Charles Darwin an Ernst Haeckel, Down, 13. November 1875
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
Nov. 13. 75
My dear Häckel
It is a real pleasure to me to receive a letter from you, as they are always so kind and sympathetic. I will begin at once to read your paper as I see the full importance of the subject. I have often wondered about the differences in the first developement of ova. I am very much || obliged to you for your kindness in directing a copy of your History of Creation to be sent to me; but I ordered one long ago from my Bookseller, and received it this very morning. When the duplicate copy comes, I will present the purchased one to one of our best Scientific Libraries || viz the Royal or Linnean, so that others may profit by your work. Many thanks for the promised copy of your paper on the coral which is to do me honour. I hope you enjoyed your stay on the shores of the Red Sea, but I shall be able to learn something of your || travels from the pamphlet which you have sent me.
I have little to say about myself. My health is certainly better than it was, but I still waste much time by daily discomfort, but this is forgotten when I am at work. I am now busy in drawing up an account of ten years experiments on the growth and fertility of plants raised from crossed and self-fertilised flowers. It is really wonderful what an effect pollen from a distinct seedling plant which has been exposed to different conditions of life, has on the offspring, in comparison with pollen from the same flower || or from a distinct individual butb which has been long subjected to c the same conditions. The subject bears on the veryd principle of Life, which seems almost to require changes in the conditions I have also been preparing a new & revised Edition of my “Variation under Domestication” and have endeavoured to improve the chaper on Pangenesis. What I shall || do in Future if I live, Heaven only knows: I ought perhaps to avoid general and large subjects as too difficult for me with my advancing years, and I suppose enfeebled brain
my dear Häckel
with every good wish
Yours very sincerely
a gestr.: Railway Station Orpington. S. E. R.; b eingef.: but; c gestr.: a; d eingef.: very