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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   20 [October 1871]

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.


My dear Hooker

I have been so agitated by your letter of—for good God what a thing it would be if you feel compelled to resign—that I forgot to mention a most important thing. About a week or 10 days ago I heard that Sir H. H. was going to Turin.1 He flies about so, he may have returned; but you had better enquire if nothing is heard from him. Time seems so important that I ventured to tell your servant to call & leave letter for Sir H. H.—

I forwarded your, letter with my own, as incomparably the best plan.—2

Let me beseech you not to resign in a hurry,— there is, & can be, nothing disgraceful in remaining under a man appointed by the Government, as long as you are conscious that you do your duty, as far as his accursed conduct permits you to do it effectively.—3 Assuredly no one could possibly fill your place so well. You must know this, & therefore I think your duty is to hold on, & bear, as far as a gentleman can, his rule.— Think how it wd. be in a Ship under an odious Captain.

Yours ever affectionately | Ch Darwin

My Head is very giddy, & this makes my writing worse than usual.

I send this by your servant as he is not gone.— We send him in tax-cart to Station.


Hooker had written to CD asking him to write a letter in his support to Henry Holland; Hooker’s longer letter, which CD forwarded to Holland, has not been found, but see Hooker’s short covering letter to CD dated 20 October 1871.
A draft of CD’s letter to Holland survives (letter to Henry Holland, [20 October 1871]).
CD refers to Acton Smee Ayrton (see letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 October 1871] and n. 10).


CD agitated by JDH’s letter. Forgot to say that he heard Henry Holland was going to Turin. Beseeches JDH not to resign. No one could possibly replace him.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 94: 209–10
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8023,” accessed on 24 June 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19