To John Scott 1 and 3 August 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
I am rather overwhelmed with letters to answer, but I must thank you for the copy of your Orchid paper.—2 I can with entire truth say it has greatly interested me.— Every naturalist who cares for anything besides naming species, will, I believe, be interested by it.— I am pleased by the notice you take of my papers; but you take almost too much notice of them.3 My sole criticism is, as you know, that some parts might have been written in a4 simpler style,5 like your letters. I shall hereafter read your paper to Dr. Hooker,6 so that he shall see it; but for about 3 weeks he is terribly overworked owing to the absence and illness of several of the officers at Kew.7 I congratulated you on the printing of your Paper and now must wish you good night for I am very tired.
Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | C. Darwin.
Aug 3d. P.S.—8 | I have kept back my note, owing to receipt of yours,9 which as usual contained much to me very valuable matter.— I shall give all your new facts on sterility of orchids; as you have established the case far better than anyone.—10
Your argument on coloured primroses not being hybrids seems to me good, & ought to be just mentioned in your paper—11 It is a good thought of yours to sow seed of the coloured primroses & so perhaps discover parentage. I begin to think more & more that perhaps you had better keep back this subject for separate paper.12
Many thanks for seed of the red Cowslip— it is a very remarkable case.—13
I suppose I understand rightly that the seed of white & red Primrose are self- fertilised seed—if I am wrong please tell me.—14
I am very glad that I sent the result of crosses of Primrose & Cowslip:15 I doubted whether worth sending; as I thought the non result of the heteromorphic union of cowslip & primrose was mere accident.—16 I wish I had made more crosses, but I was then so busy.—
I have no more evidence about L. Lewisii: Asa Gray considers it only as var.—17 L. corymbiferum is dimorphic.— I was right about fertility of L. flavum.—18 I believe I once saw a lot of L. monogynum & they were all same form. Can seed of L. monogynum be purchased?? What you say about long-styled is curious.19
Dear Sir | Yours faithfully & obliged | C. Darwin
Possibly Dr Hildebrand of Bonn would notice your paper in Bot. Zeitung— if you have spare copy & like; I will forward one to him—20
Thanks JS for orchid paper [Trans. Bot. Soc. Edinburgh 7 (1863): 543–50]. JS presents excellent new facts on sterility of orchids.
His argument that coloured primroses are not hybrids is good, as is idea of discovering primrose parentage by breeding for colours.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4260,” accessed on 29 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4260