Decr 1st 1816.
My Silence, Dear Sir, was occasioned by illness – I am sure you will kindly admit this as my excuse. I have run the gauntlet of medical severity, having been bled, blistered – pitch-plaistered &c &c. Thank God I am better, but restricted from meat & wine, but allowed plenty of drugs, & cautionary advice is by no means spared.
Hypnum adiantoides I have found in fruit both in very wet & very dry situations. The appearance is mightily altered by this variety of station. I shall be happy to supply you with both. Encalypta ciliata is generally what we term an Alpine production, but by no means <illegible deletion> rare.
You will conclude that of late I have pd little attention to Botany. Indeed I could not attend to anything with either advantage or pleasure; & my eyes are so weak that I dare not venture upon the microscope. I suspect Dr Taylor, <1> from Dublin, is now with Hooker. <2> They are putting the finishing stroke to their Muscologia – a Book I cannot help expecting with an almost childish impatience. Perfection must not be hoped for; – but the study will, doubtless, be greatly facilitated, if it be only by the rejection of the numberless plants now admitted as species, wh are, certainly, no more than varieties. It wd give me pleasure, Dear Sir, to hear that you had extended yr Botanical pursuits to the Phaenogamous plants. I could, then, be of some use to you, and right proud wd such an opportunity make me. Be assured that I shall always be glad to see you here, whenever it may suit yr convenience to favor me with a visit.
Dear Sir, very truly yours
W. H. F. Talbot Esqre
31 Sackville St
1. Thomas Taylor (d. 1848), MD.
2. Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785–1865), Prof & botanist. Hooker and Taylor wrote Muscologia Britannica: containing the mosses of Great Britain and Ireland…(London: Longman, Hurst etc, 1818).