To Fritz Müller 30 January 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Sir
I send by this post, by French packet, my new book, the publication of which has been much delayed.2 The greater part, as you will see, is not meant to be read; but I shd very much like to hear what you think of “Pangenesis”, tho’ I fear it will appear to every one far too speculative.3
I am very much obliged for yr answers, tho’ few in number (Oct 5th) about expression. I was especially glad to hear about shrugging the shoulders.4 You say that an old negro woman, when expressing astonishment, wonderfully resembled a Cebus when astonished; but are you sure that the Cebus opened its mouth?? I ask because the Chimpanzee does not open its mouth when astonished or when listening.5 Please have the kindness to remember that I am very anxious to know whether any monkey when screaming violently partially or wholly closes its eyes.6
Many thanks for your answers about the Planariæ, & about conspicuous seeds.7 By the way one of your seeds of the Pavonia has germinated.8 I sent the Solanum-like flower to Hooker, & I believe he has written to you.9 How strange it is that the same anomalous reduction of one leaf shd occur in several families! Gesneria pendulina (this is the sp. name) is certainly not dimorphic.10 Your Plumbago is Zeylanica an Indian species, I suppose naturalized with you; it shed its first flower-buds but it is now producing others, & I think it will turn out dimorphic.11 The flowers of Escholzia when crossed with pollen from a distinct plant produced 91 per cent of capsules; when self-fertilized the flowers produced only 66 per cent of capsules. An equal number of crossed & self-fertilized capsules contained seed by weight in the proportion of 100 to 71.12
Nevertheless the self-fert. flowers produced an abundance of seed. I enclose a few crossed seeds in hopes that you will raise a plant, cover it with a net, & observe whether it is self-fertile; at the same time allowing several uncovered plants to produce capsules; for the sterility formerly observed by you seems to me very curious.
With sincere thanks for your never failing kindness believe me my dear Sir | yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin
You will find your most valuable observations on self-sterile Orchids given in the second volume.—13
Sends Variation and would like to hear what FM thinks of Pangenesis.
Thanks for information on expression.
differences in seed production in cross- and self-fertilised plants.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5816,” accessed on 25 September 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5816