C. Darwin to J. S. Henslow.

Cambridge, Red Lion (Sept. 2), 1831. MY DEAR SIR, I am just arrived; you will guess the

My father has changed his mind. I trust the place is not given away.

I am very much fatigued, and am going to bed.
I dare say you have not yet got my second letter.

How soon shall I come to you in the morning? Send a verbal answer.




C. Darwin to Miss Susan Darwin.

Cambridge, Sunday Morning (September 4). MY DEAR SUSAN,

As a letter would not have gone yesterday, I put off writing till to-day. I had rather a wearisome journey, but got into Cambridge very fresh. The whole of yesterday I spent with Henslow, thinking of what is to be done, and that I find is a great deal. By great good luck I know a man of the name of Wood, nephew of Lord Londonderry. He is a great friend of Captain Fitz-Roy, and has written to him about me. I heard a part of Captain Fitz-Roy's letter, dated some time ago, in which he says: “I have a right good set of officers, and most of my men have been there before.” It seems he has been there for the last few years ; he was then second in command with the same vessel that he has now chosen. He is only twenty-three years old, but [has) seen a deal of service, and won the gold medal at Portsmouth. The Admiralty say his maps are most perfect. He had choice of two vessels, and he chose the smallest. Henslow will give me letters to all travellers in town whom he thinks may assist me.

Peacock has sole appointment of Naturalist. The first




person offered was Leonard Jenyns, who was so near accepting it that he packed up his clothes. But having two livings, he did not think it right to leave them to the great regret of all his family. Henslow himself was not very far from accepting it, for Mrs. Henslow most generously, and without being asked, gave her consent; but she looked so miserable that Henslow at once settled the point.

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I am afraid there will be a good deal of expense at first. Henslow is much against taking many things; it is [the] mistake all young travellers fall into. I write as if it was settled, but Henslow tells me by no means to make up my mind till I have had long conversations with Captains Beaufort and Fitz-Roy. Good-bye. You will hear from me constantly. Direct 17 Spring Gardens. Tell nobody in Shropshire yet. Be sure not.


I was so tired that evening I was in Shrewsbury that I thanked none of you for your kindness half so much as I felt.

Love to my father.

The reason I don't want people told in Shropshire : in case I should not go, it will make it more flat.

C. Darwin to Miss S. Darwin,

17 Spring Gardens, Monday

(September 5, 1831). I have so little time to spare that I have none to waste in re-writing letters, so that you must excuse my bringing up the other with me and altering it. The last letter was written in the morning. In [the] middle of [the] day, Wood received a letter from Captain Fitz-Roy, which I must say was most straightforward and gentlemanlike, but so much against my going, that I immediately gave up the scheme ; and Henslow did the same, saying that he thought Peacock had acted very wrong in misrepresenting things so much.

It seems

I scarcely thought of going to town, but here I am ; and now for more details, and much more promising ones. Captain Fitz-Roy is (in) town, and I have seen him; it is no use attempting to praise him as much as I feel inclined to do, for you would not believe me. One thing I am certain, nothing could be more open and kind than he was to me. he had promised to take a friend with him, who is in office and cannot go, and he only received the letter five minutes before I came in ; and this makes things much better for me, as want of room was one of Fitz-Roy's greatest objections. He offers me to go share in everything in his cabin if I like to come, and every sort of accommodation that I can have, but they will not be numerous. He says nothing would be so miserable for him as having me with him if I was uncomfortable, as in a small vessel we must be thrown together, and thought it his duty to state everything in the worst point of view. I think I shall go on Sunday to Plymouth to see the vessel.

There is something most extremely attractive in his manners and way of coming straight to the point. If I live with him, he says I must live poorly-no wine, and the plainest dinners. The scheme is not certainly so good as Peacock describes. Captain Fitz-Roy advises me not (to] make up my mind quite yet, but that, seriously, he thinks it will have much more pleasure than pain for me. The vessel does not sail till the roth of October. It contains sixty men, six officers, &c., but is a small vessel. It will probably be out nearly three years. I shall pay to the mess the same as [the] Captain does himself, £30 per annum ; and Fitz-Roy says if I spend, including my outfitting, £500, it will be beyond the extreme.

But now for still worse news. The round the world is not certain, but the chance most excellent. Till that point is decided, I will not be so. And you may believe, after the many changes I have made, that nothing but my reason shall decide me.

Fitz-Roy says the stormy sea is exaggerated; that if I do not choose to remain with them, I can at any time get home

five or 1831.)



to England, so many vessels sail that way, and that during bad weather (probably two months), if I like I shall be left in some healthy, safe and nice country; that I shall always have assistance ; that he has many books, all instruments, guns, at my service; that the fewer and cheaper clothes I take the better. The manner of proceeding will just suit me. They anchor the ship, and then remain for a fortnight at a place. I have made Captain Beaufort perfectly understand me. He says if I start and do not go round the world, I shall have good reason to think myself deceived. I am to call the day after to-morrow, and, if possible, to receive more certain instructions. The want of room is decidedly the most serious objection; but Captain Fitz-Roy (probably owing to Wood's letter) seems determined to make me [as] comfortable as he possibly can. I like his manner of proceeding.

He asked me at once, "Shall you bear being told that I want the cabin to myself ? --when I want to be alone. If we treat each other this way, I hope we shall suit; if not, probably we should wish each other at the devil."

We stop a week at [the] Madeira Islands, and shall see most of [the] big cities in South America. Captain Beaufort is drawing up the track through the South Sea. I am writing in [a] great hurry; I do not know whether you take interest enough to excuse treble postage. I hope I am judging reasonably, and not through prejudice, about Captain FitzRoy; if so, I am sure we shall suit. I dine with him to-day. I could write [a] great deal more if I thought you liked it, and I had at present time. There is indeed a tide in the affairs of man, and I have experienced it, and I had entirely given it up till one to-day. Love to my father. Dearest Susan, good-bye.


C. Darwin to J. S. Henslow.

London, Monday, September 5, 1831). MY DEAR SIR,

Gloria in excelsis is the most moderate beginning I can think of. Things are more prosperous than I should have thought possible. Captain Fitz-Roy is everything that is delightful. If I was to praise half so much as I feel inclined, you would say it was absurd, only once seeing him. I think he really wishes to have me. He offers me to mess with him, and he will take care I have such room as is possible. But about the cases he says I must limit myself ; but then he thinks like a sailor about size. Captain Beaufort says I shall be upon the Boards, and then it will only cost me like other officers. Ship sails oth of October. Spends a week at Madeira Islands; and then Rio de Janeiro. They all think most extremely probable, home by the Indian archipelago; but till that is decided, I will not be so.

What has induced Captain Fitz-Roy to take a better view of the case is, that Mr. Chester, who was going as a friend, cannot go, so that I shall have his place in every respect.

Captain Fitz-Roy has {a} good stock of books, many of which were in my list, and rifles, &c., so that the outfit will be much less expensive than I supposed.

The vessel will be out three years. I do not object so that my father does not. On Wednesday I have another interview with Captain Beaufort, and on Sunday most likely go with Captain Fitz-Roy to Plymouth. So I hope you will keep on thinking on the subject, and just keep memoranda of what may strike you. I will call most probably on Mr. Burchell and introduce myself. I am in lodgings at 17 Spring Gardens. You cannot imagine anything more pleasant, kind, and open than Captain Fitz-Roy's manners were to me. am sure it will be my fault if we do not suit.

What changes I have had. Till one to-day I was building

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