From J. D. Hooker 16 September 1862
My dear Darwin
We returned this morning to Kew all well,1 I do not think that the damp relaxing air of W. Scotland did my wife either harm or good, she is remarkably well for her, though she still has occasional attacks of palpitation.2 I was delighted with Staffa.3 I saw a good deal of the D. of Argyll who has been pottering over the Orchid book, to small purpose, though he evidently tries hard to understand it.4 He & the Ds.5 are great Northerns, in Yankee matters6 I was wonderfully struck with the humidity of Inverary, the cryptogamic vegetation was like Fuegia for rank luxuriance.7
I am rejoiced to hear such good news of your party— what a trial you have had of it.!8
Thank you 1000 times for the Cruciferous diagram,9 which I shall ponder over, my impression always was that the arrangement of the parts was quaternary arguing however only from appearances & from analogy with Papaveraceæ & Capparideæ—for I have never gone into the thing. Asa Gray is my opponent in this & in dieclytra which I wish very much you could find time to examine.10 The 4 bundles to the pistil is anomalous I should have expected that each bundle sent to replum was a double one.— I have no objection to offer to the quaternary composition of the pistil in Cruciferæ except the simply bilobed of the stigma, & that in Tetrapoma in others that have 4 valves the repla are identical with those that have only two.
I am staggered with the intricacy of Welwitschia, Oliver (who is a real blessing) has been examining the tissues, where I left off on going to Scotland & I have a pretty job before me. he has made me some charming drawings that will save me a world of trouble.11
The marriage went off well & has pleased us all.12 We had rather bad weather all along, but I enjoyed visiting old faces & places.13
I hope to go to Cambridge for a day to show Welwitschia—14 my wife will stay with Mr & Mrs Liveing Prof. of Chemistry.15
A torrent of visitors hangs over us.
I saw Huxley on Loch Fyne with the Herring Fishery Commissioners, entre nous I doubt their inspiring much confidence, & I find every man’s verdict is against their bias, which is in favor of trawling.16
Write to me when you have nothing better to do.
Ever Yours affec | J D Hooker
How are the Lyells?17
Wife’s health better.
Visited Duke of Argyll.
Thanks CD for Cruciferae diagram; will ponder it.
Staggered by complexity of Welwitschia.