially about his French Revolution, which I happened to be reading. His face was quite in a glow with an expression of fury when he talked of it, and he raised his hands and said it was the most wonderful event in the world, 25,000,000 rising up and saying "by the Almighty God we will put an end to these shams." He also talked of the frightful difficulty of rewriting the 1st vol. when the manuscript had been burnt; he said it was the hardest job he had ever had, that he had not a scrap of note or reference of any kind and it was like trying to float in the air without any wings, or some metaphor to that effect. He also said that he thought at one time that he should have gone mad with all the horror and mystery of the world and his own difficulties, if he had not come across Goethe. Unfortunately he did not clearly explain and I missed what he said in the rumble of the carriage. He said that Goethe always carried about with him a feeling of the perplexity of things and of the misery of the world,…so I said that Goethe had not felt the French Revolution anything to

[pages] 296 - 297

the extent that he had, and then he smiled and said that was true, and afterwards he said that Goethe had always been prosperous, while he had had to struggle with money difficulties.… He said that Goethe was far the greatest [man] living in his times, that he was very kind to him, and that every three months or so a box of curiosities, books, &c. used to come to him to Scotland. He spoke with real sorrow in his voice that want of money had prevented him ever seeing Goethe. He said that "Goethe believed he should live again" and that he used to write to him openly [on the subject]; when his son died of drinking at Rome, all he said was that "his son had stayed behind in the Eternal City."

Carlyle talked about Newman being made Cardinal and said he was a kind, affectionate man, who was much afraid of damnation and hoped to creep into heaven under the Pope's petticoats, and then he added "but he has no occiput," and it is very true that Woolner's bust shows he has no back to his head.

I asked him if he ever read any of his own works again, and he said he had read his Frederick all through, and seemed to have enjoyed it. As we came away he asked after my father, and said with a grin, "but the origin of species is nothing to me." Altogether it was very interesting, and he talked very easily and without any condescension, or oracularly.

Goodbye, dear Mother, you will see us at Easter,

Your affec. son,
W. E. D.

The following is an account written to me of amateur nurse-maiding and its fatigues. Bernard was now three years old.

BASSET, Friday [May, 1879].

The whole household (except parlourmaid) went an expedition to Portsmouth, and Bessy was more tired than any dog by the end of the day, though Bernard was quite good and Sara helped her; but three hours out of doors is enough for anyone's day's work. I went to call on the Yonges. The pink mare took me like the wind so I was not tired, and I set to work on my return to get B. "off," but only succeeded in getting him into a most conversational mood. However, I laid him down when I had exhausted all my stories and then Bessy took a turn, and lastly Sara, who succeeded in finishing him off by the most dismal droning singing. I am afraid F. does a little too much work but it quite keeps off ennui, which might be powerful in this dismal cold weather.

Emma Darwin to her son Francis.

Whit Tuesday [June 3rd, 1879].

…We are expecting the Club and band before long, and Bernard has been very full of it since yesterday, and wanting to know all details, and who will carry the flag—the flag is dead which proved a disappointment. It rained for 36 hours till this morning, and everything is soaked and dismal. Bernard always says "I think" now—so I am afraid he will get to speak well before very long—You will be surprised to hear of Babba's1 sternness. He found Bernard overbearing with little Alice, and not giving her her rights about the slide, and pulled him up short with "Oh, nonsense, &c." B. was astonished, but it quite answered.

He is very good and placid, and I have had no temptation to resort to lumps of sugar since the day at Basset; but I will not yield to the temptation in any way, as you do not approve of that method of education.… B. liked your last letter extremely, and had it many times. He was most solemn listening to the band holding Babba's hand; but he likes to talk about it to-day.…

1 Bernard's name for his grandfather.

[pages] 298 - 299


…We have an alarming amount of dissipation during the next week. Litchfield's singing class to-morrow, dancing on the green, &c. Tuesday, garden party at High Elms. Wednesday, Temperance Lecture. Friday, School feast, and Saturday the choice of two garden parties. How you will envy us!!…

My brothers had been having the pedigree of the Darwins made out by a certain Colonel Chester, an American who had an enthusiasm for such researches.

Charles Darwin to his son George.

June 25 [1879].

My dear George,

All your astronomical work is a mere insignificant joke compared with your Darwin discoveries. Oh good Lord that we should be descended from a 'Steward of the Peverel'; but what in the name of Heaven does this mean? There is a sublime degree of mystery about the title. But I write now partly to tell you that we go on Saturday morning to Laura's1 house and stay there till Tuesday morning. She has most kindly lent us her house, for these few days, for your mother says, I believe truly, that I require change and rest.


My mother, on the other hand, wrote to my sister Bessy: "The Darwin pedigree raged more than ever last night, as Leonard and George had found out some more things and also Aunt Caroline

1 Miss Forster of West-Hackhurst, Abinger.

asked me a multitude of questions, so I curse the old D.'s in my heart." And to me (March 2nd, 1880): "F. has received the MS. from Col. Chester carrying the Darwins back 200 years. I don't know how it is I should care a little if it related to Wedgwoods. F. is intensely interested and the old wills are curious, in some cases leaving a shilling."

On August 2nd, 1879, I see the entry in her diary: "Fine, set out to Coniston." This tells of the beginning of a month in the Lakes—a particularly delightful month to both my father and mother. My father enjoyed the journey with the freshness of a boy, the picnic luncheon, the passing country seen from the train, especially Morecambe Bay, and even missing our connection at Foxfield and being hours late did not daunt his cheerfulness. There are many entries in the little diary showing how much my mother could do and enjoy. One expedition was made to Grasmere. I shall never forget my father's enthusiastic delight, jumping up from his seat in the carriage to see better at every striking moment. She, as always, expressed less, but was most fresh in her enjoyment of all the beauty, and to the memory of this time she certainly owed sensations sweet,

Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart.

Another interest and pleasure in this stay was their making friends with Ruskin. I remember very well his first call on them and his courteous manner, his courtesy even including giving my father the title of 'Sir Charles.' My father perceived by Ruskin's distressed look when he spoke

[pages] 300 - 301

of the new and baleful kind of cloud which had appeared in the heavens that his brain was becoming clouded.

Erasmus Darwin to his niece H. E. Litchfield, at Coniston.

[6, QUEEN ANNE STREET] Aug. 12th [1879].

Dear Henriette,

What can one possibly write from the City of the Dead, and it really is deader than I ever saw it. I believe the weather has been bad but I have carefully abstained from making acquaintance with it. Horace passed thro' on Sunday like a flash of lightning, and was so late for his train that I fully expected him back again.

I am sorry to hear the K. has turned out such a villain but I suppose he may be cut down to something like his original shape. Of all the Demons I have come in contact with I think A. J. Balfour1 is the worst—have you looked at his book, it gives a kind of dizziness of the stomach to read it. Godfrey and Hope are coming to me to-day to see Dr Clark as G. is bad. Hope says she shall never allow him another holiday as he is always ill if not potting2.

Yours affec.,
E. A. D.

Sir Joseph and Lady Hooker paid them a visit soon after their return home. Another visitor at the same time was my mother's brother Frank Wedgwood, now 79 years old.

1 Defence of Philosophic Doubt, 1879.

2 Godfrey, eldest son of Francis Wedgwood, was head of the old firm Josiah Wedgwood and Sons. He married his cousin Hope, youngest daughter of Hensleigh Wedgwood.

Wednesday [Sept. 1879].

…Uncle F. enjoyed Sir J. and all the talk so much that I got him to put off going yesterday when I found the Hookers were going to stay. His spirits are quite wonderful. I have played every evening, which is contrary to my principles, but Sir J. liked it when your father was gone.

This youthfulness of nature had been, as has been said, a marked family characteristic in the Allens—a fountain of fresh enjoyment of life in all its aspects. In their descendant, our uncle Frank, it was very remarkable, and his laugh was as hearty as a boy's.

In the autumn of 1879 my youngest brother Horace became engaged to Ida, only daughter of Lord Farrer, and they were married on January 3rd, 1880. This marriage added a great happiness to my mother's life; whether she was well or ill, she rejoiced in seeing Ida enter the room, and was always soothed and exhilarated by her presence. Ida indeed became another daughter and entered into all her joys and sorrows. "I did so enjoy our lovers, only one of them was rather sick. I had some nice sits with them. She is a sweet little wife," my mother writes Jan. 31st, 1880.

The following letters relate to a plot we were all in to buy a fur coat for my father, an extravagance he would never have been guilty of for himself.

[pages] 302 - 303

Francis Darwin to his sister H. E. Litchfield.

DOWN, Jan. 1880.

My dear Hen.

I think the coat exploded very well. I left it on the study table, furry side out and letter on the top at 3, so that he would find it at 4 when he started his walk. Jackson was 2nd conspirator, with a broad grin and the coat over his arm peeping thro' the green baize door while I saw the coast clear in the study.

You will see from Father's delightful letter to us how much pleased he was. He was quite affected and had tears in his eyes when he came out to see me, and said something like what dear good children you all are. I think it does very well being long and loose.

Yours affec,
F. D.

I told mother just before, so that she might come and see the fun.

Charles Darwin to his children.

DOWN, 17 Jan. 1880.

My dear Children,

I have just found on my table your present of the magnificent fur-coat. If I have to travel in the winter it will be a wonderful comfort, for the last time I went to London I did not get over the cold for 2 or 3 days. The coat, however, will never warm my body so much as your dear affection has warmed my heart.

My good dear children,

Your affectionate Father,


N.B.—I should not be myself if I did not protest that you have all been shamefully extravagant to spend so much money over your old father, however deeply you may have pleased him.

My mother wrote to her son Leonard: "You will expect to hear whether we are alive; firstly the coat is a great success, and though F. began by thinking it would never be cold enough for him to wear it, he has begun by wearing it so constantly, that he is afraid it will soon be worn out." And to me:

DOWN, BECKENHAM, KENT, Jan. 22, 1880.

F. and I are deeply touched by Richard's feeling towards us, which indeed we felt sure of before; but it is pleasant to have the reassurance of it, I do believe he cares for us as much as if we were (I won't say parents) but something near it. It is so fine, I am going to venture out to see a poor woman (dirty Mrs E., do you remember her?) who has such a dreadful leg nobody can bear to enter the house, and see whether she can be persuaded to go to Bromley Hospital. So good-bye my dearest.

E. D.

F. desires me to say that he was sure R. was in the plot, and that he mentally included him in his expressions to his children.

Sunday, Ap. 4, 1880.

Dearest H.,

I have such a quantity to say I shall never get done. 1st, what a provoking bad day for your Sunday out, 2ndly what trouble you have taken about the papers. There is one lily paper I like much better than any—a dull green; but I am a little afraid of the colour because of the rest of the furniture. We laughed the matting dados to scorn.…F. and I are just beginning to find out whether we are on our heads or our heels (politically)1 but as I am

1 This refers to the General Election after Gladstone's Midlothian campaign. "The result was a startling surprise to both parties.… When the returns for all the constituencies were completed it was computed that the new Parliament would number 349 Liberals, 243 Conservatives and 60 Home Rulers. The composition of the dissolved Parliament was 351 Conservatives, 250 Liberals and 51 Home Rulers." Technically Lord Hartington, having been the acknowledged leader of the Liberal Opposition, had a right to the position of Prime Minister. He was sent for on Thursday, 22nd April. Next day he and Lord Granville had an audience of the Queen, and Mr Gladstone was sent for. Late on Friday night it was announced that Gladstone would be Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer. (Annual Register, 1880, pp. 55, 56.)

[pages] 304 - 305

100 times more pleased than you can possibly be sorry, I think you ought to give up being sorry at all. Our mental champagne has had very little sympathy except from Aunt Eliz., as Frank hardly cares and George cares a little the wrong way; though he says now that he hopes the Liberals may be as strong as possible so as not to have to truckle.

Seriously I shall be very glad if my opinions and yours gradually converge, as I have felt it rather painful to have them so diametrically opposite to each other. Leo says that he is reckoned the most outrageous Liberal at Chatham and that he has about five companions in Liberalism. How nicely and gently the Times has let itself down (we are by no means proud of our doings in Northampton).…F. and I went to the poll yesterday morning at 8.30 and found the zealous Harry Bonham Carter on the field. He did not seem at all confident. I rather hope Gladstone will not take office for his consistency's sake…

The following describes going to London to hear a rehearsal of one of the Richter concerts.

Tuesday [May, 1880].

Dearest H.,

It was a complete success, I got there by 10.30 and found Amy and Rose [Wedgwood] about the 6th row. The chorus (of 9th Symph.) was over and I was glad to miss that. I heard the slow part which was only too short, the rest of it seemed to me repetition and bangings without end, mixed with heavenly little bits that you wanted to stop and have more of. Watching the conducting was most amusing, especially his imitations of the instruments. After it was over he made a little speech and was much clapped by the orchestra. Then I moved a little under the gallery, and found the echoing rather less, and the G minor was perfectly resting and clear and played with wonderful fire. After it was over, Franke1 brought down Richter, a most jolly, happy-looking man, who made some gracious joke in German to Rose.… They came and saw me to my cab, and I had a peaceful hour in the big waiting-room, with two newspapers and my sandwiches, and a lady telling me all her experiences, leaving her purse and finding it again, and 3 times finding herself seated by a suspicious character, who was routed out by an inspector. I was very little tired yesterday but feel very much as if I wanted B. and S. to-day, but there is nothing to be done.

Her memory of music she had heard long ago remained fresh and vivid. She wrote to me when I was at the Worcester Festival: "I don't know whether it is a fancy, but I thought I never heard music or voices sound the least like what they did at Worcester." I believe it is an acknowledged fact that music in that Cathedral has a supreme charm.

The following is an account of the reception of a suburban scientific society.

Sunday morning [July, 1880].

Here we had violent showers every hour, the worst of all just before our Scientifics appeared. The ladies

1 The leader of the orchestra, Richter the conductor.

L. II. 20

[pages] 306 - 307

found flys enough, but the gents came in by detachments for more than an hour, which made it very fatiguing for F. There were nearly 50 in number and F. was getting very much done up before I could get him away. He gave up the thoughts of the little Geological lecture which he had planned, and I was glad of it, as the exertion would have been great. He gave a five minutes lecture on Drosera which they enjoyed. We received them in the drawing-room with the veranda open and claret cup, wine and lemonade and biscuits. These were much appreciated after the hot walk. The Englishmen were harmless and modest, but the Germans were most objectionable, especially a Mr A. who has travelled and written some bumptious letters to F., and Frank was quite pleased to find he was as forward and horrid as his letters seemed to be. We moralised that a vulgar German was much horrider than a ditto English. I think they were all pleased, though the two or three last only saw F. for five minutes. They took a little walk beyond the kitchen garden and then walked to the village to their carriages, having been a little more than an hour. F. only appeared at dinner and is tolerably rested to-day.

This summer they paid their first visit to the Horace Darwins at their lodgings in Botolph Lane at Cambridge. It was arranged that they should go in a through carriage from Bromley, having a special train across London to King's Cross. My mother writes:

We were shunted backwards and forwards till we were so utterly "turned round " that when I called out, "Why there is St Paul's," F. calmly assured me that it must be some small church in the neighbourhood, as St Paul's was three miles from Victoria where we then were. However we soon saw Ludgate Hill written up. F.'s comfort was a good deal disturbed by the quantity of trouble the shunting gave, but I was hardened and enjoyed the journey.

Their stay there was most successful, "Ida," she says, "is so well and hungry and merry." They both did and saw a great deal, my father especially enjoying a lunch in Frank Balfour's rooms, and my mother going to Trinity Chapel to hear the organ. She writes: "I went to the organ-loft and Mr Stanford shewed the effect of stops, etc. (my bed is quite comf.)." This casual style is very characteristic but why the ideas thus presented themselves to her no mortal man can tell.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

Summer, 1880.

There were the most extraordinary thunder clouds on Friday which all dispersed. F. has no proof sheets and has taken to training earth-worms but does not make much progress, as they can neither see nor hear. They are, however, amusing and spend hours in seizing hold of the edge of a cabbage leaf and trying in vain to pull it into their holes. They give such tugs they shake the whole leaf.

Emma Darwin to her daughter-in-law Sara.

DOWN, Monday.

My dear Sara,

I hope my brother [Hensleigh] saw Basset to advantage on Saturday, for yesterday was steady rain. He was so pleased at your invitation and when Bessy asked whether he was going to accept it he answered,


[pages] 308 - 309

"I should think so." I am sure you would find him very comfortable and easy and the most transparent of men. We had 2 Frenchmen to luncheon on Sat. (and were nearly having also Edmond About). They were M. Sarcey a littérateur and much occupied with the Comédie Francaise, and M. Barbier who has translated most of F.'s things into French. M. Sarcey was a typical Frenchman exactly like Punch, but most entertaining and kept all his end of the table in constant laughter. M. Barbier sat at my end and talked English with F. and me and was very agreeable and nice. He said nobody had done more to spread Evolution than M. Sarcey.

He seemed to think that France was by no means out of her trouble, owing chiefly to the Church but also to the Bonapartists. The Orleanists were nowhere.

Erasmus Darwin to his cousin Mrs Godfrey Wedgwood.

4 Oct., 80.

Dear Hope,

I have enjoyed reading the letters extremely and I can really almost entirely make them out though here and there comes a difficulty, but it is from bad writing and not the crinkum cranks1. I consulted Leonard about the photos and we both chose the same. I'm not sure I should not have taken the little negro but I could not stand the black legs.

Leonard very nearly got a medal for one of his Swiss photos, that is to say 23 were chosen as worthy of a medal and from them 10 were again selected, but he was not one of the 10.

I am more than ever convinced that yours and Effie's

1 The 'crinkum-cranks' are the shorthand which Lady Farrer and Mrs Godfrey Wedgwood used in their letters to each other. The photograph was of Mrs G. Wedgwood's baby, who had been 'lent' to her sister Lady Farrer.

letters must some day be published. I am as nearly mad as I can be over Fanny's and Rebecka's letters1 and they might have been written by you two. They are on just the same terms together as you, and I declare the characters run parallel—also the outward circumstances, so far as that they have got 2 husbands just as good as yours, though they differ in respect of being as strong as horses, while dearest Rebecka thinks the perfection of sight-seeing is to send her husband, or rather not to hold him back, and lie on the sofa herself. While lying nearly asleep I got into a complete puzzle or 'gepuzzeled' as she writes it, whether it was you or she that had lent a baby. I send letters and photos home lest I should be burnt down.

Yours aff.
E. A. D.

1 The letters of Mendelssohn's sisters Fanny and Rebecka in Die Familie Mendelssohn.

[pages] 310 - 311



Elizabeth Wedgwood's death—A month at Patterdale—Erasmus Darwin's death—The new tennis-court and orchard—A visit to Cambridge—The birth of Erasmus, eldest child of Horace—My father's serious state of health, his death on April 19th, 1882—My mother's notes, written soon after—Her changed life.

My mother's only living sister Elizabeth, who it will be remembered left London and came to Down in 1868, had had a serious illness in the autumn of 1879. From this she never entirely recovered, and died on November 7th, 1880, at the age of 87. Her little bent figure had been a familiar sight as she came into the drawing-room leaning on her stick and followed by her dog Tony. The first question would always be, "Where is Emma?" My mother would then put by whatever she was doing in order to go to her. This was sometimes difficult, but she never let any sense of hurry appear and was always ready to give her a warm and equable welcome. She shared in all her interests and made constant attempts to protect her from the beggars and impostors who beset her to the end of her life. This devotion and care never failed in the twelve years aunt Elizabeth lived at Down.

I think that we none of us felt intimate or quite at ease with our aunt. There was a curious film of reserve, even with my sister Bessy, who was most faithful and regular in reading to her and doing all she could to make her life happier and less monotonous. It is sad for us to remember, and I am afraid must have saddened my mother, who knew such a different relationship with her own mother's sisters.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

[Nov. 20, 1880.]

I went down yesterday and settled some books. The most pathetic thing I saw was the old parasol in its own place; but it did not tempt me to take it away—it would be little to me anywhere else and the maids might care for it. Tony is rather pathetic too, never barking, and wanting notice so much. But when I think what her life might have been this winter, even with something like a recovery, I feel nothing but joy….

Harry Allen's [letter] was peculiarly nice from the moderation of the expressions. I am very near at the end of all my answers. It is rather disagreeable getting into the way of saying the same thing to everybody, though almost all I wrote to really cared.

Her eldest brother, Josiah Wedgwood, of Leith Hill Place, had died on March 11th in the same year. The following letter was written when my parents were paying their first visit to Leith Hill Place after his death.

[pages] 312 - 313

LEITH HILL. PLACE, Sunday [Dec. 1880].

Such a beautiful day and I have quite enjoyed a walk in the wood, which in some respects is prettier than in summer, the hollies stand out so and look so bright. The devastation1 of some of the finest trees in the wood is sad; but it looked worse as we were driving along by the Cold Harbour way. Some of the oak-trees were entirely smashed, and all the woods were streaked and spotted with the torn off branches. I did not perceive that Aunt Caroline was agitated on seeing us; she talked cheerfully till we went to unpack. I had a long talk with her after lunch, and F. was in very good spirits and talk as long as he stayed.… He is so full of Wallace's affair2 he has no time for his own, and has concocted provisional letters to Gladstone and the Duke of Argyll. The last I am sure he will send —the first is not quite certain. He is influenced by Huxley feeling so sure that Gladstone would like to oblige him.

[DOWN, February, 1881.]

I think I never enjoyed anything so much in politics as when the Speaker at last put his foot down on Wednesday morning3, and all the more because it disappointed horrid

1 This year there had been a deep fall of snow in October before the trees, especially the oaks, had lost their leaves. The devastation was very great, and I remember being told that the day after the storm the splitting of the boughs was like guns firing off. Many lanes near Down were impassable from the wreckage.

2 A Government pension for Mr Wallace, which was bestowed on January 7, 1881. On receiving a letter from Gladstone announcing the fact my father wrote: "How extraordinarily kind of Mr Gladstone to find time to write under such circumstances. Good heavens! how pleased I am." Vol. III. p. 228, Life and Letters of C. D.

3 This refers to the forty-one hours' sitting of the House of Commons and the Speaker's so-called coup d'état. In order to obstruct the Coercion Bill, the Home Rulers kept the House sitting from Monday, February 7th to Wednesday morning, February 9th, and would have gone on talking for any conceivable length of time had not the obstruction been terminated by the Speaker putting the Motion on his own authority. Mr Biggar was speaking to the last. The Speaker left the Chair at 5 a.m., when it was occupied by Dr Lyon Playfair, and the Speaker re-entered at 9 a.m. Mr Biggar had to pause on the entrance of the Speaker, and the Speaker did not call on him to proceed. Annual Register, 1881, pp. 39—47.

Mr Biggar and his papers and Blue books. I was out of all patience with the Speaker and the Executive, but Mrs Mulholland, who called here yesterday, said that the reticence was preconcerted in order to give them plenty of rope to hang themselves.

She said Sir John [Lubbock] says he has had an unusual quantity of sleep, as most of the members disliked much more getting up early than sitting up late, and so he took that part of the duty on condition of being let off early at night. It was all systematically arranged.…I am going down presently in the Bath-chair to see D., who has been in bed for a week without letting us know. You know what my feelings must be about the poor old man, but I am afraid he will recover.

Hurrah for Mr Fegan! Mrs E. attended a prayer meeting in which old M. made "as nice a prayer as ever you heard in your life."

The sentence about D. alludes to the fact that she was very free in wishing people to die, and sometimes used to say in fun that she believed her wishes were effective. "Old M." was a notable old drunkard in the village of Down, converted by a Mr Fegan, an evangelical worker amongst the poor, who did much good there.

Fed. 17th, 1881.

Yesterday evening a messenger came to say that old Mrs Lyne had died suddenly, and they wanted Frank to come and see her, which he wisely declined. Mrs Evans

[pages] 314 - 315

said to him, "I don't like to tell Missis for fear it should upset her." She little knew my feelings. She is the dirty old woman, and I wish I had looked after her sooner, not by way of keeping her alive though.

I remember in February, 1881, a very happy visit to us in Bryanston Street. My mother had fewer headaches during these London visits than in old days, and though I see entries in her diary of my father's suffering from his heart, between whiles he was much better than formerly and far more able to enjoy life.

Emma Darwin to Margaret Shaen.

DOWN [Feb. 24, 1881].

…I enjoyed my talks with you so much, my dear Margaret, and we old folks feel very grateful to the young who care for us, e.g. Mr Darwin's grateful sentiments to his sons for their kind condescension. Bernard was much excited at the receipt of his little bracelets.…

Charles Darwin to his son George in Madeira.

4, BRYANSTON STREET, Sunday, Feb. 27 [1881].

My dear George,

We came here on Thursday and have seen lots of people, but there is nothing especial to tell.…Thanks for looking out for castings. It is hopeless where the soil is dry. Perhaps you may see some whenever you go into the interior. I remember that the Lyells were charmed with the inland and lofty parts of the island. We came up at this particular time that I might attend Burdon Sanderson's Lecture at R.Inst, on the movements of plants and animals compared. He gave a very good lecture. I was received with great honour and placed by De la Rue alongside the chairman and was applauded on my entrance!

One experiment was very striking: the measurement of the rate of transmission in man of the order to move a muscle, and it took about 1/200th of a second, the distance being a little over 1 foot. I have been trying to have an interview with the D. of Argyll, who wrote 2 most civil notes to me, dated "Privy Seal Office," and saying that he would see me "here" at 10.30. So I went to the Office, and an old clerk expressed unbounded astonishment, declaring, "Why he never comes here, he has nothing to do here." So I must go to-morrow to Argyll House.…

You will have heard of the triumph of the Ladies1 at Cambridge. The majority was so enormous that many men on both sides did not think it worth voting. The minority was received with jeers. Horace was sent to the Ladies' College to communicate the success and was received with enthusiasm. Frank and F. Galton2 went up to vote. We had F. Galton to Down on last Sunday. He was splendid fun and told us no end of odd things.

Monday.—I have just returned from a very long call on the Duke of Argyll. He was very agreeable and we discussed many subjects, and he was not at all cocky. He was awfully friendly and said he should come some day to Down, and hoped I would come to Inverary.…

Goodbye, dear old George.

Your affectionate father,

1 In Feb. 1881 a Grace of the Senate was passed by 398 against 32 giving women the right to present themselves for the "Little-Go" and Tripos Examinations.

2 Francis Galton, F.R.S., D.C.L., &c, first cousin of Charles Darwin. Born Feb. 1822. African Explorer. Author of Art of Travel, Heredity Genius.

[pages] 316 - 317

There are many sentences in my mother's letters showing the great happiness her little grandson Bernard was to her. She writes when he was away on a visit that she is thirsty for "his little round face," and the following letter tells of her sympathetic care for him when he was losing his nurse through her marriage.

[April, 1881.]

We had some trouble with poor Bernard yesterday. He mistook his father to say that Nanna would come after he was in bed. So yesterday morning I found I must tell him the truth or really deceive him. At first I told him that she was at Mrs Parslow's and he should go and see her. He said, "I shall soon have her out of Mrs Parslow's." When I told him she was going to be married, his poor face crumpled up and he said, "I don't like it that way at all." He cried very quietly but could not get over it for some time.

[Spring, 1881.]

I can't think how Gladstone can propose the monument for Lord Beaconsfield with any degree of sincerity. It is not that he thinks Lord B. in the wrong upon almost all public questions. I can fancy getting over that difficulty; but that until ten years ago no party believed him to have any principle. I think the handsomeness about him has been rather immoral. Every Liberal vyeing with the rest to do him honour. The Dean's sermon seems to have been outspoken in some degree.

On June 2nd we all went to a house at Patterdale taken for a month.

I think that this second visit to the Lake Country was nearly as full of enjoyment as the first. It was an especial happiness to my mother for the rest of her life to remember her little strolls with my father by the side of the lake. I have a vivid picture in my mind of the two often setting off alone together for a certain favourite walk by the edge of some fine rocks going sheer down into the lake.

Sunday [June, 1881].

The day has turned out even more beautiful than the first Sunday. We all, but F., went in the boat, first up and then coasting downwards as far as the How Town landing-place, where we got out. Bernard was with us dabbling his hand in the water and very quiet and happy. It was very charming up among the junipers and rocks. William was much delighted but is rather troubled by wishing for Sara. F. got up to his beloved rock this morning, but just then a fit of his dazzling came on and he came down. I mean to try to get there soon.

I am reminded of a happy memory of this last summer of the Down of our youth by the entry in her diary: "Down, July 16. Litches, Lushingtons, Miss North." It was one of those ideal days when we could sit under the limes all day. My father was in his happiest spirits, and the memory of the bright animated talk and Mrs Lushington's charming gaiety remains with me.

Only a few weeks later Erasmus Darwin died on August 26th, after four days' illness. He was weary of life, which was a struggle with continual ill-health, but for us all the loss was irremediable and made a gap that has never been filled up. His goodness to my brothers when they were living in London was an inestimable boon.

[pages] 318 - 319

W. E. Darwin to his mother.

August 27, 1881.

Next to coming to Down, one of my greatest pleasures was going to see dear Uncle Eras whenever I was in London. He seems to me much more than an uncle, and from quite a little boy I can remember his steady kindness and pleasantness, always knowing how to make me feel at ease and be amused. After I grew up, it year by year was a greater happiness for me to go and see him. To me there was a charm in his manner that I never saw in anybody else.

He was buried in Down churchyard.

Emma Darwin to her daughter-in-law Ida.

DOWN, Monday [Aug. 29th, 1881].

It will be very delightful to us to have you here my dear child, and I hope you will come before the funeral. I don't know any that we shall have in the house, but if we had we have plenty of room for you. I am sure it must be a happy thought to you that he knew how much you loved him, or rather that he loved you (for I don't think he thought much about other people's affection—he knew of his own feelings).

Charles Darwin to his son George.

WEST WORTHING HOTEL, Sept. 8th [1881].

… I have had a long and pleasant talk with Mr Rich, and there is something about him which pleases me much; he is so simple and modest. I think that I told you that I thought myself bound to tell him of the large fortune from Erasmus, and that under such changed circumstances I considered him most fully justified in altering his will. I begged him to consider it for a week, and then let me hear his decision. But he would not let me finish, and protested he should do nothing of the kind and that with so many sons I required much money. In this I heartily agree, though your mother is quite sorry! I now feel convinced that nothing will induce him to change.

This autumn a strip of field was bought to add to the garden beyond the orchard. One chief object was to have a hard tennis-court, but the new piece of ground added greatly to the pleasantness of the garden. My mother was keener about this than any of her children. "We are boiling over with schemes about the tennis-court, and as soon as they are matured they are to be broken to F."

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

DOWN, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 1881.

I have got a new stylo so superior to my old one that it makes writing a pleasure. Frank and Leo went to Sydney Sales on Sunday about buying a bit of his field. He does not seem willing to sell, which will be a disappointment to me more than to them I think. F. is tolerable but his microscope work tires him very much, and it has turned out a delusion, so his last three weeks' work is useless….

Bernard speaking of Polly said, "Is she Miss Polly or Mrs Polly?"

Me: Mrs Polly, I suppose.

B.: Is she married to Tony, do you think?

Me: No, she hates Tony.

B.: Then I think she is married to Tyke, they are both the same size.

We had been to Florence this year, a longer trip than usual. She writes Oct. 2nd, 1881, "It will be

[pages] 320 - [page break]

nice seeing you, but I feel as if you had but just gone—not exactly the style of Mme. de Sévigné."

Monday morning.
The 4th rainy, rainy day,
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
being ceaseless.
[CAMBRIDGE, Oct. 1881.]

We are most comf. here, and we had quite a brilliant 5 o'clock tea last night—Rayleighs, Miss Gladstone and a little American, Miss Wilcox, who was nearly out of her mind with the honour and glory of seeing F. When most of them were gone, Ida introduced her to him, and he had a little talk with her, besides chaff with Miss G. on her having said something solemn when she lunched here about the Irish arrests. As they were going away, something was said about the steep steps, and Miss G. said to her friend, "I suppose you feel that it does not signify now whether you break your neck or not." F.'s best of loves, and he is delighted that you are safe home from those horrid foreign parts. Good-bye till Friday.

Emma Darwin to her daughter-in-law Sara.

DOWN, Friday [Oct. 1881].

… I think F. is quite set up by our happy week at Cam. The 3 last days were fine and we went about a little; one sight was the prostrate trees at St. John's, and the twin elms which grew quite close together are worth seeing, 120 feet high, and each having raised a large platform of earth and roots, which last penetrate so little into the ground that I wonder they have not been blown down long before. Ida went about with us. We saw many pleasant people, F. Balfour, Prof. Hughes, Mr Vines, Prof. Newton; and F. called on old Dr Kennedy, of Shrewsbury, who was particularly pleased to see him. We went to see the red

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picture1, and I thought it quite horrid, so fierce and so dirty. However, it is under a glass and very high up, so nobody can see it. Our chief dissipation was going to King's, for which the tram was very handy.

We are soon going out to see what is doing in the wall and tennis-court way; they are getting on fast, and Leo comes over to-day to inspect. F. and I often reflect how well off we are in d's-in-law and how easily our sons might have married very nice wives that would not have suited us old folks, and above all that would not really have adopted us so affectionately as you have done. I never think without a pang of the 3rd that is gone….

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 1881.

F. is at last getting some reward for these months at the microscope, in finding out something quite new about the structure of roots. However, it makes him work all the harder now. Among his idiotic letters, a good lady writes to ask him whether she may still kill snails, which do her so much damage, or are they as useful as worms. Also a gentleman from Australia to enquire why the blackened and white stumps of trees all about do not affect the colour of the lambs as they did in Jacob's time. I thought he must be joking, but F. said he was quite serious.

There are ten men at work at the wall, so it will get on pretty fast. Poor old Flyer, literally muddy up to her eyes, is carting manure into the enclosure before the breach in the wall is built up—she looks so virtuous. The track across the fields swallows up flints without end.

We are very much charmed with Lord G. Paget's account of the Crimean War, a subject I dislike so much

1 Sir W. B. Richmond's picture of C. D. in the Library of the Philosophical Society.

L. II. 21

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that I am surprised to like it so much; but he only tells what he saw himself, and he was in England at the worst of the horrors. F. is very much in love with Lady G. too, who was there part of the time. His passion for her has to feed upon very little; but he is convinced she is beautiful by the way she was coaxed and fêted, and Marmora's Italian Band to play to her everywhere. All about Cardigan is amusing. Lord G. thinks it such surprizing good luck if he behaves decently, and you escape coming to a quarrel with him. He speaks constantly of the extreme beauty of the Crimea. We have also begun Lyell (which has been most favourably reviewed in the Times). The scrap of autobiography is pleasant. He hated all his schools very much, and no doubt there are fewer disagreeables now. I horrified F. the other day by saying that I thought the French plan of having supervision in the dormitories was very good. What can boys do better at night than hold their tongues and go to sleep. It is no advantage that they should have uproarious games, and if bullying takes place it is sure to be at that time. G. was very miserable as a little boy, till they got that room to themselves (not to mention all the bad talk).

