From T. H. Farrer 10 September 1868
Eashing Park | Godalming | Surrey.
10 Sept 1868
My dear Mr Darwin
I dont know that I have any right to bother you with the inclosed, except your own good nature and the fact that my own amusement in writing it is due to your books and papers.— It is all very possibly not true, for I have neither knowledge nor experience in observation: and if true, no doubt, not new.: but it has interested me and I venture to send it to you.1
Before I read all that you have said it puzzled me to see how constantly the stigmas in flowers turn their backs on their own anthers— And I do not think that any of the elementary botany books point out that the females are looking for marriages out of their own family—or that, like sound Free Traders, they are looking for imports.2
I am in despair about seeing things— I read about seeing pollen tubes penetrating the stigma with a common lens— And it is all I can do with a (simple) microscope to find out that there are such things as pollen tubes at all. It is the old story of eyes & no eyes.
I trust you are stronger for your stay at Freshwater and able to work.3
Believe me | Very truly yours | T H Farrer
Charles Darwin Esq FRS
Sends a paper he has written [on scarlet runner].