From J. S. Henslow 2 November 1840
2 Novr 1840
My dear Darwin,
I was very glad to see your handwriting & trust you are steadily progressing— The only doubt that crosses my mind, is the possibility of Sir. G. Wilkinson1 having been cheated by the Arabs— A case is on record of a quantity of wheat taken from a Catacomb in Egypt having been eaten by modern rats, which shows it had kept well, as far as the flavor is concerned— There is a picture in Trinity of a man with a bulb of a Scilla in his hand, which he has just taken from a mummy, & the scilla is sprouting — 2 I certain nothing impossible in Mr Tupper’s statement,3 but it is precisely one of those cases which need more than one experiment to authenticate the fact— I have no doubt whatever that the seeds grew, but I think it not impossible that Sir. G. W. may have been deceived—4 If I knew Sir G. W’s address I would write to him & beg a few grains— Whewell has been here for a week lately— Col. LeCouteur5 came to talk about the Wheat-Museum of the Agricl Socy 6 —& I have had my annual display of fireworks—so that my time has been completely occupied— Next week I go to Cambridge to vote for Ld Lyddleton,7 & if
Would like further experimentation to confirm report about germination of wheat from Egyptian tombs. Sir G. Wilkinson may have been deceived by the Arabs.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 579,” accessed on 26 April 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-579