From T. H. Farrer 30 November 1868
3 Gl. Ters | R. P.
My dear Mr Darwin,
Again many thanks for your note.1 It points I think just in the direction I should like to go—if time & opportunity offer,—and they are very small—
When one has plenty of practical work to do the enjoyment is in the seeing and learning, rather than in any thought of discovering or imparting: and publication is not in my thoughts.2
But the seeing with ones eyes ever so small a fragment of Natures wonderful work gives a reality to books and the thoughts of others which reading and pictures never give. The difficulty is to select and abide by the selection: without at the same time unnaturally dividing the selected object from all that goes with it in reality— The brush on the style leads one to the shape of the style: the form &c of stamens: the character of pollen: the structure of an insect &c. All is correlated & what increases the interest increases the difficulty.— I heartily appreciate what you say about watching the action, & not only the structure. An hour on the heath among the gorse & heather, seemed to give life to many hours of the microscope.
Your son has very kindly forwarded me the French book— What a beautiful book it is & how admirably illustrated.3 I hope I shall return it in as good condition as it comes in.
Believe me | Sincerely yours | T H Farrer
C Darwin Esq | FRS
Thanks CD for advice to watch the action and not only the structure [of plants].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6485,” accessed on 23 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-6485