From J. D. Hooker 5 September 1868
Royal Gardens Kew
Sept 5 /68.
A Mr A. J. Gower, HRH Consul at Nagasaki Japan called on me today, & I had an hour’s chat with him—1 He knows all about the Ainios, & is going back to their part of Japan—2 I have given away all the copies of your queries regarding expression:3—if you think it worth the while you can send one to Mr Gower (I told him possibly you would) 9 Via della Madonna, Leghorn, whither he goes on Monday & thence to Japan in a month— He will take Tylor’s & Lubbock’s books with him,4 & make observations: it was he who had to restore the Ainio Skulls stolen by Col: Vyse & the collector, Whiteley. some years ago.5
I did see the “Tiger” & was much amused.6 The Pall-Mall rather nettled me, partly because it was right, but more because it evidently sought out the weak point—to display smart criticism, The comparison of Religion to Science, & calling both opinions, & nothing more, was too absurd. & made no allusion to the rest of the address.7 It was also unfairly stated— I did not call all Natural Theology false (whatever I thought)8 nor do all Brit. Ass. addresses, as a matter of course, wind up with religion & science.9
Owen is indeed an awful ass; there was a lie, direct or indirect, in every paragraph of his article, & yet even this does not rile me with Owen— A man who can so deceive himself, as to believe that no fraud of his own is too gross to be seen through, as long as it is his own, is surely beyond exciting pity or contempt or any other human passion.10 I shall meet him just the same, & be hugely tempted to broach the subject bluntly to him. Was it you who told me that Carlyle called his smile “Sugar of lead”.11
Asa Gray’s come straight to lodgings which I have taken for them here. she will be knocked up he thinks— it will be jolly to go to Down with them12—but I doubt her standing the excitement; I fear she is either over exciteable or melancholic. the latter I suspect.13
Have you seen the Pall Malls inuendo apropos of the Cathedral Anthem at Norwich & me— it is all bosh.— Dr Buck, the organist—, gave it out of a real compliment—to me & I am sure I accepted it as such & enjoyed it extremely though I must confess I at first thought myself a huge egotist to suppose it was intended for me:—it was lovely & the Pall Mall may be d—d.14
Ever Yrs aff | J D Hooker.
Has met A. J. Gower, Consul at Nagasaki, Japan, who knows all about the Ainus. JDH has given away all the copies of CD’s Queries about expression.
Nettled by Pall Mall Gazette review of BAAS address [see 6342].
Owen is indeed an ass. Carlyle’s comment on Owen’s smile.
The Asa Grays at Kew.