To Charles Lyell 10 January 
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Lyell
I will run through your letter.— Parthenogenesis (p. 96) is nothing & I know not why I inserted it in list.1 It is perfectly true that I owe nearly all the corrections to you & several verbal ones to you & others: I am heartily glad you approve of them.2 As yet only two things have annoyed me; those confounded millions of years3 (not that I think it is probably wrong) & my not having by inadvertence mentioned Wallace towards close of Book in summary,—not that anyone has noticed this to me.— I have now put in Wallace’s name at 484 in conspicuous place.—4
I cannot refer you to tables of mortality of children &c &c. I have notes somewhere, but I have not the least idea where to hunt, & my notes would now be old. I shall be truly glad to read carefully any M.S. on man & give my opinion. You used to caution me to be cautious about man, I suspect I shall have to return the caution a hundred-fold! Yours will no doubt be a grand discussion; but it will horrify the world at first more than my whole volume; although by the sentence (p. 489 new Edit) I show that I believe man is in same predicament with other animals.—5 It is in fact impossible to doubt it.— I have thought only vaguely on man. With respect to the Races, one of my best chances of truth has broken down from impossibility of getting facts.—6 I have one good speculative line, but a man must have entire credence in N. Selection before he will even listen to it.—7 Psychologically I have done scarcely anything. Unless indeed expression of countenance can be included, & on that subject I have collected a good many facts & speculated: but I do not suppose I shall ever publish; but it is an uncommonly curious subject.—8 By the way I sent off a lot of questions the day before yesterday to Tierra del Fuego on expression!9 I suspect (for I have never read it) that “Spencer’s Psychology” has a bearing on Psychology, as we should look at it.—10 By all means read Preface in about 20 pages, of Hensleigh Wedgwoods new Dictionary on first origin of Language:11 Erasmus could lend it.12
I agree about Carpenter,—a very good article, but with not much original.13
I am very sorry that Lindley did not write in Gardeners’ Chronicle.—14
Andrew Murray (the Entomologist & dabbler in Botany) has criticised in Address to Botanical Soc. of Edinburgh the notice in Linn. Journal,15 & “has disposed of” the whole theory by an ingenious difficulty, which I was very stupid not to have thought of; for I express surprise at more & analogous cases not being known. The difficulty is that amongst the blind insects of the caves in distant parts of world, there are some of the same genus, & yet the genus is not found out of caves, or living in the free world.16 I have little doubt that like the fish Amblyopsis & like Proteus in Europe, these insects are “wrecks of ancient life” or “living fossils”, saved from competition & extermination.17 But that formerly seeing insects of the same genus roamed over the whole area in which the caves are included.
Farewell | Yours affecty | C. Darwin
Our ancestor was an animal which breathed water, had a swim-bladder, a great swimming tail, an imperfect skull & undoubtedly was an hermaphrodite! Here is a pleasant genealogy for mankind.—18
Comments on corrections [in Origin, 2d ed. (1860)], especially on use of Wallace’s name.
Discusses human evolution with respect to CL’s work. Cites expression as a source of evidence.
Andrew Murray’s criticisms of the Origin involving blind insects in caves [Edinburgh New Philos. J. n.s. 11 (1860): 141–51].
Humorously describes human ancestors.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2647,” accessed on 24 April 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2647