To Asa Gray 15 August 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Gray
I was much pleased to get your letter of July 24th—2 Now that I can do nothing, I maunder over old subjects & your approbation of my Climbing paper gives me very great satisfaction.3 I made my observations when I could do nothing else & much enjoyed it, but always doubted whether they were worth publishing.—
I demur to it not being necessary to explain in detail about the spires in caught tendrils running in opposite directions; for the fact for a long time confounded me & I have found it difficult enough to explain the cause to 2 or 3 persons.4 One botanist has published that he could detect a difference of structure in the tendrils at the points of reversal of the spire!5 Very many thanks for Specularia seed.6
We continue to be deeply interested on American affairs; indeed I care for nothing else in the Times.7 How egregiously wrong we English were in thinking that you could not hold the South after conquering it. How well I remember thinking that Slavery would flourish for centuries in your Southern States!8 My women read much aloud to me,9 & I have lately heard three Books, worth your attention—Lubbock Prehistoric Man— Tylor early History of Civilization, which is admirable; & Lecky’s Rationalism, which also strikes me as very well worth reading.—10
Mrs Wedgwood has enjoyed her American visit greatly, & has received the usual wonderful amount of American hospitality.—11 This is a longer note than I have written for many weeks, so farewell.
I am trying a starving system of cure; eating very little of anything, & that almost exclusively bread & meat.12
Yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin
Gratified by AG’s praise of "Climbing plants".
Thanks for Specularia seed.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4882,” accessed on 19 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4882