To Charles Lyell [24 March – 3 April 1860]1
My dear L.
What wonderful zeal & kindness you show! I hope enclosed will do.—2 I have thought myself compelled not to speak of personal qualifications, of which I know nothing.— I could not allude to precedent under Ld. Auckland,3 for I know nothing about it,—not even whether there was naturalist.
I will write to Blyth this afternoon.— C. D.
I now feel certain that Sedgwick is author of article in Spectator.4 No one else would use such abusive terms. And what misrepresentation of my notions! Any ignoramus would suppose that I had first broached the doctrine that the breaks between successive formations marked long intervals of time. It is very unfair.— But poor dear old Sedgwick seems rabid on question.— Demoralised understanding!!5 If ever I talk with him, I will tell him that I never could believe that an inquisitor could be a good man, but now I know that a man may roast another & yet have as kind & noble a heart as Sedgwick’s.—
Discusses letter of recommendation for Edward Blyth.
Sedgwick’s review of the Origin in the Spectator [24 Mar 1860].
Mentions breaks between geological formations.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2734,” accessed on 29 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2734