To T. H. Huxley 13 [December 1856]1
My dear Huxley
I must just thank you for your note. For quickness sake, I think I shall read Translation, at least if Book is big.—2 I fear Entomologist will not let the Italian Bee pass as a variety: it is reckoned good species.3
I am much pleased at what you say about relations of cement-gland & organs in higher Crust.—4 I shall be quite content to be moderately right on subject; & I do very much hope you will dissect the receptacle in Conchoderma. Remember, that the so-called “true ovaria” yet act, as I saw pellets of yellow stuff on one or two occasions in transitu in the unbranched part between the “true ovaria” & ovarian tubes or cæca.5
I hardly myself remember, at present, what I asked you (thanks for Hincks),6 but I will put down 2 or 3 points on next page, for chance of your coming across good examples; then enter them in your note Book, but do not take trouble to write.—
With cordial thanks for all your kindness | My dear Huxley | Ever yours | C. Darwin
I hope that Mrs — Huxley is pretty well.—7
Can “Darwin” be an eternal & necessary hermaphrodite?8
Cases of organs in which there is no apparent passage or transition from other organ: or still better, if such transition can be shown in an unexpected manner.9 E.G. Electrical organs in Fish, seem to be really new organ & not any other changed. Some think poison-gland of Snakes are not salivary gland modified. I require passages, but I always give all the facts which I can collect, hostile to my notions.
Cases of odd & inexplicable connection, between different parts of structure, so that if one changes the other changes. E.G. All cats with blue eyes are deaf.— or Hairless dogs are nearly toothless, which latter we can understand.—
Pleased by what THH says on cement glands and organs in higher Crustacea. Content to be moderately right.
Hopes THH will dissect the Conchoderma.
Asks for cases of organs in which there is no apparent transition from other organs or in which transition can be shown in an unexpected way and for instances of odd and inexplicable connections between parts, such that if one part varies the other varies also.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2020,” accessed on 12 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2020