What an astonishing expedition this is of Hooker's to Syria! God knows whether it is wise.
How are you and all yours? I hope you are not working too hard. For Heaven's sake, think that you may become such a beast as I am. How goes on the "Nat. Hist. Review?" Talking of reviews, I damned with a good grace the review in the "Athenaeum" (111/3. Review of "The Glaciers of the Alps" ("Athenaeum," September 1, 1860, page 280).) on Tyndall with a mean, scurvy allusion to you. It is disgraceful about Tyndall,--in fact, doubting his veracity.
I am very tired, and hate nearly the whole world. So good-night, and take care of your digestion, which means brain.
LETTER 112. TO C. LYELL. 15, Marine Parade, Eastbourne, 26th [September 1860].
It has just occurred to me that I took no notice of your questions on extinction in St. Helena. I am nearly sure that Hooker has information on the extinction of plants (112/1. "Principles of Geology," Volume II. (Edition X., 1868), page 453. Facts are quoted from Hooker illustrating the extermination of plants in St. Helena.), but I cannot remember where I have seen it. One may confidently assume that many insects were exterminated.
By the way, I heard lately from Wollaston, who told me that he had just received eminently Madeira and Canary Island insect forms from the Cape of Good Hope, to which trifling distance, if he is logical, he will have to extend his Atlantis! I have just received your letter, and am very much pleased that you approve. But I am utterly disgusted and ashamed about the dingo. I cannot think how I could have misunderstood the paper so grossly. I hope I have not blundered likewise in its co-existence with extinct species: what horrid blundering! I am grieved to hear that you think I must work in the notes in the text; but you are so much better a judge that I will obey. I am sorry that you had the trouble of returning the Dog MS., which I suppose I shall receive to-morrow.
I mean to give good woodcuts of all the chief races of pigeons. (112/2. "The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication," 1868.)
Except the C. oenas (112/3. The Columba oenas of Europe roosts on trees and builds its nest in holes, either in trees or the ground ("Var. of Animals," Volume I., page 183).) (which is partly, indeed almost entirely, a wood pigeon), there is no other rock pigeon with which our domestic pigeon would cross--that is, if several exceedingly close geographical races of C. livia, which hardly any ornithologist looks at as true species, be all grouped under C. livia. (112/4. Columba livia, the Rock-pigeon. "We may conclude with confidence that all the domestic races, notwithstanding their great amount of difference, are descended from the Columba livia, including under this name certain wild races" (op. cit., Volume I., page 223).)