To J. D. Hooker 23 July 
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
My dear Hooker
I am glad to hear the Abutilon is a new species, & I am honoured by its name. I do not know its habitat, but strongly suspect that it must be St. Catharina.1 The plant flourished & flowered profusely in my cool hot-house.— It seems to like heat. It offers an instance, of which I have known others, of being during the early part of the flowering season quite sterile with pollen from the same plant, though fertile with the pollen of any other plant, though later in the season it becomes capable of self-fertilisation.—2
On the 26th or 27th we go to a house which we have taken for a month on Albury Heath; as I am in much want of complete rest & a change.3 It is great news about Henrietta’s marriage: somehow I never expected her to marry, & her loss will be so terrible to us all, that I am so selfish I cannot rejoice properly over her great happiness.—4
Ever dear old friend | yours C. Darwin
P.S. Have you seen the last Quarterly: I am cut up into mince-meat, evidently by Mivart.5
P.S. Henslow used to keep tame field-mice, & I distinctly remember his telling me that they used their tails as prehensile organs, when climbing up a branched stick in their place of confinement.— Will you ask Mrs. Hooker whether she remembers them? I want to know what species of mouse they were? & especially whether Henslow published in any of the popular Journals an account of their habits.6 I shd. be greatly obliged for any information on this head.—
Honoured by Abutilon name; describes observations on its fertilisation.
Henrietta’s marriage a great loss to him.
Latest Quarterly Review has article, "evidently by Mivart", that cuts CD into mincemeat.
Asks for name of species of mouse J. S. Henslow used to keep [see 598].
- confinement, captivity
- experiment, scientific observation
- fertilisation and generation
- information, data, scientific description
- negative self-criticism
- queries / requests
- reception of Darwinism
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7878,” accessed on 13 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7878