I hope to marry in July, and make my way down to Tenby shortly afterwards, and I am ready to lay you a wager that your vaticinations touching the amount of work that won’t be done don’t come true.
So much for wives—now for worms—(I could not for the life of me help the alliteration). I, as right reverend father in worms and Bishop of Annelidae, do not think I ought to interfere with my most promising son, when a channel opens itself for the publication of his labours. So do what you will apropos of J—. If he does not do the worms any better than he did the zoophytes, he won’t interfere with my plans.
I shall be glad to see Mrs. Buckland’s Echinoderm. I think it must be a novelty by what you say. She is a very jolly person, but I have an unutterable fear of scientific women.
May 6, 1855.
My ship is not come home but is coming, and I have been in a state of desperation at the continuous east winds. However, to-day there is a westerly gale, and if it lasts I shall have news soon. You may imagine that I am in an unsatisfactory state of mind between this and lecturing five times a week.
I beg to say that the “goods” I expect are home produce this transplanted (or sent a voyage as you do Madeira), and not foreign growth by any means. But it is five years since we met, I am another man altogether, and if my wife be as much altered, we shall need a new introduction. Correspondence, however active, is a poor substitute for personal communication and tells one but little of the inner life.
[Finally, on the eve of his marriage in July, Tyndall congratulates him on being appointed to deliver the next course of Fullerian Lectures at the Royal Institution:—
The fates once seemed to point to our connection in a distant land: we are now colleagues at home, and I can claim you as my scientific brother. May the gods continue to drop fatness upon you, and may your next great step be productive of all the felicity which your warmest friends or your own rebellious heart can desire.
Miss Heathorn and her parents reached England at the beginning of May 1855, and took up their abode at 8 Titchfield Terrace, not far from Huxley’s own lodgings and his brothers’ house. One thing, however, filled Huxley with dismay. Miss Heathorn’s health had broken down utterly, and she looked at death’s door. All through the preceding year she had been very ill; she had gone with friends, Mr. and Mrs. Wise, to the newly opened mining-camp at Bathurst, and she and Mrs. Wise were indeed the first women to visit it; returning to Sydney after rather a rough time, she caught a chill, and being wrongly treated by a doctor of the blood-letting, calomel-dosing school, she was reduced to a shadow, and only saved by another practitioner, who reversed the treatment just in time.