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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Camille Dareste1   18 November [1869]2

Paris

18 novembre

Monsieur

Permettez-moi de recourir à votre obligeance, dans une circumstance bien grave pour moi.

Je suis actuellement candidat à une chaire de Physiologie comparée vacante à la faculté des Sciences de Paris. J’ai trouvé beaucoup d’appuis; mais aussi des adversaires qui, comprenant peu la voie Scientifique nouvelle dans laquelle je me suis engagé, ne veulent pas admettre que mes travaux sur la production artificielle des monstruosités puissent rentrer dans le cadre de la physiologie.3

Vous êtes, Monsieur, l’un des hommes qui ont le mieux compris l’importance de ces études auxquelles j’ai consacré ma vie; et la manière donc vous m’avez cité dans votre dernier ouvrage me prouve que vous les tenez en haute estime.4

Serait-ce un indiscrétion de ma part, de vous prier de m’envoyer une témoignage indiquant ce que vous pensez de mes travaux. Votre nom, et la grande position que vous vous êtes acquise dans la Science européenne donnerait à ce témoignage une grande valeur, et pourrait assurer la réussite de ma candidature.

Pardonnez-moi, Monsieur, de Vous demander ce service; mais la question est très grave pour moi, car notre organisation universitaire est si imparfaite, que nous pouvons avoir en province les ressources de toute sorte que les savants peuvent se procurer à Paris.5

Recevez, je vous prie, Monsieur, l’assurance de mon profond respect | Camille Dareste

à Paris: rue de fleurus 37 bis.

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 17, Appendix I.
The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Camille Dareste, 20 November 1869.
For Dareste’s research on animal monstrosities, see Dareste 1862, 1863, and 1867.
See Variation 1: 262, and 2: 289, 331, 340.
Dareste apparently forgot to include the ‘ne … pas’ in the sentence that would have indicated the lack of resources in the provinces. Dareste was employed at the University of Lille (DBF).

Bibliography

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

DBF: Dictionnaire de biographie Française. Under the direction of J. Balteau et al. 20 vols. and 8 fascicles of vol. 21 (A–Levaditi) to date. Paris: Librairie Letouzey & Ané. 1933–.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.

Translation

From Camille Dareste1   18 November [1869]2

Paris

18 November

Dear Sir

Allow me to appeal to your obligingness in a circumstance that is most important to me.

I am currently a candidate for a vacant chair of Comparative Physiology at the Faculté des Sciences at Paris. I have found many supporters, but also opponents who, with little understanding of the new scientific route to which I have committed myself, do not want to allow that my work on the artificial production of monstrosities belongs within the scope of physiology.3

You, Sir, are the man who has best understood the importance of the studies to which I have dedicated my life; and the manner in which you cited me in your last work proves to me that you hold them in high esteem.4

Would it be an indiscretion on my part, to ask you to send me a testimonial indicating what you think of my work. Your name, and the great position you have won in European science would give such a testimonial great value, and might ensure the success of my candidacy.

Please excuse me, Sir, for asking this service of you; but the question is very important for me, for our university organisation is so imperfect, that in the provinces we can have resources of all kinds that men of science can procure for themselves in Paris.5

Please accept, dear Sir, the assurance of my profound respect | Camille Dareste

Paris: rue de fleurus 37 bis

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see p. 485.
The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Camille Dareste, 20 November 1869.
For Dareste’s research on animal monstrosities, see Dareste 1862, 1863, and 1867.
See Variation 1: 262, and 2: 289, 331, 340.
Dareste apparently forgot to include the ‘ne … pas’ in the sentence that would have indicated the lack of resources in the provinces. Dareste was employed at the University of Lille (DBF).

Bibliography

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

DBF: Dictionnaire de biographie Française. Under the direction of J. Balteau et al. 20 vols. and 8 fascicles of vol. 21 (A–Levaditi) to date. Paris: Librairie Letouzey & Ané. 1933–.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.

Summary

Asks CD to write a letter sponsoring him for the Chair of Comparative Physiology at Paris. There are some who do not think his work on artificial production of monstrosities belongs in physiology.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-6994
From
Gabriel-Madeleine-Camille (Camille) Dareste
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Paris
Source of text
DAR 162: 45
Physical description
3pp (French)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6994,” accessed on 21 January 2020, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-6994.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17

letter