My dear Sir,
I hope as you have reached Newcastle that it may not be inconvenient to you to pay us a few days visit in your way back. We shall have great pleasure in seeing Mrs Talbot <1> if she is with you, or indeed any companion of your journey to the Town of the wise men. Have the kindness to write a line if we shall have the pleasure of seeing, that we may not be absent by any chance.
I was far from intending to deny your derivation of obscenus[?]<2> while is certainly amended with Teutonic words, not with Latin or Greek roots; I only suggested that you had not got at the nearest Teutonic root because the English shun in nearer sunus or scoenus than the German Sheu and English,
both shy - all three being words of the same extraction.
I have not a collection of Alliums, tho' I grow some for ornament. I shall be glad of an offset or seed of your Swiss plant at any future opportunity. Sir W. Hooker <3> has pushed me on into preparation for a volume on Iridaceĉ & the Cape are therefore an object of peculiar interest to me at this moment. I purchased a lot from a German collection in June, some of them are shewing flower a Trichonema will indeed be blown in a day or two, but the season is sadly against them. If anything unusual should appear amongst yours you will oblige me by communicating it. Gladiolus Namaquensis Antholyza lucida, Watsonia punctata, gladiolus permeabilis, Glads flexuosus Tritonia refracta, Tritonia viridis, Tr. Rochensis, Geissorrhiza fulva, Morĉa lugens alias Aristea melileuca, Triohonema [illegible], Judicum speciosum & caulecens are amongst my principle desiderata, & a great villous Babiana allied to Ringens. Have you any of them?
Ever yrs truly
August 21 1838
Henry Fox Talbot Esqre
1. Constance Talbot, née Mundy (1811-1880), WHFT's wife.
2. Nothing similar appears in WHFT's later English Etymologies (London: John Murray, 1847).
3. Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865), Prof & botanist.