To James Crichton-Browne 28 March 1
My dear Sir
I am drawing near to end of my first rough draught of Essay, so that it is not at all likely I shall be tempted to break again my good resolutions of not troubling you.2 This is a wild-goose question. Have you ever suspected or seen fairly good reason to believe that the capillary circulation in any part of skin, or in any organ, is ever influenced (the vessels being either expanded or contracted) by the mind being long and intently directed to such part, owing to some insane delusion.3 Secondly, C. Vogt describes a degraded microcephalous idiot as blushing;4 Have you seen idiots blush?
My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
P.S. I have just read over your MS. on Blushing— it is capital— you end with the sentence— “I possess a mass of details as to blushing in morbid conditions after injury and galvanization of the sympathetic etc., which can be forwarded if desired.”5 It is not likely that this could be of service, but I should excessively like to read it, if it is separate and can be sent registered, and shall be returned registered to you. But on no account whatever would I give you the trouble to copy it. Please observe this.
Asks whether capillary circulation is ever influenced by the mind’s being directed intently to any part of the body.
Has JC-B ever seen idiots blush? JC-B’s MS on blushing is capital.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7635,” accessed on 20 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7635