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.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6706,” accessed on 25 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-6706