I had no business to send, though quite unintentionally...

Tenos

Senior Member
Arabic
After Charles Darwin had written his book, Origin of Species, which he reflected on it for so long but he wrote in a hurry, the publisher found it full of heavy corrections that he had to give it to an editor to correct it. Just before distributing the copies, Darwin sent him a letter saying:

I shall be fully satisfied, for I had no business to send, though quite unintentionally and unexpectedly, such badly composed MS. to the printers.

Can someone paraphrase this sentence for me; I think it might make better sense to me if "shall" is replaced by "supposed to" or "must" to say that he is supposed to be happy that his book was published after all though it was badly written, though unintentionally.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Darwin is suggesting to the publisher that he take a greater share of the profits than he has proposed, in view of the very heavy corrections that were necessary to the manuscript (the necessity for which came as quite a shock to Darwin).
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    I think it might make better sense to me if "shall" is replaced by "supposed to" or "must" to say that he is supposed to be happy that his book was published after all though it was badly written, though unintentionally.
    No. There is nothing to suggest that he must be satisfied. He is saying that he will be satisfied. ("I shall" was the correct way to indicate the simple future; "I will" implied a requirement to do something.)
     
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