Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/411

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There is here reproduced the text of two pages of the original manuscript of "The Descent of Man" in the handwriting of the author. This manuscript, as well as the portraits by Lock and Whitfield and by Maull and Fox reproduced above, we owe to the kindness of Mr. Charles F. Cox, president of the New York Academy of Sciences, who has permitted the use of his valuable collection of Darwiniana. With the manuscript, the handwriting of which is somewhat reduced in size, is given a transcription, and in the second column the text as it finally appeared in the first edition of the "Descent of Man" as published in 1871, Volume I., pp. 42-43.

The manuscript shows the great amount of revision which the author made in all his work. It is corrected and interlined, and when it appeared in print it had been largely again rewritten by correcting the proofs. Thus the author evidently expected this matter to appear in Chapter I., but made additions which carried it over into Chapter II. Darwin's daughter, Mrs. Litchfield, who assisted him in the correction of some of his later works, says:

"He did not write with ease, and was apt to invert his sentences both in writing and speaking, putting the qualifying clause before it was clear what it was to qualify. He corrected a great deal, and was eager to express himself as well as he possibly could."

In the "Life and Letters," Mr. Francis Darwin writes:

"Perhaps the commonest corrections needed were obscurities due to the omission of a necessary link in the reasoning, something that he had evidently omitted through familiarity with the subject. Not that there Mas any fault in the sequence of the thoughts, but that from familiarity with his argument he did not notice when the words failed to reproduce his thought. He also frequently put too much matter into one sentence, so that it had to be cut up into two.

"On the whole, I think the pains which my father took over the literary part of the work was very remarkable. He often laughed or grumbled at himself for the difficulty which he found in writing English, saying, for instance, that if a bad arrangement of a sentence was possible, he should be sure to adopt it. He once got much amusement and satisfaction out of the difficulty which one of his family found in writing a short circular. He had the pleasure of correcting and laughing at obscurities, involved sentences, and other defects, and thus took his revenge for all the criticism he had himself to bear with. He used to quote with astonishment Miss Martineau's advice to young authors, to write straight off and send the MS. to the printers without correction. But in some cases he acted in a somewhat similar manner. When a sentence got hopelessly involved, he would ask himself, 'Now what do you want to say?' and his answer written down would often disentangle the confusion."