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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   8 [June 1863]1



My dear Hooker.—

As you say you like to see Asa Gray’s letter, I send enclosed de rebus omnibus:2 it is atrociously written. The coolness of the poor dear man about England & U. States in the last two pages beats anything— Please return letter sometime.—

John Scott of Edinburgh is very grateful for your most kind letter of advice.3 He says Balfour is offended with him for refusing the Darjeeling offer.4 He tells me that he is sure that he has never lost any time over his experiments, & that it is not on this account that Mr. Macnab is offended with him & he cannot conjecture what the cause is.5 He takes my preachment very well & declares he will do all he can to please him.— I send a slip containing some of his experiments, but it is very badly arranged & difficult to make out, & the poor fellow sees it now I have told him very plainly.6

I have told him to send me his paper on Primula crosses & if it seems good, I will communicate it to Linn. Soc; for such an abstract as this does not do justice to his work.7

As I have bothered you thus far, I will bother you a little more by enclosing a M.S. note of Scott’s about closing of stigma in orchids, dependent on affinity of pollen & independent of protrusion of pollen-tubes.8 This is not noticed in abstract, & he tells me he believes the Bot. Soc. will publish only the enclosed abstract.9

Forgive me | Yours affect | C. Darwin


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 10 June 1863. See also n. 10, below.
De rebus omnibus: ‘concerning everything’. CD refers to the letter from Asa Gray, 26 May 1863. See also letter from J. D. Hooker, [1 March 1863].
See letter from John Scott, [3 June 1863] and n. 5; the reference is to John Hutton Balfour. See also letters to J. D. Hooker, 23 May [1863] and 29 May [1863].
See letter from John Scott, [3 June 1863] and n. 7; the reference is to James MacNab. See also letter to J. D. Hooker, 29 May [1863].
CD refers to a newspaper report, enclosed with Scott’s letter to him of 28 May [1863], of a meeting of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh held on 14 May 1863, which included an account of Scott’s paper entitled ‘Experiments on the fertilisation of orchids, in the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh’ (Edinburgh Evening Courant, 28 May 1863, p. 8). For CD’s comments on the paper and Scott’s response, see the letter to John Scott, 31 May [1863], and the letter from John Scott, [3 June 1863]. See also n. 9, below.
See letter to John Scott, 25 and 28 May [1863]. CD communicated Scott’s paper to the Linnean Society in January 1864 (see Correspondence vol. 12, letter to J. D. Hooker, [25 January 1864]); it was read before the society on 4 February 1864 (Scott 1864a).
See the enclosure to the letter from John Scott, 21 May [1863].
See letter from John Scott, [3 June 1863]. Scott’s paper was subsequently published in full in the Transactions of the Botanical Society [of Edinburgh] (Scott 1863a; see letter from John Scott, 16 June [1863]). The note referred to appeared in Scott 1863a, pp. 545–6 n.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Sends Asa Gray letter to JDH. Gray’s "Coolness about England and U. S. beats anything".

John Scott’s difficulties at Edinburgh Botanic Garden.

JS’s paper on Primula crossing experiments.

Sends MS note about closing of stigma in orchids being dependent on affinity of pollen and independent of protusion of pollen-tubes.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 158
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4207,” accessed on 23 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11