Grateful for AH's long letter and suggestions. Delighted at what he says about "complemental males". CD feared no one would believe in them but now that Owen, Dana, and AH accept them, he is content.
Agrees with AH on cross-impregnation; has collected facts on this head but has done nothing with them.
AH's paper on Alcippe [Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. 2d ser. 4 (1849): 305–14] caused him to lose sleep over its anomalous structure.
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Sir
I am uncommonly obliged to you for taking so much trouble as to write at such length to
me; though in truth when I think of your many important pursuits in Nat. History, I am
ashamed to have lost you more than one good hour of time.— Your cautions
& suggestions will be of considerable service to me, as leading to fresh
observations & making me explain some points more clearly. I will not take up
your time in going into several points you notice in this letter, but they shall all be
more or less attended to in my Book. I may just inform you,
that when a ribbed shell is cut through, it can be seen that the marginal erosion does
not graduate into the central hollow:
I am quite delighted at what you say about my little friends, the complemental males; I greatly feared that no one wd believe in them; & now I know that Owen, Dana & yourself are believers, I am most heartily content. I entirely agree with you on your remarks on cross-impregnation— some years ago I set to work to collect facts on this head, but I have as yet done nothing with them: such view as yours is the only foundation, I am well convinced, to Steenstrup's rather wild Memoir on the non-existence of Hermaphroditism in Nature,—though he extends the doctrine to mere physical organs!
Many thanks for the wretched M.S. returned: I am quite sorry I asked for it, for I never dreamed that you had not long ago got what little good you could out of it: I < > be pleased at your doing whate<ver> you < > with my specimens, &c. You sha<ll> hear, when I have gr< > with Alcippe: the other evening I read over your Paper & could not get to sleep for hours, from thinking of its curious & anomalous structure: I have some other specimens of yours.—
With my sincere thanks | Believe me, my dear Sir, Yours sincerely | C. Darwin
- f1 1497.f1Dated by the relationship with letter to Albany Hancock, 25 December .
- f2 1497.f2See letter to Albany Hancock, 25 December . In contrast to Hancock's mechanical explanation, CD concluded that in Verruca the boring action was chemical, caused by a solvent acting upon calcareous surfaces. See Living Cirripedia (1854): 512–18.
- f3 1497.f3Charles Spence Bate (see letter to C. S. Bate, 10 January ).
- f4 1497.f4CD's Notebooks B–E (Notebooks) contain many notes on cross-fertilisation and hybridism. In Living Cirripedia (1854): 101–2, 271, CD described an apparent example of cross-fertilisation among hermaphrodite cirripedes.
- f5 1497.f5Steenstrup 1846.
- f6 1497.f6Johannes Japetus Smith Steenstrup, influenced by Naturphilosophie, believed that the two sexes were of such opposing natures that it was not possible for them to be united in one individual. In Steenstrup 1846, he examined various groups of organisms to show that male and female sexual organs previously believed to co-exist in an individual could be otherwise explained. In the Cirripedia, for example, he claimed that the part thought to be the testicular apparatus of the hermaphrodite was actually only a sperm receptacle for the female (Steenstrup 1846, pp. 34–8).
- f7 1497.f7See Correspondence vol. 4, letter to Albany Hancock, [26 January–March 1850], and also letter to Albany Hancock, 25 December .
- f8 1497.f8See letter to Albany Hancock, 30 March .
- f9 1497.f9A. Hancock 1849. CD's copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL. For CD's comments on this paper, see Collected papers 1: 250–1.