To T. H. Huxley 26 September 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Huxley
Thanks for your very pleasant note.—2 It amuses me to see what a bug-bear I have made myself to you; when having written some very pungent & good sentences it must be very disagreeable to have my face rise up like an ugly ghost.— I have always suspected Agassiz of superficiality & wretched reasoning powers; but I think such men do immense good in their way.3 See how he stirred up all Europe about Glaciers.— By the way Lyell has been at the Glaciers, or rather their effects, & seems to have done good work in testing & judging what others have done.4
In regard to Blatta I have looked into Westwood,5 & see Marcel de Serres have written on anatomy of Orthoptera in Annal. du Museum. Tom. 12, 14, & 17.6
Audouin & Brullé in Hist. Nat. Ins. vol 9. 1836. but I do not know what work this is.—7
Duthiers in Annal. des Sc. Nat. 3d series. Zoolog. Tom. 12th & 13th, has written good paper on homologies & structure of ovipositor in Orthoptera & Hymenoptera,8 but I cannot remember whether he attended to Male organs; Audouin, I know, has attended especially to male organs in Hymenoptera.—9 I do indeed pity the Hen-Cock-Roach from your description of the male apparatus.—10
I am very glad to hear how hearty you have returned from the Glaciers,11
Farewell | Yours very truly | C. Darwin
In regard to Classification, & all the endless disputes about the “Natural System which no two authors define in same way, I believe it ought, in accordance to my heteredox notions, to be simply genealogical.—12 But as we have no written pedigrees, you will, perhaps, say this will not help much; but I think it ultimately will, whenever heteredoxy becomes orthodoxy, for it will clear away an immense amount of rubbish about the value of characters &—will make the difference between analogy & homology, clear.—13 The time will come I believe, though I shall not live to see it, when we shall have very fairly true genealogical trees of each great kingdom of nature.—
I see Hummel has written on the development of Blattæ, (whether anatomical I know not) in his Essais Entomologique Nor 1. St Petersburgh 1821.14
Agassiz’s superficiality and wretched reasoning powers. But he stirred up Europe on glaciers. Lyell has been working on their effects – testing work of others.
CD believes "Natural Systems" ought to be simply genealogical. "Time will come when we shall have true genealogical trees of each great kingdom of nature."
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Huxley, T. H.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 54)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2143,” accessed on 23 October 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2143