From A. R. Wallace [27 September 1857]1
–of May last, that my views on the order of succession of species were in accordance with your own, for I had begun to be a little disappointed that my paper had neither excited discussion nor even elicited opposition.2 The mere statement & illustration of the theory in that paper is of course but preliminary to an attempt at a detailed proof of it, the plan of which I have arranged, & in part written, but which of course requires much 〈research in English〉 libraries & collections, a labour which I look 〈missing section of unknown length〉
With regard to the black Jaguars always breeding inter se,3 it is of course a point not capable of proof, but the black & the spotted animals are generally confined to separate localities, & among the hundreds & thousands of the skins which are articles of commerce I have never heard of a particoloured one having occurred. I think there is a difference of form the black being the more slender & graceful animal.
Refers to CD’s letter of "May last". ARW’s views on order of succession of species are in accordance with CD’s.
Disappointed that his paper ["On the law which has regulated the introduction of new species", Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. 2d ser. 16 (1855): 184–96] elicited no discussion; now ARW is trying to prove it. Paper merely states the theory.
On black jaguars breeding inter se: ARW has never heard of a parti-coloured one.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2145,” accessed on 3 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2145