To J. D. Hooker [22–3 November 1863]1
Sunday & Monday.
My dear old Friend—
Since writing I have had much sickness & am weak & must be brief— 2 I have been delighted by your long letter & have had it read thrice;3 but in truth you must not write so much as you are so overworked.—
Pray thank Mr Gower for the excellent plants which will amuse me nicely on the table by my sofa—4 You have not sent Asa Gray; I must see his praise of you—5 It is charming your being thus converted to the Northern side.6 I never heard of the dear old woman with her Mesopotamia—7 The enclosed curious letter (please return it) is worth reading—8 You will agree with what he says on n. selection; I do not quite.—
I have got your note this morning—9 we think (& will enquire) that the Vases must have come from the Fr. Wedgwoods of Etruria.—10 Your Zeal has stimulated me to send some old letters to Miss Metyard for her life.— 11 Whoever sent the vases, I do rejoice you are pleased: it cuts us both that we have nothing to give.— Thwaites letter & enclosure on Cassia not worth Linn. Soc—12
If you know, sometime tell me who reviewed Lyell in Edinburgh.— 13 I hope you can read this; I can thus write lying down.—
A German has sent me pamphet, (which I have not read) on the Darwinsche theorie applied to Language with a diagram like mine with names of Languages instead of mere letters.—14 The more I look at Plants the higher they rise in my mind: really the tendril-bearers are higher organised, as far as adapted sensitivity goes, than the lower animals. Does Flagellaria, (are you sure?) use leaves like Tendrils?15
Excuse my jumping from subject to subject.—
I shall be curious to read Oliver’s paper:16 I have often admired the curling of valves.— I suppose O. knows Wymans paper in (I think) Proc. Boston Soc. of bursting of gourd of Echinocystis—17 I suppose Oliver read Bot. Zeitung: ask him to tell me, if John Scotts paper on sterility of Orchids with own pollen is noticed that I may tell the poor fellow:18 I want much to encourage him. He is a splendid worker & has paper for Linn. Soc. that interests at least me greatly.—19
I have been just looking again at your former letter.20 How well I remember your feeling when we lost Annie,21 that it was my greatest comfort that I had never spoken a harsh word to her. Your grief has made me shed a few tears over our poor darling; but believe me that these tears have lost that unutterable bitterness of former days.—
I have no new ideas on New Zealand.—22
I agree with what you say on Sedgwick & medal:23 he has done good descriptive work—prepared way for Murchison24 & discovered, but not explained, cleavage.25 Hardly enough for Copley Medal. I was told, (but ought not to have heard) that I was put in opposition to poor old Sedgwick;26 with Owen27 to lead against me I shd. have no chance whatever—
I am so glad to hear about your Willie.—28 Henrietta is much pleased at your invitation,29 which I have no doubt she will gladly accept in part, but will write again.
GoodBye I am tired. | C. Darwin
Tendril-bearing plants seem to CD "higher" organised with respect to adaptive sensibility than lower animals.
Wishes to encourage John Scott.
Death of JDH’s daughter makes CD cry over his own dead daughter Annie.
Sedgwick’s scientific merit.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4345,” accessed on 29 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4345