To Charles Lyell 25 [June 1860]
Down. Bromley Kent
My dear Lyell
I have thought that you might like to add the enclosed very pretty arrow-heads to your Collection. They were sent me by Mrs Moir,—the mother-in-law of Col. Erskine.—1 The place is given in note within; & they may be considered authentic & will make good contrast with the Cets.—2
You need not believe one word of what I said about gestation of dogs;3 since writing to you I have had more correspondence with the master of Hounds, & I see his record is worth nothing— it may of course be correct, but cannot be trusted.— I find also different statements about wolf—in fact I am all abroad.—
I have given up Oxford;4 for my stomach has utterly broken down & I am forced to go on Thursday for a little water-cure, to “Dr Lanes Sudbrook Park, Richmond Surrey”,5 where I shall stay a week, & shd. stay rather longer had it not been for Etty. Etty improves slightly, but so slightly that it takes weeks to perceive any difference; she cannot sit up in bed for more than few minutes.—6 Farewell— I hope that you will have pleasant time at Oxford; I much wished to have been there, but I could not stand it, or indeed anything.— Ever yours | C. Darwin
P.S. Many thanks for letter just received.7 I return Dawson, which I was glad to see.—8 I must borrow his Review sometime, for my Bookseller has never had copy.—9 I do not think much of Dawson’s letter. It would be insanity to compare evidence of organic change with geological change, at present, as far as strength of evidence goes.
But what inches of elevation on coast of Sweden are to great mountains so are the numerous varieties & endless doubt what to call species & what varieties, to undoubted species.— I entirely deny that there is no evidence of change. But time alone will bring naturalists round, when they find that they can explain many facts on such views as mine, & cannot on view of creation.—
Comments on gestation in dogs.
Mentions BAAS meeting at Oxford.
Criticises views of J. W. Dawson on organic and geological change.
The problems of distinguishing varieties and species.
Discusses facts explained by his theory.
- negative attitude/assessment
- species, speciation
- specimens / samples
- theory (including philosophy)
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2843,” accessed on 28 October 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2843