To Asa Gray 11 April 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Gray
I was very glad to get your Photograph:2 I am expecting mine which I will send off as soon as it comes. It is an ugly affair, & I fear the fault does not lie with the Photographer.—3
I believe, but cannot swear, that I wrote & told you that Wrights Review had come through Sampson & Son.4 I had time hardly to read it, before Huxley took it away. He much feared it was too general & not natural-Historical enough for him.5 This was my impression, likewise; though I daresay it is very clever. What shall I do with it, if Huxley does not take it? I know no other Review to send it to.—
Since writing last I have had several letters full of highest commendations of your Essay:6 all agree that it is by far the best thing written, & I do not doubt it has done the Origin much good. I have not yet heard how it has sold. You will have seen Review in G Chronicle.—7 There is to be a Review by A. Murray in next Eding. New Phil. Journal.—8 I received the Letter of Credit returned: I am pleased & surprised at Profit from the American Edit.9 Remember that you are to be at no expence about your Essay. I presume nothing literary now sells in the troubled U. States.10
Poor dear Henslow, to whom I owe much, is dying; & Hooker is with him.—11
Many [thanks] for two sets of sheets of your Proceedings.12 I cannot understand what Agassiz is driving at.—13 You once spoke, I think, of Prof. Bowen, as a very clever man. I shd have thought him a singularly unobservant & weak man from his writings.14 If ever he agrees with me on any one point, I shall conclude that I must be in error on that. He never can have seen much of animals or he would seen the difference of old & wise dogs & young ones.— His paper about hereditariness beats everything.15 Tell a breeder that he might pick out his worst individual animals & breed from them & hope to win a prize; & he would think you not a fool, but insane.— I believe Bowen is a metaphysician & that I presume accounts for an entire want of common sense.
Please remember Spiranthes;16 if you insert a culm of grass, remember before you withdraw it to bend or bow it towards rostellum. Please if you come across wild Apocynum, observe whether it catches flies as in England.—17 I enclose my Photograph which has come rather crumpled, but I suppose can be ironed smooth.—18
My dear Gray | Yours most truly | C. Darwin—
P.S. I enclose a little Photograph made this morning by my eldest Son19
Huxley and CD fear Chauncey Wright’s review is too general.
Reports the praise for AG’s pamphlet.
J. S. Henslow is dying.
Francis Bowen strikes CD as weak and unobservant; presumes he is a metaphysician, which accounts for his "entire want of common sense".
Does wild Apocynum catch flies in U. S.?