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Letter 5661

Murray, John (b) to Darwin, C. R.

1 Nov [1867]

    Summary Add

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    Sends Dallas' specimen of indexing [for Variation].

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    Asks CD's opinion of likelihood of a hybrid of ass and bull, reported in a MS of a journey to Asia Minor he is reading.


50, Albemarle St. | W.

Nov. 1.

My Dear Sir

Our thoughts about the Index jumped together, as they say, as you will perceive by the enclosed from Mr Dallas—to whom I wrote 2 days ago— By this post I send you his Specimen— Will you address him direct at York to save loss of time? I hope he is working to your satisfaction.

Here is a matter wch may interest you—not a ``Cock & a Bull'' but an Ass & a Bull— I have a MS journey in Asia Minor—the writer of wch a respectable American Missionary—met with the offspring of these two animals & has made a drawing of the specimen & states that it is of common occurrence in that country.

I must confess—I do not believe it & if you do not—I shall advise the author to suppress the phenomenon

I shd like to know what opinion you entertain, & whether you are acquainted with any such instance of extra-breeding

I am | My Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | John Murray

Chas Darwin Esq

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 5661.f1
    The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. S. Dallas, 4 November 1867.
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    f2 5661.f2
    The enclosure has not been found. Murray had engaged William Sweetland Dallas to prepare the index for Variation (see letter from John Murray, 23 September [1867], and letter to John Murray, 19 October [1867]).
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    f3 5661.f3
    In his letter of 19 September [1867], Murray had told CD that he would ask for a sample of the index for CD's approval. The specimen CD received was returned to Dallas and has not been found (see letter to John Murray, 2 November [1867]).
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    f4 5661.f4
    Murray refers to a manuscript later published by him as Travels in little-known parts of Asia Minor: with illustrations of biblical literature and researches in archaeology by Henry John Van Lennep (Van Lennep 1870). The published version did not contain the `ass and bull' story.
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