To J. D. Hooker 19 [July 1860]1
at Miss Wedgwoods | Hartfield | Tonbridge Wells
My dear Hooker
I am very sorry to hear about your Baby & that Mrs Hooker is prevented going as yet to sea-side; for it would have done her good. Milk disagreed with one of our Babs; but it ultimately got strong.—
Many thanks for Review: it is by Asa Gray:2 I have sent for copy to America.: it was intended to be strictly anonymous; but publisher let name escape to A. Gray’s vexation. Hence he wrote in the no-care-devil style; but it is very clever & pleasant. What a first-rate man he is.—
It is a real good joke my discussing homologies of Orchids with you, after examining only 3 or 4 genera: & this very fact makes me feel positive I am right!! I do not quite understand some of your terms; but sometime I must get to explain the homologies; for I am intensely interested on subject, just as at a game of chess.—3 I must look to your description of the viscid fluid.— Practically it may be said then pollen-masses are never retained on the rostellum except by accident.
I have been comparing parts of fructification again of the Habenaria chlorantha & bifolia: I do not know whether you compared minutely; but there is vast difference in stalk of pollen-mass—in the important junction (cause of movement) of footstalk & sticky surface—in size of pollen-grains, & shape of stigmatic surface. By Jove if all this is variation it is wonderful case: the difference is fully as great as between Bee & Fly Ophrys.—4
I have seen Temple’s sermon & like first part very much;5 in latter part there are, I think, some terrific assumptions & illogical remarks.—
Ever yours affect.— | C. Darwin
I could write on lots more subjects & shd. enjoy it, but refrain out of simple virtue to save your time.—
I am very glad that you have ordered Lechenaultia to be fertilised.—6
Asa Gray’s anonymous review.
"Intensely interested" in orchid homologies; like a "game of chess".
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2871,” accessed on 26 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2871