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Letter 7104

Gray, J. L. to Darwin, C. R.

14 Feb 1870


About a dog she supposes was suckled by a cat, since it washes its face with its paws.


Botanic Garden, Cambridge

Feb. 14— ’70—

My dear Mr. Darwin,

Dr. Gray says, “You write & tell about the dog!”—f1 And indeedit was only a supposition of mine that he was suckled by a cat, fromhis queer tricks when he came to us, a young dog of about 7 monthsold— He then would chase his own tail for sport; but I have heardof other dogs doing that— But he still keeps up the trick of washinghis face with his paws, & will sit as demurely as any old tabby,licking one paw & rubbing his face, & then changing to the other—I am glad if he has any tricks worth noticing, for he is a stupidlittle doggie at learning anything new, & has nothing but anaffectionate heart & some beauty to recommend him— He came tous through one or two transfers, so I cannot know much about hispuppyhood; but the lady who gave him to us is coming here this week,& I will ask her if she can find out anything about it—

I wish you had told us something how you were, but I hope youare as well at least as when we last saw you— And finding winternot too severe upon you—

As for us I can’t say that having no winter one year, makescoming back to it any more delightful— Snow & ice & slush & mud,for we are enough on the shore to have our cold turns soon followedby a thaw, are delightful to young people, who can skate & coast &walk & ride, but I have got to an age when I prefer dry roads & green trees& fresh turf!—

Dr. Gray is busy as ever; & astonishing his old friends & puzzlingthem very much as an “Arab Sheykh,” as our Greek Professor,Mr. Sophocles calls him—f2 He seems very well—

I wish I could tell you & Mrs. Darwin what delightful recollectionswe keep of you all & your charming home—f3 I assure you I am awoman of consideration that I have seen Mr. Darwin!—

Pray remember us most cordially to all your circle—| Very faithfully | Yours, Jane L. Gray

DAR 80: 162–3



See letter from Asa Gray, 14 February 1870.
Jane Loring Gray refers to Evangelinus Apostolides Sophocles,Harvard professor of ancient, Byzantine, and modern Greek. The Grayshad travelled in Egypt in 1869, and become ‘specially fond of Arabs’(Correspondence vol. 17, letter from Asa and J. L. Gray, 8 and 9 May1869).
The Grays had visited Down on 28 August 1869 (Emma Darwin’s diary(DAR 242)).
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