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Charles Darwin Letters

[Letter, Charles R. Darwin to John Burdon-Sanderson, July 16, 1875] Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882 Jul 16, 1875

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 Down,  Beckenham, Kent.  Railway Station,  Orpington, S.E.R.    July 16 75    My dear Sanderson  I have read your essays with the greatest interest & am much obliged to Mrs. Sanderson for having sent them. I had no idea that so much light had been thrown on the subject. If Dr. Bastian knew of these articles he has not written quite fairly in his recent articles. I wish your essay had been longer & that you had said something about Mr. Lister's observations. I remember being astonished at the cool way in which Dr. Bastian spoke of life being always destroyed at 150 degrees, with organisms living in hot springs staring him in the face. Some little time ago Mr. Simon sent me the last Report, & your statements about contagion deeply interested me. By the way, if you see Mr. Simon, & can remember it, will you thank him for me, I was so busy at the time that I did not write. Having been in correspondence with Paget lately on another subject, I mentioned to him an analogy which has struck me much, now that we know that sheep pox is fungoid; & this analogy pleased him. It is that of fairy rings which are believed to spread from a centre & when they intersect, the intersecting portion dies out, as the mycelium cannot grow where it has grown, during previous years. So again I have never seen a ring within a ring this seems to me parallel case to a man commonly having the smallpox only once. I imagine that in both cases the mycelium must consume all the matter on which it can subsist.  With respect to Drosera I will modify the passages about globulin etc, but I thought I had made it pretty clear that these substances were not pure; & they to a certain extent answered my purpose in showing that they were acted on in the same manner by Drosera and gastric juice. I did not know Dr. Moore was dead otherwise I should have spoken more plainly. I do not know anyone who could attempt to separate the ferment, & I suppose there would be the greatest difficulty in doing so, as all my observations lead me to believe that the ferment is not secreted until some nitrogenous matter has been absorbed; & would not the addition of such matter make the separation extremely difficult? I feel a good deal of anxiety to know what competent critics may say about my chapter on digestion.    My dear Sanderson  Yours very sincerely    Ch. Darwin


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