Front Page Titles (by Subject) A NOTE: Concerning the Life and Letters of T.H. Huxley. - An Autobiography, vol. 2
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A NOTE: Concerning the Life and Letters of T.H. Huxley. - Herbert Spencer, An Autobiography, vol. 2 
An Autobiography by Herbert Spencer. Illustrated in Two Volumes. Vol. 2 (New York: D. Appleton and Company 1904).
Part of: An Autobiography
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A NOTE: Concerning the Life and Letters of T.H. Huxley.
[Where to place the following two letters has been a question not easily answered, for no place seems quite appropriate. After much consideration I have decided that they should be inserted here rather than elsewhere.]
5 Percival Terrace,
Dear Mr. Huxley,
On further reading your very interesting Life of your father, I find some statements of personal concern which will cause much misapprehension.
Through inadvertence, passages on pages 333 of vol. I. and 266 and 68 of vol. II. convey the impression that the criticism of my proofs by your father extended to my writings at large; and a phrase of yours on page 133 of vol. II. implies that you have yourself derived this impression. It is an erroneous one. Beyond First Principles your father read in proof The Principles of Biology, a biological essay, and some chapters concerning the nervous system. There was peremptory need for expert criticisms on these, and he very kindly gave me his; but I did not ask his critical aid when writing the seven volumes dealing with Sociology, Psychology, and Ethics, or the six volumes of my miscellaneous works, save the 15 pages of “diabolical dialectics” (ii. 185), and a chapter entitled “Religious Retrospect and Prospect.” This is in a measure implied by my letter accompanying the proofs of the essay on “The Factors of Organic Evolution”—a letter in which I spoke of habitually submitting “my biological writing to your [his] castigation” (ii. 127); for had the practice been general I evidently should not have limited the statement to biological writing.
A word concerning the unpublished Autobiography. Reading of proofs by friends (your father being one) was to be a check on errors of taste. The parts your father saw amounted to about a third.
When saying, à propos of his rôle of “devil’s advocate,” that “there is no telling how many brilliant speculations I have been the means of choking in an embryonic state,” your father was venting one of his facetious exaggerations. A comparison between the original MSS. and the printed books, made by my secretary to whom I dictate this letter, shows that in the three volumes above named there are four passages of a speculative kind in the MS. which have disappeared from the printed text. [Let me add that of the two omitted from The Principles of Biology one concerned the derivation of the vertebrate type from the ascidian type—a speculation which not long after received support from the discoveries of Kowalewsky. I afterwards gave it a place in Appendix D of vol. II.]
As shown by a letter you have partly quoted, I have expressed my grateful sense of your father’s “invaluable critical aid,” but naturally I do not wish this to be understood as having been far greater than it was.
Whatever changes you may make in future editions for the purpose of preventing misapprehensions, cannot of course be known to readers of the current edition. Yet I am not content that they should remain in error. What should be done?