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." (32/3. Ibid., I., page 171.) Huxley's estimate of Darwin is very interesting: he valued him most highly for what was so strikingly characteristic 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." (32/4. Ibid., II., page 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 I have found," etc.) The same point of view comes out in Huxley's estimate of Darwin's mental power. (32/5. Ibid., II., page 39.) "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 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., page 366. Mr. L. Huxley gives an account of the breakdown in 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 does more honour to him who sent it or to him who received it." (32/6. Huxley's "Life," I., page 366. Mr. Darwin left to Mr. Huxley a legacy of 1,000 pounds, "as a slight memorial of my lifelong affection and respect for him."))
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 pounds 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.
LETTER 33. TO T.H. HUXLEY.
(33/1. The following letter is one of the earliest of the long series addressed to Mr. Huxley.)
Down, April 23rd .
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.