The following is written whilst there was a party of visitors in the house and my father was very unwell.

Sunday, Dec. 4, 1881.

As I wrote such a low account of us I may as well tell you that we are prosperous. F. is better and able to enjoy the talk. The dinner was very pleasant yesterday, and just the sort I like, as Sara was next to Sir J. and very agreeable and brilliant, and I had Leo on my other side, and so I had nothing to do but talk when I chose…. Just read Horace's printed [type-written] letter. His ink is detestable, tell him, but it is a nice letter.

Erasmus, the eldest child of Horace Darwin, was born on December 7th, 1881.

Emma Darwin to Horace and Ida Darwin.

Sat. [DOWN, Dec. 10, 1881].

My dearest Ida and Horace,

This is only to be the shortest line to say how delightful it is and has been at all odd times ever since that blessed Thursday letter to think of you with little Eras. by your side. In the night it has been my first and last thought. Now I shall prose to Hen., and she may read you what she likes.

Your loving mother,
E. D.

The following letter is written to me from our house in Bryanston Street whilst I was staying with the Horace Darwins at Cambridge.

Friday Morning [LONDON, Dec. 1881].

We had a peaceful and pleasant evening. F. and Richard talking geology partly.

I went this morning early to Dr Clark. He is resolved to come and see F., for his own pleasure I think. I told him about the pulse, and he said that shewed that there was some derangement of the heart, but he did not take a serious view of it. He spoke affectionately of George, and said he felt confident he was attaining rather a higher standard of health, and of his wonderful energy and industry, and that he thought his mind in his line was equal to his father's. My best love to H. and Ida. I should have liked to see her with her baby before it gets the least stale.

My father's health had given much cause for uneasiness in the autumn of 1881, but in the


[pages] 324 - 325

beginning of 1882 he was for a time somewhat better. We were about to buy a larger house, partly with the view of making their visits to us more comfortable and giving them a good room without turning out of our own. Alas! too late for him ever to visit us there.

Sunday [Jan. 21, 1882].

Dearest H.,

I am glad you have taken the step in favour of Kensington Square. I have no doubt that F. will get used to its ways and find it come quite natural after a bit.

Yesterday, at 7.15, Bessy came to the door. "The R's have mistaken the day and are come." We scraped up just dinner enough, and Mrs Evans thought it quite a providence that she had a pigeon-pie. Mrs R. was most pleasant….

I have been reading such old letters of my mother's, about going to school; it is like looking into a forgotten picture of myself. I sent a commission to At. Eliz. in London to buy me a gown for not more than 10/- (a cotton one).

Monday [Jan. 1882].

We had a prosperous day. You may imagine how F. won Mrs R's heart. The Horaces come on the 1st Feb., which is nice, and you will come and meet them for the Saturday and Sunday I hope. We are so tidy with our grass borders cut and mended, and the poor old vine down and the clematis; and we can't think what to do with the Virginian, it looks so miserable with broken sticks all over.

At the end of the month my father's health relapsed. All February and March this state continued, and he did not dare to walk far from the house for fear of the heart pain seizing him. I have, however, happy memories of his sitting with my mother in the orchard, with the crocus eyes wide open and the birds singing in the spring sunshine.

They invited their friend Miss Forster, who was recovering from a bad illness, to come to them, and when she could bear the fatigue she was driven from London to Down. I think she was the only visitor who came for any length of time. Dr Andrew Clark came on the 10th March to see him. On the 13th I see my mother enters in her diary "looked out of window," as if that was a step; then there was a rally of a fortnight. Dr Norman Moore was also coming at intervals. On the 17th April she writes, "Good day, a little work, out in orchard twice." On the 18th, "Fatal attack at 12."

I arrived on the morning of the 19th and found him being supported by my mother and by Frank. She went away for a little rest, whilst we stayed with him. During that time he said to us, "You are the best of dear nurses." But my mother and Bessy soon had to be sent for, and he peacefully passed away at half-past three on the 19th April.

She was wonderfully calm from the very first and perfectly natural. She came down to the drawing-room to tea, and let herself be amused at some little thing and smiled, almost laughed for a moment, as she would on any other day. To us, who knew how she had lived in his life, how she shared almost every moment as it passed and sympathised with every feeling, her calmness and self-possession seemed wonderful then and are wonderful

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now to look back upon. She lived through her desolation alone, and she wished not to be thought about or considered, but to be left to rebuild her life as best she could and to think over her precious past. This wish for obscurity and oblivion came out in her eager desire to get the first sight of her neighbours over, and then, as she said, "they will not think about me any more."

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.


My dearest Leo,

It is always easier to write than to speak, and so, though I shall see you so soon, I will tell you that the entire love and veneration of all you dear sons for your Father is one of my chief blessings, and binds us together more than ever. When you arrived on Thursday in such deep grief, I felt you were doing me good and enabling me to cry, and words were not wanted to tell me how you felt for me.

Hope expresses a feeling that I should not be pitied after what I have professed and have been able to be to him. This is put very badly in my words; but hers gave me great happiness.

Lady Farrer to her aunt Emma Darwin.

Your marriage made the strongest impression on me as a young girl and influenced me deeply in my ideal of married life. I felt from childhood your and Uncle Charles's exceptional happiness together; and now that the tremendous wrench of parting has come, sympathy in your great happiness seems almost the stronger side of my feeling for you, though when I turn my thoughts to your life without him no words will do to say what I know it must be for you.

As I think of the past, scene after scene comes back—little memories of his soothed look when she was sitting by him, stroking or patting his head; or, if she were not where he expected to find her, I seem to hear him say, with a delightful tender exaggeration, "Where is that old mammy of ours got to? She is always hiding herself away, bless her." Or, "She is worth her weight in gold many times over." A friend, Mrs Ruck, wrote: "Sometimes words of the beloved come back with soothing and I want to tell you of a talk I had with dear Mr Darwin at Patterdale. We were talking of you, and he said with the deepest feeling, 'God knows she has been good to me.'" How true this was and how deeply he felt her goodness, only their children know. He wrote in his autobiography:

You all know your mother, and what a good mother she has ever been to all of you. She has been my greatest blessing, and I can declare that in my whole life I have never heard her utter one word which I would rather have been unsaid. She has never failed in kindest sympathy towards me, and has borne with the utmost patience my frequent complaints of ill-health and discomfort. I do not believe she has ever missed an opportunity of doing a kind action to anyone near her. I marvel at my good fortune, that she, so infinitely my superior in every single moral quality, consented to be my wife. She has been my wise adviser and cheerful comforter throughout life, which without her would have been during a very long period a miserable one from ill-health. She has earned the love and admiration of every soul near her.

The following notes were written by my mother soon after my father's death.

[pages] 328 - 329

1881.—Feb. 24, at Bryanston Street. Mr Blunt to lunch. C. very genial and enjoyed it—also the Ritchies particularly pleasant….

In May he much enjoyed Richter's playing, who came down with the Frankes for a few hours.

June 2. To Penrith, happy journey. C. in gay spirits. Two or three small expeds. with him across the Lake. I went with him up the valley and he went on. Also up Grisedale—beautiful light on Farm.

To Keswick—His anxiety to contrive for me to see the view—To How Town in steamboat—walked up the valley.

The Lushingtons' visit and Miss North—particularly bright and pleasant. Happy Cambridge visit. Joyous arrival at 66 [Hills Road, the Horace Darwins]—admiring the house—pretty well all the time….

His pleasure in the kind zeal of his sons in "giving up the study" to him1. This remained fresh with him to the last. Lying on sofa in drawing-room looking at what he called Hen.'s shrine2.

I will put down some things for fear I should forget if I live long. Always speaking a gracious and 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. His tenderness seemed to increase every day. George returned from West Indies on Ap. 10 [1882]. C. not up to talking for very long, but enjoyed George's news….

On Tuesday, 18, at 12 at night, he woke me, saying, "I

1 Meaning that they insisted on his taking the billiard-room for his study and giving up his old small one.

2 My arrangement of some old china and pictures that faced him as he lay on the drawing-room sofa.

have got the pain, and I shall feel better, or bear it better if you are awake." He had taken the anti-spasmodic 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, "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."…

2 May, 1882.

I can call back more precious memories by looking only a short while back…. On Sunday, Jan. 8 [1882], the "Sunday Tramps1." C. was delightful to them and enjoyed their visit heartily…. Mar. 3. Laura came. His state was now more languid, walking short distances very slowly. (I remember one walk with him to the Terrace on a beautiful, still, bright day, I suppose in Feb.)…. A peaceful time without much suffering—exquisite weather—often loitering out with him.

I used to go to bed early when he suffered so much from fatigue, and often read some time. Also got up early and read to him early after my breakfast—generally found him doing nothing, but the two last mornings he occupied himself for a short time and felt more like recovery….

Sitting with [Laura] at the entrance to the new part [of the orchard] put his arm round my shoulders and said, "Oh Laura, what a miserable man I should 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, everybody has left me, and a letter has come from

1 Walking parties arranged by Sir Leslie Stephen, Sir F. Pollock and others.

[pages] 330 - 331

Lenny and I have not heard a word about it." I reproved him for talking and disturbing my letter, and 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."

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

DOWN, Friday.

My dear Leo,

I have very little to tell you except how beautiful the weather is…. I feel a sort of wonder that I can in a measure enjoy the beauty of spring. I am trying to get some fixed things to do at certain times. Bernard's lessons are a great help to me, and some reading with Bessy; but oh, how I miss my daily fixed occupation, always received when I went to him with some sweet word of welcome.

I often admired the courage and energy with which she filled up her day and let no one perceive that she missed the framework of almost every hour's occupation. "I had my work to hold hard to and felt it was everything to me," a nephew who had lost his wife wrote to her, "but yours is a double loss."

During my father's last years her whole day was planned out to suit him, to be ready for his readings aloud, to go his walks with him, to be constantly at hand to alleviate his daily discomforts.

He breakfasted early and came out from his study to read his letters between nine and ten, have a little reading aloud, and then back again to work till about twelve o'clock. He would then come into the drawing-room till it was time for his walk. My mother would, when her strength and the weather allowed, go with him round the "sand-walk."

After luncheon he read the newspaper, then came letter writing by dictation, which was often her task, and at about three in the afternoon he would go upstairs to rest and have reading aloud. Afterwards there would be another walk together; he would then do an hour's more work, another rest and more reading aloud. His evening was passed in the drawing-room if we were alone. He read a little scientific German to himself and then there would be reading aloud or sometimes music.

The working hours in the morning would be the longest free time she had, the rest of the day was all more or less taken up. But in her widowhood the whole clay was at her disposal. Aunt Elizabeth's death the year before had already taken from her another interest and occupation. From about this time too her health was less good, and she was not able to spend so much time out of doors. Thus there was a long day to be filled up with reading, writing, or other occupations, for to the end of her life she could hardly endure doing nothing even for a quarter of an hour. But I think the years of her widowhood were happy ones. She herself said to me, "I feel I can bear your father's loss. I felt I couldn't bear A.'s." And then she added that this was her own loss and that in the past "she had had so much." The thought in her mind was that when her daughter-in-law died it was the sorrow of others which had been intolerable, and that the love she had possessed would support her through life. She

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also told me that she felt his love had grown tenderer in the last year. The only regret I ever heard her express was that she had not told him how much pleased she was at his putting up her photograph by the side of his big chair in the study, so that he saw it as he looked up from his work.

Her greater leisure was a gain to me. She wrote to me even more constantly and more fully, and let me feel and know that I was a comfort and help to her.

Emma Darwin to her son William.

DOWN, May 10, 1882.

My dearest William,

Your dear letter was a great happiness to me. I never doubted your affection for an instant, but this has brought such an overflow of it that it makes me feel that you could not spare me, and makes my life valuable to me—and in every word I say to you, I join my dear Sara.

Two or three evenings ago they all drew me in the bath-chair to the sand walk to see the blue-bells, and it was all so pretty and bright it gave me the saddest mixture of feelings, and I felt a sort of self-reproach that I could in a measure enjoy it. I constantly feel how different he would have been. I have been reading over his old letters. I have not many, we were so seldom apart, and never I think for the last 15 or 20 years, and it is a consolation to me to think that the last 10 or 12 years were the happiest (owing to the former suffering state of his health, which appears in every letter), as I am sure they were the most overflowing in tenderness.

I felt secure about him, and any little drawback was felt [by him as well as by me] to be temporary. How often he has enjoyed his study and said how good "the boys" were to make him take it. I can look back on every visit we ever paid you, and have only the impression of peaceful happiness and very little unwellness. Pleasant excursions or short drives, and the pleasant change of you returning from your work with a little news—sitting on your lawn, which I always imagine in sunshine. How he used to admire and like your old house and little lawn too, which we now look down upon….

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Saturday, May 13th, 1882.

I am trying to make stages in the day of something special to do. It often comes over me with a wave of desolate feeling that there is nothing I need do, and I think of your true words, "Poor mother, you have time enough now." The regularity of my life was such an element of happiness, and to be received every time I joined him by some word of welcome, and to feel that he was happier that very minute for my being with him. Some regrets will still come on, but I don't encourage them. I look forward to Wednesday my dearest, and feel it such a comfort to write and tell you everything.

Emma Darwin to Horace and Ida Darwin.

[DOWN] May 31st, 1882.

My two dear ones,

I have never thanked you for your affectionate invitations. We will not come now at any rate, as we shall be going to Leith Hill Place.

Whenever I do come, not till late in autumn I guess, it will be a happiness to be reminded of every particular of our last happy visit when he was so well.

[pages] 334 - 335

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

June 8th, 1882.

…I can quite understand that the change to home gave you a fresh set of painful and melancholy feelings. I am sure you will like to hear, my dear one, that I do quite well without you, though it is a never ceasing comfort to have you. Just when I parted with you I had a vivid and painful regret which sometimes returns and sometimes is softened away, and so it made me feel your going more. Sara being here these two days when I was uncomfortable was a great comfort, as she made it pleasant for Hensleigh and Fanny….I like to think how often you were here with him all these years, and how he liked your coming. "If we had known" everyone may say—but then there would not have been the security of all these years, which itself is such a great part of happiness….

LEITH HILL PLACE, June 12 [1882].

It feels very dismal doing anything for the first time so differently. F. always used to enjoy a railway journey when once started, and always was so bright and pleasant at Leith Hill Place.

I shall be glad to get home. I seem to be making more contrasts in my own mind here than there….I feel sure you never forget, my dearest. Sometimes I feel it selfish that my regrets should be so much confined to what I have lost myself. To feel there was one that I could almost always make more happy, and lessen his discomfort. But life is not flat to me, only all at a lower pitch; and I do feel it an advantage not to be grudging the years as they pass and lamenting my age.



A letter to Anthony Rich and his answer—Leonard's marriage to Elizabeth Fraser—The purchase of the Grove at Cambridge—Frank working at the Life of his father; his marriage to Ellen Wordsworth Crofts—A house to be built on the Grove fields for Frank—George's marriage to Maud Dupuy—The Green-hill and Stonyfield.

AFTER my father's death his children agreed that the following letter should be sent to Mr Anthony Rich.

W. E. Darwin to Anthony Rich.

[May, 1882].

My dear Mr Rich,

Since my father's death my brothers and sisters and I have been thinking much over your generous intention of leaving your property to my father, and, as we understood, to us as his heirs. We wish to tell you how truly grateful we feel to you for this emphatic recognition of his services to science and the world. It deeply gratified him, and we never shall forget this. I gather that it was your intention that his death should make no difference in the disposition of your property, but we want you to be assured that we feel that a new state of things has arisen, and one of which you could not calculate the effect until it actually came. No one as long as they live can help

[pages] 336 - 337

acquiring new interests, and it is impossible for you to foresee what may happen in the years I hope you may still have to live.

We, therefore, earnestly beg you to remember that if you should see fit to alter the disposition of your property, we shall never feel that we owe you any less gratitude for your generous intentions towards our dear father; and we ask you to keep this letter, in order that you may always bear in mind that this is our most deliberate request.

I am,

Yours always gratefully and sincerely,


Anthony Rich to W. E. Darwin.

May 17, 1882.

Dear William Darwin,

Yours of yesterday just received. I answer it at once without leaving the table at which I was sitting while reading it.

First of all: many thanks for the photograph of your father, which is exceedingly good, both for the likeness and the execution. On the last count, it may be somewhat more picturesque than the one which your brother Leonard gave me of his own taking, and which I have had framed and hung up in my room, where it reminds me daily of the actual presence of one for whom I seemed to feel a positive affection, as well as veneration and respect. Both are admirable likenesses, and both will be treasures to me.

Next for the Hill of Corn [Cornhill]—I made my will before writing to your father to tell him the dispositions I had made; and nothing could induce me to alter it in that respect. It is a source of pleasure and pride to me to think that it could have been in my power to do anything which would give him ever so small an amount of gratification, and I am equally pleased to think that, when my course is also run, property which belonged to me will descend to the worthy children of so noble a man. I do not usually keep letters after answering them, but I may perhaps leave this one of yours in my desk, not for the purpose you suggest, but as an evidence, if wanted, of the dignified disinterestedness of yourself and brothers and sisters. Possibly I may see you here some day or other, in the fulness of time? Then I could tell you vivâ voce many details respecting the property which it would be advisable for you to know; otherwise I would write, and will hereafter, upon any points on which you may desire to be informed. For the present, however, this may suffice…. I hope that you and your brother George will send me a line now and then, just to keep me en rapport with you all, and to let me know how the smiles and sunshine, or the slights and arrows of the world and the world's ways, are falling upon you. In the monotony of my daily life, I never can screw up courage enough to take an initiative in anything: but I am scrupulously exact in answering; that I promise you—and that

I am,

Very sincerely yours,

Leonard had become engaged to Elizabeth Fraser, the sister of a brother officer, now General Sir Thomas Fraser, in the spring of 1882, and was married on July 11th. Elizabeth, or as she was called in the family, Bee, had paid a visit at Down before my father's death. They went to live at Camberley, where Leonard was working at the Staff College.

L. II. 22

[pages] 338 - 339

Emma Darwin to her daughter-in-law Ida.

DOWN, Monday, July 24 [1882].

My dear Ida,

We have just had G.'s telegram with the terrible news about F. Balfour. Few or none out of his family will feel it so deeply as Horace and you and George. His scientific loss is very great; but I feel so much more his personal loss, such an entirely high-minded and single-minded man—a friend that will not be supplied….

The winters at Down in the great empty house would have been lonely for my mother and Bessy, and it was therefore decided that she should take a house at Cambridge, where two of her sons, George and Horace, were living, and where Frank could better go on with his Botanical work.

The Grove, a pleasant house on the Huntingdon Road, a mile from Great St Mary's, was bought, and there she spent her winters till her death. She thus describes the garden: "I think the Grove garden is the very place for an old person, such nooks and corners for shelter and seats." It had a charm of old walls and spreading wych elms which gave it character and individuality. There she lived with her daughter Bessy, so that she was never alone and had always the knowledge that her life was bound up in Bessy's, and that her love made the sunshine of Bessy's life.

Before she left Down, Sir Joseph Hooker came to pay her a visit. My father had been more attached to him than to anyone outside his own family and his affection was warmly returned. She wrote, "Sir J. was a good deal agitated on coming in." Another farewell visit was from Lady Derby1.

At 12 came Lady Derby all the way from London and straight back again. She was quite depressed almost all the visit, and I felt impelled to talk a little openly to her, and everything she said was so feeling and tasteful. Then Frank came in and she discussed the difficulties of the Life with him and was very nice.

A furnished house was taken whilst the Grove was being added to and altered. She wrote to Bessy from Cambridge:

I kept thinking of our last arrival here, so joyous with your father enjoying the new house [the Horaces'] and admiring all the belongings.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

[Nov. 1882.]

Your being with me yesterday was an immense comfort, besides the help you were, it took off half the dismalness. I hope you did not look in at the study. It looked so horrid.

This meant that the poor study was all covered up in dust sheets, and some of the books and pictures taken to Cambridge.

A great pleasure at Cambridge was the little baby Erasmus, the eldest child of Horace and Ida, now eleven months old.

1 Mary Catherine, second daughter of the fifth Earl De La Warr, married first to the second Marquess of Salisbury, and secondly to the 15th Earl of Derby; she lived much at Holwood, about one and a half miles from Down.


[pages] 340 - 341

It is pleasant work feeding Erasmus. I was giving him little crumbs of cake and he standing giggling for more. He sits every day in his chair at luncheon and insists upon having a great deal of pudding besides his own broth, flapping his fins between each mouthful.

My father and mother were so little separated after marriage that she had but few letters besides those written during their engagement. It was a deep regret to her that she had not kept his scraps of notes when they were apart for a day or two. But the letters I have already given and some others she called her "precious packet," and always took with her wherever she went. When William, on looking through his own letters, found one to her from my father, she wrote to me: "It felt like a fresh treasure; you shall see it."

Frank was now engaged on the Life of my father. My mother had a shrinking dread of the publicity beforehand, though the tact and feeling with which it was written changed her fear into satisfaction, and it became only a happiness to her.

Jan. 16, 1883, Cambridge.

Dearest H.,

It is true that I don't care for art, but I do care about a poor widow, so you must keep the £10. Yesterday-being sunshiny and warm I went in the bath-chair to the end of Trinity Avenue and walked up to the courts with Camilla, leaving the chair waiting for me. On Sunday I took two little walks, and altogether I am quite at my best. Rasmus called in his pram., driven by Ida. I was pleased at his putting out his arms to me as soon as he saw me and trotting about the room quite tame……

I have been reading Frank's notes on F. and I am quite delighted with them. The picture is so minute and exact that it is like a written photograph, and so full of tender observation on Frank's part. The whole picture makes me feel astonished at myself that I can make out a cheerful life after losing him. He filled so much space with his interest, sympathy and graciousness, besides his love underlying and pervading all. I think Frank has done so wisely in writing down everything.

I wrote a little note to him, as I knew I should break down in telling him what I felt.…


A fine, frosty morning which quite cheers one. Well, our dinner was most elegant. The soup was universally admired after the company went. It was all pleasant and easy—but what a difference I now feel in company talk. I used sometimes to feel that it was too impersonal for my taste; but now it is utter gossip from first to last, and you feel such a want of a real interest coming out through the merriment that used to be so delightful….

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 21st [1883].

…I went to a party yesterday and am all the better for it—at 66 [the Horace Darwins']—to hear Miss Shinner play with X. She is a pupil of Joachim, and played very perfectly and easily and with a sweet tone, of which I perceived the contrast to poor F.'s when she played a thing of Raff's which I had heard him play. X. played such absurd antics over a simple accompaniment, swaying about and nodding fiercely at every chord. I wonder a good player condescends to such tricks. She is quite simple, and her little hands looked so pretty. She is also pretty, which does no harm. The things she played were all the sweet cavatina sort, one a beautiful Romance of Beethoven just like Mozart. Mr W. came in to lunch yesterday. Too

[pages] 342 - 343

much of a professed amusing man and too knowing about everything….

In April she wrote to me after the anniversary of my father's death: "It seems to me that the actual anniversary does not bring so much to one's mind as the time before it. Sometimes it feels to me nearer than it did six months ago."

I think Down and the past was always in the back of her mind, though she was happy in the present. She rejoiced in all old associations, even to caring for the "dear old azaleas" from Down: "I know their faces so well" she wrote to me.

I find this sentence in a letter to me written about this time: "B.'s [the gardener] wife is dead and he has brought home a very sweet-looking turnspitish dog." I do not know how it would strike anyone else, but to her children it would seem very characteristic. It was to her an interesting fact that she would meet a "sweet-looking dog" in the garden.

May 13 [1883].

The weather changed yesterday to warm rain, and today it is quite lovely.

The two B.'s are gone to church, one of them what Bernard thinks quite too swell, and I think her hat too much so. But a person is much happier in my opinion for being fond of dress….

Before our new house was ready my mother stayed with us in some lodgings in Kensington. That little visit lives in my memory as especially enjoyable, although she was not well.

CAMBRIDGE [May 1883].

It was tiresome my being poorly, but it was much more comfortable my being poorly with you than here….Ras was so friendly at once, and held out his arms to come to me. He was very jolly and racy and everything he does is amusing.

Emma Darwin to her son Francis.

31, KENSINGTON SQUARE, Saturday, June 9th, '83.

We had such a pretty concert of the young Lushingtons. If they go on as they begin they will be she-Joachims— such pretty tone and facility and perfect tune. They played a brilliant Trio of Mendelssohn and a lovely slow movement, besides slow solo Irish and Scotch airs beautifully played….We go down by the 3 o'clock, and I am very glad we have a bright day. I should have felt it more dismal returning to the dear old place on a bad day.

DOWN, Sunday, '83.

My dear Frank,

Dubsy [Bernard] greeted us over the wall and was anxious that we should at once witness "something greater" than he had ever done before. This was climbing over the wall and down by the gate and up again, but it involved so much tearing of the ivy that we were obliged to stop it after once showing it off. Afterwards he was climbing up the old ash tree to where it was set on fire, and when he was up there he called out, "I wish you could come up here and see the hole, Grandmamma." He was intensely happy rushing about. To-day has been perfect, a north wind and bright sun. The azaleas mostly over, but a good many fine rhododendrons; and the quiet and liberty is charming after St Peter's [Terrace]. Parslow came up to see us and talk over things, bringing Hector [his dog], who is as engaging as ever and not so ugly. I always

[pages] 344 - 345

thought he had a great charm, and so he has still. It all looks dry and baked, which is a cheerful look we have not seen for a long time….

My brother Frank, who lived with my mother at the Grove, Cambridge, had become engaged to Ellen Wordsworth Crofts, lecturer on History at Newnham College, in the summer of 1883, and was married in the same autumn. This ended my mother's care of her grandchild Bernard, now six years old.

Emma Darwin to her son Francis.

DOWN, 1883.

My dear Frank,

This is only a line to say I have received your happy letter and your dear Ellen's most feeling and charming expressions to Bessy and me….Horace and Ida are here, and your ears ought to have been burning last evening, we had so much to say about you both. Miss Clough greeted Ida, "So you have robbed me of my lecturer," as if it were Ida's fault. She was very nice and sympathetic about it, and said she should feel complete confidence in trusting Ellen to you.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

DOWN, July 7th, 1883, Saturday.

Dearest Hen.,

I took a holiday from letters yesterday and loitered about the haystack, etc. Horace is such a delightful playfellow I don't know what Dubsy will do without him. He [Horace] thinks it good for his soul to torment him within an inch of his life. Our strawberries are grand, and there are some in the house who certainly enjoy them. I found we were spending 5s a day on cream and milk, so Mrs B. and I were equally shocked and are not going to be so magnificent. To-day I expect Alice and Eliza Carter, and I have a nice novel and nice work, and I mean to fill up my time by looking over the wine and doing any other unpleasant thing I can think of….

The following is written whilst my mother was taking care of her little grandson Erasmus.

Emma Darwin to her son Horace.

DOWN, Aug. 29th, 1883.

…Two nights ago Ras. woke about 11, and chose to play and enjoy himself the whole night, every now and then walking about the room. I heard nothing of it, and last night he slept well. He is very fond of his two remaining Uncoos, but considers me the safest on the whole.

I shall miss his dear little face—no more to-day.

Yours, my two dear ones,
E. D.

There seems to have been a talk of her taking him with her on a visit to her old invalid friend Ellen Tollet, but she writes: "Much as I love his little face I am glad to go to Ellen's without him."

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

DOWN, Sept. 10th, 1883.

Yesterday such a lovely day, every leaf shining. Dubsy spent almost all day on his tricycle, going to the end of the kitchen garden and back whilst Frank timed him with his watch. He came down at such a rate it looked delightful. It is just ¼ of a mile, and he must have gone 5 or 6 miles. He is now gone out alone, and

[pages] 346 - 347

I am going to time him presently, as Frank is gone to London. B. dresses himself in the most knowing fashion for his tricycle, without his coat and waistcoat and with a jersey and his grand band.

How well Berchtesgaden would suit me. It sounds perfection. Old women1 are turning up, so good-bye my dear.

P.S. I have been quite affected at Elinor's affection for me. I will send you her note. William was waiting in London since Friday and did not know I was here. I should so have enjoyed him that lovely Sunday.

This autumn they were to move straight to the Grove, and of course there was much settling and arranging, which however she took very calmly, as her custom was. She was more interested in landscape gardening than furnishing, and the cutting down of the trees was entirely decided by her. She wrote: "I attended the downfall of the great elm over the lodge and it really was a grand sight, especially when it took the matter into its own hands and resolved to crush a good-sized sycamore, instead of going the way they were pulling."

Frank after his marriage was planning to build a house on part of the Grove fields. This would of course enable my mother to see Bernard almost as often as if he still lived with her, and as she told Frank at the time of my father's death, Bernard was a chief element in her happiness.

1 Meaning some of the sick or poor of the neighbourhood.

Emma Darwin to her son Francis.


Dear Frank,

I can always write pros and cons easier than speak them; and I want you and Ellen to consider whether it is not rash of you to take so irrevocable a step as to begin your house at once—whether it would not be wiser to wait 6 months and see what your occupation at Cambridge would eventually be (which would be a small sacrifice), and whether if something permanent was within your power elsewhere you had not better hold yourself loose for a time. There is another point to be considered, viz., the relations between Ellen and Bernard; and I think everything else, and above all the pleasure which Bessy and I should have in the constant running in and out of Bernard, ought to give way to the best way of Ellen's obtaining his affection and obedience, and also the feeling that your house should be his real home….I don't fear anything of that sort, as Bernard is ten times as fond of you as of anyone else. He is very methodical too, and never finds it irksome to do the usual thing at the right time.

If on consideration you think it best to delay building, it might be better to take the more comfortable house further off. Of course my wish is to have you as near as possible at once; but I should be quite content the other way, and I think you have hardly given consideration enough to these two points. You can tell me what you think. At my age, 75, I cannot look on any arrangement as very durable for me, and it is no effort to me to give up what would be the pleasantest present plan if it does not seem to be wisest; and in this feeling Bessy joins, though she would feel the weaning from Bernard much more painfully than I should do.

Yours, my two dear children, E. D.

I don't in the least mind talking about it, but I can write more clearly than speak.

[pages] 348 - 349

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Friday night [Dec. 1883].

Bessy and Mrs Myers are gone to the Electra of the young ladies at Girton. We were talking about the play before Bernard when he said, "Is it nice?" I answered, "Yes, very nice."

B.: What is it about?

Me: About a woman murdering her mother.

This account of a nice play was too much for Jackson's gravity. I have been reading your father's letters to William which he has kept. There is a great deal of anxiety about the health of you. What a blessing science was to him through all his anxieties and his bad health. It made him able to forget all for a few hours.

Wednesday [1883].

Mrs Carlyle1 is almost too sad, chiefly from such terrible bodily sufferings, but how she could write such disloyal letters about him, and still more how he could bear to publish them!

Thursday [1883].

I do so want to talk over Mrs Carlyle with you, and I hope you will get it soon. It is most interesting and entertaining, but what a coarse woman, though only to a husband. But one gets fond of her through everything. She has Carlyle's taste for very disagreeable personal observations.

In the winter of 1884 I suffered a great loss in the death of my friend Mrs Vernon Lushington.

[Jan. 1884.]

The grief of young people is so unmeasured and so new. She will be a daily and hourly loss to your life.

1 Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle.

All that pleasure in your belongings was an outlet for her affection.

Sat. [Feb. 1884].

I hope the poor girls will be encouraged to continue their life and pursuits as much like the old life as they can. I hope they will feel that their mother would have wished it to be so. Ida's loss of a mother was in some respects worse as she had no sister, and yet one is glad to think that happiness came to her after not a long interval. I feel sure you will be a real comfort to them, as you know how to sympathise with the feelings of the very young in the small things that make up life.

Saturday [March 1884].

I am deep in Maurice1, and if I could keep to my resolution of never even trying to understand him, I should quite enjoy the book. I think his influence must have arisen entirely from what he was and not from what he taught.

Monday [April 1884].

I find I do get more glimmerings about Maurice's opinions; but why could not he be happier? One feels almost angry with all his self-reproach about his wife, whom he evidently adored. Man was certainly intended to be made of stouter stuff. It is comical to read Swift's journal along with Maurice, so undoubting and passionate, angry and affectionate.

George, her second son, was engaged to be married to Maud Dupuy, of Philadelphia, a niece of Lady Jebb. The engagement had taken place in the winter, and Maud was now going home before their marriage.

1 Life of F. D. Maurice by his son, General Sir F. Maurice.

[pages] 350 - 351

Emma Darwin to her daughter-in-law Ida.

THE GROVE, Tuesday, April 15th [1884].

…Maud had to put on her wedding-dress in order to say at the Custom-house in America that she had worn it, so we asked her to come down and show it to us. She came down with great simplicity and quietness (there was only Richard besides G.), only really pleased at its being admired and at looking pretty herself, which was strikingly the case. She was a little shy at coming in, and sent in Mrs Jebb to ask George to come out and see it first and bring her in. It was handsome and simple. I like seeing George so frivolous, so deeply interested in which diamond trinket should be my present, and in her new Paris morning dress, in which he felt quite unfit to walk with her.

Emma Darwin to Maud Dupuy.

THE GROVE, Tuesday [1884].

My dear Maud,

This is only a line to wish you good-bye. I have been so vexed at George's attack, which is so ill-timed and prevents the enjoyment of your last days together. How I hope he may be able to accompany you to-morrow to Liverpool, but I am afraid it is very doubtful.

Your visit here was a great happiness to me, as something in you (I don't know what) made me feel sure you would always be sweet and kind to George when he is ill and uncomfortable.

No doubt you will send a telegram to George on your safe arrival and he will forward it to me. I hope you will have a happy meeting with all your dear ones at home. I am glad to think you are such a good sailor.

My dear Maud,

Yours affectionately,

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

THE GROVE, Ap. 30 [1884].

I sat out twice, and the last time I was out more than an hour getting all over the estate and having a long concert from a nightingale close by. Frank is too busy and tired to come to dinner but came in for a call yesterday. Emily's intense obligingness is very pretty. She got up from her corner last night to bring forward a chair for Frank. It would have been absurd in anyone else, as he could just as well have done it himself, but her simplicity carried it off, and she wanted him to take her corner, so they had a little chair game, he popping suddenly into the chair she brought and saying when he went away, "Now you may have my chair."

You shall come whichever Saturday you like, but the nicest would be to come on both. On the 10th we have Laura and on the 17th Sir J. and Lady Hooker, who have just offered themselves. I think it horrid of M. not to come and devote herself entirely to E. I am afraid she is working out her own salvation, which I agree with Maurice in thinking so wicked.

I got Gordon on the brain last night and he bothered me very much—more than the Daily News can set straight, I fear. Now I will get up, with no fire too; so good-bye, my dear.


May 21st [1884].

