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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Sigmund Fuchs1   [1877–8?]2

Hochverehrter Herr!

Nehmen Sie meinen innigsten Dank hin für die Freundlichkeit, mit der Sie meine Zeilen beantwortet haben.3 Ich werde dem in Ihrem Briefe, hochverehrter Herr, gegebenem Rathe jedenfalls folgen.

Wenn ich es heute abermals wage, Sie mit einer Frage zu belästigen, so muss ich gleich im Voraus vielmals um Entschuldigung bitten. Nur das Vertrauen auf Ihre Güte konnte mich zu einem zweiten Schreiben ermuthigen.

In der neuesten, 1876 erschienenen Auflage der “Grundzüge der Zoologie” von Dor Carl Claus sind die Tunicaten von den Mollusken, mit denen sie bisher vereinigt waren, getrennt und als eigener, 7. Typus vor den Vertebraten eingereiht.4 Eine Begründung dieses Vorganges ist jedoch in dem genannten Lehrbuche nicht enthalten. Es ist nun für mich, hochverehrter Herr, von leicht erklärlichem Interesse, zu erfahren, wo nach Ihrer Ansicht, die für mich und für jeden anderen höchste Autoritaet ist, die Tunicaten im Systeme einzureihen sind, oder ob der oben erwähnte Vorgang auch Ihre Billigung findet.

Verzeihen Sie, hochverehrter Herr, meine Dreistigkeit, vielleicht wird der Gegenstand meiner Frage mich in Ihren Augen einigermassen entschuldigen.

In der Hoffnung, auch diesmal keine Fehlbitte gethan zu haben, bin ich, mich empfehlend, | Ihr | ergebenster | Sigmund Fuchs.

Adresse: Sigismond Fuchs chez Madame Anne Susanne Fuchs,5 Bielitz, Silésie, Autriche.

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Appendix I.
The year is conjectured from the publication date of Claus 1876 (see n. 4, below), and from the address. Fuchs attended the gymnasium at Bielitz (now Bielsko-Biała, Poland) before entering the university of Vienna in 1878 (Zentralblatt für Physiologie 17 (1903): 250).
Neither Fuchs’s first letter nor CD’s response to it has been found.
In the first edition of his Grundzüge der Zoologie (Elements of zoology; Claus 1868, pp. 372–9), Carl Friedrich Claus had classified tunicates as a subgroup of molluscs; in the second edition (Claus 1872, pp. 690–707), although he continued to place tunicates within Mollusca, he noted the discovery of embryonic similarities between tunicates and vertebrates and the presence of a notochord in larval forms. In the third edition (Claus 1876, pp. 827–45), Tunicata formed a separate type, following Mollusca and preceding Vertebrata; however, only small editorial changes were made to the descriptive content of the section compared with the second edition. In modern taxonomy, Tunicata (tunicates, ascidians, and salps) and Vertebrata are subphyla of the phylum Chordata; Mollusca is a phylum.
Anne Susanne Fuchs has not been identified.

Translation

From Sigmund Fuchs1   [1877–8?]2

Most honoured Sir!

Accept my most heartfelt thanks for the kindness with which you replied to my lines.3 I shall certainly follow the advice you, most honoured Sir, gave me in your letter.

If today I dare bother you again with a question, I must ask for your forgiveness at once. Only my faith in your benevolence could embolden me to write to you a second time.

In the newest edition that appeared in 1876 of the “Grundzüge der Zoologie” by Dr Carl Claus, the tunicates are separated from the molluscs, with which they were until now united, and classified as a separate, 7th type before the vertebrates.4 However, no explanation for this is given in the aforenamed textbook. Now, most-honoured Sir, it obviously is of interest to me to find out where in your view, which for me and for everyone else is the highest authority, tunicates are to be ranked in the system, and whether the above-mentioned instance meets with your approval.

Forgive my boldness, most honoured Sir, perhaps the subject of my query will to some extent excuse my behaviour in your eyes.

In the hope once again not to have asked in vain, I remain, | Yours | most devoted | Sigmund Fuchs.

Address: Sigismond Fuchs chez Madame Anne Susanne Fuchs,5 Bielitz, Silesia, Austria.

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original German, see pp. QQQQ.
The year is conjectured from the publication date of Claus 1876 (see n. 4, below), and from the address. Fuchs attended the gymnasium at Bielitz (now Bielsko-Biała, Poland) before entering the university of Vienna in 1878 (Zentralblatt für Physiologie 17 (1903): 250).
Neither Fuchs’s first letter nor CD’s response to it has been found.
In the first edition of his Grundzüge der Zoologie (Elements of zoology; Claus 1868, pp. 372–9), Carl Friedrich Claus had classified tunicates as a subgroup of molluscs; in the second edition (Claus 1872, pp. 690–707), although he continued to place tunicates within Mollusca, he noted the discovery of embryonic similarities between tunicates and vertebrates and the presence of a notochord in larval forms. In the third edition (Claus 1876, pp. 827–45), Tunicata formed a separate type, following Mollusca and preceding Vertebrata; however, only small editorial changes were made to the descriptive content of the section compared with the second edition. In modern taxonomy, Tunicata (tunicates, ascidians, and salps) and Vertebrata are subphyla of the phylum Chordata; Mollusca is a phylum.
Anne Susanne Fuchs has not been identified.

Summary

Asks if CD agrees with Carl Claus’s Grundzüge der Zoologie [3d ed. (1876)], in separating tunicates from molluscs.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-10336
From
Sigmund Fuchs
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Bielitz (Bielsko Biala)
Source of text
DAR 164: 221
Physical description
3pp (German) †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10336,” accessed on 24 September 2021, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-10336.xml

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