Sends payment for Francis Darwin's tutoring. Inquires about possible arrangements for his son Leonard, who is slow and not well, to attend with Francis.
Asks whether he can have a cutting of GVR's carrion-smelling Arum which he needs for an experiment.
My dear Sir
By hunting up dates I find that Franky attended you for a week after the last quarter
& recommenced on April 4
My third Boy Leonard is most ambitious & desirous of attending with
Franky.— He is not stupid, I think, but slow & so very backward that
it would be quite useless sending him except for the purpose of stimulating his
progress.— His health, moreover, is not good.— Now I
With my best thanks | My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin
P.S. | Can you give me an offset or cutting of your carrion-smelling Arum.— I find I cannot purchase it at Cattell's & I want one for an experiment.
- f1 2474.f1The year is given by CD's record of the fees mentioned in the letter in his Account book (see n. 2, below).
- f2 2474.f2An entry dated 1 July 1859 in CD's Account book (Down House MS) records a sum of £10 10s. paid to Reed, who had begun tutoring Francis Darwin in October 1858.
- f3 2474.f3From entries in CD's Account books (Down House MS), it seems that Leonard Darwin may not have gone regularly to Reed for tutoring until 1860. The payments to Reed for each quarter remained at the usual level of £10 10s. until March 1860, when CD recorded the sum of £13 2s. 6d. The date given in J. R. Moore 1977 for Leonard starting with Reed is incorrect.
- f4 2474.f4Francis Darwin entered Clapham Grammar School in August 1860 (Emma Darwin (1904) 2: 192).
- f5 2474.f5CD conducted experiments on the relationship of insects to Arum maculatum as early as the spring of 1842. He was interested in establishing that flies were able to escape from the filaments in the spathes and thus carry pollen to other flowers. See Cross fertilisation, p. 417–18.
- f6 2474.f6John Cattell was a nurseryman in Westerham, Kent. The experiment was not recorded in CD's Experimental book (DAR 157a).