WCP1846

Letter (WCP1846.1736)

[1]

Down

Bromley

Kent

May 18th 1860

My dear Mr Wallace

I received this morning your letter from Amboyna dated Feb. 16th1, containing some remarks & your too high approbation of my book. Your letter has pleased me very much, & I most completely agree with you on the parts which are strongest & which are weakest. The imperfection of Geolog. Record is, as you say, the weakest of all; but yet I am pleased to find that there are almost more Geological converts than of pursuers of other branches of natural science. I may mention Lyell,2 Ramsay,3 Jukes,4 Rogers,5 Keyserling,6 all good men & true — Pictet7 of Geneva is not a convert, but is evidently staggered (as I think is Bronn of Heidelberg) & he has written a perfectly fair review in the Bib. Universelle of Geneva. — Old Bronn8 has translated my book, well-done also, into German & his well-known name will give it circulation. —

I think geologists are more converted than simple naturalists because more accustomed to reasoning. Before telling you about progress of opinion on subject, you must let me say how I admire the generous manner in which you speak of my Book: [2] most persons would in your position have felt some envy or jealousy. How nobly free you seem to be of this common failing of mankind. — But you speak far too modestly of yourself; — you would, if you had had my pleasure leisure done the work just as well, perhaps better, than I have done it. —

Talking of envy, you never read anything more envious & spiteful (with numerous misrepresentations) than Owen9 is in the Edinburgh Review. I must give one instance he throws doubts & sneers at my saying that the ovigerous frena of cirripedes10 have been converted into Branchiae, because I have not proved them to be Branchiae; whereas he himself admits, before I wrote, on cirripedes, without the least hesitation that these organs are Branchiae. —

The attacks have been heavy & incessant of late. Sedgwick11 & Prof. Clarke [sic]12 attacked me savagely at Cambridge Phil. Soc. but Henslow13 defended me well, though not a convert. — Phillips14 has since attacked me in Lecture at Cambridge. Sir W[illiam]. Jardine15 in Eding. [Edinburgh] New Phil. Journal. — Wollaston16 in Annal of Nat. History. — A. Murray17 before Royal Soc. of Edinburgh — Haughton18 at Geolog. Soc. of Dublin — Dawson19 in Canadian Nat. Magazine, [3] And many others. But I am got case-hardened, & all these attacks will make me only more determinately fight. Agassiz20 sends me personal civil messages but incessantly attacks me; but Asa Gray21 fights like a hero in defence. —.— Lyell keeps as firm as a tower, & this autumn will publish on Geological History of Man, & will there declare his conversion, which now is universally known. — I hope that you have received Hooker's splendid Essay.22 — So far is bigotry carried, that I can name 3 Botanists who will not even read Hooker's Essay!!

Here is a curious thing, a Mr. Pat. Matthew, a Scotchman, published in 1830 a work on Naval Timber & Arboriculture, & in appendix to do this, he gives most clearly but very briefly in half-dozen paragraphs our view of natural selection. It is most complete case of anticipitation [sic]. He published extracts in G. Chronicle23: I got Book, & have since published letter, acknowledging that I am fairly forestalled. — Yesterday I heard from Lyell that a German Dr Schaffhausen [sic]24 has sent him a pamphet [pamphlet] published some [4] years ago, in which same View is nearly anticipated but I have not yet seen this pamphet [sic]. — My Brother,25 who is very sagacious man, always said you will find that some one will have been before you. —

I am at work at my larger work which I shall publish in separate volumes. — But from ill-health & swarms of letters, I get on very very slowly. — I hope that I shall not have wearied you with these details. —

With sincere thanks for your letter, & with most deeply-felt wishes for your success in science & in every way believe me,26 | Your sincere well-wisher | C. Darwin [signature]

