To Joseph Dalton Hooker 8 [February 1847]
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Hooker
I have been a long time in thanking you for your examination of the operculum curtain,1 but I have been very unwell for all last week, my Father has been ill & my visit to Shrewsbury delayed2 & all things gone on badly. Guided by what you saw, in a better & older specimen, I saw nearly all which you did; I strongly suspect that the anastomising lines are vessels. After you went, I could not resist going on with Conia & I have got some capital horizontal sections one above the other which show the structure of the shell & of the sutures, which are awfully complicated & I shall end by having a whole plate of coloured drawings.3 Your coloured section was a splendid thought: do not think, however, that I mean to fasten these other sections on you, for I think I can well make Leonard4 understand my meaning.
I, also, understand more about the operculum, over which we spent such hours, & I fear that your beautiful pencil drawing must be altered: in those specimens, the whole had collapsed.— I hope to Heaven I am right in spending such a time over one object.—
I hardly know when I shall come to Kew for a morning to hear what you have to say about my species-sketch:5 when there I shall get you to look over a paper with me in the Annales S. Nat. on the Norfolk Isld Flora—a very nice resumé,6 but it quite omits all notice of the general affinities of the indigenous species, which I daresay by running over the genera you cd. tell. How I do wish you had time to discuss all insular Floras, as far as present knowledge; what a truly splendid paper you cd make—the African islands—, Tristan d’Acunha Juan Fernandez, the Society Isd which you have partly done.— But I suppose I must remain content with wishing for it.—
All my plans are uncertain on account of Shrewsbury; I hope, however, to be up for the Geolog. Anniversary, but whether to stay in London I know not.
You cannot tell how thorougily I enjoyed your visit here, & indeed profited by it in many ways.— What a loose set of dogs you savans appear to have been at your Club dinner on Monday.7
Ever yours | C. Darwin
Should your future schemes ever become fixed, I mean about any expedition, pray let me know early, for I much interested on that head.—8
Would like to hear what JDH has to say about his species sketch.