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Full text of "More letters of Charles Darwin : a record of his work in a series of hitherto unpublished letters"

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BERTRAM C A WINOLG K' K SG FRS FSA 



MORE LETTERS OF 
CHARLES DARWIN 




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MORE LETTERS OF 
CHARLES DARWIN 

A RECORD OF HIS WORK 
IN A SERIES OF HITHERTO 
UNPUBLISHED LETTERS 

EDITED BY FRANCIS DARWIN, FELLOW OF 
CHRIST'S COLLEGE, AND A. C. SEWARD, FELLOW 
OF EMMANUEL COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE . 



IN TWO VOLUMES 
ILLUSTRATED 



VOL. I 



LONDON 
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET 

1903 

[All rights reserved] 



PRINTED BY 

HAZELL, WATSON AND VINEY, LD., 

LONDON AND AYLESBURY. 




AUG 19 



'957 



DEDICATED, WITH AFFECTION AND RESPECT, TO 

SIR JOSEPH HOOKER 



1 you will never know how much I owe to you for your 
constant kindness and encouragement" 

Charles Darwin to Sir Joseph Hooker, St'pt. 14, 1862 



PREFACE 

THE Life and Letters of Charles Darwin was 
published in 1887. Since that date, through 
the kindness of various correspondents, additional 
letters have been received ; among them may be men- 
tioned those written by Mr. Darwin to Mr. Belt, 
Lady Derby, Hugh Falconer, Mr. Francis Galton, 
Huxley, Lyell, Mr. John Morley, Max Mailer, Owen, 
Lord Playfair, John Scott, Thwaites, Sir William 
Turner, John Jenner Weir. But the material for our 
work consisted in chief part of a mass of letters which, 
for want of space or for other reasons, were not printed 
in the Life and Letters. We would draw particular 
attention to the correspondence with Sir Joseph 
Hooker. To him Mr. Darwin wrote with complete 
freedom, and this has given something of a personal 
charm to the most technical of his letters. There 
is also much correspondence, hardly inferior in bio- 
graphical interest, with Sir Charles Lyell, Fritz 
Muller, Mr. Huxley, and Mr. Wallace. From this 
unused material we have been able to compile an 
almost complete record of Mr. Darwin's work in a 
series of letters now published for the first time. 
We have, however, in a few instances, repeated 
paragraphs, or in one or two cases whole letters, from 
the Life and Letters, where such repetition seemed 
necessary for the sake of clearness or continuity. 



viii I'REFACE 



Our two volumes contain practically all the matter 
that it now seems desirable to publish. But at some 
future time others may find interesting data in what 
remains imprinted ; this is certainly true of a short 
series of letters dealing with the Cirripedes, which 
are omitted solely for want of space. 1 

We are fortunate in being permitted, by Sir 
Joseph Hooker and by Mr. Wallace, to publish 
certain letters from them to Mr. Darwin. We have 
also been able to give a few letters from Sir Charles 
Lyell, Hugh Falconer, Edward Forbes, Dr. Asa 
Gray, Professor Hyatt, Fritz Miiller, Mr. Francis 
Galton, and Sir T. Lauder Brunton. To the two 
last named, also to Mrs. Lyell (the biographer of Sir 
Charles), Mrs. Asa Gray and Mrs. Hyatt, we desire 
to express our grateful acknowledgments. 

The present volumes have been prepared, so as to 
give as full an idea as possible of the course of Mr. 
Darwin's work. The volumes therefore necessarily 
contain many letters of a highly technical character, but 
none, we hope, which are not essentially interesting. 
With a view to saving space, we have confined our- 
selves to elucidating the letters by full annotations, 
and have for the same reason — though with some 
regret — omitted in most cases the beginnings and 
endings of the letters. For the main facts of Mr. 
Darwin's life, we refer our readers to the abstract of 
his private Diary, given in the present volume. 

Mr. Darwin generally wrote his letters when he 
was tired or hurried, and this often led to the omission 
of words. We have usually inserted the articles, 

1 Those addressed to the late Albany Hancock have already appeared 
in the Transactions of the Tyneside Nat. Field Club, VIIL, p. 250. 



PREFACE IX 



and this without any indication of their absence in 
the originals. Where there seemed any possibility of 
producing an alteration of meaning (and in many cases 
where there is no such possibility) we have placed 
the introduced words in square brackets. We may 
say once for all that throughout the book square 
brackets indicate words not found in the originals. 1 
Dots indicate omissions, but many omissions are made 
without being so indicated. 

The selection and arrangement of the letters have 
not been easy. Our plan has been to classify the 
letters according to subject — into such as deal with 
Evolution, Geographical Distribution, Botany, etc., and 
in each group to place the letters chronologically. 
But in several of the chapters we have adopted sec- 
tional headings, which we believe will be a help to 
the reader. The great difficulty lay in deciding in 
which of the chief groups a given letter should be 
placed. If the MS. had been cut up into paragraphs, 
there would have been no such difficulty ; but we feel 
strongly that a letter should as far as possible be 
treated as a whole. We have in fact allowed this 
principle to interfere with an accurate classification, so 
that the reader will find, for instance, in the chapters 
on Evolution, questions considered which might equally 
well have come under Geographical Distribution 
or Geology, or questions in the chapter on Man 
which might have been placed under the heading 
Evolution. In the same way, to avoid mutilation, 
we have allowed references to one branch of science 

' Except in a few places where brackets are used to indicate passages 
previously published. In all such cases the meaning of the symbol is 



explained. 



PREFACE 



to remain in letters mainly concerned with another 
subject. For these irregularities we must ask the 
reader's patience, and beg him to believe that some 
pains have been devoted to arrangement. 

l\Ir. Darwin, who was careful in other things, 
generally omitted the date in familiar correspondence, 
and it is often only by treating a letter as a detective 
studies a crime that we can make sure of its date. 
Fortunately, however, Sir Joseph Hooker and others 
of Darwin's correspondents were accustomed to 
add the date on which the letters were received. 
This sometimes leads to an inaccuracy which needs 
a word of explanation. Thus a letter which Mr. 
Darwin dated "Wednesday" might beheaded by us 
"Wednesday [Jan. 3rd, 1867]," the latter half being 
the date on which the letter was received ; if it 
had been dated by the writer it would have been 
"Wednesday, Jan. 2nd, 1867." 

In thanking those friends — especially Sir Joseph 
Hooker and Mr. Wallace — who have looked through 
some of our proof-sheets, we wish to make-it clear that 
they are not in the smallest degree responsible for our 
errors or omissions ; the weight of our shortcomings 
rests on us alone. 

We desire to express our gratitude to those 
who have so readily supplied us with information, 
especially to Sir Joseph Hooker, Professor Judd, 
Professor Newton, Dr. Sharp, Mr. Herbert Spencer, 
and Mr. Wallace. And we have pleasure in men- 
tioning Mr. H. W. Rutherford, of the University 
Library, to whose conscientious work as a copyist 
we are much indebted. 

Finally, it is a pleasure to express our obligation 



PREFACE xi 



to those who have helped us in the matter of illus- 
trations. The portraits of Dr. Asa Gray, Mr. Huxley, 
Sir Charles Lyell, Mr. Romanes, are from their 
respective Biographies, and for permission to make 
use of them we have to thank Mrs. Gray, Mr. L. 
Huxley, Mrs. Lyell, and Mrs. Romanes, as well as 
the publishers of the books in question. For the 
reproduction of the early portrait of Mr. Darwin we 
are indebted to Miss Wedgwood ; for the interesting 
portraits of Hugh Falconer and Edward Forbes we 
have to thank Mr. Irvine Smith, who obtained for us 
the negatives ; these being of paper, and nearly sixty 
years old, rendered their reproduction a work of some 
difficulty. We also thank Messrs. Elliott & Fry 
for very kindly placing at our disposal a negative, of 
the fine portrait, which forms the frontispiece to 
Vol. II. For the opportunity of making facsimiles 
of diagrams in certain of the letters, we are once 
more indebted to Sir Joseph Hooker, who has most 
generously given the original letters to Mr. Darwin's 
family. 



Cambridge, October, 1902. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME I 



OUTLINE OF CHARLES DARWIN'S LIFE, ETC. . . xvii 



CHAPTER I 

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL FRAGMENT, AND EARLY 

LETTERS, 1809— 1842 I 



CHAPTER II 
EVOLUTION, 1844— 1858 37 

CHAPTER III 
EVOLUTION, 1859— 1863 Il8 

CHAPTER IV 
EVOLUTION, 1864— 1869 245 

CHAPTER V 
EVOLUTION, 1870-1882 . . . . 319 

CHAPTER VI 
GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION, 1843 — 186/ . . . 400 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN VOLUME I 



Charles and Catherine Darwin, 1816 . . . Frontispiece 

From a coloured chalk drawing by Sharples, in pos- 
session of Miss Wedgwood, of Leith Hill Place. 

Mrs. Darwin, 1881 . . . ... To face page 30 

From a photograph by Barraud. 

Edward Forbes, 1844(F) „ „ 5 : 

From a photograph by Hill & Adamson. 

Thomas Henry Huxley, 1857 .... „ ,,73 

From a photograph by Maull & Fox. 
(Huxley's Life, Vol. I.) 

Professor Henslow „ „ 18S 

From a photograph. 

Hugh Falconer, 1844 ,, „ 252 

From a photograph by Hill & ADAMSON. 

Joseph Dalton Hooker, 1870 (?) . . „ „ 316 

From a photograph by Wallich. 

Asa Gray, 1867 ,. ,,455 

From a photograph. 

(Letters of Asa Gray, Vol. I.) 



OUTLINE OF CHARLES DARWIN'S LIFE 

Based on his Diary, dated August 1838 

References to the Journals in which Mr. Darwin's papers were 
published will be found in his Life and Letters III., Appendix II. We are 
greatly indebted to Mr. C. F. Cox, of New York, for calling our attention 
to mistakes in the Appendix, and we take this opportunity of correcting 
them. 

Appendix Ii., List ii. — Mr. Romanes spoke on Mr. Darwin's essay 
on Instinct at a meeting of the Linnean Society, Dec. 6th, 1883, and 
some account of it is given in Nature of the same date. But it was not 
published by the Linnean Society. 

Appendix 11., List iii. — " Origin of saliferous deposits. Salt lakes of 
Patagonia and La Plata" (1838). This is the heading of an extract from 
Darwin's volume on South America reprinted in the Quarterly Journal 
of the Geological Society, Vol. II., Pt. ii., Miscellanea, pp. 127-8, 1846. 

The paper on " Analogy of the Structure of some Volcanic Rocks, 
etc.," was published in 1845, not in 185 1. 

A paper " On the Fertilisation of British Orchids by Insect Agency," 
in the Entomologist's Weekly Intelligencer viii., and Card. C/irou., 
June 9th, i860, should be inserted in the bibliography. 

1809. Feb. 1 2th: Born at Shrewsbury. 

1 81 7. Death of his mother. 

181 8. Went to Shrewsbury School. 

1825. Left Shrewsbury School. 

1826. Oct.: Went to Edinburgh Liniversity. Read two 

papers before the Plinian Society of Edinburgh 
"at the close of 1826 or early in 1827." 

1827. Entered at Christ's College, Cambridge. 

1828. Began residence at Cambridge. 

1831. Jan.: Passed his examination for B.A., and kept the 
two following terms. 
Aug. : Geological tour with Sedgwick. 
Sept. nth : Went to Plymouth to see the Bea 
Oct. 2nd : "Took leave of my home." 

xvii I) 



wiii OUTLINE OF I HARLES DARWIN*S LIFE 



[831. Dec. 27th: "Sailed from England on our circum- 



navigation. 



1S32. Jan. 16th: "First landed on a tropical shore" 
(Santiago). 

1833. Dec. 6th : " Sailed for last time from Rio Plata." 

1834. June 10th: "Sailed for last time from Tierra del 

Fucgo." 

1835. Sept. 5th : " Sailed from west shores of South 

America." 
Nov. 1 6th : Letters to Professor Henslow, read at a 

meeting of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. 
Nov. 1 8th: Paper read before the Geological Society 

on Notes made during a Survey of the East and 

West Coasts of South America in years 1832-35. 

1836. May 31st : Anchored at the Cape of Good Hope. 
Oct. 2nd : Anchored at Falmouth. 

Oct. 4th : Reached Shrewsbury after an absence of 

five years and two days. 
Dec. 13th : Went to live at Cambridge. 

1837. Jan. 4th : Paper on Recent Elevation in Chili read. 
March 13th : Settled at 36, Great Marlborough Street. 

„ 14th : Paper on Rliea read. 
May : Read papers on Coral Formation, and on the 

Pampas, to the Geological Society. 
July : Opened first note-book on Transmutation of 

Species. 
March 1 3th to Nov. : Occupied with his Journal. 
Oct. and Nov. : Preparing the scheme for the Zoology 

of the Voyage of the Beagle. 
Working at Geology of South America. 
Nov. 1 st : Read the paper on Earthworms before the 

Geological Society. 

1838. Worked at the Geology of South America and 

Zoology of Voyage. 
" Some little species theory." 
March 7th : Read paper on the Connexion of certain 

Volcanic Phenomena and on the Formation of 

Mountain Chains, to the Geological Society. 
May : Health began to break down. 
June 23rd : Started for Glen Roy. The paper on 

Glen Roy was written in August and September. 



OUTLINE OF CHARLES DARWIN'S LIFE xix 



1838. Oct 5th : Began Coral paper. 

Nov. 11th: Engaged to be married to his cousin, 

Emma Wedgwood. 
Dec. 31st: "Entered 12 Upper Gower Street." 

1839. Jan. 29th: Married at Maer. 

Feb. and March : Some work on Corals and < n Species 

Theory. 
March (part) and April : Working at Coral paper. 
Papers on a Rock seen on an Iceberg, and on the 

Parallel Roads of Glen Roy. 
Published Journal and Remarks, being vol. iii. of the 

Narrative of the. Surveying Voyages of H.M.S. 

"Adventure" and "Beagle" etc. 
For the rest of the year, Corals and Zoology of the 

Voyage. 
Publication of the Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. 

"Beagle," Part II. (Mammalia). 

1840. Worked at Corals and the Zoology of the Voyage. 
Contributed Geological introduction to Part I. of the 

Zoology of the Voyage (Fossil Mammalia by Owen). 

1 841. Publication of Part III. of the Zoology) of the Voyage 

(Birds). 
Read paper on Boulders and Glacial Deposits of South 

America, to Geological Society. 
Published paper on a remarkable bar of Sandstone off 

Pernambuco, on the coast of Brazil. 
Publication of Part IV. of Zoology of t lie Voyage 1 Fish) 

1842. May 6th : Last proof of the Coral book corrected. 
June : Examined Glacier action in Wales. 

" Wrote pencil sketch of my Species Theory." 
July : Wrote paper on Glaciers of Caernarvonshire. 
Oct. : Began his book on Volcanic Islands. 

1843. Working at Volcanic Islands and "some Species work." 

1844. Feb. 13th: Finished Volcanic Islands. 

July to Sept : Wrote an enlarged version of Species 

Theory. 
Papers on Sagitta, and on Planaria. 
July 27th : Began his book on the Geology of South 

America. 

1845. Paper on the Analogy of the Structure of Volcanic 

Rocks with that of Glaciers. J 'roc. K. Soc. Ed in. 



XX OUTLINE OF CHARLES DARWIN'S I.Ill 

[845. April 25th to Aug. 25th : Working at second edition 
of Naturalists Voyage. 

1846. Oct. 1st: Finished last proof of Geological Observations 

on South . \ in erica. 
Papers on Atlantic Dust, and on Geology of Falkland 

Islands, communicated to the Geological Society. 
Paper on Arthrobalanus. 

1847. Working at Cirripcdes. 

Review of Waterhouse's Natural History of the 
Mammalia. 

1848. Mar. 20th ; Finished Scientific Instructions in Geology 

for the Admiralty Manual. 
Working at Cirripedes. 
Paper on Erratic Boulders. 

1849. Health especially bad. 
Working at Cirripedes. 

Mar. — June : Water-cure at Malvern. 

1850. Working at Cirripedes. 

Published Monographs of Recent and Fossil Lepadidse. 

1852. Working at Cirripedes. 

1853. Nov. 30th : " Royal Medal given to me." 

1854. Published Monographs on Recent and on Fossil 

Balanidae and Verrucidae. 
Sept. 9th : Finished packing up all my Cirripedes. 

„ " Began sorting notes for Species Theory." 

1855. Mar.— April: Experiments on the effect of saltwater 

on seeds. 
Papers on Icebergs and on Vitality of Seeds. 

1856. May 14th: "Began, by Lyell's advice, writing Species 

Sketch" (described in Life and Letters as the 

"Unfinished Book"). 
Dec. 16th : Finished Chap. III. 
Paper read to Linnean Society, On Sea-water and the 

Germination of Seeds. 

1857. Sept. 29th : Finished Chapters VII. and VIII. 
Sept. 30th to Dec. 29th : Working on Hybridism. 
Paper on the Agency of Bees in the Fertilisation of 

Papilionaceous Flowers. 

1858. March 9th : " Finished Instinct chapter." 

June iSth: Received Mr. Wallace's sketch of his 
evolutionary theory. 



OUTLINE OF CHARLES DARWIN S LIFE XXI 

1858. July 1st : Joint paper of Darwin and Wallace read at 

the Linnean Society. 
July 20th to July 27th : " Began Abstract of Species 

book," i.e., the Origin of Species, at Sandown, I.W. 
Paper on Bees and Fertilisation of Flowers. 

1859. May 25th: Began proof-sheets of the Origin of 

Species. 

Nov. 24th: Publication of the Origin: 1250 copies 
printed. 

Oct. 2nd to Dec. 9th : At the water-cure establish- 
ment, Ilkley, Yorkshire. 
i860. Jan. 7th: Publication of Edit. ii. of Origin (3000 
copies). 

Jan. 9th : " Looking over MS. on Variation." 

Paper on the Fertilisation of British Orchids. 

July and again in Sept. : Made observations on 
Drosera. 

Paper on Moths and Flowers. 

Publication of A Naturalist's Voyage. 

1 861. Up to July at work on Variation under Domestication. 
April 30th : Publication of Edit. iii. of Origin (2000 

copies). 
July to the end of year, at work on Orchids. 
Nov : Primula paper read at Linnean Society. 
Papers on Pumilio and on Fertilisation of Vinca. 

1862. May 15th : Orchid book published. 
Working at Variation. 

Paper on Catasetum (Linnean Society). 
Contribution to Chapter III. of Jenyns' Memoir of 
Henslow. 

1863. Working at Variation under Domestication. 

Papers on Yellow Rain, the Pampas, and on 

Cirripedes. 
A review of Bates' paper on Mimetic Butterflies. 
Severe illness to the end of year. 

1864. Illness continued until April. 

Paper on Liuuiu published by the Linnean Society. 

May 25th : Paper on Lythrum finished. 

Sept. 13th : Paper on Climbing Plants finished. 

Work on Variation under Domestication. 

Nov. 30th : Copley medal awarded to him. 



xxii OUTLINE OF CHARLES DARWIN'S LIFE 

1865. Jan. 1st: Continued at work on Variation until April 

22nd. The work was interrupted by illness until 

late in the autumn. 
Feb. : Read paper on Climbing Plants. 
Dec. 25 th : Began again on Variation. 

1866. Continued work at Variation under Domestication. 
March 1st to May 10th : At work on Edit. iv. of the 

Origin. 
Published June (1250 copies). 
Read paper on Cytisils scoparius to the Linnean 

Society. 
Dec. 22nd : Began the last chapter of Variation under 

Domestication. 

1867. Nov. 15th: Finished revises of Variation imder 

Domestication. 
Dec. : Began papers on Illegitimate Unions of Dimor- 
phic and Trimorphic Plants, and on Primula. 

1 868. Jan. 30th : Publication of Variation under Domestication. 
Feb. 4th : Began work on Man. 

Feb. 10th : New edition of Variation under Domesti- 
cation. 

Read papers on Illegitimate Unions of Dimorphic and 
Trimorphic Plants, and on Verbascum. 

1869. Feb. 10th : "Finished fifth edition of Origin; has 

taken me forty-six days." Edit. V. published in May. 
Working at the Descent of Man. 
Papers on the Fertilisation of Orchids, and on the 

Fertilisation of Winter-flowering Plants. 

1870. Working at the Descent of Man. 
Paper on the Pampas Woodpecker. 

1 87 1. Jan. 17th : Began the Expression of the Emotions. 
Feb. 24th : Descent of Man published (2500 copies). 
April 27th: Finished the rough copy of Expression. 
June 1 8th: Began Edit. IV. of Origin. 

Paper on the Fertilisation of Leschenaultia. 

1872. Jan. 10th : Finished proofs of Edit. IV. of the Origin, 

and " again rewriting Expression." 
Aug. 22nd : Finished last proofs of Expression. 

„ 23rd : Began working at Drosera. 
Nov. : Expression published (7000 copies, and 2000 

more printed at the end of the year). 



OUTLINE OF CHARLES DARWIN'S LIFE xxiii 

1872. Nov. 8th: "At Murray's sale 5267 copies sold to 

London booksellers." 

1873. Jan.: Correcting the Climbing Plants paper for pub- 

lication as a book. 
Feb. 3rd : At work on Cross-fertilisation. 
Feb. to Sept. : Contributions to Nature. 
June 14th : " Began Drosera again." 
Nov. 20th : Began Descent of Man, Edit. II. 

1874. Descent of Man, Edit. II., in one volume, published 

(Preface dated September). 
Coral Reefs, Edit. II., published. 
April 1st : Began Insectivorous Plants. 
Feb. to May : Contributed notes to Nature. 

1 875. July 2nd : Insectivorous Plants published (3000 copies) ; 

2700 copies sold immediately. 

July 6th : " Correcting 2nd edit, of Variation under 
Domestication ." It was published in the autumn. 

Sept. 1st (approximately): began on Cross and Self- 
Fertilisation. 

Nov. : Vivisection Commission. 

1876. May 5th : " Finished MS., first time over, of Cross and 

Self-Fertilisation" 
May to June : Correction of Fertilisation of Orchids, 
Edit. II. 
„ -, Wrote his Autobiographical Sketch. 

May and Nov. : Contributions to Nature. 
Aug. 19th : First proofs of Cross and Self-Fertilisation. 
Nov. 10th: Cross and Self-Fertilisation published 
( 1 500 copies). 

1877. " All the early part of summer at work on Different 

Forms of Flowers" 
July: Publication of Different Forms of Flowers (1250 

copies). 
During the rest of the year at work on the bloom on 

leaves, movements of plants, "and a little on worms." 
Nov. : LL.D. at Cambridge. 

Second edition of Fertilisation of Orchids published. 
Contributions to Nature, Gardeners' Chronicle, and 

Mind. 

1878. The whole year at work on movements of plants, and 

on the bloom on leaves. 



xxiv OUTLINE OF CHARLES DARWIN'S LIFE 

1878. May: Contribution to X attire. 

Second edition of Different Forms of Flowers. 
Wrote prefatory letter to Kerner's Flowers and their 
Unbidden Guests. 

1879. The whole year at work on movements of plants, 

except for " about six weeks "in the spring and 
early summer given to the Life of Erasmus 
Darwin, which was published in the autumn. 
Contributions to A r ature.^ 

1880. "All spring finishing MS. of Power of Movement in 

Plants and proof sheets." 
" Began in autumn on Worms." 
Prefatory notice written for Meldola's translation of 

Weismann's book. 
Nov. 6th : 1 500 copies of Power of Movement sold at 

Murray's sale. 
Contributions to Xatitre. 

1 88 1. During all the early part of the year at work on 

the " Worm book." Several contributions to 

Nature. 
Oct. 10th : The book on Earthworms published : 2000 

copies sold at once. 
Nov. : At work on the action of carbonate of ammonia 

on plants. 

1882. No entries in the Diary. 

Feb. : At work correcting the sixth thousand of the 

Earthworms. 
Mar. 6th and Mar. 16th : Papers on the action of 

Carbonate of Ammonia on roots, etc., read at the 

Linnean Society. 
April 6th : Note to Nature on Dispersal of Bivalves. 
April 1 8th : Van Dyck's paper on Syrian Dogs, with a 

preliminary notice by Charles Darwin, read before 

the Zoological Society. 
April 19th : Charles Darwin died at Down. 



CHARLES DARWIN 



CHAPTER I 

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL FRAGMENT, AND EARLY LETTERS 

1809 — 1842 

In the process of removing the remainder of Mr. Darwin's books and 
papers from Down, the following' autobiographical notes, written in 1S58, 
came to light. They seem to us worth publishing — both as giving some 
new facts, and also as illustrating the interest which he clearly f(?lt in 
his own development. Many words are omitted in the manuscript, and 
some names incorrectly spelled ; the corrections which have been made 
are not always indicated. 

My earliest recollection, the date of which I can approxi- 
mately tell, and which must have been before I was four 
years old, was when sitting on Caroline's l knee in the drawing 
room, whilst she was cutting an orange for mc, a cow ran by 
the window which made me jump, so that I received a bad 
cut, of which I bear the scar to this day. Of this scene I 
recollect the place where I sat and the cause of the fright, 
but not the cut itself, and I think my memory is real, and not 
as often happens in similar cases, [derived] from hearing the 
thing often repeated, [when] one obtains so vivid an image, 
that it cannot be separated from memory : because I clearly 
remember which way the cow ran, which would not probably 
have been told me. My memory here is an obscure picture, 
in which from not recollecting any pain I am scarcely 
conscious of its reference to myself. 

1 8 1 3. When I was four years and a half old I went to 
the sea, and stayed there some weeks. I remember many 

1 His sister, Caroline Darwin, 1800-88. 

1 1 



2 AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL FRAGMENT [Chap. I 

things, but with the exception of the maidservants (and 
these are not individualised) I recollect none of my family 
who were there. I remember either myself or Catherine 
being naughty, and being shut up in a room and trying to 
break the windows. I have an obscure picture of a house 
before my eyes, and of a neighbouring small shop, where the 
owner gave me one fig, but which to my great joy turned 
out to be two : this fig was given me that the man might 
kiss the maidservant. I remember a common walk to a kind 
of well, on the road to which' was a cottage shaded with 
damascene 1 trees, inhabited by an old man, called a hermit, 
with white hair, who used to give us damascenes. I know not 
whether the damascenes, or the reverence and indistinct fear 
for this old man produced the greatest effect on my memory. 
I remember when going there crossing in the carriage a broad 
ford, and fear and astonishment of white foaming water has 
made a vivid impression. I think memory of events com- 
mences abruptly ; that is, I remember these earliest things 
quite as clearly as others very much later in life, which were 
equally impressed on me. Some very early recollections are 
connected with fear at Parkfield and with poor Betty Harvey. 
I remember with horror her story of people being pushed into 
the canal by the towing rope, by going the wrong side of the 
horse. I had the greatest horror of this story — keen instinct 
against death. Some other recollections are those of vanity 
— namely, thinking that people were admiring me, in one 
instance for perseverance and another for boldness in climb- 
ing a low tree, and what is odder, a consciousness, as if 
instinctive, that I was vain, and contempt of myself. My 
supposed admirer was old Peter Haile the bricklayer, and 
the tree the mountain ash on the lawn. All my recollections 
seem to be connected most closely with myself ; now 
Catherine 2 seems to recollect scenes where others were the 
chief actors. When my mother died I was 8| years old, and 
[Catherine] one year less, yet she remembers all particulars 
and events of each day whilst I scarcely recollect anything 
(and so with very many other cases) except being sent for, 
the memory of going into her room, my father meeting me — 

1 Damson is derived from Damascene ; the fruit was formerly known 
as a " Damask Prune." 

' His sister, Catherine Darwin, 1810-66. 



iSo9— 1842] SCHOOL 3 

crying afterwards. I recollect my mother's gown and scarcely 
anything of her appearance, except one or two walks with 
her. I have no distinct remembrance of any conversation, 
and those only of a very trivial nature. I remember her 
saying "if she did ask me to do something," which I said 
she had, " it was solely for my good." 

Catherine remembers my mother crying, when she heard of 
my grandmother's death. Also when at Parkfield how Aunt 
Sarah and Aunt Kitty used to receive her. Susan, like me, 
only remembers affairs personal. It is sufficiently odd this 
[difference] in subjects remembered. Catherine says she does 
not remember the impression made upon her by external 
things, as scenery, but for things which she reads she has an 
excellent memory, i.c, for ideas. Now her sympathy being 
ideal, it is part of her character, and shows how easily her 
kind of memory was stamped, a vivid thought is repeated, 
a vivid impression forgotten. 

I remember obscurely the illumination after the battle 
of Waterloo, and the Militia exercising about that period, 
in the field opposite our house. 

18 1 7. At 8^ years old I went to Mr. Case's School. 1 I 
remember how very much I was afraid of meeting the dogs 
in Barker Street, and how at school I could not get up my 
courage to fight. I was very timid by nature. I remember I 
took great delight at school in fishing for newts in the quarry 
pool. I had thus young formed a strong taste for collecting, 
chiefly seals, franks, etc., but also pebbles and minerals — one 
which was given me by some boy decided this taste. I 
believe shortly after this, or before, I had smattered in botany, 
and certainly when at Mr. Case's School I was very fond of 
gardening, and invented some great falsehoods about being 
able to colour crocuses 2 as I liked. At this time I felt very 
strong friendship for some boys. It was soon after I began 
collecting stones, i.c, when 9 or 10, that I distinctly recollect 
the desire I had of being able to know something about every 
pebble in front of the hall door — it was my earliest and 
only geological aspiration at that time. I was in those days 

1 A day-school at Shrewsbury kept by Rev. G. Case, minister of the 
Unitarian Chapel {Life and Letters, Vol. I., p. 27 ct seq.). 

'' The story is given in the Life and Letters, I., p. 28, the details being 
slightly different. 



4 AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL FRAGMENT [Chap. I 

a very great story-teller — for the pure pleasure of exciting 
attention and surprise. I stole fruit and hid it for these 
same motives, and injured trees by barking them for similar 
ends. I scarcely ever went out walking without saying I 
had seen a pheasant or some strange bird (natural history 
taste) ; these lies, when not detected, I presume, excited 
my attention, as I recollect them vividly, not connected with 
shame, though some I do, but as something which by having 
produced a great effect on my mind, gave pleasure like a 
tragedy. I recollect when 1 was at Mr. Case's inventing a 
whole fabric to show how fond I was of speaking the truth ! 
My invention is still so vivid in my mind, that I could 
almost fancy it was true, did not memory of former shame 
tell me it was false. I have no particularly happy or un- 
happy recollections of this time or earlier periods of my life. 
I remember well a walk I took with a boy named Ford 
across some fields to a farmhouse on the Church Stretton 
road. I do not remember any mental pursuits excepting 
those of collecting stones, etc., gardening, and about this 
time often going with my father in his carriage, telling him 
of my lessons, and seeing game and other wild birds, which 
was a great delight to me. I was born a naturalist. 

When I was gh years old (July 1818) I went with 
Erasmus to see Liverpool : it has left no impressions on 
my mind, except most trifling ones — fear of the coach 
upsetting, a good dinner, and an extremely vague memory 
of ships. 

In Midsummer of this year I went to Dr. Butler's School. 1 
I well recollect the first going there, which oddly enough I 
cannot of going to Mr. Case's, the first school of all. I 
remember the year 181 8 well, not from having first gone 
to a public school, but from writing those figures in my 
school book, accompanied with obscure thoughts, now ful- 
filled, whether I should recollect in future life that year. 

In September (1818) I was ill with the scarlet fever. 
I well remember the wretched feeling of being delirious. 

1 8 19, July (ioi years old). Went to the sea at Plas 
Edwards- and stayed there three weeks, which now appears 

1 Darwin entered Dr. Butler's school in Shrewsbury in the summer 
of 1818, and remained there till 1825 (Life and Letters, I., p. 30). 
' Plas Edwards, at Towyn, on the Welsh coast. 



i8o9— 1842] EDINBURGH 5 

to me like three months. I remember a certain shady 
green road (where I saw a snake) and a waterfall, with a 
degree of pleasure, which must be connected with the pleasure 
from scenery, though not directly recognised as such. The 
sandy plain before the house has left a strong impression, 
which is obscurely connected with an indistinct remembrance 
of curious insects, probably a Cimcx mottled with red, and 
Zygczna, the burnet-moth. I was at that time very pas- 
sionate (when I swore like a trooper) and quarrelsome. The 
former passion has I think nearly wholly but slowly died 
away. When journeying there by stage coach I remember 
a recruiting officer (I think I should know his face to this 
day) at tea time, asking the maid-servant for toasted bread 
and butter. I was convulsed with laughter and thought it 
the quaintest and wittiest speech that ever passed from the 
mouth of man. Such is wit at ioi years old. The memory 
now flashes across me of the pleasure I had in the evening on 
a blowy day walking along the beach by myself and seeing 
the gulls and cormorants wending their way home in a wild 
and irregular course. Such poetic pleasures, felt so keenly 
in after years, I should not have expected so early in life. 

1820, July. Went a riding tour (on old Dobbin) with 
Erasmus to Pistyll Rhiadr 1 ; of this I recollect little, an 
indistinct picture of the fall, but I well remember my 
astonishment on hearing that fishes could jump up it. 

The autobiographical fragment here comes to an end. The next 
letters give some account of Darwin as an Edinburgh student. He has 
described (Life and Letters, I., pp. 35-45) his failure to be interested in 
the official teaching of the University, his horror at the operating theatre, 
and his gradually increasing dislike of medical study, which finally 
determined his leaving Edinburgh, and entering Cambridge with a view 
to taking Orders. 

To R. W. Darwin. Letter 1 

Sunday Morning [Edinburgh, October, 1S25]. 

My dear Father 

As I suppose Erasmus 2 has given all the particulars 
of the journey, I will say no more about it, except that 
altogether it has cost me 7 pounds. We got into our 

1 Pistyll Rhiadr proceeds from Llyn Pen Rhiadr down the Llyfnant 
to the Dovey. 

3 Erasmus Alvey Darwin (1804-81), elder brother of Charles Darwin. 



6 I ARI.V LETTERS [Chap. I 

Letter i lodgings yesterday evening, which are very comfortable 
and near the College. Our Landlady, by name Mrs. 
Mackay, is a nice clean old body— exceedingly civil and 
attentive. She lives in "u, Lothian Street, Edinburgh," 1 
and only four flights of steps from the ground-floor, which 
is very moderate to some other lodgings that we were nearly 
taking. The terms are £i 6s. for two very nice and light 
bedrooms and a sitting-room ; by the way, light bedrooms are 
very scarce articles in Edinburgh, since most of them are little 
holes in which there is neither' air nor light. We called on 
Dr. Hanley the first morning, whom I think we never should 
have found, had it not been for a good-natured Dr. of Divinity 
who took us into his library and showed us a map, and gave 
us directions how to find him. Indeed, all the Scotchmen 
are so civil and attentive, that it is enough to make an 
Englishman ashamed of himself. I should think Dr. Butler 
or any other fat English Divine would take two utter strangers 
into his library and show them the way ! When at last we 
found the Doctor, and having made all the proper speeches 
on both sides, we all three set out and walked all about the 
town, which we admire excessively ; indeed Bridge Street 
is the most extraordinary thing I ever saw, and when we 
first looked over the sides, we could hardly believe our eyes, 
when instead of a fine river, we saw a stream of people. We 
cpend all our mornings in promenading about the town, which 
we know pretty well, and in the evenings we go to the play 
to hear Miss Stephens, 2 which is quite delightful ; she is very 
popular here, being encored to such a degree, that she can 
hardly get on with the play. On Monday we are going to 



1 In a letter printed in the Edinburgh Evening Despatch of May 22nd, 
1 888, the writer suggested that a tablet should be placed on the house, 
1 1 , I.othian Street. This suggestion was carried out in 1888 by Mr. Ralph 
Richardson (Clerk of the Commissary Court, Edinburgh), who obtained 
permission from the proprietors to affix a tablet to the house, setting forth 
that Charles Darwin resided there as an Edinburgh University student. 
We are indebted to Mr. \Y. K. Dickson for obtaining for us this 
information, and to Mr. Ralph Richardson for kindly supplying us with 
particulars. See Mr. Richardson's Inaugural Address, Trans. Edinb. 
Geol. Soc, 1894-95, p. 85; also Memorable Edinburgh Houses, by 
\\ ilmot Harrison, 1898. 

5 Probably Catherine Stephens, who was born in 1794, and died, as 
the Countess of Essex, in 18S2. 



1809-1842] EDINBURGH 7 

Der F 1 (I do not know how to spell the rest of the word). Letter 1 
Before we got into our lodgings, we were staying at the Star 
Hotel in Princes St., where to my surprise I met with an 
old schoolfellow, whom I like very much ; he is just come 
back from a walking tour in Switzerland and is now going 
to study for his [degree?] The introductory lectures begin 
next Wednesday, and we were matriculated for them on 
Saturday ; we pay 10s., and write our names in a book, and 
the ceremony is finished ; but the Library is not free to us 
till we get a ticket from a Professor. We just have been 
to Church and heard a sermon of only 20 minutes. I 
expected, from Sir Walter Scott's account, a soul-cutting 
discourse of 2 hours and a half. 

I remain y r affectionate son, 

C. Darwin. 

To Caroline Darwin. Letter 2 

Jan. 6th, 1826. Edinburgh. 
Many thanks for your very entertaining letter, which was 
a great relief after hearing a long stupid lecture from Duncan 
on Materia Medica, but as you know nothing either of the 
Lectures or Lecturers, I will give you a short account of 
them. Dr. Duncan is so very learned that his wisdom has left 
no room for his sense, and he lectures, as I have already 
said, on the Materia Medica, which cannot be translated 
into any word expressive enough of its stupidity. These few 
last mornings, however, he has shown signs of improvement, 
and I hope he will "go on as well as can be expected." His 
lectures begin at eight in the morning. Dr. Hope begins at 
ten o'clock, and I like both him and his lectures very much 
(after which Erasmus goes to " Mr. Sizars on Anatomy," who 
is a charming Lecturer). At 12 the Hospital, after which 
I attend Monro on Anatomy. I dislike him and his lectures 
so much, that I cannot speak with decency about them. 
Thrice a week we have what is called Clinical lectures, 
which means lectures on the sick people in the Hospital — 

1 "Der F" is doubtless Der Freischiitz, which appeared in 1820, and 
of which a selection was given in London, under Weber's direction, in 
1825. The last of Weber's compositions, "From Chindara's warbling 
fount," wns written for Miss Stephens, who sang it to his accompaniment 
"the last time his finders touched the key-board." (See Diet, of Music, 
" Stephens " and " Weber.") 



8 EARLY LETTERS [Chap. I 

Letter 2 these I like very much. I said this account should be short, 
but I am afraid it has been too long, like the lectures them- 
selves. 

1 will be a good boy and tell something about Johnson 
again (not but what I am very much surprised that Papa 
should so forget himself as call me, a Collegian in the 
University of Edinburgh, a boy). He has changed his 
lodgings for the third time ; he has got very cheap ones, 
but I am afraid it will not answer, for they must make up 
by cheating. I hope you like Erasmus' official news, he 
means to begin every letter so. You mentioned in your 
letter that Emma was staying with you: if she is not gone, 
ask her to tell Jos that I have not succeeded in getting 
any titanium, but that I will try again. ... I want to know 
how old I shall be next birthday — I believe 17, and if so, 
1 shall be forced to go abroad for one year, since it is 
necessary that I shall have completed my 21st year before 
I take my degree. Now you have no business to be frowning 
and puzzling over this letter, for I did not promise to write 
a good hand to you. 

Lettcr3 To J. S. Henslow. 

Extracts from Darwin's letters to Henslow were read before the 

Cambridge Philosophical Society on Nov. 16th, 1835. Some of the letters 

were subsequently printed, in an 8vo pamphlet of 31 pp., dated Dec. 1st, 

1835, for private distribution among the members of the Society. A 

German translation by W. Preyer appeared in the Deutsche Rundschau, 

June iSyi. 

[15th Aug., 1S32. Monte Video.] 

We are now beating up the Rio Plata, and I take the 
opportunity of beginning a letter to you. I did not send 
off the specimens from Rio Janeiro, as I grudged the time 
it would take to pack them up. They are now ready to be 
sent off and most probably go by this packet. If so they 
go to Falmouth (where Fitz-Roy has made arrangements) 
and so will not trouble your brother's agent in London. 
When I left England I was not fully aware how essential 
a kindness you offered me when you undertook to receive 
my boxes. I do not know what I should do without such 
head-quarters. And now for an apologetical prose about my 
collection : I am afraid you will say it is very small, but 
I have not been idle, and you must recollect what a very 



i8og— 1842] VOYAGE 9 

small show hundreds of species make. The box contains Letter 3 
a good many geological specimens ; I am well aware that 
the greater number are too small. But I maintain that no 
person has a right to accuse me, till he has tried carrying 
rocks under a tropical sun. I have endeavoured to get 
specimens of every variety of rock, and have written notes 
upon all. If you think it worth your while to examine 
any of them I shall be very glad of some mineralogical 
information, especially on any numbers between 1 and 254 
which include Santiago rocks. By my catalogue I shall 
know which you may refer to. As for my plants, " pudet 
pigetque mihi." All I can say is that when objects are 
present which I can observe and particularise about, I cannot 
summon resolution to collect when I know nothing. 

It is positively distressing to walk in the glorious forest 
amidst such treasures and feel they are all thrown away upon 
one. My collection from the Abrolhos is interesting, as I 
suspect it nearly contains the whole flowering vegetation — 
and indeed from extreme sterility the same may almost^be 
said of Santiago. I have sent home four bottles with animals 
in spirits, 1 have three more, but would not send them till 
I had a fourth. I shall be anxious to hear how they fare. 
I made an enormous collection of Arachnids at Rio, also 
a good many small beetles in pill boxes, but it is not the 
best time of year for the latter. Amongst the lower animals 
nothing has so much interested me as finding two species 
of elegantly coloured true Planaria inhabiting the dewy 
forest ! The false relation they bear to snails is the most 
extraordinary thing of the kind I have ever seen. In the 
same genus (or more truly family) some of the marine 
species possess an organisation so marvellous that I can 
scarcely credit my eyesight. Every one has heard of the 
discoloured streaks of water in the equatorial regions. 
One I examined was owing to the presence of such minute 
Oscillarice that in each square inch of surface there must 
have been at least one hundred thousand present. After 
this I had better be silent, for you will think me a Baron 
Munchausen amongst naturalists. Most assuredly I might 
collect a far greater number of specimens of Invertebrate 
animals if I took less time over each ; but I have come to 
the conclusion that two animals with their original colour 



IO EARLY LETTERS [Chai\ I 

Letter 3 and shape noted down will be more valuable to naturalists 
than six with only dates and place. I hope you will send 
me your criticisms about my collection ; and it will be my 
endeavour that nothing you say shall be lost on me. I 
would send home my writings with my specimens, only I 
find I have so repeatedly occasion to refer back that it 
would be a serious loss to me. I cannot conclude about my 
collection without adding that I implicitly trust in your 
keeping an exact account against all the expense of boxes, etc., 
etc. At this present minute we are at anchor in the mouth of 
the river, and such a strange scene as it is. Everything is in 
flames — the sky with lightning, the water with luminous 
particles, and even the very masts are pointed with a blue 
flame. 1 expect great interest in scouring over the plains 
of Monte Video, yet I look back with regret to the Tropics, 
that magic lure to all naturalists. The delight of sitting 
on a decaying trunk amidst the quiet gloom of the forest 
is unspeakable and never to be forgotten. How often have 
I then wished for you. When I see a banana I well recollect 
admiring them with you in Cambridge— little did I then 
think how soon I should eat their fruit. 

August 1 5th. In a few days the box will go by the 
Emulous packet (Capt. Cooke) to Falmouth and will be 
forwarded to you. This letter goes the same way, so that 
if in course of due time you do not receive the box, will you 
be kind enough to write to Falmouth ? We have been here 
(Monte Video) for some time ; but owing to bad weather 
and continual fighting on shore, we have scarcely ever 
been able to walk in the country. I have collected during 
the last month nothing, but to-day I have been out and 
returned like Noah's Ark with animals of all sorts. 1 have 
to-day to my astonishment found two Planaricc living under 
dry stones: ask L. Jenyns 1 if he has ever heard of this fact. 
I also found a most curious snail, and spiders, beetles, snakes, 
scorpions ad libitum, and to conclude shot a Cavia weighing 
a cwt.— On Friday we sail for the Rio Negro, and then will 
commence our real wild work. I look forward with dread 
to the wet stormy regions of the south, but after so much 
pleasure I must put up with some sea-sickness and misery. 

1 L. Jenyns afterwards changed his name to Blomefield : see bio- 
graphical note, p. 49. 



i8o9— 1842] VOYAGE II 

To J. S. Henslow. Letter 4 

Monte Video, 24th Nov r lSj2. 
We arrived here on the 24th of October, after our first 
cruise on the coast of Patagonia. North of the Rio Negro 
we fell in with some little schooners employed in sealing : to 
save the loss of time in surveying the intricate mass of banks, 
Capt. Fitz-Roy has hired two of them and has put officers 
on them. It took us nearly a month fitting them out; as 
soon as this was finished we came back here, and are now 
preparing for a long cruise to the south. I expect to find the 
wild mountainous country of Terra del Fuego very interesting, 
and after the coast of Patagonia I shall thoroughly enjoy it. — 
I had hoped for the credit of Dame Nature, no such country 
as this last existed ; in sad reality we coasted along 240 miles 
of sand hillocks ; I never knew before, what a horrid ugly 
object a sand hillock is. The famed country of the Rio 
Plata in my opinion is not much better : an enormous brackish 
river, bounded by an interminable green plain is enough to 
make any naturalist groan. So Hurrah for Cape Horn and 
the Land of Storms. Now that I have had my growl out, 
which is a privilege sailors take on all occasions, I will turn the 
tables and give an account of my doing in Nat. History. I 
must have one more growl : by ill luck the French Government 
has sent one of its collectors to the Rio Negro, where he has 
been working for the last six months, and is now gone 
round the Horn. So that I am very selfishly afraid he will 
get the cream of all the good things before me. As I have 
nobody to talk to about my luck and ill luck in collecting, 
I am determined to vent it all upon you. I have been very 
lucky with fossil bones ; I have fragments of at least 6 distinct 
animals : as many of them are teeth, I trust, shattered and 
rolled as they have been, they will be recognised. I have paid 
all the attention I am capable of to their geological site ; but 
of course it is too long a story for here. 1st, I have the tarsi 
and metatarsi very perfect of a Cavia ; 2nd, the upper jaw 
and head of some very large animal with four square hollow 
molars and the head greatly protruded in front. I at first 
thought it belonged either to the Megalonyx or Megathe- 
rium ; 1 in confirmation of this in the same formation I found 

1 The animal may probably have been Grypotkerium Darwini, Ow. 
The osseous plates mentioned below must have belonged to one of the 



\2 EARLY LETTERS (Chap. I 

Letter 4 a large surface of the osseous polygonal plates, which " late 
observations " (what are they ?) show belong to the Mega- 
therium. Immediately I saw this I thought they must belong 
to an enormous armadillo, living species of which genus are 
so abundant here. 3rd, The lower jaw of some large animal 
which, from the molar teeth, I should think belonged to the 
Edentata ; 4th, some large molar teeth which in some respects 
would seem to belong to an enormous rodent ; 5th, also some 
smaller teeth belonging to the same order. If it interests 
you sufficiently to unpack them, I shall be very curious to 
hear something about them. Care must be taken in this case 
not to confuse the tallies. They are mingled with marine 
shells which appear to me identical with what now exist. 
Hut since they were deposited in their beds several geological 
changes have taken place in the country. So much for the 
dead, and now for the living : there is a poor specimen of 
a bird which to my unornithological eyes appears to be a 
happy mixture of a lark, pigeon and snipe (No. 710). 
Mr. MacLeay himself never imagined such an inosculating 
creature : I suppose it will turn out to be some well known 
bird, although it has quite baffled me. I have taken some 
interesting Amphibia ; a new Trigonocephalies beautifully 
connecting in its habits Crotalus and the Viperida;, and 
plenty of new (as far as my knowledge goes) saurians. As 
for one little toad, I hope it may be new, that it may be 
christened " diabolicus." Milton must allude to this very 
individual when he talks of "squat like a toad" ; ' its colours 
are by Werner 2 ink black, vermilion red and buff orange. It 
has been a splendid cruise for me in Nat. History. Amongst 
the Pelagic Crustacea, some new and curious genera. In the 
Zoophytes some interesting animals. As for one Flustra, if 

Glyptodontida?, and not to Megatherium. We are indebted to Mr. Kerr 
for calling our attention to a passage in Buckland's Bridgcivatcr Treatise 
(Vol. II., p. 20, note), where bony armour is ascribed to Megatherium. 
1 ". . . him [Satan] there they [Ithuriel and Zephon] found, 
Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve " 

{Paradise Lost, Book IV., line 800). 

"Formerly Milton's Paradise Lost had been my chief favourite, and 
in my excursions during the voyage of the Beagle, when I could take 
only a single volume, I always chose Milton " {Autobiography, p. 69). 

3 Werner's Nomenclature of Colours, Edinburgh, 1821. 



i809— 1842] VOYAGE 1 3 

I had not the specimen to back me up nobody would believe Letter 4 
in its most anomalous structure. But as for novelty all this 
is nothing to a family of pelagic animals which at first sight 
appear like Medusae but are really highly organised. I have 
examined them repeatedly, and certainly from their structure 
it would be impossible to place them in any existing order. 
Perhaps Salpa is the nearest animal, although the transparency 
of the body is nearly the only character they have in common. 
I think the dried plants nearly contain all which were then 
(Bahia Blanca) flowering. All the specimens will be packed 
in casks. I think there will be three (before sending this 
letter I will specify dates, etc., etc.). I am afraid you will 
groan or rather the floor of the lecture room will when the 
casks arrive. Without you I should be utterly undone. 
The small cask contains fish : will you open it to see how 
the spirit has stood the evaporation of the Tropics. On 
board the ship everything goes on as well as possible ; the 
only drawback is the fearful length of time between this and 
the day of our return. I do not see any limits to it. One 
year is nearly completed and the second will be so, before 
we even leave the east coast of S. America. And then our 
voyage may be said really to have commenced. I know not 
how I shall be able to endure it. The frequency with which 
I think of all the happy hours I have spent at Shrewsbury 
and Cambridge is rather ominous — I trust everything to time 
and fate and will feel my way as I go on. 

Nov. 24th. —We have been at Buenos Ayres for a week ; 
it is a fine large city, but such a country, everything is 
mud, yuu can go nowhere, you can do nothing for mud. 
In the city I obtained much information about the banks 
of the Uruguay — I hear of limestone with shells, and beds 
of shells in every direction. I hope when we winter in 
the Plata to have a most interesting geological excursion 
into that country : I purchased fragments (Nos. 837-8) of 
some enormous bones, which I was assured belonged to 
the former giants ! ! I also procured some seeds — I do 
not know whether they are worth your accepting ; if you 
think so I will get some more. They are in the box. I 
have sent to you by the Duke of York packet, commanded 
by Lieut. Sncll, to Falmouth two large casks containing fossil 
bones, a small cask with fish and a box containing skins, 



14 EARLY LETTERS [Chap. I 

Letter 4 spirit bottle, etc., and pill-boxes with beetles. Would you be 
kind enough to open these latter as they are apt to become 
mouldy. With the exception of the bones the rest of my 
collection looks very scanty. Recollect how great a proportion 
of time is spent at sea. I am always anxious to hear in what 
state the things come and any criticisms about quantity or 
kind of specimens. In the smaller cask is part of a large 
head, the anterior portions of which are in the other large 
one. The packet has arrived and I am in a great bustle. You 
will not hear from me for some months. 

Letter 5 To J. S. Henslow. 

Valparaiso, July 24 th 1834. 

A box has just arrived in which were two of your most 
kind and affectionate letters. You do not know how happy 
they have made me. One is dated Dec. 15th, 1833, the 
other Jan. 15th of the same year! By what fatality it did 
not arrive sooner I cannot conjecture ; I regret it much, for 
it contains the information I most wanted, about manner 
of packing, etc., etc. : roots with specimens of plants, etc., etc. 
This I suppose was written after the reception of my first 
cargo of specimens. Not having heard from you until March 
of this year I really began to think that my collections were 
so poor, that you were puzzled what to say ; the case is now 
quite on the opposite tack ; for you are guilty of exciting 
all my vain feelings to a most comfortable pitch ; if hard 
work will atone for these thoughts, I vow it shall not be 
spared. It is rather late, but I will allude to some remarks 
in the Jan. letter ; you advise me to send home duplicates 
of my notes ; I have been aware of the advantage of doing 
so ; but then at sea to this day, I am invariably sick, ex- 
cepting on the finest days, at which times with pelagic 
animals around me, I could never bring myself to the task — 
on shore the most prudent person could hardly expect such 
a sacrifice of time. My notes are becoming bulky. I have 
about 600 small quarto pages full ; about half of this is 
Geology — the other imperfect descriptions of animals ; with 
the latter I make it a rule only to describe those parts or 
facts, which cannot be seen in specimens in spirits. I keep 
my private Journal distinct from the above. (N.B. This 
letter is a most untidy one, but my mind is untidy with joy ; 



1809-1842] VOYAGE 15 

it is your fault, so you must take the consequences.) With Letter 5 
respect to the land Planarzce, unquestionably they are not 
molluscous animals. I read your letters last night, this 
morning I took a little walk ; by a curious coincidence, I 
found a new white species of Planaria, and a new to me 
Vaginulus (third species which I have found in S. America) 
of Cuvier. Amongst the marine mollusques I have seen 
a good many genera, and at Rio found one quite new one. 
With respect to the December letter, I am very glad to 
hear the four casks arrived safe ; since which time you have 
received another cargo, with the bird skins about which you 
did not understand me. Have any of the B. Ayrean seeds 
produced plants ? From the Falklands I acknowledged a 
box and letter from you ; with the letter were a few seeds 
from Patagonia. At present I have specimens enough to 
make a heavy cargo, but shall wait as much longer as 
possible, because opportunities are not now so good as 
before. I have just got scent of some fossil bones of a 
MAMMOTH ; what they may be I do not know, but if gold or 
galloping will get them they shall be mine. You tell me you 
like hearing how I am going on and what doing, and you 
well may imagine how much I enjoy speaking to anyone 
upon subjects which I am always thinking about, but never 
have any one to talk to [about]. After leaving the Falklands 
we proceeded to the Rio S. Cruz, following up the river till 
within twenty miles of the Cordilleras. Unfortunately want of 
provisions compelled us to return. This expedition was most 
important to me as it was a transverse section of the great 
Patagonian formation. I conjecture (an accurate examination 
of fossils may possibly determine the point) that the main 
bed is somewhere about the Miocene period (using Mr. 
Lyell's expression) ; I judge from what I have seen of the 
present shells of Patagonia. This bed contains an enormous 
field of lava. This is of some interest, as being a rude 
approximation to the age of the volcanic part of the great 
range of the Andes. Long before this it existed as a slate 
and porphyritic line of hills. I have collected a tolerable 
quantity of information respecting the period and forms of 
elevations of these plains. I think these will be interesting 
to Mr. Lyell ; I had deferred reading his third volume 
till my return : you may guess how much pleasure it gave 



\6 EARLY LETTERS [Chap. 1 

Letter 5 me ; some of his woodcuts came so exactly into play that 
I have only to refer to them instead of redrawing similar 
ones. I had my barometer with me, I only wish I had 
used it more in these plains. The valley of S. Cruz appears 
to me a very curious one ; at first it quite baffled me. I believe 
I can show good reasons for supposing it to have been once 
a northern straits like to that of Magellan. When I return 
to England you will have^some hard work in winnowing my 
Geology ; what little 1 know I have learnt in such a curious 
fashion that I often feel very doubtful about the number of 
grains [of value ?]. Whatever number they may turn out, I 
have enjoyed extreme pleasure in collecting them. In T. del 
Fuego 1 collected and examined some corallines ; I have 
observed one fact which quite startled me : it is that in the 
genus Sertularia (taken in its most restricted form as [used] 
by Lamoureux) and in two species which, excluding compara- 
tive expressions, I should find much difficulty in describing 
as different, the polypi quite and essentially differed in all 
their most important and evident parts of structure. I have 
already seen enough to be convinced that the present families 
of corallines as arranged by Lamarck, Cuvier, etc., are highly 
artificial. It appears that they arc in the same state [in] 
which shells were when Linnaeus left them for Cuvier to 
rearrange. 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 Alcyom'uw Lobularia 
of Savigny. I found a curious little stony Cellaria 1 (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 propa- 
gation in that most ambiguous family, the corallines ; I feel 

1 Cellaria, a genus of Bryozoa, placed in the section Flustrina of the 
Suborder Chilostomata. 



1809-1842] VOYAGE J 7 

pretty well convinced if they are not plants they are not Let 'er 5 
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 Luca- 
noidal insect which is described in the Camb. Phil. Trans.} 
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 and 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 

1 " Description of Ckiasognathus Grantii, a new Lucanideous Insect, 
etc.," by J. F. Stephens (Tram. Camb. Phil. Soc, Vol. IV., p. 209, 1833). 



18 EARLY LETTERS [Chap. I 

Letter 5 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 reflec- 
tion to mc, 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 port- 
folio ever since July ; I did not send it away because I 
did not think it worth the postage ; it shall now go with 
a box of specimens. Shortly after arriving here I set out 
on a geological excursion, and had a very pleasant ramble 
about the base of the Andes. The whole country appears 
composed of breccias (and I imagine slates) which universally 
have been modified and oftentimes completely altered by the 
action of fire. The varieties of porphyry thus produced are 
endless, but nowhere have I yet met with rocks which have 
flowed in a stream ; dykes of greenstone are very numerous. 
Modern volcanic action is entirely shut up in the very 
central parts (which cannot now be reached on account of 
the snow) of the Cordilleras. In the south of the R. Maypu 
I examined the Tertiary plains, already partially described 
by M. Gay. 1 The fossil shells appear to me to be far more 
different from the recent ones than in the great Patagonian 
formation ; it will be curious if an Eocene and Miocene 
(recent there is abundance of) could be proved to exist 
in S. America as well as in Europe. I have been much 
interested by finding abundance of recent shells at an eleva- 
tion of 1,300 feet ; the country in many places is scattered 
over with shells but these are all littoral ones. So that I 
suppose the 1,300 feet elevation must be owing to a succession 
of small elevations such as in 1822. With these certain 
proofs of the recent residence of the ocean over all the lower 
parts of Chili, the outline of every view and the form of each 
valley possesses a high interest. Has the action of running 
water or the sea formed this deep ravine? was a question 
which often arose in my mind and generally was answered 

1 " Rapport fait a PAcademie Royale des Sciences, sur les Travaux 
G^ologiques de M. Cay," by Alex. Brongniart (Ann. Sri. Nat., Vol. 
XXVIII., p. 394, 1833). 



1809-1S42] VOYAGE 19 

by finding a bed of recent shells at the bottom. I have not Letter 5 
sufficient arguments, but I do not believe that more than a 
small fraction of the height of the Andes has been formed 
within the Tertiary period. The conclusion of my excursion 
was very unfortunate, I became unwell and could hardly 
reach this place. I have been in bed for the last month, but 
am now rapidly getting well. I had hoped during this time 
to have made a good collection of insects but it has been 
impossible : I regret the less because Chiloe fairly swarms 
with collectors ; there are more naturalists in the country, 
than carpenters or shoemakers or any other honest trade. 

In my letter from the Falkland Islands I said I had fears 
about a box with a Megatherium. I have since heard from 
B. Ayres that it went to Liverpool by the brig Basingwaithe. 
If you have not received it, it is I think worth taking 
some trouble about. In October two casks and a jar were 
sent by H.M.S. Samarang vid Portsmouth. I have no doubt 
you have received them. With this letter I send a good 
many bird skins ; in the same box with them, there is a 
paper parcel containing pill boxes with insects. The other 
pill boxes require no particular care. You will see in two 
of these boxes some dried Planarice (terrestrial), the only 
method I have found of preserving them (they are exceedingly 
brittle). By examining the white species I understand some 
little of the internal structure. There are two small parcels 
of seeds. There are some plants which I hope may interest 
you, or at least those from Patagonia where I collected 
every one in flower. There is a bottle clumsily but I think 
securely corked containing water and gas from the hot 
baths of Cauquenes seated at foot of Andes and long cele- 
brated for medicinal properties. I took pains in filling and 
securing both water and gas. If you can find any one who 
likes to analyze them, I should think it would be worth 
the trouble. I have not time at present to copy my few 
observations about the locality, etc., etc., [of] these springs. 
Will you tell me how the Arachnids which I have sent home, 
for instance those from Rio, appear to be preserved. I have 
doubts whether it is worth while collecting them. 

We sail the day after to-morrow : our plans are at last 
limited and definite ; I am delighted to say we have bid 
an eternal adieu to T. del Fuego, The Beagle will not 



20 



EARLY LETTERS 



[Chap. I 



Letter 5 



Letter 6 



proceed further south than C. Tres Montes ; from which point 
we survey to the north. The Chonos Archipelago is delight- 
fully unknown: fine deep inlets running into the Cordilleras — 
where wc can steer by the light of a volcano. I do not 
know which part of the voyage now offers the most attrac- 
tions. This is a shamefully untidy letter, but you must 
forgive me. 

To J. S. Henslow. 

April iSth. 1835. Valparaiso. 
I have just returned from Mcndoza, having crossed the 
Cordilleras by two passes. This trip has added much to my 
knowledge of the geology of the country. Some of the 
facts, of the truth of which I in my own mind feel fully 
convinced, will appear to you quite absurd and incredible. 
I will give a very short sketch of the structure of these 
huge mountains. In the Portillo pass (the more southern 
one) travellers have described the Cordilleras to consist of 
a double chain of nearly equal altitude separated by a con- 
siderable interval. This is the case ; and the same structure 
extends to the northward to Uspallata ; the little elevation 
of the eastern line (here not more than 6,000 — 7,000 ft.) has 
caused it almost to be overlooked. To begin with the 
western and principal chain, we have, where the sections are 
best seen, an enormous mass of a porphyritic conglomerate 
resting on granite. This latter rock seems to form the 
nucleus of the whole mass, and is seen in the deep lateral 
valleys, injected amongst, upheaving, overturning in the 
most extraordinary manner, the overlying strata. The stratifi- 
cation in all the mountains is beautifully distinct and from 
a variety in the colour can be seen at great distances. 
I cannot imagine any part of the world presenting a more 
extraordinary scene of the breaking up of the crust of the 
globe than the very central parts of the Andes. The upheaval 
has taken place by a great number of (nearly) N.and S. lines ; 
which in most cases have formed as many anticlinal and 
synclinal ravines ; the strata in the highest pinnacles are 
almost universally inclined at an angle from 70° to 80°. I 
cannot tell you how I enjoyed some of these views — it is worth 
coming from England, once to feel such intense delight ; at an 
elevation from 10 to 12,000 ft. there is a transparency in the air, 



1S09-1842] VOYAGE 21 

and a confusion of distances and a sort of stillness which gives Letter 6 
the sensation of being in another world, and when to this is 
joined the picture so plainly drawn of the great epochs of 
violence, it causes in the mind a most strange assemblage 
of ideas. 

The formation I call Porphyritic Conglomerates is the 
most important and most developed one in Chili : from a 
great number of sections I find it a true coarse conglomerate 
or breccia, which by every step in a slow gradation passes 
into a fine claystone-porphyry ; the pebbles and cement 
becoming porphyritic till at last all is blended in one compact 
rock. The porphyries are excessively abundant in this chain. 
I feel sure at least f lhs of them have been thus produced from 
sedimentary beds in situ. There are porphyries which have 
been injected from below amongst strata, and others ejected, 
which have flowed in streams ; it is remarkable, and I could 
show specimens of this rock produced in these three methods, 
which cannot be distinguished. It is a great mistake con- 
sidering the Cordilleras here as composed of rocks which 
have flowed in streams. In this range I nowhere saw a 
fragment, which I believe to have thus originated, although the 
road passes at no great distance from the active volcanoes 
The porphyries, conglomerate, sandstone and quartzose sand- 
stone and limestones alternate and pass into each other many 
times, overlying (where not broken through by the granite) 
clay-slate. In the upper parts, the sandstone begins to 
alternate with gypsum, till at last we have this substance of a 
stupendous thickness. I really think the formation is in some 
places (it varies much) nearly 2,000 ft. thick, it occurs often 
with a green (epidote?) siliceous sandstone and snow-white 
marble ; it resembles that found in the Alps in containing 
large concretions of a crystalline marble of a blackish grey 
colour. The upper beds which form some of the higher 
pinnacles consist of layers of snow-white gypsum and red 
compact sandstone, from the thickness of paper to a few feet, 
alternating in an endless round. The rock has a most curiously 
painted appearance. At the pass of the Peuquenes in this 
formation, where however a black rock like clay-slate, without 
many lamina?, occurring with a pale limestone, has replaced 
the red sandstone, I found abundant impressions of shells. 
The elevation must be between 12 and 13,000 ft. A shell 



22 EARLY LETTERS [Chap. I 

Letter 6 which 1 believe is the Gtyphcea is the most abundant — an 
Ostrea, Turratella, Ammonites, small bivalves, Terebratuke (?). 

Perhaps some good conchologist l will be able to give a guess, 
to what grand division of the formations of Europe these 
organic remains bear most resemblance. They are exceedingly 
imperfect and few. It was late in the season and the situa- 
tion particularly dangerous for snow-storms. I did not dare 
to delay, otherwise a^grand harvest might have been reaped. 
So much for the western line ; in the Portillo pass, proceed- 
ing eastward, we meet an immense mass of a conglomerate, 
dipping to the west 45°, which rest on micaceous sandstone, 
etc., etc., upheaved and converted into quartz-rock penetrated 
by dykes from the very grand mass of protogine (large 
crystals of quartz, red feldspar, and occasional little chlorite). 
Now this conglomerate which reposes on and dips from 
the protogene 45° consists of the peculiar rocks of the first 
described chain, pebbles of the black rock with shells, green 
sandstone, etc., etc. It is hence manifest that the upheaval 
(and deposition at least of part) of the grand eastern chain 
is entirely posterior to the western. To the north in the 
Uspallata pass, we have also a fact of the same class. Bear 
this in mind : it will help to make you believe what follows. 
I have said the Uspallata range is geologically, although 
only 6,000 — 7,000 ft., a continuation of the grand eastern 
chain. It has its nucleus of granite, consists of grand beds 
of various crystalline rocks, which I can feel no doubt are 
subaqueous lavas alternating with sandstone, conglomerates 
and white aluminous beds (like decomposed feldspar) with 
many other curious varieties of sedimentary deposits. These 
lavas and sandstones alternate very many times, and are 
quite conformable one to the other. During two days of 
careful examination I said to myself at least fifty times, how 
exactly like (only rather harder) these beds are to those of the 
upper Tertiary strata of Patagonia, Chiloe and Concepcion, 
M ithout the possible identity ever having occurred to me. At 
last there was no resisting the conclusion. I could not expect 
shells, for they never occur in this formation ; but lignite or 
carbonaceous shale ought to be found. I had previously been 
exceedingly puzzled by meeting in the sandstone, thin layers 

1 Some of these genera are mentioned by Darwin (Geo/. Obs., p. 181) 
as having been named for him by M. D'Orbigny. 



1809—1842] VOYAGE 23 

(few inches to feet thick) of a brecciated pitchstone. I Letter 6 
strongly suspect the underlying granite has altered such beds 
into this pitchstone. The silicified wood (particularly charac- 
teristic) was yet absent. The conviction that I was on the 
Tertiary strata was so strong by this time in my mind, that on 
the third day in the midst of Lavas and [? masses] of granite 
I began my apparently forlorn hunt. How do you think I 
succeeded? In an escarpement of compact greenish sand- 
stone, I found a small wood of petrified trees in a vertical 
position, or rather the strata were inclined about 20-30 to 
one point and the trees 70° to the opposite one. That is, they 
were before the tilt truly vertical. The sandstone consists 
of many layers, and is marked by the concentric lines of 
the bark (I have specimens); 11 are perfectly silicified and 
resemble the dicotyledonous wood which I have found at 
Chiloe and Concepcion ; l the others (30-40) I only know to be 
trees from the analogy of form and position ; they consist of 
snow-white columns (like Lot's wife) of coarsely crystalline 
carb. of lime. The largest shaft is 7 feet. They are all close 
together, within 100 yds., and about the same level: nowhere 
else could I find any. It cannot be doubted that the layers of 
fine sandstone have quietly been deposited between a clump of 
trees which were fixed by their roots. The sandstone rests on 
lava, is covered by a great bed apparently about 1,000 ft. thick 
of black augitic lava, and over this there are at least 5 grand 
alternations of such rocks and aqueous sedimentary deposits, 
amounting in thickness to several thousand feet. I am quite 
afraid of the only conclusion which I can draw from this 
fact, namely that there must have been a depression in the 
surface of the land to that amount. But neglecting this 
consideration, it was a most satisfactory support of my pre- 
sumption of the Tertiary (I mean by Tertiary, that the shells 
of the period were closely allied, or some identical, to those 
which now live, as in the lower beds of Patagonia) age of this 
eastern chain. A great part of the proof must remain upon 
my ipse dixit of a mineralogical resemblance with those beds 
whose age is known, and the character of which resemblance 

1 Geo/. 06s., p. 202. Specimens of the silicified wood were examined 
by Robert Brown, and determined by him as coniferous, " partaking of 
the characters of the Araucarian tribe, with some curious points of 
affinity with the yew.'' 



24 EARLY LETTERS [Chap. I 

Letter 6 is to be subject to infinite variation, passing from one variety 
to another by a concretionary structure. I hardly expect you 
to believe me, when it is a consequence of this view that 
granite, which forms peaks of a height probably of 14,000 ft., 
has been fluid in the Tertiary period ; that strata of that period 
are altered by its heat, and are traversed by dykes from the 
mass. That these strata have also probably undergone an 
immense depression, that they are now inclined at high angles 
and form regular or complicated anticlinal lines. To complete 
the climax and seal your disbelief, these same sedimentary 
strata and lavas are traversed by very numerous, true metallic 
veins of iron, copper, arsenic, silver and gold, and these 
can be traced to the underlying granite. A gold mine has 
been worked close to the clump of silicified trees. If when 
you see my specimens, sections and account, you should 
think that there is pretty strong presumptive evidence of 
the above facts, it appears very important ; for the structure, 
and size of this chain will bear comparison with any in 
the world, and that this all should have been produced in 
so very recent a period is indeed wonderful. In my own 
mind I am quite convinced of the reality of this. I can 
anyhow most conscientiously say that no previously formed 
conjecture warped my judgment. As I have described so 
did I actually observe the facts. But I will have some mercy 
and end this most lengthy account of my geological trip. 

On some of the large patches of perpetual snow, I found 
the famous red snow of the Arctic countries ; I send with this 
letter my observations and a piece of paper on which I tried 
to dry some specimens. If the fact is new and you think 
it worth while, cither yourself examine them or send them 
to whoever has described the specimens from the north and 
publish a notice in any of the periodicals. I also send a 
small bottle with two lizards, one of them is viviparous as 
you will see by the accompanying notice. A M. Gay — a 
French naturalist — has already published in one of the news- 
papers of this country a similar statement and probably has 
forwarded to Paris some account ; as the fact appears singular 
would it not be worth while to hand over the specimens 
to some good lizardologist and comparative anatomist to 
publish an account of their internal structure? Do what 
y ou think fit. 



1809-1S42J VOYAGE 25 

This letter will go with a cargo of specimens from Letter 6 
Coquimbo. I shall write to let you know when they are sent 
off. In the box there are two bags of seeds, one [from the] 
valleys of the Cordilleras 5,000—10,000 ft. high, the soil and 
climate exceedingly dry, soil very light and stony, extremes 
in temperature ; the other chiefly from the dry sandy Traversia 
of Mendoza 3,000 ft. more or less. If some of the bushes 
should grow but not be healthy, try a slight sprinkling of salt 
and saltpetre. The plain is saliferous. All the flowers in 
the Cordilleras appear to be autumnal flovverers — they were 
all in blow and seed, many of them very pretty. I gathered 
them as I rode along on the hill sides. If they will but 
choose to come up, I have no doubt many would be great 
rarities. In the Mendoza bag there are the seeds or berries 
of what appears to be a small potato plant with a whitish 
flower. They grow many leagues from where any habitation 
could ever have existed owing to absence of water. . Amongst 
the Chonos dried plants, you will see a fine specimen of the 
wild potato, growing under a most opposite climate, a r .id 
unquestionably a true wild potato. It must be a distinct 
species from that of the Lower Cordilleras one. Perhaps 
as with the banana, distinct species are now not to be 
distinguished in their varieties produced by cultivation. 
I cannot copy out the few remarks about the Chonos 
potato. With the specimens there is a bundle of old papers 
and note books. Will you take care of them ; in case 
I should lose my notes, these might be useful. I do not 
send home any insects because they must be troublesome to 
you, and now so little more of the voyage remains unfinished 
I can well take charge of them. In two or three days I set 
out for Coquimbo by land ; the Beagle calls for me in the 
beginning of June. So that I have six weeks more to enjoy 
geologising over these curious mountains of Chili. There is 
at present a bloody revolution in Peru. The Commodore 
has gone there, and in the hurry has carried our letters with 
him ; perhaps amongst them there will be one from you. 
I wish I had the old Commodore here, I would shake some 
consideration for others into his old body. From Coquimbo 
you will again hear from me. 



26 EARLV LETTERS LChap. I 

Letter 7 To J. S. Henslow. 

Lima, July 12th, 1 835. 
This is the last letter which I shall ever write to you 
from the shores of America, and for this reason I send it. 
In a few days time the Beagle will sail for the Galapagos 
Islands. I look forward with joy and interest to this, both 
as being somewhat nearer to England and for the sake of 
having a good look at an active volcano. Although we 
have seen lava in abundance, I have never yet beheld the 
crater. I sent by H.M.S. Conway two large boxes of 
specimens. The Conway sailed the latter end of June. 
With them were letters for you, since that time I have 
travelled by land from Valparaiso to Copiapo and seen 
something more of the Cordilleras. Some of my geological 
views have been, subsequently to the last letter, altered. I 
believe the upper mass of strata is not so very modern as 
I supposed. This last journey has explained to me much 
of the ancient history of the Cordilleras. I feel sure they 
formerly consisted of a chain of volcanoes from which 
enormous streams of lava were poured forth at the bottom 
of the sea. These alternate with sedimentary beds to a 
vast thickness ; at a subsequent period these volcanoes must 
have formed islands, from which have been produced strata 
of several thousand feet thick of coarse conglomerate. 1 
These islands were covered with fine trees ; in the con- 
glomerate, I found one 15 feet in circumference perfectly 
silicified to the very centre. The alternations of compact 
crystalline rocks (I cannot doubt subaqueous lavas), and 
sedimentary beds, now upheaved fractured and indurated, 
form the main range of the Andes. The formation was 
produced at the time when ammonites, gryphites, oysters, 
Pecten, Mytilus, etc., etc., lived. In the central parts of 
Chili the structure of the lower beds is rendered very 
obscure by the metamorphic action which has rendered 
even the coarsest conglomerates porphyritic. The Cor- 
dilleras of the Andes so worthy of admiration from the 
grandeur of their dimensions, rise in dignity when it is 
considered that since the period of ammonites, they have 

1 See Geological Observations oti South America (London, 1S46), 
Chap. VII.: "Central Chile; Structure of the Cordillera." 



i«o 9 — 1842] VOYAGE 27 

formed a marked feature in the geography of the globe. Letter 7 
The geology of these mountains pleased me in one respect ; 
when reading Lyell, it had always struck me that if the 
crust of the world goes on changing in a circle, there ought 
to be somewhere found formations which, having the age 
of the great European Secondary beds, should possess the 
structure of Tertiary rocks or those formed amidst islands 
and in limited basins. Now the alternations of lava and 
coarse sediment which form the upper parts of the Andes, 
correspond exactly to what would accumulate under such 
circumstances. In consequence of this, I can only very 
roughly separate into three divisions the varying strata 
(perhaps 8,000 ft. thick) which compose these mountains. 
1 am afraid you will tell me to learn my A B C to know 
quartz from feldspar before I indulge in such speculations. 
I lately got hold of a report on M. Dessalines D'Orbigny's 
labours in S. America; 1 I experienced rather a debasing 
degree of vexation to find he has described the Geology 
of the Pampas, and that I have had some hard riding for 
nothing, it was however gratifying that my conclusions 
are the same, as far as I can collect, with his results. It 
is also capital that the whole of Bolivia will be described. 
I hope to be able to connect his geology of that country 
with mine of Chili. After leaving Copiapo, we touched at 
Iquique. I visited but do not quite understand the position 
of the nitrate of soda beds. Here in Peru, from the state 
of anarchy, I can make no expedition. 

I hear from home, that my brother is going to send me a 
box with books, and a letter from you. It is very unfortunate 
that I cannot receive this before we reach Sydney, even if 
it ever gels safely so far. I shall not have another opportunity 
for many months of again writing to you. Will you have 
the charity to send me one more letter (as soon as this 
reaches you) directed to the C. of Good Hope. Your letters 
besides affording me the greatest delight always give me 
a fresh stimulus for exertion. Excuse this geological prosy 
letter, and farewell till you hear from me at Sydney, and 
see me in the autumn of 1836. 

1 Voyage dans PAmerique Miridionale, etc. (A. Dessalines D'Orbigny). 



28 EARLY LETTERS 



[Chap. I 



Le« ler 8 To Josiah Wedgwood. 

[Shrewsbury, Oct. 5th, 1S36.] 

My dear Uncle 

The Beagle arrived at Falmouth on Sunday evening, 
and I reached home late last night. My head is quite con- 
fused with so much delight, but I cannot allow my sisters to 
tell you first how happy I am to see all my dear friends again. 
I am obliged to return in three or four days to London, where 
the Beagle will be paid off, and then I shall pay Shrewsbury 
a longer visit. I am most anxious once again to see Maer, 
and all its inhabitants, so that in the course of two or three 
weeks, I hope in person to thank you, as being my first Lord 
of the Admiralty. 1 I am so very happy I hardly know what 
I am writing. Believe me your most affectionate nephew, 

Chas. Darwin. 

Lrltcr 9 To C. Lycll. 

Shrewsbury, Monday [Nov. 12th, 1838]. 

My dear Lyell 

I suppose you will be in Hart St. 2 to-morrow [or] the 
14th. I write because I cannot avoid wishing to be the first 
person to tell Mrs. Lyell and yourself, that I have the very 
good, and shortly since [i.e. until lately] very unexpected fortune 
of going to be married ! The lady is my cousin Miss Emma 
Wedgwood, the sister of Hensleigh Wedgwood, and of the 
elder brother who married my sister, so we are connected 
by manifold ties, besides on my part, by the most sincere 

1 Readers of the Life and Letters will remember that it was to Josiah 
Wedgwood that Darwin owed the great opportunity of his life {Life and 
Letters, Vol. I., page 59), and it was fitting that he should report himself 
to his " first Lord of the Admiralty." The present letter clears up a 
small obscurity to which Mr. Poulton has called attention {Charles 
Darwin and the Theory of Natural Selection, "Century" Series, 1896, 
p. 25). Writing to Fitz-Roy from Shrewsbury on October 6th, Darwin 
says, " I arrived here yesterday morning at breakfast time." This 
refers to his arrival at his father's house, after having slept at the inn. 
The date of his arrival in Shrewsbury was, therefore, October 4th, as 
given in the Life and Letters, I., p. 272. The entries in his Diary are :— 

Oct. 2, 1831. Took leave of my home. 

Oct. 4, 1836. Reached Shrewsbury after absence of 5 years and 2 days. 

2 Sir Charles Lyell lived at 16, Hart Street, Bloornsbury. 



i8o9— 1842] MARRIAGE 29 

love and hearty gratitude to her for accepting such a one Letter 9 
as myself. 

I determined when last at Maer to try my chance, but I 
hardly expected such good fortune would turn up for me. I 
shall be in town in the middle or latter end of the ensuing 
week. 1 I fear you will say I might very well have left my 
story untold till we met. But I deeply feel your kindness 
and friendship towards me, which in truth I may say, has been 
one chief source of happiness to me, ever since my return to 
England : so you must excuse me. I am well sure that 
Mrs. Lyell, who has sympathy for every one near her, will give 
me her hearty congratulations. 

Believe me my dear Lyell 

Yours most truly obliged 

Chas. Darwin. 

To Emma Wedgwood. Letter 10 

Sunday Night. Athenreum. [Jan. 20th, 1S39.] 
... I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed my Maer 
visit, — I felt in anticipation my future tranquil life : how I do 
hope you may be as happy as I know I shall be : but it 
frightens me, as often as I think of what a family you have 
been one of. I was thinking this morning how it came, that 
I, who am fond of talking and am scarcely ever out of spirits, 
should so entirely rest my notions of happiness on quietness, 
and a good deal of solitude : but I believe the explanation is 
very simple and I mention it because it will give you hopes, 
that I shall gradually grow less of a brute, it is that during the 
five years of my voyage (and indeed I may add these two 
last) which from the active manner in which they have been 
passed, may be said to be the commencement of my real life, 
the whole of my pleasure was derived from what passed in 
my mind, while admiring views by myself, travelling across 
the wild deserts or glorious forests or pacing the deck of the 
poor little Beagle at night. Excuse this much egotism, — I give 
it you because I think you will humanize me, and soon teach 
me there is greater happiness than building theories and 
accumulating facts in silence and solitude. My own dearest 

1 Mr. Darwin was married on Jan. 29th, 1839 (see Life and Letters, 
I., p. 299). The present letter was written the day after he had become 
engaged- 



30 EARLY LETTERS [Chap. I 

Letter 10 Emma, I earnestly pray, you may never regret the great, and 
I will add very good, deed, you are to perform on the Tuesday: 
my own dear future wife, God bless you. . . . The Lyells 
called on me to-day after church ; as Lyell was so full of 
ology he was obliged to disgorge, — and I dine there on 
Tuesday for an especial conference. I was quite ashamed of 
myself to-day, for we talked for half an hour, unsophisticated 
geology, with poor Mrs. Lyell sitting by, a monument of 
patience. I want practice in ill-treating the female sex, — 1 did 
not observe Lyell had any compunction ; I hope to harden 
my conscience in time : few husbands seem to find it difficult 
to effect this. Since my return I have taken several looks, as 
you will readily believe, into the drawing-room ; 1 suppose 
my taste [for] harmonious colours is already deteriorated, for 
I declare the room begins to look less ugly. I take so much 
pleasure in the house, 1 I declare I am just like a great over- 
grown child with a new toy ; but then, not like a real child, 
I long to have a co-partner and possessor. 

The following passage is taken from the MS. copy of the Auto- 
biography ; it was not published in the Life and Letters which appeared 
in Mrs. Darwin's lifetime : — 

You all know your mother, and what a good mother she 
has ever been to all of you. She has been my greatest 
blessing, and I can declare that in my whole life I have never 
heard her utter one word I would rather have been unsaid. 
She has never failed in kindest sympathy towards me, and 
has borne with the utmost patience my frequent complaints 
of ill-health and discomfort. I do not believe she has ever 
missed an opportunity of doing a kind action to any one near 
her. I marvel at my good fortune that she, so infinitely my 
superior in every single moral quality, consented to be my 
wife. She has been my wise adviser and cheerful comforter 
throughout life, which without her would have been during 
a very long period a miserable one from ill-health. She has 
earned the love of every soul near her. 

1 No. 12, Upper Gower Street, is now No. no, Gower Street, and 
forms part of a block inhabited by Messrs. Shoolbred's employes. We 
are indebted, for this information, to Mr. Wheatley, of the Society 

nf Arts. 




' . . . . 



On r/i / // 



i8oo— 184 j | DOWN 31 

C. Lyell to C. Darwin. Letter 11 

[July?, 1 84 1?] 
Lyell started on his first visit to the United States in July, 1841, and 
was absent thirteen months. Darwin returned to London July 23rd, 1841, 
after a prolonged absence ; he may, therefore, have missed seeing' Lyell. 
Assuming the date 1841 to be correct, it would seem that the plan of 
living in the country was formed a year before it was actually carried out. 

[ have no doubt that your father did rightly in persuading 
you to stay [at Shrewsbury], but wc were much disappointed 
in not seeing you before our start for a year's absence. 
I cannot teli you how often since your long illness I have 
missed the friendly intercourse which we had so frequently 
before, and on which I built more than ever after your 
marriage. It will not happen easily that twice in one's life, 
even in the large world of London, a congenial soul so 
occupied with precisely the same pursuits and with an inde- 
pendence enabling him to pursue them will fall so nearly 
in my way, and to have had it snatched from me with the 
prospect of your residence somewhat far off is a privation 
I feel as a very great one. I hope you will not, like 
Herschell, get far off from a railway. 

To Catherine Darwin. Letter 12 

The following letter was written to his sister Catherine about two 
months before Charles Darwin settled at Down : — 

Sunday [July 1S42]. 

You must have been surprised at not having heard 
sooner about the house. Emma and I only returned yester- 
day afternoon from sleeping there. I will give you in detail, 
as my father would like, my opinion on it — Emma's slightly 
differs. Position : — about £ of a mile from the small village 
of Down in Kent — 16 miles from St. Paul's — 8| miles from 
station (with many trains) which station is only 10 from 
London. This is bad, as the drive from [i.e. on account of] 
the hills is long. I calculate wc are two hours going from 
London Bridge. Village about forty houses with old walnut 
trees in the middle where stands an old flint church and the 
lanes meet. Inhabitants very respectable — infant school- — 
grown up people great musicians — all touch their hats as 
in Wales and sit at their open doors in the evening ; no 
high road leads through the village. The little pot-house 



32 EARLY LETTERS [Chap. I 

Letter 12 where we slept is a grocer's shop, and the landlord is the 
carpenter — so you may guess the style of the village. There 
are butcher and baker and post-office. A carrier goes weekly 
to London and calls anywhere for anything in London and 
takes anything anywhere. On the road [from London] to 
the village", on a fine day the scenery is absolutely beautiful : 
from close to our house the view is very distant and rather 
beautiful, but the house being situated on a rather high table- 
land has somewhat of a desolate air. There is a most beautiful 
old farm-house, with great thatched barns and old stumps of 
oak trees, like that of Skelton, one field off. The charm of 
the place to me is that almost every field is intersected (as 
alas is ours) by one or more foot-paths. I never saw so 
many walks in any other county. The country is extra- 
ordinarily rural and quiet with narrow lanes and high hedges 
and hardly any ruts. It is really surprising to think London 
is only 16 miles off. The house stands very badly, close to 
a tiny lane and near another man's field. Our field is 15 acres 
and flat, looking into flat-bottomed valleys on both sides, but 
no view from the drawing-room, which faces due south, except 
on our flat field and bits of rather ugly distant horizon. Close 
in front there are some old (very productive) cherry trees, 
walnut trees, yew, Spanish chestnut, pear, old larch, Scotch 
fir and silver fir and old mulberry trees, [which] make rather 
a pretty group. They give the ground an old look, but from 
not flourishing much they also give it rather a desolate look. 
There are quinces and medlars and plums with plenty of 
fruit, and Morello cherries ; but few apples. The purple 
magnolia flowers against the house. There is a really fine 
beech in view in our hedge. The kitchen garden is a detest- 
able slip and the soil looks wretched from the quantity of 
chalk flints, but I really believe it is productive. The hedges 
grow well all round our field, and it is a noted piece of hay- 
land. This year the crop was bad, but was bought, as it 
stood, for £2 per acre — that is ,£30 — the purchaser getting 
it in. Last year it was sold for £45 — no manure was put 
on in the interval. Does not this sound well ? Ask my father. 
Does the mulberry and magnolia show it is not very cold 
in winter, which I fear is the case? Tell Susan it is 9 miles 
from Knole Park and 6 from Westerham, at which places 
I hear the scenery is beautiful. There are many very odd 



iSo9— 1842] DOWN 33 

views round our house — deepish flat-bottomed valley and Letter 12 
nice farm-house, but big, white, ugly, fallow fields ; — much 
wheat grown here. House ugly, looks neither old nor new 
— walls two feet thick — windows rather small — lower story 
rather low. Capital study 18 x 18. Dining-room 21 x 18. 
Drawing-room can easily be added to: is 21 x 15. Three 
stories, plenty of bedrooms. We could hold the Hensleighs 
and you and Susan and Erasmus all together. House in 
good repair. Mr. Cresy a few years ago laid out for the 
owner .£1,500 and made a new roof. Water-pipes over 
house — two bath-rooms — pretty good offices and good stable- 
yard, etc., and a cottage. I believe the price is about £2,200, 
and I have no doubt I shall get it for one year on lease first to 
try, so that I shall do nothing to the house at first (last owner 
kept three cows, one horse, and one donkey, and sold some 
hay annually from one field). I have no doubt if we com- 
plete the purchase I shall at least save £1,000 over Westcroft, 
or any other house we have seen. Emma was at first a good 
deal disappointed, and at the country round the house ; tne 
day was gloomy and cold with N.E. wind. She likes the 
actual field and house better than I ; the house is just 
situated as she likes for retirement, not too near or too far 
from other houses, but she thinks the country looks desolate. 
I think all chalk countries do, but I am used to Cambridge- 
shire, which is ten times worse. Emma is rapidly coming 
round. She was dreadfully bad with toothache and headache 
in the evening and Friday, but in coming back yesterday 
she was so delighted with the scenery for the first few miles 
from Down, that it has worked a great change in her. We 
go there again the first fine day Emma is able, and we then 
finally settle what to do. 

The following fragmentary "Account of Down" was found among 
Mr. Darwin's papers after the publication of the Life and Letters. It 
gives the impression that he intended to write a natural history diary 
after the manner of Gilbert White, but there is no evidence that this was 
actually the case. 

1843. May 1 5th. — The first peculiarity which strikes a 
stranger unaccustomed to a hilly chalk country is the 
valleys, with their steep rounded bottoms— not furrowed with 
the smallest rivulet. On the road to Down from Kcston 

3 



34 EARLY LETTERS [Chap. I 

Letter 12 a mound has been thrown across a considerable valley, but 
even against this mound there is no appearance of even a 
small pool of water having collected after the heaviest rains 
The water all percolates straight downwards. Ascertain 
average depth of wells, inclination of strata, and springs. 
Does the water from this country crop out in springs in 
Holmsdale or in the valley of the Thames? Examine the 
fine springs in Holmsdale. 

The valleys on this platform sloping northward, but ex- 
ceedingly even, generally run north and south ; their sides 
near the summits generally become suddenly more abrupt, 
and are fringed with narrow strips, or, as they are here called, 
" shaws " of wood, sometimes merely by hedgerows run 
wild. The sudden steepness may generally be perceived, as 
just before ascending to Cudham Wood, and at Green Hill, 
where one of the lanes crosses these valleys. These valleys 
are in all probability ancient sea-bays, and I have sometimes 
speculated whether this sudden steepening of the sides does 
not mark the edges of vertical cliffs formed when these 
valleys were filled with sea-water, as would naturally happen 
in strata such as the chalk. 

In most countries the roads and footpaths ascend along 
the bottoms of valleys, but here this is scarcely ever the case. 
All the villages and most of the ancient houses are on the 
platforms or narrow strips of flat land between the parallel 
valleys. Is this owing to the summits having existed from 
the most ancient times as open downs and the valleys having 
been filled up with brushwood ? I have no evidence of this, 
but it is certain that most of the farmhouses on the flat land 
are very ancient. There is one peculiarity which would help 
to determine the footpaths to run along the summits instead 
of the bottom of the valleys, in that these latter in the middle 
are generally covered, even far more thickly than the general 
surface, with broken flints. This bed of flints, which gradually 
thins away on each side, can be seen from a long distance in 
a newly ploughed or fallow field as a whitish band. Every 
stone which ever rolls after heavy rain or from the kick of an 
animal, ever so little, all tend to the bottom of the valleys ; 
but whether this is sufficient to account for their number I 
have sometimes doubted, and have been inclined to apply to 
the case Lyell's theory of solution by rain-water, etc., etc. 



1809-1S42] DOWN 35 

The flat summit-land is covered with a bed of stiff red Letter 12 
clay, from a few feet in thickness to as much, I believe, 
as twenty feet : this [bed], though lying immediately on the 
chalk, and abounding with great, irregularly shaped, unrolled 
flints, often with the colour and appearance of huge bones, 
which were originally embedded in the chalk, contains not 
a particle of carbonate of lime. This bed of red clay lies 
on a very irregular surface, and often descends into deep 
round wells, the origin of which has been explained by Lyell. 
In these cavities are patches of sand like sea-sand, and like 
the sand which alternates with the great beds of small pebbles 
derived from the wear-and-tear of chalk-flints, which form 
Keston, Hayes and Addington Commons. Near Down a 
rounded chalk-flint is a rarity, though some few do occur ; 
and I have not yet seen a stone of distant origin, which 
makes a difference — at least to geological eyes — in the very 
aspect of the country, compared with all the northern counties. 

The chalk-flints decay externally, which, according to 
Berzelius {Edin. Neiv Phil. Journal, late number), is owing to 
the flints containing a small proportion of alkali ; but, besides 
this external decay, the whole body is affected by exposure of 
a few years, so that they will not break with clean faces for 
building. 

This bed of red clay, which renders the country very 
slippery in the winter months from October to April, does 
not cover the sides of the valleys ; these, when ploughed, 
show the white chalk, which tint shades away lower in the 
valley, as insensibly as a colour laid on by a painter's brush. 

Nearly all the land is ploughed, and is often left fallow, 
which gives the country a naked red look, or not unfrequently 
white, from a covering of chalk laid on by the farmers. 
Nobody seems at all aware on what principle fresh chalk 
laid on land abounding with lime does it any good. This, 
however, is said to have been the practice of the country 
ever since the period of the Romans, and at present the many 
white pits on the hill sides, which so frequently afford a 
picturesque contrast with the overhanging yew trees, are all 
quarried for this purpose. 

The number of different kinds of bushes in the hedgerows, 
entwined by traveller's joy and the bryonies, is conspicuous 
compared with the hedges of the northern counties. 



36 EARLY LETTERS [Chap. I 

Letter 12 March 25th [1844?]. — The first period of vegetation, and 
the banks are clothed with pale-blue violets to an extent I 
have never seen equalled, and with primroses. A few days 
later some of the copses were beautifully enlivened by 
Ranunculus auricomus, wood anemones, and a white Stellaria. 
Again, subsequently, large areas were brilliantly blue with blue- 
bells. The flowers are here very beautiful, and the number of 
flowers; [and] the darkness of the blue of the common little 
Polygala almost equals it to an alpine gentian. 

There are large tracts of woodland, [cut down] about once 
every ten years ; some of these enclosures seem to be very 
ancient. On the south side of Cudham Wood a beech 
hedge has grown to Brobdignagian size, with several of 
the huge branches crossing each other and firmly grafted 
together. 

Larks abound here, and their songs sound most agreeably 
on all sides ; nightingales arc common. Judging from an odd 
cooing note, something like the purring of a cat, doves are 
very common in the woods. 

June 25th. — The sainfoin fields are now of the most beautiful 
pink, and from the number of hive-bees frequenting them the 
humming noise is quite extraordinary. This humming is 
rather deeper than the humming overhead, which has been 
continuous and loud during all these last hot days over 
almost every field. The labourers here say it is made by 
" air-bees," and one man, seeing a wild bee in a flower different 
from the hive kind, remarked : " That, no doubt, is an air-bee." 
This noise is considered as a sign of settled fair weather. 



CHAPTER II 

EVOLUTION 

1844— 1858 

Since the publication of the Life and Letters, Mr. Huxley's obituary 
notice of Charles Darwin has appeared. 1 This masterly paper is, in our 
opinion, the finest of the great series of Darwinian essays which we owe 
to Mr. Huxley. We would venture to recommend it to our readers as the 
best possible introduction to these pages. There is, however, one small 
point in which we differ from Mr. Huxley. In discussing the growth 
of Mr. Darwin's evolutionary views, Mr. Huxley quotes from the auto- 
biography ' a passage in which the writer describes the deep impression 
made on his mind by certain groups of facts observed in South 
America. Mr. Huxley goes on: "The facts to which reference is 
here made were, without doubt, eminently fitted to attract the attention 
of a philosophical thinker ; but, until the relations of the existing with 
the extinct species, and of the species of the different geographical 
areas with one another, were determined with some exactness, 
they afforded but an unsafe foundation for speculation. It was not 
possible that this determination should have been effected before 
the return of the Beagle to England ; and thus the date 3 which Darwin 
(writing in 1837) assigns to the dawn of the new light which was 
rising in his mind, becomes intelligible." This seems to us inconsistent 
with Darwin's own statement that it was especially the character of the 
"species on Galapagos Archipelago" which had impressed him. 1 This 
must refer to the zoological specimens : no doubt he was thinking of 
the birds, but these he had himself collected in 1835,* and no accurate 

1 /'roe. R. Soc, vol. 44, [888, and Collected Essays (Darwiniana), p. 253, 
1899. 

2 Life and Letters, I., p. 82. Some account of the origin of his evolu- 
tionary views is given in a letter to Jenyns (Blomefield), Life and Letters, 
ii. p. 34. 

3 The date in question is July 1837, when he "opened first note-book 
on Transmutation of Species." 

4 See Life and Letters, I., p. 276. 

5 He wrote in his Journal, p. 394, " My attention was first thoroughly 
aroused, by comparing together the numerous specimens shot by myself 
and several other parties on board," etc. 

37 



3$ i: volution [Chap. II 

determination of the forms was necessary to impress on him the 
remarkable characteristic species of the different islands. We agree 
with Mr. Huxley that 1S37 is the date of the "new light which was rising 
in his mind." That the dawn did not come sooner seems to us to be 
accounted for by the need of time to produce so great a revolution in 
his conceptions. We do not see that Mr. Huxley's supposition as to the 
effect of the determination of species, etc., has much weight. Mr. Huxley 
quotes a letter from Darwin to Zacharias, " But I did not become con- 
vinced that species were mutable until, 1 think, two or three years [after 
1837] had elapsed" (see Letter 278). This passage, which it must be 
remembered was written in 1877, is all but irreconcilable with the direct 
evidence of the 1S37 note-book. A series of passages are quoted from it 
in the Life and Letters, Vol. II , pp. 5 ct seq., and these it is impossible to 
read without feeling that he was convinced of immutability. He had not 
yet attained to a clear idea of Natural Selection, and therefore his views 
may not have had, even to himself, the irresistible convincing power they 
afterwards gained ; but that he was, in the ordinary sense of the word, 
convinced of the truth of the doctrine of evolution we cannot doubt. He 
thought it " almost useless " to try to prove the truth of evolution until 
the cause of change was discovered. And it is natural that in later life 
he should have felt that conviction was wanting till that cause was made 
out. 1 For the purposes of the present chapter the point is not very 
material. We know that in 1842 he wrote the first sketch of his theory, 
and that it was greatly amplified in 1844. So that, at the date of the 
first letters of this chapter, we know that he had a working hypothesis 
of evolution which did not differ in essentials from that given in the 
Origin of Species. 

To realise the amount of work that was in progress during the period 
covered by Chapter II., it should be remembered that during part of the 
time — namely, from 1846 to 1854 — he was largely occupied by his work 
on the Cinipedes. 3 This research would have fully occupied a less 
methodical workman, and even to those who saw him at work it seemed 
his whole occupation. Thus (to quote a story of Lord Avebury's) one of 
Mr. Darwin's children is said to have asked, in regard to a neighbour, 
"Then where does he do his barnacles?" as though not merely his 
father, but all other men, must be occupied on that group. 

Sir Joseph Hooker, to whom the first letter in this chapter is addressed, 
was good enough to supply a note on the origin of his intimacy with 
Mr. Darwin, and this is published in the Life and Letters? The close 
intercourse that sprang up between them was largely carried on by 
correspondence, and Mr. Darwin's letters to Sir Joseph have supplied 



1 See Charles Darwin, his Life told, etc., 1892, p. 165. 

'' Life and Letters, 1. p. 346. 

3 Ibid., II., p. 19. See also Nature, 1899, June 22nd, p. 187, where 
some reminiscences are published, which formed part of Sir Joseph's 
speech at the unveiling of Darwin's statue in the Oxford Museum. 



1S44 — 1S5S] SIR J. D. HOOKER 39 

most valuable biographical material. But it should not be forgotten that, 
quite apart from this, science owes much to this memorable friendship, 
since without Hooker's aid Darwin's great work would hardly have been 
carried out on the botanical side. And Sir Joseph did far more than supply 
knowledge and guidance in technical matters : Darwin owed to him a 
sympathetic and inspiriting comradeship which cheered and refreshed 
him to the end of his life. 

A sentence from a letter to Hooker written in 1845 shows, quite as 
well as more serious utterances, how quickly the acquaintance grew into 
friendship. 

"Farewell ! What a good thing is community of tastes ! I feel as if 
I had known you for fifty years. Adios." And in illustration of the 
permanence of the sympathetic bond between them, we quote a letter 
of 1 88 1 written forty-two years after the first meeting with Sir Joseph in 
Trafalgar Square (see Life and Letters, II., p. 19). Mr. Darwin wrote : 
" Your letter has cheered me, and the world does not look a quarter 
so black this morning as it did when I wrote before. Your friendly 
words are worth their weight in gold." 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 13 

Down, Thursday [Jan. nth, 1844]^ 

My dear Sir 

I must write to thank you for your last letter, and to 
tell you how much all your views and facts interest me. I 
must be allowed to put my own interpretation on what you 
say of " not being a good arranger of extended views " — which 
is, that you do not indulge in the loose speculations so 
easily started by every smatterer and wandering collector. 
I look at a strong tendency to generalise as an entire evil. 

What you say of Mr. Brown is humiliating ; I had 
suspected it, but would not allow myself to believe in such 
heresy. Fitz-Roy gave him a rap in his preface, 1 and made 
him very indignant, but it seems a much harder one would 
not have been wasted. My cryptogamic collection was sent 

1 In the preface to the Surveying I "oyages of the " Adventure " and the 
"Beagle" 1826-30, forming Vol. I. of the work, which includes the later 
voyage of the Beagle, Captain Fitz-Roy wrote (March, 1839): "Captain 
King took great pains in forming and preserving a botanical collection, 
aided by a person embarked solely for that purpose. He placed this 
collection in the British Museum, and was led to expect that a first-rate 
botanist would have examined and described it ; but he has been 
disappointed." A reference to Robert Brown's dilatoriness over King's 
collection occurs in the Life and Letters, I., p. 274, note. 



40 KYOLUTION [CHAr. II 

Letter 13 to Berkeley ; it was not large. I do not believe he has yet 
published an account, but he wrote to me some year ago 
that he had described [the specimens] and mislaid all his 
descriptions. Would it not be well for you to put yourself 
in communication with him, as otherwise something will 
perhaps be twice laboured over ? My best (though poor) 
collection of the cryptogams was from the Chonos Islands. 

Would you kindly observe one little fact for me, whether 
any species of plant, peculiar to any island, as Galapagos, 
St. Helena, or New Zealand, where there are no large 
quadrupeds, have hooked seeds — such hooks as, if observed 
here, would be thought with justness to be adapted to catch 
into wool of animals. 

Would you further oblige me some time by informing me 
(though I forget this will certainly appear in your Antarctic 
Flora) whether in islands like St. Helena, Galapagos, and 
New Zealand, the number of families and genera are large 
compared with the number of species, as happens in coral 
islands, and as, I believe, in the extreme Arctic land. Cer- 
tainly this is the case with marine shells in extreme Arctic 
seas. Do you suppose the fewness of species in proportion 
to number of large groups in coral islets is owing to the 
chance of seeds from all orders getting drifted to such new 
spots, as I have supposed. Did you collect sea-shells in 
Kerguelen-land ? I should like to know their character. 

Your interesting letters tempt me to be very unreasonable 
in asking you questions ; but you must not give yourself any 
trouble about them, for I know how fully and worthily you 
are employed. 1 

Besides a general interest about the southern lands, I 
have been now ever since my return engaged in a very pre- 
sumptuous work, and I know no one individual who would 
not say a very foolish one. I was so struck with the distribution 
of the Galapagos organisms, etc., and with the character of 
the American fossil mammifers, etc., that I determined to 
collect blindly every sort of fact which could bear anyway on 
what are species. I have read heaps of agricultural and 
horticultural books, and have never ceased collecting facts. 
At last gleams of light have come, and I am almost convinced 

1 The rest of the letter has been previously published in Life and 
Letters, 1 1 ., p. 23. 



1844—1858] NATURAL SELECTION 41 

(quite contrary to the opinion I started with) that species Letter 15 
are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable. Heaven 
forfend me from Lamarck nonsense of a " tendency to pro- 
gression," " adaptations from the slow willing of animals," 
etc. ! But the conclusions I am led to are not widely different 
from his ; though the means of change are wholly so. I think 
I have found out (here's presumption !) the simple way by 
which species become exquisitely adapted to various ends. 
You will now groan, and think to yourself, "on what a man 
have I been wasting my time and writing to." I should, five 
years ago, have thought so. ... x 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 14 

[Nov.] 1844. 
. . . What a curious, wonderful case is that of the 
Lycopodium\- . . . I suppose you would hardly have expected 
them to be more varying than a phanerogamic plant. I trust 
you will work the case out, and, even if unsupported, publish 
it, for you can surely do this with due caution. I have heard 
of some analogous facts, though on the smallest scale, in 
certain insects being more variable in one district than in 
another, and I think the same holds with some land-shells. 
By a strange chance I had noted to ask you in this letter an 
analogous question, with respect to genera, in lieu of individual 
species, — that is, whether you know of any case of a genus 
with most of its species being variable (say Rubus) in one 
continent, having another set of species in another continent 
non-variable, or not in so marked a manner. Mr. Herbert 3 
incidentally mentioned in a letter to me that the heaths at 
the Cape of Good Hope were very variable, whilst in Europe 
they are (?) not so ; but then the species here are few in 
comparison, so that the case, even if true, is not a good one. 
In some genera of insects the variability appears to be common 

1 On the questions here dealt with see the interesting letter to 
Jenyns in the Life and Letters, II., p. 34. 

' Sir J. D. Hooker wrote, Nov. 8, 1S44 : "I am firmly convinced 
(but not enough to piint it) that L. Selago varies in Van Diemen's Land 
into L. varium. Two more different species (as they have hitherto been 
thought), per se cannot be conceived, but nowhere else do they vary into 
one another, nor does Selago vary at all in England." 

3 No doubt Dean Herbert, the horticulturist. See Life and Letters, 
U P- 343- 



42 1". VOLITION [CiiAr. II 

i tei 14 in distant parts of the world. In shells, I hope hereafter to 
get much light on this question through fossils. If you can 
help me, I should be very much obliged : indeed, all your 
letters are most useful to me. 

Monday. — Now for your first long letter, and to me quite 
as interesting as long. Several things are quite new to me 
in it — viz., for one, your belief that there are more extra- 
tropical than intra-tropical species. I see that my argument 
from the Arctic regions is false, and I should not have tried 
to argue against you, had I not fancied that you thought 
that equability of climate was the direct cause of the creation 
of a greater or lesser number of species. I see you call our 
climate equable ; I should have thought it was the contrary. 
Anyhow, the term is vague, and in England will depend 
upon whether a person compares it with the United States 
or Ticrra del Fuego. In my Journal (p. 342) I see I state 
that in South Chiloe, at a height of about 1,000 feet, the 
forests had a Fuegian aspect : I distinctly recollect that at 
the sea-level in the middle of Chiloe the forest had almost a 
tropical aspect. I should like much to hear, if you make out, 
whether the N. or S. boundaries of a plant are the most 
restricted ; I should have expected that the S. would be, in 
the temperate regions, from the number of antagonist species 
being greater. N.B. Humboldt, when in London, told me 
of some river 1 in N.E. Europe, on the opposite banks of which 
the flora was, on the same soil and under same climate, 
widely different ! 

I forget 2 my last letter, but it must have been a very silly 
one, as it seems 1 gave my notion of the number of species 
being in great degree governed by the degree to which the 
area had been often isolated and divided. I must have been 
cracked to have written it, for I have no evidence, without a 
person be willing to admit all my views, and then it does 
follow. 

The remainder of the foregoing letter is published in the Life and 
Letters, II., p. 29. It is interesting as giving his views on the mutability 

1 The Obi (see Flora Antarctica, p. 211, note). Hooker writes : 
" Some of the most conspicuous trees attain either of its banks, but do 
not cross them.' - ' 

2 The last paragraph is published in Life mid Letters, II., p. 29. 



1844—1858] J. C. P RICHARD 43 

of species. Thus he wrote : " With respect to books on this subject, I 
do not know any systematical ones, except Lamarck's, which is veritable 
rubbish ; but there are plenty, as Lyell, Pritchard, etc., on the view of 
the immutability." By " Pritchard" is no doubt intended James Cowles 
"Prichard," author of the Physical History of Mankind. ' Prof. Poulton 
has given in his paper, " A Remarkable Anticipation of Modern Views 
on Evolution,"-' an interesting study of Prichard's work. He shows 
that Prichard was in advance of his day in his views on the non-trans- 
mission of acquired characters. Prof. Poulton also tries to show that 
Prichard was an evolutionist. He allows that Prichard wrote with 
hesitation, and that in the later editions of his book his views became 
weaker. But, even with these qualifications, we think that Poulton 
has unintentionally exaggerated the degree to which Prichard believed 
in evolution. 

One of Prichard's strongest sentences is quoted by Poulton {loc. a'/., 
p. 16) ; it occurs in the Physical History of Mankind, Ed. 2, Vol. II., 
p. 570 :— 

" Is it not probable that the varieties which spring up within the limits 
of particular species are further adaptations of structure to the circum- 
stances under which the tribe is destined to exist ? Varieties branch out 
from the common form of a species, just as the forms of species deviate 
from the common type of a genus. Why should the one class of 
phenomena be without end or utility, a mere effect of contingency or 
chance, more than the other?" 

If this passage, and others similar to it, stood alone, we might agree 
with Prof. Poulton ; but this is impossible when we find in Vol. I. of 
the same edition, page 90, the following uncompromising statement of 
immutability : — 

" The meaning attached to the term species, in natural history, is 
very simple and obvious. It includes only one circumstance — namely, 
an original distinctness and constant transmission of any character. 
A race of animals, or plants, marked by any peculiarities of structure 
which have always been constant and undeviating, constitutes a 
species." 

1 James Cowles Prichard (1786 — 1848). He came on both sides from 
Quaker families, but, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, he ulti- 
mately joined the Church of England. He was a M.D. of Edinburgh, and 
by diploma of Oxford. He was for a year at Trinity College, Cambridge, 
and afterwards at St. John's and New College, Oxford, but did not 
graduate at either University. He practised medicine, and was Physician 
to the Infirmary at Bristol. Three years before his death he was made 
a Commissioner in Lunacy. He not only wrote much on Ethnology, 
but also made sound contributions to the science of language and on 
medical subjects. His treatise on insanity was remarkable for his 
advanced views on " moral insanity." 

3 Science Progress, Vol. I., April 1897, p. 278. 



44 EVOLUTION [Chat. II 

On p. 91, in speaking of the idea that the species which make up a 
genus may have descended from a common form, he says : — 

" There must, indeed, be some principle on which the phenomena of 
resemblance, as well as those of diversity, may be explained ; and the 
reference of several forms to a common type seems calculated to suggest 
the idea of some original affinity ; but, as this is merely a conjecture, it 
must be kept out of sight when our inquiries respect matters of fact 
only/' 

This view is again given in Vol. II., p. 569, where he asks whether we 
should believe that " at the first production of a genus, when it first grew 
into existence, some slight modification in the productive causes stamped 
it originally with all these specific diversities ? Or is it most probable 
that the modification was subsequent to its origin, and that the genus at 
its first creation was one and uniform, and afterwards became diversified 
by the influence of external agents ?" He concludes that " the former of 
these suppositions is the conclusion to which we are led by all that can 
be ascertained respecting the limits of species, and the extent of variation 
under the influence of causes at present existing and operating." 

In spite of the fact that Prichard did not carry his ideas to their 
logical conclusion, it may perhaps excite surprise that Mr. Darwin should 
have spoken of him as absolutely on the side of immutability. 

