Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley — Volume 2
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Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley — Volume 2

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 2, by Leonard Huxley #2 in ourseries by Leonard HuxleyCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****Title: The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 2Author: Leonard HuxleyRelease Date: March, 2004 [EBook #5226] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on June 8, 2002]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK T.H. HUXLEY VOLUME 2 ***Produced by Sue Asscher asschers@bigpond.comLIFE AND LETTERS OF THOMAS HENRY HUXLEYBY HIS SONLEONARD HUXLEY.IN THREE VOLUMES.VOLUME 2.(PLATE: T.H. HUXLEY, ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Life and
Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 2, by
Leonard Huxley #2 in our series by Leonard Huxley
Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be
sure to check the copyright laws for your country
before downloading or redistributing this or any
other Project Gutenberg eBook.
This header should be the first thing seen when
viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not
remove it. Do not change or edit the header
without written permission.
Please read the "legal small print," and other
information about the eBook and Project
Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is
important information about your specific rights and
restrictions in how the file may be used. You can
also find out about how to make a donation to
Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla
Electronic Texts**
**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By
Computers, Since 1971**
*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands
of Volunteers!*****
Title: The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry HuxleyVolume 2
Author: Leonard Huxley
Release Date: March, 2004 [EBook #5226] [Yes,
we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on June 8, 2002]
Edition: 10
Language: English
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG
EBOOK T.H. HUXLEY VOLUME 2 ***
Produced by Sue Asscher asschers@bigpond.comLIFE AND LETTERS OF
THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY
BY HIS SON
LEONARD HUXLEY.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
VOLUME 2.
(PLATE: T.H. HUXLEY, PHOTOGRAPH BY
WALKER AND COCKERILL, PH. SC. SIGNED
T.H. HUXLEY, 1857.)
CONTENTS.
CHAPTER 2.1. 1870.
CHAPTER 2.2. 1871.
CHAPTER 2.3. 1872.CHAPTER 2.4. 1873.
CHAPTER 2.5. 1874.
CHAPTER 2.6. 1875-1876.
CHAPTER 2.7. 1875-1876.
CHAPTER 2.8. 1876.
CHAPTER 2.9. 1877.
CHAPTER 2.10. 1878.
CHAPTER 2.11. 1879.
CHAPTER 2.12. 1881.
CHAPTER 2.13. 1882.
CHAPTER 2.14. 1883.
CHAPTER 2.15. 1884.
CHAPTER 2.16. 1884-1885.
CHAPTER 2.17. 1885.CHAPTER 2.18. 1886.
CHAPTER 2.19. 1886.
CHAPTER 2.1. 1870.
[With the year 1870 comes another turning-point in
Huxley's career. From his return to England in
1850 till 1854 he had endured four years of hard
struggle, of hope deferred; his reputation as a
zoologist had been established before his arrival,
and was more than confirmed by his personal
energy and power. When at length settled in the
professorship at Jermyn Street, he was so far from
thinking himself more than a beginner who had
learned to work in one corner of the field of
knowledge, still needing deep research into all
kindred subjects in order to know the true bearings
of his own little portion, that he treated the next six
years simply as years of further apprenticeship.
Under the suggestive power of the "Origin of
Species" all these scattered studies fell suddenly
into due rank and order; the philosophic unity he
had so long been seeking inspired his thought with
tenfold vigour, and the battle at Oxford in defence
of the new hypothesis first brought him before the
public eye as one who not only had the courage of
his convictions when attacked, but could, and
more, would, carry the war effectively into the
enemy's country. And for the next ten years he
was commonly identified with the championship ofthe most unpopular view of the time; a fighter, an
assailant of long-established fallacies, he was too
often considered a mere iconoclast, a subverter of
every other well-rooted institution, theological,
educational, or moral.
It is difficult now to realise with what feelings he
was regarded in the average respectable
household in the sixties and early seventies. His
name was anathema; he was a terrible example of
intellectual gravity beyond redemption, a man with
opinions such as cannot be held "without grave
personal sin on his part" (as was once said of Mill
by W.G. Ward), the representative in his single
person of rationalism, materialism, atheism, or if
there be any more abhorrent "ism"—in token of
which as late as 1892 an absurd zealot at the
headquarters of the Salvation Army crowned an
abusive letter to him at Eastbourne by the
statement, "I hear you have a local reputation as a
Bradlaughite."
