To J. D. Hooker 27 October 1
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
My dear Hooker
I thank you much for your answers; & now I want to beg one other address, if you know it, viz Mrs. Barber somewhere in S. Africa: she gave me information on Expression: write address on Post card, & if I do not hear, I shall understand you do not know it.—2
Your letter printed in Nature seems to me excellent & how you could have written so quietly is wonderful to me.—3 Owen’s conduct makes me grind my teeth: I long to meet him to have the pleasure of cutting him dead.
Did mortal man ever read such a sentence as the last: it is quite unintelligible, except that it implies a base insinuation against you, that you have defrauded the Government.4 It makes it, if possible, worse coming from him, who notoriously did so little public work at the College of Surgeons.—5 What an utter blackguard he is.—
Yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin
Asks for address of a Mrs Barber somewhere in South Africa.
JDH’s letter in Nature [6 (1872): 516–17] is excellent, and wonderfully quiet.
Severely criticises Owen’s conduct.