Gives some observations on changes in pistil position with age in Monochaetum. Asks whether AG can observe Rhexia for similar movements.
"One of the best men, though at present unknown", H. W. Bates, has taken up natural selection.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Gray
Thanks for the newspapers (though they did contain digs at England) & for your
note of Feb. 18
Two days ago, I heard from Trübner, who says of the 250 copies of
your Pamphet, he has only 38 in hand; so that he will, I suppose, soon transmit
to you a few pounds, enough to cover all your expences. I
believe that your pamphlet has done my book great good; & I thank you
from my heart for myself; & believing that the views are in large part true, I
must think that you have done natural science a good turn. Natural Selection
seems to be making a little progress in England & on the Continent; a new German
Edition is called for & a French one has just appeared. There has even been a Dutch Edition! One of the best
men, though at present unknown, who has taken up these views, is M
I wrote some little time ago about Rhexia: since then I have been carefully watching & experimenting on another genus, Monochætum; & I find, that the pistil is first bent rectangularly, (as in the sketch sent) & then in a few days becomes straight; the stamens also move. If there be not two forms of Rhexia, will you compare the position of the part in young & old flowers. I have suspicion (perhaps will be proved wrong when seed-capsules are ripe) that one set of anthers are adapted to pistil in early state, & the other set for it in its later state.— If Bees visit the Rhexia, for Heavens sake watch exactly how the anthers & stigma strike them, both in old & young flowers … & give me a sketch.—
I have got lots of seeds planted for experiment this summer, including Amsinckia spectabilis!
Again I say, do not hate me.
Ever yours most truly | C. Darwin
- f1 3473.f1The year is established by the relationship to the letter from Asa Gray, 18 February 1862.
- f2 3473.f2Letter from Asa Gray, 18 February 1862.
- f3 3473.f3CD refers to Gray's pamphlet on natural selection and natural theology (A. Gray 1861); CD and Gray had shared the cost of having the pamphlet printed (see Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Asa Gray, 11 December , and Correspondence vol. 9, letter to Asa Gray, 17 February ). Nicholas Trübner was head of the publishing firm, Trübner and Co., which acted as the London agent for distribution of the pamphlet in Britain. See also Correspondence vol. 9, Appendix III.
- f4 3473.f4CD refers to Bronn trans. 1863 (see letter from H. G. Bronn, [before 11 March 1862]). Clémence Auguste Royer's French translation of Origin was not in fact published until 31 May 1862 (Journal Générale de l'Imprimerie et de la Librairie 2d ser. 6 (pt 3): 341. See also letter to J. D. Hooker, 26 [March 1862], and letter to Asa Gray, 10--20 June .
- f5 3473.f5Winkler trans. 1860. Tiberius Cornelius Winkler sent CD a copy of his Dutch translation of Origin in 1861 (see Correspondence vol. 9, letter from T. C. Winkler, 7 July 1861).
- f6 3473.f6Henry Walter Bates argued that mimicry in Amazonian butterflies offered `a most beautiful proof of the truth of the theory' of natural selection (Bates 1862a, p. 513).
- f7 3473.f7Bates 1863.
- f8 3473.f8See letter to H. W. Bates, 13 January .
- f9 3473.f9See letter to Asa Gray, 16 February .
- f10 3473.f10CD probably refers to the diagram enclosed with the letter to Asa Gray, 16 February . He had begun crossing experiments with Monochaetum ensiferum on 7 February 1862, and continued to work on the species until May 1863. See the dated experimental and observational notes in DAR 205.8: 22--43.
- f11 3473.f11In `Dimorphic condition in Primula', p. 95, CD mentioned that his study of dried specimens sent him by Gray indicated that Amsinckia spectabilis was probably heterostyled (see also Collected papers 2: 62). However, in Forms of flowers, p. 110, he reported: `on raising many plants from seed, I soon became convinced that the whole case was one of mere variability.'