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Cornishwoman who spent most of her active life in the service

time:2023-11-29 12:35:02 source:History Network author:power read:341次

I now want to ask your opinion, and for facts on a point; and as I shall often want to do this during the next year or two, so let me say, once for all, that you must not take trouble out of mere good nature (of which towards me you have a most abundant stock), but you must consider, in regard to the trouble any question may take, whether you think it worth while--as all loss of time so far lessens your original work--to give me facts to be quoted on your authority in my work. Do not think I shall be disappointed if you cannot spare time; for already I have profited enormously from your judgment and knowledge. I earnestly beg you to act as I suggest, and not take trouble solely out of good-nature.

Cornishwoman who spent most of her active life in the service

My point is as follows: Harvey gives the case of Fucus varying remarkably, and yet in same way under most different conditions. D. Don makes same remark in regard to Juncus bufonius in England and India. Polygala vulgaris has white, red, and blue flowers in Faroe, England, and I think Herbert says in Zante. Now such cases seem to me very striking, as showing how little relation some variations have to climatal conditions.

Cornishwoman who spent most of her active life in the service

Do you think there are many such cases? Does Oxalis corniculata present exactly the same varieties under very different climates?

Cornishwoman who spent most of her active life in the service

How is it with any other British plants in New Zealand, or at the foot of the Himalaya? Will you think over this and let me hear the result?

One other question: do you remember whether the introduced Sonchus in New Zealand was less, equally, or more common than the aboriginal stock of the same species, where both occurred together? I forget whether there is any other case parallel with this curious one of the Sonchus...

I have been making good, though slow, progress with my book, for facts have been falling nicely into groups, enlightening each other.

LETTER 57. TO T.H. HUXLEY. Moor Park, Farnham, Surrey [1857?].

Your letter has been forwarded to me here, where I am profiting by a few weeks' rest and hydropathy. Your letter has interested and amused me much. I am extremely glad you have taken up the Aphis (57/1. Professor Huxley's paper on the organic reproduction of Aphis is in the "Trans. Linn. Soc." XXII. (1858), page 193. Prof. Owen had treated the subject in his introductory Hunterian lecture "On Parthenogenesis" (1849). His theory cannot be fully given here. Briefly, he holds that parthenogenesis is due to the inheritance of a "remnant of spermatic virtue": when the "spermatic force" or "virtue" is exhausted fresh impregnation occurs. Huxley severely criticises both Owen's facts and his theory.) question, but, for Heaven's sake, do not come the mild Hindoo (whatever he may be) to Owen; your father confessor trembles for you. I fancy Owen thinks much of this doctrine of his; I never from the first believed it, and I cannot but think that the same power is concerned in producing aphides without fertilisation, and producing, for instance, nails on the amputated stump of a man's fingers, or the new tail of a lizard. By the way, I saw somewhere during the last week or so a statement of a man rearing from the same set of eggs winged and wingless aphides, which seemed new to me. Does not some Yankee say that the American viviparous aphides are winged? I am particularly glad that you are ruminating on the act of fertilisation: it has long seemed to me the most wonderful and curious of physiological problems. I have often and often speculated for amusement on the subject, but quite fruitlessly. Do you not think that the conjugation of the Diatomaceae will ultimately throw light on the subject? But the other day I came to the conclusion that some day we shall have cases of young being produced from spermatozoa or pollen without an ovule. Approaching the subject from the side which attracts me most, viz., inheritance, I have lately been inclined to speculate, very crudely and indistinctly, that propagation by true fertilisation will turn out to be a sort of mixture, and not true fusion, of two distinct individuals, or rather of innumerable individuals, as each parent has its parents and ancestors. I can understand on no other view the way in which crossed forms go back to so large an extent to ancestral forms. But all this, of course, is infinitely crude. I hope to be in London in the course of this month, and there are two or three points which, for my own sake, I want to discuss briefly with you.


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