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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   20 January [1857]1

Down Bromley Kent

Jan. 20th

My dear Hooker

Very many thanks for your note.— with the opinions of yourself, Sir William & Bentham against Dr. D. I shall do nothing more.2 I have written to him to say that under present circumstances &c I strongly advise him not to apply to Royal Soc.y for aid, & that will be the end of the affair I hope.— It is a thousand pities that the man is what you say.—

I was quite knocked up on Thursday at R. Socy. but all that I heard was most interesting. I have become so curious on subject, that I have written to Huxley to beg for a little light on two points.—3 I really think that they will beat Forbes.— I shd. like to have talked over subject with you.—

Ever yours | C. Darwin

I have written to Sharpey & marking letter “Private” have told him what you say of Dr. D. & told him that I shall not stir in matter.4

P.S. I find Fish will greedily eat seeds of aquatic grasses, & that millet seed put into Fish & given to Stork & then voided will germinate.5

So this is the nursery rhyme of this is the stick that beat the pig &c &c—6

Dr. D. say Cameroons is accessible.—


Dated by the relationship to the letters to J. D. Hooker, 17 January [1857], and to T. H. Huxley, 17 January [1857].
William Sharpey was a secretary of the Royal Society. The letter has not been found.
Recorded in CD’s Experimental book, p. 19 (DAR 157a).
CD refers to the children’s story ‘The old woman and the pig’. For CD’s earlier experiments to investigate fish as a means of distributing plant seeds, see Correspondence vol. 5, letters to W. D. Fox, 7 May [1855], and to J. D. Hooker, 15 [May 1855].


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


CD will advise Daniell not to apply for Royal Society grant.

CD’s experiment: fish fed seeds, which germinated when voided.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 189
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2042,” accessed on 21 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6