ARW's letter has not been found.
Lyell, Charles (1797-1875). British lawyer and geologist.
Ramsay, Andrew Crombie (1814-1891). British geologist.
Jukes, Joseph Beete (1811-1869). British geologist.
Rogers, Henry Darwin (1809-1866). American geologist.
Keyserling, Alexander Friedrich Michael Leberecht von (1815-1891). Russian palaeontologist.
Pictet de la Rive, François Jules (1809-1872). Swiss zoologist and palaeontologist.
Bronn, Heinrich Georg (1800-1862). German zoologist and palaeontologist.
[Owen, Richard].1860. Darwin on the Origin of Species. The Edinburgh Review, or Critical Journal. 111: 487-532.
Barnacles; marine crustaceans in the class Cirripedia.
Sedgwick, Adam (1785-1873). British geologist. Founder of the Cambridge Philosophical Society.
Clark, William (1788-1869). British anatomist.
Henslow, John Stevens (1796-1861). C of E clergyman; Cambridge University professor of Botany and Mineralogy; teacher of Charles Darwin.
Phillips, John (1800-1874). British geologist.
Jardine, William (1800-1874). British naturalist.
Wollaston, Thomas Vernon (1822-1878). British entomologist and malacologist.
Murray, Andrew (1812-1878). British lawyer, entomologist and botanist.
Haughton, Samuel (1821-1897) Irish geologist and physiologist.
Dawson, John William (1820-1899). Canadian geologist.
Agassiz, Jean Louis Rodolphe ("Louis") (1807-1873). Swiss-American naturalist.
Gray, Asa (1810-1888). American botanist.
Hooker, Joseph Dalton 1859. On the flora of Australia, its origin, affinities and distribution; being an introductory essay to the Flora of Tasmania. Reprinted from pt. 3 of The botany of the Antarctic expedition, Flora of Tasmania, vol. 1. London: Lovell Reeve.
Matthew, Patrick. 1860. Nature's law of selection. Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette (7 April): 312-313.
Schaaffhausen, Hermann (1816-1893). German anthropologist.
Darwin, Erasmus Alvey (1804-1881). British. Bother of Charles Darwin.
The manuscript has been damaged and the last paragraph is no longer present. The text has been extracted from a previous copy produced by the Darwin correspondence project.

Published letter (WCP1846.5929)

[1] [p. 141]

LETTER VIII

C. DARWIN TO A. R. WALLACE

Down, Bromley, Kent. May 18, 1860.

My dear Mr. Wallace,— I received this morning your letter from Amboyna dated Feb. 16th, containing some remarks and your too high approbation of my book. Your letter has pleased me very much, and I most completely agree with you on the parts which are strongest and which are weakest. The imperfection of the geological record is, as you say, the weakest of all; but yet I am pleased to find that there are almost more geological converts than of pursuers of other branches of natural science. I may mention Lyell, Ramsay, Jukes, Rogers, Keyerling, all good men and true. Pictet of Geneva is not a convert, but is evidently staggered (as I think is Bronn of Heidelberg), and he has written a perfectly fair review in the Bib. Universelle of Geneva. Old Bronn has translated my book, well done also into German, and his well-known name will give it circulation. I think geologists are more converted than simple naturalists because more accustomed to reasoning.

Before telling you about the progress of opinion on the subject, you must let me say how I admire the generous manner in which you speak of my book: most persons would in your position have felt bitter envy and jealousy. How nobly free you seem to be of this common failing of mankind. But you speak far too modestly of yourself; you would, if you had had my leisure, have done the work just as well, perhaps better, than I have done it. Talking of envy, you never read anything more envious and spiteful [2] [p. 142] (with numerous misrepresentations) than Owen is in the Edinburgh Review. I must give one instance; he throws doubts and sneers at my saying that the ovigerous frena of cirripedes have been converted into branchiae, because I have not found them to be branchiae; whereas he himself admits, before I wrote on cirripedes, without the least hesitation, that their organs are branchiae. The attacks have been heavy and incessant of late. Sedgwick and Prof. Clarke attacked me savagely at the Cambridge Philosophical Society, but Henslow defended me well, though not a convert. Phillips has since attacked me in a lecture at Cambridge; Sir W. Jardine in the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, Wollaston in the Annals of Nat. History, A. Murray before the Royal Soc. of Edinburgh, Haughton at the Geological Society of Dublin, Dawson in the Canadian Nat. Magazine, and many others. But I am getting casehardened, and all these attacks will make me only more determinedly fight. Agassiz sends me personal civil messages, but incessantly attacks me; but Asa Gray fights like a hero in defence. Lyell keeps as firm as a tower, and this autumn will publish on the Geological History of Man, and will then declare his conversion, which now is universally known. I hope that you have received Hooker's splendid essay. So far is bigotry carried that I can name three botanists who will not even read Hooker's essay!! Here is a curious thing: a Mr. Pat. Matthews, a Scotchman, published in 1830 a work on Naval Timber and Arboriculture, and in the appendix to this he gives most clearly but very briefly in half-dozen paragraphs our View of Natural Selection. It is a most complete case of anticipation. He published extracts in the Gardeners' Chronicle. I got the book, and have since published a letter acknowledging that I am fairly forestalled. Yesterday I heard from Lyell that a German, Dr. Schaffhausen, has sent him a [3] pamphlet published some years ago, in which the same view is nearly anticipated, but I have not yet seen this pamphlet. My brother, who is a very sagacious man, always said, "You will find that someone will have been before you." I am at work at my larger work, which I shall publish in separate volumes. But for ill-health and swarms of letters I get on very, very slowly. I hope that I shall not have wearied you with these details.

