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Darwin Correspondence Project

To H. W. Bates   26 January [1863]1

Down Bromley Kent

Jan 26th

Dear Bates

I congratulate you very sincerely on your marriage.2 Judging from my own experience it is the best & almost only chance for what share of happiness this world affords. I hope you may succeed, for the sake of science, in getting fixed near London.—3

I am heartily glad to hear that your great labours over your Book are drawing to a close:4 I know that I for one shall read it with real interest.— Pray thank Wallace when you see him about Melastomas;5 I have in truth given more trouble on this, than case deserves, & am truly obliged to you. The fact is I cannot endure being beaten by a beggarly flower to the degree, which these confounded Melastomas have beaten me.— I am pleased to hear of discussion on species at Zoolog. Soc.—6

With my renewed congratulations & hopes for your happiness, believe me | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Bates, Henry Walter. 1863. The naturalist on the River Amazons. A record of adventures, habits of animals, sketches of Brazilian and Indian life, and aspects of nature under the equator, during eleven years of travel. 2 vols. London: John Murray.


Congratulations on marriage, which CD considers the best and only chance for happiness in this world.

Glad HWB is near completion of book.

Begs him to thank Wallace for Melastoma information; CD "cannot endure being beaten by a beggarly flower".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Henry Walter Bates
Sent from
Source of text
Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3945,” accessed on 29 February 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11