But now official life began to lay closer hold upon
him. He came forward also as a leader in the
struggle for educational reform, seeking not only to
perfect his own biological teaching, but to show, in
theory and practice, how scientific training might be
introduced into the general system of education.
He was more than once asked to stand for
Parliament, but refused, thinking he could do more
useful work for his country outside.
The publication in 1870 of "Lay Sermons," the first
of a series of similar volumes, served, byconcentrating his moral and intellectual philosophy,
to make his influence as a teacher of men more
widely felt. The "active scepticism," whose
conclusions many feared, was yet acknowledged
as the quality of mind which had made him one of
the clearest thinkers and safest scientific guides of
his time, while his keen sense of right and wrong
made the more reflective of those who opposed his
conclusions hesitate long before expressing a
doubt as to the good influence of his writings. This
view is very clearly expressed in a review of the
book in the "Nation" (New York 1870 11 407).
And as another review of the "Lay Sermons" puts it
("Nature" 3 22), he began to be made a kind of
popular oracle, yet refused to prophesy smooth
things.
During the earlier period, with more public
demands made upon him than upon most men of
science of his age and standing, with the burden of
four Royal Commissions and increasing work in
learned societies in addition to his regular lecturing
and official paleontological work, and the many
addresses and discourses in which he spread
abroad in the popular mind the leaven of new ideas
upon nature and education and the progress of
thought, he was still constantly at work on
biological researches of his own, many of which
took shape in the Hunterian lectures at the College
of Surgeons from 1863-1870. But from 1870
onward, the time he could spare to such research
grew less and less. For eight years he was
continuously on one Royal Commission afteranother. His administrative work on learned
societies continued to increase; in 1869-70 he held
the presidency of the Ethnological Society, with a
view to effecting the amalgamation with the
Anthropological,] "the plan," [as he calls it,] "for
uniting the Societies which occupy themselves with
man (that excludes 'Society' which occupies itself
chiefly with woman)." [He became President of the
Geological Society in 1872, and for nearly ten
years, from 1871 to 1880, he was secretary of the
Royal Society, an office which occupied no small
portion of his time and thought, "for he had formed
a very high ideal of the duties of the Society as the
head of science in this country, and was
determined that it should not at least fall short
through any lack of exertion on his part" (Sir M.
Foster, Royal Society Obituary Notice). (See
Appendix 2.)
The year 1870 itself was one of the busiest he had
ever known. He published one biological and four
paleontological memoirs, and sat on two Royal
Commissions, one on the Contagious Diseases
Acts, the other on Scientific Instruction, which
continued until 1875.
The three addresses which he gave in the autumn,
and his election to the School Board will be spoken
of later; in the first part of the year he read two
papers at the Ethnological Society, of which he was
President, on "The Geographical Distribution of the
Chief Modifications of Mankind," March 9—and on
"The Ethnology of Britain," May 10—the substance
of which appeared in the "Contemporary Review"for July under the title of "Some Fixed Points in
British Ethnology" ("Collected Essays" 7 253). As
President also of the Geological Society and of the
British Association, he had two important
addresses to deliver. In addition to this, he
delivered an address before the Y.M.C.A. at
Cambridge on "Descartes' Discourse."
How busy he was may be gathered from his
refusal of an invitation to
Down:—]
26 Abbey Place, January 21, 1870.
My dear Darwin,
It is hard to resist an invitation of yours—but I dine
out on Saturday; and next week three evenings are
abolished by Societies of one kind or another. And
there is that horrid Geological address looming in
the future!
I am afraid I must deny myself at present.
I am glad you liked the sermon. Did you see the
"Devonshire man's" attack in the "Pall Mall?"
I have been wasting my time in polishing that
worthy off. I would not have troubled myself about
him, if it were not for the political bearing of the
Celt question just now.
My wife sends her love to all you.
Ever yours,