CD believes that StGJM has been unfair in his criticisms and has misrepresented him; he begs him not to write again. “Agassiz has uttered splendid sarcasms on me, but I still feel quite friendly towards him. M. Flourens cd. not find words to express his contempt of me: Pictet & Hopkins argued with great force against me: Fleeming Jenkin covered me with first-rate ridicule; & his crticisms were true & most useful: but none of their writings have mortified me as yours have done …” [See 8154.]
Down Beckenham | Kent
My dear Sir
It would be ungracious on my part not to thank you for your letterwhich I can do with sincerity.f2 With time my impression may pass away,& I hope so; but impressions slowly gained & continually strengtheneddo not readily pass away from the mind in old age.— To aid in thegood work I will keep to my resolution & not read your answer to MrWright—f3 The impression which I have taken can hardly be quitefanciful Agassiz has uttered splendid sarcasms on me, but I stillfeel quite friendly towards him:f4 Ld Flourens cd. not find wordsto express his contempt of me:f5 Pictet & Hopkins argued with greatforce against me: Fleeming Jenkins covered me with first-rateridicule; & his criticisms were true & most useful: but none of theirwritings have mortified me as yours have done—.f6
Besides having been acquainted with you, & thinking that we had a mutualfriendly feeling, I think it is the sense of unfairness on your side, whichmortifies me. For instance, when you detailed all my changes of opinion &errors (I maintain that the former are very far indeed from being as great asyou state),f7 if you had wished to be fair, you wd. have allowed that thesubject was an intricate one—that nearly all the best naturalists in Europehad written on it & criticised my book—that I had in strongest language (atclose of Introduction of Origin in all editions) declared that much remainedun-explained. Under these circumstances it wd. prove me a fool not to havechanged to a certain extent If I had said that I cd. explain everything youmight have written as you have done.— But it is folly on my part to havewritten at this length.— You will hardly be able to read or understand thisnote, & pray do not answer it.— I should be glad to think that I have beenfoolish & unjust towards you.—
Yours sincerely, | C. Darwin
P.S. If you will look at the last words of Introduction of Origin of1st & all subsequent editions, you will see how expressly I say thatI do not attribute the modification of species exclusively to NaturalSelection: & I do not think I cd have chosen a more conspicuousplace.—f8
I will send you a copy of new Edit. of Origin, soon to be published& now all printed, & I hope there is not a word personally offensiveto you or any other man in it— I have had it stereotyped, so thatI cannot, thank God, answer any more criticisms.—f9 Pray do not writewhen you receive it; for our minds are so fundamentally different thatwhat appears to me (& at least to some others,) sound reasoning willbe to you frivolous.