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Title: Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley — Volume 3
Author: Huxley, Thomas Henry
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley — Volume 3" ***

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CHAPTER 3.1. 1887.

CHAPTER 3.2. 1887.

CHAPTER 3.3. 1888.

CHAPTER 3.4. 1888.

CHAPTER 3.5. 1889.

CHAPTER 3.6. 1889-1890.

CHAPTER 3.7. 1890-1891.

CHAPTER 3.8. 1890-1891.

CHAPTER 3.9. 1892.

CHAPTER 3.10. 1892.

CHAPTER 3.11. 1892.

CHAPTER 3.12. 1893.

CHAPTER 3.13. 1894.

CHAPTER 3.14. 1895.


CHAPTER 3.16. 1895.








[The first half of 1887, like that of the preceding year, was chequered
by constant returns of ill-health.] "As one gets older," [he writes in
a New Year's letter to Sir J. Donnelly, "hopes for oneself get more
moderate, and I shall be content if next year is no worse than the
last. Blessed are the poor in spirit!" [The good effects of the visit
to Arolla had not outlasted the winter, and from the end of February he
was obliged to alternate between London and the Isle of Wight.

Nevertheless, he managed to attend to a good deal of business in the
intervals between his periodic flights to the country, for he continued
to serve on the Royal Society Council, to do some of the examining work
at South Kensington, and to fight for the establishment of adequate
Technical Education in England. He attended the Senate and various
committees of the London University and of the Marine Biological

Several letters refer to the proposal--it was the Jubilee year--to
commemorate the occasion by the establishment of the Imperial
Institute. To this he gladly gave his support; not indeed to the merely
social side; but in the opportunity of organising the practical
applications of science to industry he saw the key to success in the
industrial war of the future. Seconding the resolution proposed by Lord
Rothschild at the Mansion House meeting on January 12, he spoke of the
relation of industry to science--the two great developments of this
century. Formerly practical men looked askance at science, "but within
the last thirty years, more particularly," continues the report in
"Nature" (volume 33 page 265) "that state of things had entirely
changed. There began in the first place a slight flirtation between
science and industry, and that flirtation had grown into an intimacy,
he must almost say courtship, until those who watched the signs of the
times saw that it was high time that the young people married and set
up an establishment for themselves. This great scheme, from his point
of view, was the public and ceremonial marriage of science and

Proceeding to speak of the contrast between militarism and
industrialism, he asked whether, after all, modern industry was not war
under the forms of peace. The difference was the difference between
modern and ancient war, consisting in the use of scientific weapons, of
organisation and information. The country, he concluded, had dropped
astern in the race for want of special education which was obtained
elsewhere by the artisan. The only possible chance for keeping the
industry of England at the head of the world was through organisation.

Writing on January 18, to Mr. Herbert Spencer, who had sent him some
proofs of his Autobiography to look through, he says:--]

I see that your proofs have been in my hands longer than I thought for.
But you may have seen that I have been "starring" at the Mansion House.

This was not exactly one of those bits of over-easiness to pressure
with which you reproach me--but the resultant of a composition of
pressures, one of which was the conviction that the "Institute" might
be made into something very useful and greatly wanted--if only the
projectors could be made to believe that they had always intended to do
that which your humble servant wants done--that is the establishment of
a sort of Royal Society for the improvement of industrial knowledge and
an industrial university--by voluntary association.

I hope my virtue may be its own reward. For except being knocked up for
a day or two by the unwonted effort, I doubt whether there will be any
other. The thing has fallen flat as a pancake, and I greatly doubt
whether any good will come of it. Except a fine in the shape of a
subscription, I hope to escape further punishment for my efforts to be
of use.

[However, this was only the beginning of his campaign.

On January 27, a letter from him appeared in the "Times," guarding
against a wrong interpretation of his speech, in the general
uncertainty as to the intentions of the proposers of the scheme.]

I had no intention [he writes] of expressing any enthusiasm on behalf
of the establishment of a vast permanent bazaar. I am not competent to
estimate the real utility of these great shows. What I do see very
clearly is that they involve difficulties of site, huge working
expenses, the potentiality of endless squabbles, and apparently the
cheapening of knighthood.

[As for the site proposed at South Kensington,] "the arguments used in
its favour in the report would be conclusive if the dry light of reason
were the sole guide of human action." [But it would alienate other
powerful and wealthy bodies, which were interested in the Central
Institute of the City and Guilds Technical Institute,] "which looks so
portly outside and is so very much starved inside."

[He wrote again to the "Times" on March 21:--]

The Central Institute is undoubtedly a splendid monument of the
munificence of the city. But munificence without method may arrive at
results indistinguishably similar to those of stinginess. I have been
blamed for saying that the Central Institute is "starved." Yet a man
who has only half as much food as he needs is indubitably starved, even
though his short rations consist of ortolans and are served upon gold

[Only half the plan of operations as drawn up by the Committee was, or
could be, carried out on existing funds.

The later part of his letter was printed by the Committee as defining
the functions of the new Institute:--]

That with which I did intend to express my strong sympathy was the
intention which I thought I discerned to establish something which
should play the same part in regard to the advancement of industrial
knowledge which has been played in regard to science and learning in
general, in these realms, by the Royal Society and the Universities...I
pictured the Imperial Institute to myself as a house of call for all
those who are concerned in the advancement of industry; as a place in
which the home-keeping industrial could find out all he wants to know
about colonial industry and the colonist about home industry; as a sort
of neutral ground on which the capitalist and the artisan would be
equally welcome; as a centre of intercommunication in which they might
enter into friendly discussion of the problems at issue between them,
and, perchance, arrive at a friendly solution of them. I imagined it a
place in which the fullest stores of industrial knowledge would be made
accessible to the public; in which the higher questions of commerce and
industry would be systematically studied and elucidated; and where, as
in an industrial university, the whole technical education of the
country might find its centre and crown. If I earnestly desire to see
such an institution created, it is not because I think that or anything
else will put an end to pauperism and want--as somebody has absurdly
suggested,--but because I believe it will supply a foundation for that
scientific organisation of our industries which the changed conditions
of the times render indispensable to their prosperity. I do not think I
am far wrong in assuming that we are entering, indeed, have already
entered, upon the most serious struggle for existence to which this
country has ever been committed. The latter years of the century
promise to see us embarked in an industrial war of far more serious
import than the military wars of its opening years. On the east, the
most systematically instructed and best-informed people in Europe are
our competitors; on the west, an energetic offshoot of our own stock,
grown bigger than its parent, enters upon the struggle possessed of
natural resources to which we can make no pretension, and with every
prospect of soon possessing that cheap labour by which they may be
effectually utilised. Many circumstances tend to justify the hope that
we may hold our own if we are careful to "organise victory." But to
those who reflect seriously on the prospects of the population of
Lancashire and Yorkshire--should the time ever arrive when the goods
which are produced by their labour and their skill are to be had
cheaper elsewhere--to those who remember the cotton famine and reflect
how much worse a customer famine would be, the situation appears very

[On February 19 and 22, he wrote again to the "Times" declaring against
the South Kensington site. It was too far from the heart of commercial
organisation in the city, and the city people were preparing to found a
similar institution of their own. He therefore wished to prevent the
Imperial Institute from becoming a weak and unworthy memorial of the

A final letter to the "Times" on March 21, was evoked by the fact that
Lord Hartington, in giving away the prizes at the Polytechnic Y.M.C.A.,
had adopted Huxley's position as defined in his speech, and declared
that science ought to be aided on precisely the same grounds on which
we aid the army and navy.

In this letter he asks, how do we stand prepared for the task thus
imperatively set us? We have the machinery for providing instruction
and information, and for catching capable men, but both in a disjointed
condition]--"all mere torsos--fine, but fragmentary." "The ladder from
the School Board to the Universities, about which I dreamed dreams many
years ago, has not yet acquired much more substantiality than the
ladder of Jacob's vision," [but the Science and Art Department, the
Normal School of Science, and the Central Institute only want the means
to carry out the recommendations already made by impartial and
independent authority.] "Economy does not lie in sparing money, but in
spending it wisely."

[He concluded with an appeal to Lord Hartington to take up this task of
organising industrial education and bring it to a happy issue.

A proposal was also made to the Royal Society to co-operate, and Sir M.
Foster writes on February 19: "We have appointed a Committee to
consider and draw up a draft reply with a view of the Royal Society
following up your letter."

To this Huxley replied on the 22nd:--]

...My opinion is that the Royal Society has no right to spend its money
or pledge its credit for any but scientific objects, and that we have
nothing to do with sending round the hat for other purposes.

The project of the Institute Committee as it stands connected with the
South Kensington site--is condemned by all the city people and will
receive none but the most grudging support from them. They are going to
set up what will be practically an Institute of their own in the city.

The thing is already a failure. I daresay it will go on and be
varnished into a simulacrum of success--to become eventually a ghost
like the Albert Hall or revive as a tea garden.

[The following letter also touches upon the function of the Institute
from the commercial side:--]

4 Marlborough Place, February 20, 1887.

My dear Donnelly,

Mr. Law's suggestion gives admirable definition to the notions that
were floating in my mind when I wrote in my letter to the "Times", that
I imagined the Institute would be a "place in which the fullest stores
of industrial knowledge would be made accessible to the public." A man
of business who wants to know anything about the prospects of trade
with, say, Boorioboola-Gha (vide Bleak House) ought to be able to look
into the Institute and find there somebody who will at once fish out
for him among the documents in the place all that is known about

But a Commercial Intelligence Department is not all that is wanted,
vide valuable letter aforesaid.

I hope your appetite for the breakfast was none the worse for last
night's doings--mine was rather improved, but I am dog-tired.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

I return Miss --'s note. she evidently thinks my cage is labelled
"These animals bite."

[Later in the year, the following letters show him continuing the
campaign. But an attack of pleurisy, which began the very day of the
Jubilee, prevented him from coming to speak at a meeting upon Technical
Education. In the autumn, however, he spoke on the subject at
Manchester, and had the satisfaction of seeing the city "go solid," as
he expressed it, for technical education. The circumstances of this
visit are given later.]

4 Marlborough Place, May 1, 1887.

My dear Roscoe,

I met Lord Hartington at the Academy Dinner last night and took the
opportunity of urging upon him the importance of following up his
technical education speech. He told me he had been in communication
with you about the matter, and he seemed to me to be very well disposed
to your plans.

I may go on crying in the wilderness until I am hoarse, with no result,
but if he and you and Mundella will take it up, something may be done.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

4 Marlborough Place, June 28, 1887.

My dear Roscoe,

Donnelly was here on Sunday and was quite right up to date. I felt I
ought to be better, and could not make out why the deuce I was not.
Yesterday the mischief came out. There is a touch of pleurisy--which
has been covered by the muscular rheumatism.

So I am relegated to bed and told to stop there--with the company of
cataplasms to keep me lively.

I do not think the attack in any way serious--but M. Pl. is a gentleman
not to be trifled with, when you are over sixty, and there is nothing
for it but to obey my doctor's orders.

Pray do not suppose I would be stopped by a trifle, if my coming to the
meeting [Of July 1, on Technical Education.] would really have been of
use. I hope you will say how grieved I am to be absent.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

4 Marlborough Place, June 29, 1887.

My dear Roscoe,

I have scrawled a variety of comments on the paper you sent me. Deal
with them as you think fit.

Ever since I was on the London School Board I have seen that the key of
the position is in the Sectarian Training Colleges and that wretched
imposture, the pupil teacher system. As to the former Delendae sunt no
truce or pact to be made with them, either Church or Dissenting. Half
the time of their students is occupied with grinding into their minds
their tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee theological idiocies, and the other
half in cramming them with boluses of other things to be duly spat out
on examination day. Whatever is done do not let us be deluded by any
promises of theirs to hook on science or technical teaching to their
present work.

I am greatly disgusted that I cannot come to Tyndall's dinner
to-night--but my brother-in-law's death would have stopped me (the
funeral to-day)--even if my doctor had not forbidden me to leave my
bed. He says I have some pleuritic effusion on one side and must mind
my P's and Q's.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[A good deal of correspondence at this time with Sir M. Foster relates
to the examinations of the Science and Art Department. He was still
Dean, it will be remembered, of the Royal College of Science, and
further kept up his connection with the Department by acting in an
honorary capacity as Examiner, setting questions, but less and less
looking over papers, acting as the channel for official communications,
as when he writes (April 24),] "I send you some Department
documents--nothing alarming, only more worry for the Assistant
Examiners, and that WE do not mind"; and finally signing the Report.
But to do this after taking so small a share in the actual work of
examining, grew more and more repugnant to him, till on October 12 he

I will read the Report and sign it if need be--though there really must
be some fresh arrangement.

Of course I have entire confidence in your judgment about the
examination, but I have a mortal horror of putting my name to things I
do not know of my own knowledge.

[In addition to these occupations, he wrote a short paper upon a
fossil, Ceratochelys, which was read at the Royal Society on March 31;
while on April 7 he read at the Linnean ("Botany" volume 24 pages
101-124), his paper, "The Gentians: Notes and Queries," which had
sprung from his holiday amusement at Arolla.

Philosophy, however, claimed most of his energies. The campaign begun
in answer to the incursion of Mr. Lilly was continued in the article
"Science and Pseudo-Scientific Realism" ("Collected Essays" 5 59-89)
which appeared in the "Nineteenth Century" for February 1887. The text
for this discourse was the report of a sermon by Canon Liddon, in which
that eminent preacher spoke of catastrophes as the antithesis of
physical law, yet possible inasmuch as a "lower law" may be "suspended"
by the "intervention of a higher," a mode of reasoning which he applied
to the possibility of miracles such as that of Cana.

The man of science was up in arms against this incarnation of abstract
terms, and offered a solemn protest against that modern recrudescence
of ancient realism which speaks of "laws of nature" as though they were
independent entities, agents, and efficient causes of that which
happens, instead of simply our name for observed successions of facts.

Carefully as all personalities had been avoided in this article, it
called forth a lively reply from the Duke of Argyll, rebuking him for
venturing to criticise the preacher, whose name was now brought forward
for the first time, and raising a number of other questions,
philosophical, geological, and biological, to which Huxley rejoined
with some selections from the authentic history of these points in
"Science and Pseudo-Science" ("Nineteenth Century" April 1887,
"Collected Essays" 5 90-125).

Moreover, judging from the vivacity of the duke's reply that some of
the shafts of the first article must have struck nearer home than the
pulpit of St. Paul's, he was induced to read "The Reign of Law," the
second chapter of which, dealing with the nature of "Law," he now
criticised sharply as] "a sort of 'summa' of pseudo-scientific
philosophy," [with its confusions of law and necessity, law and force,]
"law in the sense, not merely of a rule, but of a cause." [(Cf. his
treatment of the subject 24 years before, volume 1.)

He wound up with some banter upon the Duke's picture of a scientific
Reign of Terror, whereby, it seemed, all men of science were compelled
to accept the Darwinian faith, and against which Huxley himself was
preparing to rebel, as if:--]

Forsooth, I am supposed to be waiting for the signal of "revolt," which
some fiery spirits among these young men are to raise before I dare
express my real opinions concerning questions about which we older men
had to fight in the teeth of fierce public opposition and obloquy--of
something which might almost justify even the grandiloquent epithet of
a Reign of Terror--before our excellent successors had left school.

[Here for a while the debate ceased. But in the September number of the
"Nineteenth Century" the Duke of Argyll returned to the fray with an
article called "A Great Lesson," in which he attempted to offer
evidence in support of his assertions concerning the scientific reign
of terror. The two chief pieces of evidence adduced were Bathybius and
Dr. (now Sir J.) Murray's theory of coral reefs. The former was
instanced as a blunder due to the desire of finding support for the
Darwinian theory in the existence of this widespread primordial life;
the latter as a case in which a new theory had been systematically
burked, for fear of damaging the infallibility of Darwin, who had
propounded a different theory of coral reefs!

Huxley's reply to this was contained in the latter half of an article
which appeared in the "Nineteenth Century" for November 1887, under the
title of "Science and the Bishops" (reprinted both in "Controverted
Questions" and in the "Collected Essays" 5 126, as "An Episcopal
Trilogy"). Preaching at Manchester this autumn, during the meeting of
the British Association, the Bishops of Carlisle, Bedford, and
Manchester had spoken of science not only with knowledge, but in the
spirit of equity and generosity.] "These sermons," [he exclaims,] "are
what the Germans call Epochemachend!"

How often was it my fate [he continues], a quarter of a century ago, to
see the whole artillery of the pulpit brought to bear upon the doctrine
of evolution and its supporters! Any one unaccustomed to the amenities
of ecclesiastical controversy would have thought we were too wicked to
be permitted to live.

[After thus welcoming these episcopal advances, he once more repudiated
the a priori argument against the efficacy of prayer, the theme of one
of the three sermons, and then proceeded to discuss another sermon of a
dignitary of the Church, which had been sent to him by an unknown
correspondent, for] "there seems to be an impression abroad--I do not
desire to give any countenance to it--that I am fond of reading

[Now this preacher was of a very different mind from the three bishops.
Instead of dwelling upon the "supreme importance of the purely
spiritual in our faith," he warned his hearers against dropping off any
of the miraculous integument of their religion. "Christianity is
essentially miraculous, and falls to the ground if miracles be
impossible." He was uncompromisingly opposed to any accommodation with
advancing knowledge, or with the high standard of veracity, enforced by
the nature of their pursuits, in which Huxley found the only difference
between scientific men and any other class of the community.

But it was not merely this misrepresentation of science on its
speculative side which Huxley deplored; he was roused to indignation by
an attack on its morality. The preacher reiterated the charge brought
forward in the "Great Lesson," that Dr. Murray's theory of coral reefs
had been actually suppressed for two years, and that by the advice of
those who accepted it, for fear of upsetting the infallibility of the
great master.

Hereupon he turned in downright earnest upon the originator of the
assertion, who, he considered, had no more than the amateur's knowledge
of the subject. A plain statement of the facts was refutation enough.
The new theories, he pointed out, had been widely discussed; they had
been adopted by some geologists, although Darwin himself had not been
converted, and after careful and prolonged re-examination of the
question, Professor Dana, the greatest living authority on coral reefs,
had rejected them. As Professor Judd said, "If this be a 'conspiracy of
silence,' where, alas! can the geological speculator seek for fame?"
Any warning not to publish in haste was but advice to a still unknown
man not to attack a seemingly well-established theory without making
sure of his ground. (Letter in "Nature.")

As for the Bathybius myth, Huxley pointed out that his announcement of
the discovery had been simply a statement of the actual facts, and that
so far from seeing in it a confirmation of Darwinian hypotheses, he was
careful to warn his readers] "to keep the questions of fact and the
questions of interpretation well apart." "That which interested me in
the matter," he says, "was the apparent analogy of Bathybius with other
well-known forms of lower life,"..."if Bathybius were brought up alive
from the bottom of the Atlantic to-morrow, the fact would not have the
slightest bearing, that I can discern, upon Mr. Darwin's speculations,
or upon any of the disputed problems of biology." [And as for his]
"eating the leek" [afterwards, his ironical account of it is an
instance of how the adoption of a plain, straightforward course can be
described without egotism.]

The most considerable difference I note among men [he concludes] is not
in their readiness to fall into error, but in their readiness to
acknowledge these inevitable lapses.

[As the Duke in a subsequent article did not unequivocally withdraw his
statements, Huxley declined to continue public controversy with him.

Three years later, writing (October 10, 1890) to Sir J. Donnelly
apropos of an article by Mr. Mallock in the "Nineteenth Century," which
made use of the "Bathybius myth," he says:--]

Bathybius is far too convenient a stick to beat this dog with to be
ever given up, however many lies may be needful to make the weapon

I told the whole story in my reply to the Duke of Argyll, but of course
the pack give tongue just as loudly as ever. Clerically-minded people
cannot be accurate, even the liberals.

[I give here the letter sent to the "unknown correspondent" in
question, who had called his attention to the fourth of these sermons.]

4 Marlborough Place, September 30, 1887.

I have but just returned to England after two months' absence, and in
the course of clearing off a vast accumulation of letters, I have come
upon yours.

The Duke of Argyll has been making capital out of the same
circumstances as those referred to by the Bishop. I believe that the
interpretation put upon the facts by both is wholly misleading and

It is quite preposterous to suppose that the men of science of this or
any other country have the slightest disposition to support any view
which may have been enunciated by one of their colleagues, however
distinguished, if good grounds are shown for believing it to be

When Mr. Murray arrived at his conclusions I have no doubt he was
advised to make his ground sure before he attacked a generalisation
which appeared so well founded as that of Mr. Darwin respecting coral

If he had consulted me I should have given him that advice myself, for
his own sake. And whoever advised him, in that sense, in my opinion did

But the theologians cannot get it out of their heads, that as they have
creeds, to which they must stick at all hazards, so have the men of
science. There is no more ridiculous delusion. We, at any rate, hold
ourselves morally bound to "try all things and hold fast to that which
is good"; and among public benefactors, we reckon him who explodes old
error, as next in rank to him who discovers new truth.

You are at liberty to make any use you please of this letter.

[Two letters on kindred subjects may appropriately follow in this
place. Thanking M. Henri Gadeau de Kerville for his "Causeries sur le
Transformisme," he writes (February 1):--]

Dear Sir,

Accept my best thanks for your interesting "causeries," which seem to
me to give a very clear view of the present state of the evolution
doctrine as applied to biology.

There is a statement on page 87 "Apres sa mort Lamarck fut completement
oublie," which may be true for France but certainly is not so for
England. From 1830 onwards for more than forty years Lyell's
"Principles of Geology" was one of the most widely read scientific
books in this country, and it contains an elaborate criticism of
Lamarck's views. Moreover, they were largely debated during the
controversies which arose out of the publication of the "Vestiges of
Creation" in 1844 or thereabouts. We are certainly not guilty of any
neglect of Lamarck on this side of the Channel.

If I may make another criticism it is that, to my mind, atheism is, on
purely philosophical grounds, untenable. That there is no evidence of
the existence of such a being as the God of the theologians is true
enough; but strictly scientific reasoning can take us no further. Where
we know nothing we can neither affirm nor deny with propriety.

[The other is in answer to the Bishop of Ripon, enclosing a few lines
on the principal representatives of modern science, which he had asked

4 Marlborough Place, June 16, 1887.

My dear Bishop of Ripon,

I shall be very glad if I can be of any use to you now and always. But
it is not an easy task to put into half-a-dozen sentences, up to the
level of your vigorous English, a statement that shall be unassailable
from the point of view of a scientific fault-finder--which shall be
intelligible to the general public and yet accurate.

I have made several attempts and enclose the final result. I think the
substance is all right, and though the form might certainly be
improved, I leave that to you. When I get to a certain point of
tinkering my phrases I have to put them aside for a day or two.

Will you allow me to suggest that it might be better not to name any
living man? The temple of modern science has been the work of many
labourers not only in our own but in other countries. Some have been
more busy in shaping and laying the stones, some in keeping off the
Sanballats, some prophetwise in indicating the course of the science of
the future. It would be hard to say who has done best service. As
regards Dr. Joule, for example, no doubt he did more than any one to
give the doctrine of the conservation of energy precise expression, but
Mayer and others run him hard.

Of deceased Englishmen who belong to the first half of the Victorian
epoch, I should say that Faraday, Lyell, and Darwin had exerted the
greatest influence, and all three were models of the highest and best
class of physical philosophers.

As for me, in part from force of circumstance and in part from a
conviction I could be of most use in that way, I have played the part
of something between maid-of-all-work and gladiator-general for
Science, and deserve no such prominence as your kindness has assigned
to me.

With our united kind regards to Mrs. Carpenter and yourself, ever yours
very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[A brief note, also, to Lady Welby, dated July 25, is characteristic of
his attitude towards unverified speculation.]

I have looked through the paper you have sent me, but I cannot
undertake to give any judgment upon it. Speculations such as you deal
with are quite out of my way. I get lost the moment I lose touch of
valid fact and incontrovertible demonstration and find myself wandering
among large propositions, which may be quite true but which would
involve me in months of work if I were to set myself seriously to find
out whether, and in what sense, they are true. Moreover, at present,
what little energy I possess is mortgaged to quite other occupations.

[The following letter was in answer to a request which I was
commissioned to forward him, that he would consent to serve on an
honorary committee of the Societe des Professeurs de Francais en

January 17, 1887.

I quite forgot to say anything about the Comite d'honneur, and as you
justly remark in the present strained state of foreign politics the
consequences may be serious. Please tell your colleague that I shall be
"proud an' 'appy." You need not tell him that my pride and happiness
are contingent on having nothing to do for the honour.

[In the meantime, the ups and downs of his health are reflected in
various letters of these six months. Much set up by his stay in the
Isle of Wight, he writes from Shanklin on April 11 to Sir E. Frankland,
describing the last meeting of the x Club, which the latter had not
been able to attend, as he was staying in the Riviera:--]

Hooker, Tyndall, and I alone turned up last Thursday. Lubbock had gone
to High Elms about used up by the House of Commons, and there was no
sign of Hirst.

Tyndall seemed quite himself again. In fact, we three old fogies voted
unanimously that we were ready to pit ourselves against any three
youngsters of the present generation in walking, climbing, or
head-work, and give them odds.

I hope you are in the same comfortable frame of mind.

I had no notion that Mentone had suffered so seriously in the
earthquake of 1887. Moral for architects: read your Bible and build
your house upon the rock.

The sky and sea here may be fairly matched against Mentone or any other
of your Mediterranean places. Also the east wind, which has been
blowing steadily for ten days, and is nearly as keen as the Tramontana.
Only in consequence of the long cold and drought not a leaf is out.

[Shanklin, indeed, suited him so well that he had half a mind to settle
there.] "There are plenty of sites for building," [he writes home in
February,] "but I have not thought of commencing a house yet."
[However, he gave up the idea; Shanklin was too far from town.

But though he was well enough as long as he kept out of London, a
return to his life there was not possible for any considerable time. On
May 19, just before a visit to Mr. F. Darwin at Cambridge, I find that
he went down to St. Albans for a couple of days, to walk; and on the
27th he betook himself, terribly ill and broken down, to the Savernake
Forest Hotel, in hopes of getting] "screwed up." [This] "turned out a
capital speculation, a charming spick-and-span little country hostelry
with great trees in front." [But the weather was persistently bad,]
"the screws got looser rather than tighter," [and again he was
compelled to stay away from the x.

A week later, however, he writes:--]

The weather has been detestable, and I got no good till yesterday,
which was happily fine. Ditto to-day, so I am picking up, and shall
return to-morrow, as, like an idiot as I am, I promised to take the
chair at a public meeting about a Free Library for Marylebone on
Tuesday evening.

I wonder if you know this country. I find it charming.

[On the same day as that which was fixed for the meeting in favour of
the Free Library, he had a very interesting interview with the Premier,
of which he left the following notes, written at the Athenaeum
immediately after:--]

June 7, 1887.

Called on Lord Salisbury by appointment at 3 p.m., and had twenty
minutes' talk with him about the "matter of some public interest"
mentioned in his letter of the [29th].

This turned out to be a proposal for the formal recognition of
distinguished services in Science, Letters, and Art by the institution
of some sort of order analogous to the Pour le Merite. Lord Salisbury
spoke of the anomalous present mode of distributing honours, intimated
that the Queen desired to establish a better system, and asked my

I said that I should like to separate my personal opinion from that
which I believed to obtain among the majority of scientific men; that I
thought many of the latter were much discontented with the present
state of affairs, and would highly approve of such a proposal as Lord
Salisbury shadowed forth.

That, so far as my own personal feeling was concerned, it was opposed
to anything of the kind for Science. I said that in Science we had two
advantages--first, that a man's work is demonstrably either good or
bad; and secondly, that the "contemporary posterity" of foreigners
judges us, and rewards good work by membership of Academies and so

In Art, if a man chooses to call Raphael a dauber, you can't prove he
is wrong; and literary work is just as hard to judge.

I then spoke of the dangers to which science is exposed by the undue
prominence and weight of men who successfully apply scientific
knowledge to practical purposes--engineers, chemical inventors, etc.,
etc.; said it appeared to me that a Minister having such order at his
disposal would find it very difficult to resist the pressure brought by
such people as against the man of high science who had not happened to
have done anything to strike the popular mind.

Discussed the possibility of submission of names by somebody for the
approval and choice of the Crown. For Science, I thought the Royal
Society Council might discharge that duty very fairly. I thought that
the Academy of Berlin presented people for the Pour le Merite, but Lord
Salisbury thought not.

In the course of conversation I spoke of Hooker's case as a glaring
example of the wrong way of treating distinguished men. Observed that
though I did not personally care for or desire the institution of such
honorary order, yet I thought it was a mistake in policy for the Crown
as the fountain of honour to fail in recognition of that which deserves
honour in the world of Science, Letters, and Art.

Lord Salisbury smilingly summed up. "Well, it seems that you don't
desire the establishment of such an order, but that if you were in my
place you would establish it," to which I assented.

Said he had spoken to Leighton, who thought well of the project.

[It was not long, however, before he received imperative notice to quit
town with all celerity. He fell ill with what turned out to be
pleurisy; and after recruiting at Ilkley, went again to Switzerland.]

4 Marlborough Place, June 27, 1887.

My dear Foster,

...I am very sorry that it will be impossible for me to attend [the
meeting of committee down for the following Wednesday]. If I am well
enough to leave the house I must go into the country that day to attend
the funeral of my wife's brother-in-law and my very old friend Fanning,
of whom I may have spoken to you. He has been slowly sinking for some
time, and this morning we had news of his death.

Things have been very crooked for me lately. I had a conglomerate of
engagements of various degrees of importance in the latter half of last
week, and had to forgo them all, by reason of a devil in the shape of
muscular rheumatism of one side, which entered me last Wednesday, and
refuses to be wholly exorcised (I believe it is my Jubilee Honour).
[(On the same day he describes this to Sir J. Evans:--] "I have hardly
been out of the house as far as my garden, and not much off my bed or
sofa since I saw you last. I have had an affection of the muscles of
one side of my body, the proper name of which I do not know, but the
similitude thereof is a bird of prey periodically digging in his claws
and stopping your breath in a playful way.") Along with it, and I
suppose the cause of it, a regular liver upset. I am very seedy yet,
and even if Fanning's death had not occurred I doubt if I should have
been ready to face the Tyndall dinner.

[The reference to this "Tyndall dinner" is explained in the following
letters, which also refer to a meeting of the London University, in
which the projects of reform which he himself supported met with a
smart rebuff.]

4 Marlborough Place, May 13, 1887.

My dear Tyndall,

I am very sorry to hear of your gout, but they say when it comes out at
the toes it flies from the better parts, and that is to the good.

There is no sort of reason why unsatisfied curiosity should continue to
disturb your domestic hearth; your wife will have the gout too if it
goes on. "They" can't bear the strain.

The history of the whole business is this. A day or two before I spoke
to you, Lockyer told me that various people had been talking about the
propriety of recognising your life-long work in some way or other;
that, as you would not have anything else, a dinner had been suggested,
and finally asked me to inquire whether you would accept that
expression of goodwill. Of course I said I would, and I asked

After you had assented I spoke to several of our friends who were at
the Athenaeum, and wrote to Lockyer. I believe a strong committee is
forming, and that we shall have a scientific jubilation on a large
scale; but I have purposely kept in the background, and confined
myself, like Bismarck, to the business of "honest broker."

But of course nothing (beyond preliminaries) can be done till you name
the day, and at this time of year it is needful to look well ahead if a
big room is to be secured. So if you can possibly settle that point,
pray do.

There seems to have been some oversight on my wife's part about the
invitation, but she is stating her own case. We go on a visit to Mrs.
Darwin to Cambridge on Saturday week, and the Saturday after that I am
bound to be at Eton.

Moreover, I have sacrificed to the public Moloch so far as to promise
to take the chair at a public meeting in favour of a Free Library for
Marylebone on the 7th. As Wednesday's work at the Geological Society
and the soiree knocked me up all yesterday, I shall be about finished I
expect on the 8th. If you are going to be at Hindhead after that, and
would have us for a day, it would be jolly; but I cannot be away long,
as I have some work to finish before I go abroad.

I never was so uncomfortable in my life, I think, as on Wednesday when
L-- was speaking, just in front of me, at the University. Of course I
was in entire sympathy with the tenor of his speech, but I was no less
certain of the impolicy of giving a chance to such a master of polished
putting-down as the Chancellor. You know Mrs. Carlyle said that Owen's
sweetness reminded her of sugar of lead. Granville's was that plus
butter of antimony!

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

N.B.--Don't swear, but get Mrs. Tyndall, who is patient and
good-tempered, to read this long screed.

May 18, 1887.

My dear Tyndall,

I was very glad to get your letter yesterday morning, and I conveyed
your alteration at once to Rucker, who is acting as secretary. I asked
him to communicate with you directly to save time.

I hear that the proposal has been received very warmly by all sorts and
conditions of men, and that is quite apart from any action of your
closer personal friends. Personally I am rather of your mind about the
"dozen or score" of the faithful. But as that was by no means to the
mind of those who started the project, and, moreover, might have given
rise to some heartburning, I have not thought it desirable to meddle
with the process of spontaneous combustion. So look out for a big
bonfire somewhere in the middle of June! I have a hideous cold, and can
only hope that the bracing air of Cambridge, where we go on Saturday,
may set me right.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[To recover from his pleuritic "Jubilee Honour" he went for a fortnight
(July 11-25) to Ilkley, which had done him so much good before,
intending to proceed to Switzerland as soon as he conveniently could.]

Ilkley, July 15, 1887.

My dear Foster,

I was very much fatigued by the journey here, but the move was good,
and I am certainly mending, though not so fast as I could wish. I
expect some adhesions are interfering with my bellows. As soon as I am
fit to travel I am thinking of going to Lugano, and thence to Monte
Generoso. The travelling is easy to Lugano, and I know the latter place.

My notion is I had better for the present avoid the chances of a wet,
cold week in the high places.

M.B.A. [Marine Biological Association]...As to the employment of the
Grant, I think it ought to be on something definite and limited. The
Pilchard question would be an excellent one to take up.

-- seems to have a notion of employing it on some geological survey of
Plymouth Sound, work that would take years and years to do properly,
and nothing in the way of clear result to show.

I hope to be in London on my way abroad in less than ten days' time,
and will let you know.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[And on the same day to Sir J. Donnelly:--]

I expect...that I shall have a slow convalescence. Lucky it is no worse!

Much fighting I am likely to do for the Unionist cause or any other!
But don't take me for one of the enrages. If anybody will show me a way
by which the Irish may attain all they want without playing the devil
with us, I am ready to give them their own talking-shop or anything

But that is as much writing as I can sit up and do all at once.



[On the last day of July he left England for Switzerland, and did not
return till the end of September. A second visit to Arolla worked a
great change in him. He renewed his Gentian studies also, with
unflagging ardour. The following letters give some idea of his doings
and interests:--]

Hotel du Mont Collon, Arolla, Switzerland, August 28, 1887.

My dear Foster,

I know you will be glad to hear that I consider myself completely set
up again. We went to the Maderaner Thal and stayed a week there. But I
got no good out of it. It is charmingly pretty, but damp; and,
moreover, the hotel was 50 per cent too full of people, mainly
Deutschers, and we had to turn out into the open air after dinner
because the salon and fumoir were full of beds. So, in spite of all
prudential considerations, I made up my mind to come here. We travelled
over the Furca, and had a capital journey to Evolena. Thence I came on
muleback (to my great disgust, but I could not walk a bit uphill) here.
I began to get better at once; and in spite of a heavy snowfall and
arctic weather a week ago, I have done nothing but mend. We have
glorious weather now, and I can take almost as long walks as last year.

We have some Cambridge people here: Dr. Peile of Christ's and his
family. Also Nettleship of Oxford. What is the myth about the Darwin
tree in the "Pall Mall"? ["A tree planted yesterday in the centre of
the circular grass plot in the first court of Christ's College, in
Darwin's honour, was 'spirited' away at night."--"Pall Mall Gazette"
August 23, 1887.] Dr. Peile believes it to be all a flam.

Forel has just been paying a visit to the Arolla glacier for the
purpose of ascertaining the internal temperature. He told me he much
desired to have a copy of the Report of the Krakatoa Committee. If it
is published, will you have a copy sent to him? He is Professor at
Lausanne, and a very good man.

Our stay here will depend on the weather. At present it is perfect. I
do not suppose we shall leave before 7th or 8th of September, and we
shall get home by easy stages not much before the end of the month.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Madder than ever on Gentians.

[The following is in reply to Sir E. Frankland's inquiries with
reference to the reported presence of fish in the reservoirs of one of
the water-companies.]

Hotel Righi Vaudois, Glion, September 16, 1887.

We left Arolla about ten days ago, and after staying a day at St.
Maurice in consequence of my wife's indisposition, came on here where
your letter just received has followed me. I am happy to say I am quite
set up again, and as I can manage my 1500 or 2000 feet as well as ever,
I may be pretty clear that my pleurisy has not left my lung sticking

I will take your inquiries seriatim. (1) The faith of your small
boyhood is justified. Eels do wander overland, especially in the wet
stormy nights they prefer for migration. But so far as I know this is
the habit only of good-sized, downwardly-moving eels. I am not aware
that the minute fry take to the land on their journey upwards.

(2) Male eels are now well known. I have gone over the evidence myself
and examined many. But the reproductive organs of both sexes remain
undeveloped in fresh water--just the contrary of salmon, in which they
remain undeveloped in salt water.

(3) So far as I know, no eel with fully-developed reproductive organs
has yet been seen. Their matrimonial operations go on in the sea where
they spend their honeymoon, and we only know the result in the shape of
the myriads of thread-like eel-lets, which migrate up in the well-known

(4) On general principles of eel-life I think it is possible that the
Inspector's theory MAY be correct. But your story about the roach is a
poser. They certainly do not take to walking abroad. It reminds me of
the story of the Irish milk-woman who was confronted with a stickleback
found in the milk. "Sure, then, it must have been bad for the poor cow
when that came through her teat."

Surely the Inspector cannot have overlooked such a crucial fact as the
presence of other fish in the reservoirs?

We shall be here another week, and then move slowly back to London. I
am loth to leave this place, which is very beautiful with splendid air
and charming walks in all directions--two or three thousand feet up if
you like.

Hotel Righi Vaudois, Glion, Switzerland, September 16, 1887.

My dear Donnelly,

We left Arolla for this place ten days ago, but my wife fell ill, and
we had to stay a day at St. Maurice. She has been more or less out of
sorts ever since until to-day. However, I hope now she is all right

This is a very charming place at the east end of the Lake of
Geneva--1500 feet above the lake--and you can walk 3000 feet higher up
if you like.

What they call a "funicular railway" hauls you up a gradient of 1 in 1
3/4 from the station on the shore in ten minutes. At first the
sensation on looking down is queer, but you soon think nothing of it.
The air is very fine, the weather lovely, the feeding unexceptionable,
and the only drawback consists in the "javelins," as old Francis Head
used to call them--stinks of such wonderful crusted flavour that they
must have been many years in bottle. But this is a speciality of all
furrin parts that I have ever visited.

I am very well and extremely lazy so far as my head goes--legs I am
willing to use to any extent up hill or down dale. They wanted me to go
and speechify at Keighley in the middle of October, but I could not get
permission from the authorities. Moreover, I really mean to keep quiet
and abstain even from good words (few or many) next session. My wife
joins with me in love to Mrs. Donnelly and yourself.

She thought she had written, but doubts whether in the multitude of her
letters she did not forget.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[From Glion also he writes to Sir M. Foster:--]

I have been doing some very good work on the Gentians in the interests
of the business of being idle.

[The same subject recurs in the next letter:--]

Hotel Righi Vaudois, Glion, Switzerland, September 21, 1887.

My dear Hooker,

I saw in the "Times" yesterday the announcement of Mr. Symond's death.
I suppose the deliverance from so painful a malady as heart-disease is
hardly to be lamented in one sense; but these increasing gaps in one's
intimate circle are very saddening, and we feel for Lady Hooker and
you. My wife has been greatly depressed in hearing of Mrs. Carpenter's
fatal disorder. One cannot go away for a few weeks without finding some
one gone on one's return.

I got no good at the Maderaner Thal, so we migrated to our old quarters
at Arolla, and there I picked up in no time, and in a fortnight could
walk as well as ever. So if there are any adhesions they are pretty
well stretched by this time.

I have been at the Gentians again, and worked out the development of
the flower in G. purpurea and G. campestris. The results are very
pretty. They both start from a thalamifloral condition, then become
corollifloral, G. purpurea at first resembling G. lutea and G.
campestris, an Ophelia, and then specialise to the Ptychantha and
Stephanantha forms respectively.

In G. campestris there is another very curious thing. The anthers are
at first introrse, but just before the bud opens they assume this
position [sketch] and then turn right over and become extrorse. In G.
purpurea this does not happen, but the anthers are made to open
outwards by their union on the inner side of the slits of dehiscence.

There are several other curious bits of morphology have turned up, but
I reserve them for our meeting.

Beyond pottering away at my Gentians and doing a little with that
extraordinary Cynanchum I have been splendidly idle. After three weeks
of the ascetic life of Arolla, we came here to acclimatise ourselves to
lower levels and to fatten up. I go straight through the table d'hote
at each meal, and know not indigestion.

My wife has fared not so well, but she is all right again now. We go
home by easy stages, and expect to be in Marlborough Place on Tuesday.

With all our best wishes to Lady Hooker and yourself.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[The second visit to Arolla did as much good as the first. Though
unable to stay more than a week or two in London itself, he was greatly
invigorated. His renewed strength enabled him to carry out vigorously
such work as he had put his hand to, and still more, to endure one of
the greatest sorrows of his whole life which was to befall him this
autumn in the death of his daughter Marian.

The controversy which fell to his share immediately upon his return,
has already been mentioned. This was all part of the war for science
which he took as his necessary portion in life; but he would not plunge
into any other forms of controversy, however interesting. So he writes
to his son, who had conveyed him a message from the editor of a
political review:--]

4 Marlborough Place, October 19, 1887.

No political article from me! I have had to blow off my indignation
incidentally now and then lest worse might befall me, but as to serious
political controversy, I have other fish to fry. Such influence as I
possess may be most usefully employed in promoting various educational
movements now afoot, and I do not want to bar myself from working with
men of all political parties.

So excuse me in the prettiest language at your command to Mr. A.

[Nevertheless politics very soon drew him into a new conflict, in
defence, be it said, of science against the possible contamination of
political influences. Professor (now Sir) G.G. Stokes, his successor in
the chair of the Royal Society, accepted an invitation from the
University of Cambridge to stand for election as their member of
Parliament, and was duly elected. This was a step to which many Fellows
of the Royal Society, and Huxley in especial, objected very strongly.
Properly to fulfil the duties of both offices at once was, in his
opinion, impossible. It might seem for the moment an advantage that the
accredited head of the scientific world should represent its interests
officially in Parliament; but the precedent was full of danger. Science
being essentially of no party, it was especially needful for such a
representative of science to keep free from all possible entanglements;
to avoid committing science, as it were, officially to the policy of a
party, or, as its inevitable consequence, introducing political
considerations into the choice of a future President.

During his own tenure of the Presidency Huxley had carefully abstained
from any official connection with societies are public movements on
which the feeling of the Royal Society was divided, lest as a body it
might seem committed by the person and name of its President. He
thought it a mistake that his successor should even be President of the
Victoria Institute.

Thus there is a good deal in his correspondence bearing on this matter.
He writes on November 6 to Sir J. Hooker:--]

I am extremely exercised in my mind about Stokes' going into Parliament
(as a strong party man, moreover) while still P.R.S. I do not know what
you may think about it, but to my mind it is utterly wrong--and
degrading to the Society--by introducing politics into its affairs.

[And on the same day to Sir M. Foster:--]

I think it is extremely improper for the President of the Royal Society
to accept a position as a party politician. As a Unionist I should vote
for him if I had a vote for Cambridge University, but for all that I
think it is most lamentable that the President of the Society should be
dragged into party mud.

When I was President I refused to take the Presidency of the Sunday
League, because of the division of opinion on the subject. Now we are
being connected with the Victoria Institute, and sucked into the slough
of politics.

[These considerations weighed heavily with several both of the older
and the younger members of the Society; but the majority were
indifferent to the dangers of the precedent. The Council could not
discuss the matter; they waited in vain for an official announcement of
his election from the President, while he, as it turned out, expected
them to broach the subject.

Various proposals were discussed; but it seemed best that, as a
preliminary to further action, an editorial article written by Huxley
should be inserted in "Nature," indicating what was felt by a section
of the Society, and suggesting that resignation of one of the two
offices was the right solution of the difficulty.

Finally, it seemed that perhaps, after all, a] "masterly inactivity"
[was the best line of action. Without risk of an authoritative decision
of the Society] "the wrong way," [out of personal regard for the
President, the question would be solved for him by actual experience of
work in the House of Commons, where he would doubtless discover that he
must] "renounce either science, or politics, or existence."

This campaign, however, against a principle, was carried on without any
personal feeling. The perfect simplicity of the President's attitude
would have disarmed the hottest opponent, and indeed Huxley took
occasion to write him the following letter, in reference to which he
writes to Dr. Foster:--] "I hate doing things in the dark and could not
stand it any longer."

December 1, 1887.

My dear Stokes,

When we met in the hall of the Athenaeum on Monday evening I was on the
point of speaking to you on a somewhat delicate topic; namely, my
responsibility for the leading article on the Presidency of the Royal
Society and politics which appeared a fortnight ago in "Nature." But I
was restrained by the reflection that I had no right to say anything
about the matter without the consent of the Editor of "Nature." I have
obtained that consent, and I take the earliest opportunity of availing
myself of my freedom.

I should have greatly preferred to sign the article, and its anonymity
is due to nothing but my strong desire to avoid the introduction of any
personal irrelevancies into the discussion of a very grave question of

I may add that as you are quite certain to vote in the way that I think
right on the only political questions which greatly interest me, my
action has not been, and cannot be, in any way affected by political

And as there is no one of whom I have a higher opinion as a man of
science--no one whom I should be more glad to serve under, and to
support year after year in the Chair of the Society, and no one for
whom I entertain feelings of more sincere friendship---I trust you will
believe that, if there is a word in the article which appears
inconsistent with these feelings, it is there by oversight, and is
sincerely regretted.

During the thirty odd years we have known one another, we have often
had stout battles without loss of mutual kindness. My chief object in
troubling you with this letter is to express the hope that, whatever
happens, this state of things may continue.

I am, yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

P.S.--I am still of opinion that it is better that my authorship should
not be officially recognised, but you are, of course, free to use the
information I have given you in any way you may think fit.

[To this the President returned a very frank and friendly reply; saying
he had never dreamed of any incompatibility existing between the two
offices, and urging that the Presidency ought not to constrain a man to
give up his ordinary duties as a citizen. He concludes:--

And now I have stated my case as it appears to myself; let me assure
you that nothing that has passed tends at all to diminish my friendship
towards you. My wife heard last night that the article was yours, and
told me so. I rather thought it must have been written by some hot
Gladstonian. It seems, however, that her informant was right. She
wishes me to tell you that she replied to her informant that she felt
quite sure that if you wrote it, it was because you thought it.

To which Huxley replied:--]

I am much obliged for your letter, which is just such as I felt sure
you would write.

Pray thank Mrs. Stokes for her kind message. I am very grateful for her
confidence in my uprightness of intention.

We must agree to differ.

It may be needful for me and those who agree with me to place our
opinions on record; but you may depend upon it that nothing will be
done which can suggest any lack of friendship or respect for our

[It will be seen from this correspondence and the letter to Sir J.
Donnelly of July 15, that Huxley was a staunch Unionist. Not that he
considered the actual course of English rule in Ireland ideal; his main
point was that under the circumstances the establishment of Home Rule
was a distinct betrayal of trust, considering that on the strength of
Government promises, an immense number of persons had entered into
contracts, had bought land, and staked their fortunes in Ireland, who
would be ruined by the establishment of Home Rule. Moreover, he held
that the right of self-preservation entitled a nation to refuse to
establish at its very gates a power which could, and perhaps would, be
a danger to its own existence. Of the capacity of the Irish peasant for
self-government he had no high opinion, and what he had seen of the
country, and especially the great central plain, in his frequent visits
to Ireland, convinced him that the balance between subsistence and
population would speedily create a new agrarian question, whatever
political schemes were introduced. This was one of] "the only political
questions which interested him."

[Towards the end of October he left London for Hastings, partly for his
own, but still more for his wife's sake, as she was far from well. He
was still busy with one or two Royal Society Committees, and came up to
town occasionally to attend their meetings, especially those dealing
with the borings in the Delta, and with Antarctic exploration. Thus he

11 Eversfield Place, Hastings, October 31, 1887.

My dear Foster,

We have been here for the last week, and are likely to be here for some
time, as my wife, though mending, is getting on but slowly, and she
will be as well out of London through beastly November. I shall be up
on Thursday and return on Friday, but I do not want to be away longer,
as it is lonesome for the wife.

I quite agree to what you propose on Committee, so I need not be there.
Very glad to hear that the Council "very much applauded what we had
done," and hope we shall get the 500 pounds.

I don't believe a word in increasing whale fishery, but scientifically,
the Antarctic expedition would, or might be very interesting, and if
the colonies will do their part, I think we ought to do ours.

You won't want me at that Committee either. Hope to see you on Thursday.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

Hideous pen!

[But he did not come up that Thursday. His wife was for a time too ill
to be left, and he winds up the letter of November 2 to Dr. Foster with
the reflection:--]

Man is born to trouble as the sparks, etc.--but when you have come to
my time of life you will say as I do--Lucky it is no worse.

November 6.

I am very glad to hear that the 500 pounds is granted, and I will see
to what is next to be done as soon as I can. Also I am very glad to
find you don't want my valuable service on Council Royal Society. I
repented me of my offer when I thought how little I might be able to

[One thing, however, afforded him great pleasure at this time. He
writes on November 6 to his old friend, Sir J. Hooker:--]

I write just to say what infinite satisfaction the award of the Copley
Medal to you has given me. If you were not my dear old friend, it would
rejoice me as a mere matter of justice--of which there is none too much
in this "-- rum world," as Whitworth's friend called it.

[To the reply that the award was not according to rule, inasmuch as it
was the turn for the medal to be awarded in another branch of science,
he rejoins:--]

I had forgotten all about the business--but he had done nothing to
deserve the Copley, and all I can say is that if the present award is
contrary to law, the "law's a hass" as Mr. Bumble said. But I don't
believe that it is.

[He replies also on November 5 to a clerical correspondent who had
written to him on the distinction between sheretz and rehmes, and
accused him of "wilful blindness" in his theological controversy of

Let me assure you that it is not my way to set my face against being
convinced by evidence.

I really cannot hold myself to be responsible for the translators of
the Revised Version of the Old Testament. If I had given a translation
of the passage to which you refer on my own authority, any mistake
would be mine, and I should be bound to acknowledge it. As I did not, I
have nothing to admit. I have every respect for your and Mr. --'s
authority as Hebraists, but I have noticed that Hebrew scholars are apt
to hold very divergent views, and before admitting either your or Mr.
--'s interpretation, I should like to see the question fully discussed.

If, when the discussion is concluded, the balance of authority is
against the revised version, I will carefully consider how far the
needful alterations may affect the substance of the one passage in my
reply to Mr. Gladstone which is affected by it.

At present I am by no means clear that it will make much difference,
and in no case will the main lines of my argument as to the antagonism
between modern science and the Pentateuch be affected. The statements I
have made are public property. If you think they are in any way
erroneous I must ask you to take upon yourself the same amount of
responsibility as I have done, and submit your objections to the same

There is nothing like this test for reducing things to their true
proportions, and if you try it, you will probably discover, not without
some discomfort, that you really had no reason to ascribe wilful
blindness to those who do not agree with you.

[He was now preparing to complete his campaign of the spring on
technical education by delivering an address to the Technical Education
Association at Manchester on November 29, and looked forward to
attending the anniversary meeting of the Royal Society on his way home
next day, and seeing the Copley medal conferred upon his old friend,
Sir J. Hooker. However, unexpected trouble befell him. First he was
much alarmed about his wife, who had been ill more or less ever since
leaving Arolla. Happily it turned out that there was nothing worse than
could be set right by a slight operation. But nothing had been done
when news came of the sudden death of his second daughter on November
19.] "I have no heart for anything just now," [he writes; nevertheless,
he forced himself to fulfil this important engagement at Manchester,
and in the end the necessity of bracing himself for the undertaking
acted on him as a tonic.

It is a trifle, perhaps, but a trifle significant of the disturbance of
mind that could override so firmly fixed a habit, that the two first
letters he wrote after receiving the news are undated; almost the only
omission of the sort I have found in all his letters of the last
twenty-five years of his life.

His daughter's long illness had left him without hope for months past,
but this, as he confessed, did not mend matters much. In his letters to
his two most intimate friends, he recalls her brilliant promise, her
happy marriage, her] "faculty for art, which some of the best artists
have told me amounted to genius." [But he was naturally reticent in
these matters, and would hardly write of his own griefs unbidden even
to old friends.]

85 Marina, St. Leonards, November 21, 1887.

My dear Spencer,

You will not have forgotten my bright girl Marian, who married so
happily and with such bright prospects half a dozen years ago?

Well, she died three days ago of a sudden attack of pneumonia, which
carried her off almost without warning. And I cannot convey to you a
sense of the terrible sufferings of the last three years better than by
saying that I, her father, who loved her well, am glad that the end has
come thus...

My poor wife is well nigh crushed by the blow. For though I had lost
hope, it was not in the nature of things that she should.

Don't answer this--I have half a mind to tear it up--for when one is in
a pool of trouble there is no sort of good in splashing other people.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[As for his plans, he writes to Sir J. Hooker on November 21:--]

I had set my heart on seeing you get the Copley on the 30th. In fact, I
made the Manchester people, to whom I had made a promise to go down and
address the Technical Education Association, change their day to the
29th for that reason.

I cannot leave them in the lurch after stirring up the business in the
way I have done, and I must go and give my address. But I must get back
to my poor wife as fast as I can, and I cannot face any more publicity
than that which it would be cowardly to shirk just now. So I shall not
be at the Society except in the spirit.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[And again to Sir M. Foster:--]

You cannot be more sorry than I am that I am going to Manchester, but I
am not proud of chalking up "no popery" and running away--for all
Evans' and your chaff--and, having done a good deal to stir up the
Technical Education business and the formation of the Association, I
cannot leave them in the lurch when they urgently ask for my services...

The Delta business must wait till after the 30th. I have no heart for
anything just now.

[The letters following were written in answer to letters of sympathy.]

85 Marina, St. Leonards, November 25, 1887.

My dear Mr. Clodd,

Let me thank you on my wife's behalf and my own for your very kind and
sympathetic letter.

My poor child's death is the end of more than three years of suffering
on her part, and deep anxiety on ours. I suppose we ought to rejoice
that the end has come, on the whole, so mercifully. But I find that
even I, who knew better, hoped against hope, and my poor wife, who was
unfortunately already very ill, is quite heart-broken. Otherwise, she
would have replied herself to your very kind letter.

She has never yet learned the art of sparing herself, and I find it
hard work to teach her.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[In the same strain he writes to Dr. Dyster:--]

Rationally we must admit that it is best so. But then, whatever
Linnaeus may say, man is not a rational animal--especially in his
parental capacity.

85, Marina, St. Leonards, November 25, 1887.

My dear Knowles,

I really must thank you very heartily for your letter. It went to our
hearts and did us good, and I know you will like to learn that you have
helped us in this grievous time.

My wife is better, but fit for very little; and I do not let her write
a letter even, if I can help it. But it is a great deal harder to keep
her from doing what she thinks her duty than to get most other people
to do what plainly is their duty.

With our kindest love and thanks to all of you.

Ever, my dear Knowles, yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Yes, you are quite right about "loyal." I love my friends and hate my
enemies, which may not be in accordance with the Gospel, but I have
found it a good wearing creed for honest men.

[The "Address on behalf of the National Association for the Promotion
of Technical Education," first published in the ensuing number of
"Science and Art," and reprinted in "Collected Essays," 3 427-451, was
duly delivered in Manchester, and produced a considerable effect.

He writes to Sir M. Foster, December 1:--]

I am glad I resisted the strong temptation to shirk the business.
Manchester has gone solid for technical education, and if the idiotic
London papers, instead of giving half a dozen lines of my speech, had
mentioned the solid contributions to the work announced at the meeting,
they would have enabled you to understand its importance.

...I have the satisfaction of having got through a hard bit of work,
and am none the worse physically--rather the better for having to pull
myself together.

[And to Sir J. Hooker:--]

85 Marina, St. Leonards, December 4, 1887.

My dear Hooker,

x = 8, 6.30. I meant to have written to ask you all to put off the x
till next Thursday, when I could attend, but I have been so bedevilled
I forgot it. I shall ask for a bill of indemnity.

I was rather used up yesterday, but am picking up. In fact my
Manchester journey convinced me that there was more stuff left than I
thought for. I travelled 400 miles, and made a speech of fifty minutes
in a hot, crowded room, all in about twelve hours, and was none the
worse. Manchester, Liverpool, and Newcastle have now gone in for
technical education on a grand scale, and the work is practically done.
Nunc dimittis!

I hear great things of your speech at the dinner. I wish I could have
been there to hear it...

[Of the two following letters, one refers to the account of Sir J.D.
Hooker's work in connection with the award of the Copley medal; the
other, to Hooker himself, touches a botanical problem in which Huxley
was interested.]

St. Leonards, November 25, 1887.

My dear Foster,

...I forget whether in the notice of Hooker's work you showed me there
was any allusion made to that remarkable account of the Diatoms in
Antarctic ice, to which I once drew special attention, but Heaven knows

Dyer perhaps may recollect all about the account in the "Flora
Antarctica," if I mistake not. I have always looked upon Hooker's
insight into the importance of these things and their skeletons as a
remarkable piece of inquiry--anticipative of subsequent deep sea work.

Best thanks for taking so much trouble about H--. Pray tell him if ever
you write that I have not answered his letter only because I awaited
your reply. He may think my silence uncivil...

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

To Sir J.D. Hooker.

4 Marlborough Place, December 29, 1887.

Where is the fullest information about distribution of Coniferae? Of
course I have looked at "Genera Plantarum" and De Candolle.

I have been trying to make out whether structure or climate or
paleontology throw any light on their distribution--and am drawing
complete blank. Why the deuce are there no Conifers but Podocarpus and
Widringtonias in all Africa south of the Sahara? And why the double
deuce are about three-quarters of the genera huddled together in Japan
and northern China?

I am puzzling over this group because the paleontological record is
comparatively so good.

I am beginning to suspect that present distribution is an affair rather
of denudation than migration.

Sequoia! Taxodium! Widringtonia! Araucaria! all in Europe, in Mesozoic
and Tertiary.

[The following letters to Mr. Herbert Spencer were written as sets of
proofs of his Autobiography arrived. That to Sir J. Skelton was to
thank him for his book on "Maitland of Lethington," the Scotch
statesman of the time of Queen Mary.]

January 18, 1887.

[The first part of this letter is given above.]

My dear Spencer,

I see that your proofs have been in my hands longer than I thought for.
But you may have seen that I have been "starring" at the Mansion

I am immensely tickled with your review of your own book. That is
something most originally Spencerian. I have hardly any suggestions to
make, except in what you say about the "Rattlesnake" work and my
position on board.

Her proper business was the survey of the so-called "inner passage"
between the Barrier Reef and the east coast of Australia; the New
Guinea work was a hors d'oeuvre, and dealt with only a small part of
the southern coast.

Macgillivray was naturalist--I was actually Assistant-Surgeon and
nothing else. But I was recommended to Stanley by Sir John Richardson,
my senior officer at Haslar, on account of my scientific proclivities.
But scientific work was no part of my duty. How odd it is to look back
through the vista of years! Reading your account of me, I had the
sensation of studying a fly in amber. I had utterly forgotten the
particular circumstance that brought us together. Considering what
wilful tykes we both are (you particularly), I think it is a great
credit to both of us that we are firmer friends now than we were then.
Your kindly words have given me much pleasure.

This is a deuce of a long letter to inflict upon you, but there is more
coming. The other day a Miss --, a very good, busy woman of whom I and
my wife have known a little for some years, sent me a proposal of the
committee of a body calling itself the London Liberty League (I think)
that I should accept the position of one of three honorary something or
others, you and Mrs. Fawcett being the other two.

Now you may be sure that I should be glad enough to be associated with
you in anything; but considering the innumerable battles we have fought
over education, vaccination, and so on, it seemed to me that if the
programme of the League were wide enough to take us both for
figure-heads, it must be so elastic as to verge upon infinite
extensibility; and that one or other of us would be in a false position.

So I wrote to Miss -- to that effect, and the matter then dropped.

Misrepresentation is so rife in this world that it struck me I had
better tell you exactly what happened.

On the whole, your account of your own condition is encouraging; not
going back is next door to going forward. Anyhow, you have contrived to
do a lot of writing.

We are all pretty flourishing, and if my wife does not get worn out
with cooks falling ill and other domestic worries, I shall be content.

Now this really is the end.

Ever yours very truly,

T.H. Huxley.

4 Marlborough Place, London, N.W., March 7, 1887.

My dear Skelton [This letter is one of the twelve from T.H.H. already
published by Sir John Skelton in his "Table Talk of Shirley" page 295

Wretch that I am, I see that I have never had the grace to thank you
for "Maitland of Lethington" which reached me I do not choose to
remember how long ago, and which I read straight off with lively

There is a paragraph in your preface, which I meant to have charged you
with having plagiarised from an article of mine, which had not appeared
when I got your book. In that Hermitage of yours, you are up to any
Esotericobuddhistotelepathic dodge!

It is about the value of practical discipline to historians. Half of
them know nothing of life, and still less of government and the ways of

I am quite useless, but have vitality enough to kick and scratch a
little when prodded.

I am at present engaged on a series of experiments on the thickness of
skin of that wonderful little wind-bag --. The way that second rate
amateur poses as a man of science, having authority as a sort of
papistical Scotch dominie, bred a minister, but stickit, really "rouses
my corruption." What a good phrase that is. I am cursed with a lot of
it, and any fool can strike ile.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Please remember me very kindly to Mrs. Skelton.

11 Eversfield Place, Hastings, November 18, 1887.

My dear Spencer,

I was very glad to get your letter this morning. I heard all about you
from Hirst before I left London, now nearly a month ago, and I promised
myself that instead of bothering you with a letter I would run over
from here and pay you a visit.

Unfortunately, my wife, who had been ill more or less ever since we
left Arolla and came here on Clark's advice, had an attack one night,
which frightened me a good deal, though it luckily turned out to arise
from easily remediable causes.

Under these circumstances you will understand how I have not made my
proposed journey to Brighton.

I am rejoiced to hear of your move. I believe in the skill of Dr. B.
Potter and her understanding of the case more than I do in all the
doctors and yourself put together. Please offer my respectful homage to
that eminent practitioner.

You see people won't let me alone, and I have had to tell the Duke to
"keep on board his own ship," as the Quaker said, once more. I seek
peace, but do not ensue it.

Send any quantity of proofs, they are a good sign. By the way, we move
to 85 Marina, St. Leonards, to-morrow.

Wife sends her kind regards.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

85 Marina, St. Leonards, December 1887.

My dear Spencer,

I have nothing to criticise in the enclosed except that the itineraries
seem to me rather superfluous.

I am glad to find that you forget things that have happened to you as
completely as I do. I should cut almost as bad a figure as "Sir Roger"
if I were cross-examined about my past life.

Your allusion to sending me the proofs made me laugh by reminding me of
a particularly insolent criticism with which I once favoured you: "No
objection except to the whole."

It was some piece of diabolical dialectics, in which I could pick no
hole, if the premises were granted--and even then could be questioned
only by an ultra-sceptic!

Do you see that the American Association of Authors has adopted a
Resolution, which is a complete endorsement of my view of the

We have got our operation over, and my wife is going on very well.
Overmuch anxiety has been telling on me, but I shall throw it off.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.



[Huxley had returned to town before Christmas, for the house in St.
John's Wood was still the rallying-point for the family, although his
elder children were now married and dispersed. But he did not stay
long.] "Wife wonderfully better," [he writes to Sir M. Foster on
January 8,] "self as melancholy as a pelican in the wilderness." [He
meant to have left London on the 16th, but his depressed condition
proved to be the beginning of a second attack of pleurisy, and he was
unable to start for Bournemouth till the 24th.

Here, however, his recovery was very slow. He was unable to come up to
the first meeting of the x Club.] "I trust," [he writes,] "I shall be
able to be at the next x--but I am getting on very slowly. I can't walk
above a couple of miles without being exhausted, and talking for twenty
minutes has the same effect. I suppose it is all Anno Domini."

[But he had a pleasant visit from one of the x, and writes:--]

Casalini, West Cliff, Bournemouth, January 29, 1888.

My dear Hooker,

Spencer was here an hour ago as lively as a cricket. He is going back
to town on Tuesday to plunge into the dissipations of the Metropolis. I
expect he will insist on you all going to Evans' (or whatever
represents that place to our descendants) after the x.

Bellows very creaky--took me six weeks to get them mended last time, so
I suppose I may expect as long now.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[As appears from the letters which follow, he had been busied with
writing an article for the "Nineteenth Century," for February, on the
"Struggle for Existence" ("Collected Essays" 9 195.), which on the one
hand ran counter to some of Mr. Herbert Spencer's theories of society;
and on the other, is noticeable as briefly enunciating the main thesis
of his "Romanes Lecture" of 1893.]

85 Marina, St. Leonards, December 13, 1887.

My dear Knowles,

I have to go to town to-morrow for a day, so that puts an end to the
possibility of getting my screed ready for January. Altogether it will
be better to let it stand over.

I do not know whence the copyright extract came, except that, as
Putnam's name was on the envelope, I suppose they sent it.

Pearsall Smith's practice is a wonderful commentary on his theory.
Distribute the contents of the baker's shop gratis--it will give people
a taste for bread!

Great is humbug, and it will prevail, unless the people who do not like
it hit hard. The beast has no brains, but you can knock the heart out
of him.

Ever yours very truly,

T.H. Huxley.

4 Marlborough Place, January 9, 1888.

My dear Donnelly,

Here is my proof. Will you mind running your eye over it?

The article is long, and partly for that reason and partly because the
general public wants principles rather than details, I have condensed
the practical half.

H. Spencer and "Jus" will be in a white rage with me.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[To Professor Frankland, February 6:--]

I am glad you like my article. There is no doubt it is rather like a
tadpole, with a very big head and a rather thin tail. But the subject
is a ticklish one to deal with, and I deliberately left a good deal
suggested rather than expressed.

Casalini, West Cliff, Bournemouth, February 9, 1888.

My dear Donnelly,

No! I don't think softening has begun yet--vide "Nature" this week.
["Nature" 37 337 for February 9, 1888: review of his article in the
"Nineteenth Century" on the "Industrial Struggle for Existence."] I am
glad you found the article worth a second go. I took a vast of trouble
(as the country folks say) about it. I am afraid it has made Spencer
very angry--but he knows I think he has been doing mischief this long

Bellows to mend! Bellows to mend! I am getting very tired of it. If I
walk two or three miles, however slowly, I am regularly done for at the
end of it. I expect there has been more mischief than I thought for.

How about the Bill?

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[However, he and Mr. Spencer wrote their minds to each other on the
subject, and as Huxley remarks with reference to this occasion,] "the
process does us both good, and in no way interferes with our

[The letter immediately following, to Mr. Romanes, answers an inquiry
about a passage quoted from Huxley's writings by Professor Schurman in
his "Ethical Import of Darwinism." This passage, made up of sentences
from two different essays, runs as follows:--]

It is quite conceivable that every species tends to produce varieties
of a limited number and kind, and that the effect of natural selection
is to favour the development of some of these, while it opposes the
development of others along their predetermined line of modification.
("Collected Essays" 2 223.) A whale does not tend to vary in the
direction of producing feathers, nor a bird in the direction of
producing whalebone. (In "Mr. Darwin's Critics" 1871 "Collected Essays"
2 181.)

"On the strength of these extracts" (writes Mr. Romanes), "Schurman
represents you 'to presuppose design, since development takes place
along certain predetermined lines of modification.' But as he does not
give references, and as I do not remember the passages, I cannot
consult the context, which I fancy must give a different colouring to
the extracts."

4 Marlborough Place, January 5, 1888.

My dear Romanes,

They say that liars ought to have long memories. I am sure authors
ought to. I could not at first remember where the passage Schurman
quotes occurs, but I did find it in the Encyclopaedia Britannica
article on "Evolution" ["Collected Essays" 2 223.], reprinted in
"Science and Culture," page 307.

But I do not find anything about the "whale" here. Nevertheless I have
a consciousness of having said something of the kind somewhere. [In
"Mr. Darwin's Critics" 1871 "Collected Essays" 2 181.]

If you look at the whole passage, you will see that there is not the
least intention on my part to presuppose design.

If you break a piece of Iceland spar with a hammer, all the pieces will
have shapes of a certain kind, but that does not imply that the Iceland
spar was constructed for the purpose of breaking up in this way when
struck. The atomic theory implies that of all possible compounds of A
and B only those will actually exist in which the proportions of A and
B by weight bear a certain numerical ratio. But it is mere arguing in a
circle to say that the fact being so is evidence that it was designed
to be so.

I am not going to take any more notice of the everlasting D--, as you
appropriately call him, until he has withdrawn his slanders....

Pray give him a dressing--it will be one of those rare combinations of
duty and pleasure.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[He was, moreover, constantly interested in schemes for the reform of
the scientific work of the London University, and for the enlargement
of the scope and usefulness of the Royal Society. As for the latter, a
proposal had been made for federation with colonial scientific
societies, which was opposed by some of his friends in the x Club; and
he writes to Sir E. Frankland on February 3:--]

I am very sorry you are all against Evans' scheme. I am for it. I think
it a very good proposal, and after all the talk, I do not want to see
the Society look foolish by doing nothing.

You are a lot of obstructive old Tories, and want routing out. If I
were only younger and less indisposed to any sort of exertion, I would
rout you out finely!

[With respect to the former, it had been proposed that medical degrees
should be conferred, not by the university, but by a union of the
several colleges concerned. He writes:--]

4 Marlborough Place, January 11, 1888.

My dear Foster,

I send back the "Heathen Deutscheree's" (whose ways are dark) letter
lest I forget it to-morrow.

Meanwhile perpend these two things:--

1. United Colleges propose to give just as good an examination and
require as much qualification as the Scotch Universities. Why then give
their degree a distinguishing mark?

2. "Academical distinctions" in medicine are all humbug. You are making
a medical technical school at Cambridge--and quite right too. The
United Colleges, if they do their business properly, will confer just
as much, or as little "academical distinction" as Cambridge by their

3. The Fellowship of the College of Surgeons is in every sense as much
an "academical distinction" as the Masterships in Surgery or Doctorate
of Medicine of the Scotch and English Universities.

4. You may as well cry for the moon as ask my colleagues in the Senate
to meddle seriously with the Matriculation. They are possessed by the
devil that cries continually, "There is only the Liberal education, and
Greek and Latin are his prophets."

[At Bournemouth he also applied himself to writing the Darwin obituary
notice for the Royal Society, a labour of love which he had long felt
unequal to undertaking. The manuscript was finally sent off to the
printer's on April 6, unlike the still longer unfinished memoir on
Spirula, to which allusion is made here, among other business of the
"Challenger" Committee, of which he was a member.

On February 12 he writes to Sir J. Evans:--]

Spirula is a horrid burden on my conscience--but nobody could make head
or tail of the business but myself.

That and Darwin's obituary are the chief subjects of my meditations
when I wake in the night. But I do not get much "forrarder," and I am
afraid I shall not until I get back to London.

Bournemouth, February 14, 1888.

My dear Foster,

No doubt the Treasury will jump at any proposition which relieves them
from further expense--but I cannot say I like the notion of leaving
some of the most important results of the "Challenger" voyage to be
published elsewhere than in the official record....

Evans made a deft allusion to Spirula, like a powder between two dabs
of jam. At present I have no moral sense, but it may awake as the days
get longer.

I have been reading the "Origin" slowly again for the nth time, with
the view of picking out the essentials of the argument, for the
obituary notice. Nothing entertains me more than to hear people call it
easy reading.

Exposition was not Darwin's forte--and his English is sometimes
wonderful. But there is a marvellous dumb sagacity about him--like that
of a sort of miraculous dog--and he gets to the truth by ways as dark
as those of the Heathen Chinee.

I am getting quite sick of all the "paper philosophers," as old Galileo
called them, who are trying to stand upon Darwin's shoulders and look
bigger than he, when in point of real knowledge they are not fit to
black his shoes. It is just as well I am collapsed or I believe I
should break out with a final "Fur Darwin."

I will think of you when I get as far as the fossils. At present I am
poking over P. sylvestris and P. pinnata in the intervals of weariness.

My wife joins with me in love to you both.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Snow and cold winds here. Hope you are as badly off at Cambridge.

Bournemouth, February 21, 1888.

My dear Foster,

We have had nothing but frost and snow here lately, and at present half
a gale of the bitterest north-easter I have felt since we were at
Florence is raging. [Similarly to Sir J. Evans on the 28th]--"I get my
strength back but slowly, and think of migrating to Greenland or
Spitzbergen for a milder climate."]

I believe I am getting better, as I have noticed that at a particular
stage of my convalescence from any sort of illness I pass through a
condition in which things in general appear damnable and I myself an
entire failure. If that is a sign of returning health you may look upon
my restoration as certain.

If it is only Murray's speculations he wants to publish separately, I
should say by all means let him. But the facts, whether advanced by him
or other people, ought all to be in the official record. I agree we
can't stir.

I scented the "goak." How confoundedly proud you are of it. In former
days I have been known to joke myself.

I will look after the questions if you like. In my present state of
mind I shall be a capital critic--on Dizzy's views of critics...

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[This year Huxley was appointed a Trustee of the British Museum, an
office which he had held ex officio from 1883 to 1885, as President of
the Royal Society.

This is referred to in the following letter of March 9:--]

My dear Hooker,

Having nothing to do plays the devil with doing anything, and I suppose
that is why I have been so long about answering your letter.

There is nothing the matter with me now except want of strength. I am
tired out with a three-mile walk, and my voice goes if I talk for any
time. I do not suppose I shall do much good till I get into high and
dry air, and it is too early for Switzerland yet....

You see I was honoured and gloried by a trusteeship of the British
Museum. [Replying on the 2nd to Sir John Evans' congratulations, he
says:--"It is some months since Lord Salisbury made the proposal to me,
and I was beginning to wonder what had happened--whether Cantaur had
put his foot down for example, and objected to bad company."] These
things, I suppose, normally come when one is worn-out. When Lowe was
Chancellor of the Exchequer I had a long talk with him about the
affairs of the Natural History Museum, and I told him that he had
better put Flower at the head of it and make me a trustee to back him.
Bobby no doubt thought the suggestion cheeky, but it is odd that the
thing has come about now that I don't care for it, and desire nothing
better than to be out of every description of bother and responsibility.

Have not Lady Hooker and you yet learned that a large country house is
of all places the most detestable in cold weather? The neuralgia was a
mild and kindly hint of Providence not to do it again, but I am
rejoiced it has vanished.

Pronouns got mixed somehow.

With our kindest regards.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

More last words:--What little faculty I have has been bestowed on the
obituary of Darwin for Royal Society lately. I have been trying to make
it an account of his intellectual progress, and I hope it will have
some interest. Among other things I have been trying to set out the
argument of the "Origin of Species," and reading the book for the nth
time for that purpose. It is one of the hardest books to understand
thoroughly that I know of, and I suppose that is the reason why even
people like Romanes get so hopelessly wrong.

If you don't mind, I should be glad if you would run your eye over the
thing when I get as far as the proof stage--Lord knows when that will

[A few days later he wrote again on the same subject, after reading the
obituary of Asa Gray, the first American supporter of Darwin's theory.]

March 23, 1888.

I suppose Dana has sent you his obituary of Asa Gray.

The most curious feature I note in it is that neither of them seems to
have mastered the principles of Darwin's theory. See the bottom of page
19 and the top of page 20. As I understand Darwin there is nothing
"Anti-Darwinian" in either of the two doctrines mentioned.

Darwin has left the causes of variation and the question whether it is
limited or directed by external conditions perfectly open.

The only serious work I have been attempting lately is Darwin's
obituary. I do a little every day, but get on very slowly. I have read
the life and letters all through again, and the "Origin" for the sixth
or seventh time, becoming confirmed in my opinion that it is one of the
most difficult books to exhaust that ever was written.

I have a notion of writing out the argument of the "Origin" in
systematic shape as a sort of primer of Darwinismus. I have not much
stuff left in me, and it would be as good a way of using what there is
as I know of. What do you think?

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[In reply to this Sir J. Hooker was inclined to make the biographer
alone responsible for the confusion noted in the obituary of Asa Gray.
He writes:--

March 27, 1888.

Dear Huxley,

Dana's Gray arrived yesterday, and I turned to pages 19 and 20. I see
nothing Anti-Darwinian in the passages, and I do not gather from them
that Gray did.

I did not follow Gray into his later comments on Darwinism, and I never
read his "Darwiniana." My recollection of his attitude after acceptance
of the doctrine, and during the first few years of his active
promulgation of it, is that he understood it clearly, but sought to
harmonise it with his prepossessions, without disturbing its physical
principles in any way.

He certainly showed far more knowledge and appreciation of the contents
of the "Origin" than any of the reviewers and than any of the
commentators, yourself excepted.

Latterly he got deeper and deeper into theological and metaphysical
wanderings, and finally formulated his ideas in an illogical fashion.

...Be all this as it may, Dana seems to be in a muddle on page 20, and
quite a self-sought one.

Ever yours,

J.D. Hooker.

The following is a letter of thanks to Mrs. Humphry Ward for her novel
"Robert Elsmere."]

Bournemouth, March 15, 1888.

My dear Mrs. Ward,

My wife thanked you for your book which you were so kind as to send us.
But that was grace before meat, which lacks the "physical basis" of
after-thanksgiving--and I am going to supplement it, after my most
excellent repast.

I am not going to praise the charming style, because that was in the
blood and you deserve no sort of credit for it. Besides, I should be
stepping beyond my last. But as an observer of the human
ant-hill--quite impartial by this time--I think your picture of one of
the deeper aspects of our troubled time admirable.

You are very hard on the philosophers. I do not know whether Langham or
the Squire is the more unpleasant--but I have a great deal of sympathy
with the latter, so I hope he is not the worst.

If I may say so, I think the picture of Catherine is the gem of the
book. She reminds me of her namesake of Siena--and would as little have
failed in any duty, however gruesome. You remember Sodoma's picture.

Once more, many thanks for a great pleasure.

My wife sends her love.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Meanwhile, he had been making no progress towards health; indeed, was
going slowly downhill. He makes fun of his condition when writing to
condole with Mr. Spencer on falling ill again after the unwonted spell
of activity already mentioned; but a few weeks later discovered the
cause of his weakness and depression in an affection of the heart. This
was not immediately dangerous, though he looked a complete wreck. His
letters from April onwards show how he was forced to give up almost
every form of occupation, and even to postpone his visit to
Switzerland, until he had been patched up enough to bear the journey.]

Casalini, West Cliff, Bournemouth, March 9, 1888.

My dear Spencer,

I am very sorry to hear from Hooker that you have been unwell again.
You see if young men from the country will go plunging into the
dissipations of the metropolis nemesis follows.

Until two days ago, the weather cocks never overstepped North on the
one side and East on the other ever since you left. Then they went west
with sunshine and most enjoyable softness--but next South with a gale
and rain--all ablowin' and agrowin' at this present.

I have nothing to complain of so long as I do nothing; but although my
hair has grown with its usual rapidity I differ from Samson in the
absence of a concurrent return of strength. Perhaps that is because a
male hairdresser, and no Delilah, cut it last! But I waste Biblical
allusions upon you.

My wife and Nettie, who is on a visit, join with me in best wishes.

Please let me have a line to say how you are--Gladstonianly on a

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Bournemouth, April 7, 1888.

My dear Foster,

"Let thy servant's face be white before thee." The obituary of Darwin
went to Rix yesterday! [Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society.] It
is not for lack of painstaking if it is not worth much, but I have been
in a bad vein for work of any kind, and I thought I should never get
even this simple matter ended.

I have been bothered with praecordial uneasiness and intermittent pulse
ever since I have been here, and at last I got tired of it and went
home the day before yesterday to get carefully overhauled. Hames tells
me there is weakness and some enlargement of the left ventricle, which
is pretty much what I expected. Luckily the valves are all right.

I am to go and devote myself to coaxing the left ventricle wall to
thicken pro rata--among the mountains, and to have nothing to do with
any public functions or other exciting bedevilments. So the
International Geological Congress will not have the pleasure of seeing
its Honorary President in September. I am disgusted at having to break
an engagement, but I cannot deny that Hames is right. At present the
mere notion of the thing puts me in a funk.

I wish I could get out of the chair of the M.B.A. Also...I know that
you and Evans and Dyer will do your best, but you are all eaten up with
other occupations.

Just turn it over in your mind--there's a dear good fellow--just as if
you hadn't any other occupations.

With which eminently reasonable and unselfish request believe me,

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

Bournemouth, April 10, 1888.

My dear Foster,

I send by this post the last--I hope for your sake and for that of the
recording angel--of --. [The "Heathen Deutscheree". A paper of his,
contributed to the Royal Society, had been under revision.] I agree to
all Brady's suggestions.

With all our tinkering I feel inclined to wind up the affair after the
manner of Mr. Shandy's summing up of the discussion about Tristram's
breeches--"And when he has got 'em he'll look a beast in 'em."

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[April 12. To the same:--]

I am quite willing to remain at the M.B.A. till the opening. If Evans
will be President I shall be happy.

-- is a very good man, but you must not expect too much of the
"wild-cat" element, which is so useful in the world, in him.

I am disgusted with myself for letting everything go by the run, but
there is no help for it. The least thing bowls me over just now.

Casalini, West Cliff, Bournemouth, April 12, 1888.

My dear Hooker,

I plead not guilty. [In the matter of sending out no notices for a
meeting of the x Club.] It was agreed at the last meeting that there
should be none in April--I suppose by reason of Easter, so I sent no
notice. This is what Frankland told me in his letter of the 2nd.
However, I see you were present, so I can't make it out.

My continual absence makes me a shocking bad Treasurer, and I am sorry
to say that things will be worse instead of better. Ever since this
last pleuritic business I have been troubled with praecordial
uneasiness. [After an account of his symptoms he continues] so I am off
(with my wife) to Switzerland at the end of this month, and shall be
away all the summer. We have not seen the Engadine and Tyrol yet, so we
shall probably make a long circuit. It is a horrid nuisance to be
exiled in this fashion. I have hardly been at home one month in the
last ten. But it is of no use to growl.

Under these circumstances, would you mind looking after the x while I
am away? There is nothing to do but to send the notices on Saturday
previous to the meeting.

I am very grieved to hear about Hirst--though to say truth, the way he
has held out for so long has been a marvel to me. The last news I had
of Spencer was not satisfactory.

Eheu! the "Table Round" is breaking up. It's a great pity; we were such
pleasant fellows, weren't we?

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

Casalini, West Cliff, Bournemouth, April 18, 1888.

My dear Foster,

I am cheered by your liking of the notice of Darwin. I read the "Life
and Letters," and the "Origin," Krause's "Life," and some other things
over again in order to do it. But I have not much go in me, and I was a
scandalous long time pottering over the writing.

I have sent the proof back with a variety of interpolations. I would
have brought the "Spirula" notes down here to see what I could do, but
I felt pretty sure that if I brought two things I should not do one.
Nobody could do anything with it but myself. I will try what I can do
when I go to town. How much time is there before the wind-up of the

We go up to town Monday next, and I am thinking of being off the Monday
following (April 30). I have come to the same conclusion as yourself,
that Glion would be better than Grindelwald. I should like very much to
see you. Just drop me a line to say when you are likely to turn up.

Poor Arnold's death has been a great shock [Matthew Arnold died
suddenly of heart disease at Liverpool, where he had gone to meet his
daughter on her return from America.]--rather for his wife than
himself--I mean on her account than his. I have always thought sudden
death to be the best of all for oneself, but under such circumstances
it is terrible for those who are left. Arnold told me years ago that he
had heart disease. I do not suppose there is any likelihood of an
immediate catastrophe in my own case. I should not go abroad if there
were. Imagine the horror of leaving one's wife to fight all the
difficulties of sudden euthanasia in a Swiss hotel! I saw enough of
that two years ago at Arolla.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

4 Marlborough Place, April 25, 1888.

My dear Hooker,

All my beautiful Swiss plans are knocked on the head--at any rate for
the present--in favour of horizontality and Digitalis here. The journey
up on Monday demonstrated that travelling, at present, was

Hames is sanguine I shall get right with rest, and I am quite satisfied
with his opinion, but for the sake of my belongings he thinks it right
to have Clark's opinion to fortify him.

