To Charles Lyell [c. 9 January 1839]
My dear Lyell
I send my Glen Roy paper,1 which thanks to Providence I have at last finished.— I hope the Secretary2 will not grumble at its appearance.— it is all legible, although some pages look a little ugly from my corrections. Regarding its length, I devoutly trust they will not ask me to shorten it, for long as it is, I believe there is scarcely a sentence, that I have not considered whether I could strike it out, without injuring the general argument.—
If you think it worth your while to keep it & read it, pray detain it just as long as you like,—but I doubt whether it is your worth while.—
I return the books with many thanks The last letter of Mr Blackadder,3 though I was very glad to read it, yet it was not worth specifically mentioning.—
Your information about the decaying shells, I have introduced in a note as you sent it me, in inverted commas; with a sentence saying that you had given it me.—4
I wish I had seen Mr Maclaren’s capital chapters on Alluvium5 &c &c before I had written my Appendix.—6 He upsets my argument of the fixed position of the boulders when drifted, but greatly confirms in my own mind, the origin of the scratches & grooves.—
His remarks on the position of the Boulders appear to me to originate entirely in a misapprehension, that icebergs drop their cargoes out at sea,—which from the reasons I have given in the Appendix, no doubt is the exception, to the ordinary occurrence.— Where a boulder could now lie, a floating mass if ice could certainly land it.
If the Royal Soc. prints my paper, I ought to have a map, & I shall soon have a drawing, which appears to me exceedingly accurate, & will serve to give to anyone, who might see my Paper some general idea of the appearance of the wonderful roads.—7
At some future time I shall be extremely curious to talk over with you, the inferences about the small amount of Alluvial action in Lochaber, which has taken place, since the sea retired.— no one point interested me more, & though it cost me no small effort to swallow the inference that I have given, I can see no sort of loop-hole to escape from the result.— Excuse this long note.—
Ever Yours, | C. Darwin.
Discusses his Glen Roy paper [(1839), Collected papers 1: 87–137], which he is sending to CL.
Remarks on Charles MacLaren’s treatment of alluvium. Comments on alluvial action in Lochaber.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 480,” accessed on 29 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-480