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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   [7 April 1831]

My dear Fox

Do you mean to cut the connection; why do you not write? I sent the last letter; so by the laws of nations you ought to have written.— I was in such bustle, when I last wrote to you: that I really forget how our various money transactions go on.— I will state them.— I have in my possession your 5£: I have paid Aiken 2"13"6. But have not paid Bakers bill, (not having seen him) which amounts 5£"3s"6 including 12s. for apples for Henslows— I shall start for Cambridge tomorrow week: but shall stay a few days in London to hear Operas &c &c.— Let me have a letter from you waiting at Cambridge, or before I go there: I will settle all your affairs for you.—

I expect to spend a very pleasant Spring term: walking & botanizing with Henslow: I suppose it is out of the question, your snatching a Parsons week1 & running up to Cambridge. I think you would enjoy; I am sure I should;— Think of it.—

At present, I talk, think, & dream of a scheme I have almost hatched of going to the Canary Islands.— I have long had a wish of seeing Tropical scenery & vegetation: & according to Humboldt2 Teneriffe is a very pretty specimen.—

Looking over your letter I find there is a bill Orridges, is it distinct from the 2£"13"6?

If you are not busy, you had better write to me before tomorrow week, & give me circumstantial account of every thing that you can think of.— How all your family are? &c &c.

Believe me dear old Fox | Most sincerely | Chas Darwin *S 2

Shrewsbury Thursday

PS. tell me how, where &c &c, you are living?


‘the time taken as a holiday by a clergyman who is excused a Sunday, lasting (usually) from Monday to the Saturday week following’ (OED).
See chapter two of Humboldt 1814–29; also Autobiography, p. 68, where CD writes that he copied out from Humboldt long passages about Tenerife. The English translation of Personal narrative is in Darwin Library–CUL in six volumes of various editions. Volumes one and two, in one, third edition, 1822, is inscribed ‘J. S. Henslow to his friend C. Darwin on his departure from England upon a voyage around the World 21 Septr 1831’. All of the volumes have some marginal scoring of passages and occasional comments. Volume five has a list of page numbers on the end-paper; volumes one and two, three, and seven have notes by CD pinned in back.


Autobiography: The autobiography of Charles Darwin 1809–1882. With original omissions restored. Edited with appendix and notes by Nora Barlow. London: Collins. 1958.

Humboldt, Alexander von. 1814–29. Personal narrative of travels to the equinoctial regions of the New Continent, during the years 1799–1804. By Alexander de Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland. Translated into English by Helen Maria Williams. 7 vols. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown; J. Murray; H. Colburn.

OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.


CD expects pleasant spring term; will botanise with Henslow.

He is dreaming of going to the Canary Islands for tropical scenery.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 39)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 96,” accessed on 6 August 2021,

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