From J. D. Hooker 23 January 1866
I am truly grieved to hear of Mrs Langton’s state—1 I have been so haunted by death & his dart—this 6 or 8 years, that I can hardly bear to look at my children asleep in bed—2 I used to think a child asleep not only the loveliest thing in creation, but the most gratifying in every respect:— leaving nothing to be desired except that it would not grow older— all is changed now.—
May you soon my very dear friend be relieved of your aching sympathy for one so dear to you.
I go to the North on Saturday & shall be at the Etruria works on Monday. & back to Kew same night3
Your ever affectionate | Jos D Hooker
Frances is very sorry indeed,4 she liked Mrs Langton so much
Sorrow about Mrs Langton. Has been haunted by death these six or eight years. Now cannot bear to look at children asleep in bed – a sight he once thought the loveliest thing in creation.