fancy and flatter myself

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Senior Member
When Charles Darwin wrote Asa Gray a letter expressing his thanks and appreciation for him on sending him a paper on flora of norther sates, he said:

The whole paper strikes me as quite exhausting the subject, and I quite fancy and flatter myself I now appreciate the character of your Flora.

Did he mean by the second part of the sentence that he flatter himself for being able to understand the character of the flora in the paper?
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I think he means that he is exaggerating how good an understanding of flora this paper has given him. If he were to say that he understands flora, he would be flattering himself (boasting).
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