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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-8197

From C. F. Martins1   3 February 1872

Montpellier

3. Fev. 1872.

Cher Maitre

Votre lettre m’a fait le plus grand plaisir car elle me prouve que j’ai eté assez heureux dans l’exposition de vos idées.2 L’avenir leur appartient mais c’est seulement avec l’aide du temps qu’elles pourront remplacer les anciennes et vaincre les préjugés de tout genre qui regnent encore parmi les Naturalistes. On me signale une refutation écrite par Mr. Joachim Barrande excellent paleontologiste francais residant a Prague connu par ses travaux sur les terrains siluriens de la Bohème.3 Je ne l’ai pas lue mais l’auteur n’est pas dans les conditions d’impartialité necessaires pour la recherche de la verité. Ancien Instituteur du Duc de Bordeaux4 il est très catholique, et ne separé pas comme on doit le faire la science de la religion. Sa bonne foi est complette. Son independance ne l’est pas.

Beaucoup de nos jeunes naturalistes partagent vos idées mais n’osent l’avouer ouvertement de peur de nuire à leur avancement dans la carrière de l’enseignement. Mon collegue Rouget5 Professeur de Physiologie à la Faculté a été blamé et averti officiellement. Nous n’en continuons pas moins tous deux a enseigner ce que nous croyons être la verité.

Veuillez agréer mon cher Maitre l’expression de mon admiration et de mon devouement | Ch: Martins

Footnotes

1
For a translation of this letter, see Appendix I.
2
CD’s letter has not been found, but probably discussed Martins’s article in the 15 December 1871 issue of Revue des deux mondes on the creation of the organised world according to English and German naturalists of the new school (Martins 1871). CD’s offprint of the article is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
3
Martins refers to Barrande’s work on trilobites (Barrande 1871). Barrande’s multi-volume work on the Silurian system of Bohemia (Barrande et al. 1852–1911) consisted of eight parts in twenty-eight volumes, twenty-one of which were published during Barrande’s lifetime. Eleven volumes had appeared by 1872. In the introduction to Barrande 1871, pp. v–vi, Barrande explained that the book was essentially drawn from his larger work, but with the purpose of showing that the facts did not support theories of transmutation.
4
Henri Charles Ferdinand Marie Dieudonné, comte de Chambord, had been given the title duc de Bordeaux at birth (DBF). Barrande had been his tutor from 1830 to 1833, and from 1841 became administrator of his lands (Tort 1996).
5
Charles Marie Benjamin Rouget.

Translation

From C. F. Martins1   3 February 1872

Montpellier

3. Feb. 1872.

Dear Master

Your letter has given me the greatest pleasure, for it proves to me that I was reasonably successful in expounding your ideas.2 The future belongs to them, but it is only with the aid of time that they will be able to replace the old ones and overcome the prejudices of all kinds which still reign among Naturalists. A refutation by Mr. Joachim Barrande, an excellent French naturalist living in Prague and known for his work on the Silurian formations of Bohemia, has been drawn to my attention.3 I have not read it, but the author is not in the state of impartiality required for the search for truth. As the former Tutor to the Duke of Bordeaux,4 he is strongly Catholic, and does not separate science from religion as one should. His good faith is complete; his independence is not.

Many of our younger naturalists share your ideas, but do not dare avow them openly for fear of harming their progress in their teaching careers. My colleague Rouget,5 Professor of Physiology at the Faculty, has been reprimanded and officially warned. We both continue nonetheless to teach what we believe to be the truth.

Dear Master, please believe me yours sincerely and with admiration | Ch: Martins

Footnotes

1
For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see pp. 63–4.
2
CD’s letter has not been found, but probably discussed Martins’s article in the 15 December 1871 issue of Revue des deux mondes on the creation of the organised world according to English and German naturalists of the new school (Martins 1871). CD’s offprint of the article is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
3
Martins refers to Barrande’s work on trilobites (Barrande 1871). Barrande’s multi-volume work on the Silurian system of Bohemia (Barrande et al. 1852–1911) consisted of eight parts in twenty-eight volumes, twenty-one of which were published during Barrande’s lifetime. Eleven volumes had appeared by 1872. In the introduction to Barrande 1871, pp. v–vi, Barrande explained that the book was essentially drawn from his larger work, but with the purpose of showing that the facts did not support theories of transmutation.
4
Henri Charles Ferdinand Marie Dieudonné, comte de Chambord, had been given the title duc de Bordeaux at birth (DBF). Barrande had been his tutor from 1830 to 1833, and from 1841 became administrator of his lands (Tort 1996).
5
Charles Marie Benjamin Rouget.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-8197
From
Martins, C. F.
To
Darwin, C. R.
Sent from
Montpellier
Source of text
DAR 171: 60
Physical description
3pp (French)

Summary

CD’s views, on which he has lectured, will succeed with time.

Joachim Barrande’s refutation cannot be impartial because he is a devout Catholic.

Many young French naturalists support CD but are silent for fear of their jobs. Houget has been reprimanded for his Darwinism.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8197,” accessed on 14 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8197

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