To Alfred Newton 9 February 1
Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.
I suppose it wd be universally held extremely wrong for a defendant to write to a Judge to express his satisfaction at a judgment in his favour; & yet I am going thus to act.— I have just read what you have said in the Record about my Pigeon chapters, & it has gratified me beyond measure.2 I have sometimes felt a little disappointed that the labour of so many years seemed to be almost thrown away, for you are the first man, capable of forming a judgment (excepting partly Quatrefages), who seems to have thought anything of this part of my work.3
The amount of labour, correspondence, & care, which the subject cost me, is more than you could well suppose.— I thought the article in the Athenæum, written I have no doubt by Owen, was very unjust;4 but now I feel amply repaid, & I cordially thank you for your sympathy & too warm praise.— What labour you have bestowed on your part of the Record! I ought to be ashamed to speak of my amount of work.—
I thoroughily enjoyed the Sunday which you & the others spent here,5 &
I remain | Dear Newton | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
Was gratified "beyond measure" by AN’s comments on his pigeon chapter [in Variation] in the [Zoological] Record [5 (1868): 94–6]. AN is the first man capable of forming a judgment who seems to have thought anything of this part.