From J. D. Hooker 11 March 1869
Royal Gardens Kew
March 11 /69.
That is a capital letter of Fritz Mueller’s, many thanks for it.—1
We were very glad to hear of you,—but this is bad news of Henrietta— give her our love, & best wishes for her recovery.2 I hope you are not anxious about her. I am delighted to hear of the Orchis-book, if that does not goad them into electing you to the Academy I do not know what will— I would not make many additions, it is very full as it is—3
As for me I am working like an “Injine” but not to much scientific purpose— Firstly I am threatened with being sent to St. Petersburgh by Govt. to represent British Botanists & Horticulturalists (God help them) at the approaching Congress which the Emperor has taken up.—4 I hate the sort of thing—but shall have to go.—about 12th May.— Consequently I am mugging up French as hard as I can, with a French Baron! for 2 hours from London who gives leçons on pronunciation,—with French novels with my wife, & French talk with the “spirituelle” Miss Symonds, who has been 10 days here & has captivated us entirely—5 Then I am working away at this British Flora,6 & lastly getting 3 months ahead with my current duties, with the view of extending my travels from St. Petersburgh for 2 months to the S.E. perhaps—& picking myself up somewhere.
Have you read Huxley upon Protoplasm?.7 & what do you think of it— I am on the look out for his G. Soc. Address, which Lyell says is “something of extraordinary” (you see I am getting on in French!)8
We are all well— no news of Willy yet— Charlie is launched at Marlborough & takes a good place, which he probably will not keep—9
We fertilized a large Aucuba 10 last year with the pollen of various varieties (or species) & there appear on the bush here & there, besides the common form of fruit
, a few of another form
whose pollen was amongst that used There are none of intermediate form & b is still green, though all a is ripe I will try to have definite experiments made.
Ever yrs affec | J D Hooker
Orchids translation should goad [French] Academy into electing CD.
JDH will be sent to St Petersburg congress by Government.
Huxley on protoplasm; his address to Geological Society.
Fertilised an Aucuba with pollen of various species. Reports on results.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6655,” accessed on 24 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-6655