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Charles Darwin Letters

[Letter, Charles R. Darwin to John Burdon-Sanderson, June 26, 1873] Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882 Jun 26, 1873

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 Down,  Beckenham, Kent.  June 26'  My dear Dr. Sanderson  Your letter is quite invaluable to me & I thank you heartily.  Nothing can give me more pleasure than to see you here, & to show you anything which you like about Drosera.  I will write again & ask you to propose which day to come here to ? & ?sleep.  I have asked for Sir C Lyell to come here, who as you know has lately lost his wife & told him, if he liked to come, that there would be no one here. � I will write again. Heterogeneous fluids can hardly act as a ?, unless indeed they act merely by exciting molecular movements in adjoining molecules; & this view coincides with my conclusion. For atoms of glass, cotton thread (less than 1/50,000 of a grain in weight) excite movement, & what is more confusing cause the fluid contents of cells forming the tentacles to undergo a ? change; & my description of this has so much impressed Huxley, that he is coming down tomorrow night to see the phenomen. � I have put 1 gr. of the ? to dissolve, but it dissolves very slowly when I began to try ? on Drosera, over 12 or 15 years ago, my object was to see whether the poisons affected the plant or if any of its tissues had the same properties, as the newer tissues, of activity; but I was disheartened from want of knowledge, & had not time to go on. I wd never have dreamed of trying glycerine: 4 ? ? to 1 oz. of water causes the tentacles to bend, i.e. those tentacles the glands of which have absorbed a most minute quantity of it. Therefore I expect that tomorrow morning the magnified tentacles will probably be infiltrated.  With cordial thanks  Yours very sincerely  Ch. Darwin


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