Profoundly sorry for Lane.
Thanks WDF for facts about call ducks, pigs, and Leicester sheep.
Has been observing and experimenting on the construction of bees' cells. Thinks he has a theory which simplifies the problem.
Scarlet fever in family; nurse ill.
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Fox
I am extremely glad to hear the view you take of
We shall, indeed, be delighted to see you here if you can anyhow come.—
Your fact about Call-Ducks is first-rate for me, & I will quote it; as I particularly wanted such cases of influence of parent, independently of instinct.
The Sow-case would have been valuable, had it been more recent, so that I
I had heard something of the Leicester sheep & am very glad to have more details: my doubt is, whether in all kinds of sheep black are not sometimes dropped.
I thank you much for all the very kind trouble, which you have taken to get me information on all the above points; and about Horses. I have lately seen some splendid cases of barred legs; but I never can find out about colour of parents.— I hardly know what roan is.— I shall be very glad to hear about young Turkeys, if you succeed; but in 3 out of 4 of my experiments, something, which one had not calculated on, interferes with the result.—
I have lately been observing & experimentising with much care on the construction of Bees' cells & have been testing the accuracy of Huber's observation & on some points I do not think the blind man's observations stand the test very well.— I think I have got theory, which greatly simplifies the marvellous power of construction of all the wondrous angles & perfect cell.—
You will be sorry to hear that we have had Etty most seriously ill with a modified form of that horrid new complaint, Diptheria; but all danger is over & she is slowly recovering. We have the Baby, also, very ill with fever, but the Doctor declares not dangerously; We have been much terrified as Scarlet Fever has been very bad. Our nurse, too, has sickened, so we have had much trouble, but I hope things are now clearing.—
Yours affectionately | C. Darwin
Since this written our Baby has become suddenly most ill.— it is Scarlet Fever, & the Doctor can only say there is yet some hope.
- f1 2296.f1See letter to W. D. Fox, 24 June .
- f2 2296.f2CD's impression of Edward Wickstead Lane had been favourable from the beginning of their acquaintance (see Correspondence vol. 6, letters to W. D. Fox, [30 April 1857] and 30 October ). He retained this opinion for the rest of his life. Lane's name is on the ‘personal friends’ list for invitations to CD's funeral in 1882.
- f3 2296.f3CD had asked Fox to provide him with reliable information on the instincts of animals (letters to W. D. Fox, 14 January  and 31 January ).
- f4 2296.f4This appears to have been a report of a case of an injury to the cheek of a pregnant sow that was allegedly transmitted to the progeny.
- f5 2296.f5Fox is cited in Variation 2: 30 as CD's source of information on black lambs' sometimes being born to Leicester sheep, a breed carefully bred for its white wool.
- f6 2296.f6See letters to W. D. Fox, 22 February  and 28 February .
- f7 2296.f7François Huber had lost his sight at an early age (Jardine ed. 1840, p. 19). See also letters to W. B. Tegetmeier, 9 May  and 8 [June 1858].
- f8 2296.f8Henrietta Emma Darwin was taken ill with diphtheria on 18 June 1858 (Emma Darwin's diary). See letter to J. D. Hooker, 23 [June 1858].
- f9 2296.f9Emma Darwin's diary records that on 26 June 1858, three days after Charles Waring Darwin was taken ill, the maid Jane also had a ‘sore throat’.