To J. D. Hooker 21 [January 1866]
My dear Hooker
I am ashamed of myself. I have found Verlot,1 which had been swept up with some other pamphlet on a quite different subject.— I cannot say that I am sorry I wrote, as it got a note from you.—2 How I wish that you were not so overworked with correspondence & all sorts of things.
I write now chiefly to say that though scarcely anything or rather nothing would give me so much pleasure as seeing you here for a day, yet I may have to put you off next Sunday (if you are able to come);3 for my poor sister Mrs. Langton is dying at Shrewsbury, or rather in a hopeless state, & whether or not she may linger for some time I do not think the Doctors know.4 I am sure I wish all was over with her. In case of her death I shd. not like to have anyone, even you, in the House.— I will write, if I hear she gets nearer her end.— Poor thing she suffers much.—
I continue much the same & am able to write for 1 or even 2 hours & read a little to myself; but my stomach keeps very bad.—5 What a horrid wretch you are to remind me of my coal-plant prophecy. The coal-formation will ever be an enigma to be.—6
I rejoice over the Nottingham Lecture.7 I am sure you will do it excellently— you know the subject so well & by all accounts did the Bishop so well at Oxford.—8 Will it be printed; if not you really must let me read M.S. By Jove I do not envy you the job; for I cannot conceive anything more difficult than making such a lecture; I do not mean on your subject, but on any blessed subject whatever.—
Yours affect | C. Darwin
We take in Pall Mall Gazette & agree it is admirable.—9
Has found Verlot.
His sister [Emily Catherine Langton] is dying [d. 2 Feb 1866].
His stomach still very bad. Writes one or two hours and reads a little.
JDH is a wretch to remind CD of his coal-plant prophecy.
Glad JDH will give Nottingham lecture.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4981,” accessed on 5 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4981