(This must refer to Carpenter's critique which would now have been ready to appear in the January number of the "Edinburgh Review", 1860, and in which the odium theologicum is referred to.) It much pains all one's female relations and injures the cause.
I look at it as immaterial whether we go quite the same lengths; and I suspect, judging from myself, that you will go further, by thinking of a population of forms like Ornithorhyncus, and by thinking of the common homological and embryological structure of the several vertebrate orders. But this is immaterial. I quite agree that the principle is everything. In my fuller MS. I have discussed a good many instincts; but there will surely be more unfilled gaps here than with corporeal structure, for we have no fossil instincts, and know scarcely any except of European animals. When I reflect how very slowly I came round myself, I am in truth astonished at the candour shown by Lyell, Hooker, Huxley, and yourself. In my opinion it is grand. I thank you cordially for taking the trouble of writing a review for the 'National.' God knows I shall have few enough in any degree favourable. (See a letter to Dr. Carpenter below.)
CHARLES DARWIN TO C. LYELL. Saturday [December 5th, 1859].
...I have had a letter from Carpenter this morning. He reviews me in the 'National.' He is a convert, but does not go quite so far as I, but quite far enough, for he admits that all birds are from one progenitor, and probably all fishes and reptiles from another parent. But the last mouthful chokes him. He can hardly admit all vertebrates from one parent. He will surely come to this from Homology and Embryology. I look at it as grand having brought round a great physiologist, for great I think he certainly is in that line. How curious I shall be to know what line Owen will take; dead against us, I fear; but he wrote me a most liberal note on the reception of my book, and said he was quite prepared to consider fairly and without prejudice my line of argument.
J.D. HOOKER TO CHARLES DARWIN. Kew, Monday.
You have, I know, been drenched with letters since the publication of your book, and I have hence forborne to add my mite. I hope now that you are well through Edition II., and I have heard that you were flourishing in London. I have not yet got half-through the book, not from want of will, but of time--for it is the very hardest book to read, to full profits, that I ever tried--it is so cram-full of matter and reasoning. I am all the more glad that you have published in this form, for the three volumes, unprefaced by this, would have choked any Naturalist of the nineteenth century, and certainly have softened my brain in the operation of assimilating their contents. I am perfectly tired of marvelling at the wonderful amount of facts you have brought to bear, and your skill in marshalling them and throwing them on the enemy; it is also extremely clear as far as I have gone, but very hard to fully appreciate. Somehow it reads very different from the MS., and I often fancy I must have been very stupid not to have more fully followed it in MS. Lyell told me of his criticisms. I did not appreciate them all, and there are many little matters I hope one day to talk over with you. I saw a highly flattering notice in the 'English Churchman,' short and not at all entering into discussion, but praising you and your book, and talking patronizingly of the doctrine!...Bentham and Henslow will still shake their heads I fancy...
Ever yours affectionately, JOS. D. HOOKER.
CHARLES DARWIN TO C. LYELL. Down, Saturday [December 12th, 1859].
...I had very long interviews with --, which perhaps you would like to hear about...I infer from several expressions that, at bottom, he goes an immense way with us...
He said to the effect that my explanation was the best ever published of the manner of formation of species. I said I was very glad to hear it. He took me up short: "You must not at all suppose that I agree with you in all respects." I said I thought it no more likely that I should be right in nearly all points, than that I should toss up a penny and get heads twenty times running.