Sends specimens of gulf-weed and cirripedes for CD to identify.
Various observations on Descent,
recognition of musical notes by dog, etc.
30 Haddington Place, | Edinburgh
My dear Sir,
It is very long since I wrote you, so long ago, that I find I am growing old (70) but thankful to say, except hearing, active, healthy & strong & am always busy about natural history & Geology, & have been lucky, in making good hits in both. However, I have read your last work on the Descent of man, & your two former ones. My son & self possess them—we have them of our own, so that we may take our time & `read, mark & learn, & inwardly digest,' & I am happy to say it does not hinder our digestion or make us unhappy. We take to it kindly & consequently get ourselves—at times—snubbed & even take this kindly. I find people are constantly talking `Dawinism' (excuse the last word) and do not know it, & when I catch them at it, I quietly help them on & do not let them know that I am doing so.
With the ``unco guid'' I've another way— I quietly ask them whether ``they expect when they die, to be, far higher & more glorious &c. in the next world.'' ``Yes of course'' they say— ``Well then was it more difficult for God to bring us from a lower form, than it is to make us a higher when we have done with this world.'' They try to shuffle, but I pin them to it & you would smile to see how puzzled they are. The intent of this letter is first to ask how you are & beg you to accept of my best regards for `Auld lang syne'.—
Next, I send with this a small box by ``Pattern post'' In which I have put a piece of
Gulfweed part of a mass sent me by the Capt
They have done me the honor of making me one of the Presidents of the Royal Physical Society here & I want to be sure, if they print my little story about it. I shall also be glad to know whether it is a common one.
I enclose a rough sketch to show that at A. B. C. in many, there are thin films, in which rounded shining spots are seen & it is these that puzzle me—for as they get (the cirripede) longer the one at A is lost—the other two continue longest, but B the longest of all. Probably there is nothing in this. The smallest ones show these pretty things best.
I am, My dear Sir, | very faithfully yours, | Cha W Peach
C. Darwin Esq
P.S. to Letter 1
I do not know whether the following will be interesting to you. I jotted them down when
I thought about them as ``to tell M
When I lived at Beer Devonshire, there was a L
When at Goran Haven in Cornwall one of our servant Girls, was married to a Sailor, a young & very healthy, handsome Girl, she had three children before she was 21, & died after giving birth to her third a few days, with violent purging & throwing up—her mother died about the same age. & on her third child with the same kind of sickness & purging.
Black Cocks.— I've often seen the male ones** at daylight in the morning sitting on the walls of the fields sunning themselves in great numbers, & not a hen near,—this near Berriedale in Caithness. This when travelling per Mail from Wick when visiting the outposts & creeks officially.
My old dog ``Hassan''—I had him 15 years—invariably howled at B flat when blown on the flute—& quite in time— no other note disturbed him, this he responded to immediately— I've tried it very often & always successfully.
Grouse & Bagpipe. I was once travelling from Lairg to Inch-na damph in Sutherlandshire on the mail cart—a piper was a passenger (he was the Duchess of Sutherlands) the driver & all of us persuaded him to give us ``a spring'' & he did play well & I was able to almost enjoy the noise, for the first & last time only.— We were amongst the heather hills, & when the pipes were at their best, I observed a Cock Grouse show his head above the heather, within 10 yards of the cart, & slowly glide up a small hill there, with his head at full stretch listening as if entranced by the sound, & kept getting up higher & higher so that he could see us until we were out of sight of him.— He was so intent on the music I almost fancy he might have been picked up.
I must not indulge in more, all these I can vouch for from personal knowledge.
C. W. Peach.
I've been put on the shelf more than 5 years—
**A little Irish this!!