To J. D. Hooker 26 March 
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Hooker
I had hoped that you would have had a little breathing time after your Journal, but this seems to be very far from the case; & I am the more obliged (& somewhat contrite) for the long letter received this morning, most juicy with news & most interesting to me in many ways. I am very glad indeed to hear of the reforms &c in Royal Socy 1 With respect to the Club,2 I am deeply interested; only two or three days ago, I was regretting to my wife, how I was letting drop & being dropped by nearly all my acquaintances, & that I would endeavour to go oftener to London; I was not then thinking of the Club, which, as far as any one thing goes, would answer my exact object in keeping up old & making some new acquaintances. I will therefore come up to London for every (with rare exceptions) Club-day & then my head, I think, will allow me on an average to go to every other meeting. But it is grievous how often any change knocks me up. I will further pledge myself, as I told Lyell, to resign after a year if I did not attend pretty often, so that I should at worst only encumber the Club temporarily. If you can get me elected, I certainly shall be very much pleased.—3
—Very many thanks for answers about Glaciers. I am very glad to hear of the second Edit. so very soon; but am not surprised for I have heard of several, in our small circle, reading it with very much pleasure. I shall be curious to hear what Humboldt will say; it will, I shd think, delight him & meet with more praise from him, than any other book of Travels, for I cannot remember one, which has so many subjects in common with him. What a wonderful old fellow he is.—4 I suppose you know that Sir H. Holland wrote the Quarterly Review;5 but very probably he wd not like this to be spread.—
What a very singular & striking coincidence is the result you mention in regard to the affinities of Noggerathus & Salisburia;6 I know the latter by sight, & am astonished to hear that it is a Conifer.—7 Good Heavens what work there is in you,—, to hear of your 150 pages, 4to, in smallish print, of Introduction8 is enough to make me shudder; though if it is in the least like the New Zealand Introduction, it will be, I am sure, worth any amount of labour.—
By the way, I hope, when you go to Hitcham towards the end of May you will be forced to have some rest.9 I am grieved to hear that all the bad symptoms have not left Henslow; it is so strange & new to feel any uneasiness about his health.— I am particularly obliged to you for sending me Asa Gray’s letter;10 how very pleasantly he writes. To see his & your cautions on the species-question ought to overwhelm me in confusion & shame; it does make me feel deuced uncomfortable. I cannot quite understand why you & he think so strongly that it “does more harm than good to combat such views.”— It is delightful to hear all that he says on Agassiz:11 How very singular it is that so eminently clever a man, with such immense knowledge on many branches of Natural History, should write such wonderful stuff & bosh as he does. Lyell told me that he was so delighted with one of his (Agassiz) lectures on progressive development &c &, that he went to him afterwards & told him “it was so delightful, that he could not help all the time wishing it was true”.12 I seldom see a Zoological paper from N. America, without observing the impress of Agassiz’s doctrine’s,—another proof, by the way, of how great a man he is.— I was pleased & surprised to see A. Gray’s remarks on crossing, obliterating varieties,13 on which, as you know, I have been collecting facts for these dozen years.—
How awfully flat I shall feel, if I when I get my notes together on species &c &c, the whole thing explodes like an empty puff-ball.—
Do not work yourself to death
Ever yours most truly | C. Darwin
P.S. I almost forgot to say that I will return all the Books, which I have of yours.—viz “the Plant”,—“Wallace”—“Salt-Lake”,14 on Wednesday next by carrier who shall book and pay them to Kew by Parcels Delivery on Thursday. Very many thanks for this most valuable loan, than which I do not know when I have had a more interesting set.— We have kept these books an unconscionable time.
CD welcomes the prospect of the Philosophical Club of the Royal Society as means for seeing old acquaintances and making new ones. Will try to go up to London regularly.
Admits that the warning from JDH and Asa Gray (that more harm than good will come from combat over the species issue) makes him feel "deuced uncomfortable".
Reflects upon the complexity of Agassiz; how singular that a man of his eminence and immense knowledge "should write such wonderful stuff & bosh".
- negative attitude/assessment
- negative criticism of correspondent
- positive criticism of correspondent
- species, speciation
- theory (including philosophy)
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1562,” accessed on 26 September 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1562