the same with yours, and you may rely on it that not one word shall be altered owing to my having read your ideas. Are you aware that Mr. W: Earl * published several years ago the view of distribution of animals in the Malay Archipelago, in relation to the depth of the sea between the islands? I was much struck with this, and have been in the habit of noting all facts in distribution in that archipelago, and elsewhere, in this relation. I have been led to conclude that there has been a good deal of naturalisation in the different Malay islands, and which I have thought, to a certain extent, would account for anomalies, Timor has been my greatest puzzle. What do you say to the peculiar Felis there? I wish that you had visited Timor; it has been asserted that a fossil mastodon's or elephant's tooth (I forget which) has been found there, which would be a grand fact. I was aware that Celebes was very peculiar; but the relation to Africa is quite new to me, and marvellous, and almost passes belief. It is as anomalous as the relation of plants in S. W. Australia to the Cape of Good Hope. I differ wholly from you on the colonisation of oceanic islands, but you will have every one else on your side. I quite agree with respect to all islands not situated far in the ocean. I quite agree on the little occasional intermigration between lands (islands ?] when once pretty well stocked with inhabitants, but think this does not apply to rising and ill-stocked islands. Are you aware that annually birds are blown to Madeira, the Azores (and to Bermuda from America). I wish I had given a fuller abstract of my reasons for not believing in Forbes' great continental extensions; but it is too late, for I will alter nothing-I am worn out, and must have rest. Owen, I do not doubt, will bitterly oppose us. Hooker is publishing a grand introduction to the Flora of Australia, and goes the whole length. I have seen proofs of about half. With every good wish. Believe me, yours very sincerely,


[ocr errors][ocr errors]


Probably Mr. W. Earle's paper, Geographical Soc. Journal, 1845.

C. Darwin to J. D. Hooker.

Down, Sept. Ist (1859). I am not surprised at your finding your Introduction very difficult. But do not grudge the labour, and do not say you “have burnt your fingers," and are “deep in the mud", for I feel sure that the result will be well worth the labour. Unless I am a fool, I must be a judge to some extent of the value of such general essays, and I am fully convinced that yours are the most valuable ever published.

I have corrected all but the last two chapters of my book, and hope to have done revises and all in about three weeks, and then I (or we all) shall start for some months' bydropathy; my health has been very bad, and I am becoming as weak as a child, and incapable of doing anything whatever, except my three hours daily work at proof-sheets. God knows whether I shall ever be good at anything again, perhaps a long rest and hydropathy may do something.

I have not had A. Gray's Essay, and should not feel up to criticise it, even if I had the impertinence and courage. You will believe me that I speak strictly the truth when I say that your Australian Essay is extremely interesting to me, rather too much so. I enjoy reading it over, and if you think my criticisms are worth anything to you, I beg you to send the sheets (if you can give me time for good days); but unless I can render you any little, however little assistance, I would rather read the essay when published. Pray understand that I should be truly vexed not to read them, if you wish it for your own sake.

I had a terribly long fit of sickness yesterday, which makes the world rather extra gloomy to-day, and I have an insanely strong wish to finish my accursed book, such corrections every page has required as I never saw before. It is so weariful, killing the whole afternoon, after 12 o'clock doing nothing whatever. But I will grumble no more. So farewell, we shall meet in the winter I trust. Farewell, my dear Hooker, your affectionate friend,





