To J. D. Hooker 19 November 1
Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.
My dear Hooker.
Thank you much for telling me all about the C.B, for I wished much to hear. It pleases me extremely that the Government has done this much; & as the K.C.B.s are limited in number (which I did not know) I excuse it.2 I will not mention what you have told me to anyone, as it wd. be Murchisonian. But what a shame it is to use this expression, for I fully believe that Murchison wd. take any trouble to get any token of honour for any man of science.—3
I like all scientific periodicals, including poor “Scientific Opinion”, & I think higher than you do of “Nature”.4 Lord what a rhapsody that was of Goethe;, but how well translated— it seemed to me, as I told Huxley, as if written by the maddest English scholar.5 It is poetry, & can I say anything more severe? The last number of the Academy was splendid, & I hope it will soon come out fortnightly.—6
I wish “Nature” wd search more carefully all foreign Journals & Transactions.— I am now reading a German thick pamphlet by Kerner on Tubocytisus; if you come across it look at the map of distribution of the 18 quasi species, & at the genealogical tree.7 If the latter, as the author says, was constructed solely from the affinities of the forms, then the distribution is wonderfully interesting; we may see the very steps of the formation of a species. If you study the gen: tree & map you will almost understand the book. The 2 old parent connecting links just keep alive in 2 or 3 little areas; then we have 4 widely extended species, their descendants; & from them little groups of newer descendants inhabiting rather small areas.—
I must enjoy myself & tell you about Madelle. C. Royer who translated the Origin into French, & for whose 2d. Edit I took infinite trouble.8 She has now just brought out a 3d. Edit without informing me, so that all the corrections &c in the 4th & 5th English editions are lost. Besides her enormously long & blasphemous preface to 1st Edit, she has added a 2d Preface, abusing me like a pick-pocket for pangenesis, which of course has no relation to the Origin—9 Her motive being, I believe, because I did not employ her to translate “Domestic Animals”.—10 So I wrote to Paris; & Reinwald agrees to bring out at once a new Translation from the 5th English Edition, in Competition with her 3d. Edit.—11 So shall I not salt her well? By the way this fact shows that “evolution of species” must at last be spreading in France.—
I rejoice that Pres. R. Soc will be offered to Lyell, though I cannot believe that he is strong enough for labour.—12
Yours most affectly | C. Darwin
What a pity it is, as your boy is well, “fat” & happy in N. Zealand, that he cannot find a home for a time at least there.—13
Glad to know about C.B.
Thinks better of Nature than JDH does.
Is reading Anton Kerner on Tubocytisus [in Die Abhängigkeit der Pflanzen von Klima und Boden (1869)].
The genealogical tree reveals the very steps of the formation of the species.
Mlle Royer has brought out a third edition of her translation of the Origin without informing CD, so corrections to fourth and fifth English editions are lost. Has arranged for a new translator of the fifth English edition.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6997,” accessed on 17 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-6997