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Ternate, January 25, 1858.
I have not done much here yet, having been much occupied in getting a house repaired and put in order. This island is a volcano with a sloping spur on which the town is situated. About ten miles to the east is the coast of the large Island of Gilolo, perhaps the most perfect entomological terra incognita now to be found. I am not aware that a single insect has ever been collected there, and cannot find it given as the locality of any insects in my catalogues or descriptions. In about a week I go for a month collecting there, and then return to prepare for a voyage to New Guinea. I think I shall stay in this place two or three years, as it is the centre of a most interesting and almost unknown region. Every house here was destroyed in 1840 by an earthquake during an eruption of the volcano....
What great political events have passed since we left England together! And the most eventful for England, and perhaps the most glorious, is the present mutiny in India, which has proved British courage and pluck as much as did the famed battles of Balaclava and Inker-man. I believe that both India and England will gain in the end by the fearful ordeal. When do you mean returning for good? If you go to the Andes you will, I think, be disappointed, at least in the number of species, especially of Coleoptera. My experience here is that the low grounds are much the most productive, though the mountains generally produce a few striking and brilliant species....—Yours sincerely,
ALFRED R. WALLACE.
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