Charles Darwin an Ernst Haeckel, Down, 21. Januar 
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
My dear Hackel
I have read your “Arabische Corallen”, & it seems to me a most spirited, clear, & at the same time poetical description of coral-reefs & of their innumerable co-inhabitants. I well remember my own astonishment & enthusiasm when I first wandered over a coral-reef, but I did not admire the || beauty of the many animals quite as much as you do. – I was more struck with the grandeur of the whole phenomenon, – to see a whole large island b formed by the vital forces. – With respect to the formation of coral islands I think that you lay too much stress || on erhebung: the wear & tear of the corals by the breakers & the action of the wind are sufficient. I admire as much as I did at first your admirable drawings. That any publisher should bring out so expensive a work (no English publisher would think of such a thing) shows me how popular your name must be in Germany, & I rejoice at the fact. || As on so many previous occasions you have heaped honours high on my head.
My dear Häckel
Yours most sincerely
I have read R. Lankester’s article, & am glad to find that badly as I read German I had made out fairly well your most important essay. –
a gestr.: RAILWAY STATION | ORPINGTON. S. E. R.; b gestr.: d