WCP1851

Letter (WCP1851.1741)

[1]

1 Carlton Terrace Southampton

Aug. 20th 1862

My dear Mr Wallace

You will not be surprised that I have been slow in answering, when I tell you that my poor (boy)1 became frightfully worse after you were at Down; & that during our journey to Bournemouth he had a slight relapse here & my wife2 took the Scarlet Fever rather severely. She is over the crisis. I have had a [2] horrid time of it & God only knows when we shall be all safe at home again. Half my Family are at Bournemouth.—

I have given a piece of the comb from Timor to a Mr Woodbury3, (who is working at subject.) & he extremely interested by it (I was sure the specimen would be valuable) & has requested me to ascertain whether the Bee (A. testacea) is domesticated & when it makes it's combs? [3]4 Will you kindly inform me?

Your remarks on ostriches have interested me, & I have alluded to case in 3[r]d. Edition.5— The difficulty does not seem to me so great as to you.— Think of Bustards which inhabit wide open plains, & which so seldom take flight: a very little change increase in size of body would make them incapable of flight.— The idea of ostriches acquiring [4] flight is worthy of Westwood6; think of the food required in these inhabitants of the Desert to work the Pectoral muscles! In the Rhea the wings seem of considerable service in the first start & in turning. The distribution & whole case of these birds is, however, very interesting: considering their apparently real affinities to mammals, I have sometimes speculated whether we do not here get an obscure glimpse of

[Remainder of letter missing]

Darwin, Leonard (1850-1943). Eighth child of Charles and Emma Darwin.
Darwin (née Wedgwood), Emma (1808-1896). Wife and first cousin of Charles Robert Darwin.
Woodbury, Thomas White (1818-1871). English beekeeper who introduced movable-frame beekeeping into Britain. Wrote incognito as "a Devonshire Beekeeper".

There are a list of numbers written down the right hand margin of page 3 as follows;

11

90

3

25

10

41

54

16

5

4

14

20

4

106

63

9

23

01

2

17

17

5

13

553

Darwin, C. R. 1861. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. 3rd edition. London, UK: John Murray.
Westwood, John Obadiah (1805-1893). British entomologist and archaeologist.

Published letter (WCP1851.5934)

[1] [p. 146]

1 Carlton Terrace, Southampton. August 20, 1862.

My dear Mr. Wallace,— You will not be surprised that I have been slow in answering when I tell you that my poor boy became frightfully worse after you were at Down; and that during our journey to Bournemouth he had a slight relapse here and my wife took the scarlet fever rather severely. She is over the crisis. I have had a horrid time of it, and God only knows when we shall be all safe at home again — half my family are at Bournemouth. I have given a piece of the comb from Timor to Mr. Woodbury (who is working at the subject), and he is extremely interested by it (I was sure the specimen would be valuab1e) and has requested me to ascertain whether the bee (A. testacea) is domesticated when it makes its combs. Will you kindly inform me?

Your remarks on ostriches have interested me, and I have alluded to the case in the Third Edition. The difficulty does not seem to me so great as to you. Think of bustards, which [2] inhabit wide open plains, and which so seldom take flight: a very little increase in size of body would make them incapable of flight. The idea of ostriches acquiring flight is worthy of Westwood; think of the food required in these inhabitants of the desert to work the pectoral muscles! In the rhea the wings seem of considerable service in the first start and in turning.

Please cite as “WCP1851,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 23 May 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP1851