To Asa Gray 29 October 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Gray
Thanks for your interesting little note of Oct. 3d.— you allude to a previous one which I never received, & am sorry for.—2 I have little or nothing to say & it is no wonder, as I live so uniform a life.— It is a horrid shame, busy & overworked as you are, but I write chiefly to ask you to get from any ornithologist or Oologist answers to enclosed questions,3 as far as may be possible.— I know that there is some good man at Cambridge or Boston, whose name I have at present forgotten.—4
Do read in last Nat. Hist. Review Huxley on Kölliker & Flourens;5 you, yourself could not have done it better.— I had a letter a little time ago from a good believer in change of species, viz B. Walsh of Illinois.—6 There are good philosophical remarks in his papers, & for some odd cause, philosophy is rarely found in entomological works7
I am able now to work on my good days for about 2 hours.— I think Phosphate of iron, which I hear is often used with you, has done me good.8 Lady Lyell9 was giving me a wonderful account of the benefit a dyspeptic lady had received from a Philadelphia medicine, which is imported into England & is called “Syrup of Phosphates”.10 Did you ever hear of it? I am tempted to try it, if I knew of what it was composed.—
I am plodding on with little success on “Laws of Variation”;11 & have succeeded only in making a disjointed skeleton on which to hang a multitude of queer facts. But I have not been able to resist doing a little more at your God-child my Climbing paper12 or rather in size little Book, which by Jove I will have copied out, else I shall never stop. This has been new sort of work for me & I have been pleased to find what a capital guide for observation, a full conviction of the change of species is.—
We always like to hear your opinion on public news; my wife in indignation has changed the Times for the Daily News,13 which I find rather dull, but it does not much concern me, for I read but little & live on endless foolish novels which are read aloud to me by my dear womenkind.
Farewell my good friend, do not write as long as you are a slave to your work | Farewell.— C. Darwin
Sends question [missing] for an ornithologist.
Is plodding on at Variation.
Has added to Climbing plants.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4647,” accessed on 3 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4647