Sends seeds from R. L. Playfair in Algiers.
F. Delpino writes asking where M. A. Curtis has published physiological observations on Dionaea ["Enumeration of plants growing spontaneously around Wilmington, North Carolina", Boston J. Nat. Hist. 1 (1834–7): 82–140; see Insectivorous plants, p. 301 n.].
Talk with Duke of Argyll on CD’s and Wallace’s views on man.
Royal Gardens Kew
Enclosed seeds & note just arrived from Playfair of Algiers,I do not quite understand it. as I asked only for what you told me.& here are a whole lot of others seeds— all were in duplicate parcels,so I have kept one set; assuming that he means one for us & onefor youf1
Delpino writes asking me where a Mr Curtis has publishedphysiological observations on Dionea, I cannot guess, do you know.f2I have an obscure recollection of some leaf observations byW. Curtis in his introduction to Botany, a book I have not— Haveyou any reference to any such observations on Dionaea Cephalotus orNepenthes?f3
Very many thanks for the Orchid papers which I will return when donewith.f4
I had a talk with the D. of Argyll last night, with whom I dined,about origin of man, & found him in a “cleft stick” about Wallace,believing him to be right in the fact about man; but allowing thathe must be wrong in his argument! (he had not read that paper ofWallaces)—f5 What a clever little beggar it is!— but I cannot followhis views about man; or quite see what he would have us to believe—His chief quarrell with the “Origin” is that you do not state thatthe order of evolution is preordained though he believes that youwould admit this.— I told him that I did not think this was anybusiness of your’s—that you did not pretend to go into theorigin of life, only into it’s phenomena. I could not, before hiswife & children especially,f6 go into this matter, & avow my own(& I suppose your) belief that all speculations on preordination areutterly idle in the absence of better materials than theologies &cosmogonies supply us with—that in fact the whole subject is beyondthe range of our conceptions:
Thanks for telling me of Sach’s Lehrbuch which I will order.f7
Ever yr affec | J D Hooker