C. Darwin to C. Lyell.

Down, Sept. 2nd (1859). . . I am very glad you wish to see my clean sheets: I should have offered them, but did not know whether it would bore you; I wrote by this morning's post to Murray to send them. Unfortunately I have not got to the part which will interest you, I think most, and which tells most in favour of the view, viz., Geological Succession, Geographical Distribution, and especially Morphology, Embryology and Rudimentary Organs. I will see that the remaining sheets, when printed off, are sent to you. But would you like for me to send the last and perfect revises of the sheets as I correct them? if so, send me your address in a blank envelope. I hope that you will read all, whether dull (especially latter part of Chapter II.) or not, for I am convinced there is not a sentence which has not a bearing on the whole argument. You will find Chapter IV. perplexing and unintelligible, without the aid of the enclosed queer diagram,* of which I send an old and useless proof. I have, as Murray says, corrected so heavily, as almost to have re-written it; but yet I fear it is poorly written. Parts are intricate; and I do not think that even you could make them quite clear. Do not, I beg, be in a hurry in committing yourself (like so many naturalists) to go a certain length and no further; for I am deeply convinced that it is absolutely necessary to go the whole vast length, or stick to the creation of each separate species; I argue this point briefly in the last chapter. Remember that your verdict will probably have more influence than my book in deciding whether such views as I hold will be admitted or rejected at present; in the future I cannot doubt about their admittance, and our posterity will marvel as much about the current belief as we do about fossil shells having been thought to have been created as we now see them. But forgive me for running on about my hobby-horse. ...

[ocr errors]

* The diagram illustrates descent with divergence,

C. Darwin to J. D. Hooker.

Down, (Sept.) 11th (1859). MY DEAR HOOKER,–I corrected the last proof yesterday, and I have now my revises, index, &c., which will take me near to the end of the month. So that the neck of my work, thank God, is broken.

I write now to say that I am uneasy in my conscience about hesitating to look over your proofs, but I was feeling miserably unwell and shattered when I wrote. I do not suppose I could be of hardly any use, but if I could, pray send me any proofs. I should be (and fear I was) the most ungrateful man to hesitate to do anything for you after some fifteen or more years' help from you.

As soon as ever I have fairly finished I shall be off to Ilkley, or some other Hydropathic establishment. But I shall be some time yet, as my proofs have been so utterly obscured with corrections, that I have to correct heavily on revises.

Murray proposes to publish the first week in November. Oh, good heavens, the relief to my head and body to banish the whole subject from my mind!

I hope to God, you do not think me a brute about your proof-sheets. Farewell, yours affectionately,


C. Darwin to C. Lyell.

Down, Sept. 20th (1859). MY DEAR LYELL, —You once gave me intense pleasure, or rather delight, by the way you were interested, in a manner I never expected, in my Coral Reef notions, and now you have again given me similar pleasure by the manner you have noticed my species work. * Nothing could be more satisfac

* Sir Charles was President of the Geological section at the meeting of the British Association at Aberdeen in 1859. The following passage 1859.)



tory to me, and I thank you for myself, and even more for the subject's sake, as I know well that the sentence will make many fairly consider the subject, instead of ridiculing it. Although your previously felt doubts on the immutability of species, may have more influence in converting you (if you be converted) than my book ; yet as I regard your verdict as far more important in my own eyes, and I believe in the eyes of the world than of any other dozen men, I am naturally very anxious about it. Therefore let me beg you to keep your mind open till you receive (in perhaps a fortnight's time) my latter chapters, which are the most important of all on the favourable side. The last chapter, which sums up and balances in a mass all the arguments contra and pro, will, I think, be useful to you. I cannot too strongly express my conviction of the general truth of my doctrines, and God knows I have never shirked a difficulty. I am foolishly anxious for your verdict, not that I shall be disappointed if you are not converted ; for I remember the long years it took me to come round; but I shall be most deeply delighted if you do come round, especially if I have a fair share in the conversion, I shall then feel that my career is run, and care little whether I ever am good for anything again in this life.

Thank you much for allowing me to put in the sentence about your grave doubt.* So much and too much about myself.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

occurs in the address : "On this difficult and mysterious subject a work will very shortly appear by Mr. Charles Darwin, the result of twenty years of observations and experiments in Zoology, Botany, and Geology, by which he had been led to the conclusion that those powers of nature which give rise to races and permanent varieties in animals and plants, are the same as those which in much longer periods produce species, and in a still longer series of ages give rise to differences of generic rank. He appears to me to have succeeded by his investigations and reasonings in throwing a flood of light on many classes of phenomena connected with the affinities, geographical distribution, and geological succession of organic beings, for which no other hypothesis has been able, or has even attempted to account."

* As to the immutability of species, 'Origin,' Ed. i., p. 310.

« VorigeDoorgaan »