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—21
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.