To Alphonse de Candolle 31 January 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Sir
I thank you for so kindly writing to me; & many parts of your letter have interested me much.—2 I take a keen interest in progress of species-question, & am delighted to hear of the Count Saporta’s views.—3 I really think that I believe in as much migration as even you believe in, & as shown in your admirable great work;4 only I do not believe nearly so much in continental extensions & I believe more (not very much more, I begin to suspect, & it pleases me greatly) than you do in modification in form.—5 That is good remark on melons, & I shall probably use it, in conjunction with improvement of the pear.6 Also many thanks about oranges: I confess that I thought you rather too sceptical about Macfayden’s statement in W. Indies; I must change my tone.—7
what you say about antiquity of man, has occurred to me: it must make considerable difference in our views on domesticated animals & plants.— How very interesting the Swiss discoveries of the old Lake habitations have been; but I know only Rütimeyers admirable essay,8 in which there is some little on Plants by Dr Christ:9 I am very much obliged for your hint & must enquire; but I find German very slow reading & it wastes much time.10 I received a few days ago an Address from New Zealand, & traces of Prehistoric man have been found there!11
I thank you for your Photograph, which I am glad to add to some others.12 I have never had a proper “carte photographique” taken of myself; but I enclose one done 2 or 3 years ago by my son, if worth your acceptance.13
I am almost tired of my present big book (though a mere trifle to yours) on Variation under Domestication; for I have not sufficient knowledge to treat the plant-part well, but I have done so much that I will finish it.—14
Pray believe me, my dear Sir, with my best thanks & sincere respect.— | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin
CD thinks that he believes in as much migration as AdeC, only he does not believe nearly so much in continental extensions. CD also believes more in modification in form though he suspects the difference is not so great.
Thanks AdeC for information on melons, oranges,
and Swiss lake-habitation discoveries.
CD is almost tired of his book on variation under domestication, for his knowledge is insufficient to treat the plant part well, but he has done so much that he will finish it.