From Edward Cresy 10 September 1865
10 Septr ’65—
My dear Sir.
Your note1 reached me here yesterday where I have been spending a month most agreeably walking and sketching or rather smudging to be accurate—& I must say that though roughish the civilisation of Cornwall is much pleasanter than the want of it in New Brunswick2 I am reminded of my last summer’s trip by a blue nose brig with a regular blue nose skipper & blue nose crew3 having just come to grief here he takes it easy saying it t’aint a place & didn’t ought to be down in the chart.
I am truly sorry I was out or rather away when George called but hope he will look me up again before he returns to Cambridge.4 I shall be at the office on Thursday & Friday & perhaps Saturday but shall ask him to drop me a line to say which day he will call as I have to look after some out of door matters.—5 But it would be much pleasanter if his time allows if he will come & dine with me & sleep at my house any day after the 24th. as I shall then be back for good & till then shall be standing off & on—6
We are both greatly concerned to hear you have been so unwell.7 Although you have many active disciples still your own illness is a national calamity especially when we are all so anxious to see your views extending— It is satisfactory though to see how they are extending. I brought Vogt’s lectures on man just published by the Anthropological Society with me to read here & see that although strongly opposed to Lamarck he confesses to complete conversion to Darwinism—8 If you have not read him you will be amused at his Huxleyan outspokenness,9 still more at the excessive naïveté of the translator Dr James Hunt who struck out a few passages as likely to offend pious people but to mollify the savan’s indignation at his want of courage he his printed the omitted matter in the Appendix!10 though why these should horrify people more than much which he has left in puzzles me to see.
I must tell you of a very beautiful because remarkably homely illustration of your solution of one of the difficulties of Nat selection viz the hexagonal combs. We had a plumb pudding for dinner & from the cook having exactly hit the right tenacity & thinness of crust it came up a complete sphere mapped out with hexagonal articulations, not here & there a pasty hexagon but the whole covered with exact regular hexagons— By guesswork each plumb should have punched just a swelling & then a round hole for itself like a round shot through a plank but I suppose the strain came to equally on all parts of the crust so the spherical plumbs laid the foundation, without any instinctive knowledge of a series of regular hexagonal combs—11
Ask George to write to Spring Gardens.12 My wife desires kindest remembrances to yourself & Mrs & Miss Darwin.—13 she has benefitted immensely here—
Very truly yours | E Cresy
C Darwin Esq
Reading Carl Vogt [Lectures on man (1864)].
Vogt, though anti-Lamarck, is converted to Darwinism.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4892,” accessed on 12 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4892