To Albany Hancock 29 January 
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Sir
I write in a hurry to catch to days post to beg a favour & to apologise. For the former first: I have been deeply interested by Alcippe, though I have not added much to your excellent description,1 excepting perhaps on the homologies as compared with other cirripedes of the several parts.2 I am almost driven mad by its generative system,3 & I write to ask whether you have any dry shells with Alcippe you cd. send me, as I think I could get some considerable good from them: I am most anxious to examine many specimens taken at different times of year:4 I shd be most grateful if you could send me such by Post, allowing me to pay postage if heavy.
Wd. it be possible to employ for me any fishermen to get the shells now?? though specimens taken later than those you sent me, would perhaps be most useful to me: but any now wd be of greatest interest to me. My surmises are too vague & too long to tell in this note, & perhaps all a blunder, but I am dreadfully perplexed.
Now for apologies,—can you forgive me when I tell you that I have cut up all the specimens you lent me? I fear I have been unreasonable, but I have trusted to the extreme kindness you have shown me in all your correspondence. Will you forgive me?
Yours very truly | In Haste | C. Darwin
Alcippe has no relation to my burrowing S. American little cirripede.5
Discusses Alcippe. Asks to borrow specimens. Would like to hire fishermen to collect specimens.