Sent by Charles Robert Darwin, Down, Bromley, Kent to Alfred Russel Wallace [none given] on 25 January .
No summary available at this time.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Total Pages : 8
Pages with text: 8
Transcriber: Darwin Correspondence Project website
Transcription date: June 29, 2012
Scrutiny: 15/01/2013 - Catchpole, Caroline;
Signed off: no
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Sir
I was extremely much pleased at receiving three days ago your letter to me & that to Dr. Hooker. Permit me to say how heartily I admire the spirit in which they are written. Though I had absolutely nothing whatever to do in leading Lyell & Hooker to what they thought a fair course of action, yet I naturally could not but feel anxious to hear what your impression would be. I owe [] indirectly much to you & them; for I almost think that Lyell would have proved right & I sh[oul]d. never have completed my larger work, for I have found my abstract hard enough with my poor health, but now thank God I am in my last chapter, but one. My abstract will make a small vol. of 400 or 500 pages.-- Whenever published, I will of course send you a copy, & then you will see what I mean about the part which I believe [] Selection has played with domestic productions. It is a very different part, as you suppose, from that played by "Natural Selection".--
I sent off, by same address as this note, a copy of Journal of Linn. Soc. & subsequently I have sent some 1⁄2 dozen copies of the Paper.-- I have many other copies at your disposal; & I sent two to your friend Dr. Davies(?) author of works on men’s skulls.--
I am glad to hear that you have been attending to Bird’s nest; I have done so, though almost [] exclusively under one point of view, viz to show that instincts vary, so that selection could work on & improve them. Few other instincts, so to speak, can be preserved in a museum--
Many thanks for your offer to look after Horses stripes; if there are any Donkey’s pray add them.--
I am delighted to hear that you have collected Bees’ combs; when next in London I will enquire [] of F. Smith & Mr Saunders. This is an especial hobby of mine, & I think I can throw light on subject.-- If you can collect duplicates at no very great expence[sic], I sh[oul]d. be glad of specimens for myself with some Bees of each kind.-- Young growing & irregular combs, & those which have not had pupae are most valuable for measurements & examination: their edges [] sh[oul]d. be well protected against abrasion.--
Everyone whom I have seen has thought your paper very well written & interesting. It puts my extracts, (written in 1839 now just 20 years ago!) which I must say in apology were never for an instant intended for publication, in the shade.
You ask about Lyell’s frame of mind. I think he is somewhat staggered, but does not give in, & speaks with horror often to me, of what a [] thing it would be & what a job it would be for the next Edition of Principles, if he were "perverted".-- But he is most candid & honest & I think will end by being perverted.-- Dr. Hooker has become almost as heteredox as you or I.--and I look at Hooker as by far the most capable judge in Europe.--
Most cordially do I wish [] you health & entire success in all your pursuits & God knows if admirable zeal & energy deserve success, most amply do you deserve it.
I look at my own career as nearly run out: if I can publish my abstract & perhaps my greater work on same subject, I shall look at my course as done.
Believe me, | my dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin [signature]
1. The year ‘1859’ is written in pencil in another hand.
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