From J. D. Hooker [7–8 April 1865]1
I have a German paper for you from Grisebach on the Geog. Distrib of W. Indian plants,2** very long, also a small bottle from Thwaites with some things I forget what.3 I shall send them with Strelitzia. 4
I cannot recollect any news for you, worth sending.— We have been much occupied of late with Garden Reform, we have been robbed much by our own people, & I am putting the whole establishment on a different footing, discharged two foremen—dismissed half a dozen gardeners & labourers & clapped one fellow in jail for 6 months. All this is not very agreeable work, but we have really a first rate Curator now, & I am anxious to put every-thing straight for him to go on without troubling me.5 I am very proud of having picked him up. We have purchased £70 worth of orchids to make up our shameful losses, besides a great many other plants;6 & I am actively corresponding abroad for new plants &c.
I have been living a long while on the gratification of my last visit to Down.7
Yesterday we had one of our “small club” dinners, in Albemarle Street, Lubbock, Huxley, Spottiswood, Spenser, Busk & self,8 with Colenso9 & H B Wilson10 as guests, & a very pleasant evening it was: though I must confess I cannot go along with Colenso— his incessant prating about his own “affair” is quite wearisome: he really is in some respects a very weak man. On first coming in, he asked the name of our club— I said it has none— he replied, “I would call it the Zulu club”. & so on.—11 then he told us that they have witheld his salary &c. I thought Wilson a very superior man.12
I am concerned about Lubbock, his wife seems really to be very ill, & in a bad way13—& he is going into Parliament14—for which I am no less sorry— I grudge so good a man from Science—& have a presentiment that it will inaugurate a very trying life for him. I believe I am no end of way happier in avoiding every avenue to ambitious ends in my small walk of life—& so long as one’s mind & time is fully occupied, there is nothing to regret in a life of mere drudgery. We (L & I) talk of going to Maidstone from Thursday to Monday but what with Mrs Ls. health & my father being in bed with Influenza,15 it may not come off at all!
I have actually stuck for want of something to say to you!—
Yours of 6th. just arrived I send the Bot: Zeit: on Monday with the other things.16
Thwaites & Christy & G. Gray are chosen for R. S.17 I do not know of anyone else we know. or care about.
I have written to Busk being utterly ashamed of always forgetting to ask him.18
Ever Yrs affec | J D Hooker
**Thomson19 is digging out its essence so do not trouble to read it yet.
Reforms at Kew.
X Club Dinner. H. B. Wilson and J. W. Colenso as guests.
Troubled by Lubbock’s going into Parliament – loss to science.
Has written to Busk.
Sending Botanische Zeitung.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4807,” accessed on 22 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4807