It is a bore to be converted into a troublesome invalid even for a few
weeks, but I comfort myself with my usual reflection on the chances of
life, "Lucky it is no worse." Any impatience would have been checked by
what I heard about Moseley this morning--that he has sunk into hopeless
idiocy. A man in the prime of life!

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

4 Marlborough Place, May 4, 1888.

My dear Hooker,

Best thanks for your note and queries.

I remember hearing what you say about Darwin's father long ago, I am
not sure from what source. But if you look at page 20 of the "Life and
Letters" you will see that Darwin himself says his father's mind "was
not scientific." I have altered the passage so as to use these exact

I used "malice" rather in the French sense, which is more innocent than
ours, but "irony" would be better if "malice" in any way suggests
malignity. "Chaff" is unfortunately beneath the dignity of a Royal
Society obituary.

I am going to add a short note about Erasmus Darwin's views.

It is a great comfort to me that you like the thing. I am getting
nervous over possible senility--63 to-day, and nothing of your
evergreen ways about me.

I am decidedly mending, chiefly to all appearance by allowing myself to
be stuffed with meat and drink like a Strasburg goose. I am also very
much afraid that abolishing tobacco has had something to do with my

But I am mindful of your maxim--keep a tight hold over your doctor.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

P.S. 1.--Can't say I have sacrificed anything to penmanship, and am not
at all sure about lucidity!

P.S. 2.--It is "Friday"--there is a dot over the i--reopened my letter
to crow!

[The following letter to Mr. Spencer is in answer to a note of
condolence on his illness, in which the following passage occurs:--]

I was grieved to hear of so serious an evil as that which [Hirst]
named. It is very depressing to find one's friends as well as one's
self passing more and more into invalid life.

Well, we always have one consolation, such as it is, that we have made
our lives of some service in the world, and that, in fact, we are
suffering from doing too much for our fellows. Such thoughts do not go
far in the way of mitigation, but they are better than nothing.

4 Marlborough Place, May 8, 1888.

My dear Spencer,

I have been on the point of writing to you, but put it off for lack of
anything cheerful to say.

After I had recovered from my pleurisy, I could not think why my
strength did not come back. It turns out that there is some weakness
and dilatation of the heart, but lucky no valvular mischief. I am
condemned to the life of a prize pig--physical and mental idleness, and
corporeal stuffing with meat and drink, and I am certainly improving
under the regimen.

I am told I have a fair chance of getting all right again. But I take
it as a pretty broad hint to be quiet for the rest of my days. At
present I have to be very quiet, and I spend most of my time on my back.

You and I, my dear friend, have had our innings, and carry our bats out
while our side is winning. One could not reasonably ask for more. And
considering the infinite possibilities of physical and moral suffering
which beset us, I, for my part, am well pleased that things are no

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

4 Marlborough Place, N.W., June 1, 1888.

My dear Knowles,

I have been living the life of a prize pig for the last six weeks--no
exercise, much meat and drink, and as few manifestations of
intelligence as possible, for the purpose of persuading my heart to
return to its duty.

I am astonished to find that there is a kick left in me--even when your
friend Kropotkin pitches into me without the smallest justification.
Vide 19, June, page 820.

Just look at 19, February, page 168. I say, "AT THE PRESENT TIME, the
produce of the soil does not suffice," etc.

I did not say a word about the capabilities of the soil if, as part and
parcel of a political and social revolution on the grandest scale, we
all took to spade husbandry.

As a matter of fact, I did try to find out a year or two ago, whether
the soil of these islands could, under any circumstances, feed its
present population with wheat. I could not get any definite
information, but I understood Caird to think that it could.

In my argument, however, the question is of no moment. There must be
some limit to the production of food by a given area, and there is none
to population.

What a stimulus vanity is!--nothing but the vain dislike of being
thought in the wrong would have induced me to trouble myself or bore
you with this letter. Bother Kropotkin!

I think his article very interesting and important nevertheless.

I am getting better but very slowly.

Ever yours very truly,

T.H. Huxley.

[In reply, Mr. Knowles begged him to come to lunch and a quiet talk,
and further suggested, "as an ENTIRELY UNBIASSED person," that he ought
to answer Kropotkin's errors in the "Nineteenth Century," and not only
in a private letter behind his back.

The answer is as follows:--]

4 Marlborough Place, June 3, 1888.

My dear Knowles,

Your invitation is tantalising. I wish I could accept it. But it is now
some six weeks that my excursions have been limited to a daily drive.
The rest of my time I spend on the flat of my back, eating, drinking,
and doing absolutely nothing besides, except taking iron and digitalis.

I meant to have gone abroad a month ago, but it turned out that my
heart was out of order, and though I am getting better, progress is
slow, and I do not suppose I shall get away for some weeks yet.

I have neither brains nor nerves, and the very thought of controversy
puts me in a blue funk!

My doctors prophesy good things, as there is no valvular disease, only
dilatation. But for the present I must subscribe myself (from an
editorial point of view).

Your worthless and useless and bad-hearted friend,

T.H. Huxley.

[The British Association was to meet at Plymouth this year; and Mr.
W.F. Collier (an uncle of John Collier, his son-in-law) invited Huxley
and any friend of his to be his guest at Horrabridge.]

4 Marlborough Place, June 13, 1888.

My dear Mr. Collier,

It would have been a great pleasure to me to be your guest once more,
but the Fates won't have it this time.

Dame Nature has given me a broad hint that I have had my innings, and,
for the rest of my time, must be content to look on at the players.

It is not given to all of us to defy the doctors and go in for a new
lease, as I am glad to hear you are doing. I declare that your open
invitation to any friend of mine is the most touching mark of
confidence I ever received. I am going to send it to my great ally
Michael Foster, Secretary of the Royal Society. I do not know whether
he has made any other arrangements, and I am not quite sure whether he
and his wife are going to Plymouth. But I hope they may be able to
accept, for you will certainly like them, and they will certainly like
you. I will ask him to write directly to you to save time.

With very kind remembrances to Mrs. Collier.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

I forgot to say that I am mending as fast as I can expect to do.



[It was not till June 23 that Huxley was patched up sufficiently by the
doctors for him to start for the Engadine. His first stage was to
Lugano; the second by Menaggio and Colico to Chiavenna; the third to
the Maloja. The summer visitors who saw him arrive so feeble that he
could scarcely walk a hundred yards on the level, murmured that it was
a shame to send out an old man to die there. Their surprise was the
greater when, after a couple of months, they saw him walking his ten
miles and going up two thousand feet without difficulty. As far as his
heart was concerned, the experiment of sending him to the mountains was
perfectly justified. With returning strength he threw himself once more
into the pursuit of gentians, being especially interested in their
distribution and hybridism, and the possibility of natural hybrids
explaining the apparent connecting links between species. No doubt,
too, he felt some gratification in learning from his friend Mr. (now
Sir W.) Thiselton Dyer, that the results he had already obtained in
pursuing this hobby had been of real value:--

Your important paper "On Alpine Gentians" (writes the latter) has begun
to attract the attention of botanists. It has led Baillon, who is the
most acute of the French people, to make some observations of his own.

At the Maloja he stayed twelve weeks, but it was not until nearly two
months had elapsed that he could write of any decided improvement,
although even then his anticipations for the future were of the
gloomiest. The "secret" alluded to in the following letter is the
destined award to him of the Copley medal:--]

Hotel Kursaal, Maloja, Ober Engadine, August 17, 1888.

My dear Foster,

I know you will be glad to hear that, at last, I can report favourably
of my progress. The first six weeks of our stay here the weather was
cold, foggy, wet, and windy--in short, everything it should not be. If
the hotel had not been as it is, about the most comfortable in
Switzerland, I do not know what I should have done. As it was, I got a
very bad attack of "liver," which laid me up for ten days or so. A
Brighton doctor--Bluett by name, and well up to his work--kindly looked
after me.

With the early days of August the weather changed for the better, and
for the last fortnight we have had perfect summer--day after day. I
soon picked up my walking power, and one day got up to Lake Longhin,
about 2000 feet up. That was by way of an experiment, and I was none
the worse for it, but usually my walks are of a more modest
description. To-day we are all clouds and rain, and my courage is down
to zero, with praecordial discomfort. It seems to me that my heart is
quite strong enough to do all that can reasonably be required of it--if
all the rest of the machinery is in good order, and the outside
conditions are favourable. But the poor old pump cannot contend with
grit or want of oil anywhere.

I mean to stay here as long as I can; they say it is often very fine up
to the middle of September. Then we shall migrate lower, probably on
the Italian side, and get home most likely in October. But I really am
very much puzzled to know what to do.

My wife has not been very well lately, and Ethel has contrived to
sprain her ankle at lawn-tennis. Collier has had to go to Naples, but
we expect him back in a few days.

With our united love to Mrs. Foster and yourself.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

I was very pleased to hear of a secret my wife communicated to me. So
long as I was of any use, I did not care much about having the fact
recognised, but now that I am used up I like the feather in my cap.
"Fuimus." Let us have some news of you.

[Sir M. Foster, who was kept in England by the British Association till
September 10, wrote that he was going abroad for the rest of September,
and proposed to spend some time at Menaggio, whence he hoped to effect
a meeting. He winds up with a jest at his recent unusual
occupation:--"I have had no end of righteousness accounted to me for
helping to entertain Bishops at Cambridge." Hence the postcript in

Hotel Kursaal, Maloja, September 2, 1888.

My dear Foster,

A sharp fall of snow has settled our minds, which have been long
wavering about future plans, and we leave this for Menaggio, Hotel
Vittoria, on Thursday next, 6th. [He did not ultimately leave till the

All the wiseacres tell us that there are fresher breezes (vento di
Lecco) at Menaggio than anywhere else in the Como country, and at any
rate we are going to try whether we can exist there. If it does not
answer, we will leave a note for you there to say where we are gone. It
would be very jolly to forgather.

I am sorry to leave this most comfortable of hotels, but I do not think
that cold would suit either of us. I am marvellously well so long as I
am taking sharp exercise, and I do my nine or ten miles without
fatigue. It is only when I am quiet that I know that I have a heart.

I do not feel at all sure how matters may be 4000 feet lower, but what
I have gained is all to the good in the way of general health. In spite
of all the bad weather we have had, I have nothing but praise for this
place--the air is splendid, excellent walks for invalids, capital
drainage, and the easiest to reach of all places 6000 feet up.

My wife sends her love, and thanks Mrs. Foster for her letter, and
looks forward to meeting her.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

Wash yourself clean of all that episcopal contamination or you may
infect me!

[But adverse circumstances prevented the meeting.]

Hotel Kursaal, Maloja, September 24, 1888.

My dear Foster,

As ill luck would have it, we went over to Pontresina to-day (for the
first time), and have only just got back (5.30). I have just
telegraphed to you.

All our plans have been upset by the Fohn wind, which gave us four
days' continuous downpour here--upset the roads, and flooded the
Chiavenna to Colico Railway. We hear that the latter is not yet

I was going to write to you at the Vittoria, but thought you could have
hardly got there yet. We took rooms there a week ago, and then had to
countermand them. If there are any letters kicking about for us, will
you ask them to send them on?

By way of an additional complication, my poor wife gave herself an
unlucky strain this morning, and even if the railway is mended I do not
think she will be fit to travel for two or three days. We are very
disappointed. What is to be done?

I am wonderfully better. So long as I am taking active exercise and the
weather is dry, I am quite comfortable, and only discover that I have a
heart when I am kept quiet by bad weather or get my liver out of order.
Here I can walk nine or ten miles up hill and down dale without
difficulty or fatigue. What I may be able to do elsewhere is doubtful.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

It would do you and Mrs. Foster a great deal of good to come up here.
Not out of your way at all! Oh dear no!

Zurich, October 4, 1888.

My dear Foster,

I should have written to you at Stresa, but I had mislaid your
postcard, and it did not turn up till too late.

We made up our minds after all that we would as soon not go down to the
Lakes--where the ground would be drying up after the inundations--so we
went the other way over the Julier to Tiefenkasten, and from T. to
Ragatz, where we stayed a week. Ragatz was hot and steamy at
first--cold and steamy afterwards--but earlier in the season, I should
think, it would be pleasant.

Last Monday we migrated here, and have had the vilest weather until
to-day. All yesterday it rained cats and dogs.

To-day we are off to Neuhausen (Schweitzerhof) to have a look at the
Rhine falls. If it is pleasant we may stop there a few days. Then we go
to Stuttgart, on our way to Nuremberg, which neither of us have seen.
We shall be at the "Bavarian Hotel," and a letter will catch us there,
if you have anything to say, I daresay up to the middle of the month.
After that Frankfort, and then home.

We do not find long railway journeys very good for either of us, and I
am trying to keep within six hours at a stretch.

I am not so vigorous as I was at Maloja, but still infinitely better
than when I left England.

I hope the mosquitoes left something of you in Venice. When I was there
in October there were none!

My wife joins with me in love to Mrs. Foster and yourself.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Some friendly chaff in Sir M. Foster's reply to the latter contains at
least a real indication of the way in which Huxley became the centre of
the little society at the Maloja:--]

You may reflect that you have done the English tourists a good service
this summer. At most table d'hotes in the Lakes I overheard people
talking about the joys of Maloja, and giving themselves great airs on
account of their intimacy with "Professor Huxley"!!

[But indeed he made several friends here, notably one in an unexpected
quarter. This was Father Steffens, Professor of Palaeography in
Freiburg University, resident Catholic priest at Maloja in the summer,
with whom he had many discussions, and whose real knowledge of the
critical questions confronting Christian theology he used to contrast
with the frequent ignorance and occasional rudeness of the English
representatives of that science who came to the hotel.

A letter to Mr. Spencer from Ragatz shows him on his return journey:--]

In fact, so long as I was taking rather sharp exercise in sunshine I
felt quite well, and I could walk as well as any time these ten years.
It needed damp cold weather to remind me that my pumping apparatus was
not to be depended upon under unfavourable conditions. Four thousand
feet descent has impressed that fact still more forcibly upon me, and I
am quite at sea as to what it will be best to do when we return. Quite
certainly, however, we shall not go to Bournemouth. I like the place,
but the air is too soft and moist for either of us.

I should be very glad if we could be within reach of you and help to
cheer you up, but I cannot say anything definite at present about our
winter doings...

My wife sends her kindest regards. She is much better than when we
left, which is lucky for me, as I have no mind, and could not make it
up if I had any. The only vigour I have is in my legs, and that only
when the sun shines.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[A curious incident on this journey deserves recording, as an instance
of a futile "warning." On the night of October 6-7, Huxley woke in the
night and seemed to hear an inward voice say, "Don't go to Stuttgart
and Nuremberg; go straight home." All he did was to make a note of the
occurrence and carry out his original plan, whereupon nothing happened.

The following to his youngest daughter, who had gone back earlier from
the Maloja, refers to her success in winning the prize for modelling at
the Slade School of Art.]

Schweitzerhof, Neuhausen, October 7, 1888.

Dearest Babs,

I will sit to you like "Pater on a monument smiling at grief" for the
medallion. As to the photographs, I will try to get them done to order
either at Stuttgart or Nuremberg, if we stay at either place long
enough. But I am inclined to think they had better be done at home, and
then you could adjust the length of the caoutchouc visage to suit your
artistic convenience.

We have been crowing and flapping our wings over the medal and
trimmings. The only thing I lament is that "your father's influence"
was not brought to bear; there is no telling what you might have got if
it had been. Thoughtless--very!!

So sorry we did not come here instead of stopping at Ragatz. The falls
are really fine, and the surrounding country a wide tableland, with the
great snowy peaks of the Oberland on the horizon. Last evening we had a
brilliant sunset, and the mountains were lighted up with the most
delicate rosy blush you can imagine.

To-day it rains cats and dogs again. You will have seen in the papers
that the Rhine and the Aar and the Rhone and the Arve are all in flood.
There is more water here in the falls than there has been these ten
years. However, we have got to go, as the hotel shuts up to-morrow, and
there seems a good chance of reaching Stuttgart without water in the

Long railway journeys do not seem to suit either of us, and we have
fixed the maximum at six hours. I expect we shall be home some time in
the third week of this month.

Love to Hal and anybody else who may be at home.

Ever your Pater.

4 Marlborough Place, October 20, 1888.

My dear Foster,

We got back on Thursday, and had a very good passage, and took it easy
by staying the night at Dover. The "Lord Warden" gave us the worst
dinner we have had for four months, at double the price of the good
dinners. I wonder why we cannot manage these things better in England.

We are both very glad to be at home again, and trust we may be allowed
to enjoy our own house for a while. But, oh dear, the air is not
Malojal! not even at Hempstead, whither I walked yesterday, and the
pump labours accordingly.

I found the first part of the fifth edition of the Text-book among the
two or three hundredweight of letters and books which had accumulated
during four months. Gratulire!

By the way, South Kensington has sent me some inquiry about
Examinations, which I treat with contempt, as doubtless you have a

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[On October 25 he announces his return to Sir Joseph Hooker, and
laments his loss of vigour at the sea-level:--]

Hames won't let me stay here in November, and I think we shall go to
Brighton. Unless on the flat of my back, in bed, I shall not have been
at home a month all this year.

I have been utterly idle. There was a lovely case of hybridism,
Gentiana lutea and G. punctata, in a little island in the lake of Sils;
but I fell ill and was confined to bed just after I found it out. It
would be very interesting if somebody would work out Distribution five
miles round the Maloja as a centre. There are the most curious local

You asked me to send you a copy of my obituary of Darwin. So I put one
herewith, though no doubt you have seen it in the "Proceedings of the
Royal Society."

I should like to know what you think of 17 to 27. If ever I am able to
do anything again I will enlarge on these heads.

[In these pages of the Obituary Notice ("Proceedings of the Royal
Society" 44 Number 269) he endeavours:--]

to separate the substance of the theory from its accidents, and to show
that a variety, not only of hostile comments, but of friendly would-be
improvements lose their raison d'etre to the careful student...

It is not essential to Darwin's theory that anything more should be
assumed than the facts of heredity, variation, and unlimited
multiplication; and the validity of the deductive reasoning as to the
effect of the last (that is, of the struggle for existence which it
involves) upon the varieties resulting from the operation of the
former. Nor is it essential that one should take up any particular
position in regard to the mode of variation, whether, for example, it
takes place per saltum or gradually; whether it is definite in
character or indefinite. Still less are those who accept the theory
bound to any particular views as to the causes of heredity or of

[The remaining letters of the year trace the gradual bettering of
health, from the "no improvement" of October to the almost complete
disappearance of bad symptoms in December. He had renounced Brighton,
which he detested, in favour of Eastbourne, where the keen air of the
downs and the daily walk over Beachy Head acted as a tolerable
substitute for the Alps. Though he would not miss the anniversary
meeting of the Royal Society, when he was to receive the Copley medal,
one more link binding him to his old friend Hooker, he did not venture
to stay for the dinner in the evening.

This autumn also he resigned his place on the board of Governors of
Eton College.] "I think it must be a year and a half," [he writes,]
"since I attended a meeting, and I am not likely to do better in the

4 Marlborough Place, October 28, 1888.

My dear Hooker,

Best thanks for your suggestion about the cottage, namely "that before
you decide on Brighton Mrs. Huxley should come down and look at the
cottage below my house" at Sunningdale, but I do not see my way to
adopting it. A house, however small, involves servants and ties one to
one place. The conditions that suit me do not seem to be found anywhere
but in the high Alps, and I can't afford to keep a second house in the
country and pass the summer in Switzerland as well.

We are going to Brighton (not because we love it, quite t'other) on
account of the fine weather that is to be had there in November and
December. We shall be back for some weeks about Christmas, and then get
away somewhere else--Malvern possibly--out of the east winds of
February and March.

I do not like this nomadic life at all, but it appears to be Hobson's
choice between that and none.

I am sorry to hear you are troubled by your ears. I am so deaf that I
begin to fight shy of society. It irritates me not to hear; it
irritates me still more to be spoken to as if I were deaf, and the
absurdity of being irritated on the last ground irritates me still

I wish you would start that business of giving a competent young
botanist with good legs 100 pounds to go and study distribution in the
Engadine--from the Maloja as centre--in a circle of a radius of eight
or ten miles. The distribution of the four principal conifers, Arolla
pine, larch, mountain pine and spruce, is most curious, the why and
wherefore nowise apparent.

I am very sorry I cannot be at x on Thursday, but they won't let me be
out at night at present.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

4 Marlborough Place, October 28, 1888.

My dear Foster,

No fear of my trying to stop in London. Hames won't have it. He came
and overhauled me the other day. As I expected, the original mischief
is just as it was. One does not get rid either of dilatation or its
results at my time of life. The only thing is to keep the pipes clear
by good conditions of existence.

After endless discussion we have settled on Brighton for November and
December. It is a hateful place to my mind, but there is more chance of
sunshine there (at this time) than anywhere else. We shall come up for
a week or two on this side of Christmas, and then get away somewhere
else out of the way of the east winds of February and March.

I do not think that the Hazlemere country would do for us, nor indeed
any country place so long as we cannot regularly set up house.

Heaven knows I don't want to bother about anything at present. But I
should like to convince -- that he does not yet understand the elements
of his subject. What a copious ink-spilling cuttlefish of a writer he

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

4 Marlborough Place, London, N.W., November 2, 1888.

My dear Skelton,

Best thanks for the second volume of "Maitland of Lethington." I have
been in the Engadine for the last four months, trying to repair the
crazy old "house I live in," and meeting with more success than I hoped
for when I left home.

Your volume turned up amidst a mountain of accumulated books, papers,
and letters, and I can only hope it has not been too long without

I have been much interested in your argument about the "Casket
letters." The comparison of Crawford's deposition with the Queen's
letter leaves no sort of doubt that the writer of one had the other
before him; and under the circumstances I do not see how it can be
doubted that the Queen's letter is forged.

But though thus wholly agreeing with you in substance, I cannot help
thinking that your language on page 341 may be seriously pecked at.

My experience of reporters leads me to think that there would be no
discrepancy at all comparable to that between the two accounts, and I
speak from the woeful memories of the many Royal Commissions I have
wearied over. The accuracy of a good modern reporter is really

And I do not think that "the two documents were drawn by the same
hand." I should say that the writer of the letter had Crawford's
deposition before him, and made what he considered improvements here
and there.

You will say this letter is like Falstaff's reckoning, with but a
pennyworth of thanks to this monstrous quantity of pecking.

But the gratitude is solid and the criticism mere two-dimension stuff.
It is a charming book.

With kind remembrances to Mrs. Skelton.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

10 Southcliff Terrace, Eastbourne, November 9, 1888.

My dear Foster,

We came here on Tuesday, on which day, by ill luck, the east wind also
started, and has been blowing half a gale ever since. We are in the
last house but one to the west, and as high up as we dare go--looking
out on the sea. The first day we had to hold on to our chairs to
prevent being blown away in the sitting-room, but we have hired a
screen and can now croon over the fire without danger.

A priori, the conditions cannot be said to have been promising for two
people, one of whom is liable to bronchitis and rheumatism and the
other to pleurisy, but, as I am so fond of rubbing into Herbert
Spencer, a priori reasonings are mostly bosh, and we are thriving.

With three coats on I find the air on Beachy Head eminently refreshing,
and there is so much light in the southern quarter just now, that we
confidently hope to see the sun once more in the course of a few days.

As I told you in my official letter, I am going up for the 30th. But I
am in a quandary about the dinner, partly by reason of the inevitable
speech, and partly the long sitting. I should very much like to attend,
and I think I could go through with it. On the other hand, my wife
declares it would be very imprudent, and I am not quite sure she is
wrong. I wish you would tell me exactly what you think about the

The way I pick up directly I get into good air makes me suspect myself
of malingering, and yet I certainly had grown very seedy in London
before we left.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

10 Southcliff Terrace, Eastbourne, November 13, 1888.

My dear Foster,

We are very sorry to hear about Michael Junior. [Sir M. Foster's son
was threatened with lung trouble, and was ordered to live abroad. He
proposed to carry his medical experience to the Maloja and practise
there during the summer. Huxley offered to give him some
introductions.] Experto crede; of all anxieties the hardest to bear is
that about one's children. But considering the way you got off yourself
and have become the hearty and bucolic person you are, I think you
ought to be cheery. Everybody speaks well of the youngster, and he is
bound to behave himself well and get strong as swiftly as possible.

Though very loth, I give up the dinner. But unless I am on my back I
shall turn up at the meeting. I think that is a compromise very
creditable to my prudence.

Though it is blowing a gale of wind from south-west to-day there is
real sunshine, and it is fairly warm. I am very glad we came here
instead of that beastly Brighton.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

10 Southcliff Terrace, Eastbourne, November 15, 1888.

My dear Evans,

I am very sorry to have missed you. I told my doctor that while the
weather was bad it was of no use to go away, and when it was fine I
might just as well stop at home; but he did not see the force of my
reasoning, and packed us off here.

The award of the Copley is a kindness I feel very much...

The Congress [The International Geological Congress, at which he was to
have presided.] seems to have gone off excellently. I consider that my
own performance of the part of dummy was distinguished.

So the Lawes business is fairly settled at last! "Lawes Deo," as the
Claimant might have said. But the pun will be stale, as you doubtless
have already made all possible epigrams and punnigrams on the topic.

My wife joins with me in kindest regards to Mrs. Evans and yourself. If
Mrs. Evans had only come up to the Maloja, she would have had real
winter and no cold.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

10 Southcliff Terrace, Eastbourne, November 15, 1888.

My dear Hooker,

You would have it that the Royal Society broke the law in giving you
the Copley, and they certainly violated custom in giving it to me the
year following. Whoever heard of two biologers getting it one after
another? It is very pleasant to have our niches in the Pantheon close
together. It is getting on for forty years since we were first
"acquent," and considering with what a very considerable dose of
tenacity, vivacity, and that glorious firmness (which the beasts who
don't like us call obstinacy) we are both endowed, the fact that we
have never had the shadow of a shade of a quarrel is more to our credit
than being ex-Presidents and Copley medallists.

But we have had a masonic bond in both being well salted in early life.
I have always felt I owed a great deal to my acquaintance with the
realities of things gained in the old "Rattlesnake".

I am getting on pretty well here, though the weather has been mostly
bad. All being well I shall attend the meeting of the Society on the
30th, but not the dinner. I am very sorry to miss the latter, but I
dare not face the fatigue and the chances of a third dose of pleurisy.

My wife sends kindest regards and thanks for your congratulations.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

10 Southcliff Terrace, Eastbourne, November 17, 1888.

My dear Flower,

...Many thanks for taking my troublesomeness in good part. My friend
will be greatly consoled to know that you have the poor man "in your
eye." Schoolmaster, naturalist, and coal merchant used to be the three
refuges for the incompetent. Schoolmaster is rapidly being eliminated,
so I suppose the pressure on Natural History and coals will increase.

I am glad you have got the Civil Service Commissioners to listen to
common sense. I had an awful battle with them (through the Department)
over Newton, who is now in your paleontological department. If I
recollect rightly, they examined him inter alia on the working of the
Poor Laws!

The Royal Society has dealt very kindly with me. They patted me on the
back when I started thirty-seven years ago, and it was a great
encouragement. They give me their best, now that my race is run, and it
is a great consolation. At the far end of life all one's work looks so
uncommonly small, that the good opinion of one's contemporaries
acquires a new value.

We have a summer's day, and I am writing before an open window!
Yesterday it blew great guns.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[The following letter to Lady Welby, the point of which is that to be
"morally convinced" is not the same thing as to offer scientific proof,
refers to an article in the "Church Quarterly" for October called
"Truthfulness in Science and Religion," evoked by Huxley's "Nineteenth
Century" article on "Science and the Bishops."]

November 27, 1888.

Dear Lady Welby,

Many thanks for the article in the "Church Quarterly", which I return
herewith. I am not disposed to bestow any particular attention upon it;
as the writer, though evidently a fair-minded man, appears to me to be
entangled in a hopeless intellectual muddle, and one which has no
novelty. Christian beliefs profess to be based upon historical facts.
If there was no such person as Jesus of Nazareth, and if His biography
given in the Gospels is a fiction, Christianity vanishes.

Now the inquiry into the truth or falsehood of a matter of history is
just as much a question of pure science as the inquiry into the truth
or falsehood of a matter of geology, and the value of evidence in the
two cases must be tested in the same way. If any one tells me that the
evidence of the existence of man in the miocene epoch is as good as
that upon which I frequently act every day of my life, I reply that
this is quite true, but that it is no sort of reason for believing in
the existence of miocene man.

Surely no one but a born fool can fail to be aware that we constantly,
and in very grave conjunctions, are obliged to act upon extremely bad
evidence, and that very often we suffer all sorts of penalties in
consequence. And surely one must be something worse than a born fool to
pretend that such decision under the pressure of the enigmas of life
ought to have the smallest influence in those judgments which are made
with due and sufficient deliberation. You will see that these
considerations go to the root of the whole matter. I regret that I
cannot discuss the question more at length and deal with sundry topics
put forward in your letter. At present writing is a burden to me.

[A letter to Professor Ray Lankester mixes grave and gay in a little
homily, edged by personal experience, on the virtues and vices of

10 Southcliff Terrace, Eastbourne, December 6, 1888.

I think it would be a very good thing both for you and for Oxford if
you went there. Oxford science certainly wants stirring up, and
notwithstanding your increase in years and wisdom, I think you would
bear just a little more stirring down, so that the conditions for a
transfer of energy are excellent!

Seriously, I wish you would let an old man, who has had his share of
fighting, remind you that battles, like hypotheses, are not to be
multiplied beyond necessity. Science might say to you as the
Staffordshire collier's wife said to her husband at the fair, "Get thee
foighten done and come whoam." You have a fair expectation of ripe
vigour for twenty years; just think what may be done with that capital.

No use to tu quoque me. Under the circumstances of the time, warfare
has been my business and duty.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Two more letters of the year refer to the South Kensington
examinations, for which Huxley was still nominally responsible. As
before, we see him reluctant to sign the report upon papers which he
had not himself examined; yet at the same time doing all that lay in
his power to assist by criticising the questions and thinking out the
scheme of teaching on which the examination was to be based. He replies
to some proposed changes in a letter to Sir M. Foster of December 12:--]

I am very sorry I cannot agree with your clients about the examination.
They should recollect the late Master of Trinity's aphorism that even
the youngest of us is not infallible.

I know exactly upon what principles I am going, and so far as I am at
present informed that advantage is peculiar to my side. Two points I am
quite clear about--one is the exclusion of Amphioxus, and the other the
retention of so much of the Bird as will necessitate a knowledge of
Sauropsidan skeletal characters and the elements of skeletal homologies
in skull and limbs.

I have taken a good deal of pains over drawing up a new
syllabus--including dogfish--and making room for it by excluding
Amphioxus and all of bird except skeleton. I have added Lamprey
(cranial and spinal skeleton, NOT face cartilages), so that the
intelligent student may know what a notochord means before he goes to
embryology. I have excluded Distoma and kept Helix.

The Committee must now settle the matter. I have done with it.

[On December 27 he writes:--]

I have been thinking over the Examinership business without coming to
any very satisfactory result. The present state of things is not
satisfactory so far as I am concerned. I do not like to appear to be
doing what I am not doing.

-- would of course be the successor indicated, if he had not so
carefully cut his own throat as an Examiner...He would be bringing an
action against the Lord President before he had been three years in
office!...As I told Forster, when he was Vice-President, the whole
value of the Examiner system depends on the way the examiners do their
work. I have the gravest doubt about -- steadily plodding through the
disgustful weariness of it as you and I have done, or observing any
regulation that did not suit his fancy.

[With this may be compared the letter of May 19, 1889, to Sir J.
Donnelly, when he finally resolved to give up the "sleeping
partnership" in the examination.

His last letter of the year was written to Sir J. Hooker, when
transferring to him the "archives" of the x Club, as the new Treasurer.]

4 Marlborough Place, December 29, 1888.

My dear Hooker,

All good wishes to you and yours, and many of them.

Thanks for the cheque. You are very confiding to send it without
looking at the account. But I have packed up the "Archives," which poor
dear Busk handed over to me, and will leave them at the Athenaeum for
you. Among them you will find the account book. There are two or three
cases, when I was absent, in which the names are not down. I have no
doubt Frankland gave them to me by letter, but the book was at home and
they never got set down. Peccavi!

I have been picking up in the most astonishing way during the last
fortnight or three weeks at Eastbourne. My doctor, Hames, carefully
examined my heart yesterday, and told me that though some slight
indications were left, he should have thought nothing of them if he had
not followed the whole history of the case. With fresh air and exercise
and careful avoidance of cold and night air I am to be all right again
in a few months.

I am not fond of coddling; but as Paddy gave his pig the best corner in
his cabin--because "shure, he paid the rint"--I feel bound to take care
of myself as a household animal of value, to say nothing of any other
grounds. So, much as I should like to be with you all on the 3rd, I
must defer to the taboo.

The wife got a nasty bronchitic cold as soon as she came up. She is
much better now. But I shall be glad to get her down to Eastbourne

Except that, we are all very flourishing, as I hope you are.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.



[The events to be chronicled in this year are, as might be expected,
either domestic or literary. The letters are full of allusions to his
long controversy in defence of Agnosticism, mainly with Dr. Wace, who
had declared the use of the name to be a "mere evasion" on the part of
those who ought to be dubbed infidels (Apropos of this controversy, a
letter may be cited which appeared in the "Agnostic Annual" for 1884,
in answer to certain inquiries from the editor as to the right
definition of Agnosticism:--]

Some twenty years ago, or thereabouts, I invented the word "Agnostic"
to denote people who, like myself, confess themselves to be hopelessly
ignorant concerning a variety of matters, about which metaphysicians
and theologians, both orthodox and heterodox, dogmatise with the utmost
confidence, and it has been a source of some amusement to me to watch
the gradual acceptance of the term and its correlate, "Agnosticism" (I
think the "Spectator" first adopted and popularised both), until now
Agnostics are assuming the position of a recognised sect, and
Agnosticism is honoured by especial obloquy on the part of the
orthodox. Thus it will be seen that I have a sort of patent right in
"Agnostic" (it is my trade mark), and I am entitled to say that I can
state authentically what was originally meant by Agnosticism. What
other people may understand by it, by this time, I do not know. If a
General Council of the Church Agnostic were held, very likely I should
be condemned as a heretic. But I speak only for myself in answering
these questions.

1. Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern.
It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that
which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe.

2. Consequently Agnosticism puts aside not only the greater part of
popular theology, but also the greater part of popular anti-theology.
On the whole, the "bosh" of heterodoxy is more offensive to me than
that of orthodoxy, because heterodoxy professes to be guided by reason
and science, and orthodoxy does not.

3. I have no doubt that scientific criticism will prove destructive to
the forms of supernaturalism which enter into the constitution of
existing religions. On trial of any so-called miracle the verdict of
science is "Not proven." But true Agnosticism will not forget that
existence, motion, and law-abiding operation in nature are more
stupendous miracles than any recounted by the mythologies, and that
there may be things, not only in the heavens and earth, but beyond the
intelligible universe, which "are not dreamt of in our philosophy." The
theological "gnosis" would have us believe that the world is a
conjurer's house; the anti-theological "gnosis" talks as if it were a
"dirt-pie," made by the two blind children, Law and Force. Agnosticism
simply says that we know nothing of what may be behind phenomena.); [to
the building of the new house at Eastbourne, and to the marriage in
quick succession of his two youngest daughters, whereby, indeed, the
giving up of the house in London and definite departure from London was
made possible.

All the early part of the year, till he found it necessary to go to
Switzerland again, he stayed unwillingly in Eastbourne, from time to
time running up to town, or having son or daughter to stay with him for
a week, his wife being too busy to leave town, with the double
preparations for the weddings on hand, so that he writes to her:] "I
feel worse than the 'cowardly agnostic' I am said to be--for leaving
you to face your botherations alone." [One can picture him still firm
of tread, with grizzled head a little stooped from his square
shoulders, pacing the sea wall with long strides, or renewing somewhat
of his strength as it again began to fail, in the keener air of the
downs, warmly defended against chill by a big cap--for he had been
suffering from his ears--and a long rough coat. He writes (February
22):] "I have bought a cap with flaps to protect my ears. I look more
'doggy' than ever." [And on March 3:--]

We have had a lovely day, quite an Italian sky and sea, with a good
deal of Florentine east wind. I walked up to the Signal House, and was
greatly amused by a young sheep-dog whose master could hardly get him
away from circling round me and staring at me with a short dissatisfied
bark every now and then. It is the undressed wool of my coat bothers
all the dogs. They can't understand why a creature which smells so like
a sheep should walk on its hind legs. I wish I could have relieved that
dog's mind, but I did not see my way to an explanation.

From this time on, the effects of several years' comparative rest
became more perceptible. His slowly returning vigour was no longer
sapped by the unceasing strain of multifarious occupations. And if his
recurrent ill-health sometimes seems too strongly insisted on, it must
be remembered that he had always worked at the extreme limit of his
powers--the limit, as he used regretfully to say, imposed on his brain
by his other organs--and that after his first breakdown he was never
very far from a second. When this finally came in 1884, his forces were
so far spent that he never expected to recover as he did.

In the marriage this year of his youngest daughter, Huxley was doomed
to experience the momentary little twinge which will sometimes come to
the supporter of an unpopular principle when he first puts it into
practice among his own belongings.

Athenaeum Club, January 14, 1889.

My dear Hooker,

I have just left the x "Archives" here for you. I left them on my table
by mischance when I came here on the x day.

I have a piece of family news for you. My youngest daughter Ethel is
going to marry John Collier.

I have always been a great advocate for the triumph of common sense and
justice in the "Deceased Wife's Sister" business--and only now
discover, that I had a sneaking hope that all of my own daughters would
escape that experiment!

They are quite suited to one another and I would not wish a better
match for her. And whatever annoyances and social pin-pricks may come
in Ethel's way, I know nobody less likely to care about them.

We shall have to go to Norway, I believe, to get the business done.

In the meantime, my wife (who has been laid up with bronchitic cold
ever since we came home) and I have had as much London as we can stand,
and are off to-morrow to Eastbourne again, but to more sheltered

I hope Lady Hooker and you are thriving. Don't conceal the news from
her, as my wife is always accusing me of doing.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

To Mr. W.F. Collier.

4 Marlborough Place, January 24, 1889.

Many thanks for your kind letter. I have as strong an affection for
Jack as if he were my own son, and I have felt very keenly the ruin we
involuntarily brought upon him--by our poor darling's terrible illness
and death. So that if I had not already done my best to aid and abet
other people in disregarding the disabilities imposed by the present
monstrous state of the law, I should have felt bound to go as far as I
could towards mending his life. Ethel is just suited to him...Of course
I could have wished that she should be spared the petty annoyances
which she must occasionally expect. But I know of no one less likely to
care for them.

Your Shakespere parable is charming--but I am afraid it must be put
among the endless things that are read IN to the "divine Williams" as
the Frenchman called him. [The second part of the letter replies to the
question whether Shakespeare had any notion of the existence of the
sexes in plants and the part played in their fertilisation by insects,
which, of course, would be prevented from visiting them by rainy
weather, when he wrote in the "Midsummer Night's Dream":--

The moon, methinks, looks with a watery eye,
And when she weeps, weeps every little flower
Lamenting some enforced chastity.]

There was no knowledge of the sexes of plants in Shakespere's time,
barring some vague suggestion about figs and dates. Even in the 18th
century, after Linnaeus, the observations of Sprengel, who was a man of
genius, and first properly explained the action of insects, were set
aside and forgotten.

I take it that Shakespere is really alluding to the "enforced chastity"
of Dian (the moon). The poets ignore that little Endymion business when
they like!

I have recovered in such an extraordinary fashion that I can plume
myself on being an "interesting case," though I am not going to compete
with you in that line. And if you look at the February "Nineteenth" I
hope you will think that my brains are none the worse. But perhaps that
conceited speech is evidence that they are.

We came to town to make the acquaintance of Nettie's fiance, and I am
happy to say the family takes to him. When it does not take to anybody,
it is the worse for that anybody.

So, before long, my house will be empty, and as my wife and I cannot
live in London, I think we shall pitch our tent in Eastbourne. Good
Jack offers to give us a pied-a-terre when we come to town. To-day we
are off to Eastbourne again. Carry off Harry, who is done up from too
zealous Hospital work. However, it is nothing serious.

The following is in reply to a request that he would write a letter, as
he describes it elsewhere, "about the wife's sister business--for the
edification of the peers."

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, March 12, 1889.

My dear Donnelly,

I feel "downright mean," as the Yankees say, that I have not done for
the sake of right and justice what I am moved to do now that I have a
personal interest in the matter of the directest kind; and I rather
expect that will be thrown in my teeth if my name is at the bottom of
anything I write.

On the other hand, I loathe anonymity. However, we can take time to
consider that point.

Anyhow I will set to work on the concoction of a letter, if you will
supply me with the materials which will enable me to be thoroughly
posted up in the facts.

I have just received your second letter. Pity you could not stay over
yesterday--it was very fine.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[The letter in question is as follows:--]

April 30, 1889.

Dear Lord Hartington,

I am assured by those who know more about the political world than I
do, that if Lord Salisbury would hold his hand and let his party do as
they like about the Deceased Wife's Sister Bill which is to come on
next week, it would pass. Considering the irritation against the
bishops and a certain portion of the lay peers among a number of people
who have the means of making themselves heard and felt, which is kept
up and aggravated, as time goes on, by the action of the Upper House in
repeatedly snubbing the Lower, about this question, I should have
thought it (from a Conservative point of view) good policy to heal the

The talk of Class versus Mass is generally mere clap-trap; but, in this
case, there is really no doubt that a fraction of the Classes stands in
the way of the fulfilment of a very reasonable demand on the part of
the Masses.

A clear-headed man like Lord Salisbury would surely see this if it were
properly pressed on his attention.

I do not presume to say whether it is practicable or convenient for the
Leader of the Liberal Unionist party to take any steps in this
direction; and I should hardly have ventured to ask you to take this
suggestion into consideration if the interest I have always taken in
the D.W.S. Bill had not recently been quickened by the marriage of one
of my daughters as a Deceased Wife's Sister.

I am, etc.

[Meantime the effect of Eastbourne, which Sir John Donnelly had induced
him to try, was indeed wonderful. He found in it the place he had so
long been looking for. References to his health read very differently
from those of previous years. He walked up Beachy Head regularly
without suffering from any heart symptoms. And though Beachy Head was
not the same thing as the Alps, it made a very efficient substitute for
a while, and it was not till April that the need of change began to
make itself felt. And so he made up his mind to listen no more to the
eager friends who wished him to pitch his tent near them at either end
of Surrey, but to settle down at Eastbourne, and, by preference, to
build a house of the size and on the spot that suited himself, rather
than to take any existing house lower down in the town. He must have
been a trifle irritated by unsolicited advice when he wrote the

It is very odd that people won't give one credit for common sense. We
have tried one winter here, and if we tried another we should be just
as much dependent upon the experience of longer residents as ever we
were. However, as I told X. I was going to settle matters to-morrow,
there won't be any opportunity for discussing that topic when he comes.
If we had taken W.'s house, somebody would have immediately told us
that we had chosen the dampest site in winter and the stuffiest in
summer, and where, moreover, the sewage has to be pumped up into the
main drain.

[He finally decided upon a site on the high ground near Beachy Head, a
little way back from the sea front, at the corner of the Staveley and
Buxton Roads, with a guarantee from the Duke of Devonshire's agent that
no house should be built at the contiguous end of the adjoining plot of
land in the Buxton Road, a plot which he himself afterwards bought. The
principal rooms were planned for the back of the house, looking
south-west over open gardens to the long line of downs which culminate
in Beachy Head, but with due provision against southerly gales and
excess of sunshine.

On May 29 the builder's contract was accepted, and for the rest of the
year the progress of the house, which was designed by his son-in-law,
F.W. Waller, afforded a constant interest.

Meantime, with the improvement in his general health, the old appetite
for work returned with increased and unwonted zest. For the first time
in his life he declares that he enjoyed the process of writing. As he
wrote somewhat later to his newly married daughter from Eastbourne,
where he had gone again very weary the day after her wedding: "Luckily
the bishops and clergy won't let me alone, so I have been able to keep
myself pretty well amused in replying." The work which came to him so
easily and pleasurably was the defence of his attitude of agnosticism
against the onslaught made upon it at the previous Church Congress by
Dr. Wace, the Principal of King's College, London, and followed up by
articles in the "Nineteenth Century" from the pen of Mr. Frederic
Harrison and Mr. Laing, the effect of which upon him he describes to
Mr. Knowles on December 30, 1888:--]

I have been stirred up to the boiling pitch by Wace, Laing, and
Harrison in re Agnosticism, and I really can't keep the lid down any
longer. Are you minded to admit a goring article into the February

[As for his health, he adds:--]

I have amended wonderfully in the course of the last six weeks, and my
doctor tells me I am going to be completely patched up--seams caulked
and made seaworthy, so the old hulk may make another cruise.

We shall see. At any rate I have been able and willing to write lately,
and that is more than I can say for myself for the first three-quarters
of the year.

...I was so pleased to see you were in trouble about your house. Good
for you to have a taste of it for yourself.

[To this controversy he contributed four articles; three directly in
defence of Agnosticism, the fourth on the value of the underlying
question of testimony to the miraculous.

The first article, "Agnosticism," appeared in the February number of
the "Nineteenth Century". No sooner was this finished than he began a
fresh piece of work, "which," he writes, "is all about miracles, and
will be rather amusing." This, on the "Value of Testimony to the
Miraculous," appeared in the following number of the "Nineteenth
Century". It did not form part of the controversy on hand, though it
bore indirectly upon the first principles of agnosticism. The question
at issue, he urges, is not the possibility of miracles, but the
evidence to their occurrence, and if from preconceptions or ignorance
the evidence be worthless the historical reality of the facts attested
vanishes. The cardinal point, then, "is completely, as the author of
Robert Elsmere says, the value of testimony."

[The March number also contained replies from Dr. Wace and Bishop Magee
on the main question, and an article by Mrs. Humphry Ward on a kindred
subject to his own, "The New Reformation." Of these he writes on
February 27:--]

The Bishop and Wace are hammering away in the "Nineteenth". Mrs. Ward's
article very good, and practically an answer to Wace. Won't I stir them
up by and by.

[And a few days later:--]

Mrs. Ward's service consists in her very clear and clever exposition of
critical results and methods.

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, February 29, 1889.

My dear Knowles,

I have just been delighted with Mrs. Ward's article. She has swept away
the greater part of Wace's sophistries as a dexterous and
strong-wristed housemaid sweeps away cobwebs with her broom, and saved
a lot of time.

What in the world does the Bishop mean by saying that I have called
Christianity "sorry stuff" (page 370)? To my knowledge I never so much
as thought anything of the kind, let alone saying it.

I shall challenge him very sharply about this, and if, as I believe, he
has no justification for his statement, my opinion of him will be very
considerably lowered.

Wace has given me a lovely opening by his profession of belief in the
devils going into the swine. I rather hoped I should get this out of

I find people are watching the game with great interest, and if it
should be possible for me to give a little shove to the "New
Reformation," I shall think the fag end of my life well spent.

After all, the reproach made to the English people that "they care for
nothing but religion and politics" is rather to their credit. In the
long run these are the two things that ought to interest a man more
than any others.

I have been much bothered with ear-ache lately, but if all goes well I
will send you a screed by the middle of March.

Snowing hard! They have had more snow within the last month than they
have known for ten years here.

Ever yours faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[He set to work immediately, and within ten days despatched his second
contribution, "Agnosticism, a Rejoinder," which appeared in the April
number of the "Nineteenth Century".

On March 3 he writes:--]

I am possessed by a writing demon, and have pretty well finished in the
rough another article for Knowles, whose mouth is wide open for it.

[And on the 9th:--]

I sent off another article to Knowles last night--a regular facer for
the clericals. You can't think how I enjoy writing now for the first
time in my life.

[He writes at greater length to Mr. Knowles]

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, March 10, 1889.

My dear Knowles,

There's a Divinity that shapes the ends (of envelopes!) rough-hew them
how we will. This time I went and bought the strongest to be had, and
sealed him up with wax in the shop. I put no note inside, meaning to
write to you afterwards, and then I forgot to do so.

I can't understand Peterborough nohow. However, so far as the weakness
of the flesh would permit me to abstain from smiting him and his
brother Amalekite, I have tried to turn the tide of battle to matters
of more importance.

The pith of my article is the proposition that Christ was not a
Christian. I have not ventured to state my thesis exactly in that
form--fearing the Editor--but, in a mild and proper way, I flatter
myself I have demonstrated it. Really, when I come to think of the
claims made by orthodox Christianity on the one hand, and of the total
absence of foundation for them on the other, I find it hard to abstain
from using a phrase which shocked me very much when Strauss first
applied it to the Resurrection, "Welthistorischer Humbug!"

I don't think I have ever seen the portrait you speak of. I remember
the artist--a clever fellow, whose name, of course, I forget--but I do
not think I saw his finished work. Some of these days I will ask to see

I was pretty well finished after the wedding, and bolted here the next
day. I am sorry to say I could not get my wife to come with me. If she
does not knock up I shall be pleasantly surprised. The young couple are
flourishing in Paris. I like what I have seen of him very much.

What is the "Cloister scheme"? [It referred to a plan for using the
cloisters of Westminster Abbey to receive the monuments of
distinguished men, so as to avoid the necessity of enlarging the Abbey
itself.] Recollect how far away I am from the world, the flesh and the

Are you and Mrs. Knowles going to imitate the example of Eginhard and
Emma? What good pictures you will have in your monastery church!

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[And again, a few days later:--]

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne; March 15, 1889.

My dear Knowles,

I am sending my proof back to Spottiswoode's. I did not think the
manuscript would make so much, and I am afraid it has lengthened in the
process of correction.

You have a reader in your printer's office who provides me with jokes.
Last time he corrected, where my manuscript spoke of the pigs as
unwilling "porters" of the devils, into "porkers." And this time, when
I, writing about the Lord's Prayer, say "current formula," he has it
"canting formula." If only Peterborough had got hold of that! And I am
capable of overlooking anything in a proof.

You see we have got to big questions now, and if these are once fairly
before the general mind all the King's horses and all the King's men
won't put the orthodox Humpty Dumpty where he was before.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[After the article came out he wrote again to Mr. Knowles:--]

4 Marlborough Place, N.W., April 14, 1889.

My dear Knowles,

I am going to try and stop here, desolate as the house is now all the
chicks have flown, for the next fortnight. Your talk of the inclemency
of Torquay is delightfully consoling. London has been vile.

I am glad you are going to let Wace have another "go." My object, as
you know, in the whole business has been to rouse people to think...

Considering that I got named in the House of Commons last night as an
example of a temperate and well-behaved blasphemer, I think I am
attaining my object. [In the debate upon the Religious Prosecutions
Abolition Bill, Mr. Addison said "the last article by Professor Huxley
in the "Nineteenth Century" showed that opinion was free when it was
honestly expressed."--"Times" April 14.]

Of course I go for a last word, and I am inclined to think that
whatever Wace may say, it may be best to get out of the region of
controversy as far as possible and hammer in two big nails--(1) that
the Demonology of Christianity shows that its founders knew no more
about the spiritual world than anybody else, and (2) that Newman's
doctrine of "Development" is true to an extent of which the Cardinal
did not dream.

I have been reading some of his works lately, and I understand now why
Kingsley accused him of growing dishonesty.

After an hour or two of him I began to lose sight of the distinction
between truth and falsehood.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

If you are at home any day next week I will look in for a chat.

[The controversy was completed by a third article, "Agnosticism and
Christianity," in the June number of the "Nineteenth Century". There
was a humorous aspect of this article which tickled his fancy
immensely, for he drove home his previous arguments by means of an
authority whom his adversaries could not neglect, though he was the
last man they could have expected to see brought up against them in
this connection--Cardinal Newman. There is no better evidence for
ancient than for modern miracles, he says in effect; let us therefore
accept the teachings of the Church which maintains a continuous
tradition on the subject. But there is a very different conclusion to
be drawn from the same premises; all may be regarded as equally
doubtful, and so he writes on May 30 to Sir J. Hooker:--]

By the way, I want you to enjoy my wind-up with Wace in this month's
"Nineteenth" in the reading as much as I have in the writing. It's as
full of malice [I.e. in the French sense of the word.] as an egg is
full of meat, and my satisfaction in making Newman my accomplice has
been unutterable. That man is the slipperiest sophist I have ever met
with. Kingsley was entirely right about him.

Now for peace and quietness till after the next Church Congress!

[Three other letters to Mr. Knowles refer to this article.]

4 Marlborough Place, N.W., May 4, 1889.

My dear Knowles,

I am at the end of my London tether, and we go to Eastbourne (3
Jevington Gardens again) on Monday.

I have been working hard to finish my paper, and shall send it to you
before I go.

I am astonished at its meekness. Being reviled, I revile not; not an
exception, I believe, can be taken to the wording of one of the
venomous paragraphs in which the paper abounds. And I perceive the
truth of a profound reflection I have often made, that reviling is
often morally superior to not reviling.

I give up Peterborough. His "Explanation" is neither straightforward,
nor courteous, nor prudent. Of which last fact, it may be, he will be
convinced when he reads my acknowledgment of his favours, which is
soft, not with the softness of the answer which turneth away wrath, but
with that of the pillow which smothered Desdemona.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

I shall try to stand an hour or two of the Academy dinner, and hope it
won't knock me up.

4 Marlborough Place, N.W., May 6, 1889.

My dear Knowles,

If I had not gone to the Academy dinner I might have kept my promise
about sending you my paper to-day. I indulged in no gastronomic
indiscretions, and came away after H.R.H.'s speech, but I was dead beat
all yesterday, nevertheless.

We are off to Eastbourne, and I will send the manuscript from there;
there is very little to do.

Such a waste! I shall have to omit a paragraph that was really a

For who should I come upon in one of the rooms but the Bishop! As we
shook hands, he asked whether that was before the fight or after; and I
answered, "A little of both." Then we spoke our minds pretty plainly;
and then we agreed to bury the hatchet. [As he says ("Collected Essays"
5 210), this chance meeting ended "a temporary misunderstanding with a
man of rare ability, candour, and wit, for whom I entertained a great
liking and no less respect."]

So yesterday I tore up THE paragraph. It was so appropriate I could not
even save it up for somebody else!

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, May 22, 1889.

My dear Knowles,

I sent back my proof last evening. I shall be in town Friday afternoon
to Monday morning next, having a lot of things to do. So you may as
well let me see a revise of the whole. Did you not say to me, "sitting
by a sea-coal fire" (I say nothing about a "parcel gilt goblet"), that
this screed was to be the "last word"? I don't mind how long it goes on
so long as I have the last word. But you must expect nothing from me
for the next three or four months. We shall be off abroad, not later
than the 8th June, and among the everlasting hills, a fico for your
controversies! Wace's paper shall be waste paper for me. Oh! This is a
"goak" which Peterborough would not understand.

I think you are right about the wine and water business--I had my
doubts--but it was too tempting. All the teetotalers would have been on
my side.

There is no more curious example of the influence of education than the
respect with which this poor bit of conjuring is regarded. Your genuine
pietist would find a mystical sense in thimblerig. I trust you have
properly enjoyed the extracts from Newman. That a man of his intellect
should be brought down to the utterance of such drivel--by Papistry, is
one of the strongest of arguments against that damnable perverter of
mankind, I know of.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Shortly afterwards, he received a long and rambling letter in
connection with this subject. Referring to the passage in the first
article, "the apostolic injunction to 'suffer fools gladly' should be
the rule of life of a true agnostic," the writer began by begging him
"to 'suffer gladly' one fool more," and after several pages wound up
with a variation of the same phrase. It being impossible to give any
valid answer to his hypothetical inquiries, Huxley could not resist the
temptation to take the opening thus offered him, and replied:--]


I beg leave to acknowledge your letter. I have complied with the
request preferred in its opening paragraph.

Faithfully yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[The following letter also arises out of this controversy:--

Its occasion (writes Mr. Taylor) was one which I had written on seeing
an article in which he referred to the Persian sect of the Babis. I had
read with much interest the account of it in Count Gobineau's book, and
was much struck with the points of likeness to the foundation of
Christianity, and the contrast between the subsequent history of the
two; I asked myself how, given the points of similarity, to account for
the contrast; is it due to the Divine within the one, or the human
surroundings? This question I put to Professor Huxley, with many
apologies for intruding on his leisure, and a special request that he
would not suffer himself to be further troubled by any reply.]

To Mr. Robert Taylor.

4 Marlborough Place, N.W., June 8, 1889.


In looking through a mass of papers, before I leave England for some
months among the mountains in search of health, I have come upon your
letter of 7th March. As a rule I find that out of the innumerable
letters addressed to me, the only ones I wish to answer are those the
writers of which are considerate enough to ask that they may receive no
reply, and yours is no exception.

The question you put is very much to the purpose: a proper and full
answer would take up many pages; but it will suffice to furnish the
heads to be filled up by your own knowledge.

1. The Church founded by Jesus has NOT made its way; has NOT permeated
the world--but DID become extinct in the country of its birth--as
Nazarenism and Ebionism.

2. The Church that did make its way and coalesced with the State in the
4th century had no more to do with the Church founded by Jesus than
Ultramontanism has with Quakerism. It is Alexandrian Judaism and
Neoplatonistic mystagogy, and as much of the old idolatry and
demonology as could be got in under new or old names.

3. Paul has said that the Law was schoolmaster to Christ with more
truth than he knew. Throughout the Empire the synagogues had their
cloud of Gentile hangers-on--those who "feared God"--and who were fully
prepared to accept a Christianity which was merely an expurgated
Judaism and the belief in Jesus as the Messiah.

4. The Christian "Sodalitia" were not merely religious bodies, but
friendly societies, burial societies, and guilds. They hung together
for all purposes--the mob hated them as it now hates the Jews in
Eastern Europe, because they were more frugal, more industrious, and
lived better lives than their neighbours, while they stuck together
like Scotchmen.

If these things are so--and I appeal to your knowledge of history that
they are so--what has the success of Christianity to do with the truth
or falsehood of the story of Jesus?

I am, yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[The following letter was written in reply to one from Mr. Clodd on the
first of the articles in this controversy. This article, it must be
remembered, not only replied to Dr. Wace's attack, but at the same time
bantered Mr. Frederic Harrison's pretensions on behalf of Positivism at
the expense alike of Christianity and Agnosticism.]

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, February 19, 1889.

My dear Mr. Clodd,

I am very much obliged to you for your cheery and appreciative letter.
If I do not empty all Harrison's vials of wrath I shall be astonished!
But of all the sickening humbugs in the world, the sham pietism of the
Positivists is to me the most offensive.

I have long been wanting to say my say about these questions, but my
hands were too full. This time last year I was so ill that I thought to
myself, with Hamlet, "the rest is silence." But my wiry constitution
has unexpectedly weathered the storm, and I have every reason to
believe that with renunciation of the devil and all his works (i.e.
public speaking, dining and being dined, etc.) my faculties may be
unimpaired for a good spell yet. And whether my lease is long or short,
I mean to devote them to the work I began in the paper on the Evolution
of Theology.

You will see in the next "Nineteenth" a paper on the Evidence of
Miracles, which I think will be to your mind.

Hutton is beginning to drivel! There really is no other word for it.
[This refers to an article in the "Spectator" on "Professor Huxley and
Agnosticism," February 9, 1889, which suggests, with regard to demoniac
possession, that the old doctrine of one spirit driving out another is
as good as any new explanation, and fortifies this conclusion by a
reference to the phenomena of hypnotism.]

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[To the same:--]

4 Marlborough Place, April 15, 1889.

My dear Mr. Clodd,

The adventurous Mr. C. wrote to me some time ago. I expressed my regret
that I could do nothing for the evolution of tent-pegs. What wonderful
people there are in the world!

Many thanks for calling my attention to "Antiqua Mater." I will look it
up. I have such a rooted objection to returning books, that I never
borrow one or allow anybody to lend me one if I can help it.

I hear that Wace is to have another innings, and I am very glad of it,
as it will give me the opportunity of putting the case once more as a
connected argument.

It is Baur's great merit to have seen that the key to the problem of
Christianity lies in the Epistle to the Galatians. No doubt he and his
followers rather overdid the thing, but that is always the way with
those who take up a new idea.

I have had for some time the notion of dealing with the "Three great
myths"--1. Creation; 2. Fall; 3. Deluge; but I suspect I am getting to
the end of my tether physically, and shall have to start for the
Engadine in another month's time.

Many thanks for your congratulations about my daughter's marriage. No
two people could be better suited for one another, and there is a
charming little grand-daughter of the first marriage to be cared for.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[One more piece of writing dates from this time. He writes to his wife
on March 2:--]

A man who is bringing out a series of portraits of celebrities, with a
sketch of their career attached, has bothered me out of my life for
something to go with my portrait, and to escape the abominable bad
taste of some of the notices, I have done that. I shall show it you
before it goes back to Engel in proof.

This sketch of his life is the brief autobiography which is printed at
the beginning of volume 1 of the "Collected Essays". He was often
pressed, both by friends and by strangers, to give them some more
autobiography; but moved either by dislike of any approach to egotism,
or by the knowledge that if biography is liable to give a false
impression, autobiography may leave one still more false, he constantly
refused to do so, especially so long as he had capacity for useful
work. I found, however, among his papers, an entirely different sketch
of his early life, half-a-dozen sheets describing the time he spent in
the East end, with an almost Carlylean sense of the horrible
disproportions of life. I cannot tell whether this was a first draft
for the present autobiography, or the beginnings of a larger

Several letters of miscellaneous interest were written before the move
to the Engadine took place. They touch on such points as the excessive
growth of scientific clubs, the use of alcohol for brain workers,
advice to one who was not likely to "suffer fools gladly" about
applying for the assistant secretaryship of the British Association,
and the question of the effects of the destruction of immature fish,
besides personal matters.]

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, March 22, 1889.

My dear Hooker,

I suppose the question of amalgamation with the Royal is to be
discussed at the Phil. Club. The sooner something of the kind takes
place the better. There is really no raison d'etre left for the Phil.
Club, and considering the hard work of scientific men in these days,
clubs are like hypotheses, not to be multiplied beyond necessity.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

4 Marlborough Place, March 26, 1889.

My dear Hooker,

The only science to which X. has contributed, so far as I know, is the
science of self-advertisement; and of that he is a master.

When you and I were youngsters, we thought it the great thing to
exorcise the aristocratic flunkeyism which reigned in the Royal
Society--the danger now is that of the entry of seven devils worse than
the first, in the shape of rich engineers, chemical traders, and
"experts" (who have sold their souls for a good price), and who find it
helps them to appear to the public as if they were men of science.

If the Phil Club had kept pure, it might have acted as a check upon the
intrusion of the mere trading element. But there seems to be no reason
now against Jack and Tom and Harry getting in, and the thing has become
an imposture.

So I go with you for extinction, before we begin to drag in the mud.

I wish I could take some more active part in what is going on. I am
anxious about the Society altogether. But though I am wonderfully well
so long as I live like a hermit, and get out into the air of the Downs,
either London, or bother, and still more both combined, intimate
respectfully but firmly, that my margin is of the narrowest.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[The following is to his daughter in Paris. Of course it was the
Tuileries, not the Louvre, which was destroyed in 1871.]

I think you are quite right about French women. They are like French
dishes, uncommonly well cooked and sent up, but what the dickens they
are made of is a mystery. Not but what all womenkind are mysteries, but
there are mysteries of godliness and mysteries of iniquity.

Have you been to see the sculptures in the Louvre?--dear me, I forgot
the Louvre's fate. I wonder where the sculpture is? I used to think it
the best thing in the way of art in Paris. There was a youthful Bacchus
who was the main support of my thesis as to the greater beauty of the
male figure!

Probably I had better conclude.

To Mr. E.T. Collings (of Bolton).

4 Marlborough Place, April 9, 1889.

Dear Sir,

I understand that you ask me what I think about "alcohol as a stimulant
to the brain in mental work"?

Speaking for myself (and perhaps I may add for persons of my
temperament), I can say, without hesitation, that I would just as soon
take a dose of arsenic as I would of alcohol, under such circumstances.
Indeed on the whole, I should think the arsenic safer, less likely to
lead to physical and moral degradation. It would be better to die
outright than to be alcoholised before death.

If a man cannot do brain work without stimulants of any kind, he had
better turn to hand work--it is an indication on Nature's part that she
did not mean him to be a head worker.

The circumstances of my life have led me to experience all sorts of
conditions in regard to alcohol, from total abstinence to nearly the
other end of the scale, and my clear conviction is the less the better,
though I by no means feel called upon to forgo the comforting and
cheering effect of a little.

But for no conceivable consideration would I use it to whip up a tired
or sluggish brain. Indeed, for me there is no working time so good as
between breakfast and lunch, when there is not a trace of alcohol in my

4 Marlborough Place, May 6, 1889.

My dear Hooker,

I meant to have turned up at the x on Thursday, but I was unwell and,
moreover, worried and bothered about Collier's illness at Venice, and
awaiting an answer to a telegram I sent there. He has contrived to get
scarlatina, but I hope he will get safe through it, as he seems to be
going on well. We were getting ready to go out until we were reassured
on that point.

I thought I would go to the Academy dinner on Saturday, and that if I
did not eat and drink and came away early, I might venture.

It was pleasant enough to have a glimpse of the world, the flesh (on
the walls, nude!), and the devil (there were several Bishops), but oh,
dear! how done I was yesterday.

However, we are off to Eastbourne to-day, and I hope to wash three
weeks' London out of me before long. I think we shall go to Maloja
again early in June.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

Capital portrait in the New Gallery, where I looked in for a quarter of
an hour on Saturday--only you never were quite so fat in the cheeks,
and I don't believe you have got such a splendid fur-coat!

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, May 22, 1889.

...As to the Assistant Secretaryship of the British Association, I have
turned it over a great deal in my mind since your letter reached me,
and I really cannot convince myself that you would suit it or it would
suit you. I have not heard who are candidates or anything about it, and
I am not going to take any part in the election. But looking at the
thing solely from the point of view of your interests, I should
strongly advise you against taking it, even if it were offered.

My pet aphorism "suffer fools gladly" should be the guide of the
Assistant Secretary, who, during the fortnight of his activity, has
more little vanities and rivalries to smooth over and conciliate than
other people meet with in a lifetime. Now you do NOT "suffer fools
gladly" on the contrary, you "gladly make fools suffer." I do not say
you are wrong--No tu quoque [Cf. above. But for due cause he could
suffer them "with a difference"; of a certain caller he writes: "What
an effusive bore he is! But I believe he was very kind to poor
Clifford, and restrained my unregenerate impatience of that kind of
creature."]--but that is where the danger of the explosion lies--not in
regard to the larger business of the Association.

The risk is great and the 300 pounds a year is not worth it. Foster
knows all about the place; ask him if I am not right.

Many thanks for the suggestion about Spirula. But the matter is in a
state in which no one can be of any use but myself. At present I am at
the end of my tether and I mean to be off to the Engadine a fortnight
hence--most likely not to return before October.

Not even the sweet voice of -- will lure me from my retirement. The
Academy dinner knocked me up for three days, though I drank no wine,
ate very little, and vanished after the Prince of Wales' speech. The
truth is I have very little margin of strength to go upon even now,
though I am marvellously better than I was.

I am very glad that you see the importance of doing battle with the
clericals. I am astounded at the narrowness of view of many of our
colleagues on this point. They shut their eyes to the obstacles which
clericalism raises in every direction against scientific ways of
thinking, which are even more important than scientific discoveries.

I desire that the next generation may be less fettered by the gross and
stupid superstitions of orthodoxy than mine has been. And I shall be
well satisfied if I can succeed to however small an extent in bringing
about that result.

I am, yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

4 Marlborough Place, May 25, 1889.

My dear Lankester,

I cannot attend the Council meeting on the 29th. I have a meeting of
the Trustees of the British Museum to-day, and to be examined by a
Committee on Monday, and as the sudden heat half kills me I shall be
fit for nothing but to slink off to Eastbourne again.

However, I do hope the Council will be very careful what they say or do
about the immature fish question. The thing has been discussed over and
over again ad nauseam, and I doubt if there is anything to be added to
the evidence in the blue-books.

The idee fixe of the British public, fishermen, M.P.'s and ignorant
persons generally is that all small fish, if you do not catch them,
grow up into big fish. They cannot be got to understand that the
wholesale destruction of the immature is the necessary part of the
general order of things, from codfish to men.

You seem to have some very interesting things to talk about at the
Royal Institution.

Do you see any chance of educating the white corpuscles of the human
race to destroy the theological bacteria which are bred in parsons?

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, May 19, 1889.

My dear Donnelly,

The Vice-President's letter has brought home to me one thing very
clearly, and that is, that I had no business to sign the Report. Of
course he has a right to hold me responsible for a document to which my
name is attached, and I should look more like a fool than I ever wish
to do, if I had to tell him that I had taken the thing entirely on
trust. I have always objected to the sleeping partnership in the
Examination; and unless it can be made quite clear that I am nothing
but a "consulting doctor," I really must get out of it entirely.

Of course I cannot say whether the Report is justified by the facts or
not, when I do not know anything about them. But from my experience of
what the state of things used to be, I should say that it is, in all
probability, fair.

The faults mentioned are exactly those which always have made their
appearance, and I expect always will do so, and I do not see why the
attention of the teachers should not as constantly be directed to them.
You talk of Eton. Well, the reports of the Examiners to the governing
body, year after year, had the same unpleasing monotony, and I do not
believe that there is any educational body, from the Universities
downwards, which would come out much better, if the Examiners' reports
were published and if they did their duty.

I am unable to see my way (and I suppose you are) to any better method
of State encouragement of science teaching than payment by results. The
great and manifest evil of that system, however, is the steady pressure
which it exerts in the development of every description of sham
teaching. And the only check upon this kind of swindling the public
seems to me to lie in the hands of the Examiners. I told Mr. Forster
so, ages ago, when he talked to me about the gradual increase of the
expenditure, and I have been confirmed in my opinion by all subsequent
experience. What the people who read the reports may say, I should not
care one twopenny d-- if I had to administer the thing.

Nine out of ten of them are incompetent to form any opinion on an
educational subject; and as a mere matter of policy, I should, in
dealing with them, be only too glad to be able to make it clear that
some of the defects and shortcomings inherent in this (as in all
systems) had been disguised, and that even the most fractious of
Examiners had said their say without let or hindrance.

It is the nature of the system which seems to me to demand as a
corrective incessant and severe watchfulness on the part of the
Examiners, and I see no harm if they a little overdo the thing in this
direction, for every sham they let through is an encouragement to other
shams and pot-teaching in general.

And if the "great heart" of the people and its thick head can't be got
to appreciate honesty, why the sooner we shut up the better. Ireland
may be for the Irish, but science teaching is not for the sake of
science teachers.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.



From the middle of June to the middle of September, Huxley was in
Switzerland, first at Monte Generoso, then, when the weather became
more settled, at the Maloja. Here, as his letters show, he
"rejuvenated" to such an extent that Sir Henry Thompson, who was at the
Maloja, scoffed at the idea of his ever having had dilated heart.]

Monte Generoso, Tessin, Suisse, June 25, 1889.

My dear Hooker,

I am quite agreed with the proposed arrangements for the x, and hope I
shall show better in the register of attendance next session.

When I am striding about the hills here I really feel as if my
invalidism were a mere piece of malingering. When I am well I can walk
up hill and down dale as well as I did twenty years ago. But my margin
is abominably narrow, and I am at the mercy of "liver and lights."
Sitting up for long and dining are questions of margin.

I do not know if you have been here. We are close on 4000 feet up and
look straight over the great plain of North Italy on the one side and
to a great hemicycle of mountains, Monte Rosa among them, on the other.
I do not know anything more beautiful in its way. But the whole time we
have been here the weather has been extraordinary. On the average,
about two thunderstorms per diem. I am sure that a good meteorologist
might study the place with advantage. The barometer has not varied
three-twentieths of an inch the whole time, notwithstanding the storms.

I hear the weather has been bad all over Switzerland, but it is not
high and dry enough for me here, and we shall be off to the Maloja on
Saturday next, and shall stay there till we return somewhere in
September. Collier and Ethel will join us there in August. He is none
the worse for his scarlatina.

"Aged Botanist?" marry come up! [Sir J. Hooker jestingly congratulated
him on taking up botany in his old age.] I should like to know of a
younger spark. The first time I heard myself called "the old gentleman"
was years ago when we were in South Devon. A half-drunken Devonian had
made himself very offensive, in the compartment in which my wife and I
were travelling, and got some "simple Saxon" from me, accompanied, I
doubt not, by an awful scowl "Ain't the old gentleman in a rage," says

I am very glad to hear of Reggie's success, and my wife joins with me
in congratulations. It is a comfort to see one's shoots planted out and
taking root, though the idea that one's cares and anxieties about them
are diminished, we find to be an illusion.

I inclose cheque for my contributions due and to come. [For the x
Club.] If I go to Davy's Locker before October, the latter may go for
consolation champagne!

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

[He writes from the Maloja on August 16 to Sir M. Foster, who had been
sitting on the Vaccination Commission:--]

I wonder how you are prospering, whether you have vaccination or
anti-vaccination on the brain; or whether the gods have prospered you
so far as to send you on a holiday. We have been here since the
beginning of July. Monte Generoso proved lovely--but electrical. We had
on the average three thunderstorms every two days. Bellagio was as hot
as the tropics, and we stayed only a day, and came on here--where,
whatever else may happen, it is never too hot. The weather has been
good and I have profited immensely, and at present I do not know
whether I have a heart or not. But I have to look very sharp after my
liver. H. Thompson, who has been here with his son Herbert (clever
fellow, by the way), treats the notion that I ever had a dilated heart
with scorn! Oh these doctors! they are worse than theologians.

[And again on August 31:--]

I walked eighteen miles three or four days ago, and I think nothing of
one or two thousand feet up! I hope this state of things will last at
the sea-level.

I am always glad to hear of and from you, but I have not been idle long
enough to forget what being busy means, so don't let your conscience
worry you about answering my letters.

...X. is, I am afraid, more or less of an ass. The opposition he and
his friends have been making to the Technical Bill is quite
unintelligible to me. Y. may be, and I rather think is, a knave, but he
is no fool; and if I mistake not he is minded to kick the ultra-radical
stool down now that he has mounted by it. Make friends of that Mammon
of unrighteousness and swamp the sentimentalists.

...I despise your insinuations. All my friends here have been
theological--Bishop, Chief Rabbi, and Catholic Professor. None of your
Maybrick discussors.

On June 25 he wrote to Professor Ray Lankester, enclosing a letter to
be read at a meeting called by the Lord Mayor, on July 1, to hear
statements from men of science with regard to the recent increase of
rabies in this country, and the efficiency of the treatment discovered
by M. Pasteur for the prevention of hydrophobia.

[I quote the latter from the report in "Nature" for July 4:--]

Monte Generoso, Tessin, Suisse, June 25, 1889.

My dear Lankester,

I enclose herewith a letter for the Lord Mayor and a cheque for 5
pounds as my subscription. I wish I could make the letter shorter, but
it is pretty much "pemmican" already. However, it does not much matter
being read if it only gets into print.

It is uncommonly good of the Lord Mayor to stand up for Science, in the
teeth of the row the anti-vivisection pack--dogs and doggesses--are

May his shadow never be less.

We shall be off to the Maloja at the end of this week, if the weather
mends. Thunderstorms here every day, and sometimes two or three a day
for the last ten days.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Monte Generoso, Switzerland, June 25, 1889.

My Lord Mayor,

I greatly regret my inability to be present at the meeting which is to
be held, under your Lordship's auspices, in reference to M. Pasteur and
his Institute. The unremitting labours of that eminent Frenchman during
the last half-century have yielded rich harvests of new truths, and are
models of exact and refined research. As such they deserve, and have
received, all the honours which those who are the best judges of their
purely scientific merits are able to bestow. But it so happens that
these subtle and patient searchings out of the ways of the infinitely
little--of the swarming life where the creature that measures
one-thousandth part of an inch is a giant--have also yielded results of
supreme practical importance. The path of M. Pasteur's investigations
is strewed with gifts of vast monetary value to the silk trades, the
brewer, and the wine merchant. And this being so, it might well be a
proper and graceful act on the part of the representatives of trade and
commerce in its greatest centre to make some public recognition of M.
Pasteur's services, even if there were nothing further to be said about
them. But there is much more to be said. M. Pasteur's direct and
indirect contributions to our knowledge of the causes of diseased
states, and of the means of preventing their recurrence, are not
measurable by money values, but by those of healthy life and diminished
suffering to men. Medicine, surgery, and hygiene have all been
powerfully affected by M. Pasteur's work, which has culminated in his
method of treating hydrophobia. I cannot conceive that any competently
instructed person can consider M. Pasteur's labours in this direction
without arriving at the conclusion that, if any man has earned the
praise and honour of his fellows, he has. I find it no less difficult
to imagine that our wealthy country should be other than ashamed to
continue to allow its citizens to profit by the treatment freely given
at the Institute without contributing to its support. Opposition to the
proposals which your Lordship sanctions would be equally inconceivable
if it arose out of nothing but the facts of the case thus presented.
But the opposition which, as I see from the English papers, is
threatened has really for the most part nothing to do either with M.
Pasteur's merits or with the efficacy of his method of treating
hydrophobia. It proceeds partly from the fanatics of laissez faire, who
think it better to rot and die than to be kept whole and lively by
State interference, partly from the blind opponents of properly
conducted physiological experimentation, who prefer that men should
suffer than rabbits or dogs, and partly from those who for other but
not less powerful motives hate everything which contributes to prove
the value of strictly scientific methods of enquiry in all those
questions which affect the welfare of society. I sincerely trust that
the good sense of the meeting over which your Lordship will preside
will preserve it from being influenced by those unworthy antagonisms,
and that the just and benevolent enterprise you have undertaken may
have a happy issue.

I am, my Lord Mayor, your obedient servant,

T.H. Huxley.

Hotel Kursaal, Maloja, Haute Engadine, July 8, 1889.

My dear Lankester,

Many thanks for your letter. I was rather anxious as to the result of
the meeting, knowing the malice and subtlety of the Philistines, but as
it turned out they were effectually snubbed. I was glad to see your
allusion to Coleridge's impertinences. It will teach him to think twice
before he abuses his position again. I do not understand Stead's
position in the Pall Mall. He snarls but does not bite.

I am glad that the audience (I judge from the "Times" report) seemed to
take the points of my letter, and live in hope that when I see last
week's "Spectator" I shall find Hutton frantic.

This morning a letter marked "Immediate" reached me from Bourne, date
July 3. I am afraid he does not read the papers or he would have known
it was of no use to appeal to me in an emergency. I am writing to him.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[On his return to England, however, a fortnight of London, interrupted
though it was by a brief visit to Mr. and Mrs. Humphry Ward at the
delightful old house of Great Hampden, was as much as he could stand.
"I begin to discover," he writes to Sir M. Foster, "I have a heart
again, a circumstance of which I had no reminder at the Maloja." So he
retreated at once to Eastbourne, which had done him so much good

4 Marlborough Place, September 24, 1889.

My dear Hooker,

How's a' wi' ye'? We came back from the Engadine early in the month,
and are off to Eastbourne to-morrow. I rejuvenate in Switzerland and
senescate (if there is no such verb, there ought to be) in London, and
the sooner I am out of it the better.

When are you going to have an x? I cannot make out what has become of
Spencer, except that he is somewhere in Scotland.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

We shall be at our old quarters--3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne--from
to-morrow onwards.

[The next letter shows once more the value he set upon botanical
evidence in the question of the influence of conditions in the process
of evolution.]

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, September 29, 1889.

My dear Hooker,

I hope to be with you at the Athenaeum on Thursday. It does one good to
hear of your being in such good working order. My knowledge of orchids
is infinitesimally small, but there were some eight or nine species
plentiful in the Engadine, and I learned enough to appreciate the
difficulties. Why do not some of these people who talk about the direct
influence of conditions try to explain the structure of orchids on that
tack? Orchids at any rate can't try to improve themselves in taking
shots at insects' heads with pollen bags--as Lamarck's Giraffes tried
to stretch their necks!

Balfour's ballon d'essai [I.e. touching a proposed Roman Catholic
University for Ireland.] (I do not believe it could have been anything
more) is the only big blunder he has made, and it passes my
comprehension why he should have made it. But he seems to have dropped
it again like the proverbial hot potato. If he had not, he would have
hopelessly destroyed the Unionist party.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[At the end of the year he thanks Lord Tennyson for his gift of

December 26, 1889.

My dear Tennyson,

Accept my best thanks for your very kind present of "Demeter." I have
not had a Christmas Box I valued so much for many a long year. I envy
your vigour, and am ashamed of myself beside you for being turned out
to grass. I kick up my heels now and then, and have a gallop round the
paddock, but it does not come to much.

With best wishes to you, and, if Lady Tennyson has not forgotten me
altogether, to her also.

Believe me, yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[A discussion in the "Times" this autumn, in which he joined, was of
unexpected moment to him, inasmuch as it was the starting-point for no
fewer than four essays in political philosophy, which appeared the
following year in the "Nineteenth Century".

The correspondence referred to arose out of the heckling of Mr. John
Morley by one of his constituents at Newcastle in November 1889. The
heckler questioned him concerning private property in land, quoting
some early dicta from the "Social Statics" of Mr. Herbert Spencer,
which denied the justice of such ownership. Comments and explanations
ensued in the "Times"; Mr. Spencer declared that he had since partly
altered that view, showing that contract has in part superseded force
as the ground of ownership; and that in any case it referred to the
idea of absolute ethics, and not to relative or practical politics.

Huxley entered first into the correspondence to point out present and
perilous applications of the absolute in contemporary politics.
Touching on a State guarantee of the title to land, he asks if there is
any moral right for confiscation:--In Ireland, he says, confiscation is
justified by the appeal to wrongs inflicted a century ago; in England
the theorems of "absolute political ethics" are in danger of being
employed to make this generation of land-owners responsible for the
misdeeds of William the Conqueror and his followers. ("Times" November

His remaining share in the discussion consisted of a brief passage of
arms with Mr. Spencer on the main question [November 18.], and a reply
to another correspondent [November 21.], which brings forward an
argument enlarged upon in one of the essays, namely that if the land
belongs to all men equally, why should one nation claim one portion
rather than another? For several ownership is just as much an
infringement of the world's ownership as is personal ownership.
Moreover, history shows that land was originally held in several
ownership, and that not of the nation, but of the village community.

These signs of renewed vigour induced Mr. Knowles to write him a
"begging letter," proposing an article for the "Nineteenth Century"
either in commendation of Bishop Magee's recent utterances--it would be
fine for eulogy to come from such a quarter after the recent
encounter--or on the general subject of which his "Times" letters dealt
with a part.

Huxley's choice was for the latter. Writing on November 21, he says:--]

Now as to the article. I have only hesitated because I want to get out
a new volume of essays, and I am writing an introduction which gives me
an immensity of trouble. I had made up my mind to get it done by
Christmas, and if I write for you it won't be. However, if you don't
mind leaving it open till the end of this month, I will see what can he
done in the way of a screed about, say, "The Absolute in Practical
Life." The Bishop would come in excellently; he deserves all praises,
and my only hesitation about singing them is that the conjunction
between the "Infidel" and the Churchman is just what the blatant
platform Dissenters who had been at him would like. I don't want to
serve the Bishop, for whom I have a great liking and respect, as the
bear served his sleeping master, when he smashed his nose in driving an
unfortunate fly away!

By the way, has the Bishop published his speech or sermon? I have only
seen a newspaper report.

[Soon after this, he proposed to come to town and talk over the article
with Mr. Knowles. The latter sent him a telegram--reply paid--asking
him to fix a day. The answer named a day of the week and a day of the
month which did not agree; whereupon Mr. Knowles wrote by the safer
medium of the post for an explanation, thinking that the post-office
clerks must have bungled the message, and received the following

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, November 26, 1889.

My dear Knowles,

May jackasses sit upon the graves of all telegraph clerks! But the boys
are worse, and I shall have to write to the Postmaster-General about
the little wretch who brought your telegram the other day, when my mind
was deeply absorbed in the concoction of an article for THE Review of
our age.

The creature read my answer, for he made me pay three halfpence extra
(I believe he spent it on toffy), and yet was so stupid as not to see
that meaning to fix next Monday or Tuesday, I opened my diary to give
the dates in order that there should be no mistake, and found Monday 28
and Tuesday 29.

And I suppose the little beast would say he did not know I opened it in
October instead of November!

I hate such mean ways. Hang all telegraph boys!

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Monday December 2, if you have nothing against it, and lunch if Mrs.
Knowles will give me some.

[The article was finished by the middle of December and duly sent to
the editor, under the title of "Rousseau and Rousseauism." But fearing
that this title would surely attract attention among the working-men
for whom it was specially designed, Mr. Knowles suggested instead the
"Natural Inequality of Men," under which name it actually appeared in
January. So, too, in the case of a companion article in March, the
editorial pen was responsible for the change from the arid
possibilities of "Capital and Labour" to the more attractive title of
"Capital the Mother of Labour."

