Household problems – stolen silver, maids. His house for some months has had reputation for being not a little disreputable.
On Cameroon plants.
I have not a Leschenaultia to examine, so pray send me some flowers. I should like to dissect them—
We have had a regular kick up, & been in a troublous state for some time. We have had all our spoons forks &c to the tune of 80 pieces of silver walked off with; by a nice young man who introduced himself to our maids, & was made so much of that he could not make enough of us without & I have had tears, groans, hysterics, Police inspectors & all the other evidences of civilization in the house. It is all our own faults, wholly & entirely, for not looking better after our servts, doors & establishment. I don't care a brass farthing for the silver, which I have replaced already (with electro-plate!) but I must confess to a feeling of shame at finding out that my establishment has for some months had the reputation of being not a little disreputable—
Oddly enough, your lovely Teapot, 2 solid silver Candlesticks (which I have long wanted my wife to sell) & various other very expensive articles were left standing by the plate-basket which was emptied. I am disgusted at their not taking the candlesticks, which are of no use to me a bit, & at their assuming your tea-pot to be plated!—or they surely would have taken it.— So ``there is no pleasing some people'' you will say
The Cameroons' plants are most interesting, lots of temperate forms descending to 4000 feet, for your private satisfaction— I am drawing up an account of them for Lin Journal.— More temperate Abyssinian species than ever.
The upper region of Cameroons 7--13000 ft, consists of Volcanic cones, exactly like Auvergne according to the sketches our collector has sent home: he has sent a fair Journal too— he spent some weeks at 7000 feet.
I had hoped to have had your Willy up ere this, but have been put out by this ugly affair: please tell him I will write very soon.
Ever yours affec | J D Hooker
- f1 3537.f1Dated by reference to CD's endorsement (see annotations), presumably recording the date of the letter's arrival; 5 May was a Monday.
- f2 3537.f2See letter to J. D. Hooker, 1 May .
- f3 3537.f3Hooker read a paper entitled `On the vegetation of the Cameroons' at a meeting of the Linnean Society of London on 5 June 1862 (Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London (Botany) 6 (1862): cvi). This paper was not published by the society; a further paper by Hooker on the topic was read the following year and published in 1864 (J. D. Hooker 1863c).
- f4 3537.f4In a paper read to the Linnean Society in 1861 (J. D. Hooker 1862b), Hooker had highlighted the affinity of the vegetation of Clarence Peak, Fernando Po, off the coast of West Africa, with that of Abyssinia 1800 miles distant on the other side of Africa, and of islands east of Africa. See also letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 May  and n. 6.
- f5 3537.f5Hooker's work on the West African flora was based on botanical collections made by Gustav Mann (see J. D. Hooker 1862b and 1863b).
- f6 3537.f6Hooker had been helping CD to foster the botanical interest of his eldest son William Erasmus Darwin (see Correspondence vol. 9, letters to J. D. Hooker, 22 June  and 17 [July 1861]). William had moved to Southampton in 1861 to begin a banking career (see Correspondence vol. 9).
- f7 3537.f7See letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 May  and n. 4.