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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [6 November 1846]1

Down Farnborough | Kent


My dear Hooker

As usual I have to send you many thanks. Your letter & the rough drawings came in quite good time, for I lost four days by having been unwell & am nothing to boast of now.—

I have had two mornings more of dissection & made out some points pretty well—the articulation under mouth is one of the most distinct in whole body; the cheirotherium steps mostly point upwards, but some downwards & some obliquely.— My greatest doubt is about the relations of the inner tunic & ovisac; I have given it up in despair, for after shelling the animal perfectly clear of its two outer tunics, it is, I find, impossible to make myself quite sure that the oviscac is not an enlarged & constricted portion of the inner tunic. I hope to send my paper to Owen next week for judgment.2 As you say there is an extraordinary pleasure in pure observation; not but what I suspect the pleasure in this case is rather derived from comparisons forming in ones mind with allied structures. After having been so many years employed in writing my old geological observations it is delightful to use one’s eyes & fingers again.—

I shall be in London on Wednesday the 18th for Geolog. Soc 19th, 20, 21: do you think you shall be up either of these days, I would meet you at Craig’s Court3 or anywhere which would suit you, for you to put a few strokes into your drawings; there are two or three very trifling touches, which I think would improve matters. If you can come up, wd you give me a few days notice, as I have to appoint meetings with several people.

Many thanks for the Sertulariæ could you bring them with you? I parti-cularly beg you to remember, that should you meet with anyone who would describe them, at once to ask me for them, for it is doubtful whether I shall attempt to describe any objects, except such as I began working at in their living state, & of which I made out something of their structure.4 In my ordinary condition it is mortifying to find myself quite exhausted after at most 212 hours work in whole day.—

It will indeed give me great pleasure if you will come here & spend some days & bring some work & if I have anything under the microscope I will take advantage of your wicked offer of assistance: whenever it would suit you it would suit us, so do sometime early this winter propose yourself, for as I have said all times are alike to us & I should enjoy ⁠⟨⁠i⁠⟩⁠t very much— I hope to have Lyell here before long on same terms.—

I do not like the thoughts of your Bombay expedition5

Ever yours | C. Darwin


Dated by the relationship to the letter to J. D. Hooker, [12 November 1846], and on CD’s implication that his paper was nearly completed (‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 3, Appendix II).
The address of the Museum of Economic Geology and the Geological Survey of Great Britain.
Sertulariae are small branching polyps, and although CD investigated coral and coralline species he never undertook work on this genus.
Hooker had been invited to accompany Alexander Gibson, conservator of forests in Bombay, on a four to five month tour of the Cannar (now Kanara) province of India (Huxley ed. 1918, 1: 216).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Observations on barnacles.

Would like to meet JDH in London.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 70
Physical description
ALS 7pp & C

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1018,” accessed on 4 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3