To J. D. Hooker 24 December 
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Hooker
Many thanks for sight of Dawson’s letter:1 he does not show cockishness towards you. I shd like to hear what evidence he could advance that when the country was first upheaved after his later submergence that climate was not glacial.2 He is contradictory about me; for if I make others study the limits of species it is enough.—
We shd. indeed rejoice to see you here, whenever you can come; but you would find it dull, for I must talk but little,—yet that little would be a real enjoyment to me.—3 I am glad to hear of your Paris scheme; for it will be enjoyable.—4 As I suppose you will see Naudin I will enclose a memorandum of enquiry:5 I have been for some time wishing to write to him; but scrupled. Can you put this memorandum with any other papers, so as not to forget it; you would do me great service, if you would master the question & interest Naudin.—
Please send comb & Bees as proposed. What shall I do about paying Mann??6
If you think of it ask the Australian Traveller whether he ever came across savages starving, & ever knew of their trying various plans to make vegetables eatible.7 Ask him whether the Australians blush (Oh oh I forgot that they were black); it is an odd theory I have never met in notice by anyone of Expression in Savages; expression is one of my hobby-horses; I have got some funny notions on subject.—8 3d. ask him whether they take any pain in breeding dogs or get them crossed with European Dogs.—9
And now I am going to tell you a most important piece of news!! I have almost resolved to build a small hot-house: my neighbours really first-rate gardener has suggested it & offered to make me plans & see that it is well done, & he is a really a clever fellow, who wins lots of prizes & is very observant.10 He believes that we shd succeed with a little patience; it will be grand amusement for me to experiment with plants.—
I like to hear your notions about America; I think Asa Gray would consider them two or three degrees more atrocious than mine.11 Slavery draws me one day one way & another day another way. But certainly the Yankees are utterly detestable towards us.— What a new idea of Struggle for existence being necessary to try & purge a government! I daresay it is very true.
By Jove you must write your book on Aristocracy—12 I read De Tocqueville some years ago with great interest.13 Your boy must give you much anxiety for the future:14 but how good it is that he has conscientiousness; this is a whole volume to itself. What an extraordinary combination of character he has. I shd. think he would certainly alter. As for musical ear Emma declares it sometimes comes late; our Willy15 had none, now he has a good one!
Yours affectionly | C. Darwin
Thanks for Dawson’s letter. Doubts his evidence that climate of land was not glacial when upheaved after submergence.
Encloses memorandum of questions for C. V. Naudin.
Expression of the emotions.
Is building a hothouse for plant experimenting.
JDH’s ideas on America are more atrocious than his. What a new idea that struggle for existence is necessary to try to purge a government! Probably true. Slavery draws him one way one day, another the next. Yankees are "detestable toward us". Tocqueville.
- confinement, captivity
- experiment, scientific observation
- expression, emotion
- geological time, epochs
- negative attitude/assessment
- queries / requests
- sea, sea-currents
- subsidence and elevation
- wind and weather
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3875,” accessed on 30 April 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3875