As far as I make out you will naturally be with us till the Whit Tuesday, and I hope you and R. might be tempted to stay and see the first day's race. I don't know whether you feel above such frivolities, but I should like it even at my age but for being tired. Bessy and I had a pleasant tea at the Myers'. She showed me many

[pages] 352 - 353

photos., and gave me a good one of herself and Leo; also many beauties, one lovely one of Mrs Langtry with nothing particular on. My two old gents1 came quite fresh and not tired, and were quite ready to talk all evening. It is fine but cold, and will suit well for them to poke about. Their first impression in driving here was of meanness and smallness in the streets. Rasimousy and Ruth [æt. 2½ and 9 months] are to come and spend the day, which will be a treat for Uncle Frank.

THE GROVE, Monday [1884].

The Hookers' visit has been very pleasant. William came late on Friday night. He and Sir J. had a great deal of talk and also with Frank about the Life. Sir J. pleased me last night by saying: "The boys are not a bit altered—just as nice as they were at Down."

I am trying not to feel as if we were going to Down tomorrow. I made William wheel me to the end of the walk and we sat some time. He is charmed with the place.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

CAMBRIDGE, Friday [1884?].

…Theo. and Sally2 came yesterday in time for our garden party, which, thanks to the weather, looked very pretty, and there was plenty of talk. If it were not for the bother of talking, and still more of listening, I should like it very well, but my mind is not free enough. I pretended to know everyone, and only came to dire disgrace on one occasion by rashly mentioning a name.

1 Her two brothers Harry and Frank, who probably had not been in Cambridge since they were there as undergraduates some sixty years since.

2 Theodora Sedgwick, William's sister-in-law, and his niece Sara Norton.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

DOWN, Tuesday [July 1884].

I went in the open carriage to see Mrs Percival and have arranged that she is to go to her daughter's and have the same allowance as here. It did not tire me.

Ras and Ruth are out under the yew-trees with swing and boat all day long. To-day by my request Miss A. is going to bring the Miss X.s, their next-door neighbours, the family with the horrid brother. They feel quite like pariahs in the village, nobody speaking to them, as naturally nobody will call owing to the brother, who is something like insane and imbecile and violent and ill-behaved. I explained not calling, owing to my age. I am sorry poor old Dubsy loses the hay harvest here.

Yours, my dear,

This family did not stay long in the village. Her letter reminds me how ready she was to hold out a helping hand to people in a position less interesting than the "poor," those just a little below herself in cultivation and social rank. Being such a short time at Down she could of course do very little for these girls; but she knew that her asking them to her house would in some degree soothe their mortified feelings. Many would have felt in like case, "As I can do so very little, what is the use of doing anything?"

The following letters relate to the school at Down, where the schoolmaster was too severe to the children. His wife was teaching Bernard at the time, and was a remarkably nice woman, which made my mother's action more disagreeable and difficult.

L. II. 23

[pages] 354 - 355

DOWN, Monday [Aug. 1884].

Dearest H.,

You must have delightful evenings on the river, but I should think it was too hot in the mornings. There was a nice breeze yesterday, and I sat out in the field to the N. of the Sand-walk. Bernard had a long game of cricket last night with Albert and Frank Skinner. I went to Mrs Skinner about the school, and she had put down the dates of the punishments. It was four times in the week, besides a violent flogging for some moral offence. One caning was for blotting his copy-book!! one for talking, and others for not doing dictation or sums right.

I have written to Mr Forrest and he promises to call to-morrow. I am sure that nothing will cure a man who has a habit of caning for such small offences. It shows that he must rather like it. I suppose I must soon tell Mrs Z. what I am about, and I suppose she will not like to continue teaching here.

Saturday, Aug. 31 [1884].

Sir John Lubbock was at the meeting, and the result is, on Mr Z. denying severity, that they scold him and let him go on, telling the mothers however to inform against him in future. They seem to have ignored his omitting to note his punishments, but I shall hear more from Parslow.

Monday.—Parslow seems to have been utterly useless at the meeting, not hearing what the women said from his deafness, and not having understood the value of the Skinner children's testimony and believing what Mr Z. said. Sir John told the mothers to complain of any infringement of the rules, and Mr Z. that he is to note even one stroke of the cane, so as his time is short let us hope he may control his temper.

DOWN, Sept. 8 [1884].

The last fine day I was drawn to the Green-hill. I don't believe I saw it last year. It looked so pretty and the lane so grown and bowery, and put me in mind of times when I used to sit and watch for him while he went further. I shall try to get to the terrace below Stonyfield.

She had a very special feeling about these two little walks—walks that were associated with happy times, for it was a sure sign of my father's feeling pretty well that he ventured from his safe "Sand-walk," down a pleasant field at the end of the kitchen garden, over a stile, and then along a grassy terrace, looking across the quiet green valley on to the woods beyond. The terrace was sheltered from the north-east by a rough shaw of beeches and an undergrowth of sloes, traveller's joy, service-trees and hawthorn, and this bank was particularly gay with the flowers that love a chalk soil—little yellow rock-rose, milkwort, orchises, ladies' finger, harebells, coronilla, scabious and gentian. There were rabbits in the shaw, and Polly, the little fox-terrier, loved this walk too. My father would pace to and fro, and my mother would sometimes sit on the dry chalky bank waiting for him, and be pulled by him up the little steep pitch on the way home.

The following letter is after the return to Cambridge.

THE GROVE, Wednesday [Dec. 1884].

Dearest H.,

It was very pleasant yesterday though sharp, and I took a little giro ending in the Orchard1, and I find

1 The house built by Horace Darwin on part of the Grove field.


[pages] 356 - 357

that I can walk home quite well and not have the bother of being sent for. The dinner-party was very pleasant. Mr——looked dejected at first, but they did not know whether it was the imperfection of the lobster sauce or the champagne. He cheered up afterwards and had a long talk with M., when he took a lump of sugar and ate it, which she says is a sign he is quite happy. I did not know anyone but Aunt Eliz. and me ever did that—my father used also to do it.

Her greater freedom from anxiety during these last years made itself felt in her increased power of attaching new friends and her freedom and ease in conversing with them. The number of books she read and her perfectly original way of looking at them; her vivid interest in contemporary politics and her power of entering into other people's lives, made her company refreshing and exhilarating. Her friends never felt that they were coming to see someone out of active life, to whom they had to bring food. I remember her amused horror at finding one of her daughters-in-law had not heard of New Tipperary during the height of the excitement about it.

I see that about now she gave up coming in to dinner when there was anything of a party, partly from increased deafness but chiefly that she was not so strong. She writes, "Dubsy and I had our ices in the washus," a Dickens allusion which need not be explained.



The unveiling of the statue of Charles Darwin—My mother's dog, Dicky—A visit from her brothers Frank and Hensleigh—Oxlip gathering—Her politics—Playing patience and reading novels—Her grandchildren and daughters-in-law—The Down villagers—The publication of my father's Life.

THE Memorial Statue of my father was to be unveiled on the 9th June, 1885, at the Natural History Museum. My mother did not attend the ceremony, although she had had some thoughts of going, for she wrote, "I should like very much to be present but I should prefer avoiding all greetings and acquaintances."

Emma Darwin to her daughter-in-law Sara.

DOWN, Monday [June 29th, 1885].

My dear Sara,

I came on Friday, having spent two days at 31, Queen Anne St.

One of the mornings I went to see the statue. The situation is unique and I liked the attitude, but I do not think it is a strong likeness. George has been with Mr Boehm to have a cast of his hand taken as a sort of guide to altering the hands; but I believe if he attempted to make

[pages] 358 - 359

them as small as they really were, they would look out of proportion with the size of the figure. I also perceived the defect in the eyes that you attempted to get altered. However I never expected to be satisfied with the likeness, and the general look of dignity and repose is of more consequence.

It was a dismal black day on my arrival [at Down], but I was glad to wander about alone before the others came. On Saturday it was pretty and bright and the garden very gay, and everything in great order. I loitered about a great deal, and got to the end of the Sand-walk on my own legs, a great improvement in my powers of walking on last year.

I saw Parslow1 on Saturday and he was still full of the day at South Kensington. He said he should never forget the scene as long as he lived, and he was grateful to William for having planned it all. Being recognized (as he thought) by [Admiral] Sulivan gratified him too, and the reception at Leonard's, down to the "Port and Sherry," was all delightful….

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

DOWN [Summer 1885].

On Tuesday we had the —s for tea. She is pleasant and with some fun in her. I am sure he is a very good stepfather, but what a bore it would be to marry four little boys.

I am reading a short étude of Scherer (a Genevese I think) on Goethe, in which I so heartily agree that I enjoy it. He [Goethe] had the aim of avoiding all agitations or sorrow, which was deeply selfish.

Frank has entirely won Dicky's affections, and lets him worry and kiss him all over.

1 The old butler then retired and living at Down.

When my mother had been at Brighton in the spring, her niece Mrs Vaughan Williams, who was there with her mother Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, knowing she would like a little dog, found a puppy for her and her great-niece Margaret Vaughan Williams undertook his education, but I think it is hard to say which spoilt him most, Margaret or my mother. He remained very disobedient, and my mother, faithful to her plans of education by bribery, has been known to take out a packet of partridge bones when she was going in the bath-chair to tempt Dicky not to roam. He was however the greatest possible pleasure to her and her faithful little companion. She describes how "he snuggles up to me in the bath-chair and gets up quite close to my face."

Emma Darwin to her daughter-in-law Ellen.


…We are now a very small party, Georges and Leonards being gone…We had merry games of whist every night, and attempted to make Ernest Wedgwood coach us, but I suppose he thought too poorly of our powers and pleaded ignorance. The puppy arrived from Leith Hill Place and Bernard really enjoys him, and feeds him and tries to win his affections. He, is very pretty and always on Hen.'s lap —utterly naughty and disobedient and with a dreadful bark, but very engaging….

July 27th, '85.

My dear Ellen,

I hear that you and your puppies are settled at home, and I wonder when you will be coming to us. The Hookers leave us to-day. The weather has been perfect, except that it is too hot for any exercise—sitting under

[pages] 360 - 361

the lime trees has been my utmost exertion. The poor flowers have not grown an inch, but look gay and full of flower…I am studying Dicky my new dog, and I am afraid he has no heart and hardly any conscience, but I shall be content if he is fond of me, otherwise I will return him to his foster-mother. He is so pretty that I shall have no difficulty in getting a good place for him. I hope your poor puppy will soon be happier. Would not Otter sleep with him?

Emma Darwin to her son Francis.


My dear Frank,

There is one sentence in the Autobiography which I very much wish to omit, no doubt partly because your father's opinion that all morality has grown up by evolution is painful to me; but also because where this sentence comes in, it gives one a sort of shock and would give an opening to say, however unjustly, that he considered all spiritual beliefs no higher than hereditary aversions or likings, such as the fear of monkeys towards snakes.

I think the disrespectful aspect would disappear if the first part of the conjecture was left without the illustration of the instance of monkeys and snakes. I don't think you need consult William about this omission, as it would not change the whole gist of the Autobiography. I should wish if possible to avoid the giving pain to your father's religious friends who are deeply attached to him, and I picture to myself the way that sentence would strike them, even those so liberal as Ellen Tollet and Laura, much more Admiral Sulivan, Aunt Caroline, &c., and even the old servants.

Yours, dear Frank,
E. D.

The following tells of a visit of her two brothers Frank and Hensleigh, aged 84 and 82. Her eldest living brother, Harry, died in October of this year, aged 85.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

DOWN, Saturday, Sept. [1885].

We have had two charming warm days which I hope you have enjoyed. Our two old gents are very placid and comfortable. Dicky thinks them very nice and is always insisting upon being on their knees. Hensleigh resists feebly; but Frank gave up the point and went to sleep nursing him.

I have heard from Miss Skipworth saying how much Miss Pugh enjoyed her outing on the Mendip Hills. She was out all day gathering grasses and flowers and is much more amiable.

Miss Pugh, a lonely woman with no relations, had been our governess for about a year in 1857. She became insane soon after leaving us. She was befriended as long as she lived by my mother, who visited her in the asylum where she was generously kept by Sir John Hawkshaw, whose children she had taught. My mother paid for a summer change for her for some thirty years. It was a costly charity, amounting I believe to £30 a year, but even after Miss Pugh's mind had almost entirely failed, she could not bear to cut off a possible alleviation of her sad life.

Mrs Osborn, mentioned below, was an old stone-deaf cottager at Down. She had been provided by my mother with another pensioner, Alice Carter, a lame partially blind woman, as nurse.

[pages] 362 - 363

I went down to Mrs Osborn yesterday, and there was an unmistakeable look of pleasure at the sight of me. She talked on in her strong voice, and insisted on giving me her spectacles when I left. She was a little confused, but I am afraid may live a long time. I must see about getting a grate put in, which I suppose should be Sir John's business. Alice Carter was in her Sunday's best and everything delicately clean.

DOWN [Autumn, 1885].

I went and sat in the Stony Field to take my last look of the autumn lights. There was only one swallow for Dicky, so he sat on my lap watching.

This was her good-bye to Down for 1885.

Oct. [1885, CAMBRIDGE].

I do not like Grant Allen's book about your father. It is prancing and wants simplicity. I am reading his Journal1 after a long interval. It gives me a sort of companionship with him which makes me feel happy—only there are so many questions I want to ask.

THE GROVE, Thursday [Nov. 1885].

I am relieved at your account of L. I was horridly vexed when I heard how unwell she was and kept thinking "poor Henrietta," putting myself in mind of Judge Alderson's joke that if he broke his leg all the Aunts would say "Poor Caroline" [his mother-in-law Mrs Drewe].

I am so pleased to find how comfortable I can make this baby2. She is so placid and spends her time devoted to the gas: but answering any attention by a smile and gathering herself up in a lump with both fists in her mouth….

1 Journal of Researches, etc., by C. D.

2 Gwendolen Mary Darwin, eldest child of George, three months old.

I took Dick across to call on Mrs Skinner, and a dog attacked him and muddied him and made him squeak. He came up to me for pity and protection. I don't think he was really hurt, and when we returned the dog was still there and Dicky kept his tail up with great spirit, though he kept very close to me.

I find Bonaparte's correspondence very interesting, though his dreadful wickedness in Italy, and cruelty in Egypt, is almost too worrying; I think Lanfrey was only too lenient.

In 1886 there are many entries in her diary of fatigue and other health discomforts; but whenever she was a little better her spirit was as elastic as ever.

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 2nd [1886].

I enjoyed my outing and walked all about. All the children and Bernard and Walter [the coachman's son] were a long time in the field flying such a good kite that I could not look high enough for it for some time. Ruth [æt. 2] looked such a comical figure walking about with her muff. I had a nice tête-à-tête evening with Ida.

We had the children to tea and hide-and-seek. Rasmus (æt. 3) asked me "Grandmama, did your little children have kites?" I wonder whether he knows who my little children are.

THE GROVE, Ap. 30, 1886.

I am a good deal charmed by Jeffrey's letters; they have some of the taste of Lamb's. The life is dull, as Lord Cockburn cannot resist giving a long character of every one he mentions, and there is that weary Edinburgh Review again. Trollope's Vicar of Bullhampton contains some of his best—all about the miller and the Dissenting Chapel troubles and the Vicar's character, but the love affair is simply disgusting.

[pages] 364 - 365

The following letter describes a picnic to a wood some distance from Cambridge which is remarkable for the masses of oxlips growing there. It is written to me at Malvern where I had gone to recover from an illness.

CAMBRIDGE, Spring, 1886.

It was a bitter high east wind for the picnic in the woods, but the sun came out and the boys enjoyed it heartily.

The oxlips were quite lovely in masses in the wood, which was sheltered, and with such variety that they seemed of quite different species. How F. would have liked to see such variation going on. They brought home bushels of them and some roots. A gamekeeper tried to dislodge them, and after the manner of men, Horace was for packing up and going home at once. But some fair words and H.'s card mollified him and he let them stay, "but they must never come again."

I am reading Lady Verney's Peasant Proprietors with great interest. Her account is equally squalid, wretched and dirty everywhere from Belgium through to Vienna, back to Aix and Metz, except the Canton de Vaud, where there is some enterprise, and other outlets. It would be good reading for the socialists. I am surprised at her vulgarity—despising Shoolbred's carpets, American tourists, and patronising the Venus of Milo.

Good-bye my dear, I hope you have some nice books for I am afraid you will not get out much. My love to R. I hope he will have some Lawn Tennis.

Every summer my mother used to invite a blind girl, the daughter of her cook, to Down for a month and this was continued even after the cook was not any longer in her service. There were

many visitors of this kind, old servants, or the children of present servants.

[Spring, 1886.]

The poor blind girl is come and I shall make Mrs B. bring her up to see me and get to have her a little at ease with me. I should like to hear about her life at the Asylum…

I shall very soon be fixing my day to come to you, my dear. I have been so "awfully used" to you lately that I miss you sadly, but I have got through these two days quite comfortably. I hope you will come at Easter but I shall not be affronted if you go to Laura. I believe your advice was quite right about my keeping extra quiet when I do any desperate deed, such as calling on Mrs—.

My mother, who was an ardent Unionist, was keenly following the debates on the first Home Rule Bill. She had been a staunch Whig-liberal all her life, but the natural tendency of old age towards Conservatism perhaps made it easier for her not to follow Gladstone when he sprung Home Rule upon the Liberal party. She had never, however, made an idol of Gladstone—her character was too different from his.

I was absorbed in the debate yesterday, Gladstone's was a very fine speech with all the obstacles to the scheme slurred over, and with a very unworthy comparison about intimidation in England. I am glad he spoke so highly of Albert Dicey's book. Trevelyan's1 speech was grand, and Parnell's a mere personal attack and squabble, and very bad even for him. I wonder how it will end.

1 Sir George Trevelyan was then a Liberal Unionist.

[pages] 366 - 367

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

The GROVE, Sunday [? March 1886].

I am in a fever of anxiety that Chamberlain and Trevelyan don't give way, and then I think Gladstone must collapse. I shall be very sorry for him however; to end his political life with such a fiasco, when no doubt he had hopes of doing good.…

I strongly recommend The Life of Henrietta Kerr—a nun. It is curious to compare the mind of a real Catholic and that of a semi-Catholic like Miss Sewell—and the step between is very broad. The book is very entertaining as well as interesting.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

THE GROVE, May 1886.

The east wind and bright sun are just what I like, and our old nightingale sang 8 or 9 hours at a stretch yesterday. I wonder whether it is the same—he is louder and more tipsy than ever. I sit out a good deal. The beds in front look so brilliant with short little tulips.

I am tempted by an Essay of Lady Verney's to read Milman's History of the Jews. Ask R. whether I should like to read it.

The field looks pretty with the wych-elm flowers, but not with the old glory.

Bessy had been a tour abroad this spring. On her return my mother wrote: "It was very nice having Bessy in good time yesterday, and she is a very good comer home."

THE GROVE, Saturday, June 19, 1886.

Yesterday was the most supernaturally cold day, therm. 50° in the morning. Mme. von Hügel came about 4.30 and was very pleasant for about an hour, George and Claud coming in very à propos. Then Mrs Newall came in, very glad to put her pony into our field for a time. Afterwards she offered to play, and gave some little Schumanns very daintily and such an old Sonata of Beethoven that it sounded new again. Frank and Ellen to dinner and a little whist, after which I succeeded in your patience with only one cheat. I am now impatient to be at Down.

During the last ten or twelve years of her life playing patience was a great comfort to her. As she said in joke, she could not conceive how she should live through a single day without her beloved patience. We all used to say we knew her "patience face," an absorbed look and answering any remark at random. It is one of my most familiar recollections how, after finishing the last read to her at night, Bessy or I would fix up the board covered with red baize which served instead of a table, find her little pack of cards and leave her for half-an-hour's nightcap of patience before she went to bed. My mother was fond of games, and when she was strong enough there was often whist in the evening. Her game was an extraordinarily erratic one, and her partner could never conclude anything from her play except that it would not be what he might expect.

Needlework and novels were her other resources in the way of rest. I remember her saying to me that she thought needlework was a much better distraction in times of anxiety and trouble than reading. She remained a beautiful needlewoman, and I have various bits of her embroidery delicately finished in quite old age.

[pages] 368 - 369

In novels she was devoted to Miss Austen's, and almost knew them by heart; Scott was also a perennial favourite, especially The Antiquary. Mrs Gaskell's, too, she read over and over again; Dickens and Thackeray she cared for less. But novels were an immense refreshment and help to her, especially when tired or uncomfortable, and I particularly remember Her Dearest Foe by Mrs Alexander as having helped to pass weary hours away. A few of her favourite poems are marked by her in my father's copy of Wordsworth, but in later years at any rate she read very little poetry.

DOWN, Sunday Morning [Aug. 1886].

A delightful day yesterday, with soft, high wind. Horace does so enjoy the children and has them constantly about him—seeing the well worked was the great treat. We have been lucky in weather for the Horaces, and yesterday he took a long walk with Dubba and Rasmus; and at 4 o'clock we all assembled in the Sand-walk with a truck-load of good things, and had a picnic, collecting sticks and making a fire. Ras. talked the whole time at the utmost pitch of his voice and Ruth copied him. Ras. [æt. 4] had an odd grief at dinner, when he came down he said "Horrid people, I hate them" and then burst into great grief. Ida carried him off and he came back quite smooth. The cause was that he was very late in getting ready and had set his heart on our waiting for him, which Ida told him we should not do……

[August 12, 1886, DOWN.]

I found a desk full of old letters which I had quite forgotten, and which I should have been very sorry not to have. It is a sad feeling in reading old letters that I have no one to sympathise in such old memories.

Aug. 22, 1886.

I am very much interested in Morley's Life of Rousseau. My d'Épinay1 lore makes me so much au fait to all that time. Morley does not gloss over any of his crimes or odiousness. He constantly quotes the Confessions as if he believed in them, and I am surprised at Rousseau's word going for anything where vanity comes in.

DOWN, 1886.

I have finished Morley's Rousseau, also St Beuve's review of Mme. d'Épinay's Memoirs, in which he entirely ignores the horrible indecencies, which I call very immoral. He ought to consider himself as a sort of sign-post for the public. Morley's sense of morality and propriety is very strong, and he glosses over nothing.

DOWN, Sept. 2nd, 1886.

Gwen is a most remarkable and interesting child, so intent, and watching one's face, not like some busy and animated children who are so intent on their own aims they never look at you—not merry at all.

My mother always had the babies to come and see her in her bedroom before she got up and play on her bed. The game was having a little tea-service set out on her bed-table and called playing with her "poticles." Gwen as a baby was a special favourite, partly because she had a strong affection for my mother, but all the grandchildren were a very great pleasure and interest to her, although as they grew older it was more hearing about them and liking to see them than actual companionship.

1 Mémoires et Correspondance de Madame d'Épinay (1726—83). She married a worthless cousin, and subsequently formed liaisons with Rousseau and Grimm. See Chambers' Biog. Dict.

L. II. 24

[pages] 370 - 371

With her knowledge and experience it was inevitable that she did not always see eye to eye with the different young mothers. But she hardly ever offered any advice or interfered. For instance, in one family she was constantly uneasy about the perambulator, which she thought too draughty for winter use, and more than once she discussed with me whether she might venture to give another, but wisely refrained. This self-control and discretion made her relations to her daughters-in-law absolutely serene and perfect. One and all felt a daughterly love for her, which she warmly returned, and I think it may be said that there was never from beginning to end one instant's jar or rub in their many years of close intercourse.

Nov. 1886.

I send you the Southampton paper for William's speech1 and I shall like to have it again. It is a speech showing some enthusiasm and feeling—so difficult for a semi-Wedgwood.


D. arrived yesterday. She is one of those dull people that I can bear with the utmost patience in a tête-à-tête, and so I am thankful Frank is away.…

Mr — is not reposeful enough to be quite agreeable, though one likes all he says. He handed the bread and butter in a feverish way.

My mother did not now dine with her guests, but asked one or two to visit her after dinner in her own room.

1 On Home Rule. William was an ardent Liberal Unionist.


I had in Mrs D. to pay me a call in the study, which was a very easy way of giving a dinner. She is very pleasant. I could have moralised over her dress, which would have suited a woman of thirty and changed her from a very nice-looking old lady which she is in the morning, to an over-dressed one in the evening. Mr C. arrived unexpectedly, which called for great presence of mind on George's part. I believe he did not discover that he was not expected.

We had such a storm yesterday, and in the night mysterious bangings and the ghost of Dicky, whom I thought I heard just outside, but there was nothing.

Give my love to my dear Mildred. Tell her what a nice guest she is to the old—so comfortable and contented to sit and sew and do nothing.


V. dined with us, the essence of Newnham in appearance, in a brickdust-coloured gown and no particular figure inside it, but an agreeable woman.

The Home Rule Bill was thrown out in 1886, and after the General Election in that summer Lord Salisbury came into power. Eighty-five Irish Home Rule members acting with the Liberal Opposition guided by Gladstone, attacked the efforts of the Ministry to maintain order in Ireland with a violence which threatened to make government by Parliament an impossibility. These were stirring times: my mother followed the course of public affairs with the keenest interest.


[pages] 372 - 373

Jan. 31, 1887.

I have sent to stop my £1 to the Kent Liberal Association which I hope they will feel. Oh! how will they behave on procedure?

I think it can't be all the change in me that makes me find Gladstone's speeches so very poor, repeating over and over again what had been officially contradicted.

Early in 1887 she sat for her portrait to Mr Fairfax Murray. This oil-painting is in the possession of George, for whom it was painted. It is a good picture and the features are extremely like. The expression which it gives was hers at times, but it was not that which to my mind best reveals her nature. It is too grave, and even stern.

On April 19th, 1887, the anniversary of my father's death, she wrote:

I do not find that the day of the month makes the anniversary with me but the look out of doors, the flowers, and the sort of weather.

Emma Darwin to Margaret Shaen after the sudden death of her father.

EASTBOURNE, Monday [Ap. 4, 1887].

……In my great loss I felt that the sudden end was a blessing; I could look back on the last few days which had gleams of cheerfulness we could neither of us have felt if he had been aware entirely of his state. I am so glad that your mother can look back on those three days when she was able to see more of your father than usual. You are spared even the memory of the few last hours of suffering which dwell upon the mind in an unreasonable degree because they are the last, and which I would do much to forget……

The drawing-room at the Grove was not a cheerful room, being darkened by a verandah, whilst the dining-room had a pleasant, sunny, bow-window. My mother therefore changed the furniture and turned the pleasant room into the drawing-room. This proved a great addition to the comfort of the home.

Emma Darwin to her son Horace.

THE GROVE, Good Friday [April 8th, 1887].

We had great fun yesterday in moving into the dining room. Hen. was to come in the P.M. so I left some arrangements to her, knowing she would feel so injured; but I need not have been so careful, as she and Bee danced about all the tables and sofas for an hour after she came. We are charmed with the room, and I feel sure that we shall take to it permanently. I quite like P., and I mean to try to live up to his mark of tidiness and regularity in dinner and waiting, as much as I have patience for, but I can't stand all the fuss of dessert (taking off the wine-glasses and putting on) when we are a family party.

Emma Darwin to her son Horace.

THE GROVE, Sat. Ap. 16th [1887].

I am sorry you did not see the pictures at Bologna. I liked them particularly, but then I was 18, and actually admired Guercino—also a little St Agnes by Domenichino and the marriage of St Catharine by Coreggio. We have moved into the dining-room and it is so pretty and bright I quite grudge the years it has been wasted. Hen. and Bee and Leo spent all Easter dancing about the furniture and trying different effects.

[pages] 374 - 375

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

CAMBRIDGE, Monday [1887 ?].

……You must have had some lovely days at Brighton, which I daresay you attributed to the Brighton climate. It is a disadvantage to live on such an ugly road as this. I went out a little way yesterday, but the muddy abominable road and the ugly surroundings made me resolve that it was not worth while—Dicky liked it, however, and met some pleasant dogs.

I am reading Greville's last volume, it is too political but curiously like the present time in so many things, tho' I think the morality of politicians has improved (except with the Irish). The contempt and bad opinion he has of Dizzy is curious, when one considers how he has been turned into a saint.

Of books she was reading this spring she mentions the Kernel and the Husk1, and writes to me:

I find bits to like, but he thinks the devil quite necessary to account for things, and it does not help me in the least; e.g. for cat and mouse and animal suffering.

THE GROVE, May 1, 1887.

To-morrow is my birthday, which is the one anniversary that is solemn to me. I was rejoicing in the fine day yesterday for Laura and you.……I bought for 3s. a novel by Mrs Oliphant, An English Squire, with the same irritable young man one knows so well. A very clever description of the feelings of a widow on losing a dull husband she did not much care for, so shocked at herself for feeling so little, and all her friends assuming that she will not be "equal to" this or that, and her longing to go away and breathe freely in a new life. The sort of

1 By Edwin Abbott.

cynical introspection she does so well, but amplifies too much.……

The nightingales are particularly jolly and loud this cold spring. Your letter just come. It will be very nice to have you next Saturday.

Wednesday [May 1887].

Mrs Newall called and brought me such lovely roses, I can't think how she could part with them. She told me the story of what is considered a highly moral play at the Français. It consists in the charming young heroine acting like a woman of no character and taking every sort of pains to make her husband believe her guilty—called Francillon. I have sent for some second-hand books from Mudie; so I shall do now, also I am trying Les Trois Mousquetaires, which is not very suitable.

THE GROVE [May 1887].

A nice calm day yesterday and such a Babel of singing birds. All the little children assembled on the lawn, and Gwen and Nora tottered about hand in hand, Nora often tumbling over. Gwen was quite tipsy. She came again yesterday and rushed about with her arms out, laughing whenever she was caught. You must see the pretty sight.

The next is after the move to Down and tells of a round of calls on old village friends.

DOWN, Friday [June 1887].

Another attempt at a change of weather and quite a cold morning yesterday, but a beautiful P.M. I went in the Vic. to see old Mrs Hills, and I find it so much less trouble in getting in and out that I think I shall often use it. Mary Elliott in an old gown of Bessy's (she does make her things last) looked prosperous and with her voice quite right. Old Mrs H. no worse than these several years.

[pages] 376 - 377

I went in to see A. X., who keeps everything beautifully clean and neat. I shall see if I can venture to say anything to Miss S. about pauperising her. The envy and jealousy she must excite in the village is bad, as there must be so many young people who are delicate and who would like good meat every day. I went along the lane towards Cudham, and just turned into Hangrove which is grown into quite a fineish wood since I saw it last. Bernard and Gwen spend hours in the hay. I never saw such a happy child.……

I have been trying in vain to get any help for the two old men in the garden, which looks well for the prosperity of the parish. Bernard reads a bit of French with me, at 2d. a lesson. He rather likes it, and reads quick and fluently, but very unclear.

Hangrove, where she had not been for so long, had been one of the favourite near walks in old days —a wood, with hazel undergrowth cut down periodically, and in the hedges gnarled old beeches good for children to climb. It was carpetted with primroses, anemones, and bluebells, and bird's-nest orchis also grew in this wood. Just on the other side of the narrow steep little lane leading to the village of Cudham, perched high above the valley, was 'Orchis bank,' where bee, fly, musk, and butterfly orchises grew. This was a grassy terrace under one of the shaws of old beeches, and with a quiet view across the valley, the shingled spire of Cudham church shewing above its old yews. The view was strongly characteristic of the country, and had the somewhat melancholy charm of our chalk landscape—the waterless, uninhabited valley, the rolling contour of the country, yews in the hedges, and here and there a white chalk-pit.

The following letter is written to me at Glion, where I had first met Mrs Vernon Lushington before my marriage.

Sept. 1887.

It must have been nice seeing Glion and all its happy memories again. It is wonderful how much the girls have filled up the loss of their mother to you, but it is so different that it does not prevent your feeling the loss. I am longing to see the newspapers to-day, in hopes that Conybeare, Cobb, etc. have been arrested at the meeting at Ennis. Good old Tegetmeier1 called yesterday, I liked seeing him again. He was staying at the Sutherlands', poultry being the bond.

Sunday, Sept. 1887.

I was so pleased with Professor Newton's2 address at Manchester (about your father) that I wrote to tell him so. He has been always so kind and friendly to me that I felt warranted to do it.

Sept. 8, 1887.

I am reading Kingsley's Life, and I find his religion (when he was young) dissuits me very much. I hope I shall like it better when he is more mature. His intense working against misery is only to be equalled by Lord Shaftesbury. I suppose he did immense good about water in London. I like his descriptions of scenery.

The following tells of my mother's arrival at

1 Mr Tegetmeier the well-known writer on poultry, who had often zealously and kindly helped my father.

2 The eminent Ornithologist, Professor of Zoology and Fellow of Magdalene Coll. at Cambridge.

[pages] 378 - 379

Cambridge on a visit to Horace before settling in for the winter at the Grove.

Friday, THE ORCHARD [Oct. 1887].

We arrived punctually at this house at 2.15 after a most peaceful journey. Found Horace and Ida. H. looking half awake and done up, after a very hard clay in London on Wednesday, so I sent him off to finish his siesta, and we had a quiet talk with Ida about Madeira.

Thank you for R.'s note. I liked hearing about the concert and for the affectionate words at the end.

Dicky had a delightful run to Orpington, there were so many flocks of sparrows in the road, and he always hoped he should catch them, and then barked furiously. Afterwards he was put on the box with John, who received him with kisses and rapture to my surprise (I saw from the window).

At the end of this letter she tells a little anecdote of her grandchild Erasmus (æt. 6) at luncheon before her arrival, showing a curious insight into her character.

Ida. "Now we must make haste and finish, that Emily [the parlourmaid] may make ready for grandmamma."

Rasmus. "Grandmamma will be very angry about that."

Ida. "Why?"

Rasmus. "She does not like giving trouble—she means it all for kindness."

[Nov. 1887.]

Snow's letter impelled me to write to Fanny, and I liked to do so, as I wanted to talk to a contemporary about Sismondi and his letters and journal, and there are few now to care about him. I keep putting his sentences into his voice and manner; and I perceive that though I should now have patience with his foibles, he would always go against my taste as wanting manliness—the very antipodes to my father.

Dec. 1887.

I am wading through Emerson, as I really wanted to know what transcendentalism means, and I think it is that intuition is before reason (or facts). It certainly does not suit Wedgwoods, who never have any intuitions.

My mother had a school-board pupil-teacher to read aloud to her during part of the winter: "I embarked with her in such a frivolous novel all about flirtations and lovers that I have changed it for Miss Yonge—all about scarlet-fever and drains," she wrote to Leonard. He also gives this characteristic sentence from some letter to him during this year: "I quite sympathise with the feeling of not liking to tell fibs with one's belongings as witnesses."

My father's Life had been published in the autumn of 1887 and is alluded to below. It was a time of intense feeling for her, but I think there were no reviews that vexed her.

Emma Darwin to her son Francis.

[Nov. 1887.]

I share some of your feeling of relief that what I have been rather dreading is over, and that I don't believe there will be anything disagreeable to go thro'. Your relief is not from this sort of feeling however. I have been reading the scientific letters, and in almost every one there is some

[pages] 380 - 381

characteristic bit which charms one. A little mention of me in a letter of [his to] Laura1 sent me to bed with a glow about my heart coming on it unexpectedly.

