To John Lubbock [November 1858]1
I am sorry that I was out when you called yesterday,—a rare event for me.— I think your abstract quite excellent & perfectly clear.—2 Many of your remarks strike me as very curious.— In one case I doubted for a minute whether your remark was general or applied to last-named insect, & I have marked place with pencil & I think in 2 or 3 other places, the same doubt might occur, so I think you had better read it over, remembering that ignorant readers will blunder if possible.— For ignoramus, like myself I wish you would in parentheses make clear what is macula germativa as distinct from germinal vesicle.3 Are you sure that Aphides do occur in Tropics; incidentally from Lund, it appears that they do not occur in tropical Brazil.4
I congratulate you heartily on producing so profound & philosophical a memoir.—5
Yours most truly | C. Darwin
P.S. Will you tell Sir John that I did not answer his note about my wells, because I received a message that Parslow’s answers had sufficed.6 I remember reading several years ago a good paper, I think in Geological Journal, (author’s name forgotten) on level of water in Chalk N. of London, & the Author showed that the line of height of water at different points formed a rather steep slope—that it might be compared to a river slowly oozing or flowing through the chalk; & he showed that wet weather did not affect the level at any one point, till, I think, nearly six months after-wards.—7
The author was connected with Paper-mills & had made many very careful observations.
I quite forgot to thank you about Sir C. Nicholson’s letter on Bees: it will not do to quote, which I am very sorry for.8 I had thougt of Partridges.—9
Praise for abstract of JL’s paper on insects ["On the ova and pseudova of insects", Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 9 (1857–9): 574–83].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2331,” accessed on 12 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2331