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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-2094

To J. D. Dana   25 May [1857]1

Down Bromley Kent.

May 25th

My dear Sir

Although I have nothing particular to say I must thank you for all the trouble you have so kindly taken in answering my question on the relation of Arctic & Antarctic Crustacea as fully as the present state of knowledge permits.2 I was very curious on the point, otherwise I would not have troubled you. And indeed I have been many times very troublesome to you, & you have invariably received my letters of enquiry in the kindest manner.

How the U. States are going ahead in Natural History! I had not heard of the late expedition, though I had heard of Mr Stimpson before: indeed he formerly sent me some cirripedes.3 Prof. Huxley has lately been working on the homologies of Crustacea, & has come to some important differences with Milne Edwards: he has published an outline in some Lectures in a Medical Journal, but I suppose will soon publish in extenso.—4

My neighbour J. Lubbock is working on the anatomy of the larvæ of Diptera, & has made most minute & beautiful drawings of their muscular system:5 I wish he had more time & he would do good work. As I sometimes tell him, he is a case of the “pursuit of knowledge under riches”, which seems as great a drawback as poverty.6 I am glad Lyell has sent you his supplement, for it strikes me as full of remarkable facts.7

Farewell—Floreat Scientia—with very sincere thanks for all your kindness.

Yours very truly | C. Darwin

Footnotes

1
The year is given by the relationship to the letter from J. D. Dana, 27 April 1857.
2
See letter to J. D. Dana, 5 April [1857], and letter from J. D. Dana, 27 April 1857.
3
In his last letter to CD, 27 April 1857, Dana had mentioned that Louis Agassiz had a collector who was to explore Pacific islands. He also told CD of William Stimpson’s progress in describing the Crustacea collected by the North Pacific Exploring Expedition.
4
Thomas Henry Huxley devoted the final three lectures of his course on natural history to the Crustacea. These lectures, delivered at the School of Mines, were published in a series in the Medical Times & Gazette (T. H. Huxley 1856–7). In lecture eleven, published in the issue of 23 May 1857, Huxley put forward a new interpretation of the division of the segments of the archetypal crustacean originally proposed by Henri Milne-Edwards.
5
John Lubbock was studying variation in larval musculature. In Lubbock 1859, he presented his observations on the muscles of the larvae of the moth Pygaera bucephala. In DAR 45: 105, there is a note in CD’s hand which reads: ‘Lubbock’s Muscles. Wonderful variation & attachment.’
6
Lubbock had joined his father’s bank, Lubbock, Forster & Co., as a partner in 1848 at the age of 15 (Hutchinson 1914, 1: 22).
7
C. Lyell 1857a included a discussion of the fossils recently discovered in the Purbeck beds near Swanage (see letter from Charles Lyell, [16 January 1857]). CD had mentioned the work in his previous letter to Dana (letter to J. D. Dana, 5 April [1857]).

Summary

Thanks him for information concerning Crustacea.

Comments on natural history study in the U. S.

Mentions work done by Huxley on Crustacea ["Description of a new crustacean", J. Geol. Soc. Lond. 13 (1857): 363–9];

John Lubbock on larvae of Diptera.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-2094
From
Darwin, C. R.
To
Dana, J. D.
Sent from
Down
Source of text
Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Silliman Family Papers (MS 450) Box 19, folder 25)
Physical description
4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2094,” accessed on 28 September 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2094

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