With regard to this article and a further project of extending his
discussion of the subject, he

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, December 14, 1889.

My dear Knowles,

I am very glad you think the article will go. It is longer than I
intended, but I cannot accuse myself of having wasted words, and I have
left out several things that might have been said, but which can come
in by and by.

As to title, do as you like, but that you propose does not seem to me
quite to hit the mark. "Political Humbug: Liberty and Equality," struck
me as adequate, but my wife declares it is improper. "Political
Fictions" might be supposed to refer to Dizzie's novels! How about "The
Politics of the Imagination: Liberty and Inequality"?

I should like to have some general title that would do for the
"letters" which I see I shall have to write. I think I will make six of
them after the fashion of my "Working Men's Lectures," as thus: (1)
Liberty and Equality; (2) Rights of Man; (3) Property; (4) Malthus; (5)
Government, the province of the State; (6) Law-making and Law-breaking.

I understand you will let me republish them, as soon as the last is
out, in a cheap form. I am not sure I will not put them in the form of
"Lectures" rather than "Letters."

Did you ever read Henry George's book "Progress and Poverty"? It is
more damneder nonsense than poor Rousseau's blether. And to think of
the popularity of the book! But I ought to be grateful, as I can cut
and come again at this wonderful dish.

The mischief of it is I do not see how I am to finish the introduction
to my Essays, unless I put off sending you a second dose until March.

I will send back the revise as quickly as possible.

Ever yours very truly,

T.H. Huxley.

You do not tell me that there is anything to which Spencer can object,
so I suppose there is nothing.

[And in an undated letter to Sir J. Hooker, he says:--]

I am glad you think well of the "Human Inequality" paper. My wife has
persuaded me to follow it up with a view to making a sort of "Primer of
Politics" for the masses--by and by. "There's no telling what you may
come to, my boy," said the Bishop who reproved his son for staring at
John Kemble, and I may be a pamphleteer yet! But really it is time that
somebody should treat the people to common sense.

[However, immediately after the appearance of this first article on
Human Inequality, he changed his mind about the Letters to Working Men,
and resolved to continue what he had to say in the form of essays in
the "Nineteenth Century".

He then judged it not unprofitable to call public attention to the
fallacies which first found their way into practical politics through
the disciples of Rousseau; one of those speculators of whom he remarks
("Collected Essays" 1 312) that] "busied with deduction from their
ideal 'ought to be,' they overlooked the 'what has been,' the 'what
is,' and the 'what can be.'" "Many a long year ago," [he says in
Natural Rights and Political Rights (1 336)], "I fondly imagined that
Hume and Kant and Hamilton having slain the 'Absolute,' the thing must,
in decency, decease. Yet, at the present time, the same hypostatised
negation, sometimes thinly disguised under a new name, goes about in
broad daylight, in company with the dogmas of absolute ethics,
political and other, and seems to be as lively as ever." This was to
his mind one of those instances of wrong thinking which lead to wrong
acting--the postulating a general principle based upon insufficient
data, and the deduction from it of many and far-reaching practical
consequences. This he had always strongly opposed. His essay of 1871,
"Administrative Nihilism," was directed against a priori individualism;
and now he proceeded to restate the arguments against a priori
political reasoning in general, which seemed to have been forgotten or
overlooked, especially by the advocates of compulsory socialism. And
here it is possible to show in some detail the care he took, as was his
way, to refresh his knowledge and bring it up to date, before writing
on any special point. It is interesting to see how thoroughly he went
to work, even in a subject with which he was already fairly acquainted.
As in the controversy of 1889 I find a list of near a score of books
consulted, so here one note-book contains an analysis of the origin and
early course of the French Revolution, especially in relation to the
speculations of the theorists; the declaration of the rights of man in
1789 is followed by parallels from Mably's "Droits et Devoirs du
Citoyen" and "De la Legislation", and by a full transcript of the 1793
Declaration, with notes on Robespierre's speech at the Convention a
fortnight later. There are copious notes from Dunoyer, who is quoted in
the article, while the references to Rocquain's "Esprit
Revolutionnaire" led to an English translation of the work being
undertaken, to which he contributed a short preface in 1891.

It was the same with other studies. He loved to visualise his object
clearly. The framework of what he wished to say would always be drawn
out first. In any historical matter he always worked with a map. In
natural history he well knew the importance of studying distribution
and its bearing upon other problems; in civil history he would draw
maps to illustrate either the conditions of a period or the spread of a
civilising nation. For instance, among sketches of the sort which
remain, I have one of the Hellenic world, marked off in 25-mile circles
from Delos as centre; and a similar one for the Phoenician world,
starting from Tyre. Sketch maps of Palestine and Mesopotamia, with
notes from the best authorities on the geography of the two countries,
belong in all probability to the articles on "The Flood" and
"Hasisadra's Adventure." To realise clearly the size, position, and
relation of the parts to the whole, was the mechanical instinct of the
engineer which was so strong in him.

The four articles which followed in quick succession on "The Natural
Inequality of Man," "Natural and Political Rights," "Capital the Mother
of Labour," and "Government," appeared in the January, February, March,
and May numbers of the "Nineteenth Century", and, as was said above,
are directed against a priori reasoning in social philosophy. The
first, which appeared simultaneously with Mr. Herbert Spencer's article
on "Justice," in the "Nineteenth Century", assails, on the ground of
fact and history, the dictum that men are born free and equal, and have
a natural right to freedom and equality, so that property and political
rights are a matter of contract. History denies that they thus
originated; and, in fact, "proclaim human equality as loudly as you
like, Witless will serve his brother." Yet, in justice to Rousseau and
the influence he wielded, he adds:--]

It is not to be forgotten that what we call rational grounds for our
beliefs are often extremely irrational attempts to justify our

Thus if, in their plain and obvious sense, the doctrines which Rousseau
advanced are so easily upset, it is probable that he had in his mind
something which is different from that sense.

[When they sought speculative grounds to justify the empirical truth:--]

that it is desirable in the interests of society, that all men should
be as free as possible, consistently with those interests, and that
they should all be equally bound by the ethical and legal obligations
which are essential to social existence, "the philosophers," as is the
fashion of speculators, scorned to remain on the safe if humble ground
of experience, and preferred to prophesy from the sublime cloudland of
the a priori.

[The second of these articles is an examination of Henry George's
doctrines as set forth in "Progress and Poverty". His relation to the
physiocrats is shown in a preliminary analysis of the term "natural
rights which have no wrongs," and are antecedent to morality, from
which analysis are drawn the results of confounding natural with moral

Here again is the note of justice to an argument in an unsound shape
(page 369): "There is no greater mistake than the hasty conclusion that
opinions are worthless because they are badly argued." And a trifling
abatement of the universal and exclusive form of Henry George's
principle may make it true, while even unamended it may lead to
opposite conclusions--to the justification of several ownership in land
as well as in any other form of property.

The third essay of the series, "Capital the Mother of Labour"
("Collected Essays" 9 147), was an application of biological methods to
social problems, designed to show that the extreme claims of labour as
against capital are ill-founded.

In the last article, "Government," he traces the two extreme
developments of absolute ethics, as shown in anarchy and regimentation,
or unrestrained individualism and compulsory socialism. The key to the
position, of course, lies in the examination of the premisses upon
which these superstructures are raised, and history shows that:--]

So far from the preservation of liberty and property and the securing
of equal rights being the chief and most conspicuous object aimed at by
the archaic politics of which we know anything, it would be a good deal
nearer the truth to say that they were federated absolute monarchies,
the chief purpose of which was the maintenance of an established church
for the worship of the family ancestors.

[These articles stirred up critics of every sort and kind; socialists
who denounced him as an individualist, land nationalisers who had not
realised the difference between communal and national ownership, or men
who denounced him as an arm-chair cynic, careless of the poor and
ignorant of the meaning of labour. Mr. Spencer considered the chief
attack to be directed against his position; the regimental socialists
as against theirs, and:--]

as an attempt to justify those who, content with the present, are
opposed to all endeavours to bring about any fundamental change in our
social arrangements (ib. page 423).

So far from this, he continues:--]

Those who have had the patience to follow me to the end will, I trust,
have become aware that my aim has been altogether different. Even the
best of modern civilisations appears to me to exhibit a condition of
mankind which neither embodies any worthy ideal nor even possesses the
merit of stability. I do not hesitate to express my opinion that, if
there is no hope of a large improvement of the condition of the greater
part of the human family; if it is true that the increase of knowledge,
the winning of a greater dominion over Nature which is its consequence,
and the wealth which follows upon that dominion, are to make no
difference in the extent and the intensity of Want, with its
concomitant physical and moral degradation, among the masses of the
people, I should hail the advent of some kindly comet, which would
sweep the whole affair away, as a desirable consummation. What profits
it to the human Prometheus that he has stolen the fire of heaven to be
his servant, and that the spirits of the earth and of the air obey him,
if the vulture of pauperism is eternally to tear his very vitals and
keep him on the brink of destruction?

Assuredly, if I believed that any of the schemes hitherto proposed for
bringing about social amelioration were likely to attain their end, I
should think what remains to me of life well spent in furthering it.
But my interest in these questions did not begin the day before
yesterday; and, whether right or wrong, it is no hasty conclusion of
mine that we have small chance of doing rightly in this matter (or
indeed in any other) unless we think rightly. Further, that we shall
never think rightly in politics until we have cleared our minds of
delusions, and more especially of the philosophical delusions which, as
I have endeavoured to show, have infested political thought for
centuries. My main purpose has been to contribute my mite towards this
essential preliminary operation. Ground must be cleared and levelled
before a building can be properly commenced; the labour of the navvy is
as necessary as that of the architect, however much less honoured; and
it has been my humble endeavour to grub up those old stumps of the a
priori which stand in the way of the very foundations of a sane
political philosophy.

To those who think that questions of the kind I have been discussing
have merely an academic interest, let me suggest once more that a
century ago Robespierre and St. Just proved that the way of answering
them may have extremely practical consequences.

[Without pretending to offer any offhand solution for so vast a
problem, he suggests two points in conclusion. One, that in considering
the matter we should proceed from the known to the unknown, and take
warning from the results of either extreme in self-government or the
government of a family; the other, that the central point is] "the fact
that the natural order of things--the order, that is to say, as
unmodified by human effort--does not tend to bring about what we
understand as welfare." [The population question has first to be faced.

The following letters cover the period up to the trip to the Canaries,
already alluded to:--]

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, January 6, 1890.

My dear Foster,

That capital photograph reached me just as we were going up to town
(invited for the holidays by our parents), and I put it in my bag to
remind me to write to you. Need I say that I brought it back again
without having had the grace to send a line of thanks? By way of making
my peace, I have told the Fine Art Society to send you a copy of the
engraving of my sweet self. I have not had it framed--firstly, because
it is a hideous nuisance to be obliged to hang a frame one may not
like; and secondly, because by possibility you might like some other
portrait better, in which case, if you will tell me, I will send that
other. I should like you to have something by way of reminder of T.H.H.

When Harry [His younger son.] has done his work at Bart's at the end of
March I am going to give him a run before he settles down to practice.
Probably we shall go to the Canaries. I hear that the man who knows
most about them is Dr. Guillemard, a Cambridge man. "Kennst ihn du
wohl?" Perhaps he might give me a wrinkle.

With our united best wishes to you all.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Eastbourne, January 13, 1890.

My dear Hooker,

We missed you on the 2nd, though you were quite right not to come in
that beastly weather.

My boy Harry has had a very sharp attack of influenza at Bartholomew's,
and came down to us to convalesce a week ago, very much pulled down. I
hope you will keep clear of it.

Harry's work at the hospital is over at the end of March, and before
the influenza business I was going to give him a run for a month or six
weeks before he settled down to practice. We shall go to the Canaries
as soon in April as possible. Are you minded to take a look at
Teneriffe? Only 4 1/2 days' sea--good ships.

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

[However, Sir J. Hooker was unable to join "the excursion to the Isles
of the Blest."]

Eastbourne, January 27, 1890.

My dear Foster,

People have been at me to publish my notice of Darwin in the
"Proceedings of the Royal Society" in a separate form.

If you have no objection, will you apply to the Council for me for the
requisite permission?

But if you DO see any objection, I would rather not make the request.

I think if I republish it I will add the "Times" article of 1859 to it.
Omega and Alpha!

Hope you are flourishing. We shall be up for a few days next week.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Eastbourne, January 31, 1890.

My dear Foster,

Mind you let me know what points you think want expanding in the Darwin
obituary when we meet.

We go to town on Tuesday for a few days, and I will meet you anywhere
or anywhen you like. Could you come and dine with us at 4 P.M. on
Thursday? If so, please let me know at once, that E. may kill the
fatted calf.

Harry has been and gone and done it. We heard he had gone to Yorkshire,
and were anxious, thinking that at the very least a relapse after his
influenza (which he had sharply) had occurred.

But the complaint was one with more serious sequelae still. Don't know
the young lady, but the youth has a wise head on his shoulders, and
though that did not prevent Solomon from overdoing the business, I have
every faith in his choice.

Dr. Guillemard has kindly sent me a lot of valuable information; but as
I suggested to my boy yesterday, he may find Yorkshire air more
wholesome than that of the Canaries, and it is ten to one we don't go
after all.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[To his younger son:--]

Eastbourne, January 30, 1890.

You dear old humbug of a Boy,

Here we have been mourning over the relapse of influenza, which alone,
as we said, could have torn you from your duties, and all the while it
was nothing but an attack of palpitation such as young people are
liable to and seem none the worse for after all. We are as happy that
you are happy as you can be yourself, though from your letter that
seems saying a great deal. I am prepared to be the young lady's slave;
pray tell her that I am a model father-in-law, with my love. (By the
way, you might mention her name; it is a miserable detail, I know, but
would be interesting.) Please add that she is humbly solicited to grant
leave of absence for the Teneriffe trip, unless she thinks Northampton
air more invigorating.

Ever your loving dad,

T.H. Huxley.

On April 3, accompanied by his son, he left London on board the
"Aorangi". At Plymouth he had time to meet his friend W.F. Collier, and
to visit the Zoological Station, while], "to my great satisfaction,"
[he writes], "I received a revise (i.e. of 'Capital the Mother of
Labour') for the May 'Nineteenth Century'--from Knowles. They must have
looked sharp at the printing-office."

[It did not take him long to recover his sea-legs, and he thoroughly
enjoyed even the rougher days when the rolling of the ship was too much
for other people. The day before reaching Teneriffe he writes:--]

I have not felt so well for a long time. I do nothing, have a
prodigious appetite, and Harry declares I am getting fat in the face.

[Santa Cruz was reached early on April 10, and in the afternoon he
proceeded to Laguna, which he made his headquarters for a week. That
day he walked 10 miles, the next 15, and the third 20 in the course of
the day. He notes finding the characteristic Euphorbia and Heaths of
the Canaries; notes, too, one or two visitations of dyspepsia from
indigestible food. He writes from Laguna:--]

From all that people with whom we meet tell me, I gather that the usual
massive lies about health resorts pervade the accounts of Teneriffe.
Santa Cruz would reduce me to jelly in a week, and I hear that Orotava
is worse--stifling. Guimar, whither we go to-morrow, is warranted to be
dry and everlasting sunshine. We shall see. One of the people staying
in the house said they had rain there for a fortnight together...I am
all right now, and walked some 15 miles up hill and down dale to-day,
and I am not more than comfortably tired. However, I am not going to
try the peak. I find it cannot be done without a night out at a
considerable height when the thermometer commonly goes down below
freezing, and I am not going to run that risk for the chance of seeing
even the famous shadows.

[By some mischance, no letters from home reached him till the 26th, and
he writes from Guimar on the 23rd:--]

A lady who lives here told me yesterday that a postmistress at one
place was in the habit of taking off the stamps and turning the letters
on one side! But that luckily is not a particular dodge with ours.

We drove over here on the 17th. It is a very picturesque place 1000
feet up in the midst of a great amphitheatre of high hills, facing
north, orange-trees laden with fruit, date palms and bananas are in the
garden, and there is lovely sunshine all day long. Altogether the
climate is far the best I have found anywhere here, and the house,
which is that of a Spanish Marquesa, only opened as a hotel this
winter, is very comfortable. I am sitting with the window wide open at
nine o'clock at night, and the stars flash as if the sky were

On Saturday we had a splendid excursion up to the top of the pass that
leads from here up to the other side of the island. Road in the proper
sense there was none, and the track incredibly bad, worse than any
Alpine path owing to the loose irregular stones. The mules, however,
pick their way like cats, and you have only to hold on. The pass is
6000 feet high, and we ascended still higher. Fortune favoured us. It
was a lovely day and the clouds lay in a great sheet a thousand feet
below. The peak, clear in the blue sky, rose up bare and majestic 5000
feet out of as desolate a desert clothed with the stiff retama shrubs
(a sort of broom) as you can well imagine. [(The Canadas, which he
calls] "the one thing worth seeing there.") It took us three hours and
a half to get up, passing for a good deal of the time through a kind of
low brush of white and red cistuses in full bloom. We saw Palma on one
side, and Grand Canary on the other, beyond the layer of clouds which
enveloped all the lower part of the island. Coming down was worse than
going up, and we walked a good part of the way, getting back about six.
About seven hours in the saddle and walking.

You never saw anything like the improvement in Harry. He is burnt deep
red; he says my nose is of the same hue, and at the end of the journey
he raced Gurilio, our guide, who understands no word of English any
more than we do Spanish, but we are quite intimate nevertheless. [My
brother indeed averred that his language of signs was far more
effectual than the Spanish which my father persisted in trying upon the
inhabitants. This guide, by the way, was very sceptical as to any
Englishman being equal to walking the seventeen miles, much less
beating him in a race over the stony track. His experience was entirely
limited to invalids.]

He reiterates his distress at not getting letters from his wife:
"Certainly I will never run the risk of being so long without--never
again." When, after all, the delayed letters reached him on his way
back from the expedition to the Canadas, thanks to a traveller who
brought them up from Laguna, he writes (April 24):--]

Catch me going out of reach of letters again. I have been horridly
anxious. Nobody--children or any one else--can be to me what you are.
Ulysses preferred his old woman to immortality, and this absence has
led me to see that he was as wise in that as in other things.

[Here is a novel description of an hotel at Puerto Orotava:--]

It is very pretty to look at, but all draughts. I compare it to the air
of a big wash-house with all the doors open, and it was agreed that the
likeness was exact.

[On May 2 he sailed for Madeira by the "German", feeling already "ten
years younger" for his holiday. On the 3rd he writes:--]

The last time I was in this place was in 1846. All my life lies between
the two visits. I was then twenty-one and a half and I shall be
sixty-five to-morrow. The place looks to me to have grown a good deal,
but I believe it is chiefly English residents whose villas dot the
hill. There were no roads forty-four years ago. Now there is one, I am
told, to Camera do Lobos nearly five miles long. That is the measure of
Portuguese progress in half a century. Moreover, the men have left off
wearing their pigtail caps and the women their hoods.

[To his youngest daughter:--]

Bella Vista Hotel, Funchal, May 6, 1890.

Dearest Babs,

This comes wishing you many happy returns of the day, though a little
late in the arrival. Harry sends his love, and desires me to say that
he took care to write a letter which should arrive in time, but
unfortunately forgot to mention the birthday in it! So I think, on the
whole, I have the pull of him. We ought to be back about the 18th or
19th, as I have put my name down for places in the "Conway Castle",
which is to call here on the 12th, and I do not suppose she will be
full. In the meanwhile, we shall fill up the time by a trip to the
other side of the island, on which we start to-morrow morning at 7.30.
You have to take your own provisions and rugs to sleep upon and under,
as the fleas la bas are said to be unusually fine and active. We start
quite a procession with a couple of horses, a guide, and two men
(owners of the nags) to carry the baggage; and I suspect that before
to-morrow night we shall have made acquaintance with some remarkably
bad apologies for roads. But the horses here seem to prefer going up
bad staircases at speed (with a man hanging on by the tail to steer),
and if you only stick to them they land you all right. I have developed
so much prowess in this line that I think of coming out in the
character of Buffalo Bill on my return. Hands and face of both of us
are done to a good burnt sienna, and a few hours more or less in the
saddle don't count. I do not think either of us have been so well for

You will have heard of our doings in Teneriffe from M--. The Canadas
there is the one thing worth seeing, altogether unique. As a health
resort I should say the place is a fraud--always excepting Guimar--and
that, excellent for people in good health, is wholly unfit for a real
invalid, who must either go uphill or downhill over the worst of roads
if he leaves the hotel.

The air here is like that of South Devon at its best--very soft, but
not stifling as at Orotava. We had a capital expedition yesterday to
the Grand Corral--the ancient volcanic crater in the middle of the
island with walls some 3000 feet high, all scarred and furrowed by
ravines, and overgrown with rich vegetation. There is a little village
at the bottom of it which I should esteem as a retreat if I wished to
be out of sight and hearing of the pomps and vanities of this world. By
the way, I have been pretty well out of hearing of everything as it is,
for I only had three letters from M-- while we were in Teneriffe, and
not one here up to this date. After I had made all my arrangements to
start to-morrow I heard that a mail would be in at noon. So the letters
will have to follow us in the afternoon by one of the men, who will
wait for them.

We went to-day to lunch with Mr. Blandy, the head of the principal
shipping agency here, whose wife is the daughter of my successor at the
Fishery Office.

Well, our trip has done us both a world of good; but I am getting
homesick, and shall rejoice to be back again. I hope that Joyce is
flourishing, and Jack satisfied with the hanging of his pictures, and
that a millionaire has insisted on buying the picture and adding a
bonus. Our
best love to you all.

Ever your loving Pater.

Don't know M--'s whereabouts. But if she is with you, say I wrote her a
long screed (Number 8) and posted it to-day--with my love as a model
husband and complete letter-writer.

[On returning home he found that the Linnean medal had been awarded

4 Marlborough Place, May 18, 1890.

My dear Hooker,

How's a' wi' you? My boy and I came back from Madeira yesterday in
great feather. As for myself, riding about on mules, or horses, for six
to ten hours at a stretch--burning in sun or soaking in rain--over the
most entirely breakneck roads and tracks I have ever made acquaintance
with, except perhaps in Morocco--has proved a most excellent tonic,
cathartic, and alterative all in one. Existence of heart and stomach
are matters of faith, not of knowledge, with me at present. I hope it
may last, and I have had such a sickener of invalidism that my
intention is to keep severely out of all imprudences.

But what is a man to do if his friends take advantage of his absence,
and go giving him gold medals behind his back? That you have been an
accomplice in this nefarious plot--mine own familiar friend whom I
trusted and trust--is not to be denied. Well, it is very pleasant to
have toil that is now all ancient history remembered, and I shall go to
the meeting and the dinner and make my speech in spite of as many
possible devils of dyspepsia as there are plates and dishes on the

We were lucky in getting in for nothing worse than heavy rolling,
either out or in. Teneriffe is well worth seeing. The Canadas is
something quite by itself, a bit of Egypt 6000 feet up with a bare
volcanic cone, or rather long barrow sticking up 6000 feet in the
middle of it.

Otherwise, Madeira is vastly superior. I rode across from Funchal to
Sao Vicente, up to Paul da Serra, then along the coast to Santa Anna,
and back from Santa Anna to Funchal. I have seen nothing comparable
except in Mauritius, nor anything anywhere like the road by the cliffs
from Sao Vicente to Santa Anna. Lucky for me that my ancient nautical
habit of sticking on to a horse came back. A good deal of the road is
like a bad staircase, with no particular banisters, and a well of 1000
feet with the sea at the bottom. Your heart would rejoice over the
great heaths. I saw one, the bole of which split into nearly equal
trunks; and one of these was just a metre in circumference, and had a
head as big as a moderate-sized ash. Gorse in full flower, up to 12 or
15 feet high. On the whole a singular absence of flowering herbs except
Cinerarias and, especially in Teneriffe, Echium. I did not chance to
see a Euphorbia in Madeira, though I believe there are some. In
Teneriffe they are everywhere in queer shapes, and there was a thing
that mimicked the commonest Euphorbia but had no milk, which I will ask
you about when I see you. The Euphorbias were all in flower, but this
thing had none. But you will have had enough of my scrawl.

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.



[Three letters of the first half of the year may conveniently be placed
here. The first is to Tyndall, who had just been delivering an
anti-Gladstonian speech at Belfast. The opening reference must be to
some newspaper paragraph which I have not been able to trace, just as
the second is to a paragraph in 1876, not long after Tyndall's
marriage, which described Huxley as starting for America with his
titled bride.]

3 Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, February 24, 1890.

My dear Tyndall,

Put down the three half-pints and the two dozen to the partnership
account. Ever since the "titled bride" business I have given up the
struggle against the popular belief that you and I constitute a firm.

It's very hard on me in the decline of life to have a lively young
partner who thinks nothing of rushing six or seven hundred miles to
perform a war-dance on the sainted G.O.M., and takes the scalp of
Historicus as an hors d'oeuvre.

All of which doubtless goes down to my account just as my poor innocent
articles confer a reputation for long-suffering mildness on you.

Well! well! there is no justice in this world! With our best love to
you both.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[(The confusion in the popular mind continued steadily, so that at
last, when Tyndall died, Huxley received the doubtful honour of a
funeral sermon.)

Dr. Pelseneer, to whom the next letter is addressed, is a Belgian
morphologist, and an authority upon the Mollusca. He it was who
afterwards completed Huxley's unfinished memoir on Spirula for the
"Challenger" report.]

4 Marlborough Place, June 10, 1890.

Dear Dr. Pelseneer,

I gave directions yesterday for the packing up and sending to your
address of the specimens of Trigonia, and I trust that they will reach
you safely.

I am rejoiced that you are about to take up the subject. I was but a
beginner when I worked at Trigonia, and I had always promised myself
that I would try to make good the many deficiencies of my little
sketch. But three or four years ago my health gave way completely, and
though I have recovered (no less to my own astonishment than to that of
the doctors) I am compelled to live out of London and to abstain from
all work which involves much labour.

Thus science has got so far ahead of me that I hesitate to say much
about a difficult morphological question--all the more, as old men like
myself should be on their guard against over-much tenderness for their
own speculations. And I am conscious of a great tenderness for those
contained in my ancient memoir on the "Morphology of the Cephalous
Mollusca." Certainly I am entirely disposed to agree with you that the
Gasteropods and the Lamellibranchs spring from a common root--nearly
represented by the Chiton--especially by a hypothetical Chiton with one
shell plate.

I always thought Nucula the key to the Lamellibranchs, and I am very
glad you have come to that conclusion on such much better evidence.

I am, dear Dr. Pelseneer, yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Towards the end of June he went for a week to Salisbury, taking long
walks in the neighbourhood, and exploring the town and cathedral, which
he confessed himself ashamed never to have seen before.

He characteristically fixes its date in his memory by noting that the
main part of it was completed when Dante was a year old.]

The White Hart, Salisbury, June 22, 1890.

My dear Donnelly,

Couldn't stand any more London, so bolted here yesterday morning, and
here I shall probably stop for the next few days.

I have been trying any time the last thirty years to see Stonehenge,
and this time I mean to do it. I should have gone to-day, but the
weather was not promising, so I spent my Sunday morning in Old
Sarum--that blessed old tumulus with nine (or was it eleven?) burgesses
that used to send two members to Parliament when I was a child. Really
you Radicals are of some use after all!

Poor old Smyth's death is just what I expected, though I did not think
the catastrophe was so imminent. [Warrington Wilkinson Smyth
(1817-1890), the geologist and mineralogist. In 1851 he was appointed
Lecturer on Mining and Mineralogy at the Royal School of Mines. After
the lectureships were separated in 1881, he retained the former until
his death. He was knighted in 1887.]

Peace be with him; he never did justice to his very considerable
abilities, but he was a good fellow and a fine old crusted Conservative.

I suppose it will be necessary to declare the vacancy and put somebody
in his place before long.

I learned before I started that Smyth was to be buried in Cornwall, so
there is no question of attending at his funeral.

I am the last of the original Jermyn Street gang left in the school
now--Ultimus Romanorum!

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[This trip was taken by way of a holiday after the writing of an
article, which appeared in the "Nineteenth Century" for July 1890. It
was called "The Lights of the Church and the Light of Science," and may
be considered as written in fulfilment of the plan spoken of in the
letter to Mr. Clodd (above). Its subject was the necessary dependence
of Christian theology upon the historical accuracy of the Old
Testament; its occasion, the publication of a sermon in which, as a
counterblast to "Lux Mundi", Canon Liddon declared that accuracy to be
sanctioned by the use made of the Old Testament by Jesus Christ, and
bade his hearers close their ears against any suggestions impairing the
credit of those Jewish Scriptures which have received the stamp of His
Divine authority.

Pointing out that, as in other branches of history, so here the
historical accuracy of early tradition was abandoned even by
conservative critics, who at all understood the nature of the problems
involved, Huxley proceeded to examine the story of the Flood, and to
show that the difficulties were little less in treating it--like the
reconcilers--as a partial than as a universal deluge. Then he discussed
the origin of the story, and criticised the attempt of the essayist in
"Lux Mundi" to treat this and similar stories as "types," which must be
valueless if typical of no underlying reality. These things are of
moment in speculative thought, for if Adam be not an historical
character, if the story of the Fall be but a type, the basis of Pauline
theology is shaken; they are of moment practically, for it is the story
of the Creation which is referred to in the] "speech (Matt. 19 5)
unhappily famous for the legal oppression to which it has been
wrongfully forced to lend itself" [in the marriage laws.

In July 1890, Sir J.G.T. Sinclair wrote to him, calling his attention
to a statement of Babbage's that after a certain point his famous
calculating machine, contrary to all expectation, suddenly introduced a
new principle of numeration into a series of numbers (Extract from
Babbage's Ninth Bridgewater Treatise. Babbage shows that a calculating
machine can be constructed which, after working in a correct and
orderly manner up to 100,000,000, then leaps, and instead of continuing
the chain of numbers unbroken, goes at once to 100,010,002. "The law
which seemed at first to govern the series failed at the hundred
million and second term. This term is larger than we expected by
10,000. The law thus changes:--


For a hundred or even a thousand terms they continued to follow the new
law relating to the triangular numbers, but after watching them for
2761 terms we find that this law fails at the 2762nd term.

If we continue to observe we shall discover another law then coming
into action which also is different, dependent, but in a different
manner, on triangular numbers because a number of points agreeing with
their term may be placed in the form of a triangle, thus:--

(1 dot.) (3 dots in the form of a triangle.) (6 dots in the form of a
triangle.) (10 dots in the form of a triangle.) (one, three, six, ten).

This will continue through about 1430 terms, when a new law is again
introduced over about 950 terms, and this too, like its predecessors,
fails and gives place to other laws which appear at different
intervals."), and asking what effect this phenomenon had upon the
theory of Induction. Huxley replied as follows:--]

Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, July 21, 1890.

Dear Sir,

I knew Mr. Babbage, and am quite sure that he was not the man to say
anything on the topic of calculating machines which he could not

I do not see that what he says affects the philosophy of induction as
rightly understood. No induction, however broad its basis, can confer
certainty--in the strict sense of the word. The experience of the whole
human race through innumerable years has shown that stones unsupported
fall to the ground, but that does not make it certain that any day next
week unsupported stones will not move the other way. All that it does
justify is the very strong expectation, which hitherto has been
invariably verified, that they will do just the contrary.

Only one absolute certainty is possible to man--namely, that at any
given moment the feeling which he has exists.

All other so-called certainties are beliefs of greater or less

Do not suppose that I am following Abernethy's famous prescription,
"take my pills," if I refer you to an essay of mine on "Descartes," and
a little book on Hume, for the fuller discussion of these points.
Hume's argument against miracles turns altogether on the fallacy that
induction can give certainty in the strict sense.

We poor mortals have to be content with hope and belief in all matters
past and present--our sole certainty is momentary.

I am yours faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Sir J.G.T. Sinclair, Bart.

[Except for a last visit to London to pack his books, which proved a
heavier undertaking than he had reckoned upon, Huxley did not leave
Eastbourne this autumn, refusing Sir J. Donnelly's hospitable
invitation to stay with him in Surrey during the move, of which he

Thank Heaven that is my last move--except to a still smaller residence
of a subterranean character!

Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, September 19, 1890.

My dear Donnelly,

And my books--and watch-dog business generally?

How is that to be transacted whether as in-patient or out-patient at
Firdale? Much hospitality hath made thee mad.

Seriously, it's not to be done nohow. What between papers that don't
come, and profligate bracket manufacturers who keep you waiting for
months and then send the wrong things--and a general tendency of
everybody to do nothing right or something wrong--it is as much as the
two of us will do--to get in, and all in the course of the next three

Of course my wife has no business to go to London to superintend the
packing--but I should like to see anybody stop her. However, she has
got the faithful Minnie to do the actual work; and swears by all her
Gods and Goddesses she will only direct.

It would only make her unhappy if I did not make pretend to believe,
and hope no harm may come of it.

Tout a vous,

T.H. Huxley.

[Another discussion which sprang up in the "Times", upon Medical
Education, evoked a letter from him ("Times" August 7), urging that the
preliminary training ought to be much more thorough and exact. The
student at his first coming is so completely habituated to learn only
from books or oral teaching, that the attempt to learn from things and
to get his knowledge at first hand is something new and strange. Thus a
large proportion of medical students spend much of their first year in
learning how to learn, and when they have done that, in acquiring the
preliminary scientific knowledge, with which, under any rational system
of education, they would have come provided.

He urged, too, that they should have received a proper literary
education instead of a sham acquaintance with Latin, and insisted, as
he had so often done, on the literary wealth of their own language.

Every one has his own ideas of what a liberal education ought to
include, and a correspondent wrote to ask him, among other things,
whether he did not think the higher mathematics ought to be included.
He replied:--]

Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, August 16, 1890.

I think mathematical training highly desirable, but advanced
mathematics, I am afraid, would be too great a burden in proportion to
its utility, to the ordinary student.

I fully agree with you that the incapacity of teachers is the weak
point in the London schools. But what is to be expected when a man
accepts a lectureship in a medical school simply as a grappling-iron by
which he may hold on until he gets a hospital appointment?

Medical education in London will never be what it ought to be, until
the "Institutes of Medicine," as the Scotch call them, are taught in
only two or three well-found institutions--while the hospital schools
are confined to the teaching of practical medicine, surgery,
obstetrics, and so on.

[The following letters illustrate Huxley's keenness to correct any
misrepresentation of his opinions from a weighty source, amid the way
in which, without abating his just claims, he could make the peace

In October Dr. Abbott delivered an address on "Illusions," in which,
without, of course, mentioning names, he drew an unmistakable picture
of Huxley as a thorough pessimist. A very brief report appeared in the
"Times" of October 9, together with a leading article upon the subject.
Huxley thereupon wrote to the "Times" a letter which throws light both
upon his early days and his later opinions:--]

The article on "Illusions" in the "Times" of to-day induces me to
notice the remarkable exemplification of them to which you have drawn
public attention. The Reverend Dr. Abbott has pointed the moral of his
discourse by a reference to a living man, the delicacy of which will be
widely and justly appreciated. I have reason to believe that I am
acquainted with this person, somewhat intimately, though I can by no
means call myself his best friend--far from it.

If I am right, I can affirm that this poor fellow did not escape from
the "narrow school in which he was brought up" at nineteen, but more
than two years later; and, as he pursued his studies in London, perhaps
he had as many opportunities for "fruitful converse with friends and
equals," to say nothing of superiors, as he would have enjoyed

Moreover, whether the naval officers with whom he consorted were
book-learned or not, they were emphatically men, trained to face
realities and to have a wholesome contempt for mere talkers. Any one of
them was worth a wilderness of phrase-crammed undergraduates. Indeed, I
have heard my misguided acquaintance declare that he regards his four
years' training under the hard conditions and the sharp discipline of
his cruise as an education of inestimable value.

As to being a "keen-witted pessimist out and out," the Reverend Dr.
Abbott's "horrid example" has shown me the following
sentence:--"Pessimism is as little consonant with the facts of sentient
existence as optimism." He says he published it in 1888, in an article
on "Industrial Development," to be seen in the "Nineteenth Century".
But no doubt this is another illusion. No superior person, brought up
"in the Universities," to boot, could possibly have invented a myth so

[The end of the correspondence was quite amicable. Dr. Abbott explained
that he had taken his facts from the recently published
"Autobiography," and that the reporters had wonderfully altered what he
really said by large omissions. In a second letter ("Times" October 11)
Huxley says:--]

I am much obliged to Dr. Abbott for his courteous explanation. I myself
have suffered so many things at the hands of so many reporters--of whom
it may too often be said that their "faith, unfaithful, makes them
falsely true"--that I can fully enter into what his feelings must have
been when he contemplated the picture of his discourse, in which the
lights on "raw midshipmen," "pessimist out and out," "devil take the
hindmost," and "Heine's dragoon," were so high, while the "good things"
he was kind enough to say about me lay in the deep shadow of the
invisible. And I can assure Dr. Abbott that I should not have dreamed
of noticing the report of his interesting lecture, which I read when it
appeared, had it not been made the subject of the leading article which
drew the attention of all the world to it on the following day.

I was well aware that Dr. Abbott must have founded his remarks on the
brief notice of my life which (without my knowledge) has been thrust
into its present ridiculous position among biographies of eminent
musicians; and most undoubtedly anything I have said there is public
property. But erroneous suppositions imaginatively connected with what
I have said appear to me to stand upon a different footing, especially
when they are interspersed with remarks injurious to my early friends.
Some of the "raw midshipmen and unlearned naval officers" of whom Dr.
Abbott speaks, in terms which he certainly did not find in my
"autobiography," are, I am glad to say, still alive, and are
performing, or have performed, valuable services to their country. I
wonder what Dr. Abbott would think, and perhaps say, if his youthful
University friends were spoken of as "raw curates and unlearned country

When David Hume's housemaid was wroth because somebody chalked up "St
David's" on his house, the philosopher is said to have remarked,--"
Never mind, lassie, better men than I have been made saints of before
now." And, perhaps, if I had recollected that "better men than I have
been made texts of before now," a slight flavour of wrath which may be
perceptible would have vanished from my first letter. If Dr. Abbott has
found any phrase of mine too strong, I beg him to set it against "out
and out pessimist" and "Heine's dragoon," and let us cry quits. He is
the last person with whom I should wish to quarrel.

[Two interesting criticisms of books follow; one "The First Three
Gospels", by the Reverend Estlin Carpenter; the other on "Use and
Disuse", directed against the doctrine of use-inheritance, by Mr. Platt
Ball, who not only sent the book but appealed to him for advice as to
his future course in undertaking a larger work on the evolution of man.]

Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, October 11, 1890.

My dear Mr. Carpenter,

Accept my best thanks for "The First Three Gospels", which strikes me
as an admirable exposition of the case, full, clear, and calm. Indeed
the latter quality gives it here and there a touch of humour. You say
the most damaging things in a way so gentle that the orthodox reader
must feel like the eels who were skinned by the fair Molly--lost
between pain and admiration.

I am certainly glad to see that the book has reached a second edition;
it will do yeoman's service to the cause of right reason.

A friend of mine was in the habit of sending me his proofs, and I
sometimes wrote on them "no objection except to the whole"; and I am
afraid that you will think what I am about to say comes to pretty much
the same thing--at least if I am right in the supposition that a
passage in your first preface (page 7) states your fundamental
position, and that you conceive that when criticism has done its
uttermost there still remains evidence that the personality of Jesus
was the leading cause--the conditio sine qua non--of the evolution of
Christianity from Judaism.

I long thought so, and having a strong dislike to belittle the heroic
figures of history, I held by the notion as long as I could, but I find
it melting away.

I cannot see that the moral and religious ideal of early Christianity
is new--on the other hand, it seems to me to be implicitly and
explicitly contained in the early prophetic Judaism and the later
Hellenised Judaism; and though it is quite true that the new vitality
of the old ideal manifested in early Christianity demands "an adequate
historic cause," I would suggest that the word "cause" may mislead if
it is not carefully defined.

Medical philosophy draws a most useful and necessary distinction
between "exciting" and "predisposing" causes--and nowhere is it more
needful to keep this distinction in mind than in history--and
especially in estimating the action of individuals on the course of
human affairs. Platonic and Stoical philosophy--prophetic
liberalism--the strong democratic socialism of the Jewish political
system--the existence of innumerable sodalities for religious and
social purposes--had thrown the ancient world into a state of unstable
equilibrium. With such predisposing causes at work, the exciting cause
of enormous changes might be relatively insignificant. The powder was
there--a child might throw the match which should blow up the whole

I do not want to seem irreverent, still less depreciatory, of noble
men, but it strikes me that in the present case the Nazarenes were the
match and Paul the child.

An ingrained habit of trying to explain the unknown by the known leads
me to find the key to Nazarenism in Quakerism. It is impossible to read
the early history of the Friends without seeing that George Fox was a
person who exerted extraordinary influence over the men with whom he
came in contact; and it is equally impossible (at least for me) to
discover in his copious remains an original thought.

Yet what with the corruption of the Stuarts, the Phariseeism of the
Puritans, and the Sadduceeism of the Church, England was in such a
state, that before his death he had gathered about him a vast body of
devoted followers, whose patient endurance of persecution is a marvel.
Moreover, the Quakers have exercised a prodigious influence on later
English life.

But I have scribbled a great deal too much already. You will see what I

To Mr. W. Platt Ball.

Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, October 27, 1890.

Dear Sir,

I have been through your book, which has greatly interested me, at a
hand-gallop; and I have by no means given it the attention it deserves.
But the day after to-morrow I shall be going into a new house here, and
it may be some time before I settle down to work in it--so that I
prefer to seem hasty, rather than indifferent to your book and still
more to your letter.

As to the book, in the first place. The only criticism I have to
offer--in the ordinary depreciatory sense of the word--is that pages
128 to 137 seem to me to require reconsideration, partly from a
substantial and partly from a tactical point of view. There is much
that is disputable on the one hand, and not necessary to your argument
on the other.

Otherwise it seems to me that the case could hardly be better stated.
Here are a few notes and queries that have occurred to me.

Page 41. Extinction of Tasmanians--rather due to the British colonist,
who was the main agent of their extirpation, I fancy.

Page 67. Birds' sternums are a great deal more than surfaces of origin
for the pectoral muscles--e.g. movable lid of respiratory bellows. This
not taken into account by Darwin.

Page 85. "Inferiority of senses of Europeans" is, I believe, a pure
delusion. Professor Marsh told me of feats of American trappers equal
to any savage doings. It is a question of attention. Consider
wool-sorters, tea-tasters, shepherds who know every sheep personally,
etc. etc.

Page 85. I do not understand about the infant's sole; since all men
become bipeds, all must exert pressure on sole. There is no disuse.

Page 88. Has not "muscardine" been substituted for "pebrine"? I have
always considered this a very striking case. Here is apparent
inheritance of a diseased state through the mother only, quite
inexplicable till Pasteur discovered the rationale.

Page 155. Have you considered that State Socialism (for which I have
little enough love) may be a product of Natural Selection? The
societies of Bees and Ants exhibit socialism in excelsis.

The unlucky substitution of "survival of fittest" for "natural
selection" has done much harm in consequence of the ambiguity of
"fittest"--which many take to mean "best" or "highest"--whereas natural
selection may work towards degradation: vide epizoa.

You do not refer to the male mamma--which becomes functional once in
many million cases, see the curious records of Gynaecomasty. Here
practical disuse in the male ever since the origin of the mammalia has
not abolished the mamma or destroyed its functional potentiality in
extremely rare cases.

I absolutely disbelieve in use-inheritance as the evidence stands.
Spencer is bound to it a priori--his psychology goes to pieces without

Now as to the letter. I am no pessimist--but also no optimist. The
world might be much worse, and it might be much better. Of moral
purpose I see no trace in Nature. That is an article of exclusively
human manufacture--and very much to our credit.

If you will accept the results of the experience of an old man who has
had a very chequered existence--and has nothing to hope for except a
few years of quiet downhill--there is nothing of permanent value
(putting aside a few human affections), nothing that satisfies quiet
reflection--except the sense of having worked according to one's
capacity and light, to make things clear and get rid of cant and shams
of all sorts. That was the lesson I learned from Carlyle's books when I
was a boy, and it has stuck by me all my life.

Therefore, my advice to you is go ahead. You may make more of failing
to get money, and of succeeding in getting abuse--until such time in
your life as (if you are teachable) you have ceased to care much about
either. The job you propose to undertake is a big one, and will tax all
your energies and all your patience.

But, if it were my case, I should take my chance of failing in a worthy
task rather than of succeeding in lower things.

And if at any time I can be of use to you (even to the answering of
letters) let me know. But in truth I am getting rusty in science--from

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

P.S.--Yes--Mr. Gladstone has dug up the hatchet. We shall see who gets
the scalps.

By the way, you have not referred to plants, which are a stronghold for
you. What is the good of use-inheritance, say, in orchids?

[The interests which had formerly been divided between biology and
other branches of science and philosophy, were diverted from the one
channel only to run stronger in the rest. Stagnation was the one thing
impossible to him; his rest was mental activity without excessive
physical fatigue; and he felt he still had a useful purpose to serve,
as a friend put it, in patrolling his beat with a vigilant eye to the
loose characters of thought. Thus he writes on September 29 to Sir J.

I wish quietude of mind were possible to me. But without something to
do that amuses me and does not involve too much labour, I become quite
unendurable--to myself and everybody else.

Providence has, I believe, specially devolved on Gladstone, Gore, and
Co. the function of keeping "'ome 'appy" for me.

I really can't give up tormenting ces droles.

However, I have been toiling at a tremendously scientific article about
the "Aryan question" absolutely devoid of blasphemy.

[This article appeared in the November number of the "Nineteenth
Century" ("Collected Essays" 7 271) and treats the question from a
biological point of view, with the warning to readers that it is
essentially a speculation based upon facts, but not assuredly proved.
It starts from the racial characteristics of skull and stature, not
from simply philological considerations, and arrives at a form of the
"Sarmatian" theory of Aryan origins. And for fear lest he should be
supposed to take sides in the question of race and language, or race
and civilisation, he remarks:--]

The combination of swarthiness with stature above the average and a
long skull, confer upon me the serene impartiality of a mongrel.

The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, August 12, 1890.

My dear Evans,

I have read your address returned herewith with a great deal of
interest, as I happen to have been amusing myself lately with reviewing
the "Aryan" question according to the new lights (or darknesses).

I have only two or three remarks to offer on the places I have marked A
and B.

As to A, I would not state the case so strongly against the
probabilities of finding pliocene man. A pliocene Homo skeleton might
analogically be expected to differ no more from that of modern men than
the Oeningen Canis from modern Canes, or pliocene horses from modern
horses. If so, he would most undoubtedly be a man--genus Homo--even if
you made him a distinct species. For my part I should by no means be
astonished to find the genus Homo represented in the Miocene, say the
Neanderthal man with rather smaller brain capacity, longer arms and
more movable great toe, but at most specifically different.

As to B, I rather think there were people who fought the fallacy of
language being a test of race before Broca--among them thy servant--who
got into considerable hot water on that subject for a lecture on the
forefathers and forerunners of the English people, delivered in 1870.
Taylor says that Cuno was the first to insist upon the proposition that
race is not co-extensive with language in 1871. That is all stuff. The
same thesis had been maintained before I took it up, but I cannot
remember by whom. [Cp. letter to Max Muller of June 15, 1865 volume 1.]

Won't you refer to the Blackmore Museum? I was very much struck with it
when at Salisbury the other day.

Hope they gave you a better lunch at Gloucester than we did here. We'll
treat you better next time in our own den. With the wife's kindest

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[The remark in a preceding letter about "Gladstone, Gore, and Co."
turned out to be prophetic as well as retrospective. Mr. Gladstone
published this autumn in "Good Words" his "Impregnable Rock of Holy
Scripture," containing an attack upon Huxley's position as taken up in
their previous controversy of 1889.

The debate now turned upon the story of the Gadarene swine. The
question at issue was not, at first sight, one of vital importance, and
one critic at least remarked that at their age Mr. Gladstone and
Professor Huxley might be better occupied than in fighting over the
Gadarene pigs:--]

If these too famous swine were the only parties to the suit, I for my
part (writes Huxley, "Collected Essays" 5 414) should fully admit the
justice of the rebuke. But the real issue (he contends) is whether the
men of the nineteenth century are to adopt the demonology of the men of
the first century, as divinely revealed truth, or to reject it as
degrading falsity.

[A lively encounter followed:--]

The G.O.M. is not murdered [he writes on November 20], only "fillipped
with a three-man beetle," as the fat knight has it.

[This refers to the forthcoming article in the December "Nineteenth
Century", "The Keepers of the Herd of Swine," which was followed in
March 1891 by "Mr. Gladstone's Controversial Methods" (see "Collected
Essays" 5 366 sqq.), the rejoinder to Mr. Gladstone's reply in February.

The scope of this controversy was enlarged by the intervention in the
January "Nineteenth Century" of the Duke of Argyll, to whom he devoted
the concluding paragraphs of his March article. But it was scarcely
well under way when another, accompanied by much greater effusion of
ink and passion, sprang up in the columns of the "Times". His share in
it, published in 1891 as a pamphlet under the title of "Social Diseases
and Worse Remedies," is to be found in "Collected Essays" 9 237.]

I have a new row on hand in re Salvation Army! [he writes on December
2]. It's all Mrs. --'s fault; she offered the money.

[In fact, a lady who was preparing to subscribe 1000 pounds to
"General" Booth's "Darkest England" scheme, begged Huxley first to give
her his opinion of the scheme and the likelihood of its being properly
carried out. A careful examination of "Darkest England" and other
authorities on the subject, convinced him that it was most unwise to
create an organisation whose absolute obedience to an irresponsible
leader might some day become a serious danger to the State; that the
reforms proposed were already being undertaken by other bodies, which
would be crippled if this scheme were floated; and that the financial
arrangements of the Army were not such as provide guarantees for the
proper administration of the funds subscribed:--]

And if the thing goes on much longer, if Booth establishes his Bank,
you will have a crash some of these fine days, comparable only to Law's
Mississippi business, but unfortunately ruining only the poor.

[On the same day he writes to his eldest son:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, December 8, 1890.

Attacking the Salvation Army may look like the advance of a forlorn
hope, but this old dog has never yet let go after fixing his teeth into
anything or anybody, and he is not going to begin now. And it is only a
question of holding on. Look at Plumptre's letter exposing the Bank

The "Times", too, is behaving like a brick. This world is not a very
lovely place, but down at the bottom, as old Carlyle preached, veracity
does really lie, and will show itself if people won't be impatient.

[No sooner had he begun to express these opinions in the columns of the
"Times" than additional information of all kinds poured in upon him,
especially from within the Army, much of it private for fear of injury
to the writers if it were discovered that they had written to expose
abuses; indeed in one case the writer had thought better of even
appending his signature to his letter, and had cut off his name from
the foot of it, alleging that correspondence was not inviolable. So far
were these persons from feeling hostility to the organisation to which
they belonged, that one at least hailed the Professor as the
divinely-appointed redeemer of the Army, whose criticism was to bring
it back to its pristine purity.

To his elder son:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, January 8, 1891.

Dear Lens,

It is very jolly to think of J. and you paying us a visit. It is
proper, also, the eldest son should hansel the house.

Is the Mr. Sidgwick who took up the cudgels for me so gallantly in the
"St. James'" one of your Sidgwicks? If so, I wish you would thank him
on my account. (The letter was capital.) [Mr. William C. Sidgwick had
written (January 4) an indignant letter to protest against the heading
of an article in the "Speaker", Professor Huxley as Titus Oates." "To
this monster of iniquity the "Speaker" compares an honourable English
gentleman, because he has ventured to dissuade his countrymen from
giving money to Mr. William Booth...Mr. Huxley's views on theology may
be wrong, but nobody doubts that he honestly holds them; they do not
bring Mr. Huxley wealth and honours, nor do they cause the murder of
the innocent. To insinuate a resemblance which you dare not state
openly is an outrage on common decency...] Generally people like me to
pull the chestnuts out of the fire for them, but don't care to take any
share in the burning of the fingers.

But the Boothites are hard hit, and may be allowed to cry out.

I begin to think that they must be right in saying that the Devil is at
work to destroy them. No other theory sufficiently accounts for the way
they play into my hands. Poor Clibborn-Booth has a long--columns
long--letter in the "Times" to-day, in which, all unbeknownst to
himself, he proves my case.

I do believe it is a veritable case of the herd of swine, and I shall
have to admit the probability of that miracle.

Love to J. and Co. from us all.

Ever your affectionate Pater.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, January 11, 1891.

My dear Mr. Clodd,

I am very much obliged to you for the number of the "St. James's
Gazette", which I had not seen. The leading article expresses exactly
the same conclusions as those at which I had myself arrived from the
study of the deed of 1878. But of course I was not going to entangle
myself in a legal discussion. However, I have reason to know that the
question will be dealt with by a highly qualified legal expert before
long. The more I see of the operations of headquarters the worse they
look. I get some of my most valuable information and heartiest
encouragement from officers of the Salvation Army; and I knew, in this
way, of Smith's resignation a couple of days before it was announced!
But the poor fellows are so afraid of spies and consequent persecution,
that some implore me not to notice their letters, and all pledge me to
secrecy. So that I am Vice-Fontanelle with my hand full of truth, while
I can only open my little finger.

It is a case of one down and t'other come on, just now. "--" will get
his deserts in due time. But, oh dear, what a waste of time for a man
who has not much to look to. No; "waste" is the wrong word; it's
useful, but I wish that somebody else would do it and leave me to my

My wife desires her kind regards. I am happy to say she is now
remarkably well. If you are this way, pray look in at our Hermitage.

Yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, January 30, 1891.

My dear Hooker,

I trust I have done with Booth and Co. at last. What an ass a man is to
try to prevent his fellow-creatures from being humbugged! Surely I am
old enough to know better. I have not been so well abused for an age.
It's quite like old times.

And now I have to settle accounts with the Duke and the G.O.M. I wonder
when the wicked will let me be at peace.

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

[Other letters touch upon the politics of the hour, especially upon the
sudden and dramatic fall of Parnell. He could not but admire the power
and determination of the man, and his political methods, an admiration
rashly interpreted by some journalist as admiration of the objects to
which these political methods were applied. (See Volume 2.)]

Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, November 26, 1890.

My dear Lecky,

Very many thanks for your two volumes, which I rejoice to have,
especially as a present from you. I was only waiting until we were
settled in our new house--as I hope we shall be this time next week--to
add them to the set which already adorn my shelves, and I promise
myself soon to enjoy the reading of them.

The Unionist cause is looking up. What a strange thing it is that the
Irish malcontents are always sold, one way or the other, by their

I wonder if the G.O.M. ever swears! Pity if he can't have that relief
just now.

With our united kind regards to Mrs. Lecky and yourself.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, November 29, 1890.

My dear Hooker,

I have filled up and sent your and my copies of entry for Athenaeum.

Carpenter has written the best popular statement I know of, of the
results of criticism, in a little book called "The First Three
Gospels", which is well worth reading. [See above.]

I have promised to go to the Royal Society dinner and propose Stokes'
health on Monday, but if the weather holds out as Arctic as it is now,
I shall not dare to venture. The driving east wind, blowing the snow
before it here, has been awful; for ten years they have had nothing
like it. I am glad to say that my little house turns out to be warm. We
go in next Wednesday, and I fear I cannot be in town on Thursday even
if the weather permits.

I have had pleurisy that was dangerous and not painful, then pleurisy
that was painful and not dangerous; there is only one further
combination, and I don't want that.

Politics now are immensely interesting. There must be a depth of
blackguardism in me, for I cannot help admiring Parnell. I prophesy
that it is Gladstone who will retire for a while, and then come back to
Parnell's heel like a whipped hound. His letter was carefully full of

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, December 2, 1890.

My dear Hooker,

The question of questions now is whether the Unionists will have the
sense to carry a measure settling the land question at once. If they do
that, I do not believe it will be in the power of man to stir them
further. And my belief is that Parnell will be quite content with that
solution. He does not want to be made a nonentity by Davitt or the
Irish Americans.

But what ingrained liars they all are! That is the bottom of all Irish
trouble. Fancy Healy and Sexton going to Dublin to swear eternal
fidelity to their leader, and now openly declaring that they only did
so because they believed he would resign.

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, January 10, 1891.

My dear Foster,

I am trying to bring the Booth business to an end so far as I am
concerned, but it's like getting a wolf by the ears; you can't let him
go exactly when you like.

But the result is quite worth the trouble. Booth, Stead, Tillett,
Manning and Co. have their little game spoilt for the present.

You cannot imagine the quantity of letters I get from the Salvation
Army subordinates, thanking me and telling me all sorts of stories in
strict confidence. The poor devils are frightened out of their lives by
headquarter spies. Some beg me not to reply, as their letters are

I knew that saints were not bad hands at lying before; but these Booth
people beat Banagher.

Then there is -- awaits skinning, and I believe the G.O.M. is to be
upon me! Oh for a quiet life.

Ever yours faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[But by February 17 the Booth business was over, the final rejoinder to
Mr. Gladstone sent to press; and he writes to Sir J. Hooker:--]

Please the pigs, I have now done with them--wiped my month, and am
going to be good--till next time.

But in truth I am as sick of controversy as a confectioner's boy of

I rather think I shall set up as a political prophet. Gladstone and all
the rest are coming to heel to their master.

Years ago one of the present leaders of the anti-Parnellites said to
me: "Gladstone is always in the hands of somebody stronger than
himself; formerly it was Bright, now it is Parnell."



[The new house at Eastbourne has been several times referred to. As
usually happens, the move was considerably delayed by the slowness of
the workmen; it did not actually take place till the beginning of

He writes to his daughter, Mrs. Roller, who also had just moved into a
new house:--]

You have all my sympathies on the buy, buy question. I never knew
before that when you go into a new house money runs out at the heels of
your boots. On former occasions, I have been too busy to observe the
fact. But I am convinced now that it is a law of nature.

[The origin of the name given to the house appears from the following

Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, October 15, 1890.

My dear Foster,

Best thanks for the third part of the "Physiology," which I found when
I ran up to town for a day or two last week. What a grind that book
must be.

How's a' wi' you? Let me have a line.

We ought to have been in our house a month ago, but fitters, paperers,
and polishers are like bugs or cockroaches, you may easily get 'em in,
but getting 'em out is the deuce. However, I hope to clear them out by
the end of this week, and get in by the end of next week.

One is obliged to have names for houses here. Mine will be "Hodeslea,"
which is as near as I can go to "Hodesleia," the poetical original
shape of my very ugly name.

There was a noble scion of the house of Huxley of Huxley who, having
burgled and done other wrong things (temp. Henry IV.), asked for
benefit of clergy. I expect they gave it him, not in the way he wanted,
but in the way they would like to "benefit" a later member of the

[Rough sketch of one priest hauling the rope taut over the gallows,
while another holds a crucifix before the suspended criminal.]

Between this gentleman and my grandfather there is unfortunately a
complete blank, but I have none the less faith in him as my ancestor.

My wife, I am sorry to say, is in town--superintending packing up--no
stopping her. I have been very uneasy about her at times, and shall be
glad when we are quietly settled down. With kindest regards to Mrs.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[His own principal task was in getting his library ready for the move.]

Most of my time [he writes on November 16] for the last fortnight has
been spent in arranging books and tearing up papers till my back aches
and my fingers are sore.

[However, he did not take all his books with him. There was a quantity
of biological works of all sorts which had accumulated in his library
and which he was not likely to use again; these he offered as a parting
gift to the Royal College of Science. On December 8, the Registrar
conveys to him the thanks of the Council for "the valuable library of
biological works," and further informs him that it was resolved:--

That the library shall be kept in the room formerly occupied by the
Dean, which shall be called "The Huxley Laboratory for Biological
Research," and be devoted to the prosecution of original researches in
Biological Science, with which the name of Professor Huxley is
inseparably associated.

Huxley replied as follows:--]

Dear Registrar,

I beg you convey my hearty thanks to the Council for the great kindness
of the minute and resolution which you have sent me. My mind has never
been greatly set on posthumous fame; but there is no way of keeping
memory green which I should like so well as that which they have
adopted towards me.

It has been my fate to receive a good deal more vilipending than (I
hope) I deserve. If my colleagues, with whom I have worked so long, put
too high a value upon my services, perhaps the result may be not far
off justice.

Yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

In addition to the directly controversial articles in the early part of
the year, two other articles on controversial subjects belong to 1891.
"Hasisadra's Adventure," published in the "Nineteenth Century" for
June, completed his long-contemplated examination of the Flood myth. In
this he first discussed the Babylonian form of the legend recorded upon
the clay tablets of Assurbanipal--a simpler and less exaggerated form
as befits an earlier version, and in its physical details keeping much
nearer to the bounds of probability.

The greater part of the article, however, is devoted to a wider
question--How far does geological and geographical evidence bear
witness to the consequences which must have ensued from a universal
flood, or even from one limited to the countries of Mesopotamia? And he
comes to the conclusion that these very countries have been singularly
free from any great changes of the kind for long geological periods.

The sarcastic references in this article to those singular reasoners
who take the possibility of an occurrence to be the same as scientific
testimony to the fact of its occurrence, lead up, more or less, to the
subject of an essay, "Possibilities and Impossibilities," which
appeared in the "Agnostic Annual" for 1892, actually published in
October 1891, and to be found in "Collected Essays", 5 192.

This was a restatement of the fundamental principles of the agnostic
position, arising out of the controversies of the last two years upon
the demonology of the New Testament. The miraculous is not to be denied
as impossible; as Hume said, "Whatever is intelligible and can be
distinctly conceived implies no contradiction, and can never be proved
false by any demonstrative argument or abstract reasoning a priori,"
and these combinations of phenomena are perfectly conceivable.
Moreover, in the progress of knowledge, the miracles of to-day may be
the science of to-morrow. Improbable they are, certainly, by all
experience, and therefore they require specially strong evidence. But
this is precisely what they lack; the evidence for them, when examined,
turns out to be of doubtful value.]

I am anxious [he says] to bring about a clear understanding of the
difference between "impossibilities" and "improbabilities," because
mistakes on this point lay us open to the attacks of ecclesiastical
apologists of the type of the late Cardinal Newman.

When it is rightly stated, the Agnostic view of "miracles" is, in my
judgment, unassailable. We are NOT justified in the a priori assertion
that the order of nature, as experience has revealed it to us, cannot
change. In arguing about the miraculous, the assumption is
illegitimate, because it involves the whole point in dispute.
Furthermore, it is an assumption which takes us beyond the range of our
faculties. Obviously, no amount of past experience can warrant us in
anything more than a correspondingly strong expectation for the present
and future. We find, practically, that expectations, based upon careful
observations of past events, are, as a rule, trustworthy. We should be
foolish indeed not to follow the only guide we have through life. But,
for all that, our highest and surest generalisations remain on the
level of justifiable expectations; that is, very high probabilities.
For my part, I am unable to conceive of an intelligence shaped on the
model of that of men, however superior it might be, which could be any
better off than our own in this respect; that is, which could possess
logically justifiable grounds for certainty about the constancy of the
order of things, and therefore be in a position to declare that such
and such events are impossible. Some of the old mythologies recognised
this clearly enough. Beyond and above Zeus and Odin, there lay the
unknown and inscrutable Fate which, one day or other, would crumple up
them and the world they ruled to give place to a new order of things.

I sincerely hope that I shall not be accused of Pyrrhonism, or of any
desire to weaken the foundations of rational certainty. I have merely
desired to point out that rational certainty is one thing, and talk
about "impossibilities," or "violation of natural laws," another.
Rational certainty rests upon two grounds; the one that the evidence in
favour of a given statement is as good as it can be; the other, that
such evidence is plainly insufficient. In the former case, the
statement is to be taken as true, in the latter as untrue; until
something arises to modify the verdict, which, however properly
reached, may always be more or less wrong, the best information being
never complete, and the best reasoning being liable to fallacy.

To quarrel with the uncertainty that besets us in intellectual affairs
would be about as reasonable as to object to live one's life, with due
thought for the morrow, because no man can be sure he will be alive an
hour hence. Such are the conditions imposed upon us by nature, and we
have to make the best of them. And I think that the greatest mistake
those of us who are interested in the progress of free thought can make
is to overlook these limitations, and to deck ourselves with the
dogmatic feathers which are the traditional adornment of our opponents.
Let us be content with rational certainty, leaving irrational
certainties to those who like to muddle their minds with them.

[As for the difficulty of believing miracles in themselves, he gives in
this paper several examples of a favourite saying of his, that Science
offers us much greater marvels than the miracles of theology; only the
evidence for them is very different.

The following letter was written in acknowledgment of a paper by the
Reverend E. McClure, which endeavoured to place the belief in an
individual permanence upon the grounds that we know of no leakage
anywhere in nature; that matter is not a source, but a transmitter of
energy; and that the brain, so far from originating thought, is a mere
machine responsive to something external to itself, a revealer of
something which it does not produce, like a musical instrument. This
"something" is the universal of thought, which is identified with the
general logos of the fourth gospel. Moral perfection consists in
assimilation to this; sin is the falling short of perfect revealing of
the eternal logos.

Huxley's reply interested his correspondent not only for the brief
opinion on the philosophic question, but for the personal touch in the
explanation of the motives which had guided his life-work, and his
"kind feeling towards such of the clergy as endeavoured to seek
honestly for a natural basis to their faith."

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, March 17, 1891.

Dear Mr. McClure,

I am very much obliged for your letter, which belongs to a different
category from most of those which I receive from your side of the hedge
that, unfortunately, separates thinking men.

So far as I know myself, after making due deduction for the ambition of
youth and a fiery temper, which ought to (but unfortunately does not)
get cooler with age, my sole motive is to get at the truth in all

I do not care one straw about fame, present or posthumous, and I loathe
notoriety, but I do care to have that desire manifest and recognised.

Your paper deals with a problem which has profoundly interested me for
years, but which I take to be insoluble. It would need a book for full
discussion. But I offer a remark only on two points.

The doctrine of the conservation of energy tells neither one way nor
the other. Energy is the cause of movement of body, i.e. things having
mass. States of consciousness have no mass, even if they can be
conceded to be movable. Therefore even if they are caused by molecular
movements, they would not in any way affect the store of energy.

Physical causation need not be the only kind of causation, and when
Cabanis said that thought was a function of the brain, in the same way
as bile secretion is a FUNCTION of the liver, he blundered
philosophically. Bile is a product of the transformation of material
energy. But in the mathematical sense of the word "function," thought
may be a function of the brain. That is to say, it may arise only when
certain physical particles take on a certain order.

By way of a coarse analogy, consider a parallel-sided piece of glass
through which light passes. It forms no picture. Shape it so as to be
bi-convex, and a picture appears in its focus.

Is not the formation of the picture a "function" of the piece of glass
thus shaped?

So, from your own point of view, suppose a mind-stuff--logos---a
noumenal cosmic light such as is shadowed in the fourth gospel. The
brain of a dog will convert it into one set of phenomenal pictures, and
the brain of a man into another. But in both cases the result is the
consequence of the way in which the respective brains perform their

Yet one point.

The actions we call sinful are as much the consequence of the order of
nature as those we call virtuous. They are part and parcel of the
struggle for existence through which all living things have passed, and
they have become sins because man alone seeks a higher life in
voluntary association.

Therefore the instrument has never been marred; on the contrary, we are
trying to get music out of harps, sacbuts, and psalteries, which never
were in tune and seemingly never will be.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Few years passed without some utterance from Huxley on the subject of
education, especially scientific education. This year we have a letter
to Professor Ray Lankester touching the science teaching at Oxford.]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, January 28, 1891.

Dear Lankester,

I met Foster at the Athenaeum when I was in town last week, and we had
some talk about your "very gentle" stirring of the Oxford pudding. I
asked him to let you know when occasion offered, that (as I had already
said to Burdon Sanderson) I drew a clear line apud biology between the
medical student and the science student.

With respect to the former, I consider it ought to be kept within
strict limits, and made simply a Vorschule to human anatomy and

On the other hand, the man who is going out in natural science ought to
have a much larger dose, especially in the direction of morphology.
However, from what I understood from Foster, there seems a doubt about
the "going out" in "Natural Science", so I had better confine myself to
the medicos. Their burden is already so heavy that I do not want to see
it increased by a needless weight even of elementary biology.

Very many thanks for the "Zoological articles" just arrived.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Don't write to the "Times" about anything; look at the trouble that
comes upon a harmless man for two months, in consequence.

[The following letter, which I quote from the "Yorkshire Herald" of
April 11, 1891, was written in answer to some inquiries from Mr. J.
Harrison, who read a paper on Technical Education as applied to
Agriculture, before the Easingwold Agricultural Club.]

I am afraid that my opinion upon the subject of your inquiry is worth
very little--my ignorance of practical agriculture being profound.
However, there are some general principles which apply to all technical
training; the first of these, I think, is that practice is to be
learned only by practice. The farmer must be made by and through farm
work. I believe I might be able to give you a fair account of a bean
plant and of the manner and condition of its growth, but if I were to
try to raise a crop of beans, your club would probably laugh consumedly
at the result. Nevertheless, I believe that you practical people would
be all the better for the scientific knowledge which does not enable me
to grow beans. It would keep you from attempting hopeless experiments,
and would enable you to take advantage of the innumerable hints which
Dame Nature gives to people who live in direct contact with things. And
this leads me to the second general principle which I think applies to
all technical teaching for school-boys and school-girls, and that is,
that they should be led from the observation of the commonest facts to
general scientific truths. If I were called upon to frame a course of
elementary instruction preparatory to agriculture, I am not sure that I
should attempt chemistry, or botany, or physiology or geology, as such.
It is a method fraught with the danger of spending too much time and
attention on abstraction and theories, on words and notions instead of
things. The history of a bean, of a grain of wheat, of a turnip, of a
sheep, of a pig, or of a cow properly treated--with the introduction of
the elements of chemistry, physiology, and so on as they come in--would
give all the elementary science which is needed for the comprehension
of the processes of agriculture in a form easily assimilated by the
youthful mind, which loathes everything in the shape of long words and
abstract notions, and small blame to it. I am afraid I shall not have
helped you very much, but I believe that my suggestions, rough as they
are, are in the right direction.

[The remaining letters of the year are of miscellaneous interest. They
show him happily established in his retreat at Eastbourne in very fair
health, on his guard against any further repetition of his "jubilee
honour" in the shape of his old enemy pleurisy; unable to escape the
more insidious attacks of influenza, but well enough on the whole to be
in constant good spirits.]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, January 13, 1891.

My dear Skelton,

Many thanks to you for reminding me that there are such things as
"Summer Isles" in the universe. The memory of them has been pretty well
blotted out here for the last seven weeks. You see some people can
retire to "Hermitages" as well as other people; and though even Argyll
cum Gladstone powers of self-deception could not persuade me that the
view from my window is as good as that from yours, yet I do see a fine
wavy chalk down with "cwms" and soft turfy ridges, over which an old
fellow can stride as far as his legs are good to carry him.

The fact is, that I discovered that staying in London any longer meant
for me a very short life, and by no means a merry one. So I got my
son-in-law to build me a cottage here, where my wife and I may go
down-hill quietly together, and "make our sowls" as the Irish say,
solaced by an occasional visit from children and grandchildren.

The deuce of it is, that however much the weary want to be at rest the
wicked won't cease from troubling. Hence the occasional skirmishes and
alarms which may lead my friends to misdoubt my absolute detachment
from sublunary affairs. Perhaps peace dwells only among the fork-tailed

I trust Mrs. Skelton and you are flourishing, and that trouble will
keep far from the hospitable doors of Braid through the New Year.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[No sooner had he settled down in his new country home, than a strange
piece of good fortune, such as happens more often in a story-book than
in real life, enabled him at one stroke to double his little estate, to
keep off the unwelcome approach of the speculative builder, and to give
himself scope for the newly-discovered delights of the garden. The sale
of the house in Marlborough Place covered the greater part of the cost
of Hodeslea; but almost on the very day on which the sale was
concluded, he became the possessor of another house at Worthing by the
death of Mr. Anthony Rich, the well-known antiquarian. An old man,
almost alone in the world, his admiration for the great work done
recently in natural science had long since led him to devise his
property to Darwin and Huxley, to the one his private fortune, to the
other his house and its contents, notably a very interesting library.

As a matter of feeling, Huxley was greatly disinclined to part with
this house, Chapel Croft, as soon as it had come into his hands. A year
earlier, he might have made it his home; but now he had settled down at
Eastbourne, and Chapel Croft, as it stood, was unlikely to find a
tenant. Accordingly he sold it early in July, and with the proceeds
bought the piece of land adjoining his house. Thus he writes to Sir J.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, May 17, 1891.

My dear Hooker,

My estate is somewhat of a white elephant. There is about a couple of
acres of ground well situated and half of it in the shape of a very
pretty lawn and shrubbery, but unluckily, in building the house, dear
old Rich thought of his own convenience and not mine (very wrong of
him!), and I cannot conceive anybody but an old bachelor or old maid
living in it. I do not believe anybody would take it as it stands. No
doubt the site is valuable, and it would be well worth while to anybody
with plenty of cash to spare to build on to the house and make it
useful. But I neither have the cash, nor do I want the bother. However,
Waller is going to look at the place for me and see what can be done.
It seems hardly decent to sell it at once; and moreover the value is
likely to increase. I suppose at present it is worth 2000 pounds, but
that is only a guess.

Apropos of naval portrait gallery, can you tell me if there is a
portrait of old John Richardson anywhere extant? I always look upon him
as the founder of my fortunes, and I want to hang him up (just over
your head) on my chimney breast. Voici! [sketch showing the position of
the pictures above the fireplace]:--

By your fruits ye shall judge them! My cold was influenza, I have been
in the most preposterously weak state ever since; and at last my wife
lost patience and called in the doctor, who is screwing me up with nux

Sound wind and limb otherwise.

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

[And again on July 3:--]

I have just been offered 2800 pounds for Anthony Rich's place and have
accepted it. It is probably worth 3000 pounds, but if I were to have it
on my hands and sell by auction I should get no more out of the

I am greatly inclined to put some of the money into a piece of land--a
Naboth's vineyard--in front of my house and turn horticulturist. I find
nailing up creepers a delightful occupation.

[In the same letter he describes two meetings with old friends:--]

Last Friday I ran down to Hindhead to see Tyndall. He was very much
better than I hoped to find him, after such a long and serious illness,
quite bright and "Tyndalloid" and not aged as I feared he would
be...The local doctor happened to be there during my visit and spoke
very confidently of his speedy recovery. The leg is all right again,
and he even talks of Switzerland, but I begged Mrs. Tyndall to persuade
him to keep quiet and within reach of home and skilled medical

Saturday to Monday we were at Down, after six or seven years'
interruption of our wonted visits. It was very pleasant if rather sad.
Mrs. Darwin is wonderfully well--naturally aged--but quite bright and
cheerful as usual. Old Parslow turned up on Sunday, just eighty, but
still fairly hale. Fuimus fuimus!

[(Parslow was the old butler who had been in Mr. Darwin's service for
many years.)

To his daughter, Mrs. Roller.]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, May 5, 1891.

You dear people must have entered into a conspiracy, as I had letters
from all yesterday. I have never been so set up before, and begin to
think that fathers (like port) must improve in quality with age. (No
irreverent jokes about their getting crusty, Miss.)

Julian and Joyce taken together may perhaps give a faint idea of my
perfections as a child. I have not only a distinct recollection of
being noticed on the score of my good looks, but my mother used to
remind me painfully of them in my later years, looking at me mournfully
and saying, "And you were such a pretty boy!"

[Much as he would have liked to visit the Maloja again this year, the
state of his wife's health forbade such a long journey. He writes just
after his attack of influenza to Sir M. Foster, who had been suffering
in the same way:--]

Hodeslea, May 12, 1891.

My dear Foster,

I was very glad to hear from you. Pray don't get attempting to do
anything before you are
set up again.

I am in a ridiculous state of weakness, and bless my stars that I have
nothing to do. I find it troublesome to do even that.

I wish ballooning had advanced so far as to take people to Maloja, for
I do not think my wife ought to undertake such a journey, and yet I
believe the high air would do us both more good than anything else....

The University of London scheme appears to be coming to grief, as I
never doubted it would.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[So instead of going abroad, he stayed in Eastbourne till the end of
August, receiving a short visit from his old friend Jowett, who, though
sadly enfeebled by age, still persisted in travelling by himself, and a
longer visit from his elder son and his family. But from September 11
to the 26th he and his wife made a trip through the west country,
starting from Salisbury, which had so delighted him the year before,
and proceeding by way of the Wye valley, which they had not visited
since their honeymoon, to Llangollen. The first stage on the return
journey was Chester, whence they made pious pilgrimage to the cradle of
his name, Old Huxley Hall, some nine miles from Chester. Incorporated
with a modern farm-house, and forming the present kitchen, are some
solid stone walls, part of the old manor-house, now no longer belonging
to any one of the name. From here they went to Coventry, where he had
lived as a boy, and found the house which his father had occupied still

A letter to an old pupil contains reflections upon the years of work to
which he had devoted so much of his energies.]

To Professor T. Jeffery Parker, Otago.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, August 11, 1891.

My dear Parker,

It is a long time since your letter reached me, but I was so unwise as
to put off answering it until the book arrived and I had read it. The
book did not reach me for a long time, and what with one thing and
another I have but just finished it. I assure you I am very proud of
having my name connected with such a thorough piece of work, no less
than touched by the kindness of the dedication.

Looking back from the aged point of view, the life which cost so much
wear and tear in the living seems to have effected very little, and it
is cheering to be reminded that one has been of some use.

Some years of continued ill-health, involving constant travelling about
in search of better conditions than London affords, and long periods of
prostration, have driven me quite out of touch with science. And indeed
except for a certain toughness of constitution I should have been
driven out of touch with terrestrial things altogether.

It is almost indecent in a man at my time of life who has had two
attacks of pleurisy, followed by a dilated heart, to be not only above
ground but fairly vigorous again. However, I am obliged to mind my P's
and Q's; avoid everything like hard work, and live in good air.

The last condition we have achieved by setting up a house close to the
downs here; and I begin to think with Candide that "cultivons notre
jardin" comprises the whole duty of man.

I was just out of the way of hearing anything about the University
College chair; and indeed, beyond attending the Council of the school
when necessary, and meetings of Trustees of the British Museum, I
rarely go to London.

I have had my innings, and it is now for the younger generation to have

With best wishes, ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[As for being no longer in touch with the world of science, he says the
same thing in a note to Sir M. Foster, forwarding an inquiry after a
scientific teacher (August 1).]

Please read the enclosed, and if you know of anybody suitable please
send his name to Mr. Thomas.

I have told him that I am out of the way of knowing, and that you are
physiologically omniscient, so don't belie the character!

[This year a number of Huxley's essays were translated into French.
"Nature" for July 23, 1891 (volume 44 page 272),--notes the publication
of "Les Sciences Naturelles et l'Education," with a short preface by
himself, dwelling upon the astonishing advance which had been made in
the recognition of science as an instrument of education, but warning
the younger generation that the battle is only half won, and bidding
them beware of relaxing their efforts before the place of science is
entirely assured. In the issue for December 31 ("Nature" 46 397), is a
notice of "La Place de l'Homme dans la Nature," a re-issue of a
translation of more than twenty years before, together with three
ethnological essays, newly translated by M. H. de Varigny, to whom the
following letters are addressed.]

To H. De Varigny.

May 17, 1891.

I am writing to my publishers to send you "Lay Sermons", "Critiques",
"Science and Culture", and "American Addresses", pray accept them in
expression of my thanks for the pains you are taking about the
translation. "Man's Place in Nature" has been out of print for years,
so I cannot supply it.

I am quite conscious that the condensed and idiomatic English into
which I always try to put my thoughts must present many difficulties to
a translator. But a friend of mine who is a much better French scholar
than I am, and who looked over two or three of the essays, told me he
thought you had been remarkably successful.

The fact is that I have a great love and respect for my native tongue,
and take great pains to use it properly. Sometimes I write essays
half-a-dozen times before I can get them into the proper shape; and I
believe I become more fastidious as I grow older.

November 25, 1891.

I am very glad you have found your task pleasant, for I am afraid it
must have cost you a good deal of trouble to put my ideas into the
excellent French dress with which you have provided them. It fits so
well that I feel almost as if I might be a candidate for a seat among
the immortal forty!

As to the new volume, you shall have the refusal of it if you care to
have it. But I have my doubts about its acceptability to a French
public which I imagine knows little about Bibliolatry and the ways of
Protestant clericalism, and cares less.

These essays represent a controversy which has been going on for five
or six years about Genesis, the deluge, the miracle of the herd of
swine, and the miraculous generally, between Gladstone, the
ecclesiastical principal of King's College, various bishops, the writer
of "Lux Mundi", that spoilt Scotch minister the Duke of Argyll, and

My object has been to stir up my countrymen to think about these
things; and the only use of controversy is that it appeals to their
love of fighting, and secures their attention.

I shall be very glad to have your book on "Experimental Evolution". I
insisted on the necessity of obtaining experimental proof of the
possibility of obtaining virtually infertile breeds from a common stock
in 1860 (in one of the essays you have translated). Mr. Tegetmeier made
a number of experiments with pigeons some years ago, but could obtain
not the least approximation to infertility.

From the first, I told Darwin this was the weak point of his case from
the point of view of scientific logic. But, in this matter, we are just
where we were thirty years ago, and I am very glad you are going to
call attention to the subject.

Sending a copy of the translation soon after to Sir J. Hooker, he

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, January 11, 1892.

My dear Hooker,

We have been in the middle of snow for the last four days. I shall not
venture to London, and if you deserve the family title of the
"judicious," I don't think you will either.

I send you by this post a volume of the French translation of a
collection of my essays about Darwinism and Evolution, 1860-76, for
which I have written a brief preface. I was really proud of myself when
I discovered on re-reading them that I had nothing to alter.

What times those days were! Fuimus.

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

[The same subject of experimental evolution reappears in a letter to
Professor Romanes of April 29. A project was on foot for founding an
institution in which experiments bearing upon the Darwinian theory
could be carried out. After congratulating Professor Romanes upon his
recent election to the Athenaeum Club, he proceeds:--]

In a review of Darwin's "Origin" published in the "Westminster" for
1860 ("Lay Sermons" pages 323-24), you will see that I insisted on the
logical incompleteness of the theory so long as it was not backed by
experimental proof that the cause assumed was competent to produce all
the effects required. (See also "Lectures to Working Men" 1863 pages
146 and 147.) In fact, Darwin used to reproach me sometimes for my
pertinacious insistence on the need of experimental verification.

But I hope you are going to choose some other title than "Institut
transformiste," which implies that the Institute is pledged to a
foregone conclusion, that it is a workshop devoted to the production of
a particular kind of article. Moreover, I should say that as a matter
of prudence, you had better keep clear of the word "experimental."
Would not "Biological Observatory" serve the turn? Of course it does
not exclude experiment any more than "Astronomical Observatory"
excludes spectrum analysis.

Please think over this. My objection to "Transformist" is very strong.

[In August his youngest daughter wrote to him to find out the nature of
various "objects of the seashore" which she had found on the beach in
South Wales. His answers make one wish that there had been more

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, August 14, 1891.

Dearest Babs,

1. "Ornary" or not "ornary" B is merely A turned upside down and viewed
with the imperfect appreciation of the mere artistic eye!

2. Your little yellow things are, I expect, egg-cases of dog whelks.
You will find a lot of small eggs inside them, one or two of which grow
faster than the rest, and eat up their weaker brothers and sisters.

The dog whelk is common on the shores. If you look for something like
this [sketch of a terrier coming out of a whelk shell], you will be
sure to recognise it.

3. Starfish are NOT born in their proper shape and don't come from your
whitish yellow lumps. The thing that comes out of a starfish egg is
something like this [sketch], and swims about by its cilia. The
starfish proper is formed inside, and it is carried on its back

Finally starfish drops off carrying with it t'other one's stomach, so
that the subsequent proceedings interest t'other one no more.

4. The ropy sand tubes that make a sort of banks and reefs are houses
of worms, that they build up out of sand, shells, and slime. If you
knock a lot to pieces you will find worms inside.

5. Now, how do I know what the rooks eat? But there are a lot of
unconsidered trifles about and if you get a good telescope and watch,
you will have a glimpse as they hover between sand and rooks' beaks.

It has been blowing more or less of a gale here from the west for
weeks--usually cold, often foggy--so that it seems as if summer were
going to be late, probably about November.

But we thrive fairly well. L. and J. and their chicks are here and seem
to stand the inclemency of the weather pretty fairly. The children are
very entertaining.

M-- has been a little complaining, but is as active as usual.

My love to Joyce, and tell her I am glad to hear she has not forgotten
her astronomy.

In answer to your inquiry, Leonard says that Trevenen has twenty-five
teeth. I have a sort of notion this can be hardly accurate, but never
having been a mother can't presume to say.

Our best love to you all.

Ever your loving Pater.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, August 26, 1891.