Yours, my clear Frank,
E. D.

Emma Darwin to Margaret Shaen.

THE GROVE, Dec. 20, 1887.

My dear Margaret,

I wish I could make you feel what a pleasure your letter is to me for many reasons—first because you are really better, and I am doctor enough to long to know what the change of your treatment amounts to.

I like to think you look back with such affection to your visits at Down. I shall hope to have them again, though with such a difference. I used always to feel it pleasant that my dear one felt you completely one of the family and not "company." I return Godfrey's letter. It has given me deep satisfaction. I always felt that there should be a very good reason for entering so much into the inward and family life, and when I see how the book affects one who knew him so little, it is a great pleasure to me.

Frank says that he has lost all modesty, and I hope it is partly true. His nature is to doubt and disparage everything he does.…

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Jan. 2, 1888.

I must quote Uncle Frank's words about the book, which is the highest praise it has yet received. "It is like hearing Charles's voice and seeing the expression of his face again."

1Life and Letters of C. D. III. 224.



Mrs Josiah Wedgwood of Leith Hill Place dies—A visit to Barlaston given up—Frank Wedgwood dies—Frank Darwin elected to a Fellowship at Christ's College Godfrey Wedgwood and the Parnell Commission—My mother's ill-health—A visit from Hensleigh Wedgwood and his daughter Effie—The Report of the Special Commission—My mother's affection for Down—Caroline Wedgwood—Hensleigh Wedgwood dies—My illness at Durham.

My father's one surviving sister, Caroline, the wife of Josiah Wedgwood, of Leith Hill Place, died on January 5, 1888.

Jan. 8th, 1888.

I feel that I have lost the only real link with old times. I do not count my brothers, as I think most men, and they especially, do not like remembering.

I keep almost the last letter which speaks so warmly of caring for my letters, and I am glad that I wrote more often than usual lately. Hers was a very wonderful nature in the power of her affections and interests conquering such discomfort as she constantly had. She even spoke warmly of having enjoyed my last visit and I believe she did at times.

[pages] 382 - 383

Friday, Jan. 1888.

Bessy and I felt very sober not to say dull yesterday evening, and began Lady Mary Wortley which will do—such odd love letters. Good-bye, my dear, I miss you sadly.

She had not been well early in the year, but in March had recovered and wrote to me at Cannes, where I had gone for my health:

March 11th, 1888.

Last night B. and I went to the Orchard for some music. It felt cheerful to be like anybody else and I enjoyed it, though as ill-luck would have it, Miss R. played part of the Sonata Pathétique, which I know too well and do not much like at that. She afterwards played some Scarlattis very charmingly. Mr Sedley Taylor's playing gives me more pleasure.

I am driven by stress of bad novels to Carlyle again. His intense integrity about money is admirable. He and his wife were quite angelic about the burning of the MS. A cup of cold water is never wasted on such a heart as Richard's, à propos to my poor little notes. I am so glad you let yours to R. do double duty, and a letter straight from you as to-day's, fills up all the gaps. Your anemones looked quite bright at the Orchard.

THE GROVE, May 29, 1888.

I am quite longing to see the fun on the 9th1: George said he could get me tickets and place me so near the door as to be able to get out before it is over. It would amuse me intensely to see Bright, Salisbury, and Grandolph2. The latter is LL.D. on the request of the Prince of Wales.

1 The installation of the Duke of Devonshire as Chancellor.

2 Lord Randolph Churchill.

It was a happy summer at Down with many family visitors and fine, hot weather.

Emma Darwin to her daughter-in-law Ida.

[DOWN], Sunday.

My dear Ida,

It will be nice to see you on Wed. The chicks are better than gold, and Maud is as nice to them as if they were her own.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

July 2, 1888.

We are lucky to have had two sharp bright days for the Parsons. They are very comfortable and easy and were out a good deal, George and Arthur taking a long walk by Tatsfield. Gwenny twinkling about her bare feet on the lawn most of the day, with interludes of play with Arthur.

How like Erasmus1 Horace is in some things, e.g. being so happy and easy with the pretty girls.

Now I must write and decline subscribing to the Shaen memorial at Bedford College, but the fact is that I do not care for the Higher Education of women, though I ought to do so.

Yours, my dear,
E. D.

Two days later she wrote: "After all I did send £10 to the Shaen Memorial."

In the following letter sitting in her 'chair' means sitting in her bath-chair. She would be

1 Erasmus Darwin, her brother-in-law.

[pages] 384 - 385

pulled out to some favourite spot and there left for an hour with her knitting, a book, and Dicky for her companion.

Friday, July, 1888.

These blustering changing days have been especially pretty and I have sat in my chair watching the clouds as much as the earth.

DOWN, July, 1888.

It felt so odd yesterday morning going out of the cool house into the warm air full of hay and lime flowers. I am afraid both will be over unless you come to-morrow.

Monday, July, 1888.

We blest the fine day yesterday and it was a regular old-fashioned Down Sunday—v. idle, v. talky, and some lawn tennis. I heard such merriment going on at the other side of the room that I was longing to know what little Mrs Prothero was saying to make Wm., Leo and Bessy laugh so much, but it is never of any use asking.

DOWN, July, 1888.

About 5 came the Leith Hill Place party. Dicky was charmed with them, but I don't believe it was memory. He squeaked and bothered Meggie till he made her go out with him.

We read aloud one of the [New] Arabian Nights you mention, which is very amusing. They are all rather like dream characters with no pretence of nature. I particularly admire the ending of the bandbox story, when it was too troublesome to get them out of their scrapes. I am delighted with Forster's Life. He is so fresh. I wonder if any of the Irish knew of his exertions in the famine. We are not delighted with Sir H. Taylor's Letters. They are not a bit fresh or spontaneous.

Aug. 1888.

The Irish part of Forster's Life is very painful and interesting. He was quite wretched with all the wickedness and cruelty and misery he had to do with. I remember being so angry with the Government for not acting sooner when such dreadful things were going on—but there were some members of the Government who would not agree, and F. was within an ace of resigning, but went on with such powers as he had. It is very good anti-Home Rule reading and makes one think worse than ever of Parnell.


I have been driven by stress of books to read the Devil's Advocate by Percy Greg—a man whose opinions on every subject I detest, and yet I find his arguments for the truth of the resurrection the best I ever read.

DOWN, Sept. 3, 1888.

After you went I had a sit at the bottom of the Stony Field and admired the great lumps of clematis and thought what a pretty picture they would make with glimpses of the opposite bank of the valley. It was a lovely day. Marian read Mr Smith to me and peaceful patience wound up the day.

My mother had been planning to make a visit to Barlaston, to see her brother Frank, now eighty-eight years old. She had only two surviving brothers, Frank and Hensleigh.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

DOWN, Monday [1888].

I sent off your careful note to the Superintendent at Euston, and it had a very bad or good effect on me, as I was poorly all day and lay awake almost all night, and

L. II. 25

[pages] 386 - 387

realized that I was not fit for the journey or visit. I wish I had discovered it before you took all that trouble. So yesterday I wrote to all concerned and George wrote to the Inspector. (I have kept your note to the Staffordshire man, as I have not quite given up all thoughts of it for the spring.) Sara told me of your kind thought of seeing me through London.

The visit in the spring of which she speaks would have been too late, for Frank Wedgwood peacefully died on October 1st, 1888.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

October 4, 1888.

I think his was the happiest old age I ever knew. He was entirely without the faults of old age and wiser and gentler than when he was young.

Nov. 6th, 1888.

I had a v. comf. day yesterday, feeling brisk, with nice books, and Ida coming to tea, with toasted tea-cake, which she liked. We had a nice talk. Now I must go to my Moral Ideal1. I always feel inclined to call it "Typical Developments." I like all about Plato and Socrates very much. It is odd that the feeling of humanity is a modern invention, at least no older than Christ, for I think humanity in the Old T. was exclusively confined to their own countrymen.

THE GROVE, Dec. 9, 1888.

I hope I am the first to tell you that Frank was elected yesterday to a fellowship at Christ's. It does away with any remaining feeling that he sacrificed too much in giving up Oxford five years ago, a good deal for our sakes.

1 By her niece Julia Wedgwood. "Typical Developments" is an allusion to Happy Thoughts in Punch.

On January 29th, 1889, she dates her letter to me "My golden wedding-day—No, it is to-morrow." As a rule no one made less of anniversaries or any sentimental associations than she did, and her buoyant, cheerful spirit and the essential reserve of her nature prevented our knowing how much she dwelt on the past. Bessy told me that she thought my mother flagged in spirits just after she went to Down, keen as she was to go there and much as she cared to be there. I think she felt each time partly as if it was coming back to my father, and then the contrast at first depressed her.

The Special Commission to inquire into the question of Parnellism and Crime occupied and interested her deeply all through the year and she read, or had read to her, almost all of it. "I feel quite flat on the off days " she writes. The following describes Horace's children coming to tea.

Feb. 1, 1889.

They came to tea and Ras asked me whether I generally had bread and jam, I said, 'No, never but when you come. Perhaps that is the reason why I invite you that I may get a bit of bread and jam.' He took it rather seriously.

THE GROVE, Feb. 25th, 1889.

The Tom Poole1 book is pleasant except that every word of Coleridge's letters revolts me, they are a mixture of gush and mawkish egotism, and what seems like humbug. Do read Tom Poole's consolation to Coleridge on the death of his baby. It beats that letter to Cicero on the death of his daughter, and yet Poole was a most tender man.

1Thomas Poole and his Friends, by Mrs Henry Sandford.


[pages] 388 - 389

I can't imagine how my father ever liked and admired Coleridge. I believe Dr Darwin would have been more acute.

Godfrey, eldest son of Frank Wedgwood, of Barlaston, came to pay my mother a little visit in February, 1889. He had just been to hear the Parnell Commission. He writes to me:

As ill luck would have it for me, it was the day when Pigott, the communicator of the letters on which the Times relied for its evidence against Parnell, escaped to Spain, and the whole case crumpled up like a house of cards. I went to Cambridge, to pay your mother a visit, brimful of course of the exciting scene I had just witnessed. Amongst other items of experience I happened to say to Aunt Emma that Parnell was a good-looking man. On which she turned quite sharply on me, "Godfrey, I do believe you're half a Parnellite already." The breakdown of the case against him had been more than she could stand, and I, the reporter of it, was the nearest object representing the failure of the Times and the triumph of Parnell—and so deserved her burst of indignation.…

Feb. 28, 1889.

This visit has been a great pleasure to me. Godfrey's charming qualities grow on one. There is much like his father, but he does not keep so much to the outside of life.

I am so well and strong I can't think what is the matter.

May 4th, 1889.

It was such a lovely p.m. and I sat out a good deal. I am almost comfortable in the air.

That blessed Commission and baiting Parnell helps me over the time beautifully. I should think such a defect of memory had never been known since the Queen's trial and non mi ricordo.… Frank and George are so nice in coming in often.

Yours, my dear,
E. D.

Sir George Paget was very leisurely and painstaking, and so handsome. I like his medicine too.

I find I have forgotten Sense and Sensibility enough to enjoy it with Matheson.

This spring she was much out of health and often extremely uncomfortable. Matheson was her Scotch maid, a capital reader aloud, and devoted nurse when she was ill. The changed handwriting of the next letter shows how weak she felt.

May 6th, 1889.

On Sat. Wm. came at 1 o'clock, and the pleasure of seeing him and talking with him and sitting out with him till 2.30 utterly did me up. Leo sat with me yesterday and patiaed [played patience] and Wm. smoked. I shall be able to have Wm. with me and hardly any talking. I hear the nightingales chuckling through my windows.

Parnell's confessions of his lies is most cynical. The Commission is the comfort of my life. I can maunder over it for hours.

May 7th, 1889.

How lovely a pretty spring is. It seems to me we have not had one for years. The nightingales certainly know the difference or perhaps it is our having every window open.

I miss you very much my dear; but things come so quickly at my age that I am always feeling I shall have you soon again.

[pages] 392 - 393

every Sunday. I find it most tiresome as yet, but I have not got through the Temptation yet, and it is a hopeless subject to my mind.

I had been ordered to Kreuznach to take the baths and the following is written before my start:

Aug. 1889.

I want you to consider whether you had not better give up coming here, but make your real start the first day you can. It will be a great disappointment to me; but I have the comfort of knowing how absurdly quick the weeks go.

It is quite hot to-day, and the Sphenogyne has opened its eyes wide for the first time. I will engage to take the most solemn care of myself in your absence.

DOWN, Aug. 10, 1889.

I shall not write a regular letter but I must put down the glow of joy I feel when I think of your having reached Kreuznach (why do you spell it with a C) with so little fatigue and I trust with no harm.

How comical the rages of the Irish M.P.s are! Mr Harrington had to be restrained from flying across to Balfour, because he implied that the words "uniformed bloodhounds" had been applied to the police by Mr H.'s paper, the Kerry Sentinel. It appeared afterwards that the expression was "uniformed hell hounds." I hope you have some nice books.

Aug. 10, 1889.

I am reading Brimley's Essay on Tennyson, and I really think it will set me on reading some of his poems.

Aug. 13, 1889.

My reading of Tennyson is come to an untimely end, and I shall never really care for anything of his but some bits of In Memoriam.

Aug. 30, 1889.

The weather comes sweeter and sweeter like L.'s kisses1. We were sitting under the lime-trees yesterday. Ida and I and some chicks went into the field and admired the valley. I suppose one does admire one's own view absurdly.

I have been a good deal troubled by the strike. There were signs of its mitigating in the Times yesterday, and with the exception of some intimidation, the immense crowds have been quite orderly. The garden is still a brilliant mass, though the gladioli are nearly over.

The strike mentioned was the great strike of dock labourers in the port of London.

Sept. 18, 1889.

I hear poor Mary —— is come home no better. I will ask Dr Z. to come and see me. He did not tell me the chief thing I wanted to know, viz. about food and stimulants, but said she must get an easier mind before she could be better, which I am afraid shows him to be a goose. I wish she and her poor old mother could be asphyxiated—and James D. in the same batch, as I hear he is going blind and his business failing.

She was still as full of the Special Commission as in the spring, and in November tells me:

Nov. 1889.

I have been immersed in Sir H. James these two days. What an effort and for the Judges also.

THE GROVE, Nov. 28, 1889.

Winter has begun in earnest but the stove keeps us warm. Frances came and discoursed a great deal in an

1 A saying of one of the children.

[pages] 394 - 395

unknown tongue. Her little voice sounds pretty.…A Girl's Ride in Iceland is pleasant, though she is a flippant Miss. This frost suits me well.

Horace had been dangerously ill. After her first sight of him she writes:

Dec. 5th, 1889. 2 p.m.

I have seen the dear old man. He looks so sweet and so handsome, with his pale, clear complexion and his hair and beard so dark. I stayed 10 minutes and he liked talking. His poor hands are very transparent.

Dec. 9, 1889.

I had a visit from Mrs Newall to-day. She played a movement of Brahms, which has satisfied me never to wish to hear another, though there were grand sort of North wind gleams in it, but not the vestige of a tune.

My mother had now only one of her own generation alive, her brother Hensleigh Wedgwood. His wife's long illness had ended in the summer of 1889, and her life-long friend Ellen Tollet died in January, 1890.

Jan. 1890.

I have been thinking that it is a great loss to be the youngest of a family, and this death cuts off my last link with past life.

This winter she wrote: "I had a little tootling with Frank on his new bassoon." That meant accompanying him on the piano. In old days she had played a great deal of concerted music; my husband used to take the violin part with his concertina, and Frank the violoncello with his bassoon, and they thus played a great many of the Mozart and Haydn trios and slow movements out of Beethoven. But now when she was nearly eighty-two she was not often strong enough for this exertion.

On 13th February, 1890, the report of the Special Commission was laid on the table of the House of Commons. The verdict acquitted Parnell of all responsibility for the Phoenix Park murders, but the judges asserted that Parnell and his colleagues had incited to intimidation, and "did not denounce the system of intimidation which led to crime and outrage, but persisted in it with knowledge of its effect."

Feb. 15, 1890.

To think of my not mentioning the Commission. It has quite satisfied me. The Standard says that the whole House was reading it, and not troubling themselves about the debate.

March, 1890.

I have not been able to help reading the House of Lords on the Commission. Lord Salisbury makes a good point about W. O'Brien's recantation of the old calumnies on Lord Spencer and Sir G. Trevelyan, but except that it is all threshing out old straw. Lord Derby is short and sober and sensible, and I am amazed at Lord Rosebery being as factious as an Irishman.

The next letter tells of a piece of kindness of my mother's, much harder than giving money or even

[pages] 396 - 397

sacrificing her own comfort. Through her influence, her household agreed to co-operate in giving an invalid servant another chance, the other servants arranging to do his work during his periodical fits of disabling asthma.

Ap. I, 1890.

I was much pleased at Price making it easy to let poor W. come as footman to Down (not to wait, which H. will do). W. asked me himself in such an eager way. I believe dullness and low spirits doing nothing at home last summer really made him worse. John promises to help in the pantry if he should be laid up, and I am glad to give him this chance.

In April 1890 her brother, Hensleigh Wedgwood, was very ill and it was thought he would not recover.

[Ap. 1890.]

I feel very thankful to Effie for having brought him to see me last summer. I suppose one's feelings are grown more dull at my age with respect to those whom I see so seldom; for those who belong more closely to me I do not perceive any change in caring about them for joy or sorrow.

May 13, 1890.

We had a Mrs H. to tea. B. took her afterwards in the garden and gave her flowers. She did not care a pin for the garden, which pleased me, as it shews she can't mind living in the Huntingdon Road. Yes, I think I shall work my will on the old acacia.

This meant cutting it down. She was always more revolutionary in the matter of tree-cutting than her children.

May 14, 1890.

I sat out and watched Frances at Wychfield flitting about like a butterfly, never still. T. A. is elected guardian, the only lady, and the odious board were quite rude in their reception. ——had the grace to write and apologise: but how a set of men, not to say gentlemen, could behave rudely to a woman in such circumstances.….

May 29, 1890.

The bullfinch still continues its passion for Mrs Ruck. It fluffs himself into a ball when she comes in and sits on her head and plucks her hair. It flew out of the room, and she went after it and returned into the room, when it followed her in again. Mrs Davies tries everything to win its affection without success.

Mrs Davies was the bullfinch's mistress and Mrs Ruck only paid a long visit once a year to the house. It kept up this passion as long as its life lasted, which was ended by a lady not noticing it in an armchair and sitting on it.

THE GROVE, June 1, 1890.

I don't like entering June—it is leaving spring. Frank dined with us, offering himself. We began by virtuously intending to practise solo whist as taught by Mrs Ruck, but we agreed that our old friend was much the best game.

I have now an interesting book on American and other anarchists, but it is at least 5 lbs. in weight, and all I get of it must be through Matheson.

Little things tired her now but she was as faithful as ever in asking old friends to come and see her, and specially those whose lives were restricted in the way of pleasure or change of scene.

[pages] 398 - 399

[Spring, 1890.]

I was in such spirits at the visit having been successfully over (I had however liked it, and was not tired), that I drove to the Grange. Such a pretty picture of the two chicks in the hammock under the copper beech. They both scrambled out and ran at me.

The next letter is after the move to Down. She wrote to her friend Margaret Shaen: "My affection for Down encreases with years and I like to think that you share it." The George Darwins had just arrived for their usual visit.

DOWN, June 16, 1890.

The children came on Saturday an hour late. Yesterday was bright and rather cold. Gwenny on the broad grin all day, saying "What a nice place Down is " at intervals, and Boy very happy too. They were out most of the day, and all, including George, followed me and the chair to the Sandwalk. I went to the coucher yesterday and found them so utterly tipsy that how they were ever got into their night-gowns and into bed, I could not imagine. The baby lay placidly with her bottle, and eyes wide open in the uproar.

June 20th, 1890.

Yesterday was pleasant and bright. George took Gwenny a walk by Cudham Lodge to the Salt-Box and then along that ridge below. I saw her coming home perfectly fresh and laden with flowers and one strawberry. G. said she had been in an ecstasy the whole way, and he looked full of enjoyment himself.

He hit upon a lovely picnic place, an old chalk-pit, but I believe it would do just as well to go to some place near at hand. With older children a new and romantic place is a great additional charm.

DOWN, July 6th, 1890.

We had fires all over the house as the day was bitter—a sort of day when one hates the very sight of the flower garden.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard,

DOWN, Tuesday, September 30th, 1890.

…The foreign party are enjoying Venice in a way I should like, viz. loafing and gondoliering, but with rather too many churches and dark pictures you can't see.

THE GROVE, Sunday, October 5th, 1890.

I have found a good reader here till Matheson's return. She is really too good and makes the conversations so dramatic that they sound vulgar.

THE GROVE, October 14th, 1890.

Cambridge is all upside down about Sequah, a quack doctor who holds meetings twice every day and is attended by thousands. The Georges, and Horace and Ida, and Sara have been to the sight, which was most curious and made them think of the middle ages.

The general routine is that a rheumatic man is helped up into the van where he takes a sort of dram and is rubbed for 20 minutes or so, the band playing loud to drown his cries. He comes out, and Sequah asks him to dance, which he does; and Mrs Marshall told me that she saw an old woman out of the crowd (his mother), come up the steps and take his hands and dance with the greatest joy. [Sequah] makes great sums by the sale of his medicine, which is in fact, Mr Deck says, whisky and laudanum or some anodyne. But he also throws about sovereigns and gives them to unsuccessful cures; and in one case, to an old woman who was not cured, he said, "I can do nothing for you, but here is a plaster on your

[pages] 400 - 401

shoulder which I am sure will suit you." It proved to be a £5 note. 'Sequah' is a company with many agents. The one here is a man of the name of Davenport (an Oxford man). He has a wife and children, but receives many offers of marriage, which he reads aloud to the crowd—probably jokes. Sara saw him draw teeth by the dozen and toss them among the crowd, with apparently no pain. Young women are anxious to touch him as they believe it will make their love affairs succeed.

CAMBRIDGE, Sunday, October 26th, 1890.

William and George went a pilgrimage to a General Bulwer, a beautiful place in Norfolk, to see the picture of an Erasmus Earle, an ancestor. I sneered at them with great contempt for such a fool's errand; in spite of that, however, they enjoyed their trip.


It is very odd to me people having no interest in contemporary history; when they would be much interested in the same thing happening 100 years ago.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

THE GROVE, Oct. 20, 1890.

Horace and Eras came in the morning. Eras offered, on my asking him about his bicycle, to shew me how he could perform, and he looked so pretty in his velvet suit careering over the lawn and turning quite well.

G. and Maud came to dinner, she in a handsome new braided gown, blue and grey, made at Ryde. They had a merry discussion about a new plan of Maud's about servants. You are to have a job-master who engages to furnish you with your maids for the day, changing them or giving the same as you like. I think the greatest obstacle to the plan would be the danger of pilfering and the absence of any feeling of being one of the family.

Bessy and I find Sedgwick1 very nice for reading aloud. Mrs J. W. [Clark] said that Frank's letter on the subject had been the nicest Mr J. W. had received—it was delightful, which I can well believe.

I read Mr Balfour at Newcastle with my usual admiration. The part in the Tipperary trial about the boycotting of one woman ought to be printed on a fly-leaf and used at elections.

I am afraid you have no sunshine but you should now treat your visit as if it was winter.

THE GROVE, Oct. 21, 1890.

Ida came in a new tea-gown and I was so candid about her epaulettes it astonished her. Horace keeps firm in detesting them but my aversion is those sleeves that wander up into the neck.

This autumn my mother had a scheme of giving pleasure to her poorer neighbours by opening out a strip of her field parallel to the Huntingdon Road. It was bordered with trees and she wished to make it a kind of play-place for the children. The plan was, however, found to be impossible.

Nov. 14, 1890.

I opened my boulevard scheme to George, who did not disapprove so much as I expected. Horace doubts whether it would be much valued.

Here are a set of fine trees giving pleasure to no creature, and my proposal is to put a close paling half way along the centre of it, and leave the half open to the road, making a gravel walk and possibly a seat. One objection is that the place does not belong to me but to the executors.

1The Life of Prof. Sedgwick by J. W. Clark.

L. II. 26

[pages] 402 - 403

Nov. 17, 1890.

The Ad Eundem1 brought me some pleasant visitors, Albert Dicey on Saturday, and Dr Moore and Mr Duff last night. Albert was in great spirits and very pleasant about Ireland and J. Morley. He thought Gladstone's catchwords, without a particle of truth in them, served his party on the whole.

The following is about a charming little dog of George's who would bite gardeners. William offered to give him a chance but he immediately bit their gardener, and it was feared he must be put an end to. However, after having been tried in London at Sir Leslie Stephen's, where he bit children, he was sent to the Archbishop at Addington, where we may hope he reformed his ways.

Nov. 1890.

I am vexed about Pepper. I feel it quite sad to extinguish such a quantity of enjoyment as lived in that little body. Mrs Ruck has read all Stanley (Darkest Africa). Thank goodness I have nearly finished, and it must be the most tiresome book in the world, so confused and diffuse, with immense long conversations verbatim that end in nothing. His contempt for Emin's taste for Natural History is very comical, and certainly he does not fall into that mistake himself. He observed nothing.

These letters are written whilst Mildred Massing-berd, her grand-niece, was her companion, or lady-in-waiting as we sometimes called it.

1 A club of University men who dine in alternate terms at Oxford and Cambridge.

THE GROVE, Dec. 3, 1890.

We go on very comf. though the larks are few. I set Matheson reading a few short articles in the Nineteenth Century and I almost make a vow never to read a review again. There is one of Huxley answering Gladstone's animadversions on the former 'Pig' article. W. E. G. by his blunders gives him an excellent opportunity, but the article would really have more effect if he had stated the case simply, with no 'chortling' and how the reader would be amused.

On Monday I had a host of callers. Dr Jackson the third, and, but for Price's cleverness, I should have missed him, which I should have been sorry for. Dr J. and I touched on politics as we could heartily agree in rejoicing over Gladstone's speaking out.

Dec. 12, 1890.

I am in great luck to get such a grand-daughter as Mildred and to feel that she will not mind how quiet we are.

The shrubs are come and planted but I could not go out and see about them; so I gave a few directions and then told Bourne to judge.

I had a pleasant call from Mrs Sidgwick and Miss Balfour. She had enjoyed her windy and rainy tour1 and she said it was not cold. She did not agree with my observation that the men (judging by the Daily Graphic) were not badly dressed. She said she took some photos of men merely for the sake of the rags.

Dec. 14, 1890.

I am going to have a little birthday for the Grange children on Thursday and Mildred will make it all pleasant.

1 In Ireland with Arthur Balfour.


[pages] 404 - 405

1890—91 was a very severe winter. Much bird-feeding went on at the Grove, cocoanuts, fat and hemp for titmice, nuts and pea-nuts for the nuthatches, and middlings in basinsful for the rooks, starlings, and jackdaws.

Jan. 7th, 1891.

Bessy heard the poor birds pecking at the food in the walk in the night. I will have some put out late as well as early. Such a mass of starlings in the field and the rails trimmed with them.

Jan. 13, 1891.

I did so enjoy the dirty snow and the departure of the rooks yesterday (I wonder what they could find the 1st day and before the snow was gone). I believe the real reason of the departure of the frost is my giving skates to the young P.'s, or it might have been John's fur cape.

I enjoy Parnell's last insolent speeches in Ireland as widening the breach. I wonder at even T. Healy getting so gross as "Kitty O'Shea."

I saw a hedge-sparrow in the hard frost scrabbling in the gravel on its stomach with its wings spread. Did it want dusting or what?

Jan. 18, 1891.

I had good Mr C., who has the familiar, affectionate, evangelical manner. He thinks Booth's power is something wonderful in drilling to perfect obedience such a low set. Also that teetotalism and keeping the Sabbath are the two greatest reforms in the world. It is odd he should put them on the same level.

Jan. 1891.

Bessy went to the Infirmary of the Workhouse as well as to the old women, who spoke in rapture of their mince-pies. There was only one sick woman up to listen to reading. She was recovering from bronchitis and she said she suffered so much from cold, that her feet were stone-cold all night. She did not like to ask for a hot bottle. I am afraid the nursing there is very bad. B. is going to take her a pair of warm socks and I hope persuade her to speak to the Dr or the nurse. There is no attendance in the night, though one of the patients is bed-ridden.

The papers promise a change of weather and the glass has fallen. The birds were a black mass yesterday.

With regard to the Workhouse, I believe the night nursing was reformed and greatly through Bessy's influence.

Jan. 28, 1891.

The correspondence of Lord Grey and Princess Lieven is as good as a history. Their friendship continued through opposite and strong political opinions on every subject. There is never a tinge of vanity or coquetry in her letters. His are solemn and dry though affectionate. One can't help wondering how the friendship arose. They are both utterly sincere.

Jan. 30, 1891.

I am very much interested in Lord Grey and Princess Lieven, only I wish there were some notes on the scandals mentioned—e.g. a gross insult of the Duke of Cumberland to Lady Lyndhurst. It is curious to see Princess Lieven's opinion of the Duke of Wellington, so utterly different from that of all parties now. I am afraid however that he did put a spoke in the wheel of the affairs of Greece.

Feb. 1, 1891.

I am much displeased with A. J. B.'s speech in answer to Shaw Lefevre. It was insolent and personal, and he ought to have been quite serious.

[pages] 406 - 407

I am reading Froude's Life of Beaconsfield. He uses it as a medium for his own opinions, and one may take it as a measure of his accuracy his speaking of baby farming at 3d. a week, and saying that things are just as bad now. He ignores entirely the efforts for the poor which one may call a general enthusiasm at this time.

Feb. 3, 1891.

The dispute still rages in the Nineteenth Century whether the Gadarenes lawfully kept swine or not, as if it signified. Fancy supposing a miracle to be especially directed against an infringement of a ceremonial law like that.

Sunday and yesterday were very bright and pleasant and the thrushes began to sing.

If I had been Lady Grey I should not have approved of Lord Grey's letters to his "dearest, dearest Princess." It was a curious friendship. They were each uneasy if they did not have a letter every two or three days.

Feb. 7th, 1891.

I am thinking of taking a leaf out of Lord Grey's book and answering your letters categorically. It is funny how he never omits answering a scold or a compliment.

Feb. 16, 1891.

What a day yesterday was. I was in my chair when Horace came to fetch me to the Orchard where they were all loitering, and Frank with his coat off. Eras helped to push me and fell, and was hurt a little in mind and body and Horace was so tender with him. I am afraid school will be hard work with all parties.

The sunset was so striking. I wondered whether it was the zodiacal light which is to be seen if one knew where— a gorgeous misty orange glow with no clouds.

Feb. 1891.

Everything is lovely in politics and I could almost pity John Morley on Monday. It must feel to be so unreal in this changed state of things.

Parslow wants me to raise old Price's wages again, and him to give a full day's work, but I decline. As I shall have to pension him anyhow, a penny saved is a penny got, and his work is not worth 1s. a day.

Ap. 1891.

At last the garden is looking cheerful, but anemones and polyanthus drooping in the sun after a frosty night, and Bourne does not venture to water them. I really wish he would not work so fast, and C. is like an overdriven post-horse.

I want to give Gwen a tricycle and Maud prefers a bicycle. I don't know how it will be settled. The little Vernon Harcourt girls go on bicycles but I can't fancy grown-up girls doing it.

My mother's regret at one gardener working so fast and pity for the other reminds me that from sympathy with the housemaids she was often unhappy at so much time being spent in dusting the legs of the banisters and chairs.

Ap. 19, 1891.

I am reading Lowell's Essay on Wordsworth after Shairp and he suits me much better. He is rather caustic and amusing, and his writing is as neat as if it was French, also he does not soar higher than I can reach.

May 4, 1891.

Dicky quite admits Louisa as his admirer-in-law. He spends much time in considering what he will make Caroline do next for him.

[pages] 408 - 409

These were her two nieces, daughters of her brother Harry Wedgwood. Caroline, who often came to be my mother's companion, had an intense love for all animals and could not make enough of Dicky. She was most faithfully good to my mother, reading to her and acting like a daughter, and we all feel true gratitude to her, although we know that her visits to the Grove only involved what was to her a labour of love.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

CAMBRIDGE, Wednesday, May 6th [1891?].

The day was perfect with my beloved east wind, and it was the first time that the tulips have really opened their eyes. I am always divided at this time of the year between the wish to stay on to enjoy the spring and early summer here, and the opposite wish to be at Down before the trees have become dark and summerlike.

This summer saw my mother alone in her generation. Her last remaining brother Hensleigh died on June 1st, 1891.

The following letter tells of her re-reading my father's Life. The 'sadness' she speaks of means the sadness to her in thus recalling her loss.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

THE GROVE, June 12, 1891.

I find reading the Life very delightful in spite of the sadness. I had forgotten the early letters so much that the charming disposition comes out afresh to me.

DOWN, July 25, 1891.

I am much interested in De Quincey's letters, or rather in Dorothy Wordsworth's to him. There must have been something very engaging in him to have received such nice, wholesome letters, full of the children.

Then follow some paragraphs about patterns of chintz and arrangements for the come and go of life, and as a postscript written across the letter:

Such a loathsome crawling letter of Coleridge to De Quincey, declining to pay his debt.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

DOWN, Tuesday, July 28th [1891 ?].

Your account of seeing Winchester and St Cross puts me in mind of a delightful day we spent there at the British Association in the year (?)1. We were more charmed with St Cross than with the Cathedral, which seemed to me to want height so much. I returned home by myself and called in my way on Robert Mackintosh, who with his wife met me at a station near the Grange, Lord Ashburton's, where they had a cottage. It must be at least 40 years ago.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Monday, August 10th [1891].

We thought of you yesterday, as a rainy Sunday in a strange house may be rather long. It was undeniably longish here, especially as we had nothing lighter to read aloud than Arthur Clough's Remains: but what with Halma and Patia (on the sly) we reached 10 o'clock with success.

1In 1846, when the British Association was at Southampton, my father and mother made an excursion from there to Winchester.

[pages] 410 - 411

Monday, Aug. 1891.

I was very happy over a new stitch of knitting yesterday and I shall get Matheson to teach Eliza.

Eliza was the blind girl, paying her usual visit at Down. My mother's taste for all kinds of work was a great pleasure to her. She made the most dainty little baby's caps and jackets in knitting, and countless coverlets with her 'peggy,' a row of wooden pegs making a frame for a kind of knitting stitch, the looped wool being worked off with a hat-pin. These pins were always getting lost, so I provided her with ornamental ones, which were more ' kenspeckle' as she would herself have said.

Sept. 9th, 1891.

I look out at the sunny sky, and the trees in Smith's lane all quiet and glowing, instead of being tossed as they were all August.

Sept. 10th, 1891.

I drove out yesterday afternoon just to gloat over the sunshine and harvest fields. They looked very well to my eyes.

