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Darwin Correspondence Project

From C. F. Martins1   5 July 1876

Jardin | des Plantes | de | Montpellier. | Montpellier,

le 5 Juillet 1876.

Cher Monsieur et illustre Maitre,

Mon gendre le Dr. Gordon avance dans la traduction des Climbing plants: la moitié est imprimée.2 Je revois et j’ajoute quelques notes aux Insectivorous plants qui renferment l’analyse des travaux les plus recents, Morren, Balfour, C. de Candolle &c—3 Je suis arreté p. 59 par une difficulté: ligne 4 containing 122 oz of carbonic acid. l’oz. valant 31 grammes cela ferait le poids enorme de 3 Kilogr. 782. n’y a-t-il pas une faute d’impression?4 R. S. V. P.

Vous avez bien voulu m’autoriser a ecrire une introduction à la traduction des Insectivorous plants; Je voudrais y joindre l’énumeration de tous vos travaux en histoire naturelle. On ne sait pas generalement en France combien ils sont nombreux, important et variés. J’ose donc prier un de vos fils de me communiquer la Liste complette de vos Memoires Scientifiques le titre, l’indication de Recueil dans le quel ils ont été insérés et l’année de la publication. Je me propose si vous l’approvez de les ranger sous 4 chefs. Ouvrages généraux, Zoologie, Botanique et Géologie.5

Je vous envoie la photographie des branches d’une touffe d’Antirrhinum majus decouverte sur un mur de la Faculté de Medecine par mon Aide de Botanique M. Faure.6 On voit que les jeunes rameaux axillaires s’enroulent autour des tiges et des feuilles. J’ai observé une touffe semblable dans un Jardin à Vichy; les petits rameaux avaient saisi les branches d’un rosier voisin. Ce fait semblerait prouver que certaines plantes peuvent être pourvues exceptionnellement d’organe de prehension.

Ne serait ce pas une reminiscence par atavisme des genres Lophospermum et Maurandia?7 La partie qui concerne ces plantes dans la traduction est dejà imprimée sans quoi je vous aurais demandé la permission d’en faire l’objet d’une Note.

Veuillez agréer avec bonté cher Monsieur et illustre maitre l’hommage de mon sincere devouement | Ch. Martins

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Appendix I.
Richard Gordon’s translation of Climbing plants was published in 1877 (Gordon trans. 1877).
In his introduction to the French translation of Insectivorous plants (Barbier trans. 1877, p. xi), Martins referred to recent work by Édouard Morren showing the similarity in the process of digestion in animals and plants (Morren 1876; see also Barbier trans. 1877, p. 423 n. 1) and to work by Joseph Warner Clark confirming the absorption of animal matter by leaves of some insectivorous plants (J. W. Clark 1875). Martins discussed some of Thomas Alexander Goldie Balfour’s results in experiments with Dionaea in a note (Barbier trans. 1877, pp. 353–6; see also T. A. G. Balfour 1875). He also referred to Casimir de Candolle’s research on the structure and movements of the leaves of Dionaea (Barbier trans. 1877, pp. 373–4 n. 1; see also C. de Candolle 1876).
See Barbier trans. 1877, p. 64. Edmond Barbier gave the equivalent of 122 ounces as 1729 cubic centimetres, but this was an error (122 fl. oz (imperial) is about 3466 cm3). In terms of weight, an ounce is about 28.35 grams.
See Barbier trans. 1877, pp. xvi–xxiii; Martins used these headings in his list of publications.
The photograph has not been found. Antirrhinum majus is the common snapdragon. Faure has not been identified.
Lophospermum and Maurandia (a synonym of Maurandya) are genera in the family Plantaginaceae (plantains); Antirrhinum also belongs to this family. Asa Gray had mentioned a species of Antirrhinum with coiling peduncles and two other California species that had hooking branches (see Correspondence vol. 23, letter from Asa Gray, 28 December 1875 and nn. 6 and 7).

Bibliography

Balfour, Thomas Alexander Goldie. 1875. Account of some experiments on Dionæa muscipula (Venus’ fly-trap). [Read 10 June 1875.] Transactions of the Botanical Society [of Edinburgh] 12 (1873–6): 334–69.

Candolle, Casimir de. 1876. Sur la structure et les mouvements des feuilles du Dionæa muscipula. Archives des sciences physiques et naturelles n.s. 55: 400–31.

Clark, Joseph Warner. 1875. On the absorption of nutrient material by the leaves of some insectivorous plants. Journal of Botany, British and Foreign n.s. 4: 268–74.

Climbing plants: On the movements and habits of climbing plants. By Charles Darwin. London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green; Williams & Norgate. 1865.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.

Morren, Édouard. 1876. Note sur le rôle des ferments dans la nutrition des plantes. [Read 16 December 1876.] Bulletins de l’Académie Royale de Belgique 2d ser. 42: 1019–49.

