To J. B. Innes 24 February 
Down Bromley Kent Feb. 24th Dear Innes.
Many thanks for your friendly note.1 You seem all very prosperous, & we are very glad to hear of it.— I have heard of the mule from the canary & other finches occasionally breeding; but it is very rare (except with the siskin where the case is not so rare) & there is hardly one quite well authenticated case of two such mules breeding together.2 I will not forget your offer if I should wish for any observations or enquiries made in the north.
Life rolls on, as you know, very uniformly in Down, & we have no news. Yes, we have, the Butcher has jilted his old love, & is going to be married to a new one!3
We went a few days ago to lunch with the John Lubbocks & they evidently seem thoroughily to enjoy their new home & freedom.4 They gave us a good account of poor Montague.5
We have had the Influenza here very badly— 16 were sick in this house, & at one time six in bed. Etty keeps capital;6 but now we have Horace failing badly with intermittent weak pulse, like four of our other children previously.7 It is a curious form of inheritance from my poor constitution, though I never failed in exactly that way.— I am glad to hear that Mrs. Innes (to whom pray give our kind remembrances) has been out to dinner;8 she beats me, for I have not ventured on such a bold step for an age.
Believe me Dear Innes | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin
Has heard of mules of canary and other finches breeding occasionally, but it is rare, and there is hardly one authenticated case of two such mules breeding together.
Sixteen of the household at Down are sick with influenza.
- Letter no.
- Charles Robert Darwin
- John Brodie Innes
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
- Physical description