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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Auguste Forel1   12 November 1874

Münich

12 XI 1874

Monsieur,

Je vous remercie beaucoup du beau cadeau que vous m’avez fait et que j’ai reçu il y a peu de jours.2 C’est pour moi un précieux souvenir; je regrette seulement que vous ayez eu cette peine; il m’eut été si facile de le faire venir.—

Je m’en suis déjà fait lire quelques parties par l’infirmière supérieure de notre établissement qui sait l’anglais.3 Ces observations (sur les Ecitons et Hypoclinea) m’ont hautement intéressé et je regrette de ne pas les avoir connues avant d’imprimer mon travail.4 La lecture de pareilles observations me donne toujours une envie furieuse (malheureusement irréalisable) d’aller étudier moi-même les fourmis des tropiques.

Veuillez me croire, Monsieur, votre reconnaissant et dévoué, | Aug. Forel

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Appendix I.
CD evidently sent a copy of Thomas Belt’s book The naturalist in Nicaragua (Belt 1874) to Forel (see letter to Auguste Forel, 15 October 1874 and n. 9).
The head nurse of the Oberbayerischern Kreisirrenanstalt München (Upper Bavarian District Mental Asylum Munich), where Forel worked as an assistant physician, was Emma To de Horst. She agreed to teach Forel English over a cup of tea in the ward every morning from eight to nine, using Belt 1874 as the basis for the lessons. ‘By the time we finished it’, Forel later wrote, ‘I could read English pretty fluently, and in time I even learned to speak it after a fashion. For this Darwin was responsible, and I have been grateful to him all my life.’ See Forel 1937, p. 100.
Eciton is a genus of New World army ants. Belt had described how one species, Eciton hamata (now Eciton hamatum), attacked the nests of an ant species of the genus Hypoclinea (a synonym of Dolichoderus), and seized only the larvae and pupae being carried out of the nest in the jaws of the defending ants without harming the ants themselves. See Belt 1874, pp. 20–22. Forel had sent CD a copy of his book on ants (Forel 1874); see letter from Auguste Forel, 23 September 1874.

Translation

From Auguste Forel1   12 November 1874

Münich

12 XI 1874

Sir,

I am most grateful to you for the fine present you have made me, which I received a few days ago.2 It is a precious souvenir for me; I only regret that you should have taken the trouble; it would have been so easy for me to have it sent.—

I have already had some parts read to me by the head nurse of our establishment, who knows English.3 These observations (on Ecitons and Hypoclinea) interested me greatly and I am sorry not to have known of them before publishing my book.4 Reading these sorts of observations always gives me a passionate longing (unfortunately unrealisable) to go myself to study the ants of the Tropics.

Believe me, sir, your grateful and devoted, | Aug. Forel

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see p. QQQQ.
CD evidently sent a copy of Thomas Belt’s book The naturalist in Nicaragua (Belt 1874) to Forel (see letter to Auguste Forel, 15 October 1874 and n. 9).
The head nurse of the Oberbayerischern Kreisirrenanstalt München (Upper Bavarian District Mental Asylum Munich), where Forel worked as an assistant physician, was Emma To de Horst. She agreed to teach Forel English over a cup of tea in the ward every morning from eight to nine, using Belt 1874 as the basis for the lessons. ‘By the time we finished it’, Forel later wrote, ‘I could read English pretty fluently, and in time I even learned to speak it after a fashion. For this Darwin was responsible, and I have been grateful to him all my life.’ See Forel 1937, p. 100.
Eciton is a genus of New World army ants. Belt had described how one species, Eciton hamata (now Eciton hamatum), attacked the nests of an ant species of the genus Hypoclinea (a synonym of Dolichoderus), and seized only the larvae and pupae being carried out of the nest in the jaws of the defending ants without harming the ants themselves. See Belt 1874, pp. 20–22. Forel had sent CD a copy of his book on ants (Forel 1874); see letter from Auguste Forel, 23 September 1874.

Summary

Thanks for the present of the book [Thomas Belt, The naturalist in Nicaragua (1874)].

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-9718
From
Auguste-Henri (Auguste) Forel
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Munich
Source of text
DAR 164: 155
Physical description
2pp (French)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9718,” accessed on 20 June 2019, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-9718

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22

letter