I should have amused myself earlier by writing to you, but I have had Hooker and Huxley staying here, and they have fully occupied my time, as a little of anything is a full dose for me...There has been a plethora of reviews, and I am really quite sick of myself. There is a very long review by Carpenter in the 'Medical and Chirurg. Review,' very good and well balanced, but not brilliant. He discusses Hooker's books at as great length as mine, and makes excellent extracts; but I could not get Hooker to feel the least interest in being praised.

Carpenter speaks of you in thoroughly proper terms. There is a BRILLIANT review by Huxley ('Westminster Review,' April 1860.), with capital hits, but I do not know that he much advances the subject. I THINK I have convinced him that he has hardly allowed weight enough to the case of varieties of plants being in some degrees sterile.

To diverge from reviews: Asa Gray sends me from Wyman (who will write), a good case of all the pigs being black in the Everglades of Virginia. On asking about the cause, it seems (I have got capital analogous cases) that when the BLACK pigs eat a certain nut their bones become red, and they suffer to a certain extent, but that the WHITE pigs lose their hoofs and perish, "and we aid by SELECTION, for we kill most of the young white pigs." This was said by men who could hardly read. By the way, it is a great blow to me that you cannot admit the potency of natural selection. The more I think of it, the less I doubt its power for great and small changes. I have just read the 'Edinburgh' ('Edinburgh Review,' April 1860.), which without doubt is by --. It is extremely malignant, clever, and I fear will be very damaging. He is atrociously severe on Huxley's lecture, and very bitter against Hooker. So we three ENJOYED it together. Not that I really enjoyed it, for it made me uncomfortable for one night; but I have got quite over it to-day. It requires much study to appreciate all the bitter spite of many of the remarks against me; indeed I did not discover all myself. It scandalously misrepresents many parts. He misquotes some passages, altering words within inverted commas...

It is painful to be hated in the intense degree with which -- hates me.

Now for a curious thing about my book, and then I have done. In last Saturday's "Gardeners' Chronicle" (April 7th, 1860.), a Mr. Patrick Matthew publishes a long extract from his work on 'Naval Timber and Arboriculture,' published in 1831, in which he briefly but completely anticipates the theory of Natural Selection. I have ordered the book, as some few passages are rather obscure, but it is certainly, I think, a complete but not developed anticipation! Erasmus always said that surely this would be shown to be the case some day. Anyhow, one may be excused in not having discovered the fact in a work on Naval Timber.

I heartily hope that your Torquay work may be successful. Give my kindest remembrances to Falconer, and I hope he is pretty well. Hooker and Huxley (with Mrs. Huxley) were extremely pleasant. But poor dear Hooker is tired to death of my book, and it is a marvel and a prodigy if you are not worse tired--if that be possible. Farewell, my dear Lyell,

Yours affectionately, C. DARWIN.

CHARLES DARWIN TO J.D. HOOKER. Down, [April 13th, 1860].

My dear Hooker,

Questions of priority so often lead to odious quarrels, that I should esteem it a great favour if you would read the enclosed. ((My father wrote ("Gardeners' Chronicle", 1860, page 362, April 21st): "I have been much interested by Mr. Patrick Matthew's communication in the number of your paper dated April 7th. I freely acknowledge that Mr. Matthew has anticipated by many years the explanation which I have offered of the origin of species, under the name of natural selection. I think that no one will feel surprised that neither I, nor apparently any other naturalist, had heard of Mr. Matthew's views, considering how briefly they are given, and that they appeared in the appendix to a work on Naval Timber and Arboriculture.

Charles Darwin

All Pages of This Book