To Fritz Müller 28 August 1870
Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
I have to thank you very sincerely for two letters: one of April 25th—containing a very curious account of the structure & morphology of Bonatea.—1 I feel that it is quite a sin that your letters shd. not all be published; but in truth I have no spare strength to undertake any extra work, which though slight would follow from seeing your letters in English through the press—not but that you write almost as clearly as any Englishman. This same letter also contained some seeds for Mr Farrer which he was very glad to receive.2
Your second letter of July 3d was chiefly devoted to mimickry in Lepidoptera: many of your remarks seem to me so good, that I have forwarded your letter to Mr. Bates; but he is out of London, having his summer holiday, & I have not yet heard from him.3 Your remark about imitators & imitated being of such different sizes, & the lower surface of wings not being altered in colour strike me as the most curious points. I shd. not be at all surprised if your suggestion about sexual selection were to prove true; but it seems rather too speculative to be introduced in my book more especially as my book is already far too speculative.4 The very same difficulty about brightly coloured caterpillars had occurred to me, & you will see in my Book, what I believe is the true explanation from Wallace.5 The same view probably applies in part to gaudy Butterflies.— My M.S. is sent to Printers, & I suppose will be published in about 3 months: of course I will send you a copy.6 By the way I settled with Murray recently with respect to your Book, & had to pay him only 21£"2s"3d which I consider a very small price for the dissemination of your views: he has 547 copies as yet unsold.7 This most terrible war will stop all science in France & Germany, for a long time: I have heard from nobody in Germany, & know not whether your Brother, Häckel, Gegenbaur Victor Carus or my other friends are serving in the army.8 Dohrn has joined a cavalry regiment.9 I have not yet met a soul in England, who does not rejoice in the splendid triumph of Germany over France: it is a most just retribution against that vain-glorious, war-loving nation. As the Posts are all in confusion, I will not send this letter through France.— The Editor has sent me duplicate copies of the Revue des Cours Scientifiques, which contain several articels about my views; so I send you copies, for the chance of your liking to see them.—10
My dear Sir | Ever Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
Mimicry in Lepidoptera.
The Franco-Prussian war.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7310,” accessed on 27 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7310