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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   22 January [1862]1

Down Bromley Kent

Jan. 22d.

My dear Huxley

I have been much amused at the Witness.— Such abuse is as good as praise. What fools these Bigots are.—2

I have been much pleased at what you say about Sterility & Hybridity. I did not suppose that you would enter on the general question of modification in your published Lectures, but am pleased to hear that you will touch on it.3 It will be a good joke if ever I come to cry “hold hard”— I well know that you will go as far, but no further, than your reason tells you.— It is really odd how most of the objectors, (as Sir D. Brewster)4 never allude to the arguments, which alone have much weight in favour of such views, as affinities rudimentary organs &c &c—

Your whole letter has interested me, & many thanks for it.

We are all better; but we have had 16 ill in the House!

I cannot think how on earth you will find time to write out your Lectures with all your work. I wish to God you had more spare time.

Ever yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

I have read about 13 of the N. Hist. R.   it is a capital number;5 how well Lubbock writes, not that I have finished his article.—6


The year is established by the relationship to the letters from T. H. Huxley, 13 January 1862 and 20 January 1862.
Huxley had recently delivered two lectures at the Philosophical Institution of Edinburgh on man’s relation to the lower animals. The lectures were fiercely criticised in an article that appeared in the Presbyterian newspaper, the Witness, on 14 January 1862 (see Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix V). Huxley sent CD a copy of the article with his letter of 20 January 1862.
See letters from T. H. Huxley, 13 January 1862 and 20 January 1862, and letter to T. H. Huxley, 14 [January 1862]. See also Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix VI.
Huxley was the senior editor of the new series of the Natural History Review. There is a lightly annotated copy of the January 1862 number in the Darwin Library–CUL.
Lubbock 1862b.


Brewster, David. 1862. The facts and fancies of Mr Darwin. Good Words (1862): 3–9.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Much amused at the Witness.

Pleased at what THH says on hybridity.

Odd that objectors never allude to the arguments that alone have weight in their favour – affinities, rudimentary organs, etc.

Has 16 ill in the house!

Natural History Review a capital number.

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: 252)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3403,” accessed on 1 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10