To T. H. Huxley 9 December 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Huxley
I am infinitely obliged for your note with Siebolds most wonderful facts, which stretch one’s faith to the utmost in that admirable observer.—2 Males always coming from unimpregnated eggs beats everything one ever heard!—3 I will send your letter to Lubbock.—4 Now that I hear of vitality of spermatozoa, I begin to think a few must have got into the ovarium of Ld Moreton’s Mare.—5 But incidentally I am extremely curious about hybridising of Bees; for as you speak about “pure races”; it seems to imply that there are varieties of the Domestic Bee, about which I feel an especial interest; for Bees offer in one respect by far my greatest theoretical difficulty.6
I am delighted to hear of your work on Crustacea, on the gland of antennæ.7 The conviction of an author, who has published goes for nothing; but from the many specimens which I have dissected, I cannot get it out of my head that the cement receptacle, as called by me, is continuous with & opens into the ovarian tubes; but that at the earliest age, before the ovarian tubes are developed, the cement-duct leads to those glands, which I formerly called the “true ovaria”.8 Before you publish I do so wish you could get a good specimen of Otion (= Conchoderma aurita) for in this the cement receptacles are visible within the sack,9 on the sides low down & you could easily dissect the connection between cement-receptacle, & the ovarian tubes.— This would alone convince me of my error.10
I shall not be at Club,11 for my wife has just been confined of our sixth Boy! Adios, I thank you heartily for your letter.
Ever yours | C. Darwin
Many thanks for your Lectures, which seem to me most valuable12
Sometime when you can spare Siebold’s Book for 2 or 3 weeks (for I am slow at German) I shd very much like to borrow it— Will it not be translated?13
By Jove I can hardly believe it— Oh if neuters were agamic offspring, what a load it wd remove from me.—
If ever you stumble on reference to Hicks on Sexual organ in Flustra, let me have it.14
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Huxley, T. H.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 42, 374)
- Physical description
Grateful for Siebold’s wonderful facts [C. T. E. von Siebold, On a true parthenogenesis in moths and bees (1856), trans. by W. S. Dallas (1857)].
Vitality of spermatozoa.
Hybridisation of bees. Bees are in one respect his greatest theoretical difficulty.
CD still convinced about the relation of cement receptacles and ovarian tubes [in Crustacea].
Birth of C. W. Darwin.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2017,” accessed on 14 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2017