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Document number: 67
Date: Thu
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: DALTON James
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 24th December 2009


Dear Sir,

I have had your mosses under the microscope, &, with great diffidence, name them as follows: –

N. 1. Grimmia recurvirostra. N. 2 looks more like one of the many varieties of Tortula unguiculata (I have the same moss under the name of T. mucronuleta) & the Phascum is merely P. cuspidatum – the leaves being entire. It varies much as to enclosing or opposing the Capsule. Smith’s curvisetum is a mere var: of the same. If you have not a microscope & will allow me to send you mine ’till you are supplied with one, it is very much at yr service, & will travel in perfect safety by the Coach to Alderson’s.

I am all impatience for Hooker’s <1> work; – not that I flatter myself or him so much at [sic] think perfection in so very intricate a tribe can be attained; – but I think the study may be materially simplified, & that numberless mosses hitherto allowed as species, will be proved mere varieties.

You must watch for specimens of the first & second, when the operculum will separate from the sporangium. this will prove to you the value of my opinion, – whether it be worth anything or nothing. Dear sir, in haste to save the post,

very truly yrs
Jas D.

Wanting the peristomium of N. 2. prevented me discovering whether it be Dicl: rigidulum or what I have said above. I think you may soon get ripe capsules to settle this. the habit of the two plants are is very similar. –

W. F. H. [sic] Talbot Esq


1. Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785–1865), Prof & botanist.

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