To Ludwig Rütimeyer 5 December 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
Dear & much respected Sir.—
I have been slowly reading through your admirable work, & this evening I came to the passage, in which you express a wish to see the skull of the wild White cattle of Chillingham Park.2
If you could tell me how so heavy an object as a Bull’s skull could be sent to Switzerland, I would try & procure one for you.— I would write to the Earl of Tankerville, & I think (but cannot say positively) that he would grant this favour.3 But I fear that the carriage would be too expensive. You would have to tell me clearly how it ought to be sent & directed. Of course it would be several months, before a Bull might be killed & it would take some time to partially clean the skull.— Should you wish for a few of the upper neck vertebræ?4
Permit me to say how much I admire your work; it seems to me the most important contribution on domestic races ever published.5 I have been pleased to hear what you say on the Zebu; for in my M.S. I have come from habits alone, to the same conclusion with you.— Of course your evidence is of a far higher kind.—6
I have a volume half prepared for publication (but interrupted of late by some Botanical work) on “Variation of animals under domestication,” in which I treat chiefly of Pigeons, Fowls, Rabbits &c;7 & you may well believe how profoundly your admirable labours have interested me.—
With most sincere respect | I remain | Dear Sir | Your faithful servant | Charles Darwin
Admires LR’s book [Die Fauna der Pfahlbauten (1861)].
Will attempt to arrange for skull of wild white Chillingham cattle to be sent by Earl of Tankerville.
CD has come to same conclusion as LR on zebus.
CD’s MS of Variation is half-prepared.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3339,” accessed on 26 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3339