T. H. Huxley
Letters and Diary 1895

February 8, 1895

Hodeslea, Eastbourne

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 Study

L. Huxley, Life and Letters

February 10, 1895

[To Mrs. W. K. Clifford]

Men, my dear, are very queer animals, a mixture of horse—nervousness, ass—stubbornness and camel-malice–with an angel bobbing about unexpectly like the apple in the posset, and when they can do exactly as they please, they are very hard to drive.

February 12, 1895

Hodeslea, Eastbourne

My dear Knowles–I am greatly disappointed with Balfour's book. I have a great liking and respect for him, and, as I once said, I thought "he had science in the blood."

In point of fact, the slang " 'e don't know where he are" is plainly applicable. There is no grip of the problem, no real knowledge of where the strategic points lie.

I began my career by dissecting the Invertebrates, and I seem likely to end it (for I really ought to leave off writing) in the same way!

You shall have the article, for the April number I think, as I could not be ready within the next week or ten days. However, perhaps I could manage if you really want it for March.

Keep my gibes to yourself, on my edition, as I do not want to annoy Balfour.–Ever yours very faithfully,

T. H. Huxley.

I quite agree with you about the Spook-fanciers, Lang at their head. It is scandalous.

February 14, 1895

[To Hooker]

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.

rather Aino-ish about the body, small in the calf, and cheese-cutting in the shins. Le voici!

March 1, 1895

[To a daughter]

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 month.

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.

March 6, 1895

My dear Knowles–My poor wife is down with influenza, and the chances are I shall follow suit, though I don't mean to if I can help it.

But in the case of such accident I have been getting Part II of "Anti-Balfour" well on, and hope to send you the MS. even if rather in the rough, tomorrow.

If the demon seizes me, I may at any rate hope to have stuff enough left for correcting proofs.

Please let the thing be set up in slip and sent to me as soon as may be, as I want to finish my job in a workman like fashion.

My opinion of B. as a philosophic thinker goes lower and lower. Very sorry, but can't withstand evidence of either carelessness or incapacity.

Trust you are all going on well, the new baby included. Don't her be a new woman.

June 26, 1895

Hodeslea, Eastbourne

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,

T. H. H.

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 a year. Rachel and her three children have but the slenderest provision.

Letters of 1894

Letter Index



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Gratitude and Permissions

C. Blinderman & D. Joyce
Clark University

§ 1. THH: His Mark
§ 2. Voyage of the Rattlesnake
§ 3. A Sort of Firm
§ 4. Darwin's Bulldog
§ 5. Hidden Bond: Evolution
§ 6. Frankensteinosaurus
§ 7. Bobbing Angels: Human Evolution
§ 8. Matter of Life: Protoplasm
§ 9. Medusa
§ 10. Liberal Education
§ 11. Scientific Education
§ 12. Unity in Diversity
§ 13. Agnosticism
§ 14. New Reformation
§ 15. Verbal Delusions: The Bible
§ 16. Miltonic Hypothesis: Genesis
§ 17. Extremely Wonderful Events: Resurrection and Demons
§ 18. Emancipation: Gender and Race
§ 19. Aryans et al.: Ethnology
§ 20. The Good of Mankind
§ 21.  Jungle Versus Garden