To James Buckman 4 October 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Sir
I want to beg a favour of you & shd be very much obliged if you could kindly grant it.— I am keeping all Breeds of Pigeons on account of the subject of Variation, on which I know that you are much interested.2 I have just ordered a pair of Smiters from a Mr Roe of Salisbury,3 who informs me that he got this very rare Breed from Mr K inder or Tr inder Junr of Cirencester. Now would you be so very kind as to endeavour to find out the gentleman & beg him to answer the questions on the enclosed paper. You would thus confer a great favour on me.
Supposing that for any reason you do not like to do this; will you let me know, & I will ask my cousin Mr Holland of Dumpleton to make the enquiries,4 but as he is not on the spot, I have ventured to ask you.—
I have lately seen a short abstract in Athenæum of a communication by you on the variation of Plants by culture read before Brit. Assoc.—5 I feel the deepest & most lively interest in these researches of yours— Will you tell me whether they will be published in detail & soon? For I must get the volume whenever published.— Mr Bentham6 told me sometime ago that you had already published on this subject;7 will you be so kind, as to give me references of any papers by you on this subject, as I must carefully study all that you have done on this head.—8
I hope that you will forgive my troubling you, & believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin
(1)Whence were the Smiters procured: if from abroad what name did they bear? (2)What are the peculiarities in their habits? (3)Will they display their peculiarities in a cage, some 5 or 6 yards long by 4 or 5 broad & ten ft high? Or must they be quite free.— (4).Are the peculiarities the same in Cock & Hen? are they equally displayed in all; or are some Birds much better than others? I refer of course, only to pure bred Birds.— (5)Do they breed true in form & colour?
Asks JB to obtain information about pigeons.
Inquires where his article has been published ["On the discovery of Cnicus tuberosus at Avebury, Wilts.", Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. 2d ser. 20 (1857): 337–9].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2151,” accessed on 6 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2151