To James Crichton-Browne 20 February 1
My dear Sir
I very truly grieve to hear that your continued labours and anxiety have at last injured your health seriously.2 I know from long-tried experience what misery continued ill-health causes, but my health affects only comfort, and is not otherwise serious, which I fear from what you say is far from your case. Your MS. is most useful and interesting to me, and though I would not wish one single word omitted, and shall consider the whole very carefully, I regret that I have caused you to write at such length.3 A few sentences will suffice for my object, but as your trouble in writing it is now over, I must say that I rejoice (though regretting) at its length, as it makes me understand the cases much better. I did not make enough or any allowance for mere senseless laughter and weeping.4 I have, however, not yet sufficiently considered your MS. with respect to the hairy ears (is it of idiot or insane—I suppose congenital?).5 I should much like to see a photograph out of curiosity, and I can return it, when I return the others. After I have seen all that you can send, I will then ask, whether I could have some (supposing any suit my purpose which is of course a chance) copied:6 there would however be risk of the copyiers dirtying any photograph. I go to London for a week on Thursday, and intend to enquire about the new plans of engraving direct from photographs.7 Please address Photographs to C. Darwin, Orpington Station, Kent, S.E. Railway. With respect to bronzed colour from renal disease, I do not think the facts (Mr. Paget formerly gave me some) would be of service: the case seems so hopelessly obscure.8 You most kindly tell me that I may ask more questions: Gratiolet (who though so good an observer, I think sometimes runs away with facts) asserts that the pupils of the eyes contract in violent rage, and “dilate enormously” under extreme terror.9 Have you ever observed this, or can you observe it,—allowance being made for any brain disease? My little essay on Expression does not deserve to rank above a Hobby-horse; now some thirty years old: I feel bound to publish, as I have received from various correspondents much information in regard to savages; and to these observations I have now to add your to me very valuable notes.10 You will, ere this have received I hope my book: I fear there will be too much natural History for you; but it would delight me if I should succeed in interesting you for an hour or two by the first and last parts.11
My dear Sir, with cordial thanks Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
P.S. Since writing this I have been working in your remarks on weeping and they come in splendidly for me.12
JC-B’s MS most useful.
P. Gratiolet’s observations on contraction and dilation of pupils of eye of a person in extreme terror. Has JC-B ever observed this? Expression has been his hobby-horse for 30 years.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7499,” accessed on 24 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7499