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Darwin Correspondence Project

From C. G. Semper   22 July 1878


22 July 1878.

Dear Sir

Your kind letter has given me the greatest pleasure, although it put me into some confusion too.1 For I must avow that I do not know how I should deserve such a kindness from your part, as you showed me by offering me your writing machine. My first impulse was to write you immediately and to beg your pardon for not being able to accept your very kind offer.

Yet upon considering it once more, I now think I might not only but I ought to accept the present. It seems to me to be the best proof of the gratitude, I owe you for all I have learned from you, that I should once forget my pride and accept the present as candidly as you offered it to me. Moreover I hope to be justified in viewing this machine as a token that you do not consider my scientific work as altogether valueless; and I can assure you, that in writing with it, it will make me proof against all attacks of discouragement, casually now and then produced by want of success here in Germany. I can assure you that you have given me greater pleasure by your letter, than I would have from being made a member of our highest learned Societies.

But I earnestly hope you will not take all the trouble of sending the instrument directly to Würzburg; it will be more convenient for you to send it to my Bankers in London “Messrs. Parr, Herrmann & Co.” City Bank Chambers, Thread-needle street, City who will forward it to me. My brother-in law, Mr. Herrmann, is one of the owner’s of this house and just now in London; he or Mr. Parr will be very glad if you allow them to take the trouble of sending the box off your hands.2

Permit me, dear Sir to express you once more the gratitude I feel towards you. for your present kindness as well as for the impulse you have given to Zoology and believe me to be | Your most devoted | C. Semper


See letter to C. G. Semper, 19 July 1878, in which CD proposed to give his typewriter to Semper.
Edward Parr and Moritz August Herrmann were East India merchants; Semper’s wife, Anna Sophia Semper, was Moritz Herrmann’s sister.


Thanks CD for his kind letter and accepts his offer of a writing machine.

Letter details

Letter no.
Carl Gottfried Semper
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 177: 137
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11624,” accessed on 18 June 2021,