Dearest Babs,

'Pears to me your friend is a squid or pen-and-ink fish, Loligo among
the learned. Probably Loligo media which I have taken in that region.
They have ten tentacles with suckers round their heads, two much longer
than the others. They are close to cuttlefish, but have a thin horny
shell inside them instead of the "cuttle-bone." If you can get one by
itself in a tub of water, it is pretty to see how they blush all over
and go pale again, owing to little colour-bags in the skin, which
expand and contract. Doubtless they took you for a heron, under the
circumstances [sketch of a wader].

With slight intervals it has been blowing a gale from the west here for
some months, the memory of man indeed goeth not back to the calm. I
have not been really warm more than two days this so-called summer. And
everybody prophesied we should be roasted alive here in summer.

We are all flourishing, and send our best love to Jack and you. Tell
Joyce the wallflowers have grown quite high in her garden.

Ever your loving Pater.

[Politics are not often touched upon in the letters of this period, but
an extract from a letter of October 25, 1891, is of interest as giving
his reason for supporting a Unionist Government, many of whose
tendencies he was far from sympathising with:--]

The extract from the "Guardian" is wonderful. The Gladstonian
tee-to-tum cannot have many more revolutions to make. The only thing
left for him now, is to turn Agnostic, declare Homer to be an old bloke
of a ballad-monger, and agitate for the prohibition of the study of
Greek in all universities...

It is just because I do not want to see our children involved in civil
war that I postpone all political considerations to keeping up a
Unionist Government.

I may be quite wrong; but right or wrong, it is no question of party.
"Rads delight not me nor Tories neither," as Hamlet does not say.

The following letter to Sir M. Foster shows how little Huxley was now
able to do in the way of public business without being knocked up:--]

Hodeslea, October 20, 1891.

My dear Foster,

If I had known the nature of the proceedings at the College of
Physicians yesterday, I should have braved the tedium of listening to a
lecture I could not hear in order to see you decorated. Clark had made
a point of my going to the dinner [I.e. at the College of Physicians.],
and, worse luck, I had to "say a few words" after it, with the result
that I am entirely washed out to-day, and only able to send you the
feeblest of congratulations.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[The same thing appears in the following to Sir W.H. Flower, which is
also interesting for his opinion on the question of promotion by

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, October 23, 1891.

My dear Flower,

My "next worst thing" was promoting a weak man to a place of
responsibility in lieu of a strong one, on the mere ground of seniority.

Caeteris paribus, or with even approximate equality of qualifications,
no doubt seniority ought to count; but it is mere ruin to any service
to let it interfere with the promotion of men of marked superiority,
especially in the case of offices which involve much responsibility.

I suppose as trustee I may requisition a copy of Woodward's Catalogue.
I should like to look a little more carefully at it...We are none the
worse for our pleasant glimpse of the world (and his wife) at your
house; but I find that speechifying at public dinners is one of the
luxuries that I must utterly deny myself. It will take me three weeks'
quiet to get over my escapade.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.



The revival of part of the former controversy which he had had with Mr.
Gladstone upon the story of creation, made a warlike beginning of an
otherwise very peaceful year. Since the middle of December a great
correspondence had been going on in the "Times", consequent upon the
famous manifesto of the thirty-eight Anglican clergy touching the
question of inspiration and the infallibility of the Bible. Criticism,
whether "higher" or otherwise, defended on the one side, was
unsparingly denounced on the other. After about a month of this
correspondence, Huxley's name was mentioned as one of these critics;
whereupon he was attacked by one of the disputants for "misleading the
public" by his assertion in the original controversy that while
reptiles appear in the geological record before birds, Genesis affirms
the contrary; the critic declaring that the word for "creeping things"
(rehmes) created on the sixth day, does not refer to reptiles, which
are covered by the "moving creatures" (shehretz) used of the first
appearance of animal life.

It is interesting to see how, in his reply, Huxley took care to keep
the main points at issue separate from the subordinate and unimportant
ones. His answer is broken up into four letters. The first ("Times"
January 26) rehearses the original issue between himself and Mr.
Gladstone; wherein both sides agreed that the creation of the sixth day
included reptiles, so that, formally at least, his position was secure,
though there was also a broader ground of difference to be considered.
Before proceeding further, he asks his critic whether he admits the
existence of the contradiction involved, and if not, to state his
reasons therefor. These reasons were again given on February 1 as the
new interpretation of the two Hebrew words already referred to, an
interpretation, by the way, which makes the same word stand both for
"the vast and various population of the waters" and "for such land
animals as mice, weasels, and lizards, great and small."

On February 3 appeared the second letter, in which, setting aside the
particular form which his argument against Mr. Gladstone had taken, he
described the broad differences between the teachings of Genesis and
the teachings of evolution. He left the minor details as to the
interpretation of the words in dispute, which did not really affect the
main argument, to be dealt with in the next letter of February 4. It
was a question with which he had long been familiar, as twenty years
before he had, at Dr. Kalisch's request, gone over the proofs of his
"Commentary on Leviticus".

The letter of February 3 is as follows:--]

While desirous to waste neither your space nor my own time upon mere
misrepresentations of what I have said elsewhere about the relations
between modern science and the so-called "Mosaic" cosmogony, it seems
needful that I should ask for the opportunity of stating the case once
more, as briefly and fairly as I can.

I conceive the first chapter of Genesis to teach--(1) that the species
of plants and animals owe their origin to supernatural acts of
creation; (2) that these acts took place at such times and in such a
manner that all the plants were created first, all the aquatic and
aerial animals (notably birds) next, and all terrestrial animals last.
I am not aware that any Hebrew scholar denies that these propositions
agree with the natural sense of the text. Sixty years ago I was taught,
as most people were then taught, that they are guaranteed by Divine

On the other hand, in my judgment, natural science teaches no less
distinctly--(1) that the species of animals and plants have originated
by a process of natural evolution; (2) that this process has taken
place in such a manner that the species of animals and plants,
respectively, have come into existence one after another throughout the
whole period since they began to exist on the earth; that the species
of plants and animals known to us are as a whole, neither older nor
younger the one than the other.

The same holds good of aquatic and aerial species, as a whole, compared
with terrestrial species; but birds appear in the geological record
later than terrestrial reptiles, and there is every reason to believe
that they were evolved from the latter.

Until it is shown that the first two propositions are not contained in
the first chapter of Genesis, and that the second pair are not
justified by the present condition of our knowledge, I must continue to
maintain that natural science and the "Mosaic" account of the origin of
animals and plants are in irreconcilable antagonism.

As I greatly desire that this broad issue should not be obscured by the
discussion of minor points, I propose to defer what I may have to say
about the great "shehretz" and "rehmes" question till to-morrow.

[On February 11 he wrote once more, again taking certain broader
aspects of the problem presented by the first chapter of Genesis. He
expressed his belief, as he had expressed it in 1869, that theism is
not logically antagonistic to evolution. If, he continues, the account
in Genesis, as Philo of Alexandria held, is only a poem or allegory,
where is the proof that any one non-natural interpretation is the right
one? and he concludes by pointing out the difficulties in the way of
those who, like the famous thirty-eight, assert the infallibility of
the Bible as guaranteed by the infallibility of the Church.

Apart from letters and occasional controversy, he published this year
only one magazine article and a single volume of collected essays,
though he was busy preparing the Romanes Lecture for 1893, the more so
because there was some chance that Mr. Gladstone would be unable to
deliver the first of the lectures in 1892, and Huxley had promised to
be ready to take his place if necessary.

The volume (called "Controverted Questions") which appeared in 1892,
was a collection of the essays of the last few years, mainly
controversial, or as he playfully called them, "endeavours to defend a
cherished cause," dealing with agnosticism and the demonological and
miraculous element in Christianity. That they were controversial in
tone no one lamented more than himself; and as in the letter to M. de
Varigny, of November 25, 1891, so here in the prologue he apologises
for the fact.]

This prologue,--of which he writes to a friend], "It cost me more time
and pains than any equal number of pages I have ever written,"--[was
designed to indicate the main question, various aspects of which are
dealt with by these seemingly disconnected essays.]

The historical evolution of humanity [he writes], which is generally,
and I venture to think not unreasonably, regarded as progress, has
been, and is being, accompanied by a co-ordinate elimination of the
supernatural from its originally large occupation of men's thought. The
question--How far is this process to go? is, in my apprehension, the
controverted question of our time.

This movement, marked by the claim for the freedom of private judgment,
which first came to its fulness in the Renascence, is here sketched
out, rising or sinking by turns under the pressure of social and
political vicissitudes, from Wiclif's earliest proposal to reduce the
Supernaturalism of Christianity within the limits sanctioned by the
Scriptures, down to the manifesto in the previous year of the
thirty-eight Anglican divines in defence of biblical infallibility,
which practically ends in an appeal to the very principle they reject.

But he does not content himself with pointing out the destructive
effects of criticism upon the evidence in favour of a
"supernature"--"The present incarnation of the spirit of the
Renascence," he writes, "differs from its predecessor in the eighteenth
century, in that it builds up, as well as pulls down. That of which it
has laid the foundation, of which it is already raising the
superstructure, is the doctrine of evolution," a doctrine that "is no
speculation, but a generalisation of certain facts, which may be
observed by any one who will take the necessary trouble." And in a
short dozen pages he sketches out that "common body of established
truths" to which it is his confident belief that "all future
philosophical and theological speculations will have to accommodate

There is no need to recapitulate these; they may be read in "Science
and Christian Tradition", the fifth volume of the "Collected Essays";
but it is worth noticing that in conclusion, after rejecting "a great
many supernaturalistic theories and legends which have no better
foundations than those of heathenism," he declares himself as far from
wishing to "throw the Bible aside as so much waste paper" as he was at
the establishment of the School Board in 1870. As English literature,
as world-old history, as moral teaching, as the Magna Charta of the
poor and of the oppressed, the most democratic book in the world, he
could not spare it.] "I do not say," [he adds], "that even the highest
biblical ideal is exclusive of others or needs no supplement. But I do
believe that the human race is not yet, possibly may never be, in a
position to dispense with it."

[It was this volume that led to the writing of the magazine article
referred to above. The republication in it of the "Agnosticism,"
originally written in reply to an article of Mr. Frederic Harrison's,
induced the latter to disclaim in the "Fortnightly Review" the intimate
connection assumed to exist between his views and the system of
Positivism detailed by Comte, and at the same time to offer the olive
branch to his former opponent. But while gratefully accepting the
goodwill implied in the offer, Huxley still declared himself unable to]
"give his assent to a single doctrine which is the peculiar property of
Positivism, old or new," [nor to agree with Mr. Harrison when he

to persuade us that agnosticism is only the Court of the Gentiles of
the Positivist temple; and that those who profess ignorance about the
proper solution of certain speculative problems ought to call
themselves Positivists of the Gate, if it happens that they also take a
lively interest in social and political questions.

[This essay, "An Apologetic Irenicon," contains more than one passage
of personal interest, which are the more worth quoting here, as the
essay has not been republished. It was to have been included in a tenth
volume of collected Essays, along with a number of others which he
projected, but never wrote.

Thus, begging the Positivists not to regard him as a rival or
competitor in the business of instructing the human race, he says:--]

I aspire to no such elevated and difficult situation. I declare myself
not only undesirous of it, but deeply conscious of a constitutional
unfitness for it. Age and hygienic necessities bind me to a somewhat
anchoritic life in pure air, with abundant leisure to meditate upon the
wisdom of Candide's sage aphorism, "Cultivons notre jardin"--especially
if the term garden may be taken broadly and applied to the stony and
weed-grown ground within my skull, as well as to a few perches of more
promising chalk down outside it. In addition to these effectual bars to
any of the ambitious pretensions ascribed to me, there is another: of
all possible positions that of master of a school, or leader of a sect,
or chief of a party, appears to me to be the most undesirable; in fact,
the average British matron cannot look upon followers with a more evil
eye than I do. Such acquaintance with the history of thought as I
possess, has taught me to regard schools, parties, and sects, as
arrangements, the usual effect of which is to perpetuate all that is
worst and feeblest in the master's, leader's, or founder's work; or
else, as in some cases, to upset it altogether; as a sort of hydrants
for extinguishing the fire of genius, and for stifling the flame of
high aspirations, the kindling of which has been the chief, perhaps the
only, merit of the protagonist of the movement. I have always been, am,
and propose to remain a mere scholar. All that I have ever proposed to
myself is to say, this and this have I learned; thus and thus have I
learned it: go thou and learn better; but do not thrust on my shoulders
the responsibility for your own laziness if you elect to take, on my
authority, conclusions, the value of which you ought to have tested for

[Again, replying to the reproach that all his public utterances had
been of a negative character, that the great problems of human life had
been entirely left out of his purview, he defends once more the work of
the man who clears the ground for the builders to come after him:--]

There is endless backwoodsman's work yet to be done, If "those also
serve who only stand and wait," still more do those who sweep and
cleanse; and if any man elect to give his strength to the weeder's and
scavenger's occupation, I remain of the opinion that his service should
be counted acceptable, and that no one has a right to ask more of him
than faithful performance of the duties he has undertaken. I venture to
count it an improbable suggestion that any such person--a man, let us
say, who has well-nigh reached his threescore years and ten, and has
graduated in all the faculties of human relationships; who has taken
his share in all the deep joys and deeper anxieties which cling about
them; who has felt the burden of young lives entrusted to his care, and
has stood alone with his dead before the abyss of the eternal--has
never had a thought beyond negative criticism. It seems to me
incredible that such an one can have done his day's work, always with a
light heart, with no sense of responsibility, no terror of that which
may appear when the factitious veil of Isis--the thick web of fiction
man has woven round nature--is stripped off.

[Challenged to state his "mental bias, pro or con," with regard to such
matters as Creation, Providence, etc., he reiterates his words written
thirty-two years before:--]

So far back as 1860 I wrote:--

"The doctrine of special creation owes its existence very largely to
the supposed necessity of making science accord with the Hebrew
cosmogony"; and that the hypothesis of special creation is, in my
judgment, a "mere specious mask for our ignorance." Not content with
negation, I said:--

"Harmonious order governing eternally continuous progress; the web and
woof of matter and force interweaving by slow degrees, without a broken
thread, that veil which lies between us and the infinite; that universe
which alone we know, or can know; such is the picture which science
draws of the world."

Every reader of Goethe will know that the second is little more than a
paraphrase of the well-known utterance of the "Zeitgeist" in "Faust",
which surely is something more than a mere negation of the clumsy
anthropomorphism of special creation.

Follows a query about "Providence," my answer to which must depend upon
what my questioner means by that substantive, whether alone, or
qualified by the adjective "moral."

If the doctrine of a Providence is to be taken as the expression, in a
way "to be understanded of the people," of the total exclusion of
chance from a place even in the most insignificant corner of Nature, if
it means the strong conviction that the cosmic process is rational, and
the faith that, throughout all duration, unbroken order has reigned in
the universe, I not only accept it, but I am disposed to think it the
most important of all truths. As it is of more consequence for a
citizen to know the law than to be personally acquainted with the
features of those who will surely carry it into effect, so this very
positive doctrine of Providence, in the sense defined, seems to me far
more important than all the theorems of speculative theology. If,
further, the doctrine is held to imply that, in some indefinitely
remote past aeon, the cosmic process was set going by some entity
possessed of intelligence and foresight, similar to our own in kind,
however superior in degree, if, consequently, it is held that every
event, not merely in our planetary speck, but in untold millions of
other worlds, was foreknown before these worlds were, scientific
thought, so far as I know anything about it, has nothing to say against
that hypothesis. It is, in fact, an anthropomorphic rendering of the
doctrine of evolution.

It may be so, but the evidence accessible to us is, to my mind, wholly
insufficient to warrant either a positive or a negative conclusion.

[He remarks in passing upon the entire exclusion of "special"
providences by this conception of a universal "Providence." As for
"moral" providence:--]

So far as mankind has acquired the conviction that the observance of
certain rules of conduct is essential to the maintenance of social
existence, it may be proper to say that "Providence," operating through
men, has generated morality. Within the limits of a fraction of a
fraction of the living world, therefore, there is a "moral" providence.
Through this small plot of an infinitesimal fragment of the universe
there runs a "stream of tendency towards righteousness." But outside
the very rudimentary germ of a garden of Eden, thus watered, I am
unable to discover any "moral" purpose, or anything but a stream of
purpose towards the consummation of the cosmic process, chiefly by
means of the struggle for existence, which is no more righteous or
unrighteous than the operation of any other mechanism.

[This, of course, is the underlying principle of the Romanes Lecture,
upon which he was still at work. It is more specifically expressed in
the succeeding paragraph:--]

I hear much of the "ethics of evolution." I apprehend that, in the
broadest sense of the term "evolution," there neither is, nor can be,
any such thing. The notion that the doctrine of evolution can furnish a
foundation for morals seems to me to be an illusion which has arisen
from the unfortunate ambiguity of the term "fittest" in the formula,
"survival of the fittest." We commonly use "fittest" in a good sense,
with an understood connotation of "best"; and "best" we are apt to take
in its ethical sense. But the "fittest" which survives in the struggle
for existence may be, and often is, the ethically worst.

[Another paragraph explains the sense in which he used to say that the
Romanes Lecture was a very orthodox discourse on the text, "Satan, the
Prince of this world":--]

It is the secret of the superiority of the best theological teachers to
the majority of their opponents that they substantially recognise these
realities of things, however strange the forms in which they clothe
their conceptions. The doctrines of predestination, of original sin, of
the innate depravity of man and the evil fate of the greater part of
the race, of the primacy of Satan in this world, of the essential
vileness of matter, of a malevolent Demiurgus subordinate to a
benevolent Almighty, who has only lately revealed himself, faulty as
they are, appear to me to be vastly nearer the truth than the "liberal"
popular illusions that babies are all born good, and that the example
of a corrupt society is responsible for their failure to remain so;
that it is given to everybody to reach the ethical ideal if he will
only try; that all partial evil is universal good, and other optimistic
figments, such as that which represents "Providence" under the guise of
a paternal philanthropist, and bids us believe that everything will
come right (according to our notions) at last.

As to "Immortality" again [he refers his critic to his book on "Hume"].
I do not think I need return to "subjective" immortality, but it may be
well to add that I am a very strong believer in the punishment of
certain kinds of actions, not only in the present, but in all the
future a man can have, be it long or short. Therefore in hell, for I
suppose that all men with a clear sense of right and wrong (and I am
not sure that any others deserve such punishment) have now and then
"descended into hell" and stopped there quite long enough to know what
infinite punishment means. And if a genuine, not merely subjective,
immortality awaits us, I conceive that, without some such change as
that depicted in the fifteenth chapter of the first Epistle to the
Corinthians, immortality must be eternal misery. The fate of Swift's
Struldbrugs seems to me not more horrible than that of a mind
imprisoned for ever within the flammantia moenia of inextinguishable

Further, it may be well to remember that the highest level of moral
aspiration recorded in history was reached by a few ancient
Jews--Micah, Isaiah, and the rest--who took no count whatever of what
might or might not happen to them after death. It is not obvious to me
why the same point should not by and by be reached by the Gentiles.

[He admits that the generality of mankind will not be satisfied to be
told that there are some topics about which we know nothing now, and do
not seem likely ever to be able to know more; and, consequently, that
in the long-run the world will turn to those who profess to have

And that is the pity of it. As in the past, so, I fear, through a very
long future, the multitude will continue to turn to those who are ready
to feed it with the viands its soul lusteth after; who will offer
mental peace where there is no peace, and lap it in the luxury of
pleasant delusions.

To missionaries of the Neo-Positivist, as to those of other professed
solutions of insoluble mysteries, whose souls are bound up in the
success of their sectarian propaganda, no doubt, it must be very
disheartening if the "world," for whose assent and approbation they
sue, stops its ears and turns its back upon them. But what does it
signify to any one who does not happen to be a missionary of any sect,
philosophical or religious, and who, if he were, would have no sermon
to preach except from the text with which Descartes, to go no further
back, furnished us two centuries since? I am very sorry if people will
not listen to those who rehearse before them the best lessons they have
been able to learn, but that is their business, not mine. Belief in
majorities is not rooted in my breast, and if all the world were
against me the fact might warn me to revise and criticise my opinions,
but would not in itself supply a ghost of a reason for forsaking them.
For myself I say deliberately, it is better to have a millstone tied
round the neck and be thrown into the sea than to share the enterprises
of those to whom the world has turned, and will turn, because they
minister to its weaknesses and cover up the awful realities which it
shudders to look at.

[A letter to Mr. N.P. Clayton also discusses the basis of morality.]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, November 5, 1892.

Dear Sir,

I well remember the interview to which you refer, and I should have
replied to your letter sooner, but during the last few weeks I have
been very busy.

Moral duty consists in the observance of those rules of conduct which
contribute to the welfare of society, and by implication, of the
individuals who compose it.

The end of society is peace and mutual protection, so that the
individual may reach the fullest and highest life attainable by man.
The rules of conduct by which this end is to be attained are
discoverable--like the other so-called laws of Nature--by observation
and experiment, and only in that way.

Some thousands of years of such experience have led to the
generalisations, that stealing and murder, for example, are
inconsistent with the ends of society. There is no more doubt that they
are so than that unsupported stones tend to fall. The man who steals or
murders, breaks his implied contract with society, and forfeits all
protection. He becomes an outlaw, to be dealt with as any other feral
creature. Criminal law indicates the ways which have proved most
convenient for dealing with him.

All this would be true if men had no "moral sense" at all, just as
there are rules of perspective which must be strictly observed by a
draughtsman, and are quite independent of his having any artistic sense.

The moral sense is a very complex affair--dependent in part upon
associations of pleasure and pain, approbation and disapprobation
formed by education in early youth, but in part also on an innate sense
of moral beauty and ugliness (how originated need not be discussed),
which is possessed by some people in great strength, while some are
totally devoid of it--just as some children draw, or are enchanted by
music while mere infants, while others do not know "Cherry Ripe" from
"Rule Britannia," nor can represent the form of the simplest thing to
the end of their lives.

Now for this last sort of people there is no reason why they should
discharge any moral duty, except from fear of punishment in all its
grades, from mere disapprobation to hanging, and the duty of society is
to see that they live under wholesome fear of such punishment short,
sharp, and decisive.

For the people with a keen innate sense of moral beauty there is no
need of any other motive. What they want is knowledge of the things
they may do and must leave undone, if the welfare of society is to be
attained. Good people so often forget this that some of them
occasionally require hanging almost as much as the bad.

If you ask why the moral inner sense is to be (under due limitations)
obeyed; why the few who are steered by it move the mass in whom it is
weak? I can only reply by putting another question--Why do the few in
whom the sense of beauty is strong--Shakespere, Raffaele, Beethoven,
carry the less endowed multitude away? But they do, and always will.
People who overlook that fact attend neither to history nor to what
goes on about them.

Benjamin Franklin was a shrewd, excellent, kindly man. I have a great
respect for him. The force of genial common-sense respectability could
no further go. George Fox was the very antipodes of all this, and yet
one understands how he came to move the world of his day, and Franklin
did not.

As to whether we can all fulfil the moral law, I should say hardly any
of us. Some of us are utterly incapable of fulfilling its plainest
dictates. As there are men born physically cripples, and intellectually
idiots, so there are some who are moral cripples and idiots, and can be
kept straight not even by punishment. For these people there is nothing
but shutting up, or extirpation.

I am, yours faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[The peaceful aspect of the "Irenicon" seems to have veiled to most
readers the unbroken nature of his defence, and he writes to his
son-in-law, the Hon. John Collier, suggesting an alteration in the
title of the essay:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, November 8, 1892.

My dear Jack,

It is delightful to find a reader who "twigs" every point as acutely as
your brother has done. I told somebody--was it you?--I rather wished
the printer would substitute o for e in Irenicon. So far as I have seen
any notices, the British critic (what a dull ass he is) appears to have
been seriously struck by my sweetness of temper.

I sent you the article yesterday, so you will judge for yourself.

With love, ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

You should see the place I am claiming for Art in the University. I do
believe something will grow out of my plan, which has made all the dry
bones rattle. It is coming on for discussion in the Senate, and I shall
be coming to you to have my wounds dressed after the fight. Don't know
the day yet.

[This allusion to the place of Art in the University refers to the
proposed reorganisation of the London University.

Since the year 1887 the question of establishing a Teaching University
for London had become more and more pressing. London contained many
isolated teaching bodies of various kinds--University College, King's
College, the Royal College of Science, the Medical Schools, Bedford
College, and so forth, while the London University was only an
examining body. Clearly these scattered bodies needed organising; the
educational forces of the metropolis were disintegrated; much
teaching--and this was especially true of the medical schools--that
could have been better done and better paid in a single institution,
was split up among several, none of which, perhaps, could offer
sufficient inducement to keep the best men permanently.

The most burning question was, whether these bodies should be united
into a new university, with power to grant degrees of its own, or
should combine with the existing University of London, so that the
latter would become a teaching as well as an examining body. And if so,
there was the additional question as to the form which this combination
should take--whether federation, for example, or absorption.

The whole question had been referred to a Royal Commission by the
Government of Lord Salisbury. The results were seen in the charter for
a Gresham University, embodying the former alternative, and in the
introduction into Parliament of a Bill to carry this scheme into
effect. But this action had only been promoted by some of the bodies
interested, and was strongly opposed by other bodies, as well as by
many teachers who were interested in university reform.

Thus at the end of February, Huxley was invited, as a Governor of
University College, to sign a protest against the provisions of the
Charter for a Teaching University then before Parliament, especially in
so far as it was proposed to establish a second examining body in
London. The signatories also begged the Government to grant further
inquiry before legislating on the subject

The protest, which received over 100 signatures of weight, contributed
something towards the rejection of the Bill in the House of Commons. It
became possible to hope that there might be established in London a
University which should be something more than a mere collection of
teachers, having as their only bond of union the preparation of
students for a common examination. It was proposed to form an
association to assist in the promotion of a teaching university for the
metropolis; but the first draft of a scheme to reconcile the
complication of interests and ideals involved led Huxley to express
himself as follows:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, March 27, 1892.

Dear Professor Weldon [Then at University College, London; now Linacre
Professor of Physiology at Oxford.],

I am sorry to have kept you waiting so long for an answer to your
letter of the 17th: but your proposal required a good deal of
consideration, and I have had a variety of distractions.

So long as I am a member of the Senate of the University of London, I
do not think I can with propriety join any Association which proposes
to meddle with it. Moreover, though I have a good deal of sympathy with
the ends of the Association, I have my doubts about many propositions
set forth in your draft.

I took part in the discussions preliminary to Lord Justice Fry's
scheme, and I was so convinced that that scheme would be wrecked amidst
the complication of interests and ideals that claimed consideration,
that I gave up attending to it. In fact, living so much out of the
world now, and being sadly deaf, I am really unfit to intervene in
business of this kind.

Worse still, I am conscious that my own ideal is, for the present at
any rate, hopelessly impracticable. I should cut away medicine, law,
and theology as technical specialities in charge of corporations which
might be left to settle (in the case of medicine, in accordance with
the State) the terms on which they grant degrees.

The university or universities should be learning and teaching bodies
devoted to art (literary and other), history, philosophy, and science,
where any one who wanted to learn all that is known about these matters
should find people who could teach him and put him in the way of
learning for himself.

That is what the world will want one day or other, as a supplement to
all manner of high schools and technical institution in which young
people get decently educated and learn to earn their bread--such as our
present universities.

It will be a place for men to get knowledge; and not for boys and
adolescents to get degrees.

I wish I could get the younger men like yourself to see that this is
the goal which they may reach, and in the meanwhile to take care that
no such Philistine compromise as is possible at present, becomes too
strong to survive a sharp shake.

I am, yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[He sketches his ideal of a modern university, and especially of its
relation to the Medical Schools, in a letter to Professor Ray Lankester
of April 11:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, April 11, 1892.

My dear Lankester,

We have been having ten days of sunshine, and I have been
correspondingly lazy, especially about letter-writing. This, however,
is my notion; that unless people clearly understand that the university
of the future is to be a very different thing from the university of
the past, they had better put off meddling for another generation.

The mediaeval university looked backwards: it professed to be a
storehouse of old knowledge, and except in the way of dialectic
cobweb-spinning, its professors had nothing to do with novelties. Of
the historical and physical (natural) sciences, of criticism and
laboratory practice, it knew nothing. Oral teaching was of supreme
importance on account of the cost and rarity of manuscripts.

The modern university looks forward, and is a factory of new knowledge:
its professors have to be at the top of the wave of progress. Research
and criticism must be the breath of their nostrils; laboratory work the
main business of the scientific student; books his main helpers.

The lecture, however, in the hands of an able man will still have the
utmost importance in stimulating and giving facts and principles their
proper relative prominence.

I think we should get pretty nearly what is wanted by grafting a
College de France on to the University of London, subsidising
University College and King's College (if it will get rid of its tests,
not otherwise), and setting up two or three more such bodies in other
parts of London. (Scotland, with a smaller population than London, has
four complete universities!)

I should hand over the whole business of medical education and
graduation to a medical universitas to be constituted by the royal
colleges and medical schools, whose doings, of course, would be checked
by the Medical Council.

Our side has been too apt to look upon medical schools as feeders for
Science. They have been so, but to their detriment as medical schools.
And now that so many opportunities for purely scientific training are
afforded, there is no reason they should remain so.

The problem of the Medical University is to make an average man into a
good practical doctor before he is twenty-two, and with not more
expense than can be afforded by the class from which doctors are
recruited, or than will be rewarded by the prospect of an income of 400
to 500 pounds a year.

It is not right to sacrifice such men, and the public on whom they
practise, for the prospect of making 1 per cent of medical students
into men of science.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[An undated draft in his own handwriting (probably the draft of a
speech delivered the first time he came to the committee as President,
October 26) expands the same idea as to the modern requirements of the

The cardinal fact in the University question, appears to me to be this:
that the student to whose wants the mediaeval University was adjusted,
looked to the past and sought book-learning, while the modern looks to
the future and seeks the knowledge of things.

The mediaeval view was that all knowledge worth having was explicitly
or implicitly contained in various ancient writings; in the Scriptures,
in the writings of the greater Greeks, and those of the Christian
Fathers. Whatever apparent novelty they put forward, was professedly
obtained by deduction from ancient data.

The modern knows that the only source of real knowledge lies in the
application of scientific methods of inquiry to the ascertainment of
the facts of existence; that the ascertainable is infinitely greater
than the ascertained, and that the chief business of the teacher is not
so much to make scholars as to train pioneers.

From this point of view, the University occupies a position altogether
independent of that of the coping-stone of schools for general
education, combined with technical schools of Theology, Law, and
Medicine. It is not primarily an institution for testing the work of
schoolmasters, or for ascertaining the fitness of young men to be
curates, lawyers, or doctors.

It is an institution in which a man who claims to devote himself to
Science or Art, should be able to find some one who can teach him what
is already known, and train him in the methods of knowing more.

I include under Art,--Literature, the pictorial and plastic art with
Architecture, and Music; and under Science,--Logic, Philosophy,
Philology, Mathematics, and the Physical Sciences.

The question of the connection of the High Schools for general
education, and of the technical schools of Theology, Law, Medicine,
Engineering, Art, Music, and so on, with the University is a matter of
practical detail. Probably the teaching of the subjects which stand in
the relation of preliminaries to technical teaching and final studies
in higher general education in the University would be utilised by the
colleges and technical schools.

All that I have to say on this subject is, that I see no reason why the
existing University of London should not be completed in the sense I
have defined by grafting upon it a professoriate with the appropriate
means and appliances, which would supply London with the analogue of
the Ecole des hautes Etudes and the College de France in Paris, and of
the Laboratories with the Professor Extraordinarius and Privat Docenten
in the German Universities.

[A new Commission was promised to look into the whole question of the
London University. This is referred to in a letter to Sir J. Donnelly
of March 30, 1892.]

Unless you want to kill Foster, don't suggest him for the Commission.
He is on one already.

The whole affair is a perfect muddle of competing crude projects and
vested interests, and is likely to end in a worse muddle, as anything
but a patch up is, I believe, outside practical politics at present.

If I had carte blanche, I should cut away the technical "Faculties" of
Medicine, Law, and Theology, and set up first-class chairs in
Literature, Art, Philosophy, and pure Science--a sort of combination of
Sorbonne (without Theology) and College de France.

Thank Heaven I have never been asked to say anything, and my chimaeras
remain in petto. They would be scouted.

[On the other hand, he was most anxious to keep the School of Science
at South Kensington entirely independent. He writes again on May 26:--]

I trust Rucker and Thorpe are convinced by this time that I knew what I
was talking about when I told them, months ago, that there would be an
effort to hook us into the new University hotch-potch.

I am ready to oppose any such project tooth and nail. I have not been
striving these thirty years to get Science clear of their
schoolmastering sham-literary peddling to give up the game without a
fight. I hope my Lords will be staunch.

I am glad my opinion is already on record.

[And similarly to Sir M. Foster on October 30:--]

You will have to come to London and set up physiology at the Royal
College of Science. It is the only place in Great Britain in which
scientific teaching is trammelled neither by parsons nor by
litterateurs. I have always implored Donnelly to keep us clear of any
connection with a University of any kind, sort, or description, and I
tried to instil the same lesson into the doctors the other day. But the
"liberal education" cant is an obsession of too many of them.

[A further step was taken in June, when he was sent a new draft of
proposals, afterwards adopted by the above-mentioned general meeting of
the Association in March 1893, sketching a constitution for a new
university, and asking for the appointment of a Statutory Commission to
carry it out. The University thus constituted was to be governed by a
Court, half of which should consist of university professors] ("As for
a government by professors only" [he writes in the "Times" of December
6, 1892], "the fact of their being specialists is against them. Most of
them are broad-minded; practical men; some are good administrators.
But, unfortunately, there is among them, as in other professions, a
fair sprinkling of one-idea'd fanatics, ignorant of the commonest
conventions of official relation, and content with nothing if they
cannot get everything their own way. It is these persons who, with the
very highest and purest intentions, would ruin any administrative body
unless they were counterpoised by non-professional, common-sense
members of recognised weight and authority in the conduct of affairs."
[Furthermore, against the adoption of a German university system, he
continues], "In holding up the University of Berlin as our model, I
think you fail to attach sufficient weight to the considerations that
there is no Minister of Public Instruction in these realms; that a
great many of us would rather have no university at all than one under
the control of such a minister, and whose highest representatives might
come to be, not the fittest men, but those who stood foremost in the
good graces of the powers that be, whether Demos, Ministry, or
Sovereign."); [it was to include such faculties as Law, Engineering,
Medicine, while it was to bring into connection the various teaching
bodies scattered over London. The proposers themselves recognised that
the scheme was not ideal, but a compromise which at least would not
hamper further progress, and would supersede the Gresham scheme, which
they regarded as a barrier to all future academic reform.

The Association as thus constituted Huxley now joined, and was
immediately asked to accept the Presidency, not that he should do any
more militant work than he was disposed to attempt, but simply that he
should sit like Moltke in his tent and keep an eye on the campaign.

He felt it almost a point of honour not to refuse his best services to
a cause he had always had at heart, though he wrote:--]

There are some points in which I go further than your proposals, but
they are so much, to my mind, in the right direction that I gladly
support them.

[And again:--]

The Association scheme is undoubtedly a compromise--but it is a
compromise which takes us the right way, while the former schemes led
nowhere except to chaos.

[He writes to Sir W.H. Flower:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, June 27, 1892.

My dear Flower,

I had quite given up the hope that anything but some wretched
compromise would come of the University Commission, when I found, to my
surprise, no less than gratification, that a strong party among the
younger men were vigorously taking the matter up in the right (that is,
MY) sense.

In spite of all my good resolves to be a "hermit old in mossy cell," I
have enlisted--for ambulance service if nothing better.

The move is too important to spare oneself if one can be of any good.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Of his work in this position Professor Karl Pearson says, in a letter
to me:--

Professor Huxley gallantly came to lead a somewhat forlorn hope,--that
of establishing a really great university in London. He worked, as may
naturally be supposed, with energy and persistence, and one, who like
myself was not in full sympathy with the lines he took, can but admire
the vigour he threw into the movement. Nothing came of it
practically;...but Professor Huxley's leadership did, at any rate, a
great deal to unite the London teachers, and raise their ideal of a
true university, while at the same time helping to repress the
self-interests of many persons and institutions which had been before
very much to the front.

Clearly this is the sort of thing referred to in a letter of December

Got through the Association business very well, but had to show that I
am the kind of head that does not lend itself to wagging by the tail.

[The Senate of the University of London showed practical unanimity in
accepting the idea of taking on teaching functions if the Commission
should think it desirable, though the Medical Schools were still
desirous of getting their degree granted on the mere license
examination of the Royal Colleges, without any evidence of general
culture or academical training, and on July 28 Huxley writes:--]

The decision of the representatives of the Medical Schools is just such
as I should have expected. I always told my colleagues in the Senate of
the University of London that such was their view, and that, in the
words of Pears' advertisement, they "would not be happy till they got

And they won't get it unless the medical examining bodies are connected
into a distinct degree-giving body.

[In the course of the autumn matters seemed to be progressing. He
writes to Sir M. Foster, November 9:--]

I am delighted to say that Paget [Sir James Paget, Vice-Chancellor of
the University.] has taken up the game, and I am going to a committee
of the University this day week to try my powers of persuasion. If the
Senate can only be got to see where salvation lies and strike hard
without any fooling over details, we shall do a great stroke of
business for the future generations of Londoners.

[And by the end of the year he writes:--]

I think we are going to get something done, as the Senate of the
University of London has come into line with us, and I hope University
College will do the same.

[Meanwhile he was asked if he would appear before the Commission and
give evidence--to "talk without interrogation" so as to convince the
Commission of the inadequacy of the teaching of science in general and
of the absence of means and appliances for the higher teaching. This he
did early in January 1893, representing partly his own views, partly
those of the Association, to whom he read what he proposed to say,
before being authorised to speak on their behalf.

His position is finally defined by the following letter:--]

February 9, 1893.

Dear Professor Weldon,

I wish anything I have said or shall say about the organisation of the
New University to be taken in connection with the following postulates
which I conceive to be of primary importance:

1. The New University is not to be a separate body from the present
University of London.

2. All persons giving academic instruction of a certain rank are to be
"University Professors."

3. The Senate is to contain a large proportion of representatives of
the "University Professors" with a limited term of office (say five

4. The University chest is to receive all fees and other funds for
University purposes; and the Professors are to be paid out of it,
according to work done for the University--thus putting an end to the
present commercial competition of teaching institutions.

5. In all questions of Teaching, Examination, and Discipline the
authority of the Senate is to be supreme--(saving appeal to the Privy

Your questions will be readily answered if these postulates are kept in

In the case you put, the temptation to rivalry would not exist; and I
should imagine that the Senate would refuse funds for the purpose of
duplicating an existing Institution, unless very strong grounds for so
doing could be shown. In short, they would adopt the plan which
commends itself to you.

That to which I am utterly opposed is the creation of an Established
Church Scientific, with a hierarchical organisation and a professorial
Episcopate. I am fully agreed with you that all trading competition
between different teaching institutions is a thing to be abolished (see
Number 4 above).

On the other hand, intellectual competition is a very good thing, and
perfect freedom of learning and teaching the best of all things.

If you put a physical, chemical, or biological bishop at the head of
the teachers of those sciences in London, you will do your best to
destroy that freedom. My bar to any catastrophe of that sort lies in
Number 3. Let us take the case of Biology. I suppose there will be, at
least, half a dozen Professoriates in different branches of this
subject each Professor will be giving the same amount of time and
energy to University work, and will deserve the same pay. Each, if he
is worth his salt, will be a man holding his own views on general
questions, and having as good a right as any other to be heard. Why is
one to be given a higher rank and vastly greater practical influence
than all the rest? Why should not each be a "University Professor" and
have his turn on the Senate in influencing the general policy of the
University? The nature of things drives men more and more into the
position of specialists. Why should one specialist represent a whole
branch of science better than another, in Council or in Administration?

I am afraid we cannot build upon the analogy of Cambridge. In the first
place, London is not Cambridge; and, in the second, Michael Fosters do
not grow on every bush.

The besetting sin of able men is impatience of contradiction and of
criticism. Even those who do their best to resist the temptation, yield
to it almost unconsciously and become the tools of toadies and
flatterers. "Authorities," "disciples," and "schools" are the curse of
science; and do more to interfere with the work of the scientific
spirit than all its enemies.

Thus you will understand why I have so strongly opposed "absorption."
No one can feel more strongly than I the need of getting the present
chaos into order and putting an end to the absurd waste of money and
energy. But I believe that end may be attained by the method of
unification which I have suggested; without bringing in its train the
evils which will inevitably flow from "absorptive" regimentation.

What I want to see is such an organisation of the means and appliances
of University instruction in all its branches, as will conduce to the
largest possible freedom of research, learning, and teaching. And if
anybody will show me a better way to that end than through the measures
I have suggested, I will gladly leave all and follow him.

I am yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

P.S.--Will you be so kind as to let Professor Lankester see this
letter, as I am writing to him and shirk the labour of going over the
whole ground again.

[His last public activity, indeed, was on behalf of University reform,
when in January 1895 he represented not only the Association, but, in
the enforced absence of Sir James Paget, the Senate of the University
also, on a deputation to Lord Rosebery, then Prime Minister, to whom he
wrote asking if he were willing to receive such a deputation.]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, December 4, 1894.

Dear Lord Rosebery,

A number of scientific people, in fact I think I may say all the
leading men of science, and especially teachers in the country, are
very anxious to see the University of London reorganised upon the
general principles set forth in the Report of the last Royal Commission.

To this end nothing is wanted but the institution of a strong Statutory
Commission; and we have all been hoping that a Bill would be introduced
for that purpose.

It is rumoured that there are lions in the path. But even lions are
occasionally induced to retreat by the sight of a large body of
beaters. And some of us think that such a deputation as would willingly
wait on you, might hasten the desired movement.

We proposed something of the kind to Mr. Acland months ago, but nothing
has come of the suggestion--not, I am sure, from any want of good will
to our cause on his part.

Within the last few days I have been so strongly urged to bring the
matter before you, that in spite of some doubts as to the propriety of
going beyond my immediate chief the V.P. [The Vice-President of the
Committee of Council, Mr. Acland.] even in my private capacity I
venture to make this appeal.

I am, dear Lord Rosebery, faithfully yours,

T.H. Huxley.



[Several letters of this year touch on educational subjects. The
following advice as to the best training for a boy in science, was
addressed to Mr. Briton Riviere, R.A.]

Hodeslea, June 19, 1892.

My dear Riviere,

Touching the training of your boy who wants to go in for science, I
expect you will have to make a compromise between that which is
theoretically desirable and that which is practically most
advantageous, things being as they are.

Though I say it that shouldn't, I don't believe there is so good a
training in physical science to be got anywhere as in our College at
South Kensington. But Bernard could hardly with advantage take this up
until he is seventeen at least. What he would profit by most as a
preliminary, is training in the habit of expressing himself well and
clearly in English; training in mathematics and the elements of
physical science; in French and German, so as to read those languages
easily--especially German; in drawing--not for hifalutin art, of which
he will probably have enough in the blood--but accurate dry
reproduction of form--one of the best disciplines of the powers of
observation extant.

On the other hand, in the way of practical advantage in any career,
there is a great deal to be said for sending a clever boy to Oxford or
Cambridge. There are not only the exhibitions and scholarships, but
there is the rubbing shoulders with the coming generation which puts a
man in touch with his contemporaries as hardly anything else can do. A
very good scientific education is to be had at both Cambridge and
Oxford, especially Cambridge now.

In the case of sending to the university, putting through the Latin and
Greek mill will be indispensable. And if he is not going to make the
classics a serious study, there will be a serious waste of time and

So much in all these matters depends on the x contained in the boy
himself. If he has the physical and mental energy to make a mark in
science, I should drive him straight at science, taking care that he
got a literary training through English, French, and German. An average
capacity, on the other hand, may be immensely helped by university
means of flotation.

But who in the world is to say how the x will turn out, before the real
strain begins? One might as well prophesy the effect of a glass of
"hot-with" when the relative quantities of brandy, water, and sugar are
unknown. I am sure the large quantity of brandy and the very small
quantity of sugar in my composition were suspected neither by myself,
nor any one else, until the rows into which wicked men persisted in
involving me began!

And that reminds me that I forgot to tell the publishers to send you a
copy of my last peace-offering [The "Essays on Controverted
Questions."], and that one will be sent you by to-morrow's post. There
is nothing new except the prologue, the sweet reasonableness of which
will, I hope, meet your approbation.

It is not my fault if you have had to toil through this frightfully
long screed; Mrs. Riviere, to whom our love, said you wanted it. "Tu
l'as voulu, Georges Dandin."

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[The following deals with State intervention in intermediate

(For Sunday morning's leisure, or take it to church and read it in your

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, October 1, 1892.

My dear Donnelly,

Best thanks for sending on my letter. I do not suppose it will do much
good, but, at any rate, I thought I ought to try to prevent their
making a mess of medical education.

I like what I have seen of Acland. He seemed to have both intelligence
and volition.

As to intermediate education I have never favoured the notion of State
intervention in this direction.

I think there are only two valid grounds for State meddling with
education: the one the danger to the community which arises from dense
ignorance; the other, the advantage to the community of giving capable
men the chance of utilising their capacity.

The first furnishes the justification for compulsory elementary
education. If a child is taught reading, writing, drawing, and
handiwork of some kind; the elements of mathematics, physics, and
history, and I should add of political economy and geography; books
will furnish him with everything he can possibly need to make him a
competent citizen in any rank of life.

If with such a start, he has not the capacity to get all he needs out
of books, let him stop where he is. Blow him up with intermediate
education as much as you like, you will only do the fellow a mischief
and lift him into a place for which he has no real qualification.
People never will recollect, that mere learning and mere cleverness are
of next to no value in life, while energy and intellectual grip, the
things that are inborn and cannot be taught, are everything.

The technical education act goes a long way to meet the second claim of
the State; so far as scientific and industrial capacities are
concerned. In a few years there will be no reason why any potential
Whitworth or Faraday, in the three kingdoms, should not readily obtain
the best education that is to be had, scientific or technical. The same
will hold good for Art. So the question that arises seems to me to be
whether the State ought or ought not to do something of the same kind
for Literature, Philosophy, History, and Philology.

I am inclined to think not, on the ground that the universities and
public schools ought to do this very work, and that as soon as they
cease to be clericalised seminaries they probably will do it.

If the present government would only give up their Irish fad--and bring
in a bill to make it penal for any parson to hold any office in a
public school or university or to presume to teach outside the
pulpit--they should have my valuable support!

I should not wonder if Gladstone's mind is open on the subject. Pity I
am not sufficiently a persona grata with him to offer to go to Hawarden
and discuss it.

I quite agree with you, therefore, that it will play the deuce if
intermediate education is fossilised as it would be by any Act prepared
under present influences. The most I should like to see done, would be
to help the youth of special literary, linguistic and so forth,
capacity, to get the best training in their special line.

It was lucky we did not go to you. My wife got an awful dose of
neuralgia and general upset, and was laid up at the Hotel. The house
was not quite finished inside, but we came in on Tuesday, and she has
been getting better ever since in spite of the gale.

I am sorry to hear of the recurrence of influenza. It is a beastly
thing. Lord Justice Bowen told me he has had it every time it has been
in the country. You must come and try Eastbourne air as soon as we are
settled. With our love to you and Mrs. Donnelly.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

Better be careful, I return all letters on which R.H. is not in full.
[An allusion to his recent Privy Councillorship. See below.]

[The next is to a young man with aspirations after an intellectual
career, who asked his advice as to the propriety of throwing up his
business, and plunging into literature or science:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, November 5, 1892.

Dear Sir,

I am very sorry that the pressure of other occupations has prevented me
from sending an earlier reply to your letter.

In my opinion a man's first duty is to find a way of supporting
himself, thereby relieving other people of the necessity of supporting
him. Moreover, the learning to do work of practical value in the world,
in an exact and careful manner, is of itself a very important
education, the effects of which make themselves felt in all other
pursuits. The habit of doing that which you do not care about when you
would much rather be doing something else, is invaluable. It would have
saved me a frightful waste of time if I had ever had it drilled into me
in youth.

Success in any scientific career requires an unusual equipment of
capacity, industry, and energy. If you possess that equipment you will
find leisure enough after your daily commercial work is over, to make
an opening in the scientific ranks for yourself. If you do not, you had
better stick to commerce. Nothing is less to be desired than the fate
of a young man, who, as the Scotch proverb says, in "trying to make a
spoon spoils a horn," and becomes a mere hanger-on in literature or in
science, when he might have been a useful and a valuable member of
Society in other occupations.

I think that your father ought to see this letter.

Yours faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[The last of the series, addressed to the secretary of a free-thought
association, expresses his firmly rooted disgust at the use of mere
ribaldry in attacking the theological husks which enclose a religious

May 22, 1892.

Dear Sir,

I regret that I am unable to comply with the wish of your committee.
For one thing, I am engaged in work which I do not care to interrupt,
and for another, I always make it a rule in these matters to "fight for
my own hand." I do not desire that any one should share my
responsibility for what I think fit to say, and I do not wish to be
responsible for the opinions and modes of expression of other persons.

I do not say this with any reference to Mr. -- who is a sober and
careful writer. But both as a matter of principle and one of policy, I
strongly demur to a great deal of what appears as "free thought"
literature, and I object to be in any way connected with it. Heterodox
ribaldry disgusts me, I confess, rather more than orthodox fanaticism.
It is at once so easy; so stupid; such a complete anachronism in
England, and so thoroughly calculated to disgust and repel the very
thoughtful and serious people whom it ought to be the great aim to
attract. Old Noll knew what he was about when he said that it was of no
use to try to fight the gentlemen of England with tapsters and
serving-men. It is quite as hopeless to fight Christianity with
scurrility. We want a regiment of Ironsides.

[This summer brought Huxley a most unexpected distinction in the shape
of admission to the Privy Council. Mention has already been made
(volume 2) of his reasons for refusing to accept a title for
distinction in science, apart from departmental administration. The
proper recognition of science, he maintained, lay in the professional
recognition of a man's work by his peers in science, the members of the
learned societies of his own and other countries.

But, as has been said, the Privy Councillorship was an office, not a
title, although with a title attaching to the office; and in theory, at
least, a scientific Privy Councillor might some day play an important
part as an accredited representative of science, to be consulted
officially by the Government, should occasion arise.

Of a selection of letters on the subject, mostly answers to
congratulations, I place first the one to Sir M. Foster, which gives
the fullest account of the affair.]

Cors-y-Gedol Hotel, Barmouth, August 23, 1892.

My dear Foster,

I am very glad you think I have done rightly about the P.C.; but in
fact I could hardly help myself.

Years and years ago I was talking to Donnelly about these things, and
told him that so far as myself was concerned, I would have nothing to
do with official decorations--didn't object to other people having
them, especially heads of offices, like Hooker and Flower--but
preferred to keep clear myself. But I added that there was one thing I
did not mind telling him, because no English Government would ever act
upon my opinion--and that was that the P.C. was a fit and proper
recognition for science and letters. I have no doubt that he has kept
this in mind ever since--in fact Lord Salisbury's letter (which was
very handsome) showed he had been told of my obiter dictum. Donnelly
was the first channel of inquiry whether I would accept, and was very
strong that I should.

So you see if I had wished to refuse it, it would have been difficult
and ungracious. But, on the whole, I thought the precedent good.
Playfair tells me he tried to get it done in the case of Faraday and
Babbage thirty years ago, and the thing broke down. Moreover a wicked
sense of the comedy of advancing such a pernicious heretic, helped a
good deal.

The worst of it is, I have just had a summons to go to Osborne on
Thursday and it is as much as I shall be able to do.

We have been in South Wales, in the neighbourhood of the Colliers, and
are on our way to the Wallers for the Festival week at Gloucester. We
hope to get back to Eastbourne in the latter half of September and find
the house clean swept and garnished. After that, by the way, it is NOT
nice to say that we shall hope to have a visit from Mrs. Foster and you.

With our love to you both.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

I am glad you are resting, but oh, why another Congress!

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, June 21, 1892.

My dear Donnelly,

You have been and done me at last, you betrayer of confidence. This is
what comes of confiding one's pet weakness to a bosom-friend!

But I can't deny my own words, or the accuracy of your devil of a
memory--and, moreover, I think the precedent of great importance.

I have always been dead against orders of merit and the like, but I
think that men of letters and science who have been of use to the
nation (Lord knows if I have) may fairly be ranked among its nominal or
actual councillors.

As for yourself, it is only one more kindness on the top of a heap so
big I shall say nothing about it.

Mrs. Right Honourable sends her love to you both, and promises not to
be proud.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Cors-y-Gedol Hotel, Barmouth, August 20, 1892.

My dear Donnelly,

I began to think that Lord Salisbury had thought better of it--(I
should not have been surprised at all if he had) and was going to leave
me a P.P.C. instead of a P.C. when the announcement appeared yesterday.

This morning, however, I received his own letter (dated the 16th),
which had been following me about. A very nice letter it is too--he
does the thing handsomely while he is about it.

Well, I think the thing is good for science; I am not such a self
humbug as to pretend that my vanity is not pleasantly tickled; but I do
not think there is any aspect of the affair more pleasant to me, than
the evidence it affords of the strength of our old friendship. Because
with all respect for my noble friends, deuce a one would ever have
thought of it, unless you had not only put it--but rubbed it--into
their heads.

I have not forgotten that private and confidential document that you
were so disgusted to find had been delivered to me! You have tried it
on before--so don't deny it.

But bless my soul, how profound is old Cole's remark about the humour
of public affairs. To think of a Conservative Government--pride of the
Church--going out of its way to honour one not only of the wicked, but
of the notoriousest and plain-spoken wickedness. My wife and I drove
over to Dolgelly yesterday--do you know it? one of the loveliest things
in the three kingdoms--and every now and then had a laugh over this
very quaint aspect of the affair.

Can you tell me what I shall have to do in the dim and distant future?
I suppose I shall have to go and swear somewhere (I am always ready to
do that on occasion). Is admission to the awful presence of Her Majesty
involved? Shall I have to rig up again in that Court suit, which I
hoped was permanently laid up in lavender? Resolve me these things.

We shall be here I expect at least another week; and bring up at
Gloucester about the 3rd September. Hope to get back to Hodeslea latter
part of September.

Ever yours faithfully.

T.H. Huxley.

To Sir J.D. Hooker.

August 20.

You will have seen that I have been made a P.C. If I had been offered
to be made a police constable I could not have been more flabbergasted
than I was when the proposition came to me a few weeks ago. I will tell
you the story of how it all came about when we meet. The Archbishopric
of Canterbury is the only object of ambition that remains to me. Come
and be Suffragan; there is plenty of room at Lambeth and a capital

[To his youngest daughter:--]

Cors-y-Gedol Hotel, Barmouth, August 22, 1892.

Dearest Babs,

If Lord Salisbury had known my address, M-- and I should have had our
little joke out before leaving Saundersfoot [Where he had been staying
with his daughter.], as the letter was dated 16th. It must be a month
since Lord Cranbrook desired Donnelly to find out if I would accept the
P.C., and as I heard no more about it up to the time of dissolution, I
imagined there was a hitch somewhere. And really, the more I think of
it the queerer does it seem, that a Tory and Church Government should
have delighted to honour the worst-famed heretic in the three kingdoms.

I am sure Donnelly has been at the bottom of it, as he is the only
person to whom I ever spoke of the fitness of the P.C. for men of
science and letters.

The queer thing is that his chief and Lord Salisbury listened to the

Tell Jack he is simply snuffed out--younger sons of peers go with the
herd of Barts and knights, I believe. But a table of precedence is not
to be had for love or money--and my anxiety is wearing.

This place is as perfectly delightful as Aberystwith was t'other...

With best love to you all.

Ever your Pater.

To Mrs. W.K. Clifford.

Cors-y-Gedol Hotel, Barmouth, August 22, 1892.

My dear Lucy,

I am glad to think that it is the honours that blush and not the
recipient, for I am past that form of vascular congestion.

It was known that the only peerage I would accept was a spiritual one;
and as Her Majesty shares the not unnatural prejudice which led her
illustrious predecessor (now some time dead) to object to give a
bishopric to Dean Swift, it was thought she could not stand the
promotion of Dean Huxley; would see * him in fact... * This is a pun.

Lord Salisbury apologised for not pressing the matter, but pointed out
that, as Evolutionism is rapidly gaining ground among the people who
have votes, it was probable, if not certain, that his eminent successor
(whose mind is always open) would become a hot evolutionist before the
expiration of the eight months' office which Lord Salisbury (who needs
rest) means to allow him. And when eminent successor goes out, my
bishopric will be among the Dissolution Honours. If Her Majesty objects
she will be threatened with the immediate abolition of the House of
Lords, and the institution of a social democratic federation of
counties, each with an army, navy, and diplomatic service of its own.

I know you like to have the latest accurate intelligence, but this
really must be considered confidential. As a P.C. I might lose my head
for letting out State secrets.

Ever your affectionate Pater.

To Sir Joseph Fayrer.

Cors-y-Gedol Hotel, Barmouth, Wales, August 28, 1892.

It is very pleasant to get the congratulations of an old friend like
yourself. As we went to Osborne the other day I looked at the old
"Victory" and remembered that six and forty years ago I went up her
side to report myself on appointment, as a poor devil of an assistant
surgeon. And I should not have got that far if you had not put it into
my heed to apply to Burnett.

To Sir Joseph Prestwich.

Cors-y-Gedol Hotel, Barmouth, August 31, 1892.

My dear Prestwich,

Best thanks for your congratulations. As I have certainly got more than
my temporal deserts, the other "half" you speak of can be nothing less
than a bishopric! May you live to see that dignity conferred; and go on
writing such capital papers as the last you sent me, until I write
myself your Right Reverend as well as Right Honourable old friend,

T.H. Huxley.

To Sir W.H. Flower.

Cors-y-Gedol Hotel, Barmouth, August 31, 1892.

My dear Flower,

Many thanks for your congratulations, with Lady Flower's postscript not
forgotten. I should have answered your letter sooner, but I had to go
to Osborne last week in a hurry, kiss hands and do my swearing. It was
very funny that the Gladstone P.C.'s had the pleasure of welcoming the
Salisbury P.C.'s among their first official acts!

I will gladly come to as many meetings of the Trustees as I can. Only
you must not expect me in very severe weather like that so common last
year. My first attack of pleurisy was dangerous and not painful; the
second was painful and not dangerous; the third will probably be both
painful and dangerous, and my commander-in-chief (who has a right to be
heard in such matters) will not let me run the risk of it.

But I have marked down October 22 and November 24, and nothing short of
snow shall stop me.

As to what you want to do, getting butter out of a dog's mouth is an
easier job than getting patronage out of that of a lawyer or an
ecclesiastic. But I am always good for a forlorn hope, and we will have
a try.

We shall not be back at Eastbourne till the latter half of September,
and I doubt if we shall get into our house even then. We leave this for
Gloucester, where we are going to spend the festival week with my
daughter to-morrow.

With our love to you both, ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

I see a report that Owen is sinking. Poor old man; it seems queer that
just as I am hoist to the top of my tree he should be going
underground. But at 88 life cannot be worth much.

To Mr. W.F. Collier.

Cors-y-Gedol Hotel, Barmouth Water, August 31, 1892.

Accept my wife's and my hearty thanks for your kind congratulations.
When I was a mere boy I took for motto of an essay, "What is honour?
Who hath it? He that died o' Wednesday," and although I have my full
share of ambition and vanity, I doubt not, yet Falstaff's philosophical
observation has dominated my mind and acted as a sort of perpetual
refrigerator to these passions. So I have gone my own way, sought for
none of these things and expected none--and it would seem that the
deepest schemer's policy could not have answered better. We must have a
new Beatitude, "Blessed is the man who expecteth nothing," without its
ordinary appendix.

I tell Jack [His son-in-law, Hon. John Collier.] I have worked hard for
a dignity which will enable me to put down his aristocratic swaggering.

[It took some time, however, to get used to the title, and it was
October before he wrote:--]

The feeling that "The Right Honourable" on my letters is a piece of
chaff is wearing off, and I hope to get used to my appendix in time.

[The "very quaint" ceremony of kissing hands is described at some
length in a letter to Mrs. Huxley from London on his way back from

Great Western Hotel, August 25, 1892, 6.40 P.M.

I have just got back from Osborne, and I find there are a few minutes
to send you a letter--by the help of the extra halfpenny. First-rate
weather there and back, a special train, carriage with postillions at
the Osborne landing-place, and a grand procession of officers of the
new household and P.C.'s therein. Then waiting about while the various
"sticks" were delivered.

Then we were shown into the presence chamber where the Queen sat at a
table. We knelt as if we were going to say our prayers, holding a
testament between two, while the Clerk of the Council read an oath of
which I heard not a word. We each advanced to the Queen, knelt and
kissed her hand, retired backwards, and got sworn over again (Lord
knows what I promised and vowed this time also). Then we shook hands
with all the P.C.'s present, including Lord Lorne, and so exit
backwards. It was all very curious...

After that a capital lunch and back we came. Ribblesdale and several
other people I knew were of the party, and I found it very pleasant
talking with him and Jesse Collings, who is a very interesting man.

"Oh," he said, "how I wish my poor mother, who was a labouring woman--a
great noble woman--and brought us nine all up in right ways, could have
been alive." Very human and good and dignified too, I thought.

He also used to tell how he was caught out when he thought to make use
of the opportunity to secure a close view of the Queen. Looking up, he
found her eyes fixed upon him; Her Majesty had clearly taken the
opportunity to do the same by him.

Regarding the Privy Councillorship as an exceptional honour for
science, over and above any recognition of his personal services, which
he thought amply met by the Civil List pension specially conferred upon
him as an honour at his retirement from the public service, Huxley was
no little vexed at an article in "Nature" for August 25 (volume 46 page
397), reproaching the Government for allowing him to leave the public
service six years before, without recognition. Accordingly he wrote to
Sir J. Donnelly on August 27:--]

It is very unfair to both Liberal and Conservative Governments, who did
much more for me than I expected, and I feel that I ought to contradict
the statement without loss of time.

So I have written the inclosed letter for publication in "Nature". But
as it is always a delicate business to meddle with official matters, I
wish you would see if I have said anything more than I ought to say in
the latter half of the letter. If so, please strike it out, and let the
first half go.

I had a narrow shave to get down to Osborne and kiss hands on Thursday.
What a quaint ceremony it is!

The humour of the situation was that we three hot Unionists, White
Ridley, Jesse Collings, and I, were escorted by the whole Gladstonian

[And again on August 30:--]

In the interview I had with Lord Salisbury on the subject of an order
of merit--ages ago [See above.]--I expressly gave him to understand
that I considered myself out of the running--having already received
more than I had any right to expect. And when he has gone out of his
way to do honour to science, it is stupid of "Nature" to strike the
discordant note.

[His letter appeared in "Nature" of September 1 (volume 46 page 416).
In it he declared that both Lord Salisbury's and Mr. Gladstone's
Governments had given him substantial recognition that Lord Iddesleigh
had put the Civil List pension expressly as an honour; and finally,
that he himself placed this last honour in the category of] "unearned



[The following letters are mainly of personal interest; some merely
illustrate the humorous turn he would give to his more intimate
correspondence; others strike a more serious note, especially those to
friends whose powers were threatened by overwork or ill-health.

With these may fitly come two other letters; one to a friend on his
re-marriage, the other to his daughter, in reply to a birthday letter.]

My wife and I send our warmest good wishes to your future wife and
yourself. I cannot but think that those who are parted from us, if they
have cognisance of what goes on in this world, must rejoice over
everything that renders life better and brighter for the sojourners in
it-- especially of those who are dear to them. At least, that would be
my feeling.

Please commend us to Miss --, and beg her not to put us on the "Index,"
because we count ourselves among your oldest and warmest friends.

[To his daughter, Mrs. Roller:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, May 5, 1892.

It was very pleasant to get your birthday letter and the photograph,
which is charming.

The love you children show us, warms our old age better than the sun.

For myself the sting of remembering troops of follies and errors, is
best alleviated by the thought that they may make me better able to
help those who have to go through like experiences, and who are so dear
to me that I would willingly pay an even heavier price, to be of use.
Depend upon it, that confounded "just man who needed no repentance" was
a very poor sort of a father. But perhaps his daughters were "just
women" of the same type; and the family circle as warm as the interior
of an ice-pail.

[A certain artist, who wanted to have Huxley sit to him, tried to
manage the matter through his son-in-law, Hon. J. Collier, to whom the
following is addressed:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, January 27, 1892.

My dear Jack,

Inclosed is a letter for you. Will you commit the indiscretion of
sending it on to Mr. A.B. if you see no reason to the contrary?

I hope the subsequent proceedings will interest you no more.

I am sorry you have been so bothered by the critter--but in point of
pertinacity he has met his match. (I have no objection to your saying
that your father-in-law is a brute, if you think that will soften his

Here the weather has been tropical. The bananas in the new garden are
nearly ripe, and the cocoanuts are coming on. But of course you expect
this, for if it is unbearably sunny in London what must it be here?

All our loves to all of you.

Ever yours affectionately, Pater.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, February 1, 1892.

My dear Hooker,

I hear you have influenza rampaging about the Camp [The name of Sir J.
Hooker's house at Sunningdale.] and I want to point out to you that if
you want a regular bad bout of it, the best thing you can do is to go
home next Thursday evening, at ten o'clock at night, and plunge into
the thick of the microbes, tired and chilled.

If you don't get it then, you will, at any rate, have the satisfaction
of feeling that you have done your best!

I am going to the x, but then you see I fly straight after dinner to
Collier's per cab, and there is no particular microbe army in Eton
Avenue lying in wait for me.

Either let me see after the dinner, or sleep in town, and don't worry.

Yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, February 19, 1892.

My dear Hooker,

I have just received a notice that Hirst's funeral is to-morrow. But we
are in the midst of the bitterest easterly gale and snowfall we have
had all the winter, and there is no sign of the weather mending.

Neither you nor I have any business to commit suicide for that which
after all is a mere sign of the affection we have no need to prove for
our dear old friend, and the chances are that half an hour cold chapel
and grave-side on a day like this would finish us.

I write this not that I imagine you would think of going, but because
my last note spoke so decidedly of my own intention.

But who could have anticipated this sudden reversion to Arctic

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, March 18, 1892.

My dear Donnelly,

My wife got better and was out for a while yesterday, but she is
knocked up again to-day.

It would have been very pleasant to see you both, but you must not come
down till we get fixed with a new cook and maid, as I believe we are to
be in a week or so. None of your hotel-going!

I mourn over the departure of the present cookie--I believe she is
going for no other reason than that she is afraid the house will fall
on such ungodly people as we are, and involve her in the ruins. That is
the modern martyrdom--you don't roast infidels, but people who can
roast go to the pious.

Lovely day to-day, nothing but east wind to remind one it is not
summer.--Crocuses coming out at last.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, March 27, 1892.

My dear Hooker,

I had to run up to town on Friday and forgot your letter. The x is a
puzzle--I will stick by the ship as long as you do, depend upon that. I
fear we can hardly expect to see dear old Tyndall there again. As for
myself, I dare not venture when snow is on the ground, as on the last
two occasions. And now, I am sorry to say, there is another possible
impediment in my wife's state of health.

I have had a very anxious time of it altogether lately. But sich is

My sagacious grand-daughter Joyce (gone home now) observed to her
grandmother some time ago--"I don't want to grow up." "Why don't you
want to grow up?" "Because I notice that grown-up people have a great
deal of trouble." Sagacious philosopheress of 7!

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, April 3, 1892.

My dear Hooker,

As I so often tell my wife, "your confounded sense of duty will be the
ruin of you." You really, club or no club, had no business to be
travelling in such a bitter east wind. However, I hope the recent
sunshine has set you up again.

Barring snow or any other catastrophe, I will be at "the Club" dinner
on the 26th and help elect the P.R.S. I don't think I go more than once
a year, and like you I find the smaller the pleasanter meetings.

I was very sorry to see Bowman's death. What a first-rate man of
science he would have been if the Professorship at King's College had
been 1000 pounds a year. But it was mere starvation when he held it.

I am glad to say that my wife is much better--thank yours for her very
kind sympathy. I was very down the last time I wrote to you.

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, June 27, 1892.

My dear Foster,

My wife has been writing to Mrs. Foster to arrange for your visit,
which will be heartily welcome.

Now I don't want to croak. No one knows better than I, the fatal
necessity for any one in your position: more than that, the duty in
many cases of plunging into public functions, and all the guttle,
guzzle, and gammon therewith connected.

But do let me hold myself up as the horrid example of what comes of
that sort of thing for men who have to work as you are doing and I have
done. To be sure you are a "lungy" man and I am a "livery" man, so that
your chances of escaping candle-snuff accumulations with melancholic
prostration are much better. Nevertheless take care. The pitcher is a
very valuable piece of crockery, and I don't want to live to see it
cracked by going to the well once too often.

I am in great spirits about the new University movement, and have told
the rising generation that this old hulk is ready to be towed out into
line of battle, if they think fit, which is more commendable to my
public spirit than my prudence.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, June 20, 1892.

My dear Romanes,

My wife and I, no less than the Hookers who have been paying us a short
visit, were very much grieved to hear that such a serious trouble has
befallen you.

In such cases as yours (as I am sure your doctors have told you)
hygienic conditions are everything--good air and idleness, CONSTRUED
STRICTLY, among the chief. You should do as I have done--set up a
garden and water it yourself for two hours every day, besides pottering
about to see how things grow (or don't grow this weather) for a couple

Sundry box-trees, the majority of which have been getting browner every
day since I planted them three months ago, have interested me almost as
much as the general election. They typify the Empire with the G.O.M. at
work at the root of it!

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, October 18, 1892.

My dear Romanes,

I throw dust and ashes on my head for having left your letter almost a
week unanswered.

But I went to Tennyson's funeral; and since then my whole mind has been
given to finishing the reply forced upon me by Harrison's article in
the "Fortnightly", and I have let correspondence slide. I think it will
entertain you when it appears in November--and perhaps interest--by the
adumbration of the line I mean to take if ever that "Romanes" Lecture
at Oxford comes off.

As to Madeira--I do not think you could do better. You can have as much
quiet there as in Venice, for there are next to no carts or carriages.
I was at an excellent hotel, the "Bona Vista," kept by an Englishman in
excellent order, and delightfully situated on the heights outside
Funchal. When once acclimatised and able to bear moderate fatigue, I
should say nothing would be more delightful and invigorating than to
take tents and make the round of the island. There is nothing I have
seen anywhere which surpasses the cliff scenery of the north side, or
on the way thither, the forest of heaths as big as sycamores.

There is a matter of natural history which might occupy without
fatiguing you, and especially without calling for any great use of the
eyes. That is the effect of Madeiran climate on English plants
transported there--and the way in which the latter are beating the
natives. There is a Doctor who has lots of information on the topic.
You may trust anything but his physic.

[The rest of the letter gives details about scientific literature
touching Madeira.

A piece of advice to his son anent building a house:--]

September 22, 1892.

Lastly and biggestly, don't promise anything, agree to anything, nor
sign anything (swear you are an "illiterate voter" rather than this
last) without advice--or you may find yourself in a legal quagmire.
Builders, as a rule, are on a level with horse-dealers in point of
honesty--I could tell you some pretty stories from my small experience
of them.

[The next, to Lord Farrer, is apropos of quite an extensive
correspondence in the "Times" as to the correct reading of the
well-known lines about the missionary and the cassowary, to which both
Huxley and Lord Farrer had contributed their own reminiscences.]

Hodeslea, October 15, 1892.

My dear Farrer,

If YOU were a missionary
In the heat of Timbuctoo
YOU'd wear nought but a nice and airy
Pair of bands--p'raps cassock too.

Don't you see the fine touch of local colour in my version! Is it not
obvious to everybody who understands the methods of high a priori
criticism that this consideration entirely outweighs the merely
empirical fact that your version dates back to 1837--which I must admit
is before my adolescence? It is obvious to the meanest capacity that
mine must be the original text in "Idee," whatever your wretched
"Wirklichkeit" may have to say to the matter.

And where, I should like to know, is a glimmer of a scintilla of a hint
that the missionary was a dissenter? I claim him for my dear National

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[The following is about a document which he had forgotten that he

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, November 24, 1892.

My dear Donnelly,

It is obvious that you have somebody in the Department who is an adept
in the imitation of handwriting.

As there is no way of proving a negative, and I am too loyal to raise a
scandal, I will just father the scrawl.

Positively, I had forgotten all about the business. I suppose because I
did not hear who was appointed. It would be a good argument for turning
people out of office after 65! But I have always had rather too much of
the lawyer faculty of forgetting things when they are done with.

It was very jolly to have you here, and on principles of Christian
benevolence you must not be so long in coming again.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

I do not remember being guilty of paying postage--but that doesn't
count for much.

[The following is an answer to one of the unexpected inquiries which
would arrive from all quarters. A member of one of the religious orders
working in the Church of England wrote for an authoritative statement
on the following point, suggested by passages in section 5 of Chapter 1
of the "Elementary Physiology":--When the Blessed Sacrament,
consisting, temporally and mundanely speaking, of a wheaten wafer and
some wine, is received after about seven hours' fast, is it or is it
not "voided like other meats"? In other words, does it not become
completely absorbed for the sustenance of the body?

Huxley's help in this physiological question--and his answer was to be
used in polemical discussion--was sought because an answer from him
would be decisive and would obviate the repetition of statements which
to a Catholic were painfully irreverent.]

Hodeslea, February 3, 1892.


I regret that you have had to wait so long for a reply to your letter
of the 27th. Your question required careful consideration, and I have
been much occupied with other matters.

You ask (1), whether the sacramental bread is or is not "voided like
other meats"?

That depends on what you mean, firstly by "voided," and, secondly, by
"other meats." Suppose any "meat" (I take the word to include drink) to
contain no indigestible residuum, there need not be anything "voided"
at all--if by "voiding" is meant expulsion from the lower intestine.

Such a meat might be "completely absorbed for the sustenance of the
body." Nevertheless, its elements, in fresh combinations, would be
eventually "voided" through other channels, e.g. the lungs and kidneys.
Thus I should say that under normal circumstances all "meats" (that is
to say, the material substance of them) are voided sooner or later.

Now, as to the particular case of the sacramental wafer and wine.
Taking their composition and the circumstances of administration to be
as you state them, it is my opinion that a small residuum will be left
undigested, and will be voided by the intestine, while by far the
greater part will be absorbed and eventually "voided" by the lungs,
skin, and kidneys.

If any one asserts that the wafer and wine are voided by the intestine
as such, that the "pure flour and water" of which the wafer consists
pass out unchanged, I am of opinion he is in error.

On the other hand, if any one maintains that the material substance of
the wafer persists, while its accidents change, within the body, and
that this identical substance is sooner or later voided, I do not see
how he is to be driven out of that position by any scientific
reasoning. On the contrary, there is every reason to believe that the
elementary particles of the wafer and of the wine which enter the body
never lose their identity, or even alter their mass. If one could see
one of the atoms of carbon which enter into the composition of the
wafer, I conceive it could be followed the whole way--from the mouth to
the organ by which it escapes--just as a bit of floating charcoal might
be followed into, through, and out of a whirlpool.

[On October 6, 1892, died Lord Tennyson. In the course of his busy
life, Huxley had not been thrown very closely into contact with him;
they would meet at the Metaphysical Society, of which Tennyson was a
silent member; and in the "Life of Tennyson" two occasions are recorded
on which Huxley visited him.

November 11, 1871.

Mr. Huxley and Mr. Knowles arrived here (Aldworth) on a visit. Mr.
Huxley was charming. We had much talk. He was chivalrous, wide, and
earnest, so that one could not but enjoy talking with him. There was a
discussion on George Eliot's humility. Huxley and A. both thought her a
humble woman, despite a dogmatic manner of assertion that had come upon
her latterly in her writings. (Op. cit. 2 110.)

March 17, 1873.

Professor Tyndall and Mr. Huxley called. Mr. Huxley seemed to be
universal in his interest, and to have keen enjoyment of life. He spoke
of "In Memoriam". (Ibid. 2 143.)

With this may be compared one of Mr. Wilfrid Ward's reminiscences
("Nineteenth Century" August

"Huxley once spoke strongly of the insight into scientific method shown
in Tennyson's 'In Memoriam', and pronounced it to be quite equal to
that of the greatest experts."

This view of Tennyson appears again in a letter to Sir M. Foster, the
Secretary of the Royal Society:--]

Was not Tennyson a Fellow of the Royal Society? If so, should not the
President and Council take some notice of his death and delegate some
one to the funeral to represent them? Very likely you have thought of
it already.

He was the only modern poet, in fact I think the only poet since the
time of Lucretius, who has taken the trouble to understand the work and
tendency of the men of science.

[But this was not the only side from which he regarded poetry. He had a
keen sense for beauty, the artistic perfection of expression, whether
in poetry, prose, or conversation. Tennyson's talk he described thus:
"Doric beauty is its characteristic--perfect simplicity, without any
ornament or anything artificial." And again, to quote Mr. Wilfrid
Ward's reminiscences:--

Tennyson he considered the greatest English master of melody except
Spenser and Keats. I told him of Tennyson's insensibility to music, and
he replied that it was curious that scientific men, as a rule, had more
appreciation of music than poets or men of letters. He told me of one
long talk he had had with Tennyson, and added that immortality was the
one dogma to which Tennyson was passionately devoted.

Of Browning, Huxley said]: "He really has music in him. Read his poem
"The Thrush" and you will see it. Tennyson said to me," [he added],
"that Browning had plenty of music IN him, but he could not get it OUT."

Eastbourne, October 15, 1892.

My dear Tyndall,

I think you will like to hear that the funeral yesterday lacked nothing
to make it worthy of the dead or the living.

Bright sunshine streamed through the windows of the nave, while the
choir was in half gloom, and as each shaft of light illuminated the
flower-covered bier as it slowly travelled on, one thought of the
bright succession of his works between the darkness before and the
darkness after. I am glad to say that the Royal Society was represented
by four of its chief officers, and nine of the commonalty, including
myself. Tennyson has a right to that, as the first poet since Lucretius
who has understood the drift of science.

We have heard nothing of you and your wife for ages. Ask her to give us
news, good news I hope, of both.

My wife is better than she was, and joins with me in love.

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

[On his way home from the funeral in Westminster Abbey, Huxley passed
the time in the train by shaping out some lines on the dead poet, the
form of them suggested partly by some verses of his wife's, partly by

Gib diesen Todten mir heraus,
Ich muss ihn wieder haben [Don Carlos, scene 9.],

which came back to his mind in the Abbey. The lines were published in
the "Nineteenth Century" for November 1892. He declared that he
deserved no credit for the verses; they merely came to him in the train.

His own comparison of them with the sheaf of professed poets' odes
which also appeared in the same magazine, comes in a letter to his
wife, to whom he sent the poem as soon as it appeared in print.]

I know you want to see the poem, so I have cut it and the rest out of
the "Nineteenth" just arrived, and sent it.

If I wore to pass judgment upon it in comparison with the others, I
should say, that as to style it is hammered, and as to feeling human.

They are castings of much prettier pattern and of mainly
poetico-classical educated-class sentiment. I do not think there is a
line of mine one of my old working-class audience would have boggled
over. I would give a penny for John Burns' thoughts about it.
(N.B.--Highly impartial and valuable criticism.)

[He also wrote to Professor Romanes, who had been moved by this new
departure to send him a volume of his own poems:--]

Hodeslea, November 3, 1892.

My dear Romanes,

I must send you a line to thank you very much for your volume of poems.
A swift glance shows me much that has my strong sympathy--notably
"Pater loquitur," which I shall read to my wife as soon as I get her
back. Against all troubles (and I have had my share) I weigh a
wife-comrade "treu und fest" in all emergencies.

I have a great respect for the Nazarenism of Jesus--very little for
later "Christianity." But the only religion that appeals to me is
prophetic Judaism. Add to it something from the best Stoics and
something from Spinoza and something from Goethe, and there is a
religion for men. Some of these days I think I will make a cento out of
the works of these people.

I find it hard enough to write decent prose and have usually stuck to
that. The "Gib diesen Todten" I am hardly responsible for, as it did
itself coming down here in the train after Tennyson's funeral. The
notion came into my head in the Abbey.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[This winter also Sir R. Owen died, and was buried at Ham on December
23. The grave ends all quarrels, and Huxley intended to be present at
the funeral. But as he wrote to Dr. Foster on the 23rd:--]

I had a hard morning's work at University College yesterday, and what
with the meeting of the previous evening and that infernal fog, I felt
so seedy that I made up my mind to go straight home and be quiet...

There has been a bitter north-easter all day here, and if the like has
prevailed at Ham I am glad I kept out of it, as I am by no means fit to
cope with anything of that kind to-day. I do not think I was bound to
offer myself up to the manes of the departed, however satisfactory that
might have been to the poor old man. Peace be with him!

[But the old-standing personal differences between the two made it
difficult for him to decide what to do with regard to a meeting to
raise some memorial to the great anatomist. He writes again to Sir M.
Foster, January 8, 1893:--]

What am I to do about the meeting about Owen's statue on the 21st? I do
not wish to pose either as a humbugging approver or as a sulky
disapprover. The man did honest work, enough to deserve his statue, and
that is all that concerns the public.

[And on the 18th:--]

I am inclined to think that I had better attend the meeting at all
costs. But I do not see why I should speak unless I am called upon to
do so.

I have no earthly objection to say all that I honestly can of good
about Owen's work--and there is much to be said about some of it--on
the contrary, I should be well pleased to do so.

But I have no reparation to make; if the business were to come over
again, I should do as I did. My opinion of the man's character is
exactly what it was, and under the circumstances there is a sort of
hypocrisy about volunteering anything, which goes against my grain.

The best position for me would be to be asked to second the resolution
for the statue--then the proposer would have the field of personal
fiction and butter-boat all to himself.

To Sir W.H. Flower.

December 28, 1892.

I think you are quite right in taking an active share in the movement
for the memorial. When a man is dead and can do no more harm, one must
do a sum in subtraction:--

merits, deserts over x+x+x

and if the x's are not all minus quantities, give him credit
accordingly. But I think that in your appeal, for which the Committee
will be responsible, it is this balance of solid scientific merit--a
good big one in Owen's case after all deductions--which should be alone
referred to. If you follow the example of "Vanity Fair" and call him "a
simple-minded man, who had he been otherwise, would long ago have
adorned a title," some of us may choke.

Gladstone, Samuel of Oxford, and Owen belong to a very curious type of
humanity, with many excellent and even great qualities and one fatal
defect--utter untrustworthiness. Peace be with two of them, and may the
political death of the third be speedy and painless!

With our united best wishes, ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[And on January 22, 1893, he writes of the meeting:--]

My dear Hooker,

...What queer corners one gets into if one only lives long enough! The
grim humour of the situation when I was seconding the proposal for a
statue to Owen yesterday tickled me a good deal. I do not know how they
will report me in the "Times", but if they do it properly I think you
will see that I said no word upon which I could not stand

I chose the office of seconder in order that I might clearly define my
position and stop the mouths of blasphemers--who would have ascribed
silence or absence to all sorts of bad motives.

Whatever the man might be, he did a lot of first-rate work, and now
that he can do no more mischief he has a right to his wages for it.

If I only live another ten years I expect to be made a saint of myself.
"Many a better man has been made a saint of," as old Davie Hume said to
his housekeeper when they chalked up "St. David's Street" on his wall.

We have been jogging along pretty well, but wife has been creaky, and I
got done up in a brutal London fog struggling with the worse fog of the
New University.

I am very glad you like my poetical adventure.

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

[This speech had an unexpected sequel. Owen's grandson was so much
struck by it that he wrote asking Huxley to undertake a critical
account of his anatomical work for his biography,--another most
unexpected turn of events. It is not often that a conspicuous opponent
of a man's speculations is asked to pass judgment upon his entire work.
[See below.]

At the end of the year an anonymous attack upon the administration of
the Royal Society was the occasion for some characteristic words on the
endurance of abuse to his old friend, M. Foster, then Secretary of the
Royal Society.]

December 5, 1892.

My dear Foster,

The braying of my donkey prevented me from sending a word of sympathy
about the noise made by yours...Let not the heart be vexed because of
these sons of Belial. It is all sound and fury with nothing at the
bottom of it, and will leave no trace a year hence. I have been abused
a deal worse--without the least effect on my constitution or my comfort.

In fact, I am told that Harrison is abusing me just now like a
pickpocket in the "Fortnightly", and I only make the philosophical
reflection, No wonder! and doubt if the reading it is worth half a

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

[The following letter to Mr. Clodd, thanking him for the new edition of
Bates' "Naturalist on the Amazons", helps to remove a reproach
sometimes brought against the Royal Society, in that it ignored the
claims of distinguished men of Science to membership of the Society:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, December 9, 1892.

My dear Mr. Clodd,

Many thanks for the new edition of "Bates." I was reading the Life last
night with great interest; some of the letters you have printed are

Lyell is hit off to the life. I never read a more penetrating
character-sketch. Hooker's letter of advice is as sage as might be
expected from a man who practised what he preached about as much as I
have done. I shall find material for chaff the next time my old friend
and I meet.

