To Dorothy Fanny Nevill 27 November 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
I will not attempt to thank your Ladyship for all your kindness, for it is beyond my power— I am pleased to hear that my Books have at all interested you; but I fear my little Orchid book will be dry.2 This summer when at the sea, I meant merely to write a paper for some scientific journal, but the subject grew on me till my M.S. got rather too long for a paper.3 I am convinced that orchids have a wicked power of witchcraft, for I ought all these months to be working at the dry old bones of poultry, pigeons, and rabbits instead of intensely admiring beautiful orchids.— I mention all this, because, though I can hardly bear to write the words, I must beg your Ladyship not to send any more of your treasures; though perhaps at some future period I may indulge myself with the examination of a few more orchids.— I will not forget your Ladyships most generous offer to give me other flowers, if I require them for observation, & I have no doubt that I shall some time be a beggar again [less than 2 pages missing] of the beauties of Dangstein, which I shall now read with interest.4
If your Ladyship should meet Mr Knox I hope that you will remember me to him: I spent many years ago a very pleasant morning with him & Sir Philip Egerton at the Zoological Gardens.—5
I beg leave to remain | with cordial thanks | your Ladyships | sincerely obliged | Charles Darwin
Since writing I have reason to hope that I shall receive a flower of Mormodes from Mr Rucker of Wandsworth6
Thanks Dorothy Nevill for her assistance in supplying him with plants, but he will not require any more. Asks her to remember him to A. E. Knox.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3414F,” accessed on 25 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3414F