To B. Daydon Jackson   25 December 1881



I am somewhat surprised, dear Mr Jackson, that Mr Forrest1 has not at once paid his dues; – but he is a high-minded and wealthy man; hence he is sure to send his remittance at once after the receipt of your note. As for the others, recommended by me, generally on their own desire, you must simply strike them off from the list again, if after one single letter of yours they are not up to the mark. I shall be more cautious in any future sponsorships of mine.

As I published the index to L’s first sp. pl.2 on my private expense, I will be happy to give it to any Botanist who can turn it to use, (through you).

I have finished a census of the plant genera of all Australia for the vol. of the R.S. of New South Wales for 1881.3 You will not concur with my views, in quoting authorities, but let us “not loose4 the substance for the shadow!”— If you can give any corrections to the priorities of authority I shall be beholden to you.

Here, through Professor Caruel of Florence, the notice arrived, that Mr Bentham was dead, Caruel having—so he5 wrote to me—the intelligence from Planchon.6 The letter was so full of well deserved praise and deep condolence at so great a loss, that indirectly I was the means of this—happily unfounded—intelligence finding its way in to the Australian newspaper.7 I always expressed a belief, that Mr Bentham with his independent comfort, strong constitution, regular life, and freedom of official obligations would become a centenarian. Let us all hope that this wish will be realized for the sake of our favorite science, though I shall not enjoy the fruits of his later labors, my life evidently drawing to a close.

Was it Mrs Bentham, who died?8

Your excellent note on the worthy Mr Currey, I have read in the journal.9

With my best felicitation to the new year (though when this note arrives long post festum)

I remain

regardfully your

Ferd von Mueller.


Did Ray use already in the first edition the distinctions Di- & Mono-cotyledoneae?10

Is there any work which has critically recorded priorities of pre-Linnean authors? Pfeiffers most valuable work11 cannot be relied on, and he neglects pre-Tournefortian authors, as B & H12 set aside even Tournefort.13




John Forrest had been elected FLS on 16 June 1881, on the nomination of Mueller, William Woolls and Robert Fitzgerald.
Editor’s reading; text hasCaruel deleted abovehe also deleted.
See T. Caruel to M, 21 November 1881,
Leader, 24 September 1881, p. 8; also W. Woolls, letter to the editor, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 October 1881, p. 9.
Sarah Bentham died on 15 July 1881 (Jackson [1906], p. 248).
Jackson (1881a).
Presumably Ray (1682). The OED on-line edition (, accessed 18 February 2005) cites the second edition (1703) as the first use of dicotyledon .
Pfeiffer (1873-4); M’s copy remains at Royal Botanic Gardens Mebourne.
Bentham & Hooker (1862-83).
Jackson supplied M with relevant works; see M to Jackson, 22 November 1882 (in this edition as 82-11-22b).

Please cite as “FVM-81-12-25,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 21 September 2021,