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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   4 November 1873

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Nov 4. 1873

My dear Huxley

Your intentions about poor Flower are most kind & delicate, as might have been expected. Under ordinary circumstances I ought not, I suppose, to answer your question; but as it is, I have no scruple in telling you that it was £50. Let me add that I did not communicate with him; but some of his & your friends did so, thinking that if he ever heard by chance of the affair, he wd feel mortified at not having been informed.1

You must be a much better judge how to act than I can possibly be; but it is my impression, considering the time that has elapsed & that the sum was not very large, that it wd hurt him to refund it.

Would not any one think it was some mistake if he found a sum placed anonymously to his acct at his bankers’? If at any time you cd think of some indirect means of aiding him openly, the case wd in my judgement be very different. I hope the new climate may be of service to him: his death wd be a grievous loss to science & to his many friends

ever yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P.S. Do not bother yourself about Nitella; probably you will never have the spare time2


See letter from T. H. Huxley, 3 November 1873. William Henry Flower contributed to the subscription fund raised by Huxley’s personal friends in April 1873 to relieve his financial problems (see letter to subscribers to T. H. Huxley’s gift, [25 April 1873] and n. 4).


Answers THH’s query about W. H. Flower; gives the amount he contributed to the gift. Advises against returning it, even anonymously. Hopes WHF’s health improves.

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: 303)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9131,” accessed on 20 October 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21