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Darwin Correspondence Project

From G. H. Lewes   12 November 1868

The Priory, | 21. North Bank, | Regents Park.

12 Novr 1868

My dear Mr Darwin

It was a serious disappointment to me to find on my return home last night that you should have chosen the Sunday we were away for giving me that opportunity I have long desired but could not hope for of seeing you in the flesh.1 Are you still in town—or likely to be—& may I call on you some day? I promise to be very moderate in my indulgence, knowing that your health does not permit of social excitement. But to see you for half an hour will suffice for Memory, and as the best part of our existence is subjective “One crowded hour of glorious life *NL Is worth an age without a name.”2 *NL

I presume you have seen Weismann’s Inaugural address?—3 (if not I will post it to you). Haeckel has just sent me his new work.4

Faithfully Yours | G. H. Lewes


CD was in London from 7 to 16 November 1868 (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix II)). The previous Sunday was 8 November.
The lines are taken from ‘A poem, said to be written by Major Mordaunt during the last German war’, that appeared in the 12 October 1791 issue of the Bee, or Literary Weekly Intelligencer (5: 178–9). The lines were made famous when quoted by Walter Scott in Old mortality at the beginning of chapter 13 of the second volume.
August Weismann had sent CD a copy of his inaugural lecture on the justification of Darwinian theory (Weismann 1868; see letter to August Weismann, 22 October 1868 and n. 1, and letter to Friedrich Hildebrand, 14 November [1868]).
Lewes refers to Ernst Haeckel and Haeckel 1868c.


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

Weismann, August. 1868. Über die Berechtigung der Darwin’schen Theorie: ein akademischer Vortrag gehalten am 8 Juli 1868 in der Aula der Universität zu Freiburg im Breisgau. Leipzig: W. Engelmann.


Disappointed that he missed CD. Hopes still to see him in the flesh.

Has CD seen August Weismann’s inaugural address [see 6297]?

Letter details

Letter no.
George Henry Lewes
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Regents Park
Source of text
DAR 106: D11–12
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6458,” accessed on 14 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16