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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Armand de Quatrefages1   [28 March] – 11 April 18632

Monsieur et cher confrère

Comme je vous le disais je crois dans ma derniere lettre je soutiens en ce moment à la Société d’Anthropologie une lutte assez vive en faveur de la variabilité des espèces animales.3 Un de mes confrères m’a défié de citer une seule espèce chez qui l’action des milieux eut produit des modifications anatomiques.4 Il ne compte pour rien celles qui se rattachent à la peau, au tissu cellulaire … Je vais repondre 〈    〉 en insistant sur l’histoire du cheval.5 Mais on ne s’arrêtera pas là et je voudrais placer sous les yeux de ces disciples de St Thomas un fait bien concluant6  

J’ai songé aux bœufs-dogues que vous nous avez fait connaitre, aux bœufs Nãta ou Niata.7 Vous en avez dites vous (Journ. of Research … ) une tête à Londres.8 Pourriez vous en faire prendre une photographie et me l’envoyer?9 Serait-il encore mieux possible d’en obtenir un moule pour les collections du Museum?10 a-t-elle été publiée quelque part?11 Si elle ne l’a pas été et que vous ou quelqu’un en Angleterre avez l’intention de le faire, je n’ai pas besoin de vous dire qu’aucune publication detaillée n’aura lieu en France et que je me bornerai à montrer soit le dessin soit le moule pour l’instruction de mes auditeurs et la conversion (si possible est) de mes contradicteurs.12

Pardon Monsieur et cher confrere de ce que mes demandes peuvent avoir d’indiscret et recevez de nouveau l’expression de mon bien affecteux dévouement | De Quatrefages

11 Avril 63

J’ai vu Mr Martins 〈    〉 en ce moment à Paris pour la réunion des délégués des facultés de Province.13 Je lui ai donné toutes les instructions, que mon habitude de ces petits details pouvaient me sugérer, pour que votre collection fut aussi bien faite que possible.14 Je l’ai trouvé rempli d’excellentes intentions. Il a pris votre adresse et vous enverra directement les objets par le chemin de fer15

J’ai eu aussi ces jours derniers un veritable plaisir a causer longuement avec le Dr. Carpenter. ses travaux sur les Comatules m’ont très vivement interessé.16

Merci de tout ce que vous me dites d’aimable 〈a〉u sujet de mes Métamorphoses17

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol.11, Appendix I.
The date range is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Armand de Quatrefages, 27 March [1863].
The reference is to André Sanson, and to a meeting of the Société d’Anthropologie held on 19 March 1863 (Bulletins de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris 4 (1863): 159). For Quatrefages’s responses to Sanson of 16 April and 16 July, see Bulletins de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris 4 (1863): 213–23, and nn. 5 and 12, below. For Sanson’s responses to Quatrefages of 7 May and 16 July, see Bulletins de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris 4 (1863): 254–68, 374–5, and 380–3.
Quatrefages described the modification of breeds of horses through environmental influences at a meeting of the Société d’Anthropologie on 16 April 1863, citing the descent of the English racehorse from Arab stock as an example (Bulletins de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris 4 (1863): 215–19). See also Origin, p. 35.
The reference is to the biblical narrative of the apostle Thomas’s refusal to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ without direct experience (EB).
Niata: ‘An abnormally small variety of cattle, found in South America’ (OED). Quatrefages refers to Journal of researches 2d ed., pp. 145–6, where CD observed that the niata cattle ‘appear externally to hold nearly the same relation to other cattle, which bull or pug dogs do to other dogs.’
Journal of researches 2d ed., p. 146. CD presented a skull of this breed from the Beagle collections to the Royal College of Surgeons of London in 1840 (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to Francisco Javier Muñiz, 26 February 1847, n. 7).
Quatrefages was professor of the natural history of man at the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris (DSB); apparently, no cast of the skull was sent (see letter to Armand de Quatrefages, 14 May [1863], and letter from Armand de Quatrefages, 19 May [1863]).
The skull is described in Owen [1853], 2: no. 3832; CD had also discussed it in his manuscript draft of Variation (see Variation 1: 89–91, and letter to Armand de Quatrefages, [14 April 1863]). See also Origin 6th ed., p. 177.
Quatrefages displayed the photographs at a meeting of the Société d’Anthropologie on 2 July 1863 (Bulletins de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris 4 (1863): 350–2). See also letter from Armand de Quatrefages, 19 May [1863].
Charles Frédéric Martins was professor of botany at the Faculté de Montpellier (Dictionnaire universel des contemporains).
Quatrefages completed his own research on silkworms between 1857 and 1859 (see DSB and Quatrefages 1859).
Martins had agreed to send CD a collection of varieties of the common silkworm (Bombyx mori) at different stages in their life cycle; however, the collection was apparently never sent (see letter to Armand de Quatrefages, 27 March [1863] and n. 3).
William Benjamin Carpenter had travelled to Paris for recreational purposes during his Easter vacation as registrar of London University (Carpenter 1888, p. 84; DNB). However, he soon became involved in the heated discussions that followed the discovery on 28 March 1863 of a fossilised human jaw at Moulin-Quignon in the Somme valley, discussions in which Quatrefages also played a leading role. See Carpenter’s report of the discovery in the Athenæum, 18 April 1863, p. 523; see also Grayson 1983, pp. 213–17, and Van Riper 1993, pp. 134–39. Carpenter published his work on the echinoderm Comatula in Carpenter 1865.
See letter to Armand de Quatrefages, 27 March [1863]. The reference is to Métamorphoses de l’homme et des animaux (Quatrefages 1862), of which there is an lightly annotated copy in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 691).