We believe it to be partly accounted for (as Poulton suggests) by the 
fact that Mr. Darwin possessed only the third edition (1836 and 1837) 
and the fourth edition (1841-51). 1 In neither of these is the evolutionary 
point of view so strong as in the second edition. 

We have gone through all the passages marked by Mr. Darwin for 
future reference in the third and fourth editions, and have been only able 
to find the following, which occurs in the third edition (Vol. I., 1S36, 
p. 242) : » 

" The variety in form, prevalent among all organised productions of 
nature, is found to subsist between individual beings of whatever species, 
even when they are the offspring of the same parents. Another circum- 
stance equally remarkable is the tendency which exists in almost every 
tribe, whether of animals or of plants, to transmit to their offspring and 
to perpetuate in their race all individual peculiarities which may thus have 
taken their rise. These two general facts in the economy of organised 

1 The edition of 1841-51 consists of reprints of the third edition and 
three additional volumes of various dates. Vols. I. and II. are described 
in the title-page as the fourth edition ; Vols. III. and IV. as the third 
edition, and Vol. V. has no edition marked in the title. 

■ There is also (ed. 1837, Vol. II., p. 344) a vague reference to 
Natural Selection, of which the last sentence is enclosed in pencil in 
inverted commas, as though Mr. Darwin had intended to quote it : "In 
other parts of Africa the xanthous variety [of man] often appears, but 
does not multiply. Individuals thus characterised arc like seeds which 
perish in an uncongenial soil." 



1844-1S58] J. C. PRICHARD 45 

beings lay a foundation for the existence of diversified races, originating 
from the same primitive stock and within the limits of identical species." 

On the following page (p. 243) a passage (not marked by Mr. Darwin) 
emphasises the limitation which Prichard ascribed to the results of 
variation and inheritance : — 

"Even those physiologists who contend for what is termed the 
indefinite nature of species admit that they have limits at present and 
under ordinary circumstances. Whatever diversities take place happen 
without breaking in upon the characteristic type of the species. This is 
transmitted from generation to generation : goats produce goats, and 
sheep, sheep." 

The passage on p. 242 occurs in the reprint of the 1836-7 edition 
which forms part of the 1S41-51 edition, but is not there marked by 
Mr. Darwin. He notes at the end of Vol. I. of the 1836-7 edition : 
" March, 1857. I have not looked through all these \i.e. marked passages], 
but I have gone through the later edition " ; and a similar entry is in 
Vol. II. of the third edition. It is therefore easy to understand how he 
came to overlook the passage on p. 242 when he began the fuller state- 
ment of his species theory which is referred to in the Life and Letters as 
the " unfinished book." In the historical sketch prefixed to the Origin of 
Species writers are named as precursors whose claims are less strong than 
Prichard's, and it is certain that Mr. Darwin would have given an account 
of him if he had thought of him as an evolutionist. 

The two following passages will show that Mr. Darwin was, from his 
knowledge of Prichard's books, justified in classing him among those 
who did not believe in the mutability of species : 

" The various tribes of organised beings were originally placed by the 
Creator in certain regions, for which they are by their nature peculiarly 
adapted. Each species had only one beginning in a single stock : pro- 
bably a single pair, as Linnaeus supposed, was first called into being 
in some particular spot, and the progeny left to disperse themselves to 
as great a distance from the original centre of their existence as the 
locomotive powers bestowed on them, or their capability of bearing 
changes of climate and other physical agencies, may have enabled them 
to wander." ' 

The second passage is annotated by Mr. Darwin with a shower of 
exclamation marks : 

" The meaning attached to the term species in natural history is very 
definite and intelligible. It includes only the following conditions — 
namely, separate origin and distinctness of race, evinced by the constant 
transmission of some characteristic peculiarity of organisation. A race 
of animals or of plants marked by any peculiar character which has 
always been constant and undeviating constitutes a species ; and two 
races are considered as specifically different, if they are distinguished 
from each other by some characteristic which one cannot be supposed to 

1 Prichard, third edition, 1836-7, Vol. I., p. 96. 



46 K VOLUTION [Chap. II 

have acquired, or the other to have lost through any known operation of 
physical causes ; for we are hence led to conclude that the tribes thus 
distinguished have not descended from the same original stock." ' 

As was his custom, Mr. Darwin pinned at the end of the first volume 
of the 1841-51 edition a piece of paper containing a list of the pages 
where marked passages occur. This paper bears, written in pencil, 
"How like my book all this will be!" The words appear to refer to 
Prichard's discussion on the dispersal of animals and plants ; they 
certainly do not refer to the evolutionary views to be found in the book. 

Letter 15 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down [1S44]. 

Thank you exceedingly for your long letter, and I am in 
truth ashamed of the time and trouble you have taken for me; 
but I must some day write again to you on the subject of 
your letter. I will only now observe that you have extended 
my remark on the range of species of shells into the range 
of genera or groups. Analogy from shells would only go so 
far, that if two or three species .... were found to range 
from America to India, they would be found to extend 
through an unusual thickness of strata — say from the Upper 
Cretaceous to its lowest bed, or the Neocomian. Or you may 
reverse it and say those species which range throughout the 
whole Cretaceous, will have wide ranges : viz., from America 
through Europe to India (this is one actual case with shells 
in the Cretaceous period). 

Letter 16 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down [1S45]. 

I ought to have written sooner to say that I am very 
willing to subscribe £l is. to the African man (though it be 
murder on a small scale), and will send you a Post-office- 
order payable to Kew, if you will be so good as to take charge 
of it. Thanks for your information about the Antarctic 
Zoology ; I got my numbers when in Town on Thursday : 
would it be asking your publisher to take too much trouble 
to send your Botany [Flora Antarctica, by J. D. Hooker, 1844] 
to the Athenavum Club ? he might send two or three numbers 



1 Prichard, cd. 1836-7, Vol. I , p. 106. This passage is almost 
identical with that quoted from the second edition, Vol. I., p. 90. The 
latter part, from "and two races . . . ," occurs in the second edition, 
though not quoted above. 



lS 4 4 — 'S5S] ALPINE VARIETIES 47 

together. I am really ashamed to think of your having Letter 16 
given me such a valuable work ; all I can say is that 1 
appreciate your present in two ways — as your gift, and for 
its great use to my species-work. I am very glad to hear 
that you mean to attack this subject some day. I wonder 
whether we shall ever be public combatants ; anyhow, I 
congratulate myself in a most unfair advantage of you, viz., 
in having extracted more facts and views from you than from 
any one other person. I daresay your explanation of poly- 
morphism on volcanic islands may be the right one ; the 
reason I am curious about it is, the fact of the birds on the 
Galapagos being in several instances very fine-run species — 
that is, in comparing them, not so much one with another, as 
with their analogues from the continent. I have somehow 
felt, like you, that an alpine form of a plant is not a true 
variety ; and yet I cannot admit that the simple fact of the 
cause being assignable ought to prevent its being called a 
variety ; every variation must have some cause, so that th§ 
difference would rest on our knowledge in being able or not 
to assign the cause. Do you consider that a true variety 
should be produced by causes acting through the parent ? But 
even taking this definition, are you sure that alpine forms 
are not inherited from one, two, or three generations ? Now, 
would not this be a curious and valuable experiment, 1 viz., to 
get seeds of some alpine plant, a little more hairy, etc., etc., than 
its lowland fellow, and raise seedlings at Kew : if this has not 
been done, could you not get it done ? Have you anybody 
in Scotland from whom you could get the seeds ? 

I have been interested by your remarks on Scuea'o and 
Gnaphalium : would it not be worth while (I should be very 
curious to hear the result) to make a short list of the generally 
considered variable or polymorphous genera, as Rosa, Salix, 
Rubus, etc., etc., and reflect whether such genera are generally 
mundane, and more especially whether they have distinct or 
identical (or closely allied) species in their different and 
distant habitats. 

Don't forget me, if you ever stumble on cases of the same 
species being more or less variable in different countries. 

1 For an account of work of this character, see papers by G. Bonnier 
in the Revue Gcndrale, Vol. II., 1890; Ann. Sc. Nat., Vol. XX. ; Rdvue 
Gene) ale. Vol. VII. 



48 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 16 With respect to the word " sterile " as used for male or 
polleniferous flowers, it has always offended my ears dread- 
fully ; on the same principle that it would to hear a potent 
stallion, ram or bull called sterile, because they did not bear, 
as well as beget, young. 

With "respect to your geological-map suggestion, I wish 
with all my heart I could follow it ; but just reflect on the 
number of measurements requisite : why, at present it could 
not be done even in England, even with the assumption of 
the land having simply risen any exact number of feet. But 
subsidence in most cases has hopelessly complexed the 
problem: see what Jordanhill-Smith 1 says of the dance up 
and down, many times, which Gibraltar has had all within 
the recent period. Such maps as Lyell 2 has published of 
sea and land at the beginning of the Tertiary period must be 
excessively inaccurate : it assumes that every part on which 
Tertiary beds have not been deposited, must have then been 
dry land, — a most doubtful assumption. 

I have been amused by Chambers v. Hooker on the K. 
Cabbage. I see in the Explanations 3 (the spirit of which, 

1 James Smith, of Jordan Hill, author of a paper "On the Geology of 
Gibraltar" (Quart. Joitrn. Gcol. Soc., Vol. II., p. 41, 1846). 

s Principles of Geology, 1875, Vol. I., Plate 1, p. 254. 

3 Explanations : A Sequel to the Vestiges of the Natural History of 
Creation was published in 1845, after the appearance of the fourth 
edition of the Vestiges, by way of reply to the criticisms on the original 
book. The " K. cabbage " referred to at the beginning of the paragraph 
is Pringlea antiscorbutica, the " Kerguelen Cabbage " described by Sir 
J. D. Hooker in his Flora Antarctica. What Chambers wrote on this 
subject we have not discovered. The mention of Sedgwick is a refer- 
ence to his severe review of the Vestiges in the Edinburgh Review, 1845, 
vol. 82, p. 1. Darwin described it as savouring "of the dogmatism of 
the pulpit" (Life and Letters, I., p. 344). Mr. Ireland's edition of the 
Vestiges (1884), in which Robert Chambers was first authentically an- 
nounced as the author, contains (p. xxix) an extract from a letter written 
by Chambers in i860, in which the following passage occurs, "The April 
number of the Edinburgh Review (i860) makes all but a direct amende 
for the abuse it poured upon my work a number of years ago." This is 
the well-known review by Owen, to which references occur in the Life 
and Letters, II., p. 300. The amende to the Vestiges is not so full as the 
author felt it to be ; but it was clearly in place in a paper intended to 
belittle the Origin; it also gave the reviewer (p. 511) an opportunity for 
a hit at Sedgwick and his 1845 review. 



1844—1858] L. 13L0MEFIELD 49 

though not the facts, ought to shame Sedgwick) that Vestiges Letter 16 
considers all land-animals and plants to have passed from 
marine forms ; so Chambers is quite in accordance. Did 
you hear Forbes, when here, giving the rather curious 
evidence (from a similarity in error) that Chambers must be 
the author of the Vestiges : your case strikes me as some 
confirmation. I have written an unreasonably long and dull 
letter, so farewell. 

To L. Rlomefield [Jenyns]. 1 Letter 17 

Down. Fl-Ij. 14th [1845]. 

I have taken my leisure in thanking you for your last 

letter and discussion, to me very interesting, on the increase 

of species. Since your letter, I have met with a very similar 

view in Richardson, who states that the young are driven 

1 The following sketch of the life of Rev. Leonard Blomefield 
(formerly Jenyns) is taken from his Chapters in my Life ; Reprint with 
Additions (privately printed), Bath, 1889. He was born, as he states 
with characteristic accuracy, at 10 p.m., May 25th, 1800 ; and died a* 
Bath, Sept. 1st, 1893. His father — a second cousin of Soame Jenyns, from 
whom he inherited Bottisham Hall, in Cambridgeshire — was a parson- 
squire of the old type, a keen sportsman, and a good man of business. 
Leonard Jenyns' mother was a daughter of the celebrated Dr. Heberden, 
in whose house in Pall Mall he was born. Leonard was educated at Eton 
and Cambridge, and became curate of Swaffham Bulbeck, a village close 
to his father's property ; he was afterwards presented to the Vicarage of 
the parish, and held the living for nearly thirty years. The remainder of 
his life he spent at Bath. He was an excellent field-naturalist and a 
minute and careful observer. Among his writings may be mentioned 
the Fishes in Zoology of the Voyage of the " Beagle" 1842, a Manual. 
of British Vertebrate Animals, 1836, a Memoir of Professor Henslow, 
1862, to which Darwin contributed recollections of his old master, 
Observatio?is in Natural History, 1846, and Observations in Meteorology, 
1858, besides numerous papers in scientific journals. In his Chaplers'he 
describes himself as showing as a boy the silent and retiring nature, and 
also the love of "order, method, and precision," which characterised him 
through life ; and he adds, " even to old age I have been often called a 
very particular gentleman:' In a hitherto unpublished passage in his 
autobiographical sketch, Darwin wrote, "At first I disliked him, from his 
somewhat grim and sarcastic expression ; and it is not often that a first 
impression is lost ; but I was completely mistaken, and found him very 
kind-hearted, pleasant, and with a good stock of humour." Mr. Jenyns 
records that as a boy he was by a stranger taken for a son of his uncle, 
Dr. Heberden (the younger), whom he closely resembled. 

4 



50 EVOLUTION [CiiAr. II 

Letter 17 away by the old into unfavourable districts, and there mostly 
perish. When one meets with such unexpected statistical 
returns on the increase and decrease and proportion of deaths 
and births amongst mankind, and in this well-known country 
of ours, one ought not to be in the least surprised at one's 
ignorance, when, where, and how the endless increase of our 
robins and sparrows is checked. 

Thanks for your hints about terms of " mutation," etc. ; 
I had some suspicions that it was not quite correct, and yet 
I do not yet see my way to arrive at any better terms. It 
will be years before I publish, so that I shall have plenty of 
time to think of better words. Development would perhaps 
do, only it is applied to the changes of an individual during 
its growth. I am, however, very glad of your remark, and 
will ponder over it. 

We are all well, wife and children three, and as flourishing 
as this horrid, house-confining, tempestuous weather permits. 

Letter 18 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down [1845]. 

I hope you are getting on well with your lectures, and that 
you have enjoyed some pleasant walks during the late de- 
lightful weather. I write to tell you (as perhaps you might 
have had fears on the subject) that your books have arrived 
safely. I am exceedingly obliged to you for them, and will 
take great care of them ; they will take me some time to 
read carefully. 

I send to-day the corrected MS. of the first number of my 
Journal' 1 in the Colonial Library, so that if you chance to 
know of any gross mistake in the first 214 pages (if you have 
my Journal), I should be obliged to you to tell me. 

Do not answer this for form's sake ; for you must be very 
busy. We have just had the Lyells here, and you ought to 
have a wife to stop your working too much, as Mrs. Lyell 
peremptorily stops Lyell. 

1 In 1842 he had written to his sister : " Talking of money, I reaped 
the other day all the profit which I shall ever get from my Journal [Journal 
of Researches, etc.] which consisted in paying Mr. Colburn .£21 ioj. 
for the copies which I presented to different people ; 1,337 copies have 
been sold. This is a comfortable arrangement, is it not?" He was 
proved wrong in his gloomy prophecy, as the second edition was published 
by Mr. Murray in 1845. 



1844—1858] CROSSING 51 

To J. D. Hooker. 1 Letter 19 

Down [1845 — 1846]. 
I am particularly obliged for your facts about solitary 
islands having several species of peculiar genera ; it knocks 
on the head some analogies of mine ; the point stupidly never 
occurred to me to ask about. I am amused at your anathemas 
against variation and co. ; whatever you may be pleased 
to say, you will never be content with simple species, " as 
they are." I defy you to steel your mind to technicalities, 
like so many of our brother naturalists. I am much pleased 
that I thought of sending you Forbes' 2 article. I confess I 
cannot make out the evidence of his time-notions in distribu- 
tion, and I cannot help suspecting that they are rather vague. 
Lyell preceded Forbes in one class of speculation of this kind : 
for instance, in his explaining the identity of the Sicily Flora 
with that of South Italy, by its having been wholly upraised 
within the recent period ; and, so I believe, with mountain- 
chains separating floras. I do not remember Humboldt's fact 
about the heath regions. Very curious the case of th^. 
broom ; I can tell you something analogous on a small scale. 
My father, when he built his house, sowed many broom-seeds 
on a wild bank, which did not come up, owing, as it was 
thought, to much earth having been thrown over them. 
About thirty-five years afterwards, in cutting a terrace, all this 
earth was thrown up, and now the bank is one mass of broom. 
I see we were in some degree talking to cross-purposes ; when 
I said I did [not] much believe in hybridising to any extent, 
I did not mean at all to exclude crossing. It has long been a 
hobby of mine to see in how many flowers such crossing is 
probable; it was, I believe, Knight's 3 view, originally, that 



1 Sir J. D. Hooker's letters to Mr. Darwin seem to fix the date as 
1845, while the reference to Forbes' paper indicates 1846. 

3 E. Forbes' celebrated paper Memoirs of the Geological Survey of 
Great Britain, Vol. I., p. 336, 1846. In Lyell's Principles, 7th Ed., 
1847, p. 676, he makes a temperate claim of priority, as he had 
already done in a private letter of Oct. 14th, 1846, to Forbes {Life of 
Sir Charles Lyell, 1881, Vol. II., p. 106) both as regards the Sicilian 
flora and the barrier effect of mountain-chains. See Letter 20 for a 
note on Forbes. 

3 See an article on "The Knight-Darwin law" by Francis Darwin 
in Nature, Oct. 27th, 1898, p. 630. 



52 INVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 19 every plant must be occasionally crossed. I find, however, 
plenty of difficulty in showing even a vague probability of 
this ; especially in the Leguminosae, though their [structure ? ] 
is inimitably adapted to favour crossing, I have never yet 
met with but one instance of a natural mongrel (nor mule ?) in 
this family. 

I shall be particularly curious to hear some account of the 
appearance and origin of the Ayrshire Irish Yew. And now 
for the main object of my letter : it is to ask whether you 
would just run your eye over the proof of my Galapagos 
chapter, 1 where I mention the plants, to see that I have made 
no blunders, or spelt any of the scientific names wrongly. As 
I daresay you will so far oblige me, will you let me know 
a few days before, when you leave Edinburgh and how 
long you stay at Kinnordy, so that my letter might catch 
you. I am not surprised at my collection from James 
Island differing from others, as the damp upland district 
(where I slept two nights) is six miles from the coast, and 
no naturalist except myself probably ever ascended to it. 
Cuming had never even heard of it. Cuming tells me that he 
was on Charles, James, and Albemarle Islands, and that he 
cannot remember from my description the Scalesia, but thinks 
he could if he saw a specimen. I have no idea of the origin of 
the distribution of the Galapagos shells, about which you ask. 
I presume (after Forbes' excellent remarks on the facilities 
by which embryo-shells are transported) that the Pacific shells 
have been borne thither by currents ; but the currents all run 
the other way. 

Letter 20 Edward Forbes 2 to C. Darwin. 

Edward Forbes was at work on his celebrated paper in the Geological 
Survey Memoirs for 1846. We have not seen the letter of Darwin's to 
which this is a reply, nor, indeed, any of his letters to Forbes. The 

1 In the second edition of the Naturalist's Voyage. 

- Edward Forbes, F.R.S. (1815 — 1854), filled the office of Palaeon- 
tologist to the Ordnance Geological Survey, and afterwards became 
President of the Geological Society; in 1854 — the last year of his life — 
he was appointed to the Chair of Natural History in the University of 
Edinburgh. Forbes published many papers on geological, zoological, 
and botanical subjects, one of his most remarkable contributions being 
the well-known essay "On the Connexion between the Distribution of 




From a photograph by Hill & Adamson 
Edward Forbes 



1844—1858] EDWARD FORBES 53 

date of the letter is fixed by Forbes's lecture given at the Royal Insti- 
tution on Feb. 27th, 1846 (according to L. Horner's privately printed 
Memoirs, II., p. 94). 

Wednesday. 3, Southwark Street, Hyde Park. [1846.] Letter 20 

Dear Darwin 

To answer your very welcome letter, so far from being 
a waste of time, is a gain, for it obliges me to make myself 
clear and understood on matters which I have evidently put 
forward imperfectly and with obscurity. I have devoted the 
whole of this week to working and writing out the flora 
question, for I now feel strong enough to give my promised 
evening lecture on it at the Royal Institution on Friday, and, 
moreover, wish to get it in printable form for the Reports of 
our Survey. Therefore at no time can I receive or answer 
objections with more benefit than now. From the hurry 
and pressure which unfortunately attend all my movements 
and doings I rarely have time to spare, in preparing for 
publication, to do more than give brief and unsatisfactory 
abstracts, which I fear are often extremely obscure. 

Now for your objections — which have sprung out of my 
own obscurities. 

I do not argue in a circle about the Irish case, but treat 
the botanical evidence of connection and the geological as 
distinct. The former only I urged at Cambridge ; the latter 
I have not yet publicly maintained. 

My Cambridge argument 1 was this: That no known currents, 
whether of water or air, or ordinary means of transport, 2 would 

the Existing Fauna and Flora of the British Isles and the Geological 
Changes which have affected their area " {Mem. Geo/. Surv., Vol. I., 
p. 336, 1846). (See Proc. Roy. Soc, Vol. VII., p. 263, 1856; Quart. 
Jonrn. Geol. Soc, Vol. XI., p. xxvii, 1S55 ; and Ann. Mag. Nat. His/., 
Vol. XV., 1855.) 

1 "On the Distribution of Endemic Plants," by E. Forbes, Brit. Assoe. 
Rep., 1845 (Cambridge), p. 67. 

2 Darwin's note on transportation (found with Forbes' letter): "Forbes' 
arguments, from several Spanish plants in Ireland not being transported, 
not sound, because sea-currents and air ditto and migration of birds in 
same lines. I have thought not-transportation the greatest difficulty. 
Now we see how many seeds every plant and tree requires to be regularly 
propagated in its own country, for we cannot think the great number of 
seeds superfluous, and therefore how small is the chance of here and 
there a solitary seedling being preserved in a well stocked country.'' 



54 INVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 20 account for the little group of Asturian plants — few as to 
species, but playing a conspicuous part in the vegetation — 
giving a peculiar botanical character to the south of Ireland ; 
that, as I had produced evidence of the other floras of our 
islands, i.e. the Germanic, the Cretaceous, and the Devonian 
(these tdrms used topographically, not geologically) having 
been acquired by migration over continuous land (the glacial 
or alpine flora I except for the present — as ice-carriage might 
have played a great part in its introduction) — I considered it 
most probable, and maintained, that the introduction of that 
Irish flura was also effected by the same means. I held also 
that the character of this flora was more southern and more 
ancient than that of any of the others, and that its fragmentary 
and limited state was probably due to the plants composing it 
having (from their comparative hardiness — heaths, saxifrages, 
etc.) survived the destroying influence of the glacial epoch. 

My geological argument now is as follows : half the 
Mediterranean islands, or more, are partly— in some cases (as 
Malta) wholly — composed of the upheaved bed of the Miocene 
sea ; so is a great part of the south of France from Bordeaux 
to Montpellier ; so is the west of Portugal ; and we find the 
corresponding beds with the same fossils (Pecten latissimus, 
etc.) in the Azores. So general an upheaval seems to me to 
indicate the former existence of a great post-Miocene land [in] 
the region of what is usually called the Mediterranean flora. 
(Everywhere these Miocene islands, etc., bear a flora of true 
type.) If this land existed, it did not extend to America, for 
the fossils of the Miocene of America are representative and 
not identical. Where, then, was the edge or coast-line of it, 
Atlantic- wards ? Look at the form and constancy of the great 
fucus-bank, and consider that it is a Sargassum bank, and that 
the Sargassum there is in an abnormal condition, and that 
the species of this genus of fuci are essentially ground-growers, 
and then see the probability of this bank having originated 
on a line of ancient coast. 

Now, having thus argued independently, first on my 
flora and second on the geological evidences of land in the 
quarter required, I put the two together to bear up my Irish 
case. 

I cannot admit the Sargassum case to be parallel with that 
of Confervas or Oscillatoria. 



1844-185S] NATURAL HISTORY 55 

I think I have evidence from the fossils of the boulder Letter 20 
formations in Ireland that if such Miocene land existed 
it must have been broken up or partially broken up at the 
epoch of the glacial or boulder period. 
All objections thankfully received. 

Ever most sincerely, 

Edward Forbes. 

To L. Jenyns (Blomefield). Letter 21 

Down. [1S46]. 
I am much obliged for your note and kind intended 
present of your volume. 1 I feel sure I shall like it, for all 
discussions and observations on what the world would call 
trifling points in Natural History always appear to me very 
interesting. In such foreign periodicals as I have seen, 
there are no such papers as White, or Watcrton, or some 
few other naturalists in Loudon's and Charlesworth's Journal, 
would have written ; and a great loss it has always appeared 
to me. I should have much liked to have met you in London, 
but I cannot leave home, as my wife is recovering from a 
rather sharp fever attack, and I am myself slaving to finish 
my S. American Geology, 2 of which, thanks to all Plutonic 
powers, two-thirds are through the press, and then I shall 
feel a comparatively free man. Have you any thoughts of 
Southampton? 3 I have some vague idea of going there, and 
should much enjoy meeting you. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 22 

Shrewsbury [end of Feb. 1846J. 
I came here on account of my father's health, which has 
been sadly failing of late, but to my great joy he has got 
surprisingly better. ... I had not heard of your botanical 
appointment, 4 and am very glad of it, more especially as it 
will make you travel and give you change of work and relaxa- 
tion. Will you some time have to examine the Chalk and its 

1 No doubt the late Mr. Blomefield's Observations in Natural History. 
See Life and Lett e7s, II., p. 31. 

• Geological Observations in South America (London), 1846. 

3 The British Association met at Southampton in 1846. 

4 Sir Joseph was appointed Botanist to the Geological Survey in 1841'). 



56 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 22 junction with London Clay and Greensand ? If so our house 
would be a good central place, and my horse would be at 
your disposal. Could you not spin a long week out of this 
examination ? it would in truth delight us, and you could 
bring your papers (like Lyell) and work at odd times. Forbes 
has been- writing to me about his subsidence doctrines ; I wish 
I had heard his full details, but I have expressed to him in 
my ignorance my objections, which rest merely on its too 
great hypothetical basis ; I shall be curious, when I meet 
him, to hear what he says. lie is also speculating on the 
gulf-weed. I confess I cannot appreciate his reasoning about 
his Miocene continent, but I daresay it is from want of 
knowledge. 

You allude lo the Sicily flora not being peculiar, and this 
being caused by its recent elevation (well established) in the 
main part : you will find Lyell has put forward this very 
clearly and well. The Apennines (which I was somewhere 
lately reading about) seems a very curious case. 

I think Forbes ought to allude a little to Lyell's : work on 
nearly the same subject as his speculations ; not that I mean 
that Forbes wishes to take the smallest credit from him or 
any man alive ; no man, as far as I see, likes so much to give 
credit to others, or more soars above the petty craving for 
self-celebrity. 

If you come to any more conclusions about polymor- 
phism, I should be very glad to hear the result : it is 
delightful to have many points fermenting in one's brain, and 
your letters and conclusions always give one plenty of this 
same fermentation. I wish I could even make any return for 
all your facts, views, and suggestions. 



I etter 23 To J. D. Hooker. 

The following extract gives the germ of what developed into an 
interesting discussion in the Origin (Ed. 1, p. 147). Danvin wrote, "I 
suspect also that some cases of compensation which have been advanced 
and likewise some other facts, may be merged under a more general 
principle: namely, that natural selection is continually trying to economise 
in every part of the organism." He speaks of the general belief 
of botanists in compensation, but does not quote any instances. 

1 See Letter 19. 



1844— 1858] LAW OF BALANCEMENT 57 

[Sep. 1846]. Letter 23 
Have you ever thought of G. St. Hilaire's " loi de 
balancement," 1 as applied to plants ? I am well aware that 
some zoologists quite reject it, but it certainly appears to me 
that it often holds good with animals. You are no doubt 
aware of the kind of facts I refer to, such as great develop- 
ment of canines in the carnivora apparently causing a 
diminution — a compensation or balancement — in the small 
size of premolars, etc. I have incidentally noticed some 
analogous remarks on plants, but have never seen it discussed 
by botanists. Can you think of cases in any one species in 
genus, or genus in family, with certain parts extra developed, 
and some adjoining parts reduced? In varieties of the same 
species double flowers and large fruits seem something of 
this — want of pollen and of seeds balancing with the in- 
creased number of petals and development of fruit. I hope 
we shall see you here this autumn. 

In this year (1847) Darwin wrote a short review of Waterhouse's 
Natural History of the Mammalia, of which the first volume had appeared. 
It was published in The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 
Vol. XIX., p. 53. The following sentence is the only one which shows 
even a trace of evolution: "whether we view classification as a mere 
contrivance to convey much information in a single word, or as something 
more than a memoria technica, and as connected with the laws of creation, 
we cannot doubt that where such important differences in the generative 
and cerebral systems, as distinguish the Marsupiata from the Placentata, 
run through two series of animals, they ought to be arranged under heads 
of equal value." 

A characteristic remark occurs in reference to Geographical Distri- 
bution, " that noble subject of which we as yet but dimly see the full 
bearing." 

The following letter seems to be of sufficient interest to be published 
in spite of the obscurities caused by the want of date. It seems to have 
been written after 1847, m which year a dispute involving Dr. King and 

1 According to Darwin (Variation of Animals and Plants, 2nd ed., 
II-, p. 335) the law of balancement was propounded by Goethe and 
Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1772 — 1S44) nearly at the same time, but he 
gives no reference to the works of these authors. It appears, however, 
from his son Isidore's Vie, Travau.x &*c, d'E/ienne Geoffroy Saint- 
Hilaire, Paris 1847, P- 2I 4> that the law was given in his Philosophie 
Analomioue, of which the first part was published in 181 8. Darwin 
{ibid.) gives some instances of the law holding good in plants. 



58 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

several "arctic gentlemen" was carried on in the Atkenaum. Mr. 
Darwin speaks of" Natural History Instructions for the present expedi- 
tion." This may possibly refer to the Admiralty Manual of Scientific 
Enquiry (1849), for it is clear, from the prefatory memorandum of the 
Lords of the Admiralty, that they believed the manual would be of use 
in the forthcoming expeditions in search of Sir John Franklin. 

Letter 24 To E. Crcsy. 1 

Down [after 1847]. 

Although I have never particularly attended to the points 
in dispute between Dr. Kin;; 2 and the other Arctic gentlemen, 
yet I have carefully read all the articles in the Atfien&utn, 
and took from them much the same impression as you convey 
in your letter, For which I thank you. I believe that old 
sinner, Sir J. Barrow 3 has been at the bottom of all the 
money wasted over the naval expeditions. So strongly have 
1 felt on this subject, that, when I was appointed on a com- 
mittee for Nat. Hist, instructions for the present expedition, 
had I been able to attend I had resolved to express my opinion 
on the little advantage, comparatively to the expense, gained 
by them. There have been, I believe, from the beginning 
eighteen expeditions ; this strikes me as monstrous, con- 
sidering how little is known, for instance, on the interior of 
Australia. The country has paid dear for Sir John's hobby- 
horse. I have very little doubt that Dr. King is quite right 
in the advantage of land expeditions as far as geography is 
concerned ; and that is now the chief object. 1 

1 Mr. Cresy was, we believe, an architect: his friendship with 
Mr. Darwin dates from the settlement at Down. 

2 Richard King (181 1 ? — 1876). He was surgeon and naturalist to Sir 
George Back's expedition (1833-5) to tne mouth of the Great Fish 
River in search of Captain Ross, of which he published an account. 
In 1S50 he accompanied Captain Horatio Austin's search expedition in 
the Resolute. 

3 Sir John Barrow (1764 — 1848), Secretary to the Admiralty. 

4 This sentence would imply that Darwin thought it hopeless to 
rescue Sir J. Franklin's expedition. If so, the letter must be, at least, as 
late as 1850. If the eighteen expeditions mentioned above are "search 
expeditions," it would also bring the date of the letter to 1850. 



1844—1858] SIR R. OWEN 59 



To Richard Owen. 1 Letter 25 

Down [Mar. 26th, 1848]. 
My dear Owen 

I do not know whether your MS. instructions are sent 
in ; but even if they are not sent in, I daresay what I am 

1 Richard Owen (1804-92) was born at Lancaster, and educated at 
the local Grammar School, where one of his schoolfellows was William 
Whewell, afterwards Master of Trinity. He was subsequently apprenticed 
to a surgeon and apothecary, and became deeply interested in the study 
of anatomy. He continued his medical training in Edinburgh and at 
St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London. In 1827 Owen became assistant 
to William Clift (whose daughter Owen married in 1835), Conservator to 
the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. It was here 
that he became acquainted with Cuvier, at whose invitation he visited 
Paris, and attended his lectures and those of Geoffroy St. Hilaire. The 
publication, in 1832, of the Memoir on the Pearly Nautilus placed th,e 
author " in the front rank of anatomical monographers." On Cliffs 
retirement, Owen became sole Conservator to the Hunterian Museum, 
and was made first Hunterian Professor of Comparative Anatomy and 
Physiology at the Royal College of Surgeons. In 1S56 he accepted the 
post of Superintendent of the Natural History department of the British 
Museum, and shortly after his appointment he strongly urged the estab- 
lishment of a National Museum of Natural History, a project which was 
eventually carried into effect in 1875. In 1884 he was gazetted K.C.B. 
Owen was a strong opponent of Darwin's views, and contributed a bitter 
and anonymous article on the Origin of Species to the Edinburgh 
Revieiv of i860. The position of Owen in the history of anatomical 
science has been dealt with by Huxley in an essay incorporated in the 
Life of Richard Owen, by his grandson, the Rev. Richard Owen (2 vols., 
London, 1894). Huxley pays a high tribute to Owen's industry and 
ability: "During more than half a century Owen's industry remained 
unabated ; and whether we consider the quality or the quantity of the 
work done, or the wide range of his labours, I doubt if, in the long annals 
of anatomy, more is to be placed to the credit of any single worker." 
The record of his work is "enough, and more than enough, to justify the 
high place in the scientific world which Owen so long occupied. If I 
mistake not, the historian of comparative anatomy and palaeontology will 
always assign to Owen a place next to, and hardly lower than, that of 
Cuvier, who was practically the creator of those sciences in their modern 
shape, and whose works must always remain models of excellence in 
their kind." On the other hand, Owen's contributions to philosophical 
anatomy are on a much lower plane ; hardly any of his speculations in 



60 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 25 going to write will be absolutely superfluous, 1 but I have 
derived such infinitely great advantage from my new simple 
microscope, in comparison with the one which I used on 
board the Beagle, and which was recommended to me by 
R. Brown,'- that I cannot forego the mere chance of advantage 
of urging this on you. The leading point of difference 
consists simply in having the stage for saucers very large 
and fixed. Mine will hold a saucer three inches in inside 
diameter. I have never seen such a microscope as mine, 
though Chevalier's (from whose plan many points of mine 
are taken), of Paris, approaches it pretty closely. I fully 
appreciate the utter absurdity of my giving you advice 
about means of dissecting ; but I have appreciated myself 
the enormous disadvantage of having worked with a bad 
instrument, though thought a few years since the best. 
Please to observe that without you call especial attention to 
this point, those ignorant of Natural History will be sure to 
get one of the fiddling instruments sold in shops. If you 
thought fit, I would point out the differences, which, from my 
experience, make a useful microscope for the kind of dis- 
section of the invertebrates which a person would be likely 
to attempt on board a vessel. But pray again believe that I 
feel the absurdity of this letter, and I write merely from the 
chance of yourself, possessing great skill and having worked 
with good instruments, [not being] possibly fully aware what 
an astonishing difference the kind of microscope makes for 
those who have not been trained in skill for dissection under 
water. When next I come to town (I was prevented last 
time by illness) I must call on you, and report, for my own 
satisfaction, a really (I think) curious point I have made 

this field have stood the test of investigation : "... I am not sure that 
any one but the historian of anatomical science is ever likely to recur 
to them, and considering Owen's great capacity, extensive learning, and 
tireless industry, that seems a singular result of years of strenuous 
labour." 

1 The results of Mr. Darwin's experience given in the above letter 
were embodied by Prof. Owen in the section " On the Use of the Micro- 
scope on Board Ship," forming part of the article " Zoology " in the 
Manual of Scientific Enquiry, Prepared for the Use of Her Majesty's 
Navy (London, 1849). 

2 Life and Letters, I., p. 145. 



1844—1858] UNAPPLIED SCIENCE 6l 

out in my beloved barnacles. You cannot tell how much I Letter 25 
enjoyed my talk with you here. 

Ever, my dear Owen, 

Yours sincerely, 

C. Darwin. 

P.S. — If I do not hear, I shall understand that my letter is 
superfluous. Smith and Beck were so pleased with the simple 
microscope they made for me, that they have made another 
as a model. If you are consulted by any young naturalists, 
do recommend them to look at this. I really feel quite 
a personal gratitude to this form of microscope, and quite 
a hatred to my old one. 

TO J. S. Henslow. Letter 26 

Down [April 1st, 1848]. 

Thank you for your note and giving me a chance of seeing 
you in town ; but it was out of my power to take advantage 
of it, for I had previously arranged to go up to London on 
Monday. I should have much enjoyed seeing you. Thanks 
also for your address, 1 which I like very much. The anecdote 
about Whewell and the tides I had utterly forgotten ; I 
believe it is near enough to the truth. I rather demur to one 
sentence of yours — viz., " However delightful any scientific 
pursuit may be, yet, if it should be wholly unapplied, it is of 
no more use than building castles in the air." Would not 
your hearers infer from this that the practical use of each 
scientific discovery ought to be immediate and obvious to 
make it worthy of admiration ? What a beautiful instance 
chloroform is of a discovery made from purely scientific 
researches, afterwards coming almost by chance into practical 
use ! For myself I would, however, take higher ground, for 
I believe there exists, and I feel within me, an instinct for truth, 
or knowledge or discovery, of something of the same nature as 
the instinct of virtue, and that our having such an instinct 
is reason enough for scientific researches without any 
practical results ever ensuing from them. You will wonder 

1 An introductory lecture delivered in March 1848 at the first meeting 
of a Society "for giving instructions to the working classes in Ipswich in 
various branches of science, and more especially in natural history " 
{Memoir of the Rev. J. S. Henslow, by Leonard Jenyns, p. 150). 



62 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 26 what makes me run on so, but I have been working very 
hard for the last eighteen months on the anatomy, etc., of the 
Cirripcdia (on which I shall publish a monograph), and some 
of my friends laugh at me, and I fear the study of the 
Cirripcdia will ever remain " wholly unapplied," and yet I 
feel that such study is better than castle-building. 

Letter 27 To J. D. Hooker, at Dr. Falconer's, Botanic Garden, Calcutta. 

Down, May ioth, 1848. 

I was indeed delighted to sec your handwriting ; but I 
felt almost sorry when I beheld how long a letter you had 
written. I know that you are indomitable in work, but 
remember how precious your time is, and do not waste it on 
your friends, however much pleasure you may give them. 
Such a letter would have cost me half-a-day's work. How 
capitally you seem going on ! I do envy you the sight of all 
the glorious vegetation. I am much pleased and surprised 
that you have been able to observe so much in the animal 
world. No doubt you keep a journal, and an excellent one 
it will be, I am sure, when published. All these animal facts 
will tell capitally in it. I can quite comprehend the difficulty 
you mention about not knowing what is known zoologically in 
India ; but facts observed, as you will observe them, are none 
the worse for reiterating. Did you see Mr. Blyth 1 in Calcutta? 

' Edward Blyth (1810-73), distinguished for his knowledge of Indian 
birds and mammals. He was for twenty years Curator of the Museum 
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, a collection which was practically 
created by his exertions. Gould spoke of him as "the founder of the 
study " of Zoology in India. His published writings are voluminous, 
and include, in addition to those bearing his name, numerous articles in 
the Field, Land and Water, etc., under the signature Zoophilia or Z. He 
also communicated his knowledge to others with unsparing generosity, 
yet — doubtless the chief part of his " extraordinary fund of information " 
died with him. Darwin had much correspondence with him, and always 
spoke of him with admiration for his powers of observation and for his 
judgment. The letters to Blyth have unfortunately not come into our 
hands. The indebtedness of Darwin to Blyth may be roughly gauged 
by the fact that the references under his name in the index to Animals 
and Plants occupy nearly a column. For further information about Blyth 
see Grote's introduction to the " Catalogue of Mammals and Birds of Burma, 
by the late E. Blyth " in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. 
Part II., Extra number, August 1875 ; also an obituary notice published 



1844—1858] INSULAR FLORAS 6$ 

He would be a capital man to tell you what is known about Letter 27 
Indian Zoology, at least in the Vertebrata. He is a very 
clever, odd, wild fellow, who will never do what he could do, 
from not sticking to any one subject. By the way, if you should 
see him at any time, try not to forget to remember me very 
kindly to him ; I liked all I saw of him. Your letter was the 
very one to charm me, with all its facts for my Species-book, 
and truly obliged I am for so kind a remembrance of mc. Do 
not forget to make enquiries about the origin, even if only 
traditionally known, of any varieties of domestic quadrupeds, 
birds, silkworms, etc. Are there domestic bees ? if so hives 
ought to be brought home. Of all the facts you mention, 
that of the wild [illegible], when breeding with the domestic, 
producing offspring somewhat sterile, is the most surprising : 
surely they must be different species. Most zoologists would 
absolutely disbelieve such a statement, and consider the result 
as a proof that they were distinct species. I do not go so far 
as that, but the case seems highly improbable. Blyth has 
studied the Indian Ruminantia. I have been much struck 
about what you say of lowland plants ascending mountains, 
but the alpine not descending. How I do hope you will get 
up some mountains in Borneo ; how curious the result will be ! 
By the way, I never heard from you what affinity the Maldive 
flora has, which is cruel, as you tempted me by making me 
guess. I sometimes groan over your Indian journey, when 
I think over all your locked up riches. When shall I see 
a memoir on Insular floras, and on the Pacific ? What a 
grand subject Alpine floras of the world l would be, as far as 
known ; and then you have never given a coup d'ceil on the 
similarity and dissimilarity of Arctic and Antarctic floras. 
Well, thank heavens, when you do come back you will be 
nolens volens a fixture. I am particularly glad you have been 
at the Coal ; I have often since you went gone on maunder- 
ing on the subject, and I shall never rest easy in Down 

at the time of his death in the Field. Mr. Grote's Memoir contains a 
list of Blyth's writings which occupies nearly seven pages of the Journal, 
We are indebted to Professor Newton for calling our attention to the 
sources of this note. 

1 Mr. William Botting Hemsley, F.R.S., of the Royal Gardens, Kew, 
is now engaged on a monograph of the high-level Alpine plants of 
the world. 



64 EVOLUTION [Chai\ II 

Letter 27 churchyard without the problem be solved by some one 
before I die. Talking of dying makes me tell you that my 
confounded stomach is much the same ; indeed, of late has 
been rather worse, but for the last year, I think, I have been 
able to do more work. I have done nothing besides the 
barnacles, except, indeed, a little theoretical paper on erratic 
boulders, 1 and Scientific Geological Instructions for the 
Admiralty Volume,'- which cost me some trouble. This work, 
which is edited by Sir J. Herschel, is a very good job, inas- 
much as the captains of men-of-war will now see that the 
Admiralty cares for science, and so will favour naturalists on 
board. As for a man who is not scientific by nature, I do 
not believe instructions will do him any good ; and if he be 
scientific and good for anything the instructions will be 
superfluous. I do not know who does the Botany ; Owen 
does the Zoology, and I have sent him an account of my new 
simple microscope, which I consider perfect, even better than 
yours by Chevalier. N.B. I have got a £" object-glass, and 
it is grand. I have been getting on well with my beloved 
Cirripedia, and get more skilful in dissection. I have worked 
out the nervous system pretty well in several genera, and 
made out their ears and nostrils, 3 which were quite unknown. 
I have lately got a bisexual cirripede, the male being micro- 
scopically small and parasitic within the sack of the female. I 
tell you this to boast of my species theory, for the nearest 
closely allied genus to it is, as usual, hermaphrodite, but I had 
observed some minute parasites adhering to it, and these 

1 " On the Transportal of Erratic Boulders from a Lower to a Higher 
Level 1 ' (Quart. Journ. Geo/. Soc, Vol. IV., pp. 315-23. 1S48). In this 
paper Darwin favours the view that the transport of boulders was effected 
by coast-ice. An earlier paper entitled " Notes on the Effects produced 
by the ancient Glaciers of Caernarvonshire, and on the Boulders trans- 
ported by floating Ice" (Phil. Mag. 1S42, p. 352) is spoken of by Sir 
Archibald Geikie as standing "almost at the top of the long list of 
English contributions to the history of the Ice Age" (Charles Darwin, 
Nature Series, p. 23). 

3 A Manual of Scientific Enquiry, prepared for the use of Her 
Majesty's Navy, and adapted for Travellers in General. Edited by Sir 
John F. W. Herschel, Bart. Section VI. — Geology — by Charles Darwin. 
London, 1849. See Life and Letters, pp. 328-9. 

3 For the olfactory sacs see Darwin's Monograph of the Cirripedia, 
1851, p. 52. 



1844— 1S58] DE LA BECIIE 65 

parasites I now can show are supplemental males, the male Letter 27 
organs in the hermaphrodite being unusually small, though 
perfect and containing zoosperms : so we have almost a 
polygamous animal, simple females alone being wanting. I 
never should have made this out, had not my species theory 
convinced me, that an hermaphrodite species must pass into 
a bisexual species by insensibly small stages ; and here we 
have it, for the male organs in the hermaphrodite are be- 
ginning to fail, and independent males ready formed. But 
I can hardly explain what I mean, and you will perhaps wish 
my barnacles and species theory al Diavolo together. But 
I don't care what you say, my species theory is all gospel. 
We have had only one party here : viz., of the Lyells, Forbes, 
Owen, and Ramsay, and we both missed you and Falconer 

very much I know more of your history than you will 

suppose, for Miss Henslow most good-naturedly sent me 
a packet of your letters, and she wrote me so nice a little 
note that it made me quite proud. I have not heard of 
anything in the scientific line which would interest you. 
Sir H. De la Beche x gave a very long and rather dull address; 
the most interesting part was from Sir J. Ross. Mr. Becte 
Jukes figured in it very prominently : it really is a very nice 
quality in Sir Henry, the manner in which he pushes forward 
his subordinates.- Jukes has since read what was considered 
a very valuable paper. The man, not content with moustaches, 
now sports an entire beard, and I am sure thinks himself like 
Jupiter tonans. There was a short time since a not very 
creditable discussion at a meeting of the Royal Society, where 
Owen fell foul of Mantell with fury and contempt about 
belemnites. What wretched doings come from the order 
of fame ; the love of truth alone would never make one man 
attack another bitterly. My paper is full, so I must wish you 
with all my heart farewell. Heaven grant that your health 
may keep good. 

1 The Presidential Address delivered by De la Heche before the 
Geological Society in 1848 (Quart. Journ. Geo/. Soc, Vol. IV., Proceeding r, 
p. xxi, 1848). Sir Henry Thomas De la Beche (1796 — 1855) was appointed 
Director of the Ordnance Geological Survey in 1832 ; his private under- 
taking to make a geological survey of the mining districts of Devon 
and Cornwall led the Government to found the National Survey. He 
was also instrumental in forming the Museum of Practical Geology in 
Jermyn Street. 

5 



66 EVOLUTION [Chap.I1 

Letter 28 To J. S. Ilenslow. 

The Lodge, Malvern, May 6lh, 1849. 

Your kind note has been forwarded to me here. You will 
be surprised to hear that we all — children, servants, and all — 
have been here for nearly two months. All last autumn and 
wintcrTny health grew worse and worse : incessant sickness, 
tremulous hands, and swimming head. I thought I was 
going the way of all flesh. Having heard of much success 
in some cases from the cold-water cure, I determined to 
give up all attempts to do anything and come here and put 
myself under Dr. Gully. It has answered to a considerable 
extent : my sickness much checked and considerable strength 
gained. Dr. G., moreover (and I hear he rarely speaks 
confidently), tells me he has little doubt but that he can cure 
me in the course of time — time, however, it will take. I have 
experienced enough to feel sure that the cold-water cure is 
a great and powerful agent and upsetter of all constitutional 
habits. Talking of habits, the cruel wretch has made me 
leave off snuff — that chief solace of life. We thank you most 
sincerely for your prompt and early invitation to Hitcham for 
the British Association for 1850 : l if I am made well and 
strong, most gladly will I accept it ; but as I have been 
hitherto, a drive every day of half a dozen miles would be 
more than I could stand with attending any of the sections. 
I intend going to Birmingham 2 if able ; indeed, I am bound 
to attempt it, for I am honoured beyond all measure in 
being one of the Vice-Presidents. I am uncommonly glad 
you will be there ; I fear, however, we shall not have any 
such charming trips as Nuneham and Dropmore. 3 We shall 
stay here till at least June 1st, perhaps till July 1st ; and 
I shall have to go on with the aqueous treatment at home 
for several more months. One most singular effect of the 
treatment is that it induces in most people, and eminently 
in my case, the most complete stagnation of mind. I have 
ceased to think even of barnacles ! I heard some time since 

1 The invitation was probably not for 1850, but for 185 1, when the 
Association met at Ipswich. 

3 The Association met at Birmingham in 1849. 

3 In a letter to Hooker (Oct. 12th, 1849) Darwin speaks of "that 
heavenly day at Dropmore." {Life and Letters, I., p. 379.) 



1844-1858] NOMENCLATURE Qy 

from Hooker. . . . How capitally he seems to have succeeded Letter 28 
in all his enterprises ! You must be very busy now. I 
happened to be thinking the other day over the Gamlingay 
trip to the Lilies of the Valley: l ah, those were delightful days 
when one had no such organ as a stomach, only a mouth and 
the masticating appurtenances. I am very much surprised 
at what you say, that men are beginning to work in earnest 
[at] Botany. What a loss it will be for Natural History that 
you have ceased to reside all the year in Cambridge ! 

To J. F. Royle.* Letter 2g 

Down, Sept. 1st [184- ?]. 
I return you with very many thanks your valuable work. 
I am sure I have not lost any slip or disarranged the loose 
numbers. I have been interested by looking through the 
volumes, though I have not found quite so much as I had 
thought possible about the varieties of the Indian domestic 
animals and plants, and the attempts at introduction have 
been too recent for the effects (if any) of climate to have been 
developed. I have, however, been astonished and delighted 
at the evidence of the energetic attempts to do good by such 
numbers of people, and most of them evidently not personally 
interested in the result. Long may our rule flourish in India. 
I declare all the labour shown in these transactions is enough 
by itself to make one proud of one's countrymen. 

To Hugh Strickland. Letter 30 

The first paragraph of this letter is published in the Life and 
Letters, I., p. 372, as part of a series of letters to Strickland, beginning 
at p. 365, where a biographical note by Professor Newton is also given. 
Professor Newton wrote : "In 1841 he brought the subject of Natural 
History Nomenclature before the British Association, and prepared the 

1 The Lily of the Valley {Convallaria majalis) is recorded from 
Gamlingay by Professor Babington in his Flora of Cambridgeshire 
p. 234. (London, i860.) 

2 John Forbes Royle (1800-58) was originally a surgeon in the 
H.E.I.C. Medical Service, and was for some years Curator at Saharunpur. 
From 1837-56 he was Professor of Materia Medica at King's College, 
London. He wrote principally on economic and Indian botany. One 
of his chief works was Illustrations of the Botany and other branches of 
the Natural History of the Himalayan Mountains and of the Flora 
of Cashmere. (London, 1839.) 



68 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

code of rules for Zoological Nomenclature, now known by his name — 
the principles of which are very generally accepted." Mr. Darwin's 
reasons against appending the describer's name to that of the species 
are given in Life ami Letters, p. 366. The present letter is of interest 
as giving additional details in regard to Darwin's difficulties. 

Letter 30 ' Down, Feb. 10th [1849]. 

I have again to thank you cordially for your letter. Your 
remarks shall fructify to some extent, and I will try to be 
more faithful to rigid virtue and priority ; but as for calling 
Balantts " Lepas " (which I did not think of) I cannot do it, 
my pen won't write it— it is impossible. I have great hopes 
some of my difficulties will disappear, owing to wrong dates 
in Agassiz and to my having to run several genera into one ; 
for I have as yet gone, in but few cases, to original sources. 
With respect to adopting my own notions in my Cirripedia 
book, I should not like to do so without I found others 
approved, and in some public way ; nor indeed is it well 
adapted, as I can never recognise a species without I have 
the original specimen, which fortunately I have in many cases 
in the British Museum. Thus far I mean to adopt my notion, 
in never putting tnihi or Darwin after my own species, and in 
the anatomical text giving no authors' names at all, as 
the systematic part will serve for those who want to know 
the history of the species as far as I can imperfectly work 
it out. 

I have had a note from W. Thompson : this morning, and 
he tells me Ogleby has some scheme identical almost with mine. 
I feel pretty sure there is a growing general aversion to the 
appendage of author's name, except in cases where necessary. 
Now at this moment I have seen specimens ticketed with a 
specific name and no reference — such are hopelessly incon- 
venient ; but I declare I would rather (as saving time) have a 
reference to some second systematic work than to the original 
author, for I have cases of this which hardly help me at all, 
for I know not where to look amongst endless periodical 
foreign papers. On the other hand, one can get hold of most 
systematic works and so follow up the scent, and a species 
does not long lie buried exclusively in a paper. 

1 Mr. Thompson is described in the preface to the Lepadida as " the 
distinguished Natural Historian of Ireland." 



,844—185^] NOMENCLATURE 69 

I thank you sincerely for your very kind offer of occa- Letter 30 
sionally assisting me with your opinion, and I will not 
trespass much. I have a case, but [it is one] about which 1 
am almost sure ; and so to save you writing, if I conclude 
rightly, pray do not answer, and I shall understand silence as 
assent. 

Olfcrs in 1814 made Lepas aurita Linn, into the genus 
ConcJioderma ; [Oken] in 1815 gave the name Branta to Lepas 
aurita and vittata, and by so doing he alters essentially 
Olfers' generic definition. Oken was right (as it turns out), 
and Lepas aurita and vittata must form together one genus. 1 
(I leave out of question a multitude of subsequent synonyms.) 
Now I suppose I must retain Conchoderma of Olfers. I 
cannot make out a precise rule in the British Association 
Report for this. When a genus is cut into two I see that the 
old name is retained for part and altered to it ; so I suppose 
the definition may be enlarged to receive another species — 
though the cases are somewhat different. I should have had 
no doubt if Lepas aurita and vittata had been made into two 
genera, for then when run together the oldest of the two would 
have been retained. Certainly to put ConcJioderma Olfers is 
not quite correct when applied to the two species, for such 
was not Olfers' definition and opinion. If I do not hear, I 
shall retain Conchoderma for the two species. . . . 

P.S. — Will you by silence give consent to the following ? 

Linnaeus gives no type to his genus Lepas, though L. 
balanus comes first. Several oldish authors have used Lepas 
exclusively for the pedunculate division, and the name has 
been given to the family and compounded in sub-generic 
names. Now, this shows that old authors attached the name 
Lepas more particularly to the pedunculate division. Now, if 
I were to use Lepas for Anatifera' 1 I should get rid of the 
difficulty of the second edition of Hill and of the difficulty 
of Anatifera vel Anatifa. Linnaeus's generic description is 
equally applicable to Anatifera and Balanus, though the latter 
stands first. Must the mere precedence rigorously outweigh 

1 In the Monograph on the Cirripcdia (Lepadidae) the names used 
are Conchoderma aurita and virgata. 

2 Anatifera and Anatifa were used as generic names for what Linnaeus 
and Darwin called Lepas anatifera. 



JO EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 30 the apparent opinion of many old naturalists ? As for using 
Lepas in place of Balanus, I cannot. Every one will under- 
stand what is meant by Lepas Anatifera, so that convenience 
would be wonderfully thus suited. If I do not hear, I shall 
understand I have your consent. 

Letter 31 j. D. Hooker to C. Darwin. 

In the Life and Letters, I., p. 392, is a letter to Sir J. D. Hooker from 
Mr. Darwin, to whom the former had dedicated his Himalayan Journals. 
Mr. Darwin there wrote: "Your letter, received this morning, has 
interested me extremely, and I thank you sincerely for telling me your old 
thoughts and aspirations." The following is the letter referred to, which 
at our request Sir Joseph has allowed us to publish. 

Kew, March 1st, 1854. 

Now that my book ' has been publicly acknowledged to 
be of some value, I feel bold to write to you ; for, to tell you 
the truth, I have never been without a misgiving that the 
dedication might prove a very bad compliment, however 
kindly I knew you would receive it. The idea of the dedica- 
tion has been present to me from a very early date : it was 
formed during the Antarctic voyage, out of love for your own 
Journal, and has never deserted me since ; nor would it, I think, 
had I never known more of you than by report and as the 
author of the said Naturalist's Journal. Short of the gratifica- 
tion I felt in getting the book out, I know no greater than 
your kind, hearty acceptation of the dedication ; and, had the 
reviewers gibbeted me, the dedication would alone have given 
me real pain. I have no wish to assume a stoical indifference 
to public opinion, for I am well alive to it, and the critics 
might have irritated me sorely, but they could never have 
caused me the regret that the association of your name with 
a bad book of mine would have. 

You will laugh when I tell you that, my book out, I feel 
past the meridian of life ! But you do not know how from 
my earliest childhood I nourished and cherished the desire to 
make a creditable journey in a new country, and write such 
a respectable account of its natural features as should give 
me a niche amongst the scientific explorers of the globe I 
inhabit, and hand my name down as a useful contributor of 

1 Himalayan Journals, 2 vols. London, 1854. 



1844—1858] DARWIN AND HUXLEY J\ 

original matter. A combination of most rare advantages has Letter 31 
enabled me to gain as much of my object as contents me, for 
I never wished to be greatest amongst you, nor did rivalry 
ever enter my thoughts. No ulterior object has ever been 
present to me in this pursuit. My ambition is fully gratified 
by the satisfactory completion of my task, and I am now 
happy to go on jog-trot at Botany till the end of my days — 
downhill, in one sense, all the way. I shall never have such 
another object to work for, nor shall I feel the want of it. . . . 
As it is, the craving of thirty years is satisfied, and I now look 
back on life in a way I never could previously. There never 
was a past hitherto to me. The phantom was always in view ; 
mayhap it is only a " ridiculus mus " after all, but it is big 
enough for me. . . . 

The story of Huxley's life has been fully given in the interesting 
biography edited by Mr. Leonard Huxley. 1 Readers of this book and 
of the Life and Letters of Charles Darwin gain an insight into the 
relationship between this pair of friends to which any words of ours 
can add but little. Darwin realised to the full the essential strength 
of Mr. Huxley's nature ; he knew, as all the world now knows, the 
delicate sense of honour of his friend, and he was ever inclined to 
lean on his guidance in practical matters, as on an elder brother. 
Of Mr. Huxley's dialectical and literary skill he was an enthusiastic 
admirer, and he never forgot what his theories owed to the fighting 
powers of his "general agent." 2 Huxley's estimate of Darwin is very 
interesting : he valued him most highly for what was so strikingly char- 
acteristic of himself— the love of truth. He spoke of finding in him 
" something bigger than ordinary humanity— an unequalled simplicity and 
directness of purpose— a sublime unselfishness." 3 The same point of view 
comes out in Huxley's estimate of Darwin's mental power. 4 " He had 
a clear, rapid intelligence, a great memory, a vivid imagination, and what 
made his greatness was the strict subordination of all these to his love 
of truth." This, as an analysis of Darwin's mental equipment, seems to 
us incomplete, though we do not pretend to mend it. We do not think 
it is possible to dissect and label the complex qualities which go to make 
up that which we all recognise as genius. But, if we may venture to 
criticise, we would say that Mr. Huxley's words do not seem to cover 



1 Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley. London, 1900. 

' Ibid., I., p. 171. 
Ibid., 1 1., p. 94. Huxley is speaking of Gordon's death, and goes on : 
"Of all the people whom I have met with in my life, he and Darwin 
are the two in whom 1 have found," etc. 

4 Ibid., II., p. 39. 



72 EVOLUTION [Chat. II 

that supreme power of seeing and thinking what the rest of the world 
had overlooked, which was one of Darwin's most striking characteristics. 
As throwing light on the quality of their friendship, we give below a letter 
which has already appeared in the Life and Letters of T. H. Huxley, 
I., p. 366. Mr. L. Huxley gives an account of the breakdown n health 
which convinced Huxley's friends that rest and relief from anxiety must 
be found for him. Mr. L. Huxley aptly remarks of the letter, "It is 
difficult to say whether it docs more honour to him who sent it or to him 
who received it." ' 

Letter 32 To T. H. Huxley. 

Down, April 23rd, 1873. 

My dear Huxley 

I have been asked by some of your friends (eighteen in 
number) to inform you that they have placed, through Robarts, 
Lubbock & Co., the sum of £2,100 to your account at your 
bankers. We have done this to enable you to get such 
complete rest as you may require for the re-establishment of 
your health ; and in doing this we are convinced that we act 
for the public interest, as well as in accordance with our most 
earnest desires. Let me assure you that we are all your 
warm personal friends, and that there is not a stranger or 
mere acquaintance amongst us. If you could have heard 
what was said, or could have read what was, as I believe, our 
inmost thoughts, you would know that we all feel towards you, 
as we should to an honoured and much loved brother. I am 
sure that you will return this feeling, and will therefore be 
glad to give us the opportunity of aiding you in some degree, 
as this will be a happiness to us to the last day of our lives. 
Let me add that our plan occurred to several of your friends 
at nearly the same time and quite independently of one 
another. 

My dear Huxley, 

Your affectionate friend, 

Charles Darwin. 

1 Huxley's Life, I., p. 366. Mr. Darwin left to Mr. Huxley a legacy 
of £1,000, "as a slight memorial of my lifelong affection and respect 
for him." 




f^-is (>/*/(•/ tisuL 't/wCc 



'Mm 



. y. ^yt . k yft/ \/< 



T#5J. 



<•'/■ 



■ 



1844—1858] ARCHETYPE 71 

To T. II. Huxley. 

The following letter is one of the earliest of the long series addressed 

to Mr. Huxley. 

Down, April 23rd [1854]. 

My dear Sir 

I have got out all the specimens, which I have thought 
could by any possibility be of any use to you ; but I have not 
looked at them, and know not what state they are in, but 
should be much pleased if they are of the smallest use to 
you. I enclose a catalogue of habitats : I thought my 
notes would have turned out of more use. I have copied 
out such few points as perhaps would not be apparent in 
preserved specimens. The bottle shall go to Mr. Gray on 
Thursday next by our weekly carrier. 

I am very much obliged for your paper on the Mollusca ; l 
I have read it all with much interest : but it would be 
ridiculous in me to make any remarks on a subject on 
which I am so utterly ignorant ; but I can see its high 
importance. The discovery of the type or "idea" 2 (in yo*ir 
sense, for I detest the word as used by Owen, Agassiz & Co.) 
of each great class, I cannot doubt, is one of the very highest 
ends of Natural History ; and certainly most interesting to 
the worker-out. Several of your remarks have interested 
me : I am, however, surprised at what you say versus 
"anamorphism," 3 I should have thought that the archetype 
in imagination was always in some degree embryonic, and 

1 The paper of Huxley's is " On the Morphology of the Cephalous 
Mollusca, etc." {Phil. Trans. R. Soc, Vol. 143, Part I., 1853, p. 29). 

3 Huxley defines his use of the word "archetype" at p. 50: "All 
that I mean is the conception of a form embodying the most general 
propositions that can be affirmed respecting the Cephalous Mollusca, 
standing in the same relation to them as the diagram to a geometrical 
theorem, and like it, at once, imaginary and true." 

3 The passage referred to is at p. 63 : " If, however, all Cephalous 
Mollusks ... be only modifications by excess or defect of the parts 
of a definite archetype, then, I think, it follows as a necessary con- 
sequence, that no anamorphism takes place in this group. There is 
no progression from a lower to a higher type, but merely a more or 
less complete evolution of one type." Huxley seems to use the term 
anamorphism in a sense differing from that of some writers. Thus in 
Jourdan's Die tionnaire des Termes Usitis dans Tes Sciences Naturelles, 1834, 
it is defined as the production of an atypical form either by arrest or 
excess of development. 



74 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 33 therefore capable [of] and generally undergoing further de- 
velopment. 

Is it not an extraordinary fact, the great difference in 
position of the heart in different species of Cleodora ? ! I am 
a believer that when any part, usually constant, differs con- 
siderably in different allied species that it will be found 
in some degree variable within the limits of the same species. 
Thus, I should expect that if great numbers of specimens 
of some of the species of Cleodora had been examined with 
this object in view, the position of the heart in some of 
the species would have been found variable. Can you aid 
me with any analogous facts ? 

I am very much pleased to hear that you have not given 
up the idea of noticing my cirripedial volume. All that 
1 have seen since confirms everything of any importance 
stated in that volume — more especially I have been able 
rigorously to confirm in an anomalous species, by the 
clearest evidence, that the actual cellular contents of the 
ovarian tubes, by the gland-like action of a modified portion 
of the continuous tube, passes into the cementing stuff: in 
fact cirripedes make glue out of their own unformed eggs ! 2 

Pray believe me, 

Yours sincerely, 

C. Darwin. 
I told the above case to Milne Edwards, and I saw he 
did not place the smallest belief in it. 

Letter 34 To T. H. Huxley. 

Down, Sept. 2nd, [1854]. 

My second volume on the everlasting barnacles is at last 
published, 3 and I will do myself the pleasure of sending you 
a copy to Jermyn Street next Thursday, as I have to send 
another book then to Mr. Baily. 

And now I want to ask you a favour — namely, to answer 
me two questions. As you are so perfectly familiar with 
the doings, etc., of all Continental naturalists, I want you 
to tell me a few names of those whom you think would care 

1 A genus of Ptcropods. 

2 On Darwin's mistake in this point see Life and Letters, III., p. 2. 

3 A Monograph of the Sub-class Cirripcdia. II. The Balanidce, the 

Verrucida. Kay Society, 1854. 



1844-1S58] THE VESTIGES 75 

for my volume. I do not mean in the light of puffing my Letter 34 
book, but I want not to send copies to those who from other 
studies, age, etc., would view it as waste paper. From 
assistance rendered me, I consider myself bound to send 
copies to: (1) Bosquet of Maestricht, (2) Milne Edwards, 
(3) Dana, (4) Agassiz, (5) MUller, (6) W. Dunker of Hesse 
Cassel. Now I have five or six other copies to distribute, 
and will you be so very kind as to help me ? I had thought 
of Von Siebold, Loven, d'Orbigny, Kolliker, Sars, Krdyer, etc., 
but I know hardly anything about any of them. 

My second question, it is merely a chance whether you 
can answer,— it is whether I can send these books or any of 
them (in some cases accompanied by specimens), through 
the Royal Society : I have some vague idea of having heard 
that the Royal Society did sometimes thus assist members. 

I have just been reading your review of the Vestiges} 
and the way you handle a great Professor is really exquisite 
and inimitable. I have been extremely interested in other 
parts, and to my mind it is incomparably the best review \ 
have read on the Vestiges ; but I cannot think but that you 
are rather hard on the poor author. I must think that such 
a book, if it does no other good, spreads the taste for Natural 
Science. 

But I am perhaps no fair judge, for I am almost as un- 
orthodox about species as the Vestiges itself, though I hope 
not quite so unphilosophical. How capitally you analyse 
his notion about law. I do not know when I have read a 
review which interested me so much. By Heavens, how 
the blood must have gushed into the capillaries when a 
certain great man (whom with all his faults I cannot help 
liking) read it ! 

I am rather sorry you do not think more of Agassiz's 
embryological stages, 2 for though I saw how excessively 
weak the ev idence was, I was led to hope in its truth. 

1 In his chapter on the "Reception of the Origin of Species" {Life 
'and Letters, II., pp. 188-9), Mr. Huxley wrote: "and the only review 
1 ever have qualms of conscience about, on the ground of needless 
savagery, is one I wrote on the ' Vestiges.' " The article is in the British 
and Foreign Medico-chirurgical Review, XIII., 1854, p. 425. The " great 
man" referred to below is Owen: see Huxley's review, p. 439, and 
Huxley's Life. I., p. 94. 

1 See Origin, Ed. VI., p. 310 : also Letter 40, Note 1, p. 82 



76 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 35 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down [1854J. 

With respect to " highness " and " lowness," my ideas are 
only eclectic and not very clear. It appears to me that an 
unavoidable wish to compare all animals with men, as 
supreme, causes some confusion ; and I think that nothing 
besides some such vague comparison is intended, or perhaps 
is even possible, when the question is whether two kingdoms 
such as the Articulata or Mollusca are the highest. Within 
the same kingdom I am inclined to think that "highest" 
usually means that form which has undergone most " morpho- 
logical differentiation " from the common embryo or arche- 
type of the class ; but then every now and then one is 
bothered (as Milne Edwards has remarked) by " retrograde 
development," i.e., the mature animal having fewer and less 
important organs than its own embryo. The specialisation of 
parts to different functions, or " the division of physiological 
labour" ' of Milne Edwards exactly agrees (and to my mind 
is the best definition, when it can be applied) with what you 
state is your idea in regard to plants. I do not think 
zoologists agree in any definite ideas on this subject ; and my 
ideas are not clearer than those of my brethren. 

Letter 36 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, July 2nd [1854]. 

I have had the house full of visitors, and when I talk' I 
can do absolutely nothing else ; and since then I have been 
poorly enough, otherwise I should have answered your letter 
long before this, for I enjoy extremely discussing such points 
as those in your last note. But what a villain you are to 
heap gratuitous insults on my elastic theory : you might as 
well call the virtue of a lady elastic, as the virtue of a theory 
accommodating in its favours. Whatever you may say, I 
feel that my theory does give me some advantages in dis- 
cussing these points. Hut to business : I keep my notes in 
such a way, viz., in bulk, that I cannot possibly lay my hand 
on any reference ; nor as far as the vegetable kingdom is 
concerned do I distinctly remember having read any dis- 
cussion on general highness or lowness, excepting Schleidcn 

1 A slip of the pen for " physiological division of labour." 



1844— 1858] HIGHNESS AND LOW NESS 77 

(I fancy) on Composite being highest. Ad. de Jussieu, 1 in Letter 36 
Arch, du Must'ian, Tome 3, discusses the value of characters of 
degraded flowers in the Malpighiaceae, but I doubt whether 
this at all concerns you. Mirbel somewhere has discussed 
some such question. 

Plants He under an enormous disadvantage in respect to 
such discussions in not passing through larval stages. I do 
not know whether you can distinguish a plant low from non- 
development from one low from degradation, which theoreti- 
cally, at least, are very distinct. I must agree with Forbes 
that a mollusc may be higher than one articulate animal and 
lower than another ; if one was asked which was highest as a 
whole, the Molluscan or Articulate Kingdom, I should look to 
and compare the highest in each, and not compare their 
archetypes (supposing them to be known, which they are 
not). 

But there are, in my opinion, more difficult cases than 
any we have alluded to, viz., that of fish — but my ideas are 
not clear enough, and I do not suppose you would care to 
hear what I obscurely think on this subject. As far as my 
elastic theory goes, all I care about is that very ancient 
organisms (when different from existing) should tend to 
resemble the larval or cmbryological stages of the existing. 

I am glad to hear what you say about parallelism : I 
am an utter disbeliever of any parallelism more than mere 
accident. It is very strange, but I think Forbes is often 
rather fanciful ; his " Polarity " 2 makes me sick — it is like 
" magnetism " turning a table. 

If I can think of any one likely to take your Illustrations? 
I will send the advertisement. If you want to make up 
some definite number so as to go to press, I will put my name 
down with pleasure (and I hope and believe that you will 
trust me in saying so), though I should not in the course of 
nature subscribe to any horticultural work : — act for me. 

1 " Monographic de la Famille des Malpighiacees," by Adrien de 
Jussieu, Arch, du Museum, Vol. III., p. 1, 1843. 

■ See Letter 41, Note 2. 

3 Illustrations of Himalayan Plants from Drawings made by J . F 
Cathcart. Folio, 1855. 



78 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 37 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, [May] 29th, 1S54. 

1 am really truly sorry to hear about your [health]. 
I entreat you to write down your own case, — symptoms, 
and habits of life,— and then consider your case as that of 
a stranger ; and I put it to you, whether common sense 
would not order you to take more regular exercise and work 
your brain less. (N.B. Take a cold bath and walk before 
breakfast.) I am certain in the long run you would not lose 
time. Till you have a thoroughly bad stomach, you will not 
know the really great evil of it, morally, physically, and every 
way. Do reflect and act resolutely. Remember your 
troubled heart-action formerly plainly told how your con- 
stitution was tried. But I will say no more — excepting that 
a man is mad to risk health, on which everything, including 
his children's inherited health, depends. Do not hate me for 
this lecture. Really I am not surprised at your having some 
headache after Thursday evening, for it must have been no 
small exertion making an abstract of all that was said after 
dinner. Your being so engaged was a bore, for there were 
several things that I should have liked to have talked over 
with you. It was certainly a first-rate dinner, and I enjoyed 
it extremely, far more than I expected. Very far from 
disagreeing with me, my London visits have just lately 
taken to suit my stomach admirably ; I begin to think that 
dissipation, high-living, with lots of claret, is what I want, and 
what I had during the last visit. We are going to act on 
this same principle, and in a very profligate manner have 
just taken a pair of season-tickets to see the Queen open the 
Crystal Palace. 1 How I wish there was any chance of your 
being there ! The last grand thing we were at together 
answered, 1 am sure, very well, and that was the Duke's 
funeral. 

Have you seen Forbes' introductory lecture - in the 
Scotsman (lent mc by Horner) ? it is really admirably done, 
though without anything, perhaps, very original, which could 

1 Queen Victoria opened the Crystal Palace at Sydenham on 
June 10th, 1854. 

'' Edward Forbes was appointed to a Professorship at Edinburgh in 
May, 1854. 



i8 4 4— 185s] ROYAL SOCIETY 79 

hardly be expected : it has given me even a higher opinion Letter 37 
than I before had, of the variety and polish of his intellect. 
It is, indeed, an irreparable loss to London natural history 
society. I wish, however, he would not praise so much that 
old brown dry stick Jameson. Altogether, to my taste, it is 
much the best introductory lecture I have ever read. I hear 
his anniversary address is very good. 

Adios, my dear Hooker ; do be wise and good, and be 
careful of your stomach, within which, as I know full well, lie 
intellect, conscience, temper, and the affections. 



To J. D. Hooker. Letter 3S 

Down, Dec. 2nd [1854]. 

You are a pretty fellow to talk of funking the returning 
thanks at the dinner for the medal. 1 I heard that it was 
decidedly the best speech of the evening, given " with 
perfect fluency, distinctness, and command of language," and 
that you showed great self-possession : was the latter the 
proverbially desperate courage of a coward ? But you are 
a pretty fellow to be so desperately afraid and then to make 
the crack speech. Many such an ordeal may you have to 
go through ! I do not know whether Sir William [Hooker] 
would be contented with Lord Rosse's 2 speech on giving 
you the medal ; but I am very much pleased with it, and 
really the roll of what you have done was, I think, splendid. 
What a great pity he half spoiled it by not having taken the 
trouble just to read it over first. Poor Hofmann 3 came off 
in this respect even worse. It is really almost arrogant 
insolence against every one not an astronomer. 

The next morning I was at a very pleasant breakfast 
party at Sir R. Inglis's. 4 I have received, with very many 
thanks, the aberrant genera ; but I have not had time to 
consider them, nor your remarks on Australian botanical 
geography. 

1 The Royal medal was given to Sir Joseph in 1854. 

2 President of the Royal Society 1848-54. 

3 August Wilhelm Hofmann, the other medallist of 1854. 

4 Sir Robert Inglis, President of the British Association in 1847. 
Apparently Darwin was present at the afternoon meeting, but not at the 
dinner. 



80 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

letter 39 To T. II. Huxley. 

The following letter shows Darwin's interest in the adjudication of the 
Royal medals. The year 1855 was the last during which he served on 
the Council of the Society. He had previously served in 1849-50. 

Down, March 31st, 1855. 

I have thought and enquired much about Wcstwood, 1 
and I really think he amply deserves the gold medal. But 
should you think of some one with higher claim I am quite 
ready to give up. Indeed, I suppose without I get some one 
to second it, I cannot propose him. 

Will you be so kind as to read the enclosed, and return it 
to me ? Should I send it to Bell ? That is, without you demur 
or convince me. I had thought of Hancock, 2 a higher class 
of labourer ; but, as far as I can weigh, he has not, as yet, 
done so much as Westwood. I may state that I read the 
whole " Classification " 3 before I was on the Council, and ever 
thought on the subject of medals. I fear my remarks are 
rather lengthy, but to do him justice I could not well shorten 
them. Pray tell me frankly whether the enclosed is the right 
sort of thing, for though I was once on the Council of the 
Royal, I never attended any meeting-, owing to bad health. 

With respect to the Copley medal,' I have a strong feeling 
that Lycll has a high claim, but as he has had the Royal Medal 
I presume that it would be thought objectionable to propose 

1 The late J. O. Westwood (1805-93), Professor of Entomology at 
Oxford. The Royal medal was awarded to him in 1855. He was 
educated at a Friends' School at Sheffield, and subsequently articled to a 
solicitor in London ; he was for a short time a partner in the firm, but he 
never really practised, and devoted himself to science. He is the author 
of between 350 and 400 papers, chiefly on entomological and archaeo- 
logical subjects, besides some twenty books. To naturalists he is known 
by his writings on insects, but he was also "one of the greatest living 
authorities on Anglo-Saxon and mediaeval manuscripts" (Dictionary of 
National Biography). 

* The late Albany Hancock (1806-73), author of many zoological 
and pakeontological papers. His best-known work, written in con- 
junction with Joshua Alder, and published by the Ray Society is on 
the Hritish Nudibranchiate Mollusca. The Royal Medal was awarded 
to him in 1858. 

3 Probably Westwood's Introduction to the Modern Classification of 
Insects ( 1 839). 

4 The Copley Medal was given to Lyell in 1858. 



1844—1858] BARRANDE Si 

him ; and as I intend (you not objecting and converting me) Letter 39 
to propose W. for the Royal, it would, of course, appear 
intolerably presumptuous to propose for the Copley also. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 40 

Down, June 10th, 1855. 

Shall you attend the Council of the Royal Society on 
Thursday next ? I have not been very well of late, and 
I doubt whether I can attend ; and if I could do anything 
(pray conceal the scandalous fact), I want to go to the Crystal 
Palace to meet the Homers, Lyells, and a party. So I want 
to know whether you will speak for me most strongly for 
Barrande. 1 You know better than I do his admirable labours 
on the development of trilobitcs, and his most important 
work on his Lower or Primordial Zone. I enclose an old note 
of Lyell's to show what he thinks. With respect to Dana, 2 
whom I also proposed, you know well his merits. I can 
speak most highly of his classifkatory work on Crustacea 
and his Geographical Distribution. His Volcanic Geology is 
admirable, and he has done much good work on coral reefs. 

If you attend, do not answer this ; but if you cannot be- 
at the Council, please inform me, and I suppose I must, if 
I can, attend. 

1 Joachim Barrande (died 1S83) devoted himself to the investigation 
of the Palaeozoic fossils of Bohemia, his adopted country. His greatest 
work was the System? Silurien de la BoMme, of which twenty-two volumes 
were published before his death. He was awarded the Wollaston Medal 
of the Geological Society in 1S55. Barrande propounded the doctrine of 
"colonies." He found that in the Silurian strata of Bohemia, containing 
a normal succession of fossils, exceptional bands occurred which 
yielded fossils characteristic of a higher zone. He named these bands 
" colonies," and explained their occurrence by supposing that the later 
fauna represented in these " precursory bands " had already appeared in 
a neighbouring region, and that by some means communication was 
opened at intervals between this region and that in which the normal 
Silurian series was being deposited. This apparent intercalation of 
younger among older zones has now been accounted for by infoldings 
and faulting of the strata. See J. E. Marr, " On the Pre-Devonian 
Rocks of Bohemia," Quart, Journ. Geo/. Soc., Vol. XXX VI., p. 591 
(1880) ; also Defense des Colonies, by J. Barrande (Prag, 1S61), and 
Geikie's Text-book of Geology (1893), p. 773. 

3 For a biographical note on Mr. Dana, see Letter 162. 

6 



82 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 40 Thank you for your abstract of your lecture at the Royal 
Institution, which interested me much, and rather grieved 
me, for I had hoped things had been in a slight degree 
otherwise. 1 I heard some time ago that before long I might 
congratulate you on becoming a married man. 2 From my 
own experience of sorric fifteen years, I am very sure that 
there is nothing in this wide world which more deserves con- 
gratulation, and most sincerely and heartily do I congratulate 
you, and wish you many years of as much happiness as 
this world can afford. 

Letter 4 1 To J. D. I looker. 

The following Utter illustrates Darwin's work on aberrant genera. In 
the Origin, Ed. I., p. 429, he wrote : " The more aberrant any form is, the 
greater must be the number of connecting forms which, on my theory, 
have been exterminated and utterly lost. And we have some evidence 
of aberrant forms having suffered severely from extinction, for they are 
generally represented by extremely few species ; and such species as do 
occur are generally very distinct from each other, which again implies 
extinction." 

Down, Nov. 15th [1S55?]. 

In Schocnherr's Catalogue of Curculionida?, 3 the 6,717 
species are on an average iO'i7 to a genus. Waterhouse (who 
knows the group well, and who has published on fewness 
of species in aberrant genera) has given me a list of 62 
aberrant, genera, and these have on an average 76 species; 
and if one single genus be removed (and which I cannot yet 
believe ought to be considered aberrant), then the 61 aberrant 

1 " On certain Zoological Arguments commonly adduced in favour of 
the hypothesis of the Progressive Development of Animal Life," Dis- 
course, Friday, April 20, 1855 : Proceedings R.I. (1855). Published also 
in Huxley's Scientific Memoirs, The lecturer dwelt chiefly on the argu- 
ment of Agassiz, which he summarises as follows : " Homocercal fishes 
have in their embryonic state heterocercal tails ; therefore heterocercality 
is, so far, a mark of an embryonic state as compared with homocercality, 
and the earlier heterocercal fish are embryonic as compared with the 
later homocercal." He shows that facts do not support this view, and 
concludes generally " that there is no real parallel between the successive 
forms assumed in the development of the life of the individual at present 
and those which have appeared at different epochs in the past." 

* Mr. Huxley was married July 21st, 1855. 

3 Genera et Species Curculionidum. (C. J. Schoenherr : Paris, 
1833-38.) 



1844 1S5S] ABERRANT GENERA 83 

genera would have only 4-91 species on an average. I tested Letter 41 
these results in another way. I found in Schoenherr 9 
families, including only 1 1 genera, and these genera (9 of 
which were in Watcrhouse's list) I found included only 3-36 
species on an average. 

This last result led me to Lindlcy's Vegetable Kingdom, in 
which I found (excluding thallogcns and acrogens) that the 
genera include each 1046 species (how near by chance to 
the Curculionidae), and I find 21 orders including single 
genera, and these 21 genera have on average 795 species ; 
but if Lindley is right that ErytJiroxylon (with its 75 species) 
ought to be amongst the Malpighiads, then the average would 
be only 46 per genus. 

But here comes, as it appears to me, an odd thing (I hope 
I shall not quite weary you out). There are 29 other orders, 
each with 2 genera, and these 58 genera have on an average 
1507 species : this great number being owing to the 10 genera 
in the Smilaceas, Salicaceai (with 220 species), Begoniaceae, 
Balsaminacea:, Grossulariacea?, without which the remaining 
48 genera would have on an average only 591 species. 

This case of the orders with only 2 genera, the genera 
notwithstanding having 1507 species each, seems to me very 
perplexing and upsets, almost, the conclusion deduciblc from 
the orders with single genera. 

I have gone higher, and tested the alliances with 1, 2, and 
3 orders ; and in these cases I find both the genera few in 
each alliance, and the species, less than the average of the 
whole kingdom, in each genus. 

All this has amused me, but I daresay you will have a 
good sneer at me, and tell me to stick to my barnacles. By 
the way, you agree with me that sometimes one gets despond- 
ent—for instance, when theory and facts will not harmonise ; 
but what appears to me even worse, and makes me despair, 
is, when I see from the same great class of facts, men like 
Barrande deduce conclusions, such as his Colonies 1 and his 

1 Lyell briefly refers to Barrande's Bohemian work in a letter (August 
31st, 1856) to Fleming {Life of Sir Charles Lyell, II., p. 225) : " He 
explained to me on the spot his remarkable discovery of a ' colony ' of 
Upper Silurian fossils, 3,400 feet deep, in the midst of the Lower Silurian 
group. This has made a great noise, but I think I can explain away the 
supposed anomaly by, etc." (See Letter 40, Note 1.) 



84 EVOLUTION [Chat. II 

Lettei 41 agreement with E. dc Beaumont's lines of Elevation, or such 
men as Eorbes with his Polarity ; ' I have not a doubt that 
before many months are over I shall be longing for the most 
dishonest species as being more honest than the honestest 
theories. One remark more. If you feel any interest, or can 
get any one else to feel any interest on the aberrant genera 
question, I should think the most interesting way would be 
to take aberrant genera in any great natural family, and 
test the average number of species to the genera in that 
family. 

How I wish we lived near each other ! I should so like 
a talk with you on geographical distribution, taken in its 
greatest features. I have been trying from land productions 
to take a very general view of the world, and I should so like 
to see how far it agrees with plants. 

Letter 42 To Mrs. Lyell. 2 

Down, Jan. 26th [1S56]. 

I shall be very glad to be of any sort of use to you in 
regard to the beetles. But first let me thank you for your 
kind note and offer of specimens to my children. My boys 
are all butterfly hunters ; and all young and ardent lepidop- 
terists despise, from the bottom of their souls, coleopterists. 

The simplest plan for your end and for the good of 
entomology, I should think, would be to offer the collection 
to Dr. J. E. Gray 3 for the British Museum on condition that 

1 Edward Forbes "On the Manifestation of Polarity in the Distribu- 
tion of Organized Beings in Time " {Edinburgh New Phil. Journal, 
Vol. LV1I., 1854, p. 332). The author points out that "the maximum 
development of generic types during the Palaeozoic period was during its 
earlier epochs ; that during the Neozoic period towards its later periods." 
Thus the two periods of activity are conceived to be at the two opposite 
poles of a sphere which in some way represents for him the system of 
Nature. 

3 Mrs. Lyell is a daughter of the late Mr. Leonard Horner, and widow 
of Lieut. -Col. Lyell, a brother of Sir Charles. 

3 Dr. John Edward Gray, F.R.S. (1800-75) became an assistant to the 
Natural History Department of the British Museum in 1824, and was 
appointed Keeper in 1840. Dr. Gray published a great mass of zoological 
work, and devoted himself " with unflagging energy to the development 
of the collections under his charge." {Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Vol. XV., 
p. 281, 1875-) 



1844-185S] YOUNG COLLECTORS 85 

a perfect set was made out for you. If the collection was at Letter 42 
all valuable, I should think he would be very glad to have this 
done. Whether any third set would be worth making out 
would depend on the value of the collection. I do not suppose 
that you expect the insects to be named, for that would be 
a most serious labour. If you do not approve of this scheme, 
I should think it very likely that Mr. Waterhouse ' would 
think it worth his while to set a series for you, retaining 
duplicates for himself ; but I say this only on a venture. 
You might trust Mr. Waterhouse implicitly, which I fear, as 
[illegible] goes, is more than can be said for all entomologists. 
I presume, if you thought of either scheme, Sir Charles Lyell 
could easily see the gentlemen and arrange it ; but, if not, I 
could do so when next I come to town, which, however, will 
not be for three or four weeks. 

With respect to giving your children a taste for Natural 
History, 1 will venture one remark — viz., that giving them 
specimens in my opinion would tend to destroy such taste. 
Youngsters must be themselves collectors to acquire a taste*; 
and if I had a collection of English lepidoptera, I would be 
systematically most miserly, and not give my boys half a 
dozen butterflies in the year. Your eldest boy has the brow 
of an observer, if there be the least truth in phrenology. We 
are all better, but we have been of late a poor household. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 43 

Down [1855]. 
I should have less scruple in troubling you if I had any 
confidence what my work would turn out. Sometimes I 
think it will be good ; at other times I really feel as much 
ashamed of myself as the author of the Vestiges ought to be 
of himself. I know well that your kindness and friendship 
would make you do a great deal for me, but that is no reason 
that I should be unreasonable. I cannot and ought not to 
forget that all your time is employed in work certain to be 
valuable. It is superfluous in me to say that I enjoy exceed- 
ingly writing to you, and that your answers are of the greatest 
possible service to me. I return with many thanks the proof 

1 George Robert Waterhouse (1810-88) held the post of Keeper of the 
Department of Geology in the British Museum from 1851 to 1880. 



86 l. VOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 43 on Aquilcgia : ' it has interested me much. It is exactly like 
my barnacles ; but for my particular purpose, most unfortu- 
nately, both Kolreuter and Gartner have worked chiefly on 
A. vulgaris and canadensis and atro-purpurea, and these are 
just the species that you seem not to have studied. N.B. 
Why do you not let me buy the Indian Flora? You are 
too magnificent. 

Now for a short ride on my chief (at present) hobby- 
horse, viz. aberrant genera. What you say under your 
remarks on Lepidodendron seems just the case that I want, 
to give some sort of evidence of what we both believe in, viz. 
how groups came to be anomalous or aberrant ; and I think 
some sort of proof is required, for I do not believe very many 
naturalists would at all admit our view. 

Thank you for the caution on large anomalous genera first 
catching attention. I do not quite agree with your " grave 
objection to the whole process," which is " that if you multiply 
the anomalous species by ioo, and divide rhe normal by the 
same, you will then reverse the names . . ." For, to take an 
example, Ornithorhyncluts and EcJiidna would not be less 
aberrant if each had a dozen (I do not say ioo, because we 
have no such cases in the animal kingdom) species instead of 
one. What would really make these two genera less anomalous 
would be the creation of many genera and sub-families round 
and radiating from them on all sides. Thus if Australia were 
destroyed, Didelfhys in S. America would be wonderfully 
anomalous (this is your case with Proteaceae), whereas now 
there arc so many genera and little sub-families of Marsupiata 
that the group cannot be called aberrant or anomalous. 
Sagitta (and the earwig) is one of the most anomalous 
animals in the world, and not a bit the less because there are 
a dozen species. Now, my point (which, I think is a slightly 
new point of view) is, if it is extinction which has made the 
genus anomalous, as a general rule the same causes of extinc- 

1 This seems to refer to the discussion on the genus Aquilegia in Hooker 
and Thomson's Flora Indica, 1855, Vol. I., Systematic Part, p. 44. The 
authors' conclusion is that "all the European and many of the Siberian 
forms generally recognised belong to one very variable species." With 
regard to cirripedes, Mr. Darwin spoke of "certain just perceptible 
differences which blend together and constitute varieties and not 
species" (Life and Letters, I., p. 379). 



i844- l8 S 8 ] DISUSE 87 

tion would allow the existence of only a few species in such Letter 43 
genera. Whenever we meet (which will be on the 23rd [at 
the] Club) I shall much like to hear whether this strikes you as 
sound. I feel all the time on the borders of a circle of truism. 
Of course I could not think of such a request, but you might 
possibly : — if Bentham does not think the whole subject 
rubbish, ask him some time to pick out the dozen most 
anomalous genera in the Leguminosae, or any great order of 
which there is a monograph by which I could calculate the 
ordinary percentage of species to genera. I am the more 
anxious, as the more I enquire, the fewer are the cases in 
which it can be done. It cannot be done in birds, or, I fear, 
in mammifers. I doubt much whether in any other class of 
insects [other than Curculionidae]. 

I saw your nice notice of poor Forbes in the Gardeners' 
Chronicle, and I see in the Athenceum a notice of meeting on 
last Saturday of his friends. Of course I shall wish to subscribe 
as soon as possible to any memorial. . . . 

I have just been testing practically what disuse does in 
reducing parts. I have made [skeletons] of wild and tame 
duck (oh the smell of well-boiled, high duck !), and I find the 
tame duck ought, according to scale of wild prototype, to 
have its two wings 360 grains in weight ; but it has only 317, 
or 43 grains too little, or A of [its] own two wings too little 
in weight. This seems rather interesting to me. 1 

P.S. — I do not know whether you will think this worth 
reading over. I have worked it out since writing my letter, 
and tabulate the whole. 

21 orders with 1 genus, having 7*95 species (or 4'6 ?). 

29 orders with 2 genera, having I5'o5 species on an average. 

23 orders each with 3 genera, and these genera include on an average 

8'2 species. 
20 orders each with 4 genera, and these genera include on an average 

i2"2 species. 
27 orders each with above 50 genera (altogether 4716 genera), and 

these genera on an average have 997 species. 

1 On the conclusions drawn from these researches, see Mr. Piatt Ball, 
The Effects of Use and Disuse (Nature Series), 1890, p. 55. With regard 
to his pigeons, Darwin wrote, in Nov. 1855 : " I love them to that extent 
that I cannot bear to kill and skeletonise them." 



SS EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 43 From this I conclude, whether there be many or few 
genera in an order, the number of species in a genus is not 
much affected ; hut perhaps when [there is] only one genus 
in an order it will be affected, and this will depend whether 
the [genus] Eiythroxylon be made a family of. 



Letter 44 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, April 8th [1856]. 
I have been particularly glad to get your splendid e/oge of 
Lindlcy. His name has been lately passing through my head, 
and I had hoped that Miers would have proposed him for the 
Royal medal. I most entirely agree that the Copley l is more 
appropriate, and 1 daresay he would not have valued the 
Royal. From skimming through many botanical books, and 
from often consulting the Vegetable Kingdom^ I had (ignorant 
as I am) formed the highest opinion of his claims as a botanist. 
If Sharpey will stick up strong for him, we should have some 
chance ; but the natural sciences arc but feebly represented 
in the Council. Sir P. Egerton, 2 I daresay, would be strong 
for him. You know Bell is out. Now, my only doubt is, and 
I hope that you will consider this, that the natural sciences 
being weak on the Council, and (I fancy) the most powerful 
man in the Council, Col. S [abine], being strong against 
Lindley, whether we should have any chance of succeeding. 
It would be so easy to name some eminent man whose name 
would be well known to all the physicists. Would Lindley 
hear of and dislike being proposed for the Copley and not 
succeeding? Would it not be better on this view to propose 
him for the Royal? Do think of this. Moreover, if Lindley 
is not proposed for the Royal, I fear both Royal medals 
would go [to] physicists ; for I, for one, should not like to 
propose another zoologist, though Hancock would be a very 
good man, and I fancy there would be a feeling against medals 
to two botanists. But for whatever Lindley is proposed, I will 
do my best. We will talk this over here. 

1 The late Professor Lindley never attained the honour of the Copley 
medal. The Royal medal was awarded to him in 1857. 

' Sir Philip de Malpas Grey-Egerton (1806-81) devoted himself to 
the study of fossil fishes, and published several memoirs on his collection, 
which was acquired by the British Museum. 



1844—1858] THE ATHEN/EUM 89 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 45 

Down, May 9U1 [1856]. 
. . . With respect to Huxley, I was on the point of speaking 
to Crawford and Strezlecki (who will be on Committee of the 
Athenaeum) when I bethought me of how Owen would look 
and what he would say. Cannot you fancy him, with slow 
and gentle voice, asking " Will Mr. Crawford l tell me what 
Mr. Huxley has done, deserving this honour; I only know 
that he differs from, and disputes the authority of Cuvier, 
Ehrenbergj and Agassiz as of no weight at all." And when 
I began to tell Mr. Crawford what to say, I was puzzled, and 
could refer him only to some excellent papers in the Pliil. 
Trans., for which the medal had been awarded. But I doubt, 
with an opposing faction, whether this would be considered 
enough, for I believe real scientific merit is not thought 
enough, without the person is generally well known. Now 
1 want to hear what you deliberately think on this head : it 
would be bad to get him proposed and then rejected ; and 
Owen is very powerful. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 46 

Down [1856]. 
I have got the Lectures, 2 and have read them. Though 
I believe, as far as my knowledge goes, that Huxley is right, 
yet I think his tone very much too vehement, and I have 

1 John Crawford (1783— 1868), Orientalist, Ethnologist, etc. Mr. 
Crawford wrote a review on the Origin, which, though hostile, was free 
from bigotry (see Life and Letters, II., p. 237). 

3 The reference is presumably to the Royal Institution Lectures given 
in 1854-56. Those which we have seen — namely, those reprinted in the 
Scientific Memoirs, Vol. I. — "On the Common Plan of Animal Form," 
p. 281 ; " On certain Zoological Arguments, etc.," p. 300 ; " On Natural 
History as Knowledge, Discipline, and Power," p. 305, do not seem to us 
to contain anything likely to offend ; but Falconer's attack in the Ann. 
and Mag. of Nat. Hist., June 1856, on the last-named lecture, shows 
strong feeling. A reply by Mr. Huxley appeared in the July number 
of the same Journal. The most heretical discussion from a modern 
standpoint is at p. 311, where he asks how it is conceivable that the 
bright colours of butterflies and shells or the elegant forms of Fora- 
minifera can possibly be of service to their possessors ; and it is this 
which especially struck Darwin, judging by the pencil notes on his copy 
of the Lecture. 



90 EVOLUTION [Chap. It 

Letter 46 ventured to say so in a note to Huxley. I had not thou. .lit 
of these lectures in relation to the Athenaeum, 1 but I am 
inclined quite to agree with you, and that we had better pause 
before anything is said. . . . (N.B. I found Falconer very 
indignant at the manner in which Huxley treated Cuvier 
in his' Royal Institution lectures; and I have gently told 
Huxley so.) 1 think wc had better do nothing : to try in 
earnest to get a great naturalist into the Athenaeum and fail, 
is far worse than doing nothing, 

How strange, funny, and disgraceful that nearly all 
(Faraday and Sir J. Herschel at least exceptions) our great men 
are in quarrels in couplets ; it never struck me before. . . . 

Letter 47 C. Lyell to C. Darwin. 

In the Life and Letters, II., p. 72, is given a letter (June 16th, 1856) 
to Lyell, in which Darwin exhales his indignation over the "ex- 
tensionists " who created continents ad libitum to suit the convenience 
of their theories. On page 74 a fuller statement of his views is given in 
a letter dated June 25th. We have not seen Lyell's reply to this, but 
his reply to Darwin's letter of June 16th is extant, and is here printed for 
the first time. 

S3, Harley Street, London, June 17th, 1856. 

I wonder vou did not also mention D. Sharpe's paper, 2 
just published, by which the Alps were submerged as far as 
9,000 feet of their present elevation above the sea in the 
Glacial period and then since uplifted again. Without ad- 
mitting this, you would probably convey the alpine boulders 
to the Jura by marine currents, and if so, make the Alps and 
Jura islands in the glacial sea. And would not the Glacial 
theory, as now very generally understood, immerse as much 
df Europe as I did in my original map of Europe, when I 
simply expressed all the area which at some time or other 
had been under water since the commencement of the Eocene 
period ? I almost suspect the glacial submergence would 
exceed it. 

' Mr, Huxley was in 1858 elected to the Athenaeum Club under Rule 2, 
which provides for the annual election of " a certain number of persons 
of distinguished eminence in science, literature, or the arts, or for public 
services." 

1 " On the Last Elevation of the Alps, &c." {Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc., 
Vol. XII., 1856, p. 102). 



1844—185 8 ] ELEVATION AND SUBSIDENCE 91 

But would not this be a measure of the movement in Letter 47 
ever) - other area, northern (arctic), antarctic, or tropical, 
during an equal period— oceanic or continental? For the 
conversion of sea into land would always equal the turning 
of much land into sea. 

But all this would be done in a fraction of the Pliocene 
period ; the Glacial shells are barely 1 per cent, extinct 
species. Multiply this by the older Pliocene and Miocene 
epochs. 

You also forget an author who, by means of atolls, con- 
trived to submerge archipelagoes(orcontinentsP), the mountains 
of which must originally have differed from each other in 
height 8,000 (or 10,000 ?) feet, so that they all just rose to the 
surface at one level, or their sites are marked by buoys of 
coral. I could never feel sure whether he meant this 
tremendous catastrophe, all brought about by what Sedgwick 
called " Lyell's niggling operations," to have been effected 
during the era of existing species of corals. Perhaps you 
can tell me, for I am really curious to know. 1 . . . 

Now, although there is nothing in my works to warrant the 
building up of continents in the Atlantic and Pacific even 
since the Eocene period, yet, as some of the rocks in the 
central Alps are in part Eocene, I begin to think that all 
continents and oceans may be chiefly, if not all, post-Eocene, 
and Dana's " Atlantic Ocean " of the Lower Silurian is 
childish (see the Anniversary Address, 1856). 2 But how far 
you are at liberty to call up continents from " the vasty 
deep " as often as you want to convey a Helix from the 
United States to Europe in Miocene or Pliocene periods is 
a question ; for the ocean is getting deeper of late, and 
Haughton says the mean depth is eleven miles ! by his late 
paper on tides. 3 I shall be surprised if this turns out true by 
soundings. 

I thought your mind was expanding so much in regard 
to time that you would have been going ahead in regard to 
the possibility of mountain-chains being created in a fraction 

1 The author referred to is of course Darwin. 

2 Probably Dana's Anniversary Address to the American Association 
for the Advancement of Science, published in the Proceedings 1856. 

3 " On the Depth of the Sea deducible from Tidal Observations " 
(Proc. Irish Acad., Vol. VI., p. 354, 1S53-54). 



92 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 47 of the period required to convert a swan into a goose, or vice 
versa. Nine feet did the Rimutaka chain of New Zealand 
gain in height in Jan., 1855, and a great earthquake has 
occurred in New Zealand every seven years for half a century 
nearly. The Washingtonia (California!) conifer) 1 lately ex- 
hibited was four thousand years old, so that one individual 
might see a chain of hills rise, and rise with it, much [more] 
a species — and those islands which J. Hooker describes as 
covered with New Zealand plants three hundred (?) miles to the 
N.E. (?) of New Zealand may have been separated from the 
mainland two or three or four generations of Washingtonia 
ago. 

If the identity of the land-shells of all the hundreds of 
British Isles be owing to their having been united since the 
Glacial period, and the discordance, almost total, of the shells 
of Porto Santo and Madeira be owing to their having been 
separated [during] all the newer and possibly older Pliocene 
periods, then it gives us a conception of time which will aid 
you much in your conversion of species, if immensity of time 
will do all you require ; for the Glacial period is thus shown, 
as we might have anticipated, to be contemptible in duration 
or in distance from us, as compared to the older Pliocene, 
let alone the Miocene, when our contemporary species were, 
though in a minority, already beginning to flourish. 

The littoral shells, according to MacAndrew, imply that 
Madeira and the Canaries were once joined to the mainland 
of Europe or Africa, but that those isles were disjoined so 
long ago that most of the species came in since. In short, 
the marine shells tell the same story as the land shells. Why 
do the plants of Porto Santo and Madeira agree so nearly ? 
And why do the shells which are the same as European or 
African species remain quite unaltered, like the Crag species, 
which returned unchanged to the British seas after being 
expelled from them by glacial cold, when two millions (?) of 
years had elapsed, and after such migration to milder seas ? 
Be so good as to explain all this in your next letter. 

1 Washingtonia, or Wellingtonia, better known as Sequoia. Asa 
Gray, writing in 1872, states his belief that "no Sequoia now alive can 
sensibly antedate the Christian era" {Scientific Papers, II., p. 144)- 



1844— '858] CONTINENTAL EXTENSION 93 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 48 

Down, July 5th f 1856]. 

I write this morning in great tribulation about Tristan 
d'Acunha. 1 The more I reflect on your Antarctic flora the 
more I am astounded. You give all the facts so clearly and 
fully, that it is impossible to help speculating on the subject ; 
but it drives me to despair, for I cannot gulp down your 
continent ; and not being able to do so gives, in my eyes, the 
multiple creationists an awful triumph. It is a wondrous case, 
and how strange that A. De Candolle should have ignored 
it ; which he certainly has, as it seems to me. I wrote Lyell 
a long geological letter 2 about continents, and I have had a 
very long and interesting answer ; but I cannot in the least 
gather his opinion about all your continental extensionists ; 
and I have written again beseeching a verdict. 3 I asked him 
to send to you my letter, for as it was well copied it would not 
be troublesome to read ; but whether worth reading I really 
do not know ; I have given in it the reasons which make mc 
strongly opposed to continental extensions. 

I was very glad to get your note some days ago : I wish 
you would think it worth while, as you intend to have the 
Laburnum case translated, to write to " Wien " ' (that unknown 
place), and find out how the Laburnum has been behaving: 
it really ought to be known. 

The Entada 5 is a beast ; I have never differed from you 
about the growth of a plant in a new island being a far 
harder trial than transportal, though certainly that seems 
hard enough. Indeed I suspect I go even further than you 
in this respect ; but it is too long a story. 

1 See Flora Antarctica, p. 216. Though Tristan d'Acunha is "only 
1,000 miles distant from the Cape of Good Hope, and 3,000 from the 
Strait of Magalhaens, the botany of this island is far more intimately 
allied to that of Fuegia than Africa." 

3 Life and Letters, II., p. 74. 

3 In the tenth edition of the Principles, 1872, Lyell added a chapter 
(Ch. XLI., p. 406) on insular floras and faunas in relation to the origin 
of species ; he here (p. 410) gives his reasons against Forbes as an 
extensionist. 

4 There is a tradition that Darwin once asked Hooker where " this 
place Wien is, where they publish so many books." 

6 The large seeds of Entada scandens are occasionally floated across 
the Atlantic and cast on the shores of Europe. 



94 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 48 Thank you for the Aristolochia and Viscutn cases: what 
species were they ? I ask, because oddly these two very 
genera I have seen advanced as instances (I forget at present 
by whom, but by good men) in which the agency of insects 
was absolutely necessary for impregnation. In our British 
dioecious Viscutn I suppose it must be necessary. Was there 
anything to show that the stigma was ready for pollen in these 
two cases ? for it seems that there are many cases in which 
pollen is shed long before the stigma is ready. As in our 
Visaan, insects carry, sufficiently regularly for impregnation, 
pollen from flower to flower, I should think that there must be 
occasional crosses even in an hermaphrodite / 'iscum. I have 
never heard of bees and butterflies, only moths, producing 
fertile eggs without copulation. 

With respect to the Ray Society, I profited so enormously 
by its publishing my Cirrepedia, that I cannot quite agree 
with you on confining it to translations ; I know not how else 
I could possibly have published. 

I have just sent in my name for £20 to the Linnaean Society, 
but I must confess I have done it with heavy groans, whereas 
I daresay you gave your £20 like a light-hearted gentle- 
man. . . . 

P.S. Wollaston speaks strongly about the intermediate 
grade between two varieties in insects and mollusca being 
often rarer than the two varieties themselves. This is 
obviously very important for me, and not easy to explain. I 
believe I have had cases from you. But, if you believe in this, 
I wish you would give me a sentence to quote from you on 
this head. There must, I think, be a good deal of truth in it ; 
otherwise there could hardly be nearly distinct varieties under 
any species, for we should have instead a blending scries, as 
in brambles and willows. 

Letter 49 To J- D - Hooker. 

July 13th, 1S56. 
What a book a devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, 
wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel works of nature ! 
With respect to crossing, from one sentence in your letter I 
think you misunderstand me. I am very far from believing 
in hybrids : only in crossing of the same species or of close 



1844—18S 8 ] FLORAS 95 

varieties. These two or three last days I have been observing Letter 49 

wheat, and have convinced myself that L. Deslongchamps is 

in error about impregnation taking place in closed flowers ; 

i.e., of course, I can judge only from external appearances. 

By the way, R. Brown once told mc that the use of the 

brush on stigma of grasses was unknown. Do you know 

its use ? . . . 

You say most truly about multiple creations and my 
notions. If any one case could be proved, I should be 
smashed ; but as I am writing my book, I try to take as 
much pains as possible to give the strongest cases opposed 
to me, and often such conjectures as occur to me. I have 
been working your books as the richest (and vilest) mine 
against mc ; and what hard work I have had to get up your 
New Zealand Flora ! As I have to quote you so often, I 
should like to refer to Midler's case of the Australian Alps. 
Where is it published ? Is it a book ? A correct reference 
would be enough for me, though it is wrong even to quote 
without looking oneself. I should like to sec very much 
Forbcs's sheets, which you refer to ; but I must confess (I 
hardly know why) I have got rather to mistrust poor dear 
Forbes. 

There is wonderful ill logic in his famous and admirable 
memoir on distribution, as it appears to me, now that I have 
got it up so as to give the heads in a page. Depend on it, 
my saying is a true one — viz. that a compiler is a great man, 
and an original man a commonplace man. Any fool can 
generalise and speculate ; but oh, my heavens, to get up at 
second hand a New Zealand Flora, that is work. . . . 

And now I am going to beg almost as great a favour as 
a man can beg of another : and I ask some five or six weeks 
before I want the favour done, that it may appear less horrid. 
It is to read, but well copied out, my pages (about forty ! !) 
on Alpine floras and faunas, Arctic and Antarctic floras and 
faunas, and the supposed cold mundane period. It would be 
really an enormous advantage to me, as I am sure otherwise 
to make botanical blunders. I would specify the few points 
on which I most want your advice. But it is quite likely 
that you may object on the ground that you might be 
publishing before me (I hope to publish in a year at furthest), 
so that it would hamper and bother you ; and secondly you 



96 EVOLUTION [Chaf. I 

Letter 49 may object to the loss of time, for I daresay it would take an 
hour and a half to read. It certainly would be of immense 
advantage to me ; but of course you must not think of doing 
it if it would interfere with your own work. 

I do not consider this request in futitro as breaking my 
promise to give no more trouble for some time. 

From Lyell's letters, he is coming round at a railway pace 
on the mutability of species, and authorises me to put some 
sentences on this head in my preface. 

I shall meet Lyell on Wednesday at Lord Stanhope's, and 
will ask him to forward my letter to you ; though, as my 
arguments have not struck him, they cannot have force, and 
my head must be crotchety on the subject ; but the crotchets 
keep firmly there. I have given your opinion on continuous 
land, I see, too strongly. 

Letter 50 To S. P. Woodward. 1 

Down, July iSlh [1856J. 

Very many thanks for your kindness in writing to me at 
such length, and I am glad to say for your sake that I do not 
see that I shall have to beg any further favours. What a 
range and what a variability in the Cyrena ! 2 Your list of 
the ranges of the land and fresh-water shells certainly is 
most striking and curious, and especially as the antiquity 
of four of them is so clearly shown. 

I have got Harvey's seaside book, and liked it ; I was 
not particularly struck with it, but I will re-read the first and 
last chapters. 

I am growing as bad as the worst about species, and 
hardly have a vestige of belief in the permanence of species 

1 Samuel Pickworth Woodward (1821-65) held an appointment in the 
British Museum Library for a short time, and then became Sub-Curator 
to the Geological Society (1839). In 1845 he was appointed Professor of 
Geology and Natural History in the recently founded Royal Agricultural 
College, Cirencester ; he afterwards obtained a post as first-class 
assistant in the Department of Geology and Mineralogy in the British 
Museum. Woodward's chief work, The Manual of Mollusca, was pub- 
lished in 1851-56. ("A Memoir of Dr. S. P.Woodward," Trans. Norfolk 
and Norwich Naturalists' Society, Vol. III., p. 279, 1882. By H. B. 
Woodward.) 

5 A genus of Lamellibranchs ranging from the Lias to the 
present day. 



1844—1858] CIRRIPEDES 97 

left in me ; and this confession will make you think very Letter 50 
lightly of me, but I cannot help it. Such has become my 
honest conviction, though the difficulties and arguments 
against such heresy are certainly most weighty. 



