To J. D. Hooker 24 April 
My dear Hooker
Please to give my very sincere thanks to Sir William: I truly hope the gift will not inconvenience him, for the loan would have done very well, though assuredly not nearly so well as his very kind present.1 I feared my request might have sounded like begging but I really did not know any other conceivable channel of borrowing.
I thank you much for all that you have done for me: I wish I could ever do any troublesome job for you & I would do it with heart & soul.—
On account of coldness of ground I shall not begin my salting for about 14 days, which will have extra advantage of finishing off my present tentative attempts. In answer to your question,2 all seeds sink after the first few hours except Beet from its spongy envelope: I shake the seeds well to favour the sinking.—
You are a good man to confess that you expected the crop wd be killed in a week, for this gives me a nice little triumph. The children at first were tremendously eager & asked me often “whether I shd beat Dr Hooker?”!!
The cress & Lettuce has just vegetated well after 21 days immersion.— But I will write no more, which is a great virtue in me for it is to me a very great pleasure telling you everything I do.—
Adios | C. Darwin
You will have heard all about Royal from Bell.—
If you knew some of the experiments (if they may be so called) which I am trying, you would have a good right to sneer for they are so absurd even in my opinion that I dare not tell you.3
Have not some men a nice notion of experimentising? I have had a letter telling me that seeds must have great power of resisting salt-water, for otherwise how could they get to islands?4 This is the true way to a solve a problem!
More on seed-salting. JDH’s admission that he expected seeds to die in a week gives CD "a nice little triumph".
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1671,” accessed on 28 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1671