You will think they have converted me, but in point of doctrine I think Catholics and Protestants are equally wrong. As missionaries I think Catholics are best, and I would gladly see none others, rather than have, as in New Zealand, sects of native Dissenters more rancorous against each other than in England. The unity of the Catholics is their strength, and an unmarried clergy can do as missionaries what married men can never undertake. I have written on this subject because I have nothing else to write about. Love to Thomas and Edward.—Believe me, dear Fanny, your ever affectionate brother,
ALFRED R. WALLACE.
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Macassar. December 10, 1856.
My dear Fanny,—I have received yours of September, and my mother’s of October, and as I am now going out of reach of letters for six months I must send you a few lines to let you know that I am well and in good spirits, though rather disappointed with the celebrated Macassar.... For the last fortnight, since I came in from the country, I have been living here rather luxuriously, getting good rich cow’s milk to my tea and coffee, very good bread and excellent Dutch butter (3s. a lb.). The bread here is raised with toddy just as it is fermenting, and it imparts a peculiar sweet taste to the bread which is very nice. At last, too, there is some fruit here. The mangoes have just come in, and they are certainly magnificent. The flavour is something between a peach and a melon, with the slightest possible flavour of turpentine, and very juicy. They say they are unwholesome, and it is a good thing for me I am going away now. When I come back there will be not one to be had....—I remain, dear Fanny, your ever affectionate brother,