I think you are a little hard on the Trustees of the British Museum,
and especially on the Royal Society. The former are hampered by the
Treasury and the Civil Service regulations. If a Bates turned up now I
doubt if one could appoint him, however much one wished it, unless he
would submit to some idiotic examination. As to the Royal Society, I
undertake to say that Bates might have been elected fifteen years
earlier if he had so pleased. But the Council cannot elect a man unless
he is proposed, and I always understood that it was the res angusta
which stood in the way.

It is the same with --. Twenty years ago the Royal Society awarded him
the Royal Medal, which is about as broad an invitation to join us as we
could well give a man. In fact, I do not think he has behaved well in
quite ignoring it. Formerly there was a heavy entrance fee as well as
the annual subscription. But a dozen or fifteen years ago the more
pecunious Fellows raised a large sum of money for the purpose of
abolishing this barrier. At present a man has to pay only 3 pounds a
year and no entrance. I believe the publications of the Society, which
he gets, will sell for more. [The "Fee Reduction Fund," as it is now
called, enables the Society to relieve a Fellow from the payment even
of his annual fee, in that being F.R.S. costs him nothing.]

So you see it is not the fault of the Royal Society if anybody who
ought to be in keeps out on the score of means.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.



[The year 1893 was, save for the death of three old friends, Andrew
Clark, Jowett, and Tyndall, one of the most tranquil and peaceful in
Huxley's whole life. He entered upon no direct controversy; he
published no magazine articles; to the general misapprehension of the
drift of his Romanes Lecture he only replied in the comprehensive form
of Prolegomena to a reprint of the lecture. He began to publish his
scattered essays in a uniform series, writing an introduction to each
volume. While collecting his "Darwiniana" for the second volume, he
wrote to Mr. Clodd:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, November 18, 1892.

I was looking through "Man's Place in Nature" the other day. I do not
think there is a word I need delete, nor anything I need add except in
confirmation and extension of the doctrine there laid down. That is
great good fortune for a book thirty years old, and one that a very
shrewd friend of mine implored me not to publish, as it would certainly
ruin all my prospects. I said, like the French fox-hunter in "Punch",
"I shall try."

[The shrewd friend in question was none other than Sir William
Lawrence, whose own experiences after publishing his book "On Man",
"which now might be read in a Sunday school without surprising
anybody," are alluded to in volume 1.

He had the satisfaction of passing on his unfinished work upon Spirula
to efficient hands for completion; and in the way of new occupation,
was thinking of some day "taking up the threads of late evolutionary
speculation" in the theories of Weismann and others [See letter of
September 28, to Romanes.], while actually planning out and reading for
a series of "Working-Men's Lectures on the Bible," in which he should
present to the unlearned the results of scientific study of the
documents, and do for theology what he had done for zoology thirty
years before.

The scheme drawn out in his note-book runs as follows:--

1. The subject and the method of treating it.

2. Physical conditions:--the place of Palestine in the Old World.

3. The Rise of Israel:--Judges, Samuel, Kings as far as Jeroboam II.

4. The Fall of Israel.

5. The Rise and Progress of Judaism. Theocracy.

6. The Final Dispersion.

7. Prophetism.

8. Nazarenism.

9. Christianity.

10. Muhammedanism.

11 and 12. The Mythologies.

Although this scheme was never carried out, yet it was constantly
before Huxley's mind during the two years left to him. If Death, who
had come so near eight years before, would go on seeming to forget him,
he meant to use these last days of his life in an effort to illuminate
one more portion of the field of knowledge for the world at large.

As the physical strain of the Romanes Lecture and his liability to loss
of voice warned him against any future attempt to deliver a course of
lectures, he altered his design and prepared to put the substance of
these Lectures to Working-Men into a Bible History for young people.
And indeed, he had got so far with his preparation, that the latter
heading was down in his list of work for the last year of his life,
1895. But nothing of it was ever written. Until the work was actually
begun, even the framework upon which it was to be shaped remained in
his mind, and the copious marks in his books of reference were the mere
guide-posts to a strong memory, which retained not words and phrases,
but salient facts and the knowledge of where to find them again.

I find only two occasions on which he wrote to the "Times" this year;
one, when the crusade was begun to capture the Board Schools of London
for sectarianism, and it was suggested that, when on the first School
Board, he had approved of some such definite dogmatic teaching. This he
set right at once in the following letter of April 28, with which may
be compared the letter to Lord Farrer of November 6, 1894:--]

In a leading article of your issue to-day you state, with perfect
accuracy, that I supported the arrangement respecting religious
instruction agreed to by the London School Board in 1871, and hitherto
undisturbed. But you go on to say that "the persons who framed the
rule" intended it to include definite teaching of such theological
dogmas as the Incarnation.

I cannot say what may have been in the minds of the framers of the
rule; but, assuredly, if I had dreamed that any such interpretation
could fairly be put upon it, I should have opposed the arrangement to
the best of my ability.

In fact, a year before the rule was framed I wrote an article in the
"Contemporary Review", entitled "The Board Schools--what they can do,
and what they may do," in which I argued that the terms of the
Education Act excluded such teaching as it is now proposed to include.
And I supported my contention by the following citation from a speech
delivered by Mr. Forster at the Birkbeck Institution in 1870:--

"I have the fullest confidence that in the reading and explaining of
the Bible, what the children will be taught will be the great truths of
Christian life and conduct, which all of us desire they should know,
and that no effort will be made to cram into their poor little minds,
theological dogmas which their tender age prevents them from

[The other was on a lighter, but equally perennial point of interest,
being nothing less than the Sea Serpent. In the "Times" of January 11,
he writes, that while there is no reason against a fifty-foot serpent
existing as in Cretaceous seas, still the evidence for its existence is
entirely inconclusive. He goes on to tell how a scientific friend's
statement once almost convinced him until he read the quartermaster's
deposition, which was supposed to corroborate it. The details made the
circumstances alleged by the former impossible, and on pointing this
out, he heard no more of the story, which was a good example of the
mixing up of observations with conclusions drawn from them.

And on the following day he replies to another such detailed story:--]

Admiral Mellersh says, "I saw a huge snake, at least 18 feet long," and
I have no doubt he believes he is simply stating a matter of fact. Yet
his assertion involves a hypothesis of the truth of which I venture to
be exceedingly doubtful. How does he know that what he saw was a snake?
The neighbourhood of a creature of this kind, within axe-stroke, is
hardly conducive to calm scientific investigation, and I can answer for
it that the discrimination of genuine sea-snakes in their native
element from long-bodied fish is not always easy. Further, that "back
fin" troubles me; looks, if I may say so, very fishy.

If the caution about mixing up observations with conclusions, which I
ventured to give yesterday, were better attended to, I think we should
hear very little either about antiquated sea-serpents or new

[It is perhaps not superfluous to point out that in this, as in other
cases of the marvellous, he did not merely pooh-pooh a story on the
ground of its antecedent improbability, but rested his acceptance or
rejection of it upon the strength of the evidence adduced. On the other
hand, the weakness of such evidence as was brought forward time after
time, was a justification for refusing to spend his time in listening
to similar stories based on similar testimony.

Among the many journalistic absurdities which fall in the way of
celebrities, two which happened this year are worth recording; the one
on account of its intrinsic extravagance, which succeeded nevertheless
in taking in quite a number of sober folk; the other on account of the
letter it drew from Huxley about his cat. The former appeared in the
shape of a highly-spiced advertisement about certain Manx Mannikins,
which could walk, draw, play, in fact do everything but speak--were
living pets which might be kept by any one, and indeed Professor Huxley
was the possessor of a remarkably fine pair of them. Apply, enclosing
stamps etc. Of course, the wonderful mannikins were nothing more than
the pair of hands which anybody could dress up according to the
instructions of the advertiser; but it was astonishing how many
estimable persons took them for some lusus naturae. A similar
advertisement in 1880 had been equally successful, and one exalted
personage wrote by the hand of a secretary to say what pleasure and
interest had been excited by the description of these strange
creatures, and begging Professor Huxley to state if the account was
true. Accordingly on January 27 he writes to his wife, who was on a
visit to her daughter:--]

Yesterday two ladies called to know if they could see the Manx
Mannikins. I think of having a board put up to say that in the absence
of the Proprietress the show is closed.

[The other incident was a request for any remarks which might be of use
in an article upon the Home Pets of Celebrities. I give the letter
written in answer to this, as well as descriptions of the same cat's
goings-on in the absence of its mistress.]

To Mr. J.G. Kitton.

Hodeslea, April 12, 1893.

A long series of cats has reigned over my household for the last forty
years, or thereabouts, but I am sorry to say that I have no pictorial
or other record of their physical and moral excellences.

The present occupant of the throne is a large, young, grey
Tabby--Oliver by name. Not that he is in any sense a protector, for I
doubt whether he has the heart to kill a mouse. However, I saw him
catch and eat the first butterfly of the season, and trust that this
germ of courage, thus manifested, may develop with age into efficient

As to sagacity, I should say that his judgment respecting the warmest
place and the softest cushion in a room is infallible--his punctuality
at meal times is admirable; and his pertinacity in jumping on people's
shoulders, till they give him some of the best of what is going,
indicates great firmness.

[To his youngest daughter:--]

Hodeslea Eastbourne, January 8, 1893.

I wish you would write seriously to M--. She is not behaving well to
Oliver. I have seen handsomer kittens, but few more lively, and
energetically destructive. Just now he scratched away at something that
M-- says cost 13 shillings 6 pence a yard--and reduced more or less of
it to combings.

M-- therefore excludes him from the dining-room, and all those
opportunities of higher education which he would naturally have in MY

I have argued that it is as immoral to place 13 shillings 6 pence a
yard-nesses within reach of kittens as to hang bracelets and diamond
rings in the front garden. But in vain. Oliver is banished--and the
protector (not Oliver) is sat upon.

In truth and justice aid your Pa.

[This letter is embellished with fancy portraits of:--]

Oliver when most quiescent (tail up; ready for action).
O. as polisher (tearing at the table leg).
O. as plate basket investigator.
O. as gardener (destroying plants in a pot).
O. as stocking knitter (a wild tangle of cat and wool).
O. as political economist making good for trade at 13 shillings 6 pence
a yard (pulling at a hassock).

[The following to Sir John Evans refers to a piece of temporary

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, March 19, 1893.

My dear Evans,

It is curious what a difference there is between intentions and acts,
especially in the matter of sending cheques. The moment I saw the
project of the Lawes and Gilbert testimonial in the "Times", I sent my
contribution in imagination--and it is only the arrival of this
circular which has waked me up to the necessity of supplementing my
ideal cheque by the real one inclosed.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Reference has been made to the writing of the Romanes Lecture in 1892.
Mr. Gladstone had already consented to deliver the first lecture in
that year; and early in the summer Professor Romanes sounded Huxley to
find out whether he would undertake the second lecture for 1893. Huxley
suggested a possible bar in his precarious health; but subject to this
possibility, if the Vice-Chancellor did not regard it as a complete
disability, was willing to accept a formal invitation.

Professor Romanes reassured him upon this point, and further begged
him, if possible, to be ready to step into the breach if Mr. Gladstone
should be prevented from lecturing in the following autumn. The
situation became irresistible, and the second of the following letters
to Mr. Romanes displays no more hesitation.]

To Professor Romanes.

Hodeslea, June 3, 1892.

I should have written to you yesterday, but the book did not arrive
till this morning. Very many thanks for it. It looks appetising, and I
look forward to the next course.

As to the Oxford lecture, "Verily, thou almost persuadest me," though I
thought I had finished lecturing. I really should like to do it; but I
have a scruple about accepting an engagement of this important kind,
which I might not be able to fulfil.

I am astonishingly restored, and have not had a trace of heart trouble
for months. But I am quite aware that I am, physically speaking, on
good behaviour--and maintain my condition only by taking an amount of
care which is very distasteful to me.

Furthermore, my wife's health is, I am sorry to say, extremely
precarious. She was very ill a fortnight ago, and to my very great
regret, as well as hers, we are obliged to give up our intended visit
to Balliol to-morrow. She is quite unfit to travel, and I cannot leave
her here
alone for three days.

I think the state of affairs ought to be clear to the Vice-Chancellor.
If, in his judgment, it constitutes no hindrance, and he does me the
honour to send the invitation, I shall accept it.

To the same:--]

Hodeslea, June 7, 1892.

I am afraid that age hath not altogether cleared the spirit of mischief
out of my blood; and there is something so piquant in the notion of my
acting as substitute for Gladstone that I will be ready if necessity

Of course I will keep absolutely clear of Theology. But I have long had
fermenting in my head, some notions about the relations of Ethics and
Evolution (or rather the absence of such as are commonly supposed),
which I think will be interesting to such an audience as I may expect.
"Without prejudice," as the lawyers say, that is the sort of topic that
occurs to me.

[To the same:--]

Hodeslea, October 30, 1892.

I had to go to London in the middle of last week about the Gresham
University business, and I trust I have put a very long nail into the
coffin of that scheme. For which good service you will forgive my delay
in replying to your letter. I read all about your show--why not call it
"George's Gorgeous," tout court?

I should think that there is no living man, who, on such an occasion,
could intend and contrive to say so much and so well (in form) without
ever rising above the level of antiquarian gossip.

My lecture would have been ready if the G.O.M. had failed you, but I am
very glad to have six months' respite, as I now shall be able to write
and rewrite it to my heart's content.

I will follow the Gladstonian precedent touching cap and gown--but I
trust the Vice-Chancellor will not ask me to take part in a "Church
Parade" and read the lessons. I couldn't--really.

As to the financial part of the business, to tell you the honest truth,
I would much rather not be paid at all for a piece of work of this
kind. I am no more averse to turning an honest penny by my brains than
any one else in the ordinary course of things--quite the contrary; but
this is not an ordinary occasion. However, this is a pure matter of
taste, and I do not want to set a precedent which might be inconvenient
to other people--so I agree to what you propose.

By the way, is there any type-writer who is to be trusted in Oxford?
Some time ago I sent a manuscript to a London type-writer, and to my
great disgust I shortly afterwards saw an announcement that I was
engaged on the topic.

[On the following day he writes to his wife, who was staying with her
youngest daughter in town:--]

The Vice-Chancellor has written to me and I have fixed May--exact day
by and by. Mrs. Romanes has written a crispy little letter to remind us
of our promise to go there, and I have chirrupped back.

[The "chirrup" ran as follows:--]

Hodeslea, November 1, 1892.

My dear Mrs. Romanes,

I have just written to the Vice-Chancellor to say that I hope to be at
his disposition any time next May.

My wife is "larking"--I am sorry to use such a word, but what she is
pleased to tell me of her doings leaves me no alternative--in London,
whither I go on Thursday to fetch her back--in chains, if necessary.
But I know, in the matter of being "taken in and done for" by your
hospitable selves, I may, for once, speak for her as well as myself.

Don't ask anybody above the rank of a younger son of a Peer--because I
shall not be able to go in to dinner before him or her--and that part
of my dignity is naturally what I prize most. Would you not like me to
come in my P.C. suit? All ablaze with gold, and costing a sum with
which I could buy, oh! so many books!

Only if your late experiences should prompt you to instruct your other
guests not to contradict me--don't. I rather like it.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Bon Voyage! You can tell Mr. Jones [The hotel-keeper in Madeira.] that
I will have him brought before the Privy Council and fined, as in the
good old days, if he does not treat you properly.

[This letter was afterwards published in Mrs. Romanes' Life of her
husband, and three letters on that occasion, and particularly that in
which Huxley tried to guard her from any malicious interpretation of
his jests, are to be found on page 332.

On the afternoon of May 18, 1893, he delivered at Oxford his Romanes
Lecture, on "Evolution and Ethics," a study of the relation of ethical
and evolutionary theory in the history of philosophy, the text of which
is that while morality is necessarily a part of the order of nature,
still the ethical principle is opposed to the self-regarding principle
on which cosmic evolution has taken place. Society is a part of nature,
but would be dissolved by a return to the natural state of simple
warfare among individuals. It follows that ethical systems based on the
principles of cosmic evolution are not logically sound. A study of the
essays of the foregoing ten years will show that he had more than once
enunciated this thesis, and it had been one of the grounds of his
long-standing criticism of Mr. Spencer's system.

The essence of this criticism is given in portions of two letters to
Mr. F.J. Gould, who, when preparing a pamphlet on "Agnosticism writ
Plain" in 1889, wrote to inquire what was the dividing line between the
two Agnostic positions.]

As between Mr. Spencer and myself, the question is not one of "a
dividing line," but of entire and complete divergence as soon as we
leave the foundations laid by Hume, Kant, and Hamilton, who are MY
philosophical forefathers. To my mind the "Absolute" philosophies were
finally knocked on the head by Hamilton; and the "Unknowable" in Mr.
Spencer's sense is merely the Absolute redivivus, a sort of ghost of an
extinct philosophy, the name of a negation hocus-pocussed into a sham
thing. If I am to talk about that of which I have no knowledge at all,
I prefer the good old word "God", about which there is no scientific

To my mind Agnosticism is simply the critical attitude of the thinking
faculty, and the definition of it should contain no dogmatic
implications of any kind. I, for my part, do not know whether the
problem of existence is insoluble or not; or whether the ultimate cause
(if there be such a thing) is unknown or not. That of which I am
certain is, that no satisfactory solution of this problem has been
offered, and that, from the nature of the intellectual faculty, I am
unable to conceive that such a solution will ever be found. But on
that, as on all other questions, my mind is open to consider any new
evidence that may be offered.

[And later:--]

I have long been aware of the manner in which my views have been
confounded with those of Mr. Spencer, though no one was more fully
aware of our divergence than the latter. Perhaps I have done wrongly in
letting the thing slide so long, but I was anxious to avoid a breach
with an old friend...

Whether the Unknowable or any other Noumenon exists or does not exist,
I am quite clear I have no knowledge either way. So with respect to
whether there is anything behind Force or not, I am ignorant; I neither
affirm nor deny. The tendency to idolatry in the human mind is so
strong that faute de mieux it falls down and worships negative
abstractions, as much the creation of the mind as the stone idol of the
hands. The one object of the Agnostic (in the true sense) is to knock
this tendency on the head whenever or wherever it shows itself. Our
physical science is full of it.

[Nevertheless, the doctrine seemed to take almost everybody by
surprise. The drift of the lecture was equally misunderstood by critics
of opposite camps. Huxley was popularly supposed to hold the same views
as Mr. Spencer--for were they not both Evolutionists? On general
attention being called to the existing difference between their views,
some jumped to the conclusion that Huxley was offering a general
recantation of evolution, others that he had discarded his former
theories of ethics. On the one hand he was branded as a deserter from
free thought; on the other, hailed almost as a convert to orthodoxy. It
was irritating, but little more than he had expected. The conditions of
the lecture forbade any reference to politics or religion; hence much
had to be left unsaid, which was supplied next year in the Prolegomena
prefacing the re-issue of the lecture.

After all possible trimming and compression, he still feared the
lecture would be too long, and would take more than an hour to deliver,
especially if the audience was likely to be large, for the numbers must
be considered in reference to the speed of speaking. But he had taken
even more pains than usual with it.] "The Lecture," [he writes to
Professor Romanes on April 19], "has been in type for weeks, if not
months, as I have been taking an immensity of trouble over it. And I
can judge of nothing till it is in type." [But this very precaution led
to unexpected complications. When the proposition to lecture was first
made to him, he was not sent a copy of the statute ordering that
publication in the first instance should lie with the University Press;
and in view of the proviso that "the Lecturer is free to publish on his
own behalf in any other form he may like," he had taken Professor
Romanes' original reference to publication by the Press to be a
subsidiary request to which he gladly assented. However, a satisfactory
arrangement was speedily arrived at with the publishers; Huxley

All I have to say is, do not let the University be in any way a loser
by the change. If the V.-C. thinks there is any risk of this, I will
gladly add to what Macmillan pays. That matter can be settled between

[However, he had not forgotten the limitation of his subject in respect
of religion and politics, and he repeatedly refers to his careful
avoidance of these topics as an "egg-dance." And wishing to reassure
Mr. Romanes on this head, he writes on April 22:--]

There is no allusion to politics in my lecture, nor to any religion
except Buddhism, and only to the speculative and ethical side of that.
If people apply anything I say about these matters to modern
philosophies, except evolutionary speculation, and religions, that is
not my affair. To be honest, however, unless I thought they would, I
should never have taken all the pains I have bestowed on these 36 pages.

[But these words conjured up terrible possibilities, and Mr. Romanes
wrote back in great alarm to ask the exact state of the case. The two
following letters show that the alarm was groundless:--]

Hodeslea, April 26, 1893.

My dear Romanes,

I fear, or rather hope, that I have given you a very unnecessary scare.

You may be quite sure, I think, that, while I should have refused to
give the lecture if any pledge of a special character had been proposed
to me, I have felt very strongly bound to you to take the utmost care
that no shadow of a just cause for offence should be given, even to the
most orthodox of Dons.

It seems to me that the best thing I can do is to send you the lecture
as it stands, notes and all. But please return it within two days at
furthest, and consider it STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL between us two (I am
not excluding Mrs. Romanes, if she cares to look at the paper). No
consideration would induce me to give any ground for the notion that I
had submitted the lecture to any one but yourself.

If there is any phrase in the lecture which you think likely to get you
into trouble, out it shall come or be modified in form.

If the whole thing is too much for the Dons' nerves--I am no judge of
their delicacy--I am quite ready to give up the lecture.

In fact I do not know whether I shall be able to make myself heard
three weeks hence, as the influenza has left its mark in hoarseness and
pain in the throat after speaking.

So you see if the thing is altogether too wicked there is an easy way
out of it.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, April 28, 1893.

My dear Romanes,

My mind is made easy by such a handsome acquittal from you and the Lady
Abbess, your coadjutor in the Holy Office.

My wife, who is my inquisitor and confessor in ordinary, has gone over
the lecture twice, without scenting a heresy, and if she and Mrs.
Romanes fail--a fico for a mere male don's nose!

From the point of view of the complete argument, I agree with you about
note 19. But the dangers of open collision with orthodoxy on the one
hand and Spencer on the other, increased with the square of the
enlargement of the final pages, and I was most anxious for giving no
handle to any one who might like to say I had used the lecture for
purposes of attack. Moreover, in spite of all reduction, the lecture is
too long already.

But I think it not improbable that in spite of my meekness and
peacefulness, neither the one side nor the other will let me alone. And
then you see, I shall have an opportunity of making things plain, under
no restriction. You will not be responsible for anything said in the
second edition, nor can the Donniest of Dons grumble.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

The double negative is Shakspearian. See Hamlet, act 2 scene 2.

[Unfortunately for the entire success of the lecture, he was suffering
from the results of influenza, more especially a loss of voice. He
writes (April 18):--]

After getting through the winter successfully I have had the
ill-fortune to be seized with influenza. I believe I must have got it
from the microbes haunting some of the three hundred doctors at the
Virchow dinner. [On the 16th March.]

I had next to no symptoms except debility, and though I am much better
I cannot quite shake that off. As usual with me it affects my voice. I
hope this will get right before this day month, but I expect I shall
have to nurse it. I do not want to interfere with any of your
hospitable plans, and I think if you will ensure me quiet on the
morning of the 18th (I understand the lecture is in the afternoon) it
will suffice. After the thing is over I am ready for anything from
pitch and toss onwards.

[Two more letters dated before the 18th of May touch on the
circumstances of the lecture. One is to his son-in-law, John Collier;
the other to his old friend Tyndall, the last he ever wrote him, and
containing a cheery reference to the advance of old age.]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, May 9, 1893.

My dear Jack,

...M-- is better, and I am getting my voice back. But may St.
Ernulphus' curse descend on influenza microbes! They tried to work
their way out at my nose, and converted me into a disreputable Captain
Costigan-looking person ten days ago. Now they are working at my lips.

For the credit of the family I hope I shall be more reputable by the

I hope you will appreciate my dexterity. The lecture is a regular
egg-dance. That I should discourse on Ethics to the University of
Oxford and say all I want to say, without a word anybody can quarrel
with, is decidedly the most piquant occurrence in my career...

Ever yours affectionately, Pater.

To Professor Tyndall.

P.S. to be read first.

Eastbourne, May 15, 1893.

My dear Tyndall,

There are not many apples (and those mostly of the crab sort) left upon
the old tree, but I send you the product of the last shaking. Please
keep it out of any hands but your wife's and yours till Thursday, when
I am to "stand and deliver" it, if I have voice enough, which is
doubtful. The sequelae of influenza in my case have been mostly pimples
and procrastination, the former largely on my nose, so that I have been
a spectacle. Besides these, loss of voice. The pimples are mostly gone
and the procrastination is not much above normal, but what will happen
when I try to fill the Sheldonian Theatre is very doubtful.

Who would have thought thirty-three years ago, when the great "Sammy"
fight came off, that the next time I should speak at Oxford would be in
succession to Gladstone, on "Evolution and Ethics" as an invited

There was something so quaint about the affair that I really could not
resist, though the wisdom of putting so much strain on my creaky
timbers is very questionable. Mind you wish me well through it at 2.30
on Thursday.

I wish we could have better news of you. As to dying by inches, that is
what we are all doing, my dear old fellow; the only thing is to
establish a proper ratio between inch and time. Eight years ago I had
good reason to say the same thing of myself, but my inch has lengthened
out in a most extraordinary way. Still I confess we are getting older;
and my dear wife has been greatly shaken by repeated attacks of violent
pain which seizes her quite unexpectedly. I am always glad, both on her
account and my own, to get back into the quiet and good air here as
fast as possible, and in another year or two, if I live so long, I
shall clear out of all engagements that take me away...

T.H. Huxley.

NOT TO BE ANSWERED, and you had better get Mrs. Tyndall to read it to
you or you will say naughty words about the scrawl.

[Sanguine as he had resolved to be about the recovery of his voice, his
fear lest "1000 out of the 2000 won't hear" was very near realisation.
The Sheldonian Theatre was thronged before he appeared on the platform,
a striking presence in his D.C.L. robes, and looking very leonine with
his silvery gray hair sweeping back in one long wave from his forehead,
and the rugged squareness of his features tempered by the benignity of
an old age which has seen much and overcome much. He read the lecture
from a printed copy, not venturing, as he would have liked, upon the
severe task of speaking it from memory, considering its length and the
importance of preserving the exact wording. He began in a somewhat low
tone, nursing his voice for the second half of the discourse. From the
more distant parts of the theatre came several cries of "speak up"; and
after a time a rather disturbing migration of eager undergraduates
began from the galleries to the body of the hall. The latter part was
indeed more audible than the first; still a number of the audience were
disappointed in hearing imperfectly. However, the lecture had a large
sale; the first edition of 2000 was exhausted by the end of the month;
and another 700 in the next ten days.

After leaving Oxford, and paying a pleasant visit to one of the
Fannings (his wife's nephew) at Tew, Huxley intended to visit another
of the family, Mrs. Crowder, in Lincolnshire, but on reaching London
found himself dead beat, and had to retire to Eastbourne, whence he
writes to Sir M. Foster and to Mr. Romanes.]

Hodeslea, May 26, 1893.

My dear Foster,

Your letter has been following me about. I had not got rid of my
influenza at Oxford, so the exertion and the dinner parties together
played the deuce with me.

We had got so far as the Great Northern Hotel on our way to some
connections in Lincolnshire, when I had to give it up and retreat here
to begin convalescing again.

I do not feel sure of coming to the Harvey affair after all. But if I
do, it will be alone, and I think I had better accept the hospitality
of the college; which will by no means be so jolly as Shelford, but
probably more prudent, considering the necessity of dining out.

The fact is, my dear friend, I am getting old.

I am very sorry to hear you have been doing your influenza also. It's a
beastly thing, as I have it, no symptoms except going flop.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

Nobody sees that the lecture is a very orthodox production on the text
(if there is such a one), "Satan the Prince of this world."

I think the remnant of influenza microbes must have held a meeting in
my corpus after the lecture, and resolved to reconquer the territory.
But I mean to beat the brutes.

"I shall be interested," [he writes to Mr. Romanes,] "in the article on
the lecture. The papers have been asinine." This was an article which
Mr. Romanes had told him was about to appear in the "Oxford Magazine".
And on the 30th he writes again.]

Many thanks for the "Oxford Magazine". The writer of the article is
about the only critic I have met with yet who understands my drift. My
wife says it is a "sensible" article, but her classification is a very
simple one--sensible articles are those that contain praise, "stupid"
those that show insensibility to my merits!

Really I thought it very sensible, without regard to the plums in the

[But the criticism, "sensible" not merely in the humorous sense, which
he most fully appreciated was that of Professor Seth, in a lecture
entitled "Man and Nature." He wrote to him on October 27:--]

Dear Professor Seth,

A report of your lecture on "Man and Nature" has just reached me.
Accept my cordial thanks for defending me, and still more for
understanding me.

I really have been unable to understand what my critics have been
dreaming of when they raise the objection that the ethical process
being part of the cosmic process cannot be opposed to it.

They might as well say that artifice does not oppose nature, because it
is part of nature in the broadest sense.

However, it is one of the conditions of the "Romanes Lecture" that no
allusion shall be made to religion or politics. I had to make my
omelette without breaking any of those eggs, and the task was not easy.

The prince of scientific expositors, Faraday, was once asked, "How much
may a popular lecturer suppose his audience knows?" He replied
emphatically, "NOTHING." Mine was not exactly a popular audience, but I
ought not to have forgotten Faraday's rule.

Yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[A letter of congratulation to Lord Farrer on his elevation to the
peerage contains an ironical reference to the general tone of the
criticisms on his lecture:--]

Hodeslea, June 5, 1893.

CI DEVANT CITOYEN PETION (autrefois le vertueux),

You have lost all chance of leading the forces of the County Council to
the attack of the Horse-Guards.

You will become an emigre, and John Burns will have to content himself
with the heads of the likes of me. As the Jacobins said of Lavoisier,
the Republic has no need of men of science.

But this prospect need not interfere with sending our hearty
congratulations to Lady Farrer and yourself.

As for your criticisms, don't you know that I am become a reactionary
and secret friend of the clerics?

My lecture is really an effort to put the Christian doctrine that Satan
is the Prince of this world upon a scientific foundation.

Just consider it in this light, and you will understand why I was so
warmly welcomed in Oxford. (N.B.--The only time I spoke before was in
1860, when the great row with Samuel came off!!)

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, July 15, 1893.

My dear Skelton,

I fear I must admit that even a Gladstonian paper occasionally tells
the truth. They never mean to, but we all have our lapses from the rule
of life we have laid down for ourselves, and must be charitable.

The fact is, I got influenza in the spring, and have never managed to
shake right again, any tendency that way being well counteracted by the
Romanes lecture and its accompaniments.

So we are off to the Maloja to-morrow. It mended up the shaky old
heart-pump five years ago, and I hope will again.

I have been in Orkney, and believe in the air, but I cannot say quite
so much for the scenery. I thought it just a wee little bit, shall I
say, bare? But then I have a passion for mountains.

I shall be right glad to know what your H.O.M. [The "Old Man of Hoy," a
pseudonym under which Sir J. Skelton wrote.] has to say about Ethics
and Evolution. You must remember that my lecture was a kind of
egg-dance. Good manners bound me over to say nothing offensive to the
Christians in the amphitheatre (I was in the arena), and truthfulness,
on the other hand, bound me to say nothing that I did not fully mean.
Under these circumstances one has to leave a great many i's undotted
and t's uncrossed.

Pray remember me very kindly to Mrs. Skelton, and believe me,

Yours ever,

T.H. Huxley.

[And again on October 17:--]

Ask your Old Man of Hoy to be so good as to suspend judgment until the
Lecture appears again with an appendix in that collection of volumes
the bulk of which appals me.

Didn't I see somewhere that you had been made Poor Law pope, or
something of the sort? I congratulate the poor more than I do you, for
it must be a weary business trying to mend the irremediable. (No, I am
NOT glancing at the whitewashing of Mary.)

[Here may be added two later letters bearing in part upon the same

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, March 23, 1894.

Dear Sir,

I ought to have thanked you before now for your letter about
Nietzsche's works, but I have not much working time, and I find
letter-writing a burden, which I am always trying to shirk.

I will look up Nietzsche, though I must confess that the profit I
obtain from German authors on speculative questions is not usually

As men of research in positive science they are magnificently laborious
and accurate. But most of them have no notion of style, and seem to
compose their books with a pitchfork.

There are two very different questions which people fail to
discriminate. One is whether evolution accounts for morality, the other
whether the principle of evolution in general can be adopted as an
ethical principle.

The first, of course, I advocate, and have constantly insisted upon.
The second I deny, and reject all so-called evolutional ethics based
upon it.

I am yours faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Thomas Common, Esq.

Hodeslea, August 31, 1894.

Dear Professor Seth,

I have come to a stop in the issue of my essays for the present, and I
venture to ask your acceptance of the set which I have desired my
publishers to send you.

I hope that at present you are away somewhere, reading novels or
otherwise idling, in whatever may be your pet fashion.

But some day I want you to read the "Prolegomena" to the reprinted
Romanes Lecture.

Lately I have been re-reading Spinoza (much read and little understood
in my youth).

But that noblest of Jews must have planted no end of germs in my
brains, for I see that what I have to say is in principle what he had
to say, in modern language.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[The following letters with reference to the long unfinished memoir on
"Spirula" for the "Challenger" reports tell their own story. Huxley was
very glad to find some competent person to finish the work which his
illness had incapacitated him from completing himself. It had been a
burden on his conscience; and now he gladly put all his plates and
experience at the disposal of Professor Pelseneer, though he had
nothing written and would not write anything. He had no wish to claim
even joint authorship for the completed paper; when the question was
first raised, he desired merely that it should be stated that such and
such drawings were made by him; but when Professor Pelseneer insisted
that both names should appear as joint authors, he consented to this
solution of the question.]

Hodeslea, September 17, 1893.

Dear Mr. Murray [Now K.C.B. Director of the "Reports of the

If the plates of Spirula could be turned to account a great burthen
would be taken off my mind.

Professor Pelseneer is every way competent to do justice to the
subject; and he has just what I needed, namely another specimen to
check and complete the work; and besides that, the physical capacity
for dissection and close observation, of which I have had nothing left
since my long illness.

Will you be so good as to tell Professor Pelseneer that I shall be glad
to place the plates at his disposal and to give him all the
explanations I can of the drawings, whenever it may suit his
convenience to take up the work?

Nothing beyond mere fragments remained of the specimen.

I am, yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

I return Pelseneer's letter.

Hodeslea, September 30, 1893.

Dear Professor Pelseneer,

I send herewith (by this post) a full explanation of the plates of
Spirula (including those of which you have unlettered copies). I trust
you will not be too much embarrassed by my bad handwriting, which is a
plague to myself as well as to other people.

My hope is that you will be good enough to consider these figures as
materials placed in your hands, to be made useful in the memoir on
Spirula, which I trust you will draw up, supplying the defects of my
work and checking its accuracy.

You will observe that a great deal remains to be done. The muscular
system is untouched; the structure and nature of the terminal
circumvallate papilla have to be made out; the lingual teeth must be
re-examined; and the characters of the male determined. If I recollect
rightly, Owen published something about the last point.

If I can be of any service to you in any questions that arise, I shall
be very glad; but as I am putting the trouble of the work on your
shoulders, I wish you to have the credit of it.

So far as I am concerned, all that is needful is to say that such and
such drawings were made by me.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, October 12, 1893.

Dear Professor Pelseneer,

I am very glad to hear from you that the homology of the cephalopod
arms with the gasteropod foot is now generally admitted. When I
advocated that opinion in my memoir on the "Morphology of the Cephalous
Mollusca," some forty years ago, it was thought a great heresy.

As to publication; I am quite willing to agree to whatever arrangement
you think desirable, so long as you are kind enough to take all trouble
(but that of "consulting physician") off my shoulders. Perhaps putting
both names to the memoir, as you suggest, will be the best way. I
cannot undertake to write anything, but if you think I can be of any
use as an adviser or critic, do not hesitate to demand my services.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Although in February he had stayed several days in town with the
Donnellys, who "take as much care of me as if I were a piece of old
china," and had attended a levee and a meeting of his London University
Association, had listened with interest to a lecture of Professor
Dewar, who "made liquid oxygen by the pint," and dined at Marlborough
House, the influenza had prevented him during the spring from
fulfilling several engagements in London; but after his return from
Oxford he began to recruit in the fine weather, and found delightful
occupation in putting up a rockery in the garden for his pet Alpine

In mid June he writes to his wife, then on a visit to one of her

What a little goose you are to go having bad dreams about me--who am
like a stalled ox--browsing in idle comfort--in fact, idle is no word
for it. Sloth is the right epithet. I can't get myself to do anything
but potter in the garden, which is looking lovely.

On June 21 he went to Cambridge for the Harvey Celebration at Gonville
and Caius College, and made a short speech.]

The dinner last night [he writes] was a long affair, and I was the last
speaker; but I got through my speech very well, and was heard by
everybody, I am told.

[But as is the way with influenza, it was thrown off in the summer only
to return the next winter, and on the eve of the Royal Society
Anniversary Dinner he writes to Sir M. Foster:--]

I am in rather a shaky and voiceless condition, and unless I am more up
to the mark to-morrow morning I shall have to forgo the dinner, and,
what is worse, the chat with you afterwards.

[One consequence of the spring attack of influenza was that this year
he went once more to the Maloja, staying there from July 21 to August

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, July 9, 1893.

My dear Hooker,

What has happened to the x meeting you proposed? However, it does not
matter much to me now, as Hames, who gave me a thorough overhauling in
London, has packed me off to the Maloja again, and we start, if we can,
on the 17th.

It is a great nuisance, but the dregs of influenza and the hot weather
between them have brought the weakness of my heart to the front, and I
am gravitating to the condition in which I was five or six years ago.
So I must try the remedy which was so effectual last time.

We are neither of us very fit, and shall have to be taken charge of by
a courier. Fancy coming to that!

Let me be a warning to you, my dear old man. Don't go giving lectures
at Oxford and making speeches at Cambridge, and above all things don't,
oh don't go getting influenza, the microbes of which would be seen
under a strong enough microscope to have this form.

[Sketch of an active little black demon.]

T.H. Huxley.

[Though not so strikingly as before, the high Alpine air was again a
wonderful tonic to him. His diary still contains a note of occasional
long walks; and once more he was the centre of a circle of friends,
whose cordial recollections of their pleasant intercourse afterwards
found expression in a lasting memorial. Beside one of his favourite
walks, a narrow pathway skirting the blue lakelet of Sils, was placed a
gray block of granite. The face of this was roughly smoothed, and upon
it was cut the following inscription:--

In memory of the illustrious English Writer and Naturalist, Thomas
Henry Huxley, who spent many summers at the Kursaal, Maloja.

In a letter to Sir J. Hooker, of October 1, he describes the effects of
his trip, and his own surprise at being asked to write a critical
account of Owen's work:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, October 1, 1893.

My dear Hooker,

I am no better than a Gadarene swine for not writing to you from the
Maloja, but I was too procrastinatingly lazy to expend even that amount
of energy. I found I could walk as well as ever, but unless I was
walking I was everlastingly seedy, and the wife was unwell almost all
the time. I am inclined to think that it is coming home which is the
most beneficial part of going abroad, for I am remarkably well now, and
my wife is very much better.

I trust the impaled and injudicious Richard [Sir J. Hooker's youngest
son, who had managed to spike himself on a fence.] is none the worse.
It is wonderful what boys go through (also what goes through them).

You will get all the volumes of my screeds. I was horrified to find
what a lot of stuff there was--but don't acknowledge them unless the
spirit moves you...I think that on Natural Inequality of Man will be to
your taste.

Three, or thirty, guesses and you shall not guess what I am about to
tell you.

Reverend Richard Owen has written to me to ask me to write a concluding
chapter for the biography of his grandfather--containing a "critical"
estimate of him and his work!!! Says he is moved thereto by my speech
at the meeting for a memorial.

There seemed nothing for me to do but to accept as far as the
scientific work goes. I declined any personal estimate on the ground
that we had met in private society half a dozen times.

If you don't mind being bothered I should like to send you what I write
and have your opinion about it.

You see Jowett is going or gone. I am very sorry we were obliged to
give up our annual visit to him this year. But I was quite unable to
stand the exertion, even if Hames had not packed me off. How one's old
friends are dropping!

Romanes gave me a pitiable account of himself in a letter the other
day. He has had an attack of hemiplegic paralysis, and tells me he is a
mere wreck. That means that the worst anticipations of his case are
being verified. It is lamentable.

Take care of yourself, my dear old friend, and with our love to you
both, believe me, ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[Not long after his return he received a letter from a certain G-- S--,
who wrote from Southampton detailing a number of observations he had
made upon the organisms to be seen with a magnifying glass in an
infusion of vegetable matter, and as "an ignoramus," apologised for any
appearance of conceit in so doing, while asking his advice as to the
best means of improving his scientific knowledge. Huxley was much
struck by the tone of the letter and the description of the
experiments, and he wrote back:--]

Hodeslea, November 9, 1893.


We are all "ignoramuses" more or less--and cannot reproach one another.
If there were any sign of conceit in your letter, you would not get
this reply.

On the contrary, it pleases me. Your observations are quite accurate
and clearly described--and to be accurate in observation and clear in
description is the first step towards good scientific work.

You are seeing just what the first workers with the microscope saw a
couple of centuries ago.

Get some such book as Carpenter's "On the Microscope" and you will see
what it all means.

Are there no science classes in Southampton? There used to be, and I
suppose is, a Hartley Institute.

If you want to consult books you cannot otherwise obtain, take this to
the librarian, give him my compliments, and say I should be very much
obliged if he would help you.

I am, yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Great was Huxley's astonishment when he learned in reply that his
correspondent was a casual dock labourer, and had but scanty hours of
leisure in which to read and think and seek into the recesses of
nature, while his means of observation consisted of a toy microscope
bought for a shilling at a fair. Casting about for some means of
lending the man a helping hand, he bethought him of the Science and Art
Department, and wrote on December 30 to Sir J. Donnelly:--]

The Department has feelers all over England--has it any at Southampton?
And if it has, could it find out something about the writer of the
letters I enclose? For a "casual docker" they are remarkable; and I
think when you have read them you will not mind my bothering you with
them. (I really have had the grace to hesitate.)

I have been puzzled what to do for the man. It is so much easier to do
harm than good by meddling--and yet I don't like to leave him to
"casual docking."

In that first letter he has got--on his own hook--about as far as
Buffon and Needham 150 years ago.

And later to Professor Howes:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, February 12, 1894.

My dear Howes,

Best thanks for unearthing the volumes of Milne-Edwards. I was afraid
my set was spoiled.

I shall be still more obliged to you if you can hear of something for
S--. There is a right good parson in his neighbourhood, and from what
he tells me about S-- I am confirmed in my opinion that he is a very
exceptional man, who ought to be at something better than porter's work
for twelve hours a day.

The mischief is that one never knows how transplanting a tree, much
less a man, will answer. Playing Providence is a game at which one is
very apt to burn one's fingers.

However, I am going to try, and hope at any rate to do no harm to the
man I want to help.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[He was eventually offered more congenial occupation at the Natural
History Museum in South Kensington, but preferred not to enter into the
bonds of an unaccustomed office.

Meanwhile, through Sir John Donnelly, Huxley was placed in
communication with the Reverend Montague Powell, who, at his request,
called upon the docker; and finding him a man who had read and thought
to an astonishing extent upon scientific problems, and had a
considerable acquaintance with English literature, soon took more than
a vicarious interest in him. Mr. Powell, who kept Huxley informed of
his talks and correspondence with G.S., gives a full account of the
circumstances in a letter to the "Spectator" of July 13, 1895, from
which I quote the following words:--

The Professor's object in writing was to ask me how best such a man
could be helped, I being at his special request the intermediary. So I
suggested in the meanwhile a microscope and a few scientific books. In
the course of a few days I received a splendid achromatic compound
microscope and some books, which I duly handed over to my friend,
telling him it was from an unknown hand. "Ah," he said, "I know who
that must be; it can be no other than the greatest of living
scientists; it is just like him to help a tyro."

One small incident of this affair is perhaps worth preserving as an
example of Huxley's love of a bantering repartee. In the midst of the
correspondence Mr. Powell seems suddenly to have been seized by an
uneasy recollection that Huxley had lately received some honour or
title, so he next addressed him as "My dear Sir Thomas." The latter,
not to be outdone, promptly replied with] "My dear Lord Bishop of the

[About the same time comes a letter to Mr. Knowles, based upon a
paragraph from the gossiping column of some newspaper which had come
into Huxley's hands:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, November 9, 1893.

Gossip of the Town.

"Professor Huxley receives 200 guineas for each of his articles for the
'Nineteenth Century'."

My dear Knowles,

I have always been satisfied with the "Nineteenth Century" in the
capacity of paymaster, but I did not know how much reason I had for my
satisfaction till I read the above!

Totting up the number of articles and multiplying by 200 it strikes me
I shall be behaving very handsomely if I take 2000 pounds for the
balance due.

So sit down quickly, take thy cheque-book, and write five score, and
let me have it at breakfast time to-morrow. I once got a cheque for
1000 pounds at breakfast, and it ruined me morally. I have always been
looking out for another.

I hope you are all flourishing. We are the better for Maloja, but more
dependent on change of weather and other trifles than could be wished.
Yet I find myself outlasting those who started in life along with me.
Poor Andrew Clark and I were at Haslar together in 1846, and he was the
younger by a year and a half.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

All my time is spent in the co-ordination of my eruptions when I am an
active volcano.

I hope you got the volumes which I told Macmillan to send you.

[The following letter to Professor Romanes, whose failing eyesight was
a premonitory symptom of the disease which proved fatal the next year,
reads, so to say, as a solemn prelude to the death of three old friends
this autumn--of Andrew Clark, his old comrade at Haslar, and cheery
physician for many years; of Benjamin Jowett, Master of Balliol, whose
acquaintance he had first made in 1851 at the Stanleys' at Harrow, and
with whom he kept up an intimacy to the end of his life, visiting
Balliol once or twice every year; and, heaviest blow, of John Tyndall,
the friend and comrade whose genial warmth of spirit made him almost
claim a brother's place in early struggles and later success, and whose
sudden death was all the more poignant for the cruel touch of tragedy
in the manner of it.]

Hodeslea, September 28, 1893.

My dear Romanes,

We are very much grieved to hear such a bad account of your health.
Would that we could achieve something more to the purpose than assuring
you and Mrs. Romanes of our hearty sympathy with you both in your
troubles. I assure you, you are much in our thoughts, which are sad
enough with the news of Jowett's, I fear, fatal attack.

I am almost ashamed to be well and tolerably active when young and old
friends are being thus prostrated.

However, you have youth on your side, so do not give up, and wearisome
as doing nothing may be, persist in it as the best of medicines.

At my time of life one should be always ready to stand at attention
when the order to march comes; but for the rest I think it well to go
on doing what I can, as if F. M. General Death had forgotten me. That
must account for my seeming presumption in thinking I may some day
"take up the threads" of late evolutionary speculation.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

My wife joins with me in love and kind wishes to you both.

[At the request of his friends, Huxley wrote for the "Nineteenth
Century" a brief appreciation of his old comrade Tyndall--the tribute
of a friend to a friend--and, difficult task though it was, touched on
the closing scene, if only from a chivalrous desire to do justice to
the long devotion which accident had so cruelly wronged:--]

I am comforted [he writes to Sir J. Hooker on January 3] by your liking
the Tyndall article. You are quite right, I shivered over the episode
of the "last words," but it struck me as the best way of getting
justice done to her, so I took a header. I am glad to see by the
newspaper comments that it does not seem to have shocked other people's
sense of decency.

[The funeral took place on Saturday, December 9. There was no storm nor
fog to make the graveside perilous for the survivors. In the Haslemere
churchyard the winter sun shone its brightest, and the moorland air was
crisp with an almost Alpine freshness as this lover of the mountains
was carried to his last resting-place. But though he took no outward
harm from that bright still morning, Huxley was greatly shaken by the
event]: "I was very much used up," [he writes to Sir M. Foster on his
return home two days later], "to my shame be it said, far more than my
wife"; [and on December 30 to Sir John Donnelly:--]

Your kind letter deserved better than to have been left all this time
without response, but the fact is, I came to grief the day after
Christmas Day (no, we did NOT indulge in too much champagne). Lost my
voice, and collapsed generally, without any particular reason, so I
went to bed and stayed there as long as I could stand it, and now I am
picking up again. The fact is, I suppose I had been running up a little
account over poor old Tyndall. One does not stand that sort of wear and
tear so well as one gets ancient.

[On the same day he writes to Sir J.D. Hooker:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, December 30, 1893.

My dear Hooker,

You gave the geographers some uncommonly sane advice. I observe that
the words about the "stupendous ice-clad mountains" you saw were hardly
out of your mouth when -- coolly asserts that the Antarctic continent
is a table-land! "comparatively level country." It really is wrong that
men should be allowed to go about loose who fill you with such a strong
desire to kick them as that little man does.

I send herewith a spare copy of "Nineteenth" with my paper about
Tyndall. It is not exactly what I could wish, as I was hurried over it,
and knocked up into the bargain, but I have tried to give a fair view
of him. Tell me what you think of it.

I have been having a day or two on the sick list. Nothing discernible
the matter, only flopped, as I did in the spring. However, I am picking
up again. The fact is, I have never any blood pressure to spare, and a
small thing humbugs the pump.

However, I have some kicks left in me, vide the preface to the fourth
volume of Essays; ditto Number 5 when that appears in February.

Now, my dear old friend, take care of yourself in the coming year '94.
I'll stand by you as long as the fates will let me, and you must be
equally "Johnnie." With our love to Lady Hooker and yourself.

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.



[The completion early in 1894 of the ninth volume of "Collected Essays"
was followed by a review of them in "Nature" (February 1), from the pen
of Professor Ray Lankester, emphasising the way in which the writer's
personality appears throughout the writing:--

There is probably no lover of apt discourse, of keen criticism, or of
scientific doctrine who will not welcome the issue of Professor
Huxley's "Essays" in the present convenient shape. For my own part, I
know of no writing which by its mere form, even apart from the supreme
interest of the matters with which it mostly deals, gives me so much
pleasure as that of the author of these essays. In his case, more than
that of his contemporaries, it is strictly true that the style is the
man. Some authors we may admire for the consummate skill with which
they transfer to the reader their thought without allowing him, even
for a moment, to be conscious of their personality. In Professor
Huxley's work, on the other hand, we never miss his fascinating
presence; now he is gravely shaking his head, now compressing the lips
with emphasis, and from time to time, with a quiet twinkle of the eye,
making unexpected apologies or protesting that he is of a modest and
peace-loving nature. At the same time, one becomes accustomed to a rare
and delightful phenomenon. Everything which has entered the author's
brain by eye or ear, whether of recondite philosophy, biological fact,
or political programme, comes out again to us--clarified, sifted,
arranged, and vivified by its passage through the logical machine of
his strong individuality.

Of the artist in him it continues:--

He deals with form not only as a mechanical engineer in partibus
(Huxley's own description of himself), but also as an artist, a born
lover of forms, a character which others recognise in him though he
does not himself set it down in his analysis.

The essay on "Animal Automatism" suggested a reminiscence of Professor
Lankester's as to the way in which it was delivered, and this in turn
led to Huxley's own account of the incident in the letter given in
volume 2.

About the same time there is a letter acknowledging Mr. Bateson's book
"On Variation", which is interesting as touching on the latter-day
habit of speculation apart from fact which had begun to prevail in

Hodeslea, February 20, 1894.

My dear Mr. Bateson,

I have put off thanking you for the volume "On Variation" which you
have been so good as to send me in the hope that I should be able to
look into it before doing so.

But as I find that impossible, beyond a hasty glance, at present, I
must content myself with saying how glad I am to see from that glance
that we are getting back from the region of speculation into that of
fact again.

There have been threatenings of late that the field of battle of
Evolution was being transferred to Nephelococcygia.

I see you are inclined to advocate the possibility of considerable
"saltus" on the part of Dame Nature in her variations. I always took
the same view, much to Mr. Darwin's disgust, and we used often to
debate it.

If you should come across my article in the "Westminster" (1860) you
will find a paragraph on that question near the end. I am writing to
Macmillan to send you the volume.

Yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

By the way, have you ever considered this point, that the variations of
which breeders avail themselves are exactly those which occur when the
previously wild stocks are subjected to exactly the same conditions?

[The rest of the first half of the year is not eventful. As
illustrating the sort of communications which constantly came to him, I
quote from a letter to Sir J. Donnelly, of January 11:--]

I had a letter from a fellow yesterday morning who must be a lunatic,
to the effect that he had been reading my essays, thought I was just
the man to spend a month with, and was coming down by the five o'clock
train, attended by his seven children and his MOTHER-IN-LAW!

Frost being over, there was lots of boiling water ready for him, but he
did not turn up!

Wife and servants expected nothing less than assassination.

[Later he notes with dismay an invitation as a Privy Councillor to a
State evening party:--]

It is at 10.30 P.M., just the time this poor old septuagenarian goes to

My swellness is an awful burden, for as it is I am going to dine with
the Prime Minister on Saturday.

[The banquet with the Prime Minister here alluded to was the occasion
of a brief note of apology to Lord Rosebery for having unintentionally
kept him waiting:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, May 28, 1894.

Dear Lord Rosebery,

I had hoped that my difficulties in dealing with an overtight scabbard
stud, as we sat down to dinner on Saturday had inconvenienced no one
but myself, until it flashed across my mind after I had parted from you
that, as you had observed them, it was only too probable that I had the
misfortune to keep you waiting.

I have been in a state of permanent blush ever since, and I feel sure
you will forgive me for troubling you with this apology as the only
remedy to which I can look for relief from that unwonted affliction.

I am, dear Lord Rosebery, yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[All through the spring he had been busy completing the chapter on Sir
Richard Owen's work, which he had been asked to write by the biographer
of his old opponent, and on February 4 tells Sir J.D. Hooker:--]

I am toiling over my chapter about Owen, and I believe his ghost in
Hades is grinning over my difficulties.

The thing that strikes me most is, how he and I and all the things we
fought about belong to antiquity.

It is almost impertinent to trouble the modern world with such
antiquarian business.

[He sent the manuscript to Sir M. Foster on June 16; the book itself
appeared in December. The chapter in question was restricted to a
review of the immense amount of work, most valuable on its positive
side, done by Owen (compare the letter of January 18, 1893.); and the
review in "Nature" remarks of it that the criticism is "so
straightforward, searching, and honest as to leave nothing further to
be desired."

Besides this piece of work, he had written early in the year a few
lines on the general character of the nineteenth century, in reply to a
request, addressed to "the most illustrious children of the century,"
for their opinion as to what name will be given to it by an impartial
posterity--the century of Comte, of Darwin or Renan, of Edison,
Pasteur, or Gladstone. He replied:--]

I conceive that the leading characteristic of the nineteenth century
has been the rapid growth of the scientific spirit, the consequent
application of scientific methods of investigation to all the problems
with which the human mind is occupied, and the correlative rejection of
traditional beliefs which have proved their incompetence to bear such

The activity of the scientific spirit has been manifested in every
region of speculation and of practice.

Many of the eminent men you mention have been its effective organs in
their several departments.

But the selection of any one of these, whatever his merits, as an
adequate representative of the power and majesty of the scientific
spirit of the age would be a grievous mistake.

Science reckons many prophets, but there is not even a promise of a

[The unexampled increase in the expenditure of the European states upon
their armaments led the Arbitration Alliance this year to issue a
memorial urging the Government to co-operate with other Governments in
reducing naval and military burdens. Huxley was asked to sign this
memorial, and replied to the secretary as follows:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, June 21, 1894.

Dear Sir,

I have taken some time to consider the memorial to which you have
called my attention, and I regret that I do not find myself able to
sign it.

Not that I have the slightest doubt about the magnitude of the evils
which accrue from the steady increase of European armaments; but
because I think that this regrettable fact is merely the superficial
expression of social forces, the operation of which cannot be sensibly
affected by agreements between Governments.

In my opinion it is a delusion to attribute the growth of armaments to
the "exactions of militarism." The "exactions of industrialism,"
generated by international commercial competition, may, I believe,
claim a much larger share in prompting that growth. Add to this the
French thirst for revenge, the most just determination of the German
and Italian peoples to assert their national unity; the Russian
Panslavonic fanaticism and desire for free access to the western seas;
the Papacy steadily fishing in the troubled waters for the means of
recovering its lost (I hope for ever lost) temporal possessions and
spiritual supremacy; the "sick man," kept alive only because each of
his doctors is afraid of the other becoming his heir.

When I think of the intensity of the perturbing agencies which arise
out of these and other conditions of modern European society, I confess
that the attempt to counteract them by asking Governments to agree to a
maximum military expenditure, does not appear to me to be worth making;
indeed I think it might do harm by leading people to suppose that the
desires of Governments are the chief agents in determining whether
peace or war shall obtain in Europe.

I am, yours faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Later in the year, on August 8, took place the meeting of the British
Association at Oxford, noteworthy for the presidential address
delivered by Lord Salisbury, Chancellor of the University, in which the
doctrine of evolution was "enunciated as a matter of course--disputed
by no reasonable man,"--although accompanied by a description of the
working of natural selection and variation which appeared to the man of
science a mere travesty of these doctrines.

Huxley had been persuaded to attend this meeting, the more willingly,
perhaps, since his reception at Oxford the year before suggested that
there would be a special piquancy in the contrast between this and the
last meeting of the Association at Oxford in 1860. He was not
disappointed. Details apart, the cardinal situation was reversed. The
genius of the place had indeed altered. The representatives of the
party, whose prophet had once contemptuously come here to anathematise
the "Origin", returned at length to the same spot to admit--if not
altogether ungrudgingly--the greatness of the work accomplished by

Once under promise to go, he could not escape without the "few words"
which he now found so tiring; but he took the part which assured him
greatest freedom, as seconder of the vote of thanks to the president
for his address. The study of an advance copy of the address raised an]
"almost overwhelming temptation" [to criticise certain statements
contained in it; but this would have been out of place in seconding a
vote of thanks; and resisting the temptation, he only] "conveyed
criticism," [as he writes to Professor Lewis Campbell], "in the form of
praise": [going so far as to suggest] "it might be that, in listening
to the deeply interesting address of the President, a thought had
occasionally entered his mind how rich and profitable might be the
discussion of that paper in Section D" (Biology). [It was not exactly
an offhand speech. Writing to Sir M. Foster for any good report which
might appear in an Oxford paper, he says:--]

I have no notes of it. I wrote something on Tuesday night, but this
draft is no good, as it was metamorphosed two or three times over on

[One who was present and aware of the whole situation once described
how he marked the eyes of another interested member of the audience,
who knew that Huxley was to speak, but not what he meant to say,
turning anxiously whenever the president reached a critical phrase in
the address, to see how he would take it. But the expression of his
face told nothing; only those who knew him well could infer a
suppressed impatience from a little twitching of his foot.

Of this occasion Professor Henry F. Osborn, one of his old pupils,
writes in his "Memorial Tribute to Thomas H. Huxley" ("Transactions of
the N.Y. Acad. Society" volume 15):--

Huxley's last public appearance was at the meeting of the British
Association at Oxford. He had been very urgently invited to attend,
for, exactly a quarter of a century before, the Association had met at
Oxford, and Huxley had had his famous encounter with Bishop
Wilberforce. It was felt that the anniversary would be an historic one,
and incomplete without his presence, and so it proved to be. Huxley's
especial duty was to second the vote of thanks for the Marquis of
Salisbury's address--one of the invariable formalities of the opening
meetings of the Association. The meeting proved to be the greatest one
in the history of the Association. The Sheldonian Theatre was packed
with one of the most distinguished scientific audiences ever brought
together, and the address of the Marquis was worthy of the occasion.
The whole tenor of it was the unknown in science. Passing from the
unsolved problems of astronomy, chemistry, and physics, he came to
biology. With delicate irony he spoke of the] "COMFORTING WORD,
EVOLUTION," [and passing to the Weismannian controversy, implied that
the diametrically opposed views so frequently expressed nowadays threw
the whole process of evolution into doubt. It was only too evident that
the Marquis himself found no comfort in evolution, and even entertained
a suspicion as to its probability. It was well worth the whole journey
to Oxford to watch Huxley during this portion of the address. In his
red doctor-of-laws gown, placed upon his shoulders by the very body of
men who had once referred to him as "a Mr. Huxley" (This phrase was
actually used by the "Times".), he sank deeper into his chair upon the
very front of the platform and restlessly tapped his foot. His
situation was an unenviable one. He had to thank an ex-Prime Minister
of England and present Chancellor of Oxford University for an address,
the sentiments of which were directly against those he himself had been
maintaining for twenty-five years. He said afterwards that when the
proofs of the Marquis's address were put into his hands the day before,
he realised that he had before him a most delicate and difficult task.
Lord Kelvin (Sir William Thomson) one of the most distinguished living
physicists, first moved the vote of thanks, but his reception was
nothing to the tremendous applause which greeted Huxley in the heart of
that University whose cardinal principles he had so long been opposing.
Considerable anxiety had been felt by his friends lest his voice should
fail to fill the theatre, for it had signally failed during his Romanes
Lecture delivered in Oxford the year before, but when Huxley arose he
reminded you of a venerable gladiator returning to the arena after
years of absence. He raised his figure and his voice to its full
height, and, with one foot turned over the edge of the step, veiled an
unmistakable and vigorous protest in the most gracious and dignified
speech of thanks.

Throughout the subsequent special sessions of this meeting Huxley could
not appear. He gave the impression of being aged but not infirm, and no
one realised that he had spoken his last word as champion of the law of
evolution. (See, however, below.)

Such criticism of the address as he actually expressed reappears in the
leading article, "Past and Present," which he wrote for "Nature" to
celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of its foundation (November 1,

The essence of the criticism is that with whatever demonstrations of
hostility to parts of the Darwinian theory Lord Salisbury covered the
retreat of his party from their ancient positions, he admitted the
validity of the main points for which Darwin contended.]

The essence of this great work (the "Origin of Species") may be stated
summarily thus: it affirms the mutability of species and the descent of
living forms, separated by differences of more than varietal value,
from one stock. That is to say, it propounds the doctrine of evolution
as far as biology is concerned. So far, we have merely a restatement of
a doctrine which, in its most general form, is as old as scientific
speculation. So far, we have the two theses which were declared to be
scientifically absurd and theologically damnable by the Bishop of
Oxford in

It is also of these two fundamental doctrines that, at the meeting of
the British Association in 1894, the Chancellor of the University of
Oxford spoke as follows:--

"Another lasting and unquestioned effect has resulted from Darwin's
work. He has, as a matter of fact, disposed of the doctrine of the
immutability of species..."

"Few now are found to doubt that animals separated by differences far
exceeding those that distinguished what we know as species have yet
descended from common ancestors."

Undoubtedly, every one conversant with the state of biological science
is aware that general opinion has long had good reason for making the
volte face thus indicated. It is also mere justice to Darwin to say
that this "lasting and unquestioned" revolution is, in a very real
sense, his work. And yet it is also true that, if all the conceptions
promulgated in the "Origin of Species" which are peculiarly Darwinian
were swept away, the theory of the evolution of animals and plants
would not be in the slightest degree shaken.

[The strain of this single effort was considerable] "I am frightfully
tired," [he wrote on August 11,] "but the game was worth the candle."

[Letters to Sir J.D. Hooker and to Professor Lewis Campbell contain his
own account of the affair. The reference in the latter to the priests
is in reply to Professor Campbell's story of one of Jowett's last
sayings. They had been talking of the collective power of the
priesthood to resist the introduction of new ideas; a long pause
ensued, and the old man seemed to have slipped off into a doze, when he
suddenly broke the silence by saying,] "The priests will always be too
many for you."

The Spa, Tunbridge Wells, August 12, 1894.

My dear Hooker,

I wish, as everybody wished, you had been with us on Wednesday evening
at Oxford when we settled accounts for 1860, and got a receipt in full
from the Chancellor of the University, President of the Association,
and representative of ecclesiastical conservatism and orthodoxy.

I was officially asked to second the vote of thanks for the address,
and got a copy of it the night before--luckily--for it was a kittle

It was very queer to sit there and hear the doctrines you and I were
damned for advocating thirty-four years ago at Oxford, enunciated as
matters of course--disputed by no reasonable man!--in the Sheldonian
Theatre by the Chancellor...

Of course there is not much left of me, and it will take a fortnight's
quiet at Eastbourne (whither we return on Tuesday next) to get right.
But it was a pleasant last flare-up in the socket!

With our love to you both.

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, August 18, 1894.

My dear Campbell,

I am setting you a good example. You and I are really too old friends
to go on wasting ink in honorary prefixes.

I had a very difficult task at Oxford. The old Adam, of course,
prompted the tearing of the address to pieces, which would have been a
very easy job, especially the latter half of it. But as that procedure
would not have harmonised well with the function of a seconder of a
vote of thanks, and as, moreover, Lord S. was very just and good in his
expressions about Darwin, I had to convey criticism in the shape of

It was very curious to me to sit there and hear the Chancellor of the
University accept, as a matter of course, the doctrines for which the
Bishop of Oxford coarsely anathematised us thirty-four years earlier. E
pur si muove!

I am not afraid of the priests in the long-run. Scientific method is
the white ant which will slowly but surely destroy their
fortifications. And the importance of scientific method in modern
practical life--always growing and increasing--is the guarantee for the
gradual emancipation of the ignorant upper and lower classes, the
former of whom especially are the strength of the priests.

My wife had a very bad attack of her old enemy some weeks ago, and she
thought she would not be able to go to Oxford. However, she picked up
in the wonderfully elastic way she has, and I believe was less done-up
than I when we left on the Friday morning. I was glad the wife was
there, as the meeting gave me a very kind reception, and it was
probably the last flare-up in the socket.

The Warden of Merton took great care of us, but it was sad to think of
the vacuity of Balliol.

Please remember me very kindly to Father Steffens and the Steeles, and
will you tell Herr Walther we are only waiting for a balloon to visit
the hotel again?

With our affectionate regards to Mrs. Campbell and yourself.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Here also belong several letters of miscellaneous interest. One is to
Mrs. Lewis Campbell at the Maloja.]

Hodeslea, August 20, 1894.

My dear Mrs. Campbell,

What a pity I am not a telepath! I might have answered your inquiry in
the letter I was writing to your husband yesterday.

The flower I found on the island in Sils Lake was a cross between
Gentiana lutea and Gentiana punctata--nothing new, but interesting in
many ways as a natural hybrid.

As to baptizing the island, I am not guilty of usurping ecclesiastical
functions to that extent. I have a notion that the island has a name
already, but I cannot recollect it. Walther would know.

My wife had a bad attack, and we were obliged to give up some visits we
had projected. But she got well enough to go to Oxford with me for a
couple of days, and really stood the racket better than I did.

At present she is fairly well, and I hope the enemy may give her a long
respite. The Colliers come to us at the end of this month, and that
will do her good.

With our affectionate regards to you both and remembrances to our

Ever yours very truly,

T.H. Huxley.

[The first of the following set refers to a lively piece of nonsense
which Huxley wrote just before going to stay with the Romanes' at
Oxford on the occasion of the Romanes Lecture. (See above.) After
Professor Romanes' death, Mrs. Romanes asked leave to print it in the
biography of her husband. In the other letters, Huxley gives his
consent, but, with his usual care for the less experienced, tried to
prevent any malicious perversion of the fun which might put her in a
false position.]

To Mrs. Romanes.

Hodeslea, September 20, 1894.

I do not think I can possibly have any objection to your using my
letter if you think it worth while--but perhaps you had better let me
look at it, for I remember nothing about it--and my letters to people
whom I trust are sometimes more plain-spoken than polite about things
and men. You know at first there was some talk of my possibly supplying
Gladstone's place in case of his failure, and I would not be sure of my
politeness in that quarter!

Pray do not suppose that your former letter was other than deeply
interesting and touching to me. I had more than half a mind to reply to
it, but hesitated with a man's horror of touching a wound he cannot

And then I got a bad bout of "liver," from which I am just picking up.

Hodeslea, September 22, 1894.

It's rather a rollicking epistle, I must say, but as my wife (who sends
her love) says she thinks she is the only person who has a right to
complain (and she does not), I do not know why it should not be

P.S.--I fancy very few people will catch the allusion about not
contradicting me. But perhaps it would be better to take the opinion of
some impartial judge on that point.

I do not care the least on my own account, but I see my words might be
twisted into meaning that you had told me something about your previous
guest, and that I referred to what you had said.

Of course you had done nothing of the kind, but as a wary old fox,
experienced sufferer from the dodges of the misrepresenter, I feel
bound not to let you get into any trouble if I can help it.

A regular lady's P.S. this.

P.S.--Letter returned herewith.

To Mr. Leslie Stephen.

Hodeslea, October 16, 1894.

My dear Stephen,

I am very glad you like to have my omnium gatherum, and think the
better of it for gaining me such a pleasant letter of acknowledgment.

It is a great loss to me to be cut off from all my old friends, but
sticking closely to my hermitage, with fresh air and immense quantities
of rest, have become the conditions of existence for me, and one must
put up with them.

I have not paid all the debt incurred in my Oxford escapade yet--the
last "little bill" being a sharp attack of lumbago, out of which I hope
I have now emerged. But my deafness alone should bar me from decent
society. I have not the moral courage to avoid making shots at what
people say, so as not to bore them; and the results are sometimes

I don't see there is any real difference between us. You are charitable
enough to overlook the general immorality of the cosmos on the score of
its having begotten morality in one small part of its domain.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

To Mr. G-- S--.  [See above.]

Hodeslea, October 31, 1894.

Dear Mr. S--,

"Liver," "lumbago," and other small ills the flesh is heir to, have
been making me very lazy lately, especially about letter-writing.

You have got into the depths where the comprehensible ends in the
incomprehensible--where the symbols which may be used with confidence
so far begin to get shaky.

It does not seem to me absolutely necessary that matter should be
composed of solid particles. The "atoms" may be persistent whirlpools
of a continuous "substance"--which substance, if at rest, could not
affect us (all sensory impression being dependent on motion) and
subsequently would FOR US = 0. The evolution of matter would be the
getting under weigh of this "nothing for us" until it became the
"something for us," the different motions of which give us the mental
states we call the qualities of things.

But it needs a very steady head to walk safely among these abysses of
thought, and the only use of letting the mind range among them is as a
corrective to the hasty dogmatism of the so-called materialists, who
talk just as glibly of that of which they know nothing as the most
bigoted of the orthodox.

[Here also stand two letters to Lord Farrer, one before, the other
after, his address at the Statistical Society on the Relations between
Morals, Economics and Statistics, which touch on several philosophical
and social questions, always, to his mind, intimately connected, and
wherein wrong modes of thought indubitably lead to wrong modes of
action. Noteworthy is a defence of the fundamental method of Political
Economy, however much its limitations might be forgotten by some of its
exponents. The reference to the Church agitation to introduce dogmatic
teaching into the elementary schools has also a lasting interest.]

Hodeslea, November 6, 1894.

My dear Farrer,

Whenever you get over the optimism of your youthful constitution (I
wish I were endowed with that blessing) you will see that the Gospels
and I are right about the Devil being "Prince" (note the
distinction--not "king") of the Cosmos.

The a priori road to scientific, political, and all other doctrine is
H.R.H. Satan's invention--it is the intellectual, broad, and easy path
which leadeth to Jehannum.

The king's road is the strait path of painful observation and
experiment, and few they be that enter thereon.

R.G. Latham, queerest of men, had singular flashes of insight now and
then. Forty years ago he gravely told me that the existence of the
Established Church was to his mind one of the best evidences of the
recency of the evolution of the human type from the simian.

How much there is to confirm this view in present public opinion and
the intellectual character of those who influence it!

It explains all your difficulties at once, and I regret that I do not
seem to have mentioned it at any of those mid-day symposia which were
so pleasant when you and I were younger.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

P.S.--Apropos of Athelstan Riley and his friends--I fool rather obliged
to them. I assented to the compromise (1) because I felt that English
opinion would not let us have the education of the masses at any
cheaper price; (2) because, with the Bible in lay hands, I was
satisfied that the teaching from it would gradually become modified
into harmony with common sense.

I do not doubt that this is exactly what has happened, and is the
ground of the alarm of the orthodox.

But I do not repent of the compromise in the least. Twenty years of
reasonably good primary education is "worth a mass."

Moreover the Diggleites stand to lose anyhow, and they will lose most
completely and finally if they win at the elections this month. So I am
rather inclined to hope they may.

Hodeslea, Staveley Road, Eastbourne, November 3, 1894.

My dear Mr. Clodd,

They say that the first thing an Englishman does when he is hard up for
money is to abstain from buying books. The first thing I do when I am
liver-y, lumbagy, and generally short of energy, is to abstain from
answering letters. And I am only just emerging from a good many weeks
of that sort of flabbiness and poverty.

Many thanks for your notice of Kidd's book. Some vile punsters called
it an attempt to put a Kid glove on the iron hand of Nature. I thought
it (I mean the book, not the pun) clever from a literary point of view,
and worthless from any other. You will see that I have been giving Lord
Salisbury a Roland for his Oliver in "Nature". But, as hinted, if we
only had been in Section D!

With my wife's and my kind regards and remembrances.

Ever yours very truly,

T.H. Huxley.

Athenaeum Club, December 19, 1894.

My dear Farrer,

I am indebted to you for giving the recording angel less trouble than
he might otherwise have had, on account of the worse than usual
unpunctuality of the London and Brighton this morning. For I have
utilised the extra time in reading and thinking over your very
interesting address.

Thanks for your protest against the mischievous a priori method, which
people will not understand is as gross an anachronism in social matters
as it would be in Hydrostatics. The so-called "Sociology" is
honeycombed with it, and it is hard to say who are worse, the
individualists or the collectivists. But in your just wrath don't
forget that there is such a thing as a science of social life, for
which, if the term had not been so hopelessly degraded, Politics is the
proper name.

Men are beings of a certain constitution, who, under certain
conditions, will as surely tend to act in certain ways as stones will
tend to fall if you leave them unsupported. The laws of their nature
are as invariable as the laws of gravitation, only the applications to
particular cases offer worse problems than the case of the three bodies.

The Political Economists have gone the right way to work--the way that
the physical philosopher follows in all complex affairs--by tracing out
the effects of one great cause of human action, the desire of wealth,
supposing it to be unchecked.

If they, or other people, have forgotten that there are other potent
causes of action which may interfere with this, it is no fault of
scientific method but only their own stupidity.

Hydrostatics is not a "dismal science," because water does not always
seek the lowest level--e.g. from a bottle turned upside down, if there
is a cork in the neck!

There is much need that somebody should do for what is vaguely called
"Ethics" just what the Political Economists have done. Settle the
question of what will be done under the unchecked action of certain
motives, and leave the problem of "ought" for subsequent consideration.

For, whatever they ought to do, it is quite certain the majority of men
will act as if the attainment of certain positive and negative
pleasures were the end of action.

We want a science of "Eubiotics" to tell us exactly what will happen if
human beings are exclusively actuated by the desire of well-being in
the ordinary sense. Of course the utilitarians have laid the
foundations of such a science, with the result that the nicknamer of
genius called this branch of science "pig philosophy," making just the
same blunder as when he called political economy "dismal science."

"Moderate well-being" may be no more the worthiest end of life than
wealth. But if it is the best to be had in this queer world--it may be
worth trying for.

But you will begin to wish the train had been PUNCTUAL!

Draw comfort from the fact that if error is always with us, it is, at
any rate, remediable. I am more hopeful than when I was young. Perhaps
life (like matrimony, as some say) should begin with a little aversion!

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[Some years before this, a fund for a "Darwin Medal" had been
established in memory of the great naturalist, the medal to be awarded
biennially for researches in biology. With singular appropriateness,
the first award was made to Dr. A.R. Wallace, the joint propounder of
the theory of Natural Selection, whose paper, entrusted to Darwin's
literary sponsorship, caused the speedy publication of Darwin's own
long-continued researches and speculations. The second, with equal
appropriateness, was to Sir J.D. Hooker, both as a leader in science
and a helper and adviser of Darwin.

Huxley's own view of such scientific honours as medals and diplomas was
that they should be employed to stimulate for the future rather than to
reward for the past; and delighted as he was at the poetic justice of
these two awards, this justice once satisfied, he let his opinion be
known that thenceforward the Darwin Medal ought to be given only to
younger men. But when this year he found the Darwin Medal awarded to
himself "for his researches in biology and his long association with
Charles Darwin," he could not but be touched and gratified by this mark
of appreciation from his fellow-workers in science, this association in
one more scientific record with old allies and true friends--to "have
his niche in the Pantheon" next to Hooker and near to Darwin.

It was a rare instance of the fitness of things that the three men who
had done most to develop and to defend Darwin's ideas should live to
stand first in the list of the Darwin medalists; and Huxley felt this
to be a natural closing of a chapter in his life, a fitting occasion on
which to bid farewell to public life in the world of science. Almost at
the same moment another chapter in science reached its completion in
the "coming of age" of "Nature", a journal which, when scientific
interests at large had grown stronger, had succeeded in realising his
own earlier efforts to found a scientific organ, and with which he had
always been closely associated.

As mentioned above, he wrote for the November number an introductory
article called "Past and Present," comparing the state of scientific
thought of the day with that of twenty-five years before, when the
journal was first started. To celebrate the occasion, a dinner was to
be held this same month of all who had been associated with "Nature",
and this Huxley meant to attend, as well as the more important
anniversary dinner of the Royal Society on St. Andrew's Day.]

I have promised [he writes on November 6 to Sir M. Foster] to go to the
"Nature" dinner if I possibly can. Indeed I should be sorry to be away.
As to the Royal Society nothing short of being confined to bed will
stop me. And I shall be good for a few words after dinner.

Thereafter I hope not to appear again on any stage.

[His letter about the medal expresses his feelings as to the award.]

Hodeslea, November 2, 1894.

My dear Foster,

Didn't I tell the P.R.S., Secretaries, Treasurer, and all the Fellows
thereof, when I spoke about Hooker years ago, that thenceforth the
Darwin Medal was to be given to the young, and not to useless old
extinct volcanoes? I ought to be very angry with you all for coolly
ignoring my wise counsels.

But whether it is vanity or something a good deal better, I am not. One
gets chill old age, and it is very pleasant to be warmed up
unexpectedly even against one's injunctions. Moreover, my wife is very
pleased, not to say jubilant; and if I were made Archbishop of
Canterbury I should not be able to convince her that my services to
Theology were hardly of the sort to be rewarded in that fashion.

I need not say what I think about your action in the matter, my
faithful old friend. With our love to you both.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

I suppose you are all right again, as you write from the R.S. Liver
permitting I shall attend meeting and dinner. It is very odd that the
Medal should come along with my pronouncement in "Nature", which I hope
you like. I cut out rather a stinging paragraph at the end.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, November 11, 1894.

My dear Donnelly,

Why on earth did I not answer your letter before? Echo (being Irish)
says, "Because of your infernal bad habit of putting off; which is
growing upon you, you wretched old man."

Of course I shall be very glad if anything can be done for S--. Howes
has written to me about him since your letter arrived--and I am
positively going to answer his epistle. It's Sunday morning, and I feel

You will have seen that the R.S. has been giving me the Darwin Medal,
though I gave as broad a hint as was proper the last time I spoke at
the Anniversary, that it ought to go to the young men. Nevertheless,
with ordinary inconsistency of the so-called "rational animal," I am
well pleased.

I hope you will be at the dinner, and would ask you to be my guest--but
as I thought my boys and boys-in-law would like to be there, I have
already exceeded my lawful powers of invitation, and had to get a
dispensation from Michael Foster.

I suppose I shall be like a horse that "stands at livery" for some time
after--but it is positively my last appearance on any stage.

We were very glad to hear from Lady Donnelly that you had had a good
and effectual holiday. With
our love.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

I return Howes' letter in case you want it. I see I need not write to
him again after all. Three cheers!

Please give Lady Donnelly this. A number of estimable members of her
sex have flown at me for writing what I thought was a highly
complimentary letter. But SHE will be just, I know.

"The best of women are apt to be a little weak in the great practical
arts of give-and-take, and putting up with a beating, and a little too
strong in their belief in the efficacy of government. Men learn about
these things in the ordinary course of their business; women have no
chance in home life, and the boards and councils will be capital
schools for them. Again, in the public interest it will be well; women
are more naturally economical than men, and have none of our false
shame about looking after pence. Moreover, they don't job for any but
their lovers, husbands, and children, so that we know the worst."

[The speech at the Royal Society Anniversary dinner--which he evidently
enjoyed making--was a fine piece of speaking, and quite carried away
the audience, whether in the gentle depreciation of his services to
science, or in his profession of faith in the methods of science and
the final triumph of the doctrine of evolution, whatever theories of
its operation might be adopted or discarded in the course of further

I quote from the "Times" report of the speech:--]

But the most difficult task that remains is that which concerns myself.
It is 43 years ago this day since the Royal Society did me the honour
to award me a Royal medal, and thereby determined my career. But,
having long retired into the position of a veteran, I confess that I
was extremely astonished--I honestly also say that I was extremely
pleased to receive the announcement that you had been good enough to
award to me the Darwin Medal. But you know the Royal Society, like all
things in this world, is subject to criticism. I confess that with the
ingrained instincts of an old official that which arose in my mind
after the reception of the information that I had been thus
distinguished was to start an inquiry which I suppose suggests itself
to every old official--How can my Government be justified? In
reflecting upon what had been my own share in what are now very largely
ancient transactions, it was perfectly obvious to me that I had no such
claims as those of Mr. Wallace. It was perfectly clear to me that I had
no such claims as those of my lifelong friend Sir Joseph Hooker, who
for 25 years placed all his great sources of knowledge, his sagacity,
his industry, at the disposition of his friend Darwin. And really, I
begin to despair of what possible answer could be given to the critics
whom the Royal Society, meeting as it does on November 30, has lately
been very apt to hear about on December 1. Naturally there occurred to
my mind that famous and comfortable line, which I suppose has helped so
many people under like circumstances, "They also serve who only stand
and wait." I am bound to confess that the standing and waiting, so far
as I am concerned, to which I refer, has been of a somewhat peculiar
character. I can only explain it, if you will permit me to narrate a
story which came to me in my old nautical days, and which, I believe,
has just as much foundation as a good deal of other information which I
derived at the same period from the same source. There was a merchant
ship in which a member of the Society of Friends had taken passage, and
that ship was attacked by a pirate, and the captain thereupon put into
the hands of the member of the Society of Friends a pike, and desired
him to take part in the subsequent action, to which, as you may
imagine, the reply was that he would do nothing of the kind; but he
said that he had no objection to stand and wait at the gangway. He did
stand and wait with the pike in his hands, and when the pirates mounted
and showed themselves coming on board he thrust his pike with the sharp
end forward into the persons who were mounting, and he said, "Friend,
keep on board thine own ship." It is in that sense that I venture to
interpret the principle of standing and waiting to which I have
referred. I was convinced as firmly as I have ever been convinced of
anything in my life, that the "Origin of Species" was a ship laden with
a cargo of rich value, and which, if she were permitted to pursue her
course, would reach a veritable scientific Golconda, and I thought it
my duty, however naturally averse I might be to fighting, to bid those
who would disturb her beneficent operations to keep on board their own
ship. If it has pleased the Royal Society to recognise such poor
services as I may have rendered in that capacity, I am very glad,
because I am as much convinced now as I was 34 years ago that the
theory propounded by Mr. Darwin--I mean that which he propounded, not
that which has been reported to be his by too many ill-instructed, both
friends and foes--has never yet been shown to be inconsistent with any
positive observations, and if I may use a phrase which I know has been
objected to, and which I use in a totally different sense from that in
which it was first proposed by its first propounder, I do believe that
on all grounds of pure science it "holds the field," as the only
hypothesis at present before us which has a sound scientific
foundation. It is quite possible that you will apply to me the remark
that has often been applied to persons in such a position as mine, that
we are apt to exaggerate the importance of that to which our lives have
been more or less devoted. But I am sincerely of opinion that the views
which were propounded by Mr. Darwin 34 years ago may be understood
hereafter as constituting an epoch in the intellectual history of the
human race. They will modify the whole system of our thought and
opinion, our most intimate convictions. But I do not know, I do not
think anybody knows, whether the particular views which he held will be
hereafter fortified by the experience of the ages which come after us;
but of this thing I am perfectly certain, that the present course of
things has resulted from the feeling of the smaller men who have
followed him that they are incompetent to bend the bow of Ulysses, and
in consequence many of them are seeking their salvation in mere
speculation. Those who wish to attain to some clear and definite
solution of the great problems which Mr. Darwin was the first person to
set before us in later times must base themselves upon the facts which
are stated in his great work, and, still more, must pursue their
inquiries by the methods of which he was so brilliant an exemplar
throughout the whole of his life. You must have his sagacity, his
untiring search after the knowledge of fact, his readiness always to
give up a preconceived opinion to that which was demonstrably true,
before you can hope to carry his doctrines to their ultimate issue; and
whether the particular form in which he has put them before us may be
such as is finally destined to survive or not is more, I venture to
think, than anybody is capable at this present moment of saying. But
this one thing is perfectly certain--that it is only by pursuing his
methods, by that wonderful single-mindedness, devotion to truth,
readiness to sacrifice all things for the advance of definite
knowledge, that we can hope to come any nearer than we are at present
to the truths which he struggled to attain.

