To J. D. Hooker 24 September 
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Hooker
I have kept Lindleys Orchid rather long,1 but I hope I may keep it for about a fortnight longer, as Sowerby is coming to draw & until he has finished with my specimens, as the great Plates will be useful.—2
I have been acting, I fear that you will think, like a goose & perhaps in truth I have.— When I finished a few days ago my Orchis paper, which turns out 140 folio pages!! & thought of the expence of woodcuts, I said to myself I will offer the Linn. Socy to withdraw it & publish it as pamphlet. It then flashed on me that perhaps Murray would publish it, so I gave him a cautious description & offered to share risks & profits. This morning he writes that he will publish & take all risks & share profit & pay for all illustrations.3 It is a risk & Heaven knows whether it will not be a dead failure; but I have not deceived Murray & told him that it would interest those alone who cared much for Natural History.
I hope I do not exaggerate the curiosity of the many special contrivances. It will save me a deal of trouble, as I shall send rough M.S & correct on slips. It will make a very little Book. Whenever you write please tell me Mr Fitch’s Christian name; as he is to do on wood a couple of Diagrams for my Primula paper which, thank Heavens is finished for Linn. Soc.4 It has run out pretty long; I fear I am getting terribly lengthy.
Whenever you write be sure tell me how Mrs. Hooker is, & when you start for Scotland—5 I hope it may be soon, for I am sure you must want rest & a change.— I saw your letter about Schlagenweits: what a row the affair has made.6
Farewell.— Etty goes on splendidly, & still sucks in the Oil.—7 Farewell | My dear Hooker | Ever yours | C. Darwin
CD’s orchid paper is to become orchid book [Orchids].
Primula paper is done [Collected papers 2: 45–63].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3263,” accessed on 23 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3263