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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. H. Darwin   22 January 1873

My dear old George—

I have been very sorry to hear of your miserable suffering, & it was a great relief to know today that you were at Cannes.1 Try & keep up your courage: I think this extreme badness may be connected with your cold.

I wish you had travelled all the way in the coupé2—do not regard expence—you know that I shall be always glad to pay for extras.— The warmer climate, I trust may do you some good.

My love to Horace & I hope he may find or make some acquaintances, so as not, to be very dull, & that the place may suit his health. Farewell my two dear sons. How it will rejoice us to have a better account of you.—

Your affect | C. D.

Jan. 22d. 73

We shall soon have finished the “Contemporary” & send it, & afterwards the “Fortnightly.”3

My mixture consists of equal parts of “Oxley’s Essence of Ginger” & of the “Tincture of Cayenne”.— I mix them with 4 or 5 times as much brandy, I take from 15 to 20 drops.—4 I add the Brandy solely to make the dropping in measuring glass easier, as I shd require only 4 or 5 drops of the pure mixture.—


George and Horace Darwin had left for France on 10 January 1873 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
A coupé was a four-wheeled carriage with inside seats for two.
CD refers to the Contemporary Review and the Fortnightly Review.
Ginger was valued for its beneficial effects on the stomach; cayenne, derived from species of Capsicum, was used for the treatment of gout and flatulence (Beasley 1865, pp. 161, 537). See also Correspondence vol. 14, letter to H. B. Jones, 3 January [1866], for CD’s use of these medicines.


Beasley, Henry. 1865. The book of prescriptions, containing more than 3000 prescriptions, collected from the practice of the most eminent physicians and surgeons, English and foreign. 3d edition. London: John Churchill and Sons.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Concerned about GHD’s health. Sends a prescription for a cough mixture.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Howard Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.1: 8
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8747,” accessed on 27 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21