To Sir J.D. Hooker.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, December 4, 1894.

My dear old Man,

See the respect I have for your six years' seniority! I wished you had
been at the dinner, but was glad you were not. Especially as next
morning there was a beastly fog, out of which I bolted home as fast as

I shall have to give up these escapades. They knock me up for a week
afterwards. And really it is a pity, just as I have got over my horror
of public speaking, and find it very amusing. But I suppose I should
gravitate into a bore as old fellows do, and so it is as well I am kept
out of temptation.

I will try to remember what I said at the "Nature" dinner. I scolded
the young fellows pretty sharply for their slovenly writing. [A brief
report of this speech is to be found in the "British Medical Journal"
for December 8, 1894, page 1262.]

There will be a tenth volume of Essays some day, and an Index rerum. Do
you remember how you scolded me for being too speculative in my maiden
lecture on Animal Individuality forty odd years ago? "On revient
toujours," or, to put it another way, "The dog returns to his etc. etc."

So I am deep in philosophy, grovelling through Diogenes
Laertius--Plutarch's "Placita" and sich--and often wondering whether
the schoolmasters have any better ground for maintaining that Greek is
a finer language than English than the fact that they can't write the
latter dialect.

So far as I can see, my faculties are as good (including memory for
anything that is not useful) as they were fifty years ago, but I can't
work long hours, or live out of fresh air. Three days of London bowls
me over.

I expect you are in much the same case. But you seem to be able to
stoop over specimens in a way impossible to me. It is that incapacity
has made me give up dissection and microscopic work. I do a lot on my
back, and I can tell you that the latter posture is an immense economy
of strength. Indeed, when my heart was troublesome, I used to spend my
time either in active outdoor exercise or horizontally.

The Stracheys were here the other day, and it was a great pleasure to
us to see them. I think he has had a very close shave with that
accident. There is nobody whom I should more delight to honour--a right
good man all round--but I am not competent to judge of his work. You
are, and I do not see why you should not suggest it. I would give him a
medal for being R. Strachey, but probably the Council would make

By the way, do you see the "Times" has practically climbed down about
the Royal Society--came down backwards like a bear, growling all the
time? I don't think we shall have any more first of December criticisms.

Lord help you through all this screed. With our love to you both.

Ever yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

Abram, Abraham became
By will divine;
Let pickled Brian's name
Be changed to Brine!
"Poetae Minores".

Poor Brian.--Brutal jest!

[(Sir Joseph's son, Brian, had fallen into a pan of brine.)

The following was written to a friend who had alluded to his painful
recollection of a former occasion when he was Huxley's guest at the
anniversary dinner of the Royal Society, and was hastily summoned from
it to find his wife dying.]

I fully understand your feeling about the R.S. Dinner. I have not
forgotten the occasion when you were my guest: still less my brief
sight of you when I called the next day.

These things are the "lachrymae rerum"--the abysmal griefs hidden under
the current of daily life, and seemingly forgotten, till now and then
they come up to the surface--a flash of agony--like the fish that jumps
in a calm pool.

One has one's groan and goes to work again.

If I knew of anything else for it, I would tell you; but all my
experience ends in the questionable thanksgiving, "It's lucky it's no

With which bit of practical philosophy, and our love, believe me, ever
yours affectionately,

T.H. Huxley.

[Before speaking of his last piece of work, in the vain endeavour to
complete which he exposed himself to his old enemy, influenza, I shall
give several letters of miscellaneous interest.

The first is in reply to Lord Farrer's inquiry as to where he could
obtain a fuller account of the subject tersely discussed in the chapter
he had contributed to the "Life of Owen". ("Which," wrote Lord Farrer,
"is just what I wanted as an outline of the Biological and
Morphological discussion of the last 100 years. But it is 'Pemmican' to
an aged and enfeebled digestion. Is there such a thing as a diluted
solution of it in the shape of any readable book?")]

Hodeslea, January 26, 1895.

My dear Farrer,

Miserable me! Having addressed myself to clear off a heap of letters
that have been accumulating, I find I have not answered an inquiry of
yours of nearly a month's standing. I am sorry to say that I cannot
tell you of any book (readable or otherwise) that will convert my
"pemmican" into decent broth for you.

There are histories of zoology and of philosophical anatomy, but they
all of them seem to me to miss the point (which you have picked out of
the pemmican). Indeed, that is just why I took such a lot of pains over
these 50 or 60 pages. And I am immensely tickled by the fact that among
all the critical notices I have seen, not a soul sees what I have been
driving at as you have done. I really wish you would write a notice of
it, just to show these Gigadibses (vide Right Reverend Blougram) what
blind buzzards they are! [See Browning's "Bishop Blougram's
Apology":--"Gigadibs the literary man" with his
Abstract intellectual plan of life
Quite irrespective of life's plainest laws.]

Enter a maid. "Please sir, Mrs. Huxley says she would be glad if you
would go out in the sun." "All right, Allen." Anecdote for your next
essay on Government!

The fact is, I have been knocked up ever since Tuesday, when our
University Deputation came off; and my good wife (who is laid up
herself) suspects me (not without reason) of failing to take advantage
of a gleam of sunshine.

By the way, can you help us over the University business? Lord Rosebery
is favourable, and there is absolutely nobody on the other side except
sundry Philistines, who, having got their degrees, are desirous of
inflating their market value.

Yours very truly,

T.H. Huxley.

[The next is in answer to an appeal for a subscription, from the Church

January 26, 1895.

I regret that I am unable to contribute to the funds of the Church Army.

I hold it to be my duty to do what I can for the cases of distress of
which I have direct knowledge; and I am glad to be able now and then to
give timely aid to the industrious and worthy people with whom, as a
householder, I am brought into personal relation; and who are so often
engaged in a noiseless and unpitied but earnest struggle to do well.

In my judgment, a domestic servant, who is perhaps giving half her
wages to support her old parents, is more worthy of help than
half-a-dozen Magdalens.

Under these circumstances, you will understand that such funds as are
at my disposal are already fully engaged.

[The following is to a gentleman--an American, I think--who sent him a
long manuscript, an extraordinary farrago of nonsense, to read and
criticise, and help to publish. But as he seemed to have acted in sheer
simplicity, he got an answer:--]

Hodeslea, January 31, 1895.

Dear Sir,

I should have been glad if you had taken the ordinary, and, I think,
convenient course of writing for my permission before you sent the
essay which has reached me, and which I return by this post. I should
then have had the opportunity of telling you that I do not undertake to
read, or take any charge of such matters, and we should both have been
spared some trouble.

I the more regret this, since being unwilling to return your work
without examination, I have looked at it, and feel bound to give you
the following piece of advice, which I fear may be distasteful, as good
counsel generally is.

Lock up your essay. For two years--if possible, three--read no popular
expositions of science, but devote yourself to a course of sound
PRACTICAL instruction in elementary physics, chemistry, and biology.

Then re-read your essay; do with it as you think best; and, if
possible, regard a little more kindly than you are likely to do at
present, yours faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

[The following passage from a letter to Sir J.D. Hooker refers to a
striking discovery made by Dubois:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, February 14, 1895.

The Dutchmen seem to have turned up something like the "missing link"
in Java, according to a paper I have just received from Marsh. I expect
he was a Socratic party, with his hair rather low down on his forehead
and warty cheeks.

Pithecanthropus erectus Dubois (fossil)

rather Aino-ish about the body, small in the calf, and cheese-cutting
in the shins. Le voici!



Two months of almost continuous frost, during which the thermometer
fell below zero, marked the winter of 1894-95. Tough, if not strong, as
Huxley's constitution was, this exceptional cold, so lowering to the
vitality of age, accentuated the severity of the illness which followed
in the train of influenza, and at last undermined even his powers of

But until the influenza seized him, he was more than usually vigorous
and brilliant. He was fatigued, but not more so than he expected, by
attending a deputation to the Prime Minister in the depth of January,
and delivering a speech on the London University question; and in
February he was induced to write a reply to the attack upon agnosticism
contained in Mr. Arthur Balfour's "Foundations of Belief". Into this he
threw himself with great energy, all the more because the notices in
the daily press were likely to give the reading public a wrong
impression as to its polemic against his own position. Mr. Wilfrid Ward
gives an account of a conversation with him on this subject:--

Some one had sent me Mr. A.J. Balfour's book on the "Foundations of
Belief" early in February 1895. We were very full of it, and it was the
theme of discussion on the 17th of February, when two friends were
lunching with us. Not long after luncheon, Huxley came in, and seemed
in extraordinary spirits, he began talking of Erasmus and Luther,
expressing a great preference for Erasmus, who would, he said, have
impregnated the Church with culture, and brought it abreast of the
thought of the times, while Luther concentrated attention on individual
mystical doctrines. "It was very trying for Erasmus to be identified
with Luther, from whom he differed absolutely. A man ought to be ready
to endure persecution for what he does hold; but it is hard to be
persecuted for what you don't hold." I said that I thought his estimate
of Erasmus's attitude towards the Papacy coincided with Professor R.C.
Jebb's. He asked if I could lend him Jebb's Rede Lecture on the
subject. I said that I had not got it at hand, but I added, "I can lend
you another book, which I think you ought to read--Balfour's
'Foundations of Belief'."

He at once became extremely animated, and spoke of it as those who have
read his criticisms, published in the following month, would expect.]
"You need not lend me that. I have exercised my mind with it a good
deal already. Mr. Balfour ought to have acquainted himself with the
opinions of those he attacks. One has no objection to being abused for
what one DOES hold, as I said of Erasmus; at least, one is prepared to
put up with it. An attack on us by some one who understood our position
would do all of us good--myself included. But Mr. Balfour has acted
like the French in 1870: he has gone to war without any ordnance maps,
and without having surveyed the scene of the campaign. No human being
holds the opinions he speaks of as 'Naturalism.' He is a good debater.
He knows the value of a word. The word 'Naturalism' has a bad sound and
unpleasant associations. It would tell against us in the House of
Commons, and so it will with his readers. 'Naturalism' contrasts with
'supernaturalism.' He has not only attacked us for what we don't hold,
but he has been good enough to draw out a catechism for 'us wicked
people,' to teach us what we MUST hold."

[It was rather difficult to get him to particulars, but we did so by
degrees. He said], "Balfour uses the word phenomena as applying simply
to the outer world and not to the inner world. The only people his
attack would hold good of would be the Comtists, who deny that
psychology is a science. They may be left out of account. They advocate
the crudest eighteenth-century materialism. All the empiricists, from
Locke onwards, make the observation of the phenomena of the mind itself
quite separate from the study of mere sensation. No man in his senses
supposes that the sense of beauty, or the religious feelings [this with
a courteous bow to a priest who was present], or the sense of moral
obligation, are to be accounted for in terms of sensation, or come to
us through sensation." [I said that, as I understood it, I did not
think Mr. Balfour supposed they would acknowledge the position he
ascribed to them, and that one of his complaints was that they did not
work out their premises to their logical conclusions. I added that so
far as one of Mr. Balfour's chief points was concerned--the existence
of the external world--Mill was almost the only man on their side in
this century who had faced the problem frankly, and he had been driven
to say that all men can know is that there are "permanent possibilities
of sensation." He did not seem inclined to pursue the question of an
external world, but said that though Mill's "Logic" was very good,
empiricists were not bound by all his theories.

He characterised the book as a very good and even brilliant piece of
work from a literary point of view; but as a helpful contribution to
the great controversy, the most disappointing he had ever read. I said,
"There has been no adverse criticism of it yet." He answered with
emphasis], "No! BUT THERE SOON WILL BE." ["From you?" I asked.] "I let
out no secrets," [was the reply.

He then talked with great admiration and affection of Mr. Balfour's
brother, Francis. His early death, and W.K. Clifford's (Huxley said),
had been the greatest loss to science--not only in England, but in the
world--in our time.] "Half a dozen of us old fogies could have been
better spared." [He remembered Frank Balfour as a boy at [Harrow] and
saw his unusual talent there.] "Then my friend, Michael Foster, took
him up at Cambridge, and found out that he had real genius for biology.
I used to say there was science in the blood, but this new book of his
brother's," [he added, smiling], "shows I was wrong."

Apropos to his remark about the Comtists, one of the company pointed
out that in later life Comte recognised a science of "the individual,"
equivalent to what Huxley meant by psychology.] "That," [he replied],
"was due to the influence of Clotilde de Vaux. You see," [he added,
with a kind of Sir Charles Grandison bow to my wife], "what power your
sex may have." [As Huxley was going out of the house, I said to him
that Father A.B. (the priest who had been present) had not expected to
find himself in his company.] "No! I trust he had plenty of holy water
with him," [was the reply.

...After he had gone, we were all agreed as to the extraordinary vigour
and brilliancy he had shown. Some one said, "He is like a man who is
what the Scotch call 'fey.'" We laughed at the idea, but we naturally
recalled the remark later on.

The story of how the article was written is told in the following
letters. It was suggested by Mr. Knowles, and undertaken after perusal
of the review of the book in the "Times". Huxley intended to have the
article ready for the March number of the "Nineteenth Century", but it
grew longer than he had meant it to be, and partly for this reason,
partly for fear lest the influenza, then raging at Eastbourne, might
prevent him from revising the whole thing at once, he divided it into
two instalments. He writes to one daughter on March 1:--]

I suppose my time will come; so I am "making hay while the sun shines"
(in point of fact it is raining and blowing a gale outside) and
finishing my counterblast to Balfour before it does come.

Love to all you poor past snivellers from an expectant sniveller.

[And to another:--]

I think the cavalry charge in this month's "Nineteenth" will amuse you.
The heavy artillery and the bayonets will be brought into play next

Dean Stanley told me he thought being made a bishop destroyed a man's
moral courage. I am inclined to think that the practice of the methods
of political leaders destroys their intellect for all serious purposes.

No sooner was the first part safely sent off than the contingency he
had feared came to pass; only, instead of the influenza meaning
incapacity for a fortnight, an unlucky chill brought on bronchitis and
severe lung trouble. (As he wrote on February 28 to Sir M. Foster]: "If
I could compound for a few hours' neuralgia, I would not mind; but
those long weeks of debility make me very shy of the influenza demon.
Here we are practically isolated...I once asked Gordon why he didn't
have the African fever. 'Well,' he said, you see, fellows think they
shall have it, and they do. I didn't think so, and didn't get it.'
Exercise your thinking faculty to that extent.") The second part of the
article was never fully revised for press.]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, February 8, 1895.

My dear Knowles,

Your telegram came before I had looked at to-day's "Times" and the
article on Balfour's book, so I answered with hesitation.

Now I am inclined to think that the job may be well worth doing, in
that it will give me the opportunity of emphasising the distinction
between the view I hold and Spencer's, and perhaps of proving that
Balfour is an agnostic after my own heart. So please send the book.

Only if this infernal weather, which shrivels me up soul and body,
lasts, I do not know how long I may be over the business. However, you
tell me to take my own time.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, February 18, 1895.

My dear Knowles,

I send you by this post an instalment (the larger moiety) of my
article, which I should be glad to have set up at once IN SLIP, and
sent to me as speedily as may be. The rest shall follow in the course
of the next two or three days.

I am rather pleased with the thing myself, so it is probably not so
very good! But you will judge for yourself.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, February 19, 1895.

My dear Knowles,

We send our best congratulations to Mrs. Knowles and yourself on the
birth of a grand-daughter. I forget whether you have had any previous
experience of the "Art d'etre Grandpere" or not--but I can assure you,
from 14 such experiences, that it is easy and pleasant of acquirement,
and that the objects of it are veritable "articles de luxe," involving
much amusement and no sort of responsibility on the part of the

You shall have the rest of my screed by to-morrow's post.

Ever yours very faithfully,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, February 20, 1895.

My dear Knowles,

Seven mortal hours have I been hard at work this day to try to keep my
promise to you, and as I find that impossible, I have struck work and
will see Balfour and his "Foundations", and even that ark of literature
the "Nineteenth", at Ballywack, before I do any more.

But the whole affair shall be sent by a morning's post to-morrow. I
have the proofs. I have found the thing getting too long for one paper,
and requiring far more care than I could put into the next two days--so
I propose to divide it, if you see no objection.

And there is another reason for this course. Influenza is raging here.
I hear of hundreds of cases, and if it comes my way, as it did before,
I go to bed and stop there--"the world forgetting and by the world
forgot"--until I am killed or cured. So you would not get your article.

As it stands, it is not a bad gambit. We will play the rest of the game
afterwards, D.V. and K.V.

Hope mother and baby are doing well.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, February 23, 1895, 12.30 P.M.

My dear Knowles,

I have just played and won as hard a match against time as I ever knew
in the days of my youth. The proofs, happily, arrived by the first
post, so I got to work at them before 9, polished them off by 12, and
put them into the post (myself) by 12.5. So you ought to have them by 6
P.M. And, to make your mind easy, I have just telegraphed to you to say
so. But, Lord's sake! let some careful eye run over the part of which I
have had no revise--for I am "capable de tout" in the way of
overlooking errors.

I am very glad you like the thing. The second instalment shall be no

I grieve to say that my estimation of Balfour, as a thinker, sinks
lower and lower, the further I go.

God help the people who think his book an important contribution to
thought! The Gigadibsians who say so are past divine assistance!

We are very glad to hear the grandchild and mother are getting on so

Ever yours very truly,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, March 8, 1895.

My dear Knowles,

The proofs have just arrived, but I am sorry to say that (I believe for
the first time in our transactions) I shall have to disappoint you.

Just after I had sent off the manuscript influenza came down upon me
with a swoop. I went to bed and am there still, with no chance of
quitting it in a hurry. My wife is in the same case; item one of the
maids. The house is a hospital, and by great good fortune we have a
capital nurse.

Doctor says its a mild type, in which case I wonder what severe types
may be like.  ("But in the matter of aches and pains, restless
paroxysms of coughing and general incapacity, I can give it a high
character for efficiency." [To M. Foster, March 7.]) I find coughing
continuously for fourteen hours or so a queer kind of mildness.

Could you put in an excuse on account of influenza?

Can't write any more.

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, March 19, 1895.

My dear Knowles,

I am making use of the pen of my dear daughter and good nurse, in the
first place to thank you for your cheque, in the second place to say
that you must not look for the article this month. I haven't been out
of bed since the 1st, but they are fighting a battle with bronchitis
over my body.

Ever yours very faithfully,

For T.H.H., Sophy Huxley.

[The next four months were a period of painful struggle against
disease, borne with a patience and gentleness which was rare even in
the long experience of the trained nurses who tended him. To natural
toughness of constitution he added a power of will unbroken by the long
strain; and for the sake of others to whom his life meant so much, he
wished to recover and willed to do everything towards recovery. And so
he managed to throw off the influenza and the severe bronchitis which
attended it. What was marvellous at his age, and indeed would scarcely
have been expected in a young man, most serious mischief induced by the
bronchitis disappeared. By May he was strong enough to walk from the
terrace to the lawn and his beloved saxifrages, and to remount the
steps to the house without help.

But though the original attack was successfully thrown off, the lung
trouble had affected the heart; and in his weakened state, renal
mischief ensued. Yet he held out splendidly, never giving in, save for
one hour of utter prostration, all through this weary length of
sickness. His first recovery strengthened him in expecting to get well
from the second attack. And on June 10 he writes brightly enough to Sir
J.D. Hooker:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, June 10, 1895.

My dear Old Friend,

It was cheering to get your letter and to hear that you had got through
winter and diphtheria without scathe.

I can't say very much for myself yet, but I am carried down to a tent
in the garden every day, and live in the fresh air all I can. The thing
that keeps me back is an irritability of the stomach tending to the
rejection of all solid food. However, I think I am slowly getting the
better of it--thanks to my constitutional toughness and careful nursing
and dieting.

What has Spencer been trampling on the "Pour le merite" for, when he
accepted the Lyncei? I was just writing to congratulate him when, by
good luck, I saw he had refused!

The beastly nausea which comes on when I try to do anything warns me to

With our love to you both,

Ever yours,

T.H. Huxley.

[The last time I saw him was on a visit to Eastbourne from June 22-24.
I was astonished to find how well he looked in spite of all; thin,
indeed, but browned with the endless sunshine of the 1895 summer as he
sat every day in the verandah. His voice was still fairly strong; he
was delighted to see us about him, and was cheerful, even merry at
times. As the nurse said, she could not expect him to recover, but he
did not look like a dying man. When I asked him how he was, he said, "A
mere carcass, which has to be tended by other people." But to the last
he looked forward to recovery. One day he told the nurse that the
doctors must be wrong about the renal mischief, for if they were right,
he ought already to be in a state of coma. This was precisely what they
found most astonishing in his case; it seemed as if the mind, the
strong nervous organisation, were triumphing over the shattered body.
Herein lay one of the chief hopes of ultimate recovery.

As late as June 26 he wrote, with shaky handwriting but indomitable
spirit, to relieve his old friend from the anxiety he must feel from
the newspaper bulletins.]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, June 26, 1895.

My dear Hooker,

The pessimistic reports of my condition which have got into the papers
may be giving you unnecessary alarm for the condition of your old
comrade. So I send a line to tell you the exact state of affairs.

There is kidney mischief going on--and it is accompanied by very
distressing attacks of nausea and vomiting, which sometimes last for
hours and make life a burden.

However, strength keeps up very well considering, and of course all
depends upon how the renal business goes. At present I don't feel at
all like "sending in my checks," and without being over sanguine I
rather incline to think that my native toughness will get the best of
it--albuminuria or otherwise.

Ever your faithful friend,


Misfortunes never come single. My son-in-law, Eckersley, died of yellow
fever the other day at San Salvador--just as he was going to take up an
appointment at Lima worth 1200 pounds a year. Rachel and her three
children have but the slenderest provision.

[The next two days there was a slight improvement but on the third
morning the heart began to fail. The great pain subdued by
anaesthetics, he lingered on about seven hours, and at half-past three
on June 29 passed away very quietly.

He was buried at Finchley, on July 4, beside his brother George and his
little son Noel, under the shadow of the oak, which had grown up into a
stately young tree from the little sapling it had been when the grave
of his first-born was dug beneath it, five and thirty years before.

The funeral was of a private character. An old friend, the Reverend
Llewelyn Davies, came from Kirkby Lonsdale to read the service; the
many friends who gathered at the grave-side were there as friends
mourning the death of a friend, and all touched with the same sense of
personal loss.

By his special direction, three lines from a poem written by his wife,
were inscribed upon his tombstone--lines inspired by his own robust
conviction that, all question of the future apart, this life as it can
be lived, pain, sorrow, and evil notwithstanding, is worth--and well

Be not afraid, ye waiting hearts that weep;
For still He giveth His beloved sleep,
And if an endless sleep He wills, so best.]


He had intellect to comprehend his highest duty distinctly, and force
of character to do it; which of us dare ask for a higher summary of his
life than that?

[Such was Huxley's epitaph upon Henslow; it was the standard which he
endeavoured to reach in his own life. It is the expression of that
passion for veracity which was perhaps his strongest characteristic; an
uncompromising passion for truth in thought, which would admit no
particle of self-deception, no assertion beyond what could be verified;
for truth in act, perfect straightforwardness and sincerity, with
complete disregard of personal consequences for uttering unpalatable

Truthfulness, in his eyes, was the cardinal virtue, without which no
stable society can exist. Conviction, sincerity, he always respected,
whether on his own side or against him. Clever men, he would say, are
as common as blackberries; the rare thing is to find a good one. The
lie from interested motives was only more hateful to him than the lie
from self-delusion or foggy thinking. With this he classed the "sin of
faith," as he called it; that form of credence which does not fulfil
the duty of making a right use of reason; which prostitutes reason by
giving assent to propositions which are neither self-evident nor
adequately proved.

This principle has always been far from finding universal acceptance.
One of his theological opponents went so far as to affirm that a
doctrine may be not only held, but dogmatically insisted on, by a
teacher who is, all the time, fully aware that science may ultimately
prove it to be quite untenable.

His own course went to the opposite extreme. In teaching, where it was
possible to let the facts speak for themselves, he did not further urge
their bearing upon wider problems. He preferred to warn beginners
against drawing superficial inferences in favour of his own general
theories, from facts the real meaning of which was not immediately
apparent. Father Hahn (S.J.), who studied under him in 1876, writes:--

One day when I was talking to him, our conversation turned upon
evolution. "There is one thing about you I cannot understand," I said,
"and I should like a word in explanation. For several months now I have
been attending your course, and I have never heard you mention
evolution, while in your public lectures everywhere you openly proclaim
yourself an evolutionist." ("Revue des Questions Scientifiques"
(Brussels), for October 1895.)

Now it would be impossible to imagine a better opportunity for
insisting on evolution than his lectures on comparative anatomy, when
animals are set side by side in respect of the gradual development of
functions. But Huxley was so reserved on this subject in his lectures
that, speaking one day of a species forming a transition between two
others, he immediately added:--]

"When I speak of transition I do not in the least mean to say that one
species turned into a second to develop thereafter into a third. What I
mean is, that the characters of the second are intermediate between
those of the two others. It is as if I were to say that such a
Cathedral, Canterbury, for example, is a transition between York
Minster and Westminster Abbey. No one would imagine, on hearing the
word transition, that a transmutation of these buildings actually took
place from one into other." [(Doubtless in connection with the familiar
warning that intermediate types are not necessarily links in the direct
line of descent.)

But to return to his reply:--]

"Here in my teaching lectures [he said to me] I have time to put the
facts fully before a trained audience. In my public lectures I am
obliged to pass rapidly over the facts, and I put forward my personal
convictions. And it is for this that people come to hear me."

[As to the question whether children should be brought up in entire
disregard to the beliefs rejected by himself, but still current among
the mass of his fellow-countrymen, he was of opinion that they ought to
know] "the mythology of their time and country," [otherwise one would
at the best tend to make young prigs of them; but as they grew up their
questions should be answered frankly. (The wording of a paragraph in
Professor Mivart's "Reminiscences" ("Nineteenth Century", December
1897, P. 993), tends, I think, to leave a wrong impression on this

The natural tendency to veracity, strengthened by the observation of
the opposite quality in one with whom he was early brought into
contact, received its decisive impulse, as has been told before, from
Carlyle, whose writings confirmed and established his youthful reader
in a hatred of shams and make-believes equal to his own.

In his mind no compromise was possible between truth and untruth. (As
he once said, when urged to write a more eulogistic notice of a dead
friend than he thought deserved], "The only serious temptations to
perjury I have ever known have arisen out of the desire to be of some
comfort to people I cared for in trouble. If there are such things as
Plato's 'Royal Lies' they are surely those which one is tempted to tell
on such occasions. Mrs. -- is such a good devoted little woman, and I
am so doubtful about having a soul, that it seems absurd to hesitate to
peril it for her satisfaction.") [Against authorities and influences he
published "Man's Place in Nature," though warned by his friends that to
do so meant ruin to his prospects. When he had once led the way and
challenged the upholders of conventional orthodoxy, others backed him
up with a whole armoury of facts. But his fight was as far as possible
for the truth itself, for fact, not merely for controversial victory or
personal triumph. Yet, as has been said by a representative of a very
different school of thought, who can wonder that he should have hit out
straight from the shoulder, in reply to violent or insidious attacks,
the stupidity of which sometimes merited scorn as well as anger?

In his theological controversies he was no less careful to avoid any
approach to mere abuse or ribaldry such as some opponents of Christian
dogma indulged in. For this reason he refused to interpose in the
well-known Foote case. Discussion, he said, could be carried on
effectually without deliberate wounding of others' feelings.

As he wrote in reply to an appeal for help in this case (March 12,

I have not read the writings for which Mr. Foote was prosecuted. But,
unless their nature has been grossly misrepresented, I cannot say that
I feel disposed to intervene on his behalf.

I am ready to go great lengths in defence of freedom of discussion, but
I decline to admit that rightful freedom is attacked, when a man is
prevented from coarsely and brutally insulting his neighbours' honest

I would rather make an effort to get legal penalties inflicted with
equal rigour on some of the anti-scientific blasphemers--who are quite
as coarse and unmannerly in their attacks on opinions worthy of all
respect as Mr. Foote can possibly have been.

[The grand result of his determination not to compromise where truth
was concerned, was the securing freedom of thought and speech. One man
after another, looking back on his work, declares that if we can say
what we think now, it is because he fought the battle of freedom. Not
indeed the battle of toleration, if toleration means toleration of
error for its own sake. Error, he thought, ought to be extirpated by
all legitimate means, and not assisted because it is conscientiously

As Lord Hobhouse wrote, soon after his death:--

I see now many laudatory notices of him in papers. But I have not seen,
and I think the younger men do not know, that which (apart from
science) I should put forward as his strongest claim to reverence and
gratitude; and that is the steadfast courage and consummate ability
with which he fought the battle of intellectual freedom, and insisted
that people should be allowed to speak their honest convictions without
being oppressed or slandered by the orthodox. He was one of those,
perhaps the very foremost, who won that priceless freedom for us; and,
as is too common, people enter into the labours of the brave, and do
not even know what their elders endured, or what has been done for

With this went a proud independence of spirit, intolerant of patronage,
careless of titular honours, indifferent to the accumulation of worldly
wealth. He cared little even for recognition of his work. "If I had 400
pounds a year" [A sum which might have supported a bachelor, but was
entirely inadequate to the needs of a large family.], he exclaimed at
the outset of his career, "I should be content to work anonymously for
the advancement of science." The only recognition he considered worth
having, was that of the scientific world; yet so little did he seek it,
so little insist on questions of priority, that, as Professor Howes
tells me, there are at South Kensington among the mass of unpublished
drawings from dissections made by him, many which show that he had
arrived at discoveries which afterwards brought credit to other

He was as ready to disclaim for himself any merits which really
belonged to his predecessors, whether philosophical or scientific. He
was too well read in their works not to be aware of the debt owed them
by his own generation, and he reminded the world how little the
scientific insight of Goethe, for instance, or the solid labours of
Buffon or Reaumur or Lamarck, deserved oblivion.

The only point on which he did claim recognition was the honesty of his
motives. He was incapable of doing anything underhand, and he could not
bear even the appearance of such conduct towards his friends, or those
with whom he had business relations. In such cases he always took the
bull by the horns, acknowledged an oversight or explained what was
capable of misunderstanding. The choice between Edward Forbes and
Hooker for the Royal Society's medal, or the explanations to Mr.
Spencer for not joining a social reform league of which the latter was
a prominent member, will serve as instances.]

The most considerable difference I note among men [he wrote], is not in
their readiness to fall into error, but in their readiness to
acknowledge these inevitable lapses.

[For himself, he let no personal feelings stand in the way when fact
negatived his theories: once convinced that they were untenable, he
gave up Bathybius and the European origin of the Horse without

The regard in which he was held by his friends was such that he was
sometimes appealed to by both parties in a dispute. He was a man to be
trusted with the confidence of his friends.] "Yes, you are quite right
about 'loyal,'" [he writes to Mr. Knowles], "I love my friends and hate
my enemies--which may not be in accordance with the Gospel, but I have
found it a good wearing creed for honest men." [But he only regarded as
"enemies" those whom he found to be double-dealers, shufflers,
insincere, untrustworthy; a fair opponent he respected, and he could
agree to differ with a friend without altering his friendship.

A lifelong impression of him was thus summed up by Dr. A.R. Wallace:--

I find that he was my junior by two years, yet he has always seemed to
me to be the older, mainly no doubt, because from the very first time I
saw him (now more than forty years ago), I recognised his vast
superiority in ability, in knowledge, and in all those qualities that
enable a man to take a foremost place in the world. I owe him thanks
for much kindness and for assistance always cordially given, and
although we had many differences of opinion, I never received from him
a harsh or unkind word.

To those who could only judge him from his controversial literature, or
from a formal business meeting, he often appeared hard and
unsympathetic, but never to those who saw beneath the surface. In
personal intercourse, if he disliked a man--and a strong individuality
has strong likes and dislikes--he would merely veil his feelings under
a superabundant politeness of the chilliest kind; but to any one
admitted to his friendship he was sympathy itself. And thus, although I
have heard him say that his friends, in the fullest sense of the word,
could be reckoned on the fingers of one hand, the impression he made
upon all who came within the circle of his friendship was such that
quite a number felt themselves to possess his intimacy, and one wrote,
after his death: "His many private friends are almost tempted to forget
the public loss, in thinking of the qualities which so endeared him to
them all."

Both the speculative and the practical sides of his intellect were
strongly developed. On the one hand, he had an intense love of
knowledge, the desire to attain true knowledge of facts, and to
organise them in their true relations. His contributions to pure
science never fail to illustrate both these tendencies. His earlier
researches brought to light new facts in animal life, and new ideas as
to the affinities of the creatures he studied; his later investigations
were coloured by Darwin's views, and in return contributed no little
direct evidence in favour of evolution. But while the progress of the
evolution theory in England owed more to his clear and unwearied
exposition than to any other cause, while from the first he had
indicated the points, such as the causes of sterility and variation,
which must be cleared up by further investigation in order to complete
the Darwinian theory, he did not add another to the many speculations
since put forward.

On the other hand, intense as was his love of pure knowledge, it was
balanced by his unceasing desire to apply that knowledge in the
guidance of life. Always feeling that science was not solely for the
men of science, but for the people, his constant object was to help the
struggling world to ideas which should help them to think truly and so
to live rightly. It is still true, he declared, that the people perish
for want of knowledge. "If I am to be remembered at all," he writes
(see volume 2), "I should like to be remembered as one who did his best
to help the people." And again, he says in his Autobiographical Sketch,
that other marks of success were as nothing if he could hope that he
"had somewhat helped that movement of opinion which has been called the
New Reformation."

This kind of aim in his work, of taking up the most fruitful idea of
his time and bringing it home to all, is typified by his remark as he
entered New York harbour on his visit to America in 1876, and watched
the tugs hard at work as they traversed the bay.] "If I were not a
man," [he said], "I think I should like to be a tug."

[Two incidents may be cited to show that he did not entirely fail of
appreciation among those whom he tried to help. Speaking of the year
1874, Professor Mivart writes ("Reminiscences of T.H. Huxley,"
"Nineteenth Century", December 1897.)

I recollect going with him and Mr. John Westlake, Q.C., to a meeting of
artisans in the Blackfriars Road, to whom he gave a friendly address.
He felt a strong interest in working-men, and was much beloved by them.
On one occasion, having taken a cab home, on his arrival there, when he
held out his fare to the cabman, the latter replied, "Oh no, Professor,
I have had too much pleasure and profit from hearing you lecture to
take any money from your pocket--proud to have driven you, sir!"

The other is from a letter to the "Pall Mall Gazette" of September 20,
1892, from Mr. Raymond Blaythwayt, on "The Uses of Sentiment":--

Only to-day I had a most striking instance of sentiment come beneath my
notice. I was about to enter my house, when a plain, simply-dressed
working-man came up to me with a note in his hand, and touching his
hat, he said, "I think this is for you, sir," and then he added, "Will
you give me the envelope, sir, as a great favour?" I looked at it, and
seeing it bore the signature of Professor Huxley, I replied, "Certainly
I will; but why do you ask for it?" "Well," said he, "it's got
Professor Huxley's signature, and it will be something for me to show
my mates and keep for my children. He have done me and my like a lot of
good; no man more."

In practical administration, his judgment of men, his rapid perception
of the essential points at issue, his observance of the necessary
limits of official forms, combined with the greatest possible
elasticity within these limits, made him extremely successful.

As Professor (writes the late Professor Jeffery Parker), Huxley's rule
was characterised by what is undoubtedly the best policy for the head
of a department. To a new subordinate, "The General," as he was always
called, was rather stern and exacting, but when once he was convinced
that his man was to be trusted, he practically let him take his own
course; never interfered in matters of detail, accepted suggestions
with the greatest courtesy and good humour, and was always ready with a
kindly and humorous word of encouragement in times of difficulty. I was
once grumbling to him about how hard it was to carry on the work of the
laboratory through a long series of November fogs, "when neither sun
nor stars in many days appeared."] "Never mind, Parker," [he said,
instantly capping my quotation], "cast four anchors out of the stern
and wish for day."

[Nothing, indeed, better illustrates this willingness to listen to
suggested improvements than the inversion of the order of studies in
the biological course which he inaugurated in 1872, namely, the
substitution of the anatomy of a vertebrate for the microscopic
examination of a unicellular organism as the opening study. This was
entirely Parker's doing. "As one privileged at the time to play a minor
part," writes Professor Howes ("Nature" January 6, 1898 page 228), "I
well recall the determination in Parker's mind that the change was
desirable, and in Huxley's, that it was not. Again and again did Parker
appeal in vain, until at last, on the morning of October 2, 1878, he

On his students he made a deep and lasting impression.

His lectures (writes Jeffery Parker) were like his writings, luminously
clear, without the faintest disposition to descend to the level of his
audience; eloquent, but with no trace of the empty rhetoric which so
often does duty for that quality; full of a high seriousness, but with
no suspicion of pedantry; lightened by an occasional epigram or flashes
of caustic humour, but with none of the small jocularity in which it is
such a temptation to a lecturer to indulge. As one listened to him one
felt that comparative anatomy was indeed worthy of the devotion of a
life, and that to solve a morphological problem was as fine a thing as
to win a battle. He was an admirable draughtsman, and his blackboard
illustrations were always a great feature of his lectures, especially
when, to show the relation of two animal types, he would, by a few
rapid strokes and smudges, evolve the one into the other before our
eyes. He seemed to have a real affection for some of the specimens
illustrating his lectures, and would handle them in a peculiarly loving
manner; when he was lecturing on man, for instance, he would sometimes
throw his arm over the shoulder of the skeleton beside him and take its
hand, as if its silent companionship were an inspiration. To me his
lectures before his small class at Jermyn Street or South Kensington
were almost more impressive than the discourses at the Royal
Institution, where for an hour and a half he poured forth a stream of
dignified, earnest, sincere words in perfect literary form, and without
the assistance of a note.

Another description is from the pen of an old pupil in the autumn of
1876, Professor H. Fairfield Osborn, of Columbia College:--

Huxley, as a teacher, can never be forgotten by any of his students. He
entered the lecture-room promptly as the clock was striking nine (In
most years the lectures began at ten.), rather quickly, and with his
head bent forward "as if oppressive with its mind." He usually glanced
attention to his class of about ninety, and began speaking before he
reached his chair. He spoke between his lips, but with perfectly clear
analysis, with thorough interest, and with philosophic insight which
was far above the average of his students. He used very few charts, but
handled the chalk with great skill, sketching out the anatomy of an
animal as if it were a transparent object. As in Darwin's face, and as
in Erasmus Darwin's or Buffon's, and many other anatomists with a
strong sense of form, his eyes were heavily overhung by a projecting
forehead and eyebrows, and seemed at times to look inward. His lips
were firm and closely set, with the expression of positiveness, and the
other feature which most marked him was the very heavy mass of hair
falling over his forehead, which he would frequently stroke or toss
back. Occasionally he would light up the monotony of anatomical
description by a bit of humour.

Huxley was the father of modern laboratory instruction; but in 1879 he
was so intensely engrossed with his own researches that he very seldom
came through the laboratory, which was ably directed by T. Jeffery
Parker, assisted by Howes and W. Newton Parker, all of whom are now
professors, Howes having succeeded to Huxley's chair. Each visit,
therefore, inspired a certain amount of terror, which was really
unwarranted, for Huxley always spoke in the kindest tones to his
students, although sometimes he could not resist making fun at their
expense. There was an Irish student who sat in front of me, whose
anatomical drawings in water-colour were certainly most remarkable
productions. Huxley, in turning over his drawing-book, paused at a
large blur, under which was carefully inscribed, "sheep's liver," and
smilingly said], "I am glad to know that is a liver; it reminds me as
much of Cologne cathedral in a fog as of anything I have ever seen
before." [Fortunately the nationality of the student enabled him to
fully appreciate the humour.

The same note is sounded in Professor Mivart's description of these
lectures in his Reminiscences:--

The great value of Huxley's anatomical ideas, and the admirable
clearness with which he explained them, led me in the autumn of 1861 to
seek admission as a student to his course of lectures at the School of
Mines in Jermyn Street. When I entered his small room there to make
this request, he was giving the finishing touches to a dissection of
part of the nervous system of a skate, worked out for the benefit of
his students. He welcomed my application with the greatest cordiality,
save that he insisted I should be only an honorary student, or rather,
should assist at his lectures as a friend. I availed myself of his
permission on the very next day, and subsequently attended almost all
his lectures there and elsewhere, so that he one day said to me, "I
shall call you my 'constant reader.'" To be such a reader was to me an
inestimable privilege, and so I shall ever consider it. I have heard
many men lecture, but I never heard any one lecture as did Professor
Huxley. He was my very ideal of a lecturer. Distinct in utterance, with
an agreeable voice, lucid as it was possible to be in exposition, with
admirably chosen language, sufficiently rapid, yet never hurried, often
impressive in manner, yet never otherwise than completely natural, and
sometimes allowing his audience a glimpse of that rich fund of humour
ever ready to well forth when occasion permitted, sometimes accompanied
with an extra gleam in his bright dark eyes, sometimes expressed with a
dryness and gravity of look which gave it a double zest.

I shall never forget the first time I saw him enter his lecture-room.
He came in rapidly, yet without bustle, and as the clock struck, a
brief glance at his audience and then at once to work. He had the
excellent habit of beginning each lecture (save, of course, the first)
with a recapitulation of the main points of the preceding one. The
course was amply illustrated by excellent coloured diagrams, which, I
believe, he had made; but still more valuable were the chalk sketches
he would draw on the blackboard with admirable facility, while he was
talking, his rapid, dexterous strokes quickly building up an organism
in our minds, simultaneously through ear and eye. The lecture over, he
was ever ready to answer questions, and I often admired his patience in
explaining points which there was no excuse for any one not having

Still more was I struck with the great pleasure which he showed when he
saw that some special points of his teaching had not only been
comprehended, but had borne fruit, by their suggestiveness in an
appreciative mind.

To one point I desire specially to bear witness. There were persons who
dreaded sending young men to him, fearing lest their young friends'
religious beliefs should be upset by what they might hear said. For
years I attended his lectures, but never once did I hear him make use
of his position as a teacher to inculcate, or even hint at, his own
theological views, or to depreciate or assail what might be supposed to
be the religion of his hearers. No one could have behaved more loyally
in that respect, and a proof that I thought so is that I subsequently
sent my own son to be his pupil at South Kensington, where his
experience confirmed what had previously been my own.

As to science, I learnt more from him in two years than I had acquired
in any previous decade of biological study.

The picture is completed by Professor Howes in the "Students' Magazine"
of the Royal College of Science:--

As a class lecturer Huxley was facile princeps, and only those who were
privileged to sit under him can form a conception of his delivery.
Clear, deliberate, never hesitant nor unduly emphatic, never
repetitional, always logical, his every word told. Great, however, as
were his class lectures, his working-men's were greater. Huxley was a
firm believer in the "distillatio per ascensum" of scientific knowledge
and culture, and spared no pains in approaching the artisan and
so-called "working classes." He gave the workmen of his best. The
substance of his "Man's Place in Nature", one of the most successful
and popular of his writings, and of his "Crayfish", perhaps the most
perfect zoological treatise ever published, was first communicated to
them. In one of the last conversations I had with him, I asked his
views on the desirability of discontinuing the workmen's lectures at
Jermyn Street, since the development of working-men's colleges and
institutes is regarded by some to have rendered their continuance
unnecessary. He replied, almost with indignation], "With our central
situation and resources, we ought to be in a position to give the
workmen that which they cannot get elsewhere," [adding that he would
deeply deplore any such discontinuance.

And now, a word or two concerning Huxley's personal conduct towards his
pupils, hearers, and subordinates.

As an examiner he was most just, aiming only to ascertain the
examinee's knowledge of fundamentals, his powers of work, and the
manner in which he had been taught. A country school lad came near the
boundary line in the examination; though generally weak, his worst
fault was a confusion of the parts of the heart. In his description of
that organ he had transposed the valves. On appeal, Huxley let him
through, observing, most characteristically, "Poor little beggar, I
never got them correctly myself until I reflected that a bishop was
never in the right."  (The "mitral" valve being on the left side.)
Again, a student of more advanced years, of the "mugging" type, who had
come off with flying colours in an elementary examination, showed signs
of uneasiness as the advanced one approached. "Stick an observation
into him," said Huxley. It was stuck, and acted like a stiletto, a jump
into the air and utter collapse being the result.

With his hearers Huxley was most sympathetic. He always assumed
absolute ignorance on their part, and took nothing for granted. (This
was a maxim on lecturing, adopted from Faraday.) When time permitted,
he would remain after a lecture to answer questions; and in connection
with his so doing his wonderful power of gauging and rising to a
situation, once came out most forcibly. Turning to a student, he asked,
"Well, I hope you understood it all." "All, sir, but one part, during
which you stood between me and the blackboard," was the reply: the
rejoinder, "I did my best to make myself clear, but could not render
myself transparent." Quick of comprehension and of action, he would
stand no nonsense. The would-be teacher who, wholly unfitted by nature
for educational work, was momentarily dismissed, realised this, let us
hope to his advantage. And the man suspected of taking notes of
Huxley's lectures for publication unauthorised, probably learned the
lesson of his life, on being reminded that, in the first place, a
lecture was the property of the person who delivered it, and, in the
second, he was not the first person who had mistaken aspiration for

Though candid, Huxley was never unkind...

Huxley never forgot a kindly action, never forsook a friend, nor
allowed a labour to go unrewarded. In testimony to his sympathy to
those about him and his self-sacrifice for the cause of science, it may
be stated that in the old days, when the professors took the fees and
disbursed the working expenses of the laboratories, he, doing this at a
loss, would refund the fees of students whose position, from friendship
or special circumstances, was exceptional.

As for his lectures and addresses to the public, they used to be
thronged by crowds of attentive listeners.

Huxley's public addresses (writes Professor Osborn) always gave me the
impression of being largely impromptu; but he once told me: "I always
think out carefully every word I am going to say. There is no greater
danger than the so-called INSPIRATION OF THE MOMENT, which leads you to
say something which is not exactly true, or which you would regret

Mr. G.W. Smalley has also left a striking description of him as a
lecturer in the seventies and early eighties.

I used always to admire the simple and business-like way in which
Huxley made his entry on great occasions. He hated anything like
display, and would have none of it. At the Royal Institution, more than
almost anywhere else, the lecturer, on whom the concentric circles of
spectators in their steep amphitheatre look down, focuses the gaze.
Huxley never seemed aware that anybody was looking at him. From
self-consciousness he was, here as elsewhere, singularly free, as from
self-assertion. He walked in through the door on the left, as if he
were entering his own laboratory. In these days he bore scarcely a mark
of age. He was in the full vigour of manhood and looked the man he was.
Faultlessly dressed--the rule in the Royal Institution is evening
costume--with a firm step and easy bearing, he took his place
apparently without a thought of the people who were cheering him. To
him it was an anniversary. He looked, and he probably was, the master.
Surrounded as he was by the celebrities of science and the ornaments of
London drawing-rooms, there was none who had quite the same kind of
intellectual ascendancy which belonged to him. The square forehead, the
square jaw, the tense lines of the mouth, the deep flashing dark eyes,
the impression of something more than strength he gave you, an
impression of sincerity, of solid force, of immovability, yet with the
gentleness arising from the serene consciousness of his strength--all
this belonged to Huxley and to him alone. The first glance magnetised
his audience. The eyes were those of one accustomed to command, of one
having authority, and not fearing on occasion to use it. The hair swept
carelessly away from the broad forehead and grew rather long behind,
yet the length did not suggest, as it often does, effeminacy. He was
masculine in everything--look, gesture, speech. Sparing of gesture,
sparing of emphasis, careless of mere rhetorical or oratorical art, he
had nevertheless the secret of the highest art of all, whether in
oratory or whatever else--he had simplicity. The force was in the
thought and the diction, and he needed no other. The voice was rather
deep, low, but quite audible, at times sonorous, and always full. He
used the chest-notes. His manner here, in the presence of this select
and rather limited audience--for the theatre of the Royal Institution
holds, I think, less than a thousand people--was exactly the same as
before a great company whom he addressed at [Liverpool], as President
of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. I remember
going late to that, and having to sit far back, yet hearing every word
easily; and there too the feeling was the same, that he had mastered
his audience, taken possession of them, and held them to the end in an
unrelaxing grip, as a great actor at his best does. There was nothing
of the actor about him, except that he knew how to stand still, but
masterful he ever was.

Up to the time of his last illness, he regularly breakfasted at eight,
and avoided, as far as possible, going out to that meal, a "detestable
habit" as he called it, which put him off for the whole day. He left
the house about nine, and from that time till midnight at earliest was
incessantly busy. His regular lectures involved an immensity of labour,
for he would never make a statement in them which he had not personally
verified by experiment. In the Jermyn Street days he habitually made
preparations to illustrate the points on which he was lecturing, for
his students had no laboratory in which to work out the things for
themselves. His lectures to working-men also involved as much careful
preparation as the more conspicuous discourses at the Royal Institution.

This thoroughness of preparation had no less effect on the teacher than
on the taught. He writes to an old pupil:--]

It is pleasant when the "bread cast upon the water" returns after many
days; and if the crumbs given in my lectures have had anything to do
with the success on which I congratulate you, I am very glad.

I used to say of my own lectures that if nobody else learned anything
from them, I did; because I always took a great deal of pains over
them. But it is none the less satisfactory to find that there WERE
other learners.

[As for the ordinary course of a day's work, the more fitful energy and
useless mornings of the earliest period in London were soon left
behind. He was never one of those portentously early risers who do a
fair day's work before other people are up; there was only one period,
about 1873, when he had to be specially careful of his health, and,
under Sir Andrew Clark's regime, took riding exercise for an hour each
day before starting for South Kensington, that he records the fact of
doing any work before breakfast, and that was letter-writing.

Much of the day during the session, and still more when his lectures
were over, would thus be spent in original research, or in the
examination and description of fossils in his official duty as
Paleontologist to the Survey. As often as not, there would be a sitting
of some Royal Commission to attend; committees of some learned society;
meetings or dinners in the evening; if not, there would be an article
to write or proofs to correct. Indeed, the greater part of the work by
which the world knows him best was done after dinner, and after a long
day's work in the lecture-room and laboratory.

He possessed a wonderful faculty for tearing out the heart of a book,
reading it through at a gallop, but knowing what it said on all the
points that interested him. Of verbal memory he had very little; in
spite of all his reading I do not believe he knew half a dozen
consecutive lines of poetry by heart. What he did know was the
substance of what an author had written; how it fitted into his own
scheme of knowledge; and where to find any point again when he wished
to cite it.

In his biological studies his immense knowledge was firmly fixed in his
mind by practical investigation; as is said above, he would take at
second hand nothing for which he vouched in his teaching, and was
always ready to repeat for himself the experiments of others, which
determined questions of interest to him. The citations, analyses, maps,
with which he frequently accompanied his reading, were all part of the
same method of acquiring facts and setting them in order within his
mind. So careful, indeed, was he in giving nothing at second hand, that
one of his scientific friends reproached him with wasting his time upon
unnecessary scientific work, to which competent investigators had
already given the stamp of their authority. "Poor--," was his comment
afterwards, "if that is his own practice, his work will never live." On
the literary side, he was omnivorous--consuming everything, as Mr.
Spencer put it, from fairy tales to the last volume on metaphysics.

Unlike Darwin, to whom scientific research was at length the only thing
engrossing enough to make him oblivious of his never-ending ill-health,
to the gradual exclusion of other interests, literary and artistic,
Huxley never lost his delight in literature or in art. He had a keen
eye for a picture or a piece of sculpture, for, in addition to the
draughtsman's and anatomist's sense of form, he had a strong sense of
colour. To good music he was always susceptible. (To one breaking in
upon him at certain afternoon hours in his room at South Kensington, "a
whiff of the pipe" (writes Professor Howes), "and a snatch of some
choice melody or a Bach's fugue, were the not infrequent welcome.") He
played no instrument; as a young man, however, he used to sing a
little, but his voice, though true, was never strong. But he had small
leisure to devote to art. On his holidays he would sometimes sketch
with a firm and rapid touch. His illustrations to the "Cruise of the
Rattlesnake" show what his untrained capacities were. But to go to a
concert or opera was rare after middle life; to go to the theatre rarer
still, much as he appreciated a good play. His time was too deeply
mortgaged; and in later life, the deafness which grew upon him added a
new difficulty.

In poetry he was sensitive both to matter and form. One school of
modern poetry he dismissed as "sensuous caterwauling": a busy man, time
and patience failed him to wade through the trivial discursiveness of
so much of Wordsworth's verse; thus unfortunately he never realised the
full value of a poet in whom the mass of ore bears so large a
proportion to the pure metal. Shelley was too diffuse to be among his
first favourites; but for simple beauty, Keats; for that, and for the
comprehension of the meaning of modern science, Tennyson; for strength
and feeling, Browning as represented by his earlier poems--these were
the favourites among the moderns. He knew his eighteenth-century
classics, but knew better his Milton and his Shakespeare, to whom he
turned with ever-increasing satisfaction, as men do who have lived a
full life.

His early acquaintance with German had given him a lasting admiration
of the greatest representatives of German literature, Goethe above all,
in whose writings he found a moral grandeur to be ranked with that of
the Hebrew prophets. Eager to read Dante in the original, he spent much
of his leisure on board the "Rattlesnake" in making out the Italian
with the aid of a dictionary, and in this way came to know the beauties
of the "Divina Commedia". On the other hand, it was a scientific
interest which led him in later life to take up his Greek, though one
use he put it to was to read Homer in the original.

Though he was a great novel-reader, and, as he grew older, would always
have a novel ready to take up for a while in the evening, his chief
reading, in German and French as well as English, was philosophy and

His recreations were, as a rule, literary, and consisted in a change of
mental occupation. The only times I can remember his playing an outdoor
game are in the late sixties, when he started his elder children at
cricket on the common at Littlehampton, and in 1871 when he played golf
at St. Andrews. When first married, he promised his wife to reserve
Saturday afternoons for recreation, and constantly went with her to the
Ella concerts. About 1861 she urged him to take exercise by joining Mr.
Herbert Spencer at racquets; but the pressure of work before long
absorbed all his time. In his youth he was extremely fond of chess, and
played eagerly with his fellow-students at Charing Cross Hospital or
with his messmates on board the "Rattlesnake". But after he taught me
the game, somewhere about 1869 or 1870, I do not think he ever found
time for it again.

His principal exercise was walking during the holidays. In his earlier
days especially, when overwrought by the stress of his life in London,
he used to go off with a friend for a week's walking tour in Wales or
the Lakes, in Brittany or the Eifel country, or in summer for a longer
trip to Switzerland. In this way he "burnt up the waste products," as
he would say, of his town life, and came back fresh for a new spell of
unintermittent work.

But on the whole, the amount of exercise he took was insufficient for
his bodily needs. Even the riding prescribed for him when he first
broke down, became irksome, and was not continued very long, although
his bodily machine was such as could only be kept in perfect working
order by more exercise than he would give. His physique was not adapted
to burn up the waste without special stimulus. I remember once, as he
and I were walking up Beachy Head, we passed a man with a splendid big
chest. "Ah," said my father regretfully, "if I had only had a chest
like that, what a lot of work I could have done."

When, in 1872, he built his new house in Marlborough Place, my father
bargained for two points; one, that each member of the family should
have a corner of his or her own, where, as he used to say, it would be
possible to "consume their own smoke"; the other, that the common
living-rooms should be of ample size. Thus from 1874 onwards he was
enabled to see something of his many friends who would come as far as
St. John's Wood on a Sunday evening. No formal invitation for a special
day was needed. The guests came, before supper or after, sometimes
more, sometimes fewer, as on any ordinary at-home day. There was a
simple informal meal at 6.30 or 7 o'clock, which called itself by no
more dignified name than high tea--was, in fact, a cold supper with
varying possibilities in the direction of dinner or tea. It was a
chance medley of old and young--friends of the parents and friends of
the children, but all ultimately centring round the host himself, whose
end of the table never flagged for conversation, grave or gay.

Afterwards talk would go on in the drawing-room, or, on warm summer
evenings, in the garden--nothing very extensive, but boasting a lawn
with an old apple-tree at the further end, and in the borders such
flowers and trees as endure London air. Later on, there was almost sure
to be some music, to which my father himself was devoted. His daughters
sang; a musical friend would be there; Mr. Herbert Spencer, a frequent
visitor, was an authority on music. Once only do I recollect any other
form of entertainment, and that was an occasion when Sir Henry Irving,
then not long established at the Lyceum, was present and recited
"Eugene Aram" with great effect.

In his "London Letters" Mr. G.W. Smalley has recorded his impressions
of these evenings (Another interesting account from the same pen is to
be found in the article "Mr. Huxley," Scribner's Magazine, October
1895.), at which he was often present:--

There used to be Sunday evening dinners and parties in Marlborough
Place, to which people from many other worlds than those of abstract
science were bidden; where talk was to be heard of a kind rare in any
world. It was scientific at times, but subdued to the necessities of
the occasion; speculative, yet kept within such bounds that bishop or
archbishop might have listened without offence; political even, and
still not commonplace; literary without pretence, and when artistic,
free from affectation.

There and elsewhere Mr. Huxley easily took the lead if he cared to, or
if challenged. Nobody was more ready in a greater variety of topics,
and if they were scientific it was almost always another who introduced
them. Unlike some of his comrades of the Royal Society, he was of
opinion that man does not live by science alone, and nothing came amiss
to him. All his life long he has been in the front of the battle that
has raged between science and--not religion, but theology in its more
dogmatic form. Even in private the alarm of war is sometimes heard, and
Mr. Huxley is not a whit less formidable as a disputant across the
table than with pen in hand. Yet an angry man must be very angry indeed
before he could be angry with this adversary. He disarmed his enemies
with an amiable grace that made defeat endurable if not entirely

As for his method of handling scientific subjects in conversation:--

He has the same quality, the same luminous style of exposition, with
which his printed books have made all readers in America and England
familiar. Yet it has more than that. You cannot listen to him without
thinking more of the speaker than of his science, more of the solid
beautiful nature than of the intellectual gifts, more of his manly
simplicity and sincerity than of all his knowledge and his long

But his personality left the deepest impression, perhaps, upon those
who studied under him and worked with him longest, before taking their
place elsewhere in the front ranks of biological science.

With him (Professor A. Hubrecht (Of Utrecht University.) writes), we
his younger disciples, always felt that in acute criticism and vast
learning nobody surpassed him, but still what we yet more admired than
his learning was his wisdom. It was always a delight to read any new
article or essay from his pen, but it was an ever so much higher
delight to hear him talk for five minutes. His was the most beautiful
and the most manly intellect I ever knew of.

So, too, Professor E. Ray Lankester:--

There has been no man or woman whom I have met on my journey through
life, whom I have loved and regarded as I have him, and I feel that the
world has shrunk and become a poor thing, now that his splendid spirit
and delightful presence are gone from it. Ever since I was a little boy
he has been my ideal and hero.

While the late Jeffery Parker concludes his Recollections with these

Whether a professor is usually a hero to his demonstrator I cannot say;
I only know that, looking back across an interval of many years and a
distance of half the circumference of the globe, I have never ceased to
be impressed with the manliness and sincerity of his character, his
complete honesty of purpose, his high moral standard, his scorn of
everything mean or shifty, his firm determination to speak what he held
to be truth at whatever cost of popularity. And for these things "I
loved the man, and do honour to his memory, on this side idolatry, as
much as any."

Even those who scarcely knew him apart from his books, underwent the
influence of that "determination to speak what he held to be truth." I
may perhaps be allowed to quote in illustration two passages from
letters to myself--one written by a woman, the other by a man:--

"'The surest-footed guide' is exactly true, to my feeling. Everybody
else, among the great, used to disappoint one somewhere. He--never!"

"He was so splendidly brave that one can never repay one's debt to him
for his example. He made all pretence about religious belief, and the
kind of half-thinking things out, and putting up in a slovenly way with
half-formed conclusions, seem the base thing which it really is."



[I have often regretted that I did not regularly take notes of my
father's conversation, which was striking, not so much for the manner
of it--though that was at once copious and crisp,--as for the strength
and substance of what he said. Yet the striking fact, the bit of
philosophy, the closely knitted argument, were perfectly unstudied, and
as in other most interesting talkers, dropped into the flow of
conversation as naturally as would the more ordinary experiences of
less richly stored minds.

However, in January 1895 I was staying at Eastbourne, and jotted down
several fragments of talk as nearly as I could recollect them.
Conversation not immediately noted down I hardly dare venture upon,
save perhaps such an unforgettable phrase as this, which I remember his
using one day as we walked on the hills near Great Hampden]:--"It is
one of the most saddening things in life that, try as we may, we can
never be certain of making people happy, whereas we can almost always
be certain of making them unhappy."


At lunch he spoke of Dr. Louis Robinson's experiments upon simian
characteristics in new-born children. He himself had called attention
before to the incurved feet of infants, but the power of hanging by the
hands was a new and important discovery. (Professor H.F. Osborn tells
this story of his:--"When a fond mother calls upon me to admire her
baby, I never fail to respond; and while cooing appropriately, I take
advantage of an opportunity to gently ascertain whether the soles of
its feet turn in, and tend to support my theory of arboreal descent.")

He expressed his disgust with a certain member of the Psychical
Research Society for his attitude towards spiritualism]: "He doesn't
believe in it, yet lends it the cover of his name. He is one of the
people who talk of the 'possibility' of the thing, who think the
difficulties of disproving a thing as good as direct evidence in its

[He thought it hard to be attacked for] "the contempt of the man of
science" [when he was dragged into debate by Mr. Andrew Lang's "Cock
Lane and Common Sense", he saying in a very polite letter}: "I am
content to leave Mr. Lang the Cock Lane Ghost if I may keep common
sense." "After all," [he added], "when a man has been through life and
made his judgments, he must have come to a decision that there are some
subjects it is not worth while going into."


I referred to an article in the last "Nineteenth Century", and he
said]:--"As soon as I saw it, I wrote, 'Knowles, my friend, you don't
draw me this time. If a man goes on attributing statements to me which
I have shown over and over again--giving chapter and verse--to be the
contrary of what I did say, it is no good saying any more.'"

[But would not this course of silence leave the mass of the British
public believing the statements of the writer?]

"The mass of the public will believe in ten years precisely the
opposite of what they believe now. If a man is not a fool, it does him
no harm to be believed one. If he really is a fool, it does matter.
There never was book so derided and scoffed at as my first book, "Man's
Place in Nature", but it was true, and I don't know I was any the worse
for the ridicule.

"People call me fond of controversy, but, as a fact, for the last
twenty years at all events, I have never entered upon a controversy
without some further purpose in view. As to Gladstone and his
"Impregnable Rock", it wasn't worth attacking them for themselves; but
it was most important at that moment to shake him in the minds of
sensible men.

"The movement of modern philosophy is back towards the position of the
old Ionian philosophers, but strengthened and clarified by sound
scientific ideas. If I publish my criticism on Comte, I should have to
re-write it as a summary of philosophical ideas from the earliest
times. The thread of philosophical development is not on the lines
usually laid down for it. It goes from Democritus and the rest to the
Epicureans, and then the Stoics, who tried to reconcile it with popular
theological ideas, just as was done by the Christian Fathers. In the
Middle Ages it was entirely lost under the theological theories of the
time; but reappeared with Spinoza, who, however, muddled it up with a
lot of metaphysics which made him almost unintelligible.

"Plato was the founder of all the vague and unsound thinking that has
burdened philosophy, deserting facts for possibilities, and then, after
long and beautiful stories of what might be, telling you he doesn't
quite believe them himself.

"A certain time since it was heresy to breathe a word against Plato;
but I have a nice story of Sir Henry Holland. He used to have all the
rising young men to breakfast, and turn out their latest ideas. One
morning I went to breakfast with him, and we got into very intimate
conversation, when he wound up by saying, 'In my opinion, Plato was an
ass! But don't tell any one I said so.'"

We talked on geographical teaching; he began by insisting on the need
of a map of the earth (on the true scale) showing the insignificance of
all elevations and depressions on the surface. Secondly, one should
take any place as centre, and draw about it circles of 50 or 100 miles
radius, and see what lies within them; and note the extent of the
influence exerted by the central point. At the same time, one should
always compare the British Isles to scale. For instance, the Aegean is
about as big as Britain; while the smallness of Judaea is remarkable.
After the Exile, the Jewish part was about as big as the county of
Gloucester. How few boys realise this, though they are taught classical

"The real chosen people were the Greeks. One of the most remarkable
things about them is not only the smallness, but the late rise of
Attica, whereas Magna Graecia flourished in the eighth century. The
Greeks were doing everything--piracy, trade, fighting, expelling the
Persians. Never was there so large a number of self-governing

"They fell short of the Jews in morality. How curious is the tolerant
attitude of Socrates, like a modern man of the world talking to a young
fellow who runs after the girls. The Jew, however he fell short in
other respects, set himself a certain standard in cleanliness of life,
and would not fall below it. The more creditable to him, because these
vices were the offspring of the Semitic races among whom the Jew lived.

"There is a curious similarity between the position of the Jew in
ancient times and what it is now. They were procurers and usurers among
the Gentiles, yet many of them were singularly high-minded and pure.
All too with an intense clannishness, the secret of their success, and
a sense of superiority to the Gentile which would prevent the meanest
Jew from sitting at table with a proconsul.

"The most remarkable achievement of the Jew was to impose on Europe for
eighteen centuries his own superstitions--his ideas of the
supernatural. Jahveh was no more than Zeus or Milcom; yet the Jew got
established the belief in the inspiration of his Bible and his Law. If
I were a Jew, I should have the same contempt as he has for the
Christian who acted in this way towards me, who took my ideas and
scorned me for clinging to them."

[January 21.

Yesterday evening he again declared that it was very hard for a man of
peace like himself to have been dragged into so many controversies.] "I
declare that for the last twenty years I have never attacked, but
always fought in self-defence, counting Darwin, of course, as part of
myself, for dear Darwin never could nor would defend himself. Before
that, I admit I attacked --, but I could not trust the man." [A pause.]
"No, there was one other case, when I attacked without being directly
assailed, and that was Gladstone. But it was good for other reasons. It
has always astonished me how a man after fifty or sixty years of life
among men could be so ignorant of the best way to handle his materials.
If he had only read Dana, he would have found his case much better
stated than ever he stated it. He seemed never to have read the leading
authorities on his own side."

[Speaking of the hesitation shown by the Senate of London University in
grappling with a threatened obstacle to reform, he remarked]: "It is
very strange how most men will do anything to evade responsibility."

[January 23.

At dinner the talk turned on plays. Mr. H.A. Jones had sent him
"Judah", which he thought good, though] "there must be some
hostility--except in the very greatest writers--between the dramatic
and the literary faculties. I noticed many points I objected to, but
felt sure they met with applause. Indeed in the theatre I have noticed
that what I thought the worst blots on a piece invariably brought down
the house."

[He remarked how the French, in dramatic just as in artistic matters,
are so much better than the English in composition, in avoiding
anything slipshod in the details, though the English artists draw just
as well and colour perhaps better.

The following sketch of human character is not actually a fragment of
conversation, though it might almost pass for such; it comes from a
letter to Mrs. W.K. Clifford, of February 10, 1895:--]

Men, my dear, are very queer animals, a mixture of horse-nervousness,
ass-stubbornness and camel-malice--with an angel bobbing about
unexpectedly like the apple in the posset, and when they can do exactly
as they please, they are very hard to drive.

[Whatever he talked of, his talk never failed to impress those who
conversed with him. One or two such impressions have been recorded. Mr.
Wilfrid Ward, whose interests lie chiefly in philosophy and theology,
was his neighbour at Eastbourne, and in the "Nineteenth Century" for
August 1896 has given various reminiscences of their friendly

His conversation (he writes) was singularly finished, and (if I may so
express it) clean cut; never long-winded or prosy; enlivened by vivid
illustrations. He was an excellent raconteur, and his stories had a
stamp of their own which would have made them always and everywhere
acceptable. His sense of humour and economy of words would have made it
impossible, had he lived to ninety, that they should ever have been
disparaged as symptoms of what has been called "anecdotage."

One drawback to conversation, however, he began to complain of during
the later seventies.]

It is a great misfortune [he remarked to Professor Osborn] to be deaf
in only one ear. Every time I dine out the lady sitting by my good ear
thinks I am charming, but I make a mortal enemy of the lady on my deaf

[In ordinary conversation he never plunged at once into deep subjects.
His welcome to the newcomer was always of the simplest and most
unstudied. He had no mannerisms nor affectation of phrase. He would
begin at once to talk on everyday topics; an intimate friend he would
perhaps rally upon some standing subject of persiflage. But the
subsequent course of conversation adapted itself to his company. Deeper
subjects were reached soon enough by those who cared for them; with
others he was quite happy to talk of politics or people or his garden,
yet, whatever he touched, never failing to infuse into it an unexpected

In this connection, a typical story was told me by a great friend of
mine, whom we had come to know through his marriage with an early
friend of the family. "Going to call at Hodeslea," he said, "I was in
some trepidation, because I didn't know anything about science or
philosophy; but when your mother began to talk over old times with my
wife, your father came across the room and sat down by me, and began to
talk about the dog which we had brought with us. From that he got on to
the different races of dogs and their origin and connections, all quite
simply, and not as though to give information, but just to talk about
something which obviously interested me. I shall never forget how
extraordinarily kind it was of your father to take all this trouble in
entertaining a complete stranger, and choosing a subject which put me
at my ease at once, while he told me all manner of new and interesting

A few more fragments of his conversation have been preserved--the
following by Mr. Wilfrid Ward. Speaking of Tennyson's conversation, he

Doric beauty is its characteristic--perfect simplicity, without any
ornament or anything artificial.

Telling how he had been to a meeting of the British Museum Trustees, he

After the meeting, Archbishop Benson helped me on with my great-coat. I
was QUITE OVERCOME by this species of spiritual investiture. "Thank
you, Archbishop," I said, "I feel as if I were receiving the pallium."

[Speaking of two men of letters, with neither of whom he sympathised,
he once said:--]

Don't mistake me. One is a thinker and man of letters, the other is
only a literary man. Erasmus was a man of letters, Gigadibs a literary
man. A.B. is the incarnation of Gigadibs. I should call him Gigadibsius
Optimus Maximus.

[Another time, referring to Dean Stanley's historical
impressionability, as militating against his sympathies with Colenso,
he said:--]

Stanley could believe in anything of which he had seen the supposed
site, but was sceptical where he had not seen. At a breakfast at
Monckton Milnes's, just at the time of the Colenso row, Milnes asked me
my views on the Pentateuch, and I gave them. Stanley differed from me.
The account of Creation in Genesis he dismissed at once as
unhistorical; but the call of Abraham, and the historical narrative of
the Pentateuch, he accepted. This was because he had seen
Palestine--but he wasn't present at the Creation.

[When he and Stanley met, there was sure to be a brisk interchange of
repartee. One of these occasions, a ballot day at the Athenaeum, has
been recorded by the late Sir W.H. Flower:--

A well-known popular preacher of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, who
had made himself famous by predictions of the speedy coming of the end
of the world, was up for election. I was standing by Huxley when the
Dean, coming straight from the ballot boxes, turned towards us.]
"Well," [said Huxley], "have you been voting for C.?" ["Yes, indeed I
have," replied the Dean.] "Oh, I thought the priests were always
opposed to the prophets," [said Huxley.] "Ah!" replied the Dean, with
that well-known twinkle in his eye, and the sweetest of smiles, "but
you see, I do not believe in his prophecies, and some people say I am
not much of a priest."

A few words as to his home life may perhaps be fitly introduced here.
Towards his children he had the same union of underlying tenderness
veiled beneath inflexible determination for what was right, which
marked his intercourse with those outside his family.

As children we were fully conscious of this side of his character. We
felt our little hypocrisies shrivel up before him; we felt a confidence
in the infallible rectitude of his moral judgments which inspired a
kind of awe. His arbitrament was instant and final, though rarely
invoked, and was perhaps the more tremendous in proportion to its
rarity. This aspect, as if of an oracle without appeal, was heightened
in our minds by the fact that we saw but little of him. This was one of
the penalties of his hard-driven existence. In the struggle to keep his
head above water for the first fifteen or twenty years of his married
life, he had scarcely any time to devote to his children. The "lodger,"
as he used to call himself at one time, who went out early and came
back late, could sometimes spare half an hour just before or after
dinner to draw wonderful pictures for the little ones, and these were
memorable occasions. I remember that he used to profess a horror of
being too closely watched, or of receiving suggestions, while he drew.
"Take care, take care," he would exclaim, "or I don't know what it will
turn into."

When I was seven years old I had the misfortune to be laid up with
scarlet fever, and then his gift of drawing was a great solace to me.
The solitary days--for I was the first victim in the family--were very
long, and I looked forward with intense interest to one half-hour after
dinner, when he would come up and draw scenes from the history of a
remarkable bull-terrier and his family that went to the seaside, in a
most human and child-delighting manner. I have seldom suffered a
greater disappointment than when, one evening, I fell asleep just
before this fairy half-hour, and lost it out of my life.

In those days he often used to take the three eldest of us out for a
walk on Sunday afternoons, sometimes to the Zoological Gardens, more
often to the lanes and fields between St. John's Wood and Hampstead or
West End. For then the flood of bricks and mortar ceased on the
Finchley Road just beyond the Swiss Cottage, and the West End Lane,
winding solitary between its high hedges and rural ditches, was quite
like a country road in holiday time, and was sometimes gladdened in
June with real dog-roses, although the church and a few houses had
already begun to encroach on the open fields at the end of the Abbey

My father often used to delight us with sea stories and tales of
animals, and occasionally with geological sketches suggested by the
gravels of Hampstead Heath. But regular "shop" he would not talk to us,
contrary to the expectation of people who have often asked me whether
we did not receive quite a scientific training from his companionship.

At the Christmas dinner he invariably delighted the children by carving
wonderful beasts, generally pigs, out of orange peel. When the marriage
of his eldest daughter had taken her away from this important function,
she was sent the best specimen as a reminder.]

4 Marlborough Place, December 25, 1878.

Dearest Jess,

We have just finished the mid-day Christmas dinner, at which function
you were badly wanted. The inflammation of the pudding was highly
successful--in fact Vesuvian not to say Aetnaic--and I have never yet
attained so high a pitch in piggygenesis as on this occasion.

The specimen I enclose, wrapped in a golden cerecloth, and with the
remains of his last dinner in the proper region, will prove to you the
heights to which the creative power of the true artist may soar. I call
it a "Piggurne, or a Harmony in Orange and White."

Preserve it, my dear child, as evidence of the paternal genius, when
those light and fugitive productions which are buried in the
philosophical transactions and elsewhere are forgotten.

My best wishes to Fred and you, and may you succeed better than I do in
keeping warm.

Ever your loving father,

T.H. Huxley.

[Later on, however, the younger children who kept up the home at
Marlborough Place after the elder ones had married or gone out into the
world, enjoyed more opportunities of his ever-mellowing companionship.
Strongly as he upheld the conventions when these represented some valid
results of social experience, he was always ready to set aside his mere
likes and dislikes on good cause shown; to follow reason as against the
mere prejudice of custom, even his own.

Severe he might be on occasion, but never harsh. His idea in bringing
up his children was to accustom them as early as possible to a certain
amount of independence, at the same time trying to make them regard him
as their best friend.

This aspect of his character is specially touched upon by Sir Leslie
Stephen, in a letter written to my mother in July 1895:--

No one, I think, could have more cordially admired Huxley's
intellectual vigour and unflinching honesty than I. It pleases me to
remember that I lately said something of this to him, and that he
received what I said most heartily and kindly. But what now dwells most
in my mind is the memory of old kindness, and of the days when I used
to see him with you and his children. I may safely say that I never
came from your house without thinking how good he is; what a tender and
affectionate nature the man has! It did me good simply to see him. The
recollection is sweet to me now, and I rejoice to think how infinitely
better you know what I must have been dull indeed not more or less to

As he wrote to his son on his twenty-first birthday:--]

You will have a son some day yourself, I suppose, and if you do, I can
wish you no greater satisfaction than to be able to say that he has
reached manhood without having given you a serious anxiety, and that
you can look forward with entire confidence to his playing the man in
the battle of life. I have tried to make you feel your responsibilities
and act independently as early as possible--but, once for all, remember
that I am not only your father but your nearest friend, ready to help
you in all things reasonable, and perhaps in a few unreasonable.

[This domestic happiness which struck others so forcibly was one of the
vital realities of his existence. Without it his quick spirit and
nervous temperament could never have endured the long and often
embittered struggle--not merely with equanimity, but with a constant
growth of sympathy for earnest humanity, which, in early days obscured
from view by the turmoil of strife, at length became apparent to all as
the tide of battle subsided. None realised more than himself what the
sustaining help and comradeship of married life had wrought for him,
alike in making his life worth living and in making his life's work
possible. Here he found the pivot of his happiness and his strength;
here he recognised to the full the care that took upon itself all
possible burdens and left his mind free for his greater work.

He had always a great tenderness for children. "One of my earliest
recollections of him," writes Jeffery Parker, "is in connection with a
letter he wrote to my father, on the occasion of the death, in infancy,
of one of my brothers. 'Why,' he wrote, 'did you not tell us before
that the child was named after me, that we might have made his short
life happier by a toy or two.' I never saw a man more crushed than he
was during the dangerous illness of one of his daughters, and he told
me that, having then to make an after-dinner speech, he broke down for
the first time in his life, and for one painful moment forgot where he
was and what he had to say. I can truly say that I never knew a man
whose way of speaking of his family, or whose manner in his own home,
was fuller of a noble, loving, and withal playful courtesy."

After he had retired to Eastbourne, his grandchildren reaped the
benefit of his greater leisure. In his age his love of children brimmed
over with undiminished force, unimpeded by circumstances. He would make
endless fun with them, until one little mite, on her first visit, with
whom her grandfather was trying to ingratiate himself with a vast deal
of nonsense, exclaimed: "Well, you are the curioustest old man I ever

Another, somewhat older, developed a great liking for astronomy under
her grandfather's tuition. One day a visitor, entering unexpectedly,
was astonished to find the pair of them kneeling on the floor in the
hall before a large sheet of paper, on which the professor was drawing
a diagram of the solar system on a large scale, with a little pellet
and a large ball to represent earth and sun, while the child was
listening with the closest attention to an account of the planets and
their movements, which he knew so well how to make simple and precise
without ever being dull.

Children seemed to have a natural confidence in the expression of
mingled power and sympathy which, especially in his later years,
irradiated his "square, wise, swarthy face" ("There never was a face, I
do believe" (wrote Sir Walter Besant of the portrait by John Collier),
"wiser, more kindly, more beautiful for wisdom and the kindliness of
it, than this of Huxley."--The "Queen", November 16, 1895.), and
proclaimed to all the sublimation of a broad native humanity tried by
adversity and struggle in the pursuit of noble ends. It was the
confidence that an appeal would not be rejected, whether for help in
distress, or for the satisfaction of the child's natural desire for

Spirit and determination in children always delighted him. His grandson
Julian, a curly-haired rogue, alternately cherub and pickle, was a
source of great amusement and interest to him. The boy must have been
about four years old when my father one day came in from the garden,
where he had been diligently watering his favourite plants with a big
hose, and said: "I like that chap! I like the way he looks you straight
in the face and disobeys you. I told him not to go on the wet grass
again. He just looked up boldly, straight at me, as much as to say,
'What do YOU mean by ordering me about?' and deliberately walked on to
the grass."

The disobedient youth who so charmed his grandfather's heart was the
prototype of Sandy in Mrs. Humphry Ward's "David Grieve". When the book
came out my father wrote to the author: "We are very proud of Julian's
apotheosis. He is a most delightful imp, and the way in which he used
to defy me on occasion, when he was here, was quite refreshing. The
strength of his conviction that people who interfere with his freedom
are certainly foolish, probably wicked, is quite Gladstonian."

A year after, when Julian had learned to write, and was reading the
immortal "Water Babies", wherein fun is poked at his grandfather's name
among the authorities on water-babies and water-beasts of every
description, he greatly desired more light as to the reality of
water-babies. There is a picture by Linley Sambourne, showing my father
and Owen examining a bottled water-baby under big magnifying glasses.
Here, then, was a real authority to consult. So he wrote a letter of
inquiry, first anxiously asking his mother if he would receive in reply
a "proper letter" that he could read for himself, or a "wrong kind of
letter" that must be read to him.

Dear Grandpater,

Have you seen a Waterbaby? Did you put it in a bottle? Did it wonder if
it could get out? Can I see it some day?

Your loving


To this he received the following reply from his grandfather, neatly
printed, letter by letter, very unlike the orderly confusion with which
his pen usually rushed across the paper--time being so short for such a
multitude of writing--to the great perplexity, often, of his foreign


My dear Julian

I never could make sure about that Water Baby. I have seen Babies in
water and Babies in bottles; but the Baby in the water was not in a
bottle and the Baby in the bottle was not in water.

My friend who wrote the story of the Water Baby, was a very kind man
and very clever. Perhaps he thought I could see as much in the water as
he did--There are some people who see a great deal and some who see
very little in the same things.

When you grow up I dare say you will be one of the great-deal seers and
see things more wonderful than Water Babies where other folks can see

Give my best love to Daddy and Mammy and Trevenen--Grand is a little
better but not up yet--


Your loving


[Others of his family would occasionally receive elaborate pieces of
nonsense, of which I give a couple of specimens. The following is to
his youngest daughter:--]

Athenaeum Club, May 17, 1892.

Dearest Babs,

As I was going along Upper Thames

Street just now, I saw between Numbers 170 and 211 ( (primary
parenthesis) but you would like to know what I was going along that
odorous street for. Well, it was to inquire how the pen with which I am
now writing--( (2nd parenthesis) you see it is a new-fangled fountain
pen, warranted to cure the worst writing and always spell properly)
(2nd parenthesis)--works, because it would not work properly this
morning. And the nice young woman who took it from me--( (3rd
parenthesis) as who should say you old foodle!) (3rd parenthesis) inked
her own fingers enormously ( (4th parenthesis) which I told her I was
pleased they were her fingers rather than mine) (4th parenthesis)--But
she only smole. ( (5th parenthesis) Close by was another shop where
they sold hose--( (6th or 7th parenthesis) indiarubber, not knitted)--(
(nth parenthesis) and warranted to let water through, not keep it out);
and I asked for a garden syringe, thinking such things likely to be
kept by hosiers of that sort--and they said they had not any, but found
they had a remnant cheap ( (nnth parenthesis) price 3 shillings) which
is less than many people pay for the other hosiers' hose) (end of
parentheses) a doorpost at the side of the doorway of some place of
business with this remarkable notice:


Don't you think you had better apply at once? Jack will give you a
character, I am sure, on the side of the art of ruling, and I will
speak for the science--also of hereditary (on mother's side) instinct.

Well I am not sure about the pen yet--but there is no room for any more.

Ever your loving


Epistolary composition on the model of a Gladstonian speech to a
deputation on women's suffrage.

[The other is to his daughter, Mrs. Harold Roller, who had sent him
from abroad a friend's autograph-book for a signature:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, November 1, 1893.

The epistle of Thomas to the woman of the house of Harold.

1. I said it was an autograph-book; and so it was.

2. And naughty words came to the root of my tongue.

3. And the recording angel dipped his pen in the ink and squared his
elbows to write.

4. But I spied the hand of the lovely and accomplished but vagabond

5. And I smole; and spoke not; nor uttered the naughty words.

6. So the recording angel was sold;

7. And was about to suck his pen.

8. But I said Nay! give it to me.

9. And I took the pen and wrote on the book of the Autographs letters
pleasant to the eye and easy to read.

10. Such as my printers know not: nor the postman--nor the
correspondent, who riseth in his wrath and curseth over my epistle

[This to his youngest daughter, which, in jesting form, conveys a good
deal of sound sense, was the sequel to a discussion as to the
advisability of a University education for her own and another boy:--]

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, May 9, 1892.

Dearest Babs,

Bickers and Son have abased themselves, and assure me that they have
fetched the Dictionary away and are sending it here. I shall believe
them when it arrives.

As a rule, I do not turn up when I announce my coming, but I believe I
shall be with you about dinnertime on Friday next (13th).

In the meanwhile, my good daughter, meditate these things:

1. Parents not too rich wish to send exceptionally clever, energetic
lad to university--before taking up father's profession of architect.

2. Exceptionally clever, energetic lad will be well taught classics at
school--not well taught in other things--will easily get a scholarship
either at school or university. So much in parents' pockets.

