charles darwin

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. EAKLY DAYS. As the Chester express steams out of Shrewsbury station, you see on your left, overhanging the steep bank of Severn, a large, square, substantial-looking house, known as the Mount, the birthplace of the author of the ' Origin of Species.' There, in the comfortable home he had built for himself, Dr. Robert Darwin, the father, lived and worked for fifty years of unobtrusive usefulness. He had studied medicine at Edinburgh and Leyden, and had even travelled a little in Germany, before he settled down in the quiet old Salopian town, where for half a century his portly figure and yellow chaise were familiar objects of the country-side for miles around. Among a literary society which included Coleridge's friends, the Tayleurs, and where Hazlitt listened with delight to the great poet's ' music of the spheres,' in High Street Unitarian Chapel, the Mount kept up with becoming dignity the family traditions of the Darwins and .the Wedgwoods as a local centre of sweetness and light. On February the 12th, 1809, Charles Darwin first saw the light of day in this his father's house at Shrewsbury. Time and place were both propitious. Born ina cultivated scientific family, surrounded from his birth by elevating influences, and secured beforehand/rom the cramping necessity of earning his own livelihood by his own exertions, the boy was destined to grow up to full maturity in the twenty-one years of slow development that immediately preceded the passing of the first Reform Act. The thunder of the great European upheaval had grown silent at Waterloo when he was barely six years old, and his boyhood was passed amid country sights and sounds during that long period of reconstruction and assimilation which followed the fierce volcanic outburst of the French Revolution. ...
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