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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edouard van Beneden1   17 December 1870

Liège

17 Xbre. 1870

Monsieur et illustre Confrère,

J’ai éprouvé un véritable joie en apprenant votre nomination comme membre Associé de l’Académie royale de Belgique et je ne puis m’empêcher de vous dire combien je suis heureux de voir qu’en cette circonstance les Belges aient fait la leçon aux membres de l’Institut de France.—2 Puissent tous les corps savants du monde protester comme l’Académie de Belgique contre la discussion qu’ils ont osé entamer sur la question de vos mérites scientifiques. Votre nom résume tout le mouvement scientifique de ces dernières années et vos immortals travaux sont au dessus de toutes les attaques du cléricalisme et de l’ignorance.— J’ai été indigné comme doivent l’être tous ceux qui ont connaissance de vos travaux, en lisant cette discussion qui est une flétrissure pour cette institution, à ajouter à toutes celles que la science française a éprouvé dans ces dernières années.—

En Belgique la jeune génération a arboré le drapeau de l’indépendance intellectuelle et a jeté au loin les préjugés et les idées préconcues. Et si parmi les hommes d’un âge bien mur il en est qui n’ont pas accepté vos idées, au moins ils ont su mettre vos mérites au dessus de leurs convictions personnelles.—

Je suis heureux et fier d’avoir été nommé correspondant de l’Académie, le jour où vous avez été Élu comme associé.—

Je vous envoie un exemplaire de quelques uns de mes travaux.3 Veuillez les recevoir comme un témoignage de mon profond respect. Vous verrez que je travaille la même question que Dohrn: l’embryogénie des Crustacés.4 Je crois être arrivé à un joli résultat: c’est la démonstration par l’embryogénie de la dérivation des articulés d’un forme de Vers. (Embr. des Sacculins.—id des Lernéens)5

Je continue ces recherches et les publications et j’espère arriver bientôt à construire l’arbre généalogique de ce groupe.— Je ne suis pas arrivé aux mêmes conclusions que Dohrn.6 J’espère pouvoir vous envoyer très prochainement le développement des Nebalia.—7

J’ai eu l’occasion d’étudier récemment l’organisation du Anelasma squalicola. Je crois avec Dohrn que nous avons là le passage aux Peltogaster.8 J’ai retrouvé parfaitement les racines plongées dans les chairs, telles que vous les avez figurées.—9 Les pièces de la bouche existent à l’état rudimentaire.

Excusez la liberté que j’ai pris de vous écrire et reçevez, Monsieur et illustre confrère l’expression de mon profond respect. | Prof. Dr. Edouard Van Beneden | rue Vinave d’Ile à Liége

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 18, Appendix I.
See letter from L. A. J. Quetelet, 15 December 1870. CD had been nominated for the zoological section of the Académie des Sciences on 27 June 1870 (Comptes Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences 70 (1870): 1418). The Institut de France includes five academies, one of which is the Académie de Sciences. CD was nominated a further five times without success, until he was finally elected to the botanical section in 1878 (Corsi and Weindling 1985, p. 699). For more on the controversy over CD’s election, see the letter from Armand de Quatrefages, 18 July 1870 and n. 6.
There are offprints of Beneden 1868, 1869a, 1869b, 1870a, 1870b, 1870c, and 1870d, and Beneden and Bessels 1868, in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL; Beneden 1868 and 1870b are lightly annotated.
Anton Dohrn had written several articles, later collected into a book (Dohrn 1870), on the morphology and development of crustaceans.
See Beneden 1870a, pp. 105–6. Beneden suggested that the early development in embryos of Sacculina (a genus of Rhizocephala) resembled that of many annelid worms. Beneden had earlier described the embryonic development of Lernaea, a genus of parasitic copepods, commonly known as anchor worms (Beneden and Bessels 1868, pp. 440–1).
Dohrn outlined some of his differences with Beneden concerning the genealogy of Crustacea in Dohrn 1870, pp. 159–61.
Beneden did not publish on Nebalia, a genus of sea fleas, now in the order Leptostraca. Nebalia had been considered by some to be a divergent form of Phyllopoda, but by 1872 Carl Friedrich Claus had reclassified it as a primitive form of Malacostraca (see Claus 1872, pp. 329–30).
The barnacle species Anelasma squalicola lives on some species of sharks with its peduncle embedded in the shark’s skin. Peltogaster is a genus of Rhizocephala that parasitises hermit crabs. CD had suggested A. squalicola might be a link to Rhizocephala after reading F. Müller 1864 (see Correspondence vol. 13, letter to Fritz Müller, 10 August 1865 and n. 7). For Dohrn’s views on the relationship between A. squalicola and Peltogaster, see Dohrn 1875, p. 72.
See Living Cirripedia (1851): 380–1 and plate IV, figure 3.

