To T. H. Huxley 3 July 1
Sudbrook Park | Richmond | (I return to Down on Saturday)
My dear Huxley
I have been water-curing here for a few days at first with very little success, but now with better hope; for I was quite worn out by anxiety about my girl & my stomach had got into dreadful state. My girl is a little better & I hope this day was moved first stage from home.2
I had letter from Oxford written by Hooker late on Sunday night, giving me some account of the awful battles which have raged about “species” at Oxford. He tells me you fought nobly with Owen, (but I have heard no particulars) & that you answered the B. of O. capitally.—3 I often think that my friends (& you far beyond others) have good cause to hate me, for having stirred up so much mud, & led them into so much odious trouble.— If I had been a friend of myself, I should have hated me. (how to make that sentence good English I know not.) But remember if I had not stirred up the mud some one else certainly soon would.— I honour your pluck; I would as soon have died as tried to answer the Bishop in such an assembly. Was Owen very blackguard? H. says that the Bishop turned me into ridicule & was very savage against you.— I hardly like to ask you to write, for I know how you are overworked; but I shd rather like to hear a bit about the battle. I did not imagine that it would have turned up at Oxford; but I am now glad that I had no choice about going for I was utterly unfit.— The world surely will soon get weary of subject & let us have some peace. Though, on other hand, I do believe this row is best thing for subject.— As I am never weary of saying I shd. have been utterly smashed had it not been for you & three others.
I can now see (which I did not at first) how very important the few early favourable reviews were.— Have you seen Hopkins in last Fraser:4 it is well done & good spirit shown, (except about the soul)5 but nothing new; the weak points are well put.— I have attacked him in letter for saying that I base my view on the difficulties of the subject; & for ignoring the fertility of some hybrids. & infertility of the Verbascum & Tobacco vars.—6
I fancy from what Hooker says he must have answered the Bishop well.— God knows, I honour & thank you both.
Ever yours | C.D.
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Huxley, T. H.
- Sent from
- Sudbrook Park
- Source of text
- Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 121)
- Physical description
Has had a report on Oxford BAAS meeting from Hooker. Asks THH to write about it. Has heard he fought nobly with Owen and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce. Regrets trouble he has caused his friends.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2854,” accessed on 29 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2854