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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [after 28 April 1864]1


Dr Darwin

I was not ironical about your hand-writing— I am awfully glad to hear you are so much better2

Frank Palgrave3 told me a good story last night— he met a frenchman who talked largely of art,—& asked him if he knew Aery Schæffer.4 “oui” he answered with enthusiasm. Je pose quelquefois a M. Schæffer comme Jesu Christ—& quelquefois aussi pour le diable!5 If you dont laugh I will hate you.

read what goes before (if you can)6 | JH

It is £300 a year I understand7 | JH.


22, Harmood St. Haverstock Hill. N.W. April 26 My dear Dr Hooker

Mr Gwyn Jeffreys8 told me, two or three days ago that he had sent a note for me enclosed to you. No doubt you have mislaid my address, so I send this by way of reminder. I am, however, about to remove, of which I will give you due notice.

You will perhaps be rather surprised to learn that I have entered in a Geographical career,— i.e. have been chosen assistant Secretary of the Royal Geograp. Soc.9 I found myself obliged to take the first opening that appeared   I hope to be able to advance the science of Natural History in the new situation

Yours sincerely | H W Bates

Will you inform Mr Darwin of the election to the Secretaryship?

CD annotations10

Top of verso: ‘Leersia | Scott.— | Bates’ ink; ‘Wallace’ pencil; ‘Lythrum’ ink; ‘Lagestroemia | Gray’s letter’ pencil


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Emma Darwin to J. D. Hooker, [28 April 1864].
Francis Turner Palgrave, the son of Francis and Elizabeth Palgrave, was Hooker’s first cousin (Allan 1967).
Hooker probably refers to the French painter Ary Scheffer.
The joke is translated as ‘Mr Shæffer uses me sometimes as a model for Jesus Christ, sometimes as a model for the devil as well!’
Hooker wrote his letter across a letter to Hooker from Henry Walter Bates (see enclosure).
Hooker’s comment, written below Bates’s postscript, refers to the salary for Bates’s new post (see n. 9, below).
John Gwyn Jeffreys.
At the anniversary meeting of the Royal Geographical Society on 23 May 1864, the president, Roderick Impey Murchison, announced the appointment of Bates, ‘a true traveller and good geographer … who, in pursuit of the beauties and truths of natural history, has spent eleven years of his life in regions known to few Europeans’, as assistant secretary (Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society 8: 171). See also Bates 1892, pp. lxxv–lxxvii, and Woodcock 1969, pp. 256–8.
Except for the reference to John Scott, all the subjects CD noted, including the reference to Alfred Russel Wallace, and the letter from Asa Gray, are mentioned in his letter to Hooker of [15 May 1864]. CD may have intended to respond to Hooker’s comments on Scott in his letter of [26 or 27 April 1864].


Allan, Mea. 1967. The Hookers of Kew, 1785–1911. London: Michael Joseph.

Bates, Henry Walter. 1892. The naturalist on the River Amazons. A record of adventures, habits of animals, sketches of Brazilian and Indian life, and aspects of nature under the equator, during eleven years of travel. With a memoir of the author by Edward Clodd. Reprint of the first edition. London: John Murray.

Woodcock, George. 1969. Henry Walter Bates, naturalist of the Amazons. London: Faber & Faber.


Forwards a letter from H. W. Bates to JDH announcing HWB’s appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 101: 92
Physical description
2pp †, encl ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4474,” accessed on 1 April 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12