To W. E. Darwin [30 October 1858]1
My dear William
Your last Sunday letter has been forwarded to me here. I am very glad to hear that you have begun Botany, in the manner in which you have.— I know Hooker thinks very highly of G. Henslow, in all ways.—2 It has always been a hobby of mine that nothing could be so improving as the practice of describing plants, teaching accurate observation (a faculty which I am sure is most slowly acquired) & conciseness & accuracy of style. I have always regretted that Henslow had not struck on this plan when I was there, that I might have practised.3 You will always be glad that you began this.— By the way, one evening I said to Franky, who is getting on very well in French, that he would be very glad of it, all his future life: & a few days after Lenny was dissecting under my microscope & he turned round very gravely & said “dont you think, papa, that I shall be very glad of this all my future life”.—4
I came here on last Monday & go home next Monday: it has rested me well, & done my stomach some good. There have been some pleasant & clever men here: one of them writes the Leading articles in the Times & so is a very great man.—5
I was glad to hear about poor old Impey, who must now be very old:6 I did not at all know that he was a reader. I have lately had splendid luck about striped Horses, for I have got introduced to a Col. Poole, who was employed by gov-ernment to examine horses in a part of India, where most are striped & he tells me that 2 & even 3 shoulder stripes are common there;7 & your case8
Glad WED has begun under George Henslow in the way that he has. CD wishes he had had such practice under J. S. Henslow.
Has had luck in his search for striped horses.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2350,” accessed on 25 September 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2350