To J. D. Hooker 13 [March 1863]
My dear Hooker
Treviranus has sent me for you copies of Bot. Zeitung, forwarded by this post, for which you won’t care.—1
I shd. have thanked you sooner for Athenæum & very pleasant previous note,2 but I have been busy & not a little uncomfortable, from frequent uneasy feeling of fulness, slight pain & tickling about the heart. But as I have no other symptoms of Heart complaint, I do not suppose it is affected. Were you not similarly plagued before you went to India?—3 I was much interested by Athenæum; I was sorry that Lyell was so civil about that audacious lie of Owen’s that there was not a word in Annals on Cerebellum & Cerebrum.—4
I have had a most kind & delightfully candid letter from Lyell, who says he spoke out as far as he believes.5 I have no doubt his belief failed him as he wrote; for I feel sure that at times he no more believed in Creation than you or I.— I have grumbled a bit in answer to him, at his always classing my work as a modification of Lamarck’s, which it is no more than of any author who did not believe in immutability of Species & did believe in descent.—6 I am very sorry to hear from Lyell that Falconer is going to publish a formal reclamation of his own claims.7 Did you ever read such a wretched review as that in Athenæum of Huxley’s book?—8 Some of the pages in the book struck me as magnificent.
Propagate the wild Potatoes in poorish soil most carefully: next year, if I am then up to any work, I would give anything for some tubers to test fertility with cultivated varieties.—9
It is cruel to think of it, but we must go to Malvern in middle of April,—it is ruin to me.—10
Will you make a very trifling observation for me on early fine day on any Poplars in garden (we have not one near here); viz whether visited by bees which you will easily see, & whether slight shake sends out cloud of pollen; for in latter case & if not visited by Bees, it is almost certain to be fertilised by wind, which I am curious about in relation to willows, which are fertilised by Bees.—
Farewell | Ever yours | C. Darwin
Lyell’s position on mutability.
Fertilisation of trees by bees.