To Herbert Spencer 10 June 1
I daresay you will think me a foolish fellow, but I cannot resist the wish to express my unbounded admiration of your article in answer to Mr Martineau.2 It is indeed admirable, & hardly less so your second article on Sociology (which however I have not yet finished): I never believed in the reigning influence of great men on the world’s progress; but if asked why I did not believe, I shd. have been sorely perplexed to have given a good answer.3 Everyone with eyes to see & ears to hear (the number, I fear, are not many) ought to bow their knee to you, as I for one do.—
Believe me | yours most sincerely | Ch. Darwin
We have come here to my son’s house for 10 days’ rest; as I have just finished & sent my M.S. on “Expression of the Emotions in Man & the lower animals” to the Printers.—4
Do not think of wasting your time by acknowledging this scrap.—
Expresses his "unbounded admiration" for HS’s article on Martineau ["Mr Martineau on evolution", Contemp. Rev. 20 (1872): 141–54]
and his article on sociology [Contemp. Rev. 19 (1872): 701–18]. CD never believed in the reigning influence of great men on the world’s progress but could not have given his reasons. "Now every one with eyes to see and ears to hear . . . ought to bow their knee to you, as I for one do."
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Spencer, Herbert
- Sent from
- Source of text
- University of London, Senate House Library: manuscript reference MS791/80. (Courtesy of the Athenaeum.)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8380,” accessed on 23 April 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8380