The following letters were written to me during an illness of two months at Durham, caused by having drunk some liniment by mistake. I nearly died, and amongst other inconveniences my arms were paralysed and both feet badly burnt by hot bottles during the long insensibility. I had had a rehearsal of what to do in such a case, as my mother had done the very same thing at Down earlier in the summer when I was with her. Fortunately in her case no harm followed. She writes to my husband:

What a strange thing it is that this is the third instance of such a mistake being made in one year—myself, Frank, and now Hen.

DOWN, 19th Sept., 1891.

The children were very happy all day out of doors. It was pretty to see Margaret walk up to Dicky on the hard gravel with her naked feet and put her head down on his back to "love him."

In the course of a few days when you can mark anything of a step forward it would be nice to have a telegram so as to enjoy it a day sooner.

DOWN, Sept. 29th, 1891.

R.'s good account and your precious little note came together, and made me feel in a glow of happiness.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

DOWN, October 22nd [1891?].

I had a call from a pretty Mrs——, so soft and affected I could hardly stand her. I think affectation is just as rare as merriment nowadays.…

Lady Derby deserved more than civility, as I think she has some real affection for me (odd to say).

Emma Darwin to her daughter-in-law Ida.

THE GROVE, Saturday, Nov. 28 [1891].

My dear Idy,

It felt very flat not seeing you yesterday. I am glad you have had a good night. Mine has been very tidy.

[pages] 412 - 413

It was nice seeing you so often and expecting you. I always felt I ought to stop you but it was so pleasant I had not the virtue.

Yours my dear,

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

THE GROVE, Oct. 17th, 1891.

Yesterday was bright with a furious wind, and it must have been bad for your smoky chimney. I had only glanced at Chamberlain's speech, but your account made me look back and I enjoyed and admired it much. I hope a good many Gladstonians heard it. It was so moderate.

After telling of several calls from the family she continues:

And lastly the little Orchards to tea, but Bessy read to them and I only played old maid after Eras went to his lessons. I was not tired with all my dissipations.

I don't think Ruth is at all suitable for you. I wish you had forgotten say Her Dearest Foe or Fair Carew (have you thought of kidneys?) or still more Emma.

I should like you to see Dr Drummond again (let me pay for him).…I think R. is a little like your father in seeing the downs more strongly than the ups (e.g. he always thought my headaches worse than they were).

I wish you could play patience with your one poor hand.

Her suggestion as to eating kidneys, so funnily thrown in, was because I had great difficulty about food. She was anxious I should be moved to the Grove as soon as it was possible, and writes as to this:

Oct. 25th, 1891.

If you had any drawback (which I do not expect), I should be much less uneasy while you were at hand and every improvement would be noted and give me constant happiness. Also when you were able to bear the open air, getting out of doors for five or ten minutes here would be easier and more satisfactory than in your own house. In spite of this my real wish is that you should do what would be really best for you.

Nov. 1891.

I have been gloating over dear Mildred's account of your progress till she left you safe in your.own bed.…… My love and congratulations to R., he must feel a great weight off his mind.

I soon moved to the Grove, where I had a delightfully happy time with her sheltering care about me as if I was again a child.

[pages] 414 - 415



R. B. Litchfield retires from work—The Plan of Campaign—Leonard stands for Lichfield and is elected—My mother's enthusiasm for the Unionist cause—The grandchildren at Down—A hot summer —Our house in London nearly burnt down—Miss Cobbes Autobiography—A great storm—Maud Darwin goes to America—A birthday letter—Leonard defeated at Lichfield.

My husband gave up his post in the Ecclesiastical Commission in the early part of 1892. In anticipation she writes:

THE GROVE, Jan. 13th, 1892.

It is nice to think how soon you will be free people and that I shall never be long without seeing you. I do so enjoy the sunrise at my S.E. window and there was no frost last night. Nelly S. [little under-housemaid] goes about very small and smiling in her cap……I am in a rage with the senseless tragic mystery in The Little Minister. Why did they not marry again eighteen years ago, as soon as the first husband was dead.

The following was written whilst Bessy was away from home, so that my mother was without her usual companion.

THE GROVE, Jan. 15th, 1892.

I got through my day very comfortably by the help of two visits from Ida and one from Horace, besides an evening call, when I received them downstairs, and they were very comf., hard at work undoing an old jacket of Ida's.…

Nothing so sad has happened1 since the Prince Consort's death and perhaps this is more pathetic though not nearly such a misfortune. I think he would have made a safer king than the more lively Prince George.

Ida has had two old dolls of her own furbished up for Boofie and Nora and they are to come and shew them to me. They are beautifully dressed and keep their old names. I am to knit bed socks for them to preserve their delicate wax feet from hurting each other when they go to bed.

Jan. 30th, 1892.

Carry comes on Monday and I am glad of it. As you say, a little outside world is very wholesome, and there is no one with whom I am more at ease.…

How I hate Thackeray's women. He makes Mrs Pen and Laura behave exactly like the women in Ruth who are so detestable, and Thackeray thinks it quite right. I rejoiced when that tiresome Helen died and there was an end to all the praises and raptures about her.

April 22nd, 1892.

I hope you enjoy the change of weather. I do in the spirit, but in the flesh I was very hot and done up.

C. is busy in the evening smartening a pink flannel petticoat, and I feel a person so much more comfortable who is doing something. We read Severn's Life which does very well. He is rather a foolish man, and talks of

1 The death of the Duke of Clarence.

[pages] 416 - 417

Keats' dying of the persecution of his enemies when it was consumption, with every care the best Dr (Sir J. Clark), and the best nursing could give. Severn behaved nobly in sacrificing everything to go with Keats (his father knocked him down with indignation at his persisting in going), but it made his fortune as it happened.

Emma Darwin to her son George.

THE GROVE, April 3, 1892.

Your children met Frances here on her birthday the 30th. It was to be celebrated by her using a knife and she asked her mother to put me in mind "and don't smile when you ask her." They were very jolly and could hardly eat for chatter. It was the first time I have seen Charley out-talked: but he went steadily on with his meat. Afterwards they went in the field after primroses.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.


The Wicksteeds are off this morning and they have enjoyed their visit heartily, and M. is so outspoken in expression of pleasure and yet so sincere.

She gave me such a tragic account of the agency of her brother John. When he was busy on the Lurgan part of the estate he was quite safe and everything prosperous; but he had occasionally to go to a mountainous bit of the Bath estate, and after the Plan of Campaign his life was in constant danger and they used to be trembling for him until he and his clerk with their revolvers came home. On one occasion when he owned to her, on saying good-night, that he had received a threatening letter, she sent privately to inform the inspector of Police of his danger, so when he got to Carrickmacross he found to his surprise a company of mounted police ready to accompany him. Nothing could make him consent to let them come with him. He said "if he once shewed the white feather he should never be able to shew his face there again." So he and the poor clerk (dreadfully alarmed) held their revolvers ready and drove on and they were not shot at. All this strain broke down his health and nerve…….

These last letters of Johnson are a treat to me. I enjoy poking out bits of new in them.

Yours, my dear,
E. D.

May 14th, 1892.

The dear little titmice appeared one day after you left and had a long game of leap-frog, which I believe is simple greediness—the hind one wanting to get first. I have never seen them since, though I often look.

[May, 1892.]

A coldish rainy day yesterday which the nightingales particularly enjoyed……. The Orchards and Granges1 to lunch. They began noisily and Charley (aet. 5) could never let down his voice to the end, so it was rather a saturnalia. His "last" was in speaking of his way of standing behind Maud on the tricycle. "The body [his mother's] is too fat and the arms [his own] are too short— that's the difficulty."

June 5th, 1892.

It was a great disappointment to hear you were laid up; everything was so pretty I wanted you to see it. I want you not to make any effort to come here. I can't help thinking that this break down may be caused by too much exertion; you have been doing a good many things close together. It would be sad not to have you, but I care so infinitely more for your health.

1 The children of the Horace Darwins and the George Darwins, so-called after their respective houses.

L. II. 27

[pages] 418 - 419

DOWN, June, 1892.

The kitten is very happy and most charming, settling itself on my neck, purring hard, with occasional smudges on my face. Dick naturally disgusted with it…….It does so enjoy my delicate slices of cold beef.

July 6th, 1892.

The W.s came to tea and as conversation did not last very long we had in the children and Margaret amused them well. I enjoyed feeding up Mrs W., and between them they finished a trocadero and a dish of strawberries.

July 19th, 1892.

Our stiff book is H. James' stories and our light one Leslie Stephen's Hours in a Library 3rd series. He is so pleasant after all that subtlety.

Bessy and I both agree that we could not really care for other people's pretty things—à propos to your enjoying the house.

I was staying at Idlerocks and my admiration was of Godfrey Wedgwood's "pretty things."

Emma Darwin to Margaret Shaen in New Zealand.

DOWN, July 15, 1892.

…I wonder whether all families in N. Z. are as happy and sociable and full of life as are all around you at Wellington. We are living in the election and I rejoice to think that Leonard will be out of his pain on Monday. Bessy went to Lichfield on Wed. to be present at one of his meetings and hear him speak. He carefully prepares every speech and then has no difficulty in expressing himself, with the most complete sincerity and moderation as you would expect, but no eloquence. He does not think Home Rule is really cared for, but the other things so lavishly promised by his opponent…….Our old men, Parslow and Lettington, declined to vote at all—"They always had voted Liberal" etc., and did not know or care Id. about Home Rule. Well, my letter will be full of election, so I will try to shut it out….

I always write my letters before I get up, but I am quite well. George and Maud went to the Trin. Coll. affair at Dublin, leaving their children here. Little Charley has capital spirits and at luncheon he rather tired me by talking at the utmost pitch of his voice, so one day I said "Now I am going to give a penny to everybody who talks low at luncheon time." "Shall you give one to Aunt Etty?" "Yes." "Shall you give one to Aunt Bessy?" "Yes." "And to Father and Mother ?" "Yes." It had a great effect and I doled out the pennies all round. I only included the grown-ups the first day, but Gwenny and Charley earned 10d. each before they went away. Now I must get up, with my love to Lily,

Yours, my dear Margaret,

How well off for babies you are out there. We have not one—Margaret being 2 and very wise and comical and unlike the rest.

My mother was intensely interested in the General Election fought on the question of Home Rule. I have now her map of England with every seat coloured by herself according as it was lost or gained for the Unionist party. Leonard was standing for Lichfield, and the double interest of hoping for his success and for that of the cause was of course intense. My husband had gone to Lichfield to work for Leonard, and joined me at Idlerocks


[pages] 420 - 421

in Staffordshire after the election. We were surprised and overjoyed at Leonard's unexpected success, and I expressed my feelings with warmth.

July 20, 1892.

We are highly exalted, but we do not reach your pitch. Leo makes quite a show in the Times leading article. What a glorious account of Chamberlain's speech by R.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

DOWN, July 19th [1892].

My dear Leonard,

We got your blessed telegram at 2.45. Laura [Forster] had gone to rest, but charged us to disturb her and let her know—bad or good. Now we must hope that there will be no dissolution. I had been schooling myself not to mind much, but we all owned we had kept a corner of hope at the back of our minds. Now you will rest, poor souls. It would be delightful if you would come here soon.

You would be much more tired if you had failed. Here is Hen. to fill up and I don't want it back. I send you Hen.'s remarks about your speaking as she so thoroughly appreciated it, and I should like you to be more conceited—also she gives two small criticisms.

Yours, my two dear ones,

DOWN, July 20th [1892].

…I am quite bursting with things I want to say. I hope we shall see you soon or they will evaporate.

DOWN, Saturday, July 23rd [1892].

My dear Leonard and Bee,

I must tell you how your two delightful letters warmed my heart.

We shall have a happy meeting on Friday and I have asked George and Frank to rush over for a day. They will not have a brother elected to Parliament every day in the week. William laments that he cannot come, also Horace. I am so glad you are both well. I liked Ernest's1 neat little scrap—neat in feeling and expression as well as in handwriting.

I always feel how your father would have enjoyed it. Richard is in bed with something amiss with his jaw. If you had had the same malady I should not have been surprised. Hen. is not uneasy (though it is odd) or I should not joke.

Yours, my two dear ones,
E. D.

I hear horrid rumours of a re-count—but let us sport on the brink—like Gray's Ode on Eton College—as George says we shall not know for a fortnight.

The following is after her first sight of Leonard.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

July 31st, 1892.

We have had great amusement and election talk. They were followed everywhere by a handsome young Irish priest of Chasetown. One of his stories was that he had seen L. stop the carriage and give 5/- to voters. The miners were sometimes very violent. They stopped a waggonet full of voters on their way and they knocked down and kicked some men who "made the remark 'good old

1 Ernest, second son of Hensleigh Wedgwood.

[pages] 422 - 423

Darwin.'" Lettington [the old gardener] said to L. "I don't agree with your politics; but I did not think it was in you to make such a noble speech."

Emma Darwin to her daughter-in-law Ida.

DOWN, Wed. Aug. 10th [1892].

Monday was the loveliest of days and Hen. and I took a little drive to Keston Common. Yesterday equally detestable (56°).

I am so intensely interested in the debates that I must put myself on stoppages or I shall wear out my eyes.

R. collects a little harem of Miss Forrests to play lawn tennis with him, and goes and chats with Mr Forrest and hears scandal about —— which is always gratifying. Hen. adores the kitten who visits me every morning.

Yours my dear H. and I.,

I am just boiling over with A. J. B. and I must exhale to Laura who is the only one fully to sympathise. I consider R. and Hen. lukewarm. R. can sit in the room ½ an hr with the newspaper without reading it.

The large house at Down could hold more than one family of the grandchildren, and she greatly-enjoyed having them all round her. The following tells of the Horaces and Franks being there together.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Aug. 28th, 1892.

Boofy and Nora arrived on Friday afternoon. They were very nice and gracious. Their first object was to adore Dicky, and Boofy has kept him on her lap (which he rather likes) on every opportunity.

The Eastbourne party arrived at 12.30 and Frances jumped out, "There's Grandmamma—are Boofy and Nora here?" and rushed upstairs after them. Bernard is much grown since I saw him and he is as brown as an old Frenchwoman.

Frances was puzzled at breakfast. Boofy took salt with her porridge, so Frances decided to have it; but then Nora took sugar, so she had to change quickly. Bernard is a jewel for play, and I found them all this morning and Frank also, with different gymnastics on the slide, with their shoes off and very hot.

The 'slide' was a specialty at Down, a long shallow wooden tray of polished deal which was hitched by a crosspiece of wood on a step of the stairs and thus reared up as high as was desired. The children came down fast or slow, standing or sitting, according to their desires and the gradient. It could be made almost flat for little children and steep enough to make the big children come down with a grand rush.

Sept. 8, 1892.

I believe I wrote to you yesterday but your nice long letter inclines me to write again.

I am glad you are going to be honest about your baths. We had a fine day yesterday and I hope you had also. Miss Thompson came to tea. I always like her and we talked of such old times.

Frances is quite well now. She is very good about not having good things. I am sure Dr Darwin would have allowed ripe peaches—they are like so much water; but I hold my tongue.

I am afraid poor Z. is fonder of people than they are of her, but I dare say it is the happiest on the whole.

[pages] 424 - 425

No news from Lazy Leonards. We have a good box of books—some good memoirs, Miss Hutton and Sir G. Grey.

DOWN, Sept. 12, 1892.

There was such a dark sentence in Snow's letter that I could not keep my senses from the beginning to the end; but M. gave me a concise translation and said it meant that "you were fond of people though they were dull."

THE GROVE, Oct. 23, 1892.

Le Caron will be wholesome reading for Gladstone. It is a good thing to recall the brutality and cruelty of the Clan-na-gael and how intimately Parnell was connected with them; and to reflect that Gallaher and other dynamiters are now in prison.

I have finished Mrs Calderwood. Her travels went no farther than the Netherlands, which is all the better, as her book is so much about people and all she tells is racy.

There is quite a grand lake at the bottom of the field (your scheme). As soon as it is warmer I shall go and see it. My new pen is lovely. It writes of itself.

Oct. 24th, 1892.

We have finished Le Caron. I think it will do good in this pause. The atrocity of the Dynamiters makes one nearly condone any amount of treachery on his part. Patrick Egan was a great wretch, and it is a perfect disgrace that he should be employed by the American Government. President Andrew Johnson openly sympathised with the first Fenian raid into Canada, and returned all the arms into the hands of the Fenians. Le Caron was the cause of the entire failure of both raids. He thinks the Secret service is much underpaid. The book makes me wish to read again his cross-examination and Parnell's.

Oct. 26th, 1892.

Have you read any of the vivisection? The incredible carelessness of the accusations calls for any amount of reprobation.

Nov. 1, 1892.

Crabb Robinson's Diary is a blessing and I can talk with him for a few minutes any time and feel refreshed. I almost think he will set me reading the Excursion!

Nov. 5th, 1892.

Bessy was a little troubled at the —— party by being taken out before Mrs T. and Mrs Somebody else. Ida says it was to do honour to me.

Nov. 7th, 1892.

If you see Snow do tell her how I bless Crabb Robinson. His prosaic moderation does so suit me, and Miss ——'s gush and repetitions do so not suit me, but there is a good deal that is interesting in her book.

Her health was in a very uncomfortable state in the end of 1892, and she continued to be far from well through almost the whole of 1893. She used in her letters to tell me exactly how she was but always took care to chronicle her better moments, "My nights are lovely," "I am having a good day," "I am enjoying the sunshine."

The following lines were copied by my mother in her little book under the date Feb. 1893:

In Mem. CXVI. Feb. 1893.

Not all regret: the face will shine
Upon me, while I muse alone;
And that dear voice, I once have known,
Still speak to me of me and mine:

[pages] 426 - 427

Yet less of sorrow lives in me
For days of happy commune dead;
Less yearning for the friendship fled,
Than some strong bond which is to be.

THE GROVE, Ap. 25th, 1893.

Your evening letters come at a very nice time, just when I want something pleasant to fill a gap before I go to bed.

I am afraid the glory of the wych-elms will be over soon. Now the flowers are solid masses, of a size I never saw before, larger than hop flowers, and the whole field is lit up by the light green.

I was almost going out a second time yesterday to see the chicks playing and teaing on the lawn, but I gave it up.

The move to Down was made on May 24th. She had had fears that she would not be strong enough for the journey.

DOWN, June 7th, 1893.

The blessed East wind made me quite spry yesterday. I saw Parslow, and in the afternoon lay on a sofa in the shady end of veranda and enjoyed looking out and seeing W. Snow's five cows1 (for which he is very grateful). Parslow seemed comfortable and told me the old story of Mr Innes coming to see him and having bread and cheese.

I am reading Becket with great fatigue and thinking how tiresome it would be acted. I do perceive the merit of Becket's character.

Mr Innes was the Vicar of Down in old days and the story was only how he sat down in Parslow's little house and had a luncheon of bread and cheese.

1 They were allowed to feed in her field.

June 9th, 1893.

I had three readings from Carry and I feel no more tired by her than by you or Bessy. You would have been jealous of Dicky's reception of Carry.

My mother suffered greatly from the heat this summer. After the weather changed she writes June 20th, 1893, "I feel quite tipsy looking out at the dear black sky and drizzled windows," and again "such a lovely puddle on the walk and the barometer so low."

DOWN, July 9th, 1893.

I did so enjoy the high soft wind and I went out early and sat under the lime trees with Sophy and Margaret. We enjoyed sending for additional shawls.

The little Parslows came to tea, and some rain stopped their going out. I sent Anne up to say I did not mind how much noise they made; but I need not have taken that precaution as they made plenty.

July 28, 1893.

Sara goes to-day and I shall miss her constant sympathy with all our doings.

Aug. 1st, 1893.

I have enjoyed the Horaces so much. They leave us on Thursday; but I manage to see a good deal of them. I go in to luncheon and have a regular soirée every night till past 9. The children are quite perfectly good and more merry together than I imagined.

DOWN, Aug. 6th, 1893.

I was going to write and order Leo Maxse's National Review, but F. Greenwood's article on W. E. G. is so monstrous I have held my hand and Bessy may do it. It

[pages] 428 - 429

makes him out a fiend and I am afraid such violence will neutralise what is good in the Review, especially the observations on the Bill1 and on W. E. G. in the first article, which I think excellent.

Aug. 1893.

I have liked Keble's Life a good deal, but do people really believe now that Infant Baptism is 'pardon'? It seems inconceivable. Robertson did not, but then he had to say that the words mean exactly the opposite of what they say. Miss North's second book is much better and jollier than the first. She is always so much amused at her father, but with no disrespect. She passes through Palestine with no attempt to feel what she does not feel. Alas! here is the blue sky, but I shall stand it pretty well to-day.

The second Home Rule Bill was got through the Commons by means of the gag this session, but thrown out by the Lords. Gladstone's course was now nearly run as he finally retired March 1894.

Aug. 28th, 1893.

N.E. wind and 60° which blessed state of things has quite set me up again….

I feel quite as frantic as A. V. Dicey and long for the world in general to stir up some rebellion.

How typical it was of W. E. G. not understanding the amendment he was opposing. I actually did not read the Duke of Devonshire though I always admire him so much.

Aug. 31st, 1893 (your wedding day).

The Leonards came yesterday. After the vote on Friday (when they have not the least hopes of an improve-

1 The second Home Rule Bill.

ment) they go to their house near Lichfield. The strike at Chasetown makes it unpleasant and anxious, owing to the certainty of applications for help.

Leonard said Balfour's speech, which I thought so impertinent to W. E. G., was quite charming in its manner and playfulness. A Mr Paul, a Gladstonian member, sat by L. and said "that is quite delightful."

I had been all September at Down whilst Bessy was abroad. It was an ideal month of fine weather and we were very happy together. My mother wrote to Bessy at the end of her time at Down:

A dismal day, but Sir John Lubbock says that no weather is really bad, so we must not mind.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

THE GROVE, Dec. 11th, 1893.

I am so prosperous that I have little to say. I had a soirée of both my ladies last night, and Sir C. Danvers being finished, we had an Essay on novels by Gosse, and now I know that I can't abide him. He is quite above considering whether an author is moral or even decent.

It is very nice to think I shall have you and R. at Xmas. (Bring me the 7th vol. of Walpole and a dozen of those pearl or red pins for my Peggy.)

Dec. 12th, 1893.

I went downstairs yesterday and sat like a Christian in the drawing room having my cocoa with the others. I quite like Jessie all the more for her coming out of her own head, to make sure that I (in the study) was aware of a most gorgeous sunset. She is sensible and fond of reading.

During the hot dry summer I had tamed a robin to eat out of our hands and come into the

[pages] 430 - 431

drawing-room at Down. I gave the caretaker at Down board-wages for him and he continued to come into the house, once getting shut up behind the shutters and running a risk of being starved to death. She writes (Dec. 14, 1893) "Poor Bobby! how sorry we should have been, and I can't conceive how he got there unless he was fast asleep and the shutters shut over him." Poor Bobby came to some bad end, for one day he flew out into the snow and never returned. As the old servant wrote, "he was so tame he would have flown down a cat's mouth."

THE GROVE, Dec. 23rd, 1893.

G. came bringing me a letter from Boy, so perfectly well spelt he can't be a Darwin. George gave him an envelope for it, and addressed it to me in red ink, which surprised and pleased Boy and he said, "Grandmamma will like that."

I enjoy the cutting down of the tree much more than I expected.

This was to give more light in her own room, called 'the study' as it had my father's old books in it.

Jan. 27th, 1894.

I am grown to like Lowell much better at the end. I like all his letters from England. He adores London and its climate especially, and the Parks and the thrushes all winter through.

There are some notices of W. E. G. in which I think he judges him justly. W. E. G. said in '86 that he had never seen such universal enthusiasm for anything as for Home Rule at that time. Lowell suggested that the feeling might be for himself. L. says he (W. E. G.) has no proportion in his mind, caring as much for Robert Elsmere as for Gordon. He was intensely affectionate. Here is bright sun and I dare say I shall go down.

The tits squabble at my window and the Ox-eye has the best of it.

This February our house in London was nearly burnt down and rendered uninhabitable for many months.

Feb. 21st, 1894.

"It is an ill wind etc." and so I trust we shall see you here all the time you can. Nothing can make such a difference to me.

She comments on Walter Scott's Letters then first published, a book she was very much interested in. She cared much for him as well as for his novels.

March 16th, 1894.

I am a little disgusted at Walter Scott's letter to his son rather advising his tackling the little heiress Miss Jobson before he himself knew her. It shewed such grasping for money.

Emma Darwin to Laura Forster.

THE GROVE, March, 1894.

……Bessy had the good luck to have Mrs Jebb's ticket for the night and heard that debate. They came away before the division, which would have been great fun.

Are not you surprised at Morley's attempting to do away with Lord Rosebery's speech1. I have some hopes

1 Lord Rosebery became Premier on Gladstone's final retirement on the 3rd March. Lord Rosebery's statement as to Home Rule was eagerly watched for. The words that Morley attempted to do away with would be: "The noble Marquess [of Salisbury] made one remark with which I confess myself in entire accord. He said that before Irish Home Rule is conceded by the Imperial Parliament, England as the predominant member of the partnership of the three kingdoms, will have to be convinced of its justice." See Annual Register.

There were some lively scenes on the 13th March, the day after Lord Rosebery's speech, when Morley, Redmond and Chamberlain spoke, and that is probably the debate Bessy heard.

[pages] 432 - 433

that Lord Rosebery himself will have some manliness and not eat his words….

Emma Darwin to Laura Forster.

THE GROVE, May 5th, 1894.

…I am deep in [Dean] Stanley's Life and I like it so much. I saw him once, but he was in the blaze of Mrs F.'s flattery which I dare say shut him up—but he certainly was cold and dry. I am sure I shall be much attached to him. I must own I don't remember Mrs F.'s flattery to him, but it must have been there.

I felt as if I must have written the "old Invalids" letter on heavy books in the Spec….

The following letters relate to a request from Miss Cobbe to include certain correspondence from my father in her Autobiography. He had written a letter to her expressing strong sympathy with the victims of a supposed case of harshness on the part of his colleagues, the magistrates of our division of Kent. Miss Cobbe was then the editor of the Echo, the newspaper in which the case had been brought forward. Without asking for permission, she changed the opening of this letter from "dear Miss Cobbe" into "Sir," cut out, without putting

omission marks, all those sentences which would show that it was a private letter to a friend, and then published this travesty of his letter in the Echo above his signature. All readers would suppose that my father had addressed it expressly to that paper for publication. He took no steps in the matter, though on further enquiry he found that there had been no harshness and that there was no miscarriage of justice.

The effort to decide what to do as to Miss Cobbe's request harassed my mother very much.

THE GROVE, May 13th, 1894.

Miss Cobbe asks Snow to ask me whether she may publish any letters of F.'s in her Autobiography. If I do consent I think I must forbid any of those letters about the imprisonment of Stephen X. which she garbled and published in the Echo. I feel sure there could have been nothing private in the old letters. Had I better ask to see them? I don't want to insult Miss Cobbe.

THE GROVE, May 19, 1894.

After a heavenly night I feel quite set up, with all botherations done away by the good help of all my children, Frank and Horace being moderate and helpful and saving me all decision. I was unwell to begin with or I should not have minded nearly so much.

DOWN, June 20, 1894.

The abridged St Simon's Memoirs is most entertaining. I have long wished to read him and have tried but found it lengthy and tiresome. It is twenty vols. or so and the abridgement is four by Bayle St John.

L. II. 28

[pages] 434 - 435

July 6, 1894.

I will generously let you off till Monday if you like, as we have Margaret [Shaen] and George, only the hay is begun and the roses are so lovely. The dear chicks just gone in bus. George enjoyed the week nearly as much as they did.

July 12, 1894.

I had such a comfortable day yesterday, downstairs from 12.30 till 6 and round the Sand-walk.

Margaret [Shaen] is immersed in her little knitted jacket and has made improvements. I am very sorry she is going on Saturday. She is a perfect guest. My dear old George paid me a visit before starting, and was very useful opening a great many bills and letters.

Earlier in the year she had written, during a visit of Margaret Shaen's, "She can't come too often."

Aug. 9, 1894.

I had all the debate yesterday read. Chamberlain far the best, and I do not think it is political feeling makes me think Morley's speech very poor, full of tu quoques.

You asked me about the Message of Israel1. I believe no books now affect me any more than by a transient interest. It did draw my attention to some sublime bits in the Prophets and Psalms, and I enjoyed her abuse of Esther.

Aug. 10th, 1894.

Augustus Hare's Two Noble Lives is most entertaining and pleasant, though the letters are merely natural and telling what happens without a spark of wit and humour. The two lovely ladies (Canning and Waterford) had no

1 By her niece Julia Wedgwood.

children, which was a pity for the beauty of the world. It makes one think the "quality" very affectionate and kindhearted.

DOWN, Aug. 13th, 1894.

I am rather ashamed to find that I use up rather more than a vol. a day of novels.

Tell Hope I am reading Helen1 on the faith of her having liked it; but I think Lady Davenant and G. Beau-clerc equally tiresome, and I doubt whether I shall stand it.

I had been much with her during September, and after her move to Cambridge she writes:

THE GROVE, Oct. 7th, 1894.

I did not like to think of your going and how I should miss you; but now I have a day fixed to look forward to I shall do very well.

THE GROVE, Oct. 29th, 1894.

I never saw such gorgeous colouring as in my enemy the beech this morning.

Her enemy was a very fine tree which hid too much light from the study, but was so fine a tree that even she had not the heart to cut it down.

Nov. 5th, 1894.

I think Mrs F. is an honourable woman now, informing me of what others gave her, and I hope she may escape being corrupted. I will do my best not to help in that.

I have been reading Waldstein's Ruskin. The admiring part I did not feel up to, but the chapter on social questions delights me as speaking so strongly of his narrow

1 By Miss Edgeworth.


[pages] 436 - 437

want of sympathy: e.g. in thinking it a real misfortune that railroads should desecrate beautiful places by enabling vulgar people to crowd into them. He couples Carlyle with him in presumption, and says that Ruskin never forgets himself for a second, and then contrasts your father's love of truth and moderation in quite a delightful passage.

This autumn she started another pet, partly to amuse me, but also that she thought it would amuse her—a parrot. She writes:

Nov. 25th, 1894.

Jacko amused me greatly yesterday. He began a new noise, a quiet inward musical note. He clucks most of the time, interspersed with growls and sometimes a shout.

Leo and Bee came to luncheon. He looks well and brought me reports of his two speeches at Chasetown—excellent for their simplicity and clearness.

Dec. 19, 1894.

I find Lanfrey quite absorbing, though it would be a better book if he could for one instant forget his hatred of Napoleon.

Jan. 24th, 1895.

Miss Cobbe gives such a characteristic and pleasant account of Sir C. Lyell1. She did not understand your Father, e.g. thinking him in earnest about Polly and also in a joke about Kant in that letter. Also thinking him influenced by a clique about vivisection.

I think Kidd and Balfour are equally presumptuous in defining what degree of power over conduct can be produced by reason. I think A. J. B. will be rather disgusted at Kidd patting him on the back.

1 In her Autobiography.

X. is in great sorrow at the death of her mother. It is rather consoling that a very tiresome woman can be much beloved. I am so glad about Lincoln's Inn Square1. I wish you would drive and see it some fine day, whether it is well filled.

Feb. 5, 1895.

I believe you would like Mrs Craven, if you could skip all the religion. In the year '86 she has exactly our feelings about Ireland and G. O. M.'s mad folly. She suffers much in France from not knowing a person who cares or knows Id. about the matter. Her letters when she is nearly 80 are pleasanter than those of her youth and middle life. It always seems to me like boasting when she tells how entirely she feels that God decides everything for her; she should keep that to herself…… The French stories by Julliot are dull and odious, and the little novel La Folk du Logis quite pretty and nice. How very odd the French are.

THE GROVE, Mar. 25, 1895.

Dearest H.,

I wonder whether you had our yesterday's storm. It increased in violence all morning and was at its height about two. I looked out to see the trees swaying, and remarked on the big wych-elm; I looked away for a minute, and then looked again and saw it was down. Then came a great noise, as if of a great weight falling, and we saw part of a chimney down near the north corner. Frank and Bernard soon came in to see if we were frightened. They said some trees were down across the road. Then came another great bang and we settled to go down to the drawing-room. Eventually two stacks of three chimneys each were blown down. We shut the

1 The beautiful garden forming the middle of the great square was about this time thrown open to the public.

[pages] 438 - 439

south-west windows [shutters] and felt more quiet there, not that I was frightened. Then Price and Bourne and Horace set to work to make a passage for carts along the road and to see the damage. Your room and the study were full of soot and smoke.

It is so bright and calm I hope I shall go out and see the damage, especially the big tree.

April 22, 1895.

I seem to have been reading nothing but about young girls lately—Miss Bronte, Miss Edgeworth, the Burneys, the Winkworths. The Brontes and Winkworths went through the same morbid feelings about sin and religion. The Burneys did not trouble their heads, and Miss Edgeworth was very strict with herself but not in the way of religion. I should like to know when they came to the age of 40 or so how much their feelings and opinions had approached each other.

Emma Darwin to Margaret Shaen.

THE GROVE, Ap. 24, 1895.

I am deep in the Letters1 and much interested in making out the different characters with such a strong family resemblance in all. I was so much amused at all about the Brandis family. In the year 1818 my aunt Mrs Drewe and her pretty and charming daughters were at Rome and intimate with Mrs Waddington (the mother of Mme Bunsen). Brandis fell violently in love with Georgina Drewe (afterwards Lady Alderson—mother of Lady Salisbury)—but they neither of them had a Id. and she did not like him. Bunsen at the same time fell in love with Fanny Waddington, and her mother (reckoned a very worldly woman) perceived what he was and consented to

1 Letters and Memorials of Catherine Winkworth.

the marriage tho' he was equally poor. Mrs W. was Miss Burney's "lovely Miss Port," as no doubt you remember, and niece of Mrs Delany.

I seem to have been reading about so many girls— Burneys who never troubled their heads about anything but amusement, but very good and affectionate, Miss Edgeworth quite easy and comf. in her religious opinions, Miss Bronte morbid and unhappy about religion and her own sinfulness, and proud and sore, and your aunts so different from them all in earnestness and practicality and so much happier when they became Unitarians. I seem to know all about every name. How I shall like talking it all over with you….

Maud, George's wife, went to America with the two elder children this spring, leaving little Margaret and the baby at home. The following letter is written just after their departure.

THE GROVE, Sunday, April, 1895.

I engaged Margaret to come here on Wednesday as I thought she might be dismal; but she told Bessy yesterday that she could not possibly come before Friday because of a great doll's wash, when she and the baby will come for a few days, which I shall enjoy, especially the baby. He is more speculative and frowny than he was; but every change of countenance is charming.

Ap. 25, 1895.

Margaret says she likes this place better than home because it has two nurseries—an odd reason as she has two at home. She has been sitting on my bed while I was at breakfast, conversing, but I could not hear a word. Nightingales have begun, but not a thrush or blackbird to be heard.

[pages] 440 - 441

Ap. 28th, 1895.

