From Asa Gray 4 and 13 October 1862
Oct. 4, 1862
My Dear Darwin
I have just been reading Max Müllers Lectures on the Science of Language, with much interest.1 But perhaps what has interested me most is, after all, his perfect appreciation and happy use of Natural Selection, and the very complete analogy between diversification of species and diversification of language.2
I can hardly think of any publication which in England could be more useful to your cause than this volume is, or should be. I see also with what great effect you may use it in our occasional discussion about design,—indeed I hardly see how to avoid conclusion adverse to special design.—tho’ I think I see indications of a way out.3
Depend on it, Max Müller will be of real service to you.
I have been so much occupied that I deferred to the last moment to write out my 2d notice of your Orchid Book for Silliman’s Journal. I wrote out Saturday evening what I could, and to-day have finished and sent of my MSS. to New Haven.4 The greater part consists of a record of some of my observations last summer.—very hurriedly penned, & sent off. I trust you will be pleased, and will think that my little contributions cannot be better hatched than under your wings.5
Hoping that my young correspondent is fast recovering strength, tell him that I have no more stamps for him yet, but shall pick up his desiderata one of these days.6
I have some nice live roots of Cypripedium, 2 or 3 sp. to send you,—and mean to send Mitchella.7
How Hooker does praise up your book,—in Gard. Chron.8
Ever Yours | A. Gray
Thinks Max Müller’s Lectures on the science of language [1861–4] will do a real service to CD and natural selection.