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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Federico Delpino1   5 December 1871

Vallombrosa

5. Dicembre 1871

Onorevole Signore!

Un dono più gradito, più desiderato Ella non poteva farmi della sua fotografia la quale conserverò sempre presso di me con grata ricordanza, e la quale mi rappresenta;2 anche sotto l’aspetto dei lineamenti esteriori, una delle più caratteristiche fisonomie della nobilissima stirpe anglosassone

Il trasporto che io sento verso di Lei non è entusiasmo, ma è venerazione e riconoscenza. È venerazione perchè io riconosco gl’immensi benefizii che le sue dottrine hanno arrecato alle scienze naturali. È riconoscenza perchè, se Ella non avesse scritto le sue osservazioni sulla fecondazione delle Orchidee e il suo libro sulla origine della specie, io ad litteram non avrei potuto produrre nulla nel campo delle investigazioni scientifiche, e non avrei potuto realizzare quel presentimento che avevo fin da piccolo; il presentimento cioè delle mirabili armonie che intercorrono tra le piante e gli altri esseri.3

Mi rincresce che la sua salute non sia stata buona nella passata estate; spero però ch’ Ella si ristabilisca completamente e che, per il bene della Umanità, viva tanti anni ancora da poter vedera l’incontrastato e generale trionfo delle sue dottrine.

Attendo con molta sollecitudine la comparsa alla luce del suo saggio sul preponderante vigore delle figliuolanze procedenti da nozze incrociate.4 Questo lavoro, oltre l’importanza filosofica, avrà anche una grande importanza pratica per l’agricoltura, l’orticoltura e la selvicoltura.

La ringrazio pel favoritomi indirizzo del Sig. Bentham,5 al quale manderò tutti quei miei lavori, dei quali mi restano esemplari.

Cedendo al cortese desiderio da Lei esternato, unisco la mia fotografia.6

Continui la di Lei preziosa benevolenza | all’ ossequentissimo discepolo | Federico Delpino

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 19, Appendix I.
CD had sent a photograph of himself and requested one of Delpino in exchange (see letter to Federico Delpino, 22 November 1871).
Delpino refers to Orchids and Origin. On the significance of CD’s theories for Delpino’s work, see Pancaldi 1991, pp. 109–36.
See letter to Federico Delpino, 22 November 1871; the photograph has not been found.

Bibliography

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

Cross and self fertilisation: The effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1876.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.

Pancaldi, Giuliano. 1991. Darwin in Italy. Science across cultural frontiers. Translated by Ruey Brodine Morelli. Updated and expanded edition. Bloomington and Indianapolis, Ind.: Indiana University Press.

Translation

From Federico Delpino1   5 December 1871

Vallombrosa

5. December 1871

Honourable Sir!

You could not have bestowed on me a more welcome, more desired gift than your photograph, which I shall always keep close to me in grateful memory.2 From the aspect of just the external lines, it represents to me one of the most characteristic physiognomies of the most noble Anglo-Saxon race.

The emotion I feel towards you is not enthusiasm, but veneration and thankfulness. Veneration, because I acknowledge what immense benefits your doctrines have brought to the natural sciences. Gratitude, because, had you not written your observations on the fertilisation of orchids and your book on the origin of species, I literally would not have been able to produce anything in the field of scientific investigation, and I would not have been able to realise a presentiment I have had ever since I was little, a presentiment of the wonderful harmonies that exist among the plants and the other beings.3

I am sorry that your health has not been good last summer; I hope that you will completely recover and that, for the good of Mankind, you will live many years yet so as to be able to witness the undisputed and general triumph of your doctrines.

I await with great anticipation the appearance of your account of the predominant force in the offspring of cross-fertilisations.4 Besides its philosophical importance, this work will also have great practical importance for agriculture, horticulture and sylviculture.

I thank you for favouring me with the address of Mr. Bentham,5 whom I shall send all my works of which I still have copies.

Yielding to the polite desire which you disclosed, I am enclosing a photograph of myself.6

May you continue your precious benevolence | towards your most devoted disciple | Federico Delpino

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original Italian, see pp. QQQQ.
CD had sent a photograph of himself and requested one of Delpino in exchange (see letter to Federico Delpino, 22 November 1871).
Delpino refers to Orchids and Origin. On the significance of CD’s theories for Delpino’s work, see Pancaldi 1991, pp. 109–36.
See letter to Federico Delpino, 22 November 1871; the photograph has not been found.

Bibliography

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

Cross and self fertilisation: The effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1876.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.

Pancaldi, Giuliano. 1991. Darwin in Italy. Science across cultural frontiers. Translated by Ruey Brodine Morelli. Updated and expanded edition. Bloomington and Indianapolis, Ind.: Indiana University Press.

Summary

Praise of CD. Acknowledges his indebtedness to CD for defining the subject of plant fecundation.

Expecting CD’s work on the effects of cross-fertilisation.

CD has put him in touch with George Bentham.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-8098
From
Federico Delpino
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Vallombrosa
Source of text
DAR 162: 149
Physical description
3pp (Italian)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8098,” accessed on 15 October 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-8098.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19

letter