We got into our lodgings yesterday evening, which are very comfortable and near the College. Our Landlady, by name Mrs. Mackay, is a nice clean old body--exceedingly civil and attentive. She lives in "11, Lothian Street, Edinburgh" (1/1. In a letter printed in the "Edinburgh Evening Despatch" of May 22nd, 1888, the writer suggested that a tablet should be placed on the house, 11, Lothian Street. This suggestion was carried out in 1888 by Mr. Ralph Richardson (Clerk of the Commissary Court, Edinburgh), who obtained permission from the proprietors to affix a tablet to the house, setting forth that Charles Darwin resided there as an Edinburgh University student. We are indebted to Mr. W.K. Dickson for obtaining for us this information, and to Mr. Ralph Richardson for kindly supplying us with particulars. See Mr. Richardson's Inaugural Address, "Trans. Edinb. Geol. Soc." 1894-95; also "Memorable Edinburgh Houses," by Wilmot Harrison, 1898.), and only four flights of steps from the ground- floor, which is very moderate to some other lodgings that we were nearly taking. The terms are 1 pound 6 shillings for two very nice and LIGHT bedrooms and a sitting-room; by the way, light bedrooms are very scarce articles in Edinburgh, since most of them are little holes in which there is neither air nor light. We called on Dr. Hanley the first morning, whom I think we never should have found, had it not been for a good-natured Dr. of Divinity who took us into his library and showed us a map, and gave us directions how to find him. Indeed, all the Scotchmen are so civil and attentive, that it is enough to make an Englishman ashamed of himself. I should think Dr. Butler or any other fat English Divine would take two utter strangers into his library and show them the way! When at last we found the Doctor, and having made all the proper speeches on both sides, we all three set out and walked all about the town, which we admire excessively; indeed Bridge Street is the most extraordinary thing I ever saw, and when we first looked over the sides, we could hardly believe our eyes, when instead of a fine river, we saw a stream of people. We spend all our mornings in promenading about the town, which we know pretty well, and in the evenings we go to the play to hear Miss Stephens (Probably Catherine Stephens), which is quite delightful; she is very popular here, being encored to such a degree, that she can hardly get on with the play. On Monday we are going to Der F (I do not know how to spell the rest of the word). (1/2. "Der F" is doubtless "Der Freischutz," which appeared in 1820, and of which a selection was given in London, under Weber's direction, in 1825. The last of Weber's compositions, "From Chindara's warbling fount," was written for Miss Stephens, who sang it to his accompaniment "the last time his fingers touched the key-board." (See "Dict. of Music," "Stephens" and "Weber.")) Before we got into our lodgings, we were staying at the Star Hotel in Princes St., where to my surprise I met with an old schoolfellow, whom I like very much; he is just come back from a walking tour in Switzerland and is now going to study for his [degree?] The introductory lectures begin next Wednesday, and we were matriculated for them on Saturday; we pay 10s., and write our names in a book, and the ceremony is finished; but the Library is not free to us till we get a ticket from a Professor. We just have been to Church and heard a sermon of only 20 minutes. I expected, from Sir Walter Scott's account, a soul-cutting discourse of 2 hours and a half.
I remain your affectionate son, C. DARWIN.
LETTER 2. TO CAROLINE DARWIN. January 6th, 1826. Edinburgh.
Many thanks for your very entertaining letter, which was a great relief after hearing a long stupid lecture from Duncan on Materia Medica, but as you know nothing either of the Lectures or Lecturers, I will give you a short account of them. Dr. Duncan is so very learned that his wisdom has left no room for his sense, and he lectures, as I have already said, on the Materia Medica, which cannot be translated into any word expressive enough of its stupidity.