(128/1. The death of Professor Henslow (who was Sir J.D. Hooker's father- in-law) occurred on May 16th, 1861.)
Thanks for your two notes. I am glad that the burial is over, and sincerely sympathise and can most fully understand your feelings at your loss.
I grieve to think how little I saw of Henslow for many years. With respect to a biography of Henslow, I cannot help feeling rather doubtful, on the principle that a biography could not do him justice. His letters were generally written in a hurry, and I fear he did not keep any journal or diary. If there were any vivid materials to describe his life as parish priest, and manner of managing the poor, it would be very good.
I am never very sanguine on literary projects. I cannot help fearing his Life might turn out flat. There can hardly be marked incidents to describe. I sincerely hope that I take a wrong and gloomy view, but I cannot help fearing--I would rather see no Life than one that would interest very few. It will be a pleasure and duty in me to consider what I can recollect; but at present I can think of scarcely anything. The equability and perfection of Henslow's whole character, I should think, would make it very difficult for any one to pourtray him. I have been thinking about Henslow all day a good deal, but the more I think the less I can think of to write down. It is quite a new style for me to set about, but I will continue to think what I could say to give any, however imperfect, notion of him in the old Cambridge days.
Pray give my kindest remembrances to L. Jenyns (128/2. The Rev. Leonard Jenyns (afterwards Blomefield) undertook the "Life" of Henslow, to which Darwin contributed a characteristic and delightful sketch. See Letter 17.), who is often associated with my recollection of those old happy days.
LETTER 129. HENRY FAWCETT TO CHARLES DARWIN.
(129/1. It was in reply to the following letter that Darwin wrote to Fawcett: "You could not possibly have told me anything which would have given me more satisfaction than what you say about Mr. Mill's opinion. Until your review appeared I began to think that perhaps I did not understand at all how to reason scientifically." ("Life of Henry Fawcett," by Leslie Stephen, 1885, page 100.)
Bodenham, Salisbury, July 16th .