From J. B. Innes 21 January 1871
21st. Janry 1871—
I was right glad to get your letter yesterday, and to see that you are jolly under trying circumstances, like the immortal Mark Tapley.1 And I am very glad too that you have no grudge against me for the share I had in sending you two such bad lots. I do not acquit myself, for I feel I ought to have stuck to my own post, or given it up at once to the Archbishop, and the result has made me very much lament I did not take a more correct view of duty.2
Certainly you and I never were like to quarrel over our differences, thanks mostly to your most kind forbearance with some hot headedness &c.3 I am sometimes amused at the look of wonder which follows my statement in the midst of a Darwinian theory discussion. “Mr Darwin is one of my very most valued and dearest friends”. I always think so, and say so when occasion offers. Dear me! if some of your naturalist, and my ritualist friends were to hear us two saying civil things to each other, they would say the weather was going to change, or Paris to be relieved, both which I wish might happen—4 Nobody can tell what that mad fool may do or say, he can do no harm anyway, and I don’t see how under any circumstances you could be had up for examination.5 I have not the least doubt that everything you said was true and only part of the truth, but you could not be called to prove or disprove. I may be, and I don’t care in the least if I am. It would not bore me, and even if it did I should accept it as a pennance for my bad care of you lambs in the choice of a shepherd. So have no hesitation in saying I am quite willing to be called if necessary. For your guidance, and that of your Solicitor I put in a sort of form, that is separated from gossip and rubbish what I could really say about the Arcades Ambo6
I am glad to hear matters have been better of late. When we get a house built, and a Lady in it, all without asking for subscriptions, I hope the Parishioners will come forward liberaly and restore and enlarge the Church7
I am afraid our sermons are dull that is perhaps our misfortune, It is a wilful sin if we make them long as well. I cut mine down now to 10 or 15 minutes, and every body says they are “so glad when I preach because they are sure of a short sermon”. Can anything in the world be ruder? but I bear it like a Christian.
With our united kindest regards to you all | Believe me | Dear Darwin | Yours faithfuly | Brodie Innes
JBI regrets his part in appointments of his successors.
His friendship with CD and its effect on his fellow clerics.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7449,” accessed on 26 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7449