To Ernst Dieffenbach 4 July 
Down | near Bromley | Kent
I have only this morning received your very obliging communication.—1 I assure you I have seldom been more gratified than at the distinction you have conferred on my Journal by translating it. I have some fears whether Mr Colburn will permit the use of the Plate & I am sure he will not gratis, but I have asked him to affix some price to it, & if that price be moderate, I will willingly pay it & transmit the plate for your use.—2
I will commence looking through my Journal & will send you on thin paper a few corrections.—3 I transmit for your acceptance a copy of a small work on Coral-Reefs;4 perhaps you will be good enough to insert a note to the effect that the chapter in my Journal is only a rough sketch of the facts & details given in full in this work.— Would you like to have the use of the woodcuts, from my Coral-volume to illustrate that chapter; I could lend them you for no charge.— I also transmit copies of some papers; perhaps you will be so good as just to refer to the existence of two of them in notes—one to the account of the Concepcion earthquake5 —& the other to the chapter, in which I treat of erratic boulders & glaciers.— 6
Will you inform me pretty soon, whether you would like some of the woodcuts out of my coral-volume—& whether you intend to print any part of the Appendix.— I would in that case wish the manner I speak of Agassiz altered, as I am ashamed of it, though convinced that his extension of the glacier-theory is preposterous, though now fully aware what good service he has done in this department of Geology.—7 Would it be worth while for you to refer to Prof. Owens descriptions of the extraordinary fossils which I discovered in S. America.—8 I daresay there is a copy of the Zoology of the Beagle’s Voyage in Berlin & the first Part contains descriptions of these fossils— I do not think it would take you long just to give a short sketch of these monsters, & I think such a sketch would have some general interest.— I will endeavour not to make my corrections more bulky than I can help, & I daresay if put in the form of a few notes, they would be the least trouble to yourself.— I hope that you as editor, with your extensive knowledge will add some criticisms or notes, which would add value & interest to the work.
I have not yet read your work on New Zealand, though I have had it for some time on my list, having 〈been〉 exceedingly interested by some extracts which ap〈peared〉 in the Gardeners Chronicle;—9 I regret I saw 〈so〉 little of you before your long voyage:10 I 〈was〉 at that time much out of health, which is yet so far from reestablished & has interrupted the prospects of my life, which I had anxiously hoped in a humble way to have devoted to science.—
It is most gratifying to me that your eminent countrymen Liebig & the great Humboldt (to whose works I am indebted for my first wish to travel) should approve of my volume.—11
You will see my address at the head of this letter—& when you have leisure, I hope you will answer the foregoing queries: I will inform you of the result of my application to Colburn immediately that I receive his answer.—
Pray believe me dear Sir with much respect. | Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin
P.S. I have been for some years employed in collecting facts in connection with the question of the difference between varieties or races & species. This led me to print two or three years since some rather crude “Questions”—12 Should you have an unoccupied half hour at any time, would you oblige me by reading them over, & make any remarks or answers (if such occur to you) on the margin & return the paper to me. I shd feel greatly indebted, as “Species” is a subject, which I intend sometime to publish on.—
CD gratified that ED wants to translate his Journal. Will send a copy of Coral reefs, which contains a fuller treatment of topic. Perhaps ED would insert a note to this effect. Can lend woodcuts from Coral reefs if ED wants. CD will send a few corrections; he wants to amend way he criticised Agassiz’s glacier theory.
He is also enclosing a questionnaire concerning differences between races or varieties and species, about which he intends to publish sometime.
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Dieffenbach, Ernst
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Hessische Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek, Darmstadt
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 680A,” accessed on 26 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-680A