From V. O. Kovalevsky 18 February 1871
18 Febr. 1871.—
To day is the fourteenth day of our stay in Paris,1 we got there from Berlin with many difficulties and had to wait a long time at Head Quarters to have a pass; we should have waited much longer, as in the first time the passes into Paris where delivered with difficulty, had we not resolved to run the blockade and starting on foot from Versailles happily passed the lines and entered Paris, certainly I and my wife2 had to make some 25 miles walking, but the excitement was so great that we did not much feel the fatigue. We found my sister in law3 safe only a little thinned by the 30 grammes ration of meat. The other day I visited the Collections, but there is no serious damage done, as nearly all has been concealed in the cellars.4 The first days of the bombardement even the Lectures of the Sorbonne were not discontinued and only after receiving some ten bombs they stopped lecturing, but recomenced it now. I have seen Mr. Herbert and Gaudry and they both are in a serious fright that the Prussians will rob the collections as they have robbed all private and public collections in the environs of Paris.5
Still we had a little misfortune at the time of passage through the Prussian lines, namely we lost a small bag which contained among other things the 2, 8, 9 and 10x) sheets of the second volume of Your book on Man.6 I do not know if the work is published now, and if possible I shall be most thankfull to You if You had the kindness in sending me to Berlin the last sheets (I received the 2d vol to the page 160) to add theres four sheets if You can find them without difficulty in Your proof sheets. We return to morrow to Berlin and I should pray You to send the sheets Berlin, Georgienstrasse 7.—
My wife sends her compliments to Mrs Darwin and the ladies.—7
Yours very truly | W. Kowalevsky
x pag. 17–32; 113–160.
VOK and his wife walked 25 miles through the Prussian lines to Paris.
Natural history collections undamaged by bombardment, but Edmond Hébert and A. J. Gaudry fear Prussians will rob them.
Several sheets of Descent lost as they passed through the lines.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7488,” accessed on 13 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7488