To B. J. Sulivan 31 December 1
Down Bromley | Kent
My dear Sulivan
I sincerely rejoice that you are able to give a some what improved account of your health, & I hope it may continue improving.1 Your letter has interested me exceedingly all about S. America & the Fuegians. I never thought the latter cd have been civilized, but it appears that I shall be proved wrong. I wish poor Fitz-Roy was alive to hear the result of his first attempt for the civilization of the Fuegians.2
Do you know Mr Stirling3 well enough to ask him to grant me a great favour? Namely to observe during a few months the expression of countenance under different emotions of any Fuegians but especially of those who have not lived much in contact with Europeans, & to take the trouble to write me a letter on the subject.
It is an old hobby-horse of mine on which I am very curious, & on which I have vainly sought for information. I will write a few questions on a separate piece of paper, & if you can oblige me you might send it to Mr S. with the request that he wd hereafter write to me by address on the paper.—4
I have written to Hooker about the fossil leaves; he fully appreciates their value but says he has no time to work at them.5 He agrees with me that they wd be of much more service for science in the hands of Prof. Heer of Switzerland than in those of any other man in Europe. If you are inclined to send a collection to him, Hooker wd find out the best means, but as he remarks, the specimens would require much trouble in packing.6
I am glad to hear so capital an account of yr younger son,7 & I shd think he wd be sure to get a scholarship at Cambridge. It was my 2nd son George, & he was first in Mathematics at Trinity.8
My health is very much improved, & this is wholly due to diet & to riding daily, but I am never quite well for 24 hours9 Nevertheless I have just sent off to the printers a great bundle of M.S for a book on “domestic animals”.10
Again I must thank you for your very interesting letter, & with our very kind remembrances to Mrs Sulivan11 believe me my dear Sulivan | yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin
Thanks BJS for his account of S. America and the Fuegians.
Can BJS ask W. H. Stirling to make observations on expression?
Has asked Hooker about the fossil leaves, and he suggests they be sent to Oswald Heer.
Has just sent MS on domestic animals [Variation] to the printer.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5330,” accessed on 11 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5330