To C. Lyell. Letter 51 

Nov. 10th [1S56]. 
I know you like all cases of negative geological evidence 
being upset. I fancied that I was a most unwilling believer 
in negative evidence ; but yet such negative evidence did 
seem to me so strong that in my Fossil Lepadidce I have 
stated, giving reasons, that I did not believe there could have 
existed any sessile cirripedes during the Secondary ages. 
Now, the other day Bosquet of Maestricht sends me a perfect 
drawing of a perfect Chthamalus 1 (a recent genus) from the 
Chalk ! Indeed, it is stretching a point to make it specifically 
distinct from our living British species. It is a genus not 
hitherto found in any Tertiary bed. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 52 

Down, July 9th, 1857. 

I am extremely much obliged to you for having so fully 
entered on my point. I knew I was on unsafe ground, but 
it proves far unsafer than I had thought. I had thought that 
Brulle - had a wider basis for his generalisation, for I made 
the extract several years ago, and I presume (I state it as 
some excuse for myself) that I doubted it, for, differently 
from my general habit, I have not extracted his grounds. It 

1 Chthamalus, a genus of Cirripedia. (A Monograph on the Sub- 
class Cirripedia, by Charles Darwin, p. 447. London, 1854.) A fossil 
species of this genus of Upper Cretaceous age was named by Bosquet 
Chthamalus Darwini. See Origin, Ed. VI., p. 284 ; also Zittel, Traitd 
de PaUontologie, Traduit par Dr. C. Barrois, Vol. II., p. 540, fig. 748. 
Paris, 1887. 

2 This no doubt refers to A. Bridle's paper in the Comptes rendus 
1844, of which a translation is given in the Annals and Mag. of Natural 
History, 1844, p. 484. In speaking of the development of the Articulata, 
the author says "that the appendages are manifested at an earlier period 
of the existence of an Articulate animal the more complex its degree of 
organisation, and vice versa that they make their appearance the later, 
the fewer the number of transformations which it has to undergo." 



98 l \ OLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 52 was meeting with Barneoud's 1 paper which made mc think 
there might be truth in the doctrine. Your instance of 
heart and brain of fish seems to me very good. It was a 
very stupid blunder on my part not thinking of the posterior 
part of the time of development. I shall, of course, not 
allude to this subject, which I rather grieve about, as I 
wished it to be true; but, alas! a scientific man ought to 
have no wishes, no affections — a mere heart of stone. 

There is only one point in your letter which at present 1 
cannot quite follow you in : supposing that Barneoud's (I do 
not say Bridles) remarks were true and universal — i.e., that the 
petals which have to undergo the greatest amount of develop- 
ment and modification begin to change the soonest from the 
simple and common embryonic form of the petal — if this 
were a true law, then I cannot but think that it would thn>\v 
light on Milne Edwards' proposition that the wider apart the 
classes of animals are, the sooner do they diverge from the 
common embryonic plan — which common embryonic [plan] 
may be compared with the similar petals in the early bud, 
the several petals in one flower being compared to the 
distinct but similar embryos of the different classes. I much 
wish that you would so far keep this in mind, that whenever 
we meet I might hear how far you differ or concur in this. 
I have always looked at Barneoud's and Brulle's proposition 
as only in some degree analogous. 

P.S. I see in my abstract of Milne Edwards' paper, he 
speaks of "the most perfect and important organs" as being 
first developed, and I should have thought that this was 
usually synonymous with the most developed or modified. 

Letter 53 To J. D. Hooker. 

The following letter is chiefly of interest as showing the amount and 
kind of work required for Darwin's conclusions on " large genera varying," 
which occupy no more than two or three pages in the Origin (Ed. I., 
p. 55). Some correspondence on the subject is given in the Life and 
Letters, II., pp. 102-5. 

1 Apparently Barneoud "On the Organogeny of Irregular Corollas," 
from the Comptes rendus, 1847, as given in Annals and Mag. of Natural 
History, 1847, p. 440. The paper chiefly deals with the fact that in their 
earliest condition irregular flowers are regular. The view attributed to 
Barneoud does not seem so definitely given in this paper as in a previous 
one {Ann. Sc. Nat., Bot., Tom. VI., p. 268). 



1S44 — 1858] LARGE GENERA 99 

Down, August 22nd [1857]. Letter 53 

Your handwriting always rejoices the cockles of my 
heart ; though you have no reason to be " overwhelmed 
with shame," as I did not expect to hear. 

I write now chiefly to know whether you can tell me how 
to write to Hermann Schlagenheit (is this spelt right ?),' for I 
believe he is returned to England, and he has poultry skins 
for me from W. Elliot of Madras. 

I am very glad to hear that you have been tabulating 
some Floras about varieties. Will you just tell me roughly 
the result? Do you not find it takes much time? I am 
employing a laboriously careful schoolmaster, who does 
the tabulating and dividing into two great cohorts, more 
carefully than I can. This being so, I should be very glad 
some time to have Koch, Webb's Canaries, and Ledebour, 
and Grisebach, but I do not know even where Rumelia is. I 
shall work the British flora with three separate Floras ; and 
I intend dividing the varieties into two classes, as Asa Gray 
and Henslow give the materials, and, further, A. Gray and 
H. C. Watson have marked for me the forms, which they 
consider real species, but yet are very close to others ; and it 
will be curious to compare results. If it will all hold good 
it is very important for me ; for it explains, as I think, all 
classification, i.e. the quasi-branching and sub-branching of 
forms, as if from one root, big genera increasing and 
splitting up, etc., as you will perceive. But then comes in, 
also, what I call a principle of divergence, which I think 
I can explain, but which is too long, and perhaps you would 
not care to hear. As you have been on this subject, you 
might like to hear what very little is complete (for my 
schoolmaster has had three weeks' holidays) — only three 
cases as yet, I see. 

Babington— British Flora. 



593 species in genera of 5 and 
upwards have in a thousand species 
presenting vars. iVuV ' 



593 (odd chance equal) in genera 
of 3 and downwards have in a 
thousand presenting vars. ^,It,. 



1 Schlagintweit. 

3 This sentence may be interpreted as follows : The number of 
species which present varieties are 134 per thousand in genera of 
5 species and upwards. The result is obtained from tabulation of 593 
species. 



IOO EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 53 HOOKER— NEW ZEALAND. 

Genera with 4 species and up- I With 3 species and down- 
wards, i'oVj. I wards, ftftrV- 

Godkon— Central France. 



With 5 species and upwards, A.',.",. 



With 3 species and downwards 



I do not enter into details on omitting introduced plants 
and very varying genera, as Ruins, Salix, Rosa, etc., which 
would make the result more in favour. 

I enjoyed seeing ilenslow extremely, though I was a 
good way from well at the time. Farewell, my dear Hooker : 
do not forget your visit here some time. 

L eUer 54 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, Nov. 14th [1S57]. 

On Tuesday I will send off from London, whither I go 
on that day, Ledebour's three remaining vols., Grisebach and 
Cybele, i.e., all that I have, and most truly am I obliged to 
you for them. I find the rule, as yet, of the species varying 
most in the large genera universal, except in Miquel's very 
brief and therefore imperfect list of the Holland flora, which 
makes me very anxious to tabulate a fuller flora of Holland. 
I shall remain in London till Friday morning, and if quite 
convenient to send me two vols, of D.C. Prodrowus, I 
could take them home and tabulate them. I should think 
a vol. with a large best known natural family, and a vol. 
with several small broken families would be best, always 
supposing that the varieties are conspicuously marked in 
both. Have you the volume published by Lowe on 
Madeira? If so and if any varieties are marked I should 
much like to see it, to see if I can make out anything about 
habitats of vars. in so small an area — a point on which I have 
become very curious. I fear there is no chance of your 
possessing Forbes and Hancock British Shells, a grand work, 
which I much wish to tabulate. 

Very many thanks for seed of Adlumia cirrhosa, which I 
will carefully observe. My notice in the G. Ch. on Kidney 
Beans l has brought me a curious letter from an intelligent 

1 " On the Agency of Bees in the Fertilisation of Papilionaceous 
Flowers" (Gardeners' Chronicle, 1857, p. 725). 



1844—1858] DIVERGENT AFFINITIES IOI 

gardener, with a most remarkable lot of beans, crossed in Letter 54 
a marvellous manner in the first generation, like the peas sent 
to you by Berkeley and like those experimentalised on by 
Gartner and by Wiegmann. It is a very odd case ; I shall 
sow these seeds and sec what comes up. How very odd that 
pollen of one form should affect the outer coats and size of 
the bean produced by pure species ! . . . 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 55 

Down [1857 ?]. 
You know how I work subjects : namely, if I stumble on 
any general remark, and if I find it confirmed in any other 
very distinct class, then I try to find out whether it is true, — if 
it has any bearing on my work. The following, perhaps, may 
be important to me. Dr. Wight remarks that Cucurbitaceae ! 
is a very isolated family, and has very diverging affinities- 
I find, strongly put and illustrated, the very same remark in 
the genera of hymenoptera. Now, it is not to me at first 
apparent why a very distinct and isolated group should be 
apt to have more divergent affinities than a less isolated 
group. I am aware that most genera have more affinities than 
in two ways, which latter, perhaps, is the commonest case. 
I see how infinitely vague all this is ; but I should very much 
like to know what you and Mr. Bentham (if he will read this), 
who have attended so much to the principles of classification, 
think of this. Perhaps the best way would be to think of 
half a dozen most isolated groups of plants, and then consider 
whether the affinities point in an unusual number of directions. 
Very likely you may think the whole question too vague to 
be worth consideration. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 50 

Down, April 8th [1857]. 
I now want to ask your opinion, and for facts on a point ; 
and as I shall often want to do this during the next year or 
two, so let me say, once for all, that you must not take trouble 
out of mere good nature (of which towards me you have 
a most abundant stock), but you must consider, in regard 

1 Wight, " Remarks on the Fruit of the Natural Order Cucur- 
bitaceae" {Ami. Mag. Nat. Hist., VIII., p. 261). R. Wight, F.R.S. 
(1796—1872) was Superintendent of the Madras Botanic Garden. 



102 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 56 to the trouble any question may take, whether you think it 
worth while — as all loss of time so far lessens your original 
work — to give me facts to be quoted on your authority in my 
work. Do not think I shall be disappointed if you cannot 
spare time ; for already I have profited enormously from 
your judgment and knowledge. I earnestly beg you to act 
as I suggest, and not take trouble solely out of good-nature. 

My point is as follows : Harvey gives the case of Fucus 
varying remarkably, and yet in same way under most 
different conditions. D. Don makes same remark in regard 
to Juncus bufonius in England and India. Polygala vulgaris 
has white, red, and blue flowers in Faroe, England, and I 
think Herbert says in Zante. Now such cases seem to me 
very striking, as showing how little relation some variations 
have to climatal conditions. 

Do you think there are many such cases ? Does Oxalis 
corniculata present exactly the same varieties under very 
different climates? 

How is it with any other British plants in New Zealand, 
or at the foot of the Himalaya? Will you think over this 
and let me hear the result? 

One other question : do you remember whether the 
introduced Sonchus in New Zealand was less, equally, or 
more common than the aboriginal stock of the same species, 
where both occurred together? I forget whether there is 
any other case parallel with this curious one of the Sonchus .... 

I have been making good, though slow, progress with my 
book, for facts have been falling nicely into groups, enlighten- 
ing each other. 

Letter 57 To T. H. Huxley. 

Moor Park, Farnham, Surrey [1857?]. 

Your letter has been forwarded to me here, where I am 
profiting by a few weeks' rest and hydropathy. Your letter 
has interested and amused me much. I am extremely glad 
you have taken up the Aphis 1 question, but, for Heaven's sake, 

1 Professor Huxley's paper on the organic reproduction of Aphis is in 
the Trans. Linn. Soc, XXII. (1858), p. 193. Prof. Owen had treated the 
subject in his introductory Hunterian lecture On Parthenogenesis (1849). 
His theory cannot be fully given here. Briefly, he holds that partheno- 
genesis is due to the inheritance of a "remnant of spermatic virtue": 



iS44— 1858] PARTHENOGENESIS IO3 

do not come the mild Hindoo (whatever he may be) to Owen ; Letter 57 
your father confessor trembles for you. I fancy Owen thinks 
much of this doctrine of his ; I never from the first believed 
it, and I cannot but think that the same power is concerned 
in producing aphides without fertilisation, and producing, for 
instance, nails on the amputated stump of a man's fingers, or 
the new tail of a lizard. By the way, I saw somewhere during 
the last week or so a statement of a man rearing from the 
same set of eggs winged and wingless aphides, which seemed 
new to me. Does not some Yankee say that the American 
viviparous aphides are winged ? I am particularly glad that 
you are ruminating on the act of fertilisation : it has long 
seemed to me the most wonderful and curious of physiological 
problems. I have often and often speculated for amusement 
on the subject, but quite fruitlessly. Do you not think that 
the conjugation of the Diatomaceae will ultimately throw light 
on the subject? But the other day I came to the conclusion 
that some day we shall have cases of young being produced 
from spermatozoa or pollen without an ovule. Approaching 
the subject from the side which attracts me most, viz., inherit- 
ance, I have lately been inclined to speculate, very crudely 
and indistinctly, that propagation by true fertilisation will 
turn out to be a sort of mixture, and not true fusion, of two 
distinct individuals, or rather of innumerable individuals, as 
each parent has its parents and ancestors. I can understand 
on no other view the way in which crossed forms go back to 
so large an extent to ancestral forms. But all this, of course, 
is infinitely crude. I hope to be in London in the course of 
this month, and there are two or three points which, for my 
own sake, I want to discuss briefly with you. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 58 

Down, Sept. 26th [1857]. 

Thanks for your very pleasant note. It amuses me to see 
what a bug-bear I have made myself to you ; when having 
written some very pungent and good sentence it must be very 
disagreeable to have my face rise up like an ugly ghost. 1 I 

when the "spermatic force" or "virtue" is exhausted fresh impregnation 
occurs. Huxley severely criticises both Owen's facts and his theory. 

1 This probably refers to Darwin's wish to moderate a certain 
pugnacity in Huxley. 



104 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 58 have always suspected Agassiz of superficiality and wretched 
reasoning powers ; but I think such men do immense good in 
their way. See how he stirred up all Europe about glaciers. 
By the way, Lyell has been at the glaciers, or rather their 
effects, and seems to have done good work in testing and 
judging what others have done. . . . 

In "regard to classification and all the endless disputes 
about the " Natural System," which no two authors define in 
the same way, I believe it ought, in accordance to my hetero- 
dox notions, to be simply genealogical. But as we have no 
written pedigrees you will, perhaps, say this will not help 
much ; but 1 think it ultimately will, whenever heterodoxy 
becomes orthodoxy, for it will clear away an immense amount 
of rubbish about the value of characters, and will make the 
difference between analogy and homology clear. The time 
will come, I believe, though I shall not live to see it, when we 
shall have very fairly true genealogical trees of each great 
kingdom of Nature. 

Letter 59 To T. H. Huxley. 

Down, Dec. 16th [1857]. 

In my opinion your Catalogue 1 is simply the very best 
resume, by far, on the whole science of Natural History, which 
I have ever seen. I really have no criticisms : I agree with 
every word. Your metaphors and explanations strike me 
as admirable. In many parts it is curious how what you 
have written agrees with what I have been writing, only with 
the melancholy difference for me that you put everything in 
twice as striking a manner as I do. I append, more for the 
sake of showing that I have attended to the whole than for 
any other object, a few most trivial criticisms. 

I was amused to meet with some of the arguments, which 
you advanced in talk with me, on classification ; and it 
pleases me, [that] my long proses were so far not thrown 
away, as they led you to bring out here some good sentences. 

1 It appears from a letter to Sir J. D. Hooker (Dec. 25th, 1857) that 
the reference is to the proofs of Huxley's Explanatory Preface to the 
Catalogue of the I'aUcontological Collection in the Museum of Practical 
Geology, by T. H. Huxley and K. Etheridge, 1865. Mr. Huxley appends 
a note at p. xlix : " It should be noted that these pages were written 
before the appearance of Mr. Darwin's book on The Origin of Species— 
a work which has effected a revolution in biological speculation." 



1844— 1858] LARGE GENERA 105 

But on classification ' I am not quite sure that I yet wholly Letter 59 
go with you, though I agree with every word you have here 
said. The whole, I repeat, in my opinion is admirable and 
excellent. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 60 

Down, Feb. 2Sth [1858]. 

Hearty thanks for De Candolle received. I have put the 
big genera in hand. Also many thanks for your valuable 
remarks on the affinities of the species in great genera, which 
will be of much use to me in my chapter on classification. 
Your opinion is what I had expected from what little I knew, 
but I much wanted it confirmed, and many of your remarks 
were more or less new to me and all of value. 

You give a poor picture of the philosophy of Botany. 
From my ignorance, I suppose, I can hardly persuade myself 
that things are quite as bad as you make them, — you might 
have been writing remarks on Ornithology! I shall meditate 
much on your remarks, which will also come in very useful 
when I write and consider my tables of big and small genera. 
I grieve for myself to say that Watson agrees with your view, 
but with much doubt. I gave him no guide what your 
opinion was. I have written to A. Gray and to X., who — - 
i.e. the latter — on this point may be looked at as S. Smith's 
Foolometer. 

I am now working several of the large local Floras, with 
leaving out altogether all the smallest genera. When I have 
done this, and seen what the sections of the largest genera 
say, and seen what the results are of range and commonness 
of varying species, I must come to some definite conclusion 
whether or not entirely to give up the ghost. I shall then 
show how my theory points, how the facts stand, then state 
the nature of your grievous assault and yield entirely or 
defend the case as far as I can honestly. 

Again I thank you for your invaluable assistance. I have 
not felt the blow [Hooker's criticisms] so much of late, as 
I have been beyond measure interested on the constructive 
instinct of the hive-bee. Adios, you terrible worrier of poor 
theorists ! 



1 This probably refers to Mr. Huxley's discussion on " Natural Classi- 
fication," a subject hardly susceptible of fruitful treatment except from an 
evolutionary standpoint. 



Letter 61 



106 EVOLUTION [( hap. II 

To J. D. I looker. 

Down [1858?] 

Many thanks for Ledcbour and still more for your letter, 
with its admirable risutni of all your objections. It is really 
most kind of you to take so very much trouble about what 
seems to you, and probably is, mere vagaries. 

I will earnestly try and be cautious. I will write out my 
tables and conclusion, and (when well copied out) I hope you 
will be so kind as to read it. I will then put it by and after 
some months look at it with fresh eyes. I will briefly work 
in all your objections and Watson's. I labour under a great 
difficulty from feeling sure that, with what very little sys- 
tematic work I have done, small genera were more interesting 
and therefore more attracted my attention. 

One of your remarks I do not see the bearing of under 
your point of view — namely, that in monotypic genera " the 
variation and variability " are " much more frequently 
noticed" than in polytypic genera. I hardly like to ask, but 
this is the only one of your arguments of which I do not see 
the bearing ; and I certainly should be very glad to know. I 
believe I am the slowest (perhaps the worst) thinker in 
England ; and I now consequently fully admit the full 
hostility of Urticacea;, which I will give in my tables. 

I will make no remarks on your objections, as I do hope 
you will read my MS., which will not cost you much trouble 
when fairly copied out. From my own experience, I hardly 
believe that the most sagacious observers, without counting, 
could have predicted whether there were more or fewer 
recorded varieties in large or small genera ; for I found, when 
actually making the list, that I could never strike a balance 
in my mind, — a good many varieties occurring together, in 
small or in large genera, always threw me off the balance. . . . 

P.S. — I have just thought that your remark about the 
much variation of monotypic genera was to show me that 
even in these, the smallest genera, there was much variability. 
If this be so, then do not answer ; and I will so understand it. 



i844— «S58] LARGE GENERA 107 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 62 

Feb. 23rd [1858]. 

Will you think of some of the largest genera with which 
you are well acquainted, and then suppose | of the species 
utterly destroyed and unknown in the sections (as it were) as 
much as possible in the centre of such great genera. Then 
would the remaining | of the species, forming a few sections, 
be, according to the general practice of average good Botanists, 
ranked as distinct genera? Of course they would in that 
case be closely related genera. The question, in fact, is, are 
all the species in a gigantic genus kept together in that genus, 
because they are really so very closely similar as to be 
inseparable ? or is it because no chasms or boundaries can 
be drawn separating the many species ? The question might 
have been put for Orders. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 63 

Down, Feb. 9th [1858]. * 

I should be very much obliged for your opinion on the en- 
closed. You may remember in the three first vols, tabulated, 
all orders went right except Labiata:. By the way, if by any 
extraordinary chance you have not thrown away the scrap of 
paper with former results, I wish you would return it, for' I 
have lost my copy, and I shall have all the division to do 
again ; but do not hunt for it, for in any case I should have 
gone over the calculation again. 

Now I have done the three other vols. You will see that 
all species in the six vols, together go right, and likewise 
all orders in the three last vols., except Verbenaccse. Is not 
Verbenacese very closely allied to Labiatae ? If so, one would 
think that it was not mere chance, this coincidence. The species 
in Labiatae and Verbenaceae together are between i and \ 
of all the species (15,645), which I have now tabulated. 

Now, bearing in mind the many local Floras which I have 
tabulated (belting the whole northern hemisphere), and con- 
sidering that they (and authors of D.C. Prodromus) would 
probably take different degrees of care in recording varieties, 
and the genera would be divided on different principles by 
different men, etc., I am much surprised at the uniformity of 
the result, and I am satisfied that there must be truth in the 



K>S EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 63 rule that the small genera vary less than the large. What do 
you think ? Hypothetically I can conjecture how the Labiatae 
might fail — namely, if some small divisions of the Order were 
now coming into importance in the world and varying much 
and making species. This makes me want to know whether 
you could divide the Labiata: into a few great natural divi- 
sions, and then I would tabulate them separately as sub- 
orders. I see Lindley makes so many divisions that there 
would not be enough in each for an average. I send the 
table of the Labiatae for the chance of your being able to 
do this for me. You might draw oblique lines including and 
separating both large and small genera. I have also divided 
all the species into two equal masses, and my rule holds 
good for all the species in a mass in the six volumes ; but it 
fails in several (four) large Orders — viz. Labiatae, Scrophu- 
lariaceae, Acanthaceas, and Proteacea?. But, then, when the 
species are divided into two almost exactly equal divisions, 
the divisions with large genera are so very few : for instance, 
in Solanaceae, Solarium balances all others. In Labiata; seven 
gigantic genera balance all others (viz. 1 1 3), and in Proteacea: 
five genera balance all others. Now, according to my 
hypothetical notions, I am far from supposing that all genera 
go on increasing for ever, and therefore I am not surprised 
at this result, when the division is so made that only 
a very few genera are on one side. But, according to my 
notions, the sections or sub-genera of the gigantic genera 
ought to obey my rule {i.e., supposing a gigantic genus had 
come to its maximum, whatever increase was still going on 
ought to be going on in the larger sub-genera). Do you think 
that the sections of the gigantic genera in D.C. Prodromus 
arc generally natural: i.e. not founded on mere artificial char- 
acters? If you think that they are generally made as natural 
as they can be, then I should like very much to tabulate the 
sub-genera, considering them for the time as good genera. 
In this case, and if you do not think me unreasonable to ask 
it, I should be very glad of the loan of Vols. X., XI., XII., and 
XIV., which include Acanthaces, Scrophulariaceae, Labiata;, 
and Proteaceae, — that is, the orders which, when divided quite 
equally, do not accord with my rule, and in which a very few 
genera balance all the others. 

I have written you a tremendous long prose. 



1844—1858] LARGE GENERA 109 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 64 

Down, June 8th [1S58]. 

I am confined to the sofa with boils, so you must let me 
write in pencil. You would laugh if you could know how 
much your note pleased me. I had the firmest conviction 
that you would say all my MS. was bosh, and, thank God, 
you are one of the few men who dare speak the truth. 
Though I should not have much cared about throwing away 
what you have seen, yet I have been forced to confess to 
myself that all was much alike, and if you condemned that 
you would condemn all my life's work, and that I confess 
made me a little low ; but I could have borne it, for I have 
the conviction that I have honestly done my best. The dis- 
cussion comes in at the end of the long chapter on variation 
in a state of nature, so that I have discussed, as far as I am 
able, what to call varieties. I will try to leave out all allusion 
to genera coming in and out in this part, till when I discuss 
the " Principle of Divergence," which, with " Natural Selec- 
tion," is the keystone of my book ; and I have very great* 
confidence it is sound. I would have this discussion copied 
out, if I could really think it would not bore you to read, — 
for, believe me, I value to the full every word of criticism 
from you, and the advantage which I have derived from you 
cannot be told. . . . 

I am glad to hear that poor old Brown is dying so 
easily. . . . 

You will think it paltry, but as I was asked to pay for 
printing the Diploma [from a Society of which he had been 
made an honorary member], I did not like to refuse, so I sent 
£1. But I think it a shabby proceeding. If a gentleman 
did me some service, though unasked to do it, and then 
demanded payment, I should pay him, and think him a 
shabby dog; and on this principle I sent my £1. 

The following four letters refer to an inquiry instituted in 1858 by the 
Trustees of the British Museum as to the disposal of the Natural History 
Collections. The inquiry was one of the first steps towards the 
establishment of the Cromwell Road Museum, which was effected in 1875. 

To R. I. Murchi.SOn. Letter 65 

Down. June 19th [1S5S]. 

I have just received your note. Unfortunately I cannot 
attend at the British Museum on Monday. I do not suppose 



HO EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 65 my opinion on the subject of your note can be of any 
value, as I have not much considered the subject, or had the 
advantage of discussing it with other naturalists. But my 
impression is, that there is much weight in what you say 
about not breaking up the natural history collection of the 
British Museum. I think a national collection ought to be 
in London. I can, however, see that some weighty arguments 
might be advanced in favour of Kew, owing to the immense 
value of Sir W. Hooker's collection and library ; but these 
are private property, and I am not aware that there is any 
certainty of their always remaining at Kew. Had this been 
the case, I should have thought that the botanical collection 
might have been removed there without endangering the 
other branches of the collections. But I think it would be 
the greatest evil which could possibly happen to natural 
science in this country if the other collections were ever to 
be removed from the British Museum and Library. 

Letter 66 To T. H. Huxley. 

The memorial referred to in the following letter was addressed on 
Nov. 1 8th to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It was signed by 
Huxley, Bentham, W. H. Harvey, Henfrey, Henslow, Lindley, Busk, 
Carpenter, and Darwin. The memorial, which is accessible, as pub- 
lished in the Gardeners' Chronicle, Nov. 27th, 1858, p. 861, recommended, 
speaking generally, the consolidation of the National Botanical collections 
at Kew. 

In February, 1900, a Committee was appointed by the Lords Commis- 
sioners of the Treasury " to consider the present arrangements under 
which botanical work is done and collections maintained by the Trustees 
of the British Museum, and under the First Commissioner of Works at 
Kew, respectively ; and to report what changes (if any) in those arrange- 
ments are necessary or desirable in order to avoid duplication of work 
and collections at the two institutions." The Committee published their 
report in March, 1901, recommending an arrangement similar to that 
proposed in 1858. 

Down, Oct. 23rd [1858]. 

The names which you give as supporting your memorial 
make me quite distrust my own judgment ; but, as I must say 
yea or nay, I am forced to say that I doubt the wisdom of 
the movement, and am not willing at present to sign. My 
reasons, perhaps of very little value, are as follows. The 
governing classes are thoroughly unscientific, and the men of 



1844-1858] BRITISH MUSEUM III 

art and of archaeology have much greater weight with Govern- Letter 66 
ment than we have. If we make a move to separate from 
the British Museum, I cannot but fear that we may go to 
the dogs. I think we owe our position in large part to the 
hundreds of thousands of people who visit the British 
Museum, attracted by the heterogeneous mixture of objects. 
If we lost this support, as I think we should — for a mere 
collection of animals docs not seem very attractive to the 
masses (judging from the Museum of the Zoological Society, 
formerly in Leicester Square) — then I do not think we 
should get nearly so much aid from Government. Therefore 
I should be inclined to stick to the mummies and Assyrian 
gods as long as we could. If we knew that Government was 
going to turn us out, then, and not till then, I should be 
inclined to make an energetic move. If we were to separate, 
I do not believe that we should have funds granted for the 
many books required for occasional reference : each man 
must speak from his own experience. I have so repeatedb/ 
required to see old Transactions and old Travels, etc., that 
I should regret extremely, when at work at the British 
Museum, to be separated from the entire library. The 
facilities for working at certain great classes — as birds, large 
fossils, etc. — are no doubt as bad as possible, or rather im- 
possible, on the open days ; but I have found the working 
rooms of the Assistants very convenient for all other classes 
on all days. 

In regard to the botanical collections, I am too ignorant 
to express any opinion. The point seems to be how far 
botanists would object to travel to Kew ; but there arc 
evidently many great advantages in the transportation. 

If I had my own way, I would make the British Museum 
collection only a typical one for display, which would be quite 
as amusing and far more instructive to the populace (and 
I think to naturalists) than the present enormous display of 
birds and mammals. I would save expense of stuffing, and 
would keep all skins, except a few " typicals," in drawers. 
Thus much room would be saved, and a little more space 
could be given to real workers, who could work all day. 
Rooms fitted up with thousands of drawers would cost very 
little. With this I should be contented. Until I had pretty 
sure information that we were going to be turned out, I 



112 EVOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 66 would not stir in the matter. With such opponents as you 
name, I daresay I am quite wrong ; but this is my best, 
though doubtful, present judgment. . . . 

It seems to me dangerous even to hint at a new Scientific 
Museum — a popular Museum, and to subsidise the Zoological 
Gardens ; it would, I think, frighten any Government. 

tetter 67 To J. D. Hooker. 

Moor Park, Farnham, Surrey [Oct.] 29th [1858]. 

As you say that you have good private information that 
Government does intend to remove the collection from the 
British Museum, the case to me individually is wholly 
changed ; and as the memorial now stands, with such ex- 
pression at its head, I have no objection whatever to sign. 
I must express a very strong opinion that it would be an 
immense evil to remove to Kensington, not on account of the 
men of science so much as for the masses in the whole eastern 
and central part of London. I further think it would be a 
great evil to separate a typical collection (which I can by no 
means look at as only popular) from the collection in full. 
Might not some expression be added, even stronger than those 
now used, on the display (which is a sort of vanity in the 
curators) of such a vast number of birds and mammals, with 
such a loss of room. I am low at the conviction that Govern- 
ment will never give money enough for a really good library. 

I do not want to be crotchety, but I should hate signing 
without some expression about the site being easily accessible 
to the populace of the whole of London. 

I repeat, as things now stand, I shall be proud to sign. 

Letter 68 To T - H - Huxley. 

Down, Nov. 3rd [1858]. 

I most entirely subscribe to all you say in your note. 
I have had some correspondence with Hooker on the subject. 
As it seems certain that a movement in the British Museum 
is generally anticipated, my main objection is quite removed ; 
and, as I have told Hooker, I have no objection whatever 
to sign a memorial of the nature of the one he sent me or 
that now returned. Both seem to me very good. I cannot 
help being fearful whether Government will ever grant money 



1844-1S58] ROYAL SOCIETY 113 

enough for books. I can see many advantages in not being Letter 68 
under the unmotherly wing of art and archaeology, and my 
only fear was that we were not strong enough to live without 
some protection, so profound, I think, is the contempt for 
and ignorance of Natural Science amongst the gentry of 
England. Hooker tells me that I should be converted into 
favour of Kensington Gore if I heard all that could be said in 
its favour ; but I cannot yet help thinking so western a locality 
a great misfortune. Has Lyell been consulted? His would 
be a powerful name, and such names go for much with our 
ignorant Governors. You seem to have taken much trouble 
in the business, and I honour you for it. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 69 

Down, Nov. 9th [1858]. 
I am quite delighted to hear about the Copley ' and Lyell. 
I have grown hot with indignation many times thinking of 
the way the proposal was met last year, according to your 
account of it. I am also very glad to hear of Hancock - ; it 
will show the provincials arc not neglected. Altogether the 
medals are capital. I shall be proud and bound to help in 
any way about the eloge, which is rather a heavy tax on 
proposers of medals, as I found about Richardson and West- 
wood ; but Lycll's case will be twenty times as difficult. I 
will begin this very evening clotting down a few remarks on 
Lyell ; though, no doubt, most will be superfluous, and several 
would require deliberate consideration. Anyhow, such notes 
may be a preliminary aid to you ; I will send them in a few 
days' time, and will do anything else you may wish. . . . 

P.S. — I have had a letter from Henslow this morning. 
He comes here on [Thursday] 25th, and I shall be delighted 
to see him ; but it stops my coming to the Club, as I had 
arranged to do, and now I suppose I shall not be in London 
till Dec. 1 6th, if odds and ends do not compel me to come 
sooner. Of course I have not said a word to Henslow of 
my change of plans. I had looked forward with pleasure to 
a chat with you and others. 

1 The Copley Medal of the Royal Society was awarded to Lyell 
in 1858. 

J Albany Hancock received a Royal Medal in 185S. 



114 IXOLUTION [Chap. II 

Letter 69 P.S. 2. — I worked all yesterday evening in thinking, and 
have written the paper sent by this post this morning. Not one 
sentence would do, but it is the sort of rough sketch which 
I should have drawn out if I had had to do it. God knows 
whether it will at all aid you. It is miserably written, with 
horridly bad metaphors, probably horrid bad grammar. It is 
my deliberate impression, such as I should have written to 
any friend who had asked me what I thought of Lyell's merits. 
I will do anything else which you may wish, or that I can. 

Letter 70 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, Dec. 30th [1S58]. 
I have had this copied to save you trouble, as it was vilely 
written, and is now vilely expressed. 

Your letter has interested me greatly ; but how inex- 
tricable arc the subjects which we are discussing ! I do not 
think I said that 1 thought the productions of Asia were 
liiglier 1 than those of Australia. I intend carefully to avoid 
this expression, 2 for I do not think that any one has a definite 
idea what is meant by higher, except in classes which can 
loosely be compared with man. On our theory of Natural 
Selection, if the organisms of any area belonging to the 
Eocene or Secondary periods were put into competition with 
those now existing in the same area (or probably in any part 
of the world) they (i.e. the old ones) would be beaten hollow 
and be exterminated ; if the theory be true, this must be so. 
In the same manner, I believe, a greater number of the 
productions of Asia, the largest territory in the world, would 
beat those of Australia, than conversely. So it seems to be 
between Europe and North America, for I can hardly believe 
in the difference of the stream of commerce causing so great 
a difference in the proportions of immigrants. But this sort 
of highness (I wish I could invent some expression, and must 
try to do so) is different from highness in the common 
acceptation of the word. It might be connected with degra- 
dation of organisation : thus the blind degraded worm-like 
snake (Typhlops) might supplant the true earthworm. Here 

1 On the use of the terms " higher " and " lower " see Letters 35 
and 36. 

3 In a paper of pencilled notes pinned into Darwin's copy of the 
Vestiges occur the words : " Never use the word {sic) higher and lower." 



1844—1858] HIGHNESS AND LOWNESS IIS 

then would be degradation in the class, but certainly increase Letter 70 
in the scale of organisation in the general inhabitants of the 
country. On the other hand, it would be quite as easy to 
believe that true earthworms might beat out the Typhlops. I 
do not see how this " competitive highness " can be tested in 
any way by us. And this is a comfort to me when mentally 
comparing the Silurian and Recent organisms. Not that I 
doubt a long course of " competitive highness " will ultimately 
make the organisation higher in every sense of the word ; 
but it seems most difficult to test it. Look at the Erigcron 
canadensis on the one hand and Anacharis l on the other ; 
these plants must have some advantage over European pro- 
ductions, to spread as they have. Yet who could discover it ? 
Monkeys can co-exist with sloths and opossums, orders at 
the bottom of the scale ; and the opossums might well be 
beaten by placental insectivores, coming from a country where 
there were no monkeys, etc. I should be sorry to give up the 
view that an old and very large continuous territory would 
generally produce organisms higher in the competitive sense 
than a smaller territory. I may, of course, be quite wrong 
about the plants of Australia (and your facts are, of course, 
quite new to me on their highness), but when I read the 
accounts of the immense spreading of European plants in 
Australia, and think of the wool and corn brought thence to 
Europe, and not one plant naturalised, I can hardly avoid the 
suspicion that Europe beats Australia in its productions. If 
many {i.e. more than one or two) Australian plants are truly 
naturalised in India (N.B. Naturalisation on Indian mountains 
hardly quite fair, as mountains are small islands in the land) 
I must strike my colours. I should be glad to hear whether 
what I have written very obscurely on this point produces 
any effect on you ; for I want to clear my mind, as perhaps 
I should put a sentence or two in my abstract 2 on this 
subject. 

I have always been willing to strike my colours on former 
immense tracts of land in oceans, if any case required it in 
an eminent degree. Perhaps yours may be a case, but at 

1 Anacharis {Elodca canadensis) and Erigcron canadensis are both 
successful immigrants from America. 

- Abstract was Darwin's name for the Origin during parts of 1858 
and 1859. 



Il6 EVOLUTION [Chap. TI 

Letter 70 present I greatly prefer land in the Antarctic regions, where 
now there is only ice and snow, but which before the Glacial 
period might well have been clothed by vegetation. You 
have thus to invent far less land, and that more central ; and 
aid is got by floating ice for transporting seed. 

I hope I shall not weary you by scribbling my notions at 
this length. After writing last to you I began to think that 
the Malay Land might have existed through part of the 
Glacial epoch. Why 1 at first doubted was from the difference 
of existing mammals in different islands ; but many are very 
close, and some identical in the islands, and I am constantly 
deceiving myself from thinking of the little change which the 
shells and plants, whilst all co-existing in their own northern 
hemisphere, have undergone since the Glacial epoch ; but I 
am convinced that this is most false reasoning, for the relations 
of organism to new organisms, when thrown together, are by 
far the most important. 

When you speak of plants having undergone more 
change since old geological periods than animals, are you not 
rather comparing plants with higher animals ? Think how 
little some, indeed many, mollusca have changed. Remember 
Silurian Nautilus, Lingula and other Brachiopods, and Nucula, 
and amongst Echinoderms, the Silurian Asterias, etc. 

What you say about lowness of brackish-water plants 
interests me. I remember that they are apt to be social 
(/>. many individuals in comparison to specific forms), and I 
should be tempted to look at this as a case of a very small 
area, and consequently of very few individuals in comparison 
with those on the land or in pure fresh-water ; and hence 
less development (odious word !) than on land or fresh-water. 
But here comes in your two-edged sword ! I should like 
much to see any paper on plants of brackish water or on 
the edge of the sea ; but I suppose such has never been 
published. 

Thanks about Nelumbium, for I think this was the very 
plant which from the size of seed astonished me, and which 
A. De Candolle adduced as a marvellous case of almost 
impossible transport. I now find to my surprise that herons 
do feed sometimes on [illegible] fruit ; and grebes on seeds 
of Composite. 

Many thanks for offer of help about a grant for the 



1844-1S5S] GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION 117 

Abstract ; but I should hope it would sell enough to pay Letter 70 
expenses. 

I am reading your letter and scribbling as I go on. 

Your oak and chestnut case seems very curious ; is it not 
the more so as beeches have gone to, or come from the 
south? But I vehemently protest against you or any one 
making such cases especial marvels, without you are prepared 
to say why each species in any flora is twice or thrice, etc., 
rarer than each other species which grows in the same soil. 
The more I think, the more evident is it to me how utterly 
ignorant we are of the thousand contingencies on which 
range, frequency, and extinction of each species depend. 

I have sometimes thought, from Edentata ! and Marsupialia, 
that Australia retains a remnant of the former and ancient 
state of the fauna of the world, and I suppose that you arc 
coming to some such conclusion for plants ; but is not the 
relation between the Cape and Australia too special for such 
views ? I infer from your writings that the relation is too 
special between Fuegia and Australia to allow us to look afr 
the resemblances in certain plants as the relics of mundane 
resemblances. On the other hand, [have] not the Sandwich 
Islands in the Northern Hemisphere some odd relations to 
Australia ? When we are dead and gone what a noble 
subject will be Geographical Distribution ! 

You may say what you like, but you will never convince 
me that I do not owe you ten times as much as you can owe 
me. Farewell, my dear Hooker. I am sorry to hear that 
you are both unwell with influenza. Do not bother yourself 
in answering anything in this, except your general impression 
on the battle between N. and S. 



1 No doubt a slip of the pen for Monotre m:a 



CHAPTER III. 

Evolution 
1859— 1863. 
Letter 71 To A. R. Wallace. 

Down, April 6th, 1859. 

I this morning received your pleasant and friendly note of 
November 30th. The first part of my MS. is in Murray's 
hands to see if he likes to publish it. There is no preface, 
but a short introduction, which must be read by every one 
who reads my book. The second paragraph in the intro- 
duction x I have had copied verbatim from my foul copy, and 
you will, I hope, think that I have fairly noticed your paper 
in the Linn. Journal? You must remember that I am now 
publishing only an abstract, and I give no references. I shall, 
of course, allude to your paper on distribution 3 ; and I have 
added that I know from correspondence that your explanation 
of your law is the same as that which I offer. You arc right, 
that I came to the conclusion that selection was the principle 
of change from the study of domesticated productions ; and 
then, reading Malthus, I saw at once how to apply this 
principle. Geographical distribution and geological relations 

1 Origin of Species, Ed. I., 1859, pp. 1 and 2. 

2 " On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties, and on the 
Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection." 
By Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace. Communicated by Sir 
Charles Lyell and J. D. Hooker. Journ. Linn. Soc.,Vo\. III., p. 45, 
1859. (Read July 1st, 1858.) 

3 " On the Law which has regulated the Introduction of New 
Species" (A. R. Wallace). Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Vol. XVI., p. 184, 
1855. The law alluded to is thus stated by Wallace: "Every species 
has come into existence coincident both in space and time with a pre- 
existing closely allied species" (toe. cit., p. 186). 

u8 



1859-1863] WALLACE 119 

of extinct to recent inhabitants of South America first led me Letter 71 
to the subject : especially the case of the Galapagos Islands. 
I hope to go to press in the early part of next month. It 
will be a small volume of about five hundred pages or so. 
I will of course send you a copy. I forget whether I told 
you that Hooker, who is our best British botanist and 
perhaps the best in the world, is a full convert, and is now 
going immediately to publish his confession of faith ; and 
I expect daily to see proof-sheets. 1 Huxley is changed, and 
believes in mutation of species : whether a convert to us, 
I do not quite know. We shall live to see all the younger 
men converts. My neighbour and an excellent naturalist, 
J. Lubbock, is an enthusiastic convert. I see that you are 
doing great work in the Archipelago ; and most heartily do 
I sympathise with you. For God's sake take care of your 
health. There have been few such noble labourers in the 
cause of Natural Science as you are. 

I'.S. You cannot tell how I admire your spirit, in *he 
manner in which you have taken all that was done about 
publishing all our papers. I had actually written a letter to 
you, stating that I would not publish anything before you 
had published. I had not sent that letter to the post when 
I received one from Lyell and Hooker, urging me to send 
some MS. to them, and allow them to act as they thought 
fair and honestly to both of us ; and I did so. 

The following is the passage from the Introduction to the Origin of 
Species, referred to in the first paragraph of the above letter. 

" My work is now nearly finished ; but as it will take me 
two or three years more to complete it, and as my health is 
far from strong, I have been urged to publish this Abstract. 
I have more especially been induced to do this, as Mr. 
Wallace, who is now studying the Natural History of the 
Malay Archipelago, has arrived at almost exactly the same 
general conclusions that I have on the origin of species. 
Last year he sent to me a memoir on this subject, with a 
request that I would forward it to Sir Charles Lyell, who 
sent it to the Linnean Society, and it is published in the 

1 Tlie Flora of Australia, etc., an Introductory Essay to the Flora of 
Tasmania. London, 1859. 



120 EVOLUTION [Chai-. Ill 

Letter 71 third volume of the Journal of that Society. Sir C. Lycll and 
Dr. Hooker, who both knew of my work— the latter having 
read my sketch of 1844 — honoured me by thinking it 
advisable to publish, with Mr. Wallace's excellent memoir, 
some brief extracts from my manuscripts." 



Letter 72 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, May 3rd, 1859. 

With respect to reversion, I have been raking up vague 
recollections of vague facts ; and the impression on my mind 
is rather more in favour of reversion than it was when you 
were here. 

In my abstract 1 I give only a paragraph on the general 
case of reversion, though I enter in detail on some cases of 
reversion of a special character. I have not as yet put all 
my facts on this subject in mass, so can come to no definite 
conclusion. But as single characters ma)- revert, I must say 
that I see no improbability in several reverting. As I do not 
believe any well-founded experiments or facts are known, 
each must form his opinion from vague generalities. I think 
you confound two rather distinct considerations ; a variation 
arises from any cause, and reversion is not opposed to this, 
but solely to its inheritance. Not but what I believe what we 
must call perhaps a dozen distinct laws are all struggling 
against each other in every variation which ever arises. To 
give my impression, if I were forced to bet whether or not, 
after a hundred generations of growth in a poor sandy soil, 
a cauliflower and red cabbage would or would not revert to 
the same form, I must say I would rather stake my money 
that they would. But in such a case the conditions of life 
are changed (and here comes the question of direct influence 
of condition), and there is to be no selection, the comparatively 
sudden effect of man's selection are left to the free play of 
reversion. 

In short, I dare not come to any conclusion without 
comparing all facts which I have collected, and I do not 
think there arc many. 

Please do not say to any one that I thought my book on 



1 1 lie Origin of Species. 



1859— l86 3l BEES CELLS. 121 

species would be fairly popular and have a fairly remunera- Letter 72 
tive sale (which was the height of my ambition), for if it 
prove a dead failure it would make me the more ridiculous. 



To W. II. Miller. 1 Later 73 

Down, June 5th [1859]. 

I thank you much for your letter. Had I seen the 
interest of my remark I would have made many more 
measurements, though I did make several. I stated the facts 
merely to give the general reader an idea of the thickness of 
the walls. 2 

Especially if I had seen that the fact had any general 
bearing, I should have stated that as far as I could measure, 
the walls are by no means perfectly of the same thickness. 
Also I should have stated that the chief difference is when 
the thickness of walls of the upper part of the hexagon and 
■ * 

1 William Hallowes Miller, F.R.S. (1801 -So), held the Chair of 
Mineralogy at Cambridge from 1832 to 1880 (see "Obituary Notices 
of Fellows," Proc. R. Sac, Vol. XXXI., 1881). He is referred to in the 
Origin of Species (Ed. VI., p. 221) as having verified Darwin's state- 
ment as to the structure of the comb made by Melipona domestica, 
a Mexican species of bee. The cells of Melipona occupy an inter- 
mediate position between the perfect cells of the hive-bee and the much 
simpler ones of the humble-bee ; the comb consists "of cylindrical cells 
in which the young are hatched, and, in addition, some large cells of wax 
for holding honey. These latter cells are nearly spherical and of nearly 
equal sizes, and are aggregated into an irregular mass. But the important 
point to notice is that these cells are always made at that degree of 
nearness to each other that they would have intersected or broken into 
each other if the spheres had been completed ; but this is never per- 
mitted, the bees building perfectly flat walls of wax between the spheres 
which thus tend to intersect." It occurred to Darwin that certain 
changes in the architecture of the Melipona comb would produce a 
structure " as perfect as the comb of the hive-bee." He made a calcu- 
lation, therefore, to show how this structural improvement might be 
effected, and submitted the statement to Professor Miller. By a slight 
modification of the instincts possessed by Melipona domestica, this bee 
would be able to build with as much mathematical accuracy as the 
hive-bee; and by such modifications of instincts Darwin believed that 
'' the hive-bee has acquired, through natural selection, her inimitable 
architectural powers" {Joe. eit., p. 222). 

2 The walls of bees' cells : see Letter 173. 



122 INVOLUTION [C»Ar. Ill 

Letter 73 of the pyramidal basal plates are contrasted. Will you 
oblige mc by looking with a strong lens at the bit of comb, 
brushing off with a knife the upper thickened edges, and then 
compare, by eye alone, the thickness of the walls there with 
the thickness of the basal plates, as seen in any cross section. 
I should very much like to hear whether, even in this way, 
the difference is not perceptible. It is generally thus per- 
ceptible by comparing the thickness of the walls of the 
hexagon (if not taken very close to the angle) near to the 
basal plates, where the comparison by eye is of course easier. 
Your letter actually turned me sick with panic ; from not 
seeing any great importance [in the] fact, till I looked at my 
notes, I did not remember that I made several measurements. 
I have now repeated the same measurements, roughly with 
the same general results, but the difference, I think, is hardly 
double. 

I should not have mentioned the thickness of the basal 
plates at all, had 1 not thought it would give an unfair 
notion of the thickness of the walls to state the lesser 
measurements alone. 

Letter 74 To W. H. Miller. 

[1S59] 
I had no thought that you would measure the thickness 
of the walls of the cells ; but if you will, and allow me to give 
your measurements, it will be an immense advantage. As it 
is no trouble, I send more specimens. If you measure, please 
observe that I measured the thickness of the walls of the 
hexagonal prisms not very near the base ; but from your very 
interesting remarks the lower part of the walls ought to be 
measured. 

Thank you for the suggestion about how bees judge of 
angles and distances. I will keep it in mind. It is a com- 
plete perplexity to mc, and yet certainly insects can rudely 
somehow judge of distance. There are special difficulties on 
account of the gradation in size between the worker-cells and 
the larger drone-cells. 1 am trying to test the case practi- 
cally by getting combs of different species, and of our own 
bee from different climates. I have lately had some from 
the \V. Indies of our common bee, but the cells seem certainly 
to be larger; but they have not yet been carefully measured. 



1859—1863] bees' cells 123 

I will keep your suggestion in mind whenever I return to Letter 74 
experiments on living bees ; but that will not be soon. 

As you have been considering my little discussion in 
relation to Lord Brougham, 1 and as I have been more 
vituperated for this part than for almost any other, I should 
like just to tell you how I think the case stands. The 
discussion viewed by itself is worth little more than the paper 
on which it is printed, except in so far as it contains three or 
four certainly new facts. But to those who are inclined to 
believe the general truth of the conclusion that species and 
their instincts are slowly modified by what I call Natural 
Selection, I think my discussion nearly removes a very great 
difficulty. I believe in its truth chiefly from the existence 
of the Melipona, which makes a comb so intermediate in 
structure between that of the humble and hive-bee, and 
especially from the new and curious fact of the bees making 
smooth cups or saucers when they excavated in a thick piece 
of wax, which saucers stood so close that hexagons were built 
on their intersecting edges. And, lastly, because when they 
excavated on a thin slip of wax, the excavation on both 
sides of similar smooth basins was stopped, and flat planes 
left between the nearly opposed basins. If my view were 
wholly false these cases would, I think, never have occurred. 
Sedgwick and Co. may abuse me to their hearts' content, but 
I shall as yet continue to think that mine is a rational 
explanation (as far as it goes) of their method of work. 

To W. H. Miller. Letter 75 

Down, Dec. 1st [1859]. 
Some months ago you were so kind as to say you would 
measure the thickness of the walls of the basal and side 
plates of the cell of the bee. Could you find time to do 
so soon ? Why I want it soon, is that I have lately heard 
from Murray that he sold at his sale far more copies than he 
has of the Origin of Species, and that I must immediately 
prepare a new edition, which I am now correcting. By the 
way, I hear from Murray that all the attacks heaped on my 
book do not seem to have at all injured the sale, which will 

1 Lord Brougham's paper on "The Mathematical Structure of Bees' 
Cells," read before the National Institute of France in May, 1858. 



124 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 75 make poor dear old Sedgwick groan. If the basal plates and 
walls do differ considerably in thickness, as they certainly did 
in the one or two cells which I measured without particular 
care (as I never thought the point of any importance), will 
you tell me the bearing of the fact as simply as you can, for 
the chance of one so stupid as I am in geometry being able 
to understand ? 

Would the greater thickness of the basal plates and of the 
rim of the hexagons be a good adaptation to carry the vertical 
weight of the cells filled with honey and supporting clusters 
of living bees ? 

Will you endeavour to screw out time and grant me this 
favour ? 

P.S. If the result of your measurement of the thickness 
of the walls turns out at all what I have asserted, would it not 
be worth while to write a little bit of a paper on the subject 
of your former note ; and " pluck " the bees if they deserve 
this degradation ? Many mathematicians seem to have 
thought the subject worthy of attention. When the cells 
are full of honey and hang vertically they have to support 
a great weight. Can the thicker basal plates be a con- 
trivance to give strength to the whole comb, with less 
consumption of wax, than if all the sides of the hexagons 
were thickened ? 

This crude notion formerly crossed my mind ; but of 
course it is beyond me even to conjecture how the case 
would be. 

A mathematician, Mr. Wright, has been writing on the 
geometry of bee-cells in the United States in consequence of 
my book ; but I can hardly understand his paper. 1 

Letter 76 To T. H. Huxley. 

The date of this letter is unfortunately doubtful, otherwise it would 
prove that at an early date he was acquainted with Erasmus Darwin's 
views on evolution, a fact which has not always been recognised. We 
can hardly doubt that it was written in 1859, for at this time Mr. Huxley 
was collecting facts about breeding for his lecture given at the Royal 
Institution on Feb. 10th, i860, on "Species and Races and their Origin." 
See Life and Letters, II., p. 281. 

1 Chauncey Wright, " Remarks on the Architecture of Bees " (A»ier. 
Acad. Proc., IV., 1857-60, p. 432). 



1859— 1863] ERASMUS DARWIN 125 

Down [June?] 9 [1859?]. Letter 7 6 

If on the nth you have half an hour to spare, you might 
like to see a very good show of pigeons, and the enclosed 
card will admit you. 

The history of error is quite unimportant, but it is curious 
to observe how exactly and accurately my grandfather (in 
Zoonomia, Vol. I., p. 504, 1794) gives Lamarck's theory. I 
will quote one sentence. Speaking of birds' beaks, he says : 
" All which seem to have been gradually produced during 
many generations by the perpetual endeavour of the creatures 
to supply the want of food, and to have been delivered to their 
posterity with constant improvement of them for the pur- 
poses required." Lamarck published Hist Zoolog. in 1809. 
The Zoonomia was translated into many languages. 

To C. Lycll. Letter 77 

Down, 2S [June 1859]. 

It is not worth while troubling you, but my conscience* is 
uneasy at having forgotten to thank you for your Etna, 1 
which seems to me a magnificent contribution to volcanic 
geology, and I should think you might now rest on your oars 
in this department. 

As soon as ever I can get a copy of my book 2 ready, in 
some six weeks' or two months' time, it shall be sent you ; 
and if you approve of it, even to a moderate extent, it will 
be the highest satisfaction which I shall ever receive for an 
amount of labour which no one will ever appreciate. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter ?8 

The reference in the following letter is to the proofs of Hooker's 
Australian Flora. 

Down, 28 [July 1859]. 

The returned sheet is chiefly that which I received in MS. 
Parts seem to me (though perhaps it may be forgetfulness) 
much improved, and I retain my former impression that 
the whole discussion on the Australian flora is admirably 

1 " On the Structure of Lavas which have been consolidated on Steep 
Slopes, with remarks on the Mode of Origin of Mount Etna, and on the 
Theory of ' Craters of Elevation' "{Phil. Trans. R. Soc, Vol. CXLVIII. 
1858, p. 703). 

' The Origin of Species, London, 1859. 



126 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Later 78 good and original. I know you will understand and not 
object to my thus expressing my opinion (for one must form 
one) so presumptuously. I have no criticisms, except perhaps 
I should like you somewhere to '.say, when you refer to me, 
that you refer only to the notice in the Linnean Journal ; not 
that, on my deliberate word of honour, I expect that you will 
think more favourably of the whole than of the suggestion 
in the Journal. I am far more than satisfied at what you say 
of my work ; yet it would be as well to avoid the appearance 
of your remarks being a criticism on my fuller work. 

I am very sorry to hear you are so hard-worked. I also 
get on very slowly, and have hardly as yet finished half my 
volume. ... I returned on last Tuesday from a week's 
hydropathy. 

Take warning by me, and do not work too hard. For 
God's sake, think of this. 

It is dreadfully uphill work with me getting my confounded 
volume finished. 

I wish you well through all your labours. Adios. 

Letter 79 To Asa Gra 7- 

Down, Nov. 29th [1859]. 

This shall be such an extraordinary note as you have 
never received from me, for it shall not contain one single 
question or request. I thank you for your impression on my 
views. Every criticism from a good man is of value to me. 
What you hint at generally is very, very true : that my work 
will be grievously hypothetical, and large parts by no means 
worthy of being called induction, my commonest error being 
probably induction from too few facts. I had not thought of 
your objection of my using the term " natural selection " as 
an agent. I use it much as a geologist does the word denuda- 
tion — for an agent, expressing the result of several combined 
actions. I will take care to explain, not merely by inference, 
what I mean by the term ; for I must use it, otherwise I 
should incessantly have to expand it into some such (here 
miserably expressed) formula as the following : " The tendency 
to the preservation (owing to the severe struggle for life to 
which all organic beings at some time or generation are 
exposed) of any, the slightest, variation in any part, which is 
of the slightest use or favourable to the life of the individual 



1859 "863] NATURAL SELECTION 127 

which has thus varied ; together with the tendency to its Letter 79 
inheritance." Any variation, which was of no use whatever 
to the individual, would not be preserved by this process of 
"natural selection." But I will not weary you by going on, 
as I do not suppose I could make my meaning clearer without 
large expansion. I will only add one other sentence : several 
varieties of sheep have been turned out together on the 
Cumberland mountains, and one particular breed is found to 
succeed so much better than all the others that it fairly starves 
the others to death. I should here say that natural selection 
picks out this breed, and would tend to improve it, or 

aboriginally to have formed it 

You speak of species not having any material base to rest on, 
but is this any greater hardship than deciding what deserves 
to be called a variety, and be designated by a Greek letter ? 
When I was at systematic work I know I longed to have no 
other difficulty (great enough) than deciding whether the form 
was distinct enough to deserve a name, and not to be haunted 
with undefined and unanswerable questions whether it was 
a true species. What a jump it is from a well-marked variety, 
produced by natural cause, to a species produced by the 
separate act of the hand of God ! But I am running on 
foolishly. By the way, I met the other day Phillips, the 
palaeontologist, and he asked me, " How do you define a 
species?" I answered, "I cannot." Whereupon he said, 
" At last I have found out the only true definition, — any form 
which has ever had a specific name ! " . . . 

To C. Lycll. Letter 80 

Ilkley, Oct. 31st [1859]. 

That you may not misunderstand how far I go with 
Pallas and his many disciples I should like to add that, 
though I believe that our domestic dogs have descended from 
several wild forms, and though I must think that the sterility, 
which they would probably have evinced, if crossed before 
being domesticated, has been eliminated, yet I go but a very 
little way with Pallas & Co. 1 in their belief in the importance 

1 " With our domesticated animals, the various races when crossed 
together are quite fertile ; yet in many cases they are descended from 
two or more wild species. From this fact we must conclude either that 
the aboriginal parent-species at first produced perfectly fertile hybrids, or 



128 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter So of the crossing and blending of the aboriginal stocks. You 
will sec this briefly put in the first chapter. Generally, with 
respect to crossing, the effects may be diametrically opposite. 
If you cross two very distinct races, you may make (not that 
I believe such has often been madc_) a third and new inter- 
mediate race ; but if you cross two exceedingly close races, 
or two slightly different individuals of the same race, then in 
fact you annul and obliterate the difference. In this latter 
way I believe crossing is all-important, and now for twenty 
years I have been working at flowers and insects under this 
point of view. I do not like Hooker's terms, centripetal 
and centrifugal ' : they remind me of Forbes' bad term of 
Polarity. 2 

I daresay selection by man would generally work quicker 
than Natural Selection ; but the important distinction between 
them is, that man can scarcely select except external and 
visible characters, and secondly, he selects for his own good ; 
whereas under nature, characters of all kinds are selected 
exclusively for each creature's own good, and arc well 
exercised ; but you will find all this in Chapter IV. 

Although the hound, greyhound, and bull-dog may possi- 
bly have descended from three distinct stocks, I am convinced 
that their present great amount of difference is mainly due 
to the same causes which have made the breeds of pigeons 
so different from each other, though these breeds of pigeons 
have all descended from one wild stock ; so that the Pallasian 
doctrine I look at as but of quite secondary importance. 

In my bigger book I have explained my meaning fully; 
whether I have in the Abstract I cannot remember. 

that the hybrids subsequently reared under domestication became quite 
fertile. This latter alternative, which was first propounded by Pallas, 
seems by far the most probable, and can, indeed, hardly be doubted " 
{Origin of Species, Ed. VI., p. 240). 

1 Hooker's Introductory Essay to the Flora of Tasmania, pp. viii 
and ix. 

- Forbes, "On the Manifestation of Polarity in the Distribution of 
Organised Beings in Time." R. Institution Proc, I., 1851-54. 



1859-1863] FRANCIS GALTON I 29 

To C. Lyell. Letler 81 

[Dec. 5th, 1859.] 

I forget whether you take in the Times ; for the chance 
of your not doing so, I send the enclosed rich letter. 1 It is, 
I am sure, by Fitz-Roy. ... It is a pity he did not add his 
theory of the extinction of Mastodon, etc., from the door of 
the Ark being made too small. 2 

Francis Galton to Charles Darwin. Letter 82 

42, Rutland Gate, London, S.W., Dec. otli, 1859. 
Pray let me add a word of congratulation on the com- 
pletion of your wonderful volume, to those which I am sure 
you will have received from every side. I have laid it down 
in the full enjoyment of a feeling that one rarely experiences 
after boyish days, of having been initiated into an entirely 
new province of knowledge, which, nevertheless, connects 
itself with other things in a thousand ways. I hear you 
are engaged on a second edition. There is a trivial error in 
page 68, about rhinoceroses, 3 which I thought I might as well 
point out, and have taken advantage of the same opportunity 
to scrawl down half a dozen other notes, which may, or may 
not, be worthless to you. 

The three next letters refer to Huxley's lecture on Evolution, given at 
the Royal Institution on Feb. 10th, i860, of which the peroration is given 
in Life and Letters, II., p. 282, together with some letters on the subject. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 83 

Nov. 25th [1S59]. 

I rejoice beyond measure at the lecture. I shall be at 
home in a fortnight, when I could send you splendid folio 

1 See the Times, Dec. 1st and Dec. 5th, 1859: two letters signed 
"Senex," dealing with "Works of Art in the Drift." 

2 A postscript to this letter, here omitted, is published in the Life ami 
Letters, II., p. 240. 

3 Darwin {Joe. eit.) says that neither the elephant nor the rhinoceros 
is destroyed by beasts of prey. Mr. Galton wrote that the wild dogs 
hunt the young rhinoceros and " exhaust them to death ; they pursue 
them all day long, tearing at their ears, the only part their teeth can 
fasten on." The reference to the rhinoceros is omitted in later editions 
of the Origin. 

9 



no 



EVOLUTION 



[Chap. Ill 



Letter 83 coloured drawings of pigeons. Would this be in time? If 
not, I think I could write to my servants and have them sent 
to you. If I do not hear I shall understand that about 
fifteen or sixteen days will be in time. 

I have had a kind yet slashing letter against me from 
poor dear old Sedgwick, " who has laughed till his sides ached 
at my book." 

Phillips is cautious, but decidedly, I fear, hostile. Hurrah 
for the Lecture — it is grand ! 



Letter S 4 To T. H. Huxley. 

Down, Dec. 13th [1S59]. 

I have got fine large drawings 1 of the Pouter, Carrier, and 
Tumbler ; I have only drawings in books of Fantails, Barbs, 
and Scanderoon Runts. If you had them, you would have 
a grand display of extremes of diversity. Will they pay at 
the Royal Institution for copying on a large size drawings 
of these birds ? I could lend skulls of a Carrier and a 
Tumbler (to show the great difference) for the same purpose, 
but it would not probably be worth while. 

I have been looking at my MS. What you want I 
believe is about hybridism and breeding. The chapter on 
hybridism is in a pretty good state — about 150 folio pages 
with notes and references on the back. My first chapter on 
breeding is in too bad and imperfect a state to send ; but my 
discussion on pigeons (in about 100 folio pages) is in a pretty 
good state. I am perfectly convinced that you would never 
have patience to read such volumes of MS. I speak now in 
the palace of truth, and pray do you : if you think you would 
read them I will send them willingly up by my servant, or 
bring them myself next week. But I have no copy, and I 
never could possibly replace them ; and without you really 
thought that you would use them, I had rather not risk them. 
But I repeat I will willingly bring them, if you think you 
would have the vast patience to use them. Please let me 
hear on this subject, and whether I shall send the book 
with small drawings of three other breeds or skulls. I have 
heard a rumour that Busk is on our side in regard to species. 
Is this so? It would be very good. 

1 For Mr Huxley's R. I. lecture. 



1859— 1S63] HUXLEY'S LECTURE 131 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 85 

Down, Dec. 16th [1S59]. 

I thank you for your very pleasant and amusing note 
and invitation to dinner, which I am sorry to say I cannot 
accept. I shall come up (stomach willing) on Thursday for 
Phil. Club dinner, and return on Saturday, and I am engaged 
to my brother for Friday. But I should very much like to 
call at the Museum on Friday or Saturday morning and see 
you. Would you let me have one line either here or at 
57) Queen Anne Street, to say at what hour you generally 
come to the Museum, and whether you will be probably there 
on Friday or Saturday? Even if you are at the Club, it will 
be a mere chance if we sit near each other. 

I will bring up the articles on Thursday afternoon, and 
leave them under charge of the porter at the Museum. 
They will consist of large drawings of a Pouter, a Carrier, and 
rather smaller drawings of some sub-varieties (which breed 
nearly true) of short-faced Tumblers. Also a small drawing 
of Scanderoon, a kind of Runt, and a very remarkable breed. 
Also a book with very moderately good drawings of Fantail 
and Barb, but I very much doubt whether worth the trouble 
of enlarging. 

Also a box (for Heaven's sake, take care !) with a skull of 
Carrier and short-faced Tumbler ; also lower jaws (largest 
size) of Runt, middle size of Rock-pigeon, and the broad 
one of Barb. The form of ramus of jaw differs curiously 
in these jaws. 

Also MS. of hybridism and pigeons, which will just 
weary you to death. I will call myself for or send a servant 
for the MS. and bones whenever you have done with them ; 
but do not hurry. 

You have hit on the exact plan, which, on the advice of 
Lyell, Murray, etc., I mean to follow — viz., bring out separate 
volumes in detail — and I shall begin with domestic produc- 
tions ; but I am determined to try and [work] very slowly, so 
that, if possible, I may keep in a somewhat better state of 
health. I had not thought of illustrations ; that is capital 
advice. Farewell, my good and admirable agent for the 
promulgation of damnable heresies ! 



132 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 86 To L. Horner. 1 

Down, Dec. 23rd [1859]. 
I must have the pleasure of thanking you for your 
extremely kind letter. I am very much pleased that you 
approve of my book, and that you arc going to pay me the 
extraordinary compliment of reading it twice. I fear that it 
is tough reading, but it is beyond my powers to make the 
subject clearer. Lycll would have done it admirably. 

You must enjoy being a gentleman at your ease, and I 
hear that you have returned with ardour to work at the 
Geological Society. We hope in the course of the winter to 
persuade Mrs. Horner and yourself and daughters to pay us 
a visit, llkley did me extraordinary good during the latter 
part of my stay and during my first week at home ; but I 
have gone back latterly to my bad ways, and fear I shall 
never be decently well and strong. 

P.S. — When an}' of your party write to Mildenhall I 
should be much obliged if you would say to Bunbury that 
I hope he will not forget, whenever he reads my book, his 
promise to let me know what he thinks about it ; for his 
knowledge is so great and accurate that every one must 
value his opinions highly. I shall be quite contented if his 
belief in the immutability of species is at all staggered. 

Letter 87 To C. Lycll. 

In the Origin of Species a section of Chapter X. re devoted to "The 
succession of the same types within the same areas, during the late 
Tertiary period " (Ed. I., p. 339). Mr. Darwin wrote as follows: "Mr. 
Clift many years ago showed that the fossil mammals from the Australian 
caves were closely allied to the living marsupials of that continent." 
After citing other instances illustrating the same agreement between 
fossil and recent types, Mr. Darwin continues : " I was so much impressed 
with these facts that I strongly insisted, in 1839 and 1845, on this 'law of 
the succession of types,' on ' this wonderful relationship in the same 
continent between the dead and the living.' Professor Owen has 
subsequently extended the same generalisation to the mammals of the 
Old World." 

1 For biographical notes on Horner and Sir C. Bunbury see a letter 
to Horner, Jan. 1847 (Geology). 



1859-1S63] OWEN 133 

Down, [Dec] 27th [1859]. Letter 87 

Owen wrote to me to ask for the reference to Gift. 1 As 
my own notes for the late chapters are all in chaos, I 
bethought me who was the most trustworthy man of all 
others to look for references, and I answered myself, " Of 
course Lyell." In the {Principles of Geology\ edition of 1833, 
Vol. III., ch. xi., p. 144, you will find the reference to Gift 
in the Edinburgh New Phil. Journal, No. XX., p. 304. 2 You 
will also find that you were greatly struck with the fact 
itself, 3 which I had quite forgotten. I copied the passage, 
and sent it to Owen. Why I gave in some detail references 
to my own work is that Owen (not the first occasion with 
respect to myself and others) quietly ignores my having 
ever generalised on the subject, and makes a great fuss 
on more than one occasion at having discovered the law of 
succession. In fact, this law, with the Galapagos distribu- 
tion, first turned my mind on the origin of species. My own 
references are [to the Naturalist's Voyage] : 

Large 8vo, ed. 1839, Murray, ed. 1845, 

p. 210. p. 173. On succession, 

p. 153. pp. 131-32. On splitting up of old 

geographical provinces. 

Long before Owen published I had in MS. worked out the 
succession of types in the Old World (as I remember telling 
Sedgwick, who of course disbelieved it). 

Since receiving your last letter on Hooker, I have read his 
introduction as far as p. xxiv, 4 where the Australian flora 
begins, and this latter part I liked most in the proofs. It is 
a magnificent essay. I doubt slightly about some assertions, 
or rather should have liked more facts — as, for instance, 
in regard to species varying most on the confines of their 

1 William Clift (1775 — 1849), Conservator of the Museum of the Royal 
College of Surgeons. 

2 The correct reference to Clift's " Report " on fossil bones from New 
Holland is Edinburgh New Phil. Journal, 1831, p. 394. 

3 This refers to the discovery of recent and fossil species of animals 
in an Australian cave-breccia. Mr. Clift is quoted as having identified 
one of the bones, which was much larger than the rest, as that of a 
hippopotamus. 

* On the Flora of Australia, etc.; Icing an Introductory Essay to the 
Flora of Tasmania: London, 1859. 



134 EVOLUTION [CiiAr. Ill 

Letter 87 range. Naturally I doubt a little his remarks about diver- 
gence, 1 and about domestic races being produced under nature 
without selection. It would take much to persuade me that 
a Pouter Pigeon, or a Carrier, etc., could have been produced 
by the mere laws of variation without long continued selec- 
tion, though each little enlargement of crop and beak are 
due to variation. I demur greatly to his comparison of the 
products of sinking and rising islands 2 ; in the Indian Ocean 
he compares exclusively many rising volcanic and sinking 
coral islands. The latter have a most peculiar soil, and are 
excessively small in area, and are tenanted by very few 
species ; moreover, such low coral islands have probably 
been often, during their subsidence, utterly submerged, and 
restocked by plants from other islands. In the Pacific Ocean 
the floras of all the best cases are unknown. The comparison 
ought to have been exclusively between rising and fringed 
volcanic islands, and sinking and encircled volcanic islands. 
I have read Naudin, 3 and Hooker agrees that he does not 
even touch on my views. 

Letter 88 J. D. Hooker to C. Darwin. 

[1S59 or 1S60.] 

I have had another talk with Bcntham, who is greatly 
agitated by your book : evidently the stern, keen intellect is 
aroused, and he finds that it is too late to halt between two 
opinions. How it will go we shall see. I am intensely 
interested in what we shall come to, and never broach the 
subject to him. I finished the geological evidence chapters 
yesterday ; they are very fine and very striking, but I cannot 
see they arc such forcible objections as you still hold them to 
be. I would say that you still in your secret soul underrate 

1 " Variation is effected by graduated changes ; and the tendency of 
vanel'ies, both in nature and under cultivation, when further varying, is 
rather to depart more and more widely from the original type than to 
revert to it." On the margin Darwin wrote : " Without selection 
doubtful " {loc. a'/., p. viii). 

2 " I venture to anticipate that a study of the vegetation of the islands 
witn reference to the peculiarities of the generic types on the one hand, 
and of the geological conditions (whether as rising or sinking) on the 
other, may, in the present state of our knowledge, advance other subjects 
of distribution and variation considerably " {loc. cit., p. xv). 

3 Naudin, Rdvue Hortkole, 185; 



1859-1863] NATURAL SELECTION 135 

the imperfection of the Geological Record, though no language Letter 88 
can be stronger or arguments fairer and sounder against it. Of 
course I am influenced by Botany, and the conviction that we 
have not in a fossilised condition a fraction of the plants that 
have existed, and that not a fraction of those we have are 
recognisable specifically. I never saw so clearly put the fact 
that it is not intermediates between existing species we want, 
but between these and the unknown tertium quid. 

You certainly make a hobby of Natural Selection, and pro- 
bably ride it too hard ; that is a necessity of your case. If 
the improvement of the creation-by-variation doctrine is con- 
ceivable, it will be by unburthening your theory of Natural 
Selection, which at first sight seems overstrained — i.e., to 
account for too much. I think, too, that some of your 
difficulties which you override by Natural Selection may give 
way before other explanations. But, oh Lord ! how little wc 
do know and have known to be so advanced in knowledge by 
one theory. If we thought ourselves knowing dogs before 
you revealed Natural Selection, what d — d ignorant ones u/e 
must surely be now wc do know that law. 

I hear you may be at the Club on Thursday. I hope so. 
Huxley will not be there, so do not come on that ground. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter S9 

Jan. 1st [1S60]. 

I write one line merely to thank you for your pleasant 

note, and to say that I will keep your secret. I will shake 

my head as mysteriously as Lord Burleigh. Several persons 

have asked me who wrote that " most remarkable article " in 

the Times} As a cat may look at a king, so I have said that 

I strongly suspected you. X was so sharp that the first 

sentence revealed the authorship. The Z.'s (God save the 

mark) thought it was Owen's ! You may rely on it that it 

has made a deep impression, and I am heartily glad that the 

subject and I owe you this further obligation. But for God's 

sake, take care of your health ; remember that the brain 

takes years to rest, whilst the muscles take only hours. There 

is poor Dana, to whom I used to preach by letter, writes to 

1 The Times, December 26th, 1859, p. 8. The opening paragraphs 
were by one of the staff of the Times. See Life ami Letters, 1 1., p. 255, 
for Mr. Huxley's interesting account of his share in the matter. 



136 EVOLUTION [Chap.III 

Letter 89 me that my prophecies are come true : he is in Florence 
quite done up, can read nothing and write nothing, and 
cannot talk for half an hour. I noticed the " naughty 
sentence " 1 about Owen, though my wife saw its bearing 
first. Farewell you best and worst of men ! 

That sentence about the bird and the fish dinners 
charmed us. Lyell wrote to me — style like yours. 

Have you seen the slashing article of December 26th in 
the Daily A T ews, against my stealing from my " master," the 
author of the Vestiges ? 

Letter 90 To J. L. A. de Quatrefages. 2 

[Undated] 

How I should like to know whether Milne Edwards has 
read the copy which I sent him, and whether he thinks I 
have made a pretty good case on our side of the question. 
There is no naturalist in the world for whose opinion I have 
so profound a respect. Of course I am not so silly as to 
expect to change his opinion. 

Letter 91 To C. Lyell. 

The date of this letter is doubtful ; but as it evidently refers to the 
2nd edition of the Origin, which appeared on January 7th, i860, we 
believe that December 9th, 1859, is right. The letter of Sedgwick's is 
doubtless that given in the Life and Letters, II., p. 247 ; it is there dated 
December 24th, 1859, but from other evidence it was probably written 

on November 24th. 

[Dec.?] 9th [1S59]. 

I send Sedgwick's letter ; it is terribly muddled, and 
really the first page seems almost childish. 

I am sadly over-worked, so will not write to you. I have 
worked in a number of your invaluable corrections — indeed, 
all as far as time permits. I infer from a letter from Huxley 

1 Mr. Huxley, after speaking of the rudimental teeth of the whale, 
of rudimental jaws in insects which never bite, and rudimental eyes in 
blind animals, goes on : "And we would remind those who, ignorant of 
the facts, must be moved by authority, that no one has asserted the 
incompetence of the doctrine of final causes, in its application to 
physiology and anatomy, more strongly than our own eminent anatomist, 
Professor Owen, who, speaking of such cases, says {On tlic Nature of 
Limbs, pp. 39, 40), ' I think it will be obvious that the principle of final 
adaptations fails to satisfy all the conditions of the problem.'"— The 
Times, Dec. 26th, 1859. 

* For a biographical note see Letter 126. 



i8S9~i86j] STERILITY OF HYBRIDS 1 37 

that Ramsay 1 is a convert, and I am extremely glad to get Letter 91 
pure geologists, as the)' will be very few. Many thanks for 
your very pleasant note. What pleasure you have given me. 
I believe I should have been miserable had it not been for 
you and a few others, for I hear threatening of attacks which 
I daresay will be severe enough. But I am sure that I can 
now bear them. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 92 

The point here discussed is one to which Mr. Huxley attached great, 
in our opinion too great, importance. 

Down, Jan. nth [i860?]. 

I fully agree that the difficulty is great, and might be 
made much of by a mere advocate. Will you oblige me by 
reading again slowly from pp. 267 to 2J2? I may add to 
what is there said, that it seems to me quite hopeless to 
attempt to explain why varieties are not sterile, until we 
know the precise cause of sterility in species. 

Reflect for a moment on how small and on what very 
peculiar causes the unequal reciprocity of fertility in the 
same two species must depend. Reflect on the curious case 
of species more fertile with foreign pollen than their own. 
Reflect on many cases which could be given, and shall be 
given in my larger book (independently of hybridity) of very 
slight changes of conditions causing one species to be quite 
sterile and not affecting a closely allied species. How pro- 
foundly ignorant we are on the intimate relation between 
conditions of life and impaired fertility in pure species ! 

The only point which I might add to my short discussion 
on this subject, is that I think it probable that the want of 
adaptation to uniform conditions of life in our domestic 
varieties has played an important part in preventing their 
acquiring sterility when crossed. For the want of uniformity, 
and changes in the conditions of life, seem the only cause of 
the elimination of sterility (when crossed) under domestica- 
tion. 3 This elimination, though admitted by many authors, 

1 See a letter to Huxley, Nov. 27th, 1859, Life and Letters, II., p. 282. 

2 The reference is to the Origin, Ed. 1. : the section on "The Fertility 
of Varieties when crossed, and of their Mongrel Offspring" occupies 
pages 267-72. 

:t The meaning which we attach to this obscure sentence is as 
follows : Species in a state of nature are closely adapted to definite 



138 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 92 rests on very slight evidence, yet I think is very probably 
true, as may be inferred from the case of dogs. Under 
nature it seems improbable that the differences in the repro- 
ductive constitution, on which the sterility of any two species 
when crossed depends, can be acquired directly by Natural 
Selection ; for it is of no advantage to the species. Such 
differences in reproductive constitution must stand in cor- 
relation with some other differences ; but how impossible to 
conjecture what these are ! Reflect on the case of the 
variations of Vcrbasatm, which differ in no other respect 
whatever besides the fluctuating element of the colour of the 
flower, and yet it is impossible to resist Gartner's evidence, 
that this difference in the colour does affect the mutual 
fertility of the varieties. 

The whole case seems to me far too mysterious to rest ' a 
valid attack on the theory of modification of species, though, 
as you say, it offers excellent ground for a mere advocate. 

I am surprised, considering how ignorant we are on 
very many points, [that] more weak parts in my book have 
not as yet been pointed out to me. No doubt many will be. 
H. C. Watson founds his objection in MS. on there being no 
limit to infinite diversification of species : I have answered this, 
I think, satisfactorily, and have sent attack and answer to 
Lyell and Hooker. If this seems to you a good objection, 
I would send papers to you. Andrew Murray " disposes of" 
the whole theory by an ingenious difficulty from the distri- 
bution of blind cave insects ; 2 but it can, I think, be fairly 
answered. 

conditions of life, so that the sexual constitution of species A is attuned, 
as it were, to a condition different from that to which B is attuned, and this 
leads to sterility. But domestic varieties are not strictly adapted by 
Natural Selection to definite conditions, and thus have less specialised 
sexual constitutions. 

1 The word "rest" seems to be used in place of "to serve as a 
foundation for." 

2 See L.ife and Letters, Vol. II., p. 265. The reference here is to 
Murray's address before the Botanical Society, Edinburgh. Mr. Darwin 
seems to have read Murray's views only in a separate copy reprinted 
from the Proc. R. Soc. Edin. There is some confusion about the date 
of the paper ; the separate copy is dated Jan. 16th, while in the volume 
of the Proc. R. Soc. it is Feb. 20th. In the Life and Letters, II., p. 261 
it is erroneously stated that these arc two different papers, 



1859—1863] GERMAN TRANSLATION 139 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 93 

Down, [Feb.] 2nd [i860]. 

1 have had this morning a letter from old Bronn J (who, 
to my astonishment, seems slightly staggered by Natural 
Selection), and he says a publisher in Stuttgart is willing to 
publish a translation, and that he, Bronn, will to a certain 
extent superintend. Have you written to Kolliker ? if not, 
perhaps I had better close with this proposal — what do you 
think ? If you have written, I must wait, and in this case 
will you kindly let me hear as soon as you hear from 
Kolliker ? 

My poor dear friend, you will curse the day when you 
took up the "general agency " line ; but really after this I will 
not give you any more trouble. 

Do not forget the three tickets for us for your lecture, and 
the ticket for Baily, the poulterer. 

Old Bronn has published in the Year-book for Mineralogy 
a notice of the Origin" ; and says he has himself published 
elsewhere a foreboding of the theory ! 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 94 

Down, Feb. 14th [i860]. 

I succeeded in persuading myself for twenty-four hours 
that Huxley's lecture 3 was a success. Parts were eloquent 
and good, and all very bold ; and I heard strangers say, "What 
a good lecture!" I told Huxley so ; but I demurred much to 
the time wasted in introductory remarks, especially to his 
making it appear that sterility was a clear and manifest dis- 
tinction of species, and to his not having even alluded to the 
more important parts of the subject. He said that he had 
much more written out, but time failed. After conversation 
with others and more reflection, I must confess that as an 
exposition of the doctrine the lecture seems to mc an entire 
failure. I thank God I did not think so when I saw Huxley; 
for he spoke so kindly and magnificently of me, that I could 
hardly have endured to say what I now think. He gave no 
just idea of Natural Selection. I have always looked at the 

1 See Life and Letters, II., p. 277. 

3 Neucs Jahrb.fiir Min., i860, p. 112. 

3 At the Royal Institution. See Life and Letters, II., p. 282. 



140 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 94 doctrine of Natural Selection as an hypothesis, which, if it 
explained several large classes of facts, would deserve to be 
ranked as a theory deserving acceptance ; and this, of course, 
is my own opinion. But, as Huxley has never alluded to my 
explanation of classification, morphology, embryology, etc., 
I thought he was thoroughly dissatisfied with all this part of 
my book. But to my joy I find it is not so, and that he 
agrees with my manner of looking at the subject ; only that 
he rates higher than I do the necessity of Natural Selection 
being shown to be a vera causa always in action. He tells 
me he is writing a long review in the Westminster. It was 
really provoking how he wasted time over the idea of a 
species as exemplified in the horse, and over Sir J. Hall's 
old experiment on marble. Murchison was very civil to me 
over my book after the lecture, in which he was disappointed. 
I have quite made up my mind to a savage onslaught ; but 
with Lyell, you, and Huxley, I feel confident wc are right, 
and in the long run shall prevail. I do not think Asa Gray 
has quite done you justice in the beginning of the review 1 of 
me. The review seemed to me very good, but I read it very 
hastily. 

Letter 95 

To C. Lyell. 

Down, [Feb.] 1 8th [i860]. 

I send by this post Asa Gray, which seems to me very 
good, with the stamp of originality on it. Also Bronn's 2 
Jahrbuch fiir Mineralogie. 

The united intellect of my family has vainly tried to make 
it out. I never tried such confoundedly hard gcrman ; nor 
does it seem worth the labour. He sticks to Priestley's Green 
Matter, and seems to think that till it can be shown how 
life arises it is no good showing how the forms of life arise. 
This seems to me about as logical (comparing very great 
things with little) as to say it was no use in Newton showing 
the laws of attraction of gravity and the consequent move- 

1 " Review of Darwin's Theory on the Origin of Species by means of 
Natural Selection," by "A. G." (Amer.Jour. Set., Vol. XXIX., p. 153, 
i860). In a letter to Asa Gray on Feb. 18th, i860, Darwin writes: 
" Your review seems to me admirable ; by far the best which I have 
read." {Life and Letters, II., 18S7, p. 286.) 

3 See Letter 93. 



1859-1863] REVIEWS 141 

ment of the planets, because he could not show what the Letter 95 
attraction of gravity is. 

The expression " Wahl dcr Lebens- Weise " ' makes me 
doubt whether B. understands what I mean by Natural 
Selection, as I have told him. He says (if I understand him) 
that you ought to be on the same side with me. 

P.S. Sunday afternoon. — I have kept back this to thank 
you for your letter, with much news, received this morning. 
My conscience is uneasy at the time you waste in amusing 
and interesting me. I was very curious to hear about 
Phillips. The review in the Annals is, as I was convinced, by 
Wollaston, 2 for I have had a very cordial letter from him this 
morning. 

I send by this post an attack in the Gardeners Chronicle 
by Harvey 3 (a first-rate botanist, as you probably know). 
It seems to me rather strange ; he assumes the permanence 
of monsters, whereas monsters are generally sterile, and not 
often inheritable. But grant his case, it comes [to this], that 
I have been too cautious in not admitting great and sudden 
variations. Here again comes in the mischief of my abstract. 
In fuller MS. I have discussed the parallel case of a normal 
fish like a monstrous gold-fish. 

I end my discussion by doubting, because all cases of 
monstrosities which resemble normal structures which I could 

1 " Die fruchtbarste unci allgemeinste Ursache der Varietaten- 
Bildung ist jedoch die Wahl der Lebens-Weise " (Joe. cit., p. 112). 

2 A Bibliographical Notice "On the Origin of Species by means of 
Natural Selection ; or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle 
for Life." (Annals and Mag., Vol. V., pp. 132-43, i860). The notice 
is not signed. Referring to the article, in a letter to Lyell, Feb. 15th, 
i860, Darwin writes : " I am perfectly convinced . . . that the review 
in the Annals is by Wollaston ; no one else in the world would have 
used so many parentheses" (Life and Letters, II., p. 284). 

, 3 William Henry Harvey (181 1-66) was the author of several botanical 
works, principally on Algae ; he held the botanical Professorship at 
Trinity College, Dublin, and in 1857 succeeded Professor Allman in the 
Chair of Botany in Dublin University. (See Life and Letters, II., 
pp. 274-75). In the Gardeners* Chronicle of Feb. iSth, i860, Harvey 
described a case of monstrosity in Begonia frigida, which he argued was 
hostile to the theory of Natural Selection. The passage about Harvey's 
attack was published in the Life and Letters, II., p. 275. 



142 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 95 find were not in allied groups. Trees like Aspicarpa} with 
flowers of two kinds (in the Origi)i), led me also to speculate 
on the same subject ; but I could find only one doubtfully 
analogous case of species having flowers like the degraded 
or monstrous flowers. Harvey does not see that if only 
a few"' (as he supposes) of the seedlings inherited being 
monstrosities, Natural Selection would be necessary to select 
and preserve them. You had better return the Gardeners 
Chronicle, etc., to my brother's. The case of Begonia 2 in itself 
is very curious ; I am tempted to answer the notice, but I will 
refrain, for there would be no end to answers. 

With respect to your objection of a multitude of still 
living simple forms, I have not discussed it anywhere in the 
Origin, though I have often thought it over. What you say 
about progress being only occasional and retrogression not 
uncommon, I agree to; only that in the animal kingdom I 
greatly doubt about retrogression being common. I have 
always put it to myself — What advantage can we see in an 
infusory animal, or an intestinal worm, or coral polypus, or 
earthworm being highly developed ? If no advantage, they 
would not become highly developed : not but what all these 
animals have very complex structures (except infusoria), and 
they may well be higher than the animals which occupied 
similar places in the economy of nature before the Silurian 
epoch. There is a blind snake with the appearances and, in 
some respects, habits of earthworms ; but this blind snake 
does not tend, as far as we can see, to replace and drive out 
worms. I think I must in a future edition discuss a few more 
such points, and will introduce this and H. C. Watson's 
objection about the infinite number of species and the 

1 Aspicarpa, an American genus of Malpighiacere, is quoted in the 
Origin (Ed. VI., p. 367) as an illustration of Linna-us' aphorism that 
the characters do not give the genus, but the genus gives the characters. 
During several years' cultivation in France Aspicarpa produced only 
degraded flowers, which differed in many of the most important points 
of structure from the proper type of the order ; but it was recognised by 
M. Richard that the genus should be retained among the Malpighiacere. 
"This case," adds Darwin, "well illustrates the spirit of our classifi- 
cation." 

'' Harvey's criticism was answered by Sir J. D. Hooker in the 
following number of the Gardeners' 1 C/ironrc/e (Feb. 25th, i860, p. 170). 



1859—1863] FRESH-WATER FORMS 143 

general rise in organisation. But there is a directly opposite Letter 95 
objection to yours which is very difficult to answer — viz. 
how at the first start of life, when there were only the 
simplest organisms, how did any complication of organisation 
profit them ? I can only answer that we have not facts 
enough to guide any speculation on the subject. 

With respect to Lepidosiren, Ganoid fishes, perhaps 
OrnitliorJiyncIius, I suspect, as stated in the Origin} that 
they have been preserved, from inhabiting fresh-water and 
isolated parts of the world, in which there has been less 
competition and less rapid progress in Natural Selection, 
owing to the fewness of individuals which can inhabit small 
areas ; and where there are few individuals variation at most 
must be slower. There are several allusions to this notion in 
the Origin, as under Amblyopsis, the blind cave-fish, 2 and 
under Heer 3 about Madeira plants resembling the fossil and 
extinct plants of Europe. 

To James Lamont. 4 Letter 96 

Down, March 5th [i860?]. 

I am much obliged for your long and interesting letter. 
You have indeed good right to speak confidently about the 
habits of wild birds and animals ; for I should think no one 
beside yourself has ever sported in Spitzbergen and Southern 
Africa. It is very curious and interesting that you should 
have arrived at the conclusion that so-called " Natural Selec- 
tion " had been efficient in giving their peculiar colours to our 
grouse. I shall probably use your authority on the similar 
habits of our grouse and the Norwegian species. 

I am particularly obliged for your very curious fact of the 
effect produced by the introduction of the lowland grouse on 
the wildness of the grouse in your neighbourhood. It is a 
very striking instance of what crossing will do in affecting the 
character of a breed. Have you ever seen it stated in any 

1 Origin of Species (Ed. VI.), p. 83. 

2 Origin, p. 1 12. 

3 Origin, p. 83. 

4 James Lamont, F.G.S., F.R.G.S., author of Seasons with the Sea- 
horses, etc. j Yachting i?i the Arctic Seas, or Notes of Five / 'ovag; f of Sf>ort 
and Discovery in the Neighbourhood of Spitsbergen and Novaya Zenilya, 
London, 1876 ; and geological papers on Spitzbergen. 



144 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 96 sporting work that game has become wilder in this country? 
I wish I could get any sort of proof of the fact, for your 
explanation seems to me equally ingenious and probable. 
I have myself witnessed in South America a nearly parallel 
[case] with that which you mention in regard to the reindeer 
in Spitsbergen, with the Ccrvus campestris of La Plata. It 
feared neither man nor the sound of shot of a rifle, but 
was terrified at the sight of a man on horseback ; everyone in 
that country always riding. As you arc so great a sportsman, 
perhaps you will kindly look to one very trifling point for me, 
as my neighbours here think it too absurd to notice — namely, 
whether the feet of birds are dirty, whether a few grains 
of dirt do not adhere occasionally to their feet. I especially 
want to know how this is in the case of birds like herons and 
waders, which stalk in the mud. You will guess that this 
relates to dispersal of seeds, which is one of my greatest 
difficulties. My health is very indifferent, and I am seldom 
able to attend the scientific meetings, but I sincerely hope that 
I may some time have the pleasure of meeting you. 

Pray accept my cordial thanks for your very kind letter. 

Letter 97, To G. H. K. Thwaites. 

Down, March 21st [i860]. 

I thank you very sincerely for your letter, and am much 
pleased that you go a little way with me. You will think it 
presumptuous, but I am well convinced from my own mental 
experience that if you keep the subject at all before your 
mind you will ultimately go further. The present volume is 
a mere abstract, and there are great omissions. One main 
one, which I have rectified in the foreign editions, is an 
explanation (which has satisfied Lyell, who made the same 
objection with you) why many forms do not progress or 
advance (and I quite agree about some retrograding). I 
have also a MS. discussion on beauty ; but do you really 
suppose that for instance Diatomacese 1 were created beautiful 
that man, after millions of generations, should admire them 
through the microscope ? I should attribute most of such 

1 Thwaites (181 1-82) published several papers on the Diatomaceas 
(" On Conjugation in the Diatomaceae," Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist., 
Vol. XX., 1847, pp. 9-11,343-4; " Further Observations on the Diato- 
macete," loc. at., 1848, p. 161). See Life and Letters II., p. 292. 



i859— 1863] G. II. K. TIIWAITES 145 

structures to quite unknown laws of growth; and mere Letter 97 
repetition of parts is to our eyes one main element of beauty. 
When any structure is of use (and I can show what curiously 
minute particulars are often of highest use), I can see with my 
prejudiced eyes no limit to the perfection of the coadaptations 
which could be effected by Natural Selection. I rather doubt 
whether you see how far, as it seems to me, the argument for 
homology and embryology may be carried. I do not look at 
this as mere analogy. I would as soon believe that fossil shells 
were mere mockeries of real shells as that the same bones in 
the foot of a dog and wing of a bat, or the similar embryo of 
mammal and bird, had not a direct signification, and that the 
signification can be unity of descent or nothing. Rut I venture 
to repeat how much pleased I am that you go some little way 
with me. I find a number of naturalists do the same, and as 
their halting-places are various, and I must think arbitrary, 
I believe they will all go further. As for changing at once 
one's opinion, I would not value the opinion of a man who 
could do so ; it must be a slow process. 1 Thank you for 
telling me about the Lantana 2 and I should at any time be most 
grateful for any information which you think would be of use 
to me. I hope that you will publish a list of all naturalised 
plants in Ceylon, as far as known, carefully distinguishing 
those confined to cultivated soils alone. I feel sure that 
this most important subject has been greatly undervalued. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 9 s 

The reference here is to the review on the Origin of Species 

generally believed to be by the late Sir R. Owen, and published in the 

April number of the Edinburgh Review, i860. Owen's biographer is 

silent on the subject, and prints, without comment, the following passage 

1 Darwin wrote to Woodward in regard to the Origin : "It may be a 
vain and silly thing to say, but I believe my book must be read twice 
carefully to be fully understood. You will perhaps think it by no means 
worth the labour." 

2 An exotic species of Lantana (Verbenacea:) grows vigorously in 
Ceylon, and is described as frequently making its appearance after the 
firing of the low-country forests (see H. H. W. Pearson, "The Botany 
of the Ceylon Patanas," Journ. Linn. Soc, Vol. XXXIV., p. 317, 1899). 
No doubt Thwaites' letter to Darwin referred to the spreading of the 
introduced Lantana, comparable to that of the cardoon in La Plata and 
of other plants mentioned by Darwin in the Origin of Species (Ed. VI., 
p. 51). 

10 



146 i:\OLUTION [Chap. Ill 

in an undated letter from Sedgwick to Owen : " Do you know who was 
the author of the article in the Edinburgh on the subject of Darwin's 
theory? On the whole, I think it very good. I once suspected that you 
must have had a hand in it, and I then abandoned that thought. I have 
not read it with any care " (Owen's Life, Vol. II., p. 96). 
Letter 98 A P ri ' 9& [i860]. 

I never saw such an amount of misrepresentation. At 
p. 530 ' he says we arc called on to accept the hypothesis on 
the plea of ignorance, whereas I think I could not have made 
it clearer that I admit the imperfection of the Geological 
Record as a great difficulty. 

The quotation 2 on p. 512 of the Review about " young 
and rising naturalists with plastic minds," attributed to 
" nature of limbs," is a false quotation, as I do not use the 
words " plastic minds." 

At p. 501 3 the quotation is garbled, for I only ask 
whether naturalists believe about elemental atoms flashing, 
etc., and he changes it into that I state that they do believe. 

At p. 500 ' it is very false to say that I imply by 

1 " Lasting and fruitful conclusions have, indeed, hitherto been based 
only on the possession of knowledge ; now we are called upon to accept 
an hypothesis on the plea of want of knowledge. The geological record, 
it is averred, is so imperfect ! "—Edinbu?gh Review, CXI., i860, p. 530. 

3 " We are appealed to, or at least 'the young and rising naturalists 
with plastic minds,* [On the Nature of the Limbs, p. 482] are adjured." 
It will be seen that the inverted comma after "naturalists" is omitted ; 
the asterisk referring, in a footnote (here placed in square brackets), 
to p. 4S2 of the Origin, seems to have been incorrectly assumed by 
Mr. Darwin to show the close of the quotation.— Ibid., p. 512. 

3 The passage {Origin, Ed. 1., p. 483) begins, " But do they really 
believe . . . ," and shows clearly that the author considers such a belief 
all but impossible. 

4 " All who have brought the transmutation speculation to the test of 
observed facts and ascertained powers in organic life, and have published 
the results, usually adverse to such speculations, are set down by 
Mr. Darwin as 'curiously illustrating the blindness of preconceived 
opinion.' " The passage in the Origin, p. 482, begins by expressing 
surprise at the point of view of some naturalists : " They admit that a 
multitude of forms, which till lately they themselves thought were special 
creations, . . . have been produced by variation, but they refuse to 
extend the same view to other and very slightly different forms. . . . 
They admit variation as a vera causa in one case, they arbitrarily reject 
it in another, without assigning any distinction in the two cases. The 
day will come when this will be given as a curious illustration of the 
blindness of preconceived opinion." 



1S59-1863] CROSSING I47 

" blindness of preconceived opinion " the simple belief of Letter 98 
creation. And so on in other cases. But I beg pardon for 
troubling you. I am heartily sorry that in your unselfish 
endeavours to spread what you believe to be truth, you 
should have incurred so brutal an attack. 1 And now I will 
not think any more of this false and malignant attack. 

To Maxwell Masters. Letter 99 

Down, April 13th [i860]. 

I thank you very sincerely for your two kind notes. The 
next time you write to your father I beg you to give him 
from me my best thanks, but I am sorry that he should have 
had the trouble of writing when ill. I have been much 
interested by the facts given by him. If you think he would 
in the least care to hear the result of an artificial cross of two 
sweet peas, you can send the enclosed ; if it will only trouble 
him, tear it up. There seems to be so much parallelism in the 
kind of variation from my experiment, which was certainly a 
cross, and what Mr. Masters has observed, that I cannot help 
suspecting that his peas were crossed by bees, which I have 
seen well dusted with the pollen of the sweet pea ; but then 
I wish this, and how hard it is to prevent one's wish biassing 
one's judgment ! 

I was struck with your remark about the Composite, etc. 
I do not see that it bears much against me, and whether it 
does or not is of course of not the slightest importance. 
Although I fully agree that no definition can be drawn 
between monstrosities and slight variations (such as my theory 
requires), yet I suspect there is some distinction. Some 
facts lead me to think that monstrosities supervene generally 
at an early age ; and after attending to the subject I have 
great doubts whether species in a state of nature ever 
become modified by such sudden jumps as would result from 

1 The Edinburgh Reviewer, referring to Huxley's Royal Institution 
Lecture given Feb. 10th, i860, "On Species and Races and their 
Origin," says (p. 521), " We gazed with amazement at the audacity of the 
dispenser of the hour's intellectual amusement, who, availing himself of 
the technical ignorance of the majority of his auditors, sought to blind 
them as to the frail foundations of 'natural selection ' by such illustra- 
tions as the subjoined " : And then follows a critique of the lecturer's 
comparison of the supposed descent of the horse from the Palasothere 
with that of various kinds of domestic pigeons from the Rock-pigeon. 



148 EVOLUTION [Chai\ III 

Letter 99 the Natural Selection of monstrosities. You cannot do me a 
greater service than by pointing out errors. I sincerely hope 
that your work on monstrosities ' will soon appear, for I am 
sure it will be highly instructive. 

Now for your notes, for which let me again thank you. 

(1) Your conclusion about parts developed 2 not being 
extra variable agrees with Hooker's. You will see that I 
have stated that the rule apparently does not hold with 
plants, though it ought, if true, to hold good with them. 

(2) I cannot now remember in what work I saw the 
statement about Peloria affecting the axis, but I know it was 
one which I thought might be trusted. I consulted also 
Dr. Falconer, and I think that he agreed to the truth of it ; 
but I cannot now tell where to look for my notes. I had 
been much struck with finding a Laburnum tree with the 
terminal flowers alone in each raceme peloric, though not 
perfectly regular. The Pelargonium case 3 in the Origin 
seems to point in the same direction. 

(3) Thanks for the correction about furze : I found the 
seedlings just sprouting, and was so much surprised at their 
appearance that I sent them to Hooker ; but I never plainly 
asked myself whether they were cotyledons or first leaves. 4 

(4) That is a curious fact about the seeds of the furze, the 
more curious as I found with Leguminosa^ that immersion in 
plain cold water for a very few days killed some kinds. 

If at any time anything should occur to you illustrating 
or opposing my notions, and you have leisure to inform me, 
I should be truly grateful, for I can plainly see that you have 
wealth of knowledge. 

With respect to advancement or retrogression in organisa- 
tion in monstrosities of the Compositae, etc., do you not find 
it very difficult to define which is which ? 

Anyhow, most botanists seem to differ as widely as 
possible on this head. 

1 Vegetable Teratology, London, 1869 (Ray Soc). 

2 See Origin of Species, Ed. 1., p. 153, on the variability of parts 
" developed in an extraordinary manner in any one species, compared 
with the other species of the same genus." See Life and Letters, II., 
pp. 97, 98, also Letters 33, p. 74. 

3 Origin of Species, Edit. I., p. 145. 

4 The trifoliate leaves of furze seedlings are not cotyledons, but early 
leaves : see Lubbock's Seedlings, I., p. 410, 



1859-1863] EDINBURGH REVIEW 149 

To J. S. Henslow. Letter IOO 

Down, May 8th [1860J. 

Very many thanks about the Elodea, which case interests 
me much. I wrote to Mr. Marshall ' at Ely, and in due time 
he says he will send me whatever information he can 
procure. 

Owen 2 is indeed very spiteful. He misrepresents and 
alters what I say very unfairly. But I think his conduct 
towards Hooker most ungenerous : viz., to allude to his essay 
(Australian Flora), and not to notice the magnificent results 
on geographical distribution. The Londoners say he is mad 
with envy because my book has been talked about ; what 
a strange man to be envious of a naturalist like myself, 
immeasurably his inferior ! From one conversation with 
him I really suspect he goes at the bottom of his hidden 
soul as far as I do. 

I wonder whether Sedgwick noticed in the Edinburgh 
Review about the " Sacerdotal revilers," — so the revilcrs arc- 
tearing each other to pieces. I suppose Sedgwick will be very 
fierce against me at the Philosophical Society. 3 Judging from 
his notice in the Spectator* he will misrepresent me, but it will 
certainly be unintentionally done. In a letter to me, and in 
the above notice, he talks much about my departing from 
the spirit of inductive philosophy. I wish, if you ever talk 

1 W. Marshall was the author of Anacharis atsinastrum, a new 
water-weed : four letters to the Cambridge Independent Press, reprinted 
as a pamphlet, 1852. 

2 Owen was believed to be the author of the article in the Edinburgh 
Review, April, i860. See Letter 98. 

3 The meeting of the Cambridge Phil. Soc. was held on May 7th, 
i860, and fully reported in the Cambridge Chronicle, May 19th. Sedgwick 
is reported to have said that " Darwin's theory is not inductive — is not 
based on a series of acknowledged facts, leading to a general conclusion 
evolved, logically, out of the facts. . . . The only facts he pretends to 
adduce, as true elements of proof, are the varieties produced by domesti- 
cation and the artifices of crossbreeding." Sedgwick went on to speak 
of the vexatious multiplication of supposed species, and adds, " In this 
respect Darwin's theory may help to simplify our classifications, and 
thereby do good service to modern science. But he has not undermined 
any grand truth in the constancy of natural laws, and the continuity of 
true species." 

4 March 24th, i860 ; see Life and Letters, II., p. 297. 



'SO EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter ioo on the subject to him, you would ask him whether it was 
not allowable (and a great step) to invent the undulatory 
theory of light, i.e. hypothetical undulations, in a hypothetical 
substance, the ether. And if this be so, why may 1 not 
invent the hypothesis of Natural Selection (which from the 
analogy of domestic productions, and from what we know 
of the struggle for existence and of the variability of organic 
beings, is, in some very slight degree, in itself probable) and 
try whether this hypothesis of Natural Selection does not 
explain (as I think it does) a large number of facts in 
geographical distribution— geological succession, classification, 
morphology, embryology, etc. I should really much like to 
know why such an hypothesis as the undulation of the ether 
may be invented, and why I may not invent (not that I did 
invent it, for I was led to it by studying domestic varieties) 
any hypothesis, such as Natural Selection. 

Pray forgive me and my pen for running away with me, 
and scribbling on at such length. 

I can perfectly understand Sedgwick l or any one saying 
that Natural Selection does not explain large classes of facts ; 
but that is very different from saying that I depart from 
right principles of scientific investigation. 

Letter 101 To J. S. Henslow. 

Down, May 14th [rS6o]. 
I have been greatly interested by your letter to Hooker, 
and I must thank you from my heart for so generously 
defending me, as far as you could, against my powerful 
attackers. Nothing which persons say hurts me for long, for 
I have an entire conviction that I have not been influenced 
by bad feelings in the conclusions at which I have arrived. 
Nor have I published my conclusions without long delibera- 
tion, and they were arrived at after far more study than the 
public will ever know of, or believe in. I am certain to have 
erred in many points, but I do not believe so much as 
Sedgwick and Co. think. 

Is there any Abstract or Proceedings of the Cambridge 

1 See Life and Letters, II., p. 247; the letter is there dated 
December 24th, but must, we think, have been written in November at 
latest. 



1859—1863] COAL PLANTS 15t 

Philosophical Society published ?' If so, and you could get Letter 101 
me a copy, I should like to have one. 

Believe me, my dear Henslow, I feel grateful to you on 
this occasion, and for the multitude of kindnesses you have 
done me from my earliest days at Cambridge. 

To C. Lycll. Letter 102 

Down, May 22nd [1S60]. 

Hooker has sent me a letter of Thwaites, 2 of Ceylon, who 
makes exactly the same objections which you did at first 
about the necessity of all forms advancing, and therefore the 
difficulty of simple forms still existing. There was no 
worse omission than this in my book, and I had the dis- 
cussion all ready. 

I am extremely glad to hear that you intend adding new 
arguments about the imperfection of the Geological Record. 
I always feel this acutely, and am surprised that such men 
as Ramsay and Jukes do not feel it more. 

I quite agree on insufficient evidence about mummy 
wheat. 3 

When you can spare it, I should like (but out of mere 
curiosity) to see Binney 4 on Coal marine marshes. 

I once made Hooker 5 very savage by saying that 1 
believed the Coal plants grew in the sea, like mangroves. 

1 Henslow's remarks are not given in the above-mentioned report in 
the Cambridge Chronicle. 

2 See Letter 97. 

3 See notes appended to a letter to Lyell, Sept. 1843 (Botany). 

4 Edward William Binney, F.R.S. (1812-81) contributed numerous 
papers to the Royal, Pateontographical, Geological and other Societies, 
on Upper Carboniferous and Permian Rocks ; his most important work 
deals with the internal structure of Coal-Measure plants. In a paper 
" On the Origin of Coal," published in the Memoirs of ihe Manchester 
Literary and Philosophical Society, Vol. VIII., p. 148, in 1848, Binney 
expressed the view that the sediments of the Coal Period were marine 
rather than estuarine, and were deposited on the floor of an ocean, 
which was characterised by a "uniformity and shallowness unknown" 
in any oceanic area of the present day. 

5 See Life and Letters, I., p. 356. 



1 52 KVOLUTtON [Crap. It! 

Letter 103 To J. D. Hooker. 

This letter is of interest as containing a strong expression upon the 
overwhelming importance of selection. 

Down [i860]. 

Many thanks for Harvey's letter, 1 which I will keep a 
little longer and then return. I will write to him and try to 
make clear from analogy of domestic productions the part 
which I believe selection has played. I have been reworking 
my pigeons and other domestic animals, and I am sure that 
any one is right in saying that selection is the efficient 
cause, though, as you truly say, variation is the base of all. 
Why I do not believe so much as you do in physical agencies 
is that I see in almost every organism (though far more 
clearly in animals than in plants) adaptation, and this 
except in rare instances, must, I should think, be due to 
selection. 

Do not forget the Pyrola- when in flower: My blessed 
little Sccevola has come into flower, and I will try artificial 
fertilisation on it. 

1 have looked over Harvey's letter, and have assumed (I 
hope rightly) that he could not object to knowing that you 
had forwarded it to me. 

Letter 104 To Asa Gray. 

Down, June Sth [i860]. 

I have to thank you for two notes, one through Hooker, 
and one with some letters to be posted, which was done. 
1 anticipated your request by making a few remarks on 
Owen's review. 3 Hooker is so weary of reviews that I do not 
think you will get any hints from him. I have lately had 
many more " kicks than halfpence." A review in the last 

1 W. H. Harvey had been corresponding with Sir J. D. Hooker on 
the Origin of Species. A biographical note on Harvey is given as a 
note to Letter 95. 

s In a letter to Hooker, May 22nd, i860, Darwin wrote : " Have you 
Pyrola at Kew ? if so, for heaven's sake observe the curvature of the 
pistil towards the gangway to the nectary." The fact of the stigma in 
insect-visited flowers being so placed that the visitor must touch it on 
its way to the nectar, was a point which early attracted Darwin's attention 
and strongly impressed him. 

3 The Edinburgh Review, April, i860. 



1859— 1 863] KEVIEW|S 1 53 

Dublin Nat. Hist. Review is the most unfair thing which has Letter 104 
appeared, — one mass of misrepresentation. It is evidently 
by Haughton, 1 the geologist, chemist and mathematician. It 
shows immeasurable conceit and contempt of all who are not 
mathematicians. He discusses bees' cells, and puts a series 
which I have never alluded to, and wholly ignores the inter- 
mediate comb of Melipona, which alone led me to my notions. 
The article is a curiosity of unfairness and arrogance ; but, 
as he sneers at Malthus, I am content, for it is clear he cannot 
reason. He is a friend of Harvey, with whom I have had 
some correspondence. Your article has clearly, as he admits, 
influenced him. He admits to a certain extent Natural Selec- 
tion, yet I am sure does not understand me. It is strange 
that very few do, and I am become quite convinced that 
I must be an extremely bad explainer. To recur for a 
moment to Owen : he grossly misrepresents and is very 
unfair to Huxley. You say that you think the article must 
be by a pupil of Owen ; but no one fact tells so strongly 
against Owen, considering his former position at the College 
of Surgeons, as that he has never reared one pupil or follower. 
In the number just out of FraseSs Magazine* there is an 
article or review on Lamarck and me by W. Hopkins, the 
mathematician, who, like Haughton, despises the reasoning 
power of all naturalists. Personally he is extremely kind 
towards me ; but he evidently in the following number means 
to blow me into atoms. He does not in the least appreciate 
the difference in my views and Lamarck's, as explaining 
adaptation, the principle of divergence, the increase of 
dominant groups, and the almost necessary extinction of the 
less dominant and smaller groups, etc. 

