CD is allowing his family to decide whether Chauncey Wright’s paper on Mivart is dull.
Health and despondency.
Doubts his ability to answer Mivart successfully [in 6th ed. of Origin].
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
My dear Wallace
Very many thanks. As soon as I read your letter I determined not to printthe paper, notwithstanding my eldest daughter, who is a very goodcritic, thought it so interesting as to be worth reprinting.f1 Then mywife came in, & said “I do not much care much about these things& shall therefore be a good judge whether it is very dull”. So I willleave my decision open for a day or two. Your letter has been, & will be,of use to me in other ways: thus I had quite forgotten that you had takenup case of Giraffe in your first memoir, & I must look to this.—f2I feel very doubtful how far I shall succeed in answering Mivart,— itis so difficult to answer objections to doubtful points & makethe discussion readable— I shall make only a selection. The worst of it is,that I cannot possibly hunt through all my references for isolated points,—it would take me 3 weeks of intolerably hard work.— I wish I hadyour power of arguing clearly. At present I feel sick of everything,& if I could occupy my time & forget my daily discomforts or rather miseries,I wd. never publish another word.— But I shall cheer up I daresaysoon, having only just got over a bad attack. Farewell God knows why I bother you about myself.—
I can say nothing more about missing links than what I have said. I shd.rely much on pre-Silurian times; but then comes Sir W. Thompson likean odious spectre.f3
Farewell.— yours most sincerely | Ch. Darwin
I was grieved to see in Daily News that the madman about the flat earth,has been threatening your life.— What an odious trouble this must have beento you.—f4
P.S. There is a most cutting Review of me in the Quarterly: I have onlyread a few pages. The skill & style make me think of Mivart.f5 I shallsoon be viewed as the most despicable of men.
This Q. Review tempts me to republish Ch. Wright, even if not readby anyone, just to show that some one will say a word against Mivart,& that his (ie Mivarts remarks) ought not to be swallowed withoutsome reflection.—
P.S I have now finished the Review: there can be no doubt it is by Mivart& wonderfully clever.—
I quite agree with what you say that Mivart fully intends to behonourable; but he seems to me to have the mind of a most able lawyerretained to plead against us & especially against me.— God knows whethermy strength & spirit will last out to write a chapter versus Mivart& others;f6 I do so hate controversy & feel I shall do it so badly.—