From St G. J. Mivart 25 April 1870
7 North Bank | N.W.
April 25th 1870
My dear Sir,
It is exceedingly kind of you to write again & I feel I owe you some apology for saying more, in my last, than was strictly necessary in order to reply to your questions.1
Still it seemed to me that honesty & frankness required me to say what I did & that it was more truly respectful to express the statement than to withhold it.
I very much wish that I could chat with you at leisure over some of these matters and trust, dear Sir, that when you come to town you will kindly afford me the opportunity.
For my part I shall never feel anything but gratitude & sincere esteem for the author of “natural selection” but I heartily execrate some who make use of that theory simply as a weapon of offence against higher interests and as a means of impeding Man’s advance towards his “end” whatever may have been his “origin”.
In my wanderings about Italy I have been amused and saddened to see our friend Huxley’s “Mans place in Nature”2 for sale at most of the railway stations amongst a crowd of obscenities. It was evident that the Vendors counted on what we may term a “tendency to reversion” and I fear not a few of the purchasers would prefer to find that man “diverged” above the Cynocephali.3
At present I am mainly occupied with Batrachians but I shall no doubt return to my “first loves” some day.4
With kind regards & many thanks believe me | Dear Sir | Your’s most truly | St George Mivart.
Apologises for saying more than was necessary in his previous letter. Although he feels gratitude and esteem for CD, he execrates those who use natural selection to oppose man’s higher interests and impede his advance. Has seen Huxley’s Man’s place in nature for sale among a crowd of obscenities at most Italian railway stations.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7173,” accessed on 24 April 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7173