To William Benjamin Carpenter 6 January 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Carpenter
I have just read your excellent article in the National.2 It will do great good; especially if it becomes known as your production. It seems to me to give an excellently clear account of Mr. Wallace’s & my views.3 How capitally you turn the flanks of theological opposers by opposing to them such men as Bentham & the more philosophical of the Systematists!4 I thank you sincerely for the extremely honourable manner in which you mention me.— I shd. have liked to have seen some criticisms or remarks on Embryology, on which subject you are so well instructed.5 I do not think any candid person can read your article without being much impressed with it. The old doctrine of immutability of specifics will surely but slowly die away. It is a shame to give you trouble, but I shd be very much obliged if you could tell me where differently coloured eggs in individuals of the Cuckoo have been described & their laying in 27 kinds of nests.6 Also do you know from your own observation that the lambs of sheep imported into W. Indies change colour. I have had detailed information about the loss of wool; but my accounts made the change slower than you describe.—7
With most cordial thanks & respect, Believe me | My dear Carpenter | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
WBC’s review [of Origin, Natl Rev. 10 (1860): 188–214] will do great good. It "turns the flanks of theological opposers" capitally.
Asks for information about cuckoo eggs and West Indian sheep.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2641,” accessed on 19 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2641