With sincere thanks for your letter, and with most deeply-felt wishes for your success in science and in every way, believe me your sincere well-wisher, C. DARWIN.

Published letter (WCP1846.6893)

[1] [p. 227]

DOWN, BROMLEY KENT.

May 18, 1860.

MY DEAR MR WALLACE,

I received this morning your letter from Amboyna dated Feb. 16, containing some remarks and your too high approbation of my book. Your letter has pleased me very much, and I most completely agree with you on the parts which are strongest and which are weakest. The imperfection of Geological Record is, as you say, the weakest of all; but yet l am pleased to find that there are almost more Geological converts than of pursuers of other branches of Natural Science I may mention Lyell, Ramsay, Jukes, Rogers, Keyserling, all good men and true. Pictet of Geneva is not a convert, but is evidently staggered (as I think is Bronn of Heidelberg) and he has written a. perfectly fair review in the Bib. Universelle of Geneva — Old Bronn has translated my hook, well-done also, into German [2] [p. 228] and his well-known name will give it circulation. I think geologists are more converted than simple naturalists because more accustomed to reasoning. Before telling you about progress of opinion on subject, you must let me say how I admire the generous manner in which you speak of my Book: most persons would in your position have felt some envy or jealousy. How nobly free you seem to be of this common failing of mankind. But you speak far too modestly of yourself; you would, if you had had my leisure [have] done the work just as well, perhaps better, than I have done it. Talking of envy, you never read anything more envious and spiteful (with numerous misrepresentations) than Owen is in the Edinburgh Review. I must give one instance, he throws doubts and sneers at my saying that the ovigerous frena of cirripedes have been converted into Branchiae, because I have not proved to he Branchiae; whereas as he himself admits, before I wrote on cirripedes, without the least hesitation that these organs are Branchiae. The attacks have been heavy and incessant of late. Sedgwick and Prof. Clarke* attacked me savagely at Cambridge Philosophical Society, but Henslow defended me well, though not a convert Phillips has since attacked me in Lecture at Cambridge. Sir W. Jardine in Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal. Wollaston in Annals of Natural History. A. Murray before Royal Society of Edinburgh. Haughton at Geological Society of Dublin. Dawson in Canadian [3] [p. 229] Naturalists Magazine and many others. But I am got casehardened, and all these attacks will make me only more determinately fight. Agassiz sends me personal civil message, but incessantly attacks me 3 but Asa Gray fights like a hero in defence. Lyell keeps as firm as a tower, and this autumn will publish on Geological History of Man, and will then declare his conversion, which now is universally known. I hope that you have received Hooker's splendid Essay. So far is bigotry carried, that I can name 3 Botanists who will not even read Hooker's Essay!! Here is a curious thing, a Mr Pat. Matthew, a Scotchman, published in 1830 a work On Naval Timber and Arboriculture and in [the] Appendix to this, he gives most clearly but very briefly in [a] half-dozen paragraphs our view of natural selection. It is [the] most complete case of anticipation. He published extracts in Gardeners Chronicle (April 7, 1860). I got [the] Book and have since published [a] letter, acknowledging that I am fairly forestalled. Yesterday I heard from Lyell that a German Dr Schaffhausen has sent him a pamphlet published some years ago, in which same view is nearly anticipated, but I have not yet seen this pamphlet. My Brother, who is very sagacious man, always said "You will find that some one will have been before you." I am at work at my larger work which I shall publish in separate volume. But for ill-health and swarms of letters I get on very very slowly. [4] [p. 230]

I hope that I shall not have wearied you with these details. With sincere thanks for your letter, and with most deeply felt wishes for your success in science and in every way, believe me.

Your sincere well-wisher, | C. DARWIN.

Please cite as “WCP1846,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 23 February 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP1846