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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Chauncey Wright   2 September 1872

Tavistock Hotel Covent Garden | London

Sept. 2 1872

My dear Sir

Indolence, especially in making practicable future plans, being one of my besetting sins, (my speculative energies being expended for the most part in other directions,) I came abroad with hardly any scheme of travel at all. This is one of the chief causes of my long stay in London, (much longer than I thought it would be,) though not the best excuse that could be given for it. But I have from time to time taken advantage of other peoples’ plans and resolutions and followed the suggestions and guidance of friends, like a moral parasite. I〈n〉 accordance with this passive mode of 〈mo〉tion I made an appointment with a f〈riend,〉 who left London for Paris yesterday morning, to meet him there near the end of this week.1 The engagement is not absolutely binding and was made mainly for my own benefit; but on the whole I think it best not to break it; although it would add much to the pleasure of my visit to you to meet your son again. I called at his rooms in Arlington St about a month ago and learned that he was gone on a journey.2

I shall be much better pleased with the little visit you suggest than by a mere call, especially as it better suits your convenience; and I will come on Wednesday P.M. by the train you suggest from Charing 〈C〉ross 5h. 5m.3

Sincerely yours | Chauncey Wright


Wright’s friend was Samuel Worcester Rowse (see Thayer 1878, p. 247).
CD had invited Wright to visit Down (see letter to Chauncey Wright, 31 August [1872]). George Howard Darwin lived at 14 Arlington Street, London, and was away in Homburg, Germany, and Switzerland until 6 August 1872 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) and F. Darwin 1916, p. xiv).
Wright arrived at Down on Wednesday 4 September 1872 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). He wrote of his discussions with CD, ‘I was never so waked up in my life, and did not sleep many hours under the hospitable roof’ (Thayer 1878, p. 248).


Darwin, Francis. 1916. Memoir of Sir George Darwin. In Scientific papers, by George Howard Darwin. Vol. 5. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Thayer, James Bradley. 1878. Letters of Chauncey Wright with some account of his life. Cambridge, Mass.: John Wilson and Son.


Arranges to visit CD at Down.

Letter details

Letter no.
Chauncey Wright
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Covent Garden
Source of text
DAR 181: 170
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8507,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20