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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Martin Ziegler1   21 November 1874

Très honoré Monsieur

J’ai lu dans un buletin scientifique allemand que vous étiez sur le point de publier un travail sur les Drosera;2 comme depuis quatre ans je me suis beaucoup occupé de l’étude de ces intéressantes plantes, je prends la liberté de vous envoyer le résultat de mes recherches, desquelles on peut déduire que les Drosera sont si admirablement organisées pour attrapper les insectes parceque précisement le milieu dans lequel les Drosera plongent leurs racines est totalement dépourvu de vie animale.3

Jusqu’au jour où l’on aura trouvé un instrument qui puisse signaler la présence de l’animalicité (force physique physiologique à laquelle j’ai donné le nom de Zoïcité) la Drosera sera bien précieuse aux physiologistes, car elle leur servira d’instrument de précision pour signaler et pour mesurer des agents depuis longtemps entrevus mais que jusqu’ici on n’avait su saisir.

J’ai la satisfaction Monsieur de pouvoir vous annoncer que prochainement je ferai deux nouvelles communications à l’académie des sciences, je me ferai un devoir de vous les adresser aussitôt qu’elles seront imprimées.4

Recevez Monsier avec mes salutations l’expression de mon plus profond respect. | Martin Ziegler

P.S. Je ne sais pas écrire en votre langue mais je lis l’anglais et je serai très heureux si vous vouliez m’honorer d’un mot de réponse.

M Z

le 21 Novembre 1874. Wesserling. Alsace

à Monsieur Charles Darwin

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Appendix I.
CD’s book Insectivorous plants was not published until 2 July 1875 (Freeman 1977). The German publication in which it was mentioned has not been identified.
Ziegler probably sent CD the copy of his book Atonicité et zoïcité (Ziegler 1874a) that is in the Darwin Library–Down. CD had already read one of Zeigler’s articles on Drosera (Ziegler 1872) and considered it ‘the work of the imagination’ (see letter to J. T. Moggridge, 10 March 1874); he criticised it in Insectivorous plants, p. 23 n. He also referred to another article (Ziegler 1874b), and commented that Ziegler’s experimental results differed widely from his own (Insectivorous plants, p. 249 n.).
The Paris Academy of Science published nothing further by Ziegler until 1877 (Royal Society catalogue of scientific papers). There are no articles by Ziegler in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.

Translation

From Martin Ziegler1   21 November 1874

Most honoured Sir

I read in a German scientific bulletin that you were on the point of publishing a work on Drosera;2 since I have been occupying myself with the study of these interesting plants for the last four years, I am taking the liberty of sending you the result of my research, from which it can be deduced that Drosera are admirably organised so as to trap insects precisely because the medium into which Drosera plunge their roots is totally deprived of animal life.3

Until an instrument which can signal the presence of animalicity (the physiological physical force to which I have given the name of Zoicity) is found, Drosera will be very precious to physiologists, for it will be a precision instrument for them, signalling and measuring agents that have long been perceived but that, until now, no-one has been able to capture.

I have the satisfaction Sir of being able to inform you that I shall soon be making two new communications to the academy of sciences, I shall take it upon myself to send them to you as soon as they are printed.4

Please accept with my greetings, sir, my deepest respect. | Martin Ziegler

P.S. I cannot write in your language but I read English and I should be very happy if you were to honour me with a word in reply.

MZ

21 November 1874. Wesserling. Alsace.

to Mr Charles Darwin

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see p. QQQQ.
CD’s book Insectivorous plants was not published until 2 July 1875 (Freeman 1977). The German publication in which it was mentioned has not been identified.
Ziegler probably sent CD the copy of his book Atonicité et zoïcité (Ziegler 1874a) that is in the Darwin Library–Down. CD had already read one of Zeigler’s articles on Drosera (Ziegler 1872) and considered it ‘the work of the imagination’ (see letter to J. T. Moggridge, 10 March 1874); he criticised it in Insectivorous plants, p. 23 n. He also referred to another article (Ziegler 1874b), and commented that Ziegler’s experimental results differed widely from his own (Insectivorous plants, p. 249 n.).
The Paris Academy of Science published nothing further by Ziegler until 1877 (Royal Society catalogue of scientific papers). There are no articles by Ziegler in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.

Summary

On Drosera, with which MZ has worked for four years.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-9727
From
Martin Ziegler
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Wesserling
Source of text
DAR 184: 9
Physical description
2pp (French)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9727,” accessed on 16 June 2019, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-9727

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

letter