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Letter 4694

Darwin, C. R. to Sabine, Edward & President, Royal Society

4 Dec [1864]

    Summary Add

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    Thanks ES for his "splendid eulogium" [in Presidential Address to Royal Society on award of Copley Medal]. CD would have liked him to have said "a little more" about Origin.

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    CD feels no doubt about natural selection. Has heard from Germany of "a string of excellent men" who accept it.


Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Dec. 4th.—

My dear General Sabine

You must permit me to thank you for your splendid eulogium on what I have done in natural history,—even if it be as improper to thank you as to thank a Judge for his judgment. As I read your address in the Reader I declare that I felt quite amazed at what I had done. You have made me hold my head very loftily with infinite pride. I shd. of course have liked you to have said a little more on the ``Origin'', but you could write only according to your own judgment or to that of those in whom you trust. You will think me very presumptuous, when I say that I now feel no shadow of doubt on the future progress of Natural Selection, for I have lately received from Germany such a string of excellent names of men, who have already declared or who will immediately declare, their full adhesion to the principle, that I look at it as impossible that so many men, good & true, should all be deceived.— Forgive this outburst of vanity & remember that you have made me a very proud gentleman.

Pray believe me | Yours very sincerely obliged | Charles Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 4694.f1
    The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. D. Hooker, 4 December [1864].
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    f2 4694.f2
    CD refers to a version of Sabine's anniversary address delivered to the Royal Society of London that was printed in the Reader, 3 December 1864, pp. 708--9 (see letter from Hugh Falconer, 2 December 1864 and n. 3). Sabine's address stated the grounds on which the Copley Medal was awarded to CD (see Appendix IV).
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    f3 4694.f3
    See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 26 October 1864.
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