1 Samuel Haughton (1821-97), author of Animal Mechanics, a Manna/ 
of Geology, and numerous papers on Physics, Mathematics, Geology, etc. 
In November 1862 Darwin wrote to Sir J. D. Hooker: "Do you know 
whether there are two Rev. Prof. Haughtons at Dublin ? One of 
this name has made a splendid medical discovery of nicotine counter- 
acting strychnine and tetanus? Can it be my dear friend ? If so, he is 
at full liberty for the future to sneer [at] and abuse me to his heart's 
content." Unfortunately, Prof. Haughton's discovery has not proved 
of more permanent value than his criticism on the Origin 0/ Species. 

' See Life and Letters, II., p. 314. 



15-1 EVOLUTION (Chap. Ill 

Letter 105 To C. Lj'cll. 

Down, June 17th [1S60]. 

One word more upon the Deification l of Natural Selec- 
tion : attributing so much weight to it docs not exclude still 
more general laws, i.c. the ordering of the whole universe. 
I have said that Natural Selection is to the structure of 
organised beings what the human architect is to a building. 
The very existence of the human architect shows the 
existence of more general laws ; but no one, in giving credit 
for a building to the human architect, thinks it necessary to 
refer to the laws by which man has appeared. 

No astronomer, in showing how the movements of planets 
are due to gravity, thinks it necessary to say that the law of 
gravity was designed that the planets should pursue the courses 
which they pursue. I cannot believe that there is a bit more 
interference by the Creator in the construction of each species 
than in the course of the planets. It is only owing to Paley 
and Co., I believe, that this more special interference is 
thought necessary with living bodies. But we shall never 
agree, so do not trouble yourself to answer. 

I should think your remarks were very just about 
mathematicians not being better enabled to judge of 
probabilities than other men of common-sense. 

I have just got more returns about the gestation of hounds. 
The period differs at least from sixty-one to seventy-four 
days, just as I expected. 

I was thinking of sending the Gardeners' Clironicle to you, 
on account of a paper by me on the fertilisation of orchids by 
insects,- as it involves a curious point, and as you cared about 
my paper on kidney beans ; but as you are so busy, I will not. 

1 " If we confound ' Variation ' or ' Natural Selection : with such crea- 
tional laws, we deify secondary causes or immeasurably exaggerate their 
influence " (Lyell, The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man, 
with Remarks on Theories on the Origin of Species by Variation, p. 469, 
London, 1863). See letter 131. 

2 " Fertilisation of British Orchids by Insect Agency." This article in 
the Gardeners' Clironicle of June 9th, 1 860, p. 528, begins with a request 
that observations should be made on the manner of fertilisation in the 
bee- and in the fly-orchis. 



,859 — 186 3] ARCTIC PLANTS 155 

To C. Lyell. Letter 106 

Down [June?J 20th [1S60]. 

I send Blyth l ; it is a dreadful handwriting ; the passage 
is on page 4. In a former note he told me he feared there was 
hardly a chance of getting money for the Chinese expedition, 
and spoke of your kindness. 

Many thanks for your long and interesting letter. I 
wonder at, admire, and thank you for your patience in writing 
so much. I rather demur to Dci)iosaun<s not having " free 
will," as surely we have. I demur also to your putting 
Huxley's " force and matter " in the same category with 
Natural Selection. The latter may, of course, be quite a 
false view ; but surely it is not getting beyond our depth 
to first causes. 

It is truly very remarkable that the gestation of hounds 2 
should vary so much, while that of man does not. It may 
be from multiple origin. The eggs from the Musk and the 
common duck take an intermediate period in hatching ; but 
I should rather look at it as one of the ten thousand cases 
which we cannot explain — namely, when one part or function 
varies in one species and not in another. 

Hooker has told me nothing about his explanation of few 
Arctic forms ; I knew the fact before. I had speculated on 
what I presume, from what you say, is his explanation 3 ; but 

1 See Letter 27. 

2 In a letter written to Lyell on June 25th, i860, the following- 
paragraph occurs : " You need not believe one word of what I said about 
gestation of dogs. Since writing to you I have had more correspondence 
with the master of hounds, and I see his [record?] is worth nothing. It 
may, of course, be correct, but cannot be trusted. I find also different 
statements about the wolf: in fact, I am all abroad." 

3 " Outlines of the Distribution of Arctic Plants," J. D. Hooker, Trans. 
Linn. Soc, Vol. XXIII., p. 251, 1862. [Read June 21st, i860.] In this 
paper Hooker draws attention to the exceptional character of the Green- 
land flora ; but as regards the paucity of its species and in its much 
greater resemblance to the floras of Arctic Europe than to those of 
Arctic America, he considers it difficult to account for these facts, 
"unless we admit Mr. Darwin's hypotheses" (see Origin, Ed. VI., 1872, 
Chap. XII., p. 330) of asouthern migration due to the cold of the glacial 
period and the subsequent return of the northern types during the suc- 
ceeding warmer period. Many of the Greenland species, being confined 
to the peninsula, " would, as it were, be driven into the sea — that is 
exterminated" (Hooker, o/>. at., pp. 253-4). 



156 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 106 there must have been at all times an Arctic region. I found 
the speculation got too complex, as it seemed to me, to be 
worth following out. 

I have been doing some more interesting work with 
orchids. Talk of adaptation in woodpeckers, 1 some of the 
orchids beat it. 

I showed the case to Elizabeth Wedgwood, and her 
remark was, " Now you have upset your own book, for you 
won't persuade me that this could be effected by Natural 
Selection." 

Letter 107 To T. H. Huxley. 

July 20th [i860]. 

Many thanks for your pleasant letter. I agree to every 
word you say about Fraser and the Quarterly? I have had 
some really admirable letters from Hopkins. I do not 
suppose he has ever troubled his head about geographical 
distribution, classification, morphologies, etc., and it is only 
those who have that will feel any relief in having some sort 
of rational explanation of such facts. Is it not grand the 
way in which the Bishop asserts that all such facts are ex- 
plained by ideas in God's mind ? The Quarterly is un- 
commonly clever ; and I chuckled much at the way my 
grandfather and self are quizzed. I could here and there see 
Owen's hand. By the way, how comes it that you were not 
attacked ? Does Owen begin to find it more prudent to leave 
you alone? I would give five shillings to know what 
tremendous blunder the Bishop made ; for I see that a page 
has been cancelled and a new page gummed in. 

I am indeed most thoroughly contented with the progress 
of opinion. From all that I hear from several quarters, it 
seems that Oxford 3 did the subject great good. It is of 

1 " Can a more striking instance of adaptation be given than that of 
a woodpecker for climbing trees and seizing insects in the chinks of the 
bark?" {Origin of Species, Ed. VI., p. 141). 

2 Bishop Wilberforce's review of the Origin in the Quarterly Review, 
July, i860, was republished in his Collected Essays, 1874. See Life and 
Letters, II., p. 182, and II., p. 324, where some quotations from the 
review are given. For Hopkins' review in Eraser's Magazine, June, 
i860, see Life and Letters, II., 314. 

3 An account of the meeting of the British Association at Oxford in 
i860 is given in the Life and Letters, II., p. 320, and a fuller account 



1859—1863] NATURAL HISTORY REVIEW 1 57 

enormous importance the showing the world that a few first- Letter 107 
rate men are not afraid of expressing their opinion. I see 
daily more and more plainly that my unaided book would 
have done absolutely nothing. Asa Gray is fighting admirably 
in the United States. He is thorough master of the subject, 
which cannot be said by any means of such men as even 
Hopkins. 

I have been thinking over what you allude to about a 
natural history review. 1 I suppose you mean really a revieiv 
and not journal for original communications in Natural 
History. Of the latter there is now superabundance. With 
respect to a good review, there can be no doubt of its value 
and utility ; nevertheless, if not too late, I hope you will 
consider deliberately before you decide. Remember what a 
deal of work you have on your shoulders, and though you 
can do much, yet there is a limit to even the hardest worker's 
power of working. I should deeply regret to see you sacri- 
ficing much time which could be given to original research. 
I fear, to one who can review as well as you do, there would 
be the same temptation to waste time, as there notoriously 
is for those who can speak well. 

A review is only temporary ; your work should be 
perennial. I know well that you may say that unless good 
men will review there will be no good reviews. And this is 
true. Would you not do more good by an occasional review 
in some well-established review, than by giving up much 
time to the editing, or largely aiding, if not editing, a review 
which from being confined to one subject would not have a 
very large circulation ? But I must return to the chief idea 
which strikes me — viz., that it would lessen the amount of 
original and perennial work which you could do. Reflect how 

in the one-volume Life of Charles Darwin, 1892, p. 236. See also the 
Life and Letters of T. H. Huxley, Vol. I., p. 179, and the amusing account 
of the meeting in Mr. Tuckwell's Reminiscences of Oxford, London, 
1900, p. 50. 

1 In the Life and Letters of T. H. Huxley, Vol. I., p. 209, some 
account of the founding of the Natural History Review is given in a 
letter to Sir J. D. Hooker of July 17th, i860. On Aug. 2nd Mr. Huxley 
added : " Darwin wrote me a very kind expostulation about it, telling 
me I ought not to waste myself on other than original work. In reply, 
however, I assured him that I must waste myself willy-nilly, and that 
the Review was only a save-all." 



158 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 107 few men there are in England who can do original work in 
the several lines in which you arc excellently fitted. Lyell, 
1 remember, on analogous grounds many years ago resolved 
he would write no more reviews. I am an old slowcoach, and 
your scheme makes me tremble. God knows in one sense I 
am about the last man in England who ought to throw cold 
water on any review in which you would be concerned, as I 
have so immensely profited by your labours in this line. 

With respect to reviewing myself, I never tried : any 
work of that kind stops me doing anything else, as I cannot 
possibly work at odds and ends of time. I have, moreover, 
an insane hatred of stopping my regular current of work. I 
have now materials for a little paper or two, but I know 1 
shall never work them up. So I will not promise to help ; 
though not to help, if I could, would make me feel very 
ungrateful to you. You have no idea during how short a 
time daily I am able to work. If 1 had any regular duties, 
like you and Hooker, I should do absolutely nothing in 
science. 

I am heartily glad to hear that you are better ; but how 
such labour as volunteer-soldiering (all honour to you) does 
not kill you, I cannot understand. 

For God's sake remember that your field of labour is 
original research in the highest and most difficult branches 
of Natural History. Not that I wish to underrate the im- 
portance of clever and solid reviews. 

Letter 108 To T. H. Huxley, 

Sudbrook Park, Richmond, Thursday [July, i860]. 

I must send you a line to say what a good fellow you 
are to send me so long an account of the Oxford doings. I 
have read it twice, and sent it to my wife, and when I get 
home shall read it again : it has so much interested me. But 
how durst you attack a live bishop in that fashion ? I am 
quite ashamed of you ! Have you no reverence for fine 
lawn sleeves? By Jove, you seem to have done it well. If 
any one were to ridicule any belief of the bishop's, would 
he not blandly shrug his shoulders and be inexpressibly 
shocked ? I am very, very sorry to hear that you are not 
well ; but am not surprised after all your self-imposed labour. 



1859— 1863] J. D. DANA 1 59 

I hope you will soon have an outing, and that will do you Letter 108 
real good. 

I am glad to hear about J. Lubbock, whom I hope to see 
soon, and shall tell him what you have said. Have you read 
Hopkins in the last Fraser? — well put, in good spirit, except 
soul discussion bad, as I have told him ; nothing actually 
new, takes the weak points alone, and leaves out all other 
considerations. 

I heard from Asa Gray yesterday ; he goes on fighting 
like a Trojan. 

God bless you ! — get well, be idle, and always reverence 
a bishop. 

To J. D. Dana. 1 Letter 109 

Down, July 301I1 [1S60]. 
I received several weeks ago your note telling me that 
you could not visit England, which I sincerely regretted, as I 
should most heartily have liked to have made your personal 
acquaintance. You gave me an improved, but not very good, 
account of your health. I should at some time be grateful 
for a line to tell me how you are. We have had a miserable 
summer, owing to a terribly long and severe illness of my 
eldest girl, who improves slightly but is still in a precarious 
condition. I have been able to do nothing in science of late. 
My kind friend Asa Gray often writes to me and tells me of 
the warm discussions on the Origin of Species in the United 
States. Whenever you are strong enough to read it, I know 
you will be dead against me, but I know equally well that 
your opposition will be liberal and philosophical. And this 
is a good deal more than I can say of all my opponents in 
this country. I have not yet seen Agassiz's attack, 2 but I 
hope to find it at home when I return in a few days, for 
I have been for several weeks away from home on my 
daughter's account. Prof. Silliman sent me an extremely 
kind message by Asa Gray that your Journal would be open 
to a reply by me. I cannot decide till I see it, but on 
principle I have resolved to avoid answering anything, as it 
consumes much time, often temper, and I have said my say 

1 See note 1, Letter 162. 

2 Silliman's Journal, July, i860. A passage from Agassiz's review 
is given by Mr. Huxley in Darwin's Life and Letters, II., p. 184. 



160 EVOLUTION [CHAr. m 

Letter 109 in the Origin. No one person understands my views and 
has defended them so well as A. Gray, though he does not 
by any means go all the way with me. There was much 
discussion on the subject at the British Association at 
Oxford, and I had many defenders, and my side seems (for 
I was not there) almost to have got the best of the battle. 
Your correspondent and my neighbour, J. Lubbock, goes on 
working at such spare time as he has. This is an egotistical 
note, but I have not seen a naturalist for months. Most 
sincerely and deeply do I hope that this note may find you 
almost recovered. 

Letter no To W. H. Harvey. 1 

[August, i860] 

I have read your long letter with much interest, and I 
thank you sincerely for your great liberality in sending it me. 
But, on reflection, I do not wish to attempt answering any 
part, except to you privately. Anything said by myself in 
defence would have no weight ; it is best to be defended by 
others, or not at all. Parts of your letter seem to me, if I 
may be permitted to say so, very acute and original, and 
I feel it a great compliment your giving up so much time to 
my book. But, on the whole, I am disappointed ; not from 
your not concurring with me, for I never expected that, and, 
indeed, in your remarks on Chs. XII. and XIII., you go much 
further with me (though a little way) than I ever anticipated, 
and am much pleased at the result. But on the whole I am 
disappointed, because it seems to me that you do not under- 
stand what I mean by Natural Selection, as shown at p. 1 1 2 
of your letter and by several of your remarks. As my book 
has failed to explain my meaning, it would be hopeless to 
attempt it in a letter. You speak in the early part of your 
letter, and at p. 9, as if I had said that Natural Selection was 

1 See Letter 95, note 3, p. 141. This letter was written in reply to a long 
one from W. H. Harvey, dated Aug. 24th, i860. Harvey had already pub- 
lished a serio-comic squib and a review, to which references are given in 
the Life and Letters, II., pp. 314 and 375 ; but apparently he had not 
before this time completed the reading of the Origin. 

7 Harvey speaks of the perpetuation or selection of the useful, pre- 
supposing " a vigilant and intelligent agent," which is very much like 
saying that an intelligent agent is needed to see that the small stones 
pass through the meshes of a sieve and the big ones remain behind. 



1859 — 1S63] harvey's criticisms 161 

the sole agency of modification, whereas I have over and Letter no 
over again, ad nauseam, directly said, and by order of pre- 
cedence implied (what seems to me obvious) that selection 
can do nothing without previous variability (see pp. 80, 108, 
127, 468, 469, etc.), " nothing can be effected unless favourable 
variations occur." I consider Natural Selection as of such 
hi«ii importance, because it accumulates successive variations 
in any profitable direction, and thus adapts each new being 
to its complex conditions of life. The term " selection," I see, 
deceives many persons, though I see no more reason why 
it should than elective affinity, as used by the old chemists. 
If I had to rewrite my book, I would use "natural preserva- 
tion" or "naturally preserved." I should think you would 
as soon take an emetic as re-read any part of my book ; but 
if you did, and were to erase selection and selected, and insert 
preservation and preserved, possibly the subject would be 
clearer. As you are not singular in misunderstanding my 
book, I should long before this have concluded that my 
brains were in a haze had I not found by published reviews, 
and especially by correspondence, that Lyell, Hooker, Asa 
Gray, H. C. Watson, Huxley, and Carpenter, and many 
others, perfectly comprehend what I mean. The upshot of 
your remarks at p. 1 1 is that my explanation, etc., and the 
whole doctrine of Natural Selection, are mere empty words, 
signifying the " order of nature." As the above-named clear- 
headed men, who do comprehend my views, all go a certain 
length with me, and certainly do not think it all moonshine, 
I should venture to suggest a little further reflection on your 
part. I do not mean by this to imply that the opinion of 
these men is worth much as showing that I am right, but 
merely as some evidence that I have clearer ideas than you 
think, otherwise these same men must be even more muddle- 
headed than I am ; for they have no temptation to deceive 
themselves. In the forthcoming September 1 number of the 
American Journal of Science there is an interesting and short 
theological article (by Asa Gray), which gives incidentally 
with admirable clearness the theory of Natural Selection, and 
therefore might be worth your reading. I think that the 
theological part would interest you. 

1 American Journal of Science and Arts, September, i860, "Design 
versus Necessity," reprinted in Asa ("•ray's Darwiniana, 1876, p. 62. 

IT 



162 EVOLUTION [Chap, ill 

Letter no Vou object to all my illustrations. They are all neces- 
sarily conjectural, and may be all false ; but they were the 
best I could give. The bear case ' has been well laughed at, 
and disingenuously distorted by some into my saying that 
a bear could be converted into a whale. As it offended 
persons, I struck it out in the second edition ; but I still 
maintain that there is no especial difficulty in a bear's mouth 
being enlarged to any degree useful to its changing habits, — 
no more difficulty than man has found in increasing the crop 
of the pigeon, by continued selection, until it is literally as 
big as the whole rest of the body. If this had not been 
known, how absurd it would have appeared to say that the 
crop of a bird might be increased till it became like a 
balloon ! 

With respect to the ostrich, I believe that the wings have 
been reduced, and are not in course of development, because 
the whole structure of a bird is essentially formed for flight ; 
and the ostrich is essentially a bird. You will see at p. 182 
of the Origin a somewhat analogous discussion. At p. 450 
of the second edition I have pointed out the essential dis- 
tinction between a nascent and rudimentary organ. If you 
prefer the more complex view that the progenitor of the 
ostrich lost its wings, and that the present ostrich is regaining 
them, I have nothing to say in opposition. 

With respect to trees on islands, I collected some cases, 
but took the main facts from Alph. De Candolle, and thought 
they might be trusted. My explanation may be grossly 
wrong ; but I am not convinced it is so, and I do not see 
the full force of your argument of certain herbaceous orders 
having been developed into trees in certain rare cases on 
continents. The case seems to me to turn altogether on the 
question whether generally herbaceous orders more frequently 
afford trees and bushes on islands than on continents, 
relatively to their areas. 2 

1 Origin of Species, Ed. I., p. 184. See Letter 120. 

2 In the Origin, Ed. I., p. 392, the author points out that in the 
presence of competing trees an herbaceous plant would have little chance 
of becoming arborescent ; but on an island, with only other herbaceous 
plants as competitors, it might gain an advantage by overtopping its 
fellows, and become tree-like. Harvey writes : " What you say (p. 392) 
of insular trees belonging to orders which elsewhere include only 



1859-1863] HARVEY'S CRITICISMS 163 

In p. 4 of your letter you say you give up many book- Letter no 
species as separate creations : I give up all, and you infer 
that our difference is only in degree and not in kind. I 
dissent from this ; for I give a distinct reason how far I go in 
giving up species. I look at all forms, which resemble each 
other homologically or embryologically, as certainly descended 
from the same species. 

You hit me hard and fairly ' about my question (p. 483, 
Origin) about creation of eggs or young, etc. (but not about 
mammals with the mark of the umbilical cord), yet 1 still 
have an illogical sort of feeling that there is less difficulty in 
imagining the creation of an asexual cell, increasing by simple 
division. 

herbaceous species seems to me to be unsupported by sufficient evidence. 
You cite no particular trees, and I may therefore be wrong in guessing 
that the orders you allude to are Scrophularineao and Composite ; and 
the insular trees the Antarctic Veronicas and the arborescent Composite- 
of St. Helena, Tasmania, etc. But in South Africa Halleria (Scrophu- 
larineie) is often as large and woody as an apple tree ; and there are 
several South African arborescent Composite (Senerio and Ohlenburgia). 
Besides, in Tasmania at least, the arborescent Composites are not found 
competing with herbaceous plants alone, and growing taller and taller 
by overtopping them . . . ; for the most arborescent of them all 
[Eurybta argophylla, the Musk tree) grows ... in Eucalyptus forests. 
And so of the South African Halleria, which is a tree among trees. 
What the conditions of the arborescent Gerania of the Sandwich Islands 
may be I am unable to say. ... I cannot remember any other instances, 
nor can I accept your explanation in any of the cases I have cited." 

1 Harvey writes : " You ask — were all the infinitely numerous kinds 
of animals and plants created as eggs or seed, or as full grown ? To 
this it is sufficient to reply, was your primordial organism, or were your 
four or five progenitors created as egg, seed, or full grown ? Neither 
theory attempts to solve this riddle, nor yet the riddle of the Omphalos." 
The latter point, which Mr. Darwin refuses to give up, is at p. 483 of the 
Origin, "and, in the case of mammals, were they created bearing the 
false marks of nourishment from the mother's womb?" In the third 
edition of the Origin, 1861, p. 517, the author adds, after the last-cited 
passage : " Undoubtedly these same questions cannot be answered by 
those who, under the present state of science, believe in the creation of 
a few aboriginal forms, or of some one form of life. In the sixth edition, 
probably with a view to the umbilicus, he writes (p. 423) : " Undoubtedly 
some of these same questions," etc., etc. From notes in Mr. Darwin's 
copy of the second edition it is clear that the change in the third edition 
was chiefly due to Harvey's letter. See Letter 115. 



164 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter no Page 5 of your letter : I agree to every word about the 
antiquity of the world, and never saw the case put by any one 
more strongly or more ably. It makes, however, no more 
impression on me as an objection than does the astronomer 
when he puts on a few hundred million miles to the distance 
of the fixed stars. To compare very small things with great, 
Lingula, etc., remaining nearly unaltered from the Silurian 
epoch to the present day, is like the dovecote pigeons still 
being identical with wild Rock-pigeons, whereas its " fancy " 
offspring have been immensely modified, and are still being 
modified, by means of artificial selection. 

You put the difficulty of the first modification of the first 
protozoon admirably. I assure you that immediately after 
the first edition was published this occurred to me, and I 
thought of inserting it in the second edition. I did not, 
because we know not in the least what the first germ of life 
was, nor have we any fact at all to guide us in our specula- 
tions on the kind of change which its offspring underwent. 
I dissent quite from what you say of the myriads of years it 
would take to people the world with s uch imagined protozoon. 
In how very short a time Ehrenberg calculated that a single 
infusorium might make a cube of rock ! A single cube on 
geometrical progression would make the solid globe in (I 
suppose) under a century. From what little I know, I cannot 
help thinking that you underrate the effects of the physical 
conditions of life on these low organisms. But I fully admit 
than I can give no sort of answer to your objections ; yet 
I must add that it would be marvellous if any man ever 
could, assuming for the moment that my theory is true. You 
beg the question, I think, in saying that Protococcus would be 
doomed to eternal similarity. Nor can you know that the 
first germ resembled a Protococcus or any other now living 
form. 

Page 12 of your letter: There is nothing in my theory 
necessitating in each case progression of organisation, though 
Natural Selection tends in this line, and has generally thus 
acted. An animal, if it become fitted by selection to live the 
life, for instance, of a parasite, will generally become degraded. 
I have much regretted that I did not make this part of the 
subject clearer. I left out this and many other subjects, 
which I now see ought to have been introduced. I have 



1859-1863] HARVEY'S CRITICISMS 165 

inserted a discussion on this subject in the foreign editions. 1 In Letter 1 10 
no case will any organic being tend to retrograde, unless such 
retrogradation be an advantage to its varying offspring ; and it is 
difficult to see how going back to the structure of the unknown 
supposed original protozoon could ever be an advantage. 

Page 13 of your letter: I have been more glad to read 
your discussion on "dominant " - forms than any part of your 
letter. I can now see that I have not been cautious enough 
in confining my definition and meaning. I cannot say that 
you have altered my views. If Botrytris \Phytophthord\ had 
exterminated the wild potato, a low form would have con- 
quered a high ; but I cannot remember that I have ever said 
(I am sure I never thought) that a low form would never 
conquer a high. I have expressly alluded to parasites half 
exterminating game-animals, and to the struggle for life 
being sometimes between forms as different as possible : for 
instance, between grasshoppers and herbivorous quadrupeds. 
Under the many conditions of life which this world affords, 
any group which is numerous in individuals and species and 
is widely distributed, may properly be called dominant. I 
never dreamed of considering that any one group, under all 
conditions and throughout the world, would be predominant. 
How could vertebrata be predominant under the conditions 
of life in which parasitic worms live? What good would 
their perfected senses and their intellect serve under such 
conditions ? When I have spoken of dominant forms, it has 
been in relation to the multiplication of new specific forms, 
and the dominance of any one species has been relative 
generally to other members of the same group, or at least 
to beings exposed to similar conditions and coming into 
competition. But I daresay that I have not in the Origin 
made myself clear, and space has rendered it impossible. 
But I thank you most sincerely for your valuable remarks, 
though I do not agree with them. 

1 In the third edition a discussion on this point is added in 
Chapter IV. 

2 Harvey writes : " Viewing organic nature in its widest aspect, I 
think it is unquestionable that the truly dominant races are not those of 
high, but those of low organisation " ; and goes on to quote the potato 
disease, etc. In the third edition of the Origin, p. 56, a discussion is 
introduced denning the author's use of the term "dominant." 



166 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter no About sudden jumps : I have no objection to them — they 
would aid me in some cases. All I can say is, that I went 
into the subject, and found no evidence to make me believe 
in jumps; and a good deal pointing in the other direction. 
You will find it difficult (p. 14 of your letter) to make a 
marked liqe of separation between fertile and infertile crosses. 
I do not see how the apparently sudden change (for the 
suddenness of change in a chrysalis is of course largely only 
apparent) in larva; during their development throws any light 
on the subject. 

I wish I could have made this letter better worth sending 
to you. I have had it copied to save you at least the intoler- 
able trouble of reading my bad handwriting. Again I thank 
you for your great liberality and kindness in sending me 
your criticisms, and I heartily wish we were a little nearer in 
accord ; but we must remain content to be as wide asunder 
as the poles, but without, thank God, any malice or other 
ill-feeling. 

Letter m To T. H. Huxley. 

Dr. Asa Gray's articles in the Atlantic Monthly, July, August, and 
October, i860, were published in England as a pamphlet, and form 
Chapter III. in his Darwiniana (1876). See Life and Letters, II., 
p. 338. The article referred to in the present letter is that in the 
August number. 

Down, Sept. loth [i860]. 

I send by this post a review by Asa Gray, so good that 
I should like you to see it ; I must beg for its return. I 
want to ask, also, your opinion about getting it reprinted in 
England. I thought of sending it to the Editor of the 
Annals and Mag. of Nat. Hist., in which two hostile reviews 
have appeared (although I suppose the Annals have a very 
poor circulation), and asking them in the spirit of fair play 
to print this, with Asa Gray's name, which I will take the 
responsibility of adding. Also, as it is long, I would offer to 
pay expenses. 

It is very good, in addition, as bringing in Pictct ' so 
largely. Tell me briefly what you think. 

What an astonishing expedition this is of Hooker's to 
Syria! God knows whether it is wise. 



1 Pictet (1809-72) wrote a "perfectly fair" review opposed to the 
Origin. See Life and Letters, II., p. 297.- 



1859-1863] LYELL 167 

How are you and all yours ? I hope you are not working Letter m 
too hard. For Heaven's sake, think that you may become 
such a beast as I am. How goes on the Nat. Hist. Review} 
Talking of reviews, I damned with a good grace the review 
in the Athenaeum l on Tyndall with a mean, scurvy allusion to 
you. It is disgraceful about Tyndall, — in fact, doubting his 
veracity. 

I am very tired, and hate nearly the whole world. So 
good-night, and take care of your digestion, which means 
brain. 

To C. Lyell. Letter 112 

15, Marine Parade, Eastbourne, 26th [Sept., i860]. 

It has just occurred to me that I took no notice of your 
questions on extinction in St. Helena. I am nearly sure that 
Hooker has information on the extinction of plants, 2 but I 
cannot remember where I have seen it. One may confidently 
assume that many insects were exterminated. 

By the way, I heard lately from Wollaston, who told me 
that he had just received eminently Madeira and Canary 
Island insect forms from the Cape of Good Hope, to which 
trifling distance, if he is logical, he will have to extend his 
Atlantis ! I have just received your letter, and am very 
much pleased that you approve. But I am utterly disgusted 
and ashamed about the dingo. I cannot think how I could 
have misunderstood the paper so grossly. I hope I have not 
blundered likewise in its co-existence with extinct species : 
what horrid blundering ! I am grieved to hear that you think 
I must work in the notes in the text ; but you are so much 
better a judge that I will obey. I am sorry that you had the 
trouble of returning the Dog MS., which I suppose I shall 
receive to-morrow. 

I mean to give good woodcuts of all the chief races of 
pigeons. 3 

Except the C. cenas* (which is partly, indeed almost 
entirely, a wood pigeon), there is no other rock pigeon with 

1 Review of The Glaciers of the Alps (Athenaum, Sept. 1, i860, p. 280). 

' Principles of Geology, Vol. II. (Ed. X., 1868), p. 453. Facts are 
quoted from Hooker illustrating the extermination of plants in St. Helena. 

3 The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, 1868. 

* The Columba anas of Europe roosts on trees and builds its nest in 
holes, either in trees or the ground (Var. of Animals, Vol. I., p. 183). 



[68 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 112 which our domestic pigeon would cross — that is, if several 
excessively close geographical races of C. livia, which hardly 
anv ornithologist looks at as true species, be all grouped under 
C. livia} 

I am writing higgledy-piggledy, as I re-read your letter. 
I thought v that my letter had been much wilder than yours. 
1 quite feel the comfort of writing when one may " alter one's 
speculations the day after." It is beyond my knowledge to 
weigh ranks of birds and monotremes ; in the respiratory and 
circulatory system and muscular energy I believe birds are 
ahead of all mammals. 

I knew that you must have known about New Guinea ; 
but in writing to you I never make myself civil ! 

After treating some half-dozen or dozen domestic animals 
in the same manner as 1 treat dogs, I intended to have a 
chapter of conclusions. But Heaven knows when I shall 
finish : I get on very slowly. You would be surprised how 
long it took me to pick out what seemed useful about dogs 
out of multitudes of details. 

I see the force of your remark about more isolated races 
of man in old times, and therefore more in number. It seems 
to me difficult to weigh probabilities. Perhaps so, if you 
refer to very slight differences in the races : to make great 
differences much time would be required, and then, even at 
the earliest period I should have expected one race to have 
spread, conquered, and exterminated the others. 

With respect to Falconer's series of Elephants, 2 I think 
the case could be answered better than I have done in the 
Origin, p. 334- 3 All these new discoveries show how imperfect 

1 Cohunba livia, the Rock-pigeon. "We may conclude with con- 
fidence that all the domestic races, notwithstanding their great amount 
of difference, are descended from the Columba livia, including under this 
name certain wild races'' (pp. tit., Vol. I., p. 223). 

3 In 1837 Dr. Falconer and Sir Proby Cautley collected a large 
number of fossil remains from the Siwalik Hills. Falconer and Cautley, 
Fauna Antigua Sivalensts, 1845-49. 

3 Origin of Species, Ed. I., p. 334. " It is no real objection to the 
truth of the statement that the fauna of each period as a whole is nearly 
intermediate in character between the preceding and succeeding faunas, 
that certain genera offer exceptions to the rule. For instance, mastodons 
and elephants, when arranged by Dr. Falconer in two series, first accord- 
ing to their mutual affinities and then according to their periods of 



1859— 1863] REVIEWS 169 

the discovered series is, which Falconer thought years ago Letter 112 
was nearly perfect. 

I will send to-day or to-morrow two articles by Asa Gray. 
The longer one (now not finally corrected) will come out in 
the October Atlantic Monthly, and they can be got at 
Trubner's. Hearty thanks for all your kindness. 

Do not hurry over Asa Gray. He strikes me as one of 
the best reasoners and writers I ever read. He knows my 
book as well as I do myself. 

To C. Lyell. 

15, Marine Parade, Eastbourne, Oct. 3rd [i860]. 

Your last letter has interested me much in many ways. 

I enclose a letter of Wyman's x which touches on brains. 
Wyman is mistaken in supposing that 1 did not know that 
the Cave-rat was an American form ; I made special en- 
quiries. He does not know that the eye of the Tucutuco 
was carefully dissected. 

With respect to reviews by A. Gray. I thought of 
sending the Dialogue 2 to the Saturday Review in a week's 

existence, do not accord in arrangement. The species extreme in 
character are not the oldest, or the most recent ; nor are those which 
are intermediate in character intermediate in age. But supposing for an 
instant, in this and other such cases, that the record of the first appear- 
ance and disappearance of the species was perfect, we have no reason to 
believe that forms successively produced necessarily endure for corre- 
sponding lengths of time. A very ancient form might occasionally last 
much longer than a form elsewhere subsequently produced, especially 
in the case of terrestrial productions inhabiting separated districts" 
(pp. 334-5). The same words occur in the later edition of the Origin 
(Ed. vi., p. 306). 

1 Jeffries Wyman (1814-74) graduated at Harvard in 1833, and after- 
wards entered the Medical College at Boston, receiving the M.D. degree 
in 1837. In 1847 Wyman was appointed Hervey Professor of Anatomy 
at Harvard, which position he held up to the time of his death. His con- 
tributions to zoological science numbered over a hundred papers. (See 
Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts and Sciences, Vol. II., 1874-75, pp. 496 — 505.) 

* " Discussion between two Readers of Darwin's Treatise on the 
Origin of Species, upon its Natural Theology " (Amer. Journ. Set., 
Vol. XXX., p. 226, i860). Reprinted in Darwiniana, 1876, p. 62. 
The article begins with the following question : " First Reader — Is 
Darwin's theory atheistic or pantheistic ? Or does it tend to atheism 
or pantheism ? " The discussion is closed by the Second Reader, who 



170 I VOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 113 time or so, as they have lately discussed Design. I have sent 
the second, or August, Atlantic article to the Annals and 
Mag. of Nat. History} The copy which you have I want 
to send to Pictct, as I told A. Gray I would, thinking from 
what he said he would like this to be done. I doubt whether 
it would be possible to get the October number reprinted in 
this country ; so that I am in no hurry at all for this. 

I had a letter a few weeks ago from Symonds - on the 
imperfection of the Geological Record, less clear and forcible 
than I expected. I answered him at length and very civilly, 
though I could hardly make out what he was driving at. He 
spoke about you in a way which it did me good to read. 

I am extremely glad that you like A. Gray's reviews. 
I low generous and unselfish he has been in all his labour! 
Are you not struck by his metaphors and similes? I have 
told him he is a poet and not a lawyer. 

I should altogether doubt on turtles being converted into 
land tortoises on any one island. Remember how closely 
similar tortoises are on all continents, as well as islands ; they 
must have all descended from one ancient progenitor, in- 
cluding the gigantic tortoise of the Himalaya. 

I think you must be cautious in not running the con- 
venient doctrine that only one species out of very many ever 
varies. Reflect on such cases as the fauna and flora of 
Europe, North America, and Japan, which are so similar, 
and yet which have a great majority of their species either 

thus sums up his views : " Wherefore we may insist that, for all that yet 
appears, the argument for design, as presented by the natural theologians, 
is just as good now, if we accept Darwin's theory, as it was before the 
theory was promulgated ; and that the sceptical juryman, who was about 
to join the other eleven in an unanimous verdict in favour of design, finds 
no good excuse for keeping the Court longer waiting." 

1 Annals and Mag. Nat. Hist., Vol. VI., pp. 373-86, 1S60. (From 
the Atlantic Monthly, August, i860.) 

' William Samuel Symonds (1818-87), a member of an old West- 
country family, was an undergraduate of Christ's College, Cambridge, 
and in 1845 became Rector of Pendock, Worcestershire. He published 
in 1858 a book entitled Stones of the Valley ; in 1859 Old Bones, or Notes 
for Young Naturalists ; and in 1872 his best-known work, Records of the 
Rocks. Mr. Symonds passed the later years of his life at Sunningdale, 
the house of his son-in-law, Sir Joseph Hooker. (See Quart. Journ. Geol. 
Sac, Vol. XLIV., p. xliii.) 



1859-1863] VARIATION 171 

specifically distinct, or forming well-marked races. We must Letter 113 
in such cases incline to the belief that a multitude of species 
were once identically the same in all the three countries when 
under a warmer climate and more in connection ; and have 
varied in all the three countries. I am inclined to believe 
that almost every species (as we see with nearly all our 
domestic productions) varies sufficiently for Natural Selection 
to pick out and accumulate new specific differences, under 
new organic and inorganic conditions of life, whenever a place 
is open in the polity of nature. But looking to a long lapse 
of time and to the whole world, or to large parts of the 
world, I believe only one or a few species of each large genus 
ultimately becomes victorious, and leaves modified descend- 
ants. To give an imaginary instance : the jay has become 
modified in the three countries into (I believe) three or four 
species ; but the jay genus is not, apparently, so dominant a 
group as the crows ; and in the long run probably all the 
jays will be exterminated and be replaced perhaps by some 
modified crows. 

I merely give this illustration to show what seems to me 
probable. 

But oh ! what work there is before we shall understand 
the genealogy of organic beings ! 

With respect to the Apteryx, I know not enough of 
anatomy ; but ask Dr. F. whether the clavicle, etc., do not 
give attachment to some of the muscles of respiration. If my 
views are at all correct, the wing of the Apteryx 1 cannot be 
(p. 452 of the Origin) a nascent organ, as these wings are 
useless. I dare not trust to memory, but I know I found the 
whole sternum always reduced in size in all the fancy and 
confined pigeons relatively to the same bones in the wild Rock- 
pigeon : the keel was generally still further reduced relatively 
to the reduced length of the sternum ; but in some breeds it 
was in a most anomalous manner more prominent. I have 
got a lot of facts on the reduction of the organs of flight in 
the pigeon, which took me weeks to work out, and which 
Huxley thought curious. 

I am utterly ashamed, and groan over my handwriting. 
It was " Natural Preservation." Natural persecution is what 

1 Origin of Species, Ed. VI., p. 140. 



172 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 113 the author ought to suffer. It rejoices me that you do not 
object to the term. Hooker made the same remark that it 
ought to have been " Variation and Natural Selection." Yet 
with domestic productions, when selection is spoken of, 
variation is always implied. But I entirely agree with your 
and Hooker's remark. 

Have you begun regularly to write your book on the 
antiquity of man ? J 

1 do not agree with your remark that I make Natural 
Selection do too much work. You will perhaps reply that 
every man rides his hobby-horse to death ; and that I am in 
the galloping state. 

L «"er 114 To C. Lyell. 

15, Marine Parade, Eastbourne, Friday 5th [Oct., 1S60]. 

I have two notes to thank you for, and I return 
Wollaston. It has always seemed to me rather strange that 
Forbes, Wollaston and Co. should argue, from the presence 
of allied, and not identical species in islands, for the former 
continuity of land. 

They argue, I suppose, from the species being allied in 
different regions of the same continent, though specifically 
distinct. But I think one might on the creative doctrine 
argue with ecpjal force in a directly reverse manner, and say 
that, as species are so often markedly distinct, yet allied, on 
islands, all our continents existed as islands first, and their 
inhabitants were first created on these islands, and since 
became mingled together, so as not to be so distinct as they 
now generally are on islands. 

loiter 115 To H. G. Bronn. 

Down, Oct. 5th [i860]. 
I ought to apologise for troubling you, but I have at last 
carefully read your excellent criticisms on my book. 2 I 
agree with much of them, and wholly with your final 
sentence. The objections and difficulties which may be 
urged against my view are indeed heavy enough almost to 
break my back, but it is not yet broken ! You put very well 

1 Published in 1863. 

' Bronn added critical remarks to his German translation of the 
Origin: see Life and Lc Iters, II., p. 279. 



1859— 1863] GERMAN TRANSLATION 1 73 

and very fairly that I can in no one instance explain the Letter U S 
course of modification in any particular instance. I could 
make some sort of answer to your case of the two rats ; and 
might I not turn round and ask him who believes in the 
separate creation of each species, why one rat has a longer 
tail or shorter ears than another ? I presume that most 
people would say that these characters were of some use, or 
stood in some connection with other parts ; and if so, Natural 
Selection would act on them. But as you put the case, it 
tells well against me. You argue most justly against my 
question, whether the many species were created as eggs l or 
as mature, etc. I certainly had no right to ask that question. 
I fully agree that there might have been as well a hundred 
thousand creations as eight or ten, or only one. But then, on 
the view of eight or ten creations {i.e. as many as there are 
distinct types of structure) we can on my view understand 
the homological and embryological resemblance of all the 
organisms of each type, and on this ground almost alone I 
disbelieve in the innumerable acts of creation. There are 
only two points on which I think you have misunderstood 
me. I refer only to one Glacial period as affecting the 
distribution of organic beings ; I did not wish even to allude 
to the doubtful evidence of glacial action in the Permian and 
Carboniferous periods. Secondly, I do not believe that the 
process of development has always been carried on at the 
same rate in all different parts -of the world. Australia is 
opposed to such belief. The nearly contemporaneous equal 
development in past periods I attribute to the slow migration 
of the higher and more dominant forms over the whole 
world, and not to independent acts of development in different 
parts. Lastly, permit me to add that I cannot see the force 
of your objection, that nothing is effected until the origin of 
life is explained : surely it is worth while to attempt to 
follow out the action of electricity, though we know not 
what electricity is. 

If you should at any time do me the favour of writing to 
me, I should be very much obliged if you would inform me 
whether you have yourself examined Brehm's subspecies of 
birds ; for I have looked through some of his writings, but 

1 See Letter 110, p. 163. 



174 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 115 have never met an ornithologist who believed in his [illegible]. 
Are these subspecies really characteristic of certain different 
regions of Germany? 

Should you write, I should much like to know how the 
German edition sells. 

Letter 1.6 To J. S. Neiislow. 

Oct. 26th [i860]. 

Many thanks for your note and for all the trouble about 

the seeds, which will be most useful to me next spring. On 

my return home I will send the shillings. 1 I concluded that 

Dr. Bree had blundered about the Celts. I care not for his 

dull, unvarying abuse of me, and singular misrepresentation. 

But at p. 244 he in fact doubts my deliberate word, and 

that is the act of a man who has not the soul of a gentleman 

in him. Kingsley is "the celebrated author and divine" 2 

whose striking sentence I give in the second edition with 

his permission. I did not choose to ask him to let me use 

his name, and as he did not volunteer, I had of course 

no choice. 3 



1 Shillings for the little girls in Henslow's parish who collected seeds 
for Darwin. 

1 Species not Transmutable, by C. R. Bree. After quoting from the 
Origin, Ed. II., p. 481, the words in which a celebrated author and divine 
confesses that " he has gradually learnt to see that it is just as noble a 
conception of the Deity to believe that He created a few original forms, 
etc.," Dr. Bree goes on : "I think we ought to have had the name of 
this divine given with this remarkable statement. I confess that I have 
not yet fully made up my mind that any divine could have ever penned 
lines so fatal to the truths he is called upon to teach." 

3 We are indebted to Mr. G. W. Prothero for calling our attention to 
the following striking passage from the works of a divine of this period : — 
"Just a similar scepticism has been evinced by nearly all the first 
physiologists of the day, who have joined in rejecting the development 
theories of Lamarck and the Vestiges. . . . Yet it is now acknowledged 
under the high sanction of the name of Owen that ' creation' is only another 
name for our ignorance of the mode of production . . . while a work has 
now appeared by a naturalist of the most acknowledged authority, 
Mr. Darwin's masterly volume on the Origin of Species, by the law 
of 'natural selection,' which now substantiates on undeniable grounds 
the very principle so long denounced by the first naturalists— the origina- 
tion of new species by natural causes : a work which must soon bring 
about an entire revolution of opinion in favour of the grand principle of 



1859-1863] AN ST ED I75 

Dr. Freke has sent me his paper, which is far beyond my Letter 116 
scope — something like the capital quiz in the Anti-Jacobin on 
my grandfather, which was quoted in the Quarterly Review. 

To D. T. Ansted. 1 Letter 117 

The following letter was published in Professor Meldola's presidential 
address to the Entomological Society, 1897, and to him we are indebted 
for a copy. 

15, Marine Parade, Eastbourne, Oct. 27th [1S60]. 

As I am away from home on account of my daughter's 
health, I do not know your address, and fly this at random, 
and it is of very little consequence if it never reaches you. 

I have just been reading the greater part of your 
Geological Gossip, and have found part very interesting ; but 
I want to express my admiration at the clear and correct 
manner in which you have given a sketch of Natural 
Selection. You will think this very slight praise ; but I 
declare that the majority of readers seem utterly incapable 
of comprehending my long argument. Some of the re- 
viewers, who have servilely stuck to my illustrations "and 
almost to my words, have been correct, but extraordinarily 
few others have succeeded. I can see plainly, by your new 
illustrations and manner and order of putting the case, that 
you thoroughly comprehend the subject. I assure you this 
is most gratifying to me, and it is the sole way in which the 
public can be indoctrinated. I am often in despair in making 
the generality of naturalists even comprehend me. Intelligent 
men who are not naturalists and have not a bigoted idea of 
the term species, show more clearness of mind. I think that 
you have done the subject a real service, and I sincerely 
thank you. No doubt there will be much error found in my 
book, but I have great confidence that the main view will be, 
in time, found correct ; for I find, without exception, that 
those naturalists who went at first one inch with me now go 
a foot or yard with me. 

This note obviously requires no answer. 

the self-evolving powers of nature."— Prof. Baden Powell's "Study of 
the Evidences of Christianity," Essays and Reviews, 7th edit., 1861 
(PP- 138, 139). 

1 David Thomas Ansted, F.R.S. (1814-80), Fellow of Jesus College, 
Cambridge, Professor of Geology at King's College, London, author of 
several papers and books on geological subjects (see Quart. Journ. Geo/. 
Soc, Vol. XXXVII., p. 43). 



176 EVOLUTION [Chap.III 

Letter 118 To H. W. Bates. 1 

Down, Nov. 22nd [i860]. 
I thank you sincerely for writing to me and for your very 
interesting letter. Your name has for very long been familiar 
to me, and I have heard of your zealous exertions in the 
cause of Natural History. But I did not know that you had 
worked with high philosophical questions before your mind. 
I have an old belief that a good observer really means a good 
theorist, 2 and I fully expect to find your observations most 
valuable. I am very sorry to hear that your health is 
shattered ; but I trust under a healthy climate it may be 
restored. I can sympathise with you fully on this score, for 
I have had bad health for many years, and fear I shall ever 
remain a confirmed invalid. I am delighted to hear that you, 
with all your large practical knowledge of Natural History, 
anticipated me in many respects and concur with me. As 
you say, I have been thoroughly well attacked and reviled 
(especially by entomologists — VVestwood, Wollaston, and 
A. Murray have all reviewed and sneered at me to their 
hearts' content), but I care nothing about their attacks ; 
several really good judges go a long way with me, and I 
observe that all those who go some little way tend to go 
somewhat further. What a fine philosophical mind your 
friend Mr. Wallace has, and he has acted, in relation to me, 
like a true man with a noble spirit. I see by your letter that 
you have grappled with several of the most difficult problems, 
as it seems to me, in Natural History— such as the distinctions 

1 Henry Walter Bates (1825-92) was born at Leicester, and after an 
apprenticeship in a hosiery business he became a clerk in Allsopp's 
brewery. He did not remain long in this uncongenial position, for in 
1848 he embarked for Par£ with Mr. Wallace, whose acquaintance he 
had made at Leicester some years previously. Mr. Wallace left Brazil 
after four years' sojourn, and Bates remained for seven more years. He 
suffered much ill-health and privation, but in spite of adverse circum- 
stances he worked unceasingly : witness the fact that his collection of 
insects numbered 14,000 specimens. He became Assistant Secretary to 
the Royal Geographical Society in 1864, a post which he filled up to the 
time of his death in 1892. In Mr. Clodd's interesting memoir prefixed 
to his edition of the Naturalist on the Amazons, 1892, the editor pays a 
warm and well-weighed tribute to Mr. Bates's honourable and lovable 
personal character. See also Life and Letters, II., p. 3S0. 

* For an opposite opinion, see Letter 13, p. 39. 



1859—1863] NATURAL HISTORY REVIEW 177 

between the different kinds of varieties, representative species, Letter 118 
etc. Perhaps I shall find some facts in your paper on inter- 
mediate varieties in intermediate regions, on which subject 
I have found remarkably little information. I cannot tell 
you how glad I am to hear that you have attended to the 
curious point of equatorial refrigeration. I quite agree that 
it must have been small ; yet the more I go into that question 
the more convinced I feel that there was during the Glacial 
period some migration from north to south. The sketch in 
the Origin gives a very meagre account of my fuller MS. 
essay on this subject. 

I shall be particularly obliged for a copy of your paper 
when published ; l and if any suggestions occur to me (not 
that you require any) or questions, I will write and ask. 

I have at once to prepare a new edition of the Origin? 
and I will do myself the pleasure of sending you a copy ; but 
it will be only very slightly altered. 

Cases of neuter ants, divided into castes, with intermediate 
gradations (which I imagine are rare) interest me much. 
See Origin on the driver-ant, p. 241 (please look at the 
passage). 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 119 

This refers to the first number of the new series of the Natural 
History Review, 1861, a periodical which Huxley was largely instrumental 
in founding, and of which he was an editor (see Letter 107). The first 
series was published in Dublin, and ran to seven volumes between 1854 and 
i860. The new series came to an end in 1865. 

Down, Jan. 3rd [1861]. 

I have just finished No. 1 of the Natural History Review, 
and must congratulate you, as chiefly concerned, on its 
excellence. The whole seems to me admirable, — so admirable 
that it is impossible that other numbers should be so good, 
but it would be foolish to expect it. I am rather a croaker, 
and I do rather fear that the merit of the articles will be 
above the run of common readers and subscribers. I have 
been much interested by your brain article. 3 What a 

1 Probably a paper by Bates entitled " Contributions to an Insect 
Fauna of the Amazon Valley" {Trans. Entomol. Soc, Vol. V., p. 335, 
1858-61). 

2 Third Edition, March, 1861. 

3 The "Brain article" of Huxley bore the title "On the Zoological 
Relations of Man with the Lower Animals," and appeared in No. 1, Jan. 

12 



17S I-.VOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 1 19 complete and awful smasher (and done like a " buttered angel ") 
it is for Owen ! What a humbug he is to have left out 
the sentence in the lecture before the orthodox Cambridge 
dons ! I like Lubbock's paper very much : how well he 
writes. 1 M'Donnell, of course, pleases me greatly. Rut I 
am very s curious to know who wrote the Protozoa article : 
I shall hear, if it be not a secret, from Lubbock. It strikes 
me as very good, and, by Jove, how Owen is shown up — "this 
great and sound reasoncr " ! By the way, this reminds me of 
a passage which I have just observed in Owen's address at 
Leeds, which a clever reviewer might turn into good fun. 
He defines (p. xc) and further on amplifies his definition 
that creation means "a process he knows not what." And in 
a previous sentence he says facts shake his confidence that 
the Aptcryx in New Zealand and Red Grouse in England are 
" distinct creations." So that he has no confidence that these 
birds were produced by " processes he knows not what ! " 
To what miserable inconsistencies and rubbish this truckling 
to opposite opinions leads the great generaliser ! 2 

Farewell : I heartily rejoice in the clear merit of this 
number. I hope Mrs. Huxley goes on well. Etty keeps 
much the same, but has not got up to the same pitch as when 
you were here. Farewell. 



1861, p. 67. It was Mr. Huxley's vindication of the unqualified contra- 
diction ,iven by him at the Oxford meeting of the British Association 
to Professor Owen's assertions as to the difference between the brains 
of man and the higher apes. The sentence omitted by Owen in his 
lecture before the University of Cambridge was a footnote on the close 
structural resemblance between Homo and Pithecus, which occurs in his 
paper on the characters of the class Mammalia in the Linn. Soc. Journal, 
Vol. II., 1857, p. 20. According to Huxley the lecture, or " Essay on the 
Classification of the Mammalia," was, with this omission, a reprint of the 
Linnean paper. In Maris Place in Nature, p. 110, note, Huxley remarks : 
" Surely it is a little singular that the 'anatomist,' who finds it 'difficult' 
to 'determine the difference' between Homo and Pithecus, should yet 
range them, on anatomical grounds, in distinct sub-classes." 

1 Sir John Lubbock's paper was a review of Leydig on the Daphniidas. 
M'Donnell's was "On the Homologies of the Electric Organ of the 
Torpedo," afterwards used in the Origin (see Ed. VI., p. 150). 

3 In the " Historical Sketch," which forms part of the later editions of 
the Origin, Mr. Darwin made use of Owen's Leeds Address in the manner 
sketched above. See Origin, Ed. VI., p. xvii. 



1S59-1863] POLAR BEAR 179 

To James Lamont. Letter 120 

Down, Feb. 25th [1861]. 

I am extremely much obliged for your very kind present 
of your beautiful work, Seasons with the Sea-Horses ;" IJ and 
I have no doubt that I shall find much interesting from so 
careful and acute an observer as yourself. 

P.S. I have just been cutting the leaves of your book, 
and have been very much pleased and surprised at your note 
about what you wrote in Spitzbergen. As you thought it out 
independently, it is no wonder that you so clearly understand 
Natural Selection, which so few of my reviewers do or 
pretend not to do. 

I never expected to see any one so heroically bold as to 
defend my bear illustration. 2 But a man who has done all 
that you have done must be bold ! It is laughable how often 
I have been attacked and misrepresented about this bear. I 
am much pleased with your remarks, and thank you cordially 
for coming to the rescue. 

1 Seasons with the Sea- Horses ; or, Sporting Adventures in the 
Nor/hern Seas. London, 186 1. Mr. Lamont {Joe. eit., p. 273) writes ; 
" The polar bear seems to me to be nothing more than a variety of the 
bears inhabiting Northern Europe, Asia, and America ; and it surely 
requires no very great stretch of the imagination to suppose that this 
variety was originally created, not as we see him now, but by individuals 
of Ursus arctos in Siberia, who, finding their means of subsistence running 
short, and pressed by hunger, ventured on the ice and caught some seals. 
These individuals would find that they could make a subsistence in this 
way, and would take up their residence on the shore and gradually take 
to a life on the ice. . . . Then it stands to reason that those individuals 
who might happen to be palest in colour would have the best chance of 
succeeding in surprising seals. . . . The process of Natural Selection 
would do the rest, and Ursus arctos would in the course of a few 
thousands, or a few millions of years, be transformed into the variety at 
present known as Ursus maritimus." The author adds the following 
footnote (op. cit., p. 275) : " It will be obvious to any one that I follow 
Mr. Darwin in these remarks ; and, although the substance of this 
chapter was written in Spitzbergen, before The Origin of Species was 
published, I do not claim any originality for my views ; and I also cheer- 
fully acknowledge that, but for the publication of that work in connection 
with the name of so distinguished a naturalist, I never would have 
ventured to give to the world my own humble opinions on the subject." 

a " In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming 
for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, almost like a whale, 
insects in the water." — Origin, Ed. vi., p. 141. See Letter no, p. 162. 



180 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 121 To W. B. Tcgctmeier. 

Mr. Darwin's letters to Mr. Tegetmeier, taken as a whole, give a 
striking picture of the amount of assistance which Darwin received from 
him during many years. Some citations from these letters given in Life 
and Letters, II., pp. 52, 53, show how freely and generously Mr. Tegetmeier 
gave his help, and how much his co-operation was valued. 

The following letter is given as an example of the questions on which 
Darwin sought Mr. Tegetmeier's opinion and guidance. 

Down, March 22 [1S61]. 

I ought to have answered your last note sooner ; but I 
have been very busy. How wonderfully successful you have 
been in breeding Pouters ! You have a good right to be 
proud of your accuracy of eye and judgment. I am in the 
thick of poultry, having just commenced, and shall be truly 
grateful for the skulls, if you can send them by any convey- 
ance to the Nag's Head next Thursday. 

You ask about vermilion wax : positively it was not in the 
state of comb, but in solid bits and cakes, which were thrown 
with other rubbish not far from my hives. You can make 
any use of the fact you like. Combs could be concentrically 
and variously coloured and dates recorded by giving for a 
few days wax darkly coloured with vermilion and indigo, and 
I daresay other substances. You ask about my crossed fowls, 
and this leads me to make a proposition to you, which I hope 
cannot be offensive to you. I trust you know me too well to 
think that I would propose anything objectionable to the best 
of my judgment. The case is this : for my object of treating 
poultry I must give a sketch of several breeds, with remarks on 
various points. I do not feel strong on the subject. Now, when 
my MS. is fairly copied in an excellent handwriting, would 
you read it over, which would take you at most an hour or 
two, and make comments in pencil on it ; and accept, like a 
barrister, a fee, we will say, of a couple of guineas. This would 
be a great assistance to me, specially if you would allow me to 
put a note, stating that you, a distinguished judge and fancier, 
had read it over. I would state that you doubted or concurred, 
as each case might be, of course striking out what you were 
sure was incorrect. There would be little new in my MS. to 
you ; but if by chance you used any of my facts or conclusions 
before I published, I should wish you to state that they were 
on my authority ; otherwise I shall be accused of stealing 



i8s9-i86j] HATES l8l 

from you. There will be little new, except that perhaps I Letter 121 
have consulted some out-of-the-way books, and have corre- 
sponded with some good authorities. Tell me frankly what 
you think of this ; but unless you will oblige me by accepting 
remuneration, I cannot and will not give you such trouble. 
I have little doubt that several points will arise which will 
require investigation, as I care for many points disregarded 
by fanciers ; and according to any time thus spent, you will, 
I trust, allow me to make remuneration. I hope that you 
will grant me this favour. There is one assistance which 
I will now venture to beg of you — viz., to get me, if you can, 
another specimen of an old white Angora rabbit. I want it 
dead for the skeleton ; and not knocked on the head. Secondly, 
I see in the Cottage Gardener (March 19th, p. 375) there are 
impure half-lops with one ear quite upright and shorter than 
the other lopped ear. I much want a dead one. Baker cannot 
get one. Baily is looking out ; but I want two specimens. 
Can you assist me, if you meet any rabbit-fancier ? I have 
had rabbits with one ear more lopped than the other ; but 
I want one with one ear quite upright and shorter, and 
the other quite long and lopped. 

To H. W. Bates. Le tter 122 

Down, March 26th [1861]. 
I have read your papers l with extreme interest, and I 
have carefully read every word of them. They seem to me 
to be far richer in facts of variation, and especially on the 
distribution of varieties and subspecies, than anything which 
I have read. Hereafter I shall re-read them, and hope in my 
future work to profit by them and make use of them. The 
amount of variation has much surprised me. The analogous 
variation of distinct species in the same regions strikes me as 
particularly curious. The greater variability of the female 
sex is new to me. Your Guiana 2 case seems in some degree 

1 " Contributions to an Insect Fauna of the Amazon Valley." (Read 
March 5th and Nov. 24th, 1S60). Entomological Soc. Trans. V., 
pp. 223 and 335. 

8 Mr. Bates (p. 349) gives reason to believe that the Guiana region 
should be considered "a perfectly independent province," and that it has 
formed a centre " whence radiated the species which now people the low 
lands on its borders." 



lS2 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letts 122 analogous, as far as plants arc concerned, with the modern 
plains of La Plata, which seem to have been colonised from 
the north, but the species have been hardly modified. 

Would you kindly answer me two or three questions if in 
your power? When species A becomes modified in another 
region into a well-marked form C, but is connected with it 
by one (or more) gradational forms B inhabiting an inter- 
mediate region ; does this form B generally exist in equal 
numbers with A and C, or inhabit an equally large area? 
The probability is that you cannot answer this question, 
though one of your cases seems to bear on it. . . . 

You will, I think, be glad to hear that I now often hear of 
naturalists accepting my views more or less fully ; but some 
are curiously cautious in running the risk of any small odium 
in expressing their belief. 

Letter 123 To H. W. Bates. 

Down, Avvil 4th [1861]. 

I have been unwell, so have delayed thanking you for 
your admirable letter. I hope you will not think me pre- 
sumptuous in saying how much I have been struck with your 
varied knowledge, and with the decisive manner in which you 
bring it to bear on each point, — a rare and most high quality, 
as far as my experience goes. I earnestly hope you will find 
time to publish largely : before the Linnean Society you 
might bring boldly out your views on species. Have you 
ever thought of publishing your travels, and working in them 
the less abstruse parts of your Natural History? I believe it 
would sell, and be a very valuable contribution to Natural 
History. You must also have seen a good deal of the natives. 
I know well it would be quite unreasonable to ask for any 
further information from you ; but I will just mention that I 
am now, and shall be for a long time, writing on domestic 
varieties of all animals. Any facts would be useful, especially 
any showing that savages take any care in breeding their 
animals, or in rejecting the bad and preserving the good ; or 
any fancies which they may have that one coloured or marked 
dog, etc., is better than another. I have already collected 
much on this head, but am greedy for facts. You will at once 
sec their bearing on variation under domestication. 

Hardly anything in your letter has pleased me more than 



1859—1863] button's review 183 

about sexual selection. In my larger MS. (and indeed in the Letter 123 
Origin with respect to the tuft of hairs on the breast of the 
cock -turkey) I have guarded myself against going too far ; 
but I did not at all know that male and female butterflies 
haunted rather different sites. If I had to cut up myself in a 
review I would have [worried ?] and quizzed sexual selection ; 
therefore, though I am fully convinced that it is largely true, 
you may imagine how pleased I am at what you say on your 
belief. This part of your letter to me is a quintessence of 
richness. The fact about butterflies attracted by coloured 
sepals is another good fact, worth its weight in gold. It 
would have delighted the heart of old Christian C. Sprengel 1 — 
now many years in his grave. 

I am glad to hear that you have specially attended to 
" mimetic " analogies — a most curious subject ; I hope you 
publish on it. I have for a long time wished to know 
whether what Dr. Collingwood asserts is true — that the most 
striking cases generally occur between insects inhabiting the 
same country. 

To F. W. Hutton. 2 Letter 124 

Down, April 20th [1861]. 

I hope that you will permit me to thank you for sending 
me a copy of your paper in The Geologist? and at the same 
time to express my opinion that you have done the sub- 
ject a real service by the highly original, striking, and 

1 Christian Konrad Sprengel (1750-1816) was for a time Rector of 
Spandau, near Berlin ; but his enthusiasm for Botany led to neglect 
of parochial duties, and to dismissal from his living. His well-known 
work, Das Entdeckte Geheimniss der Natur, was published in 1793. An 
account of Sprengel was published in Flora, 1819, by one of his old 
pupils. See also Life and Letters, I., p. 90, and an article in Natural 
Science, Vol. II., 1893, by J. C. Willis. 

2 Frederick Wollaston Hutton, F.R.S., formerly Curator of the Can- 
terbury Museum, Christchurch, New Zealand, author of Darwinism and 
Lamarckism, Old and New, London, 1899. 

3 In a letter to Hooker (April 23rd?, 1861) Darwin refers to Hutton's 
review as "very original," and adds that Hutton is "one of the very 
few who see that the change of species cannot be directly proved . . ." 
(Life and Letters, II., p. 362). The review appeared in The Geologist 
(afterwards known as The Geological Magazine} for 1861, pp. 132-6 
and 183-8. A letter on " Difficulties of Darwinism" is published in the 
same volume of The Geologist, p. 286. 



J 84 KVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 124 condensed manner with which yon have put the case. I am 
actually weary of telling people that I do not pretend to 
adduce direct evidence of one species changing into another, 
but that 1 believe that this view in the main is correct, 
because so many phenomena can be thus grouped together 
and explained. But it is generally of no use ; I cannot make 
persons sec this. I generally throw in their teeth the univer- 
sally admitted theory of the undulation of light,— neither the 
undulation nor the very existence of ether being proved, yet 
admitted because the view explains so much. You are one 
of the very few who have seen this, and have now put it most 
forcibly and clearly. I am much pleased to see how carefully 
you have read my book, and, what is far more important, 
reflected on so many points with an independent spirit. As 
1 am deeply interested in the subject (and I hope not exclu- 
sively under a personal point of view) I could not resist 
venturing to thank you for the right good service which you 
have done. 

I need hardly say that this note requires no answer. 

Letter 12 5 To J. D. Hooker. 1 

Down, [Ap.] 23rd, [1S61]. 
I have been much interested by Bentham's paper 2 in 
the Natural History Review, but it would not, of course, 
from familiarity, strike you as it did me. I liked the 
whole— all the facts on the nature of close and varying 
species. Good Heavens ! to think of the British botanists 
turning up their noses and saying that he knows nothing 
of British plants ! I was also pleased at his remarks on 
classification, because it showed me that I wrote truly on 
this subject in the Origin. I saw Bentham al the Linnean 
Society, and had some talk with him and Lubbock and 
Edgeworth, Wallich, and several others. I asked Bentham 

1 Parts of this letter are published in Life and Letters, II., p. 362. 

2 This refers to Bentham's paper " On the Species and Genera of 
Hants, etc.," Nat. Hist. Review, April, 1861, p. 133, which is founded on, 
or extracted from, a paper read before the Linn. Soc, Nov. 15th, 1858. It 
had been originally set down to be read on July isl, 1858, but gave way to 
the papers of Darwin and Wallace. Mr. Bentham has described {Life and 
Letters, II., p. 294) how he reluctantly cancelled the parts urging "original 
fixity" of specific type, and the remainder seems not to have been pub- 
lished except in the above-quoted paper in the Nat. Hist. Review. 



i859— 1 863] EDINBURGH REVIEW 1 85 

to give us his ideas of species ; whether partially with us or Letter 125 

dead against us, he would write excellent matter. He made 

no answer, but his manner made me think he might do so 

if urged — so do you attack him. Every one was speaking 

with affection and anxiety of Henslow. I dined with Bell at 

the Linnean Club, and liked my dinner .... dining-out 

is such a novelty to me that I enjoyed it. Bell has a real 

good heart. I liked Rolleston's paper, but I never read 

anything so obscure and not self-evident as his " canons." 1 I 

had a dim perception of the truth of your profound remark — 

that he wrote in fear and trembling "of God, man, and 

monkeys," but I would alter it into " God, man, Owen, 

and monkeys." Huxley's letter was truculent, and I see that 

every one thinks it too truculent ; but in simple truth I am 

become quite demoniacal about Owen — worse than Huxley ; 

and I told Huxley that I should put myself under his care to 

be rendered milder. But I mean to try and get more angelic 

in my feelings ; yet I never shall forget his cordial shake of 

the hand, when he was writing as spitefully as he possibly 

could against me. But I have always thought that you have 

more cause than I to be demoniacally inclined towards him. 

Bell told me that Owen says that the editor mutilated his 

article in the Edinburgh Review, 2 and Bell seemed to think it 

was rendered more spiteful by the Editor ; perhaps the 

opposite view is as probable. Oh, dear ! this does not look 

like becoming more angelic in my temper ! 

I had a splendid long talk with Lyell (you may guess how- 
splendid, for he was many times on his knees, with elbows on 
the sofa) 3 on his work in France : he seems to have done 

1 See Nat. Hist. Review, 1S61, p. 206. The paper is "On the Brain 
of the Orang Utang," and forms part of the bitter controversy of this 
period to which reference occurs in letters to Huxley and elsewhere in 
these volumes. Rolleston's work is quoted by Huxley (Man's Place in 
Nature, p. 117) as part of the crushing refutation of Owen's position. 
Mr. Huxley's letter referred to above is no doubt that in the Athenaum, 
April 13th, 1861, p. 498 ; it is certainly severe, but to those who know Mr. 
Huxley's " Succinct History of the Controversy," etc. (Maris Place in 
Nature, p. 113), it will not seem too severe. 

2 This is the only instance, with which we are acquainted, of Owen's 
acknowledging the authorship of the Edinburgh Review article. 

3 Mr. Darwin often spoke of Sir Charles Lyell's tendency to take 
curious attitudes when excited. 



l86 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Lettei 125 capital work in making out the age of the celt-bearing beds, 
but the case gets more and more complicated. All, however, 
tends to greater and greater antiquity of man. The shingle 
beds seem to be estuary deposits. I called on R. Chambers at 
his very nice house in St. John's Wood, and had a very pleasant 
half-hour's talk — he is really a capital fellow. He made one 
good remark and chuckled over it : that the laymen universally 
had treated the controversy on the Essays and Reviews as a 
merely professional subject, and had not joined in it but 
had left it to the clergy. I shall be anxious for your next 
letter about Henslow. Farewell, with sincere sympathy, my 
old friend. 

P.S. — We are very much obliged for London Review. 
We like reading much of it, and the science is incomparably 
better than in the Atkenceum. You shall not go on very long 
sending it, as you will be ruined by pennies and trouble ; but 
I am under a horrid spell to the Atkenceum and Gardeners' 
C/ironie/e, both of which are intolerably dull, but I have taken 
them in for so many years that I cannot give them up. The 
Cottage Gardener, for my purpose, is now far better than 
the Gardeners' Clironicle. 

Letter 126 To J. L. A. de Quatrefages. 1 

Down, April 25 [1861]. 

I received this morning your Unite de FEspece Humaine 
[published in 1861], and most sincerely do I thank you for 
this your very kind present. I had heard of and been recom- 
mended to read your articles, but, not knowing that they were 
separately published, did not know how to get them. So 
your present is most acceptable, and I am very anxious to see 
your views on the whole subject of species and variation ; and 
I am certain to derive much benefit from your work. In 
cutting the pages I observe that you have most kindly men- 

1 Jean Louis Armancl de Quatrefages de Breau (1810-92) was a scion 
of an ancient family originally settled at Breau, in the Cevennes. His 
work was largely anthropological, and in his writings and lectures 
he always combated evolutionary ideas. Nevertheless he had a strong 
personal respect for Darwin, and was active in obtaining his election at 
the Institut. For details of his life and work see A la Mhnoire de 
/. L. A. de Ouatrefages de Brian, 4", Paris (privately printed); also 
L Anthropologic, III., 1892, p. 2. 



1859-1863] CHILLINGHAM CATTLE 1 87 

tinned my work several limes. My views spread slowly in Letter 126 
England and America ; and I am much surprised to find them 
most commonly accepted by geologists, next by botanists, and 
least by zoologists. I am much pleased that the younger 
and middle-aged geologists are coming round, for the argu- 
ments from Geology have always seemed strongest against 
me. Not one of the older geologists (except Lyell) has been 
even shaken in his views of the eternal immutability of species. 
But so many of the younger men are turning round with zeal 
that I look to the future with some confidence. I am now at 
work on " Variation under Domestication," but make slow 
progress — it is such tedious work comparing skeletons. 

With very sincere thanks for the kind sympathy which 
you have always shown me, and with much respect, . . . 

P.S. — I have lately read M. Naudin's paper, 1 but it does not 
seem to me to anticipate me, as he does not show how 
selection could be applied under nature ; but an obscure 
writer 2 on forest trees, in 1830, in Scotland, most expressly 
and clearly anticipated my views — though he put the "case 
so briefly that no single person ever noticed the scattered 
passages in his book. 

To L. Hindmarsh. Letter 127 

The following letter was in reply to one from Mr. Hindmarsh, to 

whom Mr. Darwin had written asking for information on the average 

number of animals killed each year in the Chillingham herd. The object 

of the request was to obtain information which might throw light on the 

rate of increase of the cattle relatively to those on the pampas of South 

America. Mr. Hindmarsh had contributed a paper "On the Wild 

Cattle of Chillingham Park" to the Annals and Mag. Nat. Hist., Vol. II., 

p. 274, 1839. 

Down, May 12th [1861]. 

I thank you sincerely for your prompt and great kind- 
ness, and return the letter, which 1 have been very glad to 

1 Naudin's paper {Revue Horticole, 1852) is mentioned in the " Historical 
Sketch" prefixed to the later editions of the Origin (Ed. VI., p. xix). 
Naudin insisted that species are formed in a manner analogous to the 
production of varieties by cultivators, i.e., by selection, "but he does not 
show how selection acts under nature." In the Life and Letters, II., 
p. 246, Darwin, speaking of Naudin's work, says : " Decaisne seems to 
think he gives my whole theory." 

' The obscure writer is Patrick Matthew (see the " Historical Sketch 1 ' 
in the Origin). 



1 88 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 127 see and have had copied. The increase is more rapid than I 
anticipated, but it seems rather conjectural ; I had hoped 
that in so interesting a case some exact record had been kept. 
The number of births, or of calves reared till they followed 
their mothers, would perhaps have been the best datum. 
From Mr. Hardy's letter I infer that ten must be annually born 
to make up the deaths from various causes. In Paraguay, 
Azara states that in a herd of 4,000, from 1,000 to 1,300 are 
reared ; but then, though they do not kill calves, but castrate 
the young bulls, no doubt the oxen would be killed earlier 
than the cows, so that the herd would contain probably more 
of the female sex than the herd at Chillingham. There is not 
apparently any record whether more young bulls are killed 
than cows. I am surprised that Lord Tankerville does not 
have an exact record kept of deaths and sexes and births : 
after a dozen years it would be an interesting statistical record 
to the naturalist and agriculturalist. 

Letter 128 / To J. D. Hooker. 

The death of Professor Henslow (who was Sir J. D. Hooker's 
father-in-law) occurred on May 16th, 1861. 

Down, May 24th [1S61]. 

Thanks for your two notes. I am glad that the burial 
is over, and sincerely sympathise and can most fully under- 
stand your feelings at your loss. 

I grieve to think how little I saw of Henslow for many 
years. With respect to a biography of Henslow, 1 cannot help 
feeling rather doubtful, on the principle that a biography 
could not do him justice. His letters were generally written 
in a hurry, and I fear he did not keep any journal or diary. 
If there were any vivid materials to describe his life as 
parish priest, and manner of managing the poor, it would be 
very good. 

I am never very sanguine on literary projects. I cannot 
help fearing his Life might turn out flat. There can hardly 
be marked incidents to describe. I sincerely hope that I 
take a wrong and gloomy view, but I cannot help fearing — I 
would rather see no Life than one that would interest very few. 
It will be a pleasure and duly in me to consider what I can 
recollect ; but at present I can think of scarcely anything. 
The equability and perfection of Henslow's whole character, 




Professor IIensi.i 



1859-1863] J. S. MILL 189 

I should think, would make it very difficult for any one to Letter 128 
pourtray him. I have been thinking about Henslow all day 
a good deal, but the more I think the less I can think of to 
write down. It is quite a new style for me to set about, but 
I will continue to think what I could say to give any, however 
imperfect, notion of him in the old Cambridge days. 

Pray give my kindest remembrances to L. Jenyns, 1 who 
is often associated with my recollection of those old happy 
days. 

Henry Fawcett 2 to C. Darwin. Letter 129 

It was in reply to the following letter that Darwin wrote to Fawcett : 
" You could not possibly have told me anything which would have given 
me more satisfaction than what you say about Mr. Mill's opinion. Until 
your review appeared 1 began to think that perhaps I did not understand 
at all how to reason scientifically " {Life of Henry Fawcett, by Leslie 
Stephen, 1SS5, p. 100). 

Bodenham, Salisbury, July 16th [1861]. 

I feel that I ought not to have so long delayed writing to 
thank you for your very kind letter to me about my article 
on your book in Macniillans Alagazine. 

I was particularly anxious to point out that the method 
of investigation pursued was in every respect philosophically 
correct. I was spending an evening last week with my 
friend Mr. John Stuart Mill, and I am sure you will be 
pleased to hear from such an authority that he considers that 
your reasoning throughout is in the most exact accordance 
with the strict principles of logic. He also says the method 
of investigation you have followed is the only one proper to 
such a subject. 

It is easy for an antagonistic reviewer, when he finds it 
difficult to answer your arguments, to attempt to dispose of 
the whole matter by uttering some such commonplace as 
" This is not a Baconian induction." 

I expect shortly to be spending a few days in your 
neighbourhood, and if I should not be intruding upon you, I 

1 The Rev. Leonard Jenyns (afterwards Blomefield) undertook the 
Life of Henslow, to which Darwin contributed a characteristic and 
delightful sketch. See Letter 17. 

3 Henry Fawcett (1833-84), Professor of Political Economy at 
Cambridge, 1863, Postmaster-General 18S0-84. See Leslie Stephen's 
well-known Life. 



icp EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 129 should esteem it a great favour if you will allow me to call 
on you and have half an hour's conversation with you. 

As far as I am personally concerned, I am sure I ought to 
be grateful to you, for since my accident nothing has given 
me so much pleasure as the perusal of your book. Such 
studies are now a great resource to me. 

Letter 130 To C. Lyell. 

2, 1 k'sketh Terrace, Torquay (Aug. 2nd, 1861]. 
I declare that you read the reviews on the Origin more 
carefully than I do. I agree with all your remarks. The 
point of correlation struck me as well put, and on varieties 
growing together ; but I have already begun to put things in 
train for information on this latter head, on which Bronn 
also enlarges. With respect to sexuality, I have often 
speculated on it, and have always concluded that we arc too 
ignorant to speculate : no physiologist can conjecture why the 
two elements go to form a new being, and, more than that, 
why nature strives at uniting the two elements from two 
individuals. What I am now working at in my orchids is 
an admirable illustration of the law. I should certainly 
conclude that all sexuality had descended from one prototype. 
Do you not underrate the degree of lowncss of organisation 
in which sexuality occurs — viz., in Hydra, and still lower in 
some of the one-celled free conferva; which "conjugate," 
which good judges (Thwaitcs) believe is the simplest form of 
true sexual generation? 1 But the whole case is a mystery. 

There is another point on which I have occasionally 
wished to say a few words. I believe you think with Asa 
Gray that I have not allowed enough for the stream of 
variation having been guided by a higher power. I have 
had lately a good deal of correspondence on this head. 
Herschel, in his Physical Geography? has a sentence with 

1 See Letter 97. 

3 Physical Geography of the Globe, by Sir John F. W. Herschel, Edin- 
burgh, 1861. On p. 12 Herschel writes of the revelations of Geology 
pointing to successive submersions and reconstructions of the continents 
and fresh races of animals and plants. He refers to a " great law of 
change" which has not operated either by a gradually progressing variation 
of species, nor by a sudden and total abolition of one race. . . . The 
following footnote on page 12 of the Physical Geography was added in 



1S59 — 1S63] HERSCIIEL 191 

respect to the Origin, something to the effect that the Letter 130 
higher l;iw of Providential Arrangement should always be 
stated. But astronomers do not state that God directs the 
course of each comet and planet. The view that each 
variation has been providentially arranged seems to me to 
make Natural Selection entirely superfluous, and indeed takes 
the whole case of the appearance of new species out of the 
range of science. But what makes me most object to Asa 
Gray's view is the study of the extreme variability of domestic 
animals. He who does not suppose that each variation in 
the pigeon was providentially caused, by accumulating which 
variations, man made a Fantail, cannot, I think, logically 
argue that the tail of the woodpecker was formed by 
variations providentially ordained. It seems to me that 
variations in the domestic and wild conditions arc due to 
unknown causes, and are without purpose, and in so far 
accidental ; and that they become purposeful only when they 
are selected by man for his pleasure, or by what we call 

m 

January, 1861 : "This was written previous to the publication of Mr. 
Darwin's work on the Origin of Species, a work which, whatever its 
merit or ingenuity, we cannot, however, consider as having disproved the 
view taken in the text. We can no more accept the principle of arbitrary 
and casual variation and natural selection as a sufficient account, per se, 
of the past and present organic world, than we can receive the Laputan 
method of composing books (pushed a entrance) as a sufficient one of 
Shakespeare and the Principia. Equally in either case an intelligence, 
guided by a purpose, must be continually in action to bias the directions 
of the steps of change — to regulate their amount, to limit their diver- 
gence, and to continue them in a definite course. We do not believe 
that Mr. Darwin means to deny the necessity of such intelligent direction. 
But it does not, so far as we can see, enter into the formula of this law, 
and without it we are unable to conceive how far the law can have led 
to the results. On the other hand, we do not mean to deny that such 
intelligence may act according to a law (that is to say, on a preconceived 
and definite plan). Such law, stated in words, would be no other than 
the actual observed law of organic succession ; a one more general, 
taking that form when applied to our own planet, and including all the 
links of the chain which have disappeared. But the one law is a necessary 
supplement to the other, and ought, in all logical propriety, to form a 
part of its enunciation. Granting this, and with some demur as to the 
genesis of man, we are far from disposed to repudiate the view taken of 
this mysterious subject in Mr. Darwin's book." The sentence in italics 
is no doubt the one referred to in the letter to Lyell. See Letter -43. 



192 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 130 Natural Selection in the struggle for life, and under changing 
conditions. I do not wish to say that God did not foresee 
everything which would ensue ; but here comes very nearly 
the same sort of wretched imbroglio as between freewill and 
preordained necessity. I doubt whether 1 have made what 
I think-clear ; but certainly A. Gray's notion of the courses 
of variation having been led like a stream of water by 
gravity, seems to me to smash the whole affair. It reminds 
me of a Spaniard whom I told I was trying to make out 
how the Cordillera was formed ; and he answered me that it 
was useless, for " God made them." It may be said that God 
foresaw how they would be made. I wonder whether 
Ilerschel would say that you ought always to give tin- 
higher providential law, and declare that God had ordered 
all certain changes of level, that certain mountains should 
arise. I must think that such views of Asa Gray and 
Herschel merely show that the subject in their minds is in 
Comte's theological stage of science. . . . 

Of course I do not want any answer to my quasi- 
theological discussion, but only for you to think of my 
notions, if you understand them. 

I hope to Heaven your long and great labours on your 
new edition are drawing to a close. 

Letter 131 To C. Lyell. 

Torquay, [August 13th, 1861]. 

Very many thanks for the orchids, which have proved 
extremely useful to me in two ways I did not anticipate, but 
were too monstrous (yet of some use) for my special purpose. 

When you come to " Deification," ' ask yourself honestly 
whether what you are thinking applies to the endless 
variations of domestic productions, which man accumulates 
for his mere fancy or use. No doubt these are all caused 
by some unknown law, but I cannot believe they were 
ordained for any purpose, and if not so ordained under 
domesticity, I can see no reason to believe that they were 
ordained in a state of nature. Of course it may be said, 
when you kick a stone, or a leaf falls from a tree, that it 
was ordained, before the foundations of the world were laid, 

1 See Letter 105, note I. 



1859-1863] mutton's review 193 

exactly where that stone or leaf should lie. In this sense Letter 131 
the subject has no interest for me. 

Once again, many thanks for the orchids ; you must let 
me repay you what you paid the collector. 

To C. Lyell. Letter 132 

The first paragraph probably refers to the proof-sheets of Lyell's 
A)itiquity of Man, but the passage referred to seems not to occur in the 
book. 

Torquay, Aug. 21st [1861]. 

... I have really no criticism, except a trifling one in 
pencil near the end, which I have inserted on account of 
dominant and important species generally varying most. 
You speak of " their views " rather as if you were a thousand 
miles away from such wretches, but your concluding paragraph 
shows that you are one of the wretches. 

I am pleased that you approve of Hutton's review. 1 It 
seemed to me to take a more philosophical view of the 
manner of judging the question than any other review. "The 
sentence you quote from it seems very true, but I do not 
agree with the theological conclusion. I think he quotes 
from Asa Gray, certainly not from me ; but I have neither 
A. Gray nor Origin with me. Indeed, I have over and over 
again said in the Origin that Natural Selection does nothing 
without variability ; 1 have given a whole chapter on laws, 
and used the strongest language how ignorant we are on 
these laws. But I agree that I have somehow (Hooker says 
it is owing to my title) not made the great and manifest 
importance of previous variability plain enough. Breeders 
constantly speak of Selection as the one great means of im- 
provement ; but of course they imply individual differences, 
and this I should have thought would have been obvious to 
all in Natural Selection ; but it has not been so. 

I have just said that I cannot agree with " which 
variations are the effects of an unknown law, ordained and 
guided without doubt by an intelligent cause on a precon- 
ceived and definite plan." Will you honestly tell me (and 
I should be really much obliged) whether you believe that 
the shape of my nose (eheu !) was ordained and "guided 

1 "Some Remarks on Mr. Darwin's Theory," by F. W. Hutton. 
Geologist, Vol. IV., p. 132 (1861). See Letter 124. 

13 



194 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 132 by an intelligent cause ? " l By the selection of analogous 
and less differences fanciers make almost generic differences 
in their pigeons ; and can you see any good reason why the 
Natural Selection of analogous individual differences should 
not make new species ? If you say that God ordained that at 
some time and place a dozen slight variations should arise, and 
that one of them alone should be preserved in the struggle for 
life and the other eleven should perish in the first or few first 
generations, then the saying seems to me mere verbiage. It 
comes to merely saying that everything that is, is ordained. 
Let me add another sentence. Why should you or I speak 
of variation as having been ordained and guided, more than 
does an astronomer, in discussing the fall of a meteoric stone ? 
He would simply say that it was drawn to our earth by the 
attraction of gravity, having been displaced in its course by 
the action of some quite unknown laws. Would you have 
him say that its fall at some particular place and time was 
"ordained and guided without doubt by an intelligent cause 
on a preconceived and definite plan " ? Would you not 
call this theological pedantry or display ? I believe it is not 
pedantry in the case of species, simply because their formation 
has hitherto been viewed as beyond law ; in fact, this branch 
of science is still with most people under its theological phase 
of development. The conclusion which I always come to after 
thinking of such questions is that they are beyond the human 
intellect ; and the less one thinks on them the better. You 
may say, Then why trouble me? But I should very much 
like to know clearly what you think. 

Letter 133 To Henry Fawcett. 

The following letter was published in the Life of Mr. Fawcett (1885); 
we are indebted to Mrs. Fawcett and Messrs. Smith & Elder for 
permission to reprint it. See Letter 129. 

Sept. 18th [1861]. 

I wondered who had so kindly sent me the newspaper, 2 
which I was very glad to see ; and now I have to thank you 

1 It should be remembered that the shape of his nose nearly 
determined Fitz-Roy to reject Darwin as naturalist to H.M.S. Beagle 
{Life and Letters, I., p. 60). 

'' The newspaper sent was the Manchester Examiner for September 
9th, 1861, containing a report of Mr. Fawcett's address given before 



1859— '863] FAWCETTS ADDRESS 195 

sincerely for allowing me to see your MS. It seems to me Letter 133 
very good and sound ; though I am certainly not an impartial 
judge. You will have done good service in calling the 
attention of scientific men to means and laws of philosophising. 
As far as I could judge by the papers, your opponents were 
unworthy of you. How miserably A. talked of my reputation, 
as if that had anything to do with it ! . . . How profoundly 
ignorant B. must be of the very soul of observation ! About 
thirty years ago there was much talk that geologists ought 
only to observe and not theorise ; and I well remember some 
one saying that at this rate a man might as well go into a 
gravel-pit and count the pebbles and describe the colours. 
How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation 
must be for or against some view if it is to be of any 
service ! 

I have returned only lately from a two months' visit to 
Torquay, which did my health at the time good ; but I am 
one of those miserable creatures who are never comfortable 
for twenty-four hours ; and it is clear to me that I ought to 
be exterminated. I have been rather idle of late, or, speaking 
more strictly, working at some miscellaneous papers, which, 
however, have some direct bearing on the subject of species ; 
yet I feel guilty at having neglected my larger book. But, to 

Section D of the British Association, " On the method of Mr. Darwin 
in his treatise on the origin of species," in which the speaker showed 
that the " method of investigation pursued by Mr. Darwin in his treatise 
on the origin of species is in strict accordance with the principles of 
logic." The "A" of the letter (as published in Fawcett's Life) is the late 
Professor Williamson, who is reported to have said that " while he would 
not say that Mr. Darwin's book had caused him a loss of reputation, he 
was sure that it had not caused a gain." The reference to "B" is 
explained by the report of the late Dr. Lankcster's speech in which he 
said, " The facts brought forward in support of the hypothesis had a very 
different value indeed from that of the hypothesis. ... A great 
naturalist, who was still a friend of Mr. Darwin, once said to him 
(Dr. Lankester), 'The mistake is, that Darwin has dealt with origin. 
Why did he not put his facts before us, and let them rest ?' " Another 
speaker, the Rt. Hon. J. R. Napier, remarked : " I am going to speak 
closely to the question. If the hypothesis is put forward to contradict 
facts, and the averments are contrary to the Word of God, I say that it 
is not a logical argument." At this point the chairman, Professor 
Babington, wisely interfered, on the ground that the meeting was 
scientific one. 



196 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 133 me, observing is much better sport than writing. 1 fear that 
I shall have wearied you with this long note. 

Pray believe that I feel sincerely grateful that you have 
taken up the cudgels in defence of the line of argument in the 
Origin ; you will have benefited the subject. 

Many are so fearful of speaking out. A German naturalist 
came here the other day ; and he tells me that there are many 
in Germany on our side, but that all seem fearful of speaking 
out, and waiting for some one to speak, and then many 
will follow. The naturalists seem as timid as young ladies 
should be, about their scientific reputation. There is much 
discussion on the subject on the Continent, even in quiet 
Holland ; and I had a pamphlet from Moscow the other day 
by a man who sticks up famously for the imperfection of 
the " Geological Record," but complains that I have sadly 
understated the variability of the old fossilised animals ! Rut 
I must not run on. 

Letter 134 To H. W. Bates. 

Down, Sept. 25th [1861]. 

Now for a few words on science. Many thanks for facts 
on neuters. You cannot tell how I rejoice that you do not 
think what I have said on the subject absurd. Only two 
persons have even noticed it to me — viz., the bitter sneer of 
Owen in the Edinburgh Rcvien>} and my good friend and 
supporter, Sir C. Lyell, who could only screw up courage to 
say, " Well, you have manfully faced the difficulty." 

What a wonderful case of Volucella 2 of which I had never 
heard. I had no idea such a case occurred in nature ; I must 
get and see specimens in British Museum. I hope and 
suppose you will give a good deal of Natural History in your 
Travels ; every one cares about ants — more notice has 

1 Edinburgh Review, April, i860, p. 525. 

' Volucella is a fly — one of the Syrphider — supposed to supply a case 
of mimicry ; this was doubtless the point of interest with Bates. 
Dr. Sharp says [Insects, Part II. (in the Camb. Nat. Hist, series), 
1899, p. 500]: " It was formerly assumed that the Volucella larvae lived 
on the larvre of the bees, and that the parent flies were providentially 
endowed with a bee-like appearance that they might obtain entrance into 
the bees' nests without being detected." Dr. Sharp goes on to say that 
what little is known on the subject supports the belief that the " presence 
of the / 'olucella in the nests is advantageous to both fly and bee." 



1859-1863] BATES 197 

been taken about slave-ants in the Origin than of any other Letter 134 
passage. 

I fully expect to delight in your Travels. Keep to simple 
style, as in your excellent letters, — but I beg pardon, I am 
again advising. 

What a capital paper yours will be on mimetic resem- 
blances ! You will make quite a new subject of it. I had 
thought of such cases as a difficulty; and once, when corre- 
sponding with Dr. Collingwood, I thought of your explanation!; 
but I drove it from my mind, for I felt that I had not know- 
ledge to judge one way or the other. Dr. C, I think, states 
that the mimetic forms inhabit the same country, but I did not 
know whether to believe him. What wonderful cases yours 
seem to be ! Could you not give a few woodcuts in your 
Travels to illustrate this ? I am tired with a hard day's work, 
so no more, except to give my sincere thanks and hearty 
wishes for the success of your Travels. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 135 

Down, Match 1 8th [1862]. 

Your letter discusses lots of interesting subjects, and I am 
very glad you have sent for your letter to Bates. 1 What do 
you mean by "individual plants"? 2 I fancied a bud lived 
only a year, and you could hardly expect any change in that 
time ; but if you call a tree or plant an individual, you have 
sporting buds. Perhaps you mean that the whole tree does 
not change. Tulips, in " breaking," change. Fruit seems 
certainly affected by the stock. I think I have 3 got cases 
of slight change in alpine plants transplanted. All these 

1 Published in Mr. Clodd's memoir of Bates in the Naturalist on the 
Amazons, 1892, p. 1. 

2 In a letter to Mr. Darwin dated March 17th, 1862, Sir J. D. Hooker 
had discussed a supposed difference between animals and plants, " inas- 
much as the individual animal is certainly changed materially by external 
conditions, the latter (I think) never, except in such a coarse way as 
stunting or enlarging— e.g. no increase of cold on the spot, or change 
of individual plant from hot to cold, will induce said individual plant to 
get more woolly covering ; but I suppose a series of cold seasons would 
bring about such a change in an individual quadruped, just as rowing will 
harden hands, etc." 

3 See note 1, Letter 16. 



198 EVOLUTION [Chat-. Ill 

Letter 135 subjects have rather gone out of my head owing to orchids, 
but I shall soon have to enter on them in earnest when I 
come again to my volume on variation under domestication. 
... In the lifetime of an animal you would, I think, 
find it very difficult to show effects of external condition on 
'animals more than shade and light, good and bad soil, 
produce on a plant. 

You speak of "an inherent tendency to vary wholly indepen- 
dent of physical conditions " ! This is a very simple way of 
putting the case (as Dr. Prosper Lucas 1 also puts it); but two 
great classes of facts make me think that all variability is due 
to change in the conditions of life : firstly, that there is more 
variability and more monstrosities (and these graduate into 
each other) under unnatural domestic conditions than under 
nature ; and, secondly, that changed conditions affect in an 
especial manner the reproductive organs— those organs which 
are to produce a new being. But why one seedling out of 
thousands presents some new character transcends the wildest 
powers of conjecture. It was in this sense that I spoke of 
" climate," etc., possibly producing without selection a hooked 
seed, or any not great variation. 2 

I have for years and years been fighting with myself not 
to attribute too much to Natural Selection — to attribute 
something to direct action of conditions ; and perhaps I have 
too much conquered my tendency to lay hardly any stress 
on conditions of life. 

I am not shaken about "saltus,"* I did not write without 
going pretty carefully into all the cases of normal structure 
in animals resembling monstrosities which appear per saltus. 

1 Prosper Lucas, the author of Traite philosophique et physiologique 
de Vhertditi naturelle dans les c'tats de sante et de maladic du systems 
nerveux: 2 vols., Paris, 1S47-50. 

2 This statement probably occurs in a letter, and not in Darwin's 
published works. 

3 Sir Joseph had written, March 1 7th, 1 862 : " Huxley is rather disposed 
to think you have overlooked saltus, but I am not sure that he is right— 
saltus quoad individuals is not saltus quoad species— as I pointed out in 
the Begonia case, though perhaps that was rather special pleading in the 
present state of science." For the Begonia case, see Life and Letters, 
II., p. 275, also letter no, p. 166. 



i859— 1863] VARIATION 199 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 136 

26th [March, 1S62]. 

Thanks also for your own 1 and Bates' letter now returned. 
They are both excellent ; you have, I think, said all that can 
be said against direct effects of conditions, and capitally put. 
But I still stick to my own and Bates' side. Nevertheless I 
am pleased to attribute little to conditions, and I wish I had 
done what you suggest — started on the fundamental principle 
of variation being an innate principle, and afterwards made a 
few remarks showing that hereafter, perhaps, this principle 
would be explicable. Whenever my book on poultry, pigeons, 
ducks, and rabbits is published, with all the measurements 
and weighings of bones, I think you will see that " use and 
disuse " at least have some effect. I do not believe in perfect 
reversion. I rather demur to your doctrine of " centrifugal 
variation." 2 I suppose you do not agree with or do not 
remember my doctrine of the good of diversification 3 ; this 
seems to me amply to account for variation being centrifugal 
— if you forget it, look at this discussion (p. 117 of 3rd £dit.), 
it was the best point which, according to my notions, I made 
out, and it has always pleased me. It is really curiously satis- 
factory to me to see so able a man as Bates (and yourself) 
believing more fully in Natural Selection than I think I even 
do myself. 1 By the way, I always boast to you, and so I 

1 See note 1 in Letter 135. 

2 The "doctrine of centrifugal variation" is given in Sir J. D. Hooker's 
Introductory Essay to the Flora of Tasmania (Part III. of the Botany of 
the Antarctic Expedition), 1859, p. viii. In paragraph 10 the author writes: 
" The tendency of varieties, both in nature and under cultivation .... 
is rather to depart more and more widely from the original type than to 
revert to it." In Sir Joseph's letter to Bates {Joe. cit., p. lii) he wrote : 
" Darwin also believes in some reversion to type which is opposed 
to my view of variation." It may be noted in this connection that 
Mr. Galton has shown reason to believe in a centripetal tendency in 
variation (to use Hooker's phraseology) which is not identical with 
the reversion of cultivated plants to their ancestors, the case to which 
Hooker apparently refers. See Natural Inheritance, by F. Galton, 1889. 

3 Darwin usually used the word "divergence" in this connection. 

1 This refers to a very interesting passage in Hooker's letter to Bates 
{Joe. cit., p. liii) : " I am sure that with you, as with me, the more you 
think the less occasion you will see for anything but time and natural 
selection to effect change ; and that this view is the simplest and clearest 



2CO EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 136 think Owen will be wrong that my book will be forgotten in 
ten years, for a French edition is now going through the 
press and a second German edition wanted. Your long letter 
to Bates has set my head working, and makes me repent of 
the nine months spent on orchids ; though I know not why I 
should not have amused myself on them as well as slaving on 
bones of ducks and pigeons, etc. The orchids have been 
splendid sport, though at present I am fearfully sick of them. 

I enclose a waste copy of woodcut of Mormodes ignca ; 
I wish you had a plant at Kew, for I am sure its wonderful 
mechanism and structure would amuse you. Is it not curious 
the way the labellum sits on the top of the column ? — here 
insects alight and are beautifully shot, when they touch a 
certain sensitive point, by the pollinia. 

How kindly you have helped me in my work ! Farewell, 
my dear old fellow. 

Letter 137 To H. W. Bates. 

Down, May 4th [1862]. 

Hearty thanks for your most interesting letter and three 
very valuable extracts. I am very glad that you have been 
looking at the South Temperate insects. I wish that the 
materials in the British Museum had been richer ; but I should 
think the case of the South American Carabi, supported by 
some other case, would be worth a paper. To us who theorise 
I am sure the case is very important. Do the South American 
Carabi differ more from the other species than do, for instance, 
the Siberian and European and North American and 
1 limalayan (if the genus exists there) ? If they do, I entirely 
agree with you that the difference would be too great to 
account for by the recent Glacial period. I agree, also, with 
you in utterly rejecting an independent origin for these 
Carabi. There is a difficulty, as far as I know, in our igno- 
rance whether insects change quickly in time ; you could 
judge of this by knowing how far closely allied coleoptera 

in the present state of science is one advantage, at any rate. Indeed, I 
think that it is, in the present state of the inquiry, the legitimate position 
to take up ; it is time enough to bother our heads with the secondary 
cause when there is some evidence of it or some demand for it — at 
present I do not see one or the other, and so feel inclined to renounce any 
other for the present." 



1859—1863] FRENCH TRANSLATION 201 

generally have much restricted ranges, for this almost implies Letter 137 
rapid change. What a curious case is offered by land-shells, 
which become modified in every sub-district, and have yet re- 
tained the same general structure from very remote geological 
periods ! When working at the Glacial period, I remember 
feeling much surprised how few birds, no mammals, and very 
few sea-mollusca seemed to have crossed, or deeply entered, 
the inter-tropical regions during the cold period. Insects, 
from all you say, seem to come under the same category. 
Plants seem to migrate more readily than animals. Do not 
underrate the length of Glacial period : Forbes used to argue 
that it was equivalent to the whole of the Pleistocene period 
in the warmer latitudes. I believe, with you, that we shall be 
driven to an older Glacial period. 

I am very sorry to hear about the British Museum ; it 
would be hopeless to contend against any one supported by 
Owen. Perhaps another chance might occur before very long. 
How would it be to speak to Owen as soon as your own mind 
is made up? From what I have heard, since talking to you, 
I fear the strongest personal interest with a Minister is requisite 
for a pension. 

Farewell, and may success attend the acerrimo pro- 
pugnatori. 

P.S. I deeply wish you could find some situation in 
which you could give your time to science ; it would be a 
great thing for science and for yourself. 

To J. L. A. de Quatrefages. Letter , 3 g 

Down, July nth [1S62]. 

I thank you cordially for so kindly and promptly answer- 
ing my questions. I will quote some of your remarks. 
The case seems to me of some importance with reference 
to my heretical notions, for it shows how larvae might be 
modified. I shall not publish, I daresay, for a year, for much 
time is expended in experiments. If within this time you 
should acquire any fresh information on the similarity of the 
moths of distinct races, and would allow me to quote any 
facts on your authority, I should feel very grateful. 

I thank you for your great kindness with respect to the 
translation of the Origin ; it is very liberal in you, as we 



202 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 138 differ to a considerable degree. I have been atrociously 
abused by my religious countrymen ; but as I live an inde- 
pendent life in the country, it does not in the least hurt me 
in any way, except indeed when the abuse comes from 
an old friend like Professor Owen, who abuses me and then 
advances the doctrine that all birds are probably descended 
from one parent. 

I wish the translator 1 had known more of Natural 
History ; she must be a clever but singular lady, but I never 
heard of her till she proposed to translate my book. 

Letter 139 To Asa Gray. 

Down, July 23rd [1S62]. 

I received several days ago two large packets, but have 
as yet read only your letter ; for we have been in fearful 
distress, and I could attend to nothing. Our poor boy had 
the rare case of second rash and sore throat . . . ; and, as if 
this was not enough, a most serious attack of erysipelas, with 
typhoid symptoms. I despaired of his life ; but this evening 
he has eaten one mouthful, and I think has passed the crisis. 
He has lived on port wine every three-quarters of an hour, 
day and night. This evening, to our astonishment, he asked 
whether his stamps were safe, and I told him of one sent by 
you, and that he should see it to-morrow. He answered, " I 
should awfully like to see it now " ; so with difficulty he 
opened his eyelids and glanced at it, and, with a sigh of 
satisfaction, said, " All right." Children arc one's greatest 
happiness, but often and often a still greater misery. A man 
of science ought to have none — perhaps not a wife ; for then 
there would be nothing in this wide world worth caring for, 
and a man might (whether he could is another question) 
work away like a Trojan. I hope in a few days to get my 
brains in order, and then I will pick out all your orchid 
letters, and return them in hopes of your making use of 
them. . . . 

Of all the carpenters for knocking the right nail on the 
head, you are the very best ; no one else has perceived that 
my chief interest in my orchid book has been that it was 
a " flank movement " on the enemy. I live in such solitude 
that I hear nothing, and have no idea to what you allude 

1 Mdlle. Royer, who translated the first French edition of the Origin. 



1859—1863] OWEN 203 

about Bentham and the orchids and species. But I must Letter 139 
enquire. 

By the way, one of my chief enemies (the sole one who 
has annoyed me), namely Owen, I hear has been lecturing 
on birds ; and admits that all have descended from one, and 
advances as his own idea that the oceanic wingless birds have 
lost their wings by gradual disuse. He never alludes to me, 
or only with bitter sneers, and coupled with Buffon and the 
Vestiges. 

Well, it has been an amusement to me this first evenine. 
scribbling as egotistically as usual about myself and my 
doings ; so you must forgive me, as I know well your kind 
heart will do. I have managed to skim the newspaper, but 
had not heart to read all the bloody details. Good God ! 
what will the end be? Perhaps we are too despondent here ; 
but I must think you are too hopeful on your side of the 
water. I never believed the " canards " of the army of the 
Potomac having capitulated. My good dear wife and self 
are come to wish for peace at any price. Good night, my 
good friend. I will scribble on no more. 

One more word. I should like to hear what you think 
about what I say in the last chapter of the orchid book on the 
meaning and cause of the endless diversity of means for the 
same general purpose. It bears on design, that endless 
question. Good night, good night ! 

To C. Lyell. Letter 140 

1, Carlton Terrace, Southampton, Aug. 22nd [1S62]. 
You say that the Bishop and Owen will be down on you 1 : 
the latter hardly can, for 1 was assured that Owen, in his 
lectures this spring, advanced as a new idea that wingless 
birds had lost their wings by disuse. 2 Also that magpies 
stole spoons, etc., from a remnant of some instinct like that 
of the bower-bird, which ornaments its playing passage with 
pretty feathers. Indeed, I am told that he hinted plainly that 
all birds are descended from one. What an unblushing man 
he must be to lecture thus after abusing me so, and never to 
have openly retracted, or alluded to my book ! 

1 This refers to the Antiquity of Man, which was published in 1863. 
• The first paragraph of this letter was published in Life ami Letters, 
U-, PP-38 7 , 388. 



204 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 141 

To John Lubbock (Lord Avebury). 

Cliff Cottage, Bournemouth, Sept. 5th [1862]. 

Many thanks for your pleasant note in return for all 
my stupid trouble. I did not fully appreciate your insect- 
diving case ' before your last note, nor had I any idea that 
the fact was new, though new to me. It is really very inter- 
esting. Of course you will publish an account of it. You 
will then say whether the insect can fly well through the air. 2 
My wife asked, " How did he find that it stayed four hours 
under water without breathing ? " I answered at once : 
" Mrs. Lubbock sat four hours watching." I wonder whether 
I am right. 

I long to be at home and at steady work, and I hope we 
may be in another month. I fear it is hopeless my coming 
to you, for I am squashier than ever, but hope two shower- 
baths a day will give me a little strength, so that you will, I 
hope, come to us. It is an age since I have seen you or any 
scientific friend. 

I heard from Lyell the other day in the Isle of Wight, and 
from Hooker in Scotland. About Huxley I know nothing, 
but I hope his book progresses, for I shall be very curious 
to see it. 3 

I do nothing here except occasionally look at a few 
flowers, and there are very few here, for the country is 
wonderfully barren. 

See what it is to be well trained. Horace said to me 
yesterday, " If every one would kill adders they would come 
to sting less." I answered : " Of course they would, for there 
would be fewer." He replied indignantly : " I did not mean 

1 " On two Aquatic Hymenoptcra, one of which uses its Wings in 
Swimming." By John Lubbock. Trans. Linn. Soc, Vol. XXIV., 1864, 
pp. 135-42. [Read May 7th, 1863.] In this paper Lubbock describes a 
new species of Polynema — P. //«/<?//.?— which swims by means of its 
wings, and is capable of living under water for several hours ; the other 
species, referred to a new genus Prestivichia, lives under water, holds 
its wings motionless and uses its legs as oars. 

J In describing the habits of Polynema, Lubbock writes, " I was 
unfortunately unable to ascertain whether they could fly" (loc. cit., 

P- 137)- 

3 Man's Place in Nature. London, 1863. 



1S59 — 1863] GLACIAL PERIOD 205 

that ; but the timid adders which run away would be saved, Letter 141 
and in time they would never sting at all." Natural selection 
of cowards ! 

H. Falconer to C. Darwin. Letter 142 

This refers to the MS. of Falconer's paper "On the American Fossil 
Elephant of the Regions bordering the Gulf of Mexico (E. Columbi, 
Falc.)," published in the Natural History Review, January, 1863, p. 43. 
The section dealing with the bearing of his facts on Darwin's views is 
at p. 77. He insists strongly (p. 78) on the " persistence and uniformity 
of the characters of the molar teeth in the earliest known mammoth, and 
his most modern successor." Nevertheless, he adds that the " inferences 
I draw from these facts are not opposed to one of the leading propositions 
of Darwin's theory." These admissions were the more satisfactory since, 
as Falconer points out (p. 77), " I have been included by him in the 
category of those who have vehemently maintained the persistence of 
specific characters." 

21, Park Crescent, Portland Place, N.W., 

Sept. 24th [1862]. 

Do not be frightened at the enclosure. I wish to set 
myself right by you before I go to press. I am bringing 
out a heavy memoir on elephants — an omnium gatherum 
affair, with observations on the fossil and recent species. 
One section is devoted to the persistence in time of the 
specific characters of the mammoth. I trace him from before 
the Glacial period, through it and after it, unchangeable and 
unchanged as far as the organs of digestion (teeth) and 
locomotion are concerned. Now, the Glacial period was no 
joke : it would have made ducks and drakes of your dear 
pigeons and doves. 

With all my shortcomings, I have such a sincere and 
affectionate regard for you and such admiration of your work, 
that I should be pained to find that I had expressed my 
honest convictions in a way that would be open to any objec- 
tion by you. The reasoning may be very stupid, but I believe 
that the observation is sound. Will you, therefore, look over 
the few pages which I have sent, and tell me whether you find 
any flaw, or whether you think I should change the form of 
expression ? You have been so unhandsomely and uncandidly 
dealt with by a friend of yours and mine that I should be sorry 
to find myself in the position of an opponent to you, and more 
particularly with the chance of making a fool of myself. 



206 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 142 I met your brother yesterday, who tells me you are coming 
to town. 1 hope you will give me a hail. I long for a jaw 
with you, and have much to speak to you about. 

You will have seen the e'claircissemcnt about the Eocene 
monkeys of England. By a touch of the conjuring wand they 
have been metamorphosed — a la Darwin — into Hyracotherian 
pigs. 1 Would you believe it ? This even is a gross blunder. 
They are not pigs. 

Letter 143 To Hugh Falconer. 

Down, Oct. 1st [1862]. 
On my return home yesterday I found your letter and 
MS., which I have read with extreme interest. Your note 
and every word in your paper are expressed with the same 
kind feeling which I have experienced from you ever since I 
have had the happiness of knowing you. I value scientific 
praise, but I value incomparably higher such kind feeling as 
yours. There is not a single word in your paper to which I 
could possibly object : I should be mad to do so ; its only 
fault is perhaps its too great kindness. Your case seems the 
most striking one which I have met with of the persistence of 
specific characters. It is very much the more striking as it 
relates to the molar teeth, which differ so much in the species 
of the genus, and in which consequently I should have 
expected variation. As I read on I felt not a little dumb- 
founded, and thought to myself that whenever I came to this 
subject I should have to be savage against myself ; and I 
wondered how savage you would be. I trembled a little. 
My only hope was that something could be made out of the 
bog N. American forms, which you rank as a geographical 
race ; and possibly hereafter out of the Sicilian species. 
Guess, then, my satisfaction when I found that you yourself 
made a loophole, 2 which I never, of course, could have guessed 

1 " On the Hyracotherian Character of the Lower Molars of the sup- 
posed Macacus from the Eocene Sand of Kyson, Suffolk." Ann. Mag. 
Nat. Hist., Vol. X., 1862, p. 240. In this note Owen stated that the teeth 
which he had named Macacus {Ann. Mag., 1840, p. 191) most probably 
belonged to Hyracothcrium cuniculus. See A Catalogue of Britisli 
Fossil Vertebrata, A. S. Woodward and C. D. Sherborn, 1890, under 
Hyracothcrium, p. 356 ; also Zittel's Handbuch dcr PaLcontologie 
Abth. I., Bd. IV., Leipzig, 1891-93, p. 703. 

2 This perhaps refers to a passage {N. H. Review, 1863, p. 79) in 



1859—1863] falconer's elephants 207 

at ; and imagine my still greater satisfaction at your ex- Letter 143 
pressing yourself as an unbeliever in the eternal immutability 
of species. Your final remarks on my work are too generous, 
but have given me not a little pleasure. As for criticisms, I 
have only small ones. When you speak of " moderate range 
of variation " I cannot but think that you ought to remind 
your readers (though I daresay previously done) what the 
amount is, including the case of the American bog-mammoth. 
You speak of these animals as having being exposed to a vast 
range of climatal changes from before to after the Glacial 
period. I should have thought, from analogy of sea-shells, 
that by migration (or local extinction when migration not 
possible) these animals might and would have kept under 
nearly the same climate. 

