To J. D. Hooker 3 February 
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Hooker
I hope that there cannot be a shadow of a doubt, that long before this letter gets to India, you will be a free man.— I was quite astounded a short time ago, when indolently skimming through the Paper, to see your imprisonment announced. I was at first anxious enough about your safety, so I wrote to Henslow, & this, through the very great kindness of your Father, procured me a note from him, giving me details of all that he knew, & which, I trust, shows that your case is not bad.1 Indeed if you are enabled to go on collecting it may even be a good thing. In another way, I hope it may be a good thing, for perhaps Sir William & Lady Hooker will insist on your coming home;—surely you must have reaped a noble & sufficient Botanical harvest.— For myself I have in truth no news; I have never been so much cut off from all scientific friends, for I have found that interrupting the water cure does not answer. My health has of late kept stationary, & I begin to fear I shall not derive much more benefit from W. Cure; though the amount has been more than I at first even dared to hope for.— Sharp work my Baths have been for 5 minutes with water under 40o — I am on the Council of Royal Soc. & am ashamed to say that I have not attended once.—2
I have now for a long time been at work at the fossil cirripedes, which take up more time even than the recent;—confound & exterminate the whole tribe; I can see no end to my work.—
My wife desires her kindest remembrances to you; she has lately produced our fourth Boy & seventh child!—a precious lot of young beggars we are rearing.— I was very bold & administered myself, before the Doctor came, Chloroform to my wife with admirable success.—
I shall be anxious to hear how Falconer goes on;3 I do most sincerely trust that he may have behaved better to you: if you have any communication with him, give him my affectionate remembrances.—
Farewell, forgive this dull letter, & accept all good wishes of all kinds from your most sincere friend | C. Darwin
Perhaps you may not have seen in the papers the account of Dr Fittons eldest son with his wife & one child, having all been wrecked & drowned on their way to N. Zealand.—4
Birth of Leonard Darwin.
Barnacles will never end; on to fossils.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1300,” accessed on 10 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1300