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Letter 8149

Darwin, C. R. to Mivart, St G. J.

8 Jan [1872]

Summary

Wishes their correspondence regarding their differences to be dropped, as CD feels that nothing he could say would have any influence on StGJM.

Transcription

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Jan 8th

My dear Sir

I most fully agree with what you say about pursuing the truth at allcosts.f1 I will not enter on any details, as I am convinced that nothingwhich I could say would have any influence on you.— If I had notbeen personally known to you, I shd. not have been vexed at thespirit which seems to me & to some others to pervade all your articlesin relation to me, notwithstanding general expressions to thecontrary.— I can say this confidently, as I read the Month longbefore I knew that you were the author, & considered carefully all thearguments, without caring about the denunciation of atheism &c., as Ihad been well accustomed to covert sneers of all kinds & todenunciations of all kinds.—f2 As it is your several articles havemortified me more than those of any other man, excepting Prof. Owen; &for the same reasons, as I was silly enough to think he felt friendlytowards me.—f3I hope that you will now let this correspondence drop, as I want todrive the whole subject out of my mind; & I can protect myself for thefuture by not reading your controversial writings, only those devotedto ordinary science.—So you can pursue your course, & I can pursue minefor a little longer, without our interfering with each other.

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

Postmark: JA 8 72
Natural History Museum (Kohler)

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Footnotes

f1
See letter from St G. J. Mivart, 6 January 1872.
f2
Mivart had published books and articles critical of CD’s theory ofnatural selection, including one in the Catholic journal, the Month([Mivart] 1869). He also published On the genesis of species (Mivart1871a), and an anonymous review of Descent in Quarterly Review([Mivart] 1871c), which CD correctly suspected was by him, and ariposte to Thomas Henry Huxley in Contemporary Review (Mivart 1872a).
f3
CD had enjoyed apparently cordial relations with Richard Owen, whodescribed fossil mammal specimens from the Beagle voyage, until Owenpublished a hostile review of Origin in the Edinburgh Review([Owen] 1860; see Correspondence vol. 8 and ODNB s.v. Owen, SirRichard).
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