A rather more important consideration, as it seems to 
me, is that the whole proboscidean group may, I presume, 
be looked at as verging towards extinction : anyhow, the 
extinction has been complete as far as Europe and America 
are concerned. Numerous considerations and facts have led 
me in the Origin to conclude that it is the flourishing or 
dominant members of each order which generally give rise to 
new races, sub-species, and species ; and under this point of 
view I am not at all surprised at the constancy of your species. 
This leads me to remark that the sentence at the bottom of 
p. [80] is not applicable to my views, 1 though quite applicable 
to those who attribute modification to the direct action of the 
conditions of life. An elephant might be more individually 
variable than any known quadruped (from the effects of the 
conditions of life or other innate unknown causes), but if these 
variations did not aid the animal in better resisting all hostile 
influences, and therefore making it increase in numbers, there 
would be no tendency to the preservation and accumulation 
of such variations — i.e. to the formation of a new race. As 
the proboscidean group seems to be from utterly unknown 



which Falconer allows the existence of intermediate forms along certain 
possible lines of descent. Falconer's reference to the Sicilian elephants 
is in a note on p. 78 ; the bog-elephant is mentioned on p. 79. 

1 See Falconer at the bottom of p. 80 : it is the old difficulty — how 
can variability co-exist with persistence of type? In our copy of the 
letter the passage is given as occurring on p. 60, a slip of the pen for 
p. 80. 



2o8 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 143 causes a failing group in many parts of the world, I should 
not have anticipated the formation of new races. 

You make important remarks versus Natural Selection, 
and you will perhaps be surprised that I do to a large 
extent agree with you. I could show you many passages, 
written as strongly as I could in the Origin, declaring that 
Natural Selection can do nothing without previous variability; 
and I have tried to put equally strongly that variability is 
governed by many laws, mostly quite unknown. My title 
deceives people, and I wish I had made it rather different. 
Your phyllotaxis J will serve as example, for I quite agree 
that the spiral arrangement of a certain number of whorls of 
leaves (however that may have primordially arisen, and 
whether quite as invariable as you state), governs the limits 
of variability, and therefore governs what Natural Selection 
can do. Let me explain how it arose that I laid so much 
stress on Natural Selection, and I still think justly. I came 
to think from geographical distribution, etc., etc., that species 
probably change ; but for years I was stopped dead by my 
utter incapability of seeing how every part of each creature 
(a woodpecker or swallow, for instance) had become adapted 
to its conditions of life. This seemed to me, and does still 
seem, the problem to solve; and I think Natural Selection 
solves it, as artificial selection solves the adaptation of 
domestic races for man's use. But I suspect that you mean 
something further, — that there is some unknown law of 
evolution by which species necessarily change ; and if this 
be so, 1 cannot agree. This, however, is too large a question 
even for so unreasonably long a letter as this. Nevertheless, 
just to explain by mere valueless conjectures how I 
imagine the teeth of your elephants change, I should look 
at the change as indirectly resulting from changes in the 
form of the jaws, or from the development of tusks, or in the 
case of the primigenius even from correlation with the woolly 
covering; in all cases Natural Selection checking the variation. 
If, indeed, an elephant could succeed better by feeding on 
some new kinds of food, then any variation of any kind in 
the teeth which favoured their grinding power would be 

1 Falconer, p. 80 : " The law of Phyllotaxis ... is nearly as constant 
in its manifestation as any of the physical laws connected with the 
material world." 



1859-1863] DAWSON 209 

preserved. Now, I can fancy you holding up your hands Letter 143 
and crying out what bosh ! To return to your concluding 
sentence : far from being surprised, I look at it as absolutely 
certain that very much in the Origin will be proved 
rubbish ; but I expect and hope that the framework will 
stand. 1 

I had hoped to have called on you on Monday evening, 
but was quite knocked up. I saw Lyell yesterday morning, 
lie was very curious about your views, and as I had to write 
to him this morning I could not help telling him a few words 
on your views. I suppose you are tired of the Origin, and 
will never read it again ; otherwise I should like you to have 
the third edition, and would gladly send it rather than you 
should look at the first or second edition. With cordial thanks 
for your generous kindness. 

J. D. Hooker to C. Darwin. Letter 144 

Royal Gardens, Kew, Nov. 7th, 1862. 
I am greatly relieved by your letter this morning about 
my Arctic essay, for I had been conjuring up some egregious 
blunder (like the granitic plains of Patagonia). Certes, after 
what you have told me of Dawson, 2 he will not like the letter 
1 wrote to him days ago, in which I told him that it was 
impossible to entertain a strong opinion against the Darwinian 
hypothesis without its giving rise to a mental twist when 
viewing matters in which that hypothesis was or might be 
involved. I told him 1 felt that this was so with me when I 
opposed you, and that all minds are subject to such obliquities ! 
—the Lord help me, and this to an LL.D. and Principal of a 
College ! I proceeded to discuss his Geology with the effrontery 
of a novice ; and, thank God, I urged the very argument of 
your letter about evidence of subsidence — viz., not all sub- 
merged at once, and glacial action being subaerial and not 



1 Falconer, p. 80 : " He [Darwin] has laid the foundations of a great 
edifice : but he need not be surprised if, in the progress of erection, the 
superstructure is altered by his successors. . . ." 

3 Sir J. William Dawson, C.M.G., F.R.S. (1820-99), was born at Pictou, 
Nova Scotia, and studied at Edinburgh University in 1841-42. He 

was appointed Principal of the McGill University, Montreal, in 1855, 

a post which he held thirty-eight years. See Fifty Years of Work in 
Canada, Scientific ami Educational, by Sir William Dawson, 1901. 

14 



2IO EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 144 oceanic. Your letter hence was a relief, for I felt I was 
hardly strong enough to have launched out as I did to a 
professed geologist. 

[On the subject of the above letter, see one of earlier date by Sir 
J. D. Hooker (Nov. 2nd, 1S62) given in the present work (Letter 354) with 
Darwin's 'reply (Letter 355).] 

Letter 145 To Hugh Falconer. 

Down, Nov. 14th [1862]. 

I have read your paper l with extreme interest, and 1 
thank you for sending it, though I should certainly have 
carefully read it, or anything with your name, in the Journal. 
It seems to me a masterpiece of close reasoning : although, of 
course, not a judge of such subjects, I cannot feel any doubt 
that it is conclusive. Will Owen answer you ? I expect that 
from his arrogant view of his own position he will not answer. 
Your paper is dreadfully severe on him, but perfectly courteous, 
and polished as the finest dagger. How kind you are towards 
me : your first sentence 2 has pleased me more than perhaps it 
ought to do, if I had any modesty in my composition. By 
the way, after reading the first whole paragraph, I re-read it, 
not for matter, but for style ; and then it suddenly occurred to 
me th it a certain man once said to me, when I urged him to 
publish some of his miscellaneous wealth of knowledge, " Oh, 
he could not write, — he hated it," etc. You false man, never 
say that to me again. Your incidental remark on the 
remarkable specialisation of Plagiaulax* (which has stuck in 
my gizzard ever since I read your first paper) as bearing on 
the number of preceding forms, is quite new to me, and, of 
course, is in accordance to my notions a most impressive 
argument. I was also glad to be reminded of teeth of camel 

1 " On the disputed Affinity of the Mammalian Genus Plagiaulax, 
from the Purbeck beds."— Quart. Journ. Gcol. Soc, Vol. XVIII., 
p. 348, 1862. 

8 " One of the most accurate observers and original thinkers of our 
time has discoursed with emphatic eloquence on the Imperfection of the 
Geological Record." 

3 " If Plagiaulax be regarded through the medium of the view advo- 
cated with such power by Darwin, through what a number of intermediate 
forms must not the genus have passed before it attained the specialised 
condition in which the fossils come before us ! " 



1859—1863] FALCONER 211 

and tarsal bones. 1 Descent from an intermediate form, Utter 145 
Ahem ! 

Well, all I can say is that I have not been for a long time 
more interested with a paper than with yours. It gives me a 
demoniacal chuckle to think of Owen's pleasant countenance 
when he reads it. 

I have not been in London since the end of September ; 
when I do come I will beat up your quarters if I possibly 
can ; but I do not know what has come over me. 1 am worse 
than ever in bearing any excitement. Even talking of an 
evening for less than two hours has twice recently brought on 
such violent vomiting and trembling that I dread coming up 
to London. I hear that you came out strong at Cambridge, 2 
and am heartily glad you attacked the Australian Mastodon. 
I never did or could believe in him. I wish you would read 
my little Primula paper in the Linnean Journal, Vol. VI. 
Botany (No. 22), p. 77 (I have no copy which I can spare), as 
I think there is a good chance that you may have observed 
similar cases. This is my real hobby-horse at present: I 
have re-tested this summer the functional difference of the 
two forms in Primula, and find all strictly accurate. If 
you should know of any cases analogous, pray inform me. 
Farewell, my good and kind friend. 



To J. D. Hooker. Letter 146 

The following letter is interesting in connection with a letter 
addressed to Sir J. D. Hooker, March 26th, 1862, No. 136, where the 
value of Natural Selection is stated more strongly by Sir Joseph than by 
Darwin. It is unfortunate that Sir Joseph's letter, to which this is a 
reply, has not been found. 

1 Op. cit. p. 353. A reference to Cuvier's instance " of the secret 
relation between the upper canine-shaped incisors of the camel and the 
bones of the tarsus. 1 ' 

2 Prof. Owen, in a communication to the British Association at 
Cambridge (1862) " On a tooth of Mastodon from the Tertiary marls, 
near Shanghai," brought forward the case of the Australian Mastodon as 
a proof of the remarkable geographical distribution of the Proboscidia. 
In a subsequent discussion he frankly abandoned it, in consequence of the 
doubts then urged regarding its authenticity. (See footnote, p. 101, in 
Falconer's paper " On the American Fossil Elephant," Nat. Hist 
Review, 1863.) 



2^12 EVOLUTION fCnAr. Ill 

Down, Nov. 20th [1862]. 
Letter 146 Your last letter has interested me to an extraordinary 
degree, and your truly parsonic advice, " some other wise and 
discreet person," etc., etc., amused us not a little. 1 will put a 
concrete case to show what I think A. Gray believes about 
crossing and what I believe. If 1,000 pigeons were bred 
together in a cage for 10,000 years their number not being 
allowed to increase by chance killing, then from mutual 
intercrossing no varieties would arise ; but, if each pigeon 
were a self-fertilising hermaphrodite, a multitude of varieties 
would arise. This, I believe, is the common effect of crossing, 
viz., the obliteration of incipient varieties. I do not deny 
that when two marked varieties have been produced, their 
crossing will produce a third or more intermediate varieties. 
Possibly, or probably, with domestic varieties, with a strong 
tendency to vary, the act of crossing tends to give rise to 
new characters ; and thus a third or more races, not strictly 
intermediate, may be produced. But there is heavy evidence 
against new characters arising from crossing wild forms ; 
only intermediate races are then produced. Now, do you 
agree thus far? if not, it is no use arguing; we must come 
to swearing, and I am convinced I can swear harder than you, 
.-.I am right. Q.E.D. 

If the number of 1,000 pigeons were prevented increasing 
not by chance killing, but by, say, all the shorter-beaked birds 
being killed, then the tvhole body would come to have longer 
beaks. Do you agree ? 

Thirdly, if 1,000 pigeons were kept in a hot country, and 
another 1,000 in a cold country, and fed on different food, and 
confined in different-size aviary, and kept constant in number 
by chance killing, then I should expect as rather probable 
that after 1 0,000 years the two bodies would differ slightly 
in size, colour, and perhaps other trifling characters ; this I 
should call the direct action of physical conditions. By this 
action I wish to imply that the innate vital forces are somehow 
led to act rather differently in the two cases, just as heat will 
allow or cause two elements to combine, which otherwise 
would not have combined. I should be especially obliged if 
you would tell me what you think on this head. 

But the part of your letter which fairly pitched me head 
over heels with astonishment, is that where you state that 



1859-1S63] DIRECT ACTION 213 

every single difference which we see might have occurred Letter 146 
without any selection. I do and have always fully agreed ; 
but you have got right round the subject, and viewed it from 
an entirely opposite and new side, and when you took me 
there I was astounded. When I say I agree, I must make the 
proviso, that under your view, as now, each form long remains 
adapted to certain fixed conditions, and that the conditions of 
life are in the long run changeable ; and second, which is 
more important, that each individual form is a self-fertilising 
hermaphrodite, so that each hair-breadth variation is not lost 
by intercrossing. Your manner of putting the case would be 
even more striking than it is if the mind could grapple with 
such numbers — it is grappling with eternity — think of each of 
a thousand seeds bringing forth its plant, and then each a 
thousand. A globe stretching to the furthest fixed star would 
very soon be covered. I cannot even grapple with the idea, 
even with races of dogs, cattle, pigeons, or fowls ; and here all 
admit and see the accurate strictness of your illustration. 

Such men as you and Lyell thinking that I make too much 
of a Deus of Natural Selection is a conclusive argument 
against me. Yet I hardly know how I could have put in, in 
all parts of my book, stronger sentences. The title, as you 
once pointed out, might have been better. No one ever objects 
to agriculturists using the strongest language about their 
selection, yet every breeder knows that he does not produce 
the modification which he selects. My enormous difficulty 
for years was to understand adaptation, and this made me, I 
cannot but think, rightly, insist so much on Natural Selection. 
God forgive me for writing at such length ; but you cannot tell 
how much your letter has interested me, and how important 
it is for me with my present book in hand to try and get clear 
ideas. Do think a bit about what is meant by direct action 
of physical conditions. I do not mean whether they act ; my 
facts will throw some light on this. I am collecting all cases of 
bud-variations, in contradistinction to seed-variations (do you 
like this term, for what some gardeners call " sports " ? ) ; these 
eliminate all effects of crossing. Pray remember how much I 
value your opinion as the clearest and most original 1 ever get. 

I see plainly that WelwitscJria 1 will be a case of Barnacles. 

1 Sir Joseph's great paper on Welwitschia mirabilis was published in 
the Linn. Soc. Trans., 1863. 



214 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 146 I have another plant to beg, but I write on separate paper 
as more convenient for you to keep. I meant to have said 
before, as an excuse for asking for so much from Kevv, that 
I have now lost two seasons, by accursed nurserymen not 
having right plants, and sending me the wrong instead of 
saying that they did not possess. 

Letter 147 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, 24th [Nov., 1862]. 

I have just received enclosed for you, and I have thought 
that you would like to read the latter half of A. Gray's letter to 
me, as it is political and nearly as mad as ever in our English 
eyes. You will see how the loss of the power of bullying is 
in fact the sore loss to the men of the North from disunion. 

I return with thanks Bates' letter, which I was glad to see. 
It was very good of you writing to him, for he is evidently 
a man who wants encouragement. I have now finished his 
paper (but have read nothing else in the volume); it seems to 
me admirable. To my mind the act of segregation of varie- 
ties into species was never so plainly brought forward, and 
there are heaps of capital miscellaneous observations. 

I hardly know why I am a little sorry, but my present 
work is leading me to believe rather more in the direct action 
of physical conditions. I presume I regret it, because it 
lessens the glory of Natural Selection, and is so confoundedly 
doubtful. Perhaps I shall change again when I get all my facts 
under one point of view, and a pretty hard job this will be. 1 

Letter 148 To H. W. Bates. 

Down, Nov. 25th [1S62?]. 

I should think it was not necessary to get a written 

agreement. 2 I have never had one from Murray. I suppose 

you have a letter with terms ; if not, I should think you had 

better ask for one to prevent misunderstandings. I think 

1 This paragraph was published in Life and Letters, II., p. 390. It 
is not clear why a belief in "direct action" should diminish the glory of 
Natural Selection, since the changes so produced must, like any other 
variations, pass through the ordeal of the survival of the fittest. On the 
whole question of direct action see Mr. Adam Sedgwick's Presidential 
Address to the Zoological Section of the British Association, 1899. 

2 Mr. Bates' book, A Naturalist on the Amazons, was published 
in 1863. 



1859-1863] BATES' TRAVELS 21$ 

Sir C. Lyell told mc he had not any formal agreements. I Letter 148 
am heartily glad to hear that your book is progressing. Could 
you find mc some place, even a footnote (though these are 
in nine cases out of ten objectionable), where you could state, 
as fully as your materials permit, all the facts about similar 
varieties pairing, — at a guess how many you caught, and how 
many now in your collection ? I look at this fact as very 
important ; if not in your book, put it somewhere else, or let 
me have cases. 

I entirely agree with you on the enormous advantage of 
thoroughly studying one group. 

I really have no criticism to make. 1 Style seems to me 
very good and clear ; but I much regret that in the title 
or opening passage you did not blow a loud trumpet about 
what you were going to show. Perhaps the paper would 
have been better more divided into sections with headings. 
Perhaps you might have given somewhere rather more of a 
summary on the progress of segregation of varieties, and not 
referred your readers to the descriptive part, excepting such 
readers as wanted minute detail. But these are trifles : I 
consider your paper as a most admirable production in every 
way. Whenever I come to variation under natural conditions 
(my head for months has been exclusively occupied with 
domestic varieties), I shall have to study and re-study your 
paper, and no doubt shall then have to plague you with 
questions. I am heartily glad to hear that you are well. I 
have been compelled to write in a hurry ; so excuse me. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 149 

Down, Dec. 7U1 [1S62]. 
I was on the point of adding to an order to Williams 
& Norgate for your Lectures 2 when they arrived, and much 
obliged I am. I have read them with interest, and they seem 
to me very good for this purpose and capitally written, as is 
everything which you write. 1 suppose every book nowadays 

1 Mr. Bates' paper on mimetic butterflies was read before the Linnean 
Society, Nov. 21st, 1861, and published in the Linn. Soc. Trans., XXIII., 
1862, p. 495, under the title of "Contributions to an Insect Fauna of 
the Amazon Valley." 

2 A Course of Six Lectures to Working Men, published in six 
pamphlets by Hardvvicke, and later as a book. See Letter 156. 



2l6 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 149 requires some pushing, so that if you do not wish these 
lectures to be extensively circulated, I suppose they will not ; 
otherwise I should think they would do good and spread a 
taste for the natural sciences. Anyhow, I have liked them ; 
but, I get more and more, I am sorry to say, to care for 
nothing but Natural History ; and chiefly, as you once said, 
for the mere species question. I think I liked No. III. the 
best of all. I have often said and thought that the process of 
scientific discovery was identical with everyday thought, only 
with more care ; but I never succeeded in putting the case to 
myself with one-tenth of the clearness with which you have 
done. I think your second geological section will puzzle your 
non-scientific readers ; anyhow, it has puzzled me, and with 
the strong middle line, which must represent either a line of 
stratification or some great mineralogical change, I cannot 
conceive how your statement can hold good. 

I am very glad to hear of your "three-year-old" 
vigour [?] ; but I fear, with all your multifarious work, that 
your book on Man will necessarily be delayed. You bad 
man ; you say not a word about Mrs. Huxley, of whom my 
wife and self are always truly anxious to hear. 

P.S. I sec in the ConiJiill Magazine a notice of a work 
by Cohn, which apparently is important, on the contractile 
tissue of plants. 1 You ought to have it reviewed. I have 
ordered it, and must try and make out, if I can, some of the 
accursed german, for I am much interested in the subject, 
and experimented a little on it this summer, and came to 
the conclusion that plants must contain some substance most 
closely analogous to the supposed diffused nervous matter 
in the lower animals ; or as, I presume, it would be more 
accurate to say with Cohn, that they have contractile tissue. 

Lecture VI., p. 151, line 7 from top— wetting feel 2 or 
bodies? (Miss Henrietta Darwin's criticism.) 

1 "Ueber contractile Gewebe im Pflanzenreiche." Abhand. tier 
Schlesischcn Gesellschaft fur vaterldndische Cultur, Heft I., 1861. 

2 Lecture VI., p. 151: Lamarck "said, for example, that the short- 
legged birds, which live on fish, had been converted into the long-legged 
waders by desiring to get the fish without wetting their feet." 

The criticisms on Lectures IV. and VI. are on a separate piece of 
undated paper, and must belong to a letter of later date ; only three 
lectures were published by Dec. 7th, 1862. 



1859—1863] JOHN SCOTT 217 

Lecture IV., p. 89 — Atavism. Letter 149 

You here and there use atavism = inheritance. Duchesne, 
who, I believe, invented the word, in his Strawberry book 
confined it, as every one has since done, to resemblance to 
grandfather or more remote ancestor, in contradistinction to 
resemblance to parents. 



To John Scott. Letter 150 

The following is the first of a series of letters addressed to the late 
John Scott, of which the major part is given in our Botanical chapters. 
We have been tempted to give this correspondence fully not only 
because of its intrinsic scientific interest, but also because they are 
almost the only letters which show Darwin in personal relation with a 
younger man engaged in research under his supervision. 

Short obituary notices of Scott appeared in the Journal of Botany, 
1880, p. 224, and in the Transactions of the Bot. Soc. of Edinburgh, 
Vol. XIV., Nov. nth, 1880, p. 160; but the materials for a biographical 
sketch are unfortunately scanty. John Scott (1838-80) was the son 
of a farmer, and was born at Denholm,' in Roxburghshire. At four 
years of age he was left an orphan, and was brought up in his aunt's 
household. 

He early showed a love of plants, and this was encouraged by his 
cousin, the Rev. James Duncan. Scott told Darwin that he chose a 
gardening life as the best way of following science ; and this is the more 
remarkable inasmuch as he was apprenticed at fourteen years of age. 
He afterwards (apparently in 1859) entered the Royal Botanic Garden 
at Edinburgh, and became head of the propagating department under 
Mr. McNab. His earliest publication, as far as we are aware, is a paper 
on Fern-spores, read before the Bot. Soc, Edinburgh, on June 12th, 1862. 
In the same year he was at work on orchids, and this led to his con- 
nection with Darwin, to whom he wrote in November 1862. In 1864 
he got an appointment at the Calcutta .Botanic Garden, a position he 
owed to Sir J. D. Hooker, who was doubtless influenced by Darwin's 
high opinion of Scott. It was on his way to India that Scott had, 
we believe, his only personal interview with Darwin. 

We are indebted to Sir George King for the interesting notes given 
below, which enable us to form an estimate of Scott's personality. He 
was evidently of a proud and sensitive nature, and that his manner was 
pleasing and dignified appears from Darwin's brief mention of the 
interview. He must have been almost morbidly modest, for Darwin 
wrote to Hooker (Jan. 24th, 1864): "Remember my urgent wish to be 
able to send the poor fellow a word of praise from any one. I have had 



1 The birthplace of the poet Leiden, to whom a monument has been 
erected in the public square of the village. 



218 INVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

letter 150 hard work to get him to allow me to send the \PrimuId\ paper to the 
Linn. Soc, even after it was written out!" And this was after the 
obviously genuine appreciation of the paper given in Darwin's letters. 
Sir George King writes : — 

"„He had taught himself a little Latin and a good deal of French, 
and he had read a good deal of English literature. He was certainly 
one of the most remarkable self-taught men I ever met, and I often 
regret that I did not see more of him . . . Scott's manner was shy and 
modest almost to being apologetic ; and the condition of nervous tension 
in which he seemed to live was indicated by frequent nervous gestures 
with his hands and by the restless twisting of his long beard in which 
he continuously indulged. He was grave and reserved ; but when he 
became interested in any matter he talked freely, although always 
deliberately, and he was always ready to defend his opinions with much 
spirit. He had, moreover, a considerable sense of humour. What 
struck me most about Scott' was the great acuteness of his powers of 
observing natural phenomena, and especially of such as had any bearing 
on variation, natural selection or hybridity. While most attentive to 
the ordinary duties of the chief of a large garden, Scott always con- 
tinued to find leisure for private study, and especially for the conduct 
of experiments in hybridization. For the latter his position in the 
Calcutta garden afforded him many facilities. At the time of his death 
many experiments were in hand, but his records of these were too 
imperfect to admit of their being taken up and continued after his 
death. In temper Scott was most gentle and loveable, and to his 
friends he was loyal almost to a fault. He was quite without ambition 
to ' get on ' in the world ; he had no low or mean motives ; and than 
John Scott, Natural Science probably had no more earnest and single- 
minded devotee." ri862?l 

To the best of my judgment, no subject is so important in 
relation to theoretical natural science, in several respects, and 
likewise in itself deserving investigation, as the effects of 
changed or unnatural conditions, or of changed structure on 
the reproductive system. Under this point of view the 
relation of well-marked but undoubted varieties in fertilising 
each other requires far more experiments than have been 
tried. See in the Origin the brief abstract of Gartner on 
Verbascum and Zea. Mr. W. Crocker, lately foreman at Kcw 
and a very good observer, is going at my suggestion to work 
varieties of hollyhock. 1 The climate would be too cold, I 
suppose, for varieties of tobacco. I began on cabbages, but 
immediately stopped from early shedding of their pollen 
causing too much trouble. Your knowledge would suggest 

1 Althcca sp. These experiments seem not to have been carried out. 



1859—1863] BOTANICAL EXPERIMENTS 2 19 

some [plants]. On the same principle it would be well to test Letter 150 
peloric flowers with their own pollen, and with pollen of regular 
flowers, and try pollen of peloric on regular flowers— seeds 
being counted in each case. I have now got one seedling 
from many crosses of a peloric Pelargonium by peloric pollen ; 
I have two or three seedlings from a peloric flower by pollen 
of regular flower. I have ordered a peloric Antirrhinum* and 
the peloric Gloxinia, but I much fear I shall never have time 
to try them. The Passiflora cases are truly wonderful, like 
the Crinum cases (see Origin).- I have read in a German 
paper that some varieties of potatoes (name not given) cannot 
be fertilised by [their] own pollen, but can by pollen of other 
varieties : well worth trying. Again, fertility of any monster 
flower, which is pretty regularly produced ; I have got the 
wonderful Begonia frigida 3 from Kew, but doubt whether I 
have heat to set its seeds. If an unmodified Celosia could be 
got, it would be well to test with the modified cockscomb. 
There is a variation of columbine \Aquikgia\ with simple 
petals without nectaries, etc., etc. I never could think what 
to try ; but if one could get hold of a long-cultivated plant 
which crossed with a distinct species and yielded a very small 
number of seeds, then it would be highly good to test com- 
paratively the wild parent-form and its varying offspring with 
this third species : for instance, if a polyanthus would cross 
with some species of Primula, then to try a wild cowslip with 
it. 1 believe hardly any primulas have ever been crossed. If 
we knew and could get the parent of the carnation, 4 it would 
be very good for this end. Any member of the Lythracea? 
raised from seed ought to be well looked after for dimorphism. 
I have wonderful facts, the result of experiment, on Lytlirum 
salicaria. 

To John Scott. Letter 151 

Down, Dec. nth [1S62]. 

I have read your paper 5 with much interest. You ask for 
remarks on th e matter, which is alone really important. Shall 

1 See Variation of Animals ami Plants, Ed. I., Vol. II., p. 70. 

2 Origin, Ed. VI., p. 238. 

3 The species on which Sir J. D. Hooker wrote in the Gardeners' 
Chronicle, Feb. 25th, i860. See Life and Letters, II., p. 275. 

4 Dianthus caryophyllus, garden variety. 

"On the Nature and Peculiarities of the Fern-spore." Bot. So,. 
Edin. Read June 12th, 1862. 



220 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 151 you think me impertinent (I am sure I do not mean to be so) 
if I hazard a remark on the style, which is of more import- 
ance than some think ? In my opinion (whether or no worth 
much) your paper would have been much better if written 
more simply and less elaborated — more like your letters. It 
is a golden rule always to use, if possible, a short old Saxon 
word. Such a sentence as " so purely dependent is the 
incipient plant on the specific morphological tendency" does 
not sound to my ears like good mother-English — it wants 
translating. Here and there you might, I think, have con- 
densed some sentences. I go on the plan of thinking every 
single word which can be omitted without actual loss of sense 
as a decided gain. Now perhaps you will think me a meddling 
intruder : anyhow, it is the advice of an old hackneyed writer 
who sincerely wishes you well. Your remark on the two 
sexes counteracting ' variability in product of the one is new 

1 Scott {op. cit., p. 214) : "The reproductive organs of phcenogams, 
as is well known, are always products of two morphologically distinct 
organs, the stamens producing the pollen, the carpels producing the 
ovules. . . . The embryo being in this case the modified resultant of two 
originally distinct organs, there will necessarily be a greater tendency 
to efface any individual peculiarities of these than would have been 
the case had the embryo been the product of a single organ." A 
different idea seems to have occurred to Mr. Darwin, for in an 
undated letter to Scott he wrote : " I hardly know what to say on your 
view of male and female organs and variability. I must think more 
over it. But I was amused by finding the other day in my portfolio 
devoted to bud-variation a slip of paper dated June, i860, with some 
such words as these, ' May not permanence of grafted buds be due to the 
two sexual elements derived from different parts not having come into 
play?' I had utterly forgotten, when I read your paper, that any 
analogous notion had ever passed through my mind — nor can I now 
remember, but the slip shows me that it had." It is interesting that 
Huxley also came to a conclusion differing from Scott's; and, 
curiously enough, Darwin confused the two views, for he wrote to Scott 
(Dec. 19th) : " By an odd chance, reading last night some short lectures 
just published by Prof. Huxley, I find your observation, independently 
arrived at by him, on the confluence of the two sexes causing variability." 
Professor Huxley's remarks are in his Lectures to Working Men on our 
Knowledge, etc., No. 4, p. 90 : " And, indeed, I think that a certain 
amount of variation from the primitive stock is the necessary result of 
the method of sexual propagation itself ; for inasmuch as the thing pro- 
pagated proceeds from two organisms of different sexes and different 
makes and temperaments, and, as the offspring is to be either of one sex 



1859— 1863] BOTANICAL EXPERIMENTS 221 

to me. But I cannot avoid thinking that there is something Letter 151 
unknown and deeper in seminal generation. Reflect on the 
long succession of embryological changes in every animal. 
Does a bud ever produce cotyledons or embryonic leaves? 
I have been much interested by your remark on inheritance 
at corresponding ages ; I hope you will, as you say, continue 
to attend to this. Is it true that female Primula plants 
always produce females by parthenogenesis? 1 If you can 
answer this I should be glad ; it bears on my Primula work. 
I thought on the subject, but gave up investigating what had 
been observed, because the female bee by parthenogenesis 
produces males alone. Your paper has told me much that 
in my ignorance was quite new to me. Thanks about 
P. scotica. If any important criticisms are made on the 
Primula to the Botanical Society, I should be glad to hear 
them. If you think fit, you may state that I repeated the 
crossing experiments on P. sinensis and cowslip with the 
same result this spring as last year — indeed, with rather more 
marked difference in fertility of the two crosses. In fact, had 
I then proved the Linuiu case, I would not have wasted time 
in repetition. I am determined I will at once publish on 
Linum. . . . 

I was right to be cautious in supposing you in error about 
Siphocampylus (no flowers were enclosed). I hope that you 
will make out whether the pistil presents two definite lengths ; 
I shall be astounded if it does. I do not fully understand 
your objections to Natural Selection ; if I do, I presume they 
would apply with full force to, for instance, birds. Reflect 
on modification of Arab-Turk horse into our English race- 
horse. I have had the satisfaction to tell my publisher to 
send my Journal and Origin to your address. I suspect, with 
your fertile mind, you will find it far better to experiment 
on your own choice ; but if, on reflection, you would like to 
try some which interest me, I should be truly delighted, and 
in this case would write in some detail. If you have the 
means to repeat Gartner's experiments on variations of 

or the other, it is quite clear that it cannot be an exact diagonal of the 
two, or it would be of no sex at all ; it cannot be an exact intermediate 
form between that of each of its parents — it must deviate to one side or 
the other." 

1 It seems probable that Darwin here means vegetative reproduction. 



222 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 151 Verbascum or on maize (see the Origin), such experiments 
would be pre-eminently important. I could never get varia- 
tions of Verbascum. I could suggest an experiment on potatoes 
analogous with the case of Passiflora ; even the case of Passi- 
flora, often as it has been repeated, might be with advantage 
repeated. I have worked like a slave (having counted about 
nine thousand seeds) on Melastoma, on the meaning of the 
two sets of very different stamens, and as yet have been 
shamefully beaten, and I now cry for aid. I could suggest 
what I believe a very good scheme (at least, Dr. Hooker 
thought so) for systematic degeneration of culinary plants, 
and so find out their origin ; but this would be laborious and 
the work of years. 

Letter 152 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, 1 2th [Dec, 1862]. 
My good old Friend — 

How kind you have been to give me so much of your 
time ! Your letter is of real use, and has been and shall be 
well considered. I am much pleased to find that we do not 
differ as much as 1 feared. I begin my book with saying that 
my chief object is to show the inordinate scale of variation ; I 
have especially studied all sorts of variations of the individual. 
On crossing I cannot change ; the more I think, the more 
reason I have to believe that my conclusion would be agreed 
to by all practised breeders. I also greatly doubt about 
variability and domestication being at all necessarily cor- 
relative, but I have touched on this in Origin. Plants being 
identical under very different conditions has always seemed 
to me a very heavy argument against what I call direct 
action. I think perhaps I will take the case of 1,000 pigeons 1 
to sum up my volume ; I will not discuss other points, but, as 
I have said, I shall recur to your letter. But I must just say 
that if sterility be allowed to come into play, if long-beaked 
be in the least degree sterile with short-beaked, my whole 
case is altered. By the way, my notions on hybridity are 
becoming considerably altered by my dimorphic work. I am 
now strongly inclined to believe that sterility is at first a 
selected quality to keep incipient species distinct. If you 
have looked at Lythnim you will see how pollen can be 



1 See Letter 146. 



1S59-1S6.il TEGETMEIEU 223 

modified merely to favour crossing; with equal readiness it Letter 152 
could be modified to prevent crossing. 

It is this which makes me so much interested with 
dimorphism, etc. 1 

One word more. When you pitched me head over heels 
by your new way of looking at the back side of variation, I 
received assurance and strength by considering monsters — 
due to law : horribly strange as they are, the monsters were 
alive till at least when born. They differ at least as much 
from the parent as any one mammal from another. 

I have just finished a long, weary chapter on simple facts 
of variation of cultivated plants, and am now refreshing 
myself with a paper on Linum for the Linn can Society. 

To W. B. Tegetmeier. Letter 153 

The following letter also bears on the question of the artificial 
production of sterility. 

Down, 27th [Dec, 1S62]. 

The present plan is to try whether any existing breeds 
happen to have acquired accidentally any degree of sterility ; 
but to this point hereafter. The enclosed MS. will show 
what I have done and know on the subject. Please at some 
future time carefully return the MS. to me. If I were going 
to try again, I would prefer Turbit with Carrier or Dragon. 

I will suggest an analogous experiment, which I have had 
for two years in my experimental book with " be sure and 
try," but which, as my health gets yearly weaker and weaker 
and my other work increases, I suppose I shall never try. 
Permit me to add that if £5 would cover the expenses of the 
experiment, I should be delighted to give it, and you could 
publish the result if there be any result. I crossed the Spanish 
cock (your bird) and white Silk hen and got plenty of eggs 
and chickens ; but two of them seemed to be quite sterile. I 

1 This gives a narrow impression of Darwin's interest in dimorphism. 
The importance of his work was (briefly put) the proof that sterility has 
no necessary connection with specific difference, but depends on sexual 
differentiation independent of racial differences. See Life and Letters, 
III., p. 296. His point of view that sterility is a selected quality is 
again given in a letter to Huxley {Life and Letters, II., p. 384), but 
was not upheld in his later writings (see Origin of Species, Ed. VI., p. 245). 
The idea of sterility being a selected quality is interesting in connection 
with Romanes' theory of physiological selection. (See Letters 209-214.) 



224 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 153 was then sadly overdone with work, but have ever since much 
reproached myself that I did not preserve and carefully test 
the procreative power of these hens. Now, if you are inclined 
to get a Spanish cock and a couple of white Silk hens, I shall 
be' most grateful to hear whether the offspring breed well : 
they will prove, I think, not hardy ; if they should prove 
sterile, which I can hardly believe, they will anyhow do for 
the pot. If you do try this, how would it do to put a Silk 
cock to your curious silky Cochin hen, so as to get a big 
silk breed ; it would be curious if you could get silky fowl 
with bright colours. I believe a Silk hen crossed by any other 
breed never gives silky feathers. A cross from Silk cock and 
Cochin Silk hen ought to give silky feathers and probably 
bright colours. 

I have been led lately from experiments (not published) 
on dimorphism to reflect much on sterility from hybridism, 
and partially to change the opinion given in Origin. I have 
now letters out enquiring on the following point, implied in the 
experiment, which seems to me well worth trying, but too 
laborious ever to be attempted. I would ask every pigeon 
and fowl fancier whether they have ever observed, in the same 
breed, a cock A paired to a hen B which did not produce 
young. Then I would get cock A and match it to a hen of 
its nearest blood ; and hen B to its nearest blood. I would 
then match the offspring of A (viz., a, b, c, d, c) to the offspring 
of B (viz.,/", g, h, i, f), and all those children which were fertile 
together should be destroyed until I found one — say a, which 
was not quite fertile with — say, i. Then a and i should be 
preserved and paired with their parents A and B, so as to 
try and get two families which would not unite together ; but 
the members within each family being fertile together. This 
would probably be quite hopeless ; but he who could effect 
this would, I believe, solve the problem of sterility from 
hybridism. If you should ever hear of individual fowls or 
pigeons which are sterile together, I should be very grateful 
to hear of the case. It is a parallel case to those recorded of 
a man not impotent long living with a woman who remained 
childless ; the husband died, and the woman married again 
and had plenty of children. Apparently (by no means 
certainly) this first man and woman were dissimilar in their 
sexual organisation. I conceive it possible that their offspring 



1859—1863] STERILITY AND HYBRIDISM 22$ 

(if both had married again and both had children) would be Letter 153 
sexually dissimilar, like their parents, or sterile together. 
Pray forgive my dreadful writing ; I have been very unwell 
all day, and have no strength to re-write this scrawl. I am 
working slowly on, and I suppose in three or four months 
shall be ready. 

I am sure I do not know whether any human being could 
understand or read this shameful scrawl. 

To T. H. Hlixley. Letter 154 

Down, Dec. 28th [1862]. 

I return enclosed: if you write, thank Mr. Kingsley 1 for 
thinking of letting me see the sound sense of an Eastern 
potentate. All that I said about the little book 2 is strictly 
my opinion ; it is in every way excellent, and cannot fail to 
do good the wider it is circulated. Whether it is worth your 
while to give up time to it is another question for you alone 
to decide ; that it will do good for the subject is beyond all 
question. I do not think a dunce exists who could not under- 
stand it, and that is a bold saying after the extent to which I 
have been misunderstood. I did not understand what you 
required about sterility : assuredly the facts given do not go 
nearly so far. We differ so much that it is no use arguing. 
To get the degree of sterility you expect in recently formed 
varieties seems to me simply hopeless. It seems to me 
almost like those naturalists who declare they will never 
believe that one species turns into another till they see every 
stage in process. 

I have heard from Tegetmeier, and have given him the 
result of my crosses of the birds which he proposes to try, and 
have told him how alone I think the experiment could be 

1 Kingsley's letter to Huxley, dated Dec. 20th, 1862, contains a story 
or parable of a heathen Khan in Tartary who was visited by a pair of 
proselytising Moollahs. The first Moollah said : " Oh ! Khan, worship 
my God. He is so wise that he made all things." But Moollah No. 2 
won the day by pointing out that his God is " so wise that he makes all 
things make themselves." 

3 The six Lectures to Working Men, published in six pamphlets and in 
book-form in 1863. Mr. Huxley considered that Mr. Darwin's argument 
required the production by man's selection of breeds which should be 
mutually infertile, and thus resemble distinct species physiologically as 
well as morphologically. 

is 



22b EVOLUTION [Cum. Ill 

Letter 154 tried with the faintest hope of success — namely, to get, if 
possible, a case of two birds which when paired were unpro- 
ductive, yet neither impotent. For instance, I had this 
morning a letter with a case of a Hereford heifer, which 
seemed to be, after repeated trials, sterile with one particular 
and tar from impotent bull, but not with another bull. But 
it is too long a story — it is to attempt to make two strains, 
both fertile, and yet sterile when one of one strain is crossed 
with one of the other strain. But the difficulty . . . would 
be beyond calculation. As far as I see, Tegetmeier's plan 
would simply test whether two existing breeds arc now in 
any slight degree sterile ; which has already been largely 
tested : not that I dispute the good of re-testing. 

Letter 155 To Hu g h Falconer. 

The original letter is dated " Dec. 10th," but this must, we think, 
be a slip of the pen for Jan. 10th. It contains a reference to No. VI. 
of the Lectures to Working Men which, as Mr. Leonard Huxley is good 
enough to inform us, was not delivered until Dec. 15th, and there- 
fore could not have been seen by Mr. Darwin on Dec. 10th. The 
change of date makes comprehensible the reference to Falconer's paper 
" On the American Fossil Elephant of the Regions bordering the Gulf 
of Mexico {E. Columbi, Falc.)," which appeared in the January number of 
the Natural History Review. It is true that he had seen advanced 
sheets of Falconer's paper {Life and Letters, II., p. 389), but the reference 
lie re is to the complete paper. 

In the present volume we have thought it right to give some 
expression to the attitude of Darwin towards Owen. Professor Owen's 
biographer has clearly felt the difficulty of making a statement on Owen's 
attitude towards Darwinism, and has {Life of Sir Richard Owen, Vol. II., 
p. 92) been driven to adopt the severe indictment contained in the Origin 
of Species, Ed. vi., p. xviii. Darwin was by no means alone in his 
distrust of Owen ; and to omit altogether a reference to the conduct which 
led up to the isolation of Owen among his former friends and colleagues 
would be to omit a part of the history of science of the day. And since 
we cannot omit to notice Darwin's point of view, it seems right to give 
the facts of a typical case illustrating the feeling with which he regarded 
Owen. This is all the more necessary since the recently published 
biography of Sir R. Owen gives no hint, as far as we are aware, of even 
a difference of opinion with other scientific men. 

The account which Falconer gives in the above-mentioned paper in 
the Nat. Hist. Review (Jan., 1863) would be amusing if the matter 
were less serious. In 1857 Falconer described {Quart, fourn. Geol. Soc, 
XIII.) a new species of fossil elephant from America, to which he gave the 



1859—1863] falconer's elephants 227 

name Elephas Columbi, a designation which was recognised and adopted 
by Continental writers. In 1S58 (Brit. Assoc. Leeds) Owen made use 
of the name " Elephas texianus, Blake" for the species which Falconer 
had previously named E. Columbi, but without referring to Falconer's 
determination ; he gave no authority, " thus by the established usage 
in zoology producing it as his own." In 1861 Owen in his Paleontology, 
2nd edit., 1861, describes the elephant as E. texianus, Blake. To 
Mr. Blake's name is appended an asterisk which refers to a footnote 
to Bollaert's Antiquities of S. America, 2nd edit. According to Falconer 
(p. 46) no second edition of Bollaert had appeared at the time of writing 
(August, 1862), and in the first edition (i860) he was "unable to detect 
the occurrence of the name even, of E. texianus, anywhere throughout 
the volume " ; though Bollaert mentions the fact that he had deposited, 
in the British Museum, the tooth of a fossil elephant from Texas. 

In November, 1861, Blake wrote a paper in the Geologist in which the 
new elephant no longer bears his own name as authority, but is described 
as " Elephas texianus, Owen, E. Columbi, Falconer." Finally, in another 
paper the name of Owen is dropped and the elephant is once more his 
own. As Falconer remarks, "the usage of science does not countenance 
such accommodating arrangements, when the result is to prejudice 
a prior right." 

It may be said, no doubt, that the question who first described a given 
species is a petty one ; but this view has a double edge, and applies most 
strongly to those who neglect the just claims of their predecessors. 

Down, Jan. 5th [1S63]. 
I finished your Elephant paper 1 last night, and you Lettei . 155 
must let me express my admiration at it. All the points 
strike me as admirably worked out, and very many most 
interesting. I was particularly struck with your remarks on 
the character of the ancient Mammalian Fauna of N. 
America ; 2 it agrees with all I fancied was the case, namely 
a temporary irruption of S. American forms into N. 
America, and conversely, I chuckled a little over the specimen 
of M. Andium " hesitating " between the two groups. 3 I have 

1 " On the American Fossil Elephant of the Regions bordering the 
Gulf of Mexico (E. Columbi, Falc), etc." Nat. Hist. Rev. 1863, p. 81. 
(Cf. Letter to Lyell. Life and Letters, II., p. 389; also Origin, Ed. vi., 
p. 306.) See Letter 143. 

2 Falconer, p. 62. This passage is marked in Darwin's copy. 

3 In speaking of the characters of Mastodon Andium, Falconer refers 
to a former paper by himself (Quart, fourn. Geol. Soc, Vol. XIII. 1857, 
p. 313), in which he called attention "to the exceptional character of 
certain specimens of M. Andium, as if hesitating between [the groups] 
Tetralophodon and Triloplwdon" (ibid., p. too). 



228 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 155 been assured by Mr. Wallace that abundant Mastodon 
remains have been found at Timor, and that is rather close to 
Australia. I rejoice that you have smashed that case. 1 It is 
indeed a grand paper. I will say nothing more about your 
allflsions to me, except that they have pleased me quite as 
much in print as in MS. You must have worked very hard ; 
the labour must have been extreme, but I do hope that you 
will have health and strength to go on. You would laugh if 
you could see how indignant all Owen's mean conduct about 
E. Coin vibi- made me. I did not get to sleep till past 
3 o'clock. How well you lash him, firmly and severely, with 
unruffled temper, as if you were performing a simple duty. 
The case is come to such a pass, that I think every man of 
science is bound to show his feelings by some overt act, and I 
shall watch for a fitting opportunity. 

P.S. — I have kept back for a day the enclosed owing to 
the arrival of your most interesting letter. I knew it was a 
mere chance whether you could inform me on the points 
required ; but no one other person has so often responded to 
my miscellaneous queries. I believe I have now in my green- 
house L. trigynum? which came up from seed purchased as 
L. flavum, from which it is wholly different in foliage. I have 
just sent in a paper on Dimorphism of Linunt to the Linnean 
Society, 4 and so I do not doubt your memory is right about 
L. trigynum : the functional difference in the two forms of 
Linum is really wonderful. I assure you I quite long to see 
you and a few others in London ; it is not so much the eczema 
which has taken the epidermis a dozen times clean off; but 
I have been knocked up of late with extraordinary facility, 
and when I shall be able to come up I know not. I 
particularly wish to hear about the wondrous bird : the case 

1 In the paper in the Nat. Hist. Review (loc. at.) Falconer writes : 
" It seems more probable that some unintentional error has got mixed up 
with the history of this remarkable fossil ; and until further confirmatory- 
evidence is adduced, of an unimpeachable character, faith cannot be 
reposed in the reality of the asserted Australian Afastodon" (p. 101). 

8 See Letter 157. 

3 Linum trigynum. 

4 " On the Existence of the Forms, and on their reciprocal Sexual 
Relation, in several species of the genus Linum. — Journ. Linn. Soc, 
Vol. VII., p. 69, 1864. 



1859- 1863] DIMORPHISM 229 

has delighted me, because no group is so isolated as Birds. I Letter 155 
much wish to hear when we meet which digits are developed ; 
when examining birds two or three years ago, I distinctly 
remember writing to Lyell that some day a fossil bird would 
be found with the end of wing cloven, i.e. the bastard-wing 
and other part, both well developed. Thanks for Von 
Martius, returned by this post, which I was glad to see. 
Poor old Wagner 1 always attacked me in a proper spirit, and 
sent me two or three little brochures, and I thanked him 
cordially. The Germans seem much stirred up on the 
subject. I received by the same post almost a little volume 
on the Origin. 

I cannot work above a couple of hours daily, and this 
plays the deuce with me. 

P.S. 2nd. — I have worked like a slave and been baffled 
like a slave in trying to make out the meaning of two very 
different sets of stamens in some Melastomacea;. 3 I must tell 
you one fact. I counted 9,000 seeds, one by one, frorr* my 
artificially fertilised pods. There is something very odd, but 
I am as yet beaten. Plants from two pollens grow at 
different rates ! Now, what I want to know is, whether in 
individuals of the same species, growing together, you have 
ever noticed any difference in the position of the pistil or in 
the size and colour of the stamens ? 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 156 

Down, Dec. 18th [1862]. 
I have read Nos. IV. and V. 3 They are simply perfect. 
They ought to be largely advertised ; but it is very good in 
me to say so, for I threw down No. IV. with this reflection, 

1 Probably Johann Andreas Wagner, author of " Zur Feststellung des 
Artbegriffes, mit besonderer Bezugnahme auf die Ansichten von Nathusius, 
Darwin, Is. Geoffroy and Agassiz," Miinchen Sitzungsb. (1861), p. 301, 
and of numerous papers on zoological and pakeozoological subjects. 

2 Several letters on the Melastomacea? occur in our Botanical section. 

3 On our Knowledge of the Causes of the Phenomena of Organie 
Nature, being six Lectures to Working Men delivered at the Museum 
of Practical Geology by Prof. Huxley, 1863. These lectures, which 
were given once a week from Nov. 10th, 1S62, onwards, were printed 
from the notes of Mr. J. A. Mays, a shorthand writer, who asked 
permission to publish them on his own account ; Mr. Huxley stating in 
a prefatory " Notice " that he had no leisure to revise the lectures. 



230 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter '5 6 « What is the good of writing a thundering big book, when 
everything is in this green little book, so despicable for its 
size?" In the name of all that is good and bad, I may as 
well shut up shop altogether. You put capitally and most 
simply and clearly the relation of animals and plants to each 
other at p. 122. 

Be careful about Fantails : their tail-feathers are fixed in a 
radiating position, but they can depress and elevate them. 
I remember in a pigeon-book seeing withering contempt 
expressed at some naturalist for not knowing this important 
point ! P. 111 1 seems a little too strong — viz., ninety-nine 
out of a hundred, unless you except plants. 

P. 1 18 : You say the answer to varieties when crossed being 
at all sterile is " absolutely a negative." 2 Do you mean to say 
that Gartner lied, after experiments by the hundred (and he 
a hostile witness), when he showed that this was the case 
with Verbascum and with maize (and here you have selected 
races) : does Kolrcuter lie when he speaks about the varieties 
of tobacco ? My God, is not the case difficult enough, without 
its being, as I must think, falsely made more difficult ? I 
believe it is my own fault — my d — d candour : I ought to 
have made ten times more fuss about these most careful 
experiments. I did put it stronger in the third edition of the 
Origin. If you have a new edition, do consider your second 
geological section : I do not dispute the truth of your state- 
ment ; but I maintain that in almost every case the gravel 
would graduate into the mud ; that there would not be a hard, 
straight line between the mass of gravel and mud ; that the 
gravel, in crawling inland, would be separated from the under- 
lying beds by oblique lines of stratification. A nice idea of 
the difficulty of Geology your section would give to a working 

1 The reference is to the original little green paper books in which 
the lectures first appeared ; the paging in the bound volume dated 1863 
is slightly different. The passage here is, "... If you couple a male 
and female hybrid . . . the result is that in ninety-nine cases out of a 
hundred you will get no offspring at all." Darwin maintains elsewhere 
that Huxley, from not knowing the botanical evidence, made too much 
of this point. See Life and Letters, II., p. 3S4. 

3 Huxley, p. 112: "Can we find any approximation to this [sterility 
of hybrids] in the different races known to be produced by selective 
breeding from a common stock ? Up to the present time the answer to 
that question is absolutely a negative one." 



1859— 1863] HUXLEY'S LECTURES 231 

man ! Do show your section to Ramsay, and tell him what Letter 156 
I say ; and if he thinks it a fair section for a beginner I am 
shut up, and " will for ever hold my tongue." Good-night. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 157 

Down. [Jan.] loth [1863]. 

You will be weary of notes from me about the little 
book of yours. It is lucky for me that I expressed, before 
reading No. VI., 1 my opinion of its absolute excellence, 
and of its being well worth wide distribution and worth 
correction (not that I see where you could improve), if 
you thought it worth your valuable time. Had I read 
No. VI., even a rudiment of modesty would, or ought to, 
have stopped me saying so much. Though I have been well 
abused, yet I have had so much praise, that 1 have become 
a gourmand, both as to capacity and taste ; and I really 
did not think that mortal man could have tickled my 
palate in the exquisite manner with which you have done the 
job. So I am an old ass, and nothing more need be -said 
about this. I agree entirely with all your reservations about 
accepting the doctrine, and you might have gone further 
with further safety and truth. Of course I do not wholly 
agree about sterility. I hate beyond all things finding 
myself in disagreement with any capable judge, when the 
premises are the same ; and yet this will occasionally happen. 
Thinking over my former letter to you, I fancied (but I now 
doubt) that I had partly found out the cause of our disagree- 
ment, and I attributed it to your naturally thinking most about 
animals, with which the sterility of the hybrids is much more 
conspicuous than the lessened fertility of the first cross. 
Indeed, this could hardly be ascertained with mammals, 
except by comparing the products of [their] whole life ; and, 
as far as I know, this has only been ascertained in the case of 
the horse and ass, which do produce fewer offspring in [their] 
lifetime than in pure breeding. In plants the test of first cross 
seems as fair as test of sterility of hybrids. And this latter 
test applies, I will maintain to the death, to the crossing of 
varieties of Verbascum, and varieties, selected varieties, of Zea? 

1 Lectures to Working Men, No. VI., is a critical examination of the 
position of the Origin of Species in relation to the complete theory of 
the "causes of the phenomena of organic nature." 

1 See Letter 156. 



232 EVOLUTION [CHAr. Ill 

Letter 157 You will say Go to the Devil and hold your tongue. No, 
I will not hold my tongue ; for I must add that after going, 
for my present book, all through domestic animals, I have 
come to the conclusion that there are almost certainly several 
cases of two or three or more species blended together and now 
perfectly fertile together. Hence I conclude that there must 
be something in domestication, — perhaps the less stable con- 
ditions, the very cause which induces so much variability, — 
which eliminates the natural sterility of species when crossed. 
If so, we can see how unlikely that sterility should arise 
between domestic races. Now I will hold my tongue. P. 143 : 
ought not " Sanscrit " to be " Aryan " ? What a capital 
number the last Natural History Reviezv is ! That is a grand 
paper by Falconer. I cannot say how indignant Owen's 
conduct about E. Columbi has made me. I believe I hate 
him more than you do, even perhaps more than good old 
Falconer does. But I have bubbled over to one or two 
correspondents on this head, and will say no more. I have 
sent Lubbock a little review of Bates' paper in Linn. 
Transact} which L. seems to think will do for your Review. 
Do inaugurate a great improvement, and have pages cut, like 
the Yankees do ; I will heap blessings on your head. Do not 
waste your time in answering this. 

Letter 158 To John Lubbock [Lord Avebury]. 

Down, Jan. 23rd [1863]. 

I have no criticism, except one sentence not perfectly 
smooth. I think your introductory remarks very striking, 
interesting, and novel. 2 They interested me the more, 
because the vaguest thoughts of the same kind had passed 
through my head ; but I had no idea that they could be so 
well developed, nor did I know of exceptions. Sitaris and 
Meloe z seem very good. You have put the whole case of 
metamorphosis in a new light ; I dare say what you remark 

1 The unsigned review of Mr. Bates' work on mimetic butterflies 
appeared in the Nat. Hist. Review (1863), p. 219. 

2 " On the Development of Chloeon (Ephemera) dimidiatum, Part I. 
By John Lubbock. Trans. Linn. Soc, Vol. XXIV., pp. 61-78, 1864 [Read 
Jan. 15th, 1863]. 

3 Sitaris and Meloe, two genera of coleopterous insects, are referred to 
by Lubbock (op. cit., pp. 63-64) as " perhaps . . the most remarkable cases 
. . among the Coleoptera" of curious and complicated metamorphoses. 



1859-1863] METAMORPHOSIS 233 

about poverty of fresh-water is very true. 1 I think you might Letter 158 
write a memoir on fresh-water productions. I suggest that 
the key-note is that land-productions are higher and have 
advantage in general over marine ; and consequently land- 
productions have generally been modified into fresh-water 
productions, instead of marine productions being directly 
changed into fresh-water productions, as at first seems more 
probable, as the chance of immigration is always open from 
sea to rivers and ponds. 

My talk with you did me a deal of good, and I enjoyed it much. 

Letter 159 

To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, Jan. 13th [1863]. 

I send a very imperfect answer to [your] question, 

which I have written on foreign paper to save you copying, 

and you can send when you write to Thomson in Calcutta. 

Hereafter I shall be able to answer better your question 

about qualities induced in individuals being inherited ; gout 

in man — loss of wool in sheep (which begins in the first 

generation and takes two or three to complete) ; probably 

obesity (for it is rare with poor) ; probably obesity and 

early maturity in short-horn cattle, etc., etc. 

Letter 160 

To A. De Candollc. 2 

Down, Jan. 14th [1863]. 

I thank you most sincerely for sending me your Memoir. 3 
I have read it with the liveliest interest, as is natural for me ; 

1 " We cannot but be struck by the poverty of the fresh-water fauna 
when compared with that of the ocean " (op. at., p. 64). 

2 Alphonse Louis Pierre Pyramus De Candolle (1806-93) was tne 
son of Augustin Pyramus, and succeeded his father as Professor of 
Botany at Geneva in 1835. He resigned his Chair in 1850, and devoted 
himself to research for the rest of his life. At the time of his father's 
death, in 1841, seven volumes of the Prodromus had appeared : Alphonse 
completed the seventeenth volume in 1873. In 1855 appeared his Gco- 
grapliie botatrique raisonm'e, " which was the most important work of his 
life," and if not a precursor, " yet one of the inevitable foundation-stones " 
of modern evolutionary principles. He also wrote Histoirc des Savants, 
1873, an d Phytographie, 1880. He was lavish of assistance to workers in 
Botany, and was distinguished by a dignified and charming personality. 
(See Sir W. Thiselton-Dyer's obituary in Nature, July 20th, 1893, p. 269.) 

3 Etude sur l'Espece a l'occasion d'une revision dc la Famille des 
Cupuliferes. Biblioth. Univ. {Arch, des Sc. Phys. ct Nat.), Novembre 1862. 



234 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 160 but you have the art of making subjects, which might be dry, 
run easily. I have been fairly astonished at the amount of 
individual variability in the oaks. I never saw before the 
subject in any department of nature worked out so carefully. 
What labour it must have cost you ! You spoke in one letter 
of advancing years ; but I am very sure that no one would 
have suspected that you felt this. I have been interested 
with every part ; though I am so unfortunate as to differ 
from most of my contemporaries in thinking that the vast 
continental extensions 1 of Forbes, Heer, and others are not 
only advanced without sufficient evidence, but are opposed to 
much weighty evidence. You refer to my work in the kindest 
and most generous spirit. I am fully satisfied at the length 
in belief to which you go, and not at all surprised at the 
prudent reservations which you make. I remember well how 
many years it cost me to go round from old beliefs. It is en- 
couraging to me to observe that everyone who has gone an 
inch with me, after a period goes a few more inches or even 
feet. But the great point, as it seems to me, is to give up 
the immutability of specific forms ; as long as they are thought 
immutable, there can be no real progress in "Epiontology" 2 
It matters very little to any one except myself, whether I am 
a little more or less wrong on this or that point ; in fact, I 
am sure to be proved wrong in many points. But the subject 
will have, I am convinced, a grand future. Considering that 
birds are the most isolated group in the animal kingdom, 
what a splendid case is this Solenhofcn bird-creature with its 
long tail and fingers to its wings ! I have lately been daily 
and hourly using and quoting your Geographical Botany in 
my book on I r ariation under Domestication. 

Letter 161 To Horace Dobcll. 

Down, Feb. 16th [1S63]. 

Absence from home and consequent idleness are the 
causes that I have not sooner thanked you for your very 

1 See Letters 47, 48. 

2 See De Candolle, loc. at., p. 67 : he defines " Epiontologie " as the 
study of the distribution and succession of organised beings from their 
origin up to the present time. At present Epiontology is divided into 
geography and palaeontology, " mais cette division trop inegale et a 
limites bien vagues disparaitra probablcment." 



i859— 1863] REGENERATION 235 

kind present of your Lectures. 1 Your reasoning seems quite Letter 161 
satisfactory (though the subject is rather beyond my limit of 
thought and knowledge) on the V. M. F. not being " a given 
quantity." 2 And I can see that the conditions of life 
must play a most important part in allowing this quantity 
to increase, as in the budding of a tree, etc. How far 
these conditions act on " the forms of organic life " (p. 46) 
I do not see clearly. In fact, no part of my subject has 
so completely puzzled me as to determine what effect to 
attribute to (what I vaguely call) the direct action of the 
conditions of life. I shall before long come to this subject, 
and must endeavour to come to some conclusion when I 
have got the mass of collected facts in some sort of order 
in my mind. My present impression is that I have under- 
rated this action in the Origin. I have no doubt when I 
go through your volume I shall find other points of 
interest and value to me. I have already stumbled on one 
case (about which I want to consult Mr. Paget) — namely,*on 
the re-growth of supernumerary digits. 3 You refer to "White 
on Regeneration, etc., 1785." I have been to the libraries 
of the Royal and the Linncan Societies, and to the British 
Museum, where the librarians got out your volume and 
made a special hunt, and could discover no trace of such 
a book. Will you grant me the favour of giving me any 
clue, where I could see the book? Have you it? if so, 
and the case is given briefly, would you have the great kind- 
ness to copy it? I much want to know all particulars. 
One case has been given me, but with hardly minute 
enough details, of a supernumerary little finger which has 
already been twice cut off, and now the operation will 
soon have to be done for the third time. I am extremely 
much obliged for the genealogical table ; the fact of the 
two cousins not, as far as yet appears, transmitting the 
peculiarity is extraordinary, and must be given by me. 

1 On the Genus and Vestiges of Disease, (London) 1861. 

2 " It has been too common to consider the force exhibited in the 
operations of life (the V. M. F.) as a given quantity, to which no accessions 
can be made, but which is apportioned to each living being in quantity 
sufficient for its necessities, according to some hidden law " (op. cit., 
p. 41.) 

3 See Letters 178, 270. 



236 EVOLUTION [Chap III 

Letter 162 To C. Lyell. 

[Feb. 17th, 1863.] 
The same post that brought the enclosed brought 
Dana's pamphlet ' on the same subject The whole seems to 
me utterly wild. If there had not been the foregone wish 
to separate men, I can never believe that Dana or any 
one would have relied on so small a distinction as grown 
man not using fore-limbs for locomotion, seeing that 
monkeys use their limbs in all other respects for the same 
purpose as man. To carry on analogous principles (for 
they are not identical, in Crustacea the cephalic limbs are 
brought close to mouth) from Crustacea to the classification 
of mammals seems to me madness. Who would dream of 
making a fundamental distinction in birds, from fore-limbs 
not being used at all in [some] birds, or used as fins in the 
penguin, and for flight in other birds? 

1 get on slowly with your grand work, for I am over- 
whelmed with odds and ends and letters. 

Letter 163 To J. D. Hooker. 

The following extract refers to Owen's paper in the Linn. Soc. Journal, 
June, 1857, in which the classification of the Mammalia by cerebral 
characters was proposed. In spite of the fact that men and apes are 

1 James D wight Dana (1S13-95) published numerous works on 
Geology, Mineralogy, and Zoology. He was awarded the Copley Medal 
by the Royal Society in 1S77, and elected a foreign member in 1884. 
The pamphlet referred to was published in Sillimarts Journal, Vol. XXV., 
1863, pp. 65 and 71, also in the Annals and Magazine of Natural 
History, Vol. XL, pp. 207-14, 1863: "On the Higher Subdivisions in 
the Classification of Mammals." In this paper Dana maintains the 
view that " Man's title to a position by himself, separate from the other 
mammals in classification, appears to be fixed on structural as well as 
psychical grounds" (p. 210). His description is as follows : — 

I. Archontia (vel Dipoda) Man (alone). 

II. MF.GASTHENA. III. MlCROSTHENA. 

Quadrumana. Cheiroptera. 

Carnivora. Insectivora. 

Herbivora. Rodentia. 

Mutilata. Bruta (Edentata). 

IV. OOTICOIDEA. 

Marsupialia. 
Monotremata. 



1859—1863] MAN 237 

placed in distinct Sub-Classes, Owen speaks (in the foot-note of which 
Huxley made such telling effect) of the determination of the difference 
between Homo and Pithecus as the anatomist's difficulty. (See Letter 119.) 

July 5th, 1857. 
What a capital number of the Linnean Journal] Owen's is Letter 163 
a grand paper ; but I cannot swallow Man making a division 
as distinct from a chimpanzee as an Ornithorhynchus from a 
horse ; I wonder what a chimpanzee would say to this? 1 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 164 

Down [Feb. ?] 26th, 1863. 
I have just finished with very great interest " Man's 
Place." - I never fail to admire the clearness and condensed 
vigour of your style, as one calls it, but really of your thought. 
I have no criticisms ; nor is it likely that I could have. But 
I think you could have added some interesting matter on the 
character or disposition of the young ourangs which have 
been kept in France and England. I should have thought 
you might have enlarged a little on the later embryological 
changes in man and on his rudimentary structure, tail as 
compared with tail of higher monkeys, intermaxillary bone, 
false ribs, and I daresay other points, such as muscles of ears, 
etc., etc. I was very much struck with admiration at the 
opening pages of Part II. (and oh ! what a delicious sneer, 
as good as a dessert, at p. 106) : 3 but my admiration is 
unbounded at pp. 109 to 112. I declare I never in my life 
read anything grander. Bacon himself could not have 

1 According to Owen the sub-class Archencephala contains only the 
genus Homo : the Gyrencephala contains both chimpanzee and horse, 
the Lyencephala contains Omithorhynchus. 

2 Evidence as /o Man's Place in Nature, 1863 (preface dated January 
1863). 

:i Huxley, op. ci/., p. 106. After saying that "there is but one 
hypothesis regarding the origin of species of animals in general which 
has any scientific existence— that propounded by Mr. Darwin," and 
after a few words on Lamarck, he goes on : " And though I have heard 
of the announcement of a formula touching 'the ordained continuous 
becoming of organic forms,' it is obvious that it is the first duty of a 
hypothesis to be intelligible, and that a qua-qua-versal proposition of this 
kind, which may be read backwards or forwards, or sideways, with 
exactly the same amount of significance, does not really exist, though it 
may seem to do so." The " formula " in question is Owen's. 



238 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

Letter 164 charged a few paragraphs with more condensed and cutting 
sense than you have done. It is truly grand. I regret 
extremely that you could not, or did not, end your book 
(not that I mean to say a word against the Geological 
History) with these pages. With a book, as with a fine day, 
one likes it to end with a glorious sunset. I congratulate you 
on its publication ; but do not be disappointed if it does not 
sell largely : parts are highly scientific, and I have often 
remarked that the best books frequently do not get soon 
appreciated : certainly large sale is no proof of the highest 
merit. But I hope it may be widely distributed ; and I am 
rejoiced to see in your note to Miss Rhadamanthus ' that a 
second thousand is called for of the little book. What a 
letter that is of Owen's in the Athenmim ; 8 how cleverly he 
will utterly muddle and confound the public. Indeed he 
quite muddled me, till I read again your " concise statement " 3 
(which is capitally clear), and then I saw that my suspicion 
was true that he has entirely changed his ground to size of 
Brain. How candid he shows himself to have taken the 
slipped Brain! ' I am intensely curious to see whether Lyell 

1 This refers to Mr. Darwin's daughter (now Mrs. Litchfield), whom 
Mr. Huxley used to laugh at for the severity of her criticisms. 

2 A letter by Owen in the Athcnceum, Feb. 21st, 1S63, replying to 
strictures on his treatment of the brain question, which had appeared in 
Lyell's Antiquity of Man. 

3 This refers to a section (pp. 1 13-18) in Man's Place in Nature, 
headed " A succinct History of the Controversy respecting the Cerebral 
Structure of Man and the Apes." Huxley follows the question from 
Owen's attempt to classify the mammalia by cerebral characters, published 
by the Linn. Soc. in 1857, up to his revival of the subject at the Cambridge 
meeting of the British Association in 1862. It is a tremendous indict- 
ment of Owen, and seems to us to conclude not unfittingly with a 
citation from Huxley's article in the Medical Times, Oct. nth, 1862. 
Huxley here points out that special investigations have been made into 
the question at issue "during the last two years" by Allen Thomson, 
Rolleston, Marshall, Flower, Schrceder van der Kolk and Vrolik, and 
that " all these able and conscientious observers " have testified to the 
accuracy of his statements, " while not a single anatomist, great or 
small, has supported Professor Owen." He sums up the case once 
more, and concludes : " The question has thus become one of personal 
veracity. For myself I will accept no other issue than this, grave as it 
'•r to the present controversy." 

Owen in the Atliancum, Feb. 21st, 1863, admits that in the brain 



1859-1863] MAN 239 

will answer. 1 Lyell has been, I fear, rather rash to enter on a Letter 164 

subject on which he of course knows nothing by himself. By 

heavens, Owen will shake himself, when he sees what an 

antagonist he has made for himself in you. With hearty 

admiration, Farewell. 

I am fearfully disappointed at Lyell's excessive caution 2 

in expressing any judgment on Species or [on the] origin of 

Man. 

To John Scott. Letter 165 

Down, March 6th, 1863. 

I thank you for your criticisms on the Origin, and which 

I have not time to discuss ; but I cannot help doubting, 

from your expression of an " innate . . selective principle," 

whether you fully comprehend what is meant by Natural 

Selection. Certainly when you speak of weaker (i.e. less 

well adapted) forms crossing with the stronger, you take a 

widely different view from what I do on the struggle for 

existence ; for such weaker forms could not exist except by 

the rarest chance. With respect to utility, reflect that ^nfths 

part of the structure of each being is due to inheritance of 

formerly useful structures. Pray read what I have said on 

"correlation." Orchids ought to show us how ignorant we 

are of what is useful. No doubt hundreds of cases could be 

advanced of which no explanation could be offered ; but I 

must stop. Your letter has interested me much. I am very 

far from strong, and have great fear that I must stop all work 

for a couple of months for entire rest, and leave home. It 

will be ruin to all my work. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 166 

Down, April 23rd [1S63]. 

The more I think of Falconer's letter 3 the more grieved I 
am ; he and Prestwich (the latter at least must owe much to 

which he used in illustration of his statements "the cerebral hemispheres 
had glided forward and apart behind so as to expose a portion of the 
cerebellum." 

1 Lyell's answer was in the Athencewn, March 7th, 1863. 

■ In the Antiquity of Man : see Life and Letters, III., p. 8. 

3 Published in the A/hena-um, April 4th, 1S63, p. 459. The writer 
asserts that Lyell did not make it clear that certain material made use of 
in the Antiquity of Man was supplied by the original work of Mr. Prestwid* 
and himself. (See Life and Letters, III., p. 19.) 



240 EVOLUTION [Chak III 

Letter 166 the Principles) assume an absurdly unwarrantable position 
with respect to Lyell. It is too bad to treat an old hero in 
science thus. I can see from a note from Falconer (about 
a wonderful fossil Brazilian Mammal, well called Meso- or 
Typo-theriuni) that he expects no sympathy from me. He 
will end, I hope, by being sorry. Lyell lays himself open to 
a slap by saying that he would come to show his original 
observations, and then not distinctly doing so ; he had better 
only have laid claim, on this one point of man, to verification 
and compilation. 

Altogether, I much like Lyell 's letter. But all this 
squabbling will greatly sink scientific men. I have seen a 
sneer already in the Times. 

Letter 167 T ° H " W ' BateS " 

At Rev. C. Langton, Hartfield, Tunbridge Wells, April 30th [1S63]. 

You will have received before this the note which I 
addressed to Leicester, after finishing Vol. I., and you will 
have received copies of my little review : of your paper. 
.... I have now finished Vol. II., and my opinion 
remains the same — that you have written a truly admirable 
work, 2 with capital original remarks, first-rate descriptions, 
and the whole in a style which could not be improved. 
My family are now reading the book, and admire it ex- 
tremely ; and, as my wife remarks, it has so strong an air 
of truthfulness. I had a letter from a person the other 
day, unknown to you, full of praise of the book. I do 
hope it may get extensively heard of and circulated ; but 
to a certain extent this, I think, always depends on chance. 

I suppose the clicking noise of surprise made by the 
Indian is that which the end of the tongue, applied to the 
palate of the mouth and suddenly withdrawn, makes? 

I have not written since receiving your note of April 
20th, in which you confided in me and told me your pro- 
spects. I heartily wish they were better, and especially 
more certain ; but with your abilities and powers of writing 
it will be strange if you cannot add what little you 
require for your income. I am glad that you have got a 

1 Nat. Hist. Review, 1863, p. 219. A review of Bates' paper on 
Mimetic Butterflies. 

2 The Naturalist on the Amazons, 1863. 



1859—1863] LYELL AND FALCONER 241 

retired and semi-rural situation. What a grand ending you Letter 167 
give to your book, contrasting civilisation and wild life ! 
I quite regret that I have finished it : every evening it was 
a real treat to me to have my half-hour in the grand 
Amazonian forest, and picture to myself your vivid de- 
scriptions. There are heaps of facts of value to me in a 
natural history point of view. It was a great misfortune 
that you were prevented giving the discussion on species. 
But you will, I hope, be able to give your views and 
facts somewhere else. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 168 

Down, May 15th [1863]. 

Your letter received this morning interested me more 
than even most of your letters, and that is saying a good 
deal. I must scribble a little on several points. About 
Lyell and species — you put the whole case, I do believe, 
when you say that he is " half-hearted and whole-headed." ' 
I wrote to A. Gray that, when I saw such men as Lyell 
and he refuse to judge, it put me in despair, and that I 
sometimes thought I should prefer that Lyell had judged 
against modification of species rather than profess inability 
to decide ; and I left him to apply this to himself. I am 
heartily rejoiced to hear that you intend to try to bring 
L. and F. 2 together again; but had you not better wait 
till they are a little cooled ? You will do Science a real 
good service. Falconer never forgave Lyell for taking the 
Purbeck bones from him and handing them over to Owen. 

With respect to island floras, if I understand rightly, 
we differ almost solely how plants first got there. I 
suppose that at long intervals, from as far back as later 
Tertiary periods to the present time, plants occasionally 
arrived (in some cases, perhaps, aided by different currents 
from existing currents and by former islands), and that 
these old arrivals have survived little modified on the 
islands, but have become greatly modified or become extinct 

1 Darwin's disappointment with the cautious point of view taken up 
by Lyell in the Antiquity of Man is illustrated in the Life and Letters, 
III., pp. 11, 13. See also Letter 164, p. 239. 

2 Falconer claimed that Lyell had not " done justice to the part he took 
in resuscitating the cave question." See Life and Letters, III., p. 14. 

16 



242 p:\olution [Chap, hi 

Letter 168 on the continent. If I understand, you believe that 
all islands were formerly united to continents, and then 
received all their plants and none since ; and that on the 
islands they have undergone less extinction and modifica- 
tion than on the continent. The number of animal forms on 
islands, very closely allied to those on continents, with a 
few extremely distinct and anomalous, docs not seem to 
mc well to harmonise with your supposed view of all 
having formerly arrived or rather having been left together 
on the island. 

Letter 169 To Asa Gray. 

Down, May 31st [1863?]. 

I was very glad to receive your review ' of De Candolle 
a week ago. It seems to me excellent, and you speak out, 
I think, more plainly in favour of derivation of species than 
hitherto, though doubtfully about Natural Selection. Grant 
the first, I am easy about the second. Do you not 
consider such cases as all the orchids next thing to a 
demonstration against Heer's view of species arising sud- 
denly by monstrosities ? — it is impossible to imagine so 
many co-adaptations being formed all by a chance blow. 
Of course creationists would cut the enigma. 

Letter 170 To T. H. Huxley. 

June 27th [1863?] 

What are you doing now ? I have never yet got hold of 
the Edinburgh Review, in which I hear you are well abused. 
By the way, I heard lately from Asa Gray that Wyman was 
delighted at " Man's Place." 2 I wonder who it is who pitches 
weakly, but virulently into you, in the Anthropological Review. 
How quiet Owen seems ! I do at last begin to believe that 
he will ultimately fall in public estimation. What nonsense 
he wrote in the Athenceum 3 on Heterogeny ! I saw in his 
Aye-Aye 4 paper (I think) that he sneers at the manner in 

1 The review on De Candolle's work on the Oaks (A. Gray's Scientific 
Papers, I., p. 130). 

2 Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature, by T. H. Huxley, 1863. 

3 Athenceum, March 28th, 1863. See Life and Letters, III., p. 17. 

4 See Owen in the Trans. Zool. Soc, Vol. V. The sentence referred 
to seems to be the following (p. 95) : " We know of no changes in 
progress in the Island of Madagascar, necessitating a special quest of 
wood-boring larvae by small quadrupeds of the Lemurine or Sciurine 
types of organisation." 



1859—1863] LYELL 243 

which he supposes that we should account for the structure Letter 170 
of its limbs ; and asks how we know that certain insects had 
increased in the Madagascar forests. Would it not be a good 
rebuff to ask him how he knows there were trees at all on the 
leafless plains of La Plata for his Mylodons to tear down ? 
But I must stop, for if I once begin about [him] there will be 
no end. I was disappointed in the part about species in 
Lyell. 1 You and Hooker are the only two bold men. I 
have had a bad spring and summer, almost constantly very 
unwell ; but I am crawling on in my book on Variation under 
Domestication. 

To C. Lyell. Letter 171 

Down, Aug. 14th [1S63]. 

Have you seen Bentham's remarks on species in his 
address to the Linnean Society? 2 they have pleased me more 
than anything I have read for some time. I have no news, 
for I have not seen a soul for months, and have had a bad 
spring and summer, but have managed to do a good deal of 
work. Emma is threatening me to take me to Malvern, and 
perhaps I shall be compelled, but it is a horrid waste of time ; 
you must have enjoyed North Wales, I should think, it is to 
me a most glorious country. . . . 

If you have not read Bates' book, 3 I think it would 
interest you. He is second only to Humboldt in describing 
a tropical forest. 4 Talking of reading, I have never got the 
Edinburgh? in which, I suppose, you are cut up. 

1 LyelPs Antiquity of Man. See Life and Letters, III., p. 1 1. 

2 Presidential address before the Linnrean Society by G. Bentham 
(fourn. Proc. Linn. Soc, Vol. VII., p. xi., 1864). 

3 Henry Walter Bates, The Naturalist on the River Amazons, 2 vols., 
London, 1863. In a letter to Bates, April iSth, 1863, Darwin writes, " It 
is the best work of natural history travels ever published in England" 
(Life and Letters, II., p. 38 1). 

4 Quoted in the Life and Letters, II., p. 381. 

5 The Geological Evidence of the Antiquity of Man, by Sir Charles 
Lyell, and works by other authors reviewed in the Edinburgh Review. 
Vol. CXVIII., July 1863. The writer sums up his criticism as follows : 
"Glancing at the work of Sir Charles Lyell as a whole, it leaves the 
impression on our minds that we have been reading an ingenious 
academical thesis, rather than a work of demonstration by an original 
writer. . . . There is no argument in it, and only a few facts which 
have not been stated elsewhere by Sir C. Lyell himself or by others " 
(loc. cit., p. 294). 



244 EVOLUTION [Chap. Ill 

letter 172 To H. Falconer. 

Dec. 26th [1863]. 
Thank you for telling me about the Pliocene mammal, 
which is very remarkable ; but has not Owen stated that the 
Pliocene badger is identical with the recent ? Such a case 
does indeed well show the stupendous duration of the same 
form. I have not heard of Suess' pamphlet, 1 and should much 
like to learn the title, if it can be procured ; but I am on 
different subjects just at present. I should rather like to see 
it rendered highly probable that the process of formation of 
a new species was short compared to its duration — that is, 
if the process was allowed to be slow and long ; the idea 
is new to me. Heer's view that new species are suddenly 
formed like monsters, I feel a conviction from many reasons 
is false. 

1 Probably Suess' paper " Ueber die Verschiedenheit und die 
Aufeinanderfolge der tertiaren Land-faunen in der Niederung von 
Wien." Sitz.-Ber. Wien Akad., XLVIL, p. 306, 1863. 



CHAPTER IV. 

EVOLUTION. 
1864— 1869. 

To A. R. Wallace. Letter 173 

Down, Jan. 1st, 1864. 

I am still unable to write otherwise than by dictation. In 
a letter received two or three weeks ago from Asa Gray he 
writes : " I read lately with gusto Wallace's expostoi the Dublin 
man on Bees' cells, etc." 1 Now, though I cannot read at 
present, I much want to know where this is published, that 
I may procure a copy. Further on, Asa Gray says (after 
speaking of Agassiz's paper on Glaciers in the Atlantic 
Magazine and his recent book entitled Method of Study) : 
" Pray set Wallace upon these articles." So Asa Gray seems 
to think much of your powers of reviewing, and I mention 
this as it assuredly is laudari a laudato. I hope you are hard 
at work, and if you are inclined to tell me, I should much like 
to know what you are doing. It will be many months, I fear, 
before I shall do anything. 

To J. L. A. de Ouatrefages. Letter , 74 

Down, March 27th [1864?]. 

I had heard that your work was to be translated, and I 

heard it with pleasure ; but I can take no share of credit, for 

I am not an active, only an honorary member of the Society. 

Since writing I have finished with extreme interest to the 

' " Remarks on the Rev. S. Haughton's paper on the Bee's Cell and on 
the Origin of Species" {Ann. and Mag. Nat. Nist.,' Xll ., 1863, p. 303). 
Prof. Haughton's paper was read before the Natural History Society of 
Dublin, Nov. 21st, 1862, and reprinted in the Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist.. 
XI., 1863, p. 415- See Letters 73, 74, 75- 

245 



246 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 174 end your admirable work on metamorphosis. 1 How well you 
arc acquainted with the works of English naturalists, and how 
generously you bestow honour on them ! Mr. Lubbock is my 
neighbour, and I have known him since he was a little boy ; 
he is in every way a thoroughly good man ; as is my friend 
Huxley. It gave me real pleasure to sec you notice their 
works as you have done. 

Letter 1 75 Tu T ' H ' Huxley. 

Down, April nth [1864]. 

I am very much obliged for your present of your Covip. 
Anatomy? When strong enough I am sure I shall read it 
with greatest interest. I could not resist the last chapter, of 
which I have read a part, and have been much interested 
about the "inspired idiot." 3 If Owen wrote the article 
" Oken " i and the French work on the Archetype (points you 

1 Probably Metamorphoses of Man and the LmOer Animals. Trans- 
lated by H. Lawson, 1864. 

■ Lectures on the Elements of 'Comparative Anatomy, 1864. 

3 In reference to Oken (op. cit., p. 282) Huxley says : " I must confess 
I never read his works without thinking of the epithet of ' inspired idiot' 
applied to our own Goldsmith." 

4 The article on Oken in the eighth edition of the Encyclopedia 

Britannica is signed " R. O." : Huxley wrote to Darwin (April iSth, 

1864), "There is not the smallest question that Owen wrote both the 

article 'Oken' and the Archetype Book" (Huxley's Life, I., p. 250). 

Mr. Huxley's statements amount to this : (1) Prof. Owen accuses Goethe 

of having in 1820 appropriated Oken's theory of the skull, and of having 

given an apocryphal account of how the idea occurred to himself in 179°- 

(2) In the same article, p. 502, Owen stated it to be questionable whether 

the discoverer of the true theory of the segmental constitution of the skull 

(i.e. himself) was excited to his labours, or " in any way influenced by the 

d priori guesses of Oken." On this Huxley writes, p. 288 : "But if he 

himself had not been in any way influenced by Oken, and if the Programm 

[of Oken] is a mere mass of ' A priori guesses,' how comes it that only 

three years before Mr. Owen could write thus ? ' Oken, ce genie profond 

et penetrant, fut le premier qui entrevit la verite, guide par l'heureuse idee 

de l'arrangement des os criiniens en segments, comme ceux du rachis, 

appeles vertebres . . .' " Later on Owen wrote : " Cela servira pour 

exemple d'une examen scrupuleux des faits, d'une appreciation philoso- 

phique de leurs relations et analogies, etc." (From Principes d : 'Osttiologie 

compart'e, 011 Recherches sur rArch/lype, etc., p. 155, 1855). (3) Finally 

Huxley says, p. 289, plainly: "The fact is that, so far from not having 

been 'in any way influenced 'by Oken, Prof. Owen's own contributions 

to this question are the merest Okenism, remaniS." 



1864 — 1S69J COPLEY MEDAL 247 

do not put quite clearly), he never did a baser act. . . . You Letter 175 
are so good a Christian that you will hardly understand how 
I chuckle over this bit of baseness. I hope you keep well and 
hearty ; I honour your wisdom at giving up at present Society 
for Science. But, on the other hand, I feel it in myself possible 
to get to care too much for Natural Science and too little 
for other things. I am getting better, I almost dare to hope 
permanently ; for my sickness is decidedly less — for twenty- 
seven days consecutively I was sick many times daily, and 
lately I was five days free. I long to do a little work again. 
The magnificent (by far the most magnificent, and too magni- 
ficent) compliment which you paid me at the end of your 
" Origin of Species " 1 I have met with reprinted from you 
two or three times lately. 

To Erasmus Darwin. Letter 

175A 

Down, June 30th, 1S64. 

The preceding letter contains a reference to the prolonged period of 
ill-health from which Darwin suffered in 1S63 and 1864, and in this 
connection the present letter is of interest. 

The Copley Medal was given to him in 1864. 

I had not heard a word about the Copley Medal. Please 
give Falconer my cordial thanks for his interest about me. I 
enclose the list of everything published by me except a few 
unimportant papers. Ask Falconer not to mention that I 
sent the list, as some one might say I had been canvassing, 
which is an odious imputation. The origin of the Voyage in 
the Beagle was that Fitz-Roy generously offered to give up 
half his cabin to any one who would volunteer to go as 
naturalist. Beaufort wrote to Cambridge, and I volunteered. 
Fitz-Roy never persuaded me to give up the voyage on account 
of sickness, nor did I ever think of doing so, though I suffered 
considerably ; but I do not believe it was the cause of my 
subsequent ill-health, which has lost me so many years, and 
therefore I should not think the sea-sickness was worth notice. 

1 A title applied to the Lectures to Working Men, that "green little 
book" referred to in letter 156. Speaking of Mr. Darwin's work he says 
(p 1 56) : " I believe that if you strip it of its theoretical part, it still remains 
one of the greatest encyclopaedias of biological doctrine that any one man 
ever brought forth ; and I believe that, if you take it as the embodiment 
of an hypothesis, it is destined to be the guide of biological and psycho- 
logical speculation for the next three or four generations." 



248 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter It would save you trouble to forward this with my kindest 
' 75A remembrances to Falconer. 

The following letter was the beginning of a correspondence with 
Mr. B. D. Walsh, whom C. V. Riley describes as "one of the ablest 
and nlost thorough entomologists of our time." The facts here given 
are chiefly taken from the American Entomologist (St. Louis, Mo.), 
Vol. II., p. 65. Benjamin Dann Walsh was born at Frome, in England, 
in 1S08, and died in America in 1869, from the result of a railway 
accident. He entered at Trinity College, Cambridge, and obtained a 
fellowship there after being fifth classic in 1831. He was therefore 
a contemporary of Darwin's at the University, though not a " school- 
mate," as the American Entomologist puts it. He was the author of 
A Historical Account of the University of Cambridge and its Colleges, 
London, 2nd edit., 1837 ; also of a translation of part of Aristo- 
phanes, 1837 : from the dedication of this book it seems that he was 
at St. Paul's School, London. He settled in America in 1838, but 
only began serious Entomology about 185S. He never returned to 
England. 

In a letter to Mr. Darwin, Nov. 7th, 1864, he gives a curious 
account of the solitary laborious life he led for many years. " When 
I left England in 183S," he writes, " I was possessed with an absurd 
notion that I would live a perfectly natural life, independent of the 
whole world — in me ipso lotus teres atque rotundus. So I bought several 
hundred acres of wild land in the wilderness, twenty miles from any 
settlement that you would call even a village, and with only a single 
neighbor. There I gradually opened a farm, working myself like 

a horse, raising great quantities of hogs and bullocks I did 

all kinds of jobs for myself, from mending a pair of boots to hooping 
a barrel." After nearly dying of malaria, he sold his land at a great 
loss, and found that after twelve years' work he was just $1000 
poorer than when he began. He then went into the lumber business 
at Rock Island, Illinois. After seven years he invested most of his 
savings in building "ten two-storey brick houses for rent." He states 
that the repairs of the houses occupied about one-fourth of his time, 
and the remainder he was able to devote to entomology. He after- 
wards edited the Practical Entomologist. In regard to this work he 
wrote (Feb. 25th, 1867): — "Editing the Practical Entomologist does 
undoubtedly take up a good deal of my time, but I also pick up a 
good deal of information of real scientific value from its correspondents. 
Besides, this great American nation has hitherto had a supreme con- 
tempt for Natural History, because they have hitherto believed that it 
has nothing to do with the dollars and cents. After hammering 
away at them for a year or two, I have at last succeeded in touching 
the ' pocket nerve ' in Uncle Sam's body, and he is gradually being 
galvanised into the conviction that science has the power to make 
him richer." It is -difficult to realise that even forty years ago the 



i864— 1869] WALSH 249 

position of science in Illinois was what Mr. Walsh describes it to 
be : " You cannot have the remotest conception of the ideas of 
even our best-educated Americans as to the pursuit of science. I 
never yet met with a single one who could be brought to under- 
stand how or why a man should pursue science for its own pure and 
holy sake." 

Mr. L. O. Howard {Insect Life, Vol. VII., 1895, p. 59) says that 
Harris received from the State of Massachusetts only $175 for his 
classical report on injurious insects which appeared in 1841 and was 
reprinted in 1S42 and 1852. It would seem that in these times 
Massachusetts was in much the same state of darkness as Illinois. In 
the winter of 1868-9 Walsh was, however, appointed State Entomologist 
of Illinois. He made but one report before his death. He was a 
man of liberal ideas, hating oppression and wrong in all its forms. 
On one occasion his life was threatened for an attempt to purify 
the town council. 

As an instance of "hereditary genius" it may be mentioned that 
his brother was a well-known writer on natural history and sporting 
subjects, under the pseudonym " Stonehenge." 

B. D. Walsh to C. Darwin. Letter 176 

Rock Island, Illinois, U.S., April 29th, 1S64. 

More than thirty years ago I was introduced to you 
at your rooms in Christ's College by A. W. Grisebach, 
and had the pleasure of seeing your noble collection of 
British Coleoptera. Some years afterwards I became a 
Fellow of Trinity, and finally gave up my Fellowship rather 
than go into Orders, and came to this country. For the 
last five or six years I have been paying considerable 
attention to the insect fauna of the U.S., some of the fruits 
of which you will see in the enclosed pamphlets. Allow 
me to take this opportunity of thanking you for the 
publication of your Origin of Species, which I read three 
years ago by the advice of a botanical friend, though I had 
a strong prejudice against what I supposed then to be 
your views. The first perusal staggered me, the second 
convinced me, and the oftener I read it the more convinced 
1 am of the general soundness of your theory. 

As you have called upon naturalists that believe in your 
views to give public testimony of their convictions, I have 
directed your attention on the outside of one or two of 
my pamphlets to the particular passages in which [I] 1 

1 The words in square brackets are restorations of parts torn off 
the original letter. 



250 INVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 176 have done so. You will please accept these papers from 
me in token of my respect and admiration. 

As you may see from the latest of these papers, I 
[have] recently made the remarkable discovery that there 
[are the] so-called " three sexes " not only in social insects 
but [also in the] strictly solitary genus Cynips. 

When is your great work to make its appearance? [I 
should be] much pleased to receive a few lines from you. 

Letter 177 To B. D. Walsh. 

Down, Oct. 2 1 st [1S64]. 

Ill-health has prevented me from sooner thanking you 
for your very kind letter and several memoirs. 

I have been very much pleased to see how boldly and 
clearly you speak out on the modification of species. I 
thank you for giving me the pages of reference ; but they 
were superfluous, for I found so many original and profound 
remarks that I have carefully looked through all the papers. 
I hope that your discovery about the Cynips 1 will hold 
good, for it is a remarkable one. and I for one have often 
marvelled what could be the meaning of the case. I will 
lend your paper to my neighbour Mr. Lubbock, who I 
know is much interested in the subject. Incidentally I 
shall profit by your remarks on galls. If you have time 
I think a rather hopeless experiment would be worth trying; 
anyhow, I should have tried it had my health permitted. 
It is to insert a minute grain of some organic substance, 
together with the poison from bees, sand-wasps, ichneumons, 
adders, and even alkaloid poisons into the tissues of fitting 
plants for the chance of monstrous growths being produced. 2 

My health has long been poor, and I have lately 
suffered from a long illness which has interrupted all work, 

1 " On Dimorphism in the hymenopterous genus Cynips," Proc. 
Entom. Soc. Philadelphia, March, 1S64. Mr. Walsh's view is that 
Cynips quercus aciculata is a dimorphous form of Cynips q. spongifica, 
and occurs only as a female. Cynips q. spongifica also produces spongi- 
fica females and males from other galls at a different time of year. 

2 See Life and Letters, III., p. 346, for an account of experiments 
attempted in this direction by Mr. Darwin in 1880. On the effects of 
injuring plant-tissues, see Massart, "La Cicatrisation, etc.," in Tome 
LVII. of the Me'moires Couronni's of the Brussels Academy. 



1864-1869] REGENERATION 2$I 

but I am now recommencing a volume in connection with Letter 177 
the Origin. 

P.S. — If you write again I should very much like to 
hear what your life in your new country is. 

What can be the meaning or use of the great diversity 
of the external generative organs in your cases, in Bombus, 
and the phytophagous coleoptera? 

What can there be in the act of copulation necessitating 
such complex and diversified apparatus? 

To W. H. Flower. Lettcr 178 

Down, July nth, 1864. 
I am truly obliged for all the trouble which you have 
taken for me, and for your very interesting note. I had 
only vaguely heard it said that frogs had a rudiment of a 
sixth toe ; had I known that such great men had looked to the 
point I should not have dreamed of looking myself. The rudi- 
ment sent to you was from a full-grown frog ; so that if these 
bones arc the two cuneiforms they must, I should think, be 
considered to be in a rudimentary condition. This afternoon 
my gardener brought in some tadpoles with the hind-legs 
alone developed, and I looked at the rudiment. At this 
age it certainly looks extremely like a digit, for the extremity 
is enlarged like that of the adjoining real toe, and the trans- 
verse articulation seems similar. I am sorry that the case is 
doubtful, for if these batrachians had six toes, I certainly 
think it would have thrown light on the truly extraordinary 
strength of inheritance in polydactylism in so many animals, 
and especially on the power of regeneration x in amputated 
supernumerary digits. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 179 

Down [October 22nd, 1864]. 
The Lyells have been here, and were extremely pleasant, 
but I saw them only occasionally for ten minutes, and when 
they went I had an awful day [of illness] ; but I am now 



1 In the first edition of Variation under Domestication the view here 
given is upheld, but in the second edition (Vol. I., p. 459) Darwin 
withdrew his belief that the development of supernumerary digits in 
man is "a case of reversion to a lowly-organised progenitor provided 
with more than five digits." See Letters 161, 270. 



252 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 179 slowly getting up to my former standard. I shall soon be 
confined to a living grave, and a fearful evil it is. 

I suppose you have read Tyndall. 1 I have now come 
round again to Ramsay's 2 view, for the third or fourth time ; 
but Lyell says when I read his discussion in the Elements, 3 
I shall recant for the fifth time. What a capital writer 
Tyndall is ! 

In your last note you ask what the Bardfield oxlip is. It 
is P. elatior of Jacq., which certainly looks, when growing, to 
common eyes different from the common oxlip. I will fight 
you to the death that as primrose and cowslip are different in 
appearance (not to mention odour, habitat and range), and as 
I can now show that, when they cross, the intermediate 
offspring are sterile like ordinary hybrids, they must be called 
as good species as a man and a gorilla. 

I agree that if Scott's red cowslip grew wild or spread 
itself and did not vary [into] common cowslip (and we have 
absolutely no proof of primrose or cowslip varying into each 
other), and as it will not cross with the cowslip, it would be 
a perfectly good species. The power of remaining for a good 
long period constant I look at as the essence of a species, 
combined with an appreciable amount of difference ; and no 
one can say there is not this amount of difference between 
primrose and oxlip. 

Letter 1S0 Hugh Falconer 4 to W. Sharpey. 

Falconer had proposed Darwin for the Copley Medal of the Royal 
Society (which was awarded to him in 1864), but being detained abroad, 
he gave his reasons for supporting Darwin for this honour in a letter to 
Sharpey, the Secretary of the Royal Society. A copy of the letter here 
printed seems to have been given to Erasmus Darwin, and by him shown 
to his brother Charles. 

1 Probably Tyndall " On the Conformation of the Alps " {Phil. Mag., 
1864, p. 255). 

- Phil. Mag., 1864, p. 293. 

3 This refers to a discussion on the " Connection of the predominance 
of Lakes with Glacial Action" (Elements, Ed. VI., pp. 168-74). Lyell 
adheres to the views expressed in the Antiquity 0/ Man (1863) against 
Ramsay's theory of the origin of lake basins by ice action. 

4 Hugh Falconer (1809-65) was a student at the Universities of 
Aberdeen and Edinburgh, and went out to India in 1830 as Assistant- 
Surgeon on the Bengal Establishment. In 1832 he succeeded Dr. Royle 
as the Superintendent of the Botanic Gardens at Saharunpur ; and in 




From a photograph by Hill tS> Adamson 

Hugh Fai i oner 
1844 



i864— 1869] FALCONER 253 

Montauban, Oct. 25th, 1864. Letter 1S0 
Busk and myself have made every effort to be back in 
London by the 27th inst., but we have been persecuted by 

1848, after spending some years in England, he was appointed Super- 
intendent of the Calcutta Botanical Garden and Professor of Botany in 
the Medical College. Although Falconer held an important botanical 
post for many years, he is chiefly known as a Palrcozoologist. He seems, 
however, to have had a share in introducing Cinchona into India. His 
discovery, in company with Colonel Sir Proby T. Cautley, of Miocene 
Mammalia in the Siwalik Hills, was at the time perhaps the greatest 
"find" which had been made. The fossils of the Siwalik Hills formed 
the subject of Falconer's most important book, Fauna Antigua Siva- 
lensis, which, however, remained unfinished at the time of his death. 
Falconer also devoted himself to the investigation of the cave-fauna of 
England, and contributed important papers on fossils found in Sicily, 
Malta, and elsewhere. Dr. Falconer was a Vice-President of the Royal 
Society and Foreign Secretary of the Geological Society. " Falconer 
did enough during his lifetime to render his name as a palaeontologist 
immortal in science ; but the work which he published was only a fraction 
of what he accomplished. . . . He was cautious to a fault ; he always 
feared to commit himself to an opinion until he was sure he was right, 
and he died in the prime of his life and in the fulness of his power." 
(Biographical sketch contributed by Charles Murchison to his edition of 
Hugh Falconer's Pahvontological Memoirs and Notes, London, 1868; 
Proc. R. Soc, Vol. XV., p. xiv., 1867 : Quart. Journ. Geo/. Soc, Vol. XXL, 
p. xlv, 1865.) Hugh Falconer was among those who did not fully accept 
the views expressed in the Origin of Species, but he could differ from 
Darwin without any bitterness. Two years before the book was pub- 
lished, Darwin wrote to Asa Gray: "The last time I saw my dear old 
friend Falconer he attacked me most vigorously, but quite kindly, and 
told me, 'You will do more harm than any ten naturalists will do good. 
I can see that you have already corrupted and half spoiled Hooker.'" 
(Life and Letters, II., p. 121.) The affectionate regard which Darwin 
felt for Falconer was shared by their common friend Hooker. The follow- 
ing extract of a letter from Hooker to Darwin (Feb. 3rd, 1865) 
shows clearly the strong friendships which Falconer inspired : " Poor 
old Falconer ! how my mind runs back to those happiest of all our 
days that I used to spend at Down twenty years ago — when I left your 
home with my heart in my mouth like a schoolboy. We last heard he 
was ill on Wednesday or Thursday, and sent daily to enquire, but the 
report was so good on Saturday that we sent no more, and on Monday 
night he died. . . . What a mountainous mass of admirable and accurate 
information dies with our dear old friend ! I shall miss him greatly, not 
only personally, but as a scientific man of unflinching and uncompro- 
mising integrity — and of great weight in Murchisonian and other counsels 
where ballast is sadly needed." 



254 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 180 mishaps — through the breakdown of trains, diligences, etc., 
so that we have been sadly put out in our reckoning — 
and have lost some of the main objects that brought us 
round by this part of France — none of which were idle or 
unimportant. 

Busk started yesterday for Paris from Bruniqucl, to make 
sure of being present at the meeting of the Royal Council on 
Thursday. He will tell you that there were strong reasons 
for me remaining behind him. But as I seconded the pro- 
posal of Mr. Darwin for the Copley Medal, in default of my 
presence at the first meeting, I beg that you will express my 
great regrets to the President and Council at not being there, 
and that I am very reluctantly detained. I shall certainly be 
in London (d.v.) by the second meeting on the 3rd proximo. 
Meanwhile I solicit the favour of being heard, through you, 
respecting the grounds upon which I seconded Mr. Darwin's 
nomination for the Copley Medal. 

Referring to the classified list which 1 drew up of Mr. 
Darwin's scientific labours, ranging through the wide field 
of (1) Geology, (2) Physical Geography, (3) Zoology, (4) 
physiological Botany, (5) genetic Biology, and to the power 
with which he has investigated whatever subject he has taken 
up, — Nullum quod tetigit non ornavit, — I am of opinion that 
Mr. Darwin is not only one of the most eminent naturalists of 
his day, but that hereafter he will be regarded as one of the 
great naturalists of all countries and of all time. His early 
work on the structure and distribution of coral reefs consti- 
tutes an era in the investigation of the subject. As a mono- 
graphic labour, it may be compared with Dr. Wells' " Essay 
upon Dew," as original, exhaustive, and complete — containing 
the closest observation with large and important generalisa- 
tions. 

Among the zoologists his monographs upon the Balanida? 
and Lepadidce, Fossil and Recent, in the Palasontographical 
and Ray Societies' publications, are held to be models of 
their kind. 

In physiological Botany, his recent researches upon the 
dimorphism of the genital organs in certain plants, embodied 
in his papers in the Linnean Journal, on Primula, Linum, and 
Ly thrum, are of the highest order of importance. They open 
a new mine of observation upon a field which had been 



1864-1S69] COPLEY MEDAL 255 

barely struck upon before. The same remark applies to his Letter 180 
researches on the structure and various adaptations of the 
orchideous flower to a definite object connected with impreg- 
nation of the plants through the agency of insects with 
foreign pollen. There has not yet been time for their due 
influence being felt in the advancement of the science. But 
in either subject they constitute an advance per saltum. I 
need not dwell upon the value of his geological researches, 
which won for him one of the earlier awards of the Wollaston 
Medal from the Geological Society, the best of judges on the 
point. 

And lastly, Mr. Darwin's great essay on the Origin of 
Species by Natural Selection. This solemn and mysterious 
subject had been either so lightly or so grotesquely treated 
before, that it was hardly regarded as being within the bounds 
of legitimate philosophical investigation. Mr. Darwin, after 
twenty years of the closest study and research, published his 
views, and it is sufficient to say that they instantly fixed the 
attention of mankind throughout the civilised world. That 
the efforts of a single mind should have arrived at success on 
a subject of such vast scope, and encompassed with such 
difficulties, was more than could have been reasonably 
expected, and I am far from thinking that Charles Darwin 
has made out all his case. But he has treated it with such 
power and in such a philosophical and truth-seeking spirit, 
and illustrated it with such an amount of original and 
collated observation as fairly to have brought the subject 
within the bounds of rational scientific research. I consider 
this great essay on genetic Biology to constitute a strong 
additional claim on behalf of Mr. Darwin for the Copley 
Medal. 1 

1 The following letter (Dec. 3rd, 1864"), from Mr. Huxley to Sir 
J. D. Hooker, is reprinted, by the kind permission of Mr. L. Huxley, 
from his father's Life, I., p. 255. Sabine's address (from the Reader) 
is given in the Life and Letters, III., p. 28. In the Proceedings of 
the Royal Society the offending sentence is slightly modified. It is said, 
in Huxley's Life (loc. cit., note), that the sentence which follows it was 
introduced to mitigate the effect : — 

"I wish you had been at the anniversary meeting and dinner, 
because the latter was very pleasant, and the former, to me, very 
disagreeable. My distrust of Sabine is, as you know, chronic ; and 
I went determined to keep careful watch on his address, lest some 



256 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 180 In forming an estimate of the value and extent of Mr. 
Darwin's researches, due regard ought to be had to the 
circumstances under which they have been carried out — a 
pressure of unremitting disease, which has latterly left him 
not more than one or two hours of the day which he could 
call his own. 

Letter 181 To Hugh Falconer. 

Down, Nov. 4th [ 1864I. 

What a good kind friend you are ! I know well that this 
medal must have cost you a deal of trouble. It is a very 
great honour to me, but I declare the knowledge that you 
and a few other friends have interested themselves on the 
subject is the real cream of the enjoyment to me ; indeed, it 
is to me worth far more than many medals. So accept my 
true and cordial thanks. I hope that I may yet have strength 
to do a little more work in Natural Science, shaky and old 
though I be. I have chuckled and triumphed over your 

crafty phrase injurious to Darwin should be introduced. My suspicions 
were justified, the only part of the address [relating] to Darwin written 
by Sabine himself containing the following passage : 

" ' Speaking generally and collectively, we have expressly omitted it 
[Darwin's theory] from the grounds of our award.' 

" Of course this would be interpreted by everybody as meaning 
that, after due discussion, the council had formally resolved not only 
to exclude Darwin's theory from the grounds of the award, but to give 
public notice through the president that they had done so, and, 
furthermore, that Darwin's friends had been base enough to accept an 
honour for him on the understanding that in receiving it he should 
be publicly insulted ! 

" I felt that this would never do, and therefore, when the resolution 
for printing the address was moved, I made a speech, which I took care 
to keep perfectly cool and temperate, disavowing all intention of inter- 
fering with the liberty of the president to say what he pleased, but 
exercising my constitutional right of requiring the minutes of council 
making the award to be read, in order that the Society might be 
informed whether the conditions implied by Sabine had been imposed 
or not. 

" The resolution was read, and of course nothing of the kind 
appeared. Sabine didn't exactly like it, I believe. Both Busk and 
Falconer remonstrated against the passage to him, and I hope it will 
be withdrawn when the address is printed. If not, there will be an 
awful row, and I for one will show no mercy." 



1864— 1869] COPLEY MEDAL 257 

postscript 1 about poor M. Brulle ■ and his young pupils. Letter 181 
About a week ago I had a nearly similar account from 
Germany, and at the same time I heard of some splendid 
converts in such men as Leuckart, 3 Gegenbauer, 4 etc. You 
may say what you like about yourself, but I look at a man 
who treats natural history in the same spirit with which you 
do, exactly as good, for what I believe to be the truth, as 
a convert. 

To Hugh Falconer. Lettei ,S2 

Down, Nov. 8th [1864]. 
Your remark on the relation of the award of the medal 
and the present outburst of bigotry had not occurred to me. 
It seems very true, and makes me the more gratified to 
receive it. General Sabine 5 wrote to me and asked me to 
attend at the anniversary, but I told him it was really 
impossible. I have never been able to conjecture the cause ; 
but I find that on my good days, when I can write for a 
couple of hours, that anything which stirs me up like talking 
for half or even a quarter of an hour, generally quite prostrates 
me, sometimes even for a long time afterwards. I believe 
attending the anniversary would possibly make me seriously 
ill. I should enjoy attending and shaking you and a few of 
my other friends by the hand, but it would be folly even if I 
did not break down at the time. I told Sabine that I did 
not know who had proposed and seconded me for the 



1 The following is the postcript in a letter from Falconer to Darwin 
Nov. 3rd [1864]: "I returned last night from Spain vid France. On 
Monday I was at Dijon, where, while in the Museum, M. Brulle, Pro- 
fessor of Zoology, asked me what was my frank opinion of Charles 
Darwin's doctrine ? He told me in despair that he could not get his 
pupils to listen to anything from him except a la Darwin ! He, poor 
man, could not comprehend it, and was still unconvinced, but that all 
young Frenchmen would hear or believe nothing else." 

2 CTaspard-Auguste Brulle (1809-73) held a post in the Natural 
History Museum, Paris, from 1833 to 1839 ; on leaving Paris he occupied 
the chair of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy at Dijon. (" Note stir la 
Vie et les Travaux Entomologiques d'Auguste Brulle," by E. Desmarest. 
Ann- Soc. Entom., Vol. II., p. 513.) 

3 Rudolf Leuckart (1822-98), Professor of Zoology at Leipzig. 
1 Karl Gegenbauer, Professor of Anatomy at Heidelberg. 

5 Sir E. Sabine (1 788-1883), President of the Royal Society 1 861 -71. 
(See Life ami Letters, III., p. 28.) 

'7 



258 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 182 medal, but that I presumed it was you, or Hooker or Busk, 
and that I felt sure, if you attended, you would receive the 
medal for me ; and that if none of you attended, that Lyell or 
Huxley would receive it for me. Will you receive it, and it 
could be left at my brother's ? 

Again accept my cordial and enduring thanks for all your 
kindness and sympathy. 

Letter 183 To B. D. Walsh. 

Down, Dec. 4th [1864]. 
I have been greatly interested by your account of your 
American life. What an extraordinary and self-contained 
life you have led ! and what vigour of mind you must possess 
to follow science with so much ardour after all that you have 
undergone ! I am very much obliged to you for your pamphlet 1 
on Geographical Distribution, on Agassiz, etc. I am delighted 
at the manner in which you have bearded this lion in his den. 
I agree most entirely with all that you have written. What I 
meant when I wrote to Agassiz to thank him for a bundle of 
his publications, was exactly what you suppose. 2 I confess, 
however, I did not fully perceive how he had misstated my 
views ; but I only skimmed through his Methods of Study, and 
thought it a very poor book. I am so much accustomed to 
be utterly misrepresented that it hardly excites my attention. 
But you really have hit the nail on the head capitally. All 
the younger good naturalists whom I know think of Agassi/, 
as you do ; but he did grand service about glaciers and fish. 
About the succession of forms, Pictet has given up his whole 
views, and no geologist now agrees with Agassiz. I am glad 
that you have attacked Dana's wild notions ; [though] I have 
a great respect for Dana ... If you have an opportunity, 
read in Trans. Linn. Soc. Bates on " Mimetic Lepidoptera of 
Amazons." I was delighted with his paper. 

I have got a notice of your views about the female Cynips 

1 Mr. Walsh's paper " On certain Entomological Speculations of the 
New England School of Entomologists " was published in the Proc. 
Entomolog. Soc. of Philadelphia, Sept. 1864, p. 207. 

a Namely, that Mr. Darwin, having been abused as an atheist, etc., 
by other writers, probably felt grateful to a writer who was willing to 
allow him " a spirit as reverential as his own." {Methods of Study, 
Preface, p. iv.) 



i864— 1869] GRADATIONS 259 

inserted in the Natural History Review x : whether the notice Letter 183 
will be favourable, I do not know ; but anyhow it will call 
attention to your views. . . . 

As you allude in your paper to the believers in change of 
species, you will be glad to hear that very many of the very 
best men are coming round in Germany. I have lately heard 
of Hackel, Gegenbauer, F. Miillcr, Leuckart, Claparede, Alex. 
Braun, Schleiden, etc. So it is, I hear, with the younger 
Frenchmen. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 184 

Down, Jan. 19th [1865]. 

