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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-1909

To W. B. Tegetmeier  24 June [1856]1

Down Bromley Kent

June 24th

My dear Sir

I brought home the Laughers quite safely:2 I shd have written sooner, but I feared to give rather a bad Report of one, which seemed ill the next morning, but is now better, but yet not quite well.— I shall be very curious to hear their coo.—

The Scanderoons have a very large massive frame, & if, as I suspect, they are youngish Birds, will be ultimately very large.—3 I shall be really pleased to let you have a pair, whenever they breed; but shd they lay only one egg the first time, I shall most likely sacrifice that, as I am very anxious to compare soon all very young Pigeons: but afterwards you may rely on my keeping the very first pair for you.—

If it shd turn out that you could spare a pair of Mr Gullivers Runts,4 they would be very valuable to me. I have a pair of poorish Runts from Mr Baily,5 but the Hen seems to be quite sterile; & I shall kill her before long for skeleton, if she does not improve her ways.— I am really glad to hear so good an account of your Polands: mine are Hatched, but I have not seen them yet as I was forced to send them to Farm House; we not then having a broody Hen.

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

I counted my Pigeons the other day & I have 89!

P.S. | Do you ever see Mr Gulliver, if so, I wish you would kindly remind him, what a valuable treasure to me an old dead Bird would be.— I did once venture to ask him—

Footnotes

1
Dated by the relationship to the letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 25 April [1856], in which laughing pigeons and the possibility of acquiring the eggs of Polish fowl were mentioned.
2
CD had been in London from 18 to 21 June 1856 (‘Journal’; Appendix II). The pigeons were probably the ones mentioned in letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 25 April [1856]. For CD’s description and history of this breed, see Variation 1: 155, 207.
3
See Variation 1: 142–3.
4
See letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 21 September [1856].
5
See letter to W. D. Fox, 3 January [1856], n. 4.

Summary

Now has 89 pigeons. The laughing pigeons are safe at Down. Can WBT spare a pair of Mr Gulliver’s runts?

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-1909
From
Darwin, C. R.
To
Tegetmeier, W. B.
Sent from
Down
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Tegetmeier, W. B. ser.2: 22)
Physical description
4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1909,” accessed on 27 September 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1909

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