From J. B. Innes 4 September 1
Milton Brodie | Forres
I must write a line to thank you for your letter and enlighten you as to what seems an enigma.2 The Duke of Argyle lately made a speech at an agricultural meeting wherein he made large reference to your theory of the origin of species by artificial selection, and improved the occasion by shewing how new and valuable varieties of stock had been bred exhorting to further efforts. Hence some of the papers have named him the Darwinian Duke.3
I heard somehow, before it got public that one of our Dukes was very ill, somehow I mistook which, and thought it Argyle whereas it is Athol,4 so I made a rare confusion, which I thus interpret.
I hope your trip to Malvern will do you much good.5 You had better have come North and next year should we be here I hope you will be tempted to come in a body. There is a fine hydropathic establishment now being built on a beautiful spot at Forres and with our famous climate the vicinity of the sea and good opportunities for excursions to many interesting places I hope the conviction that it is the place will come on you.6 I am afraid I can hardly tempt you and Mrs. Darwin so far towards the North pole now, but I shall be very glad if I can.
I do not shoot much.7 the harvest is not in yet and the birds are small. In this country there is not much lowland shooting before Octr. I persecute rabbits as enemies and knock over a bird occasionally now—
I am sorry to hear Smith is ill.8 If he should die I should like to get Down Hall for a parsonage but likely the property may go to some one as unwilling to sell as he is.9
The Scotch people have continued to call themselves the most moral in Europe till they not only seem to believe it but persuade others who don’t know them.10 The proportion of bastards is larger than in any country in Europe, and the morals in this respect tally exactly. They are certainly far from honest, but they are all as full of pious talk as an English Dessenter. What can I say more?
Our kindest regards to all yours | Faithfully yours | J Brodie Innes
Explains "Duke Darwinii" reference [in 4283].
Writes of Scottish immorality and pious talk.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4290,” accessed on 28 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4290