Changing Mores

I have been going through my stamp collection. I’ve even, God help me, been adding to it. Aside from admiring them and making a few cards for friends with them, I haven’t a clue what I’m going to do with all these stamps. But I do so like them.

This Darwin commemorative arrived the other day from someone in Scotland. By coincidence, not days before, my husband had been sharing with me some passages from Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle. They were rather startling. Darwin, great man of science, gleefully writes in his diary how he pulled the tail of a Galapagos lizard and teased it just for fun, like a naughty school boy.

He also described the dining habits of those traveling on His Majesty’s Ship Beagle as they passed through the Galapagos Archipelago in 1835: “While staying in this upper region, we lived entirely upon tortoise-meat: the breast-plate roasted (as the Gauchos do carne con cuero), with the flesh on it, is very good; and the young tortoises make excellent soup; but otherwise the meat to my taste is indifferent.”

Oh dear.

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