From T. H. Huxley 6 May 1862
May 6th. 1862
My dear Darwin
I was very glad to get your note about my address—1 I profess to be a great stoic you know, but there are some folks from whom I am glad to get a pat on the back— Still I am not quite content with that and I want to know what you think of the argument—whether you agree with what I say about contemporaneity or not and whether you are prepared to admit as I think your views compel you to do—that the whole Geological Record is only the skimmings of the pot of life—2
Furthermore I want you to chuckle with me over the notion I find a great many people entertain—that the address is dead against your views— The fact being, as they will by & bye wake up see that yours is the only hypothesis which is not negatived by the facts.— One of the great merits being that it allows not only of indefinite standing still but of indefinite retrogression3
I am going to try to work the whole argument into an intelligible form for the general public as a chapter of my forthcoming ‘Evidence’ (one half of which I am happy to say is now written) so I shall be very glad of any criticisms or hints4
Since I saw you indeed from the following Tuesday onwards—I have amused myself by spending ten days or so in bed.—5 I had an unaccountable prostration of strength which they called influenza—but which I believe was nothing but more obstruction in the liver—
Of course I can’t persuade people of this—and they will have it that it is overwork— I have come to the conviction however that steady work hurts nobody— the real destroyer of hard working men being not their work—but dinners late hours—and the universal humbug & excitement of Society
I mean to get out of all that & keep out of it—
Ever | Yours faithfully | T. H. Huxley
Glad to receive CD’s pat on back for address.
Wants to know what CD thinks of the argument on geological contemporaneity.
On his poor health.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3535,” accessed on 29 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3535