From J. D. Hooker 10 July 1862
Samaden Enghedien Valley
July 10th. 62.
We arrived here last night after a fairly prosperous Journey & having got into a quiet clean little German Hotel we propose remaining en pension for a week & exploring the neighbourhood.1 My wife has been pretty well on the whole. At Dover she did not sleep & she had a bad palpitation &c on ascending the Louvre Stairs.— At Paris we staid a night (good) & took the following night-express to Basle, where we walked about & proceeded the same afternoon to Zurich by rail without fatigue— There we spent 1 days quietly enough with O. Heer,2 an old friend of mine, whose name you know & he recommended us to come here for the rest of our Swiss stay, because of the purity of the air & beauty & interest of the scenery— We accordingly took Rail to Chur (Coir) a most magnificent route, by the Wallen See, & then up the Rhine— At Chur she had no sleep & unfortunately we had to leave by Diligence at 5 next morning for this place, a 15 hours drive.— The first part of the day was intensely hot, the latter, crossing a pass, at 7000 ft,—was as cold & a violent fit of Neuralgia was the consequence— We arrived at 8 last night & this morning she is all right again—& will I hope continue so.
The views yesterday were as grand as any thing I have any where seen & except for the little piece called via Mala on the Splugen, this route beats that hollow,—it is only a few miles East of the Splugen route, of which I caught a glimpse— this, the valley of the Inn, appears to me to combine the beauty of the Tyrol with the savage grandeur of Switzerland in a remarkable degree— In Science I have seen little but Heer’s fossils, he showed me a leaf apparently Dicotyledonous from the Lower Lias in Jura—which please tell Lyell of.3 He has a wonderful collection of fossil insects & crustacea from the same, beside which the fossil plants are as nothing, in point of absolute value of characters for systematic determination— I am as always impressed with the identity of physical features & wonderful analogy of biological, between Alps & Himalaya, the former we can suppose we understand, because physical causes are the same every where & the sequence of these is probably the same in Alps & India— The representation of allied species too we can now (thanks to you) account for largely, but the repetition of forms in plants & animals in no way allied is always a puzzle—especially when accompanied by startling contrasts between allied forms. These latter can best no doubt be accounted for by the indirect action of physical causes, i.e. Nat. selection & I think there are already many reliable facts to be quoted in illustration of this & that after the course of alternatives you have administered, I could write a suggestive chapter, comparing the vegetation of Alps Andes & Himalaya, my (never to be begun) book on Plants.4
I cannot yet give up my dream of meeting you in Switzerland one day;—if you ever did come here, & I could see you for 5 minutes a day, I should be the happiest man alive. These rocks plants & insects teem with thoughts of you & reminiscences of your writing.
Your Orchid book which I have not read through has suggested to me that Insects &c may have had a wonderful deal more to do with checking migration than climate or geographics, & that the absence of whole genera may thus one day be accounted for by absence of genera of Insects: in short that the Cat; & Clover story is capable of immediate expansion by any one having sufficient knowledge of Plants Insects & Geography—5 I shall be home on 23d. so do not write to me. I have seen & heard 0 of Lubbock, Huxley & Tyndall—6
With united regards to you & yours | Ever yr affec | J. D. Hooker.
JDH’s trip to Switzerland with his wife.
Has seen Oswald Heer’s fossils, including a leaf, apparently dicotyledonous, from the Lower Lias in Jura.
Value of insect and crustacean fossils for systematic determination.
JDH "impressed with identity of physical features and what wonderful analogy of biological [features] between Alps and Himalayas".
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3651,” accessed on 18 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3651