Bibliography

Carpenter, William Benjamin. 1865. Researches on the structure, physiology, and development of Antedon (Comatula, Lamk.) rosaceus. [Read 15 June 1865.] Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 156 (1866): 671–756.

Carpenter, William Benjamin. 1888. Nature and man: essays scientific and philosophical. With an introductory memoir by J. Estlin Carpenter. London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Dictionnaire universel des contemporains: Dictionnaire universel des contemporains contenant toutes les personnes notables de la France et des pays étrangers … Ouvrage rédigé et continuellement tenu à jour avec le concours d’écrivains et des savants de tous les pays. Edited by Louis Gustave Vapereau. Paris: Libraire Hachette. 1858. 3d edition, 1865. 4th edition, 1870. 5th edition, 1880. 6th edition, 1893.

DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

DSB: Dictionary of scientific biography. Edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie and Frederic L. Holmes. 18 vols. including index and supplements. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1970–90.

EB: The Encyclopædia Britannica. A dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information. 11th edition. 29 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1910–11.

Grayson, Donald K. 1983. The establishment of human antiquity. New York: Academic Press.

Journal of researches 2d ed.: Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle round the world, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN. 2d edition, corrected, with additions. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1845.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.

Origin 6th ed.: The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 6th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.

Van Riper, A. Bowdoin. 1993. Men among the mammoths: Victorian science and the discovery of human prehistory. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.

Translation

From Armand de Quatrefages1   [28 March] – 11 April 18632

Sir and dear colleague,

As I think I told you in my last letter, I am engaged at present in a rather lively battle at the Société d’Anthropologie on behalf of the variability of animal species.3 One of my colleagues has challenged me to cite a single species in which the action of the environment has produced anatomical modifications.4 He does not take into account those which concern the skin, the cellular tissue … I am about to reply 〈    〉 by insisting on the history of the horse.5 But this will not be the end of it, and I should like to produce before the eyes of these disciples of St Thomas one decisive fact.6

I have considered the pug-cattle which you brought to our attention, the Nãta or Niata cattle.7 You say (Journ. of Research … ) that you have the head of one in London.8 Could you have a photograph of it taken and sent to me?9 Even better—would it be possible to have a cast made for the museum collections?10 Has it been published anywhere?11 If it has not and either you or somebody else in England intends to do so, it goes without saying that no detailed publication will be produced in France, and I will restrict myself to showing either the drawing or the cast for the instruction of my students and the conversion (if it be possible) of my opponents.12

Forgive me Sir and dear colleague for any indiscretion in my questions and please accept again the expression of my affectionate devotion | De Quatrefages

11 April 63

I saw Mr Martins who is at present in Paris for the meeting of the delegates of the provincial faculties.13 I gave him all the guidance that my experience of these small details could suggest,14 so that your collection should be as well arranged as possible. I found him full of excellent intentions. He took your address and will send you the objects directly by train.15

A few days ago I also had the great pleasure of talking at length to Dr. Carpenter; I have found his work on Comatulae of very great interest.16

