To Baden Powell 18 January 
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Sir
Thinking over my letter addressed to Athenæum Club to you this morning,1 as far as I can remember it, it has just occurred to me that you might misunderstand one passage; & though I do not suppose that you would care much for my opinion, I shd be very sorry that anyone should suppose that I ranked your Essay & the Vestiges in the same class. I coupled them merely in relation to both having produced a good effect on the public mind;—the Vestiges probably on a greater number but on a very inferior class.—2
The more I think of the whole subject the more difficult I feel it would be to give a fair account of the several authors who have maintained on various grounds the modification of species.— I beg pardon for troubling you with this second note & remain
My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Charles Darwin
Haldeman is name of American Author forgotten this morning.3
I have just bethought me of a Preface which I wrote to my larger work, before I broke down & was persuaded to write the now published Abstract.4 In this Preface I find following passage, which on my honour I had as completely forgotten as if I had never written it. “The ”Philosophy of Creation“ has lately been treated in an admirable manner by the Revd. Baden Powell in his Essay &c &c 1855. Nothing can be more striking than the manner in which he shows that the introduction of new species is ”a regular not a casual phenomenon“,5 or as Sir John Herschel expresses it ”a natural in contradistinction to a miraculous process“.”6
To avoid possible misundertanding of his letter  of that morning, CD wishes to make clear that he did not wish to imply that BP’s essay and the Vestiges of creation were in the same class. The more he thinks of it the more difficult he feels it would be to give a fair account of the authors who have maintained the modification of species. CD finds that he referred to BP’s views in the preface to his larger work [Natural selection], which was replaced by the Origin.
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Powell, Baden
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Linnean Society of London (Quentin Keynes collection)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2655,” accessed on 24 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2655