From J. D. Hooker 29 December 1874
You need not fear my moving a muscle towards inducing Mivart to apologize, nor forgiving him if he was to do so, with all publicity.1
My only difficulty was how to act publicly if he was to do all that he could and should.— He would then be assoilzied2 in the eyes of the world, but not a bit reinstated in my opinion. My feeling is that if he does not retract it is no longer possible to keep him as Secy of the Linnæan.3 The backing or rather recommending him for that post is the greatest blunder that I ever committed, & I cannot tell you how I deplore it.
Allman must be fully informed before any steps are taken in that direction.4 When allowed to take action my idea is to write very briefly, stating what I have heard—that I have verified the worst features of the case by a careful reference to the Contemporary, Quarterly & Origin,5 & express my regrets that an acquaintanceship very pleasantly commenced must come to an abrupt end.
I cannot but think that the course you propose for yourself is the best for you to adopt but you must wait lest you hear further from Huxley, or from Mivart.
Thank George much for his note— I hope that he does not “take on” as they say about it— I sincerely wish the matter was done with.
Ever yr affec | J D Hooker
A Drosophyllum shall be sent when the weather permits.6
Explains that his letter had to do with how he should act publicly to Mivart if he retracted. He would not forgive him. If he does not retract, it would no longer be possible to keep him Secretary of the Linnean Society.
Drosophyllum will be sent when weather permits.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9788,” accessed on 20 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-9788