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Darwin Correspondence Project

From William Kemp   4 November 1843


Novr. 4—1843


I have received your very kind letter of the 1 Inst. and I feel deeply grateful for the manner in which you express your sentiments towards me.—1 I trust my character is not otherwise than what you suppose, I would sooner have my right hand to fail, than put it forth to place one spurious pebble (knowing it to be such) upon that splended structure which is being raised by such Master minds.

It is a singular circumstance that there is such a seeming variety of plants raised from that old seed, I am almost confident that it only consisted of two kinds, as five different species have been identified, we have every reason to suppose that the soil they were sown in had contained other 〈s〉eed. I am sure of two kinds that grew in the 〈h〉ouse, which no visiter could identify. But now 〈w〉hen those celebrated Botanists have deticted such variety, I agree with you that truth 〈is〉 so confounded, that it would be worse than 〈use〉less to publish any notice about it.—

I am only sorrie upon your account, as you have taken so much interest, and trouble in the matter, As for my part, it matters nothing, the investigation has given a pleasure that amply repays any trouble in the concern.—

As my papers are of no further use I am no way ancious about having them returned.

I remain | Sir | With the warmest gratitude | Your very Humble Servant | William Kemp Charles Darwin Esqre.


Thanks CD for kind letter concerning seeds. Believes soil in which they were planted was contaminated.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Kemp
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 50: A16
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 711,” accessed on 14 December 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2