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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Carl Vogt1   17 April 1867

Genève

ce 17 Avril | 1867.

Monsieur et cher Maître!

Ci-jointe, mirant votre désir, une photographie.2 Je pourrais presque dire avec Goethe: Da hast Du, weil Du’s willst, mein garstig Gesicht,— Aber meine Liebe, die siehst Du nicht!3

La votre m’a rappelé, d’une manière étonnante, un défunt ami, Théodore Parker de Boston.4

J’ai envoyé votre le〈tt〉re à Mr. Ricker— il tâchera de se consoler5

Bientôt, j’aurai le plaisir de vous envoyer un mémoire sur les microcéphales ou hommes-singes, fruit de mes études de l’année passée pour lesquelles la guerre me faisait des loisirs.6 J’arrive à la conclusion, que cette conformation anormale est un atavisme, qui ramène vers le point de départ des deux souches, homme et singes—mais que ce point de départ n’est plus représenté dans la creátion actuelle. Je pense avoir élucidé la question d’une manière satisfaisante—autant que le permettent les faits à notre disposition.

Votre livre nouveau traitant des animaux domestiques, vous aurez sans doute remarqué le beau mémoire de Mr. Nathusius sur le cochon domestique et ses métamorphoses. C’est extrèmement important, puis qu’il démontre, d’une manière peremptoire, les changements survenus dans la conformation de la tête et surtout du groin pas suite de la domesticité.7

Agréez, Monsieur, l’assurance de ma considération très distinguée. | Votre devoué | C Vogt

Mr. Ch. Darwin.

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 15, Appendix I.
CD asked for Vogt’s photograph in his letter to Vogt of 12 April [1867]; it has not been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL.
Vogt slightly modified a quotation from a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, ‘Das garstige Gesicht’: ’s ist ungefähr das garst’ge Gesicht— Aber meine Liebe siehst du nicht. [This is nearly the most ugly face— But you cannot see my love upon it.] See Goethe 1988, p. 413.
CD sent his photograph with his letter to Vogt of 12 April [1867]. Parker, an American Unitarian theologian, social reformer, and writer, died in 1860.
Franz Anton Ricker was Vogt’s friend and publisher; he had hoped to publish a translation of Variation by Vogt. In fact, Variation was translated by Julius Victor Carus and published by Christian Friedrich Schweizerbart (Carus trans. 1868).
Vogt refers to his Mémoire sur les microcéphales (C. Vogt 1867); there is an inscribed, annotated copy in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 824–6). CD thanked Vogt for it in his letter to Vogt of 7 August [1867]. Vogt assembled a collection of microcephalic skulls at the meeting of the natural history section of the Institut Genevois in June 1866 (C. Vogt 1867, p. 4), near the time of the Seven Weeks War between Prussia, Austria, and allied German states in June and July 1866 (EB).
Vogt refers to Variation, and to Hermann Engelhard von Nathusius and Nathusius 1864. There is a heavily annotated copy of Nathusius 1864 in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 630–5); CD frequently cited this and other works by Nathusius in Variation. On changes in the shape of the skull in domestic pigs, see Variation 1: 71–3.

Translation

From Carl Vogt1   17 April 1867

Geneva

17 April | 1867

Dear Sir and Master,

Enclosed is a photograph as you wished.2 I could almost say with Goethe: Da hast Du, weil Du’s willst, mein garstig Gesicht— Aber meine Liebe, die siehst Du nicht! [There you have, as you wished, my ugly face— But you cannot see my love upon it!]3

Your photograph reminded me to an astonishing degree of my late friend, Theodore Parker of Boston.4

I sent on your letter to Mr. Ricker— he will try to console himself.5

Shortly I will have the pleasure of sending you a memoir on the Microcephalics or man-apes, the fruit of the studies for which the war gave me leisure in the past year.6 I come to the conclusion that this abnormal conformation is an atavism that leads back to the point of departure of the two stocks, man and apes—but that this point of departure is no longer represented in modern creation. I think that I have elucidated the question in a satisfactory manner—as far as the facts at our disposal permit.

As for your new work regarding domesticated animals, you will no doubt be aware of Mr. Nathasius’s fine paper on the domestic pig and its metamorphoses. This is extremely important since he demonstrates in a decisive manner the changes that have occurred in the conformation of the head and especially in the snout following domestication.7

I remain sincerely | Your devoted | C. Vogt

Mr. Ch. Darwin

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see p. 227.
CD asked for Vogt’s photograph in his letter to Vogt of 12 April [1867]; it has not been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL.
Vogt slightly modified a quotation from a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, ‘Das garstige Gesicht’: ’s ist ungefähr das garst’ge Gesicht— Aber meine Liebe siehst du nicht. [This is nearly the most ugly face— But you cannot see my love upon it.] See Goethe 1988, p. 413.
CD sent his photograph with his letter to Vogt of 12 April [1867]. Parker, an American Unitarian theologian, social reformer, and writer, died in 1860.
Franz Anton Ricker was Vogt’s friend and publisher; he had hoped to publish a translation of Variation by Vogt. In fact, Variation was translated by Julius Victor Carus and published by Christian Friedrich Schweizerbart (Carus trans. 1868).
Vogt refers to his Mémoire sur les microcéphales (C. Vogt 1867); there is an inscribed, annotated copy in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 824–6). CD thanked Vogt for it in his letter to Vogt of 7 August [1867]. Vogt assembled a collection of microcephalic skulls at the meeting of the natural history section of the Institut Genevois in June 1866 (C. Vogt 1867, p. 4), near the time of the Seven Weeks War between Prussia, Austria, and allied German states in June and July 1866 (EB).
Vogt refers to Variation, and to Hermann Engelhard von Nathusius and Nathusius 1864. There is a heavily annotated copy of Nathusius 1864 in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 630–5); CD frequently cited this and other works by Nathusius in Variation. On changes in the shape of the skull in domestic pigs, see Variation 1: 71–3.

Summary

Will send CD a memoir on Les microcéphales [1867]; CV believes microcephalism is an atavistic abnormality.

Recommends H. von Nathusius’ work on domestic pig [Die Racen des Schweines (1860)].

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-5505
From
Carl Vogt
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Geneva
Source of text
DAR 180: 11
Physical description
2pp (French)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5505,” accessed on 21 July 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-5505.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15

letter