It is working hours, but I am trying to take a day's 
holiday, for I finished and despatched yesterday my Climbing 
paper. For the last ten days I have done nothing but correct 
refractory sentences, and I loathe the whole subject like 
tartar emetic. By the way, I am convinced that you want 
a holiday, and I think so because you took the devil's name 
in vain so often in your last note. Can you come here for 
Sunday ? You know how I should like it, and you will be 
quiet and dull enough here to get plenty of rest. I have been 
thinking with regret about what you said in one of your later 
notes, about having neglected to make notes on the gradation 
of character in your genera ; but would it be too late ? Surely 
if you looked over names in series the facts would come back, 
and you might surely write a fine paper " On the gradation 
of important characters in the genera of plants." As for 
unimportant characters, I have made their perfect gradation 
a very prominent point with respect to the means of 
climbing, in my paper. I begin to think that one of the 
commonest means of transition is the same individual plant 
having the same part in different states : thus Corydalis 
claviculata, if you look to one leaf, may be called a tendril- 
bearer ; if you look to another leaf it may be called a leaf- 
climber. Now I am sure I remember some cases with plants 
in which important parts such as the position of the ovule 
differ : differences in the spire of leaves on lateral and terminal 
branches, etc. 

1 Nat. Hist. Review, Jan. 1865, p. 139. A notice by/. /,. (probably 
Lord Avebury) on Walsh's paper "On Dimorphism in the Hymeno- 
pterous Genus Cynips," in the Proc. Entomolog. Soc. of Philadelphia, 

March, 1S64 



260 INVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 184 There was not much in last Natural History Review which 
interested me except colonial floras 1 and the report on the 
sexuality of cryptogams. I suppose the former was by 
Oliver ; how extremely curious is the fact of similarity of 
Orders in the Tropics ! I feel a conviction that it is somehow 
connected with Glacial destruction, but I cannot " wriggle " 
comfortably at all on the subject. I am nearly sure that 
Dana makes out that the greatest number of crustacean 
forms inhabit warmer temperate regions. 

I have had an enormous letter from Leo Lesquereux 2 
(after doubts, I did not think it worth sending you) on Coal 
Flora : he wrote some excellent articles in Silliman against 
[my] Origin views ; but he says now after repeated reading 
of the book he is a convert ! But how funny men's minds 
are ! he says he is chiefly converted because my books make 
the Birth of Christ, Redemption by Grace, etc., plain to him ! 

Letter 185 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, Feb. 9H1 [1865]. 

I quite agree how humiliating the slow progress of man 
is, but every one has his own pet horror, and this slow progress 
or even personal annihilation sinks in my mind into insignifi- 
cance compared with the idea or rather I presume certainty 
of the sun some day cooling and we all freezing. To think 

1 Nat. Hist. Review, 1865, p. 46. A review of Grisebach's Flora of 
the British West Indian /stands and Thwaites' Enumeratio Plantarum 
ZeylaniiC The point referred to is given at p. 57 : " More than half 
the Flowering Plants belong to eleven Orders in the case of the 
West Indies, and to ten in that of Ceylon, whilst with but one exception 
the Ceylon Orders are the same as the West Indian." The reviewer 
speculates on the meaning of the fact " in relation to the hypothesis of an 
intertropical cold epoch, such as Mr. Darwin demands for the migration 
of the Northern Flora to the Southern hemisphere.' 1 

2 Leo Lesquereux (1806-89) was DOrn in Switzerland, but his 
most important works were published after he settled in the United 
States in 1848. Beginning with researches on Mosses and Peat, he 
afterwards devoted himself to the study of fossil plants. His best 
known contributions to Paleobotany are a series of monographs on 
Cretaceous and Tertiary Floras (1878-83), and on the Coal-Flora of 
Pennsylvania and the United States generally, published by the Second 
Geological Survey of Pennsylvania between 1880 and 1884 (see L. F. Ward, 
Sketch of Paleobotany, U.S. Geol. Sun 1 ., 5/// Ann. Rep. 1883-4; also 
Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc. Vol. XLVL, Proe., p. 53, 1890). 



1864-1869] GALLS 261 

of the progress of millions of years, with every continent Letter 185 
swarming with good and enlightened men, all ending in this, 
and with probably no fresh start until this our planetary 
system has been again converted into red-hot gas. Sic 
transit gloria mundi, with a vengeance. . . . 

To B. D. Walsh. Letter 186 

Down, March 27th [1865]. 

I have been much interested by your letter. I received 
your former paper on Phytophagic variety, 1 most of which 
was new to mc. I have since received your paper on willow- 
galls ; this has been very opportune, as I wanted to learn 
a little about galls. There was much in this paper which has 
interested me extremely, on gradations, etc., and on your 
" unity of coloration." - This latter subject is nearly new to 
me, though I collected many years ago some such cases with 
birds ; but what struck me most was when a bird genus 
inhabits two continents, the two sections sometimes display 
a somewhat different type of colouring. I should like to hear 
whether this does not occur with widely ranging insect- 
genera? You may like to hear that Wichura 3 has lately 
published a book which has quite convinced me that in 
Europe there is a multitude of spontaneous hybrid willows. 
Would it not be very interesting to know how the gall- 
makers behaved with respect to these hybrids ? Do you 
think it likely that the ancestor of Cecidomyia acquired its 
poison like gnats (which suck men) for no especial purpose 
(at least not for gall-making)? Such notions make me wish 
that some one would try the experiments suggested in my 
former letter. Is it not probable that guest-flies were 

1 For " Phytophagic Varieties and Phytophagic Species " see Proc. 
Entomolog. Soc. Philadelphia, Nov. 1864, p. 403, also Dec. 1865. The 
part on gradation is summarised at pp. 427, 428. Walsh shows that a 
complete gradation exists between species which are absolutely unaffected 
by change of food and cases where "difference of food is accompanied 
by marked and constant differences, either colorational, or structural, 
or both, in the larva, pupa and imago states." 

a "Unity of coloration": this expression does not seem to occur in 
the paper of Nov. 1864, but is discussed at length in that of Dec. 
1865, p. 209. 

:1 Max Wichura's Die Bastarde befruchtung im Pfiansenreich, etc.: 
Breslau 1865. A translation appeared in the Bibliothique Universelle y 
xxiii., p. 129: Geneva 18(15. 



262 EVOLUTION [Chai\ IV 

Letter i86 aboriginally gall-makers, and bear the same relation to them 
which Apathus ' probably does to Botnbus ? With respect to 
dimorphism, you may like to hear that Dr. Hooker tells me 
that a dioecious parasitic plant allied to Rafflcsia has its two 
sexes parasitic on two distinct species of the same genus of 
plants ; so look out for some such case in the two forms 
of Cynips. I have posted to you copies of my papers on 
dimorphism. Lccrsia 2 does behave in a state of nature in 
the provoking manner described by me. With respect to 
Wagner's curious discovery my opinion is worth nothing ; 
no doubt it is a great anomaly, but it does not appear to me 
nearly so incredible as to you. Remember how allied forms 
in the Hydrozoa differ in their so-called alternate generations ; 
I follow those naturalists who look at all such cases as forms 
of gemmation ; and a multitude of organisms have this power 
or traces of this power at all ages from the germ to maturity. 
With respect to Agassiz's views, there were many, and there 
are still not a few, who believe that the same species is created 
on many spots. I wrote to Bates, and he will send you his 
mimetic paper ; and i dare say others : he is a first-rate man. 
Your case of the wingless insects near the Rocky 
Mountains is extremely curious. I am sure I have heard 
of some such case in the Old World : I think on the Caucasus. 
Would not my argument about wingless insular insects 
perhaps apply to truly Alpine insects ? for would it not be 
destruction to them to be blown from their proper home ? 
1 should like to write on many points at greater length to you, 
but I have no strength to spare. 

Letter 187 To A. R. Wallace. 

Down, Sept. 22nd [1865]. 

I am much obliged for your extract ; 3 I never heard of 
such a case, though such a variation is perhaps the most 

1 Apathus (= Psithyrus) lives in the nests of Bombus. These insects 
are said to be so like humble bees that "they were not distinguished 
from them by the earlier entomologists : " Dr. Sharp in Cambridge Nat. 
Hist. {Insects, Pt. II.), p. 59. 

' Leersia orysoides was for a long time thought to produce only 
cleistogamic and therefore autogamous flowers. See Variation of 
Animals and Plants, Ed. II., Vol. II., p. 69. 

3 Mr. Wallace had sent Darwin a note about a tufted cock-blackbird, 
which transmitted the character to some of its offspring. 



1 864— 1869] WALLACE 263 

likely of any to occur in a state of nature, and to be inherited, Letter 187 
inasmuch as all domesticated birds present races with a tuft 
or with reversed feathers on their heads. 1 have sometimes 
thought that the progenitor of the whole class must have been 
a crested animal. 

Do you make any progress with your journal of travels ? 
I am the more anxious that you should do so as I have lately 
read with much interest some papers by you on the ourang- 
outan, etc., in the Annals, of which I have lately been 
reading the later volumes. I have always thought that 
journals of this nature do considerable good by advancing the 
taste for Natural History: I know in my own case that nothing 
ever stimulated my zeal so much as reading Humboldt's 
Personal Narrative. I have not yet received the last part 
of the Linncan Transactions, but your paper 1 at present will 
be rather beyond my strength, for though somewhat better, 
I can as yet do hardly anything but lie on the sofa and be 
read aloud to. By the way, have you read Tylor and Lecky ? 2 
Both these books have interested me much. I suppose" you 
have read Lubbock. 3 In the last chapter there is a note about 
you in which I most cordially concur. I see you were at the 
British Association but I have heard nothing of it except what 
I have picked up in the Reader. I have heard a rumour that 
the Reader is sold to the Anthropological Society. If you do 
not begrudge the trouble of another note (for my sole channel 
of news through Hooker is closed by his illness) 1 should 
much like to hear whether the Reader is thus sold. I should 
be very sorry for it, as the paper would thus become sectional 
in its tendency. If you write, tell me what you arc doing 
yourself. The only news which I have about the Origin is 
that Fritz Mullcr published a few months ago a remarkable 
book 1 in its favour, and secondly that a second French 
edition is just coming out. 

1 Probably on the variability and distribution of the butterflies of the 
Malayan region : Linn. Soc. Trans., XXV., 1866. 

2 Tylor, Early History of Mankind; Lecky's Rationalism. 

3 Lubbock, Prehistoric Times, p. 479: "... the theory of Natural 
Selection, which with characteristic unselfishness he ascribes unreservedly 
to Mr. Darwin." 

4 Fiir Darwin, 



264 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 188 To F. M tiller. 

Down, Jan. nth [1866]. 

I received your interesting letter of November 5th some 
little time -ago, and despatched immediately a copy of my 
Journal of Researches. I fear you will think me troublesome 
in my offer ; but have you the second German edition of the 
Origin ? which is a translation, with additions, of the third 
English edition, and is, I think, considerably improved com- 
pared with the first edition. I have some spare copies which 
arc of no use to me, and it would be a pleasure to me to send 
you one, if it would be of any use to you. You would never 
require to re-read the book, but you might wish to refer to 
some passage. I am particularly obliged for your photograph, 
for one likes to have a picture in one's mind of any one about 
whom one is interested. I have received and read with 
interest your paper on the sponge with horny spicula. 1 
Owing to ill-health, and being busy when formerly well, I 
have for some years neglected periodical scientific literature, 
and have lately been reading up, and have thus read trans- 
lations of several of your papers ; amongst which I have been 
particularly glad to read and see the drawings of the 
metamorphoses of Peneus." This seems to me the most 
interesting discovery in embryology which has been made 
for years. 

I am much obliged to you for telling me a little of your 
plans for the future ; what a strange, but to my taste in- 
teresting life you will lead when you retire to your estate 
on the Itajahy ! 

You refer in your letter to the facts which Agassiz is 
collecting, against our views, on the Amazons. Though he 
has done so much for science, he seems to me so wild and 
paradoxical in all his views that I cannot regard his opinions 
as of any value. 

1 " Ueber Darwinclla aurca, einen Schwamm mit sternformigen 
Hornnadeln." — Archiv. Mikrosk. Anal., I., p. 57, 1866. 

- " On the Metamorphoses of the Prawns," by Dr. Fritz Muller.— Ann. 
Mag. Nat. Hist., Vol. XIV., p. 104 (with plate), 1864. Translated by 
\V. S. Dallas from JVirg/nann's Archiv, 1863 (see also Facts and 
Arguments for Darwin, passim, translated by W. S. Dallas : London, 
1869). 



1864-1869] POLYMORPHISM 265 

To A. R. Wallace. Letter 189 

Down, January 22nd, 1866. 
I thank you for your paper on pigeons, 1 which interested 
me, as everything that you write does. Who would ever 
have dreamed that monkeys influenced the distribution of 
pigeons and parrots ! But I have had a still higher satis- 
faction, for I finished your paper yesterday in the Linnean 
Transactions? It is admirably done. I cannot conceive that 
the most firm believer in species could read it without 
being staggered. Such papers will make many more converts 
among naturalists than long-winded books such as I shall 
write if 1 have strength. I have been particularly struck 
with your remarks on dimorphism ; but I cannot quite 
understand one point 3 (p. 22), and should be grateful for 

1 "On the Pigeons of the Malay Archipelago" {The Ibis, October, 
1865). Mr. Wallace points out (p. 366) that "the most striking super- 
abundance of pigeons, as well as of parrots, is confined to the Australo- 
Malayan sub-region in which . . . the forest-haunting and fruit-eating 
mammals, such as monkeys and squirrels, are totally absent." He points 
out also that monkeys are " exceedingly destructive to eggs and young 
birds." 

3 Linn. Soc. Trans., XXV. : a paper on the geographical distribution 
and variability of the Malayan Papilionida?. 

3 The passage referred to in this letter as needing further explanation 
is the following : "The last six cases of mimicry are especially instruc- 
tive, because they seem to indicate one of the processes by which 
dimorphic forms have been produced. When, as in these cases, one sex 
differs much from the other, and varies greatly itself, it may happen that 
individual variations will occasionally occur, having a distant resemblance 
to groups which are the objects of mimicry, and which it is therefore 
advantageous to resemble. Such a variety will have a better chance of 
preservation ; the individuals possessing it will be multiplied ; and their 
accidental likeness to the favoured group will be rendered permanent by 
hereditary transmission, and each successive variation which increases 
the resemblance being preserved, and all variations departing from the 
favoured type having less chance of preservation, there will in time result 
those singular cases of two or more isolated and fixed forms bound 
together by that intimate relationship which constitutes them the sexes 
of a single species. The reason why the females are more subject to this 
kind of modification than the males is, probably, that their slower lliglu, 
when laden with eggs, and their exposure to attack while in the act of 
depositing their eggs upon leaves, render it especially advantageous for 
them to have some additional protection. This they at once obtain by 



266 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 189 an explanation, for I want fully to understand you. How 
can one female form be selected and the intermediate forms 
die out, without also the other extreme form also dying out 
from not having the advantages of the first selected form ? for, 

acquiring a resemblance to other species which, from whatever cause, 
enjoy a comparative immunity from persecution." Mr. Wallace has been 
good enough to give us the following note on the above passage : "The 
above quotation deals solely with the question of how certain females of 
the polymorphic species (Pafillio Memnon, P. P amnion, and others) have 
been so modified as to mimic species of a quite distinct section of the 
genus ; but it does not attempt to explain why or how the other very 
variable types of female arose, and this was Darwin's difficulty. As the 
letter I wrote in reply is lost, and as it is rather difficult to explain the 
matter clearly without reference to the coloured figures, I must go into 
some little detail, and give now what was probably the explanation I gave at 
the time. The male of Papilio Memnon is a large black butterfly with the 
nervures towards the margins of the wings bordered with bluish gray 
dots. It is a forest insect, and the very dark colour renders it con- 
spicuous ; but it is a strong flier, and thus survives. To the female, 
however, this conspicuous mass of colour would be dangerous, owing to 
her slower flight, and the necessity for continually resting while depositing 
her eggs on the leaves of the food-plant of the larva. She has accordingly 
acquired lighter and more varied tints. The marginal gray-dotted stripes 
of the male have become of a brownish ash and much wider on the fore 
wings, while the margin of the hind wings is yellowish, with a more 
defined spot near the anal angle. This is the form most nearly like the 
male, but it is comparatively rare, the more common being much lighter 
in colour, the bluish gray of the hind wings being often entirely replaced 
by a broad band of yellowish white. The anal angle is orange-yellow, 
and there is a bright red spot at the base of the fore wings. lietween 
these two extremes there is every possible variation. Now, it is quite 
certain that this varying mixture of brown, black, white, yellow, and red 
is far less conspicuous amid the ever-changing hues of the forest with 
their glints of sunshine everywhere penetrating so as to form strong 
contrasts and patches of light and shade. Hence all the females — one 
at one time and one at another — get some protection, and that is sufficient 
to enable them to live long enough to lay their eggs, when their work is 
finished. Still, under bad conditions they only just managed to survive, 
and as the colouring of some of these varying females very much 
resembled that of the protected butterflies of the P. coon group (perhaps 
at a time when the tails of the latter were not fully developed) any rudi- 
ments of a prolongation of the wing into a tail added to the protective 
resemblance, and was therefore preserved. The woodcuts of some of 
these forms in my Malay Archipelago (i., p. 200) will enable those who 
have this book at hand better to understand the foregoing explanation." 



1864— 1869] NATURAL SELECTION 267 

as I understand, both female forms occur on the same island. Letter 189 

I quite agree with your distinction between dimorphic forms 

and varieties ; but I doubt whether your criterion of dimorphic 

forms not producing intermediate offspring will suffice, for 

I know of a good many varieties which must be so called 

that will not blend or intermix, but produce offspring quite 

like either parent. 

I have been particularly struck with your remarks on 
geographical distribution in Celebes. It is impossible that 
anything could be better put, and would give a cold shudder 
to the immutable naturalists. 

And now I am going to ask a question which you will not 
like. How docs your journal get on? It will be a shame if 
you do not popularise your researches. 

A. R. Wallace to C. Darwin. Letter 190 

Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, July 2nd, 1S66. 

I have been so repeatedly struck by the utter inability of 
numbers of intelligent persons to sec clearly, or at all, the 
self-acting and necessary effects of Natural Selection, that 
I am led to conclude that the term itself, and your mode of 
illustrating it, however clear and beautiful to many of us, are 
yet not the best adapted to impress it on the general naturalist 
public. The two last cases of the misunderstanding are : (1) 
the article on " Darwin and his Teachings " in the last 
Quarterly Journal of Science, which, though very well written 
and on the whole appreciative, yet concludes with a charge 
of something like blindness, in your not seeing that Natural 
Selection requires the constant watching of an intelligent 
" chooser," like man's selection to which you so often compare 
it ; and (2) in Janet's recent work on the Materialism of the 
Present Day, reviewed in last Saturday's Reader, by an extract 
from which I see that he considers your weak point to be that 
you do not see that " thought and direction are essential to 
the action of Natural Selection." The same objection has 
been made a score of times by your chief opponents, and I 
have heard it as often stated myself in conversation. Now, 
I think this arises almost entirely from your choice of the 
term " Natural Selection " and so constantly comparing it in 
its effects to Man's Selection, and also your so frequently 
personifying nature as "selecting," as " preferring," as 



268 INOLUTION [Chai. IV 

Letter 190 "seeking only the good of the species," etc., etc. To the few 
this is as clear as daylight, and beautifully suggestive, but to 
many it is evidently a stumbling-block. I wish, therefore, 
to suggest to you the possibility of entirely avoiding this 
source of -misconception in your great work (if not now too 
late), and also in any future editions of the Origin, and I 
think it may be done without difficulty and very effectually 
by adopting Spencer's term (which he generally uses in pre- 
ference to Natural Selection) — viz., "survival of the fittest." 

This term is the plain expression of the fact ; Natural 
Selection is a metaphorical expression of it, and to a certain 
degree indirect and incorrect, since, even personifying Nature, 
she does not so much select special variations as exterminate 
the most unfavourable ones. 

Combined with the enormous multiplying powers of all 
organisms, and the " struggle for existence " leading to the 
constant destruction of by far the largest proportion— facts 
which no one of your opponents, as far as I am aware, has 
denied or misunderstood — " the survival of the fittest " 
rather than of those who were less fit could not possibly be 
denied or misunderstood. Neither would it be possible 
to say that to ensure the "survival of the fittest" any 
intelligent chooser was necessary ; whereas when you say 
Natural Selection acts so as to choose those that are 
fittest, it is misunderstood, and apparently always will 
be. Referring to your book, I find such expressions as 
" Man selects only for his own good ; Nature only for that 
of the being which she tends." This, it seems, will always be 
misunderstood ; but if you had said " Man selects only for his 
own good ; Nature, by the inevitable ' survival of the fittest,' 
only for that of the being she tends," it would have been less 
liable to be so. 

I find you use the term " Natural Selection " in two 
senses: (1) for the simple preservation of favourable and 
rejection of unfavourable variations, in which case it is 
equivalent to "survival of the fittest" ; and (2) for the effect 
or change produced by this preservation, as when you say, 
" To sum up the circumstances favourable or unfavourable to 
Natural Selection," and again, " Isolation, also, is an important 
clement in the process of Natural Selection." Here it is not 
merely " survival of the fittest," but change produced by 



1864-1869] NATURAL SELECTION 269 

survival of the fittest, that is meant. On looking over your Letter 190 
fourth chapter, I find that these alterations of terms can be in 
most cases easily made, while in some cases the addition of 
" or survival of the fittest " after " Natural Selection " would 
be best ; and in others, less likely to be misunderstood, the 
original term may stand alone. 

I could not venture to propose to any other person so 
great an alteration of terms, but you, I am sure, will give it 
an impartial consideration, and if you really think the change 
will produce a better understanding of your work, will not 
hesitate to adopt it. 

It is evidently also necessary not to personify " Nature " 
too much — though I am very apt to do it myself — since people 
will not understand that all such phrases are metaphors. 
Natural Selection is, when understood, so necessary and 
self-evident a principle, that it is a pity it should be in any 
way obscured ; and it therefore seems to me that the free use 
of" survival of the fittest," which is a compact and accurate 
definition of it, would tend much to its being more widely 
accepted, and prevent it being so much misrepresented and 
misunderstood. 

There is another objection made by Janet which is also 
a very common one. It is that the chances are almost infinite 
against the particular kind of variation required being 
coincident with each change of external conditions, to 
enable an animal to become modified by Natural Selection in 
harmony with such changed conditions ; especially when we 
consider that, to have produced the almost infinite modifica- 
tions of organic beings, this coincidence must have taken 
place an almost infinite number of times. 

Now, it seems to me that you have yourself led to this 
objection being made, by so often stating the case too strongly 
against yourself. For example, at the commencement of 
Chapter IV. you ask if it is "improbable that useful varia- 
tions should sometimes occur in the course of thousands of 
generations " ; and a little further on you say, " unless profit- 
able variations do occur, Natural Selection can do nothing." 
Now, such expressions have given your opponents the 
advantage of assuming that favourable variations are rare 
accidents, or may even for long periods never occur at all, 
and thus Janet's argument would appear to many to have 



270 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 190 great force. I think it would be better to do away with all 
such qualifying expressions, and constantly maintain (what 1 
certainly believe to be the fact) that variations of every kind 
are always occurring in every part of every species, and 
therefore that favourable variations are always ready when 
wanted. You have, I am sure, abundant materials to prove 
this ; and it is, I believe, the grand fact that renders modifi- 
cation and adaptation to conditions almost always possible. 
I would put the burthen of proof on my opponents to show 
that any one organ, structure, or faculty does not vary, even 
during one generation, among all the individuals of a species ; 
and also to show any mode or way in which any such organ, 
etc., does not vary. I would ask them to give any reason for 
supposing that any organ, etc., is ever absolutely identical 
at any one time in all the individuals of a species, and if not 
then it is always varying, and there are always materials 
which, from the simple fact that " the fittest survive," will 
tend to the modification of the race into harmony with 
changed conditions. 

I hope these remarks may be intelligible to you, and that 
you will be so kind as to let me know what you think of 
them. 

I have not heard for some time how you are getting on. 
I hope you are still improving in health, and that you will 
now be able to get on with your great work, for which so 
many thousands are looking with interest. 

Letter 191 To A. R. Wallace. 1 

Down, July 5th [1866]. 
I have been much interested by your letter, which is as 
clear as daylight. I fully agree with all that you say on the 
advantages of H. Spencer's excellent expression of " the 
survival of the fittest." This, however, had not occurred to 
me till reading your letter. It is, however, a great objection 
to this term that it cannot be used as a substantive governing 
a verb ; and that this is a real objection I infer from H. 
Spencer continually using the words Natural Selection. I 
formerly thought, probably in an exaggerated degree, that it 
was a great advantage to bring into connection natural and 
artificial selection ; this indeed led me to use a term in 

1 From Life and Letters, III., p. 45. 



1864-18O9] NATURAL SELECTION 271 

common, and I still think it some advantage. I wish I had Letter 191 
received your letter two months ago, for I would have worked 
in " the survival," etc., often in the new edition of the Origin, 
which is now almost printed off, and of which I will of course 
send you a. copy. I will use the term in my next book on 
domestic animals, etc., from which, by the way, I plainly see 
that you expect much too much. The term Natural Selection 
has now been so largely used abroad and at home that I 
doubt whether it could be given up, and with all its faults 
I should be sorry to see the attempt made. Whether it will 
be rejected must now depend "on the survival of the fittest." 
As in time the term must grow intelligible the objections to 
its use will grow weaker and weaker. I doubt whether the 
use of any term would have made the subject intelligible to 
some minds, clear as it is to others ; for do we not see even 
to the present day Malthus on Population absurdly misunder- 
stood ? This reflection about Malthus has often comforted 
me when I have been vexed at this misstatement of my 
views. As for M. Janet, he is a metaphysician, and such 
gentlemen are so acute that I think they often misunderstand 
common folk. Your criticism on the double sense in which I 
have used Natural Selection is new to me and unanswerable ; 
but my blunder has done no harm, for I do not believe that 
any one, excepting you, has ever observed it. Again, I agree 
that I have said too much about "favourable variations," but 
I am inclined to think that you put the opposite side too 
strongly : if every part of every being varied, I do not think 
we should see the same end or object gained by such wonder- 
fully diversified means. 

I hope you are enjoying the country, and are in good 
health, and are working hard at your Malay Arcliipelago book, 
for I will always put this wish in every note I write to you, as 
some good people always put in a text. My health keeps 
much the same, or rather improves, and I am able to work 
some hours daily. 

To C. Lyell. Letter 192 

Down, Oct. 9th [1866]. 
One line to say that I have received your note and the 
proofs safely, and will read them with the greatest pleasure ; 
but I am certain I shall not be able to send any criticism on 



272 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 192 the astronomical chapter, 1 as I am as ignorant as a pig on this 
head. I shall require some clays to read what has been sent. 
I have just read Chapter IX., 2 and like it extremely ; it all 
seems to me very clear, cautious, and sagacious. You do not 
allude to 'one very striking point enough, or at all — viz., the 
classes having been formerly less differentiated than they now 
are ; and this specialisation of classes must, we may conclude, 
fit them for different general habits of life as well as the 
specialisation of particular organs. 

P. 162. 3 I rather demur to your argument from Cetacea : 
as they are such greatly modified mammals, they ought to 
have come in rather later in the series. You will think me 
rather impudent, but the discussion at the end of Chapter IX. 
on man, 4 who thinks so much of his fine self, seems to me too 
long, or rather superfluous, and too orthodox, except for the 
beneficed clergy. 

Letter 193 To V. Cai'US. 

The following letter refers to the 4th edition of the Origin, 1866, 
which was translated by Professor Cams, and formed the 3rd German 
edition. Carus continued to translate Darwin's books, and a strong 
bond of friendship grew up between author and translator (see Life and 
Letters, III., p. 48). Niigeli's pamphlet was first noticed in the 5th 
English edition. 

Down, Nov. 2 1st, 1S66. 

. . . With respect to a note on Nageli s I find on considera- 
tion it would be too long ; for so good a pamphlet ought to 

1 Principles of Geology, by Sir Charles Lyell ; Ed. X., London, 
1867. Chapter XIII. deals with "Vicissitudes in Climate how far 
influenced by Astronomical Causes." 

2 Chapter IX, " Theory of the Progressive Development of Organic 
Life at Successive Geological Periods." 

3 On p. 163 Lyell refers to the absence of Cetacea in Secondary rocks, 
and expresses the opinion that their absence " is a negative fact of great 
significance, which seems more than any other to render it highly impro- 
bable that we shall ever find air-breathers of the highest class in any of 
the Primary strata, or in any of the older members of the Secondary 
series." 

4 Loc. cit., pp. 167-73, " Introduction of Man, to what extent a Change 
of the System." 

5 " Entstehung und Begriff tier Naturhistorischen Art," an Address 
given before the Royal Academy of Sciences at Munich, March 28th, 
1865. See Life and Letters, III., p. 50, for Mr. Darwin's letter to the 
late Prof. Nageli. Carl Wilhelm von Nageli (1817 91) was born at 



i86 4 — 1869] NAGELI 273 

be discussed at full length or not at all. Me makes a mistake Letter 193 
in supposing that I say that useful characters are always 
constant. His view about distinct species converging and 
acquiring the same identical structure is by implication 
answered in the discussion which I have given on the 
endless diversity of means for gaining the same end. 

The most important point, as it seems to me, in the 
pamphlet is that on the morphological characters of plants, 
and I find I could not answer this without going into much 
detail. 

The answer would be, as it seems to me, that important 
morphological characters, such as the position of the ovules 
and the relative position of the stamens to the ovarium 
(hypogynous, perigynous, etc.) are sometimes variable in the 
same species, as I incidentally mention when treating of the 
ray-florets in the Composita; and Umbelliferae ; and I do 
not see how Nageli could maintain that differences in such 
characters prove an inherent tendency towards perfection. I 
see that I have forgotten to say that you have my fullest 
consent to append any discussion which you may think 
fit to the new edition. As for myself I cannot believe in 
spontaneous generation, and though I expect that at some 
future time the principle of life will be rendered intelligible, 
at present it seems to me beyond the confines of science. 

Kilchberg, near Zurich. He graduated at Zurich with a dissertation on 
the Swiss species of Cirsium. At Jena he came under the influence of 
Schleiden, who taught him microscopic work. He married in 1845, and 
on his wedding journey in England, collected seaweeds for Die neueren 
Algen-systeme. He was called as Professor to Freiburg im Breisgau in 
1852 ; and to Munich in 1857,' where he remained until his death on 
May 10th, 1891. In the Zeitschrift fur iviss. Botanik, 1844-46, edited 
by Nageli and Schleiden, and of which only a single volume appeared. 
Nageli insists on the only sound basis for classification being " develop- 
ment as a whole." The Entstehung und Begriff{\Zb^) was his first real 
evolutionary paper. He believed in a tendency of organisms to vary 
towards perfection. His idea was that the causes of variability are 
internal to the organism : see his work, Ueber den Einfluss aiisscrer 
Verhaltnisse auf die Varietatenbildung. Among his other writings are 
the Thcorie der Baslardbildung, 1866, and Die Mechanisch-physiologische 
Theorie der Abstammungslehre, 1884. The chief idea of the latter book 
is the existence of Idioplasm, a part of protoplasm serving for hereditary 
transmission. (From Dr. D. H. Scott's article in Nature, Oct. 15th, 
1891, p. 580.) 

18 



274 EVOLUTION [Chat\ IV 

Letter 194 To T. II. I Ilixlcy. 

Down, Dec. 22nd [1866?]. 

I suppose that you have received Hackel's book 1 some 
time ago, as I have done. Whenever you have had time to 
read through some of it, enough to judge by, I shall be very 
curious to hear your judgment. I have been able to read a 
page or two here and there, and have been interested and 
instructed by parts. But my vague impression is that too 
much space is given to methodical details, and I can find 
hardly any facts or detailed new views. The number of 
new words, to a man like myself, weak in his Greek, is 
something dreadful. He seems to have a passion for defining, 
I daresay very well, and for coining new words. From my 
very vague notions on the book, and from its immense size, I 
should fear a translation was out of the question. I see he 
often quotes both of us with praise. I am sure I should like 
the book much, if I could read it straight off instead of 
groaning and swearing at each sentence. I have not yet had 
time to read your Physiology 2 book, except one chapter ; but I 
have just re-read your book on Man's Pla.ce> etc., and I think 
I admire it more this second time even than the first. I 
doubt whether you will ever have time, but if ever you have, 
do read the chapter on hybridism in the new edition of the 
Origin} for I am very anxious to make you think less 
seriously on that difficulty. I have improved the chapter a 
good deal, I think, and have come to more definite views. 
Asa Gray and Fritz Muller (the latter especially) think 
that the new facts on illegitimate offspring of dimorphic 
plants, throw much indirect light on the subject. Now 
that I have worked up domestic animals, I am convinced of 
the truth of the Pallasian ' view of loss of sterility under 
domestication, and this seems to me to explain much. But 
I had no intention, when I began this note, of running on at 
such length on hybridism ; but you have been Objector- 
General on this head. 

1 Generelle Morphologic, 1866. 

2 Lessons in Elementary Physiology, 1866. 

3 Fourth Edit. (1866). 
* See Letter 80. 



i864— J 869] IJUD-VARIATION 275 

To T. Rivers. 1 Letter 195 

Down, Dec. 23rd [1866?]. 
I do not know whether you will forgive a stranger ad- 
dressing you. My name may possibly be known to you. I 
am now writing a bouk on the variation of animals and plants 
under domestication ; and there is one little piece of informa- 
tion which it is more likely that you could give me than 
any man in the world, if you can spare half an hour from 
your professional labours, and are inclined to be so kind. 
I am collecting all accounts of what some call " sports," that 
is, of what I shall call " bud-variations," i.e. a moss-rose 
suddenly appearing on a Provence rose — a nectarine on a 
peach, etc. Now, what I want to know, and which is not 
likely to be recorded in print, is whether very slight differences, 
too slight to be worth propagating, thus appear suddenly by 
buds. As every one knows, in raising seedlings you may 
have every gradation from individuals identical with the 
parent, to slight varieties, to strongly marked varieties. Now, 
does this occur with buds or do only rather strongly marked 
varieties thus appear at rare intervals of time by buds? 2 I 
should be most grateful for information. I may add that if 
you have observed in your enormous experience any remark- 
able " bud-variations," and could spare time to inform me, and 
allow me to quote them on your authority, it would be the 
greatest favour. I feel sure that these " bud-variations " are 
most interesting to any one endeavouring to make out what 
little can be made out on the obscure subject of variation. 

To T. Rivers. Letter 196 

Down, Jan. 7U1 [1867?]. 

I thank you much for your letter and the parcel of 
shoots. The case of the yellow plum is a treasure, and 
is now safely recorded on your authority in its proper 
place, in contrast with A. Knight's case of the yellow 

1 The late Mr. Rivers, of Sawbridgeworth, was an eminent horticul- 
turist and writer on horticulture. For another letter of Mr. Darwin's to 
him see Life and Letters, III., p. 57. 

2 Mr. Rivers could not give a decided answer, but he did not 
remember to have seen slight bud-variations. The question is discussed 
in Variation under Domestication, Ed. 11., Vol. I., p. 443. 



276 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 196 magnum bonum spurting into red. 1 I could sec no difference 
in the shoots, except that those of the yellow were thicker, 
and I presume that this is merely accidental : as you do 
not mention it, I further presume that there are no further 
differences- in leaves or flowers of the two plums. I am 
very glad to hear about the yellow ash, and that you 
yourself have seen the jessamine case. I must confess that 
I hardly fully believed in it ; but now I do, and very 
surprising it is. 

In an old French book, published in Amsterdam in 
1786 (I think), there is an account, apparently authentic 
and attested by the writer as an eye-witness, of hyacinth 
bulbs of two colours being cut in two and grafted, and 
they sent up single stalks with differently coloured flowers 
on the two sides, and some flowers parti-coloured. I once 
thought of offering £5 reward in the Cottage Gardener for 
such a plant ; but perhaps it would seem too foolish. No 
instructions are given when to perform the operation ; I 
have tried two or three times, and utterly failed. I find 
that I have a grand list of " bud-variations," and to-morrow 
shall work up such cases as I have about rose-sports, which 
seem very numerous, and which I see you state to occur 
comparatively frequently. 

When a person is very good-natured he gets much 
pestered — a discovery which I daresay you have made, or 
anyhow will soon make ; for I do want very much to know 
whether you have sown seed of any moss-roses, and whether 
the seedlings were moss-roses. 2 Has a common rose produced 
by seed a moss-rose ? 

If any light comes to you about very slight changes in 
the buds, pray have the kindness to illuminate me. I have 
cases of seven or eight varieties of the peach which have 
produced by " bud-variation " nectarines, and yet only one 
single case (in France) of a peach producing another closely 
similar peach (but later in ripening). How strange it is 
that a great change in the peach should occur not rarely 
and slighter changes apparently very rarely! How strange 
that no case seems recorded of new apples or pears or 

1 See Variation under Domestication, Ed. II., Vol. I., p. 399. 

2 Moss-roses can be raised from seed ( Variation under Domestication, 
Ed. 11., Vol. I., p. 405). 



1864-1869] HACK EL 277 

apricots by " bud-variation " ! How ignorant we are ! But Letter 196 
with the many good observers now living our children's 
children will be less ignorant, and that is a comfort. 

To T. II. Huxley. Lett « «97 

Down, Jan. 7th [1S67]. 
Very many thanks for your letter, which has told me 
exactly what I wanted to know. I shall give up all 
thoughts of trying to get the book : translated, for I am 
well convinced that it would be hopeless without too great 
an outlay. I much regret this, as 1 should think the work 
would be useful, and I am sure it would be to me, as I 
shall never be able to wade through more than here and 
there a page of the original. To all people I cannot but 
think that the number of new terms would be a great evil. 
I must write to him. I suppose you know his address, but 
in case you do not, it is "to care of Signor Nicolaus 
Krohn, Madeira." I have sent the MS. of my big book, 2 
and horridly, disgustingly big it will be, to the printers," but 
I do not suppose it will be published, owing to Murray's 
idea on seasons, till next November. I am thinking of a 
chapter on Man, as there has lately been so much said 
on Natural Selection in relation to man. I have not seen 
the Duke's 3 (or Dukelet's? how can you speak so of a 
living real Duke?) book, but must get it from Mudie, as 
you say he attacks us. 

p.S. — Nature never made species mutually sterile by 
selection, nor will men. 

To E. Hackel. Letter 198 

Down, Jan. 8th [1S67]. 

I received some weeks ago your great work ' ; I have 
read several parts, but I am too poor a German scholar and 
the book is too large for me to read it all. I cannot 
tell you how much I regret this, for I am sure that nearly 

1 Hacker's Gcnerelle Morphologie, 1866. See Life and Letters, III., 
pp. 67, 68. 

3 The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, 1868. 

3 The Reign of Law (1867), by the late Duke of Argyll. See Lite 
and Letters, III., p. 65. 

4 Generelle Morphologie, 1866. 



278 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 19S the whole would interest me greatly, and I have already 
found several parts very useful, such as the discussion on 
cells and on the different forms of reproduction. I feel sure, 
after considering the subject deliberately and after consulting 
with Hux]ey, that it would be hopeless to endeavour to 
get a publisher to print an English translation ; the work 
is too profound and too long for our English countrymen. 
The number of new terms would also, I am sure, tell 
much against its sale ; and, indeed, I wish for my own sake 
that you had printed a glossary of all the new terms which 
you use. I fully expect that your book will be highly 
successful in Germany, and the manner in which you often 
refer to me in your text, and your dedication and the 
title, I shall always look at as one of the greatest honours 1 
conferred on me during my life. 

I sincerely hope that you have had a prosperous expe- 
dition, and have met with many new and interesting animals. 
If you have spare time I should much like to hear what you 
have been doing and observing. As for myself, I have sent 
the MS. of my book on domestic animals, etc., to the 
printers. It turns out to be much too large ; it will not be 
published, I suppose, until next November. I find that we 
have discussed several of the same subjects, and I think 
we agree on most points fairly well. I have lately heard 
several times from Fritz Miiller, but he seems now chiefly 
to be working on plants. I often think of your visit to 
this house, which I enjoyed extremely, and it will ever be 
to me a real pleasure to remember our acquaintance. From 
what I heard in London I think you made many friends 
there. Shall you return through England ? If so, and you 
can spare the time, we shall all be delighted to see you 
here again. 



1 As regards the dedication and title this seems a strong expression. 
The title is " Generelle Morphologie der Organismen. Allgemeine 
Grundzuge der organischen Formen-Wissenschaft mechanisch begriindet 
durch die von Charles Darwin reformirte Uescendenz-Theorie." The 
dedication of the second volume is " Den Begriindern der Descendenz- 
Theorie, den denkenden Naturforschern, Charles Darwin, Wolfgang 
Goethe, Jean Lamarck widmet diese Grundzuge der Allgemeinen 
Entwickelungsgeschichte in vorziiglicher Verehrung, der Verfasser." 



1864—1869] BUD^-VARIATION 279 

To T. Rivers. Letter 199 

Down, Jan nth [1867?]. 

How rich and valuable a letter you have most kindly sent 
me ! The case of Baronne Pr&vost} with its different shoots, 
foliage, spines, and flowers, will be grand to quote. I am 
extremely glad to hear about the seedling moss-roses. That 
case of a seedling like a Scotch rose, unless you are sure that 
no Scotch rose grew near (and it is unlikely that you can 
remember), must, one would think, have been a cross. 

I have little compunction for being so troublesome — not 
more than a grand Inquisitor has in torturing a heretic — for 
am I not doing a real good public service in screwing crumbs 
of knowledge out of your wealth of information ? 

P.S. Since the above was written I have read your paper 
in the Gardeners' Chronicle : it is admirable, and will, I know, 
be a treasure to me. I did not at all know how strictly the 
character of so many flowers is inherited. 

On my honour, when I began this note I had no thought 
of troubling you with a question ; but you mention one point 
so interesting, and which I have had occasion to notice, that 
I must supplicate for a few more facts to quote on your 
authority. You say that you have one or two seedling 
peaches 2 approaching very nearly to thick-fleshed almonds 
(I know about A. Knight and the Italian hybrid cases). 
Now, did any almond grow near your mother peach ? Hut 
especially I want to know whether you remember what shape 
the stone was, whether flattened like that of an almond ; this, 
botanically, seems the most important distinction. I earnestly 
wish to quote this. Was the flesh at all sweet ? 

Forgive if you can. 

Have you kept these seedling peaches ? if you would give 
me next summer a fruit, I want to have it engraved. 

1 See Variation under Domestication, Ed. II., Vol. I., p. 406. Mr. 
Rivers had a new French rose with a delicate smooth stem, pale glaucous 
leaves and striped flesh-coloured flowers ; on branches thus charac- 
terised there appeared " the famous old rose called Baronne Prevost" 
with its stout thorny stem and uniform rich-coloured double flowers. 

2 "On raising Peaches, Nectarines, and other Fruits from Seed." By 
Thomas Rivers, Sawbridgeworth. — Gard. Chron., 1866, p. 731. 



28o EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 200 To I. Anderson-Henry. 1 

May 22nd [1867]. 
You arc so kind as to offer to lend me Maillet's 2 work, 
which I have often heard of, but never seen. I should like 
to have aJook at it, and would return it to you in a short 
time. I am bound to read it, as my former friend and present 
bitter enemy Owen generally ranks mc and Maillet as a pair 
of equal fools. 

Letter 201 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, April 4th [1867]. 

You have done mc a very great service in sending mc the 
pages of the Farmer. I do not know whether you wish it 
returned ; but I will keep it unless I hear that you want 
it. Old I. Anderson-Henry passes a magnificent but rather 
absurd culogium on me ; but the point of such extreme value 
in my eyes is Mr. Traill's 3 statement that he made a mottled 
mongrel by cutting eyes through and joining two kinds of 
potatoes. 4 1 have written to him for full information, and 
then I will set to work on a similar trial. It would prove, I 
think, to demonstration that propagation by buds and by 

1 Isaac Anderson-Henry, of Edinburgh (1799? — 1884), was educated 
as a lawyer, but devoted himself to horticulture, more particularly to 
experimental work on grafting and hybridisation. As President of the 
Botanical Society of Edinburgh he delivered two addresses on " Hybridi- 
sation or Crossing of Plants," of which a full abstract was published in 
the Gardeners' Chronicle, April 13th, 1867, p. 379, and Dec. 21st, 1867, 
p. 1296. See obit, notice in Gardener? Chronicle, Sept. 27th, 1884, p. 400. 

* For De Maillet see Mr. Huxley's review on The Origin of Species 
in the Westminster Review, i860, reprinted in Lay Sermons, 1870, p. 314. 
De Maillet's evolutionary views were published after his death in 1748 
under the name of Telliamed (De Maillet spelt backwards). 

3 Mr. Traill's results are given at p. 420 of Animals and Plants, 
Ed. II., Vol. I. In the Life and Letters of G. J. Romanes, 1896, an 
interesting correspondence is published with Mr. Darwin on this subject. 
The plan of the experiments suggested to Romanes was to raise seedlings 
from graft -hybrids : if the seminal offspring of plants hybridised by 
grafting should show the hybrid character, it would be striking evidence 
in favour of pangenesis. The experiment, however, did not succeed. 

4 For an account of similar experiments now in progress, see a " Note 
on some Grafting Experiments " by R. Biffen in the Annals of Botany, 
Vol. XVI., p. 174, 1902. 



iS64— 1869] PANGENESIS 28 1 

the sexual elements are essentially the same process, as Letter 201 
pangenesis in the most solemn manner declares to be 
the case. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 202 

Down, June 12th [1S67 ?]. 

We come up on Saturday, the 1 5th, for a week. I want 
much to sec you for a short time to talk about my youngest 
boy and the School of Mines. 1 know it is rather unreason- 
able, but you must let me come a little after 10 o'clock on 
Sunday morning, the 16th. If in any way inconvenient, send 
me a line to "6, Queen Anne Street, W. "; but if I do not 
hear, I will (stomacJio volente) call, but I will not stay very 
long and spoil your whole morning as a holiday. Will you 
turn two or three times in your mind this question : what I 
called pangenesis means that each cell throws off an atom of 
its contents or a gcmmule, and that these aggregated form 
the true ovule or bud, etc. ? Now I want to know whether 
I could not invent a better word. Cyttaroge)iesis x —i.e. ce.ll- 
genesis — is more true and expressive, but long. Atomogenesis 
sounds rather better, I think, but an " atom " is an object 
which cannot be divided ; and the term might refer to the 
origin of atoms of inorganic matter. I believe I like pangenesis 
best, though so indefinite ; and though my wife says it sounds 
wicked, like pantheism ; but I am so familiar now with this 
word, that I cannot judge. I supplicate you to help me. 

To A. R. Wallace. Letter 205 

Down, Oct, 1 2th and 13th [1867]. 

I ordered the journal 2 a long time ago, but by some 
oversight received it only yesterday, and read it. You will 
think my praise not worth having, from being so indiscrimi- 
nate ; but if I am to speak the truth, I must say I admire 
every word. You have just touched on the points which I 
particularly wished to see noticed. I am glad you had the 
courage to take up Angnzcum 3 after the Duke's attack; for 

1 From KvTTapos, a bee's-cell : cytogenesis would be a natural form 
of the word from kvtos. 

2 Quarterly Journal of Science, Oct., 1867, p. 472. A review of the 
Duke of Argyll's Reign of Lam. 

'■' Angracum sesquipedale, a Madagascar! orchid, with a whiplike 
nectary, 11 to 12 inches in length, which, according to Darwin (Fertilisa- 



2&2 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 203 I believe the principle in this case may be widely applied. I 
like the figure, but I wish the artist had drawn a better sphinx. 
With respect to beauty, your remarks on hideous objects and 
on flowers not being made beautiful except when of practical 
use to them, strike me as very good. On this one point of 
beauty I can hardly think that the Duke was quite candid. 
I have used in the concluding paragraph of my present book 
precisely the same argument as you have, even bringing in 
the bull-dog, 1 with respect to variations not having been 
specially ordained. Your metaphor of the river 2 is new to 
me, and admirable ; but your other metaphor, in which you 
compare classification and complex machines, does not seem 
to me quite appropriate, though I cannot point out what 
seems deficient. The point which seems to me strong is that 
all naturalists admit that there is a natural classification, and 
it is this which descent explains. I wish you had insisted a 
little more against the North British* on the reviewer assuming 

tion of Orchids, Ed. II., p. 163), is adapted to the visits of a moth with 
a proboscis of corresponding length. He points out that there is no 
difficulty in believing in the existence of such a moth as F. M filler has 
described (Nature, 1873, p. 223) — a Brazilian sphinx-moth with a trunk of 
10 to 11 inches in length. Moreover, Forbes has given evidence to show 
that such an insect does exist in Madagascar (Nature, VIII., 1873, p. 121). 
The case of Angrcecum was put forward by the Duke of Argyll as being 
necessarily due to the personal contrivance of the Deity. Mr. Wallace 
(p. 476) shows that both proboscis and nectary might be increased in 
length by means of Natural Selection. It may be added that Hermann 
Midler has shown good grounds for believing that mutual specialisation 
of this kind is beneficial both to insect and plant. 

1 Variation of Animals and Plants, Ed. I., Vol. II., p. 431 : "Did 
He cause the frame and mental qualities of the dog to vary in order that 
a breed might be formed of indomitable ferocity, with jaws fitted to pin 
down the bull for man's brutal sport ? " 

2 See Wallace, op. cit., pp. 477-8. He imagines an observer examining 
a great river-system, and finding everywhere adaptations which reveal the 
design of the Creator. " He would see special adaptation to the wants 
of man in broad, quiet, navigable rivers, through fertile alluvial plains 
that would support a large population, while the rocky streams and 
mountain torrents were confined to those sterile regions suitable only for 
a small population of shepherds and herdsmen." 

3 At p. 485 Mr. Wallace deals with Fleeming Jenkin's review in the 
North British Review, 1867. The review strives to show that there are 
strict limits to variation, since the most rigorous and long-continued 
selection does not indefinitely increase such a quality as the fleetness 



i864— 1869] REIGN OF LAW 283 

that each variation which appears is a strongly marked Letter 203 
one ; though by implication you have made this very plain. 
Nothing in your whole article has struck me more than your 
view with respect to the limit of flcetness in the racehorse 
and other such cases : I shall try and quote you on this head 
in the proof of my concluding chapter. I quite missed this 
explanation, though in the case of wheat I hit upon something 
analogous. I am glad you praise the Duke's book, for I was 
much struck with it. The part about flight seemed to me at 
first very good ; but as the wing is articulated by a ball-and- 
socket joint, I suspect the Duke would find it very difficult to 
give any reason against the belief that the wing strikes the 
air more or less obliquely. I have been very glad to see your 
article and the drawing of the butterfly in Science Gossip. 
By the way, I cannot but think that you push protection too 
far in some cases, as with the stripes on the tiger. I have also 
this morning read an excellent abstract in the Gardeners' 
Chronicle of your paper on nests. 1 I was not by any means 
fully converted by your letter, but I think now I am so ; and 
I hope it will be published somewhere in extenso. It strikes 
me as a capital generalisation, and appears to me even more 
original than it did at first. . . . 

I have finished Volume I. of my book [Variation of 
Animals and Plants'], and I hope the whole will be out by 
the end of November. If you have the patience to read it 
through, which is very doubtful, you will find, I think, a large 
accumulation of facts which will be of service to you in 
future papers ; and they could not be put to better use, for 
you certainly are a master in the noble art of reasoning. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 204 

Down, Oct. 3rd [no date]. 
I know you have no time for speculative correspondence ; 
and I did not in the least expect an answer to my last. But 
I am very glad to have had it, for in my eclectic work the 
opinions of the few good men are of great value to me. 

of a racehorse. On this Mr. Wallace remarks that "this argument fails 
to meet the real question," which is, not whether indefinite change is 
possible, " but whether such differences as do occur in nature could have 
been produced by the accumulation of variations by selection." 

1 An abstract of a paper on " Birds' Nests and Plumage," read before 
the British Association : see Gard. Chron., 1867, p. 1047. 



284 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 204 I knew, of course, of the Cuvicrian view of classification ; ' 
but I think that most naturalists look for something further, 
and search for " the natural system," — " for the plan on which 
the Creator has worked," etc., etc. It is this further element 
which I believe to be simply genealogical. 

But I should be very glad to have your answer (either 
when we meet or by note) to the following case, taken by 
itself, and not allowing yourself to look any further than to 
the point in question. Grant all races of man descended 
from one race — grant that all the structure of each race of 
man were perfectly known — grant that a perfect table of the 
descent of each race was perfectly known — grant all this, and 
then do you not think that most would prefer as the best 
classification, a genealogical one, even if it did occasionally 
put one race not quite so near to another, as it would have 
stood, if collocated by structure alone? Generally, we may 
safely presume, that the resemblance of races and their 
pedigrees would go together. 

I should like to hear what you would say on this purely 
theoretical case. 

It might be asked why is development so all-potent in 
classification's I fully admit it is? I believe it is because 
it depends on, and best betrays, genealogical descent ; but 
this is too large a point to enter on. 

Letter 205 To C. Lyell. 

Down, Dec. 7th [1867]. 

I send by this post the article in the Victorian Institute 
with respect to frogs' spawn. If you remember in your boy- 
hood having ever tried to take a small portion out of the 
water, you will remember that it is most difficult. I believe 
all the birds in the world might alight every day on the spawn 
of batrachians, and never transport a single ovum. With 
respect to the young of molluscs, undoubtedly if the bird to 
which they were attached alighted on the sea, they would 
be instantly killed ; but a land-bird would, I should think, 
never alight except under dire necessity from fatigue. This, 

1 Cuvier proved that "animals cannot be arranged in a single series, 
but that there are several distinct plans of organisation to be observed 
among them, no one of which, in its highest and most complicated 
modification, leads to any of the others" (Huxley's Darwiniana, p. 215). 



1864- -1S69] GRAFT-HYBRIDS 285 

however, has been observed near Heligoland ' ; and land-birds, Letter 205 
after resting for a time on the tranquil sea, have been seen to 
rise and continue their flight. I cannot give you the reference 
about Heligoland without much searching. This alighting on 
the sea may aid you in your unexpected difficulty of the 
too-easy diffusion of land-molluscs by the agency of birds. 
I much enjoyed my morning's talk with you. 



To F. Hildebrand. Letter 206 

Down, Jan. 5th [1868]. 

I thank you for your letter, which has quite delighted me. 
I sincerely congratulate you on your success in making a 
graft-hybrid, 2 for I believe it to be a most important observa- 
tion. I trust that you will publish full details on this subject 
and on the direct action of pollen 3 : I hope that you will be 
so kind as to send me a copy of your paper. If I had suc- 
ceeded in making a graft-hybrid of the potato, I had intended 
to raise seedlings from the graft-hybrid and from the two 
parent-forms (excluding insects) and carefully compare the 
offspring. This, however, would be difficult on account of 
the sterility and variability of the potato. When in the 
course of a few months you receive my second volume, 4 you 
will see why I think these two subjects so important. They 
have led me to form a hypothesis on the various forms of re- 
production, development, inheritance, etc., which hypothesis, 
I believe, will ultimately be accepted, though how it will be 
now received I am very doubtful. 

Once again I congratulate you on your success. 

1 Instances are recorded by Gatke in his Heligoland as an Ornitho- 
logical Observatory (translated by Rudolph Rosenstock, Edinburgh, 
1895) of land-birds, such as thrushes, buntings, finches, etc., resting for 
a short time on the surface of the water. The author describes observa- 
tions made by himself about two miles west of Heligoland (p. 129). 

2 Prof. Hildebrand's paper is in the Bot. Zeilung, 1868 : the substance 
is given in Variation of Animals and Plants, Ed. II., Vol. I., p. 420. 

3 See Prof. Hildebrand, Bot. Zeitung, 1868, and Variation of Animals 
and Plants, Ed. 11., Vol. I., p. 430. A yellow-grained maize was fertilised 
with pollen from a brown-grained one ; the result was that ears were 
produced bearing both yellow and dark-coloured grains. 

4 This sentence may be paraphrased—" When you receive my book 
and read the second volume." 



2S6 EVOLUTION ['hap. IV 

Letter 207 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, Jan. 6th [1868]. 

Many thanks about names of plants, synonyms, and male 
flowers — all that I wanted. 

1 have been glad to see Watson's letter, and am sorry he 
is a renegade about Natural Selection. It is, as you say, 
characteristic, with the final fling at you. 

His difficulty about the difference between the two genera 
of St. Helena Umbellifcrs is exactly the same as what Nageli 
has urged in an able pamphlet, 1 and who in consequence 
maintains that there is some unknown innate tendency to 
progression in all organisms. I said in a letter to him that 
of course I could not in the least explain such cases ; but 
that they did not seem to me of overwhelming force, as long 
as we are quite ignorant of the meaning of such structures, 
whether they are of any service to the plants, or inevitable 
consequences of modifications in other parts. 

I cannot understand what Watson means by the " counter- 
balance in nature " to divergent variation. There is the 
counterbalance of crossing, of which my present work daily 
leads me to see more and more the efficiency ; but I suppose 
he means something very different. Further, I believe varia- 
tion to be divergent solely because diversified forms can best 
subsist. But you will think me a bore. 

I enclose half a letter from F. Midler (which please return) 
for the chance of your liking to see it ; though I have doubted 
much about sending it, as you are so overworked. I imagine 
the Solannm-\\ke (lower is curious. 

1 heard yesterday to my joy that Dr. Hildcbrand has been 
experimenting on the direct action of pollen on the mother- 
plant with success. He has also succeeded in making a true 
graft-hybrid between two varieties of potatoes, in which I 
failed. I look at this as splendid for pangenesis, as being 
strong evidence that bud-reproduction and seminal repro- 
duction do not essentially differ. 

My book is horribly delayed, owing to the accursed 
index-maker. 2 I have almost forgotten it ! 

1 " Ueber Entstehung und Begriff der naturhist. Art." Site, der K. 
Bayer. A had. der Wiss. zu Miinchcn, 1865. Some of Niigeli's points 
are discussed in the Origin, Ed. v., p. 151. 

1 Darwin thoroughly appreciated the good work put into the index of 
The Variation of Animals and Plants. 



i864— 1869] STERILITY OF HYBRIDS 287 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 208 

Down, Jan. 30th [1868]. 

Most sincere thanks for your kind congratulations. I 
never received a note from you in my life without pleasure ; 
but whether this will be so after you have read pangenesis, 1 
I am very doubtful. Oh Lord, what a blowing up I may 
receive ! I write now partly to say that you must not think 
of looking at my book till the summer, when I hope you will 
read pangenesis, for I care for your opinion on such a subject 
more than for that of any other man in Europe. You are so 
terribly sharp-sighted and so confoundedly honest ! But to the 
day of my death I will always maintain that you have been 
too sharp-sighted on hybridism ; and the chapter on the 
subject in my book I should like you to read : not that, as I 
fear, it will produce any good effect, and be hanged to you. 

I rejoice that your children are all pretty well. Give 
Mrs. Huxley the enclosed, 2 and ask her to look out when one 
of her childien is struggling and just going to burst out cryh.L;. 
A dear young lady near here plagued a very young child for 
my sake, till it cried, and saw the eyebrows for a second or 
two beautifully oblique, just before the torrent of tears began. 

The sympathy of all our friends about George's success (it 
is the young Herald) 3 has been a wonderful pleasure to us. 
George has not slaved himself, which makes his success the 
more satisfactory. Farewell, my dear Huxley, and do not kill 
yourself with work. 

The following group of letters deals with the problem of the causes of 
the sterility of hybrids. Mr. Darwin's final view is given in the Origin, 
sixth edition (p. 3S4, edit. 1900). He acknowledges that it would be 
advantageous to two incipient species, if by physiological isolation due 
to mutual sterility, they could be kept from blending : but he continues, 
" After mature reflection it seems to me that this could not have been 
effected through Natural Selection." And finally he concludes (p. 386) :— 

" But it would be superfluous to discuss this question in detail ; for 
with plants we have conclusive evidence that the sterility of crossed 
species must be due to some principle quite independent of Natural 
Selection. Both Gartner and Kolreuter have proved that in genera 

1 In Vol. II. of A 111 'mals and Plants, 186S. 

2 Queries on Expression. 

3 His son George was Second Wrangler in 1868 ; as a boy he was an 
enthusiast in heraldry. 



288 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

including numerous species, a series can be formed from species which 
when crossed yield fewer and fewer seeds, to species which never produce 
a single seed, but yet are affected by the pollen of certain other species, 
for the germen swells. It is here manifestly impossible to select the 
more sterile individuals, which have already ceased to yield seeds ; so 
that this acme of sterility, when the germen alone is affected, cannot 
have been gained through selection ; and from the laws governing the 
various grades of sterility being so uniform throughout the animal and 
vegetable kingdoms, we may infer that the cause, whatever it may be, is 
the same or nearly the same in all cases." 

Mr. Wallace, on the other hand, still adheres to his view : see his 
Darwinism, 1889, p. 174, and for a more recent statement see p. 292, 
note 1, Letter 211, and p. 299. 

The discussion of 1868 began with a letter from Mr. Wallace, written 
towards the end of February, giving his opinion on the Variation of 
Animals and Plants ; the discussion on the sterility of hybrids is at 
p. 185, Vol. II. of the first edition. 

Letler 2 °9 A. R. Wallace to C. Darwin. 

Feb. 1868. 

The only parts I have yet met with where I somewhat 
differ from your views, are in the chapter on the causes of 
variability, in which I think several of your arguments are 
unsound : but this is too long a subject to go into now. 
Also, I do not see your objection to sterility between allied 
species having been aided by Natural Selection. It appears 
to me that, given a differentiation of a species into two forms, 
each of which was adapted to a special sphere of existence, 
every slight degree of sterility would be a positive advantage, 
not to the individuals who were sterile, but to each form. If 
you work it out, and suppose the two incipient species a . . . b 
to be divided into two groups, one of which contains those 
which are fertile when the two are crossed, the other being 
slightly sterile, you will find that the latter will certainly 
supplant the former in the struggle for existence ; remem- 
bering that you have shown that in such a cross the 
offspring would be more vigorous than the pure breed, and 
therefore would certainly soon supplant them, and as these 
would not be so well adapted to any special sphere of 
existence as the pure species a and b, they would certainly in 
their turn give way to a and b. 



1864— 1869] STERILITY OF HYBRIDS 289 

To A. R. Wallace. Letter 210 

Feb. 27th [1868]. 

I shall be very glad to hear, at some future day, your 
criticisms on the " causes of variability." Indeed, I feel sure 
that I am right about sterility and Natural Selection. Two 
of my grown-up children who are acute reasoners have two 
or three times at intervals tried to prove me wrong ; and 
when your letter came they had another try, but ended by 
coming back to my side. I do not quite understand your 
case, and we think that a word or two is misplaced. I wish 
some time you would consider the case under the following 
point of view. If sterility is caused or accumulated through 
Natural Selection, then, as every degree exists up to absolute 
barrenness, Natural Selection must have the power of 
increasing it. Now take two species A and B, and assume 
that they are (by any means) half-sterile, i.e., produce half the 
full number of offspring. Now try and make (by Natural 
Selection) A and B absolutely sterile when crossed, and you 
will find how difficult it is. I grant, indeed it is certain, that 
the degree of the sterility of the individuals of A and B will 
vary ; but any such extra-sterile individuals of, we will say A, 
if they should hereafter breed with other individuals of A, will 
bequeath no advantage to their progeny, by which these 
families will tend to increase in number over other families of 
A, which are not more sterile when crossed with B. But I do 
not know that I have made this any clearer than in the 
chapter in my book. It is a most difficult bit of reasoning, 
which I have gone over and over again on paper with 
diagrams. 1 

A. R. Wallace to C. Darwin. Letter 211 

March 1st, 1868. 

I beg to enclose what appears to me a demonstration on 
your own principles, that Natural Selection could produce 
sterility of hybrids. If it does not convince you, I shall be 
glad if you will point out where the fallacy lies. I have taken 
the two cases of a slight sterility overcoming perfect fertility, 
and of a perfect sterility overcoming a partial fertility, — the 
beginning and end of the process. You admit that variations 
in fertility and sterility occur, and I think you will also admit 

1 This letter appeared in Life and Letters ; III., p. 80. 

19 



2QO 1 VOLUTION [Chap.IV 

Letter 211 that if I demonstrate that a considerable amount of sterility 
would be advantageous to a variety, that is sufficient proof 
that the slightest variation in that direction would be useful 
also, and would go on accumulating. 

1. Let there be a species which has varied into two forms, 
each adapted to existing J conditions better than the parent 
form, which they supplant. 

2. If these two forms, which arc supposed to co-exist in 
the same district, do not intercross, Natural Selection will 
accumulate favourable variations, till they become sufficiently 
well adapted to their conditions of life and form two allied 
species. 

3. But if these two forms freely intercross with each other 
and produce hybrids which are also quite fertile inter se, then 
the formation of the two distinct races or species will be retarded 
or perhaps entirely prevented ; for the offspring of the crossed 
unions will be more vigorous owing to the cross, although less 
adapted to their conditions of life than either of the pure 
breeds. 2 

4. Now let a partial sterility of some individuals of these 
two forms arise when they intercross ; and as this would 
probably be due to some special conditions of life, we may 
fairly suppose it to arise in some definite portion of the area 
occupied by the two forms. 

5. The result is that in this area hybrids will not increase 
so rapidly as before ; and as by the terms of the problem the 
two pure forms are better suited to the conditions of life than 
the hybrids, they will tend to supplant the latter altogether 
whenever the struggle for existence becomes severe. 

6. We may fairly suppose, also, that as soon as any 
sterility appears under natural conditions, it will be accom- 
panied by some disinclination to cross-unions ; and this will 
further diminish the production of hybrids. 

7. In the other part of the area, however, where hybridism 

1 " Existing conditions," means of course new conditions which have 
now come into existence. And the " two " being both better adapted than 
the parent form, means that they are better adapted each to a special 
environment in the same area— as one to damp, another to dry places ; 
one to woods, another to open grounds, etc., etc., as Darwin had already 
explained. A. R. W. (1899). 

2 After " pure breeds," add " because less specialised." A. R. W. (1899). 



i864— 1869] STERILITY OF HYBRIDS 291 

occurs unchecked, hybrids of various degrees will soon far Letter 211 
outnumber the parent or pure form. 

8. The first result, then, of a partial sterility of crosses 
appearing in one part of the area occupied by the two forms, 
will be, that the great majority of the individuals will there 
consist of the pure forms only, while in the rest of the area 
these will be in a minority, — which is the same as saying, that 
the new sterile or physiological variety of the two forms will 
be better suited to the conditions of existence than the 
remaining portion which has not varied physiologically. 

9. But when the struggle for existence becomes severe, 
that variety which is best adapted to the conditions of 
existence always supplants that which is imperfectly adapted ; 
therefore by Natural Selection the sterile varieties of the two 
forms will become established as the only ones. 

10. Now let a fresh series of variations in the amount of 
sterility and in the disinclination to crossed unions occur, — also 
in certain parts of the area : exactly the same result must 
recur, and the progeny of this new physiological variety again 
in time occupy the whole area. 

11. There is yet another consideration that supports this 
view. It seems probable that the variations in amount of 
sterility would to some extent concur with and perhaps 
depend upon the structural variations ; so that just in pro- 
portion as the two forms diverged and became better adapted 
to the conditions of existence, their sterility would increase. 
If this were the case, then Natural Selection would act with 
double strength, and those varieties which were better adapted 
to survive both structurally and physiologically, would 
certainly do so. 1 

12. Let us now consider the more difficult case of two allied 
species A, B, in the same area, half the individuals of each 
(A 8 B s ) being absolutely sterile, the other half (A F , B F ) being 
partially fertile : will A s , B s ultimately exterminate A F , B F ? 

13. To avoid complication, it must be granted, that 
between A s and B s no cross-unions take place, while be- 
tween A F and B F cross-unions are as frequent as direct 
unions, though much less fertile. We must also leave out of 

1 The preceding eleven paragraphs are substantially but not verbally 
identical with the statement of the argument in Mr. Wallace's Darwinism) 
1889, pp. 179, 180, note 1. 



292 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 211 consideration crosses between A s and A F , B* and B F , with 
their various approaches to sterility, as I believe they will 
not affect the final result, although they will greatly complicate 
the problem. 

14. In the first generation there will result : 1st, The 
pure progeny of A s and of B s ; 2nd, The pure progeny of 
A 1 and of B F ; and 3rd, The hybrid progeny of A*, B F . 

15. Supposing that, in ordinary years, the increased 
constitutional vigour of the hybrids exactly counterbalances 
their imperfect adaptations to conditions, there will be in the 
second generation, besides these three classes, hybrids of the 
second degree between the first hybrids and A F and B F re- 
spectively. In succeeding generations there will be hybrids of 
all degrees, varying between the first hybrids and the almost 
pure types of A F and B F . 

16. Now, if at first the number of individuals of A s , B s , 
A F and B F were equal, and year after year the total number 
continues stationary, I think it can be proved that, while half 
will be the pure progeny of A s and B s , the other half will 
become more and more hybridised, until the whole will be 
hybrids of various degrees. 

17. Now, this hybrid and somewhat intermediate race 
cannot be so well adapted to the conditions of life as the two 
pure species, which have been formed by the minute adapta- 
tion to conditions through Natural Selection ; therefore, in a 
severe struggle for existence, the hybrids must succumb, 
especially as, by hypothesis, their fertility would not be so 
great as that of the two pure species. 

18. If we were to take into consideration the unions of 
A H with A F and B s with B F , the results would become very 
complicated, but it must still lead to there being a number of 
pure forms entirely derived from A s and B s , and of hybrid 
forms mainly derived from A F and B F ; and the result of the 
struggle of these two sets of individuals cannot be doubtful. 

19. If these arguments are sound, it follows that sterility 
may be accumulated and increased, and finally made com- 
plete by Natural Selection, whether the sterile varieties 
originate together in a definite portion of the area occupied 
by the two species, or occur scattered over the whole area. 1 

1 The first part of this discussion should be considered alone, as it is 
both more simple and more important. I now believe that the utility, and 



1S64-1S69] STERILITY OF HYBRIDS 293 

p.S. — In answer to the objection as to the unequal sterility Letter 211 
of reciprocal crosses {Variation, etc., Vol. II., p. 186) I reply 
that, as far as it went, the sterility of one cross would be 
advantageous even if the other cross was fertile : and just as 
characters now co-ordinated may have been separately 
accumulated by Natural Selection, so the reciprocal crosses 
may have become sterile one at a time. 

To A. R. Wallace. Letter 212 

4, Chester Place, March 17th, 1868." 
I do not feel that I shall grapple with the sterility 
argument till my return home ; I have tried once or twice, 
and it has made my stomach feel as if it had been placed 
in a vice. Your paper has driven three of my children 
half mad — one sat up till 12 o'clock over it. My second 
son, the mathematician, thinks that you have omitted one 
almost inevitable deduction which apparently would modify 
the result. He has written out what he thinks, but I have 
not tried fully to understand him. 1 suppose that you do 
not care enough about the subject to like to see what he 
has written. 

A. R. Wallace to C. Darwin. Letter 

Hurstpierpoint, March 24th [1868]. 

I return your son's notes with my notes on them. With- 
out going into any details, is not this a strong general 
argument ? 

1. A species varies occasionally in two directions, but 
owing to their free intercrossing the varieties never increase. 

2. A change of conditions occurs which threatens the 
existence of the species ; but the two varieties are adapted 
to the changing conditions, and if accumulated will form two 
new species adapted to the new conditions. 

3. Free crossing, however, renders this impossible, and so 
the species is in danger of extinction. 

therefore the cause of sterility between species, is during the process of 
differentiation. When species are fully formed, the occasional occurrence 
of hybrids is of comparatively small importance, and can never be a 
danger to the existence of the species. A. R. W. (1899). 

1 Mr. Darwin had already written a short note to Mr. Wallace 
expressing a general dissent from his view. 



294 EVOLUTION [Chaiv IV 

Letter 4. If sterility could be induced, then the pure races would 

2IJA increase more rapidly, and replace the old species. 

5. It is admitted that partial sterility between varieties 
does occasionally occur. It is admitted [that] the degree of 
this sterility varies ; is it not probable that Natural Selection 
can accumulate these variations, and thus save the species? 
If Natural Selection can not do this, how do species ever 
arise, except when a variety is isolated ? 

Closely allied species in distinct countries being sterile 
is no difficulty ; for either they diverged from a common 
ancestor in contact, and Natural Selection increased the 
sterility, or they were isolated, and have varied since : in 
which case they have been for ages influenced by distinct 
conditions which may well produce sterility. 

If the difficulty of grafting was as great as the difficulty 
of crossing, and as regular, I admit it would be a most 
serious objection. But it is not. I believe many distinct 
species can be grafted, while others less distinct cannot. 
The regularity with which natural species are sterile together, 
even when very much alike, I think is an argument in favour 
of the sterility having been generally produced by Natural 
Selection for the good of the species. 

The other difficulty, of unequal sterility of reciprocal 
crosses, seems none to me ; for it is a step to more complete 
sterility, and as such would be increased by selection. 

To A. R. Wallace. 

Letter 213 Down, April 6th [1868]. 

I have been considering the terrible problem. Let me 
first say that no man could have more earnestly wished 
for the success of Natural Selection in regard to sterility 
than I did ; and when I considered a general statement 
(as in your last note) I always felt sure it could be 
worked out, but always failed in detail. The cause being, 
as I believe, that Natural Selection cannot effect what is 
not good for the individual, including in this term a social 
community. It would take a volume to discuss all the 
points, and nothing is so humiliating to me as to agree 
with a man like you (or Hooker) on the premises and 
disagree about the result. 

I agree with my son's argument and not with the rejoinder. 



1864-1869] STERILITY OF HYBRIDS 295 

The cause of our difference, I think, is that I look at the Letter 213 
number of offspring as an important element (all circum- 
stances remaining the same) in keeping up the average 
number of individuals within any area. I do not believe 
that the amount of food by any means is the sole deter- 
mining cause of number. Lessened fertility is equivalent 
to a new source of destruction. I believe if in one district a 
species produced from any cause fewer young, the deficiency 
would be supplied from surrounding districts. This applies 
to your Par. 5. 1 If the species produced fewer young from 
any cause in every district, it would become extinct unless 
its fertility were augmented through Natural Selection (see 
H. Spencer). 

I demur to probability and almost to possibility of 
Par. 1, as you start with two forms within the same area, 
which are not mutually sterile, and which yet have sup- 
planted the parent-form. 

(Par. 6.) I know of no ghost of a fact supporting 
belief that disinclination to cross accompanies sterility. * It 
cannot hold with plants, or the lower fixed aquatic animals. 
I saw clearly what an immense aid this would be, but gave 
it up. Disinclination to cross seems to have been independ- 
ently acquired, probably by Natural Selection ; and I do 
not see why it would not have sufficed to have prevented 
incipient species from blending to have simply increased 
sexual disinclination to cross. 

(Par. 1 1.) I demur to a certain extent to amount of 
sterility and structural dissimilarity necessarily going to- 
gether, except indirectly and by no means strictly. Look 
at vars. of pigeons, fowls, and cabbages. 

I overlooked the advantage of the half-sterility of re- 
ciprocal crosses ; yet, perhaps from novelty, I do not feel 
inclined to admit probability of Natural Selection having 
done its work so queerly. 

I will not discuss the second case of utter sterility, but 
your assumptions in Par. 13 seem to me much too com- 
plicated. I cannot believe so universal an attribute as 
utter sterility between remote species was acquired in so 
complex a manner. I do not agree with your rejoinder 
on grafting : I fully admit that it is not so closely restricted 

1 See Letter 211. 



296 INVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 213 as crossing, but this docs not seem to mc to weaken the 
case as one of analogy. The incapacity of grafting is like- 
wise an invariable attribute of plants sufficiently remote 
from each other, and sometimes of plants pretty closely 

allied. 

The difficulty of increasing the sterility through Natural 
Selection of two already sterile species seems to me best 
brought home by considering an actual case. The cowslip 
and primrose are moderately sterile, yet occasionally pro- 
duce hybrids. Now these hybrids, two or three or a dozen 
in a whole parish, occupy ground which might have been 
occupied by either pure species, and no doubt the latter 
suffer to this small extent. But can you conceive that 
any individual plants of the primrose and cowslip which 
happened to be mutually rather more sterile {i.e. which, 
when crossed, yielded a few less seed) than usual, would 
profit to such a degree as to increase in number to the 
ultimate exclusion of the present primrose and cowslip? I 
cannot. 

My son, I am sorry to say, cannot see the full force of your 
rejoinder in regard to second head of continually augmented 
sterility. You speak in this rejoinder, and in Par. 5, of 
all the individuals becoming in some slight degree sterile 
in certain districts : if you were to admit that by con- 
tinued exposure to these same conditions the sterility would 
inevitably increase, there would be no need of Natural 
Selection. But I suspect that the sterility is not caused so 
much by any particular conditions as by long habituation 
to conditions of any kind. To speak according to pan- 
genesis, the gemmules of hybrids are not injured, for 
hybrids propagate freely by buds ; but their reproductive 
organs are somehow affected, so that they cannot accumu- 
late the proper gemmules, in nearly the same manner as 
the reproductive organs of a pure species become affected 
when exposed to unnatural conditions. 

This is a very ill- expressed and ill-written letter. Do 
not answer it, unless the spirit urges you. Life is too 
short for so long a discussion. We shall, I greatly fear, 
never agree. 



i864— 1869] STERILITY OF HYBRIDS 297 

A. R. Wallace to C. Darwin. Letter 214 

Hurstpierpoint, [April?] 8th, 1S68. 

I am sorry you should have given yourself the trouble 
to answer my ideas on sterility. If you are not convinced, 
I have little doubt but that I am wrong ; and, in fact, I 
was only half convinced by my own arguments, and I now 
think there is about an even chance that Natural Selection 
may or may not be able to accumulate sterility. If my 
first proposition is modified to the existence of a species 
and a variety in the same area, it will do just as well 
for my argument. Such certainly do exist. They are 
fertile together, and yet each maintains itself tolerably 
distinct. I low can this be, if there is no disinclination to 
crossing ? 

My belief certainly is that number of offspring is not so 
important an element in keeping up population of a species 
as supply of food and other favourable conditions ; because 
the numbers of a species constantly vary greatly in different 
parts of its own area, whereas the average number of offspring 
is not a very variable element. 

However, I will say no more, but leave the problem 
as insoluble, only fearing that it will become a formidable 
weapon in the hands of the enemies of Natural Selection. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 215 

The following extract from a letter to Sir Joseph Hooker (dated 
April 3rd, 1868) refers to his Presidential Address for the approaching 
meeting of the British Association at Norwich. 

Some account of Sir Joseph's success is given in the Life and 
Letters, III., p. too, also in Huxley's Life, Vol. I., p. 297, where Huxley 
writes to Darwin : — 

" We had a capital meeting at Norwich, and dear old Hooker 
came out in great force, as he always does in emergencies. The only 
fault was the terrible ' Darwinismus ' which spread over the section 
and crept out when you least expected it, even in Fergusson's lecture 
on ' Buddhist Temples.' You will have the rare happiness to see your 
ideas triumphant during your lifetime. 

" P.S. — I am going into opposition ; I can't stand it." 

Down, April 3rd [1S68]. 

I have been thinking over your Presidential Address ; 
I declare I made myself quite uncomfortable by fancying 
I had to do it, and feeling myself utterly dumbfounded. 



298 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 215 But I do not believe that you will find it so difficult. 
When you come to Down I shall be very curious to hear 
what your ideas are on the subject. 

Could you make anything out of a history of the great 
steps in the progress of Botany, as representing the whole 
of Natural History? Heaven protect you ! I suppose there 
are men to whom such a job would not be so awful as 

it appears to me If you had time, you ought to 

read an article by W. Bagehot in the April number of 
the Fortnightly} applying Natural Selection to early or 
prehistoric politics, and, indeed, to late politics, — this you 
know is your view. 

Letter 216 A. R. Wallace to C. Darwin. 

9, St. Mark's Crescent, N.W., August 16th [1868]. 

I ought to have written before to thank you for the 
copies of your papers on Primula and on " Cross-unions of 
Dimorphic Plants, etc." The latter is particularly interesting 
and the conclusion most important ; but I think it makes 
the difficulty of how these forms, with their varying degrees 
of sterility, originated, greater than ever. If " natural selec- 
tion " could not accumulate varying degrees of sterility for 
the plant's benefit, then how did sterility ever come to be 
associated with one cross of a trimorphic plant rather than 
another ? The difficulty seems to be increased by the 
consideration that the advantage of a cross with a distinct 
individual is gained just as well by illegitimate as by 
legitimate unions. By what means, then, did illegitimate 
unions ever become sterile? It would seem a far simpler 
way for each plant's pollen to have acquired a prepotency 
on another individual's stigma over that of the same 
individual, without the extraordinary complication of three 
differences of structure and eighteen different unions with 
varying degrees of sterility ! 

However, the fact remains an excellent answer to the 
statement that sterility of hybrids proves the absolute dis- 
tinctness of the parents. 

I have been reading with great pleasure Mr. Bcntham's 
last admirable address, 2 in which he so well replies to the 

1 " Physic and Politics," Fortnightly Review, Vol. III., p. 452, 1S6S. 
a Proc. Linn. Soc, 1867-8, p. lvii. 



i864— 1869] STERILITY OF HYBRIDS 299 

gross misstatements of the Athenceum ; and also says a Letter 216 
word in favour of pangenesis. I think we may now con- 
gratulate you on having made a valuable convert, whose 
opinions on the subject, coming so late and being evidently 
so well considered, will have much weight. 

I am going to Norwich on Tuesday to hear Dr. Hooker, 

who I hope will boldly promulgate " Darwinism " in his 

address. 1 Shall we have the pleasure of seeing you there? 

I am engaged in ncgociations about my book. 

Hoping you are well and getting on with your next 

volumes. 

We are permitted by Mr. Wallace to append the following note 
as to his more recent views on the question of Natural Selection and 
sterility : — 

''When writing my Darwinism, and coming again to the considera- 
tion of this problem of the effect of Natural Selection in accumulating 
variations in the amount of sterility between varieties or incipient 
species twenty years later, I became more convinced, than I was 
when discussing with Darwin, of the substantial accuracy of my argu- 
ment. Recently a correspondent who is both a naturalist and a 
mathematician has pointed out to me a slight error in my calcula- 
tion at p. 183 (which does not, however, materially affect the result), 
disproving the 'physiological selection' of the late Dr. Romanes, but 
he can see no fallacy in my argument as to the power of Natural 
Selection to increase sterility between incipient species, nor, so far as 
I am aware, has any one shown such fallacy to exist. 

" On the other points on which I differed from Mr. Darwin in 
the foregoing discussion— the effect of high fertility on population of 
a species, etc. — I still hold the views I then expressed, but it would 
be out of place to attempt to justify them here." 

A. R. W. (1899). 

To C. Lyell. Letter 217 

Down, Oct. 4th [1867]. 

With respect to the points in your note, I may sometimes 
have expressed myself with ambiguity. At the end of 
Chapter XXIII., where I say that marked races are not 
often (you omit " often ") produced by changed conditions, 2 

1 Sir Joseph Hooker's Presidential Address at the British Associa- 
tion Meeting. 

3 " Hence, although it must be admitted that new conditions of life 
do sometimes definitely affect organic beings, it may be doubted whether 
well-marked races have often been produced by the direct action of 
changed conditions without the aid of selection either by man or nature." 
{Animals and Plants, Vol. II., p. 292, 1868.) 



300 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 217 I intended to refer to the direct action of such conditions in 
causing variation, and not as leading to the preservation or 
destruction of certain forms. There is as wide a difference in 
these two respects as between voluntary selection by man and 
the causes which induce variability. I have somewhere in 
my book referred to the close connection between Natural 
Selection and the action of external conditions in the sense 
which you specify in your note. And in this sense all 
Natural Selection may be said to depend on changed con- 
ditions. In the Origin I think I have underrated (and from 
the cause which you mention) the effects of the direct action 
of external conditions in producing varieties ; but I hope in 
Chapter XXIII. I have struck as fair a balance as our 
knowledge permits. 

It is wonderful to me that you have patience to read my 
slips, and I cannot but regret, as they are so imperfect ; they 
must, I think, give you a wrong impression, and had I sternly 
refused, you would perhaps have thought better of my book. 
Every single slip is greatly altered, and I hope improved. 

With respect to the human ovule, I cannot find dimensions 
given, though I have often seen the statement. My impression 
is that it would be just or barely visible if placed on a clear 
piece of glass. Huxley could answer your question at once. 

I have not been well of late, and have made slow progress, 
but I think my book will be finished by the middle of 
November. 

Letter 218 A. R. Wallace to C. Darwin. 

[Enrl of Feb., IS6S] 

I am in the second volume of your book, and I have 
been astonished at the immense number of interesting facts 
you have brought together. I read the chapter on pangenesis 
first, for I could not wait. I can hardly tell you how much 
I admire it. It is a positive comfort to me to have any 
feasible explanation of a difficulty that has always been 
haunting me, and I shall never be able to give it up till a 
better one supplies its place, — and that I think hardly possible. 
You have now fairly beaten Spencer on his own ground, for 
he really offered no solution of the difficulties of the problem. 
The incomprehensible minuteness and vast numbers of the 
physiological germs or atoms (which themselves must be 



i864— 1869] PANGENESIS 301 

compounded of numbers of Spencer's physiological units) is the Letter 218 
only difficulty ; but that is only on a par with the difficulties 
in all conceptions of matter, space, motion, force, etc. 

As I understood Spencer, his physiological units were 
identical throughout each species, but slightly different in 
each different species ; but no attempt was made to show how 
the identical form of the parent or ancestors came to be 
built up of such units. 

To A. R. Wallace. Letter 219 

Down, Feb. 27th [1868]. 

You cannot well imagine how much I have been pleased 
by what you say about pangenesis. None of my friends will 
speak out, except to a certain extent Sir H. Holland, who 
found it very tough reading, but admits that some view 
" closely akin to it" will have to be admitted. Hooker, as far 
as I understand him, which I hardly do at present, seems to 
think that the hypothesis is little more than saying that 
organisms have such and such potentialities. What you say 
exactly and fully expresses my feelings— viz., that it is a relief 
to have some feasible explanation of the various facts, which 
can be given up as soon as any better hypothesis is found. 
It has certainly been an immense relief to my mind ; for I 
have been stumbling over the subject for years, dimly seeing 
that some relation existed between the various classes of 
facts. I now hear from H. Spencer that his views quoted in 
my footnote refer to something quite distinct, as you seem to 
have perceived. 1 

A. R. Wallace to C. Darwin. Letter 220 

Hurstpierpoint, March 1st, 1868. 

... Sir C. Lyell spoke to me as if he has greatly admired 
pangenesis. I a in very glad H. Spencer at once acknow- 
ledges that his view was something quite distinct from yours. 
Although, as you know, I am a great admirer of his, I feel 
how completely his view failed to go to the root of the matter, 
as yours does. His explained nothing, though he was 
evidently struggling hard to find an explanation. Yours, as far 
as I can see, explains everything in growth and reproduction— 

1 This letter is published in Life and Letters, III., p. 79. 



302 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 220 though, of course, the mystery of life and consciousness 
remains as great as ever. 

Parts of the chapter on pangenesis I found hard reading, 
and have not quite mastered yet, and there are also through- 
out the discussions in Vol. II. many bits of hard reading, 
on minute points which we, who have not worked experi- 
mentally at cultivation and crossing, as you have done, can 
hardly see the importance of, or their bearing on the general 
question. 

If I am asked, I may perhaps write an article on the book 
for some periodical, and, if so, shall do what I can to make 
" Pangenesis" appreciated. . . . 

In Nature, May 25th, 1871, p. 69, appeared a letter on pangenesis 
from Mr. A. C. Ranyard, dealing with the difficulty that the "sexual 
elements produced upon the scion " have not been shown to be affected 
by the stock. Mr. Darwin, in an annotated copy of this letter, disputes 
the accuracy of the statement, but adds : " The best objection yet raised." 
He seems not to have used Mr. Ranyard's remarks in the 2nd edit, of 
the Variation of Animals and Plants, 1875. 

Letter 221 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, May 21st [186S]. 

I know that you have been overworking yourself, and 
that makes you think that you are doing nothing in science. 
If this is the case (which I do not believe), your intellect has 
all run to letter-writing, for I never in all my life received a 
pleasanter one than your last. It greatly amused us all. 
How dreadfully severe you are on the Duke ' : I really think 
too severe, but then I am no fair judge, for a Duke, in 
my eyes, is no common mortal, and not to be judged by 
common rules ! I pity you from the bottom of my soul about 
the address: 2 it makes my flesh creep ; but when I pitied you 
to Huxley, he would not join at all, and would only say that 
you did and delivered your Insular Flora lecture so admir- 
ably in every way that he would not bestow any pity on you. 
He felt certain that you would keep your head high up. 

1 The late Duke of Argyll, whose Reign of Law Sir J. D. Hooker 
had been reading. 

3 Sir Joseph was President of the British Association at Norwich in 
1868: see Life and Letters, III., p. 100. The reference to "Insular 
Floras " is to Sir Joseph's lecture at the Nottingham meeting of the 
British Association in 1866: see Life and Letters, III., p. 47. 



1864— 1869] SELF-STERILITY 303 

Nevertheless, I wish to God it was all over for your sake. I Letter 221 
think, from several long talks, that Huxley will give an 
excellent and original lecture on Geograph. Distrib. of birds. 
I have been working very hard — too hard of late — on 
Sexual Selection, which turns out a gigantic subject ; and 
almost every day new subjects turn up requiring investiga- 
tion and leading to endless letters and searches through 
books. I am bothered, also, with heaps of foolish letters on 
all sorts of subjects, but I am much interested in my subject, 
and sometimes see gleams of light. All my other letters 
have prevented me indulging myself in writing to you ; but 
I suddenly found the locust grass : yesterday in flower, and 
had to despatch it at once. I suppose some of your assistants 
will be able to make the genus out without great trouble. 
I have done little in experiment of late, but I find that 
mignonette is absolutely sterile with pollen from the same 
plant. Any one who saw stamen after stamen bending 
upwards and shedding pollen over the stigmas of the same 
flower would declare that the structure was an admirable 
contrivance for self-fertilisation. How utterly mysterious it 
is that there should be some difference in ovules and contents 
of pollen-grains (for the tubes penetrate own stigma) causing 
fertilisation when these are taken from any two distinct 
plants, and invariably leading to impotence when taken from 
the same plant ! By Jove, even Pan. 2 won't explain this. 
It is a comfort to me to think that you will be surely 
haunted on your death-bed for not honouring the great god 
Pan. I am quite delighted at what you say about my book, 
and about Bentham ; when writing it, I was much interested 
in some parts, but latterly I thought quite as poorly of it as 
even the Athenceum. It ought to be read abroad for the 
sake of the booksellers, for five editions have come or are 
coming out abroad ! I am ashamed to say that I have read 
only the organic part of Lyell, and I admire all that I have 
read as much as you. It is a comfort to know that possibly 
when one is seventy years old one's brain may be good for 
work. It drives me mad, and I know it does you too, that 

1 No doubt the plants raised from seeds taken from locust clung sent 
by Mr. Weale from South Africa. The case is mentioned in the fifth 
edition of the Origin, published in 1869, p. 439. 

- Pangenesis. 



304 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 221 one has no time for reading anything beyond what must be 
read : my room is encumbered with unread books. I agree 
about Wallace's wonderful cleverness, but he is not cautious 
enough in my opinion. I find I must (and I always distrust 
myself when I differ from him) separate rather widely from 
him all about birds' nests and protection ; he is riding that 
hobby to death. I never read anything so miserable as 
Andrew Murray's criticism on Wallace in the last number of 
his Journal. 1 I believe this Journal will die, and I shall not 
cry : what a contrast with the old Natural Histoiy Review. 

Letter 222 To J. D. Hooker. 

Freshwater, Isle of Wight, July 28th [1868]. 

I am glad to hear that you are going 2 to touch on the 
statement that the belief in Natural Selection is passing 
away. I do not suppose that even the Athencsum would 
pretend that the belief in the common descent of species is 
passing away, and this is the more important point. This 
now almost universal belief in the evolution (somehow) of 
species, I think may be fairly attributed in large part to the 
Origin. It would be well for you to look at the short Intro- 
duction of Owen's Anat. of Invertebrates, and see how fully he 
admits the descent of species. 

Of the Origin, four English editions, one or two American, 
two French, two German, one Dutch, one Italian, and several 
(as I was told) Russian editions. The translations of my 
book on Variation under Domestication are the results of the 
Origin ; and of these two English, one American, one 
German, one French, one Italian, and one Russian have 
appeared, or will soon appear. Ernst Hackel wrote to me a 
week or two ago, that new discussions and reviews of the 
Origin are continually still coming out in Germany, where 
the interest on the subject certainly does not diminish. I 
have seen some of these discussions, and they are good ones. 
I apprehend that the interest on the subject has not died 
out in North America, from observing in Professor and Mrs. 

1 See Journal of Travel and Natural ///story, Vol. I., No. 3, p. 137, 
London, 1868, for Andrew Murray's "Reply to Mr. Wallace's Theory of 
Birds' Nests," which appeared in the same volume, p. 73. The Journal 
came to an end after the publication of one volume for 1867-8. 

' In his Presidential Address at Norwich. 



i864— 1869] REVIEWS 305 

Agassiz's Book on Brazil how excessively anxious he is to Letter 222 
destroy me. In regard to this country, every one can judge 
for himself, but you would not say interest was dying out if you 
were to look at the last number of the Anthropological Review, 
in which I am incessantly sneered at. I think Lyell's Prin- 
ciples will produce a considerable effect. I hope I have given 
you the sort of information which you want. My head is rather 
unsteady, which makes my handwriting worse than usual. 

If you argue about the non-acceptance of Natural Selec- 
tion, it seems to me a very striking fact that the Newtonian 
theory of gravitation, which seems to every one now so certain 
and plain, was rejected by a man so extraordinarily able as 
Leibnitz. The truth will not penetrate a preoccupied mind. 

Wallace, 1 in the Westminster Review, in an article on 
Protection has a good passage, contrasting the success of 
Natural Selection and its growth with the comprehension 
of new classes of facts, 2 with false theories, such as the 
Ouinarian Theory, and that of Polarity, by poor Forbes, both 
of which were promulgated with high advantages and the 
first temporarily accepted. 

1 Wallace, Westminster Review, July, 1867. The article begins: 
" There is no more convincing proof of the truth of a comprehensive 
theory, than its power of absorbing and finding a place for new facts, and 
its capability of interpreting phenomena, which had been previously 
looked upon as unaccountable anomalies . . ." Mr. Wallace illustrates 
his statement that " a false theory will never stand this test," by Edward 
Forbes' "polarity" speculations (see p. 84 of the present volume) and 
Macleay's Circular and Quinarian System published in his Horce Ento- 
mologicce, 1821, and developed by Swainson in the natural history 
volumes of Lardner's Cabinet Cyelopcedia. Mr. Wallace says that a 
"considerable number of well-known naturalists either spoke approvingly 
of it, or advocated similar principles, and for a good many years it was 
decidedly in the ascendant . . . yet it quite died out in a few short years, 
its very existence is now a matter of history, and so rapid was its fall 
that . . . Swainson, perhaps, lived to be the last man who believed in 
it. Such is the course of a false theory. That of a true one is very 
different, as may be well seen by the progress of opinion on the subject 
of Natural Selection." 

Here (p. 3) follows a passage on the overwhelming importance of 
Natural Selection, underlined with apparent approval in Mr. Darwin's 
copy of the review. 

2 This rather obscure phrase may be rendered : " its power of growth 
by the absorption of new facts." 

20 



306 EVOLUTION [Chai. IV 

Letter 223 To G - H - Lewes." 

The following is printed from a draft letter inscribed by Mr. Darwin 
" Against organs having been formed by direct action of medium in 
distinct organisms. Chiefly luminous and electric organs and thorns." 
The draft is carelessly written, and all but illegible. 

Aug. 7th, 186S. 
If you mean that in distinct animals, parts or organs, such 
for instance as the luminous organs of insects or the electric 
organs of fishes, are wholly the result of the external and 
internal conditions to which the organs have been subjected, 
in so direct and inevitable a manner that they could be 
developed whether of use or not to their possessor, I cannot 
admit [your view]. I could almost as soon admit that the 
whole structure of, for instance, a woodpecker, had thus 
originated ; and that there should be so close a relation 
between structure and external circumstances which cannot 
directly affect structure seems to me to [be] inadmissible. 
Such organs as those above specified seem to me much too 
complex and generally too well co-ordinated with the whole 
organisation, for the admission that they result from conditions 
independently of Natural Selection. The impression which I 
have taken, studying nature, is strong, that in all cases, if we 
could collect all the forms which have ever lived, we should 
have a close gradation from some most simple beginning. 
If similar conditions sufficed, without the aid of Natural 
Selection, to give similar parts or organs, independently of 
blood relationship, I doubt much whether we should have 
that striking harmony between the affinities, embryological 
development, geographical distribution, and geological suc- 
cession of all allied organisms. We should be much more 
puzzled than we now are how to class, in a natural method, 
many forms. It is puzzling enough to distinguish between 
resemblance due to descent and to adaptation ; but (fortunately 
for naturalists), owing to the strong power of inheritance, and 
to excessively complex causes and laws of variability, when 
the same end or object has been gained, somewhat different 
parts have generally been modified, and modified in a different 
manner, so that the resemblances due to descent and adapta- 
tion can commonly be distinguished. I should just like to 
add, that we may understand each other, how I suppose the 

1 G. H. Lewes (1817-78), author of a History of Philosophy, etc. 



1S64-1869] DIRECT ACTION 307 

luminous organs of insects, for instance, to have been developed ; Letter 223 
but I depend on conjectures, for so few luminous insects 
exist that we have no means of judging, by the preservation 
to the present day of slightly modified forms, of the probable 
gradations through which the organs have passed. Moreover, 
we do not know of what use these organs are. We see that 
the tissues of many animals, [as] certain centipedes in England, 
are liable, under unknown conditions of food, temperature, 
etc., to become occasionally luminous ; just like the [illegible] : 
such luminosity having been advantageous to certain insects, 
the tissues, I suppose, become specialised for this purpose in 
an intensified degree ; in certain insects in one part, in other 
insects in other parts of the body. Hence I believe that if 
all extinct insect-forms could be collected, we should have 
gradations from the Elateridae, with their highly and con- 
stantly luminous thoraxes, and from the Lampyridae, with their 
highly luminous abdomens, to some ancient insects occasionally 
luminous like the centipede. 

I do not know, but suppose that the microscopical structure 
of the luminous organs in the most different insects is nearly 
the same ; and I should attribute to inheritance from a common 
progenitor, the similarity of the tissues, which under similar 
conditions, allowed them to vary in the same manner, and 
thus, through Natural Selection for the same general purpose, 
to arrive at the same result. Mutatis mutandis, I should 
apply the same doctrine to the electric organs of fishes ; 
but here I have to make, in my own mind, the violent 
assumption that some ancient fish was slightly electrical 
without having any special organs for the purpose. It has 
been stated on evidence, not trustworthy, that certain reptiles 
are electrical. It is, moreover, possible that the so-called 
electric organs, whilst in a condition not highly developed, 
may have subserved some distinct function : at least, I think, 
Matteucci could detect no pure electricity in certain fishes 
provided with the proper organs. In one of your letters 
you alluded to nails, claws, hoofs, etc. From their perfect 
coadaptation with the whole rest of the organisation, I cannot 
admit that they would have been formed by the direct action 
of the conditions of life. H. Spencer's view that they were 
first developed from indurated skin, the result of pressure on 
the extremities, seems to me probable. 



-oS EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 223 In regard to thorns and spines I suppose that stunted 
and [illegible] hardened processes were primarily left by the 
abortion of various appendages, but I must believe that their 
extreme sharpness and hardness is the result of fluctuating 
variability and "the survival of the fittest." The precise 
form, curvature and colour of the thorns I freely admit to be 
the result of the laws of growth of each particular plant, or 
of their conditions, internal and external. It would be an 
astounding fact if any varying plant suddenly produced, with- 
out the aid of reversion or selection, perfect thorns. That 
Natural Selection would tend to produce the most formidable 
thorns will be admitted by every one who has observed the 
distribution in South America and Africa {vide Livingstone) 
of thorn-bearing plants, for they always appear where the 
bushes grow isolated and arc exposed to the attacks of 
mammals. Even in England it has been noticed that all 
spine-bearing and sting-bearing plants are palatable to 
quadrupeds, when the thorns are crushed. With respect to 
the Malayan climbing Palm, what I meant to express is that 
the admirable hooks were perhaps not first developed for 
climbing ; but having been developed for protection were 
subsequently used, and perhaps further modified for climbing. 

Letter 224 To J- D - Hooker. 

Down, Sept. 8th [1868]. 

About the Pall Mall. 1 I do not agree that the article was 
at all right ; it struck me as monstrous (and answered on the 

1 Pall Mall Gazette, August 22nd, 1S68. In an article headed "Dr. 
Hooker on Religion and Science," and referring to the British Associa- 
tion address, the writer objects to any supposed opposition between 
religion and science. "Religion," he says, "is your opinion upon one 
set of subjects, science your opinion upon another set of subjects." But 
he forgets that on one side we have opinions assumed to be revealed 
truths ; and this is a condition which either results in the further opinion 
that those who bring forward irreconcilable facts are more or less wicked, 
or in a change of front on the religious side, by which theological opinion 
"shifts its ground to meet the requirements of every new fact that science 
establishes, and every old error that science exposes" (Dr. Hooker as 
quoted by the Pall Mall). If theologians had been in the habit of recog- 
nising that, in the words of the Pall Mall writer, "Science is a general 
name for human knowledge in its most definite and general shape, what- 
ever may be the object of that knowledge," probably Sir Joseph Hooker's 
remarks would never have been made. 



iS64— 1869] RELIGION AND SCIENCE 3O9 

spot by the Morning Advertiser) that religion did not attack Letter 224 
science. When, however, I say not at all right, I am not 
sure whether it would not be wisest for scientific men quite 
to ignore the whole subject of religion. Goldwin Smith, who 
has been lunching here, coming with the Nortons (son of 
Professor Norton l and friend of Asa Gray), who have taken 
for four months Keston Rectory, was strongly of opinion it 
was a mistake. Several persons have spoken strongly to me as 
very much admiring your address. For chance of you caring 
to see yourself in a French dress, I send a journal ; also with 
a weak article by Agassiz on Geographical Distribution. 
Berkeley has sent me his address,- so I have had a fail- 
excuse for writing to him. I differ from you : I could hardly 
bear to shake hands with the " Sugar of Lead," 3 which I 
never heard before : it is capital. I am so very glad you will 
come here with Asa Gray, as if I am bad he will not be dull. 
We shall ask the Nortons to come to dinner. On Saturday, 
Wallace (and probably Mrs. W.), J. Jenner Weir (a very good 
man), and Blyth, and I fear not Bates, are coming to stay the 
Sunday. The thought makes me rather nervous ; but I shall 
enjoy it immensely if it does not kill me. How I wish it was 
possible for you to be here ! 

To M. J. Berkeley. 1 Letter 225 

Down, Sept. 7th, 186S. 

I am very much obliged to you for having sent mc your 
address 5 .... for I thus gain a fair excuse for troubling 

1 Professor Charles Elliot Norton, of Harvard, is the son of the late Dr. 
Andrews Norton, Professor of Theology in the Harvard Divinity School. 

a The Rev. M. J. Berkeley was President of Section D at Norwich 
in 1868. 

3 "You know Mrs. Carlyle said that Owen's sweetness reminded her 
of sugar of lead." (Huxley to Tyndall, May 13th, 1887: Huxley's Life, 
II., p. 167.) 

4 Miles Joseph Berkeley (1803-89) was educated at Rugby and Christ's 
College, Cambridge ; he took orders in 1827. Berkeley is described by 
Sir William Thiselton-Dyer as "the virtual founder of British Mycology : ' 
and as the first to treat the subject of the pathology of plants in a systematic 
manner. In 1857 he published his Introduction to Cryptogamic Botany. 
{Annals of Botany, Vol. XL, 1897, p. ix ; see also an obituary notice by 
Sir Joseph Hooker in the Prof. Royal Society, Vol. XLVIL, p. ix, 1890.) 

6 Address to Section D of the British Association. [Brit. Assoc. 
Report, Norwich meeting, 1868, p. 83.) 



310 i:\0LUTI0N [Chap. IV 

Letter 225 you with this note to thank you for your most kind and 
extremely honourable notice of my works. 

When I tell you that ever since I was an undergraduate 
at Cambridge I have felt towards you the most unfeigned 
respect, from all that I continually heard from poor dear 
Henslow and others of your great knowledge and original 
researches, you will believe me when I say that I have rarely 
in my life been more gratified than by reading your 
address ; though I feel that you speak much too strongly 
of what I have done. Your notice of pangenesis : has par- 
ticularly pleased me, for it has been generally neglected or 
disliked by my friends ; yet I fully expect that it will some 
day be more successful. I believe I quite agree with you in 
the manner in which the cast-off atoms or so-called gemmules 
probably act : 2 I have never supposed that they were developed 
into free cells, but that they penetrated other nascent cells 
and modified their subsequent development. This process 
I have actually compared with ordinary fertilisation. The 
cells thus modified, I suppose cast off in their turn modified 
gemmules, which again combine with other nascent cells, and 
so on. But I must not trouble you any further. 

Letter 226 To August Weismann. 

Down, Oct. 22nd, 1S68. 
I am very much obliged for your kind letter, and I 
have waited for a week before answering it in hopes of 

1 " It would be unpardonable to finish these somewhat desultory 
remarks without adverting to one of the most interesting subjects of the 
day, — the Darwinian doctrine of pangenesis. . . . Like everything which 
comes from the pen of a writer whom I have no hesitation, so far as my 
judgment goes, in considering as by far the greatest observer of our age, 
whatever may be thought of his theories when carried out to their 
extreme results, the subject demands a careful and impartial considera- 
tion." (Berkeley, p. 86.) 

3 "Assuming the general truth of the theory that molecules endowed 
with certain attributes are cast off by the component cells of such infini- 
tesimal minuteness as to be capable of circulating with the fluids, and in 
the end to be present in the unimprcgnated embryo-cell and spermato- 
zoid ... it seems to me far more probable that they should be capable 
under favourable circumstances of exercising an influence analogous to 
that which is exercised by the contents of the pollen-tube or spermato- 
zoid on the embryo-sac or ovum, than that these particles should be 
themselves developed into cells" (Berkeley, p. 87). 



1864— 1869] WEISMANN 3 11 

receiving the " kleine Schrift" 1 to which you allude; but I Letter 226 
fear it is lost, which I am much surprised at, as I have seldom 
failed to receive anything sent by the post. 

As I do not know the title, and cannot order a copy, I 
should be very much obliged if you can spare another. 

I am delighted that you, with whose name I am familiar, 
should approve of my work. I entirely agree with what 
you say about each species varying according to its own 
peculiar laws ; but at the same time it must, I think, be 
admitted that the variations of most species have in the lapse 
of ages been extremely diversified, for I do not see how it 
can be otherwise explained that so many forms have acquired 
analogous structures for the same general object, indepen- 
dently of descent. I am very glad to hear that you have 
been arguing against Nageli's law of perfectibility, which 
seems to me superfluous. Others hold similar views, but 
none of them define what this " perfection " is which cannot 
be gradually attained through Natural Selection. I thought 
M. Wagner's first pamphlet 2 (for I have not yet had time to 
read the second) very good and interesting ; but I think that 
he greatly overrates the necessity for emigration and isolation. 
I doubt whether he has reflected on what must occur when his 
forms colonise a new country, unless they vary during the very 
first generation ; nor does he attach, I think, sufficient weight 
to the cases of what I have called unconscious selection by man : 
in these cases races are modified by the preservation of the best 
and the destruction of the worst, without any isolation. 

I sympathise with you most sincerely on the state of 
your eyesight : it is indeed the most fearful evil which can 
happen to any one who, like yourself, is earnestly attached 
to the pursuit of natural knowledge. 

1 The " kleine Schrift " is " Ueber die Berechtigung der Darwin'schen 
Theorie," Leipzig, 1868. The "Anhang" is "Ueber den Einfluss der 
Wanderung und raiimlichen Isolirung auf die Artbildung." 

* Wagner's first essay, Die Darwirische Theorie und das Migra- 
tionsgesetz, 1868, is a separately published pamphlet of 62 pages. In 
the preface the author states that it is a fuller version of a paper read 
before the Royal Academy of Science at Munich in March 1868. We 
are not able to say which of Wagner's writings is referred to as the 
second pamphlet; his second well-known essay, Ueber den Einfluss der 
Geogr. Isolirung, etc., is of later date, viz., 1870. 



312 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 227 To F. Muller. 

Down, March iSlh [1869]. 

Since I wrote a few days ago and sent off three copies of 
your book, I have read the English translation, 1 and cannot 
deny myself the pleasure of once again expressing to you my 
warm admiration. I might, but will not, repeat my thanks 
for the very honourable manner in which you often mention 
my name ; but I can truly say that I look at the publication 
of your essay as one of the greatest honours ever conferred 
on me. Nothing can be more profound and striking than 
your observations on development and classification. I am 
very glad that you have added your justification in regard to 
the metamorphoses of insects ; for your conclusion now seems 
in the highest degree probable.- I have re-read many parts, 
especially that on cirripedes, with the liveliest interest. I had 
almost forgotten your discussion on the retrograde develop- 
ment of the Rhizocephala. What an admirable illustration it 
affords of my whole doctrine ! A man must indeed be a 
bigot in favour of separate acts of creation if he is not 
staggered after reading your essay ; but I fear that it is too 
deep for English readers, except for a select few. 

Letter 22S To A. R. Wallace. 

March 27th [1869]. 
I have lately {i.e., in new edition of the Origin)* been 
moderating my zeal, and attributing much more to mere 
useless variability. I did think I would send you the sheet, 
but I daresay you would not care to see it, in which I discuss 
Niigeli's Essay on Natural Selection not affecting characters of 
no functional importance, and which yet are of high classifi- 
catory importance. Hooker is pretty well satisfied with what 
I have said on this head. 

1 Facts and Arguments for Darwin. See Life and Letters, III., 

P. 37- 

- See Facts und Arguments for Darwin, p. 119 (note), where F. 
Muller gives his reasons for the belief that the "complete metamor- 
phosis" of insects was not a character of the form from which insects 
have sprung : his argument largely depends on considerations drawn 
from the study of the neuroptera. 

:I Fifth edition, 1869, pp. 150-57. 



1864-1869] HUXLEY ON COMTE 313 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 229 

Caerdeon, Barmouth, North Wales, 

July 24th [1S69]. 

We shall be at home this day week, taking two days on 
the journey, and right glad I shall be. The whole has been 
a failure to me, but much enjoyment to the young. . . . My 
wife has ailed a good deal nearly all the time ; so that I loathe 
the place, with all its beauty. I was glad to hear what you 
thought of F. Miiller, and I agree wholly with you. Your 
letter came at the nick of time, for I was writing on the very 
day to Miiller, and I passed on your approbation of Chaps. X. 
and XI. Some time I should like to borrow the Transactions 
of the New Zealand Institute, so as to read Colenso's article. 1 
You must read Huxley v. Comte 2 ; he never wrote anything 
so clever before, and has smashed everybody right and left in 
grand style. I had a vague wish to read Comte, and so had 
George, but he has entirely cured us of any such vain wish. 

There is another article 3 just come out in last North 
British, by some great mathematician, which is admirably 
done ; he has a severe fling at you, 4 but the article is directed 

1 Colenso, " On the Maori Races of New Zealand." N. Z. Inst. 
Trans., 1S68, Pt. 3. 

2 "The Scientific Aspects of Positivism." Fortnightly Review, 1869, 
p. 652, and Lay Sermons, 1S70, p. 162. This was a reply to Mr. 
Congreve's article, " Mr. Huxley on M. Comte," published in the April 
number of the Fortnightly, p. 407, which had been written in criticism 
of Huxley's article in the February number of the Fortnightly, p. 128, 
" On the Physical Basis of Life." 

3 North British Review, Vol. 50, 1S69 : "Geological Time," p. 406. 
The papers reviewed are Sir William Thomson, Trans. R. Soe. Edin., 
1S62 ; Phil. Mag., 1863 ; Thomson and Tait, Natural Philosophy, Vol. I., 
App. D ; Sir W. Thomson, Proc. R. Soe. Edin., 1865 ; Trans. Geol. 
Soe. Glasgow, 1868 and 1869 ; Macmillarts Mag., 1862 ; Prof. Huxley, 
Presidential Address, Geol. Soe. London, Feb., 1869 ; Dr. Hooker, 
Presidential Address, Brit. Assoe., Norwich, 1868. Also the review on 
the Origin in the North British Review, 1867, by Fleeming Jenkin, and 
an article in the Pall Mall Gazette, May 3rd, 1869. The author treats 
the last-named with contempt as the work of an anonymous journalist, 
apparently unconscious of his own similar position. 