3. Exceptionally clever, energetic lad will get as much mathematics,
mechanics, and other needful preliminaries to architecture, as he wants
(and a good deal more if he likes) at Oxford. Excellent physical school

4. Splendid Art museums at Oxford.

5. Prigs not peculiar to Oxford.

6. Don Cambridge would choke science (except mathematics) if it could
as willingly as Don Oxford and more so.

7. Oxford always represents English opinion, in all its extremes,
better than Cambridge.

8. Cambridge better for doctors, Oxford for architects, poets,
painters, and-all-that-sort-of-cattle (all crossed out).

9. LAWRENCE WILL GO TO OXFORD and become a real scholar, which is a
great thing and a noble. He will combine the new and the old, and show
how much better the world would have been if it had stuck to Hellenism.
You are dreaming of the schoolboy who does not follow up his work, or
becomes a mere poll man. Good enough for parsons, not for men. LAWRENCE

Ever your aggrawatin'


[Like the old Greek sage and statesman, my father might have declared
that old age found him ever learning. Not indeed with the fiery
earnestness of his young days of stress and storm; but with the steady
advance of a practised worker who cannot be unoccupied. History and
philosophy, especially biblical criticism, composed his chief reading
in these later years.

Fortune had ceased her buffets; broken health was restored; and from
his resting-place among his books and his plants he watched keenly the
struggle which had now passed into other hands, still ready to strike a
blow if need be, or even, on rare occasions, to return to the fighting
line, as when he became a leader in the movement for London University

His days at Eastbourne, then, were full of occupation, if not the
occupation of former days. The day began as early; he never relaxed
from the rule of an eight o'clock breakfast. Then a pipe and an hour
and a half of letter-writing or working at an essay. Then a short
expedition around the garden, to inspect the creepers, tend the
saxifrages, or see how the more exposed shrubs could best be sheltered
from the shrivelling winds. The gravelled terrace immediately behind
the house was called the Quarterdeck; it was the place for a brisk
patrolling in uncertain weather or in a north wind. In the lower garden
was a parallel walk protected from the south by a high double hedge of
cypress and golden elder, designed for shelter from the summer sun and
southerly winds.

Then would follow another spell of work till near one o'clock; the
weather might tempt him out again before lunch; but afterwards he was
certain to be out for an hour or two from half-past two. However hard
it blew, and Eastbourne is seldom still, the tiled walk along the
sea-wall always offered the possibility of a constitutional. But the
high expanse of the Downs was his favourite walk. The air of Beachy
Head, 560 feet up, was an unfailing tonic. In the summer he used to
keep a look-out for the little flowers of the short, close turf of the
chalk which could remind him of his Alpine favourites, in particular
the curious phyteuma; and later on, in the folds of the hills where he
had marked them, the English Gentians.

After his walk, a cup of tea was followed by more reading or writing
till seven; after dinner another pipe, and then he would return to my
mother in the drawing-room, and settle down in his particular armchair,
with some tough volume of history or theology to read, every now and
again scoring a passage for future reference, or jotting a brief note
on the margin. At ten he would migrate to the study for a final smoke
before going to bed.

Such was his routine, broken by occasional visits to town on business,
for he was still Dean of the Royal College of Science and a trustee of
the British Museum. Old friends came occasionally to stay for a few
days, and tea-time would often bring one or two of the small circle of
friends whom he had made in Eastbourne. These also he occasionally
visited, but he scarcely ever dined out. The talking was too tiring.

The change to Eastbourne cut away a whole series of interests, but it
imported a new and very strong one into my father's life. His garden
was not only a convenient ambulatory, but, with its growing flowers and
trees, became a novel and intense pleasure, until he began] "to think
with Candide that 'Cultivons notre jardin' comprises the whole duty of

[It was strange that this interest should have come suddenly at the end
of his life. Though he had won the prize in Lindley's botanical class,
he had never been a field botanist till he was attracted by the Swiss
gentians. As has been said before, his love of nature had never run to
collecting either plants or animals. Mere "spider-hunters and
hay-naturalists," as a German friend called them, he was inclined to
regard as the camp-followers of science. It was the engineering side of
nature, the unity of plan of animal construction, worked out in
infinitely varying detail, which engrossed him. Walking once with
Hooker in the Rhone valley, where the grass was alive with red and
green grasshoppers, he said,] "I would give anything to be as
interested in them as you are."

[But this feeling, unknown to him before, broke out in his gentian
work. He told Hooker, "I can't express the delight I have in them." It
continued undiminished when once he settled in the new house and laid
out a garden. His especial love was for the rockery of Alpines, many of
which came from Sir J. Hooker.

Here, then, he threw himself into gardening with characteristic ardour.
He described his position as a kind of mean between the science of the
botanist and the empiricism of the working gardener. He had plenty to
suggest, but his gardener, like so many of his tribe, had a rooted
mistrust of any gardening lore culled from books. "Books? They'll say
anything in them books." And he shared, moreover, that common
superstition, perhaps really based upon a question of labour, that
watering of flowers, unnecessary in wet weather, is actively bad in
dry. So my father's chief occupation in the garden was to march about
with a long hose, watering, and watering especially his alpines in the
upper garden and along the terraces lying below the house. The
saxifrages and the creepers on the house were his favourite plants.
When he was not watering the one he would be nailing up the other, for
the winds of Eastbourne are remarkably boisterous, and shrivel up what
they do not blow down.] "I believe I shall take to gardening," [he
writes, a few months after entering the new house,] "if I live long
enough. I have got so far as to take a lively interest in the condition
of my shrubs, which have been awfully treated by the long cold."

[From this time his letters contain many references to his garden. He
is astonished when his gardener asks leave to exhibit at the local
show, but delighted with his pluck. Hooker jestingly sends him a plant
"which will flourish on any dry, neglected bit of wall, so I think it
will just suit you."]

Great improvements have been going on (he writes in 1892), and the next
time you come you shall walk in the "avenue" of four box-trees. Only
five are to be had for love or money at present, but there are hopes of
a sixth, and then the "avenue" will be full ten yards long! Figurez
vous ca!

[It was of this he wrote on October 1:--]

Thank Heaven we are settled down again and I can vibrate between my
beloved books and even more beloved saxifrages.

The additions to the house are great improvements every way, outside
and in, and when the conservatory is finished we shall be quite
palatial; but, alas, of all my box-trees only one remains green, that
is the "amari," or more properly "fusci" aliquid.

[Sad things will happen, however. Although the local florists vowed
that the box-trees would not stand the winds of Eastbourne, he was set
on seeing if he could not get them to grow despite the gardeners, whom
he had once or twice found false prophets. But this time they were
right. Vain were watering and mulching and all the arts of the
husbandman. The trees turned browner and browner every day, and the
little avenue from terrace to terrace had to be ignominiously uprooted
and removed.

A sad blow this, worse even than the following:--]

A lovely clematis in full flower, which I had spent hours in nailing
up, has just died suddenly. I am more inconsolable than Jonah!

[He answers some gardening chaff of Sir Michael Foster's:--]

Wait till I cut you out at the Horticultural. I have not made up my
mind what to compete in yet. Look out when I do!

[And when the latter offered to propose him for that Society, he

Proud an' 'appy should I be to belong to the Horticultural if you will
see to it. Could send specimens of nailing up creepers if qualification
is required.

[After his long battlings for his early loves of science and liberty of
thought, his later love of the tranquil garden seemed in harmony with
the dignified rest from struggle. To those who thought of the past and
the present, there was something touching in the sight of the old man
whose unquenched fires now lent a gentler glow to the peaceful
retirement he had at length won for himself. His latter days were
fruitful and happy in their unflagging intellectual interests, set off
by the new delights of the succidia altera, that second resource of
hale old age for many a century.

All through his last and prolonged illness, from earliest spring until
midsummer, he loved to hear how the garden was getting on, and would
ask after certain flowers and plants. When the bitter cold spring was
over and the warm weather came, he spent most of the day outside, and
even recovered so far as to be able to walk once into the lower garden
and visit his favourite flowers. These children of his old age helped
to cheer him to the last.



As for this unfinished work, suggestive outlines left for others to
fill in, Professor Howes writes to me in October 1899:--

Concerning the papers at South Kensington, which, as part of the
contents of your father's book-shelves, were given by him to the
College, and now are arranged, numbered, and registered in order for
use, there is evidence that in 1858 he, with his needles and eyeglass,
had dissected and carefully figured the so-called pronephros of the
Frog's tadpole, in a manner which as to accuracy of detail anticipated
later discovery. Again, in the early '80's, he had observed and
recorded in a drawing the prae-pulmonary aortic arch of the Amphibian,
at a period antedating the researches of Boas, which in connection with
its discovery placed the whole subject of the morphology of the
pulmonary artery of the vertebrata on its final basis, and brought
harmony into our ideas concerning it.

Both these subjects lie at the root of modern advances in vertebrate

Concerning the skull, he was in the '80's back to it with a will. His
line of attack was through the lampreys and hags and the higher
cartilaginous fishes, and he was following up a revolutionary
conception (already hinted at in his Hunterian Lectures in 1864, and
later in a Royal Society paper on Amphioxus in 1875), that the
trabeculae cranii, judged by their relationships to the nerves, may
represent a pair of prae-oral visceral arches. In his unpublished notes
there is evidence that he was bringing to the support of this
conclusion the discovery of a supposed 4th branch to the trigeminal
nerve--the relationships of this (which he proposed to term the
"hyporhinal" or palato-nasal division) and the ophthalmic (to have been
termed the "orbitonasal" (A term already applied by him in 1875 to the
corresponding nerve in the Batrachia. ("Encyclopaedia Britannica" 9th
edition, volume 1 article "Amphibia."))) to the trabecular arch and a
supposed prae-mandibular visceral cleft, being regarded as repetitional
of those of the maxillary and mandibular divisions to the mandibular
cleft. So far as I am aware, von Kupffer is the only observer who has
given this startling conclusion support, in his famous "Studien" (Hf.
I. Kopf Acipenser, Munchen, 1893), and from the nature of other recent
work on the genesis of parts of the cranium hitherto thought to be
wholly trabecular in origin, it might well be further upheld. As for
the discovery of the nerve, I have been lately much interested to find
that Mr. E. Phelps Allis, junior, an investigator who has done grand
work in Cranial Morphology, has recently and independently arrived at a
similar result. It was while working in my laboratory in July last that
he mentioned the fact to me. Remembering that your father had published
the aforementioned hints on the subject, and recalling conversations I
had with him, it occurred to me to look into his unpublished
manuscripts (then being sorted), if perchance he had gone further. And,
behold! there is a lengthy attempt to write the matter up in full, in
which, among other things, he was seeking to show that, on this basis,
the mode of termination of the notochord in the Craniata, and in the
Branchiostomidae (in which the trabecular arch is undifferentiated), is
readily explained. Mr. Allis's studies are now progressing, and I have
arranged with him that if, in the end, his results come sufficiently
close to your father's, he shall give his work due recognition and
publicity. (See "The Lateral Sensory Canals, the Eye-Muscles, and the
Peripheral Distribution of certain of the Cranial Nerves of Mustelus
laevis" by Edward Phelps Allis, junior, reprinted from "Quarterly
Journal Micr. S." volume 45 part 2 New Series.)

Among his schemes of the early '80's, there was actually commenced a
work on the principles of Mammalian Anatomy and an Elementary Treatise
on the Vertebrata. The former exists in the shape of a number of
drawings with very brief notes, the latter to a slight extent only in
manuscript. In the former, intended for the medical student and as a
means of familiarising him with the anatomical "tree" as distinct from
its surgical "leaves," your father once again returned to the skull,
and he leaves a scheme for a revised terminology of its nerve exits
worthy his best and most clear-headed endeavours of the past.
(Concerning this he wrote to Professor Howes in 1890 when giving him
permission to denote two papers which he was about to present to the
Zoological Society, as the first which emanated from the Huxley
Research Laboratory]:--"Pray do as you think best about the
nomenclature. I remember when I began to work at the skull it seemed a
hopeless problem, and years elapsed before I got hold of the clue."
[And six weeks later, he writes]:--"You are always welcome to turn
anything of mine to account, though I vow I do not just now recollect
anything about the terms you mention. If you were to examine me in my
own papers, I believe I should be plucked.") [And well do I remember
how, in the '80's, both in the class-room and in conversation, he would
emphasise the fact that the hypoglossus nerve roots of the mammal arise
serially with the ventral roots of the spinal nerves, little thinking
that the discovery by Froriep, in 1886, of their dorsal ganglionated
counterparts, would establish the actual homology between the two, and
by leading to the conclusion that though actual vertebrae do not
contribute to the formation of the mammalian skull, its occipital
region is of truncal origin, mark the most revolutionary advance in
cranial morphology since his own of 1856.

Much of the final zoological work of his life lay with the Bony Fishes,
and he leaves unfinished (indeed only just commenced) a memoir
embodying a new scheme of classification of these, which shows that he
was intending to do for them what he did for Birds in the most active
period of his career. It was my good fortune to have helped as a hodman
in the study of these creatures, with a view to a Text-book we were to
have written conjointly, and as I realise what he was intending to make
out of the dry facts, I am filled with grief at the thought of what we
must have lost. His classification was based on the labours of years,
as testified by a vast accumulation of rough notes and sketches, and as
a conspicuous feature of it there stands the embodiment under one head
of all those fishes having the swim-bladder in connection with the
auditory organ by means of a chain of ossicles--a revolutionary
arrangement, which later, in the hands of the late Dr. Sagemahl, and by
his introduction of the famous term--"Ostariophyseae," has done more
than all else of recent years to clear the Ichthyological air. Your
father had anticipated this unpublished, and in a proposal to unite the
Herrings and Pikes into a single group, the "Clupesoces," he had
further given promise of a new system, based on the study of the
structure of the fins, jaws, and reproductive organs of the Bony
Fishes, the classifications of which are still largely chaotic, which
would have been as revolutionary as it was rational. New terms both in
taxonomy and anatomy were contemplated, and in part framed. His
published terms "Elasmo-" and "Cysto-arian" are the adjective form of
two--far-reaching and significant--which give an idea of what was to
have come. Similarly, the spinose fin-rays were to have been termed
"acanthonemes," the branching and multiarticulate "arthronemes," and
those of the more elementary and "adipose fin" type "protonemes": and
had he lived to complete the task, I question whether it would not have
excelled his earlier achievements.

The Rabbit was to have been the subject of the first of the
aforementioned books, and in the desire to get at the full meaning of
problems which arose during its progress, he was led to digress into a
general anatomical survey of the Rodentia, and in testimony to this
there remain five or six books of rough notes bearing dates 1880 to
1884, and a series of finished pencil-drawings, which, as works of art
and accurate delineations of fact, are among the most finished
productions of his hand. In the same manner his contemplated work upon
the Vertebrata led him during 1879-1880 to renewed investigation of the
anatomy of some of the more aberrant orders. Especially as concerning
the Marsupialia and Edentata was this the case, and to the end in view
he secured living specimens of the Vulpine Phalanger, and purchased of
the Zoological Society the Sloths and Ant-eaters which during that
period died in their Gardens. These he carefully dissected, and he
leaves among his papers a series of incomplete notes (fullest as
concerning the Phalanger and Cape Anteater [Orycteropus] ([I was
privileged to assist in the dissection of the latter animal, and well
do I remember how, when by means of a blow-pipe he had inflated the
bladder, intent on determining its limit of distensibility, the organ
burst, with unpleasant results, which called forth the remark] "I think
we'll leave it at that!")), which were never finished up.

They prove that he intended the production of special monographs on the
anatomy of these peculiar mammalian forms, as he did on members of
other orders which he had less fully investigated, and on the more
important groups of fishes alluded to in the earlier part of my letter;
and there seems no doubt, from the collocation of dates and study of
the order of the events, that his memorable paper "On the Application
of the Laws of Evolution to the arrangement of the Vertebrata, and more
particularly of the Mammalia," published in the "Proceedings of the
Zoological Society" for 1880,--the most masterly among his scientific
theses--was the direct outcome of this intention, the only expression
which he gave to the world of the interaction of a series of
revolutionary ideas and conceptions (begotten of the labours of his
closing years as a working zoologist) which were at the period assuming
shape in his mind. They have done more than all else of their period to
rationalise the application of our knowledge of the Vertebrata, and
have now left their mark for all time on the history of progress, as
embodied in our classificatory systems.

He was in 1882 extending his important observations upon the
respiratory apparatus from birds to reptiles, with results which show
him to have been keenly appreciative of the existence of fundamental
points of similarity between the Avian and Chelonian types--a field
which has been more recently independently opened up by Milani.

Nor must it be imagined that after the publication of his ideal work on
the Crayfishes in 1880, he had forsaken the Invertebrata. On the
contrary, during the late '70's, and on till 1882, he accumulated a
considerable number of drawings (as usual with brief notes), on the
Mollusca. Some are rough, others beautiful in every respect, and among
the more conspicuous outcomes of the work are some detailed
observations on the nervous system, and an attempt to formulate a new
terminology of orientation of the Acephalous Molluscan body. The period
embraces that of his research upon the Spirula of the "Challenger"
expedition, since published; and incidentally to this he also
accumulated a series of valuable drawings, with explanatory notes, of
Cephalopod anatomy, which, as accurate records of fact, are unsurpassed.

As you are aware, he was practically the founder of the Anthropological
Institute. Here again, in the late '60's and early '70's, he was most
clearly contemplating a far-reaching inquiry into the physical
anthropology of all races of mankind. There remain in testimony to this
some 400 to 500 photographs (which I have had carefully arranged in
order and registered), most of them of the nude figure standing erect,
with the arm extended against a scale. A desultory correspondence
proves that in connection with these he was in treaty with British
residents and agents all over the world, with the Admiralty and naval
officers, and that all was being done with a fixed idea in view. He was
clearly contemplating something exhaustive and definite which he never
fulfilled, and the method is now the more interesting from its being
essentially the same as that recently and independently adopted by

Beyond this, your father's notes reveal numerous other indications of
matters and phases of activity, of great interest in their bearings on
the history and progress of contemporary investigation, but these are
of a detailed and wholly technical order.


His administrative work as an officer of the Royal Society is described
in the following note by Sir Joseph Hooker:--

Mr. Huxley was appointed Joint-Secretary of the Royal Society, November
30, 1871, in succession to Dr. Sharpey, Sir George Airy being
President, and Professor (now Sir George) Stokes, Senior Secretary. He
held the office till November 30, 1880. The duties of the office are
manifold and heavy; they include attendance at all the meetings of the
Fellows, and of the councils, committees, and sub-committees of the
Society, and especially the supervision of the printing and
illustrating all papers on biological subjects that are published in
the Society's Transactions and Proceedings: the latter often involving
a protracted correspondence with the authors. To this must be added a
share in the supervision of the staff of officers, of the library and
correspondence, and the details of house-keeping.

The appointment was well-timed in the interest of the Society, for the
experience he had obtained as an officer in the Surveying Expedition of
Captain Stanley rendered his co-operation and advice of the greatest
value in the efforts which the Society had recently commenced to induce
the Government, through the Admiralty especially, to undertake the
physical and biological exploration of the ocean. It was but a few
months before his appointment that he had been placed upon a committee
of the Society, through which H.M.S. "Porcupine" was employed for this
purpose in the European seas, and negotiations had already been
commenced with the Admiralty for a voyage of circumnavigation with the
same objects, which eventuated in the "Challenger" Expedition.

In the first year of his appointment, the equipment of the
"Challenger", and selection of its officers, was entrusted to the Royal
Society, and in the preparation of the instructions to the naturalists
Mr. Huxley had a dominating responsibility. In the same year a
correspondence commenced with the India Office on the subject of
deep-sea dredging in the Indian Ocean (it came to nothing), and another
with the Royal Geographical Society on that of a North Polar
Expedition, which resulted in the Nares Expedition (1875). In 1873,
another with the Admiralty on the advisability of appointing
naturalists to accompany two of the expeditions about to be despatched
for observing the transit of Venus across the sun's disk in Mauritius
and Kerguelen, which resulted in three naturalists being appointed.
Arduous as was the correspondence devolving on the Biological
Secretary, through the instructing and instalment of these two
expeditions, it was as nothing compared with the official,
demi-official, and private, with the Government and individuals, that
arose from the Government request that the Royal Society should arrange
for the publication and distribution of the enormous collections
brought home by the above-named expedition. It is not too much to say
that Mr. Huxley had a voice in every detail of these publications. The
sittings of the Committee of Publication of the "Challenger" Expedition
collections (of which Sir J.D. Hooker was chairman, and Mr. Huxley the
most active member) were protracted from 1876 to 1895, and resulted in
the publication of fifty royal quarto volumes, with plates, maps,
sections, etc., the work of seventy-six authors, every shilling of the
expenditure on which (some 50,000 pounds) was passed under the
authority of the Committee of Publication.

Nor was Mr. Huxley less actively interested in the domestic affairs of
the Society. In 1873 the whole establishment was translated from the
building subsequently occupied by the Royal Academy to that which it
now inhabits in the same quadrangle; a flitting of library stuff and
appurtenances involving great responsibilities on the officers for the
satisfactory re-establishment of the whole institution. In 1874 a very
important alteration of the bye-laws was effected, whereby that which
gave to Peers the privilege of being proposed for election as Fellows,
without previous selection by the Committee (and to which bye-laws, as
may be supposed, Mr. Huxley was especially repugnant), was replaced by
one restricting that privilege to Privy Councillors. In 1875 he
actively supported a proposition for extending the interests taken in
the Society by holding annually a reception, to which the lady friends
of the Fellows who were interested in science should be invited to
inspect an exhibition of some of the more recent inventions,
appliances, and discoveries in science. And in the same year another
reform took place in which he was no less interested, which was the
abolition of the entrance fees for ordinary Fellows, which had proved a
bar to the coming forward of men of small incomes, but great eminence.
The loss of income to the Society from this was met by a subscription
of no less than 10,666 pounds, raised almost entirely amongst the
Fellows themselves for the purpose.

In 1876 a responsibility, that fell heavily on the Secretaries, was the
allotment annually of a grant by the Treasury of 4000 pounds, to be
expended, under the direction of the Royal and other learned societies,
on the advancement of science. (It is often called a grant to the Royal
Society. This is an error. The Royal Society, as such, in no way
participates in this grant. The Society makes grants from funds in its
own possession only.) Every detail of the business of this grant is
undertaken by a large committee of the Royal and other scientific
societies, which meets in the Society's rooms, and where all the
business connected with the grant is conducted and the records kept.




"The Darwinian Hypothesis." ("Times" December 26, 1859.) "Collected
Essays" 2.

"On the Educational Value of the Natural History Sciences." (An Address
delivered at St. Martin's Hall, on July 22, 1854, and published as a
pamphlet in that year.) "Lay Sermons"; "Collected Essays" 3.

"Time and Life." ("Macmillan's Magazine" December 1859.)

"The Origin of Species." (The "Westminster Review" April 1860.) "Lay
Sermons"; "Collected Essays" 2.

"A Lobster: or the Study of Zoology." (A Lecture delivered at the South
Kensington Museum in 1861, and subsequently published by the Department
of Science and Art. Original title, "On the Study of Zoology.") "Lay
Sermons"; "Collected Essays" 8.

"Geological Contemporaneity and Persistent Types of Life." (The
Anniversary Address to the Geological Society for 1862.) "Lay Sermons";
"Collected Essays" 8.

"Six Lectures to Working Men on Our Knowledge of the Causes of the
Phenomena of Organic Nature, 1863." "Collected Essays" 2.

"Man's Place in Nature," see List of Books. Republished, "Collected
Essays" 7.

"Criticisms on 'The Origin of Species.'" (The "Natural History Review"
1864.) "Lay Sermons"; "Collected Essays" 3.

"Emancipation--Black and White." (The "Reader" May 20, 1865.) "Lay
Sermons"; "Collected Essays" 3.

"On the Methods and Results of Ethnology." (The "Fortnightly Review"
1865.) "Critiques and Addresses"; "Collected Essays" 7.

"On the Advisableness of Improving Natural Knowledge." (A Lay Sermon
delivered in St. Martin's Hall, January 7, 1866, and subsequently
published in the "Fortnightly Review".) "Lay Sermons"; "Collected
Essays" 1.

"A Liberal Education: and where to find it." (An Address to the South
London Working Men's College, delivered January 4, 1868, and
subsequently published in "Macmillan's Magazine".) "Lay Sermons";
"Collected Essays" 3.

"On a Piece of Chalk." (A Lecture delivered to the working men of
Norwich, during the meeting of the British Association, in 1868.
Subsequently published in "Macmillan's Magazine".) "Lay Sermons";
"Collected Essays" 8.

"On the Physical Basis of Life." (A Lay Sermon, delivered in Edinburgh,
on Sunday, November 8, 1868, at the request of the late Reverend James
Cranbrook; subsequently published in the "Fortnightly Review".) "Lay
Sermons"; "Collected Essays" 1.

"The Scientific Aspects of Positivism." (A Reply to Mr. Congreve's
Attack upon the Preceding Paper. Published in the "Fortnightly Review"
1869.) "Lay Sermons".

"The Genealogy of Animals." (A Review of Haeckel's "Naturliche
Schopfungs-Geschichte". The "Academy" 1869.) "Critiques and Addresses";
"Collected Essays" 2.

"Geological Reform." (The Anniversary Address to the Geological Society
for 1869.) "Lay Sermons"; "Collected Essays" 8.

"Scientific Education: Notes of an After-Dinner Speech." (Delivered
before the Liverpool Philomathic Society in April 1869, and
subsequently published in "Macmillan's Magazine".) "Lay Sermons";
"Collected Essays" 3.

"On Descartes' 'Discourse touching the Method of using one's Reason
rightly, and of seeking Scientific Truth.'" (An Address to the
Cambridge Young Men's Christian Society, delivered on March 24, 1870,
and subsequently published in "Macmillan's Magazine".) "Lay Sermons";
"Collected Essays" 1.

"On some Fixed Points in British Ethnology." (The "Contemporary Review"
July 1870.) "Critiques and Addresses"; "Collected Essays" 7.

"Biogenesis and Abiogenesis." (The Presidential Address to the British
Association for the Advancement of Science, 1870.) "Critiques and
Addresses"; "Collected Essays" 8.

"Paleontology and the Doctrine of Evolution." (The Presidential Address
to the Geological Society, 1870.) "Critiques and Addresses"; "Collected
Essays" 8.

"On Medical Education." (An Address to the Students of the Faculty of
Medicine in University College, London, 1870.) "Critiques and
Addresses"; "Collected Essays" 3.

"On Coral and Coral Reefs." ("Good Words" 1870.) "Critiques and

"The School Boards: What they can do, and what they may do." (The
"Contemporary Review" December 1870.) "Critiques and Addresses";
"Collected Essays" 3.

"Administrative Nihilism." (An Address delivered to the Members of the
Midland Institute, on October 9, 1871, and subsequently published in
the "Fortnightly Review".) "Critiques and Addresses"; "Collected
Essays" 1.

"Mr. Darwin's Critics." (The "Contemporary Review" November 1871.)
"Critiques and Addresses"; "Collected Essays" 2.

"On the Formation of Coal." (A Lecture delivered before the Members of
the Bradford Philosophical Institution, December 29, 1871, and
subsequently published in the "Contemporary Review".) "Critiques and
Addresses"; "Collected Essays" 8.

"Yeast." (The "Contemporary Review" December 1871.) "Critiques and
Addresses"; "Collected Essays" 8.

"Bishop Berkeley on the Metaphysics of Sensation." ("Macmillan's
Magazine" June 1871.) "Critiques and Addresses"; "Collected Essays" 6.

"The Problems of the Deep Sea" (1873). "Collected Essays" 8.

"Universities: Actual and Ideal." (The Inaugural Address of the Lord
Rector of the University of Aberdeen, February 27, 1874. "Contemporary
Review" 1874.) "Science and Culture"; "Collected Essays" 3.

"Joseph Priestley." (An Address delivered on the Occasion of the
Presentation of a Statue of Priestley to the Town of Birmingham on
August 1, 1874.) "Science and Culture"; "Collected Essays" 3.

"On the Hypothesis that Animals are Automata, and its History." (An
Address delivered at the Meeting of the British Association for the
Advancement of Science, at Belfast, 1874.) "Science and Culture";
"Collected Essays" 1.

"On some of the Results of the Expedition of H.M.S. 'Challenger'" 1875.
"Collected Essays" 8.

"On the Border Territory between the Animal and Vegetable Kingdoms."
(An Evening Lecture at the Royal Institution, Friday, January 28, 1876.
"Macmillan's Magazine" 1876.) "Science and Culture"; "Collected Essays"

"Three Lectures on Evolution." (New York, September 18, 20, 22, 1876.)
"American Addresses"; "Collected Essays" 4.

"Address on University Education." (Delivered at the opening of the
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, September 12, 1876.) "American
Addresses"; "Collected Essays" 3.

"On the Study of Biology." (A Lecture in connection with the Loan
Collection of Scientific Apparatus at South Kensington Museum, December
16, 1876.) "American Addresses"; "Collected Essays" 3.

"Elementary Instruction in Physiology." (Read at the Meeting of the
Domestic Economy Congress at Birmingham, 1877.) "Science and Culture";
"Collected Essays" 3.

"Technical Education." (An Address delivered to the Working Men's Club
and Institute, December 1, 1877.) "Science and Culture"; "Collected
Essays" 3.

"Evolution in Biology." (The "Encyclopaedia Britannica" ninth edition
volume 8 1878.) "Science and Culture"; "Collected Essays" 2.

"Hume," 1878. "Collected Essays" 6. See also under "Books."

"On Sensation and the Unity of Structure of the Sensiferous Organs."
(An Evening Lecture at the Royal Institution, Friday, March 7, 1879.)
"Nineteenth Century" April 1879. "Science and Culture"; "Collected
Essays" 6.

"Prefatory Note to the Translation of E. Haeckel's Freedom in Science
and Teaching," 1879. (Kegan Paul.)

"On Certain Errors respecting the Structure of the Heart attributed to
Aristotle." "Nature" November 6, 1879. "Science and Culture".

"The Coming of Age of 'The Origin of Species.'" (An Evening Lecture at
the Royal Institution, Friday, April 9, 1880.) "Science and Culture";
"Collected Essays" 2.

"On the Method of Zadig." (A Lecture delivered at the Working Men's
College, Great Ormond Street, 1880. "Nineteenth Century" June 1880.)
"Science and Culture"; "Collected Essays" 4.

"Science and Culture." (An Address delivered at the Opening of Sir
Josiah Mason's Science College at Birmingham on October 1, 1880.)
"Science and Culture"; "Collected Essays" 3.

"The Connection of the Biological Sciences with Medicine." (An Address
delivered at the Meeting of the International Medical Congress in
London, August 9, 1881.) "Science and Culture"; "Collected Essays" 3.

"The Rise and Progress of Paleontology." (An Address delivered at the
York Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science,
1881.) "Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 4.

"Charles Darwin." (Obituary Notice in "Nature", April 1882.) "Collected
Essays" 2.

"On Science and Art in Relation to Education." (An Address to the
Members of the Liverpool Institution, 1882.) "Collected Essays" 3.

"The State and the Medical Profession." (The Opening Address at the
London Hospital Medical School, 1884.) "Collected Essays" 3.

"The Darwin Memorial." (A Speech delivered at the Unveiling of the
Darwin Statue at South Kensington, June 9, 1885.) "Collected Essays" 2.

"The Interpreters of Genesis and the Interpreters of Nature."
("Nineteenth Century", December 1885.) "Controverted Questions";
"Collected Essays" 4.

"Mr. Gladstone and Genesis." ("Nineteenth Century", February 1886.)
"Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 4.

"The Evolution of Theology: An Anthropological Study." ("Nineteenth
Century", March and April 1886.) "Controverted Questions"; "Collected
Essays" 4.

"Science and Morals." ("Fortnightly Review" November 1886.)
"Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 9.

"Scientific and Pseudo-Scientific Realism." ("Nineteenth Century",
February 1887.) "Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 5.

"Science and Pseudo-Science." ("Nineteenth Century", April 1887.)
"Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 5.

"An Episcopal Trilogy." ("Nineteenth Century", November 1887.)
"Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 5.

"Address on behalf of the National Association for the Promotion of
Technical Education" (1887). "Collected Essays" 3.

"The Progress of Science" (1887). (Reprinted from "The Reign of Queen
Victoria", by T.H. Ward.) "Collected Essays" 1.

"Darwin Obituary." ("Proceedings of the Royal Society" 1888.)
"Collected Essays" 2.

"The Struggle for Existence in Human Society." ("Nineteenth Century",
February 1888.) "Collected Essays" 9.

"Agnosticism." ("Nineteenth Century", February 1889.) "Controverted
Questions"; "Collected Essays" 5.

"The Value of Witness to the Miraculous." ("Nineteenth Century", March
1889.) "Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 5.

"Agnosticism: A Rejoinder." ("Nineteenth Century", April 1889.)
"Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 5.

"Agnosticism and Christianity." ("Nineteenth Century", June 1889.)
"Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 5.

"The Natural Inequality of Men." ("Nineteenth Century". January 1890.)
"Collected Essays" 1.

"Natural Rights and Political Rights." ("Nineteenth Century", February
1890.) "Collected Essays" 1.

"Capital, the Mother of Labour." ("Nineteenth Century", March 1890.)
"Collected Essays" 9.

"Government: Anarchy or Regimentation." ("Nineteenth Century", May
1890.) "Collected Essays" 1.

"The Lights of the Church and the Light of Science." ("Nineteenth
Century", July 1890.) "Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 4.

"The Aryan Question." ("Nineteenth Century", November 1890.) "Collected
Essays" 7.

"The Keepers of the Herd of Swine." ("Nineteenth Century", December
1890.) "Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 5.

"Autobiography." (1890, "Collected Essays" 1.) This originally appeared
with a portrait in a series of biographical sketches by C. Engel.

"Illustrations of Mr. Gladstone's Controversial Methods." ("Nineteenth
Century", March 1891). "Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 5.

"Hasisadra's Adventure." ("Nineteenth Century", June 1891.)
"Controverted Questions"; "Collected Essays" 4.

"Possibilities and Impossibilities." (The "Agnostic Annual" for 1892.)
1891, "Collected Essays" 5.

"Social Diseases and Worse Remedies." (1891.) Letters to the "Times",
December 1890 and January 1891. Published in pamphlet form (Macmillan &
Co.) 1891. "Collected Essays" 9.

"An Apologetic Irenicon." ("Fortnightly Review", November 1892.)

"Prologue to 'Controverted Questions'" (1892). "Controverted
Questions"; "Collected Essays" 5.

"Evolution and Ethics," being the Romanes Lecture for 1893. Also
"Prolegomena," 1894. "Collected Essays" 9.

"Owen's Position in the History of Anatomical Science," being a chapter
in the "Life of Sir Richard Owen", by his grandson, the Reverend
Richard Owen (1894). "Scientific Memoirs" 4.


"Kolliker's Manual of Human Histology". (Translated and edited by T.H.
Huxley and G. Busk), 1853.

"Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature," 1863.

"Lectures on the Elements of Comparative Anatomy" (one volume only
published), 1864.

"Elementary Atlas of Comparative Osteology" (in 12 plates), 1864.

"Lessons in Elementary Physiology." First edition printed 1866; second
edition, 1868; reprinted 1869, 1870, 1871, 1872 (twice); third edition,
1872; reprinted 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1878, 1879, 1881, 1883, 1884
(six times); fourth edition, 1885; reprinted 1886, 1888, 1890, 1892,
1893 (twice), 1896, 1898.

"An Introduction to the Classification of Animals," 1869.

"Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews." First edition printed 1870;
second edition, 1871; reprinted 1871, 1872, 1874, 1877, 1880, 1883;
third edition, 1887; reprinted 1891, 1893 (twice), 1895, 1899.

"Essays Selected from Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews." First
edition, 1871; reprinted 1874, 1877.

"Manual of the Anatomy of Vertebrated Animals," 1871 (Churchill).

"Critiques and Addresses." First edition printed 1873; reprinted 1883
and 1890.

"A Course of Practical Instruction in Elementary Biology." By Professor
Huxley and Dr. H.N. Martin. First edition printed 1875; second edition,
1876; reprinted 1877 (twice), 1879 (twice), 1881, 1882, 1883, 1885,
1886 (three times), 1887; third edition, edited by Messrs. Howes and
Scott, 1887; reprinted 1889, 1892, 1898.

"American Addresses." First edition printed 1877; reprinted 1886.

"Anatomy of Invertebrated Animals," 1877.

"Physiography." First edition, 1877; reprinted 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880,
1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885 (three times), 1887, 1888, 1890, 1891,
1893, 1897.

"Hume." English Men of Letters Series. First edition printed 1878;
reprinted 1879 (twice), 1881, 1886, 1887, 1895.

"The Crayfish: an Introduction to the Study of Zoology," 1879.

"Evolution and Ethics." First edition printed 1893; reprinted 1893
(three times); second edition, 1893 third edition, 1893; reprinted 1894.

"Introductory Science Primer." First edition printed 1880; reprinted
1880, 1886, 1888, 1889 (twice), 1893, 1895, 1899.

"Science and Culture, and other Essays." First edition printed 1881;
reprinted 1882, 1888.

"Social Diseases and Worse Remedies." First edition printed 1891;
reprinted, with additions, 1891 (twice).

"Essays on some Controverted Questions." Printed in 1892.

Collected Essays. Volume 1. "Method and Results." First edition printed
1893; reprinted 1894, 1898.

Volume 2. "Darwiniana." First edition printed 1893; reprinted 1894.

Volume 3. "Science and Education." First edition printed 1893;
reprinted 1895.

Volume 4. "Science and Hebrew Tradition." First edition printed 1893;
reprinted 1895, 1898.

Volume 5. "Science and Christian Tradition." First edition printed
1894; reprinted 1895, 1897.

Volume 6. "Hume, with Helps to the Study of Berkeley." First edition
printed 1894; reprinted 1897.

Volume 7. "Man's Place in Nature." First printed for Macmillan and Co.
in 1894; reprinted 1895, 1897.

Volume 8. "Discourses, Biological and Geological." First edition
printed 1894; reprinted 1896.

Volume 9. "Evolution and Ethics and other Essays." First edition
printed 1894; reprinted 1895, 1898.

"Scientific Memoirs," volume 1 printed 1898, volume 2 printed 1899,
volume 3 1901, volume 4 1902.


"On a Hitherto Undescribed Structure in the Human Hair Sheath," "London
Medical Gazette" 1 1340 (July 1845).

"Examination of the Corpuscles of the Blood of Amphioxus Lanceolatus,"
"British Association Report" (1847), part 2 95; "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Description of the Animal of Trigonia," "Proceedings of the Zoological
Society" volume 17. (1849), 30-32; also in "Annals and Magazine of
Natural History" 5 (1850), 141-143; "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Anatomy and the Affinities of the Family of the Medusae,"
"Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society" (1849), part 2 413;
"Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Notes on Medusae and Polypes," "Annals and Magazine of Natural
History" 6 (1850), 66, 67; "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Observations sur la Circulation du Sang chez les Mollusques des Genres
Firole et Atlante." (Extraites d'une lettre adressee a M.
Milne-Edwards.) "Annales des Sciences Naturelles" 14 (1850), 193-195;
"Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Observations upon the Anatomy and Physiology of Salpa and Pyrosoma,"
"Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society" (1851) part 2
567-594; also in "Annals and Magazine of Natural History" 9 (1852),
242-244; "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Remarks upon Appendicularia and Doliolum, two Genera of the Tunicata,"
"Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society" (1851), part 2
595-606; "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Zoological Notes and Observations made on board H.M.S. "Rattlesnake"
during the years 1846-1850" "Annals and Magazine of Natural History" 7
series 2. (1851), 304-306, 370-374; volume 8 433-442: "Scientific
Memoirs" 1.

"Observations on the Genus Sagitta," "British Association Report"
(1851) part 2 77, 78 (sectional transactions); "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"An Account of Researches into the Anatomy of the Hydrostatic
Acalephae," "British Association Report" (July 1851) part 2 78-80
(sectional transactions); "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Description of a New Form of Sponge-like Animal," "British Association
Report" (July 1851) part 2 80 (sectional transactions); "Scientific
Memoirs" 1.

"Report upon the Researches of Professor Muller into the Anatomy and
Development of the Echinoderms" "Annals and Magazine of Natural
History" series 2 volume 8 (1851) 1-19; "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Ueber die Sexualorgane der Diphydae und Physophoridae" Muller's
"Archiv fur Anatomie, Physiologie, und Wissenschaftliche Medicin"
(1851) 380-384. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Lacinularia Socialis: A Contribution to the Anatomy and Physiology of
the Rotifera," "Transactions of the Micr. Society" London, new series 1
(1853) 1-19; (Read December 31, 1851). "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Upon Animal Individuality," "Proceedings of the Royal Institution" 1
(1851-54), 184-189. (Abstract of a Friday evening discourse delivered
on 30th April 1852.) "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Morphology of the Cephalous Mollusca, as Illustrated by the
Anatomy of certain Heteropoda and Pteropoda collected during the voyage
of H.M.S. 'Rattlesnake' in 1846-50" "Philosophical Transactions of the
Royal Society" 143 (1853) part 1 29-66. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Researches into the Structure of the Ascidians," "British Association
Report" (1852) part 2 76-77. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Anatomy and Development of Echinococcus Veterinorum"
"Proceedings of the Zoological Society" 20 (1852) 110-126. "Scientific
Memoirs" 1.

"On the Identity of Structure of Plants and Animals"; Abstract of a
Friday evening discourse delivered at the Royal Institution on April
15, 1853; "Proceedings of the Royal Institution" 1 (1851-54) 298-302;
"Edinburgh New Phil. Journal" 53 (1852) 172-177. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Observations on the Existence of Cellulose in the Tunic of Ascidians"
"Quarterly Journal Micr. S." 1 1853; "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Development of the Teeth, and on the Nature and Import of
Nasmyth's 'Persistent Capsule'" "Quarterly Journal Micr. S." 1 1853.
"Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"The Cell-Theory (Review)" "British and For. Med. Chir. Review" 12
(1853) 285-314. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Vascular System of the Lower Annulosa" "British Association
Report" (1854) part 2 page 109. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Common Plan of Animal Forms" (Abstract of a Friday evening
discourse delivered at the Royal Institution on May 12, 1854.)
"Proceedings of the Royal Institution" 1 (1851-54) 444-446. "Scientific
Memoirs" 1.

"On the Structure and Relation of the Corpuscula Tactus (Tactile
Corpuscles or Axile Corpuscles) and of the Pacinian Bodies" "Quarterly
Journal Micr. S." 2 (1853) 1-7. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Ultimate Structure and Relations of the Malpighian Bodies of
the Spleen and of the Tonsillar Follicles" "Quarterly Journal Micr. S."
2 (1854) 74-82. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On certain Zoological Arguments commonly adduced in favour of the
Hypothesis of the Progressive Development of Animal Life in Time."
(Abstract of a Friday evening discourse delivered on April 20, 1855.)
"Proceedings of the Royal Institution" 2 (1854-58) 82-85. "Scientific
Memoirs" 1.

"On Natural History as Knowledge, Discipline, and Power" "Royal
Institution Proceedings" 2 (1854-58) 187-195. (Abstract of a discourse
delivered on Friday, February 15, 1856.) "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Present State of Knowledge as to the Structure and Functions of
Nerve" "Proceedings of the Royal Institution" 2 (1854-58) 432-437.
(Abstract of a discourse delivered on Friday, May 15, 1857.)
"Scientific Memoirs" 1.

(Translation) "On Tape and Cystic Worms" von Siebold (1857) for the
Sydenham Society.

"Contributions to Icones Zootomicae" by Victor Carus (1857).

"On the Phenomena of Gemmation" (Abstract of a discourse delivered on
Friday, May 21, 1858.) "Proceedings of the Royal Institution" 2
(1854-58) 534-538; "Silliman's Journal" 28 (1859) 206-209. "Scientific
Memoirs" 1.

"Contributions to the Anatomy of the Brachiopoda" "Proceedings of the
Royal Society" 7 (1854-55) 106-117; 241, 242. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On Hermaphrodite and Fissiparous Species of Tubicolar Annelidae
(Protula Dysteri)" "Edin. New Phil. Journal" 1 (1855) 113-129.
"Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Structure of Noctiluca Miliaris" "Quarterly Journal Micr. S." 3
(1855) 49-54. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Enamel and Dentine of the Teeth" "Quarterly Journal Micr. S." 3
(1855) 127-130. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Memoir on Physalia" "Proceedings of the Linnean Society" 2 (1855) 3-5.
"Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Anatomy of Diphyes, and on the Unity of Composition of the
Diphyidae and Physophoridae, etc." "Proceedings of the Linnean Society"
2 (1855) 67-69. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Tegumentary Organs" "The Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology" edited
by Robert B. Todd, M.D., F.R.S. (The fascicules containing this article
were published between August 1855 and October 1856.) "Scientific
Memoirs" 1.

"On the Method of Palaeontology" "Annals and Magazine of Natural
History" 18 (1856) 43-54. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Crustacean Stomach" "Journal Linnean Society" 4 1856. (Never
finally written.)

"Observations on the Structure and Affinities of Himantopterus"
"Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 12 (1856) 34-37.
"Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Further Observations on the Structure of Appendicula Flabellum
(Chamisso)" "Quarterly Journal Micr. S." 4 (1856) 181-191. "Scientific
Memoirs" 1.

"Note on the Reproductive Organs of the Cheilostome Polyzoa" "Quarterly
Journal Micr. S." 4 (1856) 191, 192. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Description of a New Crustacean (Pygocephalus Cooperi, Huxley) from
the Coal-measures" "Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 13
(1857) 363-369. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On Dysteria, a New Genus of Infusoria" "Quarterly Journal Micr. S." 5
(1857) 78-82. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Review of Dr. Hannover's Memoir: "Ueber die Entwickelung und den Bau
des Saugethierzahns" "Quarterly Journal Micr. S." 5 (1857) 166-171.
"Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Letter to Mr. Tyndall on the Structure of Glacier Ice" "Phil.
Magazine" 14 (1857) 241-260. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On Cephalaspis and Pteraspis" "Quarterly Journal of the Geological
Society" 14 (1858) 267-280. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"Observations on the Genus Pteraspis" "British Association Report"
(1858) part 2 82, 83. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On a New Species of Plesiosaurus (P. Etheridgii) from Street, near
Glastonbury; with Remarks on the Structure of the Atlas and the Axis
Vertebrae and of the Cranium in that Genus" "Quarterly Journal of the
Geological Society" 14 (1853) 281-94. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Theory of the Vertebrate Skull" "Proceedings of the Royal
Society" 9 (1857-59) 381-457; "Annals and Magazine of Natural History"
3 (1859) 414-39. "Scientific Memoirs" 1.

"On the Structure and Motion of Glaciers" "Philosophical Transactions
of the Royal Society" 147 (1857) 327-346. (Received and read January
15, 1857.) "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the Agamic Reproduction and Morphology of Aphis" "Transactions of
the Linnean Society" 22 (1858) 193-220, 221-236. (Read November 5,
1857.) "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On Some Points in the Anatomy of Nautilus Pompilius" "Journal of the
Linnean Society" 3 (1859) (Zoology) 36-44. (Read June 3, 1858.)
"Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the Persistent Types of Animal Life" "Proceedings of the Royal
Institution of Great Britain" 3 (1858-62) 151-153. (Friday, June 3,
1859.) "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the Stagonolepis Robertsoni (Agassiz) of the Elgin Sandstones; and
on the Recently Discovered Footmarks in the Sandstones of Cummingstone"
"Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 15 (1859) 440-460.
"Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On Some Amphibian and Reptilian Remains from South Africa and
Australia" "Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 15 (1859)
642-649. (Read March 3, 1859.) "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On a New Species of Dicynodon (D. Murrayi) from near Colesberg, South
Africa; and on the Structure of the Skull in the Dicynodonts"
"Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 15 (1859) 649-658. (Read
March 23, 1859.) "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On Rhamphorhynchus Bucklandi, a Pterosaurian from the Stonesfield
Slate" "Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 15 (1859) 658-670.
(Read March 23, 1859.) "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On a Fossil Bird and a Fossil Cetacean from New Zealand" "Quarterly
Journal of the Geological Society" 15 (1859) 670-677. (Read March 23,
1859.) "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the Dermal Armour of Crocodilus Hastingsiae" "Quarterly Journal of
the Geological Society" 15 (1859) 678-680. (Read March 23, 1859.)
"Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"British Fossils" part 1 "On the Anatomy and Affinities of the Genus
Pterygotus" "Memoir of the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom"
Monograph 1 (1859) 1-36. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"British Fossils" part 2. "Description of the Species of Pterygotus" by
J.W. Salter, F.G.S., A.L.S., "Memoir of the Geological Survey of the
United Kingdom" Monograph 1 (1859) 37-105. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On Dasyceps Bucklandi (Labyrinthodon Bucklandi, Lloyd)" "Memoir of the
Geological Survey of the United Kingdom" (1859) 52-56. "Scientific
Memoirs" 2.

"On a Fragment of a Lower Jaw of a Large Labyrinthodont from
Cubbington" "Memoir of the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom"
(1859) 56-57. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"Observations on the Development of Some Parts of the Skeleton of
Fishes" "Quarterly Journal Micr. S." 7 (1859) 33-46. "Scientific
Memoirs" 2.

"On the Dermal Armour of Jacare and Caiman, with Notes on the Specific
and Generic Characters of Recent Crocodilia" "Journal of the Linnean
Society" 4 (1860) (Zoology) 1-28. (Read February 15, 1859.) "Scientific
Memoirs" 2.

"On the Anatomy and Development of Pyrosoma" "Transactions of the
Linnean Society" 23. (1862) 193-250. (Read December 1, 1859.)
"Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the Oceanic Hydrozoa" "Ray Society" (1859).

"On Species and Races, and Their Origin" (1860) "Proceedings of the
Royal Institution" 3 (1858-62) 195-200; "Annals and Magazine of Natural
History" 5 (1860) 344-346. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the Structure of the Mouth and Pharynx of the Scorpion" "Quarterly
Journal Micr. S." 8 (1860) 250-254. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the Nature of the Earliest Stages of the Development of Animals"
"Proceedings of the Royal Institution" 3 (1858-62) 315-317. (February
8, 1861.) "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On a New Species of Macrauchenia (M. Boliviensis)" "Quarterly Journal
of the Geological Society" 17 (1861) 73-84. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On Pteraspis Dunensis (Archaeoteuthis Dunensis, Romer)" "Quarterly
Journal of the Geological Society" 17 (1861) 163-166. "Scientific
Memoirs" 2.

"Preliminary Essay upon the Systematic Arrangement of the Fishes of the
Devonian Epoch" "Memoir of the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom"
"Figures and Descriptions of British Organic Remains" (1861 Decade x)
41-46. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"Glyptolaemus Kinnairdi" "Memoir of the Geological Survey of the United
Kingdom" "Figures and Descriptions of British and Organic Remains"
(1861 Decade x) 41-56. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"Phaneropleuron Andersoni" "Memoir of the Geological Survey of the
United Kingdom" "Figures and Descriptions of British Organic Remains"
(1861 Decade x) 47-49. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the Zoological Relations of Man with the Lower Animals" "Natural
History Review" (1861) 67-84. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the Brain of Ateles Paniscus" "Proceedings of the Zoological
Society" (1861) 247-260. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On Fossil Remains of Man" "Proceedings of the Royal Institution"
(1858-62) 420-422. (February 7, 1862.) "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"Anniversary Address to the Geological Society, 1862" "Quarterly
Journal of the Geological Society" 18 (1862) 40-54. See also in list of
Essays "Geological Contemporaneity, etc." "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the New Labyrinthodonts from the Edinburgh Coalfield" "Quarterly
Journal of the Geological Society" 18 (1862) 291-296. "Scientific
Memoirs" 2.

"On a Stalk-eyed Crustacean from the Carboniferous Strata near Paisley"
"Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 18 (1862) 420-422.
"Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the Premolar Teeth of Diprotodon, and on a New Species of that
Genus (D. Australis)" "Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 18
(1862) 422-427. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"Description of a New Specimen of Glyptodon recently acquired by the
Royal College of Surgeons" "Proceedings of the Royal Society" 12
(1862-63) 316-326. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"Letter on the Human Remains found in Shell-mounds" (June 28, 1862)
"Transactions of the Ethnological Society" 2. (1863) 265-266.
"Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"Description of Anthracosaurus Russelli, a New Labyrinthodont from the
Lanarkshire Coal-field" "Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society"
19 (1863) 56-68. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the Form of the Placenta in the Cape Hyrax" "Proceedings of the
Zoological Society" (1863) page 237. (The paper was never written in
full; the materials and an unfinished drawing of the membranes are at
South Kensington.)

"Further Remarks upon the Human Remains from the Neanderthal" "Natural
History Review" (1864) 429-446. "Scientific Memoirs" 2.

"On the Angwantibo (Arctocebus Calabarensis, Gray) of Old Calabar"
"Proceedings of the Zoological Society" (1864) 314-335. "Scientific
Memoirs" 2.

"On the Structure of the Skull of Man, the Gorilla, the Chimpanzee, and
the Orang-Utan, during the period of the first dentition" "Proceedings
of the Zoological Society" (1864) page 586. (This paper was never
written in full, but was incorporated in "Man's Place in Nature.")

"On the Cetacean Fossils termed 'Ziphius' by Cuvier, with a Notice of a
New Species (Belemnoziphius Compressus) from the Red Crag" "Quarterly
Journal of the Geological Society" 20 (1864) 388-396. "Scientific
Memoirs" 3.

"On the Structure of the Belemnitidae" "Memoir of the Geological Survey
of the United Kingdom" Monograph 2 (1864). "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On the Osteology of the Genus Glyptodon" (1864) "Philosophical
Transactions of the Royal Society" 155 (1865) 31-70. "Scientific
Memoirs" 3.

"On the Structure of the Stomach in Desmodus Rufus" "Proceedings of the
Zoological Society" (1865) 386-390. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On a Collection of Vertebrate Fossils from the Panchet Rocks,
Ranigunj, Bengal" "Memoir of the Geological Survey of India";
"Palaeontologica Indica" series 4; "Indian Pretertiary Vertebrata" 1
(1865-85). "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On the Methods and Results of Ethnology" (1865) "Proceedings of the
Royal Institution" 4 (1866) 460-463. "Scientific Memoirs" 3. See also
"Collected Essays" 7.

"Explanatory Preface to the Catalogue of the Palaeontological
Collection in the Museum of Practical Geology" (1865). "Scientific
Memoirs" 3. See "Principles and Methods of Paleontology" 1869.

"On Two Extreme Forms of Human Crania" "Anthropological Review" 4
(1866) 404-406.

"On a Collection of Vertebrate Remains from the Jarrow Colliery,
Kilkenny, Ireland" "Geological Magazine" 3 (1866) 165-171. "Scientific
Memoirs" 3.

"On some Remains of Large Dinosaurian Reptiles from the Stormberg
Mountains, South Africa" "Phil. Magazine" 32 (1866) 474-475; "Quarterly
Journal of the Geological Society" 23 (1867) 1-6. "Scientific Memoirs"

"On a New Specimen of Telerpeton Elginense" (1866) "Quarterly Journal
of the Geological Society" 23 (1867) 77-84. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"Notes on the Human Remains of Caithness" (1866) in the "Prehistoric
Remains of Caithness" by S. Laing.

"On Two Widely Contrasted Forms of the Human Cranium" "Journal of
Anatomy and Physiology" 1 (1867) 60-77. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On Acanthopholis Horridus, a New Reptile from the Chalk-Marl"
"Geological Magazine" 4 (1867) 65-67. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On the Classification of Birds; and on the Taxonomic Value of the
Modifications of certain of the Cranial Bones observable in that Class"
"Proceedings of the Zoological Society" (1867) 415-472. "Scientific
Memoirs" 3.

"On the Animals which are most nearly Intermediate between Birds and
Reptiles" "Annals and Magazine of Natural History" 2 (1868) 66-75.
"Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On Saurosternon Bainii and Pristerodon M'Kayi, two New Fossil
Lacertilian Reptiles from South Africa" "Geological Magazine" 5 (1868)
201-205. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"Reply to Objections on my Classification of Birds" "Ibis" 4 (1868)

"On the Form of the Cranium among the Patagonians and Fuegians, with
some Remarks upon American Crania in general" "Journal of Anatomy and
Physiology" 2 (1868) 253-271. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On some Organisms living at Great Depths in the North Atlantic Ocean"
"Quarterly Journal Micr. S." 8 (1868) 203-212. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"Remarks upon Archaeopteryx Lithographica" "Proceedings of the Royal
Society" 16 (1868) 243-248. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On the Classification and Distribution of the Alectoromorphae and
Heteromorphae" "Proceedings of the Zoological Society" (1868) 294-319.
"Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On Hyperodapedon" "Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 25
(1869) 138-152. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On a New Labyrinthodont (Pholiderpeton Scutigerum) from Bradford"
"Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 25 (1869) 309-310.
"Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On the Upper Jaw of Megalosaurus" "Quarterly Journal of the Geological
Society" 25 (1869) 311-314. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"Principles and Methods of Paleontology" (Written in 1865 as the
Introduction to the Collection of Fossils at Jermyn Street.)
"Smithsonian Report" (1869) 363-388. See above (1865).

"On the Representatives of the Malleus and the Incus of Mammalia in the
Other Vertebrata" "Proceedings of the Zoological Society" (1869)
391-407. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"Address to the Geological Society, 1869" "Quarterly Journal of the
Geological Society" 25 (1869) 28-53. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On the Ethnology and Archaeology of India" (Opening Address of the
President, March 9, 1869.) "Journal of the Ethnological Society of
London" 1 (1869) 89-93. (Delivered March 9, 1869.) "Scientific Memoirs"

"On the Ethnology and Archeology of North America" (Address of the
President, April 13, 1869.) "Journal of the Ethnological Society of
London" 1 (1869) 218-221. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On Hypsilophodon Foxii, a New Dinosaurian from the Wealden of the Isle
of Wight" (1869) "Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 26
(1870) 3-12. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"Further Evidence of the Affinity between the Dinosaurian Reptiles and
Birds" (1869) "Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 26 (1870)
12-31. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On the Classification of the Dinosauria, with Observations on the
Dinosauria of the Trias" (1869) "Quarterly Journal of the Geological
Society" 26 (1870) 32-50. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On the Ethnology of Britain" "Journal of the Ethnological Society of
London" 2 (1870) 382-384. (Delivered May 10, 1870). "Scientific
Memoirs" 3.

"The Anniversary Address of the President" "Journal of the Ethnological
Society of London" new series 2 (1870) 16-24 (May 24, 1870).
"Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On the Geographical Distribution of the Chief Modifications of
Mankind" "Journal of the Ethnological Society of London" new series 2
(1870) 404-412. (June 7, 1870.) "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On a New Labyrinthodont from Bradford" With a Note on its Locality and
Stratigraphical Position by Louis C. Miall "Phil. Magazine" 39 (1870)

"Anniversary Address to the Geological Society, 1870" "Quarterly
Journal of the Geological Society" 26 (1870) 29-64. ("Paleontology and
the Doctrine of Evolution") "Collected Essays" 8 340. "Scientific
Memoirs" 3.

"Address to the British Association at Liverpool" "British Association
Report" 40 (1870) 73-89. "Collected Essays" 8. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On the Milk Dentition of Palaeotherium Magnum" "Geological Magazine" 7
(1870) 153-155. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"Triassic Dinosauria" "Nature" 1 (1870) 23-24. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On the Maxilla of Megalosaurus" "Phil. Magazine" 39 (1870) 385-386.

"On the Relations of Penicillium, Torula, and Bacterium" "Quarterly
Journal Micr. S." 10 (1870) 355-362. (A Report by another hand of an
Address given at the British Association, the views expressed in which
were afterwards set aside.) "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"On a Collection of Fossil Vertebrata from the Jarrow Colliery, County
of Kilkenny, Ireland" "Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy" 24
(1871) 351-370.

"Yeast" "Contemporary Review" December 1871. "Scientific Memoirs" 3.

"Note on the Development of the Columella Auris in the Amphibia"
"British Association Report" 1874 (section) 141-142; "Nature" 11 (1875)
68-69. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On the Structure of the Skull and of the Heart of Menobranchus
Lateralis" "Proceedings of the Zoological Society" (1874) 186-204.
"Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On the Hypothesis that Animals are Automata, and its History" "Nature"
10 (1874) 362-366. See also list of Essays.

"Preliminary Note upon the Brain and Skull of Amphioxus Lanceolatus"
(1874) "Proceedings of the Royal Society" 23 (1875). "Scientific
Memoirs" 4.

"On the Bearing of the Distribution of the Portio Dura upon the
Morphology of the Skull" (1874) "Proceedings of the Cambridge Phil.
Society" 2 (1876) 348-349. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On the Classification of the Animal Kingdom" (1874) "Journal of the
Linnean Society" (Zoology) 12 (1876) 199-226. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On the Recent Work of the 'Challenger' Expedition, and its Bearing on
Geological Problems" "Proceedings of the Royal Institution" 7 (1875)
354-357. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On Stagonolepis Robertsoni, and on the Evolution of the Crocodilia"
"Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society" 31 (1875) 423-438.
"Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"Contributions to Morphology. Ichthyopsida.--Number 1. On Ceradotus
Forsteri, with Observations on the Classification of Fishes"
"Proceedings of the Zoological Society" (1876) 24-59. "Scientific
Memoirs" 4.

"On the Position of the Anterior Nasal Apertures in Lepidosiren"
"Proceedings of the Zoological Society" (1876) 180-181. "Scientific
Memoirs" 4.

"On the Nature of the Cranio-Facial Apparatus of Petromyzon" "Journal
of Anatomy and Physiology" 10 (1876) 412-429. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"The Border Territory between the Animal and the Vegetable Kingdoms"
(1876) "Proceedings of the Royal Institution" 8 (1879) 28-34.
"Macmillan's Magazine" 33 373-384. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On the Evidence as to the Origin of Existing Vertebrate Animals"
"Nature" 13 (1876) 388-389, 410-412, 429-430, 467-469, 514-516; 14
(1876) 33-34. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"The Crocodilian Remains in the Elgin Sandstones, with remarks on the
Ichnites of Cummingstone" "Memoir of the Geological Survey of the
United Kingdom" Monograph 3 1877 (58 pages and 16 plates). "Scientific
Memoirs" 4.

"On the Study of Biology" "Nature" 15 (1877) 219-224; "American
Naturalist" 11 (1877) 210-221. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On the Geological History of Birds" (March 2, 1877) "Proceedings of
the Royal Institution" 8 347. [The substance of this paper is contained
in the "New York Lectures on Evolution" 1876; see page 440.]

"Address to the Anthropological Department of the British Association,
Dublin, 1878. Informal Remarks on the Conclusions of Anthropology"
"British Association Report" 1878 573-578. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On the Classification and the Distribution of the Crayfishes"
"Proceedings of the Zoological Society" (1878) 752-788. "Scientific
Memoirs" 4.

"On a New Arrangement for Dissecting Microscopes" (1878) the
President's Address "Journal of the Quekett Micr. Club" 5 (1878-79)
144-145. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"William Harvey" (1878) "Proceedings of the Royal Institution" 8 (1879)
485-500. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On the Characters of the Pelvis in the Mammalia, and the Conclusions
respecting the Origin of Mammals which may be based on them"
"Proceedings of the Royal Society" 28 (1879) 295-405. "Scientific
Memoirs" 4.

"Sensation and the Unity of Structure of Sensiferous Organs" (1879)
"Proceedings of the Royal Institution" 9 (1882) 115-124. See also
"Collected Essays" 6. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"The President's Address" (July 25, 1879) "Journal of the Quekett Micr.
Club" 5 (1878-79) 250-255. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On certain Errors respecting the Structure of the Heart, attributed to
Aristotle" (1879) "Nature" 21 (1880) 1-5. See also "Science and
Culture". "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On the Epipubis in the Dog and Fox" "Proceedings of the Royal Society"
30 (1880) 162-163. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"The Coming of Age of 'The Origin of Species'" (1880) "Proceedings of
the Royal Institution" 9 (1882) 361-368. See also "Collected Essays" 2.
"Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On the Cranial and Dental Characters of the Canidae" "Proceedings of
the Zoological Society" (1880) 238-288. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On the Application of the Laws of Evolution to the Arrangement of the
Vertebrata, and more particularly of the Mammalia" "Proceedings of the
Zoological Society" (1880) 649-662. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"The Herring" "Nature" 23 (1881) 607-613. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"Address to the International Medical Congress" London 1881--"The
Connection of the Biological Sciences with Medicine" "Nature" 24 (1881)
342-346. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"The Rise and Progress of Paleontology" "Nature" 24 (1881) 452-455.
"Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"A Contribution to the Pathology of the Epidemic known as the 'Salmon
Disease'" (February 21, 1882) "Proceedings of the Royal Society" 33
(1882) 381-389. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On the Respiratory Organs of Apteryx" "Proceedings of the Zoological
Society" (1882) 560-569. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On Saprolegnia in Relation to the Salmon Disease" "Quarterly Journal
Micr. S." 22 (1882) 311-333 (reprinted from the 21st Annual Report of
H.M. Inspectors of Salmon Fisheries). "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"On Animal Forms" being the Rede Lecture for 1883; "Nature" 28 page 187.

"Address delivered at the Opening of the Fisheries Exhibition at South
Kensington, 1883."

"Contributions to Morphology. Ichthyopsida.--Number 2. On the Oviducts
of Osmerus; with Remarks on the Relations of the Teleostean with the
Ganoid Fishes" "Proceedings of the Zoological Society" (1883) 132-139.
"Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"Oysters and the Oyster Question" (1883) "Proceedings of the Royal
Institution" 10 (1884) 336-358. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"Preliminary Note on the Fossil Remains of a Chelonian Reptile,
Ceratochelys Sthenurus, from Lord Howe's Island, Australia"
"Proceedings of the Royal Society" 46 (1887) 232-238. (Read March 31,
1887.) "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"The Gentians: Notes and Queries" (April 7, 1887) "Journal of the
Linnean Society" (Botany) 24 (1888) 101-124. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"Further Observations on Hyperodapedon" "Quarterly Journal of the
Geological Society" 43 (1878) 675-693. "Scientific Memoirs" 4.

"Owen's Position in the History of Anatomical Science" see page 443.


(This list has been compiled from such diplomas and letters as I found
in my father's possession.)


Norwegian Order of the North Star, 1873.


Oxford--Hon. D.C.L. 1885.
Cambridge--Hon. LL.D. 1879.
--Rede Lecturer, 1883.
London--First M.B. and Gold Medal, 1845.
--Examiner in Physiology and Comparative Anatomy; 1857.
--Member of Senate, 1883.
Edinburgh--Hon. LL.D. 1866.
Aberdeen--Lord Rector, 1872.
Dublin--Hon. LL.D. 1878.
Breslau--Hon. Ph.D. and M.A. 1861.
Wurzburg--Hon. M.D. 1882.
Bologna--Hon. M.D. 1888.
Erlangen--Hon. M.D. 1893.


Royal, 1851.
--Sec. 1872-81.
--Pres. 1883-85.
--Royal Society's Medal, 1852.
--Copley Medal, 1888.
--Darwin Medal, 1894.
Linnean, 1858.
--Linnean Medal, 1890.
Geological, 1856.
--Sec. 1859-62.
--Pres. 1869-70.
--Wollaston Medal, 1876.
Zoological, 1856.
Odontological, 1863.
Ethnological, 1863.
--Pres. 1868-70.
Anthropological Institute, 1870.
Medico-Chirurgical, Hon. Memb. 1868.
Medical, Hon. Memb. 1873.
Literary, 1883.
Silver Medal of the Apothecaries' Society for Botany, 1842.
Royal College of Surgeons, Member, 1862.
--Fellow, 1883.
--Hunterian Professor, 1863-69.
St. Thomas's Hospital, Lecturer in Comparative Anatomy, 1854.
British Association for the Advancement of Science, Pres. 1870.
--Pres. of Section D, 1866.
Royal Institution, Fullerian Lecturer, 1863-67.
British Museum, Trustee, 1888.
Quekett Microscopical Club, President, 1878-79.


Dublin University Zoological and Botanical Association; Corr. Member,
Liverpool Literary and Philosophic Society, Hon. Memb. 1870.
Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, Hon. Memb. 1872.
Odontological Society of Great Britain, 1862.
Royal Irish Academy, Hon. Memb. 1874.
Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, Hon. Memb. 1875.
Royal Society of Edinburgh, British Hon. Fellow, 1876.
Glasgow Philosophical Society, Hon. Memb. 1876.
Literary and Antiquarian Society of Perth, Hon. Memb. 1876.
Cambridge Philosophical Society, Hon. Memb. 1871.
Hertfordshire Natural History Society, Hon. Memb. 1883.
Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, Hon. Memb. 1886.
New Zealand Institute, Hon. Memb. 1872.
Royal Society of New South Wales, Hon. Memb. 1879, Clarke Medal, 1880.


International Congress of Anthropology and Prehistoric Archeology,
Corr. Memb. 1867.
International Geological Congress (Pres.) 1888.


Academy of the Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Corr. Memb. 1859;
Hayden Medal, 1888.
Odontographic Society of Pennsylvania, Hon. Memb. 1865.
American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, 1869.
Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, Hon. Memb. 1873.
New York Academy of Sciences, Hon. Memb. 1876.
Boston Society of Natural History, Hon. Memb. 1877.
National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A., Foreign Associate, 1883.
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Foreign Hon. Memb. 1883.


Konigliche Kaiserliche Geologische Reichsanstalt (Vienna), Corr. Memb.
K.K. Zoologische-botanische Gesellschaft in Wien, 1865.


Academie Royale de Medecine de Belgique, 1874.
Societe Geologique de Belgique, Hon. Memb. 1877.
Societe d'Anthropologie de Bruxelles, Hon. Memb. 1884.


Gabineta Portuguez de Leitura em Pernambuco, Corr. Memb. 1879.


Royal Society of Copenhagen, Fellow, 1876.


Institut Egyptien (Alexandria), Hon. Memb. 1861.


Societe Imperiale des Sciences Naturelles de Cherbourg, Corr. Memb.
Institut de France; "Correspondant" in the section of Physiology
(succeeding von Baer), 1879.


Microscopical Society of Giessen, Hon. Memb. 1857.
Imperialis Academia Caesariana Naturae Curiosorum (Dresden), 1857.
Imperial Literary and Scientific Academy of Germany, 1858.
Royal Society of Sciences in Gottingen, Corr. Memb. 1862.
Royal Bavarian Academy of Literature and Science (Munich), For. Memb.
Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences (Berlin), 1865.
Medicinisch-naturwisseflschaftliche Gesellschaft zu Jena, For. Hon.
Memb. 1868.
Geographical Society of Berlin, For. Memb. 1869.
Deutscher Fischerei-Verein, Corr. Memb. 1870.
Berliner Gesellschaft fur Anthropologie, Ethnologie, und Urgeschichte,
Corr. Memb. 1871.
Naturforschende Gesellschaft zu Halle, 1879.
Senkenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft (Frankfurt a/M.), Corr.
Memb. 1892.


Dutch Society of Sciences (Haarlem), For. Memb. 1877.
Koninklyke Natuurkundige Vereenigung in Nederlandisch-Indie (Batavia),
Corr. Memb. 1880.
Royal Academy of Sciences (Amsterdam), For. Memb. 1892.


Societa Italiana di Antropologia e di Etnologia, Hon. Memb. 1872.
Academia de' Lincei di Roma, For. Memb. (supplementary), 1878,
ordinary, 1883.
Reale Academia Valdarnense del Poggio (Florence), Corr. Memb. 1883.
Societa dei Naturalisti in Modena, Hon. Memb. 1886.
Societa Italiana delle Scienze (Naples), For. Memb. 1892.
Academia Scientiarum Instituti Bononiensis (Bologna), Corr. Memb. 1893.


Academia Real das Sciencias de Lisboa, For. Corr. Memb. 1874.


Imperial Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg), Corr. Memb. 1865.
Societas Caesarea Naturae Cuniosorum (Moscow), Ordinary Member, 1870,
Hon. Memb. 1887.


Societas Medicorum Svecana, Ordinary Memb. 1866.


T.H. Huxley served on the following Royal or other Commissions:--

1. Royal Commission on the Operation of Acts relating to Trawling for
Herrings on the Coast of Scotland, 1862.

2. Royal Commission to inquire into the Sea Fisheries of the United
Kingdom, 1864-65.

3. Commission on the Royal College of Science for Ireland, 1866.

4. Commission on Science and Art Instruction in Ireland, 1868.

5. Royal Commission upon the Administration and Operation of the
Contagious Diseases Acts, 1870-71.

6. Royal Commission on Scientific Instruction and the Advancement of
Science, 1870-75.

7. Royal Commission on the Practice of subjecting Live Animals to
Experiments for Scientific Purposes, 1876.

8. Royal Commission to inquire into the Universities of Scotland,

9. Royal Commission on the Medical Acts, 1881-82.

10. Royal Commission on Trawl, Net, and Beam Trawl Fishing, 1884.



A priori reasoning.

Abbott, Dr. E.A., on "Illusions".
--correspondence in "Times".

Aberdeen University, Huxley rejected for chair at.
--Lord Rector of.
--Rectorial Address at.
--translated into German.
--perils of writing.


Adamson, Professor.

Addresses delivered under difficulties.

"Administrative Nihilism".

Admiralty, parsimony of, in 1846.
--their dealings with Huxley.

Advice to would-be writer on scientific subjects.

Agassiz, Alexander, at x Club.
--visit to.

Agassiz, Louis, and creation.
--on glaciers.

Agnosticism, formulated in 1860.
--controversy on.

Airy, Sir G.B., P.R.S.

Albert, Prince, at British Association.

Alcohol, use of.

Alford, Dean, and Metaphysical Society.

Allis, E. Phelps, jun., supports Huxley's unpublished cranial

Allman, Dr. George J., on Huxley's leading discovery.
--President British Association, 1879.

America, visit to.
--sight of New York.
--at Yale.
--at Niagara.
--visits his sister.
--at Baltimore.
--lectures at New York.

American Civil War.
--suggests article "Emancipation, Black and White".


Anglesey, Marquis of, at Wellington's funeral.

Angus, Dr., on School Board.

Animal motion, lecture on.

Animals and plants.

"Animals as Automata".
--delivered without notes.

Anthropological Institute founded.

Anthropological Society amalgamated with Ethnological.

Anthropologie, Societe d', of Paris.


Ape question, at Oxford.
--papers and lectures on.
--"Punch" squib.
--at Edinburgh.
--leads to ethnological work.
--conclusion of.

"Apologetic Irenicon".

Appletons, and copyright.
--visit to.

Arbitration Alliance, letter to, on the reduction of armaments and the
real causes of war.

"Archetype" reviewed by H. Spencer.

Argyll, Duke of, in Metaphysical Society.
--on "Law".
--reply to.
--on coral reef theories.
--further controversy with.

Aristotle compared with Darwin.
--certain errors attributed to.
--estimate of the manuscripts of.

Armstrong, Sir Alexander, at Haslar.

Armstrong, Lord, visits to.
--and a Newcastle society.

Arnold, M.
--letters to:
--a lost umbrella.
--"St. Paul and Protestantism".
--on death of his son.

Arolla, first visit to.
--second visit to.

Aryans, origin of.

Ascidians, new species of.
--Doliolum and Appendicularia.
--on the structure of.
--catalogue of.

Ashby, Mr., on sanitary work.

Ashley, Hon. E., Vivisection Bill.

Atavism, defence of the word.

Athanasian Creed, anecdote.

Atheism logically untenable.

Athenaeum Club, elected to.

Augustan epoch to be beaten by an English epoch.

Automatism, Darwin suggests he should review himself on.

Auvergne, trip in.
--glaciation in.
--prehistoric skeleton at Le Puy.

Babbage, calculating machine, and the theory of induction.

Bacon, influence of.

"Baconian Induction," criticism of.
--Spedding on.

Baer, von, influence of.
--his Copley Medal.
--his work.

Bailey, F., at Lynton.

Baillon, led to make fresh observations through Huxley's Gentian paper.

Bain, Professor A.


Balfour, Right Hon. A., critique on his "Foundations of Belief".

Balfour, Francis.
--death of.
--likeness to Huxley.
--looked to as his successor.
--opinion of.

Ball, John, with Huxley at Belfast.

Ball, W. Platt, letter to: criticises his "Use and Disuse": advice as
to future work.


"Barriers, The Three".

Barry, Bishop, on Huxley's work on the School Board.

Bastian, Dr. H. Charlton, on spontaneous generation.

Bateson, Mr., letter to: his book "On Variation" returns from
speculation to fact: natura facit saltum.

--not accepted in connection with Darwin's speculations.
--"eating the leek" about.

Baynes, Thomas Spencer, letters to:
--Aberdeen Address.
--parsons at Edinburgh lectures.
--regime for health.
--arrangements for the "Encyclopaedia".
--articles for "Encyclopaedia".
--work on Dick Swiveller's principle.
--puts aside a subject when done with.
--a Balaam-Centaur.
--Dean Stanley's handwriting.
--articles between H. and L.
--Biology contrasted with Criticism, etc.
--reports of his American trip.
--Harvey article.

Beale, Professor.

Beaufort, Sir F. (Hydrographer).
--assistance from.

Beaumont, Elie de, contradicted by nature.

Belemnites, on.

Bell, Thomas, ready to help.
--as man of science.
--writes official statement on the award of Royal Society Medal to

Bence Jones, Dr., kindness of.
--would make the Fullerian Professorship permanent.
--friendly conspiracy.

Bennett, Risdon, and F.R.S.

Bentham, G., at x Club.

Benvenuto Cellini.

--proposed book on.

Berkeley, Rev. M.J., mycological work.

Besant, Mrs., exclusion from University College.

Besant, Sir W., Huxley's face.

Bible-reading in elementary schools.

Biological teaching, revolutionised.
--Darwin on.

Biology, on the study of.

Birds, distension of air-cells in flight.
--investigations into the structure of.
--classification of.
--toothed, proposed lecture on.
--geological history of.

Birds and reptiles, relations of.

Birmingham, address on Priestley.
--opens Mason College.

Blackie, Professor, goes with, to Skelton's.

Blaythwayt, R., "The Uses of Sentiment".

Body, "a machine of the nature of an army".


Book, a good, and fools.

Booth, General, "Darkest England" scheme.
--compared to Law's Mississippi scheme.

Bowman, Sir William, retiring from King's College.
--death of.

Bradlaugh, Charles, view of.

Bradlaugh, Miss, exclusion from University College.

Bramwell, Sir F., on technical education.

Brewster, Sir David.
--criticism of Darwin.

Bright, John, speeches.

Bristol Channel, report on the recent changes of level in.

British Association.
--at Southampton: Huxley's first paper.
--at Ipswich.
--at Belfast, 1852.
--at Liverpool, 1853.
--at Aberdeen.
--at Oxford, 1860.
--at Cambridge, 1862.
--at Nottingham.
--science in public schools.
--President Section D.
--at Dundee: working men's lecture delivered by Tyndall.
--at Norwich.
--"A Piece of Chalk,".
--at Exeter.
--at Liverpool: Huxley President.
--at Edinburgh.
--at Belfast.
--address on Animal Automatism.
--paper on Columella auris.
--committee on vivisection.
--at Dublin.
--address on Anthropology.
--at Sheffield: Huxley "eats the leek" about Bathybius.
--at York: address on "Rise and Progress of Paleontology".
--at Plymouth, invitation for.
--at Oxford, 1894: speech on growing acceptance of evolution.

British Museum, Natural History Collections.
--ex officio Trustee.

Broca, P., advice as to anthropological scheme.
--language and race.

Brodie, Sir Benjamin.

Brodie, Professor (afterwards the second Sir B.).

Brodie, Rev. P., letter to: local museums.

Brodrick, Hon. G., letter to, on Linacre chair.
--visit to.
--letter to: reason for accepting P.R.S.

Brooks, Mr. and Mrs., meeting with.

Brown, Alfred, South African geologist.

Brown Sequard at Oxford.

Browning, his music.

Bruce, John, visit to.
--in Edinburgh.

Bruny Island.

Bryson, Dr.

Buchner, L.

Buckland, Frank, succeeds as Fishery Inspector.

Buckland, Mrs., discovers an Echinoderm.

Buffon, on style.
--appreciation of.

Bunbury, Sir C.


Burnett, Sir William, Director-General Navy Medical Service.
--interviews with.
--letter to.

Burns, John, and poem on Tennyson.

Burton, Edward, letter to: advice against building disregarded.

Busk, G., stays with.
--on Snowdon with.
--joint translation of Kolliker.
--x Club.

Butler's "Analogy".


Cairns, Professor.

Calcutta, museum appointment.

Calvinism in science.

--British Association at.
--Darwin's LL.D.
--Huxley's LL.D.
--Rede Lecture
--visit to.
--Harvey Tercentenary.

Campbell, Professor Lewis.
--letters to:
--value of Mariner's testimony about the Tongans.
--Oxford, British Association at, 1894, stronghold of the priesthood in
opposing scientific method.

Campbell, Mrs. L.
--letter to:
--hybrid gentian on a nameless island in Sils Lake.

Canaries, trip to.

Canino, Prince of, at British Association, Ipswich.

Cardwell, Lord, vivisection question.

Carlyle, influence of.
--installed Lord Rector at Edinburgh when Huxley received LL.D.
--hatred of Darwinism.
--death of.

Carlyle, Mrs., saying about Owen.

Carnarvon, Lord, Vivisection Bill.

Carpenter, Rev. Estlin.
--letter to:
--acknowledges his book, "The First Three Gospels": historical basis of
Christianity: comparison of Nazarenism with Quakerism.

Carpenter, W.B., approves of his views.
--support for F.R.S.
--dealings with, about the Registrarship of London University.
--at his marriage.
--Examiner at London University.
--at Lamlash Bay.
--and Bathybius.

Carus, Victor, corresponds with.
--takes Wyville Thomson's lectures in 1874.

Cassowary, rhyme.

Cats, love for.

Cavendish, Lord F., assassination of.

Cell theory, review of.

Celt question.

"Challenger" expedition, and Bathybius.
--some results of.

Chamberlain, Right Hon. Joseph, asked to Royal Society dinner.

Chambers, Robert, at Oxford, 1860.

Chamisso, quoted.

Chandler, Dr., apprenticed to.

Chapman, the publisher.

Cherubim, and terrestrial creation.

Chess player, nature compared to a hidden.

Chichester, Bishop of, on Huxley's search after the Ur-gentian.

Christian dogmas.

--"development" of.
--demonology of.
--historical basis of.
--comparison with Quakerism.

Chrystal, Professor, to help in Men of Science Series.

Church Army, answer to appeal for subscription to.

Church, Established, and our simian origin.

Churchill, the publisher.

City and Guilds Institute.

City Companies and education.

Clark, Sir Andrew, M.D., at Haslar.
--successful treatment by.
--meets on return from Italy.
--advises retirement.
--on Clifford's illness.
--election as F.R.S.

Clark, Sir J., help from.

Clark, J.W., Master of the Salters Company, letter from--education.

Clarke, Hyde.
--letters to:
--Ashantee War and ethnology: Huxley no longer attending to
--aim of Genesis controversy.

Clarke, F. Le Gros, evolution and the Church.

Clayton, N.P.
--letter to: moral duty and the moral sense: influence of Franklin and
Fox compared.

Clergy and physical science.


Clerk-Maxwell, to help in Men of Science Series.

Clifford, W.K.
--his friends rally to, in his illness.
--opinion of.

Clifford, Mrs.
--letters to:
--a difficulty.
--the P.C.: a spiritual peerage.
--human nature.

Clodd, Edward, note on secular education.
--letters to:
--his book "Jesus of Nazareth": Bible reading.
--reply to condolence on his daughter's death.
--Positivism: will devote his remaining powers to theological questions.
--Baur's merit: proposes work on the three great myths.
--legal aspect of the "Darkest England" scheme: controversy and waste
of time.
--new edition of "Bates": alleged ignoring of distinguished men by
Royal Society.
--"Man's Place" after thirty years.
--answering letters: Kidd on Social Evolution: Lord Salisbury at Oxford.

Cobden, Richard.
--and International College.

"Cock Lane and Common Sense".

Cole, Sir Henry, the humour of public affairs.

Colenso, Bishop, Bishop Wilberforce on.


Coleridge, Lord, and vivisection.

"Collected Essays", review of, by Professor Ray Lankester.

Collier, Hon. John.
--letters to:
--the "Apologetic Irenicon": art in London University.
--a pertinacious portrait painter.
--effect of influenza on personal appearance: the Romanes Lecture an

Collier, Hon. Mrs. John.
--letters to:
--a country visit.
--secretarial work: incidents of travel.
--Naples: violent changes of weather.
--secretarial work:
--Catherine of Siena.
--end of Italian trip.
--prize at the Slade School: return from Maloja.
--the Canaries.
--objects of the seashore.
--the P.C.
--the cat.
--nonsense letter.
--an Oxford training.

Collier, W.F.
--letters to:
--proposed visit to.
--a touching mark of confidence.
--law of Deceased Wife's Sister: Shakespeare and the sexes of plants.
--the P.C. "What is honour?": a new Beatitude.
--visit to.

