To W. D. Fox 14 May 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Fox
I fear from your note received this morning that you are far from well; but cannot you pay us a visit?2 It wd give me, my dear old friend, real pleasure— All days are the same to us, but we are a very small party now.
The Orpington Station on the S.E. Railway is now open, only 3 miles distant from us.
Your letter is an excellent one & gives me just the kind of facts I want to know. If you can find the mem. about the carrion-crows pray do so.3
I shall let you have no peace till you give me a full account of the “great Magpie marriage”: I never heard of such a thing except with Black cocks & some foreign birds.4 Your story about the Peacocks is so good that I must quote it.5 Don’t hunt for references about Magpies unless you know of other cases, besides those given by Macgillivray, Couch, & I think White of Selbourne.6 You ought to have written a book like White’s Selborne, for I am sure you could have done so.
I hope you will be able to pay us a visit & then I shall hear all about yourself & your family.
My dear Fox | yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin
I am quite delighted that you approve of my book. I do not think that many have cared for it—too many details for almost everyone—& beloved Pangenesis disagrees badly with many.7
WDF’s letter gives CD the kind of facts he wants. His story about peacocks is so good that CD will quote it [Descent 2: 46].
Pleased WDF approves of his book [Variation]
– "beloved Pangenesis disagrees badly with many".
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6172,” accessed on 12 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-6172