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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Tyndall   9 October 1868

Royal Institution of Great Britain

9th. Oct. 1868

My dear Darwin.

Hinrichs is also a correspondent of mine.1 Had he trusted more to the natural weight of his views if they have any and less to the policy of making a noise about them he would in my opinion have acted more wisely than he has done.

He has published an attack upon Dana which I should not like to circulate as he shows a temper not to be trusted where cool judgement is required.2 But you can ease your conscience by sending his papers to me, and I will place almost the whole of them on the table of the Royal Institution.3 You can tell him that you have sent them to me.

I was rejoiced to hear from dear old Hooker on Thursday week that were able to have a little party of your friends about you, and then again, Bates dashed my happiness by saying that you were not so well as you ought to be.4 I hardly think that even your naturalists care more about hearing of your improved health than I do.

That charming man Asa Gray, and his still more charming wife are staying with Hooker.5 I dined there on Wednesday and endeavoured to make it clear to Mrs. Gray that your ill health was a benefit to you inasmuch as it compelled you to ponder a great deal,6 and this accounted for the extraordinary proportion of thought which your works display.

Goodbye: I hope you will continue to flourish.

Ever Yours | John Tyndall


For CD’s remarks regarding Gustavus Detlef Hinrichs, see the letter to John Tyndall, 7 October 1868.
Tyndall refers to James Dwight Dana; see letter to G. D. Hinrichs, 13 August 1868, n. 1.
For a list of the papers Hinrichs sent CD, see the letter from G. D. Hinrichs, 31 August 1868.
Joseph Dalton Hooker evidently told Tyndall of the visit from several naturalists over the weekend of 12 and 13 September; though Henry Walter Bates had been invited, he was not able to attend (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [8–10 September 1868]).
Gray and Jane Loring Gray had recently arrived in England (see letter from Asa Gray, 17 September 1868).
For CD’s reference to his agreement with Tyndall on the importance of ‘pondering’ in science, see the letter to John Tyndall, 7 October 1868.


Gustavus Hinrichs is also a [not highly regarded] correspondent of JT’s; he will put GH’s papers on the table at Royal Institution to ease CD’s conscience.

Dined with the Asa Grays at Hooker’s. Told Mrs Gray that CD’s ill health was a benefit because it caused him to ponder a great deal.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Tyndall
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Royal Institution
Source of text
DAR 106: C1–2
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6414,” accessed on 28 November 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16