To Ernst Haeckel 4 July 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Haeckel
I heartily congratulate you on your approaching marriage.2 You have my entire sympathy & I feel sure it is the wisest step which you could take; for life without a wife to love & be loved by is a poor burthen. I trust you may pass a long & happy life, & I am sure it will be an active one, & that you will do admirable work in our beloved subject of natural history. I am sorry you will not come here this autumn, but perhaps another year you will bring your wife & shew England to her, & pay us a visit in this quiet place.
I am glad you are re-examining the Protamœba for I fully agree with you on the importance of studying these lowly organized creatures; but I am rather puzzled to think what you can find to observe.3
Many thanks for the account of your travels, but I have not read them yet, German being as you know, no easy task to me. I have written to thank for the honour of the Diploma, & likewise to Kanitz with my photograph.4
I received the other day a newspaper from N. America with an abstract of a speech by Agassiz, who seems much stirred up by your book. He says he rejoices at every new work which appears on our subject, as by this means the folly of our views will the sooner be exposed & the whole subject be quickly forgotten. He is forced to admit that no one knows better than you the structure & affinities of animals, but he is very savage at your genealogical tables & says they are flatly contradicted by paleontology. It is curious that he shd not remember that only a few years ago he maintained that a reptile cd not exist during the carboniferous period, & now he designates this very period as the Reptilian.5
Farewell my dear Haeckel with my warm wishes for your happiness in which my wife cordially joins, yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin
Congratulates EH on approaching marriage.
Sorry he will not visit in autumn.
Glad EH is re-examining Protoamoeba but puzzled to think what he can find.
Describes newspaper account of criticism by Agassiz of Generelle Morphologie.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5578,” accessed on 30 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5578