From J. D. Hooker 10 July 1870
Royal Gardens Kew
Enclosed seeds & note just arrived from Playfair of Algiers, I do not quite understand it. as I asked only for what you told me. & here are a whole lot of others seeds— all were in duplicate parcels, so I have kept one set; assuming that he means one for us & one for you1
Delpino writes asking me where a Mr Curtis has published physiological observations on Dionea, I cannot guess, do you know.2 I have an obscure recollection of some leaf observations by W. Curtis in his introduction to Botany, a book I have not— Have you any reference to any such observations on Dionaea Cephalotus or Nepenthes?3
Very many thanks for the Orchid papers which I will return when done with.4
I had a talk with the D. of Argyll last night, with whom I dined, about origin of man, & found him in a “cleft stick” about Wallace, believing him to be right in the fact about man; but allowing that he must be wrong in his argument! (he had not read that paper of Wallaces)—5 What a clever little beggar it is!— but I cannot follow his views about man; or quite see what he would have us to believe— His chief quarrell with the “Origin” is that you do not state that the order of evolution is preordained though he believes that you would admit this.— I told him that I did not think this was any business of your’s—that you did not pretend to go into the origin of life, only into it’s phenomena. I could not, before his wife & children especially,6 go into this matter, & avow my own (& I suppose your) belief that all speculations on preordination are utterly idle in the absence of better materials than theologies & cosmogonies supply us with—that in fact the whole subject is beyond the range of our conceptions:
Thanks for telling me of Sach’s Lehrbuch which I will order.7
Ever yr affec | J D Hooker
British Consulate General | Algiers.
My dear Dr Hooker
As soon as I received your letter with the enclosure from Dr Darwin I went about to all the gardeners in the place but I could not hear of anyone having any of the seeds in question save only Iberis umbellata8
Dr. Darwin also wrote to Durando on the subject and he has sent direct a packet of that seed—9
I hope to take a few days at home this summer & to have the pleasure of seeing you & your family band I can only get one month’s leave & as I have to go to Switzerland to look for a school for my eldest boy I shall have very little time to spare in England I must go north where I have a big girl, & innumerable relations, & I trust I may be able to be present at the meeting of the B. A. at L’pool—10 Where will you be between the 15th August & 15 September?
The only chance I shall have of seeing my brother Lyon11 will be at the B. A.—
Good bye, Yours faithfully | R L Playfair
P.S. Our Premier President de la Cour Imperiale12 has a wonderful collection of Autographs & he is very anxious to have a letter of Darwin’s have you any old one you can spare—
Sends seeds from R. L. Playfair in Algiers.
F. Delpino writes asking where M. A. Curtis has published physiological observations on Dionaea ["Enumeration of plants growing spontaneously around Wilmington, North Carolina", Boston J. Nat. Hist. 1 (1834–7): 82–140; see Insectivorous plants, p. 301 n.].
Talk with Duke of Argyll on CD’s and Wallace’s views on man.
- Letter no.
- Hooker, J. D.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- DAR 103: 53–4; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (DC 17a: 117)
- Physical description
- 4pp †
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7272,” accessed on 26 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7272