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SIR J. D. HOOKER'S REMINISCENCES.
ralist) had allowed me to peruse them. At this time I was hurrying on my studies, so as to take my degree before volunteering to accompany Sir James Ross in the Antarctic Expedition, which had just been determined on by the Admiralty; and su pressed for time was I, that I used to sleep with the sheets of the ‘Journal' under my pillow, that I might read them between waking and rising. They impressed me profoundly, I might say despairingly, with the variety of acquirements, mental and physical, required in a naturalist who should follow in Darwin's footsteps, whilst they stimulated me to enthusiasm in the desire to travel and observe.
" It has been a permanent source of happiness to me that I knew so much of Mr. Darwin's scientific work so many years before that intimacy began which ripened into feelings as near to those of reverence for his life, works, and character as is reasonable and proper, It only remains to add to this little episode that I received a copy of the ‘ Journal' complete,--a gift from Mr. Lyell,--a few days before leaving England.
“Very soon after the return of the Antarctic Expedition my correspondence with Mr. Darwin began (December, 1843) by his sending me a long letter, warmly congratulating me on my return to my family and friends, and expressing a wish to hear more of the results of the expedition, of which he had derived some knowledge from private letters of my own (written to or communicated through Mr. Lyell). Then, plunging at once into scientific matters, he directed my attention to the importance of correlating the Fuegian Flora with that of the Cordillera and of Europe, and invited me to study the botanical collections which he had made in the Galapagos Islands, as well as his Patagonian and Fuegian plants.
* This led to me sending him an outline of the conclusions I had formed regarding the distribution of plants in the southern regions, and the necessity of assuming the destruction of considerable areas of land to account for the relations of the flora of the so-called Antarctic Islands. I do not suppose that any of these ideas were new to him, but they led
to an animated and lengthy correspondence full of instruction."
Here follows the letter (1843) to Sir J. D. Hooker above referred to.]
MY DEAR SIR,- I had hoped before this time to have had the pleasure of seeing you and congratulating you on your safe return from your long and glorious voyage. But as I seldom go to London, we may not yet meet for some timewithout you are led to attend the Geological Meetings.
I am anxious to know what you intend doing with all your materials--I had so much pleasure in reading parts of some of your letters, that I shall be very sorry if I, as one of the public, have no opportunity of reading a good deal more. I suppose you are very busy now and full of enjoyment: how well I remember the happiness of my first few months of England-it was worth all the discomforts of many a gale! But I have run from the subject, which made me write, of expressing my pleasure that Henslow (as he informed me a few days since by letter) has sent to you my small collection of plants. You cannot think how much pleased I am, as I feared they would have been all lost, and few as they are, they cost me a good deal of trouble. There are a few notes, which I believe Henslow has got, describing the habitats, &c., of some few of the more remarkable plants. I paid particular attention to the Alpine flowers of Tierra del Fuego, and I am sure I got every plant which was in flower in Patagonia at the seasons when we were there. I have long thought that some general sketch of the Flora of the point of land, stretching so far into the southern seas, would be very curious. Do make comparative remarks on the species allied to the European species, for the advantage of botanical ignoramuses like myself. It has often struck me as a curious point to find out, whether there are many European genera in T. del Fuego which are not found along the ridge of the Cordillera; the separation in such case would be so enormous. Do point out in any sketch you draw up, what genera are
American and what European, and how great the differences of the species are, when the genera are European, for the sake of the ignoramuses.
I hope Henslow will send you my Galapagos plants (about which Humboldt even expressed to me considerable curiosity) -I took much pains in collecting all I could. A Flora of this archipelago would, I suspect, offer a nearly parallel case to that of St. Helena, which has so long excited interest. Pray excuse this long rambling note, and believe me, my dear sir, yours very sincerely,
Will you be so good as to present my respectful compliments to Sir W. Hooker.
[Referring to Sir J. D. Hooker's work on the Galapagos Flora, my father wrote in 1846 :
“I cannot tell you how delighted and astonished I am at the results of your examination; how wonderfully they support my assertion on the differences in the animals of the difterent islands, about which I have always been fearful"
Again he wrote (1849) :
“I received a few weeks ago your Galapagos papers,* and I have read them since being here. I really cannot express too strongly my admiration of the geographical discussion: to my judgment it is a perfect model of what such a paper should be; it took me four days to read and think over. How interesting the Flora of the Sandwich Islands appears to be, how I wish there were materials for you to treat its flora as you have done the Galapagos. In the Systematic paper I was rather disappointed in not finding general remarks on affinities, structures, &c., such as you often give in conversation, and such as De Candolle and St. Hilaire introduced
* These papers include the results of Sir J. D. Hooker's examination of my father's Galapagos plants, and were published by the Linnean Society in 1849.
in almost all their papers, and which make them interesting even to a non-Botantist."
" Very soon afterwards [continues Sir J. D. Hooker) in a letter dated January 1844, the subject of the Origin of Spe cies' was brought forward by him, and I believe that I was the first to whom he communicated his then new ideas on the subject, and which being of interest as a contribution to the history of Evolution, I here copy from his letter":-)
C. Darwin to J. D. Hooker.
(January 11th, 1841) Besides a general interest about the southern lands, I have been now ever since my return engaged in a very presumptuous work, and I know no one individual who would not say a very foolish one. I was so struck with the distribution of the Galapagos organisms, &c. &c., and with the character of the American fossil mammifers, &c. &c., that I determined to collect blindly every sort of fact, which could bear any way on what are species. I have read heaps of agricultural and horticultural books, and have never ceased collecting facts. At last gleams of light have come, and I am almost convinced (quite contrary to the opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable. Heaven forfend me from Lamarck nonsense of a "tendency to progression," "adaptations from the slow willing of animals," &c.! But the conclusions I am led to are not widely different from his ; though the means of change are wholly so. I think I have found out (here's presumption!) the simple way by which species become exquisitely adapted to various ends. You will now groan, and think to yourself, "on what a man have I been wasting my time and writing to." I should, five years ago, have thought
['The following letter written on February 23, 1844, shows that the acquaintanceship with Sir J. D. Hooker was then
fast ripening into friendship. The letter is chiefly of interest as showing the sort of problems then occupying my father's mind :)
DEAR HOOKER, -I hope you will excuse the freedom of my address, but I feel that as co-circum-wanderers and as fellow labourers (though myself a very weak one) we may throw aside some of the old-world formality. ... I have just finished a little volume on the volcanic islands which we visited. I do not know how far you care for dry simple geology, but I hope you will let me send you a copy. I suppose I can send it from London by common coach conveyance.
I am going to ask you some more questions, though I daresay, without asking them, I shall see answers in your work, when published, which will be quite time enough for my purposes. First for the Galapagos, you will see in my Journal, that the Birds, though peculiar species, have a most obvious S. American aspect : I have just ascertained the same thing holds good with the sea-shells. It is so with those plants which are peculiar to this archipelago ; you state that their numerical proportions are continental (is not this a very curious fact?) but are they related in forms to S. America. Do you know of any other case of an archipelago, with the separate islands possessing distinct representative species? I have always intended (but have not yet done so) to examine Webb and Berthelot on the Canary Islands for this object. Talking with Mr. Bentham, he told me that the separate islands of the Sandwich Archipelago possessed distinct representative species of the same genera of Labiatæ : would not this be worth your enquiry? How is it with the Azores ; to be sure the heavy western gales would tend to diffuse the same species over that group.
I hope you will (I dare say my hope is quite superfluous) attend to this general kind of affinity in isolated islands, though I suppose it is more difficult to perceive this sort of relation in plants, than in birds or quadrupeds, the groups of