To J. D. Hooker [22 November 1859]1
Wells Terrace | Ilkley, Otley | Yorkshire
My dear Hooker
I cannot help it, I must thank you for your affectionate & most kind note.2 My head will be turned. By Jove I must try, & get a bit modest. I was a little chagrined by review. I hope it was not Woodward. As advocate he might think himself justified in giving argument only one side. But the manner in which he drags in immortality, & sets the Priests at me & leaves me to their mercies, is base. He would on no account burn me; but he will get the wood ready & tell the black beasts how to catch me.— I will not say to soul that he is author.—3
It would be unspeakably grand if Huxley were to lecture on the subject, but I can see this is mere chance:4 Faraday might think it too unorthodox.5
I cannot help being sorry about H. C. Watson: he has helped me so kindly & liberally.6 I had a letter from him with such tremendous praise of my book, that modesty (as I am trying to cultivate that difficult herb) prevents me sending it you, which I shd have liked to have done, as he is very modest about himself.—7
You have cockered me up to that extent, that I now feel I can face a score of savage Reviewers.— I suppose you are still with the Lyells—give my kindest remembrances to them. I triumph to hear that he continues to approve.
Believe me | Your would-be-modest friend | C. D.
CD hopes Woodward was not the Athenæum reviewer. "The manner in which he drags in immortality, & sets the Priests at me … is base".
JDH has made CD feel he can "face a score of savage reviewers".
H. C. Watson has written to him in tremendous praise of the Origin.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2542,” accessed on 4 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2542