To John Murray 24 September 
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
I am very much obliged for your note & very liberal offer.—1 I have had some qualms & fears. All that I can feel sure of is that the M.S. contains many new & curious facts & I am sure the Essay would have interested me, & will interest those who feel lively interest in the wonders of nature: but how far the Public will care for such minute details, I cannot at all tell. It is a bold experiment, & at worst, cannot entail much loss: as a certain amount of sale will, I think, be pretty certain.—2 A large sale is out of the question. As far as I can judge generally the points which interest me, I find interest others; but I make the experiment with fear & trembling,—not for my own sake, but for yours.—
I do not see how I can improve enclosed title: if you alter it, please let me see alteration:—3
When the drawings are made on wood, I will communicate with you about their cutting, as I shall be then ready to print.—
With hearty thanks | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
I think this little volume will do good to the Origin, as it will show that I have worked hard at details, & it will, perhaps, serve [to] illustrate how natural History may be worked under the belief of the modification of Species.—
P.S. | Do you think of little Book with Cloth Back or Pamphlet in paper? I ask because if former, shd. you like an Orchis in Gold; for in that case I could get Mr Sowerby to draw one—for the woodcut, which I shall use will hardly do—4 Please let me have one line, if you wish for an ornament.—
On the various contrivances by which British Orchids are fertilised by Insects; & on the good effects of Intercrossing. by Charles Darwin M.A. FR.S. &c.5
Thanks JM for his liberal offer [to publish Orchids]. CD fears the public will not be interested, but thinks it will "do good to the Origin as it will show that I worked hard on details and it will perhaps serve [to] illustrate how Natural History may be worked under the belief of the modification of Species".
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3264,” accessed on 24 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3264