Translation

From C. F. Martins1   5 July 1876

Jardin | des Plantes | de | Montpellier. | Montpellier,

5 July 1876.

Dear Sir and illustrious master,

My son in law Dr. Gordon is making progess with the translation of Climbing plants: half is printed.2 I am reviewing and adding a few notes to Insectivorous plants which include the analysis of the most recent works, Morren, Balfour, C. de Candolle &c—3 I have been stopped at p. 59 by a problem: line 4 containing 122 oz of carbonic acid. An ounce equals 31 grams that would make the huge weight of 3 Kilogr. 782 is there not a printing error?4 Reply please.

You have kindly authorised me to write an introduction to the translation of Insectivorous plants; I would like to add to it a list of all your works in natural history. In France it is not generally known how numerous, important and varied these are. Therefore I dare to request that one of your sons communicate to me a complete list of your scientific works the title, an indication of the collection in which they had been inserted and the year of publication. If you approve I plan to organise them under the headings. General works, Zoology, Botany and Geology.5

I am sending you a photograph of branches of a bunch of Antirrhinum majus found on a wall of the Faculty of Medicine by my assistant botanist, M. Faure.6 The young axillary branches can be seen to wind around the stems and leaves. I have observed a similar clump in a garden in Vichy, the little twigs had grasped the branches of a neighbouring rose bush. This fact would appear to show that certain plants could be specially equipped with a gripping organ.

Would this not be reversion by atavism of the genera Lophospermum and Maurandia?7 The section dealing with these plants in the translation is already printed otherwise I would have asked for your permission to make it the subject of a Note.

Would you kindly accept dear sir and illustrious master the tribute of my sincere devotion | Ch. Martins

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see pp. 225–6.
Richard Gordon’s translation of Climbing plants was published in 1877 (Gordon trans. 1877).
In his introduction to the French translation of Insectivorous plants (Barbier trans. 1877, p. xi), Martins referred to recent work by Édouard Morren showing the similarity in the process of digestion in animals and plants (Morren 1876; see also Barbier trans. 1877, p. 423 n. 1) and to work by Joseph Warner Clark confirming the absorption of animal matter by leaves of some insectivorous plants (J. W. Clark 1875). Martins discussed some of Thomas Alexander Goldie Balfour’s results in experiments with Dionaea in a note (Barbier trans. 1877, pp. 353–6; see also T. A. G. Balfour 1875). He also referred to Casimir de Candolle’s research on the structure and movements of the leaves of Dionaea (Barbier trans. 1877, pp. 373–4 n. 1; see also C. de Candolle 1876).
See Barbier trans. 1877, p. 64. Edmond Barbier gave the equivalent of 122 ounces as 1729 cubic centimetres, but this was an error (122 fl. oz (imperial) is about 3466 cm3). In terms of weight, an ounce is about 28.35 grams.
See Barbier trans. 1877, pp. xvi–xxiii; Martins used these headings in his list of publications.
The photograph has not been found. Antirrhinum majus is the common snapdragon. Faure has not been identified.
Lophospermum and Maurandia (a synonym of Maurandya) are genera in the family Plantaginaceae (plantains); Antirrhinum also belongs to this family. Asa Gray had mentioned a species of Antirrhinum with coiling peduncles and two other California species that had hooking branches (see Correspondence vol. 23, letter from Asa Gray, 28 December 1875 and nn. 6 and 7).

Bibliography

Balfour, Thomas Alexander Goldie. 1875. Account of some experiments on Dionæa muscipula (Venus’ fly-trap). [Read 10 June 1875.] Transactions of the Botanical Society [of Edinburgh] 12 (1873–6): 334–69.

Candolle, Casimir de. 1876. Sur la structure et les mouvements des feuilles du Dionæa muscipula. Archives des sciences physiques et naturelles n.s. 55: 400–31.

Clark, Joseph Warner. 1875. On the absorption of nutrient material by the leaves of some insectivorous plants. Journal of Botany, British and Foreign n.s. 4: 268–74.

Climbing plants: On the movements and habits of climbing plants. By Charles Darwin. London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green; Williams & Norgate. 1865.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.

Morren, Édouard. 1876. Note sur le rôle des ferments dans la nutrition des plantes. [Read 16 December 1876.] Bulletins de l’Académie Royale de Belgique 2d ser. 42: 1019–49.

Summary

Richard Gordon’s French translation of Climbing plants [1877] is half printed.

In Martins’ Introduction to [Éd. Barbier’s translation of] Insectivorous plants [1877] he wants to include a complete bibliography of CD’s works: their extent is not generally known in France.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-10557
From
Charles Frédéric Martins
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Jardin des Plantes de Montpellier
Source of text
DAR 171: 62
Physical description
3pp (French)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10557,” accessed on 25 September 2021, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-10557.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24

letter