Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 301 pages of information about Alfred Russel Wallace.

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TO H.W.  BATES

Ceram, November 25, 1859.

Dear Bates,—­Allow me to congratulate you on your safe arrival home with all your treasures; a good fortune which I trust is this time[14] reserved for me.  I hope you will write to me and tell me your projects.  Stevens hinted at your undertaking a “Fauna of the Amazon Valley.”  It would be a noble work, but one requiring years of labour, as of course you would wish to incorporate all existing materials and would have to spend months in Berlin and Milan and Paris to study the collections of Spix, Natterer, Oscolati, Castituan and others, as well as most of the chief private collections of Europe.  I hope you may undertake it and bring it to a glorious conclusion.  I have long been contemplating such a work for this Archipelago, but am convinced that the plan must be very limited to be capable of completion....—­I remain, dear Bates, yours very sincerely,

ALFRED R. WALLACE.

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TO H.W.  BATES

Ternate.  December 24, 1860.

Dear Bates,—­Many thanks for your long and interesting letter.  I have myself suffered much in the same way as you describe, and I think more severely.  The kind of taedium vitae you mention I also occasionally experience here.  I impute it to a too monotonous existence.

I know not how or to whom to express fully my admiration of Darwin’s book.  To him it would seem flattery, to others self-praise; but I do honestly believe that with however much patience I had worked up and experimented on the subject, I could never have approached the completeness of his book—­its vast accumulation of evidence, its overwhelming argument, and its admirable tone and spirit.  I really feel thankful that it has not been left to me to give the theory to the public.  Mr. Darwin has created a new science and a new philosophy, and I believe that never has such a complete illustration of a new branch of human knowledge been due to the labours and researches of a single man.  Never have such vast masses of widely scattered and hitherto utterly disconnected facts been combined into a system, and brought to bear upon the establishment of such a grand and new and simple philosophy!...—­In haste, yours faithfully,

ALFRED R. WALLACE.

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TO HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW, THOMAS SIMS

Delli, Timor.  March 15, 1861[15]

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Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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