Charles Darwin

CHAPTER 1.I.--AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL FRAGMENT, AND EARLY LETTERS. 1809-1842.

(Chapter I./1. In the process of removing the remainder of Mr. Darwin's books and papers from Down, the following autobiographical notes, written in 1838, came to light. They seem to us worth publishing—both as giving some new facts, and also as illustrating the interest which he clearly felt in his own development. Many words are omitted in the manuscript, and some names incorrectly spelled; the corrections which have been made are not always indicated.)

My earliest recollection, the date of which I can approximately tell, and which must have been before I was four years old, was when sitting on Caroline's (Caroline Darwin) knee in the drawing room, whilst she was cutting an orange for me, a cow ran by the window which made me jump, so that I received a bad cut, of which I bear the scar to this day. Of this scene I recollect the place where I sat and the cause of the fright, but not the cut itself, and I think my memory is real, and not as often happens in similar cases, [derived] from hearing the thing often repeated, [when] one obtains so vivid an image, that it cannot be separated from memory: because I clearly remember which way the cow ran, which would not probably have been told me. My memory here is an obscure picture, in which from not recollecting any pain I am scarcely conscious of its reference to myself.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment