From A. R. Wallace 8 March 1
I am very sorry your letter came back here while I was going to town, or I should have been very pleased to have seen you.2
Trimen’s paper at the Linnæan was a very good one,—but the only opponents were Andrew Murray and B. Seeman,—3 the former talked utter nonsense about the “harmony of nature” produced by “polarization”,—alike in “rocks plants and animals” &c. &c. &c. And Seeman objected that there was “Mimicry” among plants, and that our theory would not explain it. Lubbock4 answered them both in his best manner.
Pray take your rest, and put my last notes by till you return to Down,—or let your son discover the fallacies in them.5
Would you like to see the specimens of pupæ of butterflies whose colours have changed in accordance with the colour of the surrounding objects. They are very curious, and Mr. T. W. Wood6 who bred them would I am sure be delighted to bring them to show you. His address is, 89, Stanhope Street, Hampstead Road N.W.
Believe me | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace—
On critical exchanges at the Linnean Society on natural selection and mimicry.
Roland Trimen’s paper on South African mimetic butterflies ["On some remarkable mimetic resemblances among African butterflies", Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 26 (1870): 497–523; read 5 Mar 1868].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5996,” accessed on 14 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5996