To Asa Gray 16 October 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Gray
I send by this post clean sheets of Vol. 1. up to p. 336, & there are only 411 pages in this vol.2 I am very glad to hear that you are going to review my book; but if the Nation is a newspaper I wish it were at the bottom of the sea, for I fear that you will thus be stopped reviewing me in a scientific journal.3 The first Vol. is all details, & you will not be able to read it; & you must remember that the Chapters on plants are written for naturalists who are not botanists. The last Chap. in Vol. 1 is, however, I think a curious compilation of facts; it is on bud-variation. In Vol. 2 some of the Chaps are more interesting; & I shall be very curious to hear your verdict on the Chap. on close inter-breeding.4 The Chap. on what I call Pangenesis will be called a mad dream, & I shall be pretty well satisfied if you think it a dream worth publishing; but at the bottom of my own mind I think it contains a great truth.5 I finish my book with a semi-theological paragraph, in which I quote & differ from you; what you will think of it I know not.6
Many thanks for a 2nd note recd some time ago on Dionæa.7
I have done nothing worth mentioning this summer, as all my time has been consumed in correcting horrid proof sheets. I may mention one little fact which may possibly interest you. A man in Natal sent me a little packet by post of the dung of locusts with the statement that it was believed that locusts brought new plants to the districts which they visited.8 Six Grasses, belonging to at least two species have germinated out of the dung, & the seeds were fairly enclosed in the little pellets, as I ascertained by dissection. This verifies what I said in the Origin, that many new methods of transport wd be discovered; for locusts are often blown many 100 miles out to sea.9
The rest of the sheets which have all been corrected will be printed off by the middle of Novr. & shall be sent to you in 2 or 3 packets. Do not forget to let me have hereafter a copy of the Nation.10
My dear Gray | yours most sincerely | Ch. Darwin
Sends sheets of first volume of Variation.
Transport of seeds in locust dung.
Pangenesis will be called "a mad dream".
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5649,” accessed on 25 September 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5649