Mimicry in Lepidoptera.
The Franco-Prussian war.
Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
I have to thank you very sincerely for two letters: one of April 25th—containing a very curious account of the structure &morphology of Bonatea.—f1 I feel that it is quite a sin that yourletters shd. not all be published; but in truth I have no sparestrength to undertake any extra work, which though slight would followfrom seeing your letters in English through the press—not but thatyou write almost as clearly as any Englishman. This same letter alsocontained some seeds for Mr Farrer which he was very glad toreceive.f2
Your second letter of July 3d was chiefly devoted to mimickry inLepidoptera: many of your remarks seem to me so good, that I haveforwarded your letter to Mr. Bates; but he is out of London, havinghis summer holiday, & I have not yet heard from him.f3 Your remarkabout imitators & imitated being of such different sizes, & the lowersurface of wings not being altered in colour strike me as the mostcurious points. I shd. not be at all surprised if your suggestionabout sexual selection were to prove true; but it seems rather toospeculative to be introduced in my book more especially as my bookis already far too speculative.f4 The very same difficulty aboutbrightly coloured caterpillars had occurred to me, & you will see inmy Book, what I believe is the true explanation from Wallace.f5 The sameview probably applies in part to gaudy Butterflies.— My M.S. issent to Printers, & I suppose will be published in about 3 months: ofcourse I will send you a copy.f6By the way I settled with Murray recently with respect to your Book,& had to pay him only 21£“2s“3d which I consider a verysmall price for the dissemination of your views: he has 547 copiesas yet unsold.f7 This most terrible war will stop all science inFrance & Germany, for a long time: I have heard from nobody inGermany, & know not whether your Brother, Häckel, GegenbaurVictor Carus or my other friends are serving in the army.f8 Dohrnhas joined a cavalry regiment.f9 I have not yet met a soul in England,who does not rejoice in the splendid triumph of Germany over France: itis a most just retribution against that vain-glorious, war-lovingnation. As the Posts are all in confusion, I will not send thisletter through France.— The Editor has sent me duplicate copiesof the Revue des Cours Scientifiques, which contain several articelsabout my views; so I send you copies, for the chance of your likingto see them.—f10
My dear Sir | Ever Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin