My dear Gray, yours most sincerely, C. DARWIN.
P.S.--I feel pretty sure, from my own experience, that if you are led by your studies to keep the subject of the origin of species before your mind, you will go further and further in your belief. It took me long years, and I assure you I am astonished at the impression my book has made on many minds. I fear twenty years ago, I should not have been half as candid and open to conviction.
CHARLES DARWIN TO J.D. HOOKER. Down, [January 31st, 1860].
My dear Hooker,
I have resolved to publish a little sketch of the progress of opinion on the change of species. Will you or Mrs. Hooker do me the favour to copy ONE sentence out of Naudin's paper in the 'Revue Horticole,' 1852, page 103, namely, that on his principle of Finalite. Can you let me have it soon, with those confounded dashes over the vowels put in carefully? Asa Gray, I believe, is going to get a second edition of my book, and I want to send this little preface over to him soon. I did not think of the necessity of having Naudin's sentence on finality, otherwise I would have copied it.
Yours affectionately, C. DARWIN.
P.S.--I shall end by just alluding to your Australian Flora Introduction. What was the date of publication: December 1859, or January 1860? Please answer this.
My preface will also do for the French edition, which I BELIEVE, is agreed on.
CHARLES DARWIN TO J.D. HOOKER. February .
...As the 'Origin' now stands, Harvey's (William Henry Harvey was descended from a Quaker family of Youghal, and was born in February, 1811, at Summerville, a country house on the banks of the Shannon. He died at Torquay in 1866. In 1835, Harvey went to Africa (Table Bay) to pursue his botanical studies, the results of which were given in his 'Genera of South African Plants.' In 1838, ill-health compelled him to obtain leave of absence, and return to England for a time; in 1840 he returned to Cape Town, to be again compelled by illness to leave. In 1843 he obtained the appointment of Botanical Professor at Trinity College, Dublin. In 1854, 1855, and 1856 he visited Australia, New Zealand, the Friendly and Fiji Islands. In 1857 Dr. Harvey reached home, and was appointed the successor of Professor Allman to the Chair of Botany in Dublin University. He was author of several botanical works, principally on Algae.--(From a Memoir published in 1869.)) is a good hit against my talking so much of the insensibly fine gradations; and certainly it has astonished me that I should be pelted with the fact, that I had not allowed abrupt and great enough variations under nature. It would take a good deal more evidence to make me admit that forms have often changed by saltum.
Have you seen Wollaston's attack in the 'Annals'? ('Annals and Magazine of Natural History,' 1860.) The stones are beginning to fly. But Theology has more to do with these two attacks than Science...
[In the above letter a paper by Harvey in the "Gardeners' Chronicle", February 18, 1860, is alluded to. He describes a case of monstrosity in Begonia frigida, in which the "sport" differed so much from a normal Begonia that it might have served as the type of a distinct natural order. Harvey goes on to argue that such a case is hostile to the theory of natural selection, according to which changes are not supposed to take place per saltum, and adds that "a few such cases would overthrow it [Mr. Darwin's hypothesis] altogether." In the following number of the "Gardeners' Chronicle" Sir J.D. Hooker showed that Dr. Harvey had misconceived the bearing of the Begonia case, which he further showed to be by no means calculated to shake the validity of the doctrine of modification by means of natural selection. My father mentions the Begonia case in a letter to Lyell (February 18, 1860):--
"I send by this post an attack in the "Gardeners' Chronicle", by Harvey (a first-rate Botanist, as you probably know). It seems to me rather strange; he assumes the permanence of monsters, whereas, monsters are generally sterile, and not often inheritable.