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Letter 4023

Darwin, C. R. to Rivers, Thomas

5 Mar [1863]

    Summary Add

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    Thanks for information on weeping trees; asks for a few weeping elm seeds.

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    The double peach is in flower; the almond has not flowered; will beg a specimen of fruit later.

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    Has been unwell.

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    Tells of Hooker's admiration for TR's articles.

Transcription

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

March 5th

My dear Sir

I write one line just to thank you sincerely for additional information on weeping trees & for your great kindness in writing about the Sophora. If you could remember, when you see the Weeping Elm in seed, & would send me a few seed; I would force them on, & see whether they weeped.—

The double Peach is in beautiful flower & I do hope it may set some fruit. The almond,, alas, has not produced one flower; so I shall have to beg a specimen of a fresh fruit in summer for comparison with fruit of double Peach.

I have been very unwell (& my hand is tremulous & worse than usual) for last 10 days & have very great fear I must knock off all work & go to Malvern for two months. It breaks my heart, with so many things to do & observe.—

Depend on it that Lindley will never let your article pass unpublished. I was at Kew about a fortnight ago & was mentioning your kindness, & Dr. Hooker burst out in admiration of your articles.—

Believe me | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 4023.f1
    The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Thomas Rivers, 1 February [1863], and by the reference to CD's visit to London (see n. 7, below).
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    f2 4023.f2
    The letter from Rivers has not been found. CD wrote drafts of the chapters on inheritance for Variation (Variation 2: 1--84) between 23 January and 1 April 1863 (see `Journal' (Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix II)). In his letter to Rivers of 1 February [1863], CD asked for information concerning the character of seedlings from weeping trees; Rivers provided the information in his reply of [3 February 1863].
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    f3 4023.f3
    See letter to Thomas Rivers, [14 February 1863] and n. 6.
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    f4 4023.f4
    CD refers to plants sent to him by Rivers in January 1863 (see letters to Thomas Rivers, 11 January [1863], 15 January [1863], and 25 January [1863], and letter from Thomas Rivers, 21 January 1863). See also letter to Thomas Rivers, [9 May 1863], n. 4.
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    f5 4023.f5
    CD refers to James Manby Gully's hydropathic establishment at Great Malvern, Worcestershire. On the state of CD's health, see also the letter to H. W. Bates, 4 March [1863], n. 10.
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    f6 4023.f6
    John Lindley was editor of the horticultural section of the Gardeners' Chronicle; an article by Rivers on seedling raspberries and strawberries was published in the Gardeners' Chronicle, 14 March 1863, pp. 244--5.
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    f7 4023.f7
    Joseph Dalton Hooker was assistant director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (R. Desmond 1994); CD visited Hooker there on 11 February 1863 (see `Journal' (Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix II)).
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