These few last mornings, however, he has shown signs of improvement, and I hope he will "go on as well as can be expected." His lectures begin at eight in the morning. Dr. Hope begins at ten o'clock, and I like both him and his lectures VERY much (after which Erasmus goes to "Mr. Sizars on Anatomy," who is a charming Lecturer). At 12 the Hospital, after which I attend Monro on Anatomy. I dislike him and his lectures so much, that I cannot speak with decency about them. Thrice a week we have what is called Clinical lectures, which means lectures on the sick people in the Hospital--these I like very much. I said this account should be short, but I am afraid it has been too long, like the lectures themselves.
I will be a good boy and tell something about Johnson again (not but what I am very much surprised that Papa should so forget himself as call me, a Collegian in the University of Edinburgh, a boy). He has changed his lodgings for the third time; he has got very cheap ones, but I am afraid it will not answer, for they must make up by cheating. I hope you like Erasmus' official news, he means to begin every letter so. You mentioned in your letter that Emma was staying with you: if she is not gone, ask her to tell Jos that I have not succeeded in getting any titanium, but that I will try again...I want to know how old I shall be next birthday--I believe 17, and if so, I shall be forced to go abroad for one year, since it is necessary that I shall have completed my 21st year before I take my degree. Now you have no business to be frowning and puzzling over this letter, for I did not promise to write a good hand to you.
LETTER 3. TO J.S. HENSLOW.
(3/1. Extracts from Darwin's letters to Henslow were read before the Cambridge Philosophical Society on November 16th, 1835. Some of the letters were subsequently printed, in an 8vo pamphlet of 31 pages, dated December 1st, 1835, for private distribution among the members of the Society. A German translation by W. Preyer appeared in the "Deutsche Rundschau," June 1891.)
[15th August, 1832. Monte Video.]
We are now beating up the Rio Plata, and I take the opportunity of beginning a letter to you. I did not send off the specimens from Rio Janeiro, as I grudged the time it would take to pack them up. They are now ready to be sent off and most probably go by this packet. If so they go to Falmouth (where Fitz-Roy has made arrangements) and so will not trouble your brother's agent in London. When I left England I was not fully aware how essential a kindness you offered me when you undertook to receive my boxes. I do not know what I should do without such head-quarters. And now for an apologetical prose about my collection: I am afraid you will say it is very small, but I have not been idle, and you must recollect what a very small show hundreds of species make. The box contains a good many geological specimens; I am well aware that the greater number are too small. But I maintain that no person has a right to accuse me, till he has tried carrying rocks under a tropical sun. I have endeavoured to get specimens of every variety of rock, and have written notes upon all. If you think it worth your while to examine any of them I shall be very glad of some mineralogical information, especially on any numbers between 1 and 254 which include Santiago rocks. By my catalogue I shall know which you may refer to. As for my plants, "pudet pigetque mihi." All I can say is that when objects are present which I can observe and particularise about, I cannot summon resolution to collect when I know nothing.
It is positively distressing to walk in the glorious forest amidst such treasures and feel they are all thrown away upon one. My collection from the Abrolhos is interesting, as I suspect it nearly contains the whole flowering vegetation--and indeed from extreme sterility the same may almost be said of Santiago. I have sent home four bottles with animals in spirits, I have three more, but would not send them till I had a fourth.