Thank you for all the kind things you said about my Métamorphoses.17

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in the originalFrench, see Correspondence vol.11, pp. 275–6.
The date range is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Armand de Quatrefages, 27 March [1863].
The reference is to André Sanson, and to a meeting of the Société d’Anthropologie held on 19 March 1863 (Bulletins de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris 4 (1863): 159). For Quatrefages’s responses to Sanson of 16 April and 16 July, see Bulletins de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris 4 (1863): 213–23, and nn. 5 and 12, below. For Sanson’s responses to Quatrefages of 7 May and 16 July, see Bulletins de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris 4 (1863): 254–68, 374–5, and 380–3.
Quatrefages described the modification of breeds of horses through environmental influences at a meeting of the Société d’Anthropologie on 16 April 1863, citing the descent of the English racehorse from Arab stock as an example (Bulletins de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris 4 (1863): 215–19). See also Origin, p. 35.
The reference is to the biblical narrative of the apostle Thomas’s refusal to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ without direct experience (EB).
Niata: ‘An abnormally small variety of cattle, found in South America’ (OED). Quatrefages refers to Journal of researches 2d ed., pp. 145–6, where CD observed that the niata cattle ‘appear externally to hold nearly the same relation to other cattle, which bull or pug dogs do to other dogs.’
Journal of researches 2d ed., p. 146. CD presented a skull of this breed from the Beagle collections to the Royal College of Surgeons of London in 1840 (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to Francisco Javier Muñiz, 26 February 1847, n. 7).
Quatrefages was professor of the natural history of man at the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris (DSB); apparently, no cast of the skull was sent (see letter to Armand de Quatrefages, 14 May [1863], and letter from Armand de Quatrefages, 19 May [1863]).
The skull is described in Owen [1853], 2: no. 3832; CD had also discussed it in his manuscript draft of Variation (see Variation 1: 89–91, and letter to Armand de Quatrefages, [14 April 1863]). See also Origin 6th ed., p. 177.
Quatrefages displayed the photographs at a meeting of the Société d’Anthropologie on 2 July 1863 (Bulletins de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris 4 (1863): 350–2). See also letter from Armand de Quatrefages, 19 May [1863].
Charles Frédéric Martins was professor of botany at the Faculté de Montpellier (Dictionnaire universel des contemporains).
Quatrefages completed his own research on silkworms between 1857 and 1859 (see DSB and Quatrefages 1859).
Martins had agreed to send CD a collection of varieties of the common silkworm (Bombyx mori) at different stages in their life cycle; however, the collection was apparently never sent (see letter to Armand de Quatrefages, 27 March [1863] and n. 3).
William Benjamin Carpenter had travelled to Paris for recreational purposes during his Easter vacation as registrar of London University (Carpenter 1888, p. 84; DNB). However, he soon became involved in the heated discussions that followed the discovery on 28 March 1863 of a fossilised human jaw at Moulin-Quignon in the Somme valley, discussions in which Quatrefages also played a leading role. See Carpenter’s report of the discovery in the Athenæum, 18 April 1863, p. 523; see also Grayson 1983, pp. 213–17, and Van Riper 1993, pp. 134–39. Carpenter published his work on the echinoderm Comatula in Carpenter 1865.
See letter to Armand de Quatrefages, 27 March [1863]. The reference is to Métamorphoses de l’homme et des animaux (Quatrefages 1862), of which there is an lightly annotated copy in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 691).

Bibliography

Carpenter, William Benjamin. 1865. Researches on the structure, physiology, and development of Antedon (Comatula, Lamk.) rosaceus. [Read 15 June 1865.] Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 156 (1866): 671–756.

Carpenter, William Benjamin. 1888. Nature and man: essays scientific and philosophical. With an introductory memoir by J. Estlin Carpenter. London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Dictionnaire universel des contemporains: Dictionnaire universel des contemporains contenant toutes les personnes notables de la France et des pays étrangers … Ouvrage rédigé et continuellement tenu à jour avec le concours d’écrivains et des savants de tous les pays. Edited by Louis Gustave Vapereau. Paris: Libraire Hachette. 1858. 3d edition, 1865. 4th edition, 1870. 5th edition, 1880. 6th edition, 1893.

DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

DSB: Dictionary of scientific biography. Edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie and Frederic L. Holmes. 18 vols. including index and supplements. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1970–90.

EB: The Encyclopædia Britannica. A dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information. 11th edition. 29 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1910–11.

Grayson, Donald K. 1983. The establishment of human antiquity. New York: Academic Press.

Journal of researches 2d ed.: Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle round the world, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN. 2d edition, corrected, with additions. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1845.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.

Origin 6th ed.: The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 6th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.

Van Riper, A. Bowdoin. 1993. Men among the mammoths: Victorian science and the discovery of human prehistory. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.

Summary

Continues to support, in debates at the Société d’Anthropologie, the view that variability of animals and anatomical modifications are produced by environment. Wishes to use CD’s niata cattle example from Journal of researches [2d ed., pp. 145–6].

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-4082
From
Jean Louis Armand (Armand de Quatrefages) Quatrefages de Bréau
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
unstated
Source of text
DAR 175: 3
Physical description
4pp (French)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4082,” accessed on 19 October 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-4082.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11

letter