Correspondence with Charles Darwin 193
1 have one nice and curious letter to Miss Howard which I will publish. Also many letters to Josiah Wedgwood and to the famous Reimarus, but I doubt whether any of these will be worth publishing. Do you know whether there are any letters in the possession of any members of the family which might be worth publishing; and could you take the trouble to assist me by getting the loan or copies of them 7
Several years ago I read the memoirs of your Aunt Mrs Schimmelpenninck and so far as I can remember many of the stories about Dr Darwii seemed very improbable. Did you ever hear your mother speak of this book, and can you authorise me to contradict any which are injurious to his good name? I am sure you will forgive me for troubling you on this head as we have a common interest in our grandfather's fame. Yours very sincerely, CHARLES DARWIN.
Saturday, 6, QUEEN ANNE STREET.
MY DEAR GALTON. If it would not bore you, can you come to luncheon here on Monday at 1 o'clock ; as it will be my best chance of seeing you. I have been extremely sorry to hear that you have not been well of late and that you are soon going abroad.
Yours very sincerely, CH. DARWIN.
April 30 . DOWN, BECKENIiAM.
Many thanks. The extract will come in capitally. You are vy. good to take so much trouble. Mrs Sch.l received all safe, and shall soon be returned. I much enjoyed my talks with you. C. D.
The following letter probably has reference to Elizabeth Collier's births, and may possibly aid in the final solution of the difficulty as to her origin.
DOWN, BECHENHAM, KENT. June 8 .
MY DEAR GALTON, Many thanks for your note. I have lately been staying with my sister, Caroline, and she says my memory is in error about the mysterious visitor. She believes his name was Brand, and that it was in the time of Colonel Pole; I cannot but doubt about the latter point. My sister feels pretty positive that the gentleman stayed at the house of a neighbour (name forgotten) and never visited Mrs Pole or Mrs Darwin, but sent her respectful and very friendly messages. Nevertheless she was never at ease till he had left the country. Thanks for all your help. I have fixed our photograph of Dr D. Ever yours, C. DARWIN.
P.S. If you should come across Dr Lauder Brunton,_ see if he has anything more to communicate about Dr D. for I shall soon go to press.
. 42, RUTLAND GATE, Nov. 12/79.
MY DEAR DARWIN, It was with the greatest pleasure that .I received and read your biography of Dr Darwin.
What a marvel of condensation it is, and how firmly you lay hold of facts that had long been distorted and ram themm home into their right places.
The biography seems to me quite a new order of writing, so scientifically accurate in its treatment. The many passages you quote are curiously modern in their conception and(Excuse this horrid paper which folds the wrong way) simple in expression (considering his average style). I still can't quite appreciate the flaw in his mind which made it possible for him to write so very hypothetically for the most part, while at the same time his strictly scientific gifts were of so high an order. There seems to be an unexplained residuum, even after what you quote from him, about the value of hypotheses. I see you have mentioned me twice, very kindly-but too flatteringly for my deserts. How you are down upon Mrs Schimmelpenninck and Miss Seward'!
i Mrs Schimmelpenninck, Galton's aunt: see Vol. I, p. 54. 2 See Vol. I, p. 21.
a I think Galton had a truer appreciation of Erasmus Darwin than possibly his cousin had,a better historical perspective,-and with all their faults of exaggeration the ladies in question did give something of the 'atmosphere,' which Charles Darwin's portrait lacks. 'That portrait is wanting, in the full characterisation of a many-sided figure ; we can only give reality to it by a study of Erasmus Darwin's own works, local gossip about him and the public opinion of his day
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