To Herbert Spencer 25 November 1
Down Bromley Kent
I beg permission to thank you sincerely for your very kind present of your Essays.—2 I have already read several of them with much interest. Your remarks on the general argument of the so-called Development Theory seem to me admirable.3 I am at present preparing an abstract of a larger work on the changes of species; but I treat the subject simply as a naturalist & not from a general point of view; otherwise, in my opinion, your argument could not have been improved on & might have been quoted by me with great advantage.
Your article on Music has also interested me much, for I had often thought on the subject & had come to nearly the same conclusion with you, though unable to support the notion in any detail.4 Furthermore by a curious coincidence Expression has been for years a favourite subject with me for loose speculation, & I most entirely agree with you that all expression has some biological meaning.—5
I hope to profit by your criticisms on style,6 & with my best thanks, I beg leave to remain | Dear Sir | Yours truly obliged | C. Darwin
Thanks for HS’s Essays: [scientific, political, and speculative, vol. 1 (1858)]. Admires his general argument for the development theory.
CD is preparing an abstract on change of species. He treats subject as a naturalist, not from a general point of view. Otherwise he might have quoted HS’s argument to great advantage.
CD particularly liked articles on music and style. Expression is a favourite topic with CD. Agrees all expression is biological.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2373,” accessed on 16 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2373