' The author of the North British article appears to us, at p. 408, to 
misunderstand or misinterpret Sir J. I). Hooker's parable on "under- 
pinning." See Life and Letters, III., p. 101 (note). Sir Joseph i 
attacked with quite unnecessary vehemence on another point at p. 413. 



3H EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 229 against Huxley and for Thomson. This review shows me — 
not that I required being shown — how devilish a clever fellow 
Huxley is, for the reviewer cannot help admiring his abilities. 
There are some good specimens of mathematical arrogance in 
the review, and incidentally he shows how often astronomers 
have arrived at conclusions which are now seen to be mis- 
taken ; so that geologists might truly answer that we must 
be slow in admitting your conclusions. Nevertheless, all 
uniformitarians had better at once cry " peccavi," — not but 
what I feel a conviction that the world will be found rather 
older than Thomson makes it, and far older than the reviewer 
makes it. I am glad I have faced and admitted the difficulty 
in the last edition of the Origin, of which I suppose you 
received, according to order, a copy. 

Letter 230 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, Aug. 7th [1S69]. 

There never was such a good man as you for telling me 
things which I like to hear. I am not at all surprised that 
Hallett has found some varieties of wheat could not be 
improved in certain desirable qualities as quickly as at first. 
All experience shows this with animals ; but it would, I think, 
be rash to assume, judging from actual experience, that a 
little more improvement could not be got in the course of 
a century, and theoretically very improbable that after a few 
thousands [of years] rest there would not be a start in the 
same line of variation. What astonishes me as against 
experience, and what I cannot believe, is that varieties 
already improved or modified do not vary in other respects. 
I think he must have generalised from two or three spon- 
taneously fixed varieties. Even in seedlings from the same 
capsule some vary much more than others ; so it is with 
sub-varieties and varieties. 1 

It is a grand fact about AnoplotJicrinni? and shows how 

1 In a letter of August 13th, 1869, Sir J. D. Hooker wrote correcting 
Mr. Darwin's impression : " I did not mean to imply that Hallett affirmed 
that all variation stopped — far from it : he maintained the contrary, but if 
I understand him aright, he soon arrives at a point beyond which any 
further accumulation in the direction sought is so small and so slow that 
practically a fixity of type (not absolute fixity, however) is the result." 

1 This perhaps refers to the existence of Anoplothcrium in the S. 



1864— 1S69] N. BRITISH REVIEW 315 

even terrestrial quadrupeds had time formerly to spread to Letter 230 
very distant regions. At each epoch the world tends to get 
peopled pretty uniformly, which is a blessing for Geology. 
The article in N. British Reviezv 1 is well worth reading 

fc> 

scientifically ; George D. and Erasmus were delighted with 
it. How the author does hit ! It was a euphuism to speak 
of a fling at you : it was a kick. He is very unfair to Huxley, 
and accuses him of "quibbling," etc. ; yet the author cannot 
help admiring him extremely. I know I felt very small when 
I finished the article. You will be amused to observe that 
geologists have all been misled by Playfair, who was misled 
by two of the greatest mathematicians ! And there are other 
such cases ; so we could turn round and show your reviewer 
how cautious geologists ought to be in trusting mathema- 
ticians. 

There is another excellent original article, I feel sure by 
McClennan, on Primeval Man, well worth readine. 

I do not quite agree about Sabine : he is unlike every 
other soldier or sailor I ever heard of if he would not put his 
second leg into the tomb with more satisfaction as K.C.B. 
than as a simple man. I quite agree that the Government 
ought to have made him long ago, but what does the Govern- 
ment know or care for Science ? So much for your splenditious 
letter. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 2jI 

Down, Aug. 14th [1869?] 
I write one line to tell you that you are a real good man 
to propose coming here for a Sunday after Exeter. Do keep 

to this good intention I am sure Exeter and your other 

visit will do you good. I often wonder how you stand all 
your multifarious work. 

I quite agree about the folly of the endless subscriptions 
for dead men ; but Faraday is an exception, and if you will 
pay three guineas for me, it will save me some trouble ; but 
it will be best to enclose a cheque, which, as you will see, 
must be endorsed. If you read the North British Review, 
you will like to know that George has convinced me, from 

American Eocene formation : it is one of the points in which the fauna 
of S. America resembles Europe rather than N. America. (See Wallace 
Geographical Distribution, I., p. 148.) 
1 See Letter 229. 



3 i6 EVOLUTION [Chap. IV 

Letter 231 correspondence in style, and spirit, that the article is by 
Tait, the co-worker with Thomson. 

I was much surprised at the leaves of Drosophyttum being 
always rolled backwards at their tips, but did not know that 
it was a unique character. 

Letter 232 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, Nov. 13th [18C9]. 

I heard yesterday from a relation who had seen in a 
newspaper that you were C.B. I must write one line to say 
" Hurrah," though I wish it had been K.C.B., as it assuredly 
ought to have been ; but I suppose they look at K.C.B. before 
C.B. as a dukedom before an earldom. 

Wc had a very successful week in London, and I was 
unusually well and saw a good many persons, which, when 
well, is a great pleasure to me. I had a jolly talk with 
Huxley, amongst others. And now I am at the same work 
as before, and shall be for another two months — namely, 
putting ugly sentences rather straighter ; and I am sick of 
the work, and, as the subject is all on sexual selection, I am 
weary of everlasting males and females, cocks and hens. 

It is a shame to bother you, but I should like some time 
to hear about the C.B. affair. 

I have read one or two interesting brochures lately — viz., 
Stirling the Hegelian versus Huxley and protoplasm ; Tylor 
in Journal of Royal Institute on the survivals of old thought 
in modern civilisation. 

Farewell. I am as dull as a duck, both male and female. 

To Dr. Hooker, C.B., F.R.S. 
Dr. Hooker, K.C.B. 
(This looks better). 

P.S. I hear a good account of Bentham's last address, 1 
which I am now going to read. 

I find that I have blundered about Bentham's address. 
Lycll was speaking about one that I read some months ago ; 
but I read half of it again last night, and shall finish it. 
Some passages are either new or were not studied enough by 

1 Presidential Address, chiefly on Geographical Distribution, delivered 
before the Linn. Soc, May 24th, 1869. 




From a photograph by Wallich 



Sir J. I). Hooker 

1S70? 



1864-1S69] PERIODICALS 3 17 

me before. It strikes me as admirable, as it did on the first Letter 232 
reading, though I differ in some few points. 

Such an address is worth its weight in gold, I should 
think, in making converts to our views. Lyell tells me that 
Bunbury has been wonderfully impressed with it, and he 
never before thought anything of our views on evolution. 

P.S. (2). I have just read, and like very much, your review 
of Schimper. 1 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 233 

Down, Nov. 19th [1869]. 

Thank you much for telling me all about the C.B., for I 
much wished to hear. It pleases me extremely that the 
Government have done this much ; and as the K.C.B.'s arc 
limited in number (which I did not know), I excuse it. I will 
not mention what you have told me to any one, as it would 
be Murchisonian. But what a shame it is to use this ex- 
pression, for I fully believe that Murchison would take aviy 
trouble to get any token of honour for any man of science. 

I like all scientific periodicals, including poor Scientific 
Opinion, and I think higher than you do of Nature. Lord, 
what a rhapsody that was of Goethe, but how well translated ; 
it seemed to me, as I told Huxley, as if written by the 
maddest English scholar. It is poetry, and can I say any- 
thing more severe? The last number of the Academy was 
splendid, and I hope it will soon come out fortnightly. I wish 
Nature would search more carefully all foreign journals and 
transactions. 

I am now reading a German thick pamphlet 2 by Kerner 
on Tubocytisus ; if you come across it, look at the map of the 
distribution of the eighteen quasi-species, and at the genealo- 
gical tree. If the latter, as the author says, was constructed 
solely from the affinities of the forms, then the distribution is 
wonderfully interesting ; we may see the very steps of the 
formation of a species. If you study the genealogical tree 

1 A review of Schimpers Trait/ dc Paliontologie Vigitale, the first 
portion of which was published in 1869. Nature, Nov. 1 ith, 1869, p. 48. 

2 " Die Abhangigheit der Pflanzengestalt von Klima und Boden. Ein 
Beitrag zur Lehre von der Enstehung und Verbreitung der Arten, etc." 
Festschrift zur 43 Versammlung Deutscher Naturforscher und Aertze in 
Innsbruck (Innsbruck, 1869). 



318 EVOLUTION [Chat. IV 

Letter 233 and map, you will almost understand the book. The two old 
parent connecting links just keep alive in two or three areas ; 
then we have four widely extended species, their descendants ; 
and from them little groups of newer descendants inhabiting 
rather small areas. . . . 

Letter 234 To Camillc Dareste. 

Down, Nov. 20th, 1SC9. 
Dear Sir, 

I am glad that you are a candidate for the Chair of 
Physiology in Paris. As you are aware from my published 
works, I have always considered your investigations on the 
production of monstrosities as full of interest. No subject is 
at the present time more important, as far as my judgment 
goes, than the ascertaining by experiment how far structure 
can be modified by the direct action of changed conditions ; 
and you have thrown much light on this subject. 

I observe that several naturalists in various parts of 
Europe have lately maintained that it is now of the highest 
interest for science to endeavour to lessen, as far as possible, 
our profound ignorance on the cause of each individual 
variation ; and, as Is. Geoffroy St. Hilaire long ago remarked, 
monstrosities cannot be separated by any distinct line from 
slighter variations. 

With my best wishes for your success in obtaining the 
Professorship, and with sincere respect. 

I have the honour to remain, dear sir, 

Yours faithfully, 

Charles Darwin. 



CHAPTER V. 

EVOLUTION. 

(1870-82). 

To J. Jenncr Weir. 1 Letter 235 

Down, March 17th [1870]. 
It is my decided opinion that you ought to send an 
account to some scientific society, and I think to the Royal 
Society. 3 I would communicate it if you so decide. You 

1 Mr. John Jenner Weir (1822-94) came of a family of Scotch descent ; 
in 1839 he entered the service of the Custom House, and during the final 
eleven years of his service, i.e. from 1S74 to 1885, held the position of 
Accountant and Controller-General. He was a born naturalist, and his 
" aptitude for exact observation was of the highest order " (Mr. M'Lachlan 
in the Entomologists Monthly Magazine, May 1S94). He is chiefly known 
as an entomologist, but he had also extensive knowledge of Ornithology, 
Horticulture, and of the breeds of various domestic animals and cage- 
birds. His personal qualities made him many friends, and he was 
especially kind to beginners in the numerous subjects on which he was 
an authority {Science Gossip, May 1894). 

- Mr. Jenner Weir's case is given in Animals and Plants, Ed. II., 
Vol. I., p. 435, and does not appear to have been published elsewhere. 
The facts are briefly that a horse, the offspring of a mare of Lord 
Mostyn's, which had previously borne a foal by a quagga, showed a 
number of quagga-like characters, such as stripes, low-growing mane, and 
elongated hoofs. The passage in Animals and Plants, to which he directs 
Mr. Weir's attention in reference to Carpenter's objection, is in Ed. I., 
Vol. I., p. 405 : " It is a most improbable hypothesis that the mere blood 
of one individual should affect the reproductive organs of another indi- 
vidual in such a manner as to modify the subsequent offspring. The 
analogy from the direct action of foreign pollen on the ovarium and 
seed-coats of the mother plant strongly supports the belief that the male 
element acts directly on the reproductive organs of the female, wonderful 
as is this action, and not through the intervention of the crossed embryo." 
For references to Mr. Galton's experiments on transfusion of blood, see 
Letter 273. 



320 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 235 might give as a preliminary reason the publication in the 
Transactions of the celebrated Morton case and the pig case 
by Mr. Giles. You might also allude to the evident physio- 
logical importance of such facts as bearing on the theory of 
generation. Whether it would be prudent to allude to despised 
pangenesis I cannot say, but I fully believe pangenesis will 
have its successful day. Pray ascertain carefully the colour 
of the dam and sire. See about duns in my book [Animals 
and Plants'], Vol. I., p. 55. The extension of the mane and 
form of hoofs are grand new facts. Is the hair of your horse 
at all curly ? for [an] observed case [is] given by me (Vol. II., 
p. 325) from Azara of correlation of forms of hoof with curly 
hairs. See also in my book (Vol. I., p. 55 ; Vol. II., p. 41) 
how excessively rare stripes are on the faces of horses in 
England. Give the age of your horse. 

You are aware that Dr. Carpenter and others have tried 
to account for the effects of a first impregnation from the 
influence of the blood of the crossed embryo; but with 
physiologists who believe that the reproductive elements are 
actually formed by the reproductive glands, this view is incon- 
sistent. Pray look at what I have said in Domestic Animals 
(Vol. I., pp. 402-5) against this doctrine. It seems to me 
more probable that the gemmules affect the ovaria alone. 
I remember formerly speculating, like you, on the assertion 
that wives grow like their husbands ; but how impossible to 
eliminate effects of imitation and same habits of life, etc. 
Your letter has interested me profoundly. 

P.S. — Since publishing I have heard of additional cases — 
a very good one in regard to Westphalian pigs crossed by 
English boar, and all subsequent offspring affected, given in 
Illust. Landtuirth-Zeitung, 1868, p. 143. 

I have shown that mules are often striped, though neither 
parent may be striped, — due to ancient reversion. Now, 
Fritz Mullcr writes to me from S. Brazil : " I have been 
assured, by persons who certainly never had heard of Lord 
Morton's mare, that mares which have borne hybrids to an ass 
are particularly liable to produce afterwards striped ass-colts." 
So a previous fertilisation apparently gives to the subsequent 
offspring a tendency to certain characters, as well as characters 
actually possessed by the first male. 

In the reprint (not called a second edition) of my Domestic 



1870-1882] SPONTANEOUS GENERATION 321 

Animals I give a good additional case of subsequent progeny Letter 235 
of hairless dog being hairy from effects of first impregnation. 

P.S. 2nd. The suggestion, no doubt, is superfluous, but 
you ought, I think, to measure extension of mane beyond a 
line joining front or back of ears, and compare with horse. 
Also the measure (and give comparison with horse), length, 
breadth, and depth of hoofs. 

To J. D. Hooker. LeUer 236 

Down, July 12th [1S70]. 

Your conclusion that all speculation about preordination 
is idle waste of time is the only wise one ; but how difficult 
it is not to speculate ! My theology is a simple muddle ; I 
cannot look at the universe as the result of blind chance, yet 
I can see no evidence of beneficent design, or indeed of 
design of any kind, in the details. As for each variation that 
has ever occurred having been preordained for a special* end, 
I can no more believe in it than that the spot on which each 
drop of rain falls has been specially ordained. 

Spontaneous generation seems almost as great a puzzle as 
preordination. I cannot persuade myself that such a multi- 
plicity of organisms can have been produced, like crystals, in 
Bastian's 1 solutions of the same kind. I am astonished that, 
as yet, I have met with no allusion to Wyman's positive 
statement 2 that if the solutions are boiled for five hours no 
organisms appear ; yet, if my memory serves me, the solu- 
tions when opened to air immediately became stocked. 
Against all evidence, I cannot avoid suspecting that organic 

1 On Sept. 2nd, 1872, Mr. Darwin wrote to Mr. Wallace, in reference 
to the latter's review of The Beginnings of Life, by H. C. Bastian (1872), 
in Nature, 1872, pp. 284-99: "At present I should prefer any mad 
hypothesis, such as that every disintegrated molecule of the lowest forms 
can reproduce the parent-form ; and that these molecules are universally 
distributed, and that they do not lose their vital power until heated 
to such a temperature that they decompose like dead organic particles." 

- " Observations and Experiments on Living Organisms in Heated 
Water," by Jeffries Wyman, Prof, of Anatomy, Harvard Coll. {Amer. 
Journ. Set., XLIV., 1867, p. 152. Solutions of organic matter in 
hermetically sealed flasks were immersed in boiling water for various 
periods. " No infusoria of any kind appeared if the boiling was prolonged 
beyond a period of five hours." 

■21 



322 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 236 particles (my gemmules from the separate cells of the lower 
creatures !) will keep alive and afterwards multiply under 
proper conditions. 

What an interesting problem it is. 

Letter 237 To W. B. Tegetmeier. 

Down, July 15th [1870]. 

It is very long since I have heard from you, and I am much 
obliged for your letter. It is good news that you are going 
to bring out a new edition of your Poultry book, 1 and you are 
tpjite at liberty to use all my materials. Thanks for the 
curious case of the wild duck variation : I have heard of 
other instances of a tendency to vary in one out of a large 
litter or family. I have too many things in hand at present 
to profit by your offer of the loan of the American Poultry 
book. 

Pray keep firm to your idea of working out the subject of 
analogous variations - with pigeons ; I really think you might 
thus make a novel and valuable contribution to science. I 
can, however, quite understand how much your time must be 
occupied with the never-ending, always-beginning editorial 
cares. 

I keep much as usual, and crawl on with my work. 

Letter 23S To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, Sept. 27th [1S70]. 
Yours was a splendid letter, and I was very curious to 
hear something about the Liverpool 3 meeting, which I much 
wished to be successful for Huxley's sake. I am surprised 
that you think his address would not have been clear to the 
public ; it seemed to me as clear as water. The general line 
of his argument might have been answered by the case of 

1 The Poultry Book, 1872. 

2 " By this term I mean that similar characters occasionally make 
their appearance in the several varieties or races descended from the 
same species, and more rarely in the offspring of widely distinct species 
{Animals and Plants, II., Ed, II., p. 340). 

3 Mr. Huxley was President of the British Association at Liverpool in 
1870. His Presidential Address on "Biogenesis and Abiogenesis" is 
reprinted in his collected Essays, VIII., p. 229. Some account of the 
meeting is given in Huxley's Life and Letters, Vol. I., pp. 332, 336. 



1870-1882] BRITISH ASSOCIATION 323 

spontaneous combustion : tens of thousands of cases of things Letter 23S 
having been seen to be set on fire would be no true argument 
against any one who maintained that flames sometimes spon- 
taneously burst forth. I am delighted at the apotheosis of 
Sir Roderick ; I can fancy what neat and appropriate 
speeches he would make to each nobleman as he entered the 
gates of heaven. You ask what I think about Tyndall's 
lecture l : it seemed to me grand and very interesting, though 
I could not from ignorance quite follow some parts, and I 
longed to tell him how immensely it would have been im- 
proved if all the first part had been made very much less 
egotistical. George independently arrived at the same 
conclusion, and liked all the latter part extremely. He 
thought the first part not only egotistical, but rather 
clap-trap. 

How well Tyndall puts the "as if" manner of philoso- 
phising, and shows that it is justifiable. Some of those 
confounded Frenchmen have lately been pitching into me 
for using this form of proof or argument. 

I have just read Rolleston's address in Nature- : his style 
is quite unparalleled ! I see he quotes you about seed, so 
yesterday I went and observed more carefully the case given 
in the enclosed paper, which perhaps you might like to read 
and burn. 

How true and good what you say about Lyell. He is 
always the same ; Dohrn was here yesterday, and was remark- 
ing that no one stood higher in the public estimation of 
Germany than Lyell. 

I am truly and profoundly glad that you are thinking of 
some general work on Geographical Distribution, or so forth ; 
I hope to God that your incessant occupations may not inter- 
rupt this intention. As for my book, I shall not have done 
the accursed proofs till the end of November 3 : good Lord, 
what a muddled head I have got on my wretched old 
shoulders. 

1 Tyndall's lecture was " On the Scientific Uses of the Imagination.'' 
- Presidential Address to the Biological Section, British Association, 
1870. Nature^ Sept. 22nd, 1870, p. 423. Rolleston referred to the 
vitality of seeds in soil, a subject on which Darwin made occasional 
observations. See Life and Letters ; II., p. 65. 

3 The proofs of the Descent of Man were finished on Jan. 15th, 1871. 



324 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 239 To H. Settegast. 

Down, Sept. 29th, 1870. 

1 am very much obliged for your kind letter and present 
of your beautiful volume. 1 Your work is not new to me, for 
I heard it so highly spoken of that I procured a copy of the 
first edition. It was a great gratification to me to find a 
man who had long studied with a philosophical spirit our 
domesticated animals, and who was highly competent to 
judge, agreeing to a large extent with my views. I regretted 
much that I had not known your work when I published my 
last volumes. 

I am surprised and pleased to hear that science is not 
quite forgotten under the present exciting state of affairs. 
Every one whom I know in England is an enthusiastic wisher 
for the full and complete success of Germany. 

P.S. I will give one of my two copies of your work to 
some public scientific library in London. 

Letter 240 To the Editor of the Pall Mall Gazette. 

Down, March 24th [1871]. 

Mr. Darwin presents his compliments to the Editor, and 
would be greatly obliged if he would address and post the 
enclosed letter to the author of the two admirable reviews of 
the Descent of Man? 

Letter 241 To John Morley. 

Down, March 24th, 1S71. 

From the spirit of your review in the Pall Mall Gazette 
of my last book, which has given me great pleasure, I have 
thought that you would perhaps inform me on one point, 
withholding, if you please, your name. 

You say that my phraseology on beauty is " loose scienti- 
fically, and philosophically most misleading." 3 This is not 

1 Die Thierzucht, 1S68. 

2 The notices of the Descent of Man, published in the Pall Mall 
Gazette of March 20th and 21st, 1871, were by Mr. John Morley. We 
are indebted to the Editor of the rail Mall Gazette for kindly allowing 
us to consult his file of the journal. 

3 "Mr. Darwin's work is one of those rare and capital achievements 
of intellect which effect a grave modification throughout all the highest 
departments of the realm of opinion. . . . There is throughout the 



i87o— 1882] JOHN MORLEY 325 

at all improbable, as it is almost a lifetime since I attended to Letter 241 
the philosophy of aesthetics, and did not then think that I 
should ever make use of my conclusions. Can you refer me 
to any one or two books (for my power of reading is not 
great) which would illumine me ? or can you explain in one or 
two sentences how I err ? Perhaps it would be best for me 
to explain what I mean by the sense of beauty in its lowest 
stage of development, and which can only apply to animals. 
When an intense colour, or two tints in harmony, or a re- 
current and symmetrical figure please the eye, or a single 
sweet note pleases the ear, I call this a sense of beauty ; and 
with this meaning I have spoken (though I now see in not a 
sufficiently guarded manner) of a taste for the beautiful being 
the same in mankind (for all savages admire bits of bright 
cloth, beads, plumes, etc.) and in the lower animals. If the 
blue and yellow plumage of a macaw 1 pleases the eye of this 
bird, I should say that it had a sense of beauty, although its 
taste was bad according to our standard. Now, will you have 
the kindness to tell me how I can learn to see the error of 
my ways ? Of course I recognise, as indeed I have remarked 
in my book, that the sense of beauty in the case of scenery, 
pictures, etc., is something infinitely complex, depending on 
varied associations and culture of the mind. From a very 
interesting review in the Spectator, and from your and 
Wallace's review, I perceive that I have made a great over- 
sight in not having said what little I could on the acquisition 

description and examination of Sexual Selection a way of speaking of 
beauty, which seems to us to be highly un philosophical, because it assumes 
a certain theory of beauty, which the most competent modern thinkers are 
too far from accepting, to allow its assumption to be quite judicious. . . . 
Why should we only find the ;esthetic quality in birds wonderful, when it 
happens to coincide with our own ? In other words, why attribute to them 
conscious aesthetic qualities at all ? There is no more positive reason for 
attributing aesthetic consciousness to the Argus pheasant than there is 
for attributing to bees geometric consciousness of the hexagonal prisms 
and rhombic plates of the hive which they so marvellously construct. 
Hence the phraseology which Mr. Darwin employs in this part of the 
subject, though not affecting the degree of probability which may belong 
to this theory, seems to us to be very loose scientifically, and philosophi- 
cally most misleading." Pall Mall Gazette. 

' K " What man deems the horrible contrasts of yellow and blue attract 
the macaw, while ball-and-socket-plumage attracts the Argus pheasant " 
— Pall Mall Gazette, March 21st, 1871, p. 1075. 



326 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 241 uf the sense for the beautiful by man and the lower animals. 
It would indeed be an immense advantage to an author if he 
could read such criticisms as yours before publishing. At 
p. 1 1 of your review you accidentally misquote my words 
placed by you within inverted commas, from my Vol. II., 
p. 354: I say that "man cannot endure any great change," 
and the omitted words "any great" ' make all the difference 
in the discussion. 

Permit me to add a few other remarks. I believe your 
criticism is quite just about my deficient historic spirit, for 
I am aware of my ignorance in this line. 3 On the other 
hand, if you should ever be led to read again Chapter III., 
and especially Chapter V., I think you will find that I am 
not amenable to all your strictures ; though I felt that I was 
walking on a path unknown to me and full of pitfalls ; but 
I had the advantage of previous discussions by able men. I 
tried to say most emphatically that a great philosopher, law- 
giver, etc., did far more for the progress of mankind by his 
writings or his example than by leaving a numerous offspring. 
I have endeavoured to show how the struggle for existence 
between tribe and tribe depends on an advance in the moral 
and intellectual qualities of the members, and not merely on 
their capacity of obtaining food. When I speak of the neces- 
sity of a struggle for existence in order that mankind should 
advance still higher in the scale, I do not refer to the most, 
but " to the more highly gifted men " being successful in the 
battle for life ; I referred to my supposition of the men in any 
country being divided into two equal bodies — viz., the more 
and the less highly gifted, and to the former on an average 
succeeding best. 

1 " Mr. Darwin tells us, and gives us excellent reasons for thinking, that 
' the men of each race prefer what they are accustomed to behold ; they 
cannot endure change.' Yet is there not an inconsistency between this 
fact and the other that one race differs from another exactly because 
novelties presented themselves, and were eagerly seized and propagated?" 

- " In the historic spirit, however, Mr. Darwin must fairly be pro- 
nounced deficient. When, for instance, he speaks of the 'great sin of 
slavery' having been general among primitive nations, he forgets that, 
though to hold a slave would be a sinful degradation to a European 
to-day, the practice of turning prisoners of war into slaves, instead of 
butchering them, was not a sin at all, but marked a decided improvement 
in human manners." 



1870— iScS2] JOHN MORLEY 327 

But I have much cause to apologise for the length of this Letter 241 
ill-expressed letter. My sole excuse is the extraordinary- 
interest which I have felt in your review, and the pleasure 
which I have experienced in observing the points which have 
attracted your attention. I must say one word more. Having 
kept the subject of sexual selection in my mind for very many 
years, and having become more and more satisfied with it, I 
feel great confidence that as soon as the notion is rendered 
familiar to others, it will be accepted, at least to a much 
greater extent than at present. With sincere respect and 
thanks. . . . 

To John Morlcy. Letter 242 

Down, April 14th [1871]. 
As this note requires no answer, I do not scruple to write 
a few lines to say how faithful and full a resume you have 
given of my notions on the moral sense J in the Pall Mall, and 

1 "What is called the question of the moral sense is really two : how 
the moral faculty is acquired, and how it is regulated. Why do we obey 
conscience or feel pain in disobeying it ? And why does conscience 
prescribe one kind of action and condemn another kind ? To put it more 
technically, there is the question of the subjective existence of conscience, 
and there is the question of its objective prescriptions. First, why do I 
think it obligatory to do my duty ? Second, why do I think it my duty to 
do this and not do that ? Although, however, the second question ought 
to be treated independently, for reasons which we shall presently suggest, 
the historical answer to it, or the various grounds on which men have 
identified certain sorts of conduct with duty, rather than conduct of the 
opposite sorts, throws light on the other question of the conditions of 
growth of the idea of duty as a sovereign and imperial director. Mr. 
Darwin seems to us not to have perfectly recognised the logical separation 
between the two sides of the moral sense question. For example, he says 
(i. 97) that ' philosophers of the derivative school of morals formerly 
assumed that the foundation of morality lay in a form of Selfishness ; but 
more recently in the Greatest Happiness principle.' But Mr. Mill, to 
whom Mr. Darwin refers, has expressly shown that the Greatest Happiness 
principle is a standard, and not a. foundation, and that its validity as a 
standard of right and wrong action is just as tenable by one who believes 
the moral sense to be innate, as by one who holds that it is acquired. 
He says distinctly that the social feelings of mankind form ' the natural 
basis of sentiment for utilitarian morality.' So far from holding the 
Greatest Happiness principle to be the foundation of morality, he would 
describe it as the forming principle of the superstructure of which the 
social feelings of mankind are the foundation. Between Mr. Darwin and 



328 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Lettei 242 to make .1 few extenuating or explanatory remarks. How 
the mistake which I have made in speaking of greatest 
happiness as the foundation of morals arose, is utterly un- 
intelligible to me : any time during the last several years I 
should have laughed such an idea to scorn. Mr. Lecky never 
made a greater blunder, 1 and your kindness has made you let 
me off too easily. With respect to Mr. Mill, nothing would have 
pleased me more than to have relied on his great authority with 
respect to the social instincts, but the sentence which I quote 
at [Vol. I.] p. 71 ("if, as is my own belief, the moral feelings 
arc not innate, but acquired, they are not for that reason less 
natural ") seems to me somewhat contradictory with the other 
words which I quote, so that I did not know what to think ; 
more especially as he says so very little about the social 
instincts. When I speak of intellectual activity as the 
secondary basis of conscience, I meant in my own mind 
secondary in period of development ; but no one could be 
expected to understand so great an ellipse. With reference 
to your last sentence, do you not think that man might 

utilitarians, as utilitarians, there is no such quarrel as he would appear 
to suppose. The narrowest utilitarian could say little more than Mr. 
Darwin says (ii. 393): 'As all men desire their own happiness, praise 
or blame is bestowed on actions and motives according as they tend to 
this end ; and, as happiness is an essential part of the general good, the 
Greatest Happiness principle indirectly serves as a nearly safe standard 
of right and wrong.' It is perhaps not impertinent to suspect that the 
faltering adverbs which we have printed in italics indicate no more 
than the reluctance of a half-conscious convert to pure utilitarianism. 
In another place (i. 98) he admits that 'as all wish for happiness, the 
Greatest Happiness principle will have become a most important secondary 
guide and object, the social instincts, including sympathy, always serving 
as the primary impulse and guide.' This is just what Mr. Mill says, only 
instead of calling the principle a secondary guide, he would call it a 
standard, to distinguish it from the social impulse, in which, as much as 
Mr. Darwin, he recognises the base and foundation." — Pall Mall Gazelle, 
April 1 2th, 1871. 

1 In the first edition of the Descent of Man, I., p. 97, Mr. Lecky is 
quoted as one of those who assumed that the "foundation of morality lay 
in a form of selfishness ; but more recently in the 'greatest happiness' 
principle." Mr. Lecky's name is omitted in this connection in the second 
edition, p. 120. In this edition Mr. Darwin makes it clearer that he 
attaches most importance to the social instinct as the " primary impulse 
and guide." 



1S70— 1882] LORD KELVIN'S ADDRESS 329 

have retrograded in his parental, marriage, and other instincts Letter 242 
without having retrograded in his social instincts ? and I do 
not think that there is any evidence that man ever existed as 
a non-social animal. I must add that I have been very glad 
to read your remarks on the supposed case of the hive-bee : it 
affords an amusing contrast with what Miss Cobbc has written 
in the Theological Review} Undoubtedly the great principle 
of acting for the good of all the members of the same com- 
munity, and therefore the good of the species, would still have 
held sovereign sway. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 243 

Sir Joseph Hooker wrote (Aug. 5th, 1S71) to Darwin about Lord 
Kelvin's Presidential Address at the Edinburgh meeting of the British 
Association : " It seems to me to be very able indeed ; and what a good 
notion it gives of the gigantic achievement of mathematicians and 
physicists ! — it really made one giddy to read of them. I do not think 
Huxley will thank him for his reference to him as a positive unbeliever 
in spontaneous generation — these mathematicians do not seem to me 
to distinguish between un-belief and a-belief. I know no other name for 
the state of mind that is produced under the term scepticism. I had 
no idea before that pure Mathematics had achieved such wonders in 
practical science. The total absence of any allusion to Tyndall's labours, 
even when comets are his theme, seems strange to me." 

Haredene, Albury, Guildford, Aug. 6th [1871]. 
I have read with greatest interest Thomson's address ; 
but you say so exactly and fully all that I think, that you 
have taken all the words from my mouth ; even about Tyndall. 
It is a gain that so wonderful a man, though no naturalist, 
should become a convert to evolution ; Huxley, it seems, 
remarked in his speech to this effect. I should like to know 

1 Mr. Darwin says {Descent of Man, Ed. 1., Vol. I., p. 73 ; Ed. II., 
p. 99), "that if men lived like bees our unmarried females would think it 
a sacred duty to kill their brothers." Miss Cobbe remarks on this " that 
the principles of social duty would be reversed" {Theological Review, 
April 1872). Mr. Morley, on the other hand, says of Darwin's assertion, 
that it is "as reassuring as the most absolute of moralists could desire. 
For it is tantamount to saying that the foundations of morality, the 
distinctions of right and wrong, are deeply laid in the very conditions of 
social existence ; that there is in face of these conditions a positive 
and definite difference between the moral and the immoral, the virtuous 
and the vicious, the right and the wrong, in the actions of individuals 
partaking of that social existence." 



330 EVOLUTION [Chap.V 

Letter 243 what he means about design, 1 — I cannot in the least under- 
stand, for I presume he docs not believe in special inter- 
positions. Herschel's was a good sneer. It made me put in 
the simile about Raphael's Madonna,- when describing in the 
Descent of Man the manner of formation of the wondrous 
ball-and-socket ornaments, and I will swear to the truth of 
this case. 

You know the oak-leaved variety of the common honey- 
suckle ; I could not persuade a lady that this was not the 
result of the honeysuckle climbing up a young oak tree ! Is 
this not like the Viola case ? 

Letter 244 To John Lubbock (Lord Avebury). 

Haredene, Albury, Guildford, Aug. 12th [187 1]. 

I hope the proof-sheets having been sent here will not 
inconvenience you. I have read them with infinite satisfac- 
tion, and the whole discussion strikes me as admirable. I 
have no books here, and wish much I could see a plate of 

1 See British Association Report, p. cv. Lord Kelvin speaks very 
doubtfully of evolution. After quoting tbe concluding passage of the 
Origin, he goes on, " I have omitted two sentences . . . describing 
briefly the hypothesis of ' the origin of species by Natural Selection,' 
because I have always felt that this hypothesis does not contain the true 
theory of evolution, if evolution there has been in biology " (the italics 
arc not in the original). Lord Kelvin then describes as a "most 
valuable and instructive criticism," Sir John Herschel's remark that the 
doctrine of Natural Selection is " too like the Laputan method of making 
books, and that it did not sufficiently take into account a continually 
guiding and controlling intelligence." But it should be remembered that 
it was in this address of Lord Kelvin's that he suggested the possibility 
of " seed-bearing meteoric stones moving about through space " inocu- 
lating the earth with living organisms ; and if he assumes that the whole 
population of the globe is to be traced back to these "moss-grown 
fragments from the ruins of another world," it is obvious that he believes 
in a form of evolution, and one in which a controlling intelligence is not 
very obvious, at all events not in the initial and all-important stage. 

■ See Descent of Man, II., p. 141. Darwin says that no one will 
attribute the shading of the "eyes " on the wings of the Argus pheasant 
to the " fortuitous concourse of atoms of colouring-matter." He goes on 
to say that the development of the ball-and-socket effect by means of 
Natural Selection seems at first as incredible as that "one of Raphael's 
Madonnas should have been formed by the selection of chance daubs of 
paint." The remark of Herschel's, emoted in Life and Letters, II., p. 241, 
that the Origin illustrates the "law of higgledy-piggledy," is probably a 



1870— 1882] METAMORPHOSIS 331 

Campodea} I never reflected much on the difficulty 2 which Letter 244 
you indicate, and on which you throw so much light I have 
only a few trifling remarks to make. At p. 44 I wish you 
had enlarged a little on what you have said of the distinction 
between developmental and adaptive changes ; for I cannot 
quite remember the point, and others will perhaps be in the 
same predicament. I think I always saw that the larva and 
the adult might be separately modified to any extent. 
Bearing in mind what strange changes of function parts 
undergo, with the intermediate state of use, 3 it seems to me 
that you speak rather too boldly on the impossibility of a 
mandibulate insect being converted into a sucking insect ; ' 
not that I in the least doubt the value of your explanation. 

conversational variant of the Laputan comparison which gave rise to the 
passage in the Descent of Man (see Letter 130). 

1 " On the Origin of Insects." By Sir John Lubbock, Bart. Tourn. 
Linn. Soc. (Zoology), Vol. XL, 1873, PP- 422-6. (Read Nov. 2nd, 1871.) 
In the concluding paragraph the author writes, "If these views'are 
correct the genus Campodea [a beetle] must be regarded as a form 
of remarkable interest, since it is the living representative of a primaeval 
type from which not only the Collembola and Thysanura, but the other 
great orders of insects, have all derived their origin." (See also Brit. 
Assoc. Report, 1872, p. 125— Address by Sir John Lubbock; and for a 
figure of Campodea see Nature, Vol. VII., 1873, P- 447-) 

2 The difficulty alluded to is explained by the first sentence of Lord 
Avebury's paper. "The Metamorphoses of this group (Insects) have 
always seemed to me one of the greatest difficulties of the Darwinian 
theory ... I feel great difficulty in conceiving by what natural process 
an insect with a suctorial mouth, like that of a gnat or butterfly, could 
be developed from a powerfully mandibulate type like the orthoptera, or 
even from the neuroptera ... A clue to the difficulty may, I think, be 
found in the distinction between the developmental and adaptive changes 
to which I called the attention of the Society in a previous memoir." 

The distinction between developmental and adaptive changes is 
mentioned, but not discussed, in the paper " On the Origin of Insects " 
(loc. tit., p. 422); in a former paper, "On the Development of Chloeon 
(Ephemera) dimidiatum (Trans. Linn. Soc, XXV, p. 477, 1866), this 
question is dealt with at length. 

3 This slightly obscure phrase may be paraphrased, " the gradational 
stages being of service to the organism." 

4 "There are, however, peculiar difficulties in those cases in which, as 
among the lepidoptera, the same species is mandibulate as a larva and 
suctorial as an embryo" (Lubbock, "Origin of Insects," p. 423). 



332 EVOLUTION [Cn,\r. V 

Letter 244 Cirripedes passing through what I have called a pupal 
state ' so far as their mouths arc concerned, rather supports 
what you say at p. 52. 

At p. 40 your remarks on the Argus- pheasant (though I 
have not the least objection to them) do not seem to me very 
appropriate as being related to the mental faculties. If you 
can spare me these proof-sheets when done with, I shall be 
obliged, as I shall be correcting a new edition of the Origin 
when I return home, though this subject is too large for me 
to enter on. I thank you sincerely for the great interest 
which your discussion has given me. . . . 

Letter 245 To J. D. Hooker. 

The following letter refers to Mivart's Genesis of Species? 

Down, Sept. 16th [1871]. 

I am preparing a new and cheap edition of the Origin, 
and shall introduce a new chapter on gradation, and on the 
uses of initial commencements of useful structures ; for this, 1 
observe, has produced the greatest effect on most persons. 
Every one of his [Mivart's] cases, as it seems to me, can be 
answered in a fairly satisfactory manner. He is very unfair, 
and never says what he must have known could be said on 
my side. He ignores the effect of use, and what I have said 
in all my later books and editions on the direct effects of the 
conditions of life and so-called spontaneous variation. I send 
you by this post a very clever, but ill-written review from 
N. America by a friend of Asa Gray, which I have republished.' 

1 " Hence, the larva in this, its last stage, cannot eat ; it may be 
called a locomotive Pupa ; its whole organisation is apparently adapted 
for the one great end of finding a proper site for its attachment and 
final metamorphosis." {A Monograph on the Sub-class Cirripedia. 15 y 
Charles Darwin. London, Ray Soc, 1851.) 

■' There is no mention of the Argus pheasant in the published 
paper. 

3 St. George Mivart, F.R.S. (1S27-1900) was educated at Harrow, 
King's College, London, and St. Mary's College, Oscotr. He was called 
to the liar in 1851 ; in 1862 he was appointed Lecturer in the Medical 
School of St. Mary's Hospital. In the Genesis of Species, published in 
1871, Mivart expressed his belief in the guiding action of Divine power 
as a factor in E\ olution. 

4 Chauncey Wright in the North American Review^ Vol. CXI 1 1., 
reprinted by Darwin and published as a pamphlet (see Life and Letters, 
III., p. 145). 



i87o— 1SS2] MIVART 333 

I am glad to hear about Huxley. You never read such Letter 245 
strong letters Mivart wrote to me about respect towards me, 
begging that I would call on him, etc., etc. ; yet in the 
Q. Revieiv x he shows the greatest scorn and animosity towards 
me, and with uncommon cleverness says all that is most 
disagreeable. He makes me the most arrogant, odious beast 
that ever lived. I cannot understand him ; I suppose that 
accursed religious bigotry is at the root of it. Of course he 
is quite at liberty to scorn and hate me, but why take such 
trouble to express something more than friendship? It has 
mortified me a good deal. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 246 

Down, Oct. 4th [1S71]. 
I am quite delighted that you think so highly of Huxley's 
article. 2 I was afraid of saying all I thought about it, as 
nothing is so likely as to make anything appear flat. I thought 
of, and quite agreed with, your former saying that Huxley 
makes one feel quite infantile in intellect. He always thus acts 
on me. I exactly agree with what you say on the several 
points in the article, and I piled climax on climax of admira- 
tion in my letter to him. I am not so good a Christian as 
you think me, for I did enjoy my revenge on Mivart. He 
{i.e. Mivart) has just written to me as cool as a cucumber, 
hoping my health is better, etc. My head, by the way, 
plagues me terribly, and I have it light and rocking half the 
day. Farewell, dear old friend — my best of friends. 

To John Fiske. Lelt « 247 

Mr. Fiske, who is perhaps best known in England as the author of 
Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy, had sent to Mr. Darwin some reports of 
the lectures given at Harvard University. The point referred to in the 
postscript in Mr. Darwin's letter is explained by the following extract from 
Mr. Fiske's work : " I have endeavoured to show that the transition from 
animality (or bestiality, stripping the word of its bad connotations) to 
humanity must have been mainly determined by the prolongation of 
infancy or immaturity which is consequent upon a high development 

1 See Quarterly Review, July 1871 ; also Life and Letters, III., 
p. 147. 

- A review of Wallace's Natural Selection, of Mivart's Genesis of 
Species, and of the Quarterly Review article on the Descent of Man (July, 
1871), published in the Contetnporary Review (1S71), and in Huxley's 
Collected Essays, II., p. 120. 



334 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

of intelligence, and which must have necessitated the gradual grouping 
together of pithecoid men into more or less definite families." (See 
Descent, I., p. 13, on the prolonged infancy of the anthropoid apes.) 

Down, Nov. 9th, 1871. 
Letter 247 I am greatly obliged to you for having sent me, through 
my son, your lectures, and for the very honourable manner in 
which you allude to my works. The lectures seem to me to 
be written with much force, clearness, and originality. You 
show also a truly extraordinary amount of knowledge of all 
that has been published on the subject. The type in many 
parts is so small that, except to young eyes, it is very difficult 
to read. Therefore I wish that you would reflect on their 
separate publication, though so much has been published on 
the subject that the public may possibly have had enough. I 
hope that this may be your intention, for I do not think 
I have ever seen the general argument more forcibly put so 
as to convert unbelievers. 

It has surprised and pleased me to see that you and others 
have detected the falseness of much of Mr. Mivart's reasoning. 
I wish I had read your lectures a month or two ago, as I have 
been preparing a new edition of the Origin, in which I answer 
some special points, and I believe I should have found your 
lectures useful ; but my MS. is now in the printers' hands, 
and I have not strength or time to make any more additions. 

P.S. — By an odd coincidence, since the above was written 
I have received your very obliging letter of October 23rd. I 
did notice the point to which you refer, and will hereafter 
reflect more over it. I was indeed on the point of putting in 
a sentence to somewhat of the same effect in the new edition 
of the Origin, in relation to the query — Why have not apes 
advanced in intellect as much as man ? but I omitted it on 
account of the asserted prolonged infancy of the orang. I 
am also a little doubtful about the distinction between gre- 
gariousness and sociability. 

. . . When you come to England I shall have much 
pleasure in making your acquaintance ; but my health is 
habitually so weak that I have very small power of con- 
versing with my friends as much as I wish. Let me again 
thank you for your letter. To believe that I have at all 
influenced the minds of able men is the greatest satisfaction 
I am capable of receiving. 



1870— 1SS2] ORIGIN OF SPECIES 335 

To E. Hackel. Letter 24S 

Down, Dec. 27th, 1871. 

I thank you for your very interesting letter, which it has 
given me much pleasure to receive. I never heard of anything 
so odd as the Prior in the Holy Catholic Church believing in 
our ape-like progenitors. I much hope that the Jesuits will 
not dislodge him. 

What a wonderfully active man you are ! and I rejoice 
that you have been so successful in your work on sponges. 1 
Your book with sixty plates will be magnificent. I shall be 
glad to learn what you think of Clark's view of sponges 
being flagellate infusorians ; some observers in this country 
believe in him. I am glad you are going fully to consider 
inheritance, which is an all-important subject for us. I do not 
know whether you have ever read my chapter on pangenesis. 
My ideas have been almost universally despised, and I suppose 
that I was foolish to publish them ; yet I must still think 
that there is some truth in them. Anyhow, they have aided 
me much in making me clearly understand the facts of 
inheritance. 

I have had bad health this last summer, and during two 
months was able to do nothing ; but I have now almost 
finished a new edition of the Origin, which Victor Cams 
is translating. 2 There is not much new in it, except one 
chapter in which I have answered, I hope satisfactorily, Mr. 
Mivart's supposed difficulty on the incipient development of 
useful structures. I have also given my reasons for quite 
disbelieving in great and sudden modifications. I am pre- 
paring an essay on expression in man and the lower animals. 
It has little importance, but has interested me. I doubt 
whether my strength will last for much more serious work. 
I hope, however, to publish next summer the results of my 
long-continued experiments on the wonderful advantages 
derived from crossing. I shall continue to work as long as 
I can, but it does not much signify when I stop, as there arc 
so many good men fully as capable, perhaps more capable, 

1 Die Kalkschwamme : eine Monographiej 3 vols. : Berlin, 1872. H. J. 
Clark published a paper " On the Spongiffi Ciliatae as Infusoria flagellata " 
in the Mem. Boston Nat. Hist. Soc, Vol. I., Pt. iii., 1S66. See Hackel, 
op. at., Vol. I., p. 24. 

3 See Life and Letters, III., p. 49. 



336 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 24S than myself of carrying on our work ; and of these you rank 
as the first. 

With cordial good wishes for your success in all your 
work and for your happiness. 

Letter 249 To E. Ray Lankestcr. 

Down, April 15th [1872]. 

Very many thanks for your kind consideration. The 
correspondence was in the Atliencewn. I got some mathema- 
tician to make the calculation, and he blundered and caused 
me much shame. I send scrap of proofs from last edition of 
the Origin, with the calculation corrected. What grand work 
you did at Naples ! I can clearly sec that you will some day 
become our first star in Natural History. 

Here follows the extract from the Origin, sixth edition, p. 51 : "The 
elephant is reckoned the slowest breeder of all known animals, and I 
have taken some pains to estimate its probable minimum rate of natural 
increase. It will be safest to assume that it begins breeding when thirty 
years old, and goes on breeding till ninety years old, bringing forth six 
young in the interval, and surviving till one hundred years old ; if this be 
so, after a period of from 740 to 750 years, there would be nearly nineteen 
million elephants alive, descended from the first pair." In the fifth 
edition, p. 75, the passage runs : " If this be so, at the end of the fifth 
century, there would be alive fifteen million elephants, descended from 
the first pair" (see Atkenceum, June 5, July 3, 17, 24, 1869). 

Letter 250 To C. Lyell. 

Down, May 10th [1S72]. 

I received yesterday morning your present of that work 
to which I, for one, as well as so many others, owe a debt 
of gratitude never to be forgotten. I have read with the 
greatest interest all the special additions ; and I wish with all 
my heart that I had the strength and time to read again every 
word of the whole book. 1 I do not agree with all your criti- 
cisms on Natural Selection, nor do I suppose that you would 
expect me to do so. We must be content to differ on several 
points. I differ most about your difficulty (p. 496)-' on a 

1 Principles ofGeology> Ed. xn., 1875. 

3 In Chapter XLIII. Lyell treats of " Man considered with reference 
to his Origin and Geographical Distribution." He criticises the view that 
Natural Selection is capable of bringing about any amount of change 
provided a series of minute transitional steps can be pointed out. " But 



1870— 18S2] LYELL 337 

higher grade of organisation being evolved out of lower ones. Letter 250 
Is not a very clever man a grade above a very dull one ? and 
would not the accumulation of a large number of slight 
differences of this kind lead to a great difference in the grade 
of organisation ? And I suppose that you will admit that the 
difference in the brain of a clever and dull man is not much 
more wonderful than the difference in the length of the nose 
of any two men. Of course, there remains the impossibility 
of explaining at present why one man has a longer nose than 
another. But it is foolish of me to trouble you with these 
remarks, which have probably often passed through your 
mind. The end of this chapter (XLIII.) strikes me as 
admirably and grandly written. I wish you joy at having 
completed your gigantic undertaking, and remain, my dear 
Lyell, 

Your ever faithful and now very old pupil, 

Charles Darwin. 
To J. Traherne Moggridge. Letter 251 

Scvenoaks, Oct. 9th [1S72]. 
I have just received your note, forwarded to me from my 
home. I thank you very truly for your intended present, and 
I am sure that your book l will interest me greatly. I am 
delighted that you have taken up the very difficult and most 
interesting subject of the habits of insects, on which English- 
men have done so little. How incomparably more valuable 
are such researches than the mere description of a thousand 

in reality," he writes, " it cannot be said that we obtain any insight into 
the nature of the forces by which a higher grade of organisation or instinct 
is evolved out of a lower one by becoming acquainted with a series of 
gradational forms or states, each having a very close affinity with the 
other." ..." It is when there is a change from an inferior being to one 
of superior grade, from a humbler organism to one endowed with new and 
more exalted attributes, that we are made to feel that, to explain the 
difficulty, we must obtain some knowledge of those laws of variation of 
which Mr. Darwin grants that we are at present profoundly ignorant " 
{op. tit., pp. 4 r />97)- 

1 J. Traherne Moggridge (1842-74) is described by a writer in Nature 
Vol. XL, 1874, p. 1 14, as "one of our most promising young naturalists." 
He published a work on Harvesting Ants and Trap-door Spiders, 
London, 1873, and wrote on the Flora of Mentone and on other subjects. 
(See The Descent of Man Vol. I., Ed. II., p. 104, 188S.) 

22 



338 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 251 species ! I daresay you have thought of experimenting on 
the mental powers of the spiders by fixing their trap-doors 
open in different ways and at different angles, and observing 
what they will do. 

We have been here some days, and intend staying some 
weeks ; for I was quite worn out with work, and cannot be 
idle at home. 

I sincerely hope that your health is not worse. 

Letter 252 To A. Hyatt. 1 

The correspondence with Professor Hyatt, of Boston, U.S., originated 
in the reference to his and Professor Cope's s theories of acceleration and 
retardation, inserted in the sixth edition of the Origin, p. 149. 

Mr. Darwin, on receiving from Mr. Hyatt a copy of his "Fossil 
Cephalopods of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Embryology," 
from the Bull. Mus. Cemp. Zoo!., Harvard, Vol. III., 1872, wrote as 

follows 3 : — „ 

Oct. 10th, 1872. 

I am very much obliged to you for your kindness in 

having sent me your valuable memoir on the embryology of 

the extinct cephalopods. The work must have been one of 

immense labour, and the results are extremely interesting. 

Permit me to take this opportunity to express my sincere 

regret at having committed two grave errors in the last edition 

of my Origin of Species, in my allusion to yours and Professor 

1 Alpheus Hyatt (1838-1902) was a student under Louis Agassiz, to 
whose Laboratory he returned after serving in the Civil War, and under 
whom he began the researches on Fossil Cephalopods for which he is 
so widely known. In 1867 he became one of the Curators of the Essex 
Institute of Salem, Mass. In 1870 he was made Custodian, and in 1881 
Curator of the Boston Society of Natural History. He held profes- 
sorial chairs in Boston University and in the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology, "and was at one time or another officially connected with 
the Museum of Comparative Zoology and the United States Geological 
Survey." See Mr. S. Henshaw (Science, XV, p. 300, Feb. 1902), where 
a sketch of Mr. Hyatt's estimable personal character is given. See also 
Prof. Dall in the Popular Science Monthly, Feb. 1902. 

3 Edward Drinker Cope (1840-97) was for a short time Professor at 
Haverford College ; he was a member of certain United States Geolo- 
gical Survey expeditions, and at the time of his death he held a 
Professorship in the University of Pennsylvania. He wrote several 
important memoirs on " Vertebrate Paleontology," and in 18S7 published 
The Origin of the Fit lest. 

:1 Part of this letter was published in Life and Letters, III., p. 154. 



1870-1SS2] HYATT AND COPE 339 

Cope's views on acceleration and retardation of development. Letter 252 
I had thought that Professor Cope had preceded you ; but I 
now well remember having formerly read with lively interest, 
and marked, a paper by you ' somewhere in my library, on 
fossil cephalopods, with remarks on the subject. It seems 
also that I have quite misrepresented your joint view ; this 
has vexed me much. I confess that 1 have never been able 
to grasp fully what you wish to show, and I presume that this 
must be owing to some dulness on my part. ... As the case 
stands, the law of acceleration and retardation seems to me to 
be a simple [?] statement of facts ; but the statement, if fully 
established, would no doubt be an important step in out- 
knowledge. But I had better say nothing more on the 
subject, otherwise I shall perhaps blunder again. I assure 
you that I regret much that I have fallen into two such grave 
errors. 

A. Hyatt to C. Darwin. Letter 253 

Mr. Hyatt replied in a long letter, of which only a small part is here 

given. 

Cannstadt bei Stuttgart, Nov. 1S72. 

The letter with which you have honoured me, bearing the 
date of October 10th, has just reached here after a voyage to 
America and back. 

I have long had it in mind to write you upon the 
subject of which you speak, but have been prevented by a 
very natural feeling of distrust in the worthiness and truth of 
the views which I had to present. 

There is certainly no occasion to apologise for not having 
quoted my paper. The law of acceleration and retardation 
of development was therein used to explain the appearance 
of other phenomena, and might, as it did in nearly all cases, 
easily escape notice. 

My relations with Prof. Cope are of the most friendly 
character ; and although fortunate in publishing a few months 
ahead, I consider that this gives mc no right to claim any- 
thing beyond such an amount of participation in the discovery, 

1 The paper seems to be " On the Parallelism between the Different 
Stages of Life in the Individual and those in the Entire Group of the 
Molluscous Order Tetrabranchiata," from the Boston Soc. Nat. J list. 
Mein., I., 1866-69, p. 193. On the back of the paper is written, " I cannot 
avoid thinking this paper fanciful." 



340 E VOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 253 if it may be so called, as the thoroughness and worth of my 

work entitles me to 

The collections which I have studied, it will be remembered, 
are fossils collected without special reference to the very 
minute subdivisions, such as the subdivisions of the Lower or 
Middle Lias as made by the German authors, especially 
Quenstcdt and Oppel, but pretty well denned for the larger 
divisions in which the species are also well defined. The 
condition of the collections as regards names, etc., was chaotic, 
localities alone, with some few exceptions, accurate. To put 
this in order they were first arranged according to their adult 
characteristics. This proving unsatisfactory, I determined to 
test thoroughly the theory of evolution by following out the 
developmental history of each species and placing them within 
their formations, Middle or Upper Lias, Oolite or so, according 
to the extent to which they represented each other's charac- 
teristics. Thus an adult of simple structure being taken as 
the starting-point which we will call a, another species which 
was a in its young stage and became b in the adult was placed 
above it in the zoological series. By this process I presently 
found that a, then a b and a b c, c representing the adult stage, 
were very often found ; but that practically after passing 
these two or three stages it did not often happen that a species 
was found which was a b c in the young and then became d 
in the adult. But on the other hand I very frequently found 
one which, while it was a in the young, skipped the stages 
b and c and became d while still quite young. Then some- 
times, though more rarely, a species would be found belonging 
to the same series, which would be a in the young and with a 
very faint and fleeting resemblance to d at a later stage, pass 
immediately while still quite young to the more advanced 
characteristics represented by e, and hold these as its specific 
characteristics until old age destroyed them. This skipping 
is the highest exemplification, or rather manifestation, of 
acceleration in development. In alluding to the history of 
diseases and inheritance of characteristics, you in your Origin 
of Species allude to the ordinary manifestation of acceleration, 
when you speak of the tendency of diseases or characteristics 
to appear at younger periods in the life of the child than of 
its parents. This, according to my observations, is a law, or 
rather mode, of development, which is applicable to all 



1S70-1S82] HYATT AND COPE 34I 

characteristics, and in this way it is possible to explain why Letter 253 
the young of later-occurring animals are like the adult stages 
of those which preceded them in time. If I am not mistaken 
you have intimated something of this sort also in your first 
edition, but I have not been able to find it lately. Of course 
this is a very normal condition of affairs when a series can 
be followed in this way, beginning with species a, then going 
through species a b to a b c, then a b dor a c d, and then a d e 
or simply a c, as it sometimes comes. Very often the accelera- 
tion takes place in two closely connected series, thus : 

a — ab — abd — ae 
^-~ad 

in which one series goes on very regularly, while another 
lateral offshoot of a becomes d in the adult. This is an 
actual case which can be plainly shown with the specimens in 
hand, and has been verified in the collections here. Retardation 
is entirely Prof. Cope's idea, but I think also easily traceable. 
It is the opponent of acceleration, so to speak, or the opposite 
or negative of that mode of development. Thus series may 
occur in which, either in size or characteristics, they return to 
former characteristics ; but a better discussion of this point 
you will find in the little treatise which I send by the same 
mail as this letter, " On Reversions among the Ammonites." 

To A. Hyatt. Letter 254 

Down, Dec. 4th, 1S72. 

I thank you sincerely for your most interesting letter. 
You refer much too modestly to your own knowledge and 
judgment, as you are much better fitted to throw light on 
your own difficult problems than I am. 

It has quite annoyed me that I do not clearly understand 
yours and Prof. Cope's ' views ; and the fault lies in some 

1 I'rof. Cope's views may be gathered from his Origin of the Fittest 
1887 ; in this book (p. 41) is reprinted his Origin of Genera from the 
Proc. Philadelph. Acad. Nat. Soe., 1868, which was published separately 
by the author in 1869, and which we believe to be his first publication on 
the subject. In the preface to the Origin of the Fittest, p. vi, he sums up 
the chief points in the Origin of Genera under seven heads, of which the 
following are the most important :— " First, that development of new 
characters has been accomplished by an acceleration or retardation in 
the growth of the parts changed. . . . Second, that of exact parallelism 



342 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 254 slight degree, I think, with Prof. Cope, who docs not write 
very clearly. I think 1 now understand the terms "accelera- 
tion " and " retardation " ; but will you grudge the trouble of 
telling me, by the aid of the following illustration, whether 
I do understand rightly ? When a fresh-water decapod 
crustacean is born with an almost mature structure, and 
therefore does not pass, like other decapods, through the 
Zoca stage, is this not a case of acceleration ? Again, if an 
imaginary decapod retained, when adult, many Zoea characters, 
would this not be a case of retardation ? If these illustrations 
arc correct, I can perceive why I have been so dull in under- 
standing your views. I looked for something else, being 
familiar with such cases, and classing them in my own mind 
as simply due to the obliteration of certain larval or embryonic 
stages. This obliteration I imagined resulted sometimes 
entirely from that law of inheritance to which you allude ; 
but that it in many cases was aided by Natural Selection, 
as I inferred from such cases occurring so frequently in 
terrestrial and fresh-water members of groups, which retain 
their several embryonic stages in the sea, as long as fitting 
conditions are present. 

Another cause of my misunderstanding was the assumption 
that in your series 

a — ab — abd — ae, 
-ad 

the differences between the successive species, expressed by 
the terminal letter, was due to acceleration : now, if I under- 
stand rightly, this is not the case ; and such characters must 
have been independently acquired by some means. 

The two newest and most interesting points in your 
letter (and in, as far as I think, your former paper) seem to 
me to be about senile characteristics in one species appearing 
in succeeding species during maturity ; and secondly about 

between the adult of one individual or set of individuals, and a transitional 
stage of one or more other individuals. This doctrine is distinct from 
that of an exact parallelism, which had already been stated by von Baer." 
The last point is less definitely stated by Hyatt in his letter of 
Dec. 4U1, 1S72. "I am thus perpetually led to look upon a series very 
much as upon an individual, and think that I have found that in many 
instances these afford parallel changes." See also Lamarck the Founder 
of Evolution, by A. S. Packard : New York, 1901. 



1870— 1S82] HYATT AND COPE 343 

certain degraded characters appearing in the last species Letter 254 
of a series. You ask for my opinion : I can only send the 
conjectured impressions which have occurred to me and which 
are not worth writing. (It ought to be known whether the 
senile character appears before or after the period of active re- 
production.) I should be inclined to attribute the character in 
both your cases to the laws of growth and descent, secondarily 
to Natural Selection. It has been an error on my part, and a 
misfortune to me, that I did not largely discuss what I mean 
by laws of growth at an early period in some of my books. 
I have said something on this head in two new chapters in 
the last edition of the Origin. I should be happy to send 
you a copy of this edition, if you do not possess it and care 
to have it. A man in extreme old age differs much from a 
young man, and I presume every one would account for this 
by failing powers of growth. On the other hand the skulls 
of some mammals go on altering during maturity into 
advancing years ; as do the horns of the stag, the tail-feathers 
of some birds, the size of fishes etc. ; and all such differences 
I should attribute simply to the laws of growth, as long as full 
vigour was retained. Endless other changes of structure in 
successive species may, I believe, be accounted for by various 
complex laws of growth. Now, any change of character thus 
induced with advancing years in the individual might easily 
be inherited at an earlier age than that at which it first 
supervened, and thus become characteristic of the mature 
species ; or again, such changes would be apt to follow from 
variation, independently of inheritance, under proper con- 
ditions. Therefore I should expect that characters of this 
kind would often appear in later-formed species without the 
aid of Natural Selection, or with its aid if the characters were 
of any advantage. The longer I live, the more I become 
convinced how ignorant we are of the extent to which all 
sorts of structures are serviceable to each species. But that 
characters supervening during maturity in one species should 
appear so regularly, as you state to be the case, in succeeding 
species, seems to me very surprising and inexplicable. 

With respect to degradation in species towards the close 
of a scries, I have nothing to say, except that before I arrived 
at the end of your letter, it occurred to me that the earlier 
and simpler ammonites must have been well adapted to their 



344 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 254 conditions, and that when the species were verging towards 
extinction (owing probably to the presence of some more 
successful competitors) they would naturally become re- 
adapted to simpler conditions. Before I had read your final 
remarks I thought also that unfavourable conditions might 
cause, through the law of growth, aided perhaps by reversion, 
degradation of character. No doubt many new laws re- 
main to be discovered. Permit me to add that I have 
never been so foolish as to imagine that I have succeeded in 
doing more than to lay down some of the broad outlines of 
the origin of species. 

After long reflection I cannot avoid the conviction that no 
innate tendency to progressive development exists, as is now 
held by so many able naturalists, and perhaps by yourself. 
It is curious how seldom writers define what they mean by 
progressive development ; but this is a point which I have 
briefly discussed in the Origin. I earnestly hone that you may 
visit Hilgendorf's famous deposit. Have you seen Weismann's 
pamphlet Einfluss der Isolinuig, Leipzig, 1872? He makes 
splendid use of Hilgendorf's ' admirable observations. I have 
no strength to spare, being much out of health ; otherwise 
I would have endeavoured to have made this letter better 
worth sending. I most sincerely wish you success in your 
valuable and difficult researches. 

I have received, and thank you, for your three pamphlets. 
As far as I can judge, your views seem very probable ; but 
what a fearfully intricate subject is this of the succession of 
ammonites. 2 

Letter 255 A. Hyatt to C. Darwin. 

Cannstadt bei Stuttgart, Dec. 8th, 1872. 

The quickness and earnestness of your reply to my letter 
gives me the greatest encouragement, and I am much 
delighted at the unexpected interest which your questions 
and comments display. What you say about Prof. Cope's 
style has been often before said to me, and I have remarked 
in his writings an unsatisfactory treatment of our common 

1 Hilgendorf, Monatsb. K. Akad., Berlin, 1866. For a semi-popular 
account of Hilgendorf's and I!\att's work on this subject, see Romanes' 
Darwin and after Darwin, I., p. 201. 

- Sec various papers in the publications of the Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 
and in the Bulletin of the Harvard Museum of Comp. Zoology. 



1S70— 1882] HYATT AND COPE 345 

theory. This, I think, perhaps is largely due to the complete Letter 255 
absorption of his mind in the contemplation of his subject : 
this seems to lead him to be careless about the methods in 
which it may be best explained, fie has, however, a more 
extended knowledge than I have, and has in many ways 
a more powerful grasp of the subject, and for that very reason, 
perhaps, is liable to run into extremes. You ask about the 
skipping of the Zoea stage in fresh-water decapods : is this an 
illustration of acceleration ? It most assuredly is, if accelera- 
tion means anything at all. Again, another and more general 
illustration would be, if, among the marine decapods, a scries 
could be formed in which the Zoea stage became less and less 
important in the development, and was relegated to younger 
and younger stages of the development, and finally dis- 
appeared in those to which you refer. This is the usual way 
in which the accelerated mode of development manifests 
itself; though near the lowest or earliest occurring species 
it is also to be looked for. Perhaps this to which you allude 
is an illustration somewhat similar to the one which I have 
spoken of in my series, 



which like " a d" comes from the earliest of a series, though I 
should think from the entire skipping of the Zoea stage that 
it must be, like "a e," the result of a long line of ancestors. In 
fact, the essential point of our theory is, that characteristics 
are ever inherited by the young at earlier periods than they 
are assumed in due course of growth by the parents, and that 
this must eventually lead to the extinction or skipping of 
these characteristics altogether. . . . 

Such considerations as these and the fact that near the 
heads of scries or near the latest members of series, and not at 
the beginning, were usually found the accelerated types, which 
skipped lower characteristics and developed very suddenly to a 
higher and more complex standpoint in structure, led both 
Cope and [myself] into what may be a great error. I see 
that it has led you at least into the difficulty of which you 
very rightly complain, and which, I am sorry to see, has cost 
you some of your valuable time. We presumed that because 
characteristics were perpetually inherited at earlier stages, 



346 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Loiter 255 that this very concentration of the developed characteristics 
made room for the production of differences in the adult 
descendants of any given pair. Further, that in the room thus 
made other different characteristics must be produced, and 
that these would necessarily appear earlier in proportion as 
the species was more or less accelerated, and be greater or less 
in the same proportion. Finally, that in the most accelerated, 
such as "a c" or "a d" the difference would be so great as 
to constitute distinct genera. Cope and I have differed very 
much, while he acknowledged the action of the accumulated 
mode of development only when generic characteristics or 
greater differences were produced, I saw the same mode 
of development to be applicable in all cases and to all 
characteristics, even to diseases. So far the facts bore us out, 
but when we assumed that the adult differences were the 
result of the accelerated mode of development, we were 
perhaps upon rather insecure ground. It is evidently this 
assumption which has led you to misunderstand the theory. 
Cope founded his belief, that the adult characteristics were 
also the result of acceleration, if I rightly remember it, 
mainly upon the class of facts spoken of above in man where 
a sudden change in two organs may produce entirely new and 
unexpected differences in the whole organisation, and upon 
the changes which acceleration appeared to produce in the 
development of each succeeding species. Your difficulty in 
understanding the theory and the observations you have made 
show me at once what my own difficulties have been, but of 
these I will not speak at present, as my letter is spinning 
itself out to a fearful length. 

After speaking of Cope's comparison of acceleration and retardation 
in evolution to the force of gravity in physical matters Mr. Hyatt 
goes on : — 

Now it [acceleration] seems to me to explain less and 
less the origin of adult progressive characteristics or simply 
differences, and perhaps now I shall get on faster with my 
work. 
Letter 256 To A. Hyatt. 

Down, Dec. 14th [1872]. 
In reply to the above letter from Mr. Hyatt. 
Notwithstanding the kind consideration shown in your 
last sentence, I must thank you for your interesting and 



1870-1S82] HYATT AND COPE 347 

clearly expressed letter. I have directed my publisher to Letter 256 

send you a copy of the last edition of the Origin, and you 

can, if you like, paste in the "From the Author" on next 

page. In relation to yours and Professor Cope's view on 

" acceleration " causing a development of new characters, it 

would, I think, be well if you were to compare the decapods 

which pass and do not pass through the Zoea stage, and the 

one group which does (according to Fritz M tiller) pass through 

to the still earlier Nauplius stages, and see if they present any 

marked differences. You will, I believe, find that this is not 

the case. I wish it were, for I have often been perplexed at 

the omission of embryonic stages as well as the acquirement 

of peculiar stages appearing to produce no special result in 

the mature form. 

The remainder of this letter is missing, and the whole of the last 
sentence is somewhat uncertainly deciphered. (Note by Mr. Hyatt.) 

To A. Hyatt. * Letter 257 

Down, Feb. 13th, 1S77. 

I thank you for your very kind, long, and interesting 
letter. The case is so wonderful and difficult that I dare not 
express any opinion on it. Of course, I regret that Ililgen- 
dorf has been proved to be so greatly in error, 1 but it is some 
selfish comfort to me that I always felt so much misgiving 
that I never quoted his paper.- The variability of these 
shells is quite astonishing, and seems to exceed that of Rubus 
or Hieracium amongst plants. The result which surprises me 
most is that the same form should be developed from various 
and different progenitors. This seems to show how potent 

1 This refers to a controversy with Sandberger, who had attacked 
Hilgendorf in the Verh. der fihys.-med. Ges. zu IViirzburg, Bd. V., ami 
in the Jahrb. der Malakol. Ges., Bd. I., to which Hilgendorf replied in the 
Zeitschr. d. Deutschen geolog. Ges., Jahrg. 1877. Hyatt's name occurs 
in Hilgendorfs pages, but we find no reference to any paper of this 
date ; his well-known paper is in the Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., 1880. In a 
letter to Darwin (May 23rd, 1SS1 ) Hyatt regrets that he had no oppor- 
tunity of a third visit to Steinheim, and goes on : " I should then have done 
greater justice to Hilgendorf, for whom I have such a high respect." 

: In the fifth edition of the Origin (p. 362), however, Darwin speaks of 
the graduated forms of Planorbis multiformis, described by Hilgendorf 
from certain beds in Switzerland, by which we presume he meant the 
Steinheim beds in Wurtemberg. 



348 K\OLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 257 are the conditions of life, irrespectively of the variations being 
in any way beneficial. 

The production of a species out of a chaos of varying 
forms reminds me of Nageli's conclusion, as deduced from the 
study of Hieractum, that this is the common mode in which 
species arise. But I still continue to doubt much on this 
head, and cling to the belief expressed in the first edition of 
the Origin, that protean or polymorphic species are those 
which are now varying in such a manner that the variations 
are neither advantageous nor disadvantageous. I am glad to 
hear of the Brunswick deposit, as I feel sure that the careful 
study of such cases is highly important. I hope that the 
Smithsonian Institution will publish your memoir. 

Letter 25S To A. De Candollc. 

Down, Jan. iSth [1S73]. 

It was very good of you to give up so much of your time 
to write to me your last interesting letter. The evidence 
seems good about the tameness of the alpine butterflies, and 
the fact seems to me very surprising, for each butterfly can 
hardly have acquired its experience during its own short life. 
Will you be so good as to thank M. Humbert for his note, 
which I have been glad to read. I formerly received from a 
man, not a naturalist, staying at Cannes a similar account, but 
doubted about believing it. The case, however, does not 
answer my query — viz., whether butterflies arc attracted by 
bright colours, independently of the supposed presence of 
nectar ? 

I must own that I have great difficulty in believing that 
any temporary condition of the parents can affect the off- 
spring. If it last long enough to affect the health or structure 
of the parents, I can quite believe the offspring would be 
modified. But how mysterious a subject is that of genera- 
tion ! Although my hypothesis of pangenesis has been 
reviled on all sides, yet I must still look at generation under 
this point of view ; and it makes me very averse to believe in 
an emotion having any effect on the offspring. Allow me to 
add one word about blushing and shyness : I intended only 
to say the habit was primordially acquired by attention to the 
face, and not that each shy man now attended to his personal 
appearance. 



1S70— 1SS2] SEXUALITY 349 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 259 

Down, June 28th. 1873. 

I write a line to wish you good-bye, as I hear you arc 
off on Wednesday, and to thank you for the Dion tea, but 
I cannot make the little creature grow well. I have this 
day read Bentham's last address, 1 and must express my 
admiration for it. Perhaps I ought not to do so, as he fairly 
crushes me with honour. 

I am delighted to see how exactly I agree with him on 
affinities, and especially on extinct forms as illustrated by his 
flat-topped tree. 2 My recent work leads me to differ from 
him on one point — viz., on the separation of the sexes. 3 I 
strongly suspect that sexes were primordially in distinct 
individuals ; then became commonly united in the same 
individual, and then in a host of animals and some few 
plants became again separated. Do ask Bentham to send 
a copy of his address to " Dr. H. Midler, Lippstadt, Prussia," 
as I am sure it will please him greatly. 

. . . When in France write me a line and tell me how you 
get on, and how Huxley is ; but do not do so if you feel idle, 
and writing bothers you. 

1 Presidential address to the Linnean Society, read May 24th, 1873. 

2 See p. 1 5 of separate copy : " We should then have the present 
races represented by the countless branchlets forming the flat-topped 
summit" of a genealogical tree, in which "all we can do is to map out 
the summit as it were from a bird's-eye view, and under each cluster, or 
cluster of clusters, to place as the common trunk an imaginary type of a 
genus, order, or class according to the depth to which we would go." 

3 On the question of sexuality, see p. 10 of Bentham's address. 
On the back of Mr. Darwin's copy he has written : "As long as lowest 
organisms free — sexes separated : as soon as they become attached, to 
prevent sterility sexes united — reseparated as means of fertilisation, 
adapted [?] for distant [?] organisms, — in the case of animals by then- 
senses and voluntary movements, — with plants the aid of insects and 
wind, the latter always existed, and long retained." The two words 
marked [?] are doubtful. The introduction of freedom or attachedness, 
as a factor in the problem also occurs in Cross and Self-fertilisation, 
p. 462. 



350 EVOLUTION [Chap.V 

Letter 260 To R. Meldola. 1 

Southampton, August 13th, 1S73. 

I am much obliged for your present, which no doubt I 
shall find at Down on my return home. I am sorry to say 
that I cannot answer your question ; nor do I believe that you 
could find it anywhere even approximately answered. It is 
very difficult or impossible to define what is meant by a large 
variation. Such graduate into monstrosities or generally 
injurious variations. I do not myself believe that these arc 
often or ever taken advantage of under nature. It is a 
common occurrence that abrupt and considerable variations 
are transmitted in an unaltered state, or not at all transmitted, 
to the offspring, or to some of them. So it is with tailless 
or hornless animals, and with sudden and great changes 
of colour in flowers. I wish I could have given you any 
answer. 
Letter 261 To E. S. Morse. 

[Undated.] 

I must have the pleasure of thanking you for your kind- 
ness in sending me your essay on the Brachiopoda. 2 I have 
just read it with the greatest interest, and you seem to me 
(though I am not a competent judge) to make out with 
remarkable clearness an extremely strong case. What a 
wonderful change it is to an old naturalist to have to look 
at these " shells " as " worms " ; but, as you truly say, as far 
as external appearance is concerned, the case is not more 
wonderful than that of cirripedes. I have also been particularly 
interested by your remarks on the Geological Record, and on 
the lower and older forms in each great class not having been 
probably protected by calcareous valves or a shell. 

P.S. — Your woodcut of Liugula is most skilfully intro- 
duced to compel one to see its likeness to an annelid. 

1 Raphael Meldola, F.R.S., Professor of Chemistry in Finsbury Tech- 
nical College (City and Guilds of London Institute), and a well-known 
entomologist ; translated and edited Weismann's Studies in the Theory 
of Descent, 1882-83. This letter, with others from Darwin to Meldola, 
is published in Charles Darwin and the Theory of Natural Selection, by 
!■'.. U. Poulton, pp. 199 et seq., London, 1896. 

- "The Brachiopoda, a Division of Annelida," A/ner. Assoc. Proc, 
Vol. XIX., p. 272, 1S70, and Annuls and Mag, Nat. Hist., Vol. VI., 
p. 267, 1870. 



1870-1882] SOCIOLOGY 351 

To H. Spencer. Letter 262 

Mr. Spencer's book The Study of Sociology, 1S73, was published 
in the Contemporary Review in instalments between May 1872 and 
October 1873. 

Oct. 31st [1S73]- 

I am glad to receive to-day an advertisement of your 
book. I have been wonderfully interested by the articles in 
the Contemporary. Those were splendid hits about the Prince 
of Wales and Gladstone. 1 I never before read a good defence 
of Toryism. In one place (but I cannot for the life of me 
recollect where or what it exactly was) I thought that you 
would have profited by my principle {i.e. if you do not reject 
it) given in my Descent of Man, that new characters which 
appear late in life are those which are transmitted to the 
same sex alone. I have advanced some pretty strong evidence, 
and the principle is of great importance in relation to 
secondary sexual likenesses. 2 I have applied it to man and 

1 See The Study of Sociology, p. 392. Mr. Gladstone, in protest 
against some words of Mr. Spencer, had said that the appearance of 
great men " in great crises of human history " were events so striking 
" that men would be liable to term them providential in a pre-scientific 
age." On this Mr. Spencer remarks that "in common with the ancient 
Cheek Mr. Gladstone regards as irreligious any explanation of Nature 
which dispenses with immediate Divine superintendence." And as an 
instance of the partnership " between the ideas of natural causation 
and of providential interference," he instances a case where a prince 
"gained popularity by outliving certain abnormal changes in his blood," 
and where "on the occasion of his recovery providential aid and natural 
causation were unitedly recognised by a thanksgiving to God and a 
baronetcy to the doctor." The passage on Toryism is on p. 395, where 
Mr. Spencer, with his accustomed tolerance, writes : " The desirable 
thing is that a growth of ideas and feelings tending to produce modifica- 
tion shall be joined with a continuance of ideas and feelings tending to 
preserve stability." And from this point of view he concludes it to be 
very desirable that " one in Mr. Gladstone's position should think as 
he does." The matter is further discussed in the notes to Chapter XVI., 

p. 423- 

-' This refers to Mr. Spencer's discussion of the evolution of the 
mental traits characteristic of women. At p. 377 he points out the 
importance of the limitation of heredity by sex in this relation. A 
striking generalisation on this question is given in the Descent of Man, 
Ed. 1., Vol. II., p. 285 : that when the adult male differs from the adult 
female, he differs in the same way from the young of both sexes. Can 
this law be applied in the case in which the adult female possesses 



35^ 



EVOLUTION [Chap. V 



Letter 262 woman, and possibly it was here that I thought that you 
would have profited by the doctrine. I fear that this note 
will be almost illegible, but I am very tired. 

Letter 263 G. J. Romanes 1 to C. Darwin. 

This is, we believe, the first letter addressed by the late Mr. Romanes 
to Mr. Darwin. It was put away with another on the same subject, and 
inscribed " Romanes on Abortion, with my answer (very important)." Mr. 
Darwin's answer given below is printed from his rough draft, which is 
in places barely decipherable. On, the subject of these letters consult 
Romanes, Darwin and after Darwin, Vol. II., p. 99. l8 95- 

Dunskaithj Paxkhill, Ross-shire, July 10th, 1874. 
Knowing that you do not dissuade the more attentive of 
your readers from communicating directly to yourself any 
ideas they may have upon subjects connected with your 
writings, I take the liberty of sending the enclosed copy of 
a letter, which I have recently addressed to Mr. Herbert 
Spencer. You will perceive that the subject dealt with is the 
same as that to which a letter of mine in last week's Mature 
[July 2nd, p. 164] refers — viz., "Disuse as a Reducing Cause 
in Species." In submitting this more detailed exposition of 
my views to your consideration, I should like to state again 
what I stated in Nature some weeks ago, viz., that in pro- 
pounding the cessation of selection as a reducing cause, I do 
not suppose that I am suggesting anything which has not 
occurred to you already. Not only is this principle embodied 
in the theory set forth in the article on Rudimentary Organs 

characters not possessed by the male : for instance, the high degree of 
intuitive power of reading the mental states of others and of concealing 
her own— characters which Mr. Spencer shows to be accounted for by 
the relations between the husband and wife in a state of savagery. If 
so, the man should resemble " the young of both sexes " in the absence 
of' these special qualities. This seems to be the case with some 
masculine characteristics, and childishness of man is not without recog- 
nition among women : for instance, by Dolly Winthrop in Silas Marncr, 
who is content with bread for herself, but bakes cake for children and 
men, whose " stomichs are made so comical, they want a change— they 
do, I know, God help 'em." 

1 G. J. Romanes (1848-94) was one of Mr. Darwin's most devoted 
disciples. The letters published in Mrs. Romanes' interesting Life and 
Letters of her husband (1896) make clear the warm feelings of regard and 
respect which Darwin entertained for his correspondent. 



i87o— 1882] PANMIXIA 353 

{Nature, Vol. IX.) ; but it is more than once hinted at in the Letter 263 
Origin, in the passages where rudimentary organs are said to 
be more variable than others, because no longer under the 
restraining influence of Natural Selection. And still more 
distinctly is this principle recognised in p. 120. 

Thus, in sending you the enclosed letter, I do not imagine 
that I am bringing any novel suggestions under your notice. 
As I see that you have already applied the principle in 
question to the case of artificially-bred structures, I cannot but 
infer that you have pondered it in connection with naturally- 
bred structures. What objection, however, you can have 
seen to this principle in this latter connection, I am unable to 
divine ; and so I think the best course for me to pursue is 
the one I adopt — viz., to send you my considerations in full. 

In the absence of express information, the most natural 
inference is that the reason you refuse to entertain the prin- 
ciple in question, is because you show the backward tendency 
of indiscriminate variability [to be] inadequate to contend 
with the conservative tendency of long inheritance. The 
converse of this is expressed in the words " That the struggle 
between Natural Selection on the one hand, and the tendency 
to reversion and variability on the other hand, will in the 
course of time cease ; and that the most abnormally developed 
organs may be made constant, I see no reason to doubt " 
{Origin, p. 121). Certainly not, if, as I doubt not, the word 
"constant " is intended to bear a relative signification ; but to 
say that constancy can ever become absolute — i.e., that any 
term of inheritance could secure to an organ a total immunity 
from the smallest amount of spontaneous variability — to say 
this would be unwarrantable. Suppose, for instance, that 
for some reason or other a further increase in the size of a 
bat's wing should now suddenly become highly beneficial to 
that animal : we can scarcely suppose that variations would 
not be forthcoming for Natural Selection to seize upon 
(unless the limit of possible size has now been reached, which 
is an altogether distinct matter). And if we suppose that 
minute variations on the side of increase arc thus even now 
occasionally taking place, much more is it probable that 
similar variations on the side of decrease are now taking 
place — i.e., that if the conservative influence of Natural 
Selection were removed for a long period of time, more 

23 



3 $4 EVOLUTION [Chav. V 

Letter 263 variations would ensue below the present size of bats' wings, 
than above it. To this it may be added, that when the 
influence of "speedy selection" is removed, it seems in itself 
highly probable that the structure would, for this reason, 
become more variable, for the only reason why it ever 
ceased to be variable (i.e., after attaining its maximum size), 
was because of the influence of selection constantly destroying 
those individuals in which a tendency to vary occurred. 
When, therefore, this force antagonistic to variability was 
removed, it seems highly probable that the latter principle 
would again begin to assert itself, and this in a cumulative 
manner. Those individuals in which a tendency to vary 
occurred being no longer cut off, they would have as good 
a chance of leaving progeny to inherit their fluctuating 
disposition as would their more inflexible companions. 

Letter 264 To G. J. Romanes. 

July 16th, 1S74. 

I am much obliged for your kind and long communication, 
which I have read with great interest, as well as your articles 
in Nature. The subject seems to me as important and 
interesting as it is difficult. 1 am much out of health, and 
working very hard on a very different subject, so thus I 
cannot give your remarks the attention which they deserve. 
1 will, however, keep your letter for some later time, when 
I may again take up the subject. Your letter makes it 
clearer to mc than it ever was before, how a part or organ 
which has already begun from any cause to decrease, will go 
on decreasing through so-called spontaneous variability, with 
intercrossing ; for under such circumstances it is very unlikely 
that there should be variation in the direction of increase 
beyond the average size, and no reason why there should not 
be variations of decrease. I think this expresses your view. 
I had intended this summer subjecting plants to [illegible] 
conditions, and observing the effects on variation ; but the 
work would be very laborious, yet I am inclined to think 
it will be hereafter worth the labour. 

Letter 265 To T. Mcehan. 

Down, Oct. 9th, 1874. 
I am glad that you arc attending to the colours of 
dioecious flowers ; but it is well to remember that their 



IS70— 1SS2] JAGEK 355 

colours may be as unimportant to them as those of a gall, Letter 265 
or, indeed, as the colour of an amethyst or ruby is to these 
gems. Some thirty years ago I began to investigate the 
little purple flowers in the centre of the umbels of the carrot. 
I suppose my memory is wrong, but it tells me that these 
flowers are female, and I think that I once got a seed from 
one of them ; but my memory may be quite wrong. I hope 
that you will continue your interesting researches. 

To G. Jager. Letter 2G6 

Down, Feb. 3rd, 1875. 
I received this morning a copy of your work Contra 
Wigand? cither from yourself or from your publisher, and 
I am greatly obliged for it. I had, however, before bought 
a copy, and have sent the new one to our best library, that 
of the Royal Society. As I am a very poor german scholar, 
I have as yet read only about forty pages ; but these have 
interested me in the highest degree. Your remarks on fixed 
and variable species deserve the greatest attention ; but I am 
not at present quite convinced that there are such independent 
of the conditions to which they are subjected. I think you 
have done great service to the principle of evolution, which 
we both support, by publishing this work. I am the more 
glad to read it as I had not time to read Wigand's great and 
tedious volume. 

To Chaunccy Wright. Letter 267 

Down, March 13th, 1S75. 

I write to-day so that there shall be no delay this time in 
thanking you for your interesting and long letter received 
this morning. I am sure that you will excuse brevity when 
I tell you that I am half-killing myself in trying to get a 
book 2 ready for the press. I quite agree with what you say 
about advantages of various degrees of importance being 
co-selected, 3 and aided by the effects of use, etc. The subject 

1 Jager's In Sachen Darwins insbesondere contra Wigand (Stuttgart, 

1874) is directed against A. Wigand's Der Darwinismus und die 
Nalurforschung Newtons und Cuviers (Brunswick, 1S74). 

2 The MS. of Insectivorous Plants was got ready for press in March, 
1875. Darwin seems to have been more than usually oppressed by 
the work. 

3 Mr. Chaunccy Wright wrote (Feb. 24th, 1S75) : "The inquiry as to 
which of several real uses is the one through which Natural Selection 



356 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 267 seems to mc well worth further development. I do not think 
I have anywhere noticed the use of the eyebrows, but have 
long known that they protected the eyes from sweat. During 
the voyage of the Beagle one of the men ascended a lofty 
hill during a very hot day. He had small eyebrows, and his 
eyes became fearfully inflamed from the sweat running into 
them. The Portuguese inhabitants were familiar with this 
evil. I think you allude to the transverse furrows on the 
forehead as a protection against sweat ; but remember that 
these incessantly appear on the foreheads of baboons. 

P.S. — I have been greatly pleased by the notices in the 
Nation. 

Letter 26S To A. Weismann. 

Down, May 1st, 1875. 
I did not receive your essay x for some days after your 
very kind letter, and I read german so slowly that I have 
only just finished it. Your work has interested me greatly, 
and your conclusions seem well established. I have long 
felt much curiosity about season-dimorphism, but never 
could form any theory on the subject. Undoubtedly your 
view is very important, as bearing on the general question 
of variability. When I wrote the Origin I could not find 
any facts which proved the direct action of climate and 
other external conditions. I long ago thought that the 
time would soon come when the causes of variation would 
be fully discussed, and no one has done so much as you 
in this important subject. The recent evidence of the 
difference between birds of the same species in the N. and 
S. United States well shows the power of climate. The 

has acted . . . has for several years seemed to me a somewhat less 
important question than it seemed formerly, and still appears to most 
thinkers on the subject. . . . The uses of the rattling of the rattlesnake 
as a protection by warning its enemies and as a sexual call are not 
rival uses ; neither are the high-reaching and the far-seeing uses of 
the giraffe's neck ' rivals.' " 

1 SliiJicn zur Desce?idenz-Theorie I. Ueberden Saison-Dimorfikismus, 
1875. The fact was previously known that two forms of the genus 
Vanessa which had been considered to be distinct species are only 
seasonal forms of the same species — one appearing in spring, the 
other in summer. This remarkable relationship forms the subject 
of the essay 



1870-1882] WE IS MANN 357 

two sexes of some few birds arc there differently modified Letter 268 
by climate, and I have introduced this fact in the last 
edition of my Descent of Man} I am, therefore, fully 
prepared to admit the justness of your criticism on sexual 
selection of lepidoptera ; but considering the display of 
their beauty, I am not yet inclined to think that I am 
altogether in error. 

What you say about reversion - being excited by 
various causes, agrees with what I concluded with respect 
to the remarkable effects of crossing two breeds : namely, 
that anything which disturbs the constitution leads to 
reversion, or, as I put the case under my hypothesis of 
pangenesis, gives a good chance of latent gemmules 
developing. Your essay, in my opinion, is an admirable 
one, and I thank you for the interest which it has 
afforded me. 

P.S. I find that there are several points, which 
I have forgotten. Mr. Tenner Weir has not published 
anything more about caterpillars, but I have written to 
him, asking him whether he has tried any more experiments, 
and will keep back this letter till I receive his answer. 
Mr. Riley of the United States supports Mr. Weir, and 
you will find reference to him and other papers at p. 426 
of the new and much-corrected edit, of my Descent of 
Man. As I have a duplicate copy of Vol. I. (I believe 
Vol. II. is not yet published in german) I send it to 
you by this post. Mr. Belt, in his travels in Nicaragua, 
gives several striking cases of conspicuously coloured 
animals (but not caterpillars) which are distasteful to birds 
of prey : he is an excellent observer, and his book, Tlie 
Naturalist in Nicaragua, very interesting. 

1 Descent of Man, Eel. II. (in one volume), p. 423. Allen showed 
that many species of birds are more strongly coloured in the south of 
the United States, and that sometimes one sex is more affected than 
the other. It is this last point that bears on Weismann's remarks 
(toe. cit., pp. 44, 45) on Pieris nafii. The males of the alpine-boreal 
form bryonies hardly differ from those of the German form (var. 
vemalis), while the females are strikingly different. Thus the 
character of secondary sexual differences is determined by climate. 

2 For instance, the fact that reversion to the primary winter-form 
may be produced by the disturbing effect of high temperature (p. 7). 



35 8 EVOLUTION [Chai\ V 

Letter 268 I am very much obliged for your photograph, which I 
am particularly glad to possess, and I send mine in return. 

I see you allude to 1 lilgcndorf's statements, which I 
was sorry to sec disputed by some good German observer. 
Mr. Hyatt, an excellent palaeontologist of the United 
States, visited the place, and likewise assured me that 
I lilgcndorf was quite mistaken. 1 

I am grieved to hear that your eyesight still continues 
bad, but anyhow it has forced your excellent work in your 
last essay. 

May 4th. Here is what Mr. Weir says : — 

" In reply to your inquiry of Saturday, I regret that 
I have little to add to my two communications to the 
Entomological Society Transactions. 

" I repeated the experiments with gaudy caterpillars for 
years, and always with the same results : not on a single 
occasion did I find richly coloured, conspicuous larvae 
eaten by birds. It was more remarkable to observe that 
the birds paid not the slightest attention to gaudy caterpillars, 
not even when in motion, — the experiments so thoroughly 
satisfied my mind that I have now given up making them." 

Letter 269 To Lawson Tait. 

The late Mr. Lawson Tait wrote to Mr. Darwin (June 2nd, 1875) : 
" I am watching a lot of my mice from whom I removed the tails 
at birth, and I am coming to the conclusion that the essential use 
of the tail there is as a recording organ — that is, they record in their 
memories the corners they turn and the height of the holes they 
pass through by touching them with their tails." Mr. Darwin was 
interested in the idea because "some German sneered at Natural 
Selection and instanced the tails of mice." 

June nth, 1875. 

It has just occurred to me to look at the Origin 0/ 
Species (Ed. VL, p. 170), and it is certain that Bronn, 
in the appended chapter to his translation of my book 
into german, did advance cars and tail of various species 
of mice as a difficulty opposed to Natural Selection. I 
answered with respect to cars by alluding to Schobl's 
curious paper (I forget when published)- on the hairs of 

1 See Letters 252-7. 

- J. Schobl, "Das aiissere Ohr der Miiuse als wichtiges Tastorgan." 
Archiv. Mik. Anat., VII., 187 1, p. 260. 



1870— 1SS2] GRAFT HYBRIDS 359 

the ears being sensitive and provided with nerves. I Letter 269 
presume he made fine sections : if you are accustomed 
to such histological work, would it not be worth while 
to examine hairs of tail of mice? At p. 189 I quote 
Henslow (confirmed by Giinther) on Mhs messorius (and 
other species?) using tail as prehensile organ. 

Dr. Kane in his account of the second Grinnell 
Expedition says that the Esquimaux in severe weather carry 
a fox-tail tied to the neck, which they use as a respirator 
by holding the tip of the tail between their teeth. 1 

He says also that he found a frozen fox curled up 
with his nose buried in his tail. 

N.B. It is just possible that the latter fact is stated 
by M'Clintock, not by Dr. Kane. 

The final passage is a postscript by Mr. W. E. Darwin bearing on 
Mr. Lawson Tait's idea of the respirator function of the fox's tail. 

* 
To G. J. Romanes. Letter 270 

Down, July 12th, 1S75. 

I am correcting a second edition of Variation under 
Domestication, and find that I must do it pretty fully. 
Therefore I give a short abstract of potato graft-hybrids, and 
I want to know whether I did not send you a reference about 
beet. Did you look to this, and can you tell me anything 
about it ? 

I hope with all my heart that you are getting on pretty 
well with your experiments. 

I have been led to think a good deal on the subject, and 
am convinced of its high importance, though it will take 
years of hammering before physiologists will admit that the 
sexual organs only collect the generative elements. 

The edition will be published in November, and then you 
will sec all that I have collected, but I believe that you gave 
all the more important cases. The case of vine in Gardeners* 
Chronicle, which I sent you, I think may only be a bud- 
variation not due to grafting. I have heard indirectly of 
your splendid success with nerves of medusa?. We have 



1 The fact is stated in Vol. II., p. 24, of E. K. Kane's Arctic 

Explorations : The Second Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John 
Franklin. Philadelphia, 1856. 



360 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 270 been at Abingcr Hall for a month for rest, which I much 
required, and 1 saw there the cut-leaved vine which seems 
splendid for graft hybridism. 

Letter 271 To Francis Galton. 

Down, Nov. 7th, 1875. 
I have read your essay : with much curiosity and interest, 
but you probably have no idea how excessively difficult it is 
to understand. I cannot fully grasp, only here and there 
conjecture, what are the points on which we differ. I dare- 
say this is chiefly due to muddy-headedness on my part, but 
I do not think wholly so. Your many terms, not denned, 
" developed germs," " fertile," and " sterile germs " (the word 
" germ " itself from association misleading to me) " stirp," 
"sept," "residue," etc., etc., quite confounded me. If I ask 
myself how you derive, and where you place the innumer- 
able gemmules contained within the spermatozoa formed by 
a male animal during its whole life, I cannot answer myself. 
Unless you can make several parts clearer I believe (though 
I hope I am altogether wrong) that only a few will endeavour 
or succeed in fathoming your meaning. I have marked a 
few passages with numbers, and here make a few remarks 
and express my opinion, as you desire it, not that I suppose 
it will be of any use to you. 

(1) If this implies that many parts are not modified by 
use and disuse during the life of the individual, I differ 
widely from you, as every year I come to attribute more and 
more to such agency. 2 

(2) This seems rather bold, as sexuality has not been 
detected in some of the lowest forms, though I daresay it 
may hereafter be. 3 

1 " A Theory of Heredity" {Journal of the Anthropological Institute, 
1875). In this paper Mr. Galton admits that the hypothesis of organic 
units ''must lie at the foundation of the science of heredity," and proceeds 
to show in what respect his conception differs from the hypothesis of 
pangenesis. The copy of Mr. Galton's paper, which Darwin numbered 
in correspondence with the criticisms in his letter, is not available, and 
we are therefore only able to guess at some of the points referred to. 

! This seems to refer to p. 329 of Mr. Galton's paper. The passage 
must have been hastily read, and has been quite misunderstood. Mr. 
Galton has never expressed the view attributed to him. 

3 Mr. Galton, op. tit., pp. 332-3 : "There are not of a necessity two 



1870— 18S2] G ALTON 361 

(3) If gemmules (to use my own term) were often Letter 271 
deficient in buds, I cannot but think that bud-variations 

would be commoner than they arc in a state of nature ; nor 
does it seem that bud-variations often exhibit deficiencies 
which might be accounted for by the absence of the proper 
gemmules. I take a very different view of the meaning or 
cause of sexuality- 1 

(4) I have ordered Frascr's Magazine? and am curious 
to learn how twins from a single ovum are distinguished 
from twins from two ova. Nothing seems to me more 
curious than the similarity and dissimilarity of twins. 

(5) Awfully difficult to understand. 

(6) I have given almost the same notion. 

(7) I hope that all this will be altered. I have received 
new and additional cases, so that I have now not a shadow 
of doubt. 

(8) Such cases can hardly be spoken of as very rare, as 
you would say if you had received half the number of cases 
I have. 3 

I am very sorry to differ so much from you, but I have 



sexes, because swarms of creatures of the simplest organisations mainly 
multiply by some process of self-division." 

1 Mr. Galton's idea is that in a bud or other asexually produced part, 
the germs {i.e. gemmules) may not be completely representative of the 
whole organism, and if reproduction is continued asexually " at each 
successive stage there is always a chance of some one or more of the 
various species of germs . . . dying out" (p. 333). Mr. Galton supposes, 
in sexual reproduction, where two parents contribute germs to the 
embryo the chance of deficiency of any of the necessary germs is greatly 
diminished. Darwin's "very different view of the meaning or cause of 
sexuality " is no doubt that given in Cross and Self Fertilisation — i.e., 
that sexuality is equivalent to changed conditions, that the parents are 
not representative of different sexes, but of different conditions of life. 

2 "The History of Twins," by F. Galton, Fraser s Magazine, November, 
1875, republished with additions in the Journal of the Anthropological 
Institute, 1S75. Mr. Galton explains the striking dissimilarity of twins 
which is sometimes met with by supposing that the offspring in this case 
divide the available gemmules between them in such a way that each is 
the complement of the other. Thus, to put the case in an exaggerated 
way, similar twins would each have half the gemmules A, 15, G, . . . Z., 
etc., whereas, in the case of dissimilar twins, one would have all the 
gemmules A, I!, G, I), . . . M, and the other would have N . . . Z. 

3 We are unable to determine to what paragraphs 5, 6, 7, 8 refer. 



362 INVOLUTION [Chap.V 

Letter 271 thought that y>u would desire my open opinion. Frank is 
away, otherwise he should have copied my scrawl. 

I have got a good stock of pods of sweet peas, but the 
autumn has been frightfully bad ; perhaps we may still get 
a few more to ripen. 

Letter 272 To T. II. Huxley. 

Down, Nov. 121I1 [1875]. 
Many thanks for your Biology} which I have read. It 
was a real stroke of genius to think of such a plan. Lord, 
how 1 wish 1 had gone through such a course ! 

To Francis Galton. 
Letler 273 Dec. 18th [1875]. 

George has been explaining our differences. I have 
admitted in the new edition' 2 (before seeing your essay) that 
perhaps the gemmulcs arc largely multiplied in the repro- 
ductive organs ; but this docs not make me doubt that each 
unit of the whole system also sends forth its gcmmules. 
You will no doubt have thought of the following objection to 
your views, and I should like to hear what your answer is. 
If two plants are crossed, it often, or rather generally, 
happens that every part of stem, leaf, even to the hairs, and 
flowers of the hybrid are intermediate in character ; and this 
hybrid will produce by buds millions on millions of other 
buds all exactly reproducing the intermediate character. I 
cannot doubt that every unit of the hybrid is hybridised and 
sends forth hybridised gemmulcs. Here we have nothing to 
do with the reproductive organs. There can hardly be a 
doubt from what we know that the same thing would occur 
with all those animals which are capable of budding, and 
some of these (as the compound Ascidians) are sufficiently 
complex and highly organised. 

1 A Course of Practical Instruction in Elementary Biology, by 
T. II. Huxley and H. N. Martin, 1875. For an account of the book 
see Life and Letters of I'. II. Huxley, Vol. I., p. 380. 

■ In the second edition (1875) of the Variation of Animals and 
Plants, Vol. II., p. 350, reference is made to Mr. Galton's transfusion 
experiments, /'roc. R. Soc, XIX., p. 393; also to Mr. Galton's letter to 
\ \ture, April 27th, 1S71, p. 502. This is a curious mistake ; the letter 
in Nature, April 27th, 1871,1s by Darwin himself, and refers chiefly to 
the question whether gemmules may be supposed to be in the blood. Mr. 
Galton's letter is in Nature, May 4U1, 1871, Vol. IV., p. 5. See Letter 235. 



i870— 1882] REGENERATION 363 

To Lawson Tait. Letter 2 74 

March 25th, 1876. 
The reference is to the theory put forward in the first edition of 
Variation of Animals and Plants, II., p. 15, that the asserted tendency 
to regeneration after the amputation of supernumerary digits in man is a 
return to the recuperative powers characteristic of a " lowly organised 
progenitor provided with more than five digits." Darwin's recantation is 
at Vol. I., p. 459 of the second edition. 

Since reading your first article, 1 Dr. Riidinger has written 
to me and sent me an essay, in which he gives the results of 
the most extensive inquiries from all eminent surgeons in 
Germany, and all are unanimous about non-growth of extra 
digits after amputation. They explain some apparent cases, 
as Paget did to me. By the way, I struck out of my second 
edition a quotation from Sir J. Simpson about re-growth in 
the womb, as Paget demurred, and as I could not say how a 
rudiment of a limb due to any cause could be distinguished 
from an imperfect re-growth. Two or three days ago I had 
another letter from Germany from a good naturalist, Dr. 
Kollmann, 2 saying he was sorry that I had given up atavism 
and extra digits, and telling me of new and good evidence of 
rudiments of a rudimentary sixth digit in Batrachians (which 
I had myself seen, but given up owing to Gegenbaur's views) ; 
but, with re-growth failing me, I could not uphold my old 
notion. 

To G. J. Romanes. 3 Letter 275 

II. Wedgwood, Esq., Hopedene, Dorking, 

May 29th [1876]. 

As you arc interested in pangenesis, and will some day, 

I hope, convert an " airy nothing " into a substantial theory, 

1 Lawson Tait wrote two notices on " The Variation of Animals and 
Plants under Domestication" in the Spectator of March 4th, 1876, p. 312, 
and March 25th, p. 406. 

2 Dr. Kollmann was Secretary of the Anthropologische Gesellschaft 
of Munich, in which Society took place the discussion referred to in 
/ 'ariation of Animals and Plants, I., 459, as originating Darwin's doubts 
on the whole question. The fresh evidence adduced by Kollmann as 
to the normal occurrence of a rudimentary sixth digit in Batrachians is 
Borus' paper, " Die sechste Zehe der Anuren" in Morpholog. Jahrbuch, 
Bd. I., p. 435. On this subject see Letter 178. 

3 Mr. Romanes' reply to this letter is printed in his Life and Letters, 
p. 93, where by an oversight it is dated 1880-81. 



364 K VOLUTION [Chap.V 

Lettei 275 I send by this post an essay by Hackel ' attacking Pan. 
and substituting a molecular hypothesis. If I understand 
his views rightly, he would say that with a bird which 
strengthened its wings by use, the formative protoplasm of 
the strengthened parts became changed, and its molecular 
vibrations consequently changed, and that these vibrations 
are transmitted throughout the whole frame of the bird, 
and affect the sexual elements in such a manner that the 
wings of the offspring are developed in a like strengthened 
manner. I imagine he would say, in cases like those of Lord 
Morton's mare, 2 that the vibrations from the protoplasm, or 
" plasson," of the seminal fluid of the zebra set plasson vibrat- 
ing in the mare ; and that these vibrations continued until 
the hair of the second colt was formed, and which consequently 
became barred like that of a zebra. I low he explains re- 
version to a remote ancestor, I know not. Perhaps I have 
misunderstood him, though I have skimmed the whole with 
some care. He lays much stress on inheritance being a form 
of unconscious memory, but how far this is part of his mole- 
cular vibration, I do not understand. His views make nothing 
clearer to me ; but this may be my fault. No one, I presume, 
would doubt about molecular movements of some kind. His 
essay is clever and striking. If you read it (but you must not 
on my account), I should much like to hear your judgment, 
and you can return it at any time. The blue lines are 
Hackcl's to call my attention. 

We have come here for rest for me, which I have much 
needed ; and shall remain here for about ten days more, and 
then home to work, which is my sole pleasure in life. I hope 
your splendid Medusa work and your experiments on pan- 
genesis are going on well. I heard from my son Frank 
yesterday that he was feverish with a cold, and could not 
dine with the physiologists, which I am very sorry for, as I 

1 Die Perigenesis der Plasiidule odcr die J I 'ellenzeugung der Lcbcns- 
theilcken, 79 pp. Berlin, 1876. 

-' A nearly pure-bred Arabian chestnut mare bore a hybrid to a 
quagga, and subsequently produced two striped colts by a black Arabian 
horse : see Animals and Plants, I., p. 403. The case was originally 
described in the Philosophical Transactions, 1821, p. 20. For an account 
of recent work bearing on this question, see article on "Zebras, Horses, 
and Hybrids," in the Quarterly Review, October 1S99. See Letter 235. 



1S70-1SS2] N ATI-IT ALI LEWY 365 

should have heard what they think about the new Bill. I see Leiter 275 
that you are one of the secretaries to this young Society. 

To H. N. Moseley. 1 Letter 276 

Down, Nov. 22nd [1S76]. 

It is very kind of you to send me the Japanese books, 
which are extremely curious and amusing. My son Frank is 
away, but I am sure he will be much obliged for the two 
papers which you have sent him. 

Thanks, also, for your interesting note. It is a pity that 
Peripatits' 2 is so stupid as to spit out the viscid matter at the 
wrono- end of its body ; it would have been beautiful thus to 
have explained the origin of the spider's web. 

Naphtali Lewy to C. Darwin. Letter 277 

The following letter refers to a book, Toledoth Adam, written by a 
learned Jew with the object of convincing his co-religionists of the truth 
of the theory of evolution. The translation we owe to the late Hepry 
Bradshaw, University Librarian at Cambridge. The book is unfortunately 
no longer to be found in Mr. Darwin's library. 

[1876]. 

To the Lord, the Prince, who " stands for an ensign of the 
people" (Isa. xi. 10), the Investigator of the generation, the 
"bright son of the morning " (Isa. xiv. 12), Charles Darwin, 
may he live long ! 

" From the rising of the sun and from the west" (Isa. xlv. 
6) all the nations know concerning the Torah 3 (Theory) 
which has " proceeded from thee for a light of the people " 

1 Henry Nottidge Moseley, F.R.S. (1844-91), was an undergraduate 
of Exeter College, Oxford, and afterwards studied medicine at University 
College, London. In 1872 he was appointed one of the naturalists on 
the scientific staff of the Challenger, and in 188 1 succeeded his friend 
and teacher, Professor Rolleston, as Linacre Professor of Human and 
Comparative Anatomy at Oxford. Moseley's Notes by a Naturalist on 
the Challenger, London, 1879, was held in high estimation by Darwin, to 
whom it was dedicated. (See Life and Letters, III., pp. 237-38.) 

2 Moseley " On the Structure and Development of Peripatus capensis" 
{Phil. Trans. K. Sot., Vol. 164, p. 757, 1874). "When suddenly handled 
or irritated, they (i.e. Peripatits) shoot out fine threads of a remarkably 
viscid and tenacious milky fluid . . . projected from the tips of the oral 
papillae" (p. 759). 

3 Lit., instruction. The Torah is the Pentateuch, strictly speaking, the 
source of all knowledge. 



3C6 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 277 (Isa. li. 4), and the nations "hear and say, It is truth" (Isa. 
xliii. 9). But with "the portion of my people" (Jer. x. 16), 
J;icob, " the lot of my inheritance " (Dcut. xxxii. 9;, it is not 
so. This nation, "the ancient people" (Isa. xliv. 7), which 
" remembers the former things and considers the things of 
old" (Isa. xliii. 18), "knows not, neither doth it understand" 
(Psalm lxxxii. 5), that by thy Torah (instruction or theory) 
thou hast thrown light upon their Torah (the Law), and that 
the eyes of the Hebrews 2 " can now see out of obscurity 
and out of darkness" (Isa. xxix. 18). Therefore" I arose" 
(Judges v. 7) and wrote this book, Toledoth Adam (" the 
generations of man," Gen. v. 1), to teach the children of my 
people, the seed of Jacob, the Torah (instruction) which thou 
hast given for an inheritance to all the nations of the earth. 

And I have " proceeded to do a marvellous work among 
this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder " (Isa. 
xxix. 14), enabling them now to read in the Torah of Moses 
our teacher, " plainly and giving the sense " (Neh. viii. 8), that 
which thou hast given in thy Torahs (works of instruction). 
And when my people perceive that thy view has by no 
means "gone astray" (Num. v. 12, 19, etc.) from the Torah 
of God, they will hold thy name in the highest reverence, and 
" will at the same time glorify the God of Israel " (Isa. 
xxix. 23). 

"The vision of all this" (Isa. xxix. 11) thou shalt see, O 
Prince of Wisdom, in this book, " which goeth before me " 
(Gen. xxxii. 21) ; and whatever thy large understanding finds 
to criticise in it, come, "write it in a table and note it in a 
book" (Isa. xxx. 8); and allow me to name my work with 
thy name, which is glorified and greatly revered by 

Thy servant, 

NAPHTALI HALLEVI {i.e. the Levite]. 

Dated here in the city of Radom, in the province of 
Poland, in the month of Nisan in the year 636, according to 
the lesser computation {i.e. A.M. [5]636 = A.D. 1S76). 

1 One letter in this word changed would make the word " blind," 

which is what Isaiah uses in the passage alluded to. 



1870— 1882] UNCONSCIOUS SELECTION 367 

To Otto Zacharias. Letter 278 

1877. 

When I was on board the Beagle I believed in the per- 
manence of species, but, as far as I can remember, vague 
doubts occasionally flitted across my mind. On my return 
home in the autumn of 1S36 I immediately began to prepare 
my journal for publication, and then saw how many facts 
indicated the common descent of species, 1 so that in July, 
1837, I opened a note-book to record any facts which might 
bear on the question ; but I did not become convinced that 
species were mutable until, I think, two or three years had 
elapsed. 2 

To G. J. Romanes. Letter 279 

The following letter refers to MS. notes by Romanes, which we have 
not seen. Darwin's remarks on it are, however, sufficiently clear. 

My address will be " Bassett, Southampton," 

June nth [1877]. 

