To Thomas Rivers [14 February 1863]1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
Absence from home, for a little rest, for the last nine days has prevented me from thanking you sooner for your last letter.2
You could not by any possibility have given me a more curious case of inheritance than that of the Ash, which produced weeping seedlings & itself lost the weeping peculiarity!3 It is capital for my purpose. I am also very glad to hear of the Thorn.—4 I am nearly sure I have already in my M.S. index from “Loudon’s Gard Mag.” your first case of 20,000, or 30,000 seedlings from the common weeping ash.—5 I wish I could get authentic information on the weeping Elm.—6
What you say of seedlings conquering each other well illustrates the “struggle for existence” & “natural selection”.7 I have often & often looked at a crowd of natural seedlings with just such feelings & reflexions as yours.—
With hearty thanks for your capital facts | My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin
Delighted by curious case of inheritance in the weeping ash [cited in missing letter from TR] "which produced weeping seedlings and itself lost the weeping peculiarity!" Wishes he could get authentic information on the weeping elm.
What TR says of seedlings conquering each other well illustrates struggle for existence and natural selection.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3982,” accessed on 10 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3982