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. . Dr. Gully feels pretty sure he can do me good, which most certainly the regular doctors could not. . . I feel certain that the water-cure is no quackery.
How I shall enjoy getting back to Down with renovated health, if such is to be my good fortune, and resuming the beloved Barnacles. Now I hope that you will forgive me for my negligence in not having sooner answered your letter. I was uncommonly interested by the sketch you give of your intended grand expedition, from which I suppose you will soon be returning. How earnestly I hope that it may prove in every way successful, ...
[When my father was at the Water-cure Establishment at Malvern he was brought into contact with clairvoyance, of which he writes in the following extract from a letter to Fox, September, 1850.
"You speak about Homeopathy, which is a subject which makes me more wrath, even than does Clairvoyance. Clairvoyance so transcends belief, that one's ordinary faculties are put out of the question, but in homeopathy comnion sense and common observation come into play, and both these must go to the dogs, if the infinitesimal doses have any effect whatever. How true is a remark I saw the other day by Quetelet, in respect to evidence of curative processes, viz., that no one knows in disease what is the simple result of nothing being done, as a standard with which to compare homoeopathy, and all other such things. It is a sad flaw, I cannot but think, in my beloved Dr. Gully, that he believes in everything. When Miss was very ill, he had a clairvoyant girl to report on internal changes, a mesmerist to put her to sleep-an homeopathist, viz. Dr. and himself as hydropathist ! and the girl recovered."
A passage out of an earlier letter to Fox (December, 1844) shows that he was equally sceptical on the subject of mesmerism: "With respect to mesmerism, the whole country resounds with wonderful facts or tales .. I have just heard of a child, three or four years old (whose parents and self I well knew) mesmerised by his father, which is the first fact which has staggered me. I shall not believe fully till I see or hear from good evidence of animals (as has been stated is possible) not drugged, being put to stupor; of course the impossibility would not prove mesmerism false; but it is the only clear experimentum crucis, and I am astonished it has not been systematically tried. If mesmerism was investigated, like a science, this could not have been left till the present day to be done satisfactorily, as it has been I believe left. Keep some cats yourself, and do get some mesmeriser to attempt it. One man told me he had succeeded, but his experiments were most vague, as was likely from a man who said cats were more easily done than other animals, because they were so electrical !”]
C. Darwin to C. Lyell.
Down, December 4th (1849). MY DEAR LYELL, -This letter requires no answer, and I write from exuberance of vanity. Dana has sent me the Geology of the United States Expedition, and I have just read the Coral part. To begin with a modest speech, I am astonished at my own accuracy!! If I were to rewrite now my Coral book there is hardly a sentence I should have to alter, except that I ought to have attributed more effect to recent volcanic action in checking growth of coral. When I say all this I ought to add that the consequences of the theory on areas of subsidence are treated in a separate chapter to which I have not come, and in this, I suspect, we shall differ more. Dana talks of agreeing with my theory in most points ; I can find out not one in which he differs. Considering how infinitely more he saw of Coral Reefs than I did, this is wonderfully satisfactory to me. He treats me most courteously. There now, my vanity is pretty well satisfied...
C. Darwin to J. D. Hooker.
Malvern, April 9th, 1849. MY DEAR HOOKER,—The very next morning after posting my last letter (I think on 23rd of March), I received your two interesting gossipaceous and geological letters; and the latter I have since exchanged with Lyell for his. I will write higglety-pigglety just as subjects occur. I saw the Review in the ‘ Athenæum,' it was written in an ill-natured spirit; but the whole virus consisted in saying that there was not novelty enough in your remarks for publication. No one, nowadays, cares for reviews. I may just mention that my Journal got some real good abuse, “presumption,” &c.-ended with saying that the volume appeared "made up of the scraps and rubbish of the author's portfolio.” I most truly enter into what you say, and quite believe you that you care only for the review with respect to your father, and that this alone would make
you like to see extracts from your letters more properly noticed in this same periodical. I have considered to the very best of my judgment whether any portion of your present letters are adapted for the 'Athenæum' (in which I have no interest; the beasts not having even noticed my three geological volumes which I had sent to them), and I have come to the conclusion it is better not to send them. considering all the circumstances, that without you took pains and wrote with care, a condensed and finished sketch of some striking feature in your travels, it is better not to send anything. These two letters are, moreover, rather too geological for the 'Athenæum,' and almost require woodcuts. On the other hand, there are hardly enough details for a communication to the Geological Society. I have not the smallest doubt that your facts are of the highest interest with regard to glacial action in the Himalaya; but it struck both Lyell and myself that your evidence ought to have been given more distinctly. ...
I have written so lately that I have nothing to say about myself; my health prevented me going on with a crusade
I feel sure,
mihi ” and “nobis," of which you warn me of the dangers. I showed my paper to three or four Naturalists, and they all agreed with me to a certain extent: with health and vigour, I would not have shown a white feather, [and] with aid of half-a-dozen really good Naturalists, I believe something might have been done against the miserable and degrading passion of mere species naming. In your letter you wonder what “Ornamental Poultry” has to do with Barnacles; but do not flatter yourself that I shall not yet live to finish the Barnacles, and then make a fool of myself on the subject of species, under which head ornamental Poultry are very interesting
C. Darwin to C. Lyell.
The Lodge, Malvern (June, 1849). . . I have got your book,* and have read all the first and a small part of the second volume (reading is the hardest work allowed here), and greatly I have been interested by it. It makes me long to be a Yankee. E. desires me to say that she quite "gloated" over the truth of your remarks on religious progress ... I delight to think how you will disgust some of the bigots and educational dons. As yet there has not been much Geology or Natural History, for which I hope you feel a little ashamed. Your remarks on all social subjects strike me as worthy of the author of the 'Principles.' And yet (I know it is prejudice and pride) if I had written the Principles, I never would have written any travels; but I believe I am more jealous about the honour and glory of the Principles than you are yourself. ...
C. Darvin to C. Lyell.
September 14th, 1849. I go on with my aqueous processes, and very steadily but slowly gain health and strength. Against all rules, I dined
*"A Second Visit to the United States.'
at Chevening with Lord Mahon, who did me the great honour of calling on me, and how he heard of me I can't guess. I was charmed with Lady Mahon, and any one might have been proud at the pieces of agreeableness which came from her beautiful lips with respect to you. I like old Lord Stanhope very much; though he abused Geology and Zoology heartily, "To suppose that the Omnipotent God made a world, found it a failure, and broke it up, and then made it again, and again broke it up, as the Geologists say, is all fiddle faddle." Describing Species of birds and shells, &c., is all fiddle faddle. ...
I am heartily glad we shall meet at Birmingham, as I trust we shall, if my health will but keep up.
eep up. I work
now every day at the Cirripedia for 24 hours, and so get on a little, but very slowly. I sometimes, after being a whole week employed and having described perhaps only two species, agree mentally with Lord Standhope, that it is all fiddle faddle; however, the other day I got a curious case of a unisexual, instead of hermaphrodite cirripede, in which the female had the common cirripedial character, and in two valves of her shell had two little pockets, in each of which she kept a little husband; I do not know of any other case where a female invariably has two husbands. I have one still odder fact, common to several species, namely, that though they are hermaphrodite, they have small additional, or as I shall call them, complemental males, one specimen itself hermaphrodite had no less than seven, of these complemental males attached to it. Truly the schemes and wonders of Nature are illimitable.
But I am running on as badly about my cirripedia as about Geology; it makes me groan to think that probably I shall never again have the exquisite pleasure of making out some new district, of evolving geological light out of some troubled dark region. So I must make the best of my Cirripedia.