skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Henslow    3 December [1831]


December 3rd

My dear Henslow

It is now late in the evening, & to night I am going to sleep on board.— On Monday we most certainly sail, so you may guess in what a desperate state of confusion we are all in.— If you were to hear the various exclamations of the officers, you would suppose we had scarcely had a weeks notice.— I am just in the same way, taken all aback; & in such a bustle I hardly know what to do.— The number of things to be done is infinite. I look forward even to sea sickness with something like satisfaction, anything must be better than this state of anxiety.— I am very much obliged for your last kind & affectionate letter.— I always like advice from you; & no one whom I have the luck to know, is more capable of giving it than yourself.—

Recollect, when you write, that I am a sort of protegé of yours, & that it is your bounden duty to lecture me.— I will now give you my direction: it is, at first, Rio; but, if you will send me letter on first Tuesday (when packet sails) in February, directed to Monte Video, it will give me very great pleasure. I shall so much enjoy hearing a little Cambridge news.— Poor dear old Alma Mater. I am a very worthy son in as far as affection goes.— I have little more to write about. I shall be very glad to have some memorial of Ramsay.— My very short acquaintance with him appears like a dream,—which has left many melancholy yet pleasant recollections.—

I cannot end this without telling you h⁠⟨⁠ow⁠⟩⁠ cordially I feel grateful for the kindness you have shown me during my Cambridge life.— Much of the pleasure & utility which I may have derived from it is owing to you.— I long for the time when we shall again meet; &, till then, believe me, My dear Henslow | Yours affectionately & obliged friend | Chas. Darwin

Remember me most kindly to those who take any interest in me.—


Confusion on board the Beagle at definite prospect of sailing. Gives directions for sending mail to Montevideo.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
DE 4 1831
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 11 DAR/1/1/11)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 152,” accessed on 29 November 2021,

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