To William Hooker1    26 August 1862


My dear Sir William.

Writing more fully to your son & to Mr Bentham,2 I specially adress you to learn, as I sincerely hope, whether you health is firm & of late unaffected. I always fear that you do not accord to yourself that amount of rest amidst your many ardu[o]s duties & labours, which in your venerable age is more particularly requisite for the preservation of that life, which is so dear to all of us.

I often feel that I have notwithstanding my young years to be particularly careful (and every year more so) in order to impair not by overwork my mental & bodily faculties, especially as my constitution has suffered in the many trying journeys of former years. I am therefore perhaps not going on with my literary quite so well & so rapidly, as I could wish, but daily my convenience for work is increasing, & daily do I cling more firmly to the plan of working species up only with scrupulous care To me there is a great charm in circumscribing in so many cases, what I percieve to be the permanent characters of species, by which they will for ever and inerringly be recognized.

Both to Dr Hooker & to Mr Bentham I have remarked, that the absolute want of any tidings of the arrival of the Rutaceae & Violarineae by the [Dovre] Castle 3 has filled me with the utmost alarm!

We have by last mail notice of the arrival of the Dover Castle in June in London. You will remember that I wrote not only by the ships mail but also by the 4 subsequent mails, that I had made arrangements of sending this special consignment under the care of the Surgeon of the ship Dr Thomson;4 but I shall not run the risk again of forwarding anything again without bill of loading, may the opportunity be ever so favorable.

Should the box not have arrived, there should be no difficulty in finding it out by sending a special messenger to the storehouse of the agents or to the customs [shade]. The Box was legibly adressed as normal to yourself. I have sent subsequently a box pr Orwell, two boxes pr Kent and 1 box pr Roxburgh Castle. This closes Thalamiflorae with 123 fascicles.

I hope you got the drawing of the Coccoloba.5 It is a private gift of mine and perhaps I may mention, merely to show under what ruinous expenses we are labouring here in this country, that the artist charged me seven pounds for the drawing, which he declares a reduced rate!

F. Bailliere has recently valued the botanical part of my private library which amounts to £1100 – –

I am pleased to hear, that all our vegetable products6 will be handed over to your Museum.

Ever most regardfully yours

Ferd Mueller






MS black edged; M's sister Bertha died on 7 September 1861.
M to J. Hooker, 25 August 1862; M to G. Bentham, 26 August 1862.
Dover Castle . M sent the case without bill of lading on 27 March 1862 (RB MSS M 44 , Notebook recording despatch of plants for Bentham for Flora australiensis , Library, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne).
See M to W. Hooker 24 April 1862; M to G. Bentham, 23 May 1862, 24 June 1862 and 24 July 1862; M to J. Hooker 22 June 1862.
See M to W. Hooker, 24 May 1862. The illustration of Coccoloba platyclada, drawn by J. Schoenfeld, was published in Curtis's botanical magazine, t. 5382, 1 June 1863, vol. 89. The original drawing survives at Kew.
Sent for the London International Exhibition, 1862.

Please cite as “FVM-62-08-26,” in Correspondence of Ferdinand von Mueller, edited by R.W. Home, Thomas A. Darragh, A.M. Lucas, Sara Maroske, D.M. Sinkora, J.H. Voigt and Monika Wells accessed on 4 December 2023,