Has obtained microscopes for CD.
High Elms, | Farnborough, | Kent.
28 July 64
My dear M
You must I fear have thought that I had altogether forgotten your commissions; but I was very busy the first two or three days of the week.
Smith & Beck's microtome seems to be merely a fine pair of scissors. Valentine's knife is the instrument for thin sections.
As for microscopic spectacles I send you a pair & also a binocular handmicroscope, which I took from Smith & Beck's on approval, please return them soon if you dont like them.
After leaving you I came to great grief, smashing my pony carriage to pieces & damaging the poor pony but doing myself no harm. I am sorry to say that the book you lent me got a little damaged, which I hope you will excuse
Was it not odd our falling in with Hooker on his way to you; we did not think him looking quite the thing, but very likely his day with you quite set him up.
Hoping to see you again, I remain, dear M
C Darwin Esq
P.S. Is the book that you recommended me ``Cap. Greys Travels in North West & Western Australia.''?
- f1 4575.f1CD's requests were apparently communicated when Lubbock came to lunch at Down on 17 July (Emma Darwin's diary (DAR 242)).
- f2 4575.f2Lubbock refers to the London firm of instrument makers, Smith, Beck & Beck, which specialised in microscopes (G. L'E. Turner 1989, p. 121). The microtome was a dissecting instrument, designed like a pair of forceps with scissor-shaped blades (see Quekett 1848, p. 316, and Beck 1865, p. 115).
- f3 4575.f3A Valentine's knife was a double-bladed knife used for making fine sections of soft substances (see Beck 1865, p. 114, and Quekett 1848, pp. 318--19).
- f4 4575.f4A range of hand microscopes are described in Beck 1865, pp. 109--11. On CD's microscopes and microscopic methods, see Correspondence vol. 11, letter to Isaac Anderson-Henry, 2 May , n. 9, and LL 1: 110 and 145--6.
- f5 4575.f5Joseph Dalton Hooker visited CD on Sunday 24 July (letter from J. D. Hooker to Asa Gray, 29 July 1864, Gray Herbarium of Harvard University). Lubbock may have met Hooker while visiting his family's estate at High Elms, which bordered on CD's property. Lubbock resided in Chislehurst, Kent, five miles from Down.
- f6 4575.f6Grey 1841. CD had praised George Grey's account of Australian aborigines (see Correspondence vol. 3, letter to George Grey, 10 November 1846). Grey's work is cited in Natural selection, pp. 35--6 n. 2, 195 n. 3, and 492 n. 3, and in Descent 2: 364. See also letter to A. R. Wallace, 28 [May 1864] and n. 12.