I have received the crossing paper which you were so kind 

as to send me. It is very clear, and I quite agree with it ; 

but the point in question has not been a difficulty to me, as I 

have never believed in a new form originating from a single 

variation. What I have called unconscious selection by man 

illustrates, as it seems to me, the same principle as yours, 

within the same area. Man purchases the individual animals 

or plants which seem to him the best in any respect — some 

more so, and some less so— and, without any matching or 

pairing, the breed in the course of time is surely altered. 

The absence in numerous instances of intermediate or 

blending forms, in the border country between two closely 

1 "The facts to which reference is here made were, without doubt, 
eminently fitted to attract the attention of a philosophical thinker ; but 
until the relations of the existing with the extinct species and of the 
species of the different geographical areas with one another were deter- 
mined with some exactness, they afforded but an unsafe foundation for 
speculation. It was not possible that this determination should have 
been effected before the return of the Beagle to England ; and thus the 
date which Darwin (writing in 1837) assigns to the dawn of the new light 
which was rising in his mind becomes intelligible." — From Darwiniana, 
Essays by Thomas 11. Huxley, London, 1893 ; pp. 274-5. 

2 On this last point see p. 38. 



368 E V O L U T I O N [Chap. V 

Letter 279 allied geographical races or close species, seemed to me a 
greater difficulty when I discussed the subject in the Origin. 

With respect to your illustration, it formerly drove me 
half mad to attempt to account for the increase or diminution 
of the productiveness of an organism ; but I cannot call to 
mind where my difficulty lay. 1 Natural Selection always 
applies, as I think, to each individual and its offspring, such 
as its seeds, eggs, which arc formed by the mother, and which 
arc protected in various ways. 2 There does not seem any 
difficulty in understanding how the productiveness of an 
organism might be increased ; but it was, as far as I can 
remember, in reducing productiveness that I was most 
puzzled. But why I scribble about this I know not. 

I have read your review of Mr. Allen's book, 3 and it 
makes me more doubtful, even, than I was before whether he 
has really thrown much light on the subject. 

I am glad to hear that some physiologists take the same 
view as I did about your giving ' too much credit to H. 
Spencer — though, heaven knows, this is a rare fault. 

The more I think of your medusa-nerve-work the more 
splendid it seems to me. 



Letter 280 To A. De Candolle. 

Down. August 3rd, 1S77. 

I must have the pleasure of thanking you for your long 

and interesting letter. The cause and means of the transition 

from an hermaphrodite to a unisexual condition seems to me 

a very perplexing problem, and I shall be extremely glad to 

1 See Letters 209-16. 

- It was in regard to this point that Romanes had sent the MS. to 
Darwin, In a letter of June 16th lie writes : " It was with reference to 
the possibility of Natural Selection acting on organic types as dis- 
tinguished from individuals, — a possibility which you once told me did 
not seem at all clear." 

3 See Nature (June 7th, 1877, p. 9S), a review of Grant Allen's 
1 ''hysiologii at . -Est lie tics. 

* The reference is to Romanes' lecture on Medusa, given at the 
Royal Institution, May 25th. (See Nature, XVI., pp. 231, 269, 289.) It 
appears from a letter of Romanes (June 6th) that it was the abstract 
in the Times that gave the impression referred to. References to Mr. 
Spencer's theories of nerve-genesis occur in Nature, pp. 232, 271, 289. 



1870— 1SS2] DE CANDOLLE 369 

read your remarks on Smilax, whenever I receive the essay ' Letter 2S0 
which you kindly say that you will send me. There is much 
justice in your criticisms 2 on my use of the terms object, 
end, purpose ; but those who believe that organs have been 
gradually modified for Natural Selection for a special pur- 
pose may, 1 think, use the above terms correctly, though 
no conscious being has intervened. I have found much 
difficulty in my occasional attempts to avoid these terms, 
but I might perhaps have always spoken of a beneficial 
or serviceable effect. My son Francis will be interested by 
hearing about Smilax. He has dispatched to you a copy of 
his paper on the glands of Dipsaais? and I hope that you will 
find time to read it, for the case seems to me a new and 
highly remarkable one. We are now hard at work on an 
attempt to make out the function or use of the bloom or 
waxy secretion on the leaves and fruit of many plants ; but 
I doubt greatly whether our experiments will tell us much. 4 
If you have any decided opinion whether plants with con- 
spicuously glaucous leaves are more frequent in hot than in 
temperate or cold, in dry than in damp countries, I should 
be grateful if you would add to your many kindnesses by 
informing me. Pray give my kind remembrances to your 
son, and tell him that my son has been trying on a large 
scale the effects of feeding Droscra with meat, and the results 
are most striking and far more favourable than I anticipated. 

1 Monographic Phanerogamarum, Vol. I. In his treatment of the 
Smilacere, De Candolle distinguishes : — Heterosmilax which has dioecious 
flowers without a trace of aborted stamens or pistils, Smilax with sterile 
stamens in the female flowers, and Rhipogonum with hermaphrodite flowers. 

2 The passage criticised by De Candolle is in Forms of Flowers (p. 7) : 
" It is a natural inference that their corollas have been increased in size 
for this special purpose." De Candolle goes on to give an account of 
the " recherche linguistique" which, with characteristic fairness, he under- 
took to ascertain whether the word "purpose" differs in meaning from 
the corresponding French word " but." 

3 Quart. Journ. Mic. Sri., 1877. 

4 " As it is we have made out clearly that with some plants (chiefly 
succulent) the bloom checks evaporation — with some certainly prevents 
attacks of insects ; with some sea-shore plants prevents injury from salt- 
water, and, I believe, with a few prevents injury from pure water resting 
on the leaves." (See letter to Sir W. Thiselton-Dyer, Life and Let Lis, 
III., p. 341. A paper on the same subject by Francis Darwin was pub- 
lished in ihefoum. Linn. Soc. XXII.) 

24 



370 INVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 281 To G. J. Romanes. 1 

Down, Saturday Night [1877]. 

I have just finished your lecture 2 ; it is an admirable 
scientific argument, and most powerful. I wish that it could 
be sown broadcast throughout the land. Your courage is 
marvellous, and I wonder that you were not stoned on 
the spot — and in Scotland ! Do please tell me how it was 
received in the Lecture Hall. About man being made like a 
monkey (p. 37 s ) is quite new to me, and the argument in an 
earlier place (p. 8 4 ) on the law of parsimony admirably put. 
Yes, p. 2 1 5 is new to me. All strike me as very clear, 
and, considering small space, you have chosen your lines of 
reasoning excellently. 

The few last pages are awfully powerful, in my opinion. 

Sunday Morning. — The above was written last night in 
the enthusiasm of the moment, and now — this dark, dismal 
Sunday morning — I fully agree with what I said. 

I am very sorry to hear about the failures in the graft 
experiments, and not from your own fault or ill-luck. Trollope 
in one of his novels gives as a maxim of constant use by a 
brickmaker — "It is dogged as does it" 6 — and I have often 

1 Published in the Life and Letters of Romanes, p. 66. 

3 The Scientific Evidence of Organic Evolution : a Discourse (de- 
livered before the Philosophical Society of Ross-shire), Inverness, 1877. 
It was reprinted in the Fortnightly Review, and was afterwards worked 
up into a book under the above title. 

3 " And if you reject the natural explanation of hereditary descent, 
you can only suppose that the Deity, in creating man, took the most 
scrupulous pains to make him in the image of the ape " (Discourse, 

P- 37)- 

* At p. 8 of the Discourse the speaker referred to the law " which Sir 
William Hamilton called the Law of Parsimony — or the law which forbids 
us to assume the operation of higher causes when lower ones are found 
sufficient to explain the desired effects," as constituting the " only logical 
barrier between Science and Superstition." 

Discourse, p. 21. If we accept the doctrines of individual creations 
and ideal types, we must believe that the Deity acted " with no other 
apparent motive than to suggest to us, by every one of the observable 
facts, that the ideal types are nothing other than the bonds of a lineal 
descent." 

' "Tell 'ee what, Master Crawley ; — and yer reverence mustn't think 
as I means to be preaching ; there ain't nowt a man can't bear if he '11 



1870— 1882] CAMBRIDGE LL.D. 371 

and often thought that this is the motto for every scientific Letter 281 
worker. I am sure it is yours — if you do not give up pan- 
genesis with wicked imprecations. 

By the way, G. Jager x has just brought out in Kosmos 
a chemical sort of pangenesis bearing chiefly on inheritance. 

I cannot conceive why I have not offered my garden for 
your experiments. I would attend to the plants, as far as 
mere care goes, with pleasure ; but Down is an awkward 
place to reach. 

Would it be worth while to try if the Fortnightly would 
republish it [i.e. the lecture] ? 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 2S2 

In 1877 the honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred on Mr. 
Darwin by the University of Cambridge. At the dinner given on 
the occasion by the Philosophical Society, Mr. Huxley responded 
to the toast of the evening with the speech of which an authorised 
version is given by Mr. L. Huxley in the Life and Letters of his 
father (Vol. I., p. 479). Mr. Huxley said, " But whether that doctrine 
[of evolution] be true or whether it be false, I wish to express the 
deliberate opinion, that from Aristotle's great summary of the biological 
knowledge of his time down to the present day, there is nothing 
comparable to the Origin of Species, as a connected survey of the 
phenomena of life permeated and vivified by a central idea." 

In the first part of the speech there was a brilliant sentence which 
he described as a touch of the whip " tied round with ribbons," and 
this was perhaps a little hard on the supporters of evolution in the 
University. Mr. Huxley said " Instead of offering her honours when 
they ran a chance of being crushed beneath the accumulated marks 
of approbation of the whole civilised world, the University has waited 
until the trophy was finished, and has crowned the edifice with the 
delicate wreath of academic appreciation." 

Down, Monday night, Nov. 19th [1877]. 

I cannot rest easy without telling you more gravely 
than I did when we met for five minutes near the Museum, 
how deeply I have felt the many generous things (as far 
as Frank could remember them) which you said about me 

only be dogged. You go whome, Master Crawley, and think o' that, and 
maybe it'll do ye a good yet. It's dogged as does it. It ain't thinking 
about it." (Giles Hoggett, the old Brickmaker, in Tlic Last Chronicle 
qfBarset, Vol. II., 1867, p. 188.) 

1 Several papers by Jager on " Inheritance " were published in the 
first volume of Kosmos, 1877. 



372 INVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 2S2 at the dinner. Frank came early next morning boiling 
over with enthusiasm about your speech. You have indeed 
always been to me a most generous friend ; but I know, 
alas, too well how greatly you overestimate me. Forgive 
me for bothering you with these few lines. 

The following extract from a letter (Feb. 10th, 1878) to his old 
schoolfellow, Mr. J. Price, gives a characteristic remark about the 
honorary degree. 

" I am very much obliged for your kind congratulations 
about the LL.D. Why the Senate conferred it on me 
I know not in the least. I was astonished to hear that 
the R. Prof, of Divinity and several other great Dons 
attended, and several such men have subscribed, as I am 
informed, for the picture for the University to commemorate 
the honour conferred on me." 

Letter 283 To W. Bowman. 

We have not discovered to what prize the following letter to the 
late Sir W. Bowman (the well known surgeon) refers. 

Down, Feb 22nd, 1S78. 

1 received your letter this morning, and it was quite 
impossible that you should receive an answer by 4 p.m. 
to-day. But this does not signify in the least, for your 
proposal seems to me a very good one, and I most entirely 
agree with you that it is far better to suggest some special 
question rather than to have a general discussion compiled 
from books. The rule that the Essay must be " illustrative 
of the wisdom and beneficence of the Almighty " would 
confine the subjects to be proposed. With respect to the 
Vegetable Kingdom, I could suggest two or three subjects 
about which, as it seems to me, information is much 
required ; but these subjects would require a long course 
of experiment, and unfortunately there is hardly any 
one in this country who seems inclined to devote himself 
to experiments. 

Letter 284 To J- Torbitt. 

Mr. Torbitt was engaged in trying to produce by methodical 
selection and cross-fertilisation a fungus-proof race of the potato. 
The plan is fully described in the Life and Letters, III., p. 348. 
The following letter is given in additional illustration of the keen 
interest Mr. Darwin took in the project. 



1870— 1882] TOTATO-DISEASE 373 

Down, Monday, March 4th, 187S. 

I have nothing good to report. Mr. Caird called upon Letter 284 
me yesterday; both he and Mr. Farrer 1 have been most 
energetic and obliging. There is no use in thinking about 
the Agricultural Society. Mr. Caird has seen several 
persons on the subject, especially Mr. Carruthers, Botanist 
to the Society. He (Mr. Carruthers) thinks the attempt 
hopeless, but advances in a long memorandum sent to 
Mr. Caird, reasons which I am convinced are not sound. 
He specifies two points, however, which are well worthy 
of your consideration — namely, that a variety should be 
tested three years before its soundness can be trusted ; and 
especially it should be grown under a damp climate. Mr. 
Carruthers' opinion on this head is valuable because he 
was employed by the Society in judging the varieties sent 
in for the prize offered a year or two ago. 1 f I had strength 
to get up a memorial to Government, I believe that I 
could succeed ; for Sir J. Hooker writes that he believes 
you are on the right path ; but I do not know to whom 
else to apply whose judgment would have weight with 
Government, and I really have not strength to discuss the 
matter and convert persons. 

At Mr. Farrer's request, when we hoped the Agricultural 
Society might undertake it, I wrote to him a long letter 
giving him my opinion on the subject ; and this letter 
Mr. Caird took with him yesterday, and will consider 
with Mr. Farrer whether any application can be made 
to Government. 

I am, however, far from sanguine. I shall see Mr. Farrer 
this evening, and will do what I can. When I receive 
back my letter I will send it to you for your perusal. 

After much reflection it seems to me that your best 
plan will be, if we fail to get Government aid, to go on 
during the present year, on a reduced scale, in raisin;; 
new cross-fertilised varieties, and next year, if you are able, 
testing the power of endurance of only the most promising 
kind. If it were possible it would be very advisable for 
you to get some grown on the wet western side of Ireland. 
If you succeed in procuring a fungus-proof variety you 

' The late Lord Farrer. 



374 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 2S4 may rely on it that its merits would soon become known 
locally and it would afterwards spread rapidly far and 
wide. Mr. Caird gave me a striking instance of such a 
case in Scotland. I return home to-morrow morning. 

1 have the pleasure to enclose a cheque for .£100. If 
you receive a Government grant, I ought to be repaid. 

P.S. If I were in your place I would not expend any 
labour or money in publishing what you have already 
done, or in sending seeds or tubers to any one. I would 
work quietly on till some sure results were obtained. And 
these would be so valuable that your work in this case 
would soon be known. I would also endeavour to pass 
as severe a judgment as possible on the state of the tubers 
and plants. 

Letter 2S5 To E. von Mojsisovics.' 

Down, June 1st, 1878. 

I have at last found time to read [the] first chapter of 
your Dolomit Riffe? and have been exceedingly interested by 
it. What a wonderful change in the future of geological 
chronology you indicate, by assuming the descent-theory 
to be established, and then taking the graduated changes of 
the same group of organisms as the true standard ! I never 
hoped to live to see such a step even proposed by any 
one. 3 

Nevertheless, I saw dimly that each bed in a formation 
could contain only the organisms proper to a certain depth, 
and to other there existing conditions, and that all the 
intermediate forms between one marine species and another 
could rarely be preserved in the same place and bed. Oppel, 
Ncumayr, and yourself will confer a lasting and admirable 
service on the noble science of Geology, if you can spread 
your views so as to be generally known and accepted. 

With respect to the continental and oceanic periods 
common to the whole northern hemisphere, to which you 
refer, I have sometimes speculated that the present distribu- 
tion of the land and sea over the world may have formerly 

1 Dr. E. von Mojsisovics, Vice-Director of the Imperial Geological 
Institute, Vienna. 

3 Dolomitrifft- Sudtiroh und Venetiens. Wien, 1878. 
3 Published in Life and Letters, III., pp. 234, 235. 



i87o— 1882] PALAEONTOLOGY 375 

been very different to what it now is ; and that new genera Letter 285 
and families may have been developed on the shores of 
isolated tracts in the south, and afterwards spread to the 
north. 

To J. W. Judd. Letter 2S6 

Down, June 27th, 1S78. 

1 am heartily glad to hear of your intended marriage. A 
good wife is the supreme blessing in this life, and I hope 
and believe from what you say that you will be as happy 
as I have been in this respect. May your future geological 
work be as valuable as that which you have already 
done ; and more than this need not be wished for any 
man. The practical teaching of Geology seems an excellent 
idea. 

Many thanks for Neumayr, 1 but I have already received 
and read a copy of the same, or at least of a very similar 
essay, and admirably good it seemed to me. 

This essay, and one by Mojsisovics, 2 which I have lately 
read, show what Palaeontology in the future will do for the 
classification and sequence of formations. It delighted me 
to see so inverted an order of proceeding— viz., the assuming 
the descent of species as certain, and then taking the 
changes of closely allied forms as the standard of geological 
time. My health is better than it was a few years ago, but 
I never pass a day without much discomfort and the sense of 
extreme fatigue. 

1 Probably a paper on "Die Congerien und Paludinenschichten 
Slavoniens und deren Fauna. Ein Beitrag zur Descendenz-Theorie,' 
Wien. Geo/. AbhanJL, VII. (Heft 3), 1S74-82. Melchior Neumayr 
(1845-90) passed his early life at Stuttgart, and entered the University 
of Munich in 1S63 with the object of studying law, but he soon gave up 
legal studies for Geology and Palaeontology. In 1873 he was recalled 
from Heidelberg, where he held a post as Privatdocent, to occupy the 
newly created Chair of Palaeontology in Vienna. Dr. Neumayr was a 
successful and popular writer, as well as "one of the best and most 
scientific palaeontologists" ; he was an enthusiastic supporter of Darwin's 
views, and he devoted himself " to tracing through the life of former 
times the same law of evolution as Darwin inferred from that of the 
existing world." (See Obit. Notice, by Dr. W. T. Blanford, Quart. 
Journ. Geol. Soc, Vol. XLVI., p. 54, 1890.) 

- See note to Letter 285. 



376 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

We owe to Professor Judd the following interesting recollections of 
Mr. Darwin, written about 1883 : — 

Letter 286 '• On this last occasion, when I congratulated him on his 
seeming better condition of health, he told me of the cause 
for anxiety which he had in the state of his heart. Indeed, I 
cannot help feeling that he had a kind of presentiment that 
his end was approaching. When I left him, he insisted on 
conducting me to the door, and there was that in his tone 
and manner which seemed to convey to me the sad intelli- 
gence that it was not merely a temporary farewell, though he 
himself was perfectly cheerful and happy. 

"It is impossible for me adequately to express the im- 
pression made upon my mind by my various conversations 
with Mr. Darwin. His extreme modesty led him to form the 
lowest estimate of his own labours, and a correspondingly 
extravagant idea of the value of the work done by others. 
His deference to the arguments and suggestions of men 
greatly his juniors, and his unaffected sympathy in their 
pursuits, was most marked and characteristic ; indeed, he, 
the great master of science, used to speak, and I am sure 
felt, as though he were appealing to superior authority for 
information in all his conversations. It was only when a 
question was fully discussed with him that one became 
conscious of the fund of information he could bring to its 
elucidation, and the breadth of thought with which he had 
grasped it. Of his gentle, loving nature, of which I had so 
many proofs, I need not write ; no one could be with him, 
even for a few minutes, without being deeply impressed by 
his grateful kindliness and goodness." 

Letter 287 To Count Saporta. 1 

Down, August 15th, 1878. 

I thank you very sincerely for your kind and interesting 
letter. It would be false in me to pretend that I care very 

1 The Marquis of Saporta (1823-95) devoted himself to the study of 
fossil plants, and by his untiring energy and broad scientific treatment of 
the subject he will always rank as one of the pioneers of Vegetable 
Palaeontology. In addition to many important monographs on Tertiary 
and Jurassic floras, he published several books and papers in which Darwin's 
views are applied to the investigation of the records of plant-life furnished 
by rocks of all ages. (" Le Marquis G. de Saporta, sa Vie et ses Travaux," 
by R. Zeiller. Bull. Soc. Geol. France, Vol. XXIV., p. 197, 1896.) 



i87o— 1882] DUKE OF ARGYLL 377 

much about my election to the Institute, but the sympathy of Letter 287 
some few of my friends has gratified me deeply. 

I am extremely glad to hear that you are going to publish 
a work on the more ancient fossil plants ; and I thank you 
beforehand for the volume which you kindly say that you 
will send me. I earnestly hope that you will give, at least 
incidentally, the results at which you have arrived with 
respect to the more recent Tertiary plants ; for the close 
gradation of such forms seems to me a fact of paramount 
importance for the principle of evolution. Your cases are 
like those on the gradation in the genus Equus, recently 
discovered by Marsh in North America. 

To the Duke of Argyll. Letter 288 

The following letter was published in Nature, March 5th, 1891, Vol. 
XLIII., p. 415, together with a note from the late Duke of Argyll, in which 
he stated that the letter had been written to him by Mr. Darwin in reply 
to the question, " why it was that he did assume the unity of mankind as 
descended from a single pair." The Duke added that in the reply 
Mr. Darwin " does not repudiate this interpretation of his theory, but 
simply proceeds to explain and to defend the doctrine." On a former 
occasion the Duke of Argyll had "alluded as a fact to the circumstance 
that Charles Darwin assumed mankind to have arisen at one place, and 
therefore in a single pair." The letter from Darwin was published in 
answer to some scientific friends, who doubted the fact and asked for the 
reference on which the statement was based. 

Down, Sept. 23rd, 1878. 
The problem which you state so clearly is a very inter- 
esting one, on which I have often speculated. As far as 
I can judge, the improbability is extreme that the same 
well-characterised species should be produced in two distinct 
countries, or at two distinct times. It is certain that 
the same variation may arise in two distinct places, as 
with albinism or with the nectarine on peach-trees. But 
the evidence seems to me overwhelming that a well- 
marked species is the product, not of a single or of a few 
variations, but of a long series of modifications, each modifi- 
cation resulting chiefly from adaptation to infinitely complex 
conditions (including the inhabitants of the same country), 
with more or less inheritance of all the preceding modifica- 
tions. Moreover, as variability depends more on the nature 
of the organism than on that of the environment, the 
variations will tend to differ at each successive stage of 



378 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 288 descent. Now it seems to mc improbable in the highest 
degree that a species should ever have been exposed in two 
places to infinitely complex relations of exactly the same 
nature during a long series of modifications. An illustration 
will perhaps make what I have said clearer, though it applies 
only to the less important factors of inheritance and varia- 
bility, and not to adaptation — viz., the improbability of two 
men being born in two countries identical in body and mind. 
If, however, it be assumed that a species at each successive 
stage of its modification was surrounded in two distinct 
countries or times, by exactly the same assemblage of plants 
and animals, and by the same physical conditions, then I can 
see no theoretical difficulty [in] such a species giving birth to 
the new form in the two countries. If you will look to the 
sixth edition of my Origin, at p. 100, you will find a some- 
what analogous discussion, perhaps more intelligible than this 
letter. 

Letter 289 W. T. Thiselton-Dyer to the Editor of Nature. 

The following letter {Nature, Vol. XLIII., p. 535) criticises the inter- 
pretation given by the Duke to Mr. Darwin's letter. 

Royal Gardens, Kew, March 27th [1891]. 

In Nature of March 5th (p. 415), the Duke of Argyll has 
printed a very interesting letter of Mr. Darwin's, from which 
he drew the inference that the writer "assumed mankind to 
have arisen ... in a single pair." I do not think myself 
that the letter bears this interpretation. But the point in its 
most general aspect is a very important one, and is often 
found to present some difficulty to students of Mr. Darwin's 
writings. 

Quite recently I have found by accident, amongst the 
papers of the late Mr. Bentham at Kew, a letter of friendly 
criticism from Mr. Darwin upon the presidential address 
which Mr. Bentham delivered to the Linnean Society on 
May 24th, 1869. This letter, I think, has been overlooked 
and not published previously. In it Mr. Darwin expresses 
himself with regard to the multiple origin of races and 
some other points in very explicit language. Prof. Mcldola, 
to whom I mentioned in conversation the existence of the 
letter, urged mc stnmgly to print it. This, therefore, I now 
do, with the addition of a few explanatory notes. 



1870-1SS2] bentham's address 379 

To G. Bentham. Letter 290 

Down, Nov. 25th, 1869. 
The notes to this letter are by Sir W. Thiselton-Dyer, and appeared 
in Nature, loc, cit. 

I was greatly interested by your address, which I have 
now read thrice, and which I believe will have much influence 
on all who read it. But you are mistaken in thinking that I 
ever said you were wrong on any point. All that I meant 
was that on certain points, and these very doubtful points, I 
was inclined to differ from you. And now, on further con- 
sidering the point on which some two or three months ago I 
felt most inclined to differ — viz., on isolation — I find I differ 
very little. What I have to say is really not worth saying, 
but as I should be very sorry not to do whatever you asked, 
1 will scribble down the slightly dissentient thoughts which 
have occurred to me. It would be an endless job to specify 
the points in which you have interested me ; but I may just 
mention the relation of the extreme western flora of Europe 
(some such very vague thoughts have crossed my mind, 
relating to the Glacial period) with South Africa, and your 
remarks on the contrast of passive and active distribution. 

P. lxx. — I think the contingency of a rising island, not as 
yet fully stocked with plants, ought always to be kept in 
mind when speaking of colonisation. 

P. lxxiv.— I have met with nothing which makes me in 
the least doubt that large genera present a greater number 
of varieties relatively to their size than do small genera. 1 
Hooker was convinced by my data, never as yet published 
in full, only abstracted in the Origin. 

P. lxxviii. — I dispute whether a new race or species is 
necessarily, or even generally, descended from a single or pair 
of parents. The whole body of individuals, I believe, become 
altered together — like our race-horses, and like all domestic 

1 Bentham thought " degree of variability . . . like other constitu- 
tional characters, in the first place an individual one, which . . . may 
become more or less hereditary, and therefore specific ; and thence, but 
in a very faint degree, generic." He seems to mean to argue against 
the conclusion which Sir Joseph Hooker had ([noted from Mr. Darwin 
that "species of large genera are more variable than those of small." 
[On large genera varying, see Letter 53.] 



380 INVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 290 breeds which are changed through " unconscious selection " 
by man. 1 

When such great lengths of time are considered as are 
necessary to change a specific form, I greatly doubt whether 
more or less rapid powers of multiplication have more than 
the most insignificant weight. These powers, I think, arc 
related to greater or less destruction in early life. 

P. lxxix. — I still think you rather underrate the import- 
ance of isolation. I have come to think it very important 
from various grounds ; the anomalous and quasi-extinct 
forms on islands, etc., etc., etc. 

With respect to areas with numerous " individually 
durable " forms, can it be said that they generally present 
a "broken" surface with "impassable barriers"? This, no 
doubt, is true in certain cases, as Tcncriffe. But does this 
hold with South-West Australia or the Cape ? 1 much 
doubt. I have been accustomed to look at the cause of so 
many forms as being partly an arid or dry climate (as 
De Candollc insists) which indirectly leads to diversified [?] 
conditions ; and, secondly, to isolation from the rest of the 
world during a very long period, so that other more dominant 
forms have not entered, and there has been ample time for 
much specification and adaptation of character. 

P. lxxx. — I suppose you think that the Restiaceae, 
Proteacea;, 2 etc., etc., once extended over the world, leaving 
fragments in the south. 

You in several places speak of distribution of plants as if 
exclusively governed by soil and climate. I know that you 
do not mean this, but I regret whenever a chance is omitted 
of pointing out that the struggle with other plants (and hostile 
animals) is far more important. 

I told you that 1 had nothing worth saying, but I have 
given you my thoughts. 

1 Bentham had said : " We must also admit that every race has 
probably been the offspring of one parent or pair of parents, and con- 
sequently originated in one spot." The Duke of Argyll inverts the 
proposition. 

■ It is doubtful whether Bentham did think so. In his 1870 address 
he says : " I cannot resist the opinion that all presumptive evidence is 
against European Proteacea;, and that all direct evidence in their favour 
has broken down upon cross-examination." 



1870— 18S2] WEISMANN 38 1 

How detestable are the Roman numerals ! why should Letter 290 
not the President's addresses, which are often, and I am sure 
in this case, worth more than all the rest of the number, be 
paged with Christian figures ? 

To R. Meldola. 1 Letter 291 

4, Bryanston Street, Nov. 26th, 187S. 
I am very sorry to say that I cannot agree to your 
suggestion. An author is never a fit judge of his own work, 
and I should dislike extremely pointing out when and how 
Weismann's conclusions and work agreed with my own. I 
feel sure that I ought not to do this, and it would be to me 
an intolerable task. Nor does it seem to me the proper office 
of the preface, which is to show what the book contains, and 
that the contents appear to me valuable. But I can see no 
objection for you, if you think fit, to write an introduction 
with remarks or criticisms of any kind. Of course, I would 
be glad to advise you on any point as far as lay in my power, 
but as a whole I could have nothing to do with it, on the 
grounds above specified, that an author cannot and ought not 
to attempt to judge his own works, or compare them with 
others. I am sorry to refuse to do anything which you wish. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 292 

Down, Jan. iSth, 1S79. 

I have just finished your present of the Life of Hume, 2 and 
must thank you for the great pleasure which it has given me. 
Your discussions are, as it seems to me, clear to a quite 
marvellous degree, and many of the little interspersed flashes 

1 " This letter was in reply to a suggestion that in his preface Mr. 
Darwin should point out by references to The Origin of Species and his 
other writings how far he had already traced out the path which Weis- 
mann went over. The suggestion was made because in a great many of 
the continental writings upon the theory of descent, many of the points 
which had been clearly foreshadowed, and in some cases even explicitly 
stated by Darwin, had been rediscovered and published as though 
original. In the notes to my edition of Weismann I have endeavoured to 
do Darwin full justice. — R. M." See Letter 310. 

2 Hume in Mr. Morley's English Men of Letters series. Of the 
biographical part of this book Mr. Huxley wrote, in a letter to Mr. 
Skelton, Jan. 1879 (Life of T. H. Huxley, II., p. 7) ; " It is the nearest 
approach to a work of fiction of which I have yet been guilty.'' 



382 EVOLUTION [Chap.V 

Letter 292 of wit arc delightful. I particularly enjoyed the pithy judg- 
ment in about five words on Comtc. 1 Notwithstanding the 
clearness of every sentence, the subjects are in part so difficult 
that I found them stiff reading. I fear, therefore, that it will 
be too stiff for the general public ; but I heartily hope that 
this will prove to be a mistake, and in this case the intelli- 
gence of the public will be greatly exalted in my eyes. The 
writing of this book must have been awfully hard work, I 
should think. 

Letter 293 To F. Miiller. 2 

Down, March 4th [1879]. 
I thank you cordially for your letter. Your facts and 
discussion on the loss of the hairs on the legs of the caddis- 
flics seem to me the most important and interesting thing 
which I have read for a very long time. I hope that you will 
not disapprove, but I have sent your letter to Nature* with a 
few prefatory remarks, pointing out to the general reader the 
importance of your view, and stating that I have been puzzled 

1 Possibly the passage referred to is on p. 52. 

3 Dr. Johann Friedrich Theodor Miiller(i822-97) was born inThuringia, 
and left his native country at the age of thirty to take up his residence at 
Blumenau, Sta Catharina, South Brazil, where he was appointed teacher 
of mathematics at the Gymnasium of Desterro. He afterwards held a 
natural history post, from which he was dismissed by the Brazilian 
Government in 1S91 on the ground of his refusal to take up his residence 
at Rio de Janeiro (Nature, Dec. 17th, 1891, p. 156). Miiller published a 
large number of papers on zoological and botanical subjects, and rendered 
admirable service to the cause of evolution by his unrivalled powers of 
observation and by the publication of a work entitled Fur Darwin (1865), 
which was translated by Dallas under the title Facts and Arguments for 
Darwin (London, 1869). The long series of letters between Darwin and 
Miiller bear testimony to the friendship and esteem which Darwin felt 
for his co-worker in Brazil. In a letter to Dr. Hermann Miiller (March 
29th, 1867), Mr. Darwin wrote : " I sent you a few days ago a paper on 
climbing plants by your brother, and I then knew for the first time that 
Fritz Miiller was your brother. I feel the greatest respect for him as one 
of the most able naturalists living, and he has aided me in many ways 
with extraordinary kindness." See Life and Letters, III., p. 37 ; Nature, 
Oct. 7th, 1897, Vol. LVI., p. 546. 

3 Fritz Mullcr, "On a Frog having Eggs on its Back— On the 
Abortion of the Hairs on the Legs of certain Caddis-Flies, etc." : Midler's 
letter and one from Charles Darwin were published in Nature, Vol. XIX., 
p. 462, 1879. 



i870— 1882] FRITZ MULLER 383 

for many years on this very point. If, as I am inclined to be- Letter 293 

lieve, your view can be widely extended, it will be a capital gain 

to the doctrine of evolution. I see by your various papers 

that you are working away energetically, and, wherever 

you look, you seem to discover something quite new and 

extremely interesting. Your brother also continues to do fine 

work on the fertilisation of flowers and allied subjects. 

1 have little or nothing to tell you about myself. I go 
slowly crawling on with my present subject — the various and 
complicated movements of plants. I have not been very well 
of late, and am tired to-day, so will write no more. With the 
most cordial sympathy in all your work, etc. 

To T. H. Huxley. Letter 294 

Down, April 19th, 1S79. 

Many thanks for the book. 1 I have read only the 
preface. ... It is capital, and I enjoyed the tremendous rap 
on the knuckles which you gave Virchow at the close. What 
a pleasure it must be to write as you can do ! 

To E. S. Morse. Letter 295 

Down, Oct. 2ist, 1879. 
Although you are so kind as to tell me not to write, I 
must just thank you for the proofs of your paper, 2 which has 
interested me greatly. The increase in the number of ridges 
in the three species of Area seems to be a very noteworthy 
fact, as does the increase of size in so many, yet not all, 
the species. What a constant state of fluctuation the whole 
organic world seems to be in ! It is interesting to hear that 
everywhere the first change apparently is in the proportional 
numbers of the species. I was much struck with the fact 

1 Ernst Hackel's Freedom in Science and Teaching., with a prefatory 
note by T. H. Huxley, 1879. Professor Hackel has recently published 
(without permission) a letter in which Mr. Darwin comments severely on 
Virchow. It is difficult to say which would have pained Mr. Darwin more 
— the affront to a colleague, or the breach of confidence in a friend. 

2 See "The Shell Mounds of Omori" in the Memoirs of the Science 
Department of the Univ. of Tokio, Vol. I., Part I., 1879. The ridges on 
Area are mentioned at p. 25. In Nature, April 15th, 18S0, Mr. Darwin 
published a letter by Mr. Morse relating to the review of the above 
paper, which appeared in Nature, XXI., p. 350. Mr. Darwin introduces 
Mr. Morse's letter with some prefatory remarks. The correspondence 
is republished in the American Naturalist, Sept., 1880. 



384 EVOLUTION [Chap.V 

Letter 295 in the upraised shells of Coquimbo, in Chili, as mentioned in 
my Geological Observations on South America. 

Of all the wonders in the world, the progress of Japan, in 
which you have been aiding, seems to me about the most 
wonderful. 

Letter 296 To A. R. Wallace. 

Down, Jan. 5th, 1880. 

As this note requires no sort of answer, you must allow 
me to express my lively admiration of your paper in the 
Nineteenth Century} You certainly arc a master in the 
difficult art of clear exposition. It is impossible to urge too 
often that the selection from a single varying individual or 
of a single varying organ will not suffice. You have worked 
in capitally Allen's - admirable researches. As usual, you 
delight to honour me more than I deserve. When I have 
written about the extreme slowness of Natural Selection 3 (in 
which I hope I may be wrong), I have chiefly had in my 
mind the effects of intercrossing. I subscribe to almost 
everything you say excepting the last short sentence. 4 

1 Nineteenth Century, Jan. 1SS0, p. 93, "On the Origin of Species 
and Genera." 

2 J. A. Allen, " On the Mammals and Winter Birds of East Florida, 
etc." {Bull. Mus. Coiup. Zoolog. Harvard, Vol. II.) 

3 Mr. Wallace makes a calculation based on Allen's results as to the 
very short period in which the formation of a race of birds differing 
10 to 20 per cent, from the average in length of wing and strength of 
beak might conceivably be effected. He thinks that the slowness of the 
action of Natural Selection really depends on the slowness of the changes 
naturally occurring in the physical conditions, etc. 

4 The passage in question is as follows : " I have also attempted to 
show that the causes which have produced the separate species of one 
genus, of one family, or perhaps of one order, from a common ancestor, 
are not necessarily the same as those which have produced the separate 
orders, classes, and sub-kingdoms from more remote common ancestors. 
That all have been alike produced by ' descent with modification ' from 
a few primitive types, the whole body of evidence clearly indicates ; 
but while individual variation with Natuial Selection is proved to be 
adequate for the production of the former, we have no proof and hardly 
any evidence that it is adequate to initiate those important divergences 
of type which characterise the latter." In this passage stress should be 
laid (as Mr. Wallace points out to us) on the word proof. He by no 
means asserts that the causes which have produced the species of a 
genus are inadequate to produce greater differences. His object is 
rather to urge the difference between proof and probability. 



1870-1882] HOMING EXPERIMENTS 385 

To J. H. Fabre. 1 Letter 297 

Down, Feb. 20th, 1880. 

I thank you for your kind letter, and am delighted that 
you will try the experiment of rotation. It is very curious 
that such a belief should be held about cats in your country, 2 
I never heard of anything of the kind in England. I was 
led, as I believe, to think of the experiment from having read 
in Wrangel's Travels in Siberia 3 of the wonderful power 
which the Samoyedes possess of keeping their direction in 
a fog whilst travelling in a tortuous line through broken ice. 
With respect to cats, I have seen an account that in Belgium 
there is a society which gives prizes to the cat which can 
soonest find its way home, and for this purpose they are 
carried to distant parts of the city. 

Here would be a capital opportunity for trying rotation. 

I am extremely glad to hear that your book will probably 
be translated into English. 

P.S. — I shall be much pleased to hear the result of your 
experiments. 

To J. H. Fabre. Letter 298 

Down, Jan. 21st, 1881. 

I am much obliged for your very interesting letter. Your 
results appear to me highly important, as they eliminate one 
means by which animals might perhaps recognise direction ; 
and this, from what has been said about savages, and from 
our own consciousness, seemed the most probable means. If 
you think it worth while, you can of course mention my name 
in relation to this subject. 

Should you succeed in eliminating a sense of the magnetic 

1 J. H. Fabre is best known for his Souvenirs Entomologiques, in 
No. VI. of which he gives a wonderfully vivid account of his hardy and 
primitive life as a boy, and of his early struggles after a life of culture. 
A letter to M. Fabre is given in Life and Letters, III., p. 220, in 
which the suggestion is made of rotating the insect before a " homing " 
experiment occurs. 

2 M. Fabre had written from Serignan, Vaucluse : " Parmi la popu- 
lation des paysans de mon village, I'habitude est de faire toumer dans 
un sac le chat que Ton se propose de porter ailleurs, et dont on veut 
empecher le retour. J'ignore si cette pratique obtient du succes." 

3 Admiral Ferdinand Petrovtch von Wrangell, " Le Nord de la Siberie, 
Voyage parmi les Peuplades de la Russie asiatique, etc." Paris, 1843. 

25 



3^6 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 298 currents of the earth, you would leave the field of investiga- 
tion quite open. I suppose that even those who still believe 
that each species was separately created would admit that 
certain animals possess some sense by which they perceive 
direction, and which they use instinctively. On mentioning 
the subject to my son George, who is a mathematician and 
knows something about magnetism, he suggested making a 
very thin needle into a magnet ; then breaking it into very 
short pieces, which would still be magnetic, and fastening one 
of these pieces with some cement on the thorax of the insect 
to be experimented on. 

He believes that such a little magnet, from its close 
proximity to the nervous system of the insect, would affect 
it more than would the terrestrial currents. 

I have received your essay on Halictus} which I am sure 
that I shall read with much interest. 



Letter 299 To T. H. Huxley. 

On April 9th, 1880, Mr. Huxley lectured at the Royal Institution on 
"The Coming of Age of the Origin of Species." The lecture was 
published in Nature and in Huxley's Collected Essays, Vol. II., p. 227. 
Darwin's letter to Huxley on the subject is given in Life and Letters, 
III., p. 240; in Huxley's reply of May 10th {Life and Letters of T. H. 
Huxley, II., p. 12) he writes : " I hope you do not imagine because I had 
nothing to say about ' Natural Selection' that I am at all weak of faith 
on that article. . . . But the first thing seems to me to be to drive the 
fact of evolution into people's heads ; when that is once safe, the rest will 
come easy." 

Down, May nth, 1880. 

I had no intention to make you write to me, or expectation 
of your doing so ; but your note has been so far "cheerier" 2 
to me than mine could have been to you, that I must and 
will write again. I saw your motive for not alluding to 
Natural Selection, and quite agreed in my mind in its wisdom. 
But at the same time it occurred to me that you might be 
giving it up, and that anyhow you could not safely allude to 
it without various " provisos " too long to give in a lecture. 

1 "Sur les Mceurs et la Partht^nogcse des Halictes" {Ann. Sc. Nat., 
IX., 1879-80). 

2 "You are the cheeriest letter-writer I know": Huxley to Darwin. 
See Huxley's Life, II., p. 12. 



1870— 1882] NATURAL SELECTION 387 

If I think continuously on some half-dozen structures of Letter 299 
which we can at present see no use, I can persuade myself 
that Natural Selection is of quite subordinate importance. 
On the other hand, when I reflect on the innumerable struc- 
tures, especially in plants, which twenty years ago would have 
been called simply " morphological " and useless, and which 
are now known to be highly important, I can persuade myself 
that every structure may have been developed through 
Natural Selection. It is really curious how many out of a 
list of structures which Bronn enumerated, as not possibly due 
to Natural Selection because of no functional importance, can 
now be shown to be highly important. Lobed leaves was, I 
believe, one case, and only two or three days ago Frank 
showed me how they act in a manner quite sufficiently im- 
portant to account for the lobing of any large leaf. I am 
particularly delighted at what you say about domestic dogs, 
jackals, and wolves, because from mere indirect evidence I 
arrived in Varieties of Domestic Animals at exactly the same 
conclusion x with respect to the domestic dogs of Europe and 
North America. See how important in another way this 
conclusion is ; for no one can doubt that large and small dogs 
are perfectly fertile together, and produce fertile mongrels ; 
and how well this supports the Pallasian doctrine 2 that domes- 
tication eliminates the sterility almost universal between forms 
slowly developed in a state of nature. 

I humbly beg your pardon for bothering you with so long 
a note ; but it is your own fault. 

Plants are splendid for making one believe in Natural 
Selection, as will and consciousness are excluded. I have 
lately been experimenting on such a curious structure for 
bursting open the seed-coats : I declare one might as well 
say that a pair of scissors or nutcrackers had been developed 
through external conditions as the structure in question. 3 

1 Mr. Darwin's view was that domestic dogs descend from more than 
one wild species. 

2 See Letter 80. 

3 The peg or heel in Cucurbila : see Power of Movement in Plants 
p. 102. 



388 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 300 To T. H. Huxley. 

Down, Nov. 5th, 18S0. 

On reading over your excellent review J with the sentence 
quoted from Sir Wyvflle Thomson, it seemed to me advisable, 
considering the nature of the publication, to notice " extreme 
variation " and another point. Now, will you read the 
enclosed, and if you approve, post it soon. If you disapprove, 
throw it in the fire, and thus add one more to the thousand 
kindnesses which you have done me. Do not write : I shall 
see result in next week's Nature. Please observe that in the 
foul copy I had added a final sentence which I did not at first 
copy, as it seemed to me inferentially too contemptuous ; but 
I have now pinned it to the back, and you can send it or not, 
as you think best,— that is, if you think any part worth send- 
ing. My request will not cost you much trouble — i.e. to read 
two pages, for I know that you can decide at once. I heartily 
enjoyed my talk with you on Sunday morning. 

p.S. If my manuscript appears too flat, too contemptuous, 

too spiteful, or too anything, I earnestly beseech you to throw 
it into the fire. 

Letter 301 C. Darwin to the Editor of Nature? 

Down, Nov. 5th, 1880. 

Sir Wyville Thomson and Natural Selection. 
I am sorry to find that Sir Wyville Thomson does not 
understand the principle of Natural Selection, as explained by 
Mr. Wallace and myself. If he had done so, he could not 
have written the following sentence in the Introduction to the 
Voyage of the Challenger: "The character of the abyssal 
fauna refuses to give the least support to the theory which 
refers the evolution of species to extreme variation guided 
only by Natural Selection." This is a standard of criticism 
not uncommonly reached by theologians and metaphysicians, 
when they write on scientific subjects, but is something new 
as coming from a naturalist. Professor Huxley demurs to it 
in the last number of Nature ; but he does not touch on the 

1 See Nature, Nov. 4th, 1880, p. 1, a review of Vol. I. of the publica- 
tions of the Challenger, to which Sir Wyville Thomson contributed a 
General Introduction. 

J Nature, Nov. nth, 1880, p. 32. 



1870-1882] WYVILLE THOMSON 389 

expression of extreme variation, nor on that of evolution Letter 301 
being guided only by Natural Selection. Can Sir Wyville 
Thomson name any one who has said that the evolution of 
species depends only on Natural Selection ? As far as con- 
cerns myself, I believe that no one has brought forward so 
many observations on the effects of the use and disuse of 
parts, as I have done in my Variation of Animals and Plants 
under Domestication ; and these observations were made for 
this special object. I have likewise there adduced a consider- 
able body of facts, showing the direct action of external 
conditions on organisms ; though no doubt since my books 
were published much has been learnt on this head. If Sir 
Wyville Thomson were to visit the yard of a breeder, and 
saw all his cattle or sheep almost absolutely true — that is, 
closely similar, he would exclaim : " Sir, I see here no extreme 
variation ; nor can I find any support to the belief that you 
have followed the principle of selection in the breeding of 
your animals." From what I formerly saw of breeders, I have 
no doubt that the man thus rebuked would have smiled and 
said not a word. If he had afterwards told the story to other 
breeders, I greatly fear that they would have used emphatic 
but irreverent language about naturalists. 

The following is the passage omitted by the advice of Huxley : see his 
Life and Letters, II., p. 14 : — 

" Perhaps it would have been wiser on my part to have 
remained quite silent, like the breeder ; for, as Prof. Sedgwick 
remarked many years ago, in reference to the poor old Dean 
of York, who was never weary of inveighing against geolo- 
gists, a man who talks about what he does not in the least 
understand, is invulnerable." 

To G. J. Romanes. 1 Letter 302 

Down, Jan. ist, 1881. 

I send the MS., but as far as I can judge by just skimming 
it, it will be of no use to you. It seems to bear on 
transitional forms. I feel sure that I have other and better 
cases, but I cannot remember where to look. 

I should have written to you in a few days on the following 

1 Part of this letter has been published in Mr. C. Barber's note on 
" Graft-Hybrids of the Sugar-Cane," in The Sugar-Cane, Nov. 1S96. 



39° EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 302 case. The Baron de Villa Franca wrote to me from Brazil 
about two years ago, describing new varieties of sugar-cane 
which he had raised by planting two old varieties in apposi- 
tion. I believe (but my memory is very faulty) that I wrote 
that I could not believe in such a result, and attributed the 
new varieties to the soil, etc. I believe that I did not under- 
stand what he meant by apposition. Yesterday a packet of 
MS. arrived from the Brazilian Legation, with a letter in 
French from Dr. Glass, Director of the Botanic Gardens, 
describing fully how he first attempted grafting varieties of 
sugar-cane in various ways, and always failed, and then split 
stems of two varieties, bound them together and planted 
them, and then raised some new and very valuable varieties, 
which, like crossed plants, seem to grow with extra vigour, 
are constant, and apparently partake of the character of the 
two varieties. The Baron also sends me an attested copy 
from a number of Brazilian cultivators of the success of the 
plan of raising new varieties. I am not sure whether the 
Brazilian Legation wishes me to return the document, but if 
I do not hear in three or four days that they must be returned, 
they shall be sent to you, for they seem to me well deserving 
your consideration. 

Perhaps if I had been contented with my hyacinth bulbs 
being merely bound together without any true adhesion or 
rather growth together, I should have succeeded like the old 
Dutchman. 

There is a deal of superfluous verbiage in the documents, but 
I have marked with pencil where the important part begins. 
The attestations are in duplicate. Now, after reading them 
will you give me your opinion whether the main parts are 
worthy of publication in Nature: I am inclined to think so, 
and it is good to encourage science in out-of-the-way parts of 
the world. 

Keep this note till you receive the documents or hear 
from me. I wonder whether two varieties of wheat could 
be similarly treated ? No, 1 suppose not — from the want of 
lateral buds. I was extremely interested by your abstract on 
suicide. 



1870-18S2] CONDITIONS OF EXISTENCE 391 

To K. Semper. 1 Letter 303 

Down, Feb. 6th, 1881. 

Owing to all sorts of work, I have only just now finished 
reading your Nat. Conditions of Existence? Although a book 
of small size, it contains an astonishing amount of matter, and 
I have been particularly struck with the originality with which 
you treat so many subjects, and at your scrupulous accuracy. 
In far the greater number of points I quite follow you in your 
conclusions, but I differ on some, and I suppose that no two 
men in the world would fully agree on so many different 
subjects. I have been interested on so many points, I can 
hardly say on which most. Perhaps as much on Geographical 
Distribution as on any other, especially in relation to M. 
Wagner. (No ! no ! about parasites interested me even more.) 
How strange that Wagner should have thought that I meant 
by struggle for existence, struggle for food. It is curious that 
he should not have thought of the endless adaptations for the 
dispersal of seeds and the fertilisation of flowers. 

Again I was much interested about Branchipus and 
Artemia? When I read imperfectly some years ago the 
original paper I could not avoid thinking that some special 
explanation would hereafter be found for so curious a case. 
I speculated whether a species very liable to repeated and 
great changes of conditions, might not acquire a fluctuating 
condition ready to be adapted to either conditions. With 
respect to Arctic animals being white (p. 116 of your book) it 
might perhaps be worth your looking at what I say from 
Pallas' and my own observations in the Descent of Man (later 
editions) Ch. VIII., p. 229, and Ch. XVIII, p. 542. 

I quite agree with what I gather to be your judgment, 
viz, that the direct action of the conditions of life on 

1 Karl Semper (1832-93), Professor of Zoology at Wiirzburg. He is 
known for his book of travels in the Philippine and Pelew Islands, for 
his work in comparative embryology, and for the work mentioned in the 
above letter. See an obituary noticein Nature, July 20th, 1893, p. 271. 

2 Semper's Natural Conditions of Existence as they affect Animal Life 
(Internat. Sci. Series), 1881. 

3 The reference is to Schmankewitsch's experiments, p. 158 : he kept 
Artemia salina in salt-water, gradually diluted with fresh-water until it 
became practically free from salt ; the crustaceans gradually changed in 
the course of generations, until they acquired the characters of the genus 
Branchipus. 



392 E VOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 303 organisms, or the cause of their variability, is the most 
important of all subjects for the future. For some few years 
I have been thinking of commencing a set of experiments on 
plants, for they almost invariably vary when cultivated. 
I fancy that I see my way with the aid of continued self- 
fertilisation. But I am too old, and have not strength enough. 
Nevertheless the hope occasionally revives. 

Finally let me thank you for the very kind manner in 
which you often refer to my works, and for the even still 
kinder manner in which you disagree with me. 

With cordial thanks for the pleasure and instruction which 
I have derived from your book, etc. 

Letter 304 To Count Saporta. 

Down, Feb. 13th, 1881. 

I received a week or two ago the work which you and 
Prof. Marion have been so kind as to send me. 1 When it 
arrived I was much engaged, and this must be my excuse for 
not having sooner thanked you for it, and it will likewise 
account for my having as yet read only the preface. 

But I now look forward with great pleasure to reading the 
whole immediately. If I then have any remarks worth 
sending, which is not very probable, I will write again. I am 
greatly pleased to see how boldly you express your belief in 
evolution, in the preface. I have sometimes thought that 
some of your countrymen have been a little timid in pub- 
lishing their belief on this head, and have thus failed in aiding 
a good cause. 

Letter 305 To R. G. Whiteman. 

Down, May 5th, 1881. 
In the first edition of the Origin, after the sentence ending 
with the words "... insects in the water," I added the 
following sentence : — 

" Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects 
were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not 
already exist in the country, I can sec no difficulty in a race 
of bears being rendered by Natural Selection more and more 
aquatic in their structures and habits, with larger and larger 

' Probably IJ Evolution du Rlgne vvgt'tal, I. Cryptogames, Saporta & 
Marion, Paris, 1881. 



1870— 1882] HYATT 393 

mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a Letter 305 
whale." l 

This sentence was omitted in the subsequent editions, 
owing to the advice of Prof. Owen, as it was liable to be 
misinterpreted ; but I have always regretted that I followed 
this advice, for I still think the view quite reasonable. 

To A. Hyatt. Let'er 306 

Down, May 8th, 18S1. 
I am much obliged for your kind gift of "The Genesis, 
etc." 2 , which I shall be glad to read, as the case has always 
seemed to me a very curious one. It is all the kinder in you 
to send me this book, as I am aware that you think that I 
have done nothing to advance the good cause of the Descent- 
theory. 3 

We have ventured to quote the passage from Prof. Hyatt's reply, dated 
May 23rd, 1881 :— 

" You would think I was insincere, if I wrote you what I really fait 
with regard to what you have done for the theory of Descent. Perhaps 
this essay will lead you to a more correct view than you now have of my 
estimate, if I can be said to have any claim to make an estimate of your 
work in this direction. You will not take offence, however, if I tell you 
that your strongest supporters can hardly give you greater esteem and 
honour. I have striven to get a just idea of your theory, but no doubt 
have failed to convey this in my publications as it ought to be done." 

We find other equally strong and genuine expressions of respect in 
Prof. Hyatt's letters. 

To Lord Farrer. 1 Letter 307 

Mr. Graham's book, the Creed of Science, is referred to in Life and 
Letters, I., p. 315, where an interesting letter to the author is printed. 

1 See Letters no and 120. 

2 " The Genesis of the Tertiary Species of Planorbis? in the Boston 
Soc. Nat. Hist. Anniversary Mem., 1880. 

3 The above caused me to write a letter expressing a feeling of regret 
and humiliation, which I hope is still preserved, for certainly such a 
feeling, caused undoubtedly by my writings, which dealt too exclusively 
with disagreements upon special points, needed a strong denial. I have 
used the Darwinian theory in many cases, especially in explaining the 
preservation of differences ; and have denied its application only in the 
preservation of fixed and hereditary characteristics, which have become 
essentially homologous similarities. (Note by Prof. Hyatt.) 

4 Thomas Henry Farrer (1819-99) was educated at Eton and Balliol 
College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar, but gave up practice 



394 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

With regard to chance, Darwin wrote : " You have expressed my inward 
conviction, though far more clearly and vividly than I could have done, 
that the universe is not the result of chance." 

Down, August 28th, 1881. 
Letter 307 j ] iave been much interested by your letter, and am glad 
that you like Mr. Graham's book. 1 . . . 

Everything which I read now soon goes out of my head, 
and I had forgotten that he implies that my views explain 
the universe ; but it is a most monstrous exaggeration. The 
more one thinks the more one feels the hopeless immensity 
of man's ignorance. Though it does make one proud to see 
what science has achieved during the last half-century. This 
has been brought vividly before my mind by having just read 
most of the proofs of Lubbock's Address for York, 2 in which 
he will attempt to review the progress of all branches of 
science for the last fifty years. 

for the public service, where he became Permanent Secretary of the 
Board of Trade. According to the Times, Oct. 13th, 1899, "for nearly 
forty years he was synonymous with the Board in the opinion of all 
who were brought into close relation with it." He was made a baronet in 
1883 ; he retired from his post a few years later, and was raised to the 
peerage in 1893. His friendship with Mr. Darwin was of many years' 
standing, and opportunities of meeting were more frequent in the last 
ten years of Mr. Darwin's life, owing to Lord Farrer's marriage with 
Miss Wedgwood, a niece of Mrs. Darwin's, and the subsequent marriage 
of his son Horace with Miss Fairer. His keen love of science is attested 
by the letters given in the present volume. He published several ex- 
cellent papers on the fertilisation of flowers in the Ann. and Mag. of 
Natural History, and in Nature, between 1868 and 1874. 

In politics he was a Radical — a strong supporter of free trade : on 
this last subject, as well as on bimetallism, he was frequently engaged 
in public controversy. He loyally carried out many changes in the 
legislature which, as an individualist, he would in his private capacity 
have strenuously opposed. 

In the Speaker, Oct. 21st, 1899, Lord Welby heads his article on 
Lord Farrer with a few words of personal appreciation : — 

" In Lord Fairer has passed away a most interesting personality. 
A great civil servant ; in his later years a public man of courage and 
lofty ideal ; in private life a staunch friend, abounding as a companion 
in humour and ripe knowledge. Age had not dimmed the geniality of 
his disposition, or an intellect lively and eager as that of a boy — lovable 
above all in the transparent simplicity of his character." 

1 In Lord Farrer's letter of August 27th he refers to the old difficulty, 
in relation to design, of the existence of evil. 

- Lord Avebury was President of the British Association in 1881. 



i87o— 1882] DESIGN 395 

I entirely agree with what you say about " chance," except Letter 307 
in relation to the variations of organic beings having been 
designed ; and I imagine that Mr. Graham must have used 
"chance" in relation only to purpose in the origination of 
species. This is the only way I have used the word chance, 
as I have attempted to explain in the last two pages of my 
Variation under Domestication. 

On the other hand, if we consider the whole universe, the 
mind refuses to look at it as the outcome of chance — that is, 
without design or purpose. The whole question seems to me 
insoluble, for I cannot put much or any faith in the so-called 
intuitions of the human mind, which have been developed, as 
I cannot doubt, from such a mind as animals possess ; and 
what would their convictions or intuitions be worth ? There 
are a good many points on which I cannot quite follow Mr. 
Graham. 

With respect to your last discussion, I dare say it contains 
very much truth ; but I cannot see, as far as happiness is 
concerned, that it can apply to the infinite sufferings of 
animals — not only those of the body, but those of the mind — 
as when a mother loses her offspring or a male his female. If 
the view does not apply to animals, will it suffice for man ? 
But you may well complain of this long and badly-expressed 
note in my dreadfully bad handwriting. 

The death of my brother Erasmus is a very heavy loss to 
all of us in this family. He was so kind-hearted and affec- 
tionate. Nor have I ever known any one more pleasant. It 
was always a very great pleasure to talk with him on any 
subject whatever, and this I shall never do again. The 
clearness of his mind always seemed to me admirable. He 
was not, I think, a happy man, and for many years did not 
value life, though never complaining. I am so glad that he 
escaped very severe suffering during his last few days. I 
shall never see such a man again. 

Forgive me for scribbling this way, my dear Farrer. 



To G. J. Romanes. 

Romanes had reviewed Roux's Struggle of Parts in the Organism in 
Nature, Sept. 20th, 1881, p. 505. This led to an attack by the Duke 
of Argyll (Oct. 20th, p. 581), followed by a reply by Romanes 
(Oct. 27th, p. 604), a rejoinder by the Duke (Nov. 3rd, p. 6), and 



Letter 30S 



396 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

finally by the letter of Romanes (Nov. ioth, p. 29) to which Darwin 
refers. The Duke's "flourish" is at p. 7 : "I wish Mr. Darwin's 
disciples would imitate a little of the dignified reticence of their 
master. He walks with a patient and a stately step along the paths 
of conscientious observation, etc., etc." 

Down, Nov. 1 2th, 1S81. 

Letter 308 I must write to say how very much I admire your letter 
in the last Nature. I subscribe to every word that you say, 
and it could not be expressed more clearly or vigorously. 
After the Duke's last letter and flourish about me I thought it 
paltry not to say that I agreed with what you had said. But 
after writing two folio pages I find I could not say what I 
wished to say without taking up too much space ; and what 
I had written did not please me at all, so I tore it up, and 
now by all the gods I rejoice that I did so, for you have 
put the case incomparably better than I had done or 
could do. 

Moreover, I hate controversy, and it wastes much time, at 
least with a man who, like myself, can work for only a short 
time in a day. How in the world you get through all your 
work astonishes me. 

Now do not make me feel guilty by answering this letter, 
and losing some of your time. 

You ought not to swear at Roux's book, which has led 
you into this controversy, for I am sure that your last letter 
was well worth writing — not that it will produce any effect on 
the Duke. 

Letter 309 To J. Jenner Weir. 

On Dec. 27th, 1881, Mr. Jenner Weir wrote to Mr. Darwin : "After 
some hesitation, in lieu of a Christmas card, I venture to give you the 
result of some observations on mules made in Spain during the last two 
years. . . . It is a fact that the sire has the prepotency in the offspring, 
as has been observed by most writers on that subject, including yourself. 
The mule is more ass-like, and the hinny more horse-like, both in 
the respective lengths of the ears and the shape of the tail ; but one 
point I have observed which I do not remember to have met with, and 
that is that the coat of the mule resembles that of its dam the mare, and 
that of the hinny its dam the ass, so that in this respect the prepotency 
of the sexes is reversed." The hermaphroditism in lepidoptera, referred 
to below, is said by Mr. Weir to occur notably in the case of the hybrids 
of Smerinthus populi-ocellatus. 



1870— 1882] WEISMANN 397 

Down, Dec. 29th, 1881. Letter 309 
I thank you for your " Christmas card," and heartily 
return your good wishes. What you say about the coats of 
mules is new to me, as is the statement about hermaphro- 
ditism in hybrid moths. This latter fact seems to me par- 
ticularly curious ; and to make a very wild hypothesis, 
I should be inclined to account for it by reversion to the 
primordial condition of the two sexes being united, for I 
think it certain that hybridism does lead to reversion. 

I keep fairly well, but have not much strength, and feel 
very old. 



To R. Meldola. Letter 310 

Down, Feb. 2nd, 1882. 

I am very sorry that I can add nothing to my very 
brief notice, without reading again Weismann's work and 
getting up the whole subject by reading my own and 
other books, and for so much labour I have not strength. 
I have now been working at other subjects for some years, 
and when a man grows as old as I am, it is a great wrench 
to his brain to go back to old and half-forgotten subjects. 
You would not readily believe how often I am asked 
questions of all kinds, and quite lately I have had to give 
up much time to do a work, not at all concerning myself, 
but which I did not like to refuse. I must, however, 
somewhere draw the line, or my life will be a misery 
to me. 

I have read your preface, 1 and it seems to me excellent. 
I am sorry in many ways, including the honour of England 
as a scientific country, that your translation has as yet 
sold badly. Does the publisher or do you lose by it ? If 
the publisher, though I shall be sorry for him, yet it is in 
the way of business ; but if you yourself lose by it, I 
earnestly beg you to allow me to subscribe a trifle, viz., 
ten guineas, towards the expense of this work, which you 
have undertaken on public grounds. 



1 Studies iii the Theory of Descent. By A. Weismann. Translated 
and Edited by Raphael Meldola ; with a Prefatory Notice by C. Darwin 
and a Translator's Preface. See Letter 291. 



398 EVOLUTION [Chap. V 

Letter 311 To W. Horsfall. 

Down, Feb. 8th, 18S2. 

In the succession of the older Formations the species 
and genera of trilobitcs do change, and then they all die 
out. To any one who believes that geologists know the 
dawn of life {i.e., formations contemporaneous with the 
first appearance of living creatures on the earth) no doubt 
the sudden appearance of perfect trilobitcs and other 
organisms in the oldest known life-bearing strata would 
be fatal to evolution. But I for one, and many others, 
utterly reject any such belief. Already three or four 
piles of unconformable strata are known beneath the 
Cambrian ; and these are generally in a crystalline condition, 
and may once have been charged with organic remains. 

With regard to animals and plants, the locomotive 
spores of some algae, furnished with cilia, would have 
been ranked with animals if it had not been known that 
they developed into algae. 

Letter 312 To John Collier. 1 

Down, Feb. 1 6th, 1SS2. 
I must thank you for the gift of your Art Primer, 
which I have read with much pleasure. Parts were too 
technical for me who could never draw a line, but I was 
greatly interested by the whole of the first part. I wish 
that you could explain why certain curved lines and 
symmetrical figures give pleasure. But will not your 
brother artists scorn you for showing yourself so good an 
evolutionist? Perhaps they will say that allowance must 
be made for him, as he has allied himself to so dreadful 
a man as Huxley. This reminds me that I have just 
been reading the last volume of essays. By good luck 
I had not read that on Priestley, 2 and it strikes me as 
the most splendid essay which I ever read. That on 
automatism 3 is wonderfully interesting : more is the pity, 

1 The Honourable John Collier, Royal Academician, son-in-law to 
Professor Huxley. 

3 Science a fid Culture, and other Essays: London, 1881. The fifth 
Essay is on Joseph Priestley (p. 94). 

3 Essay IX. (p. 199) is entitled " On the Hypothesis that Animals 
are Automata, and its history." 



1870-1882] ANIMAL AUTOMATA 



399 



say I, for if I were as well armed as Huxley I would Letter 31 
challenge him to a duel on this subject. But I am a deal 
too wise to do anything of the kind, for he would run me 
through the body half a dozen times with his sharp and 
polished rapier before I knew where I was. I did not 
intend to have scribbled all this nonsense, but only to 
have thanked you for your present. 

Everybody whom I have seen and who has seen your 
picture of me is delighted with it. I shall be proud some 
day to see myself suspended at the Linnean Society. 1 

1 The portrait painted by Mr. Collier hangs in the meeting-room 
of the Linnean Society. 



CHAPTER VI 

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION 
1843— 1882 

Letter 313 To J. D. Hooker 

Down, Tuesday [Dec. I2th, 1843]. 

I am very much obliged to you for you; interesting letter. 
I have long been very anxious, even for as short a sketch as 
you have kindly sent me of the botanical geography of the 
southern hemisphere. I shall be most curious to see your 
results in detail. From my entire ignorance of Botany, I am 
sorry to say that I cannot answer any of the questions which 
you ask me. I think I mention in my Journal that I found 
my old friend the southern beech (I cannot say positively 
which species), on the mountain-top, in southern parts of 
Chiloe and at level of sea in lat. 45 , in Chonos Archipelago. 
Would not the southern end of Chiloe make a good division 
for you ? I presume, from the collection of Brydges and 
Anderson, Chiloe is pretty well known, and southward begins 
a terra incognita. I collected a few plants amongst the 
Chonos Islands. The beech being found here and peat being 
found here, and general appearance of landscape, connects 
the Chonos Islands and T. del Fuego. I saw the Alerce ' 
on mountains of Chiloe (on the mainland it grows to an 
enormous size, and I always believed Alerce and Araucaria 
imbricata to be identical), but I am ashamed to say I abso- 
lutely forget all about its appearance. I saw some Juniper- 

1 " Alerse " is the local name of a South American timber, described 
in Capt. King's Voyages of the " Adventure" and " Beagle" p. 281, 
and rather doubtfully identified with Thuja tetra^ona, Hook. {Flora 
Antarctica, p. 350). 

400 



1843— i88a] GALAPAGOS PLANTS 4OI 

like bush in T. del Fuego, but can tell you no more about Letter 313 
it, as I presume that you have seen Capt. King's collection 
in Mr. Brown's possession, provisionally for the British 
Museum. I fear you will be much disappointed in my few 
plants : an ignorant person cannot collect ; and I, moreover, 
lost one, the first, and best set of the Alpine plants. On 
the other hand, I hope the Galapagos plants l (judging from 
Henslow's remarks) will turn out more interesting than you 
expect. Pray be careful to observe, if I ever mark the 
individual islands of the Galapagos Islands, for the reasons 
you will see in my Journal. Menzies and Gumming were 
there, and there are some plants (I think Mr. Bentham told 
me) at the Horticultural Society and at the British Museum. 
I believe I collected no plants at Ascension, thinking it 
well known. 

Is not the similarity of plants of Kerguelen Land and 
southern S. America very curious ? Is there any instance in 
the northern hemisphere of plants being similar at such great 
distances ? With thanks for your letter and for your having 
undertaken my small collection of plants, 
Believe me, my dear Sir, 

Yours very truly, 

C. Darwin. 

Do remember my prayer, and write as well for botanical 
ignoramuses as for great botanists. There is a paper of 
Carmichael 2 on Tristan d'Acunha, which from the want of 
general remarks and comparison, I found [torn out] to me 
a dead letter. — I presume you will include this island in your 
views of the southern hemisphere. 

PS. — I have been looking at my poor miserable attempt 
at botanical-landscapc-remarks, and I see that I state that 
the species of beech which is least common in T. del Fuego 
is common in the forest of Central Chiloe. But I will enclose 
for you this one page of my rough journal. 



1 See Life and Letters, II., pp. 20, 21, for Sir J. D. Hooker's notes on 
the beginning of his friendship with Mr. Darwin, and for the latter's 
letter on the Galapagos plants being placed in Hooker's hands. 

2 " Some Account of the Island of Tristan da Cunha and of its Natural 
Productions."— Linn. Soc. Trans., XII., 1818, p. 483. 

26 



402 GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRI I! U T 1 N [Chap. VI 

L^" 3'4 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, March 31st (1844). 

I have been a shameful time in returning your documents, 
but I have been very busy scientifically, and unscientifically in 
planting. I have been exceedingly interested in the details 
about the Galapagos Islands. I need not say that I collected 
blindly, and did not attempt to make complete series, but 
just took everything in flower blindly. The flora of the 
summits and bases of the islands appear wholly different ; it 
may aid you in observing whether the different islands have 
representative species filling the same places in the economy 
of nature, to know that I collected plants from the lower and 
dry region in all the islands, i.e., in Chatham, Charles, James, 
and Albemarle (the least on the latter) ; and that I was able 
to ascend into the high and damp region only in James and 
Charles Islands ; and in the former I think I got every plant 
then in flower. Please bear this in mind in comparing the 
representative species. (You know that Henslow has described 
a new Opuntia from the Galapagos.) Your observations on 
the distribution of large mundane genera have interested me 
much ; but that was not the precise point which I was 
curious to ascertain ; it has no necessary relation to size of 
genus (though perhaps your statements will show that it has). 
It was merely this : suppose a genus with ten or more species, 
inhabiting the ten main botanical regions, should you expect 
that all or most of these ten species would have wide ranges 
{i.e. were found in most parts) in their respective countries? 1 
To give an example, the genus Felts is found in every country 
except Australia, and the individual species generally range 

1 This point is discussed in a letter in Life and Letters, Vol. II., p. 25, 
but not, we think in the Origin ; for letters on large genera containing 
many varieties see Life and Letters, Vol. II., pp. 102-7, also in the Origin, 
Ed. I., p. 53, Ed. VI., p. 44. In a letter of April 5th, 1844, Sir J. D. 
Hooker gave his opinion : " On the whole I believe that many individual 
representative species of large genera have wide ranges, but I do not 
consider the fact as one of great value, because the proportion of 
such species having a wide range is not large compared with other 
representative species of the same genus whose limits are confined." 

It may be noted that in large genera the species often have small 
ranges {Origin, Ed. VI., p. 45), and large genera are more commonly 
wide-ranging than the reverse. 



1843—1882] RANGES OF GENERA 403 

over thousands of miles in their respective countries ; on the Letter 314 
other hand, no genus of monkey ranges over so large a part 
of the world, and the individual species in their respective 
countries seldom range over wide spaces. I suspect (but am 
not sure) that in the genus Mus (the most mundane genus of 
all mammifers) the individual species have not wide ranges, 
which is opposed to my query. 

I fancy, from a paper by Don, that some genera of grasses 
(i.e. Juncus or Juncacere) are widely diffused over the world, 
and certainly many of their species have very wide ranges — 
in short, it seems that my question is whether there is any 
relation between the ranges of genera and of individual 
species, without any relation to the size of the genera. It 
is evident a genus might be widely diffused in two ways : 1st, 
by many different species, each with restricted ranges ; and 
2nd, by many or few species with wide ranges. Any light 
which you could throw on this I should be very much obliged 
for. Thank you most kindly, also, for your offer in a former 
letter to consider any other points ; and at some future day 
I shall be most grateful for a little assistance, but I will not 
be unmerciful. 

Swainson has remarked (and Westwood contradicted) 
that typical genera have wide ranges : Waterhouse (without 
knowing these previous remarkers) made to me the same 
observation : I feel a laudable doubt and disinclination to 
believe any statement of Swainson ; but now Waterhouse 
remarks it, I am curious on the point. There is, however, 
so much vague in the meaning of " typical forms," and no 
little ambiguity in the mere assertion of " wide ranges " (for 
zoologists seldom go into strict and disagreeable arithmetic, 
like you botanists so wisely do) that I feel very doubtful, 
though some considerations tempt me to believe in this 
remark. Here again, if you can throw any light, I shall be 
much obliged. After your kind remarks I will not apologise 
for boring you with my vague queries and remarks. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 315 

Down, Dec. 25th [1S44]. 
Happy Christmas to you. 

The following letter refers to notes by Sir J. D. Hooker which we 
have not seen. Though we are therefore unable to make clear many 



404 GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION [Chap. VI 

points referred to, the letter seems to us on the whole so interesting that 
it is printed with the omission of only one unimportant sentence. 

The subjects dealt with in the letter are those which were occupying 
Hooker's attention in relation to his Flora Antarctica (1844). 

Letter 315 I must thank you once again for all your documents, which 
have interested me very greatly and surprised me. I found it 
very difficult to charge my head with all your tabulated results, 
but this I perfectly well know is in main part due to that head 
not being a botanical one, aided by the tables being in MS. ; 
I think, however, to an ignoramus, they might be made 
clearer ; but pray mind, that this is very different from saying 
that I think botanists ought to arrange their highest results 
for non-botanists to understand easily. I will tell you how, 
for my individual self, I should like to see the results worked 
out, and then you can judge, whether this be advisable for the 
botanical world. 

Looking at the globe, the Auckland and Campbell I., New 
Zealand, and Van Diemen's Land so evidently are geogra- 
phically related, that I should wish, before any comparison 
was made with far more distant countries, to understand their 
floras, in relation to each other ; and the southern ones to the 
northern temperate hemisphere, which I presume is to every 
one an almost involuntary standard of comparison. To 
understand the relation of the floras of these islands, I should 
like to see the group divided into a northern and southern 
half, and to know how many species exist in the latter — 

(1) belonging to genera confined to Australia, Van Diemen's, 

Land and north New Zealand. 

(2) „ „ „ found only on the mountains of 

Australia, Van Diemen's Land, 
and north New Zealand. 

(3) » ,, „ of distribution in many parts of 

the world {i.e., which tell no 
particular story). 

(4) » » ,, found in the northern hemisphere 

and not in the tropics ; or only 
on mountains in the tropics. 

I daresay all this (as far as present materials serve) could 
be extracted from your tables, as they stand ; but to any one 
not familiar with the names of plants, this would be difficult. 



iS43— '882] FLORA ANTARCTICA 405 

I felt particularly the want of not knowing which of the Letter 315 
genera are found in the lowland tropics, in understanding the 
relation of the Antarctic with the Arctic floras. 

If the Fuegian flora was treated in the analogous way 
(and this would incidentally show how far the Cordillera are 
a high-road of genera), I should then be prepared far more 
easily and satisfactorily to understand the relations of Fuegia 
with the Auckland Islands, and consequently with the 
mountains of Van Diemen's Land. Moreover, the marvellous 
facts of their intimate botanical relation (between Fuegia and 
the Auckland Islands, etc.) would stand out more prominently, 
after the Auckland Islands had been first treated of under the 
purely geographical relation of position. A triple division 
such as yours would lead me to suppose that the three places 
were somewhat equally distant, and not so greatly different 
in size : the relation of Van Diemen's Land seems so com- 
paratively small, and that relation being in its alpine plants, 
makes me feel that it ought only to be treated of as a sub- 
division of the large group, including Auckland, Campbell, 
New Zealand. . . . 

I think a list of the genera, common to Fuegia on the one 
hand and on the other to Campbell, etc., and to the mountains 
of Van Diemen's Land or New Zealand (but not found in the 
lowland temperate, and southern tropical parts of South 
America and Australia, or New Zealand), would prominently 
bring out, at the same time, the relation between these 
Antarctic points one with another, and with the northern or 
Arctic regions. 

In Article III. is it meant to be expressed, or might it not 
be understood by this article, that the similarity of the distant 
points in the Antarctic regions was as close as between distant 
points in the Arctic regions? I gather this is not so. You 
speak of the southern points of America and Australia, etc., 
being " materially approximated," and this closer proximity 
being correlative with a greater similarity of their plants : 
I find on the globe, that Van Diemen's Land and Fuegia are 
only about one-fifth nearer than the whole distance between 
Port Jackson and Concepcion in Chile ; and again, that 
Campbell Island and Fuegia are only one-fifth nearer than 
the east point of North New Zealand and Concepcion. Now 
do you think in such immense distances, both over open 



406 GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION [CHAP. VI 

Letter 315 oceans, that one-fifth less distance, say 4,000 miles instead 
of 5,000, can explain or throw much light on a material 
difference in the degree of similarity in the floras of the two 
regions ? 

I trust you will work out the New Zealand flora, as you 
have commenced at end of letter : is it not quite an original 
plan ? and is it not very surprising that New Zealand, so much 
nearer to Australia than South America, should have an inter- 
mediate flora ? I had fancied that nearly all the species there 
were peculiar to it. I cannot but think you make one 
gratuitous difficulty in ascertaining whether New Zealand 
ought to be classed by itself, or with Australia or South 
America — namely, when you seem (bottom of p. 7 of your 
letter) to say that genera in common indicate only that the 
external circumstances for their life are suitable and similar. 1 
Surely, cannot an overwhelming mass of facts be brought 
against such a proposition ? Distant parts of Australia possess 
quite distinct species of marsupials, but surely this fact of 
their having the same marsupial genera is the strongest tie 
and plainest mark of an original (so-called) creative affinity 
over the whole of Australia ; no one, now, will (or ought) to 
say that the different parts of Australia have something in 
their external conditions in common, causing them to be pre- 
eminently suitable to marsupials ; and so on in a thousand 
instances. Though each species, and consequently genus, 
must be adapted to its country, surely adaptation is manifestly 
not the governing law in geographical distribution. Is this 
not so ? and if I understand you rightly, you lessen your own 
means of comparison — attributing the presence of the same 
genera to similarity of conditions. 

You will groan over my very full compliance with your 
request to write all I could on your tables, and I have done it 
with a vengeance : I can hardly say how valuable I must think 
your results will be, when worked out, as far as the present 
knowledge and collections serve. 

1 On Dec. 30th, 1S44, Sir J. D. Hooker replied, " Nothing was 
further from my intention than to have written anything which would lead 
one to suppose that genera common to two places indicate a similarity in 
the external circumstances under which they are developed, though I see 
I have given you excellent grounds for supposing that such were my 
opinions." 



1843— 1882] FLORA ANTARCTICA 407 

Now for some miscellaneous remarks on your letter : Letter 315 
thanks for the offer to let me see specimens of boulders 
from Cockburn Island ; but I care only for boulders, as an 
indication of former climate: perhaps Ross will give some 
information. . . . 

Watson's paper on the Azores 1 has surprised me much ; 
do you not think it odd, the fewness of peculiar species, and 
their rarity on the alpine heights? I wish he had tabulated 
his results ; could you not suggest to him to draw up a paper 
of such results, comparing these Islands with Madeira ? surely 
does not Madeira abound with peculiar forms ? 

A discussion on the relations of the floras, especially the 
alpine ones, of Azores, Madeira, and Canary Islands, would 
be, I should think, of general interest. How curious, the 
several doubtful species, which are referred to by Watson, at 
the end of his paper ; just as happens with birds at the 
Galapagos. . . . Any time that you can put me in the way 
of reading about alpine floras, I shall feel it as the greatest 
kindness. I grieve there is no better authority for Bourbon, 
than that stupid Bory : I presume his remark that plants, on 
isolated volcanic islands are polymorphous {i.e., I suppose, 
variable?) is quite gratuitous. Farewell, my dear Hooker. 
This letter is infamously unclear, and I fear can be of no use, 
except giving you the impression of a botanical ignoramus. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 316 

Down, March 19th [1845]. 
... I was very glad to hear Humboldt's views on migrations 
and double creations. It is very presumptuous, but I feel 
sure that though one cannot prove extensive migration, the 
leading considerations, proper to the subject, are omitted, 
and I will venture to say even by Humboldt. I should like 
some time to put the case, like a lawyer, for your considera- 
tion, in the point of view under which, I think, it ought 
to be viewed. The conclusion which I come to is, that we 
cannot pretend, with our present knowledge, to put any 
limit to the possible, and even probable, migration of plants. 
If you can show that many of the Fuegian plants, common 
to Europe, are found in intermediate points, it will be a 

1 H. C. Watson, London Journal of Botany, 1843-44. 



408 GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION [Chap. VI 

Letter 316 grand argument in favour of the actuality of migration ; but 
not finding them will not, in my eyes, much diminish the 
probability of their having thus migrated. My pen always 
runs away, in writing to you ; and a most unsteady, vilely 
bad pace it goes. What would I not give to write simple 
English, without having to rewrite and rewrite every sentence. 



Letter 317 To J. D. Hooker. 

Friday [June 29th, 1845]. 

I have been an ungrateful dog for not having answered 
your letter sooner, but I have been so hard at work correct- 
ing proofs, 1 together with some unwellness, that 1 have not 
had one quarter of an hour to spare. I finally corrected 
the first third of the old volume, which will appear on 
July 1st. I hope and think I have somewhat improved 
it. Very many thanks for your remarks ; some of them 
came too late to make me put some of my remarks more 
cautiously. I feel, however, still inclined to abide by my 
evaporation notion to account for the clouds of steam, which 
rise from the wooded valleys after rain. Again, I am so 
obstinate that I should require very good evidence to make 
me believe that there are two species of Polyborus' 1 in the 
Falkland Islands. Do the Gauchos there admit it ? Much 
as I talked to them, they never alluded to such a fact. In 
the Zoology I have discussed the sexual and immature 
plumage, which differ much. 

I return the enclosed agreeable letter with many thanks. 
I am extremely glad of the plants collected at St. Paul's, 
and shall be particularly curious whenever they arrive to hear 
what they are. I dined the other day at Sir J. Lubbock's, 
and met R. Brown, and we had much laudatory talk about 
you. He spoke very nicely about your motives in now 
going to Edinburgh. He did not seem to know, and was 
much surprised at what I stated (I believe correctly) on 
the close relation between the Kerguelen and T. del Fuego 
floras. Forbes is doing apparently very good work about 
the introduction and distribution of plants. He has fore- 

1 The second edition of the Journal. 

3 Polyborus Nova Zelandia, a carrion hawk mentioned as very 
common in the Falklands. 



1843— 1882] E. FORBES 409 

stalled me in what I had hoped would have been an interest- Letter 317 
ing discussion — viz., on the relation between the present 
alpine and Arctic floras, with connection to the last change 
of climate from Arctic to temperate, when the then Arctic 
lowland plants must have been driven up the mountains. 1 

I am much pleased to hear of the pleasant reception 
you received at Edinburgh. 2 I hope your impressions will 
continue agreeable ; my associations with auld Reekie are 
very friendly. Do you ever see Dr. Coldstream? If you 
do, would you give him my kind remembrances? You ask 
about amber. I believe all the species are extinct {i.e. with- 
out the amber has been doctored), and certainly the greater 
number are. 3 

If you have any other corrections ready, will you send 
them soon, for I shall go to press with second Part in less 
than a week. I have been so busy that I have not yet 
begun d'Urville, and have read only first chapter of Canary 
Islands ! I am most particularly obliged to you for having 
lent me the latter, for 1 know not where else I could have ever 
borrowed it. There is the Kosmos to read, and Lyell's 
Travels in North America. It is awful to think of how much 
there is to read. What makes H. Watson a renegade ? I 
had a talk with Captain Beaufort the other day, and he 
charged me to keep a book and enter anything which 
occurred to me, which deserved examination or collection 
in any part of the world, and he would sooner or later get 
it in the instructions to some ship. If anything occurs to 
you let me hear, for in the course of a month or two I 
must write out something. I mean to urge collections of all 
kinds on any isolated islands. I suspect that there are several 
in the northern half of the Pacific, which have never been 
visited by a collector. This is a dull, untidy letter. Farewell. 

1 Forbes' Essay " On the Connexion between the Distribution of the 
Existing Fauna and Flora of the British Isles and the Geological Changes 
which have affected their Area," was published in 1846. See note 2, 
Letter 20. 

- Sir J. D. Hooker was a candidate for the Chair of Botany at Edin- 
burgh. See Life and Letters, I., pp. 335, 342. 

3 For an account of plants in amber see Goeppert and Berendt, 
Der Bernstein und die in itnn befindlichen Pflanzenreste der Vorwelt, 
Berlin, 1845 ; Goeppert, Coniferen des Bernstein, Danzig, 1883 ; 
Conwentz, Monographic der Baltischeti Bemsteinbdume, Danzig, 1890. 



4IO GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION [Chap. VI 

Letter 317 As you care so much for insular floras, are you aware 
that I collected all in flower on the Abrolhos Islands? but 
they are very near the coast of Brazil. Nevertheless, I think 
they ought to be just looked at, under a geographical point 
of view. 

Letter 318 To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, Nov. [1845]. 
I have just got as far as Lycopodium in your Flora, 
and, in truth, cannot say enough how much I have been 
interested in all your scattered remarks. I am delighted to 
have in print many of the statements which you made in 
your letters to me, when we were discussing some of the 
geographical points. I can never cease marvelling at the 
similarity of the Antarctic floras : it is wonderful. I hope 
you will tabulate all your results, and put prominently what 
you allude to (and what is pre-eminently wanted by non- 
botanists like myself), which of the genera are, and which 
not, found in the lowland or in the highland Tropics, as far 
as known. Out of the very many new observations to me, 
nothing has surprised me more than the absence of Alpine 
floras in the S[outh] Islands. 1 It strikes me as most inexplic- 
able. Do you feel sure about the similar absence in the Sand- 
wich group? Is it not opposed quite to the case of Teneriffe 
and Madeira, and Mediterranean Islands ? I had fancied 
that T. del Fuego had possessed a large alpine flora ! I 
should much like to know whether the climate of north 
New Zealand is much more insular than Tasmania. I should 
doubt it from general appearance of places, and yet I pre- 
sume the flora of the former is far more scanty than of 
Tasmania. Do tell me what you think on this point. I 
have also been particularly interested by all your remarks 
on variation, affinities, etc. : in short, your book has been to 

1 See Flora Antarctic, I., p. 79, where the author says that "in the 
South .... on ascending the mountains, few or no new forms occur." 
With regard to the Sandwich Islands, Sir Joseph wrote (p. 75) that 
" though the volcanic islands of the Sandwich group attain a greater 
elevation than this [10,000 feet], there is no such development of new 
species at the upper level." More recent statements to the same effect 
occur in Grisebach, Vegetation der Erde, Vol. II., p. 530. See also Wallace, 
Island Life, p. 307. 



1S43— 1882] E. FORBES 411 

me a most valuable one, and I must have purchased it had Letter 318 
you not most kindly given it, and so rendered it even far 
more valuable to me. When you compare a species to 
another, you sometimes do not mention the station of the 
latter (it being, I presume, well known), but to non-botanists 
such words of explanation would add greatly to the interest 
— not that non-botanists have any claim at all for such 
explanations in professedly botanical works. There is one 
expression which you botanists often use (though, I think, 
not you individually often), which puts me in a passion — 
viz., calling polleniferous flowers " sterile," as non-seed- 
bearing. 1 Are the plates from your own drawings ? They 
strike me as excellent. So now you have had my presump- 
tuous commendations on your great work. 

To J. D. Hooker. Letter 319 

Down, Friday [1845-6]. 

It is quite curious how our opinions agree about Forbes' 
views. 2 I was very glad to have your last letter, which was 
even more valuable to me than most of yours are, and that is 
saying, I assure you, a great deal. I had written to Forbes 
to object about the Azores 3 on the same grounds as you had, 
and he made some answer, which partially satisfied me, but 
really I am so stupid I cannot remember it. He insisted 
strongly on the fewness of the species absolutely peculiar to 
the Azores — most of the non-European species being common 
to Madeira. 1 had thought that a good sprinkling were 
absolutely peculiar. Till I saw him last Wednesday I thought 
he had not a leg to stand on in his geology about his post- 
Miocene land ; and his reasons, upon reflection, seem rather 
weak : the main one is that there are no deposits (more 
recent than the Miocene age) on the Miocene strata of Malta, 
etc., but I feel pretty sure that this cannot be trusted as 
evidence that Malta must have been above water during all 
the post-Miocene period. He had one other reason, to my 



1 See Letter 16, p. 48. 

2 See Letter 20. 

3 Edward Forbes supposed that the Azores, the Madeiras, and Canaries 
" are the last remaining fragments " of a continent which once connected 
them with Western Europe and Northern Spain. Lyelts Princifi/cs, 
Ed. XL, Vol. II., p. 410. See Forbes, op. cit. 



412 GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION [Chap. VI 

Letter 319 mind still less trustworthy. I had also written to Forbes, 
before your letter, objecting to the Sargassum} but apparently 
on wrong grounds, for I could see no reason, on the common 
view of absolute creations, why one Focus should not have 
been created for the ocean, as well as several Confervae for the 
same end. It is really a pity that Forbes is quite so specula- 
tive : he will injure his reputation, anyhow, on the Continent ; 
and thus will do less good. I find this is the opinion of 
Falconer, who was with us on Sunday, and was extremely 
agreeable. It is wonderful how much heterogeneous informa- 
tion he has about all sorts of things. I the more regret 
Forbes cannot more satisfactorily prove his views, as I 
heartily wish they were established, and to a limited extent 
I fully believe they are true ; but his boldness is astounding. 
Do I understand your letter right, that West Africa 2 and Java 
belong to the same botanical region — i.e., that they have many 
non-littoral species in common? If so, it is a sickening fact : 
think of the distance with the Indian Ocean interposed ! Do 
some time answer mc this. With respect to polymorphism, 
which you have been so very kind as to give me so much 
information on, I am quite convinced it must be given up in the 
sense you have discussed it in ; but from such cases as the 
Galapagos birds and from hypothetical notions on variation, 
I should be very glad to know whether it must be given up 
in a slightly different point of view ; that is, whether the 
peculiar insular species are generally well and strongly 
distinguishable from the species on the nearest continent (when 
there is a continent near) ; the Galapagos, Canary Islands, and 
Madeira ought to answer this. I should have hypothetically 
expected that a good many species would have been fine 
ones, like some of the Galapagos birds, and still more so on 
the different islands of such groups. 

I am going to ask you some questions, but I should really 
sometimes almost be glad if you did not answer me for a long 
time, or not at all, for in honest truth I am often ashamed at, 
and marvel at, your kindness in writing such long letters to 

1 Edward Forbes supposed that the Sargassum or Gulf-weed repre- 
sents the littoral sea-weeds of a now submerged continent. Mem. Geol. 
Survey Great Britain, Vol. I., 1846, p. 349- See Lyell's Principles, II., 
p. 396, Ed. xi. 

» This is of course a misunderstanding. 



1843—1882] VARIATION 413 

me. So I beg you to mind, never to write to me when it Letter 319 
bores you. Do you know " Elements de Teratologic (on 
monsters, I believe) Vegetale, par A. Moquin Tandon " ? J Is it 
a good book, and will it treat on hereditary malconformations 
or varieties? I have almost finished the tremendous task of 
850 pages of A. St. Hilaire's Lectures, 2 which you set me, and 
very glad I am that you told me to read it, for I have been 
much interested with parts. Certain expressions which run 
through the whole work put me in a passion : thus I take, 
at hazard, " la plante n etait pas tout a fait Assez affaiblie 
pour produire de veritables carpelles." Every organ or part 
concerned in reproduction — that highest end of all lower 
organisms — is, according to this man, produced by a lesser 
or greater degree of " affaiblissement " ; and if that is not an 
affaiblissement of language, I don't know what is. I have used 
an expression here, which leads me to ask another question : 
on what sort of grounds do botanists make one family of 
plants higher than another? I can see that the simplest 
cryptogamic are lowest, and I suppose, from their relations, 
the monocotyledenous come next ; but how in the different 
families of the dicotyledons ? The point seems to me equally 
obscure in many races of animals, and I know not how to tell 
whether a bee or cicindela is highest. 3 I see Aug. Hilaire 
uses a multiplicity of parts — several circles of stamens, etc. — as 
evidence of the highness of the Ranunculaceas ; now Owen has 
truly, as I believe, used the same argument to show the 
lowness of some animals, and has established the proposition, 
that the fewer the number of any organ, as legs or wings or 
teeth, by which the same end is gained, the higher the animal. 
One other question. Hilaire says (p. 572) that "chez une 
foule de plantes e'est dans le bouton," that impregnation takes 
place. He instances only Goodcnia, 4 - and Falconer cannot 
recollect any cases. Do you know any of this "foule" of 
plants? From reasons, little better than hypothetical, I 
greatly misdoubt the accuracy of this, presumptuous as it is ; 
that plants shed their pollen in the bud is, of course, quite 
a different story. Can you illuminate me? Henslow will 

1 Paris, 1 84 1. 

2 Leqons de Hot unique, 1841. 

3 On use of terms "high" and "low" see Letters 36 and 70. 
1 For letters on this point, see Index s.v. Goodenia. 



4H GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION [Chap. VI 

Letter 319 send the Galapagos scraps to you. I direct this to Kcw, as I 
suppose, after your sister's marriage (on which I beg to send 
you my congratulations), you will return home. 

There are great fears that Falconer will have to go out to 
India — this will be a grievous loss to Palaeontology. 

Letter 320 To J. D. I looker. 

Down, April 10th [1846]. 

I was much pleased to see and sign your certificate for the 
Geological Society]; we shall thus occasionally, I hope, meet. 1 

I have been an ungrateful dog not to have thanked you 
before this for the cake and books. The children and their 
betters pronounced the former excellent, and Annie wanted 
to know whether it was the gentleman "what played with 
us so." I wish we were at a more reasonable distance, that 
Emma and myself could have called on Lady Hooker with 
our congratulations on this occasion. It was very good of 
you to put in both numbers of the Hart. Journal. I think 
Dean Herbert's article well worth reading. I have been so 
extravagant as to order M[oquin] Tandon, 2 for though I have 
not found, as yet, anything particularly novel or striking, yet ■ 
I found that I wished to score a good many passages so as to 
re-read them at some future time, and hence have ordered the 
book. Consequently I hope soon to send back your books. 
I have sent off the Ascension plants through Bunsen to 
Ehrenberg. 

There was much in your last long letter which interested 
me much ; and I am particularly glad that you are going to 
attend to polymorphism in our last and incorrect sense in 
your works ; I see that it must be most difficult to take any 
sort of constant limit for the amount of possible variation. 
How heartily I do wish that all your works were out and 
complete ; so that I could quietly think over them. I fear 
the Pacific Islands must be far distant in futurity. I fear, 
indeed, that Forbes is going rather too quickly ahead ; but 
we shall soon see all his grounds, as I hear he is now correct- 
ing the press on this subject ; he has plenty of people who 
attack him ; I see Falconer never loses a chance, and it is 

1 Sir Joseph was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society in 1846. 
3 Probably Elements de Teratologic Vegetale: Paris, 1841. 



i8 4 3— 1882] MORPHOLOGY 



415 



wonderful how well Forbes stands it. What a very striking Letter 320 
fact is the botanical relation between Africa and Java ; as 
you now state it, I am pleased rather than disgusted, for it 
accords capitally with the distribution of the mammifers 1 : only 
that I judge from your letters that the Cape differs even more 
markedly than I had thought, from the rest of Africa, and 
much more than the mammifers do. I am surprised to find 
how well mammifers and plants seem to accord in their 
general distribution. With respect to my strong objection to 
Aug. St. Hilaire's language on affaiblissement? it is perhaps 
hardly rational, and yet he confesses that some of the most 
vigorous plants in nature have some of their organs struck 
with this weakness — he does not pretend, of course, that they 
were ever otherwise in former generations — or that a more 
vigorously growing plant produces organs less weakened, and 
thus fails in producing its typical structure. In a plant in a 
state of nature, does cutting off the sap tend to produce flower- 
buds ? I know it does in trees in orchards. Owen has been 
doing some grand work in the morphology of the vertebrata : 
your arm and hand are parts of your head, or rather the 
processes {i.e. modified ribs) of the occipital vertebra ! He 
gave me a grand lecture on a cod's head. By the way, would 
it not strike you as monstrous, if in speaking of the minute 
and lessening jaws, palpi, etc., of an insect or crustacean, any 
one were to say they were produced by the affaiblissement of 
the less important but larger organs of locomotion. I see 
from your letter (though I do not suppose it is worth referring 
to the subject) that I could not have expressed what I meant 
when I allowed you to infer that Owen's rule of single organs 
being of a higher order than multiple organs applied only to 
locomotive, etc.; it applies to every the most important organ. 
I do not doubt that he would say the placentata having single 
wombs, whilst the marsupiata have double ones, is an instance 
of this law. I believe, however, in most instances where one 
organ, as a nervous centre or heart, takes the places of several, 

1 See Wallace, Geogr. Distribution, Vol. I., p. 263, on the "special 
Oriental or even Malayan element " in the West African mammals and 
birds. 

2 This refers to his Lcqons de Botanique (Morphologic Vi'getale), 
1841. Saint-Hilaire often explains morphological differences as due to 
differences in vigour. See p. 413. 



416 GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION [Chap. VI 

Letter 320 it rises in complexity ; but it strikes me as really odd, seeing 
in this instance eminent botanists and zoologists starting from 
reverse grounds. Pray kindly bear in mind about impregna- 
tion in bud : I have never (for some years having been on the 
look-out) heard of an instance : I have long wished to know 
how it was in Subularia, or some such name, which grows 
on the bottom of Scotch lakes, and likewise in a grassy 
plant, which lives in brackish water, I quite forget name, 
near Thames ; elder botanists doubted whether it was a 
Phanerogam. When we meet I will tell you why I doubt this 
bud-impregnation. 

We are at present in a state of utmost confusion, as we 
have pulled all our offices down and are going to rebuild and 
alter them. I am personally in a state of utmost confusion 
also, for my cruel wife has persuaded me to leave off snuff for 
a month ; and I am most lethargic, stupid, and melancholy in 
consequence. 

Farewell, my dear Hooker. Ever yours. 

r „ ,„, To J. D. Hooker. 

Letter 321 J 

Down, April 19th [1855]. 

Thank you for your list of R.S. candidates, which will be 
very useful to me. 

I have thought a good deal about my salting experiments, 1 
and really think they are worth pursuing to a certain extent ; 
but I hardly see the use (at least, the use equivalent to the 
enormous labour) of trying the experiment on the immense 
scale suggested by you. I should think a few seeds of the 
leading orders, or a few seeds of each of the classes mentioned 
by you, with albumen of different kinds would suffice to show 
the possibility of considerable sea-transportal. To tell whether 
any particular insular flora had thus been transported would 
require that each species should be examined. Will you look 
through these printed lists, and if you can, mark with red cross 
such as you would suggest ? In truth, I fear I impose far more 

1 For an account of Darwin's experiments on the effect of salt water on 
the germination of seeds, see Life and Letters, II, p. 54. In April he wrote 
to the Gardeners' Chronicle asking for information, and his results were 
published in the same journal, May 26th and Nov. 24th, 1855 ; also in 
the Linn. Soc. Journal, 1857. 



1843— 1882] FLOATING SEEDS 417 

on your great kindness, my dear Hooker, than I have any Letter 321 
claim ; but you offered this, for I never thought of asking you 
for more than a suggestion. I do not think I could manage 
more than forty or fifty kinds at a time, for the water, I find, 
must be renewed every other day, as it gets to smell horribly : 
and I do not think your plan good of little packets of cambric, 
as this entangles so much air. I shall keep the great receptacle 
with salt water with the forty or fifty little bottles, partly open, 
immersed in it, in the cellar for uniform temperature. I must 
plant out of doors, as I have no greenhouse. 

I told you I had inserted notice in the Gardeners' Chronicle, 
and to-day I have heard from Berkeley that he has already 
sent an assortment of seeds to Margate for some friend to put 
in salt water ; so I suppose he thinks the experiment worth 
trying, as he has thus so very promptly taken it into his own 
hands. 1 

Reading this over, it sounds as if I were offended ! ! ! which 
I need not say is not so. 2 

I may just mention that the seeds mentioned in my former 
note have all germinated after fourteen days' immersion, 
except the cabbages all dead, and the radishes have had their 
germination delayed and several I think dead ; cress still all 
most vigorous. French spinach, oats, barley, canary-seed, 
borage, beet have germinated after seven days' immersion. 

It is quite surprising that the radishes should have grown, 
for the salt water was putrid to an extent which I could not 
have thought credible had I not smelt it myself, as was the 
water with the cabbage-seed. 

To J. D. Hooker. 

Down, June 10th [1855]. 

If being thoroughly interested with your letters makes me 
worthy of them, I am very worthy. 

1 have raised some seedling Sensitive Plants, but if you 
can readily spare me a moderately sized plant, I shall be 
glad of it. 

You encourage me so, that I will slowly go on salting- 
seeds. I have not, I see, explained myself, to let you suppose 

1 Rev. M. J. Berkeley published on the subject in the Gardener? 
Chronicle, Sept. 1st, 1855. 

2 Added afterwards between the lines. 

27 



& 



418 GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION [Chap. VI 

Letter 322 that 1 objected to such cases as the former union of England 
and the Continent ; I look at this case as proved by animals, 
etc., etc. ; and, indeed, it would be an astounding fact if the 
land had kept so steady as that they had not been united, 
with Snowdon elevated 1,300 feet in recent times, etc., etc. 

It is only against the former union with the oceanic 
volcanic islands that I am vehement. 1 What a perplexing case 
New Zealand does seem: is not the absence of Leguminosas, 
etc., etc.,/«//j' as much opposed to continental connexion as to 
any other theory ? What a curious fact you state about 
distribution and lowness going together. 

The presence of a frog in New Zealand seems to me a 
strongish fact for continental connexion, for I assume that 
sea water would kill spawn, but I shall try. The spawn, I find, 
will live about ten days out of water, but I do not think it 
could possibly stick to a bird. 

\\ hat you say about no one realising creation strikes me 
as very true ; but I think and hope that there is nearly as 
much difference between trying to find out whether species of 
a genus have had a common ancestor and concerning oneself 
with the first origin of life, as between making out the laws 
of chemical attraction and the first origin of matter. 

I thought that Gray's letter had come open to you, and 
that you had read it : you will see what I asked — viz., for 
habitats of the alpine plants, but I presume there will be 
nothing new to you. Please return both. How pleasantly 
Gray takes my request, and I think I shall have done a good 
turn if I make him write a paper on geographical distribution 
of plants of United States. 

I have written him a very long letter, telling him some of 
the points about which I should feel curious. But on my life 
it is sublimely ridiculous, my making suggestions to such 
a man. 

I cannot help thinking that what you say about low 
plants being widely distributed and standing injurious con- 
ditions better than higher ones (but is not this most difficult 
to show?) is equally favourable to sea-transport, to continental 
connexions, and all other means. Pray do not suppose that 
I fancy that if I could show that nearly all seeds could stand 
an almost indefinite period of immersion in sea-water, that I 

1 See Life and Letters, Vol. II., pp. 72, 74, 80, 109. 



i843— JS82] FLOATING SEEDS 419 

have done more than one extremely small step in solving Letter 322 
the problem of distribution, for I can quite appreciate the 
importance of the fact you point out ; and then the directions 
of currents in past and present times have to be considered ! 1 

I shall be very curious to hear Berkeley's results in the 
salting line. 

With respect to geological changes, I ought to be one 
of the last men to undervalue them after my map of coral 
islands, and after what I have seen of elevation on coast of 
America. Farewell. I hope my letters do not bother you. 
Again, and for the last time, I say that I should be extremely 
vexed if ever you write to me against the grain or when tired. 

To J. S. Henslow. Letter 323 

Down, July 2nd [1855]. 

Very many thanks for all you have done, and so very 
kindly promise to do for me. 

Will you make a present to each of the little girls (if not 
too big and grandiose) of 6d. (for which I send stamps), who 
are going to collect seeds for me : viz., Lychnis, white, red, and 
flesh-colour (if such occur). 

. . . Will you be so kind as to look at them before sent, 
just to see positively that they are correct, for remember how 
ignorant botanically I am. 

Do you see the Gardeners' Chronicle, and did you notice 
some little experiments of mine on salting seeds ? Celery and 
onion seed have come up after eighty-five days' immersion in 
the salt water, which seems to me surprising, and I think 
throws some light on the wide dispersion of certain plants. 
Now, it has occurred to me that it would be an interesting 
way of testing the probability of sea-transportal of seeds, to 
make a list of all the European plants found in the Azores — 
a very oceanic archipelago — collect the seeds, and try if they 
would stand a pretty long immersion. Do you think the 
most able of your little girls would like to collect for me a 
packet of seeds of such Azorean plants as grow near Hitcham, 
I paying, say 3^. for each packet : it would put a few shillings 
into their pockets, and would be an enormous advantage to 
me, for I grudge the time to collect the seeds, more especially 
as I have to learn the plants ! The experiment seems to 
me worth trying : what do you think ? Should you object 



420 GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION [Chap. VI 

Letter 323 offering for me this reward or payment to your little girls ? 
You would have to select the most conscientious ones, that I 
might not get wrong seeds. I have just been comparing the 
lists, and I suspect you would not have very many of the 
Azorean plants. You have, however, 

Ranunculus repens, 

„ parviflorus, 

Papaver r/icras, ? 

„ dubium, ? 
Chelidonium majus, ? 
Fumaria officinalis. ? 

All these are Azorean plants. 

With respect to cultivating plants, I mean to begin on 
very few, for I may find it too troublesome. I have already 
had for some months primroses and cowslips, strongly 
manured with guano, and with flowers picked off, and one 
cowslip made to grow in shade; and nexi spring I shall 
collect seed. 

I think you have quite misunderstood me in regard to my 
object in getting you to mark in accompanying list with ( x ) 
all the " close species " 1 i.e., such as you do not think to be 
varieties, but which nevertheless are very closely allied ; it 
has nothing whatever to do with their cultivation, but I 
cannot tell you [my] object, as it might unconsciously influence 
you in marking them. Will you draw your pencil right 
through all the names of those (few) species, of which you 
may know nothing. Afterwards, when done, I will tell you 
my object — not that it is worth telling, though I myself am 
very curious on the subject. I know and can perceive that 
the definition of " close species " is very vague, and therefore 
I should not care for the list being marked by any one, except 
by such as yourself. 

Forgive this long letter. I thank you heartily for all 
your assistance. 

My dear old Master, 

Yours affectionately, 

C. Darwin. 

Perhaps id. would be hardly enough, and if the number of 
kinds does not turn out very great it shall be 6d. per packet. 

1 See Letter 279, p. 368. 



1843—1882] CLOSE SPECIES 421 

Asa Gray to C. Darwin. 1 Letter 324 

Harvard University, Cambridge, U.S., June 30th, 1855. 

Your long letter of the 8th inst. is full of interest to me, 
and I shall follow out your hints as far as I can. I rejoice 
in furnishing facts to others to work up in their bearing on 
general questions, and feel it the more my duty to do so 
inasmuch as from preoccupation of mind and time and want 
of experience I am unable to contribute direct original in- 
vestigations of the sort to the advancement of science. 

Your request at the close of your letter, which you have 
such needless hesitation in making, is just the sort of one 
which it is easy for me to reply to, as it lies directly in my 
way. It would probably pass out of my mind, however, at 
the time you propose, so I will attend to it at once, to fill up 
the intervals of time left me while attending to one or two 
pupils. So I take some unbound sheets of a copy of the 
Manual, and mark off the " close species " by connecting 
them with a bracket. 

Those thus connected, some of them, I should in revision 
unite under one, many more Dr. Hooker would unite, and 
for the rest it would not be extraordinary if, in any case, the 
discovery of intermediate forms compelled their union. 

As I have noted on the blank page of the sheets I send 
you (through Sir William Hooker), I suppose that if we 
extended the area, say to that of our flora of North America, 
we should find that the proportion of " close species " to the 
whole flora increased considerably. But here I speak at a 
venture. Some day I will test it for a few families. 

If you take for comparison with what I send you, the 
British Flora, or Koch's Flora Germanica, or Godron's Flora 
of France, and mark the " close species " on the same principle, 
you will doubtless find a much greater number. Of course 
you will not infer from this that the two floras differ in this 
respect ; since the difference is probably owing to the facts 
that (1) there have not been so many observers here bent upon 
detecting differences ; and (2) our species, thanks mostly to 
Dr. Torrey and myself, have been more thoroughly castigated. 
What stands for one species in the Manual would figure in 

1 In reply to Darwin's letter, June 8th, 1S55, given in Life and I ettcrs, 
II., p. 61. 



422 GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION [Chap. VI 

Letter 324 almost any European flora as two, three, or more, in a very 
considerable number of cases. 

In boldly reducing nominal species J. Hooker is doing a 
good work ; but his vocation — like that of any other reformer 
— exposes him to temptations and dangers. 

Because you have shown that a and b arc so connected by 
intermediate forms that we cannot do otherwise than regard 
them as variations of one species, we may not conclude that c 
and d, differing much in the same way and to the same degree, 
are of one species, before an equal amount of evidence is actually 
obtained. That is, when two sets of individuals exhibit any 
grave differences, the burden of proof of their common origin 
lies with the person who takes that view ; and each case must 
be decided on its own evidence, and not on analogy, if our 
conclusions in this way are to be of real value. Of course we 
must often jump at conclusions from imperfect evidence. I 
should like to write an essay on species some day ; but before 
I should have time to do it, in my plodding way, I hope you 
or Hooker will do it, and much better far. I am most glad 
to be in conference with Hooker and yourself on these 
matters, and I think we may, or rather you may, in a few 
years settle the question as to whether Agassiz's or Hooker's 
views are correct ; they are certainly widely different. 

Apropos to this, many thanks for the paper containing 
your experiments on seeds exposed to sea water. Why has 
nobody thought of trying the experiment before, instead of 
taking it for granted that salt water kills seeds? I shall have 
it nearly all reprinted in Silliman's Journal as a nut for 
Agassiz to crack. 

Letter 325 To Asa Gray. 

Down, May 2nd [1856?] 
I have received your very kind note of April 8th. In 
truth it is preposterous in me to give you hints ; but it will 
give me real pleasure to write to you just as I talk to Hooker, 
who says my questions are sometimes suggestive owing to my 
comparing the ranges, etc., in different kingdoms of Nature. 
I will make no further apologies about my presumption ; but 
will just tell you (though I am certain there will be veiy little 
new in what I suggest and ask) the points on which I am very 
anxious to hear about. I forget whether you include Arctic 



1843—1882] N. AMERICAN FLORA 423 

America, but if so, for comparison with other parts of world, Letter 325 
I would exclude the Arctic and Alpine- Arctic, as belonging to 
a quite distinct category. When excluding the naturalised, 
I think De Candolle must be right in advising the exclusion 
(giving list) of plants exclusively found in cultivated land, even 
when it is not known that they have been introduced by man. 
I would give list of temperate plants (if any) found in Eastern 
Asia, China, and Japan, and not elsewhere. Nothing would 
eive me a better idea of the flora of United States than the 
proportion of its genera to all the genera which are confined 
to America ; and the proportion of genera confined to America 
and Eastern Asia with Japan ; the remaining genera would 
be common to America and Europe and the rest of world ; I 
presume it would be impossible to show any especial affinity 
in genera, if ever so few, between America and Western 
Europe. America might be related to Eastern Asia (always 
excluding Arctic forms) by a genus having the same species 
confined to these two regions ; or it might be related by the 
genus having different species, the genus itself not being found 
elsewhere. The relation of the genera (excluding identical 
species) seems to me a most important element in geographical 
distribution often ignored, and I presume of more difficult 
application in plants than in animals, owing to the wider 
ranges of plants ; but I find in New Zealand (from Hooker) 
that the consideration of genera with representative