Collings, E.T.
--letter to: alcohol as a brain stimulant.

Collings, Right Hon. Jesse, his mother and the P.C.

Commission, Medical Acts.
--report of.

Commission, Scottish Universities.

Commissions, Royal.
--on Science and Art instruction.
--on Science.
--on Trawling.
--Fishery, of 1883.

Common, T., letter to:
--Nietzsche: German work and style: morality and evolution.

Comparative anatomy, letter on.

Comte, criticism on.
--would need re-writing.
--typical of the century?

Comtism, defined as "Catholicism without Christianity".

Comtists, opinion of.
--see also Positivism.

Conditions, influence of.

Congreve, controversy with.

Controversy, opinion of.
--and friendship.
--exhilarating effect of.
--aim of.
--in self-defence.

"Controverted Questions".
--labour of writing the prologue.
--elimination of the supernatural.

Cook (editor of "Saturday Review").

Cooke, Dr., his brother-in-law.
--his first instruction in medicine.

Copley Medal, awarded to Huxley.

Corfield, R., on Clifford's illness.

Cork, rejected for chair at.

Cornay, Professor, acknowledgment from.

Cornu, Professor, at x Club.

"Cornu", the posterior.

Courtney, Right Hon. L., at Royal Society dinner.

Coventry, the house of Thomas Huxley.
--George Huxley returns to.


Cranks, letters from.

Crayfish, on the.

Creation, controversy on Genesis
--with Mr. Gladstone.

Criticism, a compliment.

Croonian Lecture.

Cross, Lord, letter to: Vivisection Commission.

Crowder, Mrs., visit to.

Crum Brown, Professor, induces Huxley to play golf.

Crustacea, paleozoic.

Culture, basis of.

Cunningham, on South American fossil.

Cuno, language and race.

Cuvier, his views controverted.
--and his title.
--appreciation of.

Cuvier, the British.

Dalgairns, Father, in Metaphysical Society.

Dalhousie, Lord, President Royal Commission on Trawling.

Dana, and coral reef theories.
--misunderstanding of Darwin in his obituary of Asa Gray.


Darwin, Charles, likewise begins his career at sea.
--as man of science.
--saying about happiness and work.
--starts on the "Origin".
--effect of the "Origin".
--the species question before 1859.
--the most serious omission in the "Origin".
--Huxley his "general agent".
--his "bulldog".
--and his predecessors.
--and poetry.
--compared with Lamarck.
--and spontaneous generation.
--at x Club.
--his opinion of Dohrn.
--his generosity.
--"the cheeriest letter-writer I know."
--letter to, obtaining a Civil List pension for Wallace.
--death of.
--notice of, in "Nature".
--love for.
--intellect of.
--compared to Gordon.
--unveiling of statue.
--character and friends.
--influence in science.
--exposition not his forte.
--dumb sagacity of.
--legacy from A. Rich.
--his theory needs experimental proof.
--and natura non facit saltum.
--typical of the century?
--nature of his work.
--example of.
--defence of.
--Letters from:
--the decisive critics of the "Origin".
--Huxley's reservations in accepting the doctrine of the "Origin".
--on Huxley's treatment of Suarez' metaphysics: intellect of Huxley.
--conveys him a gift from his friends.
--on new biological teaching.
--on report of seance.
--Letters to:
--on the "Origin".
--Edinburgh lectures.
--the Cambridge British Association.
--on "Man's Place":
--that his theory accounts for retrogression as well as progression.
--pressure of work.
--absorption in one kind of work, due to one's reputation and one's
--"Criticisms of the 'Origin'".
--Copley Medal.
--difficulty of writing a book.
--birth of a son: work in the "Reader".
--sends booklet.
--Darwinism in Germany.
--laziness: Hooker ill.
--memorial about Gallegos fossils.
--new edition of "Origin": Jamaica affair.
--on Positivist critics.
--visit from Darwin.
--no time to read.
--loses sight of naturalists "by grace of the dredge."
--South American fossils.
--Exeter British Association.
--societies: the Celt question.
--on Oxford D.C.L.
--on "Descent of Man and Sexual Selection".
--inconvenience of having four addresses.
--on a friend's illness.
--note for the "Descent of Man": Dohrn's Station: projected visit to
--W.G. Ward's saying about Mill.
--report on spiritualistic seance.
--attack in "Quarterly".
--on vivisection.
--instructions for Polar expedition.
--on theological protest.
--his degree at Cambridge.
--"Coming of Age" of the "Origin".
--cuts out a sharp retort.
--on Wallace's pension.
--optimism and pessimism.

Darwin, Mrs., visit to.

Darwin, Miss E., on Huxley's books.

Darwin, Francis.
--letter to, on the British Association Meeting of 1860.
--visit to.

Darwin, Professor George, at seance.

Darwin tree, the.

Daubeny, Dr., at Oxford, 1860.

Davies, Rev. Llewelyn, at Huxley's funeral.

Dayman, Lieutenant, formerly of the "Rattlesnake".
--on Atlantic mud.

De la Beche, Sir Henry.

De Maillet.

De Quatrefages.

Deceased Wife's Sister Bill.

Derby, Lord.

Descartes' Discourse, Commentary on.

Design, argument from.

Devonian fishes.

"Devonshire Man" controversy.

Dewar, Professor, liquid oxygen.

Dingle, Mr., at Oxford, 1860.

Diphtheria, outbreak of.

Docker, the scientific, letter to.
--tries to help.
--letter to: atoms and the evolution of matter.

Dog, on the.
--projected work on.
--problems connected with.
--further work on.

Dohrn, Dr. Anton.
--visit of.
--visit from, in 1868.
--absent from Naples on Huxley's visit.
--Letters to:
--matrimony: Tennyson: his kindness to children.
--scientific investigators and museum work: family news: criticism of
--Calcutta Museum:
--Kolliker and the organon adamantinae: family news.
--a bad letter-writer: Goethe's Aphorisms: Dohrn's work and English.
--marine stations at Naples and Brighton: spontaneous generation:
Huxley, devil's advocate to speculators: a "Tochtervolles Haus."
--British Association at Liverpool: Franco-Prussian War.
--microscopes: Franco-Prussian War.
--School Board: "an optical Sadowa."
--illness of 1871.
--the visit to Naples: Ceylon Museum.
--beefsteaks and wives not to be despised.
--Ceylon Museum: his father's illness: his capacity.
--invitation to Morthoe.
--books for the Aquarium.
--the new laboratory.
--England not represented at his station: visit from von Baer: lawsuit:
Kleinenberg on Hydra.
--subscriptions for station: prefers his German to his English:
--his marriage: the station: Darwin's generosity.
--death of Darwin and Balfour.
--naval officers and scientific research.
--health: age: earning an honest sixpence.

Dohrn, Dr., sen.
--visit to, at Naples.
--vigour of.

Donnelly, Sir John, K.C.B., visit to.
--Letters to:
--Fishery appointment.
--title of Dean: a wet holiday.
--retired officers in administrative posts.
--unofficial answer to official inquiries.
--proposed resignation.
--industry and age.
--health: Gordon.
--reply to arguments against resignation.
--extension of leave: festa of St. Peter's chair.
--coldness of Rome: repression of dynamiters: Roman noses.
--Gordon: public affairs: technical education: depression: carnival.
--return from Italy.
--Civil List pension.
--return in good health from Arolla: renews work at science instead of
--Science and Art examinations.
--age moderates hopes.
--Imperial Institute.
--the Irish question.
--Glion: "javelins".
--sends proof of Struggle for Existence.
--Deceased Wife's Sister Bill: hatred of anonymity.
--Stonehenge: use of Radicals: death of Smyth.
--move to Eastbourne.
--London University Commission and reform.
--the State and intermediate education.
--responsible for the Privy Councillorship.
--humour of public affairs.
--the modern martyrdom.
--faculty of forgetting.
--the scientific docker.
--death of Tyndall.
--letter from a lunatic.
--a State evening party.
--procrastination: the scientific docker: Darwin medal.
--women in public life.

Draper, Dr.

Drawing, Huxley's faculty for.

Dublin, LL.D., at.

Duncan, Dr. Matthews, visit to.

Du Thiers, or Duthiers (both forms of the signature occur in his
letters), see Lacaze.

Dyer, Sir W. Thiselton.
--helps in the new science teaching.
--lectures fur Huxley.
--to help in Men of Science Series.
--Marine Biological Association.
--letter from--Gentian paper.

Dyster, Dr.
--letters to:
--scientific Calvinism.
--introduction to Kingsley and Maurice.
--refuses Edinburgh chair: coast survey.
--approaching marriage.
--popular lectures.
--man not a rational animal in his parental capacity.


Eastbourne, house at: law of nature about: origin of name.

--on the development of.
--aim of paper.

"Echo", article in.

Ecker, Dr. A., on his ethnological work.

Eckersley, W., letter to: Civil List pension.

Eckersley, W.A., death of.

Eckhard, Dr.

Ectoderm and Endoderm, discovery of.

Edinburgh, lectures at:
--on the Ape question.
--on the Physical Basis of Life.
--Fishery Exhibition.
--refuses an uncertain post at.
--refuses to succeed Forbes there.
--Natural History courses at.

Edinburgh University, hon. degree.

Edison, typical of the century?

--the true end of.
--intermediate, and the State.
--scientific, for a boy.

Egerton, Sir Philip.
--his museum.
--visit to.
--squib on the Ape question.

Egyptian exploration.

Ehrenberg, suspects Bathybius.

Eisig, assistant to Dr. Dohrn.

"Elementary Physiology".
--new edition.

Eliot, George.
--proposed burial in Westminster Abbey.
--Stanley on.

Ellicott, Bishop of Gloucester, in Metaphysical Society.

Ellis, Charles, with Huxley in Egypt.

"Emancipation, Black and White."

English literature, teaching of, letter on.

English Men of Science Series projected.

Enniskillen, Lord.

Erasmus, opinion of.

"Erebus" and "Terror", Hooker on.

Erichssen, Professor, on Vivisection Commission.

Ethnological Society.
--President of.
--presidential address.
--amalgamation of two societies.

--work on.
--Sir M. Foster on.
--systematic series of photographs.
--definition of.
--attention turned away from, in 1873.

--new Headmaster, and future of.
--Huxley a Governor of.

Europeans, alleged inferiority of senses in.

Evans, Sir J.
--on Marine Biological Association.
--Letters to:
--getting in harness a tonic: need of rest.
--Ravenna: takes up Italian again.
--work of Royal Society Secretary.
--a growl from Italy.
--description of pleurisy.
--delay over "Spirula" and Darwin obituary.
--Copley Medal:
--Geological Congress: punnigrams.
--pliocene and miocene man: language no test of race.
--a forgotten subscription.

Evolution, article for "Encyclopaedia".
--lectures on, at New York.
--demonstrative evidence of.
--accumulation of evidence for.
--laws of, applied to the arrangement of the Vertebrata.
--theory must have been invented by latter paleontologists.
--illustrated by the Pearly Nautilus.

Evolution and morality.

"Evolution of Theology".

Evolutionary thought builds up as well as pulls down.

Examinership under Science and Art Department.

Exodus, the real story of.

Eyre, Governor.

Faith, the sin of.

Falconer, Dr. Hugh.

Family motto, tenax propositi.

Fanning, Mrs.

Fanning, William.
--his friend in Sydney.
--death of.

Fanning, F., visit to.

--Michael, interview with.
--and titles.
--influence in science.
--the knowledge of popular audiences.

Farrar, Dean.
--on science in public schools.
--at Sion House meeting.

Farrar, Rev. Professor, account of the Oxford British Association.

Farrer, Lord.
--letters to:
--official folly: fallacies tenacious of life.
--Fishery appointment.
--Gladstone controversy: ignorance of the so-called educated classes.
--effect controversy on health.
--the Cassowary rhyme.
--his elevation to the peerage: criticism of Romanes Lecture.
--the Devil Prince of this Cosmos: a priori reasoning: the Established
Church and our simian origin: attack on the School Board compromise.
--the a priori method an anachronism: method of the Political
Economists and Eubiotics: growing hopefulness in age.
--aim of the chapter in Owen's "Life": hint for an essay on Government:
London University Reform.

Fawcett, Professor, stays with.

Fayrer, Sir Joseph.
--settles his career for him.
--great anthropological scheme.
--invites Huxley to Calcutta.
--ethnological photographs.
--Letters to:
--declines invitation to Calcutta.
--Indian Canidae.
--the P.C.: career due to his suggestion.

--Mrs. Huxley at.


Filhal, M., work on Natural Selection.

Fish, immature.

--appointed Inspector of.
--deep sea, require no protection.
--salmon, protection, experiments.

Fisheries, Report on.
--old fallacies in reports.
--experimental station at Lamlash Bay.

Fishery business.

Fishery Exhibition.
--lesson of.
--at Norwich.
--at Edinburgh.
--in London.

Fishes, development of the skeleton in.

Fishmongers' Company and education.

Fiske, John, visit to.

FitzRoy, Admiral, Darwinism and the Bible.

Flood myth.

Flourens reviewed.

Flower, Sir W.H.
--on the simian brain at Cambridge, 1862.
--on Huxley's work for Hunterian Lectures.
--curator of Natural History Collections.
--character of.
--Kingsley should get to know him.
--evolution and the Church.
--Letters to:
--examinership at College of Surgeons: Dijon museum.
--Hunterian Lectures.
--anatomy of the fox.
--Linacre professorship.
--acceptance of P.R.S.
--"Ville qui parle," etc.
--refuges for the incompetent: Civil Service Commissioners: treatment
by the Royal Society.
--promotion by seniority.
--university reform.
--the P.C.: Salisbury P.C.'s received by Gladstonians: kinds of
pleurisy: official patronage: illness of Owen.
--Owen's work.

Foote case.

Forbes, Professor Edward.
--introduction to.
--seemingly forgotten by.
--visits: support from.
--helps to F.R.S.
--his pay.
--goes to Edinburgh.
--life of the Red Lion Club.
--writes notice of Huxley.
--on Huxley's views.
--character of.
--is succeeded by Huxley.
--death of.
--Letters from:
--Huxley's "Rattlesnake" work.
--on Royal Medal.
--Letters to:
--Royal Medal.

Forbes, Principal James.
--structure of glaciers.
--and Tyndall.

Forel, Professor, at Arolla.

Forster, Right Hon. W.E.
--on Bible teaching.
--vivisection at South Kensington.
--letter to.

Foster, Sir M.
--on the spirit of Huxley's early inquiries.
--on his "Review of the Cell Theory".
--and "Theory of the Vertebrate Skull".
--on the Oxford meeting of the British Association.
--on Huxley as examiner.
--on his ethnological work.
--takes over Fullerian Lectures.
--on Huxley's work on birds and reptiles.
--on Huxley as Secretary of the Royal Society.
--takes over his lectures.
--helps in the new science teaching.
--a New Year's guest.
--on Huxley's work after 1870.
--with him at Belfast.
--to help in Men of Science Series.
--assists in preparing new edition of "Elementary Physiology".
--and London University Commission.
--"discovery" of.
--Letters from:
--retirement at sixty.
--society at Maloja.
--Letters to:
--Edinburgh lectures: vivisection: Bathybius suspected.
--official functions not his business in life.
--successor to Spottiswoode.
--reluctance to divide the Royal Society over his election as President.
--support of debateable opinions while P.R.S.
--handwriting and anxiety.
--holiday defined.
--Science and Art examinations.
--on Senate of London University.
--obituaries of F. Balfour and Darwin.
--Royal Society anniversary.
--Egyptian exploration society.
--new edition of "Elementary Physiology".
--resignation of P.R.S.
--swine miracle.
--proofs: resignation: Jeremiah and dyspepsia.
--"vis inertiae".
--ordered abroad.
--November in Italy.
--papal Rome: health.
--depression: will turn antiquary: Royal Society Secretary.
--"Elementary Physiology", new edition: Italian archaeology: visits the
--preface to "Elementary Physiology": Gordon's idea of future life:
--birthday wishes: upshot of Italian trip: looks forward to becoming a
lodge-keeper: "Elementary Physiology" published.
--returns home: continued ill-health.
--impending retirement.
--medical men and F.R.S.
--social meetings of Royal Society.
--science at Oxford.
--a scientific Frankenstein.
--visit to Ilkley.
--paleontological museum.
--renewed ill-health: scientific federation: reorganisation of
Fisheries Department.
--rejection of Home Rule Bill.
--"Huxley sulphide" at Harrogate.
--visit to Arolla: death of a visitor: British Association and
Australia: renewed desire for work.
--transference of sensation: obstinate fictions of examinees.
--Delta borings: gentians, begs specimen: distribution of.
--apology for intervention.
--Royal Society and Imperial Institute Committee.
--Science and Art examinations.
--pleurisy his Jubilee honour.
--convalescence: Marine Biological Association.
--gentians and idleness.
--the P.R.S. and politics.
--at Hastings: Delta borings: Antarctic exploration.
--keeps his promise to speak at Manchester, in spite of domestic loss.
--technical education, address at Manchester.
--Hooker's work on Diatoms.
--London University reform.
--Spirula: Darwin obituary: "paper philosophers".
--peculiar stage of convalescence: "Challenger" reports.
--Darwin obituary finished: affection of the heart: an "unselfish
--an amended paper compared to Tristram Shandy's breeches.
--a successor in presidency of Marine Biological Association.
--Darwin obituary satisfactory: Spirula: death of Matthew Arnold.
--open invitation to, as a friend of Huxley.
--at Maloja: Copley Medal.
--leaves Maloja.
--unable to effect a meeting.
--return home from Maloja.
--compelled to live out of London: a cuttlefish of a writer.
--climate of Eastbourne and a priori reasoning.
--children and anxiety: stays away from Royal Society dinner.
--Science and Art examinations, syllabus: successor to Huxley.
--Monte Generoso: his health, Sir H. Thompson on.
--opposition to Technical Education Bill.
--sends photograph: proposed trip to the Canaries.
--reviews of Darwin, Alpha and Omega.
--marriage and the wisdom of Solomon.
--Booth business, a wolf by the ears: Salvationists and spies.
--Physiology, Part 3: name of house: a supposed ancestor and benefit of
--Maloja accessible to him only by balloon.
--physiological omniscience.
--unequal to public function.
--physiology untrammelled at Royal College of Science.
--Senate of London University and reform.
--Privy Councillorship, public functions and health.
--sympathy for attack on.
--Romanes Lecture: Harvey celebration: symptoms of influenza.
--weakness after influenza.
--"Nature" dinner.
--award of Darwin Medal.
--avoidance of influenza: Gordon and the African fever.
--joining the Horticultural Society.

"Foundations of Belief", critique on.

Fox, George.
--influence of.
--as compared with Franklin.

Francis, Dr. William.

Franco-Prussian War.

Frankland, Sir Edward.
--Letters to:
--on x Club.
--Spottiswoode's illness.
--vigour of "old fogies": Mentone earthquake.
--habits of eels.
--article on "Struggle for Existence".
--on Royal Society federation scheme.

Franklin, B., influence compared with that of Fox.

Free thought.
--ultimate success of.
--tone of some publications.

Fremantle, Rev. W.H.
--account of the Oxford British Association, 1860.
--controversy with, on Bible teaching.

French, knowledge of.

Froude, J.A.

Fullerian Professorship, resignation.

Galbraith, leaves "Natural History Review".

Galileo and the Pope.

Gallegos river, fossils at.

Galton, Sir D., at x Club.

Galton, F., on Committee of the "Reader".


Gegenbaur, Professor.

Geikie, Sir A., sends proofs of the Primer to.

Gemmation, lecture on.

--controversy over.
--renewed in "Times".

--men of, a "sport".
--as an explosive power.

--study of, begun.

"Geological Contemporaneity".

"Geological Reform".

Geological Society.
--Fellow of.
--elected Secretary.

Geological Survey, work on.

George, H., "Progress and Poverty".

German, knowledge of.

German speculation, research and style.


Gilman, Professor D.C.

Glacier ice, paper on.

Gladstone, Professor J.H., account of Huxley's work on the School Board.

Gladstone, Right Hon. W.E.
--and Metaphysical Society.
--not an expert in metaphysics.
--the greatest intellect in Europe.
--reaction from.
--a graceful action.
--function of.
--attacks Huxley in the "Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture".
--swine miracle.
--and Parnell.
--typical of the century?
--controversy with, on Genesis.
--estimate of.
--letter on--the ordeal of public criticism.
--revived by others.
--second controversy with.

--on "thatige Skepsis".
--his Aphorisms translated for the first number of "Nature".
--scientific insight of.

Golf, Huxley plays.

Goodsir, Dr. John, as man of science.

Gordon, C.G.
--ideas and character.
--why he did not have the African fever.

Gordon, G.W., executed by Eyre.

Gore, Canon.

Gosse, Edmund, anonymous reviewers.

Gould, F.J., letters to.

Grant, Dr.
--introduction to.
--as man of science.
--an early evolutionist.

Grant (friend of Dr. Dohrn).

Grant Duff, Sir M.
--letter from:
--possibilities of a political career for Huxley.
--Lord Rector of Aberdeen.

Granville, Lord.
--letter from:
--appoints Huxley on London University Senate: anecdote of Clay, the
whist player.
--a master of polished putting down.

Gray, Asa, misunderstanding of Darwin.
--appreciation of.

Gray, J.E.
--introduction to.
--support from.
--a zoological whirlwind.

Green, J.R., account of Huxley's speech at Oxford.

Green, T.H.

Green, of Leeds, to help in Men of Science Series.

Greene, Professor R.

Gregory, Sir W.H.
--with, in Egypt.
--Governor of Ceylon.

Greswell, Rev. Richard.

Grey, Albert, M.P., letter to, on Home Rule.

Griffith, Mr., Secretary British Association.

Grote, George, and titles.

Grove, Sir G., a criticism.

Gull, Sir W., and F.R.S.

Gunther, Dr.

Gutzlaff, saying of.

Haeckel, Professor Ernst.
--his Gastraea theory, dependent on Huxley's discoveries.
--Darwinism in Germany.
--unable to attend British Association, 1866.
--and Bathybius.
--Letters to:
--on reading "Die Radiolarien".
--dissuades him from joining Arctic expedition: Darwinism: philological
evidence in ethnology.
--on his "Morphologie": controversy.
--marriage: classification of birds: handwriting.
--von Baer's Copley: reptiles and birds.
--translation of his "Morphologie": influence of children.
--notice of the "Anthropogenie": attack on Darwin in the "Quarterly":
Amphioxus and the primitive vertebrate.
--"Rattlesnake" "collection": his "Medusae" unpublished: Crayfish:
Spirula: his children.

Hahn, Father, reminiscences of Huxley's impartiality in teaching.

Hamilton, on the unconditioned.

Hand, lecture on.

Harcourt, Sir W., letter to, suppression of physiological experiment.

Hardwicke, printer.

Harrison, F.
--in Metaphysical Society.
--attacks agnosticism.
--controversy with: the "Apologetic Irenicon".
--attack of, philosophically borne.

Harrison, J. letter to: science and agriculture.

Hartington, Lord.
--science should be aided like the army and navy.
--technical education.
--letter to: Deceased Wife's Sister Bill.

Hartismere, Lord, Vivisection Bill.

--lecture on.
--article on.

Haughton, Professor S., leaves "Natural History Review".

Hay, Sir John, visit to, at Tangier.

Head, Francis, "javelins".

Healy, T., and Parnell.

Heathorn, Henrietta Anne (see Mrs. T.H. Huxley).
--description of.
--remote prospect of marriage.
--arrives in England.

Heathorn, Mrs.


Helps, Sir A.

Henslow, Professor.
--death of.
--relation to Darwin.

--memoir on.
--experiments as to the spawning of.
--address on.

Herschel, Sir John.

Hesitation, no good ever done by.


Hird, Dr., presents testimonial to.

Hirst, Thomas Archer.
--and x Club
--character of.
--Royal Medal.
--illness of.
--death of.

Histology, work on.

Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, presentation to Huxley.

Hobhouse, Lord, Huxley secures intellectual freedom.

Hockenhull, Swanus de, ancestor of the family of Huxley.

Holiday, work.
--borne well.
--definition of.

Holland, Sir Henry, on Plato.

Home Rule, letter to A. Grey.

Hooker, Sir J.D., his case a precedent.
--at Ipswich.
--at his marriage.
--on Snowdon with.
--relations with Darwin.
--on species.
--at Oxford, 1860.
--origin of friendship with.
--remonstrates with Huxley on excursions into philosophy.
--x Club.
--clubs not for the old.
--with Huxley in Brittany.
--President British Association.
--with Huxley in the Eifel.
--presentation to, at Liverpool.
--on Huxley's intellect.
--trouble with official chief.
--account of trip to the Auvergne.
--receives Order of the Pole Star.
--on Belfast meeting of British Association.
--unable to write obituary of Darwin.
--vigour of.
--his treatment by Government.
--friendship with.
--Royal Society's Medal.
--Huxley's love of the garden.
--Letters from:
--on his work on micro-organisms.
--Dana's obituary of Gray.
--Letters to:
--his selection for the Royal Medal.
--E. Forbes.
--his approaching marriage.
--submerged forest.
--British Museum Collections.
--science in the "Saturday Review".
--glacier paper.
--Swiss trip.
--election to Imp. Acad. Caes.: Fullerian Lectures.
--on criticism.
--approaching "Augustan Age" of English science.
--on his "Flora of Tasmania".
--on naturalists' fund.
--on "Times" review of the "Origin".
--on the Ape question.
--on "Punch" squib.
--his absence: Edinburgh lectures.
--Huxley's address at Geological Society.
--working-men's lectures, 1862: "Natural History Review".
--future leaders of science.
--on "Natural History Review" and materialists.
--illness and death of Henslow.
--move to Kew: a poor client.
--science examinations.
--pressure of work.
--Science and Art Department examinations.
--Darwin's Copley Medal.
--on x Club.
--Medical men and F.R.S.
--distribution of gentians.
--Darwin and the "Quarterly" reviewers: chance and atheism.
--death of Symonds: gentians.
--the P.R.S. and politics.
--his Copley Medal.
--technical education address at Manchester.
--distribution of Coniferae.
--visit from H. Spencer.
--Trustee of the British Museum: story about Lowe: difficulty of the
--on Dana's obituary of Asa Gray: difficulty of the "Origin": primer of
--x Club breaking up.
--affection of the heart: Moseley's breakdown.
--Darwin obituary: possible senility.
--hybridism of gentians.
--visit from, before leaving London.
--a nomadic life or none: deafness: botanist should study distribution
in the Engadine.
--Copley Medal: friendship and saltwater experiences.
--x archives: a "household animal of value".
--Deceased Wife's Sister question.
--raison d'etre of clubs.
--applied science and the Royal Society.
--Academy dinner: portrait of Hooker.
--Monte Generoso: called an old gentleman: anxieties about children
when grown up: x Club subscription.
--return from Maloja.
--orchids and the influence of conditions: Balfour and R. C. University
for Ireland.
--possibility of becoming a pamphleteer.
--proposed trip to Canaries.
--Linnean Medal: trip to the Canaries.
--quietude of mind impossible, theologians keep him occupied.
--abuse over Salvation Army affair.
--Carpenter's "First Three Gospels": varieties of pleurisy: Parnell.
--Parnell and his followers.
--sick of controversy: Gladstone and his guides.
--Mr. Rich's legacy: seeks portrait of John Richardson.
--visits to Tyndall and Mrs. Darwin.
--French translation of essays on Darwinism.
--the Privy Councillorship: only remaining object of ambition.
--influenza and the x.
--funeral of Hirst.
--x Club.
--his grandchild on grown-up people and trouble.
--his sense of duty: death of Bowman.
--Owen's work: Hume and "being made a saint of".
--warning against overwork and influenza.
--at Maloja: boys and their accidents: collects essays: writes chapter
in Owen's "Life": illness of friends.
--Tyndall's death: reminiscences.
--the Antarctic continent: reminiscences of Tyndall: friendly words.
--chapter on Owen: a piece of antiquity.
--British Association at Oxford, 1894.
--Darwin Medal and "Nature" dinner.
--public speaking: a tenth volume of essays projected: returns to
philosophy: Greek and English.
--cause of giving up dissecting work: character of R. Strachey: Brian
and the brine.
--on Pithecanthropus.
--illness and constitutional toughness: Spencer and "pour le merite".
--reassures him against the pessimistic reports of his health.

Hooker, Sir William.

Horner, Leonard.

--evolution of.
--pedigree of.
--recent additions to our knowledge of the pedigree of.

Howard, Cardinal.

Howell, George, M.P.
--letter to:
--"a man who did his best to help the people": technical education.

Howes, Professor G.B.
--helps in the new science teaching.
--extends text-book.
--on Huxley's drawings at South Kensington.
--unpublished work, Appendix 1.
--description of his lectures.
--Letter to: the scientific docker.

Hubrecht, Professor A., impression of Huxley.

Hull, lectures at.

Humboldt, receives a Royal Medal.

--book on.
--his nearest approach to a work of fiction.

--on miracles.
--his philosophical diamonds require setting.
--on impossibilities.

Humphry, Dr., Darwin's LL.D.

Hunterian Lectures.
--lectures the basis of his "Manual of Comparative Anatomy".

Hutton, R.H.
--on Vivisection Commission.
--and vivisection.

Huxley, Eliza. See Scott, Mrs.

Huxley, Ellen, marries Dr. Cooke.

Huxley, George, of Wyre Hall.

Huxley, George, sen.
--at Ealing.
--returns to Coventry.

Huxley, Mrs. George, senior (Rachel Withers), mother of T.H. Huxley.
--description of.
--love for.
--her death.
--Letters to:
--accommodation at sea.
--description of Miss Heathorn.
--Port Essington.
--announcing his return.

Huxley, George, jun.
--in Pyrenees with.
--lives with, for a time.
--death of.

Huxley, Mrs. George, jun.

Huxley, H., letter to, on his engagement.

Huxley, James Edmund.

Huxley, Jessie O. See also Waller, Mrs.

Huxley, L.
--letters to:
--on winning a scholarship.
--Fishery appointment.
--on Mastership of University College, Oxford.
--assassination of Lord F. Cavendish.
--pagan and papal Rome.
--teaching of history: Siena.
--system at Eton: Lake District Defence Society.
--hon. committee of French teachers.
--will not write on politics.
--Salvation Army: Mr. Sidgwick's rebuke to the "Speaker".
--on building a house.
--on his twenty-first birthday.

Huxley, Noel, death of.

Huxley, Samuel.

Huxley, Mrs. T.H. (see also H.A. Heathorn).
--his chief critic.
--Letters to:
--draws the sword.
--his lodgings.
--help from Burnett.
--an unequal struggle.
--resolves to stay in London.
--British Association at Ipswich.
--jealousy of his rise.
--Royal Medal.
--succeeds Forbes.
--post at School of Mines.
--Coast Survey and Edinburgh chair.
--his future career.
--Aberdeen address.
--on British Association, Belfast.
--Lord Shaftesbury.
--Edinburgh lectures.
--second summer in Edinburgh.
--American trip.
--Scottish University Commission.
--spring in Edinburgh.
--article in the "Echo".
--Bright's speeches.
--greatness of Reaumur: speech on Darwin's LL.D.
--Professor Marsh's arrival.
--Fishery duties.
--International Medical Congress.
--proposed resignation.
--his stay at Ilkley.
--publication of "Science and Morals".
--effect of Ilkley.
--from Savernake.
--from the Canaries.
--ceremony of kissing hands, as P.C.
--good health in 1893.

Huxley, Thomas, grandfather of T.H. Huxley.

Huxley, T. H., incident at his birth.
--his mother, likeness to.
--devotion to.
--his childhood.
--faculty for drawing.
--early studies.
--learns German.
--boyish journal.
--at Rotherhithe.
--impressed by social problems.
--studies botany.
--wins a medal.
--at Charing Cross Hospital.
--his first discovery.
--interview with Faraday.
--career determined by Fayrer and Ransom.
--enters the Navy.
--joins the "Rattlesnake".
--his life on the "Rattlesnake".
--crossing the line.
--at Madeira.
--the first fruits of the voyage.
--at the Cape.
--engaged to be married.
--importance of his work on the Medusae.
--among the Australian aborigines.
--with Kennedy.
--writes "Science at Sea".
--leaves Australia.
--impression of missionaries in New Zealand.
--at the Falklands.
--position in Navy.
--returns home.
--scientific recognition of.
--early friends in London.
--elected F.R.S.
--misses the Royal Medal.
--dealings of the Government with, about his "Rattlesnake" work.
--leaves the Navy.
--list of early papers.
--stands for various professorships.
--writes for the "Westminster Review".
--delivers the Fullerian Lectures.
--succeeds Forbes.
--describes the scientific world of 1851.
--jealousy of.
--his first lecture.
--receives the Royal Society's Medal.
--morning incapacity.
--people he can deal with.
--lives by his pen.
--obtains a post in the School of Mines.
--and on the Geological Survey.
--openness of dealing with his friends, Hooker and Forbes.
--about a rejected memoir.
--refuses uncertain position at Edinburgh.
--prefers a scientific career in London.
--his principle of "having a row at starting".
--early work on the Invertebrata interrupted.
--paleontological work.
--British Museum Collections.
--on the value of a hundred a year.
--tries to organise a scientific review (see "Natural History Review").
--his wish to become a physiologist.
--writes on the Cell Theory and the Skull.
--ill-health during the fifties.
--tour in Switzerland.
--ascends Mont Blanc.
--work on glaciers.
--apparent desultoriness of his earlier work.
--balance-sheet of work in 1857.
--begins the systematic consultation of foreign writers.
--recognition abroad.
--birth of his son Noel.
--his aim in life.
--death of his son.
--position in 1858.
--translation and lecturing.
--money and marriage.
--paleontology and anatomy.
--loss of priority through delay of "Oceanic Hydrozoa".
--his personal contributions to science.
--effect on him of the "Origin".
--"anti-progressive confession of faith".
--one of the decisive critics of the "Origin".
--"general agent" to Darwin.
--nature of his support of Darwin.
--as Darwin's bulldog
--descent of man.
--takes up ethnology.
--his philosophy of life.
--love of philosophy.
--early life.
--moves to Abbey Place.
--his handwriting.
--on matrimony.
--"Happy Family".
--fondness for music.
--expedition to Switzerland.
--Hunterian Lectures.
--the British Museum and controversy.
--exhilarating effect of controversy.
--not inconsistent with friendship.
--ethnological work.
--vein of laziness.
--appealed to on point of honour.
--science course for International College.
--on Indian anthropological scheme.
--Edinburgh degree.
--the writing of elementary books.
--"Elementary Physiology".
--incident at a working-men's lecture.
--trip to Brittany.
--anecdote of the cerebellum.
--on "eating the leek".
--rapidity of thought.
--influence of his style.
--the moralities of criticism.
--a good book and fools.
--turning-point in his career, 1870.
--popular view of, about 1870.
--effect of "Lay Sermons".
--growing pressure of official work.
--dubbed "Pope" by the "Spectator".
--on evolution of the horse.
--influence of Descartes, and scientific Calvinism.
--visits the Eifel.
--his degree of D.C.L. opposed.
--President British Association.
--work on micro-organisms and spontaneous generation.
--continued work on micro-organisms.
--on savagery.
--visits the slums.
--presentation to.
--commerce the civiliser.
--attacks on his Address.
--stands for the School Board.
--his programme.
--opposes proposal to open meetings with prayer.
--on Education Committee.
--religious and secular teaching.
--letters on the compromise and an "incriminated lesson".
--report of Education Committee.
--speech on Ultramontanism.
--his lasting influence.
--impression on fellow-workers.
--extra subjects.
--monetary assistance offered, to remain on School Board.
--sacrifices involved in.
--urged to stand for Parliament.
--Secretary of the Royal Society.
--and Appendix 2.
--on "Challenger" Committee.
--science teaching for teachers.
--continues his educational campaign.
--ideal of a State Church.
--titles for men of science.
--edits Science Primers.
--at St. Andrews.
--holiday work.
--plays golf.
--on strong language.
--breakdown of 1871.
--help of friends.
--examines stores at Gibraltar.
--at Tangier.
--in Egypt.
--further treatment.
--new teaching in biology.
--view of.
--changes the course.
--writes "Elementary Instruction in Biology".
--new house in Marlborough Place.
--loan from Tyndall.
--mixed classes in Anatomy.
--Lord Rector of Aberdeen.
--trip to the Auvergne.
--as travelling companion.
--geological work.
--letters on.
--learns to smoke.
--Order of the Pole Star.
--a paternal gander.
--his reputation and the part he has to play in the world.
--scientific work after 1870.
--precious half-hours.
--duty of fulfilling a promise.
--attends Presbyterian service.
--at Belfast British Association.
--on "grasping the nettle".
--feeling about vivisection.
--Natural History courses at Edinburgh.
--suspects himself of cowardice.
--expectation of his visit in America.
--a second honeymoon.
--position in the world of thought.
--tugs in New York harbour.
--prefers the contents of a university to the buildings.
--old opinions and new truth.
--at Niagara.
--meets his sister again.
--an address under difficulties.
--lectures on Evolution.
--prophecies fulfilled.
--the two things he really cares about.
--posthumous fame.
--ingrained laziness the bane of his existence.
--speech on Darwin's LL.D. at Cambridge.
--help to a distressed man of science.
--"bottled life".
--politics in 1878.
--projected Introductions to Zoology, Mammalia, Anthropology, and
--engrossed in the Invertebrates.
--affected by his daughter's illness.
--rationality and the parental capacity.
--traces diphtheria.
--learns Greek.
--Governor of Eton College.
--makes drawing part of the curriculum.
--attends no society except the Royal and Zoological.
--fifty-three a youthful age.
--resigns presidency of Association of Liberal Thinkers.
--LL.D. at Cambridge.
--becomes a "person of respectability".
--"eats the leek" over Bathybius.
--advantages of breaking a leg.
--faith in Natural Selection.
--"pretty Fanny's way".
--optimism and pessimism.
--friendship and criticism.
--further involved in official duties.
--Inspector of Fisheries.
--duties of inspectorship described.
--conduct of meetings.
--as a companion.
--as a writer.
--as a speaker.
--life uninfluenced by idea of future recompense.
--a child's criticism on.
--refuses to go to Oxford as Linacre Professor.
--or Master of University College.
--debt to Carlyle.
--health in 1881.
--his title of Dean.
--his nunc dimittis postponed by death of F. Balfour.
--his notion of a holiday.
--queer correspondents.
--table talk of, in 1882.
--presented with the freedom of the Salters.
--President Royal Society.
--qualifications for.
--reluctance to accept.
--or create division in the Society.
--or to commit it to debateable opinions.
--art of governing the headstrong.
--a record in cab-driving.
--effect of anxiety on handwriting.
--holiday defined.
--composition of a presidential address.
--confesses himself to Tyndall.
--the thought of extinction.
--"faded but fascinating".
--increasing ill-health.
--gives up anatomy.
--looks forward to an "Indian summer".
--re-reads the "Decline and Fall".
--rumoured acceptance of a title.
--getting into harness as a tonic.
--ordered abroad.
--takes up Italian again.
--papal and pagan Rome.
--a decayed naturalist, will turn antiquarian.
--Radicals and arbitrary acts.
--not roused even by prospect of a fight.
--moral courage and picture galleries.
--retires from public life.
--illness makes him shirk responsibility.
--at Filey.
--medicinal effect of a book on miracles.
--science and creeds.
--intention to revise work on the Mollusca.
--writes "From the Hut to the Pantheon".
--at Ilkley.
--his career indirectly determined by Dr. Ransom's overworking.
--visit to Arolla.
--effect of.
--second visit to Arolla.
--begins study of gentians.
--theological work, a sort of crib-biting.
--death of a visitor at Arolla, memento of him.
--his boyhood and education compared with Spencer's.
--administrative insight.
--his only sixpence earned by manual labour.
--attack of pleurisy.
--Science and Art Department examinership.
--reply to the Duke of Argyll on pseudo-science.
--on coral reef theories.
--thinks of retiring to Shanklin.
--at Savernake.
--"An Episcopal Trilogy".
--acknowledgment of error.
--letter on Murray's theory of coral reefs.
--his own share in the work of science.
--speculation and fact.
--honorary committee of French teachers.
--supports free library for Marylebone.
--on titles of honour.
--the Irish question.
--the philosophy of age, "lucky it's no worse".
--death of his second daughter.
--paper philosophers.
--Trustee of British Museum.
--consolation for age in past service.
--the stimulus of vanity.
--recovery at the Maloja.
--renewed work on gentians.
--receives Copley Medal.
--a centre of society at Maloja.
--receives a futile "warning".
--refuges for the incompetent.
--battles not to be multiplied beyond necessity.
--a "household animal of value".
--appearance of, in 1889.
--works at the limit of his powers.
--marriage of his youngest daughter.
--hatred of anonymity.
--settles at Eastbourne.
--controversy on Agnosticism.
--aim in controversy.
--and in philosophy.
--on suffering fools gladly.
--his autobiographical sketch.
--superiority of the male figure.
--second visit to Maloja.
--returns to Eastbourne.
--led to write on social questions.
--manner of work.
--practical results of wrong thinking.
--marriage and the wisdom of Solomon.
--trip to Canaries.
--Ulysses and Penelope.
--receives Linnean Medal.
--the Flood myth.
--dislike to moving.
--reply to Dr. Abbott.
--quietude of mind impossible.
--on ethnological questions possesses the impartiality of a mongrel.
--sends books to Royal College of Science.
--rational and irrational certainty.
--his aim, truth in all things.
--new house completed through Mr. Rich's legacy.
--visits Huxley Hall.
--almost indecent to be so well again.
--his garden.
--warns younger generation that the battle is only half won.
--essays translated into French.
--love for his native tongue.
--party politics and Unionism.
--a scholar, not a leader of a sect.
--backwoodsman's work.
--a full life suggests more than negative criticism.
--creation and providence.
--ethics of evolution.
--underlying truths of many theological teachings.
--moral aspiration and the hope of immortality.
--the world and comfortable doctrines.
--President of London University Reform Association.
--appears before London University Commission.
--heads deputation to Prime Minister.
--opposes creation of an Established Church scientific.
--letter on scientific aspirations.
--on free thought ribaldry.
--made a Privy Councillor.
--the title of Right Hon.
--official recognition on leaving office.
--visit to Osborne.
--a friend's second marriage.
--friendship and funerals.
--the modern martyrdom.
--source of his ill-health.
--faculty of forgetting.
--on sacramental food.
--poem on Tennyson's funeral.
--a religion for men.
--his part in the memorial to Owen.
--on bearing attacks.
--proposed working-men's lectures on the Bible.
--testimony and the marvellous.
--Manx mannikins.
--home pets.
--payment for work out of the ordinary.
--on dying by inches.
--the approach of death.
--description of his personality in Lankester's review of the
"Collected Essays".
--letter from a lunatic.
--a contretemps at a public dinner.
--at Oxford, 1894.
--criticism of Lord Salisbury.
--repeated in "Nature".
--growing hopefulness in age.
--receives Darwin medal.
--his "last appearance on any stage".
--characterises his work for science.
--late liking for public speaking.
--slovenly writing in science.
--lifelong love of philosophy.
--the abysmal griefs of life.
--brilliancy of talk just before his last illness.
--a meeting with a priest.
--writes article on "Foundations of Belief".
--his last illness.
--passion for veracity.
--absence of dogmatism in lectures.
--children and theology.
--"Royal lies".
--his great work, securing freedom of speech.
--carelessness of priority.
--recognition of predecessors.
--friends and intimates.
--practical side of his work.
--how regarded by working-men.
--his face described, by Professor Osborn.
--by Sir W. Besant.
--his lectures described.
--preparation for his lectures.
--ordinary day's work.
--memory for facts, not words.
--delight in literature and art.
--foreign languages.
--table talk of.
--the happiness of others.
--simian characteristics of infants.
--difficulties of disproof and direct evidence.
--"Cock Lane and Common Sense".
--transient influence of false assertions.
--movement of modern philosophy.
--geographical teaching.
--Greeks and Jews.
--his part in controversy.
--dramatic and literary faculties.
--French and English artists.
--human nature described.
--his manner of conversation.
--anecdotes from.
--home life: relations with his children.
--and grandchildren.
--nonsense letters.
--a day's work in later life.
--love of his garden.
--the "lodger".
--sustaining power of a wife's comradeship.
--field botany.

Huxley Hall.
--visit to.

Huxley Island.

Huxley laboratory.

Huxley's layer.

Iddesleigh, Lord, letter to: Civil List pension.

Idols, tendency to make.

Ilkley, at.

"Illustrious", H.M.S., ordered to join.


Immortality and the conservation of energy.

Imperial Institute.

Impromptu speaking.

Incapacity, machinery needed to facilitate its descent.

--proposed visit to.
--the shortest way home from.

Indian Empire.

Individuality, animal.
--lecture on.

Induction, and Babbage's calculating machine.

Intellects, English and Italian the finest.

International College.
--science at.

International Medical Congress.

Invertebrata, lectures on.

Ireland, interest in.

Irish affairs.
--Parnell's retirement.
--the cause of all Irish trouble.
--reason for being a Unionist.

Irving, Sir Henry, visit from.


Italy, visit to.
--moral of.

Jamaica Committee.

James, Margaret, grandmother of T.H. Huxley.

Jamieson, Professor E.

Jean Paul, "Biography of the Twins".

Jebb, Professor, on Erasmus.

Jenner, and F.R.S.

Jewsbury, Miss, friendship with.

Jex Blake, Miss.
--letters to:
--on medical education for women.
--about her examination.

Jodrell, T.J.P.
--good advice.
--at x Club.
--wishes Huxley to visit India.

"John Inglesant" suggests a scientific novel.

Johns Hopkins University, inaugural address at.

Jones, Rymer.

Jones, Wharton.
--influence of his teaching.
--comes to his first lecture.

Joule, Dr., his work for science.

Jowett, B.
--silence during opposition to D.C.L. for Huxley.
--visit from.
--power of the priesthood.
--last illness of.
--Letter to: science at Oxford.

Judd, Professor, theories of coral reefs.

Kalisch, Dr., zoological part of his "Commentary on Leviticus" revised.

Karslake, Sir J.B., on Vivisection Commission.

Kelvin, Lord, on Huxley's work in support of Darwinism.

Kennedy, E.B., his expedition.

Kerville, H.G. de.
--letter to: "Causeries sur le Transformisme": Lamarck: atheism.

Kidd, B., on Social Evolution.

King, Clarence, letter to, on Marsh's collections.

King's College, London, rejected for chair at.

Kingsley, Charles.
--first meeting with.
--opinion of Newman.
--Letters to:
--on his son Noel's death: his philosophy.
--on species and sterility: anthropomorphism.
--intellect in man and animals: genius a "sport": Christian dogmas
--matter and spirit.
--on prayer.
--Royal Institution lecture: superstitions of men of science:
working-men's lectures: original sin and Darwinism: whales.
--on Jamaica affair.
--on Comte.

Kingsley, Miss, letters from Charles Kingsley.

Kitton, J.G., letter to: home pets.

Klein, Dr.

Kleinenberg, Dr., on Hydra.

Knowles, James.
--a founder of Metaphysical Society.
--Letters to:
--toning down a controversial article.
--reply to condolence on his daughter's death: a loyal friend.
--article on the "Struggle for Existence": how to kill humbug.
--reply to Kropotkin.
--refuses to write a public reply.
--article on "Natural Inequality of Men".
--a telegram and a telegraph boy.
--article on "Agnosticism".
--accused of calling Christianity sorry stuff: help to the New
--Christ and Christianity: Cloister scheme.
--printers' errors.
--aim in controversy: named as a temperate blasphemer: demonology:
--reviling morally superior to not reviling.
--explanation with Bishop Magee ends controversy.
--the last word: miracle of Cana: Newman.
--supposed payment for "Nineteenth Century" articles.
--suggestion of article on "Foundations of Belief": difference from
Spencer's views.
--the first instalment of the article.
--the "art d'etre grandpere".
--divides the article.
--work against time on proofs.
--rest of article postponed through influenza.
--on friendship.

Kolliker, Professor R.A.
--corresponds with.
--translation of his "Histology".
--criticism of.

--his discoveries dependent on those of Huxley.
--on Ascidians.

Krohn, anticipates his work on Salpa.

Lacaze Duthiers, Dr.
--corresponds with.
--on his handwriting.

Ladder, from the gutter to the University.

Laing, S., on Agnosticism.

Laishly, R., cites Huxley on secular teaching.

Lake District Defence Society.

--early study of.
--Darwin's theory not a modification of his.
--but an advance on.
--appreciation of.
--not forgotten in England.

Lamlash Bay, naturalists' station at.

Lang, Andrew, "Cock Lane and Common Sense".

Language, Italian.

Language and Race.

Lankester, Dr., Secretary Ray Society.

Lankester, Professor E. Ray.
--on Huxley's "Review of the Cell Theory".
--with him at Naples.
--illness of.
--on Rolleston's science teaching.
--helps in the new science teaching.
--describes lectures.
--at Dohrn's station.
--review of Huxley's "Collected Essays".
--impression of him.
--Letters to:
--Lymnaeus as periwinkles.
--battles, like hypotheses, not to be multiplied beyond necessity.
--immature fish.
--Pasteur's treatment for rabies.
--report of Pasteur meeting.
--science school at Oxford: trouble over Booth affair.
--ideal of a modern university.

Latham, Dr. R.G.
--stands for Registrarship at London University.
--on the existence of the Established Church.

Lathrop, Mr. and Mrs., meeting with.

Latin and culture.

Latin fetish.

Latin in Board schools.

Latin verses.

Laugel, A.A.
--at x Club.
--meeting with.

Law, abuse of the word.

Lawrence, Lord.
--President of School Board.
--on Huxley's retirement.
--leaves School Board.

Lawrence, Sir William.
--his book "On Man".
--acknowledgment of "Elementary Physiology".

"Lay Sermons".
--popularity of.

Lecky, W.E.H.
--letters to:
--on Hume: needless assertions and blunders.
--treatment of Irish history.
--books from: Irish leaders.

--at Birmingham.
--at Bradford.
--on a Piece of Chalk.
--on Cuttlefish.
--at Edinburgh.
--on the Hand.
--Introductory, to the course at the School of Mines.
--on Invertebrate Anatomy, in "Medical Times".
--at Leicester.
--London Institution.
--Persistent Types.
--Relation of Man to the Lower Animals.
--Royal Institution.
--at School of Mines.
--to working men.
--at Zoological Gardens.

Lecturing, warnings about his early style.

Leighton, Sir F., and literary honours.

Leuckart, Professor, letter to: morphological work.

Lewald, Fanny, autobiography of.

Liberal education.

Liberal Thinkers, Association of.

Lichfield, native place of Thomas Huxley.

Liddon, Canon.
--abuse of the word "law".
--sermon on "law" leads to article on pseudo-scientific realism.
--sermon in reply to "Lux Mundi" occasion of "The Lights of the Church
and the Light of Science".

Life, compared to a whirlpool.

Lilly, W.S., replies to.

Linnean Medal awarded to Huxley.

Linnean Society, elected to.

"Literary Gazette", notice of Huxley in.


Littre, "Life of Comte".

--address before the Philomathic Society.
--address before Liverpool Institute.
--President British Association at.
--visit to slums.
--moral influence of commerce.

Lockyer, Sir Norman, Science Editor of the "Reader".

Logical consequences defined.

London Hospital, address at.

London Institution, lectures at, on physiography.

London University.
--examiner at.
--science examinations at.
--on Senate of.

London University Reform.

Louisiade Archipelago.

Lourdes, miracle of.

Lowe, Robert (Lord Sherbrooke).
--thinks Huxley should be at the head of the Natural History
--wishes him to be Trustee of the British Museum.

Lubbock, Sir John (Lord Avebury).
--at Oxford, 1860.
--joins x Club.
--with Huxley in Brittany.
--presentation to, at Liverpool.

Lucas, Mr., and the "Times" review of the "Origin".


"Lux Mundi", controversy raised by.

Lyell, Sir Charles.
--article on, by Owen.
--reads the "Origin" before publication.
--influence of the "Principles of Geology".
--supports Darwin.
--leads Huxley to take up ethnology.
--on editing the "Natural History Review".
--opinion of Huxley.
--description of his address at the Geological Society.
--Letters from:
--on popular lectures.
--to Sir C. Bunbury, species question.
--Letters to:
--on species.
--on skull measuring.
--on "Man's Place".
--reply to criticisms as to the simian brain: Darwin shows a vera causa
for evolution.
--simian brain.
--on women's education.
--on Labyrinthodonts.
--work on fossils, especially from Spitzbergen.

Lynton, holiday at.

Macclesfield, Samuel Huxley mayor of, in 1746.

Macgillivray, John.

Macleay, William Sharp.
--letter to, on English scientific world.

M'Clure, Rev. E.
--letter to: motive to get at the truth in all things: immortality and
the conservation of energy: thought as a "function" of the brain:
origin of sin.

MacWilliam, Dr., F.R.S.


Magee, Bishop.
--controversy with.
--end of.

Malins, Vice-Chancellor, remarks on the suit brought against Huxley.

Mallock, W.H., on Bathybius.

--first visit to.
--second visit to.
--third visit to.
--memorial at.

Manning, Cardinal, in Metaphysical Society.

"Man's Place in Nature".
--criticisms and success of.
--a friend begs him not to publish.

Mansel, Rev. H.L.

Mantell, G.A.

"Manual of Comparative Anatomy".

"Manual of Invertebrate Anatomy".

"Manual of Vertebrate Anatomy".

Marine Biological Association.

Mariner, on Tonga.

Marsh, Professor O.C.
--at x Club.
--visit to.
--on Huxley's impartiality.
--supplies anecdote on advantage of breaking a leg.
--Letter from: on Huxley's welcome to him in England.
--Letters to:
--pedigree of the horse.
--later discoveries.
--his inexhaustible boxes.
--arrival in England.

Marshall, Mr., of Buffalo, visit to.

Martin, H.N.
--helps in the new science teaching.
--helps write "Elementary Instruction in Biology".
--American edition of the "Practical Biology".

Martineau, James, in Metaphysical Society.

Mary, Queen of Scots.

Maskelyne, Neville Story.

Mason College, opening of.

Masson, David.
--at x Club.

--accusation of.
--a sort of shorthand idealism.

Maurice, F.D.
--first meeting with.
--and the Working Men's College.
--his philosophy.
--in Metaphysical Society.

Maxwell, Colonel.

May, George Anderson.

May, Mrs., letter to: ill-health in youth.

Mayer, Dr., assistant to Dr. Dohrn.

Mayer. J.R., on conservation of energy.

Mayne, Captain of the "Nassau".

Medical education.
--correspondence in "Times".
--letter on preliminary liberal training.

Men of science, the risks to be faced by.

Mercers' Company and technical education.

Metaphysical Society.
--foundation of.
--Mill's criticism of.
--mutual toleration.
--Huxley writes three papers for.
--the name "agnostic".
--his part in it.
--described by Professor H. Sidgwick.

Miklucho-Maclay, on fish-brains.

Milford, at.

Mill, J.S.
--and International College.
--opinions condemned by Ward.
--burial of.

Miller, Canon, on Huxley's retirement from the School Board.

Milman, Canon, invites Huxley to opening of new buildings at Sion

--paper on.
--agrees with orthodox arguments against Hume.
--miracles not denied as impossible.

Mivart, Professor St. G.
--his statements about Suarez criticised.
--description of Huxley's lectures.
--Letter to:
--Darwin's character and friends: Galileo and the Pope.


Mollusca, on the Morphology of the Cephalous.
--aim of this paper.

Moral Sense.

Morality and nature.

Morley, Right Hon. John.
--at x Club.
--in Metaphysical Society.
--Letter from: on his "Physiography".
--Letters to:
--proposed book on Hume: article for the "Fortnightly".
--a "consistent bigamist" in writing for the magazines.
--possible cowardice in not publishing paper on miracles.
--on "Physiography".
--article for the "Fortnightly": "Dr. Dizzy" on sea air: Darwin's LL.D.
--invites him for New Year's day.
--Harvey article: controversy: foreign politics and the British lion.
--Hume: portrait: Tulloch's "Pascal": Clifford's character.
--thanks for "Diderot": want of a portrait: sketch of the "Hume": Hume
not half a sceptic.
--the "setting of Hume's diamonds": cannot judge his work in manuscript.
--working on the Life.
--Morley's criticism: division of the book.
--a critical symposium, proposed English Men of Science Series.
--on Spottiswoode.
--a Newcastle Society: the thought of extinction.
--proposed book on Berkeley.

Morley, Samuel, on School Board.

Motto of the family, "Tenax propositi".

Moulton, F., to help in Men of Science Series.

"Mr. Darwin's critics".

Muir, Dr. John.

Muller, Fritz.

Muller, Johannes.
--on Holothuriae.
--his method.
--appreciation of.

Muller, Professor Max, letter to: on Language as test of Race.

Mundella, Right Hon. A.J.
--and technical education.
--Letter to: retiring pension.

Murchison, Sir Roderick Impey.
--and experimental station.
--and the Schlagintweits.
--and geological amateur.
--on the "Physical Basis of Life".
--Letter from:
--on election to Athenaeum.

Murray, John, on quarterlies.

Murray, Sir J., theory of coral reefs.

Museum of Practical Geology.
--post at.
--catalogue for.

Museum, paleontological, ideal of.


Napier, Sir Charles.

Napoleon III., at the British Association.

Nares, Sir G., Polar expedition.

Nashville visited.

"Nassau", H.M.S., exploring ship.

National Association of Science Teachers, resigns presidency.

Natura non facit saltum not true in evolution.

"Natural History Review".

Natural Selection.
--not weak of faith in.
--unlucky substitution of "survival of the fittest" for.
--produces state socialism.

Naturalists' fund.

--translates Goethe's "Aphorisms" for the first number.
--article "Past and Present," on twenty-fifth anniversary.
--after-dinner speech.


Naval officers and scientific research.

Neanderthal skull.


Nettleship, R.L., at Arolla.

Newcastle, joins a society at.

Newman, J.H.
--applied to for testimonial.
--his doctrine of development.
--Kingsley's opinion of.
--cited by Huxley.
--effect on, of Papistry.
--how to turn his attacks.

Newport, George.
--as man of science.

Newton, E.T., paleontologist to the Geological Survey.

Newton, Sir Isaac.
--compared with Ptolemy.
--a "sport,"
--and his title.


Nicholas, Dr., master of Ealing School.

Nicholson, Dr., of Sydney.

Nietzsche, means to read.

Nordenskiold, fossils from Spitzbergen.

Northumberland, Duke of (First Lord of the Admiralty).

Norwich, Fishery Exhibition at.

Oakley, Sir Herbert, vicar of Ealing.

Objects of the sea-shore, letters on.

"Oceanic Hydrozoa".
--loses priority by delay.
--still of use in 1867.

Officers, retired, in administrative posts.

Official work.
--growth of.
--climax of.

Oken, his speculations.

Oliver, Professor.

Opinions which cannot be held "without grave personal sin".


"Origin of Species".
--effect of its publication.
--"a flash of light".
--review in "Times".
--criticism on the.
--influence of.
--"coming of age" of.
--difficulty of.
--and theory of evolution.

Original sin and Darwinism.

Orthodox Christianity, how regarded by many men of science.

Osborn, Professor Henry Fairfield.
--reminiscences quoted.
--account of Huxley at Oxford, 1894.
--description of his lectures.
--impromptu lecturing.
--simian characteristics of infants, story of Huxley.

Ossory, Mr., with Huxley in Egypt.

Owen, Sir Richard.
--introduction to.
--supports claims of Huxley.
--at the Geological Club.
--his pay.
--as man of science.
--his "Parthenogenesis".
--civility of.
--support for F.R.S.
--breach with.
--at Aberdeen British Association.
--his morphological speculations.
--the British Cuvier.
--style of, on the Ape question at Oxford.
--at Cambridge British Association.
--on air-cells of birds in flight.
--criticises Darwin on spontaneous generation.
--author of article on "Oken and the 'Archetype'".
--his books to be asked for by Dohrn.
--attack on Hooker.
--Mrs. Carlyle's saying about.
--death of.
--statue to.
--review of his work: a piece of antiquity.
--review of, in "Nature".

Owens College.
--governor of.
--opening of.

--compared with London.
--Huxley refuses Linacre Professorship.
--invited to accept Linacre Professorship a second time.
--invited to be master of University College.
--receives D.C.L.
--science at.
--letter on chair of English Literature.
--addresses at, a contrast.

Oysters, on.

Paget, Sir James.
--address from, at Medical Congress.
--supports London University Reform.

Paleontology, work at.
--"The Method of Paleontology".
--rise and progress of.
--would have led to invention of evolutionary hypothesis.

Paley, "Evidences", and argument from design.


Pantheon, admiration of.

Parker, T. Jeffery.
--on Huxley and the practical teaching of biology.
--teaching by types.
--persuades him to change course of teaching.
--and to alter biological course.
--"Encyclopaedia" work between H and L.
--impression of Huxley.
--as administrator.
--as lecturer.
--with his children.
--Letter to:
--book dedicated to him: renewed vigour: "cultivons notre jardin" the
whole duty of man.

Parker, W.K.
--and the F.R.S.
--Letters to:
--bids him remodel his work on the Struthious skull.
--bird classification.
--the style of his Frog paper.
--work on the Amphibia.
--interest in the Invertebrata.

Parnell, C.S.
--his great qualities.

Parslow, Darwin's old butler.

Pasteur, L., Huxley repeats his experiments on micro-organisms.
--Pasteur and pebrine.
--typical of the century?

Pasteur Institute, letter to the Lord Mayor on.

Paton, Miss, of St. Andrews.

Pattison, Mark, in Metaphysical Society.

Payne, J., on science in public schools.

Payne, Dr.

Pearson, Professor K., on Huxley's work in London University Reform.

Peile, Dr., at Arolla.

Pelseneer, Professor.
--letters to:
--intention to revise work on Mollusca.
--Molluscan morphology.
--completion of Spirula memoir.
--early morphological ideas confirmed: publication.

Pelvis in Mammalia.

Penmaenmawr, writes "Hume" at.

Percy, Dr. John, at School of Mines.

"Persistent Types".

Pfluger, a physiological experiment.

"Physical Basis of Life, On the".
--"the boldest act of his life".

--lectures, inception of.
--lessons in.

--adapted in Germany.
--a boy's appreciation of.

--study of, compared to the Atlantic.
--"Elementary Instruction in".

Plants, sexes of, and Shakespeare.

Plato, opinion of his philosophy.

Playfair, Lyon (Lord Playfair).
--at School of Mines.
--on Fishery Commission.
--Vivisection Bill.

Political Economy, method of.

Pollock, H., at Lynton.

Pollock, Dr. Julius.
--at Lynton.

Pollock, W.F.
--on Committee of the "Reader".
--and Tyndall's absence.

Port Essington.

Positivism, the scientific aspects of.

Possibilities and impossibilities.

Posthumous fame.

Poulton, Professor.
--letter to:
--Genesis and inspiration: Canon Driver's criticisms.

"Pour le merite".

Powell, Rev. Montague, on Huxley and the scientific docker.

"Practical Biology", adapted for America.

Practical life as a rule-of-three sum.

Prestwich, Sir Joseph.
--his "Geology" and the Genesis controversy.
--Letters to:
--on presidency of Geological Society.
--the Privy Councillorship: temporal and other deserts.

Price, Professor Bartholomew.
--letter to:
--gaps among friends.

Priesthood, power of.

Priestley, address on.

Primer, Introductory.

Primrose, H., dines with.

Pritchard, Professor, and Metaphysical Society.

Privy Councillorship.

Promotion by seniority.

Protest, a theological.



Psychology, projected introduction to.

Ptolemy compared with Newton.

--squib on the Ape question.
--cartoon of Huxley.

Pupil teachers.

Puritanism, in action and belief.

Pusey, opposes D.C.L. for Froude and Huxley.

Pye Smith, Dr.

Pyrosoma, further observations on.

Quain, Dr. Richard, President Royal College of Surgeons.

Quakerism, rise of, compared to rise of Christianity.

"Quarterly Review" attack on Darwin.

Quekett, J.T., unfairly treated.

Race and Language.

Radiata, a zoological lumber-room.

Ramsey, Sir A.C.

Rankine, Professor.
--presentation to, at Liverpool.

Ransom, Dr., indirectly determined his career.

Rathbone, P.H., presides at the Sphinx Club dinner to Huxley.

Rathbone, W., wishes to send Huxley on a visit to India.


"Rattlesnake", H.M.S.
--quarters on.
--life on.
--voyage of.
--effect on Huxley's development.
--voyage of the, reviewed by Huxley.


Ray Society.
--helps publish Huxley's early papers.
--translation of Haeckel's "Morphologie".

"Reader", the.

--on the six-fingered Maltese.
--appreciation of.


Red Lion Club.

Rede Lecture, on the Pearly Nautilus and Evolution.

Reed, Sir Charles, on Huxley's retirement from the School Board.

Reeks, Trenham, on the temperature of a letter from Tyndall.

Reformation, the New.


Reid, Sir John Watt.
--at Haslar.

Religion and morality, defined.

Religion for men.

Renan, typical of the century?

Rendu, on glaciers.

Reptilia, fossil, memoirs on.

Responsibility, illness and.

--at the age of sixty.
--remains Honorary Dean of College of Science.
--Civil List pension.

Reville, Dr., attacked by Gladstone.

Ribaldry, heterodox, worse than orthodox fanaticism.

Rich, Anthony, legacy from.

Richardson, Sir John.
--selects Huxley for scientific expedition.
--letter to:
--on work done during voyage.
--meets again.
--seeks portrait of.

Rigg, Dr., on Huxley's retirement from School Board.

Riley, Athelstan, attack on the compromise.

Ripon, Bishop of, letter to: work and influence of men of science.

Riviere, Briton, R.A., letter to: science training for his son.

Roberts, Father, on Galileo and the Pope.

Robinson, Dr. Louis, simian characteristics in infants.

Rogers, Rev. William.
--at Sion house meeting.
--letter to:
--on physiography lectures.

Roller, Mrs.
--letters to:
--Roman architecture: Catacombs.
--endless sights of Rome.
--French women and French dishes:
--superiority of the male figure.
--money and a new house.
--birthday letters: good looks as a child.
--love of children: the "just man who needeth no repentance" as a
--"the epistle of Thomas".

Rolleston, Professor G.
--visit to.
--work on the simian brain.
--teaches biology by types.
--death of.
--asked to succeed.
--Letter to:
--his recovery.

Roman Catholics and physical science.

Romanes, Professor G.J.
--evolution of intellect from sense.
--interpretations of Darwin.
--fatal illness of.
--Letters to:
--on his refusal to join Association of Liberal Thinkers.
--his obituary of Darwin for "Nature".
--alleged presupposition of design in evolution: liars and authors
should have long memories.
--experimental evolution.
--illness of: type of the empire and Home Rule.
--adumbration of the Romanes Lecture: Madeira.
--his poems: a wife-comrade: a religion for men: Tennyson poem.
--the Romanes Lecture: a doubtful promise.
--ready to act as substitute for Gladstone: subject.
--Gresham University scheme: payment for lecture.
--limits of the subject.
--proofs seen by Romanes.
--dangers of.
--illness of friends: the approach of death.

Romanes, Mrs.
--a "chirrupping" acceptance of an invitation.
--Letter to:
--publication of the "chirrupping" letter: refrains from "touching a
wound he cannot heal".
--guards against possible misrepresentations in the letter.

Romanes Lecture.
--theme of, anticipated in the "Struggle for Existence".
--special inducement.
--letters on.
--criticisms on.
--description of.


Roscoe, Sir Henry.
--letter to:
--on Science Primers.
--advice to stay at Owens College.
--British Association 1872: health: Primers.
--appointments at Owens College.
--tour in Auvergne.
--opening of Owens College.
--on Men of Science Series.
--second sketch of Introductory Science Primer.
--on his knighthood.
--attack of pleurisy.
--technical education.
--sectarian training colleges.

Rosebery, Lord.
--letters to:
--a deputation on London University reform.
--a contretemps at a public dinner.

Ross, Sir James, meeting with.

Rosse, Lord, P.R.S., his help.


Royal College of Science, to be kept clear of new University scheme.

Royal Society.
--and Huxley's early papers.
--elected Fellow.
--nearly receives Royal Medal.
--elected on Council.
--his work as Secretary.
--duties of Secretary.
--resignation of Presidency.
--admission of medical men.
--evening meetings and smoking.
--politics and the Presidency.
--federation scheme.
--dealings with Huxley.
--alleged ignoring of distinguished men.
--Fee Reduction Fund.

Rucker, Professor, and new University scheme.

Ruskin, breach of confidence touching a letter of his.

Rutherford, Professor, helps in the new science teaching.

Sabine, Colonel.
--and the Schlagintweits.
--and Darwin's Copley Medal.

Sacramental food.

St. Andrews, Lord Rectorship.

St. Andrews, sends his son to.

St. Thomas' Hospital, lectures at.

Salisbury, Lord.
--interview with, on literary and scientific honours.
--seconds vote of thanks to, as President of the British Association.
--criticism in "Nature".

Salmon Disease.
--Memoir on.

Salmon, their "playground".

--aim of his work on.
--anticipated in.

Salters' Company, present Huxley with their freedom.

Salvation Army.
--controversy, origin.
--progress of.

Samuelson, Mr., letter to: on clerical attacks.

Sanderson, Sir Burdon.
--Vivisection Bill.
--discussion with Tyndall.
--dines with.

Sandon, Lord, leaves School Board.

Sandys, J.E.
--his speech presenting Huxley for LL.D. at Cambridge.
--letter to:
--"tenax propositi".

Satan, the prince of this world.

"Saturday Review" science in.


Savages, interview with.

--his observations on Salpa supplemented.
--his morphological method adopted.

Schlagintweit, the brothers.

Schmitz, Dr. L., head of International College.

Schomburgk, Sir Richard.

School Board.
--work on.
--his campaign continued in "Administrative Nihilism".
--compromise, letters on.
--Diggleite attack on the compromise.

Schurman, Professor, on design in evolution.

Science and Agriculture.

Science and Art Department.
--lectures for.
--value of examinations.

"Science and Art in Relation to Education".

--and creeds.
--and its prophets.

"Science and Culture".

"Science and Religion, Truthfulness in".

"Science at Sea".

--in public schools.
--in elementary schools.
--the great tragedy of.
--definition of.
--at Oxford.

Science, Biological, and Medicine.

Science Primers begun.

Science teachers, need of.

Science teaching: scheme for the International College.

"Scientific Education".

Scientific missionaries.

Scott, D.H., extends text-book on Biology.

Scott, John Godwin.

Scott, Mrs. J.G. (Eliza Huxley).
--visit to.
--Letters to:
--prospects of "Rattlesnake" voyage.
--first scientific memoir.
--last cruise and Kennedy's expedition.
--return and ambitions.
--character of Forbes.
--death of his mother: first lecture: irony of his position.
--Royal Medal: people he can deal with.
--Science and Mammon.
--rounds the Cape Horn of his life.
--position in 1858.
--his home in 1859.
--his reputation: slavery.

Sea serpent, letters on.

Selborne, Lord, in Metaphysical Society.

Sensation, lecture on.

Seth, Professor.
--letters to:
--thanks for understanding him: conditions of Romanes Lecture: Faraday
on popular audiences.
--Prolegomena: Spinoza.

Sexton, T., and Parnell.

Shaftesbury, Lord.
--quotes Huxley's definition of religion and morality.
--charges him with advocating vivisections before children.
--letter from.

Sharpey, Dr. William.
--help from.
--Secretary Royal Society till 1871.
--Vivisection Bill.


Sidgwick, Wm. C., rebuke to the "Speaker".

Sin, origin of.

Sinclair, Sir J.G.T., letter to: on Babbage's calculating machine.

Sion College.
--declines to attend opening of new buildings at.

Skelton, Sir John.
--Letters to:
--"Noctes Ambrosianae".
--advantage of quasi-Scotch nationality: the Hermitage too pleasant for
--biography and fiction: conscience and letter writing.
--dinner and discussion.
--"The Crookit Meg", a reference to Huxley.
--introduction to Tyndall.
--Mary Stuart and the Casket Letters.
--Gladstone as controversialist.
--nature and suffering.
--historians and practical discipline: an antagonist "rouses his
--the Casket Letters.
--retirement from London.
--limitations of the Romanes Lecture, mending the irremediable.

--theory of the Vertebrate.
--further investigations.


Smalley, G.W.
--Huxley in New York harbour.
--description of him as a lecturer.
--his friends and talk.

Smith, Robertson, at x Club.

Smith, Sir William.
--and International College.
--effect of the name "vivisection".

Smith, Right Hon. W.H., Bible-reading in Schools.

Smyth, W. Warington, death of.

Snakes, lecture on.

Socialism, State, and natural selection.

Societies and ladies.

Society and societies.

Society for the propagation of common honesty.

Society of Arts, speech at.

"Speaker", the insinuations of, rebuked.

Species and sterility.

"Spectator", on "Pope Huxley".

Spedding, James.
--influence of Huxley's accuracy in style.
--Letter from:
--on Bacon.

Bacon's influence compared with Huxley's.

Spencer, Herbert.
--and evolution.
--joins x Club.
--fondness for music.
--on Comte.
--"devil's advocate".
--his comparison of the body politic to the body physical criticised.
--criticises "Administrative Nihilism".
--controversy not inconsistent with friendship.
--a regular New Year's guest.
--his philosophy found wanting by a youthful Punjaubee.
--vigour of.
--philosophical opposition to.
--correspondence on absolute ethics.
--psychology based on use-inheritance.
--frankness to.
--plays racquets with.
--authority on music.
--Letters from:
--will not break through custom of sending him proofs.
--urges him to answer Lilly.
--sends proofs to him as an "omnivorous reader".
--Letters to:
--his review of the "Archetype".
--"First Principles".
--distention of birds' air-cells during flight.
--animals and plants: Tyndall's favourite problem: "gynopathy".
--patience in discussions.
--dry facts only at Edinburgh lectures: Moses and a visit to town.
--on George Eliot and Westminster Abbey.
--thanks for his photograph.
--acceptance of P.R.S.
--on Creation controversy.
--influence of conditions.
--reads proofs of his Autobiography.
--disinclined to reply to Mr. Lilly.
--the plot succeeds.
--his own boyhood.
--reply to Mr. Lilly: abuse of the word "Law": Victorian science.
--Imperial Institute.
--death of his daughter.
--retrospect of their first meeting: clears up possible
misunderstanding about London Liberty League.
--a visit to, postponed: defensive position in controversy.
--forgetfulness of past events: a sweeping criticism.
--jests on his recent activity: himself unlike Samson.
--some consolation for old age.
--return from Maloja.

Sphinx Club, Liverpool, dinner to Huxley.

--memorial to.
--debt to.

--experiments in.
--if true, an additional argument against suicide.
--report on seance.

Spirula, work on.

Spitzbergen, fossils from.

Spontaneous generation.
--and Darwinism.
--recipe for.

Spottiswoode, William.
--and x Club.
--visit to.
--character of.

Stanley, Dean.
--death of.
--on George Eliot's funeral.
--men of science.
--on being made a bishop.
--historical impressionability.
--repartee, the priests and the prophets.

Stanley, Lord.

Stanley, Lord, of Alderley, memorial to Carlyle.

Stanley, Owen, captain of "Rattlesnake".

Stanley, Mrs. Owen.

State, comparison with the body.

State, the, and the medical profession.

Steffens, Father, friendship with.

Stephen, Sir Leslie.
--in Metaphysical Society.
--on Huxley and his home life.
--Letter to:
--separation from friends:
--deafness: morality in the cosmos.

Stephenson, G.

Stewart, Professor Balfour, editor of Science Primers.

Stocks, John Ellerton.

Stokes, Sir G.G.
--presentation to, at Liverpool.
--Letter from:
--Parliament and the Presidency of the Royal Society.
--Letters to.

Strachey, E.

Strachey, Sir R., appreciation of.

Strauss, on the Resurrection.

Struthers, Professor, visits.

--influence of his.
--cannot judge of his own compositions in manuscript.
--the first pages of an essay the chief trouble.

Suarez, his teaching examined.

Suicide, moral.

Sulivan, Captain, at Falkland Islands.

Sunday evening gatherings.
--impression on friends.

Sunday Society, unable to support prominently while P.R.S.


Sydenham College.

Sydney, projected chair of Natural History at.

Sylvester, Professor.

Tait, Professor.
--reconciliation with Tyndall.
--makes Huxley play golf.

Taylor, Miss H., criticism of "Administrative Nihilism".

Taylor, Canon Isaac, language and race.

Taylor, Robert.
--Christianity compared to Babism.
--Letter to:
--success of Christianity and the story of Christ.

Teachers, lectures to.

Technical Education.
--address on.
--continuation of his work on the School Board.
--Report to the Guilds.
--engineers the City and Guilds Institute.
--supply of teachers, speech at the Society of Arts.
--letter on his aims.
--relation of industry to science.
--Imperial Institute.
--letters to "Times".
--campaign interrupted by pleurisy.
--at Manchester in the autumn.

Technical education in agriculture.

Teeth, writes on.

Tegumentary organs, article on.

Teleology, see also s.v. Design

"Tenax propositi".

--survey work at.
--fossil forest at.

Tennessee, on the geology of.

--"Ode on Wellington".
--in Metaphysical Society.
--death of.
--visits to.
--scientific insight of.
--his talk.
--insensibility to music.
--on Browning's music.
--poem on.
--Letter to:
--thanks for "Demeter": envies his vigour.

Tenterden, Lady, at Lynton.

Tethea, on the anatomy of.

Theism, philosophical difficulties of.

Theological doctrines, truth underlying.

Theology, sentimental.

Thompson, Sir Henry, on Clifford's illness.

Thomson, Archbishop.
--on modern thought and Positivism.
--and Metaphysical Society.

Thomson, John, surgeon on the "Rattlesnake".

Thomson, Joseph, description of Huxley's lectures at Edinburgh.

Thomson, Sir W. (Lord Kelvin), reconciliation with Tyndall.

Thomson, Sir Wyville.
--and Bathybius.
--his course at Edinburgh taken by Huxley.
--criticism of Darwin.

Thorpe, Professor, and new University scheme.

Thought, as a "function" of the brain.

--review of the "Origin" in.

Title, rumoured acceptance of.

Titles, for men of science.

Todd, Dr. R.B., gives up professorship at Kings College.

"Todd's Cyclopaedia", writes for.

Tollemache, A., at x Club.

Tomes, Sir John.

Toronto, stands for professorship at.

Training colleges, sectarian.

Trevelyan, Sir C., Under-Secretary Treasury.

Treviranus, not studied by Huxley before 1859.

Trigonia, on the animal of.

--transatlantic discovery of.
--Huxley a fanatic for.

Tug, story of.

Tulloch, Principal.

Turner, W., an appointment to Calcutta Museum.

Tyndall, Mrs.
--letters to:
--duties of a married daughter.
--an invitation to lunch.

Tyndall, John.
--rejected, like Huxley, at Toronto.
--Physics for "Saturday Review".
--joint paper on Glacier Ice.
--joins School of Mines.
--a "madcap" Alpinist.
--on Committee of the "Reader".
--in Wales with.
--takes Waverley Place house.
--favourite problem in molecular physics.
--and x Club.
--receives Edinburgh LL.D. with Huxley.
--joins in drawing up scheme of science teaching in schools.
--in Metaphysical Society.
--presentation to, at Liverpool.
--discussion with B. Sanderson.
--a constant New Year's guest.
--action of Association of Liberal Thinkers.
--vigour of.
--visit to.
--death of.
--Letters from:
--unable to join in trip to the Eifel.
--on clerical attacks.
--on proposed visit to India.
--on opposition to his Presidency of the British Association.
--wasted sympathy.
--Letters to:
--elected F.R.S.
--on a London career.
--science reviews in "Westminster".
--letter from colleagues in England.
--at his marriage.
--the Brenoa: end of Swiss trip.
--on joining School of Mines.
--on Jamaica affair.
--on working-men's lecture at British Association: reconciliation with
Thomson and Tait.
--resignation of Fullerian lectureship.
--resigning lectureship at School of Mines.
--Liverpool British Association.
--an electrical disturbance.
--his lecture at Liverpool meeting of British Association.
--a letter to "Nature": his breakdown.
--trip to Egypt: ascent of Vesuvius.
--the new teaching of biology: Hooker's affair.
--ill-health, and the fine air of St. John's Wood: Tyndall's visit to
--a loan.
--possibility of marriage.
--the New Year in the new house: Tyndall's "English accent": character
of Hirst: Lord Rector of Aberdeen.
--tour in Auvergne.
--controversy about Forbes:
--walks with his young son: receives Order of the Pole Star.
--opposition to his Presidency of the British Association: a letter at
high temperature: Blauvelt's "Modern Skepticism".
--the Forbes controversy: British Association at Belfast.
--excuses for undertaking unnecessary work: subject of Belfast address,
Spinoza memorial: pay at Edinburgh: possible sons-in-law.
--examines micro-organisms.
--offers to lecture for: "bottled life".
--on his daughter's recovery.
--to take Boyle in English Men of Science Series.
--own capacity as an editor: Clifford's illness.
--begs him to avoid "avalanches of work".
--friendship and criticism, apropos of science review in "Nineteenth
--a confession
--dinner in honour of.
--Lord Granville's sarcastic sweetness.
--confused with him in the popular mind.
--Tennyson's funeral.
--effect of influenza: addresses at Oxford: dying by inches.

"Universities, Actual and Ideal".

University, Johns Hopkins.
--address at: "Trustees have sometimes made a palace and called it a
--ideal of.
--government by professors only.

--disbelief in.
--in plants.

Variation, the key to the Darwinian theory.

Varigny, H. de.
--letters to:
--his essays translated into French: love of his native tongue.
--later volume not interesting to French public: experimental proof of
specific infertility.

Vermes, a zoological lumber-room.

"Vestiges of Creation".

Vesuvius, ascent of.

Virchow, Professor.
--(in Huxley lecture), influence of the "Rattlesnake" voyage.
--on Huxley's ethnological work.
--at Medical Congress.

--Lord Shaftesbury's charges.
--W.E. Forster and South Kensington lectures.
--personal feelings on.
--fox-hunting legislators.
--experiment and original research.
--Commission on.
--Harvey article.

Vogt, Karl.

Von Willemoes Suhm and Ceylon Museum.

Wace, Dr., attacks agnosticism.

Wales, H.R.H., Prince of.
--admitted to Royal Society.
--unveils Darwin statue.

Walker, Alfred, letter to: local museums.

Walking, his holiday recreation.

Wallace, A.R.
--starts Darwin.
--Civil List Pension.
--Letter from: friendship with Huxley.

Waller, Mrs. F.W.
--letters to:
--numbers at Edinburgh lectures: suggests a new friend.
--Afghan War of 1878: Indian Empire a curse.
--avoidance of congresses.
--acceptance of P.R.S.
--portrait at the Royal Academy: family news.
--loss of her child.
--a Christmas function.

Walpole, Sir Spencer.
--on Huxley as Fishery Inspector.
--kindness from, in Italy.

Walpole, Sir Spencer H., Vivisection Bill.

Ward, Dr.
--his former examiner.
--passed over in favour of Huxley for Royal Society.

Ward, T.H., visit to.

Ward, Mrs. T.H.
--letter to:
--thanks for "Robert Elsmere".

Ward, W.
--table-talk of Huxley, especially on the "Foundations of Belief".
--other reminiscences of his talk.

Ward, W.G.
--in Metaphysical Society.
--saying about Mill's opinions.

Warwick, lectures at.

"Water-Babies, The".
--letter to his grandson about.

Waugh, Rev. Benjamin.
--impression of Huxley on the School Board.

Welby, Lady.
--letters to:
--life compared to a whirlpool: human tendency to make idols: "devils
advocate" to H. Spencer.
--speculation and fact.
--truthfulness in science and religion.

Welcker, Dr. H.
--on his ethnological work.

Weldon, Professor.
--letters to:
--ideal of a modern university.
--organisation of new university.

Wellington, Duke of, funeral.
--on speaking.

Westlake, John, Q.C.
--a working-men's meeting.

"Westminster Review", writes for.


Whewell, "History of Scientific Ideas".

Wilberforce, Bishop, on Darwinism.

Winmarleigh, Lord, on Vivisection Commission.

Withers, Rachel, mother of T.H. Huxley (See Huxley).

"Witness", the, on the Ape question.

Wollaston, T.V., and species.

--medical education of.
--in public life.

Women's education.

Woodward, S.P., and geological amateur.

Working-Men's College.
--(Lectures. See Lectures).
--address at, on "Method of Zadig".

Working-Men's Institute.

Wright, Dr., editor of "Natural History Review".

x Club.
--compared to The Club.
--jealousy of.
--gaps in.

Yale, fossils in museum.

Youmans, Dr.
--at x Club.
--meeting with.

Young, Lord, dines with.

Yule, Commander, succeeds Owen Stanley.

"Zadig, Method of".

Zoological Gardens.

Zoological Society.


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