To T. H. Farrer 10 October 1
Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.
My dear Farrer
I declare I am almost as sorry as if I had been myself forestalled, indeed more so for I am used to it. It is, however, a paramount, though bothersome duty in every naturalist to try & make out all that has been done by others on his subject.
By all means publish next summer your confirmation & a summary of Delpino’s observations, with any new ones of your own.— Especially attend about the nectary exterior to the staminal tube.— This will in every way be far better than writing to Delpino.—2
It wd not be at all presumptuous in you to criticise Delpino.— I am glad you think him so clever; for so it struck me.—
Look at hind legs yourself of some Humble & Hive-bees; in former take a very big individual (if any can be found) for these are the females, the males being smaller & they have no pollen-collecting apparatus. I do not remember where it is figured, probably in Kirby & Spence,3—but actual inspection better.— That is good idea about corona of Passiflora— I remember something analogous, but exactly what I cannot call to mind.— Still better, your idea about Antirrhinum, if true—4 Could you experimentise with any coloured powder?
I rather think Antirrhinum is self-fertile, when insects are excluded,— I know I have the result in my notes; & which I will attend to when I go through them in course of winter.—5
Please do not return any of my Books, until all are finished, & do not hurry.—6
I feel certain that you will make fine discoveries.—
Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin
P.S I sent paper by Post on Martha7
Sympathises with THF at being forestalled by Delpino, but urges him to publish confirmation.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6930,” accessed on 20 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-6930