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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Whitley   24 October [1836]


October 24th.—

My dear Whitley

I was very glad to receive your letter, which I did the day previous to my leaving Shrewsbury. It was a piece of high virtue on your part, being able to write a single line on such an occasion.

I most heartily congratulate you. Long may you live in your now perfect state. We poor bachelors are only half men,—creeping like caterpillars through the world, without fulfilling our destination. Herbert did not call on the Saturday, as you told me he would. As it was impossible for me, from previous arrangements to have staid till that day, I left a letter for him, but which he has never received.— I am anxious to communicate with him, and have not an idea how to manage it. I am at present waiting in London till the Beagle arrives at Woolwich to be paid off. After packing up my all my goods, I shall pay Shrewsbury a visit of a few days longer than my former one, and then return to Cambridge, where I suppose I shall take up my residence for several months.— Ultimately I shall migrate to London.— I spent a few days with Henslow, before coming up here, & received a most cordial welcome from the few friends, still living in Cambridge. Amongst them were old Heaviside & Matthews, & when I return, we are to have a quiet little dinner. How I wish you were there to join us—but you, you lucky man, are enjoying far more cosy meals.— So much for my plans.. When I shall be enabled to visit you at Durham, Heaven only knows. I am at present at an utter loss to know how to begin, the arrangement of specimens and observations collected during the five long years All I know is, that I must work far harder, than poor shoulders have ever been accustomed to do.—

If you can muster time, do write to me and direct Shrewsbury (if in a fortnight’s time, or 43 Great Marlborough St.1 if earlier). In your last letter you told me, nothing beyond the main grand event, pray write in more detail. Do not forget to give me old Herbert’s direction. I wish I could see some early prospect of shaking you by the hand, and talking over old Cambridge days. Do you remember our very long walks, how pleasant they were, such nice quiet tranquil days never can return.

Farewell my dear Whitley long may you enjoy your present happiness. Once again Farewell | Yours ever most truly | Charles Darwin

I fear my direction to you is not a very correct one, tell me if it is right2


The address of E. A. Darwin, with whom CD stayed while in London.
The letter is addressed to ‘Charles Whitley Esqre. Durham University Durham’.


Congratulates CW on his marriage. Waiting in London till Beagle arrives in Woolwich.

Describes recent visit to Henslow in Cambridge.

At a loss to arrange specimens and observations.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Thomas Whitley
Sent from
EX 2〈5 OC〉 25 1836
Source of text
The British Library (Add MS 41567: 248–50)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 314,” accessed on 30 July 2021,

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