Love to Fanny and Thomas,—I remain your affectionate son,
ALFRED B. WALLACE.
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Bukit Tama, Singapore. May 28, 1854.
My dear Mother,—I send you a few lines through G. Silk as I thought you would like to hear from me. I am very comfortable here living with a Roman Catholic missionary.... I send by this mail a small box of insects for Mr. Stevens—I think a very valuable one—and I hope it will go safely. I expected a letter from you by the last mail, but received only two Athenoeums of March 18 and 25....
The forest here is very similar to that of South America. Palms are very numerous, but they are generally small and horridly spiny. There are none of the large and majestic species so abundant on the Amazon. I am so busy with insects now that I have no time for anything else, I send now about a thousand beetles to Mr. Stevens, and I have as many other insects still on hand which will form part of my next and principal consignment. Singapore is very rich in beetles, and before I leave I think I shall have a most beautiful collection.
[Illustration: A.R. WALLACE’S MOTHER]
I will tell you how my day is now occupied. Get up at half-past five. Bath and coffee. Sit down to arrange and put away my insects of the day before, and set them safe out to dry. Charles mending nets, filling pincushions, and getting ready for the day. Breakfast at eight. Out to the jungle at nine. We have to walk up a steep hill to get to it, and always arrive dripping with perspiration. Then we wander about till two or three, generally returning with about 50 or 60 beetles, some very rare and beautiful. Bathe, change clothes, and sit down to kill and pin insects. Charles ditto with flies, bugs and wasps; I do not trust him yet with beetles. Dinner at four. Then to work again till six. Coffee. Read. If very numerous, work at insects till eight or nine. Then to bed.
Adieu, with love to all.—Your affectionate son,
ALFRED E. WALLACE.
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In the Jungle near Malacca. July, 1854.
My dear Mother,—As this letter may be delayed getting to Singapore I write at once, having an opportunity of sending to Malacca to-morrow. We have been here a week, living in a Chinese house or shed, which reminds me remarkably of my old Rio Negro habitation. I have now for the first time brought my “rede” into use, and find it very comfortable.