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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 301 pages of information about Alfred Russel Wallace.
know its falsehood as a general rule.  I only ask, Do you think I can change the self-formed convictions of twenty-five years, and could you think such a change would have anything in it to merit reward from justice?  I am thankful I can see much to admire in all religions.  To the mass of mankind religion of some kind is a necessity.  But whether there be a God and whatever be His nature; whether we have an immortal soul or not, or whatever may be our state after death, I can have no fear of having to suffer for the study of nature and the search for truth, or believe that those will be better off in a future state who have lived in the belief of doctrines inculcated from childhood, and which are to them rather a matter of blind faith than intelligent conviction.—­A.R.W.

This for yourself; show the letter only to my mother.

* * * * *

TO HIS MOTHER

Sourabaya, Java.  July 20, 1861.

My dear Mother,—­I am, as you will see, now commencing my retreat westwards, and have left the wild and savage Moluccas and New Guinea for Java, the Garden of the East, and probably without any exception the finest island in the world.  My plans are to visit the interior and collect till November, and then work my way to Singapore so as to return home and arrive in the spring.  Travelling here will be a much pleasanter business than in any other country I have visited, as there are good roads, regular posting stages, and regular inns or lodging-houses all over the interior, and I shall no more be obliged to carry about with me that miscellaneous lot of household furniture—­bed, blankets, pots, kettles and frying pan, plates, dishes and wash-basin, coffee-pots and coffee, tea, sugar and butter, salt, pickles, rice, bread and wine, pepper and curry powder, and half a hundred more odds and ends, the constant looking after which, packing and repacking, calculating and contriving, have been the standing plague of my life for the last seven years.  You will better understand this when I tell you that I have made in that time about eighty movements, averaging one a month, at every one of which all of these articles have had to be rearranged and repacked by myself according to the length of the trip, besides a constant personal supervision to prevent waste or destruction of stores in places where it is impossible to supply them.

Fanny wrote me last month to know about how I should like to live on my return.  Of course, my dear mother, I should not think of living anywhere but with you, after such a long absence, if you feel yourself equal to housekeeping for us both; and I have always understood that your cottage would be large enough.  The accommodation I should require is, besides a small bedroom, one large room, or a small one if there is, besides, a kind of lumber room where I could keep my cases and do rough and dirty work.  I expect

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