Jacko [the parrot] has a passion for primroses, and I shall see if I can't coax him up on my lap. He gobbles them up as if they were quite delicious. If I could get him used to my hand in gloves I should be quite bold…….

I hope you read A. J. B. at the Primrose meeting. I wish they would alter the name and give up worshipping the old Charlatan.

I hope to go out to-day. I miss it much and it never tires me.

May1st, 1895.

Jacko walked out of his cage and found his way to my wicker table. He was interested in my shut-up scissors and took it in his hand and tugged at it. The electric bell also he held firmly and tried a long time to get out the little white end. I did not know parrots were so like magpies. He is utterly without fear and I believe would walk over Dicky with a little encouragement.

Emma Darwin to her daughter-in-law Sara.

THE GROVE, May 3 [1895].

My dear Sara,

I cannot easily express the happiness your note gives me. To keep such warm affection as yours all these years, and also to know that you feel the same as ever to Ch. fills me with gratitude.

I think it is a surprising thing that at 871 I should feel stronger and better in every way than I did at 85.

My best love to my dear William who is as steadfast as you.

Yours, my dear daughter in heart,


1 Her birthday was on May 2nd, 1808.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

May 13th, 1895.

Yesterday it was 79° and very close, a little growl of thunder. How lovely England is in fine weather. Our laburnums will be in full blaze when you come. I still gloat over the elms and calculate what the weight of the blossom would be. A small branch is a considerable weight. Here is one tuft to shew you the size. We shall have the chicks to-day which Mildred likes. The baby is wiser and not so charming. Do you see there is a life of our Mme Kowalewsky, saying they spent 6 weeks at Down! It was one day.

Madame Kowalewsky's marriage was one of the queer arrangements made by high-class girls in Russia, merely to get liberty to pursue their studies. It is said that they often propose to some man to marry them. Madame Kowalewsky was a charming, pretty, lady-like girl, and he a very ugly savant, not much like a gentleman. She was also a great mathematical genius, which we did not discover.

May 18th, 1895.

Kitty1 gave us some charming music, and she is to send you two vols. of old English tunes, for you to bring me to look at and see whether I shall buy them, so please to put her in mind. I have not been out and we have taken to good fires; it was 47° yesterday….I am reading the Psalms and I cannot conceive how they have satisfied the devotional feelings of the world for such centuries. I am at the 35th, and about three or four I have found beautiful and satisfactory, the rest are almost all calling

1 Mrs L. J. Maxse, daughter of Judge Lushington.

[pages] 442 - 443

for protection against enemies or for vengeance—one fine penitential Psalm.

Matheson is reading Macaulay's Life to me, and his letters are delightful. He was as good a hater as St Simon, but did not keep up his rancour so long. His intense feeling about his sisters' marriages was very uncommon.

May 21st, 1895.

Dear Godfrey1 came on purpose to see me yesterday and was as nice as he always is.

May 22nd, 1895.

I did not realise till after Godfrey was gone that he had come all this way round to see me. It was very affectionate of him.

The following is written after Maud's return from America with the two children Gwen and Charles (called Boy).

[May, 1895.]

About 5.30 came George and Maud and Billy more smiling and sweet than ever. A. V. D.2 discussed America with Boy, especially the ice creams, which they had every day. I attempted a little talk with Boy about the voyage, but he was full of the bricks, and bygones are tiresome to children.

THE GROVE, June 4th, 1895.

It is hardly worth while writing to you, I am glad to think.

I had a very dissipated day yesterday and I was not tired. Horace and Max [his dog] in the morning. B.3 came in with solemn apologies and said his mother was

1 Her nephew Godfrey Wedgwood.

2 Professor Dicey of Oxford.

3 One of the servants.

very anxious to see me. In she came, so young and handsome and stately, and we talked away, as soon as we could get off the subject of my wonderful kindness, on which she was as tiresome as her daughter-in-law.

Then came Mrs Marshall. Dicky got on her lap and she nursed him all the time looking very pious. He is better. George looks a different man now they [Maud and the children] are home.

The general election this summer was followed by her with keen interest, and she coloured her map day by day, according as the seats were lost or won. Leonard stood again for Lichfield but was defeated.

DOWN, July 19, 1895.

I had a peaceful day—a visit from Lettington1 looking very shaky, but not ill. Then M. A. Parslow about Ambrose W. I have increased his allowance. Also food three times a week.

R.'s hopeful note and another from Leo still more hopeful, made me quite easy. Mrs Goude and Matheson have got a flag half made. Matheson said it would be bad luck to finish it before the Election was declared. Anne furnishes the materials gratis. Matheson and I finished up Ireland—easy work as it was almost all green— and Scotland. London is a wonderful mass of red. The Daily News says it is all owing to Local Veto, but I believe it is more owing to church feelings.

Yours, my dear, E. DARWIN.

1.30 just received the bad news—how flat!

DOWN, July 20th, 1895.

I have hardly the heart to go on with the map. I trust the first object of the Government will be to get rid of the 20 extra Irish Members….Bessy called on Elinor

1 The old gardener.

[pages] 444 - 445

Norman who was very sympathetic, not like M., who never "cares for other people's dinners." The poor flag is put away.

"Never cares for other people's dinners" alludes to a saying of Horace's as a child, who, when there was an eager discussion as to how William was to get his dinner, remarked "I don't care about other people's dinners." The Cambridge Post Office also sympathised. The clerk amused Ida Darwin on telephoning up the telegram containing the news of Leonard's defeat to her, by showing deep feeling, and ending out of his own head "I am very sorry."

Stephen Massingberd, son of Edmund Langton, married Margaret Lushington on July 19th, 1895. My mother lent them The Grove for their honeymoon. Margaret's father, Judge Lushington, wrote to her afterwards.

Aug. 9th, 1895.

Here is a letter from Vernon Lushington which pleased me much. That sort of gracious affectionateness is very engaging. I did answer it, bringing in something about his wife's and your friendship as one of the great happinesses of your life. Margaret has also written a pretty Collins.

This autumn for some temporary reason she had "a stolid businesslike-looking pupil teacher who will not be a bit shy " to read aloud to her.

Oct. 12, 1895.

My reader is a great success. It is Cranford, and "D — n Dr Johnson" comes in. She stopped dead and said "a slang expression." I can't perceive she is ever amused. I am stuck in Balfour1. His argument about the uncertainty of sight seems so feeble to me that I think I can't understand it. What I do understand makes me think less of his good sense.

Oct. 18th, 1895.

I have finished Balfour. Of course I don't do the book justice, but the last two or three pages seem to me very inconclusive. I can agree with him that the belief in a God who cares is an immense safeguard for morality; but I do not see that the doctrine of the Atonement is any additional safeguard—yes, I do see it partly. Also I am surprised at his considering that morality is impossible without some religion, which he gives as an axiom not to be disputed. I quite agree that the remains of Christian feeling make us unable to judge of the present race of agnostics.

Oct. 19th, 1895.

My reader's mind has opened to the "goodness" of Cranford, though not to the wit or amusement….I think there never was so happy a set as the whole Mendelssohn family. They are bubbling over in all their letters, especially Felix. It is comical to see Abraham's utter contempt for the exhibition (Royal Academy), when I think our portraits must have been as good or better than the German.

Bessy goes to Miss Williams on Nov. 2nd which I am glad of She is so cordial. I wonder whether you and poor B. will be here then—no, the Leos will, I believe, but I never remember plans.

Yours, my dear, E. DARWIN.

W. is at Seaford, no better.

1 The Foundations of Belief.

[pages] 446 - 447

"W." at Seaford Convalescent Home was the invalid son of her coachman, for whom she did endless kindnesses. The details of her thought and help for others would be tedious to relate, but it would not be giving a true picture of her life if it were not told how constantly her mind was occupied with some plan or scheme for giving pleasure or of saving suffering, many of them taking thought and trouble. For instance one letter to me a little later contains minute directions about a brooch I was to get for her to give to her daughter-in-law Sara, then gives some arrangements about a crammer she was providing for a godson, then she tells me about a sick maid, and finally asks me to suggest a French novel for her to give an invalid friend. She had various old men, for whom she had a hungry appetite for all the cast off clothes of the family. A few days later she writes to me: "I have purloined a lovely suit of clothes from Frank." It may truly be said of her as it was of her mother—"giving was the atmosphere in which she lived."

Oct. 23, 1895.

Yesterday I took a short drive boxed up to the eyes, meeting George on the way to see me. He turned and flew along the Huntingdon Road. Later, in came Miss Gladstone on her bicycle. She was very nice and cordial. She said she and Mrs Drewe and her two sisters-in-law had all been mad on cycling at Hawarden. She looked so happy and spoke of her delightful home and interesting occupation. When she was going I said, "I should like to see you go but it is too cold," and she at once said, "I can come round to the window," which she did, and turned on the lawn and out again, seeming very handy.

Here is the sun, which is a cheerful sight. I find a drive in the carriage on a dull day much less tiresome than the Bath chair, and the mare is quite perfect.

My dry reader is delighted with Mrs Gaskell's Moorland Cottage. There is something attractive in her business-like reticence. If I was Mrs Ruck, I should make her open out.

Yours, my dear, with love to R. You will enjoy a bit of your own home.

Oct. 27th, 1895.

William and Rachel came yesterday. To-day we have the Georges and the Franks to dinner and a goose, and toasted cheese which is de rigueur for Bernard.

Emma Darwin to her son Leonard.

CAMBRIDGE, October [1895?].

…I think there must be interesting things to see at Portsmouth, but I daresay you will sit at home and be thankful, as Dr Darwin used to say all old people ought to do.

Emma Darwin to her daughter H. E. Litchfield.

Nov. 15th, 1895.

It is nice to have your day fixed; but I wish you could stay longer. Please to tell Elinor [Dicey] that it is a pleasure to me every day to pack and unpack my little cards in the pretty little box, which they fit exactly.

The following is written after Sara Darwin's return from America. My mother had been worried thinking of her on the Atlantic during the late storms.

[pages] 448 - 449

Nov. 22, 1895.

It was delightful receiving Wm's happy letter by the early post. What horrid things sea voyages are.

I am charmed with the mare—her ears look so happy. She is quite as brisk as Tara, but will walk quietly.

The mare is her new horse Nancy. After Tara came to an end there had been an interval of a lamish horse, whom, in his own interests, she had wished to keep, but was over-ruled by Leonard. He, she wrote to me, told her it was too disreputable to drive a lame horse. So poor Peter was sold, but has not been unhappy. He belonged to a careful fly-owner at Cambridge, and has taken the family many miles since, but in 1904, when he seemed to be worn out, he was made an end of.

Dec. 3, 1895.

Here is Leo. How crazy we shall all be about the petition. Do read the evidence on the Southampton petition—such perjury on one side or the other.

The petition against the Lichfield election came on for trial and she writes:

It is disagreeable getting to care so much, and I shall have to console myself very hard by thinking Leonard well off to be rid of the expense of Lichfield.



My mother's improved health, and her spirit of enjoyment—Leonard stands for Lichfield and is defeated—Herbert Spencer—Dicky's accident—A visit from Mrs Huxley—R. B. Litchfield's illness at Dover—Expeditions in the bath-chair and drives to Holwood—My mother's last illness and death.

DURING the last year of my mother's life her health was better than it had been for some years. Her letters show how full of energy, vigour, and enjoyment she was, and her power of living in the lives of those she cared for made her really enjoy their pleasures at secondhand, and kept many avenues to life open that are often closed to the old. It was difficult to remember that she would be eighty-eight on May 2nd of this year.

From about 1892 she put down in her diary all the letters she wrote, almost daily to one or other of her children and many to her friends; but besides these it is characteristic to note the number where the object of writing was to give pleasure or help, perhaps to an old servant or to an invalid, or to someone whose life was bare of enjoyment.

L. II. 29

[pages] 450 - 451

Jan. 15th, 1896.

Bessy and I have been very quiet except a pleasant sight of Ellen. I feel it pleasant to be silent and quiet for a bit. I am flattered by the warm tone of Lady Derby's note; but when she calls my letter charming, I feel a little like William when Mrs T. called him a "sweet boy."

Public affairs look better, especially since Lord Salisbury has said that he will make any information public1. How odious the Irish are, even Davitt, who one thought was a decent man. Do they really think the downfall of England would not ruin Ireland also?

Jan. 24, 1896.

I admire Mr Bryce's speech, though it was painful about Armenia. The Daily News, and I daresay other Liberals, appear to publish every horror on slight evidence, and I am convinced the Conservatives shut their eyes to what is authentic. Now that consuls have reached, it must be some security, and sending money at any rate would do good.

How nice it is the French getting so angry about the Munroe doctrine2.

After the election at Lichfield in 1895 had been declared null Leonard stood again and was defeated.

Feb. 8th, 1896.

I had my Lichfield papers yesterday with three speeches of Leonard's. They must of course be a good deal alike; but there is the real man in each of them, and I think his audience must all feel his sincerity.

1 The Jameson Raid on the Transvaal had taken place at the end of December, 1895.

2 The United States were taking up the unsettled dispute between England and Venezuela as to boundaries, afterwards submitted to arbitration.

Feb. 28th, 1896.

I had thought that I had given up all hopes; but my flatness on receiving the telegram showed how mistaken I was.

Poor Hope! about hunting. I wonder whether it would at all console her to learn that I had the same trouble. I should think that Godfrey would sympathize entirely with her. Your father did not with me, as he thought hunting much the least cruel sport, and so far I agree, only it is undoubtedly brutal. One trap gives more suffering than a dozen hunts….

March 8th, 1896.

Normanstowe is very interesting. The heroine very nice. The hero, Sir C. Grandison, head of a music-hall, and always on the prance with deep intense feelings and stern, abrupt behaviour—double distilled femality.

I read almost all the Venezuela in yesterday's Times. It is so intensely clear on our side that I expect the American Government will gladly give up any more carping about it….I am afraid we can't take you in at Easter. I hope you will come sooner. I feel quite impatient to see Bully1 again, and it feels long since you went.

5.30 p.m., a pleasant call from Mrs Marshall, and so good-bye my dear.

The next two letters refer to a correspondence with Herbert Spencer as to the gift to Mr Huxley mentioned in his Life, p. 366, vol. 1. Mr Spencer wished to know from me whether my mother's memory corroborated his own view that he alone originated the idea. She, however, was quite sure that Mrs Lyell first spoke of it to herself and my father.

1 My bullfinch.


[pages] 452 - 453

March 10, 1896.

I went out in the road on Sunday and sneered mentally at all the idiotic hats (and so ugly too) which the girls had to hold on their heads as it was a high wind. As we returned home by the long walk, the horse walked in the ditch close by John [pulling the bath-chair], trying to stop him and sometimes nibbling his shoulder.

Your letter just come. I remember it all pretty clearly. F. heard first about it from Mrs Lyell, so no doubt it was set on foot in two places. We heard nothing about Herbert Spencer. What a fuss he makes. You shall have the letter safely back.

March 11th, 1896.

It is the greatest monument of vanity I ever saw. I am quite certain my memory is just, as I remember that Mrs Lyell was affected nearly to tears when she was speaking to us on the subject. No doubt Herbert Spencer was exerting himself independently.

It was such a lovely morning yesterday I took a drive along the Backs. They look quite different in the morning light, and the elm buds have taken a purplish glow.

In the afternoon Prof. Newton came, and was very pleasant.

He mentioned that it had been discovered how the tsetse-fly poisoned animals. If you catch a fly, and keep it confined until its mouth is cleansed from its last food, the bite is quite harmless. This is a step, though one does not see what the next way of prevention can be….

I cannot help chuckling a little over Herbert Spencer's reception of your answer.

This Spring whilst Dicky, her little fox-terrier, was running in the garden, he stepped through a frame of glass and cut an artery, and had to go to the dog doctor for some time. She missed him very much and wrote: "I believe Dicky and I have never been separated for a day for thirteen years, and I do wish for him back very much."

Every morning Dicky lay on her bed whilst she breakfasted. But at about ten, when the second post came, a funny scene took place. As soon as Dicky heard the postman's bell he started up, vehemently insisted on being let out, rushed downstairs to join the postman, for whom he had a strong attachment, and took a short round with him. This postman fell ill, and she tells how she sent Dicky to pay the sick man a visit: "Price took Dicky to see Drury, and there was a tender meeting on both sides, the postman kissing Dicky."

Ap. 9th, 1896.

Ellen is very well and bright, and Frances very engaging and obliging. We have set up rather a blood-curdling novel, A Son of the Plains, with an adventure in every page. I was afraid Ellen would think it too ferocious for Frances [aet. 10], but she did not care.

In the Spring of 1896 my mother agreed to discontinue giving away penny bread-tickets at the door of her house at Down. The tickets were payable in bread by the village baker. The plan had existed for some fifty years, and it shews her reasonableness and power of taking in new ideas that she was brought to believe it encouraged tramps and beggars, and was not necessary for saving actual suffering.

[pages] 454 - 455

THE GROVE, Ap. 12, 1896.

I have written to George to ask him to diminish the bread tickets while they are [at Down], which will make it easier for Mary Anne [the caretaker]. I think there always used to be a great burst of tramps in the spring, and once I found the yard full of hearty Irishmen refusing to go away, till I sent for the policeman.

The birds [Margaret's canaries] have laid three eggs, and I think I shall boil them if I could be sure that the murder would not be discovered. They are pleasant company. I have found Voltaire's Louis XIV. very pleasant and short, leaving out the battles. Voltaire seems so impressed with his magnanimity and generosity, as if a despotic King could be generous. V. seems really to forget where the money came from.

Margaret, wife of her grand-nephew Stephen Massingberd, sent her a favour from the wedding of his sister Diana to Captain A. A. Montgomery.

THE GROVE, Ap. 22nd, 1896.

B. brought me in the pretty little things from Margaret. Do tell her how touched I am that she should think of me at the time and wish me to be there, which I should have liked heartily. The lovely little favour is in such good taste. I can't think how any clergyman can preach a little sermon on that occasion. It must be so unwelcome.

I am to have Dicky on Sat.

Ap. 24th, 1896.

It would have been very nice to see you to-morrow, but rather a waste as I shall have the Leos and the Horaces in and out, as their house is upside down.

I went to see the new flat1 yesterday, and I was delighted with it. It shews real genius on Mr Stevenson's part, and the view is so entertaining as well as pretty that one could spend a long time over it. Then I was carried into the garden or tennis-ground, and it was so long since I had seen it that I was struck afresh with the beauty and niceness of everything—the rockwork on the island and the new flower-beds on the end by the cherry tree.

May 9th, 1896.

I have hardly any hope that Laura [Forster] will really come, and I shall not be the least afraid if she does—not even if she falls ill, which I should consider not my affair.

We had the children to lunch yesterday. Billy most agreeable with bricks, etc. He fed Dicky but managed to conceal the bits of biscuit so well that Dicky had great difficulty to catch them, but never hurt his little fingers.

May 11th, 1896.

How dreadfully fast May goes, especially if it is as lovely as it has been since Friday.

The Life of Mrs Trollope is interesting and amusing. She was a good woman, though so distasteful in her books. (I must try if I can unearth one of them out of the London Library.) They were entirely ruined, and she worked untiringly in writing to support her family, while having to nurse a dying son and daughter. She had a great reputation at the time, and was intimate with Metternichs and such, and royalties whenever she went abroad. We have a very good Mudie-box this time.

1 The first-floor of the old Granary at Newnham Grange was made into a dwelling-house.

[pages] 456 - 457

To-day Margaret Slater's sewing class comes to tea, and I think everything out of doors will be perfect. The nightingales have hardly sung at all.

The "Shop" mentioned in the next letter is that of "The Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company." It had lately been moved into new and better premises.

May 18th, 1896.

I liked seeing the Shop on Sunday. It is a perfect situation, surrounded with gardens and so quiet. I did not mount up to the show-room. Horace's room is so nice and airy and quiet. It made me think more of him to have such a shop. John proposed taking me a short round home, so we got into the Ely road and home by the Histon road, a quite hideous country with poor hedges and not a tree.

I like Capt. Younghusband's travels1, though one might skip pages much like each other. The camels go on for twenty hours or so and the ponies and mules for eight or ten. They are fed up enormously and well treated.

May 20th, 1896.

Laura was wonderful yesterday, and she began her day by reading to me for half-an-hour Mone's autobiography2, which is most clever and interesting. It was the time of her childhood, and the account of the tenderness of her father and mother is delightful.

We had some rain in the morning which made things fresh and beautiful. I sat out for a long time, and Helen and Billy joined me. His wild delight, rushing about on

1 The Heart of a Continent.

2 Marianne Thornton of Clapham, aunt of Miss Forster. See p. 247, Vol. 1.

his twinkling [bare] feet, was the prettiest thing I ever saw. He got down to the fence and insisted on getting through, and Helen had to follow. You must see it before he is older. He sometimes dances a little.

THE GROVE, May 31, 1896.

I went to the Orchard in my drive1, and made Horace let me down on the flat lawn, and saw the rockery, which is lovely just now, chiefly with creeping cistus; it is charming altogether….

I had a snug evening with Mildred reading part of the broken last novel of L. Stevenson, in which he gives most elaborate descriptions of characters you don't care for. He has no notion what is tiresome or not.

DOWN, June 9th, 1896.

Yesterday after twelve there came a lovely breeze, and my two ladies and I sat out under the Scotch fir in the hay-fields.

I am reading most of Hort's letters2. They are wonderful for a boy of twenty-one. He adores Maurice and makes me almost wish to try to understand him, and then he gives some of his own notions so utterly senseless to me that I feel my mind and theirs could never agree. He is never flat.

June 19th, 1896.

The roses are so beautiful, I am almost tempted to have a bed of them in the flower-garden, but they never used to do well there and I have not energy. I expect you are enjoying liberty and laziness.

1 In her bath-chair.

2 Professor Hort of Cambridge, the famous scholar and theologian. He had died in 1892.

[pages] 458 - [page break]

June 21, 1896.

I did two duties on Friday; saw Betsey, who looks much better than I expected and has a bright expression, and had Mrs —— to see me.

À propos to Cardinal Manning, I think every convert must be between two stools for a time, but nine or ten years was certainly long. It made him appear deceitful, but I very much excuse him.

The weather has been perfect for me and there is a brisk air to-day. Letters go at ten, so good-bye my dear. I am glad you will see Leith Hill Place at this lovely time. I feel much stronger.

June 25th, 1896.

Bernard left us yesterday in the thunder, which continued grumbling most of the day at a distance, and only came near in the night and then not very near.

I like hearing about your garden as I can't see it. Our roses are quite peculiar this year. They are a mass of colour in the kitchen garden, and even down the walk.

June 29, 1896.

On Saturday, in the absence of Bessy and Dora at Knole, I took a drive into Holwood. It was an ugly day, but it looked a new place to me from the growth of the trees; especially the band of beeches along the paling, which I used to despise as such poor-looking trees. The mare is perfect on grass and up the hills, not pulling and straining. I went in and out among the green drives, and I shall go again and never drive anywhere else and try to get to the ponds.

July 11th, 1896.

What a pathetic Essay1 the last in the volume of Leslie Stephen's. It is evidently a pouring out of his soul on his

1 Forgotten Benefactors, Social Rights and Duties, Vol. 11.

[page break] - [pages] 459

wife. I also like his notion that the world does not know of a quarter of the goodness and happiness that exists, and that every perfect character causes a sort of halo of influence and example around it.

I had written a letter to the Times and prepared a leaflet on the cruelty of wearing "ospreys," the nuptial plumes of egrets.

July 2nd, 1896.

I had a gay afternoon; first little Mrs Hart Davis, who looked guilty and apologised when I glanced at her feathers, and Lady Derby.

We had a little parliamentary gossip. Lady Hugh Cecil was up all night in the ladies' gallery till 8 a.m. Lady D. says that the difference between these times and the old Irish Allnights is that the Opposition now does not really care, or people don't get really angry (except indeed poor Mr Chaplin). Everyone thinks the Speaker wonderful.

Mrs Huxley paid my mother a visit during July, the first after Mr Huxley's death. She tells how "Mrs Huxley spoke warmly of Bessy's kindness and being such a good hostess."

All the family paid her visits during this last summer, and she was well enough to enjoy them heartily. Of the Horaces she writes:

Aug. 1st, 1896.

The children are very nice, and it is pleasant to see their happy faces. Eras [aet. 14] is a good deal grown, and his eyes are lovely.

[pages] 460 - 461

She also went out more, and saw some of the old haunts in her bath-chair that she had not visited for years.

Aug. 16th, 1896.

The evening was perfect, and I made John take me up the lane and through a field near Luxsted to try to see into the valley (our own field in fact), but saw nothing. The lane is smoother than any gravel walk. I can't think what the change is from old times.

Aug. 18th, 1896.

Yesterday was lovely, and I made John take me into the field beyond the Sand-walk to see if I could orienter myself about the valley and woods, but with not much success. It was a good pull for John bringing me back up the slope.

I am trying to read Lord Selborne's Life; it is far duller than —— ——'s, and I can say no more—a minute biography of all his uncles and aunts, not to mention father and mother, which might be excused. The blessed mare is quite well, but is to be cossetted and walked out for some days longer.

Nurse goes to-morrow to Tunbridge Wells, where she is to get me some shoes, old-fashioned slippers which she says can be found nowhere else—in short she knows everything.

Well, good-bye for to-day; yours, my dear, till Friday.

Nurse's manner to me is like one housemaid to another a little beneath her, but I am not the least offended.

My mother had been planning a present to her niece Rose Franke. Shortly before this she had commissioned me to choose a brooch as a gift to her daughter-in-law Sara.

DOWN, Aug. 30 [1896].

Dearest H.,

Rose's letter duly came. I send it as it is so nice. The moral I draw is that a bit of jewelry is the present that gives the most pleasure, e.g. Sara, and the little amethyst brooch which gave me such intense pleasure when I was 14 (apart from any sentiment). Sara and Rose I know have sentiment about it. I shall be on the look-out for five brooches or lockets for my grand-daughters1. The Holwood [blackberrying] party answered well—Gwenny brought a tin full, while Boy and Margt. eat most of theirs. George and Maud found Lady Derby at tea alone, and they had an interesting talk, chiefly about the Duke of Wellington, with whom she was intimate, as with every other great man. She said she owed more to him in forming her character than to anyone, and even now she found herself considering what he would do in such a case. She never heard him say a severe or unkind word. She was walking with him when he stopped to soothe a crying boy. He only put his hand on his head, and told him not to cry, when the boy stopped dead, and the Duke said,"I can always stop a crying child." I suppose however it was only the effect of surprise, and the child might begin crying again. I end by not liking Nichol2, chiefly because he fancied himself a martyr to literary spite. Jowett's letters to him are very interesting and wise.

My love to R.

Yours, my dear,

1 This wish could not be fulfilled in her lifetime but five brooches were given in her memory after her death to her five grand-daughters.

2 Memoir of John Nichol by Professor Knight.

[pages] 462 - 463

We had intended going abroad this September, but first I fell ill at Dover, and then my husband had a dangerous illness which permanently weakened his health. When he could be moved we went back to Kensington Square.

Sept. 1, 1896.

I hope I shall hear to-day that you are not much amiss; but it is very provoking.

I got my novels from the London Library, and I shall do very well now.

Billy's dancing is improved and is very pretty. I never saw a child of two years use his feet in that way, also jumping straight up from the ground.

I thought of your wedding-day yesterday, but did not realise that it was the 25th. I wonder how many flitches of bacon you could have won.

Sept. 5th, 1896.

George and the dear chicks are just gone in the waggonet.

On Thursday I made John take me a circuit in the chair by Down Hall and the Cudham Lane to the entrance of Hangrove, which however was stopped up, so I could not get inside. I was glad to see the Cudham Lane once more. It looked ever so much deeper, with high hedges and trees grown. I came back over the big field and through the Smiths' yard. I felt the sharp wind over the bare field quite like an old friend.

Sept. 7th, 1896.

I was glad to see Mrs M. looking really well. She scorned the notion of going to church in the bath-chair. Dr M. was very pleasant and amusing. (How superior anyone must feel with such a nose as hers.) There is something very charming in her naturalness and unconsciousness.

My mother had a great admiration for chiselled noses. She wrote at the birth of one of her grand-children: "they say she has escaped the Darwin nose and got her mother's, which is all right."

Sept. 6th, 1896.

I rejoice at your Dr being so cautious, and I hope you cast economy to the winds.

I had an interesting talk with Lady Derby yesterday about the Duke of Wellington. He came to see her when she was very unhappy at the death of her eldest brother, and said to her, "I shall write to you every day; it may amuse you." He kept his word, and wrote every day till his death in 1852 (she is now 73, so do a sum which I cannot manage). She owns his was not a happy marriage though he was always kind, but she was silly and wearied him. Scandal was talked. She said it was only flirtation.

Sept. 9th, 1896.

We shall be delighted to see you and R. and dear Mildred, as soon as you can come. I hate your being sick away from home.

She wrote to me that she had not been quite so well. September this year was a depressing month, with rain every day and almost all day. She adds: "I fancy I had been doing too much, especially after luncheon with the children." Often, after lunch, she played her own old "galloping tune" for Billy to dance to, just as she had done fifty years before for us.

[pages] 464 - 465

Sept. 16th, 1896.

Actually a pleasant, bright day, and Carry and I have been the drive through that new lodge and by the [Holwood] ponds. I cannot but own that there has been some rain after our return. I hope R. will soon be better.

Sept. 18th, 1896.

According to my book I have been some days without writing to you, but I think I must have sent you some enclosures. On Wednesday we drove that new way up Holwood Park to the Ponds, but it is not nearly so pretty as the other ways, and a much steeper hill; but the mare tugged cheerfully up as if I was a load of coals, and all (including Carry) walked. Trees always seem to know when they are in a lordly domain. I am sure the beeches and Spanish chestnuts by the ponds do. I think the ponds are a mistake and the little ravine would be better without them.

Carry reads Franklin's Life and is interested, and our idle book is Don by author of Tipcat, which does very well.

I am sorry to give up seeing you here, but so that you and R. are well I care little for anything else.

Your card and Mildred's cheerful and comfortable letter just come in, to begin my day so brightly. I used to abuse and dislike Dover, when I came with William and poor Annie to take you back from aunt Charlotte, and they took to crying and being miserable, and the shore was unwalkable, but I should now like sitting on the shingle with Mildred. I am delighted with Leo's address1.

1 As President of the Geographical Section of the British Association at Liverpool.

Sept. 20th, 1896.

Here is I do believe a bright Sunday for Stephen and Margaret [Massingberd]. Mr H. Bonham Carter and Sibella walked over (how pleasant to be so strong), and it was the second time I had not seen them, which I was sorry for, but Bessy thought they came chiefly to see Sara. Anyhow they had a good tea, and the sight of something so pretty and charming as Margaret. On Friday (a very dismal day) I went up the Luxted Road and had quite a gay time, meeting Mrs Ffinden so debonnaire and friendly, and following an elegant goat-carriage with baby and nursemaid in (dirty) white.

I am very glad to hear of R.'s sitting up. Reading does not go for much with him. I believe he would do that if he was dying.

Yours, my dear.

My best love to Mildred. I ought to have written to her instead of you after her letter which told me so much, and which I felt so grateful for.

Sept. 23rd, 1896.

Lady Derby was much pleased with Leo's address, also with Sir J. Lister, which she said was very fine. I have had it read to me, and I agree with her and you.

I am disappointed at R. continuing to have so much pain. I think the waves must have been fine with you yesterday. I should like to have seen the 87 ships. Stephen's and Margaret's visit was very nice. She was cordial with Carry. They were amused at the way she (Margaret) took an old servant's cheating. "Yes, he has been cheating for thirty years, poor darling "!

Miles and Alice1 come to-day by the bus, and that is the last of my duties.

1 An old servant of our aunt Elizabeth at Down and his daughter.

L. II. 30

[pages] 466 - 467

My mother was taken ill on Sunday, 27th Sept. On Monday 28th she seemed to recover, and she wrote saying she was well—her last dear letter to me and the last she ever wrote. But the improvement did not continue. I left my husband, who had just been moved to Kensington Square, and arrived at Down on Thursday, Oct. 1st. On the 2nd she peacefully died with no consciousness of the end. Her age was eighty-eight years and four months.

It was best for me to return home that evening, but before leaving I went in to see the beautiful, solemn. sweet face composed for its last rest.


