Reflects how Bentham might have been more cautious had he read Wallace's volumes.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Total Pages : 8
Pages with text: 8
Transcriber: Nguyen, Vincent Duong-Vi
Transcription date: September 4, 2014
Scrutiny: 04/09/2014 - Benny, Ruth;
Signed off: no
A few lines just to say that we are back as yesterday—having come round by Stockholm, Upsala, Copenhagen, Hamburgh, Hanover Utrecht, Amsterdam, Hague, Leyden & Rotterdam, inspecting the Bot. Gardens & their museums throughout--I got very tired of it--thought it was excessively interesting--but the constant packing & moving got odious. Such lots [] of people asked for you--Even at Amsterdam the Hague I found a young Frenchman busy making notes on the Pictures, so I pointed out the Dodo to him & he immediately asked me whether it was alluded to in Darwins last book on Animals & Plants, which he had read. Miquel1 we staid 2 days with, in his House--so nice & pleasant: he has 4 very fine daughters such fine pleasant English [] like girls--two of them will visit us in September--M. is quite a convert;--he is a very intelligent man, but in poor health. OErsted at Copenhagen2 also talked heaps about you-- he too is a very able man, & good naturalist.
We have good news of Willy3, who has been up to near the scene of the late murders in a Govt. steamer with Capt. Haultaine, the Defence Minister--Hector4 is looking out for a settlement for him-- he is perfectly well & of course happy I --do hope he will take to a [] settler's life-- I am so sure it is the only thing that can suit him for the next 5 years-- Hector truly says that he is many years younger than his age-- Everyone is charmed with his manner & general conduct.
Miquel has been telling me how the Flora of Sumatra & Borneo are identical, & of Java quite different--just as Wallace shows for the plants animals.
How I wish I could join you in Wales, but it is impossible. I have a pile of letters that appalls myself, & I am [] not easily frightened--plus a large unopened box of documents & pamphlets accumulated [1 word illeg.] during my absence. I too sometimes wish myself in a tomb--though I hold that the balance of life is always on the side of enjoyment, & that the bitterness of the bitterest loss is an insufficient measure of the enjoyment we had in the object lost.--
I am always rejoiced when you like Benthams5 addresses.
I read it all in mss, & modified some very heterodox passages about Insularity & its effects-- you have hit--the flaw in the address-- Indeed I do wish I could write another Essay on [] Islands, & do not give up the hope-- I think if Bentham had read Wallace's volumes he would have been more cautious--but he had no time-- he however modified extensively what he had written on the strength of what I told him--that is to say he struck out several passages & put others more guardedly.--
Your offer to aid Andersson6 is a noble one:--I too have often gazed at the Cocos & Revillagigedos & others more [] isolated still--there away--if Andersson gets a schooner he could do all.
I am woefully disappointed to hear of your health-- is it the sequelle [sic] of your fall that you now suffer from?--
Now as to Beards, we never forget them & began to count--in Russia, but soon gave it up, as there was no exception to the rule of the Beard Moustachies & Whiskers being paler than the hair, usually ruddier also.
The Copenhagen & Stockholm Prehistoric Museums are perfectly wonderful, we have nothing at all like them for richness [] of material & admirable instructive arrangement.-- The Danish one is en suite with an Ethnographical Museum of the very highest value, extent, & beauty, which is now under rearrangement, & that again graduates into a collection of [3 words illeg.] an illustration of Danish Arts & customs, carried down to the present century. The Dutch Ethnographical & Antiquities collections are very far behind hand indeed--in every respect.
I was charmed to find my former visit to Leyden in 1845.! well remembered by Schlegel7 & the 2 or 3 survivors of the 10--12 naturalists I then knew there--but what an old man it made of me!f13
Ever y[ou]rs affec | J D Hooker [signature]
1. Miquel, Friedrich Anton Wilhelm (1811 – 1871). A Dutch botanist.
2. Oersted, Anders Sandoee (1816 – 1872). A Danish botanist and zoologist.
3. Hooker, William (1785 – 1865). A British botanist and father of Joseph Hooker.
4. Hector, James (1834 – 1907). A Scottish geologist and surgeon.
5. Bentham, George (1800 – 1884). A British botanist.
6. Andersson, Nils Johan (1821 – 1880). A Swedish botanist.
7. Schlegel, Hermann (1804 – 1884). A German ornithologist and herpetologist.
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