JHC139_L149.doc

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[[1]]
Dear Asa Gray
Many thanks for your letter & the swishing review of [Reverend Miles Joseph]
Berkeley -- it serves him right, but he certainly will not like it. He has made no
remarks on my review in the Journal of Botany; I suppose that like another friend of
mine (the last letters of whose names are Asa Gray) he thinks I am wrong wherever I
find faults! *1
I am charmed with your criticisms on my ideas of Physiology &c &c Your ideas remind
me of a fire work called the serpent which makes fiery circles -- ascends, makes
more circles, -- descends then flares up & goes out. mine you may compare to a
similar work called a whirlygig cracker, which does the same in a less methodical
form. They both end as your our ideas may end -- in a blaze, a bang & a stink[.] We
neither understand one another
[[2]] nor our[?] subject in one another’s eyes. & the stink of each alone remains to
each. I shall be very glad to take any amount of account of vital force when I find any
one else doing so -- with me it stands in the same relation to[?] other forces that
magnetism does to Heat, Electricity; Sound, Sight; each of[?] which is a tertium quid
investigated by then following up the laws of the others[.] With you Physiology =
Biology -- with us they have a totally different meaning. I mention this to show you
how far we are at cross--purposes in diction. Developement [sic] = growth, I agree &
generally use the latter term, but it is raw & undignified.
Heaven defend me from my friends I put [George] Bentham up to Ranunculanths! I
who cannot tolerate English names in any shape/-- They are [John Stevens]
Henslow[']s children, & bad; though they best, being infinitely better than =ads. =
worts & =aceae. I think Bentham right to adopt them, because they are now solemnly
sanctioned by Her
[[3]] Majestys Government, no less; for the delectation of National Schools. & as the
Henslow diagrams will be the great engine of instruction for Schools, ladies, parsons
& the like, it would "meo sensu" be most unwise of us B[entham]. to have ignored
them or adopted any new fangled ones. I hate & despise the whole English system
both for ordinal & generic names. You know how difficult it is to get any really good
books put into gov[ernmen]t: circulation, & it would be a most serious draw--back to
the good Benthams would do were he not to make his uniform with the system in
vogue. These things are trifles to us, but terminology is a serious affair to the classes
the book is intended for. So whatever you do do not put Bentham off using anths -- I
advised saying Ranunculaceae -- Ranunculus family & in brackets (Ranunculanths)
after.
[[4]] I think that you will find [John] Lindley right in referring Podostemons to to near
Lentibulariaceae I did to Scrophs [Scrophulariaceae] originally, which Lindley
followed I think first -- by proposing Plantaginea (through Littorella) & then
Lentibulariceae[sic]. I am sure that Scrophs or Lentib[ulariaceae]. are their place.
I must break off | Ever y[ou]r aff[ectionate] | J D Hooker [signature]
ENDNOTES
1. Probably refers to reviews of Berkeley's book Introduction to Cryptogamic Botany
(1857).
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