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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-4377

From Ernst Haeckel1   2 January 1864

Berlin

2. Januar 64.

Verehrtester Herr!

Ein neckischer Zufall hat Ihnen bei Absendung der für mich bestimmten Antwort einen falschen Brief in die Hand gespielt, den ich so eben erhalten habe und den ich Ihnen sogleich zurück sende.2 Sollten Sie die an mich gerichtete Antwort noch nicht abgesandt haben, so bitte ich Sie dieselbe nach Jena zu schicken, wohin ich morgen von hier abreise. Hoffentlich meldet mir Ihr Brief, dass Sie meine Radiolarien gern annehmen.3 Wenn Sie auch, ausser einer detaillirten Darstellug des Rhizopoden-Organismus, nicht viel Gutes und namentlich nicht viel für die Descendenz-Theorie Brauchbares darin finden werden,4 so vermögen doch vielleicht die zierlichen Kieselpanzer Ihnen einigen aesthetischen Genuss zu gewähren,5 oder mindestens vielleicht den weiblichen Mitgliedern Ihrer Familie als Stickmuster oder architektonisches Ornament bei Anfertigung weiblicher Arbeiten zu dienen.

Möge das gestern begonnene Jahr für Sie ein glückliches werden.

Mit der aufrichtigsten Verehrung, wie immer, | Ihr treu ergebener | Ernst 〈Haeckel〉

CD annotations

1.1 neckischer] ‘teasing’ above, pencil
1.5 meldet] ‘notify’ above, pencil
1.6 Darstellug] ‘representation’ above, pencil
1.8 Brauchbares] ‘usefuller’ above, pencil
1.9 Kieselpanzer] ‘flint coats of mail’ above, pencil
1.9 aesthetischen] ‘branch’ above, pencil
1.9 gewähren] ‘afford’ above, pencil

Footnotes

1
For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 12, Appendix I.
2
At the end of December 1863, CD mistakenly sent Haeckel a letter intended for Hugh Falconer, sending Falconer the letter intended for Haeckel (see Correspondence vol. 11, letter to Ernst Haeckel, 30 December [1863] – 3 January [1864]). Falconer returned the letter intended for Haeckel, and on 3 January 1864 CD sent the letter to Haeckel with a postscript explaining the mistake (see Correspondence vol. 11, letter to Ernst Haeckel, 30 December [1863] – 3 January [1864], and letter from Hugh Falconer, 31 December [1863]). The letter intended for Falconer that Haeckel returned has not been found.
3
In his letter to Haeckel of 30 December [1863] – 3 January [1864] (Correspondence vol. 11), CD wrote that he would be ‘proud’ to receive Haeckel’s monograph Die Radiolarien (Haeckel 1862). CD’s copy of Haeckel 1862 is in the Darwin Library–Down; some pages are uncut (see Marginalia 1: 360).
4
The Radiolaria, a group of unicellular, usually marine organisms, belong to the class Rhizopoda. Haeckel 1862 included a chapter on the taxonomic relationships of the Radiolaria, and on the general systematics of the Rhizopoda (pp. 194–212). However, another chapter, entitled ‘Versuch eines natürlichen Systems der Radiolarien’ (Attempt at a natural system of the Radiolaria) (ibid., pp. 213–37), discussed ancestral and transitional forms, and included a genealogical table. Haeckel also expressed his admiration for CD’s theory in a footnote on pp. 231–2. See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 [July 1864].
5
Haeckel 1862 included an atlas of thirty-five plates displaying engravings of Radiolaria composed of elaborate siliceous skeletons in a variety of symmetrical and occasionally irregular designs.

Translation

From Ernst Haeckel1   2 January 1864

Berlin

2. Januar 64.

Most honoured sir!

Chance has played a trick on you, substituting instead of the reply for me, a wrong letter which I have received and am immediately sending back.2 If you have not already sent the reply for me, I would ask you to send it to Jena, for which I leave tomorrow. Hopefully, your letter will inform me that you will be pleased to accept my Radiolarien.3 You may, however, apart from a detailed representation of the Rhizopod organism, not find much that is valuable, particularly not much that is useful for the theory of descent.4 Perhaps the delicate siliceous shells can provide you an aesthetic pleasure,5 or at least, perhaps, they might serve the female members of your family as embroidery patterns or architectural ornaments in the making of feminine works.

May the year which began yesterday be a happy one for you.

With the most sincere devotion, as always, | very truly yours | Ernst 〈Haeckel〉

Footnotes

1
For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 12, Appendix I.
2
At the end of December 1863, CD mistakenly sent Haeckel a letter intended for Hugh Falconer, sending Falconer the letter intended for Haeckel (see Correspondence vol. 11, letter to Ernst Haeckel, 30 December [1863] – 3 January [1864]). Falconer returned the letter intended for Haeckel, and on 3 January 1864 CD sent the letter to Haeckel with a postscript explaining the mistake (see Correspondence vol. 11, letter to Ernst Haeckel, 30 December [1863] – 3 January [1864], and letter from Hugh Falconer, 31 December [1863]). The letter intended for Falconer that Haeckel returned has not been found.
3
In his letter to Haeckel of 30 December [1863] – 3 January [1864] (Correspondence vol. 11), CD wrote that he would be ‘proud’ to receive Haeckel’s monograph Die Radiolarien (Haeckel 1862). CD’s copy of Haeckel 1862 is in the Darwin Library–Down; some pages are uncut (see Marginalia 1: 360).
4
The Radiolaria, a group of unicellular, usually marine organisms, belong to the class Rhizopoda. Haeckel 1862 included a chapter on the taxonomic relationships of the Radiolaria, and on the general systematics of the Rhizopoda (pp. 194–212). However, another chapter, entitled ‘Versuch eines natürlichen Systems der Radiolarien’ (Attempt at a natural system of the Radiolaria) (ibid., pp. 213–37), discussed ancestral and transitional forms, and included a genealogical table. Haeckel also expressed his admiration for CD’s theory in a footnote on pp. 231–2. See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 [July 1864].
5
Haeckel 1862 included an atlas of thirty-five plates displaying engravings of Radiolaria composed of elaborate siliceous skeletons in a variety of symmetrical and occasionally irregular designs.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-4377
From
Haeckel, E. P. A.
To
Darwin, C. R.
Sent from
Berlin
Source of text
DAR 166: 36
Physical description
2pp (German)

Summary

Returns letter mailed by mistake [see 4361].

Hopes CD will accept gift of his Radiolarien [Die Radiolarien, 2 vols. (1862)].

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4377,” accessed on 3 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4377

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