Distribution of AG's pamphlet.
Informs AG of his [CD's] notice on Pumilio in Gardeners' Chronicle [5 Jan 1861; Collected papers 2: 36–8].
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Gray
I received your note of Feb 5
I fear that the state of the U. States must stop all interest in everything
not political.— I will in few days enquire at my
Bankers how I can repay you the
With respect to Pumilio, you are quite right I knew nothing whatever on subject, but I looked at the seeds to amuse myself, & asked Hooker who told me a little about Sencio & he thought Lindley would like an account for G. Chronicle. It was foolish of Lindley to put it so conspicuous: in my note to him I said that he might like to use it sometime just to fill up space.— It strikes me, however, as pretty case of adaptation for the ignorant, like myself.—
When I last wrote, after receiving your letter of Dec. 15
I have just reread your letter, which like all yours, interests me. You ask
about Drosera: if you like to try anything, put the minutest atom (under a lens) on
point of fine needle on any one single extreme marginal gland of a leaf,
which has all the hairs equally expanded & watch it or look again in
10 minutes.— Or put fragment of Hair of your head & look in a
hour's time. I intend trying many more experiments this summer & then
publishing: I am doubtful on many points. But the worst is
that my health is failing much. I literally cannot listen to a novel for
With respect to Design &c you say that you suppose that I have ``not brought forward my real objections against your views.—'' I have no real objection, nor any real foundation, nor any clear view.— As I before said I flounder hopelessly in the mud.—
You have amused me much by your account of Agassiz's denying the community of descent of allied languages, & of Bowen denying heredity. I cannot believe that Bowen is a strong man. What an odd & foolish fancy he must think it that all breeders of Race-Horses, Cattle & pigs &c should keep pedigrees, & would certainly prefer breeding from a poor animal of a good pedigree than from the finest of bad pedigree.— These men in fact work on my (I wish I dared say our) side.
Farewell. Do not forget to have look at rostellum of your Spiranthes.—
Farewell.— I most truly hope that your Thumb will not cause you much inconvenience.
Most cordially & gratefully yours | Charles Darwin
If you want a book for light reading, the 1
- f1 3064.f1Dated by the reference to plans for the distribution of A. Gray 1861a (see n. 7, below).
- f2 3064.f2Gray's letter has not been located.
- f3 3064.f3Gray lost part of his left thumb in a gardening accident (Dupree 1959, pp. 307--8).
- f4 3064.f4CD refers to their arrangement to reprint as a pamphlet Asa Gray's three articles on Origin from the Atlantic Monthly ([A. Gray] 1860a). Gray had arranged for the Boston publishers Ticknor and Fields to print the pamphlet and send the copies to the English publisher Nicholas Tr¨ubner for distribution. See letter to Asa Gray, 23 [January 1861].
- f5 3064.f5See Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 23 [September 1860], letter from Charles Lyell, 25 September 1860, and letter to Asa Gray, 24 October .
- f6 3064.f6The Times was carrying lengthy accounts of the worsening political situation in the United States. Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate who had been elected president on a platform of excluding slavery in the territories, had not yet been sworn in. Following the lead of South Carolina, six other states had seceded from the Union and withdrawn their representatives from Congress. Northern states were building up their militia and preparing for an expected attack on one of their Southern forts.
- f7 3064.f7There is an entry in CD's Account book (Down House MS) on 25 February 1861 for £7 10s. under the heading: `Asa Gray for Pamphlet'. CD and Gray had agreed to share the expense of publishing A. Gray 1861a (see Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Asa Gray, 11 December ).
- f8 3064.f8See letter to T. H. Huxley 17 February .
- f9 3064.f9The advertisement for the pamphlet was inserted as a `Postscript' at the end of the list of additions and corrections in the third edition of Origin, p. xii. The new edition was published in April 1861. See Freeman 1977, pp. 78--9, and Peckham ed. 1959, p. 57.
- f10 3064.f10The `very clever Lady' may have been `Miss Latter', whose visit to the Darwins from 2 to 4 February 1861 was recorded in Emma Darwin's diary. Payments to Miss Latter entered into CD's Account book (Down House MS) suggest that she had served as a governess for the Darwin children from April 1859 until February 1860, when Camilla Ludwig assumed the position.
- f11 3064.f11See letter to Gardeners' Chronicle, [before 5 January 1861].
- f12 3064.f12John Lindley was editor of the Gardeners' Chronicle. See Correspondence vol. 8, letter to J. D. Hooker, 26 December , and letter from J. D. Hooker, 28 December 1860. The genus Senecio includes ragworts and groundsel.
- f13 3064.f13See letter to Asa Gray, 23 [January 1861].
- f14 3064.f14In the event, CD did not publish the results of his study of Drosera until 1875 (Insectivorous plants).
- f15 3064.f15The reference is to A. Gray 1858.
- f16 3064.f16See letter to Charles Lyell, 2 February .
- f17 3064.f17See Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Asa Gray, 31 October , in which CD asked Gray to examine the American species Spiranthes autumnalis. See also letter to Asa Gray, 17 September .
- f18 3064.f18The reference is to the edited volume of autobiographical recollections of Charles Robert Leslie (Taylor ed. 1860).