RECORD: Darwin, C. R. [1879]. Draft of Erasmus Darwin, folio 110. CUL-DAR212.6. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 10.2022. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

Darwin, C. R. 1879. Preliminary notice. In Ernst Krause, Erasmus Darwin. Translated from the German by W. S. Dallas, with a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. (F1319)


Life of Erasmus Darwin by Charles Darwin

If, indeed, the old maid-servant, whose apocryphal account of this last word can be has already been given, can b trusted, & I know of no reason why it should not be trusted, his last action, an hour before he died, was one of considerate kindness. Whilst writing in the early morning a long & affectionate letter to Mr Edgeworth, he was seized with a violent shivering fit & went into the kitchen to warm himself before the fire. He there saw this maid churning, & asked her why she did this on a Sunday morning. She answered that she had always done so, as he liked to have fresh butter every morning. He said 'yes I do, but never in future again churn on a Sunday!─

(That he was irascible then is as can be no doubt: my father says "he was sometimes violent in his anger, but his sympathy & benevolence soon made him try to sooth or soften matters." Mr Edgeworth also says * in reference

(* Monthly magazine 1802. p. 115) in reference to the above accusation.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 4 December, 2022