Translation

From Edouard van Beneden1   17 December 1870

Liège

17 December 1870

Dear Sir and illustrious Colleague,

I felt a real joy on learning of your nomination as an Associate member of the Académie royale de Belgique and I cannot prevent myself from telling you how happy I am to see that in this matter the Belgians have taught the members of the Institut de France a lesson.—2 May all the learned bodies of the world protest, like the Academy of Belgium, against the debate they dared instigate on the question of your scientific merits. Your name summarises the whole scientific movement of recent years and your immortal work is above all attacks by clericalism or ignorance.— I was indignant, as must all be who know your work, on reading this discussion, which is another blot on the record for this institution, to add to all those that French science has experienced in recent years.—

In Belgium the younger generation has hoisted the standard of intellectual independence and has thrown off prejudice and preconceived ideas. And if among men of a riper age there are some who have not accepted your ideas, at least they have been able to place your merits above their personal convictions.—

I am happy and proud to have been named a correspondent of the Academy on the same day that you were Elected as an associate.—

I am sending you copies of some of my work.3 Please receive them as a demonstration of my profound respect. As you will see, I am working on the same question as Dohrn: the embryogeny of the Crustaceans.4 I think I have reached a fine result: the demonstration through embryogeny of the derivation of the articulates from a sort of Worm. (Embr. of Sacculina.—id. of the Lernaeans)5

I am continuing these researches and publications and I hope soon to be able to construct the genealogical tree for this group.— I have not come to the same conclusions as Dohrn.6 I hope to be able to send you the development of Nebalia very soon.—7

Recently I had the opportunity to study the organisation of Anelasma squalicola. I hold, with Dohrn, that this is the transition to the Peltagastes.8 I was perfectly able to find the roots plunged into the flesh, just as you depicted them.—9 The mouthparts exist in a rudimentary state.

Excuse the liberty I have taken in writing to you and accept, dear Sir and illustrious colleague, my profoundest respects. | Prof. Dr. Edouard Van Beneden | rue Vinave d’Ile, Liège

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see pp. 315–16.
See letter from L. A. J. Quetelet, 15 December 1870. CD had been nominated for the zoological section of the Académie des Sciences on 27 June 1870 (Comptes Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences 70 (1870): 1418). The Institut de France includes five academies, one of which is the Académie de Sciences. CD was nominated a further five times without success, until he was finally elected to the botanical section in 1878 (Corsi and Weindling 1985, p. 699). For more on the controversy over CD’s election, see the letter from Armand de Quatrefages, 18 July 1870 and n. 6.
There are offprints of Beneden 1868, 1869a, 1869b, 1870a, 1870b, 1870c, and 1870d, and Beneden and Bessels 1868, in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL; Beneden 1868 and 1870b are lightly annotated.
Anton Dohrn had written several articles, later collected into a book (Dohrn 1870), on the morphology and development of crustaceans.
See Beneden 1870a, pp. 105–6. Beneden suggested that the early development in embryos of Sacculina (a genus of Rhizocephala) resembled that of many annelid worms. Beneden had earlier described the embryonic development of Lernaea, a genus of parasitic copepods, commonly known as anchor worms (Beneden and Bessels 1868, pp. 440–1).
Dohrn outlined some of his differences with Beneden concerning the genealogy of Crustacea in Dohrn 1870, pp. 159–61.
Beneden did not publish on Nebalia, a genus of sea fleas, now in the order Leptostraca. Nebalia had been considered by some to be a divergent form of Phyllopoda, but by 1872 Carl Friedrich Claus had reclassified it as a primitive form of Malacostraca (see Claus 1872, pp. 329–30).
The barnacle species Anelasma squalicola lives on some species of sharks with its peduncle embedded in the shark’s skin. Peltogaster is a genus of Rhizocephala that parasitises hermit crabs. CD had suggested A. squalicola might be a link to Rhizocephala after reading F. Müller 1864 (see Correspondence vol. 13, letter to Fritz Müller, 10 August 1865 and n. 7). For Dohrn’s views on the relationship between A. squalicola and Peltogaster, see Dohrn 1875, p. 72.
See Living Cirripedia (1851): 380–1 and plate IV, figure 3.

Summary

CD has been nominated as a Membre Associé of the Belgian Royal Academy.

Discusses crustacean embryology; EvB is at variance with Dohrn.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-7396
From
Édouard Joseph Louis Marie (Édouard) van Beneden
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Liège
Source of text
DAR 160: 132
Physical description
4pp (French)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7396,” accessed on 23 October 2018, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7396

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18

letter