To Charles Lyell 3 September 1
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
My dear Lyell
Many thanks for your very kind & interesting letter.2 I was glad to hear at Southampton from Miss Heathcote3 a good account of your health & strength. With respect to the great subject to which you refer in your P.S.4 I always try to banish it from my mind as insoluble; but if I were circumstanced as you are, no doubt it would recur in the dead of the night with painful force. Many persons seem to make themselves quite easy about immortality & the existence of a personal God by intuition; & I suppose that I must differ from such persons, for I do not feel any innate conviction on any such points.
We returned home about 10 days ago from Southampton; & I enjoyed my holidays which did me much good.5 But already I am much fatigued by microscope & experimental work with insect-eating plants.
When at Southampton I was greatly interested by looking at the odd gravel deposits near at hand & speculating about their formation. You once told me something about them, but I forget what; & I think that Pretwich has written on the superficial deposits on the S. coasts & I must find out his pages & read it.—6
From what I have seen of Mr. Judd’s papers, I have thought that he would rank amongst the few leading British geologists.7
Believe me, my dear Lyell | Your affectionate friend. | Ch. Darwin
Discusses belief in immortality and a personal God.
Describes his holiday in Southampton.
Comments on papers of John Wesley Judd.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9621,” accessed on 20 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-9621