Abinger Hall, ii. 264, 265
Acting, i. 213
Ad Eundem, ii. 402
Afghan War, Charles Darwin signs protest against, ii. 293
Albury Heath, ii. 245
Alderson, Sir Edward, i. 267
Alderson, Georgina, marriage with Lord Salisbury, ii. 176 n.
Alderson, Isabella, wedding of, ii. 175, 176
Alderson, Lady, i. 132, 133, 267; description of, i. 136
Aldersons, the, dinner at, ii. 108
Allen, Caroline, see Drewe, Mrs
Allen, Catherine, see Mackintosh, Lady
Allen, Edward, ii. 24 n., 25, 26
Allen, Elizabeth, see Wedgwood, Mrs Josiah, of Maer
Allen, Emma, account of, i. 8, 9; returns to live at Cresselly, i. 216; tour in N. Wales, ii. 126; her death, ii. 204
—— letter to Emma Darwin. i. 454; letters to Elizabeth Wedgwood, i. 101, 112,132, 170, 172, 397; letters to Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, of Maer, i. 40, 43, 60, 123
Allen family, the youthful spirit of the, ii. 135
Allen, Fanny, account of, i. 9; a coquet if she refuses W. Clifford, i. 46; made love to by a Russian officer, i. 104; her feelings towards W. Clifford, i. 107, 108; portrait of, i. 144; returns to live at Cresselly, i. 216; her activity of mind, i. 291; tribute to Sismondi by, ii. 41; visits the Sydney Smiths, ii. 71—73; goes to Mme Sismondi in Paris, ii. 78, 80; tour abroad, ii. 126; taken to Aix-les-Bains by Elizabeth Wedgwood, ii. 162; her description of Charlotte Langton. ii. 198, 199; Mrs Litchfield visits, ii. 224; a description of, ii. 224, 225; her death, ii. 274; her "message," ii. 274
—— letters to Mrs Chas. Darwin (Emma Wedgwood), i. 373, 379, 380; ii. 122, 236, 252, 261, 270, 273; letters to Mrs Litchfield (Henrietta Darwin), ii. 224, 225, 237; letter to Sir J. Mackintosh, i. 342; letter to Mrs Marsh (Anne Caldwell), i. 455; letters to Mme Sismondi (Jessie Allen), ii. 104, 140; letters to Elizabeth Wedgwood, i. 64, 104, 208, 339, 402, 406; ii. 42, 57, 71, 79, 102, 106, 107, 110, 121, 128, 133, 138, 139, 141, 151, 162, 163, 166, 169, 203, 209; letters to Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, of Maer, i. 27, 31, 63, 98, 107, 169, 206, 394; letter to Sarah Wedgwood, ii. 90
Allen, Grant, ii. 362
Allen, Harriet, see Surtees, Mrs Allen, Henry George "Harry," i. 162 n.; ii. 61, 62
Allen, Isabella, see Phillips, Mrs Lort
Allen, James, of Freestone, i. 146 n.; his love for Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, ii. 60, 103
Allen, Jane, see Wedgwood, Mrs John
Allen, Jessie, see Sismondi. Mme
Allen, John Barllett, of Cresselly (1733—1803), i. 1, 27
Allen, John Hensleigh, of Cresselly (1769—1843), i. 9; living with his three sisters, i. 27; marriage, i. 39; portrait of, i. 144; dispute with Sir J. Owen. i. 208—210; his children. i. 216 n.; described by Baroness Bunsen. i. 286; visit to Maer, i. 296; his merry laugh, i. 386; his death, ii. 56


[pages] 468 - 469

Allen, John Hensleigh (1818—1868), ii. 62
Allen, John (Archdeacon), ii. 100
Allen, Dr John. Warden of Dulwich College, i. 53 n., 175 n.
Allen, Kitty, aged 4, ii. 104
Allen, L. Baugh, i. 9, 10; arrangements for his marriage, i. 53 n., 54, 65; Lady Holland asks him to put off his marriage for a year, i. 175; quarrel with Fellows of Dulwich, ii. 31, 32; his death, ii. 86 n.
Allen, Mary, of Freestone, i. 377
Allen, Mrs James, of Freestone, ii. 103
Allen, Mrs John H., of Cresselly, death of, i. 216
Allen, Mrs Seymour (Lady Catherine), of Cresselly, ii. 104
Allen, Octavia, i. 8, 13, 14
Allens, the Miss, breakfast party at Dulwich, i. 51; tour abroad, i. 101; return to England, i. 159; go to Tenby, ii. 56; and Mme Sismondi move house, ii. 97; move house, ii. 133
Ampthill Park, i. 245
Anthony, Mr, ii. 137
Appleton, Mary, see Mrs Robert Mackintosh
Appleton, Tom, ii. 88 n., 89, 221
Archery, i. 301
Argyll, Duke of, Charles Darwin's interview with, ii. 315
Ashburner, Miss, ii. 250
Ashburners, the Miss, and their father, ii. 252, 253
Austin, Mrs, i. 452 n.
"Awfully used," ii. 267

Babbage, Charles, his party, ii. 10, 11
Backgammon, Charles Darwin playing, ii. 275
Baillie, Joanna, i. 56 n.
Balfour, A. J., his Defence of Philosophic Doubt, ii. 300; Foundations of Belief, ii. 445
Balfour, Frank, Charles Darwin lunches with, ii. 307; death of, ii. 338
Ball at Geneva, i. 251
Bank, affairs of John Wedgwood's, i. 128—130
Barbier, Mons., ii. 308
Barlaston, the Charles Darwins visit, ii. 287; a proposed visit by Emma Darwin to, ii. 385
Basset, ii. 234; the Charles Darwins stay at, ii. 259, 260, 271, 272, 282, 286
Bath, family gathering at, i. 109
Beaconsfield, Lord, see Disraeli. B.
Bedford College, Erasmus Darwin's connection with, ii. 195
Bell, Sir Charles, i. 389 n.
Bell, Lady, i. 389 n.
Bernadotte, Charles John. King of Sweden. i. 55 n.
Berry, Mary, i. 61 n.
Betley, i. 68; the John Wedgwoods at, i. 131
Bicycle, the advent of the, ii. 228
Birds, feeding the, ii. 404
Blanc, Louis, ii. 114
Blomfield, Bishop of London. Sydney Smith's correspondence with, ii. 152
Board of Control, i. 314 n.
"Bobby" the dog, ii. 230, 231
Bologna, Allens at, i. 125
Bonstetten, Karl von. i. 236 n.
Borrow, George, Miss Cobbe's description of, ii. 218
Bossi, i. 222 n.; to edit Sismondi's Memoirs, ii. 70
Bread-tickets to the poor at Down. ii. 453. 454
Bribery to children, Emma Darwin's, i. 391, 392; ii. 55, 297
British Association at Glasgow, ii. 171
Brodie, ii. 63, 141, 199, 265
Broglie, Due de, i. 303 n.
Broglie, Duchess de, i. 125 n., 126, 342. 343
Brougham, Lord, i. 59, 316; speech on missionary Smith's trial and death, i. 205, 207
Brown, Robert, i. 461 n.
Brunswick, Duke of, story about the, i. 47, 48
Bulls of Nineveh, the, ii. 106, 108, 111, 112
Bulwer, Lady, ii. 18
Bunsen, The Life of Baron. ii. 225, 226
Bunsen, Baroness, i. 225 n.; on John Allen. i. 286; on W. Clifford, i. 361, 362
Bunsens, the, dinner at, ii. 111; evening party at, ii. 139, 140
Buonaparte, see Napoleon Buonaparte
Butler, S., ii. 256
Buxton, C, Notes of Thought by, ii. 267
Byron, Lady, meeting with, i. 278
Byron, Lord, i. 50, 51, 65; Sarah Wedgwood on his poetry, i. 141

Caerdeon, ii. 226—228
Caldwell, Anne, see Marsh, Mrs
Caldwell, Emma, see Holland, Mrs Henry
Caldwells, the, of Linley Wood, i. 69; in Paris, i. 152
Caldy Island, Elizabeth Wedgwood's school at, ii. 100, 101
Calvinism, i. 192
Cambridge, Emma Darwin visits, ii. 213, 214; the Charles Darwins' visit to, ii. 320, 321
Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company, the, ii. 456
Cameron, Mrs, of Freshwater, ii. 220, 222
Campbell, Thomas, i. 64; his admiration of Tom Wedgwood, ii. 105
Camphill, i. 68
Candolle, de, i. 222 n.
Candolle, Mme de, i. 200
Canning, George, i. 206, 207, 277; funeral of, i. 283; illness of, i. 284
Card-playing on Sunday, Josiah Wedgwood on. i. 224
Carlyle, Mrs, Charles Darwin meets, i. 427; Charles Darwin's opinion of, i. 435; "the picture of discomfort," ii. 160, 161; Letters and Memorials of fane Welsh Carlyle, ii. 348
Carlyle, Thomas, Emma Darwin meets, i. 409: Charles Darwin meets, i. 427, 435; Emma Darwin on. ii. 11; Sismondi's opinion of, ii. 16; a discussion on Beethoven. ii. 79; his criticism of Ruskin's Stones of Venice, ii. 140; his description of Erasmus Darwin. ii. 194; a conversation with, ii. 295, 296
Carriage at Maer, i. 297
Carr, Mrs, ii. 258
Carter, Hilary Bonham, ii. 106, 107
Catalani, Angelica, i. 52; declares that Charlotte Wedgwood "held herself like a grandpapa," i. 149
Cawdor, Lady, i. 276 n., 280
Cawdor, Lord, i. 209, 210
Chalmers, Dr, his preaching, i. 267 n.
Chateauvieux, M., i. 148
Chêne, i. 169
Chobham Camp, the Charles Darwins at, ii. 168
Cholera, fear of, i. 326; in England, i. 338 n., 348, 349; quarantine, i. 342
Clapham, the Hensleigh Wedgwoods living at, i. 363, 364; boys' school at, ii. 217 n.
Clark, Sir Andrew, attends Charles Darwin. ii. 266, 267
Clayton, i. 404 n.
Clifford, William, i. 46, 105, 143, 145, 146, 152; his relations with Fanny Allen. i. 107; account of, i. 108, 109; Mrs Josiah Wedgwood's opinion of, i. 120; Emma Allen's account of, i. 132—134; Sarah Wedgwood's opinion of, i. 137; Elizabeth Wedgwood's opinion of, i. 148, 149; takes leave of the Josiah Wedgwoods, i. 156; at Maer, ii. 10; Fanny Allen visits, ii. 102, 103; Emma Darwin visits, ii. 124, 125
—— letter to Fanny Allen. i. 153; letter of congratulation to Jessie Allen (Mme Sismondi), i. 164; letters to Mme Sismondi. i. 360—362; letter to Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, of Maer, i. 359
Clive, Mrs Archer, i. 411 n.
Clive, Edward B., i. 156 n.
Clive, Rev. William, i. 213 n.
Clough, Miss, ii. 344
Cobbe, Frances Power, ii. 218, 432, 433. 436
Colenso, Bishop, ii. 272
Coleridge, S. T., Sarah Wedgwood's criticism of, i. 141; on Mackintosh, i. 344; F. Allen's description of letters from, ii. 105; Emma Darwin on. ii. 387, 388
Coleridge, Sara, ii. 111
Collos, Louis, i. 146, 147; bothers Emma Darwin very much, i. 151
Collos, Mme, i. 104 n., 146, 152, 155; a "duty" visit to, i. 219
Collos, M., i. 146
Confirmation, Mrs Josiah Wedgwood on. i. 210, 211
Coniston, a month at, ii. 299
Constant, Henri Benjamin. i. 114 n., 148; an invaluable adviser, i. 120
Conway, Moncure, ii. 260
Copleston, Bishop, i. 320 n.
Copley, J. S., see Lyndhurst, Lord Corsair, criticism of the, by Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, i. 86
Cote House, ii. 105
Coup d'Etat, the, ii. 155, 156

[pages] 470 - 471

Coutts's Bank, amalgamation with John Wedgwood's, i. 129, 130
Crawley, Charles, ii. 255 n.
Cresselly, account by Sir J. Mackintosh of life at, i. 2; Seymour Allen's occupation of, ii. 138
Crewe Hall, fête at, i. 37, 38
Crimean War, the, ii. 170; History of, by Lord G. Paget, ii. 321, 322
Crofts, Ellen Wordsworth, see Darwin, Mrs Francis
Cudham, ii. 376
Cunningham, Mr, a beauty, i. 123, 124

Dancing class in Paris, i. 146; lessons, i. 149
Darlaston Hall, residence of Mrs Wedgwood (Senior), i. 36 n.
Dartmoor, a tour round, ii. 198
Darwin, Anne Elizabeth, birth of, ii. 19; illness of, ii. 141; taken to Malvern, ii. 141; death of, ii. 141, 145; the course of her illness, ii. 142—145; her character described by her father, ii. 147—149; inscription on tombstone, ii. 149; memorials, ii. 149, 150; Fanny Allen's memories of, ii. 273
Darwin, Bernard, birth of, ii. 280; babyhood of, ii. 288, 289, 293, 294; childhood, ii. 296, 297; Emma Darwin's affection for, ii. 316; leaves the care of his grand mother, ii. 344. 347
Darwin, Caroline, see Wedgwood, Mrs Josiah, of Leith Hill Place
Darwin, Catherine, see Langton, Mrs Charles
Darwin, Charles, account of life at Maer by, i. 67, 68; his interest in Humboldt's travels, i. 150 n.; taught by his sister, i. 178; his respect for his father, i. 181; wanting letters from home, i. 262; sole visit to the Continent, i. 272; his recollections of Fanny Owen, i. 309; sails in "Beagle," i. 331; his opinion of Sir J. Mackintosh, i. 344; returns from voyage in "Beagle," i. 382, 383; his Journal thought not worth publishing by Dr Holland, i. 387; on marriage, i. 392; engagement to Emma Wedgwood, i. 413; love of quietude, i. 438; his marriage, i. 441; publication of Journal, i. 464; ill health, ii. 9, 17; his deceptive look of health, ii. 22; meets Humboldt, ii. 32; finishing the Coral Islands, ii. 36, 37; finishes the Journal of Researches into the Nat. Hist, and Geology of the countries visited during the Voyage of H. M.S. Beagle, ii. 81; money affairs, ii. 82, 83; ill health, ii. 94; attends his father's funeral, ii. 120; tries the water-cure at Great Malvern, ii. 124—126; improved health, ii. 140: summoned to Annie at Malvern, ii. 141; his great grief at death of Annie, ii. 147; on pigeons and pigeon-fanciers, ii. 172; the charm of his character, ii. 173; goes to Moor Park Hydropathic 'Establishment, ii. 180, 184; ill health after publication of Origin of Species, ii. 187; his opinions on religion, ii. 187—190; illness, ii. 200, 204; given the Copley medal by the Royal Society, ii. 204; better in health, ii. 204; tries Dr Chapman's "ice-cure," ii. 206; better in health, ii. 210; at a Soirée of the Royal Society, ii. 210; presented to the Prince of Wales, ii. 210; finishing Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, ii. 214, 215; riding accident, ii. 226; photographed in 1871, ii. 245; recollections of "cribbing" at Dr Butler's, ii. 256; at Abinger Hall, ii. 265; serious illness in 1873, ii. 266; his taste not lost for scenery, ii. 271, 272; at the Vivisection Commission, ii. 274; finishes Autobiography, ii. 278; takes Hon. Degree of LL.D. at Cambridge, ii. 285, 286; signing petitions too readily, ii. 293; attends Sir J. B. Sanderson's lecture at Royal Institution, ii. 314, 315; portrait by Sir W. B. Richmond, ii. 321 n.; serious state of health, ii. 323, 324; his death, ii. 325; his devotion to his wife. ii. 327—330; Life and Letters of, ii. 340, 341, 379, 380; statue of in Natural History Museum, ii. 357, 358; the evolution of morality, ii. 360
—— letter to his children, ii. 302; letter to his son Francis, ii. 276; letters to his son George, ii. 216, 279, 290, 298, 314, 318; letters to his son Horace, ii. 221, 253; letter to Susan Darwin, ii. 82; letters to his son William, ii. 157, 171, 172, 177, 179, 185, 191, 291; letter to Rev. J. S. Henslow, ii. 125; letters to Mrs Litchfield, ii. 230, 240, 247, 251, 256, 283; letter to Sir Charles Lyell, i. 413; letter to Mrs Thorley, ii. 150; letter to Elizabeth Wedgwood, i. 401; letters to Emma Wedgwood, i. 416, 427, 429, 432—434, 436, 438, 439; letter to Josiah Wedgwood, i. 382; letters to his wife, ii. 11, 20, 22, 33, 34, 37, 64, 74, 75, 77, 94, 95, 101, 115—118, 120, 142—145, 185
Darwin, Charles Waring, birth and death of, ii. 178
Darwin, Elizabeth, birth of, ii. 98; tour abroad, ii. 208; ii. 338, 404, 405
Darwin, Mrs Charles (Emma Wedgwood), born May 2nd, 1808, i. 1; childhood, i. 75, 77, 78; description of, in youth, i. 81; knowledge of German, i. 83 n.; education and accomplishments of, i. 83, 84; first visit to Paris, i. 145; goes to school in Paris, i. 157; aged 11, i. 172—174; sent to school, i. 182; stories for Sunday school, i. 183; her sisters' hairdresser, i. 204; confirmed, i. 210, 211; enjoyment of tour, i. 223; affection for Mme Sismondi, i. 239; headaches, i. 241; goes to Geneva, i. 244, 245; at 18, i, 258—260; return from Geneva, i. 274; her mother's opinion of, i. 285; at 19, i. 288; account of bazaar, i. 289, 290; her popularity and "her manners to men," i. 296; a "dragoness at archery," i. 301; visit to the Mackintoshes, i. 305, 306; return from London, i. 325; on the death of Fanny Wedgwood, i. 347. 348; first proposals, i. 353; visits Cresselly, i. 375, 376; visits Onibury, i. 376; a visit from Charles Darwin, i. 385; visits the Giffords at Edinburgh, i. 388; bribery to children, i. 391, 392; ii. 54, 55, 297; engagement to Charles Darwin, i. 413: her account of her engagement, i. 418—420; her trousseau, i. 431; her marriage, i. 441; arrival in London, i. 441, 142, 451, 452; account of her wedding, i. 443; portrait, i. 447, 450; characteristics, i. 455, 456; birth of eldest child, i. 467; sketch of her character, ii. I—7; description of, by Maria Edgeworth, ii. 16, 17; visit to Maer, ii. 75; at Tenby, ii. 94; early life at Down, ii. 123; goes to Mr Clifford's house, ii. 124, 125; unable to go to Malvern, ii. 141; her fears for Annie, ii. 141, 142; her great grief at death of Annie, ii. 146, 147; goes to Rugby, ii. 158; troubled by gouty thumb, ii. 167; goes to Glasgow, Shrewsbury and Rugby, ii. 171; anxieties, ii. 180; kindness to the unprosperous, ii. 181; enjoyment of country pleasures, ii. 182, 183; household management, ii. 183, 184; ideas on children's education, ii. 186; her religious beliefs, ii. 187—190; has scarlet fever, ii. 200; sympathy with the Federals in the U.S. Civil War, ii. 203; her devotion to her husband, ii. 206, 327—332; preferring other plays to Shakespeare's, ii. 210; at a Philharmonic Concert, ii. 211; visits Charles Langton, ii. 212; ideas on Sunday observance, ii. 238, 239; acts of kindness, ii. 265; her account of Charles Darwin taking Degree at Cambridge, ii. 285, 286; on the Darwin Pedigree, ii. 298; her memory of music, ii. 305; her devotion to Elizabeth Wedgwood, ii. 310; her affection for Bernard Darwin, ii. 316; her varied interests, ii. 356; her political opinions, ii. 365, 366; her recreations, ii. 367, 368; her love for her grandchildren, ii. 369, 370; portrait painted by Mr Fairfax Murray, ii. 372; playing with Frank Darwin and R. B. Litchfield in concerted music, ii. 394, 395; her affection for Down, ii. 398; her pleasure in needlework, ii. 410; her constant generosity, ii. 446; her spirit of enjoyment, ii. 449; thinks hunting brutal, ii. 451; her last illness and death, ii. 466
—— letters to Fanny Allen, ii. 204, 207, 210, 213, 215, 219, 222, 225, 227. 233—235, 240, 250, 254, 257, 258, 260, 261, 263, 266, 268; letters to Charles Darwin, ii. 144—146, 187, 189; letters to her son Francis, ii. 297, 298, 343, 344, 347, 360, 379; letter to her son George, ii. 416; letters to her son Horace, ii. 345, 373; letters to

[pages] 472 - 473

Horace and Ida Darwin, ii. 323, 333; letters to her son Leonard, ii. 203, 271, 272, 274, 277, 278, 307, 326, 330, 352, 366, 374, 385, 391, 399, 400, 408, 409, 411, 420, 421, 447; letters to Mrs Francis Darwin (Ellen Crofts), ii. 359; letter to Mrs George Darwin (Maud Dupuy), ii. 350; letters to Mrs Horace Darwin (Ida Farrer), ii. 318, 338, 350, 383, 411, 422; letters to Mrs William Darwin (Sara Sedgwick), ii. 291, 307, 320, 357, 440, 448; letter to Dr Robert Darwin, i. 415; letters to her son William, ii. 285, 332; letters to Laura Forster, ii. 431, 432; letter to Mrs Charles Langton (Charlotte Wedgwood), i. 458; her letters without heading are to Mrs Litchfield, ii. 281; letters to Mrs Litchfield (Henrietta Darwin), ii. 205, 208, 211, 215, 217, 220, 223, 230, 246, 248—250, 266, 267, 276, 281, 282, 286—289, 292—294. 303—306, 311—313, 316, 317. 319—322, 333, 334, 339—345, 348, 349, 351—355, 358, 361—366, 368—372, 374, 375, 377—418. 420—431, 433—448. 450—465; letter to R. B. Litchfield, ii. 256; letter to Lady Lyell, ii. 192; letters to her mother, i. 246, 262, 264, 407, 441, 448; letter to the papers on the trapping of wild animals, ii. 200; letters to Margaret Shaen, ii. 314, 372, 380, 418, 438; letters to Mme Sismondi (Jessie Allen), i. 238, 281, 288, 347, 350, 354, 355, 363, 371, 375, 409, 411, 418, 430; ii. 8, 19, 31, 35. 81, 84, 88, 96; letters to Elizabeth Wedgwood, i. 203, 251, 337, 389, 395, 444, 447, 459. 460, 462; ii. 30, 207, 218, 244, 245; letter to Frank Wedgwood, i. 151; letter to Julia Wedgwood, i. 80; letter to Mrs Harry Wedgwood (Jessie Wedgwood), i. 390; letters to Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood (Fanny Mackintosh), i. 332, 384, 385, 387, 388, 391, 403; ii. 50, 51, 62, 65
Darwin, Erasmus Alvey (1804—1881), i. 112, 179, 261, 376, 427; compared favourably with Carlyle by Sismondi, ii. 16; generous offer of help to Harriet Martineau, ii. 20; stays at Down, ii. 81; friendship with the Hensleigh Wedgwoods, ii. 159; description of, ii. 194—198; at Freshwater, ii. 220; his death, ii. 317, 318
—— letters to Mrs Litchfield, ii. 241
—243, 300; letter to Mrs Godfrey Wedgwood, ii. 308; letters to Mrs Hensleigh Wedgwood, ii. 159, 161; letter to Julia Wedgwood, ii. 197
Darwin, Erasmus (Junior), birth of, ii. 323; babyhood, ii. 339, 340
Darwin, Francis, birth of, ii. 119; marriage to Amy Ruck, ii. 269; change of profession, ii. 269, 270; comes to live at Down, ii. 280; second marriage to Ellen Wordsworth Crofts, ii. 344; elected to Fellowship at Christ's College, Cambridge, ii. 386
—— letter to Mrs Litchfield, ii. 302
Darwin, George Howard, birth of, ii. 80; a remarkable child, ii. 156; at Cambridge, ii. 213, 214; Second Wrangler, ii. 216, 217; going with government party to observe a solar eclipse, ii. 235, 236 n.; congratulated by his father on his work, ii. 290; engagement to Maud Dupuy, ii. 349
Darwin, Gwendolen Mary, birth of, ii. 362; as a baby, ii. 369
Darwin, Henrietta Emma, see Litchfield, Mrs
Darwin, Horace, birth of, ii. 150; illness, ii. 200, 202; engagement and marriage, ii. 301; dangerous illness, ii. 394
Darwin, Leonard, birth of, ii. 131; seriously ill with scarlet fever, ii. 199; passes second into Woolwich Academy, ii. 221; going to New Zealand, ii. 267, 270; Instructor in Chemistry at Chatham, ii. 281; his marriage to Elizabeth Fraser, ii. 337; election at Lichfield, ii. 418–421; stands for Lichfield but is defeated, ii. 443, 444, 448, 450; President of Geographical Section of the British Association, ii. 464 n., 465
Darwin, Mary Eleanor, her birth and death, ii. 50
Darwin, Mrs Francis (Amy Ruck), her marriage, ii. 269; her death, ii. 280
Darwin, Mrs Francis (Ellen Wordsworth Crofts), her marriage, ii. 344
Darwin, Mrs George (Maud Dupuy), engagement, ii. 349; goes to America, ii. 439
Darwin, Mrs Horace (Ida Farrer), her marriage, ii. 301
Darwin, Mrs Leonard (Elizabeth Fraser), her marriage, ii. 337
Darwin, Mrs Robert, i. 69; her death, i. 178
Darwin, Mrs William (Sara Sedgwick), ii. 223; engagement and marriage, ii. 284
Darwin, Dr Robert, i. 69; his fast speech, i. 150; character of, i. 180, 181; annual expenditure of, ii. 22; his kindness in going to Maer at the risk of his life, ii. 48; illness, ii. 114, 115; his death, ii. 119, 120
—— letter to Josiah Wedgwood, i. 414
Darwin, Susan, i. 181; and Allen Wedgwood, i. 371; in bad health, ii. 209; her death, ii. 209; character, ii. 209, 210
Darwin, William Erasmus, birth of, i. 467; anecdote of, as a child, ii. 54; at Rugby, ii. 157; partner in Southampton bank, ii. 199; entertains his brothers at Southampton, ii. 207; work for Southampton, ii. 275, 287; riding accident, ii. 275; engagement and marriage to Sara Sedgwick, ii. 284
—— letters to his mother, ii. 295, 318; letter to Anthony Rich, ii. 335
Darwins, the Charles, first visit to Maer, i. 463; love for their children, i. 467, 468; go to the Great Exhibition of '51, ii. 153; at Leith Hill Place, ii. 173; take a house in London for a month, ii. 254; visit the Horace Darwins at Cambridge, ii. 306, 307
Davy, Dr, i. 27 n.
Davy, Lady, i. 42 n., 299 n., ii. 68
Denman, Lord, i. 206, 320 n.
Denmark, Prince of, i. 251, 252, 255, 256, 258
De Quincey, ii. 409
Derby, Lady, ii. 339, 461, 465
Derby, Lord, ii. 294
Descent of Man, the, ii. 229; Mrs Litchfield works for Charles Darwin on, ii. 230; publication of, ii. 240, 241
Desmodium gyrans, ii. 268
Dicey, Mrs A. V., ii. 284
"Dicky," ii. 358—360; an accident to, ii. 452, 453
Disraeli, B., Lord Beaconsfield, the Liberals' adulation of, ii. 316; the butt of his aristocratic friends, ii. 138; Froude's Life of, ii. 406 "Doveleys," i. 76
Down, bought, ii. 43; account of, ii. 43—47; description by Charles Darwin of country round, ii. 46, 47; move to, ii. 49;life at, ii. 180—184; visit of a suburban Scientific Society to, ii. 305, 306
Drewe, Edward, goes to Geneva, i. 244; engagement to Adèle Prévost, i. 263, 265, 266, 275, 292; Mme Sismondi scolds, i. 279, 280; marriage, i. 295; inherits Grange, i. 318; enters on his estate, i. 324; accused of inhospitality, ii. 24
Drewe, Frank and Louisa, i. 132; death of, i. 142
Drewe, Georgina, see Alderson, Lady
Drewe, Harriet, see Gifford, Lady
Drewe, Marianne, see Langton, Mrs Algernon
Drewe, Mrs Edward (Adèle Prévost), i. 252; her marriage, i. 295
Drewe, Mrs (Caroline Allen), account of, i. 5; at Pisa, i. 132; loss of her children, i. 156; "poor Caroline," i. 286; ii. 362; opposition to Edward Drewe's marriage, i. 293; tour with Elizabeth Wedgwood, i. 302, 304; her death, ii. 86 n.
Drewe, William, i. 106 n.
Drysdale, Lady, ii. 184
Dudley, Lord, i. 45, 49, 51
Dulwich, the Miss Allens at, i. 39
Dumont, i. 222 n.; death of, i. 303
Dupuy, Maud, see Darwin, Mrs George

Earthworms, observation of, ii. 281, 282
Eastbourne, the Charles Darwins at, ii. 167
Edgeworth, Maria, meeting with, i. 185; description of Emma Darwin by, ii. 16, 17
Edgeworth, R. L., his jealousy of Mme de Staël, i. 60
Edinburgh Review, the, i. 320—322
Education, Mme Sismondi's views on, ii. 86, 87; of young children, Mrs Somerville's opinion on, ii. 87; of Charles Darwin's children, ii. 186
Eldon, Lord, i. 34 n.
Electra, the, ii. 348
Ella Chamber Concerts, ii. 243 n.


[pages] 474 - 475

Elliston, actor, Sarah Wedgwood's account of, i. 36, 37
Embley, ii. 106 n.
Empson, William, i. 322 n.
Engleheart, Mr, ii. 205 n.
"Entoozymoozy," ii. 24 n.
Epigrams, by Harry Wedgwood, i. 74 n., 266
d'Epinay, Mme, ii. 369 n.
Epitaph by Harry Wedgwood, ii. 37.n.
Erskine, Thomas, Lord Chancellor, i. 28 n.
Erskine, Thomas, of Linlathen, ii. 269 n.
Etruria, Little, Emma Allen's account of, i. 12
Etruria, move to, i. 35; the Josiah Wedgwoods leave, i. 172
Evans, Mrs, ii. 270, 271
Exeter, Bishop of (Phillpotts), ii. 108
Exeter, residence of the John Wedgwoods and of Mrs Drewe, i. 87 n.
Exhibition, the Great, of 1851, ii. 151—153; children at, ii. 153
Expression of the Emotions, the, ii. 255

Fairfax, Murray, portrait of Emma Darwin by, ii. 372
Farrer, Ida, see Darwin, Mrs Horace
Farrer, Lady (Euphemia Wedgwood), "Effie," her singing, ii. 233, 244; her marriage, ii. 264, 265
—— letter to Emma Darwin, ii. 326
Farrer, Lord, ii. 218, 264, 265
Farrer, Mrs Tom, ii. 36 n.
Farrer, Miss, i. 320
Fauntleroy, the forger, i. 456 n.
Favre, i. 222 n.
Fechter, ii. 201; as Hamlet, ii. 210
Fielding, Copley, i. 268
Fitzherbert, Mrs, i. 182
Florence, the Allens at, i. 123; society in, i. 125
Forster, W. E., Life of, ii. 385
Forty-one hours' sitting of the House of Commons in 1881, ii. 312, 313
France, political state of, in 1849, ii, 131; Mme Sismondi on the political state of, ii. 164
Franco-Prussian War, the, ii. 234, 235, 240; Fanny Allen on the, ii. 237
Frascati, the Allens at, i. 142 Fraser, Elizabeth, see Darwin, Mrs Leonard
French acting compared with English, i. 270, 271
Freshwater, the Charles Darwins stay at, ii. 220
Fry, Mrs, ii. 114
Fur-coat surprise, a, ii. 301—303

Gainsborough, Charles Darwin's admiration for portraits by, ii. 179
"Galloping tune," ii. 168, 463
Galton, Francis, experiments on rabbits, ii. 230; note on, ii. 315
General Election of 1880, ii. 303 n.
Geneva, the Allens at, i. 105; society at, i. 112, 113; the Josiah Wedgwoods go to, i. 158; Emma and Fanny Wedgwood at, i. 251; revolution in, ii. 28, 29
Gifford, Lady (Harriet Drewe), proposal of marriage by Robert, afterwards Lord, Gifford, i. 106; at the Mackintoshes' dinner-party, i. 321 n.
Gifford, Lord, i. 106 n.; date of his marriage, i. 117; his death, i. 244
Gladstone, W. E., ii. 224, 294, 365, 366, 427—431
Glenarvon, criticism of, i. 140, 141
Glenelg, Lord, i. 42 n., 317 n.
Godwin, William, his "writings tend to make a foundling hospital of the world," i. 21; his admiration of Tom Wedgwood, ii. 105
Goethe and T. Carlyle, ii. 296
Gorham Case, the, ii. 108
Gourley, i. 206 n.
Gower Street, Upper, first house of the Charles Darwins, i. 432; design of leaving it for the country formed, ii. 14, 17, 18, 35, 36
Grange Estate, the, i. 106 n.
Grant, Charles, see Glenelg, Lord
Green-hill, ii. 355
Greg, W. R., article in the Nineteenth Century, ii. 289
Griffinhoof, Mr, gives a picnic to Trentham Park, i. 76 n., 77
Grove, the, bought, ii. 338; move to, ii. 346
Guiccioli, Countess, i. 330
Günther, Dr, ii. 240 n.
Gunville, Josiah Wedgwood's place in Dorsetshire, i. 13

Haliburton, Mrs, i. 180
Hallam, Henry, account of, i. 58 n.
Hangrove, ii. 376
Hare, Francis, i. 43 n.
Hartfield Grove, ii. 99; given up, ii. 199

Hemmings, Henry, ii. 257
Hengwrt, ii. 207
Henslow, Rev. J. S., i. 460 n.
Herbert, Sydney, marriage of, ii. 107
Hermitage, the, ii. 99
Hertford, Marquis of, i. 43, 44 n.
Hey wood Lane, ii. 133, 134
Holland, Dr, afterwards Sir Henry, i. 56 n., 87; and Sir J. Mackintosh, i. 338; attends Charles Darwin, ii. 193
Holland, Lady, of Holland House, i. 65. 175
Holland, Lady (Saba Smith), daughter of Sydney Smith, ii. 170
Holland, Lord, i. 121
Holland, Mrs Henry (Emma Caldwell), account of life at Maer by, i. 79, 80
Holland, Mrs Swinton, i. 185 n.
Holland, Peter, i. 56 n., 463 n.
Holmes, James, i. 388 n.
Holwood, ii. 458, 464
Homœopathy, Dr Darwin on, ii. 64
Home Rule Bill, the first, ii. 365, 366, 371; the second, ii. 428
Hooker, Sir Joseph, ii. 240 n., 300, 301; Charles Darwin's attachment to, ii. 338
Hopedene, ii. 275
Horner, Francis, i. 27 n., 135 n.
Horner, Leonard, i. 135 n., 448 n., ii. 11
Hortense, ex-Queen of Holland, i. 366, 367
Hort, Professor, ii. 457 n.
Houghton, Lord, ii. 110, 111; Macaulay on, ii. 123
Humboldt, Baron, i. 150
Huxley, Mrs, beginning of friendship with Emma Darwin, ii. 193; tribute to Emma Darwin, ii. 212, 213; visits Down, ii. 459
Huxley, T. H., his children at Down, ii. 212; on "Polly," ii. 232; the gift to, ii. 262, 451, 452

Inglis, Sir Robert, i. 207 n., 247
Innes, Mr, ii. 426
Ireland, a Land Agent's experience in, ii. 416, 417
Irving, Edward, i. 268 n.
Irvingites, the, i. 339 n.; description of, i. 340, 341
Italy, in 1825, i. 223; Josiah Wedgwood's opinion of, i. 231—233; political state of, in 1848, ii. 112

"Jacko," the parrot, ii. 436, 440
Jameson Raid, the, ii. 450 n.
Jane Eyre, ii. 108, 109, 113
Jefferies, Wild Life in a Southern County, by, ii. 390
Jeffrey, Francis, harsh criticism of Wordsworth, i. 321 n., 322; Emma Wedgwood meets, i. 390
Jones, Dr Bence, ii. 210
Jones, M., letter to Fanny and Emma Wedgwood, i. 158
Journal of Charles Darwin, publications of the, i. 387 n.
Jullien's concerts, Charles Darwin at, ii. 170, 171

Keel, i. 352
Kemble family, the, i. 28
Kenealy, Dr, ii. 273 Kingscote, i. 239
Kowalewsky, Mme, ii. 441

Ladies' Gallery in 1824, i. 207 n.
Lakes, the Charles Darwins stay at the, ii. 299; second visit of the Charles Darwins to the, ii. 316, 317
Lamartine, ii. 114
Lamb, Lady Caroline, i. 140, 141
Lambton, Mrs, i. 255, 256, 258
Lane, Dr and Mrs, ii. 184, 185
Langdon, Miss, befriended by Elizabeth Wedgwood, ii. 169
Langham Place, Sir J. Mackintosh and the Hensleigh Wedgwoods living in, i. 337
Langton, Maj. Algernon, i. 134, 337 n.; his attachment to Marianne Drewe, i. 135
Langton, Bennet, i. 135 n.
Langton, Charles, meets Charlotte Wedgwood, i. 337; his marriage to Charlotte Wedgwood, i. 344; his cautiousness, i. 346; Elizabeth Wedgwood's opinion of, i. 352; his affection for Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, ii. 10, 90, 91; resigns Church of England living, ii. 26; legacy left to, ii. 31; at Hartfield Grove, ii. 99; marriage to Catherine Darwin, ii. 202, 203; his affection for his grandchildren, ii. 255
Langton, Edmund, birth of, ii. 26, 27; description of, as a child, ii. 53, 54, 158 159; his marriage, ii. 248 n.
Langton, Mildred, see Massingberd, Mildred

