To H. W. Bates 13 January 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Sir
I have been very bad for fortnight & could not read your M.S. before today & yesterday.2 It is, in my opinion excellent—style perfect—description first-rate (I quite enjoyed rambling in forests) & good dashes of original reflexions. I must write very briefly.— Remember that large sale of a Book depends much on chance,—on whether public mind occupied—other books coming out &c &c., but I feel assured that your Book will be a permanently good one, & that your friends will always feel a satisfaction at its publication.— I will write when you like to Murray.—3
Could you add a notion by simile to kind of mysterious sounds heard in forest? but be vague & very brief in any simile.—for description as it now stands is grand.— Did the native look round & shrink or hide when he trembled & heard sound?—4 This is capital.—
Matador very good—5 Better than very good.— at p. 9. ought you not to enlarge one sentence to show why the diversity of classes of Lianas interested you? Is it because as to showing that many Families have thus become modified—something in same way as Marsupials, Edentata, Carnivora, Rodentata, & Quadrumana have here in another manner become “climbers”.—6
How are moths & sphinxes in Tropics.7 Did you sugar? Is the little Heron insectivorous?8 State somewhere for me, whether any of the Mammals & Birds often & long kept in confinement in native home, breed?9 I like much discussion on Burmeister.10 I like all.— I am very weak & tired.— Do not think you have anything to thank me for— it has been pleasure.— Go on as you have begun & you will surely succeed.—
Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin
Hooker is much interested by what I told him about your conclusion of colours. of Butterflies & Tropics.11
M.S. returned by the Post.
Has been in bad health and has just read HWB’s MS in the last two days. Praises the book; assured it will be successful. Offers to write to Murray. Hooker interested in conclusions on colour.
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Bates, H. W.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3382,” accessed on 29 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3382