Rogers (Professor of Geology in the University of Glasgow. Born in the United States 1809, died 1866.) to Huxley, in which he goes very far with us...
CHARLES DARWIN TO J.D. HOOKER. Down, Saturday, March 3rd, .
My dear Hooker,
What a day's work you had on that Thursday! I was not able to go to London till Monday, and then I was a fool for going, for, on Tuesday night, I had an attack of fever (with a touch of pleurisy), which came on like a lion, but went off as a lamb, but has shattered me a good bit.
I was much interested by your last note...I think you expect too much in regard to change of opinion on the subject of Species. One large class of men, more especially I suspect of naturalists, never will care about ANY general question, of which old Gray, of the British Museum, may be taken as a type; and secondly, nearly all men past a moderate age, either in actual years or in mind, are, I am fully convinced, incapable of looking at facts under a new point of view. Seriously, I am astonished and rejoiced at the progress which the subject has made; look at the enclosed memorandum. (See table of names below.) -- says my book will be forgotten in ten years, perhaps so; but, with such a list, I feel convinced the subject will not. The outsiders, as you say, are strong.
You say that you think that Bentham is touched, "but, like a wise man, holds his tongue." Perhaps you only mean that he cannot decide, otherwise I should think such silence the reverse of magnanimity; for if others behaved the same way, how would opinion ever progress? It is a dereliction of actual duty. (In a subsequent letter to Sir J.D. Hooker (March 12th, 1860), my father wrote, "I now quite understand Bentham's silence.")
I am so glad to hear about Thwaites. (Dr. G.J.K. Thwaites, who was born in 1811, established a reputation in this country as an expert microscopist, and an acute observer, working especially at cryptogamic botany. On his appointment as Director of the Botanic Gardens at Peradenyia, Ceylon, Dr. Thwaites devoted himself to the flora of Ceylon. As a result of this he has left numerous and valuable collections, a description of which he embodied in his 'Enumeratio Plantarum Zeylaniae' (1864). Dr. Thwaites was a fellow of the Linnean Society, but beyond the above facts little seems to have been recorded of his life. His death occurred in Ceylon on September 11th, 1882, in his seventy-second year. "Athenaeum", October 14th, 1882, page 500.)...I have had an astounding letter from Dr. Boott (The letter is enthusiastically laudatory, and obviously full of genuine feeling.); it might be turned into ridicule against him and me, so I will not send it to any one. He writes in a noble spirit of love of truth.
I wonder what Lindley thinks; probably too busy to read or think on the question.
I am vexed about Bentham's reticence, for it would have been of real value to know what parts appeared weakest to a man of his powers of observation.
Farewell, my dear Hooker, yours affectionately, C. DARWIN.
P.S.--Is not Harvey in the class of men who do not at all care for generalities? I remember your saying you could not get him to write on Distribution. I have found his works very unfruitful in every respect.
[Here follows the memorandum referred to:]
Geologists. Zoologists and Physiologists. Botanists. Palaeontologists.
Lyell. Huxley. Carpenter. Hooker.
Ramsay.* J. Lubbock. Sir H. Holland H.C. Watson. (to large extent).
Jukes.* L. Jenyns Asa Gray (to large extent). (to some extent).
H.D. Rogers. Searles Wood.* Dr. Boott (to large extent).
(*Andrew Ramsay, late Director-General of the Geological Survey.
Joseph Beete Jukes, M.A., F.R.S., 1811-1869.