[pages] 476 - 477

Langton, Mrs Algernon, i. 132, 133, 135. 337 n.
Langton, Mrs Charles (Charlotte Wedgwood), her character, i. 73; incomparable repose in her appearance when 19, i. 110, 111; in Paris, i. 149; takes drawing lessons, i. 268; her engagement, i. 337; her marriage, i. 344; portrait of, i. 386; Mme Sismondi on, ii. 158; her death, ii. 198; description of, by Fanny Allen, ii. 198, 199
—— letters to Mrs Charles Darwin (Emma Wedgwood), i. 266, 454; letter to Mrs Charles Darwin, Mrs Hensleigh and Mrs Henry Wedgwood, ii. 26; letter to her mother, i. 227; letter to Elizabeth Wedgwood, i. 202; letter to Fanny Wedgwood, i. 345; letter to Harry Wedgwood, i. 146
Langton, Mrs Charles (Catherine Darwin), her marriage, ii. 202, 203; her death, ii. 209; her character, ii. 209
—— letter to Emma Darwin, i. 307; letter to Charles Darwin, ii. 120
Langton, Mrs Edmund, ii. 248 n.
Langton, Stephen, see Massingberd
Langtons, the Charles, i. 376
Le Caron, ii. 424
Leith Hill Place, ii. 99
Leslie, John, i. 175 n.
Lewes, Mrs G. H. (George Eliot), ii. 269
Lewis, Sir George Cornewall, ii. 102n., 103
Lewis, Lady Theresa, ii. 102 n., 103
Lieven, Princess, correspondence with Earl Grey, ii. 405, 406
Linley Wood, i. 58 n.
Liszt, the Abbé, i. 379
Litchfield, Mrs (Henrietta Emma Darwin), birth of, ii. 63; accompanies Annie Darwin to Malvern, ii. 141; leaves Malvern for London, ii. 143; breakdown in health, ii. 180; long illness, ii. 191; her recovery from illness, ii. 193; stays with the Hensleigh Wedgwoods, ii. 205; change of name, ii. 208; visits the Langtons at Cannes, ii. 229; works for Charles Darwin on The Descent of Man, ii. 229, 230, 241; engagement to R. B. Litchfield, ii. 245; marriage, ii. 246; accidental poisoning at Durham, ii. 410, 411; convalescence at the Grove, ii. 413; writes letter to the Times against wearing "ospreys," ii. 459
Litchfield, R. B., meets Henrietta Darwin, ii. 244; engagement to Henrietta Darwin, ii. 245; marriage, ii. 246; one of the founders of the Working Men's College, ii. 251; his work for the Working Men's College, ii. 252; assistance to Charles Darwin in the Expression of the Emotions, ii. 255, 256; serious illness in 1877, ii. 283; moves to Kensington Square, ii. 324; resigns post in Ecclesiastical Commission, ii. 414; dangerous illness, ii. 462
Lockhart, Mr, i. 267
London, visited by Charles and Emma Darwin, ii. 210, 217, 218; new buildings and improvements in 1870, ii. 233, 234
Longfellow, H. W., ii. 221
Ludwig, Miss, ii. 199
Lushington, Margaret, see Massingberd, Mrs Stephen
Lushington, Mrs V., ii. 244, 317; her death, ii. 348
Lushington, Dr, i. 206
Lushington, Vernon, ii. 244, 444
Lushingtons, the Miss, ii. 343
Lyell, Sir Charles, i. 427, 429, 438; on change of opinions, ii. 82
Lyndhurst, Lord, i. 206; Campbell's Life of, ii. 228
Lytton, 1st Earl of, ii. 109

Macaulay, Lord, speech on Reform Bill, i. 322; i. 457; criticism of his writings, ii. 103; his History of England, ii. 123
Mackintosh, Bessy, i. 122
Mackintosh, Frances, see Wedgwood, Mrs Hensleigh
Mackintosh, Sir James, description of Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, i. 4; his three daughters by first wife, i. 13 n.; knighted, i. 27; and Lady M. leave England, i. 31; residence in London, i. 39; "losing precious time with the Old Dowagers," i. 55; considers Joanna Baillie, Mme de Staël and Goethe the three greatest living geniuses, i. 56; "these old Jesabels " making a property of him, i. 60; giving up his London house, i. 119, 122; his life in London at Lord Holland's, i. 121, 122; Leslie presses him to offer himself for Edinburgh professorship, i. 175; at Maer, i. 282. 284, 287; disappointed of office, i. 283 n.; appointment offered to, i. 314, 315, 317; publication of his History of England, i. 327; accident to, i. 341; his death, i. 343; his character, i. 343, 344. See also i. 185, 206, 247, 367, 368
Mackintosh, Lady (Catherine Allen) "Kitty," i. 5; presentation at Court, i. 28, 30, 31; visits Etruria, i. 121, 122; characteristics, i. 176; letters to the Times, i. 283; at Maer, i. 284; illness, i. 298; her death, i. 312; her character, i. 312—314
Mackintosh, Mrs Robert (Mary Appleton), ii. 68
Mackintosh, Robert, i. 373, 376
Mackintoshes, the, a worrying day with, i. 40; dinner party given by, i. 320, 321
Macready, i. 408; as Richelieu, i. 458
Maer Hall, the Josiah Wedgwoods move to, i. 35; description of, i. 66—70; society at, i. 68; the leaving of, ii. 91—93
Maer Heath, i. 193
Malibran, Mme, i. 381, 382
Malvern, Great, the Charles Darwins go to, ii. 124
Malvern Wells, house taken at, ii. 202
Marcet, Mrs, i. 200 n.
Mark, Dr Darwin's coachman, ii. 13
Marriage, Charles Darwin on, i. 392
Marsh, Mrs (Anne Caldwell), criticism of her play, i. 56; Dr Holland's frigid approbation of her play, i. 58; her admiration for Mme de Staël, i. 63—65; novel by, i. 69, 369, 370; account of visit of Sydney Smith to Maer, i. 70; her character, i. 139; her friendship with Fanny Allen, i. 455
Marsh, Mr, i. 456 n.
Martineau, Harriet, opinions on divorce, i. 356, 357; ill health, ii. 20; collaboration with Mr Atkinson, 138, 139
Massingberd, Alice, ii. 248
Massingberd, Diana, see Montgomery, Mrs A. A.
Massingberd, Mildred, as a child, ii. 255, 258; at the Grove, ii. 402, 403
Massingberd, Mrs Stephen, marriage of, ii. 444
Massingberd, Stephen, ii. 258; marriage of, ii. 444
Maurice, Frederick Denison, ii. 108 n.; a sermon by, ii. 109; speech on occasion of a presentation to Mr and Mrs Litchfield, ii. 251; Emma Darwin reading his Life, ii. 349
Maxse, Mrs L. J., ii. 441
Mayer, Mrs, school of, i. 182, 183
May-week at Cambridge in 1867, ii. 213, 214
Mazzini, Giuseppe, discussion on Beethoven, ii. 79; Mme Sismondi on, ii. 154
Melbourne, Lord, an affair with Sydney Smith, ii. 152
Memorials of a quiet Life by Mrs Hare, ii. 263
Mendelssohn, Die Familie, ii. 309
Meteyard, Miss, i. 70 n.
Mezzofanti, i. 125 n.
Milman, Henry, Dean of St Paul's, ii. 108
Milnes, Monckton, see Houghton, Lord
Modena, Allens at, i. 125
Montagu, Basil, i. 372 n.
Montgomery, Mrs A. A., marriage of. ii. 454
Montmorenci, day at, i. 154
Moor Park, Hydropathic at, ii. 180, 184
More, Hannah, i. 247
Mosley, Fanny, see Wedgwood, Mrs Frank
Mount, the, life at, i. 81, 180; kept as residence for the Miss Darwins, ii. 121; sold, ii. 209; revisited by Charles Darwin, ii. 226; visited by Lady Farrer, ii. 227
Müller, Max, ii. 111
Music lessons, Emma Darwin's, i. 252
Myers, Mrs, photographs by, ii. 351, 352

Napier, Admiral Sir Charles, ii. 19 n.
Napoleon Buonaparte, Dr Darwin's scheme of sending him to St Helena, i. 90; Fanny Allen's sympathy with, i. 98; Queen Hortense's souvenirs of, i. 366, 367; Lanfrey's Life of, ii. 234, 235
Napoleon, Louis, i. 367; ii. 156; Mme Sismondi's opinion of, ii. 164
Naturalist's Voyage round the World, ii. 16
Newman. Cardinal, T. Carlyle on, ii. 296

[pages] 478 - 479

Newman, Francis William, ii. 129
Newnham, Mr, i. 150
Newton, Professor, ii. 377
Nightingale, Florence, travelling in France, ii. 106; astonishes the surgeons at Scutari, ii. 170: her visit to the Queen and Prince Consort, ii. 173, 174; Fanny Allen's reminiscences of her girlhood, ii. 174, 175
Nightingale, Frances Parthenope, see Verney, Lady
Nightingale, Mr, ii. 106 n.
North, Marianne, ii. 317
Norton, Charles, ii. 222
Norton, Mrs Charles, ii. 223
Norton, Mrs, i. 402, 403; ii. 107
Novello, Clara, i. 381 n., 382
Nugent, Lord, i. 321 n.

O'Connell, Daniel, quarrel with Press Reporters, i. 354
Origin of Species, hexagon to be used in discussion on bees' cells, ii. 185 n.; publication of, ii. 187; "naturalists fighting about" the, ii. 192
Osborn, Mrs, ii. 361, 362
Ouless, W. W., painting portraits of Charles and Emma Darwin, ii. 273
Owen, Fanny, i. 308, 309
Owen, Sir John, dispute with John Allen, i. 208—210
Owen, Miss, i. 178, 179
Owen, Mr, anecdotes about, i. 309, 310
Owens of Woodhouse, a gay week with the, i. 308; ii. 117
Oxlip wood, picnic to an, ii. 364

Paget, Sir George, ii. 389
Palmerston, Lord, ii. 19 n.
Pantomime, children at the, in 1842, ii. 30
Papal aggression, in 1851, ii. 140 n.
Paris, after Waterloo, i. 97, 99; in 1815, i. 103; cost of living in, i. 157; family gathering at, in 1838, i. 407
Park, Mungo, i. 437
Parker, Dr, i. 178
Parker, Frank, ii. 115
Parker, Marianne, children of, adopted by Susan Darwin, ii. 210
Parkfields, i. 46 n., 68
Parnell Commission, the, ii. 387—389, 393, 395
Parslow, i. 450; ii. 14, 16, 358, 426
Pasta, Mlle, i. 270
Patience, Emma Darwin playing games of, ii. 367
Patterson, Mrs, i. 330
Payne-Knight, Richard, i. 61 n., 62
Pedigree of the Darwins, ii. 297, 298
Peel, Sir Robert, death of, ii. 135
Perristone, i. 46, 108; Emma Darwin visits, ii. 124, 125
Pescia, i. 126
Peter Parley's Natural History and Darwinism, ii. 244, 245
Petleys, ii. 98
Phillips, Mrs Lort (Isabella Allen), ii. 23 n.
Pickwick, i. 391
Pictet, Adolphe, i. 222 n.
Pictet, Professor, i. 222 n.
Pisa, family gathering at, i. 132; blindman's buff at an evening party at, i. 134, 135
Platoff, i. 97
Plays, Emma Darwin's love of, ii. 201, 202
"Polly" the Ur-hund, ii. 230, 231
Poole, Thomas, i. 46 n.; his attachment to Kitty Wedgwood, ii. 105; Thos. Poole and his friends, ii. 387
Pressgang, story of a, i. 32, 33
Prévost, Adèle, see Drewe, Mrs Edward
Prévost, Mons., generosity to Edward Drewe, i. 293
"Prudent Man's Friend Society," i. 57 n., 87
Pugh, Miss, ii. 210; Emma Darwin's generosity to, ii. 361
Pusey, Dr, a sermon by, ii. 109

Queen Anne Street, Erasmus Darwin's house in, ii. 196

Races, account of going to the, i. 177, 178
Railway, Emma Darwin's first experience of the, i. 407, 408 n.
Reade, Winwood, ii. 240 n.
Reading aloud, books for, ii. 215
Récamier, Mme, party at house of, i. 48; a joint ménage, i. 156, 157
Reform Bill of 1831, i. 319
Revolution of 1848 in France, ii. 113, 114
"Rhadamanthus Minor," ii. 252 n.
Rich, Anthony, his bequest to Charles Darwin, ii. 291, 292; the Darwins attempt to dissuade him from leaving legacy, ii. 318, 319, 335—337
—— letter to William Darwin, ii. 336
Rich, Claudius, i. 50 n.
Rich, Mrs, i. 204, 205, 318, 319, 338 —341; ii. 80
Richter concert, Emma Darwin at a, ii. 304, 305
Ridge, The, ii. 99; garden at, ii. 101; given up, ii. 199
Robinson, Crabb, Diary of, ii. 425
Rocca, Albert de, i. 64 n.
Rogers, Samuel, ii. 78, 79 n.; breakfast with, ii. 110
Rome, the Josiah Wedgwoods in, i. 224—228; pilgrims' supper at, i. 226, 227
Romilly, Sir Samuel, i. 44 n.; on waltzing, at Geneva, i. 105
Rosebery, Lord, ii. 431
Ruck, Amy, see Darwin, Mrs Francis
Rucks, the, ii. 223
Ruskin, John, calls on Charles Darwin, ii. 299
Rye, Maria S., ii. 273
"Sad," i. 7, 198

Salisbury, Lord, at Isabella Alderson's wedding, ii. 176
Salisbury, Marchioness of, ii. 236
"Sand Walk," ii. 45, 182, 183
Sanderson, Sir J. B., ii. 314, 315
Sarcey, Mons., ii. 308
Sartor Resartus, i. 391
Scarborough, the Josiah Wedgwoods at, i. 194—196
Scarlett, James, Lord Abinger, i. 207
Schimmelpennick, Mrs, i. 138, 139 n.
School, Emma Darwin on her boys at, ii. 192, 193
Schoolmaster at Down, a severe, ii. 353, 354
Schools, boys', Emma Darwin on, ii. 322
Scott, Alexander J., i. 319, 320, 374, 375; and the Epistle to the Romans, i. 387; Emma Wedgwood hears, i. 409; his lectures, ii. 36
Scott, Mrs A. J., ii. 80
Scott, Sir Walter, Mackintosh and Sharp's opinion of novels by, i. 185; Life of, i. 437
"Scrattle," i. 179 n.
Seabridge, i. 68
Sedgwick, Adam, Prof., i. 460 n.; his disapproval of the Origin of Species, ii. 187; Life of, ii. 401
Sedgwick, Sara, see Darwin, Mrs William
Sedgwick, Theodora, ii. 291, 352 n.
Sequah the quack doctor, ii. 399, 400
Sevenoaks, the Charles Darwins stay at, ii. 258, 259
Sévigné, Mme de, ii. 117
Seymour, Gertrude, see Allen, Mrs J. H., of Cresselly
Seymour, Lord Robert, i. 39, 143 n.
Shaen, Margaret, ii. 434
Shaen Memorial at Bedford College, ii. 383
Shaen, Mrs, ii. 290
Sharp, Richard, i. 29 n.
Sheepshanks, Mr, i. 74 n.
Sheil, R. L., i. 321 n.
Sherwood, Mrs, Autobiography, ii. 390
Shinner, Miss, ii. 341
Siddons, Mrs, i. 28
Simiane, Mme, her letters, ii. 29, 30
Singing lessons, i. 179, 180
Sismondi, J. C. L. S. de, propriety of his escorting the Allens to Italy, i. 109, 113, 114, 117, 120; "not calculated to excite the tender passion," i. 115; his kindness, i. 126; his family at Pescia visited by the Allens, i. 136; Sarah Wedgwood urges Jessie Allen to marry, i. 138; refused by Jessie. Allen, i. 142; makes acquaintance with the Josiah Wedgwoods, i. 147; engagement to Jessie Allen, i. 164; marriage, i. 165; account of, i. 165—168; biographical details, i. 168 n.; affection for his wife, i. 169, 170; translation of his history, i. 169 n.; Emma Wedgwood's feeling for, i. 253; an "anxious looking man," i. 256; cherishes old abuses and opposes all improvements, i. 398; his delight with the Naturalist's Voyage, ii. 16; beginning of his last illness, ii. 17 n.; his death, ii. 28, 39, 41; finishes 29th vol. of his history, ii. 38; his love for Josiah Wedgwood, ii. 49; the destruction of his journals, ii. 166; his character a contrast to Josiah Wedgwood's, ii. 378, 379
—— letter to Emma Wedgwood, i. 421
Sismondi, Mme (Jessie Allen), account of, i. 8; urged by Sarah Wedgwood to marry Sismondi, i. 138; refuses Sismondi, i. 142; relations with Sismondi, i. 159—162; advised by Mrs Josiah Wedg-

[pages] 480 - 481

wood, i. 163, 164; engagement to Sismondi, i. 164; marriage, i. 165; description of her home at Chêne, i. 169, 170; her slight value of life, i. 187—189; her soirées, i. 199, 200, 220, 221; loneliness without Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, i. 234—238; affection for her nieces, i. 239; her renewed health and gaiety, i. 304; her deafness, i. 397; ii. 29, 42; return to Wales after Sismondi's death, ii. 42; her husband's journals, ii. 57 n.; first visit to Down, ii. 67; returns to visit Chêne, ii. 69—71; leaves Chêne finally, ii. 78; on the French Revolution of 1848, ii. 113, 114; tour in N. Wales, ii. 126; her wonderful activity at 72, ii. 127, 128; her views on happiness, ii. 132; declining health, ii. 135, 136; on the political state of France, ii. 164; her death, ii. 165; destroys her journal and Sismondi's, ii. 166
—— letters to Mrs Charles Darwin (Emma Wedgwood), i. 274, 290, 298, 326, 364, 371, 378, 399, 408, 421, 422; ii. 13, 17, 23, 40, 69, 86, 112, 155, 158, 163; letters to Elizabeth Wedgwood, i. 48, 302; ii. 28, 38, 48, 58, 61, 65, 67, 79, 89, 93, 100, 103, 113, 119, 126, 129, 132, 134, 153; letters to Fanny Wedgwood, i. 277, 333; letters to Mrs Josiah Wedgwood of Maer, i. 41, 53, 58, 105, 159, 187, 197, 234, 257, 264, 312, 328; ii. 59
Sismondis, the, visit to England, i. 243 ; their care for Fanny and Emma Wedgwood, i. 257—260; visit to Cresselly, i. 328, 333; return to Chêne, i. 341; tour in Germany and Switzerland, i. 364, 365; tour in Italy, i. 399, 400; in England in 1840, ii. 13
Slavery, abolition of, i. 241, 242
Smith, missionary among slaves in the West Indies, death of, i. 205
Smith, Emily, i. 197
Smith, Mrs Sydney, i. 196, 197; dinner with, ii. 109; editing letters of her husband, ii. 111; Fanny Allen staying with, ii. 152
Smith, Robert (Bobus), i. 121 n.
Smith, Saba, i. 197
Smith, Sydney, his admiration of the Allens, i. 29; admiration of Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, i. 29, 32; visits to Maer of, i. 70; stays at Etruria, i. 117, 118; his correspondence with Lord Melbourne and Bishop Blomfield, ii. 152; at home, i. 194, 195; "Sydney's orchards,"i. 195 n.; a political pamphlet by, i. 456, 457; his high spirits, ii. 69; Fanny Allen visiting, ii. 72—74; Fanny Allen on his Moral Philosophy, ii. 133; memoirs of, ii. 170
Smith, William, M.P., ii. 138 n.
Sneyd, Ralph, i. 76, 77
Somerville, Mrs, i. 186n.; on education of young children, ii. 87
Spencer, Herbert, his connection with the gift to Mr Huxley, ii. 451, 452
Spencer, W. R., i. 221 n.
Spiritualism, a séance, ii. 269
Staël, Mme de, account of, i. 42—44; conversation with Sir J. Mackintosh, i. 45, 46; an evening party at the Mackintoshes' for, i. 50, 51; can never again feel passion of love and therefore can never again write a novel, i. 61; at Florence, i. 125, 126. See also i. 54, 55, 59, 60, 63, 64, 141.
Staël, Mme de (Junior), i. 303 n.
Stanford, Sir Charles Villiers, ii. 307
Stanley, H. M., Darkest Africa, ii. 402
Stephen, Sir Leslie, ii. 458, 459
Sterling, Captain Edward, ii. 161 n.
Stevens, Rev. T., i. 444 n.
Stewart, Dugald, his opinion of Tom Wedgwood, I. 17
Stoke d'Abernon, i. 13
Stonehenge, the Charles Darwins visit, ii. 282
Stones of Venice, Carlyle's criticism of, ii. 140
Stonyfield, ii. 355, 362
Stych, i. 213 n.
Sunday observance, Emma Darwin's ideas on, ii. 238, 239
Sunday School at Maer, Elizabeth Wedgwood's, i. 452—455
Surtees, Matthew, i. 7, 111; death of, i. 268
Surtees, Mrs (Harriet Allen), account of, i. 7, 8; visited by Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, i. 111; her life when her husband dies, i. 198, 199; her affection for Mme Sismondi, i. 221; her small income, i. 285; admired by Henry Thornton, i. 295; at Chêne, i. 304; house at Tenby, ii. 15; her death, ii. 86 n.
Sweden, Queen of, meeting with the, i. 148
Swinhoe, ii. 240 n.
Swinney, Henry, attachment to Sarah Wedgwood, i. 110

Teazle, experiments with, ii. 276
Tegetmeier, Mr, ii. 377 n.
Temple, Archbishop, ii. 179
Tennis-court, the new, at Down, ii. 319
Tennyson, Lord, ii. 220–222; Fanny Allen on his poems, ii. 225
Terry, Kate, ii. 201; Emma Darwin goes to her farewell performances, ii. 216
Thorley, Miss, ii. 141, 186
Thorley, Mrs, ii. 150
Thornton, Marianne, friendship with Fanny Mackintosh, i. 247, 248. See also i. 321 n.; ii. 456
——letter to Hannah More, i. 248
Tierney, i. 45 n.
Tindal, Judge, i. 206
Tollet, Ellen, i. 385; death of, ii. 394
—— letter to Emma Darwin, i. 426
Tollet, Georgina, letter to Emma Darwin, i. 425
Tollet, Mr, of Betley Hall, i. 69, 131
Tollet, Mrs, i. 190, 191
Torquay, stay at, ii. 193
Trapping, Emma Darwin's effort to encourage a humane method of, ii. 200, 201
Travelling in France in 1821, i. 170, 171
Trevelyan, Sir George, ii. 365, 366
Tromer Lodge, ii. 219
Truanderie, la graude, i. 155 n.
Turin, the Allens at, i. 124, 125
Two Old Men's Tales, i. 370, 371

Vauxhall Gardens, fête at, i. 43
Venezuela, a dispute with England, ii. 450 n.
"Ventilator," the, i. 207 n.; compared with the Ladies' Gallery at House of Commons, ii. 110
Verandah at Down, the, ii. 259
Verney, Lady, ii. 106 n., 107; Peasant Proprietors by, ii. 364
Vernon, Mr, i. 236, 237
Violet la Danseuse, ii. 103 n.
Vivisection, Charles Darwin's opinion of, ii. 274
Voysey, Charles, sermons of, ii. 261

Waddington, Mrs, i. 62 n., 63; her death, ii. 132
Wallace, A. R. and Charles Darwin have no influence on each other, ii. 241; his controversy with Charles Darwin, ii. 242; his pension from Government, ii. 312
Wanderer, The, by Mme D'Arblay, i. 65
Ward, William, see Dudley, Lord
Warren, Charles, i. 29 n.
Water-cure, Charles Darwin tries the, ii. 124—126
Waterloo, news of, i. 90, 91
Watt, Gregory, friend of Josiah and Tom Wedgwood, i. 20 n.
Wedgwood, Rev. Allen, takes Maer living, i. 239; his invalid habits, i. 240; ii. 270
Wedgwood, Bessy, see Wedgwood, Mrs Josiah, of Maer
Wedgwood, Caroline (1799—1825), death of, i. 217
Wedgwood, Caroline, ii. 407, 408
Wedgwood, Charlotte, see Langton, Mrs Charles
Wedgwood, Emma, see Darwin, Mrs Charles
Wedgwood, Ernest, i. 465; anecdote of as a child, ii. 54
Wedgwood, Euphemia, "Effie," see Farrer, Lady
Wedgwood, Fanny, childhood, i. 75; description of, i. 81, 82; at 13, i. 172—174; sent to school, i. 182; goes to Geneva, i. 244, 245; her death, i. 346
— letter to her mother, i. 255; letter to Frank Wedgwood, i. 333 Wedgwood, Frank, character of, i. 75; at Rugby, i. 144; takes Sunday school, i. 229, 230; engagement to Fanny Mosley, i. 339; marriage, i. 344; a happy character, ii. 132; visits to Down, ii. 301, 361; visit to the Grove, ii. 352; his death, ii. 386
— letters to Fanny Wedgwood, i. 228, 248
Wedgwood, Godfrey, birth of, i. 353; as a child, i. 356, 387, 388; ii. 53; portrait of, i. 388; marriage, ii. 300 n.; visit to the Grove, ii. 388
— letter to Mrs Litchfield, ii. 388 Wedgwood, Henry Allen, "Harry," character of, i. 73, 74; fondness of the Allens for, i. 115; at Geneva, i. 111; his mother's criticism of, i.

[pages] 482 - 483

144; at Jesus College, Cambridge, i. 151; praise of, i. 186; attachment to Jessie Wedgwood, i. 212; conducts a case, i. 271; engagement to Jessie Wedgwood, i. 305 ; preparations for living at Etruria, i. 306; marriage, i. 307; at the Hermitage, ii. 99; Mine Sismondi on, ii. 136; visit to the Grove, ii. 352; his death, ii. 361
—— letter to his mother, i. 269
Wedgwood, Hensleigh, character of, i. 75; at Rugby, i. 144; his friendship with Erasmus Darwin, i. 261; his friendship with Fanny Mackintosh, i. 287; engagement to Fanny Mackintosh, i. 318, 332; appointed Police Magistrate, i. 332; account of wedding of, i. 333—336; resignation of Police Magistracy, i. 357, 358, 405, 406; appointment given to, i. 449; illness, ii. 51; Emma Darwin on, ii. 233 ; visits to Down, ii. 361, 391; his death, ii. 408
Wedgwood, Hensleigh, children of, an adventure at Down, ii. 51, 52
Wedgwood, John (1766–1844), account of, i. 5, 6; reverse of fortune, i. 127; assisted by his family, i. 131 n.; increased happiness of, i. 137; property of, i. 305; his death, ii. 99 n.
Wedgwood, Josiah, of Maer (1769— 1843), wisest man Dr Darwin has known, i. 10; Sismondi's opinion of, i. 10; ii. 48; account of, i. 10, 11; children of, i. 66; his opinion of Italy, i.231—233; goes to Geneva, i. 272; stands unsuccessfully for Newcastle, i. 322—324; elected for Stoke-on-Trent, i. 350; serious illness, ii. 47, 48; his death, ii. 57 ; an appreciation of, by Mme Sismondi, ii. 59, 60; F. Allen's description of his letters to his brother Tom, ii. 105
—— letter to Dr Darwin, i. 415; letter to his father, i. II; letter to M. and Mme Sismondi, i. 357 ; letter to his daughters Fanny and Emma, i. 272; letter to Tom Wedgwood, i. 18; letters to his wife, i. 20, 24, 231
Wedgwood, Josiah, of Leith Hill Place (1795—1880) "Joe," his first school, i. 34 n.; character of, i. 71, 72; engagement to Caroline Darwin, i. 393—396; loss of his eldest child, i. 442, 443; at Leith Hill Place, ii. 99; his death, ii. 311
Wedgwood, Julia, "Snow," i. 355; as a child, i. 356, 370; ii. 52; "Snowiana," i. 373, 374; verses written at the age of 8, i. 465; description of Erasmus Darwin, ii. 195; Life of Wesleyby, ii. 237; the Moral Ideal by, ii. 386
Wedgwood, Kitty, her beauty of character, i. 109; her death, i. 193
Wedgwood, Mr, of Bignall End, i. 459 n.
Wedgwood, Mrs Frank (Fanny Mosley), marriage, i. 339
Wedgwood, Mrs Godfrey (Hope Wedgwood), birth of, ii. 64: her marriage, ii. 300 n.
Wedgwood, Mrs Harry (Jessie Wedgwood), i. 181 ; character of, i. 300
Wedgwood, Mrs Hensleigh (Fanny Mackintosh), at 16, i. 122 ; friendship with Miss Thornton, i. 247; description of, i. 248; her sweet temper, i. 284; a tea party with, ii. 66; goes to Annie Darwin at Malvern, ii. 142; joins Mazzini's London Committee, ii. 154, 155; visit to Down, ii. 289, 290; her death, ii. 394
—— letter to Mrs Marsh, i. 451
Wedgwood, Mrs John (Louisa Jane Allen), "Jenny," account of, i. 5, 6; her fortitude, i. 130; at Betley, i. 131 ; her death, i. 380
—— letter to Josiah Wedgwood, of Maer, i. 127
Wedgwood, Mrs Josiah, of Maer (Elizabeth Allen), "Bessy,"account of i. 3, 4; acquitted of jealousy with respect to Tom Wedgwood, i. 26; in request at a ball, i. 100; travelling in 1816, i. 111, 112; visit to the Surtees, i. 111; advice to Jessie Allen about Sismondi, i. 163, 164; her youthful appearance, i. 184; health beginning to fail, i. 201; left at Geneva, i. 219, 220; on the prospects of her family, i. 293, 294; criticism of her daughters, i. 296; illness, i. 298, 354; pleasure at her husband's election, i. 353; accident to, i. 353; the failure of her health, i. 359, 361; her sad state of health, ii. 58; her death, ii. 89; her character, ii. 90, 91
—— letters to Emma Allen, i. 13, 57, 76, 89, 116, 121, 142, 254, 286, 300, 305, 323 ; letters to Fanny Allen, i. 16, 30, 105, 109, 117, 152, 184, 211, 213, 220; letters to her daughter Elizabeth, i. 88, 99, 202, 204; letter to her daughter Emma, i. 445; letter to her daughters Fanny and Emma, i. 324; letters to her husband, i. 23, 25, 32, 155, 245, 246, 466; letters to Mme Sismondi (Jessie Allen), i. 46, 85, 163, 174, 175, 177, 184, 190, 283, 292, 295, 306, 314, 315; letter to her sisters, i. 129
Wedgwood, Mrs Josiah, of Leith Hill Place (Caroline Darwin), characteristics, i. 181; her infant school, i. 214; goes to Geneva, i. 272; her engagement, i. 393—397; the death of her eldest child, i. 442, 443 ; her death, ii. 381
—— letter to Elizabeth Wedgwood, i. 383; letter to Fanny and Emma Wedgwood, i. 273
Wedgwood, Sarah Elizabeth (1778—1856), her affection for Jessie Allen, i. 54 n., 136 ; proposal to by Mr Swinney, i. 110; refuses Henry Swinney, i. 116; on her friendships, i. 140 ; her generosity, i. 143, 254; begins building on Maer Heath, i. 193; Mme Sismondi's affection for, ii. 94; leaves Camp Hill for Petleys, ii. 98; description of in old age, ii. 98; her death and funeral, ii. 176—178
—— letters to Jessie Allen, i. 36, 137
Wedgwood, Sarah Elizabeth (Elizabeth), character of, i. 70, 71; as doctor, i. 202, 203; her generosity, i. 204; tour abroad with Mrs Drewe, i. 302; gives up Maer Sunday School, i. 452—455; preyed upon by beggars, i. 453, 454; her hopefulness, ii. 86; goes to live at The Ridge, ii. 99; builds schools, ii. 99; furnishing The Ridge, ii. 126; her generosity to her aunts, ii. 136; leaves The Ridge, ii. 199; house in London, ii. 217; moves to Down, ii. 218, 219; failing sight, ii. 262, 263; her spirits failing through loss of eyesight, ii. 294; last illness and death, ii. 310, 311; her reserve, ii. 311
—— letters to Fanny Allen, i. 179, 442; letter to Emma Darwin, i. 393, 446, 452, 462; ii. 48, 51, 91; letter to her father, i. 154; letters to her mother, i. 224, 369; letters to Mme Sismondi, i. 319, 352, 386, 463; ii. 36, 92; letter to Fanny Wedgwood, i. 261; letter to Harry Wedgwood, i. 148
Wedgwood, Sarah. Elizabeth ("Eliza" or " Sally"), i. 176, 177; her character, i. 300
Wedgwood, Sophy, birth of, ii. 27
Wedgwood, Tom, account of, i. 17, 18; departure for West Indies, i. 18; his death, i. 34; tributes from Mrs Josiah Wedgwood, i. 35; his attachment to Josiah Wedgwood, ii. 105; F. Allen's description of his letters to Josiah Wedgwood, ii. 105
Wedgwood, Colonel Tom, at Waterloo, i. 89 n., 90; marriage, i. 381; and Mrs, ii. 133, 134
—— letter to his father, i. 97; letters to his mother, i. 92, 96
Wedgwoods, the John, i. 176; lour abroad, i. 294, 295; end of their visit to the Sismondis, i. 299; at Maer, i. 300
Wedgwoods, the Josiah, in Paris, i. 145; soirée in Paris, i. 154, 155; return to Maer, i. 157; go to Geneva, i. 158; leave Etruria for Maer, i. 172 ; at Scarborough, i. 194—196; beginning of tour abroad, i. 217; go to Italy, i. 222; in Rome, i. 224—228; return to England, i. 233
Wellesley, Marquis, i. 45 n.
Wellington, Duke of, praise of guards by the, i. 95, 96; his Ministry overthrown, i. 315, 316; anecdotes about the, ii. 461, 463
Whateley, Thomas, ii. 76 n.
White, Blanco, Memoirs of, ii. 80; Sir Charles Lyell's opinion of, ii. 81, 82
Wicksted, Charles, i. 79 n.
Wilberforce, William, i. 206
Wilbury, ii. 208
Women allowed to enter Cambridge examinations, ii. 315
Woodhouse, i. 178. 180
Wordsworth, William, his description of Tom Wedgwood, i. 17;

[page] 484 - [page 485]

Sarah Wedgwood on his poetry, i. 141; meeting with Jeffrey, i. 321, 322
Working Men's College, wedding gift to Mr and Mrs Litchfield, ii. 251; walking parties, ii. 264
Works, financial position of the pottery, in 1828, i. 293
Würtemberg, the Grand Duchess of, the Sismondis dine with, ii. 29; Mme Sismondi's feeling towards, ii. 70
Wychfield, the building of ii. 346

York Street, sale of house in, i. 293 n., 295







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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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