To J. D. Hooker [22 November 1859]1
Wells Terrace | Ilkley, Otley | Yorkshire
My dear Hooker
I cannot help it, I must thank you for your affectionate & most kind note.2 My head will be turned. By Jove I must try, & get a bit modest. I was a little chagrined by review. I hope it was not Woodward. As advocate he might think himself justified in giving argument only one side. But the manner in which he drags in immortality, & sets the Priests at me & leaves me to their mercies, is base. He would on no account burn me; but he will get the wood ready & tell the black beasts how to catch me.— I will not say to soul that he is author.—3
It would be unspeakably grand if Huxley were to lecture on the subject, but I can see this is mere chance:4 Faraday might think it too unorthodox.5
I cannot help being sorry about H. C. Watson: he has helped me so kindly & liberally.6 I had a letter from him with such tremendous praise of my book, that modesty (as I am trying to cultivate that difficult herb) prevents me sending it you, which I shd have liked to have done, as he is very modest about himself.—7
You have cockered me up to that extent, that I now feel I can face a score of savage Reviewers.— I suppose you are still with the Lyells—give my kindest remembrances to them. I triumph to hear that he continues to approve.
Believe me | Your would-be-modest friend | C. D.
CD hopes Woodward was not the Athenæum reviewer. "The manner in which he drags in immortality, & sets the Priests at me … is base".
JDH has made CD feel he can "face a score of savage reviewers".
H. C. Watson has written to him in tremendous praise of the Origin.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2542,” accessed on 26 September 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2542