To J. D. Hooker [29 March 1863]
My dear Hooker
It is very good of you to think of William;1 but I feel sure that he could not spare the time; barring the sea-sickness, I am sure he would have enjoyed it greatly. We will, however, tell him. If you go to Southampton & have spare time, beat up his quarters: he lodges at 1 Carlton Terrace; the little Bank is in heart of town.2 I am glad you are so abandoned & dissipated.3
Many thanks for Athenæum, received this morning & to be returned tomorrow morning.4 Who would have ever thought of the old stupid Athenæum taking to Oken-like transcendental philosophy written in Owenian style! It will be some time before we see “slime, snot or protolasm” (what an elegant writer) generating a new animal.5 But I have long regretted that I truckled to public opinion & used Pentateuchal term of creation, by which I really meant “appeared” by some wholly unknown process.—6 It is mere rubbish thinking, at present, of origin of life; one might as well think of origin of matter.—
The medallion will be sent with monstrous Primulas to Oliver.—7
I am unhappy about those horrid hot plants.8 When one can say nothing it is best to declare solemnly “Magna est veritas et prevalebit”.—9
I am sure there are cases of real tropical plants which to surprise of gardeners have been found to stand much cooler climates than could have been expected. Do think over such cases.— I wish Berberis Wallichii did not belong to that genus. Is Cassia partially a case. Think of Tiger— Think of Glacial Elephant & Rhinoceros, as far as genera are concerned.—
Goodnight— May you have a pleasant trip— goodnight | C. Darwin
Thwaites has sent me from Ceylon, I suppose through you, two splendid specimens of reciprocally dimorphic plants like Primula. One is Limnanthemum Indicum; & the other Sethia.—10
CD regrets he used "creation" in Origin when he meant "appeared".
An Oken-like article in "Owenian style" in Athenæum.
Tropical plants continue to be troublesome.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4065,” accessed on 22 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4065