I do so wish I was a better hand at dissecting, I find I can do very little in the minute parts of structure; I am forced to take a very rough examination as a type for different classes of structure. It is most extraordinary I can nowhere see in my books one single description of the polypus of any one coralline excepting Alcyonium Lobularia of Savigny. I found a curious little stony Cellaria (5/1. Cellaria, a genus of Bryozoa, placed in the section Flustrina of the Suborder Chilostomata.) (a new genus) each cell provided with long toothed bristle, these are capable of various and rapid motions. This motion is often simultaneous, and can be produced by irritation. This fact, as far as I can see, is quite isolated in the history of zoophytes (excepting the Flustra with an organ like a vulture's head); it points out a much more intimate relation between the polypi than Lamarck is willing to allow. I forgot whether I mentioned having seen something of the manner of propagation in that most ambiguous family, the corallines; I feel pretty well convinced if they are not plants they are not zoophytes. The "gemmule" of a Halimeda contained several articulations united, ready to burst their envelope, and become attached to some basis. I believe in zoophytes universally the gemmule produces a single polypus, which afterwards or at the same time grows with its cell or single articulation.
The "Beagle" left the Sts. of Magellan in the middle of winter; she found her road out by a wild unfrequented channel; well might Sir J. Narborough call the west coast South Desolation, "because it is so desolate a land to behold." We were driven into Chiloe by some very bad weather. An Englishman gave me three specimens of that very fine Lucanoidal insect which is described in the "Camb. Phil. Trans." (5/2. "Description of Chiasognathus Grantii, a new Lucanideous Insect, etc." by J.F. Stephens ("Trans. Camb. Phil. Soc." Volume IV., page 209, 1833.), two males and one female. I find Chiloe is composed of lava and recent deposits. The lavas are curious from abounding in, or rather being in parts composed of pitchstone. If we go to Chiloe in the summer, I shall reap an entomological harvest. I suppose the Botany both there and in Chili is well-known.
I forgot to state that in the four cargoes of specimens there have been sent three square boxes, each containing four glass bottles. I mention this in case they should be stowed beneath geological specimens and thus escape your notice, perhaps some spirit may be wanted in them. If a box arrives from B. Ayres with a Megatherium head the other unnumbered specimens, be kind enough to tell me, as I have strong fears for its safety. We arrived here the day before yesterday; the views of the distant mountains are most sublime and the climate delightful; after our long cruise in the damp gloomy climates of the south, to breathe a clear dry air and feel honest warm sunshine, and eat good fresh roast beef must be the summum bonum of human life. I do not like the look of the rocks half so much as the beef, there is too much of those rather insipid ingredients, mica, quartz and feldspar. Our plans are at present undecided; there is a good deal of work to the south of Valparaiso and to the north an indefinite quantity. I look forward to every part with interest. I have sent you in this letter a sad dose of egotism, but recollect I look up to you as my father in Natural History, and a son may talk about himself to his father. In your paternal capacity as proproctor what a great deal of trouble you appear to have had. How turbulent Cambridge is become. Before this time it will have regained its tranquillity. I have a most schoolboy-like wish to be there, enjoying my holidays. It is a most comfortable reflection to me, that a ship being made of wood and iron, cannot last for ever, and therefore this voyage must have an end.
October 28th. This letter has been lying in my portfolio ever since July; I did not send it away because I