RECORD: Morley, J. 1901. [Recollection of Down House visit with Gladstone in 1877]. The Times (24 October), p. 9. Transcribed by Christine Chua, edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe. 11.2019. RN1

NOTE: At the unveiling of a bronze statue of Gladstone in Manchester on 23 October 1901, John Morley gave a speech in which he briefly mentioned the visit to Down House with Gladstone.



I remember going with him one Sunday afternoon to pay a visit to Mr. Darwin. It was in the seventies, and as I came away I felt that no impression had reached him; that that intellectual, modest, single-minded, low-browed lover of truth, that searcher of the secrets of nature, had made no impression on Mr. Gladstone's mind, though he had seen one who from his Kentish hill-top was shaking the world. The thought with which he rose in the morning and went to rest at night was of the universe as sublime moral theatre on which the Omnipotent Dramaturgist used kingdoms and rulers, laws and policies, to exhibit at sovereign purpose for good, to light up what I may call the prose of politics with a ray from the Diviner Mind.


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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 16 November, 2019