Ever yours, C. DARWIN.
P.S.--The conclusion at which I have come, as I have told Asa Gray, is that such a question, as is touched on in this note, is beyond the human intellect, like "predestination and free will," or the "origin of evil."
CHARLES DARWIN TO J.D. HOOKER. Down, [April 18th, 1860].
My dear Hooker,
I return --'s letter...Some of my relations say it cannot POSSIBLY be --'s article (The 'Edinburgh Review.'), because the reviewer speaks so very highly of --. Poor dear simple folk! My clever neighbour, Mr. Norman, says the article is so badly written, with no definite object, that no one will read it. Asa Gray has sent me an article ('North American Review,' April, 1860. "By Professor Bowen," is written on my father's copy. The passage referred to occurs at page 488, where the author says that we ought to find "an infinite number of other varieties--gross, rude, and purposeless--the unmeaning creations of an unconscious cause.") from the United States, clever, and dead against me. But one argument is funny. The reviewer says, that if the doctrine were true, geological strata would be full of monsters which have failed! A very clear view this writer had of the struggle for existence!
...I am glad you like Adam Bede so much. I was charmed with it...
We think you must by mistake have taken with your own numbers of the 'National Review' my precious number. (This no doubt refers to the January number, containing Dr. Carpenter's review of the 'Origin.') I wish you would look.
CHARLES DARWIN TO ASA GRAY. Down, April 25th .
My dear Gray,
I have no doubt I have to thank you for the copy of a review on the 'Origin' in the 'North American Review.' It seems to me clever, and I do not doubt will damage my book. I had meant to have made some remarks on it; but Lyell wished much to keep it, and my head is quite confused between the many reviews which I have lately read. I am sure the reviewer is wrong about bees' cells, i.e. about the distance; any lesser distance would do, or even greater distance, but then some of the places would lie outside the generative spheres; but this would not add much difficulty to the work. The reviewer takes a strange view of instinct: he seems to regard intelligence as a developed instinct; which I believe to be wholly false. I suspect he has never much attended to instinct and the minds of animals, except perhaps by reading.
My chief object is to ask you if you could procure for me a copy of the "New York Times" for Wednesday, March 28th. It contains A VERY STRIKING review of my book, which I should much like to keep. How curious that the two most striking reviews (i.e. yours and this) should have appeared in America. This review is not really useful, but somehow is impressive. There was a good review in the 'Revue des Deux Mondes,' April 1st, by M. Laugel, said to be a very clever man.
Hooker, about a fortnight ago, stayed here a few days, and was very pleasant; but I think he overworks himself. What a gigantic undertaking, I imagine, his and Bentham's 'Genera Plantarum' will be! I hope he will not get too much immersed in it, so as not to spare some time for Geographical Distribution and other such questions.
I have begun to work steadily, but very slowly as usual, at details on variation under domestication.
My dear Gray, Yours always truly and gratefully, C. DARWIN.
CHARLES DARWIN TO C. LYELL. Down, [May 8th, 1860].
...I have sent for the 'Canadian Naturalist.' If I cannot procure a copy I will borrow yours. I had a letter from Henslow this morning, who says that Sedgwick was, on last Monday night, to open a battery on me at the Cambridge Philosophical Society. Anyhow, I am much honoured by being attacked there, and at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
I do not think it worth while to contradict single cases nor is it worth while arguing against those who do not attend to what I state. A moment's reflection will show you that there must be (on our doctrine) large genera not varying (see page 56 on the subject, in the second edition of the 'Origin').