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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   27 March 1882

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | (Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.)

March 27th. 1882

My dear Huxley

Your most kind letter has been a real cordial to me.—1 I have felt better today than for 3 weeks & have had as yet no pain.— Your plan seems an excellent one, & I will probably act on it, unless I get very much better. Dr Clark’s kindness is unbounded to me, but he is too busy to come here.2 Once again accept my cordial thanks my dear old friend. I wish to God there were more automata in the world like you.—3

Ever yours | Ch. Darwin


Huxley had advised CD to consult other physicians besides Andrew Clark (see letter from T. H. Huxley, 25 March 1882 and n. 2).
In his letter of 25 March 1882, Huxley had jokingly referred to the body as machinery or automaton, an allusion to an essay he wrote, ‘On the hypothesis that animals are automata, and its history’ (T. H. Huxley 1874). The essay had been republished in Science and culture and other essays (T. H. Huxley 1881) and CD had commented on it in his letter to Huxley of 12 January 1882.


Huxley, Thomas Henry. 1874a. On the hypothesis that animals are automata, and its history. Fortnightly Review n.s. 16: 555–80.

Huxley, Thomas Henry. 1881. Science and culture, and other essays. London: Macmillan and Co.


Feels better. Grateful for THH’s kind letter. Wishes there were more automata like him.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 371)
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13744,” accessed on 1 April 2023,