To A. R. Wallace 14 April 1869
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
Ap. 14. 1869
My dear Wallace
I have been wonderfully interested by your article, & I shd think Lyell will be much gratified by it.1 I declare if I had been editor & had the power of directing you I shd have selected for discussion the very points which you have chosen. I have often said to younger geologists (for I began in the year 1830) that they did not know what a revolution Lyell had effected; nevertheless yr extracts from Cuvier have quite astonished me.2 Though not able really to judge, I am inclined to put more confidence in Croll than you seem to do; but I have been much struck by many of yr remarks on degradation.3
Thompson’s views of the recent age of the world have been for some time one of my sorest troubles, & so I have been glad to read what you say.4 Your exposition of Nat. selection seems to me inimitably good; there never lived a better expounder than you. I was also much pleased at yr discussing the difference between our views & Lamarck’s.5 One sometimes sees the odious expression “Justice to myself compels me to say &c”; but you are the only man I ever heard of who persistently does himself an injustice & never demands justice. Indeed you ought in the review to have alluded to yr paper in Linn. Journal, & I feel sure all our friends will agree in this.6 But you cannot “Burke” yourself, however much you may try, as may be seen in half the articles which appear. I was asked but the other day by a German Prof. for yr paper which I sent him.7 Altogether I look at yr article as appearing in the Q-ly as an immense triumph for our cause. I presume that yr remarks on Man are those to which you alluded in yr note.8
If you had not told me I shd have thought that they had been added by some one else. As you expected I differ grievously from you, & I am very sorry for it. I can see no necessity for calling in an additional & proximate cause in regard to Man.9 But the subject is too long for a letter. I have been particularly glad to read yr discussion because I am now writing & thinking much about man.
I hope that yr Malay book sells well: I was extremely pleased with the Art. in the Q. J. of science, inasmuch as it is thoroughly appreciative of yr work: Alas! you will probably agree with what the writer says about the uses of the bamboo.10
I hear that there is also a good article in the Sat. Rev., but have heard nothing more about it.11
Believe me my dear Wallace | yours ever sincerely | Ch. Darwin
P.S. I have had a baddish fall. My horse partly rolling over me, but I am getting rapidly well—12
ARW’s review of 10th ed. of Lyell’s Principles [see 6684] is admirable.
But he differs "grievously" with ARW on man. CD sees no necessity for an additional and proximate cause.