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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/645

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GLIMPSES AT DARWIN'S WORKING LIFE.

even in the master-art of wriggling, I feel aggrieved. If be bad trained himself to observe more, even at the expense, by the law of balancement, of some loss of thinking power, be would have been a wonderful man." To E. Ray Lankester he acknowledged a suspicion that hereafter Spencer would be looked at as "by far the greatest living philosopher in England; perhaps equal to any that have lived."

A copy of the "Origin" was sent to Professor Agassiz, with the explanation that, "as the conclusions at which I have arrived on several points differ so widely from yours, I have thought (should you at any time read my volume) that you might think that I had sent it to you out of a spirit of defiance or bravado; but I assure you that I act under a wholly different frame of mind. I hope that you will at least give me credit, however erroneous you may think my conclusions, for having earnestly endeavored to arrive at the truth."

Mr. Darwin's relations with American men of science began with a letter to Asa Gray, in April, 1855, seeking for information on American Alpine plants, and offering an apology for the presumption of the writer, not a botanist, in making "even the most trifling suggestion to such a botanist as yourself." The correspondence was continued in frequent letters embodying discussions of subjects on which Mr. Darwin sought information or explanations from Professor Gray, the chief use of which was "to show a botanist what points a non-botanist is curious to learn; for I think every one who studies profoundly a subject often becomes unaware on what points the ignorant require information." After the publication of the "Origin," Mr. Darwin wrote to Professor Gray: "I should, for several reasons, be very glad of an American edition. I have made up my mind to be well abused; but I think it of importance that my notions should be read by intelligent men, accustomed to scientific argument, though not naturalists. It may seem absurd, but I think such men will drag after them those naturalists who have too firmly fixed in their heads that a species is an entity. . . . I should be infinitely obliged if you could aid an American edition." Professor Gray interested himself to secure a republication in the United States, and applied to a Boston house, while a New York house also moved in the matter. As he tells the story in a letter to Darwin: "All looked pretty well, when, lo! we found that a second New York publishing-house had announced a reprint also! I wrote then to both New York publishers, asking them to give way to the author and his reprint of a revised edition. I got an answer from the Harpers that they withdraw—from the Appletons that they had got the book out (and the next day I saw a copy); but that, ' if the work should have any considerable sale, we certainly shall be disposed to pay the author reasonably and liberally.' The Appletons being thus out with their reprint, the Boston house declined to go on. So I wrote to the Appletons, taking them at their word, offering to aid their reprint, to give them the use of the alterations in the London