From John Lubbock 23 August 1862
15, Lombard Street. E.C.
23 August 1862
My dear Mr. Darwin
I am very sorry to hear so sad an account of your family, but hope that you are now getting out of your troubles.1 Atherley called here the other day & gave a flourishing account of William, but leaving him for a fortnight was even more complimentary.2
My Swiss tour was most successful;3 besides spending a week in the mountains with Tyndall & Huxley,4 which was capital fun, I visited nearly all the collections of Lake antiquities & saw five of the Pfahlbauten themselves.5 Three of them, those at Nernier, Thonon, & Morges in the Lake of Geneva I saw from a boat. The water was from 8 to 12 ft. deep, but so clear that I could see quite well, the piles & other things at the bottom.
We thought we saw a hatchet and I undressed & dived for it. After two or three ineffectual attempts we poked at it with a pole, & it turned out to be only a bit of wood. At Wauwyl the old floor is covered by three or four feet of peat, and the lake has been drained. We spent several hours in digging & got three hatchets, three or four implements in bone & a great many bits of pottery & more or less broken bones. There also the beams forming the floor are preserved in the peat, & one could stand, as it were, on the old floor.
I have got a hymenopterous insect which uses its wings to swim with in the water! Probably it is looking for a victim on which to lay eggs; but it strikes me as a most curious adaptation & one which would interest you much.6
I have also a case of dimorphism in Psocus, but have not yet been able to make out much about it. It had been already suspected by Westwood.7
Your case of trimorphism makes ones mental mouth water for more information.8
Let me know when you return as I am very anxious for a talk with you.9
Yours affec | John Lubbock
P.S. I send a subscription to Martin10
JL’s Swiss tour with Tyndall and Huxley.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3698,” accessed on 24 October 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3698