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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   [11 May 1831]



My dear Fox

Cambridge has been in such a state of bustle & excitement for the last week,1 that I have done nothing but go gossiping about the town.— But thank goodness we are once again quiet: & I have had time to think about my plans.— I am very, very sorry to say I cannot pay you a visit at present. I really have no right to travel so many miles (& cost so many shillings) for my own amusement: the Governor has given me a 200£ note to pay my debts, & I must be economical.— Independent of paying you a nice quiet, snug visit, I should have put a scheme into practice which I have long wished to do to see the Pictures at Stamford:2 But both schemes must die the same death from inanition.— On the per contra side of the question Henslows lectures come into play, & I should have been sorry to have missed even one of them.—

And now for our eternal accounts.— I find I made a mistake in my last letter.— I have of your money, 6"4"6 Orridge’s bill was 13s. & what 〈I〉 have paid for you amounts in toto, 3£"6"6 remains now 2£18s.— I have written to Baker & given him proper directions, & will pay hi〈m〉 his bill next time he comes to Cam.:—

Some goodnatured Cambridge man has made me a most magnificent anonymous present of a Microscope: did ever hear of such a delightful piece of luck? one would like to know who it was, just to feel obliged to him.—

My time here is very pleasant. I am very busy at 3 or 4 λογοι,3 & see a great deal Henslow, whom I do not know, whether I love or respect most.— Mrs. Henslow is hatching a young professor.—4 She will be confined very soon.— As for my Canary scheme, it is rash of you to ask questions: My other friends most sincerely wish me there I plague them so with talking about tropical scenery &c &c.— Eyton will go next summer, & I am learning Spainish.—

How I wish we could meet. You would soon be tired of the subject

Good Bye | Chas Darwin

PS. Aiken is not ill John Day wants to know what to do with your wine as the Hampers are rotting & something must soon be done.


General Election polling took place in Cambridge on 3, 4, 5, and 6 May 1831, when the Whig government went to the country over the first Reform Bill.
The collection of the Marquis of Exeter at Burghley House, Stamford.
Prose writings.
Leonard Ramsay Henslow.


CD’s father has given him £200 to settle his debts.

He is delighted by a magnificent anonymous gift of a microscope.

Sees a good deal of the Henslows who are expecting a child soon.

CD still talks of the "Canary scheme"; he is learning Spanish.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 40)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 100,” accessed on 20 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1