I sincerely hope that you have had a prosperous expedition, and have met with many new and interesting animals. If you have spare time I should much like to hear what you have been doing and observing. As for myself, I have sent the MS. of my book on domestic animals, etc., to the printers. It turns out to be much too large; it will not be published, I suppose, until next November. I find that we have discussed several of the same subjects, and I think we agree on most points fairly well. I have lately heard several times from Fritz Muller, but he seems now chiefly to be working on plants. I often think of your visit to this house, which I enjoyed extremely, and it will ever be to me a real pleasure to remember our acquaintance. From what I heard in London I think you made many friends there. Shall you return through England? If so, and you can spare the time, we shall all be delighted to see you here again.
LETTER 199. TO T. RIVERS. Down, January 11th [1867?].
How rich and valuable a letter you have most kindly sent me! The case of Baronne Prevost (199/1. See "Variation under Domestication," Edition II., Volume I., page 406. Mr. Rivers had a new French rose with a delicate smooth stem, pale glaucous leaves and striped flesh-coloured flowers; on branches thus characterised there appeared "the famous old rose called 'Baronne Prevost,'" with its stout thorny stem and uniform rich-coloured double flowers.), with its different shoots, foliage, spines, and flowers, will be grand to quote. I am extremely glad to hear about the seedling moss-roses. That case of a seedling like a Scotch rose, unless you are sure that no Scotch rose grew near (and it is unlikely that you can remember), must, one would think, have been a cross.
I have little compunction for being so troublesome--not more than a grand Inquisitor has in torturing a heretic--for am I not doing a real good public service in screwing crumbs of knowledge out of your wealth of information?
P.S. Since the above was written I have read your paper in the "Gardeners' Chronicle": it is admirable, and will, I know, be a treasure to me. I did not at all know how strictly the character of so many flowers is inherited.
On my honour, when I began this note I had no thought of troubling you with a question; but you mention one point so interesting, and which I have had occasion to notice, that I must supplicate for a few more facts to quote on your authority. You say that you have one or two seedling peaches (199/2. "On raising Peaches, Nectarines, and other Fruits from Seed." By Thomas Rivers, Sawbridgeworth.--"Gard. Chron." 1866, page 731.) approaching very nearly to thick-fleshed almonds (I know about A. Knight and the Italian hybrid cases). Now, did any almond grow near your mother peach? But especially I want to know whether you remember what shape the stone was, whether flattened like that of an almond; this, botanically, seems the most important distinction. I earnestly wish to quote this. Was the flesh at all sweet?
Have you kept these seedling peaches? if you would give me next summer a fruit, I want to have it engraved.
LETTER 200. TO I. ANDERSON-HENRY. May 22nd .